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Dear New Runner

Expert Panel Question???

Question: “I’m interested in starting running, but I find it a little intimidating. How do I start?”

(ask your questions to the UtahRunning.com Experts here)


Dear New Runner,

What an exciting time to be starting with your running. There are so many opportunities for runners these days. There are road races and trail races in almost any distance, there are groups of all levels to train with, there are team relay races which can be a lot of fun, there are some great local places to train, and there are a lot of advancements in training technology.

I can understand how it might feel intimidating or even a bit overwhelming to get started. Here is my advice for you:

1) Make your running whatever you want it to be. It has to be about you and what you like. There is a wide range of possibilities from training for races to training for health and fitness. Find something to run for – you will feel the satisfaction from running much more if you have a purpose. I like to pick a race in the future and work toward that race. It might be 3 months away or a year away, but it gives me some focus and it helps me to stay committed. I also make running plans week to week that help me get ready for the future race.

2) Set some goals. It comes back to the advice given above – the importance of running with a purpose. Not only does it make running more fun and have more satisfaction, it also helps you to stay committed through the tough days. I would start with something simple – like completing a 3 mile run without walking (or a 6 mile run, or whatever your level is). Then figure out why you are doing this, and go from there. After setting a goal to finish my first marathon, then working toward that goal, then accomplishing that goal, the feeling was indescribable. It will give you strength and confidence and it will empower you as a runner and a person. And it will make you want to set new goals and accomplish them–it is kind of addicting.

Read More….

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Seven Shin Splints Secrets: Ken’s Secrets to Happy Shins

A few of you have asked questions about what to do for shin splints. Over the years, I have found that “shin splints” is something people use to describe pain in their lower leg. There is specific medical terminology and other technical gobbledygook which clarifies what exactly the pain in the lower leg is, but what I’d like to focus on in this article is what has worked for me and people I have trained with and coached. Here are a few secrets:

Secret #1: Typically, shin splints are an “overuse injury”, so my first recommendation would be to read the article on overuse injuries written by Dr. Scharmann and Dr. Blackham. Okay, now that you’ve read that, let’s move on to the other secrets on my list.

Secret #2: Keep a log and evaluate any recent changes you made in your training. I always take a look at my log when I start feeling any aches and pains. Did I change something a little too quickly? What surfaces have I been running on lately? If I realize I made a mistake, I adjust and make sure that I don’t repeat it. If it doesn’t look like I made a drastic quantity or intensity change, then I move on to the next item on my shin splints secrets list to see if I can isolate the problem.

Secret #3: Take a look at your shoe situation. You guessed it – I look at my log. If you don’t track your shoe mileage in your log, you should start now. Usually you can get anywhere between 300 and 500 miles on a pair of shoes. Obviously, that is just a general estimate and your weight, running style and other factors could impact how many miles you’ll get out of a pair of shoes. When I get toward the tail end of what a pair of shoes can take, I start feeling things like shin splints. You may just need a new pair of shoes. And since we’re talking about shoes… you really should go to a specialty running store and make sure you’re in the right kind of shoe depending on your level of pronation or supination.

You’ll notice that those first three really deal with prevention. Educate yourself on injury issues, make sure you’re in the right shoes and don’t make poor training decisions and you’ll be able to avoid dealing with shin splints (and other injuries) most of the time. If you weren’t able to prevent them this go around, you’ll definitely want to keep reading.

Read More….

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Brad Anderson – Utah Running Expert

Brad Anderson           Inspirational Runner

Has raced from the front and the back of the pack

Voted “Most Comical Sense of Humor” by UtahRunning.com

Brad Anderson grew up in Morgan, UT.  While growing up, Brad’s father, Gerald Anderson, took Brad to races and helped instill in him a love of running.  In High school, Brad ran track and cross country and played basketball. He liked basketball, but his real love and future was in track and cross country.  At Morgan High, Brad was a six-time Region Champion and a two-time State Champion.  At the end of his junior year, Brad was named the 2A “Track Athlete of the Year”.  Brad’s future in running looked bright.  At the beginning of Brad’s senior year all of that changed.  He was in a serious car accident that nearly cost him his life.  He was told he would never run again.  Through determination and discipline Brad beat the odds and eventually was able to run again.  When asked about his most memorable running experience Brad said:

One I am proud of and will always remember was my first race after my car wreck. I was never supposed to run again, so running another 5K was pretty cool. It was something I always wanted to do again, but there were times even I didn’t know if I would do it again. I think I have a pretty good perspective on running, since I have been on both ends. I have been the fastest kid, and the kid who could be beat by anyone that was partially awake. I’m just proud that I still run nearly everyday.

Today, Brad races in everything up to the marathon, but the 10K, 15K and half marathon are his favorite distances.  Through hardship Brad gained an even deeper appreciation for running.  He teaches each of us to never take our ability to run for granted.

Along with competing, Brad also coaches.  He started coaching track his senior year and has done it in some capacity (head coach or assistant) ever since. He coached at Morgan High until 2005 and he currently coaches cross country and track at Davis High School (Kaysville, UT).  When he is not running or coaching, Brad works as a sales rep for a medical company.  He currently resides in Ogden, Utah with his wife Amber, also an avid runner, and his three boys.

Utah Running Expert Panel

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by on Jan.01, 2010, under Utah Running Experts

Ken Richardson – Utah Running Expert

Ken Richardson        

Runner, Daddy, Coach, Co-founder UtahRunning.com


Ken Richardson is currently working to achieve new PRs in all areas of his life.  He enjoys his work as an HR Manager, but his true passion is running.  He graduated from Weber State University where he competed in cross country and track.  While at WSU he met his beautiful bride.  Ken is also a Level 1 Certified USA Track and Field Coach.

While competing at WSU, Ken qualified twice to compete at the NCAA Championships.  In his final year, he faced some injury challenges which forced him to stop competing.  He feels the experiences associated with those injuries helped him to develop as a person and as a runner.  He believes one of the most important things we can do is keep ourselves fit and healthy.  He continues to compete in local road races.

Athletic Accomplishments

PRs:  3,000 m- 8:19; 5,000m – 14:14; half-marathon – 68:49

Ken is married to Janae and they currently run the streets of Ogden, Utah.  Their children, Raelee and Teague frequently join them in their jogging stroller.

Go find out more about the Utah Running Expert Panel.

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by on Jan.01, 2010, under Utah Running Experts

Janae Richardson – Utah Running Expert

Janae Richardson     

Runner, USATF Certified Coach, Co-founder of UtahRunning.com 

Janae Richardson is a homemaker, runner, coach, and co-founder of UtahRunning.com.  She graduated from Weber State University with a Bachelors Degree in History Teaching and PE/Coaching.  Janae is a Level 1 Certified USA Track and Field Coach and is pursuing a masters degree in Exercise Science at Utah State University.  She currently coaches cross country at Davis High School (Kaysville, UT) and offers private coaching to runners of all levels.

Career Highlights:


3 years experience teaching U.S. History (2005-2008)

4 years experience teaching Physical Education (2005-2009)


Sand Ridge Junior High Basketball and Track and Field Coach (2005-2008)

Roy High JV Basketball Coach (2006-2009)

Davis High School Cross Country Coach (2007-present)

9th at Nike Team Nationals Davis High School Girls Cross Country 2007

State Champions Davis High School Girls Cross Country Team 2007, 2008

2nd Place at State Davis High School Girls Cross Country Team 2009


2 years experience managing a specialty running shoe store

Janae competed in cross country and track at Weber State University.  Since college, she has completed three marathons (Top of Utah, St. George, and Chicago), several half-marathons, and many local 5Ks and 10Ks.  A healthy lifestyle and running have become a permanent part of Janae’s life and she enjoys sharing her passion for running with others.

Athletic Accomplishments:

Mile:  5:15

2 Mile:  11:14

Steeplechase:  10:49

5K:  17:01

10K:  35:30 (Weber State Top Ten List)

Half Marathon:  1:21:50 Salt Lake Half 2010

Marathon: 2:59:53 St. George Marathon 2006

Janae grew up in Idaho Falls, Idaho where she graduated from Hillcrest High School.  She met her husband, Ken, while competing at WSU.  They currently reside in Ogden, Utah with their daughter and son.

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by on Jan.01, 2010, under Utah Running Experts

Lora Erickson – Utah Running Expert

Lora Erickson – Certified Personal Trainer | Runner and Triathlon Coach Specializing in Weight Loss, Corrective Exercise and Endurance Training

Lora Erickson aka “Blonde Runner” is a certified personal trainer, runner and triathlon coach specializing in weight loss, corrective exercise and endurance training. As a mother of four, she has many years of experience designing realistic custom individual programs that can fit into a busy everyday life. Growing up in Colorado, Lora was actively recruited in high school by Stanford, BYU, Yale and many other colleges. Accepting an athletic scholarship to the University of Utah, she began her career as a distance runner. She later transferred to Utah State University where she earned the title of Big West All-Conference Runner.

Since graduating from Utah State University with a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Health Education and duel minors in Nutrition and Chemistry, she has taken on the role of wife, mother, entrepreneur, trainer, coach, race director, running club organizer and weight loss specialist. Lora has enjoyed teaching the American Heart Association weight loss classes and continues to share her passion through running camps, cooking/nutrition classes, fitness boot camps and public speaking as well as through individual consultation and corporate wellness seminars.

While, she continues to offer unique, custom-designed programs to help meet a variety of health conditions including arthritis, heart disease, osteoporosis and thyroid disorders. She specifically takes a personal interest in diabetes prevention. She maintains that “there is no one-size-fits-all program, everyone is different,” and takes a personal interest in each client.

Lora has been certified as a USATF running coach since 1996, which has allowed her to share her love of running. Her in-depth knowledge of nutrition and exercise physiology has also proved helpful to those she trains. Lora is an accomplished athlete and health professional, winning many awards and honors. She is the founder/CEO of Blonde Runner Health LLC and South Davis Road Runners in Bountiful, Utah where she currently resides. When she is not guest lecturing, teaching, coaching or training for her next competition, she can be found in her garden or catching worms with her three boys to take them fishing. She also enjoys karate, cooking and shopping with her little girl.

Lora loves to show her enthusiasm for health and has used her positive “can-do” approach to help hundreds of people, ages five to eighty-two, reach their goals. Whether your goal is to run a marathon, enter your first triathlon or shed an unwanted twenty pounds, she wants you to become the next success story.

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by on Jan.01, 2010, under Utah Running Experts

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