Women's Running http://womensrunning.competitor.com Women's Running Magazine Tue, 16 Sep 2014 22:04:20 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.2 WRS Nashville Half: Mental Training http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2014/09/races/wrs-nashville-half-mental-training_30187 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2014/09/races/wrs-nashville-half-mental-training_30187#comments Tue, 16 Sep 2014 22:04:20 +0000 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/?p=30187

After a hilly half, Caitlyn is focusing on recovery and her mental training.

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caitlyn cowtown

By now, most of you have probably heard the news about the postponement of the Women’s Running Series until 2015. Let me be one of the first to say that any halt on racing plans is never easy, and like you, I was disappointed to hear the news. But I’m also still very excited to head to Nashville for the series’ event on Sept. 27. Having worked on the series, the magazine and participating in the events, I can say that it’s a great, intimate event for us ladies to lace up our shoes, tie our hair back and run a fun 13.1 miles (before consuming celebratory mimosas) with our closest running girlfriends. Plus, Nashville is a great city for some post-run music and Southern hospitality!

With that, I have been continuing my loose training for this event, with my long run over the weekend happening at a small half marathon in my hometown. Admittedly, I felt okay enough to go hard on the hilly course, so I’m definitely taking some days off this week to recover physically—and really mentally as well. The past month hasn’t been the easiest as it relates to my overall health. Running has been sparse, so to be able to finish my race on Sunday meant a lot mentally, but it also took a huge toll when I compare my fitness now versus two months ago.

The blessing in disguise, however, is my downtime and late alarm clocks have given me an opportunity to re-assess how I’m balancing fitness and my overall well-being. I’m a huge supporter of addressing the mental/emotional side of running just as much as the physical, and I know in the final weeks before a huge goal race, this can be especially important. Based solely on my own experience over the last 14 years of running competitively, here are some key things to consider when mentally preparing to taper and go hard on race day:

  1. It’s ok to be nervous, and for me, this is a huge one when you’ve been racing for a long time. No one—from elite down to beginner—is immune to nerves. It’s natural to be nervous. Just remember that you’ve done the training, and it’s your brain’s job to protect you by challenging your certainty to make sure you’re safe and prepared.
  2. It’s ok to have a bad day. No one likes bad days, where maybe you ran too hard or maybe you did too many miles—or perhaps you skipped altogether. That’s totally fine! I’ve skipped probably hundreds of training days due to ulcerative colitis complications. One day won’t set you back—just remember to cater the next few days to make up for that missed one. (And no, this does NOT mean piling on extra miles if you skipped a day.)
  3. It’s ok when life gets in the way. I speak for myself when I say I’m the queen of letting things pile up higher than I can climb. My triathlon coach taught me to tackle training—and races—in chunks. Instead of thinking about the millions of tasks that need to be done before you get a run in or leave for Nashville, take a breath, and do them one at a time. Often my brain creates a sense of urgency about something that isn’t urgent because it’s nervous about another event. If you break training and racing into manageable components, it makes the overall picture of making it to and through the race more fun and less intimidating!

Those are the main things I will focus on this week, with the idea of not letting my personal health issues deter me from what I know my body can handle and should handle on Sept. 27. You brain is a powerful vehicle—but you’re the one behind the steering wheel!

Follow along every Wednesday and Friday leading up to #WRSNashville to see what other mischief Caitlyn gets into during her runs—and don’t forget to follow @runwrs on Instagram and Twitter for race-day announcements!

Register for the 5K or half marathon at womensrunning.com/Nashville before the price increases on August 31. Save an extra $15* with online code RUNWITHCAIT. If you have training questions for your own half marathon, tweet @caitpilk!

*Code valid for half marathon only

 

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A Chat with Kara Goucher: Strava Partnership and a Return to Racing http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2014/09/inspiration/chat-kara-goucher-strava-partnership-return-racing_30174 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2014/09/inspiration/chat-kara-goucher-strava-partnership-return-racing_30174#comments Tue, 16 Sep 2014 20:19:51 +0000 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/?p=30174

Photo courtesy of Oiselle

Goucher is now sharing her training on Strava and gearing up for RnR Philadelphia.

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Photo courtesy of Oiselle

Photo courtesy of Oiselle

Photo courtesy of Oiselle

Last week was a whirlwind for professional runner and Olympian Kara Goucher. She announced that she will be returning to the New York City Marathon on Nov. 2 (Goucher holds the American course record there). She strutted down the runway at her apparel sponsor Oiselle’s fashion show. And she broke the news of a new partnership with Strava, an online social community where athletes track and share their fitness activities (follow her training leading up to the NYC Marathon at strava.com/pros/karagoucher). We caught up with Goucher to learn more about Strava and to chat about upcoming races.

Last week you announced your partnership with Strava. What made you excited to work with them?

When I first started using [Strava], I was running on the AlterG [anti-gravity treadmill]. I would just manually enter a run so I didn’t really get it. Then my husband started using [Strava]. He was like “Oh my God, Kara, you’re going to love this. It maps out all your runs and you can compete against other people.” When I finally got healed and started running outside, I actually started uploading real runs and not just 5 miles on the AlterG. Then I became totally addicted to it. I just love it. I like how people interact with each other and cheer each other on. I love the kudos button. I love seeing courses mapped out and being able to compare myself to other people in the area. I ran on the West Side Highway in New York City last Tuesday. I did a workout there. And of course that was already mapped out by other people.

Strava seems like a really positive website for training as well. Did that factor into your decision?

It is so positive. I try to put up a couple workouts a week on there and the feedback is so great. And this was even before I announced my partnership. It’s interesting to see what other people are doing. It’s fun to see that other people I know are human. They have their days where they jog, and they have their days where they really hammer, but it is nice to see the variety. It’s like a sneak peak into other people’s training logs, which I think is really fascinating.

Are you going to share every run on Strava or just select workouts?

When I do tempo runs or fartleks or long runs, I put that up on Strava. People can see variety in my training. Sometimes I run faster, sometimes I run slower. It depends on the elevation I’m at or how tired I am. Like this Sunday I backed off quite a bit because I was still tired from the week.

The partnership seems like a natural extension of your social media presence, where you’ve been really open and communicative with fellow runners.

I think it’s just fun. It’s like the Twitter for athletes. You get to see what people are doing. I love that people are positive and they give little shout-outs or comment, “Great job.” I really have fallen in love with the site and the whole concept. It’s just been fun to interact with people. I think it could help so many people. You can find different places to run and meet other people that way. It is such a great positive site for running and it’s important. We need places like that.

Shifting gears, are you excited about Rock ‘n’ Roll Philly this weekend?

I am. I am officially starting to get nervous. I’m so excited, but I was going over logistics with my coach and I was like, “Oh this is getting real.” It’s been a long time since I’ve raced and of course this is what I want. I miss it terribly. It’s just a mixture of excitement and nerves. My husband raced there in 2011. Everyone that I’ve talked to said it’s a really fun course. So I’m excited. The first one when you’ve been out for a while is always so scary. It’s kind of like a Band-Aid. You just have to rip it off. You have to get out there and just do it.

So after RnR Philly, is it straight on to New York after that?

Yeah. So I think I’ll be able to bank 3 ½ more big weeks and then it will be time to taper for 10 to 12 days before the race. So I’ll come back and hit a few more big weeks and then it will be marathon time, which is crazy too.

What made you decide to run New York out of other possible fall marathons?

It was where my first marathon was. I had never even run 26.2 miles before New York so I’ve always wanted to go back as an accomplished marathoner. But also I just felt like I missed some time. I had a sacral stress fracture this spring. I felt like I necessarily wasn’t going to be as fast as my competitors but I could still be tough and I can still be gritty. I feel like New York favors a runner who has more of that strength. I have been able to do a lot of strength stuff and hill running so I felt like New York was a good fit. I love the atmosphere. It’s electric. You come down off the Queensboro Bridge and it’s like a wall of noise. It’s so intense. That’s one of those things that is really cool about it. You have those points in the race where you have your doubts, and you realize how tired you are, but it is one of the best places in the world to race for that because you can just draw from the crowd.

You’re also part of a strong American contingent going into the race.

We have so many people. I know I’ve gotten a lot of attention but Deena [Kastor] has been running great and Desi [Linden] obviously ran 2:23 at Boston this year. There is a good chance that we have a lot of American women in the top 10 or 8.

With Oiselle, Strava and your other sponsors, do you feel you are involved in partnerships that empower runners and women?

It’s so positive. It’s great we got to this point and it’s kind of our job to continue this on. Running can empower so many of us. And we can get so much further as women. Every time a woman is able to go further in her job or her career or in her life, it only empowers the rest of us. Now that we have gotten to that point, it’s time to keep going.

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Mile Posts: So You Want To Be a Runner http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2014/09/mile-posts/mile-posts-want-runner_30168 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2014/09/mile-posts/mile-posts-want-runner_30168#comments Tue, 16 Sep 2014 16:00:33 +0000 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/?p=30168

Dorothy outlines an easy 10 step guide to going on your first run.

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WTB.jpg

Running, in its simplest form, is one foot in front of the other. That is exactly where you start if you have arrived at the point in your life where you want to become a runner.

Here are 10 simple steps to help you achieve your goal.

Step 1: Since running is one foot in front of the other, make sure that you are putting your best foot forward. Head to a specialty running store and get properly fitted for running shoes. Ask to speak with their most knowledgeable employee and tell them your intention of wanting to become a runner.

Tips while picking out your shoes:

  • This isn’t a fashion show. Do not pick shoes based on color.
  • Try on different brands of running shoes. You may only recognize one or two of the brands there, but don’t only stick with brands you know. Try what the store suggests.
  • Accept the fact that your running shoes are going to be 1/2 a size or more larger than your regular shoes. They are made this way on purpose. Don’t fight it.
  • Have the employee watch you run in the shoes.
  • Be prepared to spend $100 or more on your shoes. Remember- this is an investment in yourself. Good running shoes are worth their weight in gold.

Step 2: If you are a lady, the next most important piece of equipment you need to buy is a sports bra. If you can afford the sports bras sold at the specialty running store you bought your shoes at, consider purchasing one there. If that isn’t in your budget at this point, check out places like TJ Maxx, Marshalls, or Nordstrom Rack, where you can find brand name sports bra’s for less. If you are larger chested girl, you can find sports bras that supports, encapsulates, and eliminates the bounce. You do not need to wear two sports bras. If you are at a store where someone can properly fit you in a sports bra, consider asking for help. You would be surprised at how many women are in the wrong size bra.

Step 3: Buy a watch, download an app like Map My Run, or get the timer on your smart phone ready. For this step, you can spend a lot of money (GPS running watch) or NO money (free apps like Map My Run). The goal here is to simply see how far you have gone and how long it has taken you. If you are someone who prefers to keep track of minutes and not miles, then a timer or regular stopwatch works fine.

Step 4: Set a goal. Maybe your goal is to run a mile without walking, or maybe your goal is to complete your first 5K race. Whatever it may be, write it down and post it where you can see it daily. Dreams can become reality once you make them goals.

Step 5: You have your goal. Now you need a plan. A road map, if you will. Decide realistically how many days you want to be active. Pick a time of day that you know you will be available to run, and won’t make excuses. Remember that everyone is busy. If you want to become a runner, you have to make time. No one said this would be easy, but most runners would say it is worth it.

Step 6: Buy a book to learn about your new sport or search for a free online training program. Make sure to read reviews on the book your are picking so it fits your needs. When picking an online training program make sure it’s coming from a reputable source such as www.competitor.com or www.womensrunning.com.

Books I like that include training plans:

Train Like a Mother: Dimity McDowell & Sarah Bowen Shea

My Life On The Run: Bart Yasso

Step 7: If you have extra cash in your budget, do this step . If not – skip and move to step 8. Running is more comfortable if you are wearing moisture wicking clothing. Buy a running outfit and only wear it when running. Apply this rule to your running shoes as well. Keep your running apparel and shoes only for running, so your mind knows that when you put them on, it’s time to go running. Body Glide is a life saver for those of us who chafe. Don’t know if you chafe? Be on the safe side. Buy it, use it.

Step 8: Decide you are not going to accept anything but the best from yourself. You aren’t going to quit. You aren’t going to make excuses. This may not be fun for a long time. I’ve run 27 marathons and I’m still convinced the first 3 miles of every single run are the worst. I have thought about quitting runs and quitting running all together more times than I will admit. If you want to become a runner, you have to stick with it when the going gets tough.

Step 9: Get dressed, put on your watch or grab your phone, lace up your shoes, walk outside.

Step 10: Run. No one can give you the title of runner except you. Set your mind on your intention to run, put one foot in front of the other, move forward and voila – you are runner. It may not be pretty, it may not be fast, it may be hard, and it may only last a minute or two at first. But I promise you it’s all worth it. I hated running, wasn’t athletic, and never thought I would run a race. I didn’t even know I wanted to become a runner until I considered myself one. I wanted to lose weight and get in shape. Along the way, I fell in love in the process. Running has certainly given me more than it takes. I hope it eventually does the same for you.

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Runner Etiquette: Should a Running Buddy Wear Headphones? http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2014/09/training-tips/runner-etiquette-running-buddy-wear-headphones_30163 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2014/09/training-tips/runner-etiquette-running-buddy-wear-headphones_30163#comments Tue, 16 Sep 2014 12:46:09 +0000 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/?p=30163

Navigating the running world with grace isn't easy. Lizzie Post can help with a few etiquette tips.

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lizzie post

Navigating the world of running with grace and poise isn’t always easy. What is the correct distance to launch a snot rocket, after all? Thankfully, etiquette expert Lizzie Post, great-great-granddaughter of Emily Post, knows a thing or two about the rules of the road—and the descendant of the famous decorum diva is a runner too! 

Q: My friend always runs with headphones and it hurts my feelings. How can I tell her she’s being rude?

Lizzie Post: Sometimes runners are so used to working out alone, they forget how to run with others! I’d tell your friend directly that you’d love your next run to be headphone-free so you can talk and enjoy each other’s company. She may say she really needs the music to keep her going, in which case you can decide if you’d like to keep running with her or not.

Q: How bad is banditing a race (i.e., running without an official bib)? What if you are just jumping in to pace a friend for a few miles?

LP: A race is supposed to be between you and the clock, no one else. I look at having a friend jump in to pace you as you getting assistance in that race. I think you should run it on your own with all the skills you’ve worked hard for. Most races also have an entry fee so it’s not considerate or fair to the other racers to have folks joining in for free and crowding up the race path—even if it’s only for a few miles.

Q: What’s the proper way to pass someone on a narrow trail?

LP: Calling out, “On your left!” as you approach the person from behind is the first step. The second is to give them a decent amount of space (think around three feet) so you aren’t crowding them as you run by. Remember they might be wearing headphones and not hear you anyway. So if they don’t move over a little or give a wave, don’t take it personally!

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

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Lose Weight with our 8 Week Training Plan http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2014/09/training-tips/29983_29983 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2014/09/training-tips/29983_29983#comments Mon, 15 Sep 2014 19:21:10 +0000 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/?p=29983

Trying to drop a few pounds? Mix it up with our 8-week program, guaranteed to deliver results.

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Trying to drop a few pounds, but your sweat sessions aren’t paying off? Mix it up with our 8-week program, guaranteed to deliver results.

Pounding the pavement and putting in the miles but not achieving the runner physique you pictured? This is very common. Many people start running as a way to lose weight, only to realize it isn’t working as well as they had hoped. Check out the crowd at the finish line of any endurance event, and you’ll see all different shapes and sizes. Why is this?

1. Our bodies constantly adapt to the demands we place on them in order to become more efficient. New runners often lose a few pounds, and then their weight loss plateaus. Run a mile today and burn 100 calories; run the same mile in a few months and only burn 80 calories. You feel like you’re putting in the same effort—but stepping on the scale can be disappointing.

2. You could be running off your muscle, which will decrease your metabolism and make it harder to lose weight. Because running is more of an endurance sport than a strengthening exercise, you will start to burn off muscle if you don’t work to preserve it.

3. Increased appetite—running can make you hungrier. You may not realize it, but you’ll probably end up filling the calorie gap that you burned through during your run by eating more. Combat this by fueling up around your run: Have a healthy snack before and after so you don’t end up starving or overindulging later.

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Eat Pray Run DC: Making the Time http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2014/09/eat-pray-run-dc/eat-pray-run-dc-making-time_30130 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2014/09/eat-pray-run-dc/eat-pray-run-dc-making-time_30130#comments Mon, 15 Sep 2014 16:00:15 +0000 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/?p=30130

With summer winding down, Courtney has some suggestions for running on busy fall days.

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2014-09-03 07.58.50

Summer is (almost) officially over. Kids are back in school and it seems that we are all just a bit more crunched for time. There are a million and one things to do and somehow running can get pushed to the back burner. I don’t have children (except for my exceptionally adorable dog, Sasha), but even I am feeling the fall crunch as well. I’m starting a new job/business and finding myself with a lot to do but only a little time. However I’m determined not to let my summer of sweat go to waste, especially since I have a big race coming up next weekend. If you are like me and struggling with making the time to run, here are a few tips:

  • Schedule your workouts. Yes, I mean actually put them on your calendar, in your phone, or wherever you keep your schedule. Scheduling means that you are committing and making room in your day for your fitness. I am somewhat of a slave to my calendar, but I very rarely miss things that are scheduled. This works especially well if you block out the time on a shared work or family calendar. When you are respecting your time, others will too!
  • Phone a friend. I’ve written before on why running buddies rock. They also are amazing because once you have made a plan with someone else, you are way less likely to skip it. No one likes letting a friend down. Even if you are not running with this friend, I find that stating to the world that you are running 6 miles tomorrow is serious motivation to actually run those miles. I’m not embarrassed that there have definitely been times when I’ve wanted to bail on a run but thought “ugh, I really don’t want to have to blog about how I ditched my 14 mile run at mile 3 because I couldn’t hack it.” As lame as it may be, the motivation and commitment that goes into letting someone else know that I’ve done what I said I was going to do can be very powerful.
  • Get it done early! If I wait until after work to run, it just won’t happen. Things happen, and, for me at least, my days just seem to get busier and busier as they go on. Waking up with or before the sun and getting out to run is the only surefire way it will happen. Some people do better running in the evening, and to those folks, I tip my hat. I just can’t do it. I have to wake up, throw on my running clothes, and head outside before my brain really understands what I’m doing. :)

How do you make time for runs now that the lazy days of summer are waning? Tweet @eatprayrundc and @womensrunning to let us know! 

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Reader Run Brag Gallery 09/15/2014 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2014/09/just-for-fun/reader-run-brag-gallery-09152014_30012 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2014/09/just-for-fun/reader-run-brag-gallery-09152014_30012#comments Mon, 15 Sep 2014 13:05:31 +0000 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/?p=30012

Our readers had amazing race weekends. Look at their #RunBrag pics to see for yourself!

The post Reader Run Brag Gallery 09/15/2014 appeared first on Women's Running.

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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!

The post Reader Run Brag Gallery 09/15/2014 appeared first on Women's Running.

]]> http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2014/09/just-for-fun/reader-run-brag-gallery-09152014_30012/feed 0 5 Healthy Tips You Need To Know http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2014/09/news/5-healthy-tips-need-know_30005 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2014/09/news/5-healthy-tips-need-know_30005#comments Fri, 12 Sep 2014 20:37:45 +0000 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/?p=30005

The latest news and research that is important to your health!

The post 5 Healthy Tips You Need To Know appeared first on Women's Running.

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Ray Ban

A new Mayo Clinic study found that among women 40 to 60 years old, the incidence of skin cancer increased nearly 24 fold from 1970 to 2009! This was likely due to the growing popularity of the “tanned look” in the last few decades. Rock your natural shade, spread on the SPF every time you go outside and check in with your dermatologist annually.

Run Happily Ever After

From minimalist toe shoes to super-thick-soled sneaks, the search for the perfect shoe can make any girl feel like Goldilocks! So what’s “just right”? Something in the middle, according to researchers from the University of Colorado, who found that 10mm of cushioning reduced the muscular effort in your legs (as compared to running barefoot), while doubling cushioning made no difference.

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Mile Posts: What Should You Bring With You To A Marathon http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2014/09/mile-posts/mile-posts-bring-marathon_29965 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2014/09/mile-posts/mile-posts-bring-marathon_29965#comments Fri, 12 Sep 2014 16:39:39 +0000 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/?p=29965

Mile 26 of Marine Corps Marathon 2013

Prepare your race bag with these suggestions from Dorothy.

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Mile 26 of Marine Corps Marathon 2013

Mile 26 of Marine Corps Marathon 2013

Mile 26 of Marine Corps Marathon 2013

It’s September which means marathon season is upon us. Some runners have already attempted a last ditch effort at aualifying for Boston 2015, while others are gearing up for the major marathons held in October and November.

Here is my list of WAY too many things you should pack to bring to a marathon. In my humble opinion, one can never be too prepared!

  • Roll of toilet paper. Whenever I say to bring toilet paper, people laugh at me. I brought a roll with me to Hood to Coast the first year I ran it and all my van-mates laughed. They weren’t laughing, however, when everyone had to go in middle of the night, and it seemed like every honey bucket we went to use was out of TP. I became their best friend! There are so many variables in the marathon you can’t control. I like to control whatever I can. Having TP just in case has saved me many times.
  • Trash bags. I always bring a couple of trash bags with me to the start. Often times I arrive SUPER early and want to sit or lie down while waiting for a normal hour to arrive. I bring extras with me because I’m usually the only one that has them and invariably someone will ask me if I have an extra. Even if it didn’t rain, the grass may be wet from the morning dew or you have to sit down in dirt. Trash bags keep you dry.
  • Blanket. Lay your blanket down over your trash bags for a comfortable resting spot before the race. If it’s extra cold, the blanket can keep you warm. Blankets can also be used to hide if you need to change or if you are a nursing mom who needs to pump before a race.
  • Extra water. Bring a bottle of water that isn’t the one you are going to use during the race. It’s not fun when you drink all of the water you were going to carry during the race and have to go hunt to find more. If this bottle is a throw away bottle, you can take it with you to the race start and take your final sips right before the gun goes off.
  • Extra clothes that you plan on tossing. I like to stay warm right until the race starts. If you check a bag and have to take off all of the extra layers before the race, you will be shivering at the start if it’s chilly. Most races collect discarded clothing and donate them. I have a box in my basement that is filled with old t-shirts, sweatshirts, pants, scarves, throw away gloves, etc. I save them so when race time comes around, I’m not searching and I don’t have to head to walmart to buy cheap clothes to throw away.
  • Extra snacks. You probably will have already eaten breakfast before you get to the start of the race. (I try to eat mine 4 hours before the start. This mean at times I’m actually still in bed. I just roll over and eat something before sleeping a tiny bit longer). You never know when you might feel hungry before the race. I don’t know about you but when I’m hungry, my mind can think of nothing else, except how hungry I am. I don’t want to think for 26.2 miles about how I wish I had brought an extra bar to snack on before the race.
  • Sandwich bag for your cell phone. A sandwich bag protects your phone if something in your bag starts to leak. Just because you didn’t put anything in your bag that won’t spill also doesn’t mean someone else didn’t. It’s not fun finishing a marathon, getting your checked bag, and realizing that all your clothes are wet and your cell phone isn’t working.
  • Gallon ziplock bags. Along the lines of your cell phone getting wet, no one wants to pack dry clothes for post race and realize that their clothes are damp. Put your after the race outfit in a gallon ziplock bag. Also note if these clothes are different from the ones you plan on tossing. You don’t want to accidentally wear your post-race sweatshirt to the start because it’s cold, toss it during the race, and realize that the heat sheet they give you at the finish doesn’t really keep you that warm for that long. Packing extra items, such as sweatshirts, will keep your teeth from chattering after the finish.
  • Money. If you are carrying a handheld water bottle or are wearing shorts that have a little zipper pocket, stash $5 or $10. If you can’t find who you are meeting post race and didn’t check a cell phone, it comes in handy to have a little extra money in case you need to pay for a phone- yes I know there aren’t many payphones out there anymore. But remember – control what you can control. It also comes in handy if you pass a coffee place post-race but didn’t want to check money in your race bag.
  • RoadID. It’s always important to have some sort of identification on you. It’s also important to think ahead when selecting your emergency contact numbers. The numbers should be for people that medical personnel can get a hold of in an emergency. There is plenty of space on the back of your race bib where you can add identifying information, but most of us have never filled it out, thinking that nothing is going to happen. I’ve ended up in a medical tent before. I was wearing my RoadID, which was a helpful way to tell medical officials that I had no know drug allergies but not so helpful on the phone numbers. I put down my husband’s cell but he doesn’t bring it in to work and the race was on a Monday. My mom’s cell was also on it, and she happened to be running the same race as me.
  • Music. Even if you aren’t wearing headphones in the race, it’s nice to listen to something calming before the race start. Then you can get in your own zone and not worry about everything else going on around you. I highly also recommend running a marathon without music – even if you only do it once. It’s a very different race experience than when listening to music.
  • Safety pins. I always bring some extras because you never know when one might break. Or it turns out that you got 2 instead of 4 in your race bag. Be prepared!
  • Body Glide & Sunscreen. I can’t stress enough the importance of sunscreen during a marathon, even overcast, cool ones. Most of us are running for 3+ hours, and that is a long time to be in the sun. Save yourself some pain later by putting sunscreen on. Ditto on saving yourself some pain later by using Body Glide. The shower after my first marathon was excruciating. My sports bra had left marks. I looked as if I was still wearing it. It was that bad. I still have some remaining scars from that race over 10 years later. Better to lube up and be safe than find out later that 26.2 miles is a long way to go without some sort of chafe cream.

Have any more suggestions I didn’t list?! Tell me by tweeting @mileposts and @womensrunning!

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6 Runner-Friendly Deodorants http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2014/09/beauty/6-runner-friendly-deodorants_29985 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2014/09/beauty/6-runner-friendly-deodorants_29985#comments Fri, 12 Sep 2014 13:46:16 +0000 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/?p=29985

Arm your-self against post-workout tang with some of the best pit shields on the market.

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One of the perks of being a runner is that lovely post-run stench—and it really comes into full bloom after long runs. But running doesn’t have to be a smelly affair! After testing armpitfuls of formulas, we promise one of our six favorites will leave you feeling shower fresh, even during the dog days.

Best Overall

Secret Clinical Strength Sport Fresh
$12 for 2.6 oz., secret.com
Pros: It’s available in four forms—smooth solid, clear gel, invisible solid and spray—and it works harder the more you sweat. This deodorant-antiperspirant combo fights smell with scent and is available at all major grocery stores.
Cons: If you grab either solid choice, there is potential for those annoying white streaks on your favorite dark shirt.

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Eat Pray Run: Running for Oiselle http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2014/09/photos/eat-pray-run-running-oiselle_29968 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2014/09/photos/eat-pray-run-running-oiselle_29968#comments Thu, 11 Sep 2014 22:36:52 +0000 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/?p=29968

Courtney shares her experience as a member of Oiselle's flock.

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A little over a year ago, I received an email that brightened my day, changed how I view running, and helped to connect me with numerous other women who were just as passionate about running as I was. It was my congratulatory email telling me I’d been selected to join the Oiselle Volee Team. If you are not familiar with Oiselle (the french word for bird), let me give you a quick rundown. Oiselle is a running apparel company headquartered out of Seattle and founded by Sally Bergesen. Oiselle’s shorts were also the first pair of running shorts I found actually worked for me. That’s what first drew me to the brand. I also loved that Sally surrounds herself with a strong group of women including spectacular athletes like Lauren Fleshman, Kate Grace, and most recently, Kara Goucher. Oh yeah, in case you haven’t heard, for the second year in a row Oiselle modeled its upcoming line at New York Fashion Week.

But, let’s get back to the team. I’ve now been a member of Oiselle’s Volee team for over a year and I often get questions about the team. The easiest way to share what it’s like is to recount my spring marathon experience. I had trained all winter long for the Shamrock Marathon, which was the spring Oiselle team meetup. We had about 30 birds racing that weekend, but I was the only one signed up for the marathon. Well, race weekend dawned and I woke up at 2am Friday night with a nasty stomach flu (it turns out I had the norovirus). I made the drive down to Virginia Beach anyway, hoping I’d feel better. Spoiler alert: I did not. I had dinner with the team, where I was able to choke down a piece of bread. On race day, I was severely dehydrated and under fueled considering I hadn’t been able to eat anything for the past 36 hours. I knew it was going to be a rough day. As a result, I had to pull out of the marathon at mile 17, and I was incredibly disappointed with myself. What saved me that day from feeling more awful than I already did were my friends: the people I’d known forever, my family, newer friends, and of course, my team. I was given so many incredibly sweet words of encouragement. My Oiselle teammates shared in my disappointment but didn’t let me wallow in it. It was not one of my finest days but it was at that moment I knew I’d remain on the Oiselle team as long as they would have me.

That’s my definition of team. Support, acceptance, inspiration, and genuine friendship. I’ve found all that and more by joining Oiselle and I’m so happy to fly with this flock.

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]]> http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2014/09/photos/eat-pray-run-running-oiselle_29968/feed 0 Photos: Running in the Alaskan Wilderness http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2014/09/active-travel/photos-running-alaskan-wilderness_29852 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2014/09/active-travel/photos-running-alaskan-wilderness_29852#comments Thu, 11 Sep 2014 19:58:42 +0000 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/?p=29852

Please ignore me and check that water color. Unreal.

Editor-in-Chief Jessie Sebor made her way to Alaska to participate in the Klondike Relay!

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Please ignore me and check that water color. Unreal.

The post Photos: Running in the Alaskan Wilderness appeared first on Women's Running.

]]> http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2014/09/active-travel/photos-running-alaskan-wilderness_29852/feed 0 T-Rex Runner: Top Tips for Calming Pre-Race Jitters http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2014/09/t-rex-runner/t-rex-runner-top-tips-calming-pre-race-jitters_29913 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2014/09/t-rex-runner/t-rex-runner-top-tips-calming-pre-race-jitters_29913#comments Thu, 11 Sep 2014 16:49:04 +0000 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/?p=29913

Keep those pre-race jitters at bay with these ideas from Danielle!

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We’ve all been there: A big goal race is coming up and it’s taper time. With fewer workouts to occupy your time and burn up your stress, things start to go a little haywire. While you can’t control every aspect of a race regardless of how hard you’ve trained for it, it is possible to take some of the pressure off going into the event so you can enjoy the day no matter the outcome. Here are my favorite ways to calm pre-race jitters!

  1. Get a massage: It seems counter-intuitive to get a massage before a race, but for me, it’s a way to smooth out my tired muscles and reward them for a tough training cycle. I’m always reminded of a line in Dominique Mouceanu’s (1996 Team USA Olympic gymnast) where she talked about getting a massage after training every day and said it left her feeling “smooth and relaxed, like a racehorse!” I like to pretend that massage makes me a racehorse. Delusional? Yes. Relaxing? Also yes.
  2. Book a fun activity for the day or two after the race: Find a great way to celebrate your accomplishment, whether it’s going out to a great dinner or getting a pedicure with your girlfriends – your feet undoubtedly could use some TLC after training so hard! If you have it planned before the race, you have something to look forward to no matter what the clock says when you cross the finish line.
  3. Look through your training logs: The saying says to “trust your training,” and there’s no better way to remind yourself of all the hard work you’ve done than to look through your training logs. It’s easy to forget all the great runs if you’ve had a few bad ones right before your goal event, so remind yourself of your success!
  4. Find a mantra or talisman to focus on: Having a positive phrase to repeat over and over during a race when times get tough can have a calming effect on your mind and body. Something like “I am strong; I am ready” or “Stay tough” is easy to say (in your head or out loud) over and over. I’m not much of a mantra person myself, so I always paint my nails a “tough” color like black. When I feel bad during a race and see them, they remind me to stay tough and keep going.
  5. Set “A,” “B,” and “C” goals: Every race, no matter how tough, has some good things that come out of it. Whether you blow your PR out of the water or barely finish, there is something to celebrate. Rather than putting a ton of pressure on myself to accomplish one singular goal (I must break 4 hours in the marathon OR ELSE), I try to set three different goals for each race. The first goal, my “A” goal, is a time or distance I can expect to achieve if absolutely everything goes right that day – weather, minimal chafing, fueling, etc. My “B” goal is a realistic goal that is still challenging, but more likely to be attainable if something goes wrong. Finally, my “C” goal is something I should be able to do barring some type of disaster. For a marathon, my “C” goal is always to finish the race. That’s not a given, so it reminds me to be proud of myself no matter what. A finish is a finish!

How do you calm your pre-race nerves? Tweet @thetrexrunner and @womensrunning to share your secrets!

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5 Pieces of Gear We’re Obsessed With http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2014/09/shoes-gear/5-pieces-gear-obsessed_29903 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2014/09/shoes-gear/5-pieces-gear-obsessed_29903#comments Thu, 11 Sep 2014 13:53:41 +0000 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/?p=29903

Find out what gear and running items our editors are obsessed with this month.

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“The Lululemon Bang Buster ($18, lululemon.com) comes in cool color combos and doubles as a functional headband for runners (taming pesky bangs) and a fun accessory (for those hot hair-up summer days).”
Caitlyn Pilkington, associate editor

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WRS Nashvile Half: A Whole New View http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2014/09/just-for-fun/wrs-nashvile-half-whole-new-view_29894 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2014/09/just-for-fun/wrs-nashvile-half-whole-new-view_29894#comments Wed, 10 Sep 2014 23:26:37 +0000 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/?p=29894

Caitlyn went on a climb of a run and contemplates her weekend half marathon.

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Over the weekend, a small group of us crazy people met at 5:30 a.m. at “the fountain” to run the two miles to the top of Double Peak—a lookout point in northeast San Diego County. If you’ve been keeping track of the weather lately, San Diego has been hit with some random heat wave the last few weeks, with temps hovering near the 90s and humidity surpassing uncomfortable levels. This strange coastal phenomenon didn’t let up at our before-sunrise wake-up call, so the climb was slow, steady and sweaty.

But the views were worth it when the sun rose over the mountains and blanketed the entire county that side of the freeway.

I called it a day with my round-trip 5-miler and spent the rest of the day recovering on the beach (with a soon-to-be sunburn). The quad-buster run was all in the name of good preparation for the Women’s Running Nashville event on Sept. 27. Well, more immediately, this climb was in the name of prep for another half marathon I’m running this weekend for three reasons:

  1. It’s my last long run before Nashville, natch.
  2. It’s in my hometown where the cows roam and moo at runners who pass by.
  3. It’s with my mom and sister—we just can’t seem to not race together.

As I lay basking in the sun (and jumping in the water every 20 minutes to cool off), I comtemplated those three reasons and how they might translate to the everyday runner. No one really cares if I’m running in my hometown, or that I’m running with my family, but they might care how it relates to their own training—and how a hilly run before dawn just might be the best damn choice once in awhile.

So I revise my statement: I am running another half marathon this weekend for three reasons:

  1. It’s smart to complete your last long run two weeks out from your goal race. This allows your legs to properly recover while also getting used to the distance you will be completing. It’s also a great time to do a final race-day nutrition test.
  2. Running through a familiar, comfortable area relaxes your mind when race jitters creep in. I always do my last long run in an area that doesn’t present a lot of surprises so I know I will get my mileage in appropriately.
  3. Racing with family—or racing with anyone close to you—lets running be an avenue for bonding and encouragement, especially through difficult times. September last year was an exceptionally hard month for my family, so racing with them this weekend will give us a chance to celebrate life, love and running together!

Whether or not you have a fall race scheduled, a hometown to visit or a run bud, I hope everyone enjoys long, easy miles, comfort and family this weekend!

Follow along every Wednesday and Friday leading up to #WRSNashville to see what other mischief Caitlyn gets into during her runs—and don’t forget to follow @runwrs on Instagram and Twitter for race-day announcements!

Register for the 5K or half marathon at womensrunning.com/Nashville before the price increases on August 31. Save an extra $15* with online code RUNWITHCAIT. If you have training questions for your own half marathon, tweet @caitpilk!

*Code valid for half marathon only

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We Asked, You Answered: All About Half Marathons http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2014/09/just-for-fun/asked-answered-half-marathons_29888 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2014/09/just-for-fun/asked-answered-half-marathons_29888#comments Wed, 10 Sep 2014 19:39:03 +0000 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/?p=29888

Our readers let us know how they train and where they like to run halfs!

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A half for every reason and every season. We asked, you answered all about 13.1-mile races!

1,500 half marathons are held every year in the U.S.

1.96 Million Total Finishers of U.S. half marathons in 2013. And 61% were women- go girls!

Your favorite half marathon?
1. Anything Disney
2. Nike Women’s in San Fran and D.C.
3. Rock ‘n’ Roll race (especially Vegas!)

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5 Ways to Make Your Basic Plank Better http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2014/09/cross-training/5-ways-make-basic-plank-better_29847 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2014/09/cross-training/5-ways-make-basic-plank-better_29847#comments Wed, 10 Sep 2014 16:00:51 +0000 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/?p=29847

Challenge yourself on your next plank workout with these slight modifications.

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*Content courtesy of POPSUGAR Fitness

The plank is one of the best moves for targeting your core. In fact, it’s a total-body exercise that helps sculpt toned arms, shoulders, and legs as well. Want to get crazy-toned abs faster? Challenge yourself on your next plank by adding one of these modifications you can do in a basic plank position.

  1. Stop praying: Clasping your hands in elbow plank makes the exercise easier on your abs (and can cause your shoulders to round) so unclasp your hands and focus on creating a long line with your body, shoulders and back, instead.
  2. Flip your hands: A simple flip of your hands so they are palms up when you are in elbow plank will challenge underused arm muscles and also force your core to work more.
  3. Stay up: The straight-arm plank is more difficult than the elbow plank, so if you’re finding that you need more of a challenge as you hang out on your forearms, focus on perfecting a plank just on your hands.
  4. Plank on a BOSU: Get unstable by resting your forearms or palms on a BOSU or exercise ball. This challenges your balance to work your core even more.
  5. Add a variation: If you’re ready for even more of a challenge, there are many different ways to make your basic plank that much harder. Here are eight plank variations you need to try.

Related Links:

6 Delicious Ways to Eat a Little Healthier (You Won’t Even Notice!)
4 Convincing Reasons to Start Running
Yes, You Can Still Work Out After a Night of Boozing
How to Make Running Feel Easier Instantly
5 Guilt-Free Bars to Satisfy Dessert Cravings

 

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Women Who Move: Winter Vinecki http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2014/09/inspiration/women-move-winter-vinecki_29841 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2014/09/inspiration/women-move-winter-vinecki_29841#comments Wed, 10 Sep 2014 12:42:55 +0000 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/?p=29841

Winter has raced a marathon on 7 continents by age 15.

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WINTER VINECKI
Age: 15
Salem, OR

My dad was diagnosed with an aggressive form of prostate cancer just before his 40th birthday. Having watched my mom compete in triathlons, I decided to make racing my way of showing my father that his fighting example inspired me. Though I was only 9 and some people doubted my ability, I completed in my first Olympic-distance triathlon. It was the last time my dad was able to cheer me at a finish line.

Later that year, my dad succumbed to the disease, further fueling my fire to never give up. With the help of my family, I formed Team Winter, a charity that raises money for prostate cancer research, and I continued racing. Prostate cancer affects one in six men, and I want to help prevent other families from suffering a loss.

A few years later, I was flipping through a book of world records when I saw the category for youngest person to complete a marathon on all seven continents. I immediately knew I wanted my name to take over that spot to honor my dad.

I’m lucky that my family supported my ambition from the very start. My mom even committed to running all of the races with me so that we could share the experience as a team.

I kicked off my marathon tour in Eugene, Ore., before going to Kenya, Antarctica, Peru, New Zealand, Mongolia and ending a year and a half later in Athens, Greece. The biggest challenge was persuading race organizers to let me compete at such a young age. But with an unrelenting spirit, my mom and I eventually convinced people to take a chance on us.

This struggle only made me work harder. When my legs screamed with fatigue during high-mileage runs, I thought of my dad and my promise to him to never give in. And as I lined up at each start line, I was determined to prove that age is only a number—it’s the heart be-hind the legs that counts.

Running these races at such a young age taught me to believe in myself. Crossing the final finish line in Athens (home of the first-ever marathon) and earning my world record solidified this as a lesson I will never forget for all of my life. And I know my dad is watching from above, beaming with pride.

What Winter’s Learned: I learned never to be afraid to dream big. If you believe in yourself, your body will follow. We only have one life. Why not go after your wildest dreams?

For more information on Winter’s charity, Team Winter, visit  teamwinter.org.

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]]> http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2014/09/inspiration/women-move-winter-vinecki_29841/feed 0 Photo Gallery: Oiselle Fashion Show http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2014/09/shoes-gear/photo-gallery-oiselle-fashion-show_29816 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2014/09/shoes-gear/photo-gallery-oiselle-fashion-show_29816#comments Tue, 09 Sep 2014 22:06:50 +0000 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/?p=29816

Oiselle debuted their spring/summer 2015 collection today at Fashion Week.

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On Tuesday, women’s sports apparel brand Oiselle unveiled their Spring/Summer collection at New York Fashion Week. The collection debuted as part of Nolcha Fashion Week: New York, a showcase for independent designers. A few familiar Oiselle athletes walked the runway, such as Lauren Fleshman, Kate Grace, Britney Henry, and Kara Goucher. Take a look through the gallery to see some of their new styles and the elite racing kit for this season!

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]]> http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2014/09/shoes-gear/photo-gallery-oiselle-fashion-show_29816/feed 0 Hungry Runner Girl: Advice for New Runners http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2014/09/hungry-runner-girl/hungry-runner-girl-advice-new-runners_29811 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2014/09/hungry-runner-girl/hungry-runner-girl-advice-new-runners_29811#comments Tue, 09 Sep 2014 16:00:28 +0000 http://womensrunning.competitor.com/?p=29811

Janae has learned a lot about running since her first race. Her advice for new runners.

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For my first marathon I had no idea what I was doing. I was confused about why people were eating during the race. I wore a pair of brand new, never been worn racing flats (that hurt). I didn’t know a thing about pacing. Over the years I have learned some lessons that have helped me with my running and racing. I thought I would share them with any new runners reading this article.

Fuel your long runs! It took me a little while to learn this but once I began to fuel, my long runs and races felt a million times better! Everyone is so different, but for me, I prefer to start fueling about an hour into my long run and every 30-40 minutes after that. Hitting the wall happens when your glycogen stores are depleted so do what you can to prevent that by taking in calories along the way. I love the salted caramel Gu for my fuel during long runs and races.

You have to do more than run to keep running. Strength training, core work, foam rolling and stretching are all so important to keep injury free and running your best. I am the injury queen and I have noticed a common theme. When I don’t strength train and stretch, I get injured. When I do spend time each week to do the extras, I am stronger, faster and injury free.

Run on the trails when you can! Running on the dirt is so much easier on your body and joints than running on the roads. Trails will help you fight boredom. They also build your stabilizer muscles and help with your coordination. Not to mention they are also an incredible way get some great hill training in!

Every race isn’t going to be a Personal Record. For the first year of my racing I kept getting PR after PR after PR. After that first year, I did not do so hot in a race for a while. I have realized over time that it is completely normal to have some not-so-great races. And that is okay. There are so many different factors that go into how we perform on race day and that means there are going to be some bad races too. I have learned that some races are going to be PR’s, some aren’t, and some races I am just going to do for fun and enjoy myself.

Don’t be afraid to run with people. It took me years to work up the courage to run with other people and now I am hooked. Runners make the best friends.

If something really hurts, take some time off. I used to push through pain all of the time. I worried that taking time off would mess up my training. This just made injuries worse. I learned over time that taking a day or two off if something is bugging me is way better than being forced to take weeks or months off because I pushed through an injury and in turn really hurt myself by continuing to run.

Give your body plenty of time to recover. I had the idea that the more I ran, the faster I would get. This is true to a point, but you also have to give your body plenty of time to recover. About 5 years ago, I would run 7 days a week. Many of those days I would really push myself and go fast on those runs. I ended up getting a femoral stress fracture, which was not very fun. After a lot of experimenting, I figured out that my body prefers to run 4-5 days a week with a day of cross-training and at least one full rest day where I hang out on the couch for 90% of the time. Give your body time to rebuild itself and get stronger.

Save your racing legs for race day. Speed workouts should be really tough but not all out. Save your 100% effort for race day. Our bodies can only handle an all out effort so many times a year. So rather than getting a killer time on your track workout, save that for your race.

Running takes time but don’t give up on it because in my opinion, it is so worth it. Training for a race takes months, getting faster can take years and building your endurance takes a lot of hours out on the roads. Reaching your running goals will take dedication and consistency. All of my long hours of training and work are completely worth it because running continues to provide great benefits for my life!

What tips do you have for new runners? Tweet @womensrunning to let us know!

The post Hungry Runner Girl: Advice for New Runners appeared first on Women's Running.

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