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Fall/Winter Marathon and Half Marathon Training

Where did the time go?!

Wasn’t July 4th just last weekend? Somehow Labor Day is just a week away!  That means summer is starting to wind down. The kids are back in school, the temperatures are falling (well maybe- jury is still out on that!), and more free time is to be had.  What better way to spend some of that extra time than by doing something good for YOU and start working towards a fall goal?

Maybe you’ve had your eye on a fall race and have kept up some training over the summer.  Or maybe your training got away from you over the last 2 months, and now you have some free time to start running again!  Whatever the case may be, NOW is the time to commit to a goal and begin working towards it!

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Beginning this fall, I will be offering a small training group for those interested in running the Kiawah Half Marathon and Charleston Half and Full Marathons!  This is a great opportunity to train with someone who’s raced the courses before and familiar with race-day logistics, course layout, and support along the route.  It’s also good for those who need a bit of accountability to stay on track!  Training sessions will kick-off September 18th for Kiawah (Half) and  October 23rd for Charleston (Half and Full).  There will be weekly long-runs and one additional group session during the week.  The rest of the time, you will be responsible for keeping up with training on your own time.

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Post-Charleston Half marathon 2015! Don’t mind a PR for a race used as “training” for my upcoming full marathon!

In addition to planning your training, each week I will provide a short information session on a different topic related to running.  Nothing crazy- 15-20mins tops- prior to the start of our workout.  My goal is to impart key training information to you to supplement your training and allow you to be as successful as possible!

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Myself and athlete Caroline after she finished Kiawah Full 2017!

Group size will be small, so sign up soon for a spot!  This will allow more one-on-one interaction with each participant to insure best success possible.

Ready to go?  Email me at holycityrunning@gmail.com to get started!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Myself and athlete Caroline after she finished Kiawah Full 2017!

 

Simple Summer Running Tips

In case y’all weren’t aware, it’s a bit warm outside!  Summers in the South can be extraordinarily brutal, and many people use this time to take a break or stop running all together.  However, for many runners, summer means training for fall races.  It can be challenging for many, especially newer runners, to train properly and safely during the summer months.  But running in the heat of the summer can be done- you just need to be smart about it!

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First of all, understand that you’re body is working harder in hotter temperatures than it is in cooler temperatures.  The body likes homeostasis.  It maintains homeostasis by regulating different systems to help keep the body’s internal temperature a steady 98.6*.  When outside temperatures rise, the body has to utilize more stored energy to activate the systems needed to keep the inside temperature down.  That’s just at rest- now add in the fact that you are exercising, and, by default, increasing your body temperature.  Now you’re asking even more of your body to keep things stable!  That’s MORE stored energy that your body needs just to keep you cool on the inside, and LESS energy available to support the demands of your exercise.  It’s because of this that we find running in the heat at a certain pace to feel much harder than if temperatures were 20* or 30* cooler.

In the southeast we not only have to learn to deal with heat, but, more importantly, the humidity!  Humidity is the moisture level in the air.  There’s always some level of humidity, no matter where you are.  Summer months mean higher humidity levels more often, and they tend to be higher in the morning hours than in the evening.  When the humidity level is high, the sweat your body exudes has nowhere to evaporate to since the air is already saturated with moisture.  Thus the sweat will stick around on your skin and on your clothes (that’s why your clothes look sopping wet after a short run on a humid day!)  This problematic because when that moisture clings to your clothes and skin, it creates a barrier that traps heat inside the body.  The body now has to work even harder to release heat and overcome that barrier trapping heat inside.

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So what can a runner do to stay safe this summer?  First of all, stay hydrated!  Being properly hydrated allows blood to be thin enough to travel quickly throughout the body.  This in turn allows all the good stuff in the blood, including oxygen, to get to organs quickly. Blood also carries that excess heat towards the skin where it’s lost as sweat.  Proper hydration allows our cells to work properly.  Stored energy is broken down into usable forms within the cells of our muscles, so it’s therefor important for there to be proper hydration to allow for good cellular function.  Hydration also allows for proper regulation of electrolyte balance.  An imbalance in electrolytes can cause dizziness, arrhythmias, and lead to more serious medical complications.   Finally, hydration helps to keep the internal body temperature down, thereby reducing the amount of energy needed to feed those regulatory systems.  How do you know if you’re getting enough water in?  Next time you visit the bathroom, take a look at the color of your urine (gross, I know- but there’s good information there!)  Ideally the color should be like a light lemonade, or pale yellow.  Anything darker means you’re not taking in enough water, so go drink up!

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  • Try to run at times when the sun is not at it’s peak height in the sky.  That would mean early morning or later in the evening/night.  Keep in mind humidity tends to be greater in the morning!  Temperatures tend to be less in the early pre-dawn hours and once the sun goes down in the evening, so try to run at those times if possible.

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  • Use electrolyte replacement supplements.  Brands like Nuun and Skratch make great tasting supplements that include minerals like sodium, potassium, magnesium, and calcium.  Some also have a bit of caffeine for an extra energy boost.  Drop a tablet or packet in your water bottle and have access to it throughout your run or afterwards when you’re finished!

  • Find shady routes, or routes close to water, if possible.  Shade can provide nice relief from the glaring sun.  Bodies of water often also have a breeze to them from time to time.  In this area, running on the beach roads (not necessarily on the sand) can offer a nice sea breeze in the summer months.  Temperatures also tend to be cooler along the coastline due to the cooling effects of the ocean.

 

  • Wear clothes with moisture-wicking material and in light colors The fibers in these clothes are actually designed to wick moisture away from your skin and on to the outside of the garment, thus keeping your skin dry.  That moisture is then evaporated into the air and you’re left with a dry (ish) shirt!  Socks with this type of material are extremely important to wear as we lose a lot of sweat in the feet.  Hats or visors with wicking material or vents/mesh will protect your eyes and face from the sun while still allowing for heat to escape out through the head.  Lighter colors don’t retain heat as much as darker colors do, so opt for light shades!

 

  • Take it easy, and run by feel! Try to run most of your runs by how you feel, and don’t worry too much about your pace.  It can be very discouraging to see you ran slower than what you felt like, so don’t do it too often.  If you’re feeling particularly sluggish or not quite right, it’s always better to slow things down than to risk over-working your body and end up in serious medical trouble.

If all else fails, running inside on the treadmill is also an alternative.  Through on your headphones, find some good tunes/podcast/netflix show and lose yourself for a few miles!  You’ll be in air-conditioning and easy access to water, so it’s definitely a great place to get your run in if outside is not feasible!

Stay safe out there, and happy running!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Easy Yoga Sequence for Runners

Good morning, and happy Tuesday y’all!

Today I wanted to share a simple yoga sequence that I’ve found to be quite complimentary to my running.  Now, I am not a certified yoga instructor, and I have only been practicing yoga for a short while.  However I am a full supporter of yoga and I encourage all runners to make it a regular part of your weekly workouts.

The sequence is called the Sun Salutation.  I actually first learned this routine back in high school by our assistant cross country coach. The Sun Salutation is a simple yoga sequence designed to wake your body up and prepare for the day to come.  It can also be done at the end of your workout to reflect back on the hard work you’ve just done.  All major key muscle groups are targeted in this sequence.  You’ll get a good stretch to your hip flexors, calves, and hamstrings.  You’ll also get a bit of a core workout during the “chaturanga” flow.  Try this out after your next long run or tough workout- it takes just a few minutes and can be done anywhere!

For a video of me completing this sequence, head on over to my FB page!

https://www.facebook.com/holycityrunning/

 

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Not All Running Is the Same

Have you ever heard of “hitting a plateau” when it comes to training and exercise?  Well that’s because people often find something that they like and feels comfortable and end up sticking with it.  While this is a good thing, doing the same workout or class over and over won’t lead to any new results. Your body adapts to stresses imposed upon it and learns how to react to those stresses effectively.  After a while, the same workout is not as taxing on your body because you have adapted to it.  Thus, you have to constantly challenge your body in order to progress and make new gains! Continue reading “Not All Running Is the Same”

Why Train With a Coach?

Chances are good that, if you’re here, you’re looking to improve your running.  Maybe you’re just getting started and are looking for more information.  Maybe you’re tired of following “cookie-cutter” programs found online and want to try something more advanced.  Whatever the reason, a personal coach may just be the answer you’re looking for.  For many athletes, working with a coach Continue reading “Why Train With a Coach?”