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Category Archives: Training

Running in Circles

By | The Penguin Archives, Training | No Comments

Track workouts can take you places the open road can’t. Okay, I was wrong. For years, the whole idea of track workouts for someone like me just didn’t make any sense. It’s bad enough to be slow when I’m out on the road, alone. Why in the world would I want to prove how slow I am by running in circles on a track with people passing me every few seconds? The answer is pretty simple: because I actually can improve by running on the track. We all can improve our running. Mind you, I have a firm grip on…

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My Way of the Highway

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Sometimes it pays to ask for directions. My wife, Jenny, recently gave me a GPS navigation unit – not the kind you run with but the kind for your car. Plug in your destination, and the GPS calculates directions. Mine had a name (Jack) and a voice that talks you through the directions. I was so excited to go on my first test-drive with Jack. I punched in my destination – my son’s house – and eagerly waited for Jack to figure out how to get there. Of course, I knew the way. I simply wanted to have some fun…

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Tools of the Trade

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To keep running well, sometimes you have to be your own mechanic. Having spent part of my professional career fixing motorcycles for a living, I know a lot of mechanics. The good ones have a whole arsenal of tools, some of which are so specialized in function that they hardly ever make it out of the toolbox. But on those rare occasions when a double-headed, reversible, ratcheting, 90-degree Phillips screwdriver is called for, these guys know that nothing else will do the job. Of course, I also know mechanics who think the only three tools you need are WD-40, duct…

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Running in circles

By | The Penguin Archives, Training | No Comments

Track workouts can take you places the open road can’t. Okay, I was wrong. For years, the whole idea of track workouts for someone like me just didn’t make any sense. It’s bad enough to be slow when I’m out on the road, alone. Why in the world would I want to prove how slow I am by running in circles on a track with people passing me every few seconds? The answer is pretty simple: because I actually can improve by running on the track. We all can improve our running. Mind you, I have a firm grip on…

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Correct and Redirect

By | The Penguin Archives, Training | No Comments

Starting out without starting over. You never know when some tidbit of wisdom is going to drop into your life. Often the most salient advice comes when you least expect it. Like when getting a haircut. I’ve always had issues with my hair. As a kid, when I went to the barber it was a matter of sitting in a chair while this giant man with clippers ground away at my head. It ranked second only to going to the dentist as a frightening, helpless experience. Of course, there are no barbers anymore. At least none that I can find….

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Body Language

By | The Penguin Archives, Training | No Comments

I thought my sturdy frame could take just about anything – until it talked back. Early this year, I was running often and well, doing more speed workouts (okay, maybe not technically speed workouts, but certainly less-slow workouts) and looking forward to racing a 10-K. Then I spent nearly four weeks traveling on planes, boats, and buses to Argentina and Antarctica, with the final leg of my trip totaling 27 hours of sitting. It was a recipe for disaster. Once back at home, I bent over to put a small package on the floor. There was no getting back up….

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Back to Basics

By | The Penguin Archives, Training | No Comments

The secret to running well is simpler than you think. In a past life, I earned a doctorate in education and spent years working in higher ed. One of my greatest influences was my doctoral adviser, the late Dr. Charles Leonhard at the University of Illinois. Dr. Leonhard approached education with a no-nonsense, hard-nosed, pragmatic attitude. Before making any decision, he always wanted to know, what difference will it make? He wouldn’t implement any plan without first establishing that it would indeed lead to some sort of improvement. More and more I find myself becoming a running pragmatist. As I…

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A Walk in the Park

By | The Penguin Archives, Training | No Comments

One of my favorite runs in London is through Hyde Park. No big surprise. There may not be a more beautiful inner city run anywhere in the world. What may be a surprise to those who simply put on their trainers and run their workout is the full complement of activities going on simultaneously. The park is a smorgasbord of people enjoying their own versions of sport and leisure. To focus on only our own activity is to miss the richness of the mix. In a single hour of a single day in Hyde Park, I’ve seen horses and bicycles,…

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Monumental Running

By | Bingham, Half Marathon, John "the Penguin" Bingham, Marathon, Motivation, Penguin, Running, The Penguin Archives, Training, Walking | 2 Comments

Penguin Chronicle :: August 1996 :: Monumental Running We all have favorite places to run. Sometimes a route is so familiar that we can run it on autopilot, allowing our minds to rummage through stored thoughts and feelings. Other routes are new and require our full attention, thus distracting us from the physical act of running. Still others contain remnants of past runs and promises of future ones. These routes become special not so much because of what or where they are, but because of the events that occur while running them. Running on and around the Mall in Washington,…

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The Final Countdown

By | Bingham, Half Marathon, John "the Penguin" Bingham, Marathon, Motivation, Motorcycling, Penguin, Running, The Penguin Archives, Training, Walking | 7 Comments

They say a photo is worth a thousand words. This photo is actually worth over 160,000 words. 18 years. 12 columns a year. 750 words per column – give or take. And that’s just the written words. There’s no way to calculate the number of spoken words over the course of the past 18 years. From small gatherings in running specialty stores to hundreds of people at race expos to thousands of Team in Training participants at inspiration dinners I’ve talked to, tried to inspire and motivate, and made giggle more people than I could possible count. This December that…

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