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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Run Yoga Thrive Interview with Jeff Sanders, Host of the 5AM Miracle Podcast

There is a lot of crap on the internet – especially in the area of self-improvement.

Do a Google search for “self-improvement”, “self-help” or even “life coach” and you’ll find plenty of websites offering a quick fix or simple solution to everything that ails you.

There are a ton of web sites out there that will claim to help you find a better job, create better daily habits, or help you lose weight, but often times they’re just trying to make a quick buck by offering half-thought out advice. You might be even more discouraged and confused about where to turn after finding so many half-baked sites.

So where do you go when you’re really looking for sound advice and help?
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Setting Your Running Thermostat

Back in grad school, my friend Kevin’s thermostat setting hovered somewhere in the 50s from late October to early spring.

No matter how cold it got in the dead of an Ohio winter, his thermostat didn’t budge. No amount of his girlfriend’s protests over having to wear socks and sweats to bed or the ribbing he got about being cheap would change his mind. Kevin’s determination to keep his heating bill low would always win out  – no matter what anyone said or did. I’m pretty sure there were times when even he was bothered or uncomfortable by the cold temperature in his apartment, but he never wavered. The heat simply was not going to get turned up.

At first blush, you wouldn’t think that  Kevin keeping his thermostat ridiculously low during winter months would have anything to do with becoming a better runner, but stick with me here.
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How A Marathon Training Run Picked A Fight With Cancer

To be honest, when I first mapped out the route to what essentially would become the Happy Half Marathon course a little over two years ago, I was simply looking for a way to end a long run at a pub in Yellow Springs, Ohio.

At the time the pub I had in mind had one of my favorite beers on tap and since I’m a big believer in beer being a good recovery drink, I was all for having a beer or two after the run.

If there was anything extraordinary about that training run, the fact that we were going to end it by drinking a few good beers was it.
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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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All You Need to Start Becoming the Greatest Runner You Can Be

photo courtesty of flikr – by Keith Fujimoto

If you grew up in the late 80s and early 90s and had even a passing interest in basketball, you know the name Mars Blackmon.

Mars was created and portrayed by Spike Lee for one of his movies, but he became more famous as a Nike pitchman pushing Air Jordans on basketball fans all over the world. In addition to having a knack for repeating certain questions or phrases three times (“Do you know? Do you know?) he was also known to attribute Michael Jordan’s greatness on the basketball floor to the shoes Nike paid Jordan millions of dollars to wear.

While his fixation with Air Jordans ultimately proved to be a wildly successful marketing campaign, Mars seemingly missed the boat on what made Jordan great. Claiming that it’s gotta be the shoes” sold a lot of shoes, but this tongue-in-cheek caricature ignored the heart, skill, talent, determination and hard work that made Jordan the basketball player he was.
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How To Get Motivated To Run When You Don’t Feel Like It

If you’ve run long enough, at some point you’ve had the feeling that you just didn’t want to go out on a particular run. Maybe there was a time when turning off your alarm and rolling back into your sheets sounded like the best thing ever. Or maybe it was early in the week and you rationalized that you could postpone your run because you have time to make it up later in the week.  Or maybe you don’t have a race coming up and it’s easy to convince yourself that you can miss a workout here and there.

Or maybe you just wussed out.

Image Courtesy of Feelart; freedigitalphotos.net

Image Courtesy of Feelart; freedigitalphotos.net

Regardless of the reason, every runner has felt like not running at some point.

So what’s it going to take to get you up and out the door? Why are you – the person who at some point made the conscious decision to label yourself a “runner” going to follow through with that decision? The next time your motivation is running low, remind yourself of these three things:

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3 Simple Tweaks That Can Make This Weekend’s Long Run Easier

 

I first got the idea for this post a few months ago as I was walking through the GEICO corporate offices for my weekly Toastmasters meeting and saw this sign:

IMG_0721

I’m not sure if the HR rep who walks me to my meetings was pulling my leg (I’m not a GEICO employee and can’t be in the building without an escort), but according to her those signs were fastened to almost every common area door in that building to prevent people from running into each other or worse – bonking people on the other side of the door in the face.
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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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Running in San Diego part 1

I’ve been in California for the last four days at a conference and in between work obligations  I’ve had a lot of time to think about running. The conference was a blast and while I’m energized and ready to get back to work, some of the inspiration and information I gathered can be applied to your running goals as well.

I hope you enjoy my thoughts on running in San Diego in part 2, which will be ready in the next day or two, but for now, I wanted to share one of the highlights of my trip. On Saturday morning I ran with my aunt Becky’s running group along the coast in Carlsbad. I was kind of bummed when one of the members of the running group told me that the Carlsbad 5000 was being run the next day because it sounded like a fun race, but it would have been impossible to get to the start of the conference I was in town for if I had run it.
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