serious running: trail running, races, shoe reviews

Archive for March, 2008

Peachtree Road Race Registration

Monday, March 17th, 2008

Yesterday the entry form for the 2008 Peachtree Road Race came out in the Atlanta paper and if you’re hoping to run this year you should have already put your entry in the mail. If you missed the paper or if you’re out of town you can download a scanned copy of the registration form here.

The Peachtree Road Race is the world’s largest 10K road race and if you’ve never done it before it is a blast. With 55,000 runners and many more spectators it’s one of the best July 4 traditions I know of. I first ran the Peachtree when I was 12 or 13 years old (whatever the minimum age was at the time) and it was by far the longest distance I had ever run. It is still one of my favorite races today.

Unlike other big races like the NY Marathon, the Peachtree numbers are awarded on a first-come, first-served basis. There are no online applications and no “lottery” to choose who gets in. Generally if you mail in your entry on Monday after the form comes out in the Sunday paper you’ll get in. Mail it Tuesday and you’ll probably be out of luck.  

Treadmill running: Keep it real

Wednesday, March 12th, 2008

treadmill.jpgI recently got a tip from a running friend about treadmills that I had never heard before. Apparently folks have figured out that the optimal incline to simulate outdoor running on a treadmill is 1.5%. The theory is that this makes up for things like wind resistance and hills that you would experience when running outside. Of course if your typical outdoor runs take place in a hilly area you may need to dial up the incline even more but for most folks this will work fine.

I’ve been running at 1.5% for the past month or so and I gotta say it really does feel more like outside running. In fact at times it feels harder, so much so that I think treadmill training is actually getting me in great shape for the outdoor running season!

Free Garmin Forerunner GPS data app

Friday, March 7th, 2008

Looking for a free alternative to Garmin’s pricey Motionbased service? Well we have your solution here: The GPS running data manager from Upload your Garmin Training Center data or even GPX formatted data and store all your workouts online.

The serious running GPS data manager gives you interactive maps, elevation profiles, and summary run data in an easy to use interface. Download your runs to view in a topographic program or even Google Earth. Plus you can choose to share your runs with other users with a single click. Oh – and if you happen to ride a bike from time to time (we won’t tell) – you can even track your cycling workouts recorded on your Forerunner or Edge GPS device. Sweet!

Running for the fun of it

Thursday, March 6th, 2008

Did you ever notice that once you started doing something for reasons beyond pure enjoyment that the thing became less enjoyable? I mean, if your passion became your job, would you still be as passionate about it? For me, I briefly lost my love of running when it became a competition. Let me explain.

When I was 12 years old I ran my first 10K with my dad and I loved it. Training was a great way to spend time with my pops and just finishing the thing felt like such an accomplishment. Fast forward to high school when I was on the track and cross country teams and running became a daily chore. Don’t get me wrong, I was actually pretty good – I routinely won my hurdling and 400M events – but I started to hate running. As soon as track season was over I’d stop running completely and I’d hold off as long as possible before starting back for track season in February.

In college I still ‘had’ to run but this time it was Uncle Sam that was cracking the whip. Each semester we’d have to pass a physical fitness test that included a 1.5 mile run and each semester I’d wait until about a week before to get ready for the test. I still finished near the top of my unit but even the short 1.5 mile run was miserable.

After college I moved to Colorado where the average elevation near my house was above 6,000 feet and breathing was tough. But the scenery was amazing and running was a great way to explore. I started to enjoy running again and I haven’t really stopped since (though cold, early morning runs are still tough). That was almost 8 years ago.

Of course competition doesn’t spoil running for everyone and I know some folks who actually need competition to make running interesting. If you’re feeling burned out from running, try easing (or ramping!) your competition level to see if that makes a difference. I’m guessing we can all find a way to make running fun again.

Why I love running

Tuesday, March 4th, 2008

Running is pretty unique among fitness activities because you can do it almost anywhere with little or no equipment. It’s almost always free and you don’t need to drive anywhere to do it. You really don’t need any special training to get started running and you can do it alone or with others.

So what does running look like for me? I wear a pair of dedicated running shoes (I don’t wear them for anything else) and sometimes I wear “technical running apparel,” though many times I’ll just wear an ordinary t-shirt and athletic shorts. I like to start from my house (see, no driving) and I usually run with Leah and/or our dog Jackson. I don’t often use a stopwatch but if I do I use the watch I wear during the day. Pretty simple, eh?

I have a friend who swears by running barefoot, which if you ask me, really takes the idea of simple running to the extreme. But at least he still wears running shorts and a t-shirt. My little brother once ran a nude 5K race, how’s that for simple?

Yep, running really is the people’s fitness activity and that’s why I love it. So what’s your excuse for not getting started?