Optimal training for your target competition – How running.COACH prepares you for your competition

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The goal of running.COACH is to optimize your training and adapt it to your specific requirements. Not only your current performance is taken into account, but also the training days available to you (number and time) and your individual running goals. The following blog post can serve as a guide on how to get running.COACH to optimally prepare you for your running goals.

(Running) Training at older ages – what to consider with training while aging

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Running training and training in general is complex. Different types of training have to be optimally coordinated with each other, so that on the one hand the training stimulus is right, but on the other hand the regeneration needed to improve performance is sufficiently available. The fact that the body changes as it ages makes it even more difficult. This blog post should shed some light on the complex topic of “Run training while aging”.

The foot of a runner

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Although runners are constantly on their feet, they tend to neglect their feet. Regular foot training brings speed and more stability on uneven terrain.

Mountain running training – what do you have to consider when training with altitude changes?

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Mountain running, hill running and generally training with a lot of altitude gain are efficient training methods to optimally train and strengthen both the muscles and the cardiovascular system. Mountain running training helps you to develop your strength, endurance and resistance and thus to be able to run on the flat with a powerful stride.

Instructions and explanation of the running.COACH functions

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Table of contents:

1) Features and functions

Basic settings – Creating the plan

Connect your GPS watch

Training guidelines

Statistics

Running calendar

Race calculator

Track running shoe kilometers

Rehabilitation Plan

Synchronization of the training plan via iCal with your personal calendar

Correct recording of interval training

App

2) FAQ about the functionality

How do I postpone a training session?How do I edit the duration of a competition?

What do I do after an injury?

Why are my Long Jogs so short?

Why are no pulse ranges displayed?

Where can I enter my target time?

Should I train by pulse or pace?

The training is too intense for me, what can I do?

How do I deactivate the automatic renewal of my subscription?

How do I get a mountain running plan?

Can I start training earlier after my main competition?

Delete a training

Basic settings – Creating the plan

Filling out the questionnaire

Running experience – Tell running.COACH how long you have been running regularly.

Current running ability – tell running.COACH how long you can run without taking a break

My Running Level – This is where the basic value for calculating your training speed and predicted time is stored. First choose whether you want to enter a running distance or a performance test as reference value.

  1. I did a performance test: Enter the anaerobic threshold (km/h) that was determined during the performance test. Add also the date of the test
  2. I ran a test course: Under “distance”, choose a distance that you have run in the past at competition speed (!) Then add the time and date you ran it. If you click on the button “Different distance”, you can enter an individual distance AND add the vertical meters. The distance and hills will then be included in the calculation.

My goal – Define your running goal. First choose one of the basic settings “Beginner”, ” Physical health” or “Participation in competitions”. With the first two options, running.COACH will create an entry plan or a basic plan, which will either introduce you to running training (beginners) or help you to improve your general fitness level (health). If you choose “Participate in competitions”, the plan will be told how the plan should be structured in terms of time (date of the competition), which training distances are suggested (competition distance), whether a mountain running plan should be created (number of vertical meters) and whether the plan should be specifically designed for this competition or not (priority). THE PLAN IS ALWAYS SPECIFICALLY GEARED TO THE NEXT MAIN COMPETITION. If no main competition is entered, a general fitness plan is suggested. Save the plan by clicking on the diskette icon on the right hand side:
How should I plan competitions for different distances?
How do I enter a target competition

Longest training – Once a week a long run will be scheduled. Here you choose on which day this unit should be done.

Most intensive training session – Here you choose on which day intervals should be scheduled. You can also let running.COACH choose the best possible day (recommended).

Training days – Determine the days on which you can and want to train. ATTENTION: All the days and half days listed are training days. Do not enter when you could train, but when you want to train.
Helpful link:
How often should you train?

Holidays – Interruption – If you have planned training interruptions, you can enter them here. Then no training will be displayed during this time. Running.COACH will assume that you will be active but do not want to do any planned workouts. If you do not train at all, it is better to enter the planned training with the reason “Cancel”. This way, after several missed days, you will be given a plan to get back on track.

If you have taken out insurance, you can have your subscription paused if you have a longer break. To do so, please contact us at info@runningcoach.me.

Personal data – Enter your basic data. The information on maximum and resting heart rate is particularly important. ONLY IF BOTH ARE GIVEN, THE PLAN CAN PROVIDE INFORMATION ON THE PULSE RANGES FOR THE TRAINING SESSIONS.

Now click on “Generate training schedule” to receive your training plan. Changes can be made at any time using the “Settings” button in the header. AFTER EVERY CHANGE THE PLAN HAS TO BE GENERATED AGAIN. Only future planned training will be changed, the past will not be affected.

Now you have your first training plan. Congratulations. Actually you are ready to start. But there are still a few features that make your training easier.

Connect your GPS watch

In order for running.COACH to dynamically adapt your personal training, it is important that you enter your completed training sessions as accurately as possible in running.COACH. The easiest way to do this is to upload them with the help of a GPS file or train directly with the running.COACH app (Android / iOS).

You can synchronize the following training applications / watches with running.COACH. Click on the link to get the corresponding instructions:

Garmin (Garmin watches also allow you to download the running.COACH training to your watch. This is also described in the link), Polar, TomTom, Suunto Movescount, Suunto App, Fitbit, Strava, Runkeeper, Mapmyfitness

Training Guidelines

  1. To the left of the calendar (as soon as a training is selected) an overview of the most important key data of the training is displayed. Click on a training unit in the calendar to get an overview of the corresponding training.
    • Training form
    • Date
    • Training Duration
    • Distance
    • Pace in
    • Heart rate
      Training form
      – Date
      – Training duration
      – Distance
      – Pace in min/km and km/h (refers to the hard intervals and not to the training average for hard sessions)
      – Heart rate
  2. Change the view between calendar and list view
  3. Detailed view of the training
  1. Edit Training
    • Change the sport
    • Change the type of training (i.e. Interval, Recovery, etc.)
  2. Change training data such as time and distance
  3. Enter a training title
  4. Input of running equipment (to monitor the kilometers run with a specific shoe) and running surface
  5. Disclosure of subjective feeling
  6. Training videos on related topics such as warm up, stretching and technique
  7. Training description
  8. Goal and purpose of the training
  9. Food advice
  10. Alternative sports: How long does an alternative sport have to be performed to achieve the same effect as running?

Statistics

The statistics page gives you an overview of the past training weeks and shows you at the same time your performance development during your competitions. For each race the anaerobic threshold is calculated, which allows you to compare different distances and runs with altitude meters.

Running Calendar

The running calendar gives you an overview of upcoming running events for which you can prepare for with the help of running.COACH. The practical search function lets you filter the calendar by name, date, country, distance and altitude. Runs can easily be added using this form.

Race Calculator

Our running race calculator gives you an indication of the target time you can set for your next running competition. Factors such as the number of meters above sea level (performance decreases with altitude), the distance, profile of the run, and your basic speed are taken into account. In addition to the running time forecast, a detailed kilometer split time table is also created. Runs can be easily added using this form, but it is mandatory to attach a GPX file.

Track Shoe Distance

In order to keep track of the distance run and the number of training sessions completed with a particular pair of running shoes, and thus to know when to change them, you can assign a particular pair of shoes to each training session.

Click on any workout to add / track a running shoe and then go to the details page (“Edit + Info”). On the detail page you can click on the pencil under “Additional Information” -> “Gear”.

An overview of former and active running shoes appears with the option to archive former shoes (so that they are no longer displayed in the overview – they can be made visible again at any time) or to add new shoes. Click on “Add new gear” to add a shoe to the selection.

In the upper part of the form you enter the general information regarding your running shoes. In the database many shoe models are already pre-stored. So if you enter the shoe brand, you will get suggestions in the drop-down menu. Click on the suggestion, so that you can also receive suggestions in the “Model” field. You can enter the color of the shoe or any other distinguishing feature (especially good if you have several shoes of the same model). If you plan to do most of the training with the same shoe, define it as “default “. This will automatically select it.

You can get more detailed information by moving the mouse over the “?” symbols.

After you have clicked on “Add”, your shoe will appear in the overview. All entered and not archived shoes can now be selected in the drop down menu under equipment. From now on, the default shoe will be automatically assigned to each running training session without your intervention.

Rehabilitation plan

If you are not able to do a training because of a brief illness or injury, a rehabilitation plan will be proposed which takes into account the break in training.

Click on the unit you missed, then click on “Cancel” – then you can enter the reason for the training interruption. Do this on the day you return to training (for all missed sessions). If you missed 4 or more sessions in a row, you will be offered to enter a rehab plan (refresh the page if no message regarding rehab plan appears after 4 missed sessions).

Synchronization of the training plan via iCal with your personal calendar

running.COACH offers you the possibility to synchronize your running.COACH account with your personal calendar via iCal. Your workouts will be automatically added to your agenda – you will be charged for the duration of your workout plus 30 minutes for moving.

You can read about how to connect in this blog post.

Correct recording of interval workouts

In order for your interval training to be read correctly, running.COACH relies on you to record the training “correctly”. First of all it is important that the automatic lap function of your watch is deactivated (normally set to 1km). You would then have to stop an interval workout as follows (using the manual lap function of your watch)

Warm up – press lap – 1. interval – press lap – pause – press lap – 2. interval – press lap – pause – press lap – 3. interval – press lap – … – press lap – cool down

App

With the running.COACH app you can use running.COACH on the road. Plan, track or log your training. Everything you enter in the app is synchronized with your online training plan.

2) FAQ about the functionality

How do I postpone a training session?

A workout can be postponed to a desired day by drag & drop. Simply click on a workout and drag it to the corresponding day. This can be done in the list view as well as in the calendar view.

How do I edit the duration of a competition?

Click on the race and then on “Edit + Info” in the column on the left to get to the detailed view. Click on the pencil on the left above the table with the times you want to edit.

What do I do after an injury? The rehab plan.

After illness or injury you can proceed as follows. Click on the unit you missed, then click on “Cancel” – then you can enter and save the reason for the training failure. Do this on the day you return to training (for all missed sessions). If you have missed 4 or more sessions in a row, you will be offered to enter a rehab plan.

Why are my Long Jogs so short?

First check which run is entered as the target competition (priority level 3). The plan is specifically geared towards the next main competition.

Our long runs are limited to 3 hours. We are of the opinion that after three hours the relationship between additional training effect and increasing risk of injury (overloading) is no longer correct. We do not want to take responsibility for this. But if you feel that you need longer runs, you can extend a Long Jog once in a while.

Why are no pulse ranges displayed?

In order to get the heart rate settings, you must have entered the value for both resting heart rate and maximum heart rate in the settings.

Where can I enter my target time?

A target time cannot be entered in running.COACH. This is because some users would probably overestimate themselves, get a too hard program suggested and could get hurt as a result.

However, you will receive a prognosis that tells you how your target time could look like during normal training. The answer to the question “how fast can you run?” in the settings is crucial for this prognosis. Of course you can play and experiment with this. So you can try to bring the prognosis to your target time with this setting.

Should I train by pulse or pace?

The detailed answer to this question can be found here.

The training is too intense for me, what can I do?

First check if your training settings are still up to date. It is worth running a competition or test run from time to time and updating the information with the result.

If you find a single training session to be too intense, you can adjust it manually by clicking on the “-” symbol at the intensity in the training overview. This will reduce the duration and intensity of the session.

How do I deactivate the automatic renewal of the subscription?

You can do this in your settings under “My account” -> “My profile” -> “Notifications”.

How do I get a mountain running plan?

If you enter a mountain run as a training goal in your settings (with the highest priority level), then running.COACH will create a customized mountain run plan for you. This will start when you enter the specific preparation phase for the competition (i.e. about 5 months before the competition). Pay attention to the small mountain run icon in the training title above the training overview. If you move the mouse over it, additional tips will be displayed.

Can I start training earlier after my main competition?

The detailed answer to this question can be found here.

Delete a training

A training unit can be deleted on the overview page. Click on “Cancel” and then either choose a reason why the unit could not be executed or delete the training from the calendar completely.

To delete the uploaded GPS file, you can go to the details page to remove the file in the lower right corner.

The optimal cadence and stride length for runners

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There are many ways to reach your running goals. The optimal training with a good balance between load and recovery is one performance factor, running technique is another. Stride length and cadence are two aspects that often cause questions. So, it is high time to shed some light on these two topics.

Treadmill training for runners

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Treadmill running is ideal for interval training and to improve your technique. But for it to be effective, it needs a trick. And there are special treadmills for rehabilitation – on which the runners regularly shine with joy.

Training on the treadmill has several advantages:

  • Firstly, the performance is very well trackable. Heart rate, distance, pace – the display always provides all important information.
  • Second, the treadmill is ideal for interval training, running technique training and performance diagnostics.
  • Thirdly, it saves you the trouble of training outdoors in rough weather.
  • And fourthly, it can be a great help in cases of overload damage, rehabilitation or overweight – as long as you get on the right treadmill.

Training on a treadmill is basically similar to running outdoors, but it requires less energy. In “normal” running, the body is actively moved forward over the supporting leg. On the treadmill, on the other hand, the supporting leg under the body is “pulled away”. In addition, there is less air resistance and warmer temperatures inside. All this means that treadmill training is less of an effort at a comparable speed – although this is all the more important at a higher speed: at a speed of 8 km/h, for example, runners on the treadmill use around five percent less energy compared to running outdoors, while at 15 km/h 10 percent less energy is required.

This can be compensated by adjusting the treadmill to one percent incline, from a speed of 15 km/h to two percent incline. In this way, you use about the same amount of energy on the treadmill as outside.

In addition, on the treadmill, you should make sure that the cadence is somewhat higher. It can be easily controlled and corrected if necessary. The rolling phase, core position, running pattern – all of these can be observed more precisely here than in outdoors. That’s why the treadmill is so well suited for analysing your running style and for technical training – with one limitation: on the treadmill, the muscles are put under slightly different conditions than outside.

Multitasking required

A disadvantage of the treadmill is that it permanently demands high concentration from the runner. Beginners often make the mistake of setting the pace too high, forgetting that it takes a certain amount of time to adjust to it. If you feel insecure in the beginning, it is best to be guided and supervised.

Because the band keeps going, you have to be more focused than on well known, undemanding tracks outside (and remember not to hold on to the handles). Also in terms of coordination and “multi-tasking”, the band initially challenges the runner more than the usual off-road running. If you should stumble, the emergency stop immediately turns the device off (if you have activated it).

Developed by the NASA

A special feature are anti-gravity treadmills such as the “Alter G” treadmill. The technology behind them was originally developed by the US space agency NASA. These special treadmills are – simply because of their price – so far only established in medical training, sports medicine and sports physiotherapy.

The Alter-G treadmill is a treadmill in which the runner first climbs into “neoprene shorts” that tightly surround him. The entire lower body is then in an air chamber and can be lifted from below by means of air pressure, which relieves the legs. The feet still remain on the ground. When inflated, this anti-gravity chamber reduces up to 80 percent of your weight. Because the pressure can be changed in one-percent steps, it is very finely adjustable.

These treadmills are mainly used for rehabilitation or after injuries as well as operations of the lower extremities or the lumbar spine. The anti-gravity treadmill enables adapted training in the event of stress injuries such as “runner’s knee” and problems with the Achilles tendon or patellar tendon. Patients with neurological diseases can also benefit from this or people who are overweight and want to walk without putting too much strain on their joints.

The main aim of the anti-gravity treadmill is to rehearse the running pattern in early rehabilitation and to activate learning processes. In addition, the movement stimulates the blood circulation.

Thanks to anti-gravity treadmill training, the usual phase of hobbling, for example after an operation on the leg, is often “skipped” because the patient is already “trained” by the moment he or she is allowed to fully exercise again.

During this medical training, which must be prescribed by a doctor, the physiotherapist can follow the weight distribution and running pattern closely. New models of the anti-gravity treadmill also analyse stride length and weight distribution on both sides.

Tips before buying a treadmill:

If you are thinking about buying a treadmill, you are faced with an abundance of offers: Treadmills and curved treadmills that simulate running on soft forest paths, treadmills that put athletes in virtual worlds and are intended to make training more entertaining are just a few examples.

  • It is best to test different models and see which one suits you best.
  • It is important that the treadmill achieves a speed of at least 20 km/h and delivers sufficient power.
  • Another important aspect is maintenance: how often is it necessary, what does it cost, can you do it yourself?

Author: Evelyne Vonarburg Schwarz, Dipl. Physiotherapeutin FH, Sportphysiotherapeutin SPT, Stv. Leiterin Therapien Medbase Luzern Allmend

Medbase running.coach

Season break for runners. When does a running break make sense?

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Have you successfully completed the competition season? You’ve probably trained countless hours to reach your goal. You have challenged your body a lot. Now is the time to give something back.

Mental training and sports

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Medbase-Basel-Heuwaage-Effinger-Guenther-4

Author: Dr. med. Günther Effinger, Facharzt FMH für orthopädische Chirurgie und Traumatologie, Int. Sportmedizin FMH, Osteologe DVO, Sonographie (SGUM), Manuelle Medizin (SAMM), Schmerztherapie (SSIPM), Leiter Medbase Basel Heuwaage

 

Mental training helps to consciously use thoughts and feelings to achieve a state of optimal performance. It should be just as much a part of training as physical training.

In professional sport, the mental coach has a well-established place alongside the coach and the nutritionist. In amateur sport, on the other hand, mental training – if at all – has so far only taken place selectively. And usually only when problems arise. This leaves a great deal of potential unexploited.

After all, every training session and every competition is influenced by thoughts and feelings. However, this often happens unconsciously – and this can reduce performance. Mental training helps to achieve and maintain a state of ideal performance.

The “Deming” or “Sports mental training cycle” developed at the Heidelberg Institute for Mental Training comprises four phases:

The first phase is about defining your own values and setting goals: What do I stand for? What is important to me? What do I want to achieve: have fun, find inner peace, receive recognition, find a sponsor who supports me …?
If several goals are important, it means defining a “value hierarchy”, because to want to achieve everything at once is utopian. The goal should be formulated positively and as concretely as possible, for example: “I want to have improved my best time at the end of the race”.

What are the outstanding characteristics of every athlete? In the second phase, when analysing one’s own strengths, it’s all about finding the answer. Which characteristic is the strongest? Which is number two, three, four, …?
Mental training should strengthen the strengths. This includes both mentally going through and improving movement sequences and learning not to be distracted. Because only those who can concentrate fully on the current situation will be able to fully exploit their strengths.
Training mindfulness can help to stay mentally in the “here and now”. Thoughts that wander into the past or into the future such as “I should have made more speed in the beginning” or “I won’t catch up anymore” are obstructive.

With the help of self-motivation strategies, one’s own strengths can be used at the right moment. What awakens the feelings and ideas that are needed in the respective situation in order to achieve the maximum possible? Which own rituals, inner images or experiences inspire and strengthen? For example, let your experiences pass in review: In which situations have you been particularly successful? What was the perfect situation when running in which everything was right? Which gesture or music, which object or smell is connected with this memory? This could be a key for mental training.
A sprinter who has to run away explosively at the start could, for example, motivate himself with the help of Hard Rock. Or you can tell yourself internally: “I can do it” and imagine the clenched fist. Such a gesture, self-hypnosis, relaxation exercises … there are hundreds of possibilities.
At first these processes “only” take place mentally. But the full potential can only be exploited if one “feels” them emotionally and physically.

The third phase of mental training serves to overcome and prevent inner blockades. Suppose a tennis player on rank 70 on the world’s best list makes it to the final of Wimbledon. He now thinks: “I can only lose against this famous top player. The eyes of the whole sports world are on me. Don’t miss the ball!” – then the game is already decided. He will lose.
Because the human brain doesn’t distinguish between ideas that shouldn’t happen and those that are longed for. This is like NOT thinking of a blue elephant. It is quite difficult not to imagine an elephant.
Athletes who want to do it especially well often get into the “overmotivation zone” – they hit balls, become unfocused, waste their energy.
However, the ideal performance condition is achieved when an athlete feels neither pressure nor stress or – on the other hand – boredom and too much relaxation (undermotivation zone). In mental training, effective countermeasures are developed against both.
For example, the tennis player might think: “I’ll show them”. He has built up a healthy self-confidence and mental strength, plays his best techniques meticulously in his mind and visualizes with all details the course of a game in which he plays his strengths to the full and wins.

Finally, the fourth phase is the success control: What was successful? Where else is there a problem? Can mental training be sustained in this way?

Tips:
– Mental training needs practice. Just like endurance, strength and flexibility training, it should be integrated into every training cycle.
– It is best to start with a mental trainer.
– Rituals or inner pictures should fit the person and the desired goal.
– Do not think in terms of problems, but focus on the solution.

Medbase running.coach

Synchronise your running.COACH (running) calendar with your personal calendar via iCal

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running.COACH offers you the possibility to synchronise your running.COACH account with your personal calendar via iCal. Your trainings will be automatically copied to your calendar. In the following, we will show you how to establish an automatic synchronisation:

Copy the URL for your running.COACH calendar

  1. Log in to your running.COACH account
  2. Click on “export calendar” below the calendarrunning.COACH Kalender exportieren

3. Copy the URL into the clipboard

Google calendar

iCal running.COACH Synch

  1. Log in to your Google account and choose the calendar. Then click on the “+” symbol under “more calendars”
  2. Choose the option “via URL”
  3. Insert the URL of your running.COACH calendar

Changes in your plan will be updated in Google at least once a day.

Subscription of calendars on Mac

It works almost like the synchronisation with the Google calendar explained above. You can find a detailed description here:

Subscription of a calendar 

Subscription of a calendar in Outlook.com 

Subscription of a calendar

Subscription of a calendar in Thunderbird

Subscription of a calendar