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Tennessee Running is the only running website in the state that regularly provides articles written by Tennessee runners. The articles you will find here run the gamut, from serious training articles and profiles of elite runners, informative nutrition articles, and injury advice to humorous stories designed purely to entertain. Hopefully we have a wide enough array of articles to keep runners across the state, of all ages and abilities, educated, motivated, and entertained.

Happy reading.

JULY 12 : PILATES & RUNNING: SOUL MATES? by Lucie Bécus | Pilates and Running. Could it be that they are soul mates? At first glance - it would appear not! Runners love competition, challenging, grueling, sweat inducing, heart-pounding workouts. Pilates by nature is none of these. You won’t win the race in Pilates, you won’t get a PR and there are no age group awards. There’s not even a finish line! So if all the things that you love about running are missing in Pilates- why bother? Because Pilates may very well make you a better, more efficient runner and prevent you from a side-lining injury. [more]

DEC 10: RACING YOUR BEST WHEN YOU'RE FEELING YOUR WORST by Matt Pulle | In the middle of a Gigli-style flop of a race, many of us will console ourselves to the point of fantasy, but at some point we eventually realize -- usually well before we stumble dejectedly across the finish line -- that we're running poorly. So poorly, in fact, that barring divine intervention over the next few miles, we're going to fall well short of our expectations. The challenge now is to summon the motivation to give your best effort. This is a story, then, about how to race badly. Or, to put it more instructively, how to race when the race is going badly. [more,]

DEC 10: THE WHITE CARPET by Dave Milner | The Runner's High. It eludes most of us most of the time, it seems. A feeling of euphoric effortlesness that occurs, even for the most highly trained athletes, infrequently, and almost never when we have a number pinned on our chest. Sometimes it comes when least expected, like the day following a disappointing race. My most recent high came this afternoon, on a snowy day during which I had put off my long run as long as daylight would allow. Twenty four hours after a disappointing track workout in which a steady 20mph wind, relentless rain, and an uncooperative Achilles tendon had conspired against me. [more]

JULY 10: TEN TIPS FOR A DISTANCE RELAY: HOW TO GET 'ER DONE WHILE HAVING FUN by Ethan Coffey | Long distance relays are becoming more popular every year. Why? I have no idea. I have never done another event that has kicked my butt (and mind) like the Blue Ridge Relay (BRR). And yet, I have competed in the ultra division of the BRR for the last two years. I’m also on a team for the Hood to Coast Relay (H2C). Am I just a masochist? Maybe. [more,]

NOV 09: MEB'S WIN: ONE FOR THE MELTING POT by Dave Milner | Usually someone has to do something, or in this case write something, that ruffles my feathers substantially for me to pen an article that does not pertain to runners or running in the state of Tennessee. Today, writer, Daren Rovell, published something on his SportsBiz blog that did just that. In fact it really, well, pissed me off. Rovell's latest piece, titled "Marathon's Headline Win Is Empty" essentially belittled the significance of Meb Keflezighi's win yesterday at the New York City Marathon. And that, my friends, is fightin' talk. [more]

AUG 09: LORDS OF THE SIDEWALK by Jeff Edmonds | I run with a guy that calls himself 'The Thunder.' Yesterday was a typical run. We started out easy. For a guy who calls himself The Thunder, T. T. is actually pretty chilled out about his running. He likes to keep the pace easy and conversational. When you run with T. T., it's never a hammerfest. And that's alright because T. T. knows how to keep things interesting.... T. T. is a great guy. Easy-going, funny, self-deprecating. But there's one other thing you should know about T. T. He is Lord of the Sidewalk. [more]

JULY 09: PROGRESSION RUNS: NOT JUST FOR KENYANS ANYMORE by Mick Larrabee | Have you ever been in a race, cruising along with no problem, when all of a sudden the wheels come off and you crawl to the finish line as if someone had just strapped a refrig- erator to your back? Me too! “What happened? Why did this happen to me?” you may ask. There are multiple rea- sons, but you may have actually trained your body to do just that – slow down at the end of a race. Sound crazy? Well, how many of you actually start most of your runs too fast only to slow at, or near, the end? The problem may/may not be mileage, intensity, intestinal fortitude or anything else of the like, but, rather, pacing. [more]

JULY 09: DID NOT FINISH + DID NOT HURL: A STELLAR WEEKEND OF RACING by Tanya Savory | Twenty-four years ago, I never really kept track of mileage, followed training “plans,” or worried about things like, say, a stabbing pain in my ankle that could make my hair stand on end about 30 minutes into a run. I just liked to run a lot and lump all injuries into the Shin Splints Zone, a catch-all container full of “They’ll Get Better If I Keep Running!” ailments. So far, that approach had worked (ah, youth). However, in the fall of 1984 when I decided that it would be okay to run a 15-mile race in spite of the fact that it felt as though my right ankle might snap off at any moment, things didn’t work out so well. It was a beautiful autumn morning, I was wearing my groovy Bonne Bell 10K shirt, and “99 Luftballoons” by Nena was cranking out over the loudspeakers at the starting line. What could possibly go wrong? This was a race in my hometown that I’d run every year since 1979, so I knew the course well. I knew I’d see friends and family along the way and at the finish. The final half mile was downhill. It was going to be delightful. Then, about 8 miles into the race: CRACK! [more]

JUNE 09: AN OPEN LETTER TO THE RUPP-BASHERS by Dave Milner | Aside from Kenyan import Bernard Lagat, Galen Rupp is arguably America’s best hope for a distance running medal at the World Championships, and is definitely the most exciting prospect to emerge from the collegiate ranks for quite some time... Last night, Rupp, still just 23, added his first U.S National title, outkicking Dathan Ritzenhein with consummate ease over the last lap, in front of a raucous Hayward Field crowd. And yet, he still is the target of anonymous verbal assaults on message boards like These are reactions from some of the cowards hiding behind ironic screen names who are somehow bitter because the youngster didn’t lead the race and go hell-bent for the U.S record. [more]

JUNE 09: U.S CHAMPIONSHIPS DISTANCE PREVIEW by Dave Milner | A total of eight Tennessean distance runners will be in action this week at the U.S Junior Championships in Eugene,OR. Cordova's Josh McAdams will compete in the men's 3000m Steeplechase. From Knoxville, former UT runner, Andrew Dawson, will run the men's 800m, and Anthony Famiglietti, another former Vol, will run the men's 5000m. Hazel Clark (the reigning U.S champion) and Treniere Clement will run the women's 800m and 1500m respectively. Recent ETSU grad, Heidi Dahl, who resides Johnson City is also in the women's 1500m, and runs in Clement's preliminary heat. Among current collegians, Signal Mountain's Phoebe Wright (a junior at UT) will also tackle the women's 800m, and Brentwood's Andrew Bumbalough (a junior at Georgetown) will run the men's 5000m. Action involving these eight kicks off tomorrow (Thursday) evening. On the line will be spots on the U.S team for the World Championships in Berlin, Germany in August. [more]

JUNE 09: PLAY by Tanya Savory | A few weeks ago, I ran a 5k race with a 6th-grade girl (”Erin”) as a volunteer with the Girls on the Run program. Like most of her classmates/teammates in the program, Erin was totally uninterested in the foolish concept of running for the sake of running. But if the running was connected to something fun like, say, a game of chasing and screaming or a cupcake at a finish line, she and her teammates were all about it. Once as we were all jogging laps around the dirt field that the girls had to use for their practice track, Erin asked how far a 5k was. When I explained that it was equal to about 15 times around the field, Erin stopped and looked at me. “For real?” she asked suspiciously. “No way.” [more]

APR 09: ANGELS PERFORMING BALLET by David Young | Angels performing ballet. Unbelievable, I thought. This can’t be real. I was lying on my side wrapped around a tree like a koala bear looking straight up into the eye of an F-4 tornado. And the debris at the top of thefunnel looked just like angels gracefully performing ballet. How ironic. Those few seconds in the eye of the tornado may have been the most peaceful seconds of my life. It felt transcendental and sweet. That is, until the back wall of the tornado slammed against me, hurling two-by-fours, trees, and sheet metal at 200 miles per hour. Here I was caught on the trail in the middle of a tornado. [more]

APR 09: FUN CONVERSATIONS WITH NON-RUNNERS by Tanya Savory | A year or so ago, a friend and I were out having 5000 margaritas when we ran into a business client of her's. He was a convivial little fat man dressed in the look-at-how-HUGE-my-stomach-is fashion that is ever-popular in the South.... Anyway, this man - let’s call him “Bob” - chatted pleasantly with Cheryl about stocks, flow charts, unrealized gains, and… Oh, sorry, I just nodded off. After an interminable expanse of time (5 minutes) spent discussing unimportant things like money, the subject somehow shifted to the fact that I had a marathon coming up. Bob said the word “marathon” carefully as though it was a newly discovered subspecies of the common cockroach. He gave me a long, unimpressed look, and then suddenly got a dreamy, faraway expression on his cherubic little face. “I ran a 5K marathon back in the nineties,” he said with great authority. “Oh boy, is there ever a story about that marathon!” [more]

MAR 09: ACHILLES TENDONITIS: WHAT CAN YOU DO? by Mick Larrabee | Even 4,000 years ago the Greeks knew a fair bit about the vulnerability of the structure that connects your foot to your leg. Today runners all over the world still feel the pain and vulnerability of Achilles. In fact, Achilles tendonitis is one of the most common running injuries accounting for about 1 in 10 of all running injuries. If left untreated (or improperly treated) this injury can become debilitating to the point where even walking is painful. Worse yet, you may end up on a table in the O.R. [more]

MAR 09: WISDOM AND EVIL PERSONIFIED by Chuck Young | As marathon season in Nashville looms into view, many of the local runners make their way to Nashville’s running Mecca, Percy Warner Park... At the “Y” recently, I overheard a couple of runners talking about their first jaunt through Percy Warner. The discussion sounded more like the build-up to a marathon than a long weekend run. Indeed, there is something very special about the hills, twists and turns which are appropriately framed by triumphal arches at the end of West Nashville’s Belle Meade Boulevard. It was on this sacred running ground that I was blessed with what I consider to be a peak running experience as I was preparing to run the Country Music Marathon. [more]

JAN 09: CIRCUIT TRAINING 101 by Mick Larrabee | As the off-season is upon most of us, it’s time to look at incorporating a variety of different training methods (often referred to as cross training) to expand your endurance base. Obviously it is important to continue running, but you may also want to spend some time on the bike or in the water, or maybe even look at a triathlon for the summer. Another way to shake things up a bit is to do some type of circuit training. Circuit training is an excellent way to improve mobility, strength, and stamina. [more]

JAN 09: THE JUST FINISH BOOM by Tanya Savory | Originally, this was going to be a rant about Resolution Runners. You know, the ones who trot out and buy $900 dollars’ worth of running gear, sign up for 17 races, buy a gym membership, and then flail away on the treadmill maybe 3 times before concluding that running is downright dangerous and, gosh darn it all, not even half as much fun as eating a McRib sandwich. But then I considered my own pathetic attempts at past resolutions and just how much I’d enjoy having someone point out my personal lack of persistence. It just seemed rude. But, perhaps more importantly, it didn’t seem quite rude enough. It didn’t have the potential to irritate and rankle new runners en masse in the way that a more carefully-chosen topic might. [more]

SEP 07: IS A SUB-2 MARATHON POSSIBLE? by Dave Milner | Ethiopia's Haile Gebrselassie just slashed 29 seconds from Kenyan Paul Tergat's 4-year-old world marathon record. Gebrselassie, whom we may now impute (click here to argue) is the greatest distance runner in history, clocked 2 hours 4 minutes and 26 seconds. That's about 4:45 and change per mile, or around 71 seconds per 400 meters. Amazing. Every time the marathon world record is lowered, which is not a common occurrence (11 times in the last 40 years), speculation seems to increase regarding the possibility of a sub-2 hour marathon. Is a sub-2 hour marathon possible? Without performance enhancing drugs, I mean. [more]

MAR 07: EVERYONE POOPS by Dave Milner | Everyone poops. It's just that most people make it to an appropriate receptacle first. Usually, when nature calls while I am running, my digestive system gives some kind of polite 10-minute warning. If that is not heeded quickly, it then sounds a more serious 5-minute warning, perhaps with a warning shot being fired off, before going to DEFCON 3, at which point there had better be a toilet within a quarter-mile, because an explosion is imminent. [more]

MAR 07: BLADE RUNNER by Dave Milner | The other night I saw a preview of the Bionic Woman series that will air on NBC this fall. It caused me to think of my childhood crush on Lindsay Wagner, and then of Sleep Number Beds, and then of Oscar Pistorius. In that order. Oscar who? Oscar Pistorius. He's a South African sprinter that runs the 400 in 46.56 seconds. Pretty fast. Not quite fast enough to qualify him for the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, but not terribly far off the ‘B’ standard of 45.95 seconds (the ‘A’ standard is 45.55). And his recent clocking would make him a candidate for the Olympic 4x400-meter relay should South Africa qualify. Why is this a big deal? Because Pistorius is a below-the-knee double amputee. [more]

JAN 07: iPLOD: MY ULTIMATE MARATHON PLAYLIST by Mike Sicard | You can run a marathon with no training as long as you have the right music! Science fact or fiction? Oh, I so hope fact. I recently toed the line to complete my 60th marathon. I'd completed the 50 states and DC a while back, and when I achieved that goal I'll admit I lost a bit of motivation and fitness. If I was to get through #60, I needed a lift. So, I drew on my past experiences and constructed the ultimate marathon playlist. My plan? Music-induced adrenaline would carry me through the day. [more]

JAN 07: KISS KISS, RUN RUN by Dallas Smith | The ramp curved off the four-lane in the west Tennessee countryside. Not much around—a truck stop on one side, a motel on the other. I pulled up to the motel. As near as I could tell, it was as handy as any other place to spend the night before the 5-mile park race know as the Race on the Trace, at Natchez Trace State Park. Then I saw a large dark building sitting next to the motel that advertised topless dancers and catfish platters. Catfish? Topless dancers excite a craving for catfish? Looked like the place had closed though; maybe the combination of sex and fish didn’t work out. Something about the ambiance, I guess. I noticed the party girls had moved a couple hundred yards further down the road, to another establishment that was lit up, one that didn’t traffic in catfish. [more]

NOV 06: CATCHING UP WITH JIM SPIVEY: LEGENDARY MILER LEAVES MARK ON TENNESSEE by Dave Milner | I am riding shotgun in Jim Spivey's car, a white Volkswagen Passat in whose back window one of this three sons has fingered the message "Clean Me." The rear seat is chock-full of Asics uniforms bound for local high school cross-country runners. Attached to the rear view mirror is a stopwatch. Spivey uses it to take splits. Not his running splits, or anyone else's for that matter. He uses it to note his driving splits. This is a man who is, by all accounts, obsessed with times, positions, and statistics; a man so meticuluous in nature that he is rumored to time himself mowing the lawn. Ask him how long it takes to drive from, say, Nashville to Chattanooga, and, rather than give you a guesstimate, Jim will give you his PR to the minute, and if you exhibit enough interest, you might get his intermediate splits at the Murfreesboro and Monteagle exits too! [more]

NOV 06: FINDING YOUR ZONE by Guy Avery | Anyone can improve their current marathon performances and times - regardless of age or ability - and have fun doing it. Unfortunately, all too often, runners train very hard for long periods for marathons only to experience frustrating results. This does not have to be the case - especially when all it takes is a little knowledge and some wise coaching guidance about some basic training and racing principles. Training can be stimulating, manageable and fun, while still producing gradual and sustainable progress. You just need to do it correctly.... The first step is to find your own ideal marathon training and racing "zone" for any given marathon training period. [more]

NOV 06: SHIN SPLINTS 101 by Dave Milner | Shin and calf pain is extremely common in runners and can be quite a challenge to treat. Such injuries can often plague a runner for several months and cause a great deal of frustration as they can be slow to heal. It is advisable to seek expert help early so a correct diagnosis can be made and treatment can start, but what follows below is intended to help you avoid injury or, at least, have you more informed as you tackle the problem. [more]

SEPT 06: WHY YASSO 800s ARE OVERRATED by Dave Milner | Distance running, on the surface, seems like a simple sport. One puts one foot in front of the other in quick succession for a specific, often pre-determined, distance, and one usually does this, when a piece of waxed, waterproof paper with a number on it is pinned to our chest, as fast as we possibly can. With some training under our belt, we can usually predict how long it will take to cover those pre-determined distances. Run a 5K, and you can probably get a fairly good handle on how long it might take you to cover 10K. Run a 10K and you can probably figure out how long it will take to cover 10 miles. [more]

SEPT 06: CAFFEINE: FRIEND OR FOE by Dave Milner | Cheating sprinters are a dime a dozen, it seems, but high profile distance runnersrarely test positive for banned performance-enhancing substances. I remember Elana Mayer, the South Africa-born women's world record holder for the half-marathon - before Paula Radcliffe came along, that is - tested positive a few years back. The substance? Not steroids, EPO, or growth hormones, but caffeine. So as I sit here in Bongo Java coffeehouse in Nashville, slugging back my fourth coffee of the day, and contemplating the track workout that is just a few hours away, I pose the rhetorical question: Am I gaining an unfair advantage on my training partners? I certainly hope so! [more]

SEPT 06: STRIKE A POSE by Mick Larrabee, PT | Runners are definitely a different breed, in many ways, but one thing I cannot understand is why most runners think that their performance will improve simply by running longer and/or harder.  This is just not the case - especially if the running technique is laden with inherent faults.  With poor technique, increasing repetitions does nothing more than reinforce bad movement patterns setting yourself up for compensation and eventual tissue overload and guess what - INJURY!  In most sports, enthusiasts expect to devote months and even years to working on movement technique; whereas most runners feel they were born with a natural pattern and that they are stuck with that pattern forever.  It is my humble opinion that improving technique may allow you to improve running performance more than any other factor. [more]

MAR 06: FROM CIGARETTE DELIVERY BOY TO RUNNING ADDICT by Dave Milner | Like most things in life that come to consume you, define you even, it started with a challenge. "I'll time you," he'd say. My dad would thrust a couple of pound notes in my hand and sent me off to the corner shop to get him a packet of twenty Benson & Hedges. They came in gold packets and looked fancy. Sometimes, depending on his mood, or level of nicotine withdrawal, I would get to keep the change, but he would always offer to time me. [more]

JAN 06: RUNNING AIN'T EASY: DON'T MAKE THINGS HARDER THAN THEY HAVE TO BE by Dave Milner | I freely admit that I'm a fan of humorous bumper stickers and slogan t-shirts. If my wife would still allow herself to be seen in public with me, I wuld wear slogan t-shirts almost every day. Anything to give folks a laugh, or at least make them stop and think for a while. I once saw a t-shirt that read 'If running was easy, it would be your mom.' It's the kind of tenth grade humor that has, as a by-product of coaching high schoolers, grown on me! Whilst I don't know your mom, and I'm sure she is (or was) a fine upstanding woman with sound morals, I can say, with some authority and assuredness, that running is not easy. [more]

JAN 06: LONG RUNS: HOW TO DO THEM THE RIGHT WAY by Guy Avery | The long run has been a staple of American distance running since Bill Bowerman first brought the concept back from his conversations with legendary New Zealand distance coach and pioneer, Arthur Lydiard. Although popularized by popular running author, Joe Henderson in his early books, the "long run" remains an oft-confused concept by many coaches and runners. When performed properly, regular long distance runs will pay huge dividends in your training progress and racing performance. The physiologcal benefits of a consistemt period of weekly or bi-weekly (every other week) long, easy run are significant indeed. When runners (and their coaches) are reminded or made aware of the considerable benefits acquired from longer, aerobic endurance runs, they are apt to re-consider exactly how to perform them for optimal short- and long-term benefits. [more]

JAN 06: HIP, HIP, HOORAY! AMY IS BACK by Dave Milner | On New Year's Day of 2006, 48-year-old Amy Barrow was the first woman home at the Resolution Run 5K in Nashville, beating accomplished runners half her age. The Nashvillian clocked 19 minutes and 40 seconds over a tough course that incorporates two bridges over the Cumberland River. Not too shabby, huh? A great way to start the New Year. But it is not that speedy little trip around downtown Music City that is remarkable, but, rather, the four-year-long emotional odyssey that led to the starting line. [more]

MAY 05: WHAT WOULD PRE DO? by Dave Milner | Exactly thirty years ago today, our sport lost one of it's most promising runners. OnMay 30th, 1975 Steve Prefontaine's died, crushed under the weight of hisoverturned MGB convertible on Skyline Drive in the hills above Eugene, Oregon. Pre, as he was known to all his fans and track lovers, had run his last race, drawn his last breath. To this day, young high school and college runners make pilgrimages to the spot where Pre died, slipping race numbers between rocks, leaving flowers, even their track spikes as a mark of respect. [more]

JULY 04: TRAIL BOSS by Dave Milner | If you've ever found yourself cursing the hills while running the challenging 11.2-mile loop in Nashville's Percy Warner Park, consider running the loop eight times, with the hills dramatically increased in size, all in the same day. Oh, and you'll be starting out at an elevation of over 6,000 feet. Daytime temperatures will climb into the high 90s, and a third of the time you'll be running in pitch-black darkness. The Western States Endurance Run is one of the oldest ultra-trail events in the world and certainly one of the most challenging. Last month, Nashville runner and triathlete Tom Holland completed it. [more]

JUNE 04: FLAGS OF CONVENIENCE by Dave Milner | "Like many terms that epitomize shiftiness, -- 'piracy,' 'slush fund', 'broad-sided', and 'any port in a storm' spring to mind -- a 'flag of convenience is' a term that has nautical origins. It may only be a piece of bunting lashed to an ensign staff, but the flag which a vessel flies has always been judged as important. Ships, just like individuals, are required by international law to have a nationality, and to have their port of registration inscribed upon the stern. But ship-owners have, for many years, flown flags which happened, for certain reasons - mostly financial or political, to suit their needs.Now, the adoption of a flag of convenience is an increasing and worrying trend that has spilled over into sports. Into my sport." [more]