Start Your Preparations Early
Customers often come into the Endurunce Shop a day or two before a race and ask me what type of energy supplement they should use in the race.

For races of longer distances, where one will be spending more than an hour in competition, energy supplements are essential, however using energy supplements for the first time in a race is an all too common rookie mistake. The body needs time to learn to handle and use those supplements.

Too often runners take them without trying them out on the run first and find that they are too harsh on their stomach causing nausea, cramps and sometimes vomiting. A better way is to use them on your longer runs once every week or every two weeks throughout your training. This allows your body to get used to taking and utilizing the supplements, as well as giving you a chance to try out a variety of products to determine which gives you the greatest return, is the easiest to swallow, and tastes the best.

So, start early, try a variety, determine which type and flavor works the best, and then stick with it on race day. Don’t go into your race with any unknowns.

Know Your Training Zones
Easy Pace

Many runners head out the door and into their run acknowledging only one pace.  They run that pace every time and for as long as is prescribed by either their bodies, or perhaps the plan they’re following, unaware of the many paces they have at their disposal for improving their overall performance and fitness.  Here begins a series related to the different paces a runner has at their feet and what benefits each provides.  First we’ll begin with the core of all running programs, the easy run.

Easy Pace running consists of a comfortable and exhaustion free pace at which you would be able to keep up a conversation without straining.  All recovery days, warm-ups, cool-downs and of course easy days are run at your easy pace.  Jack Daniels PhD, renowned international coach and exercise physiologist has this to say about easy running:

“Easy running pace [is] typically in the range of...59 to 74 percent of VO2max (65 to 79 percent HRmax), [and] elicits desirable physiological benefits that build a solid base from which higher-intensity training can be performed.  The heart muscle is strengthened, muscles receive increased blood supplies, and the working muscle cells increase their ability to process the oxygen delivered through the cardiovascular system.”

These physiological adaptations form the foundation of future training sessions; training sessions designed to tax the body and break it down in a way that will build it up with greater efficiency at different speeds and intensities.  A sound running program begins with a foundation of gradually increasing volume of easy running, so start out comfortable and relaxed and don’t sweat the hard stuff just yet.