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  • What to do if you're overtrained

    First we discussed an important method of not becoming overtrained.

    Next was a bit about how to determine if you are indeed experiencing this syndrome.

    Part 3 in our series on overtraining comes if you do indeed find yourself with a case of overtraining. What to do next?

    Stop training Most importantly, you should cease all training for at least a week! Training in an overtrained state is not doing your body, mind, or mood any favors. You must return to your set point before getting back into working out.

    Eat a lot of nutritious food Part of overtraining is that you were not allowing proper recovery. This could be from too much difficult training and not enough easy training, or it could be a result of not providing the body with proper amounts of nutrients and building blocks.

    Sleep It may be that with the temporary suspension of training you have more time to sleep. Human growth hormone is released in generous amounts during sleep. Lack of sleep also increases cortisol, increases inflammation, and decreases immunity.

    Avoid stress Too much stress coupled with inadequate recovery may be the reason you are reading this article in the first place. Manageable stress is good, it stimulates growth and adaptation (in relation to our job, strength, etc) but letting it get out of control is trouble.

    Most importantly, learn. This is where many athletes fail. Mistakes only become mistakes if they are not analized. If you take the time to look back upon a "mistake", it becomes a learning experience!

    You may also like: Chronic "No Pain No Gain" How to know if you're overtrained

  • SKORA Form Review

    "There's no way to describe the ride in this shoe except unbelievable. It's a perfect fit for my wide foot, with a comfortable upper that hugs my foot, but isn't nearly as tight as the PureConnect line, which has been referred to as a second skin by several runners I've talked to. The road feel is something that I really liked about this shoe. In fact, there is very little that I don't like about the Skora Forms. My one complaint is that the leather upper isn't as breathable as some of my other shoes, but in my opinion the sacrifice is worthwhile considering that the upper should have a longer life than a mesh upper. The asymmetric lacing performed as advertised, unlike Brooks' lacing, I had zero hot spots, even after a hasty transition in a triathlon, which involved not being very precise about my tying and such."

    Read more at TriLoveland

  • Why people slow down during marathons

    We all feel amazing at mile 6.

    Yet the all too common and seemingly inevitable occurs.

    The slowing of pace during the second half of a marathon.

    It is almost universally experienced by distance athletes. If you've covered 26.2 miles, you have likely dealt with this yourself. Luckily a single strategy can generally overcome this obstacle. But, what causes this slowing, and how can we deal with it?

    If you cover the first 13.1 miles too quickly, that mistake now has another 13.1 miles to express itself. If you run the first 13.1 miles too slowly, you have a second 13.1 miles to fix that mistake.

    The first part of remedying an issue is to find the cause. Be that an injury or a poor race performance. When looking at a significant slowing of pace during a marathon, the causes generally come down to only a few things.

    Starting with training and fitness. Simply put, many people are under-trained when they step foot at the starting line of a marathon. It is a grave error to underestimate the distance and overestimate your fitness. This can include anything from a lack of consistent training volume to not enough time spent at race pace during training.

    The second half of a marathon is almost always going to be warmer than the first half. Depending on the temperature, this can cause both an increase in perceived effort and slowing of pace.

    Something else that cannot be helped is a second half of the route being more difficult than the first half. This is the case at events such as Boston, Grandfather Mountain Marathon, and the Seattle Marathon.

    Poor nutrition can mean either taking in too many calories, too few calories, or the wrong type. This is likely the most difficult factor to control because nutrition depends so much on all other race factors.

    Using tools such as the McMillan Running Calculator, you can estimate times at various distances based on a recent race. This does not mean that if you run a 45 minute 10k last week, you can run a 3:31 marathon next week. Among other things, that 3:31 equivalent assumes similar race conditions and proper training for the distance.

    When it comes down to it, the chief reason for excessive fatigue and a drastic slowing of pace during the second half of a marathon is poor pacing early on. This can mean you went out too fast for your fitness level, for the weather, or for the terrain.

    It is also important to realize that pacing trumps all of the above issues. If the weather is excessively warm as was the case at the 2012 Boston Marathon, if you are under trained, if the second half of the course is hillier...all of that can be remedied by running the first half slower. You cannot eat or fuel your way out of running the first 13.1 miles too fast.

    The goal should not always be the same split or a negative split, but not having a drastic slowing of pace will always be beneficial. An often suggestion strategy is to aim for a constant pace over the 26.2 miles with a gradually increasing level of perceived effort.

    You may also be interested in: Methods of Negative Splitting Racing vs Training Effort

  • Lightweight

  • How to know if you're overtrained

    There is a very fine line between regular training fatigue and overtraining.

    We've talked about how to avoid overtraining, but what if you find yourself on the edge of falling into it?

    Part of the reason why this is such a difficult subject is because there really is no "edge". You don't wake up one morning and suddenly find yourself overtrained. It happens over weeks and even months.

    Here are some warning signs:

    Failing workouts or not progressing This is where not only having a training log comes in handy, but using this log. Not completing a workout once in a while is normal - it means you are pushing yourself. Even voluntarily ending a workout early is a good sign that you are listening to your body! It's when on a daily or weekly basis workouts are not being completed, an issue may be upon you.

    Working out hard too often & easy not enough Again, the training log comes in handy here, but so does an outside view of your schedule, such as from a coach. Fitness gains are a result of supercompensation, or the training model that the body becoming stronger after a stimulus, to better deal with it in the future. You get broken down but come back stronger than before. However, without enough recovery time between these stimulating workouts, the supercompensation cannot take place!

    You don't feel awesome Frankly, exercise should make us feel like we can fly. Exercise is one of the greatest antidepressants. If you are not feeling satisfaction, happiness, or even euphoria during or after working out, take a step back and re-evaluate what is going on.

    General fatigue Hard training should induce some fatigue post workout. But if you're still tired for many hours after a difficult run or becoming fatigued from workouts that should not leave you fatigued, you've gone past typical workout fatigue and it's now entering your daily life.

    Decreased performance, increased perceived effort Not being able to hit times or splits in workouts or races that you should be able to make, are often clear indicators that your fatigue level is high. You can also compare heart rate and perceived effort over the long term. Your heart rate being low for how difficult you feel you are working is often a warning sign.

    You may also like: Don't go hard or go home Secrets of the Uninjured

  • Weekend Long Read

    To go along with your long run this weekend, we hope you enjoy these long reads as well.

    Muscle Mass with Age | Mark Lofquist at Paleo Runners | "Can we maintain muscle mass over age like we had in our 'youthful' 40s?" The 'Busy' Trap | Tim Kreider at The New York Times | "I am not busy. I am the laziest ambitious person I know."

    Hydration During Running | Matt Fitzgerald at Competitor | "It is not necessary to use a sports drink every time you lace up your shoes. Go ahead and use plain water in your easier runs and save the sports drink for your faster and longer workouts."

    To Avoid Crime, Venezualans Run Together | Juan Forero at The Washington Post | "Soon, more joined in. And then the organizers began using Twitter and other social media to advertise their group."

    Sorry, but Science says Running is Good for You, not Bad | Skip Bouma and Sol Orwell at | "Recently, an article titled Why Women Should Not Run, by John Kiefer, has been making the rounds. The article casts a damning light on steady state-cardio, seemingly with plenty of science to back it up."

    52 Healthy Meals in 12 Minutes or Less | Kelly Fitzpatrick at Greatist | "Why spend hours cooking a gourmet feast when a nutritious and delicious meal could be only 12 minutes away?"

  • Review: SKORA Phase

    2:39 marathoner and USA Track & Field certified coach, Jason Fitzgeral, recently reviewed the SKORA Phase.

    In the review, Jason discusses three shoe characteristics that are "deal breakers" for him when it comes to wearing a shoe or not. If a shoe has any of these three features, the shoe is automatically disqualified. 1) Flared Heel 2) Arch Support 3) Beefy Sole

    These also happen to be characteristics we avoid in our own shoes, and we could not agree with Jason more!

    Check out the review and be sure to sign up for Jason's newsletter to keep up to date on new articles from one of our favorite writers!

  • Manitou Incline

    Manitou Springs Incline

  • Articles of Interest

    To go along with your long run this weekend, we hope you enjoy these long reads as well.

    How to Fall Asleep Like a Boss | David Dellanave | "If you're already breathing and drinking water, there's nothing more important than improving your sleep." 

    9 Lies to Unlearn Before it's too Late | Marc & Angel Hack Life by Marc | "Go ahead and take a look around; the busy people outnumber the productive people by a wide margin. Perhaps you’re one of them."

    New Study Suggests Heel Striking is Better, or Does it? | Pete at Runblogger | "As always, I come back to the individual. If you’re a forefoot striker, there’s probably not a big benefit to trying something else except maybe if you plan to race a marathon or if you have injury issues that can be linked to your contact style (foot, ankle, calf problems perhaps)."

    Mobility for Endurance Athletes | Ben at Ben Greenfield Fitness | "As a result, despite decent fitness, these folks – and most of us endurance athletes – are predisposed to all of the disadvantages that accompany this lack of basic mobility, including:"

  • National Running Day Giveaway!

    June 5th is National Running Day, and we want to see where you Run Real!

    Until Friday June 7th at midnight, all you have to do to enter is share a photo on our Facebook page of where you "celebrate" running! This could be your local forest or bike trail to a photo of yourself during a race last weekend.

    1 entry per person, but if there are SKORA shoes in the photo that person will receive a bonus entry.

    Two winners of a 100% off code at our website will be announced this weekend, good luck!

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