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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!

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shutterstock_191142425You just ran a huge personal best in the marathon and spent the past week enjoying some well-deserved down time. You decide it’s time to start up again, but realize that post-race excitement is starting to dwindle and it’s much harder to get out the door than you anticipated. “How can this be!?” You ask yourself. “I just had a fantastic race and should be beyond excited to start again, right?” If you find yourself to be in this situation, fear not, you have a case of the easily curable post-marathon blues.

After fully investing in your training program for the past 3 months and being laser focused, it makes sense that it might be tough to get started again. I, personally, have always struggled jumping right back into full training after a marathon because I just spent the last 4 months completely focused on my goal. Oftentimes, we forget that running can be just as mentally taxing as it is physically taxing and we need to be sure to give ourselves time to recover in both ways after a marathon.

Here are a few tips to shake those post marathon blues and get that pep back in your step.

1. Throw pace and distance out the window and enjoy some unstructured training. It is mentally quite freeing to run on your own terms for a few weeks without a care in the world about pace. You will be spending quite a bit of time in the coming months focused on hitting splits, so enjoy some relaxed, care free runs and soak in the nice spring weather. Simply getting outside for a few leisurely miles can do wonders for both the mind and body.

2. Meet up with friends to keep things light and fun. Running with friends is a great way to unwind and relax. When you are chatting away, you start to focus less on how heavy/tired your legs may feel, and more on the conversations you are having. Before you know it, the run is done and you are feeling much lighter and happier than before you started. Never underestimate the power of running with friends.

3. After a few weeks, start to look at future races. I like to switch things up after a marathon and run some shorter races, like 5&10ks. It’s fun to set my sights on a new challenge and mentally change gears. Getting a race on the calendar will give you something to look forward to and help that motivation and excitement return.

So lace up your shoes, enjoy the warm weather, and shake those post marathon blues. Set your sights on a new challenge and enjoy the journey one step at a time. Happy Running!

 



Speed Work Makes the Dream Work speed
A little speedwork can help you run smoother and faster



Improving foot speed is one of the best things you can do to improve your times. Regardless of what race your are training for 5K or Marathon, faster foot speed, means faster pace. 

Sure, speedwork can seem like a scary beast you don't want to meet or know. But it doesn't have to be. Runcoach's training system encourages at least 1 speed workout every two weeks. This setup can ease you into faster paces, and help your body adapt to a new stimulus. 

Some of the speed work you'll encouter on Runcoach:

Strides - Short burst of speed. Usually 100 meters ( or 25 seconds) 
Fartleks - Periods of fast running intermixed with periods of slower running
Short intervals - High intensity bursts of speed, with slow "recovery" periods
Mix - A tempo effort, sandwiched by short speed intervals

Speed training can spice up your training and lead to better fitness and performances. Have an open mind, and give it a shot!




1-Wash your hands! It’s simple, takes one minute, and can protect you from germs that hand sanitizer can’t kill.staying-fit-winter 

2-Get a minimum of 30 minutes of exercise 5 times per week. Getting the blood flowing re-oxygenates your body and helps boost your immune system.

3-Stay well hydrated. In the cooler weather, we forget that hydration is still important!

4-When you travel, change your clothes and take a shower after every flight to get rid of the germs you encountered en route.

5-Don’t skimp on sleep! Rest is essential for your health.

6-Mediatation, yoga, or a short walk to start your day and put your mind in the right place can significantly improve your day.

7-Cut back on sugary foods and increase your vegetable and protein intake to boost your energy and your immune system.

8-Spend time outside getting fresh air on a daily basis. 

9-Avoid sitting down for long periods of time. If you get up every hour to get a drink, walk around, or stretch, your body will thank you.

10-Smile, laugh, and be happy. One of the most important, but easily forgotten, components of health is happiness!



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.



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.



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.


This week, I finally gave our double stroller away – my kids now weighing far too much in combination, and having long since passed the time when they found it acceptable to be belted into the stroller and pushed along the bike path or the sidewalk.   As I watched it folded up and driven away in someone else’s car for someone else’s kids, I must confess to a bit of nostalgia. 



Six years ago, my husband and I went to Cabo for our Honeymoon. Screen_Shot_2018-06-29_at_8.02.59_AM
I was in full force training with the USA Championships which were only one month away.  It was stressful finding the balance of running, rest, and relaxation. Each vacation since, I have tried new tactics to be able to enjoy running while on the road. Here are some of the things I've learned that may help you:

1-Do Your Research
Contact local running stores or clubs in the area you will visit. Inquire about the best running locations and open group runs. There is simply no better way to experience the best local running routes than from the experts themselves.

2-Plan Ahead
Rearrange your training schedule for a lighter week. If more convenient, replace your easy runs with cross training activities. If you get aerobic stimulus with other activities for a week, and still prioritize your workouts and long run, you won’t lose fitness.

 3-Run Early
Don't wait until the end of the day to run, especially while on vacation. Get up early and make that run happen so you can move on and enjoy the day without the weight of a run assignment on your shoulders.

4-Sitesee As Part of Your Run
Decide on the places you want to explore, check them out on foot, and then return the next morning to enjoy them if certain spots peak your interest. The Google Maps earth view is also an excellent way to identify fun routes and you can cover so much more ground running than walking!

5-Plan Vacation Around Training
Choose to plan a vacation the week after your goal race. Then there is no running necessary (unless you want to of course), and you can relax and enjoy the trip fully without the stress of a schedule. 

Happy travels, and happy training!



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