Nov 19, 2014
Several weeks ago, my husband ran the Harrisburg Marathon. It was his eleventh 26.2er and so, while I wouldn't say he is a VERY experienced marathoner, he has been around the block a time or two. His PR is 2:59:12, which he set at this year's Boston Marathon.
Going into Harrisburg, my husband aimed to run under 2:55. But he also took on some new responsibilities (namely, coaching a high school cross country team) that limited the amount of time he could train. Instead of the 60 mile per week that he put in for Boston, he averaged in the 40 mile per week range. He made sure to get a good long run in each weekend, but slacked (his own words) on his weekday running, usually never getting above 5 or 6 miles on a given day. As the fall progressed, he was starting to question the idea of a 2:55 and wondered if perhaps he should pursue a less aggressive goal. But then a funny thing happened. He ran two lead-up races, one 10K and one 5K, and he ran them both superbly. In the 10K, he ran very close to what he thought was an untouchable PR and in the 5K he DID PR, by almost 15 seconds. Perhaps he was in better shape than he thought! Perhaps 2:55 WAS an appropriate goal. 2:55 or bust!
Nov 03, 2014In my last blog post I wrote about my history as a runner. I'm not the only one in the QT2 Family that runs, however. We are ALL runners!
Oct 24, 2014
Why did you go on your very first run?
To answer this question myself, I had to think back aways. My very first run was a long time ago! It was in the spring of 1991 and my older sister, who ran cross country and track on the high school team, let me tag along with her and her friend Amy. I can't remember how far (not very) or fast (not at all!) we went, but I do remember it feeling very hard. I was in 6th grade and I wanted to run on the middle school track team, the following year. This seemed, to me, like an appropriate way to get prepared.
Aug 02, 2013
Have you ever felt sluggish during your runs? Do you feel fatigued? It could be something as simple as not enough sleep but it could be something more. Could you be affected by a change in your diet? Well this Your26.2 client decided to find out if cutting gluten out of her diet might be the root cause.
I have been thinking about my diet and how it may affect my running. My thoughts usually mean I am considering making changes, because somehow this will make me run faster. This time, I am thinking about going gluten free. My friend went gluten free. She claims that she feels better and her running feels so much easier. I have been feeling fatigued and occasionally bloated. This leads me to believe, I may need to reconsider what I am eating. For many runners, pasta and simple carbohydrates are a staple in their diets. These types of “carbs” contain gluten. I personally haven’t eaten as many carbohydrates as I used to, but they are still a good portion of my diet.
As I did research on the idea, I realized this would be a bigger project than just cutting out my bread and crackers. Many foods such as soups, sauces, beer and even ice cream contain forms of gluten. A researcher from Duke Hospital, Dr. Leslie Quire states, “This isn’t the easiest diet to follow, you can’t just try it. You have to plan your grocery shopping and eating out.”
I found a list for people with Celiac’s Disease, which lists all gluten free food. http://www.celiac.com I found this list very helpful.
The article suggests that you take out a few foods at a time, in order to see what changes or in what way it influences how you feel.
I realize, that to find out if I really need to eat gluten free, I should have my doctor perform a blood test on me that confirms if I truly have Celiac’s Disease. However, I have also read in several places, that even though the test comes back negative, one can have a gluten-intolerance. If one has a gluten-intolerance, the symptoms are less pronounced, with the main ones being fatigue, bloating, and GI distress. A gluten-intolerance is a form of a food allergy, so I guess if my doctor rules out Celiac, I should have an allergy test performed to see if I have an intolerance or allergy to gluten.
Of course, there are many different opinions about whether this is going to be beneficial. I looked at websites and research papers that both supported and did not support going gluten free. I am going to try it out and make my own analysis, and of course, to see if it helps me run any faster!
While we at Your26.2 certainly appreciate this viewpoint we can’t stress enough that everyone is different and that if you’re dealing with gastro-intestinal issues in any way as a result of exercise that you speak with your physician first before making any changes to your diet, lifestyle, etc.
Jul 15, 2013
You’ve seen the process. You go to the gym and there on the mats are men and women sprawled out rolling themselves back and forth across a foam roller. But does it do anything? Well, from this client, it’s a good alternative to an expensive hands-on massage:
Massages were starting to get too expensive. I decided to try the foam roller. My girlfriend swore by it. Ha, we’ll let me tell you, I swore AT it. The idea behind it is that you use the roller against the muscle knots with your own body weight to generate direct pressure to help release the knots. It is one thing to have a massage therapist do this, you endure it, and you paid for it. Quite another to try and push through the pain when you are the one doing it to yourself. I gave it a week to see if it would make any kind of difference as I was quite skeptical that it would work.
I would do the foam roller at night before I went to bed. Some of the areas that I tried to focus on were my IT bands, hamstrings and quads. I would roll back and forth across my IT bands for about a minute with my top leg and foot on the ground on the floor. An especially sore spot I would stop and relax into it for about 10 or 15 seconds. I would then do some IT stretches when I was done. Then I would do the same for the quad and hamstring areas. My IT bands were by far the most painful area to roll on. By the end of the week it was less painful and stretching was becoming easier.
I decided to advance to the next level. When I rolled on my IT band I would lift both legs off the ground. This definitely added more pressure and pain but it was getting into deeper muscles. I started using the foam roller on my lower back. I could actually feel it loosening up as I rolled away on it. Although I love going for a massage, the foam roller is a great inexpensive alternative.
May 31, 2013
Last summer, a leisurely run that turned into a race with a friend left a band of excruciating tightness along my inner thigh. I rested and iced it for a few days, but the pain did not subside until my next massage. As painful as it was, the treatment eliminated the problem completely. Massage can be a wonderful treat after a hard week of training but can also be a beneficial tool to help you stay injury free long-term.
Massage contributes to flexibility and improves circulation. It also increases blood flow, which helps muscles and connective joints heal from running. I personally have found that regular massage reduces muscle pain due to the stress of running. Frequently, after a massage I sleep much better. It helps me relax and releases tension built up from the day.
In my opinion, the key is to find a massage therapist who specializes in working on runners. I simply asked my friends and received a few good references on therapists they use. Like a doctor, you want someone who is willing to listen and who is willing to work with you. Working deep into the muscles is great, but be careful that the therapist knows when to back off and not pound you into the table. You may feel sore and tired at first after a massage but bruising and injury should not be a by-product of time spent with a therapist.
The cost can be a factor of course, so when thinking about a massage, I look at my race schedule and fit in a massage when it is the most beneficial to me and my racing. I always try to get one after a race, as the elimination of lactic acid goes a long way to help recover from a race.
What is your preference and/or experience with massage? Do you use it regularly? Have you come to rely on it? We would love to hear your thoughts on the subject.
May 01, 2013
A Your262 athlete wrote us to share one of their marathon experiences, which unfortunately ended the way it does for too many athletes, particularly newbie marathoners; by “bonking,” and walking the final few miles of the race.
We thought this was a good topic to address, as it seems to happen more often than not for many athletes, who train and race the marathon distance. Every athletic experience becomes something that you can learn from and improve on so the next time around you may benefit from your past mistakes.
“My first marathon was great. I ran it easy, just wanting to finish, no exceptions, so it went well. My second marathon however was very different. I had a goal in mind. When I started the marathon, all I saw were the splits on my watch. I didn’t think about how my body was feeling, or whether I was properly fueling myself. I simply wanted to get to the next mile marker to see if I was on target. Well, you can probably guess the rest. At about mile 22, I fell apart. At first I thought it just happened out of the blue. But, looking back at the race there were so many signs I chose to ignore. The end was not pretty. This is how it went.
I had trained hard. Really hard. I did numerous long runs, interval training in my long runs, double runs, speed work, etc. I had a goal in mind and nothing was going to stop me. Two weeks before the big day I ran a 21-mile hilly run, hard. It felt easy and I felt ready to go. I tapered a bit and the final week before the race, I hardly ran at all. All newbie mistakes, but I didn’t know better.
Race day was unseasonably warm. It didn’t occur to me to change my fueling plan or my race strategy. I started my watch and off I went. I didn’t drink at every water stop, instead waiting for every other one, so as not to waste time. At about mile 16, I looked down at myself and noticed that I was white with salt from sweating. But I didn’t really pay any attention to this realization choosing not to slow down or back off. My stomach was queasy at the time, but I was going to “run through it.”
At about 20 miles in to the race, I felt dizzy and it seemed very bright outside. By mile 22, I was all done. I was walking, had turned off my watch, and realized that I had hit the “wall” as marathoners like to say; a big time “bonk.” By not listening to my body and subsequently not recalculating my body requirements due to the heat, I had sabotaged my race. It was an eye-opening experience. I re-evaluated what had happened and tried to learn from it. Not that I haven’t bonked again. But I have been able to read the signs my body is giving me and have been able to stop “the bonk,” from happening if only very occasionally.”
In endurance sports such as cycling and running, hitting the wall or “bonking,” describes a condition caused by the depletion of glycogen stores in the liver and muscles, which is noticeable by a sudden loss of energy and feeling of fatigue.
One thing we always discuss with our athletes at Your262 is to stay ahead of your body’s nutritional needs. In other words make sure you’re drinking enough sports drink throughout the race to give your body the sodium and electrolyte levels it requires to sustain the effort being put forth. If it’s a hotter than normal day take that into consideration by drinking even more in addition to (at times), adding supplemental sodium in the form of salt tabs, and nutritional enhanced performance items such as Cliff Shot Bloks and PowerBar Energy Gels.
By staying ahead of the game in terms of liquid, sodium and nutritional needs during a race you’ll avoid that “wall,” and be able to run consistently throughout the race and finish strong.
But make note that everyone is different with uniquely, individualized nutritional needs. We recommend speaking with one of our licensed nutritionists at our partner site TheCoreDiet to get a personalized nutritional plan tailored to your body’s requirements.
Mar 28, 2013
Many runners frequently begin running either because they want to lose weight, or to eliminate other bad habits in their lives such as smoking or drinking. Add to that the fact that running can help your cardio vascular system, help make you sleep better, give you an energy boost from the rush of endorphins to your system, help strengthen your core; the list is endless. Regardless of the reason, the overall benefits far out weigh the reasons not to run.
Mar 07, 2013
The winter months can be a bit trying for those of us training for a spring marathon and dealing with inclement weather. Depending on where you live, ice, snow, sleet, and rain can wreak havoc on your outdoor training not to mention running in the dark because of shorter days. But that doesn’t mean you can’t get a good workout in at the gym or in your home on a treadmill.
Feb 26, 2013
We've all heard the old adages "Go hard or go home", "If you can't run with the big dogs, stay on the porch", "Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional", "Some running is good, more is better, and too much is just enough".
October 31, 2014
Several new webinars have been added to your Member Area for your viewing pleasure. These are available free of charge to all Your 26.2 athletes.Read More
May 14, 2013
Get your season started off right, with the most detail-oriented marathon training program in the industry! We can help you achieve your goals, with very low risk of injury, systematic health, and setting up a great foundation for long-term progress. We’ve been doing this for years! Through Wednesday May 15th, we will offer 20% off of our annual paid program. Contact us if you have any questions prior to making your purchase. At checkout, use the code "Your26May" to receive your 20% discount. This code will expire after 11:59, on May 15th, so sign up HERE if interested!Read More
March 21, 2013
The following blog post was written by a Your 26.2 client. We were not only appreciative but also felt it to be a worthy read for anyone considering working with us for their marathon pursuits. HERERead More
March 13, 2013
January 01, 2013
The Core Diet will help you to achieve and maintain your optimal weight and body composition in the New Year, improving health and athletic performance, and SPEED along the way. Staffed by experienced registered dietitians that work exclusively with athletes, The Core Diet offers several options for those looking to attain a healthy body weight and/or solve race nutrition issues. Check out this great sale from the Core Diet: Marathon Nutrition SaleRead More
November 21, 2012
The holiday shopping season is upon us! Black Friday...Cyber Monday...We are just going to merge it all into one great weekend of savings! Any purchases made on the Your 26.2 website will receive a 5% discount, through Monday at 11:59 p.m.Read More
November 09, 2012
Do you have big plans for the 2013 season? Perhaps a marathon is an integral part of your New Year's resolution! Or, are you an avid runner who could simply use a bit of guidance to stay injury-free? Stop guessing what the right workout is to do!
September 25, 2012
The team at Your 26.2 will be offering an Open Call on October 22nd, at 7:30 p.m. This will be an opportunity to ask one of our coaches any questions that you may have, with regards to your own training and racing. Feel free to join us for the entire hour, or any portion thereof.
All Your 26.2 Standard/Custom and Free Trial members will have access to this call. To get this same access, and to sign up for a FREE Trial click HERE!Read More
June 08, 2011
Are you a novice runner training for your first marathon? Our 22-week Beginner marathon training plan will help you to make the jump from the local road race scene to a marathon!Read More