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Female Runner Spotlight

Lauren Morin

Age:    24

Current residence: Ogden, UT

Occupation: Striders Running Manager

Running background: After watching my parents complete several marathons, I was inspired to start running after high school. I figured I needed a way to stay fit post cheerleading days.

PR’s: Marathon 3:30;  Ogden Valley 50 Miler (Road 50) 8:55; Skyline 50 Miler (Trail 50) 12:26;

Wasatch Front 100 (29:34) 

Tell us about your recent experience completing your first 100 miles at the Wasatch 100.  What were some of the highlights?  What parts or aspects of the race were most challenging? How did crossing the finish line completing 100 miles compare to the feeling of finishing shorter distance races? Read More….

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by on Dec.07, 2015, under Utah Running

Interview with Golden Harper

Golden Harper
Local Utah running prodigy and entrepreneur, Golden Harper, is one of the founders of Altra Running Shoes, the first cushioned Zero Drop™ running shoes on the market (cushioning in the shoe no longer dropping from the heel down to forefoot).  What started as a small startup company in 2009, has turned into a thriving establishment and an explosion of a new line of running shoes. Read More….

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by on Dec.07, 2015, under Utah Running

Build An Aerobic Base: A Guide for Off-Season Training

[Originally featured in Run Utah Magazine Oct Nov Dec Edition 2015 – Click Here to read other great articles from this magazine edition]

The fall and winter months are a great time of year to put in some easy running mileage. In fact, it is my favorite time of year because I feel like I can really enjoy running again. The pressure of a race looming in the near future is gone and I can focus on running because I love what it does for both my mind and body. Some runners like to continue to do intervals, tempos, etc. during these off-season months, but if your goal is to increase your weekly mileage and build a solid aerobic base then the safest way to go about it is to avoid coupling mileage increases with intense workouts. You risk injury, overtraining, and burnout. For me it works best to at least take a couple months to run distance and build up my mileage base. If anything, it is the mental break from intense workouts that I need to be primed and ready to jump back into more intense workouts come the beginning of the year.

WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF BUILDING AN AEROBIC BASE?

There are some definite physiological benefits to spending consistent time running easy mileage. We strengthen the cardiovascular system. We create a more powerful pump (heart), which helps get more oxygen rich blood to our running muscles at an increased rate. We increase the cross-section of blood supply in our muscles with the increased number of capillaries (small branches of blood vessels) in our body. We also increase the size, number, and distribution of mitochondria in our body. Mitochondria is where aerobic metabolism takes place, so this increases our body’s ability to take up and utilize oxygen more efficiently. In addition to the cardiovascular benefits, we can become better at conserving our glycogen stores and be more efficient at utilizing fat for energy. Base mileage, if done correctly, also helps build up a resistance to injury and builds a foundation for us to handle more intense/ quality workouts down the road. And if you are still not convinced of the importance of easy running and base mileage, think about how the different energy pathways of the body are utilized during different race distances. We have energy being produced with the presence of oxygen (aerobic pathway) and energy produced with out oxygen (anaerobic pathways) depending on the intensity of the activity being performed. If you take a look at the energy contribution chart you can see that even a shorter race like the mile requires 80% of the body’s energy to come from aerobic metabolism. The marathon requires over 97% from the aerobic pathway! So it makes sense that we should spend 80% or more of our training time developing our aerobic system.

HOW MUCH MILEAGE SHOULD I BE DOING DURING THIS PHASE OF TRAINING?

When it comes to weekly mileage goals, like a lot of training aspects, it is very individual. I know some runners that run consistent 100 mile weeks, some runners who 65 miles per week is their edge, and other beginner or masters (over 40 years old) runners that 30-40 miles a week are what their bodies can handle. So many factors go into this that it is something you have to be very careful about. Jack Daniels, a well-known exercise physiologist and coach, said there is no magical weekly mileage number. He did say, however, that good marathoners tend to be in the 70-150 miles per week average (1). This is a wide range, but it does help us understand that for marathon running, longer weekly mileage is important. While the exact ideal weekly mileage for each person is not always clear, one thing we do know is that it takes YEARS to build up to having your body handle the stresses of 70-150 mile weeks. Runners that are able to handle this amount of mileage have built up to this gradually over years of training. So when deciding on how many miles to do each week, consider what event you are training for (training for a 5K is going to require much less miles than if you are training for a marathon) and then consider how many years you have been running. I’d say if you are just getting started then shoot for 25-35 miles a week. If you are an intermediate runner (3-5 years of running) that has consistently been running 25-35 miles a week then start your base mileage out at the 35-45 range. If you have been running for 7-10 years with consistent mileage above 50 miles then I think you would be okay to start hitting ranges above 60.

HOW DO I SAFELY INCREASE MY MILEAGE?

The most conservative, safest approach would be to stay at the same weekly mileage for 3-4 weeks before increasing your mileage. This gives your body time to adapt to the stresses you are putting on it before you add more demand to it. I like to take a mileage recovery week before making the jump to a new weekly mileage goal. So after the 3rd or 4th week of higher mileage, I drop my mileage for one week by 20% and allow myself a recovery week from the higher mileage. For example, if you are running 60 miles a week for 3 weeks then on the recovery week you would decrease your mileage by 12 miles (20% of 60) and run 48 miles. Then after the recovery week you could head into three consecutive weeks at 66 miles a week. How do I know how much I increase my mileage when it is time to make a jump? Some experts recommend, using the 10% rule of thumb. This means increasing your mileage by 10% of what you have been doing, but maximum amount being 10 miles. Another approach is to increase by the number of training sessions you are doing in a week (1). So if you workout 7 times a week, then you can increase your mileage by 7 miles.

WHAT PACE SHOULD I RUN MY BASE MILEAGE?

These easy distance runs are more of a function of time spent running rather than intensity (1). You can’t really go too slow on these runs, but you can go too fast. If you go too fast on these runs you change the desired result and purpose of the run. I would describe these runs as easy to moderate. At a conversational pace. If you are looking for a heart rate range, your distance run pace should be 65-79% of your heart rate max. If you want to base easy run pace off of race paces you can do that too. For instance, these runs should be 45-60 seconds slower per mile than marathon race pace or 1.5-2 minutes slower than 5k pace (1).

Sources:

(1) Daniels, Jack (2005). Daniel’s Running Formula. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.

Janae

Janae Richardson – Runner | USATF Certified Coach | Masters in Exercise Science

Janae has a master’s degree in Exercise Science from Utah State University and is a Certified Sports Nutritionist. She ran collegiately at Weber State University and continues to enjoy running competitively in road races. As a certified USATF coach she also enjoys coaching runners of all levels of ability. Janae and her husband Ken Co-founded UtahRunning.com in 2009 and reside in Ogden, UT with their three children.

 

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How to Tackle the Marathon

The marathon can be a fickle beast, but with some experience, wise training, and prudent in-race decision making, it can be tamed. I consider myself a seasoned runner but, when I stepped on the road for my first marathon I was in for a rude awakening. I had underestimated the toll 26.2 miles puts on your body, especially at race pace, and I had not respected the distance as I should have. I’ve since run a few more marathons, and although I’m still seeking faster times, I have improved my performance substantially. I’d like to share a few tips that I’ve found useful for improving my marathon performance.

There’s No Substitute for Mileage

Over the last few years I steadily increased my weekly mileage as I continued to be disappointed in my marathon performances. With each increase in mileage I, for the most part, saw an improvement in my marathon PR. There’s certainly a strong correlation between the number of miles we run in training and our marathon race performance. Increasing volume at first was a scary and tough decision for me. I endured three stress fractures in college, due to increasing volume and training load too quickly. I was under the impression my body couldn’t handle more miles. But I made the decision to increase mileage and I did so very slowly over time.

To increase your mileage I recommend an average of five miles per week for each training block. For example, if you are trained 12-16 weeks for a marathon and averaged 50 miles a week during that block, consider attempting 55 miles per week on your next 12-16 week block. This is a safe way to increase without jeopardizing an injury, but as always listen to your body and back off if you fear you’re overdoing it.

Slowing Down to Speed Up

Around the same time I decided to increase my mileage I also decreased the pace of my easy and recovery day runs. By slowing down on my easy days I was able to improve my half marathon PR by 2 minutes and my marathon PR by 8 minutes. Going slower allows me to run more miles and to be better recovered for my hard workout days. When we run a hard workout we cause micro-tears in our muscles and these, if given time, will adapt and heal stronger than before. This is how we get faster and stronger. But, if we push the pace the day after a hard workout, we may not be allowing the muscles to fully heal and adapt before we tear them down again in the next workout.

Another benefit of slower running on easy days is that your body becomes more accustomed to using fat as an energy source. At faster paces we mainly use glycogen as our energy source. But, in the marathon we often need fat in addition to glycogen as an energy source, especially late in the race when glycogen levels have been nearly depleted.

What’s a good easy day pace? That depends on how hard you ran the day before. But it’s not uncommon for my recovery pace to be 2:30 slower per mile than the pace I ran my hard workout at. Then if I have an additional easy day before my next workout I may go 1:45-2:00 slower per mile. But mostly I don’t even look at my watch during recovery runs, I just run whatever pace feels easy and at which I feel my body will recover.

Read More….

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Tim Speicher

Tim Speicher – PhD | Athletic Trainer | Strength and Conditioning Specialist | Positional Release Therapist | Biomechanist – Gait Analysis

Dr. Tim Speicher, PhD, ATC, LAT, CSCS, PRT is an Athletic Trainer (AT), Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) and Certified Positional Release Therapist (PRT). He completed his B.S. at Towson University in 1995 and received his graduate training from Marshall University in 1998. In 2010, he completed his doctoral degree in Adult Learning from the University of Connecticut. Dr. Speicher has worked in a variety of clinical environments with various populations and age groups. These have included amateur, high school, collegiate, in and outpatient rehabilitation, industrial and Olympic settings. Dr. Speicher has gained a majority of his clinical experience with Division I athletics, including track and field and soccer. Most notably, he served as a Medical Supervisor for the 2002 Winter Olympic Games for Long Track Speed Skating. He is founder and owner of the Positional Release Therapy Institute, a company that provides positional release therapy and gait analysis for patients and instruction, training and certification in positional release therapy for health care practitioners. Dr. Speicher’s clinical expertise and research is in positional release therapy, therapeutic modalities, biomechanical or gait analysis, orthotic prescription and fabrication, pedagogy and transfer of learning. He has published and presented his work nationally and internationally. Dr. Speicher has been a competitive runner, collegiate athlete and is currently a competitive cyclist for a team in Utah. He enjoys skiing, mountaineering and rock and ice climbing in his free time.

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by on Jun.03, 2015, under Utah Running

Rodney Hansen

Rodney Hansen – Exercise Physiologist | Ph. D. in Nutritional Sciences | Runner | Coach

Rodney has been a distance runner since junior high.  He graduated from Fort Collins High School in Fort Collins, Colorado and earned his Bachelor’s degree from Idaho State University where he was also a cross country, indoor, and outdoor track athlete.  He completed both his Master’s Degree in Exercise Physiology and Doctor of Philosophy Degree in Nutritional Sciences from Colorado State University.

Rod’s former professional experience includes coaching high school Boys and Girls Track (Poudre School District, Fort Collins, Colorado), and collegiate Mens and Womens Cross Country, Indoor Track, Outdoor Track, and Marathon (College of Southern Idaho).  He also conducted research in nutrition in the Colorado State University Veterinary Medicine Program where he primarily investigated dietary omega-3 fatty acids and the effect they have on chronic disease in companion animals.

Rod has been a professor at Weber State University since 2004.  He teaches nutrition and his research interests have included biomechanical analysis of barefoot running in elite runners and nutrient intervention to address muscle soreness in older runners.  He is married to Julie Hansen.

 

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by on Jun.03, 2015, under Utah Running Experts


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