I Ran 40 Miles On My Birthday…Now What?

In conjunction with my recently celebrated 40th birthday, I accomplished something I’ve long promised to do. A big bucket list item I’ve talked about on and off for at least the last 5 years.

To commemorate my 4oth trip around the sun, I ran 40 miles in one day.

To a seasoned ultra marathoner that doesn’t sound like much, but given that it was the furthest I ever ran in a day (specifically 13.8 miles longer than any marathon I’ve run), it was significant, symbolic and meaningful to me.

It was also amazingly emotional, cathartic and fulfilling. I didn’t do it for anyone but me, but it was good to hear how impressed and proud people were that I actually did it.
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3 Lessons I Learned By Running 1,000 Miles This Year and How You Can Accomplish a Similar Goal

Just before the Thanksgiving holiday season, I accomplished one of my running goals for 2013.

photo by flamurai, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

I ran 1,000 miles for the year.

As I mentioned in the post linked above, I was well aware that others have set much  loftier goals with some people running the year (2013 miles in 2013) or running a tenth of that in a 100 mile race all in one day.

Since I’ve started tracking my runs with my Garmin watch, I’ve averaged a little under 900 miles a year, so I also realized that while 1,000 miles would be the most I’ve ever run in a 365 day span, it wouldn’t be a huge jump. It was something that I wanted to have under my belt more than anything, but I also wanted to make sure I was in good shape for the Marine Corps Marathon this past October. It was a baseline for me to maintain my running endurance throughout the year.

Running over 1,000 this year also taught me a lot about myself, about running and about my relationship with running.
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Is Skipping a Run Really That Bad?

The short answer to that question is yes.

The plethora of training programs you can find in books and online are filled with tempo runs, speed workouts, long runs and cross training days for a specific reason – to get you ready to run your best race.

If you start selectively picking and choosing which workouts you want to do, you could be tempting fate on race day.

Having said that, most people probably aren’t professional runners. Life can throw you a curve from time to time and that 5:00 AM run you planned to get in before work may not happen if you’re nursing a sick kid back to health, you have to unexpectedly travel for work or any other countless variable that you might encounter. The fact is, even the best laid training schedules will have to work around other events in your life from time to time.

So what happens when life gets in the way and you miss a workout?
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The Secret of A Three Mile Run

There is a secret about training to finish a marathon that no one really tells you.

Even though it’s hiding in plain sight behind a simple Google search, for the most part no one comes right out and says it.

I’m going to do you a solid and spell it out for you:

If you can run three miles, you can train to finish a marathon. 

If you Google ‘marathon training for beginners’ or ‘first time marathoner’, you’ll find a ton of really good training programs to sift through. As you click-through all the first-time marathon plans, you’ll probably notice two things. The first thing is that all of them offer up a disclaimer of sorts telling you to spend at least a few weeks working up to the first week’s training distances. The second thing you’ll likely notice is that most of the first couple of weeks in these plans include several three mile runs.

Essentially what they’re telling you is that before you graduate to training to finish a marathon, you should be able to run three miles with ease.
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Big News For Busy Runner!

Until now, this site has been dedicated to the plight of runners who need motivation or help in finding time to run. We all lead busy lives with work, family and friend obligations, and from time to time it’s easy to let running take a back seat. One of the themes of this site has been to decide to make your running goals happen and to make running a habit. For the most part that won’t change.

But, at least for my household, that’s only part of the story.

How do you fit in runs when you have another person in the house who is also trying to fit something in that they’re passionate about? In our case, we balance all our life obligations with my running and my wife Jen’s yoga. I’ve enjoyed the blog so far and have enjoyed sharing some of what  does and doesn’t works for me, but to this point it has felt like a key part of the story I’ve been telling has been missing. I want to bring that part of the story into focus now.

Moving forward, you’ll still get posts from me about running, running motivation and habits, but you’ll also notice more posts from Jen and how she fits in her yoga practice.

You’ll also notice that the site is now called runyogathrive.com . You can still type in busyrunner.com to get here, but we felt the domain name change better suited our new wider theme.

Over time Jen and I hope to share how my running and her yoga lead to a better and more fulfilled life together and how we’ve shared those passions of ours with our kids. Our hope is that in telling our stories, you’ll be able to find similar stories in your daily lives as well.

Thank you for reading Busy Runner. Welcome to Run Yoga Thrive!

Why I Don’t Go To The Gym and 3 Reasons You Probably Don’t Need To Either

For a long while, I considered taking advantage of the discount a local gym offers my company. It was relatively cheap, close to work and I figured it would be a great way to build up the cross training portion of any race training I would be doing. For reasons I couldn’t put my finger on, I never could pull the trigger on joining the gym.

A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to hear John Pierre, trainer to Ellen DeGeneres, countless CEOs, musicians and other celebrities, give a talk and he made not going to the gym sound like a good thing. Pierre talked a lot more about fitness and nutrition than what I’ll cover here, but here are some of the take a ways:
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6 Tips For Running on Business Trips

Image courtesy of Ambro / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Ambro / FreeDigitalPhotos.net 

 

At first blush, trying to stay on schedule while traveling for work sounds like it might be difficult, especially if your work includes late night dinner meetings and/or early morning breakfast meetings and presentations. By planning ahead of time, you can fit it all in, but you’ll have to be as careful about scheduling your runs as you are about scheduling your appointments.

Obviously you want to keep in mind that you’re traveling on your company’s dime and that your work responsibilities take priority, but that doesn’t mean you have to put your running schedule on hold. Here are some tips that have helped me get my weekly mileage in while on the road.
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Hope Is Not a Strategy for Runners

A few years back, I worked as sales representative. While the job was very demanding, it was also very rewarding. Closing a big account or having a good month as a team didn’t happen by accident. Due to a clear sales plan, succeeding wasn’t an aberration or an accident. In many ways, training to run a race is the same way. You’re probably not going to PR in a race without a proper plan – or good training schedule to follow.

“Hope Is Not a Strategy”

Rick Page’s sales book, which is a sales bible for many, was almost a mantra to our sales manager. We we weren’t allowed to simply hope a sale would come through. Before each sales call, we were expected to have a  clear plan in place where we knew the prospect inside and out and determine their hot button selling points. Most importantly, we had to give ourselves the best chance to succeed by removing all known barriers to a sale before the meeting ever took place. While our planning and strategy sessions were a culmination of personal experiences and other sales books, it was Page’s book that our sales manager would constantly point to.  If you’re in sales and are interested in developing your own sales strategies, I’d highly recommend picking up a copy – if you haven’t already.

What does this all have to do with fitting in runs? A lot, as I found out. When I started running, I didn’t really have a plan. While just stepping out the door to run can be fun, if your goal is to run any long distance races you’ll need to have a plan. Without a plan, you’re not going to accomplish your goals anymore than a salesperson will close a sale by simply showing up. You had to do your homework in sales and you have to do your homework with running.
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