How to Add Cross Training to Your Workouts

This article was originally published by HVMN.

Dedicated training is something to be admired. Many athletes strive for the ability to get up and get out every single day whether it’s for a specific race or event or even, simply driven by a goal. Often that can mean adhering to a training plan based on both repetition and incrementally increased difficulty–monotony and overuse be damned.

But you may get hurt. Or plateau. Or experience a disruption in your training schedule. These can all be detrimental to accomplishing a goal. Then there’s also that inevitable boredom of doing the same training day in and day out. You swear that footprint on the trail was yours from yesterday.

Enter cross-training, an exercise program usually employed outside of these intense training blocks to add some variance (physically and mentally) to workouts. It keeps the body guessing, and has many athletes reap the benefits for their main sport: decreased injury potential, and added strength to the most-used muscles.

Here, we’ll detail the science behind cross-training, how to work it into your schedule, and some new exercises to try. Your main sport will thank us.

This is Your Body on Cross Training

Simply put, cross training is training in another discipline in improving your main sport. The options are almost limitless–runners can strength train, swimmers can paddle board, cyclists can do yoga. The goal is to supplement your main sport with training that’s beneficial for certain muscles, movements, or even, your brain and mood.

For most athletes, the inclusion of cross training into a workout plan is triggered by an injury sidelining them from regular training. I was no different–hours of basketball and running led to knee pain (from patellar tendonitis, known as “runner’s knee” or “jumper’s knee”). But I was stubborn. When I should have stopped the joint-pounding activities, I continued to beat them like a drum. It got to a point where the pain wasn’t worth the workout, but I couldn’t give up working out all together. So I started swimming and incorporating yoga into my routine, which delivered positive and painless results.

Turns out, I’m not alone. Up to 56% of recreational runners experience injuries, with most of those relating to the knee.1 Supplements can help (like glucosamine, which promotes the development of cartilage), but up to 75% of those are overuse injuries.1

Since a majority of injuries happen due to time dedicated to a single sport, cross training can help prevent injuries for the simple fact that it forces athletes to spend less time training singularly. Cross training doesn’t just maintain activity by reducing the risk for injury–it also can increase performance.

A study of 27 male runners were assigned one of three different resistance training regimens (in addition to their normal endurance training): heavy resistance, explosive resistance or muscle endurance training. In all three groups, running endurance performance increased.2 The heavy-lifting group, in particular, saw improvements to high-intensity running characteristics, like sprinting at the end of the race.2

The benefits of cross training aren’t just physical; there’s also a potential mental benefit of switching it up. Mental fatigue can impact physical workouts–you may be less likely to workout knowing that you’re facing the exact same exercise every day. Especially if an athlete is in-season or training for a specific event, cross-training can provide an exciting challenge. It’s easy to be training heads-down; cross-training can help you see the forest between the trees.

Implementing Cross Training
Divorce yourself from the idea that cross training takes away from your regular training schedule. While you’ll inevitably be spending time away from your sweetheart sport, absence makes the muscles grow stronger.

There are three main groups of cross training for endurance athletes: strength training, aerobic low-impact work, and aerobic impact work, and each can be part of a cross-training program.

Strength Training
Touching upon all major muscle groups is important for effective strength training.

Incorporating strength training into an endurance regimen can enhance physical fitness, as it did in this meta-analysis of distance runners.3 Even just 30 minutes per week, once or twice a week, can suffice. And it doesn’t necessarily have to be done in a gym; you can take the at-home approach to incorporate plyometrics or things like push-ups.

Regardless of where you strength train, a full body workout will maximize the time you spend training. Consider hitting all the major muscle groups such as arms, chest, shoulders, back, core and legs (more on this later).

Aerobic Low-Impact Work
Probably the reason many athletes experiment with cross-training: take stress off those weary joints and reduce injury risk.

Low-impact activities or no-impact workouts can be done two or three times a week. It’s easily implemented, as it can replace an active recovery day or even a harder workout day depending on the exercise; so for those who think they’re losing gains because of cross-training, you may actually find yourself enjoying the cross training more than your main exercise.

Cycling, swimming, and rowing are some of the most popular low-impact workouts. For flexibility and core exercises, yoga and pilates are go-tos. And you may even be able to work out longer and more frequently using these types of workouts due to the lack of stress they cause the body (swimmers can work out every day, and they’re hitting all the major muscle groups). For example, if you planned on running 45 minutes, you could easily spend 70 minutes cycling.

Aerobic Impact Work
Maybe the reason you’re reading this article is because of too much aerobic impact work.

If you’re training, the amount of aerobic impact work will likely be higher (and maybe your only focus during that training block). But in the off-season, or times when you’d like to give your body a break, aerobic impact work should be done once or twice a week. As a general rule, cross-training is meant to limit the impact on the body.

Typically, cross training is meant to offer your body a break from the impact it faces during regular training. You can play team games, train runs, circuit train or do CrossFit as a cross-training method, as the impact is likely different from your normal routine. But be mindful: any impact work still puts a strain on the body.

The Importance of Rest
Before getting into the specific exercises to try, remember the need for rest. Your muscles are asking for it.

The goal of every training session is to break down muscle and without recovery, a portion of that work might be wasted. During recovery, the body begins the process of rebuilding what has been broken down.

Muscle protein synthesis can increase by as much as 50% in the hours after a workout, helping encourage muscle growth.4 Concurrently, muscle fibers are rebuilt. These processes are a normal part of the exercise, and recovery allows the muscles to become stronger. Fluid restoration is also key, as it helps deliver nutrients to organs and muscles through the bloodstream. And acids (via that hydrogen proton associated with lactate) accumulate during workouts–so recovery provides time for the body to restore intramuscular pH and blood flow for oxygen delivery.

In-season, professional triathlete, Kelsey Withrow, is laser-focused on training. When she’s not training, it’s all about recovery.

“As a professional triathlete, I focus all my time on swimming, running and biking. The rest of the time is for recovery.”
-Kelsey Withrow, professional triathlete

Even though cross training is meant to give the body a break from regular training, it’s still is a source of stress and requires recovery time (or you might burnout). For most athletes, it’s difficult to slow down. Many of us are goal-oriented, hardworking and ultimately–a bit stubborn. Budgeting recovery time is essential, as is providing your body with the necessary fuel to recover properly.

Supplementing recovery may help expedite that process and get you back in the saddle faster. HVMN Ketone has been shown to improve recovery by decreasing the breakdown of intramuscular glycogen and protein during exercise (when compared to carbs alone).5 It also expedited the resynthesis of glycogen by 60% and protein by 2x when added to a normal post-workout carb or protein nutrition.6,5

Doing the same exercise can be mentally exhausting, leading to mental fatigue that wears down on your desire to even do the workout. Research has shown that the mind is usually a good gauge of the body,7 with a mental strain reported by a questionnaire being closely related to stress signals in the hormones of the body. By switching it up with cross-training, and also ensuring rest days, the mind will get a chance to recharge too.

Cross Training Exercises
Now is the time to incorporate cross-training workouts. The exercises below touch on several different areas of exercise, from strength training to both low-impact and impact aerobic activities.

You can begin by folding in some additional exercises to your existing workouts. Runners may try hills or cyclists may try 30-second sprints–this isn’t cross-training exactly, it’s just extra training. The benefits of cross training come with learning something new and focusing on different areas of the body that regular training can neglect.

Try working some of these exercises into your routine. It’s important to pick which is best for your personal needs.

Swimming
Benefits: Aerobic and cardio workout without the joint or muscle impact
Concerns: Technical ability can limit the quality of training
How to try it: Ensure you have the proper equipment (goggles, swim cap, fins, etc.), check lane times at your local pool, familiarize yourself with technique

A great whole body workout, swimming is one of the low-impact exercises most often used for recovery or cross training. Interestingly, reports show many people enjoy water-based exercise more than land-based exercise.8

Swimming works the whole body; it increases heart rate without the joint-pounding stress of running, it builds endurance and can also build and tone muscle. Because of these benefits, it’s a great option for recovery–a study showed that patients with osteoarthritis showed reduced stiffness, joint pain, and overall less physical limitation.9

It also torches calories. Swimming has shown improved body weight and body fat distribution when compared to walking.10 An average person can burn almost 450 calories when swimming at a low or moderate pace for one hour. At an increased pace, that could go north of 700 calories. For comparison, running for one hour at a leisurely pace burns about 400 calories.

Outside of the aerobic benefits, swimming (and water training, like deep-water running) has shown to improve cardiovascular health and lung capacity.11,12,13

To incorporate swimming into your cross-training routine, first find a place to swim. Then gather the necessary tools (like goggles, swim cap, fins, etc.), and brush up on the form before jumping in the pool. Try it one to three times a week for 30 minutes to start.

Cycling
Benefits: Low impact, aerobic, and strength building
Concerns: Risk of injury and cost of equipment
How to try it: For outdoor cycling, get a bike properly fitted and map your cycling route. Or find a bike / spin class at your local gym. For beginners, try cycling 45 minutes to an hour

Another low impact workout, cycling is a great way to reduce stress on those joint while still clocking in the aerobic hours.

Similar to swimming, cycling burns calories at an impressive clip, anywhere from 400 – 1,000 per hour depending on the intensity of the ride. And since cycling is also a resistance exercise, it’s not just burning fat–it also builds muscle.

A systematic review analyzed the benefits of cycling, showcasing a myriad of results. There was a positive relationship between cycling and cardiorespiratory fitness, cardiovascular fitness, and general fitness.14 Whether on the road, the track, or in the gym on a stationary bike, the benefits of cycling as a cross-training mechanism stem from the fact it’s a low impact, muscle building, aerobic workout. It can help athletes train if they have experienced an injury.

There are several ways to train on a bicycle. You can ride hills to build muscle and strength, or do shorter sprints to build speed. There’s also an option for endurance, with riders cycling hundreds or thousands of miles over the course of a long session. For beginners, get a feel for the workout on a stationary bike. As you advance, visit a local bike shop to get your bike properly fitted.

Strength Training
Benefits: Increased muscle strength, bone density, injury prevention, mental health
Concerns: Improper form and too much weight can lead to injury
How to try it: Find a gym with the proper equipment and build a training plan, picking exercises that target both the upper and lower body.

Many endurance athletes don’t consider strength training as part of their workout routine, but it can help prevent injury while improving strength for your main sport. For runners, maybe that’s improved core strength for economy. For cyclists, maybe the outcome is a higher power output. Regardless of your sport, strength training is imperative to improving endurance for runners15 and cyclists.

In a study of postmenopausal women, high-intensity strength training exercises showed preserved bone density while improving muscle mass, strength and balance.16 It can also help prevent injury. In a study of soccer players who strength trained in the offseason, hamstring strains were lower (and that group also saw increases in strength and speed).17

“You spend so much time beating your body down in-season, but I find that I’m healthier and stronger when I lift. With long distance, being strong helps. I try to put on a lot of muscle during a short period of time.”
Kelsey Withrow, professional triathlete

The mental benefits of resistance training have also been documented; studies have shown it improves anxiety and depression.18,19

A good strength training regimen will focus separately on different muscle groups. There are several options for lifters of all different levels, but starting with some simple bodyweight exercises (like push-ups or pull-ups) can allow you to build toward free weight training, weight machines, or rubber tubing. A meta-analysis of periodized training–varying your strength training workouts–has shown results for greater changes in strength, motor performance and lean body mass.20 So don’t get stuck doing the same routine over and over again. A good way to push yourself is to incorporate overload training into some of that strength work.

If you’re strapped for time, a full-body workout once or twice a week (with dedicated recovery time) should suffice. Make sure to also spend some time nailing down form in the weight room, as improper form and too much weight can lead to injury.

Yoga
Benefits: Increased strength, mobility, flexibility, and mood
Concerns: Improper form can lead to injury
How to try it: Find a studio and pick a class level that’s appropriate for your skill level.

An ancient practice designed to create a union between the body and mind, many athletes seek out yoga for its ability to increase strength and flexibility while also promoting mental health benefits.

Yoga can improve performance by targeting specific aspects of flexibility and balance–one study, which took place over the course of 10 weeks in male collegiate athletes, saw improvements in both balance and flexibility.21 In older adults, studies have shown improved balance and mobility.22 Strength is also a target of many yoga programs, especially in the core. Even a study in which a specific pose (sun salutation) was used six days per week for 24 weeks, participants saw increased upper body strength, weight loss and endurance.23

But with yoga, the body is only half the game. It has been shown to decrease cortisol levels (the stress hormone),24 along with the ability to lower levels of depression, stress, and anxiety.25 There have even been studies which showed overall quality of life improvements in seniors.26 Maybe part of these mental benefits are linked to better sleep quality. One study illustrated that a group participating in yoga fell asleep faster, slept longer and felt more well-rested in the morning.27

Yoga isn’t an aerobic workout, but it stretches muscles, builds strength and has been shown to improve mood. Because it’s low-impact, yoga can be done every day. Typically gyms or studios have beginner classes, and they will typically last between 60 and 90 minutes. Athletes can use yoga as recovery days, so between one and three sessions per week would be perfect.

Remember: listen to your body. Athletes always want to push the limit, and many may scoff that yoga is difficult (compared, say, to running). But extending a stretch too far, or practicing yoga without learning form, can lead to injury.

Other Exercises
There are different activities that may be considered cross training, outside of the usual suspects we detailed above.

Hiking, for example, is a great way to build strength and get outside during a recovery day. Same goes with exercises like kayaking or stand-up paddle boarding28–these can help build upper body strength while encouraging an athlete to get out of their comfort zone (literally, and figuratively).

“I spend a lot of time training indoors, so getting outside is a lot of fun. I’ll do one long run per week outside, and I’ll bring my dog. It’s a reset for me.”
Kelsey Withrow, professional triathlete

We wouldn’t recommend team sports because there’s a risk of injury. But tennis might be an exception. While there are of course injury concerns with every sport and exercise, tennis has shown to improve aerobic fitness, lower body fat percentage, reduce risk for developing cardiovascular disease and improve bone health.29

For more passive cross training, think about everyday things you can do to improve strength and balance. Even investing in a standing desk, or sitting on a medicine ball at work can encourage better posture and more movement overall.

Cross Training for Athletes
During peak training season, athletes feel the grind. You’re putting in the hours with a race or event or goal in mind, laboring over the same path, the same laps, the same routine, with little variance.

Cross training is meant to serve as a break, but one that’s productive. It can be a break from your normal routine, both physically and mentally. But it can also invigorate the mind, providing it with a new task to learn, a new challenge to face. And of course, the physical benefits of testing the body in new ways are evident.
To incorporate cross training, try one or more of these exercises a couple times a week. See how you feel. You’ll likely find one you enjoy more than others, one that maybe provides better results than the rest. It’ll take some time to find a balance.

What’s your cross training routine? Let us know in the comments and share your experience.

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Scientific Citations

1.    Van mechelen W. Running injuries. A review of the epidemiological literature. Sports Med. 1992;14(5):320-35.
2.    Mikkola J, Vesterinen V, Taipale R, Capostagno B, Häkkinen K, Nummela A. Effect of resistance training regimens on treadmill running and neuromuscular performance in recreational endurance runners. J Sports Sci. 2011;29(13):1359-71.
3.    Yamamoto, Linda M; Lopez, Rebecca M; Klau, Jennifer F; Casa, Douglas J; Kraemer, William J; Maresh, Carl M. The Effects of Resistance Training on Endurance Distance Running Performance Among Highly Trained Runners: A Systematic Review. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research: November 2008 – Volume 22 – Issue 6 – p 2036-2044 doi: 10.1519/JSC.0b013e318185f2f0.
4.    MacDougall JD, Gibala MJ, Tarnopolsky MA, MacDonald JR, Interisano SA, Yarasheski KE. The time course for elevated muscle protein synthesis following heavy resistance exercise. Can J Appl Physiol. 1995 Dec;20(4):480-6.

  1. Holdsworth, D.A., Cox, P.J., Kirk, T., Stradling, H., Impey, S.G., and Clarke, K. (2017). A Ketone Ester Drink Increases Postexercise Muscle Glycogen Synthesis in Humans. Med Sci Sports Exerc.
    6. Vandoorne, T., De Smet, S., Ramaekers, M., Van Thienen, R., De Bock, K., Clarke, K., and Hespel, P. (2017). Intake of a Ketone Ester Drink during Recovery from Exercise Promotes mTORC1 Signaling but Not Glycogen Resynthesis in Human Muscle. Front. Physiol. 8, 310.
    7.    Steinacker JM, Lormes W, Kellmann M, et al. Thaining of junior rowers before world championships. Effects on performance, mood state and selected hormonal and metabolic responses. J SPORTS MED PHYS FTTNESS 2000;40:327-35.
    8.    Lotshaw AM, Thompson M, Sadowsky HS, Hart MK, Millard MW. Quality of life and physical performance in land- and water-based pulmonary rehabilitation. J Cardiopulm Rehabil Prev. 2007;27(4):247-51.
    9.    Alkatan M, Baker JR, Machin DR, et al. Improved Function and Reduced Pain after Swimming and Cycling Training in Patients with Osteoarthritis. J Rheumatol. 2016;43(3):666-72.
    10.    Cox KL, Burke V, Beilin LJ, Puddey IB. A comparison of the effects of swimming and walking on body weight, fat distribution, lipids, glucose, and insulin in older women–the Sedentary Women Exercise Adherence Trial 2. Metab Clin Exp. 2010;59(11):1562-73.
    11.    Broman G, Quintana M, Engardt M, Gullstrand L, Jansson E, Kaijser L. Older women’s cardiovascular responses to deep-water running. J Aging Phys Act. 2006;14(1):29-40.
    12.    Cider A, Sveälv BG, Täng MS, Schaufelberger M, Andersson B. Immersion in warm water induces improvement in cardiac function in patients with chronic heart failure. Eur J Heart Fail. 2006;8(3):308-13.
    13.    Sable M, Vaidya SM, Sable SS. Comparative study of lung functions in swimmers and runners. Indian J Physiol Pharmacol. 2012;56(1):100-4.
    14.    Oja P, Titze S, Bauman A, et al. Health benefits of cycling: a systematic review. Scand J Med Sci Sports. 2011;21(4):496-509.
    15.    Hoff J. Maximal Strength Training Enhances Running Economy and Aerobic Endurance Performance. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise: May 2001; Volume 33 ,Issue 5, p S270
    16.    Miriam E. Nelson, PhD; Maria A. Fiatarone, MD; Christina M. Morganti, MD; et al. JAMA Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2015;141(5):428.
    17.    Askling C, Karlsson J, Thorstensson A. Hamstring injury occurrence in elite soccer players after preseason strength training with eccentric overload. Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports. 2003; 13(4);244-250
    18.    Gordon BR, Mcdowell CP, Hallgren M, Meyer JD, Lyons M, Herring MP. Association of Efficacy of Resistance Exercise Training With Depressive Symptoms: Meta-analysis and Meta-regression Analysis of Randomized Clinical Trials. JAMA Psychiatry. 2018;75(6):566-576.
    19.    Gordon, B.R., McDowell, C.P., Lyons, M. et al. Sports Med (2017) 47: 2521. https://doi.org/10.1007/s40279-017-0769-0
    20.    Fleck SJ. Periodized Strength Training: A Critical Review. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. 1999l;13(1).
    21.    M Jay Polsgrove, Brandon M Eggleston, and Roch J Lockyer. Impact of 10-weeks of yoga practice on flexibility and balance of college athletes. Int J Yoga. 2016 Jan-Jun; 9(1): 27–34. doi: 10.4103/0973-6131.171710
    22.    Tiedemann A, O’rourke S, Sesto R, Sherrington C. A 12-week Iyengar yoga program improved balance and mobility in older community-dwelling people: a pilot randomized controlled trial. J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 2013;68(9):1068-75.
    23.    Bhutkar MV, Bhutkar PM, Taware GB, Surdi AD. How effective is sun salutation in improving muscle strength, general body endurance and body composition?. Asian J Sports Med. 2011;2(4):259-66.
    24.    Katuri KK, Dasari AB, Kurapati S, Vinnakota NR, Bollepalli AC, Dhulipalla R. Association of yoga practice and serum cortisol levels in chronic periodontitis patients with stress-related anxiety and depression. J Int Soc Prev Community Dent. 2016;6(1):7-14.
    25.    Michalsen A, Grossman P, Acil A, et al. Rapid stress reduction and anxiolysis among distressed women as a consequence of a three-month intensive yoga program. Med Sci Monit. 2005;11(12):CR555-561.
    26.    Oken BS, Zajdel D, Kishiyama S, et al. Randomized, controlled, six-month trial of yoga in healthy seniors: effects on cognition and quality of life. Altern Ther Health Med. 2006;12(1):40-7.
    27.    Manjunath NK, Telles S. Influence of Yoga and Ayurveda on self-rated sleep in a geriatric population. Indian J Med Res. 2005;121(5):683-90.
    28.    Schram B, Hing W, Climstein M. The physiological, musculoskeletal and psychological effects of stand up paddle boarding. BMC Sports Sci Med Rehabil. 2016;8:32.
    29.    Pluim BM, Staal JB, Marks BL, Miller S, Miley D. Health benefits of tennis. Br J Sports Med. 2007;41(11):760-8.

Muscle Recovery: Essential to Your Next Workout

This article was originally published by HVMN.

The moment every athlete wants to avoid.

POP!

A muscle gives at the gym or on the track, leading to weeks of rehab. Sometimes it’s not even a single moment, but rather, countless hours of overuse that leads a muscle to strain or tear.

To avoid rehab, athletes need to be thinking about pre-hab. Get ahead of an injury before it happens.

Muscle recovery should be part of every training plan (specifically post-workout). But there are multiple strategies athletes can employ that lead to muscle health–even things like diet can impact how your muscles recover. Knowing what to do, and when to do it, can help avoid the injuries that’ll set you back weeks.

Why is Recovery Important?

An important goal of every training session is to break down muscle. Without recovery, a significant portion of that work might be a waste of time. So, what exactly happens during recovery? That’ll depend on the person and activity, but generally, four different things are happening while you’re resting.

Synthesis of protein: This is what leads to muscle growth. During recovery is when most muscle is built, because muscle protein synthesis increases by 50% four hours after a workout (like resistance training).1

Rebuilding of muscle fibers: Microtears in muscle fibers are a normal part of exercise, happening when we put strain on our muscles. Recovery allows these fibers to heal and become stronger during that process.

Fluid restoration: We sweat (and lose a lot of fluid through exhaled air).2 Hydrating before, during and after a workout is important, because these fluids help deliver nutrients to organs and muscle through the bloodstream.

Removal of metabolic waste products: Acids (via that pesky little proton associated with lactate) accumulate during a workout, and recovery gives the body time to restore intramuscular pH and reestablish intramuscular blood flow for oxygen delivery (among other things).

While you’re resting, your muscles kick into overdrive.

Recovery can be attacked several ways–some may be surprising, because they don’t directly target the muscles themselves. By approaching recovery through a few different avenues, it can be optimized.

Consuming Your Way to Recovery

It may not seem obvious, but a combination of hydration, diet, and supplements can do wonders for the muscles.

Hydration: During and After Exercise

Drinking fluids is a mantra repeated by coaches everywhere for good reason: muscles are 75% water.

Before and during exercise, hydration is key to maintaining fluid balance and can even improve endurance (it’s equally important to not over-consume water as well).3,4 But post-workout, consuming enough water is vital to helping digest essential nutrients and repairing damaged muscle.

The sought after protein resynthesis requires muscles be well-hydrated. And coupled with post-workout eating, saliva–which is comprised mostly of water–is necessary to help break down food, digest, and absorb all the nutrients you’re hoping to receive. In one study, adequate hydration after a 90-minute run on a treadmill showed significantly faster heart rate recovery;5 this illustrates that hydrated bodies recover from exercise-induced stress faster.

Don’t rely on the age-old test of urine to determine if you’re hydrated; that has been debunked.6

A good rule of thumb is to weigh yourself before and after a workout, drinking 1.5x the amount of weight lost.

Diet: Protein, Carbohydrates and Fat All Work Together

Nailing the right nutrition strategy post-workout can encourage quicker recovery, reduce soreness, build muscle, improve immunity and replenish glycogen.

Your next workout starts within the hour your last workout ended.

Since exercise triggers the breakdown of muscle protein,7 it’s beneficial to consume an adequate amount of protein after a workout. Protein provides the body with necessary amino acids needed to repair and rebuild, while also promoting the development of new muscle tissue.8

Good sources of protein include: whey protein, whole eggs, cheese and smoked salmon.

Carbohydrates have a similarly important effect–they replenish glycogen stores. The type of exercise will depend on how much carbohydrate is needed. Consuming about 0.5 – 0.7 grams of carbohydrate per pound of bodyweight within 30 minutes of training can result in adequate glycogen resynthesis.7 Insulin secretion promotes glycogen synthesis, and is more stimulated when carbs and protein are consumed simultaneously.9

Carb sources are everywhere; but look to slow-release sources such as sweet potatoes, fruit, pasta and rice.

Fat shouldn’t be the main focus of an after workout meal, but should be part of it. Good fat sources include avocados and nuts. Milk is also a popular choice; one study found whole milk was more effective at promoting muscle growth than skim milk.10

Supplements: Protein, BCAAs and Omega-3s Build Muscle and Reduce Inflammation

We’ve outlined which supplements runners should take; it’s best to focus on protein, BCAAs and omega-3s–all these supplements help optimize muscle recovery.

While most athletes think protein is best left to bodybuilders, protein can repair the muscle damage that occurs during a workout, reduce the response from the “stress hormone” cortisol, and speed up glycogen replacement. Protein also accelerates the resolution of muscle inflammation.11,12

Whey, casein and soy are some of the most popular proteins. Whey is absorbed the fastest by the body, and is largely considered the most effective protein for muscle protein synthesis.13 Casein protein is geared more toward long-term recovery because it takes hours to absorb. Try introducing whey immediately post-workout, while using casein protein before bed; protein ingestion before sleep has been shown to stimulate muscle protein synthesis.14

Serious athletes should be taking about one gram of protein per pound of bodyweight.

If someone doesn’t consume enough protein, branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) can be a useful supplement.

Amino acids are the building blocks of protein. During exercise, the body breaks down protein into amino acids; those are absorbed and transported through the body to create new proteins that encourage building muscle. BCAAs help enhance muscle protein recovery by introducing more amino acids into the body. They preserve muscle glycogen stores, which fuel the muscles and minimize protein breakdown. Studies show BCAAs as effective for muscle recovery (as well as immune system regulation).15

Omega-3s, found in fish oils, have anti-inflammatory properties that help sore muscles.16 Kado-3, by HVMN, is a supercharged krill and fish oil stack designed to assist daily brain and body metabolism. Ingredients in Kado-3 work together; like astaxanthin oil (a powerful antioxidant) to fight against the buildup of free radicals, and Vitamins K and D to protect bone health.17,18,19

HVMN Ketone can also help muscle recovery. Those using HVMN Ketone have seen decreases in the breakdown of intramuscular glycogen and protein during exercise when compared to carbs alone.20 It also expedited the resynthesis of glycogen by 60% and protein by 2x when added to normal carb / protein post-workout fuel.21,22

Resting Your Way to Recovery

Rest should be accounted for in any training program.

Sleep: A Necessary Reset

On its face, sleep should be the easiest way to recover. One study found that lack of sleep can lead to muscle degradation.23 But many find it difficult to get the ideal seven-to-nine hours per night.

Sleep improves other facets of health that tangentially affect muscle recovery; the central nervous system (CNS) also recuperates during sleep, which is important for muscles, because the CNS triggers muscle contractions and reaction time. Hormones like cortisol and testosterone, which produce protein synthesis, are also working while we sleep.

To help optimize sleep, it’s important to set a routine.

Our screens can negatively impact sleep,24 so 60 – 90 minutes of screenless time before bed can do wonders. The blue light emitted from our devices tricks the brain into thinking it’s daytime and we need to be awake, decreasing our natural melatonin.

It’s also important to create an optimal environment for sleep. Things like blackout curtains, a cooler temperature setting in the bedroom, or a quality mattress can all encourage better, more restful sleep.

Rest Days: Muscles Don’t Take Breaks, But You Should

On a much smaller scale, what’s happening during sleep is also happening on rest days. Work rest days into your training program because they give the body time to repair tissues that have been broken down.25

Depleted muscle energy stores, micro-tears, fluid loss–all the things that happen during a workout need time to recuperate and grow stronger.

Recovery time depends on your specific routine. Runners can have an especially difficult time doing this. For highly active runners who log miles six days per week, they should also incorporate recovery runs. About half of these runs should be at recovery pace, a slower less-strenuous pace that allows the body to recycle lactate as it’s produced. By increasing blood flow, recovery runs may actually accelerate the recovery process.

Also try to avoid intense workouts or hard runs on back-to-back days. Complete rest days vary by person, but a good goal is one or two rest days every week or ten days. Injury-prone athletes may increase the number of complete rest days during this period.

Techniques & Exercises for Recovery

Let’s get into the specifics of what you can do to help the body recover faster. By using exercises targeted at certain muscles, not only will those muscles recover faster–they’ll also get stronger in the process.

Active Recovery: Getting Stronger and Building Muscle

This type of recovery focuses on exercise intensity at low-to-moderate levels. Studies have shown that it’s best for the performance of endurance athletes.26 Active recovery is successful mostly due to its ability to more rapidly remove blood lactate, facilitating blood flow and giving the body the ability to process excess lactate produced during periods of intense exercise.27

Cross training is also a great way to engage in active recovery while enhancing aerobic fitness without putting the body through the same stress as your normal workouts. Try:

  • Cycling: The motion is similar to running without the joint impact. Ride at an easy pace in the low-intensity zone (around 120 – 140 heart rate)
  • Yoga: A beginner’s class should do just fine. Practicing basic yoga through online videos is sufficient, using poses such as sun salutation (to boost circulation and release tightness) and warriors one and two (to activate thigh and calf muscles while helping stretch hips)
  • Plyometrics: Even 15 – 30 minutes of bodyweight exercises can help boost circulation while stretching muscles. They’ve even been shown to increase sprint performance.28 Try exercises like planks, calf raises and lunges

Ice Baths: Taking the Plunge

Some athletes and coaches swear by ice baths, with trainers mandating post-practice cold water immersion (CWI). They consider ice baths essential to helping tired muscles, and feeling better for the next intense training sessions.

The idea here is that cold therapy constricts blood vessels and decreases metabolic activity, reducing swelling and tissue breakdown, flushing metabolic debris from the muscle.

But one study showcased that the “hypothesized physiological benefits surrounding CWI are at least partly placebo related.”29 This suggests that if you think ice baths help, then they may have a beneficial impact on recovery and subsequent training.

If you’d like to try an ice bath, fill a tub or large container with water, enough to submerge your hips. Add enough ice so the temperature of the water drops to about 55 degrees. Then sit in the bath for about 15 minutes.

Stretching & Foam Rolling: Increase Range of Motion

Stretching is important both before and after a workout because exercise can shorten muscles, decreasing mobility. Stretching helps flexibility, allowing muscles and joints to work in their full range of motion.30 One study found that hamstring flexibility led to increased muscle performance.31

Post-workout stretches are often forgotten by athletes in a rush, but it’s essential to account for these stretches in a training schedule. Generally, it’s best to hold stretches for about 30 seconds and repeat each once or twice. Target these muscles, which usually take a beating from a variety of workouts:

  • Piriformis
  • Chest and Anterior Deltoids
  • Hamstrings
  • Lats
  • Quads
  • Lower Back

Complementary to stretching, foam rollers help sore muscles,32 and they can be used on almost every muscle in the body.

Our muscles go through a constant state of breakdown, then repair. Fascia, the connective tissue surrounding our muscles, gets thick and short over time because the body is attempting to protect itself from more damage. Sometimes, trigger points form–sore spots, caused by fascia contraction, need release.

Ultimately, this affects range of movement and causes soreness.

Foam rolling (called myofascial release) can help release those muscular trigger points, and as one study found, can lead to overall improvement in athletic performance.33 The result is decreased muscle and joint pain, and increased mobility.

Selecting a foam roller depends on your needs; a larger roller can allow you fuller sessions (meaning, if it’s large enough, you can lie on the foam roller and do some great shoulder / upper back workouts). A denser roller will also mean a more intense massage.

Target these often overused areas: glutes, iliotibial band (IT band), lower back, shoulders and sides.

Technology: All the Data You Need

While technology and wearables can’t directly help with recovery, they’re able to gather important data that may inform recovery techniques. Being able to track aspects of training, sleep, heart rate and hydration can provide insight into how the best tackle specificities of recovery.

  • Hydration: Wearables like Nobo B60 and Hydra Alert help monitor hydration through different means, but mostly through sensors. Nobo is like a watch, mounted to the wrist or calf, while the Hydra Alert is placed in a urinal or toilet to monitor hydration through urine. However, many of these types of devices haven’t been independently validated for accuracy.
  • Training: It seems there are countless devices to measure training. The IMeasureU is versatile, using motion data to track training. Similar to hydration wearables though, there isn’t clinical validation for this technology.
  • Heart Rate and Breathing: The Hexoskin is like a smart t-shirt with electrocardiogram (ECG) and breathing sensors, along with an accelerometer. This measures heart rate, heart rate variability, breathing rate, steps, etc.
  • Sleep: Many training devices also can monitor sleep. These devices can illuminate what we don’t know happens during our sleep, and can also showcase our sleeping patterns to help us understand why we may be waking up so tired. The Fitbit Charge 2 is especially responsive to monitoring sleep, and has been validated through a third-party study.34

Understanding our inputs with data provides us with a way to maximize our outputs and reach peak performance–even in recovery.

Recovery is the First Step to Better Training

Recovery takes time and dedication; it often gets overlooked in workout schedules because it isn’t accounted for.

Active recovery, sleep, diet, and supplements like HVMN Ketone can be used to kickstart the recovery process and make training more effective.

The best training starts with mindful recovery to help muscles rebuild for the next training session. This, ultimately, can improve training by putting your body in the best position to perform. The process of muscle breakdown happens during exercise; immediately after, the process of muscle restoration and strengthening begins–you could be compromising gainful training by skipping these all-important techniques to help the body rebuild.

Scientific Citations

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2. Mitchell, J W. Nadel, E R. Stolwijk, J. A. J. Respiratory water losses during exercise. Journal of Applied Physiology 32(4):474-6. May 1972.
3. Montner P, Stark D M, Riedesel M L, Murata G, Robergs R, Timms M, Chick T W. Pre-Exercise Glycerol Hydration Improves Cycling Endurance Time. Int J Sports Med 1996; 17(1): 27-33.
4. Hew-Butler T, Rosner M H, Fowkes-Godek S, et al. Statement of the Third International Exercise-Associated Hyponatremia Consensus Development Conference, Carlsbad, California, 2015. Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine: July 2015 – Volume 25 – Issue 4 – p 303–320.
5. Moreno I L, Vanderlei L C M, Pastre C M, Vanderlei F M, Carlos de Abreu L, Ferreira C. Cardiorespiratory effects of water ingestion during and after exercise. Int Arch Med. 2013; 6: 35. Published online 2013 Sep 23.
6. Heneghan C, Gill P, O’Neill B, Lasserson D, Thake M, Thompson M, Howick J. Mythbusting sports and exercise products. BMJ 2012;345:e4848.
7. Kerksick C, Harvey T, Stout J, et al. International Society of Sports Nutrition position stand: nutrient timing. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2008 Oct 3;5:17.
8. Biolo G, Tipton KD, Klein S, Wolfe RR. An abundant supply of amino acids enhances the metabolic effect of exercise on muscle protein. Am J Physiol. 1997 Jul;273(1 Pt 1):E122-9.
9. Rasmussen BB, Tipton KD, Miller SL, Wolf SE, Wolfe RR. An oral essential amino acid-carbohydrate supplement enhances muscle protein anabolism after resistance exercise. J Appl Physiol (1985). 2000 Feb;88(2):386-92.
10. Elliot TA, Cree MG, Sanford AP, Wolfe RR, Tipton KD. Milk ingestion stimulates net muscle protein synthesis following resistance exercise. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2006 Apr;38(4):667-74.
11. Rieu I, Balage M, Sornet C, Giraudet C, Pujos E, Grizard J, Mosoni L, Dardevet D. Leucine supplementation improves muscle protein synthesis in elderly men independently of hyperaminoacidaemia. The Journal of Physiology, 08 August 2006.
12. Yang C, Jiao Y, Wei B, Yang Z, Wu JF, Jensen J, Jean WH,4, Huang CY, Kuo CH. Aged cells in human skeletal muscle after resistance exercise. Aging (Albany NY). 2018 Jun 27;10(6):1356-1365.
13. Tang J E, Moore D R, Kujbida G W, Tarnopolsky M A, Phillips S M. Ingestion of whey hydrolysate, casein, or soy protein isolate: effects on mixed muscle protein synthesis at rest and following resistance exercise in young men. American Physiological Society. 01 September 2009.
14. Res P T, Groen B, Pennings B, Beelen M, Wallis G A, Gijsen A P , Senden J M G, Van Loon L J C. Protein Ingestion before Sleep Improves Postexercise Overnight Recovery. 0195-9131/12/4408-1560/0 MEDICINE & SCIENCE IN SPORTS & EXERCISE Copyright 2012 by the American College of Sports Medicine.
15. Negro M, Giardina S, Marzani B, Marzatico F. Branched-chain amino acid supplementation does not enhance athletic performance but affects muscle recovery and the immune system. J Sports Med Phys Fitness. 2008 Sep;48(3):347-51.
16. Mori T A, Beilin L J. Omega-3 fatty acids and inflammation. Current Atherosclerosis Reports November 2004, Volume 6, Issue 6, pp 461–467.
17. Barros MP, Poppe SC, Bondan EF. Neuroprotective properties of the marine carotenoid astaxanthin and omega-3 fatty acids, and perspectives for the natural combination of both in krill oil. Nutrients. 2014 Mar 24;6(3):1293-317.
18. Pashkow FJ, Watumull DG, Campbell CL. Astaxanthin: a novel potential treatment for oxidative stress and inflammation in cardiovascular disease. Am J Cardiol. 2008 May 22;101(10A):58D-68D.
19. Machlin L J , Bendich A. Free radical tissue damage: protective role of antioxidant nutrients. The Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology. Vol. 1, No. 6 December 1987.
20. Holdsworth, D.A., Cox, P.J., Kirk, T., Stradling, H., Impey, S.G., and Clarke, K. (2017). A Ketone Ester Drink Increases Postexercise Muscle Glycogen Synthesis in Humans. Med Sci Sports Exerc.
21. Stubbs, B.Cox, P.; Evans, R.; Santer, P.; Miller, J.; Faull, O.; Magor-Elliott, S.; Hiyama, S.; Stirling, M.; Clarke, K. (2017). On the metabolism of exogenous ketones in humans. Front. Physiol.
22. Cahill, G.F., Jr. (1970). Starvation in man. New Engl J Med 282, 668-675.
23. Dattilo M, Antunes H K M, Medeiros A, Mônico Neto M, Souza H S, Tufika S, de Mello M T. Sleep and muscle recovery: Endocrinological and molecular basis for a new and promising hypothesis. Medical Hypotheses Volume 77, Issue 2, August 2011, Pages 220-222.
24. Exelmans L, Van den Bulck J .Bedtime mobile phone use and sleep in adults. Soc Sci Med. 2016 Jan;148:93-101.
25. Parra J, Cadefau J A, Rodas G, Amigo N, Cusso R. The distribution of rest periods affects performance and adaptations of energy metabolism induced by high‐intensity training in human muscle. Acta Physiologica Scandinavica, 169: 157-165.
26. Crowther F, Sealey R, Crowe M, Edwards A, Halson S. Influence of recovery strategies upon performance and perceptions following fatiguing exercise: a randomized controlled trial. BMC Sports Science, Medicine and RehabilitationBMC series – open, inclusive and trusted. 2017 9:25.
27. Monedero J, Donne B. Effect of Recovery Interventions on Lactate Removal and Subsequent Performance. Int J Sports Med 2000; 21: 593–597
28. Rimmer E, Sleivert G. Effects of a Plyometrics Intervention Program on Sprint Performance. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 2000, 14(3), 295–301 q 2000.
29. Broatch JR, Petersen A, Bishop DJ. Postexercise cold water immersion benefits are not greater than the placebo effect. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2014 Nov;46(11):2139-47.
30. Page P. Current Concepts in Muscle Stretching for Exercise and Rehabilitation. Int J Sports Phys Ther. 2012 Feb; 7(1): 109–119.
31. Worrell T W, Smith T L, Winegardner J. Effect of Hamstring Stretching on Hamstring Muscle Performance. Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy, 1994 Volume:20 Issue:3 Pages:154–159.
32. Pearcey G E P, Bradbury-Squires D J, Kawamoto J E, Drinkwater E J, Behm D G, Button D C. Foam Rolling for Delayed-Onset Muscle Soreness and Recovery of Dynamic Performance Measures. Journal of Athletic Training: January 2015, Vol. 50, No. 1, pp. 5-13.
33. Peacock CA, Krein D D, Silva T A, Sander G J, Von Carlowitz K A. An Acute Bout of Self-Myofascial Release in the Form of Foam Rolling Improves Performance Testing. Int J Exerc Sci. 2014; 7(3): 202–211. Published online 2014 Jul 1.
34. de Zambotti M, Goldstone A, Claudatos S, Colrain IM, Baker FC. A validation study of Fitbit Charge 2™ compared with polysomnography in adults.

20,000 set to line up for the SSE Airtricity Dublin Marathon 2018

SSE Airtricity Dublin Marathon 2018, Celebrates Female Runners 

The 39th running of the SSE Airtricity Dublin Marathon will take place on Sunday, 28th October with 20,000 runners set to hit the streets of Dublin. This year marks a celebration of female runners with Constance Markievicz appearing on the finishers medal. The number of female participants has grown from 70 in 1980 to 7,000 in 2018.

Many international elite distance athletes are set to compete against Ireland’s top athletes. The race will also serve as the Athletics Ireland’s National Championships with Olympians Lizzie Lee, Caitriona Jennings, Mick Clohisey and current national champion Gary O’Hanlon set to line-up. This year’s race also incorporates the European Police Championships. In the Wheelchair race, four-time champion Patrick Monahan will have to contend with a strong international field. For many others taking part, this will be their first marathon and the achievement will be crossing the line.

Race Director Jim Aughney said: “We are delighted to again have a sold-out entry of 20,000. The marathon has grown 10-fold from just over 2,000 runners in 1980 to 20,000 today. I am also proud that we are celebrating female runners today, with a special mention to Mary (Hickey) who has competed in every marathon since we started back in 1980.”

Leanne Sheill, Sponsorship Manager at SSE Airtricity, said: “As proud health and fitness supporters we are excited for the weekend ahead to see all of the hard work and training commitment come to fruition. It’s also great to see the fantastic growth of the Dublin Marathon and Race Series over the last number of years making it one of the largest marathons in Europe. I would like to thank the people who make the Dublin Marathon and Race Series so special every year, from runners, supporters to volunteers and the organising committee, including Race Director Jim Aughney, for their outstanding level of effort and commitment.”

Celebrating Female Runners from 70 in 1980 to 7,000 in 2018

This year is a celebration of female runners, linking with the nationwide commemoration of Vótáil 100. Constance Markievicz, a key campaigner for Irish women’s voting rights, will appear on the finishers medal. The Dublin Marathon has over the years, attracted women of all ages and fitness levels from around Ireland and across the globe. In 1980 the first year of the event, there were only 70 female runners entered, in 2018 it has increased to 7,000. 66-year-old Mary Hickey, the only women to have competed in 38 Dublin Marathons and was one of the women who took part in the first event in 1980, said:I really feel I’m blessed. It’s not everyone that can run a race 39 years in-a-row. Life hits you in so many ways so to get to the start-line every year, I’m amazed and surprised by that really and regard myself as very lucky”.

Elite Fields

For the elite runners there is a potential prize pot of €120k up for grabs at this year’s SSE Airtricity Dublin Marathon.

Women’s Elite Field

In the elite women’s field Remalda Kergyte of Lithuania, with a personal best of 2.35.13, will be one of the key contenders.  Others include winner of this year’s Belfast Marathon (2.41.17) and Edinburgh Marathon, Caroline Jepchirchir of Kenya. Motu Gedefa of Ethiopia who finished third in the SSE Airtricity Dublin Marathon in 2016 (2.36.25) will be joined by fellow country woman Mesera Dubiso.  Ireland’s Lizzie Lee (Leevale AC) will be looking to make her mark in her second ever Dublin Marathon, she last competed in 2006. The Olympic marathoner has a personal best of 2:32.51 from Berlin in 2015. The Cork woman has shown good form this year, setting a new personal best in the Half Marathon of 1:13:19 at the IAAF World Half Marathon Championships in March and winning the Women’s Mini Marathon in June.

The national title will be a battle between Lee and fellow Olympian Caitriona Jennings (Letterkenny AC). The Donegal woman placed second in the 2017 National Championships. Other contenders include Jane Ann Meehan (Galway City Harriers) and Zola Flynn (Calry AC). Reigning national champion Laura Graham will not line up due to injury.

Men’s Elite Field

In the Men’s field, last year’s winner (2:15:53) Benard Rotich of Kenya is set to toe the line. Fellow countrymen Vincent Tonui, Eric Koech and Joel Kiptoo are all likely to be top 10 finishers. Asefa Bekele of Ethiopia who finished third in 2017 and 2015 will also be a key contender.

There are several athletes vying for the national honours who have the potential to run sub 2:20. Last year’s national champion Gary O’Hanlon (running a personal best of 2.18.53) will be joined by Clonliffe clubmates Sergiu Ciobanu and David Flynn. In September, O’Hanlon won the master’s category in Berlin Marathon and won the Cork City Marathon in June. Flynn won the 2018 SSE Airtricity Dublin Half Marathon in 1.06.21. Dublin will be his debut marathon. Stephen Scullion will not line up as he is recovering from injury.

Raheny AC’s Mick Clohisey will also be in the mix after he ran a personal best of 2.14.55 in the 2018 Seville Marathon and finished 18th at the European Athletics Championships in Berlin in August. Other contenders include Tomas Fitzpatrick (Tallaght AC), Thomas Frazer (St Malachy’s AC), Eoin Callaghan (Sar of the Sea AC) and Louis McCarthy (Rathfarnham AC).

Wheelchair Race

Four-time Dublin Marathon Wheelchair winner and Rio 2016 Paralympian, Patrick Monahan (Ireland) will have a competitive international field to contend with this year. Britain’s Johnboy Smith will be a tough competitor, he secured a Commonwealth Games Silver Medal in the Marathon (T54) this year and is also a previous Seville and Manchester Marathon winner. Sam Kolek of Poland who is currently ranked eighth in Europe will also be in contention. Richie Powell (Wales) who represented Great Britain at the Paralympic Games and Sean Frame (Scotland) will also be at the start line.

European Police Championships

The 7th Union Sportive des Polices d’Europe (USPE), European Police Championships Marathon, will take place as part of the Dublin Marathon with 155 athletes from 22 countries represented including Ireland.

Lord Mayors Award

The Lord Mayor of Dublin, Nial Ring will present the 2018 recipient of the Lord Mayor’s medal at the start of the 2018 SSE Airtricity Dublin Marathon.

Key Race Day Information:

Road Closures: Road closures will be in effect within the city during this event. The SSE Airtricity Dublin Marathon will start at Fitzwilliam Street Upper on Sunday October 28th at 8:55am and will finish in Merrion Square North up to 5pm.

For more information see: http://sseairtricitydublinmarathon.ie/traffic-information/

Social Media: To keep up to date with all the action follow on https://twitter.com/dublinmarathon and https://www.facebook.com/dublinmarathon

Live Streaming:  The SSE Airtricity Dublin Marathon will be live streamed via the SSE Airtricity Dublin Marathon YouTube Page. Fans will be able to watch every moment of the action live from 8:30am-4:30pm. The commentary team for the day will also be made up of some well-known names from the world of Irish Athletics including Ian O’Riordan, Frank Greally, Susan Walsh, Fintan Reilly, Liam Moggan, David Carrie and Feidhlim Kelly so make sure you tune into all the action via http://bit.ly/2yERGfX

Waves: The Waves: Wave 1: start 9.00, Wave 2 start 9.15 Wave 3 start 9.30   Wave 4 start 9.45

Pacers: Pacers will be running for the following times: Wave 1: 3:00, 3:10, 3:20 Wave 2:  3:30, 3:40 & 3:50, Wave 3: 4:00, 4:10 & 4:20, Wave 4: 4:30, 4:40, 4:50 & 5:00

Live Tracker: Runners tracker link https://track.rtrt.me/e/TDL-DUBLINM-2018

For further details please contact:

Dublin Marathon Team @ Wilson Hartnell

Sophie Eustace (085 7176183) sophie.eustace@ogilvy.com

Sinéad Galvin (087 6266816) Sinead.galvin@ogilvy.com

NOTES TO EDITOR:

SSE Airtricity Dublin Marathon

  • 2018 is the 39th Dublin Marathon.
  • Founded in 1980 with 2,100 runners.
  • Record number of participants every year since 2009 with a record number of 20,000 entries in 2017 & 2018.
  • Dublin Marathon is now the largest marathon in Ireland and the 5th largest in Europe.
  • Known as the ‘Friendly Marathon’, Dublin
  • Hosts the Athletics Ireland National Championships.
  • Voted ‘Best International Marathon’ in 2014, 2nd in 2015 & 2016, ‘Best Mass Participation Event’ at the Sport Industry Awards 2016.
  • The Dublin Marathon Expo which takes place in the RDS on the Friday & Saturday before the Marathon attracts 25,000 visitors on an annual basis.

SSE Airtricity Dublin Marathon Results 2017

       Male

  • 1. Bernard Rotich: 02.15.52 – Kenya
  • 2. Yurii Ruskyuk: 02.15.55 – Ukraine
  • 3. Asefa Legese Bekele: 02.15.58 – Ethiopia

 

     Female

  • 1. Nataliya Lehonkova: 02.28.57 – Ukraine
  • 2. Ashu Kasim: 02.34.35 – Ethiopia
  • 3. Viktoriya Khapilina: 02.35.54 – Ukraine

National Championships Results:

      Male

  • 1. Gary O’Hanlon: 02.18.52 – Clonliffe Harriers A.C.
  • 2. Sergiu Ciobanu: 02.19.05 – Clonliffe Harriers A.C.
  • 3. Stephen Scullion: 02.19.44 – Clonliffe Harriers A.C.

       Female

  • 1. Laura Graham: 02.39.06 – Mourne Runners
  • 2. Caitriona Jennings: 02.42.36 – Letterkenny A.C.
  • 3. Pauline Curley: 02.50.53 – Tullamore Harriers A.C

Dublin Marathon Wheelchair Championship Results:

  • 1. Patrick Monahan: 01.49.55

Union Sportive des Polices d’Europe (USPE)

The Union Sportive des Polices d’Europe (USPE) was founded in Paris on 30 November 1950 by 10 European countries at the initiative of the French Police Sports Association. USPE is made up of 40 European countries. USPE’s registered office is located at the seat of the General Secretariat in Berlin. An Garda Siochana/ Ireland is a member of USPE. USPE’s objective is to promote police sport within its member countries. Irish Team:

  • David Mansfield
  • Jason Miley
  • Kieran Lees
  • Clive Glancy
  • David Craig
  • Louise Long

How to run a marathon: 26 tips, 26 miles

A very interesting article in yesterday’s Sunday Independent  by Katharine Teeling, check out the link below:

https://www.independent.ie/life/health-wellbeing/fitness/how-to-run-a-marathon-26-tips-26-miles-37441894.html

Celtic Pure Irish Spring Water Blog

Pacing Yourself

So, you are working on your training and getting those sessions ticked off. Hopefully at this stage you are starting to see some improvements in fitness and an increase in endurance too. Check out these helpful tips below to help with nailing down & controlling your race day pace!

The Long Run

The long run you complete each week as part of your training is a vital part of setting a good and realistic pace on race day. There are many theories out there on the best ways to run a long run and how to pace a long run but the best thing to do is to keep it simple. Things like heat, hydration & the course profile will all have parts to play on the big day.

If your goal is to run the marathon in under four hours, your long training runs need to reflect that. Therefore, doing every long run at a 4-hour 10-minute pace and expecting a miracle on race day is a recipe for disaster! The wheels will come off later in the day but there are things we can do to avoid this. Practice makes perfect, so if we look at a 20-mile-long run. Good practice here is to run easy for 8 miles with only vaguely looking at pace and running to feel and then for the remaining 12 miles of the long run, start dialing in that goal race pace.

Again, keep it simple – this will allow you to run to the 20-mile mark in training at the pace you are planning to run on race day. In long training runs people will often do the opposite – start too hard and be unable to finish correctly. In essence you are negatively splitting your long training runs – which means you run the second half faster than you ran the first half.

Hydration & Water Stops

I highly recommend you practice your hydration strategy in training and not to leave it until 6 miles into the marathon to start thinking about it.

On the day of the race there will be 10 Celtic Pure Irish Spring Water stops out on the course. That’s 10 opportunities to get some fluids in and personally, I would stick to water on race day perhaps some electrolytes the day before and the morning of but, the same general rule of thumb applies to hydration as it does to nutrition – nothing new on race day!

Looking at the SSE Airtricity Dublin Marathon route you have Celtic Pure Irish Spring Water Stops at miles 3, 5, 7, 9.5, 11, 13, 16, 19, 21 & mile 24 – so there are plenty of places to keep topped up! With that in mind I would also mirror this in your long training runs. The aim is to make the long run as specific as possible. In training you can make note of these locations & consume water at the same points during the long run.

For me I find it helpful to do loops, or drop water off at certain points before a long run, but do whatever works best for you. Consuming & sipping on water at those markers in a long run will remove any guess work on race day too in Dublin.

Heat & Course Profile

The average temperature in October for the marathon will be somewhere between 12-14 degrees Celsius, maybe plus or minus one or two but it shouldn’t deviate too much from that. However, it is Ireland so expect anything! Regardless of the race day temperature – keeping tabs on your hydration is key. Hydration for running is something to look at all the time, not just the 2/3 days before the marathon! It’s easy to under consume water if the day is a little cool or even cold.

So, sip throughout the days before hand and on the morning of & be careful not to over consume either.

Things like temperature and the course profile can have an influence on your heart rate too and the overall rate of perceived effort.

Keep the consistency in your training over the next few weeks & make that longer run specific to what things will be like on race day, and as always keep enjoying the process!

Celtic Pure Irish Spring Water Ambassador Shane Finn

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