Competitor.com http://running.competitor.com Your Online Source for Running Tue, 29 Jul 2014 00:32:30 +0000 hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.5.2 Kara Goucher, Deena Kastor To Rock Philadelphia http://running.competitor.com/2014/07/news/kara-goucher-deena-kastor-rock-philadelphia_109372 http://running.competitor.com/2014/07/news/kara-goucher-deena-kastor-rock-philadelphia_109372#comments Tue, 29 Jul 2014 00:31:48 +0000 Competitor.com http://running.competitor.com/?p=109372

Kara Goucher, left, and Deena Kastor add star power to an already loaded lineup in Philadelphia. Photos: Scott Draper, Competitor and PhotoRun.net

Two of America's most popular marathoners join an already stellar field of athletes.

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Kara Goucher, left, and Deena Kastor add star power to an already loaded lineup in Philadelphia. Photos: Scott Draper, Competitor and PhotoRun.net

Two of America’s most popular marathoners join an already stellar field of athletes. 

With an already extensive elite lineup at the Rock ‘n’ Roll Running Festival Philadelphia over September 19-21, the addition of two U.S. Olympians to the women’s field—Deena Kastor and Kara Goucher—only exemplifies the prestige of this historic race. The duo have run the five fastest half-marathon times in U.S. history.

On Sunday, September 21, Kastor and Goucher will toe the start line of the Rock ‘n’ Roll Philadelphia Half Marathon, the site of five World records, five American records, and both of the current U.S. all-comers records.

RELATED: Lagat Headlines Rock ‘n’ Roll Philly 5K

“Rock ‘n’ Roll Philadelphia is already a flat and fast course, but when you put phenomenal runners on the field like Deena and Kara, you get to witness some spectacular performances of speed,” said Tracy Sundlun, SVP and co-founder of the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series. “We’re thrilled to welcome them to the race.”

The U.S. women’s record holder for the marathon (2:19:36) and half marathon (1:07:34), Kastor returns to Philadelphia for the first time since winning the 2005 race in 1:07:53, which broke Joan Benoit’s 21-year-old mark of 1:08:34—also set in Philadelphia.

Kastor is primed for a fast race as she recently broke the U.S. Masters half-marathon record (1:11:38) in New York earlier this year. She also set two U.S. Masters records for the 10 mile (55:13) and 20K (1:08:18) at Rock ‘n’ Roll Dallas in March.

RELATED: Biwott, Mutai Will Battle At Rock ‘n’ Roll Philly Half Marathon

Goucher, who owns three of the top five fastest half-marathon times in U.S. history, has been recovering from a sacral stress fracture suffered earlier this year and has her eyes focused on Philadelphia. She’s been training in Boulder, Colo., under the watchful eye of coaches Mark Wetmore and Heather Burroughs.

RELATED: Goucher Forces Changes With Eye Toward 2016

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Monday Motivation: Grow Your #MarathonBeard http://running.competitor.com/2014/07/junk-miles/monday-motivation-grow-marathonbeard_109339 http://running.competitor.com/2014/07/junk-miles/monday-motivation-grow-marathonbeard_109339#comments Mon, 28 Jul 2014 18:12:04 +0000 Emily Polachek http://running.competitor.com/?p=109339

Growing beards isn't just for ultrarunners—marathoners can get a little hairy too.

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Growing beards isn’t just for ultrarunners—marathoners can get a little hairy too. 

First there were #ultrabeards and now there’s the #MarathonBeard. Last week, avid runner and blogger Jason Saltmarsh wrote in an article on the Huffington Post that as an extra challenge and/or incentive to run a fall marathon, runners should incorporate growing out a #MarathonBeard as part of their training. The rules are fairly simple:

1. Register for a fall marathon.

2. Stop shaving.

3. post pictures to the social media channel of your choice with the hashtag #marathonbeard.

Why? Because “The #MarathonBeard is a testament to the long months spent training for an epic race,” Saltmarsh writes in the article.

And because any opportunity to post a beard selfie on social media is a must.

Above is Saltmarsh’s first #MarathonBeard post via Twitter (@SaltyRuns) as he trains for his fall marathon, the TCS New York City Marathon on Nov. 2. He has a solid growth of chin hair going in just his first week.

There’s just one hitch in Saltmarsh’s plan: women can’t or may not want to participate. However, his solution is that their man grows a beard in support of their training. Fair enough. If you’re a bolder woman, not shaving the legs is a possibility as well.

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U.S. Sprinter Torrin Lawrence Killed In Car Crash http://running.competitor.com/2014/07/news/u-s-sprinter-torrin-lawrence-killed-in-car-crash_109342 http://running.competitor.com/2014/07/news/u-s-sprinter-torrin-lawrence-killed-in-car-crash_109342#comments Mon, 28 Jul 2014 17:15:03 +0000 Competitor.com http://running.competitor.com/?p=109342

Torrin Lawrence was a 400m specialist. Photo: www.photorun.net

The 25-year-old helped the U.S. win gold at the IAAF World Relays in May.

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Torrin Lawrence was a 400m specialist. Photo: www.photorun.net

The 25-year-old helped the U.S. win gold at the IAAF World Relays in May.

Torrin Lawrence, a sprinter who represented the United States at the IAAF World Relays in May, died early Monday in a car accident. He was 25 years old.

Lawrence helped the Americans win gold at the IAAF Relays in the 4x400m event. A month later at the U.S. Outdoor Championships, Lawrence finished ninth in the 400m.

Lawrence was a former standout athlete for the University of Georgia, as he won the 2010 NCAA indoor 400m title. During that season, Lawrence ran the fastest three times in the world recorded that year. His best time, a 45.03, equals the sixth best indoor time in history, according to the IAAF.

According to NBC Sports, Lawrence was driving on Interstate 75 near Cordele, Ga., when his tires blew out. After coming to rest in the middle lane, he was talking to a 911 dispatcher when his car was struck by a tractor trailer.

For More: NBC Sports

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Trail Running Survival Guide http://running.competitor.com/2014/07/photos/trail-running-survival-guide_82413 http://running.competitor.com/2014/07/photos/trail-running-survival-guide_82413#comments Mon, 28 Jul 2014 16:31:52 +0000 Allison Pattillo http://running.competitor.com/?p=82413

Sensible tips for off-road safety.

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Sensible tips for off-road safety.

No matter where you run, common sense and preparation go a long way towards having a safe and successful outing.

Road runners must be vigilant about motorists, extendable leashes and street curbs, while treadmill runners contend with striding in close proximity to sweaty and malodorous gym mates. For those who venture out on trails, critters, weather and terrain all come into play. However, according to my unofficial and unsubstantiated movie-based studies, when zombies or aliens attack, those lounging in recliners are always the first to go. Which means running is far less dangerous than not running.

Whether you run on the road or the trail, it’s important to be alert and aware of your surroundings, and also let someone else know your route and expected finish time. For those adventure seekers, communers with nature and denizens of the path less traveled, taking a few additional preparatory steps will lay the groundwork for an enjoyable run, whether it takes you from a paved city pathway to high elevation pass.

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Cross-Training 101: Swimming For Runners http://running.competitor.com/2014/07/training/cross-training-101-swimming-for-runners_82017 http://running.competitor.com/2014/07/training/cross-training-101-swimming-for-runners_82017#comments Mon, 28 Jul 2014 16:30:28 +0000 Mackenzie Lobby http://running.competitor.com/?p=82017

Swimming laps not only helps runners with endurance, but it also builds strength and enhances recovery. Photo: www.shutterstock.com

Dive into a new cross-training routine by adding swimming to your workout docket.

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Swimming laps not only helps runners with endurance, but it also builds strength and enhances recovery. Photo: www.shutterstock.com

Dive into a new cross-training routine by adding swimming to your workout docket.

You may prefer to keep your feet on dry land, but for the sake of thwarting injuries and maintaining fitness, you won’t get a better return on your investment than from swimming. Serving as an ideal form of active recovery for runners, swim sessions allow you to increase endurance and oxygen capacity, while giving your weary legs a break from all that pavement pounding.

“Swimming is really an anti-inflammatory therapy for the legs when performed in a cool temperature less than 80 degrees,” explains Sandy Bikus, a USA Triathlon-certified coach and NASM Certified Personal Trainer in Omaha, Neb.

What’s more, the full-body nature of swimming requires wholly different movement patterns, giving a runner the opportunity to work some of those oft forgotten muscle groups. Although the theory of specificity suggests that a runner must run to improve, many of our bodies aren’t built to achieve optimal fitness through running alone. The muscle imbalances that occur over many miles only worsen with each step. Swimming introduces new ranges of motion and strengthens muscle groups that have been neglected, helping a runner avoid classic overcompensation injuries.

Getting Into It

Swimming allows for a whole lot more variation in workouts than running. Depending on what you need to work on, there’s a technique or drill you can practice. For instance, if you’re looking for a good leg workout, experiment with different strokes, such as breast, back and freestyle. Depending on the kicking pattern, you can target and engage different muscle groups.

If your legs are in need of a rest, you can even leave the legs out of the equation entirely. “The legs can be placed around a swimming ‘pull’ to simply pull them behind your body without any active kicking,” Bikus explains. “This is truly restful for the legs because now the upper body is at work.”

RELATED: Swim To Recover Faster

This gives you the chance to focus solely on the deltoids, latissimus dorsi and trapezius muscle groups.

Once you’ve selected your stroke of choice, you should consider intensity. If you’re looking for aerobic exercise, you may simply swim steady laps for a certain amount of time. For a more anaerobic workout, however, you can do pool sprints. Not unlike intervals done on the track, this requires you to surge for a certain distance. For instance, you could do 10×50-meter sprints with 30 seconds recovery in between, increasing the number of intervals as you get stronger.

What You’ll Need

Locating a body of water for swim training should be your first concern. While open water is always an option, most runners prefer a temperature-controlled pool with lane lines. A comfortable silicone or nylon swim cap and swimming suit will make you look the part, and, not to mention, are required by most pools. Also, be sure to get your hands on a pair of goggles that aren’t so tight they leave you with a blaring headache and raccoon eyes. “Each brand fits differently, so try them on before you buy them if possible,” Bikus advises.

You can also add variety to your swim workouts with a small investment in accessories like a kickboard or fins. “They will break up the monotony and offer some different drills to try that are virtually useless without these swimming aides,” Bikus says. If you’re working out at a health club or gym, check to see if they have this type of equipment available to members.

Although swimming will help you avoid the injuries associated with the excessive pounding of the legs and feet, poor swim stroke mechanics can lead to new problems. In particular, swimmers encounter shoulder impingements at a fairly high rate. Bikus suggests hiring a coach to watch your form the first few times in the water to avoid this.

“It will cost a little bit up front, but it’s definitely worth the investment,” she says. “As you continue to train, have someone watch you a few more times to make sure your form is progressing. With consistency and dedication, you will find that your times improve if you stick with it.”

RELATED: Make A Splash With Water Running

Pool Running

Aside from running itself, pool running or aqua jogging provides the most relevant workout for a runner. Even better, it’s done without any impact. This means an injured or over-trained athlete can get in some mileage while giving the legs a bit of a break.

With the assistance of a pool running belt to keep you afloat, you can do nearly identical workouts to those you’d do on the road or track. For instance, if you had an 8×400-meter workout planned and you usually run 400 meters in about 90 seconds, simply surge in the pool for the same amount of time. In the same manner, if you simply need a short easy day, jog in the pool at a relaxed pace for 30 minutes. The best part is that pool running allows for both aerobic and anaerobic work in the same way running does.

What’s more, pool running offers the rare opportunity to focus on form in slow motion. As a result of the water’s resistance, you can better gauge where your arms and legs are in space than you can on dry land. Think about driving your knees and arms, engaging your shins by keeping your toes pointed forward, and utilizing your lower back with the forward lean of your torso.

Not only can this help strengthen the various muscles that contribute to good form, it will also train your body to internalize what it feels like to run more efficiently.

This piece first appeared in Competitor magazine.

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Photos: 2014 Bogota Half Marathon http://running.competitor.com/2014/07/photos/photos-2014-bogota-half-marathon_109311 http://running.competitor.com/2014/07/photos/photos-2014-bogota-half-marathon_109311#comments Mon, 28 Jul 2014 16:05:21 +0000 Competitor.com http://running.competitor.com/?p=109311

Kenyans Geoffrey Kipsang and Rita Jeptoo won the men’s and women’s races in Colombia.

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More than 15,000 runners hit the streets in Colombia for Sunday’s Bogota Half Marathon, and 29,000 more participated in the 10K race as part of the event.

Kenya swept the men’s podium led by Geoffrey Kipsang’s 1:03:18 effort, followed by Dickson Chumba (1:04:10) and Kimutai Kiplimo (1:04:27). Kipsang won the race last year and in 2012 and 2013, he placed third at the Berlin Marathon.

Kenyan Rita Jeptoo, a three-time winner of the Boston Marathon (2006, 2013, 2014), claimed victory in the women’s race with a time of 1:13:39. Ethiopians Mare Dibaba (1:15:34) and Gelete Burka (1:15:38) finished second and third.

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Five Tips For Maintaining Your Daily Diet http://running.competitor.com/2014/07/nutrition/five-tips-for-maintaining-your-daily-diet_65162 http://running.competitor.com/2014/07/nutrition/five-tips-for-maintaining-your-daily-diet_65162#comments Mon, 28 Jul 2014 13:20:26 +0000 Adam Kelinson http://running.competitor.com/?p=65162

If you are properly choosing the right foods, the wrong ones are naturally excluded from the paradigm. Photo: www.shutterstock.com

Your sports nutrition plan is only as good as your foundation nutrition plan.

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If you are properly choosing the right foods, the wrong ones are naturally excluded from the paradigm. Photo: www.shutterstock.com

Your sports nutrition plan is only as good as your foundation nutrition plan. 

Eating properly to sustain an active lifestyle is a quandary we’re presented with time and again. Quite often the attempt to demystify one’s nutritional requirements becomes a minefield of information that is constantly being refreshed with new products, media frenetics, and the latest fad diet. Athletes are also challenged by performance product marketing — touting perfected formulas and guaranteed results — while the majority of sports nutrition is focused on the macronutrients of one’s diet, namely the carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. For all of the energy spent on these things it’s surprising how much focus and discussion remains in regard to what athletes don’t eat. For a population of people whose food intake is paramount to their success, this seems to be counterintuitive to those efforts. What gets lost in this discussion is the importance of one’s foundational diet: the daily consumption of vitamins, minerals, micronutrients, essential fatty acids, and amino acids that are all equally as essential to your nutritional program.

RELATED: The Imaginary Perfect Diet

Your sports nutrition plan is only as good as your foundation nutrition plan. Many athletes are missing the foundation of their nutrition: the micronutrients and elements that provide the platform for their diet that will, in turn, support the major ones. If you are properly choosing the right foods, the wrong ones are naturally excluded from the paradigm. Let’s take a look at the essential elements of a sound nutritional foundation and how to make them a part of your daily diet.

RELATED: 10 Biggest Sports Nutrition Myths

1. Micronutrients and Minerals

Studies have shown a varying decrease in available nutrients amongst almost all vegetables due to soil depletion resulting from improper agricultural techniques. Subsequently, unrelated studies have shown that the majority of the entire population is nutrient deficient in some way. As a result, we are SOS — a Society on Supplements. But, these are not real food and there is no supplementation for it. Micronutrients are responsible for anti-inflammation, anti-oxidants, anti-viral, respiratory and immune boosters, as well as cellular repair aids. These are your folic acids from greens like kale, arugula, and chard as well as your carotenoids, lignans, and flavonoids. For the athletes who are continually fighting off sickness or unable to completely recover from injury, this is the first place that I look. Minerals are required for proper functioning of muscle contractions, bone construction and ATP processing. Among the most common are calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, chloride, potassium, and sodium. Are you plagued with cramps, or unable to sustain longer workouts? Most often, I find this to be the answer. Increase your consumption of sea vegetables, lacto-fermented foods, bone broths, sprouted foods, bananas, and raw dairy.

2. Essential Fats

Unfortunately, fats have been demonized by society and athletes for all too long, leaving us with products void of any nutritional value or asset to our bodies. Vitamins A, D, E, and K are all fat soluble and crucial to the overall wellness of an individual. Omega 3, an essential fatty acid, plays a role in almost every major bodily function as well as a huge anti-inflammatory that can be found in fish oils as well as plant based oils. Scott Jurek, the world’s greatest distance runner, includes fatty acids into his daily diet.

3. Amino Acids

These are the building blocks for proteins and metabolic acids, what its macronutrient relative requires for proper muscle repair.  The body does not store amino acids, which makes it a crucial component of one’s foundational nutrition. These can be found in a variety of food sources that help to support a diversity of foods in one’s diet. Sprouted nuts and seeds, grassfed meats, whole grains, like quinoa, and dried beans are all good sources of amino acids.

4. Enzymes

Your nutrition is only as good as your ability to absorb it. Ultimately, all of these foods have the inherent enzymes for digestion and bio-absorption of the necessary nutrients that your body needs. Logically, if one’s digestion is hampered or the product going in is inferior to begin with, the body will not get the nourishment that it needs. Processed foods and industrial agriculture have created digestive distress and nutrient deficiency as a result of stripped foods, synthetic fertilizers and chemical–cides. Your food needs to be fresh and as unadulterated as possible for your body to uptake it. Enzymes are what facilitate that process.

5. Bringing it All Together

The body will be much happier and capable of recognizing and processing food that it can relate to — not supplements, but whole foods that are as local, seasonal, and organically grown as possible. Leave the abacus and shopping list at home while you visit your local farmer’s market or food coop and purchase a changing diversity of products. Focusing on your foundational diet will keep you at and above your nutritional baseline as opposed to always trying to get there. Imagine your genetic potential once you have a solid platform to build upon!

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About The Author:

Adam Kelinson is the author of The Athlete’s Plate: Real Food for High Performance. His business, OrganicPerformance.com, is dedicated to restoring foundational nutrition for an active life of health and sustainability through workshops, retreats and performance cooking.

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Training: 3 Ways To Stay Sharp Year Round http://running.competitor.com/2014/07/training/training-3-ways-to-stay-sharp-year-round_10157 http://running.competitor.com/2014/07/training/training-3-ways-to-stay-sharp-year-round_10157#comments Mon, 28 Jul 2014 13:15:10 +0000 Matt Fitzgerald http://running.competitor.com/?p=10157

Having a fitness level high enough to be able to peak for a race in less time than normal is essential for staying sharp. Photo: www.shutterstock.com

Most training plans focus on one race, so use these tips to keep your fitness level high throughout the year.

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Having a fitness level high enough to be able to peak for a race in less time than normal is essential for staying sharp. Photo: www.shutterstock.com


Most training plans focus on one race, so use these tips to keep your fitness level high throughout the year.

Every day I receive e-mails from runners (and triathletes, but I wish to focus on runners in this article) who are following or have followed training plans that I created for one of my books or for a magazine article. Many of these questions are versions of one question, which is essentially this: What do I do if I want to peak for more than one race within a span of time that is shorter than the duration of your training plans?

This question cuts to the heart of the greatest limitation of the prefabricated training plans that I have created in such abundance. Whereas my training plans treat individual peak races in isolation, in the real world most competitive runners take a seasonal approach to the sport, giving more or less equal importance to several races taking place between spring and fall. There’s nothing wrong with this approach. In fact, it is the racing approach that most elite runners (except marathon specialists) practice too. The question is, how does one practice a seasonal approach to racing most effectively? Simple: Heed the following three simple guidelines.

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Monday Minute: Eccentric Calf Raise http://running.competitor.com/2014/07/video/monday-minute-eccentric-calf-raise_10512 http://running.competitor.com/2014/07/video/monday-minute-eccentric-calf-raise_10512#comments Mon, 28 Jul 2014 13:00:46 +0000 Tim Crowley http://running.competitor.com/?p=10512

Learn this effective move to help with the prevention of calf muscle strains and Achilles tendon injuries.

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This week Tim Crowley and friends demonstrate the eccentric calf raise, an effective move for the prevention of calf muscle strains and Achilles tendon injuries.

RELATED ARTICLE: The 5 Most Troublesome Running Injuries

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East Africans Dominate Distance Races As World Juniors Close http://running.competitor.com/2014/07/news/east-africans-dominate-distance-races-as-world-juniors-close_109287 http://running.competitor.com/2014/07/news/east-africans-dominate-distance-races-as-world-juniors-close_109287#comments Mon, 28 Jul 2014 11:54:28 +0000 Chris Lotsbom http://running.competitor.com/?p=109287

Gudaf Tsegay, Dawit Seyaum and Alexa Efraimson lead the women’s 1500m final. Photo: Chris Lotsbom | Race Results Weekly

American Elise Cranny places fourth in the women’s 1500m.

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Gudaf Tsegay, Dawit Seyaum and Alexa Efraimson lead the women’s 1500m final. Photo: Chris Lotsbom | Race Results Weekly

American Elise Cranny places fourth in the women’s 1500m.

(c) 2014 Race Results Weekly, all rights reserved. Used with permission.

EUGENE, Ore. — It was an afternoon of East African dominance here on the sixth and final day of competition at the IAAF World Junior Championships. Ethiopia’s Dawit Seyaum, and Kenyans Alfred Kipketer and Barnabas Kipyego claimed gold medals in the women’s 1,500 meters, men’s 800m, and men’s 3000m steeplechase, respectively, at historic Hayward Field Sunday.

Favorite Seyaum Wins Women’s 1500m

Dawit Seyaum, the favorite entering the women’s 1500m final, prevailed in a back-and-forth chess match that was won in 4:09.86. Whether in the lead or a step behind her teammate Gudaf Tsegay, Dawit kept herself in prime position for a push to the finish through 800 meters in 2:17.13. A step to her side was American Alexa Efraimson, looking very comfortable close to the lead.

Just before the bell rang signaling the final circuit, the real race began. Not to be denied, Seyaum elbowed her way past Tsegay into the lead, immediately taking control. Tsegay did her best to follow, while Kenya’s Sheila Chepngetich Keter and Efraimson battled for the final medal spot.

Entering the homestretch, Seyaum extended her lead, ultimately winning in 4:09.86. But, all eyes were on the battle that ensued behind. Tsegay held a firm grasp on second (which she’d take in 4:10.83), but Keter was fading fast in third, waving her arms and slightly staggering as if about to fall.

Charging hard to catch Keter was Efraimson’s American teammate, Elise Cranny. In sixth with 100m to go, Cranny kicked hard down the stretch, closing the gap while the Hayward faithful cheered loud. But the 18-year-old ran out of real estate, finishing two steps behind Keter, 4:11.21 to 4:12.82.

RELATED: 4 Ethiopians Go Missing From Eugene Worlds

“I wanted to be on the podium, so fourth is pretty disappointing,” said Cranny, who is coached by recently retired elite marathoner Jason Hartmann. Still, she sported a bright smile. “My coach always says just keep moving forward, and so I was glad that I could increase my pace a little bit at the end.”

Cranny admitted that if she started her kick 50 meters sooner, she may have earned bronze.

“I think part of the race I lost focus for a second and I kind of ended up being in the back. I had to make up a lot of space,” said the Stanford-bound athlete.

Efraimson wound up sixth in 4:13.31, sporting a large spike wound on her leg.

“What I wrote on the back of my foot today was ‘fearless,’” Efraimson said. “I just wanted to go out there and not be afraid of anyone or anything or not even be afraid of the pain.”

However, the day belonged to Seyaum.

“I am very happy and the finish was very good,” said Seyaum, speaking through Ethiopian team doctor and translator Gemechis Mamo. “My plan was to get gold and I have achieved it.”

When asked about the four Ethiopian athletes confirmed missing by authorities and University of Oregon officials, Mamo looked straight at members of the media and said a firm “No comment on that side.”

Race Results Weekly asked if Seyaum and Tsegay were worried or sad about their missing teammates, and Mamo once again shook his head signaling he would not answer the question.

RELATED: Eugene Turns Into TrackTown Of The World

Kipketer Cruises To 800m Gold

It was a Kenyan sweep of gold and silver in the men’s 800m final, as Alfred Kipketer and Joshua Tiampati Masikonde established themselves from the break and never looked back. Cutting in from their lanes at the 100m mark, the tandem already had left the rest of the field well behind.

Looking like men among boys, the pair ran stride-for-stride through 400m in 49.42, Kipketer out in front. Last year’s world youth champion would never relinquish the lead, flailing his arms wildly like the University of Oregon’s own Edward Cheserek down the homestretch. Winning in a world junior leading time of 1:43.95, Kipketer becomes the ninth world junior 800m champion from Kenya.

“I am so so happy because I had made a promise the other day. I had made some promises and I have made it,” the very soft spoken athlete said, whose listed age is 17. “I have medaled, and the good news is our country now have a joyful time for they have seen my promises [fulfilled].”

Gritting his teeth down the stretch, Masikonde took silver ahead of Sweden’s Andreas Almgren. Their times were 1:45.14 and 1:45.65, with Almgren setting a Swedish national junior record in the process.

American Tre’tez Kinnaird was sixth in 1:47.13, a personal best time.

“It was aggressive and fast, real fast. I didn’t expect it to go out that hard,” said the Indiana University student-athlete. “I didn’t know how fast they were actually going and then I seen the guys cross in 1:43 and I was like ‘Oh my God. If I keep this up I’m going to run 1:46. To run 1:47, I’m happy with it.”

RELATED: Cain Kicks To 3000m Gold

Kipyego Wins 3000m Steeplechase; Roth Sets U.S. Record

It was only fitting that the 1970s chart-topping hit “Takin’ Care of Business” was playing over Hayward Field’s loudspeakers as Barnabas Kipyego cruised over the barriers with ease in the 3000m steeplechase. Kipyego, 19, led nearly the entire contest, racing with confidence and gusto out front.

Splitting 1000m in 2:53.56 and 2000m in 5:42.81, Kipyego knew he could fend off countryman Titus Kipruto Kibiego for the gold.

“I normally run in the front to maintain the pace, as I could today,” he said. “It is what we had planned with my friend Titus.”

Prevailing in a sprint down the finishing straight, Kipyego won Kenya’s 14th consecutive gold medal in the discipline. His time was 8:25.57.

“You know this event is for Kenyans. It was made in Kenya,” he said in a serious tone.

Kibiego was second in 8:26.15, followed by Bahrain’s Evans Rutto Chematot in 8:32.61.

As Kipyego was on the ground celebrating his win, charging down the last 60 meters was Bailey Roth. The American had glanced at the clock and recognized he had a chance at setting yet another national high school record, lowering his own mark from Friday’s prelim.

Finishing tenth in 8:47.04, Roth spread his arms out in jubilation and smiled.

“I’m happy with it. My goal was to come out here and improve on my time from Friday, and I accomplished my goal. I’m just so happy right now,” said Roth. “My goal was to just come back as strong as I could with the time I had to recover. It feels great to be able to come out and have such a straining race and come back and run a faster time than I had in the prelim.”

As host country, America took home 21 medals at these championships, including 11 gold. That is tied for the highest medal haul ever by the USA at the IAAF World Junior Championships, matching the mark set in 2002.

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4 Ethiopians Go Missing In Eugene At World Juniors http://running.competitor.com/2014/07/news/4-ethiopians-go-missing-in-eugene-at-world-juniors_109279 http://running.competitor.com/2014/07/news/4-ethiopians-go-missing-in-eugene-at-world-juniors_109279#comments Mon, 28 Jul 2014 11:20:21 +0000 Chris Lotsbom http://running.competitor.com/?p=109279

Vin Lananna addresses the media after the conclusion of the World Junior Championships. Photo: Chris Lotsbom | Race Results Weekly

Three girls and one boy were reported missing at the meet on Sunday.

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Vin Lananna addresses the media after the conclusion of the World Junior Championships. Photo: Chris Lotsbom | Race Results Weekly

Three girls and one boy were reported missing at the meet on Sunday.

(c) 2014 Race Results Weekly, all rights reserved. Used with permission.

EUGENE, Ore. — In his press conference wrapping up the 15th edition of the IAAF World Junior Championships on Sunday, TrackTown USA President Vin Lananna was pleased with the overall success achieved here at historic Hayward Field. Speaking about the Eugene community and enthusiasm that filled the stands each morning and afternoon, Lananna smiled for nearly 15 minutes, answering question after question posed by reporters.

Midway through his media session, Lananna was questioned about the report that surfaced today concerning four Ethiopian athletes who have been reported as missing. First filed by OregonLive.com’s Wendy Owen, one boy and three girls from the East African country have been confirmed missing by University of Oregon officials and law enforcement agencies.

The news, which spread quickly through TrackTown USA, was on everyone’s minds as Sunday’s track and field action began.

Responding to the inquiry, Lananna answered frankly after a brief moment of hesitation.

“You know, I don’t really know what happened. I’m going to kick that off to the IAAF and see what they, see what the federations [have to say]. I don’t really know what specifically happened. Our responsibilities as a local organizing committee is to organize the event, work with our federation—USA Track & Field—put all the pieces together, and then get them checked into their housing, have the competitions start on time, end on time, give them their medals, and get them back safely,” he said. “But all the other stuff around it, I don’t know anything about it.”

Some eight minutes later, Lananna was asked again about the case.

“We let the authorities and IAAF handle it. I don’t know how they handle a situation like that,” said Lananna, the former head track and field coach and assistant athletic director at the University of Oregon. “They haven’t shared anything with us. So I don’t know whether to be concerned about it.”

RELATED: Eugene Turns Into TrackTown Of The World

Members of the media seeking comment from the International Association of Athletics Federations earlier Sunday had been directed to the public authorities working on the case. According to Owen, the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI), City of Eugene police and University of Oregon police are currently working on the missing persons investigation.

After Dawit Seyaum won 1500m gold on the Hayward Field oval Sunday afternoon, she came through the media mixed zone with Ethiopian team doctor and translator Gemechis Mamo, as well as fellow teammate and silver medalist Gudaf Tsegay.

When asked about the four missing athletes, Mamo looked straight at members of the media and said a firm “No comment on that side.”

Following a few race specific questions, Race Results Weekly asked Seyaum and Tsegay if they were worried or sad about their fellow countryman and women. Not allowing the pair of athletes to speak, Mamo shook his head signaling he would not answer the question.

At these championships, Ethiopia won three gold medals and three silver medals, tying for third with Great Britain and Russia for total medals won.

Spanning six days, organizers reported that 51,523 spectators watched the IAAF World Junior Championships.

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Eugene Turns Into ‘TrackTown Of The World’ http://running.competitor.com/2014/07/news/eugene-turns-tracktown-world_109221 http://running.competitor.com/2014/07/news/eugene-turns-tracktown-world_109221#comments Sat, 26 Jul 2014 19:46:46 +0000 Chris Lotsbom http://running.competitor.com/?p=109221

Runners of all ages competed at the TrackTown 5K in Eugene, Ore., prior to Day Five of the IAAF World Junior Championships. Photo: Chris Lotsbom | Race Results Weekly

Run TrackTown's celebration of running has brought thousands from around the world to Oregon.

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Runners of all ages competed at the TrackTown 5K in Eugene, Ore., prior to Day Five of the IAAF World Junior Championships. Photo: Chris Lotsbom | Race Results Weekly

Run TrackTown’s celebration of running has brought thousands from around the world to Oregon.

(c) 2014 Race Results Weekly, all rights reserved. Used with permission. 

EUGENE, OREGON — For the month of July, the city of Eugene has transformed from TrackTown USA to TrackTown of the World. Hosting the 15th edition of the IAAF World Junior Championships, the city of about 156,000 people has taken on the identity of a global festival, rallying around the sport of athletics.

In an attempt to connect further the Oregon community with its running tradition, while at the same time bringing together all levels of runners from joggers to gold medalists, the non-profit organization TrackTown USA established the “Run TrackTown” initiative.

At its core, the Run TrackTown concept is a celebration of running, a full slate of events scheduled from dusk until dawn this weekend that brings thousands of runners and residents out to Hayward Field.

“We plan to connect the dots between little kids that run, top-end competitions like the IAAF World Junior Championships, and all the various events that happen leading into the Eugene Marathon,” Vin Lananna, president of TrackTown USA, said in a statement. “It’s going to be fantastic.

While the IAAF World Junior Championships have been going on since Tuesday, July 22, the arrival of this weekend brings a jam-packed schedule of running-related activities for people of all ages.

Kicking off things on Saturday morning was the Run TrackTown Duck Dash, a one kilometer contest for children that finished on the famed Hayward Field homestretch. Immediately following the kids race, a 5K road race saw competitors from numerous states and nations run through the University of Oregon campus before finishing on the track.

After David Bea of Cincinnati, Ohio, and Brett Ely of Eugene, Ore., won the men’s and women’s titles in 15:52 and 17:51, respectively, hundreds of competitors followed through the Hayward Field gates with smiles on their faces. Standing close to the finish, one could hear cheers in different languages, a sign of the global spirit that was present.

“Bringing in other countries, getting that in a sense here [in Eugene], it just ties a lot of things together,” said Nicole Teter-Downin, a 2008 Olympian and organizer of the Eugene Marathon. “It’s pretty awesome. We’ve got track runners out here watching 5Kers. Tomorrow you’re going to have track runners, sprinters out here watching the marathoners. When have you ever seen that? It’s very rare.”

Following today’s 5K, the Oregon Track Club hosted a youth all-comers meet for athletes ages 12 and under.

Watching the day’s festivities unfold, New York Road Runners President and CEO Mary Wittenberg was elated to see just how much the Eugene community has rallied around these championships, establishing a clear bond that runs through all levels of the sport.

“I just love TrackTown USA. They are tying it all together here, from the kids to the road race, obviously to the track. It’s fun to be in Eugene and see them really reveling in hosting an international competition,” said Wittenberg, accompanied by her son Alex. Tomorrow, Wittenberg will race the Eugene Half Marathon (she’s also the official starter of the marathon). “Hopefully this is another big step toward Vin’s dream of a World Championships here. Coming from New York, it’s just fun and encouraging to see just how Eugene is leading the way in tying our whole sport together.”

This afternoon, Hayward Field’s grandstands will once again be filled, as day five of the IAAF World Junior Championships will see gold medals awarded in the women’s 3000m steeplechase, 400m hurdles, and both the men’s and women’s 4x100m relays. When the competition ends just after 5:30 p.m., it will be the professionals’ turn to shine.

A number of Olympians and World Championships medalists are entered in a High Performance meeting featuring $57,000 in prize money. Headlining the meet are Aries Merritt, Christian Taylor, and Ajee’ Wilson, as well as numerous Oregon Track Club Elite members.

A Youth League Championships meet will cap off Saturday, setting the stage for Sunday’s grand finale: the Eugene Marathon and Half-Marathon, as well as the final day of the IAAF World Junior Championships.

This week’s meeting was the first IAAF global championships held in the United States since the 1992 IAAF World Cross Country Championships were in Boston. Spurred by TrackTown USA, the city of Eugene and its surrounding communities have put on a week-long spectacle showcasing just how much they love their athletics, taking advantage of the opportunity at their fingertips.

Jason Hartmann, twice the top American finisher at the Boston Marathon and a University of Oregon alum, summed it up best.

“It’s like a festival for runners almost. You have so much going on,” he told Race Results Weekly. “This really is the Mecca of distance running, so they say. And the world gets to see that. I hope this inspires people to take more of a chance on Eugene in the future as far as having meets and really cementing the championship meets here in the US. I think they’ve done a fantastic job at showcasing that.”

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Are You Overemphasizing The Marathon Long Run? http://running.competitor.com/2014/07/training/are-you-overemphasizing-the-marathon-long-run_55719 http://running.competitor.com/2014/07/training/are-you-overemphasizing-the-marathon-long-run_55719#comments Sat, 26 Jul 2014 19:00:43 +0000 Jeff Gaudette http://running.competitor.com/?p=55719

Learn why long runs over three hours may be doing you more harm than good.

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Learn why long runs over three hours may be doing you more harm than good. 

The marathon long run is overrated.

I’ll pause for a second to let the sound of your gasps fade. In my experience, too many beginner runners, and those running slower than 3 hours and 45 minutes, focus on trying to squeeze multiple 20 or 22 mile runs into their training segment at the expense of improving more critical physiological systems. More importantly, scientific research has shown that runs of over 3 hours offer little additional aerobic benefit compared to runs of 2 hours, while significantly increasing injury risk.

As such, rather than cramming your marathon training schedule with multiple 20-22 milers that increase injury risk and decrease recovery time without decisive aerobic advantages, you should instead focus on improving your aerobic threshold, teaching your body to use fat as a fuel source, and building your overall tolerance for running on tired legs through accumulated fatigue.

RELATED: A Short Cut To The Long Run

Since the long run is such an ingrained element of marathon training, and suggesting they are overrated sounds blasphemous to many marathon veterans, let’s take a look at some scientific research, relevant examples, and suggestions on how to better structure your training to help you run your next marathon faster.

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Bernard Lagat Headlines Rock ‘n’ Roll Philly 5K http://running.competitor.com/2014/07/news/bernard-lagat-headlines-rock-n-roll-philly-5k_109214 http://running.competitor.com/2014/07/news/bernard-lagat-headlines-rock-n-roll-philly-5k_109214#comments Fri, 25 Jul 2014 23:25:31 +0000 Competitor.com http://running.competitor.com/?p=109214

Bernard Lagat is looking forward to finishing his 2014 racing season in Philadelphia. Photo: www.photorun.net

The 10-time global medalist is looking forward to racing in the inaugural 3.1-mile event.

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Bernard Lagat is looking forward to finishing his 2014 racing season in Philadelphia. Photo: www.photorun.net

The 10-time global medalist is looking forward to racing in the inaugural 3.1-mile event. 

One of the world’s all-time great distance runners, Bernard Lagat, will headline the upcoming Rock ‘n’ Roll Running Festival in Philadelphia, September 19-21. The 39-year-old will race at the first ever Rock ‘n’ Roll 5K on Saturday morning, which starts and finishes in front of the historic Philadelphia Museum of Art running out and back on Martin Luther King Drive.

“To have America’s most decorated middle distance runner, a world champion at the distance, headline the 5K at the inaugural Rock ‘n’ Roll Running Festival says just how special and important Philadelphia is and we are ecstatic,” said Tracy Sundlun, SVP of the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series.

RELATED: Biwott, Mutai Will Battle At Rock ‘n’ Roll Philly Half Marathon

The recently launched festival weekend is an extension of the historic Rock ‘n’ Roll Philadelphia Half Marathon, which takes place on Sunday, Sept. 21, and is one of the most prestigious half marathons in the world. It is the site of five World and five American records, as well as both of the current U.S. all-comers records.

The most decorated American 5,000m runner in history, Lagat recently won his seventh 5,000m title at the U.S. Outdoor National Track & Field Championships in Sacramento. In 2007, Lagat became the first American to win gold in the 1,500m at the World Outdoor Championships and the first American to win an Olympic or world championship in the 1,500 since 1908. He was the first American to win a 5,000m medal of any kind at the World Championships.

“To come straight from my European track season to the U.S. and have my last competition of 2014 be in Philadelphia couldn’t be more perfect and I should be in peak shape,” said Lagat, a 10-time global medalist in the Olympics and IAAF World Championships, including five golds. “Having raced the Penn Relays I know Philadelphia is a great running community and I look forward to being a part of Rock ‘n’ Roll Philadelphia’s new history with the addition of a 5K event this year.”

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Bucket List: Tackling Colorado’s ‘Softrock’ 100 http://running.competitor.com/2014/07/photos/bucket-list-tackling-softrock-100_109157 http://running.competitor.com/2014/07/photos/bucket-list-tackling-softrock-100_109157#comments Fri, 25 Jul 2014 22:48:53 +0000 Jorge Rufat-Latre http://running.competitor.com/?p=109157

Looking for a European-style trail adventure? Consider the "Softrock 100" in Colorado.

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Looking for a European-style trail adventure? Consider the “Softrock 100″ in Colorado.

The Hardrock 100 in the heart of Colorado’s rugged San Juan Mountains is one of the oldest and hardest 100-mile trail runs in the U.S. Not only is it a grueling run, it’s also very difficult to get into—especially if you are a first-timer. This year more than 1,200 people entered the lottery for 140 spots in the race. Enter “Softrock”—the informal name for a multi-day running and hiking adventure that follows the grueling Hardrock 100 course. The loop is still an enormous challenge, but breaking it up over several days and the chance to stop in the mountain towns of Telluride and Ouray for overnight rest breaks, meals and additional provisions make it a bit more palatable. Some ‘Softrockers’ will camp each night (with or without a sag wagon of supplies), while others stay in hotels.

Many runners will tackle Softrock as a preparation step for Hardrock—this is a course that you should definitely know and practice before race day. Last week, I had the privilege to run Softrock over four days—less than a week after the 2014 edition of the race—with seven other runners under the leadership of ultrarunner and coach Cindy Stonesmith and her sister Tammy Stone, who has served as a pacer at Hardrock countless times. Dan Blankenship, who also paced at Hardrock this year, spent a week scouting for accessible aid points, drinkable water and viable course segments. We chose to run Softrock counterclockwise. (The race alternates between clockwise and counterclockwise each year, with this year being a clockwise year.) Our eight-strong group included impressive race résumés, with finishes at Badwater, UTMB, Marathon Des Sables, Richtersveld Wildrun and the Desert RATS stage race. However, none have done Hardrock—yet!

Click through the the photos below to get a glimpse of the terrain, weather and excitement of this grand adventure!

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Friday Faceplant: 4X100-Meter Relay Runner Takes A Tumble http://running.competitor.com/2014/07/video/friday-faceplant-4x100-meter-relay-runner-takes-tumble_109177 http://running.competitor.com/2014/07/video/friday-faceplant-4x100-meter-relay-runner-takes-tumble_109177#comments Fri, 25 Jul 2014 22:38:51 +0000 Emily Polachek http://running.competitor.com/?p=109177

It's all over when the baton drops.

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It’s all over when the baton drops. 

At the 2011 IAAF World Championships in Athletics held in Daegu, South Korea, American Darvis Patton trips and rolls right before the final hand-off to anchor Walter Dix in the second semifinal heat of the 4X100-meter relay event. According to this video’s close-up replay of the incident, Patton somehow gets tangled up with Britain’s Harry Aikines-Aryeetey. As a result, both Team USA and Britain did not finish the race and unfortunately lost their spot in the finals. Meanwhile, Team Jamaica took the lead to win and set a new world record of 37.04.

What a crappy race for Patton. Pardon the French.

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Gear Of The Week: Headsweats Podium Cap http://running.competitor.com/2014/07/shoes-and-gear/gear-week_109088 http://running.competitor.com/2014/07/shoes-and-gear/gear-week_109088#comments Fri, 25 Jul 2014 22:27:21 +0000 Allison Pattillo http://running.competitor.com/?p=109088

The Headsweats Podium Cap is made of technical moisture-wicking materials geared for long-wearing comfort.

This lightweight, snug-fitting hat is a stylish, run-ready option.

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The Headsweats Podium Cap is made of technical moisture-wicking materials geared for long-wearing comfort.

This lightweight, snug-fitting hat is a stylish, run-ready option.

For those times when a running hat feels too sporty and you aren’t in the mood to rock a trucker hat, the lightweight, snug-fitting Podium Cap by Headsweats is a stylish, run-ready option. It has six-panel baseball cap styling, yet is made with technical fabric that is breathable and fast-drying. Plus it has Headsweats’ moisture-wicking, soft terry headband and a glare reducing undervisor. The one-size-fits-most sizing is enhanced by the easy-to-adjust back closure for a more custom fit. And if customization is your thing (think running groups or race teams ), the flat front panel makes it easy to add a logo or design.

Price: $20
Info: headsweats.com/podium-hat

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Pilk’s Points: Facing A Runner’s Identity Crisis http://running.competitor.com/2014/07/staff-blog/pilks-points-facing-a-runners-identity-crisis_109107 http://running.competitor.com/2014/07/staff-blog/pilks-points-facing-a-runners-identity-crisis_109107#comments Fri, 25 Jul 2014 17:59:22 +0000 Caitlyn Pilkington http://running.competitor.com/?p=109107

Associate editor Caitlyn Pilkington writes, " I am a runner, true, but I'm also a writer, girlfriend, daughter, oldest sister, colitis patient, Charles Schulz fan girl, In-n-Out consumer and a total weirdo. And those are all just as awesome."

Caitlyn Pilkington writes about three changes she made in her running life that gave her a new perspective.

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Associate editor Caitlyn Pilkington writes, " I am a runner, true, but I'm also a writer, girlfriend, daughter, oldest sister, colitis patient, Charles Schulz fan girl, In-n-Out consumer and a total weirdo. And those are all just as awesome."

Caitlyn Pilkington writes about three changes she made in her running life that gave her a new perspective.

One might say I’ve been going through an identity crisis—the kind that competitors suffer from when they start training and racing for something other than themselves.

At one point in the last months, I woke up in the morning, stared at the clock, rolled back over and fell back asleep. Sounds amazing, right? Extra hours of sleep are few and far between lately, mostly because I got myself on this unnecessary schedule of rising at 5 a.m. to do some form of endurance activity. But on that particular morning, there wasn’t a muscle in my body or will in my brain that wanted to run.

What the hell is wrong with me? I always want to run. I go to bed because I get to rise the next morning and run that 6-miler.

I started to mentally retrace my steps. I’d been running and swimming solid for two months prior, injury-free and totally focused on sweating and going harder the next time. My diet had fallen into a routine pattern, and my pants fit like I was in high school again. The two-pack had some new neighbors, and beer seemed less and less appealing every day (maybe that was the problem!).

Between my weakening desire to scarf down In-n-Out burgers on a weekly basis and my increased intake of veggies in every color, I couldn’t see where this sudden lack of motivation was coming from. Everything seemed to be going the way it should go—but was it going the way I wanted it to go? And as I headed out the door later that morning—now feeling the antsy after-effects of not running—I made three surprising decisions that totally changed my perspective on running, why I do it and what it means, to me, to be both a runner and a human being.

RELATED: Penguin Chronicles: I Am Not A Jogger

1. I quit my half Ironman.

Before you raise your eyebrows and express your shock (or disappointement) about me actually quitting something, let’s get one thing straight: I have the utmost respect for my 20+ friends who are tackling their first 70.3s in October. That group is so solid in their training, and every single one of them is going to cross that line with a fist in the air.

That said, I absolutely hate taking time away from running. I partly signed up out of peer pressure, partly to prove something to … well, really no one important. I succumbed to the self-imposed pressure due to the nature of my job and who I surround myself with—you have to be bigger, better, faster. And after battling a score of injuries over the last umpteenth years, I’m finally reaching a strong, confident stride that’s just barely scratching the surface of my real potential as I enter my late 20s.

While the decision to throw in the towel on something I committed to long ago was far from easy and emotionless, I run with a smile on my face and a huge weight removed from my shoulders.

2. I forfeited the Triple Crown.

Yes, after PRing at Carlsbad and suffering through the La Jolla Half Marathon just to check one more box toward the coveted San Diego Triple Crown medal, I forfeited the third race that completes the trifecta. (Note: This third race stands as my favorite half marathon, having completed it three years ago on a whim and totally flirting with my PR in a big way.)

Why? Because there’s something more important happening in my life; it just took a few days to really realize its importance over that race.

When I set my sights on a particular race with a specific goal (1:35), it’s hard to pull me out of that tunnel vision. But if running has taught me anything during the last few months, it’s that it will always be there. The race will always be there. The PR pursuit will never die, and my drive to knock a few more minutes off that 13.1-mile time certainly isn’t diminishing anytime soon. If someone shows me there’s a life worth exploring outside of my race schedule, I’m going to get on a plane, fly across the country, and meet his crazy family.

RELATED: Out There: Why Run?

3. I decided to run a marathon.

Let me start by calling out my colleagues Mario Fraioli and Brian Metzler and publicly thank them for the “friendly” encouragement they bestowed upon me following Meb Keflezighi’s tremendous win in Boston. I personally think it’s not a coincidence that Meb now writes a monthly column for Competitor magazine and has an office 20 steps away from me. I think the whole thing was an underground operation to get me to Beantown (haha)—and I totally took the bait.

But seriously, I’ve slowed the runs to get my competitive mind used to the idea of training longer and slower to build up mileage. It’s always a question mark—the dusty emotions that might arise during those grueling long runs, but the time has to come to dig them up and have them chase me—I hope they can keep up with the 3:30 BQ time I plan on running in 2015.

Some of my non-running friends were far from understanding how these seemingly simple decisions were able to rock my world in the last few months. I guess a runner is a rare breed of human; too often we let running be our own defining quality. I am a runner, true, but I’m also a writer, girlfriend, daughter, oldest sister, colitis patient, Charles Schulz fan girl, In-n-Out consumer and a total weirdo. And those are all just as awesome.

RELATED: Fraioli: Why I Run

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Morganne Hockett: Cross-Training Is Key http://running.competitor.com/2014/07/saucony-26-strong/morganne-hockett-cross-training-key_109147 http://running.competitor.com/2014/07/saucony-26-strong/morganne-hockett-cross-training-key_109147#comments Fri, 25 Jul 2014 16:18:28 +0000 Morganne Hockett http://running.competitor.com/?p=109147

Morganne Hockett does yoga once a week to keep her muscles relaxed and ready to run. Photo: Morganne Hockett

Morganne Hockett uses yoga and cycling to help her muscles recover and to build endurance for running.

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Morganne Hockett does yoga once a week to keep her muscles relaxed and ready to run. Photo: Morganne Hockett

One of the best ways to ensure your training is successful and your muscles do not tire out is through cross-training, which helps to strengthen muscles that provide support in running. There are many options that are great for runners: strength training with weights, stretching with yoga, toning with pilates or other forms of cardiovascular exercise to build endurance such as swimming, dance, step or cycling. Two of my personal favorite forms of cross-training are yoga and cycling.

Yoga is particularly great for stretching your muscles. Running often leads to tight hamstrings, quadriceps and hip flexors. Yoga stretches these muscles to keep them relaxed, as well as help prevent injury. I also enjoy this practice for working on breathing and posture. Vinyasa yoga is a specific type of yoga that connects each movement with breath. Finding the perfect rhythm of breathing during running and improving posture drastically help to prevent cramping. The great thing with yoga is that if attending a class or doing an entire video is difficult with your schedule, there are plenty of yoga stretches that you can do throughout the day or after a run to still reap the benefits.

Cycling is a great cross-training activity to improve endurance and speed. I also enjoy this form of exercise because it is low-impact, which is great to mix up from the high-impact of running. Focusing on approximately 100 rpm will help your foot turnover to increase speed. By increasing resistance, you also build the muscles around the knee to build strength and help prevent injury. This does not require a spin class either, just hop on a stationary bike and put in 15-20 minutes!

Recently I have also been incorporating weights into my workouts. During training, I like to stick to lighter weights with more repetition since building muscle isn’t the focus. Rather, building strength and support is my focus. On the days where I strength train, I typically spend about 30 minutes with just a pair of dumbbells. I also really enjoy bodyweight workouts. These are great, inexpensive options that also can fit into your busy schedule!

In order to fit in cross-training, I like to stick to a three-day running training program. This allows flexibility with my schedule to listen to my body and its needs. Currently my schedule includes a variation of cross-training on three days during the week.

My Typical Week

Monday: Weights
Tuesday: Run, usually speed work
Wednesday: Rest
Thursday: Run, usually a tempo run
Friday: Yoga
Saturday: Long run
Sunday: Spin

I use yoga as an active rest day and always take at least one complete rest day. It’s important to embrace running and cross-training, but also allow your body to rest. Rest is certainly part of the program, too!

For more on the Saucony 26 Strong program, which pairs up 13 coaches with 13 marathon rookies, visit 26Strong.com.

The post Morganne Hockett: Cross-Training Is Key appeared first on Competitor.com.

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Hit The Dirt: Why And How To Run Off-Road http://running.competitor.com/2014/07/training/hit-the-dirt-why-and-how-to-run-off-road_31737 http://running.competitor.com/2014/07/training/hit-the-dirt-why-and-how-to-run-off-road_31737#comments Fri, 25 Jul 2014 14:00:55 +0000 Matt Fitzgerald http://running.competitor.com/?p=31737

It is important to keep your eyes focused roughly six strides ahead, especially on a technical trail, as this will enable you to choose the smoothest and safest way forward. Photo: Kurt Hoy/Competitor

Learn how to make a trail running a part of your training routine.

The post Hit The Dirt: Why And How To Run Off-Road appeared first on Competitor.com.

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It is important to keep your eyes focused roughly six strides ahead, especially on a technical trail, as this will enable you to choose the smoothest and safest way forward. Photo: Kurt Hoy/Competitor

Learn how to make a trail running a part of your training routine.

Many, if not most, elite runners who race on the roads do much of their training on trails. Nike coach Alberto Salazar’s runners, including Galen Rupp and Dathan Ritzenhein, run on the extensive network of trails in and around Portland, Ore. Two-time marathon world record holder Khalid Khannouchi trains in the woods of Queen’s famous Forest Park. The large contingent of Kenyan runners who make their American training base west of Philadelphia trains exclusively off-road there.

Why do elite runners avoid pavement like the plague? Because it’s hard, of course—materially hard and hard on the body. Professional road racers must routinely log more than 100 miles per week to compete against others who are doing the same. That’s a lot of pounding on the old legs. By covering as many of those miles as possible on slightly softer surfaces such as dirt, wood chips and grass, these runners are able to absorb that pounding with a little less wear and tear on the muscles, bones and joints.

Another advantage of running off-road that is less appreciated is that it forces the runner to vary his stride more. Trail running tends to be hillier, to require more directional changes and lateral movement, and to demand more variation in stride length and foot action to avoid obstacles and maintain traction. Some experts in running biomechanics believe that such variations accelerate the process by which the stride becomes more efficient as the brain learns novel ways to engage the muscles.

You can benefit from training off-road as much as the professionals do. Here are some tips for making a smooth transition to the trails.

RELATED: The Everyman: Running On Cobbles

Know Where You’re Going

While it can be fun to blindly explore new running trails, it’s not always wise. If you don’t take some time to research a new trail before you run it for the first time, you might find out the hard way that it is much more challenging than expected, or mazelike and conducive to losing your way, or frequented by snakes or other beasts you don’t like. Your best bet is to do your first run on a new trail with a buddy who is familiar with it.

Choose Your Line

When running on the roads you seldom have to pay much attention where you’re going. For the most part you travel straight forward and you don’t have to worry about your footing or obstacles in your path. But trail running is different. Especially on highly technical trails, it is important to keep your eyes focused roughly six strides ahead, as this will enable you to choose the smoothest and safest way forward.

Wear The Right Shoes

Trail running shoes have become a major subcategory of performance footwear for runners, but the truth is that trail-specific shoes are not necessary for the type of trail running that most runners do. On groomed fire roads and other fairly smooth trails, your regular running shoes will do just fine.

If you do any amount of running on more challenging trails, however, a trail running shoe may be necessary. Trail running shoes have features such as more durable outsoles, aggressive traction and waterproofing that make them better suited to more extreme circumstances.

RELATED: 2014 Trail Running Shoe Buyer’s Guide

Work On Your Proprioception

Acute injuries such as twisted ankles and knees are uncommon in road running, but somewhat more common in trail running. To minimize your risk of suffering such injuries, work on your proprioception (balance and body awareness) at home every other day or so. You can do this by balancing on both feet on a balance board for 4 x 30 seconds or by balancing on one foot on a BOSU ball for 2 x 30 seconds on each foot.

The post Hit The Dirt: Why And How To Run Off-Road appeared first on Competitor.com.

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