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runcoach blog
Coach Tom McGlynn

Coach Tom McGlynn

Tom started runcoach in 2002. His main objective was to equip more runners with the successful training philosophies he was exposed to. In 2007 Tom and the team found a way to make our proven training more widely available through the new online resource

Tom has qualified for the Olympic Trials Marathon three times (2000 ’04 and ’08). He trained under legendary coach Harry Groves at Penn State and graduated in 1996. Tom ran with the Nike Farm Team and Coaches Jeff Johnson, Vin Lananna, Jack Daniels and Ray Appenheimer from 1996-2004. From 2004-2006 Tom served as Assistant Distance Coach to Frank Gagliano for the Nike Farm Team.

Through runcoach Tom has helped thousands of runners set new PR’s. He has trained Marathoners ranging from 2:15 to 8:15 and remains convinced that anyone can improve their running with the right approach.

February 23, 2010

More Exercise is Better

This is for all of you wondering why we run through the winter, the cold and rainy days, and all the aches and pains.

More exercise is better so let’s keep running.

February 15, 2019

Barefoot Running

Here’s some more supportive data on the benefits of running barefoot and an interesting analysis of force distribution with an without shoes.

Born to Run Barefoot - John Dodge

To clarify our recommendation is that athletes run 5-10% of their weekly mileage barefoot on a soft surface.  So for the athlete running 20 MPW that’s 1-2 mile per week barefoot.    We are most interested in the variance of foot strike, flexion and force distribution which helps strengthen the plantar facia, achilles tendon and calf muscles.

The article includes two videos from the Harvard University Skeletal Biology Lab that outline the force variance of barefoot running.

They can be viewed here:

Barefoot Normal Strike

Shoe Strike

To pass along to your non-running friends!

From CNN.com

Story Highlights

  • Stanford University study finds that running did not damage joints in aging runners
  • Runners still need to take precautions: Don’t run with injuries, wear proper shoes
  • Aging runners less likely to die from certain ailments, study says

Full story here.

 

This is a great read about endurance activity and increased heart metabolism.

One of the key points is that the research was done with heart rates at 65-75% of capacity.  Since maintenance pace keeps you in the 65-80% MHR range this study is highly applicable to running.  The fact that these stimuli seem to return the heart to a metabolic state of youth could be paramount in heart disease prevention and overall cardiac throughput.

In theory our threshold/10K/VO2 work could stimulate an even greater cardiac metabolism since we operate closer to 85-95% of MHR.

If you’re in anywhere between 30-90 years old, this is a great read.

Exercise Makes Hearts Grow Younger

A year ago we lost a great friend, husband, son, brother, and competitor in Central Park. This weekend in NYC there will be several activities in his honor including a park bench dedication and a large group of Notre Dame Alumni running the race.

My heart goes out to his wife Alicia, parents, siblings and close friends. He is gone from our sight but very much present in spirit.

The Chicago Marathon has a dilemma on its hands that could have long lasting implications.

Wesley Korir’s time was the 4th fastest automatically timed finish of the day on Sunday. Chicago will not pay him the 4th place finisher’s purse of $15K based on the IAAF rules that require all elite runners to start with the elite race.

On one hand I want to scream at the Chicago Marathon to show Mr. Korir the money.

On the other hand the 4th place finisher has an argument in that Korir did not have to compete with the best runners nor did he follow the rules of competition.

What do you think?

http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/chi-081012-wesley-koirr-chicago-marathon,0,36016.story

All,

Just a quick post to let you know that I will officially go out on a limb and say that Haille G. is the best runner of our time and quite possible all-time. Gebreselassie broke the World Record in the Marathon yesterday and became the first person to average 4:43/Mile for 26.2 consecutive miles.

This is crazy fast and my hat’s off to Haille who has run another race that I couldn’t even imagine.

He is simply awesome.

Regards,

Tom

It occurs to me that we spend a good deal of time with emphasis on the keys to our training approach:

  • >Pace
  • >Progression
  • >Recovery

However sometimes I see even the most organized, motivated runners miss out on some of the basics.  Everyone knows to wear sweats and bundle up in the winter months, but what about the kind of cold Fall presents.  It's tricky to dress for the 40 - 50*F (5-15*C) days.

As always I am most concerned that all you remain healthy.  Remember if you're healthy, you're aerobic economy can be continuously developed through stress, recovery and compensation/conditioning.

So here are a few basics for running attire in the 40-60 degree temperature range.  hiruni_fall_clothes

  1. Wear a long-sleeve shirt and short sleeve shirt or vest over. It's key to keep the core warm.
  2. Wear long tights or knee long tights for women. And tuck your shirt into the tights.
  3. Consider light gloves and a hat or earband.
  4. If it's windy, a light windbreaker is a must. 
  5. Avoid cotton clothes. As you sweat the clothes will drench in making you colder.

As you run you will feel warmer, that's your body's engine heating up. That's why I suggest dressing for how you will feel 20 minutes into the run then the first mile. If you are running long, bring a change or clothes of a warm sweatshirt to change into after you finish up. It's never fun to be sitting in your frozen sweat on the drive home. 

 

Race day is almost here! Remember to lay low and stay off your feet the days before the race. Your reward is race day itself and the challenge of running. . . .

Arrival

Make sure you get outside and feel the air. Go for at least a 20 minute walk or jog on either the day before, or two days before (or whatever is on your schedule).

Think about what you did, not what you didn’t do in your training. When you go to pick up your race number and run into old friends, family etc. everyone will want to ask about your training so they can tell you about theirs. Forget about theirs and don’t compare yourself to anyone. You followed a terrific training schedule and are well prepared.

Night Before, Morning Of

Have a full meal the night before. Try and consume some complex carbohydrates (pasta). Do not over eat, but make sure you fill up.

On race day eat a light breakfast of 200-300 Kcal of carbohydrates including the sports fluid you drink. If you have a normal pre-race breakfast then stick with it. Don't try any new foods before the race. Drink gatorade (or any sports drink that doesn’t include protein) and/or water frequently to assure you are hydrated (clear urine is a good sign). You should stay well-hydrated throughout the morning before the race. At some point prior to the race stop drinking so you can empty your bladder before the start. It is important to refrain from over-consumption of water alone, as that will drain your body of needed electrolytes.

I suggest you take some throw away warmups to the start especially if it rains or will be cold. This could be an old t-shirt or old sweat pants. Also old socks will keep your hands warm. Some runners will even wear a t-shirt for the first couple miles of the race until they warm up and then pull it off and throw it away. This is a good strategy to prepare for all temperatures.

Take a bottle with gatorade/sports drink to the start with you and right before (less than 5 mins) the gun goes off drink 4-8 ounces. This is your first water stop. If you drink close enough to the start you shouldn’t have to pee – the fluid should only drip through your kidneys because most of your resources (blood) will be in your legs and out of your gut as soon as the gun goes off.

Early Miles

I suggest that you start 5-10 seconds per mile slower than your goal pace. By the 2nd mile you should be running at around goal pace while listening to your body. I recommend this approach as it may activate (and utilize) a higher percentage of fat fuel over the first couple miles. Remember we are trying to conserve glycogen and muscle for as long as possible.

Stay on top of hydration. Fluid stations will be located at 4 stations throughout the course. Take note of these opportunities to rehydrate and plan to drink 4-8 ounces every 20 minutes. It is better to consume enough fluid early and sacrifice the later stops if necessary.

Remember the 3 ‘C’s’

Confidence: Have confidence in your ability and your training. Remember all those hard workouts you did. Remember those early mornings, late nights, sore calves, tight hamstrings etc. - they weren’t in jest.

Control: You must relax yourself early in the race. You absolutely must go out under control for the first half of the race. We want to save a little bit for the final miles.

Collection: Keep your thoughts collected and on your objective. There will always be lots of distractions on race day. The further you get in this race the more you need to focus on yourself, goals and race strategy. Don’t let the fans and competitors into your zone.

The Ebb and Flow

I said before that I can’t guarantee anything about the training or the race itself. Well, I can guarantee this: you will feel good at some point and you will feel bad at some point within the race.

Races usually ebb and flow, runners rarely feel terrific the entire way. We always hit little walls. If you hit one just focus on the next mile, don’t think about the end of the race. If you take each difficult moment one mile at a time you will usually feel better at some point. It always comes back because. . .

You Always Have One Cup Left

That’s right – you always have one cup of energy left. The difference is that some people find it and some don’t. Remember what normal, untrained people do when they feel discomfort – they slow down and feel better. You are not a normal un-trained person.

You are a runnining machine!

You are programmed to give your personal best so. . .

Go get that last cup!
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