A Staten Island triathlete and endurance coach ventures into the ultramarathon realm where there are seemingly no limits to human endurance. In 2013, he successfully finished the Grand Slam of Ultrarunning (picture of 2013 Grand Slam finishers above; I'm second from right), becoming only the 282nd person (since its beginnings in 1986) and only the fourth New Yorker to finish four of the oldest and most prestigious 100 mile ultramarathons in the U.S. in only 10 weeks.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Random Thoughts - Weather, Running in Kilts, and Stretching

March 25...

Hmmm, it says Spring on my calendar, we've set the clocks forward to Daylight Savings Time, and some of us have brought the lighter clothes out anticipating the warmer weather.

Mother Nature has other ideas.

We are looking at a snowstorm this evening. We did dodge a bullet here, as this storm is supposed to hit Boston and New England with a lot of force and accumulating snow. We'll get by with hopefully just an inch or two.

That looks, um, bad.

We did get a couple of nice days up until this point, and I did venture outside with my bike a lot of times this season, but this is the time when we can get out from all of these layers, basically put on a shirt and shorts, and go outside without freezing to death.

The weather predictions did say it will be in the 60s this weekend, so maybe this is just winter's last gasp.

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I'm not sure if I'm going to be comfortable running in a kilt.

I participated in the Kilt Race down in Manasquan, NJ. The folks here registered 2800 people with kilts and is applying for World Record status with the folks at Guinness. 


I went "commando"...and fortunately had no "accidents" with my kilt. If you don't know what "commando" is, use your mind...you'll get the picture. :-)

If you don't have a mind, or if you're just too lazy to think, here is the definition.

The potential for having an "accident" was there, so I made sure the kilt was down in all directions while I ran.  I finished the run around 14:30, which is about a 7:15 min/mile pace.

It was a great experience with the group from the Raritan Valley Road Runners doing this novelty race. If they have it again (I think they said there is one in the fall?), I might do it again, since I am now the (proud?) owner of a kilt.

But don't expect me to race like this all the time now. I'm better to have the "support" down there while running races. 

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Stretching, stretching. I was asked about stretching recently and what my opinion was on it...

 Um, no.

I don't really have a strong opinion either way on stretching, but I tend to believe it to be a bit overrated. I know some people religiously do it before or after a running, cycling, or swimming routine, but there are many people, me included, who do just as well without stretching. There are also some studies that are emerging that static stretching actually causes or exacerbates injuries, like this one here.

Running, cycling, and swimming doesn't rely on extreme range of motion. If I was a hockey goaltender, I would definitely need to stretch big time. But I'm not, so I don't need it.

He needs to stretch regularly, because his job demands it. Fortunately for us runners and triathletes, we don't need to increase our range of motion much to do well in our respective sports.


I'm a big fan of warming up the muscles...that does not include much of stretching. There are running drills that you can do before or after a workout that do better than stretching, in my opinion. It does help you keep your muscles supple, without all the extreme range of motion issues of static stretching. Here is a link to some of the drills. These will warm up the muscles perfectly, and will give you the necessary range of motion without going too far with it. That's all we really ever need for our sport anyway.

 That's about it here. Shovels out one last time, and then we should be in the clear of winter! I'm looking forward to it. :-)



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