This episode dives into the world of the inspirational pep talk. We takes a few tangents along the way, but really try to view the pep talk from the perspective of both the coach and the athlete. We also cover why the speech that gets you pumped up and ready to run through a wall can be a good and bad thing depending on how and when it is applied.
Coaches want to feel like they are helping the athlete as much as possible. It is true that they generally plan the schedule and workouts. They help with mental tactics. They try to manage the emotions of an athlete through rough patches. Eventually the coach may start to see their role as elevated.
We realize that the coach is important. Teaching is important. But in the end, it comes down to the athlete. In all areas, the athlete is in charge. When the schedule says 5 miles, the athlete needs to do the work. When the workout gets hard, the athlete needs to find the mental capacity...
The half marathon is said to be for those who are only half crazy. Angie and I both tried our first half marathon to see what was possible at that distance, while knowing that we were not ready for a full 26.2. In this episode we dive into the half marathon from several different angles.
The half marathon is a great challenge race for a time strapped runner. The distance requires a long run, but not to the same extent as a full marathon. It also requires you to stay connected to you speed, but without the super fast workouts around a 5k that require extensive rest and tend to last a long time.
A safe number to be fully prepared for a half marathon is around 12 weeks. This number depends on your starting point and your goal for the race....
One of my least favorite questions to be asked is one that I also frequently get as a teacher, coach, and parent.
What do I need to do?
Except it usually sounds more like: Uunnggghhh, what do I do?!?!?
Please don’t get me wrong, I love helping other people. It’s at the core of our lives as a physical therapist, teacher, coaches, and, of course, parents. Helping and serving others is the point of this podcast and the foundation of Real Life Runners.
The issue is “What do I do?” is not actually asking for help. Below are my three issues with the statement and how to better frame the question if you find yourself wanting to scream “What do I need to do?”
First, let’s start with the question as a complaint that you probably already know the answer to. In very frustrating situations such as a running plateau, a healthy eating hiccup, or any challenge with your kids, this question may hit your mind....
How do I get faster? The ultimate question for a coach and competitive runner. While there really is no magic workout or super predictor, there are some best practices.
Different workouts are designed for different physical benefits, and those benefits have varying levels of importance at different race distances. Longer races require the physical ability to hold up over a few hours of running, while 5k races force an athlete to deal with higher levels of pain but for a shorter period of time.
As we have pointed out before, two athletes running the same workouts at the same pace(or intensity level) may not gain identical adaptations. New runners and seasoned runners will adapt differently, and age and gender seem to also play a role. With that in mind, we present some workout ideas for success at major race distances.
Are you a real runner? Do you identify as a runner? What are some of the benefits of finally accepting this identity, and what can be some of the downfalls of identifying this way?
Over years of coaching I have watched many runners take on the identity of runner. Some are quick to accept while others take years to accept and may secretly still think they are not actually a runner. The issue is usually connected to a negative self image and poor comparisons of themselves versus other "real runners". Once someone finally accepts the title of “runner,” the improvements on the metal and physical sides can really take off.
As long as running remains a hobby and not an identity, there is always an excuse for missing a goal. When a runner goes all in, a concept that varies widely in the world of real life runners, they can start working towards improvements. Goals can be set, training can be focused, experiments can be run....
As technology improves, and the amount of information available on your wrist increases, are GPS watches helping or hurting your running? As with most things in life, the answer is, of course, both.
We require every athlete on our cross country team to get at least a stopwatch. Other athletes we train often have gps watches. We both have gps watches. The ease of workouts improves when you strap a watch to your wrist even if the workout is simply run harder for 2 minutes, and then easier for 2 minutes. If you are looking to improve your performance, you are going to need some concrete numbers that a watch can provide. The extra enhancements like heart rate, pacing, and cadence can also be used to see performance improvement.
When using a watch to train in heart rate zones, the watch provides an honest accountability partner. It forces easy to stay easy and lets you know when your heart rate has reached its hard zone. The watch may not know that you...
What good is a running coach? When Kevin started running, his high school coach was a coaching legend with decades of success. When Angie began running to be a faster runner, she relied on Kevin.
The coach creates the runner both physically and mentally. They are like the artist carving the statue out of the rock. The mindset of a strong coach should be as Michealangelo stated: “Every block of stone has a statue inside it and it is the task of the sculptor to discover it.” The coach needs to see the runner and find the best way the bring out the highest potential.
In this episode, we discuss several coaching styles and bring up the benefits and challenges of each. While there are dozens of ways to categorize coaches from mileage to which coaching legend you follow, we came up with four to cover in this show
The "numbers" coach relies on a calculator to take an athlete from point a to point b. They have a very solid...
The marathon is quite the beast of a race. Many runners set the marathon as a long term goal or the peak of their running achievement.
Others run a few every year while a rare few set out to run one in every state in the US or aim for global destinations. Regardless of where you may fall on the spectrum from first race to hundredth, one thing is clear, the marathon is not easy.
Running a marathon requires substantial physical preparation.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY KEVIN!
The internet in filled with training plans designed for all sorts of race distances with the allure of magic paces and workouts to help you reach your peak. In this episode we break down where these plans come from, what some of the vocabulary means, and hopefully educate you about how different paces can help you.
First, the plans come from well intentioned exercise physiologists trying to take research on elite athletes and adjust it to mortals. The issue is when reducing the paces or distances, the benefits might not be the same. Also, given the background of an elite runner versus a more typical runner, even identical workouts will result in different physical adaptations.
The paces in these plans often fall into one of these categories.
Marathon pace- This is what you can sustain for 2:30 to 3:00 regardless of how far that gets you. If you finish a marathon around 4:22(10 minute miles) your "marathon pace" in...
What is a runner’s body?
In the world of running, there are a lot of stereotypes about what runners look like or should look like. Running used to be more of an elitist sport, not a sport of the masses like it is today.
Today, running has become more accessible to so many more people and the “runner’s body” now takes on many more shapes and sizes.
However, that runner’s body stereotype hasn’t gone away. Many people judge themselves based on their size or shape, and some even think that that image has a role in determining their own self-identity as a runner.
I’m not a runner because I’m not thin enough.
I’m not a runner because I’m not fast enough.
The truth of the matter is that it does not require a certain look or race time to become a runner. It does not take a specific weekly mileage. Runners do not have to race marathons, or even race at all. To be a runner, you...
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