Category Archives: Nutrition

5 Ways to Adapt Your Nutrition for Fall Training (Guest Blog – SaltStick)

Hi readers!  From time to time I’ve let somebody else write on my blog for a few reasons:  They know more than I do, it might be helpful to other runners, and/or I really believe in & use their product for my own training.  Today’s guest blogger is all three – a nutritional support of mine SaltStick.  I’ve used them for years before they started supporting my training/racing and really like how balanced  their products are – no gut-rot or headaches!  I hope you take something away for your own running!



Regular readers of Adam’s blog will know he recently completed a stunning feat of endurance by running the Four Pass Loop around the Maroon Bells formation in Aspen, Colorado. Four passes over 12,000 feet (one of them in pouring rain) is a great achievement, and we have been thrilled to play a small part in Adam’s journey by providing SaltStick Caps to help keep him hydrated.

If any of you have been inspired by Adam to take on a fall running challenge, it will help to know the basic ways your nutritional needs will change in the cooler, dryer weather. To help out, this blog post provides five ways to adapt your nutrition for fall training. Continue reading 5 Ways to Adapt Your Nutrition for Fall Training (Guest Blog – SaltStick)


GEAR REVIEW: Ultimate Direction Scott Jurek SJ Ultra Vest

Ultimate Direction SJ Ultra Vest
Ultimate Direction SJ Ultra Vest

This video review on the Ultimate Direction SJ Ultra Vest is fourth in a four part series with four various hydration packs by Camelbak, Ultimate Direction, and Amphipod:

  1. Camelbak Marathoner Hydration Vest
  2. Amphipod Profile-Lite Airstretch 20
  3. Camelbak Octane LR
  4. Ultimate Direction Scott Jurek SJ Ultra Vest (below) Continue reading GEAR REVIEW: Ultimate Direction Scott Jurek SJ Ultra Vest

GEAR REVIEW: Camelbak Marathoner Vest

Approaching a new world of ultra running and longer weekly long runs nutrition and fueling on the run is an area I need to embrace – like it or not.  5k – half marathon racing I can get away with zero calories during the run … nothing.  During marathon training, I take pride it heading out the door for 18-23 mile long runs with 0-2 gels … 4 on race day while not breaking pace through the water stops.  Now, with a newer focus on trail ultra marathons for at least the first half of 2013, nutrition and fueling NEEDS to be dialed in.  Not being fueled properly in a road marathon will certainly lead to “bonking” and a poor race result – not fun.  Not being fueled properly on some ultra marathons can leave you walking for hours in the middle of the woods by yourself depleted and completely trashed – not fun but also not safe.  Below is my comparison of four of the best packs on the market.  All different each with their strengths (and some weaknesses)

This video review on the Camelbak Marathoner Hydration Vest is first in a four part series (and my first video review period!) with four various hydration packs by Camelbak, Ultimate Direction, and Amphipod:

  1. Camelbak Marathoner Hydration Vest (below)
  2. Amphipod Profile-Lite Airstretch 20
  3. Camelbak Octane LR
  4. Ultimate Direction Scott Jurek Ultra Vest


Camelbak Marathoner Vest Video Review:

Nagging Pains – When (and when not) to Run

When training into peak shape you want to get everything you can out of your body.  Pushing your limits and stressing your body are essential in building your fitness, strength, and speed.  Whether you’re increasing or holding high mileage or high intensity workouts, there is a potential for your body to break down.  Actually, your body is breaking down every time you run or workout, but hopefully you’re able to recover and rebuild a higher level of fitness before your next workout or quality day.  When flirting with your physical limits of stress, even smart and experienced runners come across nagging aches and pains on a daily or weekly basis – not all are good signs of fitness gains but not all are necessarily terrible or dictate time away from running either.  Below are 5 tips to keep in mind when you come across your aches and pains:

1) Onset – Did that pain in your knee / foot / ankle come on gradually or suddenly?  A minor ache increasing over the last few days (especially after interval or track workouts) does indicate an irritation and needs attention but not in the same way a twisted ankle or broken foot (when you hear the SNAP!).  An acute break is different from an irritation.

2) Natural Stride – This is the number one indicator I address when determining if continued running is safe.  When my natural stride is no longer feasible without intense or shooting pain, it’s time to chill out.  You might be able to limp along and get in some miles, but this will almost certainly incur additional other aches / pains / injuries as your overcompensation will effect your now not-so-natural mechanics.

3) Tracking Progress – Keep track of HOW and WHEN your ache/pain is feeling … if you’re going to run through it, there needs to be a point when it starts to feel better.  You’ve got to do a gut check EVERYDAY at distinct times.  Now, don’t get carried away and dwell on your injury, this will lead to playing mental-chicken with yourself as you over analyze every creak and ache which can actually physically make it feel worse.  I like to track (on a scale of 1 to 10) my first steps out of bed, when I start running, at 1/2 mile, at 4 miles, end of run, and how it feels into the evening …. about 6 times /day ….. DO NOT stretch, walk 3 steps in work shoes, stretch more, jog 6 steps, repeat every half hour.

4) Care – Aches and pains are different from broken bones or acute sprains / breaks … different care for different trauma.  Most aches / pains include swelling and stiffness – alternate heat and cold for 15 minutes at a time to get good circulation flowing.  Ibuprofen can not only mask some pain to preserve proper mechanics but also act as an anti-inflammatory.  BE CAREFUL WITH STRETCHING … inflamed tendons (think Achilles tendonitis) can feel tight and swollen but stretching every 5 minutes can be the worst thing you can do.  Your micro-tears don’t need to be stretched (torn) even more, it needs blood flow (oxygen) and often times scar tissue flushed out via massage and/or even scraping by a professional.  Consult your sports medicine specialist for all appropriate treatment for your aches and pains.

5) Training Cycle – Be aware of where you are in your training cycle and how far out you are from an important or peak race.  It’s always best to be a bit more conservative the earlier you are in your preparations as you’ve got time to recover and get back into some quality training.  2 days off 7 weeks out from a peak race is better than 2 weeks off when coming right down to the wire.