WattsRunning News - Issue 2

 eBook available now!

Welcome to the WattsRunning newsletter, issue #2, a quarterly newsletter for members of the WattsRunning community. Topics for this quarter include:.
  • eBook Released  - After months of research and writing, "Running for the Average Joe" was released in the Adobe PDF format.
  • Run! - This month's favorite run: Big Sur Marathon
  • Training Tip - Cross-training.
  • Feature - Visit the new store!
  • Health - Proper hydration.
  • Announcements - 50% off eBook until August 15th.
  • Motivation - A quote to get you going!


eBook Released

"Running for the Average Joe" was released to the general public on June 20th, and has been widely accepted by readers all around the world.  Runners from 48 of the 50 states and from 21 countries, took part in the eBook giveaway of more than 200 free copies.  If you were lucky enough to get the free version, please note that I'll be sending out a survey within the next couple of weeks.  I ask that you take time to answer the questions in the survey openly and honestly, so I can make appropriate changes before the paperback release due out later this year.  Thanks to all of you for your support!

The foreword for the book was written by extreme endurance athlete, Marshall Ulrich.  Be sure to read Marshall's stories of success and endurance on pages 28 and 29 of "Running for the Average Joe," and visit his web page at and on Facebook.

Proper hydration

Fluid intake and proper hydration for anyone can never be underestimated, but it becomes even more important for people in an athletic, actvie lifestyle. In this edition, we'll take a brief look at proper hydration and the importance of taking in proper amounts of fluids before, during and after your run. The following excerpts have been taken from Chapter 6 - Running Physiology in my book.

"For some reason, proper hydration is another topic that seems to be either ignored or underestimated by many runners. For any animal, hydration in the right amounts is paramount for the activity at hand, whether it’s walking through a snow storm or running a marathon in Death Valley.
Many people overcomplicate this topic and try to turn it into rocket science, but when it comes right down to it, hydration is easy to understand:  When you run, you sweat. When you sweat a lot, your blood volume decreases, and the more your blood volume decreases, the harder your heart has to work.  While this may sound dangerous, it’s really not, as long you monitor your situation. Very few athletes experience hydration conditions that cause serious health problems, but when they do occur, athletes may become temporarily weak, nauseous, or faint. The bigger and more common problem is that the athlete can forget her water bottle, or assume she doesn’t need it because she’s only doing a short run.  Far too many people make false assumptions about proper hydration, whether it’s over-hydration or under-hydration. Unfortunately, hydration-induced health problems arise when you’re already under or over hydrated. Let’s look at the differences.

Proper hydration
Simply put, dehydration occurs when you use or lose more fluid or salts than you take in, and your body doesn't have enough fluids to carry out its natural functions. Dehydration can worsen from fever or illness, a hot and dry climate, prolonged exposure to the sun or high temperatures. It can also occur by the overuse of diruretics or other medications that increase the normal output of urination. And of course, insufficient water intake can cause an imbalance in the delicate fluid and salt levels in our body. Water accounts for about 50% of a woman's body weight and about 60% of a man's weight.

It’s a known fact that many adults older than 60 years old don’t get the hydration they need.  And as some of the elderly persons move to warmer and dryer climates, the tendency for dehydration dramatically increases. All their lives, they only drank a certain amount of water, and now they’re suddenly faced with dehydration problems.  And of course, activities such as running and dancing only increase their difficulties.

Types of Dehydration
Mild dehydration is defined as the loss of no greater than 5% of the body's fluid. A loss of 5-10% is considered to be moderate dehydration and severe dehydration occurs with a loss of 10-15% of body fluids. Severe dehydration is a life-threatening condition that demands immediate medical attention.

Complications of Dehydration
If a person is severely depleted of fluids, hypovolemic shock can occur.  Also known as physical collapse, it’s usually recognized by pale, cool, clammy skin, shallow breathing and rapid heartbeat. If and when it does happen, blood pressure sometimes drops so low it can’t even be measured, and skin at the knees and elbows may become blotchy.

Causes and Symptoms
Strenuous activity, excessive sweating, overexposure to the sun and insufficient fluid intake all contribute to dehydration. Alcohol, caffeine, medications and diuretics that increase the output of fluid from the body can also impact dehydration levels. 

The patient's symptoms and medical history usually indicate dehydration. Physical examination may reveal rapid heart rate, shock, or low blood pressure. Blood tests can be used to check electrolyte levels and urine tests can be run to evaluate the severity of the issue. Other lab tests may be arranged to determine the underlying problem, such as diabetes or adrenal gland problems that may be the source of dehydration.

An increase of fluid intake and replacement of lost electrolytes are usually all that’s needed to sufficiently restore fluid balances in athletes who are mildly or moderately dehydrated. For persons who are mildly dehydrated, drinking plain water may be all that’s needed for treatment. Adults who need to replace lost electrolytes can drink sports beverages and take in a little additional salt to help balance their body fluids. Commercial drinks such as Pedialyte can also help to alleviate the symptoms or conditions.

Medical Care
In cases of severe dehydration, intravenous fluids are almost always administered and the patient remains hospitalized until the condition improves. If an individual's blood pressure drops enough to cause the development of shock, medical treatment is usually required and intravenous fluids are administered to expedite normal hydration."


The store is open!

Available from my main website and Facebook page, the new WattsRunning store is officially online and ready for you! 

Happy Trails!

Until next quarter, stay safe and enjoy your training. If you have questions, comments or concerns, you can always contact me at:
twitter: @wattsrunning



Recommended Run!

In each quarterly newsletter, I feature a run that I'd highly recommend. In this issue, we'll take a look at Big Sur along the coast of south-central California. 

They say it's not about the destination, but about the journey.  When it comes to the Big Sur, however, it really IS about the destination. There are many beautiful and fascinating places in the United States, but few can rival the coastal region of Big Sur. Despite the attraction of hundreds of thousands of tourists per year, it rarely feels "busy" or overcrowded.  As a matter of fact, if you go off the highways and bi-ways, it could be hours before you see another human.

Big Sur stretches along California State Highway 1, from Carmel and Monterrey, nearly 90 miles to San Carpoforo Creek in San Luis Obispo County, along the western boundaries of the Los Padres National Forest. It also boasts the honor of having the highest coastal mountains in the lower 48 states, with Cone Peak reaching skyward to 5,155', just three miles from the coast. If offers spectacular vistas from nearly every mile of the highway, including views from the Bixby Bridge, finished in 1932. 

Of course, what brought us to Big Sur, was the Big Sur Marathon, held on the last weekend of April each year.  The marathon starts near Pfeiffer State Park, host to thousands of redwood trees and the incomparable Big Sur River.  The marathon features a fast start by dropping nearly 300 feet in the first five miles, but then it flattens for the next few miles, followed by a steep climb to 540 feet above sea level at Hurricane Point (Mile 12).  Musicians and bands line the course at nearly every mile marker, and is usually highlighted by a pianist with a Baby Grand piano. Rock bands crank out the tunes on the descent from Hurricane Point to the Bixby bridge.  The seasonal timing of the race coincides with the bi-annual migration of the Gray whales along the Big Sur coastline. You'll run over undulating hills from mile 14 through the finish, where you're greeted by a great post-race celebration  Spring time temperatures are very comfortable, ranging from low 40's at the start to mid-60's or low-70's at the finish. 

How to get there:  We drove our RV to California, but the region is also served by airports directly into Monterey, or you can fly to San Francisco (120 miles), Los Angeles, (320 miles) or San Jose (70 miles). Put this race on your bucket list, not just for the journey, but for the destination!


Cross-training is defined as “training in two or more sports in order to improve fitness and performance, especially in a main sport.”

Over the years, many athletes have excelled in single-sport training and activity. Swimmers did all or most of their training in the pool, while cyclists spent countless hours on their road or stationary bikes. And of course, runners spent time simply running endless mile after mile at the track, or hour after hour on the treadmill. Rarely did the athlete stray from their discipline. For instance, if the runner’s goal or interest was a 5k or 10k race, they simply ran their specified goal distance. In any of these examples, if the athlete actually did any cross-training, it was more than likely a session or two per week of weight training. The mentality at the time was to focus on specificity rather than overall health and balance of the bodies’ various systems.

In recent years, however, sports physiologists have determined the entire body reaps more benefits and creates a stronger, faster, more agile and more coordinated body. The coaches and athletes soon recognized this fact and have developed strategies to enhance the athlete’s core discipline. Well-planned cross-training allows the entire body to be trained as a unified entity, rather than individual parts. Let’s take running, for example. Obviously, a runner needs strong legs to go the specified distance and pace. The arms are heavily involved as counter balance to keep the momentum going. The arms don’t necessarily need a lot of lifting power, but they must be able to swing as long as the legs are in motion. This requires strong connective tissue in the shoulders and elbows. For shorter runs such as 400 meter or 1 mile races, leg strength and arm counter balance may be all you need. But when you get into medium and long distance running, you’ll need to focus on your abdomen and back because they connect your upper and lower extremities. You’ll need to work on muscle groups rather than individual muscles. This is where cross-training comes in – to train muscles that are neglected with the rigors of normal training. The key to successful training of any discipline is the ability to match it with one or more cross-training programs that enhances the main sport. This is one of the reasons that triathletes, particularly those participating at the Ironman levels, are usually considered the fittest of the fit. They train for running AND cycling AND swimming – a great program for success and whole-body fitness. Be sure to read Chapter 14 - Cross-Training in "Running for the Average Joe" for more cross-training insight.

Discount again!

Most of you who are receiving this newsletter were able to download the eBook at no charge.  If you didn't get your copy for free, I'm offering yet another deal to get the eBook into your hands.  For a limited time, I'm extending a half price sale for the eBook version.  Tell your running friends about this great deal - the normal price is $9.99, but I'm offering it for just $4.99 until midnight of August 15th, a great savings of $5.00. Not only is it a great price, but it can be downloaded immediately from the online store.


In my book, I have dozens of "mote-quotes" - motivational quotes to help you stay focused and driven during your training. This issue's quote is:

"I dont' have any more skill or talent then the next guy - I only have more will power."

Happy Trails!

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