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  • Ron is a former competitive Road Cyclist who set a goal to complete his first marathon in 2019. Read about Ron's training experience, and how his determination to succeed led to a stellar, well executed 3:33 marathon debut in Tel Aviv!
    c314bf8Ron_Ayal_TLV_marathon_2019_copy
  • Completion of my first Marathon (in 03:33:52hrs)
  • A perfect training plan and amazingly accurate and personal support by Runcoach's team ( in my case - wonderful coach Hiruni Wijayaratne) that I followed with determination, dedication and faith in myself, in the coaching team and the application that proved over and over to be right to the point.


    What is the biggest obstacle to reaching your goals and how do you get over it?
  • Going over the top.... Every time I tried to go too far, too fast, too early - I paid the price. physically and mentally. I learned to trust the plan, follow the coaches advises and listen to my body. I learned to recognize my limits while not letting them to hold me back and most of all I learned to look at the long term goal...
  • Being able to accomplish the goals I set every time anew. Follow my dreams and doing so in a most enjoying way. Also the new PR's the plan helped me to set again and again were a very nice bonus ;)
  • First decide what your goal is. It might sound obvious but setting the right goal(s), especially on an application based plan, is a tricky game that would influence any aspect of your training. Consult the team! - They have the experience to help you set the right goals and the dedication to take you there. Follow the plan and have faith in it but also listen to your body. If you're heading for a marathon take the time to build up and prepare. Runcoach will give you the best plan and coaching but this up to you to execute the plan while taking care of your physical and mental health - Nutrition, Hydration, rest - they all has to be carefully taken care of. And most important - Don't forget to enjoy... A goal race is a single event on a given day with a rewarding outcome. However in long distance runs it's the way leading to this day which is really is the most important...
  • I was amazed by the accuracy and the effectiveness of the application in terms of improvement and projection. It prescribes precisely what you should do - not too easy and not too hard with proven outcomes. But what really impressed, and later also motivated me was the personal attitude in the email support - I hadn't expect it to be so personal, dedicated and caring. I discovered not only professionals but also great people who really cares about you.



    What feedback would you offer on the Runcoach experience?
  • 1. Adaption and fine-tuning for the metric system. The app does all sort of funny things when it comes to adapt for meters/km both in plan and in communications. 2. Allowing choice of different setting of weekdays - not anywhere in the world the week begins on Mondays... 3. Trail runs and ascents/uphill runs - The application doesn't offer any reference to those conditions which requires a whole different kind of training


Written by Dena Evans
Updated by Ashley Benson 

Beginners and experienced runners need to navigate successfully around other runners, walkers, obstacles, and shared spaces alike.  Although many small communities of runners may have their own language and habits for dealing with various situations, it is instructive to keep in mind a basic knowledge of common running etiquette.   Like many things in life, the golden rule applies.  Sometimes with outstanding running etiquette, we can even influence another runner to employ more people-friendly tactics their next time out.  Here are a few tips on how to manage a few recurring situations.

 

Passing someone coming the opposite direction

On a bike/ pedestrian path, sidewalk, trail, or other two-way, directional running surface, pass others as cars would.  If you are in the United States, that means bearing right, but perhaps that might mean bearing left if in the UK.  If you are running with a group, take care not to take up the whole path and slide into single file as necessary to let the oncoming runner have a straight path.  If necessary, make eye contact and even take a half step to one side to indicate your planned passing lane when you think confusion might be occurring.

 

Passing someone from behind

If moving in the same direction as the person you are trying to pass, again pass as cars would, with the faster party (you, in this case), moving by toward the center of two directional surface path or sidewalk or if narrow, on the left. First, alert them to your presence by saying “On your left” loud enough for them to hear you and not so close as to startle them.  Give it a little gas if you can and pass quickly so as not to dwell in the “two abreast” stage of the pass.

 

If the person in front of you is wearing headphones and can’t hear you, give a wide berth as you pass to avoid startling them.

 

If in a race, pay special attention before and after fluid stations, heading in and out of sharp and curbed corners, and at a turn around so as not to cause a pileup or a chain reaction.  You and the other runners are entitled to hold your own space, but it is your responsibility to maintain that space with the people immediately in front of you, and to not encroach that space by dangerously slipping by someone right at the curb before or after a turn.  If looking for a particular line for an advantageous tangent to a distant corner, to stay out of the wind, or for another reason, you must allow a step and a half of space between yourself and the person you are passing before moving in front of them into their lane / line.  If in doubt, give the other runner an indication by announcing your intention with an “on your left”, “head’s up” or a point of the finger where you are headed so they can see what you have planned.

 

If passing a horse on a trail, make sure you alert the rider well in advance of your arrival, and plan to walk around the backside of the horse with a wide berth.  Yes, that might be annoying and a disruption to your run, but a worse disruption is a startled horse and back kick into your stomach.  Don’t take any chances.

 

Running with a group

If running on a surface with any regular oncoming running traffic at all, two runners across is probably the maximum appropriate amount of width.  If running with three or more with plenty of room, be prepared to maintain the responsibility of yielding to an oncoming runner if you suddenly come upon one rather than force them to the shoulder or the bushes.  Even if there is no oncoming traffic, running with three across can prove a hazard as cyclists, cars, and other runners might be coming from behind and have to swing wide into oncoming traffic to avoid hitting your group.

 

Minding your manners on a busy track

Unless the track is empty or no one present is running for time or fast enough to encounter each other, do not jog in lane 1 of the track.  Many tracks encourage this through gates or signs to jog in outside lanes. Even if not, a community track is a treasure for all who use it and a very expensive item to resurface.  If you want to continue accessing your home track, it is best for all to allow lane 1 to wear out as slowly as possible.  Therefore, if you don’t need to use it for timing a workout, don’t.

 

Again, unless the place is empty or traffic is limited enough to definitely avoid bumping into each other, do not run the opposite direction (clockwise).  If you do for some reason, it is your responsibility to yield to those running counterclockwise.  Likewise, do not ever run clockwise in lane 1, unless you really, really, have the place to yourself.

 

If passing from behind on a track, always do so to the outside of the person you are passing, particularly if both of you are too out of breath to let them know verbally that you are coming by.  If someone (toddler, random person talking on their cell phone, slouchy teenager, or similar) is standing or otherwise blocking your lane while not running hard themselves, give them a sharp “TRACK!” before you come upon them to give them time to move out of the way.  Likewise, if you accidentally are daydreaming or forget where you are and hear “TRACK!” while standing in a particular lane, it is your responsibility to get out of the way immediately as you would hope another would do for you.

 

Fluid stations

Do not cut off other runners in a crazy diagonal direction to get fluid.  Fluid stations are often areas with slippery footing, and race-ending injuries can occur even when best intentions are met with poor geometry.  Prior to the station, merge as you can so all runners can get a clean shot at the drinks without banging into each other.  If you need to stop and consume whatever it is you picked up, do so AFTER you clear the table and out of the main line of travel.

 

Drafting

If it is windy, or the road is particularly cambered, runners will often naturally form a single file or thin line as the race stretches out.  However, if it is just you and one other poor runner, by yourselves into the wind for five miles straight, it is bad form to just silently just have them take the brunt of the weather without offering to take turns if evenly matched.  If you are hanging on to the pace for dear life and there is no way you could help, at least acknowledging their help or asking if it is ok for you to run along with them for a bit is far better than just wordlessly breathing down their throat the entire way.

 

Assorted other Do’s and Don’ts

  • Do shake hands with someone you just worked with or competed against for a large portion of the race.
  • Do look oncoming runners in the eye and say good morning or hello.  If running by yourself, this can also be a way for others to have remembered you if you go missing on a run.  Sounds scary, but it is true.
  • Do not knowingly (when possible) bring meandering children on training wheels or hard to control (even if good natured) dogs to a location where people are running hard for time in narrow confines.  Freak injuries and accidents from this type of thing are more common than you may realize.
  • Do wipe down your treadmill in the gym for the next person, even if they aren’t yet present.
  • Do not stop short in lane 1 of a busy track or in the middle of a busy bike path if doing timed intervals.  Decelerate by stepping to the side or the inside of the track, or take a glimpse behind you first to make sure no one is immediately on your tail.
  • Do not randomly “race” some person you just came upon in the park without exchanging pleasantries at least or acknowledging you are trying to stay with them.
  • Do completely clear the finish line of a race before engaging with your watch to check splits, etc.
  • Do not keep the beeping function of your GPS device on during a race.  It may not match up with the race markings and quickly becomes a stressor and annoyance for anyone running with you.
  • Do not wear headphones unless in a situation where you are sure it is safe for you and others to do so.  If doing so, always keep them at a level where you can still hear the ambient noise around you.

 

Most importantly, keep it light and try not to take yourself so seriously when situations requiring etiquette occur.  We all put a great deal of effort and time into our running, but most of us do so for the fun, relaxation, and enjoyment of the sport.  Acting in a way that allows your fellow runners the chance to do so as well is the least each of us can do for each other.



Barefoot Running

Written by Coach Tom McGlynn February 15, 2019

Here’s some more supportive data on the benefits of running barefoot and an interesting analysis of force distribution with an without shoes.

Born to Run Barefoot - John Dodge

To clarify our recommendation is that athletes run 5-10% of their weekly mileage barefoot on a soft surface.  So for the athlete running 20 MPW that’s 1-2 mile per week barefoot.    We are most interested in the variance of foot strike, flexion and force distribution which helps strengthen the plantar facia, achilles tendon and calf muscles.

The article includes two videos from the Harvard University Skeletal Biology Lab that outline the force variance of barefoot running.

They can be viewed here:

Barefoot Normal Strike

Shoe Strike



This is a great read about endurance activity and increased heart metabolism.

One of the key points is that the research was done with heart rates at 65-75% of capacity.  Since maintenance pace keeps you in the 65-80% MHR range this study is highly applicable to running.  The fact that these stimuli seem to return the heart to a metabolic state of youth could be paramount in heart disease prevention and overall cardiac throughput.

In theory our threshold/10K/VO2 work could stimulate an even greater cardiac metabolism since we operate closer to 85-95% of MHR.

If you’re in anywhere between 30-90 years old, this is a great read.

Exercise Makes Hearts Grow Younger


Runcoach Success Story: Joe

Written by Coach Hiruni W January 27, 2019
  • joe_successsstoryJoe is a former linebacker and lineman, who found his running legs in the past year. Through personal and family motivation, he lost 30 pounds, and recenly completed an incredible half marathon at the 2019 Houston Aramco Half Marathon.  Read about Joe's journey to fitness,  and how he found a way to quite the voice that wants to stay in the "comfort zone" below. 


    Major milestone:
  • After an 18 year fitness hiatus, my daughter asked if I could wear a 'skinny suit' at her wedding last year. Being far from 'skinny,' I began a fitness and diet regimen. I got to my goal by the wedding, then decided to keep going and run the Houston Half Marathon. I finished in 2:10, which was awesome for me.
  • I signed up to use RunCoach since the last time I ran a half marathon, I trained for it by myself, and it was very tough. The guided workouts and increase in speed and tempo work, along with the rest and cross training days worked wonders! I felt so great running this half.
  • Laziness, pure and simple. Finding the energy to start. My family and I had a crazy couple of years and I felt no desire to try and get fit. When my daughter handed me a goal, that's what got me moving.
  • Just to be able to say at 57, I did it. And I was pretty proud of my time. I'm a former linebacker and lineman from high school football in Texas, I'm not the typical runner type. But, after losing some 30 pounds, it became much easier as the fitness returned.
  • Watch the Little Voice in your head, that's very loud. It showed up a lot, especially towards the end. "Stay in bed. It's too cold." etc. I found 1,000 excuses to not get up and train, but no good reason, so begrudgingly, I moaned and pouted, and hit the road...grateful in the end that I did.
  • The coaching response was awesome when I had a question. Thank you again. I truly think I would not have been able to do it without the help of RunCoach.
  • I always found it amusing when the coach in the app, monitoring my pace, would say "that last mile was a little spicey..." I found myself pushing to get that response occasionally. Thanks again.


winter

 In the midst of the second “polar vortex” this winter, running inside might become the rule rather than the exception.  Typical winter weather, however, when not quite so harsh, does allow for some outside running, particularly if following a few common sense guidelines about how to stay healthy and safe.

 

Plan ahead

Running in the winter demands good planning for the actual run, but also some foresight for the aftermath.  If you are coming straight in the house, then jumping in a warm shower and sighing “ahhhh” is no problem. But, if you must drive home, or have another stop on the way, it is essential to plan for dry and warm clothes along with your usual fluids and snack.  You also need a place where you can change. A car that is shielded enough to change inside, or a bathroom/ locker room that is appropriate and safe for the same purpose is worth planning ahead for when deciding where to park and run.

 

Layer it up

While actually running, a snug under layer with moisture wicking capabilities, topped by a thicker or wind-blocking layer can often do the trick, with either a third layer between or a vest on top to keep the core cozy as needed.  A loose layer underneath allows the wind to whistle through (burr!), and allows the sweat you’ve produced to stay wet against your skin.  Sometimes that may be tolerable during the run, but then chill you to the bone a few minutes after stopping.

 

Your body will heat up during the run, so a down jacket and two scarves is probably not necessary.  It is ok to start the run without feeling cozy as you will be feeling fine once you move around for several minutes. On the other hand, if you are as warm as you could ever want when you start, the increased body heat will very possibly leave you feeling hot, sweaty, and stifled halfway through your run, at which point you will likely be running around with a thick layer tied around your waist or just sweating like crazy at a time when you need to be hydrated.

 

Ease into it

For most middle-aged athletes, warming up slowly is an essential part of a training routine that avoids injury.  In the winter cold, this becomes even more important.  While we do not recommend a bunch of static stretching for cold muscles before you head out, we do recommend taking the first few minutes of your training run or warm up loop to prepare your body for the desired mid-run / workout pace.  You may cringe when looking at your GPS device, but the most important thing is to avoid the needless aches and pains that take you out of action completely.

 

Watch your step

We always recommend traveling on safe, well-lit routes, but in the winter, this is crucial.  For those that must run in the dark, it is important to be even more vigilant about the perils of black ice and other pitfalls of the winter road.  Running in the daylight is strongly recommended, and running with a partner or group should be much more of a priority.  Particularly if your run is on snow, a device like Yaktrax can be a simple and cost effective tool to assist with traction. Be careful not to cut it close on roads with minimal shoulder or crossings where you have to hustle to beat the light or other traffic passing on the road.  The risks are great, and the conditions are even less under your control.  Always err on the safe side.

 

Don’t skimp on the details

In the winter, the aforementioned warm shower or a quick dive into the car to drive home can be tantalizing.  Because of the tougher conditions, rolling, stretching post-run, hydrating, and refueling after training take on even greater importance, even as they are often skipped due to freezing fingers, howling winds, or other discomfort.  Budgeting even 5-10 minutes for the care and feeding of your body after a run can help increase the chances your training cycle remains intact throughout the tough winter months, and can help build good habits that will serve you well even when the weather is 70 degrees and sunny.



    Jacquie recently ran an incredible sub 3 hour marathon at the 2018 California International MarathonJacquie_RC. She accomplished this feat, while working a demanding full-time job, and fulfilling duties as a mom of three. This super woman shares tips to her success below. 

    Major milestone: Completed sub 3:00 marathon


    What is the secret to your success? Making the time to be consistent in training. And coffee.


    What is the biggest obstacle to reaching your goals and how do you get over it? As a full-time working mom of three, finding time, consistently, to prioritize me and get my workouts done was, and is, a huge obstacle. In taking those 45, 90, or more, minutes, I initially felt some guilt over what I wasn't doing that was still on my day's list. But, after a few weeks I actually felt better every day having taken the time for myself to reach a goal allowed me to look forward to that "me" time.


    What is the most rewarding part of training? Other than that daily dose of endorphins, reaching new intermediate milestones week to week or month to month!


    What advice would you give to other members of the Runcoach community? Stick with it - getting started on any given workout is the hardest part, so just suit up, get out there and let yourself go.

    Anything else you would like to share?  Alright, so I "found time" for myself to train, but what about all the other stuff in life that needed to get done? Let's be clear, some of the unimportant stuff just didn't, and additionally I had to get comfortable with the fact that it would get done later or in a different way (did the third grade class really need homemade cupcakes, or would those store-bought ones do just fine?).


  • What feedback would you offer on the Runcoach experience? The Runcoach app made for my training and success. Having an overview of the week by email each week provides that look ahead to enable planning on when you'll squeeze your workout in. That alone would not be enough for me - having prompts through the app DURING each workout, especially speed and threshold workouts was critical and made tracking the workouts easy (albeit those speed workouts were hard!).


Runcoach Success Story: Oren

Written by Neely Gracey January 07, 2019
Oren ran his first marathon and felt supported throughout the training program. He discovered that he saw progress in fitness and mental approach too.  He is an amazing example of how you can reach for your personal goals despite the work/life stresses surrounding you.

    7d01b88Marathon-medalMajor milestone: Completed my first Marathon!

    What is the secret to your success? Great training plan and support by Runcoach and the entire team! Hiruni, Ashley, Tom and everyone else. We created a plan that worked and I stuck to it. Was prepared for the highs and also the lows of the race day. Hurray, I'm a Marathon runner!

    What is the biggest obstacle to reaching your goals and how do you get over it? There are always inner and outer obstacles. Inner is always the most challenging, with self motivation, self discipline and "coach-ability". Even on race day. The outer obstacles exist for everyone... Career, family life, physical health all require a great balancing act. Learning comes from persistence, miles and suffering it out (with a smile). I'd try not to look at a single training day or even a week, but always keep the long term goal ahead. For me, it's a process of moving forward, making the most out of the balance of internal and external forces.

    What is the most rewarding part of training? It's really great seeing how seemingly long distances have become easy. A half Marathon? No sweat! Let's blast it out!

    What advice would you give to other members of the Runcoach community? Training an executing a marathon is a completely different ballgame than shorter distances simply since there is much less tolerance for error on race day. I think my most valuable advice is to learn from the long training sessions (over 30km) during buildup and after every workout what needs to be adjusted and then apply it on the next. Trying a new strategy on race day is too late. Marathon is also very sensitive to execution: Nutrition, pace, and pace consistency. Bottom line, it's easier said than done to have everything under control especially for the first race. While avoiding a meltdown is best, I think it's best to prepare for it, at least mentally. It might and will happen, and you need to have faith to endure even if it lasts for a good part of the race.

    Anything else you would like to share? Training with Runcoach was a positive experience! I've trained with personal coaches for many years, and this was the first time going virtual. I found that the adaptive training plan together with personal email support (on my "entry plan") really works, and is definitely cost-effective.

  • What feedback would you offer on the Runcoach experience? There are several rooms for improvement: - Adaptation of the training programs to the metric system. An example: a workout calling for for 3.2 kms (2 miles) sessions. - Adaption of the website and email literature to the metric system. For example: minutes per mile pace in various communications.


Runcoach Success Story: Brian

Written by Neely Gracey December 14, 2018
Screen_Shot_2018-12-14_at_10.56.44_AMBrian took on a 28 day challenge to run a Personal Best Half Marathon. Brian works for Runner's World and we have partnered with them to bring Runcoach to people like you. Utilizing our program, He saw his fitness and confidence build as race day approached. He ran 1:20, over 2minutes faster than his previous PR, and shared his experience with us. 

Major milestone:

Running my 13.1 mile PR at the Rehoboth Half Marathon on December 8, 2018. 

What is the secret to your success?
Focus. Focus. Focus!I had been signed up for this race with the idea that it could be a PR type of race. Flat and supposedly fast. While I had been doing a lot of my standard training and logging my usual mileage, I felt really stagnant as a runner. I decided to see what I could do by truly focusing on increasing my speed for this distance with about a month out from the race. Though not ideal to overall training, I was hoping that all of my base training could be converted in a short amount of time. With Runcoach's algorithm seeing my recent runs and race times, it legitimately grabbed my training by the collar and gave me a few slaps in the faces. My speed workouts were longer and more challenging. An extra tempo session was throw into the middle of my training weeks to up my mileage, and my long runs stayed the same but felt more demanding because of the work I was doing during the week. In the end, hitting these workouts--or at least 90% of them--got my physically and mentally primed for my race. And I ran a 1:20:41 to take fifth place in the half. It was about two minutes off my half marathon PR... and I could have kept running after the race! 

What is the biggest obstacle to reaching your goals and how do you get over it?
Seeing the schedule of workouts, and how it differed from my general training week, seemed daunting at first. But once I forced myself to get through the first week, I found that as long as I started any workout, I had the ability to finish it feeling strong. 

What is the most rewarding part of training?
Being able to bounce training feedback off the Runcoach staff to see where I could be doing something better. It always felt better when I wasn't sure about something to hear that I was way ahead of (the short) schedule and indicating that I was on a good track. 

What advice would you give to other members of the Runcoach community?
Don't fear new workouts. They may seem intimidating, but they will break up the monotony of regular training and give you the assurance that you can run farther and faster than you thought possible. 

What feedback would you offer on the Runcoach experience?
Maybe some longer explanation in daily emails on what a specific workout will provide to the runner. What is it building, what is the benefit, etc.


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