Women's Running http://womensrunning.competitor.com Women's Running Magazine Fri, 30 Jan 2015 20:36:22 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0.1 9 Runtastic Things From My First Marathon http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2015/01/shoes-gear/9-runtastic-things-first-marathon_34872 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2015/01/shoes-gear/9-runtastic-things-first-marathon_34872#comments Fri, 30 Jan 2015 20:36:22 +0000 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/?p=34872

Editor Caitlyn Pilkington gathered all of the gear and nutrition that got her to the finish line of her first marathon.

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For this week’s runtastic round-up, editor Caitlyn Pilkington gathered all of the gear and nutrition that got her to the finish line of her first marathon. Some pieces are new and some have years of experience on them. For discontinued items, there’s always a newer, better option to drool over!

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Photo: James Farrell

Find out which new running shoes were our favs!

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Photo: James Farrell


What’s in vogue for running shoes has seen some pretty extreme shifts over the last few seasons. First there was the barefoot movement (Remember when everyone was striding around in toe shoes?), then there was the maximalist trend (the kicks with soles thicker than two slices of Texas toast).

What we’re seeing now is the market settling back on a new normal. Brands are taking the best from past trends to create hybrid models—supportive stability shoes that look like lightweight trainers or racing flats with loads of pillowy cushioning. With so many available combos, you are able to find a kick that fits your foot, your stride and your style. We tested dozens of models before narrowing our selection to these winners and have no doubt this crop includes your Cind-run-ella slipper.

Related: Summer Sole Mate Awards

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Mile Posts: When Running Tries To Break Your Spirit http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2015/01/mile-posts/mile-posts-running-tries-break-spirit_34928 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2015/01/mile-posts/mile-posts-running-tries-break-spirit_34928#comments Fri, 30 Jan 2015 15:51:52 +0000 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/?p=34928

When running tries to break you, the best thing to do is lace up and get out there again.

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Two Saturday’s ago, I set out for my first outdoor run in what felt like weeks (because it had been weeks). I don’t enjoy cold weather and wasn’t in the mood to be chilly, but knew I had better get back into the outdoor running groove sooner rather than later. The Boston Marathon is less than 100 days away. I’d like to feel good when I cross the finish line this year.

5 easy miles were on schedule for the day.

Mile 1: Wow that didn’t feel like I was running that fast (even though it was about a minute faster than I should have been running). I think I’m just cold and want this over with. Must slow down.

Mile 2: Okay better pace, but still why are you running in the 7’s. Maybe you are just happy to be getting some fresh air. Let’s run 6 miles instead of 5.

Mile 3: Ok not going to fight it. This pace just feels good today. (This mile was faster than mile 1 and 2.)

Until the pace didn’t feel good and neither did I.

Mile 4: Ok a minute slower is good. Now you are back in your easy training run zone. You will be fine. It’s just a momentary thing and it will pass.

Halfway through mile 5 I had to stop. I felt like I was going to be sick. What on earth?! I felt frustrated with how my body felt. As I sat on the ground on the side of the trail my GPS flashed “Poor recovery. Poor recovery.” I felt rage surface. Thanks watch! I know it’s a poor recovery captain obvious. After a break, I decided I needed to make my way back home, even if I ended up walking. I was already getting cold, so I started to run. Uhhhh no said my body. Emergency bathroom break ensued.

Wow – this run has gone from good, to bad, to worse. Just get me home.

I’d be lying if I said the run wasn’t discouraging, because it was.

Sunday I woke up ready to start over. I met my mom and some of her friends for my long run. On the way there, it started to pour. Great I thought— cold and rainy. Quickly I tried to turn my attitude around. I needed to finish this run. I had company and we would all suffer together. Pointing out the negatives and dwelling on them wasn’t going to do anything to help me finish.

The paths we were running on had large puddles and chunks of ice. The run felt more like an obstacle course than a paved trail through a park.

Somewhere around mile 6, I slipped on ice and fell badly. It hurt from the moment I fell but I wanted to get moving immediately. I didn’t want to think about the pain, or the bruise I could already feel. I just wanted the 14 miles to be over.

I finished and felt a little discouraged. It wasn’t my weekend as far runs went.

The more I analyzed the runs though, the less I felt weak.

I completed both of them and ran a decent for me pace. Both runs tried as they may to break my spirit, but they didn’t

 

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Fantastic Super Bowl Snacks http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2015/01/nutrition/recipes/fantastic-super-bowl-snacks_34914 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2015/01/nutrition/recipes/fantastic-super-bowl-snacks_34914#comments Fri, 30 Jan 2015 01:50:59 +0000 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/?p=34914

Photo by The Lean Green Bean

Food is just as important as football on Super Bowl Sunday. Try these fan friendly recipes!

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Photo by The Lean Green Bean


Food is just as important as football on Super Bowl Sunday. If you’re planning a party or cooking for a potluck, there are ways to make sneak some health conscious ingredients into great snacks and appetizers. We’re not saying to skip all of the delicious party dishes. But you can add a few nutritious alternatives on to the menu. And trust us- they will be so delicious that no one will know they are healthier.

Lindsay, a registered dietician and runner who shares her recipes on The Lean Green Bean, has tons of football friendly appetizer ideas. Her Enchilada Cups are a fun alternative to nachos and a lot less messy to eat. Jalapeno Cheddar Sweet Potato Puffs make a great, spicy handheld snack. Feta Dip may sound decadent, but combining the cheese with Greek yogurt and beans helps create a healthy balance.

Another Super Bowl favorite is chicken wings. Baked chicken wings, such as this recipe from I Am A Food Blog, taste just as great as the original without the hassle and unhealthiness of frying.

Meatballs can definitely fit into a runner’s diet as well, especially when using 96% lean ground pork. This meatball recipe from the Racing Weight Cookbook is great for athletes but sure to please a crowd who may enjoy watching them more.

Instead of ordering for delivery, you can easily make your own pizza dough. Try one of our pizza recipes, cut them in bite-sized pieces, and watch them be devoured.

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Outdoor/Indoor Workout Swaps: Intervals to Form Drills http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2015/01/training-tips/outdoorindoor-workout-swaps-intervals-form-drills_34902 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2015/01/training-tips/outdoorindoor-workout-swaps-intervals-form-drills_34902#comments Thu, 29 Jan 2015 17:02:07 +0000 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/?p=34902

If intervals are impossible to run in winter weather, try these form drills.

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So your training plan says you have an interval workout today. But what if the local track is covered in snow or a trip to the gym to run on the treadmill is not an option? It’s time to swap your outdoor repeats for a heart pumping indoor session.

Try this form drill circuit to replicate the feeling of running intervals.
For other Indoor/Outdoor Workout Swaps, try these Plyometric moves that mimic hill repeats!

Outside: High-Intensity Intervals
Inside: Form Drills

THE RUN
Track work, or high-intensity intervals, includes short bursts of speed. This is a runner’s workout gem for getting more speedy.

THE SWAP
It’s tough to replicate the aerobic intensity of a track workout indoors—but you can still focus on another way of lowering your race times with form drills!

You need…
Your runner self!

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Eat Pray Run DC: Tracking The Miles http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2015/01/eat-pray-run-dc/eat-pray-run-dc-tracking-miles_34897 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2015/01/eat-pray-run-dc/eat-pray-run-dc-tracking-miles_34897#comments Thu, 29 Jan 2015 13:59:58 +0000 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/?p=34897

Do you track your miles? Courtney decided to start keeping tabs on her workouts.

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One of my running goals this year is to be intentional about tracking my miles. It is something I’ve always aspired to do but never actually been purposeful about completing. I sometimes would sync my Garmin to my computer (mostly just to charge it) and look at miles accumulated, but never in any kind of formalized or planned manner. It’s kind of funny to me because I love statistics but never really cared about how many miles I was or wasn’t running in any given time period.

However, I’ve decided that this year, I want to track not just my miles but my workouts in general. I want to be able to look back and see what was going on in my life, how my workouts matched up, and track any growth. A small part of this decision was finally buying a training journal (the Believe I Am journal, in case you’re curious). I am now tracking each week by notating the workout, how I felt, what external factors I was dealing with, what I’m planning on doing next and more. I love it. I’m not quite sure why, but it just feels really empowering to have this record of everything that is happening with my fitness.

There’s also a practical side to tracking my miles. I would always change out my running shoes based on when my feet started to hurt. Now because I’m tracking my miles and my workouts, I will know exactly when it’s about time to change up shoes. I also will have a record of what workouts have corresponded with race results. I can clearly link my speed work (or lack thereof) to my race times and see if all that cross training really is working to make me faster. I think that in the past I’ve made a lot of assumptions that weren’t necessarily based in fact. Keeping track of all of my workouts will fix this!

I truly think that by tracking what I’m doing and how I’m feeling each week, I can have a great foundation to set and achieve some awesome goals this year. By really truly being able to look at my running base, I’ll be able to make some smart decisions about goals for my “A” races this year. And that is exciting and just a little bit scary.

Do you track your miles? Why or why not? Tweet @eatprayrundc and @womensrunning to let us know!

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For Two Fitness Celebrates Active Pregnancies http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2015/01/shoes-gear/two-fitness-celebrates-active-pregnancies_34871 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2015/01/shoes-gear/two-fitness-celebrates-active-pregnancies_34871#comments Wed, 28 Jan 2015 22:00:48 +0000 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/?p=34871

Finding workout apparel that lasts for an entire pregnancy is possible!

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When expecting a child, it can be hard to find workout clothing that fits a constantly changing body. It can be even tougher to find fitness apparel that also celebrates your pregnancy. Thankfully For Two Fitness provides activewear dedicated to women who choose to make running and fitness part of their pregnancy.

All of the apparel made by For Two Fitness is designed to last throughout an entire pregnancy. Their tops come in a variety of colors and are adorned with phrases such as “Running For Two.” They feature CoreFX™ technology, developed to specifically meet the needs of pregnant women who want to enjoy an active pregnancy.

Their bottoms come with a 3-way belly panel to provide a customizable fit. But the best thing of all is that the capris, pants, and shorts stay in place — no riding down worries during workouts!

Take a look at some of our favorite styles in the gallery above!

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]]> http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2015/01/shoes-gear/two-fitness-celebrates-active-pregnancies_34871/feed 0 We Asked, You Answered: Running Shoes http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2015/01/just-for-fun/asked-answered-running-shoes_34867 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2015/01/just-for-fun/asked-answered-running-shoes_34867#comments Wed, 28 Jan 2015 19:49:26 +0000 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/?p=34867

You answered all of our questions about your running shoes!

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How sick is your shoe game? We asked, you answered about your running footwear.

0.5 inches is the space you want between your toes and the front of your shoe for an optimal fit.

0mm to 14mm is the “drop” in a shoe. This refers to the difference from heel stack height to forefoot stack height. Almost all running shoes fall  into this millimeter range.

The average shoe size of women in the U.S. is 8.5.

46.25 million pairs of running shoes were sold in the U.S. last year.

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New Shoe: Adidas Ultra Boost http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2015/01/shoes-gear/new-shoe-adidas-ultra-boost_34863 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2015/01/shoes-gear/new-shoe-adidas-ultra-boost_34863#comments Wed, 28 Jan 2015 17:06:08 +0000 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/?p=34863

Is this the best running shoe ever? At least that's what Adidas claims.

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THE BEST RUNNING SHOE EVER

…at least that’s the claim of Adidas’s latest model, the Ultra Boost, which launched this week.

On Thursday, in lower Manhattan, hundreds of journalists from around the globe packed around a caution tape-lined runway at an Adidas press event. The lights went low, the smoke machines fired, music pumped from hidden speakers. So what was the big reveal?

Adidas launched what the company believes is the “greatest running shoe ever.” The show’s star: the Ultra Boost, retails for $180 and will be available to consumers on February 11. Is it best shoe ever? Too soon to tell. But after a preliminary wear test, we found them to be exceptionally comfortable. See what makes the Ultra Boost special, and decide for yourself whether this kick deserves to be king of the laces:

Foam Story

Adidas’s patented Boost foam marries the soft feel of a cushioned shoe without the smoosh-effect that slows your gate. The sole material is so responsive that a metal ball dropped on its surface bounces twice as high as it would on EVA. In fact, in a study performed by the University of Calgary, participants were able to decrease oxygen consumption by 1 percent when wearing Boost.

Released previously in the first iteration of the Boost this model includes 30% more of the good stuff.

Sock Feel

The prime knit material hugs the foot. The tongue-less fit makes the model a little tricky to get on, but when you slip your foot inside, it feels cradled rather than laced-in. The stretch of the knit also allows for the natural expansion and movement of the toes and Achilles upon foot strike, thereby making landing more comfortable and potentially reducing risk of injury.

Cool Look

While the shoe has only been released in the black-navy colorway, more shades are on their way. We love the medal detailing on the heel cup and the lace tips. Fresh.

Drawbacks

Even with the brand’s promise that the shoes will last—a $180 price tag is a tough pill to swallow. And some runners won’t be into the 10 mm drop. But still, we think these kicks are worth a wear test to see if your feet feel the Ultra Boost live up to the hype!

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Marathon Maniac: A Formal Apology http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2015/01/inspiration/marathon-maniac-formal-apology_34859 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2015/01/inspiration/marathon-maniac-formal-apology_34859#comments Wed, 28 Jan 2015 14:12:53 +0000 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/?p=34859

Oh, so running is good for you? It took our Marathon Maniac way too long to reach this obvious epiphany.

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formal apology marathon maniac

When I started running, I had two motivations: to distract myself from the bad things happening in my life and to lose weight. Whether it was immaturity, obtuseness or both, it never occurred to me that running could be more important to my life than that. Although I’ve learned to love the sport for many more reasons, until recently, those two benefits remained my only motivation for lacing up.

Anyone who has met me for more than five minutes will tell you that I’m not exactly a picture of good health. I have a wide range of afflictions, ranging from gastrointestinal disorders to chronic back problems and many annoying things in between. People have asked how (or why) I keep running with all of these issues. I’ve always answered that it’s because I love to run. And most of the time, except during the summer, when I’m sweating so much that my socks are squishing in my shoes, I do truly enjoy the sport. But deep down, I always feared what would happen if I stopped. Depression? Weight gain? Who knows?

Perhaps because there has been so much attention from the non-runners in my life about all the bad things running might be doing to my body (“It makes your stomach issues worse!” “Marathons can’t be good for your back!”), I’ve never spent much time thinking about the good things running has done for me outside of the aforementioned benefits of stress reduction and weight loss.

I’d like to issue a formal apology to running, because it has done much more for me than that. Running has helped me to recover from two fairly serious surgeries in the span of one year at a faster rate than any doctor thought possible. Imagine that—running is good for me. It does more than just help me feel more confident in a bathing suit! It sounds ridiculous, but it is true: I had never thought about running that way before. Now, I’m running (and strength training and cycling and kayaking and whatever else I find interesting that day) because I want my body to be able to handle whatever is thrown at it. I’m changing up my training because I want my mind to be able to handle whatever comes my way.

It’s a powerful thing when you start thinking about what your body can do—recover from surgery, carry a baby or carry itself 26.2 miles—instead of what it can’t—like fitting into the next smaller size or dealing flawlessly with stress. Maybe we should all be giving ourselves (and running) a little more credit—I know I should.

Why I Run

When I need extra motivation, sometimes it helps to embrace the little things. Here’s what’s currently keeping me going…

1. I just downloaded the new Taylor Swift song and want an excuse to listen to it on repeat.

2. I have to justify the three new pairs of running shorts I bought last weekend.

3. I might forget to shower if I don’t have a sweaty workout to remind me.

4. What will my family, friends, co-workers, mailman and pet sitter worry about if not the health of my knees?

Danielle Hastings lives in South Carolina with her Rottweiler, Rocket. When she’s not running, Danielle blogs at trexrunner.com.

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Treadmill Tips and Workouts http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2015/01/training-tips/treadmill-tips-workouts_34854 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2015/01/training-tips/treadmill-tips-workouts_34854#comments Tue, 27 Jan 2015 22:00:46 +0000 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/?p=34854

A round up of our best treadmill workouts and advice!

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Sometimes you can’t fight it. There are just some days where you must embrace and conquer a treadmill. Don’t dread the ‘mill though! With the right preparation, a great workout, some music and a Netflix account, you may actually love your indoor workout days.

Before you hit the ‘mill

Outdoor vs. Indoor Running: Find out the three ways that running on a treadmill differs from running outdoors.

Tips for Treadmill Running: From form to gear, these tips will ensure you are ready to rock any treadmill workout.

Treadmill Tips: Janae of Hungry Runner Girl shares how she prepares for longer runs. Distractions are a must!

Treadmill Etiquette: If you’re running on a gym treadmill, a little consideration goes a long way.

Treadmill Workouts

Boredom Busting Treadmill Workouts: These 5 workouts will spice up your winter training. You can choose intervals, hills, ladders, threshold, or tempo runs.

Treadmill Workouts: Michele from NYC Running Mama shares 4 workouts that have tons of variation. You’re run will be done before you know it.

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2 Reasons to Make Smoothie Freezer Packs http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2015/01/nutrition/recipes/2-reasons-make-smoothie-freezer-packs_34851 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2015/01/nutrition/recipes/2-reasons-make-smoothie-freezer-packs_34851#comments Tue, 27 Jan 2015 20:00:35 +0000 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/?p=34851

Get your smoothies prepared for the entire week with these easy freezer packs!

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*Content courtesy of POPSUGAR Fitness

You want a healthy breakfast, but you also want it to be fast and simple. Smoothies are a great option over a quick bowl of cereal, especially if you use frozen fruit and boxed or bagged prewashed spinach. But if you’re into switching up your greens and using other fruit such as pears and avocado that you can’t find in the freezer section, then making a smoothie in the a.m. could turn into a 15-minute production.

Check out this time-saver: Prep all the fruit and greens you use in your smoothies, and freeze individual serving sizes in quart-sized freezer bags (glass mason jars work well, too). Note any ingredients that need to be added to the blender, and your smoothie is as good as done.

Here’s an example that includes:

1 cup kale: 33 calories
1 cup spinach: 7 calories
1 banana: 105 calories
6 strawberries: 23 calories
1/2 cup blueberries: 42 calories
1/2 cup mango: 50 calories

Add to the blender:
3 oz. vanilla Greek yogurt: 65 calories
1/2 scoop vanilla protein powder: 45 calories
1 cup water: 0 calories

Total calories: 370

Want to know what produce freezes well? Check out this handy guide to freezing fruits and veggies that’s actually designed for those making their own baby food. As far as yogurt is concerned, freezing could destroy some of its billions of beneficial cultures, so you’re better off adding it to the blender prior to making your smoothie. Nut butters as well as dry oats and seeds such as flax or chia freeze well, but they can also be quickly added to the blender when you’re ready to make your smoothie.

You can prep a whole week’s worth on Sunday night so a nutritious fiber- and protein-packed breakfast is just minutes away. It’s a great way to not only ensure a healthy start to your day, but you’ll save money since you can buy greens and fruit in bulk and won’t have to worry about them spoiling by the end of the week. Aim to use your smoothie freezer bags within a few weeks to avoid freezer burn.

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Outdoor/Indoor Workout Swaps: Hill Repeats to Pylometrics http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2015/01/training-tips/outdoorindoor-workout-swaps-hill-repeats-pylometrics_34843 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2015/01/training-tips/outdoorindoor-workout-swaps-hill-repeats-pylometrics_34843#comments Tue, 27 Jan 2015 16:37:57 +0000 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/?p=34843

When the weather turns frightful, get creative with your sweat sesh. Jumps can help simulate hills!

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What is your definition of perfect running weather? A cool spring morning with fresh air from a recent rainfall? A warm summer evening? A crisp autumn a.m.? One thing is certain: It is most likely not a gloomy winter day with a chance of the white stuff. Cold temps call less for outdoor run gear and more for indoor blankets and warm bevvies.

However, there are other indoor options to get your sweat on besides the dreaded treadmill. Try this workout to replicate the feeling of running hills.

Outside: Hill Repetitions
Inside: Pylometrics

THE RUN
Hill repetitions are a great way to add power to your stride. A typical session comprises 8 to 10 short runs up a hill, followed by a 2-minute recovery jog, all sandwiched between a warm-up and a cool-down.

Related: Tips for Treadmill Running

THE SWAP
Jumping exercises, or plyometrics, make the legs more powerful—much the same as hill sprints do. A 2014 study by Chilean researchers found that experienced runners who added plyometrics to their training program for six weeks improved their race times by almost 4 percent. Plus they are fun!

You need…
An aerobic step or other platform that is 12 to 18 inches high and about a foot wide. If you’re getting crafty, use a step on your staircase or a soup can for the side hurdle.

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Hungry Running Girl: Dealing with Race Day Nerves http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2015/01/hungry-runner-girl/hungry-running-girl-dealing-race-day-nerves_34838 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2015/01/hungry-runner-girl/hungry-running-girl-dealing-race-day-nerves_34838#comments Tue, 27 Jan 2015 14:26:38 +0000 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/?p=34838

Race day nerves are normal, but don't let them impact your race!

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janae race day nerves

I don’t know about you, but I have had my fair share of race-day nerves over the years. I absolutely love races. But I do tend to get nervous and doubt myself in the days leading up to the race.

Here are a few things that I do to help with the anxiety that may come along with a race.

The more races that I run, the less I deal with stress and anxiety. With each race that I run, I learn more about what works for me and how to execute a plan. With each race experience, the less I end up worrying about it. We learn with each race that we are capable of so much. That helps us in the future to doubt ourselves less and less!

Be prepared! I love to organize EVERYTHING that I know I will need for my race at least a few days before. This helps to relieve some of the stress because I love knowing that my gear/fuel/clothing is all ready to go. By being prepared in advance, I can double or even triple check that I am not forgetting anything. That helps me big time with some of my race nerves!

Look over your training journal (or make sure to have one of these in the first place). During race week, look over your previous workouts and long runs that you did over the last few months. This always helps me to build confidence in myself because I remember the tough workouts that I pushed through. It helps me to realize I am going to be just fine on race day!

Let go of the things that you can’t control! There is nothing that you can do about the weather, the start time of the race or if the route is changed last minute. Prepare for things as much as possible. But some things we have no control over and we just have to roll with the punches.

Work on your mental game! We tend to forget about how much of racing and running is mental. If you are positive with yourself and expect great things versus being negative about your running abilities, you are much more likely to succeed! My personal records always happen after a week of being my own biggest cheerleader and visualizing myself doing well in the race. I recommend Mind Gym to help you with your mental game!

Remember that your friends and family will love you no matter what happens during your race. If you don’t reach your goals or you have a bad day, it is okay! The people in your life that care about you will love you and cheer you on no matter what the time on the clock says.

A little bit of anxiety and nervousness can be good for your performance. Some extra adrenaline floating through your bloodstream may help to push you to do awesome during your race! Use the race day nerves to your advantage.

Do races psych you out? What do you do to deal with race-day nerves? Tweet @hungryrunnergrl and @womensrunning to let us know!

 

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The Basics of Foam Rolling http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2015/01/health-wellness/basics-foam-rolling_34822 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2015/01/health-wellness/basics-foam-rolling_34822#comments Mon, 26 Jan 2015 20:20:58 +0000 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/?p=34822

Add some post-run foam fun to your recovery regimen to keep muscles happy and firing on all cylinders.

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You may have heard of foam rolling—you might even own one of the tube-shaped torture devices—but even then, the questions remain: How long should you roll for? What areas? Where do you start? What does a foam roller even do?

Self-myofascial release, otherwise known as self-massage, is a key component of a runner’s well-rounded recovery routine. It tackles tight muscles and works to increase mobility, flexibility and all-around effectiveness during training.

“If you want to run well, you need to do mobility exercises,” says physical therapist Bryan Hill, co-owner and CEO of Rehab United in San  Diego. “Foam rolling is used by many practitioners for that purpose.”

While there are plenty of massage tools avail-able for post-run indulgence—even tennis balls can do the trick!—a good foam roller is tough enough to dig up the right amount of oomph and effective enough that runners are willing to cringe and roll simultaneously, over and over again. (Don’t worry—it’s never as painful the second time!) Hill recommends five key areas to target when working out kinks.

Related: Tips for Managing Shin Splints

Rules of the Roll
It doesn’t hurt to practice muscle mobility exercises daily, but Hill definitely recommends giving your muscles some extra love after major runs or workouts. Focus on each target area for at least 1 minute (and up to 10 minutes), moving slowly through the motions until you soak up the benefits of sweet release. If you’re a first-timer, pain is still beauty—the more you practice, the less you will cringe in pain as your body adapts to its new form of recovery.

Extra Credit
Need some added release? When you feel a tight spot, pause with your weight resting on that spot until you feel a release. To target pressure on your legs, try flexing your foot and rotating your ankle in circles.

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Reader Run Brag Gallery 1/26/15 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2015/01/just-for-fun/reader-run-brag-gallery-12615_34768 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2015/01/just-for-fun/reader-run-brag-gallery-12615_34768#comments Mon, 26 Jan 2015 17:51:09 +0000 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/?p=34768

Let's give a few cheers to our readers who 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/2015/01/just-for-fun/reader-run-brag-gallery-12615_34768/feed 0 NYC Running Mama: Getting Through Speedwork http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2015/01/nyc-running-mama/nyc-running-mama-getting-speedwork_34764 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2015/01/nyc-running-mama/nyc-running-mama-getting-speedwork_34764#comments Mon, 26 Jan 2015 14:12:24 +0000 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/?p=34764

Michele shares some mental tips she uses to stay strong during speedwork.

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Speedwork

I have a love-hate relationship with speedwork. Intervals, tempos, tempo intervals – it doesn’t matter what the workout is, I most often loathe them while knee-deep in the middle. But I love them almost immediately after I am finished. I I love them exponentially more when I start to feel their benefits in the weeks after and then (hopefully) on race day.

Speedwork is hard. There’s no way to sugar coat it. For speedwork to be effective, you have to push yourself to the point of being uncomfortable. And then push a bit more. It doesn’t matter if you run 15:00 min/miles or 5:00 min/miles – speedwork is hard and it hurts. But it makes us faster and stronger runners. Therefore, the pain is worth it.

I always get a bit anxious the day before (and especially in the hours before) a speed session. Knowing that I’m going to push my body close to its limit makes me nervous and scared. Physically, I know my body can do it. Maybe I won’t hit the exact paces I was hoping for, but at least come close and complete the workout.

It’s the mental aspect I’ve always struggled with. I’ve had my fair share of speed workouts where I’ve straight up quit in the middle because mentally, I gave up.

I’m working on my mental strength this training cycle. These are some things I have been keeping in mind to help me get through the tough speed workouts where I want to quit:

  • This will pay off on race day. I visualize myself in the last few miles of the race. I picture the finish line and I dream of that PR I’m after. The more it hurts now, the less it will hurt on race day.
  • You can do anything for 2 minutes. I do this for longer tempo runs where I have to run hard for 25+ minutes. Instead of thinking of the total number of miles, I’ll break it up into quarter mile segments and tell myself to just get through those two minutes.
  • Don’t think about how many more sets (or minutes) you have left. One of my workouts last fall was 12 repeats of 600 meters. 12 repeats can seem daunting when you are only 1 or 2 into the workout. Focus on the set you’re in. Only think about getting to that next recovery period before thinking about the next repeat.
  • You’ll regret it for the rest of the day/week if you stop. Take it from me. Giving up during a workout will stay with you for longer than a few hours. I don’t ever want to show up to a start line and feel like I could have done more to be more prepared.
  • It’s Supposed to Hurt. It’s speedwork – it’s not supposed to be easy. Easy days are supposed to be easy. Today is not an easy day. Today is supposed to be when you work as hard as you can.
  • Female Runners I Admire. Whether it’s a friend, a female runner you follow on social media or an elite runner you look up to, think about that runner who works hard and constantly pushes herself to improve. I started doing this a few weeks ago and found that when I got tired, it was comforting and inspiring for me to think of a few females who work their butts off to get faster and stronger.

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5 Mental Tips To Run Your Best Marathon http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2015/01/mile-posts/5-mental-tips-run-best-marathon_34756 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2015/01/mile-posts/5-mental-tips-run-best-marathon_34756#comments Fri, 23 Jan 2015 19:01:52 +0000 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/?p=34756

Dorothy shares 5 important ways to focus your mind during 26.2.

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Break Your Spirit 1

I believe in the power of the mind. The marathon can be one long mind game. You have to put in the work, do the training, and plan for the day. Having a strong mind when your body starts to feel weak can benefit you greatly as you run your way through 26.2 miles.  Make your mind run your body.

Here are 5 mind tricks that help me during the marathon:

  • Patience. Repeat this word over and over to yourself in the beginning miles. Your mind needs to control your legs. Don’t let adrenaline or the crowds get the best of you. A marathon is not won in the first miles, but it can be lost there. Patience, patience, patience.
  • If someone asks you how you feel, answer fantastic. I believe that when you tell someone out loud that you feel miserable or want to quit, you give yourself a little mental out. Your body and mind both want to give up and so part of you does. Convince your mind that you feel good. You may just pull yourself out of a low point. The marathon is filled with plenty of ups and downs. One minute you feel great, the next you feel like you can’t take another step. Then only 10 minutes later you can feel great again. Accept this as a normal part of the marathon process. Never let your mind believe that you feel anything other than fantastic.
  • If something hurts, like your foot, think about something that doesn’t, like your arm. Focusing on the pain is likely going to make it feel more intense. Purposefully focus on another body part that does not hurt to get your mind off of what does. You may notice that soon enough you forget all about those tight quads.
  • Smile and talk to yourself. Don’t underestimate the power of positive self talk during a marathon. Think about the words you use carefully. For instance, instead of saying I hope I do well today, change that to I KNOW I will do well today because I am prepared. While talking to yourself in your head, take time to smile. It loosens up the stress in your face and may make you feel happier overall.
  • Remind yourself that this painful moment will soon be a distant memory. Try taking yourself to another place during the hard final miles of a marathon. You may be in a painful tough moment. But this moment will pass and it will just be a memory. If this is hard for you to do, focus only on the minute you are in. Don’t do mental math with your mileage or time. Just focus on getting from one moment to the next. The marathon moment is temporary. The memory of getting to the finish line feeling good will last a life time.

What mental tricks do you use during the marathon? Tweet @mileposts and @womensrunning to share you tips.

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5 Runtastic Things Our Staff Loved This Week http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2015/01/news/5-runtastic-things-staff-loved-week-6_34736 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2015/01/news/5-runtastic-things-staff-loved-week-6_34736#comments Fri, 23 Jan 2015 16:00:59 +0000 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/?p=34736

Find out what running items and indulgences our staff was obsessed with this week.

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Check out this week’s runtastic gathering of apparel with flair and functionality for running, as well as a couple of our favorite indulgences for that once-in-a-blue-moon splurge (or post-race celebration!)

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]]> http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2015/01/news/5-runtastic-things-staff-loved-week-6_34736/feed 0 The Fearless Kathrine Switzer http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2015/01/inspiration/fearless-kathrine-switzer_34734 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2015/01/inspiration/fearless-kathrine-switzer_34734#comments Fri, 23 Jan 2015 13:53:14 +0000 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/?p=34734

Running legend Katherine Switzer continues to inspire women of all ages.

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261bib_ThenAndNow_HiRes

“I’m wearing 261 on my back. It makes me feel fearless!”

Kathrine Switzer is the marathon legend who wore that number in 1967 as the first woman to run the Boston Marathon, despite an official’s efforts to pull her off the course. Now she repeats the words in quotes above, the words of many women today who wear their appointed race bibs as well as a second bib on their backs with her number.

“This isn’t something I did,” she says. “This is something that came over the transom.”

However unintentional it was, Switzer, 68, has become a hero. And in the past year, she’s taken further steps to solidify her place in the present—not simply in history. She describes her overall mission: “empowerment of the female runner.”

Switzer came to San Diego this week to speak at the Girls on the Run 2015 Summit. The nonprofit pair girls with volunteers to train for a 5K. After her keynote speech, Switzer was abuzz with energy. She makes a handful of speeches a year, but usually it’s for a business like Morgan Stanley. This speech was different because her audience—more than 400 women from around the country—has a shared mission of empowerment.”

Switzer says she was surprised when she first started hearing about women wearing 261 in races and seeing photos on the web. She says she thought, “It’s wonderful and kinda creepy. It’s the Internet.”

Then she started seeing tattoos!

That’s when she realized how strongly women can relate to her story. (For the record, she doesn’t have a 261 tattoo, but she’d like to get one.) For about a year, she’s been channeling her passion to help women run in three main ways through what she calls the 261 Fearless Movement:

1. 261 Women’s Marathon and 10K in Mallorca, Spain:
March 8, 2015, will be year two for this race, which takes place on International Women’s Day—not a coincidence.

2. Fearless 261 line of clothing by Skirt Sports:
Switzer describes a meeting with some Muslim women in Malaysia who must run with their bodies covered and had been sweltering in compression gear. When they saw skirts and leggings and long-sleeved tops that were designed for comfort, they were ecstatic. (After her Girls on the Run presentation, she threw on these to hang out at her hotel.)

3. Developing global ambassadors and clubs:
Much in the way Girl on the Run helps girls get into the sport, Switzer sees her efforts helping women 18 and older.

Switzer splits her time between New York and New Zealand, where her husband, the runner and writer Roger Robinson, is from, so it’s relatively easy for her to travel the world. She has a specific interest in helping women in North Africa and the Middle East, and she has been assembling a team to work with her—one person in Austria, anther in Boulder, Colo.—so her efforts can extend all over the globe.

“We can do whatever we want,” Switzer says fearlessly.

What Makes Her Tick

To end our interview, Switzer indulged us with a little more insight into the marathoner’s life:

When was your last run?
Yesterday around the waterfront in San Diego. With my sore Achilles, my long run is 50 minutes, so that’s what I went.

What was your first sports bra?
I designed it with Lily of France. (Before that she hadn’t worn a sports bra, but she helped the company to come up with a non-chafing, comfortable design. With the $5,000 she received, she bought a Mazda sports car.)

What did you eat for dinner last night?
I had a Tuscan pizza in my room—it had arugula and sun-dried tomatoes—and a glass of skim milk.

Do you drink milk a lot?
Yes. It’s my secret weapon. (She’s had two running injuries—the current sore Achilles after stepping in a hole and a back injury after a long plane ride—and she started running at 12, so she credits milk for her strong bones and constitution.)

What’s one thing people wouldn’t know about you?
I really love sitting in bed in the morning with a cup of tea. (Her husband indulges this habit, as Switzer has reached a point that she no longer does early morning runs and prefers to stick to daylight hours.)

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