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IMG_1479Winter is not the only time your running may take you among the clouds.  Summer vacations or trips with family might bring you to the mountains.  When you need to run at high altitudes, keeping in mind a few simple things can make your experience much more enjoyable and productive.


Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate

At high altitudes, you may not feel sweaty, even after you run.  However, that does not mean that you don’t need to replenish your fluids even more so than at sea level.  At higher altitudes, there is less air pressure.  Evaporation happens more rapidly both off your skin as well as every time you exhale.  At an altitude similar to Denver, you perspire about twice as much as at sea level.  If you are not being very deliberate about water intake, your running will suffer, and general dehydration may make you feel ill (headaches, nausea, fatigue are common effects) regardless.  Carry a water bottle with you, drink throughout the day, and avoid caffeinated beverages.  If you are concerned about how much to drink, weigh yourself before and after a run at altitude to get a sense of how much water you have perspired during the session.


Expect to adjust your paces

Running at altitude requires your body to function when your lungs aren’t getting the same concentration of oxygen with each breath.   Your body has to fight harder to produce red blood cells and the whole operation makes things more difficult on your muscles to function in the manner to which you may be accustomed.  If you can run an eight minute mile at sea level, doing so at an altitude similar to Albuquerque or Reno might leave you the finishing the length of a football field behind your sea level self.  For instance, your Vo2 Max pace is adjusted about 3% per 1000 feet, and expect it to still feel pretty tough.  Keeping a good humor and realistic expectations is key to successfully managing your schedule when heading to the hills.


It will get better...but it will get a little worse first

There is a lot of discussion about the benefits of training at altitude, but a long weekend at a mountain cabin won’t quite get you there.  When you arrive, your body begins to fight the good fight to produce red blood cells, despite the paucity of oxygen.  Initially, it will lose this fight, and your red blood cell stores will dwindle a bit over the first few days making these days successively more difficult to a certain extent.  After your body figures out that it needs to work a ton harder, it will, and production will ramp up like a toy company at Christmas.  However, this takes a about 2-3 weeks before supply can catch demand.  Once you return to sea level, this high octane production will dissipate fairly soon as the air pressure yields more oxygen per breath.  So, if you are serious about wanting to train at altitude, plan a longer stay, and don’t expect a huge boost months after you return.

Protect your skin

Even a cloudy day in the mountains can result in a sunburn with UV rays over twice as strong at many common mountain heights.  Wear hats and sunscreen, reapplying frequently to stay ahead of sun damage.


Keep fueling

At high altitude, your body must work harder to keep up with all the demands listed above and more.  A moderate caloric increase is appropriate to keep up with your body’s needs.


While the benefits and challenges of running at altitude are still being researched, a beautiful trail run in the mountains can provide qualitative benefits that go beyond the resultant blood chemistry, and training hard and with friends can plant the psychological seeds for many a goal race campaign.  Plan well, take care of your body while in the hills, and enjoy many a mile in the thin air.

Box_to_sync_allOn Wednesday, June 11, Garmin announced an application programming interface partnership with runcoach. But what does that actually mean for you and how do you take advantage?


You may have been enjoying your runcoach schedule and recording your workouts directly into the log.  However, if you use a device to track your actual pace and distance while running, such as a Garmin device, runcoach has made it very simple to load these runs directly into your account.


Sign into runcoach, click on “Training” and select the “Sync Devices” button.  You’ll be prompted to enter your Garmin Connect username and password.  Your accounts will sync up and begin to communicate when you provide input, allowing you to save time and protect accuracy by loading your actual information into your runcoach log when you upload your Garmin data.


Note: Even if your Garmin device is set to your time zone, your Garmin Connect account might not be.  Garmin Connect defaults everyone to Greenwich Mean Time. GMT is 4-7 hours ahead of most of our members so if you do an evening run it might show up on the following day.


Before your initial sync, we recommend checking this setting on the Garmin Connect site.  Log on and then go to your Display Preferences:



Our system works best for you when the information it receives is as accurate as possible.  While a convenience for our users, connectivity such as the partnership with Garmin also helps runcoach work more effectively and craft your individual plan even more specifically.


Clicking on the Sync Devices button on your training schedule will also reveal that you  can sync your runcoach device with Nike+, RunKeeper, and Fitbit.  No matter which of these devices or systems you use to record your activity, runcoach is recognized by these organizations as a tool many of their customers are using to good advantage, just as runcoach understands that our users are enthusiastic customers of these companies and rely on these devices and their data on a daily basis.


Do you need to use one of these devices to make your runcoach schedule serve your needs?  No, but as a technology company ourselves, we hope to grow alongside the increasing capability of devices that help our athletes get the most out of their running, and we look forward to similar future developments and progress. Enjoy syncing with Garmin and more importantly, enjoy the runs that create all that data!




Summer is one of the best seasons to be a runner.  Enjoy it to the fullest by taking care of these basics and set yourself up for a great fall or winter goal race.


Winter weather often requires the use of treadmills and other indoor facilities, but summer’s heat or thunderstorms may also force you to the air-conditioned sanctuary of the gym.  Here are a few helpful things to remember about how to adjust when running indoors.


If running indoors may not be an option, but running outdoors is not either, you may be in a spot where cross training is in order to maintain fitness.  What cross training activity makes the most sense?  Compare and contrast the vast array of currently available options available in gyms today.


Heading out on some adventurous runs or driving trips that might include a bunch of miles?  Consider this list of things you might not consider, but can be VERY helpful for runners who are spending a lot of time in the car.


All that humidity might leave you a bit sweaty.  Before you deal with the after effects of some serious chafing, read our quick Q&A with a dermatologist about chafing and how to avoid it.  If chafing isn’t an issue, blisters may be.  Here is some info to help you stay a step ahead of the blister pitfall.


While one of the most obvious topics for summer running, hydration is always worth keeping in mind, particularly if your average fluid consumption consists primarily of coffee or diet coke! Use the summer to build some good habits and read about the “art of hydration” here.






Runners often love to keep a routine.  In fact, many of us are downright stubborn.  Most of the time, like the last few miles of a marathon, this is an asset.  However, in the warmer months, the conditions may dictate the need to make some adjustments in order to keep your training on track for your fall goal race.   Sometimes, being willing to adjust can help you make the best of an admittedly less than perfect set of conditions, and provide a great opportunity to learn that you can succeed even if you have to deviate from your plan just a bit. 

In this episode of Personal Best, we examine a few quick tips encouraging you to adjust your training for the hottest time of the year.

Be prepared to consider running at other times of day

Perhaps you squeeze in your run at your lunchbreak or at the middle of the day.  Although that may usually provide your best time to run, consider planning ahead, at least on your harder days, to run in the early morning or evening.  Yes, there are benefits to training in the middle of the day to late afternoon vs early in the morning, but the amount of performance benefit lost by training in 95 degrees with 90% humidity is far greater than the impact made by training in the early morning before the sun is overhead or in the evening when it goes down.  Plus, this is also the exact time of year when many runners are beginning to take on new training challenges related to their fall goal races and are vulnerable to a bad day or two if the conditions are not conducive to a strong performance.  If your work/ family schedule doesn't allow this temporary change on a regular basis in the summer, look ahead on your schedule to a few of the most rigorous workouts and do everything you can to protect a favorable time of day in which to complete those at least.

If you can't switch the time of day from when the sun is directly overhead, you can also.....


Be prepared to consider running in different venues

Yes, your workout sheet may say "Track," but oftentimes the temperature of a track surface can be several degrees warmer than the surrounding areas.  Use your car odometer or handheld GPS to measure out your track distances on a bikepath or safe road, preferably one that offers a stretch with a bit of shade.  Yes, the surface may be a bit less perfectly flat and reliable than the track, but you will ultimately feel better the closer you can come to a reasonable temperature in which to complete the workout.   Run along a street with more intersections (being careful and paying attention to traffic) that offers shade.  Run the same short loop twice where you might otherwise do it as part of a longer loop that includes much more exposure.  Do what you need to do to accomplish your workout, and allow yourself to be able to recover and come back well the next day.  Come race day this fall, you'll be glad you made a less scenic, but safer choice.

Many gyms will offer trial memberships, or reasonable prices for a month or two in the summer.  Take advantage of these and get on a treadmill.  Some runners are diehard outdoor runners.  However, consider how pleased you will be to run at the right pace, particularly with the luxuries of a waterbottle and towel that you do not have to hold yourself, potentially a TV to watch your favorite team play, etc.  You're not a wimp if you go inside to run on a treadmill!  You are an athlete that is prioritizing your performance and wants to feel good doing it.


Plan your running around fluid intake

Many of you know to hydrate, before, during, and after longer runs.  We discussed that topic a few months ago here.  However, there is no time of year where it is more important than the summer.  Before you head out on your normal route and in addition to your normal plans, which may include bringing along a water bottle or camelback, consider adjusting slightly as needed to incorporate parks with water fountains, and vendors or convenience stores that won't mind you buying a quick bottle of sports drink with sweaty dollars pulled from your shorts pocket, etc.  During these months, you will need significantly more fluids than normal, and because you should be in the habit of taking them before you are really parched, you are going to need to plan for a larger amount of intake and at more spots along the way.  In addition to drinking, plan to splash water on your head and neck, and other key cooling areas like the back of your wrists and knees.  Don't get caught out! Finish strong because you have been hydrating the whole time.


Wear light colored, breathable fabrics

Although another simple step, it bears reminding that lighter colors absorb less heat, and breathable fabrics will help keep you, if not cooler, then less hot and sweaty.  A hat or visor and sunscreen are key also both to avoiding the immediate problems posed by a sunburn as well as long term problems.  Stay consistent!  Plan ahead for the day.  Bring bodyglide and/ or an extra pair of socks if your sweaty feet tend to cause blisters or too much slipping, and a shirt for afterwards so you aren't sitting in your car dripping and sweating.  It is amazing how much better you will feel if you take care to attend to your attire.

Generally, we think of winter as the harshest season.  Often, summer actually provides the greater challenge because we tend to forget how severely the temperatures can affect us.  In addition to the above, it is important to note that all these steps are important both for your training as well as to avoid heat stroke and non-running related serious heat/ sun ramifications.  Take pride in your training, but not so much that you are not willing to adjust and be flexible if the conditions are unsafe.  If in doubt about a choice you are making to go ahead with a workout, and you don't have a trusted fellow runner to discuss it with, contact us at!

woman-running-beach-light-vacation-excercise-jogging-walking-runThe summer holidays are almost here. With a break in school for families and enticing weather for all, a vacation or two may well be in your future.  For many regular runners, the remove from the daily schedule also may mean a disruption in the comforting running schedule they have come to enjoy the rest of the year.  However, with a little forethought and good humor, the trepidation of a runner going on holiday need not win the day.


One worthwhile tradeoff is the commitment to rise early and run before the rest of the family gets up or is done with breakfast.  Although that might mean a bit less sleeping in for you, it is also a time when there are less people on what may be unfamiliar roads.  Temperatures are cooler in the morning, and during the summer, the sun is up much more early than during the year.  Game, set, match.


Running need not be a tradeoff.  It can be a value-add to a family vacation if leveraged correctly.  Can you pick up some take out on your way back while everyone unpacks after a long drive?  Can you bring your partner coffee after your morning run?  Better yet, can you have a moment of peace and quiet with a spouse or son/ daughter on a short (or long) run that would not have occurred during other, more busy times of the year?  Running can be a great conduit for a no cost, simple and special connection, even in the midst of the most frantically over the top vacation.


Every family and couple plans their breaks differently, but if you are able to get in on the planning on the ground level, any 50/50 choices can be made in a way to tilt the playing field toward more successful running.  The hotel next door has a better gym (read: treadmill), the 10am flight vs the 7am flight means you can get in a run before departure (and means you will be happy and relaxed the rest of the day – win for all).  Even leaving and departing on certain days vs others can mean that you only have to plan for one long run rather than two away or that you don’t miss a key group or scheduled workout.  Certainly, the running schedule can’t be the top priority when taking a trip for the specific purpose of family or couples time, but if running is important to one or more members of the family and can be accommodated when flexibility is there, go for it!


Running while on vacation does not always equal awesome training.  There may be modifications to your schedule and changes that you would prefer not to make. This is completely normal, and probably good, lest you rely too much on the routine vs enjoying the present run.  Keep expectations realistic. Just like a planned day off feels better than one you are forced into because of a sore body part or injury, a vacation that has incorporated a thoughtful plan for how you will train has the greatest chance of success. Look ahead at your training schedule and try to prioritize the long runs and pace runs. Be creative with planning for these most of all. If you do need to make adjustments, remember that your runcoach schedule is dynamic. Just log what you did get in on vacation and your schedule will adjust accordingly moving forward.  With a little effort and foresight, your vacation will hopefully leave you refreshed for the rest of your life, and set on the right road for your running goals.




Finish-Line-Full-HD-Image-2Many of our runcoach athletes enjoy running for general fitness, and ongoing general fitness is absolutely an important result of a regular running program.  However, it should not be underestimated how helpful a specific goal or goal race can be to a new runner, an enthusiastic experienced runner, and one for whom running has become stale.


Setting a goal….keeps you organized

Marking a goal race date on the calendar can often have the secondary effect of helping us order the rest of our lives.  Not sure when best to vacation and have flexibility to choose?  Now you are probably inclined to wait until just after the big race.  Not sure where you want to run on the weekend?  Now you are only selecting routes that are conducive to the long run or other workout needed, and have a much less overwhelming series of choices.  Training with a goal might motivate a runner to call that running buddy who has been a great workout partner in the past but seldom connected with in the current moment, and give you  a built in reason for the call.   A goal race can also help you choose the intermediary efforts along the way – instead of the half marathon that happens to be 2 weeks out from a goal marathon, you’ll choose the one 5 or 6 weeks out and you’ll know why (and won’t doubt yourself).


Setting a goal….keeps you motivated

Even the most faithful of trainees is at least tempted now and again to diverge from their training schedule.  When you have a date on the schedule, sometimes that little extra motivation to perform well on that specific task can help dissuade you from the excuse making.  Conversely, when you have a goal that carries a bit of weight, finishing and health become of primary importance.  You’ll be more likely to stay hydrated, stretch regularly, and ice any aches and pains.  You might then be less likely to skip a needed day off, slog through a workout at suboptimal pace, run when sick, etc.  When you know you are shooting for your best, you become more guarded about optimizing every workout.


Setting a goal….keeps running fresh

A regular routine can be comforting to new and seasoned runners, and if you have completed several races, it is easy to have the “been there, done that” feeling.  Fortunately, we live in an amazing era of diverse racing opportunities.  Setting a goal that forces you to “drive” outside of your typical lane, can help focus your mind on the new challenge, increase daily motivation, and help you learn and appreciate more about your body’s capabilities, perhaps in ways you had previously discounted or had not considered.

Setting a goal…helps you grow as a runner

If you have had problems staying on track in times past, setting a goal might have been scary because the commitment required felt risky or your routine is like a warm, comfortable sweater.  If you love 5Ks and 10Ks, doing a longer race might not turn you into a marathoner, but might just help you succeed further at your shorter efforts.  Conversely, a runner with a typically high volume or who enjoys longer races, might return to them with a bit more speed if a training cycle focused on a goal 5K or 10K every so often.


Beyond these reasons, setting a goal also allows your friends and family to enjoy your running with you.  A goal race is understandable and relatable even to those who don’t run regularly.  It provides clarity and understanding for how much running has meant to you when that enthusiasm is expressed through searchable results.  It also provides a great opportunity to get a friend or family member to set their own goal alongside yours, and reminds them how persistence is key to seeing those long term goals realized.


For all the athletes we see sign up for races, set goals, follow through with their training and succeed, there are still others who are held back from taking the all important first step.  Often, what prevents these individuals are fears that may not be well founded. Don’t let these common fears stand in your way!


I wasn’t an athlete growing up

Mildly traumatic memories of being the last one picked on the playground or sitting on the bench in youth soccer might sting, and leave runners with a sense that they were not cut out for sports.  This is not an uncommon road to running.  Many competitive runners turned to the sport after realizing their gifts lay elsewhere from ball sports or team games.  Furthermore, the fable of the tortoise and the hare is seared into our memory for a reason.  Persistence is an indispensable character trait for distance running.  Many athletic people with tons of talent have fallen short of their goals as well.  Talent and ability aren’t much without persistence.  If you already have that grit, you have the biggest variable already on board.


I don’t look like a runner

A generation ago, the demographics of runners were much more homogenous.  There were far fewer opportunities for new runners and those who endeavored just to complete the task.  This is no longer the case.  While Olympians might be somewhat birds of a feather in terms of body types, the millions of others completing races in the US and around the world tell us otherwise.  The important thing to focus on is what your body can do rather than what it looks like.  You are a functional device, and perhaps a more amazingly functional device than you could ever imagine.  Focus on what you can do, and you might even surprise yourself.


I’ve never even run one mile straight

At one point, neither had any of us! Running is a rewarding pursuit for many reasons, but a huge one is that it provides countless opportunities for intermediate goals along your road to your big race.  Running is about a positive mindset, and that confidence is a big factor.  If you progress sensibly, what seemed long will eventually seem mundane.  Integrating walking breaks between a few minutes of running at a time is one time honored way to progress to a longer distance.  What was once 1 minute of running alternating with four minutes of walking can become 2 run / 3 walk, 3 run / 2 walk, and 4 run, 1 walk before you know it. Although it might take a little while, if you make incremental progress and give yourself proper recovery, you will eventually make it.  You just need the courage to try.


Nobody I know runs

If it was that easy, everyone would be doing it, right?  Running toward an endurance goal is not easy, but when you follow through and complete your goal, you set an invaluable example for family members or friends who may have thought you crazy for even trying.  Running can be a great social activity if you have others to run with, and if you think you might enjoy that, try your local running store.  Many stores have weekly informal training runs which fit well into your runcoach schedule.  Meeting others training for a big goal can help you feel as though you aren’t alone with your body’s quirks, nervousness, or occasionally wavering confidence.  Likewise, if you are the only one in the house who runs, flip the script and consider not how little people share your experience, but how you can share it with them.  Encouraging others to run with you makes you accountable for how your training is going and can often help spur an athlete to take greater ownership over the road to success.  More importantly, it can often make a crucial difference for a loved one who could benefit from improved fitness.


In short, none of us look or feel that great in the 25th mile of a marathon.  After 26.2, the feeling of elation and the amazement about what the human body can accomplish wash over us in a much more indelible way and the memory of the difficult 25th mile begins to recede.  When we focus on what we can do, what we can accomplish, what we have the ability to accomplish based on our insides rather than our outsides, we get farther.  Take a chance on yourself and seize the opportunity to enjoy a finishing feeling of your very own.





The ranks of aging runners are swelling, and the growth of these numbers shows no signs of slowing down.  According to Running USA’s 2013 State of the Sport Report, runners 35 and older made up more than half of the timed US race finishers in 2012, with over 25% of finishers 45 years old and over. Not only are the ranks growing, but the role models in the over 40 demographic are flying the flag well.  Meb’s win and personal best in Boston at age 38, Deena Kastor running 1:11 for the half marathon as a 40+ athlete in April, even Joan Samuelson running 2:52 in her late 50s – our running heroes of 10, 20, even 30 years ago aren’t retiring.  So, why should we?  The age of the masters and veteran athlete is upon us.


A generation ago, or maybe not even that many years back, runners were cautioned about the perils of years and years of tread worn off the tires.  Would our bodies fail us?  Would running be a good idea for the long term?  It is easy to see the long term runner as an anomaly who is just trapped in their own habits, but a 2008 study by the Stanford School of Medicine found running brings many health benefits.  Researchers tracked 538 runners over the age of 50 (and a similar sized group of non runners) and found that 21 years later, the runners had a lower mortality rate, later onset of disability, and enjoyed (generally predictable) cardiovascular benefits in addition to greater avoidance of  (perhaps much less predictable) neurological ailments, infections, and other potentially life threatening problems.


In addition to these findings, another Stanford study drawing from a separate subset of 50+ runners found that over the a similar period, runners who maintained the habit had no greater risk of knee osteoarthritis than non-runners, a great encouragement for all of us who have already put in decades of time on the roads and trails.


Certainly, not every runner is blessed with a pitfall-free path to running in the golden years, and not every body follows the pattern found in the studies.  Genetics and hereditary traits remain important to remember and regular medical check-ups are important to stay abreast of how your particular body is reacting to running year in and year out.


Slight behavioral adjustments might also be in order increase the chances that running may continue to be a positive and enjoyable aspect of daily and weekly life as we age.  The average amount of weekly running for athletes in the Stanford study reduced from 4 hours to 76 minutes over 21 years.  Like Meb, who has integrated cross training as a regular part of his training regimen, many older runners enjoy benefits from interspersing running with non-impact exercise or an extra recovery day between hard efforts.  Whereas as a younger athlete might not pay close attention to core strength an ancillary exercises, this kind of work can help stave off injury at any age, and can be a very useful tool for older athletes.


While all-time personal bests might become increasingly hard to come by for long time runners with glory days from their earlier years, a host of competitive opportunities still await the aging runner.  Most races have prizes or recognition for age group winners and placers in five or ten year increments.  Additionally, many athletes enjoy competing for age-graded scores, based on the table developed by the World Association of Veteran Athletes.  These values give a percentage based on the world best for an athlete of a specific age and gender.    Check out this calculator and see how your current times stack up!


Many factors have contributed to the growth in senior runners.  More opportunities, more women who have entered middle age with Title IX era youth experience in athletics, and not least, savvy marketing by race organizers and shoe companies.  Regardless of the reason, our hope is that our veteran athletes have the chance to continue on as long as they desire, and we look forward to helping chart your training journey along the way.








The LinkedIn Wellness Team teaches movement across the 6 Primal Movement Patterns: Squat, Bend, Lunge, Push, Pull, Twist.

Below are basic total body exercises that are able to be used as they are or added on to in order to create high intensity and more complex movements.

For a personalized workout routine, please send a request at go/contactwellness and choose Fitness Assessment from the How Can We Help dropdown.

Videos for each of these exercises are coming soon!

Basic: Squat

  • Complex: Squat and Press
 Basic: Lunge
  • Complex: Backward Lunge with Raise
  • Complex: Forward Lunge with Twist

Basic: Static Lateral Lunge

  • Complex: Dynamic Lateral Lunge with Leg Raise 

Basic: Deadlift

  • Complex: Single Leg Deadlift
  • Complex: Woodchops

Pull Exercises


  • Pull Ups
  • Bent Over Row
  • Upright Row
  • Lat Pull Down


Push Exercises

  • Overhead Press
  • Push Up
  • Bench Press

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