Routes and Photos
Registration for St. Michael's Running Festival



19 Sept
Women's Wellness 5k
Millersville, MD

20 Sept
KTS Memorial 5k
Kent Island

26 Sept
Glen Burnie Improvement Assoc 5k
Glen Burnie, MD

26 Sept
Lanyard, MD

26 Sept
Millersville , MD

27 Sept
Quiet Waters

3 Oct
Millerville, MD

3 Oct
Crofton, MD

You may be surprised to read that there are many benefits to a having a long run so brutally hard that it makes you question your sanity for signing up for the marathon to begin with. Here are three that come to mind:
  • Opportunity for Growth.
We can learn much more from the runs that humble us than the ones that go so well we hardly take notice. Bad runs inspire us to evaluate what went wrong. How many long runs have you had this season after which you sat back and thought about what went right? A brutally hard long run is an opportunity to refine your training process to avoid making any mistakes that might have led you to the tough run last weekend. Many times, when you reflect on all the variables, you can isolate a few things that may have caused a less-than-pleasant long training run. Some possibilities include: lack of sleep, stress, poor nutrition quality or quantity, weather, pacing, training too hard earlier in the week, travel, different terrain, not enough recovery in your training season, slacking on training, illness, and vacation. Evaluate, track, and modify as you go. A training plan is never set in stone and is always a work in progress.
  • Keeps you from dancing on the tables. If running a marathon were easy, everyone would do it, and the value of the bragging rights you're earning would decline dramatically at the office. Seriously, though, I always say it ain't a half or full marathon training season until you've had a long run that knocks you off your socks and demands your attention. The tough runs keep you focused on your goal and they're a great reminder of the challenge ahead.
Mind over matter.
That which does not kill us, makes us stronger. - Nietzsche When you run a long distance race, you ebb and flow through a lifetime of emotions. The strong training runs prepare you for the highs, but it is the not-so-strong runs that inevitably simulate and prepare you to run through the lows. Running through it builds a solid foundation of mental strength that prepares you to tackle the greatest of challenges come race day. Bad runs can also be teaching moments in knowing your limits and learning when to call it quits by cutting your run short. Sometimes you gain more from a shorter version of the long run than if you went the whole way. If you listen, these not-so-pleasant long runs will be a guiding force in your training telling you when to push through and when to stop and call it a day. It may not feel like it now, but the run(s) that bring you to your knees are an important piece of the journey to the finish line..

  Fatigue is voluntary.
  You are an 'experiment of one' 
Perhaps because it seems intuitively true, the notion persists that running, especially when done long-term and over long distances, is bad for the joints. Indeed, it would be hard to think otherwise when with each foot strike, a runner's knee withstands a force equal to eight times his or her body weight - for a 150-lb. person, that's about 1,200 lb. of impact, step after step.
The common wisdom is that regular running or vigorous sport-playing during a person's youth subjects the joints to so much wear and tear that it increases his or her risk of developing osteoarthritis later in life. Research has suggested that may be at least partly true: in a study of about 5,000 women published in 1999, researchers found that women who actively participated in heavy physical sports in their teenage years or weight-bearing activities in middle age had a higher than average risk of developing osteoarthritis of the hip by age 50.

But over the past few years, an emerging body of research has begun to show the opposite, especially when it comes to running. Not only is there no connection between running and arthritis, the new studies say, but running - and perhaps regular vigorous exercise generally - may even help protect people from joint problems later on.
In a well-known long-term study conducted at Stanford University, researchers tracked nearly 1,000 runners (active members of a running club) and nonrunners (healthy adults who didn't have an intensive exercise regimen) for 21 years. None of the participants had arthritis when the study began, but many of them developed the condition over the next two decades. When the Stanford team tabulated the data, published in the Archives of Internal Medicine in 2008, it found that the runners' knees were no more or less healthy than the nonrunners' knees. And It didn't seem to matter how much the runners ran. "We have runners who average 200 miles a year and others who average 2,000 miles a year. Their joints are the same," says James Fries, a professor emeritus of medicine at Stanford and the leader of the research group. The study also found that runners experienced less physical disability and had a 39% lower mortality rate than the nonrunners.
In 2007 a nine-year study of 1,279 elderly residents of Framingham, Mass., resulted in similar findings: that the most active people had the same risk of arthritis as the least active. About 9% of the participants overall developed arthritis over the course of the study, as measured by symptoms reported to their physicians (pain and difficulty walking) as well as X-ray scans. And in the same year, Australian researchers writing in the journal Arthritis and Rheumatism found that people who exercised vigorously had thicker and healthier knee cartilage than their sedentary peers. That suggests the exercisers may have also enjoyed a lower risk of osteoarthritis, which is caused by breakdown and loss of cartilage.

Together, the findings lend support to the theory that osteoarthritis, which affects nearly 20 million Americans, is caused mainly by genes and risk factors like obesity (obese men and women are at least four times as likely to become arthritic as their thinner peers), rather than daily exercise or wear and tear of joints. In fact, a "normally functioning joint can withstand and actually flourish under a lot of wear," says Fries. Because cartilage - the soft connective tissue that surrounds the bones in joints - does not have arteries that deliver blood, it relies on the pumping action generated by movement to get its regular dose of oxygen and nutrients. "When you bear weight, [the joint] squishes out fluid, and when you release weight, it sucks in fluid," says Fries, explaining why a daily run or any other workout is useful for maintaining healthy cartilage.
That's not to say that there are no risks in running. It can sometimes cause soft-tissue injuries and stress fractures, also called hairline fractures, which result from the compounding of tiny cracks in the bone over time. It's not uncommon for such tiny cracks to appear in the bones that bear the heaviest loads, like the tibia (shinbone), but they usually heal quickly and go unnoticed. Stress fractures occur when bone damage happens suddenly, without enough time to heal. For instance, high school athletes who stop training all summer and then abruptly start attending practice every day have a much higher risk of stress fractures in their shinbones than their friends who practiced regularly over the break.
The good news is that there are ways to help reduce the risk of stress fracture. One method may be to simply strengthen the muscle attached to the bone. In a study published in the December issue of Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, researchers at the University of Minnesota found that among competitive female runners, those with larger calf muscles were less likely than runners with small calf muscles to suffer stress fractures in their shinbones. Why? The stronger the muscle, the greater the force it exerts on the bone; a contracting muscle exerts a bending force on the bone, like a string bending a bow - an interaction that over time makes the bone stronger.
So simple calf-muscle exercises, like rising up on your toes about a dozen times a day, may be sufficient to increase strength in the shinbone, says study author Kristy Popp, who recently completed her Ph.D. in exercise physiology at the University of Minnesota. She suggests adding calf workouts to your regular exercise routine but cautions that increasing muscle and bone strength is a gradual process and that having strong calves is no cure-all. But "if it can help prevent stress fractures, it's worth a try," says Popp.
In a second study in the same journal, researchers at Iowa State University used computer modeling to figure out how the length of a runner's stride might change the force applied to his or her bones and thereby affect the risk of stress fractures. Researchers recruited 10 male participants, each of whom typically ran about three miles per day, and calculated their risk of experiencing a stress fracture - about 9% over 100 days. By observing the participants running at varying stride lengths and recording the amount of force their foot strikes exerted on the ground, researchers were able to estimate the force each runner applied to his shinbone. According to the computer model, if the runners reduced their natural strides about 10%, they could reduce their risk of fracture by a third.
The reason is less air time, researchers say - the less time a runner's feet spend airborne, the less force they strike the ground with. Still, the results of a mathematical model are difficult to re-create in real life, especially since it takes a fair amount of practice to adjust to a shortened stride. Runners who abbreviate their stride try instinctively to quicken their pace to compensate. That can negate any protective effect of stride shortening - when you speed up, the force on the bone increases proportionately.
Study author Brent Edwards, now at the University of Illinois in Chicago, says he "would never recommend stride reduction to a competitive runner," but he suggests the technique for people with a history of stress fractures, like former athletes. The biggest risk factor for stress fractures, he notes, is simply having had such a fracture in the past. But the best advice for runners wishing to reduce injuries is to keep running; that is, run consistently and avoid long periods of inactivity. That may be especially hard during the snowy winter months, but runners should try to get in a daily workout - hitting the treadmill, running up and down stairs or even shoveling the driveway should do the job. Just don't sit around all winter and then start running three-milers in the spring. It's that sudden activity that increases the risk of injury.


Tom Nelson has constructed a site to show our routes and water stop locations for the long run coming up each week.  You can indicate your intention to run and see who else is planning on showing up - one more incentive for getting there. Check back to the following website later in the week for the latest info on water support:



Take the challenge - RUN THE BRIDGE!  On November 8th, the 2nd annual Across the Bay 10k will take place.  If you didn't make it last year, you can look forward to a great event that includes crossing the bay bridge on foot and rocking out to live music when you finish!
Every participant gets shuttle transportation, finish line food, a commemorative event tech shirt and finish line medal.

bluepoint cat

SPRING/SUMMER Moore's Marines Long Distance Training
Kent Island Running CLUB
Peninsula Pacers Running CLUB
Anne Arundel County STRIDERS

 Week #194, 19 SEPTEMBER 2015


30 Years of MOORE'S MARINES 

"At first an ordeal and then an accomplishment, your run should become a staple, like bread, or wine... or air.  "
Note: If you have an article, link, tip, race accomplishment or milestone to pass on to the group, please let me know. Use Annapolis Trail Runners Facebook Group to share tips and questions directly with everyone in the group.
THANKS! To Terry Brown for her donation to the port-a-pot.

 We have 7 months of Port A Pot coverage
 Here is another inciteful note from Peter Tango as he prepares for his first marathon at STEAMTOWN.

"Thank you as always Ron. On an awareness note, the adrenals article does seems to match up with a lot of what my body does and doesn't do just like the article explains.  I do plan for some time off for a couple of weeks after the marathon. I have a couple races left in the year after that but none as significant. I believe my body is ready for a break after the what has really been about a year of targeted prep for taking on this marathon. 
Last week I put in my longest effort of the year, 22 miles. It ended a roughly 60 mile week. I started with a couple of 8 min miles, moved into 7 min miles, and for the final mile I finished on the track in 6:00. I felt like I recovered quickly from the effort. Yesterday morning at the crack of dawn I ran 11.5 miles. My first couple of miles are sleepy before mixing in some near-race pace miles (I needed to because I had to get to work J) and it felt very good. This weekend, I am backing off to about 16-17 miles for a long run. Next weekend I'll put in one more 20 miler, then I begin pulling back miles while honing my race pace during taper time. All my long runs I use my nutrition schedule and selections to make sure my body functions well with it. That has been a good experience after some early summer bad experiences. Practice everything before race day J. "
NOTE:  A group of us are going up Saturday morning to do the 15 mile AT portion of the JFK 50 Mile Run later this month. This is a great familiarization run for anyone planning to - ever - run JFK. Let me know if you are interested.

     Tom Nelson has diligently collected GPS maps of the many routes we use from Truman.  Here is a link to his excellent Runningahead routes: 
 Click here for:  

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Even if you're not a huge fan of the stationary bike, here's a good reason to hop on for at least 15 minutes while cross-training. The right kind of high intensity interval training (HIIT) while on a bike can make you faster, according to a new study from researchers in the U.K. 
The researchers recruited 32 long-distance runners, who ran at least 25 miles a week, to undergo a two-week HIIT program on a stationary bike. The runners used a 3K treadmill test to establish a baseline for their running performance, then they split into four separate groups: three groups were trained on a spin bike over the next two weeks in addition to their normal running routine, while the control group just maintained their regurlar running schedule. The authors did not detail the subjects' pre-study training regimen. 
Over six sessions, every participant completed six 10-second intervals at an all-out effort, but each group varied the amount of rest in between intervals-ranging from 30 seconds to 80 seconds to two minutes after each sprint.  
The results show the HIIT sessions, combined with the shortest periods of rest, increased running speed the most. The groups that rested for two minutes or 80 seconds between intervals did not see significant changes in their runing times (there was no change in the control group), but the group that rested for 30 seconds between intervals was able to better its 3K treadmill test by an average of three percent-or about 25 seconds on average.
In the study's text, the authors' attribute this performance improvement to the elevated heart rate of the 30-second rest group. According to the text, the short rest prevented the riders from fully recovering, making each new interval slightly more difficult. The muscles had to adapt faster to the increased load, a benefit that transferred into running performance during the final timed 3K treadmill test. 
"Relatively fast performance gains with a reduced training volume makes it a time efficient method of training," the study said on HIIT training with a stationary bike. The authors recommend using this workout as cross-training to avoid overuse injuries. They also wrote that it can be used as an effective way to maintain fitness while recovering from an existing injury.
Including a warmup and cooldown, the entire HIIT session takes less than 15 minutes. Considering the performance gains discovered by this latest research, that's time well-spent if you're leaving the roads for the saddle a few times a week.  

Registration is NOW open for the 5th Annual St. Michael's Running Festival Half Marathon and 5k!

Registration is NOW open for the 5th Annual St. Michael's Running Festival Half Marathon and 5k! 
The event  provides the regions best opportunity for a new PR while you take in gorgeous waterfront views, the quaint downtown shops and a ridiculously flat course! Don't forget to stay after the run for live music and your complimentary drink. 
CLICK HERE to register


One of the most commonly used surgical procedures aimed at easing the pain of arthritis in the knee works no better than noninvasive therapy or drugs, according to a new study reported this week in theNew England Journal of Medicine. At best, the study's authors say, the short-term relief reported by some surgery patients may simply be a placebo effect, and for millions of arthritis sufferers, surgery does not easy stiffness or pain any better than physical therapy or anti-inflmmatory drugs.
The same message went out to orthopedic surgeons in 2002, when a study of U.S. veterans found that patients who got arthroscopic knee surgery did not fare any better than patients who were given "sham surgery" but led to believe they had undergone a real procedure. That study, conducted by Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), prompted Medicare to drop coverage of the procedure for osteoarthritis patients. But whether it actually impacted the vast numbers of knee surgeries being done in the U.S. is debated: Some experts believe many surgeons now tweak their diagnoses on insurance forms to meet Medicare requirements (the surgery is covered for other conditions, but not osteoarthritis); others disagree. Critics also rejected the VA study findings in part because they said the study's investigators did not define their patient group carefully enough. Not all the veterans had comparable conditions; some, for example, had bow legs.

The new study, conducted by Canadian researchers, reinforces the VA findings. About 20% of the 900,000 arthroscopic knee surgeries performed annually in North America are done as treatment for osteoarthritis, according to the study's co-author Dr. Bob Litchfield, the medical director of the Fowler Kennedy Sport Medicine Clinic at London Health Sciences Center in Ontario, Canada. But he concedes that those numbers are disputed by some of his colleagues who say the VA study did have an impact in reducing surgeries for that condition. The vast majority of all arthroscopic knee surgeries - which involve inserting a miniature scope and camera into the knee through a tiny incision, then flushing away bone chips and smoothing rough cartilage in the joint - take place in the U.S., despite Medicare limitations on reimbursement. (Canadian doctors account for about 10% of the surgeries performed, primarily because of the surgical waiting lists in Canada, which force surgeons to prioritize their procedures by importance.)

The Canadian study, which ran from 1999 to 2007 and included patients of orthopedic surgeons, rheumatologists and physiotherapists, sought to address some of the concerns raised about the 2002 report: The new study includes a better defined, but more diverse and representative, group of patients, and measured success using a carefully calibrated index that assessed patients' pain, stiffness and physical function. A group of 178 men and women from the London, Ontario, area with an average age of 60 were divided into two groups - half received knee surgery and a regimen of physical therapy and medications, as needed; the other half received only the physical therapy and medication.
The two groups were carefully balanced for age, obesity and gender, Litchfield said, and their conditions were narrowly focused on osteoarthritis. In most cases of arthritis of the knee there is some evidence of damage to the miniscus, the cartilage that cushions the knee joint, says Litchfield, but some tears are too small to show up on X-rays or MRIs prior to surgery. The study eliminated all patients with discernible miniscal tears, on the assumption that they would clearly benefit from surgery. (A separate paper published in the same issue of the New England Journal of Medicine found, however, that meniscal tears may have no impact on arthritis pain: Two-thirds of middle-aged and elderly people in the study who had a damaged meniscus reported no pain or stiffness.)
Litchfield's study found that three months after arthroscopic surgery, patients appeared to enjoy no additional benefit compared with the nonsurgical group, suggesting that the operation initially may have had a placebo effect. Both groups experienced some improvement, which Litchfield credits in part to the structured regimen of physical therapy, home exercise and diligent follow up by nurses.

"Those who take some ownership for recovery, rather than just showing up at the surgeon's office and saying, 'Fix me'" have a better outcome, Litchfield says.

The study also suggests that the age of the patient, the cause of the injury and the origin of the pain should be taken into consideration when assessing whether surgery is necessary. The procedure is appropriate in patients with arthritis but only where the osteoarthritis is not the primary cause of pain. Even in those cases, patients whose X-rays already show arthritis have the least to gain, Litchfield says. Younger patients whose X-rays show minimal arthritic changes have the most to gain.
While knee surgery is a very safe operation, there are risks that patients should consider, Litchfield says. In about five percent of cases patients may develop infections or phlebitis. The bottom line, drawing on this study, is that in patients whose X-rays show that arthritis alone is the cause of their pain, arthroscopic surgery "should be used very judiciously," Litchfield says. It remains to be seen whether orthopedic surgeons and patients who want that quick fix will heed the advice.




This Weeks WORKOUTS 


 Tuesdays/Wednesday AHS Track is back on 'track'.


-   START 6:30pm   

 This Tuesday is a AHS TRACK SESSION of 4 x 400 (one lap), 1/2 lap recovery, then 4 x 100 .  KEEP THEM CONSISTENT. 

Be sure to work hard to stay consistent and steady. Always do 1 Mile EASY Cool Down. Steady - Steady - Steady - Relax


During the Warm up do some Knee lifts on one curve and Butt-kicks on the other curve, and jog the straight-aways. THIS is IMPORTANT. 


Saturday Run 

***START AT 7:00am 


UP TEMPO RUN - 10 MILES - 85% Effort. 

Another week that should HURT - but shorter.  It is designed to push your limits without going all out.  It should be faster than your planned marathon pace by (60 sec) .  It will give you some muscle memory for a threshold quicker pace. 

 Remember to Record time, distance, HR, how you felt, humidity, temp for comparison later.


Hope to see you at the track.     



 Stay Healthy;   


   c: 410-570-0003