Category Archives: Tips & Tricks

What a pain in the IT band (how I erased it with PT exercises)

Tal Kopan stretches her IT band after a January run outside.

[Editor's note: Today's post comes to you from guest blogger Tal Kopan. If you'd like to write an injury-related post, message me on Twitter. Thanks!]

Hi. My name is Tal. I’m an athlete, and I have trouble accepting my weaknesses.

I recently learned one of my weaknesses is my IT band.

By way of introduction, I’m a medium distance runner and am working toward a first triathlon, but I consider that my off season. First and foremost, I am an ultimate frisbee player. Continue reading


Filed under Injuries, IT band, Tips & Tricks, Your injuries

Yaktrax, DueNorth traction devices for running in snow, ice aren’t foolproof

I've been running outside all winter for a couple of years. Traction devices help get me through.

I hate the treadmill with the white hot passion of a thousand suns. And before I was informed about running outside in the winter safely, I would slog along on the dreadmill for countless boring miles each winter. Continue reading


Filed under F*cking Freezing Frozen Lake Half Marathon, Injuries, Knees, running, Shoes, Tips & Tricks

How to keep your spouse happy when you’re training all the time

After this week's long run, I made the hubby and I homemade lattes.

I don’t want to say my husband (fiance at the time) was glad I got hurt while training for the Racine 70.3 Ironman triathlon earlier this year. But I do think he was glad to get our time together back.

Endurance training takes up a lot of time. A lot of that training time eats into our couple time. Continue reading


Filed under running, Tips & Tricks

Nighty night. Sometimes you just gotta get in a run when you can.

The dog and I pause for a photo during our night-time run.

More than once I’ve driven along Lake Shore Drive after 9 p.m. and, seeing a few runners scattered about the path, wondered, “Who are these crazy people? Don’t they know it’s almost bed time?”

That was before tonight, obviously, when I was one of those crazies. Continue reading


Filed under Dark, Pets, running, Tips & Tricks

Do as I say, not as I do? Set a good example for kids instead

This is one confident new bicyclist! (

Maybe you’ve seen the viral video posted on YouTube – it’s of a boy who rode his bike by himself for the first time.

He struggles for how to describe it.

“I feel… I feel… I feel… I feel… I feel happy of myself,” he exclaims. Continue reading

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Filed under Cycling, Kids, running, Swimming, Tips & Tricks, Triathlon

What do I do with my sweaty helmet hair after biking to work?

There are plenty of headbands to pick from when working out. But what about afterward?

The weather has finally started to warm up a bit, and it’s dawned on me that I told myself I’d start biking to work once Mother Nature gave me her blessing. But I’m in a bit of a hair pickle. Continue reading


Filed under Fashion, Tips & Tricks

What makes for a good triathlon coach? I’m tri-ing it out.

I've been told a coach doesn't need to be the best herself, she needs to know what to look for in others. (Creative commons;

I’ve been learning the fine art of triathlon coaching since January from my friends at Well-Fit Triathlon & Training center.  I say “art,” because I think a person could read all the books in the world on science, fitness and health, and not know how to approach a given athlete’s needs. Continue reading


Filed under Coaching, Swimming, Tips & Tricks, Triathlon

Is being a sick runner worse than being a hurt one? How to come back.

Wear your favorite race shirt, sip your green tip and rest when you're sick (like I did in early Dec. 2010).

Being hurt and not being able to run is painful. But being sick is worse.

Or, at least it feels that way. Continue reading

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Filed under fitness, Illness, running, Tips & Tricks

It’s easy to get dehydrated during winter workouts; prevent it!

CARA keeps runners hydrated all year long at the path by Cannon Drive.

Twisting and cramping. That’s what my stomach felt like during my run last night.

When I got home, I discovered I had a headache, too. Continue reading


Filed under Nutrition & hydration, running, Tips & Tricks

Runners, we have GOT to light up. (No, I don’t mean start smoking.)

A runner heads toward North Avenue Beach from downtown on the path along Lake Michigan at 6 a.m. Sept. 30, 2010.

Last Thursday, the sun rose at 6:49 a.m. It was pitch black when I left home at 5:30 for my first pre-dawn bike ride. And it was still pretty dark at 6:30, when I stopped to snap a photo of something I find to be pretty horrific: shadows moving up and down the lake shore path. Continue reading


Filed under running, Tips & Tricks