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Here are six tips to help you start charging toward race day.

blackrunningshoeTake it easy. Most of your runs should be done at a comfortable, conversational pace. These easy runs allows you to get time on your feet to build a solid base of aerobic fitness, without getting hurt. Many runners take their easy runs too fast, risking injury, and sapping the energy they need for quality workouts, like intervals and long runs. As a result, they end up stuck in the medium-hard zone,  and frustrated that they can’t reach their goals.

Make some plans. Look at your schedule, and see how your major workouts like long runs and speed sessions will fit in with all your family, work, and social commitments. If you need to move workouts around, that’s typically okay—as long as you don’t do two hard workouts back to back. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask. Just write to us at coach@runcoach.com.

Get dressed. It’s tempting to wear whatever athletic shoes and apparel you have on hand, but it’s not a good idea. Ill-fitting and worn-out shoes can lead to injury. Clothing not geared for athletics can make any run uncomfortable. Go to a specialty running store and get fitted for a pair of shoes that offer your feet the fit and support they need. Get apparel made of technical materials that wick moisture away from the skin. It will help you stay cool and dry when you feel hot and sweaty, and help minimize uncomfortable chafing. It may seem like a big investment, but it’s money, time, and stress you’ll save by staying out of the doctor’s office.

Eat like an athlete. What you eat and drink will have a huge impact on how you feel while you’re on the road. Eat wholesome, unprocessed foods that will help you unleash your strength and speed. Figure out which pre-run foods will boost your energy without upsetting your stomach. For any run of 70 minutes or longer, you’ll want to refuel while you’re on the road to keep your energy levels steady. Aim for 30 to 60 grams of carbs per hour.  Consume midrun fuel at even intervals—don’t wait until you’re tired or hungry, it will be too hard to regain your energy. There are a variety of sports gels, drinks, chews and bars on the market. Experiment with different flavors, brands and formulas to figure out what sits well with you. And be sure to recover right after tough workouts, especially intervals and long runs. Within 30 minutes of finishing your workout, have a wholesome snack or meal with protein and carbs to restock spent energy stores, and bounce back quickly for your next workout.  As you ramp up your mileage, resist the temptation to eat with abandon. It’s shockingly easy to eat back all the calories you just burned – and then some— end up at the starting line heavier than when you started training. The more wholesome your diet, the better you’ll feel during your runs.

Develop good drinking habits. Dehydration has been proven to drag down pace and make even easy runs feel difficult. Sip calorie-free fluids throughout the day to make sure you’re well hydrated going into each workout. Aim for half your body weight in ounces each day. So if you weigh 160 pounds (or 72.5 Kg), aim for 80 ounces of fluids per day. If you weigh 130 pounds (59 Kg), aim for 65 ounces per day.

Buddy up. Join a friend or a running group—the miles roll by faster when you have others to socialize with—especially during speed sessions and long runs.

Reach out for help. Any time you have questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We’re here to help! Contact us at coach@runcoach.com.




In the Spotlight: Genentech

jeannec_machupicchuJeanne Cheung
Senior Scientific Supervisor, Cancer Immunology

Favorite fitness activity: long hikes with friends

What’s the secret to your success? Staying active on a such a regular basis means that it feels awful (mentally and physically) to slack off for more than a few days. It also helps to have active friends.

What’s the biggest obstacle to moving more and how do you get over it? The weather, as I usually prefer to be active outdoors than in a gym. I also sometimes just feel lazy but I force myself to work out anyway (even in the gym) because I know I will feel great afterwards. Half the battle is just getting ready to go and starting up.

What’s the most rewarding part of participating in the Genentech 500,000-Mile Challenge? Post workout euphoria and knowing that if I indulge a bit food-wise I won't feel too guilty about it. Also--not gaining weight!

What advice would you give others? An active lifestyle is a disciplined choice. If you make the choice and stick to it, the rewards go far beyond more Genentech schwag. You'll feel better, stronger, more energetic and your body will thank you as you try to age gracefully.

Share your movecoach success story here!




Sesa Pabalan discovered one of the most important lessons of running: if you want to run fast, you have to take your easy runs truly easy. She just finished a 1:48 half marathon. "It's fun to run fast," she says, "but best to not do it all the time."

2rc_sessaSesa Pabalan

Sport: Running

Major milestone: Going under 1:50 in the half marathon for the first time in three years. I'm still three minutes from my PR, but I'm getting more fit under the runcoach program!

What is the secret to your success? During my long and easy runs I switch the screen on my Garmin so I can only see my heart rate. That way I truly run at an easy effort and save my legs for speed workouts and races.

What is the biggest obstacle to reaching your goals and how do you get over it? Staying consistent with my running during major life changes. It's easy for me to stop running when things aren't going well in the office or with my relationships. I have very little motivation to run during difficult periods in my life, but I just tell myself I will feel a lot better if I run, even if it's just for 20 minutes.

What is the most rewarding part of training? Seeing it pay off in a hard workout or race. With the direction of runcoach, I've been running my fastest times in three years!

What advice would you give to other members of the runcoach community? Trust the process - but don't be afraid to back off if you feel sharp pain, sick, or burned out. I owe most of my progress to being consistent and doing the hard workouts, but it's better to be undertrained than injured because I didn't listen to my body. Run easy most days. I feel like most people run their easy runs too fast. Most of my runs are 11- and 12-minute pace, and I just ran a half marathon in 1:48. I think of sub-9 miles as my "party pace." Yes, it's fun to run fast, but best to not do it all the time.



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In the Spotlight: Genentech

Isidro Garcia
Senior Facilities Coordinator


isidro27spicFavorite fitness activity: Cycling

What’s the biggest obstacle to moving more, and how do you overcome it? Many times, I say I’m going to rest. But when I wake up in the morning I end up saying ‘no I'm adding 10 more miles to my belt.' Plus, there are times I get so nervous thinking about having an accident and there's been times that I leave my bike at home because of that. But there are other times that I am able to just do it.

What’s the most rewarding part of moving more? I've been participating in charity rides for more than a decade to raise money for Diabetes, Multiple Sclerosis, and AIDS. Just knowing that I've supported people with these illness makes me feel good and glad to be able to help them in some way.The movecoach challenge had kept me in better shape and ready for these upcoming events. I’m glad that I'm healthy, and because I'm riding my bike, I don’t have to spend as much time driving in a car !

What advice would you give to fellow challengers? Have the fear, and do it anyways.  With this wonderful weather there's no excuse to move more. Why not get on the saddle and pedal for an hour or 30 minutes daily? Or stop by the gym. I'm glad this challenge was created and I can see everybody pushing the rest of the crew. We keep riding even if it's just because we need to beat the other teams.


Share your movecoach success story here!

Click here to join the Genentech 500,000-Mile Challenge


Download movecoach moves Genentech for iPhone or Android.

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2trailrunnersWith group fitness challenges, personalized training plans, coaching support, cool rewards, and our patented training technology, movecoach will help you build your fitness, and lead a healthier, more active life.

Here are 6 tips for making the most out of our system. 

1. SET UP YOUR PLAN. Log in (your username is the email address you used to register) and tell us about your goals, recent races, current routine, and when you’d like to workout, rest, and cross train. We’ll use that information to design your training plan. Remember: races aren’t the only goals you can target. With movecoach, you can challenge yourself to step, walk, run, bike, or swim a certain distance over a certain period of time, or post the most workouts of your favorite fitness activity.

How to: On the App, select the calendar icon to the left of the home icon. Toggle to the “Goals” page, and click on the upper right-hand corner of the box that says “Current Goal.” On a computer, click on “Goals & Results” and select “+Goal.”

2. TRACK YOUR PROGRESS. Download our iPhone or Android app  to track workouts. You can also sync runcoach with Garmin, Nike+, Apple HealthKit, Strava, Runkeeper, Fitbit and Jawbone, so activity tracked with those services automatically uploads to your movecoach log. 

How to:
On the App, select “Sync a Service” from the Me icon on the bottom-left corner of the screen, and toggle to the “More” screen. On a computer, select "Sync a service” from the upper left-hand corner of the Training page.

3. CREATE A PERSONAL CHALLENGE. As you participate in the company-wide effort to move more, create a personal fitness challenge that revolve around your own goals. Aim to post the most workouts of your favorite class or fitness activity. Or challenge yourself to step, walk, run, cycle, or swim a certain distance in a certain time.

How to: On the App, click on the flag icon to the right of the home icon. On a computer, go to  “Account Settings,” and select a team. Or select “Challenge” to join an ongoing challenge or choose your own. Click on “Invite Friends” to encourage your co-workers to join your Challenge. You can encourage one another as your movement adds up, or enjoy a little friendly competition!

4. HIGH FIVE YOUR FRIENDS. Giving and getting support from your friends and colleagues is one of the funnest parts of the challenge. High five others for their hard work, and enjoy getting your own.

How to: On the App, click on the flag icon to the right of the home icon. Click on the  “Leaderboard,” then select on “Latest Achievements.” Click on the hand outline—you’ll see it turn solid blue— to give others a virtual “high five.” If you’re on a computer, go to  “Account Settings,” and select a team.

5. ADJUST YOUR PLAN AS YOU GO. You can recalculate your plan at any time. Adjust your plan as you make fitness breakthroughs, so you don’t stuck in a rut, and keep improving to unleash your potential on race day.  If you have to take time off, you can make room for periods of inactivity so that you can safely get back on track toward reaching your goals.

How to: On the App, select  the calendar icon to the left of the home icon on the bottom of the screen. Select “Adjust Schedule” from the top of the Training screen. If you’re on a computer, you’ll find “Adjust Schedule” on the upper right-hand corner of the Training screen.

6. REACH OUT FOR HELP. Our staff of USATF, USAT, and RRCA-certified coaches are here to answer your training questions.

How to:  On the App, click on the “Me” icon at the bottom left-hand corner of the screen. Toggle to “More,” and select “Need some help?” from the top.  Or, email us  at coach@movecoach.com (*Be sure to put coach@runcoach.com on your list of safe contacts to ensure that you receive our responses.)






Every finish line is the start of a new adventure. Here are some tips to consider as you recover from your race and charge toward your next challenge.2race

REST. Races take a toll, regardless of how easy or hard you run them. Negotiating crowds, logistical gymnastics, and the adrenalin rush of running in a pack of people who are racing as fast as they can, can drain your energy.  After you finish, take time and rest to recharge your body and mind. If you’ve got achy muscles, cross training at an easy effort with low-impact activities such as swimming, cycling, and the elliptical may ease your soreness.  This recovery time is plugged into your training plan, so stick to it.   These low-key days won’t wreck all your hard-earned fitness; they will ensure that you charge toward your next goal feeling healthy, and mentally fresh.

REFLECT. Consider how this training cycle and race went. Did you meet your goals? Why or why not? What lessons did you learn on the way to the starting line? What happened in the final days and hours leading up to the starting line, that impacted your results? What would you like to do differently next time? The answers to these questions will help you make a smart decision about what challenge to take on next. If you want help making sense of your race results, or determining your next goal, reach out to us. 

RESET. Use the insights you gained from your reflections to reset your next goal. You can incorporate your recent race finish by selecting “Goals & Races” and adding a new race. And new distances and finish times aren’t the only goals you can set. And with our platform, you can join and create your own challenges that will help you continue to build fitness, without racing. Join a challenge to post the most workouts, or cover a certain amount of miles in a certain amount of time. Enjoy the community of other runcoach users who are reaching for their own personal bests. High five one another’s successes, and enjoy support on your own. Click on “Challenges” at the top left of your screen after log in.

CONNECT. If you have any questions about your race, recovery or training, reach out to us.  Share your success story. We would welcome any feedback you might like to provide about your experience using our system!


Matt Vulanichrc_2mattvulanich

Favorite sport: running

Major milestone: My first milestone was deciding to start running nearly 15 years ago at age 45.  I started with 20 minutes, three time per week on a treadmill as a stress reducer.  Since then, I have run enough miles to go nearly halfway around the world.  In terms of racing, it was completing Leg 5 of the Hood-to-Coast relay last August, as I approached my 60th birthday.  Leg 5 is widely recognized as the most challenging of the race.

What is the secret to your success? There’s no secret.  Just dedication, commitment, the challenge to get better and doing so as the clock ticks.  Father Time is the only undefeated opponent known to humankind.  I won't beat him either, but I'm going to make it tough for him to win!

What is the biggest obstacle to reaching your goals and how do you get over it? At age 60, the biggest obstacle is staying fit, staying healthy and knowing how hard it will become to maintain my current levels of achievement as I get older. I try overcoming it by making sure that I focus on training, not exercise.  Training is making sure that the workouts, fueling, diet and sleep needed to perform are all in complete balance.  Doing so keeps me physically fit and mentally prepared.

What is the most rewarding part of training? To me, it is rewarding to enter a race and compete at a level that is competitive with a few age groups lower than me. When I compete, I look to see how I performed overall and against anyone, say, 20 years  younger.  So far, I've done well and hope that it continues for a while longer.

What advice would you give to other members of the runcoach community? It's never too late to start. Be committed to an overall training regime.  It's the best way to stay healthy and compete at a high level. And have fun! I All the running plans and programs I've used over the years, I truly appreciate runcoach.  The ability to have a dynamic plan that adjusts along the way to my performance has been great.

Have a running story to share? Click here for details.

Download our App for iOS or Android.


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In the Spotlight: Genentech

genentech_lauridiehlLauri Diehl
Senior Pathologist/ Research Pathology

Favorite Fitness Activity: Cycling. I am riding through the mountains along the Adriatic coast of Albania for a week in May. Albania is beautiful and somewhere I wouldn't have travelled to without cycling. I feel very fortunate to get to do these things.

What’s the biggest challenge to moving more? I'm very busy with work (including travel) and family, so training time is an issue. I workout early in the mornings to accommodate that.

What’s the most rewarding part of the challenge? It's been fun seeing how many very active people work at Genentech.  Also, I've seen the value of having a written training plan rather than winging it.  That's something I'm continuing on my own. I've had fun. This was a good idea.

Best advice: Find something you love and make fitness a joyful priority.


Share your movecoach success story here!

Click here to join the Genentech 500,000-Mile Challenge


Download movecoach moves Genentech for iPhone or Android.

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After all the time and effort you invested in training, you want your hard work to pay off on race day.  Here are 10 tips to keep in mind in the final days before the big day. jva_2racing

1. Hydrate. Dehydration can make even an “easy” pace feel harder. Consume plenty of water in the days before the race.  Sip fluids in small doses throughout the day to avoid stomach upset. 

2. Stick to familiar foods. Avoid the temptation at the expo to test out new sports foods and drinks. Stick to foods that have given you a boost during training without upsetting your stomach.  Avoid any new foods or ingredients to avoid GI distress.

3. Stick to the training plan. In the days before the race, it’s tempting to cram in extra mileage or intense workouts to propel yourself to a PR. That’s not a good idea.  You can’t boost your fitness at this point—you only risk injury.  Use the time to rest, run easy, and get plenty of shuteye. You want to feel springy and energetic, and ready to unleash all the strength, and speed you worked so hard to develop.

4. Don't diet...Some runners attempt to cut back on calories during the taper, as they cut back their miles. But in the days before the race, you want to be building up your stores of glycogen so that you can have them to burn during the race. If you’re training for a half-marathon or a marathon, aim to get 70% of your daily calories from carbs in the final three days of your race. If you try to restrict calories, you could end up at the starting line feeling depleted and fatigued.

5. ...But don't get carried away with carb-loading. Other runners use the race as an excuse to eat with abandon. That can lead to GI distress, a heavy-legged feeling at the starting line, and a race that's derailed by emergency pit stops.

6. Review the course. Review the race route and course elevation, or if you can, drive or run on stretches of the course. Take mental notes on where you’ll have to push and where you can cruise. Visualize yourself crossing the finish line feeling composed, strong, and exhilarated.

7. Gather your tried-and-trusted gear.  Resist the temptation to use or wear something new for the special occasion of race day.  A gear or clothing malfunction before or during the race can rock your focus and derail the day you’ve worked so hard to prepare for.  Plan to race in the shoes, apparel, gear, and gadgets that have been reliable in training.

8. Review your logistics.  What are your plans for picking up your race packet? How will you get to the race in the morning and get home afterwards? Where will you park? Make a plan for race weekend, write it down, and stick to it. Spending time to nail down these logistics will help relieve stress on free up energy you need to focus.

9. Reflect on your training. Add up all the miles you logged to train for this big event. Take note of all the times you pushed yourself out the door for a tough workout when you would have rather stayed in. Draw confidence from all that you accomplished on the way to the starting line. Take time to reflect on the major milestones you hit—say the first time you completed a mile, achieved a new personal best, or hit a pace that once felt impossible. Use those memories and that pride to fuel your confidence heading into race day.

10. Reset your goals.  Have a few time goals for the race. Consider how your training went,  how healthy you feel, and any niggling aches and tweaks you may have developed along the way. If work, life, illness or injury got in the way of training, save your original time goal for another day. And be sure to set process goals for the race, which aren’t tied to the numbers on the finish-line clock. You might aim to run up the hills you previously walked, or try to do a negative split—that is, finish the second half the race faster than the first half.

Good luck!

After you cross the finish line, be sure to tell us about your training and racing experience. Share your story here. 



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