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Keeping Pace, Issue #010 -- Creating the Perfect Run
June 01, 2013

Make it a Great Run!

Throughout our running training journey, we’re bound to experience some ‘off days’ or low points in our motivation. We may be physically drained, mentally drained or perhaps a little of both.

Just last week, I was talking to a newer runner who described how running left her with such a mixed feeling of loathing and joy. She didn’t typically have a good time while she was running, but loved how it made her feel when she was done. It was that elation of being finished that kept bringing her back. No doubt we all totally connect with the feeling of elation she described with being done our workouts and it’s most certainly true that gratification does not come without some discomfort. However, it blew me away that someone could dislike an activity so much and yet come back for more day after day. I had a strong suspicion there was more to the story.

After probing with a few more questions about her running experiences, it finally became apparent that much of her discomfort was neither normal nor necessary. With her young baby and hectic schedule, she often dove right into her runs without ever taking the time to warm so she could be done before the baby woke up. She also lacked a pair of shoes that fit her properly.

This made me wonder how many of us unnecessarily put up with substandard gear or conditions and seemed like a great time to review some daily strategies we can use to set ourselves up for awesome running experiences.

Positive Running Strategies

  1. Hydrate ion and Sleep – Drinking enough water and getting your sleep are by far two of the most significant contributors to a healthy energy level. It’s hard to get excited about a run if you’re feeling low on energy so be mindful of these two critical factors in all of the hours between your runs.
  2. Set Daily Goals – Goals give us something to focus on followed by a method of measuring our success. Your workout goal can be time, distance or route oriented. It really doesn’t matter how you measure it as long as you are able to know when you’ve achieved what you set out to do for the day.
  3. Create Motivators – Motivators can come in many forms including your favorite running music, a new show or movie to watch on the treadmill, a new route mapped out that you’ve never tried, running a well-known route in record time or challenging yourself in other ways. Taking a bit of time to create a motivating situation can go a long way towards enjoying your experience – the least of which being getting your butt out the door!
  4. Dress for the Weather – Probably the worst thing you can do is under-dress and find yourself vulnerable in the cold, wet or windy weather. Any time you’re in doubt, throw an extra layer on which you can always toss away once you’ve warmed up and found you’re over-dressed. It’s hard to enjoy your run if you are uncomfortable and solely focused on it getting it done.
  5. Warm up – Warming up for your run does two critical things that contribute to a positive running experience. First, helps you to ease into is important on many levels. Many top runners walk briskly or run at least 2 minutes per mile slower than their anticipated running pace for the day during the warm up period. Before you even get going, you can entertain some ballistic stretching to get things warmed up and pliable. Slow starts also give your body time to establish energy partitioning where it decides where it’s going to make energy from. Easier early paces help your body to tap into your body fat stores rather than use your muscle glycogen for energy. Burning a good balance of the two greatly contributes to a solid amount of long term energy while you run.
  6. Stretch – Instead of rushing to get changed and back to your daily routine, take some cool down time to do some stretching if time permits. Gentle stretching can feel really good after a run as you relax and enjoy gratification about what you’ve achieved. Your post-run stretches should include static stretches. If you are not familiar with these types of stretches, HERE is a downloadable stretching poster that you can print and post on your wall.

Despite best efforts, we all experience the odd day where we feel like we’re running low on energy reserves, but don’t let it get you down. Perhaps you’re not being whiny, and your body would much rather do with a brisk walk! Try to enjoy your session for whatever it brings and be proud of yourself for getting off your butt. Hydrate, consume some quality calories, get a good night’s sleep and resume with a fresh start the next day.

Healthy AND Delicious Cheese Burgers!!

In celebration of National Burger Day(May 28th) we welcome with open arms...BBQ season! What better way to celebrate than with these TO-DIE-FOR cheese-stuffed burgers???

Seriously, these were a huge hit with the everyone including the kids and some of the fussier friends of the kids too! I was amazed at how well the cheese stayed in the burger until it was cut open. Imagine that festival of flavors you will experience when you bite into one of these - my mouth is watering as I type...


  • 2 lbs of ground beef
  • 1 small onion
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 3 tsp of sea salt
  • Fresh ground pepper to taste
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbsp of fresh parsley
  • *optional*1 tbsp of chia seeds to help meat stick (thanks Jeannie)
  • Cheese of choice - we used blue cheese and goat cheese in different patties. Mozza and cheddar would work well too

Directions: In food processor, finely mince onion and garlic. In a bowl, mix all burger ingredients, except cheese, until well blended. Use your hands. Cut desired amount of cheese into small cubes and warp meat mixture around them to form a burger. There should be enough meat to make 6 - 8 burgers, depending on size you like.

Grill 6 - 8 minutes per side, making sure meat is no longer pink. Try your best to seal the meat around the cheese to avoid oozing while cooking although the slightly crisp burnt cheese on a few of them was also delicious.

Serve on a bed of fresh spinach leaves or crisp Romaine lettuce (Paleo folks) with grilled peppers and onion mix or whatever topping you desire - the possibilities here are endless:)


MYRG Quote of the Month

"20 years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream!"

Mark Twain

Here's to keeping pace with your running goals!


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