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Running Tips and Advice


Show up. This is 90 percent of the battle. But showing up is more than just being there on race day; it's a lifestyle. To be successful, you have to 'show up' every day. To really succeed, you have to show up mentally and emotionally as well as physically.

- Jonathan Beverly -

Once I asked a friend how he got through races. In his 50s then and still running speedy 5Ks and impressive half marathons, he said that when he hit a bad patch, he'd remember that he had been expecting it. He would feel bad for a while, but then, he told himself he knew he'd feel good again. 'You'll feel good again,' I sometimes tell myself when I want to quit.

- Rachel Toor -

I use my running (and deliberately shun the word 'training') as the daily reset button. The harder and busier the day is the more I need to do an easy run. This relaxation counters the toxic levels of stress that comes with being overextended as a family physician and other work commitments. If running were another stress it would not be sustainable, therefore my entire running is relaxed... We all have busy and stressful lives and the running must fit into the 'yin' of the 'yin and yang' circle.

- Mark Cucuzzella -
1,001 Pearls of Runners' Wisdom

Nonrunners don't care that much about your running. It's fine to chat about running with nonrunners. If they ask you about it, of course, it'd be rude not to. But for everyone's sake, know your limits. 

- Mark Remy -
The Runner's Rule Book

You need to enjoy the running experience if you want to continue and succeed at it. But this can take time. You need to be patient. Running doesn't always jump out at you as the greatest thing since sliced bread. Eventually though, you realize it is.

- Jack Daniels -

If you want to become faster, you have to train for it, and that means doing speedwork. Sounds obvious, but I always thought I could improve just by going a little faster on my daily training runs. I improved, but only marginally. It took me 12 years to learn that speedwork was the way to go.

- Dave Weber -

You can't get where you're going unless you know where you've been. Record your training on a daily basis. In my office, I have a set of loose-leaf notebooks dating back to 1963. I record items such as the date, time, location, surface and conditions, and distance, along with my weight. I also record what I did to warm up and cool down, and any comments concerning the actual run. Various running diaries can be purchased at book stores. Or you can even record your miles on a simple calendar. After you race, you can look back on your training and figure out what you did wrong--or what you did right.

- Hal Higdon -

Sports drinks and other on-the-run fueling products such as gels, beans and Clif Shot Bloks were originally invented to supplement your energy intake. Your body can only take in so much energy in the form of sugar, and when you exceed that level, it causes nauseau and stomach upset. The idea is not to replace the energy lost while running but to only replenish some of what is lost. Keep track along the way, and you'll develop a recipe that works for you.

- Jenny Hadfield -

When you run in the morning, you gain time in a sense. It's like stretching 24 hours into 25. You may need to sleep less and get up earlier, but if you can get by that, running early seems to expand the day.

- Fred Lebow -

Circumstances can keep you from running where and when you want, but nothing except lack of training can take away your right to run exactly as hard as you want to. The more you run, the more of this freedom you acquire. That's the beauty part.

- John Jerome -

When you improve a little each day, eventually big things occur. When you improve conditioning a little each day, eventually you have a big improvement in conditioning. Not tomorrow, not the next day, but eventually a big gain is made. Don't look for the big, quick improvement. Seek the small improvement one day at a time. That's the only way it happens - slow and steady gets you ready.

- John Wooden -

Test your shoes periodically for wear, suggest physical therapists Bruce Wilk and William Gutierrez in the American Medical Athletic Association Quarterly. Place the shoes on a flat surface. Do the shoes remain flat or do they wobble? Do they wobble if you push down on the right or left side of the shoe? You want your shoes to hold your feet in a stable position as you run. If they wobble, it's time for a new pair.

- Runner's World -

Hold your stretches for 15 seconds or so to get the most benefit. This is about the length of time it takes to sing the 'Happy Birthday' song twice.

- Adam Bean -

Training is principally an act of faith. The athlete must believe in its efficacy; he must believe that through training he will become fitter and stronger; that by constant repetition of the same movements he will become more skillful and his muscles more relaxed. He must be a fanatic for hard work and enthusiastic enough to enjoy it.

- Franz Stampfl -

During the hard training phase, never be afraid to take a day off. If your legs are feeling unduly stiff and sore, rest. If you're at all sluggish, rest. Whenever you're in doubt, rest.

- Bruce Fordyce -
1,001 Pearls of Runners' Wisdom

No one is born a perfect runner. And none of us will become one. But through incremental steps, we can become better runners. And that's the beauty of our sport: There are no shortcuts, nothing is given to us; we earn every mile, and we earn every result.

- Pete Magill -

When you run in the a.m. without eating breakfast, your pace will feel harder than it is, you won't be able to reach higher intensities, and you'll burn fewer calories as your body goes into conservation mode from the lack of fuel in your system. This all happens because, unless you're a midnight snacker, you've been fasting for nine to 12 hours between dinner and sunup. During this time, your muscle and liver glycogen and blood-glucose levels drop--all crucial energy sources that fuel your running. By eating shortly after you awake, you break the fast and begin to top off your energy stores. With a full tank, your body is then primed for exercise.

- Julie Upton -

You can learn from everything you do, including and especially running. If others make jokes about your running, let them. There's nothing you can do about that. You can, however, control your own self-criticism, or at least be aware of it. Running is a way to help yourself and to achieve the things you want. That's hardly trivial. Running clears the mind the way a summer storm blows the smog and haze from the sky. And with a clear mind and strong heart, what isn't possible in this life?

- Kevin Nelson -

Become detached from your performance. This is the process of actually suspending judgment about the outcome of your running efforts. You must be truly able to 'let go,' to become a split personality of sorts. It’s not easy; after all, you are striving to do your very best, yet you have to not care about the result. Running the race should be the most important thing in your life while you are running it, yet you can’t care how it turns out. If you have trouble with this, ask yourself: Does caring help me or hurt me? Caring certainly helps you get to the starting line, but once there, you must simply trust your training and your ability to execute.

- Andy Palmer -

Motivation is a sly fellow. A real slippery eel. Just when you think you have a firm grip on motivation, life’s many distractions will rudely intrude and then to your personal dismay, you start wondering why regular workouts have suddenly become sporadic or regrettably a thing of the past. That’s why setting specific training or racing goals are critical for long-term success… Often times you might feel burned out and in need of a break from running. By all means, take it. Refresh your mental batteries. But don’t go slack. Stay active with say hiking, biking, or swimming. Researchers have found that after twelve weeks of no exercise, a highly trained athlete will have squandered a significant amount of fitness and conditioning.

- Bill Katovsky -
1,001 Pearls of Runners' Wisdom

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