Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Pre-Race warmup...what if it is terrible???

The crazy part about running is how much physical effort we all put into training. Logging miles on cold winter days, rainy days, 100 degree days the work is still put in the bank.  That type of training and effort is awesome, but how many times has the mental side of running gotten in the way of your race goals---with just thinking negative thoughts or over-thinking every single thing about race day.  More specifically when you felt cruddy on a race warm-up jog have you lost it mentally and already been beaten before the race even went off?  Maybe we all forget how much physical prep and work has to be put in to get to that point in time to get you one hour away from a big race.  A sub par warm-up I have found to be an awesome way to center your thinking-in a way you "dont" want to feel good.  Control what you can control to get your focus back on your race strategy and goals. If your legs feel like crap then you do not have to worry about how your legs are going to feel race day....you already know that after the warm-up your legs feel like garbage so move on.  That is out of your control 45 minutes before the gun goes off.

Back in March of 2004, I raced in the USA 15k road championships in Jacksonville, Florida. The Gate River Run is the largest 15k in the United States and is definitely a top notch race if you are ever looking for a racing field trip (there is a 3/4 of a mile uphill at the 8 mile mark though).  For me the winter of training for me had gone as planned before the 15k, but during the warm-up that day before what was my biggest race in some time-- things began to fall apart. I got stuck running with a guy who would not stop talking about himself like he was Pre.  Our warm-up pace was like 14 minute mile pace (normally I go 6-7 minute pace), and to top it off with the slower than normal pace--my feet were not too far off the ground so I caught my toe and tripped and fell.  After I tripped I sprinted away from that joker. Plus on top of it all my legs felt like crap. Just to add a little bit more anxiety for some odd reason it felt like a knife was stabbing the side of my heart, I had never had that stabbing feeling before and never since-- but it hurt like hell.  That is where the all thoughts need to turn to race strategy and that is what I ended up doing.  Control what you can control & think of how lucky we all are to actually get to train and race.

The 15k was going off whether I felt good or not.....I knew from past experience that USA road championships go out crazy fast the first mil--- so I was ready for that even after all the garbage that went on within that last 45 minutes before the race start. I was not at all ready for a cannon false start where the 25 front of the line runners (including me) raced off the line for 10 seconds--only to be called back and 1/2 way back to the start line then told to continue. A wild start, I do not think I got my first mile split!  The first 5k saw the leaders out in 14:10 my split was around 14:20, I finally caught my breath through the 10k in a road PR (29:20) to that point.  The legs felt awesome to that point-- even after the circus warm-up act and having tired legs. The last 5k was tough with getting out pretty fast and with that 3/4 of mile hill at the 8 mile mark but hung in there for a top 5 finish in 44:25 for what turned out to be one of my better races on the roads.  After all the garbage that transpired 45 minutes before the race-- that all led up to a  happy race.  I never again question how my legs feel in the warm-up or what other negative stuff happens before the race. I am actually worried when my legs feel great during a warmup. Anyone else ever feel like that??????

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Meet Ryan Meissen: one of Wisconsin's top marathon runners over the past 10 years

Photo by Bill Flaws – Running in the USA
Check out ThunderDome Running's interview with 2x United States Olympic Trials Marathon qualifier and 2:18 marathoner Ryan Meissen from Mukwonago, WI. Ryan has been running for 22 years and has a half marathon personal best of 1:04:19!  Ryan just raced to the Lakefront Marathon title for the 2nd time racing to a 2:28:23.

We caught up with Ryan to see how he trains for his key marathons and how he fits everything in with family, work, and training.

How was your training similar or different from prior marathon training cycles leading up to the 2013 Lakefront Marathon win this year? 
I ran about 50-60 percent of the volume I ran 5 years ago. I still run 20 mile or longer long runs but not as many. I also mixed in a little speed before my marathon segment this time.

When you qualified for the USA Olympic Marathon Trials (2x qualifier) what was a typical training week for you like during a heavy volume of training period? 

I ran between 120 and 150 miles per week with 2 workouts and a 20 mile or longer long run on Sun.

How do you fit marathon training & running into your busy life/family schedule? 

I have reduced the marathon training to about 80 miles per week. I run many runs before work starting around 4:30 am. I try and get one quality workout a week and a long run near 20 miles ever other week. I also push my son Croix in the BOB jogger for easy runs. Planning a run is much more important than it used to be.

What is your favorite half marathon/marathon training workout? 

I enjoy the steady long run with a few marathon pace miles at the end.

Any pre-race superstitions?  

I always wake up 3 hours before any race. The rest of my ritual is top secret. Setting a plan and replicating it before all races is a great approach.

Monday, October 15, 2012

ThunderDome is hiring a Marketing/Promotions Intern

Are you a runner preparing for a career in sports &/or marketing? If you are we'd love to have you as our Marketing/Promotions Intern! Read below and if interested please email your resume to info@thunderdomerunning.com.

JOB DESCRIPTION:  Assist ThunderDome Running with marketing & promotional projects.  Duties will include, but are not limited to:

- Marketing the business through direct mail, email, social media, participating in events, etc.
- Write blog entries
- Blog content ideas
- Update Facebook & Twitter
- Research advertising opportunities
- Promotion ideas
- E-newsletters – create & write content
- Seek out marketing opportunities & cross promotion opportunities

- Distribute promotional materials at events such as road races, fitness expos, etc.
- Represent ThunderDome Running in a professional manner
- Research potential promotional events

- Candidate should have completed at least 1 year of college; preferably working towards a sports and/or marketing related degree
- Self motivated
- Timely follow up & follow through
- Excellent oral & written communication skills
- Outstanding customer service skills
- Experience with Facebook & Twitter
- Computer/PC skills
- Friendly, upbeat & outgoing personality
- Able to work with little supervision; will be working from home the majority of the time
- Knowledge of running/track
- Experience in cross country and/or track & field at the high school or college level is ideal

COMPENSATION:  This internship is unpaid and on a voluntary basis. Intern will receive ThunderDome apparel & entry fees to participate in select road races.

COMMITMENT:  16 weeks with an average of 8 or more hours/week.

(1) Understand the responsibilities involved in marketing/promoting a small business.
(2) Represent the business and feel confident in promoting our services
(3) Understand the branding of ThunderDome Running
(4) Improve communication skills – networking, conversing, advertising, social media, writing, etc.
(5) Network with other businesses and athletes to further expand ThunderDome Running
(6) Be responsible for daily marketing activities for the business.
(7) Expand your knowledge of the sport of running.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

ThunderDome Running featured on Tips 4 Running

ThunderDome Running was recently interviewed on a great running website Tips4Running. Check it out. We were honored to be interviewed, it is a great resource for runners.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Team up with Saucony & ThunderDome Running to FIND YOUR STRONG

The Saucony Find Your Strong Project

Last year Saucony kicked off our FIND YOUR STRONG campaign by asking the running community "What is Strong?". This year, Saucony is helping runners answer this question with the #FindYourStrong project on Saucony.com. Each week for 12 weeks, we'll be issuing challenges to the community, and along the way showing them inspirational stories of Strong.  ThunderDome Running has teamed up with Saucony to help get runners out the door each day and to the starting line.  Check out this inspiring and challenging program each week, and get yourselves motivated & fit!!

Get out and run. 

Good luck to all ThunderDome Runners & running community racing the Boston Marathon.


Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Ditch the GPS/watch

Runners have to know pace by feeling eventually if you want to be successful. Knowing if the pace is too fast or slow without the aid of a watch or GPS is as important as getting into the habit of negative splitting races.  This runner trait is feeling pace is needed early on in a race--say that first 1/2 mile....when possibly your GPS is messing up or you are not quite yet to a race mile marker or where a race course has mile markers that are off and not accurate.  There comes a point where you can be a better runner without the outside aid of some kind of watch, and a good way to practice this habit is to run at least one easy day run a week without a watch/GPS and every other week one road tempo/pace type workout without a watch. Just go by feeling.

For your no watch/GPS days you will most likely be running one of your own courses that you have already measured so even if it is a workout just get your finish time back at the start with a watch you started as you began your run.  I have done this several times on say a 10 mile negative split workout day run. Go by feel the entire way, dropping pace, controlling effort, and just listening to the legs on how hard to push.  Try this no watch test you will be a better runner for it.  Plus on the easy days you will not be tempted to run too fast if your legs feel like garbage because you are used to sticking to a certain pace.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Running 101

Every runner should keep a daily training log!  A training journal from 5 or 10 years ago is not only fun to look back at but the past training X's & O's can be a training tool to help with your current training. Just keep in mind that there is no single "exact same training block" compared to a past training block or race build up. This comparison is true when everything is going right or not so hot.  No single training block/period leading up to a race can be compared exactly to a previous block of training, because there are so many other variables that come into play like age, current fitness, or just outside of running stresses. Learn from the training log of the past but do not let it rule you.