Commencement reading and listening for 2015

Welcome to 2015. Here are a few things I’ve read and listened to recently that I think you might enjoy.

First, David Foster Wallace’s 2005 speech at Kenyon College. Click here to read the text or watch the condensed version below. I’d read the speech, but I like to read (and if you like to read you can spend $10 and buy the book, which is like a little book of poetry).

Anna Quindlen’s speech implores us to get a life. Thank you Anna Quindlen for the advice. Click here to read her speech. Or read Brain Pickings entry here.

Those two are the reason for this post.  The first asks that you think, and the second that you get a life.  I hope to do both this year.

And I enjoyed this speech as well.

Happy New Year!

Distance Running Recruiting – Free Q&A

I’ve been working hard to make Distance Running Recruiting a reality and I’m so pleased that today we are launching the site. The goal of the site is simple – educate parents about the recruiting process for high school runners. The recruiting process is complex and we help families effectively navigate through the process. We are not a recruiting service.

We have a free Recruiting Guide that I recommend you download if you are a parent, student or coach.  Click here to download the guide.

There are some great interviews with college coaches and articles on the site, so check those out if you have time.  We are adding content each week.

One of the key elements of becoming a member of the site is that each month you have the opportunity to get a question answered in that month’s Q&A. I thought it would be helpful to share a Q&A for free for the next week to give parents, students and coaches a chance to ask questions.

Use the arrows on the right side of the Q&A to “vote up” a question, moving that question closer to the top of the list. We will work our way down, answering the most popular questions first.


Podcast 029 – Phil Wharton on Marathon Recovery, Part 1

Want to know how to recover from a marathon?

Phil Wharton knows how to help people recover from a marathon. Listen to him describe the plan that he and his father Jim have created in this podcast.

Click here to get the Wharton Post-Marathon Recovery Plan PDF.

The plan utilizes Active Isolated Flexibility, which Phil and Jim have brought to the running world.

From today through next Tuesday, October 21st, you can use the code “october15″ to get 15% off Flexibility for Runners and the Strengthening for Runners videos from (see introduction to the videos below).

Click here to download the audio.  Or you can listen to the podcast via iTunes.

October 2014 Q&A

Anatomy of an Easy Day

Note: This went out to newsletter subscribers a few weeks ago.  Click here to join the newsletter and get great content each week.

Most runners know that they can’t run hard every day; they need to recover from workouts and long runs with easy days.  But what should an easy day be?  Is there a specific pace you should run?  Should you run strides on easy days?  Should you do core strength and stretching, and if so, how much?  To answer these questions, I’ve come up with my ideal model of an easy day.  Note: This is the longest newsletter I’ve ever written, so you may want to save it for this weekend when you have more time to read it.  I think it is important, so I hope you’ll find the time to consider my version of an easy day.

1.  Warm Up

The warm-up is the first thing you do when you get out of your house or get out of your car.  You want to get yourself moving in all three planes of motion for two important reasons.  First, you’ve likely been sleeping or sitting prior to this run, so you need to remind your body that it’s athletic and can move in all three planes of motion.  Second, even though running is primarily a sagittal plane activity, athletes who are capable in all three planes of motion are going to have fewer injuries.  The lunge matrix (LM) gets you moving in all three planes of motion effectively and quickly, taking just 3.5 minutes to complete.  Click here to see the lunge matrix.  Following the lunge matrix you should do legs swings. To see the leg swings, go to the 2:40 mark of this video (the Myrtl routine).  These two elements take a total of 5 minutes.

An alternative to the lunge matrix and leg swings is a routine I recently learned at the Boulder Running Camps.  Coach Patrick McHugh demonstrated Vern Gambetta’s warm-up, which includes mini-band work. [Read more…]

Food for a curious running mind

Just recommended four running blogs to an online client and thought I should share them with you as well.

Steve Magness’s blog: Best blend of primary research and real world training.  Here is the podcast he and I recorded.

Running Times: Best advice from a magazine on training, with good articles that are well written. Disclaimer – I’m a contributor.

Vern Gambetta’s blog:  Sage advice on coaching and training.  Here is the podcast he and I recorded.

High School Running Coach: Great HS coaches sharing their training and answering your questions on training.  I run this site and I’m so excited about it’s potential to help HS coaches help their athletes.  Join the mailing list to get the Key Workouts from our coaches – click here.

…and if you want to follow an amazing instagram on running, follow ultrarunner Scott Jurek –

This I Believe (second draft)

The following the newsletter that I sent out to subscribers a month ago.  I shared the first three parts of it here and I thought I would be appropriate to share the rest of it.  I hope you enjoy it.  You can join the newsletter at the bottom of this post.

There is a project called “This I Believe” – – that is based off of the same series done by Edward R. Murrow.  Here is my list as it applies to training.  It is not a comprehensive list, but it’s close.

I believe if an athlete wants to run faster, they need to run.  The Law of Specificity for a runner means that you have to spend a significant amount of time running to get better at running.  Now, the ratio of running to non-running work may (and probably should) change throughout the life of a given athlete.  Early in a career, when the athlete doesn’t have a very good aerobic foundation, more running needs to occur.  When the athlete is in their late thirties and beyond, a bit more general strength (potentially weight room work) and a bit less running is probably the best recipe for success.  But the bottom line is that if you want to improve as a runner then you have to run.

I believe that the long run is the key workout for developing the aerobic metabolism (though many would argue that threshold training is better). [Read more…]