Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Kiprunning Training Discounts: Save on the Price, Gain on Your Goals

Wilson Komen's personalized coaching services are a great holiday gift for you or for the other runner(s) in your life.  Coach Komen can customize training plans for any ability level, for any distance, and for any running goal--competitive or otherwise.  He is able to offer coaching support in a variety of formats, from in-person one-on-one coaching to a variety of more independent options.

Please read Coach Komen's trainee testimonials (and some of our blog posts) for additional details about his style.

TrainingPeaks 20% Discount

In addition to his personalized coaching options, Wilson Komen also offers ready-made training plans that runners can purchase and implement independently.  These plans are available via Coach Komen's TrainingPeaks profile.

When purchasing a ready-made training plan through TrainingPeaks, use the coupon code usat2018 at checkout to receive a 20% discount on your order.

If you have any questions about any of these options, or if you have general inquiries about Coach Kiprunning, simply contact Wilson Komen.  He will be happy to respond to you.

Monday, November 26, 2018

A Good Race for a Good Cause

Wilson Komen competed in the 2018 Trot for Hunger 5K, organized by So Others Might Eat.
Komen finished in tenth place overall with a time of 17:18.

It was an unusually cold day in DC, but it was a great race nevertheless.  Congratulations to all of the finishers.

Thursday, November 1, 2018

. . . And Good Luck, Too, New York Marathoners

It is a busy time of year for marathoning!  The New York Marathon is up ahead on Sunday, November 4, and we wish all of the participants the best of luck.  Run well.  It is a great race.

(Also, feel free to consult our good luck post from last year for a fun course overview video.)

In addition, congratulations again (!) to Eliud Kipchoge on his half marathon world record.
It's been a great year for running history.  Go out there, and make some of your own.

Friday, October 26, 2018

Good Luck (Once Again), Marine Corps Marathoners

It is that time of year again.  The 2018 Marine Corps Marathon is just over horizon, on this coming Sunday, October 28.

As always, the MCM website offers loads of information about the race, the organization of the start, and the excellent finish festival.  Likewise, the online course map is easy to navigate and is, quite simply, gorgeous.

Coach Kiprunning wishes the best of luck to all event participants.

Run strong, and keep it steady,

Coach Wilson

Monday, October 15, 2018

Kip Accomplishments, October 2018 Edition

Shyam Biswal is a new Coach Kiprunning trainee who has had a stellar year, dramatically increasing his marathon PR while looking forward to his ultimate goal: finishing the 50 States Marathn Challenge and the Abbott World Marathon Majors (races in Chicago, New York, Boston, Berlin, Tokyo, and London).  He just completed the 2018 Chicago Marathon.

Shyam recently offered us his thoughts about running, and we are happy to share them with you today.

Coach Kiprunning: What inspired you to start running?

Shyam Biswal: My father had a stroke at an early age of 54, and he struggled to function normally after the stroke for rest of his life. I was a heavy smoker during my college years, and it worried me a lot after quitting that if my father got a stroke as a non-smoker, it could happen to me as well.

Furthermore, I am at a high risk for heart disease. With age, I developed prediabetes and hypertension.

I got into running initially with the belief that other healthy behaviors, such as clean eating, would follow so that I could restore my health

Shyam Biswal holding a finisher's medal at the 2018 Chicago Marathon

CK: What does running mean to you in your life?

SB: As I turned 50, running has been my greatest passion. It makes me happy, and it keeps me focused, disciplined, and positive. It reduces stress and improves brain activities.

CK: How has running changed your life?

SB: Running, particularly training for a full marathon and then completing the race, has taught me a lot about myself. On the health front, I have been able to reverse my obesity, prediabetes, hypertension, and many parameters related to blood lipids that could have increased the risk of heart disease. I no longer need medicines for hypertension and glucose control.

CK: What challenges are you going through?

SB: I am very focused on improving my running. I switched to a vegan diet and quit drinking alcohol for more than a year ago to improve my performance. I lost a lot of weight, and my BMI came down to a normal level and has now plateaued for the last several months.

I believe to perform better and remain injury free, I will need to lose additional weight. As a vegan, I feel much better and am more energetic than before, and I believe that the weight loss challenge will also work out.

Running has taught me a lot about myself. The excitement to break new boundaries and to challenge myself has been my greatest motivation.

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Volunteer Support: DC Road Runners Annual Picnic and 3-Mile Cross Country Race

Coach Kiprunning was happy to offer race support for yesterday's DC Road Runners Picnic and 3-mile cross country race.

runners starting the DC Road Runners 3-mile cross country race on a grass field

This event is held annually on the grounds of Bethesda's Landon School.  The course is a cross country course in the truest sense: the terrain is varied, and the hills are plentiful and arrive intermittently throughout the race.

Daniel Ritter claimed first place with a time of 17:52.  Liz Ozeki was the first female finisher, crossing the line in 20:38.

Afterward, attendees enjoyed plentiful food and plentiful dessert.  It was a great night for the event, and we were happy to support it.

buffet dinner from District Taco at the 2018 DC Road Runners Picnic

photo of DC Road Runners Club members at their 2018 picnic on the grounds of Bethesda's Landon School

Next week, we will also be providing support for the National Capital 20-Miler.  We hope to see you there.

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Congratulations to Eliud Kipchoge, New Marathon World Record Holder

Eliud Kipchoge set a new world record for the marathon today in Berlin.  Kipchoge finished in 2:01:39.
This record was over one minute faster than the previous world record.
An amazing accomplishment, no doubt.

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Announcement: 2018 National Capital 20-Miler

Once again, Coach Kiprunning is proud to publicize (and to offer race support for) the National Capital 20-Miler, organized by DC Road Runners.

logo for the National Capital 20-miler featuring two black figures, a man and a woman, jogging with an American flag and a drawing of the Capitol building in the background
Both races begin at Carderock Recreation Area, running southeast toward DC on the C&O Towpath.  The 20-miler actually makes it all the way to Georgetown before making a return loop back out to Carderock.

Both events will be held on September 30, 2018, and they are perfectly timed to be tune-up races (or training runs) for any number of fall races.

Registration is available on the DC Road Runners website.  We hope to see you there.

In the meantime, feel free to peruse our photo album from last year's events.

Monday, September 3, 2018

Congratulations to Michael Wardian

Congratulations, Michael.  This is a great accomplishment.

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Kip Accomplishments, July 2018 Edition

Vacation always goes by far too quickly.

Anyway, we're back now, and we've got some accomplishments to share.

This past weekend, Tanya Senanayake, who just rocked the Vermont City Marathon, finished the Napa to Sonoma Wine Country Half Marathon as a training run for this fall's Chicago Marathon.


Tanya Senanayke with a finishers medal at the Napa to Sonoma Half Marathon
Tanya Senanayke
In other accomplishment news, I just competed in the Bluemont 5K, hosted by DC Road Runners.

I've talked about the benefits of joining a running club before, and I'll just reiterate that point here.  These races are free for club members (this is a perk specifically for DC Road Runners; I can't speak for other clubs), and they offer great training structure and easy ways to enhance weekly speed workouts by, you know, sponsoring some 5K races.  As always, the competition is strong enough to make these races worthwhile for runners of all ability levels and at all ages.

Look at these times!

Joseph P. Fisher finishing the Bluemont 5K in 18:42
Joseph P. Fisher
For my part, I'm still eyeing a December marathon, and in the meantime, I'm hoping to climb off of this six-minute plateau that I've inhabited for the first part of this year.  Still, I was pleased with last night's run.

Onto the next one!

Saturday, June 23, 2018

Rest Break: Summer 2018

photo of Navajo Sandstone formation in Kolob Canyons

In less than one day, at the unholy hour of 4:00 am, I will be departing for vacation to some remote regions of the Colorado Plateau.  Access to the Internet will be either scarce or nonexistent, and it will be wonderful.

I've done a similar trip before, and it was great.  I'm looking forward to doing this again.

As a result, this blog will be on a brief hiatus of sorts.  We'll be back soon enough, though.  I'm hoping to get in some serious training during the second part of this year.  Right now, I'm trying to target December's California International Marathon, using the Baystate Half Marathon as a warm-up race.

Updates will be on the way.  I guarantee it.

To stay informed about various other Coach Kiprunning things, follow along on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.  Our excellent communications team will be ensuring that those feeds remain running (no pun intended).

I'll talk to you soon, dear readers.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Hydration Help from RunWashington

RunWashington has just published an indispensable guide to the various water fountains and hydration systems along the DC-area running trails.

Seriously, bookmark that web page right now.

In addition, they have developed a simple Google doc that readers can use to help them keep this guide updated.  If you've got info on a fountain--new, old, working, broken--make use of the form!

It is customarily very hot in Washington, DC in June (and July and August and often September and sometimes October), so hydration is a must for just about any run.  Do not overestimate your abilities in the heat, and do not overestimate how far you can go without needing water or electrolytes.  Run with caution and good sense . . . and in close proximity to good hydrating fluids.

Stay safe out there.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Race Recap: 2018 Vermont City Marathon

Today we pass the mic to Tanya Senanayake, a Kiprunner who just set a new PR at the 2018 Vermont City Marathon.  Congratulations to her and to all of the other event participants.

I ran in the 30th anniversary of the Vermont City Marathon in Burlington, VT this past Memorial Day weekend, and it was a phenomenal experience. The course is USATF-certified and runs along Lake Champlain, with views of the Adirondack Mountains. And the race itself displays a strong sense of local pride and community.

Pre-Race Activities 

I stayed at Hotel Vermont, a few blocks from both the start and finish lines. The hotel was filled with runners for the weekend, with many of the hotel staff either running or volunteering at the race. And the free tea / coffee / water stations on each floor made it easy to hydrate throughout the weekend.
Hotel Vermont coffee bar
My hydrating station at Hotel Vermont
After checking in on Friday, I left for a slow three-mile jog down the bike path nearby. On my way out the door, I ran into Meb Keflezighi in the lobby! Meb was gracious and kind, and it was a fitting start to what turned out to be an amazing weekend.
Lake Champlain with rocks in the foreground
View of Lake Champlain from bike path
The Vermont City Marathon Expo was in the conference room of a hotel about 1.5 miles away. The Expo was easy to navigate and featured many local Vermont products, and the volunteers were eager to welcome all of us. On an impulse, I bought a collapsible Nathan hand-held bottle from one of the vendors to use in the marathon. This turned out to be a great decision, allowing me to take my proven Tailwind Endurance Fuel on the course, without being weighed down by my fuel belt for the whole race.

Saturday had a few race activities. Meb took photos with runners by the lake in the morning. That evening, the pasta dinner provided us the opportunity to meet other runners and hear the inspiring Colleen Kelly Alexander speak. After the dinner, I went to Church Street Marketplace to find spaghetti and meatballs, because we all have fixed and necessary pre-run traditions and meatballs are mine. The area was filled with runners, families, and friends—and that distinctive night-before-a-marathon energy.

Meb Keflezighi and Tanya Senanayake at Vermont City Marathon
Standing with Meb Keflezighi at the Waterfront

The Race 

The weather was cool and overcast on Sunday morning. The start line had thousands of runners, some running the marathon and some running as part of a marathon relay team. The race started exactly at 7:03 am, as promised. As we wound through the streets in the early miles, people came out of their houses to wave and shout “Welcome to Vermont!” A light mist settled on us as we ran through Church Street Marketplace and downtown Burlington. At the relay exchange points, volunteers ushered relay runners to a separate lane for their exchanges, while the marathoners continued without interruption. This was my first marathon with relay runners on course, and I found the whole process to be smooth—and it was good to see fresh runners pushing our pace after each exchange.
Tanya Senanayake smiling mid-race
Really enjoying the course! (Photo provided by Untapped)
We continued onto a highway for four miles; drummers and volunteers with Untapped maple syrup shots and energy waffles dotted the area. The road sloped a bit, Meb ran by on the other side for the first leg of his relay team and high-fived runners, and then we were heading back toward the city for Miles 6 through 8.

The course had several rolling hills, but spectators lined all of the difficult uphill sections. We made our way through Burlington, eventually running through neighborhoods filled with block parties, people cheering in lawn chairs and on curbs and in parking lots, energizing music, tall trees, and throngs of kids offering cold lemonade and popsicles to runners. With all of this, the miles passed quickly. At around Mile 15, we hit the six-block hill nicknamed the Assault on Battery but were pushed on by people lining both sides of Battery Street screaming their support.
Tanya Senanayake running hills at Vermont City Marathon
Convincing myself that the worst of the hills was over (Photo provided by Untapped)
We ran on a dirt trail surrounded by tall, magnificent trees, and finally around Mile 22 onto the bike path leading to the waterfront for the last four miles. These miles felt tough, despite the shade, flat or downhill terrain, smiling spectators, and the most delicious pineapple popsicle that someone put into my hand at Mile 23. The finish line was almost a blur, with cheering spectators lining both sides of the finishing chute. I realized that I had PRed by 16 minutes but, most importantly, for the first time I felt strong at the marathon’s end.

The finish area welcomed runners with pizza, ice cream, recovery snacks, and heavy, colorful medals. And the waterfront area where the marathon finished is beautiful.
Tanya Senanayake Vermont City Marathon finish photo
At the finish

After the Race 

Lots of recovery for the last two weeks! Slow, short jogs, rolling, and hydrating. This was the first marathon that I’ve run where I felt strong, without the dreaded IT band injury / leg locking that I’ve encountered in previous marathons. Under Coach Wilson’s guidance, I made several changes in this training cycle that facilitated my feeling so good during and after the marathon: (1) steadfastly focusing on strength training; (2) overhauling my hydration with Tailwind Endurance Fuel (we all need to find what works for us, and this fuel has consistently prevented the muscle cramps that had previously characterized my long runs); and (3) Coach Wilson’s higher-mileage training plan that gradually moved me into sustaining longer distances.

I was floored by how genuinely and enthusiastically the residents of Burlington welcomed us into their community that weekend, and how many locals ran, volunteered, or cheered for runners in this race. If you’re looking for a late spring marathon or a marathon relay with friends, I highly recommend the Vermont City Marathon. It promises a weekend of fun events, the friendliest locals, and race scenery (and non-race sightseeing!) that spans charming city streets to very cleansing wooded trails.

Lake Champlain at sunset
Post-marathon sunset view of Lake Champlain

Monday, June 11, 2018

Another Racing Dual: Lawyers Have Heart 10K and DC Road Runners 5K Festival

I know that it has been quiet on this blog. I apologize. Ironically, my summer teaching duties almost seem to take more time than my academic year teaching duties. No matter. It is all good work.

(However, I will take this opportunity to remind all of you that we remain very active on Instagram and Facebook, so please feel free to follow along in those places as well.)

This past weekend represented another racing dual for Coach Kiprunning.  Wilson Komen participated in the Lawyers Have Heart 10K on Saturday, and I was happy to run, along with my wife, in the DC Road Runners Women's Distance Festival 5K and Run After the Women 5K on Sunday.

Wilson Komen thumbs up after the 2018 Lawyers Have Heart 10K
Wilson Komen at the finish of the 2018 Lawyers Have Heart 10K
As is so often the case in Washington, DC in the summer, this weekend offered rather soupy humid conditions that weren't quite ideal for running.  The Lawyers Have Heart 10K is always a competitive race, and its long hilly and exposed stretches make it a particularly challenging event.

Coach Komen finished 41st overall, with a 5th place performance in the masters division.  He was pleased with his performance, and he continues to plan his next marathon race, now that he is focusing more intently on competing as a masters runner.

I was similarly pleased with my performance in the DC Road Runners Run after the Women 5K.  This race begins in Arlington's Bluemont Park, where the course heads northwest to intersect with, and ultimately to run along, the W&OD Trail.  There are some modest bumps along the way, but for the most part, the out-and-back course is flat and fast, and it too fosters some high-level competition.

Joseph P Fisher winning a gift card at the DC Road Runners Run after the Women 5K
I am officially a Dunkin' Donuts man, but I will happy take a Starbucks gift card whenever I can
My performance was just a little slower than what I turned in at the Mentoring Matters 5K, but I was still pleased with how things went.  I finished first in my age group (not counting, of course, the overall finishers, who were really, really fast), and given the heavy, thick air, I couldn't have given it much more than what I did.  It was a good way to start a Sunday.

Likewise, my wife was pleased with her race, which she used mostly as a training run.  All of us are looking to target some longer distances later this year, so we will definitely see all of you out there over the next few months.

Just remember to get out early and to hydrate!

Monday, May 14, 2018

Mentoring Matters 5K: A Great Race for a Great Cause

Thank you to Teens Run DC and DC Road Runners for last Saturday's Mentoring Matters 5K.  It was a fun morning on a beautiful day, and we had a great time at the race.

top three finishers 2018 Mentoring Matters 5K
Tim Hughes (center) first place, Matthew Lewis (left) second place, Joe Fisher (right) third place

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Coach Kiprunning at the 2018 Mentoring Matters 5K

Coach Kiprunning will be participating in this year's Mentoring Matters 5K, sponsored by Teens Run DC and organized by DC Road Runners.

Saturday's forecast is currently looking a little warm, but it still seems like it should be a great morning for a run.

We hope to see you in Anacostia this Saturday in support of a great organization.

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

A Great Day of Sunday Racing

This past Sunday found Coach Komen competing in the Pike's Peek 10K, while I ran as part of a four-leg marathon relay team in Oceanport, New Jersey at the New Jersey Marathon.

Wilson logged an excellent third place finish in the masters division.

Wilson Komen at the 2018 Pike's Peek 10K

My relay team, The Shooter McGavins, finished seventh overall and just had a blast running together as family.  Me, my brother, my brother-in-law, and his girlfriend all worked together to log a combined 3:26:24 finishing time.  It was a great day all around.

The Shooter McGavins relay team

And now the summer is approaching.  Thank goodness!

Get out there.  The weather is beautiful.

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Insta Reminder: Coach Kiprunning Is on Instagram

The post title really says it all folks!

Coach Kiprunning is also active on Instagram, and all of you are very welcome to follow us there.

Our other social media profiles are right over there in the right margin.  Follow in all of those places as well!

Monday, April 23, 2018

Racing Dual: Pike's Peek 10K and New Jersey Marathon Relay

April 29, 2018 will be an active day for representatives of Coach Kiprunning.

Wilson Komen will be participating in the Pike's Peek 10K, while I will be running as a member of a relay team for the New Jersey Marathon Relay.

Our team name: The Shooter McGavins.
We've written about the New Jersey Marathon before.  It's a great race--moderately sized and pancake flat.  The weather can swing either way fairly dramatically, but for the most part, the temperatures are perfect for long distance running.

I suppose you might be wondering why our relay team took its name from the worst sports villain in all of movie history.  I honestly can't say.  The naming duties fell to me, and I am notoriously bad at naming things.  (This might be why I do not have children.)

Beyond that, we will be at the shore, home of lobsters.

Also, there's the fact that, at one point in the past, when I was having a little trouble putting together solid marathon training, I told my wife that I was just like Shooter McGavin: I couldn't get my hands on a jacket.


Outside of those things, there isn't much of a connection. We're nice people.

Keep up with this blog for updates throughout this exciting week!

Saturday, April 21, 2018

2018 Food from the Bar Campaign Kickoff

Coach Kiprunning was honored to be a part of the Food from the Bar Campaign Kickoff for the third consecutive year.

This year's event marked the tenth anniversary of the campaign.  To date, Food from the Bar has helped supply approximately 3.5 million meals for food insecure populations in the DC region.

Food from the Bar pamphlet with campaign facts and volunteer dates

The 2018 event was sponsored by DC Road Runners and the law offices of Koonz, McKenney.

You can read more about the campaign and about the Capital Area Food Bank on the event's official website.

We've added a modest photo album from Thursday's event on the Coach Kiprunning Facebook page.  We welcome you to share and tag the album as much as you would like.

Thank you again to the event organizers for inviting us to be involved with this excellent initiative.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Coach Kiprunning Is Supporting the 2018 Food from the Bar Campaign Kickoff

For the third year in a row, Coach Kiprunning has been invited to be a part of the Food from the Bar Campaign Kickoff, sponsored by the Women's Bar Association, the Capital Area Food Bank, and DC Road Runners.

This year's event is being held this coming Thursday, April 19, at Buffalo Billiards in Dupont Circle.

We've shared the official Facebook event invite on the Coach Kiprunning Facebook page, and we welcome all of you to join us on Thursday.  This event provides vital resources for food insecure populations in Washington, DC, and we are honored to have the opportunity to support this excellent cause.

We hope to see you on Thursday.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

2018 Cherry Photoblogging

This past Sunday's Cherry Blossom Ten Miler was an excellent event all around.  Wilson Komen, as he has written before, routinely competes in this event, and 2018 was no exception.  Coach Komen, now a masters runner, is eyeing a major marathon performance later this year.  The Cherry Blossom Ten Miler served as an excellent training run for him, while also providing him with excellent photo opportunities!

Wilson Komen and Meb Keflezighi at the Washington Monument
Wilson Komen (right) with Meb Keflezighi

Wilson Komen and elite runners
Wilson Komen (second from right) with elite runners

finish line at the 2018 Cherry Blossom Ten Miler
Finishers at the 2018 Cherry Blossom Ten Miler

the Washington Monument
It was a clear, crisp day

2018 cherry blossom tree
And a beautiful day, as well

Joseph P. Fisher with Meb Keflezighi
Joseph P. Fisher (right) with Meb Keflezighi

Feel free to view more photos from Sunday's race on the Coach Kiprunning Facebook page.

Also, smile.  It's finally getting warm, DC!

Monday, April 9, 2018

2018 Cherry Blossom Ten Miler Photos

We had a great time at yesterday's Cherry Blossom Ten Miler.  The race, as always, was beautiful.  The weather, though a little cold, was still well above average, and the clear skies made for a gorgeous run through Washington, DC's famous Cherry Blossom trees in peak bloom.

cherry blossom trees on the Potomac River

cherry blossom trees on the tidal basin

cherry blossom trees at the MLK Memorial

We have compiled a large photo album on the Coach Kiprunning Facebook page. We encourage you to view more photos there--and, of course, to tag yourself!

Monday, April 2, 2018

Kiprunning Sports Club in the 2018 Cherry Blossom Ten Miler

The Kiprunning Sports Club will be participating in this year's Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run on Sunday, April 8 in downtown Washington, DC.  We look forward to running with you on what we hope is a great spring day.

Cherry Blossom Trees

Follow us on Facebook for full Coach Kiprunning news updates, event feeds, and various other Kiprunning happenings.

Saturday, March 31, 2018

Test Driving the New Theme


Look at our new theme!  It's new!

Everything is where it was, but just about everything is a different color.  We like it.  We hope you like it!

Right now, we're just testing things out, because--guess what!--the backend HTML changes whenever the theme is changed, which leads to wonderful surprises!

This post is meant mostly to ensure that we have addressed all of those surprises so that they will disappear for good.

In the meantime, get out there.  Run!  It's a beautiful day.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Race Results: Rock 'N' Roll and Scope It Out

Wilson Komen is making his return to competitive racing as a masters runner.

He recently won his division at the 2018 DC Rock 'N' Roll Half Marathon with a 27th overall finish and a time of 1:16:21.

This past weekend, Coach Komen finished in second place at the 2018 Scope It Out 5K with a time of 17:35.

Wilson is currently preparing for the 2018 Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run.

Friday, March 9, 2018

Kiprunning Sports Club Long Run Cancelled Saturday, March 10, 2018

The Kiprunning Sports Club will not be meeting for its regularly scheduled long run this Saturday morning because we will be participating in the Washington, DC Rock 'N' Roll Half Marathon.

We are looking forward to a great race--for us and for everyone involved.  We're looking forward to running with you.

The Sports Club will reconvene its regular long run schedule on next Saturday, March 17.

Run Steady,

Coach Wilson

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Required Running Reading: Sir Roger Bannister's 3:59.4 Mile Finish and Photo

Writing for Deadspin, David Davis has posted an excellent article that details the historical context of Sir Roger Bannister's 3:59.4 mile finish and the photograph that immortalized his achievement.

You should definitely read the whole thing.

Thursday, March 1, 2018

It's Thursday. Have a Run and a Beer and a Smile

It's Thursday, and I'm thinking about beer, as you should be!

A few days ago, I was doing the rounds on, when I stumbled across the most important article ever.  "6 Best Post-Race Beers," the title informs us.  Truly, this is a must-read for every human being.

Joseph P. Fisher drinking a beer at the Run Disney race series
The author, in beer-drinking stance, while his wife runs a race
I suppose one big caveat is in order: please note who is writing this post.  It is not Wilson Komen, an elite athlete who sports a 2:17:07 personal best in the marathon distance.  I do not remember his post about his diet mentioning anything about beer.  No, your author is Joseph P. Fisher, an average man who runs a lot and enjoys drinking beer. 

Choose your mentor wisely.

Also, like with our GU flavor survey, we invite post-run/race beer-drinking selections from all of you.  Drop your choices in the comments here or on our Facebook page.  If nothing else, ongoing discussions about this very important philosophical question will result in a list of beer options.

Everyone wins!

Friday, February 23, 2018

Run Comfortably, Right Where You Are

The spring racing season has historically been difficult for me.  In January and February, my teaching schedule dramatically increases, and it occupies large chunks of time on most weekends and on many nights, after the conclusion of my day job.

On top of that, the weather is erratic, and if there is one old-man allowance that I have granted myself now that I am (shudder!) 40, it is complaining about, and actively avoiding, outdoor exercise in the cold.  I spent my teenage years outside of Worcester, Massachusetts, where I attended a high school that had an indoor track team, but no indoor track.  Therefore, all of our winter workouts were outside in the spine rattling cold New England winter.  Washington, DC is admittedly much more mild than New England, but still, I spent my high school years--and the bulk of the many years between then and now--shivering in the early morning and late night dim grim cold, and I don't feel the need to do it anymore.

To the treadmill!

Which is only so helpful.

Those two complexities--my worklife and my growing aversion to cold weather--have started to sap my winter training of the strength and consistency that it had in the past.  For the past few years, I have roughly scheduled my training cycles to conclude in late November or early December so that I have a little flexible time around the holidays.  However, once the holidays end, I seem to have experienced increasing difficulty getting started again when I am surrounded by stacks of papers that need grading.

On a more contemporary note, this January found me launching the Kiprunning Route Report, which was a labor of love that stretched back a few years that you should totally check out, share and bookmark.  Bringing that project to completion took some sacrifices, and it lead to the inevitable Bizarre Things that Happen to Websites Sometimes for No Reason at All, which always, of course, require additional time to fix.

Therefore, it was with a great sense of joy that I arose yesterday morning to run two humble miles before work.  As I began my jog, I felt the usual sense of regret that I have in times when I haven't been able to keep up with my training: if only I were in the shape that I were in last month, or last year, or two years ago, or whenever.  These feelings are natural for all of us, I think, and there really isn't any reason to feel additionally guilty for thinking these thoughts.

This time, however, I took a different approach to this particular sentiment.  As I was completing my short jog, and light was dawning on an overcast DC day, I said, out loud: "Be happy that you ran today.  This was the best that you can do right now."

Anyone who knows me at all will not believe this story.  This is not--nor has it ever been--the kind of thing that I would say.  I am generally not a competitive person except when I am running, which is one of the reasons that I dislike it so much when my training gets spotty: right now, I always feel, there is someone else out there who has trained better and harder and more consistently than me.  The only context in which I tend to think these things is in running, likely because I have spent so much of my life on competitive teams of various kinds.

That reasoning, though, is ultimately unhelpful and can probably be damaging in certain respects.  There will always be someone out there who is better, fitter, and faster than me.  This is why I have a perfect record of never being in a single US Olympic race or Olympic Trial race or anything else that happens on television.  All that I can ask of myself on a daily basis is to complete the best kind of workout that I can on that particular day.

That's all you should ask of yourselves, too.

If this somewhat more measured and relaxed outlook is a byproduct of aging, then I'll take it.  It's a better mindset then being absolutely convinced that hammering just one more 400 repeat is the key to fitness.  Those days should also be in the past, where they belong.

Tomorrow, I'm scheduled to run four miles.  I'm thinking they are going to be good ones.

I hope you log some good miles tomorrow--and today!--as well.

Monday, February 19, 2018

GU Flavors, Ranked

The winter is a hard time of year for me.  In addition to the challenges imposed by the erratic winter weather, my teaching schedule gets exceedingly busy, which when combined with my day job, makes it very difficult for me to do things like blog, let alone complete tempo workouts.

It is for these reasons that I am coming to you about three weeks late with a great Runner's World article that ranks 27 GU flavors.  You should read the whole thing, as they say in the Blogosphere!

It should be no surprise that Tastefully Nude comes in last.  It should also be no surprise that those of us who prefer to get our pre-run caffeine from coffee (or tea) will likely think that far too many of these options have caffeine in them.

Finally, it should be no surprise to anyone who has ever run more than ten consecutive miles with me that I think this entire list is wrong because it does not contain the best gone-too-soon GU flavor: Root Beer.

My younger brother was always partial to the Big Apple flavor, which also seems to have disappeared.  But since that flavor was gross, he was wrong, too ;-)

Read the article, and share your disagreements with us down in the comments or on our Facebook page.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Kiprunning Sports Club Saturday Long Run

This is just a reminder that the Kiprunning Sports Club meets for its weekly long run on Saturdays at Georgetown Running Company, which is located at 3401 M St. NW, Washington, DC 20007.

We begin our workout at 7:00 am.

Please contact me if you have questions about joining the Sports Club.

Run Steady,

Coach Komen

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Breezy Windy Running Post

This morning's workout did not go as I had planned, and it was a little demoralizing.  As I've written before, the past two years have found me devoting a lot of time to work-related and other assorted extracurricular projects.  As a result, my training has been a little wobbly--or if nothing else, has not contained as much speedwork as it usually does.

And that brings us to this morning's tempo run, which was well within a range that should have been very comfortable for me.  The problem was that it wasn't very comfortable, which surprised me.  Most of that discomfort is likely due to the process of getting back into shape, which is fine.

However, I also very earnestly want to believe that part of that discomfort was due to a modest headwind that blasted me straight on for the last 2.5 miles of the tempo workout.  When I turned into the wind, I sighed (out loud, to myself), and I adapted, ensuring that I was still maintaining a good pace while not pushing things too hard right at the start, because I had over two miles to go.

By the end, however, I was dead tired, and I was stunned, because it really didn't seem to be that windy.  Also, my overall pace was comparably slow for reasons that did not make sense to me.

So, to Google I went, and it was there that I found this informative article from Runners Connect about the effects of headwinds.

For whatever it might be worth, the calculations that John Davis offers seem to make sense for this one particular workout that bugged me enough to write this post.  If I had shaved about 12 seconds off of my pace per mile, I would have been right in my prescribed range.  For now, this is solace enough.

Give the whole thing a read, and always remember to use the last workout--however it goes--as fuel for the next one.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Reminder: The Kiprunning Sports Club Is Accepting New Members

The Kiprunning Sports Club, coached by Wilson Komen, is currently accepting new members.  If you are a competitive-level, or an elite, runner who trains in the Washington, DC area, contact Coach Wilson to inquire about joining us.

three male members of the Kiprunning Sports Club
Wilson Komen (right) with two members of the Kiprunning Sports Club
The club meets at Georgetown Running Company at 7:00 am on Saturday mornings for weekly long runs.  These runs are free and are open to prospective members.  However, runners should consult the club's qualifying standards before planning to join these workouts.  Upon completing your initial long run, Coach Wilson will talk with you about your training program and the expectations for club participation.

If you have any questions, please contact us.  We will look forward to running with you.

Monday, January 8, 2018

Announcement: The Kiprunning Route Report Has Launched

We are thrilled to announce the official launch of the Kiprunning Route Report, a guide to a variety of running trails--on and off-road--in Washington, DC, Maryland, and Virginia.

a biker riding north on the Mt. Vernon Trail

This resource is free and is available to anyone who is planning a run in the DC area.  We enjoyed writing the report, and we really hope you find it helpful and informative.  Share it far and wide!

As is inevitably the case with projects like this, we anticipate a variety of adjustments and updates over time, so we do encourage you to bookmark the report's homepage and to check in with it in the future.  The maps that we have embedded into the report represent our best current knowledge of the various routes that we have highlighted.  Please monitor the trails for construction and maintenance closures, and always follow any posted on-site directions or restrictions.

Finally, as the report itself indicates, you should always run with responsible safety in mind.  Bring whatever food and hydration you need on any workout.  Also, always carry some form of identification, and be prepared with some spare taxi money if you need to hail a ride for any reason.

Run smart, run steady, and stay warm!