All Posts by Kyle

How I Get My Protein

I’ve been making more of a conscious effort to get 100-125g of protein in daily.

As a vegetarian, I don’t eat meat. However, I eat a lot of eggs, yogurt, milk.

Check out the video below to see my favorite protein sources!

When & How Do I Hydrate During Runs?

I believe it’s best to go by how you’re feeling or expect to feel during a run, in regards to hydration.

The biggest myth I see when it comes to drinking fluids during running is that losing sweat is bad. You can drop water weight during a run or race and be fine! I ran the Austin Half Marathon in conditions of 70 degrees F and 90% humidity without a single water stop, and had zero issues with cramping or fatigue

Below is an excerpt from one of my favorite authors and books on the subject of hydration, Dr. Tim Noakes and the book, Waterlogged.

You shouldn’t relate overheating to dehydration. You overheat when you run too fast. That’s the key. You don’t overheat because you become dehydrated. The brain’s too clever. If you’re not going to drink, the brain will slow you down, and that will lower your body temperature, not raise it. So, we’ve got some great studies where we look at people running half marathons, marathons, short ultramarathons, and long ultramarathons. The longer the race, the lower the temperature, because they are running slower. Their levels of dehydration are pretty much the same whatever distance they run. There’s some sort of regulation, that whatever distance you run, if you drink appropriately, you always get the same level of dehydration, however far you run. But the key is that the faster you run, the hotter you are. But it’s still absolutely safe to expect your body temperature to rise. And the fact is that heat stroke occurs very, very infrequently. It’s the exception, not the rule. And when it does happen, there are exceptional circumstances. Most of those people have some other genetic circumstances that are a problem, or they are taking drugs, or they have an infection. It’s not normal to develop heatstroke during a race. If you do develop heatstroke during a race, something else is going on, and that’s affected your body’s ability to control it’s temperature, but it’s not the normal procedure. Normally it’s perfectly safe to run in the heat, and your body will make sure that your to the finish before your temperature rises too high.

Let’s say that again:

You shouldn’t relate overheating to dehydration. – Click to Tweet

Further Reading:

Tim Noakes on the Serious Problem of Overhydration in Endurance Sports | Dr. Timothy Noakes| “The brain, unfortunately, can’t tell you that when you overdrink, you’re going to go slower. So you don’t pick up the messaging. You just go slower without realizing it. It’s very important.

The Basics of Hyponatremia | Marty Hoffman, MD | “Therefore, NSAIDs not only increase the risk for acute kidney injury, but also increase the risk for the development of EAH. It should be apparent that the use of NSAIDs during endurance events is risky business.”

5 Scientific Ways to Stop Muscle Cramps | Armi Legge | “There are four reasons why losing electrolytes and water probably doesn’t cause — or isn’t the primary cause — of your muscle cramps.2-5”

Purposefully Changing Footstrike Mid-Run

Hey! Coach Kyle here.

During a recent long run my left calf was starting to tighten up a bit.

I was ready to end the run and head home, halfway through the workout, when I tried something.

What I did was move from my habitual whole/midfoot landing to more of a rearward landing, which loads the calves less.

This gave my calves some relief and that left calf which had been tightening up was good to go for 10 more miles after just a half mile of me changing my footstrike!

Can purposefully changing your footstrike mid-run help delay fatigue or cramping?

– Click to Tweet

To elaborate more on this topic, one could purposefully change footstrike during long/hard runs to give the legs some relief my changing how the muscles are loaded. On a micro level the muscle fibers themselves cycle out fatigued fibers and in fresh ones, but if you change your whole footstrike on purpose you’re taking it to the macro level.

Research during marathons show that as distance and fatigue set in, people move to a more rearward strike. This is a way your body changes the loading locations, but if you possibly spend a half mile or mile here and there with a more rearward strike before fatigue requires it, maybe you can run a slightly bit better for the entire distance!



Best Supplements for Runners?

For some of these, especially the multi-vitamin, I only take a partial serving. Due to the certifications and high standards that Thorne subscribes to they are not cheap. Taking a partial serving helps them be a bit more economically viable for me. I also figure that a partial serving of one of the best supplements is better than a full serving of some low grade and low standard Walmart supplement!

AM/PM Multivitamin.

Vitamin D

Amino Acids



Austin 2017 Half Marathon Recap

First off, thanks to Soleus Running for gifting me the race entry with the extra VIP signup (I’ll explain more later) and my athlete Sarah F for gifting me hotel points for the Hilton! I’d not have done the race without Soleus and I’d have stayed in a cheap hostel if it was not for the Hilton point donation!

Training: This has gone as well as it could during the South Dakota winter. I’ve ran more mileage than I’ve ever done, averaging 62 miles per week in the last 2.5 months (I averaged 52mpw in 2016). Workouts on clear/flat pavement were few and far between, so I had almost no workouts to hint at my fitness level. I’d ran 100% outdoors on hilly roads that are best cleared of snow/ice or crappy pavement that was not safe for fast running. Almost all in tights and winter gear.

I did have to take a few weeks with reduced volume + no hard running in early Feb due to illness and the taper was much much easier than I otherwise would have done because my left calf had been a little achey off and on in Feb. Race week it drastically improved and thankfully as of writing this it’s 99% fine. I actually didn’t even think about it during the race, at all 🙂

Getting to Austin: I flew in to Austin from Rapid City on Thursday. The flights were super smooth and nothing happened during travel to really mention. It was nice getting to Austin in the early afternoon!

Lodging: An athlete I coach who stays at hotels for work and gifts the points to friends (because the last place she wants to stay on vacation is a hotel) provided me with five nights at the Hilton. Her hotel booking gave me access to the Executive Lounge, which made me feel super spoiled. Food and drink available all day! The only food I purchased was two donuts from Voodoo. This Hilton was also literally right across the street from the race packet pick-up and only a few blocks from the start/finish. Location could not have been better!

Packet Pick-Up: This was a nice expo, plenty of various booths to check out. There was also a booth scavenger hunt where if you go to them all you get put into a drawing for some swag and a free entry. Getting my bag was super easy, no complaints here.

Goals: Initially my goal was to PR with a sub 1:23:10. I knew it was a harder course than what I’ve done, however,  I’d ran within 1 and within 20 seconds of my PR in 2016. I hoped that with additional training (and mileage) I’d be able to PR on a more difficult course.

Austin: It was nice and cool when I arrived in Austin on Thursday, however that quickly changed with an 80 degree day on Saturday and a very high chance of thunderstorms on Sunday race morning. My goals shifted from a time to simply run conservatively, not mind the pace, and see what happens. I’m only going to run as fast as I am going to run, and with it being 70 degrees and 90% humidity at 5am on race morning, I was certainly not going to run with a goal pace in mind.

Waiting around for the start.

The Race: We’ll break it up into 5k chunks, since there were timing mats every 5k on the course.

0-5k – I started super super slowly with my mouth closed for the first half mile. With it being hotter and more humid than anything I’ve ran in…4-6 months I knew I needed to hold back at the start. The marathoners and the half marathoners run the first 10 miles together and I even let the 3:00 and then the 3:05 pacer + group go off a bit ahead of me. I was clicking off super easy 7:05’s for the first uphill 3 miles at came through 3.1 miles in 118th position for the half.

5k to 10k – The course turned downhill at mile 4, at which point I moved to a more moderate effort level. By 10k I was in 67th place and had cut my average pace down to 6:45. Thankfully the sun never came out so it was just hills and humidity to deal with.

10k to 15k – This was still a net downhill and I continued to speed up a bit, dropping my average pace a few more seconds per mile and passing another 19 runners. I think the only person to actually pass me after mile 4 was a much faster athlete than I who was having to stop at portapotties due to GI issues. He actually passed me twice, presumably after I passed him twice while he was in a portapotty each time.

15k to 20k – This was where the road turned up again, and boy they really cranked up the incline! I was warned about these and they lived up to expectations. At the start and here in the final few miles I would let nearby runners go off ahead but would catch up to them at the top and going down. I had no desire to maintain pace up a hill to simply expire at the top. Constant effort but fluctuating pace. Well, constant until the final 5k 😉 Those last few really short but steep hills are steep.

The Finish – I shifted to “best effort” for the final couple miles. Still being conservative on the hills but pushing it. I think I passed 7 runners in the final stretch.

~Reflections~

    1. During the run, I took absolutely no fluids or calories in. I had no cramping or stomach issues. Not a single time was I out of breath. I believe only a single person passed me from mile 4-13 and he was clearly a much faster runner than I who was being held back intermittently at porta potties by GI issues. I felt my stride was smooth the entire duration. Cramping and bonking happen because people run too fast for the first third to half of the race distance.
    2. I said this after Crazy Horse, after The Halfsy, and I’m saying it now. I’ve never felt better right after a half than I do now. That’s a big signal that my training and fitness are improving.
    3. Good lord people, take the tangents! For a marathon, if you run an extra half mile because you take the turns wide, that could be an extra 3 to 6 or more minutes depending on your pace!
    4. Also, never forget my 6P’s!!! Proper pacing prevents piss poor performance. You should never be breathing as laboriously during the first 5k of a half or full marathon like I heard people breathing at this and other races! I was running alongside half and full marathoners who were huffing and puffing during the first few miles. You must take the first 1/3rd of the race distance easy to prevent yourself from expiring later on. This is absolutely crucial.
    5. While this will typically not be a PR course, it’s a great run. The location, aid stations, bathrooms, road conditions, expo, post race area, etc etc is all great. I think Fargo actually had more and better music on the course than Austin, but I think Austin had more people cheering on the runners. I certainly feel like I remember and paid more attention to the course and sites here than I did at possibly any other half.

Austin Marathon VIP: For $175 extra on your entry you receive some nice extra accommodations. The first of these that I took advantage of was the free cap from Greenlayer, who I believe was doing all of the race apparel. It’s a nice cap, I like it. We also received 20% off at the Greenlayer booth, but I did not need anything else.

The VIP pre-race lounge was at the Google Fiber Space less than a block from the start. Here the VIP’s had their own drop bag, breakfast, coffee, and I got to chat with some cool fellow runners. The regular dropbag location was a good 4-5 blocks away, at the finish. It was also nice to have our private and real bathrooms!

Post race, the VIP Lounge was on a balcony overlooking the finish + the hall. See the panoramic view below. It was cool. There was a table with coffee and tea + items, a table with various juices, and then two breakfast food tables. I just had some coffee and fruit after the run, but I came back later and ate a full tasty breakfast 🙂

Is VIP Worth it? Let’s see. The cap + massage would have been $25 and $20. $10 for pre-race coffee and a couple pastries, $20 for the post race coffee and filling breakfast. I would not have purchased any cap, massage, and the coffee/food would have been free for me but I would have had to go back to the hotel. But with those, that’s $75 in just straight up money. $100 extra for the convenience? That is up to you. It’s nice to feel special and to have private bathrooms, private places to chill, private massage, etc. If you’re up for gifting someone $175, this would be a really really fun gift for someone you know who is running the Austin Half/Full marathon!

Other Things About Austin:

  • Every coffee shop charged for refills. That’s rare in South Dakota.
  • There were many homeless and panhandlers in the downtown area. I kept granola bars in my backpack for them, but many just wanted money or didn’t have the healthy teeth to eat granola bars.
  • There was also a great deal of business reps out on the strees looking to get donations, sign ups, etc.
  • In general, this time of the year the weather is quite nice. I’ve been to Austin twice, both times in the winter, and have really enjoyed how it felt in general.
  • Valet parking everyone, this is fairly uncommon in Rapid City for businesses.

Other Misc Photos:

When I travel I usually just live mostly normal, since I work from my computer. As you’ll see from the photos below I did some exploring, but typically doing what I’d normally do.

Each day I tried to see one touristy location within running distance of my hotel. This was Graffiti Park.

Staying around the same area for a week is fun because I get to know where things are at without having to use my phone. Congress, here, was the main stretch and the race start/finish street.

The executive lounge actually had really great coffee with a nice crema on top.

Visited the Mexic Arte Museum that was blocks from my hotel and on the same street as the race.

Kept track with this, thankfully, because the on-course timing was not correct at each 5k mark (but the results have it correct).

The capital was close so I ran there and checked out the University of Texas grounds as well.

I used the rollers on floor 8 once or twice every day. I think it really helped loosen up my legs.

Coach life.

Texans really love Texas.

Got to meet a founder of Janji, a clothing company you should check out!

Ran into the man who made and sent me this singlet!

The rolling + hot tub combo happened at least once daily.

The trails at Lady Bird lake were fantastic!

How I organized all of my stuff at my hotel room.

The famous Austin bats! Super neat site. The bridge unintentionally became the largest bat colony in North America.

More hot tub 😉

The man that checked me in at the Hilton said there were maybe 16 miles of trails with a great deal of variety, at Lady Bird Lake.

Many food trucks in Austin.

This free poster from Clif Bar will look great in my home office.

 

 



Benefits of Weight Loss

Recently an athlete of mine asked about the benefits of weight loss, and she mentioned she thought it was because you had to move less weight.

That’s true to a point, but the worth of losing some weight goes far beyond that.

Less Weight to Move Up & Forward

The first point that my athlete mentioned was that you had to carry less weight around. If you want to know the significance of this go for a run with 30 pounds of text books or rocks in a backpack. You’ll quickly find out how much weight matters. If you lose 10, 20, or 50 pounds that’s you removing the backpack.

Better Strength to Bodyweight Ratio

Your one rep max bench press vs your weight is a common standard comparison. Or tests such as the Army Physical Fitness Test include situps and pushups. The less you weigh the more likely you are to complete these successfully. or the Police Officer Physical Ability Test may have a vaulting station where a lighter body will be beneficial.

One of the biggest measuring devices in cycling is your Power to Weight ratio, or how many watts you can put out in relation to your body weight. A rider needs to be able to have a PWR of 6.8 watts/kg in a 30 minute test to have a chance of winning the Tour de France.

For running, VO2 Max, or the maximal amount of oxygen you can utilize at one time also is heavily influenced by your weight.

More Energy

The less you weigh the more economic of a runner you’ll be, but you’ll also have more energy to spare during your regular daily activities. Imagine wearing a backpack with textbooks in it every time you had to stand up from your desk and go to the bathroom or copy machine!

Better Sleep

This is when the body recovers from the stresses of the day, be that stress from exercise or otherwise. Studies have even suggested that losing weight can reduce sleep apnea symptoms!

Reduced Stress

Having lost 80 pounds myself, I am strongly aware of how important being happy with your body is. It’s not just about feeling good with how you look, but it makes you more confident in your life in general.

Better Quality of Living

Simply put, you’ll be able to have a better life if you’re carrying around 50-200 fewer pounds. Hiking will become more enjoyable, you’ll be able to fit into cramped seats more comfortably, or doing yard work will become easier. I also noticed that with my own weight loss my allergies and asthma have been greatly reduced.

Joint Health

Contrary to popular belief, long time runners actually have better knee and joint health for two main reasons. 1) The activity helps strengthen the bones and muscles that support the joints. 2) Athletic people tend to weigh less, which reduces the pressure put on joints from above.

Improved waist to hip ratio

While this may seem like a silly number, the waist to hip ratio has actually been shown to be a fairly reliable and consistent method of assessing health risk and conditions.



How to Become an Online Coach

How to Become an Online Trainer or Coach!

(video at bottom)


CLICK HERE ← Online Trainer Academy! (affiliate link, thanks for the support!)

While I mainly talk about being a running coach and the OTA is mainly targeted towards personal training, the two are 99% interchangeable when we’re talking about the business part of being an online athletic mentor.

I’ve developed the knowledge of running through experience and learning. However, I strongly believe I would not be able to successfully coach others without what I’ve learned from Jonathan Goodman, the Personal Trainer Development Center, and the Online Trainer Academy.

As an online running coach, I’m able to work on my own schedule. This means I get to train to my heart’s desire! I still work a lot, since I’m living my passion and it does not feel like work! My wife is a teacher and gets the summers off. Since I’m able to work from anywhere in the world we are able to travel when she is on break. We spent a month in Panama one summer, and few weeks in the Pacific North West another, and other shorter trips!

ENROLLMENT OPENS FEB 21 through March 2nd! Only opens twice a year.

If price is what is holding you back, I have a tip for you! I was able to put it all on Paypal credit with zero interest. That meant I saved $200 because it was paid to the Online Trainer Academy in full (vs a payment plan) and I simply used the initial payment from each new client to pay off the Paypal credit! 

Home Page + 16 Lasting Laws of an Online Trainer download.

Success Stories (other than mine!)

Gary Vaynerchuck

If you have any other questions, please comment below or contact me privately 🙂

Patellar Tendonitis

What is Patellar Tendonitis?

First, why do runners get patellar tendonitis?

The patellar tendon is a short but very wide tendon that runs from your patella (kneecap) to the top of your tibia.

The reason you have a kneecap in the first place is to generate a bigger mechanical advantage at the knee—this allows your quadriceps to create strong forces at the knee, which are important in any sport with running or jumping elements.

However, the result of this is that the patellar tendon has to absorb a lot of this loading, and as a result, it’s prone to injury in runners and jumpers; one study found that patella tendonitis accounts for just under 5% of all running injuries.1

Unlike many common running ailments, patellar tendonitis is somewhat more common in men than in women.

Patellar tendonitis usually begins with a stiff feeling in the patellar tendon, especially when running downhill or descending stairs.

Like most tendon injuries, it may go away once you get warmed up, but as the injury worsens, it will remain painful for the duration of your workout.

It is also important to distinguish patellar tendonitis from patellofemoral pain syndrome: patellar tendonitis does not hurt along the top or the side of the kneecap but typically under it, and isn’t usually sensitive to the touch.

Treatments and Fixes for Patellar Tendonitis

If squats hurt: Decrease the load. You can achieve this by decreasing the weight you squat, decrease the range of movement you use, decrease the number of repetitions you do, increase the rest intervals in-between sets, change your technique by getting your bum back more and loading more through the hips than the knees.

Do you find it hurts more running in shoes with a bigger ‘drop’: If so, you may find that switching to a more minimal running shoe, or even barefoot, is enough to offload the knee and switch the load more to the foot and ankle.

If running, in general, is irritating your patellar tendon:.
Try these running re-education cues. They all generally shift load away from the knee.

  1. Increase cadence. Increase how many steps you take in a minute. Aim for 5%-10% increase and assess how it feels
  2. Improve posture. Work on running up tall. This will prevent the foot landing excessively in front of you (over striding) as you try to catch a forward positioned centre of mass.
  3. Increase heel lift. Something like the piston cue will help to get an increase in heel lift at toe off leading to a more circular movement of the foot, better knee drive and making it easier to land under your centre of mass.

John Davis has a nice exercise outline

Patellar tendonitis can be a tricky injury to bounce back from, particularly if it’s become a chronic problem.  Fortunately, new avenues for treatment have opened up in the past decade or so.  The gold standard of conservative treatment right now seems to be Alfredson’s eccentric decline squat protocol.  It’s summarized in the points below:

  • The basic protocol is three sets of fifteen one-legged squats, twice a day.
  • The squats are done on a 25° decline (most calf stretching boards will do just fine).
  • Starting from a standing position, squat down on the affected side to 60° of knee flexion (see picture above).
  • Use the unaffected leg to return to return to the starting position.  If both legs are affected, return to the starting position using both legs, assisting with your arms (on a railing or similar) if possible.  Of course, if you have patellar tendonitis in both legs, you should do 3×15 squats twice a day on each leg. 
  • Exercise into tendon pain, but stop if the pain becomes debilitating.  Once you can complete the three sets of squats with little or no pain, add weight with a loaded backpack.  
  • In most studies, the protocol is carried out every day for 12 weeks.  It is not a bad idea to keep doing this exercise beyond 12 weeks as maintenance. 
  • Most studies mandate 8 weeks of no sporting activity.  It’s important to note, however, that the subjects in these studies usually have quite severe cases, and often participate in very high-impact sports like basketball and volleyball.  Your own plan for returning to running is something you’ll have to work out yourself, possibly with the help of your doctor or physical therapist.

 

 



Heat Adaptation

I’ve mentioned heat acclimation many times to people.

Often enough that I decided to finally put together a single blog post with some great resources, so here goes!

First off, I do the hot water immersion method. This can be done year-round. Doing easy runs in the heat of the afternoon can work as well and I typically find myself doing this often in the warmer months.

So, what is heat acclimation?

“In the conventional sense, heat acclimation refers to increased tolerance to the heat that comes with spending time in high temperatures, but there is a wealth of scientific literature emerging that shows training in the heat can actually produce secondary physiological changes that can translate to statistically significant performance gains.” – Emily Dulhanty

How do you perform a hot bath?

HWI (N = 10; 40 °C) or thermoneutral (CON, N = 7; 34 °C) immersion for 40 min.”

This study did hot water immersion at 140°F / 40°C for fourty minutes immediately after an easy 40 minute run. I believe the authors suggested that duration of time may not be completely necessary.

You can also heat adapt while running.

“A recent review found that three to seven heat adaptation runs produced a plasma volume increase of 3.5 percent on average—not as much as the seven percent gain from longer protocols, but still worthwhile.”

This can be done on a treadmill with extra clothing or in a hot room, easy runs in the afternoon heat, and/or easy runs with extra clothing on.

Even sitting in the sauna after a run can help!

“A 2007 study found that runners who took a postrun sauna for about 30 minutes at 194 degrees four times a week for three weeks boosted their plasma volume by seven percent and endurance by 1.9 percent. And this year, Australian scientists found that just four 30-minute postrun sauna sessions at 189 degrees increased plasma volume. To supplement heat runs, start with five to 10 minutes at 175 degrees and build up, and don’t hit the sauna the same day as a heat run.” – Alex Hutchinson

So, what are the actual benefits?!?

Lowered resting and working heart rate.

Increased sweat rate.

Increased plasma volume.

You start sweating sooner.

Decreased sweat electrolyte concentration.

Decreased levels of perceived effort.

Research

Heat acclimation improves exercise performance. – Here we had trained cyclists do 10 days of eat training for 100 minutes of exercise each day. They found a 5% increase in V02max measured in cooler temps. Some studies find improvements in cooler temps and others do not. In one that did not, researchers suggested that a longer than 5k time trial may have had more improvements due to heat being more of a limiter.

Effectiveness of short-term heat acclimation for highly trained athletes. – These rowers trained in heat for 90 minute sessions for five consecutive days and experienced a 4.5% increase in plasma volume, decreased perceived body temp at rest, increased heat tolerance, and increased endurance exercise capacity indicated by a time trial improvement.

Physiological and performance adaptations to an in-season soccer camp in the heat: associations with heart rate and heart rate variability. – This study on soccer players had them train in heat for a 7-day acclimation program and then performed sprint tests. Compared to their pre-heat training testing there was decreased submaximal exercise heart rate and increased plasma volume.

Adaptation to hot environmental conditions: an exploration of the performance basis, procedures and future directions to optimise opportunities for elite athletes. – This review determined that acclimation programs of 7 days or less can provide modest performance benefits and thermogregulatory adaptations. They note that 8-14 days will likely increase the benefits.

Post-exercise hot water immersion induces heat acclimation and improves endurance exercise performance in the heat. – This was the above mentioned easy run + hot water immersion and resulted in lower resting temps, lower core temps after exercising in cold and hot conditions, increased plasma volume, and a faster 5k time trial.



Even coaches make mistakes.

It’s true.

Even coaches can make errors in their own training.

In my case, I did a hard race-pace session with a lighter pair of shoes than I normally had been. That along with not actually doing many workouts like this lately due to snow/ice/etc meant that my calves really took a beating.

For the last few years, I have had a quarter sized area on my left calf that has been my only real problem area. Well, the problem area is my brain not being mindful enough to know such a workout was going to overload my calves, but that is another discussion altogether.