Winter Running Challenges

10334274_778544712196579_4100117386430079865_n

By Lora Erickson, BlondeRunner.com

Winter can pose many additional challenges for runners. Poor air quality and cold temperature can drive asthmatic runners indoors or to travel to higher elevations to get out of the inversion.  Obviously breathing bad air can pose health risks so it’s important to check and see if levels are safe to exercise in.  To check air quality in your area visit airnow.gov. Some people opt to run outdoor with masks however often complain of having a hard time getting enough air exchange and the condensation in the mask can be annoying.  I suggest taking the workout indoors if the air quality is bad.  Treadmills can have many benefits this time of year.  Not only do they provide a more giving surface and they obviously don’t have the concerns of slipping. It’s convenient and allows bathroom breaks if needed.  It is also easy to set a pace and just hold that pace on the treadmill.  While it can feel like a “hamster wheel” to some it offers safety from traffic and can be done any time of day or night.  I know many young mothers with small children that utilize a treadmill extensively; however, I often caution them when they start running outdoors more in the spring to do it gradually to allow the body time to adapt to harder surfaces.

If you really struggle with indoor or “dreadmill” running, I suggest cross-training on bad air quality days. Indoor cycling and swimming can have many benefits for runners and challenge the body in different ways.  I always like to suggest yoga for my runners and triathletes as well.  This is great for recovery and flexibility.  Don’t be afraid to utilize the snow for other fitness activities; like cross-country skiing or snow shoeing.  These are all great aerobic workouts to supplement the training.  It can also prevent burnout or keep you active if you tend to not to want to run in the snow.

While exercising outside on better air quality days I suggest dressing in layers. As your body warms-up you can remove layers to control temperature.  I often see runners wearing too many layers so usually in 20 degree temps I wear two layers on the top, earwarmers, gloves or mittens (sometimes with hand warmers) and tights.  If it’s snowing I also suggest a hat or visor so you don’t “blink” yourself to death.  Surprisingly, I often wear sunglasses to protect my eyes from the sun’s bright reflection off the snow.  Glasses can also block the wind from making the eyes water and tears from dripping down the lacrimal ducts causing your nose to run. This can be annoying and lead you to wiping your nose excessively.

Often while running outdoors the feet can get wet and cold and there are concerns of slipping. For this I would suggest running in trail shoes that have more traction and are generally more water proof.  I also like to use a water-proof spray on my shoes and clothes.  If you can stay dry you won’t lose as much heat.  Short gators can also prevent snow from getting in your shoes and melting.  If you are concerned about black ice and slippery surfaces you might consider using yaktrax, IceTrekkers, or Kahtoola MicroSpikes.  They can all be found at Wasatch Running Center or a local running store in your area.

If you are like me and it takes you a while to warm-up in cold temperatures but you don’t like to be stuck indoors, I would suggest warming up on a treadmill or indoor exercise bike then take the run outside. Remember running on slick snowy surfaces isn’t going to be as fast as you can go on a treadmill but it’s still a great workout.  If you usually train by pace I would suggest using heart rate numbers to train with during the winter.  Contact me if you need more training tips.

Another outdoor concern is traffic safety. I often find myself winding back and forth from the sidewalk to the street to avoid really deep snow or icy patches.  As always be aware of your surroundings and assume cars don’t see you.  I also suggest running against traffic, wearing bright colors with reflexive strips, blinking lights or utilize the Tracer 360 visibility vest (noxgear.com 20% off with code BLONDERUN) which can be seen from all directions.  I don’t use music as much in the winter so I can hear my surroundings better and stay safe.  It is also helpful to train with others as a group since you are  much more visible to traffic.

Either way, whether you plan to workout indoors or outdoors don’t let anything get in your way. Yes, winter can make it more challenging to get the workouts in but if you want the rewards you have to do the work.  No excuses.

Happy Training,

Coach Lora Erickson

BlondeRunner.com

About the Author:

Coach Lora Erickson is a nationally ranked and All-World Triathlete as well as certified running, triathlon, swimming, and cycling instructor. She has a true passion for nutrition education, fitness & health promotion and has been coaching for over 25 years. She works with all level of athletes and relishing the opportunity to help beginners harness their true potential.  She offers community classes, in-person and on-line custom coaching.  To learn more contact her directly at theblonderunner@gmail.com or visit BlondeRunner.com to read health articles. 

Local Race Discounts:

April Salt Lake Marathon- blonderunnerslc17 for 20% off any event. Get Registered:  http://www.saltlakecitymarathon.com/

Utah Valley Marathon – br15 for 15% off any event.  Get Registered:  http://www.utahvalleymarathon.com/

Fun & Creative Running Workouts

August 25, 2016 by  
Filed under Fitness, News

Fun & Creative Run Workouts

Recently I was interviewed by a popular website and wanted to share some of the ideas I shared with them. Out-of-season I often enjoy less structured and fun workouts, here are some of my ideas:

Explorer Run

Instead of running your regular routes go and explore new neighborhoods for a certain amount of time. Try new roads you haven’t run on before and then turn around at a certain amount of time and go back the same way you came.

Reverse Route

If you’re bored with your regular running routes but don’t have the time to map out new ones just do them in reverse. You’ll be amazed at how different it might look going the opposite direction.

My Jam Music Run

Using an iPod with your music after a warm-up, run hard for one song and then easy for next. Don’t be afraid to experiment with a build doing two hard songs and three easy songs then three hard songs and two easy songs etc. Make the workout as long or short as you want it. This can be challenging and fun.

Family Friendly Park Run

This is a destination run choosing a nearby park and run to it. This run can be done easily pushing a stroller with the child in it. At the park have your child play while you do push-ups, lunges and your own strength routine. If they have monkey bars, do some pull-ups. No equipment needed. Unless you want to bring some easily portable elastic bands that can be tied onto a tree or fence etc. Search the Internet to get ideas. Check out my fitness Pinterest board. Have other Moms meet you at the park to make it more social and create some accountability.

Local Track Run

There are so many great things that you can do at a track and when my children were young I often take them there to play while I did my speed workout. A typical track is approximately 400 meters around making four laps to a mile. Often they are broken up into four 100 meter sections. This makes it great to break up your workout into fast and slow portions or do lunges, grapevine, jump rope or other activities for each segment. Running form drills can also be done at the track. Visit my website at BlondeRunner.com to learn more.

Telephone Poles or Interval Run

This workout is similar to a Fartlek run with variable pacing. Use telephone poles or other landmarks to run to on your regular run incorporate harder efforts. I suggest an RPE effort of 6 for the regular running and 8 for the push effort. The push effort can be as long or short as you would like. I suggest around 1 to 2 minute pushes 4 to 6 times within a short 30 plus minute run.

Leap Frog

This is a run I often do with the group of friends (usually my triathlon team) at the track. I suggest 5 to 8 people. Having everyone running in a single-file line and every hundred meters or so the last person sprints up to the front and then leads for a pre-designated distance (i.e. 100 meters, .1 mile etc..). This is usually done after warm-up and all together added up to 3-4 miles. It’s a fun but challenging workout.

Terrain Change

Often we get bored running the same route so try to change up the terrain. Maybe find a new hill and do some hill repeats (i.e. 2 min hill X 6 with downhill jogs for recovery) or seek out a new trail for a trail run vs road. Instead of running on the sidewalk try to run on the grass etc…

Need a coach?  I’d love to help you reach your health and fitness goals. Send me a message and we will connect.

Coach Lora Erickson

theblonderunner@gmail.com

BlondeRunner.com

Triathlon Racing Clinic with Blonde Runner – Riverton, Utah

August 10, 2016 by  
Filed under Health Classes, Races

 

CS custom one pcTriathlon Racing with Blonde Runner

Clinic Fee: $10 for those registered for the Triathamom race, $15 for non-racers (men welcome to attend)

Location: South of the South County Pool in Riverton

Message theblonderunner@gmail.com to get registered

Come learn how to do triathlon transition properly, get tips and ask questions about racing from an experienced USA Triathlon All-American nationally ranked triathlete and certified coach. We will review proper transition basics, cycling tips, distance running, and racing tips will be shared. Race nutrition will also be touched on. Come join in the fun at this enthusiastic presentation!

Coach Lora Erickson is a passionate athlete with over 24 years of coaching experience. As a Mother of 4 she understands how to fit training into a busy family life. She offers on-line and in-person coaching.

Learn more Triathamom

Learn more visit BlondeRunner.com

Triathlon Training with Blonde Runner

February 22, 2016 by  
Filed under Health Classes, News, Prevention & Safety, Weight Loss

multicolor tri

Triathlon Training Class

Wed. April 27, 2016

6:30- 8 p.m., $25

Come learn how to get started in triathlons and/or polish your skills.  Swim technique, cycling skills, running form, training tips and nutrition will be covered.  Come get all the answers to your questions in this lecture-style class to be held in the Bountiful area.  All triathlon distances will be covered. Lots of great racing tips will be shared. There are limited spots in this class. Pre-registration is required. Message Coach Lora Erickson at theblonderunner@gmail.com to learn how to register.

Lora Erickson Blonde Runner sit

Coach Lora Erickson aka Blonde Runner

USATF & USAT certified run & triathlon coach

US Masters Level 1 & 2 swim coach

BlondeRunner.com

Learn more about Coach Lora Erickson

logo

 

 

 

 

Join Me at The Endurance Sports Show – Feb. 5 & 6th

January 29, 2016 by  
Filed under News, Prevention & Safety, Product Reviews

ESS-with-dateCome visit me at my booth at the Endurance Sports Show next Friday and Saturday (Feb. 5 & 6th) at the South Towne Expo Center in Sandy.  I will also be doing a presentation at 1 p.m. on Friday covering Triathlon Transitions.  They will have a lot of great booths and fun things to participate in, including at 5K and indoor TT.  I hope to see you there!

Coach Lora Erickson

BlondeRunner.com

Use the following codes to get discount tickets for your friends and family. Feel free to share the codes.

20 codes: Buy one get one free – Code: COACHLORAATTHEESSBOGO

100 codes: 25% off tickets – Code:  COACHLORAATTHEESS25OFF

 Tickets can be purchased at the link below :

Get Tickets

Free Altra Running – Winter 5k / 10k . There will be lots of swag this year and Altra has agreed to do an inventory clearance blowout, so you don’t want to miss this!

Reserve Your Spot – Altra Winter 5K/10K – Free  

There is also a free swim clinic and indoor Time Trial / Kicker lab: Swim Clinic & Indoor TT

*********************************************************************************************************

Watch Coach Lora Erickson aka Blonde Runner in action at this Presentation on Friday at 1 p.m. Rm. 200 C
Transitions In Triathlon
Come learn how to do triathlon transitions effectively.  We will be reviewing how transitions are different for various triathlon distances (ie. Sprint, Oly/International Distance vs. Long Course – 1/2 Ironman – 70.3  & Ironman – 140.6) and how to make them faster.  We will go through differences you might see with the many event companies including ITU events and rules to follow.  Come join in the fun at this high-energy and fun presentation.

Running in the Snow

athleta 12.29.2014

Running in the Snow

By Coach Lora Erickson, BlondeRunner.com

Winter is upon us and coming from Colorado I have been used to running in the cold and snow all my life. When I was in college running for Utah State University I remember welcoming a new girl to the team from Arizona. I was the team captain and often lead group runs deciding what route to take.  I remember one particular run we did; it was the first day that it snowed.  We were all excited to run in it, but this particular girl was a bit nervous.  Coming from Arizona she had never run in snow before so I decided to have our run go in and out of the campus buildings so we only had to run on slick surfaces half the time.  After a few slip-and-falls around corners; she was getting the hang of this snow running.  She realized she couldn’t take corners way fast (she was a fast middle distance runner specializing in the 800 meters so SLOW was a new concept). Similarly I often do snow runs for my triathlon team athletes and found many of them were new to snow running too.  This was a surprised to me at first, as I have always been an outdoor runner all year.  Cold temperatures and snowy conditions to some means indoor running on a treadmill.  Being an exploring/adventurous nature-type person I find it difficult to run indoors so I opt for running outdoors in any weather.  Because I primarily train for racing I justify outdoor running because I like to train like I race and what races are run indoor? Right?!  Running form is also different on a treadmill.

I have found that running in the snow is a great workout, especially if it’s deep snow. You really have to drive your knees up to get over the snow! This also drives up your heart rate and is an amazing workout.  You become sore in places you don’t normally get sore.  It is also great to develop ankle strength and makes you a more durable athlete.  I rarely use shoe spikes or other things for traction but find trail shoes with short gaiters provide the traction I need and are more water proof and keep my feet drier.  Other things you might consider while running outdoors in colder temperatures is a headband that covers your ears and gloves or mittens.  Generally I wear running tights and a double layer on the top and on occasion I will wear a light jacket.  It’s usually best to dress in layers so if you get too hot or cold, you can adjust.  Remember to dress 10 degrees cooler since you put off heat as you exercise.  Running is a great sport to enjoy all year.  Remember to take the corners slow and you should remain upright. If you want to learn more about trail and snow running come join me for a class. Learn More Happy Running!

Coach Lora Erickson

“Blonde Runner”

About the Author:

Coach Lora Erickson aka Blonde Runner has been a competitive runner for over 30 years, she is also a top level triathlete. She is a USATF running coach, USA Triathlon Coach & US Masters Certified Swim Coach. She has been coaching for over 19 years and loves to work with all level of athletes, especially beginners.  To learn more about her classes or programs visit BlondeRunner.com

Running Shoe Review: I may have a problem!

all shoesI am no ordinary women, but I may have a common problem most women do. I love shoes! But I am not talking about high heels here, I love running shoes! Recently I have been trying to find the best shoe for me and I have discovered there isn’t just one shoe that is right. I often choose the shoe I will be using based on the workout and terrain I will be running on. Now, this simple review is certainly not comprehensive and there are many more shoes out there but here on some highlights on shoes I have tried lately. These are all available at Wasatch Running Center locally (they have a store in Centerville and Sandy, Utah). Great stores! I highly recommend them.

adidas Supernova Glide 6Adidas Supernova Glide 6

When I ran in college I would often be found running in Adidas and the reason why is they are durable. They seem to last forever! So on a limited college budget I wanted to purchase something that lasted and these do.

Fit: These shoes run a little big. I am normally a 7.5 but took at 7 in these.

Feel: These shoes are a little stiffer and take a bit more time to break in but they do last.

Ride: With the 8mm drop they ease the calf strain and provide a little easier lean. These are good road shoes.

Durability: Very durable! You could easily get the recommended 300-500 miles out of these shoes.

pink shoes brooks ghostsBrooks Ghosts

Outstanding color! What can I stay?! These shoes are colorful and cheerful, I love that!  I also love how comfortable they are.

Fit: They are true to size.

Feel: These shoes were comfortable from the start.

Ride: With the 4mm drop they offer a slight tilt and ease the calf strain a bit. I particularly like these for hill repeats on the road.

Durability: Durable

saucony Ride 8Saucony Ride 8

Another great shoe with great colors.

Fit: They are true to size.

Feel: These shoes were comfortable from the start.

Ride: With the 8mm drop they ease the calf strain and provide a little easier lean. These are good road shoes and I often use these on rolling terrain especially when my calves are tight.

Durability: Good durability

saucony Kinvara 5Saucony Kinvara 5

Another great shoe with great colors with the orange, purple and blue.

(note: the shoes come with regular laces, I added elastic laces for racing)

Fit: They are true to size.

Feel: These shoes were comfortable from the start and feel super light and airy.

Ride: With the 4mm drop they offer a slight tilt and ease the calf strain a bit. I particularly like these for quick short hill repeats on the road. These would also be great racing shoes for shorter races ie. 5K, 10K, ½ Marathon, Sprint/Oly Distance Triathlons).  These shoes are very flexible.

Durability: Fairly Durable, but usually lighter weight materials don’t last as long.

lone peak on my foot - better picAltra Lonepeak 2.0 Trail Shoes

I am loving the earthy colors on these shoes, very fitting for a trail shoe.

Fit: They are true to size.

Feel: These shoes were comfortable from the start and offer a wider toe box which I love.

Ride: With the zero drop encourages mid-foot strike and proper form. I particularly like these for trails and even hiking with my family. I feel like they have good motion (torsion) control too.

Durability: Durable

altra trail shoes

 

Altra Paradigm 1.5 

I am loving the new mint green color.

Fit: They are true to size.

Feel: These shoes were comfortable from the start and offer a wider toe box which I love.

Ride: With the zero drop encourages mid-foot strike and proper form. I particularly like these for long runs.  They are light weight yet offer maximum cushioning.  These are the shoes I am choosing to run in for my Ironman.  Read more

Durability: Durable

altra paradigm

 

Not sure what shoes is right for you? Leave it to the experts! Visit Wasatch Running Center and let them help you out. They have stores in Centerville and Sandy.

  • Marketplace Drive, Centerville, Utah – 801-296-8786
  • 8946 S. State St, Sandy, Utah – 801-566-8786

They also sell a lot of other great products like nutrition, hydration bottles, enso roller, clothes etc… Better start gearing up for cold weather running!

Labor Day Triathlon: Beginner Triathlon Clinic and Sprint Route Bike Preview

labor day tri image

Coach Lora Erickson aka Blonde Runner will be offering a Beginner Race Clinic & Sprint Bike Preview scheduled for Saturday August 29, 2015 @ 8am meeting at south-east pavilion at the back of the South Davis Recreation Center in Bountiful (bring your bike and helmet). The clinic is free for registered racers. If you are not registered for the race you can still attend but you will need to register for $10 online or at the facility (front desk). Registration can be done via email (cindy@southdavisrecreation.com) as long as they are registered.  

Race Event Date: September 7, 2015 – 8 a.m.

Use the discount code BLONDERUNNER and get $5.00 off their entry (any distance)!

 Get registered for the race! Click here

 register-now

Want to win a free spot? visit Blonde Runner Health on Facebook to learn how  

Intermountain Sports Medicine: Running Lab & Lactate Testing

June 4, 2015 by  
Filed under Fitness, News, Product Reviews, Weight Loss

If you are serious about getting better or keep getting injured, I highly suggest going to The Running Lab and getting a Movement Assessment, Gait Analysis and Lactate Threshold testing done.  Here’s a video clip about my experience:

The Running Lab is offered by the Intermountain Sports Medicine Specialty Group and there are two locations, give them a call to get your test scheduled:

Bountiful Running Lab

280 N. Main Street, 1st Floor

Bountiful, Utah

801-298-2495

 

Live Well Center Running Lab

Salt Lake Clinic

389 South 900 East, 4th floor

385-282-2700

Visit SportsMedGroup.org to learn more

Product Review: Audio Underwater Swimbuds Sport Headphones

Coach Lora Erickson swimbudsI was super excited to try my new underwater iPod and Swimbuds Sport Headphones today in the pool. As a triathlete I always look forward to running with my music when I train so I really looked forward to this workout in the pool with music – can you believe it?! On occasion the water aerobics class will have some music that’s enjoyable but more often than not the “elevator music” doesn’t get me pumped up like my own music would. I’m a big pop fan. I also like new country and some of the 90s rock. Yep – I pretty much love my teenagers music. There is just something about rhythmic music that makes exercise more enjoyable for me. At first I was a little nervous to put the iPod and Swimbuds Sport Headphones in the water because it’s sort-of unbelievable that they could be waterproof; but the fact is they are and I was able to listen to my tunes while swimming today! This is a first for me. I loved it! This has just increased my desire to want to swim more often. I now can enjoy my favorite Taylor Swift tunes while I swim! The audio was really clear on these high quality headphones too.

If you struggle with wanting to get to the pool or if you just want to have some tunes to work out with I would highly suggest getting one of these. I still can’t believe its waterproof as it looks like a regular iPod!
Bonus: The headphones act like ear plugs too so they keep the water out of your ears. So if you use earplugs anyway then why not listen to music too?triharder audio
I could also see this being a good training tool, especially if you use songs with the right cadence, or you can get creative with your workouts and push yourself or do a drill until the end of the song. I could also see these being useful for wet rainy or snowy weather for running (I am sure that Ogden Marathoners would have appreciated them this last weekend).
Training Tip: As a coach I like to tell my athletes to wear ear plugs if they tend to get dizzy or vertigo in the pool so this might be a good solution for them too!
Also if you tend to get headaches like me or be overly sensitive to the environment (often caused from concussions) this could be a good solution to controlling pool noise. Often when I swim it’s really noisy. This helps control that. Love it!
To learn more or order for yourself visit Underwateraudio.com

View on YouTube – The Blonde Runner – Swimming Underwater Audio Product Review

Next Page »