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Photo by Allison Stadd

Running Long

I try (really hard!) not to bore people to tears by talking about running. However, as the fall race season wraps up, I'm reflecting on my training from the last few months and setting new goals. I have some races in the spring that I'd like to start training for, and possibly a half marathon next fall.

I'm not quite sure how I started running. Obviously, I put one foot in front of another, but I was always the kind of person who joked that I wasn't going to run unless I was being chased. I didn't run a full mile until the day after I turned 27. Earlier this week, I ran a half marathon and although it wasn't easy, it was one of the best experiences of my life. There were a lot of bumps in that long road. There were mornings that I didn't want to wake up pre-dawn to run. I ran through cold, wind, rain, and heat. I learned a tough lesson about friction, heat, and what that combination does to your feet.

But on the days when running is good, it's really good. Watching the sun break through clouds for the first time in days, falling into a groove with a friend, solving a problem that's been bugging you for days -- those runs make every blister, sore muscle, or crappy mood worth it. Some days, you just run faster or further than you ever thought possible; that's a feeling that can't be described. Running has introduced me to people that I never would have met otherwise. I've heard amazing stories of people overcoming the greatest obstacles. As a group, runners are some of the nicest people I've ever met. Even if we have nothing else in common, we are part of a community. When you learn about someone who's down with an injury, you understand the frustration and give them encouragement. When someone wakes up at an unholy hour to cheer you on from the sidewalk during a race or another runner shouts out encouragement as you pass them, it's a connection that's impossible to explain.

If you've never run before or perhaps you'd like to challenge yourself to run a longer distance, break a personal record, or learn a new technique, we've got you covered. Check out some of the resources below.


Amazon Says: Signed up for a half-marathon and not sure what you've gotten yourself into? Absolute Beginner's Guide to Half-Marathon Training: Get Ready to Run or Walk a 5K, 8K, 10K or Hal more...
Amazon Says: Signed up for a half-marathon and not sure what you've gotten yourself into? Absolute Beginner's Guide to Half-Marathon Training: Get Ready to Run or Walk a 5K, 8K, 10K or Half-Marathon Race is an easy-to-understand introduction to the world of running half-marathon, or shorter, race. Endorsed by the National Institute for Fitness and Sport, this book is packed with illustrations, notes on how to stay motivated and tips on how to train without pain. It will guide you through your marathon-training program and show you how to find the appropriate clothing and shoes, prevent and treat injuries and warm-up before running. Even if you are walking a shorter distance, this is a beneficial training manual. So run, or walk, to your nearest bookstore and pick up a copy of ABG to Half-Marathon Training today! less...
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Women Who Run by Shanti Sosienski
Amazon Says: Women run for all kinds of reasons. We run for health, to ease tension, for strength, to challenge ourselves, to be social with friends, as professional athletes or the dream more...
Amazon Says: Women run for all kinds of reasons. We run for health, to ease tension, for strength, to challenge ourselves, to be social with friends, as professional athletes or the dream of being one, to turn our minds on, and to turn them off. Whether running a marathon, taking a quick jog around the neighborhood, or trying to reach the top of Pikes Peak, women of all ages and abilities have discovered running. In Women Who Run a wide range of women, including Olympians, marathoners, ultra runners, young track phenoms, and recreational runners, talk about why they run, what drives them, and what continues to spark their interest in the sport. Women Who Run features Bobbi Gibb, the first woman to run the Boston Marathon; Louise Cooper, breast cancer survivor and finisher of the grueling 135-mile Badwater Marathon; Kristin Armstrong, who found solace and camaraderie in running with other women post-divorce; Olympic runner and two-time LA Marathon winner and Kenyan Lornah Kiplagat, Wall Street Journal reporter and Muslim women's activist, Asra Nomani; Pam Reed who ran 300-miles in one run, and many more. This book will inspire and motivate you to get off the couch and find your inner runner. less...
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Amazon Says: Do you want to run faster? Are you trying to peak for a particular race? Would you like to find your true running potential? Brad Hudson, former Olympic Trials marathoner and more...
Amazon Says: Do you want to run faster? Are you trying to peak for a particular race? Would you like to find your true running potential? Brad Hudson, former Olympic Trials marathoner and current coach to Olympians like Dathan Ritzenhein, will show you the way in this practical, reader-friendly guide. Hudson is the most innovative running coach to come along in a generation. Until now, only a handful of elite athletes have been able to benefit from his methods. Now Run Faster from the 5K to the Marathon shows all runners how to coach themselves as confidently and effectively as Brad coaches his world-class athletes. Becoming your own best coach is the ticket to running faster at any distance. First you will learn to assess your abilities. Then you’ll learn how to devise a training program specifically geared to you. Filled with easy-to-follow sample training programs for distances ranging from the 5K to the marathon and abilities ranging from novice to advanced, Run Faster is the cutting-edge guide for optimal performance. With Hudson’s guidance, you can train smarter and more effectively—and avoid injury. And you’ll soon be running faster than you ever thought possible! less...
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Amazon Says: Among endurance runners, there are those who have run very long distances, and then there are those who have run very long distances for a very long time. Ed Ayres exemplif more...
Amazon Says: Among endurance runners, there are those who have run very long distances, and then there are those who have run very long distances for a very long time. Ed Ayres exemplifies the latter; having run in over 600 races across fifty-five years, he is arguably the most experienced American distance runner still competing today. A book no one else could have written, The Longest Race is his urgent exploration of the connection between individual endurance and a sustainable society. The Longest Race begins at the starting line of the 2001 JFK 50 Mile—the nation’s oldest and largest ultramarathon and, like other such races, an epic test of human limits and aspiration. At age sixty, his sights set on breaking the age-division record, Ayres embarks on a course over the rocky ridge of the Appalachian Trail, along the headwind-buffeted towpath of the Potomac River, and past momentous Civil War sites such as Harpers Ferry and Antietam. But even as Ayres focuses on concerns familiar to every endurance runner—starting strong and setting the right pace, the art of breathing, overcoming fatigue, mindfulness for the course ahead—he finds himself as preoccupied with the future of our planet as with the finish line of this 50-mile race. A veteran journalist and environmental editor who harbors deep anxiety about our longterm prospects, Ayres helps us to understand how the skills and mindset necessary to complete an ultramarathon are also essential for grappling anew with the imperative to endure—not only as individuals, but as a society—and not just for 50 miles, but in the longest race we are all called upon to run. less...
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Amazon Says: The authors of Marathoning for Mortals now show beginning runners how to fit running into their lifestyle easily You don't have to run fast or competitively to reap the rewar more...
Amazon Says: The authors of Marathoning for Mortals now show beginning runners how to fit running into their lifestyle easily You don't have to run fast or competitively to reap the rewards that running has to offer. What you do need is the courage to start. That is the "Penguin mantra" that has enabled John Bingham--through his best-selling book No Need for Speed, his popular monthly column for Runner's World magazine, and his many appearances at major running events throughout the year--to inspire thousands of men and women to take up the sport for fitness and the sheer enjoyment that running brings them. By teaming up with coach Jenny Hadfield, his wife and coauthor on Marathoning for Mortals, Bingham lays out strategies that will help readers to safely and effortlessly integrate runs into their busy schedules. In this book, backed by Runner's World, the authority of America's leading running magazine, the authors provide tips for getting started, sticking to a routine, eating for energy, hydration, and training for speed and endurance. less...
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Amazon Says: Over 20 million Americans run recreationally, but doing it right is more than a matter of buying an expensive pair of shoes and heading for the track. Building on the populari more...
Amazon Says: Over 20 million Americans run recreationally, but doing it right is more than a matter of buying an expensive pair of shoes and heading for the track. Building on the popularity of The Beginning Runner’s Handbook, this practical, easy-to-use guide provides a step-by-step program for running a half or full marathon for the first time. It shows readers how to get motivated and set realistic goals, choose the proper shoes, eat right, build strength and endurance, and avoid sore muscles and injury. The book includes tips from elite runners on such subjects as staying motivated when the weather is extreme, running technique, running with a dog, and running partners. Finally, the book describes strategies for the race, what to expect on race day, and the psychological effects of finishing a half or full marathon. Most importantly, it includes a full training program designed to ensure that that crucial first race is a winner. less...
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Amazon Says: Every year, roughly 2 million people participate in marathons and half marathons in the United States, and, no matter what level they are, every one of these runners has likel more...
Amazon Says: Every year, roughly 2 million people participate in marathons and half marathons in the United States, and, no matter what level they are, every one of these runners has likely hit “The Wall,” running out of muscle fuel in the final miles and slowing down precipitously. This setback and other common running disappointments are nutritional (or metabolic) in nature. In The New Rules, renowned fitness journalist and training coach Matt Fitzgerald cuts through the myths,distilling the most up–to–date science to help runners overcome the universally experienced nutritional barriers that prevent success in the marathon and half marathon. From basic tenets of training to nutrition guidelines, The New Rules is the first resource for runners to fully integrate nutrition with training for a complete and systematic preraceplan. Fitzgerald’s powerful and easy–to–use tools will enable runners of all levels to attain their ideal racing weight, calculate their precise daily energy needs, and formulate a custom nutrition plan. less...
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  • Plan your next (or first) big race.
    Choose a plan and this tracking tool from The New York Times tells you when to run and for how long. I used this online training tool to track my runs.
  • No Meat Athlete
    This website is a treasure trove of resources for vegetarians and vegans. Matt Frazier is an accomplished runner who just happens to be vegan.
  • Couch to 5K
    Absolute beginner? Don't know where to start? Check out Couch to 5K.
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