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Running Rambles

Setting Big Goals: What We Can Learn from the Evans Family

The transcontinental run is an almost mind-boggling challenge. To achieve this goal, one must be willing to commit an extreme amount of time, energy, and faith. Moreover, one has to rely on family, friends, and the kindness of strangers in the pursuit of a near superhuman accomplishment. What can the average runner learn from people who undertake these extraordinary quests? I’ve been thinking a lot about cross-county running (like, literally, running across the country) this week because of the Evans family. On July 4, Shaun, Nichole, Shamus, and Simon Evans will leave from Seattle, Washington on a cross- country run...

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Let’s Get Faster –– Part 3: Intervals

During the past several weeks, I have encouraged everyone who wants to get faster to develop their speed by doing fartlek training and hill work. Now, it’s time to tackle interval training. Like fartlek and hills, intervals of fast-paced running followed by recovery will help to increase your speed by making your body more efficient, developing aerobic capacity, and maximizing the efficiency of your running form. Ideally, the interval workout should be done on a 400-meter track, so that you can easily run a predetermined interval distance plus a recovery interval. Tracks, with their even surface and distraction-free surroundings, allow...

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Let’s Get Faster –– Part 2: Hills: Speed Work in Disguise

To get faster, it helps to vary your workouts. This week, let’s try getting faster by training on the hills. As Olympic marathoner Frank Shorter famously said, “Hills are speed work in disguise." The hill workout should be done on a weekly basis. They are good for younger runners looking to figure out form and improve cadence. For masters runners, they also can be a fantastic addition because they allow for a tough, speed interval-type workout without the stress on the muscular-skeletal system. How does hill running build speed? Running up an incline forces you to take quicker, smaller steps....

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Let’s Get Faster –– Part 1: Form and Fartlek

“Can you point me to some running advice? I can jog for ages, not even breaking a sweat -– but I just can't make the jump from jogging to running. It is frustrating.” A friend recently expressed some frustration at not being able to “make the jump from jogging to running.” He said he could “jog for ages,” but wasn’t getting any faster. While I’ve written recently about working on cadence as a way to speed things up, the process of getting faster really deserves a more detailed discussion. During the next several weeks, I’ll give some advice about how...

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Trails are Not a Trial

Is your running in a rut? Are you finding yourself doing the same routes at the same pace? Is your motivation starting to lag? It might be time to hit the trails! The Capital Region has trails for all skill levels and a variety of races throughout the summer and fall when you need some additional challenges. While trail running offers new ways to enjoy our sport, get healthier, and meet new people, you’ll want to do it because it’s just a lot of fun. Trail running is very popular in the Capital Region and for good reason. From the...

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