Lessons of the Marathon: Course Selection

Running the marathon is the easy part.

Planning, preparing, and performing quality training for 14-18 weeks is the tough part.

Selecting a course – one that closely aligns with your race goal – can make or break the race experience.   Personal preferences – temperature, number of marathon participants, and time of year, among many factors – are important to consider when selecting your next marathon.  Add adequate training time (12-18 weeks for a marathon, dependant on individual) to the list.  And “Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should” applies too.

Here are the steps I take when selecting a course for a marathon.

marathon Continue reading

Inclement Weather: How to Protect Technology

IThe rain and fog have returned to the Pacific Northwest after a mostly pleasant fall and winter.  Its rain where you are soaked once you step out the door.

I grew up training in these weather conditions.  When you don’t know any different, you naturally adapt and get on with training.  However, after seven moves to different geographic locations, I’ve picked up a few tips and tricks to protecting my technology – smartphone and key FOB – from water and sweat damage.

Here’s what I know for certain.  Ziploc bags are a necessity. Continue reading

Race Day Preparation: The Marathon Taper    

After many weeks and months of base building and marathon-specific training, runners tend to be overly excited to reach the taper phase of training.  Yes, the decrease in work load sounds lovely after completing the last long run three weeks prior to race day.  However, the last few weeks before stepping up to the start line can be filled with anxiety.  Here’s what I know from experience, and from that of many friends and clients; the taper can be a time of struggle.

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Race Day Preparation: Logistics

After spending a large amount of time training for race day, it is easy to forget to consider race day logistics.  As race day approaches, the last thing I want my runners to be concerned about is race day logistics.  These are the small details that make race day run smoothly, for you and your support crew.  Race websites and Facebook pages are great sources of information.  Begin there for your race day logistics planning.

Tackle these early so you can focus on your race plan execution. Continue reading

Recommended Reading List


Those closest to me know I am a voracious reader.  In my world, life without a book to read isn’t worth living.

Reading for pleasure, rather than for academic purposes, allows me to explore a wide variety of genres.  Of course, many of the books I choose to read revolve around running and general health.  However, I also find myself looking beyond the sport-specific literature for more widely-applicable subjects.  An autobiography has provided mental fortitude during difficult times.  A collection of vignettes has kept me chuckling way beyond my usual bed time.  Social science has promoted self-refection on my habits and routines, confirming areas where I am on the right track and areas that need improvement. Continue reading

The Value of Training Partners

By Kelly Propst

The act of running can be done solo. Granted, to compete, you need others to run against. But to train, a runner needs only him/herself to go out, hit the ground and cover some miles. This sheer fact makes running extremely appealing to many individuals. And while quality training can be carried out by a solo runner under their own tutelage, immense value can be added by training with a partner. Just as both measurable and immeasurable gains can be made by training under the guidance of a coach. For the purpose of this short article, the ways in which a training partner can be of value will be addressed. Continue reading