Competitor.com http://running.competitor.com Your Online Source for Running Mon, 29 May 2017 14:43:11 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Runners Rock Liverpool http://running.competitor.com/2017/05/race-coverage/runners-rock-liverpool_164613 Mon, 29 May 2017 14:39:08 +0000 http://running.competitor.com/?p=164613 More than 20,000 runners took part in this weekend’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Liverpool Marathon & 1/2 Marathon, which included a 5K on

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More than 20,000 runners took part in this weekend’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Liverpool Marathon & 1/2 Marathon, which included a 5K on Saturday followed by a Half Marathon, Marathon and Mile Fun Run on Sunday. Neil Smith from East Grinstead ran an amazing marathon race, coming in 1st place at a time of 2.33.54. Sofia Mattiasson from Sweden won the women’s marathon, breaking a new course record at a time of 2.57.32. Sam Pictor from Westbury was the first half marathon runner home with a time of 1.10.24. Ireland’s Sinéad Tangney won the women’s Half Marathon in a time of 1.21.25, another new course record.

Rock legends Republica, smashed out a brilliant gig at the Finish Festival Concert outside Echo Arena. In addition to the headliner concert, live bands of every genre played along the race course entertaining and encouraging runners as they made their way to the finish line.

Photos by Ryan Bethke

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2017 Rock ‘n’ Roll Liverpool 5k http://running.competitor.com/2017/05/race-coverage/2017-rock-n-roll-liverpool-5k_164596 Sat, 27 May 2017 18:27:55 +0000 http://running.competitor.com/?p=164596 Photos by Ryan Bethke

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Photos by Ryan Bethke

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NYRR Wants To Break A World Record For Global Running Day http://running.competitor.com/2017/05/news/nyrr-world-record-global-running-day_164580 Wed, 24 May 2017 22:14:00 +0000 http://running.competitor.com/?p=164580 In honor of Global Running Day, NYRR is attempting to set a world record at this fun event.

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Photo: NYRR

Global Running Day is fast approaching. On June 7th, the worldwide running community comes together to celebrate the sport we love. To mark the occasion, New York Road Runners will attempt to break a Guinness World Record.

NYRR will begin their “Most People in a Treadmill Relay” on June 6th. Over the course of two days, each relay participant will run one mile on a treadmill, before switching off to the next person. Each runner has to complete their mile faster than 9:41 pace. The world-record mark is set at 250 people. NYRR hopes to top that, with the event lasting around 33 hours.

The participants will range from pro athletes to celebrities to runners from NYRR’s programs. A few pro runners may even take a turn on the relay treadmill. NYRR plans to announce a participant list as the event gets closer.

If you want to catch the action in person, the relay will be taking place at the NYRR RUNCENTER on 57th Street in Manhattan. It is open to the public from 7a.m. until 8 p.m.

Related: Two World Records Set In The Indoor Marathon This Weekend

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5 Inventions Runners Desperately Need http://running.competitor.com/2017/05/funny/5-amazing-ideas-invented-runenrs_161593 Wed, 24 May 2017 22:00:28 +0000 http://runhaven.lan/?p=11039 In a perfect world, all of these amazing inventions would exist.

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What runner hasn’t daydreamed about a world in which temperature would be of no concern to training plans. If only we lived in a land with these magical luxuries. Here are five amazing ideas that need to be invented just for runners.

Temperature-controlled attire

Imagine setting the ideal temperature on your gloves, long-sleeve technical top, leggings and socks. All fully adjustable of course, so you can perfect your temperature as you warm up or cool down.  Also comes in air-conditioned models for summer.

Roadside Service

Need to change your shirt? Shed your gloves? Forgot to pack an extra Gu or need additional hydration? A support van is at your beck and call, following alongside and granting your every wish, without you even needing to break stride. Simply call in your route ahead of time and send a text message mid-run to place your order. Alcoholic beverages optional with proper ID.

Watch-free GPS

No more waiting around in the cold to catch a signal. You can now have a microchip tucked into your clothing or shoe that will feed you real-time information through an ear pod. It never needs to be charged, will automatically download to your laptop and will post to all pertinent social media using the appropriate hashtags. #Technologyproblemssolved

Related: 9 Tips And Tricks For Your GPS

Live Treadmill Entertainment

Sometimes it’s just too dangerous to brave the elements outside and there’s no alternative but the ol’ treadmill. The ultimate cure for ‘mill boredom would be live entertainment, preferably a great rock concert or maybe even some stand-up comedy. If I could run during a live Imagine Dragons concert or up my mood along with my endorphins while laughing at Chelsea Handler, I’m pretty sure the miles would fly by.

Ready-Made Meals

Imagine not having to put any thought into your post-run nutrition. You could simply order a gourmet meal based on your mileage for the day with the perfect ratio of carbs, fats and protein. It would be waiting for you upon your sweaty return in all its mouth-watering, good-for-you, nutritional glory. The only payment would be a donation of your old running gear. Runners are nothing if not charitable, right?

Of course, runners pride themselves on being a hardy bunch and braving the elements, all in the name of relentless forward progress. But still, a little pampering never jeopardized a PR.

Related: 2017 Running Gear Guide

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Carbs Vs. Fat Fueled Workouts: Which Is Better? http://running.competitor.com/2017/05/nutrition/carbs-vs-fat-fuel_161559 Wed, 24 May 2017 16:00:59 +0000 http://runhaven.lan/?p=6658 This may make you rethink your next pre-race meal.

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It’s dinnertime the night before a big race. What type of food you usually turn to? A giant bowl of angel-hair pasta with grilled chicken? A baked potato with veggies? A turkey sandwich piled onto a dense, crusty baguette?

As runners, we’re constantly told to load up on the carbs before and during long races. But as high-protein, low-carbohydrate diets are becoming more popular among health-conscious athletes, long-distance runners are starting to take different fueling approaches.

Ever heard of Tom Olson? He’s an ultramarathoner  who runs 100 miles at a time. He’s competed in the Western States 100-Mile Endurance Run, the world’s oldest and most prestigious ultramarathon. In 2011, after loading up on carbs, Olson was plagued with cramps and stomach issues that forced him to take dozens of trailside bathroom breaks. A year later? He’d cut wheat and most carbohydrates from his diet. Fueled almost entirely by proteins and fats, he finished the 100-mile race in record time, beating the previous record by 21 minutes.

It’s worth noting that Olson may have been dealing with a gluten intolerance. But not only was he able to function athletically without carbs, but he thrived and improved.

The Paleo Diet

If you’re intrigued by the concept, consider picking up a copy of The Paleo Diet for Athletes, a book written by long-time runner Joe Friel and Dr. Loren Cordain. Friel argued that a carb-heavy diet was superior for high-endurance athletes like himself. Meanwhile Cordain suggested that a Paleo diet would be better. Also known as the caveman diet, Paleo emulates the food eaten by humans during the Paleolithic era by eliminating dairy, grains, legumes, processed oils, and refined sugar.

Friel committed to the Paleo diet to prove his point, and felt awful at first. But after a couple weeks, he found that he was able to hit distances he hadn’t been near in years. He recovered from long runs more quickly than before, as a result of more vitamins, minerals, and proteins from the new diet. A friendly argument and competition with a friend turned into a lifestyle change. It resulted in the publication of their book, which has been converting distance runners to the diet since 2005.

But even Friel and Cordain, who swear by the Paleo lifestyle, encourage runners to abandon the diet’s strict rules and adhere to carb-loading norms around race time, especially for a run more than 10 miles. A protein-rich, natural diet without processed foods could indeed improve your overall health and fitness. But as a runner, you may not want to give up those bowls of pasta and energy gels altogether.

What Works Best For You?

In short, here are a few things to keep in mind regarding high-carb vs. high-protein diets as a runner:

  • Everyone’s body is different and responds to fuel a little differently. Pay attention to what works for you.
  • If you decide to make a big nutritional change, do your research. Be aware of potential side effects and keep an eye on how your body responds to changes.
  • Don’t make any drastic changes right before a race. Let your body get used to a new diet before you tackle a long distance.

Related: The Paleo Diet: Right For Runners

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The Truth About Protein Powders http://running.competitor.com/2017/05/nutrition/truth-protein-powders_161433 Wed, 24 May 2017 16:00:41 +0000 http://runhaven.lan/?p=6497 Athletes are protein powder obsessed, but is it really the best way to add protein to your diet?

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It’s no surprise – our society is protein-obsessed. Everybody is worried about somehow being protein deficient. (That ain’t gonna happen, folks!) And big food companies keep feeding the frenzy – high-protein Cheerios, anyone? Don’t be duped by clever marketing.

This misconception is particularly rampant among the gym crowd. People think they need more protein to build bigger muscles. Sorry, muscle is built in the gym, not in the kitchen. Regardless, the sale of protein powders and shakes has skyrocketed in recent years. Not only are these shakes completely unnecessary, you may be doing more harm than good. Excess protein, particularly animal protein, has been shown to cause some major problems. It accelerates the aging process. Any excess that your body is not using either gets stored as fat or eliminated through the kidneys, causing a leaching of calcium and kidney stones.

How much protein do we need?

The Institute of Medicine recommends that adults consume 0.8 grams of protein for every kilogram of ideal body weight per day. Some protein supplements have 50 grams per shake!

Athletes who work out 12 hours or more per week should increase their protein intake to 1.37 grams per kilo of body weight. Even those athletes do not need to supplement with protein powder, though. Ditch the protein powders and look to whole plant foods instead.

Go get some high-protein plant foods, such as sunflower seeds, hemp seeds and Mediterranean pine nuts. They can easily be added to a smoothie if that’s your go-to post-workout. These same foods can be incorporated into post-workout meals, along with lots of green vegetables, beans and whole grains, which are rich in micronutrients as well as protein.

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7 Foods Runners Should Eat Every Day http://running.competitor.com/2017/05/nutrition/7-healthy-foods-runners_161582 Wed, 24 May 2017 00:00:21 +0000 http://runhaven.lan/?p=15799 Pump up your health and athletic performance with these healthy foods!

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Whether you’re an elite athlete or a penguin plodder, a runner’s body has special nutritional needs. You just can’t do your best on a terrible diet.

The following healthy foods not only contribute to overall health but also pack an extra punch for running-related requirements, including increased energy, improved performance and quickened recovery. Read on to learn how they can help you and how you can incorporate them into your diet.

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Oats

I know, I know, you’ve heard for ages all about how great oatmeal is for your body. But the benefits are plenty and proven. It lowers cholesterol, eases constipation, helps control blood sugar, reduces the risk of colon cancer and improves heart health. In addition, it is a great source of high-quality carbohydrates to fuel your workouts. And colloidal oatmeal applied topically helps many skin conditions such as eczema and allergic reactions.

Take note that packaged single-serving packets can be highly processed and high in sugar. Try making your oatmeal at home using minimal sugar or natural sweeteners such as stevia or honey. Don’t like good ole oatmeal? Add oats to healthy baked goods.

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Yogurt

This creamy delight contains calcium for bone health and protein for muscle recovery, as well as other body-boosting nutrients. It also has good-for-your-gut probiotics that ease gastrointestinal discomfort and boost immunity. Greek yogurt has extra protein that is perfect for a post-run snack to replenish and rebuild those fatigued muscles.

Flavored yogurt tastes great on its own, but keep an eye out for excessive added sugar. You can get plain yogurt and sweeten at home with healthier alternatives and vanilla extract. Plain yogurt also makes a great substitute for sour cream. Try adding yogurt to your oatmeal for some heavenly creaminess, or use it in smoothies and shakes.

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Chia seeds

These tiny little super seeds are loaded with body-loving nutrition. They contain omega-3 fatty acids, phosphorus, fiber, calcium, protein and quality carbs. Consequently these super specks can do wonders for your energy levels, helping you power through your day, as well as your sweat session.

But how exactly do you eat them? One popular method is to put them in water and drink them. They’re pretty much tasteless, but they “gel up” in liquid, which can make for an unpleasant slimy sensation. Fortunately, there are more palatable ways! You can make chia pudding, add to baked goods, mix into your oatmeal, sprinkle on a salad, add to smoothies or stir into yogurt.

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Bananas

If there were ever a mascot food for runners, the banana would be it. These golden grails are packed with everything a runner needs. They are a prime source of easily digestible carbohydrates to power your run. Bananas are also rich in potassium for optimal muscle function and cramp prevention. They even contain probiotics for enhanced nutrient absorption. Plus they’re inexpensive, portable and delicious!

Don’t like bananas on their own? Try using in smoothies, spreading slices with peanut butter, slicing onto oatmeal or cereal, or making banana bread.

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Avocados

There is so much green goodness packed into this powerhouse! You may know that avocados provide a good dose of healthy monounsaturated fats. They are also chock full of 20 vitamins and minerals that are beneficial for skin and eye health, immune function, cancer prevention and more. They even have more potassium than bananas for an electrolyte boost and cramp prevention. But did you know they can also reduce muscle and joint soreness? Avocados pack powerful anti-inflammatory properties strong enough to ease arthritis symptoms. These same effects can help your body recover after a hard workout.

Whether you put slices on a sandwich, smash into guacamole or top a salad with them, avocados are a smart choice. They are great in desserts!

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Coffee

It’s a shame people think coffee a bad habit they should kick, because it is loaded with antioxidants. It is also proven to have protective effects against diabetes, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, heart disease, stroke, various cancers and more. Of course there are the obvious energy effects. A fresh cup of joe in the morning is how most of America gets anything done. For runners, a jolt of java is the perfect pre-workout boost that allows you to go harder, faster and longer. The dose of caffeine is clinically proven to improve athletic performance — especially helpful for particularly tough workouts or on race day. Additionally, coffee helps reduce post-workout muscle soreness.

It’s really the additions we dump in that do the damage — the refined sugar, the fat-packed creamers and the chemical additives. But if you don’t like plain black coffee, there is no need to give up all the sweet creaminess! Just be smart about it. Use stevia, pure unrefined cane sugar or coconut sugar. Choose from a variety of milks to replace creamer. Buy an organic brand of coffee to ensure you are getting the best beans. All of this may mean you should give up your daily Starbucks visit, but at least you’ll save some money in the process.

Before you start downing a cup an hour throughout the day, though, note that experts recommend up to four cups per day for maximum disease-fighting and performance-boosting benefits. Moderation is key. Pick a level that is right for your unique body and doesn’t turn you into a shaky, nervous hummingbird!

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Coconut oil

You have probably heard of all the benefits of coconut lately. This trend is probably not going away, and for good reason. Although there has been controversy over coconut fat, which is mostly saturated, it’s a different kind of saturated (medium-chain fatty acids) that is metabolized differently by the body. It actually can help you burn fat more efficiently and increase your metabolism. Coconut oil also helps fight infection, boost brain function, improve cholesterol levels and even treat neurological disorders. Of particular interest to runners, it has anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties to soothe those sore muscles and joints. Bonus: Topically it works well as a moisturizer and natural sunscreen. Take note that these benefits have been found with pure organic virgin coconut oil, not the refined and processed kind, so read the label before you buy.

Obviously you probably won’t be eating coconut oil by the spoonful (yuck!), but you can add it to baked goods or use it as a cooking oil. My favorite way to consume it is to add a tablespoon to my coffee in the morning. Just don’t jump off the deep end and add it to everything — 1 to 2 tablespoons a day is plenty.

Try to increase your intake of these foods and see how you feel — in general and in your running life. It’s easier than you think, too. Start with some coffee with coconut oil in the morning, have oatmeal with chia seeds for breakfast, enjoy a banana before your run and refuel with a green avocado shake afterward. Boom! You’re covered for the day!

See more from Lindsay at Fit Mix Mom

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Ultrarunners To Compete In FKT Race On China’s Yuzhu Peak http://running.competitor.com/2017/05/news/ultrarunners-compete-fastest-known-time-chinas-yuzhu-peak_164554 Fri, 19 May 2017 18:53:06 +0000 http://running.competitor.com/?p=164554 On May 20, ultrarunners Stevie Kremer and Anna Frost will be competing in a challenging 12km FKT race up China's Yuzhu Peak.

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Yuzhu Peak, Photo: Courtesy of Xtrail FKT Race

Yuzhu Peak, Photo: Courtesy of Xtrail FKT RaceYuzhu Peak, Photo: Courtesy of Xtrail FKT Race

The Xtrail FKT (Fastest Known Time) Race, which tops out at 20,420 feet above sea level, is the highest trail run in the world and will be held on May 20 on Yuzhu Peak in Tsinghai, China. To provide some perspective, that’s 184 feet higher than Denali and more than 1,000 feet up from Mount Kilimanjaro. Yuzhu Peak is about 10 kilometers east of Kunlun Pass and 160km from Golmud, the nearest population center in western China.

The event is organized by Xtrail Expedition Sports Co., Ltd. Founded in 2014 and based in Beijing, Xtrail organizes inclusive and dynamic options for the community of outdoor racing enthusiasts in China and abroad. Xtrail’s events include professional-level endurance races, including ultras and adventure races, urban outdoor events, and team-building adventure races for businesses and communities.

The Xtrail FKT is 12km in distance; all of it ascending to the summit and then returning to the basecamp start/finish at 18,375 feet. Much of the route is on snow and ice and the competitors will be equipped with crampons and ice axes, and will be on fixed ropes for the upper part of the course.

RELATED: Inside The FKT (Fastest Known Time) Trend

A map of the 12km course/ascent. Photo: Courtesy of Xtrail FKT RaceA map of the 12km course/ascent. Photo: Courtesy of Xtrail FKT Race

The average weather temperature during this time of year is -5 degrees Celsius with the lower portion of the mountain being protected from winds that will likely confront the runners after they get past the first checkpoint’s protective ridge. The slope is relatively steady and safe, which is why Yuzhu is frequently used for high-altitude training in China.

The race field is limited to just ten people, including champion ultrarunners Stevie Kremer and Anna Frost.

After winning the all-women’s FKT event on Yuzhu Peak last year, Stevie Kremer is returning for a second time. Kremer said she loved last year’s upper rope and crampon section because it was new and unique to her. “I have never had to put real, legit mountaineering crampons on before, and since the mountain isn’t especially technical, it made my first-time experience really cool.”

New Zealand’s Anna Frost, winner of both the 2015 and 2016 Hardrock 100, was excited to be one of the athletes invited to compete in the FKT. “I love new challenges, new places and new events, so I was keen straight away. I knew Stevie had been the year before and she really loved it. So I was in, ” said Frost, who has been as high as 18,000 feet in the Himalayas.

Frost believes the FKT will help prepare for this summer’s Hardrock. “Every piece of training helps for Hardrock: steep days, longs days, short days, high days. It is all part of over strength and conditioning,” she said.

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Tech Buzz: First Look At Advanced Earphones, Fitness Trackers And Apps http://running.competitor.com/2017/05/shoes-and-gear/new-earphones-trackers-apps_164532 Fri, 19 May 2017 18:01:27 +0000 http://running.competitor.com/?p=164532 This month we review new smart earphones from Life-Beam, the Garmin Vivosmart 3, and a brand new Runkeeper app.

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Life Beam Vi

Life-Beam Vi BioSensing Earphones and Personal Training System, $249

iPhone and Android apps required. Available now.
getvi.com

Vi is the most funded fitness wearable on Kickstarter, raising almost $1.7 million to date. Life-Beam’s bio-sensing earphones combine sweat-proof performance with outstanding sound by Harman Kardan. They also have built-in sensors for in-ear heart rate, barometric altimeter, and accelerometers. The most unique feature, though, is a sophisticated artificial intelligence based training system driven by speech recognition. Life-Beam started in bio-sensing for military pilots, special forces and astronauts, so they have extreme condition sensing experience.

Vi is a collar style earphone. The earbuds are very light, comfortable and easy to quickly put on and remove. When not in use, magnets keep the earbuds fastened to each other and to the ends of the collars. The collar is covered in a soft neoprene-like material and sits comfortably on the neck without much slipping or bouncing. The battery life rating is strong compared to most wireless headphones, especially given the sensing. It can last up to 8 hours in active/training mode and 12 hours in music/answer calls mode.

Music and phone controls on the right collar arm are easy to reach. The Harman Kardan sound quality is outstanding, clear crisp and rich. Although it lacks a bit in bass, Life-Beam told us a bass boost option is coming in May.

The first generation release of Vi’s artificial intelligence is a bold new approach to run training, with a clear initial focus on beginner runners—simplicity and lots of friendly feedback. Runners can choose an overall goal, such as Run Faster, Lose Weight, Maintain or Improve Fitness. After an initial 120 minutes of running, Vi will define Effort Zones based on heart rate and other parameters such as age. These zones will change as your fitness progresses.

On the run, a phone is required to hear splits and other stats, such as the effort zone you are currently in. A very friendly, enthusiastic personal trainer responds to questions and talks you through the workout. Her chattiness level is configurable. By touching the right earbud and speaking after the tone, you can call up your heart rate, ask Vi to coach you on cadence via a pleasant beat over your music, get an update on the run, start a Spotify Premium radio station based on the current song, or start/stop the effort level guide. In our testing, we found that the earbud touch did not function in driving rain but touch with sweaty fingers was generally fine.

RELATED: 5 Tech Trends You’ll See In 2017

The voice recognition cue, a descending tone, can be hard to hear. The Vi frequently missed our commands, especially in windy seaside conditions. This issue is being worked with an update in the May-June timeframe.

The in-ear heart rate sensing was decently accurate, but we did have occasional spikes and low readings. Vi is working on an interactive fit guide, key to reliable in-ear sensing, for an upcoming release. The earphone tech was designed so that firmware updates, even extensive ones, can be delivered “over the air.”

Life-Beam CEO Omri Yoffe told us his team of physiology-oriented data scientists are working hard on incorporating new insights into Vi’s artificial intelligence, with a focus on data already being captured by your phone’s built-in health and other apps. These could include sleep, weight, heart rate trends, overall steps and weather. With this data, Vi will try to tailor its workout advice and coaching to a more personalized picture of your status and environment. While Vi is focused on beginner runners in its first release, future releases will provide the option of training plans and more data options.

Garmin Vivosmart 3

Garmin Vívosmart 3, $140

iPhone and Android apps required. Available now.
garmin.com

The Vívosmart 3 is a great smartband. It is discreet and a marvel of highly functional miniaturization. For Garmin fans, it can serve as a 24/7 compliment to workout-focused Garmin GPS watches.

The new Vívosmart 3 goes head-to-head with the Fitbit Alta HR. The Vívosmart costs $10 less, with a thinner, lighter band and a slightly wider activity and heart rate display. It also packs in phone notifications, answer/find phone, movement based sleep tracking, and music control. The Alta has seven days of battery life versus five for the Vívosmart. But the Garmin is swim-ready, whereas the Fitbit is not. Unlike the fashion-forward Fitbit, the Vívosmart does not try to be a thin accessory or watch. It is all about being a discreet presence on your wrist. The band is only available in black or purple. The OLED display is protected by a matte material that was easy to scroll and touch when testing. It blends into the wrist band with no seams or metal accents.

Garmin has clearly intended the Vívosmart to be a complement to a more full featured Garmin watch. Data from both Garmin devices is synchronized via Garmin Connect. This means you can use a Garmin watch to track your runs and then wear the smartband to track everything else, with all of the data ending up in one place.

The band will estimate your VO2 max and stress levels using Garmin’s 24/7 Elevate heart rate sensing. We especially like viewing and learning the overall daily stress score, which is determined by sampling heart rate periodically throughout the day and continuously in workouts. Like the Fitbit, the Garmin also has a breathing exercise widget.

The Vívosmart will attempt to automatically detect your activity using Move IQ. Strangely, it kicked in 2 miles into a run, but did not detect the very start of it. The band also thought our up-tempo pace was “Strength Training.” Strength Training is a new tracked activity which is supposed to include automatic rep counting, although we have not tested this yet.

Most runners will use something else to track distance and pace, given the band has no GPS and the screen is hard to see in sunlight. If you own a Garmin watch without heart rate on the wrist, or you dislike chest straps, you can rebroadcast heart rate from the band to your Garmin watch screen. You can also use heart rate zone alert. Set a heart rate zone prior to activity and the smartband will alert you with a vibration when you enter or leave that zone. We find that this type of cue keeps us from constantly staring at a screen and allows us to run more by feel.

RELATED: New Wearable Running Tech From Garmin, Fitbit And Polar

Asics RunKeeper Pace Academy

Runkeeper ASICS Pace Academy Challenge, Free

iPhone and Android
runkeeper.com

ASICS, through its Runkeeper app, recently introduced Challenge Workouts, a well-thought-out series of speed workouts designed to help you improve your 5K time. While 5K’s are not as popular as they used to be, competitors at any distance, even ultra runners, need high intensity speed work to build strength and leg turnover. From a benchmark 5K time, the app outlines your paces for a variety of speed workouts: surges, short fartlek, progression, 400-meter repeats and ladder fartlek. The workouts include warm up and cool down and have audio cues. It only takes 30-35 minutes per workout. This is meant to be a compliment to the rest of your training. It is not recommended to do the entire speed series but no other running.

A cycle may take around 3-4 weeks to complete. At the end of a cycle, test yourself in the 5K, whether it is an actual race or a time trial. From the results, a new benchmark is set and then runners can repeat the cycle with new pace goals. We like the relatively short time focus of this training plan, as well as its goal of improving short distance speed.

RELATED: Run Your Fastest 5K

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How To Run And Train Through A Hot Summer http://running.competitor.com/2017/05/training/run-hot-summer_164539 Thu, 18 May 2017 21:50:03 +0000 http://running.competitor.com/?p=164539 Here is everything you need to know about running when the temperatures spike.

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There is a reason why marathon season is either the fall or spring—it is way too hot in the summer!

Just like high altitudes, summer weather poses very real challenges to runners. The body simply cannot perform as well in high temperatures and humidity levels. Expectations need to be lowered and paces kept more reasonable.

To overcome those challenges, runners need a careful training approach that strategically uses timing, gear and an understanding of the specific reasons why it’s so hard to run in the heat. With successful summer training, runners can set themselves up for an even better fall racing season.

Why is running in the heat so difficult?

Summer training is hard for a variety of reasons that include temperature, humidity, and sun exposure.

Heat is clearly the largest obstacle. Hot weather raises the body’s core temperature, making running feel harder. Your RPE (rating of perceived exertion) will skyrocket.

Humidity is also a challenge. High levels of humidity prevent sweat from evaporating from our skin—a potent cooling mechanism. But even low levels of humidity, often felt in more arid environments, make running difficult because they increase fluid loss and dehydration. This leads to thicker blood, requiring more energy to pump the same amount. The condition is often called cardiac drift, where the heart needs to pump more quickly and forcefully to move viscous blood.

These unfortunate realities of summer training mean that runners will need to slow down to maintain the same effort.

RELATED: 5 Ways Heat Affects Running Performance

Beware the dangers of running in summer

Summer running therefore has risks. A variety of heat illnesses can strike any runner who’s too aggressive on a hot July day, so it’s critical to understand the warning signs.

Heat cramps are muscle cramps caused by large fluid and electrolyte losses. They’re much more common after running than during, but they’re not serious. Stay hydrated and consume enough electrolytes with sports drinks or fruit.

Dehydration is common—and luckily, it is often not very serious. It’s still safe to lose up to 4 percent of your bodyweight during exercise! But any more than that and you risk dizziness, fatigue, and disorientation. Always make sure to start every run adequately hydrated. Drink 4-8 ounces of water or sports drink per hour during longer runs, and replace lost fluids as quickly as possible after finishing.

Heat exhaustion is a combination of dehydration, headache, nausea, and a high core body temperature of up to 104 degrees. If you experience these symptoms, stop running and get inside to cooler temperatures away from the sun. Rehydrate as fast as possible!

Heat stroke is the most serious of the heat illnesses and presents with a core body temperature of 105 degrees or more. The body shuts down even more so than during heat exhaustion, with symptoms of disorientation, clumsiness, confusion, poor balance, and often a lack of sweating. Get medical attention immediately. You’ll likely need to be cooled with a cold bath or ice.

How to make summer training bearable

Despite the drawbacks of running in the summer, it’s a great time to be outside celebrating the capabilities of the human body. Just be careful! Here are seven ways to make running in the heat more bearable:

1. Run by effort, not pace. Your body only understands effort anyway.

2. Run early when the temperature is lowest and the sun is weakest.

3. Run trails, where there is ample shade and no asphalt to radiate the sun’s energy back to your body.

4. Lower your expectations. In adverse environments, performances won’t be as impressive.

5. Dress appropriately with synthetic fabric that doesn’t absorb sweat. Light colors will also reflect, rather than absorb, the sun’s energy.

6. Always start each run properly hydrated. If you run first thing in the morning, drink a big glass of water or sports drink before getting out of bed.

7. Carry fluids with you for runs longer than 60-90 minutes (or run near public water drinking fountains). If you can find a sprinkler to run through, all the better!

RELATED: Getting Your Body Used To The Heat—Inside And Out

The advantages of running during summer

Despite the disadvantages of summer running, there are also many benefits that will make you a more efficient and faster runner. Not only does the body get better at dissipating heat and conserving electrolytes, but it produces more red blood cells and becomes more efficient at controlling its core temperature.

These positive adaptations help you perform better in hot conditions. But they also make you perform even better in cooler temperatures, making autumn one of the best opportunities to race fast.

Embrace the heat—cautiously and with prudence—and there’s no doubt you’ll be ready to race new personal bests this fall season!

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About the Author:

Jason Fitzgerald is the head coach at Strength Running, one of the web’s largest coaching sites for runners. He is a 2:39 marathoner, USATF-certified coach and his passion is helping runners set monster personal bests. Follow him on Twitter @JasonFitz1 and Facebook.

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Nike Lights Up The Night With First LED Running Track http://running.competitor.com/2017/05/news/nike-lights-night-first-led-running-track_164527 Thu, 18 May 2017 17:56:30 +0000 http://running.competitor.com/?p=164527 Nike just built the world's first LED running track in Manila that allows runners to race against themselves and get lap-by-lap feedback.

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Nike is taking a nighttime approach to track running with its interactive pop-up track in Manila, Philippines. They’re calling it “the world’s first LED running track,” and runners can participate in a virtual race against themselves on it.

How does it work? The 200-meter long stadium is constructed of a wall of LED screens in the shape of a shoe, which projects an avatar of yourself after running an initial lap time and while donning a sensor on your shoe. Runners can then compete against their avatar around the track with personalized lap-by-lap feedback on pacing and other stats.

Forget stopwatches, this is the track of the future.

RELATED: Nike Unveils Shoes Designed to Run a Sub-2-Hour Marathon

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40 Races For Her 40th Birthday—And Sponsoring 40 Runners http://running.competitor.com/2017/05/news/40-races-40th-sponsoring-40-runners_164480 Thu, 18 May 2017 10:00:53 +0000 http://running.competitor.com/?p=164480 Jenna Powers wanted to challenge herself with 40 races in her 40th year. But she also wanted to help other new runners.

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Races and birthdays often go hand-in-hand, at least for runners. Whether it’s a challenging goal race, a favorite event or a run with friends, the energy and camaraderie of race day lends itself to celebration. Plus, races aren’t cheap, making them a nice treat (chafing, blisters and exhaustion included!) for your special day. In honor of her 40th birthday on Aug. 23, Jenna Powers decided to run 40 races throughout the year. But Powers wanted this celebration to be larger than her, and she wanted to help others. That is why the Seattle resident is also sponsoring race entries for 40 other runners.

“Racing has changed my life,” says Powers who turned to running when going through a divorce just before she turned 30. “Anyone can run any distance because all you need is a pair of sneakers. But racing can be expensive. I want people to know what it feels like to stand on a start line and cross a finish line.”

On top of Powers’ self challenge to run 40 races this year, this is also the third year she is participating in the Run The Year challenge sponsored by Run the Edge, meaning she plans to run at least 2,017 miles as well. She posted a message on the program’s Facebook page to offer the free race entries. So far, the 39-year-old has sponsored 20 runners. To apply, people send their stories to Powers. She then chooses those that are most compelling to her and registers the entrants for their race. While she isn’t personally meeting the entry recipients, she does ask them for race photos to share on her blog.

Powers is more than halfway through her own 40-race goal after recently finishing Badwater Salton Sea. She claims her goal feels aggressive in a good way.

“Since 2014, when I ran my first marathon, I feel as though my life really changed for the better,” says Powers, who works for Amazon. “I did a 100-miler last year, and wondered what could I possibly do that’s bigger. Forty races seemed pretty significant and daunting since I have to race pretty much every weekend.”

RELATED: 6 Everyday Runners’ Secrets To Survival And Success

Powers travels frequently for work. She already had some events on her calendar, meaning scheduling races to meet her goal has taken thoughtful planning. She kicked the year off by running the four-race Dopey Challenge at Walt Disney World with some friends. A long-term dream is to run Western States Endurance Run, so she ran the Black Canyon 100K as a qualifier. Convenience is also a factor. When a business trip took her to Dubai, she was able to run the Dubai Marathon. A trip to Europe coincided with the Manchester 50K in England.

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The Badwater Salton Sea was the last big event on her calendar. Now that it’s over, Powers is cutting back to three races per month, instead of five. She’s also filling out the rest of her race calendar for the year. Race 40 will be the Runner’s World Half Marathon in October. Powers says that several of her girl friends are running with her. Her mom is even running the 5K. Her husband, who isn’t a runner, cheers from home.

“He is very proud of me, but thinks I’m nuts,” says Powers. “He was there for my first marathon and my first 100-miler.”

A challenge with running any race, much less 40 of them, is managing training and recovery. Powers has been in marathon training mode for the past three years, so she is used to the miles and has a solid base. For this challenge, she works races into her training plan. She is forcing herself to look at every race as a training run and admits PR’s aren’t the goal (although her current marathon PR is 4:13), at least for this year.

RELATED: How Fitness Personality Robin Arzon Empowers Others To Run

Powers works with a trainer twice a week for weight sessions. Otherwise, she does all of her training on her own and is good about listening to her body and adapting when necessary. She runs six days per week, usually in the morning, averaging 40 to 50 miles weekly. Stretching and massaging are not a part of Power’s training plan, but she does make it to yoga about once a month. Given her solo training style, Powers thinks that being with other people may be one of the reasons she enjoys racing so much.

Powers is already planning her future goals and has some big ideas in mind. Running the Western States Endurance Run and qualifying for the Boston Marathon are at the top of her list.

“Qualifying for Boston is a big, crazy goal. But I’m putting in the miles and getting faster.”

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What You Need To Know About Wrist-Based Mapping In GPS Watches http://running.competitor.com/2017/05/shoes-and-gear/wrist-based-mapping-in-gps-watches_164461 Wed, 17 May 2017 22:39:13 +0000 http://running.competitor.com/?p=164461 New technology helps make discovering great runs anywhere in the world increasingly easy and GPS watches are taking advantage.

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New technology helps make discovering great runs anywhere in the world increasingly easy. Lots of new GPS watches now not only track the usual run stats but can help show the way, with deep mapping and even turn-by-turn navigation.

How does GPS-based mapping work?

GPS watches and our phones receive signals from a constellation of satellites designed to provide accurate locations worldwide. Your devices keep track of your exact location and determine your pace and distance. The most common format for location data is called GPX. GPX format files contain the data to create tracks or routes of where you or others went. If you then import them into a compatible device, they can be followed.

Where can I find routes and courses to plan my adventures?

Strava is a great resource, with millions of runs, rides, and other activities recorded worldwide. They are discoverable by location and by name. For example: a race, trail or athlete. Strava also has heatmaps showing the most popular runs for a given location. Meanwhile, Suunto’s Movescount also has worldwide maps of popular routes for all sorts of activities, easily downloadable—no Suunto watch or account required. All Strava and Movescount runs, rides and other tracked routes are easily exported as GPX files.

RELATED: 7 Great Apps To Track Your Running Data

Wrist-based maps

GPS watches including the new Garmin fenix 5X ($700) and Casio Pro Trek WSD-F20 ($500) can display maps without a phone signal. The maps are similar to what you can see on your phone, miniaturized.

With the groundbreaking Garmin fenix 5X you can import any GPX file to the watch—one you have created or one found elsewhere. Using its built-in base maps of all roads, you can get turn by turn directions for your route, with distances to the next turn, vibration alerts when it’s time to turn, ETA and distance to the finish—plus direction and distance to get back on course if you need. It can also suggest courses to follow of any distance and in any direction from where you are standing. It even includes built-in topographic maps of the entire U.S. Not a running watch, the hiking, cycling, paddling and skiing focused Android Wear Casio Pro Trek WSD-F20 has phone-free color maps and satellite views, weather trends from its sensors, altimeter and a compass. It’s best with an Android phone, as iOS functionality is limited.

GPS run watches such as the TomTom Adventurer ($350) as well as all TomTom Spark 3 ($130 and up), Polar V800 ($500), Suunto Spartan ($500 and up) and other watches in the fenix 5 series allow you to import GPX files to the watches. You see your position as a line relative to the route you loaded and want to follow. (Your other run stats are still available on other screens.) TomTom and the National Parks Foundation have released a curated National Parks trail routes for upload to the Adventurer, just in time for summer exploration.

Most of these watches also let you create a route by clicking off its segments on a map at their websites to create a route file you can upload to the watches.

RELATED: Wrist Bling—Advanced GPS Watches With Style

But Don’t Forget

While using these watches in the wilderness, always have a paper map, compass and the skills to use them. Tech does fail or run out of juice.

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14-Year-Old Completes Marathons In All 50 States http://running.competitor.com/2017/05/news/14-year-old-marathons-50-states_164497 Wed, 17 May 2017 21:39:01 +0000 http://running.competitor.com/?p=164497 Nikolas Toocheck just completed 26.2 miles in all 50 states—and he did it for a good cause.

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Nikolas Toocheck (left) finishes his 50-state marathon quest, along with his father, Dan Toocheck, at the Vermont Mainly Marathon. Photo: Tara Toocheck.

On Sunday, Nikolas Toocheck crossed the finish line of his 57th marathon. The Vermont Mainly Marathon held on May 16, was the last race in his quest to run 26.2 in all 50 states. Toocheck has already completed marathons on all seven continents. And the most amazing part—he is only 14.

Toocheck didn’t accomplish this incredible goal just for himself. The teen runner started his Running the World for Children: Stateside campaign to raise funds and awareness for the Seva Foundation, a non-profit organization that provides critical vision care to people in need around the world.

The inspiration came from Nikolas’ father, Dan Toocheck, who is an eye doctor that has volunteered worldwide to provide care to people in developing countries. The cause meant a lot to Nikolas.

“I can’t imagine not being able to see,” he said, “and I really hope that I can help change that for a lot of kids.”

Through his campaign, he ticked off many other milestones. Nikolas became the youngest person to complete the Marine Corps Marathon in Washington D.C. His race in Colorado took place 9,300 feet above sea level. In the closing stretch of his pursuit, he ran six races in six weekends. The final weekend including two marathons on back-to-back days—the first in New Hampshire and the final race in Vermont.

This isn’t Nikolas’ first running campaign. At the age of 9, he embarked on his Seven Continents Journey, raising more than $42,000 for a non-profit called Operation Warm. The organization provides winter coats to children in need. It was through that philanthropic effort that a then 11-year-old Nikolas became the youngest person to complete a marathon on every continent.

If you want to learn more about Nikolas’ mission or want to donate to Seva, you can visit his website.

RELATED: The Worldwide Charity Run Where The Finish Line Chases You

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This Speed Session Will Help You Run Fast And Relaxed http://running.competitor.com/2017/05/training/speed-session-run-fast-relaxed_164467 Wed, 17 May 2017 19:17:45 +0000 http://running.competitor.com/?p=164467 This speed session hits both aerobic and anaerobic systems for faster yet relaxed running that won't exhaust you at the end of the day.

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During the season it’s often difficult to set up your training plan with speed sessions specifically designed to tax only one part of your energy system. It’s just not a practical approach for athletes who may run only two or three times a week. We’re not solely runners who are able to do six to 10 run sessions each week with a lot of scope to build variety into our training sessions and devote entire workouts to focus on a single aspect.

The beauty of this session is that it will hit all of your various energy systems and still leave you fresh enough for your other sessions during the week. You don’t want to miss workouts in your training plan because of excessive fatigue.

This session hits the aerobic energy pathway, the bottom of the lactate threshold zone, the anaerobic system, and the neuromuscular pathways needed to run fast and relaxed. It doesn’t hit any of these intensities with a sledgehammer but works each enough to at least maintain and most likely expedite development of them all.

RELATED: Speed Workouts You Can Do Anywhere

The Workout

Time/Distance  Description
20 min. Build to aerobic threshold over 5 min. and hold effort RPE 2

Tip: Go easy! It’s a bad idea to rush or cut short a run warm-up

5 x 2 min. Moderately hard RPE 3
1 min. jogging recovery after each repTip: Remember this effort ranges from just under your LT to just above it.
5 x 20 sec. Fast strides RPE 5
4 sec. walking recovery after each rep
5 min. Cool down as time allows RPE 1

Rate Of Perceived Exertion Scale

Scale Effort Race Pace
RPE 1 Easy Slower than normal training pace
RPE 2 Moderate Normal training pace
RPE 3 Moderately Hard Marathon pace
RPE 4 Hard 10K race pace
RPE 5 Very Hard  5K race pace and faster

Get Your Cadence Right

  • Keep track of your cadence during the warm-up. It should be close to your fast-run cadence (90+ per minute). If it’s much lower, then take smaller, quicker steps.
  • Check your cadence again during the 2-minute reps. It should definitely be in the 90+ per minute area for those. Fast feet!
  • Try to get your cadence even higher during the strides—but no straining! Relax and think about fast feet landing directly underneath you.
  • If you can get video of your running at all three intensities, it will be of huge value. Get footage from the front, behind and side.

 

RELATED: 3 Ways To Increase Running Cadence For Speed

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The Many Layers Of Ultrarunning Star Anton Krupicka http://running.competitor.com/2017/05/trail-running/many-layers-ultrarunning-star-anton-krupicka_164446 Wed, 17 May 2017 16:53:15 +0000 http://running.competitor.com/?p=164446 Anton Krupicka became ultrarunning’s most talked about star and now adding climbing, biking and skiing to his repertoire, he’s no less

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Anton Krupica, BOUlder, CO

Anton Krupica, BOUlder, CO

It’s early fall, and Anton Krupicka easily scrambles up a 5.9 top-rope climb in Crested Butte’s Taylor River Canyon. Earlier that day, he hesitantly—because of a stubborn illiotibial band injury—joined a 9-mile group trail run with staff from his main sponsor, La Sportiva, and a handful of media folks. “It hurts,” he says of his knee as he chalks up for another route. Then, a bright side: “But I get the same flow from climbing and skiing as I do from running.”

Krupicka has been a prominent figure in the ultrarunning scene since winning Colorado’s high-altitude Leadville Trail 100-mile race in 2006 as a relative unknown. He won it again in 2007, and enjoyed a series of race wins in his first few seasons, picking up major sponsorship deals and becoming somewhat of a poster boy for ultrarunning as the sport gained momentum. His penchant for running longhaired, bearded and shirtless in minimalist shoes had a sea of ultrarunning fans referring to him as “Jesus-man” for a decade; likewise, but inadvertently, he’s amassed a cult following.

Due to a string of injuries, most notably a broken fibula in 2011, this resident of Boulder, Colo., hasn’t raced the past few years, and he runs just one or two days a week. That doesn’t mean he’s disappeared from the ultrarunning scene. In fact, Krupicka has more sponsorship deals and followers on social media than ever—something that befuddles him.

Who is Anton Krupicka now, at least to the running world? Why is he still so popular? He can’t answer the question. And he’s uncomfortable trying.

Anton Krupicka - truck life, Anton and his trusty old truck at a trail head near Boulder, CO

As a 10-year-old fifth grader in Niobrara, Neb., Krupicka won the Presidential Physical Fitness Test Mile Run. “That’s how I started running,” he says. “You’re just trying to figure out where you fit in, who you can impress, how you can feel cool with your peers. And running was just something I was good at.”

In the month leading up to the same test in sixth grade, he ran a mile—and tried to break six minutes for the distance— every single day. During the test, he posted another winning time (5:55).

At age 12, he ran a marathon in 3:50:11. “Oh dude, I was psycho when I was 12,” he says. “I was way more psycho about all that than I am now. I was counting calories. I remember doing fasts. I was reading all this 1970s running literature that I picked up at Goodwill, and fasting was sort of this cutting-edge thing. I was like, ‘I’ll give that a shot.’”

Krupicka continued to read, and to run, and to sometimes apply what he’d read to his running throughout high school and college. Long before the barefoot running boom, Krupicka read threads about it on Letsrun.com, along with a 1970s National Geographic article on the Tarahumara Indians that inspired him to start toying with running minimalist, and sometimes, shoeless. In the summer of 2005, he says he logged 200-mile weeks in the Puma Harambee—“basically a cross country spike without the spikes,” he says. He ran two hours before work and two hours after, explaining how running four hours a day was fairly standard for him.

With all those summer miles under his belt, and with who he’s become, one would think Krupicka would have been a standout collegiate cross-country runner. Not so. He was what he calls a “mediocre” collegiate runner at Colorado College, constantly disappointed with his race results. (Today, he says he realizes his body—and his running—operates cyclically, and he takes a number of weeks completely off every fall.)

VIDEO: Why I Run—Anton Krupicka

“By October I was worthless,” he says. “Fall is always my lowest time of the year. It made it super frustrating. I trained so much, I was so passionate about it, but never had success.”

That all changed after college, when Krupicka set his focus on the mountains and trained with a vengeance for the Leadville Trail 100. His racing season shifted to summer, and success followed.

Anton, near his home in Boulder, CO

The summer of 2006, he won the Leadville Trail Marathon in early July. He won the Leadville Trail 100 in August, running the second-fastest time ever logged on the course at the time (17:01:56). Two weeks later, he set his road marathon PR (2:42; he later found out that he had mono).

Photos of Krupicka running shirtless despite storm clouds on top of 12,508-foot Hope Pass en route to winning Leadville garnered media attention for the then-22-year-old. “There was an inversion,” he defends, of running shirtless. “It’s a comfort thing. People were just taken aback, for some reason.” While most ultrarunners carry packs over wicking layers, Krupicka’s bare torso made him look like he was out for a quick 5-miler.

Following the photo—and a story in Trail Runner Magazine—the image of Anton Krupicka, the nature-boy-runner, started to grow. When, in 2009, Chris McDougall’s book Born to Run came out, the minimal footwear movement was in full swing, and it needed a face. Here was this young, lean guy running in tiny New Balance shorts and zero-drop shoes winning races. By 2009, he’d won a number of prestigious ultramarathons, including Leadville (twice), the Rocky Raccoon 100, the Collegiate Peaks, American River, Zane Grey and White River 50-Milers, plus a number of other races, all before turning 26.

What training formula was he using to gain so much success, so young? Krupicka double-majored in philosophy and physics in college, a duality that plays out in his running and training. He, more so than most runners, seems to apply a combination of the right and left sides of his brain to his sport.

RELATED: Anton Krupicka On Living And Training In Leadville

He’ll run for hours in the mountains without much at all, preferring simplicity on the trail. On runs shorter than four hours, he’d deprive his body of fuel and fluids, but eat two to three gels an hour and hydrate sufficiently on race day. “The idea is,” he says, “A, it just sucks to carry shit. B, you’re training your mind and your body to survive on less. Then when you get to a race it feels easy, you feel great, because you’re actually fueling yourself. It’s a premeditated thing.” He says that while training, he “bonks all the time,” but when he adequately hydrates and fuels during a race, his body responds. It’s what he calls “a caveman approach to running and training.” But it’s worked.

And though people may think of Krupicka as a free-spirited hippie loping around on mountain trails, he’s always meticulously logged everything from how many times he’s summited different peaks, to how much vertical he’s gained, to keeping a standard training log. “I like that kind of stuff,” he says. “I have spreadsheets of all kinds of different shit that I update daily.” He says he logs everything, in terms of what he does in the mountains, “because that’s what’s important” to him.

Running the back yard trails, Anton running hte flatirons, Boulder, CO

Since 2007, he’s blogged about his running (on a blog he titled “Riding the Wind”), and other topics that matter to him: music, literature and science as they apply to sport. His blog became popular reading for ultrarunning fans.

But while his racing success and image grew, so did his discomfort with having all eyes on him. Krupicka was the first-ever interview on iRunFar.com, a website dedicated to the sport of ultrarunning, when it launched six years ago.

“That’s when I started getting cynical about it,” he says. “I still harbor this … not feeling deserving or worthy of attention. A big part of it comes from spending most of my life not having success as a runner. Now I’ve come to terms with that.”

But he struggles with not having won races in years—despite finishing sixth at the 2015 Transgrancanaria 125K. “On a near-daily basis, I get invites to races around the world. I don’t even race. I can’t even run. It’s frustrating.”

Like most runners, Krupicka’s relationship with running has evolved over the years.

As a guy who loves moving in the mountains, he wasn’t about to give up being an athlete when he broke his fibula—or when he suffered a stress fracture in his shin in 2015, or because of his most recent running hindrance, IT Band Syndrome (which he says skiing this past winter has helped improve).

Krupicka dabbled in rock climbing in college (and did a year of post-graduate work in geology). When his injured leg kept him off the trails in 2011, he took to the rocks, climbing Boulder’s Flatirons and routes in Eldorado Canyon with other runner/climbers. Once healthy again to run, he continued to climb, and started doing challenging link-ups that combined the two—running and climbing for speed records, joining an underground group called Satan’s Minions.

RELATED: Anton Krupicka—Mountain Man, Trail Champion, Running Icon

When the stress fracture of 2015 hindered his ability to run once again, Krupicka discovered road biking—and the power that music has on him. Although he doesn’t listen to music while running, he tunes in to podcasts and music while on the bike and while skiing. What comes through his earbuds sometimes makes him emotional, which he says has been happening the last few years. “I’ll be listening to a certain song,” he explains. “And I’ll be like, ‘Holy shit, this is wild!’” He explains that tears will be streaming down his face, mid-ride. His explanation? “I don’t know!” he says, laughing. “With physical activity, somehow the emotions are closer to the surface.”

This is Anton. There’s more to him than winning races.

Approach by Bike - Anton riding his bike to a run in the BOulder foothills, CO

Just as Krupicka has been a favorite topic of varying media trends since his running career started, with magazine and web profile stories, his own blog followers, and social media fans, the influx of documentary-style trail running films have loved Anton, the topic, too. In the High Country (2012) captured his evolution and affinity for running, climbing and being in the mountains. Unbreakable (2011) followed the epic race between Krupicka, Kilian Jornet and Geoff Roes during the Western States 100 (Krupicka finished second). The Ingenious Choice (2014) followed Krupicka during the Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc, with a narration throughout quoting Henry David Thoreau.

The media—and his fans—are inspired and intrigued by the guy who not only runs, but climbs, skis in the backcountry and rides his bike. He’s gotten attention in ClimbingMagazine for his recent record of what’s known as the Long’s Peak Triathlon (riding 38 miles on a bike to a trailhead, running 5 miles to the base of a climb, and climbing the 1,700- foot route on the 14,259-foot Long’s Peak before running 9 miles down and returning to the start point in Boulder via another 38-mile bike ride, all in just over nine hours).

“Literally, within a week to 10 days of starting a new activity, like climbing or skiing or biking, I was all in,” he says of his new hobbies, of which he’s quickly excelled. “I was psyched.” He continues to say that if he became 100 percent healthy tomorrow and never had a running injury again, he’d still only run four or five days a week, “just because there’s all this other shit I want to be doing still, you know?”

In December, Krupicka traveled to Patagonia with National Geographic Adventurer of the Year Colin Haley to climb peaks in the Fitzroy Massif round-trip in a day, something that’s gotten even more attention.

Still, he wrestles with it.

Scrambling in teh flatirons, one of Antons favorite activities, combining running and free soling climbing easier 5th class terrrain. Boulder, CO

“I can’t help feeling like what I do is unimportant,” he says. “There are people in the world who have noble jobs and jobs that are for other people and not just for themselves. I feel like being a sponsored athlete is such a ridiculous life to lead. It’s like, what are you doing for people? Nothing.”

He talks about how posing for photos with fans can make him feel uncomfortable and even alienated, but the fact that he’s inspiring people gives him a “micro-speck of solace,” because he says he often gets inspired by other athletes—and musicians— and appreciates that kind of inspiration. But he’s unsettled with the image he feels people are projecting on him. “You know, this shirtless, minimalist dude … whatever they’ve come up with. So you just feel like no one ever gets you, ever.” Yet, he admits, “That’s, like, such a celebrity bullshit thing to whine about it.”

Krupicka sees himself as someone who loves to move in the mountains, as a runner, skier, climber, cyclist. And as a guy who loves music and literature, physics and philosophy. Someone who happens to run shirtless sometimes and who’s had successes as an ultrarunner, a few years ago. And as someone who’s not taking his lifestyle as a fully sponsored athlete for granted, despite feeling conflicted about it. And he’s grateful to be sponsored by a multisport company, La Sportiva, which makes gear for trail running, climbing and skiing.

This summer, he’s hoping his IT Band is healthy enough to race the Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc, a 103-mile race through the Alps. Beyond that, he has a list of four different remote, classic, technical alpine ridge traverses planned, one each in the Teton, Wind River, Eastern Sierra, and North Cascade mountain ranges, which will have him climbing a lot in preparation through the spring and early summer.

“All this stuff that I do outside of running, it’s no different from running,” he says. “It’s all the same in my attitude and sentiment toward it. I’m just trying to live fully, you know? Authentically.”

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This Is The Right Way To Recover From A Marathon http://running.competitor.com/2017/05/training/right-way-recover-from-marathon_164455 Wed, 17 May 2017 05:33:09 +0000 http://running.competitor.com/?p=164455 Take time to consider these three real race day scenarios—and discover the best practices to properly recover from each one.

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Similar to training, recovery from the marathon is as much an art form as it is science. Our unique physiologies determine how we each will recover post marathon. Different race day scenarios also play a part.

The three primary physiological components to recovery are muscular regeneration, glycogen replenishment and electrolyte replacement. Some of us suffer more muscular damage due to the course profile, while others become significantly electrolyte deficient caused by tough conditions. Quite simply, the marathon is unlike any other race (even ultra-distance races, with consistent fueling and slower paces) when it comes to recovery. Consider the three scenarios below and best practices for recovery for each.

A moderate-level training effort marathon

Many athletes like to use the marathon as a more moderate effort and a glorified long run. For others, a moderate effort is all that is desired or attainable. In this instance, consider taking two to three days off . The next seven days should include only easy recovery running every other day. A few days of cross-training that first week post-marathon is a good idea as well to ensure the legs are not taking too much extra pounding. The second week can include one light uptempo session and a long run that is half the distance of your max long run. By the third week you should be able to return to 75 percent of your normal training volume.

RELATED: The 3 Stages of Proper Marathon Recovery

A hard race day effort marathon

This type of marathon effort requires the most recovery. You are pushing your body to the next level of exhaustion. It takes time for the body to rebuild the damaged muscle tissue, replenish the depleted glycogen stores and replace lost electrolytes. The soreness and stiff ness will subside quickly over the first week, but the underlying glycogen and electrolyte depletion take longer. This cannot be rushed or you will suffer substandard training and racing in the future and risk overtraining syndrome.

Begin with two weeks off from running. You can include some very light, non-impact cross-training. After two weeks, run every other day for one week, followed by 30 percent of your peak volume the fourth week. This should all be easy running until roughly five weeks post marathon, where you can start to include some controlled moderate effort workouts. The mileage buildup can increase by 20–30 percent each week thereafter.

A significant marathon effort with another target race soon

For some athletes, the marathon is not their sole focus. I have worked with many athletes who work toward a marathon goal while at the same time have another race four to six weeks after the marathon they are interested in doing well in. This scenario is the trickiest and requires a blended approach of some time off , some cross-training and some running. You can only rush the recovery process so much, but you can accomplish both goals if approached correctly.

RELATED: Are You Making These Marathon Training Mistakes?

In this instance, where a harder marathon was completed but not necessarily one that left you completely wiped out, the recovery should still begin with one week off from running. This week should include very good meal planning, a massage and some easy cross-training. Try easy spinning for two of those days for 30–45 minutes, with low resistance and a good cadence. The second week can include running easy every other day and cross-training on the opposing days. All effort should be comfortable, and total mileage should be 30 percent of max volume. The third week can include one half marathon type effort, and running 55–65 percent of max volume. The goal is to allow the body to replenish while at the same time conditioning your aerobic system just enough to keep your cardiovascular system engaged. Two or three harder workouts are all that’s required to maintain the same aerobic fitness level, and max volume is not necessary. Remember: The legs still have to recover, so having them feel good is the goal—even if that requires running less than you would traditionally in the buildup to a race.

Two-time U.S. Olympian Alan Culpepper won national titles from the 5K to the marathon. His first book, Run Like a Champion, is available at velopress.com.

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This Teen Ran A Speedy Half Marathon In Crocs http://running.competitor.com/2017/05/news/teen-half-marathon-crocs_164472 Fri, 12 May 2017 22:15:17 +0000 http://running.competitor.com/?p=164472 Find out why Benjamin Pachev's entire family runs in Crocs.

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Photo: Fox59

Benjamin Pachev, an 18-year-old runner from Utah, finished 16th at last Sunday’s 500 Festival Mini-Marathon in Indianapolis, running the half marathon in 1:11:53. What makes that finish notable is his choice of footwear. He ran the entire race, as well as all of this training, in Crocs.

His father, Alexander Pachev, also ran the half marathon, finishing in 1:16:07. Just like his son, he also wore Crocs.

In an era of customizable kicks and shoes designed to break world records, it is unusual to see such speedy runners wearing footwear not designed for running. However, for Benjamin and his father, their decision came down to cost.

Benjamin is one of 10 children in the Pachev family. Alexander told Fox59 that running shoes for his entire family would be too expensive, but he found Crocs to be affordable and durable for running. The family claims that the shoes can last for about 2,000 miles.

For now, it seems that Benjamin doesn’t mind the choice of footwear. He told Fox59 that running in Crocs was “…like having a little fan that’s just streaming air over your foot.”

Related: Finishing A Race Under Your Own Power

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In Motherhood and Running, Expectations Rarely Match Reality http://running.competitor.com/2017/05/inspiring/motherhood-running-expectations-reality_164437 Fri, 12 May 2017 00:26:08 +0000 http://running.competitor.com/?p=164437 One woman shares how her approach to running changed after becoming a mother.

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When my son Lucas turned one late last year, I realized there was one major lesson I had learned: my expectations for motherhood rarely matched reality. My tense, planned, perfectionist personality was often at odds with the unpredictability of life with a child. Allowing myself a lot of flexibility and a little grace when things don’t go as planned has always been a lifelong challenge.

Before I was a mother, these all-or-nothing tendencies were present in my attitude toward running. A missed workout caused despair. If my training cycle fell short of perfection, I wouldn’t run the race. This behavior resulted in a string of DNS’s and eventually, a hatred of running.

As a result, I didn’t log much mileage prior to Lucas’s birth or during his first year of life. Exercise only exacerbated the severe morning sickness I felt for much of my pregnancy. Once he was born, my enthusiasm to run returned, but not necessarily the desire to train. My motivation mostly rested on fitting into the closet full of clothing I abandoned in the pursuit of motherhood.

The intensity I committed to running instead became focused on becoming the ideal mother. Lucas was the perfect child, but I constantly found myself to be lacking. I would fight sleep each night to go over all of the ways I had failed as a parent that day. I would wrestle with how to incorporate details from my former childless-life into this new identity. Any goals solely for myself were deemed selfish and did not fit into a life I had centered on my son. For the first months of my son’s life, I didn’t understand that the expectations I put on myself were making me miserable.

RELATED: Mother’s Day Gifts For The Running Mom In Your Life

During this time, I signed up for three half marathons, two of which I never bothered to train for. I blamed time management and adjusting to life with a child. But the truth was that I was too fragile to put my heart into another challenge that I could fail.

I had expected the first two races to go terribly. However the lack of time pressure resulted in two very enjoyable race experiences. I smiled, high-fived volunteers, ran faster than I thought I could, and realized just how much I missed having an outlet for myself. For my third half marathon, I decided to actually train. My husband and family pushed me to set a goal, my former coach agreed to write workouts, and my running buddies were waiting for me, as if I had never left.

In an effort to change my past ways, I tried to set realistic expectations for myself. There would be missed workouts or even missed weeks. Runs may not go as planned. Mileage would not be high. And indeed, all of that came true. But I didn’t dwell. With each setback, I moved on and tried again. With each little success, I allowed myself to feel proud. I tried my hardest not to play a comparison game with others, knowing nothing good could come of it. A newfound confidence emerged in both my running and my parenting. I wasn’t perfect, but I was much happier.

Because of my rediscovered love for running, I envisioned my third half marathon after pregnancy as a race in which I would enjoy every moment, crossing the finish line with a smile on my face. When it came to race day, though, this didn’t happen. An aggressive early pace did not pair well with a hot morning. My legs and spirit faded fast over the last three miles. I crossed the finish line 5 minutes faster than my previous race, but felt absolutely crushed. For some reason, the time on the clock didn’t matter because, in my mind, I had failed to execute my race perfectly.

RELATED:  6 Time Saving Tips For Busy Runners

I know how silly that sounds. Just as silly as spending every night questioning my worth as a mother. But in running and parenting, we are our own harshest critics. In both pursuits, it isn’t easy to accept that we don’t have complete control, despite how much time and effort we put forth.

I’m a work in progress—as a runner, a mother, a person. I love being Lucas’s mom more than anything in the world. Running may not be my top priority, but now I look forward to it everyday. Despite the expectations I put on myself, the reality is that I can’t be the perfect mom or runner. I’m much happier being present in the moment—or mile—I’m in.

RELATED: Meet The Women Who Started The Mother Runner Movement

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Finishing A Race Under Your Own Power http://running.competitor.com/2017/05/news/finishing-race-power_164312 Thu, 11 May 2017 18:24:47 +0000 http://running.competitor.com/?p=164312 Runners assisting others across a finish line make for a nice moment, but to some they could be breaking official racing rules.

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Mike Korfhage and three other men, helped carry Jake Mogan the last 250 meters across the finish line at the 2017 Boston Marathon. Photo: MarathonFoto.com

Runners assisting others across a finish line make for a nice moment, but are they breaking the rules?

It was the photo seen “around the world”: Four runners stopping to carry another runner about 250 meters to cross the finish line at this year’s Boston Marathon. As the moment picked up steam on social media, it gathered praise, collecting terms like “inspirational,” “heartwarming” and “selfless.” Indeed, it was all those things.

While legions of people cheered on the runners’ actions, there’s another, less enthusiastic camp out there. This smaller, yet vocal group, questions whether or not the assistance should carry with it words like “illegal” or “disqualified.”

Mike Korfhage, 44, a landscaper from Louisville, Ky., is one of the four men who aided the downed runner, 26-year-old Jake Mogan of San Francisco. “I saw him up ahead of me and noticed he was stumbling around,” Korfhage explains. “When I reached him, he was collapsing and his head ended up on my foot.”

Korfhage, whose goal time was already out the window for the day, and the other three runners asked Mogan if he wanted to finish or if he wanted medical help. “He couldn’t really focus on us, but he said he wanted to finish,” he says. “We got him up and we realized we were dragging him. At that point, we just picked him up and got him over the finish line.”

Upon crossing the line, Korfhage and the others handed Mogan to the medical team, who placed him in a wheelchair and carted him off. Korfhage later learned that Mogan’s temperature was extremely high and the medical team rushed him to the hospital for ice baths and IVs.

Photos and videos (including one that Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker posted on his Twitter) of the assisted finish began making the rounds almost immediately and it didn’t take long for popular running forums to begin debating the action. Those opposed to this type of finish-line aid argue that if a runner cannot finish under his or her own power, then he or she should not receive an official time or medal, as Mogan did in this case.

The Rules

While some might perceive the runners who disapprove of giving official finishes to those who do it with aid as cold-hearted, these disapproving runners do have the rules on their side. The Boston Marathon officially follows the rules set forth by the International Association of Athletic Federations (IAAF), USA Track and Field (USATF), and Abbot World Marathon Majors. The IAAF and USATF rules spell out that runners must finish a race under their own power in order to receive an official time or medal.

According to Boston spokesperson T.K. Skendrian, all runners must sign an agreement that they will abide by the rules set out by these organizations. However, he explains, “I think these governing bodies rely on race organizers to make the judgments on certain incidents,” he says. “We have not disqualified people in the past (for this infraction), but we’d look closely at each incident.”

Some other major marathons are likely to look the other way too. Just one week after Boston, another photo grabbed the public’s attention as Matthew Rees helped David Wyeth across the finish line of the London Marathon. Event director Hugh Brashner had this to say about the incident: “It’s a simple story of one person helping another in their moment of need. Neither runner was trying to win the race. The marathon, above all mass participation events, is grueling and involves determination, commitment, camaraderie and togetherness. Matthew’s gesture demonstrated this wonderfully.”

The ultra-running world, however, isn’t so accommodating. At the 2006 Western States 100, competitor Brian Morrison was within 300 meters of winning the race that year when he began stumbling and falling down. His official pacers—one of which was famed trail ultrarunner Scott Jurek—repeatedly helped him to his feet and got him across the line. “The race finishes in a stadium and the assistance was out in the open and very obvious,” says Western States race director Craig Thornley. “One of our rules is that you must finish under your own power, so we had no choice but to disqualify him.”

The decision was met with plenty of outcry, but as Thornley sees it, the issue isn’t a gray area. “Ultras involve pacers so we are picky about this,” he says. “Helping another across the finish line is disrespectful to the integrity of the competition.”

Sage Canaday, professional ultrarunner and coach, says that in road races, these situations prove tricky, especially near the finish line. “It’s human nature to help someone when you see them struggle,” he says. “You never know what’s going on and they may need medical assistance.”

To Canaday, much of the issue does come down to whether or not an age-group placing or money is on the line. “Most people aren’t going to care about assistance if it means nothing more than finishing,” he says. “But when it’s potentially taking a coveted qualifying spot for next year’s Boston, or winning prize money, then it might matter.”

RELATED: Veteran With Prosthetic Leg Carries Guide Across Boston Marathon Finish Line

In the case of Mogan and Korfhage, the runners finished in 3:09:46 and 3:09:34 respectively. Only Korfhage re-qualified for next year’s race, whereas Mogan did not for his age group. “We weren’t winning any money or really impacting the standings in a meaningful way,” Korfhage says of the results.

However, Canaday also points out the consideration of getting a runner in need to medical help as quickly as possible. “It might be better to hand someone over to medical rather than trying to get them to the finish line,” Canaday adds.

Again, in Mogan’s situation, Korfhage asked the hurting runner if he wanted medical or to get across the line. “That [getting him across the line] was probably the fastest way to get him help at that point anyway,” Korfhage says.

While he knows there is some negative chatter out there about the assistance, Korfhage wouldn’t change his actions. “In a crowded race, I guarantee you that Jake had already run 26.2 by that point anyhow,” he says. “This was helping someone for the last few hundred yards of the race, not 10 miles.”

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