Melissa Faukner

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So far Melissa Faukner has created 12 entries.

“Ready to Run” (…Despite the Wildfires)

Written by Scott Benbow

Scott Benbow is a 2018 Biofreeze San Francisco Marathon Ambassador

This past autumn, the devastating fires in Paradise, California claimed the lives of many while uprooting families and destroying property. Having lost loved ones, property, and pets, it will be years before some of the survivors return to any semblance of normal lives again.

Here in San Francisco, we were spared the immediate dangers of the wildfires but our thoughts were with the victims to the northeast. However, we were reminded daily of the emergency in Paradise because the air quality in the city diminished to dangerous levels as a result. As the air worsened, an ever-growing number of people in the city donned ventilation masks in an attempt to protect their lungs. Having lived in this city of oddballs and eccentrics for 18 years, I had never seen pedestrians across the city look so bizarre.

The wildfires posed dilemmas for many in the running community. “Should I run with a mask?” My answer was, “Hell no!” Race Directors had the even more difficult decision to make and I was pleased that the organizers of road and trail races in the region–including the organizers of the Berkeley Half Marathon, the North Face Endurance Challenge, the T9 Mermaid Series Run in San Francisco, and the Monterey Bay Half Marathon–all decided to cancel their races. They were under intense pressure from runners not to cancel because of those who invested time, training, attention, and money to running these races.

On my social media feeds, I was pleased to see that most of my friends were intentionally choosing not to run in the dangerous air. They are a dedicated bunch, so I wondered how they would fill the […]

Making Running A Personal And Community Adventure

Four months after running her first marathon at the Biofreeze SF Marathon, Katie Burns took 39 minutes off her personal best at CIM.

The marathon is an event like no other, one where elites and the everyday runners challenge their minds and bodies for 26.2 unrelenting miles together on the same course. Each runner’s story is vastly different, making each experience and accomplishment all the more compelling.

As Katie Burns toed the line at the 2018 California International Marathon (CIM) on December 2nd, it would be her second marathon of the year and her second, lifetime. Four months prior in July, she made her foray into the world of marathoning at the 2018 Biofreeze San Francisco Marathon, finishing with a chip time of 4:08:46.

A self-proclaimed “non-sporty person”, Burns has always had a love for being outside as much as she could. Naturally, running found its way into her life as a way of channeling her energetic personality, starting with one of many couch-to-5K training plans that she would find on the internet. As her running became more steady, she ultimately found herself in the RUN365 training club where she would eventually become a pacer.

“The biggest success I have found has been community and consistency,” Burns said. “I absolutely love being a part of RUN365 because I know I always have a running buddy waiting for me and a run already scheduled. Even as things got crazy at work and in life, I was able to carve out an hour here or there to join my friends for a run, which made all the difference in my training.”

Burns entered CIM with confidence in her build-up, logging in the necessary miles with the proper dose of speed work […]

#TrainingTipThursday: How to Recover After a Race

As we are approaching the end of year, many of us are already planning out our race schedules for the upcoming year along with a new set of goals to reach for.

There are many, however, who are focused in on the final races for the year and trying to close out the running season with a bang! With that, it’s important that we run our best, and also, make sure to recover well so the new year starts off on the right foot.

We turn to our friends at The Run Experience for tips on how to check the boxes of recovery after our races. Making sure to dial in recovery is the most important aspect of our running that ensures our bodies stay strong. Take these tips to heart and we’ll see you at the starting line!

-Your Coaches


By |November 29th, 2018|Training|0 Comments|

#TrainingTipThursday: 10 Best Recovery Foods for Runners

As runners, there are a lot of considerations that we have to manage consistently in order to develop into stronger athletes; our weekly mileage, adequate quality sleep, strength training, etc.

One of the the most overlooked aspects of being a runner is how we view our nutrition. There is a prevailing belief that because we are burning so many calories, we can eat whatever we’d like. However, if we want to optimize our performance and–most importantly–feel great during our training, it’s important that we should start looking at food as fuel.

Additionally, we want to make sure that we are fueling our bodies with the right quality nutrient-dense foods. The best time to make these nutritional changes are when our bodies need it the most: during the times we’re recovering from runs.

Our friends at The Run Experience have got you covered with a top 10 list of the the best foods to eat when recovering. The sooner you can revitalize your body and muscles, the faster you can get back out there.

-Your Coaches

By |November 15th, 2018|Training|0 Comments|

#TrainingTipThursday: How To Run Faster

You know those workouts: the lung-searing runs where conversational pace turns into 1-2 word gasps at most. There’s no denying that speedier types of running are tough but also, a necessary evil when we’re trying to reach new levels as runners.

How do we know which workouts to do and at which paces? How do we know how hard to push and how to recover correctly? What’s a “fartlek” and why does it read funny? There are many questions that can be confusing but we’ve got you covered.

Coach Morgan at The Run Experience walks us through how we can use the 3 key workouts we need to improve our lung capacity and speed: 1) the “fartlek”, 2) the tempo run, and 3) interval runs. Use these workouts as stand-alone or in combination within a training program and you’ll be running faster and stronger more comfortably.

As always, we’ve got your back.

– Your Coaches

By |November 8th, 2018|Training|0 Comments|

Gait Analysis for Runners

Written by Chance Kinney

Chance Kinney is the Director of Content Development at Fitted Running

I can’t remember which pair of shoes I bought when I first got into running a few years ago — and that’s a problem! Like a lot of fellow novice runners, I bought something online that looked like a pair of running shoes, threw them on, and hit the pavement. The pavement hit back, and everything hurt — shin splints, calf soreness, and quads that felt like they’d been on the wrong end of a meat tenderizer. But, that’s the price of getting into running, right?

Not necessarily. Turns out, running doesn’t (always) have to be painful. It all starts with getting into the right pair of running shoes for you, and odds are you’re not going to get into them by accident. That’s where the gait analysis comes in.
What is a gait analysis?
The gait analysis is a detailed look at the way you move when running to determine which running shoe is right for you, and it’s at the center of what we do at Fitted Running. Each shoe from each brand is purpose-built for a specific kind of runner, and if you don’t throw on the pair that makes sense for your situation, you could suffer from a lot of unnecessary pain down the road. We’re here to make sure that doesn’t happen.

You may have heard of the gait analysis before, and perhaps are imagining a treadmill and at least two people standing behind it, scribbling into notebooks as they look intently at your every step. Super fun for everyone, promise. It’s a legitimate way to do it, but a little outdated thanks to huge leaps forward in […]

By |November 5th, 2018|Training|0 Comments|

#TrainingTipThursday: Half Marathon Pacing Strategy

Are you ready!? The Biofreeze Berkeley Half Marathon is only 3 weeks away. We hope training has been going well and you are confident when you toe the starting line on November 18th.

There are a lot of things to think about when covering the half marathon distance: what to wear, what to eat, what to drink, etc. One of the more important factors to consider is how to nail your pacing strategy so you can have the best race possible.

In this week’s Training Tip Thursday, Coach Nate and Holly at The Run Experience go over how to break the 13.1-mile distance into digestible bits so you can optimize your run on race day.

Endurance running is as much a mental puzzle to solve as it is a physical one. Let us help give you one less thing to think about.

– Your Coaches

By |November 1st, 2018|Training|0 Comments|

#TrainingTipThursday: How To Change Your Run Technique

Our running technique is a naturally developed movement we honed as kids on the playground. As our running became more serious, we had to constantly fine-tune the movement to accommodate the more miles we put on our legs and bodies.

In this week’s #TrainingTipThursday, our friends at The Run Experience do a deep dive on all things to consider when looking to change our running techniques. It’s these certain micro-adjustments we make that cohere to gradual improvements over time.

Whether it be to improve running efficiency, decrease the likelihood of injuries, or look our best in race photos, let’s get those strides strong and ready for our runs!

By |October 25th, 2018|Training|0 Comments|

Running and Weight Loss?

By Stephanie Laska, M.Ed

Stephanie is an Ambassador for the 2018 Biofreeze Berkeley Half Marathon.

I’ve lost 140 pounds, about half of my body weight. I didn’t have surgery or use medication; I lost the weight the old-fashioned way, through diet and exercise. I understand that’s not a sexy answer. People want a quick fix, a powder, a plan, something they can purchase with monthly installments and VOILA! Weight loss guaranteed. Still, folks want something to hang their hat on.

“RUNNING? YOU RUN MARATHONS? Well of course that why she lost weight!” is what I often hear.

“Well I could lose weight too if I could RUN A MARATHON!” they continue, followed with all of the excuses of why running is impossible.

This got me thinking…

Did I run to lose weight?

Or did I lose weight so I could run?

I’m going to get all crazy right now and suggest the later. The greatest secret of running and weight loss is that it is backwards. Running with the motivation of losing weight rarely works, but losing weight so you CAN RUN? Now we’re talking!

Why is that?

Everyone knows that to lose weight you need to cut overall calorie consumption. Thus, running and dieting can be tricky, if not incompatible because running requires fuel. You need to eat to run. I’ve tried running on an empty stomach and I end up slowing my pace, vowing to never run again, or even speed dialing an Uber. My pre-run regime involves a banana, granola, some pretzels, or dare I admit, a donut! You need food in order for your body to perform. Yes, running is an efficient way to burn calories, but because of its intensity, you must ignite the fire.

On the flip side, there […]

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    #TrainingTipThursday: 3 Half Marathon Workouts For The Perfect Race Day

#TrainingTipThursday: 3 Half Marathon Workouts For The Perfect Race Day

We’re about one month away from the 2018 Biofreeze Berkeley Half Marathon on November 18th and we’re wondering…how has your training journey been going?

Whether you’re gleaming with pride with the work you’ve put in, or doing what you can; we want to make sure that you’re dialing in on the key workouts that will set you up for a perfect race day.

For this week’s #TrainingTipThursday, we’re revisiting one of the best videos on half marathon training that you will find on the internet. Join Coach Nate as he walks us through the 3 key workouts for any half marathon training plan, as well as small improvements to make that will contribute to big changes.

Let’s train and strengthen our bodies the correct way to keep us running healthy, running happy, and racing strong. Who knows…we might surprise ourselves on race day!

Your Coaches

By |October 18th, 2018|Training|0 Comments|