Oct 28

Keep the Running Passion

Don’t get caught up in the drudgery of training.

Running Passion

It’s not always about race day, the medals, the official times, and everything that comes with it.

You can enjoy the journey of your day to day training. I recently shared pictures of a run I did in the mountains. This could have been an ordinary weekend long run. Instead it was full of beautiful scenery, an epic summit, some wildlife, and even some hikers to cheer us on.

St George Marathon Swag

Here are some ideas to spice up your running:

  1. If you’re bored of the roads, go trail running.
  2. Explore new routes on the road or trails. This is one of my favorite things to do. Search for other peoples’ preferred routes in your area.
  3. Spend a run experimenting with form.
  4. Spend a run mixing up speeds and hills.
  5. Go get a track workout in.
  6. Try some new shoes. Some stores let you demo shoes (Pro tip: Listen to Paolo Nutini’s song “New Shoes” while you do this).
  7. Try using a heart rate monitor in training.
  8. Focus on breathing techniques during a session.
  9. Try new pre, post, or mid-workout fuel.
  10. Throw in some parkour during your run. I noticed during a trail run with one of my kids that she jumped off every larger rock we came across. She wasn’t out there to “train.” She was just having fun. Doing this can bring out the kid in you. Just try not to hurt yourself, hehe.
  11. Try some new music, new audiobook, or podcast while you run.
  12. OR, ditch the audio devices. In fact, ditch all the electronics and just go tech-free.
  13. Bring your dog on your run.
  14. Run with a friend or a running group. Try meeting some new people.
  15. Focus on your running cadence or turnover.
  16. Try some new cross-training.
  17. Add something to your overall workout like planks or yoga.
  18. Change up your diet and so what that does for your training (hopefully this involves eating better but you can see what donuts do to your run times, hehe).
  19. Volunteer at an event.
  20. Pick up a cause.
  21. Start a running journal, like DailyMile.
  22. If you’re a day runner, try running at night and vice versa. Be safe, like bringing headlamp, reflective gear, or staying with a group.
  23. If you aren’t a numbers person, start taking a look at your stats and see what you can learn and/or improve on.
  24. Try running for time instead of miles or vice versa.
  25. Try new gear.
  26. Involve running in your vacation.
  27. New running outfit.
  28. Check out new running blogs (in addition to this one ;), running movies, or books.
  29. Try new terrain. Go to the mountains, beaches, desert, forest, etc.
  30. And… if it just isn’t happening. Try taking a break but hopefully not too long. 🙂
Oct 06

St George Marathon Race Report by Steve

Last year, I didn’t get selected in the lottery to do the St George Marathon. It seemed like all my friends were picked but I was left out. This year, I was selected but none of my friends were running it. Ha!

St George isn’t a huge city (2012 Population: 75,561) but they have a big marathon! The marathon is listed on their webpage as the 16th largest in the US. It is popular enough to require a lottery entry. The marathon has also won a number of accolades.

The expo is really nice. Everything was very smooth for picking up my race packet. The marathon has some great swag. The shirt is very nice quality. It was nice to see some other Saturday marathons at the expo, like the Phoenix Marathon, Utah Valley Marathon, and the Huntsville Marathon.

St George Marathon Swag

I got up and walked to the buses early since I was already awake. Good thing I always try to get a good night’s rest two nights before the marathon since I know I won’t get much the night before. They give away some really nice prizes for early bus riders (I didn’t win though), which is a cool incentive to get people there early.

At the start, volunteers hand you gloves courtesy of Wasatch Running Center and a mylar cover. How nice! It was chilly at the start but not too bad. I believe it was in the 40s. Many participants said it was colder last year. They also have many fires to sit near while you wait.

I got myself situated near the start by the 3:25 pacer. The Clif Bar pacer was really helpful with encouragement and race tips. As the race began, there’s the normal jostling for position and finding your comfortable pace amongst so many participants. The gloves were perfect for the first mile or so and then I ditched them along with so many others shedding layers as they warmed up.

The course is beautiful. I love the scenery. Veyo Hill and Snow Valley are great. Towards the end the red rocks are amazing. The volunteers are fantastic. The aid stations are well stocked and set up in a really functional way. The organization of this race is absolutely superb.

I started out running the downhill at my target pace or just below it. By the time I got to Veyo Hill (about mile 7ish), it was time to slow down the pace. The hill is steep for a road race and you certainly feel it. I allowed my pace to slow to the 9s and touch the 10s for a bit. Many folks choose to walk it. After that, there’s some more incline and rollers (you can see them coming in the road in front of you) for a few miles. I thought I was slowing down for these, but when I look at my splits, it appears I didn’t slow down enough according to my pre-race plan.

By the time I got to the half marathon mark, it was mostly downhill from there. I turned up the intensity and had some great mile splits in the second half. As we approached the town, there were so many people cheering for the runners. It’s encouraging to see so many people turn up to cheer. Your name is printed on your bib and people will call out your name specifically to cheer you on. I love the signs too. My favorite is the “Touch here for power” signs. 🙂 At one point, I ran by some people, feeling great, giving little kids high fives, and then I looked at my watch and saw I was running at a 6:30 min/mile pace. Oops! A bit too fast for my goal with lots of miles left.

There is a lot of downhill in this race. This year, I ran Utah Valley and Pocatello, which includes a lot of downhill. Also, I ran a mostly downhill 21 miler before my taper. I was prepared. My quads didn’t hurt like I thought they might.

As I started closing in on the last few miles, I knew I was on pace for a PR. This was motivation to keep pushing when my body wanted to quit. Plus with all the people cheering, I had to keep giving it my best.

I ended up finishing at 3:25, nearly 5 minutes below my old PR! I was elated.

PR

I really like the finisher’s medal made out of rock. Very unique! The finish area was very nice with an assortment of things to eat and drink, including ice cream. I went with the drumstick to start my post-marathon junk food to make up for all the healthy eating during training.

St George Finish Line

I really have no complaints about this marathon. I had a great experience. I can see why the race is so popular, requiring a lottery. The course is really designed for a negative split since you can clear the bigger inclines in the first half. I ended up with a mostly even split despite my plan. I’m pleased with the results nonetheless. 🙂

St George Marathon Medal

Feel free to comment below or on our Facebook page. Also, remember we are accepting reader submitted marathon reviews.

Sep 29

New Marathon World Record!

This weekend, Dennis Kimetto set a world record at the Berlin Marathon. He finished in 2:02:57. That is about 4:41 mile average pace for 26.2 miles. Seriously. Think about that for a moment. He took over 26 seconds off Kipsang’s previous world record, which is huge for the marathon record.

The new world record has brought on debate as to whether we will see a sub-2 hour marathon in the future. Many believe it is a still a long ways off. I think we may see it in a decade. The record will be broken again. Even the current record holder agrees: “I can break this record again,” Kimetto said.

If youВ understandВ the mental aspect of this sport, you know elites will now adjust their goals on this new world record time. As science and technology continue to advance, athlete performance will improve. Nonetheless, 2:57 is a lot of time to drop at that level. It will be exciting to see it happen one day.

I don’t think non-runners are able to grasp how incredibly fast these elites run. I would be ecstatic to get my marathon time in the lower 3 hour range, but to be in the lower 2 hour range? Wow. В It is amazing and difficult to fathom that kind of speed. The majority ofВ runners wish they could run a single 4:41 mile let alone 26.2 in a row.

 

Sep 24

A Call for Guest Saturday Marathon Previews, Reviews and Race Reports!

Would you like to share your experience about a Saturday marathon that you have run? (Of course you would, you just ran 26.2 freaking miles and the world needs to know about it!)

We’ve been so pleased with the growth of SaturdayMarathons.com over the last year. Now it’s time to take the next step in becoming the one-stop destination for allВ your Saturday marathon informationВ and begin providing race previews, reviews and your own race reports from SaturdayВ races from all over the country!В We’re just two Marathon Maniacs living in Nevada (Steve) and Oregon (RJ) and our current calendar has more than 300 Saturday marathons — we need your help!

This is a great option for marathon runners that don’t want to go through the hassle of setting up their own blog (or if you have a blog but get frustrated by the same sevenВ family members being the only ones to read all of yourВ epicВ reportsВ like RJ was). You can put information out there to help other marathoners choose a race. You can share the race report with your friends easily. We are happy to publish it on our page and promote it on Facebook (if you wish — we’re approaching 2,000 likes). You can inspire people! We are also in contact with dozens of race directors who look for and welcome honest feedback from theirВ paying customers. Your honest and detailed experiences are gold to them.

What we are looking for:

  • A thorough review of various aspects of the race such as logistics, support, course, swag, etc. Please go into detail. Don’t worry about it being too long. We will edit it down if necessary.
  • Please include photos. Everyone loves lots of pics! рџ™‚ Let’s see those medals!
  • Be objective. Don’t trash a marathon simply because you had a bad race or didn’t meet your goal. What did the marathon do well? What could it have done better? Go into to details about why.
  • Have fun with it!

We don’t want a simple one paragraph review like you will see on other race websites. If you’re going toВ train for,В pay for and travel to a race, you want and need more than that.

We are glad to help you with your submission. We may ask follow-up questions, edit grammar (I’ll do my best since I’m not a pro at this) and arrange it on the website.

(Obviously, we reserve the right to reject inappropriate submissions. Please keep it family friendly.В Please also don’t get your feelings hurt if we edit the submission. рџ™‚ )

Race reports/reviews/questions can be e-mailed to [email protected]

Sep 01

Back to the Pocatello Marathon

I ran the Pocatello marathon the first time in 2013. I posted my recap here. I went back to run the Pocatello marathon again in 2014. I wasn’t really intending to run it again but my schedule aligned so that I happened to be there on marathon weekend. Of course, I couldn’t pass that up.

A few thoughts in addition to what I posted previously:

Pocatello has a running store now, Pocatello Running Co

The marathon is still run incredibly well. The logistics are fantastic. The race swag is fantastic (a nice Adidas bag, cool tech tee [in a new color], a 5lb bag of potatoes [seriously] and more!)

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I think it speaks volumes that I can return on consecutive years and still expect a high quality event both times. Also, there were quite a few fellow marathon maniacs at the race. Marathon maniacs run a lot of marathons. It shows how good this marathon is that the maniacs keep coming back in good numbers, especially considering Pocatello isn’t as easy to travel to as other marathons (you likely have to fly into the Salt Lake City or the Idaho Falls airports and drive to Pocatello).

The weather was really nice this year. It was cool in the morning, not too warm at the end.

The small hill at mile 21 didn’t seem so bad this year. Maybe because I knew it was there or maybe because I had recently done the Tahoe Rim Trail 50 miler.

The announcers at the finish line were really nice and were doing giveaways. They hooked me up with a nice water bottle and gave my kids cowbells. You always need more cowbell [Christopher Walken voice].

How was my race? I missed my PR by 50 seconds, lol. I would have been upset except I knew that I gave this race all I had. So… no regrets.

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