6 Destination Races

February 21, 2018 by  
Filed under Fitness, News

6 Destination Races

By Coach Lora Erickson, BlondeRunner.com

Racing and traveling is a great combination and many runners are taking time out for “staycations” and “race-cations.”  Racing is the best reason to travel in my opinion and I have a personal goal of racing in all fifty-states in my lifetime.  If you are looking for some beautiful and scenic races here in Utah, check out these destination-worthy races:

Canyonlands Half Marathon aka Moab Half – March 17, 2018

This is one of my personal favorites.  Runners are shuttled up to the start and the route winds down the canyon running on the road along the Colorado River ending at the Swanny City Park.  It is a well-organized early season event in Southern Utah.  This long standing event started in 1976 and offers a 10-year club. The event really draws a crowd with hundreds of participants in the half marathon and five mile event (a unique distance you don’t see too often).  Moab is a half-day drive from Denver and 3-4 hours from Salt Lake. Lodging options range from camping to family-friendly five-star hotels.  There is plenty of hiking in the area with parks nearby; Arches National Park, Canyonlands National Park, Dead Horse Point State Park and a large amount of BLM and Wilderness Study Area Land.  People like to explore with jeeps, ATV’s, mountain bikes, hikes, rock climbing or explore the Colorado River with white river rafting!  Learn more: https://www.madmooseevents.com/canyonlands-half-marathon

Zions Half Marathon – April 28, 2018

People travel from all over the world to experience the spender of Zions with all the many trails and beautiful scenic red rocks.  The Zions Half takes place in Virgin, Utah.  While you are there take up some horseback riding, or check out the Buffalo Trails Trading Company Restaurant/Museum to learn about the area. Traveling with kids?  Make a stop at Fort Zion’s petting farm or explore the wilderness on some mountain bikes or camp-out at the Ranch after you tour the half marathon course. The event is held on the west side of the park on Smith Mesa featuring a new route this year.  Although this race is not technically a “trail race” it is mostly dirt. Be sure and register early as this race sells out quick. Learn more: https://vacationraces.com/half-marathons/zion/

Ogden Marathon – May 19, 2018

The Ogden Marathon is the biggest single outdoor marathon in Utah and is known for its outdoor beauty and scenery with world class views and competition; it’s no wonder the phrase “Get out a live” is a commonly associated with the area. It is also the home to the Hill Aerospace Museum and Union Station.  Take your little ones to Cold Springs Trout Farm and catch fish, or tour the Botanical Gardens.  The George S. Eccles Dinosaur Park is also a big hit for the family; be sure to take quarters to feed the fish there. As for the race, it draws people from all over the country to compete as well as local athletes.  A well-known Winter Run Circuit series of races; 10K, 10 miler, Half and 30K, builds up to the full or half marathon events in May.  I can attest to the beauty of this course as it literally took my breath away running down the canyon. It is so beautiful!  I also love the charitable causes that surround this event with the Goal Foundations involvement and its’ benefiting programs.  Use the discount code blonderunner18 to save $10  Learn more: https://www.ogdenmarathon.com/

Bryce Canyon Half – July 14, 2018 

Although I have not personally done this race, it is getting rave reviews from all my running friends as one of their favorites, so it’s one I am adding to my must-do list.  This event offers a half marathon, 5K and Color Me Fun Run, so it has something for everyone.  It’s well organized with great local support and each aid station has a fun theme with locals compete to win “the best aid station”.  They also offer nice tech shirts, medals and great swag.  Many stay at the Ruby Inn or if you are a camper like me, make your reservations at the nice campground.  Runners who return year after year tell me the route has beautiful scenery and the first 7 mile stretch is downhill making times fast.  While you are there, explore the sandstone cliffs on foot, by horse or ATV.  Brain Head Ski Resort is also a reason to return in colder months. Learn more: https://www.brycecanyonhalfmarathon.com/

Top of Utah Marathon – Sept. 15, 2018

The Top of Utah Marathon starts at Hardware Ranch Elk Refuge and tours the beautiful area following the river down the Blacksmith Fork Canyon and eventually winds through down town Logan; home of Utah State University, my alma mater, where I competed on scholarship as a long distance runner and running many miles there, so I can attest to Cache Valley’s great beauty.  If you get a chance, explore the hikes up Logan Canyon or stop at the small Zootah at Willow Park with your children.  I always like to stop at Gossner’s cheese for a treat after the event. There is a series of races to build you up for the big 26.2 event. This event is great for first-timer marathoners to seasoned athletes alike.  Be sure and add this race to your to-do list.  Learn more:  http://www.topofutahmarathon.com/full-marathon-home/

Snow Canyon Half Marathon– Sat. Nov. 3, 2018  

This is another beautiful and scenic race through Snow Canyon State Park.  The downhill makes for a fast race on this USATF certified route.  There is a 5K option as well running on the surrounding trails. Take in an easy hike after the event at Pioneer Park or mosey along the well marked paths of the Red Hills Desert Gardens viewing cactus and local vegetation. Other note- worthy area adventures with children include the St. George’s Children’s Museum or hit the outlets or Kayenta for some shopping. ATVs, golf, duck ponds…you name it, they have it in this great desert mecca. Learn more: https://www.sgcity.org/sportsandrecreation/races/snowcanyonhalf5kkidsrun

Happy Running,

Coach Lora

Coach Lora Erickson is originally from Colorado and was recruited to run for the University and Utah & Utah State University where she finished up her degree in Community Health Education with duel minors in Chemistry and Nutrition.  Coach Lora is a certified running, triathlon, cycling and swimming coach and has been coaching for over 25 year. She has a true passion for health promotion  and especially loves to work with beginners.  She offers online and in-person coaching as well as small group and community classes. To learn more visit BlondeRunner.com

35% off the Tracer360 Light Vest

February 20, 2018 by  
Filed under Fitness, News, Product Reviews

With the recent snow storm in Utah and seeing some cars slide around on the snow this morning while taking my children to school I started thinking about safety.  The Tracer 360 is hands-down my favorite visibility vest.  It lights up and has many different setting to make you visible.  Simply when you are seen you are safe.  This can be used for running and I have even used it while cycling many times.  Use the discount code BLONDERUN to get 35% off.  Be sure and share it with all the people you care about to keep them safe too!  Makes a great gift too!

Coach Lora Erickson

BlondeRunner.com

They are having a winter sale …learn more

Q & A with Coach Lora:  Heart Rate Training Zones – What do they mean?

January 30, 2018 by  
Filed under Fitness, News, Prevention & Safety, Product Reviews

Here’s a recent question I answered from one of my beginner athletes:

Question:  Hi, I have some questions regarding the training zones I see in Training Peaks.  I see the two columns for the heart rate and pace.  I don’t know how to read these and what the different zones mean.  Can you help me understand?

Answer:   Sure, heart rate zones are used to prescribe a certain intensity for segments of the workouts I provide for you.  The higher the number and zone the more intense the workout.  Often I will use LZ2 (Low Zone 2) meaning use the lower end of this zone range as seen under your Training Peaks zones under settings.   For example the range might be 121-130…keep your heart rate close to 121 for that segment.  HZ4 means High Zone 4…which would be a hard intensity.  Generally you will see zones 1-5 like this:

Zone 1 = Recovery

Zone 2 = Aerobic

Zone 3 = Tempo

Zone 4 = Subthreshold

Zone 5 a, b, c  = Super Threshold, aerobic and anaerobic capacity

Each zone will have a number range associated with it.  It’s important to keep in mind that heart rate zones are very particular to a person, for instance while one athletes Zone 2 is 121-130, another athlete might be 150-161…every athlete is different and the numbers are based on their particular threshold number.  For those that don’t have a heart rate monitor I suggest RPE. RPE or Rate of Perceived Exertion is based more on a 1-10 scale and a good way to “rate” a level of output.  Sometimes you will see this on your workouts too. Here’s some more information is you want to read up on it:   https://www.active.com/triathlon/articles/training-zones-explained-2979

Each article you read has a bit different twist on it but generally know it just a measure of intensity. Heart Rate zones for running and cycling will be different.  There are no heart rate zones for swimming unless you have a special chest strap that reads accurately (the newer Garmin 935 watch has it).  You will also notice there is a pace chart too.  As your training progresses we will utilize this more but for now let’s go for push efforts through using heart rate zones. Also, Zones are usually determined by testing, I like to use a recent race or workouts as people get started.  Once athletes are able to run 1 to 3 miles strong we do a test to determine zones.  Zones will change as the fitness changes.  Obviously a heart rate strap needs to be worn to get this data.  Let me know if you have any other questions. Good stuff!

Happy Training,

Coach Lora

Related articles:

Heart Rate Training Zone

How to Calculate Your Training Heart Rate Zones

Need help with training or have a question?  Contact Coach Lora Erickson at theblonderunner@gmail.com

Learn more about Coach Lora aka Blonde Runner http://blonderunner.com/about/who-is-blonde-runner/

Sweethearts Races Giveaway

December 30, 2017 by  
Filed under Fitness

Come join the fun and what better way to join the fun then to do the race for free! Check out the giveaway on the Blonde Runner Health Facebook page.  Can’t wait to sign-up?  Use the code SWEETBLONDE2018 to save $5.  Share with a friend.
Bonus: All those registered for the race are welcome to attend the Winter Running Class on January 20. RSVP: theblonderunner@gmail.com All others $10. Learn more
Coach Lora Erickson
BlondeRunner.com

Fitness: Running and Triathlon Races Goal Setting Tips

December 30, 2017 by  
Filed under Fitness, Nutrition, Prevention & Safety

Goal setting is so important because it gives you focus to your training.  Check out these video clips for tips to set Fitness: Running and Triathlon Races Goal Setting Tips.

Coach Lora Erickson

BlondeRunner.com

Goal Setting for Races Watch on YouTube

S.M.A.R.T. Goal Setting: Watch on YouTube (periscope rebroadcast)

Utah Race Discount Codes

December 30, 2017 by  
Filed under Fitness, News, Prevention & Safety, Product Reviews, Races

I just love local races and do my best to secure discount codes for my website visitors (thanks for visiting!).  I am always adding new discounts and keep an updated list on this page:  Blonde Runner Race Product Discount Codes

Let me know if you need help with training, I’d love to coach you!  Mention this post and get $50 off your first month of custom coaching.

Coach Lora Erickson

BlondeRunner.com

Marathon Nutrition Do’s and Doen’t

December 28, 2017 by  
Filed under Fitness, Races

Last February I had the opportunity to share some advice on Marathon Nutrition Do’s and Doen’t and promote the Salt Lake City Marathon which I am an ambassador for.  This is a great reminder as we start training in the New Year!  Check out the TV interview here

I am excited to promote the event tomorrow at Fox Studio’s between 1 – 2 p.m. Hope you tune in.

Use the code “blonderunnerslc18” to save 20% on the 2018 events (this will be the 15 year anniversary…you don’t want to miss it!)

Coach Lora Erickson

BlondeRunner.com

Salt Lake Marathon Races Discount Code

November 27, 2017 by  
Filed under Fitness, News, Races

I love local races!  The Salt Lake Marathon, Half etc.. events are one of my favorites.  Come join the fun in 2018 and use the discount code blonderunnerslc18 for 20% off.  Share it with your friends and make it a party!

Coach Lora Erickson

BlondeRunner.com

Need help with training?  Contact the Coach.  Who is Blonde Runner?

 

Registration Open for the Race For Grief Utah 2018

November 9, 2017 by  
Filed under Fitness, News, Races

Registration is open for the 2018 event.  Special pricing will be offered through Monday (Nov. 13, Samanth’s birthday).  10K – $20, 5K – $15, 2 mile Walk – $15, Kids K – $10 ($7 no shirt).

Push, But Not Too Hard on the Bike

November 3, 2017 by  
Filed under Fitness, News, Prevention & Safety

Coach Lora Erickson
Ironman All-World Athlete
Certified Triathlon & Running Coach
BlondeRunner.com

Push, But Not Too Hard

By Lora Erickson, BlondeRunner.com

Cycling and traveling for me usually also involves swimming and running since I am a triathlete. Earlier this year I traveled to Boulder Colorado to attend a coaching summit as well as compete in the Ironman Boulder 70.3 event.  What’s interesting about triathlon racing is trying to go hard but not too hard on the bike.  It’s often a trade-off, if you go too hard on the bike you will most likely suffer on the run but if you push the bike and still can run okay in the end your overall time and placement is better even with a little slower pace on the run.  That is what I choose to do in Boulder.  I came into the race tired from racing an Olympic Distance event one- week before, traveled and had 4 days of mind numbing classes.  I rode efficient with a higher cadence and clean pedal strokes patiently keeping an eye on my heart rate and power numbers and taking my nutrition as planned.  I decided to push it to my higher numbers and see if I could hold it.  I was the last wave of swimmers in the water and knew if I could finish the ride sooner I would have less time in the heat on the run so that is what I did.  My legs struggled a bit on the run but overall not bad all things considered.  This was a training race for me as I have the Ironman 70.3 World Championships in September.   It worked.  My run time was a bit slower but my ride time made up for it and more.  I knew the effort on the bike yielded more benefit than that same increased effort on the run.  I find this same principle of knowing when to push and when not to can be a struggle for many athletes.  Some athletes simple push every workout every day and get frustrated when they get injured or don’t see progress.  Just like in my race, some portions of workouts or races are things we can push, other times we need to lay off the throttle and allow some easy coasting.  Evaluate what is best for your effort for the most wanted outcome.  As we are coming into winter it’s important to keep this in mind. Simply, flowers do not bloom all year.  It’s good to scale back training and allow rest so when the race season comes you are fresh for it.

About the Author: Coach Lora Erickson is an Ironman All-World athlete and USAT certified triathlon coach.  She is also a certified Slow Twitch Triathlon Cycling Coach with many years of experience coaching beginner to intermediate athletes. She offers on-line as well as in-person custom coaching.  To learn more visit BlondeRunner.com or contact her directly at theblonderunner@gmail.com  

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