Big congrats to Bill Drinkward on running 3:18:47 at the Vancouver Marathon last weekend!!
He writes, “Many thanks to Coach Dominique Hamel for the guidance I needed to successfully score a massive PR of over 6 minutes and a BQ as well. I nearly lost my A-goal when the 3:20 pace Bunny snuck up on me with only 7k to go. I resolved then to fight off that bunny all the way to the finish. I just asked myself then, “how bad do you want it?” And thought about all those training runs to even put me in this position. I ran steadily and hard all the way to the finish and crossed the line at 3:18:47. Vancouver Marathon is an awesome course with fantastic volunteer and crowd support. I highly recommend the experience.”
Epic Weekend for Academy Members
First Place in Age Group
Congrats to Katrina C. on running the Spartan Beast like a boss and winning 1st place in her age group!
“Spartan Beast in NSW, Australia on Saturday, 21km, lots of hills.. Obstacles used to be my strength, but thanks to MTA now my running is my strength.. I walked away with FIRST PLACE, in my age group!!! Thank MTA”
First Half Marathon
Congrats to Rachel R. on releasing the kraken at her first half marathon!
“Ran my first half marathon this morning! Everything happened to fall into place and I ran WAY faster than I thought possible. I told my dad last night, that 2:20 was basically my dream goal. Crushed that dream with a 2:16:40. . . At mile 10, I thought to myself: “unleash the kraken!” . . . I’m guessing my race finish photo is going to look weird as I was fighting back crying as I crossed the line lol! It is amazing when everything goes right. My nutrition, hydration, training, and cross training have really helped me improve lately!!! My bonus win is that I ran that half marathon pain free!! I’m sore now, but that’s ok!”
Discipline Paying Off
Congrats to Gregory T. on earning a PR in the half at the Indy500 Mini Marathon.
“Welp, proof to myself that discipline and having coaching is paying off. Ended up throwing an extra half in my training cycle a few weeks ago due to FOMO. Was planning to use it as a paced run for my marathon training, and despite the rain and crowds I managed a Half Marathon PR!!! Thanks, Angie and Trevor, and Coach Chris!!!”
Third Place in the Rain
Congrats to Jennifer K. on running a 1:42:08 in D.C.!
Rainy Women’s National half marathon in DC this morning. Course is fast and flat. Not a PR, but finished in 1:42:08, 3rd in my age group. Not bad for 3 weeks after a marathon! A little redemption for feeling disappointed in my Boston time. Thanks Coach Athena for helping me get stronger!
Congrats to Karen M. who ran back-to-back races and earned a PR plus 3rd in her age group!
“I completed the Frederick Nutjob today which is a twilight 5k on Saturday night and then a half marathon Sunday morning. I PRed and placed 3rd in my age group at the 5k which was quite a shock. I took the half super easy since it was my second half in 8 days. I was really nervous about running in the rain for the first time but coach Nicole reassured me it would be fine and she was right, I even had fun. I listened to the latest 2 episodes of the podcast and the miles really flew by, thanks Angie and Trevor!”
PR at Long Island Half
Congrats to Kaitlyn Z. who ran 2:16:05 in New York!
Today I ran my fifth half marathon on 5/5 at the Long Island Half Marathon. This is my hometown race. Despite the rain we had, I was looking forward to achieving a new PR. And that I did, by over 6 1/2 minutes, coming in at 2:16:05. Huge thanks to Coach Dominique Hamel for helping me get this accomplished! Now onto training for the NYC Marathon in November!
3 Way Challenge Completed
Gretchen L. who completed the 3-way Challenge at the Flying Pig Marathon!
MTA Team- thanks for the inspiration and encouragement that makes the impossible suddenly possible!! 3-way Challenge at the Flying Pig complete! 10K, 5K and Half. Pushed a little too hard yesterday, paid for it today. But so fun!! Now Set my sights on the full at the Air Force Marathon in September. This is the way to celebrate the year you turn 50!
Also Congrats to . . .
-Jesse W. who ran a PR of 5:15 at the Flying Pig Marathon!
-Jana F. who achieved her goal of breaking 2 hours at the Des Moines Women’s Half!
-Foti Panagakos who finished the Pittsburgh Marathon, his 54th marathon!
-Jen W. on running her first half marathon at the Lake Minnetonka Half Marathon!
-Mike E. who finished the Vancouver Half in 2:06:22!
-Dona F. who completed the Indy500 Mini Marathon!
And all the other members and coaching client we haven’t heard from yet!
The Selective Androgen Receptor Modulators (SARMS) are distinctive types of molecules developed to help resolve diseases which are treated by the Anabolic-Androgenic Steroids (AAS). There are SARMS which have been used for testosterone replacement therapy or TRT.
Whenever the SARMS get attached to the receptor, they can show hypertrophic and anabolic activity in the bones and muscles. This becomes an ideal candidate in muscle wasting, osteoporosis, and TRT.
When it comes to bodybuilding, SARMS can give benefits similar to the AAS. It can lessen your body fat, increase muscle volume, and increase bone density. Unlike AAS, the use of SARMS can provide fewer side effects. The chances of water retention and estrogen-related diseases are lower.
Many gym-goers opt to use SARMS over AAS because it is non-toxic to the liver. Moreover, it can have little to no effect on blood pressure. With this, you don’t have to pre-load on supplements. In addition, the use of SARMS is less expensive than AAS.
Here are examples of SARMS and its benefits to the body:
Ibutamoren or the MK 677
The Ibutamoren is orally active and non-peptidic. It selects the growth hormone of the secretagogues receptor. It follows the action of the ghrelin in your stomach. Ghrelin is a hormone which regulates your appetite and the rate and distribution of energy use. It can raise the level of growth hormone but it will not affect the cortisol levels.
Studies that were done in the past prove that Ibutamoren can increase the mineral density of the bones plus the muscle mass. If you take it at 25 mg each day, you can potentially increase your 1GF-1 levels 60% in 6 weeks. In 12 months, you can experience 70% increase in the 1GF-1 levels.
Since the Ibutamoren is non-hormonal, it will not require PCT at the end of the cycle. It is best to take it in a 3-month cycle and be able to increase the dosage for each month. It is recommended to drink the MK 677 at night time before you go to sleep. After taking it, you will notice that you will have a deep sleep now. You don’t have to worry if you wake up with tingly or numb hands. This is a natural side effect of the extra GH level in your body. You can visit trickortreatment.com to buy products with Ibutamoren.
RAD 140 is the latest SARM so there isn’t much data or reviews about this yet. You can visit trickortreatment.com to buy products with RAD 140. But this one offers promising results with its ration of 90:1 (anabolic to androgenic). With this, users can be able to experience amazing muscle building without experiencing any side effects.
RAD is effective and it can limit the testosterone’s effects on the prostate and other areas of the body. According to some research, RAD can be more anabolic versus testosterone. For the dosage, you can take it at 4 mg to 12 mg only. The optimal cycle must be around 4 to 6 weeks. With its shorter half-life which is only for 16 hours, you must take RAD for at least twice every day.
Runners get through a lot of gear. When you’re working your way through so much stuff, you want to be sure that it is coming from the right sources. In this post we’ll have a look at three of the most ethical and sustainable running brands to help you make the right choices.
3 ethical and sustainable running brands
1. Kusaga Athletic
Kusaga Athletic have created what they have termed ‘the world’s greenest tee’. They create this T-shirt using Ecolite – a blend of natural fibres that are biodegradable, sustainable and compostable. This tee will never end up in the landfill because it is 100% recyclable. They also use less water in the process of creating the T-shirt; in fact, it uses less than 1% of the water needed to make other T-shirts. It takes approximately 2,700 litres of water to make an average cotton t-shirt, so this new t-shirt from Kusage Athletic is groundbreaking in the way that its production helps to conserve this extremely valuable natural resource. They also have an amazing range of ethical and sustainable running gear, using similar principles to those of the green tee. Let’s hope that others follow suit so that in the future we can enjoy totally green clothing.
2. JD Sports
JD Sports are really leading the way when it comes to the fight against modern slavery. With as many as 20.9 million people being directly affected by modern slavery every day, this really is a cause that we need to get behind. JD Sports are tackling this issue by following a code of conduct that ensures that there aren’t any products sold in their stores that have been tarnished by the practice of modern slavery in any way. They vigorously monitor their supply chain to ensure that all products are slavery-free. Not funding the practice might just be key to eradicating it.
3. Newton Running
Newton Running is passionate about creating shoes for runners that help them achieve their goals whilst also being sustainable. They use synthetic man-made material in the production of their shoes, ensuring that no animal products are used. They also use 100% recycled materials in their packaging. They are actively seeking to reduce their carbon footprint and to leave the world a better place than when they found it. They also actively support local communities, helping students to develop a passion for running by offering them access to shoes and coaches.
In this episode we bring you a special joint episode with Olympic runner and podcaster Carrie Tollefson from the C Tolle Run. And in the quick tip segment, Angie will explain how to communicate expectations with your running partner before you race together.
Podcaster Meet Up! Joint Episode with C Tolle Run
Carrie Tollefson is a middle distance runner from Minnesota. She represented the US in the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, Greece, in the 1500 meters. She does regular media coverage for the New York Road Runners including the NYC Marathon and the NYC Half Marathon. Carrie has done commentary for the Twin Cities Marathon, Boston Marathon, and Tokyo Marathon. She hosts a weekly podcast called C Tolle Run.
It’s been fun to meet and collaborate with other podcasters through the years. We kept the agenda loose on this episode -the goal was to have a fun conversation. We ended up talking about some important topics, like pregnancy and running, time management, elite runner Gabriele “Gabe” Grunewald -a fellow Minnesota runner and friend of Carrie’s who lost her battle with cancer on June 11th. We also share our top picks for small town marathons.
Wow! At the time of this post we’re already more than halfway through 2019. That just blows my mind! We all have challenges to face along this crazy and wonderful journey of long distance running. If you’re not where you want to be right now don’t be afraid to re-evaluate your strategy.
By evaluating whether you’re where you want to be and making progress toward your goals you can know that your energy and efforts are going in the right direction.
How to Do a Mid-Year Running Review
It’s important to keep showing up and doing the work but sometimes we get stuck in health and fitness ruts. I’ve heard it said that a definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.
Here are some questions to ask when doing a review (which can be done more often than twice a year):
What’s working for me so far this year? Although our minds tend to gravitate toward the negative it’s very important to consciously focus on the positive too.
What’s not working for me? Be specific
Do I need to reevaluate/reframe goals? It’s possible that the goals you set at the beginning of the year weren’t realistic for the time frame.
What do I need to do to make sure I go into the second part of the year strong?
How can I course correct if I’m not where I want to be?
It’s important to keep in mind that we all go through ups and downs in our health and fitness. When I went through that rough stretch of 3 years from 2016-2018 where my hormones were out of balance I had little energy and little motivation to even think about running. I sought help to get out of the slump but it took time.
Here are some of the things I did to rebalance again:
Be you own advocate. Sometimes we expect others to see that we’re struggling and step in to fix it. But everyone is carrying their own burdens and we often display an “I’m doing fine” mentality in public. It’s up to us to realize that we need to make changes and reach out to make that happen.
Be kind to your body. This is not a one-size fits all formula and will depend on your particular situation. I knew my personal tendency was to do too much so I took a year off from doing any races as I worked to recalibrate my body. I also recommitted to getting the amount of sleep I need each night (for me around 8 hours).
Fix your mindset. One of the best things I did during my slump was to start daily meditation. That was so helpful in allowing me to slow down, step back from my thoughts, and be intentional about gratitude. I also started doing daily affirmations to give myself hope that there were better days to come.
Get help as needed. Sometimes it can be challenging to ask for help and find the right people to work with. I worked with a functional medicine doctor for the first year to rebalance my hormones. During the last seven months I’ve worked with a nutritionist to lose weight and dial in my nutrition and I’m so thankful for the progress I’ve been able to make. Many people find that working with a running coach can help them start to make progress in their running goals again.
During my running slump, which I talked about on podcast episode #288, I tried to not to be too hard on myself even though I wanted to feel healthy, strong, and fast again. I knew there were no guarantees but I just focused on doing what I felt was best for my body.
Many people dread turning 40 (or whatever number strikes terror in your heart) but one of the advantages of getting older is starting to know what your body needs and being okay with giving it the extra rest and support. As I started to feel more like myself again my desire to set new goals and start pushing hard has naturally reemerged.
Once you get your health to a good level your mojo/motivation will return so don’t try to force it. When you’re coming out of a slump it’s hard to predict when your body will be ready for a great effort again. But if you consistently put in the work and give yourself needed recovery you will set up the conditions and give yourself the best chance that this will occur.
The first main stop on our 2019 camping trip out West (which Trevor is calling our Ultramarathon Sufferfest Extravaganza) was the beautiful Charlevoix Marathon along the shores of lake Michigan.
This was my 58th marathon, 45th state, and 4th fastest marathon.
The day went better than I expected and I managed to squeak out a BQ and 1st place in my age group.
Let me tell you all about it . . .
Race Recap: The Charlevoix Marathon
The 13th annual Charlevoix Marathon was held on Saturday, June 22nd, 2019. They also hosted a half marathon, 10k and 5k the same day.
Packet pick up was available on Friday afternoon and early race morning. The packet pick up and race finishing area was held at Bridge Park in historic downtown Charlevoix, adjacent to the famous draw bridge. Traffic into downtown Charlevoix was very slow but once we got there getting my bib, shirt, and reusable race bag was very easy. One thing I loved about the race was how small the bib was
Angie and Trev in Charlavoix
After scoping out the race area and getting my bib we strolled around the beautiful lakefront and then headed to our campsite which was located about 15 miles away. I spent the rest of the day taking it easy and getting my race kit put together.
Since the marathon start time was at 6:30am and I like to be early we decided that I would drive myself to the race. So, if you’re envisioning Trevor and the kids out on the course cheering me on or waiting at the finish line, that didn’t happen.
Look at this tiny race bib!
There was plenty of free downtown parking on race morning. I got there around 45 minutes before the race started and had my choice of spots. There was also plenty of time to use the port-a-pots and head over to the start area. A listener named Mike who was there for the half marathon found me and we had a nice chat and got a picture. He mentioned that he might find me out on the course later and run a couple miles with me. I also saw MTA member Heidi at the start. She and her sister were doing the 10k which started at 7:15am.
The half marathon started a half hour after the marathon.
The race had a good announcer and sound system and they solicited a volunteer from the crowd to sing the National Anthem (since their scheduled person called in sick). The weather was clear and mid-50’s at the start and the early morning light was beautiful. I lined up just behind the 3:45 pace group and waited for the starting gun. I felt excited to be there with just the right amount of pre-race anticipation.
The start line is on Bridge Street just beyond the draw bridge which opens every 30 minutes. Lake Michigan was visible just to the left and Round Lake to the right. For the first three miles we went through some nice shady neighborhoods before winding out of town on a paved bike/walk path.
The course is an out and back so that makes it more predictable than point to point courses. You know anything that goes up on the way out will be down on the way back and vise versa. The course is mostly flat with a few rolling hills. There was one hill in the earlier miles that I briefly walked because I didn’t want to elevate my heart rate too much at that point. There were also some downhill sections that I let my legs fly on a little bit. A couple times I looked down at my pace and it made me hopeful that I wouldn’t blow up later.
The course ventures around the local ski mountain Mount McSauba, down tree lined roads, along the lakeshore, and then the turn around point was at Little Traverse Bay. There were a couple miles of the course on a wooden bridge that was a nice change on the legs. I can see why Runner’s World Magzine named the Charlevoix Marathon as one of the best “small town marathons” in the United States.
The course stayed nice and wide throughout and there was plenty of room to run. This felt like a big contrast from previously running the London Marathon where it was crowded the whole way. There were stretches that I wasn’t running around anyone but there were also plenty of sections where I leap frogged other runners who were around the same pace. Toward the last 10 miles there were some half marathon walkers out on the course as well. The course is advertized as fast and flat (unless you’re from Florida says the race info). They also advertize a high rate of BQ’s on the course. In 2018 19.6% of marathoners BQ’d and this year 16.4% BQ’d.
The weather warmed up to the high 60’s and it felt warm out in the sun. However, there were also frequent shady sections which were helpful. Several times the course opened up with great views of Lake Michigan which was beautiful. The fire department had a hose sprinkler set up around mile 23 for runners to cool off if they needed to.
There weren’t many spectators out on the course so it was nice to see the friendly people at the aid stations. The aid stations were located approximately every 1.5 miles and had water and sports drink. A few locations also had extras like candy and there was even a bacon stop. Since the course was out and back the bacon stop was located at mile 3 and 23 and I didn’t feel like testing my body with it at that point. For my fueling I used Generation Ucan snack bars (one 30 minutes before) and ½ bar every 5 miles. I also took some electrolyte capsules. I was also drinking a cup of water at each aid station and dumping one on myself to stay cool.
Use the promo code “MTABQ” to save 15% off your order. Or is you’re new to UCAN, save 25% on your first order with code MTA25”.
During the marathon my mantra was “keep pushing.” This kept me from getting comfortable at a pace and slacking off (and also helped keep my mindset strong). My legs felt strong although I did have some glute soreness which I took as a good sign that they were doing their job (and not giving me hamstring pain).
At mile 24 I was surprised to see Mike, who I’d met earlier, show up to pace and encourage me. It was great to have his company and that helped me push up a final hill and finish mile 26 with a 7:58 pace. I had a strong finishing kick the final 0.2 miles to cross the finish line in 3:39:25. This was my 58th marathon and 45th state and 4th fastest marathon (haven’t run faster for 5 years). My split for the first half was 1:48:40 and 2nd half split was 1:51:06. Overall, I was 88/364 and the 21/168 female. In addition to squeaking out a BQ (my qualifying time is 3:40).
The finish line was located back in historic Charlevoix. There were a good number of spectators cheering runners to a strong finish.
Winners: The men’s winner for the marathon was Leo Foley with a time of 2:42:46. The female marathon champion was Rachel Whipple with a time of 3:07:30. For the HM the male champion was Will Schrantz with a time of 1:13:44 and the female HM winner was Shelby Kelsh with a time of 1:23:27. The marathon had a total of 364 finishers, the HM had 719, the 10k had 279 and the 5k had 359 finishers. The finisher’s medal was large and had a beautiful design.
The post race area was past the bridge in the downtown area where they’d hosted packet pickup. For food and drink options they had water, chocolate milk, licorice, fruit snacks, bananas, apples, chips, popcorn, pizza, and rice krispie bars. Runners reclined on the grass out in the sun to eat their food, wait for family members, and to participate in the post-race award ceremony.
MTA Meet Up:
I drove back to our camper and was able to get a shower before we headed back to Charlevoix for the MTA meet up at The Villager Pub. It was awesome to get to meet Dan Beard from MI who ran the marathon, Heidi from MD (who was coming off an injury that prevented her from doing the marathon and walked the 10k and her sister Wendy who walked her first 10k, and sisters Karen and Beth from MI who did the half marathon as part of their training for an upcoming marathon.
MTA Meet Up
After the race I met up with another MTA listener from the Traverse City area named Amy. She’d run and did great in the 5k and it was fun to talk with her. Since my phone died she graciously became my personal photographer. I went and checked my time and was shocked to see that I finished first in my AG (40-44). However I wasn’t able to stick around for the award ceremony because I needed to get back to Trevor and the boys. I also met up with listener Tina and her husband Mike (who was a great at cheering out on the course). Tina also finished 1st in her AG and BQ’d.
How to Keep Pushing in a Marathon
I mentioned that I started the marathon around the 3:45 pace group but quickly passed the group because there was too much talking and it was hard for me to focus. I guess I just wasn’t in the head space for being around a group the whole marathon (maybe because I’d basically had no privacy or alone time in the previous 5 days as we traveled with the camper). I put on an audiobook (which I find helps keep my mind engaged without the adrenaline spikes that music can provide) and listened to that until my phone died around mile 15.
My strategy going into the race was to run as strong as possible and leave it all there. That was one reason why I kept a fairly aggressive pace in the beginning.
I had just come off reading the book Can’t Hurt Me by David Goggins and that really helped me be in a good place mentally. For those who aren’t familiar with him, he came from a very rough background of poverty and abuse and went on to become a Navy Seal and general bad ass.
He’s a very extreme personality who is driven to find the limits physically and mentally (he also went through Army Ranger training, set the pull up record for 4,230 pull ups in 24 hours, has run the Badwater 135 numerous times, etc.) While I don’t endorse his way of training because he absolutely trashes his body, he shares a lot of great mindset strategies and tips. In fact he starts out the book with a solo mission that goes like this:
“Situation: You are in danger of living a life so comfortable and soft that you will die without ever realizing your true potential. Mission: To unshackle your mind. Ditch the victim’s mentality forever. Own all aspects of your life completely. Build an unbreakable foundation. Execution: Read this cover to cover. Study the techniques within, accept all ten challenges. Repeat. Repetition will callous your mind. If you do your job to the best of your ability, this will hurt. This mission is not about making yourself feel better. This mission is about being better and having a greater impact on the world. Don’t stop when you are tired. Stop when you are done.” -David Goggins
There’s a lot of language in the book but it’s also fascinating and a great way to dial in a stronger mental game.
“Please share your goals, pacing strategy, and any adjustments you made during the race.” -Peter
My goal going into this marathon was to have a strong race and finish as sub-4 as possible. I had a lot of confidence coming off the London Marathon 7 weeks ago that I could at least do that time (3:59) or better. After London I took 2-3 weeks for easy running and didn’t do any runs over 90 minutes during that time. Then I had time to do a 17 mile (2:30) long run and 20 mile (3:05) long run before doing a 3 week taper before this marathon. Both long runs were run in fairly warm conditions on a hilly course and I averaged around a 9:35 pace. So this didn’t give me a lot of information on how my body would do on a flatter marathon course. I’d lost about 6 more pounds since the London Marathon so I knew this would also be a factor in my favor.
Are you still using the Hanson’s Marathon Training Method? -Debbie
When we did the episode about how we were training for the London Marathon I mentioned that I was loosely basing my training off the Hanson’s Training Method. So, I need to clarify that I never strictly followed this method. But I did take some features and incorporate them into my training. That would include running more days per week, going into my long run with my legs somewhat fatigued, and capping my longest run at 3 hours.
Since the London Marathon I’ve been doing most of my shorter training runs on the treadmill because my allergies have been so bad. I also find that it’s easier to keep my pace slower for easy runs on the TM because there isn’t the variation in terrain. I’ve been keeping up my schedule of core and lower body strength training, getting regular massage, and getting lots of sleep.
My Pacing Strategy
I can’t say that I had much of a pacing strategy going in to the Charlevoix Marathon. I wanted to keep my effort level fairly steady in the first 20 miles so that it was challenging but not exhausting. From experience I know that I can usually muster a few strong finishing miles so I had the mental confidence going in that I can be strong after mile 20.
One of my go-to mantras is “I’m stronger after mile 20.” I’ve also heard some coaches say that the first half of a marathon is through mile 20 and the second half is the final 10k. I started just behind the 3:45 pacing group thinking that it would be a nice stretch goal. However, like I mentioned, I decided early on to pass that group because it felt too wearing to listen to the constant chatter. I figured at some point that I might end up seeing them again.
I tried to take advantage of certain features of the course like opening up my pace a bit on downhill sections. A couple times I glanced down to see my pace, saw it was pretty fast for the early miles, did a body scan (breathing, muscles, etc), and hoped I wouldn’t regret that pace later. I think every marathoner worries occasionally about a fast first half coming back to bite them. I’ve certainly blown up plenty of times later in a marathon. But I knew that my energy felt solid and the cool morning was working to my advantage so I wanted to capitalize on that as much as possible too.
Mentally I tried to maintain a balance of being focused but not obsessing over the little things. It’s a temptation during a marathon to fall back to the pace of least resistance and I was determined to fight that. My mantra every time I felt any negativity or doubt creep in was “you’re okay, stay hard.” I also kept telling myself, “keep pushing.”
I was able to reel in a couple runners who had gotten ahead of me during the race and that felt good. It’s okay to let a bit of competition creep in as long as you’re careful to keep the big picture in mind. Most of us aren’t racing for 1st place so it’s important to not let your ego get the better of you by racing people mid-race.
Around mile 20 I was trying to do some calculations in my head and figured that if I could keep sub-9:00 miles to the finish I would finish around 3:40. But math is hard during a marathon so I didn’t obsess over my pace and just kept pushing. With 3 miles left I realized that I had a good chance of finishing sub 3:40 which would be a BQ if I kept up my pace. But I never allow myself to get overconfident until I’ve actually crossed the finish line.
At mile 24 MTA listener Mike showed up to run the last couple miles with me. He figured out what my pace was and stayed just ahead of me with his orange shirt. One thought I had was “I can’t let him see me whimp out in the last couple of miles.” Despite pushing hard up a final hill around this point I still had enough in me to have a good finishing kick for the last 0.2 miles. It was almost unbelievable to look down and see sub 3:40 on my watch. I got the biggest post-marathon high feeling so happy and grateful for such a strong marathon. When I got over to the timing table and saw my official time of 3:39:25 along with the news that I was first in my age group it was icing on the cake.
Also Mentioned in This Episode
CEP Compression -Check out the latest tall compression sock from CEP, the 3.0 with an updated look, upgraded fit and feel thanks to a blend of 16 yarns, with the same best in class graduated compression, now just a little easier to put on. Use the code “Marathon” for 15% off from now till August 31st.
Generation Ucan -the revolutionary new way for runners to fuel. UCAN keeps your blood sugar stable and allows your body to burn fat. Use the promo code “MTABQ” to save 15% off your order. Or is you’re new to UCAN, save 25% on your first order with code MTA25”.
MetPro -Using Metabolic Profiling, MetPro analyzes your metabolism and provides you with an individualized strategy to obtain your weight or body composition goals.
DripDrop O.R.S. 0an electrolyte powder developed by a doctor to treat dehydration. Go to dripdrop.com/mta to get 20% off any purchase.
VARIDESK -the world’s leading standing desk solution, converting any desk into a standing desk so you can maintain a healthy active lifestyle in the office or at home.
Love Beets – Love Beets offers fun flavors and simple beet products for beet lovers and beet newbies alike! Use code MTA at checkout for 20% off online orders
The duties associated with being a pilot are challenging. The training requirements for running a marathon also are challenging.
“There are frequently unexpected schedule changes daily because of weather or maintenance issues,” says United Express Airlines pilot and four-time marathoner Courtney Schoch. “Unfortunately, training runs or workouts are usually the first thing that gets eliminated because sleep is the top priority when I get to the hotel on a short overnight. Pilots must be well rested and alert in order to perform our job safely.”
For Schoch, her running journey started with an impromptu jog on a trail. She has always been healthy, took precautions and ate healthy. Then a phone call delivered a dose of reality.
Flying Through a World Marathon Challenge with MTA
“It shocked me to be diagnosed with a form of skin cancer six years ago,” says Schoch, who was 38 at the time. “It was at that moment I realized life was short and I needed to embrace it. I was walking in the woods on a trail when I received the call from my doctor and moments after I broke into a run. Wow! It felt amazing! I do not know why I ran, perhaps I thought it was something I never thought I could do because of my curvy body type and wanted to feel alive after such terrible news.”
Running as a metaphor for life
Her run was short, around .3 of a mile, but the “amazing feeling” it gave her was long lasting.
“This is how I became hooked on running,” she says. “I signed up for a 5K Color Run in Cleveland Ohio in 2013 with my family and used Couch to 5K as my first training plan. It was such a fun experience and I vowed to make running a part of my life.”
Schoch, who has been cancer-free for four years, quickly transitioned to longer races.
“I’m still not ‘fast’ but I have the endurance to keep going and running is a metaphor for life,” she says. “I apply many running habits into my daily routine. Trail running is my preference because I love to be connected to nature and embrace the solitude it provides. In a world that is always buzzing, ringing, dinging and demanding trail running gives me peace of mind and time to collect my thoughts.”
Her ‘whys’ for running
Some runners have a particular “why” that gets them out of bed early for training. Schoch, however, can turn to any number of “whys” for her motivation. In no particular order, she lists:
• A race is a metaphor for life. If I can complete 26.2 miles, then I know I can conquer anything life throws at me.
• So many people in the world do not have the ability or the freedom to use their bodies. I am running for all of those who cannot do so for whatever reason.
• I believe the body is meant be used and pushed and to exceed the boundaries we place on it both mentally and physically.
• My nonprofit, Runucate (run plus educate). I run marathons globally to raise awareness and funds for organizations that fight illiteracy and provide education. www.runucate.com
World traveler and runner
Recently Schoch competed in the Easter Island Marathon in Chile, the fourth continent on which she has completed a marathon. Her goal is to finish all seven by 2022.
“All of my races are locations I have dreamt of visiting since I was a child,” she says. “What better way to explore a location than to run a marathon there?”
She uses Marathon Tours, which handles the logistics and schedules tours in the destination.
“They free up time and eliminate stress,” she says. “We spent two days in Santiago prior to our Easter Island departure. We toured a winery, sampled local cuisine and visited the beautiful ocean side city of Valparaiso. On the third day we took the 5-hour, 30-minute flight to Easter Island. The days prior to the marathon included visits to several archeological sites and landmarks with a tour guide. We also embraced the culture by partaking in a blessing ceremony for the runners.”
Horses and cows and medals — oh my!
The Easter Island race was hillier than Schoch had envisioned.
“The race was amazing!” she says. “There was a near constant incline for approximately 10 miles, a sharp descent to the beach marked the halfway point and then we headed back up the hill. It was an unexpected challenge that made the race more exciting.”
The course took runners from one side of the island to the other. Of the 250 total runners —5K, 10K and half marathon options were offered — 87 did the full marathon. There were plenty of surprises, too.
“The free-roaming horses, cows, island dogs and the sparkling blue South Pacific Ocean along with the Moai statues made this experience unforgettable,” she says. “A surprising event at the award ceremony was placing third in my age group. That was a podium first for me!”
Next on Schoch’s calendar is the Reykjavik, Iceland, marathon in summer 2020, followed by Antarctica in March 2021 and the Australian Outback in 2022. While that’s her primary goal, she continues to challenge herself.
“This year I’d like to run some trail races in the United States and learn a new sport, perhaps snowshoe racing, and possibly complete an ultra marathon,” she says. “A Spartan-type event would be amazing but I would need to work on my strength and upper body before committing.”
The value of MTA coaching, community
Schoch fully understands the value of hiring a coach as part of marathon training. Her coach is Lynn Greiger of the Marathon Training Academy (MTA). https://www.marathontrainingacademy.com/coach-lynn-grieger
“Not only does a coach hold me accountable but a coach can modify my plan on a moment’s notice,” she says. “Fitting in training is tough, and it gets frustrating, There are times I have to get creative and supplement with a stair workout in the hotel or perform lunges up and down the aisle of the airplane between flight segments just to get a workout in. Something is better than nothing at times.”
Grieger has helped Scoch in numerous ways.
“Coach Lynn has helped me grow as a runner by being understanding, supportive and tough,” Schoch says. “She has valuable insight and ideas that only an experienced coach can have. The best part is that she does not accept my excuses and believe me I have a lot of them! Her patience and ability to adjust my training plan on a moment’s notice is priceless.”
Perhaps the best compliment a client can give a coach is wanting to continue running, racing and growing. That’s the case with Schoch.
“After a race I often want to sign up for another so I can have an excuse to use her services again,” she says. “Coach Lynn is always available when I need her and knows just the right thing to say to keep me moving forward. I would highly recommend a coach to get the most out of training and to learn a lot about yourself.”
Schoch learned about MTA through the weekly podcast, hosted by owners Trevor and Angie Spencer. She especially loves the race recaps and listener shout-outs.
“The episodes are inspiring and motivate me to get out the door especially when energy is low,” she says. “I love how Trevor and Angie keep things simple and dig deep. Connecting with the running community through the Facebook group is fantastic too. I love seeing everyone’s photos and reading their posts. Members can ask questions, share accomplishments, post links, seek advice, etc. There’s a lot of positivity in the group and a few times a week Angie queries members about upcoming events, training, etc. They also have a fantastic online member portal that offers all kinds of amazing runner tools.”
Hometown: Cleveland, Ohio, previously Leon, Nicaragua (2014-2018) Number of years running: 7 How many miles a week do you typically run: 15-20 when not training – 25 or more when training Point of pride: the first time I ran one mile without stopping Favorite race distance: half marathon Favorite pre-race or training food/drink: grits with a lot of pepper Favorite piece of gear: Altra Lone Peak trail shoes Favorite or inspirational song to run to: Whatever It Takes by Imagine Dragons but mostly no headphones just the sounds of the trail Favorite or inspirational mantra/phrase: “There is no elevator to success, you have to take the stairs” – Zig Ziglar Where can other runners connect or follow you): www.runucate.com
• Instagram: Courtney.Schoch_runucate
When training for a marathon, sleep should be an important part of your schedule. Sleep studies on marathon runners are surprisingly scarce, but one study looking at elite tennis players found those who increased their sleep time to ten hours a night ran faster sprints than usual. So, although everyone’s needs are different, elite athletes should get at least eight to ten hours of sleep a night. Getting enough sleep will lead to faster recovery and therefore faster running.
The Importance Of Sleep During Marathon Training
What the science says
Liverpool John Moores University looked at studies on athletic performance after prolonged periods of being awake and of restricted sleep overnight. Sleep-deprived athletes were found to tire faster, make more mistakes, and make worse decisions. However, physiological markers of endurance performance remained consistent: oxygen demand at various speeds on a treadmill, for example, largely stayed the same after several nights of inadequate sleep. This helps explain how some runners go on to achieve personal bests after not sleeping properly. However, while sleep-deprived bodies can physiologically perform at the same level, they still have to work harder than well-rested ones. That means sleep should still be an important part of your training schedule.
Why your body needs sleep
In particular, the third stage of a typical sleep cycle is essential for healing. It’s when human growth hormone (HGH) is released, which encourages the body to burn fat and build and repair muscle tissue and bones. Low HGH levels inhibit recovery after training, which makes it harder for you to achieve peak performance. When you don’t get enough sleep, your cortisol levels also rise, and this stress hormone inhibits the repair and growth of soft tissue. Sleep deprivation also impairs cognitive abilities and increases appetite, depression, and risk of stroke and diabetes.
Getting a good night’s sleep
It’s important to create a comfortable bedroom to ensure you get a good quality sleep. Aim to create a dark, quiet, cool, and comfortable space. Establishing a relaxing bedtime routine (including meditation, yoga, or reading) can help you fall asleep easier. Make sure you have a good bed frame with proper center support to prevent your mattress from sinking. You may also need to upgrade your mattress. Old mattresses can cause lower back pain and neck crick. There are plenty of different types of mattresses out there and it’s important to choose the right one for you. For example, it’s useful to consider the differences between Puffy vs Saatva mattresses. Puffy offer memory foam mattresses which distribute weight evenly and mold against your body, therefore reducing twisting and turning. Alternatively, Saatva offer coil mattresses, which provide great support, especially for heavier people or those with back issues — although they don’t distribute weight evenly.
Ultimately, sleep should be a priority — just as much as you focus on running. If you need to work on getting more sleep, start by going to bed ten minutes earlier and gradually extending that amount over time. It may be difficult to sacrifice your awake time, but you’ll reap the rewards on race day. You’ll soon notice getting more sleep results in great runs.
In this episode we bring you a marathon success story with Academy member Jon Lepley who after a life-long struggle with addiction decided to run a marathon at the age of 40 and well . . . you will just have to hear what happened next!
And in this episode’s quick tip segment, Angie will explain how to intelligently gauge your response to training so you know if what you’re doing is working.
Marathon Success Story with Dr. Jon Lepley
Jon Lepley is a long time listener to the podcast and Academy member from Lancaster, Pennsylvania. He is the Medical Director at Eagleville Hospital -a large inpatient drug and alcohol treatment facility with a long legacy of treating underserved and stigmatized people. Before this he was the doctor at the Philadelphia Jail where he started an addiction treatment program that has now been studied by other correctional systems around the country. Last year alone he was able to treat 1200 people entering the Philadelphia jail addicted to heroin.
This interview was inspired by an email that Jon sent us back in April. His story is a powerful illustration of how running can help turn one’s life around.
Here is the email.
Hi Trevor and Angie,
I’ve been meaning to reach out for a few months now. I didn’t really make time to contribute to your episode 262 last year, and I just wanted to make sure you were aware of the role your podcast played in my life these past few years.
I spent many years of my life addicted to various drugs and alcohol. There’s no real cause for that, it’s just how I’m put together. I had been able to achieve a lot of things despite these addictions…finishing college, getting in to medical school, becoming a doctor, getting married…or perhaps partly because of it. Most of these endeavors were largely undertaken in attempt to “fix” myself. However, by age 30, my use of drugs and alcohol was simply not sustainable. I found myself in a ton of debt and out of work and in a psychiatric hospital…just lucky to be alive.
I did receive addiction treatment at age 30, and a second chance at a career. I figured out how to go through life without using drugs and alcohol for the sake of retaining a medical license, but I definitely did not figure out how to be content in life. In the years that followed, I found myself on a downward spiral of different sorts. By age 37 I had totally lost my way and reached even lower depths without the aid of addictive substances. From a career standpoint, I decided to quit my job and work nearly 90 miles from my home as a doctor in the Philadelphia Jail system. Truth be told, I just wanted to hide from the world. A relatively massive big city jail system seemed like a good place to do that.
It was in that bleak setting that I found your podcast. I just turned 40 years old and was working as a jail doctor 90 miles from my family. In some ways, I did thrive in that jail environment. I learned how to be a good doctor and how to genuinely care for people while setting healthy boundaries. But a familiar boredom was setting in and I aspired to nothing in particular. The idea of running a marathon at age 40 popped in to my head, and gave me a spark. I clung to that as something to give me purpose.
From July until November of 2015, I probably listened to every one of your back podcasts as I joined MTA and committed to running a marathon. To this day, whenever I hear the opening of your podcast, it still reminds me of that time almost 4 years ago. So many mornings of getting up before dawn, and strapping lights on to my knuckles, and (no matter how tired I felt) running whatever number of miles were on the training plan that day.
I can see now that I was on a path back then. I didn’t believe in God back then, but he definitely put me on that starting line of the marathon that day. To this day, after years of being involved in MTA and running many marathons and half marathons, I still have never run so many miles as I did in the 3 months preparing for that first marathon. These days, I seemingly am always injuring something anytime I exceed 20 miles per week. But not back then. Not before that first marathon. I ran hundreds of miles…hundreds of thousands of individual steps…without so much as a twisted ankle or pulled muscle in 2015.
After all of those miles, the importance of that marathon seemed to dwarf everything else that was going on in my life. I was filled with fear and that fear functioned as a form of anesthesia on race day. I felt good for the first 10 miles and so I ran way too fast. By mile 13, fear was only taking me so far and I realized that I felt way more tired than I should feel for only being half way done. At mile 18, everything fell apart. I felt tired and defeated and certain that I could not finish. I still remember how badly I felt in that moment, knowing that I worked so hard and that I was about to fail anyway despite all of it. Not knowing how else to cope, I simply started to find reasons to be grateful.
Everything about that day changed for me once I decided to just be grateful. I suddenly saw things as they really were. I could see how unimportant being able to run 26.2 miles on that particular day really was in the grand scheme of things. Truly important things in life came in to focus. I was able to see how far I had come as an athlete and a human being. I could see how much I loved my job at the jail, and that I was a father to an amazing daughter, and that people whom cared about me would be waiting for me at the Finish Line. I found myself able to keep pushing forward, always finding some reason to be grateful as a way to cope with my fatigue and pain. I was different person from the one who started when I crossed the Finish Line that day.
It wasn’t sheer guts and determination that got me through those last 8 miles. For me, it was gratitude. Gratitude is definitely a theme in all of your podcasts and that’s surely no coincidence that it’s what got me to the finish line that day.
The success in my career and my marriage that followed after that first marathon are also no coincidence. I learned so many things from that process that I couldn’t possibly fit it all in one email. I have since started one of the largest medication assisted treatment programs in the country at the Philadelphia jail. I was able to treat over 1200 people entering the Philadelphia jail addicted to heroin last year alone. In January of this year, I left that job on good terms in order to take a job as Medical Director at Eagleville Hospital, which is a large inpatient drug and alcohol treatment facility with a long legacy of treating underserved and stigmatized people. Eagleville Hospital is much closer to my home and allows me to see my family every day (whether they like it or not).
So thank you for coming in to my life with your podcast and with Marathon Training Academy. You truly helped me to change my life.
Jon Lepley, DO
Also Mentioned in This Episode
Soar Running -They’re giving away a SOAR Summer Training Bundle to 2 lucky winners: each bundle includes a pair of shorts or bottoms, a T-shirt or vest and a Lightweight Cap. Simply head over to www.soarrunning.com/mta to enter and for your chance to win.
VARIDESK -the world’s leading standing desk solution, converting any desk into a standing desk so you can maintain a healthy active lifestyle in the office or at home.
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Just thought I’d share this really nice comment Angie received from one of our coaching clients named Mike Irwin. Mike is a Canadian and we actually had lunch with him when we drove through British Columbia last year.
Hey Angie, I wanted to thank Trevor and you for pairing me up with Coach Dominque. I’m a totally different runner now and I’ve finally gotten to the point where I run continuously after starting out as a Galloway runner. It’s the best money I’ve ever spent. I’m still dealing with a 58 year old body, but a 58 year old body that’s way fitter then it’s ever been! -Mike
We are so thrilled to hear that Mike is benefitting from MTA Coaching! Here are a couple points that stick out to me from his comment,
From Galloway method to continuous runner.
The Galloway run/walk/run method is great for beginners and older runners (even some experienced runners prefer it). We have two coaches on the team (Dominique and Lynn) who are great at working with clients who use this method.
However, some runners set a personal goal of getting through an entire marathon without taking walk breaks. With enough time and proper training this is possible.
Fitter at Age 58
The interesting thing about running is that you can often improve with age. More and more people are getting into the sport after the age of 40 and many master’s runners are looking to take their running and health to the next level. Master’s runners often benefit from working with a coach because this allows them to push themselves safely (without sacrificing proper rest and recovery).
Coach Dominique Hamel
Mike mentions Coach Dominique, she is also a master’s runner with over 60 marathons and ultras under her belt. To read more about her see this post.