Welcome to the wonderful world of summer running here in Central Texas. We had a wet, cool winter and spring, but I can guarantee will have another extremely warm summer. Hopefully, not the record-breaking kind we endured a few years ago, but it will be disgustingly hot nonetheless.
Sports drinks are everywhere. They have become so ubiquitous that you can find a cooler full of sports drinks at just about any gas station, convenience store or grocery store (except Whole Foods) in Central Texas.
As runners, we tend to pay far more attention to the inner workings of our body than the outside. We run through the Texas summer heat and oppressive sun and assume if our legs and lungs are OK, we must be fine. Maybe, maybe not. Many of us suffer in silence as our skin takes a beating. There is simply no doubt about it, if you are running in the summer, your skin will feel the effects of one or all of the following: sunburn, chafing, wind burn, sweat-induced acne) or just plain, post-run itchiness caused by dry skin.
My calendar says it’s still spring, but sure feels like we're already knee-deep into summer. It hasn't gotten disgusting quite yet, but it's just around the corner (otherwise, known as May). You don’t need me to tell you that the heat and humidity here in Central Texas makes running pretty darn tough. That is, running on dry land.
There's absolutely no question that running is a difficult sport. Certainly, it's extremely rewarding, but any long-term training program is a major undertaking requiring a significant commitment. Take a look at what training is. Basically, it's hard, physical work which essentially boils down to adding specific stresses to your mind and body over a certain period of time.
One of the most difficult training concepts to accept is also the very simplest: Rest. That’s right, total rest. Not active rest or cross-training, but complete rest. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a runner, swimmer, cyclist, weight lifter or bowler (OK, maybe not a bowler), but your most important training day should have a big goose egg next to it. A zero. Zilch. Nyet. Nada. Nothing.
Earlier this week, William Dyson sat down with Paul Terranova, 2015 USATF Men's Master Trail Runner of the Year, to talk about the his upcoming race (Lost Pines Trail Marathon), his approach to running, and what occupies his mind on long runs other than Justin Bieber. Paul also doles out great advice that’s applicable to new and seasoned runners alike.
Granted, it's still technically winter but the high in Austin today is 91 and it sure feels a lot like summer. That means a lot of things to different people, but it also means it's high time to get some new running shorts for the spring and summer heat.
I consider myself a very lucky guy. Over the years, I’ve been lucky enough to run with some of the world’s greatest runners from Olympic gold medalist icons like Herb Elliott and Rosa Mota to American heroes such as Bill Rodgers, Meb Keflezighi, Steve Scott and Alberto Salazar. I’ve learned something from every one of them. But there’s one great runner who I ran with many years ago who has always stood out for me. That man is Rob de Castella.
Running through the winter in Central Texas usually isn't too bad. The temps are certainly tolerable (more so than summer) and unless the precip is the frozen variety, there isn't much that will keep us off the roads. But, there is one aspect of winter running that bothers everyone: The wind.
Runners tend to be a ritualistic group. At least, good runners are. Invariably, they will wear the same shoes and clothes to race, eat virtually the same meals the night before and will follow the same routine the morning of the big race. Some call this boring.
Something you constantly hear athletes talking about in any sport is being in the zone. Although it means different things to different athletes in different sports, being in the zone in running means being able to go beyond what you would normally be able to run in either a workout or a race.
Now, that marathon season has started and marathon-training season for the late fall, early winter marathons is underway one of the compelling questions that many marathoners invariably have is: How do you get through the incredibly long runs without the agony of the marathon shuffle?
Fatigue is something all runners face. Especially those of us diligently training for fall or winter marathon. The long runs begin to pile up and do enough of them hard enough (without adequate rest) can result in a general feeling of simply being tired. If this sounds like you, don’t worry. It’s quite common, but you can also do something about it by following a few handy tips.
Just about every runner has had one of these painful little demons that strike in the upper part of the abdomen, smack dab at the base of the ribs. It’s the dreaded side stitch or side sticker. Regardless of what you call it, when one stabs you in the rib cage, it can short circuit your race or run in an instant.
When you run may make a difference in how you run. Or, says current research. In Central Texas, it seems like everyone is neatly divided up between these three groups who run at different times: Those of us who faithfully run every morning, others who make a habit of squeezing in a run during lunch and those who wait until after work or school to get a run in.
Yeah, I know it's hot and humid (it always is this time of year)but now is a good time to start doing speed training for the upcoming fall season and Austin Distance Challenge Races. Very few runners don’t want to run faster. Regardless of your level of ability and fitness, nearly everyone would like somehow to run faster. The desire to improve is part of human nature.
We all probably remember the old maxim that our mothers told us: An apple a day keeps the doctor away. If you’re a runner—especially a newbie--that should be amended to include bananas. Without a doubt, eating a banana every day is one of the best fruits for your general health and success in racing and training.
Do you travel for business or pleasure? Plenty of us do, especially in the summer when so many of us hit the road. Here are some suggestions for squeezing that run in while traveling.
Now that summer is here in full force, many Central Texans turn to swimming as an alternative to running and/or as supplemental training. But, many runners who do, also wonder, whether it actually helps their running in any tangible way.
If you have started your training this summer for a fall marathon or half (or about to start it) and have been closely following a training schedule, you probably will have noticed that there’s always an easy day, recovery run or complete rest day following every hard or long run. This is the classic hard/easy training method that nearly every runner follows. Even though there’s a huge difference among training schedules, every reliable schedule incorporates this hard/easy style of training.
Stress is quite simply a fact of modern life. It just is. Stress is also one of the reasons so many people start running. Certainly, running can’t limit or end the stress in your life, but it can help you cope with it better.
As dedicated runners, we tend to pay far more attention to the inner workings of our body than the outside. We run in the Central Texas summer heat and oppressive sun and assume if our legs, heart and lungs are OK, we must be fine. Maybe, maybe not. Many of us suffer in silence as our skin takes a beating.
It's that time of year again when newspapers and running magazines all will have similar headlines that proclaim: "Beat The Heat." (Runner's World has the same cover line every summer.) Good luck with that. Bet none of those folks who write those headlines actually live and run in the summer in Austin, Texas.