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. 🙂
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 steve@saturdaymarathons.com.

Aug 26

Review of Hal Koerner’s Field Guide to Ultrarunning

“The feeling usually hits me hard a little past the halfway point of a race. You are so exposed at that point, physically and mentally. There is so much behind you, yet so much ahead. It is daunting. And thrilling. An ultra forces you to put yourself out there, and it is that all-or-nothing feeling that I love. When you finally cross the finish line, the feeling of having triumphed over not just the many physical hurdles, but also the even more formidable ones of uncertainty and doubt, is like none other. I still shake my head in wonder and think, Wow, I can’t believe I just did that. Now that’s a good day.”

― Hal Koerner, Hal Koerner’s Field Guide to Ultrarunning

I was skeptical about this book because I wasn’t sure what it could offer that was not already covered in Byron Powell’s “Relentless Forward Progress,” which is often accepted as the must read guide to ultrarunning. As I read, it quickly became apparent that this book makes a great companion (or stand alone, even) guide to ultrarunning.

Hal Koerner’s ultrarunning credentials are hard to beat. He has notable wins at the Western States Endurance Run (2), Hardrock Hundred, Angeles Crest (2), just to name a few.

The writing style of the book is very straight forward and engaging. It’s an easy read. He also tells information in way of sharing what works for him. It may not work for everyone and he doesn’t claim that his way is the only way. I really love the expert tips and firsthand experience he offers. He also shares some of his mistakes, making you realize he’s human, rather than some perfect ultrarunning elite.

It’s a great guide to help your prepare for an ultra, including detailed training plans. There are plans for 50k, 50m-100k, and 100m distances. In addition to training, there is information on nutrition/hydration, gear, do’s and do nots on race day, and much more.

In addition to ultras, there’s great information for running in general (especially trail running).

I recommend this book if you are interested in running an ultra or you are already an ultrarunner. This book brought some things to my attention that I can work on and also some tips to implement in future training sessions and race days.


Aug 18

Tips for Running on Vacation

On a recent vacation, I was trying to remain on a running program. Here are a few tips I used (or ignored to my own peril):

Google about running in the area you are visiting

You can search for good routes to run and places to stay away from. You may even find some local running groups to meet up with.В This can be a great opportunity to explore the area and do some sightseeing on foot while you are visiting. This can also be an opportunity to train on new terrain and/or in a new climate.

Another good source of information is local running shops.

On my recent trip, a search led me to someone advising not to run on the local beach. Nonetheless, I had visions in my head of gloriously running barefoot on the beach like in the movies. In reality, the sand was so loose that it was difficult to decently run on it. Furthermore, I ended up with blisters on four of my toes! It went something like this:


Run on the treadmill

I loathe the treadmill. However, sometimes this is your only option. No matter how sparse the fitness center is at a hotel or on a cruise ship, they usually at least have a treadmill. There may also be a gym nearby. This should help to at least jump on and maintain a base level of running fitness.

Adjust your running plan

If you are concerned about having time to run on your trip, you can always plan long runs before and after your trip to get those miles in.

Adjust your training for your location

Anticipate the running conditions. Don’t stress if you are from cooler climate and you are having a hard time running in heat. Your pace will be slower. Make sure you pack gear according to conditions. The same goes if you are visiting somewhere much colder and/or more/less humid.

I am from a dry climate and felt like I was choking on the humidity on a vacation run.

If you are from sea level, running at altitude could affect you. Turn it an opportunity to experience training at altitude to see how your body responds. Be safe and prepare for the possibility of negative effects.

If you are a flatlander, running at a location with lots of climbing can be a great opportunity to get some hill work in.


You may have some great physical activities planned on your trip like swimming, hiking, cycling, etc. These can help assuage the regret of missing a training run.

Have Fun!

Don’t think about your training too much. Enjoy your vacation! I have read taking a week off may only cause you to lose about 10% of your fitness level, but your body could benefit greatly from additional rest and healing.


Also, good luck staying on a healthy running diet while on vacation 😉

Any additional tips you have about running on vacation?