Cold weather running tips

Congratulations to all you hearty souls who came out to run this morning in 45 degree weather and overcast skies.  It’s refreshing if you are dressed properly; it’s miserable if you’re not.   Most likely, we’ll have a few more Sunday mornings that start off this cold, or even colder, so here are a few tips.

1) Wear a hat or headband: Not only will it keep your head warm, it’s also a very easy layer to take off and carry as the temperature starts to rise.

2) Wear gloves:  No point running with cold hands.  It’s not very comfortable, and it’s tough to tear open a GU or unscrew a water bottle with cold stiff fingers.  If you’d rather not wear gloves, consider wearing a long sleeved shirt or sweatshirt with sleeves that are long enough for you to easily pull your hands inside.

3) Think twice before you choose to wear tights under your shorts:  That’s a great idea if you expect it to stay cold throughout the run.  On the other hand, if it’s likely to warm up quickly (the temperature can easily go up 10 degrees or more as the sun gets higher in the sky during our early morning runs), you may soon be uncomfortably warm, and it’s not always easy to find a place to take those tights off.  Instead, consider toughing out those first few miles with cold bare legs, and extra layers on your upper body.  Once you get going, unless it’s really cold, your legs will warm up quickly.

4) Consider wearing a long sleeved shirt under your Running4Recovery team shirt.  Yes, for us girls taking that layer off isn’t simple, but on the other hand, if you wear a sweatshirt over your team shirt, you’ll miss an opportunity to publicize the team.  So, if it’s going to stay cold, I encourage you to wear the warm extra layer under your team shirt; but if it’s likely to warm up, wear a sweatshirt for the first few miles.  You can always tie it around your waist later, or you can leave it at one of our water stops and pick it up at the end of the run. says next Sunday will be sunny with morning temperatures in the high 40’s, so please be prepared.


What’s Your Eating Plan for Sunday’s 14 Miler?

Now that the marathon is less than 3 months away, and you have a lot of miles under your belt, we’re going to be ramping up the mileage for the marathoners.  The goal between now and the end of February is to do several 18-20 mile runs so your body will be very ready for the big 26.2.  It’s more important now, and will continue to be important, that you eat a good breakfast before the run, and you eat appropriately during the run.  I can assure that if you don’t fuel up before and during the run, you will run out of energy somewhere along the route, and you probably won’t like the way you feel.  So, here are a few tips.

There is no “one size fits all” nutrition plan, so you need to experiment until you find out what works best for you.  However, please stay away from a breakfast of excess protein and fat. Steak and eggs is a really bad idea; a bagel, oatmeal, milk, wheat bread, yogurt, fruit, and other “good carbs”  with a little fat and protein are more appropriate foods to try.  Those “good carbs” will give you a steady flow of energy, rather than the burst and crash you’ll get from something too sugary, or the lump in your stomach from too much fat and protein .  Timing is important too.  Be sure to give yourself enough time to digest your breakfast before you start running.

It’s also important to think about how you will eat during the run.  If the granola at the snack stations works for you, great and keep it up.  If you feel better with something else like gels or energy bars, go for it.  Maybe a mix of both.  But, whatever you choose, please be sure to start snacking no later than an hour into the run.  It will take your body some time to digest the food, so you want to start eating before you start feeling low on energy.

Plan ahead, experiment, and listen to your body so you can be well prepared on Marathon Day.  Your body will thank you.



Four Mental Tips for Running Hills

Sunday’s half marathon was quite a challenge, with over 500 feet of elevation gain, yet everyone who came finished.  Congratulations!  Hurray team!

I’m sure you all noticed the hills, especially that tough steep one at Mile 11.  The only hill that steep on the LA Marathon course comes at Mile 4, but it will feel much easier.  There will be drummers pounding out a rhythm that will power you up the hill, and with all the crowd support, you’ll feel energized as you climb.  As far as all the other hills, if you follow the training schedule, your body will be ready. Here are a few tips to help you be mentally ready.

1) Know the course.  Our plan is to do some runs on the actual marathon course, so remember where those hills are and how long they are.  It often seems easier when you know what’s coming on race day.

2) Don’t look at the hill.  It’s tempting to look ahead of you, focus on the incline, and let  negative messaging get you down.  Instead, look at the scenery and think positive thoughts.  I spent a lot of time enjoying those snow capped mountains on Sunday.  I hope you did too.

3) Don’t think of it as a hill.  It’s just an opportunity to give those muscles that power you on the flats a short break.

4) Take advantage of the crowd support.  Running low on energy?  Hold up your hand, run close to the spectators, and you’ll get lots of high fives from people who are there to support you.  You’ll feel energized once again.

Those hills are a metaphor for life.  As you conquer those hills, think of all the other challenges you can overcome.


Today’s Elevation Gain vs. the LA Marathon

Congratulations to everyone on today’s long and challenging run! Wondering how hard all those hills were compared to the actual marathon?

Today’s 12 mile run included about 450 feet of uphills, and the LA Marathon course includes about 950 feet of climbing.  So, today, those of you who did the 12 miles, did about half the climbing, and about half the distance.  In other words, we are halfway through our training and you are already strong enough to do the equivalent of half the course.  As we continue, you’ll be getting stronger at a faster rate.  Keep it up, and you’ll be more than ready for the big day.

Good luck next week to everyone participating the half marathon, and to those who aren’t, please go out and run with us in spirit.  You’re all looking strong out there!