Competitor.com http://running.competitor.com Your Online Source for Running Fri, 04 Sep 2015 07:27:28 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0.1 Nike Debuts New Versions of Old-School Cortez http://running.competitor.com/2015/09/shoes-and-gear/nike-debuts-new-versions-of-old-school-cortez_134818 http://running.competitor.com/2015/09/shoes-and-gear/nike-debuts-new-versions-of-old-school-cortez_134818#comments Fri, 04 Sep 2015 07:27:28 +0000 http://running.competitor.com/?p=134818

Nike has released modern versions of the Cortez, one of its original running shoes of the 1970s.

Nike is introducing retro-looking versions of its original Cortez running shoes.

The post Nike Debuts New Versions of Old-School Cortez appeared first on Competitor.com.

]]>

Nike has released modern versions of the Cortez, one of its original running shoes of the 1970s.

Back in February, Nike brought back its historic Cortez running shoe on a limited basis, perhaps as a way to test the market for the throwback trainer. The Cortez was one of the original models Bill Bowerman developed in the early days of Nike, one of the first shoes to feature a full-length midsole, dual-foam cushioning systems and nylon uppers.

If you’ve seen the movie “Forrest Gump,” then you’ve seen the shoes. It’s the shoe Gump (Tom Hanks) laced up and wore on his across-the-USA running odyssey in that 1994 Oscar-winning film.

This week, Nike released a new textile version of the Cortez in a variety of colors for $130. Although it’s not meant to be a modern running shoe, the new versions could be a big hit with hipsters and sneaker freaks. The upper is made of premium oil suede with accents of corduroy and traditional nylon quarter panels. The embroidered Swoosh logos on the toe box were a popular detail of the early 90s.

On Sept. 24 Nike will unveil the ’72 Cortez, a replica version of the original shoe that debuted in February with a minimal leather upper, an iconic rubber toe cap and heel pull tab.

RELATED: Blast From the Past—Nike Bringing Back Its Cortez Shoe

The post Nike Debuts New Versions of Old-School Cortez appeared first on Competitor.com.

]]>
http://running.competitor.com/2015/09/shoes-and-gear/nike-debuts-new-versions-of-old-school-cortez_134818/feed 0
Tech Trends: Pre-Cooling To Take On A Hot Fall Marathon http://running.competitor.com/2015/09/shoes-and-gear/tech-trends-pre-cooling-to-take-on-a-hot-fall-marathon_134796 http://running.competitor.com/2015/09/shoes-and-gear/tech-trends-pre-cooling-to-take-on-a-hot-fall-marathon_134796#comments Fri, 04 Sep 2015 04:11:27 +0000 http://running.competitor.com/?p=134796

What can you do to be prepared to battle a hot day like the one marathoners faced in Chicago in 2007?

Use these strategies to cool down before your next race in warm weather.

The post Tech Trends: Pre-Cooling To Take On A Hot Fall Marathon appeared first on Competitor.com.

]]>

What can you do to be prepared to battle a hot day like the one marathoners faced in Chicago in 2007?

The excitement of race day is almost in sight for fall marathoners. Visions of huddling up in corals on a cool, autumn morning, falling golden-brown leaves and hitting each mile marker at goal race pace are bouncing around in their heads.

When thinking of a fall marathon, hot weather is not always something that comes to mind. If you need a reminder, do an Internet search for “2007 Chicago Marathon” and horror stories of high humidity and a temperature of 88 degrees that forced officials to close the course mid-race will pop up on your screen. Since that race in 2007, the high temperature on race day has been 80 or higher three other times in Chicago.

So what can you do to be prepared to battle a hot marathon day?

A few long runs in warm conditions during a marathon build up can help you acclimate and hydrating well before and during your marathon will go along way. The addition of a pre-cooling plan and some specific equipment can also help you be prepared to beat the heat.

Pre-Cooling

It’s widely accepted in scientific literature that body heat is a limiting factor in performance. Instead of relying on sweat to reduce body heat, pre-cooling methods help the body save energy and retain fluid by decreasing the skin and core temperature. Pre-cooling can improve performance in the heat by keeping the heart rate lower, decreasing sweat production and allowing the blood volume to be better maintained so oxygen can be better delivered to working muscles.

Scientific research is still being conducted to determine which forms of pre-cooling are the most effective. While the new Nike Magneto-style “cooling hood” is currently reserved for a few world-class athletes, there are a couple pieces of cooling technology used by the pros that, along with your preparation, can help reduce the negative effects of the heat and improve your marathon performance. The most practical methods of pre-cooling are ingesting ice slush and wearing a cooling vest. The focus here is on pre-cooling before your race because no one should run while wearing an ice vest and unless you’re an elite, you won’t be able to get a slushy at an aid station.

Ice Slush/Slushy

Yes, you read that correctly: making a slushy in your blender can help you perform better in hot conditions.

A number of scientific papers document how pre-cooling with a slushy improved the performance of endurance athletes in the heat. Studies suggest that when ingested, the crushed ice absorbs heat from the body’s core structures better than cold water. This allows for less of your body’s fluids to be needed for cooling through sweat and can be maintained in the blood to help deliver much-needed oxygen to muscles.

Regular water bottles generally won’t work well with slushy, so a specific bottle for pre-cooling is important. The easy to clean, slushy-specific Floe Bottle is a great option.

RELATED: Stay Cool With A Slushy

Cooling Vests

Cooling vests have been worn by world-class distance runners for over a decade. At the 2004 Olympic marathon in Athens, Meb Keflezighi and Deena Kastor went on to win silver and bronze medals, respectively. Both athletes performed their warmup wearing cooling vests and wore them up until a few minutes before the start of the race.

Once only available for elite level athletes, reusable cooling vests are available at a reasonable price for those serious about performing at their best in the heat. For example, the cooling vest by ArcticHeat is available in a variety of sizes for a cost of $225.

The post Tech Trends: Pre-Cooling To Take On A Hot Fall Marathon appeared first on Competitor.com.

]]>
http://running.competitor.com/2015/09/shoes-and-gear/tech-trends-pre-cooling-to-take-on-a-hot-fall-marathon_134796/feed 0
Photos: The Relentlessly Steep Manitou Incline http://running.competitor.com/2015/09/photos/photos-the-relentlessly-steep-manitou-incline_134739 http://running.competitor.com/2015/09/photos/photos-the-relentlessly-steep-manitou-incline_134739#comments Fri, 04 Sep 2015 04:05:52 +0000 http://running.competitor.com/?p=134739

A closer look at one of the world's steepest trails.

The post Photos: The Relentlessly Steep Manitou Incline appeared first on Competitor.com.

]]>

Situated near the base of Pikes Peak in Manitou Springs, Colo., the Manitou Incline rises more than 2,000 vertical feet in less than a mile. It’s a relentless test for any runner—as steep as 68 percent in some places—but that’s why runners from near and far have been running it for years. Once the site of an old tourist railway, it climbs more than 2,000 vertical feet in less than a mile. Mountain running legend Matt Carpenter has run the fastest known time (FKT) on the Incline (18:31) (although other unverified and unsubstantiated faster times have been reported), while Ali McLaughlin, a member of the 2014 U.S. Mountain Running Team, owns the fastest women’s time (20:07). Recently repaired and re-opened, the Incline is a true test of one’s fitness and leg strength. We documented Andy Wacker’s recent attempt to break the record with a group of Colorado Springs runners, including Peter Maksimow, Alex Nichols, Zach Smith, Brandon Stapanowich, Brent Bailey and McLaughlin.

RELATED: Video: The Allure of the Manitou Incline

The post Photos: The Relentlessly Steep Manitou Incline appeared first on Competitor.com.

]]>
http://running.competitor.com/2015/09/photos/photos-the-relentlessly-steep-manitou-incline_134739/feed 0
Video: The Allure of the Manitou Incline http://running.competitor.com/2015/09/video/video-the-allure-of-the-manitou-incline_134718 http://running.competitor.com/2015/09/video/video-the-allure-of-the-manitou-incline_134718#comments Fri, 04 Sep 2015 04:01:19 +0000 http://running.competitor.com/?p=134718

Photo: Brian Metzler

We profile this one-of-a-kind trail with sweeping views and a ridiculous steep grade.

The post Video: The Allure of the Manitou Incline appeared first on Competitor.com.

]]>

Photo: Brian Metzler

The Manitou Incline is the steepest running trail in Colorado, probably in the U.S. and maybe in the world. This unique training element along the lower flanks of Pikes Peak in the equally unique mountain hamlet of Manitou Springs, Colo., is an enormous challenge for any runner (or hiker), as it rises more than 2,000 vertical feet in less than a mile. Mountain running legend Matt Carpenter has run the fastest known time (FKT) on the Incline (18:31), although other unverified and unsubstantiated faster times have been reported. Ali McLaughlin, a member of the 2014 U.S. Mountain Running Team, owns the fastest women’s time (20:07).

In this video, we profile this one-of-a-kind trail with sweeping views and a ridiculous steep grade (up to 68 percent in some places!) and follow along as 2015 Pikes Peak Marathon runner-up Andy Wacker goes all-out in an attempt to set a new record.

PHOTOS: The Relentlessly Steep Manitou Incline

The post Video: The Allure of the Manitou Incline appeared first on Competitor.com.

]]>
http://running.competitor.com/2015/09/video/video-the-allure-of-the-manitou-incline_134718/feed 0
Death to the Safety Pin? Alternatives for Runners are Plentiful http://running.competitor.com/2015/09/shoes-and-gear/death-to-the-safety-pin-alternatives-for-runners-are-plentiful_134687 http://running.competitor.com/2015/09/shoes-and-gear/death-to-the-safety-pin-alternatives-for-runners-are-plentiful_134687#comments Thu, 03 Sep 2015 23:07:31 +0000 http://running.competitor.com/?p=134687

Products like RaceDots provide a safety pin alternative for racers. Photo: RaceDots

There are a growing number of options for pinning your race bib to your shirt.

The post Death to the Safety Pin? Alternatives for Runners are Plentiful appeared first on Competitor.com.

]]>

Products like RaceDots provide a safety pin alternative for racers. Photo: RaceDots

It’s a courageous challenge for an entrepreneur—launch a product against a direct competitor that both dominates the market and is free of charge most of the time.

How does one decide to go head-to-head against such a challenge?

For Jason Berry, the epiphany happened the night before a cycling race. As he was preparing his gear for the next morning, he grabbed four safety pins and his bib and was about to pin the race number to a brand new skinsuit.

“I couldn’t do it,” he said. “I didn’t want to put holes in it.”

He explored his house for an alternative, settling on four magnets stuck to his refrigerator. After getting praise at the next morning’s race, he perfected the magnets to make them both stronger and able to interlock. He then filed for three patents, and had great success crowdfunding his idea. RaceDots was born.

Some endurance athletes find safety pins to be an annoyance, and some even value their apparel enough to despise poking holes in it just to attach a bib on race day. There are even cases of rusty safety pins staining clothes.

But are there enough disgruntled athletes out there willing to fork over money for an alternative, when safety pins are provided for free by many races? That’s what Berry and other entrepreneurs are banking on.

RELATED: 10 Things That Can Go Wrong on Race Day

Across the pond in the United Kingdom, Mike Drage was frustrated that his favorite running top had a hole in it that was growing with each race due to safety pins.

“I thought about buying myself a new top for my birthday, “ Drage said, “then thought it would just get ruined again.”

About 18 months later, Drage launched EventClips, a two-piece plastic clip that snaps together and securely pinches the race top and bib number together. He claims that since his August 2013 launch, he’s sold more than 180,000 packs to runners, cyclists, triathletes and obstacle course racers. The flat facing can allow athletes and companies to customize their clips with logos, their names or any other small message—which has proven popular with running clubs, charities, sponsors and more. Like RaceDots, EventClips are reusable.

But they aren’t free. A pack of four EventClips retails for $2.99. RaceDots, featuring powerful interlocking magnets that never weaken, go for $19.99.

“I think everyone hates safety pins to a point that if you’ve got a little disposable money, you can throw (RaceDots) on the fridge when you’re not racing and use them year after year.” Berry said.

Berry, who runs RaceDots full-time out of his home in Virginia, says he has had about $250,000 in sales in 15 months since launching. RaceDots recently secured a shrewd partnership by sponsoring Michael Wardian, a serial racer known for wearing more race bibs than just about anyone. Despite a full-time career as a shipbroker, Wardian races nearly 50 times a year across a variety of distances and disciplines.

RELATED: Wardian Runs 2:31, 2:57 Marathons in One Day

RaceDots can be found in close to 50 running stores in the U.S. and Canada, as well as online. EventClips can be found online, in Up & Running stores in the U.K. (30 in all), and Drage is currently looking for distributors in the United States. Other safety pin alternatives are on the market, too. Race belts are popular among triathletes as a bib holder, and there’s even apparel on the market, like X Racewear, with a see-through pouch built-in to secure a bib without safety pins.

Clearly, many companies see a market ready to be served. But the cheapness of safety pins—plus the fact that many athletes don’t have a major issue with them—is a treacherous mountain to climb over.

But all of them think it’s a mountain they will eventually conquer.

“Once people get them in their hands,” Berry says of RaceDots, “they’re hooked.”

The post Death to the Safety Pin? Alternatives for Runners are Plentiful appeared first on Competitor.com.

]]>
http://running.competitor.com/2015/09/shoes-and-gear/death-to-the-safety-pin-alternatives-for-runners-are-plentiful_134687/feed 0
Video: Stephanie Howe on Balancing Life and Running http://running.competitor.com/2015/09/video/video-stephanie-howe-on-balancing-life-and-running_134736 http://running.competitor.com/2015/09/video/video-stephanie-howe-on-balancing-life-and-running_134736#comments Thu, 03 Sep 2015 22:34:13 +0000 http://running.competitor.com/?p=134736

Even the elites struggle with balancing life.

The post Video: Stephanie Howe on Balancing Life and Running appeared first on Competitor.com.

]]>

Stephanie Howe, who graces the September 2015 cover of Competitor, recently opened up on the truth behind the balance she constantly seeks in her life—as a professional runner, a wife, a nutritionist, a running coach and a student.

This video, by Nathan Sports and Trine Films, takes a closer look at Howe’s day-to-day life and how she manages to fit it all together. As Nathan states, “Lessons that she has learned through her journey in running can be applied by all of us as we seek our own forms of balance in a busy and demanding world.”

The post Video: Stephanie Howe on Balancing Life and Running appeared first on Competitor.com.

]]>
http://running.competitor.com/2015/09/video/video-stephanie-howe-on-balancing-life-and-running_134736/feed 0
3 Ways to Make Up for a Missed Long Run http://running.competitor.com/2015/09/training/3-ways-to-make-up-for-a-missed-long-run_134693 http://running.competitor.com/2015/09/training/3-ways-to-make-up-for-a-missed-long-run_134693#comments Thu, 03 Sep 2015 21:47:35 +0000 http://running.competitor.com/?p=134693

Photo: Shutterstock.com

This article first appeared on Women’s Running.  It’s happened to all of us: the long run on our schedule just doesn’t happen.

The post 3 Ways to Make Up for a Missed Long Run appeared first on Competitor.com.

]]>

Photo: Shutterstock.com

This article first appeared on Women’s Running

It’s happened to all of us: the long run on our schedule just doesn’t happen. Maybe the weather causes us to cut it short or we hit snooze and skip it altogether, leaving us a little stressed about when we’re going to make it up.

If you’re following a training plan, getting in those long runs can be a challenge sometimes. If you happen to miss one there is no need to panic. It’s ill-advised to skip to the next distance, considering that long runs can jump up by two miles at a time. For example—if you skip a planned 12 mile run, jumping from 10 miles to 14 can be problematic, opening the door for injury. Sometimes your plan may have enough wiggle room to adjust all the runs, but you may be on a tight schedule with race day fast-approaching.

Whatever your circumstances, here are three ways to make up that missed long run:

Split It. If you’ve logged at least a few miles of your long run and for whatever reason had to cut it short, there are a few options for finishing. Splitting a long run into two runs within a 12 hour period delivers the same results as one continuous long run. So if your plan called for 12 miles and you only manage to get in five, consider heading back out later on (after you have re-fueled and hydrated) for another seven. The other option, though not ideal, would be to run those 7 miles the next morning, giving you a total of 12 miles in a 24-hour period.

Midweek Make Up. It can be a challenge to squeeze in a long run during the weekday with a busy schedule. But if it is possible, swap out your hard effort for that week with your long run. If you’ve got a day where you run intervals, hills or a tempo run, replace that with your long run. If you’re training for a distance race like a half marathon or marathon, getting in the long run trumps those other workouts. If logging 12 miles in one chunk is too much, consider splitting the run as mentioned above.

Race+. Most training plans schedule a race prior to your goal race. If you’re willing to forego running at race pace but don’t want to skip the race itself, you can turn it into your long run. Let’s say you missed your 12 miler and decide to make it up the following weekend, bumping your 14 miler to what would have been a 10 mile race weekend. To turn that 10 miler into a long run, run two warm up miles before the race, run the race at an easy pace and then follow up the race with two cool down miles. This brings your total to 14 miles for the day. Running a race as part of your long run has it’s advantages. Water stops and the company of other runners will help make the miles fly by.

The post 3 Ways to Make Up for a Missed Long Run appeared first on Competitor.com.

]]>
http://running.competitor.com/2015/09/training/3-ways-to-make-up-for-a-missed-long-run_134693/feed 0
Katie Hart Morse: Avoid These 10 Common Running Fails http://running.competitor.com/2015/09/saucony-26-strong/katie-hart-morse-avoid-these-10-common-running-fails_134726 http://running.competitor.com/2015/09/saucony-26-strong/katie-hart-morse-avoid-these-10-common-running-fails_134726#comments Thu, 03 Sep 2015 21:43:40 +0000 http://running.competitor.com/?p=134726

When you try something new, things will go wrong—it happens. The magic comes in learning from your mistakes and moving on to the next

The post Katie Hart Morse: Avoid These 10 Common Running Fails appeared first on Competitor.com.

]]>

When you try something new, things will go wrong—it happens. The magic comes in learning from your mistakes and moving on to the next milestone. Running has it’s own special set of fails especially when it comes to marathons. From training to racing, there’s a lot to learn, but many of the lessons are intuitive. Listen to your body, don’t ignore common sense and, hopefully, learn from the mistakes of others.

Read on for 10 common training and racing fails and how to overcome them.

Training Fails

Not fueling during long runs

There’s a lot of awareness about staying fueled during long runs, but I know many people who try to run on empty stomachs and always feel sick afterwards. Stay fueled to feel better, run faster and maintain energy levels.

Making every run hard

Often, once we start to see progress, we want to go farther or faster on every run. For progress to continue, keep the hard runs hard and the easy runs easy. I read this tip in an article about triathlete Linsey Corbin, and I’ve never forgotten it.

Trying to make up for missed runs

Training is never perfect. Know that missed runs happen, and that’s OK. Just move forward and focus on the next one.

Proper diet

What gives you gas, makes you feel bloated or causes a run to the restroom? Play around with different foods, and pay attention to how they make you feel. It’s important to determine what works for you, and avoid the things that don’t.

Doing too much

You don’t have to train like a pro runner to run a great marathon. Sometimes less is more, and most important of all is staying injury free. Listen to your body, and trust the process. You are going to do great!

Racing Fails

Starting out too fast

Seriously. I have been coaching and mentoring people for 10 years, and I have clients and friends who continue to repeat this mistake. You know your average pace time for long runs. Definitely use race day adrenaline to your advantage, but let it carry you through the whole day, not just at the beginning. Even though it’s easy to get caught up in the hype, start slightly slower than your goal time for the first couple miles to warm up. You’ll thank me later.

Nothing new on race day

How many times have you heard this? And yet, plenty of people will buy a new pair of shoes for race day, and even though they are the same style they wear, just a newer version, their feet end up hurting. Stick with what you know.

Not training with on course nutrition

Do a few runs with the same nutrition that’s offered on race day to see how your body reacts. It’s better to be prepared for the worst, than hope for the best.

Forgetting BodyGlide

Talk about a brutal shower. I had no idea Body Glide existed when I did my first marathon, and let me tell you, the chaffing was so bad, I hurt even when I was naked. Put Glide everywhere. Between your butt cheeks. Under your boobs. Around the waistband of your bottoms. Under your arms. On your triceps. Put it anywhere, where two things could possibly rub together. Try it or another anti-chafe product on your longer runs.

Having no post-race meet up plan

Make a plan for where to meet post-race, just in case your phone dies or you decide not to carry one. It’s no fun walking around more than you have to post-marathon.

 

The post Katie Hart Morse: Avoid These 10 Common Running Fails appeared first on Competitor.com.

]]>
http://running.competitor.com/2015/09/saucony-26-strong/katie-hart-morse-avoid-these-10-common-running-fails_134726/feed 0
Sarah Bowen Shea: Mind Games for Your Long Run http://running.competitor.com/2015/09/saucony-26-strong/sarah-bowen-shea-mind-games-for-your-long-run_134723 http://running.competitor.com/2015/09/saucony-26-strong/sarah-bowen-shea-mind-games-for-your-long-run_134723#comments Thu, 03 Sep 2015 21:32:20 +0000 http://running.competitor.com/?p=134723

My best running friend, Molly, crushed her first marathon, literally cracking jokes at mile 20 and smiling much of the route. But the prior

The post Sarah Bowen Shea: Mind Games for Your Long Run appeared first on Competitor.com.

]]>

My best running friend, Molly, crushed her first marathon, literally cracking jokes at mile 20 and smiling much of the route. But the prior year, before she had to drop out of marathon training due to a knee injury, she admitted the mere thought of long runs almost paralyzed her with fear. Molly would wake up with dread in the pit of her stomach, leaving her feel nauseated and barely able to climb out of bed.

It takes a leap of faith it takes to set off on a long run. I can’t count how many times I’ve run 20 miles in training for my dozen marathons, yet even I feel a few butterflies banging around in my gut as I strap on my GPS watch and take a final swig of nuun. As I covered 20 miles, I conjured up these mind games to share with all of you who are running long this season:

Chunk it Up

This is the key to any run or race (or child’s birthday party, home renovation project, or PowerPoint presentation). When you try to contemplate it all at once, it’s overwhelming. You can slice-and-dice a run in countless ways, e.g. instead of thinking of it as 13 miles, tell yourself it’s 5 miles + 5 miles + 5K. Sure, you have to complete the entire distance (13 miles), but only focus on the segment you’re in. (Trust me, it eases the mental load.) Or break it up by roads: first, head along the waterfront, then get to the St. John’s Bridge, followed by covering a stretch of Willamette Boulevard. My sister from Another Mother Runner, Dimity, sometimes needs to parse things even smaller, counting out 100 steps or making it to the next street sign. Whatever works for you.

Switch Up Entertainment

If you listen to your podcasts or playlists on a run, “channel surf” your way through the miles. I usually start with the previous week’s episode of, “Wait, Wait…. Don’t Tell Me,” then shift to “This American Life.” Mock me, but I often then tune into our own podcast to have Dimity along for the ride for three or so miles. Finally, I switch to music. Sometimes a RockMyRun mix, sometimes a random shuffle from Spotify. Anything to keep things fresh.

Have Company

This is an obvious one: recruit a running buddy (or two or…) to join you. And don’t skip this suggestion just because no one you know is running long. I’ve had friends join me for the final half of a 20-miler, the first five of 15, the last three of 18—you name it. And I’ve also had friends ride their bike alongside of me. Get creative in who you ask, and where you go. No law against doing multiple mini-loops to ensure your pals can join you. (Oh, and if you can’t recruit any foot soldiers, follow my lead and stop at a friend’s house for a cold bottle of water–plus a few cubes in your sports bra. Salvation!)

Enjoy Bright Moments

Let’s just admit: No matter how lovely the scenery, a long run can be a grind. Well, call me a Pollyanna, but I look for little pick-me-ups wherever I can find them. The scent of pink roses climbing up a trellis. A friendly interchange with a cheerful mail carrier. The view from a bridge. A tasty GU.

Don’t Reflect Back

While it’s tempting to think back on the ground you’ve covered, it often makes me feel like a car running out of gas. Instead of feeling inspired, I find it daunting. But, let me tell you, sisters: the second my feet hit our driveway, I let out a whoop and let all the images of the miles come rushing into my mind, filling me with pride.

Don’t Confuse Boredom With Exhaustion

This mantra-like phrase came to me around mile 16 during a long effort. Late enough in the run to know I had the distance well in hand…but well past the point where I was b-o-r-e-d with running solo. When you’re “hurting,” ask yourself if your body feels extreme discomfort, or if you’re just wishing your run was over. I suspect it’s usually the latter. (In which case, suck it up—and remind yourself it’s better than playing Sorry! for the fifth straight time that morning.)

Do Mental Scans of Your Body

Not only is this a way to keep track of tension and potential trouble spots in your body and running form, but it also helps pass the time (and remind you that you’re really not as hurtin’ as you think you are). I do a scan, starting at my feet and working up. Along the way, I shake out my fist-like hands, drop my hunched shoulders, loosen my clenched jaw, and try to get the corners of my mouth to turn up.

Because, when all is said and done, there is joy in running long.

 

The post Sarah Bowen Shea: Mind Games for Your Long Run appeared first on Competitor.com.

]]>
http://running.competitor.com/2015/09/saucony-26-strong/sarah-bowen-shea-mind-games-for-your-long-run_134723/feed 0
75-Year-Old Keeps Rock ‘n’ Roll Virginia Beach Streak Alive http://running.competitor.com/2015/09/rock-n-roll-marathon-series/75-year-old-trains-for-another-rock-n-roll-virginia-beach-marathon_134713 http://running.competitor.com/2015/09/rock-n-roll-marathon-series/75-year-old-trains-for-another-rock-n-roll-virginia-beach-marathon_134713#comments Thu, 03 Sep 2015 18:37:18 +0000 http://running.competitor.com/?p=134713

Photo: Rock 'n' Roll Marathon Series

Running five to six days a week and putting in a total of 35 to 40 miles, Chet Coates stays competitive even at age 75.

The post 75-Year-Old Keeps Rock ‘n’ Roll Virginia Beach Streak Alive appeared first on Competitor.com.

]]>

Photo: Rock 'n' Roll Marathon Series

Chet Coates’ first foray into adult exercise was cycling.

“I bought a 10-speed bike,” Coates recalls. “It wasn’t a marriage because my butt and that skinny seat weren’t a marriage.”

Instead, Coates tried sweating by foot, joining the early 1980s jogging craze. Initially, the Silver Spring, Md., resident stepped outside his front door, jogged five blocks to the local 7-Eleven, chatted up a friend who worked there, swigged some coffee, then sloshed home.

Coates has come a ways since jogging to Slurpee heaven. At 75 years old, his next marathon will be his 50th. He ran 40 races in 2014 and the competitive juices are still roiling.

“I ran a 10K [recently],” he says. “I saw one guy in front of me who may have been in his 70s, so I said, ‘I‘ve got to get his butt,’ and ran him down. I saw another guy who may have been 70 and thought, ‘Here’s another one.’ I got him.”

In the final mile, Coates’ clocked a 9:49, his fastest in the race. “I’m always trying to improve,” he says.

And he’s always running the Humana Rock ‘n’ Roll Virginia Beach Half Marathon. Coates has run all 14 Virginia Beach half marathons and the streak will hit 15 come Labor Day weekend. He’s a living, breathing example of not letting age slow you down. He keeps moving.

Coates’ home sits on a 13,000-square-foot lot, where he stills mows the lawn. It takes about 70 minutes. When reached by phone late one afternoon, Coates rattled off a Cliffs Notes version of his day: A 6-mile early-morning jog, shower, lift weights at the gym, run seven 200-meter intervals on the treadmill, stretch, shower again, cut the grass.

Coates and his wife of 47 years, Charlotte, are raising one of their six great grand children, a 14-year-old boy. They’ve raised Nijier Coates since he was 2 weeks old.
“I’m one of those chauffeur parents,” Coates says. “I have to take him ice skating three times a week, and diving. I just chauffeur his ass around.”

However, Coates’ irascible front is more act than reality. “He’s a father all over again,” Charlotte says. “To me, he’s a better father to this child than he was to ours. He’s more sensitive. He’s a very, very good father. He has more time to listen and reason with him.”

Coates began jogging in 1980. He didn’t run his first road race until 1985, a 5-miler covered in 40 minutes, 10 seconds.

He then ran his first 26.2-miler in 1987, the Marine Corps Marathon, finishing in 4:01:12. His PR is 3:28:57 set in 1991. Last year he ran five marathons, his fastest clocked in 5:03. He typically runs five or six days a week, totaling 35 to 40 miles.

“Mechanically, I think I’m pretty good,” says Coates, who practices yoga once a week. “I don’t have any ankle, knee or hip problems.” This may also be in part due to his weight of 150 pounds that hasn’t fluctuated much since entering the Army in 1963.

When asked what he thinks about during his runs, Coates lets that faux cranky exterior flash, blurting, “Why am I running so damn slow?” But later, he lifts the curtain and reveals part of what motivates him. “In the back of my mind, foolishly I’m trying to get back to where I was 25 years ago,” he says. “I know I’m not [going to get there], but I’m not going to stop trying.”

RELATED: 80-year-old Preps for His 15th Rock ‘n’ Roll Virginia Beach Half Marathon

The post 75-Year-Old Keeps Rock ‘n’ Roll Virginia Beach Streak Alive appeared first on Competitor.com.

]]>
http://running.competitor.com/2015/09/rock-n-roll-marathon-series/75-year-old-trains-for-another-rock-n-roll-virginia-beach-marathon_134713/feed 0
Trail of the Week: Hoh River Trail, Olympic National Park http://running.competitor.com/2015/09/trail-running/trail-of-the-week-hoh-river-trail-olympic-national-park_134696 http://running.competitor.com/2015/09/trail-running/trail-of-the-week-hoh-river-trail-olympic-national-park_134696#comments Thu, 03 Sep 2015 18:10:27 +0000 http://running.competitor.com/?p=134696

Photo: Ilya Katsnelson /Flickr

A chance to run through rainforest in the Pacific Northwest.

The post Trail of the Week: Hoh River Trail, Olympic National Park appeared first on Competitor.com.

]]>

Photo: Ilya Katsnelson /Flickr

Our Trail of the Week feature is made possible through a partnership with Trail Run Project.

One of America’s last remaining rainforests features a 17-mile path ripe for good trail running. The Hoh Rainforest on the Olympic Peninsula in Washington—and within Olympic National Park—lies about 150 miles west of Seattle.

The Hoh’s major running trail is the Hoh River trail, which leads 17.3 miles to Glacier Meadows and Blue Glacier, on the shoulder of Mount Olympus. Most people run the initial parts of this trail and turn around to retrace their steps once they have been overwhelmed with enough beauty. For this reason, the number of other users drops off after the first few miles, even though this is one of the most heavily used trails in the park.

From the Hoh Rainforest Visitor Center area, take the paved loop east for just 0.2 miles to the junction with Hoh River Trail. This well groomed, easy trail ascends the lush river valley along the north bank of the braided Hoh River. The heavily wooded and mossy trail is mostly flat for the first 12 miles. The first good view of the river comes around 1 mile, although you’ll likely have heard the rush of its waters over the birdsong much earlier. Spot Mount Tom and the High Divide from here. Pass campsites, two small falls and the impressive Cougar Creek cedar grove. After 5.3 miles, you arrive at Five Mile Island, a meadow-like spot formed by a huge gravel bar. Elk often can be found here and there are good views up valley. This is a worthwhile destination after which many people turn around.

For those continuing on, the trail takes on a more mystical wild feel away from other people. Pass the Happy Four shelter, several more campsites and cross a rickety bridge. After the Olympus summer ranger station and the intersection with Hoh Lake Trail, you start really feeling isolated. Marvel at the blue Hoh River water as you near its source. Wind towards the river and away from it, through meadows and dense forest. Begin an abrupt ascent climbing 3,000 feet over four miles through narrowing valleys and over a gorge via the High Ho Bridge.

The Data

Miles: 17.1

Runnable: 88 percent

Singletrack: 100 percent

Average Grade: 6 percent

Max Grade: 32 percent

Total Ascent: 4,897 feet

Total Descent: -427 feet

Highest Elevation: 5,089 feet

For a closer look, check out the interactive map, data, photos and virtual run simulator courtesy of Trail Run Project:

The post Trail of the Week: Hoh River Trail, Olympic National Park appeared first on Competitor.com.

]]>
http://running.competitor.com/2015/09/trail-running/trail-of-the-week-hoh-river-trail-olympic-national-park_134696/feed 0
Workout of the Week: 2 x 6 Miles http://running.competitor.com/2015/09/training/workout-week-2-x-6-miles_115113 http://running.competitor.com/2015/09/training/workout-week-2-x-6-miles_115113#comments Thu, 03 Sep 2015 03:43:55 +0000 http://running.competitor.com/?p=115113

A good 2 x 6 workout can signal a good marathon a few weeks later. Photo: ShutterStock.com

Make this tried-and-true marathon-specific session work for you!

The post Workout of the Week: 2 x 6 Miles appeared first on Competitor.com.

]]>

A good 2 x 6 workout can signal a good marathon a few weeks later. Photo: ShutterStock.com

Fall is right around the corner and many runners will be digging into the meat of their marathon training over the next 1-2 months. Elite or age-grouper, we all like to have a key workout leading up to our big race that, when we can nail it, lets us know we’re in a good position to achieve our goal.

The 2 x 6-mile workout is one of the benchmark sessions for the members of the Hansons-Brooks Distance Project, an elite group of professional distance runners based in Rochester Hills, Mich., which has produced Olympians Brian Sell (2008) and Desiree Davila (2012), and has seen numerous personal bests set amongst the rest of the team since forming in 1999. The Hansons-Brooks athletes know that when they hit the 2 x 6, which is always performed three weeks before their goal marathon, that they’re ready to race well.

RELATED: The 5-4-3-2-1 Long Run

“I think there’s a lot to this workout,” says Luke Humphrey, head coach of Hansons Coaching Services, author of both the Hansons Marathon Method and Hansons Half Marathon Method and 2:14 marathoner who has been a member of the Hansons-Brooks Distance Project since 2004. “To me, if you can be tired but run somewhat controlled and hit your splits, then you are in a good position. Some people will feel amazing and that’s OK too; however, if you feel sluggish and tired but can ‘toughen up’ a little on the second of the six miles, then I think you get a real idea of where you are for strength. It gives you a good idea of what you are going to have to do in the later parts of the marathon.”

So how can you make the Hansons’ 2 x 6-mile workout work for you?

After a 3-mile warmup, form drills and strides, run 6 miles at 5 seconds per mile faster than your goal marathon pace. So, if your 26.2-mile goal pace is 8 minutes per mile, you aim to hold steady at 7:55s for 6 miles. After completing the first 6-mile segment, take 10 minutes to shed clothes, use the bathroom or jog around a little bit before going into another 6 miles at the same pace as the first: 5 seconds per mile faster than goal marathon pace. If you’re feeling good, it’s OK to pick up the pace a little bit—maybe another 5 or so seconds per mile—but you want to avoid racing the second 6-mile segment and compromising your recovery for the next workout a few days later, Humphrey says.

“I don’t recommend blasting the second one,” Humphrey advises. “I feel like we already do a lot of hard work and speeding up on the second one only takes away from your ability to recover for the next workout and provides no real extra stimulus. I feel like I’ve never raced well after crushing this workout.”

The post Workout of the Week: 2 x 6 Miles appeared first on Competitor.com.

]]>
http://running.competitor.com/2015/09/training/workout-week-2-x-6-miles_115113/feed 0
Out There: No Such Thing as a Know-It-All http://running.competitor.com/2015/09/out-there/out-there-no-such-thing-as-a-know-it-all_134703 http://running.competitor.com/2015/09/out-there/out-there-no-such-thing-as-a-know-it-all_134703#comments Thu, 03 Sep 2015 00:54:23 +0000 http://running.competitor.com/?p=134703

A running coach should complement—not override—what an athlete brings to the table.

The post Out There: No Such Thing as a Know-It-All appeared first on Competitor.com.

]]>

A few years ago, I hired a running coach—for the purposes of this column, we’ll call her “Polly.” Though Polly was incredibly nice and one of the most motivating people I’ve met (both important qualities), I eventually learned she lacked one of the most critical elements of a running coach: actual knowledge of how to coach runners.

It wasn’t obvious at first. Polly did a good job playing the role of expert, and I bought what she was selling (literally, with a monthly coaching fee deducted from my bank account). But the more time I spent under her tutelage, the more questions I had about her approach to training. When I asked to modify the plan, she said no. When I said her strategies weren’t working for me, she insisted it worked for others, so I must not be trying hard enough. When I dared question her tactics, she was quick to point out how little I knew about running.

One day, I finally decided to research some of the “facts” she spouted about her training philosophy, only to come face-to-face with reality: my so-called expert, the person I turned to because I didn’t know enough to coach myself, wasn’t such an expert after all.

Eventually, I learned that Polly had only been a runner herself for two years. Her coaching style was identical to the way she had been coached, and the training plans she sent me were the exact same training plans she had followed. The “facts” she shared with me about her training philosophy weren’t facts; they were merely vague, unfounded claims she could recite, but never explain.

She wasn’t an expert—she was a parrot. And I was an idiot for hiring a parrot to coach me to a PR.

Looking back, I cringe at my own stupidity. In addition to bypassing the research portion of hiring Polly, I ignored a lot of red flags during our coach-athlete relationship. The biggest one, of course, is that Polly claimed to know it all.

Here’s the problem with that line of thinking: Nobody knows it all. It’s dangerous to say so; once a person proclaims expertise, it usually signals an end to learning. In the case of Polly, she learned one training strategy that was effective for her, and therefore decided she knew enough to tell other people how to train. That’s how parrots are made.

RELATED: 5 Reasons to Hire a Running Coach

In the years since that eye-opening experience, I’ve encountered dozens of coaches like Polly. Just recently, a friend of mine came to me with a “Polly” story of her own, and the experience left her diminished and embittered. These parrots serve as a stark reminder that just about anyone with the time and willingness can call themselves a coach—but that doesn’t mean they should.

It took months after leaving Polly to find the joy in running again, and even longer before I fully trusted a new coach. When that coach asked for input on my training plan, it made me scoff.

“You’re the expert,” I said. “You tell me what to do.”

“Actually, no,” he replied. “You know yourself better than anyone. That makes you the expert.”

With that statement, I realized I had ignored another big red flag in my tumultuous situation with Polly: failure to give myself some credit. Though I admittedly didn’t know a lot about running back then, I did know how I felt about running under her guidance, and it wasn’t good. In hindsight, I should have listened to my gut.

Take heart—there are very, very good running coaches out there. I have met them, I have worked with them, and I have learned so much from them. The biggest thing I’ve learned, are that the best coaches are the ones who don’t know it all. Instead, they’re the ones whose knowledge complements, not overrides, what an athlete brings to the table.

RELATED: New Runners: How to Choose a Coach

****

About The Author:

Susan Lacke does 5Ks, Ironman Triathlons and everything in between to justify her love for cupcakes (yes, she eats that many). Susan lives and trains in Salt Lake City, Utah with three animals: A labrador, a cattle dog, and a freakishly tall triathlete husband. She claims to be of sound mind, though this has yet to be substantiated by a medical expert. Follow her on Twitter: @SusanLacke

The post Out There: No Such Thing as a Know-It-All appeared first on Competitor.com.

]]>
http://running.competitor.com/2015/09/out-there/out-there-no-such-thing-as-a-know-it-all_134703/feed 0
Ask the Experts: Ryan Martin Talks Nutrition, Training, Drills http://running.competitor.com/2015/09/video/ask-the-experts-ryan-martin-talks-nutrition-training-drills_134708 http://running.competitor.com/2015/09/video/ask-the-experts-ryan-martin-talks-nutrition-training-drills_134708#comments Wed, 02 Sep 2015 23:42:13 +0000 http://running.competitor.com/?p=134708

The ASICS professional runner answered a variety of reader questions.

The post Ask the Experts: Ryan Martin Talks Nutrition, Training, Drills appeared first on Competitor.com.

]]>

Recently, ASICS professional runner Ryan Martin answered a variety of reader-submitted questions, ranging from nutrition strategies to favorite drills to training strategy as the season progresses.

The post Ask the Experts: Ryan Martin Talks Nutrition, Training, Drills appeared first on Competitor.com.

]]>
http://running.competitor.com/2015/09/video/ask-the-experts-ryan-martin-talks-nutrition-training-drills_134708/feed 0
Scientists May Have Pinpointed the Reason for ‘Runner’s High’ http://running.competitor.com/2015/09/news/scientists-may-have-pinpointed-the-reason-for-runners-high_134677 http://running.competitor.com/2015/09/news/scientists-may-have-pinpointed-the-reason-for-runners-high_134677#comments Wed, 02 Sep 2015 17:30:52 +0000 http://running.competitor.com/?p=134677

Photo: Shutterstock.com

Could our desire to run stem from our primitive need to find food?

The post Scientists May Have Pinpointed the Reason for ‘Runner’s High’ appeared first on Competitor.com.

]]>

Photo: Shutterstock.com

Runner’s high is real—just ask any runner—and now, scientists may have found an explanation for it.

A new study published by Cell Metabolism concludes that running-induced endorphins stem from leptin, a fat cell-derived hormone that signals to the brain when the body has enough fuel and energy. The new research suggests that falling leptin levels “send a hunger signal to the brain’s pleasure center to generate the rewarding effects of running.”

“Based on these findings, we think that a fall in leptin levels increases motivation for physical activity as a means to enhance exploration and the pursuit of food,” senior study author Stephanie Fulton of the University of Montreal said in a press release. “Our study also suggests that people with lower fat-adjusted leptin levels, such as high-performance marathon runners, could potentially be more susceptible to the rewarding effects of running and thus possibly more inclined to exercise.”

Low leptin levels have previously been linked to exercise addiction and fast marathon times in humans, as well as greater running speed in mice. But this is the first time it’s been linked with the feeling of euphoria many runners get.

The scientists used genetically engineered mice that lacked STAT3, a leptin-sensitive protein which relays the leptin signal specifically in neurons that release dopamine. With a running wheel in their cage, the STAT3-deficient mice ran almost twice as much as normal mice and spent more time in a part of the cage that had the running wheel, suggesting that a drop of leptin-induced STAT3 correlates with an increase in the rewarding effects of running.

The scientists plan to further explore this link, testing the hypothesis of running reward being associated with food seeking among other theories.

“We do not want people to think that leptin is the only metabolic signal controlling the rewarding effects of running,” Fulton said. “Likewise, dopamine is not the only brain chemical involved. More work is needed to parcel out the precise contribution of dopamine, opioid and endogenous cannabinoid signals and the manner by which they interact to impact physical activities and its rewarding effects.”

The post Scientists May Have Pinpointed the Reason for ‘Runner’s High’ appeared first on Competitor.com.

]]>
http://running.competitor.com/2015/09/news/scientists-may-have-pinpointed-the-reason-for-runners-high_134677/feed 0
Shoe of the Week: Skechers GoRun Ultra Road http://running.competitor.com/2015/09/shoes-and-gear/shoe-of-the-week-skechers-gorun-ultra-road_134655 http://running.competitor.com/2015/09/shoes-and-gear/shoe-of-the-week-skechers-gorun-ultra-road_134655#comments Wed, 02 Sep 2015 16:25:43 +0000 http://running.competitor.com/?p=134655

The GoRun Ultra Road is the most cushioned shoe from Skechers Performance yet.

Our wear-testers think the GoRun Ultra Road is one of the best maximally cushioned shoes out there.

The post Shoe of the Week: Skechers GoRun Ultra Road appeared first on Competitor.com.

]]>

The GoRun Ultra Road is the most cushioned shoe from Skechers Performance yet.

Fit-Feel-Ride: Although Skechers Performance was founded around lightweight, low-to-the-ground neutral training and racing flats with a decidedly natural feel, the brand has evolved to include a few slightly more structured shoes with additional cushioning and support. The best one so far is the maximally cushioned GoRun Ultra Road, a neutral model with an engineered knit upper that moves and flexes with the foot while also providing some dynamic support to keep the foot locked in place. It’s not a stability shoe (and isn’t meant for severe overpronators), but it has more material underfoot than previous Skechers Performance and it’s not nearly as marshmallowy soft as the original GoRun Ultra and GoRun Ultra 2 or as flimsy as some of the original GoRun models. Like some of its svelte cousins, it has a soft, flexible feeling underfoot, but it also has enough structure for long-distance running, thanks in part to much more durable outsole interspersed with sturdy rubber pods.

What makes this unique from many maximally cushioned shoes is that it’s both soft and cushy but amazingly responsive too, due to thick layers of absorbent and resilient foam sandwiched together in the midsole. It’s a shoe that can accommodate 2-hour-plus training runs with long-wearing comfort, while also serving as your shoe of choice for long intervals and tempo runs. Several of our wear-testers suggested it was one of the best maximally cushioned shoes they’ve ever run in.

This is the shoe for you if … You’re looking for a max-cushioned, smooth-riding shoe for long-distance running.

Price: $115
Weights: 10.4 oz. (men’s 9.0), 8.3 oz. (women’s 7.0)
Heel-Toe Offset: 4mm; 30mm (heel), 26mm (forefoot)
Info: Skechers Performance

RELATED: Shoe of the Week—Hoka One One Clifton 2

The post Shoe of the Week: Skechers GoRun Ultra Road appeared first on Competitor.com.

]]>
http://running.competitor.com/2015/09/shoes-and-gear/shoe-of-the-week-skechers-gorun-ultra-road_134655/feed 0
Photos: Amazing Images from the 2015 Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc http://running.competitor.com/2015/09/photos/photos-amazing-images-from-the-2015-ultra-trail-du-mont-blanc_134578 http://running.competitor.com/2015/09/photos/photos-amazing-images-from-the-2015-ultra-trail-du-mont-blanc_134578#comments Wed, 02 Sep 2015 04:36:56 +0000 http://running.competitor.com/?p=134578

More than 7,250 runners tackled one of the five races during UTMB week that ranged in length between 50K and 300K.

The post Photos: Amazing Images from the 2015 Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc appeared first on Competitor.com.

]]>

The 13th annual Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc trail running race was held Aug. 28-30 in Chamonix, France. The 104-mile race sends runners around the the Mont Blanc massif, the largest mountain range in Western Europe, on a through-the-night voyage through parts of France, Italy and Switzerland. Runners tackle more than 30,000 feet of vertical gain and go up and over 10 mountains before reaching the finish line back in Chamonix. In all, more than 7,250 runners tackled one of the five races during UTMB week that ranged in length between 50K and 300K.

RELATED: Americans Run Strong at UTMB, CCC in Chamonix

The post Photos: Amazing Images from the 2015 Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc appeared first on Competitor.com.

]]>
http://running.competitor.com/2015/09/photos/photos-amazing-images-from-the-2015-ultra-trail-du-mont-blanc_134578/feed 0
Generation Next: America’s Fastest Young Runners http://running.competitor.com/2015/09/features/generation-next-americas-fastest-young-runners_134316 http://running.competitor.com/2015/09/features/generation-next-americas-fastest-young-runners_134316#comments Tue, 01 Sep 2015 18:33:31 +0000 http://running.competitor.com/?p=134316

Photo: Isaac Lane Koval

We take a look at 15 of the country’s best young runners.

The post Generation Next: America’s Fastest Young Runners appeared first on Competitor.com.

]]>

Photo: Isaac Lane Koval


The next crop of American runners is already here. We take a look at 15 of the country’s best young runners who are already making a big impact in marathons, trail running, cross country and track and field. Will they rise to the highest level in their sport and compete in the Olympics or world championships? Time will tell. But for now, they’re already pretty darn good.

Alexa Efraimson, 18
Camas, Wash.

When people talk about the next great American female running phenom, they often mention Mary Cain. But someone who also deserves to be in that limelight is Alexa Efraimson. Like Cain, this middle-distance ace decided to skip college running and turn pro. (She’s training under the guidance of her high school coach Mike Hickey and taking classes at University of Portland.) Last year, she broke Cain’s American high school indoor record for the 3,000 meters by almost 2 seconds (9:00.16). In 2013, Efraimson won bronze at the World Youth Championship 1,500m event. “I attribute my success in running to my support group, my close friends, my family, my coach and my training partners,” Efraimson,says. “They are there through the ups and the downs and they always believe, not only on race day but every day, which I think is one of the strongest contributors to my success.” Efraimson is currently focusing on the 1,500m—a distance she thinks she’s best at running. She lowered her 1,500m PR to 4:03.39, setting a new American junior record while placing seventh at the Pre Classic international track meet on May 30 in Eugene, Ore. “I like to take one season at a time and one race at a time, each as a stepping stone and learning opportunity,” she says. —Duncan Larkin

The post Generation Next: America’s Fastest Young Runners appeared first on Competitor.com.

]]>
http://running.competitor.com/2015/09/features/generation-next-americas-fastest-young-runners_134316/feed 0
Four-Legged Fun: A Guide to Running With Your Dog http://running.competitor.com/2015/09/features/four-legged-fun-a-guide-to-running-with-your-dog_134626 http://running.competitor.com/2015/09/features/four-legged-fun-a-guide-to-running-with-your-dog_134626#comments Tue, 01 Sep 2015 18:08:17 +0000 http://running.competitor.com/?p=134626

Know the local leash laws before heading out on a trail with your dog, and always have a leash handy for safety. Photo: Julia Beck Vandenoever

Having a canine running partner reaps big rewards for both human and pup. Here's how to do it right.

The post Four-Legged Fun: A Guide to Running With Your Dog appeared first on Competitor.com.

]]>

Know the local leash laws before heading out on a trail with your dog, and always have a leash handy for safety. Photo: Julia Beck Vandenoever

Dogs make great running partners. They’re almost always game for whatever route you have in mind. They never have scheduling conflicts. And they’re extremely happy while running, their joy undeniably rubbing off on you. Plus, knowing your dog needs exercise provides a motivational bonus for you, getting you both out the door.

But how do you know if your dog is fit to run? Or needs a recovery day? And where are the best places to take your dog running with you? Follow our guide to ensure both you and pup make the most of running together.

Puppy? Be Patient

Most vets recommend waiting until a puppy is 1 to 2 years old, depending on the breed, before taking them running with you. “You want to wait until they’re fully skeletally mature, when their growth plates are done closing,” says Dr. Elisabeth Jobe of Advanced Animal Care of Colorado. “When the bones are developing, and you’re putting stress on them, you can cause premature closure of the growth plates which increases the risk of arthritis and other issues.”

Smaller breeds mature sooner than larger breeds, and can be ready to run when they’re a year to a year and a half. Larger breeds can take 18 to 24 months. Check with your vet for more specific guidance.

Dogs Need Training, Too

Like people, dogs shouldn’t go from off-the-couch to running 5 miles without training. “It’s important to build endurance in dogs gradually, just as you would in humans,” says Dr. Lynne Hapel of Eastown Veterinary Clinic in Grand Rapids, Mich. Gradually building up to longer distances is key to getting a dog’s whole body toned evenly, which helps prevent injury from doing too much, too soon.

“Simulate what they’re going to be doing,” Jobe says. “Do that same type of activity in small amounts initially, and increase by 10 to 15 percent every 14 days or so.

Hiking and run-walking can ease a dog into running shape, and hiking is an ideal start for dogs and owners who will be trail running together.

With the right dog and a gradual buildup of training, you may be surprised at how long your dog can go. Joelle Vaught, an ultrarunner from Boise, Idaho, has been running with her German Shorthair pups for years. “We’ve done 50Ks together!” she says.

RELATED: An Ultrarunning Trail Fiend of a Dog

Where To Run

Soft surfaces like dirt and grass are better for paws than pavement and concrete. “Running on gravel or rock can be painful to a dog,” says Judy Morgan, holistic veterinarian in Clayton, N.J. “And pea gravel can get between pads and cause irritation.” Remember: You’re wearing protective shoes; they aren’t.

If you head to a trail, know the leash laws in your area. Some trails have voice control laws that allow your dog off-leash if they’ve undergone proper training and wear a certain tag to prove it. While some vets recommend always having a dog on leash (but not a retractable leash, which can extend too long) for the safety of the owner, the dog, and those around them, others say it depends on the dog. Having a leash handy (even if a dog is running off-leash) can help quell unexpected confrontations with other dogs or trail users (especially at a trailhead), as well as the instinct to chase wildlife.

Running on dirt surfaces in tree-covered areas is ideal, as the shade keeps the trail cool in hot months. And running on hilly terrain that slows you down can be good for your dog, as they’re better able to keep up. Just make sure to go easy on them and train them for the hills as you would yourself.

If you do run on concrete through urban areas, plan wisely. Jobe says she runs on sidewalks while letting her dogs run on the grass alongside. And Hapel recommends planning routes where you know fresh water is available.

Check For Ticks

Post-run, it’s important to check your pup’s fur and skin for burrs, and their pads for any tears. But if you live somewhere that has ticks of any sort, be sure to scan your dog for those, too.

Bernadine Cruz, a veterinarian in Orange County, Calif., recommends getting preventive tick medicine from your vet. But if you do find a tick on your pup, she suggests using tweezers, needle-nose pliers or roach clips instead of your fingers. “You don’t need to twist it. Just grab as close to the skin as possible and pull straight up. The bump left over isn’t a head—it’s just a reaction. Clean the area with a little alcohol.”

It’s best to remove a tick within 24 hours of latching on, so get in the habit of checking both your dog and yourself post-run.

“If your pet develops any symptoms—anything that just seems off for a day or two, if they’re weak, vomiting, diarrhea, stiff in the joints, have a fever—have them looked at,” Cruz says.

Health and Safety

Running on a trail near a water source can give your dog a place to cool down by wallowing in a creek or cooling their belly in a lake. There, however, you run the risk of your dog lapping up water that might have giardia or other intestinal threats. If you know your dog will run into any water it sees, keep it on a leash and bring ample water for both of you.

Know that dogs don’t sweat, but rather pant to cool off. To keep them cool in summer months, exercise with them in the early morning or late evening. And if you live somewhere with a snowy, icy winter, consider putting them in a jacket or sweater made for dogs (if they’ll let you). And check their paws frequently during the run for snow and ice balls, clearing the space between their toes from built-up snow.

Most importantly, be sure to listen to your dog and look closely for any changes in its gait as you run.

“Limping means pain,” Jobe says. Your pup could have stepped on something like a cactus spine, or have a minor cut on one of their pads, but a limp could also suggest something more serious.

How Much Is Too Much?

Since your dog wants to please you, it might run with you beyond its limit. “If you stop for a break and your dog lies down right away, that’s a good sign that they’ve had enough,” Jobe says.

She also advises that if your dog seems tired for more than four to six hours after exercising, then it was too much. And if your dogs wakes that afternoon or evening and seems stiff, taking longer than usual to get up or down, then it’s time to back off on the running a bit.

And, if your dog kicks one leg out all the time, they might be shifting away from that leg for a reason. “It’s something to think about,” Jobe says.

The post Four-Legged Fun: A Guide to Running With Your Dog appeared first on Competitor.com.

]]>
http://running.competitor.com/2015/09/features/four-legged-fun-a-guide-to-running-with-your-dog_134626/feed 0
Running and Chafing: 5 Tips To Ward Off Unwelcome Irritation http://running.competitor.com/2015/09/injury-prevention/running-and-chafing-5-tips-to-ward-off-unwelcome-irritation_134467 http://running.competitor.com/2015/09/injury-prevention/running-and-chafing-5-tips-to-ward-off-unwelcome-irritation_134467#comments Tue, 01 Sep 2015 16:29:57 +0000 http://running.competitor.com/?p=134467

Compression apparel can help reduce skin-to-clothing friction. Photo: Shutterstock.com

There are many things that can negatively affect your race, but anyone who has ever crossed the finish line hunched over in a delicate

The post Running and Chafing: 5 Tips To Ward Off Unwelcome Irritation appeared first on Competitor.com.

]]>

Compression apparel can help reduce skin-to-clothing friction. Photo: Shutterstock.com

There are many things that can negatively affect your race, but anyone who has ever crossed the finish line hunched over in a delicate crab walk can understand that chafing is one of the most painful and annoying afflictions that can strike you while out on the course.

Dr. Sebastian Gonzales, a member of the sports medical team at the Surf City Marathon and Half Marathon in Huntington Beach, says that the causes of chafing are simple. “Chafing with running typically is just an irritation to the skin from excessive friction,” he says. “This can happen in a variety of places from nipples to thighs—anything is really fair game. It can happen in a place where the skin comes into contact with other skin, where moisture remains or exposed to clothing.” Gonzales says factors like excessive temperatures, sensitive skin and bad clothing choices can exacerbate race-day chafing. “On the topic of overall body composition, if an athlete has excessive skin from recent weight loss, excessive fat or even excessive muscle skin from muscular development, they can also be more susceptible to chafing,” he adds.

RELATED: Dealing With Injuries That Aren’t Really Injuries

Coach Danny Fisher of Runners Connect says that another chafing culprit behind is your body’s own salt. “When you sweat, you also push out salt,” he says. “Salt grains have a sharp, square structure. As you dehydrate, you continue to push out more salt but not enough water to wash the salts away. That salt then can begin to work like sand paper against your skin.”

Here are five tried-and-true tips to keep yourself safe from the chafe:

1. Get to know your hot spots in advance.

Showing up on on race day hoping that you won’t chafe under your armpits or between your thighs like you have been throughout your training is a big mistake. Fisher suggests a “prehab” routine in order to avoid having to do rehab after the race.  Note your problem areas in your running journal and create a plan to treat them with anti-friction lubricant as part of your pre-race preparation routine.

2. Test out solutions in training.

A long training run can also be used as a laboratory for experimenting with anti-chafing remedies. On these runs, select a few different types of lubricants or powders to find out which work best for you. Those who tend to chafe around their nipples should use small Band-Aids to prevent that scary finish-line photo. Also, try out different types of clothes—moisture-wicking fabrics tend to reduce friction better than your most comfortable cotton t-shirt.

3. Wear compression shorts and other snug clothing.

Compression apparel such as shorts or tights can drastically reduce leg-to-leg friction, or problematic instances where too loose clothes bunch up and rub you the wrong way. Fisher also recommends snug undergarments like sportsbras for women. In addition to wearing tighter clothes, be sure to use anti-chafing lubricant to reduce the risk of skin-to-clothing friction.

4. Take early preventative action.

The minute you suspect you’re starting to chafe is the time to do something about it. Gonzales says you shouldn’t feel shy about finding a medical official along the course and asking for Vaseline or other protective supplies. Fisher recommends splashing water on yourself at water stations to rinse away the salt and then applying lubricant on the susceptible area. “Also take your time taking in some electrolytes and fluids,” Fisher suggests.

5. Plan for your chafing recovery.

Gonzales suggests runners rinse any painful parts or irritated areas as soon as possible after the race. “Clean the area with soap and water to remove dirt and debris,” he advises. “Stop the bleeding if there is any via firm pressure and see a doctor if the area does not seem to be improving as normal rashes do within a few days.” He also suggests letting the chafed areas air out. Lastly, learn from the experience. Remember what worked, what didn’t, and log these lessons so that your next race is as friction-free as possible.

RELATED: How Runners Prevent Chafing Issues

The post Running and Chafing: 5 Tips To Ward Off Unwelcome Irritation appeared first on Competitor.com.

]]>
http://running.competitor.com/2015/09/injury-prevention/running-and-chafing-5-tips-to-ward-off-unwelcome-irritation_134467/feed 0