How to Train for a Marathon (Part III)

When race day comes you don’t have to try to do extra to prepare. Stick to your normal routine.

Race Day Tips

Don’t attempt anything new on race day including no new shirt, shoes, or shorts. Don’t drink four cups of coffee if you always have just one. Your long training runs are when you must fine-tune your gear, clothing, and fueling strategies.

Before the Race

Hydrate well for a number of days going up to your marathon. Drink a huge glass of water before you go to bed the evening before race day. Drink another one in the morning.

Eat a light, high-carbohydrate breakfast a number of hours before the beginning of the race. Bars, bagels, oatmeal, and fruit all are excellent. 

Layer up with Vaseline in any spots vulnerable to chafing. You most likely learned where during training runs.

Get to the starting line beforehand. If need be, go to the port-a-potty at least 40 minutes before the official start time. The lines might be long.

The temperature usually rises over the progression of the race, so don’t overdress. If you’re really chilly at the start, put an oversize trash bag over you to stay warm until the starting gun goes off.

If you decide to run with music, check ahead of time whether earbuds are allowed in the race; not all marathons allow them. Running with headphones can be hazardous if you don’t hear what’s going on around you, especially if you’re not on a closed course. Lastly, there’s something special about hearing the sounds of the crowds and your fellow runners.

During the Race

Begin slowly. It’s easy to get sucked up in race-day hype. But beginning too fast is a huge rookie mistake. There will be lots of miles over which to increase your pace if you’re feeling amazing.

Don’t fly pass every aid station or try to drink something while running full speed. Either practice drinking while running before race day or just stop for a couple of seconds to drink.

Bathroom lines are longest at the first few aid stations. If you can wait for another few miles without discomfort, it might save you time.

If you have a friend coming to cheer you on, plan ahead at which places along the course she or he will meet you. A friend along the way can be a big boost.


How to Train for a Marathon (Part II)

Hydration is important.

Hydrating and Fueling on the Run


Nearly all marathons include water and aid stations along the course. If you decide to bring your own water on race day, buy a hydration pack or belt beforehand and get use to running with it. Don’t try something new on race day.

While training, of course, you will be doing lots of long runs without the advantage of aid stations. Several tried-and-true techniques to think about:

  • With a hydration belt or pack, bring your own water 
  • Do long runs on a short loop course, so you can put water in one spot along the way.
  • Plan your long run route to pass water fountains (but during colder months, be sure that they’re turned on).
  • Stash water bottles along your route the evening or morning before your run.


You’ve most likely heard about the marvel numerous marathoners experience somewhere around the 20-mile mark, referred to as “bonking” or “hitting the wall.”

Your body can only hold a specific amount of glycogen. It’s your key source of energy throughout the marathon. As this level becomes reduced over the course of your marathon, your muscles will start to feel heavy and tire. While no quantity of fuel consumption during the race can completely replace your depleted glycogen, consuming little amounts of carbohydrates can aid in stopping you from hitting the dreaded wall.

Energy chews or gels are simple to carry and the easiest to digest. However, a fan energy bar or a couple of pieces of fruit can do the trick as well. For any race over two hours, try to take in around 60 grams of carbohydrates per hour.

As with everything, be sure to try out several types of fuel on your training runs to find out what your stomach tolerates best, so you can fuel with confidence on race day.


How to Train for a Marathon (Part I)

Start small and work up to the larger marathons.

For numerous runners, the need to do a marathon is all about doing a personal challenge. You may want to test your limits or prove that you are able to go the distance. Maybe a loved one has talked you into it. Perhaps you’d like to be healthier, lose weight, or raise awareness for a charity.

Regardless of your reason, keep it in mind and tell yourself of it frequently during the months that come ahead. When the weather is nasty or when your legs are tired, sustaining your motivation will aid you in getting out the door.

Getting Started

Be conscious of your limits: The 26.2 miles in a marathon put you at a truly higher risk for injury than your everyday neighborhood jogs. Talk with your physician before beginning any training program.

Start early: Conventional wisdom suggests that aspiring marathoners run steady base mileage for at least 12 months before starting on a marathon training program.

One of the most typical causes of injury is increasing weekly mileage too fast, too soon. Therefore, don’t underestimate the significance of unfailingly running at least 25–30 miles a week consistently before pledging to train for a marathon.

Start small: Run a couple of short races like 5Ks, 10Ks, or a half marathon. This is the perfect way to get ready mentally and physically for the first marathon.

Choosing a First Marathon

Marathons range from low-key, quiet races on backcountry roads to spectator-lined city races with millions of runners. To help you get used to the race vibe and find your preference, run a couple of shorter races, volunteer at marathons, or cheer on a friend.

Selecting a marathon close to home might provide home-field advantage with the chance to run on familiar roads; on the other hand, picking a “destination” race can truly stoke your motivation fire in the months going up to race day.

The Legendary UCLA Gymnastic Coach Valerie Kondos Field (“Miss Val”) – Part II


How did this dancer transform herself into one of the most successful gymnastics coaches ever?

I picked up Coach Wooden’s book, “They Call Me Coach”, and it didn’t seem like all this other coach talk I’d heard. It was complete with plenty of tough love, but honest love. Discipline and compassion. I was raised in the ballet world and there was a lot of discipline in my life.

“I was brought by a very typical Greek family, where a family was vital, so there was plenty of discipline with respect. And I think that the discipline, united with the love that came out of Coach’s words, struck home with me. It’s about instilling life’s lessons through the sport that we’re a part of.”

Miss Val is doing a two-hour television ballet special on NBC. 

When Miss Val isn’t encouraging young athletes to be the best they can be, she is utilizing other platforms to distribute her love for life and dance. Lately, she pitched her own kind of a contemporary nutcracker ballet to Warner Bros. NBC purchased the rights to air it as a two-hour television special. The date for the live ballet show has yet to be decided. 

in October 2018, she also published a book that explored how a professional ballerina became one of the winningest coaches in NCAA history. The novel is titled “Life Is Short, Don’t Wait to Dance.”

The Greek American also stated her retirement last September as the head coach of the Bruins gymnastics team and she did leave at the end of the 2019 season with an incredible send-off by her team and UCLA. 

Although Miss Val will be truly missed, her legend will live on. She will continue to be an incredible inspiration, encouraging people to live passionately by not giving up and finding a way to re-experience your joy.

The Legendary UCLA Gymnastic Coach Valerie Kondos Field (“Miss Val”) – Part I

Miss Val leaves her legacy in the women she inspired to compete.

It’s way more than getting a perfect 10 or doing a sky-high double layout for the coach and choreographer of the UCLA Gymnastics team, Valorie Kondos Field. The Greek American has been the head coach of the Bruins for 28 years.

But she has also been an inspiration to young women to find again the joy of competing that they had when they started gymnastics as kids. She has made it imaginable for them to share their joy with the world on a very huge stage.

Over the past 28 years, she has formed one of the best gymnastics teams in the U.S. Most importantly, one which is always setting new standards for beautiful and complex routines. 

Becoming “Miss Val”

Valorie Kondos Field, also called “Miss Val”, grew up preparing to be a classical ballet dancer. Born into an artistic Greek American family, she breathed and lived dance. Valorie trained relentlessly and went on to perform as a professional ballerina with a number of ballet companies, such as the Washington, D.C. Ballet.

When UCLA needed a dance teacher for their gymnastics team, the 22-year-old professional dancer fit the bill impeccably. Also, coaching at UCLA gave her the opportunity to satisfy one of her personal goals. As she says on her website,, “My dream was to go to UCLA, so when they flew me out for the interview and offered me a full scholarship in lieu of a salary, I thought I had hit the jackpot.”

But the strong-minded young dancer would put her learned discipline and respect into her career as a coach to become a living legend. She has led the UCLA Women’s Gymnastics team to win seven NCAA Championships, many Pac-10 and Pac-12 Championships, and numerous individual champion titles and academic honors.

Also, Miss Val has picked up some special awards herself. She was voted the national and conference coach of the year four times. In 2010, she became the 2nd active coach ever to be inducted into the UCLA Athletics Hall of Fame.

G.O.A.T. – Simone Biles: Why She is Like No Other (Part II)

Simone crushed her competition.

The rest of the gymnasts don’t fare much better against her. Biles won the all-around titles at the Rio Olympics and the 2018 world championships both by just two points. As her friend and teammate Aly Raisman, who finished in second at the 2016 Games, famously stated: “If you get silver, you’re the best since Simone doesn’t count.”

She has no weaknesses

If it is believed that Simone Biles has a weakness (and in all honesty she doesn’t), it would be on the uneven bars. She frequently talked about how much she struggled and disliked participating in the event, and she has not won an Olympic or world medal on the apparatus. However, she has made a substantial effort to get better at the event during her comeback after her post-Olympic break. Good grief: now she is a true medal threat in that event as well.

She’s a vocal leader

Not only is Biles the greatest of all time, but she also has a winning personality. Known for her funny quips, charming social media presence and for speaking up on things that matter to her, she is nobody to mess with outside the gym as well.

A survivor of sexual abuse from former team doctor Larry Nassar, she has been a true advocate for her fellow survivors, and even wore a teal leotard in solidarity during nationals in 2018. She has spoken up on many occasions due to not being pleased with the leadership of USA Gymnastics, and it has resulted in real change.

Simone Biles was the runaway champion due to the fact that she’s better not just than any American, but any person on the globe. Any way you break it down, Biles is the greatest female gymnast of all time.

G.O.A.T. – Simone Biles: Why She is Like No Other (Part I)

She holds four Olympic gold medals. 

It most likely goes without saying that she is the greatest gymnast of all time. The 22-year-old possesses more titles than there is space to post. If you are keeping count, Biles has in per possession four world all-around titles and four Olympic gold medals. She has earned more world medals (25 to be exact) than anyone in history.

So, as you can tell, she’s very, very good.

And after her amazing performance at the 2019 nationals qualifier, the U.S. Classic, it appears as if 2019 and the time going up to the 2020 Olympics, is beginning to be just like the other winning years that Biles is known to be famous for. Another way to put it is that it will be more of the same.

But what precisely makes Simone Biles so good? Here are a few of the many, many ways she is so amazingly special:

She keeps pushing the boundaries of the sport

Biles is famous for her gravity-defying floor routines. Even though her skills are leaps and bounds ahead of her competition, she still is constantly trying to bring new elements to her already tricky repertoire.

She’s virtually unbeatable

There are winning streaks in sports. Then there is the Simone Biles’ winning streak. She has earned 19 straight all-around titles, going on for six years. In a sport where the normal senior best career usually lasts no more than one Olympic cycle, Biles’ dominance is typically the gymnastics equivalent to what the Chicago Bulls did in the 1990s.  If Michael Jordan hadn’t left the team for a year and a half to play baseball.

And not only does Biles win, win, win, but she also towers above her competition and barely leaves her opponents even a chance to win gold.


The Legacy of Pat Summitt 

Pat Summit was an incredible coach to the women’s basketball team at the University of Tennessee. 

An important (one of many) saying of the legendary University of Tennessee famous women’s basketball coach, Pat Summitt was “Right foot, left foot, breathe.” In her 38-year career at UT, Coach Summitt led the Lady Vols to 8 National Championships, 18 NCAA Final Fours, and 32 SEC Championships while having a 100% student-athlete graduation rate. When she retired in 2012, Pat Summitt was the winningest NCAA Basketball Coach in history among women and men and women. 

These achievements led to the formation of a leadership model referred to as “The Definite Dozen” which highpoints what she feels are the values one must-have for success. According to Summitt, “The Definite Dozen is about being attentive to basics, those factors that enable you to satisfy a profound, bigger, and more significant goal.”

  • Respect others and yourself
  • Take full responsibility
  • Demonstrate and develop and loyalty
  • Try to be a great communicator
  • Learn how to control yourself so no one else needs to
  • Make hard work your passion
  • Don’t just work hard, work smart
  • Put the team before yourself
  • Let winning be your attitude 
  • Be a competitor
  • Change is a must
  • Handle success like you handle failure

Quotes from the Summitt – created by the Pat Summitt Leadership Group, is filled with many pearls of Pat’s wisdom. These values can be used in all areas of life, regardless if it is the boardroom or the basketball court. 

Here are a few more of Coach Summitt’s wise words: 

  • Sometimes, saying nothing can be just as powerful.
  • You meet the same people on the way up that you will meet on the way down.
  • It’s crucial to be able to laugh at yourself.
  • Discover what you love to do.

Sadly, Pat Summitt died in 2016 after a long battle with early Alzheimer’s. 

Why the New England Patriots are So Good (Part II)

The New England Patriots have three super bowl rings.

Three Super Bowls

Every Patriot-hater out there have to feel lucky the Patriots haven’t changed their trio of Super Bowl rings into brass knuckles and made their haters eat their words.

The Patriots have three Super Bowl rings. In all honesty, they are on their way to another one.   

There are 14 teams who have never, ever won a Super Bowl, including four that have never even been to the final. The Pats just keep going like it’s their yearly vacation. There is not one contender in the present or league history that can match the successful reign of the New England Patriots.

Bill Belichick and Tom Brady

Tom Brady and Bill Belichick are like Phil Jackson and Kobe Bryant. They run the team like Phil and Kobe used to run L.A.

They are the most winning coach-QB duo, exceeding Dan Marino and Don Shula with 117 wins. Belichick comes up with the plans and Brady does them perfectly.

Brady and Belichick have a force field that flows throughout the team, making the team as competitive as they are. Coaches and players alike force their best just because of the intimidation the dynamic duo bring to the team.

18-0 Still Makes Perfect

In 2007, the New England Patriots went 18-0 before the Super Bowl. They may not have won the Super Bowl, but they had a perfect regular season none the less.

Though that record doesn’t mean anything without a ring to show for it, there is not a better example of a complete and superior team. The Pats has definitely secured its place in NFL history.

The Patriots are not seeking revenge against their opponents. They could care less about them. They want to keep their pride since a real Patriots fan understands that losing is not allowed.


Why the New England Patriots are So Good (Part I)

The New England Patriots are one of the best teams.

They keep proving to all the doubting fans of the NFL that their throne is too high, and they can’t be touched.

But in the meantime, here are some reasons why the New England Patriots have earned the title of “Best Dynasty Ever.”

Most Disciplined Team

The Patriots are the titan champs that do a KO in the first round, leaving the ring in complete silence before even being stated the winner. And by the time the loser regains consciousness, the Pats are already planning termination of the next team.

There is no glamor glitz about football. It is a rough sport that is played by the fearless and tough. Bill Belichick realizes this, and he has executed it faithfully in his locker room.

His players are conditioned to be 100% focused on the game. There is no room for diva treatment or nonsense. Those antics don’t fly in Belichick’s world, and there is no compassion for those who don’t abide by his rules. 

Best Drafting System

Tom Brady was drafted in the sixth round and is a definite for the Hall of Fame. Who would have ever thought that was imaginable?

Bill Belichick.

He has perfected the drafting system, but more significantly he understands precisely how to take advantage of free agency.

The drafting process the Pats use is centered on a number scale within various categories. Instead of matching college prospects to their success in the NCAA, they are matched to the players in the NFL and on the Patriots.

How do they match up to the pros? If the college player isn’t suitable enough to be a substitute for anyone on the team, he isn’t Patriots material.

Also, Belichick and his recruiting staff look for certain qualities in their prospects. Devotion, leadership, and maturity are big factors. The player has to possess these in order to compliment the Patriots’ style.