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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!



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.



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