What a great Gift for the runner in your life! Aiden and Isaac are selling these hand crafted, oak display racks for your race medals. Made with furniture quality wood, your rack will look beautiful in any room. At just $25 these are affordable gifts.
Want a customized message across the top? No problem! For just $5 more, the boys will stamp your favorite motivational phrase, your name or any thing you want that is about 25 letters.
The proceeds go to pay for them to attend Boy Scout Summer Camp and 90% of the work is done by Aiden and Isaac. Our neighbor, Russ helps with the power tools and they do the rest. They are also earning a woodworking Merit Badge and valuable business experience.
To order, private message me and we will get your Medal Rack done! We can ship it or deliver it locally. If we ship it, we will just charge whatever UPS charges us and zip it to you! Cash Check or PayPal is accepted.
In the fall of 1987, I was just a new kid on the Cross Country team at Boca Ciega High School, wanting to make some friends and get in shape for Soccer season. After a freshman year at St. Petersburg Catholic where I ran Cross Country and recorded a 19:something 3 mile time, I was not considered a top runner. Growing up I had run dozens of recreational races with my dad and I enjoyed the sport but I hadn’t thought about being competitive. That was about to change. Our top runner, Steve, was a senior who also played soccer so I paid close attention to how he trained. I wanted to make the Soccer team so if I could emulate his training, maybe I’d have a better chance.
By the fall of 1989, I was one of the best Cross Country runners in the state, cranking out 70 mile weeks and tearing up Cross Country courses with a ferocious competitive drive. How did that happen?!
Legendary Coach, Jack Daniels says there are four main factors to running success:
Ability: The God-given talent for the sport.
Motivation: How bad do you want it? What sacrifices will you make to become competitive?
Opportunity: Available time and training resources like good places to run.
I can honestly say that while I arrived with some amount of talent for the sport and had the opportunity to train, I was lacking in motivation and direction. Fortunately, those gaps got filled by some fantastic people.
Training every day with Steve Wilcox was a challenge. It was a race or competition EVERY DAY! Track sessions, distance runs, or goofing around before practice. We sometimes had competitions before practice at the High Jump pit. Why on earth would a few distance runners try to beat each other in High Jump? Because Steve challenged us! Why would we sprint to a bridge in the middle of a long run? Steve Wilcox. Why did we keep track of times for the run back from Gulfport Beach? Because we wanted to beat Steve’s time.
The other motivation and support came from my family. My dad was a dedicated runner and supported my training. He always attended meets and ran around to various spots on the course to get splits and yell encouragement. My mom came out to many meets and although she didn’t understand my fascination with running in circles, she supported me anyway. She also supported my nutritional needs at home which were quite large. I always had good options at home and she took pride in serving healthy meals. Breakfast was ready for me before school every day, lunch was packed and we had nutritious dinners. I was fueled well! Mom frequently reminded me about what to eat so I could run fast.
Coaches take athletes with various levels of motivation, try to rev it up some and steer the energy in the right direction. It’s really a lot like being a backseat driver. They can advise the driver about how hard to hit the gas pedal, when to brake, when to turn and how fast to drive but they can’t actually do it themselves. Pretty frustrating! I had some good backseat drivers.
Coach Mayes- If you want to know the correct way to do any athletic moves in Track and Field or Football; ask Coach Mayes. He knows correct running form, correct hand-off technique for relays, correct long jump form and just about every aspect of every event. My running form was a typical distance runner, long, loping stride. He taught me to shift form and sprint at the end of a race rather than just try to go faster with distance runner form.
Coach Ingram- Know your times, and work the formulas. It’s not surprising that a math teacher would rely on numbers to tell you how to race and train. Coach Ingram paid attention to race times, split times, track interval session times and other statistics to paint a picture of training. He also took a holistic approach to training, including push-ups, dips, pull-ups, ab work and flexibility. I went home sore from finger tips to the bottoms of my feet!
Coach Joe- When I first met Joe at a 5K race in June of 1988, I told him I just wanted to train a little bit through the summer to get ready for Cross Country Season. Little did I know that “a little” is not part of Joe’s training plan. Ever. I logged 40-50 miles per week with one track session weekly and frequent beach races. I learned the truth that Cross Country races are NOT won in October and November. They are won in July and August. Miles and relentless training is what it takes to win.
Last week, I was inducted into the Boca Ciega High School Athletic Hall of Fame. It was a humbling experience mainly because I played only a small role in my own success! I showed up with a fair amount of athletic talent through no effort of my own. I had a family that supported and encouraged me. Coaches took that lump of clay and molded me into a pretty darn good runner. I got to go along for the ride doing something I truly enjoy- running! What a good deal.
Here are some pictures from the event. This was a special time to see some friends I hadn’t seen in years. This was a very nice, individual honor but it took a team to earn it.
Do you have your fall race calendar set? The last few weeks I’ve had several people ask me what races I’m getting ready for. Honestly, I don’t have a good answer. My fall schedule is still somewhat up in the air. I have some friends who are registered for an October / November marathon as a big target race. Others who are looking for a trail ultra and some who are looking forward to a bit of fall cross country running. To help you make a plan, here are my personal recommendations. All of these are either races I’ve done before or I have first-hand knowledge of the race organizers and I have faith that they will put on a great race.
The Mountain Dew Invitational at UF is a tradition for high school and college runners. If you can run fast enough to get in the race as an open runner (8K for men and 5K for women) it is a fast field and fun event. If you don’t want to run with the speedsters, come out to see some of the top college runners in the country and the best talent in the state for the high school races.
The Alachua Lake Half Marathon is new this year, being organized by veteran race director Bobby Burk from Lloyd Clarke Sports. There is also a Prediction 5K at the same time so if you’re not up for 13.1, do the 3.1. Considering Lloyd Clarke Sports puts on some of the best local races, you can be assured this one will also be top notch!
Running with Rattlesnakes sounds fun right? The Rattlesnake Run in San Antonio Florida (just north of Tampa) is a fun event attached to the Rattlesnake Festival. Snake shows, fair food, bounce houses, and tons of fun await you after the finish line. I’ve run this one a few times over the years and it is always a good one.
Pumpkins line the course of this Jacksonville tradition. Run 10 miles through a beautiful and historic cemetery to get in the mood for Halloween. This is a fun, well organized event and you will go home with a free pumpkin.
Looking for a fast 10K course to hit as the weather cools off? The Mandarin 10K is a safe bet. Flat, fast course and plenty of competition to pull you through. Early November is usually cool enough to shake off the summer slog and finally hit a fast race!
Running to most people is a chore, a punishment, a grinding way to “get in shape”. For me, running is a way of life. It has brought me closer to my family, allowed me to befriend incredible athletes, stay in the best shape of my life, and encouraged me to travel all over the country. It is so much of who I am and what I do, and I’ve been lucky enough to create a life that combines my hobby and my profession seamlessly.
My father began running when I was a young teenager. I grew up in a very small town in eastern North Carolina, there were no sidewalks, no running paths, and certainly no 5k runs. I remember friends asking me, “Was that your DAD running on the side of the highway?”, and I’d roll my eyes as I…
Back in early January I took the Road Runners Club of America (RRCA) coaching class to become a certified RRCA coach. I learned a lot and got to meet many runners who are inspired to help others in our sport. The class, based in large part on Dr. Jack Daniels’ work, is very solid and takes into account years of scientific study about the sport along with a large dose of common sense learned from working with athletes. Still, runners are quirky people so the coaching challenges are always interesting. Some of the test questions were pretty funny but actually quite realistic if you know runners! So with that backdrop, I posted a sample test question in the facebook group for the class. Here is the question and the responses I received in the facebook comments:
So coaches- You have an athlete who has been training for a marathon. He…
Many of us take our running pretty seriously and strive to get optimal performance out of our bodies each race or workout. Some of us use all sorts of products to enhance our performance or at least make it more survivable. GPS watches and heart rate monitors to zero in on optimal pace, special compression clothing to enhance muscular endurance, sweat wicking fabric shorts and shirts to keep cool and of course shoes with the latest lightweight foam midsole that will propel our feet faster than ever. Don’t forget the leder hosen and Alpine hat.
My friend, Kevin Love and his band or merry men and women known as the Running Tabs put on a race worthy of German costumes and post-race beer consumption. A course winding through Town of Tioga and ending near World of Beer isn’t a bad way to get in a race. The course was well marked and accurate so those who started drinking before the run didn’t get lost. The race registration included a nice pint glass and tickets for beer. The awards were fantastic. (Thanks Lloyd Clarke’s and Oakley!) Atmosphere after the race included a kid’s game area, music, and of course beer. The whole event struck a nice balance of a well-run, competitive race and a lot of fun.
Since Kevin and his crew set up a good balance, I decided to strike my own balance for the race. I ran hard, competed and took the running part seriously. I also wore a costume, had a beer with friends and completely enjoyed the whole event.
Here’s my note to Race Directors: Set the stage for the runners to have the full range of accomplishment, fun, competitiveness, social enjoyment and a unique atmosphere. If you hit all the bases well, you expand your audience. This race was a first time event and it was not run on a big budget. You don’t have to be a big event to pull it off. You don’t have to be an experienced race director to make it work. A lot of work is involved and having good teamwork with your core volunteers is essential. Gather your vision for an event; get some key people to buy into your event vision and then make it happen! I bet if you showed up at one of Kevin’s group runs, he’d be happy to log a few miles with you and give you his tips! The word is you can get priceless race director advice from him for the cost of a pint of beer.
This recent article from Matt Fitzgerald basically says that elite runners and less-elite runners can follow the 80/ 20 rule. 80% of distance at easy or below threshold running and 20% of hard or above threshold running. Research from many elite runners bears out an 80 / 20 ratio or very close to it. Fitzgerald’s recommendation: whatever your total mileage, follow the 80 / 20 rule. http://running.competitor.com/2014/08/training/train-like-pro_111078?utm_medium=whats-hot
To back up for a minute the 80% / 20% rule has been around in many applications. It is known as the Pareto Principle, named for an Italian economist from the early 1900s. He noticed that 80% of the land in Italy was owned by 20% of the population. He later found that ratio in several other areas. Today we see it applied in several examples:
Work: 80% of the work in an organization is done by 20% of the employees.
Charity: 80% of donations come from 20% of donors.
Sales: 20% of customers buy 80% of your merchandise.
Projects: 80% of value is achieved with the first 20% of effort
I agree and would take it one step further. (I’don’t have a scientific study to back this up but let me know what you think)
The Coach Dan Clark Principle: 80% of your running potential can be achieved with 20% of your miles.
WAIT! Dan Clark, the high mileage disciple is saying WHAT!? Stay with me here. 20% of your miles is the “hard” mileage: Intervals, tempo runs and those last few miles of your long run that really hurt. So if you only did the hard miles, then you could reach 80% of your potential. That’s how “Run Less Run Faster” works. That’s how the 3 day a week training plans work. They get you most of the benefit with only 20% of the work. So if you are interested in achieving 80% of your potential, those plans work fine. This is also the realm of the High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), CrossFit and many other fitness fads that are prevalent today. They say “Do cardio the right way! Do Intervals!” They are 20% right. It is not an either / or scenario. It isn’t bad cardio vs good cardio. You need both in correct doses.
For distance runners, the correct dose is about 80% base miles (zone 2, training effort, conversational pace or however you qualify it) and 20% hard (Track work, tempo runs etc). So log your miles, run your track workouts, get in a tempo run and strive to achieve 100% of your potential.
Sasquatch and The Low Milage Competitive Distance Runner
I recently went through my first running injury in over 20 years and both the doctor and physical therapist recommended that I reduce my training. I can’t blame them. Their job is to keep me healthy, my desire is to be competitive and those two goals occasionally come into conflict. Their recommendation: Reduce weekly mileage and take one or two days off each week from running. Other training is OK on off days, just not running. Considering I had stress fractures in my fibula and tibia, had to take off eight weeks from running and hit the pool for workouts, I was open to plans that would avoid a repeat of that scenario. I decided to research it. Could a Masters runner train with less mileage, taking one or two days off a week from running and replacing it with cross training?
My parameters: Masters Runner = Over 40 years old Competitive= Break 34:00 for 10K Lower mileage= under 60 miles per week Days off= 1 or more
So I asked around with competitive masters runners I personally know. All of them ran well over 60 miles per week and none took a day off. I posted on facebook running groups. Not one confirmed sighting. Two responses said they knew a masters runner capable of a sub 34 that ran below 60 per week. But no confirmed contact from those runners. I searched articles on Running Times and Competitor Magazine. All profiles of competitive Masters runners showed they ran high mileage and ran every day. None took regular days off every week. I even asked my Physical Therapist if he was aware of any masters runner who could break 34 for 10K and ran the plan he was recommending. Nope. But he said optimistically, “You could be the one who does it!” I bet if I asked Bill Pierce, author of “Run Less, Run Faster” he’d say I could do it too.
My coach, now 75 years old ran well under 34:00 as a masters runner and still trains at over 90 miles per week, running every day. Guess what his advice is?
Here’s how it stacks up: My high mileage method: Used by at least a dozen confirmed runners as documented by magazines, coaches and personal conversations.
The lower mileage, 1 day a week off method: Two Sasquatch sightings. Those runners exist but there is no real proof, high resolution photographic evidence or confirmed footprints crossing a 10K finish line in under 34:00.
The real question for me is: Do I want to chase fast times or do I want to chase Sasquatch?
*One notable exception to the every day, high mileage rule: Very competitive Masters Milers almost all take days off. Training for that kind of speed does beat you up so recovery days appear to be more important for middle distance runners after age 40. Not coincidentally, I’m pretty sure that it was a 3,000 meter race on an indoor track that gave me my initial injury!