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All American & ranked 1500 meter masters runner. SDSU XC/Track alum. Write about running, health & well-being. Editor at Runner’s Life. amywallauthor.com

A worthwhile investment for runners of all abilities

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If a magic pill existed which promised runners they could be faster with fewer injuries, the person who discovered it would be set for life. This year I discovered something that does exist, producing such results. While it takes more work than popping a pill, the returns are surprising. I wish I had done it sooner. I increased my comfortable running pace as well as my top-end speed. Additionally, I didn’t realize how many nagging injuries I was ignoring during my nearly 30-year-old running career.

The secret was finding a physical therapist practice with physical therapists who are trained specifically…


For beginner, intermediate and advanced runners.

Runners of all distances and levels benefit from running fartlek sessions. Fartlek is Swedish for speed play. A gentle form of speedwork, they help to improve speed endurance, which is the ability to run faster and maintain speed over a longer distance.

The idea behind fartlek sessions is to speed up and slow down during a run for a defined period of time, rotating through the faster and slower periods. As an example, after a warm-up, you speed up for one minute, followed by a jog for one minute, then repeat the cycle a defined number of times, depending on…


It’s time to start aiming for a new PR

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After more than a year of cancellations, races are finally opening up again, giving runners an opportunity to train and achieve new personal records (PRs). For runners who shifted to long mileage and base work over the pandemic, it’s time to lace up your track shoes and start thinking about speed work again. For those who’ve never done speed work, this is a chance to add a new challenge to your running. Not only does speed work improve racing performance and fitness, but it is also fun and can increase overall motivation.

There are many different types of speed training…


The impact of having biracial kids on my experience with race.

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I don’t know what it is like to grow up Black in America. I never dealt with racism, micro-aggressions, or the emotions associated with growing up as a person of color. I have, however, listened to stories of individuals experiencing racism, attempting to understand through the eyes of a white person.

As I am raising my biracial children, my views are changing on what it is like to navigate the world as a person of color. When you are a mom, it is not unusual to feel your children’s pain and transgressions as if they are your own. Experiencing prejudgements…


How not to look like an amateur

Photo by Serghei Trofimov on Unsplash

Running on a track is a great way to train. It is a perfect place to do intervals because the surface is flat with a known distance. Except for the influence of wind, all other factors are equal during repeated runs, so you know when you are increasing or decreasing your speed with accuracy.

There are benefits to jogging on a track as well. If you don’t know how you might feel on a run, you can stop and you aren’t miles away from your car. It is also a good place to bring kids to play while you crank…


I recovered from my coffee addiction and you can too.

I love coffee. I’m pretty sure I’m not alone here. The smell of it brewing, mixed with cool morning air is blissful. The first sip of a milky, sweet latte makes the day feel full of endless possibilities.

After a cup of coffee, I do everything better — running, writing, reading, or anything requiring my full attention. The problem is I’m one of those people who feel a buzz from it — a shaky one.

Despite articles touting coffee’s health benefits, like the article published by Johns Hopkins Medicine titled, “9 Reasons Why (the Right Amount) of Coffee Is Good…


Stick with advice from experts on gait.

Photo by Amy Wall

Good running form is important for an injury-free, long-term running career. Correct technique maximizes a runner’s potential speed and efficiency. The difficulty is knowing if your form needs to be adjusted and how to do it. A coach or a friend can point out potential problems, but the underlying cause may be outside their knowledge base. Often problems that are visible are merely a symptom, not a cause, of poor form.

Using guesswork to fix running gait is not ideal. Injuries can result as your body tries to adapt to a new way of running. I’ve experienced this myself. …


The pandemic brought the industry to its knees

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**Update: On January 26, the Boston Athletic Association (B.A.A.) announced the Boston Marathon will be held on 11 October 2021.

For runners who like to participate in road races, this past year was difficult. Some runners use races for motivation and some, myself included, like to use them as a performance test. There is nothing like the adrenaline rush that comes from standing on the line with thousands of others who have a similar goal. It’s hard to replicate that energy in a time trial.

With races canceled due to the pandemic, runners like me wait anxiously for the announcement…


Why it matters to the rest of us

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The impact of the coronavirus pandemic has found its way into every corner of our lives. One segment hit particularly hard is the world of sports. While it is easy to see our favorite football, baseball, and basketball teams finding new ways to operate in this changing environment, we don’t hear about sports that operate outside of the spotlight. Cross country and track and field are among them.

Cross country and track and field athletes spend years, even decades, training to compete, and for some, to pursue a career. Like all professional athletes, career runners often start in high school…

Amy J. Wall

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