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Night_running_croppedIn order to fully enjoy the benefits and experience of outdoor exercise, it is important to stay safe.  Although some basics seem fairly simple and even obvious as sound preventative measures, even experienced runners and walkers might do well to review a few simple safety tips.  Although mishaps are rare, the habit of good safety practices can really make a difference that one time when you are desperate for help.

 

Tell someone when and where you are going

If someone is expecting you at a certain time and you don’t arrive, they might send the help or make the call that might prove crucial in that very small chance that you really are in trouble. If no one is aware that you are past due or where you might have gone, those who care about you might have a much tougher time tracking you down.  Leaving a note on the counter, sending a text, or just telling a friend, family member, or co-worker what you are up to is a good habit to keep.  Even if you live alone, leaving a note to be seen by someone else in the event another needed to enter your house while looking for you, a text to someone else, or even an online calendar entry take next to no time at all, and can help others to track you down if things really have gone awry.

 

Be visible

Whether you are running or walking at dusk or dawn, in bad weather or hazy good weather, on a remote trail or a busy road, it does not hurt to wear bright clothes. Make choices that ensure other pedestrians, drivers, cyclists, and others can see you.  Be visible to traffic coming the opposite direction when you don’t have an ample shoulder, be visible if you are sharing a bike path with quickly moving wheeled vehicles, and be visible if you turn an ankle, fall into the bushes and need some help.  If you don’t like loud clothing, a bright hat or even a white hat / visor can often do the trick.  Time to jump on board with the neon trend, even if that means donning a reflective vest at night.  That split second of recognition can make a huge difference in a challenging traffic situation.

 

Have water

This piece is not the space where we talk in depth about the value of hydration as a training tool.  However, water can be crucial if stuck in hot weather or other challenging situations.  It is such a simple thing to bring a water bottle that we might take it for granted, but if you have ever been in a prolonged situation where clean water would have been useful, you will likely never forget again.

 

Be aware of your surroundings

Just like the defensive driving course you took as a high schooler, runners and walkers should always keep their surroundings in mind.  Scanning the path ahead will allow you to stay one step ahead of dangerous situations.  Keep your eyes open for individuals who might be following you in city locales, for quickly opening car doors, for cars entering and exiting driveways.  Be on the look out for wildlife that might pose a problem in less densely populated areas, aggressive dogs with no visible means of restraint or territorial boundaries, and topography with an ankle-challenging pothole ahead.  Furthermore, either ditch the headphones, wear them in one ear only, or turn the volume low enough that you can still be aware of the ambient noise.  That moment of awareness can make the difference.

 

When possible, go with a buddy

Many of us run or walk solo more often than not, but when possible, it is always safer to go along with a friend who can help if something goes awry, and make any individuals with less than wholesome intent think twice about encountering you.

 

Finally, leave a trail

Well, not literally like Hansel and Gretel, but GPS enabled devices, a phone that can indicate your location even if you are unable to – these things can make a big difference.  You might already be carrying your phone for music, but it may prove to be even more important in this capacity.  With running shorts now sporting several pockets, and companies coming up with new types of light pouches every day, there are many ways to carry these things without impacting performance or your enjoyment.

 



"You're only as good as your training, and your training is only as good as your thinking." -Lauren Oliver
Article written by Neely Gracey
Updated by Rosie Edwardstrust_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












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.



If you’re a woman, chances are you’ve likely had days when your cycle has impacted your runs or workouts. Some of those interruptions may have felt so severe, you've wondered how and when you should exercise during your cycle.

We chatted with Dr. Sahana Gopal, Head of Product at Wild AI (Wild AI is - an app that helps you train, fuel and recover with your female physiology) about the top five most common questions, related to your hormonal changes and how to be prepared tobe in "flo" with your cycle. 

  1. Should I run during my period?

WILD-AI_1You can definitely run while on your cycle, provided you aren’t suffering from period-related symptoms.
Some research even shows that gentle exercise can help reduce severity of period pain. Your hormone levels are actually the lowest at this time, which means that there is minimal impact on your metabolism, your resting heart rate is typically at its lowest, and your time to recover may be quicker. For instance, because female hormones impact metabolism, your body is better able to utilize carbohydrates which are the primary fuel source for high intensity type running. Lower levels of hormones also mean that you’re able to cope with heat better and your time to recover from high intensity work may be shorter, compared to when your hormones are higher.

 

  1. Should I fuel differently during my cycle vs my normal diet?

Estrogen and progesterone are the two main hormones to consider across the menstrual cycle when it comes to nutrition. Because the levels of these two hormones are lowest during the period, they have minimal impact on metabolism and you can stick to your normal intake of protein and carbohydrates based on your workout intensity. It’s also a good idea to focus on having carbohydrates after training as more carbs may be utilized by your muscles at this time of your cycle. Because the period is an inflammatory process, eating foods rich in iron such as fortified cereals, dark green leafy veg and/or beans is a good way to keep levels in check due to blood loss.

 

  1. My cramps are so severe that running is difficult. What should I do to stay active?

Firstly, having a painful period is not normal and there is a lot you can do to change this. Because of the inflammatory process that leads to your period, it’s important to make changes (5-7 days) before its onset so that your body can cope with the increase in inflammation and pain symptoms.WILD-AI_2

  • -Have 1g omega-3 rich food or a supplement

  • -Have food rich in magnesium (250mg) and zinc (30mg)

  • -Reduce saturated fats and dairy products

  • -Have a low dose anti-inflammatory such as baby aspirin or white willow bark.

Always have any supplements approved by your physician.

If you still suffer from cramps, research shows that light-moderate exercise can help reduce pain levels. Try moving your body in any way that feels good to you at this time. Importantly, this doesn't have to be your hardest workout of the month, if you don't feel up to it. Consider focusing on stretching, yoga and flexibility work at this time instead.

 

  1. I’ve noticed my heart rate increases during my period. Is this normal?

Heart rate, particularly at rest, is usually at its lowest during your period, leading up to ovulation, which is the midpoint of the cycle. Once ovulation (release of the egg into the fallopian tube) has occurred, resting heart rate increases along with core body temperature as a result of the increase in female hormones, particularly progesterone.

 



Your activity contributions go a long way!

Linkedin-wellness-imageMovecoach understands employees move in all different ways. Below we've worked with your employer and the NHS to even the playing field, and give cyclists, yogis and walkers the same chance to earn wellness points for your movement.

*All points are rewarded on a monthly basis, based on the criteria below.

How to earn points by logging activity:

Per week = 20 points

  • Complete 3 workouts per week (yoga, cross train, classes)
  • Complete 3 mindfulness sessions
  • Cycle 75 miles (120 KM)
  • Step 21 miles (34 KM)
  • Run 21 miles (34 KM)
  • Walk 21 miles (34 KM)
  • Swim 5 miles (8 KM)

 

Per month = 125 points

  • Complete 5 week cross train streak
  • Complete 5 week walk streak
  • Complete 5 week cycle streak
  • Complete 5 week swim streak
  • Complete 5 week run streak
  • Complete 5 week mindfulness streak
  • Complete 5 week workout streak

Log a result from an organized RACE = 150 - 1000 points

  • <5K = 150 points
  • 10K-20K = 175 points
  • Half marathon (21.1K Distance) = 200 points
  • Marathon (42K distance)/ half ironman = 500 points
  • Ironman = 1000 points

FAQ:

1) Can I earn more than 20 points per week and/or more than 125 points per week?

You can only earn points for one physical activity per week. This is a great time to consider mindfulness to bump up your points earnings. 

For example, if you workout more than 3x, cycle more than 75 miles, and meditate 3x all within a week, you've earned a total of 40 points per week. 20 points for logging 3 workouts and 20 points for meditating 3 times per week.



Race day is almost here! Remember to lay low and stay off your feet the days before the race (no Expo attendance for longer than 1 hour). Your reward is race day itself and the challenge of running. . . .

Arrival

Make sure you get outside and feel the air. Go for at least a 20 minute walk or jog on either the day before, or two days before (or whatever is on your schedule).

Think about what you did, not what you didn’t do in your training. When you go to pick up your race number and run into old friends, family etc. everyone will want to ask about your training so they can tell you about theirs. Forget about theirs and don’t compare yourself to anyone. You followed a terrific training schedule and are well prepared.

Night Before, Morning Of

Have a full meal the night before. Try and consume some complex carbohydrates (pasta). Do not over eat, but make sure you fill up.

On race day eat a light breakfast of 200-300 Kcal of carbohydrates including the sports fluid you drink. If you have a normal pre-race breakfast then stick with it. Don't try any new foods before the race. Drink gatorade (or any sports drink that doesn’t include protein) and/or water frequently to assure you are hydrated (clear urine is a good sign). You should stay well-hydrated throughout the morning before the race. At some point prior to the race stop drinking so you can empty your bladder before the start. It is important to refrain from over-consumption of water alone, as that will drain your body of needed electrolytes.

I suggest you take some throw away warmups to the start especially if it rains or will be cold. This could be an old t-shirt or old sweat pants. Also old socks will keep your hands warm. Some runners will even wear a t-shirt for the first couple miles of the race until they warm up and then pull it off and throw it away. This is a good strategy to prepare for all temperatures.

Take a bottle with gatorade/sports drink to the start with you and right before (less than 5 mins) the gun goes off drink 4-8 ounces. This is your first water stop. If you drink close enough to the start you shouldn’t have to pee – the fluid should only drip through your kidneys because most of your resources (blood) will be in your legs and out of your gut as soon as the gun goes off.

Early Miles

I suggest that you start 15-30 seconds per mile slower than your goal pace. Your second mile should be 5-10 seconds slower.  By the third mile you should reach goal pace I recommend this approach as it may activate (and utilize) a higher percentage of fat fuel over the first couple miles. Remember we are trying to conserve glycogen and muscle for as long as possible.

Stay on top of hydration. Drink early and often (4-8 ounces every 20 minutes). It is better to consume enough fluid early and sacrifice the later stops if necessary.

Remember the 3 ‘C’s’

Confidence: Have confidence in your ability and your training. Remember all those hard workouts you did. Remember those early mornings, late nights, sore calves, tight hamstrings etc. - they weren’t in jest.

Control: You must relax yourself early in the race. You absolutely must go out under control and run easy for the first 8-10 miles. Remember the 1/2 Marathon is evenly divided into three sections of equal effort: first 5M, second 5M and last 5K. We want to save a little bit for the last 5K (Miles 10-13).

Collection: Keep your thoughts collected and on your objective. There will always be lots of distractions on race day. The further you get in this race the more you need to focus on yourself, goals and race strategy. Don’t let the fans and competitors into your zone.

The Ebb and Flow

I said before that I can’t guarantee anything about the training or the race itself. Well, I can guarantee this: you will feel good at some point and you will feel bad at some point within the race.

Races usually ebb and flow, runners rarely feel terrific the entire way. We always hit little walls. If you hit one just focus on the next mile, don’t think about the end of the race. If you take each difficult moment one mile at a time you will usually feel better at some point. It always comes back because. . .

You Always Have One Cup Left

That’s right – you always have one cup of energy left. The difference is that some people find it and some don’t. Remember what normal, untrained people do when they feel discomfort – they slow down and feel better. You are not a normal un-trained person.

You are a runnining machine!

You are programmed to give your personal best so. . .

Go get that last cup!


 With our system, you can design a training plan that's customized to fit your current level of activity and fitness. Get started with just 5 easy steps.

1. Identify yourself.  
Go to the Settings, and identify what kind of athlete you are.

2. Plug in your goal. On the Goals and Results Page, select “+NEW GOAL."

3. Tell us about a racing history. Click  “+NEW RACE” and plug in a recent race time.

4. Design your workout schedule. On the Schedule & History page,  tell us about how much exercise you’re currently doing, and tell us when you’d like to workout and rest.

5. Sync your activity tracker. Movecoach syncs with many popular activity trackers. When you sync your service, and your miles will automatically be uploaded to your Movecoach log. Movecoach syncs with Garmin, Strava, Apple Health, RunKeeper, GoogleFit, FitBit.. To learn more, click here.

6. Ask for help. Our experts and coaches are here to answer your questions about training, nutrition, and technical issues.  Reach out to us by tapping Support on your Mobile App or writing to us at coach@movecoach.com


runningbuddiesWithout a doubt, one of the best parts of regular exercise is discovering that your body and your mind are stronger, fitter, and more capable than you ever imagined.

Naturally, we want to share those mental and physical benefits with our coworkers, friends, and loved ones.

But if you’ve ever tried it you know—helping someone else move more can be tricky, especially if they’re not already exercising on a regular basis.

Here are 4 tips on how to make help a coworker, friend or loved one start exercising on a regular basis.  

It’s easy to Invite a Coworker to join the Movecoach Challenge. Click here to learn how.

Start with small successes. If you’re well into your fitness journey, it can be easy to forget how frustrating, intimidating, and physically difficult it can be to start an exercise regime.  Try to remember how you felt on those first classes, walks, runs, and trips to the gym. From the gear to the special lingo to the feeling of pushing your muscles and joints in ways they haven’t moved in awhile, there are a lot of emotional and mental barriers to getting started. To increase the chances that your colleague will stick with it, set them up for success. Start with small goals—say a 10-minute walk, or by tracking movement with a step counter—and suggest that they increase their activity goals in baby-step increments. As the person accomplishes these goals, he or she will gain confidence and comfort with the exercise, and soon be eager to start pushing themselves farther and faster.

Start where they are. You didn’t get to where you are now overnight—no one else will either. While you may see that your colleague or friend has the potential to run for 30 minutes, finish a marathon or bike commute to work, understand when saying so that may feel intimidating to to that person. You also don’t want the other person to feel like if he or she starts exercising, that person has to run a marathon, or walk for an hour. Even small levels of effort and periods of exercise have big health benefits. Start with small goals. Once the other person has the experience of exceeding his or her own expectations, he or she will be eager to start raising the bar.

Keep ‘em company. One of the scariest parts of any new experience is going it alone, and not knowing what to do. Offer to keep your friend or colleague company on those first trips to the gym, lunch-break walks, or after-work runs. Let the other person set the pace. Take your workout with your own goals at another time.

Be careful about unsolicited coaching. So many pieces of game-changing advice can make or break your exercise routine—it can be tempting to pour all your good advice on the other person.  But you want to avoid overwhelming the other person with too much information all at once. You also don’t want the person to feel like he or she is “doing it wrong,” or being corrected. Obviously, you want to help the other person steer clear of injury risk—say, by running on the wrong side of the road, or attempting to exercise in old, worn-out, inappropriate shoes. But beyond that, let the other person’s questions lead the way. And when you do share advice, be sure to do it in the context of how you experienced similar struggles and got over them.

Any questions? Write to us at coach@movecoach.com.



aaron_scrrenAaron recently ran a blazing half marathon, in under 1 hour and 15 minutes. Looking at his performances from the past year, it's hard to imagine all the obstacles he's overcome in his past, including brain cancer. We asked Aaron to share his secrect to success and how he overcame his biggest obstacle (keep reading to find out what this is).

RC: What is your biggest milestone?
AR: I categorize my milestones into two categories: health-related and performance-related. My most significant health-related milestone is re-building my fitness, post-brain cancer, then getting to the start of Philadelphia's Broad Street Run a year after treatment.

The top performance-related milestone is going back to Broad Street Run in 2021 and finishing in under 60 minutes. Then my sub-75-minute performance at this year's Lake Sammamish Half Marathon is also a proud moment on the arc of my running journey.

RC: What is the secret to your success?
AR: Okay, there are five secret ingredients to my success. Are you ready for these?
(1) tsp of consistency,
(2) morsels of not sweating the small stuff.
(3) tons of patience.
*ALL THE VEGETABLES!*
And also, paprika. The secret ingredient is always paprika, isn’t it?

RC: What is the biggest obstacle to reaching your goals and how do you get over it?
AR: My biggest obstacle to achieving any of my goals is me! When I get in my way, I turn to the experience I have in overcoming various challenges. The tools in my toolbox include naps, breathing exercises, fartlek workouts, and myriad other methods to cope with goal/soul-crushing obstacles.

RC: What is the most rewarding part of training?
AR: The process or the journey, and the results, also known as the destination, are both rewarding parts of my training. Dialing in on feelings and emotions, mid-session is a rewarding aspect. Sharing the journey with my run buds is a very healthy social reward. And on the subject of health, we all understand how running can provide many health rewards.

I tell my friends and family who ask about my running that it is the best part of my day. So when I look down at my watch mid-run and calculate how much time I have left to run, it's a reminder that when the run is over, the best part of my day ends. I am incredibly grateful for the time I get to spend out on my runs. And that I have a safe and reliable place to run. These privileges are not taken for granted.

RC: What advice would you give to other members of the Runcoach community?
AR: Take your running as seriously as you'd like. Ask questions about your training. Information is power and knowing why you are doing a specific workout is valuable in the process of achieving your running goals. As for competition, don't be afraid to put yourself out there before or during a race. Communicating your goals can often lead to "speaking" them into existence. And most importantly, remember to have fun.

RC: Anything else you would like to share?
AR: Love yourself. Love each other. Run happy. EAT YOUR VEGGIES!! ❤


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