The Science of Ultramarathons

Ultramarathons have quickly become “the next” race for runners of all shapes, sizes and experience, as the number of ultramarathon races has increased by a thousand per cent over the last decade. The term “ultramarathon” is most commonly defined as any race longer than a marathon (42.2 km) and run in a single stage. In 2018, there were more than 1800 ultramarathon events held in over 75 countries. 

Up until 10 years ago, these types of athletes—and the science behind competing in such an event—were barely on the scientific radar, so I thought it would be interesting to discuss some of the latest cutting-edge research. Continue reading “The Science of Ultramarathons”

10 Reasons to Love Running This Season

by John Stanton

The weather has cooled down, the year is wrapping up, and it’s a wonderful time to be a runner. Not convinced? Here are 10 reasons:

1. Fresh air is even fresher.
In contrast to summer, when air quality readings can climb to unhealthy levels, you’ll be inhaling crisp, clean air on your next run or walk. Head to a nearby nature trail and breathe it in.

2. Staying cool.
Instead of griping about the fall and winter temperatures, be grateful that you don’t have to worry about heat stroke or other complications brought on by heat and humidity.  Continue reading “10 Reasons to Love Running This Season”

Your Race Day Questions–Answered

by John Stanton

At race expos, I frequently field questions from first-time marathoners and half marathoners. I look forward to these interactions and I’m always happy to provide answers and encouragement. Prior to a race, it is completely normal to feel a combination of excitement and nervousness. Asking questions is a great way to ease any concerns and get helpful tips from experienced racers. Here’s my best advice for your next race.

Continue reading “Your Race Day Questions–Answered”

How Yoga Will Make You a Better Runner

by Allie Cooper

While runners have some serious stamina, they are often lacking in other areas which could improve their performance. Upper body strength, range of motion, and proper form are just some of the problems that runners experience, while others struggle with the right mindset during long running sessions. Incorporating yoga into your training schedule can help address some of these issues. Here are some of the ways that runners can benefit from adding yoga to their weekly workouts. Continue reading “How Yoga Will Make You a Better Runner”

Visualization

by John Stanton

As you prepare for a marathon, it can be helpful to imagine the experience in advance. Read on for a sample play-by-play of a marathon race.

After months of self-discipline and hard training, it is the morning of the marathon. You are rested and well hydrated. At the start line, some runners are silent and pensive while others are laughing and joking. There is a mixture of nervous adrenaline and anticipation all around you.

The horn sounds and you are off. At first, it is more of a shuffle than a run as laughter and noise fill the air. You hear a mixture of race chatter, both from the runners and the people lining the course at the start. Continue reading “Visualization”

The Science of Stride Rate

by Dr. Reed Ferber, Ph.D. CAT(C)

Recently, there has been a recent surge in research, magazine articles, and blogs about stride rate. Let’s take a look at the science behind this commonly misunderstood biomechanical factor.

How fast you run is a function of two factors: (1) the length of your stride and (2) the frequency at which you take those strides—known as your stride rate. To run faster, either factor has to increase. For the past 30 years, the magic number of 180 steps (beats) per minute (bpm) has been discussed as the goal. This arbitrary target number has been seen as a method to increase running economy and potentially reduce joint loading during running. Continue reading “The Science of Stride Rate”

Summer Running FAQ

by John Stanton

It’s summertime, and the living is easy—but a casual approach isn’t wise when it comes to exercising in hot weather conditions. To help you stay safe in the heat, here are my responses to common questions about summer running.

How much water do I need to drink?
As summer temperatures soar, proper hydration becomes a top priority. You need to drink frequently before, during and after exercise. Plan to drink at least two cups (500 mL) of water in the hour prior to your run. During your workout, sip (don’t gulp) water every 15 to 20 minutes, and be sure to re-hydrate once your run has concluded. Don’t wait until you feel thirsty, because at that point you may already be dehydrated. For normal fitness activities, plain water is your most effective drink. For workouts or races over three hours, a sports drink can help replace lost electrolytes. Continue reading “Summer Running FAQ”

Ready to Race

by John Stanton

If you’re intimidated by the idea of entering a race, don’t be. Race weekends are designed to offer something for everyone: runners and walkers, young and old, beginner and experienced, elite and back-of-the-pack.

Registering for a race will boost your motivation and provide you with a tangible, time-sensitive goal. Your training runs will have a renewed sense of purpose. Racing improves your form and helps you learn to run more efficiently in an uncomfortable zone. Think of it as speed work in disguise! Continue reading “Ready to Race”