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Take hold of life's 3C's: Choice, Change, Chance. Make the choice, take the chance, and see the change... 

“You are built like a runner,” Christi said to me about a year ago. I rolled my eyes. “You could do a half marathon tomorrow.”

I’d been a gym regular for three years. At Christi’s class, I’d grind out burpees, stack up squats, and groan through pushups. Showing up got me in fair shape for guy almost 49 years old.

But running? No one ever said I looked like a runner. I finished last in sprints during baseball practice.  “Somebody didn’t beat the clock, so we’re all going to run again,” Mr. Claussen said day after day. “I won’t say his name, but his initials are Joe Kolman.”

I never ran for fun or fitness, let alone competition. Yet last month, in the shadow of Glacier National Park I stood on a podium for the first time holding a silver medal like a baby chicken.  I ran 13.1 miles up and down a mountain with 1,827 runners of all shapes and sizes.I beat 1,737 of them, including all but nine my age or older. My 1:49:38 beat My Run Plan projection by 22 seconds.

Joe_k_glaicer

By God, I looked like a runner.

Here are the cliches of which I’m guilty. Like a lot of guys who approach a half century, I look in the mirror and see mortality with crows feet around the eyes, gray hair, and a mouth that frowns more than it should. Christi is engaging, enthusiastic, and positive. She almost makes the impossible seem possible. But it was still up to me to make it happen.

I am also at a point in life where I need to prove that I can do something alone. I gravitate toward team sports and team professions. I work hard and contribute to a team effort with my middling abilities. But as I faced the Grim Reaper’s nephew in the mirror (he wears button down shirts and khaki pants, by the way) I figured it was time to take charge of myself.

As I mulled becoming a runner, my wife Kris signed us up for the Glacier half marathon. She spontaneously does things that sound fun. A 13.1 mile run near our favorite place in the world and a cool t-shirt? Enough said. She also knows I need goals.

Christi uses My Run Plan and suggested I try it. The doubt came in waves as I answered the questions. Current miles per week? Zero. Average miles run per week in the last year? Just a smidge under none.

I have a great support network. And the Runcoach team is always online to help. But only one person can make you run. On day one of my life as a runner, the assignment starred up from my phone. Run 1.5 miles easy at a 13 minute mile pace. My Run Plan takes the research, guesswork, and hearsay out of training. By nature, I question things. That first run of 1.5 miles in 20 minutes? I ran 3.2 in 39 minutes. It was easier than I thought. And fun. For that first month, I ran faster and longer than the plan. Then I got hurt. My left knee ached. The right one had sharp pains. Unlike the algorithm, my ego is a biased source. I didn’t double check myself. I was out for more than a week and deep in the doldrums. I needed to run.

Running makes me happy. I am an introvert by birth. I speak to people to succeed at life and work, but it often exhausts me. Except when I run. I wave to people.  I offer words of encouragement. I try to be funny. “Hey, only three miles to pizza and beer.”  People who know me don’t believe it. This is not me; at least not sober.

I recently got caught in a  downpour. It was fantastic. I was healthy and free, running on a mountain. Lightning could have killed me on the ridge. I would not have traded places with anybody.

Running forces my mind to focus. Spine straight. Gut taut. The focus sets me free. It allows me to push beyond what I think is possible. In the rest of life, I fear failure and often stop when I reach good enough.

I make running a series of little victories. My Run Plan makes it easy. Run 5 miles in 50 minutes.  Where’s my medal? Run four sets of 200 meter sprints in 52 seconds each. Two beers. Run up the hill before Prince gets out of that Little Red Corvette.

I will run where life takes me, for no one but me. I’d like to win a more gaudy medals, but I will run because it makes me alive. My feet hitting the earth is at once humbling and powerful.  Running demands I be good to myself.  Eat well. Get sleep, Treat myself to massages and physical therapy. Work to make my mind agile and at peace. Being a better runner is very similar to becoming a better person.

People frequently tell me now that I look like a runner. For a while, I was miffed. Why now? I’ve always looked this way. Here’s my theory: You want to look like a runner? Start running. Short, fat, tall, skinny. Genetics don’t mean jack. Use a training plan or don’t. Someone, including other runners, will help and encourage any newbie. But in the end, it’s you against yourself.

I’ve cried for pure joy three times: the day I got married, the day I got my current job, and about a mile from the finish of my first half marathon. Alone on the trail, a middle-aged man weeping. Despite all I thought I knew about myself and what I could not do, I did it. I made myself a runner.



Melissa ran a big personal best in her half marathon. Running personal bests is hard. Imagine doing so after a heart attack, and having to start from scratch, while overcoming major self-doubt. She has a simple but powerful message: "Follow the training plan. See Success" melissa_oliver


What is the secret to your success?
The secret is to follow the training plan. Doing something better

What is the biggest obstacle to reaching your goals and how do you get over it?
For me time. Schedule conflicts are tough but I made it a priority to just do it mentally. I have to overcome worrying about my heart. I had a heart attack 15 years ago. I have 8 stents in my LAD. Not letting fear get in my way has been something I've overcome with time. I was a recreational runner before my heart attack. I was considered a healthy person when I had my heart attack. Try feeling confident in your body when out of nowhere it fails you :/ Not easy.

What is the most rewarding part of training?
Hitting my goal. Not dying, HAHAHA! Sorry, that may not be funny to others but without humor I wouldn't get through it. On a serious note, the most rewarding part is the accomplishment of the goal. I ran a half marathon PR!!

What advice would you give to other members of the Runcoach community?
Use the program. Follow it. See results. You can adjust it as you go. Email the coaches, they will help answer your questions. Laughing

Anything else you would like to share?
I didn't think this App would be that much help. I was really surprised at how helpful it was to me. I enjoyed every aspect of training and the motivation.


New! Points System

Written by Jennifer Van Allen June 09, 2019

Movecoach uses a Point System (MPS) to normalize energy expenditures from a variety of activities. The intent is to give Yogis, Steppers and Pilates Pros an opportunity to move up the leaderboard like Cyclists and Runners. The MPS is somewhat tied to caloric expenditure. Body weight, climate, incline and altitude are not considered. Below is a full list of point allocations for workouts logged in Movecoach. If a pace falls between the listed speeds, we round to the closest points per hour.

movecoachpointssystem


References:

Calories burned in 30 minutes for people of three different weights. 

Energy expenditure comparison between walking and running in average fitness individuals. 

Energy expenditure of walking and running: comparison with prediction equations. 

 

 



Do you drink coffee each morning without realizing the impact it could have on your performance? There are certainly pros and cons to caffeine, and the benefits can really boost your training and racing if established in practice. coffee

Pros of Caffeine
1-Increased mental alertness and desire for more effort and stronger performance. You are more awake, alert, and ready to tackle to the run mentally and physically.
2-Enables your body to burn fat more easily while running long distances, which is essential for the marathon. 
3-Can help your body be more efficient while running in heat and humidity by improving temperature regulation within your system.

Cons of Caffeine
1-Coffee can mess up your stomach if you're sensitive, thus, it is recommended to practice and find a source of caffeine intake that works for you. Tea, gels, tablets, chews, gum, drinks, etc. Once you find a product that works, stick with it!
2- It can be challenging to get consistency in a cup of coffee. Light roasts contain more caffeine, dark roasts contain less, and early morning races make it difficult to get coffee
2-3 hours beforehand. Everyone responds differently to caffeine and you may only need one small cup, or you may need more. The recommendation is 3-6mg of caffeine per kg of body weight. Learn what the perfect amount of caffeine is for you.
3-Potential dehydration is something to be aware of when consuming caffeine. This will not happen if you take in fluids with your caffeine. Remember to always drink 16-24oz prior to a run or race, if you do this, you won't risk dehydration.

The Caffeine Taper
Try cutting back caffeine during training to just workout days and long run day. Drink decaf, or a caffeine free tea as an alternative on the recovery and off days (if you still feel like you want and enjoy the routine). This will help you feel more energized to crush your hard training and will prepare you for race week when it is recommended to refrain from caffeine the 4 days leading into your race. Removing caffeine before an event helps create a heightened sensitivity, and when you have caffeine on race day, you will feel great!

The pros outweigh the cons as long as you practice to determine which source of caffeine and how much of it works for you. Once you develop a routine of incorporating caffeine into your training and racing, we look forward to hearing how you feel your performance has increased both with fitness and proper application of the ergogenic aid of caffeine!



 

Now with Movecoach, you can track the time you spend practicing mindfulness techniques—and earn rewards for it.

We’re rolling out Mindfulness Minutes in response to a growing demand, and the mounting scientific evidence that mindfulness improves physical and mental health.

A growing number of the world’s most respected companies—including Intel, Apple, Google, and General Mills—are investing in mindfulness initiatives for their employees.

Mindfulness is an effective way to take care of your body and mind—even if you aren’t even working out on a regular basis— and earn rewards in the Movecoach Challenge along the way!  Click here for 7 Ways to Take Mindfulness Minutes at Work.

How it Works

There are 4 different ways that you, as a Movecoach participant, can log your Mindfulness Minutes:

  • 1. Manually: You’ll log your activity just as you would for another type of workout. Select “Log,” then choose the “Other” category.  For Activity Type, select “Other”or “Take a Class.” For Workout Type, select “Mindfulness.”

  • 2. Automatically via Healthkit: iOS participants can enter their mindfulness minutes with HealthKit. By syncing Healthkit with Movecoach, the mindfulness minutes will automatically upload to the Movecoach log, and be taken into account as rewards are distributed.

  • 3. Automatically via Fitbit: iOS participants can enter their mindfulness minutes in the Fitbit App. By syncing Fitbit with Movecoach, those minutes will automatically upload to the Movecoach log, and be taken into account as rewards are distributed.

  • 4. Automatically with other Apps: iOS participants can sync their HealthKit Apps with popular paid mindfulness Apps, such as Headspace and Whil.


What Counts as a Mindful Minute?
Apple HealthKit describes Mindfulness this way:

“A state of active, open attention on the present. When you’re mindful, you observe your thoughts and feelings from a distance, without judging them good or bad. Instead of letting your life pass you by, mindfulness means living in the moment and awakening to experience.”

Like physical exercise, mindfulness isn’t a one-size-fits-all proposition. You have the freedom to choose the mindfulness techniques that are most helpful to you.

Click here to learn about 7 Ways to Practice Mindfulness at Work.

Any questions? Contact us at coach@movecoach.com.


Click here to learn about 7 Ways to Practice Mindfulness at Work.

Any questions? Contact us at coach@movecoach.com.


Quad Stretch

May 13, 2019

 

You might notice that the front of your thigh gets sore after a hilly run or after a week of

increased mileage.  That soreness you feel is the 4 quadriceps muscles that make up

the front of the thigh.  Stretching them out will help in the recovery process. 

quad_stretch



Hamstring Stretch

May 10, 2019

 

Runners often complain of hamstring tightness.  Avoid this problem at all costs!  No

muscles group is an island - over time tight hamstrings will cause your hip rotators and

glutes to overcompensate and shorten.  So stay on top of stretching this important

muscle group!

hamstring_stretch



Here are six tips to help you start charging toward race day.

shoesTake it easy. Most of your runs should be done at a comfortable, conversational pace. These easy runs allows you to get time on your feet to build a solid base of aerobic fitness, without getting hurt. Many runners take their easy runs too fast, risking injury, and sapping the energy they need for quality workouts, like intervals and long runs. As a result, they end up stuck in the medium-hard zone,  and frustrated that they can’t reach their goals.

Make some plans. Look at your schedule, and see how your major workouts like long runs and speed sessions will fit in with all your family, work, and social commitments. If you need to move workouts around, that’s typically okay—as long as you don’t do two hard workouts back to back. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask. Just write to us at coach@runcoach.com.

Get dressed. It’s tempting to wear whatever athletic shoes and apparel you have on hand, but it’s not a good idea. Ill-fitting and worn-out shoes can lead to injury. Clothing not geared for athletics can make any run uncomfortable. Go to a specialty running store and get fitted for a pair of shoes that offer your feet the fit and support they need. Get apparel made of technical materials that wick moisture away from the skin. It will help you stay cool and dry when you feel hot and sweaty, and help minimize uncomfortable chafing. It may seem like a big investment, but it’s money, time, and stress you’ll save by staying out of the doctor’s office.

Eat like an athlete. What you eat and drink will have a huge impact on how you feel while you’re on the road. Eat wholesome, unprocessed foods that will help you unleash your strength and speed. Figure out which pre-run foods will boost your energy without upsetting your stomach. For any run of 70 minutes or longer, you’ll want to refuel while you’re on the road to keep your energy levels steady. Aim for 30 to 60 grams of carbs per hour.  Consume midrun fuel at even intervals—don’t wait until you’re tired or hungry, it will be too hard to regain your energy. There are a variety of sports gels, drinks, chews and bars on the market. Experiment with different flavors, brands and formulas to figure out what sits well with you. And be sure to recover right after tough workouts, especially intervals and long runs. Within 30 minutes of finishing your workout, have a wholesome snack or meal with protein and carbs to restock spent energy stores, and bounce back quickly for your next workout.  As you ramp up your mileage, resist the temptation to eat with abandon. It’s shockingly easy to eat back all the calories you just burned – and then some— end up at the starting line heavier than when you started training. The more wholesome your diet, the better you’ll feel during your runs.

Develop good drinking habits. Dehydration has been proven to drag down pace and make even easy runs feel difficult. Sip calorie-free fluids throughout the day to make sure you’re well hydrated going into each workout. Aim for half your body weight in ounces each day. So if you weigh 160 pounds (or 72.5 Kg), aim for 80 ounces of fluids per day. If you weigh 130 pounds (59 Kg), aim for 65 ounces per day.

Buddy up. Join a friend or a running group—the miles roll by faster when you have others to socialize with—especially during speed sessions and long runs.

Reach out for help. Any time you have questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We’re here to help! Contact us at coach@runcoach.com.



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