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The Best 5K Workout

I love the 5K. It’s such a great race, requiring speed and stamina plus a hefty dose of racing IQ and mental toughness to run your best. And I’ve been lucky. I’ve coached 5K runners running just over 13 minutes as well as runners for whom finishing 3.1 miles never seemed possible.  (Plus, I’ve even…
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The Best 10K Workout

PLUS THE BUILDUP TO THE ULTIMATE WORKOUT After running countless 10Ks and coaching runners who have run countless more, I’ve found one workout to be the absolute best to prepare you for the distance. It’s not an easy workout and you probably can’t do it right away, so you’ll need to build up to it…
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The Marathon Long Run

Ahh, the marathon long run. What a worrisome thing for most runners. And for good reason, the long run is such a crucial part of marathon training. I don’t think there’s any other race distance where one single workout plays such a large part in the success or failure of the race. As a result,…
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Latest Articles

Relance RL-01 Review

I enjoy testing new running products so when shoe start-up Relance from France ask me to test their new shoes, I was excited. As runners, we’ve been blessed with lots of new shoe companies over the last 15 years. All bring their unique outlook to helping us enjoy our running more and Relance is no…
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Failure is Just a Steppingstone

In the 1984 Olympic Women’s Marathon, the first ever held for women, Lorraine Moller (#292) finished 5th. Finishing 5th in her first Olympics naturally set up the expectation that four years later, she’d get a medal, maybe even a gold medal.  This was certainly Lorraine’s expectation and that of everyone in her native New Zealand,…
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The Great Fueling Experiment of 2020

With races on hold, now is a great time to experiment with fueling.  Here are a few strategies for you to try: No Fuel Twenty five years ago, I wrote an article on no fuel (aka low glycogen) training. Dieticians sent me nasty notes stating that athletes should always be fueled for training. But I…
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Ultra-Marathon Training Guide

In this guide, let’s get you ready to tackle events longer than the marathon. As you know, “ultras” take on all shapes and sizes. There are road 50 kilometer runs that aren’t too different than racing a marathon just with 5 more miles added on. And on the other extreme, there are 100+ mile races…
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Middle Distance (800 meters, Mile, 3000m, 2-Mile) Training Guide

In this guide, let’s get you ready to run faster at short races like the 800 meters to two miles.  This guide works great for high school and college runners getting ready for track as well as older runners who like to compete in shorter races like road miles (or track races). Factors for Success…
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5K Training Guide

In this guide, let’s get you ready to run a faster 5K. The 5K is one of those race distances that requires a balance of endurance, stamina, speed and sprint – the four training zones – but definitely leans toward the speed side of things. It also requires a hefty amount of mental toughness. Below,…
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All Articles & Videos

Relance RL-01 Review

I enjoy testing new running products so when shoe start-up Relance from France ask me to test their new shoes, I was excited. As runners, we’ve been blessed with lots of new shoe companies over the last 15 years. All bring their unique outlook to helping us enjoy our running more and Relance is no…
Read More

Failure is Just a Steppingstone

In the 1984 Olympic Women’s Marathon, the first ever held for women, Lorraine Moller (#292) finished 5th. Finishing 5th in her first Olympics naturally set up the expectation that four years later, she’d get a medal, maybe even a gold medal.  This was certainly Lorraine’s expectation and that of everyone in her native New Zealand,…
Read More

The Great Fueling Experiment of 2020

With races on hold, now is a great time to experiment with fueling.  Here are a few strategies for you to try: No Fuel Twenty five years ago, I wrote an article on no fuel (aka low glycogen) training. Dieticians sent me nasty notes stating that athletes should always be fueled for training. But I…
Read More

Ultra-Marathon Training Guide

In this guide, let’s get you ready to tackle events longer than the marathon. As you know, “ultras” take on all shapes and sizes. There are road 50 kilometer runs that aren’t too different than racing a marathon just with 5 more miles added on. And on the other extreme, there are 100+ mile races…
Read More

Middle Distance (800 meters, Mile, 3000m, 2-Mile) Training Guide

In this guide, let’s get you ready to run faster at short races like the 800 meters to two miles.  This guide works great for high school and college runners getting ready for track as well as older runners who like to compete in shorter races like road miles (or track races). Factors for Success…
Read More

5K Training Guide

In this guide, let’s get you ready to run a faster 5K. The 5K is one of those race distances that requires a balance of endurance, stamina, speed and sprint – the four training zones – but definitely leans toward the speed side of things. It also requires a hefty amount of mental toughness. Below,…
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The No Race Race Plan

When races were canceled this spring due to COVID-19, I advised my runners to finish up their race plans with a time trial or solo race. At that time, many of the big races, like the Boston Marathon, were rescheduled for the fall so it made sense to get a performance result, even though we…
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10K Training Guide

In this guide, let’s get you ready to run a faster 10K. The 10K is one of those race distances that requires a balance of endurance, stamina, speed and sprint – the four training zones. It also requires a hefty amount of mental toughness. Below, let’s look at how I will train you for the…
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Half-Marathon Training Guide

The half-marathon has quickly become the favorite race distance for runners. Marathoners enjoy the break from the high training loads (particularly the long runs that take up so much of the weekend and require so much recovery time). Shorter distance runners like that they can get the challenge of a long race without sacrificing their…
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Marathon Training Guide

Looking to perform your best in long races like the marathon? You’ve come to the right place.   Not only did I win a National Championship at the marathon distance, but I’ve coached new runner marathon groups, over 10,000 runners to qualify for the Boston Marathon and even marathoners at the World Championships and Olympic Games. …
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5 Training Adjustments Due to the Coronavirus

The Coronavirus pandemic is creating many challenges. While all runners understand that running is less important than life, we still want options. As a result, the entire coaching staff at McMillan Running has come up with some tips that can help you over the next few weeks. 1. Exercise to Boost the Immune System Research…
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Race Canceled! How to adjust your training

Your race has been canceled! Yikes! What should you do! Here are a few ideas for when your race gets canceled. ALERT! Here is my video for 2020 Boston Marathoners on how to adjust your plan.    Option 1: Find another race of the same distance in the near future. Training adjustment: None required except…
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Top 5 Tips for Qualifying for the Boston Marathon

For many of us, qualifying for the Boston Marathon (aka achieving a BQ) is the Holy Grail. It’s like the Olympics for the common runner and as someone who has qualified for and run Boston, I can attest that it was one of the greatest marathons of my life. Having coached over 10,000 runners to…
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5 Steps to Nailing Your Best Half-Marathon Race Pace

My recent article on PodiumRunner. Easy-medium. Sub-threshold. Comfortably fast. You hear lots of phrases used to describe half-marathon pace but let’s discuss some specific ways to determine your best half-marathon race pace—and then how to confirm that the pace is possible on race day. Nail your pace, and the half marathon can be the most…
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The Comeback Runner

  I did everything to a “t”, yet here I was with another injury. It seems it’s parading itself around, mocking me with each sensation of pain. “Hey! You’re not allowed to stay here,” I say. But it’s too late. It’s already decided it’s going to stay with me for about two-four months. I feel my…
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Run Like McMillan Series: Stein Henrik Olaussen

This is the second article in the Run Like McMillan series, a series of profiles on McMillan athletes.  Stein Henrik Olaussen had never been athletic – or so he thought. A self-described musician, he spent much of his high school years playing in rock bands.  “I had never been good at sports growing up and…
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The Red Zone: Tracking Your Period

Today’s the day, it’s race day. You’ve planned for this for months. You’ve had, for the most part, great workouts and kept the interruptions to a minimum. The preparation has been almost perfect, if that exists. You’re feeling confident. It’s a crisp 55 degrees, no wind and the course is looking delightfully fast.  You pull…
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Run Like McMillan Series: Sean Baker

This is the first article in the Run Like McMillan series, a series of profiles on McMillan athletes.  It started out as a twin thing.  Sean Baker’s twin brother was a state cross-country and track champion their sophomore year of high school, and the coach wanted another Baker.  “He’d say ‘Hey Suzie, I’m still waiting…
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Carbo-Loading for the Marathon

You’ve probably heard that you need to “carbo-load” before long races like a half-marathon, marathon or ultramarathon. Here’s my take on carbo-loading, including what I ate before winning the US National Masters Trail Marathon Championship. Carbo-Loading Origins Carbo-loading came into vogue after exercise science perfected the muscle biopsy. I’ve had one done and while it’s…
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Lessons Learned: Selwyn

I met Selwyn while working on my graduate degree in Exercise Physiology. We ran for the same running group and as he approached the Masters division (runners 40 years of age and older), he asked me to help him with his training. You probably know a runner like Selwyn. He didn’t run in high school.…
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What is “Base” Training?

You don’t have to be a runner for long before you begin to hear about something called “base training.” Experienced runners and coaches tell you that you need to build your “aerobic base.” But just what is this thing called a “base”? History Lesson In the 1930s, 40s and 50s, the dominant training philosophy was repetition…
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Faster as a Master: Elizabeth Clor

Nothing excites us more than seeing athletes reach new levels. It’s common to see our beginning runners make large gains in a short amount of time if they stick to their plan. What’s less common is to take on coaching a runner with over 10 years of experience and who already had shaved over an…
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3 Strategies to Help You Qualify for Boston

Struggling to qualify for Boston? No problem. Here are three strategies I’ve used to help thousands of runners achieve the coveted BQ. Strategy #1: Get faster first If you’ve been close but just can’t make the jump to your BQ time, I suggest taking a break from chasing the BQ and work on getting faster…
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What if you could recover faster?

Dr. Dave’s Do-Do rule says, “It’s not how much training you DO, rather, it’s how well you recover from the training you DO DO. Because, if you get injured or sick from DOing too much, you are in deep DOO DOO.” Joe Vigil, another one of my mentors, says, “There’s no such thing as over…
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Marathoners need Eccentric Training

To be a successful marathon runner, you need to do more than just run. Sure, getting in the mileage is important. But how do you ensure your legs have the durability to go the distance? You need to be strong. Strong things are less likely to break, and in a sport where at least half…
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No-Fuel/Slow-Fuel Long Runs

You’ve completed a few marathons and now want to finish faster. But, it’s not like you can turn pro and run 100 miles per week. You need an efficient strategy that can fit into your current training schedule yet deliver big performance improvements. No problem. No-Fuel/Slow-Fuel long runs are a proven way to improve your…
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Beware the Rule of Too’s

People who want instant gratification don’t usually stick with running. Nearly all of the benefits from running come very gradually (over weeks, months and indeed, years) and that’s just the way the body likes it. As you read in my last article on the Stress/Rest cycle (stress + rest = progress), the body is designed…
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Lessons Learned: Mary Ellen

The first elite runner I coached was Mary Ellen. Her goal was to qualify for and run in the Olympic Marathon Trials. I was in graduate school studying exercise physiology at the time and I don’t remember exactly how it came about or why she decided to ask me to coach her, but she did.…
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Obey Your Stress/Rest Cycle

My first coaching mentor, Guy Avery, used to say “Optimal Stress + Optimal Rest = Optimal Progress.” This simple phrase is very instructive for the runner and coach. Every training stress (whether an easy run or hard workout) must be followed by an appropriate rest period (recovery with easy running, cross training or no running)…
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Optimize Every Run

The McMillan Training System (aka McMillan Run Team) is having amazing results. In fact, this past weekend, there were new personal records set at distances from the mile to the marathon. And, the great performances came not just from elite runners but from athletes new to the sport as well as older runners who thought…
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Battling Your Negative Tendencies

Every runner has tendencies. Most are positive and help the runner toward her goal, but some are negative and are not helpful. A lot of coaching is identifying the tendencies in the athlete and then creating strategies to capitalize on the positive ones and reduce or if possible, eliminate the negative ones.  In this article,…
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The Best 5K Workout

I love the 5K. It’s such a great race, requiring speed and stamina plus a hefty dose of racing IQ and mental toughness to run your best. And I’ve been lucky. I’ve coached 5K runners running just over 13 minutes as well as runners for whom finishing 3.1 miles never seemed possible.  (Plus, I’ve even…
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Cadence: Is 180 the ultimate goal?

One Eighty A few years ago, it was stated that pro runners have a cadence (steps per minute) of 180 and so all runners should run at a cadence of 180. Additionally, it was stated that a low cadence caused injuries (due to over-striding) so another reason to run with a higher cadence was to…
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Should You Try a Double Run?

Double your pleasure. Double the fun. Maybe it’s time you tried a double run. Running twice in a day (called a “double”) was once considered only the domain of elite runners. Not anymore! I use doubles in many situations, some that may even surprise you. If you fit any of the ones outlined below, give…
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More Power! Breakthrough techniques to help you finish strong

Tired of slowing down at the end of races? Never again! Using physiology, psychology, sports nutrition and neuroscience, you can fix the fade forever.  In this article, you’ll learn techniques to apply to your training so you have more power late in your races and you’ll also learn techniques to use within the race itself…
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Longest long run for the marathon? My Guide

How long should your longest long run be when training for a marathon? It’s a common question so I thought I’d provide my advice. +/- 3:00 marathoners If you plan to run three hours or faster for your marathon, then my recommendation for your maximum long run is: Maximum long run = [Marathon time] up…
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Are you selling yourself short?

Excerpt from Elite Minds by Dr. Stan Beecham Dr. Stan is pleased to provide an excerpt from his latest book, Elite Minds – Creating the Competitive Advantage.  You can buy the book here. CHAPTER 6: SETTING THE EXPECTATION: I met Barbara Parker and her husband, Sean, in 2007 while working with Pete Rea and the…
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Learn to Mosey – A sure-fire way to improve the quality of your training

Our training camp was a set of isolated cabins in the mountains outside of San Diego. Athletes would arrive for 12-16 weeks to get ready for a big race. At first, the athletes scurried about between training sessions. But, soon, I noticed a distinct change in their gait. Instead of scurrying, they began to “mosey”…
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Building Your Next Training Cycle – Short Distance Race Goals

Getting ready for a season of shorter races (800 meters up to 10K)? I thought I’d put together a quick overview of how to build your next training cycle. Similar to my long distance training plan sequence article, the sequence of training plans can vary based on your training/racing history and goals.  But, a logical,…
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A Quick Mental Trick that can Boost Your Performance

While working on my graduate degree in Exercise Physiology, I administered dozens of treadmill tests on runners and soon discovered a simple way to actually boost performance without even trying.  In these tests, we had runners complete several progressively faster stages on a treadmill. During each stage, we measured running economy. Better running economy is…
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The Marathon Crystal Ball: Predicting a Successful Race Day

“Will I achieve my marathon goal?” If I had a dollar for every time I get asked this question, I’d be retired and living on my own private island! As race day approaches, marathoners get antsy. They wonder/worry if they can hit their goal. After coaching thousands of marathoners, I’ve come up with a few…
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Are You a Fast Trainer or Slow Trainer?

Brett and Nick are fast runners. Both can run 5:00 pace for the marathon. Both are National Champions and both were part of an Olympic Development Team I coached a few years ago. When I set up the team, the idea was to get guys training together on a daily basis, not just on workout days…
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Fueling for the Marathon

Ask 100 marathoners how they fuel and you’ll get 100 different answers. It seems that marathon fueling is so individual that it simply takes lots of trial and error in training and tune-up races to find the strategy that works best for you. After working with thousands of marathoners from charity marathon groups to Boston…
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“Did You Win?” A simple method to stay on track for your goal

I’ve been a runner for over 35 years but to this day, whenever I’m visiting my parents and get back from my run my father asks, “Did you win?” Now, just getting out the door and going for a run is definitely a “win” but I think my dad’s onto something more profound. Each and…
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Building Your Next Training Cycle – Long Distance Race Goals

At the end of every marathon/half-marathon/ultra season (and sometimes before the race is even run!), runners start asking me about their next training cycle. Runners are planners. We like to know the path ahead, and I get it. As a competitive runner myself, I’m always working to figure out the best sequence of training to…
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Carbohydrate Periodization for Better Performance

Carbohydrate manipulation across your training cycle is one of the simplest nutritional strategies to boost physical and mental fitness. For over 20 years, I’ve used this strategy on myself as well as with many of the athletes I coach and have had great success. In a nutshell, you supplement with carbohydrate before and during long…
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TWO YEARS: PART TWO – STRUGGLING ATHLETES

This article is the second part of a series, which summarizes my observations following two years as a mental performance consultant. The first component, “The Best Athletes,” explored the commonalities I’ve witnessed among those who consistently perform well. The final installment will cover effective and ineffective coaching strategies. This article, which highlights commonalities of athletes…
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RACE RECON: SECRETS TO A GREAT RACE

5 WAYS TO RECON YOUR RACES It had been 10 years since I ran the local race series but I was excited to pin on the bib number and challenge myself. The series featured 7 (mostly trail) races of distances as short as one mile and as long as a half-marathon. As the first race…
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TOP 3 REASONS RUNNERS FAIL

After coaching so many runners – from new runners just getting started to Olympians and every thing in between – you start to see patterns and tendencies. Patterns of successful runners and tendencies of those that fail to hit their goal. In coaching, my #1 job is to help runners avoid the tendencies that keep…
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THE LONG RUN DAY DOUBLE

CAN RUNNING TWICE ON LONG RUN DAYS SPEED RECOVERY? Before the 1996 U.S. Olympic marathon trials, I coached a woman who had long been doing a short shake-out run in the evening after her long run. She’d run 18–24 miles in the morning, rest all day (like we all should do after a long run),…
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LIQUID HAZARDS

ARE WATER STOPS SLOWING YOUR TIME? In 2009, I raced the USA Marathon Trail Championships. It was my fifth marathon and I achieved my goal of becoming national masters champion. While accomplishing this goal was valuable, I may have learned a more valuable lesson that all runners can apply to their marathon racing. Unlike most…
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6 TRAINING TWEAKS FOR YOUR SEASON

Like every coach and runner, I learn (and re-learn) new lessons all the time. Here are 6 lessons I’ve learned over the years and the training ideas that I recommend applying more often in training. #1: YEAR-ROUND LEG SPEED TRAINING Staying fast, yet avoiding anaerobic training is the key to building your basic leg speed…
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TWO YEARS: PART ONE – THE BEST ATHLETES

As spring arrives between bouts of snow, over and over again here in Flagstaff, my two-year “anniversary” as a full time mental performance consultant approaches. I feel moved to reflect on what I’ve learned, in particular the patterns I’ve noticed, among the most and least successful athletes that I’ve encountered. This will be the first…
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GREG’S RULES FOR SUBSTITUTING WORKOUTS IN YOUR TRAINING PLAN

There will be times throughout your training year where you may want to substitute a workout for what is planned on your schedule.  Let’s say your local running group is doing a set of mile repeats but you have a Tempo Run scheduled. You may wonder if this is okay or not. Here is my…
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MOBILITY NIRVANA

First we called it “stretching.” Then, the word stretching went out of fashion and we started calling it “flexibility.” Soon, “flexibility” was no longer in vogue and we started calling it “mobility.” And I have to admit, I do like “mobility” best as it gets at the end goal (optimal mobility) as opposed to the…
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5 TIPS FOR GETTING TO RACE WEIGHT

Everyone wants to be at their ideal weight and race their best. The best time to try and lose a significant amount of weight is in the off season, before getting into specific training and before training demands become high. Once you start getting into specific training and close to racing your body may start…
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THE 3 RUNNER TYPES: DO YOU KNOW YOUR TYPE?

TWEAK TRAINING FOR BETTER RESULTS SIMPLY BY KNOWING YOUR RUNNER TYPE Runners can usually be divided into three general types — Speedsters, Endurance Monsters and Combo Runners – based on how they respond to training and racing. Think about your training and racing history and see which description sounds most like you. Speedsters The Speedster…
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THE LOST ART OF THE FARTLEK

A KINDER, GENTLER TRANSITION TO SPEED WORK In 2004, I helped a very talented runner build a solid aerobic base for the U.S. Olympic trials marathon, only to fail her during the race preparation phase of her training. I didn’t take into account her drive and tenacity, and when I put her on the track,…
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SOLVING THE RACE PACE PROBLEM

RELIABLE 5K AND 10K PREDICTOR WORKOUTS Spring will soon be in the air, and it will be time to hit the roads. The trouble is that coming out of winter, it’s hard to know what kind of shape you are in for your first 5K or 10K of the new racing season. Wonder no more!…
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NUTRITION, FATIGUE, AND FAST FINISHES

MARATHON SUCCESS MEANS DIALING IN THE DETAILS When you work with marathoners as fast as 2:10 and as slow as 6 hours, you learn a thing or two about what makes for a successful race. The training might be different depending on the goal, but every runner needs to consider three crucial factors. #1: NUTRITION…
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TIPS FOR RUNNING WITH A BABY JOGGER

Running with a baby jogger is not ideal, but sometimes necessary. I spent the whole summer after I had my first child running with the baby jogger. We were traveling Europe and I refused to miss out on my running. I logged about 60 miles per week with it and ended up in great shape as…
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MASTERS RUNNING 101

What makes masters running different from being an open runner? Similar to the answer to most running-related questions, “It depends.” One’s career as a masters athlete has a lot to do with one’s running history. Which of these three profiles do you most relate to? THE “GRIZZLED VET” If you were a competitive runner in high…
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BOSTON TRAINING SERIES

SERIES INTRODUCTION If there’s one thing I’ve learned how to do, it’s help runners qualify for and then run well at Boston. In this series of articles, I’ll walk you through the training I use with athletes to prepare for the race. You’ll see how the training is not just about getting ready for another marathon.…
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THE IMPORTANCE OF REST DAYS

As a runner and with most things in life when I do something I go all in, 100%, and I don’t like to break my routine. I think that most runners feel the same way and would agree that taking a day off from running can sometimes feel like a punishment. I didn’t do a…
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THE WHAT-WENT-WRONG LOG

A SIMPLE TOOL TO DIAGNOSE BAD RACES Recently, an athlete I coach had a bad race. To him, the poor performance seemed to come from out of nowhere. Like all of us do, he began to doubt himself. He began to doubt his training. He began to doubt his coach. How could he be so…
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THE TWO PLAN RULE OF RACING, PART 2

RAISE THE BAR ON YOUR OWN PERFORMANCE Coach Joe Vigil is a master motivator. He’s also a tough task-master when it comes to running well. He continually forces runners to raise the bar on their own performances. As with Yoda, the sage Jedi Master, “there is no try, only do.” Following the advice Vigil gives…
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THE TWO PLAN RULE OF RACING, PART 1

SETTING A’s AND B’s FOR A WINNING RACE GRADE At a past coaching conference put on by the High Performance Division of USA Track & Field, a panel of expert coaches that included Joe Vigil, Bob Larson, and Brooks Johnson discussed goal setting and race planning. These top coaches suggested that our traditional method of…
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THE BEST CROSS TRAINING FOR RUNNERS

3 SCENARIOS THAT DETERMINE WHAT’S BEST I frequently get asked, “What is the best cross training activity for runners?” My answer, as it is to most training questions, is, “It depends.” It depends on why you are cross training. For some runners, it’s because they are injured. For others, it’s to get in more training…
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WORDS MATTER

Of all of the topics that comprise the psychology of running, there’s one that captures my interest the most: the moment of highest exertion. By this I mean the point of greatest discomfort that must be maintained (and often increased) when running workouts, and when racing. My Masters thesis focused specifically on the moment of…
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9 WAYS FOR STAYING ON TRACK IN THE WINTER MONTHS

“Now is the winter of our discontent.” The darkness has been slowly swallowing the day since Halloween. It’s been a warm fall, yet the cold and snow arrived on time for Christmas. The tasks of winter still maintain their nuance, stacking wood, scraping car windows, and shoveling snow. It’s time for stopping by the neighbors…
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HODGEPODGE ISN’T A TRAINING PROGRAM

You need a method to your madness I love the word “hodgepodge” and take great delight any time it’s used in conversation. Except when talking about a training plan. Far too often, I hear of runners who take a little from this plan, a bit from that plan, something from the training of a race…
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COMBO WORKOUTS

3 multi-zone efforts to get you race-ready Most workouts focus on one training zone — endurance, stamina, speed or sprint. While these workouts make sense physiologically, many of the best coaches also incorporate “combo” workouts into their training. Combo workouts focus on more than one training zone and are often designed to mimic the demands…
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COLD WEATHER TRAINING WHILE PREGNANT

Just as it is important to be mindful of the warm weather when running while pregnant, it is equally important to be mindful of the cold weather and environment. Here are my five tips on cold weather training for mothers-to-be. TIP #1: WEAR WEATHER-APPROPRIATE LAYERS Although you do not run the risk of overheating in…
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THREE SIGNS YOU’RE READY TO MOVE TO THE MARATHON

I love the half-marathon and have run more than I can count. It’s a great distance and the training is tough but, doable and very, very satisfying. As every half-marathoner knows, there is nothing like crossing the finish line and receiving that finishers medal. Plus, there are so many great half-marathons with incredible courses like the…
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WORK YOUR WEAKNESSES

TIMING AND QUANTITY ARE KEY All runners have strengths. All runners have weaknesses. For a competitive runner moving to the front of the pack (or your age group), it becomes increasingly important to correctly identify your strengths and weaknesses and to use this knowledge to maximize your performance. Runners can be divided into three general…
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THE MARKER WORKOUT

A LAYPERSON’S TEST OF AEROBIC DEVELOPMENT Most competitive runners include a base phase once or twice each year. The purpose of the base or maintenance phase is to further develop the aerobic system and to prepare the body and the mind for future training phases that will become increasingly more race-specific as the goal race…
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STAMINA WORKOUT: MINUTES

THE SNEAKY TEMPO RUN FOR SPEEDSTERS I’m going to be honest. Tempo runs and I don’t get along. I always struggle with them and, while I know they’re good for me, I dread them. I’m more of a speedster-type runner so I naturally gravitate toward intense, track-type workouts. Tempo runs (continuous runs at lactate threshold,…
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TURNING MARATHON FITNESS INTO 5K/10K PRs

DON’T LOSE IT… USE IT! You worked hard over the last few months to prepare for your marathon or half-marathon. You put in the miles. You completed the long runs and on race day, you performed like a champ. Congratulations! So now what? You know you need to mentally and physically recover from the half/full…
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HOW TO RACE YOUR WAY TO A MARATHON

I love the marathon but there is one big problem with it. It’s an “all your eggs in one basket” undertaking. What if things don’t go well in the marathon? (And, as we all know,  A LOT can go wrong despite near perfect training.) I have seen this scenario so many times. A runner devotes…
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SIMPLE TACTICS FOR SUCCESSFUL RACING

8 TIPS TO SHAVE SECONDS OFF YOUR PR OR SURGE PAST YOUR RIVAL Smart racing equals fast racing. As a competitive runner, you want to run fast and you want to beat your rivals. Below, I’ve listed eight simple, yet effective strategies for doing both. #1: RUN THE TANGENTS I’m always surprised when I race at…
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3 EASY WAYS TO BALANCE WORK AND RUNNING

We all love to run. We all need to work. Sometimes the balance of both can get pretty tough. This article offers some tips on how to manage both running and working, and gives you a glimpse into my personal experience as a runner and a full-time working mom of two small children. 1-FIND A…
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CRUISING Ks

Learning to control effort so you don’t go out too fast in races (a common problem) is one of the keys to running success. Many athletes find this hard to do, but it’s a trick that you can practice in every workout so that it becomes natural to you. I first did the following workout…
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WELCOMING DISCOMFORT

“The demon you can swallow gives you its power. The greater life’s pain the greater life’s reply.” – Joseph Campbell One of the most enjoyable aspects of working as a specialist in any field is the opportunity to learn and experiment with new strategies. The approach that is currently at the forefront of my mind…
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LIGHT AND FRESH 400s

This is the workout I use to help runners get ready for their best short race like a 5K. It can be performed anytime in the training plan and as close to 5 days before the race. It is a fitness-refining workout that helps an athlete get race ready. It’s fun to feel “light and…
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RETURNING TO RUNNING AFTER PREGNANCY

There comes a point mid to late pregnancy where running just is not enjoyable anymore. For some this point comes earlier than others and other people, like myself, are able to run all the way to the end of their pregnancy without any problems other than general discomfort. Whoever you are, whether you are only…
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IF YOU WANT DIFFERENT RESULTS, START DOING THINGS DIFFERENTLY

MY STORY OF THE TIME I TRAINED WITH THE McMILLAN ELITE TEAM My first venture to Flagstaff was the 1993 Big Sky Conference Indoor Track and Field Championships. I ran for Montana State, and the cautionary slogan taunting out of town teams still hangs above the track in the Walkup Sky Dome, “Welcome to 7,000 feet.…
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HIGH SCHOOL CROSS COUNTRY TRAINING & COACHING GUIDE – PART 3

Part 3: Late/Championship Season In the pre/early season (Part 1 of this guide), the focus was a higher running volume with lower intensity and little to no racing. In the mid/regular season (Part 2 of this guide), the focus was on the athletes racing frequently while maintaining the high volume established earlier in the season along with an increase…
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DREAM BIG AND ACHIEVE YOUR GOALS

“Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.”  – Thomas A. Edison One of the biggest lessons I have learned during my experience as a coach is the importance to never stop dreaming about the next big goal. There are different types of…
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FIXING THE FADE: FEELING STRONG IN THE FINAL MILES

Like most first-time marathoners, I sailed through 18 miles of my first marathon feeling like a million bucks. By 21 miles I wasn’t worth five cents. I faded badly over those final six miles. My second marathon was even worse. Run in hot and humid conditions, I was reduced to the marathoner’s survival shuffle even…
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THE IMPACT OF COACHES ON YOUNG RUNNERS

One of the most important things a coach can do for kids and young adults is to empower them to find their passion. If a young person can find something positive that they are passionate about it becomes a guiding light in their lives that helps to lead them away from negative pursuits. Thus, empowering…
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VIGIL MILES

Coach Joe Vigil is arguably the best running coach the US has ever had. He’s a blend of tough, no nonsense “get the work done” kind of coaching paired with a knowledge that while he’s pushing you to your limits, he cares deeply about your success. He demands your best and you want to give…
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DEUCES WILD

3 x 2 miles at 10K goal pace with 5 min recovery jog I use two-mile repeats frequently to gauge an athletes readiness for a 10K or half-marathon. In fact, I find that if you can run your 10K goal pace for this workout, then you have a great chance at running that time in…
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THE IMPORTANCE OF PREHAB

The reason we run differs for each individual. It could be to run a certain time, lose weight, for the long-term health benefits or for pure enjoyment. The list is endless and it’s always a joy to help athletes to move steps closer to hitting those goals. Something that often gets in the way of…
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CUTTING GLUTEN OUT OF YOUR DIET

Being a runner with celiac disease makes fueling properly a little more time consuming than those who do eat wheat and gluten. My biggest concern is making sure I am getting all of the proper nutrients to sustain my training and help my body recover. When I first took gluten out of my diet I struggled to…
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CONVICTION, EXPECTATIONS, AND DESPERATION: TOOLS AND TROUBLE

“All of a sudden everything was possible; then what was possible became necessary.” – Victor Price, The Other Kingdom “It was, I don’t know, urgent.” Ehren, a young figure skater is describing how he’d felt prior to one of his best performances. “I just had to do it. I had to land that jump.” In…
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HIGH SCHOOL CROSS COUNTRY TRAINING & COACHING GUIDE – PART 2

Part 2: Mid/Regular Season By now, your team is roughly half-way through the cross country season. You likely learned some very valuable information about your team including their commitment level, individual strengths and weaknesses, and the contenders for the top 7 varsity positions. This is a very important part of the season both in terms…
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3 ESSENTIAL TYPES OF WORKOUTS FOR 5K/10K TRAINING

Do you have a 5K or 10K coming up? Here are my top 3 favorite types of workouts that will get you ready. They challenge you in slightly different ways, but all three are great at preparing you for the physical and mental rigors of 5K/10K racing. Keep in mind that it is always a good…
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THE RUNNER’S GUIDE TO ICE BATHS

Eggs are good for you. Eggs are bad for you. Eggs are good for you. If you’re middle-aged like I am, you’re used to conflicting advice on everything from nutrition to stretching to training volume and intensity. The same goes for ice baths. There are so many conflicting reports that it’s hard to know what…
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THE 5K SIMULATION WORKOUT

This is a classic Frank Horwill (a famed British coach who formulated the Five Pace Training Theory used by many great athletes such as Sebastian Coe and Said Aouita) workout which I’ve found very useful in simulating the deep gut, lactic pain of a 5K. It’s not so much the pace that makes you have…
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TEMPO WITH THE MONA FARTLEK

This is one of my favorite workouts because it has a wide range of paces throughout and it’s great for working towards distances from 3K to half marathon. The tempo run is the easy part of the workout. I added this to the workout to get the legs a little tired first before hitting the…
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CONSIDERING CONFIDENCE

“I need to believe.” There was an edge to her voice that concerned me. This athlete was bound for the Olympic Trials. Her personal best was second to only one other in the race. Yet, she felt tormented by doubt. We looked at the facts: her race results were the most impressive they’d ever been.…
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THE STEADY EDDY WORKOUT

Steady-state runs were once a staple in the training programs of U.S. distance runners but somehow fell out of favor. Runners now seem to have only two speeds, slow and fast – no in-between. But the steady-state run is one of the most beneficial types of workouts to boost endurance and stave off fatigue. A…
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THE TALK TEST: THE WORLD’S EASIEST TRAINING TOOL

Today, there are many ways to monitor and evaluate the quality of your training. Any number of devices are available to give you real-time feedback on your pace, cadence, heart rate and calories burned. But, you don’t need to spend a lot of money on gadgets or have a PhD in physiology to effectively gauge…
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RONALDO REPEATS

Looking for a fun and effective workout as you prepare for a long race? Try these stamina repeats I heard of from the training of Ronaldo de Costa when he set the marathon world record in 1998. I call them Ronaldo Repeats. Ronaldo’s coach had him perform 3 x 5K starting at marathon pace and…
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THE HILLY BROKEN TEMPO WORKOUT

This is a great workout when getting ready for a 10km or half marathon. The first tempo run should feel relatively steady and the second tempo run should be very tough. The short, steep, hard hills in the middle flood your legs with lactic acid so that you enter the last portion of the workout…
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5 STEPS TO MAKE THE BEST BETTER

Recently, I wrote about the benefits of bad workouts and races. I suggested that instead of dwelling on them, why not learn from them? But what about good races? Can you learn from them too? You can, but maybe in ways that are slightly less obvious than you think. In more than 20 years of…
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HIGH SCHOOL CROSS COUNTRY TRAINING & COACHING GUIDE – PART 1

The end of the summer marks the start of something dear to my heart: cross country season! Though I began running track races in elementary and junior high school, I consider my life as a “serious runner” to have begun with cross country in high school. And while I have run cross county races sparingly…
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3 WORKOUTS FOR MASTERS RUNNERS

Masters runners must work hard to maintain their speed, stride length, flexibility, and strength if they want to stay competitive. Most runners who’ve been training and racing competitively for a number of years know that at some point mainlining the miles like you did in your 20s doesn’t work anymore. You need more recovery after…
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THE STORY OF 6.5 MARATHONS IN ONE YEAR BY A MASTERS COMPETITOR

TWO THOUSAND ZERO, ZERO, PARTY OVER, OOPS OUT OF TIME Unlike your average person, most runners look forward to turning forty because Masters competition can provide a new lease on one’s running life. Racing in my late 30’s, I was competing against women closer to my daughter’s age than my own. With my 40th birthday…
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BALANCING RUNNING WITH KIDS

Laboring and delivering my two daughters was by far the most physically challenging thing I have ever willed my way through. I say willed because like running, there were times during the process that I wanted to stop and just be done. Also like running, I had moments where I felt empowered and unstoppable. For…
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POSITIVE STRESS: COURAGE AND CONNECTION

“Just like me, this person knows what suffering feels like… Just like me this person wants to be of use in the world, but also knows what it’s like to fail. You don’t need to ask them if you are right. If they are human, you are right. All you need to do is choose…
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POSITIVE STRESS: THE CHOICE OF CHALLENGE

“There is nothing either good or bad but thinking makes it so.” -Shakespeare Many of you reading this article are doing so between the completion of one task, and the beginning of another. In fact, you might be hurrying, skipping a sentence or two, and feeling a little stressed about the length of time that…
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THE FLOW STATE: THE SCIENCE OF RUNNING IN “THE ZONE”

“I’ve never felt lighter in a race. I didn’t hurt the whole time. It was an out of body experience.” -Elite runner describing his best race You know the feeling. You’re engaged in a lively conversation and don’t realize that three hours have passed; you’re writing, and feel so swept up by inspiration that you can’t…
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LUCKY 7 SPEED AND STAMINA WORKOUTS FOR THE MARATHON

Getting race fit for a marathon includes more than just the weekly long run. Competitive marathoners, whose goal is not just to finish the marathon but to run a fast one, should include at least one weekly workout that builds the stamina (lactate threshold) and speed (VO2 max) necessary for a fast marathon performance. Here…
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6 LESSONS FROM AN OLYMPIAN

Every time the Olympics roll around, I like to reflect on what it took for me to make an Olympic team (2008 Beijing) and what I learned from that process. What might surprise you is that the steps taken to make the team are the same steps every runner takes to reach their goals. I…
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WARM WEATHER TRAINING WHILE PREGNANT

Running is a great way to stay in shape while pregnant as long as you’re cleared by your doctor. Even with your doctor’s approval, it’s important that you listen to your body and make sure not to overexert yourself. This is true year round but especially important when running in warmer weather. Here are a…
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HOW TO BONK-PROOF YOUR RUNNING

In my first two marathons, I totally bonked. I was on pace, then suddenly I slowed. Soon, I was reduced to a walk and I no longer cared about my time. I hit the wall and it wasn’t pretty. Heading into my third marathon, I set my mind to bonk-proofing my running in training by…
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3 GREAT MARATHON PREDICTOR WORKOUTS

As the race approaches, marathoners want to know which pace is the right pace – the one that achieves the fastest time possible and avoids the all too common fade in the final few miles. This article discusses the three workouts that I use to gauge the best race pace for the marathoners I coach.…
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MCMILLAN’S SIX-STEP TRAINING SYSTEM

STEP #1: LINKING THE LAB WITH THE RUNNER As an exercise physiologist, I believe understanding sports science can help you train smarter and achieve your best performances. As a professional coach and full-time runner, I understand that the scientific jargon can be like, well, scientific jargon. There’s often a “disconnect” between what the physiologists say…
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The Best 10K Workout

PLUS THE BUILDUP TO THE ULTIMATE WORKOUT After running countless 10Ks and coaching runners who have run countless more, I’ve found one workout to be the absolute best to prepare you for the distance. It’s not an easy workout and you probably can’t do it right away, so you’ll need to build up to it…
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The Marathon Long Run

Ahh, the marathon long run. What a worrisome thing for most runners. And for good reason, the long run is such a crucial part of marathon training. I don’t think there’s any other race distance where one single workout plays such a large part in the success or failure of the race. As a result,…
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BONUS COMMENTARY ON ‘TIME TO RETHINK YOUR MARATHON TRAINING PROGRAM?’

This earlier post discusses a subtle but important change in your marathon training program that may be very beneficial. In an nutshell, many coaches are finding that rearranging the phases to focus on speed before stamina provides a better path to marathon success. Some caveats to the article: 1) Proper Base Training After discussing the article…
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TIME TO RETHINK YOUR MARATHON TRAINING PROGRAM?

In the late 1990s and early 2000s, I learned one of the most important lessons on helping performance-oriented marathoners succeed – get fast first, then get strong. I was working with a group of US elite marathoners and after a couple of marathon training cycles, I realized that while I knew the training they needed…
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IS A “HYBRID” MCMILLAN CALCULATOR BEST FOR YOU?

You know how the McMillan Calculator works. You put in your current fitness (either a recent race result or an estimate) and then the Calculator determines training paces that will challenge your body to advance to a high fitness level. The genius, if I may say so, is that it calculates precisely just how much…
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COACH GREG’S PRE-RACE PEP TALK

Before you read this section, I need you to be in a quiet space with no distractions. I need you to be in a calm mood with nothing pressing on your mind. Okay. Ready? Here is my super secret sauce: The performance you want is already inside you. That’s right. You can already achieve your…
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5 KEYS TO BETTER RUNNING FORM

I’m going to start by stating categorically that there is no one best running form. Runners come in so many different shapes, sizes and proportions that it’s simply illogical that one running form, like one training plan, would work for all runners. That said, there are a few keys to improving your form, which should…
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MCMILLAN RUNNING GLOSSARY

Easy Run Easy runs make up the bulk of a runner’s training plan. The run is at an easy effort and breathing is always under control so that you can carry on a conversation with your training partners. There is no lasting fatigue from an Easy Run. Long Run Long Runs are similar to an…
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MASTERS TRAINING: NOT ONE SIZE FITS ALL

Confusion abounds about optimal training for masters runners. That’s because they get into the sport in different ways. Thus, training for one master has to be different from that for another. Here’s the 411 on training for runners over 40, based on the type of runner they are: FULL-SPECTRUM MASTERS This type of masters runner…
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TRAINING THE MCMILLAN WAY

I’m often asked, “What is training the McMillan way?” Since all of our training plans are built to match the uniqueness of each individual runner, the answer isn’t as simple as high mileage or low mileage, endurance first then speed or speed first then endurance or any of the other categories that runners use for…
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JUST BECAUSE YOU CAN, DOESN’T MEAN YOU SHOULD

I met Craig Mottram when he had just turned pro. At that time, he was a very good runner. Six years later, he became a very, very, VERY good runner (12:55 for 5,000m, bronze medalist at the World Championships). In watching his development over the years and getting to know his coach, Nic Bideau, it’s…
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MIX UP YOUR TRAINING THIS YEAR

It’s a new year. If you’re stuck in a rut with your training, you may want to use this year as a time to shake things up. You may find that a departure from your normal routine is just what you need to take your running to the next level this year and beyond. 1.…
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WINTER INJURY-PROOFING

As winter weather arrives for us in the Northern Hemisphere, I see lots of neighbors getting ready. Snowblowers are reawakened. Shovels are readied, and winter gear moves front and center in closets. For the runner, training changes as well. As the days get shorter, some of us run in the growing darkness of the early…
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THE BENEFITS OF BAD WORKOUTS

Bad workouts and races–we all have them and we always will. So why fight them? Why not learn from them? As I work with beginners, Boston qualifiers and Olympic hopefuls, I no longer fret about the occasional bad workout or race. I see them as learning opportunities. Most of the time, they’re harbingers of better…
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DON’T TAPER. PEAK!

Over the last few years, I think I’ve finally figured this peaking thing out. It took a while because, like many coaches, I fell into the standard “tapering” model we’ve all been taught. Problem was, tapering didn’t work consistently. The results were just as hit-or-miss as not tapering at all. So, I threw “tapering” out…
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FIVE COMMON MISTAKES RUNNERS MAKE & HOW TO FIX THEM

An elite runner asked me for help. He experienced a nice progression to the elite level after leaving college, but his performances had reached a plateau over the last three years. He trained hard, but the race results were not what he wanted or what his training predicted. As we talked and reviewed his training,…
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DR. DAVE’S DO-DO RULE

Dr. David Martin is one of my favorite people in our sport. While he could just sit in his lab and do his own thing, that’s not his style. Instead, he takes an active role in helping athletes succeed. He’s credited with helping U.S. marathoners optimally prepare for the unusually hot and humid conditions at…
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RACING A BETTER BOSTON

Seasoned Boston marathoners will tell you that the challenge of the race isn’t Heartbreak Hill. The challenge is the miles and miles of downhill leading into Heartbreak Hill. These downhill miles trash your quads just as you enter the most important part of the marathon – the last 10 miles. Handle those first 16 miles…
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GO ZONE RACING – A STRATEGY FOR BETTER PERFORMANCE

In analyzing the splits of hundreds of competitive distance runners, it’s clear that personal records and breakthrough performances at distances from 800 meters to the 10K come only by getting out of your comfort zone and into your “Go Zone.” Go Zone racing involves serious mental toughness and some risk-taking, as well as a heavy…
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5 PROVEN MARATHON LONG RUNS

It is no secret that training to complete a marathon requires long runs. What has been a secret, however, is that training to race a marathon requires several specialized long runs. Incorporate the long runs below in your next marathon plan to achieve your fastest time on marathon day. Long and Steady: Lydiard’s Tried-and-True Long…
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FOUR GREAT TREADMILL WORKOUTS

For those of us who experience significant snowfall during winters, and who don’t want to convert to snowshoes, that signals the return to the treadmill. Treadmill training doesn’t have to be mind-numbing, though. A repertoire of creative workouts can allow you to both have fun and significantly increase your fitness through the winter. Overland vs.…
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PAYBACK TIME: A SCIENTIFIC PLAN TO OPTIMIZE RECOVERY POST MARATHON

It’s at this time of the year that marathon recovery, not marathon training, starts to take center stage. The best recovery is one that optimizes your musculoskeletal recovery yet also maintains your conditioning. You’ve built superior fitness before the marathon and you don’t want to lose all of it and then have to start from…
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PRE-MARATHON MISCUES: HOW TO AVOID FOUR COMMON MISTAKES BEFORE YOUR RACE

We all know that poor pacing is the biggest mistake that marathoners make on race day. Talk to runners of all levels at any marathon expo before the big race, however, and you’ll soon realize that a multitude of mistakes are also made before the race even starts. Here are the most common pre-marathon mistakes…
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5K RACE WEEK WORKOUTS: FINE-TUNING FOR YOUR FASTEST 3.1-MILER

In this article, I’ll present the two workouts that I find are the best during race week — the seven days leading into your 5K. These workouts take the guesswork out of what to do during race week. I use them with the Olympians I coach as well as competitive runners of all levels to…
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FINDING YOUR SWEET SPOT MAXIMAL VS. OPTIMAL ADAPTATION RATE

How many times has this happened to you? You perform incredible workouts but your racing performances are disappointments. You train harder only to race even poorer. You begin to ride the highs and lows of an emotional roller coaster. You’re confused and frustrated and begin to search for the latest and greatest training method that will…
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EVEN STEVEN WORKOUT

A GOOD WORKOUT FOR A BAD WEEK AT WORK I’ve coached Bonnie for more years than I can remember. She’s an amazing person who balances her career as a university professor and researcher with her passion for running. During our time together, she’s set PRs at all distances, and even run a 3:30 debut marathon at…
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TRAITS OF SUCCESSFUL RUNNERS

CERTAIN TRUTHS FOR RUNNERS OF ALL ABILITIES I’m a lucky coach. Through my online coaching, I get to work with beginning runners just coming off the couch as well as competitive runners aiming for age-group victories or trying to qualify for Boston. And through the work I’ve done with pro runners in Flagstaff, I’ve been able to…
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CALIBRATING YOUR INNER GPS

LEARNING TO RUN BY FEEL When I started running way back in the 20th century, I wanted longer legs. Long, lean legs for a flowing stride that would simply eat up the ground. As a runner in the 21st century, I find that I need longer arms. I’m up to my elbows in watches, GPS units,…
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SPEED WORK FOR MARATHONERS

THE WHYS AND HOWS OF SHORT, FAST RUNNING FOR A FASTER MARATHON In 2009 Brett Gotcher ran 2:10 in his marathon debut. At that time, it was the fourth-fastest debut in U.S. history. When asked about his training program in post-race interviews, I was candid about the weekly mileage I prescribed for him as well as…
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HOW TO ADJUST YOUR WORKOUTS FOR AN OFF-DAY

LEARN TO MAKE APPROPRIATE CHANGES TO WORKOUTS AS NEEDED Every runner goes into every workout hoping for the best. We all want to feel great and hit or even surpass our planned paces. The reality, however, is that you’re likely to have a few workouts where you just don’t feel good. Or you may show up…
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THE FOUR TYPES OF HS RUNNERS

HOW THEY DIFFER AND HOW TO TRAIN THEM The high school cross country coach often faces four types of runner as the season gets under way. While the easiest path is to give each runner the same training, the most successful coaches tailor the training to fit each type of runner. Here are my four…
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THINK TALL FOR GOOD RUNNING FORM

THE SIMPLEST, MOST EFFECTIVE RUNNING FORM CUE I was lucky to run at a high school where the coach and the upperclassmen focused on proper running form. It was something we worked on frequently. As a result, nearly every runner leaving the program had very good form. Notice that I didn’t say “the same form.” We…
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THE RUNNER’S ULTIMATE NUTRITIONAL RECOVERY ROUTINE (RUNRR)

About 15 years ago, I started drinking a Slim-Fast™ shake after my Sunday long runs. In my graduate classes in exercise physiology, we were studying the inner workings of the muscular and endocrine (hormonal) systems. I started drinking the Slim-Fast because researchers discovered that the enzyme, glycogen synthase, that turns carbohydrates from your food into…
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THE TWO BEST FIRST WORKOUTS FOR NEW RUNNERS

Suzanne is a runner (though she says not a “real runner”). She started running three years ago to get back in shape after the birth of her second child. Over a few months, she progressed from a walk/run around the block to running 2-4 days per week, covering 3-5 miles each run and up to…
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GPS RULES

5 TIPS FOR GETTING THE MOST FROM YOUR SPEED+DISTANCE MONITOR Speed and distance monitors have revolutionized our ability to track training. No more guesstimating. We can now know, in real time, how fast we’re running, how far we run, and myriad other training insights. As with any breakthroughs in running technology, we need a few…
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THE CHAMPION’S WORKOUT

WHY YOU SHOULD SOMETIMES GO ALL-OUT IN TRAINING My favorite running book is John L. Parker’s Once a Runner. In one scene, Cassidy’s coach prescribes a seemingly impossible workout of 60 × 400m, performed in three sets of 20 repeats. Parker does a marvelous job of taking the reader along for the mental and physical…
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GIVE IT A REST

THE LOST ART OF RECOVERING BETWEEN TRAINING CYCLES I see a bad habit forming in many runners: the lack of a recovery cycle after their big races or racing seasons. Today, far too many are simply finishing one race (often a marathon) and immediately starting to train for the next one. You can get away…
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BUILT TO LAST

THE MOST UNDERRATED ‘TALENT’ FOR DISTANCE RUNNING SUCCESS IS DURABILITY I always thought I was talented. I won my state championship in the mile. I ran 53 seconds for 400m and my VO2 max was tested at more than 76 ml/kg/min (quite high). I was also driven, loved training and was competitive. And even at…
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CROSS COUNTRY SUMMER

COACHING TO MAXIMIZE INDIVIDUAL GAINS. As a former cross country runner, now a coach, I believe in the statement, “Cross country champions are made in the summer.” But what exactly does that mean? Is summer preparation just about the 500-, 750- or 1,000-mile club? I think not. In working with high school runners, I need…
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WHAT MAKES A GREAT COACH?

WHILE DIFFERENT IN STYLE, THE BEST SHARE SIMILAR CHARACTERISTICS Our sport has had several truly great coaches over the last few decades. Each has his or her own style — some militaristic, others more Zen, all caring deeply about their athletes. Their training programs, while all sound, are as varied as their personalities. I’ve been…
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SPRINT QUARTERS AND COMBO QUARTERS

THE FUN CONTINUES WITH TWO GREAT WORKOUTS Last month, I wrote about two of my favorite “quarter” (one lap of the track) workouts:  Stamina Quarters and Speed Quarters. Here I detail my other two favorite quarter workouts: Sprint Quarters and Combo Quarters. SPRINT QUARTERS The sprint zone is, well, your sprinting pace. For most runners,…
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STAMINA AND SPEED QUARTERS

WHY I CAN’T GET ENOUGH OF THEM–AND NEITHER SHOULD YOU. Since high school, I’ve loved running quarters. There’s just something beautiful about running one lap of the track fast, taking a recovery break, then doing it again. I’ve certainly lost count of how many times I’ve run quarters, but they’ll always be one of my…
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THE MILE CUT-DOWN

A PERFECT MIDSUMMER WORKOUT The Mile Cut-Down is one of the best workouts you can do this time of the year. No matter if you’re in the middle of your summer 5K to half marathon road race season, coming back after a break from a spring/early summer peak race or beginning your buildup for your…
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