2018 Fall Marathon Guide

2018 Fall Marathon Guide

Fall Marathon Training

photos courtesy of Chicago Marathon, Rock n’Roll Marathon, Marine Corps Marathon

Typically marathoners perform best when they run in cooler (40-55 degrees (F)) temps. For many runner’s their best chance to have a good time is with a Fall Marathon. Use this Fall Marathon Guide to select a race & follow the numerous links for valuable training information that can help you achieve your goals.

The only “pitfall” for training for a Fall marathons is that you need to putting in the biggest miles of your plan in the hot summer months. However, the good news is that this is a time when the days are long, and you don’t have worry about ice and snow. Also, there’s typically plenty of build-up races (1/2 marathons & 10ks) available during the Summer or early fall. You can integrate these races into your training schedule and use them as a way to to test your fitness.


Throughout this blog, I provide I number of detailed references which can be used to help you train for your race. I recently published a detailed marathon training follow along of my training for the 12 weeks leading up to Portland’s Foot Traffic Flat marathon. Posts include details of how to set race goals and training paces, nutrition, how to make adjustments to your training, strength training for marathon runners and much more.

Other very helpful posts to ensure your success include:


Here’s a list of some great Fall Marathons. As you can see, I provide some details of each race (like if it’s a flat course, good crowd support, etc). I also include feedback from previous participants so you can decide which marathon is best for you.

If you’re interested in participating in any of these races, please let me know if you would like some help setting your goals or setting up a customized training plan that will be specific to your athletic ability, goals and your busy schedule. I specialize in working with busy middle age athletes, so please contact me if you have questions.

St. George Marathon – great scenery, fast & well organized race, net downhill of nearly 2,600 ft
Location: St. George, UT
Date: Saturday, October 6, 2018
Website: St George Marathon

Bank of America Chicago Marathon – huge race (45k+), but very well run and tons of spectators throughout the fast & flat course. One of my best running experiences was at the 12 mile point in this race (downtown and packed with loud cheering spectators, truly amazing).
Location: Chicago, IL
Date: Sunday, October 7, 2018
Website: Chicago Marathon

Need Marathon Training Info
Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon – very well run & supported race on beautiful twin cities course. Tons of spectators. This race gets fabulous reviews, year after year. Typically perfect racing conditions.
Location: Minneapolis, MN
Date: Sunday, October 7, 2018
Website: Twin Cities Marathon

Steamtown Marathon – net elevation loss of almost 1,000 ft. Good course to BQ, but be careful with the 2 hills near the end. Gets very favorable reviews from past participants. If you live in the Northeast, this is an excellent alternative to the bigger Fall marathons.
Location: Scranton, PA
Date: Sunday, October 7, 2018
Website: Steamtown Marathon

Mohawk Hudson River Marathon – Easy hills up front when adrenaline is high and only a few shorter, steeper uphills around 12/13. About 1000 runners participate. The bike trails make for fast, easy running. Past participants love the nice spread of post race “goodies.”
Location: Schenectady, NY
Date: Sunday, October 7, 2018
Website – Mohawk Hudson River

Portlandathon Marathon – for 1 year, the owners of Portland Running Company and the company that manages many Portland area races, will operate a marathon in the City of Portland. The course will differ slightly from the Portland Marathon, but it’s still a USATF certified and BQ course.
Location: Portland, OR
Date: Sunday, October 7, 2018
Website: Portlandathon Marathon

Nebraska Marathon – starts/ends downtown with much of the course near the Missouri River and into Council Bluffs, IA. A fairly new race, but has excellent reviews from participants.
Location: Omaha, NE
Date: Sunday, October 14, 2018
Website – Nebraska Marathon

Baltimore Marathon – mixed reviews due to hills in the 2nd half and because ½ marathoners converge with marathoners in the 2nd half of the race. It’s a challenging course that may not be best for 1st timers or runners hoping for a BQ. Past participants generally rave about how well the race is organized and run (lots of aid stations). Crowd support is excellent.
Location: Baltimore, MD
Date: Saturday, October 20, 2018
Website: Baltimore Marathon

Nationwide Children’s Hospital Columbus Marathon – very positive reviews from past participants. Most had a great experience between expo, pre and post race activities. It’s well organized and there’s excellent crowd support. A few hills, but nothing that runners complained about. Bottomline, it’s highly recommended.
Location: Columbus, OH
Date: Sunday, October 21, 2018
Website: Columbus Marathon

Edward-Elmhurst Health Naperville Marathon – small race in suburb outside of Chicago. It’s not the fastest course (due to a few hills and lots of turns), but if you don’t want to run in Chicago with 40k+ other runners, this is a good alternative.
Location: Naperville, IL
Date: Sunday, October 21, 2018
Website: Naperville Marathon

Detroit Free Press/Chemical Bank Detroit International Marathon – Good organization, but not a lot of crowd support during the middle of the race. Relatively flat course, but there is a climb up the Ambassador Bridge which is a little steeper and longer than many would like. This race has been selling out because it’s very popular, so register before end of August to ensure you get in. There is an underwater mile between Miles 7 & 8.
Location: Detroit, MI
Date: Sunday, October 21, 2018
Website: Detroit Marathon

Ashworth Awards Baystate Marathon – billed as BQ marathon because of it’s mostly flat course. Right outside of Boston along the scenic Merrimack River. Gets a lot of positive feedback for being well organized.
Location: Lowell, MA
Date: Sunday, October 21, 2018
Website – Baystate Marathon

Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon – very well organized, plenty of water stations and exuberant spectators throughout the course. Relatively flat (just a few hills) course, so it sets up nicely as a Boston Qualifier.
Location: Toronto, ONT
Date: Sunday, October 21, 2018
Website: Toronto Marathon

If you’re interested in joining me, I can put together either a custom training plan or I can personally coach you. Either program will be specific to your goals and athletic abilities. Just click on the links for details.


Marine Corps Marathon – this was my first marathon 30+ years ago, when approx. 9,000 runners participated (really big for back then). It’s now a much bigger race with 30k+ participants. Because there’s no corrals at the beginning, it can get a little crowded. Past participants have commented about how the beginning of the race is tough when after mile 1 the course narrows significantly. Overall, mixed reviews, but many are positive. You get to run by a lot of monuments, so it’s a memorable experience.
Location: Washington, D.C.
Date: Sunday, October 28, 2018
Website – Marine Corps Marathon

Indianapolis Monumental Marathon – 10th most Boston Marathon Qualfiers among all North American marathons, with this flat, fast course. Lots of crowd support, bands, cheering sections. Very positive comments from participants.
Location: Indianapolis, IN
Date: Saturday, November 3, 2018
Website – Indianapolis Marathon

TCS New York City Marathon – The largest marathon in the U.S. Not much for me to say here as most runners are very familiar with this race. If it’s on your bucket list, definitely apply and train hard because it’s a tough course through Central Park and across the Verrazano Narrows Bridge at the beginning.
Location: New York, NY
Date: Sunday, November 4, 2018
Website – New York Marathon

Anthem Richmond Marathon – Really positive race reviews from past participants. Many rave about the course, organization and fan support. A lot of runners say they would run this race again because they had such an enjoyable experience.
Location: Richmond, VA
Date: Saturday, November 10, 2018
Website – Richmond Marathon

Rock ‘n’ Roll Las Vegas Marathon – mixed reviews, mostly bad, about the course. It’s fun to run through the Vegas lights in the evening, but most complaints centered around the course and challenges with the start (in 2017 additional security measures were taken due to the mass shooting in October). Lots of bands, entertainment and crowd support throughout the race. They offered a finisher jacket in 2017.
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Date: Sunday, November 11, 2018
Website: Las Vegas Marathon

Fort Worth Marathon – Fast and flat out and back course along the scenic Trinity River. Don’t expect big cheering crowds or perfectly executed signage at every mile. The course is out and back. Not many spectators line this course.
Location: Fort Worth, TX
Date: Sunday, November 11, 2018
Website – Fort Worth Marathon

Gore-Tex Philadelphia Marathon – mostly flat with a few slight inclines. Some recent negative comments about poor/confusing organization. Lots of friendly spectators
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Date: Sunday, November 18, 2018
Website – Philadelphia Marathon

Williams Route 66 Marathon – this is a challenging course with multiple hills. Overall reviews are favorable because the support is excellent, expo was fun and the course through the neighborhoods of Tulsa gets lots of local support.
Location: Tulsa, OK
Date: Sunday, November 18, 2018
Website – Route 66 Marathon

California Intl Marathon (CIM) – billed as fast course with net downhill. This course has wide streets so you don’t feel overly crowded, but with rolling hills for the first 20 miles, If you don’t train for hills, your quads may be “trashed.” Bottomline, you can BQ here, but you must train on hills prior to coming to this race.
Location: Sacramento, CA
Date: Sunday, December 2, 2018
Website: CIM

BMW Dallas Marathon – This is a highly regarded race. It’s 40+ years old and they have plenty of spectators on the course to keep you motivated.
Location: Dallas, TX
Date: Sunday, December 9, 2018
Website: Dallas Marathon

Foot Traffic Flat Marathon – Portland, OR [Follow-Along]

Foot Traffic Flat Marathon – Portland, OR [Follow-Along]

Foot Traffic Flat Marathon

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Race & Recovery

In this post, my results are below. I finished the race well above my target time of 3:00. My time was 3:17:22. I discuss my take away’s & race specifics below. The main purpose of this post is to share my best strategies for recovery after a long race.

Proven Post Marathon Recovery Strategy

In my week 11 post, I discussed how to recover from a long run. The purpose of this recovery strategy was to optimize your training so you get the most out of your hard days (which are typically spaced 2-3 days apart).

The following post marathon recovery strategy is similar in some respects, but keep in mind that we’ve just completed a 26 mile race & the 3-4 months of training. The race alone is an extreme test of endurance that takes much more out of our bodies than a typical workout. As a result, we need a comprehensive 3 week recovery program.

Barring any injuries, the best strategy for full recovery starts in the first 30 minutes after the race and should last for the next 3 weeks, before you start training for your next event. There’s little to gain by rushing back into training within days of a marathon. Your risk of injury is high due the reduced resiliency of your muscles after running 26 miles.

Day of Race Recovery

Within 30 minutes of finishing the race, you need to consume some calories right away. Typically there’s plenty of food available after the finish line. However, at smaller races, like the one I completed this week, there was very little food, so I brought my own. You can check beforehand with the race to understand what will have available.

Need Marathon Training Info

I prefer to eat easily digested high-carbohydrate foods such as bananas, bagels or even protein bars. Others like to drink their calories. Whatever you crave, go ahead and have it because the important thing is to get some calories into your body. You’re also dehydrated and your blood glucose is low, so you need to replace electrolytes.

In addition to solid food consumption, I recommend water and sports drinks.

After you leave the post-race celebration area, head home or to the hotel and get off your feet and then get cleaned up, stretch and get in some comfortable clothes and shoes. Consider wearing compression socks or tights.

I really like my compression socks from Bauerfiend. I’ll wear them for at least 3 hours.

I saw it on Bauerfeind USA Inc

Sports Compression Socks Ball & Racket | Compression | Medical aids | Bauerfeind B2C US

You should consume a meal that consists of carbohydrates (fruits & vegetables), proteins and healthy fats. Choose nutritious foods like fruits, whole grains, vegetables and your favorite protein source like red meat, chicken or fish. Continue to hydrate and replace calories the rest of the day. In fact, drinking plenty of water throughout the week after your race is one of the best things you can do to ensure proper recovery. I strongly recommend consuming food that helps to reduce inflammation. There’s a list below.

Week 1 Recovery

The morning after your race, you may have difficulty walking down stairs. This is common. Your quads may be stiff for 3-4 days after the race. Taking a break from running is actually helpful to your recovery. However, if you have access to a flat 2-3 mile route, try to walk or really easy jog (walking is preferred) for 20 – 30 minutes on the day after the marathon. The goal is to boost circulation and gently get the blood flow to your legs. This helps bring healing nutrients into your muscles and will also help to remove waste products and damaged tissue. Walking, light running and gentle massage can help.

Important – If you have an injury or are experiencing any kind of pain (not general soreness) that prevents you from any prolonged walking/running, don’t walk or run. Completing this easy workout on day 1 is something that I have done the day after all of my marathons, because I believe it shortens my overall recovery time.

I recommend taking the rest of the week off from running, with only some short (20-25 minutes) non-impact exercises on an elliptical or stationary bike. The other critical element of week 1 recovery is to drink a lot of water & continue with foods that reduce inflammation. Post marathon soreness typically disappears by the end of the week. However, damage within the muscle cells remain, so it’s important to continue with a full recovery plan.

My Favorite Anti-Inflammatory Foods

Regularly include the following foods in your diet. Increase these foods in the weeks following your race to speed recovery.

  • Green leafy vegetables – spinach & kale
  • Fruits – strawberries, blueberries, oranges, cherries & blackberries
  • Tart Cherry Juice
  • Fatty Fish – Salmon, Tuna & Sardines
  • Walnuts
  • Cinnamon
  • Tomatoes
  • Brocolli
  • Spices such as Ginger and turmeric – sprinkling onto food for a different flavor or drink as an herbal tea flavor
  • Whole grains – regularly include oatmeal, brown rice, whole-wheat bread, and other unrefined grains into your diet.
  • Week 2 and Beyond

    Following schedule outlines 3 weeks of post marathon recovery workouts. The first week is very “light.” Although I show some short runs starting in week 2, if your body is still sore, continue with the cross/low-impact training. Otherwise, keep your effort easy and the distance short (30-60 minutes). In week 3, the runs are a little longer and a little faster. You can also start some basic conditioning work in Week 3 if you’re not injured or feeling any residual/post race soreness. By week 4 you can move closer to your regular level of training. It’s essential that you don’t jump back into training for another race too soon. Typically, the soonest I race (any distance) after a marathon is 3 months. This is particularly important for less experienced and runners that are 40+ years old.

    3 week marathon recovery plan

    Here’s the link to my Strava Dashboard so you can see the details of each of the workouts that I completed this week & throughout my journey.

    Following are my workouts for the week of July 2nd.

    Monday July 2nd – rest day – minimize time on my feet

    Tuesday July 3rd – 3-4 miles @ easy pace
    Run Distance, Time & Average Pace: 3.5 miles, 28:28 minutes, ave pace 8:08

    Wednesday July 4th – Race Day

    I didn’t come close to my goal of 3:00. Although I had been training to break 3, my last month’s workouts were leading me to believe that at time closer to 3:05 was more realistic. With this in mind, I decided to start conservatively at around 7:05 – 7:10/mile pace. My thought was that if I could run 7:00 – 7:10 for the first 6+ miles, I could then settle into a low 7:00/mile pace and then pick it up if I felt good from mile 13+.

    As you can see with my splits, it didn’t work out that way. My primary challenge was that I was never able to sustain a sub 7:10/mile pace. Eventually, my feet started to really hurt (due to worn out orthotics that really had not bothered me too much) and I just ran out of gas the last 3-4 miles.

    The good news is that the 3:17 is still 12+ minutes under my Boston Qualifying benchmark.

    I now that I’m blessed to be able to run and maintain a healthy lifestyle. I didn’t get sick or injured the entire time I trained for this marathon. It’s really “icing on the cake” when we can reach our time goals.

    Here’s my take away’s from the race and my training.

  • I need new orthotics. Mine are worn. My feet were definitely feeling it the last 6-7 miles.
  • I should have completed a few more longer runs (19-21 miles). I followed a plan that had worked for me earlier where I completed more longer tempos and longer repeats (1.5 – 2 miles). I was also training with a personal trainer at that time to get strong. My very best results over the years have come where I completed 2 x 19-21 mile runs.
  • I should have completed more strength training. I used to go to a physical trainer who really helped me get strong. I did much of my conditioning on my own this time and I think at times I didn’t push myself hard enough. Being strong really helps towards the end of the race. Especially if you haven’t completed any 19-21 mile runs. Although my feet hurt, to be honest, my legs and hips were feeling it too.

    I always learn a lot from each marathon & the 3+ months of training. I will continue to share what I learn with each of those that read my blog and those whom I coach.

    If you’re interested in joining me, I can put together either a custom training plan or I can personally coach you. Either program will be specific to your goals and athletic abilities. Just click on the links for details.

    Following image shows my race splits.

    Foot Traffic Flat Marathon - July 4,2018
    Run Distance, Time & Average Pace: 26.5 miles, 3:17:22 minutes, ave pace 7:27

    4 Days of Recovery Notes

    Thursday July 5th – Off Day – Rest & Recovery
    My quads are tight today, however I can easily walk up/down stairs.

    I took my dog out for 3 mile walk around a lake in our community. This gives me a great opportunity
    To stretch my legs, get the blood flowing and simply speed recovery. No running today, but if I wanted, I feel I could.

    Also, I continue to drink plenty of water and eat healthy carbs, proteins & fats or a well balanced diet.

    Friday July 6th – Easy/Short Run

    Minimal stiffness in my quads, so I complete my first run after the race. The key is to jog slowly.

    Run Distance, Time & Average Pace: 4.16 miles, 36:39 minutes, ave pace 8:48

    Saturday July 7th – Walk/Hike
    3.5 mile walk (with dog) on flat crushed gravel path

    Sunday July 8th – Walk/Hike

    3 mile walk (walked my dog)

    Weekly total = 34.1 Miles

    3+ Month Run Total (March 26 – July 6) = 607.5 miles

  • UPDATED – How I peak for a marathon, the last week of training [Follow-Along Week 12]

    UPDATED – How I peak for a marathon, the last week of training [Follow-Along Week 12]

    View of Mt Hood on long runIn this post, I’ll share what I do the last 7-10 days prior to my race and how to ensure I that I’m fresh, fit and ready for my marathon.

    This post has been one of my most visited the last few months. I refer athletes whom I coach to this post to help them rest & prepare during the final weeks of training for a long race.

    I also receive a lot of questions about preparations the night before the race, include requests for marathon packing checklists.  Since most races start early in the morning, it’s critical to plan everything you’ll need, including transportation and communications with family/friends prior to the race. I thought I would update my original post with information that can help runners (of all experience levels) to ensure that they have everything needed for their big race.

    I recently received an e-mail with a link to her beginner’s guide to marathons from Jenny Hobbs. Jenny has completed a lot of research and put together a comprehensive Marathon Packing Checklist which I find very useful.  You’ll want to pull up this list about a week prior to your race and start assembling your day of race uniform, accessories and food/gels.  Using a list like the one provided in Jenny’s guide is real helpful to ensure you don’t miss anything.  Your comfort before, during and after the race are essential to a positive experience.  I strongly recommend that you print out this checklist and use it.

    Please let me know if you have any questions.

    As I wind down my training, I have found that the strategy that gets the most consistent (good) results, is to slightly reduce my volume over the last few weeks, but don’t decrease the intensity.

    A month out from the race, I topped my weekly mileage at 57. Although I still completed strength & longer tempo runs in subsequent weeks, I decreased my weekly mileage by 10-15% weekly. The last week before my race, I completed some intervals/speed on a trail and a shorter tempo. I also completed strides on the track to ensure I have some faster running. This strategy that I learned when I was coached by Greg McMillian, is called “keeping the engine revved.” My weekly mileage the last week prior to the marathon was 37 miles.

    These workouts in the last 1 ½ weeks stress your body, but not as much as earlier in the plan. The goal is to ensure you’re fresh, fit and ready to run on race day.


    In the last 3-4 days do your best not to go hungry. This doesn’t mean you should overeat. Instead, make sure you are consuming nutritious snacks in between your healthy meals. Snacks I recommend are whole wheat bagels, bananas, avocado (to spread on toast or bagels), peanut butter and energy bars. Consume these with plenty of water. In fact, you should be drinking a lot of water (48 – 64 ozs more than you typically drink before a long run or hard workout). In the last few days before the race, you can have some sports drinks/electrolytes. Just remember, don’t overdo any eating or drinking and definitely do not consume anything that you haven’t previously tested before a long or hard run.

    I don’t think you need to “carbo load” 1-2 days before the race. Instead, I recommend eating a balance of healthy fats (salmon, avocados & nuts work for me) and quality carbs (whole grain pasta with marinara, salad & whole grain bread). Substituting a few extra carbohydrates instead of protein works well for me and other runners. We don’t need to overdo it with too many carbs because your training volume has decreased slightly. Trust me, a slight increase in carbs typically works fine.

    Just remember what worked during your training, should work now.

    Following are my workouts for the week of June 25th.

    Monday June 25th – modified Fartlek

    This is not a “push it the max” workout. Instead the purpose is to get some quick leg turnover, but also not allow full recovery between reps, that’s why I call it a Modified Fartlek. I like to complete this workout on a bike or dirt trail, because I won’t push as hard as if I was on a track. This is an 8 mile workout.

    1 mile warm-up at easy pace
    2 x ¼ mile at 10k pace with ¼ mile modified rest (at brisk, not a slow jog)
    1 x 1 mile at MP with ¼ mile rest
    2 x ¼ mile at 10k pace with ¼ mile modified rest (brisk)
    2 x ¼ mile at 10k pace with ¼ mile modified rest (brisk)
    1 x 1 mile at MP with ¼ mile rest
    2 x ¼ mile at 10k pace with ¼ mile modified rest (brisk)
    1 mile cool down at easy pace

    You can see the mile splits below. This is a hard workout, but it’s not meant to be very demanding. It’s important to not go too slow in between the 1/4 & 1 mile intervals.

    Modified Fartlek for Marathon Training

    Run Distance, Time & Average Pace: 8.0 miles, 1:00:23 minutes, ave pace 7:32

    Tuesday June 26th – Treadmill @ Easy Pace + Conditioning Exercises

    Run Distance, Time & Average Pace: 5 miles, 40 minutes, ave pace 8:00

    Wednesday June 27th – Treadmill @ easy pace

    Very limited time to run today due to business travel. I completed 4 miles @ easy pace on a treadmill. The purpose of this run was just to get in something.

    Run Distance, Time & Average Pace: 4 miles, 32:00 minutes, ave pace 8:00

    Thursday June 28th – Off Day

    Rest & Recovery Day – Business Travel

    Friday June 29th – Short Tempo

    1 mile warm-up @ easy
    4 mile tempo @ 6:50 – 7:00/mile pace
    3 mile cool down @ easy

    Run Distance, Time & Average Pace: 8 miles, 1:00:46 minutes, ave pace 7:32

    Saturday June 30th – Easy Run + Strides – recovery

    Strides are to practice quick leg turnover & keep the “engine revved.”

    Run Distance, Time, & Average Pace: 6.1 miles, 51:36 minutes, ave pace 8:25

    Sunday July 1st – Easy Run – recovery

    The purpose of today’s run was more easy running. Recovery, just lower volume

    Run Distance, Time, Pace: 6.1 miles, 49:18 minutes, ave pace 8:00

    Weekly total = 37.3 Miles

    [Updated] How I recover on the day of a hard workout [Follow-Along Week 11]

    [Updated] How I recover on the day of a hard workout [Follow-Along Week 11]

    Middleagemarathoner.com may earn affiliate commissions from the shopping links included on this page. These commissions do not affect how we test, rate or review products. To find out more, read our complete terms of use.

    I’m updating this post to include my regular use of the Recover App as one of the best ways to recover from a hard workout. I have found this app to be very helpful to ensure that I can train without injury.  Details are below.

    In this post, I will share the details of my proven strategy of the best ways to recover from a hard workout or race. It’s essential that when you stress your body that you properly recover so you can ultimately optimize your performance for the next hard workout or race day.

    Below I’ll layout the 8 things that I do immediately following and throughout the day of a hard workout.

    1) Water/fluids – it’s absolutely critical to rehydrate. Even if follow your hydration plan during longer runs, after you finish any workout, it’s essential to drink plenty of water and also sports drinks after longer runs or hard workouts.

    2) Nutrition – discussed in last week’s post. Within 30 minutes of completing your hard workout, it’s essential that you consume some healthy carbs & proteins. Eating a healthy recovery within a few hours of your workout will help you feel so much better.

    I’m currently seeking 2 more runner’s to fill my team.  We have room, but we only work with a limited number of athletes at once so we can provide the best/most personalized coaching.  If you’re interested in joining me, I can put together either a custom training plan or I can personally coach you. Either program will be specific to your goals and athletic abilities. Just click on the links for details.

    3) Bauerfiend compression socks & sleeves – especially after long runs & long tempos, I wear compression socks for 2-4 hours. Although there’s many brands of compression socks available, I find that the Bauerfiend brand is very durable (I’ve had mine for 2+ years), they are affordable and most important, they relieve any sore or stiffness in my legs. Bottomline, they work and I recommend them.


    I saw it on Bauerfeind USA Inc

    Sports Compression Socks Ball & Racket | Compression | Medical aids | Bauerfeind B2C US


    4) Foam rolling – this one’s essential for middle age athletes. Check out my video with details on how to make foam rolling a part of your healthy routine. I like to foam roll at night following a hard workout. I also foam roll whenever I’m feeling stiffness in my legs.

    5) Stretches – following are just a few of the stretches that I typically complete right after my run.
    a) Active Isolated Stretching – with rope – complete daily or at least 5 times/week (click the link to see video)
    b) Calf stretches (against a wall)
    c) Standing quad stretch
    d) Achilles stretch
    e) Piriformus Stretch

    6) Hot Tub – if you have access to a hot tub, use it the evening of your hard workout. Just 5 minutes helps aching muscles and also will help you sleep (the #1 best way to recover).

    7) Sleep – during your training, it’s very important to maximize your sleep to optimize your recovery. This is not only true on hard days, but I find that I perform much better when I get plenty of sleep the night before a hard workout (seems obvious, but there’s many people who don’t try to maximize their sleep).

    8) Recover App – I just started using this iOS app a few months ago and it’s made a big difference in how I feel (no more aches & pains).  The app is designed for runners and uses AI to develop recoveries or 6-8 activities that will address a specific or potential problem that the runner may face.  I had been suffering from Plantar Fasciitis for months.  Although I was almost fully recovered when I started using the app, the recovery exercises that it prescribed have prevented recurrence. You can check out my review of the Recover App or go directly to the Recover Athletics home page.

    Follow the above strategy to recover from your hard workouts and I’m very confident that you’ll be able to really push and hit your paces during your hardest workouts.

    Following are my workouts for the week of June 18th.

    Here’s the link to my Strava Dashboard so you can see the details of each of the workouts that I completed this week & throughout my journey.

    Monday June 18th – short run @ easy pace

    The purpose of this run was to rest prior to the next day’s very demanding workout. At this late stage of my training, I have found that I get much more from my hard workouts by giving myself an extra day Tempos & Strength training runs.
    This week I have 3 days of business travel as well, so I planned on Tuesday & Saturday hard runs.

    Again, I can’t stress enough the importance of Easy on Easy Days & Hard on Hard Days so you can maximize the benefit of the stress.

    Run Distance, Time & Average Pace: 6.1 miles, 48:33 minutes, ave pace 7:52

    Tuesday June 19th – Strength run 4 x 1.5miles

    This was my last strength/interval run. Unlike my previous repeat of 1.5miles, which was on a track, I ran this workout on flat crushed rock path. Conditions were optimal early in the morning. Initially, I was disappointed that my intervals weren’t as fast as before (all at 6:20/mile pace). However, I realized that the trail mileage markers were not completely accurate, so my 1.5 mile was actually closer to 1.55 miles which adds at least 20 seconds to my times. My times slowed slightly as I progressed.

    Bottomline….bonus hard effort for additional 20+ seconds/interval :-). Results are below.

    1 mile warm-up @ easy
    4 x 1.5 miles @ 10km pace with 3-4 minutes rest (easy jog)
    1 mile cool down at easy

    marathon training strength run - 4 x 1.5m

    Run Distance, Time & Average Pace: 9.7 miles, 1:16:43 minutes, ave pace 7:54


    Wednesday June 20th – short run @ easy pace

    Very limited time to run today due to business travel. I completed 4 miles @ easy pace on a treadmill. 5 The purpose of this run was to recover from the previous days’ very demanding run.

    Run Distance, Time & Average Pace: 4 miles, 32:00 minutes, ave pace 8:00

    Thursday June 21st – Short Run @ easy pace

    Not much time due to business commitments. Early morning run around Horseshoe Bay Resort, TX – 4.5 miles @ easy pace. Hot & humid at 630am.

    Run Distance, Time & Average Pace: 4.7 miles, 40:11 minutes, ave pace 8:31

    Friday June 22nd – Off Day

    Rest & Recovery Day – Business Travel

    Saturday June 16th – 12 mile Tempo

    This was the last and toughest tempo of my training. The purpose of this day’s workout was to build strength & provide the best indication of my marathon fitness. This week we increased the distance of the tempo by 2 miles. Target pacing was Marathon Pace (around 6:50/mile). If I can complete this run on target without being too tired, I’m good.

    Ideally you also want to complete this last long tempo around 2 weeks prior your race. In addition, to give you a most accurate indication of your fitness, complete the run on a course that has similar terrain as your race. Fortunately for me, I have the perfect location (where I completed last week’s 10 mile tempo and the 10km time trial a few weeks ago). After this run you will start a gradual taper with lower mileage and shorter intervals/tempo runs.

    With 3 days of easy or rest prior, I should have been ready to go for this run. However, my challenge with this run was my late return from a long flight the evening before. Although I performed well by finishing the 12 mile tempo in 84 minutes (7 min/mile pace), I was off on Marathon Pace. I think lack of quality sleep the nights before probably slowed me. My plan is to be home, getting plenty of rest for 5 nights before my race (not counting the night before the race because it’s hard to sleep).

    12 Mile Tempo for marathon training

    Run Distance, Time, & Average Pace: 13.4 miles, 1:37:31 minutes, ave pace 7:16

    Sunday June 17th – Short Run @ easy pace + strides
    The purpose of today’s run was to recover from yesterday’s very difficult tempo run. Strides are to practice quick leg turnover.

    Run Distance, Time, Pace: 5.1 miles, 47:46 minutes, ave pace 9:13

    Weekly total = 43.1 Miles

    Nutrition for Marathon Training [Follow-Along Week 10]

    Nutrition for Marathon Training [Follow-Along Week 10]

    Nutrition for marathon training

    To reap the benefits of your long distance training, you need to consume healthy foods so you can properly fuel your body, build muscle & recover from hard & long workouts. As you get progress through your training for your race, you will find that what you eat impacts how feel both during and after your workouts and ultimately how long it takes you to complete your race.

    Also, to get prepared for your race, you must stay healthy while you train. This means you need to build a strong immune system. It’s easy to get tired and even run down during your training if you don’t properly recover. In this post I will speak to the importance of diet during your training. I will also provide some sample meals.
    Although, exercise helps build the number of germ fighting cells in your body, eating the right foods also helps. Healthy runners have a diet that includes a balanced diet of carbohydrates, protein, lean fats, vitamins and minerals such as zinc, iron and vitamins C & E for a strong immune system.

    Timing of your food consumption is critical

    It’s important to eat nutrient-dense calories & drink plenty of water prior to your main workout of the day. Also, to limit post exercise muscle damage and speed the recovery process you need to consume both protein & carbohydrates soon after your runs. This is especially important in the 30 – 45 minutes following a hard run and then a few hours later to have a bigger meal. This helps to ensure optimal recovery.

    Just like each person’s training is different because of their goals, mileage and athletic abilities, the same is for nutrition. Each runner’s body can responds differently to foods. It’s important that you try different healthy foods and time consumption so you can optimize your performance and avoid any GI issues.

    Here’s some proven strategies that I follow & share with runners I coach.

    Avoid empty calories and focus on eating foods that give me the most nutrients per calorie. These include good sources of whole grains and starches (like brown rice, quinoa, sweet potatoes, oatmeal, whole wheat bread and pasta), lean proteins (lean meat, fish, Greek yogurt, eggs and beans), healthy fats (salmon, avocados, nuts, and olive oil), and of course, colorful fruits and veggies which provide antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals.
    For pre- and post-workout snacks, I recommend fruits, fresh cut vegetables, healthy (meaning not a ton of sugar and full of natural ingredients) granola or energy bars, fruit, nuts, and Greek yogurt. My focus is to time the healthiest eating around my runs so I’m fueling when I need it and not just grazing or snacking at odd hours with “bad food.”

    Here’s some examples of healthy meals:

    Recovery Breakfast
    Whole wheat toast with peanut or almond butter
    4-6 ozs.of low fat Greek Yogurt + Banana
    8-10 ozs of Orange juice + 12 ozs of Water
    *I like to make myself a breakfast sandwich that includes a toasted whole grain English muffin, cheddar cheese, scrambled or easy over egg and turkey bacon or sausage. Include some hot sauce for a little “kick.”

    Recovery Lunch
    Turkey or chicken sandwich with spinach, tomato and mustard on whole grain bread
    Orange, Apple or cup of mixed fruit (not sweetened fruit salad from a can)
    4-6 ozs of mixed raw vegetables (carrot sticks, broccoli, sliced red/yellow peppers, pea pods, etc)
    8-10 ozs of unsweetened plain soy milk or almond milk
    12 ozs of Water

    Avoid processed foods. A good place to start is to cut back on food that comes from a plastic wrapper. If you must purchase packaged food, then choose those with the fewest and most familiar ingredients.

    Recovery Dinner
    Whole grain pasta with tomato sauce & meatballs (turkey or meatless) or grilled chicken
    Or Baked Salmon + baked sweet or russet potato with nonfat Greek Yogurt & Brummel & Brown Yogurt butter.
    Garden salad with spinach, kale, yellow/red/orange peppers, sliced carrots, sliced avocado, cranberries and/or blueberries, sunflower seeds and oil/vinegar dressing
    Steamed broccoli or mixed vegetables + Whole wheat dinner role
    12 ozs of Water

    The bottomline for your diet is that just like with your training, there are no shortcuts or 3-4 foods you can consume that will make-up for not eating a well balanced diet. You don’t have to be too strict, just be aware of what & when you eat and listen to how your body reacts.

    On the day of the race, never eat anything that you haven’t previously tested during your training.

    Following are my workouts for the week of June 11th.

    Monday June 11th – short run @ easy pace

    The purpose of this run was to recover from the previous days’ long run. It’s very important to go easy throughout this run, especially considering the next days’ workout is going to be tough.

    Run Distance, Time & Average Pace: 6.7 miles, 53:28 minutes, ave pace 7:56

    Tuesday June 12th – Strength run 10 x 800s

    This was a tough workout. I couldn’t run on the High School track, so I just ran on neighborhood surface streets near the track (not optimal). I was tired the last 3-4, but I pushed through. My times weren’t near target (3:05-3:16), but the stimulus of the workout achieved it’s goal.

    Yasso 800s for marathon training

    Run Distance, Time & Average Pace: 9.9 miles, 1:21:53 minutes, ave pace 8:14

    Wednesday June 13th – short run @ easy pace + strides

    5 mile easy run + strides. The purpose of this run was to recover from the previous days’ very demanding run.

    Run Distance, Time & Average Pace: 5 miles, 43:09 minutes, ave pace 8:33

    Thursday June 14th – Off Day

    Rest & Recovery Day

    Friday June 15th – Long Tempo Run

    The purpose of today’s workout was to build strength. I increased the distance by a mile from my last tempo. Paces are the same, as shown in the image below. After a 1 mile warm-up, I complete 9 miles at marathon pace. As you can see, I was right on pace for the duration of the tempo. The extra day of rest (completing this workout on Friday instead of Thursday as my scheduled called out) really helped. I’m happy with this run, especially after struggling through the Yasso 800s on Tuesday.

    10 mile tempo for marathon training

    Run Distance, Time, & Average Pace: 11.6 miles, 1:22:12 minutes, ave pace 7:04

    Saturday June 16th – short run @ easy pace + 15 minutes of conditioning exercises at gym

    The purpose of this run was to recover from the previous days’ intense workout. The conditioning exercises weren’t too intense, but they help to build strength & improve flexibility.

    Run Distance, Time, & Average Pace: 5.4 miles, 43:34 minutes, ave pace 7:58

    Sunday June 17th– Medium Run @ easy pace

    A slightly longer run than typical easy days, but at an easy pace. As we get closer to the race, I am shortening some of my runs.

    Run Distance, Time, Pace: 8.5 miles, 1:07:13 minutes, ave pace 7:50

    Weekly total = 47.4 Miles

    How to Establish a Hydration Plan for Half & Full Marathons [Follow-Along Week 9]

    How to Establish a Hydration Plan for Half & Full Marathons [Follow-Along Week 9]

    Hydration for marathons

    With 4 weeks until race day, I can tell that the accumulated fatigue of 45+ miles/week and numerous hard workouts is starting to get to me. Although I’m still definitely motivated to run and complete my workouts, I’m starting to feel fatigue in my legs both during & after my runs that I didn’t feel a few weeks or months ago. With the onset of warmer & more humid weather, it’s now more important that I’m adequately hydrated prior to and during my run.

    In this post, I discuss the importance of hydration and how to establish a hydration plan for your race and how to practice it during your training.

    Here’s the link to my Strava Dashboard so you can see the details of each of the workouts that completed this week & throughout my journey.

    It should come as no surprise that proper hydration is important for both safety and performance. Warm and humid weather typically increase sweat rates and can accelerate the onset of dehydration. This can lead to an increased risk of early fatigue and heat related illnesses. Keeping your body properly hydrated will ensure that you maintain blood volume and cardiovascular function. Dehydration not only decreases blood volume, but also increase heart rate, slows heat loss in the body, which ultimately can cause runners to slow or eventually drop out of the race.

    It’s important to determine your individual fluid needs because there is no single recommendation that applies to everyone. Ideally you want to balance fluid intake with sweat losses to avoid both dehydration and hyponatremia (too much fluid).

    Signs of dehydration can be feeling faint or light headed, rapid heart rate, dry mouth or feeling very thirsty. The best 1st step is to drink some fluids to see if your condition improves.

    Need Marathon Training Info

    Signs of hyponatremia (too much fluid) can be water sloshing in your stomach, severe headache or feeling bloated in the hands and feet with nausea or upset stomach. The best first step is to stop drinking until you begin to urinate.

    How much to drink?

    To determine your unique fluid needs, you need to estimate your sweat rate by weighting yourself nude and then run for 1 hour in the conditions at the pace you expect to race. Do not drink during this run. At the end of the run, strip down, and reweigh yourself nude. The difference in weight is your approximate hourly sweat rate. You’ll need to convert lbs to ounces (1 lb = 16 ozs) and then plan on consuming that much per hour during your race.

    For example, if you lost 1lb of sweat, you should consume about 4ozs of fluid every 15 minutes during your race. During your training, you can test this program by weighing yourself prior to and after your runs. If you weigh 1-2lbs during longer runs, you’ve kept your weight nearly neutral except for water loss. If you gained weight during your run, it’s a sign that you drank too much, which can lead to hyponatremia (over hydration), which in can be fatal.

    On those occasions when you know you’ll be losing a lot of sweat, I recommend drinking 10-20 oz’s of fluid about an hour before the race to ensure you start with adequate fluid in your system.

    In summary, try to match your fluid intake to just below your weight loss (which should be 2-3lbs in a race like a marathon). Do not overdrink. If you’re feeling effects of hot weather, slow your pace. Recognize the warning signs of dehydration and hyponatremia. If you are not feeling well during or after the race and incorporating a few simple changes doesn’t make you feel better, then it’s best to seek immediate medical attention.

    Source: International Institute for Race Medicine (amaasportsmed.org)

    Monday June 4th – long run @ easy pace

    The purpose of this run was to get miles on my legs and build aerobic capacity.

    Run Distance, Time & Average Pace: 11.0 miles, 1:23:50 minutes, ave pace 7:37

    Tuesday June 5th – short run @ easy pace

    I completed this run early in the morning while on business in Boise. Ran along the beautiful campus of Boise State near downtown Boise. The purpose was to help recover from the previous day’s long run.

    Run Distance, Time & Average Pace: 6.0 miles, 48:38 minutes, ave pace 8:06

    Wednesday June 6th – short run @ easy pace + conditioning in hotel gym

    6 mile easy run on forest preserve trails in Rosemont, IL (O’Hare airport area). After the run, I was able to get into the hotel gym, where I completed 20 minutes of body weight & dumbbell exercises.

    Run Distance, Time & Average Pace: 6.2 miles, 48:16 minutes, ave pace 7:44

    Thursday June 7th – Off Day

    Business meetings & travel from Chicago to home. Rest & Recovery Day

    If you’re interested in joining me, I can put together either a custom training plan or I can personally coach you. Either program will be specific to your goals and athletic abilities. Just click on the links for details.

    Friday June 8th – Long Tempo Run

    The purpose of today’s workout was to build strength. I increased the distance by a mile from my last tempo. Paces are the same, as shown in the image below. After a 1 mile warm-up, I complete 9 miles at marathon pace. As you can see, I was right on pace for the duration of the tempo.

    9 mile tempo run

    Run Distance, Time, & Average Pace: 11.7 miles, 1:22:48 minutes, ave pace 7:03

    Saturday June 9th – short run @ easy pace

    Run Distance, Time, & Average Pace: 5.1 miles, 38:32 minutes, ave pace 7:26

    Sunday June 10th– Long Run @ easy + brisk

    My last long run. The purpose of this run is to get time on my legs and push the pace over the last 6-8 miles. I need to get used to running on tired legs. Most plans include one last long run about 3 – 3.5 weeks from the race. This run also capped my highest mileage week of the training plan. Weekly mileage will start to decrease over the next 2 weeks before my taper the last week prior to the race.

    I completed the first half of the run with friends at a very easy (8:00+/mile) pace. I picked up the pace slightly during the second half of the run. There were some hills and the weather turned cool (upper 40s) with wind and rain the last 3+ miles. I didn’t complete any of the last miles under 7:00/mile as desired, but I’m happy with the effort considering the frequent hills and the fact that I was coming off a 9 mile tempo just 2 days earlier. My legs definitely felt tired the last few miles.

    Run Distance, Time, Pace: 17.1 miles, 2:18:55 minutes, ave pace 8:06

    Weekly total = 57.3 Miles