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2018 NCAA Track & Field Championships

By: Preston Johnson

Article originally featured in Run Utah Magazine Summer/Fall Edition 2018.  Click HERE to download Full PDF version of the Magazine.

In June the nations-best collegiate track athletes gathered at Historic Hayward Field in Eugene Oregon with national titles on their minds. Among those athletes were 14 Utah based distance runners, ready to run fast.

Qualifying for the NCAA Championships is no small task. The first requirement is to run a top 48 time in your region in your respective event, with their only being two regions (east and west) these regions include a lot of athletes. After hitting your qualifying time, you are then sent to your respective regional meet where you compete in either one (5k, Steeplechase, and 10k) or two rounds (800m and 1500m) of your event eliminating more athletes each round to get to the final twelve that will be sent to compete at the national championships.

The NCAA championships consists of four days of competition, two for the men and two for the women. Again, this meet may include a semifinal heat (800m, 1500m, and 3000m Steeplechase) before the actual final. As I break down each event keep in mind that I am only covering the events with Utah distance runners. In the other distance races, I will briefly list the top three finishers.

Men’s Day One

Day one consists of four distance races. The 1500m semifinal is first, followed by the steeplechase semifinal, 800m semifinal, and then the 10k final. With no Utah athletes in the 1500m semifinal, we will jump straight to the Steeplechase. This race included four Utah athletes, Clayson Shumway from BYU, Spencer Fehlberg from Utah State, Jordan Cross from Weber State, and Matt Owens from BYU. This event was wide open when it came to favorites, there were lots of athletes all with seed times in the low 8:40’s and high 8:30’s. Ultimately two of the four Utah athletes made it through the semifinal round, Clayson Shumway taking the second seed into the final and Matt Owens taking the tenth seed into the final.

Next up was the 800m. Representing Utah State, Clay Lambourne was the only Utah athlete to qualify. While he was ultimately eliminated in the semifinal, Lambourne deserves a lot of credit for a great season in an event that was absolutely stacked.

Following the 800m was the first final for the distance races. The 10k was also filled with lots of talented Utah athletes, including Rory Linkletter from BYU who had taken second place in last year’s championships, Dillon Maggard from Utah State who had taken sixth at the NCAA Cross Country Championships, Clayton Young from BYU, Mike Tate from SUU, and Connor Mantz a freshman from BYU. Generally, at championship meet the 10k is very tactical. The race is taken out really slow and over the last mile or two the pace picks up dramatically breaking most of the field and allowing for a very fast lap. That was not the case in this year’s race though, with the leader coming through the first 400m in sixty seconds and the mile in 4:21. This fast start caused a lot of havoc among the athletes ultimately causing a lot of changes to race plans. Dillon Maggard ending up being the top dog for Utah athletes taking third place overall in 28:38 behind Vincent Kiprop in second, Michigan’s Ben Flanagan winning the race with a quick last lap of fifty-six seconds. Connor McMillan was twelfth, Mike Tate was twenty-first, Connor Mantz was twenty-second, Clayton Young was twenty-third, and Rory Linkletter was twenty-fourth.

Women’s Day One

Day one consists of the same events as day one for the men. Kicking things off for the women was Sophomore Whittni Orton of BYU, the lone Utah athlete (men or women) to qualify in the 1500m. Placing ninth in her heat she didn’t qualify for the finals but ran her second fastest time of the season (4:17.84) to finish nineteenth overall.

Following the 1500m was the steeplechase semifinal. Grayson Murphy of the University of Utah and Cierra Simmons of Utah State would toe the line for this event. Murphy came into the meet as one of the favorites to podium after taking eighth at the NCAA Cross Country Championships, second at the Pac-12 championships, and third at the Stanford Invitational. She didn’t disappoint winning her heat in a PR of 9:48.57. Following closely behind her was Simmons who also ran a PR of 9:50.35. Each of their performances earned them a spot in the final two days later.

Unfortunately, no Utah athletes qualified for the 800m or 10k. We will cover the winners of the 800m final in day two. The 10k was a very fast race as it saw a thirty-year-old meet record fall due to Sharon Lokedi’s (Kansas) 32:09.20 winning time, but she wasn’t the only runner to break the old meet record as five other runners dipped under the previous record. Dorcas Wasike of Louisville took second and Karissa Schweizer of Missouri took third.

Men’s Day Two

As day two is only comprised of finals the number of athletes we have competing drops off quite a bit. No athletes from Utah were represented in the 1500m or the 800m.

The men’s 1500m included a big upset as Josh Kerr, collegiate record holder, failed to repeat as the winner. Oliver Hoare from Wisconsin won a tactical race in 3:44.77 followed by Vincent Ciattei of Virginia Tech (3:45.012) and Josh Kerr (3:45.015).

Up next on day two was the steeplechase final. Our two qualifiers from day one’s prelims, Owens and Shumway, both finished as All-Americans finishing in sixth and seventh in the twelve-man field. Minnesota’s Obsa Ali was the winner running a PR of 8:32.23, Eastern Kentucky’s Jamaine Coleman was second, and Stanford’s Steven Fahy took third.

The men’s 800m saw another collegiate record holder get beat to the line as sophomore Michael Saruni (PR of 1:43.25) of UTEP finished in third. The freshman from Mississippi State, Marco Arop, finished in second, and Isaiah Harris from Penn State got the big win in 1:44.76.

The final distance race of the meet for the men was the 5k final. Utah had 4 athletes doubling back from the 10k final two days ago, Linkletter from BYU, Maggard from Utah State, McMillan from BYU, and Young also from BYU. This is another race that is often run in a tactical manner in championship races and this one played out in exactly that way. Again, our top runner was Maggard taking sixth place, behind him was Linkletter bouncing back from a disappointing 10k to finish eighth, Young finished in twelfth, and McMillan finished the race in twenty-fourth. Grant Fisher from Stanford took third, Justyn Knight the pre-race favorite from Syracuse took second, and this year’s 5k national champ was Sean McGorty from Stanford with a time of 13:54.81.

Women’s Day Two

The final day of competition for the women, and the meet as a whole, started off with a bang. The Women’s 1500m, always a fan favorite distance to watch, was first. Jessica Hull from Oregon got the win in 4:08.75, Nikki Hiltz from Arkansas finished second in 4:09.14, and Stanford’s Elise Cranny took third in 4:09.49

The single distance event of day two for the women that had Utah athletes was the steeplechase and both of our athletes that qualified came ready to compete. Murphy from the University of Utah finished in sixth nearly equaling her time from the semifinal running 9:48.80. Simmons from Utah State surpassed her time from the semifinals to get another PR (9:49.33) and finish in eighth place. Allie Ostrander the Sophomore from Boise State got the win in 9:39.28 winning by more than 6 seconds. Charlotte Prouse (New Mexico) was second and Paige Stoner (Syracuse) was third. Both Utah athletes have earned All-American honors.

The women’s 800m was up next. Raevyn Rogers of Oregon was the women to beat the last few years collecting five national titles, but now that she has graduated it was time to crown a new champion. That champion was Sammy Watson the freshman from Texas A&M winning in 2:04.21. She was followed by Abike Egbeniyi from Middle Tennessee State and Ashley Taylor from Northern Arizona.

The final distance race of the meet was the women’s 5k. After doubling back from a third-place finish in the 10k Karissa Schweizer of Missouri struck gold winning the race in 15:41.58. Allie Buchalski of Furman finished just one second shy of Schweizer in second and Lilli Burdon of Oregon rounded out the top three.

If you would like to view full results of every event at the NCAA Championships check out the official results here.

Preston is a former student athlete at Weber State University from Kaysville, UT. At Weber State he competed in the 5k and 10k on the track. He graduated in the spring of 2018 with a degree in Exercise and Sport Science. He still runs as a member of the Utah Running Elite racing team and is working towards the Olympic Trials Marathon in 2020. He is one of the managers at UtahRunning.com and loves coaching and helping other athletes reach their goals. Outside of running he enjoys hiking, biking, swimming, and rock climbing.

THIS ARTICLE ORIGINALLY APPEARED IN RUN UTAH MAGAZINE SUMMER 2018 – TO RETURN TO THE MAGAZINE CLICK HERE!

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Runner Spotlight

By: Preston Johnson

Article originally featured in Run Utah Magazine Summer/Fall Edition 2018.  Click HERE to download Full PDF version of the Magazine.

Name: Michelle Simonaitis

Age: 52

Current Residence: Draper Utah

Occupation: JetBlue Reservations

Hobbies: Watching Jazz, Selling Online Clothing, I love Tennis and Golf ( but don’t get to play as much as I would like.

Running Background: Started Running at age 12 in Roanoke VA. I found the mile and cross-country came easy for me and started winning – so naturally gravitated toward long distance.

Took some time off during college and restarted running around 25 to keep in shape. Moved to Utah from VA and joined Runner’s Corner racing team in Provo. Won the St. George Marathon the first year of living in Utah in 1993. Then ran Twin Cities Marathon in 2:40:50 the next year achieving the ‘A’ standard for the Olympic Marathon Trials. Went on to qualify for the Olympic Marathon Trials 2 more times. So total of 3 times. Highest finish was 38th in 2000. DNF the 1996 ( IT band ) and DNS 2004. ( ran SLC marathon instead) . Represented USA at the IAAF World Track and Field Championships in Edmonton, CA in 2001 for the Marathon. Finish 2nd American and 41st OA. My husband is a very good runner having been inducted into the National USATF Hall of Fame for Masters runners. He is a great source of information and inspiration for me.

PRs: Open : 5k 16:09 10k 33:43 1⁄2 Marathon 1:14:02 ( Hobble Creek) 1:17:17 Carlsbad, CA Marathon : 2:40:50 Twin Cities Marathon 2:40:34 Motorola Texas Marathon. As a Master runner PRs: 5k 17:02 Carlasbad, CA 10k 34:54 Peachtree Road Race , Atlanta GA 15k 55:17 Jacksonville, FL Marathon 2:48:14 Twin Cities Marathon

Training regimen/schedule (weekly mileage, types of workouts, when you fit it in):

Typically right now at 52, I run around 55 miles a week . I run with the Utah Running Draper group. Last winter and spring I did a lot of my workouts and longs runs with Lloyd Hansen, a top National Class Master runner in the US. We were preparing for those races and would do 6 x 1 mile and 6 x 800’s. We also did some Long Progression runs picking it up to faster speeds at the end. I would also do some trail running with the group and friends from SLC.

Favorite place to run:

I have a couple places. I love Provo Canyon and Draper Porter Rockwell. As For trails I really like Millcreek Pipeline . I’m not the best trail runner and Pipeline is nice and flat.

Favorite race distance: 10k

Favorite running shoe: I like Hoka Clifton.

Why run (motivation,inspiration): Running just puts me in a great mood . I do get inspired by big races and trying to run as fast as I can.

Favorite quote or best advice you’ve been given as a runner: I like this quote by Joan Benoit Samuelson “ I’d rather be 90% fit than 100% injured.” I’m currently struggling with an injury and should have taken that advice early when it was bothering me. It’s on the mend now, though.

Advice you would give to other aspiring runners: I would say, run the races that bring you great joy. Skip the ones that you’re not that passionate about to avoid burnout/injury. You can only do so many, so pick the ones that are going to give you the most pleasure and pride when you finish.

Goals: I’m currently running the USATF Masters National Circuit and have completed 3 races. I would like to finish the year in the # 1 spot for the 50-54 Women.

 

 

Name:  Taylor Monson

Age:  32

Current Residence:  Ogden, UT

Occupation:  Engineer

Hobbies:  Running, Mountain Biking, Backpacking

Running Background:  I started running as a Junior in High School.  I’ve been running since doing my own thing. I’ve done multiple races in all the various distances.

PRs:  Mile 4:31, 5K 15:45, 10K 33:26, Half Marathon 1:12, Marathon 2:39

Training regimen/schedule (weekly mileage, types of workouts, when you fit it in):

I’m averaging 40 miles a week for the year.  I normally get out about 5 days a week. I try to make one of those days a longer run, 10+ miles.  Time of day is all over, but most frequently it’s in the evening.

Favorite place to run:

Trails on Snow Basin

Favorite race distance:

Half Marathon

Favorite running shoe:

I’m running in the Brooks Revel and Saucony Freedom right now. I’m still trying to find that perfect shoe, but I’ve found that I can never go wrong with a Brooks.  This is my first crack at Saucony and I have been impressed.

Why run (motivation,inspiration):

It’s fun discovering your limits and trying to redefine them – I’ve always said it’s a deranged addiction.  You can’t skimp or cheat yourself, and the body keeps you honest. I like the way I feel after a solid run and I like the physical freedoms it provides for day-to-day living.

Favorite quote or best advice you’ve been given as a runner:

“Why do I run?  To stay in shape, to keep my health, to feel better – all partial reasons, I suppose.  The reason is confirmation – confirmation that I am in control. Every day I must make a choice – a choice to experience pain and discomfort in order to achieve a higher goal…”

-Source Unknown

Advice you would give to other aspiring runners:

I’m discovering as I get older I can’t get away with habits I used to have such as not stretching, poor sleep, or eating poorly.  If you’re fighting through lingering pains or can’t seem to reach that next PR, take a close look at your diet habits and cross training exercises.  I’ve seen people make huge turn arounds in 6 months by doing just that. Age is not necessarily a physical restrictor, but more of a mental restrictor.  You’ve got more ability than you know.

Goals:

The past couple years I haven’t been involved in the racing atmosphere as much as I once was.  I’ve been working through some minor, but lingering, injuries and the goal is to get back into some races in the Fall.  I’ve got my eyes on TOU half marathon, Scottsbluff, Nebraska half marathon, and Ogden Halloween half marathon.

THIS ARTICLE ORIGINALLY APPEARED IN RUN UTAH MAGAZINE SUMMER 2018 – TO RETURN TO MAGAZINE CLICK HERE!

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Optimizing Performance Through a Balanced Diet

By: Carrie Fredin

Article originally featured in Run Utah Magazine Summer/Fall Edition 2018.  Click HERE to download Full PDF version of the Magazine.

Many people unfortunately have a love/hate relationship with food as they try to control their weight through deprivation and/or elimination.  I believe you should enjoy your food as the fuel that allows you to chase your goals. Eating should be pleasurable. Fresh, healthy food is delicious.  I enjoy my meals more when I know that they are fueling me for the miles. When I eat well, I perform well. Below are a few simple guidelines I try to follow as I feed my family.

 

Eat food as close to the source as possible.  Whole, healthy foods will nourish your body and allow it to perform.  Processed foods are like foreign substances in your body, as we did not evolve to be able to metabolize them.  For example, our bodies do not know what to do with high fructose corn syrup, so it gets stored as fat. A general guideline is to look for items with few ingredients, which you understand and can pronounce.  Buy most of your food from the periphery of the grocery store and avoid the aisles.

 

Fat is not the enemy.  If God put fat in it, eat the fat.  We drink whole milk, eat full fat yogurt and cheeses, use real butter, and cook with olive oil.  Fats are the carriers of nutrients and flavor. Many key nutrients found in vegetables are fat soluble and become more readily absorbed in the body when eaten with a fat.  Reduced fat or fat free foods have added sugars to improve the taste that was removed with the fat. Your body needs the healthy fats. Bring on the avocados!

 

Avoid sugar as much as possible.  Watch labels and look for added sugars in things like pasta sauce, cereals, and yogurt.  Sugars and artificial sweeteners come in many forms, so watch for ingredients that end in “-ose”.  Yogurt sweetened with a little honey and frozen fruit is plenty sweet and much healthier than flavored yogurts, for example.  You’ll find that you crave sugar a lot less the less you eat it. Once you’ve cut back on sugar you will find that the naturally sweet foods like fruit taste sweeter and satisfy that sweet tooth.

 

Try and balance your meals with a high quality protein source, a healthy carbohydrate source, and a healthy fat.  A common guideline as you look at your plate is that half should be covered with vegetables, a quarter with protein, and a quarter with a complex carbohydrate.

 

While I am menu planning I look at the overall week to try and get as much nutrition as possible.  I include one meal with red meat—for the iron and branched chain amino acids. We eat salmon once a week for the omega fats, and then one other meat, usually chicken.  I try and eat as many vegetables as possible throughout the week. I also try and make sure that I am using the ingredients in multiple meals so I don’t waste food.

 

Your mindset will be what helps you stay successful as you strive to eat a healthful diet.  If you are coming from a place of deprivation and longing for the hot pocket it will be harder to stick with it.  If you look at the fridge full of colorful, healthy foods, grateful to have access to such nutritious foods, you will be happier to invest the time and money that it takes to eat healthy meals.  White knuckling your “diet” won’t last for the long term. Really learning to love the healthier foods will allow you to make a healthful lifestyle. Researching the best way to prepare foods will pay off.  For example, kale is known to be a superfood but can get a bad rep as bitter, chewy, tasteless, etc.; however, it is delicious when prepared well. I also find that I am a lot more successful when I focus on including the healthful foods rather than excluding the bad stuff.  When I focus on getting in all my veggies, the sugar in my diet naturally tapers off. Below is a sample weekly dinner menu with several of my go-to breakfast ideas (we often eat leftovers for lunches).

 

Sunday: Recovery quinoa salad with pepitas

Flat iron steak

 

Monday: Black bean and sweet potato tacos

Roasted beets

Salad

 

Tuesday: Soba noodle salad

 

Wednesday: Grilled chicken

Kale cabbage salad with lemon miso dressing

 

Thursday: Salmon

Cubed and roasted sweet potatoes

Sauteed kale

 

Friday: Roasted potatoes

Eggs, scrambled or fried according to your preference

Fresh fruit

 

Saturday: Leftovers

 

Breakfast ideas: Muesli

Eggs with sautéed vegetables and avocado

Cottage cheese waffles

Oatmeal

Yogurt

 

RECIPES

Recovery quinoa salad with turmeric pepitas (from Run Fast, Eat Slow by Shalane Flanagan and Elyse Kopecky)

Turmeric pepitas:

INGREDIENTS:  1 T butter; 1 t turmeric; 1 t curry powder; 2 T honey; ½ t salt; 2 C raw pepitas (pumpkin seeds).

PROCEDURE:  Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Melt the butter over medium heat in a pan. Add the turmeric and curry powder and cook until fragrant. Turn the heat off and stir in the honey and salt.  Add the pepitas and stir to coat. Spread the pepitas on a cookie sheet on parchment paper and roast in oven for ten minutes. Stir after five.

Salad:

INGREDIENTS:  1 C quinoa; ¾ t salt; 3 C loosely packed, finely chopped kale (stems removed); 1 bell pepper, seeded and chopped; 1 jalapeño, finely chopped; ½ C cilantro leaves; 1 ½ C black beans; ½ cup feta cheese; 1/3-1/2 C fresh squeezed lemon juice; 1/3 C olive oil; 1 avocado; pepitas (see above).

PROCEDURE:  Cook and cool quinoa according to package directions. Toss the other ingredients together.  Top with chopped avocado and pepitas.

 

Flat iron steak seasoned with salt and pepper

INGREDIENTS:  Flat iron steak; olive oil; salt; pepper.

PROCEDURE:  Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. Heat olive oil on a cast iron skillet.  Season both sides of the flat iron with plenty of salt and pepper. Brown the steak well on both sides.  Transfer to oven and cook according to taste.

 

Black bean and sweet potato tacos

INGREDIENTS:  2 C black beans; cubed and roasted sweet potatoes (recipe below); olive oil; salt and pepper; avocado, chopped; corn tortillas.

PROCEDURE:  Brown tortillas on an oiled pan.  Load each taco with plenty of beans, sweet potatoes and a generous portion of avocado.

 

Roasted beets

INGREDIENTS:  Beets; lemon juice.

PROCEDURE:  Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Wash the beets and remove the greens. Wrap the beets in tin foil. Roast them until they are slightly soft.  Let cool slightly and then slip the skins, slice and enjoy! I like to squeeze a little lemon on them.

 

Salad

Toss your favorite greens and veggies together and top with olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper.

 

Soba noodle salad with peanut sauce (from Run Fast, Eat Slow by Shalane Flanagan and Elyse Kopecky)

Peanut sauce:

INGREDIENTS:  1 T virgin coconut oil, 1 yellow onion, diced, ½ t fine sea salt, 3 cloves garlic, minced, 1 can (13.5 oz.) unsweetened coconut milk (preferably full-fat), ½ C unsalted creamy peanut butter, 1 T soy sauce, 1 T coconut sugar or other granulated sugar, ½ to 1 t red pepper flakes, depending on spice preference, 1 T lime juice (about ½ lime), ¼ C chopped peanuts.

PROCEDURE:  In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, warm the oil.  Add the onion and salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft but not brown, about 5 minutes.  Add the garlic and cook, stirring frequently, for 1 minute. Add the coconut milk, peanut butter, soy sauce, sugar, and red pepper flakes.  Bring to a simmer and whisk until the peanut butter melts. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the sauce thickens and the flavors meld, about 10 minutes.  Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the lime juice. Using an immersion blender, if you have one, blend the sauce until smooth. Alternatively, transfer the sauce to the container of a blender and process until the sauce is smooth.

Salad:

INGREDIENTS:  1 t salt, 1 head broccoli, 1 head red cabbage, 1 package soba noodles (rice works as well), 1 T sesame oil, 1 T soy sauce, 1 red or yellow bell pepper, seeded and chopped, ½ C chopped cilantro, 1 jalapeno, finely chopped and seeded, ½ C roasted peanuts, 1 ½ C peanut sauce (see above).

PROCEDURE:  Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil over high heat and add the salt.  Place the broccoli and cabbage in the water for 2 minutes. Remove from the water (keep the water) and immediately transfer to a large bowl of ice water to stop the cooking (and keep the veggies crisp).  Once the vegetables are chilled, remove them from the water and set aside. Bring the same pot of water back up to a rolling boil and cook the noodles according to the package directions. Drain, run under cold water, drain again thoroughly, and transfer to a large salad bowl.  Toss the noodles with the sesame oil and soy sauce. Thinly slice the cabbage and bell pepper (use a mandoline if you have one). Arrange the broccoli, cabbage, bell pepper, cilantro, scallions, and chile pepper or kimchi (if using) on a large platter alongside the noodles. Place the peanuts in a small bowl.  Warm the peanut sauce in a small saucepan over low heat. Transfer to a medium bowl. Place the platter in the center of the table and allow everyone to create their own soba noodle salads. Top with a generous serving of the peanut sauce.

 

Grilled chicken

INGREDIENTS:  Boneless, skinless chicken breasts (qty based on your family size); olive oil; salt; pepper

PROCEDURE:  Brush chicken with olive oil.  Salt and pepper generously. Brown both sides on a cast iron skillet over medium high heat.  Then transfer the skillet to the oven at 400 °F until the chicken is done cooking (internal heat must reach 165 °F).

Kale cabbage salad with lemon miso dressing (adapted from Run Fast, Eat Slow by Shalane Flanagan and Elyse Kopecky; they call for radicchio, but we use cabbage instead because it is easier to find and one head is enough to cover both this recipe and the soba noodle salad)

Dressing:

INGREDIENTS:  ½ C extra-virgin olive oil; 1/3 C lemon juice (2 medium lemons); 2 or 3 cloves garlic, minced; 2 t miso paste (preferably mellow white); ½ t fine sea salt; ¼ t freshly ground black pepper.

PROCEDURE:  Combine the oil, lemon juice, garlic, miso, salt, and pepper in a glass jar with a lid.  Use a fork to stir in the miso, then shake vigorously to emulsify.

Salad:

INGREDIENTS:  1 C farro, rinsed and drained; 1 large bunch kale, finely chopped, stems/spines removed; 1 small head red cabbage, quartered, cored, and cut crosswise into thin strips; 1 C grated Parmesan cheese; 1 C chopped toasted walnuts; lemon miso dressing (see above)

PROCEDURE:  In a large pot, place the farro with enough water to cover by a couple of inches and bring to a boil over high heat.  Reduce the heat to low and simmer, covered, until the farro is tender but still chewy, about 30 minutes depending on the particular brand and form of the farro.  Drain the farro and set aside to cool. To assemble the salad, toss the kale with three-quarters of the dressing in a large salad bowl. With clean hands, gently massage the kale with the dressing to soften the leaves.  Add the cabbage, Parmesan, walnuts, and farro to the kale and toss again. Taste and add the remaining dressing, if needed. This salad can be made in advance. It tastes even better the second day. Cover and refrigerate leftovers for up to 5 days.

Salmon

INGREDIENTS:  Wild caught salmon filets; thinly sliced lemon; salt; pepper; butter or coconut oil.

PROCEDURE:  Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.  Place salmon skin side down on the foil. Place a pat of butter or a dollop of coconut oil on each filet.  Season with salt and pepper. Arrange lemon slices over the top of the filets. Add a little more salt over the top of the lemon slices.  Bake at 400 °F until opaque. Serve with extra lemon wedges.

 

Cubed and roasted sweet potatoes

INGREDIENTS:  Sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed; olive oil; salt; pepper.

PROCEDURE:  Spread cubed sweet potatoes on a cookie sheet and drizzle with olive oil.  Season them well with salt and pepper. Roast at 400 °F for approximately 45 minutes, stirring every five.  They are done when they are slightly browned.

 

Sautéed kale

INGREDIENTS:  1 large bunch kale, finely chopped, stems/spines removed; 2 cloves garlic, minced; 1 shallot, sliced; coconut oil; 2 C vegetable broth.

PROCEDURE:  Sauté shallot for 4-5 minutes in coconut oil.  Add garlic and continue sautéing for 1 minute. Mix in the kale and sauté for another minute until bright green.  Add vegetable broth. Cover and simmer until kale is tender (approximately 5 minutes). Drain liquid and serve with salt and pepper to taste.

 

Roasted potatoes

INGREDIENTS:  Potatoes, cubed (red potatoes or bakers both work well; peel or leave skins on per your preference); olive oil; salt; pepper.

PROCEDURE:  Spread cubed potatoes on a cookie sheet and drizzle with olive oil.  Season them well with salt and pepper. Roast at 400 °F for approximately 45 minutes, stirring every five.  They are done when they are slightly browned.

 

Muesli

INGREDIENTS:  ½ C old fashioned rolled oats; ½ C plain full-fat Greek yogurt; 2/3 C whole milk; 2-4 T honey or pure maple syrup; 1 t vanilla extract; 2-3 t chia seeds; your choice of toppings (sliced apples with cinnamon, chopped walnuts, almonds, dark chocolate chips/chunks, raisins, dried cherries).

PROCEDURE:  The night before, whisk together the milk and yogurt until relatively smooth.  Add the oats, honey or syrup, vanilla extract, and chia seeds. Mix well, cover, and refrigerate overnight.  The next morning, re-mix everything together and top with your preferred combination of toppings (e.g., apple slices, cinnamon, raisins, and chopped walnuts; or dried cherries, dark chocolate, and almonds).  Makes 2 servings.

 

Veggies-for-breakfast eggs

INGREDIENTS:  3 eggs, beaten; ¼ onion, sliced; 1/3 bell pepper, sliced; ½ avocado, sliced; sliced mushrooms; baby spinach, washed; cilantro; olive oil; salt and pepper.

PROCEDURE:  Saute onion in olive oil over high heat for 2 minutes.  Add sliced pepper and cook for 2 more minutes. Add mushrooms and continue cooking for a minute.  Reduce heat to medium high. Add spinach and cook until spinach wilts (a minute or less). Add eggs and cook until done.  Salt and pepper to taste. Serve with avocado and cilantro. Yields one generous serving.

 

Cottage cheese waffles

INGREDIENTS:  1 C whole wheat flour; 2 C full fat (4%) cottage cheese; 1 dozen eggs; ½ t salt; ½ C butter, melted; 1 t vanilla extract.

PROCEDURE:  Add all ingredients to blender and blend until smooth.  Cook in waffle iron according to instructions. Be aware that these will rise more than traditional waffles, so do not overfill with batter.  Yields sixteen 5”x5” square waffles or eight 8” round waffles.

 

Oatmeal

INGREDIENTS:  Oats, rolled or steel cut; whole milk; pure maple syrup; nuts; dried or fresh fruit.

PROCEDURE:  Cook oats according to package directions.  Mix in milk and syrup to taste. Top with nuts and fruit.

 

Yogurt

INGREDIENTS:  Plain full fat yogurt; frozen fruit, thawed; honey.

PROCEDURE:  Allow frozen fruit to thaw (you can leave it in a bowl on the counter for about 15 minutes  or use low power in microwave for a couple of minutes—just don’t overheat). I love cherries or raspberries, but you can use anything you like.  Mix in frozen fruit and any juices released during thawing. Drizzle with a little honey.

I’m Carrie Fredin. My husband and I have five amazing boys. I’m a USATF certificate coach and have been coaching Layton High Track and Cross Country for seven years. I have a passion for nutrition and good food. I love being a part of the UtahRunning.com racing team as well.

THIS ARTICLE WAS INITIALLY A PART OF RUN UTAH MAGAZINE SUMMER 2018 – CLICK HERE TO RETURN TO MAGAZINE!

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Energy! Where did you come from? Where did you go? Where did you come from we must know?

By Janae Richardson

Article originally featured in Run Utah Magazine Summer/Fall Edition 2018.  Click HERE to download Full PDF version of the Magazine.

From 2007-2011 I had the privilege of helping the Davis High School cross country team alongside one of the best distance coaches in Utah – Corbin Talley (currently the men’s head distance coach at Weber State University).  I got to jump into a super solid program and learn from the best what it takes to lead and coach a successful team.

 

I got to ride on the coattails of the team’s success my first season as the Darts captured a state cross country title in both the men’s and women’s end of season race. Then the girls team went on to qualify for the Nike Nationals meet in Portland, Oregon that season too.

 

Of all the highlights of the season though, one individual performance especially stood out to me.  The performance of Senior Natalee Haws at the State Cross Country Meet at Sugar House Park. For those not familiar with this race course, the race loops around the beautiful park, up hills, down hills, around the pond, and ultimately finishes on the Highland High School track.

 

Going into the state meet, Shalaya Kipp of Skyline High School was the obvious favorite.  A very talented athlete and the defending state champ (this girl went on to have a phenomenal college career and participate in the 2012 London Olympics), most spectators had placed her as the expected winner.  Natalee however, was determined to give Kipp a run for her money and that she did.

 

In the words of Coach Talley as he described how the race played out, “Natalee stayed patient throughout the entire race.  She ran a lot of it with a smile on her face. When I saw her on the back side of the course (before the 2 mile mark) I yelled to stay patient – she was running right behind Shalaya and they had pulled away from the rest of the group. Natalie gave me a smile, and then she growled (weird, I know, but that is her style). I knew she was determined to finish strong.  When it came down to the last 1/2 mile she was probably 5 seconds behind last year’s state champion (Shalaya Kipp from Skyline) but Natalie somehow dug deep and found some kind of monster kick on the track to capture the first ever Davis individual state championship (for either a boy or a girl). Natalie’s time was the 14th fastest ever run on the course…She really deserved the title.”

 

Natalie finished in 18:27.8 and Shalaya finished in 18:28.2.  In the last 50 yards, Natalie ran her heart out and beat her competition by just four-tenths of a second.

 

We were all so proud of her.  After the race, I asked Natalie, “Where did you find the courage to finish like you did, at a point in the race where the pain is so intense and the body screams that second place is good enough?”, and she said, “I thought about something you mentioned to the team a few days ago and it led me to believe that I had it in me to kick.”  (Now keep in mind I cannot take credit for her win, she had been masterfully trained by Coach Talley through her high school years and this girl was talented, but nonetheless she made me feel good thinking I had at least played a small role in her success). She brought up what I had told the girls about the different energy systems of the body and that we have an energy system of the body that helps us sprint out and get position at the beginning of a race and that this same energy pathway could be tapped into at the end of a race for a finishing kick if our mind wanted it bad enough.  Of the many thoughts that I’m sure came to her in the final stretch of that race that day, this was one of them that Natalie held onto and used to push ahead.

      

 

There is some deep, complicated exercise physiology to explain how our body produces energy that propels us forward.  I could dig into my graduate school exercise physiology books and regurgitate biochemistry and metabolism to you, but this would require the highest level of running nerd focus from all of us and would take long enough to discuss that we may miss our next run (not good).  So for the sake of space and time in this article, we will try and keep it simple and applicable to what we are trying to accomplish as runners. That being said, some background information is required to make sense of how our body functions while running and how we can apply this knowledge to help us train smarter and race faster.

 

Snapshot of the Three Energy Pathways of the Body:

 

In order for our bodies to function on a daily basis, and for our muscles to have the ability to move us in a running motion,  a certain amount of energy is required. This energy comes in the form of a molecule called Adenosine Triphosphate or ATP. The body has three main pathways that this energy is produced.  The first two pathways produce energy anaerobically or without the help of oxygen. The last energy pathway is an aerobic pathway, or in other words, it requires the use of oxygen to produce the energy we need.  

 

What determines what energy pathway is used? The duration and intensity of the exercise.

 

  1. The Phosphagen System or ATP Creatine Phosphate Energy Pathway

 

As mentioned above, this energy pathway doesn’t require oxygen and is called upon when there  is a sudden high intensity energy demand such as is the case with hill sprints, an explosive jump, or the start or finish of a race.  This system relies on the availability of creatine phosphate, which is in limited supply in our body. It is the quickest form of energy production, but can only sustain our bodies for a short burst of about 3-15 seconds.  Once the creatine phosphate is used up, then the body must utilize another energy system of the body to fuel the movement.

 

  1. Glycolysis or the Lactate System

 

Like the Phosphagen System, this energy pathway of the body doesn’t require oxygen to produce energy for the body, but instead of creatine phosphate as its fuel source, the Glycolysis or Lactate System breaks down glucose (glycolysis) into two 2 pyruvate molecules to then produce ATP.  It can produce enough ATP to fuel the body for 1-3 minutes of intense activity. Hydrogen is also produced during glycolysis and if there is enough oxygen available, the aerobic energy pathway of the body can use the hydrogen and pyruvate to produce more ATP. If the aerobic system can’t keep up with the hydrogen ions being produced then the hydrogen and pyruvate combine to form lactic acid.  Lactic acid moves into the bloodstream and is cleared by the liver, but at the point that the production of lactic acid is being produced faster than the body’s ability to clear it, the body must either slow down or stop the activity being performed. This is caused because the acidity in the blood because of the lactic acid, inhibits the breakdown of fat for energy, which forces the body to rely more on carbohydrates (glucose) and glycolysis for energy.  When these glucose stores are depleted the body has no choice but to decrease performance.

  1. The Aerobic System

 

The aerobic system utilizes oxygen to break down carbs, fats, or proteins to produce ATP.  This production of energy is slower, but can sustain the body for long periods of time (we have enough glucose in our body to sustain us for about 90 minutes of running at a moderate intensity).  When the intensity is low, our body will use fat as our main energy source. As the intensity increases and oxygen availability decreases, our bodies will turn to muscle glycogen stores and blood glucose as a the main fuel source because it is easier and quicker to break down than fat is.  During prolonged activity, protein can be used as a fuel source, however it must first be broken down into amino acids and converted into glucose.

 

Keep in mind that at any given time, the aerobic system isn’t exclusive to one substrate (carbs, fats, proteins) for fuel, but the intensity of the body’s movements will determine where the majority of the fuel source comes from.  The same is true with energy metabolism. The energy systems or pathways do not work in isolation from one another, but every movement requires interaction between each of the energy systems.

 

Application: How to apply energy system knowledge to training and racing

 

Training:

  • Look at the following energy pathway distribution chart and determine the aerobic vs anaerobic requirement of the particular event you are training for.  Then match your training to this distribution. So if I’m training for a 10k, then 97% of my training should be aerobic training (comfortable distance runs making up the majority of my time, but this can also include efforts that are comfortably hard – 10K, Half Marathon, Marathon efforts – like a 3-4 mile tempo run or 4 x 5 minutes comfortably hard with 1 minute rest or 16 miles at marathon pace) and 3% of my training should be anaerobic training (true speed work – strides, hill sprints, short and fast repetitions, and even the end of VO2max intervals can put us in this anaerobic state).

 

  • When it comes to workouts, we want to make sure our desired purpose and outcome is accomplished so that our time is well spent and best preparing us for our end goal.  Remember the desired benefit of a workout is determined by the duration of the workout, the intensity (pace of the effort), and also the amount of rest we give ourselves between intervals.

 

  • If your training doesn’t involve getting ready for a particular event, but rather you just want to be overall fit, then utilize a variety of workouts that develop each energy system of the body

 

Racing:

  • Pacing is key!  If you’ve trained smart and you’ve matched your training to the demands of the event you’ve prepared for, then lock into the pace and rhythm that you know you can sustain.  Don’t get caught up in the excitement of a race and go out too fast or run scared and miss pushing your body to its full potential. It is a fine balance and it is only through practice that we will know what pace is right.  

 

  • We know we are most economical at the paces we have trained at, so stick to your prepared race plan based on your training and then, like Natalie Haws chasing down the State Title in 2007, turn on your monster kick and chase down your dreams!  

THIS ARTICLE WAS INITIALLY FOUND IN RUN UTAH MAGAZINE SUMMER 2018 – CLICK HERE TO RETURN TO MAGAZINE!

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The Five Components of Fitness for Runners

By: Kurt Ward, Ph.D. and Coach at runcoaches.com

Article originally featured in Run Utah Magazine Summer/Fall Edition 2018.  Click HERE to download Full PDF version of the Magazine.

The five components of fitness are essential to the overall performance of an athlete.  I often see people focus exclusively on one or two of the five components of fitness. For example, many young men often gravitate toward muscular strength with a tad of muscular endurance. In contrast, many women focus on flexibility through yoga and dance while neglecting muscular strength and cardiovascular endurance. As a runner, I have found myself guilty of neglecting other components of fitness besides cardiovascular and muscular endurance. It was during these times of neglect that my performance suffered and I often became injured from muscular imbalances. Over the course of this article, each of the five components of fitness will be reviewed and evaluated to help you understand how each can be assessed and strengthened. As a quick refresher, the five components of physical fitness are: cardiovascular endurance, muscular strength, muscular endurance, flexibility and body composition. These five components of physical fitness are used to evaluate the overall fitness of an individual.

Furthermore, these five areas provide a balanced approach to physical fitness; it is simply not enough to be strong in one area alone. Your individual goals and desires will determine what components are a higher priority for you and thus your area of focus. However, this does not imply that all other components should be neglected. For the purpose of this article the five components will be discussed with a distance runner in mind.

Cardiovascular endurance is the heart and lungs’ ability to work together to provide oxygen to the body during sustained exercises. This can be measured in several different ways but perhaps the easiest way to do this (without breaking the bank on expensive equipment) would be to perform the Cooper test. The Cooper test is a simple test that can be performed on a track or any flat area. To perform the Cooper test simply run as far as you can in 12 minutes. The test measures the cardiovascular fitness of the person taking the test and the outcome is based on the distance run, the individual age, and sex. For example, a 42-year-old woman that can run 2200 meters in 12 minutes would be considered to have good cardiovascular fitness. After performing the test for yourself, you can see how you stack up by simply searching google for the cooper test and examining the table for your distance, gender and age.

For an endurance runner, cardiovascular fitness is critical to your training. Depending on your age and running goals, this will likely be the major area to focus on during your training. For example, if you want to run a half marathon under 2:00 hours it will be critical to incorporate training runs that will improve cardiovascular endurance. These types of workouts might include intervals, tempo runs, fartlek, and other pace-based workouts.  

Being a runner for over the past 15 years, this has been my main area of focus. However, as I will discuss below, focusing on this area exclusively was when I experienced injuries and set backs in my training during my college running years. These injuries likely could have been avoided if I had taken the time to add more muscular strengthening and endurance activities into my weekly workout routine.

Muscular strength refers to the force a muscle can produce. One rep maxes for squats, leg press, or bicep curls are examples of muscular strength tests. Muscular strength and muscular endurance are often easily confused. Assessing Muscular strength is typically done independent of muscular endurance by using a 1-rep max. Simply stated: what is the most weight you can squat during 1 rep? This is an all-out effort to see how much force you can produce in a single effort. However, it is not recommended to test beginners with a 1-rep max for several reasons. First, as a beginner you likely do not have a good grasp on your current muscular strength and lack the knowledge on where to start. Second, this lack in knowledge in your current strength may result in overestimating your current level leading to an injury. While muscular strength alone is not critical to your success as an endurance runner its relationship with muscular endurance may help you become a better runner by preventing injuries from muscular imbalances.

Muscular endurance is the muscle’s ability to exert a submaximal force repeatedly over time. Examples include pushups, cycling, elliptical machines, and of course, running. As mentioned earlier, muscular endurance and strength are closely related. For example, if you are the stereotypical runner with a weak upper body (no judgement, you are in good company here) you might only be capable of lifting yourself a couple of times. This is likely due to a lack of muscular strength in the muscles you do not use as often. In this example, an individual’s strength is so low that their muscular endurance cannot be accurately assessed. It is quite common for endurance runners to have great lower body muscular endurance but lack upper body muscular endurance.

So how do you know if you are assessing muscular strength or endurance?  When looking at muscular assessments and trying to evaluate if it is a strength or endurance test, there is one key difference to identify. If the test is all out in one push, (i.e. 1 rep.), this is measuring muscular strength. If the test requires the same movement, more than once, then it will begin to evaluate endurance. One can begin to see how muscular endurance and muscular strength go hand and hand. For example, if  a runner wants to improve their upper body’s muscular endurance they first must improve their upper body’s muscular strength.

With the endurance runner in mind, the area of focus should be on exercises that help your running efficiency and increase your stamina. Therefore, muscular endurance should be a major part of any endurance runners’ weekly workout routine. However, you may find that you first have to increase your strength to work on your endurance. I recommend implementing exercises like non-weight squats, lunges, sit-ups, push-ups and pull-ups two or three times per week. If you find that you can only do two or three of an exercise, do not fret and keep building more each week as you continue to build muscular strength on your way to improving muscular endurance.

As mentioned earlier, during my college years I experienced several injuries. I dealt with a knee tracking issue that would cause pain on the bottom inside of the knee when going down stairs and within 5 to 10 minutes of a run. After nearly two months of trying to resolve the problem with ice, anti-inflammatories and plenty of time off. It was discovered that my abduction and adduction muscles of my upper legs were much weaker than my quads and hamstrings likely resulting in the issue. Fortunately, by adding in muscular strengthening and endurance exercises I was able to get back to running within a few week of adding the exercise into my morning exercises. Fortunately, I haven’t had any knee pain since. By strengthening the muscles that are often neglected I have been able to stay healthy and strong even while adding more miles.

Flexibility is the ability of each joint to move through the proper range of motion for that specific joint. There are two types of flexibility: static and dynamic. Static flexibility exercises are large-range motions at a joint without any movement. For example, the toe-touch or the sit-and-reach test are both of static stretches. Dynamic flexibility is large-range motions at a joint with a movement. Examples of dynamic stretching includes drills such as leg swings, skipping leg extensions, bounding and even lunges. Distance runners should focus on dynamic flexibility exercises that help develop functional flexibility specific to the sport of running.  These dynamic stretches will also help strengthen and improve running form. There is a time and a place for static stretching as it can provide much needed rest and repair for your muscles and may benefit you after hard efforts (avoid static stretches before warming up!).

By adding drills to my distance runs I have noticed quicker recovery times, smoother form late in races, and a better kick. Similar to the muscular strengthening exercises, I believe post run drills have helped me avoid injuries and improve my times over the years.

Body composition is the amount of fat mass compared to bone, organs, and muscle mass an individual has. This can be measured in a variety of ways from skin folds, to bioelectrical impedance found on several at-home scales. However, these all have a certain level of error associated with them and should be regarded as an estimate and not an absolute. An endurance runner will obviously want to have more lean mass than fat. However, if your focus is on improving your cardiovascular fitness, muscular endurance, flexibility and muscular strength, your body composition will improve as you see your lean mass increasing and fat mass decreasing. Simply adding exercise into your daily routine helps but another factor that will contribute to your body composition is a well-rounded diet.

Each of the five components of physical fitness is important to your success and individual goals as a runner. However, depending on your own current goals certain components might require your attention more than others. Currently, my focus is on improving my cardiovascular fitness and muscular endurance as I prep for a fall half marathon. However, as my goals change so will my main areas of focus. In my experience as a coach and athlete, I have found it to be important to assess myself in these five areas. First to see if I am working toward my short term and long term goals. Second, to avoid injury, that is often due to a lack of muscular strength in my lateral and medial leg muscles. Finally, to maintain a level of fitness that allows me to do the activities that I find personally rewarding. These can be beneficial to you too!

 

Kurt has a Ph.d from Auburn University in Kinesiology. He is currently an adjunct professor and assistant coach at Weber State University as well as a cofounder of runcoaches.com with Paul Pilkington. He is married to Taylor Ward and lives in Ogden, UT. While working on his undergrad at Weber State he competed in mid-distance events as a member of the Track and Cross Country team. He continues to run today and races all over the country with his wife. When he isn’t running he enjoys playing basketball and rock climbing.

THIS ARTICLE WAS INITIALLY A PART OF RUN UTAH MAGAZINE SUMMER 2018 – CLICK HERE TO RETURN TO MAGAZINE

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Eliud Kipchoge: The Worlds Greatest Marathoner Interview

By: Preston Johnson

Article originally featured in Run Utah Magazine Summer/Fall Edition 2018.  Click HERE to download Full PDF version of the Magazine.

Utah Running: First off, I wanted to thank you for taking the time to do this interview. We are beyond excited to hear from you. This interview is going to be a part of UtahRunning.com’s Summer Edition Run Utah Magazine. The theme of this magazine is “The Complete Runner: Training Your Body and Mind for Total Running Fitness”. After writing the outline for the magazine and deciding I wanted to write a mind over body article you were the first runner that came to mind. I believe lots of people have this perspective of you being the epitome of being mentally strong in competition and training.

The first instance that comes to mind of your mental strength is the Nike Sub 2-hour attempt. Attempting something that for years had been this elusive goal for the entire marathoning community yet had been seen as an almost impossible task. You went in with so much confidence and really changed the worlds perspective on if a sub-2 hour marathon was even possible. Can you talk to us a little bit about your approach to this event? Did you approach this event any different than you do a typical world marathon major? If so can you elaborate on some of those differences?

 

Eliud Kipchoge: Thank you once again, remember to every human being it was impossible, I approached differently in that, it took all my time for seven good months, I changed my thoughts and tell my conscience that, I am going through, be it in any circumstance.

For a normal marathon, it’s just running to win, but for breaking 2, it was about running against the unthinkable, that’s a big difference.

Utah Running: During the Nike Sub 2-hour attempt, we all watched in amazement as you came within seconds of making a sub 2 hour marathon a reality.  Could you describe the experience from your perspective? What were some of your thoughts throughout the experience and after you finished and the results had settled in?

Read More….

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