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Having a goal is one thing. Accomplishing the goal is another. David was able to complete the Seacoast Half Marathon in just under 8:00/mile pace (reach his pre race goal in flying fashion!). This was the first time he had help from a structured training program. Runcoach is now helping David train for a full marathon!b0c19b4david_running_seacoast


What is the secret to your success?


No one thing in particular, but I do want to give some credit to the Runcoach training schedule I followed for the two months leading up to the race. It was great to have a personalized schedule based on my past running data from Strava -- It gave me a plan I had more confidence in than just winging it on my own, and I did accomplish my goal!


What is the biggest obstacle to reaching your goals and how do you get over it?

Time -- still figuring out how find enough time. Wake up earlier seems the only solution I can come up with. Injuries. Fortunately I didn't get any. I think the warm ups suggested by Runcoach helped.
What is the most rewarding part of training?

Seeing progress and thus having the satisfaction that the training is paying off, and being part of communities -- online as well as local offline communities -- of runners supporting each other's goals.


What advice would you give to other members of the Runcoach community?

If the mileage of the Runcoach training schedule seems to increase too quickly, don't be afraid to back off or skip a session. I followed the training schedule which, besides providing needed structure, got me to do some speed and interval training which was great, but I skipped a run occasionally when I felt like the mileage was too much and my training plan didn't really change and I was still "on target" most of the time.


Anything else you would like to share?

I've only been running for two years and using Runcoach to prepare for the half-marathon last fall was the first time I had tried a more structured training regime with a particular performance goal in mind. That in itself was a milestone for me, and the experience was positive -- enough so that I set another Runcoach goal for a marathon this fall!


What feedback would you offer on the Runcoach experience?

As someone on the free membership, I was happy to use the algorithmically generated training plan based on my goal and running history, but never reached out to the Runcoach coaches. I guess I wasn't sure how make valuable use of that option. Maybe some suggestions on ways to use that resource would motivate me to try that.



Speed Work Makes the Dream Work speed
A little speedwork can help you run smoother and faster



Improving foot speed is one of the best things you can do to improve your times. Regardless of what race your are training for 5K or Marathon, faster foot speed, means faster pace. 

Sure, speedwork can seem like a scary beast you don't want to meet or know. But it doesn't have to be. Runcoach's training system encourages at least 1 speed workout every two weeks. This setup can ease you into faster paces, and help your body adapt to a new stimulus. 

Some of the speed work you'll encouter on Runcoach:

Strides - Short burst of speed. Usually 100 meters ( or 25 seconds) 
Fartleks - Periods of fast running intermixed with periods of slower running
Short intervals - High intensity bursts of speed, with slow "recovery" periods
Mix - A tempo effort, sandwiched by short speed intervals

Speed training can spice up your training and lead to better fitness and performances. Have an open mind, and give it a shot!




Fueling for your First MarathonmarathonFuel

So you're g up for a big spring marathon and have been checking all the boxes. You are logging tons of miles, nailing all your workouts, and even have your race day kit and shoes picked out weeks in advance. But, have you considered your marathon fueling strategy yet?

One of the most commonly overlooked aspects of marathon racing, is mid-race fueling.  You body will endure a great deal of stress and will require carbohydrates and fluids to stay strong all the way to the finish line. The chances of hitting that "wall" are much less if you have been getting in a steady stream of calories and fluids throughout the race- But where should you begin?

Research shows that the body is able to process 40-60 grams of carbohydrates per hour during exercise. While it would be fantastic for everyone to have their own personal bottles out on the course, just like the elites, this is not possible. So…what do instead? I recommend taking water every 5k, about 6-10 ounces, and a bit more if racing in hot conditions. A trick I learned is to squeeze the cups at the top to get the most out of each.  In addition to water, I recommend taking a gel every 5k as well.  Gels contain about 20 grams of carbohydrates and are easy to stash in shorts, sports bras, and pockets. Gels, combined with water, are a great option to help keep you hydrated and fueled all the way to the finish.

If the idea of taking gels is not appealing to you, I recommend checking out the race website to see what sport drink will be offered out on the course. You can purchase this ahead of time and practice using it during your long runs to make sure everything sits right. Which brings me to the most important aspect of mid-race fueling, practicing your strategy ahead of time.

It’s important to practice using gels and fluids during your long runs and workouts to make sure your stomach is able to tolerate the calories. Your body will get better and better at processing mid-run fuel so nailing down a strategy early on in your build up is key. Without practicing ahead of time, you run the risk of experiencing mid-race GI distress-something no runner wants to deal with!

So hit your local running store and give a few different gel brands/flavors a try to see which one you’ll want on race day. You can also pick up many commonly used sport drinks at these stores as well. Practice your fueling strategy early on in your build up and often, then go check that final box! Happy Running!



oats Ironman triathlete, ednurance runner & caterer, Brett Miller, shares his tasty Mixed Fruit Steel Cut Oatmeal recipe with us as part of our new series – Performance Fuel!

Mixed Fruit Steel Cut Oatmeal

As busy professionals, athletes, moms, or anyone on the run throughout the day, breakfast is probably the most neglected meal.  The go-to breakfast of a bowl of cereal, or that muffin at Starbucks as you make your way to work may satisfy the taste buds, but it leaves you hungry in an hour as your sugar levels spike and then energy levels drop.  In our effort to help create a sustained energy level, and longer satiation of hunger. Runcoach has some recommended meals that are easy, healthy and taste great!  This can be your first step in taking out a big chunk of processed foods from your diet too!

Our first breakfast up is Steel Cut Oatmeal with Mixed Fruit.  This breakfast can be made ahead of time, and kept in the fridge for 4-5 days so it’s ready when you need it with just a quick warm-up in the microwave.  You’ll find your hunger at bay longer through the morning, as well as better managing your blood sugar, improving energy levels.

With just a few purchases, you can be ready to make your own tasty oatmeal.  

This can be made dairy-free, as well as gluten free.  You’ll have to find Gluten Free Steel Cut Oats on Amazon or a specialty grocer for the gluten free version though.

Servings: 4-6 8oz servings

Ingredients:

  • - 1 cup Steel Cut Oatmeal 
  • - 1 Green Apple, ½ Cup frozen blueberries
  • - Half package frozen Trader Joe’s Tropical Fruit
  • - Half can pumpkin, ½ chopped pecans
  • - ½ cup sliced almonds
  • - 1 cup milk (regular or almond milk) 
  • - 2 cups water
  • - Pinch of salt
  • - ½ cup brown sugar or honey 
  • - Cinnamon to taste (at least a teaspoon), pumpkin pie spice when making pumpkin oatmeal 

Directions:

  1. Chop fruit and nuts as desired
  2. Using a slow cooker, add all ingredients and stir to combine.
  3. Set slow cooker to high heat and let cook for approximately 4-6 hours.
  4. Try to stir every hour, but not required

For stove top

  1. Chop fruit and nuts as desired
  2. Bring water to a boil
  3. Add oats and reduce heat to low, cover and cook for 10-20 minutes (depending on how chewy you want the oats), stirring occasionally
  4. Add all ingredients and stir to combine.
  5. Remove from heat and let stand for a minute

Now you have a batch of a healthy, tasty, balance breakfast, ready to go when you are!  Make sure you fuel your body well for the long day ahead. This is also a perfect pre long run breakfast!



    Stephanie took 32 minutes off her Marathon time in one year.   She followed her Runcoach plan and paces religiously, stayed consistent and took it one step at a time to her Boston Qualifier for 2020!
  • Taking 32 minutes off my marathon time in one year and Boston Qualifying for 2020!


  • Consistency. I hear people say that they aren't "athletic" enough to run long distances. And honestly, neither am I. But with consistency and regularly putting one foot in front of the other your small gains will grow to become huge achievements. Also, friends that share your same crazy passion. Without my local running club I'm not sure I would have achieved what I did. Company on long runs and people to keep you accountable is worth its weight in gold.
  • Summer in Texas. That's a joke . . . kind of. Summer in Texas is quite brutal, but it makes you strong. The true obstacle, for myself at least, was and has been feelings of doubt. Why aren't my long runs as easy as what I perceive other's to be? Why didn't I hit each one of my intervals at the pace prescribed? Why does everyone seem to run so effortlessly and my legs feel like lead? Then I remember, these are my PERCEPTIONS. My perceptions are not reality. Every run is not going to be perfect. This is the real world and there will be good days and bad days. And at the end of the day, as long as I gave it my best effort, I'm still making progress. So there is a lot of come to Jesus conversations with myself and being conscious of the times that I'm being too hard on myself.
  • Looking back and seeing all of the progress that you've made. And realizing just how many people have supported you along the way and are happy for you. The running community is a phenomenal one, a place of camaraderie and where lifelong friendships are made and for ounce of energy I have given it, it has rewarded me 10 fold.
  • Trust the plan. It works. And be consistent. Don't skip workouts and don't skip long runs. Adjust dates and times, but get out there and do the work. The progress may seem slow when you're in the thick of it, but it is happening and you will make huge strides when you compare the beginning and end!
  • Running provides an individual goal. It is not dependent on coworkers, your boss, a team. It is all about what you put into it and what you want to get out of it. It's the most amazing sport with an amazing community. Take advantage of all it has to offer. I have made life long friends, run in foreign countries, and proven to myself there is nothing I can't accomplish when I put my mind to it and am consistent. Everyone has this same potential in running - to be a little better at something every day. And there just aren't that many things in life that provide you with that feeling.
  • I ran two marathons years and years ago. With zero desire to run another. I was talked into running Marine Corps and through the marathon came upon Run Coach. Since that time I took my marathon from a 4:10:00 to a 3:38:00. In my running club many people use many plans, and most of them involve determining paces and running according to 5k, 10k, half marathon pace. It's all too much math and too much thinking for someone like me. Run Coach does it all for you and I cannot say enough times how perfectly it fits my schedule and personality. The progress is real and I'm so excited to see what new accomplishments await me in the future!




Big breakthroughs don’t happen overnight. Steve shows us the importance of realistic goal setting, diligent training, and investment to physical and mental conditioning goes a long way. To qualify for the prestigious Boston Marathon is a goal for many. Read about how Steve grabbed his fifth BQ, on a hilly course in Atlanta, while finishing 1st in his Age Group!

  • Qualifying for my 5th Boston Marathon and placing 1st in my age group at the marathon distance for the first time since I started running marathons 11 years ago.

  • Staying true to the Runcoach training plan, support from my Runcoach coach, Hiruni, and terrific support from my wife who would drive a few miles to meet me midway through my long run and provide hydration, nourishment, and a word of encouragement.
  • My biggest obstacle in reaching my goal was gaining enough confidence that I could once again run the distance at a speed sufficient to qualify for Boston. For the last few years, I’d been coaching myself and usually finished the marathon running on fumes and 5 to 10 minutes over the qualifying standard. Signing up with Runcoach gave me a more informed training plan which was challenging, but achievable. Having a highly trained and motivated coach to confer with really put me over the top.
  • Week after week I could feel the difference in strength, speed, and endurance. As I worked through speed workouts, tempo/threshold runs, and long runs on Saturdays, my confidence that I would accomplish my goal grew dramatically. Daily training plans are focused on preparing ones body to reach new capabilities, but the sum total of weeks and weeks of training prepares one’s mind to support the body during the race. There will be times when you start to doubt the body can keep going and that’s when your mind speaks about your training and that you can do this.


  • Unless you are sick or injured, push yourself out the door and get started. There may be days when your energy is low and you really don’t feel like working, but if you just get started, it’s amazing how quickly that changes. More than once, I was convinced I would not be able to complete the prescribed workout, but the outlook changed after getting that first couple of miles completed. Focus on the element of the workout you are performing and don’t think about the next element until it is time.


  • Knowing my goal race was a bit hilly (Atlanta), I sought out some hills to incorporate into my training, but there was no linkage in the training plan to the elevation changes of my goal race, nor any specific hill workouts included in the training plan. Also, there is no option to edit a workout uploaded from Garmin to indicate the workout was actually a race and not just another run. In order to post my results for races, I’d have to manually load my finish time and then I’d have to delete the details of the run data that came over from Garmin or it would double up the mileage.


  • As a newcomer to the sport of running, Miriam finds an abundance of enjoyment on the trails and roads. She's 20 kg (44 lbs) lighter and minutes faster than when she started. Read about this University Mathematics Lecturer's "accidental" start and now long-term relationship with running! 


    What is the secret to your success?
    miriam_blog
  • Though sometimes it is hard to get up and go out running, I know that it's worth making effort and start training. And indeed, after the first 10-20 minutes, it feels just great! Also, I try to follow the training schedule, and, in particular, to do workouts according to the schedule. In fact, till recently (i.e. till I joined Runcoach raining program) I just skipped workouts since they did not sound much fun to me. Now I have realized combining different kind of runs (easy, workouts, long urban runs and trails) is a right strategy and that it works for me.

  • It is always hard to start doing workout, but I remind myself that it will help me to enjoy the types of runs which I really like, such as long urban and trail runs. After 15 minutes of training, it starts to feel good.

  • I am lucky to live in Jerusalem, very close to good and beautiful trails, and also challenging urban routes. For me, the best treats are trail runs in the Jerusalem Mountains, with incredible flora and fauna. Also, running on Saturdays and holidays in Jerusalem, when it so quiet, peaceful and almost no traffic. This as close to paradise as I can imagine.



  • Do not give up when it feels not fun. If you approach a difficult stage in your run, say "start a long uphill part, try to smile and think that the life is beautiful. Smiles really help in uphill runs" I have checked it experimentally. 

  • Having training program which is created by computer system is great, but all of us have our individual circumstances (say, stormy weather, illness or injury,  other race events) and also our own tastes and preferences. So it is good to take a computer program as some general direction, and to adjust it to your exact needs. In this matter, communication with "real" coach has a great value, and personally I gained a lot from it!

  • It definitely helps to feel that the Runcoach team values the achievements and encourages moving towards further goals (which includes a help finding proper future goals). I would suggest to increase flexibility in calendar.  Ability for the runner to move future activities one-two days before or after the planned date. Also, it would be good to have a possibility to create a training program which includes trail runs, with respective assignments in terms of timing and running type in different stages of the trail. Though, creating such computer program is a very sophisticated task or just impossible, and perhaps one should just apply his/her own intuition and experience and, of course, consult "real" coaches.


Guest Blog Post from Heather Tanner drink

Heather Tanner is a 3-time Olympic Trial marathon qualifier, 2004 USA World Half Marathon Team Member and decorated NCAA Cross Country and Track & Field Athlete during her time at the University of North Carolina and Stanford University. Tanner is currently preparing for the 2016 Olympic Marathon Trials and offers her advice on fueling for the marathon to runcoach and movecoach trainees.

There are many things to worry about in the final days leading up to a marathon. Like mapping out a race strategy in line with your fitness so that you don’t end up becoming intimately acquainted with the “wall”. Like taking care of the not so little things such as sleep, nutrition and stress management to ensure that you can get to the starting line healthy. Point is, fueling strategy really shouldn’t be one of those worrisome things. As long as you practice your fueling method in the long runs leading up to the race and have figured out a way to ensure regular carbohydrate replenishment during the race, you will be ok on this front.

During my first marathon experience (Columbus Marathon, 2003), I was a novice on many fronts and broke some major cardinal marathon rules (most importantly: don’t start a marathon injured, ever!). I had no idea what I was doing on the fueling front either and recall being alone at the expo the day before, trying to decide what type of fluids to try (water or maybe that new, strange-tasting Accelerade?) and how many gels I might need (is 1 or 2 enough?). As was inevitable, my hip injury helped me avoid hitting the wall, by slowing me down in the form of 8 stretching breaks. Not pleasant, for the record. Let’s just say fueling probably would have gotten the better of me had something else not have gotten there first.

Fortunately, I’ve had the opportunity to learn from some amazing runners over the last 10+ years and have since followed a few simple yet important guidelines in order to avoid the “bonk”:

1.) Take fluids as EARLY as possible – Do not pass the early water stations by. I typically try to take fluid at every station available, sometimes both water and the race-provided electrolyte beverage. This often means fluid consumption at least every 2 miles. You may only successfully take in a couple of ounces per cup, depending on your speed and your ability to coordinate moving and drinking at the same time, so it’s better to focus on frequency of water stops.

2.) Take your gels SLOWLY – Your digestive system can only absorb about 1-1.5 grams of carbohydrate per minute. An average gel contains 20-22 grams of carbohydrate. The quick math here means that your body can’t keep up with you very well if you down the whole gel in one second. In addition, gel consumption becomes even slower if you do not consume it with adequate fluids. I may take a gel every 4-6 miles during the course of the marathon (4-5 gels in total), but I take each one in slowly.

Note: Magdalena Lewy-Boulet, US Olympian and VP of R&D for Gu, told me about me this slow Gu consumption method after she had a successful marathon in cold “frozen Gu” weather (CIM, 2001 – 2nd: 2:37:57). Her Gu had formed into a cold, solid state and she was only able to consume small amounts at a time as it thawed. Despite this, Magda felt properly fueled.

Logistically, slow gel consumption can present some challenges. I prefer to hold onto the packet and take a small amount every minute or so, i.e. “sipping” on the gel. It can become a sticky mess, and the only helpful thing I can offer here is that this is all less annoying if you are wearing gloves. If you prefer other types of fuel, there are options that are already conveniently partitioned into smaller caloric chunks. Think Sport Beans or Clif shot blocks. Always intersperse gel consumption at or near water stations and practice this slow fuel consumption method in training.

3.) Ingest electrolyte-based drinks, not just water - This is another fairly obvious one, but not always followed. Research has supported evolution of sports drinks over recent years and many are purportedly optimal for electrolyte replenishment during the marathon. If you have the choice, it’s best to use beverages backed by science and your own experience. Osmo, UCAN, GuBrew and Nuun are some good newer beverage options with solid science to support their use. The more common beverage choices serve their purpose for most of us too though (Gatorage, Powerade, etc.).

    The same slow carbohydrate absorption rule may apply for your electrolyte drink, but remember that these drinks are often significantly diluted, which can be a good thing. If the race-provided drink tastes too concentrated, try to balance it out with more water consumption at the next station. This may help your digestive system to absorb the carbohydrates more easily.
    Also, if you are at all at risk for hyponatremia, or essentially over-hydrating, counterbalancing your fluid intake with an appropriate volume of electrolytes is even more important. The risk threshold for hyponatremia is known to apply to those who consume approximately 8 oz of fluid (any type) every 20 minutes (a lot!) and this risk is even higher if that fluid is water alone. Don’t over drink.

    4.) Adapt your strategy for weather conditions – Heat and/or humidity will of course greatly increase your rate of sweating and will necessitate increased fluid consumption. Stay on top of that early. Potentially equally damaging in a different way, extremely cold conditions may interfere with your desire to consume fluids. You could then be at risk for dehydration and subsequent muscle cramping if you do not drink according to your normal plan, despite your perceived lack of thirst.

    5) Don’t worry if something goes wrong – If you miss a water station, or an untrained child volunteer throws the cup all over your shirt at mile 16, do not panic. It will be ok as long as you’re following rule #1. Make it up for it at the next stop by grabbing both water and electrolyte drinks.

    I try to remember these themes as I race, but do so in an unscientific way because, in most cases, there are many other elements you cannot control over the course of 26.2 miles. You don’t want to create an overly specific fueling plan in case it becomes difficult to execute. One missed water station and you could find yourself in an unnecessary tailspin of distraction. Based on your individual body composition, it is certainly possible to estimate the precise amount of carbohydrate, electrolyte and fluid you should consume over the course of a marathon. It is extremely difficult to make that precision happen in real life, particularly if you are not fortunate enough to have the luxury of elite water bottles placed at regular intervals over the course. Fortunately, by keeping these general guidelines in mind, you can still get pretty close to optimal fueling and feel good come mile 26!



    • Ron is a former competitive Road Cyclist who set a goal to complete his first marathon in 2019. Read about Ron's training experience, and how his determination to succeed led to a stellar, well executed 3:33 marathon debut in Tel Aviv!
      c314bf8Ron_Ayal_TLV_marathon_2019_copy
    • Completion of my first Marathon (in 03:33:52hrs)
    • A perfect training plan and amazingly accurate and personal support by Runcoach's team ( in my case - wonderful coach Hiruni Wijayaratne) that I followed with determination, dedication and faith in myself, in the coaching team and the application that proved over and over to be right to the point.


      What is the biggest obstacle to reaching your goals and how do you get over it?
    • Going over the top.... Every time I tried to go too far, too fast, too early - I paid the price. physically and mentally. I learned to trust the plan, follow the coaches advises and listen to my body. I learned to recognize my limits while not letting them to hold me back and most of all I learned to look at the long term goal...
    • Being able to accomplish the goals I set every time anew. Follow my dreams and doing so in a most enjoying way. Also the new PR's the plan helped me to set again and again were a very nice bonus ;)
    • First decide what your goal is. It might sound obvious but setting the right goal(s), especially on an application based plan, is a tricky game that would influence any aspect of your training. Consult the team! - They have the experience to help you set the right goals and the dedication to take you there. Follow the plan and have faith in it but also listen to your body. If you're heading for a marathon take the time to build up and prepare. Runcoach will give you the best plan and coaching but this up to you to execute the plan while taking care of your physical and mental health - Nutrition, Hydration, rest - they all has to be carefully taken care of. And most important - Don't forget to enjoy... A goal race is a single event on a given day with a rewarding outcome. However in long distance runs it's the way leading to this day which is really is the most important...
    • I was amazed by the accuracy and the effectiveness of the application in terms of improvement and projection. It prescribes precisely what you should do - not too easy and not too hard with proven outcomes. But what really impressed, and later also motivated me was the personal attitude in the email support - I hadn't expect it to be so personal, dedicated and caring. I discovered not only professionals but also great people who really cares about you.



      What feedback would you offer on the Runcoach experience?
    • 1. Adaption and fine-tuning for the metric system. The app does all sort of funny things when it comes to adapt for meters/km both in plan and in communications. 2. Allowing choice of different setting of weekdays - not anywhere in the world the week begins on Mondays... 3. Trail runs and ascents/uphill runs - The application doesn't offer any reference to those conditions which requires a whole different kind of training


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