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8 Tips for Becoming a Morning Runner

January 21st, 2015

In my last post, I talked about some reasons why I am a morning runner. But you should know, it wasn’t always that way.

I used to be a night owl. I used to scoff at the idea of getting up before the sun for anything, let alone to run. I scowled from my apartment window, still in my pajamas and sipping on my first cup of coffee for the day… who are these people?! These are freaks of nature, I thought, because who would ever choose to run so early? To me, it was insane, mainly because I never thought that I could be that person, greeting the day with a run.

Early morning run

But here’s the thing – I am that person now. I am that person who has a hard time not starting my day with a run. I know it isn’t for everyone, but if you’re looking to start this new habit, here are 8 simple tips to live by as you begin your journey to early morning running bliss:

Read more…

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5 Reasons to Start Running (and Continue Running)

January 1st, 2015

It almost goes without saying that it is socially expected for you to create a New Year’s resolution. Of course, there are always the cynics who pledge to eat more Cheetos and play more video games than the previous year. Some even take their apathy towards resolutions to a semi-sincere level by devoting the new year to avoiding road rage, accurately reporting their taxes and tipping better at their local coffee shops. But for every cynic, there is an avid proselytizer that can’t wait to let the whole world know about their resolution. However committed one is to this social phenomena of New Year’s resolutions, eventually the rubber meets the road and one must put their money where their mouth is. Enough idioms? It is better to light a candle than curse the darkness. Chew on that.

Many people turn their resolution efforts towards exercise because they know that inherently, exercise is good for you. Of the long list of exercise methods, running is among the most popular choice. It is a great way to become healthier, happier and help anyone who watched their last pair of pants slowly turn into skinny jeans, make their way back to their desired physique. So, if you find yourself in the camp of resolving to run more in 2015, here are 5 reasons why your new commitment is a great choice. If you are already a dedicated runner, we hope this provides you with some additional ammunition for your next soap box speech to your non-running friends.

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2015 Resolutions: To Keep or Not To Keep?

December 31st, 2014

It has been said that an examination of history serves as a map by which one can see the patterns of the future. And I don’t know about you, but I would be a much happier human being if I knew what “patterns” my New Year’s Resolutions would follow for the next 12 months. For example, I would prefer to know now rather than in September if I will actually go to graduate school, bake all 14 variations of cheesecake in my recipe queue, and keep the rust off of my backpacking gear.

So, I deduced that it would be in my best interest to look at the “’15” years of the last three centuries in order to to get a glimpse of what my future may hold. What has humanity been able to accomplish in 1915, 1815, 1715? Here are a few highlights:

1915: The neon tube light (think NYC and Vegas) was patented, Alexander Graham Bell made the first transcontinental phone call from New York to San Francisco, and Edouarde Fabre won the Boston Marathon in 2:31:41.2.

1815: The world’s first commercial cheese factory was established in Switzerland (my personal favorite), and natural gas was discovered in the U.S.

1715: The total eclipse solar phenomenon was observed for the first time, and the French invented the folding umbrella.

My hypothesis? Several things. First, big things can happen in a year. Secondly, those big things could impact your life, and others, for years to come. And thirdly, the accomplishments above show us that successful endeavors have similar characteristics, themes, and disciplines that allow them to be achieved and sustained. Here are five filters that I will be running my 2015 goals through, and that we believe will assist you in choosing quality resolutions yourself.

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Runner vs. Nature: Mountains

December 23rd, 2014

If you’re a regular on our blog, you are well aware that a runner vs. nature post means that we will be offering helpful tips about how runners can best interact with some form of wildlife or force of nature. Sometimes our interactions are precarious and other times they are awe-inspiring, but they are always memorable because we as humans are intrinsically partnered with the world around us.

For this particular post, I’ve decided to draw inspiration and advice about Mother Nature from Mother Nature. My source? The mountain goat. This valiant, stately mammal can accomplish things on the face of a mountain that humans could only dream of doing. Scaling up, and descending down, steep and rocky terrain, surviving with ease at staggering altitudes, and leaping up to 12 feet in a single bound are abilities that would make our lives much simpler (and way more fun!). But alas, we are not the mountain goat. Our response? We humbly acknowledge our limitations, and press on into the challenges it presents. The mountain goat has adapted and thrived in its natural habitat. While humans have also learned how to survive the dangers of mountain running, it has been a long road of discovery. Follow us as we take a look at the majestic mountain and (hopefully) find something useful to take with you on your next run.

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Finish Line Friday: Push Yourself

December 12th, 2014

Our goal is to help inspire you to keep going, train harder, dig a little deeper and cross the finish line. For this week’s FLF, Erik will be sharing his personal sources of inspiration.

Erik

Erik Dube

Current Position: I’ve worked at Running Warehouse for the past 7.5 years and am currently a footwear buyer.

Favorite Part of the Job: The best part of this job is seeing and testing all of the latest footwear before it arrives on the shelves.

Running Background: I’ve been a runner for 27 years. I ran cross country and track & field in high school and college. Right after college, I switched to trail ultras and have been doing that for the past 16 years. I also had the opportunity to coach at the high school level for 8 years.

What inspires you?
I can’t point to a single person who inspires me the most but it is a collection of people, events, and experiences over many years. I’ve come into contact with great people and have witnessed some extraordinary races over the past couple of decades. Combine those events along with the opportunity to run on scenic trails around the country and there is no lack of motivation to get out and push myself with training on a daily basis.

Erik Dube getting ready to cross the finish line of the Tahoe Rim Trail 100 miler in 2011.

Tahoe Rim Trail 100 miler, 2011

What are you training for now?
I just won a lottery spot into the 2015 Western States 100. It will be my 6th trip from Squaw Valley to Auburn. I hope to build on my streak of five sub-24 performances with a solid performance in June. Everything over the next six months will build to that race. The next race on my list is the Sean O’Brien 50k down in Malibu in February. I’m looking to a solid start to my 2015 schedule. I’m also hoping to get picked in the February lottery for the Wasatch 100 that takes place in September.

What do you refuel with post workout?
For post workout refueling I don’t have a strict routine. I try to get hydrated and get some nutrition quickly. After longer runs (above 15 miles) I usually make a smoothie with some Fluid Recovery Drink, Chocolate Wave.

Thanks, Erik!

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Running Alone or Running with Others

December 2nd, 2014

Running is like shopping. Not because it is socially acceptable to run down the aisles of your local Costco at a 7 minute pace (although a small percentage of you with shopping phobias wish that were the case). Not because dodging other Black Friday bargain-hunters can feel like the first five minutes of a marathon. And not because glancing at your receipt after checkout conjures up similar feelings of either horror or relief, as does looking at your watch when you cross the finish line.

No, running is like shopping because of the internal battle we all face when our friend, partner, or sweet 75 year-old neighbor asks us, “Would you like some company at the store today?”. We, as runners, are all faced with a similar dilemma throughout the entirety of our running careers. Do I run solo, or do I log my miles with a group? You most likely have some sort of leaning in one direction or the other. The question is – have you taken time to consider both sides?

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Running Chiropractor Talks Injury Prevention

August 15th, 2014

Dr. Dubrul crossing the finish line at Western States

Not every chiropractor uses their spare time to train for 100-mile races. In San Luis Obispo, the running community is fortunate to have a chiropractor with over 20 years of chiropractic experience that also knows what it takes to push his own body to the limit.

Running Warehouse caught up with Dr. Scott Dubrul asked him a few questions about chiropractic care for runners.

Running Warehouse: Where should Chiropractic care fit into a runner’s injury prevention and recovery? What are the key attributes to chiropractic care that separates the practice from other medical specialists or fitness professionals?

Scott Dubrul: Chiropractic care fits well in treating specific injuries as well as maintaining a healthy locomotion system. Chiropractic care should be sought out initially for evaluation of the spine, hips, knees and feet. If any areas are fixed and not moving properly, Chiropractic adjustments of those areas will restore motion and have them function properly.

Beyond the initial visit Chiropractic for runners is a “whole system” care. Chiropractic care works best in tandem with continual holistic health practices outside of the office visits. This includes making sure that other health specialists and any running coaches are complimenting the chiropractic care and advice. Of course, there are some chiropractors that are more specialized as far as sports go, so it is important to make sure the chiropractor chosen fits the runner’s needs.

Dr. Scott Dubrul: The Ultra Chiropractor

RW: Not everyone has access to medical specialists that also run and can relate to runners. This may lead to the dreaded “take time off running” recommendation and sometimes a non-runner may not appreciate that some injuries can be trained through if done with care. How do you suggest runners approach the topic without blatantly ignoring their medical practitioner?

SD: My suggestion to runners is to continue their activity while keeping me abreast of how they are feeling in regards to their injury. If they are able to continue during treatment with no increase in pain, they are usually good. I rarely have my patients take too much time off unless the injury is not healing and the activity makes it worse. All that said, it is important to have a good dialogue with your health care professional.

RW: How has your own running helped you with your chiropractic work? How has your work as a chiropractor and your training as a doctor helped you in your own running?

SD: I would say my own running has really helped me to know what can be run through and what should be an injury that requires time off running. In my experience, it is absolutely vital to do regular work on your own body in the form of core exercises, self-massage and stretching. A good regimen can stave off injury and keep you supple and ready to run. I have also learned that for me, if I have pain that doesn’t get worse when I run, I am better served to keep running.

Finally, I have learned that I cannot be my own doctor in every sense; so I work with other chiropractors, massage therapists, trainers and physical therapists regularly. Even with all my knowledge, I will still try to “fix” my own issues with no luck, only to have another professional work on me and fix me up quickly!

Running Warehouse would like to thank Dr. Dubrul for taking time to speak with us and offer his insights to runners. For more information regarding Dr. Dubrul’s practice, chiropractic care and injury prevention, visit: http://www.powersourcechiropractic.com/services/chiropractic-care/

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Q&A with Stephanie Nunes: A Look at Gluten-free Diets for Runners

July 3rd, 2014

Stephanie Nunes talks Nutrition

Stephanie Nunes of Rock Solid Nutrition is a San Luis Obispo native and Running Warehouse friend. She is a registered dietitian (RD) with over 15 years of experience and is certified as a Specialist in Sports Dietetics (CSSD) that has helped countless athletes, elite and beginner alike, achieve their goals.

Today she will be answering some nutrition questions that have become popular of late. Particularly, we will be discussing food allergies. Given the ever-expanding gluten-free section at many grocery stores and a strong push by many across the world to see more ingredients listed on restaurant menus, this surely a popular topic at the moment.

Read more…

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Runner vs. Nature: Mosquitoes Suck

June 11th, 2014

Don't Get Bit (image: Total Mosquito Control)

Vampire talk seems to have died down since the last of the Twilight films came out in 2012 but mosquitoes never got the memo that sucking blood isn’t cool anymore. With summer around the corner and pools of standing water growing more numerous and voluminous, the mosquitoes are coming. For those of us that appreciate the outdoors, these unwanted guests are most problematic.

Here’s the bad news: mosquitoes are attracted to movement, body heat, lactic acid and carbon dioxide. So unless you know how to run with out moving, sweating or breathing, mosquitoes will find you. Mosquitoes are most active at dawn and dusk, which also happen to be the only bearable times to run between the months of June and September in much of the northern hemisphere. Some mosquitoes may be developing immunity to repellants and mosquitoes are more attracted to beer drinkers.

Worst of all they carry deadly diseases that ruin lives and slow economies around the world. Malaria alone infects north of 200 million people per year and the distance runner meccas Ethiopia and Kenya are some of the worst affected. Read more…

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Caffeine and Running – A Good Boost?

October 10th, 2013

Coffee, energy shots, energy drinks, sodas, tea…the list of products with caffeine is pretty close to infinite at this point. The question for runners is how caffeine affects our training and our race day performance. Is it a useful stimulant that can improve your running experience? Does it actually work to keep fatigue at bay?

The Good

The consensus is that caffeine can positively impact athletic performance in many ways. The stimulant increases the production of both dopamine and adrenaline, which can affect performance in runners by increasing endurance and attentiveness. Research has also confirmed that caffeine can:

  • Increase the strength of muscle contractions and the amount of work performed during exercise
  • Cause the muscles to use fat – not glycogen stores – as fuel, which increases stamina
  • Release calcium stored within muscles, which increases speed and aids endurance
  • Make you feel that you aren’t working as hard, so you can run longer without feeling exhausted

The Bad

Should all runners consume caffeine before and during their runs? Not necessarily. Every runner will have a different opinion about how caffeine affects their performance and how they feel with caffeine in their system. Caffeine can cause headaches, intestinal distress and good old fashioned jitteriness for runners who aren’t used to it. And of course, runners with heart conditions or high blood pressure may be told by their doctor to stay away from caffeine.

The Sources

If you find that caffeine improves your performance, you can get your fix in many of the nutritional products we carry at the ‘House. For easy reference, here’s a complete list of the gels, bars and chews we carry that contain caffeine. For reference, a cup of coffee typically contains about 100mg of caffeine.

Energy Gels
2nd Surge Ultra Energy Gel (100mg caffeine)
Clif Shot Energy Gel (0-100mg caffeine depending on flavor)
Hammer Gel (0-50mg caffeine depending on flavor)
PowerBar Gel (0-50mg caffeine depending on flavor)
GU Energy Gel (0-40mg caffeine depending on flavor)
Accel Gel (0-40mg caffeine depending on flavor)
GU Roctane Energy Gel (0-35mg caffeine depending on flavor)
Honey Stinger Classic Energy Gel (0-32mg caffeine depending on flavor)
VFuel (10mg caffeine)

Energy Chews
PowerBar Gel Blasts (0-75mg caffeine depending on flavor)
Jelly Belly Extreme Sport Beans (50mg caffeine)
Clif Shot Bloks (0-50mg caffeine depending on flavor)
GU Chomps (0-40mg caffeine depending on flavor)
Honey Stinger Energy Chews (0-32mg caffeine depending on flavor)
Hammer Perpetuem Solids (0-10mg caffeine depending on flavor)

Energy Bars
Clif Bar (0-50mg caffeine depending on flavor)

What do you think? Does caffeine enhance your running performance? Do you have a favorite way of getting your caffeine?

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