New Years Resolutions, Success, Work

Are Marathoners Better at Keeping New Years Resolutions?

New Years Resolutions (or any big goals, for that matter) sound good for the first few days of the year. But, now that we are a couple of weeks into 2015, the burden associated with keeping our resolutions start to get real. By now, we are back at work, the kids are back in school, and the demands of “real life” are back with a vengeance and our resolutions become more and more difficult to maintain.

Therefore, it’s no surprise that many people are struggling to keep their New Years Resolutions by the second week of January. However, I’m still going strong on my resolutions for 2015, and I have no plans to start slacking in the foreseeable future.

Now, I don’t say this to brag. I’m struggling with a couple of my resolutions, but I have strategies in place to help me pick up the slack without sacrificing the momentum I’ve created on the goals that are going strong right now. Read more

Altra Ambassador 2.0

I received some exciting news over the weekend-I’ve been selected to be a brand ambassador for Altra again in 2015!

I was an ambassador with the company last year, and I’m really looking forward to waving their flag again this year. Honestly, I’m not sure why Altra chose me since it seems like all of their ambassadors are total bad asses (I think the term amBADassadors was floated around last year) and I’m just a slow guy trying to run a marathon in each of the 50 states. But whether they just needed a “token normal runner” or if they just got me confused with someone else, I’m excited to be back in the fold.

I had Golden Harper, founder of the company, on the podcast awhile back, and if you don’t know anything about Altra I’d definitely recommend you check out that episode. The story of Altra coming into existence is a good one that is highlighted by road trips, toaster ovens, and demand from their customers. It’s truly an incredible story, and well worth the listen.

If you ever have any questions or are thinking about trying your first pair of Altras, let me know. I’m happy always happy to help, even if the company fixes the glitch and I’m no longer an official ambassador!

Pat Mulder Went From Fat & Lazy to Just Lazy–His Words Not Mine!


Pat Mulder has completely changed his life in the past few years, and running has played a big role in that change. At an estimated 330 lbs in April of 2012, he decided to get on the treadmill and attempt to simply walk. After 20 minutes, he was finished and felt like he was going to “throw up”.

But it was a start.

Pat Mulder, Floppy Hat Photos

Pat and His Trusty Running Partner

 

Fast forward to today, and he’s in the 160-170 lb range and is currently on a run streak of over a year. Read more

Walt Disney World Marathon, Low Lights, Negatives,

11 Less Than Magical Moments About the WDW Marathon

The Walt Disney World Marathon is widely regarded as one of the most “magical” marathons by many runners.

I’ve run the race three times, and I’ll likely do it again, but let’s accept the fact that there are plenty of “less than magical” moments over the course of the 26.2 miles as well.

Walt Disney World Marathon, Low Lights, Negatives,

Where the Pixie Dust is Missing

  1. The mile (or more) walk to the starting line. I mean, as if 26.2 miles wasn’t already far enough…
  2. The excitement as race time draws near is great, unless you’re in a corral that doesn’t begin until an hour after the race actually starts.
  3. Honestly, how many stinky dumpsters are there backstage?
  4. Speaking of stinky, there’s nothing quite like the smell of (literally) tons of animal poo as you start to get close to Disney’s Animal Kingdom.
  5. Running in the parks is really awesome, but the bottlenecks that are created can be brutal.
  6. Two words–Osceola Boulevard.
  7. The guests at the Studios that have no clue there is a race going on and step off the curb right in front of you and expect you to avoid them. Seriously?!?! I’m 23 miles deep into a marathon, and you think I’ve got the energy to get out of your way? Just be glad I didn’t lower the shoulder, because I REALLY wanted to. (Can you tell this one hits close to home?)
  8. Guaranteed you’ll see at least 50 people (men and women) stopped along the side of the road to pee. I’m not condemning or casting judgement, because I’ve done it every time I’ve run the race, but it does take a little bit of the “magicalness” away
  9. The swag bag is basically swagless. Unless of course you bring your credit card, then you can get lots of swag. But seriously, for the price of this race, they can’t give us a 26.2 sticker with a Mickey head in place of the decimal point?
  10. Speaking of sparing no expense, I hope you’re not looking for much to eat after the race. I’ve run 5ks with a better post-race spread than a runDisney event.
  11. The last mile takes FOREVER! When you’re just walking around in the World Showcase the trip from England to Mexico doesn’t seem like it’s that big of a deal. But when you’re 25 miles into your race, that route seems unending!

If you’ve run the Walt Disney World Marathon, either this year or in the past, did I miss anything? Where else could runDisney use a little more pixie dust to cover up the less than magical moments and make an enjoyable race even better?

Many Runners Want to Know the Truth About Stretching

There is so much conflicting information when it comes to the truth about stretching for athletes, especially for runners.

Some experts swear that stretching prevents injuries, while just as many say that stretching has nothing to do with injury prevention. Some runners include stretching as a vital piece of the warm up, and some only stretch after their runs. Some believe in static stretching, while others only hold each stretch for a few seconds.

Who’s right?

The truth about stretching is that there are no cut and dry answers to anything related to stretching. Stretching has been studied time and time again, and ultimately there have been very few (if any) black and white conclusions that have been drawn, especially in regards to injury prevention.

Here is the Truth About Stretching

Stretching HAS NOT been shown to reduce injuries. That said, maintaining adequate flexibility by stretching regularly does allow your joints to operate within their full range of motion which can put less stress/strain on your muscles and tendons. Excess strain on the muscles and tendons can cause irritations (such as tendinitis, bursitis, and any other itis), so it could be seen as logical that regular stretching CAN reduce the risk of injury over time, yet it is far from conclusive.

Stretch Armstrong, Truth about stretching

Stretch Armstrong

It has long been believed that effective stretching requires holding your stretch for 15-30 seconds (or more). Going hand and hand with the static stretching theory is the assumption that bouncing while stretching is a sure fire way to pull or tear a muscle, which is an even worse injury than any itis you were trying to prevent in the first place. So what’s the truth? Static stretching is a fine way of increasing your range of motion, but should only be done as part of a cool down. Dynamic stretching is also a great way to improve ROM, and is fine to do before or after your run, but make sure your muscles are warm before you begin. The key is to hold each stretch for 2-6 seconds before releasing it. As long as your muscles are already warm, and you’re not reaching too far, dynamic stretching is safe AND effective.

My Take on Stretching

In my experience, both me personally and with the runners I’ve worked with, regular stretching is a good thing when done correctly. I almost always wait until after the run/race to do my stretching, but will occasionally do a minimal amount of dynamic stretching after my warm up but before the race.

Gumby, Truth about stretching

Everyone Loves Gumby

 

My preferred method of stretching, however, is to pop in a yoga DVD on days that I’m not running as part of a recovery day. I don’t do this as often as I’d like to, but whenever I do I feel better and my next run is usually better as well.


What do you do when it comes to stretching? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments, pro or con, when it comes to stretching.

And if you’d like to hear me expound a little bit on the virtues of stretching and elaborate a little more about what I talked about here in this post, just press play on the player below.