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Rosie Edwards

Rosie Edwards

The early mornings, long workouts and countless miles are the engines that drive an athlete from the start to the finish line, but how do you fuel for the big day?

My name is Rosie Edwards. I am a professional marathoner from Great Britain and running coach. rosie

Recently, I had a fascinating conversation with a professional cycling coach. I was wanted to learn about the elite cycling world and their training. He emphasized that attention to recovery was paramount compared to the training itself.

I intuitively knew that nutrition and hydration are vital for not only competition, but for recovery into the next training session. Training at its simplest is stress, response, and adaptation. Appropriate hydration and nutrition (ie. Fueling) is paramount for the optimal response = improved fitness.

Glycogen (our body’s form of carbohydrate) is the main energy for our working muscles while it also assists in fat metabolism. In addition, glucose is the primary fuel for the brain. If the body is glycogen depleted then this can lead to physical (decreased force production, increased soreness, increased muscle weakness) and cognitive impairment.

Picture the last 10 km of a marathon when it is “go” time. If your cognitive function is impaired and your glycogen stores are depleted, responding to your competition's moves and staying engaged will certainly become a challenge.

How does fueling look for me?

Before the race and within training:

I aim for 7-10 g of carbohydrate/kg/day when in peak training. I lean towards low glycemic index or GI (slow release) carbohydrates including whole grains, fruits, vegetables, sweet potatoes, and lots of oats. Low GI is my preferred choice for preparation to avoid spiking my insulin levels too drastically. However, on race day or while training, high GI is preferred for fast energy.

On my heavier training days where the marathon workouts are longer and I have an additional strength session, I will be on the upper end of consumption in order to enhance recovery. On a lighter day that does not precede a hard workout, I will aim for 7 g/kg alongside 1-1.6g/kg of protein and healthy fats.

For those who train at altitude full-time or intermittently, protein is especially important as it aids in the formation of red blood cells. When training at higher elevations for a prolonged period of time or for Sunday long runs 2g/kg per day may be beneficial.

My pre-race my routine does not alter too much:

I will try to ingest the upper limit of carbohydrates before a race. I like to take some of this in the form of a fruit juice or sports drinks rather than heavy carbohydrate-dense foods.  I always consume a protein and healthy fat included the night before. Race morning is simple: oats and honey.

I have been lucky enough to work with Nuun Hydration for the last 18 months. This has been a game-changer. I hyper-hydrate 2 hours prior to my marathon by drinking 2-3 tabs in 20fl Oz of water to ensure that my electrolytes are topped up before the start. Hyper-hydration is not something I would practice daily but before a particularly hot or long workout, I will.

When deciding how many carbohydrates to take in during the race I used a breath analysis test at LEOMO to measure carbohydrate oxidation. This occurs when we burn carbohydrate for fuel.

During the race, I take 48 g of carbohydrates per hour in the form of Nuun Endurance which I mix with 24 oz of water. I aim to consume fluids ~5 km (~20 mins). This setup provides me with a perfect blend of fast-release energy and hydration in addition to topping off my electrolytes in order to eliminate the risk of cramps. I make sure to practice every new fueling strategy in each marathon buildup multiple times before race day.  Our team is notorious for placing random tables around the Boulder reservoir to practice our bottle pick up and fueling. Sorry if we’ve ever blocked your car!

After the race:

Ahhh! The time we can enjoy all the foods we have missed.

Personally, I struggle for many hours after a race or hard session to ingest solid food so I always opt for a smoothie. I blend 25 g of protein powder, almond milk, spinach, frozen berries, and a banana and aim to drink it as quickly as I can. Adding a frozen component can help to decrease your core temperature and aid recovery. This provides me with 50 g of carbohydrate and 25 g of protein (2:1 ratio) immediately. I then aim to eat a good source of antioxidants, fat, and protein to decrease inflammation within an hour.  Avocado, spinach, and eggs on toast was made for this.

In addition to quantity, the most important piece is figuring out which fuel will elicit the best response from your body. More carbohydrates can be digested when glucose and fructose are ingested together because they are absorbed via different routes in the intestine. However, some people have difficulty absorbing fructose. Like many ingredients in a sports drink fructose is a simple sugar known as a monosaccharide. However, if the cells on the surface of your intestines are unable to break down the fructose efficiently malabsorption occurs. Not only will your body struggle to absorb it efficiently, but you may also experience the dreaded “tempo tummy”. Nausea and headaches can also ensue. Surprisingly it affects 1 in 3 people.

If you have experienced any of these issues during training or racing it may be advisable to try some products which do not contain fructose.  Nuun Endurance is a non-fructose based equivalent. It’s very much a case of trial and error but beginning an informed self-study from day one of your build-up will give you the best shot of reaching the finish line feeling great.

For more info, please don’t hesitate to reach out: rosie@runcoach.com. Happy fueling!

Cap_City_Half-tracy_treneffTracy recently ran a blistering 10K, which is his best fitness level result by more than 10 points. We asked him about his journey to this break-through race and any secrets to success he'd like to share.

Major milestone
: Ran a 10k in 45 minutes. The last mile I ran at a 5:55 pace. I had never run a mile under 7:00 prior to this.

What is the secret to your success? Setting lofty goals and religiously following the plan Runcoach puts in front of me. Choosing a competitor in my age group from an upcoming race that I want to beat and training as hard as I can to accomplish that goal.

What is the biggest obstacle to reaching your goals and how do you get over it? Staying within the training plan. I try to do too much and suffer small injuries.

What is the most rewarding part of training? Seeing the results. Last year I ran half marathons at a 8:55-9:05 pace. This year I'm sure I can run at 7:55.

What advice would you give to other members of the Runcoach community? Follow the plan as closely as you can and don't try to exceed the limits given in the training plan or eventually you'll suffer an injury and ultimately have to completely start over.

Anything else you would like to share? I love the quick responses and encouragement from the coaches when I have questions or issues.

What feedback would you offer on the Runcoach experience? It is a great program. I needed some guidance because I started running 2 years ago and had no idea what I was doing. I didn't necessarily need a personal coach to watch me 24/7, I just needed a good training program, some videos to watch to see how it is done, and someone knowledgeable to answer any questions I might have-all of which Runcoach provides. My heel-to-toe running has transformed to ball of the foot first with push and feels more natural and easy thanks to this program.
French is coming off a sensational month of racing. However, it took him months of hard work, trust, and patience to reap the fruits of his labor. Read about his journey and top tips for all runners to reach a new personal record in this month's Runcoach Success Story below.


Running Major milestone:
I ran a PR in 10K and 5K within same month!french_lewis2


What is the secret to your success?
Realizing that my job is to follow the training plan Runcoach provides, not to exceed it. Be consistent with the training and getting enough rest.


What is the biggest obstacle to reaching your goals and how do you get over it?  The biggest obstacle was my misconception that if the training plan called for a certain distance at a certain pace, running faster would, of course, be better. This led to a couple of injury filled years because my body was always working hard, never having time to recover and build strength.


What is the most rewarding part of training? The most rewarding part of training is feeling good. For me, I run because I enjoy it, I like being fit, I like knowing I am doing what I can to be healthy. About a year ago, after I messaged Coach Hiruni about a particularly tough speed workout she prescribed, her response stuck with me. The heart of the response was “Remember, tough workouts don’t last, but, tough people do.”


What advice would you give to other members of the Runcoach community? Follow the plan. Learn from my mistakes of believing, no matter what I read on Runcoach’s website, that I always needed to work hard to get faster. Easy days should be easy, hard days hard. Your body needs time to recover from the hard efforts. This is especially true as your body ages.


Anything else you would like to share? Again, listen to your body. I give Runcoach a huge amount of credit for my two fastest races taking place after I turned 50. However, I can not minimize the importance of having in person guidance in selecting shoes that match your running type. I was stubborn in thinking that the 0 drop shoes that worked well for a 42 year old me would still be good for 49 year old me. My local running store finally told me, after years of self denial, just try these 6mm drop shoes. That was the start of injury free training and racing.


What feedback would you offer on the Runcoach experience? It might sound simple, because it it. Follow the plan. This should be easy, the coaches tell you what to do, just do what they say. For people who are using the free service, I started there. It works very well. For those using the paid service, talk with your coaches, they all want you to succeed.

Written by Rosie Edwards.

We are runners. And for many of us (as runners), our mentality is to GO, GO, GO! We love to push the boundaries of what we think our bodies can do and live to test the waters in order to gain that extra 1%.

But have you ever stopped to think about how our bodies absorb all of the hard work that we put in?

Insert the HOLY GRAIL of training, REST.

rest_blog_image



You might notice the Runcoach schedule has a "6 day max" of run day assignments.  Why does every individual need at least one day off? Let's find out:

- Recovery: Training is a stimulus or stress which elicits a response. We stress our bodies through physical activity. It is within recovery that we see super compensation of fitness development through cellular adaptation, further capillarization in the leg muscles, and improved blood chemistry to move oxygen to our working muscles. 

- Injury prevention:
It’s no secret that running can be hard on the body. Many of us are road runners. We pound on the concrete in preparation for our next big opportunity to go fast. Our muscles, joints and bones need a break from this.

- Mental breaks: Sure, running is fun, and it can be a great stress reliever. However, a rigorous training program can be mentally challenging, too. A rest day helps to give you time to enjoy other hobbies and avoid burnout.

- Replenishing glycogen stores
: When training we use the glycogen in our muscles for energy and it can be a training regimen in itself to keep these stores topped off through adequate nutrition. A rest day provides you with a day to top off precious glycogen stores in preparation for your next big run.

So next time that you put your feet up, feel good about it. Rest is an invaluable part of your training too, after all.

As a runner, chances are at some point or another you’ve experienced pain in your hamstrings, knees, or lower back that just won’t seem to let up no matter how much you stretch.
Interestingly enough, this pain may actually be stemming from inactive glute muscles (also known as the ol’ butt).

Luckily, performing a few simple activation exercises pre-run can stop this pain in its tracks, allowing you to run powerful, strong, and injury free.

“So why aren’t my glutes firing?” you may ask.
The most commong reason is that most people sit for long periods of time. The glute muscles tend to stop firing due to a lack of oxygen and tightened hip flexors. This, in return, puts more strain on the lower back, hamstrings, and knees, that imbalanced and stiff feeling when you head out for a run.

Add these simple exercises to your warm up routine and get those glutes firing.
Turn up the intensity of these exercises by adding a resistance band. Aim for 2 sets of 10 reps on each leg.

>> Glute activation video via Single Leg Squat <<

Exercises:

1. Clam shells
 clamshell Lay on your side, with your knees bent at 90 degrees. Keep your feet and ankles together and raise your top knee. Make sure not to raise the knee too high-you should feel a slight tug in the glute area





2. Single Leg Bridgebridge

Keep your one knee bent, and straighten the other legs. Slowly move your leg up and down. Make sure you aren’t feeling this in your hamstring, you want the glutes to be doing all the work.







3. Prone Leg Liftsprone

Lying flat on your stomach, focus on raising first one leg at a time. If the knee bends you are using too much hamstring.










4. Fire Hydrantsfirehydrant
Place your hands underneath your shoulders and your knees underneath your hips. Flex your feet and keep both your feet flexed even as you raise one leg.

Then raise one leg out to the side, keeping the knee bent to 90 degrees. Lift it as high as you can while keeping your arms straight. Try to not let the foot get higher than the knee or the knee get higher than the foot. Really squeeze the butt cheek as you lift.

Hold for a second or two at the top. Lower down and then repeat. Complete all reps on one side before switching.

The 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.

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!

Edited by Cally Macumber

January 20, 2023

Select Your Goal

We know not every goal ends in a race, so don’t worry, we got your back. Our New Goals list has been updated to better suit your training endeavors as you progress from where you are to where you want to be.

While you can still sign up using a race as your goal, these four New Goals options help you find the perfect amount of training and intensity you want in your personalized fitness program.
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1-Get Started! A 12 week plan to get you moving and in a new lifestyle routine. This plan is designed to build you to 8-12 miles/wk with a 4-5 Mi. Long Run.

2-Get Faster! A 24 week plan to get you more active towards long term goals. This plan is designed to build you to 8-12 miles/wk with a 4-5 Mi. Long Run.

3-Get Fitter! A 12 week plan to get you from your current fitness to the next level. This plan is designed to build you to 18-22 miles/wk with a 7-8 Mi. Long Run.

4-Go Further! A 24 week plan to get you more miles and intensity. This plan is designed to build you to 18-22 miles/wk with a 7-8 Mi. Long Run.

Happy Running!

Sign up here!
Runcoach
My Run Plan
Movecoach

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!

 With our system, you can design a training plan that's customized to fit your current level of activity and fitness. Get started with just 5 easy steps.

1. Identify yourself.  
Go to the Settings, and identify what kind of athlete you are.

2. Plug in your goal. On the Goals and Results Page, select “+NEW GOAL."

3. Tell us about a racing history. Click  “+NEW RACE” and plug in a recent race time.

4. Design your workout schedule. On the Schedule & History page,  tell us about how much exercise you’re currently doing, and tell us when you’d like to workout and rest.

5. Sync your activity tracker. Movecoach syncs with many popular activity trackers. When you sync your service, and your miles will automatically be uploaded to your Movecoach or Runcoach log. Movecoach and Runcoach sync with Garmin, Strava, Apple Health, RunKeeper, GoogleFit, FitBit.. To learn more, click here.

6. Ask for help. Our experts and coaches are here to answer your questions about training, nutrition, and technical issues.  Reach out to us by tapping Support on your Mobile App or writing to us at coach@movecoach.com

Modified by Cally Macumber, 5/29/2023


February 10, 2022

5 Reasons to Race

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

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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 Runcoach/ Movecoach user you'll have 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. Modified by Rosie Edwards in 2022. 

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