I'm not an elite runner. So when I run a marathon I'm typically on the course for three to four hours. Choosing the right running sock is critical for foot comfort and protection. I've tried many brands and types of running socks. In my last few marathons and the training leading up to those marathons, I've run in Thorlos padded running socks. I've found these socks provide more protection and comfort than any other name brand socks I've worn in the past. Check out this video: The Design of Thorlos Padded Running Socks. They aren't the least expensive socks, but well worth it for a few extra dollars. And a cool thing about them is that they are made right here in the U.S., specifically in Statesville, North Carolina.
If you're new to running or planning for your first marathon, I don't recommend jumping into an advanced training program until you've built up an endurance base. But if you have a few marathons under your belt and want to take it to the next level I recommend the book Advanced Marathoning by Peter Pfitzinger I followed the Up To 55 Miles Per Week plan & qualified for Boston with 5 minutes to spare. Plus I improved my PR by 13 minutes. 
My brand of choice for GPS-enabled running watches is Garmin. I started with another big-name brand, but switched to Garmin which I've worn in 14 marathons. I ran with the 305 initially, tracking my heart rate and run stats. However, in an effort to reduce complexity in my training, I purchased the simple, easy to use Garmin Forerunner 10. The Forerunner 10 is much lighter than the 305. It's also one of the least expensive and most user friendly GPS watches. The Forerunner 10 is an excellent choice for beginner runners.
Swimming is a great cross-training activity that's easy on the joints. I went from barely swimming 25 yards to an Ironman distance of 2.4 miles in 8 months following the instruction in the DVD Total Immersion Swimming. Total Immersion Swimming is designed to help you swim longer with more ease and enjoyment, and to allow for the easiest transition from pool swimming to open water. I didn't break any swimming records (1:28 '09 IM Louisville), but considering I couldn't swim a lap 8 months prior, the lessons in this DVD saved me.

  • Strive for balance - more than anything your family wants your time.
  • Keep it simple - other areas of life are complex enough.
  • Lead by example - "Do as I say, not as I do" won't work.
  • Stretch the comfort zone - ask "How" not "If."
  • There will be barriers and setbacks - persist forward.
  • Celebrate successes with family and friends.

The running plans I used for my first 5k up to my first marathon are free. They can be found at Hal Higdon's website under Training Programs. My goals for these first-time races was a consistent pace where I didn't need to walk and could finish fairly strong. By committing to these training programs I was able to hit these goals and you can too.

The right nutrition is critical for Durable Dads. Proper nutrition not only affects you, but impacts your children. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 35.7% of adults and 17% (12.5 million) of children and adolescents are obese. Research shows that kids who have at least one obese parent are more than twice as likely to be obese as adults. It's not uncommon to hear about men suffering heart attacks in their 40's and 50's. According to the CDC heart disease is the leading cause of death for men in the United States. About 600,000 people die of heart disease in the United States every year - about 1 in every 4 deaths.

I first heard of this idea from a running friend of mine but never implemented it. Then I ran across it again recently at running.competitor.com in their article DIY Snow-Running Spikes. Grabbing a slightly older pair of running shoes, I followed the directions in the article, except I used 12 #8 hex-head sheet metal screws per shoe instead of 10. The screws were available at my local hardware store for $0.10 each. At a total cost of $2.40, this was the best investment in my winter running gear this year.

Have you ever seen at the beginning of many fitness programs, the disclaimer about consulting with your doctor prior to starting a workout regiment? I completely agree with that advice. But recently I saw a more interesting way it was presented at my gym.  On the back of someone's t-shirt it read: "Ask your doctor if it's ok for you to get your butt off the couch." I thought that was a more direct way of putting it. 

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    Hi! I'm Mike - a first time father at 46 on a mission to be fit long-term for myself & my family and help other mid-life fathers do the same. Here at durabledadsfitness.com I share useful information and products that will help you obtain and sustain a fit and healthy lifestyle.