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Category: Multisport

Useful tips and quotes for running

Here are some useful running tips from the professionals I have heard over the past year.  The majority of them were taken from Trail Runner Nation or some other podcast that I have downloaded.

  • Training
    • If you wake up and you don’t have spring in your legs you shouldn’t be doing anything fast.
    • Stomach can only process 300 calories and hour but you burn 1000(this varies per person).
      • Carbohydrate is stored as glycogen in the muscles and liver. You can store about 400g of glycogen in your muscles, and about 100g in your liver (though, as we shall see, these can be increased with training). This means you can store about 2000 kcal as glycogen – enough energy to run or walk about 20 miles.
      • You need to learn to burn fat as an energy source. Getting your body to burn fat means you won’t hit “the wall”, or it comes a lot later.
    • Training is 80 low intensity or aerobic and 20 high intensity or anaerobic.
    • Learn to love other things besides running.

      • Choose cross training so you work other areas of your body.
      • Bike, swim, or do the elliptical machine, that’s the secret to keep you running for years.
    • Every run should have a purpose.
      • Tempo
      • Speed play
      • Fun run
      • VO2Max or the newer VVo2Max
      • Interval
      • Long Run
      • Hill Repeats
    • Follow another person’s training plan who has completed what you want to accomplish. This will give you mental confidence in knowing someone else has completed the distance/race following the same plan.  
    • H.I.T.T causes your body to make adaptions with running at a faster pace.
    • Most pros are running high mileage, I.E. 100 miles per week.  The more you run it will develop a rhythm.  The more you practice something the less you need to think about performing the action.  If you can perform the action with greater ease then there is less mental effort.  It takes time for our bodies to adapt so it needs to be gradual.  The more mileage you do the more your body is forced to adapt.
    • Running long distance is like flying a plane.  You are constantly checking all the nobs and making little modifications.  Keep asking yourself:
      • Am I too hot or cold?
      • Am I eating enough?
      • Am I running the downhills too fast?
      • Did I take enough salt tabs?
      • Is my effort sustainable?
  • Race Day
    • There is a 20 percent boost in performance when running with a person vs running alone. Try to stick with somebody in a race that runs a similar pace.
      • You still need to run your own race, but it is mentally easier to follow than lead in a race.
    • Go into each race expecting it to hurt. Mentally prepare yourself for the pain but know it is finite.  It makes it easier to accept.
    • Don’t run out of your shoes the first time doing a new race distance. Just get it done so you know what it will be like for next time. Smile.  It will be a long day if you are hating life.
    • After every race write down 3 things
      • 3 things done right.
      • 3 things done wrong.
      • 3 things you would do differently next time.
    • Run your first mile at the pace you would like to run your last mile.
      • Run a pace that you can maintain.  This is crucial in marathon distance or higher.
    • Perform a mind map the day before a race.
      • Close your eyes for 20 minutes and picture the finish line.  Think about all of the positives in the race and the worst things that could happen.  How would you handle those situations?  If you do the mental training you will require less energy if something happens on the run.
  • Running Form
    • Lean like you are trying to give somebody a kiss. This causes you to lean from the ankles not the waist.
    • There’s a hand foot connection. Don’t extend far out in front of you. Your hand should track from your hip to your chest and close to the torso, but not across it.
    • Use the big muscle groups to run. They heal quicker and can not be injured as easy, I.E. Run from the glutes / hips since they are less likely to be damaged.
    • Strengthen the foot muscles to avoid injury.
      • Spend more time barefoot and do quick squats and leg exercises throughout the day.
    • Stand tall when running.  Don’t slouch.  Remember to check your posture if it is late in the race.  Extend your arms high above your head as a way of confirming you are not slouching.  Don’t drop your chin.
    • Elbows shouldn’t come past the hips. Most runners have too much arm swing which causes over striding.
    • Fix your form and keep it strong late in the race.
      • You will have a better time and not have to work as hard to run.
    • Run with a breathing pattern
      • Every foot strike is linked to either inhale or exhale.  Follow the orders below.
        • SLOW PACE – 3 inhale -2 exhale
        • FACE PACE – 2 inhale – 1 exhale
  • Sleep and Rest
    • Waking up multiple times over the night is not normal. Even if you drink a large amount of water you should not wake up. Your stress levels may be too high or could be dietary issues. Odds are this is the result of over training. Make sure you workout schedule is on a 3 week cycle so you get enough rest.
      • 3 weeks on / 1 week off for training cycle.
      • I noticed I have had bad nights sleeping after very stressful runs.
    • Your body will wake up when it is ready to wake up. You shouldn’t need an alarm clock to wake up.
      • This really isn’t possible when you have to work in the morning.  This could be saying that you need more sleep.  Enough that you would wake up naturally around the time your alarm goes off.
  • Motivational Quotes
    • Every person has a pain threshold.  Learn to push through it to achieve the next level of performance.
    • You are twice as fast as you think you are.
    • If you want something bad enough you will find a way to make it happen.
    • You’re only as good as your best day and your best day could be yet to come.
    • Thinking about how you will think— how you will react— when those highs and lows come along is a key to success in both racing and life.
    • If something scares you it means you are on the right path. Fear should be there as you are progressing.
    • “What would you do if you weren’t afraid?”   – From the book Who Moved My Cheese
    • Find your carrot in life. There may be multiple, but chase the things that truly motivate you.
    • Choose either between the pain of suffering or the pain of regret.
    • Be someone who confronts structured suffering on a regular basis.
      • The fog of malaise will lift the more you do.
      • Make the pain and pleasure of self-progress your true lover.
      • Hunger/experience is what everybody is attracted to, you want to be one of the few actually going out to get it.
    • You never touch the physiological limit of our bodies we just hit the mental limit.
    • There’s nothing that separates you physically from other people who have achieved something great. They just didn’t let fear hold them back.  They are using either past experience or dedication to continue achieving great things. People who succeed the most at life are good problem solvers.  They know how to remain calm when they hit a road block, and that is what you need to learn.

Lake Lenape Triathlon 2011

Last 4th of July, a week before the Lake Lenape 2010 triathlon, I had a horrible crash in LBI, NJ.  Riding along in my aero bars, I lost control of my bike.  My GPS showed that I was going about 22MPH at the time of the crash.  Besides the horrible road rash on my back and cracking my knee on the street I was OK.  My bike on the other hand didn’t fare so well.  It suffered a crack along the top tube, which made it completely unsafe to ride let alone race in a few days.  I wrote Sean Clancy, the race director, to ask if he could push my registration to next year.  He responded that he had a similar situation and was glad to help me out with rolling it to the following year.

Fast forward a year later, I was able to move most of my parts over to carbon tri frame that I picked up somewhat cheap.  I was finally ready to tackle my 2nd sprint distance triathlon and lake Lenape was the perfect location.

Staging area of lake lenape triathlon


I got there eary to meet with the Sean so he could provide me with a race packet.  True to his word, he provided me with everything I needed for the race.  At this point I had about 2 hours to kill till the race started.  Looking over the lake, I could see that it was a beautiful place to swim.

Beautiful Lake Lenape in Mays Landing, NJ
Beautiful Lake Lenape in Mays Landing, NJ

With my staging area set I decided to take a run down to the water to warm up.  The temperature was very warm, I believe it was in the 70s that day.  Normal USAT regulations wouldn’t have allowed wet suits, but seeing how this is a very popular race for first-timers they are allowed.

Finish Line for the swim of Lake Lenape

The swim is my worst event, as much as I practice in the pool everything seems to go out the window when the race starts.  I felt as though I did much better this time around, there was no repeat of 2 years ago.  In the Philadelphia sprint triathlon I had to turn on my back to prevent myself from panicking.  I completed the swim in 9:16, which is pretty slow.  According to the results, I was the first person with the highest swim time.  It just goes to show which event I need to be working on.

Once out of the water I made my way quickly to the transition area.  I had some issues getting the wet suit over my ankle chip.  It made me reconsider the whole idea of even wearing a wet suit.  For me, the advantage is too great to pass it up.  I’ll gladly take the time penalty in knowing that I have the assistance of the wet suit.  Once I got out on the road and on my bike I started to feel more comfortable.  The bike course is built for speed, once you make your way down the street you head right to a straight, long out and back course.  It’s very fast and easy to maintain fairly high speeds since there are only 2-3 small hills.  I was able to pass about 10-15 people on the bike section.

The bike course felt as though it was over before it even started.  Once I got back from the bike I grabbed my shoes and headed out for the run.  Since running is the strongest of my 3 events I was excited to get to this section of the race.  As I started to head out the staging area, I passed what looked like a 12 year old kid.  I was shocked to see a few other younger kids that were competing in the race that day.

Notice the perfect form!
Triathletes are getting younger and younger


I felt good on the run, I passed another 8-10 people and ran a fairly decent pace of 6:30 a mile.  Not the 5:50 pace which I can normally run in a 5K.


I finished in 26th place and 4th in age group.  Not too bad for only my second sprint distance tri.  This really is a perfect race for a first timers.  Mostly because the swim is short, which seems to be the hardest event for most.  They offer great support and the race location is perfect.  The price was too steep this year for the Philly tri, and who would really wants to swim in the Schuylkill River??  If you live in the Philadelphia area I would highly recommend this race, I know I’ll be showing up every year I can.