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More Miles More Smiles 4 Mighty Oakes

Last weekend we were a proud sponsor of the Mighty Oakes Foundation 5k! At the event, we sold our apparel and donated $5 from each sale to the Mighty Oakes Foundation. More Miles More Smiles is dedicated to giving back in any way we can. Here a few pictures of some happy new customers rocking their shirts! Thanks for all the support :)




by Mark Spewak

Team More Miles More Smiles: Ryan Daily Interview

We are excited to introduce our first member of team More Miles More Smiles! More Miles More Smiles is devoted to encouraging and supporting the every day runner and walker. Ryan Daily was a member of his high school's State Championship Cross Country team! Now he is training for the St. Jude Marathon in December! We couldn't be more pumped to have him on the team. Read his story below! 


MS: What is your running background?

RD: I ran in high school and since then I have been casually training. I played golf and other sports in high school. Running has always been a passion of mine. 


MS: What are you training for?

RD: The St. Jude Marathon on December 6th. The race is in Memphis Tennessee and it benefits an amazing cause. I am excited for their warm winter! 


MS: What is your goal for the race?

RD: I am hoping to run around 3:10. My training is going really well so far and I really believe I am going to surprise myself on race day.


MS: Is this your first marathon?

RD: No, I have run one before in 2012. I did the Go! St. Louis Marathon but I didn't train for it. This time around I have a coach and am following a strict plan. 


MS: Why have you decided to train with More Miles More Smiles?

RD: Mark Spewak has done a great job getting me out the door and supporting my running. I really appreciate the fitness so far. I really have the urge to get back into racing too. More Miles More Smiles has done a great job encouraging my training so far. I know they will continue to do so in the future as well.


MS: Do you have any advice for a new marathoner?

RD: You have to wake up in the mornings and get out there. There are going to be mornings that suck but you must understand it's all a process. 


MS: Do you have any pre race rituals?

RD: One word...Hydrate! 


by Mark Spewak

Tip of the Week!

by Mark Spewak

Tip of the Week!


Mark's Tip of the Week!

by Mark Spewak

Krista's Running Story

This month we had the pleasure of interviewing former Missouri High School stand out Krista Menghini! Krista now runs for Cross Country and Track for Southern Illinois University! Please read her incredible athletic story here!


MS: In five words, describe the type of runner you are.

KM: Passionate, adventurous, courageous, tough, focused.


MS: Can you give us a little background about your high school athletic career?

KM: I attended St. Joseph’s Academy and played volleyball and ran track all four years and ran cross country my junior and senior year. I loved every second of being a multi-sport athlete in high school! My biggest accomplishments in high school were that my volleyball team won state my sophomore and senior year; in cross country I got 8th my junior year, and 10th my senior year and my team got 3rd; in track I made it to state in the 4x800, mile, and two mile my freshmen year, and made it to state in the mile and two mile my sophomore and junior year and medaled three times.


MS: What sports did you play?

KM: At SJA, I played volleyball and ran track all four years and I ran cross country my junior and senior year. I originally came to Southern Illinois University Carbondale playing volleyball, but then quit after one season to join the cross country and track team. I tell people that that was the hardest, yet best decision that I have ever made.  


MS: What's your favorite season of the year to train?

KM: My favorite season of the year to train is in the spring! I love outdoor track, and the spring time is when we are specifically training for that. 


MS: What are some of your goals for your senior year of Cross Country and Track seasons?

KM: Team goals for our cross country team are to be Missouri Valley Conference champions for the second year in a row and to qualify for NCAA Nationals. We have everyone back from last year and we’re all seniors, plus we have some new freshmen, so we’re all hungry! Individually for cross country, I want to continue to improve and get stronger and faster and to be able to contribute in our team succeeding. I finished 12th last year at Conference, so my goal is to get into that top 10! A team goal for our track team is to win the MVCs indoors and outdoors. Individually indoors, I’m determined to do some damage at the MVCs in the 3k and 5k; and outdoors, my two huge goal are to win Conference in the steeplechase and to qualify for NCAA Nationals. My dream is to race on Oregon’s track!


MS: In a sport that demands so much on your body and mind on a daily basis, what keeps you motivated to work hard each and every day?

KM: I could literally go on and on about why I love running so much. Any passionate runner knows exactly what I’m talking about. Running is something that just makes me feel good. Running is such a huge part of my life, and as weird as it sounds, I cannot imagine my life without it. Saying this, I have had a few times where I have lost motivation. Those aren’t fun times. Luckily, I have always managed to bounce back and find motivation to keep me going. I am inspired by so many different things in my life: my mom, my siblings, my boyfriend, my teammates, my friends, my coaches, the list goes on and on. I think though that the biggest thing that keeps me motivated is that I want to be extraordinary. Each time I wake up for morning runs, each time I go to practice, each time I lace my spikes up for a workout or race, each opportunity gives me the chance to be extraordinary. That’s why I keep going.


MS: Where do you see your running in 10 years?

KM: In 10 years I will be 31-years-old, yikes! I hope to be running marathons, and maybe even competing in triathlons! I’m also excited for fun road races with friends! I can’t wait to see what the future has in store for my running! I will run until my body is no longer able to do it.


MS: How has your mother had an influence on your athletic career?

KM: My mother, Terri Menghini, has been a huge influence on my athletic career. A little history of her is that she played D1 volleyball at Missouri State, then began running marathons after having her fourth child, and then started competing in Ironmen a few years later. As of today, August 14, 2014, my mother has run 130 marathons and has competed in 5 Ironmen, with two more Ironmen scheduled for this year! I like to call her my superhero. Obviously, she has been a huge inspiration for me. My mom never persuaded me to start playing volleyball or to begin running, that was all my own choice. She has always supported me 110% in whatever I wanted to do. She’s my biggest cheerleader and supporter, and I thank her for that.


MS: What is one piece of advice you can give to anyone out there just starting to run?

KM: I met a woman the other day at the track after one of my workouts and began chatting with her. She told me that she was training for a ½ marathon and that she has never run before. Ironically enough, she asked me for my advice. The first thing that popped into my head to tell her was to find something that inspires her and go with it. Having inspiration is huge and can definitely be that one thing that gets you out the door even when you don’t want to.  


MS: Proudest running accomplishment?

KM: I’d have to say that my proudest running accomplishment is winning the Missouri Valley Conference Championship as a team on both the women’s and men’s side last year in cross country. We worked so hard all season long, and all of our hard work finally paid off. That is definitely one of my favorite memories that I have.


Rapid Fire.


MS: Coffee before or after you run?

KM: Before if I’m running in a few hours, & always after!! I have an awesome teammate named Tori Parry that makes the best mochas and lattes after long runs!


MS: Favorite pump up song before a race?

KM: “Hey Soul Sister” by Train is my happy song!


MS: What's your biggest fear?

KM: To have regrets. Do what you love in life and you will never have regrets.


MS: Do you have a sweet tooth?

KM: YES! Peanut butter and dark chocolate are my weaknesses!


MS: Is it true consuming Oreos makes you a faster runner?

KM: Only the Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup Oreos make you faster.


by Mark Spewak

Bob's Running Story

I started running in the mid 1970’s. I ran on the varsity Coral Spring High School Cross Country team in Florida. It was hot and humid, but I loved it. The art of running has changed a lot since those days, and so have I.

I’ve run on and off for many years, until 2006, when I was at a crossroads in my life. Alcoholism was taking over, and I had to make a choice whether to live or to die. I chose to live. Running became my therapist, my best friend, my AA session, and taught me to live healthy and with peace. We all run for hundreds of reasons, but for me it became my life and everything that I wanted to be.

Since 2006, I’ve developed a passion for running that makes me so proud to be part of a sport that transforms all of us into something greater. I’ve run 100+ races since then, and I’ve met some of the most wonderful people in this sport.

I’m proud of so many of my accomplishments, but the one that sticks out the most has to do with coming back from two knee surgeries. I was devastated in 2011 and 2012 to learn that I tore a meniscus in each knee, and would need surgery. But getting back to running took patience, hard work, and a huge desire to be competitive again.

I could list all of the races and goals I’ve achieved over the years, but really the best thing that happened to me was meeting new friends and soaking up the running community. I volunteer my time on the Big River Training team to give back to a wonderful community of athletes a gift that was given to me. I love seeing individuals reach goals that they never thought they could attain, and earn that self worth that we all have in each other. The joy of running, isn’t that what it’s all about.

Lastly, I’ve been able to work part time at Big River Running over the last year to share my knowledge, meet new friends, and hear all the great running stories. The passion at this company runs deep, and I am so proud to be a part of it.


*Bob is a freelance blogger for the More Miles More Smiles team!*


by Mark Spewak

Training with Coach Crowe


Runners are obsessed with miles or minutes run during training.  There is a school of thought among the majority of runners that only one training session per day is beneficial to fitness.  They believe any other miles gained within a twenty four hour period after the initial session are “junk miles” and provide no adaptive advantage.  However two recent studies shed new light on this idea and make the case for multiple sessions also called doubling.

The first study highlighted on the website describes a study conducted at Queens University in Kingston, Ontario, Canada and appears in the Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise.  The Canadian researchers exposed 135 obese and inactive volunteers to exercise bouts of ten minutes or less resulting in aerobic fitness gains with the multiple bouts.  For a complete description of the study please go to the web site.   

While a training session of ten minutes or less is of little benefit to a fit runner, breaking an aerobic run up during the day into two sessions is. In a study described in the June 2011 issue of Track and Cross Country Journal the authors discuss preventing overuse injuries in runners.  They found the risk for injuries increased proportionately with an increase in volume and injury risk had a more rapid increase with running intensity.1  The authors go on to state.  “Breaking up the running regimen into several shorter sessions during the day would improve tissue integrity through adaption, and at the same time allow more time for repair.  At least four hours should be allotted between each running session to assure that sensitivity to loading is being restored.”

One of my favorite running guru’s Tom Schwartz, a.k.a. the Tinman, suggests that depending on the timing of the second run an athlete can extend the benefits from the first run.  As an older runner I run a double every day except for my long run and on recovery days.  This allows me to maintain the higher mileage I need to maintain fitness without the wear and tear to my ‘old man legs’.

Although I do think the one training session per day will never be replaced by multiple sessions completely.  It is a consideration and adding two a day sessions in your week may be of benefit by extending the miles or minutes in your overall training without increasing the strain on your legs.  Taking a long range view, this can have the effect of extending the “running longevity” of a competitive athlete.   

Most younger competitive runners are now in their base phase as they prepare for the fall collegiate and high school racing season, a double session is a safe way to increase your mileage.  And we now know that multiple sessions are not “junk miles” and do have aerobic benefit.


*Coach Crowe is a freelance blogger for the More Miles More Smiles team.*


W. Brent Edwards Ph.D.  and Timothy R. Derrick Ph.D. “Preventing Overuse Injuries in Running” Track & Cross Country Journal  Vol 1 issue 1

by Mark Spewak

Coach Crowe's Monthly Workout

This month’s workout is a college workout I have adapted for the high school 5K runner.  I have seen many versions of this workout and I will outline them as I describe it.  This is a great early season workout and can be run later in the season as a measure of fitness. 

The basic outline of the workout is: Warm up- 1 mile- tempo run- 1 mile. I have my athletes run the first mile at their current 5K pace, go immediately into a two mile tempo run at one minute and thirty seconds slower than their current 5K pace, then run the last one mile faster than the first mile.  This is a good example of a multi- pace workout teaching our runners to make pace adjustments as a race dictates.  We are also forcing the body to recruit different muscle fibers causing adaptation of fast twitch to hybrid slow twitch fibers. 

This workout can have many manifestations; I first encountered it as a workout for the college 10K.  The first mile run at current 5K pace, a four mile tempo run at 10K pace, and then an all-out mile.  I have also seen it described as the first mile run at 3200 meter pace, two mile tempo at 10K pace, and last mile at 1600 meter pace. 

Whatever way you chose to run this workout it is a great gauge of fitness.  Adding a second bout later in the season has a nice effect.  Most athletes are amazed at how fast they run the last mile given the body of work beforehand, a nice confidence booster two weeks out from a key race.


*Coach Crowe is a freelance blogger for the More Miles More Smiles team.*


by Mark Spewak

More Miles More Smiles 4 Hearts Results

2014 More Miles More Smiles 4 Hearts Race Results:


by Mark Spewak

Why I run: Matt's Story

What running means to me has changed a lot since my running journey began over ten years ago. When I joined the cross country and track teams in middle school, running was just another sport I participated in. I was just running for fun, and it was mostly a way to stay in shape for other sports, especially basketball.  Basketball was my first love, as far as sports go.  I was set on being a high school basketball player, but I didn't make the team my freshman year. I had always been involved in sports and was highly competitive, and seeing that my dream to play high school basketball wasn't working out, I switched my focus to running. I wanted to play varsity sports, and cross country and track seemed to give me the best shot of being a varsity athlete.

As a freshman on the track team, I didn't break 6:00 for my first mile race. I was far from reaching my goal of making the varsity team, as all of the varsity distance runners could run under 5:00 for the mile. Still, I was not deterred. I trained really hard for the next two years, and by my junior year, I was on the varsity team (with a mile PR a minute and a half faster than my first race as a freshman). At that point, running was a way for me to be competitive, a way to achieve success. Success was my primary ambition in high school, whether that was through academics, athletics, or music. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed running for the sake of running and made lots of great friends on the cross country and track teams, but without being acknowledged for the times I ran, I don’t think running would have meant that much to me.

Beyond high school, I wanted to continue to run competitively in college.  I wound up choosing to attend Washington University in St. Louis, and thankfully, the cross country and track coach let me on the team. Again, as a freshman (this time in college), I was nowhere near being one of the top guys on the team.  Throughout my time at Wash U., I continued to improve a lot, and by the end of my time in college, I was running times I never thought I would. In addition to running a lot faster, I gained a greater perspective of what being part of a team truly meant. I was no longer running just for myself; I was running for my team. Being part of the team meant being part of a family, something much bigger than my own ambitions. Consequently, I became really close to many of my college teammates, and to this day, many of them remain close friends.  Running in college not only deepened my passion for running and racing, it showed me what it was to be a part of a team and part of a great community of people.  I've tried to carry these things forward with so that I can be a better friend and a more caring person.

Since graduating from college, my identity as a runner has continued to be less and less connected to my race times and personal achievements. Paradoxically, the less I’ve focused on hitting certain times, the faster I’ve run. I’m not entirely sure what to make of it, but I know I’m more relaxed now with how I pursue my goals, and I don’t take my training so seriously. I am now running simply because I love it and the amazing people I am connected to through it.

Ten years and almost 30,000 miles later, I've now run in almost every imaginable weather condition and over every type of terrain. I’ve run in the rain, in the snow, during a hailstorm, in the cold, in the heat, during a tornado warning (on accident), into the wind, and when the weather's been absolutely perfect. I've run up a mountain, in the desert, on the beach, in the forest, in the city, and in the middle of nowhere. Running has taught me to persevere and to work hard. It has also taught me to appreciate the beauty in the little things. My ability to run is such a gift, as running has been so good to me.

Additionally, running has provided me with a great escape from the stresses of everyday life, and I find that there’s almost always time in my day to fit in a run. I've run when I didn't think I had time to run and probably should’ve been studying for an upcoming exam. I've run in the dark at 5 a.m. I've run in the dark after midnight. I've run when I didn't feel like running but knew that running that day would allow me to enjoy running more another day in the future. I've also run when there was nothing I wanted to do more than run. There’s nothing like sharing a run with your best friend or taking in the scenery along a serene trail in the woods or along the ocean! Running, even as simple a sport as it is, has taught me so much about life and about myself. Running means so much more to me today than it did ten years and 30,000 miles ago. Some of the miles I've run have been painful, some have been blissful, but I'm grateful for every single one that I've run. To many more!



*Matt Kruger is a freelance blogger for the More Miles More Smiles team!*

by Mark Spewak