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Steve Wagner, Published December 16 2012

Wagner: Pay attention to pains early in a training cycle to stay healthy

Bemidji, Minn.

Each week, my personal email seemingly is clogged with all sorts of messages.

Wading through all the junk mail can be a chore, but I always set aside the running-related messages in hopes that I’ll get back to reading them. Reviewing them, though, doesn’t happen often.

This past weekend I took a look at what I had missed the past few weeks.

Running Times sends out a monthly newsletter recapping highlights from its magazine and website. The latest email included two items that stood out, and one wasn’t even a link to an article.

In the middle of the email was a quote from Meb Keflezighi, the U.S. Olympic marathoner: “There are no shortcuts to getting to the starting line healthy.”

Runners love their inspirational quotes, and this one is particularly poignant because it is so true.

Training and running a race takes months of preparation and determination. There are few things more frustrating than putting in the training and then finding yourself sidelined by injury when race day arrives.

That’s one reason it’s important to pay close attention to aches and pains, especially early in a training cycle for a key race. Many runners will begin ramping up mileage next month in preparation for the Fargo Marathon, and doing too much too early in the training cycle can sink your race goals months before lining up on University Drive.

Several principles play into reaching the starting line healthy. Two of the most important are following a smart and consistent training plan and using proper nutrition, including during recovery.

Another favorite source for emails with helpful information about running is Active.com, which includes links to stories that can make you a better athlete. If you don’t receive Active’s weekly emails, I suggest you sign up for them.

Looking ahead

It’s about that time when many of us starting figuring out what races we’ll be doing next year.

There are two worth considering next fall.

Runners gave good reviews of the Wild Hog Grand Forks Half Marathon. Registration for the second annual race opens Jan. 1 at www.gfmarathon.com.

The Bemidji Blue Ox Marathon also will offer its inaugural race next fall. Online registration recently at opened


Bemidji (Minn.) Pioneer Editor Steve Wagner writes a running blog, which can be found online at runningspud.areavoices.com. He can be reached via email at swagner@bemidjipioneer.com.