Archive for trail running

048: Listener Questions: Becoming a Better Runner, Swim Training and More! [Podcast]

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Team PURSUIT triathlete Megan Pennington, on her way to the OVERALL WIN at the Litchfield Hills Triathlon!

Team PURSUIT triathlete Megan Pennington, on her way to the OVERALL WIN at the Litchfield Hills Triathlon!

Today we dig into some great questions sent in to us from listeners.  The first has to do with becoming a BETTER runner, something nearly every triathlete and pure runner has thought about at one time or another (or a few thousand times!) :)

Whether it’s right here in our Pursuit Athletic Performance lab during a gait analysis, or out on the trail or road OR over a beer at the local pub, we always relish the opportunity to talk to anyone about running.  (Anyone who knows Coach, KNOWS how much he can talk, talk, and talk some more about this topic!). No apologies necessary though – running has been a passion of Coach Al’s since first running “Boston” in 1983.

Every so often though, a conversation with a frustrated triathlete turns to a sort of self depricating exchange where they end up telling us (trying to convince us, or themselves, perhaps?) why they CAN’T be as good a runner as they really would “like” to be.  Whether this self-doubt stems from a long period of training struggle or chronic running-related injury, the bottom line is that most triathletes have much more running ability inside of them waiting to get out than they realize! They just don’t know how to GET it out!  In the podcast, we offer some real and practical suggestions to take your running to a new level.

In case you’re one of those who is impatient and curious and can’t wait to listen, here are some hints:

  1. No! It isn’t necessarily about planking, more of it, or doing it differently.
  2. No, it won’t necessarily be “easy.”  While we offer some practical suggestions that you CAN implement tomorrow in your training, the truth is that it generally takes a long time to “get good” as a runner, all things being equal.

Also, we jump in on some questions about all things swim training for the triathlete.

  • Is it REALLY worthwhile to spend time doing kicking sets if I am racing in a wetsuit and generally never kick in a race?
  • Why is the coach writing “hypoxic” sets for us anyway? Is it really valuable, and if so, why?
  • And more!

Thanks for joining us! Make it a great day!

~Coach Al and Dr. Strecker

Meet Our Athletes: Ultrarunning Champ Debbie Livingston

Debbie Livingston, Laurel Highlands Ultra, Pursuit Athletic Performance, ultra runHello Everyone!

It is my true pleasure to introduce you to one of the outstanding athletes I coach, ultrarunning champion Debbie Schieffer Livingston. I think you will really enjoy this interview as we cover a host of topics including how Debbie prepares for running distances up to 100 miles, how she recovers, her thoughts on the value of functional strength training (hint: she says it makes a “huge difference”), fueling and hydration, and the mental challenges she faces when running such long distances.

Debbie has been running ultras for more than a decade. She is equipped with with a wealth of experience and broad perspectives. Plus, she is the nicest person you could ever meet!

We filmed this interview in the Massachusetts Berkshires at the Mt. Graylock Trail Races Half Marathon where Debbie was third woman overall. That’s impressive enough, but what is truly mind blowing is that she did the Mt. Graylock race only SIX DAYS after her record-breaking performance at the Laurel Highlands 70.5 Ultra! In that race, Debbie smashed a 22-year course record by 12 minutes! (You can see her Laurel Highlands race report here.) Her results tell you this is an athlete who has learned how to put all the pieces together.

Debbie is truly an elite athlete, but as you listen I think you will see that issues regarding smart training, recovery, strength work, flexibility, fueling, and taking the long view apply to all of you too. At least that is how we guide and train ALL our athletes at Pursuit Athletic Performance, whether you are breaking records or gearing up for your first 5K.

Enjoy the interview. And wait until you hear what she has planned for the rest of the season!!! ~ Coach Al

Sedona Trail Running Camp & Retreat, April 15-19, 2012

Hello everyone! Coach Al here.

I am very excited to announce that I have partnered with Ultra Running Champion Debbie Coach Al, Sedona Trail Running Camp & RetreatLivingston to host a five-day trail running camp and retreat in beautiful Sedona, Arizona!

The camp will be held Sunday, April 15 to Thursday, April 19, and we have no doubt it will be the experience of a lifetime!

The camp and retreat will be hosted at the spectacular Red Agave Resort in Sedona.

Debbie and I see this as more than just a running camp. This five day “running retreat” is an educational and inspirational experience designed to develop you as a COMPLETE runner.

As we run, eat, and live together, surrounded by the magical red rock formations of Sedona, you will be immersed in aspects of training that are essential to becoming a stronger, faster, and mentally-tough competitor. There is no doubt you will emerge a smarter, reinvigorated runner equipped with the tools you need to make you faster and more resilient–ready to unleash your highest running potential.

The Sedona retreat is also the ideal lead-in to the legendary Zane Grey 50 Mile Endurance Run to be held April 21, 2012. Debbie is competing in the race. If you are already registered for this challenging event, the retreat in Sedona is the perfect venue to help you cap your physical conditioning, shore up your mental game, and share an uplifting event with other runners. What a fantastic way to wrap up your training! See our event page for more details.

The camp is open to all runners of all levels and abilities who want to improve, learn, and share. It is is limited to 15 athletes – first come, first served! Registrations need to be completed no later than March 18, 2012.

Explore the who, what, when and why, plus complete details, bios, and more at the here. Make the commitment to yourself and to your training in 2012, and register today!

Feel free to contact me with any questions. Hope to see you in Sedona!