Women's Running http://womensrunning.competitor.com Women's Running Magazine Wed, 10 Feb 2016 01:31:15 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.4 One Runner’s Account Of Racing After A Stroke http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2016/02/girlfriends-guide-to-running/life-running-and-racing-after-a-mini-stroke_54040 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2016/02/girlfriends-guide-to-running/life-running-and-racing-after-a-mini-stroke_54040#comments Wed, 10 Feb 2016 00:59:00 +0000 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/?p=54040

One runner's medical scare taught her to appreciate life and running even more.

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*Courtesy of Red Head On The Run

It was a very normal Saturday morning in May. I got up, made breakfast for the kids and did my mom things. I had invited my sister-in-law to a boot camp at our gym. I’d been going for several months, trying to get stronger and faster. I was training for several triathlon’s at the time so I was in decent shape. I usually attended the camp during the week, so the Saturday class was just a bonus.

I had a sore throat and a headache when I woke up, but it didn’t seem like enough to keep me down. Becoming a mom somehow gives us the right to push through any and all limits. Since moms don’t usually get sick days, I think we just get used to pushing ourselves. I honestly don’t remember having a debate in my mind about going or staying home. I didn’t feel bad enough for that. Of course I was going.

Camp was outside that day. Even for early May in Texas, it was hot and sickly humid. I dropped my kids off at the child care because my husband was running errands that day. He was supposed to be leaving the country on business that afternoon.

I went outside to warm up, still not really feeling anything but a headache. A dull one, but a headache all the same. Headaches are a very normal part of my life, so when I get one, I don’t often stop unless it’s a migraine. The workout was tough and I pushed myself pretty hard.

After the workout, I picked up my kids and had planned to take them swimming at the gym pool. I got them changed and headed to the cafe to feed them before we went swimming. I remember I started to drag a bit, but assumed I needed something to eat and drink. I tend to be stubborn. I hate to admit when I’m feeling sick or down. Wonder woman status is really not my life’s goal, yet I’m bent trying to attain it so much of the time.

I ordered the kids lunch and noticed my vision beginning to blur a bit. I could only see clearly out of one side and even then, it was speckled with stars. “Um, this is really not okay,” I remember thinking. We sat down to wait for our food and all I could do was put my head on the table. A friend was there with her son, so she got me some Gatorade. I have severe dehydration issues so I assumed I just needed some fluids and I’d be fine. But I noticed words were hard.

All of a sudden, I couldn’t think clearly. I couldn’t think of my name, my kids names, what day it was. My phone was on the table and I had been texting my husband telling him I didn’t feel well, and I remember managing to type “help.” That was it. My friend saw that I was starting to lean so she and one of the managers took me to the hall and laid me down. I couldn’t talk, my body was numb and I couldn’t see out of one side. I panicked. Internally, I was freaking out. Screaming even, but nothing was coming out of my mouth. No words. No tears. Nothing.

Related: How One Runner’s Short Life Inspired Another’s PR

Before I knew it, paramedics showed up at my side, asking me questions I couldn’t answer and taking vitals. I wanted to tell them how I was feeling but I couldn’t make sense of anything in my head. Just jumbled thoughts that couldn’t come out of my mouth. “Kelly. My name is Kelly,” I thought but it wouldn’t come out. I knew my name, but not the date or day. I was frustrated and terrified. And where the heck were my kids? I had no idea.

The friend who was with me stayed as they were wheeling me to the ambulance. She told me that my boys were safe and my husband was on his way. Several hours and loads of tests later, they sent me home with only orders to see a neurologist and a cardiologist ASAP. They couldn’t nail down exactly what had happened. The next day I landed at Urgent Care with strep throat. It was turning out to be a stellar weekend.

Related: Everything You Need To Know About Metabolic Syndrome

I spent the next several weeks at doctor appointments, being poked and prodded, making my way through MRI and CAT Scan machines, EEG’s and EKG’s. I heard how I probably shouldn’t run. Obviously at that point I started tuning them out. All tests had come back normal. I was sort of an anomaly.

My cardiologist determined it was a severe ocular migraine combined with the onset of strep throat—the perfect storm to cause a TIA or mini stroke.  It took about a month to feel normal again, and even then I wasn’t 100%. But I had races to conquer and goals to achieve. I needed to get back to training, just to feel my best again. It’s my outlet. My joy and passion. When something derails the ability to do it, I become that much more passionate.

My family was totally freaked out, as they should have been. I would have reacted the same way if it had happened to them. But in my mind, I was fine and moving forward. I was gaining strength mentally and physically, but as far as they were concerned, I could never run again. But we all know as runners—that’s just crazy talk.  So I spent the summer getting over the fear of it happening again, and regaining some ground with training. I worked with my trainer, set some new goals and focused on taking care of myself. I slowed down. I trained smarter.

It’s now been four years since that day. Many migraines, sinus surgery, one more kid, three full marathons, a 200-mile relay, half marathons, countless shorter distance races and several triathlons later, and I’m okay.  I started a blog to have an outlet for all my words and a place to track all my training and racing. I became a certified personal trainer. I’m teaching boot camp, where I get to pour into the lives of women while helping them get fit. A dream really.

I thought I was going to die that day. Not to sound dramatic, but I really did. It scared me and rattled me to the core, and I’m not a fearful person most of the time.

We are not invincible. It reminded me what a gift it is to live and run and race and do the things I love. It reminded me to be a mom to my kids and to do the daily stuff we forget to be thankful for. It changed me. But, I’m walking proof that it’s possible to do hard things after something hard has happened to you. But often times we don’t like to talk about the hard stuff.

I don’t look at things the same way. We need rest and nourishment and time to take care of our bodies. So, it almost gave me permission to slow down.

One day, I might lose these physical abilities. I might not be able to walk or talk or run. My hope is that my happiness is not found in physical abilities I may lose one day. However, the fact that in the here and now, I’m able to do them, means the world. I don’t want to waste it. So, I set big crazy goals that I have no business setting and forge ahead determined to make this time in my life worth it.

So be thankful today. Set hard goals today. Determine to do your very best to accomplish them in a healthy way. And don’t be afraid to do hard things.

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Leap Year Plyo Challenge: Mountain Climbers http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2016/02/strength-training/leap-year-plyo-challenge-mountain-climbers_53960 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2016/02/strength-training/leap-year-plyo-challenge-mountain-climbers_53960#comments Tue, 09 Feb 2016 23:36:49 +0000 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/?p=53960

Try your legs (and arms) at 10 mountain climbers after your next run.

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This February, we are celebrating the leap year with 29 days of plyometrics—otherwise known as our favorite “leaping” exercises. Every day we will share a new move, and we challenge you to add each plyo to the end of your run, workout or simply finish your day on a high note. Today we are all about MOUNTAIN CLIMBERS—try 10 after your next run!

Follow us @womensrunningmagazine on Instagram and share your success with #LeapwithWR during the month of February! And find all exercises under “Leap Year Challenge” on our homepage.

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Leap Year Plyo Challenge: Star Jumps http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2016/02/strength-training/leap-year-plyo-challenge-star-jumps_53958 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2016/02/strength-training/leap-year-plyo-challenge-star-jumps_53958#comments Tue, 09 Feb 2016 23:31:29 +0000 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/?p=53958

This February, we are celebrating the leap year with 29 days of plyometrics—otherwise known as our favorite “leaping” exercises.

The post Leap Year Plyo Challenge: Star Jumps appeared first on Women's Running.

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This February, we are celebrating the leap year with 29 days of plyometrics—otherwise known as our favorite “leaping” exercises. Every day we will share a new move, and we challenge you to add each plyo to the end of your run, workout or simply finish your day on a high note. Today we are all about STAR JUMPS—try 5 after your next run!

Follow us @womensrunningmagazine on Instagram and share your success with #LeapwithWR during the month of February! And find all exercises under “Leap Year Challenge” on our homepage.

The post Leap Year Plyo Challenge: Star Jumps appeared first on Women's Running.

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5 Important Heart Health Tips For Women http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2016/02/health-wellness/5-important-heart-health-tips-for-women_53793 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2016/02/health-wellness/5-important-heart-health-tips-for-women_53793#comments Tue, 09 Feb 2016 21:56:05 +0000 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/?p=53793

Read on to find out what part of our body acts as a 'second heart.'

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February is American Heart Month and as you know, keeping our tickers tocking—and in good health—is an essential part of living. Your diet, activity, stress levels and more can affect our hearts and our greater health, which is why it is important to start taking care of your heart no matter your age.

Alice Ann Dailey, MS, is the author of Dailey Strengthening: 6 Keys to Balance Core Muscles for Optimal Health and an exercise physiologist, who emphasizes the importance of using this month as a reminder to take care of such a vital organ.

But did you know your body has a ‘second heart?’ We didn’t, either. Dailey explains that your toes and feet can have a similar function. “Activity of the toes will allow more blood circulation to rise from the feet and return to the heart,” she continues. “Also, GPS sensors are at every joint, tendon and muscle of the feet and will send information to the brain.”

In addition to learning how other parts of our body have a direct effect on our hearts, Dailey has broken down five of the most important heart health tips for female athletes:

  1. Awareness that alpha posture provides balanced muscles on the front side of the shoulder girdle with those on the back side.
  1. Balanced shoulder muscles allow the ribs to open outward providing more space for the lungs. This improves respiration, induces relaxation and strengthens the immune system.
  1. Balanced shoulder girdle muscles and improved respiration lowers heart rate and blood pressure, shown by research studies by Dr. Dean Ornish on yoga and heart disease.
  1. Learning to breathe deeply during everyday life will allow your body to relax, release all stress, and give you a natural, good feeling.
  1. To balance your pelvic girdle muscles, your feet must be parallel with your toes together and heels apart. This will allow your hips to narrow and your lumbar spine to lengthen. The fastest runners narrow their gait and lengthen their stride by pointing their knees and middle toes forward as they run. This alignment is also the healthiest position of the knee joints and the thigh bone in the hip socket.

For even more resources on American Heart Month, visit the American Heart Association online.

Related:
7 Tips For Running Safely With A Heart Defect
5 Tips For Proper Heart-Rate Tracking And Training

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Protein Chocolate Fudge Is Your New Favorite Dessert http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2016/02/nutrition/recipes/protein-chocolate-fudge-is-your-new-favorite-dessert_54022 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2016/02/nutrition/recipes/protein-chocolate-fudge-is-your-new-favorite-dessert_54022#comments Tue, 09 Feb 2016 21:50:47 +0000 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/?p=54022

This dessert is a sweet treat that is good for you to have after a run.

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*Courtesy of Running On Veggies

Since the end of October I have been traveling back and forth from NYC to Boulder, Colo. If you have been following me on Instagram, you’ve gotten a sneak peek of a bigger picture that is about to come! It includes lots of recipes that I have been making for Kara Goucher. Kara is training for the Olympic Trials Marathon. I have been privileged to live with Kara when I am in Boulder. My goal has been to help Kara tweak her food intake so that she can recover faster and feel strong but light-footed on her runs. I have also been cooking dinners, desserts and everything in between. Kara and her family reap the benefits of my experimentation in their kitchen!

It is pretty much a dream come true that I have gotten to live in Boulder—the mecca of training for triathlons and so many other sports! Nothing makes me happier than helping athletes reach their goals and, more importantly, teaching them the proper way to eat. I am constantly promoting the message that becoming a leaner marathoner does not mean eating less. If anything it means you need to eat more of the right foods. This is one of my main principles back home in my health coaching practice.

As Kara logs upward of 100 miles a week and builds up quite an appetite, it has become my job to have healthy options on hand when she returns home, not only to satisfy but also to get some quality nutrition into her body.

Related: Dark Chocolate Sweet Potato Brownies

The Black Bean Fudge was born. It is packed with protein, healthy fats and complex carbs. It has become one of mine and Kara’s favorite late night treats. It’s just as soft and fudgy as your standard fudge but doesn’t have quite the same ingredient list. At first I thought to log it in my file of secret favorite recipes but then I decided that this recipe was too good not to share!

I use AboutTime Vegan Protein powder, which is vegan and stevia sweetened – a must for me when picking protein powder. I really like baking with AboutTime because it is not grainy and has such a nice smooth flavor. It offers the perfect sweetness to my recipes without overpowering them. Since black beans also offer so much protein, this recipe is the perfect recovery snack. I love being able to eat fudge and know that I’m really eating beans. And you would never know!

Protein Chocolate Fudge

  • 1 16 oz can of black beans (rinsed very well)
  • 1 1/2 cup pitted dates (soaked in warm water for 10 minutes to soften)
  • 1/2 cup pure cocoa powder
  • 1/4-1/2 cup AboutTime Protein Powder
  • 1/4 cup nut butter
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon espresso powder (optional)

Optional Add-ins:

  • 3/4 nuts
  • 1/4 chocolate chips
  1. In a food processor combine beans, dates, cocoa powder, protein powder, nut butter, coconut oil, vanilla extract and espresso powder. Process until smooth and creamy. You may need to stop the machine and scrape it down a few times before you continue processing.
  2. If adding in the optional ingredients, you can throw them into the food processor to combine them with the mixture. You want the nuts slightly chopped but chunky, so don’t over process.
  3. Line a 9 inch pyrex with parchment paper (this will make it easier to pop them out), making sure the paper is coming over the edge. Spread mixture evenly into pyrex.
  4. Freeze for 1 hour or refrigerate for 3-4 hours. Remove fudge from pyrex and cut into evenly sized small squares. I got around 24-26 squares
  5. Store in the freezer to preserve longer (will last 4 plus weeks!) or the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

Related: These Blondies Are Surprisingly Healthy

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This Is Why You Should Stop Hating On The Treadmill http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2016/02/fat-girl-running/this-is-why-you-should-stop-hating-on-the-treadmill_54013 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2016/02/fat-girl-running/this-is-why-you-should-stop-hating-on-the-treadmill_54013#comments Tue, 09 Feb 2016 21:42:15 +0000 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/?p=54013

The treadmill isn't something to dread. It is a great tool for your training.

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I really do adore my treadmill.

You might ask how any sane trail-running person (who professes to love every minute she spends outdoors) could enjoy a run on what some folks call the dreadmill. For the last 7 years, I’ve been privileged to own not one but TWO treadmills and I have never looked back.

I have to tell you that I’ve never dreaded a treadmill workout—ever. There are so many things you can do with it, not to mention so many movies on Netflix to watch while you’re on it.

If there’s ever a question of whether or not I can get in a run, and it’s icy or tornado-ing out, I have no excuse. I also have a pretty busy schedule being a mom, a teacher of many things, a writer, and I’m sure I’m forgetting something…so having a treadmill facilitates GETTING IT DONE.

Related: 4 Treadmill Workouts From Your Favorite Runners On Instagram

I work in a boarding school and I have some pretty crazy hours. As most boarding school teachers do, I have about 30 different jobs rolled into four; I’m also the mom of a very tall growing-like-a-weed-and-needy 12-year-old, and a wife currently living the single-mom life while hubby works in West Africa. Sometimes I just gotta hop on the treadmill if I’m going to get any running done.

Spending vast amounts of time outdoors is extremely important to me, but sometimes it’s just not practical in the context of my day. Sometimes I need to just roll out of bed, inhale some black coffee and go—to the next room where my machine lies in wait, expectantly. Then I run, shower, cook breakfast, teach, teach some more, write, email, teach another class, lead seminars in diversity, and maybe coach if it’s the fall. So running in the morning in my house without coyote howls in the distance sometimes works better for me.

Also, as a parent, I’ve found it necessary to run at home because I haven’t been able to snag a babysitter. Other times, my son has been sick so what do I do? I make sure he’s comfortable, give him some tea and soup, put on a marathon of Family Guy and go for a run, while I binge-watch Orange is the New Black.

Other times, I want to do a workout that requires running intervals and then popping on the floor to do burpees. Have you ever even done a burpee? My burpees are so not glamorous and uncoordinated, that I prefer to stumble through them while no one is watching.

You can also do many types of workouts on the ‘mill. Repeats, tempo runs, hill repeats, even long distance runs, treadmills are quite flexible especially if you have a nice one. (I’m not talking about the nasty non-functioning no-good-for-nothing ones in airless hotel gyms, but I digress.) ProForm makes a good, basic machine. I used to have one that I bought from HSN. It lasted for about 5 years and had a ton of mileage on it. Other high-quality mills are made by NordicTrac (I have a C900 and I love it!), LifeFitness, Sole, and Landice.

Related: The 7 Best At-Home Treadmills

Treadmills can aid in maintaining your training schedule and can help you change things up once in a while. So put on a movie, listen to good music, grab a book, or just zone out without worrying about traffic. Enjoy!

The post This Is Why You Should Stop Hating On The Treadmill appeared first on Women's Running.

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Everyday Runner Alex Bernardi Is Running The Olympic Trials http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2016/02/inspiration/everyday-runner-alex-bernardi-is-running-the-olympic-trials_54059 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2016/02/inspiration/everyday-runner-alex-bernardi-is-running-the-olympic-trials_54059#comments Tue, 09 Feb 2016 20:58:20 +0000 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/?p=54059

Photo: Ambreleah Dusseau

She's just one of many runners who run at high speeds and also maintain full-time jobs and other life duties.

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Photo: Ambreleah Dusseau

Photo: Ambreleah Dusseau

When the 2016 Olympic Marathon Trials take place this Saturday, there will be more than 200 women on the starting line. Not every woman will be an elite. In fact, only a small percentage of them can claim runner as their sole profession. Instead most of the field will be made up of incredibly talented runners who balance their training with full-time jobs, families and social lives.

One of those women is Alexandra Bernardi. The New York City resident works full-time as a research analyst for a social policy research organization in Manhattan. However, before she steps foot in the office, you can usually find her running in Central Park.

“Ninety-nine percent of my runs are done in the morning before work, starting anywhere from 5:30 to 6:30am, depending on the length and my options for company,” says Bernardi. “There are so many more distractions that can come up in the evening, and I find that being able to check my workout off my to do list first thing means I have more flexibility later in the day.”

Bernardi decided to go for the trials B standard only a year ago when, despite a warm day, she had a strong performance at the LA Marathon. At the time, the Olympic Trials standard was 2 hours, 43 minutes. After running 2:45:50 at the 2015 Chicago Marathon—an 8-minute PR— she decided she would try to hit the mark at the California International Marathon just two months later. “CIM was one of the last chances to chase the trials standard, so I decided to give it a fair shot,” recalls Bernardi.

Despite running a strong 2:44:35, Bernardi was devastated to miss the cut off—until USATF changed the standard to 2:45 five days later. She was thrilled.

“In a matter of five days, I went from beating myself up about missing the original standard at CIM, to sneaking under and getting the chance to line up with an incredibly talented field of women on Feb. 13. It’s an amazing and rewarding feeling to have all your hard work and sacrifice pay off.”

During a typical training cycle, Bernardi fits in two workouts per week and a long run (that may also be a workout). Normally she would peak at 85 miles per week but her build up for the Olympics Trials has been short. Bernardi’s work schedule is consistent albeit long—typically 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.—so she knows exactly when she can fit in her training.

While she is able to log her miles, it can be difficult to find time to do all of the extras that pro runners can prioritize. “Strength work, stretching, rolling, etc. I’d like to think I would do that regularly if I wasn’t working!”

Bernardi has also been able to work around the challenges that come with balancing life and running. She is grateful to connect with other women through her team, the Central Park Track Club. “[They] are not only my training partners, but great friends, which means our runs do double duty as workouts and social time.”

Finding time to spend with her husband, who often has an unpredictable work schedule, can be difficult. However he is always supportive of her running. “He never questions the time or energy or money I spend training and racing, and I’m so grateful he encourages me to pursue my passion.” Along with her husband, Bernardi’s parents, excited friends and enthusiastic coworkers form a encouraging support crew. She calls her parents before every race “to get one last pep talk.”

The Olympic Trials Marathon this Saturday will be her fourth time running 26.2 miles in 12 months. Unlike the pros, she won’t be vying for a top-3 finish. Her goal for the race is “to be competitive and focus on truly racing the women around me instead of being intimidated by their achievements or doubting my own abilities.”

After the hard work of qualifying for the Olympic Trials, she also wants to enjoy the entire experience. “I may never have this chance again,” says Bernardi. “I plan to take time to absorb every detail of race weekend.”

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Adidas Launches Avenue A, Subscription-Based Apparel Service http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2016/02/shoes-gear/adidas-launches-avenue-a-subscription-based-apparel-service_54053 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2016/02/shoes-gear/adidas-launches-avenue-a-subscription-based-apparel-service_54053#comments Tue, 09 Feb 2016 18:29:16 +0000 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/?p=54053

The popular brand is collaborating with top designers to create "surprise" boxes for women runners only.

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Adidas is joining the popular box delivery trend (think: Birch Box, Stitch Fix) with the announcement of Avenue A, a quarterly women-only subscription service that brings runners a curated box of excellent running and training gear and product, bringing their newest and seasonal apparel straight to the runner’s doorstep.

The company, who recently launched their women-specific PureBOOST X, will work with fashion trendsetters and trainers to select products that highlight performance and fashion, two top-tier requirements that are going more hand-in-hand in the active lifestyle industry. The first shipment of Avenue A was curated by world-renowned fitness artist Nicole Winhoffer, who selected a versatile package of products that serve the active female and still maintain that style she wants.

Related: Adidas Created A 3D Printed Running Shoe

“I get a lot of inspiration from what’s around me,” said Winhoffer in a release. “I love cultures and I combine different styles, cultures, dance, and performance into my own unique style. The brand is paying attention to a woman’s need to be stylish, confident and one of a kind. They’re doing it in a really cool new way.”

The spring 2016 edition will also include PureBOOST X. “PureBOOST X is a great example of the huge focus we have on the versatile female athlete,” explains Kelly Olmstead, Senior Director of adidas Brand Activation. “And it’s so inspiring to collaborate with women like Nicole who are staying active in a way that’s authentic to their lifestyle.”

Related: This Runner Makes Activewear That Inspires Women

Avenue A will ship quarterly, so subscribers will receive four boxes per year at $150 per box. While the contents of each shipment are a surprise, the box will be filled with three to five premium items—a mix of footwear, apparel and accessories appropriate for the season.

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Leap Year Plyo Challenge: Tuck Jumps http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2016/02/strength-training/leap-year-plyo-challenge-tuck-jumps_53956 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2016/02/strength-training/leap-year-plyo-challenge-tuck-jumps_53956#comments Tue, 09 Feb 2016 05:11:19 +0000 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/?p=53956

Catch some serious air with the move of the day!

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This February, we are celebrating the leap year with 29 days of plyometrics—otherwise known as our favorite “leaping” exercises. Every day we will share a new move, and we challenge you to add each plyo to the end of your run, workout or simply finish your day on a high note. Today we are all about TUCK JUMPS—try 5 after your next run!

Follow us @womensrunningmagazine on Instagram and share your success with #LeapwithWR during the month of February! And find all exercises under “Leap Year Challenge” on our homepage.

The post Leap Year Plyo Challenge: Tuck Jumps appeared first on Women's Running.

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http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2016/02/strength-training/leap-year-plyo-challenge-tuck-jumps_53956/feed 0 Catch some serious air with the move of the day!
7 Ways Runners Can Prevent Shin Splints http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2016/02/health-wellness/7-ways-runners-can-prevent-shin-splints_53985 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2016/02/health-wellness/7-ways-runners-can-prevent-shin-splints_53985#comments Tue, 09 Feb 2016 05:01:26 +0000 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/?p=53985

About 30 to 40 percent of new runners develop shin splints; stay a part of the healthy majority.

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About 30 to 40 percent of new runners develop shin splints; stay a part of the healthy majority by following these tips. 

Warm up properly to prepare your body for the demands of your workout and prevent injury. Try this dynamic warm up routine before you start running.

Gradually increase running frequency, distance, duration and intensity while allowing adequate rest between workouts. Find out how to build endurance and increase mileage without getting hurt.

Related: How Beginners Can Boost Endurance

Run on softer surfaces, such as trails, grass or a local track. Softer surfaces are lower impact and less stress for your legs compared to pavement and sidewalk.

Improve your running mechanics by stretching and strengthening your hips, glutes, core and lower legs.

Incorporate plyometric exercises to enhance your running efficiency and make you more resilient. Follow along with our Leap Year plyometric challenge to incorporate a different move into your routine every day.

Replace shoes at the recommended intervals of 300 to 500 miles.

Cross-train with lower-impact activities, such as swimming, cycling and using an elliptical trainer, to allow the body to recover. Even unconventional activities like paddle boarding and barre class can be great compliments to your running.

Related: Hit The Barre With These 5 Moves For Runners

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http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2016/02/health-wellness/7-ways-runners-can-prevent-shin-splints_53985/feed 0 About 30 to 40 percent of new runners develop shin splints; stay a part of the healthy majority.
Father Sets World Record, Wins Half Marathon Pushing Stroller http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2016/02/news/father-sets-world-record-wins-half-marathon-pushing-stroller_53988 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2016/02/news/father-sets-world-record-wins-half-marathon-pushing-stroller_53988#comments Tue, 09 Feb 2016 04:53:48 +0000 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/?p=53988

Calum Neff pushed while his 11 month old daughter babbled the whole way.

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*Courtesy of Competitor.com

Calum Neff had his sights set on a Guinness World Record soon after his second daughter, Holland, was born.

With Holland about to celebrate her first birthday, Calum pulled it off Saturday. He won the Katy Half Marathon in Texas in a time of 1 hour, 11 minutes, 27 seconds, which is believed to be a world record for a half marathon pushing a stroller.

The previous record, according to the Guinness World Records website, was set in 2013 by Travis Boyd and his 1-year-old daughter in 1:13:50.

Neff, 31, will have to submit the evidence to Guinness to get the record verified, and there’s plenty of proof—his stroller was set up with a GoPro, he Periscoped almost the entire race, and he has the Strava data to prove it, too. He ran with a Thule Glide, noting that “Guinness rules say it must be a stock commercially available push stroller, no modifications.”

Related: Stroller Running Tips From A New Dad

Neff is an operations manager for an oilfield service company, and with his wife Julie has a 3-year-old daughter, Alessandra, along with almost-1-year-old Holland (who was technically the real winner of the race, right?). He ran collegiately for the University of Houston and according to Strava has PRs of 1:08 in the half marathon and 2:22 in the marathon. He’s also run several ultras and competes at shorter distances, as well. He is sponsored by Altra.

“The stroller gives mom a break and gets my girls outside which they love,” Neff said. “I wanted to show that being a Dad and running competitively can both happen, and to promote people to get out with their kids.”

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http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2016/02/news/father-sets-world-record-wins-half-marathon-pushing-stroller_53988/feed 0 Calum Neff pushed while his 11 month old daughter babbled the whole way.
Behind The Scenes With Actress Lyndie Greenwood http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2016/02/inspiration/behind-the-scenes-with-actress-lyndie-greenwood_53966 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2016/02/inspiration/behind-the-scenes-with-actress-lyndie-greenwood_53966#comments Tue, 09 Feb 2016 04:38:40 +0000 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/?p=53966

The Sleepy Hollow star showed up in San Diego for last year's Comicon and stuck around for a cover shoot!

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On a warm day back in July, Women’s Running set up cameras and gear in San Diego’s Balboa Park to shoot “Sleepy Hollow” star Lyndie Greenwood. Staying in America’s Finest City for the Comic-Con convention, Lyndie was ready for a day of action, running between wardrobe changes, camera shots and coffee sips. The 32-year-old actress didn’t sweat the unseasonably high heat—a Toronto native, she was in town from Hotlanta. And you could tell she was seriously excited to follow up our shoot with three days of nerding-out in her handmade costume as Dee from Rat Queens!

Glamour Shot
Makeup artist Marisol Garcia added some touch-ups in between shots to keep Lyndie looking fabulous with her glistening summer glow.

Trailblazer
Lyndie covered a local trail in the park for a few shots in the shade.

Sprinter Van
What if you could have a changing station on four wheels? Lyndie did! Her cover look includes Roxy Women’s Spirit Sports Bra ($40, roxy.com), Saucony Bullet Tight Short ($48, saucony.com) and New Balance 1500v2
($110, newbalance.com).

Beautiful Backdrop
Few things beat the grassy picnic areas, lovely gardens and historic museums in Balboa Park. The crew chose to secure a great city backdrop for the shoot.

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http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2016/02/inspiration/behind-the-scenes-with-actress-lyndie-greenwood_53966/feed 0 The Sleepy Hollow star showed up in San Diego for last year's Comicon and stuck around for a cover shoot!
VIDEO: Story Of Sara And Ryan Hall’s Big Family http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2016/02/inspiration/video-story-of-ryan-and-sara-hall-bigger-family_53996 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2016/02/inspiration/video-story-of-ryan-and-sara-hall-bigger-family_53996#comments Tue, 09 Feb 2016 02:56:03 +0000 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/?p=53996

In our two-part video series, Women’s Running goes behind the scenes of Sara and Ryan Hall‘s decision to adopt four sisters,

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In our two-part video series, Women’s Running goes behind the scenes of Sara and Ryan Hall‘s decision to adopt four sisters, ages ranging 5 to 15, from Ethiopia. Both parents, Sara, vying for a spot on the Olympic marathon team, and Ryan, a recently retired American record holder, have seen the demands of training at the elite level. Now two top-tier marathoners face the biggest—and most gratifying—demand of all: parenthood. Video: Steve Godwin

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Gritty Runners Take On USATF Cross-Country Championships http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2016/02/news/tough-and-speedy-runners-take-on-usatf-cross-country-championships_53898 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2016/02/news/tough-and-speedy-runners-take-on-usatf-cross-country-championships_53898#comments Tue, 09 Feb 2016 02:29:34 +0000 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/?p=53898

The top cross country runners in the US took on a challenging course for a chance to win the USATF Championship.

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As the lead pack dwindled, the 2016 USATF women’s open cross-country championship came down to a pair of veterans. At the top of the course looking out over Bend, Ore., Mattie Suver (2015 runner up) made her move and pulled away as Amy Van Alstine, (2014 winner) was unable to hold on.

Suver negative split her final lap in 7:06 to earn first place and the 10K cross-country title in 36 minutes, 38 seconds at Rivers Edge Golf Course.

The lead pack of the five ran together for much of the race, but Suver and Van Alstine broke away around the 8K mark. Van Alstine came in second in 36:45, followed by Cally Macumber in 36:55.

“I love cross country. It’s one of my favorite distances or specialties so any opportunity that I get to run a cross-country race, I try to snag on that,” said Suver. “I was hoping for the win, but obviously Amy is a very tough competitor as well as Cally and a bunch of the other women out there so I wasn’t sure how it was going to play out.”

After the race, Van Alstine said, “I was disappointed, but Mattie was just tougher out there today.”

“10K is pretty long for cross country,” said Suver, who explained her desire to stay conservative for the first two laps on a challenging course set by Max King. Prior to 2016 the race was contested at the 8K distance, but when the IAAF decided to adjust both the men’s and women’s races to 10K, USATF made the switch as well.

Suver trains in Colorado Springs with the American Distance Project. She hopes to race the 10,000 meters at the Olympic Trials at Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore., this summer.

“This is kind of just starting, getting the ball rolling and getting the momentum going all looking for the 10K on the track coming up in July,” said Suver.

The junior women’s race was won by high school sophomore Melissa Berry of Eugene. Berry wanted to run another cros- country race, even as she prepares for her track season. Berry won the 6K race in 23 minutes, 55 seconds.

“I wanted to do it just for fun and I just thought it was going to be like another race,” said Berry who hadn’t yet mentioned the race to her track coach.

Berry runs the 3,000 and 1,500 meters for Sheldon High School and was the 10th place finisher in Oregon’s 6A state cross country competition this past fall.

Berry said, “In December, my dad found the race online and I love cross country and I really wanted to do this race because it was a good start into my track season.”

The post Gritty Runners Take On USATF Cross-Country Championships appeared first on Women's Running.

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http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2016/02/news/tough-and-speedy-runners-take-on-usatf-cross-country-championships_53898/feed 0 The top cross country runners in the US took on a challenging course for a chance to win the USATF Championship.
Elite Marathoner Prevents Apparent Suicide Attempt During Run http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2016/02/news/elite-marathoner-prevents-apparent-suicide-attempt-during-run_53939 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2016/02/news/elite-marathoner-prevents-apparent-suicide-attempt-during-run_53939#comments Mon, 08 Feb 2016 20:33:02 +0000 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/?p=53939

A normal training run for Adriana Nelson took an unexpected turn.

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*Courtesy of Competitor.com

Elite runner Adriana Nelson was out for an easy 4-mile run on Thursday evening in Folsom, Calif., when she came across a man she sensed needed immediate help.

Nelson lives in Boulder, Colo., but has been training for the Feb. 13 U.S. Olympic Trials Marathon in Los Angeles with Deena Kastor and the ASICS Mammoth Track Club in California since November.

As she set out for her second run on Thursday, Nelson said she was compelled to take a slightly different route. She said she was enjoying the beauty of the trail she was on but was suddenly startled when she came across a figure sitting on the edge of a retaining wall. As she slowly approached him, she said it appeared to be putting a noose around his neck.

“I saw he had a rope around his neck and looked like he was ready to jump,” she said. “I am not sure how I had the courage to do this, but I ran over to him and asked if everything was OK, and he responded he was not OK.

“I told him, ‘Hey, whoa, whoa, wait … let’s talk.’ I’m here for you right now at this moment. I don’t care if I need to stop my run and that I don’t know you. You’re more important to me than anything right now. I told him, ‘You’re OK, let’s just take walk and talk about it.’”

Nelson, 36, said she asked him to remove the rope from around his neck. While talking to the man, she found out he is 26 years old and has been struggling to support his family without a job for the past few months. After he agreed to remove the rope, Nelson said she grabbed his arm and walked him away from the area. Talking to him the entire time, she walked him 2 miles back to her car and then gave him a ride back to his car.

She said she assured him that everyone struggles in life, but it’s never as bad as any one moment might feel. She related the difficulties she experienced when she moved to the U.S. from her native Romania to attend college and didn’t speak very much English. She was frustrated, homesick and alone but managed to succeed by immersing herself in her education and her running career.

She said she talked to him for about an hour—trying to encourage him to see the positive aspects of his life and offer encouragement to go forward. She assured him that people care about him and that there are ways to get help. She gave him an embracing hug and told him to contact her if he wanted to talk again.

“I told him that no matter what, you just can’t give up,” Nelson said. “I told him life is hard, but you have to keep forging ahead. I really hope he contacts me again because I want to help him. All last night, I kept wondering if I did everything I could, and I hope I did.

“Am I his guardian angel? Maybe, yes. I felt like Superman at that moment. I just hope I had an impact on his life and that he can see that people care for him. No matter who you are or what you’re going through, people care.”

Nelson said she doesn’t know how she did what she did during the middle of her run, but said she just reacted and immediately wanted to help him. She said she initially talked for more than 15 minutes before he said much of anything.

“It was not an easy moment at all … I was picturing the worst to happen right in front of me. He said he was about to jump,” she said. “One thing that surprised me was what he said to me ‘I never have been able to talk so deeply with someone in my entire life…’ I felt very sad but very grateful to be there that moment. He left and I went home overwhelmed with emotion.”

She called her husband, Jeremy Nelson, back in Boulder, after the incident, and also talked to her mom, who has been visiting her in California.

“She was really freaked out about it and concerned for him,” Jeremy said. “I’m glad she was there and was able to help him out.”

Two hours later, Nelson said she returned to the scene and cut the rope that was attached at one end to a metal post.

“I just wanted to make sure that bad thing wasn’t there any more,” she said.

With a 2:28:52 PR from the 2008 London Marathon and several solid months of training under the guidance of Andrew Kastor recently, Nelson, who became a U.S. citizen in 2011, figures to be a contender in the Olympic Trials race next Saturday on the streets of downtown Los Angeles. She and three-time U.S. Olympian Deena Kastor spent most of the winter running about 120 miles per week in Mammoth Lakes, Calif., but Nelson recently relocated to lower altitude in Folsom to finish up her training.

Nelson won the 2013 U.S. half marathon championships in 1:11:19 and, most recently, placed second in the 2015 Rock ‘n’ Roll San Jose Half Marathon (1:12:08) in October. She and her husband started and operate Roll Recovery, a Boulder company that makes a variety of recovery tools for athletes.

Nelson was offered a spot on the 2012 Romanian Olympic team in the marathon, but she turned it down with the intent on competing for a spot on the U.S. team. However, an injury kept her from running in the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials Marathon in Houston.

“This was one of the craziest things I’ve experienced in my life,” Nelson said. “And it’s a reminder to me that people need help sometimes. And if anyone ever feels this way, please go and seek help.”

If you know someone who is battling severe depression or is considering suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at (800) 273-8255.

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http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2016/02/news/elite-marathoner-prevents-apparent-suicide-attempt-during-run_53939/feed 0 A normal training run for Adriana Nelson took an unexpected turn.
Leap Year Plyo Challenge: Jump Squats http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2016/02/strength-training/leap-year-plyo-challenge-jump-squats_53954 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2016/02/strength-training/leap-year-plyo-challenge-jump-squats_53954#comments Mon, 08 Feb 2016 20:28:11 +0000 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/?p=53954

This February, we are celebrating the leap year with 29 days of plyometrics—otherwise known as our favorite “leaping” exercises.

The post Leap Year Plyo Challenge: Jump Squats appeared first on Women's Running.

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This February, we are celebrating the leap year with 29 days of plyometrics—otherwise known as our favorite “leaping” exercises. Every day we will share a new move, and we challenge you to add each plyo to the end of your run, workout or simply finish your day on a high note. Today we are all about JUMP SQUATS—try 5 after your next run!

Follow us @womensrunningmagazine on Instagram and share your success with #LeapwithWR during the month of February! And find all exercises under “Leap Year Challenge” on our homepage.

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Leap Year Plyo Challenge: Lateral Hops http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2016/02/strength-training/leap-year-plyo-challenge-lateral-hops_53952 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2016/02/strength-training/leap-year-plyo-challenge-lateral-hops_53952#comments Mon, 08 Feb 2016 20:21:08 +0000 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/?p=53952

We are celebrating the leap year with 29 days of plyometric moves!

The post Leap Year Plyo Challenge: Lateral Hops appeared first on Women's Running.

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This February, we are celebrating the leap year with 29 days of plyometrics—otherwise known as our favorite “leaping” exercises. Every day we will share a new move, and we challenge you to add each plyo to the end of your run, workout or simply finish your day on a high note. Today we are all about LATERAL HOPS—try 5 after your next run!

Follow us @womensrunningmagazine on Instagram and share your success with #LeapwithWR during the month of February! And find all exercises under “Leap Year Challenge” on our homepage.

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http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2016/02/strength-training/leap-year-plyo-challenge-lateral-hops_53952/feed 0 We are celebrating the leap year with 29 days of plyometric moves!
Photos From California’s Surf City Marathon http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2016/02/races/photos-from-californias-surf-city-half-marathon_53922 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2016/02/races/photos-from-californias-surf-city-half-marathon_53922#comments Mon, 08 Feb 2016 20:00:28 +0000 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/?p=53922

Don't worry—February in California definitely looks like July, and these photos prove it.

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More than 16,000 participants ran in front of more than 30,000 spectators at the 20th annual Surf City Marathon And Half Marathon in sunny Huntington Beach over the weekend. Thirty-four countries and every single state were represented, as runners descend upon Southern California every year for this event. Take a peek at some of the photos showing the crowds running along the coast. Photos: Courtesy of Surf City USA Marathon And Half Marathon

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]]> http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2016/02/races/photos-from-californias-surf-city-half-marathon_53922/feed 0 Don't worry—February in California definitely looks like July, and these photos prove it. A Beautiful Weekend In Sedona http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2016/02/races/a-beautiful-weekend-in-sedona_53896 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2016/02/races/a-beautiful-weekend-in-sedona_53896#comments Mon, 08 Feb 2016 19:57:05 +0000 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/?p=53896

Both the hills and the scenery in Sedona, Ariz., took runners' breath away this weekend.

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On Saturday morning, more than 2,000 runners hit the roads—both paved and not—for the Sedona Marathon to pound out one of four distances: 5K, 10K, half and full marathons. With its 4,500-foot elevation and penchant for inclines, including one to the finish, the Arizona town lures racers with the motto, “If the hills don’t take your breath away, the scenery will.” From start to finish, the out-and-back courses have stunning views of the area’s signature red rock. Women’s Running traveled to Sedona this year to cheer on the racers, who are predominantly female.

The post A Beautiful Weekend In Sedona appeared first on Women's Running.

]]> http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2016/02/races/a-beautiful-weekend-in-sedona_53896/feed 0 Both the hills and the scenery in Sedona, Ariz., took runners' breath away this weekend. What To Say To That Mid-Run Selfie Loving Friend http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2016/02/girlfriends-guide-to-running/what-to-say-to-that-mid-run-selfie-loving-friend_53883 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2016/02/girlfriends-guide-to-running/what-to-say-to-that-mid-run-selfie-loving-friend_53883#comments Mon, 08 Feb 2016 19:32:13 +0000 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/?p=53883

But what if you don't want to stop for a mid-run snap?

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Etiquette expert and runner Lizzie Post knows a thing or two about the rules of the road.

Q: My friend likes to take photos while we’re running, but I don’t want to stop in the middle of our run. Is it rude to continue and ask her to catch up?

This is a tough call. I think the best time to address it is before you start the run. Asking ahead of time, rather than when you’re in the moment, will take the pressure off . Your friend won’t feel rushed and you won’t feel held back if you both know from the get-go what to expect.

Related: Can You Tell A Running Buddy To Ditch Her Headphones?

Try something like, “I know you love to take pictures on our runs, but do you mind if I keep going when you stop, and you can catch up when you’re ready?” If she gets uncomfortable with the idea of having to chase you, you can always try backtracking, so that you are then looping back to her as she wraps up the photo session.

Have a question for Lizzie? Email editorial@womensrunning.com or tweet @womensrunning with the hashtag #ProperForm.

Related: Who Gets The Right Of Way On The Trail?

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http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2016/02/girlfriends-guide-to-running/what-to-say-to-that-mid-run-selfie-loving-friend_53883/feed 0 But what if you don't want to stop for a mid-run snap?