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Performance Driven Athletic Socks

I am one of the first athletes, starting back in 2008, to begin wearing, testing, and promoting the value of graduated compression socks for any athletic activity. Increased blood flow and injury prevention are very important for me as an older athlete. Increased blood flow means more oxygen and nutrients and less lactic acid build up. Injury prevention means greater protection to the muscles, ligaments, and tendons by reducing the vibration with increased support. My sock of choice is the Sigvaris Performance socks ( that are real graduated compression (many companies claim their socks are but fail in our testing) and go from the tip of your toes to above the calf.

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This above photo is from the store Sanbeck AG, Winterthur, Switzerland ( is part of Sigvaris’ European promotions displaying their Performance line of socks. Sigvaris takes their extensive medical background and brings it to the athletic arena. I believe that Sigvaris is the best Performance sock on the worldwide market. I am wearing them in every one of my athletic events from running to tennis. Sometimes I forget how the graduated compression socks help my legs feel so good. All I need to do is to wear an ordinary polyester sock on a run and I really feel the difference in performance and recovery.

I used Sigvaris Performance socks in every race this summer in Greece. I am not a big advocate of the sport sleeves that are seen at many sporting events. The sleeves might be practical and easy as you can still wear your ankle height socks and wear the sleeve above them, but the science to me does not make sense. If you can imagine the graduated compression sock like a tube of toothpaste pushing the paste upwards. Even though the compression is greater at the ankle and decreases as you go up the calf, why would you not want to include the foot? I want the blood in the foot to be part of the process. I feel the difference in the effectiveness between the sock and the sleeve. I wear the performance graduated compression sock before my event for blood flow on the way to the competition, at every event for performance, post event for recovery, and in my travels as my lower extremities can swell especially on flights.

Give the Sigvaris Performance Socks a try to see if they make a difference in your next race.

3 Steps To Run A Faster Mile In Your 50s

Many people have been inquiring since I completed my 2015 event, The Greek Islands Adventure, on how I was able to break 5 minutes, in 5 one-mile races, over 12 days. I promised that I would share what changes I made to my training in the months preceding the event and what changes I made during my race schedule.

So here are the 3 steps to a run a faster mile in your 50s…

  1. I still did three speed workouts a week in the months leading up to my event, but the arrangement was different. I knew for my event I had to be able to run fast on very little rest. In the past for example, I would run 8 repetitions of a 1/4 mile at race pace in one workout and I would sometimes leave beat up and in need of a greater rest period. This year I cut the repetitions in half. I did speed repeats at race pace every Tuesday and Thursday, but only 4 repetitions. I left each workout still feeling fresh. I found my speed, established it in the workout, and then left. All my speed workouts were on the road, never on the track. One thing my chiropractor and I discovered a few years ago is that my hips stay in better alignment running in a straight line. No longer do I run fast while cornering – what a difference! Pounding the corners creates an  imbalance with one side of my body contracting while the other side lengthening. After years of running my intervals on the oval track, I now only do my speed on a measured straight line 100s, 200s, 400s, and 800s. NASCAR automobiles are made for their left turns, our bodies our not especially as we get older.
  2. All my long distance base training was done on a soft surface. I took advantage of our Florida beaches, dirt trails, and a the new crushed shell trail loop at Benderson Park. I never ran slowly on the road (as I have done in the past). This really helped in not beating up my legs. As we age, our joints can no longer take the pounding of a hard surface. When I see people running slowly on the sidewalk, I know it will not be for long as it is about 10 times harder than the roads. Injuries will soon be a result of those repetitive workouts.
  3. Back in 2008 when I had to break 5 minutes in 20 different road mile races in 20 weeks, I still did a hard track workout every Wednesday afternoon in whatever city I was in for the race. I look back and remember my mind set that unless I raced every Saturday and did another speed workout on Wednesday that I was not race ready. This year at 52 years of age, it was different. I went into the races having done all my work. During the weeks of my races, all I did was travel, warm-up, run easy, and then race as hard as I could. Rinse and repeat – one after the other. No extra speed workouts were done during my race period. Focus was only on my recovery. I felt as good racing this year as I did back in 2012. It is nice to do repetitive races with bouncy legs.

Hope these steps help you wisely prepare for your races and enjoy running as fast as you can even as you age.


I posted an 80-Minute Mile…and I was happy with my time!

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My 80-minute mile took place traversing the Mahoosuc Notch in western Maine. Many hikers consider this mile the toughest or slowest mile of the Appalachian Trail and usually take a couple of hours to go through the notch. My brother, Richard, and I followed Ken Alden through the notch. Ken did not hesitate choosing his spots to attack the rock formations in front of him. Richard refers to Mahoosuc Notch as a “jungle gym for adults.” Each hiker must go over, under, or around massive boulders that fell from the surrounding cliffs. This hike was part of our 17-mile day hiking from Old Speck to Goose Eye Mountain (photo on the summit above near the end of our day). What a great workout that took us the entire day. Here is Ken below sneaking through a hole he found at Mahoosuc Notch.

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Before tackling Mahoosuc Notch, my Maine hiking expedition began in central part of the state at Gulf Hagas in what is referred to as “The Grand Canyon of Maine.” Richard, Aubrey (my niece), and I hiked a trail that begins with taking our boots off to cross a running river and then goes up and around the rim of the gorge. A beautiful hike with many waterfalls, it was a nice way to break in my new boots. The next two days we hiked about 20 miles of the Hundred-Mile Wilderness trail which is a challenging part of the Appalachian Trail. It was a nice way to send my niece off to college and brought back memories of her completing all the 4,000 footers in New England back when she was just 13. Richard, the consummate guide, took me through four days and 42 miles of hiking some picturesque but difficult Maine terrain.

Maui Jim is sponsoring the Maui Invitational college basketball tournament coming up in November. Because of this, Maui Jim is doing a sweepstakes that includes roundtrip coach airfare, six night hotel accommodation, rental car, a pair of tickets for each tournament day, a $500 VISA gift card and two pairs of Maui Jim sunglasses. Check out this link to enter the sweepstakes:


I am traveling to the US Open tennis and then again overseas. Will be back in September reviewing my races in Greece. Have a great rest of your summer!