Runners Christmas List

What do runners want for Christmas? Clothes, gadgets, shoes? Here are a few ideas.

  1. Born to Run- who doesn’t love an inspiring book?
  2. Race comped- Purchase a race entry.
  3. iTunes gift card- music downloads for those looking for a little variety in their playlist.
  4. Compression socks- any runner can benefit to increased circulation.
  5. The Stick- this makes the list every year.
  6. Gift Cards- have a local running store? Give your runner options with a gift card.

What do you want for Christmas?


Your Winter Running Plan

Ed Eyestone | Runners World

Try this 3-point plan over the winter months and come back strong in the spring

Winter is one of my favorite times to run. I’ll take the beauty of fresh tracks on new snow over slogging through heat and humidity any day. But not everyone agrees. During my first year as a college coach, I had a freshman who raced in the NCAA cross-country championships but then disappeared for the next six weeks. When he returned, I asked where the heck he’d been. “Coach,” he said, “in high school I always took a few months off after cross-country.” My exasperated reply was “This ain’t high school!”

Needless to say, this freshman was a nonfactor in the track season. The fact is, maintaining a base over the winter is critical to successful spring running. During a long training hibernation, the principle of reversibility kicks in: When exercise ends, detraining begins. One study showed that with just seven days of not training, blood volume dropped sharply. Loss of blood volume directly affects your ability to perform aerobic work. Within three to six weeks of inactivity, your fitness can drop to pretraining levels.

Today, when I send my guys off for the winter break, I give them a gift: a three-point plan to stay fit and come back fresh in spring. So can you.

Check out the three-point plan.

Results: GoGoRunning Rome Area XC Meet and Viking Open

GoGoRunning Rome Area XC Meet and Viking Open

College, High School and Middle School Results

Boys 2 Mile Run CC

1 #612 Milford, ClayDarlington MS                             11:39.36
2 #799 Reyes, Jose             Coosa MS                           12:37.14
3 #544 Bowling, John Berry  08 Berry MS                12:39.00
4 #685 Sandoval, Ivan       07 Pepperell MS             12:43.15
5 #529 Law, Porter          08 Armuchee MS               12:44.03

Complete Boys Middle School Results

Girls 2 Mile Run CC

1 #442 Quarles, Alex        08 Model MS                   13:15.63
2 #422 Arrant, Carah        07 Model MS                  13:36.00
3 #513 Glick, Sarah         06 Unity Christ MS          14:02.86
5 #410 Tullis, Jane         06 Darlington MS              14:21.43

Complete Girls Middle School Results

Boys 5k Run CC

1 #621 Akins, Chris         SR Model HS                   16:58.48
2 #556 Porter, Damien       SR Chattooga HS     17:36.52
3 #580 Cox, Alex            SR Darlington HS          17:43.89
4 #585 Fields, Spencer      SO Darlington HS     17:46.28
5 #702 Fortanel, Ivan       SR Rome HS               17:59.39

Complete Boys High School Results

Girls 5k Run CC

1 #484 Wilson, Frannie      SR Rome HS                 20:26.85
2 #384 Hooper, Lauren       SO Darlington HS     20:35.30
3 #483 Tilton, Jenna        JR Rome HS                    20:43.02
4 #382 Clevenger, Kinslee   SO Darlington HS    20:46.37
5 #481 Schlitz, Isabella    FR Rome HS                  21:32.87

Complete Girls High School Results

5k Run CC

1   Baker, Jesse  20:34.48
2   Healy, Sean  21:46.03
3   MacAuley, Warren  23:27.84
4   Baker, Juliann  23:45.14
5   Ellis, Katie  23:55.59

 Complete Open Race Results


Should You Run Twice Per Day

By Peter Pfitzinger |

Runners often start running twice per day before weekly mileage warrants it. Doing “doubles” sounds like serious training, so it must be better preparation. In specific situations, this is true. Most runners, however, should resist the urge to switch from single runs to doubles as training mileage increases. Let’s take a look at when double workouts are and are not beneficial, and how to add doubles to your training program.

A basic principle to follow is to not do double workouts until you have maximized the amount you can handle in single workouts. Staying with longer single runs builds endurance, while shorter doubles allow you to train at a faster pace. Double runs can also be beneficial in speeding recovery. Two short runs will help you recover more quickly than one longer run.

The weekly mileage at which you should add double workouts to your training schedule depends on the distance you race (see table below). The longer the race, the more your training should focus on endurance-based adaptations such as depleting your glycogen reserves to provide a stimulus for your body to store more glycogen, and training your muscles to utilize more fat at a given speed. Logically, you will provide a greater stimulus for these adaptations through a single 12 mile run than by doing a 7 mile and a 5 mile run at the same pace.

As shown in the table, if you are preparing for a marathon and are running less than 75 miles per week, then you should not be running doubles. After you schedule your long run and a mid-week medium long run, there is really no reason to double to get in the remaining miles. Once your marathon training calls for more than 75 miles per week, however, there is a definite role for double workouts in your program.

The shorter the race that you are preparing for, the lower the mileage at which you should add double workouts. If you are preparing to race 5 km, for example, your interval workout is the most important training session of the week, and you will need to keep your legs fresh. You will also want to maintain a faster pace during some of your normal training runs, which is accomplished more easily during two short runs than one longer run.

Read more on how to introduce double runs into your training.


Training, Recovery and Supercompensation

By Peter Pfitzinger |

One of the realities of running is that if you do a hard workout today, you won’t be a faster runner tomorrow. In fact, tomorrow you will just be tired, and therefore a bit slower. At some point, however, the fatigue of the workout will dissipate and you will adapt to a higher level. This leads to two questions: 1) how many days after a workout do you actually reap the benefits of that workout?; and 2) how much time should you allow between hard workouts or between a hard workout and a race? Let’s try to answer those questions.

To optimize your training, you need to find the correct balance between training and recovery. Hard training causes immediate fatigue and tissue breakdown. Depending on the difficulty of the training session (and other factors discussed below), you may require from 2 days to 2 weeks to completely recover. Your training session also provides a stimulus for your body to adapt to a higher level (called supercompensation). Training provides the stimulus for your body to adapt, but time is needed both for recovery and to allow your body to adapt and improve.

Turning Genes On and Off

The intensity, duration, and frequency (# sessions per week) of your training all influence the rate at which your body adapts. The adaptations in hormone levels, fat burning ability, capillary density, etc that result from endurance training occur due to repeated training bouts rather than as a result of one workout in isolation. It is as though your body must be convinced that you are really serious about training before making the physiological adaptations that let you reach a new level.

The process of adaptation begins with your genes. Training provides stimuli (for example, glycogen depletion) which turn specific genes on or off. By altering the expression of genes, training changes the rates of protein synthesis and breakdown. For example, endurance training turns on genes for the production of mitochondrial protein. More endurance training leads to more mitochondria in your muscles so you can produce more energy aerobically. Your muscles and cardiovascular system adapt over days and weeks due to the cumulative effect of repeated training.

Factors affecting improvement

There is great variability between runners in how long it takes to recover from and adapt to a workout. Differences in recovery time and improvement rate are determined by genetics and lifestyle factors. Your genetics determine your predisposition to adapt to training-some of us are programmed to adapt more quickly than others. Lifestyle factors such as diet, quantity and quality of sleep, general health, age (we tend to recover more slowly with age), gender (women’s muscles tend to recover more slowly than men’s due to lower testosterone levels) and various life stressors such as work and relationships all influence how quickly you recover from, and adapt to, training. Because there is great variation between runners in how many workouts they can tolerate in a given period of time, you should not just copy your training partner’s running program. Only through experience will you learn how much training you can handle.

The chart shows examples of two runners who do the same workout and experience the same amount of initial fatigue, but who recover at different rates. Phil (represented by the red line) recovers more quickly than Scott (represented by the blue line). Phil will be able to recover from and adapt positively to more high quality workouts in a given period of time and will, therefore, improve more quickly than Scott. Phil would also require a shorter taper period before a race than would Scott.

Read more about the time required for recovery and supercompensation.

Plantar Fasciitis Solutions

Move Well-Run Well

Let’s face it, no runner wants to get hurt! The more tools in your toolbox the better. Coach Jay Stephenson, founder of GoGoRunning, is coming to the Big Peach Running Co., Peachtree Road store location on Saturday, June 30 at 8:00 a.m. to help you fill up that toolbox.

Coach Jay, (former Shorter University head coach for cross country and distance track) is certified in Functional Movement Screen.   FMS is a ranking and grading system documenting key movement patterns for normal function. The principle is to identify functional limitations and asymmetries that, quite simply put, can mess with your training, conditioning and body awareness. FMS is used to generate your Functional Movement Screen Score, and help find the right exercises to get you moving properly again.

Part two of the clinic is all about the core. As runners we all know we’re supposed to work our core to run stronger.  How many of us actually do? Coach Jay has a great 5-10 minute core training program specifically for runners.  He promises to get your stronger without adding bulk.

Of course no Big Peach Running Co. clinic or event would be complete without the option to go out for a run. You are most welcome to get your miles in after the clinic. We have maps for routes from 2-13 miles.

The Details:
What: Move Well-Run Well
When: Saturday, June 30 8:00 a.m.
Where: BPRC Atlanta, 3881 Peachtree Rd., NE, 30319

Register Now!


Are You Overtraining?

By Peter Pfitzinger |

“Got up. Got out of bed. Man, do I feel dead. Then I went outside and tried to run. Something feels broke, and I hope it’s just a dream…” Ballad of the Overtrained Runner (with apologies to the Beatles)

Have you ever woken up in the morning with your legs feeling heavy, wondering how you were going to find the energy to go for a run? Sure you have-every distance runner has-fatigue is a hallmark of training. Training produces fatigue and provides the stimulus for the body to reach new levels of fitness. There is a threshold, however, beyond which the stimulus overwhelms your ability to recover and you enter the domain of overtraining.

What is overtraining?

Overtraining is the result of working out hard more frequently than your body can handle. Positive adaptation to training occurs when more buildup (anabolism) occurs than breakdown (catabolism). During overtraining, however, the opposite occurs-your ability to recover is outpaced by repetitive high intensity training, leading to decrements in performance.

The symptoms of overtraining vary between runners. Frequently reported symptoms include: trouble sleeping, frequent colds, increased resting heart rate, weight loss, impaired racing and training times, slow recovery from training, and a loss of enthusiasm for running (and most other things). You may have any combination of these symptoms, as well as others.

Under normal training loads, running has small, short-term effects on immune function, but overtraining can lead to general immune system suppression, resulting in increased susceptibility to infections, and decreased ability to fight off infections. In female athletes, overtraining may also be associated with amenorrhea.

Although the causes of overtraining are not well understood, many cases of overtraining are believed to be due to overstimulation of the sympathetic nervous system. This stimulation is a result of all the stresses in your life, including training, sleep deprivation, nutritional deficits, job stress, family stress, etc. Chronic sympathetic stimulation leads to increased levels of adrenaline and noradrenaline and the feeling that your mind and body are stuck on-leaving you unable to fully relax or to perform at your best.

Identifying overtraining

There is no foolproof test for identifying overtraining. Subjectively, if 3 to 5 days of rest combined with adequate carbohydrates, protein, and water do not eliminate your fatigue, and you have no other signs of illness, then you are probably overtrained.

There are several objective methods for diagnosing overtraining. The balance between testosterone and cortisol is thought to determine the ability to positively adapt to training, and this ratio has been used as an indicator of overtraining. Overtraining can lead to decreased levels of testosterone and increased levels of cortisol in the blood. Because the testosterone/cortisol ratio varies between individuals, however, you should compare your current ratio to your normal ratio.

The 2 most common methods of identifying overtraining measure heart rate, either first thing in the morning or while running at a set pace. If you take your pulse upon awakening each morning, after a few days you will know your normal resting heart rate. An increase of more than 5 beats per minute above normal is an indication of overtraining (this test doesn’t work if you wake up with an alarm). Similarly, you can evaluate overtraining by measuring your heart rate while running at a given speed. If your heart rate increases more than 4-5%, then you should take it easy for a few days. For example, if your heart rate at 7 minute mile pace is typically 150 beats per minute, and it increases to 159 beats per minute, that is evidence that you should back off. Unfortunately, heart rate can also be increased by caffeine consumption, dehydration, and heat and humidity, so accurate comparisons can only be made under similar conditions.

Read more…

Running Tips

Running TipsOn the run, our minds can wonder. Recently while running, I thought about why I run and so here are a few tips for running. These running tips are about finding balance in your training and the benefits of being a runner.

Run for fun

When running seems like a chore, rethink your training and recovery. Do you have a goal or are you simply running because you feel like you have to. Think of taking a break to reset and realize how much you appreciate running.

Run to Let Go

Let running be a time for you to not worry or stress about anything. For that time you are out, don’t bring your anxiety or frustrations from the day with you. Maybe during the first few minutes you can mull over your disappointments but after ten minutes, let it go. Take this time to refocus and think about what matters most in your life.

Run to Boost Your Confidence

Being a runner doesn’t necessarily define who you are as a person, but should encourage you in what you are capable of accomplishing. How many times do you start a long run, a race or hard work-out doubting your ability to finish? And then vuala you did it! So every time you feel uncertain about your abilities, think back to your successes and let your confidence momentum build. Let this translate into other areas of your life. When you doubt yourself think about what you’ve accomplished in your running and know that in life you can accomplish much more than you ever thought possible.

Run to be Healthy

Running does more than just improve your physical health but your mental and possibly your spiritual health too. This point is obvious, but too often we can neglect our bodies and do not take care of them. When you train, think about the great benefits you are giving your body. Be conscious of this and train in such a way that gives you energy and makes you feel alive. By this, simply do not train too or too little. This can be a fine line but the more you listen to your body, the more you’ll know what amount works for you.

I hope these running tips help and inspire you. Do you have any running tips to share?

Top 7 Reasons to Love Summer Running

The sun is coming up earlier, the temperatures are rising and summer is on the way. Why are you excited for summer running?

1. Running with less layers
Feel the freedom of not wearing tights, jacket, hat or whatever else.

2. The sun is up
Waking up or running when the sun is peaking over the horizon makes getting out of bed much easier.

3. Faster warmup
Muscles are already somewhat warm when you walk out the door and there is less stiffness.

4. Chilly recovery treats
Who doesn’t love a smoothie or ice cream treat after a run. When you’re hot these taste ten times better.

5. More races
It is racing season and training is more fun when a race day is approaching.

6. Sweating
Although nasty, a solid sweat can definitely feel good.

7. More enjoyable ice bath
Taking an ice bath when it is warm is almost inviting.