Relax and win

Staying relaxed late in a race helps you finish faster

What do you do late in a race? When you need to go a little faster, how do you respond?

If you’re like most runners, you dig deep. You push yourself and strain for that last possible bit of effort. It makes sense. Run faster by exerting more effort.

Is this the best way to run faster, though?

When we start to dig, we strain. We tense up and fight against ourselves. Our muscles tighten up and work against each other instead of working in coordination with each other, one muscle relaxing as the opposing muscle tenses.

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Don’t borrow from someone else’s puzzle

Don’t steal those puzzle pieces!

These days, you can see a lot of workouts on social media, not to mention websites like Strava and Garmin Connect. Some of these workouts are impressive, maybe look interesting, or just look like something fun to try.

Have you ever thought of “borrowing” a workout you’ve seen online? While I won’t say never do so, I would like to urge you to use extreme caution if you do so.

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Engine and chassis: a quick runner’s primer

This article was originally posted by Ryan at the original HillRunner.com Blogs.

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Engine? Chassis? Are we talking about cars or runners?

A lot of coaches and experienced runners say things like the engine adapts faster than the chassis, make sure your engine doesn’t break down your chassis.

Obviously, this is an analogy to cars but what does it mean to the runner?

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Spotlight workout: Hill repeats

You can do hill repeats anywhere you have a hill available

Hill repeats are always good workouts. Combining an interval workout with strength training. Reducing impact forces and lowering injury risk for other more technical reasons. There are all kinds of benefits to hitting the hill for your next interval workout.

During this time when many of us still can’t get into gyms and even tracks may be either off limits or not wise to go to for some, hill repeats can be even more powerful. Sure, you can get in a good strength workout in your living room and, with GPS watches, you can do almost any kind of interval workout you want anywhere. However, hill repeats can combine all of these things in one workout.

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Summer running

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Summer will soon be here! It may not seem like it right now here in Wisconsin but summer weather is just around the corner.

In this crazy year, there’s no telling right now when racing will again be happening but most of us are still training through as we hope our fall racing plans will not be postponed.

We all think of winter as the challenging and dangerous season for runners but there are challenges and safety considerations we need to keep in mind during the summer also. As well as the adjustments that we need to make not for our safety but to ensure we’re getting the most out of our summer time training.

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Training at home

This wasn’t done at home but it is something you can do at home

Now that almost the whole world is spending what seems like it could be a significant amount of time at home, it’s past time to discuss training at home.

Fortunately, running is a simple sport. For most of us, heading out the front door for a run is an option. However, what about those of us for whom that isn’t an option, either because we live in a place where things are serious enough that we can’t go outside even to exercise or because we live in a place where running from your front door isn’t an option?

Affecting probably more of us, what about those other things I hope you’re doing? What about your auxiliary training? Do you normally use public weight rooms that are now closed?

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Rethink the base

Right now, we’re all in the same boat. Even if you had spring racing plans, they have been put on ice. We don’t know when our next race will be. It could be next month, though that’s looking less likely all the time. It could be that we have to wait until fall.

So what do you do? If you have a May or June race on your schedule that hasn’t been canceled yet, maybe you are holding out hope that it will be able to happen and you continue with your training plan.

If you’re not expecting to race until fall, though, maybe you’re going to take a step back and build your base.

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Running during a pandemic

This is a good time to go for a solo run

Before I begin, I understand that running should be one of the least of our worries right now. We have bigger concerns to think about.

That said, I’m not an expert in pandemic response so I have very little to say about it. Seek out other sources for that topic. I recommend starting with the CDC.

What I do know is that many of us rely on running or working out in some form to calm our nerves and relieve stress. In these times, calming nerves and relieving stress seem very important. So what is a runner to do?

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