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You may have heard it, but we will say it again: The long run is the most important run of your week.

rcpic Personally, the long run is my favorite run of the week too. It doesn’t always feel good, but I am always proud of myself once it’s completed because I know fitness was gained and mental strength too. But why is the long run so important? Why does the training plan have up and down weeks with total mileage/minutes? Is it really possible to finish a marathon if my long run never covers the entire distance in training? Here are our answers.

First, the importance of the long run stems from the cells. Runs exceeding 60 minutes help create more capillaries within the system, the more capillaries in your body, the more efficient oxygen can be transported and delivered to your muscles. Thus, increasing your endurance level and ability to run faster and further. As you feel stronger, and you accomplish mileage you never thought possible, you gain confidence.  You start to learn that you can push harder and longer than ever before, and that is huge for the mental game come race day.

Next, the up and down weeks of mileage may look random, but we have a plan. We train you to run 2 weeks hard, 1 week easy. This cycle of training prepares the body as you work to build up fatigue, push through fatigue, and then recover. The adaptations that build fitness come when we soak up the training during the down week before increasing the mileage higher than before. For our marathon runners, these two challenging long run weeks back to back can help simulate the second half of the marathon with the accumulation of fatigue.

 Last, the long run is more about time on feet than actual miles covered. Exceeding more than 3.5 hours of running during training has been known to have diminishing returns. Meaning that running longer than 210 minutes can negatively affect your body’s ability to have quality in training and could leave you sick, overly fatigued, or injured. Depending on your pace, any run 16 miles and over will allow you to successfully finish the marathon distance. It’s important to trust the process and know that with a taper, you will feel strong and ready to conquer 26.2 miles at the peak of your training program.

If you’re like me, you can’t wait for the next long run to get out the door and increase your body’s efficiency now that you know the goal of your most important run of the week.



Runcoach Success Story: Ali

Written by Neely Gracey September 10, 2018
    Ali's story represents so many of us. Learning from mistakes, growing as runners and people as we create our goals and then journey towards them along the never straight path to success. Ali has learned what his body needs to complete over 165 races: Consistency in training, a healthy diet, enough rest, and access to experienced coaches who can guide him along the way. 

    Major milestone: Screen_Shot_2018-09-10_at_9.14.31_PM

    Completed 165 races.

    What is the secret to your success?
    The secret to my success is being able to get in my training as much as possible for every marathon. Also, eating a healthy diet and continuously exercising keeps me fit.

    What is the biggest obstacle to reaching your goals and how do you get over it?
    The biggest obstacle to reaching my goals was getting dehydrated during the 2017 LA Marathon. This was overcome by changing my diet and exercise routine.

    What is the most rewarding part of training?
    The most rewarding part of my training is being able to take rests. Also, getting medals after races is rewarding.

    What advice would you give to other members of the Runcoach community?
    Keep as close to running your assigned miles as possible.

    Anything else you would like to share?
    Runcoach is an excellent training program. It gives runners a sense of life outside of just training. It is a way runners can keep better track of their training schedule. It has many experienced runners who work for the program.

  • What feedback would you offer on the Runcoach experience?
  • The Runcoach website has been built very carefully. The live chat's have been a way to keep my training at a efficient level. The website has many features that are helpful.


"You're only as good as your training, and your training is only as good as your thinking." -Lauren Olivertrust_the_process

If this is your first race ever, or your 1,000th race, in running, there are times where it gets tough while racing. Especially in the longer races. The doubts, negative thoughts, and emotions can sneak in and take over. Training your mind to focus on positive things will keep you moving forward towards your goals. The mantra you need today may change or evolve, or perhaps you need a few to get you through different parts of the race. Here are some ideas to get you started! 

Stronger Every Mile

Run Grateful

Chase The Dream

Attitude Is Everything

Every Mile Is A Gift

I Can, I Will

Fit, Fast, Fierce

You Are Strong

Focused Every Step

Embrace The Struggle

Breathe

Trust The Process

Be Strong

Attitude Determines Direction

Focus Ahead

Never Give Up

Relax

Be Fearless

Run Hard, Be Strong, Don't Quit

Chase Progress

Run With Ambition

Feed Your Focus

Run Inspired

Believe In You

Focus Determines Reality

One Foot In Front Of The Other

Conquer From Within

Relentless Spirit

Tough Times Don't Last

Enjoy The Journey

Strive For Progress

Positive Mind, Positive Outcome












Tips for the Taper

July 25, 2018

Tips for the TaperScreen-shot-2013-04-17-at-9.48.03-AM-519x421

In running, the final phase of training is where you get sharp, peak, and taper. The last 1-3 weeks prior to a big race is where the emphasis is on all the fitness coming together at the right time. This part of training helps your body to mentally focus,  gives you time to hydrate, fuel, and rest in preparation for your big goal. Here are some tips to maximize the final phase of training to get the most out of yourself on race day!

Training

Cut back some of the miles, but still keep some turnover workouts in the training that final week. This will keep your muscle tension in a good place so you don’t feel “flat” or heavy legged on race day.

Psychological

Take some time during the taper weeks to get your mind in the right place for race day. Look back at all the training you have done to prepare for your goal, and gain confidence in yourself and your fitness.

Hydration

Start an emphasis on hydration during your taper. This will help your body perform on race day!

Fueling

It is important to not over eat during the taper phase. However, be certain to get in good nutrients the few days leading into the race. You want to have all your energy stores filled and ready to carry you to a strong finish.

Relax

Focus on sleep, propping the feet up, and encouraging your muscles to repair and freshen up prior to race day.

When you put all these tips together, it can bring you more confidence knowing you are trained, mentally prepared, hydrated, fueled, and rested… the key components to taking your goals from a dream to reality.



Q&A with the Runcoach CEO and 2:12 marathoner, Coach Tom McGlynn,tom-260 who shares some thoughts on including a half marathon race within your marathon training. 

1.) Do you advise runners to race a half marathon prior to running a full marathon?

If the athlete is preparing for a marathon, then I like to see them run a half marathon 4-7 weeks out.  The reason we like it that far prior to the goal race is that we always recommend enough time to recovery after the half marathon. The recovery period is intended to spring board the athlete into the final marathon stage of training.

2.) Does practicing race day routine in a half marathon help your marathon?

The actual practice of waking up, eating, drinking, going to the bathroom and arriving at the start line in plenty of time is most helpful.  Some of the intra-race hydration is important as well.  The half marathon should be thought of as a dress rehearsal for the marathon.

3.) Does a half marathon time accurately estimate your fitness for the marathon?

The science suggests that if you double your half marathon time and add about 12 minutes, that would be your current fitness for the marathon.  Meaning that a 2 hour half marathon converts to a 4:12 marathon. This is an extremely rough estimate, and doesn’t consider key variables such as weather, course variation (between half and full), the athlete’s health on either race day,  the need for nutrition and hydration in a full marathon that isn't as important in a half marathon, the runner's form/efficiency, etc

Do you have any more questions to ask our coaches? Email them today!



Are you heading to the beach for a final summer vacation? Or maybe you just want to spend some time relaxing by the pool, or lounging in the AC. No matter your intentions, if you want some quality reading, look no further.

Peak Performance by Steve Magness
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Insight into the commonalities of success. From athletes, to CEO's, to musicians, what drives performance?


Run The World by Becky Wade
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The story of pro marathoner Becky Wade when she traveled the world to explore what it's like to live and train in other cultures and landscapes. 


Let Your Mind Run by Deena Kastor

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The American record holder for the Marathon, Deena Kastor, shares the story of how she achieved great things once she trained her mind to stay positive.


Endure by Alex Hutchinson
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Learning to endure is a key trait to success. Using the mind to push a little further and a little faster.


Pepper Jones Series by Ali Dean

615JfAW2CrLSports fiction author and runner Ali Dean brings a high school runner girl to life in this easy-to-read story about the highs and lows of success in sports at a young age.


How Bad do you Want it? by Matt Fitzgerald
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Mind over muscle is the mantra in this book as you learn to push your limits further than you thought possible.


Running with the Buffalos by Chris Lear
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The true story of the 1998 men's cross-country team at the University of Colorado and their relentless focus for an NCAA victory. 


Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand
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A talented runner forced to forego his Olympic dreams when drafted for WW2.


Grit by Angela Duckworth

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Insight into the combination of passion+perseverance=grit and grit is one of the key ingredients to success.


Jack Daniels, an exercise physiologist who inspired some of the Runcoach ideals, said "The stronger your core, the more solid you are as you hit the ground, this reduces the need for unnecessary stabilization, and allows you to be a more economical runner."IMG_8268

What are you waiting for? It's ABsolutely time to get to work. Here are some videos to help you get started.

Side Planks
 2-3 sets
Works the internal and external obliques to build better core stability.

Hamstring Bridge 2-3 sets
Core is more than just your abs. One of the most common weaknesses we see in runners is their glutes which are the key powerhouse for propulsion with every step you take while running. 

Push-Ups 2-3 sets
Works your arms, upper body, and core. Can be done on your knees to start, and then as you build up strength, you will be able to do a full push-up!

Partner Punishment 2-3 sets
If you don't have a partner to help you out in this exercise, you can do leg lower and left controlling the resistance of gravity on your own to get a deep core exercise

Try to include core into your weekly routine and watch your form and strength increase!











Hiruni Joins The Team

Written by Neely Gracey July 12, 2018

Welcome Hiruni Wijayaratne
hiruni-260

Thank goodness her smile and calm demeanor makes her approachable, because while running, Hiruni is a fierce competitor. She holds 10 National Records for Sri Lanka, a marathon personal best of 2:36, and a passion for chasing her goals and helping others do the same.

It doesn’t stop there, Hiruni brings her A game to the office too, where she has taken over as the Business Development and Sales Lead, but she does so much more than that. Hiruni is also one of our world-class coaches, and enjoys answering your questions and sharing her experience as both coach and athlete.

We believe that Hiruni brings a lot of value to us as a company, and to you as our customer.  We encourage you to take advantage of the opportunity to have Hiruni on your support team to help you achieve your goals.

Learn more about how to contact Hiruni here!



New Feature: Coach Tab

Written by Neely Gracey July 05, 2018

We want to introduce you to your coaches! At Runcoach, we strive to provide you the best virtual coaching experience possible, and that starts with having some of the best coaches! Tom, Hiruni, and Neely are all certified coaches with World Class running credentials. They are here to support you because they understand first hand the highs and lows of running, and now, you can utilize their expertise to help you towards your goals.

tom-260

Tom is the founder and CEO of Runcoach. He is a lifelong runner, 3 time Olympic Trials Qualifier and respected coach. In short, Tom is passionate about running and more specifically, helping runners improve and achieve their personal goals. He wanted to build a tool that adapted with the infinitely changing needs of each athlete. Armed with a set of principles inspired by his time as a professional runner and his firsthand knowledge coaching Nike Farm athletes, Tom created Runcoach.

Through Runcoach, Tom has helped thousands of runners set new PR’s. He has trained marathoners ranging from 2:15 to 8:15 and remains convinced that anyone can improve their running and avoid injury with the right approach.

As a Runcoach gold member, you’ll be able to ask our coaches, like Tom, questions about your training, race preparation, injury prevention, and nutrition and get expert level advice and guidance to help you get to the next level.


hiruni-260

Hiruni is the first to point out that we all have one thing in common. Regardless of fitness level or accomplishments, we are all trying to become the best version of ourselves. At a quick glance, you might not think you have much in common with Hiruni. Between her 10 national records for her home country of Sri Lanka and her impressive collegiate career at the University of Kentucky, she has accomplished things many of us may never achieve. Yet, Hiruni is a huge advocate of personal development through goal setting.

At Runcoach, Hiruni helps our runners set realistic goals, manage hectic schedules, avoid injury, and get the most out of every run. Each runner is different, and Hiruni loves unlocking the potential of runners just like you.

As a Runcoach Gold member, you will have access to people like Hiruni, coaches who know exactly how to help you become the best version of yourself.


neely-260
Neely started running competitively in her early teens and just kept getting faster. She won eight NCAA DIV II Championships in college, and continued on to represent Team USA in five international competitions. In 2016, she was the first American finisher at the Boston Marathon with a time of 2:35. She is a master at juggling a busy life; rigorous training, wife, full time coach, and mom. She’s fought through illness and injury along the way but knows what it takes to persevere and stay mentally strong and focused.

As part of the Runcoach team, Neely shares her love of the sport and affinity to helping runners like you persevere through challenges all while balancing the many demands life throws your way. She is passionate about coaching athletes as well as offering up some of the insight she’s learned along her journey on the Runcoach blog and social media channels.

As a Runcoach Gold member you will have access to coaches like Neely who can help you balance your hectic lifestyle with the rewards that come with improving your running abilities.



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