September 26, 2014

Run Slower, Get Faster- 9:37 am

Great article from Lisa Marshall of Men’s Journal.  I’ve used this theory for years with my athletes with incredible long term success.  If you are interested in training this way The Cascade Run Club, http://www.cascaderunclub.com,  follows this same type of training plan.

 

After chasing a sub-three-hour marathon for 23 years, Joe Rzepiejewski feared he’d seen his last personal record. He was in his mid-forties, his race times were inching up, and the more he pushed, the more spent he felt. He turned to running coach Matt Fitzgerald, author of the new book 80/20 Running, and heard some odd advice. Fitzgerald told him to dial back the majority of his training to an easy pace. “I thought, ‘There is no way I can run that slow and get better,’ ” says Rzepiejewski, a software engineer from Dana Point, California.

But after yet another disappointing marathon finish, he decided to take Fitzgerald’s advice to slow down. The result: He felt fresher all week, and when it was time for sprints, he nailed his target times. Five months later, at the age of 47, Rzepiejewski ran a 2:59 marathon.

Slowing down to speed up seems counterintuitive, especially at a time when high-intensity workouts like CrossFit and Tabata are all the rage and gymgoers have been conditioned to believe that gains come only through grueling work. But many coaches argue that the high-intensity trend has gone too far. “The majority of recreational athletes are doing way too much high-intensity exercise,” says Iñigo San Milán, director of the Human Performance Laboratory at the University of Colorado. “They end up with injuries. And they are not getting faster.”

Instead, a growing body of research suggests that 80 percent of your workouts should be done at a slow speed, with just 20 percent at medium to fast. At this ratio, you’re able to get all the performance-enhancing benefits of high-intensity work while avoiding the injury risk and burnout that often come along with it.

The 80/20 approach was discovered by exercise physiologist Stephen Seiler, a sports scientist with Norway’s University of Agder, who has spent the past decade analyzing the way elite athletes structure their training. “We started to see a pattern from different sports all converging on about the same distribution,” says Seiler. Whether they were marathoners, sprinters, rowers, or speedskaters, the majority of athletes spent their workouts well below race pace, and about a fifth of the time at higher intensities. “When elites emphasize lower intensity, they are less likely to get sick and have hunger swings, and they tend to be less tired and in a better mood,” says Boulder-based coach Mat Steinmetz, whose clients have included three-time Ironman world champion Craig Alexander.

That’s true for the rest of us, too. In a 2013 study, the University of Stirling in Scotland had male recreational cyclists follow the 80/20 approach and then switch to 57 percent of their time at low intensity and 43 percent at middle intensity. The gains in power and speed after 80/20 training were more than twice as high. Another study, published in March in the Journal of  Sports Physiology and Performance, compared runners logging 30 to 43 miles per week. Half followed 80/20 and the others spent most of their time at middle-to-high intensity. The 80/20 group improved their 10K times by an average of 41 seconds — a huge gain for a six-mile race.

But dialing back is a lot harder than it sounds, mostly because people are terrible at judging the actual intensity of their workouts. In fact, we spend most of our time — 45 to 75 percent, according to studies — in a middle-intensity no-man’s land. “Moderate intensity isn’t intrinsically bad; it’s just not as productive. You’re not getting the body-adapting benefits of high intensity or the gentler muscle-conditioning benefits of low intensity. You’re creating fatigue,” says Fitzgerald. “To get your fastest and fittest, your workouts need clear delineation.”

Here’s why: High-intensity workouts recruit fast-twitch muscle fibers that provide extra power late into a race or game. They also boost blood vessel elasticity, build a stronger heart, and up pain tolerance. All that time in the slow zone, meanwhile, primes your muscles to be able to crush the high-intensity sessions. During tough bouts, your fast-twitch muscles rapidly burn through glucose for fuel, which creates metabolic by-products like lactate and hydrogen ions that — if not cleared from the muscles — inhibit muscle contraction and the breakdown of food for fuel. The result? You slow down. The slow-twitch muscles are responsible for recycling that otherwise toxic lactate back into energy, enabling you to stay on pace. Low-intensity training also revs the growth of mitochondria, which helps the body burn fat efficiently and fends off soreness and fatigue.

Still, trading fast for slow is a tough sell. “We often joke about it,” says triathlete Tim O’Donnell, the top American at the 2013 Ironman World Championships in Kona. “When I ride with friends who are not professional athletes, they ride a lot harder than I do.” O’Donnell, as it happens, is a newcomer to taking it slow. Burned out after eight years of training hard, he cut the number of high-intensity sessions from six to three a week and moved the bulk of his effort to a “controlled and comfortable” pace (of course, that still translates to a 6:45 mile). The new approach paid off this past spring, when O’Donnell took first at the St. Croix half Ironman. “I’m training with less intensity and racing at a higher level,” he says, “because I’m not drained from overkill.”

Stagger Workouts
Limit moderate-to-high sessions to one or two days a week, and never make them back-to-back.

Minimize the Middle
Some moderate-intensity training, or tempo running, is necessary to prep for a race. Just make it part of your 20 percent. To ensure you stay out of the middle-intensity zone, ask yourself, “Could I imagine holding this pace forever?” If the answer isn’t a strong yes, dial back speed.

– Lisa Marshall

September 3, 2014

4 Simple Steps to Help Prevent Injuries- 2:29 pm

Being a runner you know injuries are usually part of the process. As the owner of a running store I see running injuries on a daily basis, but that doesn’t have to be the case.  I have helped many runners who thought they were “just injury prone” stay healthy. I was one of those runners for years until I learned how to be preventive and have been running injury free since.  There are four simple steps you can follow to help prevent injuries.

1). Make sure you go to your local running specialty store and get a proper pair of shoes.  This isn’t shameless self-promotion, shoes are your most important piece of equipment and can be the difference between an injury or staying healthy.  While you’re there ask the staff about proper running form so they can help make corrections.   Small adjustments in form can make a world of difference in efficiency.

2). Reevaluate your training plan.  Many injuries are caused by training errors. The most common mistakes are increasing mileage too quickly and doing too much anaerobic training without proper recovery.  Your body needs to slowly adapt to the stresses of running so you need to give yourself enough time to increase miles and intensity safely.  Instead of gradually increasing mileage each week try staying at the same mileage for three weeks then increase and stay another three weeks and so on. This allows the body to adapt to the stress instead increasing each week and having the body always play catch up.  With anaerobic work you are again putting a huge stress load on the body so you have to allow yourself a few days of easy running or cross training so the repair process can take place.  A good rule of thumb is to give yourself a day of recovery for every mile run hard to ensure proper recovery.

3). Warm up properly and thoroughly.  Tendons and ligaments have very little blood flow when at rest which results in a lack of range of motion.  When the pace is too fast at the beginning of a run we force an increased range of motion before there is sufficient blood flow to handle the increase safely thus resulting in higher risk of injury.  By running slow for the first 15 minutes of each run you significantly increase blood flow without the added range of motion so you can safely handle a faster pace later in the run.

4). Pay attention to your ph levels.  I’ve coached thousands of runners and have never met one that knows their ph level or the importance of their reading.  Your ph reading tells you everything you need to know to train and recover properly thus helping prevent injuries.  You can use ph strips to test your levels first thing in the morning with a simple saliva test.  If your reading is acidic you take an easy day, if it’s slightly alkaline you can run hard.  Many things affect your ph levels including training, sleep patterns, diet, outside stresses and environment among other things. If your reading is acidic you can bring it back to balance by eating a more alkaline diet, getting proper amount of sleep and adjusting training.

By following these simple steps not only will you minimize injuries but you will improve your overall running performance.

August 27, 2014

The 2014 Cross Country Season is upon us!- 3:16 pm

With the 2014 cross country season kicking off, Run 26 would like to remind you that College, High School and Junior High runners receive 10% off all their purchases!  We look forward to working with you and helping you stay injury free this season.

June 15, 2014

Training for Peak Performance and injury prevention clinic- 6:11 pm

Run 26 will be hosting a second clinic, July 26th at 8am on how to train to race your best and stay injury free. It will be presented by last year’s Seattle Rock n Roll Marathon winner Yon Yilma and his coach Shelby Schenck. The clinic will cover how to set up a training plan and implement it, proper nutrition and techniques for recovery and how to prevent and recognize training injuries before it’s too late. There will be lots of great information, including details on our new training group, door prizes and a run to follow!! If you are training for an event and looking to run your best you don’t want to miss out on this clinic! Cost is only $20 and availability is limited. For more information call Run 26 at 425-948-6495 and ask for Shelby or email him directly at Running26@comcast.net.  Look forward to seeing you here!!

May 1, 2014

2014 Run 26 Adventure Runs- 4:52 pm

Run 26 will once again be hosting Adventure Runs on the 3rd Thursday of each month from June through August.  Our first event will be June 19th and will be pirate themed in honor of Seafair who will be attending.  Once again we will have a beer garden benefiting the Ronald McDonald house.  Look forward to seeing you there and look to our Run 26 Facebook group page for more information.

April 14, 2014

Training and Injury Prevention Clinic- 2:18 pm

Run 26 will be hosting a clinic on how to train to race your best and stay injury free. It will be presented by last year’s Seattle Rock n Roll Marathon winner Yon Yilma and his coach Shelby Schenck. The clinic will cover how to set up a training plan and implement it, proper nutrition and techniques for recovery and how to prevent and recognize training injuries before it’s too late. There will be lots of great information, including details on our new training group, and door prizes too!! If you are training for an event and looking to run your best you don’t want to miss out on this clinic! Cost is only $20 and availability is limited. For more information call Run 26 at 425-948-6495 and ask for Shelby or email him directly at Running26@comcast.net. Look forward to seeing you here!!

January 30, 2014

Superbowl Sunday hours- 1:12 pm

We will be closing early this Sunday for the Superbowl.   The store will open as usual at 12pm and close at 3pm.  Go Hawks!!

December 23, 2013

New Run 26 Customer Loyalty Program!- 11:39 am

Run 26 has teamed up with http://www.fivestars.com/ to offer a customer loyalty program!!  For every $10 you spend you earn a point, after 50 points you will get $50 towards your next purchase!  Ask us next time you’re in the store and we can get you signed up.

May 20, 2013

Run of the Mill- 12:05 pm

Come join us for the Run of the Mill 5k on Saturday July 6th in the Mill Creek Town Center.  The Run of the Mill raises money for cancer patients who are undergoing treatment as well as other local charities.  A secondary focus is providing financial support to youth sports, especially high school running programs.  Hope to see you there!!

November 13, 2012

Lydiard Foundation launches Running Wizard- 3:26 pm

The Arthur Lydiard Foundation has launched their Running Wizard website for anyone who is looking for a great training program.   If you are not familiar with Arthur Lydiards training methods they are used by many of the elite runners in the world.  Whether you are training for a 1500 meter track race, a 10k road race or a marathon, a jogger or a champion, Running Wizard’s Custom Training Schedules will take you to the top of your game.

http://www.running-wizard.com/

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