Category Archives: Uncategorized

How Do You Practice?

I’m reading a book called “Peak” by Anders Ericsson and Robert Pool. The main purpose of the book is to share results of 30 years of research on how the incredible performances of all time were set up by practice. This is not just limited to athletics but also music, academics, etc.

The book talks about practice. Deliberate practice. The way to get to deliberate practice is through purposeful practice. In other words not just going through the motions. Working on a specific weakness to improve, for example. Ericsson said something that jumped out at me. He said “purposeful practice requires getting out of one’s comfort zone.”

What he means is trying something you never tried before. If you ran a 400 meter race every week for a year and couldn’t get faster than 60 seconds, you can find something in your training that will allow you to break that barrier. Maybe you need to do more strength training to build up the glutes or arms. Maybe you need to work on posture. Or, maybe it’s a mental thing and you need to change the way you attack the race.

You get the idea, I think. The record in the marathon at one point was not too much under 3 hours. Runners didn’t start getting better endurance over generations. They learned what it takes to get faster for a longer period of time. They practiced on the specific things they needed to work on to get faster. They went out of their comfort zone.

Imagine if everyone said ‘Well, it’s a world record so there is no way I can beat that time.’ They didn’t, so the record was broken. And it was broken many times.

You can do great things as well. And it takes feedback to help you improve and determine what you need to work on to be the best you’ve ever been. That’s where I come in.

To do great things you really need a coach. I’ve had hundreds of success stories. If you follow my program you will succeed. In any distance.

If you would like to look more into this please contact me. runyourbestrace@gmail.com.

We can discuss what you want to accomplish. I will help you set realistic goals with rewards for hitting your goals. Get out of your comfort zone! Contact me!

Exercise Your Mind

I don’t have to mention that 2020 has been an incredible year. You can take that any way you’d like. Fear, isolation, loneliness, or challenge, determination, strengthening. Which set of words did you choose? Maybe all of them. I still talk to the runners that I coach and other friends who are fitness junkies. A lot are having trouble with motivation right now. I can help. You have to believe you will get what you want. Here’s how.

The point is our brain can go in any direction. With that, it can cause illness or it can help you be the best person you have ever been. If you worry 24/7 about catching Covid-19, or somebody you care for deeply getting sick, it can make you sick. If you don’t let this pandemic control your life totally, it can lead to a stronger mental outlook on life.

Even before the pandemic, the past couple of years have been like a roller coaster, especially up until about 10 months ago. I was in great running shape, had my weight down to the lowest it had been in quite a few years, and was getting race times like I had 10 years ago. Then I let my guard down and I was mentally down and out. I recovered in September of 2019. I read a lot and one thing I learned and forgot about was how a simple brain exercise changes your perception of life and creates happiness.

If upon awakening each morning and think of three things that you are grateful for, after a couple of weeks you will become happy. It works better for me when I journal them. The next exercise is how you look at life personally and what you expect will happen to you in the future. For example, if you think everyone is out to get you and bad things always happen to you, guess what, bad things will happen to you. If you dream that you will be the best runner you can be and you will have positive things happen to you, guess what, you will have good things happen to you. The key is truly believing it.

I can’t tell you how much the shift in my life has been. I went from feeling alone, depressed, constantly getting injured, to running well, meeting awesome, positive people that I love being around, and having things go my way. I’ve never felt this happy, at peace, and secure. All while this pandemic is going on. My thoughts are creating a positive energy that is attracting positive things to occur for me. Not everything happens perfectly, but because my mind is thinking positive when things don’t seem right, I am able to adjust the outlook and change the perception of what is happening from a bad thing to a good thing.

Here’s another example of that. I was stuck behind a huge farm equipment vehicle on a two lane road when I really wanted to get to where I was going as quickly as possible. The old me would have had a meltdown and caused me to be frustrated and possibly ruin the meeting I was headed to. I realized that I can’t change what just happened and so I turned up the music in my car and started thinking about good things. As I was cruising along I looked off to the side of the road and I noticed a trail I hadn’t ever seen before. I’m always looking for new place to run so I looked it up when I got home and now I have yet another cool place to run. I never would have noticed that trail at 55 miles per hour.

Example two. I have always wanted to learn how to kayak. It just fits my love of outdoors and being on or near water. I also had been looking for a bike to be able to ride with my son, friends, and cross train. As far as kayaking I never had the opportunity to do it. It’s not something that you want to learn alone. My son lives 2 miles from a huge state park with a lake that is perfect for kayaking. I kept telling myself someday I’m going to get out there. I met someone a couple of months ago who belongs to a kayak club. She invited me to join the club and I had no idea how I was going to find a kayak during a pandemic when no one had them in stock. I did research and found a place I could rent one. Next problem, how to transport it on a car that is not set up for carrying anything fitness related. I found two pieces of foam and a couple of straps that I could secure it to the roof of my car. It was stressful but I pulled it off. I had the time of my life with the kayak club. I actually went back to a local kayak dealer a couple days later and they happened to get a shipment and had one left that was perfect for a beginner. So I bought it.

Now for the bike. Having been thrilled to death with the kayak situation I had been on a waiting list for over two months for a bike. So it worked for the kayak so I researched other bike shops around here and saw that there was one on my way to where I was headed. I stopped and asked the store salesperson if by chance there were any available bikes. He said they just got a shipment in but all but one were sold already. So I asked to put my name on the waiting list there, told him what model I was looking for and the size I needed. He stopped, looked at me, and said we might have that exact one in that exact size. The one not sold from his shipment. He said that he was building the bikes that came in and if that was indeed the one not sold he would call me. I finished what I was doing later that day and headed home. As soon as I got home my phone rang. It was the bike shop. They had my bike. So I went over and bought it. So now I have the two things I’ve been longing for, and got them both in two days.

My mind was in such a positive frame because of the kayaking day with good people, that I was releasing positive energy. That energy just attracted more positive things to come into my life. The day after I bought the bike I took it for a test ride. I ended up doing 11 miles, not too shabby for a first bike ride in probably 30 years. When I got home I checked my mailbox and there was a card from a good friend that I haven’t been able to see since Christmas. It was just a hi, how are you, I miss you, and thank you for your friendship card. Who does that anymore? It was awesome to feel loved.

Do you believe yet? If you re-frame your mind into being grateful for the things in your life, and take advantage of today, and make every day an opportunity of a life time, I promise your life will change for the good. You start seeing good everywhere instead of viruses, mean people, hate. That still exists but not in my world. Turn your life around and run your best race! This virus situation in the world will end. So when it does, be one that is already happy and on top of the world. It all starts with being grateful for what you have today! If you’re reading this I am grateful that you are in my life right now.

Success Happens with the Extras

manna on main st 2019

The above photo was taken after a 5K in early April 2019.  I placed third male overall.

Immediately after the race, instead of doing my normal cool down of foam rolling and stretching I hopped in a car and drove 3 hours.  Before I reached my destination I started feeling a burning in my right heel.  It progressively got worse as I drove, to the point where I wanted to pull over and try to do something to get rid of the pain.  It didn’t go away.  I went to a podiatrist a week later and he diagnosed the issue as plantar fasciitis.  The resolution is, do what I should have been doing all along.  Foam roll, stretch, ice for pain, anything but ignore.

The bottom line is , pre run and post run work deserve the same attention.  Sign up for my summer “Sunrise” camp and learn how to get better at running by doing all of the right things.

Hit the contact me tab or email me at runyourbestrace@gmail.com with questions.

 

Change Your Life For The Better. Step Out of Your Comfort Zone

I read this on a blog named “A Conscious Rethink”.  It was #10 on “10 Lessons You Will Only Learn By Stepping Beyond Your Comfort Zone”. I have learned the hard way because I am very introverted (you probably couldn’t tell if I coached you because I am in my comfort zone when I coach). Every time in my life when I really wanted to make something happen, I stepped out of my comfort zone and I was almost 100% of the time glad I did. I made things I dreamed of, happen.
 
I can tell you stories upon stories where this came into play. The only way to find out is sign up for training and I’m 100% sure you’ll hear every one of them 🙂
 
Seriously, this is true. If you are tired of feeling stuck in a rut, wanting to change your life for the positive, I can help. I am a running coach, personal trainer, functional movement analyst, caring person who gives everything I have into making you not only the best runner or athlete you can be, but the best person you can be. Contact me. Talking with a motivator is free.
 
Here’s the meat of what I am blabbing about:
 
#10
 
“[T]he heart is a muscle. The brain is a muscle. The body is a network of muscles, and we’ll likely find out soon enough that the souls are too.
 
But you’ll never learn this lesson if you don’t challenge yourself.
 
Muscles need to be challenged, otherwise they atrophy. Comfort zones need to be pushed against, thereby increasing our mental mass. They need to be jumped across, giving our hearts a workout.
 
And they should always, always, be questioned, because questioning increases our self-awareness, which allows us to see more precisely where we limit ourselves with self-imposed boundaries and restrictions.
 
It’s at the edge of zones that the boundaries between what is desired and whether we’re willing to reach for it get thinner and thinner. You’ll see that the thicker, limiting walls never really provide comfort, they provide immobility to keep us from getting hurt, like a kind of invisible cast.
 
Except we’re not broken inside. We don’t need a protective cast. We want to run.
 
Do that. Run. Straight for one horizon, then on to the next. If there’s one overarching comfort in life, it’s this: to feel without doubt that we are truly alive.”

Certified Coach/Personal Trainer Wants To Help You!

Calling all runners who want to become better runners. There are lots of ways to make that happen.
 
I provide:
 
individual training for a particular race or just to work on a certain part of your running that you want help with, or,
 
group training if enough runners want to train together, whether it’s for a certain race or just to get better in a group environment.
 
Let me know your needs and desires. It’s time to get serious about fall races.
 
I can train early before work, evenings after, or anytime in between. Contact me!

Group Training Starting Soon

Finally have the date that the group classes will start.

Monday January 28th.  Parkside Place in North Wales/Upper Gwynedd Township park.  we will meet by the swimming pool in the parking lot (in the back passed the police station).  The classes will last until April 18th (Thursday before Easter).  New classes will form again after that in May.

There will be four evenings that you can choose from.  Monday through Thursday.  Each evening you can pick which time you want to join the group.  The choices will be 4pm, 5pm, 6pm.  You may stay for the next group if you start with one of the earlier groups.

Each runner signed up can pick up to two evenings and yes you can pick different times for each.  I really don’t mind if you run all four evenings, I just wanted to let you know that you are entitled to two group sessions for your $75.

Any level of runner is welcome.  I’ve trained beginners and Boston Marathoners.

The only thing I ask is for you to let me know which days and times you are coming by the Friday preceding the week.  So for January 28th, please contact me by Friday the 25th.  There will be days that I will be unavailable like February 6th and 7th, but you all can still meet if you’d like or come on Monday and Tuesday of that week.

I also still have a couple of slots available for one on one training, the cost for that depends on how long you want the training for.  One on one runners are allowed to run with the group training runners as a member of Run Your Best Race.  I expect a wide variety of pace levels so you will usually find someone your speed to run with.  I will be telling you what speed I want you to run so I can help match you up.

If you haven’t already signed up, please do so as soon as possible.  Use the contact me tab above or email me at runyourbestrace@gmail.com.  Tell me that you want either the group classes or one on one.  Payment is easy, you can use PayPal also on the purchase training tab above.  You can use a credit card or a bank card on PayPal.  Other options are cash or check.  Let’s get this party started and have a great Spring Race season.

JULY ADULT RUNNING MINI-CAMP

4 HOURS IN JULY ADULT RUNNER MINI-CAMP!

Spend one hour, 4 times in July and learn what it takes to improve your running.

I am a certified, adult running coach and personal trainer who will teach you everything that I can in 4 hours this summer to give you the knowledge to take your running to a new level.

We will spend every Tuesday morning from 6:30 AM to 7:30 AM in July starting on July 10th.

The hour will be spent:

15 minutes on the topic of the day and demo

30 minutes practicing

15 minutes of tips about running that will help you.

You can do a run before or after this hour on your own or with someone from the group. It will be a great chance to practice what you learned and meet other potential running buddies.

Examples of topics of the day will be:

  • Breathing – how to get more oxygen when you run and get you in a rythym
  • Stretching
  • Strength training and what exercises work best for runners
  • Shoes and equipment
  • Warm-up and cool down routines and why we do them
  • Running ‘tangents’ to shave off minutes from your race time
  • How to prepare for race day
  • Best races at varying distances
  • How to get faster
  • Building a training plan
  • Concepts of science in running (threshold, VO2 max, etc.)

The cost of this opportunity is only $40!

You will need to bring a yoga mat or similar padding.

The location of this mini-camp will be determined by who chooses to participate. We can also rotate each week where we meet.

Contact me ASAP to sign up or inquire! runuourbestrace@gmail.com

 

 

 

Plan Ahead, PR Coming!

If your goal is to run a personal best or qualify for the Boston Marathon then you should be planning your training for late summer to fall 2018 races now!  I hear a lot of runners say this is the year they get to Boston, or set a PR, or get rid of excess fat, or eat right.  Well the time is here!  It’s free to talk to me and get advice.  It’s cheap to start training with me!  Give yourself a chance!

Get strong for injury free efficient running!

Not only am I a running coach but I am a certified personal trainer. I can include a strength training program for your pre-training and race training phases.

Working on strength for running, weight loss, and mental training before and in the early phases of race training will give you your best chance of running your best race ever.  Plus you will be doing yourself a favor by getting into the best shape possible for the summer!  I can work hands on with you for both strength and running.

Here are popular races followed by my suggested training start dates for half and full marathons. The actual date that you should start depends on your running fitness level and experience.  10 Mile races should follow the half marathon start dates.

Contact me to discuss my personal advice for your training or to schedule a meeting to help you make a decision and get the ball rolling!

September 8-9

Bird In Hand (Half)

VIA (Half and Full)

Erie (Full)

September 16

Rock and Roll Philly (Half)

September 30

Wineglass (Half and Full)

October 6-7

Steamtown (Full)

Chicago (Full)

November 4

New York City (Full)

November 10-11

Richmond (Half and Full)

Bucks County (Half and Full)

November 17-18

Philly (Half and Full)

December 8

Rehoboth (Half and Full)

Suggested training start dates (running). Base and strength training can begin anytime prior. You should be already doing steady mileage before these dates. I can help you with that as well.

Race Date                   Begin Full                                 Begin Half

September 8-9              May 6                                        June 18

September 15-16          May 13                                      June 25

September 29-30          May 28                                      July 8

October 6-7                June 3                                       July 15

November 3-4               July 2                                        August 12

November 10-11            July 9                                        August 19

November 17-18            July 16                                      August 26

December 8-9                August 5                                    September 16

Suggested Training Start Dates

Did you pick a half or full marathon to run for the first half of 2018 yet? See the list of races on the previous post below!

Here are my suggested training start dates for half and full marathons in late Winter and Spring of 2018. The actual date that you should start depends on your running fitness level and experience.  10 Mile races should follow the half marathon start dates.

Contact me to discuss my personal advice for your training or to schedule a meeting to help you make a decision.

Date                            Begin Half                          Begin Full

3/3-4                          12/11/17                                 10/30/17

3/10-11                      12/18/17                                 11/6/17

3/17-18                      12/25/17                                 11/13/17

3/25-26                      1/1                                          11/20/17

4/7-8                          1/15                                        12/4/17

4/14-15+Boston          1/22                                         12/11/17

4/21-22                      1/29                                         12/18/17

4/28-29                      2/5                                           12/25/17

5/5-6                          2/12                                          1/1

5/12-13                      2/19                                          1/8

5/19-20                      2/26                                          1/15

 

Have You Picked A Spring 2018 Race Yet?

Here is a list of half and full marathons in late Winter and Spring of 2018 within a day’s drive of the Philadelphia area.  If you know of others please let me know and I will add to this list.  H = Half Marathon, F = Full Marathon, H+F = Both races.  Next, I will post my suggested date to start your training plan.

March:

Myrtle Beach -3rd (H+F)

Rock N Roll DC 10th (H+F)

Caesar Rodney (Wilmington, DE) 18th (H)

Shamrock (VA Beach) 18th (H+F)

Love Run 25th (H)

Cook Forest (near Clarion, PA) 31st or April 7th (H)

April:

Scranton 8th (H)

Garden Spot (Lancaster area) 14th (H+F)

April Fool’s (Atlantic City) 15th (H)

St. Luke’s 22nd (H)

Coastal Delaware (Rehoboth/Dewey Beach) 22nd (H+F)

Delaware Running Festival (Wilmington) 29th (H+F)

Jim Thorpe 29th (H)

New Jersey (Monmouth) 29th (H+F)

Wildwood 29th (H)

May:

Pittsburgh 6th (H+F)

St Michael’s (MD) 19th (H)

Run For The Red (Poconos) 20th (H+F)

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