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Do you drink coffee each morning without realizing the impact it could have on your performance? There are certainly pros and cons to caffeine, and the benefits can really boost your training and racing if established in practice. 164d52712849102aa6f81b5ba60aa41d

Pros of Caffeine
1-Increased mental alertness and desire for more effort and stronger performance. You are more awake, alert, and ready to tackle to the run mentally and physically.
2-Enables your body to burn fat more easily while running long distances, which is essential for the marathon. 
3-Can help your body be more efficient while running in heat and humidity by improving temperature regulation within your system.

Cons of Caffeine
1-Coffee can mess up your stomach if you're sensitive, thus, it is recommended to practice and find a source of caffeine intake that works for you. Tea, gels, tablets, chews, gum, drinks, etc. Once you find a product that works, stick with it!
2- It can be challenging to get consistency in a cup of coffee. Light roasts contain more caffeine, dark roasts contain less, and early morning races make it difficult to get coffee
2-3 hours beforehand. Everyone responds differently to caffeine and you may only need one small cup, or you may need more. The recommendation is 3-6mg of caffeine per kg of body weight. Learn what the perfect amount of caffeine is for you.
3-Potential dehydration is something to be aware of when consuming caffeine. This will not happen if you take in fluids with your caffeine. Remember to always drink 16-24oz prior to a run or race, if you do this, you won't risk dehydration.

The Caffeine Taper
Try cutting back caffeine during training to just workout days and long run day. Drink decaf, or a caffeine free tea as an alternative on the recovery and off days (if you still feel like you want and enjoy the routine). This will help you feel more energized to crush your hard training and will prepare you for race week when it is recommended to refrain from caffeine the 4 days leading into your race. Removing caffeine before an event helps create a heightened sensitivity, and when you have caffeine on race day, you will feel great!

The pros outweigh the cons as long as you practice to determine which source of caffeine and how much of it works for you. Once you develop a routine of incorporating caffeine into your training and racing, we look forward to hearing how you feel your performance has increased both with fitness and proper application of the ergogenic aid of caffeine!



Why does it always seem that spring is such short a season? smoothieThe adjustment to heat training is not easy, and not always fun either. We want to share some ways to help summer training not be entirely miserable, and, you may find you even gain more fitness along the way thanks to the added stress heat puts on your body!

1-RUN EARLY: Set yourself up for SUCCESS by running first thing in the morning. It is way easier to wake up, run early, and get it done, than to have life get in the way and you're left trying to force a run in the heat or after a long day.

2-HYDRATE: We recommend waking up at least 30 minutes before you head out for a run to consume 12-24oz of electrolytes. If you have a long run or a hard workout, get creative with your options during the run... know where you can stop every 2-4miles to get a drink, leave a bottle and run a 2-4mile loop or out and backs, carry a bottle, or have a friend/significant other bike with you to provide fluids. More tips on hydration here.

3-ADJUST: Recognize that heat is an additional stress on your body. You should not expect to hit the same splits as you could on a cool day. Slow down, focus on effort vs pace. Add in an extra minute of two of recovery in between intervals or pause tempos to dump water on your head and to get a drink. Cut the long runs back a mile or two or find locations more suitable for hot weather that can provide more shade, and listen to your body if you start to feel dizzy or over heated... be smart! You can also do your quality sessions on the treadmill if you want to stick to paces and build confidence that you are not out of shape.

4-RECOVER: To help boost recovery after a hot run, take a cool shower, get in the pool, or put your feet in a creek to bring the core temperature down. You will find this strategy will prevent you from feeling so zapped the rest of the day. More recovery tips here to help you reset after a hard day of training.

5-REHYDRATE: After a hot workout, you will be in the hole in terms of hydration. Spend the first 30 minutes post run being sure to get in a lot of fluids. I recommend an electrolyte mix because something with flavor is more appealing and it will help you get caught up on your hydration needs. Rehydrating after a workout in the heat is critical to ward off cramps, injury, and allows the body to be ready to run again tomorrow!

6-REFUEL: It can be tough to eat after a workout in the heat. The belly often feels icky, but replenishing is very important to reap the benefit of the workout you just put your body through! Try greek yogurt, fruit, a smoothie (Summer Smoothie recipe!), kombucha, coconut water, or protein shake. These liquid calories are easier on the stomach and your body will be able to start the recovery process once you get some fuel in the tank. Interested in nutrition for runners? More info here.

We hope you can use these tips to help you crush your training this summer, please reach out if you have any follow up questions!



 Fitness is built by introducing stress (training) to your body. cf-lg
Your body initially freaks out (why running feels so difficult at the beginning of training), but it learns to adapt. The adaptation is a result of the stress+recovery=fitness equation. Without a proper recovery, your body cannot gain the intended fitness, thus, injury, illness, and burnout may occur. Today, we share some tips on recovery that will help you build your desired fitness and see results!

Recovery starts within your runs. In the summer, you will need to plan water/fluid stops to keep your hydration game strong. Drink stops while running will help keep your body happy and far away from dehydration issues. This practice will allow you to feel stronger mid run, and recover more quickly post run.

Post run recovery begins with fluids too. A simple 10 minute recovery program looks like this:
  • Sip fluids with carbohydrate and electrolyte (a recovery drink with protein is great too)
  • Start a short active stretch routine:
  1. Hamstrings
  2. Hips/Glutes
  3. Calf/Achilles
  4. Leg swings

Understand the pros of protein synthesis. Your body can only absorb and utilize 15-20 grams of protein at a time. Instead of over indulging on protein in one sitting, try spacing it out in 4-6 doses per day with your final protein snack just before bedtime. One cup of greek yogurt, 3 ounces of meat, fairlife milk, protein supplement, some cereals, or a smoothie are all good options. If you have protein in your system right before bed, your body can actively use it during the peak recovery that occurs with sleep!

There is huge benefit to a routine when it comes to sleeping. Develop a routine that works for your schedule that allots minimum of 8 hours of sleep per night. If you have a set time you start getting ready for bed, you will have better time management throughout the day, resulting in less procrastination and other stress inducing habits. Sleep is when your recovery hormones are at their highest and are working hard to make you stronger, fitter, and closer to your goals.

Happy training, and more importantly, happy recovery.



Do you want to incorporate strength training into your routine? hqdefaultThe use of specific exercises to gain strength and decrease weakness can greatly support your running endeavors and help avoid injuries. Add these four exercises into your training program at least twice per week, and after a month of consistency, see if you feel stronger, faster, and more durable.

Pointers

Lunges

One Leg Squat

Plank

Do you find one side of your body to fatigue more quickly than the other? Stay focused on this strength training routine, and see if you are able to even out the imbalances.



The goal of a training plan: To take you from where you are, to where you want to be. A good training routine encompasses fitness, mental focus, and good habits that get stronger with each week.images

First, you start to build a foundation, or base, that will hold up and support the entire pyramid. From there, the focus is to consistently meet your daily goals as you progress towards the peak. With each run, you train your body and mind to handle the workload, and you adapt your lifestyle and schedule to support your daily efforts.

Ultimately, your pyramid will be completed in the peak week, which is your final goal of the training cycle. To accomplish this, the Runcoach vV02 algorithm helps you along the way with pace and workout adjustments as you progress. The goal of this training philosophy is to keep injuries away with appropriate stress and recovery.

The ability to train consistently, and without injury, always results in higher fitness and better mental focus.
With a well constructed pyramid, you will be ready for whatever race day brings.



Did you know that water does more than just keep you hydrated? Obviously, that is an important role, but water is essential in your body for three other important tasks.keep-calm-and-stay-hydrated-1

   1-Water helps transport nutrients to the working muscles during training

   2-Water eliminates waste products (like lactic acid) during high intensity training

   3-Water works to keep your core temperature cooler by dissipating heat through sweating

The ramifications of not having enough fluid in your system can start with just 2% fluid loss. Headache, lack of concentration, dizziness, fatigue, inability to recover, and overall decreased ability to perform. Nothing that helps your training or allows you to work hard towards your goals. To avoid any of these happening to you this summer, here are a few things to include in your daily routine.

   1-Drink 8-12 ounces of water when you first wake up to kick start hydration

   2-Drink more than just water. Adding in electrolyte beverages will help your cells saturate with fluid and not dilute your body’s natural salt chemistry

   3-Drink consistently throughout the day. Keep a water bottle with you at all times

Hold up your water bottle in a toast to quality summer training and good hydration!



The number one rule for race day fueling; Don’t do anything new. Training with a race goal in mind, means that every run you do is practice for the race. You are training your muscles, your body, your mind, and your stomach. Learning to fuel and hydrate to get the most out of your training and racing will make a huge difference in the outcome of your performance, and it all starts in your daily practice.

Pre-Race Routine. For any run over 60 minutes, you will want to eat and hydrate beforehand. Beneficial-Facts-of-Healthy-Breakfast-for-School-Kids(See blog on Pre-Run and Post-Run Nutrition). This is a great opportunity to eat and drink the same thing you will on race morning. Once you know what sits well in your stomach, and fuels you for your miles, then stick with it! A standard pre-race breakfast is coffee (or tea) for a little caffeine, a bagel/toast/oatmeal and banana for carbs and fuel, and 16oz of electrolyte mix for hydration. Have this about 3 hours prior to the start of your race of any distance. Try this protocol before workouts and long runs and see how you feel! Adjust accordingly to determine what works for you, and then, don’t deviate.

Mid-Race Protocol. If you are doing a training run or race longer than 60 minutes, you may need to fuel and hydrategelsthroughout. Look up what electrolyte fluid and gels the event will provide. It is very common in half marathon and marathon distances to offer gels on the course, but you want to know the brand, flavor, and if they contain caffeine. Then you will practice with those fluids and gels leading into the race to confirm they work for you. If they do not, you will need to carry your own. In training and racing, take gels every 35-45 minutes. Get the gel in right before a water station, and then drink water to wash it down (do not take electrolyte fluid with a gel). In between, you can take water and electrolyte fluid to stay well hydrated. If you are racing less than an 60 minutes, you will need nothing, or only water to get through the distance.

Practicing your Pre-Race Routine and your Mid-Race Protocol will help you figure out what your body needs to be successful and run strong the whole way!



Summer Berry Smoothie

Written by Neely Gracey April 06, 2018
Looking for a healthy and delicious post run snack? Try this protein and antioxidant filled smoothie that will be sure to leave you feeling satified.smoothie

Summer Berry Smoothie
  • 1/2 frozen banana
  • 1/2 cup plain greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 1/2 scoop vanilla protein powder
  • 4 frozen strawberries
Blend all ingredients, enjoy! 

-Makes 1 serving
Includes important recovery ingredients: Protein, Carbs, Antioxidants, Potassium, Calcium, Fiber


The main way to meet your goals is to follow your training plan, but it never hurts to put a little thought into what could help support your active lifestyle! Recovery, Strength Training, Consistency, Hydration, Mid Run/Race Fueling, and Pre-Run /Post-Run Nutrition are all important details that will help you feel stronger and healthier. There will be a series of blog posts on each of these topics, stay tuned!

Pre-Run and Post-Run Nutritionsmoothie

When it comes to good eating habits, the number one thing to remember is moderation. Unless you have an allergy, or know certain foods don’t sit well in your stomach, then nothing is off limits. It’s all about the timing, and learning a good routine that works well for you. There are two key times when nutrition is critical during training; pre-run, and post-run. Let’s explore these in more detail.

Pre-run fueling is critical to dial in, especially if you have a sensitive stomach. If you’re a morning runner, you may not have much time to grab a snack before heading out to get in your training. Try something light, easy to digest, and carb focused for quick fuel. A banana, piece of toast, granola bar, sports chews, electrolyte mix, etc. All followed by water to wash it down and kick start your hydration for the day. Getting in some calories and fluids before a morning run is really important because you haven’t eaten for many hours, and you may have become dehydrated throughout the night. Fueling up beforehand will help ensure the success of your training efforts.

If you’re an afternoon/evening runner, than you have a day of meals to plan before your run. The morning isn’t too specific, but the meal/snack 3 hours prior to your run is very important. You will want to stick to something bland and not too heavy. A giant burrito may not leave you feeling great on your upcoming workout. Instead, try a sandwich, soup and side salad, sushi, etc. Good choices are things that are low in fats, easy to digest, and include no ingredients that irritate your stomach. Having a meal 3 hours before a run allows the body time to process and use the food as fuel. This will also help prevent cramps from eating too close to exercise.

Post-run fueling is all about starting the recovery process. In a run, your muscles are put under stress, and afterwards, they need protein to rebuild. Having carbs with your protein helps expedite this process, and according to the Olympic Training Performance Center, can also help boost your immune system. If you struggle to eat solids after running, you’re not alone! Try yogurt, smoothies, popsicles, or protein enriched milk. Whatever you consume post run, focus on carbs, proteins, antioxidants, essential fats, and fluids. The suggestion is to get in 100-200 calories within an hour of completing your run. You then have enough fuel to kick start recovery, protein synthesis, and rehydration before you get in your next full meal.  Finding a routine that works for you will allow your body to function at it’s best and be ready to nail those workouts as you chase your goals.



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