Coach Steve’s Fitness Tour de France Challenge – July 5 – July 27, 2014 – Train Everyday the Tour Rides a Stage

Coach Steve’s Tour de France Fitness Challenge 2014

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It that time of of year again, the three weeks of the Tour de France, the world’s greatest cycling/endurance event.

In honor of what the riders attempt to accomplish, we have created a Challenge for cycling enthusiast

Here’s the Fitness Challenge

  1. Ride your bike everyday the Tour de France rides a stage (there are 21 stages in 23 days).
  2. Take an Indoor Cycling class everyday the Tour de France rides a stage
  3. Do either of the above everyday the Tour de France rides a stage
    or the 50k option
  4. Ride your bike at least 50k everyday the Tour de France rides a stage

If you choose option #4 you will ride 1050k (652 miles) over the 23 days.

Here’s some facts from the Tour de France:

  • Running from Saturday July 5th to Sunday July 27th 2014, the 101th Tour de France will be made up of 21 stages and will cover a total distance of 3,664 kilometres (2277 miles).
  • The course has 9 flat stages, 5 hill stages, 6 mountain stages with 5 altitude finishes, 1 individual time trial stage, 2 rest days
  • The Tour will go through 4 countries this year

My good friend Andy posted a daily stage description:

July 5     Stage 1                  Sprinter               mostly Flat, 3 tough little hills
July 6     Stage 2                 Sprinter                Flat
July 7     Stage 3                 Sprinter                Flat
July 8     Stage 4                 Sprinter                Flat
July 9     Stage 5                 Sprinter                Flat, “pave” oh yes, cobblestones
July 10   Stage 6                All-Arounder      Flat, 2nd half lump rollers
July 11   Stage 7                 All-Arounder       Flat, hills just before finish
July 12   Stage 8                 Climber                Rolling uphill with finishing climb.  Cat’s 2, 2 & 3 hills.
July 13   Stage 9                 Climber                Hills ! Cat’s 2, 3, 3, 2, 1 & 3.
July 14   Stage 10               Climber                Hills with a finishing climb. Cat’s 2, 1, 1, 2, 3, 1, 1.
July 15                   REST DAY !!!
July 16   Stage 11               All-Arounder       Hills in the 2nd half. Cat’s 3, 3, 4, & 3.
July 17   Stage 12               All-Arounder       Hilly.  Cat’s 4, 3, 3, & 4.
July 18   Stage 13               Climber                Hill will a finishing climb. Cat’s 3, 1, with HC Finish.
July 19   Stage 14               Climber                Hill will a finishing climb. Cat’s 1, HC & 1 Finish.
July 20   Stage 15               Sprinter               Flat
July 21                   REST DAY !!!
July 22   Stage 16               Climber                Pyrenees. Hills. Cat’s 4, 4, 2, 3, with HC Finish.
July 23   Stage 17               Climber                Hills ! Cat’s 1, 1, 1, with HC Finish.
July 24   Stage 18               Climber                BIG DAY! The Tourmalet. Hautacom Finish. Cat’s 3, 3, HC with HC Finish.
July 25   Stage 19               Sprinters              Flat
July 26   Stage 20              Time Trail           Some fun rollers.  1 good little climb.
July 27   Stage 21               Sprinters              Flat run into Paris !

I will be posting my rides everyday here on or on my Facebook, Twitter or Instagram pages. My friend Ken created a Strava group to post your rides Click Here to Join Our Strava Group.

I will also offer opportunities for people to ride with with others going for this challenge. Look for those here and Facebook.

I hope you choose to take this Tour de France 2014 Challenge. Any questions feel free to contact me:

Watch the Tour de France

Ride Focused, Steve Mackel – Cycling Coach

Tour de France Challenge – 50k a Day / 21 Rides in 23 Days

Coach Steve’s Tour de France Challenge / 21 Rides in 21 Days / 50k a Day / Take an Indoor Cycling Class Everyday the Boys Ride


I love races. Races to keep me focused. If I don’t have a race or a goal I don’t train with the same intensity and I can find excuses for not training.

Some people love fitness challenges. I like a challenge but I don’t like “30 days or challenges” or those types of events because I like to be able to take breaks or maybe its a fear of commitment. Somedays I just don’t feel like doing some type of specific training. So, I rarely commit to these types challenges.

But I love the Tour de France and I want to feel what it is like to wake up every morning and ride like they do. I decided to create my own challenge “Tour de France 50k a Day.”

Here’s some facts from the Tour de France:

  • Running from Saturday July 5th to Sunday July 27th 2014, the 101th Tour de France will be made up of 21 stages and will cover a total distance of 3,664 kilometres.
  • The course has 9 flat stages, 5 hill stages, 6 mountain stages with 5 altitude finishes, 1 individual time trial stage, 2 rest days
  • The Tour will go through 4 countries this year

I am going to ride 50k or 31 miles everyday the boys are riding in the Tour De France. It means 21 rides in 23 days and 1050k over the 3 week period. On a strong day it should take my about 1.5 hours. When I slow down a little or ride a hilly route it should take around 2+ hours. During the Tour de France this year I will be in Tahoe teaching at the Wanderlust Festival and spending some time in Yosemite. That means my road bike is coming with me and some beautiful scenery.

Ok, that’s great for me but how can some of my non-riding friends play with this challenge? How about taking an indoor cycling class everyday the guys riding the Tour de France? You would get 21 hours of good cardio in this 3 week period of time and if you do it right it can help your running. I’ll write a post how to cycle to help your running.

It kicks-off Saturday, July 5. Pick an option that works for you. If you have a bike ride outside, maybe work in some indoor cycling classes or create your own option. Just get motivated by one of the toughest endurance feats in all of sports, the Tour de France.

I will be posting results and opportunities to ride with me. You can also follow me on Facebook and Twitter. Let me know it you are up to the challenge.

Ride Focused, Steve Mackel – Cycling Coach and Tour de France Enthusiast

Pub Run from Runners High in Belmont Shore in Long Beach Tuesday, July 1, 6:30 PM

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Did someone say Pub Run?

This sounds like summer fun. I missed the first Runners High Pub Run in June (I was at the World Champion Los Angeles Kings playoff game) but this time I plan on showing. The Sole Runners team took first in the first one, whatever that means. I am going to try and help there team out this time. Plus, Runner High is one of my favorite running stores in So Cal.

The details are on the banner above but quickly again:

  • The Run is FREE the food and beverage is not
  • Meet at Runners High in Belmont Shore by 6:30 PM ready to run –  5338 E. 2nd St. LB, CA 90803
  • 3 Miles – 3 Beers or whatever you want to drink
  • Wear your Red, White and Blue
  • Have fun or stay home
  • Please RSVP to:

Easy, fun training, with fun, cool people. That’s what I’m talking about. I hope to see you there.

Train Focused, Steve Mackel – RRCA Marathon Coach

Xterra Snow Valley Trail Race and Triathlon July 26 – 27, 2014 – Special SCR Discount

Looking for a fun, beautiful and challenging trail race? The Xterra Snow Valley Trail Races and Triathlon are worth putting on your calendar. The Trail Races are on Sunday, July 27, 2014. Below is my video from the 2013 21k (half marathon).

You can read the full race report at:

They are also offering a special for readers. Use the code “SoCalRunning”  for 15% off your your registration.

To Visit the Xterra Site and Sign-Up Click Here

My Garmin race data is below. Click “View Data” on the bottom right of the Garmin frame

Race Focused, Steve Mackel – Master ChiRunning® Instructor

FREE ChiRunning Clinic at the Dog Haus in Old Town Pasadena Tuesday, June 17, 6 PM

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  • Do you want to improve your running technique?
  • Would you like to run faster, easier?
  • Do you have questions about training for races?
  • How about ending it with some “Yoga for Runners” that Coach Steve has been teaching for the past 10 years?

Tuesday, June 17, 2014, 6 PM at the Dog Haus in Old Town Pasadena, Coach Steve if offering a FREE ChiRunning® clinic for the Dog Haus Running Club followed by Yoga for Runners

All you have to do is show up with your running shoes and if you have a yoga mat that would be great too.

The Dog Haus has great hot dogs and beer. I’ll be hangin’ around to eat and answer questions afterwards.

Train Focused, Steve Mackel – Master ChiRunning® Instructor

Wanderlust Festival – Yoga in the City – LA 2014

Santa Monica, CA – Hundreds of Yogis and Yoginis gathered on the Santa Monica Pier for the Wanderlust Festivals special one day LA event “Yoga in the City – LA.”

The short video above doesn’t show much of the yoga because I didn’t want to stop and shoot video while I was deep into the class. Just know, the yoga rocked and then we rocked.

Yoga in the City featured some of LA’s top yoga teachers. They lead 3 one hour classes with AcroYoga and Copoeira demonstration in between the classes.

I am leading ChiRunning® workshops at the Squaw Valley Wanderlust Festival, July, 17 – 20, so I wanted to check out the Wanderlust vibe. All I can say in WOW! I had a fantastic time. Now I can’t wait for July. Register Here

I signed up for the 4:30 PM class lead by Tommy Rosen, Kia Miller and Shiva Rea. I got there at 3:30, walked around the Kula Market and had a glass of grapefruit and sage kombucha. That was really tasty. The 3 PM class was packed. It was fun just watching such a large group of people doing yoga. Great music spun by DJ Drez added to the high energy.

It was a warm a windy afternoon. My class started out with Tommy Rosen. We started out with a session of Breath of Fire Pranayama. We did it longer than I normally do, and I found it challenging to go that long. Tommy then took us through basic forward folds, extensions and chair poses that really opened up my tight lower back. It had a strong Power Yoga feel to it.
tommy rosen
Kia Miller followed Tommy. Kia took us through sun salutation variations. I love sun salutations. Being out on the pier, looking at the ocean and being immersed in all that energy was awesome.

Next was Shiva Rea. Shiva’s classes always seem to be atypical yoga to me. But, the way she gets you to flow with you breath and movement is magical. The events I have been to with Shiva usually end up in dancing. The music DJ Drez was playing during Shiva’s class were these cool tribal drums tracks. It worked perfectly with the flowing yoga. Everyone ended up dancing, smiling and feeling great.

I hope I can find one of Tommy’s classes here in LA. I loved his portion of the class and attitude. I will be taking Shiva Rea’s class in Squaw Valley this July. Don’t miss a Wanderlust opportunity near you!

Yoga Focused,
Steve Mackel – Master ChiRunning® Instructor

Running Shoes – What I Am Wearing These Days – ACSM Running Shoes Guidelines

I am often asked about running shoes so let me start out by saying there is no right shoes for everyone, maybe even most people. What works for you, works for you, and that might take a lot of trial and error. But, looking at what your friends are wearing, considering if you are using your shoes for training, racing or trail running, will help narrow down your choices. And, you have more choices than ever.

Below are the new ACSM American College of Sports Medicine running shoe selection guidelines. When I first read them, I thought wow, pretty much the way I think about selecting running shoes. So, I am not going to rewrite the work they already did. I did post the video above to show you what I have been running in the last 9 months.

I average around 40 miles a week. I run in lots of different shoes so I can have real experience with lots of different brands. Sometimes I do receive some free shoes to try and give feedback on, but if I don’t like them I don’t use them.

Check out the pdf below and remember, running shoes are a very personal choice. Take your time when trying on new shoes. Don’t be afraid to return them if you don’t like them after a couple of runs. If you love them buy a second pair. Don’t be afraid to try different brands and keep working on your running form.

Leave a comment or email if you have any shoe questions.

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Download this pdf

Train Focused, Steve Mackel – Master ChiRunning® Instructor

Sole Runners LA Marathon Carbo-Loading and Spring / Summer Kick-off Party this Wednesday, March 5, 6 PM at Buono’s Pizza in Downtown Long Beach

Sole Runners LA Marathon Carbo-Loading and Spring / Summer Kick-off Party this Wednesday, March 5, 6 PM at Buono’s Pizza in Downtown Long Beach. That’s right, two parties in one, a carbo-loading for the LA Marathon and the Sole Runners Spring/Summer kick-off. This Wednesday, March 5, 6 PM at Buono’s Pizza in downtown Long Beach at 250 W. Ocean Blvd., Long Beach, CA 90802 (562) 432-2211. All you can eat Italian buffet only $10.
buffalo wings
This is not a Carbo-Loading Except for Maybe the Beer

Wednesday and Thursday before my races are days my carbo-loading days. There are a lot of information out there on carbo-loading and how to do it, and it is not just done the night before the event. Yes, I still eat a carbohydrate meal the night before a race but I start carbo-loading days before my race. The idea is that we top off our our glycogen stores through carbo-loading before the race. Of course, all your meals should have protein and fat in them too. This is not meant to be a detailed explanation of carbo-loading because true cabo-loading requires glycogen depletion and is a process.  This is a party / tradition before a big race.
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We are also having the Spring / Summer Sole Runners Kick-off Party that night. Come find out about the Sole Runners ChiRunning and Yoga Marathon / Half Marathon Training Programs. Ask questions and meet the coach, mentors and other Sole Runners.

We are having a Special LA Marathon Carbo-loading Lowest Sole Runners Spring/Summer Registration Price

Register between 2/28 and 3/9 and get the lowest Sole Runners Full and Half Marathon Training Programs lowest price of the year.

* New Participant $165 normally $195
* Alumni (have been a Sole Runner or Beach Runner in the past)
$120 normally $145

There are 3 ways to register:

1. Send a check made out to: Tri This Coaching, 1600 Fremont Ave.,
South Pasadena, CA 91030
2. Come to our Carbo-load/Kick-off Party Wednesday, March 5, 6 PM
at Buono’s and pay in person
3. Pay through our secure web site ($5 credit card processing fee)

New Sole Runner On-line Registration $170 Click Here to Register

Alumni Sole Runner On-line Registration $125 Click Here to Register

Register for the Spring/Summer Season at the reduced price. If you have any questions call Coach Steve at (818) 414-9181.

Eat Focused, Steve Mackel

Catalina Marathon – A Must Do Trail Marathon – Video and Recap from 2008

The Catalina Marathon is a Must Do Trail Marathon. It is always rated as one of the best trail marathons in the US by Runners World magazine.  This marathon boasts has almost 4,000 feet of elevation gain and loss. The view are spectacular. But, my favorite part is the participants. There are old-timers, first-timers, trail veterans and trail newbies. Most of us are there for the same reasons. The first is, “Because it’s there.” The second, to see a Buffalo . Third, you know it’s hard but so worth it. Almost everyone I have met, no matter where they are from, trained on hills because this is a hilly marathon. People from Florida do hill repeats on highway overpasses to train for this race. And, I forget to mention the after-party.

This video is Part 2 of my 2008 Video from the race. I can’t find Part 1, but Part 2 is better. It starts out at the top of Pump House Hill and goes from there to the post race party, hosted by the Race Director. I interviewed some of the runners. I even met a couple from London, England that saw my 2007 video and decided to come out because it looked so cool, for their first marathon.

There is still plenty of time to sign up. Email me: Steve@MarathonTraining.TV for a discount code. I hope to see you on the island. If you see me, please come over and say hello.

Training for Catalina, Steve Mackel – 5 Time Past Catalina Marathon Participant

Training With Team Parkinson – An Awesome Journey


This is my 5th year coaching Team Parkinson Pasadena for the LA Marathon 5k. When I started out I knew very little about Parkinson’s Disease. I’ve learned a lot over the past 5 years.

The obvious: Parkinson’s makes it a lot more difficult to go 3.1 miles let alone longer which some of our team members do. The dedication everyone who trains with us on Thursdays has, with or without Parkinson. The commitment these people have to helping find a cure.

The not-so-obvious: Exercise slows the onset of Parkinson’s Disease symptoms. The medications or lack of medications can have a major influence on each day’s performance. Parkinson’s doesn’t slow these people down. In some cases it seems like it gets them more involved. And, they make the same commitment everyone training for race makes.

We use some of the ChiRunning and ChiWalking techniques to help us but with Parkinson’s you want to exaggerate your movements. It takes a lot of focus. Think Big and Loud.

Our race is Saturday, March 9. We have 3 more training session and 23 days left until the big day. This year most of our training days have been exceptional; big crowds, great weather, fantastic camaraderie exceptional food (thanks Sarah). Today was not exception.

With three weeks left you can still join us for our FREE Thursday. Check Out This Post for the Details. If you want to make a donation or join our team at the LA Marathon 5k email Coach Steve Mackel

There are a lot of races on the calendar and I am really looking forward to the LA Marathon 5k Saturday, March 9.

Train Focused, Steve Mackel – Team Parkinson’s Member

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