Accomplish Your Running Goals

Happy Spring everyone! It’s that time of year when many runners are planning and preparing for the upcoming running season. It’s important to have clear goals and a good understanding of how exactly to reach your goals. Our mission at Wholistic Running is helping runners meet and exceed their goals plus helping you better your health, reduce injuries and have more fun!

Here are some tips for you:DSC_0630

  1. Write down specific goals for the upcoming year
  2. Have a plan and do your best to stick to it
  3. Celebrate your progress and accomplishments
  4. Don’t give up when things don’t go perfectly as planned
  5. Find a coach that you connect with and will help you every step of the way

Taking a ‘wholistic’ approach to your running will help you accomplish your goals quicker. We at Wholistic Running do just that by helping runners with:

  1. Individualized & specific online training plans
  2. Nutritional coaching for optimal energy, recovery and performance
  3. Injury prevention through proper training and running technique assistance
  4. Motivation and support during your entire journey
  5. Race planning, prep and expert coaching before, during and after races

Find our more about our comprehensive online coaching packages HERE

Happy Running,

Damian & Lindsey

The North Face 50 miler Race Report

My excitement was sky high for The North Face 50 miler in Park City, Utah. And the race did not disappoint with its beautiful scenery, 25,000 ft of elevation change, fun trails and fast racing.

park city2

Several of us in the front pack started the initial ascent at a comfortable pace. We were able to chat and run on the trails in the dark for about 2 hours. We reached the top of Guardsman Pass at almost 10,000 feet as the sun was rising which was gorgeous and an adrenaline rush. At this point, there were about 4 or 5 of us starting to push the pace and leap frogging positions. Somewhere after a couple hours I started having some pretty severe stomach cramping and even stopped alongside the trail to go to the bathroom. The cramping really slowed me down especially on the uphills. For about 10 miles I had to walk the uphills even though my muscles wanted to go faster. After consuming some water and several Endurolytes Extreme which contain ginger to sooth stomach issues., the stomach cramps went away and I could really start to pick up the pace.

park city

After mile 30 or so, I was in 3rd place with 4th and 5th close behind. I picked up the pace and finally was able to start cruising the uphills. The trail was rocky with tight switchbacks in some places which made it really fun and challenging running. With a long climb around mile 40, I was hoping to catch the 1st and 2nd place guys and really pushed myself physically to go faster. At the 45 mile aid station I heard they were over 7 minutes ahead which was a lot but I decided to IMG_2905try to catch them. The last 5 miles was a fast downhill that I went all out on. It’s amazing how fast the body can go when you relax, trust and go for it. I didn’t end up catching them but finished just 40 seconds behind 2nd place. Overall, I was happy with my race and finished in 7:45:46 for 3rd place.

I highly recommend this race for all runners. It’s gorgeous, fun and the volunteers and coordination were perfect. A big thanks to everyone who made this race possible for all of us runners. I planned on this being the last race of the season but just decided to race the US Trail Marathon Championships in Moab, UT this November. Running these spectacular courses is just too much fun.

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.

Race Recovery Tips

I share some of my personal tips for optimal recovery:

1. A soak in a creek or a cold bath/pool will help flush your muscles of metabolic wastes.

2. Be sure to go for an easy walk, hike or run each of the next few days to help reduce soreness and tight muscles. Adequate sleep is also essential.

3. Instead of NSAIDS (aspirin, Ibuprofen) that may have harmful side effects, choose natural, food based anti-inflammatories. An all natural supplement that works really well is Tissue Rejuvenator (Get 15% OFF) from Hammer Nutrition.

4. Drink plenty of water and eat a clean, Wholicious Living diet with lots of natural antioxidants and anti-flammatories such as turmeric, ginger, berries, flax oil and wheatgrass.

5. Try to put your legs up a couple times a day. Compression socks or shorts may be beneficial as well. I wear Correct Toes after races which feel so good and keep my feet healthy.

6. Gentle massage after a race can really be beneficial. I sometimes use a foam roller.

The quicker you recover, the quicker you can get back to doing what you love!

Damian Stoy is a professional ultra runner who has been injury-free for over 10 years. He offers online services, workshops, private lessons and nutritional coaching.

Run easier, not harder

I’m here to share with you an approach to running that is very effective, enjoyable and has long term benefits.  The concept is to view running differently than you probably currently do.  I am suggesting you set a goal for running to be easier, not harder.  Do you view running as a workout or mundane, exhausting activity?  Keep reading because I want you to enjoy running as a life changing, effortless, soul satisfying journey.

You may be saying, “But I don’t want running to be difficult, it just is.”  I am here to say it doesn’t have to be that way!

Why do you run?  Maybe it is to stay in shape, lose weight or get a workout.  Do you have specific running goals?  To get faster, run a specific race or run farther.  Well, I’m sure you have been told and believe that in order to reach these goals and have specific results you need to run more, burn more calories, run faster, work harder and sweat more.  To be a better, faster runner you need to train more, train faster.  Well, this approach isn’t very effective, leads to burn out and it sure doesn’t sound fun.

There is an alternative approach that is more effective, fun and will have long term results.  Running can be effortless, fluid and enjoyable.

This is what I recommend.  Decide to transform running into an enjoyable experience, even a moving meditation, by changing a couple of simple things.  Choose a different purpose for why you run.  Maybe to enjoy the beauty of the outdoors.  Or because you love the feeling of movement.  The feeling of setting a goal and accomplishing it.  Maybe you can run for a good cause, a specific goal or higher purpose.  Or maybe just because you truly love to run.  I also suggest focusing on your technique, breath and the feeling of how you move. This can really transform running into a moving meditation and into a practice.  Instead of running being a mundane workout, it becomes a lifelong journey full of lessons, incredible benefits and pure enjoyment.

I also suggest giving up the watch, the GPS and heart rate monitors.  Skip the treadmill, the workouts and instead, head into the hills, mountains, woods and abundant beauty of Earth to play.

Instead of work, transform running into play by changing your mindset.  Many successful elite runners approach running this way.  Sure, they run very intensely.  But it is approached as a playful, challenging and rewarding gift.  Not painful work that has to get done which results in burn out and boredom.  Learn to love running by changing why and how you run.

Finally, I recommend finding out more about Wholistic Running and learning from a certified running instructor such as Damian.  Damian can teach you to run more efficiently so it is physically easier and transforming your running into an enjoyable meditation and not a painful workout.  You can learn to run more relaxed and effortlessly. Wholistic Running is easy to learn and the results are very rewarding and long lasting.

Sub-2:30 marathoner Dr. Mark Cucuzzella runs easier, not harder.  Check out         Natural Running Center

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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.