Friday, July 31, 2020

How to Break A Training Plateau (Part 5/5)


Often times I'll hear a runner say their training isn't working, but when I ask them if I can see their plan, they don't have one. they just go out and "do whatever" each day. Or they say "I just run 3 miles per day." Today, we will talk about the elements of a proper training plan.

>> Please reach out to me if you want my 12-week plan to run a faster 5K.

Thursday, July 30, 2020

How to Break A Training Plateau (Part 4/5)


As runners, we tend to think that it's all about speed. Everyday, going out and pushing harder than the day before. Today, we will talk about how running slower, will actually make you a faster runner.

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

How to Break a Training Plateau (Part 3/5)


So many times I hear runners complain that they can't sleep, dread training and have just lost that desire to run. Here are some indications that you too are over-training.

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

How to Break a Training Plateau Part 2/5


A lot of runners, in order to break through their training wall, make try to overcompensate and do too much too soon.

Monday, July 27, 2020

How to Break A Training Plateau - Part 1/5

Far too many runners gets frustrated that their training isn't working. "Why can't I run a faster 5K?" The answer usually can be found in their training plan and the solution is easier and more fun than you think...

The video below is part 1 of a 5 part series I'll be doing this week.

Saturday, July 18, 2020

Why Long Runs Are Important

Why are long runs important? You often hear people talking about having to do their long run, but why? The long run offers many benefits that will make you a better, stronger and faster runner.

Psychological Benefits of a Long Run

By running long, runners will often experience what is known as a runner’s high. A rush of endorphins washes over you and everything is just right in the world. It’s such a cool feeling.

In addition, knowing you can run 8-10 miles or more makes running a 5K seem like a walk in the park. You feel almost bulletproof.

Musculoskeletal Improvements 

Long runs also help to strengthen your muscles, tendons and ligaments. This makes you not only stronger, but more resistant to injury. 

Cardiovascular Improvements 

In addition to the above, a long run also improves your endurance. By running for extended periods of time, you actually increase certain enzymes in your muscles. This causes capillary growth which in turn allows more oxygen to get delivered to your muscles, thus increasing endurance. 

How Long Should a Long Run Be?

I always recommend that your long run be 20-30% of your weekly mileage. So for example, if you run 30 miles per week, your long run should be 6-9 miles. 

I do not recommend a long run over 3 hours. Not even for marathon training. That amount of time takes a big toll on the body and could lead to overuse injuries.

If you’d like to learn more about adding a long run to your training, please let me know. I’d love to help you get your next PR. 

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Why Do I Bounce When I Run?

“Why do I bounce when I run?” is a question that comes up a lot. Sometimes it’s because someone pointed it out to you or perhaps you realized during a run as you witnessed the horizon bumping up and down. 

While I am a firm believer in the fact that different people have different running styles that work for them and their body, there things we can do to improve. 

Stride Length

If you watch elite marathoners, you’ll notice first that they look like their gliding and then that they have a crazy long stride. So you may be tempted to do the same. But this would be incorrect. As you get faster, and your running improves, you’ll notice a longer stride just naturally happens. But don’t force it. In fact, the reason you’re bouncing is most likely because you are over striding

To correct over striding, shorten your stride and go for a quicker turnover. The ideal is 180 steps per minute, but honestly, that would be a rather fast paced mile and not for everybody. 150 is more realistic in my opinion for the average runner. 

Metronome apps can help with this since you just run to the beat. But another, (easier way in my opinion) is to find a park and simply run barefoot. After a few strides, you’ll notice you’re automatically running with shorter steps and a quicker turnover. 

Landing Wrong

On my way in to work, I used to see the same guy running each morning with a huge bounce in his step. All his energy seemed to be in moving upward rather than forward. As I observed him from the red light one morning, I realized he was landing on the balls of his feet and then springing upward, rather than landing on his midfoot. While the action was very spring-like, and probably a great calf workout, it was a huge waste of energy and I imagine he was very prone to shin splints. 

Happy trails!

Sunday, July 12, 2020

Proper Fit for Running Shoes

Unless you go to a running specialty store, you may not know if a shoe fits you right or not. Sure, you can slip it on and walk around, but how do you know if it’s right? Here are some things to look for.

Is it the right size?

This may sound silly, but don’t just assume that because your current shoes are a certain size, the new ones will be the same. Different brands, different styles,  even the same shoe but as a newer model can cause variance in the sizing. I have running shoes that are 9’s. Dress shoes that are 8.5’s and boots that are 8’s. You have to try them on your foot. And just so you know, a half size is only about the thickness of an athletic sock.

Is it the right length?

Now that the shoes are on, test to see if they fit in the length. While standing, bend over or have someone else place their thumb sideways on the toe of the shoe. You should have a thumb’s width between your toe and the end of the shoe. Less than this and you can damage your toenails. More than this will cause your foot to slip and you’ll get blisters.  

Is it the right width?

With the shoes on, check the width by squeezing the front sides of the shoes. They should be fitted but not tight like they’ll burst and yet not loose like you have too much material. Another easy spot check is the center where the laces are. If the areas on either side with the eyelets/lace holes are too close or almost touching, that’s a sign the shoes are too wide. 

Last but not least...the “Last”.

The back of the shoe where the heel is at is called the last. If this is too loose, you can use the extra hole at the top of the laces to draw in the heel but try to find a shoe that you won’t need to. That’s just a personal preference. 

Saturday, July 11, 2020

Why Hire a Running Coach?

A lot of people ask me, “why do I need a running coach? Can’t I just go out and run?” Sure, you could do that on your own and most people do. However, most people give up, get injured, lose interest, etc. Why? Because they did too much, too soon. They overtrained, or got an injury because of poor stretching, if any. 

It’s similar to investing. Sure, I can open an account, make a deposit and buy stocks. But honestly, I don’t know which are good, which are bad. Which are under or over-valued. So the smart thing would be to hire an advisor or a financial coach. 

By hiring a running coach, you have someone that can guide you and create a plan specifically for you. Everyone is different and that’s why I recommend a running coach. Sure, there are decent one size fits all approach programs like the popular couch to 5K plans you hear about. But what if that is too advanced? What if it’s too easy? Then what do you do? Books on running a faster 5K are great. I have a bunch myself. But they won’t address things like plantar fasciitis or occasional hip pain or knee pain you might experience. 

A running coach will look at your goals, your starting point, any conditions/old injuries you may have and come up with a well rounded plan that works on speed, endurance, strength, flexibility and injury prevention. 

If you have any questions at all about hiring a running coach, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me. I’ll even give you my opinion on a plan that’s not mine if you’re unsure. 

Follow me on Instagram @ashevillerunningcoach for daily tips, tricks, advice and other running info. Then check back here as I expand on my daily posts. 

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