TLC from Elevation Fitness

I hope each of you who spent time working with Deborra and Erika from Elevation Fitness got helpful information.  They offered to come back again the week before the half marathon.  This time they will present a 30 minute Running Form Clinic on Sunday December 7th at 7am.  They will be covering the four elements of good form:



Midfoot Strike


Running a half or full marathon is hard enough.  Don’t make it harder or painful by running incorrectly!

Also, runners wishing to seek further care can contact Elevation Fitness at or 310.657.7878.  The evaluation and pre-race check is free to all members of the team.

Sometimes its good not to run

Very few of us have the perfect runner’s body.  Instead, we may have weak quads or glutes; maybe our hamstrings or IT bands are too tight; perhaps we are carrying more weight than we wish; and if you are female, the fact that your hips are wider puts you at greater risk for injury.  The list can go on.  For most of us, these are minor annoyances in every day life, if we even notice them at all.  However, as we start to increase our mileage during the week and on those Sunday long runs, those small problems can become big ones.   Please pay attention to what your body is telling you.

It’s tempting to think you can push through the pain, and be okay; but that’s rarely true.  When pain is making it difficult to run, you really only have two choices: (1) Keep running until your injury is so bad, you’ll be out for the entire season and won’t be able to do the marathon or (2) Stop running.  Treat the injury now.  Then get back to running.  It’s early enough in the season that you’ll still be able to finish the marathon.

A few people told me today that they had to cut their runs short due to joint pain.  Fortunately, each of them made the right decision this morning. If you feel pain during your run, I hope you too will stop then so you can finish later.  Next weekend, Elevation Fitness will be conducting a runner workshop.   If you have questions about treating your injuries, this is a great opportunity to ask.


It’s all about your internal message

Two Sundays ago I joked about how we weren’t really doing an 8 mile run, but rather two 4 mile runs, with the second one starting with a downhill (thanks Dr. Bill for that helpful observation!).   I said it to get a few laughs, but also to make an important point.  A point not just about the marathon or half marathon, but about how you approach any big goal in your life.  Over the next 3 months, our runs/walks will be getting progressively longer (we taper down during the last month) and your attitude can make a huge difference as to how well you perform.  The way to achieve a big goal is to accomplish a series of smaller ones, to feel good about your accomplishment, and let the positive feeling inspire you to keep going.  Think of the long runs as a series of shorter runs, distances that you know you can comfortably do.  Look forward to the small rewards along the way, and celebrate your successes.

“I made it to the water stop!”

“I made it to the top of the hill!”

“I can do this!”

This Sunday’s route will be 9.5 miles.  You can do it!

One way to feel strong during a long run

It was great to see so many of you show up to the run this morning. I hope you all enjoyed the ocean breeze and crisp air. And, to those of you who made it to the top of Temescal Canyon, you deserve an extra congratulations. That is a far more challenging hill than any of the inclines on the course. With this hill training under your belt plus those that will follow, you’ll feel strong as you tackle the hills on Marathon Day.

Now that we are getting into longer runs, I have two words of advice for you: Eat Breakfast! While many runners can roll out of bed and run 4-6 miles quite well on an empty stomach (assuming they had a decent night sleep and a reasonable dinner the night before), few can go much further and still feel good. That’s why it’s time to make sure you eat a good breakfast, if you aren’t doing so already.

An appropriate breakfast before a long run is comprised of primarily “good carbs”, those foods that digest slowly and provide you with sustained energy during your run, i.e, fresh fruit and whole grains. Examples of a good pre-run breakfast include whole wheat bread, oatmeal, or whole grain muffins, with a piece of fruit. Leftover baked potatoes or brown rice are also good choices. Try to avoid pre-run meals that are high fat / high protein, like steak and eggs. We’re marathon runners, not body builders or Sumo wrestlers. 🙂

As you experiment with different breakfasts, see which foods and portion sizes help you keep going strong. This is the time to really start paying attention to your body and figure out what works best for you.  Your body will thank you.