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Obviously

QT: Running Faster Requires Being Patient and Doing the Work


If you are like many runners I know, running faster is one of your goals.

Without a doubt, the most frequent question I get from listeners of the show has to do with running faster during races.

Whether the goal is a PR or a BQ, running faster is something a lot of runners strive for.

So the million dollar question is pretty simple: how does one go about running faster during a race?

To Run Faster, You Need to Run Faster

Obviously

If you want to run faster, you need to practice it right?

Yes and no. Read more

Huh?

Quick Tip: Stop Trying to Get Faster


Admit it, you want to get faster.

And that’s ok. Shoot, I want to get faster too.

But whatever your goals are, odds are that increasing your top speed isn’t going to help you achieve them.

Wait, what?

Huh?

Huh?

You’re Missing the Point

Do you want to set a new PR this year?

Do you want to run a BQ this year?

Do you want to get your 5k time back to where it was before you had kids?

Whatever time goals you have, I’m guessing that the key to success is to cover a certain race distance in a shorter amount of time. Read more

Running in the Summer Heat

Running in the Summer Heat Has Positive Physiological Impact

Living in Central FL, I am forced to take the good with the bad.

The good, of course, is running in the months of November, December, January, and February.

The bad, is running in the summer heat AKA the other 8 months of the year.

One thing I’ve noticed in the past few years, and something that I’ve been quick to point out to others that complain about running in the summer heat, is that I notice a big improvement each fall after sweating it out on my training runs in the summer.

And I’m not the only one that has seen the positive results.

Running in the Summer Heat

Does Running in the Summer Heat Help or Hurt?

My Rationale for Running in the Summer Heat

When I first noticed this dramatic fall improvement in myself, I didn’t know what caused it.

Was it the cumulation of training finally paying off? Was it the cooler temps? Was it just a fluke?

But as I talked with fellow runners who saw similar spikes after several months of running in the summer heat, I started to think about what might be causing the improvement.

I chalked it up to the fact that when it’s hot, your body needs to cool itself by sending blood to the skin which results in perspiration. If more blood is being sent to the surface of your body, there is less blood going to the muscles which means they aren’t able to work as hard or as long.

Following this logic, as the weather cooled there isn’t a need to send as much blood to the skin for sweating so more blood was going to the muscles, and bingo-bango you’re able to run faster.

Turns out, there is a bit more of a physiological response that is responsible for you running faster after training in the summer heat.

The Doctor’s Take on Heat Training

Dr. William O. Roberts talks about your body’s response to running in the summer heat in Runner’s World recently:

Victor asks: I like to run at lunchtime during the summer. My friend told me that running in the heat increases your red blood cells, and that this is akin to blood doping, and as a result my PRs don’t count. I know he’s joking about doping, but wanted to know how running in the heat impacts blood cells.

Yes, your PRs do count. Heat acclimatization is quite different than blood doping. Blood doping is withdrawing your own blood and giving it back to yourself before a race to increase red blood cell mass. It is not legal in the sports world.

But running at noon in the heat of the day will induce heat acclimatization, a natural response to training. Running in the heat stimulates your body to produce more oxygen-rich red blood cells. And that will improve your ability to perform well in warm or hot conditions. That is, of course, the purpose of training—and is legal.

If you plan to race in hot conditions, it is critical to have near daily heat exposure while you are training to get your body ready to perform in hot conditions. If you feel it is too hot for you when you arrive at the race site, it may be best not to start or to start at a slow pace and drop out if you do not feel well during the run. It is always better to not start, not finish, or finish slow than to end up in the medical tent or emergency department with exertional heat stroke.

I hope this helps.

I Think I Was On to Something

When it comes down to it, I’ll take the doctor’s explanation of the benefits of running in the summer heat over mine any day. But I still feel that my reasoning is sound.

If your body is making more red blood cells, it is naturally increasing blood volume to deliver more oxygen to your muscles during training while simultaneously allowing ample blood to go to the surface of your body for perspiration and cooling.

And then in the fall, when less sweating is required, there is more blood in total (for a little while at least) to deliver more oxygen to the muscles so they are really able to work at a higher level.

Maybe I’m reading between the lines, but I’m going to say I was at least on the right track.

Keep Running This Summer

Keep Running in the Summer Heat

Keep Running in the Summer Heat

So this summer, keep running and training at a high level, and you’ll see some serious results for your fall races.

Just make sure you stay safe while you’re training, and remember to be on the lookout (in yourself and in others) for the signs and symptoms of heat injuries, and make sure you take the proper steps to try and limit those risks while still maximizing the training benefits of running in the summer heat.

What’s Your Take on Summer Running? Love It? Hate It? Let Me Know in the Comments!

Keys to Improve as a Runner

4 Key Components to Improve as a Runner

When it comes to reaching new running goals, many runners think they need to be running more, running longer, or running faster. Or all of the above.

And if that’s your focus, I guarantee you are not maximizing your potential as a runner and are making it more difficult to achieve your goals.

Contrary to popular belief, becoming a better runner requires much more than just #running. Click To Tweet

If you are serious about the desire to improve as a runner, and stay injury free at the same time, here are the 4 key components that need to be a part of any training plan that you will be following if you really want to  to improve as a runner.

Keys to Improve as a Runner

Read more

Put Up or Shut Up

Do you ever feel like you just need a few more hours in each day to get everything accomplished that you set out to do?

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That’s been me for the past couple of weeks.

I shared with the tribe via email that I’ve been very non-productive over the past couple of weeks, basically since the baby was born. While it might be easy/convenient to blame the baby for my struggles, I’ve wasted a lot of time since she’s been born here.

And that needs to stop.

So I’m calling myself out. I need to do a better job of prioritizing and staying focused on the task at hand, both in terms of work, in terms of family life, and in terms of my running.

Blending Work and Running

In the email I sent to the tribe last week, I also let them in on the top secret project I’m working on, which will be ready to roll in early September.

While I’m not ready to spill the beans publicly yet, I’ll give y’all a little teaser. I’m a huge believer in the positive impact of regular strength training for runners. And yet, it’s something that many runners don’t do enough of.

And I need to include myself in that group.

In the coming weeks, I’m going to be offering all kinds of opportunities to learn about the benefits of strength training, no matter what level of a runner you would consider yourself to be.

  • I’ll be talking about why some “gym staples” have no benefit to runners, and how some of the best exercises for runners will earn you some stares if you do them at the gym.
  • I’ll also get into some of the many benefits of regular strength training, including a decreased risk of injury, improved endurance, stronger kick, and a higher top speed.
  • I’ll also cover why it’s so important to work your upper body as well, not just your legs.

But before I do all of that, I need to practice what I’m going to preach. Because as much as I know the benefits of strength training, I haven’t made strength training a priority for myself yet. And that needs to change.

It’s Time to Put Up or Shut Up

I have a lot of plans for the future of this website, and the podcast is just the first piece of the vision that I have. But in order for any of the plans to be successful, the first thing I need to do is to take a dose of my own medicine.

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My focused strength training starts now, and I can’t wait to share with you guys what I’ve got planned for next month.

Want a sneak peak? Join the tribe and I’ll give you the scoop!


 

 Join my Tribe!

There’s always room for more members of the tribe!

Both the Facebook group and the email group provide opportunities that can’t be found anywhere else.

The Facebook group is still small, but it is a great way to connect with fellow runners and foster community amongst like minded individuals. The email group is THE way to stay up to date about future guests on the show, as well as getting some other freebies and offers that aren’t available to anyone else.

If you’ve got questions about either/both, just let me know!