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Hamstring Balance

Written by Coach Tom McGlynn December 06, 2019
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Quad Stretch

Written by Coach Tom McGlynn December 06, 2019
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Toe Touch

Written by Coach Tom McGlynn December 06, 2019
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kathy2Testimonials from the 2019 Marine Corps Weekend! 


"The Runcoach plan is hard and has a lot of volume compared to others. Many people said the mileage I was running was crazy, especially not having a time goal.

 I have pushed my son in one other marathon with 2 others. I knew how difficult it would be, on this course and with one less teammate, with my son being heavier and who knew the rain and wind that would ensue.

 Runcoach prepared me for it all. I did commit myself to it 100%. I did not miss one workout the whole 18 weeks...it's changed me and my running forever!"

- Kathy



 

"I want to thank you and your team for everything that you did for my success in the completing my first Marathon. I couldn't have done it without you and your team. All and all I faired very well considering weather conditions yesterday.

I'm a little sore but I expected that for being the longest run in my life 8 miles longer than ever ran.
Also thank you for the last minute tips for running in the rain."

- Donnie


 

"Hi Coach,

Race weekend was awesome!

I successfully completed my first Marathon and my dream Marathon the MCM. I feel great for the accomplishment!!!

Recovery is going well. Thanks for all the support!!"
- Karen

 



"Coach, I want to thank you for everything that you did for my success in the completing my first MCM. I couldn't have done it without you. All and all I faired very well considering weather conditions yesterday.

 

I'm a little sore but I expected that for being the longest run in my life. This has been the most motivating training program yet."

- Betsy



There are almost unlimited ways to get an enjoyable workout in when you are in a recovery cycle, need to give a running related sore body part a rest, or when you are hoping to add activity without additional running mileage.  In the chart below, we focused primarily on activities which function as running replacements in terms of cardiovascular stimulation vs activities like yoga, which may have other helpful primary benefits such as flexibility, etc.

Have a question, comment, or recommendation on your favorite cross training exercise? Write to your coach!

cross_training_grid_cropped_v2




Many runners have a tough time sticking to beneficial patterns of eating because the rest of life outside of running doesn’t always cooperate with that intention.  What to do?

Here are a few tips to help keep up with nutritional demands in the midst of a hectic daily schedule:

waterKeep a full water bottle on the bed stand and drink first thing in the morning. We know we should hydrate.  We also know we shouldn’t rely on coffee or Diet Coke all day, but are inclined to do that in order to stay “up” for the various challenges in our path from 8-5 (or longer).  Water also aids in digestion, allowing our bodies to assimilate the good (or not so good) food we consume in a more efficient way.

The best way to ensure you act on good intentions is to eliminate the obstacles holding you back.  You may forget a water bottle at home and/or yet again arrive to the start of your run, under-hydrated. In an ideal world, you should hydrate systematically throughout the day, with sports drink as well as water.  Be sure that your blood has plenty of electrolytes and that you have replenished sufficiently from perspiration in your last training session.   Failing that scenario (and that scenario is often failed), make sure that you’ve at least given yourself a fighting chance by getting some H2O down the hatch before you do or eat anything else.




barsBuy a box of your favorite bars and stash them everywhere.

Fueling during, before, and after your strenuous training is key to recovery as well as to just accomplishing the task in hand without hitting the wall.  Many times we are coming from work or another commitment, heading out first thing in the morning, fitting in a run at lunchtime, or otherwise shoehorning our workout into the sliver of time provided by the rest of the day.  Many times, that means we don’t have handy nutrition.  As a a result, we end up waiting too long to eat after a run, crash during a workout, run out of energy to even start, or finish with less punch because we ran out of gusto midway through.

Next time you are at Costco, Target, the supermarket, or shopping online, instead of purchasing a bar or two for the current instance at hand, purchase a box.  (Added bonus - this is often less expensive per unit.)  Take a few and stack them in the glove box, your briefcase, your purse, your desk, your sports bag, and in any other household vehicle you might end up driving to a run.  You’ll immediately forget about these anyway, and probably still try to address your nutrition needs on a day to day, run to run basis.  However, when you inevitably find yourself on a day where you have nothing to eat before, during, or after a run, a light bulb will go off above your head and you will be very glad you have your secret stash.

saladGet in the habit of always ordering salad on the side.

More than ever, Americans eat meals out of the home.  Social, work, athletic and other commitments leave us in need of quick meals or require us to socialize over a meal.  We all have been told since childhood that vegetables are an important part of our diet – after all, they provide crucial vitamins, minerals, fiber, and digestion regulation.  There will be plenty of times when a healthful set of options is not available.  When the opportunity is presented, always order the salad (and eat it without heavy doses of dressing).  Many times, salad is an option instead of fries or chips, vegetables are negotiable when ordering a sandwich, or a salad is possible to add on the side of an entrée for a nominal cost.  Always take this option, and you will mitigate the effects of the unavoidable bad nutrition situations you must navigate the rest of the day.



Have a healthy snack before you go

If your schedule requires you to eat out, if your office seems to have donuts or somebody’s birthday cake lurking in the break room more than once a week, or even if you are headed to the movie theater or a sporting event, have a piece of fruit or a healthy snack beforehand.  Chances are, what you have at home is less processed and better for you than concessions, party food, or sheet cake.  It is often very difficult to avoid over-consuming foods that are not helpful to your athletic goals.  By taking the edge off with a healthy snack beforehand, you increase the chances that you will make sane choices and employ appropriate portion control.

Of course, many non-runners lead busy lives and have a hard time staying on top of good nutrition.  Undoubtedly, running a session of mile repeats or a 20 miler on the weekend adds a layer of complexity and urgency to your nutrition needs, while further eroding your discretionary time to take in the appropriate food.  While none of us will be able to keep a perfect record on this front for any extended period of time, celebrate the wins when you make a good choice.  Don't dwell on the bad choices when you fall short.  If you have figured out a path to accomplishing success one time, you can find it again.  This will transform a single occurrence into an important habit.



kellyblogKelly is a woman on fire!
She just completed her second 1/4 marathon, shattering her previous personal best by over 14 minutes .
Now she has her sights set on the Nationwide Children's Hospital Columbus Half Marathon this October.
Kelly shares tips on how she got started, set and surpassed various goals, and how to maintain momentum and personal accountability! 


Major milestone accomplished: 

Truly my biggest milestone was doing my first 5k, which was about 8 years ago. I was never a runner or an athlete (typical band geek, book worm high school and college kid!).
I was fortunate to work with a lot of teachers and friends who were avid runners, and they encouraged me to get started. Honestly, I could not run more than 1 minute at a time when I first started. Completing my first 5K was such a huge accomplishment, and I have continued to move forward from there.

What is the biggest obstacle to reaching your goals and how do you get over it?

My mind. The mental game is such a big part of this process. I am learning to beat that with each big race I complete. So much of success is in proper training and preparation, and surrounding myself with a group of people that keep pushing me to be my best!

What is the most rewarding part of training? Achieving or exceeding goals?

This past week I ran my second 1/4 marathon. The first I did in May of 2018 with a time of 1:20, which I was very pleased with. I have never been super fast, and just completing it was a huge accomplishment. I set a goal of 1:15 for this last one, and crushed it by completing in just over 1:06! I am still stunned at my success, but know that my consistency and perseverance definitely paid off!

What advice would you give to other members of the Runcoach community?

Never give up on yourself! And surround yourself with like-minded friends who share your passions and enthusiasm for fitness and wellness. This is truly a journey, and it is so much more enjoyable when we do it together with friends!



Take hold of life's 3C's: Choice, Change, Chance. Make the choice, take the chance, and see the change... 

“You are built like a runner,” Christi said to me about a year ago. I rolled my eyes. “You could do a half marathon tomorrow.”

I’d been a gym regular for three years. At Christi’s class, I’d grind out burpees, stack up squats, and groan through pushups. Showing up got me in fair shape for guy almost 49 years old.

But running? No one ever said I looked like a runner. I finished last in sprints during baseball practice.  “Somebody didn’t beat the clock, so we’re all going to run again,” Mr. Claussen said day after day. “I won’t say his name, but his initials are Joe Kolman.”

I never ran for fun or fitness, let alone competition. Yet last month, in the shadow of Glacier National Park I stood on a podium for the first time holding a silver medal like a baby chicken.  I ran 13.1 miles up and down a mountain with 1,827 runners of all shapes and sizes.I beat 1,737 of them, including all but nine my age or older. My 1:49:38 beat My Run Plan projection by 22 seconds.

Joe_k_glaicer

By God, I looked like a runner.

Here are the cliches of which I’m guilty. Like a lot of guys who approach a half century, I look in the mirror and see mortality with crows feet around the eyes, gray hair, and a mouth that frowns more than it should. Christi is engaging, enthusiastic, and positive. She almost makes the impossible seem possible. But it was still up to me to make it happen.

I am also at a point in life where I need to prove that I can do something alone. I gravitate toward team sports and team professions. I work hard and contribute to a team effort with my middling abilities. But as I faced the Grim Reaper’s nephew in the mirror (he wears button down shirts and khaki pants, by the way) I figured it was time to take charge of myself.

As I mulled becoming a runner, my wife Kris signed us up for the Glacier half marathon. She spontaneously does things that sound fun. A 13.1 mile run near our favorite place in the world and a cool t-shirt? Enough said. She also knows I need goals.

Christi uses My Run Plan and suggested I try it. The doubt came in waves as I answered the questions. Current miles per week? Zero. Average miles run per week in the last year? Just a smidge under none.

I have a great support network. And the Runcoach team is always online to help. But only one person can make you run. On day one of my life as a runner, the assignment starred up from my phone. Run 1.5 miles easy at a 13 minute mile pace. My Run Plan takes the research, guesswork, and hearsay out of training. By nature, I question things. That first run of 1.5 miles in 20 minutes? I ran 3.2 in 39 minutes. It was easier than I thought. And fun. For that first month, I ran faster and longer than the plan. Then I got hurt. My left knee ached. The right one had sharp pains. Unlike the algorithm, my ego is a biased source. I didn’t double check myself. I was out for more than a week and deep in the doldrums. I needed to run.

Running makes me happy. I am an introvert by birth. I speak to people to succeed at life and work, but it often exhausts me. Except when I run. I wave to people.  I offer words of encouragement. I try to be funny. “Hey, only three miles to pizza and beer.”  People who know me don’t believe it. This is not me; at least not sober.

I recently got caught in a  downpour. It was fantastic. I was healthy and free, running on a mountain. Lightning could have killed me on the ridge. I would not have traded places with anybody.

Running forces my mind to focus. Spine straight. Gut taut. The focus sets me free. It allows me to push beyond what I think is possible. In the rest of life, I fear failure and often stop when I reach good enough.

I make running a series of little victories. My Run Plan makes it easy. Run 5 miles in 50 minutes.  Where’s my medal? Run four sets of 200 meter sprints in 52 seconds each. Two beers. Run up the hill before Prince gets out of that Little Red Corvette.

I will run where life takes me, for no one but me. I’d like to win a more gaudy medals, but I will run because it makes me alive. My feet hitting the earth is at once humbling and powerful.  Running demands I be good to myself.  Eat well. Get sleep, Treat myself to massages and physical therapy. Work to make my mind agile and at peace. Being a better runner is very similar to becoming a better person.

People frequently tell me now that I look like a runner. For a while, I was miffed. Why now? I’ve always looked this way. Here’s my theory: You want to look like a runner? Start running. Short, fat, tall, skinny. Genetics don’t mean jack. Use a training plan or don’t. Someone, including other runners, will help and encourage any newbie. But in the end, it’s you against yourself.

I’ve cried for pure joy three times: the day I got married, the day I got my current job, and about a mile from the finish of my first half marathon. Alone on the trail, a middle-aged man weeping. Despite all I thought I knew about myself and what I could not do, I did it. I made myself a runner.



Melissa ran a big personal best in her half marathon. Running personal bests is hard. Imagine doing so after a heart attack, and having to start from scratch, while overcoming major self-doubt. She has a simple but powerful message: "Follow the training plan. See Success" melissa_oliver


What is the secret to your success?
The secret is to follow the training plan. Doing something better

What is the biggest obstacle to reaching your goals and how do you get over it?
For me time. Schedule conflicts are tough but I made it a priority to just do it mentally. I have to overcome worrying about my heart. I had a heart attack 15 years ago. I have 8 stents in my LAD. Not letting fear get in my way has been something I've overcome with time. I was a recreational runner before my heart attack. I was considered a healthy person when I had my heart attack. Try feeling confident in your body when out of nowhere it fails you :/ Not easy.

What is the most rewarding part of training?
Hitting my goal. Not dying, HAHAHA! Sorry, that may not be funny to others but without humor I wouldn't get through it. On a serious note, the most rewarding part is the accomplishment of the goal. I ran a half marathon PR!!

What advice would you give to other members of the Runcoach community?
Use the program. Follow it. See results. You can adjust it as you go. Email the coaches, they will help answer your questions. Laughing

Anything else you would like to share?
I didn't think this App would be that much help. I was really surprised at how helpful it was to me. I enjoyed every aspect of training and the motivation.


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