How To Running Faster

Wanting to be a good runner, lose weight or dreaming of crossing the finish line in a new record time means nothing unless you have the motivation to make it a reality.

The truth is, far too many highly qualified, deserving people don’t achieve what it was they were setting out for simply because they stopped trying just a few days, weeks or years from creating a masterpiece effort.

Tiger Woods, Usain Bolt, Ryan Hall, to name a few, did not get the way they are without extreme amounts of hard work and dedication; yet they are looked on as if they are on another level, they are for a reason.

Now, you may be saying, ‘I’m not interested in being an elite athlete’.

There is nothing wrong with that mindset but what I do want for you is to help motivate you to see your true potential become a reality in your life.

This is a tough sport, results come sometimes years down the line. How much are you willing to take to see your goal, whatever that may be, come to fruition?

Running fast is an art and what is beautiful about this sport is everyone is an artist and can express themselves in their own way.

No one in a world of over 7 billion people can run, think and act like you.

You are special, you matter, you are an artist.

1. Persist

There is nothing more attractive than a disciplined individual who has the willingness to persist in the fact of setbacks. You will learn about yourself and often times you will find just how much potential you truly have by persisting when others let up.

Persistent athletes run faster because they have studied what does and doesn’t work in training. If you truly want to run faster than you have to be persistent.

Easy running will never challenge you. Your body adapts to the stress you place on it, if that stress is too minimal there will be no physical gains from that work.

You can’t drop 5 minutes off your half-marathon time by running relaxed miles everyday.

2. Care

Care about your craft. Running faster can be done by anyone who realizes this simple fact, anyone can run easy.

It takes skill to run fast and you have the potential to improve just as much as any elite runner anywhere in the world, but to be great at what you do in this sport demands you care more than the next guy or gal down the street.

Nothing can take the place of caring about your art (your goals).

How much you care will be clearly evident in the way you prepare for your races and the end result the moment you cross the finish line. Care more about seeing yourself succeed and you will run faster because you are paying attention to the little things that matter most in your training.

Diet, sleep, motivation are three you can work on.

3. Visit R.D.A.

I don’t want ‘fans’.

Fans are for superstars and I am not one of them.

If you want to feel like a part of a running family and interact with other runners who can help you run faster by their input than I encourage you to stop in and send a hello.

Running faster also occurs when you learn from others who may have done things you currently are dreaming about doing. Find out how they did it and adjust your training to create a similar or better result.

4. Relax

The first muscles of the body that usually tense up first are the facial and shoulder muscles.

You can easily stop this from happening simply by consciously using powerful words as your running such as ‘relax’, ‘smooth and powerful’..whatever you need to do to relax, do it.

You can run faster in your training and racing, simply by learning how to practice running more relaxed.

Too much wasted energy leads to stress, re-direct elsewhere where it counts and you will run faster.

5. Fight The Urge To Run Too Fast, Too Early In Your Races

It doesn’t matter where you are at in the first mile of your 5K, where are you at in the last half-mile?

If you have done your homework in training than you don’t need to concern yourself over the fact that you aren’t in the lead or even on pace the first few miles of your race.

What matters is are you able to react and speed up when the others who weren’t as wise and patient as you were, are slowing in the race.

It isn’t where you are at in the beginning of the race but at the end.

6. Implement Fartlek Running Into Your Training Regiment

One of the easiest ways to make training interesting and break up the monotony of the usual routine.

How many times have we been races, someone passes us and we can’t do anything about it.

It doesn’t have to be this way and if it happens to you or has in the past than implementing fartlek workouts into your training can be your secret weapon.

You want to be able to react when someone passes you or speed up at will, many times speeding up is easier than maintaining the same pace. Far too often we fail to realize that we have far more energy reserves but we get stuck in the same pace and think that is all we have.

If we can sprint at the end of the race when 10 miles earlier we think we are about to pass out is a great indication that we are not using our full potential.

It should also show us that we really have far more in us and how mental this sport is.

We can’t react because we haven’t trained body’s energy systems properly.

Using fat as your main fuel source at race speeds takes high-end, consistent hard work to become a reality

It doesn’t happen by running easy daily, staying in the comfort zone. It happens when you push your body like the great runners do.

Conserving carbohydrates so you don’t experience the ‘wall’ is what occurs when you learn to run longer periods of time at higher heart rates.

7. Lose weight

Studies have shown that weight loss can take off an average of 2 seconds per mile off of your race time.

8. Focus On Your Form

If you feel like your shoulders are riding up too high, lower them. Simple as that.

You usually don’t run into issues like this unless you are racing or doing a hard tempo run but you can easily adjust this in training.

The time to practice running relaxed and focusing on proper form is in training, so that come race day any issues can be instantly corrected while racing.

9. Get Out Of The Comfort Zone

It is a dangerous place that doesn’t take you to new heights, help you reach your capability. Steven Pressfield, calls it the Resistance in his book ‘Do The Work’.

All of our lives since we were young we are taught not to question, to adhere, follow the rules.

You and I are here for too short of a time to comply.

You need to start dreaming bigger, thinking higher of yourself and start working your ass off to see your dreams become a reality.


It may sound harsh but the majority of people simply won’t give a shit if you are trying to not.

I do cause I understand what this sport entails.

I know what you are dealing with but the people who tell you to ‘get a life’, ‘think realistic’, ‘your putting too much emphasis here and not here where I want it to be’ won’t.

You need to get out of your comfort zone.

I am sick and tired of hearing people who have been told their whole life that they don’t have the genetics, not enough talent and the rest of the lies society likes to throw on you, on me.

Start doing something about your training. You have a great deal of potential, act on it.

10. Don’t Expect Running To Be Easy To Run Faster

One of my biggest pet peeves as an athlete is people thinking I have talent.

I don’t.

Dathan Ritzenhein has talent. I watched that kid run 15.18 on my cross-country course at Malone University.

He absolutely destroyed the field that day.

My best 5K in high school was 16.16, nearly a minute slower. He has run 2.07 to my 2.19. Big difference.

I had a Soldier come up to me a few weeks ago and say, ‘Sir (a word I don’t even like being referred by but in the military it is said out of respect), I wish I could run as fast as you.

My response?

‘Aim to be better than me. Stop looking at me as better than you because I am not’. What he, like society as a whole, sees, is the event (someone he knows who can run faster than him).

He cannot possibly have seen the last 21 years of endless, monotonous, boring miles, hard work and sacrifice, the process it has taken to run faster than he can run.

11. Inspire Someone By Your Ability

It is completely worthless for me to tell someone I am a 2.19 marathoner without first telling them that they can do equally as good if not surpass this achievement.

Helping other people is one of the most noble acts any human being can do for another.

I wish our world, media outlets and news networks would stop spending unknown amounts of money brainwashing the world that we need more wars and trying to separate the world.

Some believe in the lie. I don’t.

There is not enough love in the world. Our news networks need a story and unfortunately wars are big business but to me, it is about the least inspiring part of life.

I didn’t grow up dreaming of being a Soldier. It is a profession where you either love it or hate it. I am in the middle.

I love the people I work with and am inspired by their dedication to their job but I hate these so-called conflicts that have been created by the elite and it is the Soldier, Airmen, Coast Guardsmen, Marine and Seaman that fights and dies for these people.

Our world economy would not be in the state it is in if we would stop wasting our precious time fighting and start uplifting and inspiring one another to do big things.

You are important.

I don’t give a damn if you are 50 pounds overweight, a 6-hour marathoner, a 30-minute 5K athlete, you matter.

You matter because you can inspire someone to get in shape, to change their lives, to make a dream they thought was impossible, possible.

How can you run faster by doing this?

You’ll run faster because you’ll be inspired by what you have done with your life.

You’ll feel a rush to do something that others thought was impossible and they, in turn, will follow suit.

That matters.

12. How Fast You Run Doesn’t Give You More Worth

I have a lot of experience in this sport but there are things I learn everyday from my readers, from the emails I receive, from interacting with other runners on different social media outlets that exceed anything I have done as an athlete.

Be motivated to run faster, let it inspire you to do great things with your physical and mental abilities but don’t forget to be humble.

There will always be someone faster somewhere in the world.

There are school children in Kenya running three times a day who have more motivation than I have. It makes me question if I am doing all I can.

I hope I run a fast enough marathon time in the near future to give up my VIP treatment to someone a major race would never pay attention to.

I promise if this happens I will hand pick one of my readers to take my place in the VIP tent, the free hotel etc.

I will work my ass off to try to make this a reality. I believe in Christ’s words that it is more blessed to give than it is to receive.

13. Invest In The Process And The Event Will Be Something You Would Not Believe Was Possible If Someone Told You

The bottom line is this. Goals should not be meant to be easy.

You only have one crack at this life so you had better start thinking wild goals.

It is only you who can say ‘this is impossible’. Others may tell you your goal is impossible but it is up to you if you want to believe that or not.

You have to act on it everyday. The days you don’t want to even more.

Where is the challenge in picking easy goals.

If you are a 25.00 minute 5K runner, what inspires you to try for 24.59? How about 21.15?

What sounds more appealing, exciting, inspiring?

It could be either and sometimes trying to match what we have done in the past is extremely difficult.

I ran 2.19.35 in December of 2007 and am still trying to better that time but I know if I ran a 2.19.34 I honestly wouldn’t be that inspired.

I know 40 years from now, if I don’t push my body to its utmost limit and try for something wild like 2.15.00 at age 36 I simply won’t get anything out of it.

You have to live on the edge because the comfort zone is not your friend.

You and I are not guaranteed tomorrow, start stretching your limits out on the roads and tracks.

I hate every minute of training, but I said, ‘Don’t quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life a champion‘- Muhammad Ali

14. Change Your Shoes Every 300-400 Miles

You will run faster by staying injury free.

Training in worn out shoes will not assist you in anyway in running faster.

A few small precautions like ensuring you are training in shoes that are in good condition will ensure you are healthy and safer from being injured. You cannot run faster by being stuck on a stationary bike for weeks on end.

15. Listen To What Your Body Is Telling You

This is crucial to becoming a faster runner. A common mistake far too many runners make is this notion that you have to run every day to get the most out of yourself.


You don’t have to train 7 days a week, twice a day to become a faster runner. It isn’t about mileage or how many days a week you run.

What are you putting into those miles and what are you doing with the days you do train are the questions you need to ask yourself.

If your Achilles tendon is feeling stiff, the best course of action is not to continue to run on land.

A great alternative is to get in the deep end of a pool and pool run. Zero impact on your joints and tendon.

Small adjustment, major fitness gains and you can take the injury you would have dealt with by continuing to run on it, out of the question.

Is it going to suck trying to run in the deep end of a pool when all you want to do is train as usual?


What would you rather do. Train in the pool or be out of commission for a few weeks or worse, a few months?

Easy choice right?

More is not always better.

Work smarter, not harder. I ran as high as high as 142 miles a week trying to break 2.22.00 and I broke 2.20.00 running 90 mile weeks.

16. Pick Competitive Races

One of the best ways to run faster is testing your ability in competitive races.

What do you get out of running a race where you win by 4 minutes but run a time that isn’t close to what you wanted to run?

Sure it feels great to win but what about if you get into a race where you may finish 3rd and set a 7 minute personal best?

Which would you rather take? I guess that determines on your goals and who is reading this post.

I would much rather pick a race where I knew I wasn’t going to win but had a much better chance of getting tested, than choosing a race I was sure I could win but not be in the environment to get out of my comfort zone and not improve.

17. Fight The Resistance

Seth Godin, in his book, Watcha Going To Do With That Duck, puts it like this,

Hard work is about risk.

It begins when you deal with the things that you’d rather not deal with: fear of failure, fear of standing out, fear of rejection.

Hard work is about training yourself to leap over this barrier, tunnel under that barrier, drive through the other barrier. And after you’ve done that, to do it again the next day.

Stephen Pressfield, terms the resistance as anything that stops you from living the life you envision living.

What are the things stopping you from achieving your fitness or running goals?

Is it because you think you are too old, too fat, too slow?

You need to get around that thinking and the moment you hear that part of your conscious mind resisting, change the direction of the inner conversation you are having.

I remember very well how I felt when I failed missing my last chance to qualify for the 2008 USA OIympic Marathon Trials at the 2007 Chicago Marathon.

I started to question (for that day at least) if I was capable of a 2.22.00 marathon time.

I ran a 2.51.52 and had to walk and jog the last 14 miles. Two months later I ran 2.19, nearly 22 minutes faster.

You always have the choice of either listening to that part of the brain telling you to quit, that you aren’t good enough or you can take action and order it to work in your favor.


By not letting up when things don’t go as planned.

There is a part of your brain called the amygdala where fear is located within the brain.

It is the part of the brain that is activated when we look in our rear view mirror and see the sirens of the police pulling you over or when you look at your phone and see it is your boss calling

You know that feeling.

You have to fight those feelings of worry, fear and their limiting effects it can have on your athletic performance.

Don’t focus on the things that are out of your control, envision what you do have control over and you will be in a better position to run faster.

You’ll be less stressed and more focused to do so.

18. Use A Heart Rate Monitor

There are many runners who have absolutely no idea if they are running too fast or too slow in training.

I completely agree with the fact that you can still get great benefits without using a heart rate monitor but it still is a great option to consider.

I have used heart rate monitors since I was a freshman in college. I started using them thanks to the advice of my collegiate coach, Jack Hazen, while attending Malone University.

Jack was named the 2012 London Olympics Men’s and Women’s head distance running coach at the games. It took some time to get adjusted to training with heart rate monitors.

I didn’t like a strap around my chest while I was running but I did like having a set heart rate to focus on while doing a tempo run and knew if I was running too slow that all I had to do was speed up and raise it.

It is simple and is a great way to stay motivated during the workout and you leave the guesswork of training intensity out of the equation. If an Olympic coach recommends it I have no concern over recommending it to you.

Again, it is only a recommendation and you should always train what works best for you.

Fight the resistance, dream big and train big. Don’t expect this to be an easy process because it isn’t.

Your goals will test your physical and mental capacity but I promise you that if you stay persistent and don’t waiver you will run faster and demolish any impossible goal you set for yourself.


All About Running

Running terms and their slang verbage have become common language for me since I started running in 2006. But, when I try to explain what it is that runners do to a person that doesn’t run, I get a blank stare or disbelief. Yes, there really is such a thing as bloody nipples. No, a fartlek isn’t how it sounds. A runner’s high is a euphoric world. Below is a list of running terms to help explain some of what crazy runners do every day, from track workouts to ultra races and injuries to treatments.

Running Terms Explained

Running Terms for Shoes

  1. Flats – Track shoes built for fast running. Flats can also have spikes attached.
  2. Rock Plate – Part of a trail running shoe that provides more protection when stepping on rocks.

Minimal Shoes – Mimic the natural stride and foot strike of running barefoot.

  1. Barefoot – Barefoot running is designed to mimic natural stride and foot strike. Runners now have the option of numerous minimalist or five-finger shoes, but some do actually run barefoot, too.
  2. Stability shoe – Usually a little heavier shoe designed to increase medial support which may increase stability to the foot and lower leg. This in return should lower the amount of pronation in the foot.

Running Terms for How To Get Faster

  1. Fartlek – Training method where runners will accelerate for a brief time then slow back down to a jog. This kind of training can happen over many miles.
  2. Repeats – Training sessions that consist of a specified distance run numerous times. For example, 4×1 mile would be running four, one mile repeats with a rest period in between. Target each repeat at or around the same lap time.
  3. Interval Training – Type of training that utilizes high-intensity (HI) segments with low-intensity (LI) recovery segments. For example, after a warm up, 30 seconds HI with 60 seconds LI, 60 seconds HI with 60 seconds LI, 45 seconds HI with 45 seconds LI. Distances of intervals vary by training goal.
  4. Ladder Workout – Type of interval training that involves starting with a lower distance and increasing the next interval by a specified distance, and typically working back down by the same specified distances. For example, intervals of 200, 400, 800, 1200, 800, 400, and 200 meters run at target pace.
  5. Tempo Run – Type of training run involving a steady pace around 20 to 30 seconds slower than marathon goal pace and for 8 to 13 miles.
  6. Long run – Depending on the distance that a runner is training for, a long run might be 16-28 miles for a marathon or 30 to 50 for an ultra race.
  7. Doubles – A running term to describe running twice a day.

Other Running Terms for Training

  1. Strength training – Training that includes runner specific weight lifting routines to help become stronger and more efficient.
  2. Deliberate practice – Deliberate practice is a term coined by K. Anders Ericsson, a psychologist at Florida State University, and refers to practice that incorporates setting goals, developing skills, and correcting mistakes. The effort is as much mental as it is physical.
  3. Taper – Easy running and a rest period prior to a race. This period can begin two or three weeks prior to the race date.
  4. Chi running – Type of running designed with the principles of relaxation, posture and mindfulness of Tai Chi.
  5. Simulator Run – Term keyed by Team Hansons Brooks in which a runner will run a 26.2k (16 miles) training race at their marathon pace, prior to their taper period. Hansons Brooks studies have shown that if a runner can hit their goal pace for the 16 miles, when muscles are tired, they should be able to run the same speed during a marathon after their taper. Hansons Brooks has had two marathoners make the Olympic team. One in 2008 and one in 2012.
  6. Dress rehearsal – Running a good training run while wearing the clothes and shoes, eating the same foods and drinking the same fluids, as expected to do on race day. This will help to build confidence and test anything that might be a question.
  7. LSD – No, not the popular 1960’s drug. LSD stands for a long, slow distance run. For beginners this run might be 5 miles. For more advanced runners, LSD can range from 18-30 miles. If training for an ultra marathon of 65 to 100 miles, some runners might go 50 miles on their LSD.
  8. Altitude training – Training for several weeks at elevations higher than 8000 ft. Runners that utilize this type of training can adapt to the relative lack of oxygen in one or more ways such as increasing the mass of red blood cells and hemoglobin. The result can be faster times in races at or near sea level.
  9. Walk breaks – Exactly as it sounds, this running term was made popular by marathon legend, Jeff Galloway.
  10. Easy run – Recovery run at least two minutes per mile slower than goal pace.
  11. Negative – Running the second portion of a course faster than the first.

Running Terms for Supplements and Stations

  1. Gels – Quick source of carbohydrate energy that comes in individual packets. Runners typically eat one every 30 to 45 minutes during a race.
  2. Glycogen – Long carbohydrate molecules that are made and stored primarily in the cells of the liver and the muscles. Glycogen is the secondary long-term energy source.
  3. Carb loading – Period of time prior to a race when runners cut back on proteins and fats and increase their carbohydrates to increase glycogen storage.
  4. Fuel – Fuel can come from different sources such as gels, food and electrolyte replacement drinks.
  5. Buffet – Ultra running aid station.
  6. Aid station – Station during a race where water, gels, electrolyte drinks and/or food are given to runners.

Running Terms for Injuries

  1. Chafe – Chaffing happens around the armpits or between the legs when the skin becomes irritated from friction.
  2. Chapped – When the insides of your legs become painful with a burning sensation due to the friction of repetitive motion. There are many other similar running terms to describe this, but chapping and chaffing are the most common.
  3. Dead toes – Maybe the most painful running terms. Dead toe nails that have turned black and have blisters.
  4. Runners knee – Knee pain around the kneecap. Usually more noticeable when squatting or bending.
  5. Runners toes – Black toe nails or toes that have lost nails due to the pressure and repetitive friction of shoes on the toes.
  6. RICE – Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevate. To help recover from injury.
  7. DOMS – Delayed onset muscle soreness. This is the soreness that sets in days after training or racing. Some specially designed supplement formulas help decrease this.
  8. Bloody nipples – Occurence that happens when the friction from a shirt and the nipple rub together over a long race.
  9. IT Band – Band on the outside of the knee that can cause pain with overuse (also known as Iliotibial band).
  10. Runners trots – Having an upset stomach and needing to have a bowel movement during a race. This is one of those running terms that would only make sense to a runner who has experienced it.
  11. Lactic Acid – Acid biproduct of metabolism that builds up in muscles and blood during intense exercise. It is noticed when muscles begin to burn and/or ache, and can also result in a feeling of breathlessness or tachycardia.
  12. Stitch – Side ache. Stitches usually go away with some slower, deeper breathing.

Running Terms for a Track

  1. Quarter – One lap around a track.
  2. The oval – Another name for a track.
  3. Lanes – Track lanes. There are six on standard tracks.
  4. Track – A track is a surface that has six lanes and is 400 meters in distance for one lap from the inside lane.

Running Terms for Types of Runners

  1. Horse – Runner who doesn’t seem to ever get tired.
  2. Rabbit Runner – A runner that sets a goal pace for other runners so they might achieve a better time. Rabbits usually leave the race before the end. In some instances, especially in a marathon, rabbits may decide to finish.
  3. Pace Runner – A pace runner can be one of the most important running terms for someone trying to qualify for the Boston Marathon. Joining a pace group can keep runners on a desired goal.
  4. Masters – Division classified over a certain age. In some races, that age begins at 40 where as others start at 50.
  5. Streaker – No, not Will Ferrell in Old School. This running term refers to a runner who has finished the same race multiple years in a row.
  6. Clydesdale – Male division of 200+ lbs. runners.
  7. Athena – Division of female runners over a certain weight. That weight varies from 140 to 150 lbs.
  8. Bandit Runner – A runner who didn’t officially register for a race but runs it anyway.
  9. Front runner – A runner that doesn’t like to race from behind and sets the pace. Steve Prefontaine was a great front-runner –

Running Terms for Events or Races

  1. Ultra Marathon – Running event that is more than 26.2 miles. The most common events are 50k races through mountain trails. Other events include 50 mile, 100k and 100 mile races. There’s also the occasional race that is over 100 miles.
  2. Stage Race – Event when runners race to a certain point on a course. These races usually vary in distance from 10 to 26 miles per segment, and extend over multiple days. Some events even force runners to carry their own supplies.
  3. Hill Climb Event – Hill climbs vary in distance of 5 to 13 or so miles. Climbing courses typically have very little flat or descent sections. In Europe it is known as Sky Running.
  4. Relay – Type of race that is multi-day and usually covers 100 to 200+ miles with teams of 6 to 12 runners.
  5. Obstacle Racing – New trend of races including running in mud, climbing ropes, walls or ladders, ducking under barbed wire and jumping from high heights.
  6. Adventure races – Races that usually include running, canoeing, orienteering and biking. These events also take place over a couple of days.
  7. Marathon – 26.2 miles or 42 kilometers

Miscellaneous Running Terms

  1. Runner’s High – A euphoric mental state caused when the body’s endorphins kick in either towards the end of a race or after.
  2. K – A kilometer is a metric unit of distance equivalent to.62 miles. For example, 5k equals 3.1 miles.
  3. Single track – A mountain trail that has been formed into one lane.
  4. Fire Roads – Unpaved, off-road portions of a trail race used to help create a course.
  5. Black Diamond Trail – Ranking for a very difficult trail.
  6. VO2 – VO2 max is the maximum amount of oxygen that an athlete can utilize during intense sessions of exercise.
  7. Hamster wheel – Another Name for a treadmill.
  8. Death march – Usually at the end of a marathon or longer race, when the body and mind have reached a limit and the runner is forced to walk or shuffle run.
  9. Form – Perfect running form incorporates head tilt, shoulders, arms, torso, hips, leg stride and ankles/feet.
  10. Cadence – The number of steps per minute.
  11. The Wall – One of my favorite running terms. The Invisible wall that runners can experience towards the end of a race due to the lack of energy and possibly training. There is no other way to mimic the feeling of “hitting the wall.”
  12. Supination – Supination is the excessive outward rolling motion of the foot and ankle during a running stride.
  13. Gait – A series of foot movements that propel runners forward.
  14. Shorty’s – Really short shorts.
  15. PR – A personal record for distance or time at a certain race.
  16. Out-and-back – a run or race that is run one-way to a specific point then reversed to end at the starting point.
  17. Point-to-point – a course that starts and ends at different locations. Usually in a line. Boston Marathon is considered a point-to-point.
  18. Ice Bath – Filling a bathtub with ice and cold water or utilizing a cool stream or lake to dip your legs in. The effect the cold has on recovery is to reduce inflammation by constricting blood vessels.
  19. Endorphins – A biproduct of the “runners high”. Endorphins are neurotransmitters, chemicals that pass along signals from one neuron to the next that give us a happy feeling.
  20. Chip – Device used to help time runners during a race.
  21. Bib – What runners wear during a race, includes race number and sometimes a name.
  22. Bonk – Like the wall, this is a point during a training run or race where a runner gets tired due to low glycogen levels.
  23. Baby steps – When a runner is extremely tired, they might need to take very short steps to keep going.
  24. Packs – Packs can be used to carry gels, hydration packs and/or electrolyte replacement tabs, such as NUUN. The newest style of packs are ultra-lite vests that can carry multiple water bottles and have storage for small coats and gels.
  25. Ghost mile(s) – Miles that seem to go by fast and are hard to remember. Sort of like a ghost.
  26. Markers – In trail running, markers are typically flags attached to trees. A road race will utilize a mile label or flag as the marker.
  27. Trail running – Races that are all or mostly run on dirt trails and either in the mountains or sometimes on dirt portions of old rail road routes.
  28. FOMO (fear of missing out) – Fitting in a training run or race in fear of not maximizing fitness or performance. If runners choose to race due to FOMO, overtraining can occur.
  29. Overtraining – Training too much causing either burnout, injury or both.
  30. The Zone – Time in a race when everything from energy levels and how the body feels makes you feel like you could run forever.
  31. Vitamin I – Ibuprofen, and one of the best and most necessary running terms.
  32. Switchback – Section of single track trail that instead of going straight up a hill, will zig-zag up.
  33. LT (lactic threshold) – A point during an all-out training exercise at which lactic acid builds up in the blood stream faster than the body can expel it. Specific training can help the body remove lactic acid faster.
  34. RE (running economy) – The measure of how efficient a runner uses oxygen while running a specific pace.
  35. Corral – Starting location for runners based on time or other criteria. Usually used in bigger, busier races.
  36. Overpronation -.When at foot-strike the foot rolls inward.
  37. Drafting – When a runner or runners use the leader to block the wind and be able to run more efficient.
  38. Sleeves – Arm or leg sleeves. Arm sleeves are used to keep runners warm without having to wear an extra shirt. Leg sleeves help leg circulation which helps with recovery.
  39. Splits – Splits could be time per lap or time per mile.
  40. DNF – Did not finish. One of the running terms that no runner ever wants to see next to their name.

This list of running terms is a compilation of language that I have learned over the last few years that would have never made sense before but make perfect sense now. Hopefully this helps aid in your understanding of some of the most crazy running terms out there.


Easy Tips To Start Running

With more people wanting to lose weight or get in shape, running has exploded in popularity over the past decade with 42 million regular runners, according to a Runners USA report. Running is a great exercise with many benefits including weight loss, strengthening of your cardiovascular system, and increased happiness by relieving stress.

Start running armed with these simple tips-you will build up your running from minutes to miles, whether you’re a beginner or getting back in shape.

Set realistic goals.

As a beginner, you should first write down some short term goals that you can easily achieve. Post them on the refrigerator to remind you. They may be as simple as “I will work out for five minutes longer today.” Build on these small victories first to get a sense of accomplishment before setting long term goals. Later, as your running progresses, and to challenge yourself, make long term goals that you can conquer. One day you may find yourself running in a 5k, 10k or 13.1 half marathon.

Start with the right shoes.

For a sport that depends on healthy feet, a quality pair of running shoes is the most important gear you will need. Deciding which shoes are right for you can seem overwhelming, but visit a running store where they have specialized personnel trained to analyze your running gait and recommend the best running shoes for your style. A reasonable price for a good pair of running shoes will cost $75-$100. Replace your shoes every 300 to 500 miles.

Get the proper running apparel.

While you don’t need to break the bank for running clothes, it is important to buy the right apparel. Cotton t-shirts and shorts will get heavy when they become wet from sweat, which may cause painful chafing to your skin. Invest in running clothes made of 100% polyester or similar synthetic materials that wick away sweat and keep you more comfortable. Women should always wear a supportive sports bra to prevent permanent sagging of their breasts.

Fuel your body.

Running will help you burn 400 calories or more per hour. But in order to get or maintain a fit body, you’ve got to replace them with healthy food. “Your pre-run snack should be sugar boosting, like a banana, energy bar or energy drink says Coach Edwards. Running on an empty stomach is neither good for your body nor does it make running fun.

Hydrate before you run.

Beginners need to pay attention to what and how much they’re drinking before, during and after exercise. Staying hydrated is critical to your running performance and, more importantly, for preventing heat-related illnesses. Drink water often during the day. “The rule of thumb is to multiply your body weight by 0.6 to determine the amount of water in ounces you should consume every day to keep your tissues healthy and injury free,” Coach Edwards says. Dehydration in runners may cause fatigue, headaches, decreased coordination, and muscle cramping.

Stretch before and after your run.

Some research suggests that static stretching cold muscles can cause injury. “Loosen up cold muscles with light stretching of your quadriceps, hamstrings and calves to avoid shin splints, hamstring pulls and other common running injuries. Hold each stretch for 15-25 seconds. Add easy jumping jacks, a five minute run, or a brisk walk,” says Elizabeth Edwards, a high school track coach and 9 time marathon runner. Cool down the same way to help maintain a healthy range of motion in your joints and prevent tight muscles, which can cause inefficient form and injuries.

Motivational music is cool.

While some runners think music is distracting, many runners believe music provides them an advantage when they pump up their tunes. “Research is mixed on the topic, but I use my music playlist to pace my distance. One day out the week I run without music to focus on my form,” says Coach Edwards. Other runners enjoy listening to books, podcasts or motivational speeches to pass the time. Try what works best for you.

Start at a slow pace.

While you may feel you can run a good distance fairly fast, start with 20 to 30 minutes (your body will be surprised at how long it feels!). Don’t overdo it. Give your body a chance to adjust to this new activity. Gradually increase your distance with a walk and run plan until your stamina improves. Aim to increase your running by 10 percent each week. You should be able run and to carry on a conversation without being out of breath. As you start to feel stronger, run more and walk less, the distance will naturally increase. This will ultimately help you feel better and stay injury free.

Think about your form.

When starting, it normal to feel awkward during the first few weeks of running, even if you’ve run in the past and are starting up again. Start every running workout by thinking about good running form; ensure that:

– Head is balanced over your shoulders and focused forward

– Shoulders are relaxed to allow your lungs to expand

– Arms are around 90 degrees and swinging like a pendulum from your shoulders

– Hands are relaxed and not crossing over your belly button as your arms swing

– Hips are under your shoulders and stabilizing your legs as they move under your body

– Feet are landing with short, light, quick strides under your hips

Decide where to run.

If you choose to run on a treadmill, your surface is stable and there are no concerns about the weather. But, like many runners, you may need to step out your front door and run outside for a change of scenery. Running on sidewalks or pathways is generally safe. But if you have to run on the road, run facing traffic so you can react to distracted drivers. Wear bright or reflective clothing to improve visibility, especially before dawn or at dusk. Drivers may not always see you, especially at night. School tracks are ideal places to start running, since they’re flat, traffic free, and four laps around most tracks equal one mile. Many tracks are available to the public in the evening or on the weekends.

Running is safe.

Whether you are running near a police station or a near a high crime area, you should always think safety first. You need to be safe on your runs, so you’re well enough to run another day. Take the necessary precautions by carrying a cell phone, carry identification with your name and phone number and avoid unlit or isolated areas. Remember to alter or vary your running routes to avoid stalkers. Be extra cautious when wearing headphones because you are less likely to hear a person approach you. Consider running with a friend or a dog. Most importantly, trust your intuition and avoid situations if you’re unsure. If you think a situation doesn’t feel ‘right’, run in another direction.

Track your progress.

As you feel stronger, start to measure your run by time and distance. There are easy to use running apps that track your time, distance covered and calories burned. Tracking your running will help keep you motivated and you’ll see your progression.

Give it a rest.

Now that you are running, listen to your body. In most cases, expect some muscle aches and soreness for a few days, especially in the quadriceps and calves. Persistent or worsening pains as you walk or run are indicators that you may be pushing too hard. Back off a bit and you’ll continue to improve without injury. Rest is necessary for your muscles to repair and become stronger. “Depending on your fitness level, beginning runners should start off resting every other day,” according to Edwards.

Reward your efforts.

After a week of workouts, reward yourself for all the hard work with your favorite meal, drink or buy a graphic t-shirt with a running theme to use on your next run. It will motivate you for the upcoming week.

Sign up for a race.

Once you are feeling better about your endurance, sign up for a 5k race. It is great way to add the extra motivational push while giving back to help raise funds for nonprofit organizations of your choice. Sign up is easy online.

Many people either love or hate running. Give running a try, it may change your life. Hopefully, these running tips will get you started and make it fun. But the best tip is to fight through the negative thoughts and continue to push forward. Once you overcome that difficult barrier, the rewards will truly be more satisfying.


Benefit of Triathlon

I have raced triathlons now for 5 years. It never fails that when I walk up to the start line and the announcer is preparing to say “go,” that my heart rate jumps about 20 beats per minute and I get all dry mouthed. This is race anxiety. I have had race anxiety overcome my racing to the point where it impacts my performance. Here are 5 tips for Triathlon Race Anxiety that have helped me to perform better in my races.

Visualize a good race – I usually start getting butterflies and start to have a bit of anxiety when my race is about a month away. I start to look more intently at the instructions for the race in terms of my final preparation. Is this a wave start in the swim or is it a mass start? Is this a hilly course or a flat course? Is the weather going to be hot or cool? All of these questions begin to inhabit my thoughts and I start to get nervous. I then take the time to visualize the race in front of me. Sometimes races will have a video of the race that you can view to gauge a bit of the scenery and the setup of the race. I may even read some online messages about the race to get a better picture of what the race will be like. I then can spend the rest of the month anticipating many of the challenges of the race by visualizing a good performance in the race.


Be Prepared – Nothing gets you more jumpy or increases your heart rate more than panic. If you are unprepared going into the race then you will panic. I do not mean so much the training readiness because hopefully you have taken care of all you can take care of. I will address this issue in this post a bit later. I do mean your equipment needs to be ready. Is your bicycle properly maintained, are your running shoes in good order, do you have all of your nutritional needs together. If you find that you are unprepared when it comes to race day, then your anxiety will increase in a major way. I make sure I make a checklist for my races a couple of weeks away from the start date. Many times the list is the same as previous races, but have a little change or two. I then lay out all of my stuff a day or two ahead of time to make sure it is all there for me to take on race day. I do not need anything to be left out or my anxiety will climb.


Do the training – I get anxious about my training when I reach about 2 weeks to all the way up to the day before the race. My concern is always “Did I train enough?” “Did I put in enough time?” I even play mind games with myself like “Remember that brick workout that you didn’t have time for 5 weeks ago? That is going to be what keeps you from doing well.” The answer is “No it won’t,” but if I miss several workouts in a row or don’t complete the workouts in the plan I have with about 90% accuracy then there may be a problem. The best way to avoid this last minute issue about your training is to do the training. Make sure you have a solid plan to follow and do the training so that you can remind yourself when you start to doubt that you have indeed done the training. I know going into my Ironman race this year, I was really worried that I had not done enough swim training. I had not swam a 2.4 mile stretch of water before race day. I started to panic a bit, then I realized that I had done the prescribed training and I needed to trust the training. I would just remind myself that my training had indeed been enough. I do not like the attitude that says “well, I can’t do anything about it now.” I like to rather say during the training season “I am going to do the training now, so I don’t have to worry about the my training leading up to race day.”


Find your happy place – I have noticed that just before the gun goes off to start the race, my heart rate can really jump high with all of the previous emotions coming together to give me a huge anxiety attack. I have discovered over the years of racing to find my happy place before this happens. For me, I pray to the Lord about what I am about to do and ask for his blessing for the day. I close my eyes and think about all those who support me including my family, friends, and church members. I take deep breaths to calm my heart and almost go into a meditative state. I realize that all my training has led up to this moment and to just relax. I have discovered that if I approach the race calmly then the swim goes a lot better. If I am overwhelmed with emotion and cannot even breathe that the first half of the swim is a disaster and mentally I am headed for a bad day. I also try to think of the happiest place for me to be which is with my family. Find your happy place before you get to race day and go there in your mind to avoid anxiety.


Just have fun – The sport of triathlon is just plain fun. The anxiety comes from our attempts to do well or beat a personal best. Let’s face it most all of those doing triathlon are not going professional and are not going to win the race. I often have people ask me if I am going to win. I respond with “No, I am just going to do my best.” The truth is that the guys who win, even in the age groups, are usually so fast I have no chance of catching them. So, the end result of these feelings is just have fun. Enjoy the experience. Realize that very few people can do what you are about to do. Relax and have a great time. You will think about this race for the rest of your life. There is no reason to panic or be overcome with emotion. Calm yourself down. Calm your heart down. Just have fun!

I know that when I can keep my Triathlon Race Anxiety to a minimum leading up to the race, then I will have a better overall race and a better experience. If you struggle with this type of anxiety, spend the time to follow these simple tips to help you. I hope you have a much better race next time, because of being able to handle your Triathlon Race Anxiety.