Shoes and running technique

Some shoes are better at promoting an efficient running technique thus reducing impact and injuries. When it comes to running easier and injury-free, we here at Wholistic Running believe learning proper running form is essential and the correct shoes can help promote efficient technique.

posture-diagram JPG

To help you get started, here are some tips for choosing shoes that promote a healthier way of moving.  Most shoes have an elevated heel which promotes a heel strike (think high impact).  We recommend shoes with ‘zero-drop’.  A zero-drop shoe encourages a full foot landing.  A full foot landing has been proven to reduce impact in several studies (2010, 2011). Zero-drop shoes also promote correct posture and alignment as well as engagement of the core when we stand, walk and run.

Altra shoes are zero-drop and have another benefit, a wide toe box:

foot-shaped

Remember, to most effectively reduce and recover from injuries as well as run easier, learning efficient running technique is essential and the right shoes can help. I teach efficient technique because it is the easiest and the most effective way to run efficiently (farther, faster, injury-free).

-Damian Stoy is a professional ultra marathon runner, founder of Wholistic Running, biomechanics specialist, running coach and has been injury-free for over 10 years.

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My 2014 Bridger Ridge Run recap

First of all, I wanted to thank all the race coordinators and volunteers for helping us runners do what we love and congratulations to all the runners who ran this amazing race. Also, check out the trailer above for some great footage of the race and please support the film.

My goals for this year’s BRR was to have fun and run faster than my 2011 time of 3:40:56. I felt like I was in pretty good shape and knew the course a little better from running it that year and my barefoot attempt in 2012.

The night before the race I camped near Fairy Lake at 7500 feet.IMG_2639 I get excited the night before races so I like to camp and watch the stars. This year I was treated to 4 huge bucks hanging outside my tent at night.

I woke up at 5 am, ate and went to the start where I hiked around Fairy Lake and then warmed up running for about 30 minutes. I knew this year there would be about 6-8 runners who could run faster than me. Since the BRR is a relatively ‘short’ and fast race for me, I wanted to be adequately warmed up. Looking back, I wish I warmed up for an hour.

The race started and I immediately felt ‘off’. No big deal, I knew I just needed to get sufficiently warmed up. Going up Sacajawea Peak which tops off at 9839 feet, I felt sluggish and tired. For the first half of the race I ran with several runners, chatting and joking as I continually tried to get into my groove.

I didn’t get into my groove till Baldy peak which is over 15 miles into the 20 mile race. The middle section of the race was quite a struggle for me but I was having fun and pushing myself. It was great to run with other runners and cooperatively help each other out with encouragement and conversation. As I ran along, I was struggling with the uphills but I felt like I was faster this year on the downhills and rocky, technical sections of the race. I ate two Hammer gels and drank about 20 oz of water during the race.BRR

As I approached Baldy, I was finally feeling pretty good and started the 4-5 mile rocky descent knowing I had a lot left in my legs. I bombed down it which for me was just about all out. Running this section is always interesting for me because I feel totally out of control but completely in the present moment. Since I practice my running technique so much, I’m able to run pretty fast downhill with confidence and speed. As I approached the finish, I could hear the crowd below at the M and I was very happy to be finished.  I finished in 4th place with a time of 3:46:04.

Overall, I didn’t run as fast as I wanted but more importantly I had a ton of fun, ran with great friends and got to cheer a lot of people on. Running the BRR is so much more than finishing times and place. It’s about doing what we love, sharing our passion for running and enjoying this beautiful place we call home. Again, congratulations to everyone who ran. The BRR is a superb race with amazing volunteers and support, I highly suggest the race to any trail runners out there who want a unique, one of a kind experience.

Online Coaching

Are you training for an upcoming race?  Are you unsure how to train and prepare?  Would you like to be optimally prepared, stay healthy and have your best race ever?   Damian can help you achieve your goals no matter what level of runner you are.

Damian shares his vast experience as a sponsored elite racer to help you accomplish your goals while maximizing enjoyment and success.  He has coached with some of the greatest endurance runners ever and shares his expertise with all levels of runners. Damian can even help you achieve your goals of running a faster or longer distance race with his proven, easy to learn methods.  Believing in quality over quantity, Damian gets results for runners of all abilities.

  • Specific & Detailed Weekly Training Plans: Maximize training for your schedule
  • Technique Guidance Plan:  Run better, easier & pain-free
  • Pre-Race Planning: How to optimally prepare and perform well
  • Runner Specific Exercises:  6 simple exercises every runner needs
  • Optimal Nutrition: Recover faster and feel more energized
  • Efficient Technique Lessons: Easy to learn and designed specifically for you
  • Professional Expertise :  Specific tips for you to run your best
  • Online Video Analysis for runners all over the world

Read how Damian has helped so many runners here…

Online Coaching includes specific and detailed weekly training plans, online video analysis with comprehensive technique guidance, unlimited email communications and a weekly phone or Skype consultation.  Everything you need to perform your best is included.

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Monthly Package   Cost:  $250      Pay here

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30 Min. Phone or Skype Consultations (included in packages)   Cost:  $50    Pay here

“Run smarter” – Antelope Island 100K recap

People often tell me that I make running look easy.  And for most of the Antelope Island 100K I was relaxed, comfortable and having fun. I train and run smarter, not harder and rely on an efficient technique to get the results I desire which is to run injury-free, perform well and do what I love.  And it really paid off with a win and the 2nd fastest time ever.

I made the decision to do the race just the week before.  That week was spent doing hard, manual labor for my brother’s landscaping business including moving over 2.5 tons of rock in one day.  It wasn’t ideal right before a race and I went into Antelope a little fatigued and beat up.  No worries, I just had to focus on efficiency even more.

Antelope1

The start of the race was glorious.  We ran underneath a huge full moon and the stars all overlooking the Great Salt Lake.  For nearly 1.5 hours we ran in the dark with the moonlight shimmering on the lake.  The sunrise and brilliant alpenglow on the Wasatch mountain range was also spectacular.  There were lots of bison and antelope out there as well.

The first 50K I ran with friends and was pretty conservative.  I was trailing behind Zac Marion who was in 1st and caught him at the halfway aid station. We took off together comfortably chatting and discussing the day so far.  We had a pretty fast first half and I decided that if I pushed it I might have a chance to go under 9 hours. So, I took off.  I ran miles 32-52 pretty fast.  I was all alone and was reminding myself to run smarter, not harder.  The course was fairly technical and hilly with some long, gradual climbs including one of over 1000 ft.  When my hamstrings were tired I focused on pelvic and spinal rotation.  When my quads were fatiguing I focused on engaging my core. Around mile 52 my left quad starting seizing up from a deep bruise I got when I pinched my leg between a large rock and wheel barrow a few days before.  This threw my technique off a bit but I was determined to keep moving.

I never carry a watch when I run so I actually had no idea how much time I had to break 9 hours.  I just decided to keep pushing it.  I repeated a mantra, “I am light, I am strong” thousands of times.  I finished fairly strong with a 1st place finish and the 2nd fastest time ever of 9:06:40.

I was happy about my race because I had fun, enjoyed being out with friends and took in the spectacular scenery.  My consistent work of practicing technique sure paid off.  The amazing thing is that I never really got sore after the race.  Even 4 days after, I literally feel like I didn’t do a race.  I attribute this to my efficient running technique, smarter way of training and plant-based diet.  Now it’s time to look into doing another ultra in a few weeks…

Antelope3

I wanted to thank my friends and family for all their wonderful support.  Also, a thanks to my sponsors, Altra shoes, Hammer Nutition and Macrolife Naturals.  I am grateful to be able to do what I love, thank you!

Photos: Courtesy of Lori Burlison

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Bridger Ridge Barefoot Run

Running the Bridger Ridge barefoot has been a goal of mine for a few years.  This 20 mile run traverses the Bridger Mountains in Bozeman, Montana and is considered “possibly the most rugged and most technical 20 mile trail race in existence”.  To do the run unsupported and barefoot would be a challenge to say the least.

Why I would want to do this is a question I’ve been asked many times.  There is no easy answer but a few things come to mind.  1.  No one has done it before  2.  It would be harder than anything I’ve done before including several 100 mile runs  3.  People have said it is impossible  4.  I had to find out if I could do it.

I pushed back the start date for my attempt of The Ridge because of my decision to run two races this Fall.  The first was the Wasatch 100 in early September and the Yellowstone-Teton 50 which I completed and won a week before my barefoot Ridge Run attempt.  This later start meant colder conditions and more snow and mud than ideal.

With the help of friends, I reached the trailhead around 11 am.  I decided on a mid-morning start to allow the air, soil and rocks to “warm up”.  Temperatures at the start were in the 40’s and it was windy and mostly cloudy.  I hesitantly took off my shoes and began my ascent up Sacajawea Peak at a decent clip.  This almost 2,000 ft. climb had a mixture of thin snow and cold rocks.  I kept going back and forth whether it was easier and more comfortable to run barefoot in the snow or on the rocks.  I’m still conflicted on that one. The ascent up Sacajawea proved to be tricky.   Over half way up was a dangerously steep slope with considerable snow and ice.  I had to kick ‘boot’ steps into the snow for traction…barefoot.  I was constantly slipping down slope but determined to keep moving up.  I passed about 10 people on the ascent and a few of them had comments such as “maybe barefoot is easier” or “that looks easier” and “wow, he’s flying”. Maybe I made it look easy and I was flying but it…kinda sucked.  I reached the summit probably 15 minutes slower than when I’ve ‘raced’ The Ridge.  Shit, I was cold. The amazing views on top of Sacajawea kept me determined to keep moving.  My feet were a strange combination of incredibly cold, sore, sensitive and numb.  Pretty typical for a barefoot run but I still had 17 miles to go on very rocky terrain.  Going down Sacajawea was a challenge because of its sharp, loose rocks.  This wasn’t much of a problem for me because I was prepared for this (unlike the snow and cold mud).  I’ve been running barefoot for the past 8 years or so.  I’ve had several runs over 30 miles barefoot, mostly in the desert Southwest.  I’ve also run 10+ miles barefoot in the Bridgers before but never this far or on top of The Ridge for so long.

I knew the run down to Ross Pass would be one of the ‘easier’ parts of the day.  I wanted to make up time here so I cruised this section as fast as I could barefoot.  This equates to probably 5 mph versus in shoes I’d be running it at about 9 mph.  My feet were holding up very well and I was pretty confident about the day.  The only thing I was nervous about was the snow and mud as I made my way towards Saddle and Bridger Peaks. I continued my barefoot run on The Ridge moving very slowly.  Some parts I was averaging about 2 mph.  To call this a run may sound comical but I was truly running much of the traverse albeit very slow.  Also, much of the run was climbing and tip-toeing over sharp rocks at less than 1 mph.  It was a very painful, slow going forward progress.  I was grateful to have my experience as an ultramarathon runner knowing all I had to do was put one step in front of the other and eventually I would finish my goal.I continued to make my way south towards the M.  Running The Ridge barefoot was proving to be possible, painful and enjoyable.  The benefits of running barefoot are hard to describe but it forces you to slow down and really appreciate the beauty this world has to offer.  You have to be in the present moment and your mind cannot wander.  It turns running into a moving meditation which is a truly sublime and wonderful experience.   The challenge for today was complete concentrating, determination and focus for 8 hours. I continued my traverse of The Ridge staying around 8500 ft with many ups and downs both literally and figuratively.  I continued to ask myself why I was doing this.  But my experience as a runner and yogi motivated me to keep moving.  At the time, I didn’t know why I was doing this but eventually I would find that answer.  Running barefoot not only increases my connection and love for Nature but also teaches me about my greater Self and about life and its wonderful mysteries.

I continued to experience longer and longer stretches of mud and snow.  I was beginning to doubt if running The Ridge barefoot today was possible and if it was smart.  My feet and toes were beginning to get frost bite and I just didn’t know if this goal was worth long term injury.  About 11 miles into my barefoot attempt, I decided to put on shoes.  It actually wasn’t a difficult choice, I had to or risk long term damage to my feet.  Just the thought of that now makes me shudder.  How important our feet are.  Sure, for 11 miles my feet were incredibly cold, sensitive and the rocks were unimaginably painful.  But frost bite is not something I like to mess around with.  I put on my shoes and continued on my way with not a single regret.

The rest of run was just as spectacular as the rest, just a little faster.  Going from barefoot to wearing shoes made me feel like I was wearing balloons on my feet they were so soft and cushiony.  I spent the last 9 miles enjoying the beautiful Fall day and grateful I get to do what I love to do.  How glorious it is to be moving in the mountains,  in the wilderness.

I reached the finish over 7 hours after I began.  Compare this to when I raced The Ridge in 2011 at 3:40 and to my 50 miler the week before which took me 7:11.  Running barefoot in the mountains is very slow.  It is also incredibly rewarding.

Something I realized today is that running The Ridge barefoot is possible and will happen.  I will attempt it again with better conditions, probably the Summer of 2013.  I expect it to take me 10-12 hours to complete, at least.  For now, I found the answer to some of my questions even if they aren’t the answers I wanted:  no one has completely run The Ridge barefoot including me, it was harder than my previous 100 mile races and it is possible, just not by me today.  I now know it is possible, anything is possible.  Everest and the Grand Teton were attempted dozens of times before successfully summiting them.  Is running The Ridge barefoot comparable?  No, but it’s the concept.  Just like anything else in life.  If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.

You can see the rest of my pictures here

Race preparation

Here are some quick tips to help you have your best, most enjoyable race day experience.

Pre-Race

  • Hydrate well. Be sure to drink enough so that your urine is clear the entire week before the race.
  • Eat well.  Forget carbo-loading!  Don’t change your diet too much.  Eat healthy whole foods and keep it simple.  Humans have enough fat stored on us to run much farther than a marathon.  Check out my other blogs about specific performance enhancing foods.
  • Do not eat too much the morning of the race!  Before 50 and 100 milers, I eat a banana for breakfast and drink a coconut water and that’s it.
  • Rest:  The less you do the week before a race, the better!  Run very little and easy!

Race

  • Try to drink 8-20 oz./hour of water during a marathon depending on how hot it is.
  • For races half-marathons and shorter, I suggest not consuming any food or water.  You should be sufficiently prepared before the race and not playing catch up.
  • For marathons and longer, consume 140-200 calories/hour of easy to digest foods during the race.  Look for gels, drinks and carbohydrate dense foods.  This reduces the chance of ‘bonking’ at mile 20.  Minimize hard to digest foods!
  • Consume electrolytes during the race from quality sources.  Hammer Nutrition’s Endurolytes and Saltstick are two great options to use during the race.  I also pre-load a few days before the race by taking 3-5 a day.
  • Go slower than you think, especially at the start.  Use the first few miles to warm up.  A consistent pace is more enjoyable and usually faster than going out too quickly.
  • Focus on relaxing both mentally and physically.  Practice your  running technique and use positive affirmations and mantras such as “I am strong, I am light” to take your mind off of any discomfort or fatigue.

Post Race

  • Within 30 minutes of any run, consume 8-16 oz. of water and 200-300 calories of a high-quality recovery drink such as Recoverite or Shakeology.
  • A natural anti-inflammatory such as Tissue Rejuvenator will help reduce soreness and help you recover quicker.

Special Considerations

A common question I have been getting lately is how to have your best race if you feel under trained.  The most effective way is to breathe easier and slower by focusing on relaxation and running with an efficient technique.  Chi Running addresses both of these!  An efficient running technique will allow you to breath easier.  Allow yourself to be ‘pulled by gravity’ by leaning from the ankles (not the waist) to reduce effort.  Watch this video to learn how.  Be ok with going slower than you are used to.  Focus on having fun and forget about your time.  Chat with other runners, enjoy the scenery and stay in the present moment.

Use positive affirmations, mantras and breath work to reduce energy usage.  I suggest you don’t try to control or judge your breath.  Instead, watch it and allow yourself to breath easily and deeply.

Finally, after the race, be sure to eat foods high in anti-oxidants and cleansing foods to help reduce fatigue and soreness.  Fruit, veggies, wheatgrass, Tissue Rejuvenator and Chia seeds can help reduce inflammation and help your body heal quickly.

Most importantly, listen to your body.  Practice accepting the conditions, where you are at and enjoying the present moment.  By going slow and having fun, you may be surprised at how well you do!

–Daman Stoy, elite ultra marathon runner, founder of Wholistic Running and Certified Chi Running instructor

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Why I’m so passionate about Wholistic Running

Wholistic Running has greatly enhanced my running and has helped countless other runners around the world.  Being free of injuries, running with more joy, using less effort and performing better are just some of the many benefits of what I teach here at Wholistic Running.

Let me share my story how Wholistic Running has helped me overcome chronic running injuries and stay injury-free for the past 9 years even as an accomplished ultra marathon runner (see my race results).  I absolutely love running and I have Wholistic Running to thank for this!

In the past I have suffered from many chronic running injuries including runners knee, shin splints and IT band issues.  The worst of it began 10 years ago when I developed severe patellar tendonitis in both of my knees from running.  I was in pain 24 hours a day and many days I could barely walk, laying in bed much of the time.  This lasted for over two years!  I saw some of the best physical therapists, doctors and alternative therapists in New England.  Nothing helped.

I was even told by several doctors and physical therapists that I would never be able to run again.

Since finding Wholistic Running, I’ve run over twenty mountainous 50 mile races, a few 100 milers and all of this staying injury-free for the past 8 years.  How?  Wholistic Running!

I found out about efficient running technique and quickly set out to try this technique which sounded too good to be true.  Skeptical, I went for my fourth run in 2.5 years because of being injured.  Those few previous runs were only 15 minutes and left me in excruciating pain and hobbling for days.  But this run was different.  I was focusing on my technique so intensely that when I got home, I realized I ran for over 45 minutes.  And I wasn’t in excruciating pain.  In fact, I had very little pain.

I started ‘Wholistic Running’ 3-4 days a week focusing on my running technique and I slowly healed.  Yoga helped speed up the healing process and Wholistic Running allowed me to run with less impact.  Now 8 years later, I teach the technique which helped me rediscover my passion for running and has allowed me to stay injury free since my days of chronic injuries and being told that running causes injuries and to “never run again”.

I’m also passionate about Wholistic Running because of how it greatly benefits performance.  I’m an accomplished ultrarunner because of the Wholistic Running technique and mental focuses.  Some runners tell me that the only way to run faster is to train harder.  They also say you have to train faster, go to the track and do complex workouts and that is the only way to get better.  What if this wasn’t true?  For me, it’s all about running smarter not harder.  I run 3-4 days a week (about 40 miles) with no ‘speed work’ but can still run far and fast because I have a very efficient technique.  To run faster, I relax more.  Every other sport focuses on technique, why would running be any different?

Some say I’m just naturally gifted.  Well, if being a runner with chronic injuries is naturally gifted, then there are many naturally gifted runners.  Also, in my opinion, most humans are in fact naturally gifted runners, for we are born to run.   We ‘forget’ how to run correctly.  Fortunately we can relearn how to run the way we were designed with Wholistic Running.  I’m also told “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”.  Well, all I can say to that is over 70% of all runners are injured every year.

I’ve been injury free for over 9 years, overcoming many chronic injuries with the help of Wholistic Running.

Finally, I owe much of my joy, love and passion for running to Wholistic Running.  Because of Wholistic Running, I get a ‘runners high’ just about every run I go on.  Running is a moving meditation that benefits my whole life and I am a deeply happy and successful person because of this.  I hope you get to experience the benefits of Wholistic Running as well.  Please practice with no expectations, a curious mind and an open heart.  It takes lots of practice, patience and determination but the benefits are well worth it!

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Community, support, faith and losing my Self

My passion and love for running and community continues to grow!  I really enjoy racing for it encourages my Self-Realization.  For me, races aren’t about competition, time or winning.  They are about meeting new friends and deepening existing friendships, pushing my limits, breaking my boundaries, being inspired by others and doing what I love to do.  Racing is an exploration of my Self and this place we call home, Earth.  I am so grateful to the wonderful family of running friends I have and being able to run.

I recently ran Bozeman’s Run to the Pub Half-Marathon and didn’t have any goals other than to have push my boundaries and have fun.  And did I ever!  I had such a great time chatting with other runners, checking out goofy costumes, cheering runners on and enjoying a beautiful day!

I do have to admit, I was surprised at how fast I ran and how effortless it was.  The past five months I have run an average of 2-3 days a week.  By far, most of it at a 8-12 minute/mile pace with 1 day of speedwork in 5 months.  But somehow during the race, I ran over 13 miles at almost sub-6 minute pace finishing at 1:19:54.  I keep asking, “how is that possible?”.  I believe it is a result of my very efficient technique, relaxed mental state and overall health from eating well and practicing yoga.  Chi Running continues to amaze me!

Six days later I ran the Buffalo Run 50K on Antelope Island.  This gorgeous island is on the Great Salt Lake and has unique geology, plants and bison on it.  Not to mention being surrounded by water and magnificent, towering mountains all around.  My goals for this race were to have fun and again, push my limits.  I went into the race feeling ill prepared and under trained.  Running 20-35 miles a week for 5 months is not great preparation for a 50K.  But I relied on my efficient technique, mental strength and health to guide me along.

The few days prior to the race, I was having stomach issues.  I wasn’t able to eat much or as well as I would have liked.  The morning of the race wasn’t much better.  I didn’t eat much breakfast but hoped I could rely on Chi to sustain me during the race.  As we began to race, I had the privilege to run with many close friends.  Some from Bozeman, some from Wyoming and Utah and others from surrounding states.  We goofed around and I said awkward comments and bad jokes.  I loved it!  Running with friends is very special to me and we laughed and enjoyed the magic of another day on this beautiful planet.  I ran the first lap (about 16 miles) completely with two good friends.  We were feeling really strong that first lap.  About a mile into the second lap I started to pick up the pace relying on Chi, efficiency, gravity and relaxation.  I focused on less effort to go faster.  A strange concept for many but it really works.  Relaxation equates to speed.  After a mile, I took a wrong turn to hear a friend yell “wrong way” and was teased for my mistake.  My excuse:  “I was in the zone!”

I continued to push my limits and relax even more.  I found this deep place of peace and freedom.  After the second aid station, I proceeded to get lost once again but this time for real.  I took a wrong turn and ran up a ridge to find myself looking hundreds of feet down to the correct trail below.  I stopped to assess the situation, breath and prepare for the adrenaline and joy of bombing down the mountain.  I finally got back on track, losing about 5 or 8 minutes in the meantime.  I passed a few runners for a second time, each of them asking “what happened?”.  My response, “I was in the zone!”.  My poor excuse for not paying attention.

I continued to push the pace, running as fast as I could while relaxing.  I’m amazed at how effective this can be.  I began to have pretty severe stomach and digestion issues.  After mile 20, I wasn’t able to consume any calories or liquids.  This can have devastating consequences, especially considering the heat of the day.  75 and sunny, which for a Montanan in March feels like an oven.  I was able to sneak a couple Hammer Gels and luckily Endurolytes saved the day which prevented me from cramping.

I ended up finishing with a smile on my face and the lack of ability to walk straight because of severe low blood sugar and dehydration.   I asked the EMT’s to keep an eye on me so I didn’t pass out or get lost once again.  A little Mountain Dew fixed everything within minutes.  Totally gross but I was so out of it that it tasted like heaven in my mouth.

My second lap split was about exactly the same as my first lap, I actually sped up the second half since I got lost.  I was very happy about this and how well I ran.  I finished in 4 hours and 21 minutes for 4th place.  Not bad for a Montanan in March with very little training.  Chi Running continues to amaze me!

So really, what do I love about racing?  It’s the community, support and love that abounds at races.  Especially at ultramarathons.  Egos are checked at the door and we are grateful for doing what we love.  I suggest volunteering at or running an ultramarathon and I guarantee you will be inspired.  Over and over again actually!  I’ve run quite a few and continue to be amazed and inspired by the stories of others and seeing others overcome personal struggles, pain and mental boundaries.  I look forward to my next race, whatever it may be.

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Reduce fatigue, race faster and perform better

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

You may believe that you need to train harder and very often to perform well.  However, I train infrequently and perform very well (see my race results) because I run smarter not harder and I use these tips I am sharing with you now.  Eating well and an efficient running technique can greatly reduce fatigue, improve your performance and make for a more enjoyable running experience.  

What causes fatigue when you run?

Energy inefficiency:   The most effective way to have a less fatigue when you run is to reduce energy expenditure. If we can run more efficiently, we can run faster and farther with less effort and more joy. Running can literally be easier.  An efficient running technique reduces energy expenditure and increases performance. Damian teaches efficient running technique for runners of all levels.  He also offers online coaching and online video analysis with individualized technique guidance plans..

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Oxygen debt:  Muscles require maximum oxygen to function optimally.  How do we increase our oxygen capacity?  One way is consuming adequate iron.  Iron, a component of hemoglobin, is what transports oxygen throughout the body.

Foods to consume daily for optimal iron levels in the blood:  chlorella, blackstrap molasses, dark leafy greens

Metabolic waste buildup:   Waste products build up in the muscles causing fatigue (i.e. lactic acid).  Having a healthy body pH is crucial for overall health but also to handle the excessive waste products accumulated during running.  An alkaline body will feel much less fatigued during a race than an acidic body.

  •        Alkalizing foods:  Fruits and vegetables, wheatgrass
  •        Acidifying foods:  Meat, excess protein, dairy, sugar, alcohol, coffee

Impact and stress on muscles:  Impact causes injury and fatigue during races.  Reducing impact is crucial for increased performance especially for longer distances but is helpful for all races.  The best way to minimize impact is an efficient, low impact running technique. 

Inflammation:  Excessive inflammation also causes fatigue.  We can reduce inflammation by going into a race with a ‘healthy’ inflammation response.  Consuming omega-3’s and other natural anti-inflammatories daily helps decrease inflammation during races.  I recommend flax oil and Tissue Rejuvenator daily.  High daily antioxidant levels as well as during a race reduces muscle damage and fatigue.  Incorporate goji berries, wheatgrass, fresh juices and lots of fruits and veggies for high levels of natural antioxidants.

Pre-Race:  I taper/rest 7-21 days before a race, depending on the specific race.  You can rarely rest too much but you can train too much before a race.  As I taper for a race, I also make sure I’m eating plenty of alkalizing foods including fruits and veggies.  I make sure to have sufficient electrolytes in my body by consuming Endurolytes for a few days before a race.

Race:  The morning of the race, I eat very little.  People are surprised to hear I eat a banana or two and that’s it before a 50 mile race.  I don’t want my digestive system taxed during the race.  If prepared properly, my body should have plenty of stored glycogen already.  Please be advised, I am pushing myself harder than the average runner and therefore am very picky.  Also, do not try any new food right before a race.