Pat’s Run Training Tips

Perry Edinger is no stranger to endurance running or sports safety. He was the Director of Sports Medicine at Arizona State University from 1989 to 2003, he served as Pat’s trainer during college career.

He also helped Pat train for his first marathon. In April 2005, Perry helped establish Pat’s Run and became its first race director. He is no stranger to endurance running or sports safety. Currently a Physician Assistant at Phoenix Children’s Hospital, he has leveraged his medical and ultra-marathon experience to help Pat’s Run participants of all ages train for the 4.2 mile race. No matter your level of experience, He would like to help any and all participants train safely and appropriately for the race. He is available to help anyone who needs some direction.


Today is the Day to Begin Your Training

Pat’s Run is April 18, 2020. You have committed to the date and to the race. It is 4.2 miles long. It can be daunting. This is the hardest time to train for the race. You may not be in the best shape, you may have a couple of extra pounds from the holidays and it is VERY easy to say “gosh, April 18 is a long way away, I’ll just do it tomorrow”. Just remember, tomorrow never comes. Today, get out and walk a mile.

Enjoy the outdoors and if you can, leave your phone behind. Clear your head, restart your day. Plan your running program. My biggest advice as you begin your planning, is to plan your workouts in the morning. FIND time in the morning. Think about your day. In the evening, there is dinner, chores, and most of all fatigue during the day. It is very easy to “take a day off because you’re tired”, especially, “just one day”, after a hard stressful day at work and maybe the family just needs you around. Make time in the morning, get it over with and get your day started on the right foot.

Start planning your program now. If you need help, I am happy to provide any assistance for you that you may need. Just contact me directly ([email protected]) with any questions or training concerns and I’m happy to help you along the way. If you know how to plan your program, get going. Today is a great day to begin. It will allow you to have the best experience at Pat’s Run that you could imagine.

Training Programs

Everyday runs

Let’s take a look at what you should be doing on your everyday runs. There are now two training programs posted for you to follow if you want to. They talk about miles to complete each day. In the more advanced program, there are days where you have to run the entire distance. Otherwise, the objective is to complete the distance. Simply that, complete the distance.

When you first start off, it is okay to walk the whole way, as you feel better and stronger you can begin running sections of the distance. You can set objectives, light pole to light pole, 1 city block, 1 minute, etc. However when you begin your running, be good to yourself. The objective is to get better every day and increase your fitness, not crush it one day and have to take 4 days off.

I like to advise people to be able to talk while they run. If you can carry a conversation while running, you are maintaining a sub maximal effort and you will gain great benefits and be able to run longer distances. If you have a partner to run with, you can have some great conversations and they also will help hold you accountable for showing up and getting that effort in that day.

Enjoy your run today and every day. Remember, we are one week closer to Pat’s Run!


Everybody has their essentials in life.

When it comes to training and exercise, I think there are really 2 that are truly essential: Sleep and Fluids

Sleep: What is enough, what is really necessary? How much is needed for better performance? There are all sorts of sleep studies out there, the one that most sticks to my mind, is that people that have one night’s worth of sleep deprivation function like they are impaired the next day. We need sleep to function at a high level and just a little more if you are adding exercise to the routine.

Hopefully with the introduction of exercise, you are sleeping a little better at night. If you cannot get to bed 15 – 30 minutes earlier at night, be sure you are setting up an environment where you get good uninterrupted sleep when you do have your eyes closed. I feel that sleep is the most underrated thing that happens to us. We are happy to wake up and drink some coffee or an energy drink to “get us going”, but take a step back and think about how the body needs to recover. When does it build for the next day? I like to suggest 15 – 30 minutes earlier to bed, but if that cannot happen, take away the things that prevent you from getting good sleep once you lay down, TV’s, iPhone’s, etc. Get your sleep, wake up ready to exercise and have a great day!

Fluids: I can tell you now, most of the population is not drinking enough. How many times are you drinking something without caffeine in it on a daily basis? Of course water is the preferred fluid, but sometimes a sport drink, or a green tea, or something with some flavor is good. General tips say 8 – 12 glasses a day is recommended. Think about how many fluids you are drinking without caffeine in it on a daily basis. I don’t count the caffeine drink as one, so you may need to re-work your fluids. As you exercise more, you need more. Performance suffers with as little as 3% water loss. The question, is, are you at where you need to be, to start with? All I can recommend, is to look at what you are drinking without caffeine in it. Are you getting 8 – 10 glasses of fluids like this?

I try and not make things too hard, look at your sleep, are you really tired when you get up? Do you do all the right things to get a good night’s sleep? Are you drinking fluids without caffeine in it? Are you re-hydrating your body? Take a minute and look at the two real essentials.

Treat yourself good, take care of yourself! Have a great set of runs this week!


So, you have heard it, now you should be applying it.

Habits. Generally built or lost in 21 days. It has been three weeks since the training and tips for Pat’s Run has started. I hope that you have endured through the first three weeks, found good days and times to exercise. It is tough during this time, you get sore, you pick the wrong time of day, or wrong day of the week to get out and do things. Once you develop your habits things become easier and much more fluid.

Starting and stopping anything does not develop consistency or habits. With exercise, weight loss, or anything you do, I hope you develop consistency that will allow you to grow and develop. It is true in running as well as so many aspects of your life. So be consistent, develop great habits and enjoy everything about your life.
21 days and you will have some great habits!

Remember: It’s very hard in the beginning to understand that the whole idea is not to beat the other runners. Eventually you learn that the competition is against the little voice inside you that wants to quit.

This is a little different view on Pat’s Run tips:

Humans tend to have more respect for things which we more fully understand. When people disrespect other people you can often point to a lack of understanding as part of the root cause. It would not be a stretch at all to say that the more people seem to understand anything in this world, the more they tend to respect it. The respect for Pat Tillman comes from an understanding to some degree for what we understand of his life. I was fortunate enough to spend time with Pat and respect him for the things that I knew about him.

This also relates to running. People often ask me why I run, my answer is more complicated than what I generally discuss but the bottom line is, I know running provides me great opportunity to respect the human body and how it functions and grows, share time outdoors in the wonderful environment and to meet the most interesting people I could imagine.

Pat Tillman was a very complex individual. People do respect him because they try and understand him. I greatly appreciate this and see this yearly in the people who come to Pat’s Run, searching for knowledge of his life and experiences. For me, it is a great blend. People are searching for knowledge and opportunity to respect Pat, they are doing it in a method that allows themselves a better viewpoint into their own lives and respect the person they are.

We at Pat’s Run appreciate your participation and are happy to provide glimpses of what we understand of Pat Tillman. I am so happy that you have chose an avenue to gain this respect that allows you personal growth at the same time. If you get a chance, search an article or chapter in one of his books to learn a little more about him so that you may learn a little more about Pat and respect the life he kept developing.

Keep training, keep building respect.

Remember, a 12 minute mile is JUST AS FAR as a 6 minute mile.

How to know if you should rest or push through pain

So, there will be aches and pains with running. The question is, do I keep running? Do I rest? I like a very simplified rule:

If something hurts for two straight days while running, take two days off. Two straight days of pain may signal the beginning of an injury. A little rest may let small pains recover. If this rest doesn’t stop the pain, it is best to have it looked at by a professional in the medical field. It can be a Physician, Physician Assistant, Nurse Practitioner, Physical Therapist or Athletic Trainer. If you need help with who to go to, email me, or call your local running store for recommendations on who to see.

We want you to stay healthy, remember, you cannot run the race if you do not make it to the starting line. Training is important, but even taking five days of complete rest from running will have little impact on your fitness level.

Always feel free to email us if you have any questions.

Remember: “There are no shortcuts to any place worth going!”


There are a lot of great things about running. One of them is the gear that is needed. It’s pretty simple – pair of shoes, socks, a pair shorts, and a shirt is pretty much all you need. There are also a lot of accessories that can be added – hats, watches are a couple of things that most people feel are pretty important. Almost as many people feel that music is just as important. It’s kind of all how you look at it. GPS devices for some people are just as important also.

My advice is, use what makes your run more enjoyable, but always remember when you go to the store, if the device says it’s going to make you a better runner, stay away from it. It’s simply not true.

If you’re out to simplify your life, the GPS unit typically will not make that happen. Fit bit anxiety is a real factor. By the time people get home, read their fit bit, and realize they still have to walk 2000 steps before they go to bed, that’s just adding stress to your day.

Personally, I’m someone that likes to wear a hat, and listen to music. I like making running simple and stress-free. Do it your own way, but only use gear you really need, and remember if it says it’s going to make you a better runner, stay away from it. Running should be something you can enjoy the rest of your life so don’t add unnecessary stress.
Remember, Pat’s Run is right around the corner and “the difference between a jogger and runner is an entry blank”.

Managing Your Nerves

A little fear is good for you. Uncertainty about the outcome gets the competitive and creative juices flowing. But, too many nervous thoughts can leave you physically drained and mentally devastated.

As we approach Pat’s Run, you may be looking at it and saying, “I have never done 4.2 miles before” or “Last year I was better trained and I am not sure how it will go this year”. There are a lot of possible positive and negative thoughts that cross your mind as the race day approaches. EVERYONE goes through it. It is simply a matter of how you approach it and manage it, that makes things work out to the positive.

I always find inspiration in positive thoughts and quotes. I use running and non-running thoughts and quotes to calm me down and inspire me to be better. Here are a few of my favorites:

  • Always go for a run, even if it’s raining.
  • Enjoy the journey, never forget to play.
  • Feel the joy of life.
  • Surround yourself with the people you love.
  • Listen more than you talk. But when you do talk, speak from the heart.
  • Look for the best in everyone and be loyal.
  • Shine with all of your light all of the time.
  • Handle your fear in your own personal way. Handle it in a positive way and understand that everyone is having their own fear also. You are unique, but not alone.

Remember: Your body will argue that there is no justifiable reason to continue. Your only recourse is to call on your spirit, which fortunately functions independently of logic.

Race Day Attire

When the race is only a couple of weeks away it is time to start thinking about what you will wear during the race. The biggest thing is don’t wear anything that is new.

It is time to make sure your shoes are not old and if they are, get a new pair now, so you can wear them a few times before the race. Try on the shorts and socks you will be wearing for the race. Are you going to be wearing a hat? Have you run with all the things you may need during the race, like your keys or some money? All these things, you should consider. NO SURPRISES on the day of the race is the best.

The only thing I didn’t address is the shirt. We would love to see you in your new Pat’s Run shirt. That is one of the reasons we give you such a nice shirt. I do recommend you throw it into the washer after you get it, so that “new feel” is gone and you should have no problems wearing it.

If you are going to wear music, this weekend is the time to get your playlist ready to go.

I am big believer of no surprises. Think about race day today, get your gear ready and it will make things better when you are flying around the course.

Remember: Running strips life back to the bare essentials. When we challenge ourselves, it breaks down barriers. It brings us back to our essence and peels away the layers of ego we surround ourselves with.

Race Week

It’s here! Race week! There are a lot of items you need to prepare for:

  1. The work is done, all you can do from a training standpoint from this point on, is mess it up. Run easy and run short this week, when in doubt, take a day off. Have fresh legs for the race.
  2. Get to the packet pickup early and get your number and “swag”. It is good to try and not wait until Friday so you can control how long you will be walking around and you can get your number home and pinned on your shirt. If your are wearing your new Pat’s Run shirt don’t forget to throw it in the washing machine.
  3. Figure out your transportation to the race. There are over 20,000 participants and it can get congested. When you go and how you get there is important. It is important to nail down your transportation early.
  4. Understand that there is once again a lot of people. This affects what stall you start in and how fast you can start running at the beginning. Plan for all of this and your day will be better.
  5. Always understand why you are at the race. It is a very emotional day for me and that affects a lot of how my day is. Reflect on what brought you to Pat’s Run and share it with someone near to you. People enjoy it when you share your emotions like that.

I want to thank you all for preparing for this event. It really means a lot to me and all of us at the Pat Tillman Foundation appreciate your efforts and support. I will be walking/running around, if you see a guy with bib #1, stop me and say “Hi”, I would love to hear your story about why you came to the race, it really is important to me. If you want to hear a story about Pat, I’d be happy to share that also. One last thing, when you see a volunteer, please thank them for their efforts. This event could not happen without them and all we give them for hours of work is a t-shirt.

So, Cheers!!! and here is to a great Pat’s Run!!