Tag Archives: training

3 Reasons to Run Without Your GPS Watch

Leaving your GPS watch at home can be scary.  Luckily learning to let go of stats and numbers can be beneficial for lots of reasons.  Want proof?  Here’s why professional runner Molly Seidel started hiding her stats.  Easier than hiding your run data is not taking them it all. Also known as running naked, here are three reasons to take a deep breath and start running with a bare wrist.gps watch

Relaxing.  Leaving the watch at home can be absolutely freeing.  No beeps, no splits, no pressure. Lots of runners are very connected to their tech and discovering that you can rack up miles without it might come as shock.  It is possible, however, and people did this for hundreds of years.  Running sans GPS watch is perfect for recovery runs after a tough workout or race.  It’s also useful for runners in a rut or coming off a big training cycle.  Put the joy in and take the splits out to get back to the core of running: FUN!

See the scenes.  Run the same routes frequently?  Odds are you’re looking at your wrist every time that pesky watch beeps to check on your split.  Since those splits occur at roughly the same spot every time you travel the same route you’re probably too busy looking to notice what’s going on around you.  Abandon the GPS watch at home and open your eyes to scenery you might have been missing.

Run by feel.   Listening to your body is incredibly important.  Easy runs are important and should actually be easy while hard ones should be difficult.  Running naked is a good way to learn how each type feels.  It can open your eyes to potential a prescribed pace was preventing you from seeing.  If you think a 7:00 mile is supposed to be hard and see it on your watch, you might think you’re working harder than you actually are.  Logging some faster miles without the pressure of a watch can lead to big gains and faster races.

Still need data?  Try putting tape over the face of your watch or sticking it in a pocket.  While you won’t see it, stats will still record for your viewing pleasure post run.

Coach Meredith

Join Your Local Running Group

Spring is coming!  There’s no better time to get out there and start logging the miles.  In fact, you see them everywhere.  Runners.

Any day of the week, all hours of the day you can find someone working towards their next PR.  Oftentimes, you’ll see groups of them together smiling, chatting and laughing while they tick off those long runs.  And you can join them!

There are lots of benefits to joining your local running group, whether it’s five people or five hundred.  Most of them are free or provide some benefits for a small membership fee.  Here are just a few of Team ECRP‘s favorite reasons: running group

Guidance:  When you’re part of a big running group it’s inevitable there will be someone at every level of experience and ability.  That makes each outing a perfect time to learn something and become a better runner.  Have a nagging heel pain?  Someone else has, too.  Trouble fueling on those long runs?  There’s probably a brand of gel somebody loves that you haven’t heard of yet.  Take advantage of the opportunity to further your running knowledge and you’ll reap the benefits.

Motivation:  Perfect running days are hard to come by.  Constantly forecast checking and saying ‘at least it’s not raining’ are sure signs of a runner.  But that doesn’t mean it’s easy to get out the door.  Having a few friends to meet up with provides accountability on ugly days and can keep you going when a run gets tough.running group

Safety:  Just like your friends can hold you accountable and help you forget about how awful that 20 miler was, they help keep you safe.  Especially for women there is safety in numbers.  Having at least one buddy makes everyone less likely to be attacked in any way.  It also means faster access to whatever you need if there’s an injury or medical emergency.  Use your local running group to make new best runner friends and you’ll never have to worry.

Socializing:  This is the most important one, of course.  We all love our post long run beer, taco, pizza or all three and, honestly, there’s nothing runners like to talk about more than running.  A local running group is the perfect place to find people to run with, learn from, race with or just plain old hang out with.

Coach Meredith

Bed Time: Sleep Basics for Runners

There are days when you just can’t stop thinking about it.  Bed time.  It’s so cozy and comfy under those sheets.  Wanting to catch up on the sleep you didn’t get last night.  Looking forward to waking up feeling refreshed and strong.  While individual sleep needs might vary greatly, there’s no one who can survive without it.  Runners typically need between 7 and 9 hours per night but that can change as sleeptraining volume and intensity fluctuate.

Why so much sleep?

  • Any training adaptation occurs during rest, making it the most important part of recovery there is.  Training breaks down muscle and tissue that relaxes and is repaired by growth hormone released while snoozing.
  • Failure to get enough rest can result in over training and increased risk of injury.  Lack of sleep has also been shown to decrease response times and concentration.  Increases in levels of stress hormone, blood pressure and insulin resistance are also potential risks.

Getting quality sleep is a must and here are some good ways to improve your bed time routine:

Staying on a schedule is one of the best ways to ensure a good night’s rest.  Go to bed and climb back out at the same time each day.  This will help your body settle into a regular rhythm that includes a normal sleep-wake cycle with plenty of deep, recovery sleep included.

Consider using black out curtains to keep any light out.

Put the phone down.  When the sun goes down our bodies release melatonin, the sleep hormone.  The blue light emitted by most technological devices wrecks that cycle and make it harder to fall asleep, stay asleep and wake up feeling refreshed.  Wearing blue light blocking glasses for two hours, or leaving your devices behind for 30 to 60 minutes, before hitting the hay can aid your ability to conk out quickly.

Skipping caffeine and or alcohol for six hours before bed time is a must for high quality shut eye.  Both can cause major disruption to sleep patterns for a variety of reasons and it’s best to just stay clear of either substance when you can.

What about naps?  Naps can be a valuable tool for making up missed hours or getting an added pre-workout boost.  Be careful, however, to avoid snoozing for more than 30 minutes.  Anything longer than half an hour and you risk something called sleep inertia, a feeling of grogginess once you’ve woken up.

What if I still don’t get a good night’s rest?  When you are short on sleep consider taking the day off to recover or at least lowering your training volume with fewer, easier miles than planned.  You could end up doing more damage pushing through a workout tired than missing it altogether.  If you’re struggling with your training and think it’s causing excess stress or preventing you from getting an adequate amount of rest, consider reaching out to a coach for help reorganizing.

Coach Meredith

Prepare for Winter Running

Winter running is tough.  For a lot of people, that means snow, below freezing temperatures, ice, wind and the potential for missed training days.  Even when we do our best, combating the challenges of winter running is a challenge.  Our bodies start to behave differently when temperatures dip below 50 degrees Fahrenheit whether we like it or not.  That means we have to adapt some aspects of our training to continue safely.  Here are Team ECRP‘s favorite ways to stay warm, and running, all season long.

winter running

Layer Up.  Wear sweat wicking layers close to your body and heavier layers on top of them.  A wind and rain or snow blocking outermost layer is ideal.  It’s always easier to remove something than put more on.  Stocking are great under running tights and wool socks are always cozy.  You never know what the race day weather will do making winter a great time to try new gear.

Grab add-ons.  Winter running requires a few more accessories than the summer does.  We humans lose 85% of our body heat through out head and hands so in addition to your usual fuel and hydration, you’ll need gloves or mittens, a hat or ear warmer and maybe some Yak Trax to help you handle the road conditions.

Warm up.  The colder you are the harder it is to perform well.  Instead of heading outside to warm up like you normally do, get going indoors.  Stretch and mobilize before opening the door.  Have space for drills?  Keep those inside, too.  Try jogging in place, jumping jacks or burpees along with some intense breathing exercises to get your blood pumping, heart rate up and mind ready to tackle a chilly outing.

Dry off.  Get somewhere warm and put on dry clothes as quickly as you can post workout.  Not only will this help your body start recovering faster, you’ll be less likely to catch a cold or be miserable.

Break it up.  If the weather is nasty and it’s dark out or you’re too busy to get all those miles in at once, split them up.  Do one run in the morning and one in the evening.  Aim to have at least 4 hours between those sessions for adequate recovery.

Get friendly with the treadmill.  Ah, the dreadmill.  It’s an unfortunate necessity of winter running.  Luckily when you make friends with one you realize they aren’t so bad after all.  A treadmill can be just as effective as an outdoor workout and is, especially in poor conditions, much safer.

Coach Meredith