The fitness world loves to share expensive stuff — exotic races, the latest gadget — but the truth is, most of what keeps us running day in and day out isn’t that expensive.

It’s the little items that make us more comfortable on the trail and help fight off injury.

So today I want to focus on a few of those … the un-sexy, un-exotic, inexpensive little things. Here are three of my favorite items, all under $25:

1. A Good Pair of Socks

Socks. The thing we dread getting each Christmas. But socks … they matter.

As someone who has dealt with more foot issues than anything else, I’m the first to admit that if your feet go, so does your run. No matter how good of shape your legs and mind might be in, blistered and bruised toenails can be a goal-ender.

Which is why a good pair of socks that helps prevent blisters instead of causing them can make all the difference in the world.

My go-to? Injinji toe socks, trail midweight. They’re durable and built for the trail, and the individual toe pockets have significantly reduced blistering. But whether you’re into Swiftwick, Balega, or any other company, it’s always worth investing in a good pair of socks.

Get some socks — Injinji, Trail Midweight — $16

2. Running Shoe Gaiters

Along the same, anything-to-save-my-feet line, I’m a big fan of running shoe gaiters. I don’t wear them every day, or even every race, but when I’m expecting a lot of mud, sand, snow, or debris, they’ve proven to be a run-savor.

Just slip a pair over your shoes to help prevent all the junk from creeping it’s way inside your shoe and causing discomfort or blisters.

It’s such a help that some companies like Altra and Inov 8 have built in clips to make it easier, but you can find a pair that will work with just about any shoe.

Get a pair of gaitersAltra Trail Gaiters — $24.95

3. Training Essentials for Ultrarunning by Jason Koop

Want to dive deeper into the science behind your training? Check out Jason Koops training book, Training Essentials for Ultrarunning.

I own just about every ultramarathon manual out there, I’ve even written my own, and most are geared towards beginners. Jason takes a different approach, sharing his know-how for experienced ultrarunners to step it up a notch.

Get the book — Training Essentials for Ultrarunning — $12

Bonus: Next Level Runner

I know, I know … I just couldn’t pass up an opportunity to make a quick plug.

The Next Level Runner program is a membership program devoted to taking your training to the next level by focusing on one specific aspect of running each month. You’ll immediately gain access to a library of training plans, loads of resources, coaching calls, and most importantly, a community of runners.

Join here — Next Level Runner — $24


What I’m Digging this Month: April, 2017

Mendocino Coast 50K

Tomorrow morning I’ll toe the line of the Mendocino Coast 50K. This is my second year running the race, and I’m beyond stoked to get back out on this beautiful course.

Yesterday I helped RD Sid load up the truck with aid station supplies, and today I’m crewing him while he runs the entire course to check for markings.

It’s going to be a blast.

Think You Can Break the Appalachian Trail Speed Record?

Karl Meltzer thought he could, and while it took three attempts, he made it happen.

Red Bull, one of his sponsors, was around to document the effort.

Watch it here.

Rickey’s TransAmericana Run


Running across America is nothing new. In fact, just last year the speed record went down.

But when Rickey Gates announced after last year’s surprise presidential election that he felt called to run cross-country, it stood out as something different. His intention is to better get to know this country, and the people and communities that make it up.

He’s been running (and paddle boarding) for a few months now, and documents the trip on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. It’s unlike any running project I’ve seen before, and look forward to each new mini-story he shares.

Ultrarunner Podcast also just shared a great interview with Rickey.

Welcome to the Rock Creek Roundup, a monthly series featuring trail and running commentary, and a selection of articles, videos, products, and stories I’m into this month. Check out previous Roundups here.

Adventure.

What does that even mean?

I hear people throw around words like adventure and epic on a daily basis. Hell, I do it myself.

But if we’re being real … how often is your (or my) daily run truly an epic adventure. Or even an adventure at all.

Google defines adventure as, “an unusual and exciting, typically hazardous, experience or activity.”

My go-to trail routes — even long runs — may be exciting, but they’re rarely hazardous and by definition not unusual. So am I wrong to often refer to a run as an adventure?

I don’t think so. And while I may roll my eyes when I see someone label an hour-long outing as something epic, I get it.

This past weekend I joined Andrew, a RCR member from Indiana, for a nearly twelve hour thru-run of the Art Loeb Trail. We started around 5:30am, in the rain and cold, and slowly made our way from the foothills to the mountains.

The rain continued as the sun came up and for nearly five hours, until we took a rest on the summit of Pilot Mountain. Almost as if it knew we had arrived, a huge gust of wind roared up the side of the mountain, pushing the clouds away. It was our first real glimpse of the layers of peaks and valleys that surrounded us.

A post shared by Doug H (@rockcreekrunner) on

Before long the sun came out, views opened, and soggy miles ticked by.

And as I huffed up the many mountains, splashing down the other side, I couldn’t help but smile and be grateful.

Adventure is something we trail runners crave.

Just the thought of it makes hours spent at our desks, in front of a computer, more manageable. And the anticipation of a future adventure will keep us up at night, and wake us up early to train the next morning.

We’re not the do-nothing crowd.

We like mountains. Trails. Uncertainty. And thrill.

And by God, even if our weekly runs aren’t what they write novels about, they’re still another important chapter — no matter how long or short — in our own grand, amazing, beautiful adventure.

An adventure of epic proportions.


What I’m Digging this Month: March, 2017

Protecting Our Public Lands

With proposals to sell off public land and major cuts to the EPA and Department of the Interior, the future of public lands and parks are in question. As a citizen who uses and relies on these protected spaces daily, I feel it’s my duty to stay engaged and involved with their protection. The question then is, what’s the best way to do that?

A group of trail runners found their solution by founding an initiative called Run Wild. Here’s their story.

In other public land news, Former Patagonia CEO donates 1 million acres of parkland to Chile.

Maps: They’re Important (and now free)

I love topo maps. Especially when they’re free.

National Geographic now has a tool that lets you download any 7.5 minute topo in the continental U.S.A., and it’s awesome.

Learn more and start downloading maps here.

And if you’re curious, here’s a map of my home trails.

Goal Setting with 3rd Graders

A post shared by Doug H (@rockcreekrunner) on


Yesterday I had the honor of speaking to an an elementary classroom about lofty goal setting, using my experience with running goals as an example. It was not only an out-of-my-comfort-zone experience (I know very little about interacting with kids unless they’re three months old and birthed by my wife), but also an incredibly inspiring experience.

The kids set goals to become musicians, athletes, judges, and smoothie shop owners, and more importantly, they established actions they can take today to start working towards those goals.

Now it’s time for me to dream big again as well.

Life in a Day by Billy Yang

This was a good month for trail running films, starting with Life in a Day, a film by Billy Yang following four women vying for a Western States 100 win.

A Decade On by Ginger Runner

Then there’s A Decade On, which shares Brian Morrison’s Western States journey and redemption. If you don’t know Brian’s story, it’s fascinating.

Welcome to the Rock Creek Roundup, a new monthly series featuring trail and running commentary, and a selection of articles, videos, products, and stories I’m into this month. Click here to read December and January’s roundup.

Ultrarunning has a 100K problem.

When I think through the reputation of your standard ultramarathon distances, here’s what I picture:

  • 50K — The introductory ultra. Longer than a marathon, but approachable — both mentally and physically — to most interested runners.
  • 50 Mile — The separator. A significantly longer race, which separates out those who really want to go long vs. those who want to dabble in the 50K distance.
  • 100 Mile — The crème de la crème. The distance most of us strive for, and the one we proudly promote through the wearing of belt buckles.

All wonderful, challenging, and something to be proud of.

Then there’s the humble 100K, a 62ish mile race often forgotten by the masses. Don’t believe me? Let’s take a look at the numbers.

In 2013 (the most recent data I could find), there were 69,573 ultramarathon finishes (I believe that’s US only, though it doesn’t say).

Over half, or 51.5% of those finishes, came from the 50K distance. 23.2% from 50 Milers, and 8.6 from 100 Milers.

Only 2.9% of finishes came from 100Ks.

In other words, the 100K shares about the same percentage of finishes as Gary Johnson did votes in the 2016 election … not very many.

Note, the remaining 13.9% of finishes were in timed events or non-traditional distances.

Since those numbers were a few years old, I did a bit more research. While I couldn’t find finisher numbers for 2016, I did tally the number of races for each distance currently listed on UltraSignup for 2017:

  • 50K — 560 races
  • 50 Mile — 226 races
  • 100K — 120 races
  • 100 Mile — 157 races

That’s a larger share than expected, but still the forgotten stepchild by comparison.

Now I know what you’re thinking …

Who gives a shit?

Well, probably not many people, but I think you should. Here’s why:

In Defense of the 100K

As I’ve planned out my race schedule for the year — with an increased work load, 10-week old cold, and other new obligations — it became clear that training for a 100 Miler would need to take a back seat until at least this fall.

But I still wanted a massive challenge on the calendar to get my training juices flowing.

I decided on the UROC 100K taking place in May, and through that process, it occurred to me that 100K is kind of the perfect distance for most ultrarunners.

1. It’s long. Unlike a 50K or 50 Miler, the 100K distance will take most runners 10-15 hours to finish. That most likely means running in the dark, running through multiple meal times, and spending most of a day on the trail. It’s a true test of grit and determination.

2. It’s not that long. At the same time, 10-15 hours is a lot different than 24+ hours, like you see at many 100 mile ultras. The recovery period will be shorter and the overall disruption to your life a lot less.

3. It’s logistically closer to a 50M than a 100M. For a 100 Miler, most runners bring full crews, pacers, and at least a few drop bags. For a 100K, there’s less of a need. In part because you’re (probably) not running through the night, but also because it’s a smaller undertaking.

4. Training is Manageable. Don’t get me wrong, training for a 100K will take a lot of time, effort, and determination, but for me, in my life right now, it feels a lot more manageable than properly training for a 100 Miler.

5. It’s a massive accomplishment. Not that 50Ks and 50 Milers are not — they most certainly are — but the 100K distance is nothing to scoff at, and should be considered a truly massive goal.

And that’s why I’d like to see more finishers of the underrated 100K distance.

I’ve only have one finish myself, and look forward to challenging myself to the distance again in a few months.

Update: I was quickly reminded by a few readers that the 100K distance is far from forgotten outside the US where the metric system rules, and off the top of my head I can think of several high profile international 100K races. Consider this a commentary on the US scene, and another lesson we can learn from our friends abroad.

Now, for that roundup …


What’s Worth Sharing on this Month: February, 2017

The Run With the Trails Tumbler

I hear the new tumblers — released just two weeks ago — have already tagged along on many adventures.

Get yours here.

A Pen and Paper Training Log

For the past few years I’ve kept a digital training log in a spreadsheet, and I believe keeping a log of some sort is something every runner should do. It’s a way to track progress and notice issues, and make adjustment accordingly. And it helps hold you accountable to stay focused.

Last month I received the Runner’s Log from Territory Run Co. as a birthday gift, and I’ve got to admit, it feels damn good to keep a pen and paper log over a stale digital one.

I don’t plan on going back.

A post shared by Doug H (@rockcreekrunner) on

Did You See the 37 Videos Post?

If not, you should check it out.

Hours of sweet trail and mountain running videos.

Run Like a Girl (in the Snow)

Hat-tip, UltraRunner Podcast.

Our Sport is Spreading Like Wildfire

While looking up those 100K stats above, I couldn’t help but notice how much the sport is growing.

Again, these are 2013 numbers, but between 2010 and 2013, ultrarunning saw a 50% increase in finishers. I’m sure that number is much higher through 2016.

It makes me incredibly happy to see so many people challenge themselves at the 50K or longer distance.

Well done, everyone. Well done.

The 23 Minute Post-Run Routine

A regular post-run routine was something I struggled with for a long time. Once the GPS stopped, so did my motivation.

But over time I’ve been able to change that by making my “run” the entire workout experience and not just the run itself. By doing so, I have a well balance post-run routine that helps with strength, recovery, and mental focus.

Here’s a formula for creating your own post-run routine, which I published yesterday on No Meat Athlete.

Welcome to the Rock Creek Roundup, a new monthly series featuring trail and running commentary, and a selection of articles, videos, products, and stories I’m into this month. Read last month’s roundup here.

For some, 2017 will be remembered as the year of the fire rooster. Or the year that Donald Trump takes office. Or maybe the year the DeLorean hits the streets once again.

But for me and Rock Creek Runner, 2017 will be the year of building a stronger community.

For the past few years I’ve taken a page out of one of my favorite blogger’s book, and designated an annual theme that shapes the content, direction, and goals for this site. Just like I try to do with my training, focusing on one a single area puts everything into context.

… 2015’s year of smart running lead to the creation of the Trail Talk podcast and the Trail Runner’s System and a number of new resources.

… 2016’s year of service lead to more volunteer hours at races and on the trail, donations to trail building projects, and more free running resources on this site than ever before.

As I thought through where I wanted to see this site develop over the next 365 days, one theme stood out above all — community.

Why? Because after the past few weeks it’s hard to think of anything more important. Since the birth of our daughter, my wife and I have been surrounded by community support. People are cooking us meals, helping with chores, sharing the night shift, and showering all three of us with love.

Our community from near and far has not only helped us get through the sleepless nights and busy days, but made us better parents.

And a strong community will do the same thing for your running.

  • Your community will push you further than you can by yourself.
  • Your community acts as a teacher and mentor.
  • Your community holds you accountable on your quest towards a new running goal.
  • Your community brings joy.
  • Your community provides a pathway towards leaving the comfort zone.
  • Your community will give your runs more purpose.

For many of us, the running community is what got us running in the first place — a friend inviting you out for a run or encouraging you to join their local club — and it’s what keeps us going day after day.

So how can I, a blogger from North Carolina that you’ve probably never met, help you build a stronger running community?

For starters we’ll talk a lot this year about going local. Getting involved with running shops and clubs, local races, trail runs, and training groups.

But beyond that, I’m planning a number of new projects that help build this online community by connecting fellow Rock Creek Runners from all over the world to help encourage and support one another, and work together to run stronger, faster, and further.

Because I believe that now more than ever, it’s the relationships and village that we build — both in person and online — that will take us where we want to go.

So what do you say, are you with me?

Now, for that roundup …

What I’m Hooked on this Month: January, 2017

My 2017 Race Schedule — Will you join me?

Training will probably look a lot different this year (remember that newborn thing?), so I’ve made an effort to really focus my goals this year. I plan to revisit a few of my favorite races, select two key 100K-100M races (100 miler still TBD) and push myself with more unsupported or unregulated adventures.

This is still very much a work in progress, but here’s where my schedule stands as of right now:

District Vision Sunglasses

Don’t mind the hair. I just had a baby! What more do you want from me?

I’ve tried a number of sunglasses designed for runners — including some that cost far more than I’d like to admit — but I’ve never found a lens that didn’t bounce, fog up, or make it harder to read the trail.

A few weeks ago I was introduced to District Vision and their line of Keiichi glasses, which are designed specifically for trail runners. These things are amazing. I love the fit and feel, never have to adjust them mid run, and they don’t hide shadows from rocks or roots. Plus I think they look pretty dope.

If you’re looking for a new pair of shades, learn more here. (Not an affiliate link.)

Kilian (And Some Serious Mountain Porn)

I’m not sure what’s more inspiring in this short film, watching Kilian move or the mountains he’s moving on. Either way, this should get your juices flowing:

rabbit Running’s Zippit Top

The current trend in running clothing seems to be that more is better … More pockets. More zippers. More “unique features.” I don’t know about you, but sometimes I just want a clean, comfortable, warm running shirt. Seems like a reasonable ask.

That’s what I’ve found with the rabbit Running’s Zippit Top, which has become my current go-to this winter. It’s just plain comfortable.

Learn more here. (Not an affiliate link.)

Why You Should Stop Caring What Other People Think

Not directly running related, but timely considering the topic of community.

As runners we’re competitive against ourselves, the trail, and oftentimes others. Even if we’re not running at the front of the pack, it’s easy to compare our race resumes, finish times, and fashion to those around us. But does any of that matter?

That’s what I found myself asking after rereading this old article from Wait but Why:

Taming the Mammoth: Why You Should Stop Caring What Other People Think

My conclusion? Of course it doesn’t. Run for yourself.

105 Year Old Set Cycling Record

“I am not here to be champion. I am here to prove that at 105 years old you can still ride a bike,” Marchand said.

#lifegoals.

 

 

We’re just a week away from ringing in 2016, and whoa! What a year it has been!

Oof, I hate it when people say that. Every year bloggers, bosses, your mother, they always seem to think the past 12 months have been unlike any other.

But seriously, when I sat down to write this post, and took a look back at everything that’s happened here at Rock Creek Runner, it really has been one hell of a year.

On a personal note, I’ve had the privilege of sharing many beautiful experiences, with wonderful people, on breathtaking routes and courses. In case you missed them, are a few highlights through pictures:

Sorry:

- Instagram feed not found.

But aside from my own experiences, it’s also been the best year yet here at Rock Creek Runner:

So far in 2015, I’ve posted 62 blog posts, all in an effort to help you run smarter.

I launched the Trail Talk podcast, wrapping up Season 1 with 23 episodes.

I released two new courses, the Trail Runner’s System and the Busy Runner Routine, which combined are helping more than 385 students reach their running goals, and the free Aid Station, which several of you sign up for every day.

I hired Alex Bea to redesign the site, so you would have a better reading experience.

I’ve directly helped dozens of runners train for and run trail races across the globe through coaching.

And most importantly, I’ve heard from more of you than ever before about your amazing running goals and successes. That, by far, has been the most exciting part of the year. Thank you for sharing.

And you know what? I’ve got even higher hopes for 2016.

More planning and preparations have already gone in to 2016 than any year before — Season 2 of Trail Talk is set to launch in January, new courses and resources are already in development, and I’ll be partnering up with other runners, coaches, and bloggers for all kinds of exciting new content. And of course, the vast majority always remain free for you.

A few official announcements will drop next week, so you’ll have to demonstrate a little patience until then.

Today I thought it’d be fun to stick to the past and present, and look back at your favorite posts and episodes (as determined by pageviews and listens). Just for kicks, I’ll also share a few favorites of my own from other sites.

Thanks for such an amazing year, and I hope you enjoy this little flash back at some of the highlights from 2015:

15 Most Popular Posts of 2015

Most Popular Instructional Posts

1. The 8 Running Hacks of Smart Runners
2. The Jackass’ Guide to Trail Running Etiquette
3. 7 Habits of Highly Effective (Trail) Runners
4. The 50 Truths of Ultra Running
5. The Ultimate Resource Guide for New Trail Runners
6. 37 Simple Ways to Improve Your Running (Without Causing You Stress)
7. The Trail Runner’s Guide to Fast Downhill Running

Most Popular Interviews

8. 3 Steps to Mastering Your First Ultramarathon with Stephanie Marie Howe
9. How to Run Faster & Prevent Your Next Running Injury with Jason Fitzgerald
10. Karl Meltzer on Trail and Ultrarunning Basics
11. Recovery, Nutrition, and Shoes with Mountain Ultra Trail Runner Darcy Piceu

Most Popular Motivational Posts

12. 12 (More) Trail Running Videos Guaranteed to Get You Motivated and Out the Door
13. How Trail Running Will Change Your Life (And How It Changed Mine)
14. Ultrarunning as a Microcosm of Life: My Black Mountain Monster Report
15. When is it Acceptable to Quit?

5 Most Popular Trail Talk Episodes of 2015

1. 6 Principles of Base Building for Endurance Runners
2. Go Big!
3. Essential Gear for Trail Runners
4. My 6 Biggest Ultramarathon Mistakes
5. How to Schedule Your Weekly Mileage

5 Non-Rock Creek Runner Posts I Loved in 2015

1. Your Body During a 100-Miler (Outside)
2. What Runners Are Thinking (The Atlantic)
3. The Ancient Mind-Hack That Makes You Happier and More Effective (Further)
4. Six Things That Elite Ultrarunners Are Doing That You Are Not (iRunFar)
5. A Marathon Tale: An Unlikely Duo (Desert Grit)
6. Why I Pushed ‘Too Far’ and Will Never Regret It (No Meat Athlete)

A few months ago I published my first article round-up post in a very, very long time. It was an opportunity to share some of my favorite recent posts and stories from other blogs.

Round-ups are a good opportunity to discover new sites, articles you may have missed, and epic adventures you may have never heard of otherwise.

Today I want to do that again, and plan to keep this series up every few months moving forward. So what do you say? Here they are:

7 Running Articles Not to Miss

1) Your Body During a 100-Miler (Outside Magazine)

“Is that even good for you?” is a common question after you talk to someone about running an ultramarathon. The simple answer? Probably not. But Outside Magazine was determined to find out.

In this article the author breaks down what’s happening to your body during a 100-miler from your head to your toes.

2) What Runners Are Thinking (The Atlantic)

In a recent article about things I wish I knew before running endurance races, I brought up the fact that people will never quit asking you what you think about while running. Just a few days later this article pops up in my feed.

Maybe I can start forwarding this link instead of answering the question myself?

3) How to Breathe While Running (Strength Running)

Breath seems to be one of those things runners either never think about, or obsess over. I’ve done both.

For awhile I tried to use breathing patterns to enter a meditative state while out on easy runs, and just last year I interviewed Bob Coates, who created an entire training philosophy behind breathing patterns.

Jason over at Strength Running has an interesting (maybe even unexpected) take on the subject.

4) Controlled Chaos: Learn to be an Elite Hill Runner (iRunFar)
Continue Reading

Leggendo un e-book davanti al lago

When you’re a blogger, it’s easy to get caught up in your own work. You spend hours writing a post, which often requires research, editing, and multiple attempts.

All in hopes that once finished, you’re left with a viral masterpiece ready to publish.

But sometimes, even after all that work, what you’re left with is far from a masterpiece. Sometimes, it’s straight up garbage.

And you’re faced with a choice. Do you:

  1. Publish it anyway, or
  2. Accept that sometimes, it’s just not your day, and scrap the whole thing.

Today I was left with that decision, and as I poked around the internet procrastinating, I discovered that others had already made the decision for me. Their recent work was much better than anything I could put out this week.

And I have to accept it.

So today we’re going to do something a little different. It’s been a long time since I published any sort of round-up post, and I don’t plan on bringing them back with any sort of frequency. But just like in running, sometimes you need to accept that your best that day is nowhere near the best of others.

Instead of putting out a garbage post of my own, I want to share the best articles I’ve read this week by other people.

6 Blog Articles Not to Miss

Continue Reading

RoundUpMay has been a great month.  The weather in DC was fabulous, the trails are surrounded by budding trees, and the big cicada scare of 2013, causing terror up and down the East Coast, doesn’t seem to be as big a deal as people thought.

It was also a great month on the interwebs, and here are a few of my favorite articles and videos from the past 31 days.

The Inspirational:

1) Have you ever been to the Grand Canyon?  Well if you haven’t, it is big.  I mean massive.  Now imagine running from one side to the other.  And then running back.  Rob Krar writes about his recent record breaking Rim-Rim-Rim run of the Grand Canyon on iRunFar.

2) While this wasn’t released last month, I just saw Horses + Fire, an inspirational video of a high school runner gunning to break the 4 minute mile, a few weeks ago.  WARNING: This short film by the Wolpertinger will make you want to go out and run fast.

3)  Think taking the elevator instead of the stairs really isn’t a big deal?  Think again.  Active Life DC breaks down recent findings on the importance of small spurts of exercise.  Now get up from this computer and go for a quick walk!

The Informative:

4) Things got a little interesting on Strength Running this month when Jason Fitzgerald brought up the topic of Cross Fit Endurance.  So much so that he had to write a follow-up post.

5) DC Rainmaker travels, a lot.  He also works out, a lot.  Well fortunately for us he decided to share some of his secrets for getting suitcases packed and workouts done while on the road.

6) Hill work can be a pain in the ass (literally), yet we do it anyway.  But why?  This month Predawn Runner explains the Ups and Downs of Hill Training for Runners.

The Just Plain Fun:

7) When running the dark, you might typically reach for your headlamp, but why not just strap a light to your shoe?  That is exactly what Night Runner is hoping you will start doing with their current campaign on Kickstarter.

8)  This month kicked off the first ever Rock Creek Runners group trail run, and it was a huge success!  If you live in the DC area, join us Saturday, June 15th for another 4.5 mile run.  Sign up here for more info.

9)  A few weeks ago I had the honor of interviewing Rich Roll, the author of Finding Ultra, for the No Meat Athlete Radio podcast, which I co-host with Matt Frazier.  During the interview we talk training, nutrition, and Rich’s story of going from overweight to an ultra-endurance athlete.

RoundUpLast month I decided to start a new RCR feature highlighting some of the best articles and videos I’ve enjoyed over the past month.

With so much exciting and fun information out there, limiting this list to just a few is harder than you might expect!  But here they are, some of my favorite things on the web from April.

As always, feel free to share with me your posts or your favorites.  They just might make the list next month.

The Inspirational:

1) You can’t have an article round-up this month without talking about the tragedy in Boston.  Everyone was reflecting on what it meant to them as a runner, including myself.  One of my favorites was Matt Frazier’s piece, What It Means to Be a Runner

2) This one isn’t directly related to running, more to life, but Seth Godin’s recent post on getting picked vs. picking yourself is important for anyone to read.  Whether it is training for your next race, or taking a major step in your career, picking yourself is often better than actually being picked.

3) This video by Salomon Running might be set in San Francisco, but it is a good reminder to us all that adventure is not off in some distant place, it is right out our front doors!

[youtube_sc url=GGqsuQXooBs width=500]

4) Not everyone is interested in going plant based, but as I wrote in my last post in April, finding a diet that helps, not hinders, your running is a very important component to your training.  No matter what your optimal diet may be, Leo Babauta’s new program, 7 Day Vegan Challenge, is a perfect place to start. 

5) Ever wanted to know what it is like to be a professional runner?  Check out this great interview on iRunFar with Sage Canaday, where he explains his upbringing, and what motivates him today.

The Informative:

6) Anyone hanging out in the woods these days better know about the dangers of ticks.  The little suckers are popping up everywhere, and have become one of the biggest dangers for hikers, campers, and trail runners.  Outside Magazine has a great piece this month covering the rise (and dangers) of the tick.

7)  Jason Fitzgerald of Strength Running has spent the last several months traveling and bumming running around the world.  The 50 lessons he learned while doing it are both practical and hilarious. 

8)  I sure do love infographics, don’t you?  Greatist put out two great ones last month:  How to Run Your Best Half Marathon Ever and more importantly, How to Become a Morning Person

The Just Plain Fun:

9) Commute on your bike like me?  You probably know how dangerous riding at night can be.  These new wheel lights from Revolights Wheels are incredible!  They are uber practical and uber cool, I just wish they weren’t so uber expensive.

 

RoundUpSometimes I have plenty to say, but other times it is best to let the others do the talking.

Every day I read something inspiring, informative, or just plain fun, and it seems selfish not to help spread the word about these great articles, videos, and podcasts.

I’ve decided to try something a little different.  Once a month I’ll do a “round-up” of sorts, highlighting a few of the best things out there on the interwebs.  If you have something you think I missed, share it in the comments section or email me and I’ll consider it for next month!

The Inspirational:

1)  There are few people out there as inspiring as the 25 year old Kilian Jornet.  His love for the mountains, running, and running up mountains has taken him on more than a few amazing journeys and to victories at nearly every ultramarathon he enters.  The recent New York Times Magazine article, Creating the All-Terrain Human, gives us a brief look into the life of on of the world’s best mountaineers.

2)  If you have trained for a few races, you know that sometimes things just don’t go as planned.  Meaghan Stakelin of DC Fit Crasher recently experienced just that, and was forced to adjust her expectations leading up to the Rock n Roll USA half marathon a few weeks ago.

3)  Imagine signing up for a 350 mile foot race.  Now imagine that race being held in March.  In Alaska.  Each year dozens of people race from Anchorage to McGrath, Alaska, during the Iditarod Trail Invitational, a foot race that takes days, and an enormous amount of willpower.  This year, Joe Grant took on the race for the first time and has documented the adventure on his beautifully written blog.  Parts one, two, and three have been posted, and I’m on the edge of my seat waiting for the rest.

4)  We’ve had lots of talk about running mantras around these parts the past few weeks.  With the release of the free eBook The Power of a Running Mantra, I had a lot to share.  It seems as though Fitzgerald of Strength Running also had more to share than he could fit in to his article in the ebook.  In his recent post, Grimace! Running Mantras That Help You Get Tough When Races Hurt, he shares his mantra tactics and great advice on how to use them when things get the toughest.

The Informative:

5)  For the past several months Matt Frazier of No Meat Athlete and I have been hosting a podcast we’re calling No Meat Athlete Radio.  This month we discussed making the leap from runner to ultrarunner, and who better to bring on for an interview than Bryon Powell of iRunFar.com.

6)  Foam Rolling may very well be my favorite running tool.  Injuries be damned, I’ve got a foam roller!  In Susan Lacke’s recent article in Competitor, she discusses her love for the foam, and just a heads up, it is borderline creepy.

7)  If you live in the DC area and haven’t heard of the new healthy living site Thriive, you should really check it out.  Last week Katie Fox-Boyd of DC Yogi posted a few great yoga poses every runner needs to practice on the regular.  You can also find my recent post on running in Meridian Hill Park.

The Just Plain Fun:

8)  Have trouble carrying your keys on a run?  Help out PocketBands, and you just might have your solution!

Bonus:

9)  Check it out!  My feature on Rock Creek Park was published in the most recent edition of RunWashington Magazine.  Pick up your own copy at just about any DC area gym or running store.

RunWashington - April/May Issue