Hello Adventure Geeks,
King's Mountain Marathon and Half Marathon is less than 40 days away! I'm pretty excited, and I hope you are too.
I ran an 18 miler on trails and some pavement this weekend. That's my longest yet. It went pretty smooth, but the terrain wasn't quite as challenging as Kings Mountain. All in all, I'm still nervous about my first marathon, but ready for the challenge.
Race sign-ups are on record pace, and there is still a small chance the event will sell out all 400 entries. If you're running and haven't signed up yet, just click here to register.
Use the comment box if you have any questions about the race, or if you just want to say "hi" so we know each other come race day.
_ Dear Winter Runner,
Please don’t go out and spend a lot of money on cold-weather clothes.
You can comfortably run in clothes sitting in your closet right now.
That is, as long as you don’t end up like my friend Bils, from Flint, Michigan, who runs in a bright red toboggan, red sweatpants and a red 49ers sweatshirt. (“Well,” he says, “red’s my favorite color!”)
In this article, I’ll give you a few tips for gearing up for the cold at a reasonable cost without insulting your good fashion sense.
Pants are the single most important article
They’re also the most overused piece of running equipment. You should only get into pants when the temperature (or wind chill) gets below 40 degrees.
Come race day, you’ll be better having taught your legs to tolerate a moderate chilliness. Give it a try, and you’ll find that the running motion warms your legs up in just a few minutes.
When the weather turns from cool to cold, though, you need pants. True running pants cost around $60, and that’s not a bad purchase for an everyday runner. Look for HIND pants on sale.
Another good option is leggings or tights under your regular shorts. That’s popular, though not my first choice. But if you dig tights, by all means.
When it comes to short runs up to 45 minutes, any old pair of athletic pants, like sweats or “swishy” pants will work. Yale’s top cross-country runner from a few years back was notorious for running in his raggedy high school team sweats.
Everything else: You already own them, so you might as well use them
That goes for socks, shoes, shirts, winter hats, and gloves. If new clothes motivate you to go exercise, then don’t let me get in your way. However, if you’re looking for comfort, affordability, and practicality, you need look no farther than your closet.
A long sleeve shirt by itself works all the way down to about 40 degrees. When the temp is 25-40 degrees, wear a cotton t-shirt over the long sleeves. If it’s much colder, or if you’re facing bitter wind, consider a light jacket.
With gloves and socks start with light pairs, and if temperatures are extremely low, you can double up. With hats, anything works. If you’re in the northern States or Canada, you might pick up a ski mask for the extreme days.
Again, you probably already have these clothes. If you don’t, find them at Target or Wal-Mart.
To close, a winter’s tale
If you’ve done some winter running, you’ll appreciate this story.
I ran with some buddies, Perry and Powers, one winter day in Mt. Pleasant, Michigan. The temperature was around 10 degrees. The wind chill was probably negative. Powers was used to the cold and had plenty of proper gear, including a ski mask.
Perry and I, sadly, were somewhat less prepared. We wore toboggans and thin gloves and hoped to tough it out. We ran 20 minutes out, and as we went out into the wind, snow started dumping pretty heavily.
As we turned back, it was a veritable blizzard. We could hardly see in any direction. “Can you see anything, Perry?" I asked.
“No!” was all he said.
Luckily, we were on a straight dirt road and finally made it back.
My bangs had turned to icicles, but I was in pretty good shape compared to Perry. Poor guy’s eyelashes had frozen shut! No wonder he couldn’t see! He sat against the wall in misery until his lashes thawed. I think he would have cried, but the tears had no place to escape.
That was the coldest run I’ve ever been on. What about you? I’d love to hear your winter stories. Post them below!
Hello Adventure Geeks and South Carolina Marathoners!
Hope you're having a happy holiday season.
The Charleston Marathon is right around the corner, and I've heard from several folks who are running it on January 14, 2012.
Now, Charleston puts on a pretty good marathon weekend. I bet a lot of people will have a great time. Still, it could be better. Let's not waste any time and get right down to best and the worst of the Charleston Marathon.
3 things to love about Charleston Marathon
First, let me make clear that there are way more than three things to dig. I'm going to highlight those things I like best. Particularly some things I'm considering for the Kings Mountain Marathon and some of the other races we put on here at Adventure Geek Productions.
Let's get to it! This race allows walk-ups registration for only $5 more than the pre-race registration price. Many races don't even allow walk-ups anymore, so it's nice to see someone willing to go the extra distance, so to speak, for racers.
Speaking of going the distance, Charleston also features pace runners starting at 3:15. That's a little slow for the top pace group if you ask me, but I really like to see pacers in a race.
Finally, in true Charleston fashion, this race has in incrediblepost race celebration featuring shrimp and grits, beer, and live entertainment. Geez louise! How much sweeter does it get? Maybe I'll buy a ticket just to the post-race this year!
3 Reasons to the Contrary?
In the next couple days, I'll write about three things that give me a little hesitation when it comes to registering for the Charleston Marathon. I think you'll be interested, because I know they've been deal breakers for a few runners in the past.
Stay tuned! And happy running, you big Adventure Geek!
Hello South Carolina Marathon Runners!
Did you know marathonguide.com has listed 4 marathons for 2012?
Stay tuned... it's going to be exciting!
Jefferson N., Adventure Geek
Dear Plotting Runner,
Listen, I’ve known runners that run up to 140 miles a week just to compete on the track in 5ks and 10ks.
And I’ve known runners that have completed marathons averaging less than 20 miles a week in training.
While both of those are almost always poorly conceived plans, you can see how varied mileage can be. And yes, it’s not easy to know what the exact amount is that’s right for you.
But I think we can narrow it down.
Here’s the first step
It probably won’t surprise you because it’s so stupid simple: Start easy and build up.
When I say easy, I mean easy. You should be saying to yourself, “man, is that it?!”after every run for your first couple weeks. Most beginners would do best to run no more than 4 runs of 2-4 miles in their first week. Target 12-15 total.
Most veterans ought to start at half the volume (or less) of their peak mileage to date. For me, that’s 90 miles. So I’d never start a fresh training block with more than 45 miles in week 1.
How to build your mileage
You should increase your mileage every week or every two weeks. Try to increase by no more than 20% at a time. Otherwise, you’re asking to get hurt.
Beginners should build up to 30 miles a week at the most. If you get there quickly, simply repeat each week until you feel great doing it. That’s a remarkable achievement for your first training cycle! At 30 miles, you will be well prepared for any race shorter than a marathon.
Keep in mind, many high school distance runners race at all-state level off of no more than 30 miles a week.
Now, what to do if this ain’t your first rodeo…
Start incorporating your past experience. If you’ve already gone through a training cycle, your weekly mileage now depends on many factors for which you have a personal knowledge base, so evaluate how it went last time.
If it went well, look to build steadily until you’re running 5-15 more miles per week than you’ve ever ran before.
If it went poorly, build your mileage to the point where training soured last time. This is your opportunity to work on your durability with complimentary core and stability exercises. And relax – you can, and will, still race fast.
In fact, I’ve seen many outstanding college runners race fastest during some of their lowest mileage seasons. You can do the same, no question. Success is about far more than mileage.
I hope you now have an idea of where to start and finish. But we’re not quite done. Here are several other tips for setting a mileage schedule that can work for you:
· Pull out a calendar and backtrack from your race date. Now plot out how to steadily increase your mileage toward your “peak mileage” in even increments. I suggest hitting this peak 2 weeks before your race.
· Be realistic about the time commitment needed to pull off the mileage you’re considering.
· If this is one of your first few “serious” training cycles, consider tracking by minutes instead of mileage. You’ll do better that way, I promise.
· Record your training daily in a running log. Tabbing up each week will be easier. More important, a log keeps you accountable and will be a valuable resource next time you decide how much training you should bite off.
· Stick to your schedule and execute it evenly. I can’t tell you how many people I know damaging their opportunity at good fitness because of inconsistency.
I hope you agree that the best way to improve your running ability and prevent injury is to listen to your body and stay patient. Don’t let your mileage goals conflict with that broader strategy. It’s better to take an extra week to adapt to your current mileage than to push ahead when you sense you’re fatigued.
A final thought
Mileage is part of a balanced training plan. Nothing is better for your running ability than running, BUT remember to do all the little things (stretch, sleep, hydrate, eat) to complement your miles.
Best wishes for healthy running and fast racing!
Adventure Geek Race Team Applicant
P.S. My suggestions are based off of more than 10 years of experience. I have not researched these notions extensively in the lab or the literature, so if you’d like, please comment to this article with your respectful two cents or any questions.
By southern standards we had perfect weather for the event (low of 62.f and a high of 84.f) but our participants from the north were pestering the Park Rangers as to why someone didn’t adjust the thermostat. Pleasantly surprised by the 7 fold increase, we had 107 pre-registered participants, 8 race-day registration, 103 finishers and ONLY 1 DNF; meaning 11 runners double checked the elevation charts and decided this probably wasn’t the best course to hammer out a week before Boston.
Though human resources were stretched a little thin due to a group of volunteers bailing on us last minute, we were still able to make sure our aid stations were kept fully stocked and have 2-3 follow up vehicles on the course make sure everyone was fueled up, on course, and safe. Changes and improvements from last year include but are not limited to: long sleeve tech shirts (race gift), custom finisher medals, custom pint glasses for overall and age group awards, crowns for overall awards, and a finish chute with music for the finishers and the few but proud spectators. Some things we are aiming to add to the event next year to improve the overall experience will be but not limited to: USATF Sanctioning/Certification, more aid stations, more porta-potties and follow up vehicles. Bigger and better awards will come as the event grows and hopefully we’ll be adding a sponsor or two to next year’s event so we can actually have a packet at packet pickup.
Hope to see y’all next year!
The Adventure Geeks,
Kristen & Jefferson