Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Milage Report for 2016

I was most pleased….and blessed…to have been able to run 1483 miles in 2016, only 10 miles less than I ran in 2015.  I was fortunate to be that consistent between the two years.  That’s an average of 124 miles per month; or 28.5 per week, for the 52 weeks. 

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Putting Your Boston into prospective

You worked your tail off.  You ran 600 miles, missed sleep, deprived your family, napped on the job, missed ballgames and basically did what you had to do to accomplish one of the major life-experiences:  you qualified for The Boston Marathon!  That was more than a year you find yourself in that same familiar, but unpleasant situation again, and you are more stressed than ever. The reason?  Because you have made up your mind that you MUST DO WELL IN BOSTON....and by golly, you are going to do whatever it takes to accomplish that.....

Let me make a case for little different thought pattern.

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Does Listing a Marathon on Your Resume' Help with Job Search?

I got a text today from a friend and former running student living in another state, saying she had just gotten a job in the corporate headquarters of a multinational corporation.  She casually said that "they chose my resume because of the marathon running".  I pressed her for more details and this is what she said...  "I was chosen out of dozens of resumes.  They told me that marathon runners are generally very hard workers who also imagine long term goals and work well independently."

Certainly this is true.  We can't decide today that we want to run a marathon tomorrow.  We must plan and train for months in order to achieve that goal.  While we can have a training partner, the partner can't run for us....we have to do the running ourselves.  We must do our homework ....our order to achieve our goal.

It all makes sense....marathon runners....despite the time required to train....make good employees.

Thursday, December 31, 2015


I was blessed to be able to run 1493 miles in 2015.  That's 23 miles more than in '14...., totally coincidental, but I'm pleased it was so consistent.  . That’s an average of 124 miles per month; or 28.7 per week, for the 52 weeks. 

The 1493 miles in 2015 gives me 51,138 miles since 1977, an average of 1340 miles per year for the 38 full years (not counting the 185 miles in ’77). My 2015 total was just above my average for those 38 years. My least mileage through those years was in 1998 (927 miles) and the most was 2004 miles I did in 2004.  Although my race times have gone south, I'm very pleased that my mileage has remained consistent over 38 years.  

I was able to pass the 50,000 lifetime miles last spring, which was rewarding.  I also ran 2 marathons, Boston and one in Europe (Sparkasse....which crossed into Germany, Switzerland and Austria....all in the 26 miles), in which I was able to qualify for Boston '17.  These were marathons number 61 and 62.  

As I have said before.... I may not can run tomorrow, but I can run today; and I’m blessed beyond measure for that.  

Here’s to a great running year in 2016.  

Sunday, November 22, 2015


So, just what do you need to do to get better overall cardiovascular health?  Well, The American Heart Association does have recommendations for you!  It's not hard....and it doesn't take up nearly as much time as recovering from a heart attack!


Thursday, November 12, 2015


There are many wonderful running stories about extreme northeast Mississippi’s Highway 350. Highway 350 runs parallel with, and just a stone’s throw south of, the Tennessee border. Only 15 miles long, the relatively new road connects Corinth and Alcorn County with the fantastic recreation area in neighboring Tishomingo County known as Pickwick Lake.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015


Hey Runner,

It’s REAL close!!!!  I’m proud of you for what you are undertaking.  

With just a few days to go, I want to impress on you the need to take it easy.   That’s just as important as any of your training.  Try to eat well and get plenty of sleep.  You run the marathon on the sleep you get TWO nights before the race, Thursday night, for a Saturday marathon…as it’s quite normal not to sleep well the night before the race. 

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Summer Training - Don Kern, Race Director Grand Rapids Marathon

My friend, Don Kern, writes a newsletter for his Grand Rapids Marathon.  I usually can relate to what he writes.  The part about summer training resonated with me and I thought you might enjoy it.  2 min read.  

Monday, July 27, 2015

DOG DAYS - How to survive the heat


We are deep in the Dog Days of summer..."when the seas boil, wine turns sour, dogs grow mad, and all creatures became languid, causing mankind burning fevers, hysterics, and phrensies....but causing REAL men and women to bolt out the door, confront the heat, run through it and defeat summer!!!"

Thursday, July 9, 2015


A few years ago I was blessed to be able to take a 10 day journey along the Amazon River in Peru. It's an amazing place.  Our guest guides were the Kirkpatrick's from Jackson, MS.  Steven is an award winning outdoor photographer and Marlo is one of my favorite writers.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

SPEED TRAINING - Step Down to Step Up

My buddy, @WoodyHarrell, 2:36 @BostonMarathon finisher back in the day (208th place in 1975) suggested an interval workout to help me break out of the speed 'funk' I seem to be under.  This speed workout has been around for a long time, but was new to me.  I named it "Step Down, to Step Up".

Wednesday, May 20, 2015


I gave a presentation a few years ago to a large audience.  I told them what my ideas were related to living a good life.  I labeled it "KOACH'S KOMMANDMENTS and the gist of the message is below.  

I hope it's meaningful to you, regardless of your age.  

Monday, April 6, 2015

Boston Marathon Slide Show

This is a slide show containing more than 100 photos at the Boston Marathon.  It can serve as a guide for you as to what to expect in Boston....especially if this is your first.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

50,000 MILES, Done and Done

Way back in the fall of 1977, my wife and I were blessed to take a trip with a large group of business people.  One of the training leaders for the group and I became friends.  I was especially interested in his stories since he had recently done an unusual but strange thing: He had just run a MARATHON. For a long week, I got a pretty good dose of excitement just hearing about him doing something so bold, and unusual, something virtually unheard of in the Deep South in the '70s. So....despite no previous running experience for me, I decided I would check it out.

Monday, March 16, 2015

OPEN WATER SWIM - For an old skinny runner? You gotta be kiddin'!

YES, I've done an open water swim.  Let me tell you about it:

In an attempt to increase the “WOW!” Factor of my Bucket List, I decided I needed to add a swim from Alcatraz.  So, my loyal Bucketlist Buddy, Wordz Bennett, and I set off to accomplish this latest adventure.  

Note at this point my “bucket list” included a dozen Boston Marathons, climbing Kilimanjaro, kayaking with Killer Whales, sky diving, bungee jumping, and, perhaps most dangerous, a Saturday night gig as a street musician in New Orleans’ famed French Quarter. In hindsight, that list was probably already long enough.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Friday, February 27, 2015

RUNNING ADVENTURER DON KERN Marathons on how many continents on how many days?

My friend, "Marathon Don" Kern, Race Director of Grand Rapids (MI) Marathon, is what I would call a "Running Adventurer".  He has done more marathons (230?) and in more exotic places than anyone I know.  His account of his last adventure is worth the 3 minutes it will take for you to read it.  

OK, I've been away for a while. But what an adventure! After finishing up the Groundhog, it was off to Melbourne, Australia, for the start of the Triple 7 Quest. The goal: run in organized marathons on seven continents in seven days. 

Friday, February 20, 2015

KNEE PAIN? - Try These Quick Exercises

Knee hurting?  If so, join the multitude of runners that suffer from knee issues.  I'd suspect knee pain is the number one injury that runners must suffer through....if, in fact, they can work their way through.  Many times we runners focus on trying to solve the pain, rather than trying to fix the problem that's causing the pain.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

TEMPO RUN - Best Tool for Marathon Training

Based on long experience, I believe the best single tool available to us middle-of-the-pack marathoners is the “tempo run.” (Also known as a "marathon pace' or "M" Pace run).  This is a long, fairly intense, even-paced run, done slightly faster than your planned marathon pace per mile. It's a training session where you don't stop or even pause your watch until you complete the total distance. Water breaks, shoe lace tying, or any other rest stops are all done under race conditions.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

“DYING WHILE RUNNING” (And how to avoid it!)

We’ve all seen the alarmist headlines, “Runner dies crossing marathon finish line.”  Runners do die in marathons, …and in 5ks, and playing golf, and at home in their easy chairs, and in bed. Runners die, we all die. What gathers news attention is when a runner dies while exercising. I think much of the hype comes from people who don’t want to run, and don’t want YOU to run, either.

Sunday, January 25, 2015


When runners gather to participate in running events there are certain things they expect from these races.  These normal, minimum requirements make a race “legitimate.” On rare occasions, a road race fails to meet the normal and usual expectations of its participants. A race that doesn’t provide the BASICS runners expect reflects poorly on the community, the sponsors, and the running community of that area. In an effort to protect the integrity of road racing, some of us in the running community have developed the following minimum standards we feel road races should meet in order to gain and maintain the enthusiasm of runners and to reflect favorably on the local running community.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

BOSTON MARATHON - For The First Timer

In my opinion, the Boston Marathon is one of the greatest participatory events in the world! For runners, it is on the same level with the Masters, the Indianapolis 500 and the Final Four….and we get to play in it! The very name is recognized all over the world and being a participant brings one instant credibility. To me, one of the things that makes Boston different is the attitude of the local people. It seems that most all are interested in the race and the people that are running. They even give a special pronunciation to the word: where we say “mara-THON”, they say “MARA-thin” with the accent on the first syllable. Cool!

Sunday, January 18, 2015


So, you want to be healthy, fit, active and happy when you are in your 70s and beyond? Then you better START NOW!

No way you can have all that without taking care of yourself when you are in your 40s, 50s and 60s. You can't start after you have abused your body for decades. Begin now.

Start with weight control. Can you visualize what carrying 20 extra pounds around will do to your knees and back? You must burn as many calories as you consume or weight goes up.

Friday, January 16, 2015

A MARATHON ON YOUR RESUME - Will it make a difference?

"The reason I got picked for the job is because I listed my marathon running on my resume. They actually told me it is proof I am not a quitter.

This was sent to me innocently by a friend and former running student. She just thought I'd be interested her marathons played a part in the hiring decision. I saw it as much more, however, providing a strong statement about our sport.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015


Veteran runners know that with proper preparation, you can run in very cold temperatures. That is, if the weather’s not wet, and if the wind isn't blowing too hard.

Checking wind speed and especially wind direction is a good first order of business.

Thursday, January 8, 2015


An Achilles injury is a tough injury and it is an ornery one to try to "fix." If you run long enough, you are likely to have one, and your frustration level will likely be high. While generally Achilles injuries require time to heal, perhaps some of the ideas below might help you bear this unpleasant injury.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

RUNNING GUILT had a great holiday season, with lots of activities. You were pushed from every direction and there just wasn't time for everything: something had to give. So you didn't run. And, heaven forbid, you didn't really want to run. Not only that, but you sampled all the goodies that came to the house. Several times.

Sunday, January 4, 2015


If you are beginning a search for where you want to run your marathon, there likely are more important things to consider than "my cousin lives there."  Now, running a marathon while visiting your family is great....unless you have specific goals you want to attain in the marathon.  If you are looking for the trip, and the family visit, go for it.  But if you want to run faster, set a PR, or qualify for Boston, you need to pick a course that will allow that.

Friday, January 2, 2015


A good way to monitor how hard you are running is the "talk test." If you can't carry on a conversation while running, you are likely pushing too hard. Of course, this doesn't apply to those speed days on the track when you are hammering it.

Thursday, January 1, 2015


I was blessed to be able to run 1470 miles in 2014. That’s an average of 122.5 miles per month; or 28.25 per week, for the 52 weeks.

The 1470 miles in 2014 gives me 49,645 miles since 1977, an average of 1336 miles per year for the 37 full years (not counting the 185 miles in ’77). My 2014 was just above my average for those 37 years. My least mileage through those years was in 1998 (927 miles) and the most was - get this - 2004 miles; yep, in 2004.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

BOSTON MARATHON - Blessing of the Athletes - Old South Church

Resting directly on the finish line of the Boston Marathon is a wonderful Old South Church. Each Marathon Sunday, the service there includes a "Blessing of the Athletes." It is a very touching service and generally brings a tear to my eye...

Below is one of the responsive readings I “grabbed” from a long ago church service at Old South. Thanks to Minister Nancy Taylor for always making that church service so special.

Friday, December 26, 2014


I feel that, when used correctly, the Elliptical Trainer can be used very effectively in place of running while recovering from injury.  Below are my ideas and suggestions for maximizing your Elliptical experience.  These are only suggestions....use your own judgement as to whether to follow them or not.


           When one has an injury that prohibits normal running, he tries to locate any avenue that will allow him or her to maintain fitness while the injury heals.  One option, that saves pounding on the leg and foot, is the Elliptical Trainer.  So, how does a runner maximize the time spend on an Elliptical Trainer to more closely replicate running?