Monday, June 29, 2015

ACCLIMATIZE

In mid-May, a good friend, Samantha Snukis, and one of the runners I personally coach, Father Chris Zelonis, ran the Run for the Red Marathon in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania. After a cold winter and a cool spring, the athletes, who had prepared diligently for the race, awoke to morning temperatures approaching 80 degrees. By the time they finished, the mercury hovered near 90 degrees, with high humidity. While both runners ran their personal bests, their times were negatively impacted, and Chris Zelonis suffered severe dehydration.

The reason for their diminished performances was simple. There was just no way they could acclimatize themselves to the temperature increase that quickly. Now, place the race in September, and their results would have been different.

Even during the coldest winter months, the body heats up rapidly when we run. During the summer months, we need to take precautions in order to avoid heat-related issues. But, sooner or later, we are going to be forced to run races under hot conditions, so, we need to acclimatize.

Last week, I left Pennsylvania for a week in Myrtle Beach. Each day my Weather Channel app warned me of "dangerous heat." My daily runs were conducted between 7:00 and 7:30 a.m., yet, most of the days, the heat index stood above 90 degrees. Like a moth to a light bulb, I darted toward shade whenever possible, and used the Atlantic Ocean for my cool down. I ran every morning, and my workout times improved each day. On Saturday morning, before we left for the airport, I ran my fastest workout of the week.

It was dismal  here in Pennsylvania yesterday. It was cool, temperature around 68 degrees, cloudy, and breezy. My dogs didn't want to go outside. Finally, around 3:00 p.m. I decided to go for my longer run of the week. My legs felt light. My breathing felt as though a plastic bag had been removed from my head. I ran my fastest 9-miler of the year.

Running through the Myrtle Beach blast furnace had helped,

The moral of the story?

If you're gonna race in the heat, you gotta train in the heat.

Be careful, but select a hot day here or there and train in the heat. Plant water along the way if you have to, but get your body accustomed to the brutal conditions. Granted, your training time may be slower, but come race day, you'll be better prepared when others aren't.

Get home to a garden hose, a cold shower or bath, a swimming pool, or an ocean and cool down immediately.

Embrace the heat in order to race in the heat.

www.muldowneyrunning.com


                                             Samantha Snukis



Thursday, June 25, 2015

THE ONE PLACE TO GET ALL THE DIRT

There are races everywhere these days.

Participation in races, from 5Ks to ultramarathons has hit record numbers.

Themed races, like mud runs, and obstacle races, are more popular than ever.

The complaint I hear from most runners, however, is that they have difficulty finding themed races.

In addition, race organizers have trouble finding a way to get the word out there about their event.

Now there's a site that offers the largest online listing of mud runs, obstacle races, and themed runs. AND...anyone can register their event for free on the site.

The site is www.mudrunfun.com, and it features complete race listings, a race calendar, and even promo codes for many races, They can also be found on Facebook and Twitter.

www.mudrunfun.com is the most comprehensive themed race site I've seen.

So, get dirty and find your next adventure at MudRunFun!


Monday, June 22, 2015

UNIQUE...BY DESIGN

Whether you are a veteran runner, or a runner who has recently entered the world of road racing, your closet is probably filled, or is filling, quickly with race T-shirts.

The shirts, some of which may be very nice, are little more than billboards, covered with the names of sponsors, on the back, front, and even on the sleeves. There is little that is unique about these shirts, and so many people are wearing “The (fill in the blank) 5K” T-shirts these days, they are hardly recognizable.

On Facebook last week, I stumbled upon a page, https://www.facebook.com/runshirts and when I visited the page and took a look at the T-shirts offered by the company, I was impressed by the unique, very interesting, inspiring, and humorous phrases placed on the shirts.

The company was started last year by a runner, who, decided after looking at over 200 race shirts he had collected over the years, that they were all pretty boring and uninspiring advertisements for the events. So he decided to create a few shirts with some catchy sayings. As it turned out, there was an appetite for these types of shirts. Runners are passionate people, and appreciated the fact that there were other shirts available that spoke to their passion as runners.

These shirts don't sell in stores. They are only sold through online campaigns, or through running races across the country. That is what makes them unique. They also have a monthly campaign on Twitter, where people can submit their own idea for a running shirt. If the design is picked, then they get the shirt for free.

The shirts are reasonably priced, starting at $21.99 for a short sleeved tee, and move up in price from there. Long sleeved shirts and tanks start at $22.99, and even high quality, sweatshirt hoodies are available at $34.95. The shirts are made from fine quality cotton, still, in my view, far superior to the shiny, oily feel of some of today’s fabrics.

And, later this summer, these cool shirt designs will be available on phone cases as well.

Any race that wants to offer its runners a completely unique T-shirt to their registrants to enhance their race series can certainly contact Running T-shirts via their Facebook page.

On June 30, a drawing for a free T-shirt will be held. You can go to the opt-in page and enter your email. One winner will be selected. Here is the link: http://tinyurl.com/oubatvn

Follow them on Twitter @running_tshirts


If you are looking for a truly unique, high-quality T-shirt that expresses you as a runner, I recommend you check out these awesome T-shirts. Go to the weblink under each shirt to order.

                                                                http://tinyurl.com/nnppdxh

                                                                  http:// tinyurl.com/p3tpzm4

                                                                    http://tinyurl.com/q8jtvyc

                                                                  http://tinyurl.com/ogv4hp9

Saturday, June 20, 2015

GREAT DEALS=EVERYWHERE

Father's Day and the summer solstice are nearly upon us, so don't let the sun set on a plethora of deals on some terrific summer reading.

 There's still time to get in on the biggest sale and savings ever on my two books, Personal Best, and Running Shorts/

The books are the perfect summer read. The tips and advice will definite go a long way in helping your dad to become a better runner.

GLITCH ALERT AHEAD!

It has come to my attention that the website is not generating the BOGO sale correctly. When ordering, order only ONE of the books, and we'll send the other book for free, and you'll be charged properly. Sorry for the mix-up.

Go to www.muldowneyrunning.com, where you can buy one of the books, and receive the other ABSOLUTELY FREE. That's right. You can buy one for you and give the other to dad. Or keep both for yourself. Give one to the person who inspired you to begin training. Give one to your spouse, your son or daughter...well, you get the picture.

You can also check out my books at Amazon, www.amazon.com, where you can purchase the Kindle version of Personal Best  for only $1.99.

AND, until June 21, my publisher, Lulu, www.lulu.com, is offering a whopping 30% off all print books.

My first book, Running Shorts: A Collection of Stories and Advice for Anyone Who Has Ever Laced Up a Pair of Running Shoes, published in 2011, is a compilation of my experiences as competitive runner for 39 years, but many of these tales reflect experiences YOU have had during your years as a runner. As one of the Amazon reviewers stated, "It will make you laugh and it will make you cry." amazon.com/author/joemuldowney

Traveling the country, promoting my first book, prompted me to write, Personal Best, my second book, published in September 2014.

Runners told me what they wanted in a running book, and I tried to respond by writing a book that is instructive to runners of all ages and abilities.

Personal Best took a tragic turn in April 2013, soon after I crossed the finish line at the Boston Marathon. I devoted my first chapter, entitled "Was That Thunder," to the events, and my experiences of that day. I guarantee you, it is worth the read, and it is my fervent hope that I was able to capture the emotions of that fateful day in a manner in which every runner can relate.

I will personally sign the books for you, and I will guarantee that the books will inspire and help you become a better runner.

The offer will continue only while supplies last, so order your books now.

Happy Summer Solstice Day, happy Father's Day to all dads, and happy reading and running this summer.



Thursday, June 18, 2015

FLYING UNDER THE RADAR?

It seems to never end.

It was hot and humid on Tuesday. I ran easily through the streets of my hometown, phone strapped to my arm, listening to inspirational "running" music.

A car approached, driving slowly toward me. the driver, a woman, rolled down her window and said something. Thinking she may need directions, I removed an ear bud, slowed to a near stop and leaned toward the car. To my astonishment, her question was not a question at all. It was an admonishment.

"Slow down. You're sweating," she barked.

Many thoughts went through my mind, but the wisdom of age tempered me and I simply replied, "Thanks for your concern."

Lately, I've taken to stealthfully sneaking back to my home after a run.

The reason?

After I hit the 'stop' button on my watch, I like to walk for a bit to cool down. And, ever since I sustained a hamstring tear, my post-run walk has been a bit labored, my gait a bit slow.

I have grown weary of the sometimes well-intentioned, "Are you ok?" "I can't believe you're walking," or "I saw you the other day and you didn't look too good."

I have even used my lawn mower to carve a path near the back of my yard so I can slip home unnoticed.

In my first book, Running Shorts, www.muldowneyrunning.com I wrote a chapter entitled, "Why Do They Hate Us So Much."

Why is it that our simply act of running evokes so much ire in folks.

Why are we heckled, scolded, buzzed by vehicles, cursed at, and even the target of thrown objects?

When was the last time you went to a basketball court, a golf course, or tennis court to heckle the people engaged in those activities?

One of the answers is that we, as runners are too "In your face."

Our activity is public. It is not confined to a court a gym, course, or field.

As obesity numbers increase, as people become more stressed with their lives, as texting and other concerns increase, the loathing of us and what we do seems to grow.

Another factor is jealousy. In our busy lives, we always find time for our workout. Our detractors do not. While they sip their $6.00 latte, we sweat. (and get told about it) They may hate us, but they envy us as well.

And when someone who runs dies prematurely, or is hobbled by an injury, folks are quick to pat themselves on the back for their sedentary lifestyles.

So, the bottom line is, simply fly under the radar. Don't provoke the haters. Smile, wave, thank them for their concern, but most of all, remain safe. Get out of their faces and run on trails or the beach when possible.

Now, get out there and sweat!










Tuesday, June 16, 2015

COOL DOWN...LIKE A TRIPLE CROWN

It;s that time of year.

Heat is smothering runners in many parts of the United States, and we are still a few days away from the official start of summer.

This morning, avid runner, Ken Shapiro, from Oviedo, Florida, posted that is was a steamy 79 degrees when he began his 10-mile training run at 5:00 a.m. A cool 97 degree day today will be followed by three consecutive days when the temperatures are expected to reach 99 degrees in the Sunshine State.

At Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, where I'll be headed on Saturday, temperatures will hover in the mid to high 90s for the next week or so.

Don't beat yourself up. Practice all the necessary means of staying relatively cool and safe during periods of tropical temperatures. Try to run in the morning or evening. Seek shade whenever possible, and stay hydrated. Resign yourself to the fact that your workout and race times will suffer as temperatures rise, and use these days as "maintenance" days. Maintain your fitness and try not to slide back.

Back in the last century, in 1980 to be exact, I was afforded the opportunity to run and spend some time with a superior runner, and a great, personable individual.

New Zealand's Rod Dixon captured the bronze medal in the 1500 meters at the 1972 Olympics, and went on to win the 1983 New York City Marathon.

 In 1980, world-class runners were not yet "professionals," so Rod Dixon received sponsorship from an athletic store chain to train near Reading, Pennsylvania, a city 35 miles south of my home.

Among the many things I learned from this Olympian was an easy method of coping with hot weather training.

Simply, one can employ a technique that Triple Crown winner, American Pharoah, has used.

Finish your training run and go directly to your garden hose.

Rod Dixon told me, "If it works for horses, it can work for you."

Spray that garden hose on your tired, sore legs, from your hips to your feet, for as long as you feel is necessary.

The cool spray will drop your overall body temperature, but what's more important, it will reduce inflammation in your legs, and freshen you up for your next workout.

It's the same concept as an ice bath, but a lot less painful.

So, stay safe and hydrated during this summer heat, and even though we may not rank as a Triple Crown champion, at least we can cool down like one.

www.muldowneyrunning.com




Monday, June 15, 2015

THERE'S STILL TIME-GLITCH ALERT!

If your dad's a runner, he's probably particular about his brand, style and size when it comes to running shoes. You don't want to take a chance by purchasing a pair that won't suit him.

And those neon orange running shorts you bought him last year are gathering dust in his dresser drawer.

So, for this Father's Day, help your dad become a better runner, and throw in a dose of inspiration for good measure.

 There's still time to get in on the biggest sale and savings ever on my two books, Personal Best, and Running Shorts/

The books are the perfect summer read. The tips and advice will definite go a long way in helping your dad to become a better runner.

GLITCH ALERT AHEAD!

It has come to my attention that the website is not generating the BOGO sale correctly. When ordering, order only ONE of the books, and we'll send the other book for free, and you'll be charged properly. Sorry for the mix-up.

Go to www.muldowneyrunning.com, where you can buy one of the books, and receive the other ABSOLUTELY FREE. That's right. You can buy one for you and give the other to dad. Or keep both for yourself. Give one to the person who inspired you to begin training. Give one to your spouse, your son or daughter...well, you get the picture.

You can also check out my books at Amazon, www.amazon.com, where you can purchase the Kindle version of Personal Best  for only $1.99.

My first book, Running Shorts: A Collection of Stories and Advice for Anyone Who Has Ever Laced Up a Pair of Running Shoes, published in 2011, is a compilation of my experiences as competitive runner for 39 years, but many of these tales reflect experiences YOU have had during your years as a runner. As one of the Amazon reviewers stated, "It will make you laugh and it will make you cry." amazon.com/author/joemuldowney

Traveling the country, promoting my first book, prompted me to write, Personal Best, my second book, published in September 2014.

Runners told me what they wanted in a running book, and I tried to respond by writing a book that is instructive to runners of all ages and abilities.

Personal Best took a tragic turn in April 2013, soon after I crossed the finish line at the Boston Marathon. I devoted my first chapter, entitled "Was That Thunder," to the events, and my experiences of that day. I guarantee you, it is worth the read, and it is my fervent hope that I was able to capture the emotions of that fateful day in a manner in which every runner can relate.

I will personally sign the books for you, and I will guarantee that the books will inspire and help you become a better runner.

The offer will continue only while supplies last, so order your books now.

Give dad something he can REALLY use this Father's Day. Help him achieve his personal best.