Traveling to a Race with Others

Okay confession time: I kinda like going to races by myself. There I said it!

The reason I like it is that I can do my thing on my schedule to make sure I have the best race experience. But keep in mind that I never did a marathon just for "fun" (well that is not exactly true) so I took them pretty seriously. One example of what frustrates me about traveling with others: I hate sitting around with a group of people deciding on where to go for dinner for instance. Now I have traveled with groups that I have helped to organize in which case I will find a place and just say "This is where we are going". At times people like avoiding the decision-making hassle of the crowd. 

But let's say you are more social than I am or you are the person is taking charge of planning. So my experience lies in planning trips to races such as Hood to Coast where I was the team captain or a trip to Austin, TX for what was then the Motorola Marathon.

First, just how much planning is going to be centralized? For Hood to Coast one year we needed everyone to arrive in a reasonable window of time since we were driving to Seaside (the finish) and had rental vans for the race. So while I did not plan everyone's travel, I did ask for a time frame. For the Austin Marathon we set up the hotel and then each person was on his/her own to get to the hotel.

If you are going to plan the hotel get an idea of budget or if someone might want to use points. At one point if I planned the hotel we were staying at a Marriott property. Why? Well I stayed there for work and love Marriott (I am now open to Hilton as well). Then discuss where you want to stay like near the start/finish or near the expo or in the cool part of town with a lot to do.

Another option is to just let everyone choose their own place but plan on meeting spots. But honestly if I am traveling with a group, everyone staying in the same place is kind of fun. In fact something like AirBnB might be a better option for multiple bedrooms and a common living space.

Let's say everyone agrees to stay at the same hotel or at least ones close by. Then you are going to need to decide on places to eat. If I am organizing the group, I ask each person for preferences. Italian for distance runners is a pretty safe bet. I will start checking Yelp or my United Mileage Dining app for hotels nearby. Then I will call to see if they take reservations or at least allow names to be put on a list.

I will have checked the particulars of the expo and packet pick up (you are likely going to have to walk through the expo to get to packet pick up--they have learned from Disney) so I know when to get to packet pick up.  Now I like to get this out of the way ASAP. In fact in Dallas for White Rock the packet pick up was a little ways away from my hotel which was near the start/finish. So when I landed, I got my rental car and went directly to packet pick up. Again, if there is an issue I want plenty of time to work it out.

I prefer not to spend a lot of time in the expo. The one exception might be a very interesting speaker, but honestly I follow running pretty closely and am not really an autograph seeker. So if you are traveling with a person who really likes expos, then you need to decide what you want to do. My default is that each person needs to decide what is best for him/her to prepare for a race.

For race day, I will tell folks my schedule and see who wants to tag along. I like to get to races earlier--I hate feeling rushed and want plenty of time to warm up, hit the porta-let, etc. So I will have figured out how long I think it will take me to get to the start and how much time I think I want for bag check (if I am checking one), porta-let and warm up (although for a marathon I do very little warming up).

The other question that comes up when traveling with a group is: do we run together. Typically when I would go to a race, I am going for the best performance possible so my default is to run my race. If a running partner and I have the same time goal that is great. In fact I really enjoyed running the first half of the Chicago Marathon with a training buddy until my hamstring decided to give out. We had agreed before hand that if one of us needs to drop back, the other will press on. We are not Special Forces: A man can be left behind!

I have friends who are marathon tourists: they run marathons for fun and often they will agree to run at the pace of the slowest person. Now for them that is fine since they all run about the same time anyway.

Talk with your folks about what to do if someone is feeling great or poorly so that if you drop back no one is feeling like they have to stay with  you. Let's face it you likely running in a city or on a course where there are others.

Also plan for where to meet after the race and how long to meet. With cell phones this is much easier (if you take your phone and check it with your bag). The meeting spot could be back at the hotel. I would have everyone call and leave a voice mail once they were finished and/or back at the hotel. Or maybe everyone is going to meet right after the race some place close by the finish. Personally I am a fan of meeting back at the hotel. That way if someone finishes early then that person gets back to shower, grab a nap and do whatever each person needs.

Racing: Part II Your First Race, Travel

Note: I had let the blog slide with life and a new job. I recently was interviewed for a podcast (thanks Ben Reuter) and was reminded of the blog. It served as a kick in the seat of the pants to get back to blogging.

My last blog was on preparing for your first race, and I left off talking about travel to races. My recommendation for a first race is to do a local race just to reduce the stress of that first race and get some experience under your belt. So many people like to go to a big city race, particularly a marathon, that will present unique challenges. I am going to approach this blog from the perspective of a big city marathon like Chicago or Boston. Shorter and smaller races may not have some of these issues, but I think they will get covered in talking about a marathon.

Getting there...

Driving to the site eliminates a lot of problems but creates a few as well. While you have less to worry about in terms of baggage getting lost (if so it is on you) and you can carry as much stuff as you like. But if you are driving to a marathon and planning on coming back right after, you need to consider how tired (and maybe sore) you are going to be on that drive back. Also, while driving to the hotel or AirBnB is easy, you might want to find other means to get to the start line. Road closures for many marathons can be a mess. Also parking issues could be a major pain near the start.

If you are flying, do not check your running gear. CARRY IT ON! You do not want to have the stress of your running clothes for the race being delayed. Anything that you are going to need on race day should be carried on. But keep in mind to follow security regulations for things like gels or liquids.

Before making travel arrangements check to see when packet pick up is. Many races do not offer day of race packet pick up. Some races allow someone else to pick up your packet, but you will need to check the procedures (at times it might be a copy of identification). If race packet pick up is limited to the day, or days, before the race, you need to take that into consideration in planning travel.

When booking travel do not, if at all possible, get the last flight in the day before the race. If there is a delay, your options are limited. When booking the flight out of town, consider staying over the night after the race. Most races are on Sundays so staying over might not be an option. When booking the flight out of town, give yourself as much leeway as you can. Have a realistic sense of how long it will take you to finish the race, then you will need to get your stuff from your hotel (unless you have someone willing to hold onto your clothes),shower (please shower before getting on the plane) and get to the airport. If this is after a marathon you likely are not going to be moving very fast.

Where do I stay?

Choosing a place to stay is a big decision. First consider the course. Is it point-to-point like the Boston Marathon or New York City Marathon, or is it a loop where the start and finish are close together? For a loop course where the start and finish are close (if not the same) then these next issues will be moot. I always check what is around my hotel in terms of places to eat. Keep in mind that pasta places the night before are going to be packed if the marathon is large and the city small. I remember being in Dallas for the White Rock Marathon and the restaurants around the area of the hotel (a few blocks from the start/finish) were packed. Being alone was an advantage as I sat at the bar and ate, but I saw groups of 4 and larger waiting an hour or more for a table.

Of course with the options like AirBnB you might choose an option other than a hotel. AirBnB could be great as you might get access to a kitchen. While I will use hotel below most of these suggestions go for the gig economy as well. AirBnB might offer more flexibility with check out, but you need to clear this in writing before booking!

Most big races (and even smaller ones) will have a race hotel headquarters with the expo in it or nearby. These hotels often are the most convenient in terms of the start or finish or the expo for race packet pickup, but you may pay a premium in terms of price. It can be fun to stay at the HQ hotel since other runners will be there, and it can be exciting. Another upside is that the hotel might also host the expo/packet pick up or be very close to it. The downside is that everyone is staying there and it might be overwhelming. It depends a lot on what experience you want. 

Price will probably also be a driver. Typically speaking if it is a major urban race the closer you are to the downtown the more expensive the hotels are going to be. In cities with excellent subway systems you can save money by staying near a station and commuting in. But keep in mind others will be doing the same thing. I have run the Boston Marathon once and getting the train from the Marriott Cambridge (my go to hotel when I travel to Boston) to the bus was pretty easy.

One option is to find the race HQ hotel and then do a search for nearby hotels or AirBnB that might fit your budget or needs. If you are traveling with family then you might need more space or want a kitchenette or other things unique to your needs. It could also be a good choice for a group traveling together.

For point to point courses you need to make the decision on staying at the start or finish. For a loop course, if you are staying near either the start or finish you likely can just walk to the start or back from the finish.

Staying near the finish: The advantage is that you do not have to walk far after the race. The downside is that you will need to get to the start. Some races bus you to the start regardless (like Boston) so you will need to figure out how to get to the departure area for that. Of course public transportation, Uber or a taxi is an option. If you take the subway consider that others will be doing the same thing. For the Chicago marathon, I stayed at the Marriott near O'Hare. The train stop was right beside it and it was the end (or beginning) of the line. So when we got on there were only a couple of people on the train. After a couple of stops, it was packed.

Staying near the start: the nice part here is that you can sleep in a little later and perhaps roll out of bed and be close to the start. The downside is that you will need to get back to the hotel after the race is over. While Uber or a taxi is an option you might need to walk a ways to get out of road closures. Of course an issue with staying near the start, is getting back. One of our local marathons, The American Discovery Trail Marathon has a bus to the start and very limited parking at the start. If you park there, you are on your own for getting back to your car.

The logistics of a marathon like Boston or New York City are complicated because staying near the start is not really an option. But few courses seem to be point-to-point. Some that are might be much smaller in scale and getting to and from the start or the finish might not be much of an issue.

Regardless of where you choose to stay ask about a late check out. This is where being a member of a hotel loyalty program can come in handy (not to mention using points to pay for the hotel). If you have "status" with a hotel it increases the odds of being able to get a late check out, but you need to ask as soon as you check in. Many will tell you to call the night before. With Marriott Silver I can generally get a late check out, but remember if there are a lot of runners at your hotel they might all be asking for a late checkout. Also, there is a limit to the late checkout time. For the Chicago Marathon, there was a group of us that went. None of the others could get a late check out so we put everyone's bags in my room and then I got a couple of key cards so that people could come back and shower in my room as they finished. For a large group it might be worth it to pay for one room night to shower and store bags if you have a late flight out.

Since most races start around 7am if you stay near the start/finish, you should be okay with a late check out of 2pm to give you time to finish the race, get back to the hotel and shower. Some races will make arrangements for nearby gyms to provide showers for a fee or if you are a member of a national chain of gyms you can check to see if you have access to the gym in that city so you can shower. This can be useful if you are driving in and want to check out of your hotel before the race. Of course if you are driving by yourself, you might be okay driving back without showering (although I could never do that).

Of course traveling with others adds several wrinkles that I will address in the next blog.

Please add comments below. What did I leave out? What are your "hacks"?

 

Racing: Part I Your First Race

Racing is a lot of fun and for a lot of people it is the motivation to keep training.  I would say that if you are not racing then you are exercising and not training.  

Races can be fun because you push yourself, or get to compare your fitness with others, or get to visit a new place, or for a reason that is all your own.  I have been pretty competitive in the past and liked to push myself to achieve a new personal record (PR, sometimes called a personal best or PB), or to win an age group (rarely happened) or to beat a competitor.  Yes, I could run a course and time myself, but it is very difficult to push yourself alone.  The competition helps to cut seconds off your time.

But races also offer a fun environment to meet other runners and perhaps finding training partners or develop a friendly rivalry.  But races can be intimidating for a first-timer.  I hope that I can help alleviate some of these fears.

First, you need to find a race.  You can consult websites such as Active.com or go to a local running shoe store and look at flyers for races or ask the staff.  I suggest starting with the 5K as a great beginner distance.  You can register for most races online on sites such as Active.com.  I also suggest a local race for your first race ideally in your home city.  It just alleviates lots of issues and stress.  

You should be able to get a map of the course from the race website or flyer.  The flyer or website should have information on parking.  Pay close attention to roads that might be closed.  If you really want to reduce some stress, drive to the parking area the weekend before the race to scout parking.  You can also run the course to get a preview.

One of the things you will need to do is pick up your race picket one the days before the race. Some races will allow race morning pick up.  I suggest avoiding this to reduce race morning stress.  It is common to have race packet pickup at a local running store.  For the most part, you just need to show up at the location and pick up your packet.  The packet will include your runner "bib" (the paper-like thing that attaches to the front of your running shirt).  It will also include any number of advertisements, coupons, free samples, and/or flyers for other races.  

The night before the race, I want you to pin the bib to the shirt you are going to wear during the race.  You will need to use safety pins.  Ready the instructions on the bib.  Many bibs have a transponder built in that will be used to time you.  Follow the instructions so that you do not damage the transponder.  Pin the number so that it can be seen throughout the race.  Pin it to a spot on your shirt where it will not interfere with you running.

Before the day of the race, you should have figured out what, if anything, you are going to eat. Some people prefer not to eat anything while others want to eat a small something that is easily digestible. Some people stick with sport drink.  You will need to figure this out in training prior to the race.  Regardless of your eating plan, you should hydrate as you will have lost some water while you slept.

On race morning, get up in plenty of time to take care of "nature".  Yes, we are talking about pooping.  It is a good idea to get that done before you leave although you might need to visit the port-a-let at the race site.  

Leave the house in plenty of time to reach the parking site.  I prefer to get to the race at least 45 minutes prior to the race.  This gives me some leeway for traffic (although most races are on weekends or holidays where traffic is going to be light until perhaps you get close to the race) or for parking issues.  It should also give me time to warm up and make a final port-a-let visit.

Some races might have parking in an area away from the starting line and a shuttle to the start.  If that is the class, build in some additional time.  One option is to use the walk or run from where you park to the start as a warm up. 

Keep in mind the lines to the port-a-lets can get long.  Most of the time they move quickly as most people are there just to pee.

Use this time to locate the start line for the race.

Warming up will be covered in another post, but you should have worked out a warm up plan before race day.  I usually aim to finish my warm up 5-10 minutes before the scheduled start of the race.  

Now might be a time to talk about clothing.  You are going to have the clothing that you race in.  This will be weather dependent.  You are also possibly going to have additional clothing that you will wear during your warm up.  If you can park close enough to the race start, you can simply return to your car and drop off the clothing.  If the parking is far away, you might choose to wear older clothing that you can simply discard at the start without worrying about retrieving them.

That should be enough to get your started.  Next time I will address travel issues.

Educating Coaches and a bit of Envy

I have a background as a coach developer for an Olympic sport and stay in touch with that world through the podcast (check it out!) and also through a regular meeting with coach developers here in Colorado Springs.

The US does not have a formal, or even a well-organized, coach development program.  Unlike so many other countries government stays out of sport.  While government entities at the local level offer recreation leagues, the federal government stays out of the governance of sport.  I am actually a fan of no government involvement.  Sport governance is already political enough without getting Washington, D.C. folks heavily involved.

However, a downside is that there is, at best, a patchwork of organizations that have the goal of making coaching better in the US.  If you want more of my thoughts, check out my first podcast (and please forgive the VERY amateur quality) and also the the podcast with Kristen Dieffenbach (slightly less amateur quality).

While I prefer a system that does not stifle innovation in coaching, I  am a bit envious of Canada, Great Britain and several other countries that do have a national framework of coach development/education.  At least there are standards to be met and educational opportunities through the sport organization.  I had long hoped that the United States Olympic Committee (USOC, a former employer although not in a coaching education capacity) would step in, but alas it seems to have other priorities although it does have a coaching education department with I believe 3 employees (I have not seen an organizational chart for the USOC since roughly 1999).

So I was thrilled and kind of saddened to see these two documents from Sport England.  I like that they not only address coaching education and development, but also adult activity.  Like most developed nations, Great Britain has seen a rise in obesity and more activity is one tool to combat obesity along with many other chronic diseases.  Another aspect is to promote diversity in the coaching ranks.  I sometimes roll my eyes at diversity because it often focuses on skin color, sex or gender.  However, in this case I think it is worth noting that coaches from ethnic groups other than Caucasians and women comprise a much smaller percentages than the athletes they are coaching.  Basically you have a lot of white men coaching females or minorities.  Girls have been playing sports long enough to have created a pool of coaches.  So what is the disconnect?  

I am reminded of a statement I heard years ago referencing that there are now more women in college than men and that the graduation rate for women was higher.  The speaker (I cannot recall who it was) suggested that college age women are just more serious than college aged men.  Based on my experience as a college age man and as a college administrator for several years, I can agree with that.  So maybe more girls than guys see sports as something to do when you are young, or as a social outlet or maybe to be fit and that coaching a sport would be a frivolous activity.  I could also use the numbers often bandied about that women do more household chores than men so when are they going to fit in coaching a bunch of kids in tee ball.  Another hypothesis proposed was that women who want to coach lack confidence  that they know how to coach.  Let's face it, we all have seen men who have no clue how to coach--and I am not talking about whoever the Cleveland Browns coach is this week. (Cheap shot I know).  Not knowing what one is doing has never stopped a guy from trying!

So, I am posting these documents and would love your take on my little rant as well as the documents from Sport England.  Please leave a comment and share with others.

Thanks

 Coaching in an Active Nation

Toward an Active Nation

 

Surviving the Holidays: Eating

 I should have written this before Thanksgiving here in the US, but I did not get around to it.  But maybe you are recovering from your Thanksgiving feast and thinking "I am not doing this again".  If so, here are some tips on surviving the rest of the holidays through New Year's Day.

I know that folks often think "Hey, I exercise a lot so I can eat what I wish and as much as I wish".  Yes, exercising or training does give you a bit more leeway, but if you are training then you do not want to gain excessive weight that is going to have to come off later.  Also, unfortunately exercise expends far fewer calories than you think.  A commonly used number is that it takes about 100 kcals to run or walk a mile.  That is in the ballpark.  If you look at the number of kilocalories in the food you consume, you will be shocked to learn how many miles you need to run to work off a meal.

First, and this one is a hard one: avoid or reduce alcohol consumption.  Yes, it is the holidays and the booze flows at office parties and dinner parties.  However, alcohol carries a pretty big caloric wollop with 7 kilocalories (kcals) per gram.  For comparison, carbohydrates have 4 kcals per gram and fat 9 kcals per gram.  Alcohol also is empty calories carrying virtually no nutritional value.  

Alcohol also contributes to poor decision-making, and I am not talking about making copies of your butt during the office party or hitting on Jenny from accounting.  A few drinks and you might start to make some poor food choices and over-eat.

Speaking of food choices, one thing you can do is eat before heading off to parties.  Eat a nutritious meal that is filling so that when you get to the party, you are not hungry and can avoid gorging yourself.  If that is not realistic, then survey the food options and remind yourself to make good food choices.  

Another aspect of holiday parties is that you might be there a while.  It can be tempting to graze.  Instead, get up and move around and talk with people to avoid the temptation to eat.

Another tip is to keep exercising!  Also, include some intensity even if it is your "off season".  I do not believe in completely leaving speed to certain times of the year.  While time might be short during the holidays, you can increase energy expenditure by increasing the intensity of the run.

Principles of Training

Training is simple and yet complicated, but the following principles apply regardless of whether a person is training for a marathon or a bodybuilding contest.

Principle of Overload

This principle is derived from Hans Selye's General Adaptation Syndrome (GAS) where a greater than normal stress is needed for training adaptations to take place.  You have to do a little more than your body is accustomed to doing in order to create a stimulus for adaptation.  For instance if you run all your runs at 9 min/mile pace then you cannot expect to run very far at a faster pace.  

Overload can be induced by increasing training volume or training intensity.  Volume can be increased through more sessions per week or more time spent in each session.  Let's say you are running 4 days per week now; you can increase the volume by adding a 5th day.  If adding a day is not possible, then you could add time (or miles) to each run.  Intensity can be increased by running faster or maybe adding hills.  

Principle of Progression

Progression is related to overload in that you must gradually and systematically increase the stimulus over time to get improvements.  The pace of this increase is critical to reduce the risk of injury.  Too much too soon is a common cause of overuse injuries especially in new runners. 

Principle of Specificity

There are a couple of aspects to this principle.  One is that training moves from general to specific.  For instance a soccer player during the transition (off-season) might do general conditioning for overall fitness and then as the season approaches will have training that looks more like what a soccer match would demand.  

Another aspect is that to be good at a sport you need to practice or train in that sport.  So to be a good runner you need to run.  Riding a bike will have minimal impact on improving running performance.  This not to say that non-running training should be avoided just that it needs to be placed in perspective and also for performance needs to be transferable to running.

Principle of Individual Differences

As the name suggests, training needs to be adapted to the individual.  This is a reason that "canned" training plans as might come from a website or book are problematic.  For a good number of people they will help achieve a goal, but we all respond differently to the same training stimulus.  Two people on the same marathon training program might have very different results.

By the same token, you cannot expect a 20-something runner and a 50-something runner to be able to follow the same training plan.  How is this for a twist: What if the 50 year old runner has been running for 35 years and the 20 year old just took up running?  The older runner may well be able to handle a heavier training load.

Principle of Reversibility

This could also be called the "use it or lose it" principle.  If you stop training you will see a reduce in performance.  The rate of loss varies depending on the trait.  Typically the faster a trait adapts the faster it is lost.  Some traits are structural so they reverse slower.  In endurance training, an quick adaptation is plasma volume expansion or increasing the amount of water in the blood.  Well, if you stop running your plasma volume will return to normal in about seven days.  Another adaptation is creating new capillaries (angiogenesis) around slow twitch muscle fibers.  If you stop training, it takes a lot longer for those to disappear.

Principle of Warm Up and Cool Down

Warming up should precede exercise especially if the intensity is going to be high.  Admittedly, I am a slacker about warming up before easy workouts although I am adding Jay Johnson's lunge matrix and leg swings to my clients' warm ups.  The purpose of the warm is to increase body temperature, heart rate and ventilation rate while also dumping a little acid into the system.   All of these things help improve performance.  

Cooling down is kind of interesting.  I recommend cooling down, but some researchers are questioning the need.  I would say that if the session were intense, then cool down to buffer the acidity in the body primarily through maintaining an elevated ventilation rate.  Personally I know I feel more stiffness when I do not cool down even it is walking a bit after a long run.

Stretching needs a mention here.  I am not a fan of stretching as part of the warm up except for specific instances.  However, stretching after the workout as part of the cool down seems like a good idea.

Wrap Up

Those of the principles of training regardless of the physical activity.  I hope that helps with the terms if you come across them.

Is all cardio created equal?

This question came from a former student asking if some forms of cardio are better than others. Now this question can be viewed from different perspectives.  First, let's clarify that "cardio" (a term I dislike) means some sort of aerobic, endurance activity.  Usually people think of this as steady state exercise.  Steady state means that you maintain the same intensity throughout the exercise period.

My first instinct when asked this question or its variant of "What is the best cardio to do?" is to say that the best exercise is the one you are willing to do.  I say that because, for most people, the primary goal of cardio is to increase heart health.  From the heart's perspective, the mode or form of exercise makes no difference as long as it is continuous and somewhat repetitive and increases the demand on the heart.  The heart just knows that it is being asked to perform "harder" and will adapt accordingly. So whether you are riding a bike, rowing on the erg, running or swimming you are placing greater demands on the heart (and the entire cardiovascular system).  Also, there is no rule that says you need to do just one mode of exercise for general fitness.  From a heart standpoint, if you ran one day, cycled another, rowed on yet another and then did a fourth day of the elliptical, you are doing just fine.

Are there differences in the modes of exercises?  ABSOLUTELY!  I would say the first thing is the preferences that you have.  If you hate running, then find another activity!  Some people have legitimate medical issues that eliminate certain modes of exercise.  I know a man who broke his neck many years ago. The doctors warned him that if he crashed riding his bike and injured his neck in just the right (wrong?) way that he could be paralyzed.  Some people have joint issues that make running painful, if not impossible.  

People who are severely overweight might not be good candidates for running either at least not until they lose some weight.  For these folks, exercise that does not increase demands on the joints might be preferable. Once the person loses some weight and can run, and still wants to run, then have the person start with a walking program to progress to a running program.

There are also practical considerations.  Walking and running are relatively inexpensive sports. Invest in good walking/running shoes (please see a specialty store like Colorado Running Company in Colorado Springs or GoGoRunning in Rome, GA) and then get out!  You can walk or run in almost any place with ease and the energy expenditure per minute is pretty strong.  Walking and running has been shown to be beneficial in building or maintaining bone mineral density (strong bones).

Cycling requires, well, a bike.  Yes you can start with that old bike your kid last used a few years back , or go to Wal-Mart and get a bike.  However, you will probably "out grow" that bike and be looking for a good bike.  You are going to invest a few hundred dollars (or even a few thousand) on a bike plus some equipment like cycling shoes, shorts, and a helmet (please always wear a helmet).  You also are going to be limited in terms of weather in riding outside. (Ok, I was a wimpy cyclist and would not ride in rain or temperatures below 50 degrees F).  If you travel a bike might not be the best choice.  Cycling will not do much to help with bone mineral density and in extreme cases (think professional cyclists) might end up costing you bone--and not just from crashes.

Swimming requires a pool.  Building your own pool will be pretty costly.  Likely you will buy a membership to a facility with a pool.  That pretty much limits your swimming that location (or maybe locations in a situation like a Y membership).  Again, with little impact on bone mineral density.

Bottom line, as much as I love running, it is not for everyone.  From a cardiovascular health standpoint just get out at moderate intensity (think a brisk walk) for 150 minutes per week to take good care of that ticker.  

 

Stop Multitasking

On my Facebook page I saw a post from the New York Times about how we should stop multi-tasking.  This piece spoke to me.  Now I am bad about trying to multitask, but I also realize that if I ever really need to get something done, I need to turn things off and focus.  I am a person that will watch tv or a movie at home and have my ipad out.  Sometimes that involves using IMDB to look up actors.  Other times I am tweeting or reading twitter.  But some shows I watch require focus (looking at you The Strain).  I have put away distractions when watching it. 

Random Musings

From time to time, I am going to write short bits on whatever I have been reading or thinking about lately.  Some of these are not necessarily running related.

FUTURE PODCASTER

I am planning on launching two podcasts. Yes, two.  Why?  I must be crazy.  One is going to be a "musings" podcast that will be along the lines what I am writing today.  It will cover topics that are of interest to me from TV, movies to what I am reading or listening to.  (I am an avid podcast listener).  The second podcast will be more "formal" and will focus on coaching and educating coaches along with information on endurance sports and training.  Stay tuned for more on these.

PODCASTS I LIKE

I wish I could tell you how I learned about these, but I cannot recall the details.  Some of these I have come across through people I follow on Twitter.  Here are a few...

House of Run:  This podcast features two guys talking about running from track and field to road racing.  They have on a guest from time to time.  This is one of the podcasts I have been listening to the longest and a bit of inspiration for to start a podcast.  This is hosted by Jason and Kevin.

Freakonomics:  You have probably heard of the book, well Stephen Dubner has continued exploring the hidden side of things through this podcast.  It gives me insight into looking things at from a different perspective.

EconTalk:  While Freakonomics is a little more light-hearted look at economics, EconTalk is more serious. Host Russ Roberts does a great job with interviews that help a novice like me understand economics better.  

The Forward is hosted by Lance Armstrong.  Yes, THAT Lance Armstrong.  Some people will immediately be turned off by the host, but I recommend giving it a listen.  He basically sits down and talks with people from a variety of backgrounds.  As of today, I have listened to episodes with Malcolm Gladwell, Chris Evert, and lots of musical guests.  Other guests have included a general manager of a NFL team and the director of RAGBRAI.