Wednesday, June 29, 2016

If you’re training for a big race, try one of these products or methods

I’m training for my first marathon this summer. What are your thoughts on the best way to carry fluid?

You’re wise to plan ahead. Hydration and proper fueling are key to successful training, and finding a comfortable strategy will help you complete your long runs. These days, there are a variety of ways to carry (or not have to carry) your fluids. Here are some of my go-to products and methods. Experiment to find what works best for you.

Pros: Most purpose-made running water bottles are ergonomically moulded to fit your hand and hold up to 500ml of fluid. A bottle like this is the way to go if you hate carrying anything around your waist or on your back, for shorter long runs or for runs where you can fill up along the way.

Cons: They can weigh up to a kilogram when full, and having that weight swing at the end of your arm thousands of times during a run can create muscle irritation and alignment issues in your upper body. Carrying only one bottle limits you to one type of fluid at a time.

Pros: Belts allow for hands-free running, accommodate a variety of fluids (so you can put water in some and sports drinks in the others), and include two to four eight- or 10-ounce bottles. There is an extra pocket to store fuel and keys. It is sized and made of flexible material for comfort and easier breathing. The weight is well balanced over your hips, which provides a more stable load on your body (versus when you’re carrying a bottle).

Cons: Some runners are uncomfortable carrying anything on their waists. The belt can move if it doesn’t fit well - make sure to buy tight, as the weight of the fluid will pull it down. It takes more time to refill multiple bottles. Although you can carry more at a time with a belt, you still need to plan to refill on the longest training runs.

Pros: Hydration packs are the way to go if you want to run for hours and not worry about refilling. They commonly include 1.5- to two-litre bladders (50 to 70 ounces) and several easy-access pockets for on-the-run fuelling. They offer a bounce-free, hands-free, ergonomic way to carry your fluid and fuel during long training runs. It is a comfortable alternative for those who don't like wearing belts or carrying bottles.

Cons: Two litres of fluid alone weighs in at 4.4 pounds - the weight of the pack will cause you to expend more energy per mile. Because there is space in the pack, there is a risk to carry too many items, which can add more needless weight. Using a bladder can make it more difficult to gauge how much fluid you’re consuming because it’s out of sight.

Pros: By planning your route around an “aid station” (with a cooler full of fluids, sunscreen and whatever else you might want on your porch, in your car or stashed along a route), you needn’t carry anything. For long, hot, runs I plan my course and plant my aid station at the trailhead of a shaded out and back trail. It allows me to adjust the length of my loops, refuel regularly with cold fluids, and break up the mileage into smaller pieces.

Cons: You might need to run a fairly short loop or out-and-back on hot days. It can be tempting to quit a challenging run early if you’re continuously circling back to your house or car.

Pros: If you plan a route with ample water fountains, all you need to carry is your fuel. If you plan a route with shops along the way where you can buy water, sports drink, or snacks, you can just carry cash.

Cons: If the fountains aren't working or the stores are closed, you’re stuck without fluids. Stopping to buy something might delay your run longer than other methods, and the store may not carry (or may be out of) your favorite fuel.

Example :


Friday, June 10, 2016

6 thoughts and tips from longest training run

6 thoughts and tips from longest training run

When the training plan hits the calendar, you may take note of the weekend when the longest training run appears. For months prior, you work up to the mileage of that longest run, preparing your legs for the journey ahead. And when that longest training run finally appears, a few thoughts may go through your head. Let’s take a look!

1. “Twenty miles is a long way.”

Whatever your longest run for your training cycle will be, there is no doubt it may seem a little daunting. An easy way to help with the distance is to find a new route. This offers new scenery, different elevations, and can help make those miles go by a little faster. It doesn’t have to be brand new, just a place that you haven’t run in a while.

2. “There’s my groove! Hitting my goal will happen after all!”

During your longest training run, there is a section where everything seems to be clicking. It may be toward the beginning (which is more likely) or it may even be at the end when you know the run is almost over. Capture what is working! Did you fuel really well? Are you wearing something, like a visor or compression socks, that is really helping? Is your posture on point? Take a quick overview of your running and determine what may be contributing to the feeling of success.

3. “I sure hope the weather cooperates on race day.”

We all hope for those perfect weather conditions come race day. Since we cannot control the weather, no matter how hard we try, prepare for anything. The weather may not be ideal during some of your training runs, so take the opportunity to run in a variety of conditions. A strong wind, rain and heat may be a possibility on race day, so be prepared!

4. “Wait – I have to run 6.2 more miles on race day?”

There comes a point during the longest training run when you realize you have to run miles beyond the amount you just ran. While many say adrenaline can pull you through, it’s also important to have your mental game on point. Work on some powerful mantras to chant, create a playlist that will include songs to keep your legs moving and even make sure spectators are at key places on the course. A strong mental game can make a huge difference.

5. “I cannot wait to run shorter distances again.”

There comes a point during the longest run where you may become tired of spending hours upon hours on the road. Pay close attention to the race distances you add to the calendar each year, because there are times where you just need a break. Even the elite athletes only put one or two marathons on their calendars each year, so it is absolutely fine to focus on shorter distances as well! It may even be time to hang up the racing shoes and just plain run for fun.
6. “I just ran 20 miles – I am a rockstar!”
Let’s be honest, when you finish that longest training run, you feel pretty awesome. Maybe it wasn’t the pace you wanted. Maybe your fueling strategy wasn’t great. No matter what, you just conquered a huge milestone. And even better, it means it’s time to taper and really focus on the race ahead!
About Megan Biller
Megan is a writer and runner who has completed multiple 5K, 10K, half marathon, 25K and marathon races, including the multi-day Dopey Challenge. She loves to run local races in her home state of Michigan, yet also enjoys the magic of runDisney events.

by blog brooks

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Why Do Carbs Improve Marathon Runners' Performance?

Runners training for the Half marathon and Marathon are likely gulping down carbohydrates before the big race in hopes of improving their performance and endurance.

And these trained athletes know what they're doing. Carbohydrates are sugar-based molecules, and the body can use some of them to produce glucose. Glucose becomes stored in the liver and muscles as glycogen, molecules that function as long-term energy storage that can be tapped into when needed (such as during a lengthy run).

The amount of carbohydrates consumed corresponds with how much glycogen is stored in the body. Translation for marathoners: Stock up on the carbs so you can make it to the finish line.

Overall performance

Eating carbohydrates prior to a race improves a runner's endurance , speed, energy and alertness.

We have numerous studies showing that a high carbohydrate intake allows you to train harder, reduce symptoms of overtraining, prevent reductions in immune function and improve endurance performance. We have also repeatedly shown that carbohydrate intake during prolonged exercise can improve exercise performance.

Before, during and after

Consuming carbohydrates can also improve performance if ingested before, during or after a workout session. For example, eating carbohydrates before exercise will give a person a boost in glycogen stored in their muscles , enabling them to work out for longer.

Eating carbohydrates while they exercise will provide them with a supply of glucose in their blood, which will serve as extra fuel and give them additional energy . Even eating carbohydrates after a workout is beneficial, as it has been shown to restore glycogen levels that were depleted during a workout and help muscles better recover.

In fact, a study published in the February 2004 edition of the Journal of Applied Physiology suggested post-workout carbohydrate intake contributes to muscle preservation and strengthening. Researchers from the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, Texas, found that eating 100 grams of carbohydrates after strength training improved the condition and retention of muscle mass.