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Written by Neely Spence Gracey
Updated by Cally Macumber

Fitness is built by introducing stress (training) to your body.

Your body initially freaks out (why running feels so difficult at the beginning of training), but it learns to adapt. The adaptation is a result of the stress+recovery=fitness equation. Without a proper recovery, your body cannot gain the intended fitness, thus, injury, illness, and burnout may occur. Today, we share some tips on recovery that will help you build your desired fitness and see results!

Recovery starts within your runs. In the summer, you will need to plan water/fluid stops to keep your hydration game strong. Drink sops while running will help keep your body happy and far away from dehydration issues. This practice will allow you to feel stronger mid run, and recover more quickly post run.cf-lg

Post run recovery begins with fluids too. A simple 10 minute recovery program looks like this:

  • Sip fluids with carbohydrate and electrolyte (a recovery drink with protein is great too)

  • Start a short active stretch routine:

  1. Hamstrings

  2. Hips/Glutes

  3. Calf/Achilles

  4. Leg swings

Understand the pros of protein synthesis. Your body can only absorb and utilize 15-20 grams of protein at a time. Instead of over indulging on protein in one sitting, try spacing it out in 4-6 doses per day with your final protein snack just before bedtime. One cup of greek yogurt, 3 ounces of meat, fairlife milk, protein supplement, some cereals, or a smoothie are all good options. If you have protein in your system right before bed, your body can actively use it during the peak recovery that occurs with sleep!

There is huge benefit to a routine when it comes to sleeping. Develop a routine that works for your schedule that allots minimum of 8 hours of sleep per night. If you have a set time you start getting ready for bed, you will have better time management throughout the day, resulting in less procrastination and other stress inducing habits. Sleep is when your recovery hormones are at their highest and are working hard to make you stronger, fitter, and closer to your goals.

Happy training, and more importantly, happy recovery.



Whether you're lounging by the pool, enjoying a cool night on the porch, or taking a break between training sessions, a book is a great way to find some extra motivation! Check out our curated reading list:

  1. "Born to Run" by Christopher McDougall

    • This book explores the secrets of the Tarahumara Indians, known for their long-distance running abilities. McDougall dives into the science and spirit of running.

  2. "Run Fast. Eat Slow." by Shalane Flanagan and Elyse Kopecky

    • Olympic marathoner Shalane Flanagan and chef Elyse Kopecky share their favorite recipes designed to fuel runners. This book combines the joy of cooking with practical advice on how to nourish your body for optimal performance.

  3. "Running with the Buffaloes" by Chris Lear

    • This book follows the University of Colorado's cross-country team through a season of triumphs and challenges. Lear captures the dedication and intense training that drive competitive running.

  4. "Let Your Mind Run: A Memoir of  Thinking My Way to Victory" by Deena Kastor and Michelle Hamilton

    • Olympic medalist Deena Kastor shares her journey of mental transformation and how positive thinking played an important role in her running success. Her story is a motivational guide to the power of the mind in sports and life.

  5. "Choosing to Run: A Memoir" by Des Linden and Bonnie D. Ford

    • Choosing to Run is an inspirational memoir from Boston Marathon winner and Olympian Des Linden, sharing her personal story and what motivates her to keep showing up.

  6. "Finding Ultra" by Rich Roll

    • Rich Roll’s memoir talks about his transformation from an unhealthy middle-aged man to an elite ultra-endurance athlete. His journey of physical and mental resilience serves as a testament to the potential for personal change and achievement.

  7. Barn Boots to Running Shoes” by Nancy Kelley

    • Nancy Kelley, a longtime Runcoach customer, takes you through her experiences of training horses and then ultimately becoming a runner in this pervasive story about her journey.

  8. "Marathon Woman: Running the Race to Revolutionize Women's Sports" by Kathrine Switzer

    • Kathrine Switzer, the first woman to officially run the Boston Marathon, shares her story of breaking barriers and advocating for women in sports, a must-read for anyone looking for inspiration.



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



As someone who has competed in many races throughout the years and learned valuable lessons along the way, I'm excited to share my top 5 do's and 5 don'ts for training effectively and avoiding common mistakes:

Do's:

  1. Do Set Realistic Goals:

  • Whether it's completing your first race or setting a new personal record, make sure your goals align with your current level of commitment and fitness.

  1. Do Follow a Structured Training Plan:

  • A structured training plan helps you to adequately prepare for race day. Talk with your coach and build a plan that suits your fitness level, schedule, and goals.

  1. Do Listen to Your Body:

  • Pay attention to signs of fatigue or pain, and don't ignore it. It's better to take a day off or scale back  than to risk an injury that could sideline you for weeks.

  1. Do Practice Your Fueling Strategies:

  • Practice your race day nutrition and hydration strategies during long training runs to find out what works best for you. Experiment with different foods, gels, and drinks.

  1. Do Focus on Recovery:

  • Make sure to prioritize sleep and activities such as foam rolling and stretching. Give your body the time it needs to repair after hard workouts. Enjoy your Easy & Off days!

Don'ts:

  1. Don't Overdo It:

  • One of the most common mistakes runners make - avoid the temptation to increase mileage or intensity  too quickly. Build gradually to reduce the risk of injury and burnout.

  1. Don't Skip Cross-Training:

  • Incorporate activities such as cycling, swimming, or yoga to improve overall fitness, prevent injuries, and enhance recovery.

  1. Don't Neglect Strength Training:

  • Introduce exercises that target key running muscles, such as the glutes, hamstrings, quads, and core, into your weekly routine.

  1. Don't Ignore Rest Days:

  • Use rest days to allow your body time to repair. Don’t squeeze in extra runs on rest days, and prioritize relaxing instead.

  1. Don't Compare Yourself to Others:

  • Every runner's journey is unique, and it's important to focus on your own plan rather than comparing yourself to others. Celebrate your own accomplishments and progress!



As runners, we often find comfort in our regular routes. However, when we venture out out can it breathe new life into our training, via fresh scenery and new challenges. If you want to spice up your routine, here are some tips to find and map your next run.

Remember that the Runcoach iPhone/Android apps includes GPS for all of your runs.  If you happen to run with your phone, Runcoach will guide you through the workout, score every Mile/Km split and help you stay on track.  After the run your map will display and your coach will have terrific insight into the workout

Utilize Online Tools and Apps: One of the easiest ways to discover new routes is with complimentary online tools or apps. Websites like Strava, MapMyRun, and Garmin Connect allow you to search for routes created by other runners in your area. You can filter routes by distance, terrain, and difficulty level to find one that suits your preferences.

Explore Local Parks and Trails: Parks and trails are excellent options for runners who seek scenic routes. Take some time to explore your local parks and trail systems, and don't be afraid to venture off. You never know what hidden gems you might discover!

Ask for Recommendations: Visit your nearest run specialty shop for recommendations on new routes to try. They may have insider knowledge of lesser-known options in your area that you wouldn't have discovered otherwise.

Experiment with Terrain: Challenge yourself by experimenting with different terrains. For example, if you typically stick to flat roads, try incorporating some hills or trails into your plan for added variety and intensity.

Stay Safe: Before you head out on a new route, take some time to familiarize yourself with the area and plan accordingly. Let someone know where you'll be running and when you expect to return!

Lace up your shoes, step out of your comfort zone, and take on a running adventure!




Whether you intend to run a local 5K or target a half marathon, race day strategies are important to optimize your performance and make the most of your experience. This blog shares tips that will help you prepare for seamless execution on the big day.

Dress for the Weather Conditions

Stay informed about the weather forecast and cordinate your race day clothing accordingly. Dress in layers that can be easily shed if temperatures get warm. 

Arrive Early and Get Acquainted with the Course

Allocate enough time on race morning by arriving early. This allows you to manage pre-race nerves, use facilities, and acquaint yourself with the course. Take note of potential challenges.

Practice a Positive Mindset With Visualization

Mental toughness can be as important as physical preparation. Take a few moments before the race to envision your success. Picture yourself crossing the finish line accomplishing your goals. Have a positive mindset and reflect on all of the hard work and dedication you invested into your training.

Prioritize Hydration

Begin hydrating well before race day and continue sipping water leading up to the start. For longer races, consider carrying a small water bottle to the start line.

Prepare Your Nutrition Ahead of Time

In the days leading up to the event, stick to familiar, easily digestible foods and refrain from experimenting with new items. On race morning, opt for an easily digestible meal.

Execute Your Race Plan

One common challenge on race day is starting too aggressively. Start the race conservatively and gradually increase your pace as you settle into the run. Develop a pacing strategy with your coach and trust your training!




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.



Runners love outdoor miles, but there are times when weather conditions may force you inside. During these moments, your training does not need to be derailed! Indoor workouts can be a powerful tool to enhance your running performance, offering a chance to focus on strength, flexibility, and cross-training. Explore the following variety of indoor workouts, ensuring you stay on track with your goals:

  1. Yoga is an awesome complement to running. It helps improve balance, flexibility, and mental toughness. You can incorporate yoga to improve your range of motion, enhance flexibility, and prevent injuries. Poses like Downward Dog, Warrior series, and Pigeon pose target areas commonly stressed during running. Dedicate a few sessions a week to yoga to enjoy its full benefits. Tune in here for a great workout!

  1. Strength training helps prevent injuries and improves running efficiency. Focus on exercises that target major muscle groups, including squats, lunges, deadlifts, and core. Incorporating resistance training with weights or bands can improve strength and stability, contributing to better performance on the road.  We recommend this workout (which requires no weights or equipment) 2 times a week! 

  1. Treadmill workouts become a valuable asset when weather conditions make outdoor running challenging. Mimic your scheduled workout on the treadmill, but place it at 1% incline and use this chart to adjust your paces.

  1. Plyometric exercises focus on explosive movements to enhance your power and agility. Plyometrics engage fast-twitch muscle fibers, important for running fast. For example, these exercises can be done in a basement or garage! Include plyometrics into your routine and take your running performance to new heights.

  1. Indoor cycling or Swimming are great ways to build cardiovascular fitness without the impact on your joints. Whether you use a stationary bike, join a virtual cycling class, or swim in the pool, these low-impact workouts allow you to maintain or improve your aerobic fitness. We suggest biking 3 miles for every 1 mile run prescribed within your plan, or swimming for equal time to run time.

Whether you're facing difficult weather conditions or simply seeking a change in routine, these indoor workouts will keep you engaged and motivated on your journey to becoming a more resilient runner.



Trust the Taper

October 20, 2023

One of the most important, but often overlooked, components of training for a goal race is the taper.  The hard work has been accomplished and all that remains is to rest and sharpen up. Confidently easing off the gas pedal and arriving prepared, yet rested at the starting line is a crucial component to racing success.  Here are a few things to consider when race day is in sight, but still a couple weeks away.

You don’t have to push hard all the way up to race day in order to preserve your hard-earned fitness. ecomm_fall_running

Just as it is important to heed the scheduled call for recovery days in your regular training, the last 2-3 weeks of a half or full marathon training cycle is a singular opportunity to allow your body to be as rested as possible before going to the well on the big day.   While there have likely been times where you have had to push yourself to finish the last few miles of a long run or get out of bed when a hard session is on the schedule, enjoy the reduction of miles over these last couple weeks. Remind yourself that you have the physical ability to go farther and the mental confidence from those workouts that will carry you through on race day.

The last few weeks are a great opportunity to focus on healthy living as you prep for your race.

If it is difficult to keep your sleep habits as intended for months at a time. This is an opportunity to get maximum impact from a few weeks of slightly increased sleep.  Likewise, you can make a difference with a few weeks of healthier eating habits.

Many of us have too many obligations and commitments to live a daily life with the healthy habits we’d hope for, but ideally we can all get on board for a few weeks for the final push to race day.  Maximize the rest you are getting from shorter workouts with an extra half hour of sleep per night and increased hydration with healthy food choices.  This allows arrival on race day without the need to cram hydration and nutrition concerns into a short 1-2 day period.

Keep your body in the training rhythm to which you are accustomed.

Tapering doesn’t mean change everything. What it does allow you to do is keep your body and mind focused while requiring less strain and allowing for more recovery.  Your training schedule will follow a similar pattern with slightly easier tasks.   Continue to take your workouts as seriously and resist the urge to over schedule your life now that you may have a bit more time to play with than in the last few months.  For example, continue to allow time for the stretching you were so diligent about when the workouts were really tough, instead of dashing off to another engagement now that the workout wasn’t as taxing.

As your body will require less fueling to accomplish these workouts, the temptation may be to continue eating as though your long runs are still at maximum length.  Consider your current fuel needs and adjust accordingly to allow yourself to maintain the spring in your step you are trying to gain by backing off the volume.

Use the taper to make final race day plans

The taper is a great time to break in the fresh pair of shoes you plan to use on race day.  This will allow you to make sure you are past any risk of blisters or other problems, but won’t put that much wear on the shoes before you need them to really go to work.  Similarly, consider your race day attire, pre-race food consumption, and mid race fueling.  While your workouts are a bit easier, you can experiment a bit more to ensure every aspect of race weekend is practiced and proven.

Don’t worry if you feel “flat” during your taper

Feeling a bit sluggish even while you are doing easier workouts can be a function of many things, but is quite common with recreational or pro runners alike.  If you continue the good habits already implemented, you can expect to feel the results of that work ~ 25% into race day (be careful not to take off and drop the pace drastically when this rush hits). Yes, your body is used to a different level of activity and that may leave you feeling a bit off.  This is why it is important to maintain a similar training rhythm so you maintain familiarity and consistency. Once the gun goes off, your months of training won’t betray you! 

Updated by Cally Macumber

 



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