Women's Running http://womensrunning.competitor.com Women's Running Magazine Wed, 01 Oct 2014 01:52:13 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.2 Sponsored: Designed to Recover http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2014/09/news/sponsored-designed-recover_30826 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2014/09/news/sponsored-designed-recover_30826#comments Wed, 01 Oct 2014 01:52:13 +0000 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/?p=30826 The post Sponsored: Designed to Recover appeared first on Women's Running.

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6 Great Triathlons for Beginners http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2014/09/races/6-great-triathlons-beginners_30813 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2014/09/races/6-great-triathlons-beginners_30813#comments Tue, 30 Sep 2014 20:46:38 +0000 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/?p=30813

Ready to give triathlon a try? These beginner-friendly races are a great place to start.

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These races are a great place to test your swim, bike and run, rookie-style.

Iron Girl

Various Locations and Dates
irongirl.com
Sprint distance: 1/3-mile swim, 11.2-mile bike, 2-mile run

The women’s-only sister series to the global Ironman events, Iron Girl triathlons provide an encouraging environment for first-timers, fueled by the mission to “empower women toward a healthy lifestyle.” With gender-specific technical finishers’ shirts and Iron Girl jewelry as age-group awards, Iron Girl is a cool challenge to include in a getaway weekend with your BFFs. The next race is scheduled for April 2015 in Clearwater, FL but their entire 2015 schedule will be announced soon.

ƒChallenge Rancho Cordova

Rancho Cordova, Calif.
Oct. 5, 2014
challenge-ranchocordova.com
Half-iron distance: 1.2-mile swim, 56-mile bike, 13.1-mile run

If you’re ready, willing and able to tackle the half-iron distance, Challenge Rancho Cordova will make your novice long-course race one to remember with the calm, clean water of the Nimbus Dam and a rolling ride through Northern California farmland and vineyards. If going the distance solo seems too daunting, try the relay division—a feature at all Challenge Family events. And per the company’s credo, family members are encouraged to join athletes as they cross the finish line to celebrate their accomplishment, so be sure to bring your personal fan club along to enjoy this genuine family affair.

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Hungry Runner Girl: The Female Athlete Triad http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2014/09/hungry-runner-girl/hungry-runner-girl-female-athlete-triad_30807 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2014/09/hungry-runner-girl/hungry-runner-girl-female-athlete-triad_30807#comments Tue, 30 Sep 2014 16:40:41 +0000 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/?p=30807

Janae struggled with the female athlete triad and shares the warning signs she overlooked.

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janae run

Female Athlete Triad is when an athlete experiences loss of menstrual cycle, disordered eating, and osteoporosis. This is something we don’t talk about enough as female runners.

I struggled with this triad for 2.5 years. I thought thinner meant I would be faster. I was also running high mileage to deal with the stress of my marriage and not eating enough to sustain how much I was running. Because of those factors, I lost my period and dealt with the side effects that went along with it. I didn’t understand at the time how missing my period due to being underweight was a way that my body was communicating to me that something wasn’t right. It was a huge red flag that I was not training properly.

I ran 3 marathons within a few months and each one was a little faster than the previous one. I attributed my personal records to me losing weight- a weight that was below the healthy range. I thought that if I lost even a little bit more weight, then I would be even faster. Wrong.

I may have been fast for a few months at that unhealthy weight, but it caught up with me. It weakened my bones and broke down my body.

During this time of struggling with the Female Athlete Triad, I qualified for the Boston Marathon with a time of 3:04. I trained, trained, and trained even more for Boston. I had my plane tickets booked, my hotel all ready to go and boom… I was diagnosed with two femoral stress fractures just a week before the race. I was devastated and in a tremendous amount of pain.

My doctor sat down with me and recommended that I get a bone scan and some nutrition help. The bone scan came back stating I had Osteopenia. And I was bordering the line of Osteoporosis. I was 26 years old at the time, and my bones were weak and brittle.

This was my wake-up call. I could not believe that I had allowed myself to get to such an unhealthy place. I instantly was worried about my bones, fertility, and the type of example I was setting for other runners. At that moment, I decided to do what it took to get my body back to a healthy place.

For me personally, I had to do three main things to get my period back and make my bones strong again:

  • I worked with my doctor and a nutritionist to figure out the correct calories, nutrients and exercise regimens.
  • I gained weight. For me, that meant I had to run less (I couldn’t run at all because of my injury) and eat more.
  • I increased my body fat percentage. This goes along with gaining weight. My doctor stressed to me that I didn’t need to gain weight through gaining muscle weight but that I needed to gain fat until I was in a healthier range.

It took time. I even had two more stress fractures after I returned to running again, as I was working on getting to a healthy place. Once I was at a healthy weight, I was able to get pregnant and have a beautiful baby girl. I have yet to experience a stress fracture since I gained the necessary weight and body fat. (I’m not saying that the female athlete triad causes all stress fractures but for me and my weakened bones at the time, it did.) My bone scans now show that my bones are healthy, strong and in the normal range.

Take care of yourself. Pay attention to the red flags that your body is giving you. Fuel yourself properly. Rest and recover. Most of all, help young female athletes that you know who are struggling with the Female Athlete Triad.

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Run-cation Destination: Switzerland http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2014/09/active-travel/run-cation-destination-switzerland_30773 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2014/09/active-travel/run-cation-destination-switzerland_30773#comments Tue, 30 Sep 2014 13:01:03 +0000 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/?p=30773

Get lost among the hills in this year-round runner's paradise.

Every season is peak season in Switzerland—a runner’s year-round paradise.

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Get lost among the hills in this year-round runner's paradise.


Switzerland’s staggering mountain ranges—snow-capped in the winter, lush and green in the summer—provide a breathtaking panorama for any traveler. But for runners with a bit of wanderlust, this scenery isn’t just a backdrop—it’s a majestic stomping ground.

Former Swiss marathoner and world-class triathlete Oliver Bernhard grew up running up and down the peaks surrounding his childhood home. Even today, the five-time Ironman winner says he’s astounded by the loveliness. “I’m blown away by the beauty of the landscape, and I enjoy the views from those hills as much as I did when I was young.”

For runners who thrive on the outdoors, there are few places on earth more ideal than clean, green Switzerland. It may be a small country (roughly one-tenth the size of California), but with its pure air and spectacular terrain, it packs a full punch, with crystalline lakes, winding rivers, verdant valleys and more than 50,000 kilometers of kept-up trails. Plus, Bernhard says the country’s compactness lends to its allure: “Things are often not that far apart, so you can really have that beach-mountain experience here.”

Priceless Views

For many Americans, Switzerland conjures thoughts of giant banks and secret accounts. But for many finance professionals, running helps bring balance to a demanding career. Lydia Gallwey first tried the sport following the recession.

Shortly after the 2008 investment scandal created by once-prominent financier Bernie Madoff—an event that threw the entire global financial system into total disarray—Gallwey, who works for Spanish bank Santander in Geneva, was so stressed out in her job that she desperately needed some kind of an outlet. Running proved to be the perfect release, and today, Gallwey runs regularly, both in the countryside, where she lives, as well as in downtown Geneva.

She says that running through the vineyard near her home helps her “appreciate the different smells and the way the earth feels beneath my feet and how that changes with every season.” But she enjoys pounding the pavement downtown just as much. “I love the way the sun’s rays reflect off Geneva’s Lac Leman. I love seeing the ducks on the water and hearing the city sounds around me,” she says.

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How I Became a Marathon Maniac http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2014/09/inspiration/became-marathon-maniac_30769 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2014/09/inspiration/became-marathon-maniac_30769#comments Mon, 29 Sep 2014 22:20:23 +0000 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/?p=30769

Danielle Hastings, running-hater turned total 26.2-mile fiend, is our new columnist.

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SOME PEOPLE ARE BORN RUNNERS—I’m definitely not one of them. In school, I quit my soccer team on the first day because the coach told us to run just one lap around the field. But after graduating college, I was uncertain of the future, trapped in an abusive relationship and plagued by an all-consuming depression I needed to escape.

Runners, I reasoned, weren’t depressed. The runners I saw on the street all looked happy—if I was a runner, maybe I could be happy too. So I laced up a completely absurd pair of shoes and ran, then walked, then ran, then walked. One day, I realized I could just run. Although I couldn’t call myself happy, I could call myself a runner. For the next two years, my inconsistent 3-mile therapy sessions were enough. But when I found myself in the middle of a crumbling marriage at the ripe old age of 23, I felt the need to go farther.

The next few months, I ran more than ever. Running took me out of a volatile house and allowed me to sort through thoughts, feelings and tough decisions. One day, I ran past the 8-mile mark on my longest run ever, which turned into 11 miles when I got lost.

Figuring 13.1 miles wasn’t that much farther, I signed up for a half marathon the following weekend. As I crossed the finish line, I swore never to do anything that stupid again. And yet, just a week later, thirsty for a challenge (or perhaps more free Gatorade), I registered for my first marathon.

While choosing my first 26.2-mile race, I learned just how many marathons there are. I discovered that there are historical, feud-themed and pig-themed races, ones that go through farmland or through big cities, and ones that give you medals, beanies and mason jars. I wanted to experience them all.

I set a goal to run a marathon in all 50 states before turning 30. I’m now 28 years old, divorced and 35 states into my quest. My love of free sports beverages has evolved into a love of free beer (the hydration choice of champions!) and my therapeutic 3-milers are now more like 3-hour long runs.

I’ve had fast-for-me marathons and slow-for-me marathons (more slow than fast). But in every race I’ve made new memories: square dancing at mile 2 of the Fargo Marathon, swinging on the tire swing at mile 9 of the Hatfi eld-McCoy Marathon, and taking a Jell-O shot at mile 14 of Route 66.

Travel writer Timothy Cahill once said, “A journey is best measured in friends, rather than in miles.” Countless memories, lifelong friends, more than one slight-overshare conversation and 44 marathons later, I have to say I agree.

Danielle’s Stats:

44/35: The number of marathons ran in the number states as of May 2014

4:14:28: Current Marathon PR

1:50:33: Half Marathon PR

Favorite Foods: Avocado, cheese, and black beans

My Secret Obsession: Negotiating with car dealers.

Current Goals: run a marathon in all 50 states and break 4 hours

Favorite Workout: Long Run

Pet Peeve: Inconsiderate travelers

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

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Photo Gallery: Women’s Running Series, Nashville http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2014/09/races/photo-gallery-womens-running-series-nashville_30738 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2014/09/races/photo-gallery-womens-running-series-nashville_30738#comments Mon, 29 Sep 2014 19:44:56 +0000 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/?p=30738

Take a look at photos from this weekend's half marathon and 5K in Nashville!

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On Saturday, Women’s Running Series took over the streets of Nashville, Tennessee for their half marathon and 5K races. A warm autumn day did not runners from enjoying the race and the post-event perks! Runners were treated to a Freshen Up Bar, free mimosas, massages, and a yoga zone- the perfect way to recover after 13.1 miles. Finishers proudly wore their cowboy boot medals around to boost about their accomplishments.

Beth Woodward of Orrville, OH won the half marathon in 1:25:47. She was followed by 18 year old Jacqueline Gottuso of Fair Haven, NJ in 1:30:27 and Cassidy Bentley of Nashville in 1:32:11.

Speeding to first in the 5K was Nicole Clark of Ellicott City, MD in 21:27. Megan McCormick and Megan Sykes, both of Nashville,  finished 2nd and 3rd, in 22:01 and 22:31 respectively.

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]]> http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2014/09/races/photo-gallery-womens-running-series-nashville_30738/feed 0 NYC Running Mama: Heat Injuries in Cold Weather http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2014/09/mile-posts/nyc-running-mama-heat-injuries-cold-weather_30733 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2014/09/mile-posts/nyc-running-mama-heat-injuries-cold-weather_30733#comments Mon, 29 Sep 2014 16:00:10 +0000 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/?p=30733

Last weekend, my sister and I stood at the starting line of the Rock ‘n’ Roll Philly Half Marathon. It was her first half marathon. I

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Last weekend, my sister and I stood at the starting line of the Rock ‘n’ Roll Philly Half Marathon. It was her first half marathon. I was ecstatic to have the opportunity to run it with her for support and memories! Having run multiple 10 and 12 milers leading up to the race, she was completely trained for the distance and was ready to celebrate her months of hard work with our family, who would be waiting at the finish line.

We started off at her normal pace for long runs and the miles began ticking by. Everything was on track…until it wasn’t.

By mile 4, she told me that she was feeling nauseous.
By mile 5, her pace had slowed down about 30-45 seconds per mile.
By mile 7, she told me she had cramping in her legs and calves.
By mile 9, we had slowed another 30 seconds per mile.
By mile 10, I noticed that she looked pale and her lips were discolored.
At mile 11.6, her legs cramped up and she stopped running. We sat down for about a minute, had a pep talk, and began walking to the finish.
And at mile 11.7, she passed out in my arms.

The next few hours were some of the scariest in my entire life. The doctors at the medical tent diagnosed my sister with heat exhaustion. She vomited, passed out twice and had a fever of 102.4. Thankfully after four hours of receiving fluids (IV and oral) and cold compresses, and having her vitals monitored, she was released and allowed to go home.

I am incredibly frustrated with myself for not seeing the warning signs of heat exhaustion that WERE there. However it was the last thing on my mind. It was overcast and not terribly warm out – maybe mid-70s by the time we stopped – so I never connected the dots. But it was extremely humid – between 90-95% for most of the morning, which played a major role in causing her body temperature to sky rocket.

There is a lot of discussion about heat injuries when the warmer weather begins to approach in the late spring/early summer. I think we are all pretty good with being on the lookout for the telltale signs. But if you are like me, it’s hard to imagine suffering from a heat injury when it’s cloudy, cool or even freezing out. However, heat injuries can happen year round – regardless of the season and temperature outside.

Heat injuries (heat cramping, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke) occur when you cannot sweat enough to cool your body. This results in your core body temperature rising. It most commonly happens when exercising intensely in hot, humid conditions but it can also happen in the cooler winter months, when you are bundled up and perspiring more than you may realize.

While air temperature does play a large part in heat injuries, there are other factors that should be taken into account including humidity, direct and reflected (off the pavement) radiation of the sun, exposure to heat/humidity the previous two days as well as individual risk factors (medications, illness, age are just a few).

Some of the most common signs of heat injuries include:

  • Confusion
  • Dark-colored urine (a sign of dehydration)
  • Dizziness
  • Fainting
  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Muscle cramps
  • Nausea
  • Pale skin
  • Profuse sweating
  • Rapid heartbeat

There are ways to reduce your risk for heat injury:

  • Clothing: Wear clothes that are light colored (dark colors absorb the heat from the sun) and loose fitting – and try to limit them to one layer
  • Hydration: Drink before, during (drink about 4 to 8 ounces of water and/or sports drink every 15 to 20 minutes), and after your workout or race.
  • Alter pace as necessary and add in walk breaks: A hot or humid day might mean you should scale back your goals for that day. Slow down and take walk breaks if necessary. There will always be another race.
  • Salt Intake: Increase salt in the days leading up to the race
  • Weigh Yourself: Step on a scale before and after your workout to monitor water loss. Make sure you have replaced enough fluids before your next workout
  • Monitor the color of your urine: The darker your urine, the less hydrated you are. Increase your fluids to bring your urine to a light color before your next workout.
  • Listen to your body: Keep an eye out for the common signs and seek medical attention if you think you are experiencing any of them

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Reader Run Brag Gallery 09/29/14 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2014/09/just-for-fun/reader-run-brag-gallery-092914_30617 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2014/09/just-for-fun/reader-run-brag-gallery-092914_30617#comments Mon, 29 Sep 2014 12:50:06 +0000 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/?p=30617

Cheers to everyone who raced this weekend! Celebrate with a look at our #RunBrag Gallery!

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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/2014/09/just-for-fun/reader-run-brag-gallery-092914_30617/feed 0 Gear Obsession: The Undress http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2014/09/shoes-gear/gear-obsession-undress_30607 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2014/09/shoes-gear/gear-obsession-undress_30607#comments Fri, 26 Sep 2014 19:00:24 +0000 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/?p=30607

The Undress promises to free runners of the awkward post-run clothing change.

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In case you haven’t seen this gem of an idea, The Undress, created in San Diego, is a runner girl’s modest on-the-go solution. With a newly launched Kickstarter campaign, which began on Sept. 22 to raise $22,000 in 40 days, this innovative solution for awkward car changes between runs and brunches just made life a whole lost easier—and cuter!

What is it? Well, it’s essentially a dress with superpowers. The goal of Undress is to make changing in and out of running clothes seamless and doable anywhere (finally!). Why are we obsessed with it? Because we’ve never seen anything like it, we are tired of awkwardly scrunching down in our passenger seats to get out of our sports bras, and it’s totes adorable

“Even as a guy, I see and feel the discomfort that women have to go through when they try to sneak in their cars to change or try to inconspicuously change under a towel,” says inventor and co-founder Dennis Caco in a press release. “But now, women no longer have to take the risk of bearing it all. There’s a solution for them and it’s called The Undress.”

The steps are easy (and way less awkward than the quickly-put-on-bra-before-person-next-to-me-sees technique). Check out the full demonstration here. An added bonus? When you forget to pack a clean shirt for your post-run brunch with the ladies, the Maxi-inspired dress is super cute on its own!

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]]> http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2014/09/shoes-gear/gear-obsession-undress_30607/feed 0 Eat Pray Run DC: Bucket List Races http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2014/09/eat-pray-run-dc/eat-pray-run-dc-bucket-list-races_30595 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2014/09/eat-pray-run-dc/eat-pray-run-dc-bucket-list-races_30595#comments Fri, 26 Sep 2014 16:00:46 +0000 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/?p=30595

Courtney shares which races she dreams of running. What's on your bucket list?

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I love, love, LOVE running races. It’s so fun to race with friends and with strangers that become friends. If I could, I’d race almost every weekend. Of course I have a life outside of running, so that can’t happen. I also don’t have unlimited money for race fees, so I try to budget carefully and not get carried away (but it’s so easy to do so!). However, I do have a list of races that I’d love to run and hope to check off my list soon!

  • Marine Corps Marathon. This is my hometown marathon and I definitely will run it someday soon – hopefully next year! I’d love nothing more than to run 26.2 through my city.
  • A Disney race. I LOVE Disney World and it’s my dream to run a Disney race. I’m not too particular about which race, although I think I’d probably pass on doing a marathon at Disney. The Wine and Dine Half Marathon seems about my speed.
  • New York City Marathon. I have had some great runs in Central Park and nothing sounds more fun than running through New York with 50,000 of my closest friends.
  • Big Sur Marathon. I mean, have you seen pictures of this course? Yeah, it’s stunning. I will definitely run this one someday soon.
  • Boston Marathon. Yeah, the big one. I have a tenative goal of qualifying for the Boston marathon for my 40th birthday (in 8 years). This is obviously a huge goal, so this race will remain on my list until I get there!

That’s my list! There are, of course, tons of races that I would love to run but these races are all big ones that I may only get the chance to run once in a lifetime. I plan on getting started with crossing these runs off my list as early as next year.

What races are on your bucket list? Tweet @eatprayrundc and @womensrunning to let us know!

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How To Avoid Five Common Triathlete Issues http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2014/09/training-tips/avoid-five-common-triathlete-issues_30592 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2014/09/training-tips/avoid-five-common-triathlete-issues_30592#comments Fri, 26 Sep 2014 14:25:41 +0000 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/?p=30592

Sidestep common triathlete woes with these simple tricks.

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Though triathlon comes with a great number of health and vanity benefits (hello, sexy swimmer shoulders!), there’s still a few, ahem, “issues” female triathletes encounter, from uncomfortable bouncing boobs to painful saddle sores. The best defense is a good offense. Avoid these common triathlete troubles with simple prevention strategies:

“Down there” drama

Sores in the groin, rear end and upper thighs can make cycling uncomfortable—or worse, become infected and painful. These nuisances, caused by chafing, blocked hair follicles or excess pressure on the crotch, typically manifest themselves as red, tender lumps. To avoid these sores:

  • Make sure your saddle is positioned correctly. A proper bike fit is key for comfort and prevention of sores.
  • Use a chamois cream with antibacterial properties. Hoo Ha Ride Glide ($21.95, Reflectsports.com) contains tea tree and peppermint oils.
  • Never wear underwear with your cycling shorts, and always wash dirty shorts before wearing again—even if they were only worn for a short ride!

Support “the girls”

Though many tri tops and suits have built-in sports bras, some wom-en may find they need a little extra support. When selecting a sports bra:

  • Try on multiple brands. Test their comfort by reaching up over your head and jogging in place.
  • Choose a bra with a snug band and straps that don’t dig into your shoulders.
  • Stay away from cotton fabrics, which will retain water from the swim and lead to chafing. Instead, look for technical, moisture-wicking fabrics. Still haven’t found “the one?” Go to Titlenine.com, where “bra- vangelists” will help find a perfect fit for every body.

Sun exposure

According to The Skin Cancer Foundation, more than 3.5 million skin cancers in more than two mil-lion people are diagnosed annually, and more than 90 percent of the visible changes commonly attributed to skin aging are caused by the sun. Sun protection is essential to skin cancer prevention—and so simple too!

  • Use a sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher, and apply 1 ounce every two hours; many sweat- and water-resistant brands are available for triathletes, like Endurance Shield ($12.99 for 2 oz., Enduranceshield.com).
  • Look for clothing carrying an Ultraviolet Protection Factor, or UPF rating, for an added layer of sun safety.
  • Ride in the trainer or swim in an indoor pool when possible—especially between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., when the sun’s rays are most intense.

Eau de Chlorine

Even the most expensive perfume can’t mask the smell of chlorine. The water in swimming pools can leave swimmers with dry, brittle, itchy hair and skin. Soap and shampoo post-swim can help, but a vitamin C-based treatment like SwimSpray ($12.95, Swimspray.com) can counteract the residual chlorine, leaving skin and hair soft and odor-free.

Chafing

A rite of passage for many triathletes is the “wetsuit hickey,” a large, red blotch on the neck caused by chafing where the suit meets the skin. Triathletes can experience irritation in any location where friction is applied to the skin: in the armpit, under a heart-rate strap, along the inner thighs or under the toes. Minimize friction by wearing snug, moisture-wicking clothing with few seams and applying a lubricant such as Body Glide, ($9.99, most running/triathlon stores) to areas prone to chafing.

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Racing and Living for a Cause http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2014/09/inspiration/racing-living-cause_30581 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2014/09/inspiration/racing-living-cause_30581#comments Thu, 25 Sep 2014 21:39:25 +0000 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/?p=30581

Caitlyn heads into WRS Nashville inspired by a fellow runner who survived cancer.

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Earlier this week, I had the opportunity to chat with Kristi, who is participating with Team Edith on Sept. 27 at the Women’s Running Nashville event. Hearing her story of overcoming a stage 4(!) cancer diagnosis three years ago—which came just four months after a clean mammogram— really recharged my own reasons for running this race, and running in general. Because she missed her first marathon due to cancer treatment, Kristi came back after entering remission to run the Fargo Marathon earlier this year. It was there that she discovered the Edith Sanford Breast Cancer Foundation, our charity partner at Women’s Running.

“I really firmly believe in their mission. I love that all the money raised [literally] through them goes to research,” says Kristi, who has raised around $1,300 for the cause between Fargo and the event on Saturday. The dedicated fundraiser has also done every Women’s Running Nashville event to date, including the event this weekend. “I want everyone to know that [cancer isn't a death sentence], and it doesn’t mean you need to stop living your life.”

As I listened to her share her story, not only did she remind me of the power of running, but she also reminded me just how small so many of our day-to-day struggles actually are. A simple story of doing a race for the sake of “unfinished business” seemed so easy. How did she make it seem so effortless? There wasn’t a tone of uncertainty as she explained her race-day goals. Not doing the race was always lesser option than racing SAG wagon to the finish.

I got off the phone and hopped onto Edith Sanford’s website for a little refresher from my days as a charity coordinator under our parent company. I loved what I saw—100% of the proceeds funding necessary research. What a fabulous percentage to read on a charity website! So, on Saturday, I will put my own molehill-to-mountain struggles aside and run for Kristi and other survivors; Edith Sanford and their mission; my friend, coach and mentor, Linda; my late Nana, who lost her battle years ago; and all the people I haven’t had the honor of meeting but take treatment by the horns and crush it.

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Ask A Coach: How To Get Faster http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2014/09/training-tips/ask-coach-get-faster_30585 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2014/09/training-tips/ask-coach-get-faster_30585#comments Thu, 25 Sep 2014 19:48:25 +0000 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/?p=30585

Coach Hillary Kigar has a few suggestions for mixing up your running routine.

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ask a coach

NCAA runner turned high school coach Hillary Kigar has an answer for all things training! 

Q: I have been running the same pace for two years. What’s the best way to get faster?

The good news is that by running a consistent pace for the last two years, you have established a strong foundation! The best way to get faster is to vary the distance and pace of your runs. For example, if you have been consistently going on 4-mile runs at 9-minute-mile pace, mix in a 3-miler at 8:30 pace once a week. Another fun thing that helps with speed is to do strides once or twice a week after your run. A stride is a 10- to 30-second almost-sprint. Do four or five strides, resting between each one, to help your legs practice what it feels like to move a little more quickly.

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How To Fuel Your Workouts and Runs http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2014/09/nutrition/fuel-workouts-runs_30577 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2014/09/nutrition/fuel-workouts-runs_30577#comments Thu, 25 Sep 2014 16:00:49 +0000 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/?p=30577

Nutritionist Katie Casto Hynes explains the best ways and foods to fuel your runs.

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Crisp morning air, leaves changing colors, crunchy apples, and everything pumpkin. Fall is here! But better yet, perfect racing weather and marathon season are upon us. As we gear up for fall racing, it is important to fuel your runs, especially the hard workouts and long runs. Proper fueling will lead to better workouts and provide more energy.

When: Aim to eat 30 minutes to 4 hours before your workout or race. Yes, this is a big window of time. Use workouts leading up to a race to test your gut. How close to the run can you eat without upsetting your gastrointestinal (GI) system? Every individual is different. Timing can also be tough depending on what time of day you’re running. Who wants to get up at 4am to fuel that 6am run? Rest is important too! However, before an important race or key workout, it may be worth waking up 2-3 hours earlier to eat. Then, try going back to sleep for a few extra ZZZs. 

What: Simple carbs move quickly through the gut and into the bloodstream as glucose. These “sugars” are ready to roll! Pre-fueling is all about topping off the muscles before your run with readily available energy and maintaining blood glucose levels during prolonged exercise. Think about easy and quick options like brown rice crackers, pretzels, fresh fruit, low-fat yogurt, low-fiber cereal, or a snack bar.

How Much: Keep it small. And reduce the size of the snack the closer to exercise that the meal is consumed. 20-60 grams of carbs is all you need to top off your muscles. What does 20-60 grams of carbs look like? Here are some snack suggestions:

  • 1 slice of toast with 1 tablespoon nutbutter and honey
  • 1 medium banana
  • 1 packet of instant oatmeal with ½ cup strawberries
  • 1 whole grain frozen waffle with 1 tablespoon jam
  • 16 oz sports drink.

(NOTE: Before long endurance races, such as the marathon, aim for a larger meal of 2 to 4 grams carb per kg body weight)

But….not every run needs extra fuel. Teach your body to use fat for fuel by running on empty. Early morning easy runs are the perfect time for this. You avoid sacrificing a workout while also training your body to be more fuel efficient. So sometimes just wakeup and go!

Next time you plan a workout, plan a snack along with it. Try out different options to see what works best for your body. You may just surprise yourself and run your best workout yet!

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Katie Casto Hynes received her Masters of Science in Nutrition & Exercise Physiology from Teachers College, Columbia University. A former collegiate athlete turned competitive marathon runner, her passion for fueling the body with healthy foods inspired her to enter this field. She has worked with athletes to help them improve their performance through nutrition and proper race fueling. Katie can often be seen running through Brooklyn and chatting about her latest kitchen adventures.

 

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NYC Running Mama: Breaking Down Speedwork http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2014/09/nyc-running-mama/nyc-running-mama-breaking-speedwork_30572 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2014/09/nyc-running-mama/nyc-running-mama-breaking-speedwork_30572#comments Thu, 25 Sep 2014 13:09:33 +0000 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/?p=30572

Want to get faster? Michele breaks down the most common forms of speed work for runners.

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There are a ton of resources available if you are looking to get faster – websites, books, even other runners. But before you can start incorporating some of the workouts into your training, the first thing you probably want to do is become familiar with the lingo- which can be a bit overwhelming if you are newer to the sport. I didn’t understand what a lot of the terminology was until I had already been running for years, but once I did, I was much more open to adding them into my training.

Below are some of the most common types of speedwork. There are endless variations for each (and you can even get crazy and combine a few of them!) – but these will give you a good foundation from which you can build upon.

Fartlek: Fartlek means “speed play” in Swedish and involves short periods of fast running followed by short periods of slower running. There’s often no set distance or pace. You can even do it without a watch or Garmin. Fartleks are a great way to get your feet wet with speedwork since it’s a fun, creative, and less structured form of interval workout. Some examples of fartleks (More can be found here):

  • Use landmarks (light posts, stop lights, streets): Run fast from one landmark to the next, and then run easy until you hit the next one. Or run fast for 5 light posts, then run easy for 5.
  • Time: Run hard for period of time (1-5 minutes), then run easy for period of time. Repeat.
  • Pyramid: 1 min hard, 1 min easy, 2 min hard, 2 min easy, 3 min hard, 3 min easy, 2 min hard, 2 min easy, 1 min hard, 1 min easy

Surges: Surges are short bursts of fast running in the middle (or end) of any type of run. These usually take place during easy or long runs. Surges last anywhere from 30 seconds to a couple of minutes. Runners should target a comfortably hard pace (think 5k-10k pace), followed by short periods of easy-paced running. Surges are a great way to inject some faster running into your workout while also helping to break up the monotony of an easy or long run. Some examples:

  • If you are new to surges try: 4 x 1 minute on, 3-5 minute off (with “on” being fast and “off” being easy-paced)
  • Work up to: 6 x 2 minutes on, 3-4 minutes off (great workout to add to a longer run!)

Fast Finish: A fast finish is simply that – finishing the run fast. It is one of the easiest ways to incorporate faster running into your training while preparing your body and mind to finish races fast. You can do this on easy runs or long runs, and it won’t leave you exhausted or wiped for the next day’s run. According to Matt Fittzgerald, “A habit of indulging in controlled fast finishes whenever you please will make you a little fitter over time by adding a bit of extra work—and fun—into your training.”

Progression: The basic idea of a progression run is to gradually pick up the pace as you run – so you want to start slow and end fast. A progression run typically doesn’t have set paces. It’s a very fluid workout (although advanced runners may have specific paces to hit). Progression runs are my favorite type of run because they force me to start slow and easy, and to take cues from my body. And it’s a huge confidence booster – there is nothing as satisfying as finishing a run (regardless of distance) feeling fast, strong and in control. While there a ton of ways to do a progression run, two of the more common forms are:

  • Miles: This is how I prefer to do my progression runs. I aim to run each mile faster than the previous mile which means I start slow and try to have each mile split be 5-15 seconds faster per mile than the previous one.
  • Segments: Separate your run into equal parts.  If you are running 6 miles, run the first two slowest, the middle two faster and the last two fastest (on average).

Tempo: According to Jack Daniels, Ph.D, author of Daniel’s Running Formula, a tempo run is “…nothing more than 20 minutes of steady running at threshold pace.” Also known as an anaerobic threshold (AT) run or lactate-threshold run, a tempo run should feel hard - but not too hard - and could be maintained for about an hour in a race. Tempo or threshold runs aim to increase the speed you can sustain for a prolonged period of time, while increasing the time you can sustain that relatively fast pace. Common types of tempo workouts are:

  • Continuous Run: Start at 20 minutes and work up to longer times/distance – and run a consistent, hard pace
  • Tempo Intervals: Shorter, faster segments such as a 2 x 2 mile workout (run 2 miles at tempo pace with a few minutes of slower running recovery followed by 2 miles at tempo pace)

Interval:Intervals consist of repeated short segments of fast running separated by slow jogging or complete rest. The intervals allow you to run much faster than you usually do, adapting your body to higher demands and your leg muscles to faster turnover. Over time, you become more physiologically efficient. Intervals increase your overall speed. Examples include (more can be found here):

  • Specific Distances (such as 200, 400, 800, 1600): 6×400 with 2 minutes of recovery. This means you run 400m at a designated pace followed immediately by 2 minutes of easy running (or complete rest).  Repeat 6 times.
  • Ladder Workout: Mix up some of the distances so you build up in distance and then work back down. Example: 400, 800, 1600, 800, 400 (all with 400m recovery).

If you are unsure of what paces to target for some of the workouts, there are multiple websites which give you a general range for specific workouts based on your recent race times. Two of my favorites include: Maximum Performance Racing and McMillan Running Calculator.

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Mile Posts: 12 Bliss Filled Miles Just Because http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2014/09/photos/mile-posts-12-bliss-filled-miles-just_30558 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2014/09/photos/mile-posts-12-bliss-filled-miles-just_30558#comments Wed, 24 Sep 2014 16:00:38 +0000 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/?p=30558

There are many ways to define a runner, as Dorothy discovered recently on the run.

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Today’s run was one of those runs where you are thankful to be alive.

The air was crisp. The sun was shinning. It felt like a scene out of a movie, my movie, the story of my life maybe…

I thought about the marathon I have coming up in 5 weeks and about my lack of long runs – read NO long runs. I thought about the pros and cons of using the race as a long run for another race. I thought about what races mean to me and if I have to keep doing them to consider myself a runner. Do I have to chase PR’s or follow training programs to be welcome into running community year after year? If I stopped running marathons, do I cease being a marathoner and become that girl who once upon a time ran long races? Did I ever have to start running races to become a runner? Was I a runner the day I began running?

After miles upon miles of my thoughts jumping around, this sentiment stuck.

If you never run a race again, you are still a runner.

If you run and have never run a race, you are still a runner.

You can run for the pure joy of it. You can be competitive with yourself. You can race the watch on your arm, not the time clock at the finish. You can feel on top of the world at the end of a long run, just because you love running, not because you needed or wanted a medal around your neck. You can run a PR and no one has to know but you.

The wonderful thing about the sport of running is that there are endless options. One person can love running on trails. One person can have a thing for the treadmill. Still another can prefer running on sidewalks, while another would rather die than run anywhere but a beautiful paved trail. One person can run ultras while another sticks to the 5K. Both are runners and one isn’t MORE of a runner than the other.

So on a Tuesday morning in September I chose to run 12 miles just because I wanted to. It made me happy. Isn’t that part of the whole purpose of running- to be happy?

“Running tells us the good news about ourselves” – George Sheehan

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]]> http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2014/09/photos/mile-posts-12-bliss-filled-miles-just_30558/feed 0 How I Learned to Stop Hating Yoga http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2014/09/training-tips/learned-stop-hating-yoga_30554 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2014/09/training-tips/learned-stop-hating-yoga_30554#comments Wed, 24 Sep 2014 12:00:04 +0000 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/?p=30554

Even runners can learn to love the quiet and strength of yoga.

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*Content courtesy of POPSUGAR Fitness

It may be National Yoga Month — a time to celebrate the ancient practice by trying out new studios around your city — but stick me in a yoga class, and my mind and breath are bound to wander. Yoga for me has always been an hour and a half of feeling incredibly awkward and inflexible and wondering when it would be time for my favorite pose (Savasana, of course).

I’ve heard from people who have a similar level of patience as me claim that yoga is also their least favorite way to work out. The slow pace is at odds with my workout of choice, running, and I imagine those who like to blow off steam at kickboxing class, for example, also find it hard to hold poses and quietly introspect while in yoga.

After a few years’ hiatus from my very beginner’s yoga practice, however, I’ve begun to realize just how integral yoga is to my routine. For one, stretching out my tired runner’s hamstrings and hips is always a good thing. For another, yoga offers a way to quiet the mind while strengthening the entire body and increasing body awareness — all-important factors when you are always on the go or stressing about your program when training for a race.

As inflexible as they come, I’m still struggling to perfect my Tree Pose and inch my heels closer to the floor while I Downward Dog, but taking an occasional yoga class has helped me realize just how important the workout can be for athletes and yogis alike. So while I won’t be attempting a Tick Tock anytime soon, I’ve slowly been adding yoga to my normal Tabata and treadmill routine, with great results. Turns out, yoga might just have something for everyone.

Related Links:
The Weight-Loss Mistakes You’re Making On Your Salad
The Weird Treadmill Move That Tones Inner Thighs and Prevents Injuries
The Clean-Eating Rules to Live By
Rapper’s Delight! Train Like The Elite With This 1-Hour Running Playlist
A 20 Minute Calorie Burning Treadmill Workout

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Hungry Runner Girl: Marathon Playlist http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2014/09/hungry-runner-girl/hungry-runner-girl-marathon-playlist_30532 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2014/09/hungry-runner-girl/hungry-runner-girl-marathon-playlist_30532#comments Tue, 23 Sep 2014 19:00:54 +0000 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/?p=30532

Janae has the perfect playlist to tackle her sixth marathon.

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I absolutely love to run with music.  When I am not out running with friends, I most definitely have my wireless headphones in my ears as I listen to my favorite songs.  Music motivates me to keep going. Certain songs give me a second wind. Some lyrics help me to think more positively, and there are many times that the fast beat of a song pushes my legs to go a little bit faster to match the beat.

I will be running the St. George Marathon in less than two weeks, so I have been working on my perfect playlist.  In a marathon I usually do the first 8-10 miles without music.  I try to enjoy the scenery and focus on not going out too fast.  At about mile 10, I put on my music. It always gives me the boost of energy that I need to get through the rest of the race!

Here is what I will be listening to as I tackle marathon #6!

1. Timber- Pitbull
2. Pain- Jimmy Eat World
3. Can’t Hold Us- Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
4. Till’ I Collapse- Eminem
5. Love Runs Out- One Republic
6. Sweet Nothing- Calvin Harris
7.  300 Violin Orchestra- Jorge Quintero
8. My Songs Know What You Did In the Dark- Fall Out Boy
9. Run the WorldBeyonce
10. Turbulence- Laidback Luke & Steve Aoki
11. Miss Jackson- Panic! At The Disco
12. Turn Down For What- DJ Snake & Lil’ Jon
13. Shake it Off- Taylor Swift
14. Wild Ones- Flo Rida
15. On Top of the World- Imagine Dragons
16. The Distance- Cake
17. SandstormDarude
18. Dog Days are Over- Florence and The Machine
19. Heart of a Champion- Nelly
20. Save The World- Swedish House Mafia
21. I Will Wait- Mumford & Sons
22. Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You)- Kelly Clarkson
23. Radioactive- Imagine Dragons
24. The Strength To Go On- Rise Against
25. Remember The Name- Fort Minor
26.2. Fireball- Pitbull

Follow along with Janae’s playlist on Spotify! Click here.

What are some of your favorite songs to run to? Tweet your suggestions to @hungryrunnergrl and @womensrunning!

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Behind the Shoot: Laura Prepon http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2014/09/inspiration/behind-shoot-laura-prepon_30536 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2014/09/inspiration/behind-shoot-laura-prepon_30536#comments Tue, 23 Sep 2014 17:17:20 +0000 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/?p=30536

Go behind the scenes of our July 2014 cover shoot with OITNB's Laura Prepon!

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Laura Prepon used a get-out-of-jail-free card to take time from her busy schedule for our cover shoot. She showed up to our Los Angeles studio donning black from head to toe, including her gorgeous locks! Star of the hit women’s prison drama “Orange Is the New Black,” Laura ditched her jumpsuit for the day and grabbed her favorite running gear, giving tons of sassy energy to our cameras—and embracing her “That ’70s Show” roots with her girl-next-door demeanor as she chatted with our crew in between shots.

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Doping and Drugs in Women’s Endurance Sports http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2014/09/news/doping-drugs-womens-endurance-sports_30513 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2014/09/news/doping-drugs-womens-endurance-sports_30513#comments Tue, 23 Sep 2014 13:07:36 +0000 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/?p=30513

A history of banned substances in women’s endurance sports and how they are combatting the issue today.

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Lance Armstrong—this name was once synonymous with smashing Tour de France cycling records into a million pieces. But last year, the cyclist sat down with Oprah and admitted to doping with  testosterone, EPO (erythropoietin) and drug transfusions.

Those cycling records were instantly blemished permanently (or erased completely, depending on whom you ask), and Armstrong became a symbol of doping-related disgrace. Perhaps most telling: He talked about how widespread the issue of illegal performance enhancement was, saying, “I didn’t invent the culture, but I didn’t try to stop the culture.” Even more dramatically, he told a French newspaper that his feats were “impossible” sans doping. And just like that, Armstrong cast a light on the complex issue of doping in all areas of athletics, including women’s endurance sports and track and field. How prevalent is doping, and is it ending fair play in our favorite sports?

Fame and Fortune

“The way his case unraveled generated so much debate and forced people to think about the issues and take a stance,” says elite runner Lauren Fleshman. Whether you’re talking Major League Baseball salaries or marathon prize purse money, the promise of bigger bank accounts increases pressure for athletes to win at any cost. And even without big endorsements and financial gains, simply being a champion has age-old allure.

“There is a big industry behind the athletes now, but doping has been part of the sport since the Pan-Hellenic Olympic Games,” notes Edith Zuschmann, an Austrian sports journalist and runner. Elite athletes who wish to remain clean have long been frustrated by this reality. “I had to find a way to dream big without getting too attached to being the best in the world,” says Fleshman. In other words, she had to resign herself to the fact that, while she will not dope, she may lose as a result—to cheaters.

A Short History

Doping has been around for centuries, but anti-doping measures first arose in the ’60s, according to Dick Pound, former president of the World Anti-Doping Association (WADA). “Testing started at the 1968 Olympic Games,” Pound recalls, but the science was far from perfect. Eight years later, at the 1976 Olympics, East Germany won a suspiciously high number of gold medals—40 in total—with the swim team winning 11 of 13 events.

The feat was whispered about everywhere, from the Olympic village to the global media, but it wasn’t until 1991 that the former East German coaches admitted to widespread steroid use and blood transfusions. Many of the athletes (a number of whom were teenagers at the time) denied that they knew they were doping. Some revealed health issues they had as adults due to steroid use—and a few were eventually compensated.

Despite increasingly advanced testing, cheating athletes have slipped through the cracks—for a while at least—like Marion Jones, who in 2007 admitted to doping and dramatically gave back her five Olympic gold medals from the 2000 Sydney Games. Regina Jacobs, a middle-distance runner, competed in three summer Olympics before her career was ended by the dark shadow of steroids in 2003.

Some cases haven’t been so cut and dry. Mary Decker Slaney, for instance, won the 1,500 and 3,000 meters at the 1983 World Championships. However, at the 1996 Olympic Trials, where Decker qualified in the 5,000 meters, she received a positive drug test result, which she attributed to birth control pills. Her ban from competing in the Olympic Games that summer was upheld, but her career was only semi-tarnished. “She is still celebrated as the most famous woman in our sport and in ESPN’s ‘Nine for IX’ series they didn’t even mention her getting caught,” says Fleshman.

Doping has also become a pet cause of several elite names, including Fleshman and British superstar distance runner Paula Radcliffe. The latter defiantly held up a sign at the 2001 World Athletics Championship in Edmonton, which questioned the reinstatement of Olga Yegorova of Russia after she tested positive for a banned substance.

Radcliffe, the marathon world-record holder, also regularly wears red ribbons to show her support of blood testing. “Her example has given me the courage to be a vocal public critic of doping and attempt to shape discourse around ethics in sport,” says Fleshman, who penned an open letter on her blog to Lance Armstrong about his negative effect on the sports world.

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