Monday, July 29, 2013

Gut Busting

There has been an awful lot of talk these days about gut health and food intolerances.  The health of your gut can play a critical role in just about every aspect of your life style...including (or maybe even especially) your ability to train for and recover from endurance events.  I'm linking here to a very interested post about how poor gut health comes about and how to fix it. Very good stuff in here. I hope it triggers some interesting conversation.  I hope it's not too far out there for ya'll! Enjoy!

Run for your lives,

Monday Quickie

Just wanted to share this article from Runner's World that I came across this morning.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Q&A: Translating road miles to trail miles

Merissa asks:   There are obvious benefits to trail running vs. road running, but I'm wondering what it really comes out to be. For example, is it better for your training to run 2 miles on the trail rather than 3 miles on the road? Even if your training schedule says 3 miles? And what are some of the best trails to run for shorter days?

Answer: Great question! If you know your general pace, translate the amount of time it would take you to run 3 miles on the road and run for that amount on a trail. For example, if you run a 9 minute mile, 3 miles would take you 27 minutes so run for 27 minutes on the trail. Alternatively, you can convert miles into minutes on the plan assuming a 10 minute mile pace. So, 3 miles would equal 30 minutes of running on road or trail!  

Trail running is a great way to train, especially if you are gearing up for a trail race or a race that won't be on asphalt such as Run The Rock. But, it is a different experience. Here is some additional information and tips for taking yourself off road!

1. Trail running improves your balance, coordination and strength. It also can help you work on your mental focus because it forces you to pay close attention to where you are running.
2. Your stride will likely be a little different than when you are running on the road since you will have to clear obstacles and lift your feet a little higher off the ground. Keep your eyes on the trail and look ahead about 3 feet so you can be prepare for what lies in front of you. 
3. As mentioned above, don't expect your trail pace to match your road pace. Terrain alone can be more challenging and cause you to slow down, in addition to rocks, logs, branches and other objects along the trail. 
4.  Running hills is difficult enough but can be extra challenging when you are off road. Take short, quick steps to shorten your stride on the up hills. When going down hill, do the opposite and lengthen your stride, but take quick steps. Keep your weight slightly forward and your arms a bit wider...this is almost like a controlled fall. 

To be honest, I don't run on trails very often so I'm not the best resource. I do enjoy the trails on Near Island, which have been worked on and expanded considerably in the past couple of years thanks to Island Trails Network. Ft. Abercrombie is another great trail option, as are the trails around Jack Lakes in Bells Flats.   Know of some great trails? Please share them in the comments and spread the word!

Run for your lives!

Friday, July 26, 2013

2013 Run the Rock Challenge

KMXT staffers, Brianna Gibbs and Merissa Koller Williams are taking on a little extra challenge for Run the
Rock this year -- even more than your average 13 miles. They are seeking people to sponsor their run.

For every mile they finish under 12 minutes, Gibbs and Koller are hoping to find people to donate a certain amount -- money which will end up in the hands of a local non-profit organization. For example, if you sponsor Gibbs for $1 per minute that she finishes under 156 minutes and she finishes in 130 minutes, then you would owe her non-profit $26.

And we challenge you to do the same! Whether you're a runner or a sponsor, you can contribute to your community. Plus, whoever raises the most money will win a one month unlimited membership to A Balanced Approach! Here's how you can participate as a runner:

#1: Register for a 10k or more at
#2: Download and print a pledge form here.
#3: Get out there and find sponsors!
#4: Train like crazy. Check out Bree's half marathon training schedule!
#5: After the race, collect your sponsorship dollars and bring the loot to KMXT. We'll tally it up and make sure it gets where it needs to go. And we'll see which organization received the most donations.

If you have any questions you can contact KMXT Volunteer Coordinator, Merissa at 486-3181 or

Sunday, July 21, 2013


Welcome back race fans!!
I am pleased to be returning as the official Run The Rock blogger.  As with last year, the coming weeks and months will feature blog posts designed to prepare you mentally and physically for the KMXT race events on October 12th.   This year's training plan is designed for a more intermediate runner, someone who has completed a few half-marathons before and is looking to improve his or her time. Still a beginner or looking to complete your first half? Not to worry. I will provide links to last year’s beginner plan. If you are planning to complete any of the other distances, because let’s not forget about the 5K, 10K and full marathon options, there will be plenty of advice here to help you as well.

Without further ado, here is the first of three four-week installments, for a total of 12 weeks of training, of the half-marathon plan. This plan is designed for the runner who has completed at least one half-marathon before and can currently run up to 8 miles. 
The first four weeks of the plan are pretty basic. Speed work and race pace efforts will be introduced in the next cycle.  All runs in this cycle should be done at an easy to moderate pace on a varied terrain. In week four you will notice a 6 mile run which includes a 2 mile time trial. The time trial should be done as follows:
Warm up thoroughly, slowly building your pace and getting your legs going. This should take 15 to 20 minutes.  Preferably on a track, run 2 miles at as hard of a pace as you can sustain for the full two miles and record your split. Cool down with easy jogging to complete the 6 miles for the day. The results from this time trial will be used to determine your target half marathon race pace, as well as your 5K and 10K race paces that you will use during speed work in the next phase. The time trial is not necessary if you already have a good sense of your training paces. 

Take rest days seriously.  Gains in training only occur during rest and recovery, so don't disregard it or think it is not important.  On cross-training days you are welcome to do anything except run! Biking, spin class, yoga, or strength training are all fantastic cross-training options. 

Questions and comments are always welcome! If you had any requests for blog topics, let's hear them. 
Run for your lives,