Our new running.COACH ambassador Paula Radcliffe

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Former top runner and marathon world record holder Paula Radcliffe is our new running.COACH Ambassador. We are happy to have her incorporate her knowledge and training philosophy into our training plan.

Since 2005, Paula Radcliffe has been holding the world record for the marathon distance (2:15:25 hours), which the Englishwoman ran at the London Marathon. She won this marathon as well as the New York Marathon three times.

During her 23-year career, she ran very successfully at various distances (5,000 meters, 10,000 meters, marathon). We are delighted that all those years of training and competition experience are going into the running.COACH training plan and that we can let you benefit from it.

In the interview with running.COACH she already gives us an insight.

Last year, Eliud Kipchoge broke the men’s world record at the Berlin Marathon and raised it to a seemingly unattainable level like you did 15 years ago. How far will this men’s world record go?

I think it was already a big step forward from Kipchoge. Maybe since Monza, we saw the possibility that he was going to really advance the world record a long way. Now he did that, so I think he’s a little bit ahead of the others for the moment. So that record may last a little while. If anyone can get closer to 2 hours for the moment, it’s him. So I think the breaking 2 hours will still take some time. This record will stand for a while.

While we’re talking about records: How many more years will your record last?

I don’t know – already, I’m grateful that it stood for this long. The longer I keep it,  the more proud I become of it and also the luckier I am that I was able to be set on that day because everything came together. Because for the marathon you need to have good conditions, a good shape, the weather needs to be good, everything needs to be right on that day. It was a good day in London. I’m grateful that I was able to get that. But also the longer I keep it, the longer I like keeping it.

What has running given you personally over all those years?

It has given me so much. From fun, pleasure, and enjoyment to the personal sense of fulfillment. Learning more about my body and psyche. Becoming a stronger person. Meeting so many interesting people and traveling to such amazing places. Learning the value of teamwork and preparation and perseverance. How to overcome setbacks. Being a healthier person and gaining a good perspective on life.

In 2015, you ended your successful career. What would you do differently if you could turn back the clock (e.g. in training, recovery, nutrition, competition/career planning)?

I’m a big believer in “no regrets” – you give everything the best shot and you’re proud of the things that work out and the things that didn’t work out you kind of learn something from and you accept them. So obviously, I would’ve liked to not get injured before the Olympic Games in Athen and Bejing. But I think for most of the others I was lucky. It worked out more often than it didn’t.

How did your body react after ending your career?

I think for me I am lucky since, as a distance runner, we retire from competition but don’t have to retire from running. So I miss competing but also value the fact that I had a long career and enjoy being able to just get out and run still for pleasure. So my body copes very well because when I want to run I do and if my body is tired I don’t need to push it anymore. I was able to be very patient in building back up after my foot surgery and really listen to my body.

Has your attitude toward running changed since then?

Running was always my enjoyment and stress release but now it can be more so. I can really use the run for whatever I want to get out of it mentally as well as physically now, whereas before there was also a training purpose to the run. Now, I can run hard to clear my head and feel good if I feel like it, or I can just run easy and enjoy the scenery or company and use the run as thinking time or problem-solving time!

 

What does a typical Paula Radcliffe training week look like today? How much/how often do you still run?

I mostly run every day now and generally for about an hour. I very rarely start my watch though and I don’t really have a plan for the run when I start. I run how I feel and include impromptu tempo runs, fartleks or hill sessions if I feel like it. I often also just decide on the actual route during the run depending on where I feel like going.
What is your favourite training? 

It was the long run, it was very important and I liked it. I also loved the fartlek and hill training and somehow track sessions when I was in shape. So I watched out that these trainings are included in the running.COACH as well.

What are your training principles? Can they also be used by hobby athletes?

Yes, it’s mostly to enjoy running. That’s the biggest thing. To enjoy running and to have fun. But also to work on your strengths as well as on your weaknesses. We have to work on our weaknesses but we also have to recognize where we are strong and change the training and racing to suit where we are strong. And then it’s also important to have a plan and stick to it.

Can you give us some tips for the last preparation before a race?

Especially for a marathon or longer distance race, it’s really important to make some training runs or strides in the shoes and in the kit you’re going to wear on the race day. That’s really important. By then, the last main preparations are done so the last bit is to feel good to recover from the hard work. I think it’s more easy runs with some fast strides and some refueling, stretching, massages. And of course, good sleep during the race week because often people don’t sleep well during the night before. So you need to stock up before. And eat well!

Is there a secret tip you can give us? A training, nutrition or recovery tip, for example?

I think the most important thing is that sometimes rest is an important training also. People forget and only think about running – training – running – training – running – training, but if your body is tired and your mind is tired, sometimes rest day is the best training.

What convinces you personally about the running.COACH online training schedule?

I think the flexible nature that adapts to every runner. The fact that it is planned by people who understand running, and what runners want to get out of their training. The experience of the team and the holistic planning of it all come together to help the individual runner get the best from themselves and their training and racing.

Performance diagnostics for runners

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Performance tests are not only for professional athletes. Even beginners and athletes with little free time often get important insights from taking them.

Author: Raphael Huber, MSc, Movement and Sports Science, MAS in Nutrition & Health, Medbase Winterthur WIN4

 

 

Where do I stand in my training? How well is my general fitness? How do I train most efficiently despite little free time? And what is the best way to achieve my goal, for example, the half marathon? Those who ask themselves questions like the ones above are candidates for performance diagnostics since it provides the most accurate answers.

Performance diagnostics comprises two categories: Endurance and strength diagnostics. The core element is a lactate level test. Most athletes do it on a treadmill or bicycle ergometer, rarely on a rowing ergometer or while swimming. Every three or five minutes, the speed or resistance is increased – until the athlete can no longer do it or no longer wants to continue.

Ideally, the performance level test measures three components

  • the fitness of the cardiovascular system
  • the subjective perception of stress
  • the metabolic state

The continuous measurement of the heart rate during the performance test shows how trained the heart is. At the same time, the athlete should indicate at the end of each performance level how resilient they still feel.

The “Borg Scale”, named after the Swedish physiologist Gunnar Borg, serves as a measure for the perceived exertion. Six as the lowest value of the scale corresponds to a very light strain, the highest of twenty is the effort at which the athlete reaches their limit which can’t be maintained for long.

The performance test is most meaningful if the lactate concentration in the blood is analyzed as well. Lactate (lactic acid) is produced as soon as the oxygen supply through respiration is no longer sufficient for energy production in the muscle. As a result, muscle cells increasingly switch from aerobic to anaerobic energy production, which is reflected in a sharp increase in the lactate concentration. To determine this, it is best to extract one drop of blood per performance level from the earlobe. Such a performance diagnosis takes about 1.5 hours (including training advice) and costs around 250 Swiss francs.

Individual training areas

The measured values – heart rate, subjective perception and lactate – can be used to determine when the runner is still training in the range of their basic endurance, when the aerobic (first lactate increase) and anaerobic threshold values are reached and when the athlete starts running in the interval range. This varies from person to person.

If, for example, the heart rate and lactate values are already high, but the perceived exertion is still in the middle range, this may indicate that the athlete tends to “bite their way through”. Those runners are mentally strong but often overtax their bodies.

Athletes who know their performance values, strengths and weaknesses can focus their training on what is important for their type of sport: Marathon runners, for example, need a good basic endurance, while 800-meter runners have to cope with high lactate values.

Good long-distance runners have low lactate values (about one millimole per liter of blood, mmol/l) in the test over several performance levels. This is partly due to the ability of their muscles to produce less lactate at a given level and partly due to the fact that their body can recycle the lactate more easily.

For good short-distance runners, on the other hand, lactate levels rise faster. However, their organism is able to continue to perform at its best despite high values of over ten mmol/l. In technical jargon, this is called “good stamina”.

Without knowledge of the individual thresholds one– in the truest sense of the word –  runs the risk of training incorrectly. This is all the more serious when the time budget is tight. If you train for a marathon alongside work, family, and commitments, it is essential to manage your time very well. Here, the performance test can help to make the training efficient and goal-oriented. The running.COACH training plan is adjusted to your individual threshold for you to train in the right training areas.

Test results and nutrition

The training plan also helps to coordinate nutrition. As long as the training is within the range of basic endurance, the body primarily uses fat reserves as a source of energy. At this stage, there is no need for an extra portion of pasta providing carbohydrates. In high-intensity training, on the other hand, the organism can hardly burn any more fat reserves. In this situation, a “low carb” diet makes it difficult to achieve the required performance.

A performance test makes sense also for amateurs and beginners

Knowing where one’s own thresholds are thus makes sense for several reasons – not only for competitive athletes but also for amateurs and especially beginners. They in particular often make the mistake of expecting too much of themselves according to the motto “Only hard training is good training”. If this happens too often, the “basis” is neglected, and the risk of injury also increases.

The right training is one that is adapted to the individual organism. And this can best be determined by the performance test.

RULE OF THUMB

A rule of thumb can help to determine the performance areas:

  • Basic endurance 1: The athlete can still talk normally without getting out of breath
  • Basic endurance 2: Only short sentences are possible
  • Threshold range: “Yes/No” only
  • Interval range: Speaking is no longer possible

 

Achieving the 3 Hour Marathon Dream

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Running a marathon below 3 hours – a dream that came true for our running.COACH User Chris Howard. Together with our Gold Coach Gabriel he improved his form to be a more efficient runner and less prone to injury. Very sucessful, as you can read here in his personal report about his journey to the Valencia Marathon.

I started running 5 years ago once I hit 40 years old – either this was due to a mid-life crisis or to just generally get fit and remove the storage space around the tummy. My first marathon in Lucerne of just over 4 hours was hard but the feeling at the end got me hooked for more.

Running Dream and injuries

Over the next few years I got better by adding the miles and then signed up with running.COACH silver subscription and was able to bring my time down over the next 2 years to 3.14 in Berlin and then 3.09 in London. I was following the plan, obtaining excellent advice and was really happy with my progress. However, I then wanted to achieve the next level and achieve under 3 hours. This became the running dream.

Training with a Coach: less kilometres

Unfortunately, I had a few injuries which kept on pushing me back and then I did Chicago and got a 3.32. Why was I getting further away from 3 hours and not closer? A friend recommended me to have a personal coach and use the running.COACH Gold subscription. I signed up in June 2018 for a 6 month subscription and Gabriel Lombriser would be my coach for the next 6 months. I was advised at the beginning about a running day being conducted in Nottwil and I learned more in that day about running style, efficiency, mobilisation, specific training etc. than I had done by looking at over 100 Youtube videos.

At the beginning of the subscription I had a detailed discussion with Gabriel about injuries, aims, personal lifestyle, nutrition etc. Gabriel then created a plan for me. Gone were the 6 days of training over 100km per week and I was shocked to see only 60km per week and 5 trainings. Gabriel fully understood my injury history and accommodated my plan to this to ensure I had continuous training and not to be constantly interrupted by injuries. Throughout the next 6 months I could have an easily accessible view of my plan on my phone and receive detailed tips per run.

Journey as a Team

The training got easier and then more intensive as time went by. Constant communication with Gabriel ensured I was on this journey as a team and not by myself (every question asked was answered quickly with excellent advice). I was advised which test runs to do and these were built into the plan. Constant feedback after the test runs was given by Gabriel as to how I could improve in the next run and by putting this advice to practice, I noticed constant improvement. However, it was the constant change to the norm in runs which I was advised to do which helped me significantly.

Valencia Marathon

Valencia marathon then arrived and I felt good. A detailed discussion took place between Gabriel and myself a week before about tapering, nutrition and marathon pacing strategy. I felt confident. Then the day before the marathon, Gabriel called again to provide me with some key tips and encouragement.

The marathon went like a dream. The splits were the same for every 5km and when I felt tired at after 30 kilometres I kept on repeating the advice Gabriel had given me and I found some new energy. When I hit 40km I knew I could do this if I hanged in there and suddenly I was able to run the last 2km in 3.51min/km – this was due to the change to the norm training Gabriel had advised me to do.

The feeling of running up to the finishing line and seeing the clock being under 3 hours was highly emotional. All the training had been worth it and the dream was fulfilled when I crossed the line in 2.59.

I have learned that you don’t need to do 120km+ per week training to achieve under 3 hours. Instead, you need a brilliant coach who understands injuries, plans, lifestyle etc. and is fully with you on the journey to achieve a running dream. This was teamwork. I thank Gabriel and running.COACH so much for making this happen and being a core part of this amazing journey.

The online coaching platform at running.COACH is great for individualized training programs. It allows you to find your own time to run and you know the workout was made just for you based on your training progress and goals.  With the silver subscription you can ask our coaches two questions by email per month. If you want to have a personal coach on your side the whole time, then benefit from our Gold Coaches and their long-time experience in running and coaching. Sign up and test running.COACH for free. 

Creative gifts for runners

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What makes runners especially happy on Christmas? Simple as that: Running equipment such as running clothes, running shoes or a running watch – the classics! We have put together a list of slightly more creative ideas for presents for running fanatics. Runners’ eyes will be shining on Christmas Eve!

RUNNING MEMORIES

Finisher shirts, medals, finisher photos and many other running souvenirs are a runner’s trophies and they are collected during the whole year. Finisher shirts are proudly worn the first training after the competition. Medals often end up in the corner where they act as dust collectors, while photos are stored digitally or maybe get shared on social media.

So why not let THE ONE especially nice running memory revive? For example in a pretty box, where a finisher medal can be nicely presented? A picture frame containing an action photo or maybe even a miniature photo album from the highlight of the year?

RUNNING INSPIRATION

Open your eyes and let yourself get inspired. Indeed, there are plenty of sources for inspiration out there (blogs, Facebook, Instagram). Sometimes, however, one might end up drowning in the stream of information and it can be a real challenge to distinguish the important from the unimportant.

Often, THE ONE, right reading is enough: A good quality magazine or a good book bring running inspiration for the new running year.

RUNNING TIME

By running time, we don’t mean the 35 minutes on 10k, but the time spent on running together. Why not give someone a voucher for running a competition or for conducting a training together?

It might sound banal, but if you are a little creative and pick a special place for the training or the competition and if you connect it with some trip (mountains, city trip), the present gets quite charming. Runners also get happy if their company acts as a supporter at the next running goal. All inclusive, of course: carrying baggage, dealing with pre-start nervousness, taking the tsunami of emotions, standing in line for toilets, wating (.. and waiting, and waiting), sharing moments of joy, massaging stinking feet – you may add to the list as you please.

MOTIVATION

Who doesn’t know it, one’s weaker self, happily coming by for a visit, especially during winter. Special motivation helps to get rid of this uninvited visitor.

Give away motivation in the form of new challenges, bringing variation into training: runing tools (miniband, foam roll), a running course, a trainining consultation or a video analysis. Another good motivator are personal messages like #AnnagoesMarathon, #RunDaddyRun, or whatever, which can be printed on drinking bottles, shirts or socks.

ENERGY

All the sweat-inducing training hours require energy, which, of course, need to be given back to the body in some way. We as runners always need something to eat after training. And who can resist the many treats, especially around Christmas?! However, you might want go for something more specific to running, like a gel, a bar or multivitamines.

Homemade food such as, for example, bars, müesli mixtures or energy balls, nicely wrapped up, make a good impression underneath the Christmas tree. Many enthusiastic runners also like to put on a cooking apron and thus, would probably also be very pleased by a nice cooking book or even a cooking course, don’t you think?

RECOVERY

A long running year is about to end, recovery is more than deserved and the body screams for wellness, massage and good food. The whole package can easily be booked as a nice arrangement in the form of a day trip or an overnight stay.

This works perfectly too, of course. And it might be even more appreciated if you give the massage yourself (think it through thoroughly beforehand though!) and cook a nice dinner at home. In order to spice it all up a little in terms of running, you might want to put the voucher into a pair of running socks – new ones, of course!

And if you want to go for the save option, just give a voucher for the running.COACH online training plan.

And in case you have other great ideas, please, feel free to leave a comment – we’re curious!

Running training in low temperatures

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Hello, Winter Wonderland! Or should we say, hello cold temperatures and frozen, icy roads? One thing is for sure: winter and running training aren’t mutually exclusive. However, it is worth noting certain points and you might have to make some adaptations in your training in some cases.   

We are going to show you how you can organise your training the best way possible in winter conditions, as a solid winter training makes you both physically and mentally strong for the next season.

Controlled breathing in very low temperatures

In winter, our muscous membranes are generally irritated, as we stay a lot inside in warm and, more importantly, dry air. This makes things easy for bacteria and viruses. This effect is reinforced by the cold air outside.

Generally, at low temperatures, breathing through your nose is recommended, possibly requiring a reduction in running pace. Breathing through your nose, the air is cleaned, heated up to body temperature and saturated with water vapour. If the intensity is too high for you to breath through your nose, a cloth covering your mouth works as well.

Never without warming up

No matter if it’s a base run, an high intensity training or a competition; a good warming up is important both for your lungs and your muscles. Thus, start slowly and take your time for your muscles to get warm. This is especially important for intervals, middle pace sessions and competitions. Deliberately plan more time for your warm-up.

Appropriate clothing

Generally, one should make sure not to put on too much clothing. The best way to do it is to follow the onion principle, also called the «three-layers-principle ». The first layer should be a tight functional shirt (moisture transfer), the second layer can be chosen depending on the given temperature, but should also consist of functional fibres, and the third layer serves as protection (water-repellent, wind stopper). Cap and gloves provide further warmth. It is important to always cover your achilles tendons during the cold time of the year. After training, put on a cap as soon as possible, in order to avoid unnecessary waste of energy.

A must during winter is to mind your own (and others’) safety in the dark: wear reflecting clothes, running vest and/or a head torch.

Ground surface

Running through new snow is, of cours, great fun. However, it is also more exhausting, which is why the intensity needs to be adjusted to the ground surface. Special caution is needed if the surface is slippery or frozen. Firstly, because of increased risk of falling and secondly, because of the great strains that the constant balancing and stabalising mean for your body. In this case, it is sensible to transfer the training to a treadmill.

Training duration and intensity

In very low temperatures, training durations should be reduced, training intensities should be decreased, or trainings should be conducted inside altogether. In our running.COACH training plan, this can be regulated/indicated by a minus sign. A good warm-up is especially important in the cold as well as starting slowely and building up speed progressively.

Alternative training or fitness centre

If it is cold or icy outside, it is sensible to conduct one or the other session in the water (swimming, aqua jogging), on cross-country skis or in snowshoes.

Nutrition

Even during winter, sufficient supply of liquid is important both before, during and after a session. Thus, after training especially, drink enough and refill your carbohydrate reserves with a high-energy snack, as you burn more calories in the cold.

Positive effects of winter training

  • It helps to resist the winter blues
  • It offers a lot of new possibilities for training
  • It burns additional calories, which helps to avoid the winter fat deposits
  • It gives your immune system an extra boost
  • It makes you mentally stronger

So, keep on running, brave the winter and get the maximum out of you for the next season!

Compression socks – colourful, magic socks?

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Green, yellow, pink or blue: today, compression socks or stockings are available in almost every colour. However, their positive effect on performance is disputed. How much is real and how much is placebo?

Good for recovery

Although results in scientific studies are varied, one relatively clear common conclusion can be drawn from them: compression socks enhance recovery. Through the positive effect on blood-transporting vessels, they improve blood circulation, increase oxygen supply of the musculature and they improve venous backflow. This effect can be felt as long as you are moving, standing or sitting. As soon as you lie down, the principle doesn’t work anymore. Thus, compression socks can as well be taken off for sleeping. Furthermore, whole socks are more efficient than cuffs. However, probably, none of them makes you faster. Nevertheless, they have other positive effects, making you a popular sparring partner.

Higher running comfort

Compression socks can support tendons and ligaments similarly to the way bandages or tapes do. Also, they help preventing muscle vibrations, which can be obstructive for performance under certain circumstances. Light legs over inumerous kilometers may be the result.

Everbody can wear compression socks, as long as they feel comfortable. The only exception are people with progressed peripheral vascular disease or decompensated cardiac insufficiency.

This is a contribution by Dr. Rer. Nat Michael Schwarz. He works as a sports scientist and performance diagnostician at the Medbase sports medical centre in Zürich. This specialised centre for sports medicine coaches both team and individual athletes and offers a broad spectrum of performance tests, ranging from sports medical check-ups to sports specific physiotherapy and rehab.

 

Alternative Training in Summer

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A lot of sunshine, high temperatures and long days often make you want to move a training session to a shady place, close to a lake or on top of a mountain. We are going to show you what kind of alternative trainings that are especially suitable during this hot time of the year. They can well be integrated into a runner’s usual training plan, as well as they have a positive effect on performance.

Advantages of alternative training

  • In summer in particular, some alternative sports are especially suitable, as they can be executed more flexibly and also in the heat
  • Alternative forms of training bring variety into your training
  • Alternative stimulates different muscles and thus, has an additional training effect on your body
  • By doing more alternative training, you can increase your weekly training amount without increasing the risk for injury

How to realise it

Every running session from the training plan can be replaced with an alternative training, the duration for which will be calculated for you for each sport automatically.

Here is an example of the duration of sessions required for different sports in order to replace a 60min steady run

Here are some specific inputs:

On the bike

Each running training (steady run, long run, speed and intervals) can very well be replaced with a session on the bike (road bike and mountain bike) in our training schedule. Steady runs and long runs should be longer on the bike, intervals and medium pace sessions should take about the same amount of time as by foot.

Speed and interval training

20 to 30 minutes warm-up

3×10 minutes of medium intensity (break: 5 minutes) – keep the same pace for each interval

20 to 30 minutes cooldown

or

20 to 30 minutes warm-up

10×60″ uphill (break: 2 minutes) – feel free to vary the number of rotations (RPM)

20 to 30 minutes cooldown

Long sessions

Replace a 90min long run with 2.5 hours of biking – the duration of the session can be found directly in the plan. Or combine both sports: for example, 45min of running followed by a 75min bike session (the order can be switched).

In and on the water

Swimming

A running session can not be replaced with a swimming session with the same effect. The sports and their forms of movement are too different from each other. However, this very difference makes swimming an ideal compensation to running. The whole musculature is trained, while the musculoskeletal system is discharged, you can counteract dysbalances and you minimise the risk of injury. A swimming session can well be used as an addition to or as a replacement for an endurance training. Provided that your technique is good enough.

Interval training

10min warm-up

10min technique exercises

12x25m sprint (break: 2minutes)

10min cooldown

Long sessions

A 90min long run can, for example, be replaced with a swimming session of 75min. If this is too long for you, you could even swim for 30 to 45 minutes and go for a 45min run afterwards (the order can be switched).

Aqua Jogging

Aqua jogging is suitable for recovery, in case of injury, or for very high temperatures. Aqua jogging is easy on your tendons and ligaments and is thus suitable as an additional training session (to running). Each training unit in the training schedule can be conductet 1 :1 in the water. Expect for intervals, where the «trot break» should be only half of the time, because of the water pressure.

Stand Up Paddling

Why not borrow a stand up paddling (SUP) board once and do an exciting training on the lake? It enhances endurance, coordination and stability all at once, which makes it a great training for your whole body. Especially deeper muscules are trained that way. The pace can be varied and you can get quite sweatty. However, refreshment is always possible with a quick jump into the water.

In the mountains

A hike is a good alternative to a long run and it also does something for your strength endurance. A possible option: two to three hours of Crescendo – start with a steady run intensity (possible when it’s uphill) and increase the pace gradually during the last 30-40 minutes. Generally, steady runs and long runs are especially suitable to be replaced with hikes. You can find the according indications in the running.COACH training plan under «walking».

On land

Replace your running session with a short strength session by the pool, on the beach or at a nice shady spot once in a while. Use your own body weight and bring your minibands (exercises with minibands). Such a session can always be done as an additional training session, too.

What alternative sports do you include in your training during this hot time of the year? We are curious!

Snacks for Runners

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In our series #RUNNINGFOOD we give you practicle tips in terms of suitable snacks for you as a runner. It keeps turning up once in a while, this slight feeling of hunger. But, what to do? If you feel like you need little snacks in everyday life, you should prepare some to bring with you. Nothing is more «dangerous» than sitting at the work desk, getting hungry, and then walking to the company’s chocolate machine to go and get yourself a Snickers. Sounds familiar, doesn’t it?

Sometimes this slight sensation of hunger comes out of nowhere, even if you have eaten a good lunch. So, bring something with you instead, or keep a pack of nuts or trail mix in the drawer of your desk. A little snack in between does not do any harm at all. On the contrary: those who train regulary burn more energy and they often feel delayed hunger (espacially after a long or intense session).

However, if you eat a lot of «fast carbohydrates», such as, for example, toast with honey for breakfast, pasta and pesto for lunch and something sweet in between, you should change something about your basic nutrition. This hunger in between stems from a strongly fluctuating blood sugar level.

Here are some healthy snacks for you, adjusted to the time of training.

Snack about 2-3 hours before training

Before a training, it is important that you choose foods you can stomach well. Here, you need to test and try out. Generally, these snacks should be rather rich in carbohydrates and poor in fats and proteins. The more intense the session, the more important it is to make the right choice.

How about this?

  • a ripe banana
  • a lye pretzel
  • a sports bar
  • a portion of porridge (cooked in water)

 

Porridge

Ingredients (for 1 person):

100ml water

100ml milk (or just water)

about 30-40g oats

1 tea spoon of cinnamon

some honey

Preparation:

Heat up oats in the water (and milk, if you choose that version). Boil up quickly and let it swell. Season with cinnamon and honey. A ripe banana with it is delicious, too.

Snack a couple of hours after training

If you have eaten after training, but still get a slight feeling of hunger a couple of hours later, the ideal snack would contain proteins, fats and carbohydrates.

  • butter milk or Kefir, either natural or blended with banana/ berries/ cocoa
  • trail mix
  • salted nuts
  • yoghurt with fruit
  • a piece of fruit
  • vegetabe sticks with cottage cheese
  • protein drink
  • smoothie

Or one out of these recipes

 

Almond-coconut balls

Ingredients:

100g ground almonds

100g coconut flakes

50g almond butter

50g cocoa butter (or double the amount of almond butter)

50g agave syrup

some cocoa

Preparation:

Mix almonds with coconut flakes. Have the cocoa butter melt gently in a water bath, blend with almond butter and add to the almond-coconut-mixture. Add agave syrup, if you like. Knead by hand. Cool down and then form small balls. Roll in cocoa.

 

Self-made chocolate pudding

Ingredients (2-3 portions):

500ml milk

40g cornstarch

2 table spoons cocoa powder

50g agave syrup?

½ tea spoon fresh vanilla

Preparation:

Boil up the milk in a pot. Mix cornstarch with cocoa and vanilla in a bowl. Blend with 3 table spoons of milk. Pour the mixture into the boiling milk with a whisk, sweeten with agave syrup.

 

Salty-sweet bars

Ingredients:

100g peanut butter crunchy salted

1,5 table spoons honey

50g agave syrup

60 g yoghurt butter

50g flaxseeds

50g pumpkin seeds

50g sunflower seeds

50 g sesame

80 g puffed amaranth

50 pretzel sticks, cracked

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 180°C . Blend peanut butter, butter, honey and agave syrup at a medium temperature in a pot. Mix the other ingredients and add to the blend. Blend carefully and add some more honey or peanut butter, depending on the texture. Put the mixture into a baking dish (put a baking paper under) and cut into pieces. The bars normally stay fresh and crispy for a long time if you keep them in a biscuit tin.

 

Goji power balls (vegan)

Ingredients:

50g Goji berries

150g dates stoned and dried

200 g almonds or hazelnuts finely ground

½ tea spoon fresh vanilla

3 table spoons coconut flakes

Preparation:

Mix Goji berries and dates together with some water in a food processor. Gradually add vanilla and almonds or hazlenuts. Once this has turned into a compact dough, knead once again with your hands before you form small balls with your hands. Roll in coconut flakes.

Snack on a rest day or at least 5-6 hours before training

If your training is not due until many hours later, so, for example, in the evening, but you get a little hungry in the morning, you can have one of the «after training» snacks. Those are well stomachable, so that they should not cause any troubles during training in the evening.

This blog entry was written by Ingalena Schömburg-Heuck, running.COACH Gold prescription coach, sports scientist and German champion (2010) in half marathon.

Training Secrets, Magic, and Tricks

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Here it is, everything you have been dying to know on how to get to that next level of performance. The secret is… CONSISTENT TRAINING.

Sorry! The truth is there are no quick fixes, tricks, or magic but there seems to be no shortage of products and techniques that are claiming to be the next best thing. As an athlete and a coach there are some “things” that make me cringe. In general you should not add any “thing” to your running workout. No masks, weights, tires, wacky diets, or anything. The reason being, as your coach I would rather see you have a good workout. Each workout has a purpose- the pace, distance, recovery and timing in your training cycle is all highly thought out. For most of you the primary training goal is to optimize your running efficiency and improve aerobic capacity. By adding gimmicks you are limiting the effectiveness, changing the energy system you are using from what was targeted, and potentially reducing the training benefit all together. When you break it down, does limiting your breathing or reducing your mobility during a run actually sound like a good idea? Resistance is one thing, strength and cross training have its place, but impairing yourself is completely different.

Rant over. Focus on having good workouts week-after-week. There is no ONE workout that will break you through to the next level but you will have a break through after consistent work over a period of time.

“Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard” – Tim Notke

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.

Download on Garmin watches

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Running.COACH is constantly developing. All owners of a Garmin watch can now profit from a direct download of our trainings onto their watch. 

Up to know, the trainings could be transferred from the watches to running.COACH. This data is important for the analysis of the trainings done by running.COACH (dynamic updates). You can now even transfer planned sessions in the future directly to your watch by only a few clicks. You can find the download button in the detailed view of the training.

 

The instructions for setting up the function can be found here.