Island Boost – All Natural Endurance Energizer – A Gel That’s Not Your Usual Gel

We all go to Race Expos to check out what’s new for us runners. Maybe we look for a sale on our favorite shoes or pick-up one more gel before the race. I look for anything I might have forgot. And, I like to try new products.

At the LA Halloween Rock n Roll 1/2 2012 Marathon this weekend, a product that caught my eye. Island Boost,, a new gel on the market. I don’t know if I would even call it a gel because the consistency is more like water, instead of syrup.

The sample taste good so I had to ask some questions. What’s in it? Why will it help me? Why only 55 calories? What was behind formulating this new product?

In this video Laura, Island Boost’s Formualator, explains her concept behind this product. Some points she talks about are: Creating a product for people with sensitive stomaches and keeping it natural.

I like the fact she uses coconut water as a base. I do like is that it has a more liquid consistency. Maybe it won’t leave me wiping that sticky gel feeling off my hands for miles. Now, I have not tried this product in a race but I frequently use coconut water. As a coach, I say never try something new on race day. But, I am going to test this product at the ING New York City Marathon. I am running NYC to have fun more than race but I am still looking for a good performance. It should be an excellent test of Island Boost. Check out Island Boost on Facebook

Look for a review the in the week following the ING New York City Marathon Sunday, November 4, 2012.

Train Focused, Steve Mackel – Head Coach Sole Runners Full & Half Marathon Training Programs

Inspirational Runners – Julie Weiss, 52 Marathons in 52 weeks – Pancreatic Cancer Network’s Team Hope

Julie Weiss, Goal: 52 Marathons in 52 weeks and raise one million dollars for the Pancreatic Action Cancer Network’s Team Hope. To support her cause go to:

I’ll let the video tell most of Julie’s story. Here is why she inspires me.

She is a fantastic runner. We met when she came to one of my ChiRunning® Workshops in 2008. We ran into each other all the time at races. She always runs with a smile and motivates others.

When Julie started running and her father thought it was fantastic. He supported her on her journey to qualify for the Boston Marathon. He was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and passed away 35 days later. A month after that Julie ran the California International Marathon and qualified for Boston. Julie knew he was with every step of that race.

Her world was rocked but she didn’t let it get in her way. In fact, it made her stronger an she put efforts into helping find a cure for pancreatic cancer by raising her valuable funds to support research.

She decided to combine her passions. She decided to run 52 marathons in 52 weeks, while raising money for the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, no easy task.

Now she is half way through and I sat down with her for a few moments to get the whole story.
I’ll be looking for her out at the ING New York City Marathon since we are both running it. And, I hope to run a mile or two with her at the LA Marathon in March of 2013, her 52nd.

If you feel inclined, you can donate to the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network by going to and clicking the “Donate Now” button. Donations go directly to The Pancreatic Cancer Action Network.

If you see her out running make sure to cheer her on.

Cure Pancreatic Cancer Focused, Steve Mackel – an inspired runner

Tapering and the 3 Rs – An Individual Art by Coach Steve Mackel

Tapering is very individual. The 3 Rs of Tapering – Rest, Rebuild and Re-fuel

You need to start taking notes on what works best for you, from the amount of time you need to build into your program, volume and intensity of your workouts, what you eat, quality and quantity of sleep, and general state of mind. Then you can start to dial in your taper.

Amount of Time to Taper – This could be from 2 – 3 weeks to 2 – 3 days depending on the length of the race and how you feel. I suggest a 2 – 3 week taper for marathoners, 1 – 2 weeks for half marathoners and 2 – 3 days for short races. The goal of finding the proper amount of time to taper is by asking yourself this question, “Have I given my body enough time to Rest, Rebuild and Re-fuel? (The three Rs of Recovery). And, “Do I feel sharp?”

Workout Volume and Intensity – Now is the time to decrease the volume and keep the intensity around race pace and slightly higher. Shorter workouts with a few bouts of higher intensity workouts are in order. This is also a great time to work on form. This is where ChiRunning® really pays off. ChiRunning® is all about form. As a Certified ChiRunning® Instructor it is my job to teach and reinforce form. Add  intensity to this formula and you will sharpen your skills for a strong performance on race day. Some intense workouts include hill repeats, track workouts and fartlek training.

Eating and Sleeping – Food is fuel. You rebuild and heal your body when you sleep. A large part of your taper should be to re-fuel and re-hydrating your body. You want to go into race with your tank topped off. I have learned that every “body” has different requirements. No matter what, you need carbs to convert to glucose to keep those muscles and brain firing. You also need proteins and fat. Eat smart and healthy. Everyone needs sleep. Sometimes you need to plan your sleep the last two weeks before the race because you get nervous, have a busy schedule or maybe you are traveling to a different time zone. It is difficult to get great sleep right before a race. I consider 14 to 5 days before my race as my key sleep nights. Sleep and eat well. Relax. Try not to burn the candle at both ends. Don’t worry if you are restless a couple nights before the race, most of us are and we slept well earlier in our taper, when it really counted.

General State of Mind – You have to stay positive. Keep the ANTS (Automatic Negative Thoughts) away. If you find yourself stuck in a lousy place or it is just one of those times in your life where you have to deal with a lot of junk, be like “a duck in water” and find a way to let the issues roll off your back, Keep the self talk positive. Have a plan and mentally rehearse it.

The Big Payoff – If you walk into race day using the above plan, your mind and body will be itching for a long run. You will know what you are doing, last longer and find “the zone” easier. If you find you are antsy to get out and run days before the race, chance are your taper is good and you’ll be primed for a great race.

Race Focused, Steve Mackel – Head Coach Sole Runners Full and Half Marathon Training Programs

12 Days Until the ING New York City Marathon – Yoga for Runnners Video

Here we go! With only 12 days left until the ING NYC Marathon I am going to post tips for our race everyday. We should all be tapering right now. Tapering is all about letting the body rest, rebuild, refuel, rehydrate, renew and recover. At the same time your runs should be fairly high intensity but training volume dramatically reduced. We all taper differently. After 30+ marathons, I know what my body likes. I only do a few runs over the next two weeks. Take notes find out how you taper and what works best for you.

One key part of tapering for me is yoga. Below is a video showing just a few yoga poses I almost always incorporate into my practice. These are great poses for runners but they are just the tip of the iceberg.

I will be also be taking some classes in NYC. I’ll let you know when and where on Facebook on Twitter. I am really excited to be running the biggest marathon in the world, known as one of the best marathon experiences in the world. See you in NYC.

Keep checking in daily for more tips. Get your yoga on and Race Focused!

Head Coach Steve Mackel – Sole Runners Full and Half Marathon Training Programs