Jenny Simpson: No Matter How Many Times You Watch the Video it’s STILL Inspiring

The marathon has been taking up a lot of the spotlight as of yet, but we can’t forget that the rest of the 2012 Olympic Marathon Trials are still ahead of us! So, 26.2′er, stop hogging the spotlight, and let the other events get some love already! ;)
woman runner on track
As a whole American Distance running is in a resurgence era…hallelujah! Among one of the big milestones was Jenny Simpson’s (nee Barringer) 1500 meter Gold at the 2011 World Championships in Daegu. Quick reminder to those who aren’t aware, but it was not since 1984 that a woman took a Gold in ANY distance event at either the Olympics or the World Championships.

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Nike FuelBand – New Calorie Counting Gadget on Track for Competitive Runners?

Nike just came out with a new FuelBand; the guise is that you wear it all day and it’s supposed to track how many calories you burn. You can then adjust how many calories you want to take in each day; they say you set a goal and try to hit it.

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Good in theory, whether you’re trying to maintain, lose, or gain weight (genius from a marketing standpoint, I mean any kind of weight-related gadget in America is certain to be gobbled up). I remember the BodyBug came out a few years back with the same sort of gist.

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Farleks Aren’t Just For Workouts – Surging in Races to Break Your Competition

Fartleking. The term probably calls to mind particular workouts, but fartleking isn’t something you do just in workouts. If you watched the US Olympic Marathon Trials and took a look at the splits the women were running (or watched any of the post-race interviews) you’d see that their miles were kind of all over the place. They opened up over 6 for the first mile, then ping-ponged around the mid-5′s throughout; they were farleking.
running race
Why is there farleking in a race? Well, a race can be run for two reasons: to get a fast time or go for the win. The latter is a strategic race and typically seen in the big time races where titles and top three finishing slots are more important than the eventual time. Fartleking, or throwing surges in, is one tactic to break your competition.

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All About the Iron – Low Energy? Get Your Iron Tested

Running with low iron levels feels like you’ve got 200-pound dumbbells strapped to you and you’re running at a tempo effort…then you look down at your watch and want to cry because the pace is slower than you used to do your easy runs. Sounds like fun, huh?
tired runner
Actually, some people aren’t able to workout if they have been anemic for quite a while. Low iron levels is not a rare problem with distance runners, or endurance athletes in general, and while women are especially prone to it, I think it’s important to understand that endurance athletes, regardless of gender, have to be careful to watch their iron levels:

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Get Faster by Getting Stronger Running Hills – Build Strength to Gain Speed

Jack and Jill ran up a hill to make them faster runners. Jack fell down ‘cuz he couldn’t keep pace and Jill went barreling up faster. I think I like that nursery rhyme better, don’t you?
trail runner
Hill running, hill repeats, hill tempos, hilly switch-backs, hilly long runs. All of them can improve your strength and speed as a runner. Some people seem to think that runners fall into one of two categories: hill runners or flat runners. To some degree it’s true, you may naturally be better at climbing than someone else, but that doesn’t mean you can’t improve by running hill.

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The Highs and Lows of Running – Persevering, Shifting Focus, and Staying the Course

Are you sick of hearing about the US Olympic Marathon Trials yet? Not completely over-saturated juuuust yet? Good. Sorry, bear with me because I’m a teenie bit obsessed. And if you keep reading I promise even if you’re not a total running nerd (like this girl) I think there are some things you can take away.

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The 2012 US Olympic Marathon Team

I’m not usually one of those addicted to Twitter, but this morning had me doing the instant updates. Thanks to NBC’s little monopoly over any live video feeds of the US Olympic Marathon Trials, going viral was how most of us could get any word on what was going on in Houston.

By now the world knows; for the women the team is Shalane Flanagan, Desi Davilia, and Kara Goucher. For the men it’s Meb Keflezighi, Ryan Hall, and Abdi Abdirahma.

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In what has to be the deepest women’s field to day, we see a 2008 Bronze medalist in the Olympics not even make the team. Over the last nine miles it came down to a four person race for three available slots and in the end it was Amy Hastings who, while putting in a valiant effort, was left with the heartbreaking 4th placing. Still, if you look at the progress she’s made in recent years you can’t deem it a failure…more that the field was just THAT good.

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To Run Faster, Find People Faster Than You

“One of the fastest ways to improve is to train with someone better than you.” So is written by Matt Carpenter on is site. True words from one of the greats.
Matt Carpenter
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In case you don’t know who Matt Carpenter is, a quick background would include the terms: ‘The Lung’, ‘Pikes Peak Legend’, ‘Trail Running Dominance’, and ‘Ultra Running Anomaly’. The man has won the Pikes Peak Ascent and Marathon a total of 18 times and holds the course record for both. His is especially adept at altitude racing and running, hence ‘The Lung’ moniker attributed to his ability at hypoxic running. Currently he lives in Boulder, CO and still has an ongoing love affair with trails.

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Masters Running, Running Masters: Why There’s No Time Stamp on Our Sport

One of the great things about our sport is that there isn’t an age limit. In gymnastics you’re old if you’re in high school, with football many of those guys can’t walk by the time they retire, and in basketball you’d be hard-pressed to find a master’s league where they are dunking.

fit woman

Yup...sweat's still beautiful regardless of age.

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The Off Season and Base Training – Don’t Lose Touch With All of Your Speed

“I’m just building my base right now.” How many times have you heard this, or maybe you’ve been the one saying it? Probably countless times.

runner on trails

The off season is also a great time to hit up some hill work...strength there translates to speed later!

Runners who are consistent are constantly building a ‘base’; yes those who log more miles per week are probably building a bigger one, though not always. There is something to be argued in the way if one runner is running a high volume but doing only easy runs as not being as ‘fit’ as another runner who could be doing less miles but hitting a higher quality load with weekly workouts. But that’s getting a bit off topic.

Building a base is usually the term runners use for between season training. (Or if they are getting back after a long running hiatus) Here the focus is to set a strong cardiovascular foundation by upping the miles. Then, when the season’s ‘real’ training begins they will overlay this foundation with the faster workouts, intervals, and speed. It’s a sound theory and what I’d recommend; you shouldn’t be nailing 400 repeats in January if you’re not going to be racing until the outdoor track season.

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