The Active Zone

Pat Gallagher was born and raised in the Madison area and has lived here his whole life (minus 4 lost years at UW-Platteville). In addition to a love of all things Madison, Pat enjoys cooking (and eating), wine, travel and a huge variety of music. Pat is a cycling enthusiast and advocate who regularly speaks to cycling groups regarding bicycle safety and how to share the road with civility and common sense. His long-time hobby has led to a triathlon obsession as well; he’s completed three Ironman Wisconsin races and in 2012 traveled to Galway, Ireland to compete in the Ironman Ireland 70.3 Race – where he crashed his bike badly, but still finished the race. After several previous attempts, in the fall of 2013, Pat qualified for the Boston Marathon and raced in Boston in April of 2015.

Pat lives in Middleton with his wife Laura, their dog Nola, cats Ruby and Zander, and a bird aptly named Spazz.

Check out The Active Zone Calendar of Events and read Pat’s Blog below!

FOO Fights For Gilda’s Club

Sometimes just getting starting is the toughest thing to do. You want to take on the challenge of a 10K or a Half-Marathon…but you just don’t know how to go about training for it. Well, I’ve got the perfect solution for you | it’s FOO Fights For Gilda’s Club! Orange Shoe Gym and Fleet Feet […]

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Force Of Orange!

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Madison Is Platinum!

Earlier this week, the League of American Bicyclists announced the latest rankings of Bicycle Friendly Communities in the U.S., and Madison became the 5th community to earn the Platinum rating! Madison joins Boulder and Fort Collins, Colorado; Davis, California; and Portland, Oregon as Platinum rated cities for bicycling! Madison also became the first community since […]

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Share And Be Aware!

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Sports Massage: Beyond Just Feeling Better (Although There’s That, Too)

Last week I posted an interview with Jenny Knight from Hand & Stone Massage and Facial Spa, we were talking about how massage can help enhance your athletic performance. With Madison Marathon right around the corner, I thought this would be a good time to invite Jenny to be a guest blogger in the Active […]

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Marathon Training…and Massage

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Tour De France!

Last week on the radio, I talked about rumors and speculation, as to what the 2016 Tour de France race route might look like.  I mentioned that there are a few things that we know for sure at this point… As has been the case since 1975…the race will finish on the Champs-Elysees in Paris. […]

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Wisconsin Milkman Triathlon

Big news in the Madison triathlon community… JUST ANNOUNCED: The Wisconsin Milkman Triathlon…Sunday, June 19, 2016…Olin Park in Madison. I believe this is Madison’s first half-iron distance race. The folks at Race Day Events have been working for a couple years to make this happen and it’s sure to be a great addition to the […]

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26.2 (or So) Miles

Over the years, I have spent quite a few weekend mornings working as a race announcer at area runs, bike races and triathlons. And along the way, I have met a whole bunch of really fun people, but one post-race conversation really stands out to me. I was in the middle of announcing racers as […]

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Running In Chicago

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The Saris Gala…Wisconsin’s BIGGEST Bicycle Party!

  It just keeps getting bigger…and Bigger…and BIGGER! The Saris Gala moves to Union South this year for the biggest bicycle party yet! Once again this year, I will act as emcee, and mountain bike legend Gary Fisher will be our special guest.  In addition to Gary Fisher, this year’s Gala will feature some amazing […]

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Gilda’s Run!

  As I wrote this blog, I wanted to make sure that I included all of the basic information about Gilda’s Run…when/where/distance/post-race festivities/ etc. I did all of that and was just about to post it, when something hit me, that made me change everything.  All the basic info is still here (just page down […]

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So You Registered For Ironman…NOW WHAT?

It’s not all that uncommon – you spent some time on Ironman weekend checking out the Ironman village, maybe talking with some of the athletes, and of course watching the race. Eventually, you came to the conclusion that this is something you want to do. So, you nervously dragged yourself down to Monona Terrace on […]

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Ironman Wisconsin…Run Baby Run!

It’s Ironman Wisconsin week, and all week long, we’ve been previewing the race in The Active Zone. Today it’s the Ironman run preview. By the time the athletes get to the run, they have already completed a 2.4 mile swim in Lake Monona and a 112 mile bike ride through the rolling hills to the […]

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112 Miles On A BICYCLE?!?!

It’s Ironman week in Madison…and throughout the week, I’m previewing the race | from the perspective of a spectator. Yesterday, we talked a little bit about the 2.4 mile swim, so today it’s on to the bike…and the 112 mile race through the rolling hills to the west of Madison. The bike portion of the […]

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Ironman Week…Let’s SWIM!

I was first introduced to Ironman several years ago, when I was the emcee at the Trek 100. A couple of riders finished the 100 mile ride in just under 5 hours (better than 20 mph for 100 miles!) | and when they returned, one of them changed into a t-shirt that read…   Yes, […]

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Love To Ride Madison!

Love to Ride Madison is a simple challenge, designed to get “more butts on bikes” is what Zac Barnes from the Wisconsin Bike Fed told me. Ultimately, the challenge is about spreading the joy of bicycling to as many people as possible…whether it’s for fun, exercise or purely as a mode of transportation.  As I […]

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Reward Yourself!

  You’ve been training hard…and it’s time to reward yourself.  Yes, finishing the race is a great reward in itself, but you need to give yourself a little credit along the way too.  Something to look forward to on those long runs and rides, and some way to celebrate after the hard work.   My […]

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Ride The Drive 2: Walk & Roll!

The Madison Parks Division presents Walk & Roll, a day of family fun in the Acewood and Elvehjem Park neighborhoods. Similar to Ride the Drive in the early part of summer, Walk & Roll will open up Madison streets for you to bicycle, run, walk, skate…or dance right down the middle of the road! Walk & Roll is on Sunday, […]

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Kayak For A Cure!

It’s been several years since my cousin suffered a spinal cord injury in an accident when he was away at college. While that injury has confined him to a wheelchair for most of his adult life, it hasn’t done anything to stop him from being an energetic, active adult. Jason discovered kayaking several years back and […]

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A Language Of Our Own

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What’s Your Workout Jam?

So the question of the day is | what music do you workout to? Early on when I started running, I trained myself to run without music. That might seem odd for somebody who grew up around music and has worked with music for most of his adult life, but I did it because most […]

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The Heartbreak Of The Tour!

Warning: If you are reading this on Wednesday (7/22) and you are planning to watch the prime-time Tour de France coverage tonight… STOP READING NOW!     And with that said…I’ll say that today was a sad day for America’s best hope for a Tour victory. Tejay van Garderen abandoned the race. I caught a […]

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Helmets On For Safety!

To say that there has been a rash of bicycle crashes in the Madison area this summer is a bit of an understatement. There’s been a bunch of them…there have been serious injuries…and there have been fatalities. It’s one of the scary things about cycling | when you come up against a car or truck […]

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Iron Cowboy 50-50-50

  The Iron Cowboy is coming to Madison!  If you follow any Madison area active sports social media groups, you know what I’m talking about | if not, let me introduce you to James “The Iron Cowboy” Lawrence.  James is in the middle of a record setting journey that has him doing 50 Iron-distance triathlons…in […]

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Tour De Wisconsin?

Believe it or not, there’s a pretty strong connection between Wisconsin and the Tour de France.  Actually a few connections, the most obvious being the Trek Factory Racing Team, sponsored by Trek Bicycles, headquartered in Waterloo, Wisconsin.  Not only does Trek sponsor one of the top teams racing in professional cycling today, but they are […]

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Tour De France Jerseys

The Tour de France got underway with a great start over the weekend!  A short individual time-trail on Saturday finished with a new Tour de France time-trial speed record, set by Dennis Rohan, who averaged 34.5 mph!  For comparison’s sake | I did a time-trial a few years ago, about the same distance and roughly […]

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Tour De France…it’s A TEAM Sport

As the start of the Tour de France approaches this weekend, we’ve been looking at some of the things that make bicycle racing a really unique sport. And this one is a bit odd…the Tour de France is a team event…with an Individual winner??? That’s right, there are teams riding in the tour- and in […]

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Tour Time!

Around my house Christmas comes three times a year… 1) Christmas Day (duh!) 2) Ironman Wisconsin Weekend 2) The month of July Christmas day is, well Christmas day, so it’s easy to see why we get excited. Ironman Wisconsin weekend is just plain exciting.  Getting ready for the big race, all the last minute preparations, […]

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Time To Refuel!

My cigar box full of “nutrition” and a chocolate milk chaser!   A couple weeks ago, while riding the Ironman stem (the part of the course that runs from Madison to Verona), I stopped at the BP station on Whalen Road to grab a candy bar and a Gatorade before my ride back to Madison. […]

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Shifting Gears…and Riding To Work!

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Home Field Advantage

It’s hard to read | but it says “Last Hill” in the middle of the road…a little further up the hill it says “Way To Go!” and even further up, it says “Now Run!“   We often hear people talking about “Home Field Advantage” in team sports. And in fact, a recent study showed that […]

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Training Report Card

On the air today, I was talking about using early season races as an opportunity to evaluate how your training is going.  If you are a triathlete, we are now a couple races into the season in southern Wiscosnin, so you have probably had a chance to test out your training in a real-life situation. […]

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Cycling Is Family Fun!

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Where Do You Ride?

Me and my buddy Matt…looking a bit lost on one of our favorite rides. Last week, for National Running Day, I asked for your favorite run courses in the Madison area.  Well, this week is Wisconsin Bike Week, so I’ll ask that same question for cyclists | what’s your favorite ride in the Madison area? […]

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Wisconsin Bike Week | Women’s Cycling Social

    What used to be Bike to Work Week has evolved into Wisconsin Bike Week.  With this evolution, focus has been moved from strictly commuting to work and school…to all aspects of cycling in Wisconsin!  And with that, there are several events in the Madison area throughout the week, ranging from a ride to […]

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National Running Day!

Celebrating National Running Day back in 2013 with a group of friends and an Arboretum Loop!     Today is National Running Day, so I ask | what is your favorite Madison area run? I wasn’t able to narrow it down to just one favorite, but I got close, getting it down to five. So, in no […]

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Wisconsin Bike Week!

  Wisconsin Bike Week is a time to celebrate all things BICYCLING!  There are dozens of events throughout the state, including a whole bunch right here in the Madison area!  There’s something for everyone…ranging from Ride the Drive…to a Women’s Cycling Social…and the Blessing of the Bikes.  Wisconsin Bike Week is June 6 | 13, […]

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State Bikeways Project!

The Wisconsin Bike Fed is working with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and other state agencies to identify, create and promote a network of mapped bicycle routes throughout Wisconsin.  There will be a series of open house, public meetings throughout the state, to allow everyone to see and comment on the proposed bikeways.  You […]

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USA…USA…USA…

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Safety First!

Brightly colored swim-caps…swim buddies…Road ID…calm water…I think we’re ready to swim! (BTW | kayakers were already in the water…and it’s Ironman weekend, so that ski-jump was not in use by skiers) It looks like the warm weather is here to stay (the last few days not withstanding), and with the warmer weather, people of Wisconsin […]

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Do The Last Push-up!

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A Lifelong Pursuit…Music And Athletics!

I ran into my old friend Asa Miura last night, waiting for a pizza.  You might remember Asa from a couple of Madison bands | Common Faces, and before that Actors in Motion.     Asa is no longer playing music professionally, but still plays in the privacy of his own home and is sometimes […]

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Decisions….Decisions…Decisions!

Oh so many great events to choose from this weekend!  If you are a runner, this is your weekend!  Or maybe not | with so many choices in front of you, it’s impossible to do them all.  And that is a shame, because there really are some great choices…     Let’s start with the […]

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Running For A Cause!

Everyone who has ever done a distance event has a very personal reason for doing it.  It might be as simple as proving to yoruself that it can be done, it might be reliving high school glory-days as a jock, or maybe rising above high school days when the jocks picked on you.  And then […]

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Rest Day

  Coming home from the Boston Marathon, I had rest and recovery on my mind.   In training for a distance event, at some point on your training plan, you will come across something like “rest day” or “recovery day.”  For some endurance athletes, those are really simple instructions to follow | grab a Bloody […]

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Boston Strong!

o.k., it wasn’t my strongest race ever, but it was…BOSTON STRONG!The morning started with a 4:30am wake-up call, followed by a police-escorted bus ride to Boston.  In Boston I had the pleasure of standing around for a good hour in the cold before finally running into my friend Krista.  We then boarded the bus to […]

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…and I’m BOSTON Bound

  We’re less than a week away from the 2015 running of the Boston Marathon, and for the first time…I will be there! Like most runners, it’s been a dream of mine to race Boston, basically since I started running in 2007. I ran my first marathon in early 2008, and checked the qualifying times. […]

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City Fed Up With Winter

    Outside of farmers, I’m probably one of the few people walking around with a big smile on my face because of all the rain in the forecast.  You see, I have a general rule that I borrowed from a motorcycle rider friend of mine.  He never takes his bike out in the spring, […]

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Active Zone Calendar!

Right about this time every year, active sports people start discussing what events they will be doing in the coming season. Events that range from multi-day bicycle rides…to marathons…to 5k fun-runs…to Ironman Wisconsin.  There’s something out there for everyone, regardless of experience or ability. Here at The Active Zone | we have been working hard […]

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Your Greatest Run Ever!

  When I opened the mail yesterday, one piece of mail grabbed my attention – it was from the Boston Athletic Association!  I am qualified for, and running in the 2015 Boston Marathon! Tearing open the envelope, I found my official “2015 Boston Marathon Runner Passport” with my ticket to the pre-race dinner, a course […]

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Shut Up And Run!

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Wanted: Core Strength

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