Guest Post on the MTA Blog!

Hi folks, here’s something for you creative runners interested in sharing your knowledge and experience with our community. We are putting a call out for new content contributors to our blog. The content should be relevant to marathon training and be helpful to our readers.

Click here to see how to apply

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Improve Your Running Form by Focusing on Cadence

How fast is your running cadence?

How fast is your running cadence?

Is My Running Form Bad?

About 2 years ago I attended a coaching symposium put on by Newton Running Company in Southwest Oklahoma.

Throughout the classroom portion of the course I had been glued to the instructors, hanging on their every word. Not because my form was bad, no obviously I wasn’t a “heel-striker”, but I was incredibly anxious to start helping others run better!

When it came time for my videotaped gait analysis I was excited to see how good I looked…assuming they’d pause the video and use me as the textbook example.

Okay, there I am . . . and . . . wait . . . no, that can’t be right.

Devastation.

I was the textbook example of a heel striker. I looked just like everyone else! Landing in front of my body and putting the brakes on with every step. Unbelievable. Two weeks away from running the New York City Marathon and an expert tells me that my running form is bad and my mechanics need a lot of work.

How do I fix it?

Being so close to a race, what should I do? I approached one of the instructors and asked this very question. I fully expected him to say that I should proceed as I always have and start a slow transition to Natural Running when my race was over.

Wrong again. He explained that nothing good can come from bad form and that I should start working on improving my gait immediately.

Then he said to focus on increasing my cadence. Continue Reading →

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Understanding Heart Rate Training

Heart Rate Training *[Audio Content Available For Members Only. Click Here to Join Now]

Maybe you have a heart rate monitor (HRM) that you never use or use a heart rate monitor and get frustrated because you don’t fully understand how to go about using this training method.

In this post I want to cut through the clutter and tell you how to get started with heart rate training. You will learn:

  1. What to know before you start heart rate training
  2. Three ways to find your ideal training zones
  3. The limitations of heart rate training

Ready, set, go! Continue Reading →

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Interview with Elite Runner Leah Thorvilson – 2:37 Marathoner

leah_thorvilson*Audio Content Available For Members Only. Click Here to Join Now

Leah Thorvilson is the 4 time winner of the Little Rock Marathon, competed in the 2012 Olympic Trials and holds the 4th fastest 50 mile time ever recorded for an American woman.

She won the Tupelo Marathon this year (I saw her blazing by me on the out and back section). And she recently became the director of athletic development at her alma mater, the University of Arkansas Little Rock.

We talked with her about her runner career, training and the lessons she learned from a torn hamstring.

Here are some of the questions we asked Leah and a few tips about injury prevention Continue Reading →

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Race Recap: Air Force Marathon in Dayton, Ohio

Brain overload at the Air Force Museum in Dayton

Brain overload at the Air Force Museum in Dayton

*Audio Content Available For Members Only. Click Here to Join Now

On Sept 21, 2013 we got to run the 17th annual Air Force Marathon in Dayton, OH. This year there were a total of 15,000 participants between the 5k, 10k, half and full marathon.

We made this a family trip and were able to visit the National Museum of the United States Air Force the day before the race. This is a pretty amazing place (with free admission!!) that details the history of aviation with many aircraft and memorabilia from over the years. The kids were as impressed as kids can be with a museum and it was an educational experience that they’re still talking about.

Continue Reading →

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Interview with Ian Sharman -Winner of the Leadville Trail 100 Ultramarathon

Leadville Champion Ian Sharman [photo credit: irunfar/ Bryan Powell

Leadville Champion Ian Sharman [photo credit: irunfar/ Bryan Powell]

*Audio Content Available For Members Only. Click Here to Join Now

We recently interviewed Ian Sharman the winner of this year’s Leadville Trail 100 Ultramarathon. He has run over 180 ultramarathons and marathons in over 30 countries. He is a certified running coach and writer for irunfar.com.

In addition to winning Leadville this year, he completed the Grand Slam of Ultrarunning -four 100 mile races in one summer – beating the previous Grand Slam record.

Here are a few of the questions we asked Ian: Continue Reading →

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Race Recap: The Tupelo Marathon –Trample the Weak Hurdle the Dead!

tupelo1*Audio Content Available For Members Only. Click Here to Join Now

Angie and I recently ran the Tupelo Marathon in Tupelo, Mississippi.

Although Elvis was born in Tupelo, this is not a race for pretty boys.

First of all, it’s hot. I’m talking about seventy-six degrees at the starting line at 5:00 in the morning. Humidity was probably 90%. A couple years ago a tropical storm hit during the race. They kept it running.

Second, it’s ugly. I just say that because it looks too much like S.E. Missouri –bugs, brush, and bungalows. I wouldn’t go down there for the scenery but I would for the BBQ.

Third, it’s small. The race draws about three hundred marathoners and does away with race expos, pacing groups, music, the national anthem, spectators, porta-potties (not entirely), and course photographers except at the very end. But it was easy to find parking.

Fourth, you run in the dark for the first hour. I enjoyed it even though I didn’t have a headlamp. As far as I know . . . only the weak got trampled. Continue Reading →

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Interview with Vinnie Tortorich – How Your Good Intentions Have Been Stolen

Vinnie*Audio Content Available For Members Only. Click Here to Join Now

Vinnie Tortorich is the author of the book Fitness Confidential – adventures in the weight loss game. *Quick heads up, the book does contain adult language and content.

He is the go to guy for celebrities and athletes who need to get fit fast. He hosts the Angriest Trainer Podcast and is an ultra-endurance cyclist. He has also battled Leukemia, a struggle he chronicles in the book.

Vinnie calls himself America’s angriest trainer but he’s actually a really nice guy. As a personal trainer he doesn’t scream “feel the burn!” when making his clients do push ups. He says that’s only what made-for-T.V. trainers do.

He is angry because of the misinformation that exists in the fitness industry -an industry he’s been working in since the 80s. Vinnie’s contention is that the calorie in calorie out weight loss model is a bunch of bull.

“Your good intentions have been stolen, and I’m here to help you get ’em back!”

The book opens with a situation where movie execs from Disney need him to take 35 pounds off an actress in six weeks.

When you see an actress on the red carpet and you know she just had a baby three weeks ago but she looks fabulous; she either has me or someone like me working with her. -Vinnie Tortorich

He will be the first to tell you that these celebrities types are not genetically perfect. What works for them will work for us. The secret sauce of Fitness Confidential is called NSNG (no sugars no grains). Continue Reading →

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Adventures in Running Downhill

deseret_news_marathon*Audio Content Available For Members Only. Click Here to Join Now

Many people underestimate how running downhill can zap their muscle strength leading to things like cramping, heavy legs, sore feet, blisters, lost toenails and post-race soreness.

At my last marathon, The Deseret News Classic Marathon in Salt Lake City, about sixteen miles of the course was downhill. I can honestly say I have not been this sore since my first marathon six years ago.

In this podcast/blogpost I want to show you why running downhill is so hard on your body and how you can prepare for this challenge better than I did. Continue Reading →

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Race Recap: Deseret News Classic Marathon

Salt Lake City, Utah

Deseret News Classic Marathon Medal

We just got back from a 5,000 mile road trip. We drove from Missouri to Washington State by way of Montana -stopping to run the Missoula Marathon. When it came time to plan our return trip home Trevor asked, “Do you want to do a marathon in Utah next week?” You may have guessed by now that I can’t say no to a marathon, especially in a new state. So that is how I came to run the Deseret News Classic Marathon in Salt Lake City Utah. Continue Reading →

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Race Recap: The Missoula Marathon

Missoula Marathon Medal*Audio Content Available For Members Only. Click Here to Join Now

Angie and I recently finished the Missoula Marathon in beautiful Missoula, Montana (Angie’s home state).

This marathon is abundantly picturesque -think mountains, valleys and rivers. Not only that, I found it to be well organized. I heard that this race fills up every year and I can see why. The race caps off at 1,500 full marathoners and 3,500 half marathoners. I would definitely run it again. Continue Reading →

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How to Avoid Bonking and Cramping During Your Marathon

*[Audio Content Available For Members Only. Click Here to Join Now]

In this podcast episode and blog post I will zero in on two common difficulties that can make your marathon a lot more challenging —bonking and cramping. I have heard from many runners who have experienced one of these mishaps. It is time to understand why they happen and what you can do about it.

Bonking

Bonking is often referred to as “hitting the wall” and this phenomenon happens during long runs and marathons. Bonking can occur when you don’t take in adequate carbohydrate replenishment during your run.

Because the average runner burns 100 calories per mile the body will have depleted its muscle glycogen fuel store after approximately 90 minutes of running (if you haven’t been replenishing the lost calories). When you bonk, your body has burned through its reserve supply of muscle glycogen and what you’ve put into your body hasn’t kept up with the demand. You may feel a sudden fatigue, loss of energy and start taking long walking breaks. Other symptoms may include nausea, dizziness, feeling faint, shakiness and rubbery legs which may indicate that your blood sugar is low.

Bonking may also have a mental component where you feel hopeless or like you can’t go on. If your brain is low on glycogen it logically will be signaling your body to stop whatever folly you’re engaged in.

Here’s what you need to do to prevent bonking:
Continue Reading →

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