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We are excited to welcome Neely Spence Gracey to the Runcoach/Movecoach team. rc

Neely was born into running, as her father was racing the Boston marathon the day she was born. Steve, her dad, has a bronze medal from the 1991 World Championships in the Marathon, and was on the 1992 Barcelona Olympic Team. Because of watching her dad's success, Neely grew up believing that anything is possible.  She puts that belief to the test as she balances her own running career, coaching, and a baby on the way. 

Neely was the top American finisher in the 2016 Boston Marathon. She has run her way to a sub 1:10 Half Marathon, and has hopes to qualify post pregnancy to run in the 2020 Olympic Marathon Trials. More importantly, Neely loves helping runners like you achieve things you never thought possible.

We are thrilled to bring you her expertise and positivity as she joins our staff. If you follow us on Twitter, enjoy our Instagram photos, send us messages on Facebook, or find the blog tips helpful, there's a good chance you have already had the opportunity to interact with Neely. We encourage you to join us in welcoming her to the Runcoach/Movecoach team.

Follow us and learn more from Neely!
Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook
@runcoachsays @movecoachsays



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. stepsrunner

A good training routine encompasses fitness, mental focus, and good habits that get stronger with each week.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.



usaFor many runners, the bombing at the 2013 Boston Marathon has been a “where were you when you heard” moment in the year that has passed since.  In the immediate aftermath, many marathoners fielded repeated questions from casual acquaintances and close friends and families alike, concerned for their safety if they were running, concerned for their safety even if they weren’t running, curious about details about which the runner in question may have had no additional information than the average person.   Runners may have even dealt with a lot of “could have been me; could have been my family” feelings.  In general, many of us spent a fair amount of time reflecting on the race, the events which led to its premature ending, and how to respond.

 

The events of last April 15, where three lost their lives and 170 were injured, struck a chord among many, whether they were familiar with the experience of running a marathon or not.  Late summer Boston qualifying event registrations swelled as athletes started training for a chance to hit a mark before the September entry date.  Athletes who may have never run a marathon or even a 5K before pledged to train and enter this year’s race.  Runners whose race was left incomplete by police road blocks vowed to prepare again in order to finish what they started.  “Boston Strong” iconography became immediately understood as the extra dose of motivation needed to accomplish any array of tough tasks.

 

With the 118th running of the historic race only a few days away, the adrenaline is pumping through the collective veins of a race field ranging from Massachusetts native and American hope Shalane Flanagan down to the “run to finish” athletes in the third wave.  If your Patriot’s Day does not include the chance to join with these individuals as they strive for a national catharsis on behalf of all of us, what can you do to make a difference while the eyes of the world are turned to this bittersweet occasion?

 

Encourage others

Overcoming fear with courage has been a driving desire for many taking part in this year’s race.  For many of us, the fears that prevent us from getting out the door and starting down the road to a fitness goal are not nearly as sensational, but no less crippling in their ability to let inertia prevent us from moving forward.  Consider with whom you can partner to start toward a new goal by engaging in regular exercise. Make a point to come along side them with encouragement this week.

 

Donate

Marathons and charity drives go hand in hand these days, but if you are able and have been looking for a way to make a tangible difference, this race and those running it provide a group of people and causes who are likely some of the most highly motivated athletes to take on the fundraising challenge, including a lot of first timers.  Check out the list of official Boston marathon charities or scroll down your Facebook page.  Likely a runner you care about and believe in is working hard toward a big goal on Monday with others besides themselves in mind. Get behind them if you can!

 

Set your own new goal

Your training plans might not include Boston, or maybe the will was there, but the qualifier or time to train well was not.  Use the opportunity to consider what breakthrough you have been delaying and make some concrete plans toward getting past it.   Many have shown tremendous commitment and perseverance this year as they prepared for this particular race.  Let their stories inspire you to do something inspiring yourself!

 

Reflect, remember, and process

Running can often be our escape from the stresses of every day life. Depending on how close you were to the events of last April 15 or how shaken you were by the news, you may not have had the chance to be mindful of any grieving process you may have been going through, even if it feels a bit remote and true grieving is not the word you would use to describe how you processed your feelings about the tragedy.  Because we have some of the common experiences shared by those directly affected by the bombings, we would do well to make sure we haven’t glossed over any lingering doubts about future situations, talk it through with others equipped with helpful insight, and be conscious of our resolve to move forward confidently.

 

“Boston Strong” is a powerful phrase.  This week, consider how you can truly embody the spirit of the words and encourage others to do so with lasting, positive impact.

 

 



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.smoothie2

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.



New_Goals_Page

Did you update your iPhone app?  The new Runcoach release allows members to more easily manage goals, review historical data, and adjust training progress through our vVO2
marker!

What is vVO2 and how does it apply to me?

You may have come across this term in your Runcoach, Movecoach, or My Run Plan training.  vVO2 is the marker we use to determine your training paces. The little v is for velocity. VO2 is the maximum amount of oxygen an individual’s body can use during intense aerobic exercise. Put together, vVO2 means the meters per minute covered by the individual; essentially how fast you are running when you hit VO2 effort.

But wait, there’s more! vVO2 changes constantly. As your body becomes more efficient, your vVO2 will increase. The heart gets stronger and can pump more blood, the running muscles become better developed and can handle more stress put on them, and your form improves due to repetition. This development of increased economy is what makes you faster! The more improvement you get in economy, the easier it will be to run further and faster with less effort.

So how can you apply this to your training? We do it for you! The algorithms used with Runcoach, Movecoach, and My Run Plan take into consideration your current fitness to start. As you progress, your plan will automatically update to match your improvements in economy (thus increasing your vVO2) as you get faster by consistently following your training plan!

Tap here from your phone or go to the new "MANAGE" tab in the app to check it out.

Android update will come in April, don't think we forgot about you!



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