Thursday, July 30, 2009

Training When Pressed For Time

Many events have not been done and many goals have been left unattained due to the “I just don’t have the time” principle.

All kidding aside, most of us who pursue endurance events of any kind quickly learn that time may be a more valuable commodity than physical condition. Time also a difficult animal in that you can’t get it back once its gone and you can’t create more of it!

So, with family and work issues taking front seat in many of our lives, how do we manage our time better to include fitness activities? If you’re a regular reader of Runner’s World, than you are familiar with John “The Penguin” Bingham and his thoughtful advice on real world fitness issues. This post offers some advice on the time issue for a busy mom.

Check it out and see if it can help you better manage your time for fitness --

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

An Awakening In Steamboat

What a spectacular place for a baseball tournament and a family vacation rolled into one!

Steamboat Springs, Colorado really is a great place for both. Talk about a place to unwind! And you can't beat playing youth baseball against the backdrop of the Rocky Mountains.

My wife, Betsy and I are proud of our 13-year-old son, Jay, and his team - the West Des Moines Mariners. Most of these boys have played together since they were seven-years-old and it's been a true joy to watch these boys group up into young men. Speaking of young men, that leads me to share a couple "aha" moments we experienced on this trip.

First, it may be the last time our merry, little band travels to a major, national tournament. As the boys grow into school baseball programs, we may be limited on our scheduling opportunities next year. Second, this tournament highlighted the differences you will see in the growth development of teenage boys.

Even though our scheduling opportunities may be limited next year, it opens a new chapter of baseball for these young men. Several of them will continue to play together on their school teams and some of them will play against one another. It's always great to be a parent watching your children and their friends on new stages!

I was also proud of our boys in Steamboat based on the tremendous sportsmanship they displayed. In tournaments like the Triple Crown World Series, you see teams with players who look more like they are 23 as opposed to 13. It's the nature of the age they are. We certainly had our butts handed to us a few times by some "big sticks", but the Mariners never hung their heads and they played on until they won some games and savored the joy of victory.

In the end, it was for us what the baseball tournament experience was meant to be - FUN. And fun to me is never a bad thing!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Steamboat Springs - A "Fit" Place To Be

While enjoying my son, Jay's participation in the Triple Crown World Series baseball tournament in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, I've been thoroughly impressed with this community's sense of fitness.

It makes me jealous to see so many opportunities for running/hiking/biking on trails, rock climbing, kayaking, skiing and other activities. And talk about "bike friendly", Steamboat Springs takes the cake. Everyone here rides a bike, but nobody honks!

The altitude offers a little edge to any fitness activities you commit to here as you're more than 6,000 feet above sea level anywhere in the area.

While we're playing many games and enjoying some great family time, I've been able to do a long bike ride through the mountains on a route known as "Twenty-Mile Road" and some runs on trails that angle along the Yampa River. Today, a tube ride down the Yampa proved to be more physical of an activity than I anticipated!
So, if you're looking for a vacation spot that is "fitness-friendly", I feel like I've found an ideal spot in Steamboat Springs! Probably not too many more posts until I return home next week.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Volunteer For A Race Event

I had a great experience recently running the Des Moines Half Marathon.

Great weather, great companions helping me pace, great time and . . . great volunteers! The cheerleaders along this year's Hy-Vee Triathlon route deserve some props as well. Event participants love cheers too!

The smiles, the help, the support of volunteers at race events are great, but this year's Des Moines Marathon featured a particularly impressive crop of volunteers. It really made me think -- Hrdlicka, you dumbass, after all of the events you've run, you've never volunteered for one of them!

We're in the heart of race season in Central Iowa, so step up and volunteer for an event. If you're injured, it's a perfect opportunity to still be involved in an event you love to do.

Visit the Fitness Sports event calendar online -- to find an event where you can help volunteer if you decide not to race. And if you decide not to volunteeer, then just come out and cheer!

Well, it's family vacation time . . . and I'm really going to vacation. I hope to get some great runs and bike rides in while we visit scenic Steamboat Springs, Colorado over the next 10 days. That probably means sporadic posts at best, so thanks for your patience!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

30 Ways To Resist Temptation

Let’s face it, temptations make us do silly things.

We don’t always have to give in to temptations that keep us from a healthy lifestyle. This list of strategies from to avoid unhealthy temptations is a great reminder toward being more disciplined about our food intake. Check it out --

Monday, July 13, 2009

Some New Fitness Ideas

Sometimes goes a bit “over the top”, but I thought this post from Martha Edwards merited a “look-see” at

There’s never anything wrong with reviewing a variety of fitness concepts, no matter how wacky, to identify what the best form of exercise is for you.

Learn from the expertise of others (and more importantly from their mistakes) to create the best fitness plan for YOU!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Learn From Your Race Event

You just ran your personal best in a 10K. Or maybe you ran your worst 10K in the last several years.

No reason to be too happy or too upset about either situation really. I thought this post on made the best point – what can you learn from your performance in an event? The answer is pretty simple – you can draw many conclusions that may help you prepare for the next event.

Look at your time. How does it compare to other similar events? Time is the ultimate quantifiable and deliverable result!

Consider weather conditions and how they impacted your ability to perform.

Did you feel you properly hydrated?

How was your food intake prior to the event?

These are just a few of the items you can use to measure your performance against other past performances to make for an improved performance the next time. Check out this post on to learn more what I mean --

Thursday, July 9, 2009

What Is Your Body Telling You?

We experience many issues with our bodies – some serious, some not so serious.

Melinda Beck of the Wall Street Journal recently wrote an educational piece about certain symptoms to consider with more care and concern than others. Check it out -

There’s no doubt that some issues minor, but others may indicate more serious problems that need immediate attention. What about “losing hair”, “small fatty deposits” on your eyelids or other conditions? Read Beck’s article to see what attention should be taken to address certain signs like these that YOU may encounter.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Think About Tapering For Your Race

Again, most beginners aren’t educated about the value of tapering. Your training plan should include time at the end of the cycle that “lightens the load” and allows your body to recover for peak performance on race day.

Make sure your training plan gives you the appropriate amount of time that allows you enough recovery to gain success at the event.

Here’s an example “tapering” offered in a post earlier this year by Andrea Hill --

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Check Out These New Workouts

As a follower of the "Total Wellness Blog", I'm always interested in some of the workouts prescribed by this blog's author, Yuri Elkaim.

I encourage you take a look at this site out as he posts some great information, particularly in the area of new workouts and exercises. If you're limited on time and equipment, check out his latest 20-minute stability ball workout --

Also, he recently posted some workout videos that offer some great new fitness routines --

He really does have some great content! If you’re finding yourself short on time or in search of “that new routine”, this is a great place to look.

I've been keeping up with posts pretty well here, but I have some travel that's making it harder to keep up. Thanks for being patient and keep checking back as I will be posting as often as I can!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Here Are Some Pound-Shedding Ideas

Most athletes I know are always looking for ways to “lose those last few pounds”.

Are you keeping an “eating log”? When you’re forced to be accountable for what you eat, it helps keep the overeating habits in line.

What about eliminating sugary pop or energy drinks and replacing them with water? Some of these alternative drinks have way too many sugars, carbohydrates and chemicals. Water is the best way to stay hydrated without adding the potential for weight gain.

Check out Jim Vance’s post on to learn more about these types of weight-loss tips at

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Getting Ready For A Marathon

With all the attention on marathons as the training season for fall marathons approaches, it’s important to make sure you’re entirely prepared for the event. This is particularly true if you’re doing your first marathon.
Do your research if you’re planning to do a marathon. If you’re committed to the event, you will need to do the appropriate research to address the issues associated with completing this race. While I don’t want to scare you, this is a very physically demanding exercise on your body and you must be prepared to address the issues associated with heavy marathon training.

As I have mentioned in the past, “Marathon The Ultimate Training Guide” by Hal Higdon is a great reference for marathon training. “50/50 Secrets I Learned Running 50 Marathons In 50 Days and How You Too Can Achieve Super Endurance” by Dean Karnazes is another reference that will provide inspiration.

Christine Luff also offers another primer on issues to consider before taking on your first marathon at --.

With the holiday and some travel over the next several days, I may not be posting much until the middle of next week. Thanks for reading and have a great Fourth of July holiday!