Monday, October 25, 2021

3 Simple Workouts for a Faster 5K (without a track)

Help me beta-test my new program, 3 Simple Workouts for a Faster 5K (without a track) and get in for just $27! In this program, you will not only get 3 easy workouts that don't require a track, but you'll also receive a bonus workout, my 12 exercises that increase strength & flexibility and cuts down your chances of getting a running injury.

In addition, you'll also get a quick fix for the dreaded side-stitch as well as one for shoulder pain. 

All I ask is that after you try the program, you give me some feedback to help me make the course better. What worked? What didn't work? What could be better explained? etc...

Click below to join my beta program for only $27.00.

https://coachnoce.samcart.com/products/3-workouts-for-a-faster-5k

Saturday, October 9, 2021

Shoe Review: Merrell Vapor Glove 5

Hey everyone, here is my video review of the Merrell Vapor Glove 5. I do realize there is a Vapor Glove 6 out now, but these were on sale and I have not had luck in the past with the Merrell brand so I was a little hesitant. These however fit like a....well....a glove. They feel great and are SO easy to get on compared to the Vibram 5-finger shoes I nave been wearing. 

For those of you that follow me on Instagram @ashevillerunningcoach, you know I've had trouble with foot pain. Running in minimalist shoes has changed everything for me. Yes, I run a little slower now, but I'm running pain free and I imaging that my times will get faster as I adjust to the "barefoot" style of running. 

Monday, September 6, 2021

Passing the RRCA Certified Running Coach Exam

During the weekend of August 14th, I took the RRCA Coaching course. It was held remotely during Saturday & Sunday from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m both days. It sounded like it would be a lot to be in a Zoom meeting all day both days, but honestly, it went by really fast and was very informative. We took breaks each hour or so and worked in groups several times both days. 

RRCA Exam Grade
So what was the exam like? The exam is 100 questions. Most of the questions are multiple choice, but there are some true and false mixed in. The exam is open book, but don't let that lull you into thinking it's not challenging, because it definitely is! 

The nice thing, is that you can save your progress and leave the exam and come back to it later. I took the exam 2 weeks after the course to give myself time to learn the book and where different topics where located to save time and energy as the book is very thick. There's close to 400 slides in the powerpoint so there is A LOT of infomation to sift through. 

If you are interested in learning more about how you can become a RRCA Certified Running Coach, be sure to visit https://www.rrca.org/programs/coaching-certification/ 


Monday, June 21, 2021

Prime Day is Here! Great Deals on Garmins & More

Today is Prime Day at Amazon.com. If you're in need of any running gear, simply click on the links below and search for anything you need. Even if it's not for running! I do earn a small commission off your purchase and that helps keep this site and my ability to offer tips and tricks to help runners run faster and farther.

Running Gear


Garmin Sport Watches

Friday, June 4, 2021

Why Even Runners Struggle with Belly Fat (Part 3/3)

Welcome to part 3 of my 3 part series on Why Runners Struggle with Belly Fat. In this video, we'll look at what actually works to get rid of that stubborn belly fat. Things like nutrition, exercise frequency and lowering stress.

Thursday, June 3, 2021

Why Even Runners Struggle With Belly Fat (Part 2/3)

Welcome to part 2 of my 3 part series on Why Runners Struggle with Belly Fat. In this video, we'll look at some of the strategies runners try to lose weight, only to have it backfire on them.

Tuesday, May 18, 2021

2022 Asheville Hot Chocolate Races

The Asheville Hot Chocolate races are back on for 2022! This is great news for me as it is probably my favorite race series in Asheville. It started with just a 10K, but then in the last few years, they added a 5K option. Now, for 2022, they have added a half-marathon option! 

For those of you that follow me, you know I've been doing self challenges since getting back into running. I broke 30 minutes for the 5K. I've broken 8 minutes for the mile, and now my new challenge, will be getting myself into better shape so I can run the half-marathon. 

All the races will mainly follow the new and former greenways that follow the French Broad River. It's a beautiful run that starts at the Isaac Dickson Elementary school, goes down Hill Street and then mainly along Riverside Drive & Lyman Street. 

The 5K will go down Riverside, onto Craven Street and back along the greenway back to the school. 

The 10K will go down Riverside, along the greenway next to Lyman and into the French Broad River Park before heading back. 

The Half Marathon will continue from the French Broad River Park into the greenway along Amboy Rd down through Carrier Park and turn around at the end of the Hominy Creek River Greenway trail before heading back. 

Just so you know, there are also options for the younger kids. There's a Marshmallow Dash (1,269 ft,) and a 1K Hill Climb.

Being in January, it could be cold (obviously) but I have also ran it with rain too. That was a very cold year and the hot chocolate at the end was much appreciated. 

If you haven't run any of the Hot Chocolate races, I highly encourage you to do so. They are so fun, the courses are nice and flat, which is hard to come by in Asheville, and the participants are the best!

If you would like to run either the 5K, 10K or Half, please use the sign-up link below:

https://raceroster.com/events/99b55236-2784-4e72-9756-afe8fa693417/details?aff=5K4PX

Monday, May 3, 2021

2021 Asheville-Buncombe Senior Games & Results

 

Well, I almost didn't run in this year's 2021 Asheville-Buncombe Senior Games. In fact, the night before I posted a question to my Instagram followers asking if I should run or not. It was an overwhelming 193-3 vote in favor of me waking up the next day and running. 

Not wanting to let by followers down, even though I felt unprepared, I threw on my running clothes and headed out to the meet. When I got there, there didn't seem to be too many people. In fact, I was once again, the only one in my 50-54 age group. There were two in the 55-59 group and I knew the one guy from 2019. He's fast! I wasn't 100% sure about the new guy that showed up this year, but considering he brought his own starting blocks and had at least two pair of track spikes, I knew I was in trouble.

I signed up for the 50m Dash, 100m and 200m because I do like the sprints. I always wanted to be a sprinter but I was just better at distance. Here's how I did: 

In the 50 meter dash, I ran a 7.04. In 2019 I had run a 7.49 so I was very happy with my time this year. I was third overall, being beaten by the two in the next age group up. I was however first in my age group...pretty easy when you're the only one. 

In the 100 meter, I had a lousy start. I mean really bad. I felt like I couldn't get any speed until about 30 meters in. I just felt tight or something. I guess it wasn't that bad compared my 2019 time of 16.06. I ran a 16.31. I was third for the men and, again, #1 in my age group...lol. I was actually 4th overall as there was a really fast woman running who is the wife of one of the men I was up against. 

For the 200 meter, I felt good. In 2019 I ran 37 seconds. This time around I ran 34.87. Again, I was first in my age group and 3rd for men, but 4th overall as the same woman from before was in my heat. She smoked me on the straightaway.

This year, I decided to run the 1500m just to see how I'd do. I had recently broke 8 minutes for the mile so I was hoping to run a 7:30. I ended up running a 7:36 but I crossed the line in 1st place against two other runners, the husband and wife duo who kicked my butt in the 100m and 200m. 


All in all, I earned 4 Gold medals, qualified for the State games in September and made some really good friends. I also got a really weird tank-top tan that I have to now try to fix...lol.

If you're looking for results for this year's games, click here.

Monday, April 5, 2021

I Broke 8 Minutes for the Mile!

Well, I did it! On April 3rd, 2021, I made my 4th attempt at breaking the 8 minute mile since I started this "quest" in October 2020 . The weather was perfect, I had the track to myself, and just felt good! Here is the video I made for my YouTube channel.


Just to recap what's in (and not in) the video, I did a 400m jog, followed by some stretching. My ankle was feeling really weird at first during the warmup but it worked itself out quickly with the jog and stretching. 

I debated listening to music. I had two songs from the Rocky Anthology that combined were 7:55, but I decided that since it didn't go well the last time I tried running with my phone and music, I would just focus on the run.

My splits were as follows. Not as even as I'd like them to be, but definitely better than they had been.

  • Lap 1: 1:54.98 
  • Lap 2: 2:06:.31 / 4:01.29
  • Lap 3: 2:04.47 / 6:05.76
  • Lap 4: 1:48.29 / 7:54.05
Having made 3 prior attempts at the mile since October, I knew I had the speed to run 2 minutes per lap, but I lacked the endurance to repeat them. So Since October, I've been focused on building my mileage. I've had to go slowly because I'm trying to avoid getting injured again with the Plantar Fasciitis I had early on in my journey to start running again. In October and November and half of December, work was crazy and so I lost some progress and like a dork, I tried to jump back into running from where I had left off. As a result, I felt the Plantar coming on again, so I backed off and took it slow.

Which brings me to a good point. Do NOT underestimate stretching. I have always did it as a chore. Even as a running coach, I would preach to my clients the importance of stretching and really get on them for not doing it, and yet not do it properly for myself. 

So I stopped trying to run "on my own" and instead, treated myself as a client. I actually wrote out a plan for a 50-something (cough-cough) male, overweight, former runner with plantar fasciitis. Once I did that, I knew exactly what I had to do and stopped "Winging it".

Breaking that goal of 8 minutes was huge for me. And now that I've done it, I feel inspired and excited to take on the next challenge!

 



Wednesday, March 10, 2021

Book Review: Fire on the Track

 

If you are looking for a great book on women in running, or women in sports in general, Fire on the Track: Betty Robinson and the Triumph of the Early Olympic Women is a must read! I loved this book. It's the story of 3 women athletes that competed in the 1938, 1932 & 1936 Olympics. 

Written by Roseanne Montillo, this book follows the amazing story of Betty Robinson as she is discovered, trained, and sent to the 1928 Olympic games to compete in the 100 yard Dash. This was the frst olympics that allowed for women track athletes and it was almost the last. 

In addition to Betty Robinson's career, which I won't spoil, the book also tells the tales of Mildred Didrikson, Stella Walsh and Helen Stephens. 

What was so shocking to me, was the mentality of the people at the time. There was actually concern that not only would sports make women "manly" but that participation may even turn them into men! What the heck? I was mortified. 

Another not-so shocking part of the book talked about how the women's 800 yard run was incredibly hot and the women gave their all and some collapsed at the finish line. People that were against women in sports used this as fuel and "proof" that women didn't belong in sports. However, nobody said a word when in the Men's 800 yard, the same thing happened to the men. Many collapsing at the finish due to the heat. 

If you love running and want a good way celebrate women's history month, you should definitely pick up a copy of Fire on the Track: Betty Robinson and the Triumph of the Early Olympic Women

By using the links in this blog, I do want to give full disclosure and inform you that I will earn a small commission from your purchase

Happy trails! 

Monday, March 1, 2021

Book Review: The Perfect Mile by Neal Bascomb

 

I recently finished The Perfect Mile: Three Athletes, One Goal, and Less Than Four Minutes to Achieve It by Neal Bascomb. It's the story of three runners, each trying to be the first one to break the 4 minute mile. The book follows England's Roger Bannister, Australia's John Landy and the USA's Wes Santee as they each train, compete and believe that will be the one to do the impossible.

As a runner, you will love this book! However, I think any sports enthusiast would appreciate the detailed descriptions of the races. Neal Bascomb did such a great job, that it actually feels like you are there watching these runners compete. 

There's so much I want to say about this book and the runners but I don't want to spoil it for you. I think we all know which one was successful if you know your running history, but still...the book is so well written that at times I found myself ever so briefly wondering if the others would do it first. 

If you would like to read this book, please support this blog and use the affiliate link above. I do receive a small commission just so you know. 

Wednesday, February 10, 2021

Review of Can't Hurt Me by David Goggins


In January, I finished reading David Goggins' book "Can't Hurt Me". It's his personal story of perserverance as he struggled with a rough childhood, as well as an adult life that felt like he was going nowhere fast. In this book, he goes into detail on what it was like growing up with an abusive father, then with a single mother and his battle with being overweight but wanting to join the military. 

His story is absolutely fascinating! The best part for me, is that rather than being just another self-help book, this was actually (in my opinion) a running book. I had no idea that this man was a god when it came to pushing himself to the limits. Running ultras, triathlons, etc. and all of it basically because he wanted to show he could. That he could take the pain and keep going.

If you want a book that will get you off the couch and strive to be more than you currently are, this is THE book for you. It has really put things into a whole new perspective for me. In this book, I not only was reminded of why I started running, but felt a sort of kindred spirit in David. No, I'm not a Navy SEAL or an Army Ranger, but I had a rough childhood with an abusive father and I used that pain and channeled it into my running. I felt like I came to terms with it long ago, but after reading this book, it brought a lot back and gave me some new reflections and a sense of forgiveness where before I just preferred to forget.

If you only read one book this year, read "Can't Hurt Me" by David Goggins. Please use the link below. I do receive a small commission from Amazon which helps support this site. I could not put it down. I usually read a couple of books per year and I've already finished two books this year and it's not even the middle of February. 



The next book I'll be reviewing is The Perfect Mile: Three Athletes, One Goal, and Less Than Four Minutes to Achieve It. It's the story of Roger Bannister, Wes Santee and John Landy, each trying to be the first person to break the 4 minute mile.

Monday, January 25, 2021

Review of the Fitbit Versa 3 Running Watch

Fitbit Versa 3
Fitbit Versa 3

I wanted to tell you all about how I've finally entered the modern era of runnng watches. As you may know from my past posts, I absolutely love my Timex Ironman Watch. But this past Christmas, Santa gave me a Fitbit Versa 3 GPS watch. So as a result, I've been running with it for several weeks now and wanted to give you a review in case you too were on the fence about getting one or any GPS watch for that matter.

The Good!

Let's start off with what I like about the Fitbit Versa 3. First of all, I had a Fitbit Charge before but I rarely wore it so I already had a Fitbit account set up. That was very easy to do, and adding a watch to it was just as easy.

Unlike the the Charge, the Fitbit Versa 3 is very easy to see while running. Even in bright sunlight, I can see the screen with no issues. the watch tells me when I'm in the right heart zone which is good info and it displays not only my time, but my pace and distance. Very cool, I must admit.

I also like that I only have to charge it so far about once per week. Keep in mind, I'm only running 3-4 times per week so I'm not always using the GPS feature although to be fair, I honestly don't know if that affects the battery or not, but I would think so.

When you're done with your run and it syncs with your watch, it gives you a map of the route you just ran which I think is super cool. I realize all the watches do this, but again, I'm coming from a Timex Ironman watch.

The Bad...

The one thing I dislike abouthe Versa 3 is that the touch screen does not work well when it's wet or when I'm sweaty and so I'm wet. What I mean is that the the touch screen doesn't respond. As a result, on many of my early runs with the watch, when I'd get home and try to stop the timer, I couldn't. I'd be standing in my driveway swiping like crazy trying to get to the end button. I did find out that the invisible side button (and yes, you can't see it and I can barely feel it, but it's there) will pause it and give you the option to end the timer, but if you can't find the button fumbling around after a grueling run, it doesn't do you much good.

The next issue I have with it, and this is not a big deal to me, but I could see it would be for some, is that the GPS is not entirely accurate. A course that I know is 2 miles comes up on the watch as 1.9 or 1.92 or 1.91 depending on....I don't know what. When I zoom in on the map to see the route up close, I can tell why it's off but I'm not sure what to do about it. Apparently, my watch thinks I'm running through houses and buildings rather than going around them. This would obviously account for not only the general discrepencies in distance among all my routes, but the change in distance when running the same route. I ran the same route 3 times and had 3 different distances that it calculated.

Overall, I Recommend the Fitbit Versa 3

Besides the running aspect, you can also listen to (some) music, (I still haven't fully figured this out yet), it tracks your sleep which is very cool, and it allows you to pay for things with your watch (super cool to this guy). Compared to other GPS watches with similar features, I think the price is good too. In fact, I have a link to the Versa 3 on Amazon if you'd like to get one for yourself. I do receive a small commission when you buy as I'm in Amazon's affiliate program.


Monday, January 18, 2021

How to Run When It's Icy

During the winter, I get asked a lot about how to run when it's icy outside. It's a great question, because the last thing you want to happen is to slip and fall and end up injured and losing the winter to build up your mileage base. Below are my top 3 suggestions:

Suggestion 1: Don't Run

I know that may sound funny coming from a running coach, "Don't run", but honestly, I'd rather you stay healthy and not risk it. Stay in, run inside on a treadmill, or do some other form of cross training like a stationary bike, swim at an indoor pool, etc. Also, keep in mind, if you run consistently, missing a day or two is not going to hurt your performance. In fact, it may even help by forcing you to rest, giving your body a chance to rest and recover from prior workouts.

Suggestion 2: Run Very Carefully

If you love racking up the mileage and insist on running, then try shortening your stride. Taking smaller, more frequent steps will help you keep better traction and reduce the risk of a slip and fall incident. If you can, find snowy parts as the snow will give your traction whereas ice will just be slick.

You can also drop you arms out to the sides and lower than normal and use them for balance the way a tight rope walker would. It may sound funny, but it helps.

Suggestion 3: Use Crampons or Ice Cleats

If you live up north, where it can be icy and slick for days upon days, you may want to invest in a pair of slip-on crampons, also sometimes called Ice-Cleats. these slip over your runnin shoes and have sharp nodules on the bottom that will bite into the ice and give you traction, similar to the way chains on tires work for your car. Below, I have a link to a great amazon product. By using the link below, you will help support this site as I will receive a small commission.


Saturday, January 9, 2021

Timex Ironman Watch Review: My Favorite Running Gear


Timex Ironman Watch

In my opinion, the Timex Ironman Watch is the best, most affordable running watch you can buy. I’ve used the ironman watch for as long as I can remember. In fact, in the beginning, it would record only 8 splits for you which I thought was the coolest thing since my favorite workout was doing 6 – 8 x 400m repeats. This was way back in high school. I’m not so crazy anymore. So what’s so great about this watch when there are so many fancy smart watches out there? Let’s take a look shall we?

PRICE

First of all, the price can’t be beat in my opinion. For all that this watch does, and for as tough as it is, I think a good sport watch under $50 is a steal.

QUALITY

This watch is amazing. It’s water resistant up to 100m, I’m contantly banging my arm on things and I’ve never in all the years I’ve owned one, had any issues with the buttons not working or the band breaking.

EASY TO USE

When you first get the watch, assuming you haven’t had one before, it can seem a little confusing but if you just take a breath and look at the buttons, they are very intuitive.  Basically there are five buttons.

Bottom Left: Mode Button takes you from the time and date screen to the Chrono or Stopwatch mode.  Press it again it takes you to the timer mode. Next are Occasion, Alarm 1, Alarm 2 and Alarm 3.  The timer mode that I mentioned is a great feature because not only will it countdown, but you can have it repeat!  What does that mean?  Let’s say you’re doing my free Couch to 5K running plan.  The plan calls for running a minute and walking a minute.  You can set the timer on repeat so that after it counts down from a minute, an alarm goes off and it begins counting down again.  All you have to do is keep track of what you’re doing when the alarm goes off.  Run or walk!

Top Left: Set/Recall is the button you use to either set your time and date initially or to recall your splits.  When setting up your watch initially, you simply press and hold “set” and then press “Mode” to scroll through setting up the time, date, year, 12/24 hr format, etc.

Top Right: Indigo Light button. This is one of my favorite features of this watch.  Whether it’s early morning or late at night, it can be hard to see you watch display.  The old lights really just lit up one corner of the watch and was still barely readable.  The indigo light however, illuminates all the text and numbers in a bright blue/green color so it’s super easy to read.

Bottom Right: Stop/Reset button.  This is pretty self explanatory.  If you’re timing something and you want to stop, simply press “stop”.  If you’re using a countdown timer, when you’re done with it, simply hit “reset” to take it back to the setting you entered.  For example, if you set a countdown time for 15 minutes but finished a little early.  You can hit reset and it will reset the timer back to 15 minutes.

Bottom Center: Stop/Split button. Again, pretty obvious what this button does.  If you are using the stopwatch, this starts it.  press it again to grab a split.  Maybe you’re on a track doing laps or you want to compare your out and back times. Regardless, it’s a great feature and the button is so big and central, you can’t mess it up.

CONS OF THE TIMEX?

If you want a watch that tracks your sleep or your steps then this is not for you. If you're looking for a GPS watch, this watch is not fo you. I also would prefer the stop and mode buttons switch places.  To me, it would feel more natural to stop the stopwatch with my thumb if it was the bottom left button but honestly it’s not that big of a deal. It’s just ergonomics.

SUMMARY

If you’re looking for a great, reliable watch that will gives you a countdown timer, a stopwatch, has multiple alarms and occasion reminders, as well as recording up to 30 splits, then this is the watch for you!  One other great feature for me in a world of tech, is I don’t ever have to plug it in!  I have to charge my phone, my ipad, my Fitbit (another review coming soon) and my bluetooth headphones. It’s so refreshing and easy to just grab my watch knowing it will be ready and won’t run out of charge on my run.

If you are interested in buyin a Timex Ironman, please consider supporting this site by using the link below. I have partnered with Amazon as an affiliate and so I will make a small commission from your purchase.

60 Day Challenge - Week 5

This is the start of week 5 and I have gained weight... AGAIN . I started this challenge at 191.0lbs and I'm (as of today, Nov. 22nd) 19...