If you are new to running, your goals will differ compared to a veteran to the sport. A coach can help prioritize and manager your training. Coaches help beginners and experienced runners avoid common training errors, duration of your runs, pre-hab, recovery, pacing in a race, and reminding them when to change shoes. They will teach you when to run at an easy pace, when to should schedule a long run or if you need to adjust your form or technique. You’ll learn how to “maximize the volume and intensity that your schedule, personal goals, and determination allow.
As both a runner and a running coach, it is easy for me to understand the important of utilizing a running coach to help you train for an important race or to help you begin your running journey. Luckily my husband is also a running coach whom I can use as a sounding board with my training throughout the year; however, I don’t always recommend being coached by your spouse! That is why I used his coach for many of my running years. Whether you are an elite runner, an advanced runner, or a beginner, it is nice to have someone tell you what to do. To wake up, read your daily workout and do it. It take a lot of the guess work out of the equation and gives you more time to focus on the goals ahead.
Reasons for a Coach
1. Help choose your goals
Often runners aren’t sure what their next step should be. As a beginner, deciding to run a race for the first time, or a more experienced runner wanting to run a longer distance or set a personal record; a coach can take an objective look at your ability, fitness, and goals, and help you take that step.
2. Inspiration and Motivation
Along with providing motivation, a coach can remind you of your goals and what steps you need to take to achieve them. Long training cycles can cause fatigue and lack of confidence. Your coach will help you get focused again.
Thinking about skipping that speed workout on your schedule? Are you sure you want to report that to your coach?
4. Individualized Plans
True, you can use something off of the internet. But will it recognize your individualized needs, schedule, or your tendency to get a plantar fasciitis? Your coach will create a plan that will fit with your schedule, your goals, and your body.
Sometimes things don’t go as planned. Your coach knows what you are capable of and will provide support to help you feel better about what you are accomplishing.
6. Train smart
Many runners who train on their own don’t realize that rest and recovery are as important as training.
7. Kick in the pants when you need it
Your coach knows you, which means they know what you need in order to stick with your training.
A coach will help you plan, train for, and achieve your running goals no matter what they are. Your coach can help you run faster, longer, or just simply, run.
Via emails, texts, and occasional phone calls, you can train harder and smarter than you would alone; while receiving encouragement, safety, quality workouts, and a feeling of confidence.
Body fat most often viewed as something we want to lose because we want to look more appealing and not viewed as something that is dangerous. However, fats that are stored around your organs can contribute to heart disease, dementia, cancer, depression, and many other health issues. Excess body fat and obesity are more than unappealing, they can be dangerous. Did you know that certain types of body fat are inflammatory diseases of their own!?
So, what is visceral fat? Visceral fat is excess intra-abdominal adipose tissue accumulation. “Deep” fat that’s stored further underneath the skin than “subcutaneous” belly fat. It’s a form of gel-like fat that’s actually wraps around major organs such as the liver, pancreas, and kidneys. If you have a protruding belly and large waist, that’s a clear sign you’re storing dangerous visceral fat.
Visceral fat is especially dangerous because they also change the way your body operates. Carrying around excess visceral fat is linked with an increased risk for:
Visceral fat is considered a toxin within the body and has the capability of provoking inflammatory responses, it can signal molecules that interfere with your body’s normal hormone functions. Fat tissue acts like its own organ by pumping out hormones and inflammatory substances. Storage of excess fat around the organs can increase production of cytokines, pro-inflammatory chemicals, which leads to inflammation, interferes with hormones that regulate appetite, mood, and other brain functions.
How Visceral Fat Develops: The brain/body connection is what is responsible for keeping us at a healthy weight or making us susceptible to weight gain.
At the core of your weight, appetite, and mood control are your blood sugar levels, which are controlled by the hormone insulin. Insulin balances your body's blood sugar levels by bringing them down after we’ve eaten a high-carbohydrate or sugary meal. When we digest food, our body breaks down sugar and starch molecules into simpler units called glucose or fructose. These simple sugars enter our bloodstream and trigger the release of insulin from the pancreas, and then insulin has the important job of ushering blood sugar into cells throughout our body. This process supplies us with energy. At the same time, insulin also corresponds to body fat storage.
When there’s too much glucose in our bloodstream and our cells already have filled glycogen storage, glucose is stored as fat instead. he result is usually weight gain, plus even more hunger, which leads to continued overeating. It becomes a viscous cycle for most people.
Natural Ways to Get Rid of Visceral Fat: There still isn’t an easy way yet to determine how much stored fat is either visceral fat or subcutaneous fat, since visible belly fat is a combination of both; just realize that any big belly and large waistline poses a risk and is unhealthy. Women with a waist circumference that’s more than 35 inches and men with a waist circumference more than 40 inches are at increased risk for various diseases.
Research suggests that when you diet, you mostly lose white fat, which is different than visceral fat and tends to be lost or gained evenly all over the body. You’re more likely to lose visceral fat when you do a combination of exercising and eating right — which are both important for hormone regulation.
5 Steps to Lower Your Risk for Storing Visceral Fat:
1. Reduce Sugar and Refined Carbohydrates
2. Fill Up on Non-starchy Veggies, Fats and Proteins
3. Exercise Regularly
4. Reduce Stress
5. Prioritize Getting Good Sleep
Cites:https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/visceral-fat-what-why-its-so-dangerous-emma-morgan/;https://www.healthline.com/health/visceral-fat, and https://www.webmd.com/diet/what-is-visceral-fat#1
Trail running and, especially, trail races are extremely different from training for something like a road race. DON'T let that intimidate you, instead let this excite you for new PRs, beautiful scenery, and a love for nature!
How do I start trail running?
Once you are out in the beauty of nature you are going to be hooked. Trail running is going to be harder and requires different muscles, so instead of worrying about pace get focused on the new experience.
These beginner trail running tips will help you to explore an entirely new side of your running and see a whole new world of possibilities!
1. Choose the right trail shoes.
Depending on how technical the trail is that you’re running, trail shoes add a level of stability and comfort that make them worth the investment. Just like in road running, there are several different options available that have different features such as varying lug depth, rock plates, and different material rubber soles. Depending on how much road you run to get to the trail, you may want to consider different shoes. If it is a smooth, grassy trail, you may be able to get away with road shoes for a little bit; but, it is best to have shoes with more grip.
2 . Socks
Ever ask yourself why trail runners wear tall socks? Stopping to repeatedly pull a rock or dirt out of your shoe to prevent blisters is pretty annoying! Also, depending on the trail you might be running through grass and that prevent scrapes, ticks, and bug bites. Another addition to socks are gaiters. These can be attached to some shoes and help to prevent rocks, dirt, or sand from getting in your shoes...which will prevent a lot of issues the more miles you cover.
3. Train with a hydration pack and food for refueling.
Depending on the length of trail race you’ll be running aid stations are sometimes few and far between and of course if you head out solo on the trails, you just want to be prepared in case you go a bit long or take a little wrong turn. It is easiest to carry your own hydration and fueling supplies so that you don’t get stuck on the trail feeling like you might bonk.
More often than not, your can run hours on the road without needing fuel; however, on the trails you’re often moving a bit slower and using many different stabilizer muscles!
Depending on the distance and terrain of the trail, some races will require certain gear or packs. It is beneficial to include this as part of your training so that you become efficient carrying everything you will need on race day.
4. Leave no trace.
Take only memories, leave nothing but footprints.
Be prepared to carry out what you carried in. Training with your hydration pack will come in handy. It is like wearing tights with pockets, but many more! Your handheld or vest can carry your energy gels or stuffing away those squares of paper after your first side trail pee.
5. Trail racing requires balance.
Trail racing you will encounter rocks, roots, branches, holes, and more.
This varying terrain will require that you include strengthening exercises in your training that will improve your overall balance and ankle stability (i.e. bosu ball balance workout, core strength, barefoot wall touches, step ups, and walking lunges)..
6. Throw your road racing pace out the window.
When you begin training for your first trail race do not be discouraged if your pace is slower than on the road. A slower pace is completely normal. Your times will be slower because you’re navigating more difficult terrain and softer terrain. You will spend time working your way around obstacles while trying not to lose your footing on slippery leaves, mud, grass, or rocks.
Also, take a look around you will notice a lot of smart runners actually power hike the steep up hills, so that they have enough energy for the full race that lies ahead of them.
*Remember it will make you stronger in the end!
7. Do speed workouts on the track or on the road.
To get faster on the trails, just like the road, continuing your normal speed workouts (tempos, progression, and intervals) will keep your overall speed up.
Combining longer slower trail runs and short speed sessions will make you a better runner overall.
8. Pick up your feet!
In distance running, we keep our feet lower to the ground as a means of conserving our energy. Doing this on the trails could lead to disaster. You need to step up and over all the little things on the trail.
As your body becomes fatigued it is harder to lift your legs and the likelihood of tripping and falling down on the trails because more likely. So pay attention to footing and practice paying attention by looking a few feet ahead to know what may need to be traversed.
9. Hills! Hills! Hills!
Just like in road racing, hill repeats will help you to build leg strength and improve your aerobic capacity.
This will also train the use of a strong arm swing to help propel you climb each hill will not just using the power of your legs but also your core and upper body too! Trails often have lots of hill, this will help you prepare.
10. Find a friend to train with.
If you’re nervous about running trails alone or getting lost, then it’s time to embrace the power of group running or a single friend to go with you!!
11. Vary the conditions in which you train.
Weather can have an impact on trail conditions making them muddy and slick so be sure to hit the trails during your training even if they are a total mud pit. Running poles can be your new best friend for slippery condition or steep ascents. The slight addition of stability allows you to continue moving quicker.
Also, check to see the trail coverage, are you in the shade, are you exposed, etc. This will help you decide many things - Clothes, coverage, sunglasses, hydration, nutrition, sunscreen, etc.
12. Relish the adventure.
One of the best parts of training for a trail race is the training because you will get to soak up the nature that surrounds you including unexpected vistas and hidden waterfalls. There’s nothing better than discovering a new trail with an incredible scenic overlook!
The immediate differences that distinguishes female athletes from male athletes is usually focused on the body size and organ differences. However, the lifespan of the menstrual cycle provides many further distinguishing factors for the female athlete. The female's hormonal fluctuation influences both performance (i.e. muscle strength, time to fatigue, etc.) and physiological responses to exercise (i.e. blood lactate production, carbohydrate metabolism, and heart rate). Factors that need to be considered for exercise regimes should focus on the low/high pre/postmenopausal women in order to avoid the ‘Female Athlete Triad’ of disordered eating, osteoporosis, and amenorrhea.
The Female Athlete Triad:
*Amenorrhea (period loss)
*Osteoporosis (low bone mineral density)
*Disordered Eating (low energy availability) with or without an eating.
~~ONLY ONE symptom of the triad is needed for the diagnosis.~~
Early detection of these symptoms is important, as each component of the triad can have irreversible consequences and may increase in severity.
Coaches play an imperative role in the prevention of the female athlete triad and possess the ability to positively impact female athletes by educating and supporting them to adopt healthy patterns of behavior.
Coaching athletes is a very individualized process - no one athlete is like the other. Often this is why athletes gravitate towards private, personalized coaching in the first place. Group training (only*) does not provide an individual with the specific tools to fine tune THEIR skills nor the singular focus on the athlete's training, nutrition, or recovery. Another component of private coaching, that is often overlooked, is the extra needs of the female athlete. The females' need for training is much more complex than a males' need for training when it comes to biological/reproductive differences. The gender specific physiological, anatomical, psychological, performance fluctuations associated with menstrual cycle, menopause, and social aspects of the female athlete play a major factor in how training plans and nutrition should be set up.
For simplicity, I have broken the female athlete's career into two "stages" and the complexities that enter into each stage.
Prepubescent/Young Adolescents: According to www.globalsportsdevelopment.org, "A survey of eighty high school athletes found that 78% of the respondents had one or more of these conditions".
Young female athletes in high school track & field/cross country are in the middle of their early developmental stages. The greatest increase in bone mass happens during puberty; ages 11 and 14 years of age (ncbi.com). Often disordered eating and amenorrhea go together. Consistent hard training sessions, social pressures, and competitiveness to win are all major stressors. The stressors on weight/size is high and often females mistakenly see leanness as a way to enhance sport performance. Some females that participate in competitive sports may never even get their first period because they've been training so hard and others that may get their periods, but lose them once they increase their training and change their eating habits. Estrogen is lower in girls with female athlete triad. Low estrogen levels accompanied with poor nutrition/calcium, can lead to osteoporosis, another aspect of the triad. Osteoporosis is loss of bone density and improper bone formation. With poor bone density the athlete will get more stress fractures. Calcium deficiency now can also have effects on just how strong a woman's bones are later in their lives.
When building up mileage, coaches should try to organize the training weeks around the menstrual cycle, such that increases in the volume of training correlate with the latter part of the follicular phase. The follicular phase is when the estrogen level is high. The athlete should avoid doing threshold workouts around menstruation. If the athlete doesn’t feel well or is bloated (from the drop in progesterone going from the luteal phase to the follicular phase) she should not push herself.
Middle Aged: Females entering/in menopause have lower energy levels and bone density. The focus on staying injury free and recovery is extremely important. The severity and duration of symptoms of menopause widely impact performance and are hugely variable. The physiological impact of menopause alone may affect a woman's running and injury risk. Coaches must be mindful of this when treating peri-menopausal women. Most women begin menopause between the ages of 45 and 55 years - the average being 51 years of age.
The effect of estrogen's effects on tendons and ligaments is still very misunderstood; however, research implies that estrogen has protective benefits for connective tissue tensile strength, healing, and ability to load-bear. 95% of collagen in tendons is attributed to Type 1 collagen. As we can see with normal skin ageing and other muscular-skeletal conditions, age reduces collagen and connective tissue’s ability to repair. Studies suggest a connection between declining estrogen and pelvic prolapse (a process associated with pelvic ligaments and collagen content of surrounding tissue) (Le Blanc et al, 2017). Potential collagen changes with menopause highlight the need to not only consider changes to the commonly problematic gluteal, posterior tibial, and Achilles tendons, but also the need to address abdominal and pelvic floor changes. Another reason to continue pelvic floor exercises! Estrogen plays an important role in the growth and maturation of bone as well as in the regulation of bone turnover in adult bone. Women can lose up to 20% of their bone density in the first 5-7 years post menopause, as estrogen levels drop (NHS website: Menopause and your bone health). Muscle strength losses peri and post menopause are well documented. Recent CSP promotional material quotes up to 8% muscle strength loss per decade from the age of 30 if no steps are taken to counteract this. A recent Finnish study (Bondarev et al, 2018) of over 900 women showed menopausal status is significantly associated with reduced muscle strength, power and vertical jump height.
Note: Long-distance female runners feel the social pressures that they need to fit in by having muscular quads, a six pack, and be feminine for society. This addresses the idea of hegemonic femininity, which speaks to the idea that a woman must conform to a certain role (which includes being emotional, passive, dependent, maternal, compassionate, and gentle) in order to be perceived as a traditional woman by society. The pressures to "look the part" can introduce athletes towards malnutrition. With all of these pressures and intertwined with the aspect of athletic competition the risk of Female Triad syndrome increases.
One of the most important aspects of coaching is understanding how to progress an athlete. This takes a careful approach to build the athletes confidence, fitness, and mental readiness so that on race day the athlete can fire on all cylinders.
So how does (or should) a coach do this? One way is to follow a very simple principle of progression. This principle essentially takes different aspects of the event; breaks them up into separate components so that each element can be worked on individually at first. Then once the athlete is proficient on each element they can integrate the pieces together and work to improve the specific demands needed for the race.
It is important to understand that progression is non-linear and that effort, time, or frequency of work does not necessarily equate to immediate improvement or steady improvement. Sometimes you will be working as smart as possible and have a slight regression or plateau before improving.
Below are examples of progression that coaches use to develop the athlete.
1. General Conditioning
- Basic movements in form / coordination and aerobic foundations are laid down.
- An example would be steady runs, some neuromuscular work to improve form.
2. Race Preparation
- Introduces improvements in making the runner more efficient more dynamically.
- An example is to begin to to higher end aerobic and some anaerobic work to help improve the over fitness of the athlete.
3. Race Specific
- This targets the race intensity and energy systems needed to complete the distance.
- Example would be repetitions at race pace / effort level.
- The ultimate test is the race; but, it can also be one of the best training tools to fine tune your training cycle or implementation. Depending on the race it can be used to work on improvements in race strategy / tactics / nutrition.
It is important that the coach can create a program that lays out a solid progression; however, it is also important that the athlete understands the progression and what the coach is asking of them. So, it is important to check in with your coach. Are the steps well defined? Are goals and objectives articulated well?
If the answer to those questions are yes, that is great! You are on the right path! If not, those questions are very valuable for the athlete in knowing what needs to be done and why certain aspects of the training are the way they are. Knowing these answers helps to establish a "Confidence Progression", where at each point in their training the athlete will develop more confidence in themselves and their routines. This ultimately leads to better performance and overall better training.
"Eat right for your type", Naturopathic physician, Peter D’Adamo, published this book in 1996. The book's details how people can become healthier, increase longevity, and reach their ideal weight by eating according to their blood type ( A+, A-, B+, B-, O+, O-, AB+, AB-).
Naturopathic medicine blends modern scientific thinking with traditional and natural forms of medicine. Natural modalities—such as nutrition, lifestyle counseling and botanical medicine are used to optimize lifestyles and treat illness.
Naturopathic doctors work according to a set of basic principles that activate the natural healing power of the body and address causes for underlying disease. It does not focus on alleviating symptoms.
The theory behind the blood type diet is based on the notion that your blood type can determine the foods you should consume in order to achieve your optimal health. D'Adamo also believes that within the stage of digestion of various foods there are differences in the digestive tract secretions associated with each blood type. He also goes on to suggest that if you design a meal plan that is specifically for your blood type, you are able to digest with greater efficiency and avoid the negative effects of certain ingredients, lose weight, and enhance one's overall health.
So what are the types of foods should be eaten or restricted for each blood type?
*"Eat right for your type", Naturopathic physician, Peter D’Adamo
Exercise is essential to your health in many ways. Exercise can help you stay at (or get to) a healthy body weight. reduce your risk of fractures, keep you in a happier mental state, and can reduce the risk of many diseases (i.e. cancer and heart disease).
Exercise is what keeps your body's muscle and joints well conditioned. Underutilization of your muscles and joints will make your body become weaker. When you exercise you gain stamina, strength, stronger bones, and flexibility.
So what does exercise have to do with nutrition? Nutrition provides the energy you need for your physical activities. As you get more active and become more fit and/or lose weight, your energy needs (caloric needs) may change. To get the energy you require, you need to get the proper amount of macronutrients:
· Protein: Maintains and rebuilds tissues such as muscles.
· Carbohydrates: The body's preferred source of energy.
· Fat: Also provides energy.
· ***Don't forget your H20: Replacement of water lost throughout your activities.
Eating a diet that is balanced can provide your body with all the nutrients that it needs without receiving too much, or too little, of one nutrient.
Exceptions lay within individuals who are athletes or whom are extremely active. These individuals may have special nutritional needs that usually require more carbohydrates (i.e. whole sources such as grains, vegetables, and fruits) than the amount recommended for the average person. Carbohydrates are stored as "ready energy" in your liver and muscles. This energy supply gets used up very quickly during exercise. Endurance athletes (such as runners, triathletes, and cyclists) need a particularly large amount of carbohydrates and often need to refuel during their activities with food and water/electrolytes. However, until the foods are digested, the muscles will not get all of the oxygen and energy-delivering blood they need during the workout, so it’s best to choose foods that the body can digest quickly. Your post-workout re-feed should include nutrients from both carbohydrates and protein. When an adequate amount of food nutrients and water/electrolytes are consumed before, during ,and after your exercise blood glucose concentrations are being maintained; which maximizes athletic performance and improves recovery time.
In order for growth to occur and to maximize the benefits of your workouts, your body and mind need to recover. There needs to be time and rest for each system to repair and adapt to the acute stimuli from training. In order for the body to repair effectively, the right amount of nutrients need to be taken in so that proper levels are restored for the next workout. When adequate food and water/electrolytes are consumed before, during, and after exercise, not only is performance improved; but, recovery time is maximized. Post-workout nutrition and it's timing are very important. You need to replenish your body's energy sources that were just depleted.
It's February and that means it is American Heart Month, a time when the nation focuses on heart disease. Heart disease is the #1 killer of Americans.
During the Covid-19 pandemic, many people delayed or avoided professional care for heart attacks or strokes. This prompted the American Heart Association to create a campaign called "Don't Die of Doubt". This campaign reminded people to go to the hospital when you have symptoms.
Also, while being quarantined many individuals engaged in more unhealthy behaviors such as lack of exercise and unhealthy eating which contribute to heart disease.
In most cases, heart disease is preventable when people adopt a healthy lifestyle (maintaining a healthy weight, controlling blood sugar, regulating high blood pressure, and getting at least 30 minutes a day of physical exercise). One of the top reasons we began Miles & Macros, LLC was to contribute to the pursuit of teaching individuals healthier lifestyles. We are an end-to-end business providing private running coaching and private nutrition consulting/meal plans; also well as, corporate packages for corporations who care about their employees' well-beings. Our two approaches to a healthier lifestyle are two of the main characteristics of preventing heart disease.
Benefits of Running:
Individuals being first diagnosed with heart disease, whom begin to participate in running, are likely to return to work and show improvement in other measures of their quality of life, such as more self-esteem, lowered stress, and less anxiousness. Astoundingly, the death rate is reduced by 20% to 25%!
Benefits of Nutrition:
For years, research into correlations between diet and heart disease showed that people just eat food, (processed foods), NOT macronutrients:
People following healthy diets consistently had a 31% lower risk of heart disease!
Please take your health seriously and contact us for customized, one-on-one online coaching and counseling.
When you hear the word treadmill it is usually followed by a groan. While it is not as glamorous as your favorite road segment or trail lined with beautiful pines, the treadmill offers many benefits to a runner.
1. Escape from inclement weather
Winter training can be difficult due to the snow, ice, and freezing temperatures. Runners often try to run outside as much possible; however, sometimes the conditions could cause a potential injury. The treadmill is a safe alternate while you weather the storm. The controlled climate also keeps your muscles warm which helps reduce risk of injury.
2. Reduced impact on your body
One big benefit is the reduction of impact compared to running on harder surfaces. Newton's Third Law states, For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. When you run on concrete or pavement your body needs to be able to absorb the forces it endures when it encounters a hard / immovable object. Most treadmills tend to have some sort of shock absorbing system that helps to lessen impact forces.
3. Mental toughness
Come on, this is a given. Running in one place for an extended period of time will make you next outdoor run feel like a breeze! You get so many mental toughness points when you are treadmill running. The treadmill is also a good place to really listen to your body and it's sensations since there may not be as many distractions or other stimulation for your mind to latch on to.
4. Race course simulation
Another advantage of the treadmill is that it can help you train for your next event very specifically. Programmable treadmills help you simulate the race course. If you know the course profile, controlling the speed, incline, and decline will come in handy on race day.
5. Netflix and run?
Sometimes it is nice to put on a good tv show or movie and let the time tick by while you are catching up on some Netflix! I wouldn't suggest a scary movie, I was watching one once and when something jumped out - I jumped and almost fell off the treadmill.
6. Amuse yourself with a workout
Planning a speed session is a great way to pass the time. Some of my favorite workouts are: a good warm up followed by increasing the pace by 0.1mph every minute. This makes me want both the workout to end quickly but also make it so that I want time to go slow (imagine that!) so that I don't have to increase my pace.
7. Even pace
When you are running outside, you will gradually slow down when you are tired, bounding up a hill, etc. However, on a treadmill you are forced to keep an even pace and in some cases an even effort level.
The treadmill can be efficient if it's located in your house or if you use the treadmill at a gym then do your core / weight training routine. Time is always important and being able to maximize your time is always beneficial.
There are so many more benefits to treadmill running that have not been covered in this article but needless to say the treadmill can be a great tool for training as well as being a safer option when conditions or time constraints may be an issue.
So next time you are on the fence of whether or not you should treadmill run, please consider some of the arguments made above and have a great run, wherever you choose!
In its purest form, the Paleo Diet allows you to eat ONLY those foods that humans ate when they first roamed the earth millions of years ago.
What to eat:
Nuts and seeds
Lean meats, grass-fed animals or wild game
Fish, especially those rich in omega-3 fatty acids,
Oils from fruits and nuts, such as olive oil or walnut oil
What to avoid:
Grains, such as wheat, oats and barley
Legumes, such as beans, lentils, peanuts and peas
Dairy products, including milk, cheese, yogurt, and butter
Refined sugar as well as honey and artificial sweeteners
Processed and cured meats, such as bacon, deli meats, and hot dogs
Highly processed foods in general
Sample Meal for a Day: