Category Archives: Information

Metrodome Back Up


Remember when the Metrodome collapsed?


According to the Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission, the Metrodome is back open for running and skating (pdf)

In addition to rollerblading activities, the Minnesota Distance Running Association, the largest running group in the state, announced it will resume running in the concourses this Tuesday, January 18 from 5-8 p.m.
This is the first time the Metrodome has been open for community activities since the roof deflated during the blizzard on December 12, 2010. An announcement regarding roof repairs will be made in coming weeks.

For the complete Dome running schedule visit the MDRA’s Dome Running Page.

Maybe I’ll try to make it…

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Most of my experiences with massage were the post race variety where a student (most likely) gives your legs a 5 minute rub down to help with recovery.  The first post-race massage I remember was after the Bears of the Blue River 5/10k.  Having just raced hard and placing in the overall standings I was quite tired.  My calves and lower back were in a fair amount of pain, so I lined up outside a white tent with a lone masseuse.

On this particular occasion she owned a local private massage therapy business and was donating her time to help sweaty runners recover.  Surely there has to be a less dirty form of marketing. Nevertheless, I got up from the chair feeling much better.  I thanked her and she gave me a business card and told me to call and schedule an appointment for a full body massage.  I laughed to myself knowing that I wouldn’t be driving an hour just for a massage.

Fast forward a few years and I’ve now had quite a few professional massages at a few different places. I always felt a little nervous about the idea of massages, the idea of taking all your clothes off and laying in such a vulnerable position was a little scary.  My YWCA offered massage so that seemed like a safe place to start! I haven’t regretted getting a massage since.  They actually helped me get through both marathon training cycles and help to make life a little more enjoyable.

Here are a few tips I’ve gleaned along the way…

Make sure you get a sports masseuse. There are a lot of different types of massage techniques, but for an athlete you want someone who knows sports massage techniques.  Just like a sports doctor, they will know a little bit more about sports related injuries and muscles plus the techniques to loosen them out.

Try a few places out. Don’t be afraid to try out a few different places before settling into one.  Unless of course you feel the first place is a perfect fit! They are providing a service and like any service provider you should feel comfortable and well taken care of. Each place does things a little differently and have different feels to them.

Each masseuse is different. My wife and I both started out at the YWCA, same building, different masseuses, and very different experiences.  Mine was excellent – he made me feel relaxed throughout the entire time I was there.  Her’s not so much.  He made her feel a little awkward and wanted to talk to her the whole time – not the most relaxing experience.  I went back to the same guy throughout my first marathon training cycle.  I let a few months go by and when I went to schedule my next massage he was gone, so I tried out the new lady.  She was fine, but not quite as good.  So I  moved on!  Again, they are providing a service to you and should make you feel comfortable.  Massages should be a relaxing experience!

If you are nervous go somewhere like the YMCA/YWCA.  If the idea of a massage make you feel a little nervous then get one from a place you already know and trust.  Some place like the YWCA or your chiropractor’s office.  You could also talk with your doctor or physical therapist and see who they recommend.

Hydrate.  As with everything in sport (and life) proper hydration is important.  You’ve got to be careful with this one, you don’t want a full bladder while laying on the table.  Holding it doesn’t create a relaxed body!  But after a massage they will have released a lot of toxins that your muscles were holding onto into your bloodstream.  Drinking lots of water will help flush them out.

Be prepared to TIP. I never tipped at the YWCA, maybe that’s why the guy left.  Every place else we’ve gone there has been a suggested TIP sheet next to the counter/cashier.  Plan on 15-20%.  Remember a TIP is based on the service provided.

This article from answers a lot more questions about massages.

I’ll leave you with this story from my first real massage.  I was chatting with the YWCA Associate at the front desk when I checked in for my first massage (30 minutes).  We were chatting about how it was my first one and she’d never had one before.  After my massage, which felt amazing, I walked back out and she was still sitting there.  She noted that I looked super relaxed.  I felt almost like a new person I was so relaxed!

Go, get a massage.

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National Running Day – So What

Who cares that today is National Running Day? Most runners run every day or every other day.  So why do we need a special day?

National Running Day is a national initiative of the major organizations within the running industry to join forces in an unprecedented unified effort to nationally promote running as a healthy, easy, and accessible form of exercise. The second annual National Running Day will be Wednesday, June 2.

From New York to San Diego, the day will celebrate the benefits of running as part of a healthy and active lifestyle aimed at combating some of today’s most pressing health issues.

You can participate in National Running Day anywhere—you don’t have to be in one of the cities hosting events to take part. At the least, all it takes is to wear your running shoes throughout the day, go for a run, and invite a friend to join you.

So, what do you think? Ready to get out and run?

Do you think it is a wise use of resources for companies to invest in a marketing campaign – that many people have never heard of? Maybe I’m just cynical since I haven’t been able to run (though I’m planning on it tonight).  This seems like a chance for corporations to push their wares on us.

There are 5 running events being hosted tonight in the Twin Cities:

Team in Training is meeting at Lock & Dam #1 at 6:30pm

TCM is hosting events at Marathon Sports, Running Room – Grand Ave, and Lifetime Fitness – Highland Park and St Louis Park at 6pm.

Two Questions

Did you know today was National Running Day?

Does it matter to you?

Quarter-Mile Speed Test

Usain Bolt in celebration after his 100m victo...
Image via Wikipedia

How fast can you run a 1/4 of a mile, 400 meters, or once around the track?  My 400 meter PR is 52 seconds which I obtained in the last race of my college career in the middle of an 800 during a 4×800 meter relay, the second 400 didn’t go quite as well!  If I had been able to continue that pace it would have been a 3:28 mile!! Or a 1:30 marathon.  That would be amazing, too bad I couldn’t even hold it for a second 400 meters!

The current marathon world record is 2:03:59 by Haile Gebrselassie which is a 4:43 mile or a 70 second 400.  The current 100 meter world record is 9.58 held by Usain Bolt, this is a 2:35 mile pace or 1:07:19 marathon, impressive!

What’s the point of all these numbers? A writer for the Star-Tribune decided to try and match Jason Lehmkuhle’s Boston Marathon pace (5:03) for 400 meters. Lehmkule ran a 2:12:24 for ninth place.  Can you run a flat out 5:03? My TC 1 Mile time is 5:26 from last year, so I couldn’t even keep up with Jason for a mile.  So Lehmkule’s average 400 meter time was 75 seconds.  The Strib writer, Michael Rand (athlinks), ran a 76 second quarter and was in his own words “spent”.

It was an interesting experiment that shows how amazing the elite runners really are.  Rand is in training for a marathon and has a PR of 4:30.  I like what he says:

I could not quite even run 1 percent of a marathon distance at a world-class pace — let alone conceive of actually running the other 99 percent or so that fast.

How far can you run at a world class pace?

Be sure to check out the full article and video.

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Testing Time & Test Prep

Img from billaday

April is the worst month to be a student or in a school in Minnesota. Not only is the weather turning and making it hard to be inside, April is MCA month. MCA’s are the Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments aka the standardized testing. What could be worse than sitting quietly at your desk for 2+ hours staring at a booklet, filling in bubbles with hopefully the right answer. Even our best students struggle with test anxiety and the patience required to sit, read, and fill, not to mention how our English Language Learners from Somalia and other countries must feel (some have only been here for a few weeks).

Their is a point to this besides getting into the politics of testing and education. This is also a time of testing for many runners. With the Boston Marathon now over and London approaching we are in spring marathon/racing season. These races are often used as tests to determine our overall fitness and how are training is going.

Some of us “test” ourselves more than others, we like to race as much as possible, others prefer to wait for the “big test” and don’t race until their goal race. I prefer to have lots of tests throughout the year. The more tests you take, hopefully the better you’ll do overall. Or you’ll at least know where you are at in your training so you’ll know what to expect on race day.

Below are some test preparation strategies from the MN Department of Education (pdf)

  • Students should take courses that address Minnesota’s academic standards. Most schools also make appropriate educational opportunities available to students who are at risk for not succeeding on these tests. Make sure you train properly for test day and get proper equipment.
  • Familiarize students with the test directions and format. Check out the course before the race, including type of gatorade/powerade being used and any form of nutritional supplements offered on course.
  • Encourage students to answer all test questions. Plan to cross every mile and the finish line!
  • Encourage students to participate in practice sessions at school and home. Make sure you train properly for the event, getting in lots of practice.
  • Have students get a good night’s sleep and a nutritious breakfast before taking a test. Hydrate, eat properly, and get a good night’s sleep the week leading up to the race.  This also includes making sure you have all of your gear and supplies ready to go for race morning – you don’t want any surprises!
  • Provide students with a study area. Everyone needs a place to stretch, do core work, hang race numbers, etc.  Plan accordingly.
  • Encourage students to practice good study habits. Students should set aside time every day for homework. Make sure you practice good technique, proper stretching, core work, etc into your daily routine of life.  These types of homework will make test day that much more successful.

The key to success for any test is preparation.  As the Boy Scouts say, “Be Prepared.”

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