My Race Has Been Canceled – Now What

Now that we are in uncharted territory with the spread of the coronavirus as a global pandemic, many of you must deal with the cancelation of your respective events.  I want to share my thoughts and empathy with you.

First off, running to many of you, as it is for me is much more than exercise.  It is a stimulus toa path forward when your road gets muddy and blocked.  I have used running throughout my life to “get unstuck” and continue forward.  So, I’m acutely aware of the personal disappointment that many of you currently feel.

Our race goals are more than just fun and certainly not fleeting.  This can only be understood by you – the walkers, the runners, the goal-setters that you are.  There is an incredible personal loss when someone moves the finish line or in this case, takes it away.  I nearly experienced this in 2001, after weeks of 100 miles running in preparation for the New York City Marathon.  Fortunately for me, that race took place after the tragedy of 9/11, and I can only imagine what it would have done to my morale had it been canceled.

All of us at Runcoach are right there with you and share your disappointment.


So now what?

 

Here is my Top 5 List of what to do if your race has been canceled.

1) Go run the distance anyway on the day it was scheduled
-Don’t be a renegade and try to run where the race was supposed to take place as that may clog the streets and put you at risk with traffic.
-Instead go to your favorite running route or treadmill, map out a course concomitant with your goal distance.
-Wake up early, do your normal pre-race routine and go run your personal race.
-Take a friend if you can (and consider keeping a safe distance throughout your personal race)


2) Write a race report
-Enter it on Runcoach if you like so that our coaches can share in your accomplishment
-If you’re not a social type, take the time to draft an email to yourself – highlight your training journey, the ups and downs and how it went when you traversed a different course with no spectators for support


3) Choose a New Goal in the future (preferably at least 10 weeks out)


4) Acknowledge Your Loss
-Losing a race goal is hard
-Contemplate that when you run your replacement race
-Remember – The best is yet to come


5)Be Grateful
-This situation doesn’t take away your fitness or your accomplishment
It is hard to be disappointed when you are grateful
Obviously, there are many far of worse than you – the active and motivated participant


We are runners and we persevere.  All of us at Runcoach feel your pain and are excited to help you reach you next goal.

 

Keep rolling!
tom







Coach Tom
Founder and CEO of Runcoach 



IT Band Syndrome

Written by Tom McGlynn March 07, 2020
it_bandHow to treat the IT band - 

What is IT Band Syndrome?
The Iliotibial Band, or IT Band, is a dense band of connective tissue that originates in the hip (iliacus), runs down the outside of the leg and inserts just below the knee.  Every time you bend your knee the IT Band crosses over a bony protrusion at the outside of your knee.  If the band becomes tight it starts to snap more aggressively over this bone and it can then get irritated and inflamed.  When this happens you have IT Band Syndrome.

Common signals or symptoms:
- The most common symptom is pain at the outside of the knee.  
- Tightness at the outside of the hip.
- Soreness in the lateral (outside) quad muscle.
- Swelling around the knee

Prevention Tips:
There are a number of things a runner can do to prevent IT Band Syndrome.  
The easiest thing to do is use a foam roller, "the stick" or some other form of self massage.  This is probably the most effective thing you can do to keep the IT Band loose.  There are also various IT Band stretches but many people have a hard time getting into a position where they actually feel an effective IT Band stretch.
Other causes:
  • -Lazy stretching routine 
  • -Pushing too hard -- run too far or for too long
  • -Lack of rest between workouts
  • -Worn-out sneakers
  • -Steep downhill runs
  • -Running only on one side of the road (Roads slope toward the curb, which tilt your hips and IT band)
Treatment:

The most effective treatment is rest.
If your knee is swollen, ice, compress and elevate.
If you can find a pool, you can swim to maintain aerobic conditioning.
Get a massage on your quads, hips, and hamstrings 
Foam roll 2-3 times per day
Perform IT band, glute stretngth exercises


Video demonstrating Hamstring Bridge (also works glutes)
Video demonstrating Single Leg Squat
Video demonstrating Glute Stretch



PlantarLet's talk about Plantar Fasciitis

What is Plantar Fasciitis?

Most often felt in the heel,  over 50% of Americans will experience this pain during their lifetime.
Plantar fasciitis (PF) is a condition caused by drastic or sudden increases in mileage, poor foot structure, and inappropriate running shoes, which can overload the plantar fascia (the connective tissue that runs from your heel to the base of your toes), resulting in heel pain.


Self Identify PF:
- Sharp stab or deep ache in the heel
- Pain on the bottom of the foot in the arch
- Worst in the mornings. First few steps out of bed are excrucating
-  Pain experienced during "push off" while running


Common causes of plantar fasciitis:

PF occurs due to a variety of reasons: overuse of improper, non-supportive shoes, over-training in sports, lack of flexibility, weight gain, too much standing. 


Plantar Fasciitis Treatment:

As with any pain ice and rest is the first step. Fill a bucket of water and add ice to it. Stick your foot in. Another option is to freeze a plastic bottle of water and roll your foot with it.
Other options:
- Use a lacrosse ball or golf ball to massage your foot. Gently roll over the pain spots.
- Use an Arch support
- Update your shoes 

If pain is present for more than three weeks, see a medical professional about the problem. Treatment options such as orthotics, foot taping, cortisone injections, night splints, and anti-inflammatories can help.



d747ee20C180EC5-D2A8-4A67-872C-D253DB3024D8_2Teresa shares her incredible journey with the Runcoach community. She encourges us to first and foremost "START". However small the gains are, there are improvements!

Major milestone:
I started with the desire to lose weight- started walking. Now I feel it is truly a miracle- I can run 10 miles. I lost the weight but the other effects are priceless! No more depression, or back pain, I have more energy and I feel like I look so much better. I can actually see muscles in my legs and arms.


What is the secret to your success?
I started very small. Jogging for only 30 seconds initially. I continue to incorporate walk breaks into my run


What is the biggest obstacle to reaching your goals and how do you get over it?
My biggest obstacle was the weather and day light kept me from gettin in my runs. Bought a treadmill to deal with this.


What is the most rewarding part of training?
Seeing the success and improved health. My thinking has changed- other areas of my life I now use the same strategies. Start small and stick with it. Progress not perfection is what I strive for.


What advice would you give to other members of the Runcoach community?
Don’t give up. If a 200 pound woman can do it anyone can!


Anything else you would like to share?
You are worth it.





Shin Splints

Written by Coach Hiruni Wijayaratne February 29, 2020

shinsplintWe are beginning a new column where we will dive into some of the most common running injuries. First up: Shin Splints.

This is the pain felt along the front of your lower leg, at the shin bone. 

Shin splints are common among runners  who increase frequency, volume, or intensity of training, along with improperly fitting footwear or worn out shoes can cause problems. Also frequent running on hard surfaces can cause shin pain.


How to prevent them?

The first thing is to understand what they are.  Then you know what stresses you are putting on your body.  Consider the age and appropriateness of your shoes and review your training to make sure you aren’t making any huge sudden jumps.   Many runners with shin splints also report tight calves and relatively modest strength in the lower leg muscles. Proper stretching and strengthening of the calf muscles can help.   One productive exercise is heel walking.  [Check out our Heel Walking Demo Video here.]


If we feel shin splints coming on, what should we do?

There is an inflammatory component here, so ice can help a lot.  A reduction in training intensity and a change in running surfaces may be required to allow the symptoms to subside.  Anti-inflammatories may be appropriate, but consult your physician to ensure they are a safe choice for you.  If symptoms persist or become steadily worse, make an appointment with your doctor.

The suggested amount of downtime is typically about two weeks. During this time, you can engage in sports or activities that are less likely to cause additional harm to your legs. These activities include swimming or walking.

Your doctor will often suggest that you do the following:

  • Keep your legs elevated.
  • Use ice or a cold compress.
  • Wear elastic compression bandages.
  • Use a foam roller.

Check with your doctor before restarting any activities. Warming up before exercising is also a good way to make sure your legs aren’t sore.



jo-houJoanna ran an incredible race at the 2020 Houston Marathon. She talks about her journey to the finish line, how she ran a "dream time", while managing a busy schedule, minimizing distractions, and  other obstacles. She encourages everyone to have fun and be kind to yourself through the process of gaining fitness.


Major milestone:

A major fitness milestone is definitely running my first marathon in January of 2018. I was going through a difficult time in my personal life so training was not a priority but I decided to still go through with the run. I did not feel ready for it but I proudly finished and I'm glad I went for it. As of January 2020 I have completed three marathons!


What is the secret to your success?

The secret is not being hard on myself when I have a bad day or training session. It's telling yourself it's okay not to PR and that I will get another chance at it tomorrow.


What is the biggest obstacle to reaching your goals and how do you get over it?
Time management! It has been a learning curve over the years with minimizing distractions but I know watching less TV or no TV and packing my stuff the night before have really helped. Those two minor changes have stuck with me over the years.


What is the most rewarding part of training?
The community. I've met a lot of people over the years that share similar goals and it's nice to have others to lean on when I need advice or accountability. It's rewarding making meaningful relationships along my fitness journey.


What advice would you give to other members of the Runcoach community?
Don't forget to have fun!!


Anything else you would like to share?
All of us runners/ triathletes had to start somewhere. It was not an overnight success but more so a lifestyle change/process. Start at one mile and work your way up. You too can run a marathon.


What feedback would you offer on the Runcoach experience?
It works! Stick to your plan and schedule and you will see results.



5 Reasons to Race

February 10, 2020

Even if you’re not competitive, there are many good reasons to sign up for an organized event.

racepack

1. Ease your jitters.  Most races—especially 5Ks— are community-oriented events with runners and walkers of all abilities, ages, and levels of fitness. They provide a very supportive low-pressure setting for you. A local 5K is a great way to hold yourself accountable to a specific goal.

2. Check out some new territory. You’ll get a chance to check out new parks, trails, and fun running routes that you might not otherwise discover.  Exploring a new setting is a great way to avoid boredom and burnout.

3. Meet other runners. Chatting with others makes the miles roll by much faster. Races are opportunities to meet people with similar interests and fitness goals.  You might find that friends and coworkers you already knew, love getting outside to run too!

4. Test yourself. Use  a race to establish a baseline of fitness. Enter a race every four to six weeks to track your progress, and determine whether you need to tweak your routine. Plug in your results to the “Goals and Results” page, and we will design a plan that matches the level of activity and fitness you have now. The plan will gradually ramp up mileage and intensity so you can unleash your fitness potential.

5. Get your speedwork done.  Have a hard time getting yourself to do speedwork solo?  Sign up for a race instead of your weekly track session. Once you register, you’re less likely to blow it off. Plus, pinning on that number, and joining the pack of other runners will give you the adrenalin rush you need to push yourself farther and faster.

Remember, in addition to a personalized, training plan, as a Movecoach participant you'll access to expert coaches certified by USATF, USAT, and RRCA. We’re here to answer your questions about training, nutrition, and technical issues.  

*This article was first written by Jennifer Van Allen for Runcoach in 2017.



Avoiding the Post-Run Bonk

Written by Ashley Benson February 06, 2020
toxins-cause-exhaustionClyde Wilson was a naval service member who enjoyed weight training and working out, when his doctor on the USS Carl Vinson informed him he was on the verge of needing medication for high blood pressure and cholesterol.  After making a transformative change in his nutritional habits, he went on to study chemistry and cell biology at Stanford and now teaches there and the University of California San Francisco Medical School.  In addition, he runs The Center for Human Nutrition and Exercise Science in Palo Alto, California.


This month, we asked Dr. Clyde to weigh in about the lethargy many runners struggle through after a long run.

1.  When many runners finish a big long run, often they report feeling extremely lethargic and low energy for much of the rest of the day, even after eating.  From a nutrition perspective, what may be going on here?

 Athletes need to replace their carbohydrate losses from training at a rate that their muscles are willing to absorb those carbohydrates.  If you burn 1000 calories in a workout, roughly 800 calories of which are carbohydrate, and attempt to replace all of those carbohydrates at one sitting, the over-flow of calories into your bloodstream will send more than half of it to fat cells, where the carbohydrate will be converted into fat. 

Therefore, eating enough calories is not enough. 

The calories have to go into lean tissues to actually help you recover.  Not eating enough is another way to fall short.  So the athlete has to eat enough carbohydrate, but spaced out over time or eaten with vegetables so that the carbohydrate calories enter the body at a rate muscle is willing to absorb them.  Protein helps re-build lean tissue but is unrelated to the feelings of lethargy after hard training.

2.  What are some best bet tips on things runners can do after the run to avoid that day-long bonky feeling?


The best thing a runner can do to avoid the day-long bonky feeling is to eat 100-200 Cal of carbohydrate, mainly in the form of glucose, every 2-3 hours.  You could start with a recovery drink (first ingredient should be maltodextrin) right after training, and then granola, bread, yams, or similar foods an hour later and every 2-3 hours after that.

3.  What, if anything, can runners do during the run to help avoid these post-run problems as well?

During running, consume 50-250 calories glucose per hour (depending on training intensity, how much lean mass you have, and how well you are hydrating).


The Art of Hydration

Written by Tom McGlynn February 01, 2020

screen shot 2012-08-21 at 4.27.42 pm

You already know how to hydrate and how to run.  But do you know how to put the two together?

It has been proven that proper hydration can drastically improve race results but many runners have trouble drinking water and sports drink while on the move.  The constant motion jostles your stomach which is already void of necessary blood resources which are attentive to your leg muscles. This is one of the many reasons that the art of hydration is essential.

We use the word ‘art’ as opposed to ‘science’ because there is a limited amount of calories and fluids that can be utilized intra-run (unlike cycling, walking and other activities).  Because of this we recommend experimentation to determine the most effective personal hydration routine (ie. Much like runcoach training the below is not a one-size-fits-all assignment. Experiment and find the routine that works best for you).

Here are some tips to get started:

  1. Your hydration routine starts before the run
  2. Drink 8-16 ounces of water or sports drink with your pre-run breakfast (slightly more on race day when you are up early and have more time to digest)
  3. Coffee shouldn’t count into this equation as it is ultimately a diuretic (makes you pee)
  4. Caffeine is fine to consume as is normal for you
  5. Clear urine is a great sign
  6. Stay hydrated leading up to the run
  7. Take one final bathroom break right before the run
  8. Then take one final drink before your start (less than 2 minutes prior is best)

For runs longer than 75 minutes or runs in the heat, you will need more than just water.  We recommend sports drinks containing sugar and salt in appropriate quantities.  Here are some tips to pick the right drink for you:

  1. Check the race website you are training and find out which sports drink they will serve on the course
  2. If the race drink sits well with your stomach then stick with it; if not go for an alternative
  3. Look for ingredients that include sodium (salt/electrolyte) and sucrose (sugar)
  4. Become well acquainted with the drink and find a way to have it on race day (carry a bottle)
  5. Drink 4-8 ounces of fluid every 20-30 minutes within the run
  6. Sports gels can be effective as they include key nutrients – take these in lieu of a sports drink.  They must be taken with water.
  7. Because of caloric density you may only need to consume gels at every other fluid stop – keep up with water at every stop

Start refining your personal art of hydration at least 10 weeks prior to race day and practice before, during and after most runs.  Here are some tips for refueling on the run without carrying a water bottle:

  1. Hide your water bottle somewhere along your running route
  2. Plan to pass this spot every 20-30 minutes or place more bottles along your route
  3. Invest in a fuel belt.
  4. Enlist a friend to ride a bike with you or meet you intra-run to provide fuel
  5. If gels are your fuel of choice simply carry some with you and then target public water fountains along your course

The exact amount you need to drink can be tricky and will vary from person to person.  Here’s a science project to help you learn about your hydration needs:

  1. Weigh yourself prior to a run without any clothes on
  2. Go for a run
  3. Re-weigh yourself after without any clothes on
  4. Calculate the difference and hydrate accordingly within your next run

Example: if you weighed 160 before a 90 minute workout and then weigh 157, you have lost 3 pounds and require 48 ounces of liquid. Your schedule for a similar event would be 8 ounces every 15 minutes to maintain your weight.

Note: This is just an example.  Please try this yourself and keep in mind that the amount you need will vary depending on the temperature, humidity and other personal physiological factors.

Proper hydration can improve your race results from 5K to the Marathon.  Invest some time into the development of your art of hydration.

 



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