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Race Week: How to Best Prepare for Race Day

by Lisa VanDyke

 

My last big race of the season is just about here, and although I have dealt with the “taper jitters” pretty well up until now, the week before always proves to be tricky from a mental standpoint. There is an aspect of controlling one’s destiny when it comes to race training that is both stressful and empowering. The adage, “You get out of it what you put into it,” comes to mind. When the proverbial hay is in the barn, a runner is left to realize that their part is almost done, and some aspects of race day are left up to the whims of the universe. (Queue the incessant checking of race day weather and phobias of race day illness.) So what is a runner to do with themselves the week before a race?

  • Visualize yourself running the race. See yourself crossing the finish line and meeting your goals! (If you haven’t done so already, give yourself an A, B, and C goal)
  • Study the course. Get familiar with aid station locations, etc.
  • Prepare your clothing, accessories, shoes, bib, etc. for race day.
  • Eat what has worked for you throughout training, paying special attention to getting enough carbohydrates two days prior to your race. Be careful not to over-stuff yourself the day before the race. See more about what to eat before your race here.
  • Hydrate all week!
  • Get a full night’s sleep during the week leading up to the race.
  • Stick to your routine – nothing new before race day.

Lisa VanDyke – UTR Club Captain | Runner | Boston Qualifier
My name is Lisa VanDyke. I am a mother of three who spends any moment I can sneak away indulging my passion for running. I discovered running only about 8 years ago, at first for stress relief, then to get fit, and much later on to push my own boundaries. My first race was the Strider’s half marathon in 2013. I stuck with the half distance for some time, racing as well as pacing for a local pacing company, but by late 2014 I needed something different to challenge myself with, and I registered for the Ogden Marathon 2015. Training for this race was my first experience with a structured training plan including speed, tempo, and long runs. I loved the training equally as much as I loved running the race. Ogden got my a qualifying time for the Boston Marathon 2016, which became my second marathon. This great sport continues to feed my need for growth, camaraderie, and adventure.

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by on Oct.05, 2017, under Racing, Training, Utah Running

IAAF World Track and Field Championships Preview

by Preston Johnson

Every two years the IAAF sponsors the World Track and Field Championships bringing together the world’s best track athletes to compete at one meet. This years meet is hosted in London and tomorrow (Friday the 4th) is the first day of competition.

For those wanting to watch, NBC will cover the entire meet, the schedule can be found here. Below we quickly preview each of the distance events, look for updates and results through our Facebook page as the meet progresses over the 10 days of competition.

Mens 800m: With several big absences from the field missing, including the top 3 from last years Rio Olympics several new runners will have a chance to medal. Emmanuel Korir, a runner from Kenya who competes collegiately for UTEP, and Nijel Amos from Botswana have the best chances at a gold medal, but watch for young American Donavan Brazier to contend for a medal as well.

Womens 800m: This event has been dominated by three runners in the last few years, Caster Semenya from South Africa, Francine Niyonsaba from Burundi, and Margaret Wambui from Kenya. Going into the season it seemed unwise yet again to vote against them, but after USA’s Ajee Wilsons incredible run in Monaco earlier this year, nearly upsetting Semenya and Niyonsaba, running 1:55 and setting a new american record, she is definitely a threat to bring a medal back to the US.

Mens 1500m: Although Matthew Centrowitz is the reigning Olympic champion, this event seems to look like it is going to be dominated by the Kenyans with Manangoi, Cheruiyot, and Kwemoi running the fastest times in the world this year. Also running for Kenya is Asbel Kiprop, the reigning world champ, although he has struggled so far this year don’t count him out.

Womens 1500m: This event promises to be exciting as all the big guns are all here and in great shape. It’s a toss up for who to pick for a top 3. The field includes Olympic champ Faith Kipyegon, world champ/world record holder Genzebe Dibaba, world leader Sifan Hassan, Olympic 800m champ Caster Semenya, and the USA’s Olympic bronze medalist Jenny Simpson.

Mens 3k Steeplechase: The story in the mens steeple is all about American Evan Jager. With the fastest time in the world so far and coming off of a big win over the worlds best, he has got to be the favorite. If Jager wins the race he will be the first American since 1952 to win a global steeplechase gold medal.

Womens 3k Steeplechase: American Emma Coburn has got a lot to worry about in this championship, considering she will likely have to break her own American record to have a chance at medaling, but she is in fantastic shape and I wouldn’t be surprised if that record goes down.

Mens 5k: Mo Farah is the man to beat in this event, he has won every global championship event over this distance and the 10k in the last 5 years. He has announced his retirement from the track after this meet and is expected to go out with a bang with two more gold medals to add to his collection. American Paul Chelimo is our best hope at a medal in an event that is largely dominated by the east Africans as he dominated the US trials and was a surprise silver medalist at last years Olympic games.

womens 5k: Unfortunately on paper, the Americans look outmatched in this event. Expect Kenya’s Obiri, and the duo from Ethiopia, Dibaba and Ayana, to be near the front when the bell lap begins.

Mens 10k: Just as in the 5k Mo Farah is the man to beat. With the 10k being his best event on the track he will likely bring home gold in this event. If anyone is to beat Farah expect Geoffrey Kamworor to be that man, he is very strong over longer distances but has been focusing on his speed this year to try and out kick Farah.

Womens 10k: Almaz Ayana (world record holder) and Tirunesh Dibaba (5k world record holder) clash in what can be anticipated to be a fast race as Ayana won last years Olympic championships in just over 29 minutes. Molly Huddle of the US looks to finish in the top three as well, as she has the 4th fastest time in the world this year.

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by on Aug.04, 2017, under Racing, UtahRunning.com News

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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How far out from my goal race should my longest run be?

 

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Image Source: running.competitor.com

As a running coach, I often get asked the following questions,

“How far out from my goal race should my longest run be and how many miles should I complete for that long run?”  

According to an article that appeared in Competitor magazine by 2:22 marathoner/coach Jeff Gaudette, it takes approximately 4-6 weeks to reap the benefits of a long run.  So ideally, your longest run should be at least 4 weeks out from your goal race.  Which, if you want to have a 3-4 week taper leading into your race, you want to be tapering off your long runs about this time anyway.  What adaptations or benefits are our bodies receiving from logging those long run miles? Long runs are designed to build the body’s aerobic system.  Physiologically this means increasing the number and size of the mitochondria in your muscle fibers and increasing the number of capillaries, which both contribute to the body’s ability to more efficiently transfer and utilize oxygen and fuel within the body.

My former college coach Paul Pilkington coached me through my 3rd marathon and I remember him telling me that my longest run before the marathon should not be based on miles, but rather should put me out running for the same amount of time that I planned on finishing my marathon in.  Since I was shooting for a 2:46 marathon, my longest runs ended up being in the 2:45 to 3 hour range.  I never covered a full 26.2 miles in that amount of time, but at least my body was used to working for a similar number of running minutes as my planned race.   

Good luck logging those miles!

 

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

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Guest Post: Marathon News Update February 2014

By Elizabeth Eckhart

With all the excitement surrounding the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, which begins this Friday on Feb. 7, runners like me are in dire need of some marathon news to break up the winter chill. While the Winter Olympics excludes any running competition, we will still be able to watch Olympic track stars Lolo Jones and Lauryn Williams compete in the Bobsled race in Sochi.

For marathon Olympic hopefuls, however, there is news regarding the 2016 trials! In a recent announcement, Los Angeles was named as the location for the 2016 Summer Olympic Marathon Trials. The Olympic Marathon Trials are scheduled to take place Feb. 13, 2016 at the L.A. Memorial Coliseum, just one day prior to the L.A. Marathon. It looks like the entire city is going to make a weekend celebration of the great sport of running and will use the Olympics to help kick-off the highly anticipated L.A. Marathon. It’s many LA officials’ hope that the trials will lend credibility to the city as an excellent race location, and result in boosting their annual marathon to the likes of Boston or Chicago’s.

The Olympic trials will be used to select three men and three women to compete for the U.S. team in the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The early February date was set to ensure that athletes who compete in the trails will have enough time to recover in the event that, if failing to make the Olympic Marathon team, runners might race for a place on the 10k Olympic team a few months later.

“By securing the Olympic Trials, Los Angeles is now set to deliver this city’s biggest running weekend since that iconic victory,” said Tracy Russell, CEO of L.A. MARATHON LLC. She and fellow marathon leaders are intent on “providing our L.A. Marathon participants and fans with a rare opportunity to be part of an Olympic Trials celebration.” Read More….

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