How to Keep Spirits High When VO2 Max Tanks: An Injured Runner’s Guide

Wah-wah. Image via wikipedia.

“We all have had injuries and disappointments.  It is a part of running.  It can bring us down and at times be overwhelming when we see how far we have to go.  But I encourage you all to take your time, stay inspired and focused.  Instead of stressing about how far behind we are, we need to focus on the progress we are making and continue to make.”

- Kara Goucher, in her post “The Return

I read Kara’s wise words a few hours after receiving confirmation that I have a metatarsal stress fracture. Though I’d made it tear-free through a week with a 20:0 ratio of ice baths to miles, the simultaneous no-running, no-crying streak was about to come to an abrupt end. I dunked my foot further into the bucket of ice and sobbed, carrying out the Debbie Downer version of the ice bucket challenge. Not exactly a photo op that makes it to Facebook. Read more

My Best Running Buddy: The Podcast

English: Podcast or podcasting icon Français :...

Podcasts are a great way to keep your brain engaged while your legs are moving! (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Do you ever wish that you could run with a really smart, funny friend who could take your mind off long, tedious, and sometimes painful miles, and who would keep you company on even the most inconveniently-timed runs? Do you like learning new things?  Do you ever have trouble tearing yourself away from a good story you’re reading or watching to get out the door for a run?  Do you ever get tired of the songs on your running playlist?

If so, I’d like to introduce you to one of my very best friends: the podcast!

Read more

5 People You Might (Literally) Run into on the Track

Yeah, it’s fall! Is it just me or is fall the best season for running? All the great marathons happen in the fall (Boston, not withstanding). The heat of the summer is gone. The trails are strewn with beautiful leaves. And that cross-country smell is in the air. But one thing about the fall that might be kind of a pain in the you-know-what? All the people you meet in lane 1 at the local track.

And did I mention you’ll meet them as you’re flying around turns working your tail off trying to meet your workout goal times and they cannot take a hint and might not get out of your way even if you scream your face off warn them you’re coming.

And who might those people be? Read on! Read more

Time for Tempo Runs!

Cadburys Tempo

How do you like your tempos? (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Whether you’re a seasoned competitor or a newbie to implementing structured training, a regular tempo run should be a staple workout. If you follow the Salty training logs, you’ve probably noticed them pop up often in our weekly recaps. But not all tempos are equal. Some of us do long tempos and some do short tempo intervals. Some of us run 15k-10 mile race pace or faster and others run them closer to marathon pace or even slower.

Yep, there is no one right way to tempo. But their are some general principles to effective tempo runs and some popular variations to choose from. Learn all about tempos after the jump! Read more

The Runner’s Biological Clock: Age Grading

Barb Broad regularly logs world class age grade performances from the 800 meters to the marathon. Her motto? “Age slower than my competitors!”

Last week, Salty wrote a great post about how to define a PR.  This concept can become tricky when you’re an older athlete.  For some who started focused training later in life, many PRs may still lie ahead because you weren’t training or keeping track when you were younger.  However, if you ran competitively in your youth, you may never again be able to run the same absolute time over a given distance, regardless of how well your training is going.  If you are a runner in your 30s, 40s or beyond, especially if you are on the speedier side, you may frequently find yourself racing against open runners who might be many years younger than you, and thus have a distinct competitive advantage.  At times, this can feel disheartening.

Enter age grading! Read more

An Open Letter to Brooks

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Velvety goodness, my piriformis!

Dear Brooks Running,

You tell me to “run happy“, and I want to comply. But my running happiness is largely dependent on the mood my feet happen to be in at any particular moment. And lately? They’re cranky, sore, and decidedly UN-happy.

You see, they had a perfectly cozy little place to hang out for miles at a time, a tried and true shoe named the Adrenaline. Perhaps you’ve heard of it? Of course you have. It’s your number one selling running shoe. Or shall we say, it was. Because somewhere in the span between 2013 and 2014, one of your brilliant shoe designers (perhaps suffering from severe glycogen depletion) had a significant lapse in judgement and decided to fix what wasn’t broken.

Read more

5 Lessons from Kids About Running

Becoming a mom three years ago was a life changing experience. I’d like to say that I savor every moment, but that’s not true. Many days I’m frazzled and counting down the minutes until I can sit on the couch with a bowl of ice cream. But sometimes, like now, I sit back and realize how cool it is to be someone’s mom; for every lesson I teach my kids, they teach me way more. I’ve been surprised lately how these lessons can relate to my running, so I thought I’d share a few of them with you! Read more

What Counts as a PR?

PRs are what we competitive runners live for!

PRs are what we competitive runners live for!

Oh my gosh! I just ran a 5k PR on the treadmill!

YES! I ran a 10k, 15k, 10 mile and half marathon PR in my marathon!

I just ran a minute 5k PR, but everyone (and my Garmin) think the course was 3 miles instead of a 5k.

My GPS said the course was 13.4, but at 13.1 I had a 30 second PR, but was over a minute off my PR when I finished.

Are these personal record performances? No. And here’s why. Read more

A Quick and Salty Guide to Running in Chicago

Going to Chicago for the weekend? In the middle of marathon training? Like cities where people drink… a lot? Great. You’ve made it to the right place.  Chicago is known for its deep dish pizza, friendly Midwestern people  and 15 professional sports teams. Though as runners we know it as the city that hosts The Chicago Marathon. Since its inception in 1905, the race has been one of the major world marathon growing to about forty-thousand runners last year. But you don’t need to run in the marathon to enjoy running to Chicago!

Chicago Lakefront

Chicago Lakefront (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If you’re heading to Windy City and need a little rundown on the running scene, this post is for you! Read more