What You Need to Know About Racing for Charity

Run for the Water Kids Run: 2014

Runners’ generosity is a marketing opportunity for some for-profit races, but a huge benefit to some charities, too. 

Charitable giving is a mainstay of America. We runners, grateful of our physical health and strength are so often first in line to raise money for a good cause. When a race advertises it contributes its proceeds to a good cause, well, sign us up! And more and more races are doing just that.

But are these races capitalizing on runners’ spirit of giving? How much of the race proceeds are actually going to reputable charities? Are we really doing good when we sign up for a race that advertises it’s in support of a cause over another race. Not all races for charity are created equal and today I want to talk about how to know whether that race is really helping the cause it says it is. Read more

10 Tips to Get More Mileage out of Your Running Shoes

After a while the cost of running shoes can really pile up!

After a while the cost of running shoes can really pile up! Image of Salty’s current rotation.

Did you start running thinking it would be a cheap sport? Oh, how quickly the shorts and bras and race entries add up — not to mention the shoes! Sure, the barefoot route would eliminate this expense, but the majority of us want to remain shod.  And even if you found a dollar on every single run, that still wouldn’t come close to covering the cost. Knocking out 70-80 miles per week, I’ve certainly gone through my fair share of shoes that are only supposed to last for 300 or so miles.  Read on for 10 ways to extend the life of your running shoes! Read more

Why The Pros Are Pros and How YOU Can Learn to Think Like One

English: Molly Huddle at the first annual Bay ...

The pressure is real but the pros know how to handle it. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Professional athletes have to handle immense amounts of pressure and stress. In fact, at the most recent Track and Field World Championships in Beijing, many American athletes with high expectations didn’t fair as well as they had originally planned. In particular, Molly Huddle had arguably the biggest heartbreak in the 10,000 meters after she failed to run through the finish line thus allowing fellow American Emily Infeld to nab the bronze.

The chatter among fans on the interwebs was loud and clear: Always run through the line! Leave it to Letsrun’s message board to have the boldest statement of all in this thread, “Molly Huddle has done everything right for the past 10 years, One stupid mistake will define her legacy“.

Excuse me? Read more

Readers’ Roundtable: How Long is Your Longest Training Run?

What is "slow" anyway? (img via Catnip)

What is “slow” anyway? (img via Catnip)

Marathon season is in full swing, and it seems like every year I hear the same braggadocio about just how long everyone’s long run is.  Saturday, one of my friends reported doing a 24 miler – SIX weeks out from the NYC Marathon on 11/1.  Another friend said he was following the Hal Higdon book, but decided to add mileage to his long runs, because he was worried they weren’t long enough after talking to a few people.  He’s thinking twice after the face I made.  For my first and second marathons, I topped out at 22, but this last spring I started drinking the Hanson Kool-Ade and my longest long run was 18 miles.  This time around it will be 16, mayyybe an extra one or two if I’m feeling saucy.

There are lots of different training theories about how your long run fits into your training plan and running schedule.  Some say size doesn’t matter, it’s all how you use it.  Others say you need to build lots of mileage to make sure you can go the distance–because if you can get to 22, it’s a short leap to 26.2.  Some say the long run should be no more than 30% of weekly mileage, some put a time limit on it.

What’s your take in the hot debate?  When training for a marathon, how long is your longest run?  What kind of pace are you running, 60 seconds over marathon pace?  Slow and steady, as long as it takes?  How much is it compared to your weekly mileage? If you’ve changed strategies for different marathons, what kind of results did the changes yield?  As always, I’ll take your answers in the comments!

Are YOU the Next Salty Blogger?!

Computer literate

(Photo credit: vauvau)

Are you a talented writer?  Do you love running? Great news, we want you!!

Several times a year we take applications for committed, smart and enthusiastic women runners interested in sharing their training and insights with the Salty Running audience. And now is one of those times!

We are committed to representing the lifestyle diversity of women who run, so we’re looking for new bloggers that have individuality! Currently we’re looking for:

  • a runner who also works in the running industry (e.g. coach, medical professional, running retail, etc.)
  • a tracklete, or a runner who trains on the track intensively
  • a runner training for a big PR
  • a runner hoping for an OTQ
  • an experienced marathoner
  • a plus-sized runner
  • or any runner with a unique story to tell

Interested in becoming a member of the Salty Running blogger family or know someone who might be? Then read on to find out more and how to apply. Read more

5 Reasons to Love Suzy Favor Hamilton

fri5Unless you’ve been living under a rock without an electronic device, you’ve seen Suzy Favor Hamilton on her press junket promoting her new book.  And unless you’ve been under that rock for 3 years, you know that Suzy, a 3-time Olympian, middle distance runner, was revealed to be a high-priced Vegas call girl when she wasn’t promoting Rock n’ Roll races or the face of brands like Nike and the Wisconsin Potato and Vegetable Growers. After her secret was revealed all those companies dropped like a hot potato and it was assumed Suzy would be just another icon that fell from grace.

But that didn’t happen. Suzy Favor Hamilton is awesome. We’re all flawed. Suzy is just a little more intense about things. When she wins, she wins BIG! And when she doesn’t she goes down in a blaze of glory. There’s more too. Here are 5 more reasons that I love Suzy Favor Hamilton and you should too.  Read more

The Flying Nun: Sr. Marion Irvine and the 1984 Olympic Trials

Sister Marion (1980): requisite picture of nuns in background! Image by © Roger Ressmeyer/CORBIS

Sister Marion in 1980. Image by © Roger Ressmeyer/CORBIS

When you think of the Olympic Trials, you probably don’t picture a fifty-something nun lining up on the starting line, yet in the first U.S. Women’s Olympic Marathon Trials in 1984, there was Sister Marion Irvine anxiously awaiting the gun in the crowd with Joan Benoit Samuelson and other younger – much younger – speedsters.

“There was the grey of the overcast skies and the hair of 54-year old Sister Marion Irvine.”

So wrote runner and author Jack Welch, describing the first American women competing in the marathon distance at the 1984 Olympic Trials in his popular book, When Running Was Young and So Were We.

I recently met with Marion, the Flying Nun to talk about becoming a runner in middle age and how she became the oldest participant, not only in the women’s marathon but also in ANY event at those Olympic Trials!

Read more

Reviewing the Extend Nutrition Bar

Extend bars

Lots of energy right there!

A couple of weeks ago I agreed to try some energy bars and report back on my findings. We here at Salty Running were interested in these bars, because like the GenUCan products, these bars claim to provide a stable release of carbs that won’t cause a sugar crash. If nothing else, it’s always good to know what products are out there besides the ones that seem to be best at in-your-face marketing.

My box of eight Extend Nutrition Bars arrived promptly. I have two of each flavor: mixed berry; chocolate and caramel; cookies and cream; and the newest flavor, yogurt and berry. I am a bit skeptical of the the mixed berry and the yogurt berry ones because I hate raspberry. But I guess a tiny bite won’t kill me. Read more

Airbnb and the NYC Marathon: Is Airbnb Out to Hurt Runners?

English: ING NYC Marathon

Chances are, many marathoners here used Airbnb for their NYC accommodations. And they’re runners, so the know that timing and preparation is everything. Airbnb, take note! (Source: Wikipedia Commons)

Before I go any further, I just want to say that I love Airbnb. Any time I travel, they’re my go-to site for accommodations. I’ve used it to stay in the bustling center of Sao Paulo, as a triathlon home base a block from San Francisco Bay, and as a weekend getaway in the Adirondack foothills all at a fraction of the cost of traditional hotels or resorts. Even more than that, I love the idea that open-minded people can connect and that hosts can make a little extra income from their otherwise unused space: a sharing economy utopia, right?

Hmmm. Maybe not.

Besides Airbnb image and legal problems you might have heard about, Airbnb is also pretty shady when it comes to runners. How has Airbnb attempted to sell itself as a sharing economy utopia? By aligning itself with a popular movement that has high visibility through major events and that has no sign of its explosive growth stopping any time soon. That means running, of course! And how is Airbnb accomplishing this, and how did they almost sponsor me on a reckless running escapade? Read on!

Read more

Running Injury Insurance: The Low Cost Plan You Might Already Have!

MRI = Cha Ching no more! Image via wikipedia.

MRI = Cha Ching no more! Image via wikipedia.

We’re all going to get injured. I know that is not something we like to plan for or even think about, but it happens. Did you know that there is injury insurance out there that is incredibly cheap, might reduce your out of pocket costs for treating injuries to zero and … here’s the real kicker … that you might already have it!

I pick on USATF for a lot of things, but the insurance that comes with any old $35 per year USATF membership is a bargain. When combined with your primary health insurance, the USATF Group Accident Insurance can reduce or eliminate out of pocket costs incurred for treating running injuries. As long as you have your bases covered by checking that your races are sanctioned and practices are registered, this could reduce your out of pocket costs to treating injuries to $0. Sound like a pretty good deal for $35 yearly membership? It could be, but you must keep several things in mind: Read more

Readers’ Roundtable: Do You Drink Alcohol During A Training Cycle?

Hasher passed out in the wild. Note the nearly empty beer, the tall socks, the generally poor choice of habitat...

It’s tough to combine drinking with running!

Well I’ve done it again, guys. Saturday night was the wrap party for my last movie job and, well, I went a little overboard at the open bar. The consequences of my whiskey consumption included dancing until way too late (with a Prince impersonator!), making an ass out of myself in front of people who may or may not still be my friends, crying through three pounds of eyeliner on the Subway while trying to justify my awful behavior, and a hangover that made my 16 miler look completely impossible.

It was…fun? Sorta?  Ehhh…

I knew I had that 16 mile run on deck Sunday, but I got caught up in the party anyway and just plain got out of control.  And even if we don’t get hammered, drinking can lead to late nights and sluggish mornings.  It begs the question, wouldn’t it just be easier to give up drinking during the training cycle?

So I want to hear from you, Salties!  Do you drink alcohol while you’re training, or do you abstain or cut back?  And if you abstain, how do you handle social drinking situations?

5 Signs You’re Too Nice to Race Like a B*!@#

A couple months ago when I was sidelined by an injury and couldn’t run, much less race, I voiced some of my frustrations to a friend. I was trying to explain how running is one of the few things in life that I do solely for me–an area where I can focus on myself and my goals and give that annoying overly-competitive part of me an acceptable outlet. But it came out as: “Running is the one part of my life where I can be an a-hole.” Months later, she still likes to quote me on that one.

But apparently I haven’t completely shed my nice old lady persona, since last weekend when I lined up for a 5K I found myself acting more gracious than tenacious. And out of that experience came these five glaringly obvious signs you’re too nice to race like a bitch: Read more

Ask-a-Salty: Marathon Strategy for Carrying Gels and Hydration

Got questions? Just ask!

And we’re back with our second installment of Ask-a-Salty: the feature where…surprise! you ask questions and we answer them for you. If you have a question you’d like to ask, check out this page!

Today’s questions come from Jen P. who asks:

Hi Salties! One thing I have been thinking about lately is how do many racers carry their gels?  I was curious what the Salties might have to say. Also, on a similar note,  I was wondering whether or not to carry hydration during my upcoming marathon. Right now I am thinking if weather conditions are good I will not carry my own water but if it’s going to be hot I will. Also I’m running Chicago (like Mint!) which is a huge race. Is there anything I should do differently for a huge race to make sure I get enough water? Thanks!

Read more

Racing the Bluegrass 10000 and a Training Update

No matter what level or speed you run, we all deal with recovery frustrations.

This is first training update that I am sharing with the Salty universe, but that certainly doesn’t mean I haven’t been training.  If you follow me here or on the Runners Connect Podcast, you’ve probably learned I am an elite runner. I love to share the real insights behind running as an elite and I know many runners would kill to run the pace I do, but for me, I am a long way off where I want to be, as I struggle to run 6 miles at the same pace I ran 26 miles a few months ago. I also have been returning from injury, and I am sure many of you can relate to the ups and downs that brings!

Hopefully you enjoy my recap, and I look forward to sharing a more positive one in the future!


Okay, so to go allllll the way back, I raced the London Marathon in April. Through some miracle I was not sore in the days after, and we decided to only take 7 days off. Mind you, in those 7 days, I don’t think I walked more than 1/2 mile any day! I take my recoveries SERIOUS! No exercise whatsoever!

On the second day back running, a familiar stiffness in my left leg was back. It wasn’t painful, just felt like it needed to be rolled out….which of course I did. We took it very easy for the first few weeks, but the stiffness lingered. Read more

My First Running Camp Report

Walker Creek Ranch (our retreat venue)

Walker Creek Ranch, the host venue of my first running camp.

I’d impatiently waited for my first running camp, having written about them here in the abstract. Like summer camp as a child, I was slightly nervous during the days leading up to the actual weekend of the  Women’s Running, Yoga and Wine retreat.

Could I keep up with the other runners? What about yoga, a practice I’ve only done a few times? Would the other attendees all know each other? What were the sleeping accommodations? Shared bathrooms? Silly, really, in retrospect. Read more