Locating Satellites: Your Pre-Run Warm-up

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Training with technology is great, a GPS watch used in collaboration with your running.COACH program provides an automatic running log, customization of your training schedule based on what you are actually doing, adjustment of your goals, and your Coach knows exactly what you are up to.

Add-in heart rate, altimeter, cadence sensor, and all the other wearable technologies available and you have quite the analysis of each workout.  But let’s think about how much time we all spend waiting for our watch to lock-on to GPS signal. On average 30 seconds to two minutes is normal even for the best of watches, that’s about two to nine hours every year of just standing around! Even if you don’t wear a watch you’re likely even more infuriated waiting for your running partner to “lock on”.

Rather than assuming the posture of waiting for your watch (we’re all good at making sure others know were not just standing in the middle of the street for nothing) this is an opportunity for an extra 2-9 hours of training for the year. Some of you may already stretch during this time, static stretching a cold muscle has actually been shown to do more damage than good- so here is a better use of your time and will actually help prevent injuries:

The Dynamic GPS Warm-up

Complete five repetition per leg of each exercise below, the goal is to warm-up and activate the muscle, not to fatigue it.

Squats

Feet shoulder width apart, toes pointing forward, drop hips down to no lower than knee height, eyes should be looking up to assist with keeping a flat back, come back up straight pushing pelvis forward.

Lunges

Take a large step forward, bring your foot as high as your knee, ensure alternating arm motion (just like when you run), step back also with your foot coming as high as the other knee. Note: if you have trouble stepping back you are like stepping too far out, shorten the length of the lunge. After forward lunges, do the same but stepping to the side.

Leg Extensions

Standing with a form of support (wall, car, pole, person, etc.) slowly extend a straight leg forward, out to the side, 45 degrees behind you, and straight back returning your leg to center between each one.

Add-in bonus: alternate your foot/ankle position pointing the toes in, out, up, and down during the extensions.

Leg Swings and Rotation

Not just for the elite track athlete! Still standing next to a form of support, swing one leg back-and-forth while turned 90 degrees to the fall, one hand supported against the wall and the other swinging with your leg. Next, while facing the wall with both hands against the support, swing one leg side-to-side in front of you. Finally, from same position do forward and backward knee circles similar to a hurdler.

Bonus Calf Hops

Still waiting? Hop up and down on light feet, move them out and to the side, toes alternate pointing in and out, dance like a boxer.

There, both you and your watch should be ready to go now. Be sure to link your watch account to RUNNING.COACH account.

Neff_KatyHalf16_WR_BillBaumeyerThis blog post was written by Calum Neff, canadian born running.COACH gold coach in the U.S., 2:22h marathoner and Guinness world record holder for the fastest half marathon pushing a stroller in 1:11:27. Are you interested in a personal running coach? Click here.

Meet our Gold Coach Lina Strand

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Our Gold Coach Lina Strand from Sweden just won a bronze medal at the World Orienteering Championships in the sprint relay: huge congratulations. Meet Lina in our interview and get some personal running advise from her. Until the 10th September 2016 you still can profit and we will give you 10% off the gold subscription. You buy it now and start the coaching sessions whenever you want. Find the code and more details below.

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Lina’s explanations below the interview*

 

What reputation and importance does running have in the country that you live in? 

Running is at the moment big here in Sweden. All the running competitions are growing and running has become a big part of peoples try to live a healthy life. Though this is mostly among adults and I wish that younger teens also would embrace this “boom” of running which is going on at the moment.

Tell us your personal running story.

Running has been a part of my entire life and many of my early memories are myself running! My sport has always been orienteering, where running is a big part. The only difference is the surface – we run mostly in forest on uneven ground instead of the flat run on asphalt. But, I’ve been doing that as well and already as a young child we were playing “olympics” and then it was mostly the running events we practiced, from 60m up to 2k, which felt quite long for 8-10 year olds. I have also always preferred running before walking, especially when going home from friends during late nights. I was afraid of the dark and felt always more comfortable running home than walking.

It was my parents who introduced me for the running sports and at the moment I am among top 10 of the world’s best orienteers. This means that I have been training a lot of running as we compete between 15 to 90 minutes of running (orienteering). The last couple of years I have not participated in so many running competitions as the orienteering season contains of so much competitions. Though I this year beat my personal record on the, in Gothenburg (which is my home town), well-known “grus8an”, one round on a gravel track of almost 8 km to 28.16. Though this time still have some potential for improvement.

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Lina icebug runnig Photo: Icebug

 

What has been your favourite running experience so far?

My best running experience is for sure the world championships in orienteering on home ground this August 2016. I ran the first leg of the sprint relay in Strömstad town and did a solid race and reached the finish first of all. There were thousands of people (mostly Swedish) there cheering and it was magical! My team, Sweden, ended up as 3rd and we got a long-awaited bronze medal.

sprint relay finish
sprint relay finish Photo: Mattias Karlsson

 

What is your next goal? How do you prepare for that? 

My next goal is next year’s world championships in orienteering in Estonia and on my way towards that and hopefully more medals I need to improve my running skill. I especially need to be faster, so I will try to work on that.

What is your favourite type of training? 

I love to do 8 times 1k on this gravel track (grus-8an) here in Gothenburg. I also like training in stairs, which I quite recent started with. I believe this is a very good and quite easy way to improve explosive skills which is important to become a better and faster runner.

Which is your personal piece of training advice that you can share with us? 

Have patience! Develop running skills takes time. First your improvement can go quite fast, for example to lower your 5k time from 30-35 minutes to 20-25, but then the hard work starts and you need patience. Of course it matters of what your goals is and also how your background looks like, but the hardest part is always to continue and stick with training to get the real improvement later on which may take some years. My advice is to have the courage to plan in long-term, to dream, and then make a plan towards it. Which are the boundaries between my current position and the position I dream on? What can I do to get there and what kind of help do I need?

Do you have any ritual which you do before a competition? 

Yes, I have my warm-up ritual which mostly contains of 15 min easy running and some stretching. Then I always do 2 min-interval in competition speed to wake up the body. I then to some shorter speed-ups and then I feel fully prepared. I believe it is important to find a warm-up ritual that you trust and that makes your body well-prepared. This can change between persons why it is good to try some different so you know which is best for you. Before important competitions it is easy to tart think too much of what may be the best to do and then do too much stuff which makes you tired and unsure before the race. That is why rituals can be important to stick feeling fully confident.

Do you mind your nutrition?

Nutrition is important, but the most important thing for me training mostly 12 times a week is to get enough. Training with lack of energy is nothing I ever would recommend. But of course it is also important what I eat which help me avoid illness. I try to always eat a lot of green salad (ruccola/spinach for example) to my lunch and dinner meals (together with protein and carbs sources).

What is your favourite running brand? 

2XU is my favourite running clothes. The long tights and the shorts gives me a perfect running feeling. Compression tights helps your muscles stay in the right place to avoid the small vibrations when you hit the ground in each step. I am feeling fast! Shoes I prefer the local brand Icebug when I run in the forest as they have the perfect grip on wet and uneven surfaces!

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2xu and icebug brand Photo: Jonas Birgersson

 

What was a special moment for you as a running coach/ Gold coach? 

I am quite new as a gold coach here at running coach but I have memories from other coaching commissions. My best memories is always to see my adepts fulfilling their goals and perhaps also reaching beyond them after long and hard work. That is always great moments!

Why should a customer book you as a Gold coach?

I am eager to help people reach their goals as I know exactly how great the feeling is when you do it. I have a lot of own experiences, but also an on-going education which gives me broad knowledge. My strength is to see things from a lot of different perspectives which may help to find the right way for my customer even if he or she feels like their development has stopped. I also know that training can be complex with all the things you read in media, some is scientific, but most is not. It is very hard to know, just by reading on internet or magazines what’s good for you and that is why it can be nice to have a gold coach to discuss all this things with.

Would you like to book Lina Strand as your Gold Coach? You get 10% off till 10th September 2016. It doesn’t matter which Coach your book. Just use the code: GETGOLD10

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*Lina’s WARM-UP Explanations

Coffee or tea? – Tea. I’ve never learnt to like the taste of coffea, but the beans smells good!

Summer or winter?- Summer. I like training camps in nice wheather and especially when you can finish it with a swim in the ocean.

Running training in the morning or in the evening? I do most of my fast trainings during the evening, but I am also used going up training in the morning as I mostly do 2 trainings a day. But if I have to choose, I say evening.

Running training alone or in a group? Group! Both hard intervals where I get pacing from others, but also the easy long runs when you can chat and run for hours!

Running in the terrain or on asphalt? As an orienteer I must say the terrain. Its benefits a lot, both to avoid injuries as it is more careful, but also that it helps strengthen some of your small stabilizing muscles in your legs.

Running with or without a GPS watch? With! I love analyzing my heart rate and speed after a well executed session.

Running statistics: yes or no? Yes of course! I believe that it helps you improve your running skills. Though statistics is not everything and I also believe that you need the sense of your own feeling as well.

Pre-competition meal: pasta or rice? Doesn’t matter – it depends on the sauce you add. 😉 No pasta or rice without sauce!

Competition nutrition: gel or bar? Gel! It is very easy to “eat” during hard running.

Alternative training: swimming or biking/cycling? Biking, as I am not a swimmer and I like to explore areas which you do much better by bike. I also like alternative training methods as wetvest running, crosstrainer and roller skies.

Running during pregnancy

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How can you run safe throughout your pregnancy?

That Monday morning in January 2015, I just wanted to go for my usual run. However, my positive pregnancy test in mind, I wondered: “am I even supposed to run anymore?” This thought turned that “usual run” into a special one and one which I still remember. At the start, I ran as if I was jogging on eggshells. It somehow felt strange and unusual, even if it was probably mostly in my head rather than my body. I soon got rid of that feeling and lots of runs were to follow. I am hereby broaching the issue of running training during pregnancy and I am going to try and give advice about how still to run with your belly growing bigger.

Many expectant mothers have been very active before pregnancy and they want to remain active even during and after. Exercise and pregnancy are not mutually exclusive. However, hardly anyone is as easy to unsettle as a pregnant woman. This should not have to be like that! Recently, several positive effects of exercise on both the mother and the baby have been demonstrated: a positive influence on the mood of the expectant mother, decreasing risk of gestational diabetes, avoidance of excessive weight gain, less physical complaints and higher physical and psychological resilience of the mother.

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During my pregnancy, the following points have been my guidance:

  1. Every pregnancy is different. Therefore, you should always talk about your plans with a medical expert in advance.
  2. No experiments in your training during pregnancy: expectant mothers should only train the way they have been doing before pregnancy. If you haven’t been running before your pregnancy, you should not start with that as long as you are expecting. What you could do in that case is to start with Aquajogging, Nordic Walking or to use a cross trainer.
  3. Listen to your body! Our body is able to give us rather reliable signals for what works and what does not. Active people usually have particularly good body awareness. Listen to the signals from your body (heart rate, temperature, well-being, etc.) and act accordingly. In case of bleedings or contractions of the uterus, stop the current sporting activity immediately!

Running training during pregnancy

Experienced runners may continue with their training as before, provided they consider the following points.

Intensity

High intense training in the anaerobic zone is not recommended, as this firstly prevents the baby from getting enough oxygen, and secondly, the concussions on your body might be too heavy.

Amount of training

As long as your running feeling and recovery are good, there is no reason for you to reduce the amount of training hours from before pregnancy. However, pregnancy itself is already a physical stress for your body and can be compared to light endurance training. Generally, I have reduced my training load a little and in the beginning of my pregnancy I did not have the energy to do long runs. I did not start doing them later either, because with my weight increasing, running was becoming more exhausting than swimming or cycling.

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Running in the first trimester

In the first trimester it is all about gaining trust and feeling what is still possible. If everything else feels good, you can continue with your usual running training, as long as you adjust the intensity. I was tired a lot and I often had troubles getting myself to put on my shoes and to go out running. But still, after training I always felt better.

Running in the second trimester

In the second trimester many women are very vivid and this should be taken advantage of. Towards the end of the second trimester, running training has to potentially be reduced due to the growing belly. Shorter runs or single trainings should then be replaced with Nordic Walking, Aquajogging or a cross trainer. As opposed to the other two sports I usually do (swimming and cycling), I could really feel my increased weight when running. I reduced the length of my base runs to 40-45 minutes towards the end of the second trimester.

Running in the third trimester

The baby belly is growing and now, at the latest, people start staring at you when they see you running past: a woman, pregnant, running?! It is still possible to run even in the third trimester, as long as it feels comfortable. Some are able to run right until the end of their pregnancy. I was still running for about 40 minutes two to three times a week by the 35th week of pregnancy. I especially focused on a smooth running style, so that the extra weight would not lead to incorrect loading or other injuries. In addition to that, I did a running training in the water (Aquajogging), which was a bit longer than my ordinary running sessions.

Quitting running

One day, the moment might come when you realise that it doesn’t work anymore. This can be in the first, second or even third semester and it is really individual. Sometimes it might help to alternate running and walking or you might just try another day. I stopped my running training when I started to repeatedly feel my lower belly going hard when running. I changed to the cross trainer, which, in addition to Aquajogging, turned out to be a good alternative.

Strength training is a must!

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Strength training in relation with running training gets ever more important in the course of a pregnancy. The additional weight is extra demanding for your body and the stress on the pelvic floor is enormous. Further, the hormone relaxin loosens tendons and ligaments and it can lead to instability.

My ten pieces of personal running advise for expecting mothers

  • Trust your body feeling, but use a heart rate belt at times after all.
  • Do only take part in competitions if you are able to control yourself and run according to heart rate. This is why competitions were a taboo for me.
  • Generally, and especially with an ongoing pregnancy, running works better in the morning than in the evening. The bladder is empty and not yet strained from everyday life.
  • Allow for possible toiled breaks in your sessions. The concussions emerging when running often made me feel like I had to pee.
  • I hardly felt my baby moving while jogging. She probably used to fall asleep then, she was always very active after. .
  • Be careful with your gear: Your sports bra should fit well (your breasts might change during pregnancy) and your running shoes should not be worn out already.
  • I don’t have any experience in this myself, but others have told me that it helps to wear an abdominal belt and that this makes running more comfortable.
  • Don’t run on an empty stomach and bring a small snack – almonds did the job for me.
  • Drink enough after training and, if necessary, already during training.
  • Healthy and balanced nutrition is important during pregnancy in general and for active women especially

I wish you all many nice running moments, even when pregnant. Keep on moving…

porträt_stefi

Our Gold Coach Stefanie Meyer is a passionate runner and Ironwoman. She lives her passion for sports through her profession as a sports scientist, sports teacher and running coach. She left Switzerland in summer 2014 and has been living in London since then. Being a mum herself, Stefanie runs a blog www.sportymum.net about sports during and after pregnancy. Since the birth of her daughter she has been regularly taking part in competitions again.