The best Running Tips for your Summer Training

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A lot of us have some big goals this Fall, whether it be a marathon or cross country season. It may seem far away but these next months of summer are an important part training. This is the time to build your aerobic base to allow for an easy transition into workouts and races in the Fall. While the training programs will continue with some “maintenance workouts”, this period of training is really about doing long slow distance. Yes! I am telling you to run slow!

Below are some general rules and recommendations to follow but this is where a personal coach and training program can be the most beneficial.

“Every morning in Africa, a gazelle wakes up, it knows it must outrun the fastest lion or it will be killed. Every morning in Africa, a lion wakes up. It knows it must run faster than the slowest gazelle, or it will starve. It doesn’t matter whether you’re the lion or a gazelle-when the sun comes up, you’d better be running.”

― Christopher McDougall, Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen

Heat Training

Depending on your location you are either having the nicest weather of the year or the worst. For those in the Southern United States you will be dealing with extreme heat and humidity. Becoming an early-bird and running early is one of the best ways to get your training done but don’t be afraid of that indoor treadmill either. Heat and humidity training is actually very beneficial but please be careful, stay hydrated, protect yourself from the sun, and listen to your body.

Increasing Mileage

Your running.COACH plan will give you safe weekly mileage goals adapting to your progress over the summer. A good general rule to follow for increasing your mileage is adding 10% each week. Once you have your first week of running complete, try and add 10% more to the next week. Example: If you start out at 10 miles comfortably, multiply that number by 1.1 [10mi x 1.1 = 11], next week go to 11, then next week go to 12+. After three weeks of increasing, back off and do one week at a lower mileage before resuming your buildup where you left off.

mileage

If you have a few years of healthy running you can start your first week with higher mileage but a max of 30mpw is about as much as you want to begin with. If the body is feeling good and strong keep increasing mileage but always listen to the body. It’s always best to take one day off than to be injured for the season.

Racing

Racing during the summer is a great way to experience new places while you travel, meet fellow runners, and keep in touch with your speed. Throughout Europe, Canada, and the cooler parts of America this is the most popular time to race. This is also a good time to experience the mountains and trails. If you have some goal races through the summer be sure to take enough time off between your Fall season or talk with your coach to plan so that your fitness can carry forward without burning out.

Camps

Another option that is growing in popularity is summer camps, usually run by elite athletes in exotic landscapes in small groups, it provides an opportunity to train like an elite for a week and learn from the best. A Google search should be able to find a destination for you. If you are junior high/high school athlete (sorry adults, this camp is just for the kids this year) there is an opportunity to join me and a number of world class coaches this summer in Reno/Tahoe July 16-20 for the Nevada Altitude Cross Country Camp it is a very educational and beneficial week of training with fellow high school athletes from across the country.

Neff_KatyHalf16_WR_BillBaumeyerThis blog post was written by Calum Neff, canadian born running 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.

Calum Neff: Mileage Motivation

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“Practice makes perfect”, it couldn’t be any truer than in running. To become a better runner, you have to run, a lot. Gold Coach Calum Neff is no stranger to mileage and has some tips for staying motivated when your schedule says to “go long”. Why run mileage?

A majority of any training program will consist of “base running” with a few workouts trickled in-between adequate recovery. The reason for running mileage is not only so you can handle the hard workouts without injury but your aerobic energy system takes years of consistent work to improve.

When I look at my athletes profiles I almost always see they are not able to run an equivalent marathon time based on their performances in shorter distances like the 5k. For example, if you can run a 5k in 20 minutes, you should be able to run 3:15 in the marathon, but this is rarely the case for a new runner. This is because the athletes various energy systems are not equally developed, and that’s why we are here as your coaches!

Benefits of Mileage

  • Building aerobic base (endurance)
  • Becoming more efficient
  • Burning fat: Your body uses higher percentage of fat for energy during long slow workouts, rather than carbohydrates/sugars, this type of running is great for weight loss
  • Mentally prepares you for fatigue experienced during workouts and races
  • Injury/soreness resilience

How to stay motivated?

Hopefully you were not discouraged to learn that it can take years to build your aerobic capacity. Most programs, depending on the athlete, will have an initial month or two to build up your base, preparing you for the race season. Seeing long runs on your calendar, week after week, can be challenging mentally. Here are a few tips that work for me:

The Route

  • Pre-plan your route using online maps, picking out water and bathrooms as needed.
  • Pick a destination: Personally, I am very “objective based”, give me a target and I will do everything I can to get there. Choose a new park, a bridge, monument, a mountain, anything!
  • One-way routes: Getting dropped off away from home is huge motivation to get your run done, you have no choice. Have your running gear handy on family outings, on return you can get dropped off and fit your run in to a busy schedule.
  • Loop routes: Committing to a large loop is another great way to force yourself to complete your run.
  • Out-and-return: If you have a 20km run all you have to do is get 10km away from your house!
  • Run commute: Doubling your run as a method of transportation saves a lot of time (hopefully you have a shower at the office).

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The Motivation

  • If your body is feeling tired and sore a long slow run will usually help, give yourself a few easy miles to loosen up.
  • “I regret that run” – said no one, ever.
  • Doubling: If a single run during the day is too much to try and reach your mileage goals, start adding in an easy couple miles every other morning as a double run for the day.
  • Give your coach a call! That is why we are here. If you are a Gold Program member you have a great resource at your fingertips. As coaches we always have ways to motivate or adapt a workout to suit your needs.

“I regret that run.” – no one, ever.

The Goal

As we head into summer, these next few months is where you lay the foundation for your running in the Fall, from cross country athletes to marathoners. This is the time where you can cut out a lot of intensity and just run long and slow. With summer comes the heat and humidity depending on your climate. Be prepared to run early or inside and if you are out in the heat remember to hydrate and adjust your pace and distance accordingly. Heat running and high humidity (also called “poor man’s altitude”), while tough, can be especially beneficial to your base building so try and embrace it. Your efforts will be rewarded in the Fall, sign up for a Gold Coach today and let us help you achieve your goals.

 

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.

Calum Neff: World Record Interview

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Ten days ago, our gold coach Calum Neff beat the half marathon world record with a stroller finishing the Katy Half Marathon in 1:11:27. Read this exclusive interview with our new in-house hero.

First of all congrats to your amazing performance at the Katy Half Marathon! Can you tell us where you’re coming from and what running means to you?

I have been a running since I was four years old, completing my first race at the 1988 Cajun Cup 1k in Lafayette, Louisiana. I am actually a Canadian born in Aberdeen, Scotland- due to my fathers job we moved around the world to various counties which I really enjoyed. It can be really hard, especially for a kid, to completely uproot and have to start fresh but I always had family and running. The first couple of weeks at a new school were pretty quiet, tough to make friends, but as soon as that first run happened whether it be in gym class or a race, everyone knew who I was and they always helped. The running community is also so welcoming no matter where you go or how fast you are. Running has been my connection to this world.

Rick Frank
© Rick Frank

 

Tell us about your race at the Katy Half Marathon where you beat the world record for running with a stroller.

The Katy Half Marathon is a local race near our house just outside of Houston, Texas where we currently live due to my own line of work. The area is fairly new so the roads are smooth hard concrete and being only an hour north of the Gulf of Mexico it’s about as flat as you can get, I miss those Canadian Rocky Mountains! It’s a great course and time of year to run fast especially with a stroller. I had won the inaugural race last year in 1:09 just three weeks after running 2:22 at the Houston Marathon so I knew running both races again this year was doable. I had frustrating hamstring tightness that turned into cramps during the marathon this year where I ran 2:23, only 20 seconds off my personal best with a bad leg told me I was in the best shape of my life.

Was this record attempt something you had in mind for a long time? If so, did you do any specific training?

Most training was to gear up for the Houston Marathon, this included some really good long runs of up to 24 miles (38.5km) with lots of marathon pace work. Coming off Houston I did not feel as trashed as normal because I was held back by my hamstring I wasn’t able to fully exert myself. So getting recovered, especially the hamstring, was the main preparation for the record attempt. Also ensuring the Thule Glide stroller was completely safe at those speeds and that my daughter would be comfortable meant I did a few more training runs with the stroller. I ran some 400m repeats with her, some trails, and some runs around the neighborhood and park paths. We especially enjoyed Christmas this year pushing the double stroller around to see all the Christmas lights, I’ll usually bring a Bluetooth speaker to play music and in that case it was carols.

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© Aaron Palaian

 

What are your plans for the future? Rumors say that the world record with a stroller for a marathon is not unbeatable either…

Now that we have the half marathon stroller record the only logical next step is the full marathon, currently set at 2:42 by Michael Wardian. Honestly I think the 2:30 barrier is possible for me, just need to find the right race and have a good day. Holland (my almost one year old daughter that was in the stroller), loved the race we did, she was clapping and talking for almost the entire thing. She had a mile or so towards the end where she was getting a little fussy and had that been at the start I would have stopped. For the marathon there will some added requirements due the duration, a bottle, toys, music, and hopefully a long nap! My three year old, Alessandra, is only 10lbs more but obviously has many more stroller miles and able to process what’s going on, she’ll even pass her snacks over the handlebars for me to take right in my mouth!

Thank you Calum and all the best for the future.

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© Aaron Palaian

 

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