Runners! 5 Tips to Act Like an Athlete

Yes, you read that correctly. You, reading this now, are an athlete. An athlete is defined as a person who is trained or skilled in exercises, sports, or games requiring physical strength, agility, or stamina. So by definition, you are an athlete. That also means that you should start acting like one as well.

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What Does This Mean?

You have finally recognized your status as an athlete, but what does that mean? It means that you are dedicated to your sport and furthering your education on the topic. You are seeking to improve yourself in some way as well as to keep up a status that you have achieved. Even if it is your first day of running, you have achieved the status of runner and must work to maintain and improve that.

So How Does One Act Like an Athlete?

One of my qualms about runners is that they do not treat themselves like athletes and often neglect logic when it comes to the sport. For example, someone who is into lifting weights knows and realizes that you cannot lift the same way, every day, and expect results. However, runners practice a form of this by running the same pace, on the same route, in the same way, every day. They also neglect things like trigger point therapy, functional footwear, rest days, and recovery. They don’t see the whole picture and assume that running is not like other sports. Running is seen as an anomaly with its own set of rules that defy all logic. It is almost comical to watch.

5 Tips to Act Like an Athlete

1. Be a Student of the Sport

6648625-student-running-on-a-running-trackWork to learn as much as you can about your sport and what can make you better. The technology and information changes daily. Stay on top of it and find out what works best for you. Also develop your ability to separate what is marketing and what is true science when it comes to products. 

2. Look at the Body Holistically

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Running injuries typically aren’t a result of what ends up hurting. Often, the injury is the pain that is felt because of an inefficiency or weakness up or down the kinematic chain. Also take into account your nutrition, sleep, and other external factors that will affect your running.

3. Allow the Body to Recover

Give yourself the gold standard in recovery. Massage! Unfortunately most of us can’t afford a personal masseuse, but you can do self massage via Trigger Point Therapy. There is nothing better to keep you loose, limber, and ready to go for that next workout. Also make sure you have rest days worked into your training plan, your body needs these to build muscle.

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4. Maximize the Body’s Abilities

The body is complex and every part of the body plays a role in your running. Work to maximize these abilities such as range of motion, strength, length, energy delivery systems, and more. All of them combine to make for a better running experience. Athletes in other sports do a variety of drills to maximize their potential. You should do the same.

5. Start With a Strong Base

We all know that your first training run should not be a 22 miler. You need to build a strong base and build up to higher mileage and stresses. Similar to weightlifting, you have to start small, to get big.

Start Today

You may not have always seen yourself as an athlete, but start today. Start with the simple tasks of eating right, listening to your body, and massage before and after runs. You’ll be amazed at the quality of your workouts when you treat yourself like an athlete. I know some of these tips may not seem like rocket science, but it’s amazing how many runners don’t follow simple logic like these tips.

Always in Stride,

Jack

What Do Your Actions Say About You?

Everyday is a Vote

Every second of the day, you have the opportunity to vote. You get to vote for what you want your life to be, how you want to spend your time, and who you are with. Think about it. When you get home at the end of a long work day, you have a plethora of choices before you. All of them say something about what really matters to you and how much willpower you have.

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Simple Patterns or Goal Chasing, You Choose

Let’s look at the choice to watch reality TV. By making that choice, you are saying to yourself that reality TV is more important than any of your goals. More important than working on a six-pack, a Boston Qualifier, writing a book, catching up with an old friend, working towards financial independence, or being adventurous. Yes, it may seem dramatic, but how you choose to spend your time will determine your future. You can’t write a book by watching reality TV all night, every night. It requires you to sit down, write, and hammer out that book.

Remaining Conscious

This isn’t to say that every time you watch reality TV you’re an awful person and that you don’t care about any of your goals. It’s more to call attention to the importance of each decision and how it determines the trajectory of your life. We all could be more conscious during the day, thinking of how our decisions are shaping our lives.

It is difficult to be conscious of our decisions, but there are ways to hack our programming. Most humans have a tendency to fall into repeated patterns of action that are simple such as: watching TV, playing on a cellphone, or browsing the web. These activities are mindless and familiar.

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Hack Your Mind

To hack these patterns, write down what you want to accomplish each day in a notebook and keep to it. Plan out your day the night before, detailing what you want to do, hour by hour and stick to it. Writing something down is a promise to yourself, always keep those.

So what are your actions saying about you and your goals? Are you taking steps each day to achieve your goals or are you just fooling yourself and repeating patterns? Check out this YouTube video for some great motivation on the topic:)

[youtube=”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jfLamzgWPf4″]

Quote – “Success is doing what you want to do, when you want, where you want, with whom you want, as much as you want.” – Tony Robbins

Always in Stride,

Jack

The Sexy Athlete: Sochi Olympics Observations

For the past few days I have enjoyed watching the Sochi Winter Olympics. Watching these athletes perform miraculous feats of strength, elegance, and acrobatics that I could only imagine is awe-inspiring. However, there is something else I have begun to take notice of outside of the athletics. The attractiveness. Nearly every girl flashed up on the screen is extremely attractive to me. There have been a few exceptions, but even those athletes we’re attractive to others, I’m sure. So this inspires my imagination to wonder why this is the case. Here are some theories for you:

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Could easily be an ad for any major clothing manufacturer.

1. Attractive Media Sells Better

Media outlets will always provide select shots and scenes for a variety of reasons. A shot can be cut because it is uninteresting, bad footage, wrong angle, or because it just won’t boost the numbers as well. There are many tricks used to entice you into watching TV and to keep watching it. I know for myself, if while flipping through channels, I see a sexy athlete in a bikini that I’m most likely going to stop and look at it. Male ape behavior at it’s finest. Theory one is that the attractive people are put on TV because it will lead to better ratings and more viewers, hence, more ad dollars. (Yes, I realize Duck Dynasty destroys this theory, but that works for other reasons).

Ekaterina Galkina, Russian Curler

Ekaterina Galkina, Russian Curler

2. When You Become Successful You Become Attractive

Success is extremely attractive on many levels. Heck, look at the sugar daddies who are far past their prime with Perfect 10 models. Monetary success is very attractive to many. So to can be athletic success. I’m attracted to people who are at the pinnacle of their sport. It fascinates me and I love that we chase similar pursuits day in and day out. I see myself in these people and in some ways would like to be them in my way. I like a girl who can handle herself, push herself to her limits, and has passion. All of this is found in the sexy athletes at the Olympics.

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3. Attractive People Get More Opportunities

Several studies are available on the topic of whether or not attractive people get more opportunities. David Hammersch has a book titled: Beauty Pays: Why Attractive People Are More Successful. The research suggests that attractive people get hired sooner, promoted quicker, sell more, and a bank loan more easily. It’s hard to deny some of the ways in which attractive people can sometimes get more opportunities. However, at the end of the day we are responsible for creating our own luck.

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4. In Subjective Judging, Attraction May Play a Role

The Winter Olympics features more subjective sports as compared to the Summer Olympics. This means that human judgement and opinion play a major role in who gets to go and who doesn’t. This begs the questions, if you have two athletes who have the same runs down the mountain in every way and you’re more attracted to one compared to the other, which one would you pick for the Olympics? I know we’d all like to say we’d be as honest and fair as possible, but that more than likely isn’t the case.

Team Russia Women

Team Russia Women

5. They Are Just That Damn Good

I think that no matter what, this definitely plays some type of role. These athletes are immensely talented and work tirelessly for years upon years to get to the upper level of the sport. This should not be overlooked.
s_s01_67578719Share your thoughts and enjoy the sexy athletes of Sochi:)

Always in Stride,

Jack

What the Body Craves

The human body is remarkably adaptable and proved over millions of years how it can evolve. Evolution is occurring on a daily basis, though not as drastic as going from ape to human. I still remember when I first started running competitively in 7th grade. I couldn’t stand it. I ran because it was a social activity and because I had been cut from the baseball team that year. I longed for runs that were out of the coach’s eye so my friends and I could goof off. Running was not a top priority to say the least.

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However, over the years an evolution took place. Running became a passion and a necessity. Little by little the addiction grew until running became one of the most important things in my life. I am now at the point where I crave running. I have tuned my body with nutrition and training to be ready to go at a moment’s notice. In return, it expects to be tested on a daily basis.

I feel it in the core of my being if I don’t get a workout in during the day. My body longs to be in motion, doing what it is made to do and what I have tuned it to do (check out the YouTube video for a great commercial talking about this). This is rooted in evolution, given that if you didn’t move during the day to get your food, you most likely died. Even on days when I don’t feel my best, I still desire to be in motion.
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Today, I wasn’t feeling so great after a long weekend of partaking in some delicious adult beverages with a best friend from high school. The day was winding down and I still had yet to get in a workout. I attempted to take a nap but my body wasn’t having it. Even in a less than ideal state, my body craved an intense workout. I summoned some motivation and laced up my shoes. That 8 mile run was one of my best in recent weeks followed by a killer 15 minutes of abs. My body ate it up and loved it. I was left feeling far better than if I had stayed in for a nap and resorting to laziness.

What have you taught your body to crave?

Always in Stride,

Jack

6 Ways to Fight the Dangers of Sitting

At this point in time, we all know that sitting is not the best thing for us. It burns very few calories, leads to tight muscles (especially ones recruited for running), and often compromises our posture. However, the health detriments go far beyond that. Washington Post recently had a great infographic talking about all the ways that sitting negatively affects our bodies. Take a good look at it and think about how it relates to your running.

Cutting down on the amount of time you’re planted on your kiester is a great thing. At the end of the article, we have provided 6 ways for you to combat some of the negative effects of sitting. 

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Ways to Combat the Effects of Sitting

1. Sit on a Balance Ball

Sitting on a balance ball will help you to engage your core muscles and back as you find your balance while sitting. When simply sitting, these muscles are not as engaged and can lead to slumping in your seat.

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2. Use a Standing Desk

What better way to combat sitting than by simply not sitting? Try out a stand up desk and switch up your office life. It takes some getting used to, but really helps you to engage more muscles. I’m going to be picking up this one from Amazon!
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3. Yoga!

Tight hips, mushy abs, and limp glutes, yikes! What better way to work on all of this than Yoga. Try it at home or head to a local studio.

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4. Trigger Point Therapy

This is one of my favorite running tools, period. I’ll be dedicating a whole post to this soon! Deep trigger point massage can really help to loosen up your muscles and get you primed for your run!

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5. Use a BackJoy in Your Seats

BackJoy is a company that has developed a seat cushion that puts your pelvis in the proper postural alignment when seated. I have one on my car and it makes longs drives much better.

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6. Nature! 

Just stand up and go enjoy nature! Get moving around and out from behind the screen of your television or computer. It’s a big, beautiful world out there, go enjoy it!Bachalpseeflowers

How do you combat the effects of sitting? Leave a comment!

Always in Stride,

Jack

Top 10 Running Books & Novels for Inspiration

After 14 years of running, you could say I’m a bit of a running junkie. To add to it, I’m also a big motivation junkie if you couldn’t tell by the name of this website. I don’t care if it’s cheesy, I’m a bit of a cheese ball myself. In my spare time, I enjoy reading books on running that inspire me and motivate me. This list is my top 10 favorite motivational books. Feel free to comment with your own personal favorites as this is obviously not an exhaustive list.

1. Once a Runner – John L. Parker

There is no book out there that spoke to me the way that Once a Runner by John L. Parker did. The book is phenomenal. It is a fiction piece that focuses on the protagonist, Quenton Cassidy and his struggles with training, school, girls, and life. I first read this book in college and felt as if the story was about me (as I’m sure most guys my age did). Quenton puts himself through the “Trial of Miles, Miles of Trials” via grueling 400m repeats and a host of other tortuous workouts. Following Quenton is inspiring and exhilarating. Once a Runner will always have a special place in my heart as my favorite running novel.

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2. To Be A Runner – Martin Dugard

To Be A Runner is a very close second to Once A Runner. Martin Dugard’s book is a personal account of his relationship with running over the years. Dugard is very honest about his experience and delves into personal details that every runner can relate to. He highlights the high highs and the low lows. He lets you know that it is okay to have those off days, but gives you the motivation to get back out there. When reading To Be A Runner, I could hardly set it down it was so good. I highly recommend that you pick it up.

To Be A Runner

3. PRE America’s Greatest Running Legend – Tom Jordan

No running book list would be complete without a book that looks at the beautiful life of Steve Prefontaine. As the title says it, “America’s greatest running legend” taken too early from us, before his full potential could be realized. Cross country and track runners grow up on the lore of Prefontaine and strive to emulate that powerful passion and drive. Even many years after his death, Pre continues to inspire us to see our sport as an art form.

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4. Run or Die – Kilian Jornet

In the steroid-era of sports, so many heroes have come and gone. They reach the pinnacle of the sport, only for us to find out it was a farce and that we have been duped. At this point, I only have one athlete I look up to: Kilian Jornet. In my opinion he is the most pure, amazing athlete that has walked the earth. Period. I love his spirit, enthusiasm, and passion. He simply loves trail running, mountaineering, exploring, and living life to the fullest. He has inspired me to embark on many of my own journeys because of what he has accomplished. Run or Die is a phenomenal read, especially the Skyrunner’s Motto which now hangs in my apartment. Pick this book up ASAP.

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5. Running with the Buffaloes – Chris Lear

Ever hear of Kara Goucher? Well, she has a ridiculously fast husband by the name of Adam Goucher who ran for the University of Colorado at Boulder not too long ago. Running with the Buffaloes is the story of his team’s championship season and the trials they endured to emerge as champions. If you have ever run on a cross-country team before, this book is a must. The bond developed between teammates is hard to explain, but Lear does a pretty good job at capturing that magical season for the Buffaloes. Read Running with the Buffaloes before your XC season and you’ll be rearing and ready to go.

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6. Bowerman and the Men of Oregon – Kenny Moore

You can’t have a list with Pre in it and leave out legendary coach Bill Bowerman. Bowerman is arguably the greatest running coach of all time. He was a student of the sport, pioneer, and one hell of a manly man. Moore’s Bowerman and the Men of Oregon gives insight into Bowerman’s childhood and what molded him. He was a modern-day pioneer and just might be “the most interesting man in the world”. This book was gripping each and every page and I loved it. A fantastic account on the life of Bill Bowerman.

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7. Running & Being – George Sheehan

When I first picked up Running & Being in college, I will have to admit that I wasn’t a fan. To be honest, it was a little too “hippy-trippy” for my 20-year-old brain and I wasn’t quite ready to process the wisdom that Sheehan can give. Five years later, I absolutely loved Sheehan’s masterpiece of Running & Being. Sheehan is an amazing running philosopher and eloquently expresses the true meaning of running in ways many of us are incapable of. I now gift this book to friends and family, it is that good of a read.

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8. Why We Run – Bernd Heinrich

I did not discover Bernd until a Salomon Running YouTube video called “Why We Run“. Salomon Running and their videos have changed my life in so many ways and this video was no different. It led me to Heinrich’s book of Why We Run which is the perfect blend of running stories, evolutionary biology, science, and passion. With all those things combined it is pretty easy to strike a chord with me. He’s a brilliant man with a huge heart, definitely give Why We Run a read.

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9. What I Talk About When I Talk About Running – Haruki Murakami

This book takes the cake for the worst titled book on the list, but don’t let that fool you! Murakami’s What I Talk About When I Talk About Running is a great read, dipping into the psychology of runners and what makes us tick. He chronicles the highs and lows of his own running, my favorite part being the chapters about his ultra marathon where he found strength he did not know he had. I love books like this because I can relate to them so well and it just makes me happy to read them.

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10. Going Long – David Willey

Going Long is a running novel put out by Runner’s World that is a collection of running stories that all of us can relate to. These stories will move you and motivate you and some will even bring you near to tears. Running is such an emotional activity and this book does a good job at providing a variety of running stories to tug at our heart strings.

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Remember, this is not meant to be an exhaustive, end-all list of running books. Please share your favorites so I have more reading material!

Always in Stride,

Jack

8 Big Life Goals for the Next 5 Years

Well it’s about that time again for me to lay out some big life goals for myself over the next 5 years. Last time I did this, I was able to stick to it and achieve exactly what I was hoping to. However, I do not believe it is within the nature of man to remain stagnant and satisfied, that is reserved for death. My mind has been racing a lot as of late and it’s time to identify and call out a new direction.

1. Financially Sound and Out of Debt

At this point in time I have $32000 worth of debt left from college (easy ladies, don’t all jump at once). This debt is a pain in the ass to be completely honest. It comes with an interest rate that is larceny and contributes to my conspiracy of how our whole generation was fucked over, but that’s for another day. I want nothing more financially than to be out from under the thumb of this and back to zero. I’d like to not send Ed Financial Services $250 a month, $150 of which goes to a ludicrous interest rate. I’d like the financial freedom to invest, grow, and make purchases. I want financial freedom not only from student loans but also from working as well. I want to make enough on my own to cover my costs of life and to “work” on the side for “fun”. I’m far more productive that way.

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2. Own a Home in California

If you do the math of goal 1 and goal 2, it adds up to quite a lot. There is not place in the world that I have felt more at home in than California. I love the views, the beauty, the people, the cities, the climate, the diversity, the attitudes, and pretty much everything about it. California is my muse and I would always like to have a bungalow here to come home to for at least some duration during the year. I fought so hard to get out here and stay here, I want to make sure I can always come back here.

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3. Remain Unmarried

I am sure that this will be the goal that has the most people up in arms and will create a nice little Facebook comment firestorm. Ever since some rather interesting relationships in college, I have realized that I absolutely love being single and what it allows me to do. I don’t answer to anyone, about anything, at any time. At the drop of a hat I can do whatever I like with whoever I like. I love meeting a wide variety of people without having someone looking over my shoulder. I like getting to know who is compatible with me. I also like having plenty of me-time considering 65 years of being with the same person is a long time, it can wait a while longer. Of all the couples I know in-between the ages of 20-30 who are married, I think maybe 2% of them have a marriage that is even close to resembling something that I would want. Honestly (and don’t ask if you are that couple). Most of the time what I hear from married persons is complaints about lost dreams, petty fights, and god knows what else (I zone out sometimes). It’s just not for me at this point in time. I’m an independent asshole who likes doing what he likes doing. I’m not in a mindset that works for a marriage and I know it. I think it’s smart and responsible to not enter into a legally binding contract when I am not ready. Especially when there is a 50% chance of success. Hell, I think every marriage ceremony should have a ceremonial coin flip: heads means you get married, tails means it’s off. Yes, I’m a cynic but I also know what makes me happy. It’s not to say I’ll never be married or never consider it, but I know what works for me right now. I won’t marry unless I find someone with whom my goals, passions, and desires align with almost perfectly. I do agree there has to be some sacrifice for small things, but no way am I sacrificing my dreams and what makes me happy. If I get married, the girl will probably be similar to the one in this CitiCards commercial. Besides, I couldn’t even afford marriage at this point:)

[youtube=”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CIjGaDUp6FY”]

4. Live Abroad

I have gotten really good at following my gut since college. I get an idea in my head and I stay true to it no matter what. California was that way, quitting Accenture was that way, and most of my dreams and passions are that way. For the past few years I have had a desire to live in Australia, Spain, South Africa, and Vancouver. I’ve never been to any of these places and I can’t quite explain why, but my gut is telling me it’s right and the path I need to be on.

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5. Published

I have been working on a few different books over the past few years with varying degrees of success. Resistance gets in the way and I worry of what the critics will think, which is silly. In the next 5 years I want to have at least 1 book published, regardless of how bad it is. I need to get the monkey off my back and let the muse take over from there.

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6. Western States 100

The Western States 100 is one of the most prestigious endurance events in the world. It started off as a horse race and evolved into a foot race when a horse pulled up lame one year and the owner completed the course the following year on foot in just under 24 hours. The course travels from Squaw Valley, CA to Auburn, CA and features around 19,000 feet of elevation gain and 21,000 feet of elevation loss. It is another one of those things calling me.

wser.org

wser.org

7. Blog Success and Payment of Rent/Mortgage

This blog started out as a passion project to express myself and get out frustrations while working at a job I really didn’t belong at. It has evolved into my voice and a way for me to establish myself in the industry I love. It was recently monetized and is becoming profitable. However, I have bigger goals for it to reach a wider audience. I want to connect people to each other and to ideas that advance the running community. I also would like the blog to cover my rent and or mortgage on a monthly basis:)

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8. Get in Better Shape Every Year

Since 18, each year I have been in the best shape of my life. I want this to continue and at the very least be in the Touch of Gray commercials at age 55. I see no reason to get out of shape and to let eating habits slide. I’m going to keep running and working out each and every day, staying fit and able for whatever comes my way.

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Feel free to argue or criticize. It’s fun that way:)

Always in Stride,

Jack

Every Runner, A Motivation Source

The Nature of Motivation

Motivation has the tendency to come in unique forms and vehicles. We are never quite sure when it will show up and why we find it motivating. The important part is that it does motivate us and push us to become a better version of ourselves. Every day when I wake up, I start with a motivational YouTube video to get me inspired to take on the day.

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The Journey of the Everyday Man

One thing I find disheartening about motivation though, is how many people do not see themselves as motivating. They assume that to be motivating, you have to be an athlete, a strong leader, or someone “important”. This is not the case. I am in love and obsessed with the Ironman recap videos that NBC Sports puts out every year. They put on an hour to hour and a half recap of the Ironman World Championship documenting the journey of the pros as well as the average person. I watch the video, not to see how the pros did, but to hear the stories of the every day man such as Brain Boyle (below).

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Being Relatable is Motivational

Hearing the struggles that the common man endures is relatable. We can see ourselves in that struggle far better than we can see it in the elite athletes of the world. They know our pain, struggle, and despair. They are training day in and day out with kids, spouses, mortgages, day jobs, and diseases. They are paying their own way to the race and doing it for their own self-satisfaction. They may think that no one is watching them, but they are wrong.

Passion is Fuel for Others

I love being in the cheering section in the final miles of a race. There is so much drama and human emotion during the tail end of the race. I vividly remember athletes slowing to a walk as the weight of the distance comes down upon them. What I find most motivating is watching them feed off the energy of the crowd and finding a way to turn their walk, back into a run. You can see the determination in their face and eyes. Their passion burns brightly and the surrounding people feed off that energy. The crowd surges with the quickening pace of the runner and all inhibition of human emotion is lost. It is pure and it is real. These are the moments I remember most.

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You Motivate Someone Every Day You Run

Keep this in mind, every day you go for a run. Often people are too shy to dole out compliments, but I can guarantee you someone you don’t know is inspired by your run. You are a motivator, a hero, and a leader just because you get out there each day and go for a run. Never underestimate yourself and always push on. You are a motivation source to many. (This means you too Mom:)

Always in Stride,

Jack

Superbowl Runday!

That special time of year has come around once again, the time of year when most Americans embark on a day’s journey of countless chicken wings, more beers than they can count, and sitting on the couch. Superbowl Sunday. I enjoy Superbowl Sunday myself and will be cheering for the high flyin’ Seahawks today. However, just because it is a day of sloth for most, does not mean that you get to skimp on your run! Turn Superbowl Sunday into Superbowl Runday!

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Running on days when others are likely to take a pass feels just that much better. It’s nice to have the trails to yourself for a while knowing that you’re earning your beer, chips, and dip. If your team is in the Superbowl, run in your team’s gear and show it off. When you’re sitting down, watching the big game and seeing ridiculous commercial after ridiculous commercial, you will be satisfied knowing that you got that run in. Comment with who you are cheering for!

Always in Stride,

Jack

A Weekend with Jay Dicharry, Mark Cucuzzella, and Ian Adamson

This past weekend, I had the opportunity to spend time with Jay Dicharry, Mark Cucuzzella, and Ian Adamson for their Healthy Running, Continuing Medical Education (CME) course. The course was held in lovely Laguna Niguel, California at Rausch Physical Therapy.

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Healthy Running Clinic at Rausch PT

The weekend started with an 8 mile run through the Laguna Coast Wilderness Park, which featured sweeping ocean and mountain views. After the run came dinner in Laguna Beach and very inspired conversations. The amount of running knowledge and passion in the room was even more amazing than the food. It was great to hear a variety of opinions on various topics and to get each other to challenge the status quo in running, endurance sports, and life.

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Laguna Coast Wilderness Park

Saturday and Sunday were class days focusing on: Anthropologic Basis of Running Training Principles, Footwear, Efficient Running Workshop, Assessing the Injured Runner, Medical Issues in Endurance Sports, and Assessing the Injured Runner Workshop. I won’t go too deep into the material in this post as I’ll be dedicating posts to the material. Instead, I’ll simply talk about the best, high-level takeaways I got from each speaker.

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Jay Dicharry, MPT, SCS

Jay Dicharry comes with a Master’s in Physical Therapy and is also a Sports Certified Specialist. He runs the REP Biomechanics Lab and works at Rebound Physical Therapy in Bend, Oregon. Before the event, I had read Jay’s book Anatomy for Runners and was a big fan of it. Jay has a way of crafting his ideas and arguments in forms that are easy to understand and undogmatic. My favorite takeaway from Jay was the phrase: “Not bad, just different”. What was meant by this phrase is that every aspect of running cannot be categorized into neat, tiny, little boxes with rules that apply for every person, every time. There is a range of strides, musculature, and body types. It’s not bad, it’s just different. For a while, I thought there was one ideal way to run and everyone should subscribe to that. However, I now look at it more as a spectrum of better ways to run that are healthier and more efficient. I also learned that when working with a runner it should be very holistic in nature. It’s important to get as many pieces of the puzzle as you can.

dr. Mark

Dr. Mark Cucuzzella

Dr. Mark Cucuzzella is a professor of family medicine at WVU, Lt Col in the US Air Force Reserves, owner of Two Rivers Tread in Shepherdstown, WV, and an elite master’s runner. Dr. Mark has proven himself to be one of the leader’s in the Natural Running movement as well as running science in general. He comes with a very rational, logical approach and he makes sure to enlist all resources available to him. One thing I noticed he has used a lot is studies from the past 100 years such as this one from Phil Hoffman, M.D.. The study makes a lot of great points, even 100 years ago. Many of these points we have gone against with common footwear for the sake of aesthetics. It is almost amusing to see how many times these researchers were correct and how it was skewed or ignored over the past 30 years. Dr. Mark is also a big fan of Steve Jobs’ quote “You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards”. This for sure rings true for runners and injuries and we should work to use all resources available to us to connect the dots.

Ian adamson

Ian Adamson

Ian Adamson is a M.S. in Sports Medicine, Director of Research & Education at Newton Running Company, 7x World Champion, 3x World Record Holder, and X-Games Gold Medalist. In short, he’s an athletic badass. Ian also has a great way of presenting that really pushes the envelope of learning. He prefaces his teaching by saying “challenge everything I have to say and find out for yourself”. He doesn’t want you to take everything he, Jay, or Dr. Mark say as truth. He wants you to take the information, do your own tests, and confirm it as truth in your own mind. It is thinking like this that helps all of humanity to learn more and evolve. We are constantly proving ourselves wrong every day and will continue to do so moving forward.

Kevin Rausch, Jay Dicharry, Jack McPheron, Dr. Mark Cucuzzella, Ian Adamson

Kevin Rausch, Jay Dicharry, Jack McPheron, Dr. Mark Cucuzzella, Ian Adamson

All in all, it was most likely the best weekend of my career thus far. I learned more than I could have imagined and was given a great list of further reading to immerse myself in. I was very impressed with the course, especially how the presenters carried themselves and presented their information. I’m looking forward to sharing my thoughts on a lot of the topics with all of you in the coming weeks and months. If you have a chance to attend one of these courses, definitely do it! It is more than worth it and you get the opportunity to spend some quality time with the industry experts and all around great guys.

Healthy Running

Always in Stride,

Jack