Friday, November 3, 2017

Good Luck, New York Marathoners

To everyone competing in this year's New York Marathon in just two days (!), we at Coach Kiprunning wish you the best of luck.  Keep it steady and gradual.  Those bridges are no joke, particularly the Queensboro Bridge right at mile 15.  Pace yourselves, trust your training, and get ready for a great race.

The crowd support is excellent.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Turning 40 and Not Worrying

Yesterday, October 30, 2017, was my 40th birthday. As of right now, I have just entered the masters division for long distance running.

I’ve dropped a couple hints here and there on this blog about my slight apprehension about aging—and about witnessing my PRs fading into the distance. The process is inevitable, of course, so worrying about it is mostly fruitless. Still, I’ve officially reached the age where people offer some kind of audible grunt or gasp when they find out how old I am. I even just received my first “you’re running really well for being 40” compliment (I was still 39 at the time, by the way).

So it is here, I guess: my official foray into the territory of “old people.”

I’m not going quietly, though.

My running career has been a kind of erratic one. If I define that “career” according to the time when I was on my first team, then I began running competitively at age 11, and I did so with a fair amount of consistency through college. To be fair, there were some seasonal breaks along the way, but it is nevertheless true that I was on a competitive running team ever single year of my life from age 11 to age 21.

After that point, I entered graduate school, and I spent most of my twenties studying or working, and the only running I did with any consistency was just enough to melt off the pounds that I was gaining while eating on-the-go meals between bouts of dissertation writing.

As a result, I didn’t think seriously about returning to long distance running until late 2007, right around the time that I turned 30. And even at that point, with my terminal degree in hand, I was more concerned with finding work than I was with tempo run pacing. Looking back, then, I guess it wasn’t until about 2011—six years ago, when I was 34—that I actually started settling into a consistent training regimen. (Thankfully, I had a stable job by then.)

That return to running was slow, and it was one that found me ignoring the marathon distance altogether, because I wanted to start with much less grand running goals.

Generally speaking, I’m not one to publish my running stats, because I feel like there is no way to do that and not seem to be humblebragging (at best), but what I’m about to say is relevant, I think.

I’m not humblebragging, I promise.

Five years ago to the day, late October of 2012, when I had finally decided to go all-in on the marathon, my weekly long run was scheduled at 19 miles in the range of a 6:50-7:50 average overall pace. The next workout on my schedule was a 6-mile run in the range of 6:40-7:30.

This past weekend, I put in a 16-mile long run at a 7:22 average, followed by an 8-mile pace run on my 40th birthday, with an overall pace of 6:38.

The math is simple: I’ve actually gotten faster as I’ve gotten older.

Whenever doctors and experts and running magazines of all stripes talk about the process of aging, they trot out the horrifying and humbling V02 max chart, which shows that most people reach peak aerobic fitness before they can legally drink alcohol and then slowly decline from there, sliding into a precipitous drop-off right around the age that many of us fall in love and get married and start “doing other things” with our lives.

Chart of VO2 Max Norms for men and women

The result of this narrative framework is that it can make runners of my age—I can say that now—think mostly in terms of what-ifs. What if I had just decided to run a marathon at age 22? What if I didn’t go to graduate school and instead went to the track every day? What if I just jogged my commute to and from work and to and from soccer practice for the kids instead of driving and sleeping? What kind of runner would I be then?

Hogwash, I say! All of it.

From a strict physiological standpoint, yes, the evidence does show that peak running speed decreases for most of us in our early 20s. However, what this evidence doesn’t address is the decreasing relevance of that peak speed for those of us who continue with long distance running well into middle age.

To put it in simple anecdotal terms, my 200 and 400 PRs are long gone, and it’s quite likely that my 5K PR is also beyond the horizon at this point as well. Beyond that, though, there is still room for growth, because long distance road racing, particularly in the distances north of the 10K, doesn’t demand pacing at or close to V02 max. That’s a gear that most road racers don’t need, even though we might wish that we still had it. At no point during a 5K or a 10K or a half or full marathon have I ever run at my once-upon-a-time top 400 pace because doing so would be catastrophic for the race in question. No, the longer distances in which many adults compete actually tend to reward age, and slower speeds, as evidenced by the fact that last year’s New York Marathon found competitors running sub-three-hour times into their 60s.

Returning to myself, and waxing somewhat philosophically, it is true that I have lost some speed with age. However, I was losing that speed before I was old enough to know to worry about it, and now that I am that old, I know that none of that is a big deal. 

Sure, I’d love to put on a pair of my 27-year-old legs again. I’m sure that would feel great. But that’s not going to happen, and it doesn’t need to happen—for any of us. (Really, you can’t have my legs.) Instead, I—you, we—are going to get older. It’s true.

It’s also true, my friends, that we can still get better.

Friday, October 20, 2017

Congratulations and Good Luck, October Runners

It has been a busy month for us at Coach Kiprunning.  For my part, I am reaching the end of a writing class that I have been teaching, and the grading has been piling up!  Beyond that, many of us are starting to think about spring marathons--I'm possibly looking at you, New Jersey Marathon--so the inevitable preparations for serious training are underway.  Also, we're starting to brainstorm additions to the Coach Kiprunning website, and that work is always really time-consuming.

The end result of all of this is that we've been a little quiet up here and therefore did not get a chance to offer formal congratulations to all of you who competed in some of the fall's premier racing events, like the Chicago Marathon, the B.A.A. Half Marathon, and the Army Ten Miler.  Congratulations to all of you.

Likewise, we wish all of the competitors in this year's Marine Corps Marathon (and 10K) and the upcoming New York Marathon the best of luck.  Run well, and enjoy the experience.  Fall races are the best.

Last, on a somewhat sad note, we will miss you Harriette Thompson.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Fall 2017 Kiprunning Sports Club Saturday Long Run Update

Fall is here, and with cooler temperatures and beautiful foliage also comes darker morning hours.  As a result, we will roll forward the start time for the Kiprunning Sports Club Saturday long run.

Starting on Saturday, October 7, 2017, we will begin our long runs at 7:00 am. As usual, we will meet at Georgetown Running Company, which is located at 3401 M St. NW, Washington, DC 20007. 

If you have questions about joining the Sports Club, please contact me.

Run steady, and enjoy the extra sleep!

Coach Wilson

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

2017 National Capital 20-Miler and 5-Miler Photos

We were thrilled to lend some volunteer support for the 2017 National Capital 20-Miler and 5-Miler this past Sunday.  It was a warmer-than-usual day for the race, but the runners were in good spirits, and the volunteers were happy to support them in their performances.

We have posted a bunch of pictures from the event in a Facebook photo album, and we invite you to view them at your leisure.  (And, of course, you can most definitely like our Facebook page while you are on it.)  As you'll notice, the order of the photos progresses from darkness to light.  To reiterate the point, as you can see below, the time on my coffee maker read 4:54 am, which was the time that I was leaving my home and was also later than when I woke up for the event.  Remember, runners: always thank your race volunteers.

Image of a coffee maker with a clock reading 4:54 am
Hill workouts are easier than getting up this early in the morning

Thursday, September 21, 2017

September 23, 2017 Kiprunning Sports Club Training Update

I'm just offering a brief announcement that after two weeks of Saturday races, the Kiprunning Sports Club will be returning to its usually scheduled Saturday long run, beginning at 6:30 am.

As usual, we will meet at Georgetown Running Company, which is located at 3401 M St. NW, Washington, DC 20007.

If you have questions about joining the Sports Club, please contact me.

Run Steady,

Coach Wilson

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

More Race Photoblogging: 2017 Race to Beat Cancer 5K

This past Saturday found Coach Kiprunning participating in the 2017 Race to Beat Cancer 5K.  It was a warm and humid morning, but the race was still great.  We were pleased with our respective performances, and we enjoyed participating in an event that supports a good cause.

What follows are some pictures from the event, starting with a photo of the race's top finishers . . . and me, for some reason.

Enjoy!

Image of the top finishers at the 2017 Race to Beat Cancer 5K
Left to Right: Alex Archer, Craig Morgan, Clint Bell, Wilson Komen, and Joseph P. Fisher

Two runners at the finish of the 2017 Race to Beat Cancer 5K
Who got the win?

The finish area of the 2017 Race to Beat Cancer 5K
The finish area, looking north; post race breakfast--yes breakfast--off to the right

Runner at the finish of the 2017 Race to Beat Cancer 5K
The finish is in reaching distance!

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Brief Race Photo and Video Blogging

I had a wonderful time racing in the 2017 Komen Race for the Cure 5K and the 2017 Parks Half Marathon.  Thank you to everyone who organized the events, and congratulations to all of the participants.

Run Steady,
Coach Wilson

Wilson Komen at the start of the 2017 Parks Half Marathon
Wilson Komen at the start of the 2017 Parks Half Marathon

Wilson Komen and the top finishers of the 2017 Parks Half Marathon
Wilson Komen and the top finishers of the 2017 Parks Half Marathon

Monday, September 11, 2017

Big Weekend for Coach Wilson Komen

Wilson Komen competed in two back-to-back races this past weekend, running well in both.

On Saturday, September 9, Coach Wilson won the 2017 Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure 5K in a time of 16:00.

Then, on Sunday the 10th, Wilson ran the Montgomery County Parks Half Marathon, finishing in a time of 1:14:50 for a seventh overall finish and a second place finish in his age group.

This coming weekend will find Komen competing in the Race to Beat Cancer 5K.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Kiprunning Sports Club Long Run Cancellations 9/9/17 and 9/16/17

I'm just offering a brief update to announce that the Kiprunning Sports Club will not be meeting for its regularly scheduled Saturday long runs on September 9, 2017 and September 16, 2017.  These cancellations are due to conflicts with our racing schedule.

On 9/9, I will be racing in the 2017 Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure (feel free to read my 2016 recap of that very same race), and on 9/16, I will be running as part of what I hope will be the first official team competition for the Kiprunning Sports Club in the Race to Beat Cancer 5K.

As always, you are welcome to contact me if you wish to join the Sports Club.  I will be happy to receive your inquires.

Sincerely,
Coach Wilson

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

National Capital 20-Miler--20 Miles of Racing and Training

I teach for a living, so for me, summer is over.

For you, those of you who are not teachers, summer is still here, for a few more days, at least.

Nevertheless, the fall racing season is fast approaching, and it is with that in mind that we are happy to publicize the National Capital 20-Miler and 5-Miler, organized by DC Road Runners.

The 20-Miler is scheduled perfectly for a final tune-up run for a fall marathon.  It could also serve as a great training run for a fall half marathon or 10-miler.

The 5-Miler is similarly excellent for tempo run purposes or for a race event all on its own.

The details, including registration instructions and course information, are available on the race website.

Both courses run on the C&O Towpath, so they are flat and fast, allowing runners to stretch out for some good pacing work.

We wish everyone--including the event organizers--the best of luck!

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Running Reading: Too Much Data?

I know that I'm a bit late to the game on this one, but late is better than never, as they say.  As part of The Ringer's "Inefficiency Week" special feature (from just earlier this month!), Molly McHugh penned a great article that examines contemporary applified exercise routines.  "Can an app make you a better runner?", she asks.  It's a great read, so spend a couple of coffee breaks, or a commute or two, checking it out.

For my part, I think I've done a decent job of avoiding app intrusion on my workouts.  Those who know me well know that I am very much a Luddite--still to this day not possessing a smartphone. Therefore, I don't have the means to participate in various social media workout stuff.

Beyond that, I have deliberately avoided the incessant tracking of calories burned and pounds gained (and lost) and miles logged.  I have always been a bad keeper of statistics.  I have a general sense of what my PR's are, but I never seem to know how many miles I've run in a fixed period of time, and I usually very quickly forget what my race performances have been.  When I was in high school and college--back last century!--I had an uncanny knack for running pace-perfect 400 meter repeats without a watch. Things were so much simpler in 1996.

These days, I do use a GPS watch, and I do upload my data to my online GPS account.  That's about all I do, though, and even with that meager app application, I have noticed that I'm more conscious than I should be about my daily pacing and making sure that I'm always following my scheduled workouts to the absolute letter of the law.  All of that is good for discipline, but I'd argue that a hyperconsciousness about our workout details can override a more intuitive awareness of how we are feeling on any given day.  Sometimes our bodies are telling us to back off; sometimes they are telling us that we can push it a little harder.  We need to be able to listen to those instructions without app-assisted clutter, I think.

Again, though, read McHugh for yourselves, and weigh in down in the comments.

P.S.  I spent a not insignificant amount of time wavering on "much" vs "many" in this post's title. Here's a good blog post on whether or not data is a plural count noun.  It's not a simple matter at all.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

August 2017 Kiprunning Sports Club Saturday Long Run Update

Now that the summer is starting to wind down (ugh, so sad), we will roll forward the start time for the Kiprunning Sports Club Saturday long run.  Beginning on Saturday, August 12, 2017, we will begin our long runs at 6:30 am.

As usual, we will continue to meet at Georgetown Running Company, which is located at 3401 M St. NW, Washington, DC 20007. 

If you have questions about joining the Sports Club, please contact me

Run steady, and enjoy the extra sleep!

Coach Wilson

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Wilson Komen: Five Memories from My First Marathon

Though I have been fortunate to have had much success in the sport of competitive running, I always like to remind my trainees that I wasn’t always confident, and I didn’t always know everything that I was doing. The first marathon that I ran was the Detroit Free Press Marathon. It was a marathon of many firsts. It was also almost my last marathon.

Today, I am sharing with you five memories from that experience. I hope to encourage all of you, no matter what your experience levels are, to enjoy the training and the racing that you are doing for what it is. Don’t worry if you feel like you don’t know everything that you need to know or that you aren’t adequately prepared. Enjoy the experience, and learn from your past performances. That is exactly what I have done throughout my running career.

Split photo with left image showing a Kenyan countryside and right image showing runners in the Detroit Free Press Marathon
Right Image, Detroit Free Press Marathon, Credit: Windsor Star
The Course


Image of the course map for the Detroit Free Press Marathon

Right out of the gate I have to say that the course itself is my best—and my worst memory—about the marathon. The route was fine; however, running on asphalt was not. Before this marathon, I had never run completely on asphalt. In Detroit, I felt like I was getting beat up with every step. I was used training on unpaved roads and hills in the countryside of my hometown. In Nairobi, national parks and the hills are easily accessible. There was no need to train on hard surfaces. What kept me going during the race, besides the hope of winning prize money, was that the course was well marked, the hydration stops were frequent and well-organized, there was music along the way, and there were lots of wonderful cheering spectators. Still, everything was new to me.

The Weather
The morning of the marathon was cold, a lot colder than I was used to. I am from the Rift Valley of Kenya, and I was used to running in temperatures that fluctuated between 50 and 75 degrees Celsius throughout the year. The weather is the one thing that can either make or destroy your marathon. You can only prepare so much for the weather, and you can’t control it. All you can do is make the appropriate adjustments, and run your best race. When you finish, you still have completed a marathon, which is an excellent accomplishment.

The Expo
It was my first time attending an expo. To me was like a huge Saturday outdoor marketplace, only that it was filled with sporting goods instead of vegetables or chickens. I really liked it because I could learn more about sports products.

The People I Met
I had to meet find new friends on my way finding the expo. The buildings and the street signs looked about the same to me. It was my first time in the United States, and I wasn’t familiar with how things were labeled. I had to stop some runners as they were walking across the street to my hotel to ask directions to the expo. They turned out to be two brothers from Grand Rapids, Michigan. The brothers were great people, and they offered to drive me to the expo and later to the pasta dinner.

The Pasta Dinner


Split image with right photo depicting Kenyan food and the right photo depicting pasta
Kenyan Food Left, Pasta Right
At the pasta dinner, it was great to see the entire elite athlete field I was going to compete with the next day. Dinner was another different experience for me. Obviously, I ate pasta, which at that time, I never eaten before a race. I didn’t know if it would sustain me for the marathon. It did, though. I survived my first marathon!

When I look back on that day, I just remember that it was a beautiful cold morning that filled me with excitement for the challenge ahead. My goal was to run anything under 2:25, which I achieved with no race strategy plan (remember, sometimes it is best just to enjoy the experience).

After the race, I asked myself if I should give up on marathons and concentrate on other distances. Fourteen years later, with countless races behind me, I am still running marathons. In fact, it’s now my favorite distance.

What do you remember about your first marathon? Share your story with us.

Run Steady,

Coach Wilson

Monday, July 24, 2017

Race Recap: 2017 Team Gov Invitational 5K

This past weekend, my wife and I traveled to New Jersey so that she could visit her family, specifically her uncle who was taking a vacation away from his current home in Arizona.  Our trip to NJ was short--we arrived there at about 10:00 pm on July 21, and we left at about 7:00 on July 23--but yet we were able to spend some good time with the family, and we squeezed in a 5K on July 22: the Team Gov Invitational 5K in Allenhurst, NJ.

The Team Gov 5K memorializes Todd McGovern, who died of cancer in the late 2000s.  The race is organized by Seas It, the organization that Todd and his wife Amanda founded to help fund athletic events that, in turn, raise funds for cancer patients and their families.

The race itself was lovely--a modest-sized 5K that is timed, contains marked mile splits, two water stops, and bananas at the finish line!  Remember when races gave out bananas at the finish line? Well, this race does, and it was just about the best thing on a hot Saturday morning.

The course is flat and fast, despite the many winding turns through the pretty side streets of Allenhurst.  It also runs under a railroad bridge, over railroad tracks, down a main street, and on a beach boardwalk all within the span of 3.1 miles, so the scenery is great, too.

Kids, walkers, families, baby strollers, and competitive runners--all of them are welcome, so the whole event has a nice festive feel.  Truly, it's a great way to start a Saturday at the shore.

For my part, I was mostly pleased with how I performed.  As I wrote a few months back, I've spent the better part of the past eighteen months attending to some minor health issues and a variety of exciting work projects, and as a result, I took some time off from training.  Saturday's 5K, therefore, marked my first race in 2017, as well as my first race in about nine months.

Given all of that, and including the heat, I was fine with how I ran: a respectable 20:05 at a 6:29 average clip.  I used the run as a kind of tempo pickup in the midst of a seven-mile workout for the day.  I kept the splits negative, and I ran at a pretty comfortable cruise pace.  I finished seventh overall, and I think I was technically first in my age group (age awards were not given at the race).

As I also wrote a few months back, this getting close to being a masters-level runner has been a little challenging for me from a psychological standpoint (I only have about three months left in my thirties!).  However, as we just saw, runners perform well at every age, so that 5K time can--and will--drop down to where I prefer it to be.  It will just take time and more training.

In the meantime, I can, and should, enjoy the ride.  And Saturday was a fun ride.  If you're in the area next year, come out to run.  Seas It will be happy to have you.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Running, Racing, Hugging, Smiling: 2017 Masters Women 100 Meter Track Championships

By now, we're fairly certain that you have heard about Julia Hawkins, who just ran a 40.12 in the Masters Women 80-100+ 100 Meter USA Track & Field outdoor championships this past Saturday. If you haven't heard about this, watch USATF's video below.  Hawkins, by the way, apparently started her running career at age 100, so it really is never too late, you know.

Also, that's Christel Donley (82) in the lead.

Even if you have already heard about this, and even if you have watched the video, watch it again. The whole thing, especially the hug at the end, really is the best thing.

Happy Wednesday!

Friday, July 14, 2017

Coach Kiprunning LinkedIn Links

Social networking never stops.  And so it is with that never-ending end in mind that we have begun building a LinkedIn profile for Coach Kiprunning.  We invite you, via the link in the previous sentence, the marginal icon link on this blog, or the permanent footer link on the Coach Kiprunning website, to connect with us on LinkedIn.  We'll be thrilled to be in your network.

As with all social media work, our LinkedIn profile is still very much in progress.  Nevertheless, we will be happy to interact with you over there as well.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Now Open: The Klingle Valley Trail

Saturday, June 24, 2017 saw the opening of the Klingle Valley Trail in Northwest Washington, DC. The conversion of this former commuter artery into its present state has been a long and controversial one that stretches back to 1991.  WAMU offers a fairly comprehensive overview of the various jurisdictional tensions that have surrounded this small stretch of land.

For runners, walkers, and cyclists, the completion of this trail project will (just about) seamlessly connect the Rock Creek Trail along Beach Drive with the trails at the Tregaron Conservancy, which remains one of Washington's best lesser known attractions.  Run there when you can!

Monday, June 26, 2017

Coach Kiprunning--Personal Coaching to Help You Reach Your Performance Goals


army baystate beach best california chicago cities corps dc disneyland finish half hartford international las marathon marine miler navy new york personal philadelphia pr race record rock roll running ten tuscon twin vegas veterans virginia washington
created at TagCrowd.com


It is truly difficult to believe that we are rapidly approaching the middle of the summer.  Amazingly, the fall racing season is just around the corner.

If you have racing plans for any distance, we encourage you train with Coach Kiprunning.  Whether you are training to complete your first 5K or are a seasoned marathon runner, Coach Wilson will help you work toward your racing goals.

Coach Komen offers in-person training for runners who are local to Washington, DC, as well as online training for runners who are spread across the globe.

Likewise, for runners who are looking for grab-and-run training schedules, Coach Wilson is able to offer customized training plans that athletes can implement at their own convenience.

Most crucially, Coach Komen is currently accepting experienced runners for membership in the Kiprunning Sports Club, which is sponsored by Under Armour.

If you have any questions about these coaching services, you can contact Wilson using the automated form on his website.  He will gladly receive your inquiries.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

June 2017 Kiprunning Sports Club Saturday Long Run Update

As usual, the summer weather in Washington, DC is getting hot and humid.

Therefore, to keep safety concerns at the forefront of our workouts, we are rolling back the start time of the Kiprunning Sports Club Saturday long run to 6:00 am.

I understand that this time is early.  However, starting at this time will ensure that we get the bulk of our weekly workouts in before the temperature rises to unhealthy levels.

As usual, we will continue to meet at Georgetown Running Company, which is located at 3401 M St. NW, Washington, DC 20007.

If you have questions about joining the Sports Club, please contact me.

Run steady, and run safely.

Coach Wilson

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

What Are Your Plans for 2017 Global Running Day?

June 7, 2017 is Global Running Day.  We here at Coach Kiprunning would like to know what your plans are for this day.  [Said in Joe's professor voice: "running" does not count as an answer.  Be more specific!  Use complete sentences!]

We'd love to hear from you.  Give us a sense of your plans down in the comments, or feel free to hit us up on Facebook and Twitter.

For my part, early tomorrow morning, I will complete my last Washington, DC run before a short trip to New Mexico, where I plan to do some additional running later this week--because, of course, when you are in Walter White's territory, you run.

Walter White gif image saying "run"

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Race Recap: 2017 Capitol Hill Classic

picture of Wilson Komen and two former trainees
Coach Wilson Komen (left) with former trainees after the 2017 Capitol Hill Classic 10K
After a short break, Wilson Komen returned to race the Capitol Hill Classic 10K.  It was a great day for running--cool, overcast, a flat fast course--and we at Coach Kiprunning had a great time.

We've put together a photo album on our Facebook page, and we welcome all of you to view it--and, of course, to like our Facebook page.

If this past Sunday's race is any indication, it is going to be a great summer.  We hope to see you out there.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Eat Elite: A Short Intro to Wilson Komen's Diet

picture of a Kenyan hillside overlooking the Kerio Valley
Kerio View–Iten, Kenya
Elite athletes are often asked what they eat. It appears that most people want to know if food is the secret to winning races.

Well, I am here to share the secret with you.

Drum roll please . . .

There is no secret!

Truly, my meals are pretty ordinary, and I am not snobby about food or how that food should be prepared. However, I am consistent with what I eat day to day, and I do ensure that my meals are balanced.

Also, there is one food I can’t do without: milk. Milk is king in my book! Without exaggeration, I could drink milk 24 hours a day. Even though I never forcefully interfere with my trainees’ diets—however, you should try to avoid the really bad stuff, like fried food—I do believe that, as contemporary nutrition science indicates, protein is vital for endurance athletes. For my part, I enjoy getting much of that protein from milk. It’s my personal form of running fuel.

Here is a sample of what I eat in day:

Breakfast
2 boiled eggs on 4 slices of dry bread and Kenyan tea with lots of milk. If it’s a race day I have just bread and tea.

Lunch
I often have a bean stew with lots of veggies or a salad. It is vital that distance runners receive the vitamins that come from fresh vegetables. And, of course, broccoli is also an excellent source of protein, which is a bonus.

If I am at home for lunch, I will often have a baked sweet potato with a glass of milk.

Snack
banana and yogurt or nuts with an orange
picture of a tray of food with juice, milk, tea, a banana, and nut butter
An elite snack!
Dinner
My dinner remains pretty much the same everyday: meat with veggies and cornmeal.

And there you have it. That’s what I eat in a day to fuel my run. There is no perfect menu or one-size-fits-all approach to nourishing your body for a good run or a good race.

However, one tip I could give is to write down what you eat and to monitor how you feel an hour after eating. Do you feel bloated? Sluggish? Do you feel energized? Depending on how you feel, you can adjust your diet accordingly, remembering that it is usually a good idea to follow the basic nutrition rule of adding fruits and vegetables to whatever you eat.

I also recommend speaking with your primary care physician as you begin a training regimen so that you can discuss your dietary needs.

At the end of the day, a good run depends on good training, nutrition that suits you, the route you run, and the weather.

picture of the start line of the 2016 Komen Race for the Cure
Wilson at the start of the 2016 Komen Race for the Cure

Run steady, and eat well!

Coach Wilson

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Fall Racing Plans? Train with Us!

Runners always seem to be operating on a calendar that is about six months ahead of where the rest of the world is at any given time.  We're only about 2+ weeks out from the 2017 Boston and London Marathons, and already, many of us are making racing plans for the fall.  Case in point: general registration for the 2017 Army Ten Miler opens in just a few short weeks.

If you have plans for the fall--for any distance, at any pace--I invite you to train with Coach Kiprunning.  I am pleased to offer a variety of coaching options, from in-person individual training to online coaching, for all ability levels.  I am also available to work with you no matter where you are training--in the United States or elsewhere.

If you have any questions about Coach Kiprunning, including inquiries about our competitive Sports Club (sponsored by Under Armour), please contact me.  I will be happy to talk with you about the training options that will be best for your goals--and, of course, I will be happy to coach you.

In the meantime, enjoy this lovely spring weather.  The hot summer days are just around the corner, as are the Chicago and New York Marathons!

Run Steady,

Coach Wilson

Friday, May 5, 2017

Required Sub-Two Hour Marathon Reading

As I'm sure you're all well aware, tomorrow, May 6 2017, will see the world's top marathon runners attempt a sub-two hour marathon. 

Chris Chavez's comprehensive article about the attempt for Sports Illustrated indicates that, though the times of the event, whatever they are, will be official, the course is not eligible for an official world record.  The whole article is great, so give it a read for all of the fine details.

Likewise, check out Scott Douglas's piece for Runner's World, which lists the various viewing times for the race, including a live stream on the Runner's World website.

As a necessary counterpoint to the organization of Saturday's race, it's worth reading Sarah Barker's article for Deadspin from a few years back, in which she contends that pacers aren't always the best thing for the sport of running.

If you're on the East Coast of the United States, like we are, the race will go off at 11:45 pm on Friday night, which we know is a little late for those of you who will be joining us for our Sports Club long run on Saturday.  Why let a little sleep get in the way, though?  This will be exciting.

Happy watching!

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Summer 2017 Kiprunning Sports Club Saturday Long Run Update

Given that we are on the brink of the hot DC summer weather, we will be moving back the start time of the weekly Kiprunning Sports Club Saturday long run in order to avoid the heat.

For the duration of the 2017 summer season, we will start our Saturday long runs at 7:00 a.m. We will continue to meet at Georgetown Running Company, which is located at 3401 M St. NW, Washington, DC 20007.

When the temperature begins to drop in the fall, we will adjust the start time back to 7:45 a.m.

Please contact me with any inquiries about Sports Club membership.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Congratulations to All DC-Area 2017 Boston Marathon Finishers

RunWashington has published an excellent list of the DC-area finishers of the 2017 Boston Marathon.
Full disclosure: I have the good fortune of knowing Raj Bhanot (pictured above), so that tweet represents the closest I have ever been to celebrity.

Coach Kiprunning congratulates every Boston Marathon finisher--but we also wish an emphatic, hometown word of congratulations to the many DMV finishers.  Great work on a hot day, everyone. Enjoy the accomplishment.  You've earned it.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Send Us Your Boston Marathon Thoughts

Well, it's official: it is less than one week until the running of the 2017 Boston Marathon.  Current weather predictions are suggesting an ideal day for racing, and we certainly hope that is the case.

In preparation for the big event, we welcome the opportunity to publish your good wishes/race strategies/positive energy for the good of everyone who is running.  We would be happy to do this in a variety of ways.  The easiest is for you to hit me up on Twitter.  Right after I hit publish on this post, I will Tweet it out to the universe.  If you reply to that tweet, or if you just tweet directly to me, I will catalog your thoughts, and then I will publish them here later this week.
Alternately, you can contact me directly at the email address listed in the right margin of this blog.

Finally, of course, you can post your thoughts directly to the Coach Kiprunning Facebook page.

Please know that none of this is a profit generating enterprise for us.  We simply want to help share some good running mojo for the Boston runners.  We welcome your assistance in this endeavor.

In the meantime, rest up, enjoy the taper, and eat well!

Friday, April 7, 2017

Coach Kiprunning at 2017 Food from the Bar Campaign

For the second year in a row, Coach Kiprunning was honored to be a part of the Capital Area Food Bank's Food from the Bar Campaign.  This year's event was held at Buffalo Billiards in Dupont Circle, and it received co-sponsorship from The Women's Bar Association and DC Road Runners, as well as support from Koonz, McKenney Law Firm and Thompson Coburn.

We have posted photos from the event in a dedicated album on our Facebook page.  We invite you to view them and to like our Facebook page as well. 

Once again, we are grateful to the organizers of this event for asking us to be a part of it, and we look forward to additional opportunities in the future.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Some Brief Notes from the Webmasterrunner

To start, I acknowledge that "webmasterrunner" is not a word.  I also acknowledge that "webmasterrunner" would probably be better spelled as "webmasterunner," but I digress before I've even begun.

I apologize that it has been somewhat quiet on our humble blog over the past few weeks.  I've been spending a good chunk of my time working on various aesthetic enhancements to the Coach Kiprunning website.  Since I'm still at the bottom of the learning curve, those kinds of things take me inordinately long periods of time to do.

After a solid weekend in front of the computer, it feels good to come back from The Matrix--just in time for good spring weather, no less!

Neo from The Matrix gif
Unfortunately, I do not look this handsome after coming back from The Matrix

So, some notes:

-Wilson Komen ran in this past Sunday's Cherry Blossom Ten Miler, enjoying a good run as he eases back into competitive racing with an eye on the masters division

Wilson Komen competing in the 2017 Cherry Blossom Ten Miler
Wilson with Some GRC and Capital Area Runners

-The Kiprunning Sports Club continues to meet at 7:45 am on Saturday morning for our weekly long runs.  Contact us if you are interested in running with us. 

-On this Thursday, Coach Kiprunning will once again be co-sponsoring the annual Food from the Bar Campaign.  This year's event will be held at Buffalo Billiards in Dupont Circle.  The event begins at 6:00 pm.  Please come join us.  You can register through the WBA website.

-And finally, humbly, I'm looking forward to my own return to competitive running.  After a strong finish to 2015, I had to attend to a variety of personal matters, and as a result, I took some time off.  The upside is that I've been able to assume the role of Coach Kiprunning webmaster, which has been a lot of fun.  Now, I am simply, as the opening to this blog post should suggest, appending the title "runner" to myself once again.

I plan to ease my way back into things at this year's New Jersey Marathon weekend, during which I will briskly jog the race's 5K run.  As I've written before, the New Jersey Marathon, and its various assorted races, is an excellent event that falls at a perfect time for competition: late April/early May.  Looking back, I estimate that various Coach Kiprunning runners have competed in the weekend's various races every year since the spring of 2012.

This year will not be an exception to that trend.

And that's it for now.  Keep reading, and by all means, keep running.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Kiprunning PR's: Dino LaCapra at the 2017 DC Rock 'n' Roll Marathon

At the 2017 DC Rock 'n' Roll Marathon, Dino LaCapra, a Coach Kiprunning trainee and former DC resident, finally broke the three-hour marathon barrier, finishing the race with a time of 2:57:58.  This accomplishment--the pinnacle for most recreational marathoners--took LaCapra nearly a decade of training and ten full marathon attempts.  His commitment and continued discipline, which involved avoiding rogue freight trains, can serve as guidance for every runner at every ability level.

Coach Kiprunning: Could you introduce yourself to our readers?

Dino LaCapra: My name is Dino LaCapra.  I lived in Washington,  DC for 7 years, but I have recently relocated back home to Miami.  I started running in high school for my cross country team, but I didn’t start long distance marathoning until 2009, when I was living in DC.  My job requires a lot of travelling, so sometimes it's hard to keep the legs fresh and to get in all of the training in that is required for these longer distances.

Dino LaCapra running in a marathon road raceCK: What was the trick? What adjustments did you make to reach your sub-three-hour marathon goal?

DL: The primary difference was that I took a good month off prior to this training cycle, just doing casual runs, to regain energy and the desire to run. In addition, I was able to cut back completely on my travelling, so my legs never were abused by those air miles.

CK: What was your training regimen like? How many days did you run?  Did you complete any strength training?

DL: I ran 6 days a week while doing Pilates on my day off, which is an incredible workout. About four weeks out from the race, I stopped my Pilates work and rested entirely on the 7th day. 

CK: What was your peak weekly mileage for this race, and what was your longest long run?

DL: My peak weekly mileage was 85 miles; my longest run was 22 miles.

CK: Got any delicious recovery food suggestions?

DL: After every long run, breakfast with my running friends--4 scrambled eggs, grits, everything bagel, bacon, and orange juice.

CK: How did you deal with injury to the extent that you either avoided it or were able to rehab effectively?

DL: I used to get injured often when I first started training for marathons.  Eventually, I worked to shorten my stride, and I haven’t been injured since.

CK: What did you learn about yourself--as a runner, as a person--throughout all of your training up to the 2017 DC Rock 'n' Roll Marathon?

DL: You can learn how determined you are after 8 years of training and 10 complete marathon cycles. My previous marathon was just this past September (2016) in Lehigh. I was in great shape, but a heat wave came through, so the race started when it was already 80 degrees. Then, at mile 6, a train cut the course off from us for 7 minutes. I finished in 3:10:58, missing a Boston Marathon qualifying time by 59 seconds. All you can do is laugh and be thankful for the health and ability to run a marathon after that experience.

CK: As 10 complete marathon cycles should indicate, you trained tenaciously for your sub-three-hour marathon.  Could you offer a perspective on how marathon runners should think of their timelines to their PR races?

DL: I take each week at a time and focus only on that week. My friend once told me, “It’s the last two miles/intervals that make or break you.” Putting this into your training--envisioning those final miles--and also ensuring a consistent running regimen are crucial, I think, to proper marathon preparation.  I also worked to a point where I was able to run about 10% more than what traditional training plans would suggest to increase my race-day stamina and to bank some extra miles.

CK: As a follow-up, how would you recommend that marathon runners work through the inevitable setbacks, training interruptions, or even DNF races?

DL: I think each person reacts differently to setbacks. I take them as challenges to work harder and to reset my goal and approach. When my marathons weren’t coming together, I focused on half marathons and was able to drop my times considerably, regaining some energy and desire to take on the longer run. I also have a supportive wife, family, and friends.  Though not all of them understand the sacrifices I've made for training, they do respect those sacrifices.

CK: What advice do you have for aspiring marathon runners of all kinds?

DL: Remember to take it one day at a time, set a goal, and get after it. Only you can make it happen. Actions speak louder than words.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Race Recap: St. Pat's Run 5K 2017

The past year or so has found me doing a lot of work to build Coach Kiprunning and to set up our Sports Club.  As a result, I haven't been competing in many races in recent years.  With 2017 well underway, I am hoping to change that trend as I return to competitive running.

As our own Joseph P. Fisher pointed out a few months ago, we aren't getting any younger around here.  Therefore, I am currently setting my sights on training to compete in the Masters division of a future Boston Marathon (I'm not quite that old yet).  My more immediate test race is going to be this year's Cherry Blossom Ten Miler.

As a warm up race, I competed in last week's Race for Equal Justice.  This past weekend found me in the St. Pat's Run 5K.

The field in this race, as well as in the 10K, is very competitive.  The course, however, is flat and fast, which probably contributes to the intense competition, but in doing so also allows runners a great chance for PR-setting times.  I was pleased with how I ran, and I am anticipating some good racing and training in the future--just as the weather warms up, I hope!

In the meantime, I want to emphasize how much fun these races are just for pure camaraderie. Fittingly, they began with the sound of bagpipes and a healthy dose of good cheer.


The runners--both competitive and recreational alike--were in good spirits, even though the weather dipped dramatically into the cold temperatures.  The sunshine, however, couldn't have been better, and it made for a festive day all around.

Elite runners at the start of the St. Pat's Day 10KRecreational runners at the start of the St. Pat's Day 10K

Again, I was just thrilled to compete and to be able to spend my weekend around other runners.  The day before the race, I jogged with a small group of runners from the Kiprunning Sports Club and finished just in time to chat with some members of DC Road Runners.

Wilson Komen and Kiprunning Sports Club runners

Kiprunning Sports Club and DC Road Runners

It was a great weekend, and I am looking forward to many similar ones in the near future.  I'll see all of you out there.

Run Steady,

Coach Wilson

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Race Review: 2017 Race for Equal Justice 5 and 10K

Small but sweet--those are the appropriate ways to describe the Race for Equal Justice.  Sponsored by George Washington Law's Equal Justice Foundation, and organized by DC Road Runners, the 2017 event ran out and back (and out and back again, if you ran the 10K) on Hains Point.  East Potomac Park (aka The Home of Joe Fisher's tempo runs) is a pancake flat, beautiful stretch of land that affords runners panoramic views of large chunks of southern DC and Arlington, VA.  It's the perfect location for a PR.

Last Saturday's weather was unseasonably warm, giving the race a beautiful springtime feel, including what were, at times, some strong headwinds.  The race itself is still tiny enough that runners have the opportunity to stretch out and to settle into their respective rhythms without overcrowding. Likewise, if you're having a good day, you stand a solid shot of placing high in the field.

Coach Kiprunning was represented at the race, and we ran well (check out the photos on our Facebook page).  The crowd support was excellent, as was the hydration support on the course. We wish heartfelt thanks to all of the organizers and participants.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Kiprunning Sports Club Long Run Cancelled 2/25/17

On Saturday, February 25, 2017, Coach Kiprunning will be competing in the Race for Equal Justice.  As a result, the weekly long run for the Kiprunning Sports Club has been cancelled.  We will resume our training on the morning of March 4, 2017.  Please let me know if you have any questions.

In the meantime, I am looking forward to an exciting race.  Thank you to the event organizers, and best of luck to all of the competitors.

Run Steady,

Coach Komen

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Kiprunning Sports Club Training Update: 2/18/2017

Runners,

Our Saturday long run on 2/18/17 will cover a distance between 12 and 18 miles. As usual, we will meet at 7:45 am at Georgetown Running Company.

See you on Saturday!

Coach Wilson

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

The Kiprunning Sports Club Announces Under Armour Sponsorship

I am pleased to announce that the Kiprunning Sports Club is officially sponsored by Under Armour. We are grateful for their enthusiasm, and we are anticipating great training and racing with their support.

Currently (February 2017), the Sports Club is meeting on Saturday mornings at 7:45 am for our long runs.  The dedicated Kiprunning Sports Club page on this blog offers the details of our training schedule.  If you are interested in joining the Sports Club, please consult the associated section of the official Coach Kiprunning website for a full overview of our training tiers and qualifying standards.

If you have any questions about membership requirements, please contact me.  I will be happy to speak with you about our training expectations.

Run Steady,

Coach Komen

Monday, January 30, 2017

Coach Kiprunning Congratulates Michael Wardian

We here at Coach Kiprunning wish a hearty congratulations to DC-area mega runner Michael Wardian for his win in the 2017 World Marathon Challenge.  This is an immense accomplishment, and we are thrilled on Michael's behalf.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Coach Kiprunning Email Glitch: Resolved

I'm happy to announce that we have fixed the email glitch on the Coach Kiprunning website that has been affecting the processing of our Runner's and Sports Club Questionnaires.  Everything is now working smoothly and effectively.

Once again, if you experienced any delays in communication with us over the past two weeks (due to this glitch), please contact me at info[at]coachkiprunning[dot]com with your inquiry, and I will definitely respond to you.  Likewise, if you have any questions about working with us, you can feel free to contact me at that email address as well.

Sincerely,

Coach Wilson Komen

Saturday, January 7, 2017

DC Runners, Write In

If you live and run in the metro DC area, we encourage you to respond to RunWashington's request for thoughts about solitary running and safety.
This article, when it is written, will be an important resource for newcomers to the area and veterans alike.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Tools of the Trade: New Runner's World Race Time Predictor

Now that 2017 is officially underway, it seems like an appropriate time to remind everyone of the new race time predictor that Runner's World unveiled at the end of 2016.

As Amby Burfoot's article on this predictor indicates, one of its major innovations is the a ability to project race performance based on two previous race times.  The new calculator also allows users to enter their average weekly mileage as a means to tighten up their performance projections.

The whole article is great, so you should definitely read the whole thing.  If you've got other helpful race prediction techniques, feel free to sound off in the comments below!

Monday, January 2, 2017

Why Not You?

The story of Billy Mills' come-from-behind underdog victory in the 10K at the 1964 Olympics has become the stuff of running legend--a story so perfect in its simplicity that it seems entirely unreal.

There are many tellings and retellings of Mills' story in the canon of running lore, and many of them offer slight variations on the theme of the power of positive thinking.  I've often heard the story paraphrased as Mills continually asking himself, "Why not me?" with every lap of the track, until he realized that he was in a position to win it all.

Then, he simply went for it, because he believed that he could.

And, of course, he won.


Since it is the beginning of the new year, there is no better time for all of us to channel the power of this story in the pursuit of our own goals.  "Why not us?", we can be asking ourselves.  For my own part, I have the 2017 Boston Marathon on the horizon.  The road to this one has been challenging--more challenging than I would have liked.  Still, why not me, and why not now?

If you've been thinking about starting/getting back into/working to improve your own running, allow me to ask: why not now?

Why not you?

And why not with us?

Coach Kiprunning wishes you an excellent 2017, and we're happy to work with you, whatever your goals might be.

We hope to hear from you.