Women's Running http://womensrunning.competitor.com Women's Running Magazine Fri, 03 Jul 2015 05:15:32 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0.1 What’s Your Extra Mile? http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2015/07/run-eat-repeat/whats-your-extra-mile_43216 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2015/07/run-eat-repeat/whats-your-extra-mile_43216#comments Fri, 03 Jul 2015 05:15:32 +0000 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/?p=43216

What are some of the little things you could do everyday to become a better runner?

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hoka go the extra mile (800x600)

I recently spotted this 27.2 “Go the extra mile” sticker at a race expo. While I have no plans to run an extra mile after a full marathon, I grabbed one of these for inspiration because it struck a cord with me.

There are so many ways we can go the extra mile every day. The important thing is to identify what is YOUR extra mile? What can make your life, running, relationships or work better by doing a little extra?

In terms of running and training there are so many ways I can go the extra mile. I have a few weaknesses that I can really improve with a little extra work each day. For me these are:

  1. Stretching for a whole 10 minutes after each run.
  2. Foam rolling my IT band and paying close attention to my right side since it’s been nagging at me.
  3. Making sure I am hydrated before my run.
  4. Getting to yoga to work on my balance and core.
  5. Respecting rest days and giving my body time to rest and recover. This takes discipline, but is important.

Related: What’s Your Motivational Mantra?

All of these extra tasks help me work on my weaknesses. I consider them the ‘extra mile’ because they do take special effort and don’t just happen without me dedicating some time to them. I have to admit these are not my favorite things to do. After a run I just want to hit the shower and EAT. But making that extra effort to stretch helps keep me feeling good and injury free.

Going the extra mile can be different for everyone based on your own goals and life. So consider what little extra you could incorporate to be a better runner. And go for it!

Question: What’s your extra mile right now?

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This Product Will Save You Some Embarrassment http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2015/07/shoes-gear/this-product-will-save-you-some-embarrassment_43170 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2015/07/shoes-gear/this-product-will-save-you-some-embarrassment_43170#comments Fri, 03 Jul 2015 02:19:28 +0000 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/?p=43170

Picture this: You’re running along, when suddenly you experience a little “leakage”—and you’re definitely not

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Picture this: You’re running along, when suddenly you experience a little “leakage”—and you’re definitely not wearing black capris. Incontinence is an issue that many women runners deal with, especially post-pregnancy.

Enter Fannypants, a brand that makes panties and apparel to protect women for any embarrassing consequences after a little squeaks out. The undies, which come with removable, washable and reusable pads, provide four-layer protection against any incidents. But before you envision the hideous diaper look and scoff at the idea, check out their cute designs, which awarded the brand “Top Innovator” in 2014 by Apparel magazine. The company also carries travel accessories, such as back-up pads in cute travel packs. Their exercise apparel boasts similar technology, providing all-in-one odor-fighting and absorbing properties.

Related: Don’t Be Slowed Down By Pregnancy Side Effects

Founder and CEO Sophia Parker dreamed up the idea after facing light-stress incontinence; she crafted a solution that meshed function with fashion to make every women comfortable, from the run, to the office, to vacation with the family. In the words of the company, “Don’t let bladder leakage slow you down!”

 

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Get Ready To Move With Essential Pre-Run Drills http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2015/07/training-tips/get-ready-to-move-with-essential-pre-run-drills_43147 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2015/07/training-tips/get-ready-to-move-with-essential-pre-run-drills_43147#comments Thu, 02 Jul 2015 21:12:41 +0000 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/?p=43147

This dynamic workout will reader your legs for the miles and body ahead.

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Before a run, it’s best to do more than just take a sip of water and double-knot your shoes.

Our muscles and cardiovascular systems need to be ready for the intensity of exercise—and the best way to prep your system is through a dynamic warm-up. It may seem inconsequential but a proper warm-up before a harder workout can make or break the entire session.

The key to an effective warm-up is developing a routine. Walking or jogging followed by a short period of light stretching is a good start. Before more challenging runs, fold drills into your plan as well. Regardless of whether you’re a newbie or an elite, this routine will get you feeling fresh and ready for the miles.

WHY WARM UP?
Prepare for the most effective workout possible. Jumping into a hard effort spikes the heart rate and puts the body in aerobic shock. A proper warm-up ensures that the working muscles are loose and ready to perform more efficiently. Likewise the cardiovascular system becomes heightened through increased blood flow. Without an increase in heart rate and breathing prior to a session, you limit the potential fitness gains in the workout itself.

Help prevent injuries. A warm muscle performs better than a cold one, but a warm muscle is also less susceptible to injury. As the body heats up, blood flow to working muscles increases and less strain is placed on tendons, thus reducing overall injury potential.

Energize the muscular system. Jogging and stretch-ing work as a warm-up, but drills add another layer related to strength, power and resilience, making the routine even more productive.

Related: 5 Essential Before And After Run Stretches

DYNAMIC WARM-UP

1.  Jogging: 3–5 minutes of jogging at a very easy effort. Beginners may start by walking. If you’re doing a track workout or very hard effort, jog for 1–2 miles instead.

2.  Stretching: 5(ish) minutes of light stretching, not to test your flexibility but rather to lightly stretch all the major muscle groups, including quads, hamstrings, calves, IT band, hips and glutes.

3.  Drills: This will take 6–15 minutes. Start easy and work the following six drills into your routine. Over time you will become more comfortable with the athletic nature of the drills.

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Flat Stomach Finally! Top Tips To Tone Up And De-Bloat. http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2015/07/training-tips/flat-stomach-finally-top-tips-to-tone-up-and-de-bloat_43156 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2015/07/training-tips/flat-stomach-finally-top-tips-to-tone-up-and-de-bloat_43156#comments Thu, 02 Jul 2015 21:11:17 +0000 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/?p=43156

Getting a toned tummy is about exercising smart and eating the right foods.

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Most girls I speak to on a daily basis all want to know how to flatten their tummy and tone up their abs. I’ve spent years working on my abs, figuring out the best formula to achieve a great midsection. What I’ve discovered is that it all comes down to three things: eating the right foods, exercising smarter, and proper digestion to remove any bloating. So, if you finally want to get the flat stomach, here are my key tips on how to tone up and de-bloat.

Tone up the tummy

When it comes to toning your waistline, you need to make sure you have a good exercise routine and that you fuel your body with the right foods. You can be a saint at the gym, but if you are not matching it with the right nutrients, then you may never get the flat midsection you desire.

Exercise smarter
Doing 100 crunches day after day is not going to result in a flat stomach. Toned abs come from doing a range of different exercises that target the core in different ways to help the body melt fat. I take on a more holistic approach to achieving a great midsection, implementing exercises other than just ab crunches to get my results. I combine strength sessions (that target the core and whole body) along with HIIT (to melt fat off) to reach these goals.

Related: Best Abs Ever With This Workout

Strength training
Incorporating strength training into your exercise routine is definitely a key ingredient for achieving a toned tummy. Lifting weights helps the body build muscle; the more muscle you have, the faster your metabolism will be and the more fat you burn. That’s why I add weights into all of my workout programs. Please don’t worry girls— you aren’t going to bulk doing this either.

HIIT
Having a flat tummy also comes down to reducing your body fat percentage. HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) has been shown to be one of the most effective methods for shredding fat. A HIIT circuit is very simple. You take a handful of exercises and then perform each at high intensity, while keeping the rest between exercises to a minimum. The best thing about HIIT is that you can include exercises that target any body part you want. I like to create HIIT circuits that involve core, cardiovascular and resistance training in the one workout. By getting your heart rate up, you speed up your metabolism and help the body burn fat more effectively.

Eat the right foods
If you aren’t fueling your body with proper nutrients, you aren’t going to reap the rewards for all your hard work at the gym. A poor diet can often lead to feeling tired and lethargic. If you are undereating, this can also damage your metabolism. To get fit and feeling great, you need to eat a well-balanced whole food diet that will give your body proper nutrients. Starvation and deprivation diets will not work. To help tone up the belly, it’s good to stay away from foods like refined carbs. These foods spike your insulin levels, which then prevents fat burning in the body. Refined carbs are in foods like white bread, pasta, crackers, sugar and white rice. Replace refined carbs with healthy complex carbs from things like vegetables, sweet potatoes, brown rice or quinoa.

Related: Get Creative With Your Carbs

How to get rid of bloating

So many girls I speak to suffer from bouts of bloating. Some only get it every now and again, while others suffer from it on a daily basis. Nothing makes you feel more uncomfortable than having a swollen tummy. Bloating can come from many different things, but is mainly caused from improper digestion and poor food choices. Other causes can be eating too quickly, drinking carbonated drinks or overeating. I had years of experiencing bloating from undiagnosed food intolerances. Often after I ate, I felt terrible and was in major pain. Over the years, I learned a thing or two on how to deal with bloating when it occurs.

Drink apple cider vinegar to help with digestion
Apple cider vinegar is a great way to help the body prevent bloating, as it kick starts the digestion process in the stomach. Just have one tablespoon in a glass of room temperature water before each meal.

Herbal teas
There are a lot of herbal teas you can drink that help improve digestion and get rid of bloating. Some of my favorite teas are peppermint, licorice and chamomile tea. Adding in fresh ginger root can also help reduce inflammation.

Related: Fuel Your Body With These Snacks

Take probiotics
A major cause of bloating can come from an imbalance of good or bad bacteria in your gut. This generally happens when you have been on antibiotics. When the bacteria in your gut are out of balance, it can lead to all kinds of digestive problems. Taking a good quality probiotic daily, can help restore the balance and get rid of the bloat.

Check your protein powders
So many protein powders on the market can cause tummy upset. I’ve tried my fair share and there wasn’t many that I could actually tolerate. A lot of protein powders have all sorts of fillers and additives that don’t agree with people and cause bloating. Many protein powders are also commonly made from whey and soy protein, which many people are intolerant too. I prefer to get protein from whole foods as much as I can. If I do need a protein boost, then my rule is to stick to a clean, organic protein powder that doesn’t have any weird additives and fillers. I personally go vegan as I can’t tolerate lactose.

Hope you found some of these tips useful so you can start working your way towards a flatter toned tummy.

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She Won A National Title Less Than A Year After Giving Birth http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2015/07/inspiration/she-won-a-national-title-less-than-a-year-after-giving-birth_43067 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2015/07/inspiration/she-won-a-national-title-less-than-a-year-after-giving-birth_43067#comments Thu, 02 Jul 2015 21:10:37 +0000 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/?p=43067

On a hot day in June, Olympian and May 2015 cover runner Alysia Montaño won the national title in the 800 meters at the track and field

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On a hot day in June, Olympian and May 2015 cover runner Alysia Montaño won the national title in the 800 meters at the track and field outdoor championships in Eugene, Ore.—and tied the record of most outdoor wins at that distance.

Following the race, the mother of one posted the above photo to her own Instagram account, saying “This one is for all the mommies, but also for all of the supporters of mommies, for the ones that make up this village.”

Montaño gave birth to her first child, Linnea, less than a year before running herself to an exciting—yet surprising—national win. And exactly one year ago, the world’s jaw dropped when that same mom started that same race and came in dead last—with her 8-months-pregnant belly peeping from underneath her pink singlet at the 2014 outdoor championships. She raced for Linnea then, and she raced for her again this year, greeting her almost-1-year-old and husband with an emotional kiss at the finish line.

“I was just thinking, ‘Oh my god you’re gonna win, you’re gonna win, you’re gonna win,'” laughs Montaño about her thoughts down the final stretch, where she beat second-place finisher Brenda Martinez by less than one second. “I was digging, and that photo almost looked like I was saying it out loud!”

Although one reason the victory was unexpected was due to some “ups and downs in training,” the elite runner still managed to capitalize enough on her training to dash away with another national gold. And even still, the runner says the one thing she wants her daughter—the Riley Curry of track and field, as some called her—from her is that doing your best and giving everything your all is way more important than actually winning a championship.

Here are three training takeaways from one of the world’s fastest middle-distance runners:

  1. Take rest days whenever you need them. Montaño says this is something she started focusing on more when she was pregnant, not stressing about the consequences of skipping an extra day when needed.
  2. Communicate with your coach. “We will make the workouts, and I’ll just tell him if it’s not working for me,” explains Montaño. While a coach, mentor or training buddy might design your workouts, don’t be shy about saying when something doesn’t fit with your fitness or goals.
  3. Be patient with your body’s own recovery. Montaño wore tape across her abdomen during the race, something she started using two weeks before the championships to aid in rehabilitating diastasis recti, or abdominal separation, after pregnancy.

 

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5 Important Signs It’s Time For A Gut Check—Literally http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2015/07/news/5-important-signs-its-time-for-a-gut-check-literally_43127 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2015/07/news/5-important-signs-its-time-for-a-gut-check-literally_43127#comments Thu, 02 Jul 2015 18:38:00 +0000 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/?p=43127

Photo: Courtesy of Shutterstock

Sometimes the solution to many runner ailments is switching the stuff you're putting into your body.

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Photo: Courtesy of Shutterstock

Photo: Courtesy of Shutterstock

Photo: Courtesy of Shutterstock

It’s a fact—log enough miles, the occasional sour stomach is going to happen. Exertion, timing and size of meals and hydration all affect how you feel and perform. Thus why it’s imperative to experiment with race-day hydration and fueling during training. But if GI distress becomes your new normal, it’s time to take a closer look at what’s amiss.

When her racing results started to lag as her injuries increased, professional triathlete, author and sports nutritionist Pip Taylor eventually realized food intolerances were to blame. She first eliminated gluten, then got serious about discovering the ways other foods could affect her performance.

Sometimes thought to be markers of a challenging workout, bloating, diarrhea and cravings can all be caused by the food you eat. Given the warm temperatures, you also may have noticed that adding hot weather, sun exposure and dehydration to the mix can make food intolerance reactions feel even more acute.

Related: What The Majority Of Runners Suffer From

Taylor, a mother of two, has authored a book, The Athlete’s Fix ($25, velopress.com) to share the lessons she learned on her healthy-eating journey. The book helps others create their own unique eating plan customized for peak performance and improved health.

Questioning your gut? Here’s Taylor’s top-5 red flags that you should dive deeper into your diet:

1. Ongoing discomfort. It’s common for people to have some sort of issue they just accept as “normal.” Gut pain or bloating, skin issues, frequent headaches, frequent illness or infections, poor sleep–any of these might be either caused or exacerbated by a specific food intolerance. Don’t accept discomfort as being ‘normal’ or something you have to put up with just because you have learned to live with it! It goes without saying though that other conditions need to be ruled out before diet is explored.

2. Cravings for particular foods. This can be tricky and a kicker for people looking to eliminate intolerances because sometimes the very foods they love and feel they simply can’t live without might in fact be the ones they are most sensitive to. Certain foods can set off a release of histamine and a cycle of feeling great, followed by a crash. Of course the “feeling great” part is what we remember and associate with a particular food, rather than the crash, and the only way to get that “high” again is to eat more of that particular food. This cycle of ups, downs and strong cravings can be a sign you need to re-evaluate what you are eating.

Related: 6 Tips For Navigating Gluten-Free Diet At Airports

3. Performance plateaus. For the athlete this might mean poor recovery, lack of motivation or drive, unexpected changes to body composition, poor strength building or training adaptation despite training loads, or simply that they are not seeing the results they would expect given their fitness and training regimen. Of course there are many factors that go into performance. Diet cannot be blamed for every factor, but what we eat is so fundamental to each and every reaction, hormonal response and body system that it can be hard to completely separate them. At the very least it’s always worth examining your diet and seeing if there can be improvements.

4. Surprises. Intolerances or sensitivities to foods can appear at any age and stage of life. Any new symptoms that pop up, even if you can’t pinpoint them as being directly related to any one food, may be a sign that diet needs to be assessed. For women, changing levels of hormones can mean that certain stages of life are more likely to develop a sensitivity–whether that is adolescence, during or after pregnancy or throughout menopause. Of course you always need to make sure symptoms aren’t related to a more serious medical problem.

5. Frequent illness, injury, poor recovery and poor sleep. All of these might be an indicator that you are not getting what you need from your diet or that what you are eating might be setting you up for increased levels of inflammation. Being systematic in your approach to figuring out which foods are best suited to your health and performance can help you feel better across the board.

In The Athlete’s Fix, registered dietitian Pip Taylor will help you find your problem foods—and the foods that make you feel and perform your best. The Athlete’s Fix offers a sensible, three-step program to identify your food intolerances and develop your own customized clean diet that will support better health and performance.

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4 Things Every Stubborn Runner Needs To Hear http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2015/07/just-for-fun/4-things-every-stubborn-runner-needs-to-hear_43177 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2015/07/just-for-fun/4-things-every-stubborn-runner-needs-to-hear_43177#comments Thu, 02 Jul 2015 18:35:25 +0000 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/?p=43177

Photo: Shutterstock.com

We get it—you're immune to it all and can run forever. Except you're not—and neither is anyone else.

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Photo: Shutterstock.com

Photo: Shutterstock.com

Photo: Shutterstock.com

Don’t be that runner—ok, we’ve all been that runner. The one that thinks she’s the exception to the rule. We get injured, we need to cross-train, we need to rest, blah, blah, blah. We never want to hear it, but after the umpteenth time a doctor, friend, family member or reasonable stranger has pounded common sense into us, we might finally listen. Here are four things that we ignore, roll our eyes at, consider and finally surrender to (most of the time):

1. Running isn’t the only exercise. IT ISN’T?! It can be easy to believe that running is the only type of exercise that we need, but it’s important to do a variety of workouts. If we consistently do the exact same thing, then our bodies inevitably become used to the stress and no longer need to work as hard. Mixing it up has two advantages. The first is it keeps your body guessing every day about what’s coming next, and the second is that it helps bring strength to muscle groups that aren’t necessarily always targeted while running. So keep calm and cross-train–we promise running will still there tomorrow, and it might actually feel better than it did yesterday.

Related: 5 Stages Of Grief, Runner Edition

2. There is such a thing as over-working your body. Wait—you mean we can’t run miles on miles on miles every single day? It can be tempting to try and push yourself to improve each day, but when your muscles are screaming and you are finding it impossible to even move (yet you continue to exercise), rest is the answer. This is also true when you’re sick; you need to fight the infection, not double your mileage. Simply put, take a breather every once in awhile. Even the greatest athletes do that.

Related: Are You Overtrained?

3. The doctor’s right. (No, seriously.) Get off that injury. We completely understand the need for a good, long run. Few things are more satisfying than the runner’s high that ensues, and few things are more frustrating than being told you can’t work out. The end of the world is imminent (no it’s not), and you can’t help but want to push through the pain and run regardless of your doctor’s orders. Being trapped in street clothes doesn’t have to feel like a prison. You can use this time you’ve been given to discover what caused your injury and take steps to prevent similar ones in the future. That way, when you finally receive the okay from your doctor, you’ll be ready to go.

4. Cut yourself some slack. Running is supposed to be a fun activity, but if you’re giving yourself a hard time after every bad run, or if you pace yourself based on a buddy instead of your body, then it won’t be. Go easy on yourself and your body’s abilities. It isn’t always going to be possible to keep up with another runner or cover the same mileage as her—and that’s okay. Every woman’s body is different, and newsflash, there will always be someone “better” or faster than you. But there will also always be someone slower than you that’s probably having these same reactions toward your awesome fitness levels and abilities.

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Saying Goodbye To Old Running Friends And Hello To New Ones http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2015/07/t-rex-runner/saying-goodbye-to-old-running-friends-and-hello-to-new-ones_43132 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2015/07/t-rex-runner/saying-goodbye-to-old-running-friends-and-hello-to-new-ones_43132#comments Thu, 02 Jul 2015 14:55:06 +0000 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/?p=43132

Don't be afraid to find a new running crew when moving to a new city.

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In a matter of just a few weeks, I’ll be moving a couple of hours away to a new city where I know precisely one person, not including my husband. I’m not the world’s most social human being, and as a woman nearing thirty (heck, an adult in general), it can be hard to make friends. It often seems like everyone already has established their group, especially here in the South where everyone has known everybody else since their parents went to high school together; that’s literally how my husband knows all of his friends.

A few years ago, it would have been pretty hard for me to move somewhere new and make friends in any sort of timely fashion, but not anymore. As soon as I found out we were moving, I started looking up local marathon training groups and researching the options available at different running stores. Before we even started looking for a house, I had “liked” every running and cycling group Facebook page within a twenty-five mile radius of the city. Hey, I’m a woman with priorities!

Related: Networking On The Run

See, if there is one thing I have learned in the six or so years since I started running, it’s that runners are one of the most welcoming groups out there. Plus, say what you want about marathon training, but there’s something to be said for bonding with others through shared misery and triumph. So while moving to a new city is sure to bring with it plenty of stress, at least I know my tribe will be waiting for me on the other side. See you in a few weeks, guys! I can’t wait to meet you.

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Top 5 Secrets To Beating Pre-Run Hunger http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2015/07/nutrition/top-5-secrets-to-beating-pre-run-hunger_42931 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2015/07/nutrition/top-5-secrets-to-beating-pre-run-hunger_42931#comments Thu, 02 Jul 2015 14:27:23 +0000 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/?p=42931

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.com

Avoid a growling stomach before lacing up by following these suggestions.

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Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.com

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.com

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.com

Most runners have experienced that pre-run pang of hunger that pops up right when you’re stepping out the door. It’s too late to scarf down the meal, but you don’t want to run on an empty stomach either. Sarah-Jane Bedwell, registered dietitian and nutrition consultant for LUNA, has five top tips for avoiding the growling insides right before you lace up.

1. Eat a smart snack one to two hours before the run.

“Focus on carbohydrates,” says Bedwell. “For easy to moderate runs less than 1 hour, 1/2 gram of carbs per kilogram of body weight (about 30 grams for someone weighing 140 pounds) eaten 1-2 hours before should be sufficient (as a part of an overall balanced diet). A pre-workout snack for these runs might be a medium banana or LUNA bar. For runs lasting 1 hour or more, about 1 gram of carb per kilogram of body weight should be consumed 1-2 hours before. An example of fuel for these longer runs might be the medium banana and LUNA bar, or one cup oatmeal topped with 1/4 cup raisins.”

 2. Stay hydrated.

Do this by drinking plenty of water throughout the day, as well as at least 8-12 ounces within the hour prior to running. Our bodies sometimes confuse hunger with thirst, which tends to make us raid the fridge rather than the water container. Many times when we think we are hungry, we are actually slightly dehydrated.

Related: 7 Simple Ways To Drink More Water

 3. Eat regular meals throughout the day.

“Not only does eating every 3 to 4 hours keep your metabolism and energy levels up,” says Bedwell. “It also helps to prevent overwhelming hunger pangs throughout the day.” Don’t stuff yourself; make the meals small but filling, and try to drink glasses of water with each one.

 4. Make protein, fiber and fat part of your meals.

While it isn’t a good idea to incorporate these nutrients into the meal you eat prior to your run, consuming them during other parts of the day slows digestion and helps you to feel fuller for longer. This can then help keep you out of the fridge and on the move.

Related: How To Eat More Protein (Plus A Recipe!)

 5. Find the timing of a pre-run snack that works for you.

“When I first started running,” says Bedwell, “if I ate something before a race, I would get sick. Then I discovered that I was eating too close to the start time of the race and that my nerves were getting the better of me. When I started eating about 2 hours before the race, not only did I not get sick, I could actually eat a little more and found that that helped me have more energy and not hit the wall as quickly. While some people can eat something just 30 minutes before a run, others need closer to 2 hours to digest the food and get the most out of the nutrition. Pick the schedule that works best for you and stick with it.”

The post Top 5 Secrets To Beating Pre-Run Hunger appeared first on Women's Running.

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The Broke Girl’s Guide to Exercising http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2015/07/training-tips/the-broke-girls-guide-to-exercising_43135 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2015/07/training-tips/the-broke-girls-guide-to-exercising_43135#comments Thu, 02 Jul 2015 14:24:33 +0000 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/?p=43135

Read on to see all the creative ways you can stay fit while maintaining the budget you have set for yourself.

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shutterstock_151129412

*Courtesy of POPSUGAR Fitness

When you’re on a budget you have to get creative with your spending habits, and signing up for a pricey gym or class membership is definitely not on your list of splurges. For those who still want to exercise, however, there are inexpensive ways to try that new cycling class you’ve been obsessing over or that CrossFit workout everyone’s talking about. And yes, you can definitely work toward that Beyoncé body without spending an insane amount of money on a personal trainer. Read on to see all the creative ways you can stay fit while maintaining the budget you have set for yourself.

1. Search for studios that offer a free first class. Often small studios will let guests take the first class for free. Interested in cycling classes? Do a quick search in your neighborhood and you’ll come across places like Peloton, where riders ride for free their first time. If you’re a yogi, check out Yoga to the People. With various locations in cities like San Francisco and New York, this spot is great for those who want to pop in for a quick class. The suggested donation method lets yoga-lovers pay anywhere from $1 to $10, which is a steal (and practically free).

2. Start a running or hiking club. As the weather gets warmer, opt for a run or hike with a friend. You can go at your own pace, and sweating it out with a BFF is always more fun than working out alone.

3. Go swimming at the beach or outdoor pool. Summer is the perfect time to do outdoor activities like swimming. Take a dip in a friend’s pool or head to the nearest beach for a swim. You won’t even feel like you’re exercising.

4. Sign up for free gym passes. Crunch, David Barton, Equinox, and Gold’s Gym all offer three- to seven-day free passes to guests. If you don’t want to commit to one gym spot, these free passes are your jackpot. You can also strategically plan which gyms to visit using the free passes, which adds up to almost a free month of exercising.

5. Try ClassPass. Can’t decide whether you want to do Pilates, yoga, strength training, or cycling? ClassPass is your go-to for trying out thousands of classes for a monthly fee ($79-$99). Instead of signing up for classes or gyms you dread going to, sign up for ClassPass for a variety of exercise options.

6. Search for fitness videos on YouTube. YouTube channels Blogilates, BeFit, and POPSUGAR Fitness let you work out in the comfort of your own home. Without spending any money, you can exercise alongside top-notch trainers Jillian Michaels, Kym Johnson, and Denise Austin on BeFit. If you crave a more scenic workout, Tone It Up will make you feel like you’re at the beach. Invite friends over for a group workout, and then reward yourselves with sweet post-workout snacks that replenish energy and rebuild muscles.

7. Check out fitness websites with free trials. Pilatesology and YogaGlo offer free 10- to 15-day free trials. You can stream the classes online, which is perfect for those who are always on the go or hate the gym. The virtual classes allow you to work out anywhere, anytime.

8. Attend local free fitness events. Facebook is surprisingly a great place to find free fitness events — outdoor yoga, anyone? — in your area. Go to your events tab and scroll down to Events Popular in Your Network and Popular Events Nearby. You can even check out which events your friends will be attending.

9. Search Groupon and LivingSocial for gym deals. No need to splurge on an expensive gym membership. Groupon and LivingSocial offer the most comprehensive discounts for all your fitness needs, from CrossFit to Zumba to personal trainers.

10. Play sports at public courts. Take advantage of free outdoor basketball or tennis courts in the summertime. Organize a game among a group of friends, or head to the courts yourself to meet new people.

11. Walk dogs for adoption shelters. It’s not even exercise if you get to play with a fluffy puppy, right? Most shelters are in need of volunteers to walk their dogs, and places like the ASPCA only require eight hours per month as a time commitment.

Related Articles:
Do These 6 Things With Your Fridge to Help You Drop Pounds
The 300-Calorie-Burning Walking-Jogging Workout
Here’s What Your Dinner Should Look Like After a Sweat Session
Hot-Weather Running Gear That’ll Have You Begging For Sun
20 Healthy Habits That Lead to Big Results

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I Skydived Just Minutes Before I Ran An Ultramarathon http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2015/07/inspiration/i-skydived-just-minutes-before-i-ran-an-ultramarathon_43139 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2015/07/inspiration/i-skydived-just-minutes-before-i-ran-an-ultramarathon_43139#comments Thu, 02 Jul 2015 13:10:56 +0000 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/?p=43139

Find out more about this wild and exhilarating race!

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skydive race

Abi Adekanmbi
Age: 39
New York, NY

I jumped out of a plane at 15,000 feet just minutes before I ran an ultramarathon!

As the plane ascended  to 15,000 feet elevation, I scanned the cabin to see fellow runners anxiously waiting for the drop and thought, What did I get myself into? I had never performed a skydive before. In fact, the idea of jumping from a plane terrified me. But when I heard about the SkyDive Ultra in Clewiston, Fla., the allure of attaching the feat to a race made the idea exciting.

With my nerves raging, the plane entered the drop zone. The door immediately opened and runners began jumping. Before I could process the task ahead, time fast-forwarded and I was standing at the door attached to my tandem instructor listening to his countdown: One, two, three—JUMP!

Adrenaline rushed through my body as the initial free-fall sent us plummeting toward the ground at 120 miles per hour. When my instructor pulled the first section of the parachute, I started to feel like I was floating on air. At this point, I was able to take in the view and soak in the adventure.

When we reached 5,000 feet elevation, we calmly crested to the ground where I rushed off to remove my skydiving gear and set out on the second leg of the race: a 50K run.

Related: My First Race Was An Ultra

I was on a natural high when I started to run—I couldn’t believe I had just jumped out of a plane! The first 6 miles fl ew by (no pun intended!) and I still felt relatively good at mile 13. Since the event included various distance races with staggered start times, there was a constant stream of skydivers jumping and it was really cool to watch them all fl oat down to the ground as I continued running.

By mile 18, I started to fade a bit due to the heat, and my leg cramped up at mile 21. I took salt tabs and forged ahead until I hit mile 26, where I got a second wind: I knew I only had 5 miles left.

Filled with emotion, I couldn’t wait to cross the finish line and convince my friends to run the race in the future. I’ll never look at the sky and clouds the same, knowing that I once jumped through them to begin one of my most epic running adventures.

Completing this race helped me discover that I’m braver than I ever imagined. Shoot for the stars, because even if you miss, you’ll still land in the clouds—and that’s a pretty awesome place, in my opinion!

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Awesome Race Photos From Our Amazing Readers http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2015/07/just-for-fun/awesome-race-photos-from-our-amazing-readers_43071 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2015/07/just-for-fun/awesome-race-photos-from-our-amazing-readers_43071#comments Thu, 02 Jul 2015 02:11:39 +0000 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/?p=43071

Find out where all of our readers raced this weekend!

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We love to celebrate the accomplishments of our Women’s Running readers. Take a look at the latest gallery of #runbrag photos from our favorite run girls – YOU!

Want to be featured in a future Women’s Running Reader Run Brag gallery? Email your weekend race photos to runbrag@womensrunning.com for a chance to be included, or tweet us @WomensRunning using  #runbrag.

*You must own all rights to submitted photos. 

CHECK OUT ALL OF OUR READER RUN BRAG GALLERIES HERE!

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]]> http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2015/07/just-for-fun/awesome-race-photos-from-our-amazing-readers_43071/feed 0 Stay Fresh After Summer Runs With These 5 Products http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2015/07/beauty/stay-fresh-after-summer-runs-with-these-5-products_43037 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2015/07/beauty/stay-fresh-after-summer-runs-with-these-5-products_43037#comments Thu, 02 Jul 2015 02:10:43 +0000 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/?p=43037

These odor killers are a must for keeping a runner’s sweaty stink at bay.

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These odor killers are a must for keeping a runner’s sweaty stink at bay.

The post Stay Fresh After Summer Runs With These 5 Products appeared first on Women's Running.

]]> http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2015/07/beauty/stay-fresh-after-summer-runs-with-these-5-products_43037/feed 0 How Your Birth Control Methods Affect Running http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2015/07/girlfriends-guide-to-running/how-your-birth-control-methods-affect-running_42785 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2015/07/girlfriends-guide-to-running/how-your-birth-control-methods-affect-running_42785#comments Thu, 02 Jul 2015 01:01:44 +0000 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/?p=42785

Photo: Shutterstock.com

Choosing a method isn't easy when you have your running and life in mind.

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Photo: Shutterstock.com

Photo: Shutterstock.com

Photo: Shutterstock.com

*Published with permission from Runner’s Connect.

It is sometimes hard to believe that there was ever a time before the internet. Today, one can date, shop, attend school, chat, and share meaningful life events, all without leaving the comfort of home. In many ways, this age of technological dependency is wonderful. It seems that you can find an answer on the internet to almost any question. Over the past 10 years, as a runner, the internet has been an invaluable resource, letting me know when to ice a sore muscle and when to heat it, filling me in on what vitamins the Olympians are taking so I can up my arsenal, and showing me where the best trails are when I am visiting a new city.

Naturally, when I decided it was time for me to start considering a form of birth control before my impending wedding, I turned to my beloved internet and searched, “effects of various types of birth control on runners.”

Nothing.

I stared blankly at the screen as the resulting pages scrolled by. There was forum after forum, each asking the same question I was. The only pages that were remotely scientific contained data so general and vague that the conclusions drawn simply stated that different forms of birth control affected different women in different ways. Duh. After a few minutes of worthless browsing, I turned to a somewhat more promising, not quite as objective corner of the internet: Facebook. I sent a mass message to 60 female runners that I thought might have some experience with the effects of birth control on their running. The responses I received were staggering.

Related: Let’s Talk About Sex, Drugs and Running

Immediately, the replies came pouring in, venting frustration similar to my own. Like me, most of these women had used the internet at some point to seek out how different forms of birth control might impact them as athletes, only to find inadequate research and frustrating forums. The message thread grew longer and longer as these women runners began to share their experiences with different methods of birth control. For most, finding the right kind of birth control was a trial and error process, and I eagerly soaked the information up. As the stories continued to build, I realized that within the context of a Facebook message, I had probably gleaned more data on how birth control affects female runners than exists on the Internet to date. This information is too valuable not to share, so I’d like to reveal my findings to you.

The Pill
A very popular method of birth control among women today, the pill has both downsides and upsides regarding its affect on the runner’s body.

The Upside: Often, female runners over train to the the point that they experience amenorrhea, the loss of the menstrual cycle. The pill, especially a pill with a low hormonal dose like Levlen, can encourage the body’s period regulation, reducing the risk of osteoporosis later in life for runners who would otherwise lose their cycle. Even if the evidence of the cycle itself does not return, the calcium uptake in the bones is present while on the pill.

The Downside: For many runners, especially those looking to lose weight, the pill is notorious for both bloating and weight gain, leading to a decrease in athletic performance. Many of the women who had been on the pill also felt that it lessened their competitive edge, and several said that they just felt “off”.

Obviously, some women react more strongly than others to hormonal shifts in their bodies, and I gathered from the responses that if you are highly affected by the hormonal changes that your body experiences during the pre-menstrual phase (PMS), you will more likely be impacted by the hormones in the pill than someone who experiences no emotional or physical changes during the pre-menstrual phase.

Related: 10 Moments That Make Female Runners Cringe

The IUD
The IUD is placed inside the uterus and left there for a long span of time (5-10 years), preventing pregnancy with the use of hormones or copper coils.

The Upside: A copper IUD like Paragard (10 years) is hormone free and encourages period regularity without much risk of weight gain while the IUD Mirena (5 years) lessons period cramps and heavy flow, an enticing offer for the runner who risks the incident of a heavy period and cramps on race day.

The women who responded that they had been using the Paragard IUD said that they had noticed no changes in their training and that they would recommend it for anyone.

The Downside: The Paragard IUD includes heavy cramping and a heavier flow as very common side affects, and women who had used both IUDs expressed some discomfort during their runs in the days following its placement in the uterus.

Condoms
(The Diaphragm also falls under this category.)

The Upside: Condoms, being non-hormonal, have no effect whatsoever on the runner. One woman who responded is a two time Olympian. She stated that she, and most of the elite runners that she knew, used condoms because of the negative side affects that they had experienced while on the pill.

The Downside: From a running standpoint, none.

Natural family planning
(For those interested in this method, Toni Weschler’s Taking Charge of your Fertility outlines the parameters of Fertility Awareness.)

The Upside: Runners are often encouraged to ignore the signs of their bodies (pain, fatigue, etc…), and natural family planning that includes temperature, cervical fluid and cervical placement charting, encourages women to get in touch with their unique internal clock. Natural family planning relies on the use of contraceptives or abstinence during the ovulation phase of the cycle and thus, is as effective as the type of contraception used during the fertile phase. Of all types of birth control, Natural Family Planning seems to be the most conducive for an unaltered training regime and will in no way affect the natural cycle of the runner.

The Downside: Accurate base temperature charting in the Natural Family Planning method requires that one rises at the same time each morning, especially during the fertile phase, and this can be difficult when early morning races can throw the normal waking time off by several hours. Other than this minor detail, there are no downsides to the Natural Family Planning method.

The most important thing that this exchange taught me is how vital it is that we as female athletes share our experiences with each other. So go for a run with a girlfriend, talk about the things no one talks about, and enjoy the time on your feet, away from the internet.

None of the above information constitutes as medical advice. Consult your physician before considering any type of birth control method.

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These Pecan Bars Make A Heavenly Healthier Snack http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2015/07/nutrition/recipes/these-pecan-bars-make-a-heavenly-healthier-snack_43015 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2015/07/nutrition/recipes/these-pecan-bars-make-a-heavenly-healthier-snack_43015#comments Wed, 01 Jul 2015 22:41:04 +0000 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/?p=43015

These bars are an absolutely delicious treat. And surprise—they're vegan!

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pecan bars

Moving away from conventional dessert options laden with dairy and refined flour, these bars have developed a devout following among those aiming to phase out nutrient-devoid sweets and progress to healthier options.

Pecan Bars
Makes 15 squares

Crust
2 cups brown rice flour
⅓ cup dark brown sugar
1 tsp. sea salt
¼ tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. cinnamon
¾ cup Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Sticks

Pecan Topping
2 cups coarsely chopped pecans
1½ cups dark brown sugar
⅔ cup coconut nectar
3 Tbsp. cornstarch
2 Tbsp. Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Sticks
2 tsp. pure rum extract
¼ tsp. sea salt
⅓ cup unsweetened almond milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 13-by-9-inch cake pan with parchment paper, allowing a 2-inch overhang on two sides. For the crust, in a large bowl, stir together flour, brown sugar, salt, baking powder and cinnamon. Use a pastry cutter or 2 knives to cut in the butter until the mixture resembles fine crumbs. Pour the crumbs into the prepared cake pan and press down evenly and very firmly, making sure to press the crumbs all the way to the edges of the pan. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, until firm and very lightly browned. Let cool on a rack.

For the topping, spread pecans evenly over the crust. In a medium saucepan, heat brown sugar, coconut nectar, cornstarch, butter, rum extract and salt, stirring, until just bubbling. Remove from heat and stir in almond milk. Pour over pecans, making sure the topping is spread evenly. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until bubbly. Let cool on a rack, then refrigerate overnight. Remove from the pan and cut into 15 bars.

Related: A Plant-Based Reuben Sandwich As Delicious As The Original

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8 Snarky Race Signs Guaranteed to Make Runners Laugh http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2015/07/just-for-fun/8-snarky-race-signs-guaranteed-to-make-runners-laugh_43027 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2015/07/just-for-fun/8-snarky-race-signs-guaranteed-to-make-runners-laugh_43027#comments Wed, 01 Jul 2015 22:28:23 +0000 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/?p=43027

Sometimes you want your race signs to reflect a little bit of sass.

The post 8 Snarky Race Signs Guaranteed to Make Runners Laugh appeared first on Women's Running.

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For most of us, the amazing support of a crowd and their inspirational signs are a huge source of motivation during a race. However in the middle of a tough race, sometimes you just need to look at a funny sign and have a good laugh. Here are some race signs best held with a little snark. Print them up for the next time you are feeling feisty while cheering. Signs created by Jené Shaw.

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]]> http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2015/07/just-for-fun/8-snarky-race-signs-guaranteed-to-make-runners-laugh_43027/feed 0 Crap! Thousands Become Ill After Mud Run http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2015/07/news/crap-thousands-become-ill-after-mud-run_43060 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2015/07/news/crap-thousands-become-ill-after-mud-run_43060#comments Wed, 01 Jul 2015 20:38:09 +0000 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/?p=43060

The fun day of mud festivities left many runners violently ill.

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There are certainly a few things to worry about before a mud run: tough obstacles, treacherous miles, and of course, mud up to your eyeballs. For runners at one event, something even worse was added to the list: norovirus.

More than 8,400 participated in the Mud Day festivities in Nice on the Côte D’Azur in France on Saturday. Now more than 1,000 of the runners have reported becoming violently ill after the event. The cause of the gastrointestinal illness seems to be in the mud. Runners who ingested muddy water during the race have come down with unpleasant symptoms, including upset stomach and diarrhea.

Related: 5 Mud Runs For Women (That Might Be Cleaner)

The race organizer’s Facebook page has been flooded with complaints. One runner even noted that there was a smell of horse manure along the course.

So next time you’re thinking of jumping into the mud pit at a race, remember to cover your mouth and hold your breath!

The post Crap! Thousands Become Ill After Mud Run appeared first on Women's Running.

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71-Year-Old Is Oldest Woman To Finish 100-Mile Race http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2015/07/inspiration/71-year-old-is-oldest-woman-to-finish-100-mile-race_43053 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2015/07/inspiration/71-year-old-is-oldest-woman-to-finish-100-mile-race_43053#comments Wed, 01 Jul 2015 18:42:03 +0000 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/?p=43053

An incredible runner beats the 100-mile cut-off time by 6 seconds—and is greeted with a roaring crowd!

The post 71-Year-Old Is Oldest Woman To Finish 100-Mile Race appeared first on Women's Running.

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Video: Youtube/UltraRunning Magazine

If you were moved by Harriette Thompson‘s story in May, this woman will bring you to tears.

When it was all over, Gunhild Swanson collapsed to her knees and cried. More than a day earlier, Swanson, a runner from Spokane, WA, embarked on a historic journey: to become the first female runner over 70 years old to finish the grueling 100-mile Western States trail race.

This would be no easy feat. Western States is the oldest 100-mile race in the U.S and arguably the most prestigious. In a typical year, 30% of racers do not finish but are admired for the attempt. To run Western States is a bit misleading. Much of the trail that spans Squaw Valley to Auburn, Calif., is mountainous, rough and unforgiving.  To complete the course, racers must hike steep and rocky trails, swim through raging rivers and battle blistering 90-degree heat, all while competing with dizzying elevation changes and a ticking 30-hour cut-off clock.

Swanson began running in 1978 as a means to stay fit. Now, decades later, she has completed more than 250 marathons and 50 ultra-marathons (or footraces of more than 26.2 miles) and she travels the country to race and explore new trails. Several years ago, Swanson’s running partner, travel companion and husband, Jack, died of leukemia. Running helps her to cope with the loss and provides a crucial support group.

To prepare for Western States, Swanson trained vigorously. She logged 100+ miles per week in the trails of Spokane Valley, Wash., for the past 6 months and has kept careful watch of her diet. On Saturday, June 27—race day—Swanson was excited. She had traveled from Spokane to Squaw Valley, and she was about to do what she loves the most: run trails. Many friends, new and old, were there to cheer her on, including her son and grandson. She dreamed of finishing under 28 hours but would be satisfied completing it in less than 30 hours, the course cut-off.

Related: 11 Things Only Trail Runners Understand

However, the race didn’t go as planned. Though she had a strong start and was mostly on pace, at the 88 mile-mark, she and a pacer followed a group of runners up a steep climb. Once reaching the peak, she realized they had run a mile and a half in the wrong direction. The dream race was turning into a nightmare. Now, what would have been a close finish seemed destined for the dreaded DNF.

Discouraged but not defeated, she returned down the mountain and got back on course. A new pacer tagged in and told her, “We got this.” Swanson gutted out the next several miles, desperate to get back on pace.

When she arrived to the final aid station with just over a mile to go, a dozen friends, supporters and racers joined to cheer her to the finish. By now, she had made up some lost time but would still need to finish the final 1.3 miles in 16 minutes in order to beat the cut-off.  16 minutes may sound like a lot of time for 1.3 miles, but fatigue, climbing and rough terrain add up to a slow finish for most Western States racers, including the 41-year-old women’s winner, Magda Boulet, who finished this stretch in roughly 16 minutes more than 10 hours earlier.

Despite the mounting odds against Swanson, the supporters cheered. Rob Krar, the men’s winner, ran alongside her in sandals, shouting words of encouragement. Cut-off be damned, Swanson was finishing this race. Soon, more fans, race organizers, and racers caught wind of Swanson’s determined effort. Many had sacrificed the last two days for the race, yet stayed to see it through. They were exhausted but had one final runner to cheer home.

As Swanson arrived to the Placer High School track to complete the final 300 meters, the pack of runners around Swanson swelled, screaming for her to run faster and harder. Then, something amazing happened: Swanson ran. She ran faster and harder than she had run all race. But with 90 seconds on the clock and 300 meters to go, time was running out.

As Swanson rounded the final turn, the crowd reached a fever pitch, screaming deliriously for her to keep pushing. Swanson bore down and limped to the finish with everything she had. As she crossed the finish line, Swanson looked up at the clock: 29 hours, 59 minutes, and 54 seconds. She beat the 30 hour cut-off by a mere six seconds. Six seconds, after 100—really, 103—miles and more than a full day of running.

Panting, Swanson looked around the stadium at the hundreds, perhaps thousands, of supporters screaming for her.

“That was unbelievable,” she said, and collapsed to her knees in exhaustion.

Immediately a mob of euphoric fans swallowed her.  The cheering was so loud that she couldn’t think straight, so she smiled and hugged, unsure how else to make sense of this scene. Though Swanson’s dream of finishing the race in less than 28 hours didn’t come true, something far better did—a finish for the ages.

Niall Kavanagh is a clinical researcher and writer in the San Francisco Bay Area.

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This High School Runner Just Set A Very Fast National Record http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2015/07/news/this-high-school-runner-just-set-a-very-fast-national-record_42985 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2015/07/news/this-high-school-runner-just-set-a-very-fast-national-record_42985#comments Wed, 01 Jul 2015 17:14:54 +0000 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/?p=42985

A sophomore just ran the 100 meters—in under 10 seconds!

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Last month at the Brooks PR Invite in Seattle, Rockdale County, Ga., sophomore Candace Hill became the first high-school girl to run the 100 meters in less than 11 seconds! (For comparison, the American and world record in the distance is 10.49.) “That’s one of my goals for junior year or senior year, not in my sophomore year!” says Hill after her race. “It’s really, really, really amazing.” The track meet, held every year in June, invites top-notch high school standouts from all over the country to compete against the nation’s best young runners—and Candace is definitely one of them. Check out her post-race interview, courtesy of Flotrack, who broadcasted the entire meet.

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How To Cope When Your Running Buddy Leaves http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2015/07/eat-pray-run-dc/how-to-cope-when-your-running-buddy-leaves_43003 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2015/07/eat-pray-run-dc/how-to-cope-when-your-running-buddy-leaves_43003#comments Wed, 01 Jul 2015 17:13:35 +0000 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/?p=43003

How to keep yourself busy when your running buddy moves away.

The post How To Cope When Your Running Buddy Leaves appeared first on Women's Running.

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2015-06-20 08.39.33

About a month ago, I wrote about one of my closest friends and my regular running buddy moving away. She recently left the Nation’s Capitol to move down south. I was really nervous about how my running would be affected when I no longer had her to meet at zero dark thirty. I have serious motivation issues in the morning if I’m not meeting someone and was really nervous. I am hoping for a pretty big PR this fall in the marathon and really can’t afford to blow off (much) training. As it turns out, while I’m still really missing my friend, I’m doing okay in the run department.

What has helped me not just sit around and miss my buddy are a few small things. First I’ve been doing my long runs with a group. I started running with the group a few weeks before my friend left so it was already a well established habit. This continuity has helped motivate me during the week.

The second thing that has kept me going is the fact that I’m in the middle of a run streak. Running daily has helped me from slipping into the “I don’t wanna run” mode. It’s kept me moving, which somehow also helps my motivation. I can’t truly explain it but running every day makes me want to make sure I’m getting in my speed work/hill work and tempo runs.

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Finally doing some summer racing has been a fun way to get in my miles. I ran a (terribly humid) 5k last weekend, which I used as my speed work for the week. I got to spend time with my friends, drink wine after (best race ever!) and get my run done at the same time. I also took advantage of a package deal offered by a local running store here in DC and registered for three races for the price of two. Having those shorter races on my calendar helps me keep motivated and allows me to switch things up. It’s also fun, especially because I’m not really focusing on pace in this DC summer weather.

So while I still wish my main run buddy was just a mile away, I’ve found that keeping myself running is really just as simple as getting out the door.

The post How To Cope When Your Running Buddy Leaves appeared first on Women's Running.

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