Best Holiday Gifts for Runners

Give meaningful, lasting and helpful gifts to the runners in your life. Here are suggestions that will please any runner.

  • Runners love products that help with performance, nutrition and recovery. Hammer makes a variety of products including supplements, apparel and accessories. Get 15% OFF your first order by clicking HERE.
  • Runners get injured too often. Give a gift that can help every runner runner healthier with Correct Toes. Get free shipping by using this code at checkout: WR2014
  • A great coach is hard to find. Damian and Wholistic Running have helped hundreds of runners perform their best, overcome injuries and enjoy running more than ever. We have gift certificates and online coaching that make the perfect gift.

Free running, nutrition & health info

We love helping people with their health and running goals. Because of this, we wanted to share with you where we post much of our tips and info on running, nutrition and health. There are many ways to follow us and learn. Just click on each link below and be sure to ‘like’ each page to receive updates. It’s totally free!

Damian’s professional athlete Facebook page: Running tips straight from Damian as well as his race and training updates.

Wholistic Running Facebook page: We share running tips including technique, exercises, nutrition and more.

Wholicous Living Facebook page: Lindsey shares nutrition and lifestyle tips for weight loss, increased energy and better health.

Wholicious Living website: Lindsey shares nutrition tips and her very informative blog.

You can always email us any questions as well.

Happy health and running,

Damian & Lindsey

Why improving your running technique is a must!

I am a professional runner who has raced in over thirty-five 50 & 100 mile races. I haven’t had a significant running injury in over 11 years. Yet I was told years ago that I had to give up running by several doctors because of chronic injuries. So what allowed me to go from injured runner to professional runner?

I learned how to run, train and eat smarter. This is what Wholistic Running is all about and how I’ve helped thousands of runners run pain-free, faster and longer while having more fun.

What improving your running technique will do for you:

  1. Fewer injuries, less pain and decreased fatigue: Improving your technique will reduce impact and improve alignment.
  2. Run faster: You will run more efficiently and you’ll save energy.
  3. Enjoy running more: Running will be easier in less than 3 weeks.
  4. Run farther: You’ll be able to train more frequently with less fatigue, fewer injuries and quicker recovery time.
  5. Get results quicker: Train smarter and reach your goals quicker.
  6. Hills: Run uphills easier and downhills without any pain.

There are many resources for learning how to improve your running technique nowadays. However, much of the info out there is complicated and even harmful. As a biomechanics and technique specialist, I teach runners how to improve their technique with immediate results. No matter where you live, you can learn with my Online Technique Guidance Plans.

Efficient running technique is the foundation of healthy running. When you combine that with proper training and optimal nutrition, you can run injury-free while greatly improving your performance.

What we eat for optimal performance and health

11217168_10152901007497724_3963783392082094466_nLindsey and I are both certified in Plant-based Nutrition from the Center for Nutrition Studies at Cornell. Lindsey also recieved an M.S. in Holistic Nutrition for Sports Performance. We are both accomplished runners with optimal health and focus on a way of eating that helps us absolutely thrive. We would like to share with you some of the foods we eat so you can achieve optimal health and thrive as well.

What Lindsey and I eat has a huge influence on our abundant energy levels, running performance and overall health. Continue reading “What we eat for optimal performance and health”

My top tips for better running

Who doesn’t want to be a better runner? For me, becoming a better runner doesn’t just mean being faster and winning races. It’s about being healthy, injury-free and doing the right things to help you achieve and exceed your running goals. Here are some of my tips to help you be a better runner:

Continue reading “My top tips for better running”

Is a running coach beneficial or necessary?

A professional coach should help you with the following:

  1. Keep you motivated. This includes making running fun and enjoyable. Too many runners get burnt out because coaches don’t keep this in mind.
  2. Help you get and stay injury-free. This isn’t a priority for most coaches and too many athletes fail at their goals because of injuries.
  3. Help you reach or exceed your goals. A quality coach will keep you accountable and on track so you accomplish your goals.
  4. A coach should work with YOUR schedule. Accomplishing your goals is possible no matter how busy you are. Quality workouts should be emphasized over quantity giving you more time in your daily life.
  5. Personal attention. If a coach isn’t giving you individualized, personal attention then they aren’t the right coach for you.
  6. Help all levels of runners. Too many coaches just focus on elite athletes. A quality coach has the ability to help beginning to veteran runners.

To find the best coach for YOU, consider the following questions. Do you connect with their approach? Do they focus on the above requirements?

Damian and Lindsey offer online coaching for ALL levels of runners. To find out if they are the right coach for you, click HERE

Run the Rann Race Report

The Run the Rann 100 miler in Dholavira, India proved to be the most unique and challenging ultra race I have ever done. The combination of GPS orienteering, desert heat, course terrain (including cliffs, 3″ thorns and salt flats) as well as the runners I befriended made for a one of a kind experience that I will never forget.

We ran off trail, up and down cliffs, through never ending thorns. Photo courtesy Uphill EMG.

The base area for the race was spectacular. I met runners from all around the world and the day before the race we explored ancient ruins which were awesome.

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Dholavira is a very remote village, home to one of the largest, most advanced metropolises of the 5000-year old Indus Valley Civilization.
We stayed in a tent village that proved to be comfortable and relaxing. I loved chatting with runners from around the world. Photo courtesy Uphill EMG.

The food prepared by the race was absolutely fantastic. It was some of the best food I’ve eaten in my life and I had to hold back and not eat too much new food before the race. I’d wait till after the race to pig out (and I did).

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Naan made in a traditional tandoor clay oven.
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We ran through and explored extremely remote villages in the area.

Race morning started out with temperatures in the 60’s. After less than 10 miles when 100 milers separated from the other race distances, we had to start using our GPS units to navigate the race course. This proved to be very tricky and slowed us down a lot. I ran with several other 100 milers for a while as we learned just how difficult orienteering in this desert terrain was going to be for the next day or two. We got lost a lot, had to backtrack and we all got very frustrated with having to run, walk and crawl through thickets with 2-3″ thorns.

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Running through 2-3″ thorns is mentally and physically brutal
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Winner Dan Lawson is an ultra phenom. He holds the world record for running 521 miles on a treadmill in 7 days.

I ran with Dan Lawson up until about mile 30. We had run over 3 hours without water (aid station 5 was non-existent, a terrible mistake that led to several runners not finishing) and I become very dehydrated with temperatures approaching 100 degrees. We made it to aid station #6 and I was 100% convinced I was going to quit. Dan continued on and I waited over an hour before other runners came in. Finally, Linda Doke motivated me to continue going and we ran the rest of the race together.

Running at night on the bright white salt flats was my favorite part of the race. Linda and I chatted underneath a nearly full moon and even turned off our headlamps several times and ran under just the moonlight. We were running so fast (or so it seemed).

Super star ultra runner Linda Doke and I ran much of the race together and finished together.
Super star ultra runner Linda Doke and I ran much of the race together and finished together.

Linda and I continued to run into the next day and watched the sunrise over the desert. After crawling through thorns, running through salt flats, scrambling up and down cliffs, we finally finished the 100 miles tied for 2nd place in over 32 hours with no sleep and very little stopping. I was incredibly happy to finish to say the least. The race was my most mentally challenging race to date. I’m grateful to Linda for helping me push on and finish together.

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Restocking at our drop bag with food, water and other goodies. Photo courtesy Uphill EMG.

After finishing, I almost immediately headed to the dining area and ate at least a couple thousand calories of amazing India food. I then took a cold shower and chatted with other runners about their races. I finally fell asleep later that night exhausted.

Over two weeks since finishing the Run the Rann 100 miler and I do not feel like I have yet processed the race. It was a very surreal experience and I have many vivid memories of the painful, challenging, exhausting yet wildly exciting race. I highly suggest this race if you are a person who seeks extreme challenges, adventure and does not mind a lot of pain. This is not your ordinary ultra marathon. It involves navigation, painful thorns, desert heat and never ending adventure and excitement.

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Khachenjunga, the world’s 3rd highest mountain. Viewed from the Singalila Ridge trail.

Two days after completing the Run the Rann 100 miler I headed to the Himalayas where I backpacked, camped and stayed with Nepalese families. I gazed at Everest, ate with Buddhist monks, meditated in remote monasteries and ate a lot of great food. I’m amazed I was able to hike 20+ mile days with a heavy backpack so close to a 100 miler. I will write about that adventure soon, stay tuned.

Damian Stoy is a coach, professional ultra runner, biomechanics specialist and nutritional consultant.

How to Run Injury-Free

I use to suffer from many chronic running injuries and had several doctors and physical therapists tell me:

“Give up running.”       “Running is bad for you.”      “You aren’t designed to run.”

I sure am glad I didn’t listen to them. Since then, I have run over 30 ultra marathons and even won 8 of them.

But a much greater accomplishment is the fact that I have been injury-free for the past 10 years. Yep, not a single major running injury in over 10 years even as a competitive ultra runner. Sure, I have minor tweaks and pain after running 100 miles in the mountains. But I do specific things that prevent serious injury which would cause me to go back to the days when I was injured and couldn’t run. I never want to go back to those dark days.10500512_10154308742355584_8044031842047266675_n

Shin splints, runner’s knee, IT band pain, muscle strains and foot pain were just some of the injuries I use to suffer from. Worst of all, I had patellar tendonitis in both knees for two years when I was in college. I was in pain all the time and some days I could barely walk. I went to some of the best doctors and physical therapists in New England and nothing seemed to help so I gave up running completely.

Two years of not running led to depression and a decline in health. I decided there had to be a solution, a better way. I did some research, read lots of books and found out that if I modified and practiced my running technique, I could maybe run again. It sounded unbelievable and I was very skeptical. But I went out and modified my running technique, running for the first time in over 2 years. To my surprise I was able to run with minimal pain. As the days went past, I was able to run more and more with less and less pain. I was hooked.

That was over 10 years ago and since then I have learned extensively about how to run injury-free as well as increase performance. I have experimented with many concepts and lots of trial and error. Now being a competitive ultra runner and injury-free for over 10 years, I have found what works really well for me and my passion is sharing it with others.

My top tips for injury-free running and greater performance:

1. Listen to your body

Yes, I have minor tweaks and pains when I train and after 50 or 100 mile races. The important thing is to not let these become injuries that stop you from running. The key is listening to your body. Do NOT ignore these pains. They are a signal from your body that you need to back off, rest or correct something such as your running technique. Do not be afraid to take a couple days or more completely off.

2. Improve your running technique

The major factor that allowed me to overcome chronic injuries was modifying my running technique. In the past I was inefficient and ran with a high impact technique that beat up my body, though at the time I did not know. For you to correctly modify your technique, do lots of your own research and try different concepts. I highly recommend seeking out a technique specialist to help you with your technique. At a minimum, video yourself running so you can see exactly how you run. Too many runners tell me they don’t heel strike, don’t have imbalances or misalignment issues but most often they do.DSC_0630

3. Improve your nutrition

What I eat greatly enhances my overall health, keeps my energy levels very high and helps me to recover incredibly fast. Again, the key is listening to your body and finding out what works best for you. I have tried just about everything out there and the ‘diet’ that works best for ME for performance, recovery and increased energy is a whole foods, plant-based diet (WFPB).

I highly recommend a nutritional coach like Lindsey at Wholicious Living who can get you great results (she’s also my girlfriend and elite runner, in the picture above).

4. Train smarter, not harder

I am a firm believer in quality over quantity. Training with this philosophy can prevent burn out, decrease injuries and running will be more enjoyable. You will also be more likely to reach your long term goals. Every run you do should have a purpose. Get rid of the junk miles that do not serve a purpose. Cyclic and periodization training are very valuable for reaching long term goals.

There are many good training programs out there. However, most do not focus on injury prevention. I highly recommend looking for a running coach that specifically focuses on injury prevention as well as performance.

5. Other important factors

Cross training and runner specific strength training are beneficial but in my opinion NOT as important as the factors I discuss above. Your foundation should be overall health, an efficient technique and proper training. Strength and cross training will build upon your foundation but too many runners rely on them exclusively for injury prevention.

I am also an advocate of sports massage, yoga, physical therapy and other techniques to help enhance recovery and overall health. But again, do NOT rely exclusively on these for injury-prevention.

Damian Stoy is a running coach, biomechanics specialist, nutritional consultant and founder of Wholistic Running. He offers online coaching and nutritional consultations for runners all around the world.

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