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Uma is a story if inspiration. She shares the importance of consistency in training, and how following a training plan canScreen_Shot_2018-11-05_at_3.03.46_PM help everyone remain accountable in the pursuit of their goals. But most importantly, Uma shares the benefit of the coach-athlete relationship and we at Runcoach are grateful for all of the runners we get to support.

Major milestone:
Marine Corps Marathon 2018 - Ran it in 5:06, which is almost an hour faster than the last two times I ran the same race. 2016 - 6:01 and 2017 - 6:05

What is the secret to your success?
Following the schedule given to me by Runcoach, which consisted of speed work, cross training and yoga.

What is the biggest obstacle to reaching your goals and how do you get over it? Consistent training and training alone combined to form the biggest obstacle for me. I trained alone for the most part, and was lucky enough to run with my local running group for a few of the final long runs. I tried to get over it by committing to reporting my workouts to the coaches at Runcoach and uploading my workouts through the app.

What is the most rewarding part of training?
Self awareness - Realizing that I am stronger than I thought - physically and mentally.

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

Stick to the schedule that the Runcoach app gives you. Report back to the coaches via email. It creates a commitment. Don't skip out on speed work. It was very challenging for me, and I had no track nearby where I felt safe to train alone in the dark hours of the morning. I tried to get in as many speed workouts as I could and that helped a lot to improve my pace.

Anything else you would like to share?

I would like to say that the timely encouragement from Coach Cawood and Coach Hiruni went a very long way to help me PR my race. I felt like they were my personal coaches. During a difficult phase during the race, when I wanted to walk the bridge, I told myself that I would not let Coach Cawood and Coach Hiruni down, I would run that bridge. And I did it!

What feedback would you offer on the Runcoach experience?

The overall experience was very awesome. I will do it again. The app needs some upgrades. For tempo workouts, I reported warm up, cool down, drills+strides, speed run and cool down separately so coaches could see my pace, but the app did not total them correctly. So I had to delete all of that and enter one aggregate number which did not show the effort I put into the workout.


Share your story here!

October 30, 2018

Winter Running Gear

There’s no denying that winter will be here soon.. and while we are all enjoying the awesome fall weather, it’s good to getIMG_3855 prepared for the not-so-fun winter miles that are ahead. Having good cold weather gear is essential, and here are some of my favorites that allow me to run unrestricted outside all year round!

Thermal Top
This lightweight top is surprisingly warm. Layered with a wind proof shell, and you can run in sub 20 degrees comfortably with full range of arm motion. It comes in both Men’s & Women’s styles.

Running Tights
Good tights make all the difference! These ones are lined and designed to keep our muscles warm despite winter’s efforts to thwart our ability to train outside. They come in both Men’s & Women’s tights.

Wind Jacket
Cover up that thermal top with a wind proof jacket. This one comes in both Men’s & Women’s, and will hold your body heat in, the wind out, and it’s reflective for safety!

Tall Socks
A must! Tall socks are my go-to in the winter to cover up the ankles… for some reason cold ankles make the rest of my body cold too. Unisex based off shoe size.

Mittens & Hat
Mittens are the way to go! If it is under 20 degrees, hot hands are good to have around to keep your mittened hands warm through all your miles.

You can also go through my store on the AthleteBiz website for more apparel ideas.

Published in Training

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.

Published in Training
"You're only as good as your training, and your training is only as good as your thinking." -Lauren Olivertrust_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










Published in Racing
July 25, 2018

Tips for the Taper

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.

Published in Training

Q&A with the Runcoach CEO and 2:12 marathoner, Coach Tom McGlynn,tom-260 who shares some thoughts on including a half marathon race within your marathon training. 

1.) Do you advise runners to race a half marathon prior to running a full marathon?

If the athlete is preparing for a marathon, then I like to see them run a half marathon 4-7 weeks out.  The reason we like it that far prior to the goal race is that we always recommend enough time to recovery after the half marathon. The recovery period is intended to spring board the athlete into the final marathon stage of training.

2.) Does practicing race day routine in a half marathon help your marathon?

The actual practice of waking up, eating, drinking, going to the bathroom and arriving at the start line in plenty of time is most helpful.  Some of the intra-race hydration is important as well.  The half marathon should be thought of as a dress rehearsal for the marathon.

3.) Does a half marathon time accurately estimate your fitness for the marathon?

The science suggests that if you double your half marathon time and add about 12 minutes, that would be your current fitness for the marathon.  Meaning that a 2 hour half marathon converts to a 4:12 marathon. This is an extremely rough estimate, and doesn’t consider key variables such as weather, course variation (between half and full), the athlete’s health on either race day,  the need for nutrition and hydration in a full marathon that isn't as important in a half marathon, the runner's form/efficiency, etc

Do you have any more questions to ask our coaches? Email them today!

Published in Racing

Welcome Hiruni Wijayaratne
hiruni-260

Thank goodness her smile and calm demeanor makes her approachable, because while running, Hiruni is a fierce competitor. She holds 10 National Records for Sri Lanka, a marathon personal best of 2:36, and a passion for chasing her goals and helping others do the same.

It doesn’t stop there, Hiruni brings her A game to the office too, where she has taken over as the Business Development and Sales Lead, but she does so much more than that. Hiruni is also one of our world-class coaches, and enjoys answering your questions and sharing her experience as both coach and athlete.

We believe that Hiruni brings a lot of value to us as a company, and to you as our customer.  We encourage you to take advantage of the opportunity to have Hiruni on your support team to help you achieve your goals.

Learn more about how to contact Hiruni here!

Published in New Features

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!

Published in Training
 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.

Published in Training

This is a great read about endurance activity and increased heart metabolism.

One of the key points is that the research was done with heart rates at 65-75% of capacity.  Since maintenance pace keeps you in the 65-80% MHR range this study is highly applicable to running.  The fact that these stimuli seem to return the heart to a metabolic state of youth could be paramount in heart disease prevention and overall cardiac throughput.

In theory our threshold/10K/VO2 work could stimulate an even greater cardiac metabolism since we operate closer to 85-95% of MHR.

If you’re in anywhere between 30-90 years old, this is a great read.

Exercise Makes Hearts Grow Younger
Published in Running Research
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