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Archive for the ‘Run Training’ Category

7 Hot Weather Running Safety Tips

May 21st, 2013

Some runners like it hot. And we’ve got to agree, there’s a lot to enjoy when hitting the dirt or the pavement on a nice toasty day. But if it’s really hot outside, it’s important to take a few extra precautions. Take a look at our top tips for running safely in hot temps.

1. Hydrate Pre-Run

If you’re already a little dehydrated when you head out the door for a run, you’re risking severe dehydration and heat exhaustion – especially on a hot day. Many runners will drink at least 16 ounces of fluid (either water or a drink mix) about two hours prior to heading out into blazing temp, and follow it up with another 8-16 ounces 15 minutes before starting their workout.

2. Protect Yourself from UV Rays

Running in the sun’s rays for a short period of time nets you a little Vitamin D, but there can be too much of a good thing. Protect your skin from damaging UV rays with clothing that has UPF protection (like the Asics ARD Singlet or a pair of arm coolers), running sunglasses and a quality sunscreen. Also, seek out as much shade as you can while you’re out.

3. Bring Fluid with You

If you plan to be out for more than 20 or 30 minutes when the weather’s scorching, it’s a good idea to bring hydration. Your hydration needs during your run will depend on how much you sweat and how long you’ll be out running. In hotter temps it’s a good idea to drink about five to eight ounces of water (that’s one or two big thirsty sips) every fifteen minutes or so. Read more…

Alice Run Training , , , ,

Planning Meals Before Race Day

May 20th, 2013

The phrase ‘pre-race fuel’ makes most runners think of one thing: pasta. Delicious bowls of steamy, noodle-y carbohydrate goodness to fuel your muscles through your half or full marathon. Consuming carbs is important in the days leading up to a distance race, but you certainly don’t have to eat pasta every night. Here are a few things to keep in mind when you’re preparing your meals the week of your race.

Eat Carbs

When you eat a very carbohydrate-rich meal, the majority of the carbs are stored as glycogen in your liver for later use. When you’re working out (or pushing through your mileage on race day), your body is able to pull energy from your glycogen stores to keep you going. Glycogen is perhaps the easiest form of stored energy for your body to access.

Try to select carbohydrate options that are low in fiber, because high amounts of fiber can cause digestive problems for many athletes. Prior to a race, opt for white rice instead of brown, and save the whole wheat pasta for a post-race meal. Tired of the same old pasta? Try one of these low-fiber carb options for race week: white rice, bananas, yogurt, peeled white potatoes, white bread or white flour English muffins.

Eat Protein

Make sure that you get plenty of protein pre-race. Protein will allow your muscles to effectively recover after your training sessions so that you’re ready on race day. It’s particularly important to eat a protein-rich meal within an hour following a strength training session, so that your body has fuel to rebuild. Opt for lean sources of protein, like chicken breast. Here are a few of our faves: tilapia, turkey breast, tofu and eggs.

Eat Familiar Foods

The days before a race are not the time to experiment with new and exciting foods. Stick to foods that you know will make you feel great. Some runners feel fantastic the day after a big pasta feed, while it leaves others feeling bloated and sluggish. Play around with your diet (when you’re not prepping for a race) to figure out what foods and meals make you feel and perform the best.

Eat Enough

While you don’t want to gain weight, the days before a race are not the time to try to lose a few pounds. Make sure that you’re getting enough calories so that your body has plenty of fuel. Making sure that you’re getting plenty to eat before your race will help ensure that your body has energy to charge through the finish line. If you feel like you’re having a hard time getting enough calories to compensate for the mileage you’re logging, try snacking on healthy, calorie-dense foods like raw nuts and full fat Greek yogurt throughout the day.

Alice Run Training , , ,

VFuel 30 Day Trial

May 15th, 2013

We’re stoked to welcome a new energy gel brand to our all-star lineup. VFuel Energy Gel (formerly ViFuel Energy Gel) is carefully formulated to help endurance runners avoid the performance-crushing sugar crash and maintain stable energy levels.

The gel uses less sugar than many other gels to help provide stable energy. VFuel also uses significantly less sodium than many other energy gel formulations, so you might want to try an electrolyte supplement with your VFuel.

The gel was developed by endurance runners from Colorado, so we know they’re well-versed in endurance trail running, but we wanted to take the gel for a test ride ourselves. We had two of our own endurance trail runners, Erik and Tera, use VFuel exclusively for an entire month. Here’s what they had to say:

RW: What did an average training week look like for you when you were testing VFuel?

Erik (E): I was running about 55-60 miles a week with a lot of five to eight mile runs, two longer runs of 12-18 miles, and one up-tempo run.

Tera (T): I was running about 70 miles a week on average around the buildup to a 50-mile race. I didn’t do any speed work, just long runs building mileage.

RW: How’d you like the taste of VFuel?

T: I found it to be very palatable during a run. It has a very plain flavor, not highly sweet. It has a bit of a bitter aftertaste if I’m taking it before a run, but I didn’t even notice it on the run.

E: Compared to the Clif Vanilla and Clif Cherry Chocolate that I typically use, VFuel had a little edge to it on the aftertaste. It doesn’t have that same sweetness, and it tastes very clean.

RW: How did the gel settle in your stomach?

Read more…

Alice Run Training, Running Accessories , , ,

Energy Chew Comparison Test

May 10th, 2013

The right energy chew can make your run training even more enjoyable and effective. But it’s pretty tough to know what flavors and brands you’ll like best if you just look at our website. That’s where the whole idea of an energy chew comparison test came from.

We had almost 20 staffers test our top-selling flavors in each energy chew we carry to see how they rank when it comes to aspects including firmness, sweetness, saltiness and flavor enjoyment. You can shop all energy chews here, and check out our findings below.

Firmness

Our tasters found that many of the chews sampled were quite firm, with Jelly Belly Sport Beans and Extreme Sport Beans offering the firmest texture and Honey Stinger Organic Energy Chews offering the most squishy texture.

Sweetness

In addition to being softies, the Honey Stinger Organic chews are also the sweetest tasting of the energy chews we tested. GU Chomps were the least sweet tasting. Interestingly, our testers found the Extreme Sport Beans less sweet than regular Sport Beans. This isn’t because of the addition of caffeine – the Extreme Sport Beans Assorted flavor has a slightly more mellow mix (Pomegranate, Cherry and Watermelon) compared to the regular Assorted flavor (Berry, Fruit Punch, Lemon/Lime and Orange).

Saltiness

Our testers found that none of the energy chews sampled had an overwhelmingly salty flavor, but Jelly Belly Sport Beans were ranked as tasting the saltiest. Honey Stinger and Clif Shot Bloks tied as the least salty of the bunch, but if you happen to be a salt fanatic in search of electrolytes, keep an eye out for the Clif Shot Bloks Margarita Flavor, which has 210mg of sodium per serving compared to 70mg in their other flavors.

Enjoyment of Flavor

This is where it really gets personal, and our results were quite scattered in this category. Turns out, our testers are a very opinionated bunch, and their opinions about which flavor is most enjoyable were all over the map. So it looks like we’ve utterly failed in our quest to guide our readers toward the perfect flavor sensation.

However, many testers commented that overall, the flavors were what they expected based on the flavor names. So if you tend to like strawberry or lemon, for example, there’s a good chance you’ll enjoy these flavors of energy chews. If you want to experiment with flavors, the variety packs from Jelly Belly and Clif might be the way to go before diving in to get a 12, 18 or 24 pack of any single flavor.

Alice Run Training , , , , , ,

Should You Add Sprinting to Your Training?

May 7th, 2013

Most distance runners throw a little speedwork into their weekly grind every now and then to break up the long miles and boost their heart rate. Typical speed workouts include mile repeats, steady state tempos, fartleks, ladders, in n’ outs, or just a quicker pace run of the usual course.

But if you really want to improve your technique, not to mention your race times, it may be time to rethink your list of workouts and learn to run like a sprinter.

Benefits of Sprinting

Intense, short-repetition running puts stresses on the body to produce energy anaerobically. This way, when your aerobic ability has been tapped, you can dig deep and convert lactate into speed and keep pushing when others are hitting a wall.

In addition, sprinting can teach you to run faster while remaining relaxed. If you are more relaxed, you will be running more economically. Speed sessions are also a great time to work on technique. When moving at race pace, or faster, you recruit the exact muscle fibers you need for economical running.

What to Expect

Since the anaerobic system is being taxed during sprints, you won’t get the classic burning lung exhaustion more common in longer aerobic workouts. Instead, your lungs might feel great but your body feels like it is failing you. The point is to move fast without your form falling apart.

It’s really important to take the time for a full recovery in between reps. This can vary from runner to runner, but a good rule is you should feel you could perform the next interval as well as the previous one. Always be aware of the rest you take. Taking too much time off can cause the body to cool down and you don’t want to enter the rep with cold muscles.

Summing Up

Adding a speed workout once a week can break the monotony of intense mileage training, improve running economy, better your form, and give you the speed to kick down your opponents on race day.

In the coming weeks, we’ll post some suggested drills and workouts on incorporating sprints into your routine from Joe Rubio, coach extraordinaire and co-owner here at Running Warehouse.

Matt Run Training , ,

Understanding Supination

April 30th, 2013

When you shop for running shoes, it’s common to hear about pronation support, but what if you’re a supinator? Since less than 5% of runners supinate, the topic is frequently neglected. If you’ve been feeling like the redheaded stepchild when you shop for running shoes, we’re here to help. Here are the basics on what supination is, how it affects your running and how it should impact your running shoe choice.

What Is Supination?

Supination, sometimes called underpronation, means that when you run your foot remains planted on the lateral side (the outside edge) for the duration of time while the shoe is on the ground. In the typical heel-to-toe foot strike transition, the foot supinates prior to ground contact, pronates (rolls inward) after ground contact to absorb much of the impact, and supinates again at toe-off.

Runners with very high, inflexible arches frequently supinate. To determine if you pronate, take a look at the bottom of a pair of running shoes after you’ve put a few hundred miles on them. If the midfoot of the shoe is worn primarily on the outside edge, then you might be a supinator. We can also help you complete an online gait analysis to determine whether or not you supinate. Read more…

Alice Run Training, Running Shoes , , , ,

Pre-Race Fuel Recipe from Oiselle

April 19th, 2013

The search for the perfect pre-race fuel never ends for a competitive runner. The starting point is easy, sure. You know you want carbs, and plenty of ‘em. But in what form, and with what accompaniments?

Many of the runners here at the RW offices have enjoyed their share of pre-race pasta feeds, but sometimes the plain old pasta thing gets a little stale. That’s why we were tempted to try the tasty Spaghetti Bolognese recipe that we found over on the Oiselle blog. Carrots in pasta? Count us in. The dish looks… scrumptious.

Take this recipe for a spin and tell us how it turns out for you!

Alice Run Training, Running Sport , , ,

5 Tips to Fit Run Training into Your Schedule

March 18th, 2013

The alarm goes off like a starting gun in the morning, and the rest of the day looks something like this: Wake kids up. Shower. Wake kids up – again. Breakfast. Schlepping to school. Work. Kids to music/sports practice. Grocery shopping. Pick kids up from practice. Home. Homework. Dinner. Kids ready for bed. Wash dishes. Clean kitchen. Glass of wine (seriously). So how do you fit a consistent running program into a schedule that busy? We’ll show you!

1. Workout Early

If you workout in the a.m., you’ll be far more likely to actually run because nothing else will have time to get in the way of your training session. So when your alarm goes off, pretend it actually is the starting gun. Grab a quick bite to eat (like a small banana with a smear of peanut butter, or half a bagel with a little cream cheese) if you feel like you need it, and then lace up and head out the door. Bonus? You’ll already be humming with that post-run glow before most people have even opened their eyes for the day.

2. Include Your Family

If you have children, try running with your kids. It will help you fit your workout in, model a healthy lifestyle and give you an opportunity for some quality family time. Running with little ones can be a great way to bond, and there’s a way to share running with children of all ages. If you don’t have kids, try running with roommates or your significant other. Combining workout time with quality time with loved ones can help you make the most of a busy schedule.

Read more…

Alice Run Training, Women's Running , , , ,

Garmin $50 Rebate Is Back!

March 15th, 2013

If you’re a student athlete or school coach, 2013 is your year to get GPS-connected for improved training performance. Garmin’s going to help you do it with a $50 rebate offer on top-selling models. Until October 31, 2013, this leading GPS running watch maker is offering student athletes and school coaches a $50 mail-in rebate for the Forerunner 210 and Forerunner 610.

How do you get the rebate? All you have to do is purchase an eligible model from us and send in the Garmin Mail-In Rebate Form along with the product UPC barcode and copies of your receipt and student/school ID. It’s that simple to get a little extra cash in your pocket.

Rebate Model Rundown

Forerunner 210: The 210 is one of Garmin’s most affordable, easy-to-use GPS watches. It’s available on its own, with a heart rate monitor, or with a heart rate monitor and foot pod bundle. Big features include:

  • GPS with HotFix to sync up with the satellite quickly
  • Live pace and distance data with totals when your finish your run
  • Custom Interval Training for speed work
  • 1,000-Lap memory
  • Ability to compare and analyze data with Garmin Connect and Garmin Training Center

Forerunner 610: In addition to all the features of the 210, the Forerunner 610 adds these key features:

  • Touchscreen interface that works when wet or when wearing gloves
  • Vibration alerts for time, distance, and run/walk breaks
  • Virtual Racer to compete against previous course PR’s
  • Virtual Partner feature to train alongside a digital person
  • Auto Pause stops/starts timer for you based on speed
  • Wireless data transfer to your computer with included ANT+ Stick

Matt Run Training, Running Accessories , , , ,

Nutrition for Endurance Runners

March 14th, 2013

What's on Your Training Table?

Many ravenous endurance runners end up on the ‘see food’ diet: when they see food, they eat it. If you’re logging lots of mileage, it is important for your diet to include plenty of calories, but what those calories are and when you eat them can significantly affect your performance.

How much do you need?

First it’s important to figure out approximately how many calories you need each day. Each person’s calorie needs are different, based on height, weight, age and activity level. As a good starting point, figure out your Basal Metabolic Rate (the number of calories your body burns during a day of rest) using a BMR Calculator.

You can then use the Harris Benedict Formula to approximate your additional calorie needs based on your activity level. If you’re not sure how many calories you’re currently consuming, enter your food intake for a couple of randomly chosen average days on a food calculator program like FitDay to get a ballpark number. Now that you know how many calories you need, let’s take a look at where those calories should come from – and when you should eat them for optimal performance.

Carbohydrates

If you’re engaging in endurance running (read: your workouts are typically 40 minutes or longer, and at least 95% of your effort is aerobic), then you’ll need ample carbs to fuel your muscles as you burn sugars for fuel. Many runners think of pasta as a cornerstone of the runner’s diet, but there are plenty of other healthy carb sources that are worth a look. A few of our favorites are oatmeal, quinoa and sweet potatoes.

Read more…

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