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Running Advice...
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Craig W.
(xnomanx) - F - M
Running Advice... on 11/26/2006 21:38:24 MST Print View

Hello all...
I'm getting into distance running, working towards my first marathon with my sights set on a 50K/ultramarathons after that (I've covered over 26 miles trekking in a day, now I want to push how fast/far I can go). My long runs are primarily on trails. I'm a big guy (6'3", 215lbs) and the pounding takes its toll- sore ankles and knees. I'm pretty positive my form sucks...I simply run the way I "know" how, incorporating most of your basic "keep the shoulders loose, hands relaxed", etc. As my mileage grows, I now need more detailed/specific help. Any good books/dvd's/training programs that you can recommend to help this?

Zack Karas
( - MLife

Locale: Lake Tahoe
Re: Running Advice... on 11/26/2006 23:55:06 MST Print View


This doesn't particularly relate to running form, but when I was trail racing I found a tremendous benefit of training by heart rate (you may already do this) after stumbling on the research of Philip Maffetone. He has worked with numerous serious professional endurance athletes and has written several books. My times and distances improved while injuries disappeared. It may help you out. Best of luck on the ultras.

paul johnson
(pj) - F

Locale: LazyBoy in my Den - miss the forest
Re: Running Advice... on 11/27/2006 03:25:01 MST Print View


My daughter, trains for and runs marathons and half-marathons.

If you are interested, i could contact her (she's in LA, Ca & i'm in CT) and see if she would have the time to correspond with you via email and pass on tips she's learned from "professional" marathoners she's trained with.

Let me know.

Oh,...BTW, great Avatar, you've got there. Looks sorta' like my mother-in-law. [just kidding, she's a great lady - would have to be to put with me for over 27yrs]

Edited by pj on 11/27/2006 03:26:52 MST.

Jonathan Ryan
(Jkrew81) - F - M

Locale: White Mtns
training for an ultra myself.. on 11/27/2006 06:23:52 MST Print View

Hey Craig, I am in the same boat as you. I am currently into my 13th week of my base training for an ultra that I will be doing next May. Like you, I am 6’3’’ and around 195 lbs (205 when I started running). The best advice that I received is to learn how to listen to your body and that rest is far more important than I ever knew. To avoid injury, I do one longer effort each week whether it be a 10-15 mile road or trail run to a 10-20 mile hike. The rest of the week I do shorter 3-6 mile runs mixed with easy days, hill work and some pacing (all in all 3-5 days each week depending on the week). To help balance out the running I try to strengthen the core at least 3 times a week with crunches, pushups, wallsits etc.. I have found that keeping a realistic schedule like this has been a huge part of keeping the training going each week. In the past I have set high expectations for myself which as we all know can be rather difficult to meet with work and other daily interferences. More important than anything is to try and keep it fun. It is difficult enough to get home at 6, strap on a headlamp, bundle up and run in the winter.

Craig W.
(xnomanx) - F - M
Thanks on 11/27/2006 18:48:11 MST Print View

Thanks all..Jonathan, that's basically the same schedule I'm on now, minus the core training (I know I should be doing it, but...). Have you found that long distance hiking keeps you shape? I'm assuming the hiking mileage is a bit longer if substituted for running.

Jonathan Ryan
(Jkrew81) - F - M

Locale: White Mtns
hiking mileage on 11/28/2006 17:07:53 MST Print View

I do like to increase the mileage of my hikes to compensate for not running. I find that if I do out and do a 8 mile hike that I do not get the kind of workout I would get running. When I bump the mileage over 10 miles, it def feels like a workout.

Alec Muthig
(Alekat) - F

Locale: Wyoming, USA
Re: Running Advice... on 11/30/2006 11:07:26 MST Print View

Hi Craig... I'm an ultrarunner as well and can give you some tidbits of advice. May or may not help as it's such an experiment of one out there.

A very slow mileage (time) buildup is important. Your joints (as well as the rest of you) will need to adapt. Too fast and you may push injury. I put time up there because I find mileage to be a poor indicator of training, unless you always train on roads. This last Saturday I covered 10.5 miles... not much mileage, but it took me nearly 4 hours - at 10800', pulling a pulk, wearing snowshoes, up and down steep hills. When people ask me my weekly mileage I have a difficult time answering. I'd rather say, "about 10 hours of running"...

In addition to a slow buildup, mix walking breaks into your running. It helps during-run recovery dramatically. Many ultrarunners will walk the ups and run the flats and downs. Some run for 10 minutes and walk for 2 minutes, etc.

Proper shoes are important as well. Make sure they are supportive enough to tackle the trails.

Check out for lots of detailed info. The Runner's World Trail Running Forum is a great community as well.

Craig W.
(xnomanx) - F - M
Re: Re: Running Advice... on 12/03/2006 19:12:48 MST Print View

Thanks Alec, I haven't heard of
Funny, you did 10.5 last Sat. in the snow...I did 10.5 today: full sun, shorts, tanktop, actually felt good slipping at a stream crossing.

I agree on the time training...I'm trying not to worry too much about mileage but more about how many hours I can go on given terrain.

At the time I put up the OP I think I was having a bad week- lots of aches and pains. I've been focusing on my form more- a smooth stride and good landings and my mileage/pain ratio has been much better. My problem might not be so much about form; I think I did exactly what you were just warning about- increasing my mileage too much too quick.

I'm loving this trailrunning business though...being able to cover in a couple hours what it takes most a day to hike. Combine the running with ultralight gear and the wild is wide open....

Nigel Sanderson
(onthefells) - F

Locale: The Chilterns and Peak District
build a base on 12/13/2006 06:29:19 MST Print View

Hi Craig, I'm a runner and an athletics coach. Good luck with the training and hope it all goes well. 2 pieces of advice if you're relatively new to it all. The first thing is to take it real steady and concentrate on getting the time in on your feet to build endurance. This will have 2 advantages firstly it will increase your VO2 Max and secondly you will lose weight, both of which will help you run for longer with fewer injuries. The second thing is to avoid one of the first things newcomers to running often do and that is to get involved in all kinds of interval/speed work before they have built an endurance base, this is a sure fire way to get injured. I'd advise a minimum of 4-5 months of steady endurance building running before attempting speed work.

Edited by onthefells on 12/13/2006 06:30:06 MST.