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usaFor many runners, the bombing at the 2013 Boston Marathon has been a “where were you when you heard” moment in the year that has passed since.  In the immediate aftermath, many marathoners fielded repeated questions from casual acquaintances and close friends and families alike, concerned for their safety if they were running, concerned for their safety even if they weren’t running, curious about details about which the runner in question may have had no additional information than the average person.   Runners may have even dealt with a lot of “could have been me; could have been my family” feelings.  In general, many of us spent a fair amount of time reflecting on the race, the events which led to its premature ending, and how to respond.

 

The events of last April 15, where three lost their lives and 170 were injured, struck a chord among many, whether they were familiar with the experience of running a marathon or not.  Late summer Boston qualifying event registrations swelled as athletes started training for a chance to hit a mark before the September entry date.  Athletes who may have never run a marathon or even a 5K before pledged to train and enter this year’s race.  Runners whose race was left incomplete by police road blocks vowed to prepare again in order to finish what they started.  “Boston Strong” iconography became immediately understood as the extra dose of motivation needed to accomplish any array of tough tasks.

 

With the 118th running of the historic race only a few days away, the adrenaline is pumping through the collective veins of a race field ranging from Massachusetts native and American hope Shalane Flanagan down to the “run to finish” athletes in the third wave.  If your Patriot’s Day does not include the chance to join with these individuals as they strive for a national catharsis on behalf of all of us, what can you do to make a difference while the eyes of the world are turned to this bittersweet occasion?

 

Encourage others

Overcoming fear with courage has been a driving desire for many taking part in this year’s race.  For many of us, the fears that prevent us from getting out the door and starting down the road to a fitness goal are not nearly as sensational, but no less crippling in their ability to let inertia prevent us from moving forward.  Consider with whom you can partner to start toward a new goal by engaging in regular exercise. Make a point to come along side them with encouragement this week.

 

Donate

Marathons and charity drives go hand in hand these days, but if you are able and have been looking for a way to make a tangible difference, this race and those running it provide a group of people and causes who are likely some of the most highly motivated athletes to take on the fundraising challenge, including a lot of first timers.  Check out the list of official Boston marathon charities or scroll down your Facebook page.  Likely a runner you care about and believe in is working hard toward a big goal on Monday with others besides themselves in mind. Get behind them if you can!

 

Set your own new goal

Your training plans might not include Boston, or maybe the will was there, but the qualifier or time to train well was not.  Use the opportunity to consider what breakthrough you have been delaying and make some concrete plans toward getting past it.   Many have shown tremendous commitment and perseverance this year as they prepared for this particular race.  Let their stories inspire you to do something inspiring yourself!

 

Reflect, remember, and process

Running can often be our escape from the stresses of every day life. Depending on how close you were to the events of last April 15 or how shaken you were by the news, you may not have had the chance to be mindful of any grieving process you may have been going through, even if it feels a bit remote and true grieving is not the word you would use to describe how you processed your feelings about the tragedy.  Because we have some of the common experiences shared by those directly affected by the bombings, we would do well to make sure we haven’t glossed over any lingering doubts about future situations, talk it through with others equipped with helpful insight, and be conscious of our resolve to move forward confidently.

 

“Boston Strong” is a powerful phrase.  This week, consider how you can truly embody the spirit of the words and encourage others to do so with lasting, positive impact.

 

 



Summer Berry Smoothie

Written by Neely Gracey April 06, 2018
Looking for a healthy and delicious post run snack? Try this protein and antioxidant filled smoothie that will be sure to leave you feeling satified.smoothie2

Summer Berry Smoothie
  • 1/2 frozen banana
  • 1/2 cup plain greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 1/2 scoop vanilla protein powder
  • 4 frozen strawberries
Blend all ingredients, enjoy! 

-Makes 1 serving
Includes important recovery ingredients: Protein, Carbs, Antioxidants, Potassium, Calcium, Fiber


The main way to meet your goals is to follow your training plan, but it never hurts to put a little thought into what could help support your active lifestyle! Recovery, Strength Training, Consistency, Hydration, Mid Run/Race Fueling, and Pre-Run /Post-Run Nutrition are all important details that will help you feel stronger and healthier. There will be a series of blog posts on each of these topics, stay tuned!

Pre-Run and Post-Run Nutritionsmoothie

When it comes to good eating habits, the number one thing to remember is moderation. Unless you have an allergy, or know certain foods don’t sit well in your stomach, then nothing is off limits. It’s all about the timing, and learning a good routine that works well for you. There are two key times when nutrition is critical during training; pre-run, and post-run. Let’s explore these in more detail.

Pre-run fueling is critical to dial in, especially if you have a sensitive stomach. If you’re a morning runner, you may not have much time to grab a snack before heading out to get in your training. Try something light, easy to digest, and carb focused for quick fuel. A banana, piece of toast, granola bar, sports chews, electrolyte mix, etc. All followed by water to wash it down and kick start your hydration for the day. Getting in some calories and fluids before a morning run is really important because you haven’t eaten for many hours, and you may have become dehydrated throughout the night. Fueling up beforehand will help ensure the success of your training efforts.

If you’re an afternoon/evening runner, than you have a day of meals to plan before your run. The morning isn’t too specific, but the meal/snack 3 hours prior to your run is very important. You will want to stick to something bland and not too heavy. A giant burrito may not leave you feeling great on your upcoming workout. Instead, try a sandwich, soup and side salad, sushi, etc. Good choices are things that are low in fats, easy to digest, and include no ingredients that irritate your stomach. Having a meal 3 hours before a run allows the body time to process and use the food as fuel. This will also help prevent cramps from eating too close to exercise.

Post-run fueling is all about starting the recovery process. In a run, your muscles are put under stress, and afterwards, they need protein to rebuild. Having carbs with your protein helps expedite this process, and according to the Olympic Training Performance Center, can also help boost your immune system. If you struggle to eat solids after running, you’re not alone! Try yogurt, smoothies, popsicles, or protein enriched milk. Whatever you consume post run, focus on carbs, proteins, antioxidants, essential fats, and fluids. The suggestion is to get in 100-200 calories within an hour of completing your run. You then have enough fuel to kick start recovery, protein synthesis, and rehydration before you get in your next full meal.  Finding a routine that works for you will allow your body to function at it’s best and be ready to nail those workouts as you chase your goals.



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Did you update your iPhone app?  The new Runcoach release allows members to more easily manage goals, review historical data, and adjust training progress through our vVO2
marker!

What is vVO2 and how does it apply to me?

You may have come across this term in your Runcoach, Movecoach, or My Run Plan training.  vVO2 is the marker we use to determine your training paces. The little v is for velocity. VO2 is the maximum amount of oxygen an individual’s body can use during intense aerobic exercise. Put together, vVO2 means the meters per minute covered by the individual; essentially how fast you are running when you hit VO2 effort.

But wait, there’s more! vVO2 changes constantly. As your body becomes more efficient, your vVO2 will increase. The heart gets stronger and can pump more blood, the running muscles become better developed and can handle more stress put on them, and your form improves due to repetition. This development of increased economy is what makes you faster! The more improvement you get in economy, the easier it will be to run further and faster with less effort.

So how can you apply this to your training? We do it for you! The algorithms used with Runcoach, Movecoach, and My Run Plan take into consideration your current fitness to start. As you progress, your plan will automatically update to match your improvements in economy (thus increasing your vVO2) as you get faster by consistently following your training plan!

Tap here from your phone or go to the new "MANAGE" tab in the app to check it out.

Android update will come in April, don't think we forgot about you!



Like a lot of people, David has struggled for years with his weight.  Now, he plays ice hockey and is making a concerted effort to move more. He's lost 50 pounds.

"I can see the difference," he says,  "on the scale and in the mirror and in others' eyes."

In the Spotlight: Genentech

mc_success_genentechDavid Tesarowski

What prompted you to start working out? I've always struggled with my weight and have been on a roller coaster with diets and exercise regimens for decades. I've had one knee replaced and am about a year away from the second. Though active, I needed to do more to help with weight loss. Most importantly, my younger brother recently passed away from diabetes complications so my wife prompted me to make changes in my lifestyle so I don't have the same fate. Working out more was part of the equation. Being stronger would also help me with my other endevours! I've lost 50 pounds since our daughter's wedding in 2015, 30 since March!

What is the most rewarding part of moving more? Moving more is rewarding because I can see the difference on the scale and in the mirror and in others' eyes. Diet isn't the only answer. There are 2 parts of the equation for success. Eat less and move more.

What is the most challenging part of moving more and how do you get over it? Some of my colleagues look at me twice when I say I am going to the gym in the middle of the morning. I get over it by recognizing that our Wellness program is supportive. It doesn't matter when I do it in the day as long as I also get my work done, which I always do.

What advice would you give to other members of the Movecoach community? Start and keep at it!

Anything else you'd like to share about your experience? There really aren't any excuses. At least try and get 10000 steps in each day.

Share your movecoach success story here!


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kaylamunterJust eight months after being diagnosed with Lymphoma, 61-year-old Kayla Munter  is training for the Aramco Half Marathon.   "Running has helped me realize that cancer can't take away who I am," she says. 

Name: Kayla Munter

Major milestone:  I completed my first half marathon at the age of 56 in 2013 with much better time of 2:10:57 thanks to Runcoach.

What is the secret to your success? Put everything you have into your training and stay on track, when race time comes you will be ready. Determination and hard work pays off.

What is the biggest obstacle to reaching your goals and how do you get over it? Right now I am training for the Aramco Half Marathon in January. My biggest obstacle is the fact I am 61 now and I was diagnosed with Lymphoma in March of this year. After my first doctor's appointment I knew I had to get back to running so I could stay strong physically and mentally to beat cancer! Running has helped me realize that cancer can't take away who I am!

What is the most rewarding part of training? This training season has been hard because of my illness, but every time I complete a run even if I can't do as well as I did a few years ago, I have a feeling of accomplishment. I will complete this half marathon even if my time will never be better than it was in the past.

What advice would you give to other members of the Runcoach community? Stick to your running schedule. If you do, the race will be so much better. But you must also listen to your body. If your schedule has you running 9 miles and your body just can't go more than 8 miles, pay attention and stop. Maybe you are just tired that day. You want to push yourself, but not to the point of doing more harm than good.

Never stop moving and never give up no matter what life throws at you.  Runcoach has been absolutely great for me. I do not like to be on a group schedule, so this works perfect for me. I could never have done as well with my previou races without Runcoach.
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Have a story to share? Tell us about it!



Two years ago, Yateesh Mallya would have laughed hard if anyone suggested he run even a half marathon. But he’s come a long way. Last year he ran his first marathon. This year, he ran 3 marathons and 3 half marathons, and completed a duathlon, a 100-mile bike ride, and countless long runs to push through 26.2 on race day. At the 2017 California International Marathon, his courageous pursuit of the most unlikely goal paid off with a 3:27 personal best, ever closer to achieving his goal of someday qualifying for the Boston Marathon.

 His advice?

“Believe in your training, trust your efforts. Hard work does pay off at the end no matter what your goal is.”

yateesh_useName: Yateesh Mallya

Major Milestone: I set a PR of 3:27 at the 2017 California International Marathon, beating last year’s time by 11 minutes. This was my fourth marathon—the third one I’d run this year.

What is the secret to your success? Pacing. I went into the race and stuck with the 3:22 pace group for first half of the race. I pushed ahead for another 10k, slowed a bit for the next 5-K and pushed the final stretch to the finish strong with a chip time of 3:27.

What is the biggest obstacle to reaching your goals and how do you get over it?  I felt some stomach cramps and slight leg cramps during the race. I took 30 seconds to one minute to let it relax a bit. Then I got back on the course. There hasn't been a race this year where I had a great run without any issues along the way. I’ve been having stomach issues the entire year. I pushed through it just to toe the line and achieve my goal.

What is the most rewarding part of training? The most rewarding part of this training has been to get the results despite all odds. I've had great support from Runcoach with their amazing training plans which are custom made to suit your specific needs and races for the year.

What advice would you give to other members of the Runcoach community? Stick with the training. Follow it through. There will be days when you feel under the weather and don't want to do it. Thinking of the journey you have endured so far will help you achieve your goal.

Have a story to share? Tell us about it!



Even if you’re not competitive or you’ve never raced, a Turkey Trot is fun way to get the holiday season off to an exhilarating start. Most Thanksgiving day events are fun, non-competitive community events that benefit worthy causes. If you’re a more seasoned runner, you can use the Turkey Trot to test your fitness, or in lieu of a quality workout. Either way, you’ll be able to enjoy all the holiday treats much more knowing that you’ve already made an investment in your health.

  1. Make it a Family (and Friends) Affair. Whether you’re spending the day with family members or friends, a Turkey Trot is something loved ones of all ages, and levels of fitness and experience can savor. After the race, you’ll all have plenty of time for prepare the meal, catch the sports, and relax. The companionship from family and friends can ease any pressure you might feel about the event. And having a family outing helps reduce the stress and the focus on the holiday meal. Some exhilarating outdoor time can ease holiday stress and relieve any guilt you might be feeling about missing out on training.

  1. Dress Well. Wear shirts, shorts, and pants made of technical materials that wick sweat away from the skin. Avoid cotton, which can cause painful chafing. Dress in layers that you can shed as you warm up. If you’re racing in wintry conditions, it’s especially important to cover your fingers, ears, and head.

  2. Set Realistic Expectations. If you’ve been running on a regular basis, look at your training log and consider the paces of your recent workouts to figure out what a realistic finishing time be. If you haven’t been working out regularly, or you’re recovering from hectic travel, don’t sweat the outcome. Consider doing the race as a run/walk or running without your watch. Alternate between walking and bouts of running so that you can sustain an even level of effort from start to finish..  

  3. Fuel Well. There’s no need to carb load for a short race like a 5-K or 10-K. But have a carb-rich snack of foods that give you a boost without upsetting your stomach. Aim for foods that are low in fat and fiber. Bananas, oatmeal, and toast are all great choices. If you’re running in a 5-K, aim for 200 to 300 calories. Drink plenty of water, as dehydration can make even an easy pace feel difficult. Leave plenty of time before the race to hit the bathrooms.

  4. Start Slow, Finish Strong. When everyone around you is running as fast as they can, it can be tough to focus on running at a comfortable pace that feels sustainable for you. It’s easy to get caught up in the adrenalin of the race pack. But if it’s your first race, it’s important to focus on a strong finish that leaves you feeling positive, confident, and excited about racing again.  When the starting gun fires, think about taking the first 5 to 10 minutes of the race to warm up your muscles, shake out any stiffness and pre-race stress, and ease into your own personal feel-great pace. As the race continues, think about gaining strength with each step closer to the end, and finishing feeling strong.

  1. Adjust your schedule. Add your race to your Goals and Results feed, so we can make sure you have the proper spacing between this effort and your next challenging tasks, and “Adjust Schedule” if necessary. Use the unique flexibility of our training platform to stay on track!


Have questions? Contact Us!



maggieflanaganjpgMaggie  Flanagan

Major milestone: I completed my first Marathon—the 42nd Marine Corps Marathon.

What is the secret to your success? Perseverance

What is the biggest obstacle to reaching your goals and how do you get over it? Injuries. I spent tons of money on [doctors]! Illness in the last month leading up to the race meant no training and changing my goals. I switched my race goal. I focused on just finishing, instead of the time goal that my training had indicated was achievable.

What is the most rewarding part of training? The workout sessions that I was able to complete with others. Solo training is such hard work!

What advice would you give to other members of the Runcoach community? Train with others.  Complete all your workout sessions - including strength & conditioning.Be realistic about what you can achieve, but don’t be afraid to change if life gets in the way.

Have a running story to share?
Click here for details.

Download our App for iOS or Android.


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