Summer Running Camp, Part 3: How to Prevent Running Injuries

A man in a sports uniform is running along the shore of the lake

The weather might be cooling off, but Summer Running Camp is still in full swing.

During the first two weeks of camp we covered establishing a running routine and proper running form. Both fundamentals of sustainable running.

This week we cover a topic most runners pretend doesn’t exist (until it’s too late):

Injuries and injury prevention.

For many runners, injuries have become commonplace. They find themselves with a new injury each season, or battle the same aches and pains year after year.

But that doesn’t have to be the standard — in fact it shouldn’t be. There is such a thing as injury-free running, and in today’s episode we’ll help you find it.

So lace up those running shoes and head towards the lake. Camp has officially resumed for the next 55-minutes.

Here’s what we talk about in this episode:

  • Are injuries just a part of running?
  • Why most beginners get injured
  • When it’s important to warm-up before a run
  • Eating after a run — should you calculate nutrient ratios?
  • The forgotten recovery tool
  • How to adjust your training after an injury
  • The great ball-bag debate

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Announcing ‘The No Meat Athlete Cookbook’ (Plus New Speaking Events this Fall)

With Brenda Davis, R.D., at Remedy Food Toronto's culinary competition.

With Brenda Davis, R.D., at Remedy Food Toronto’s culinary competition.

Well, it’s been a busy summer, full of travel, food, and being a dad. And as you probably guessed from the title of this post, lots of work on a new book!

The short version: The No Meat Athlete Cookbook: 150 Whole Food, Plant-Based Recipes to Fuel Your Workouts and the Rest of Your Life is due out next May, written in collaboration with chef Stepfanie Romine and published by The Experiment. They published the #1 New York Times bestselling Forks Over Knives book and more recently, the quirky, virally popular Taco Cleanse. They really understand our vision for the book and what No Meat Athlete stands for as a movement, and Stepf and I couldn’t be more excited to work with them.

A few more details …

It goes without saying, I think, that I’m really proud of my first book, No Meat Athlete, and what it has done. Not quite three years after publication, it’s been translated into three foreign languages, sold over 26,000 copies, and introduced a ton of people to my simple approach to food, running, and habit change.

So why a new book? Lots of reasons.

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Boost Your Performance! 3 Vegan Foods that Really Work

Watermelon slices on the wooden table

You’ve probably heard certain foods and drinks can boost athletic performance.

Coffee, for example, makes you run faster, and tart cherries reduce inflammation.

Researchers are finding that what you eat can actually boost cardiovascular efficiency, hasten recovery time, and increase immunity against common exercise-induced illnesses.

And the best part? Many of the best foods are vegan, cheap, and easily found at your local grocery store.

As a cardiovascular nurse, health coach, and endurance athlete, I love digging through literature on health and nutrition, and research on three of these performance-enhancing foods recently caught my eye.

So I teamed up with my podcast co-host, Jackson, to break down what you need to know to boost your performance with food.

3 Foods to Boost Athletic Performance

Below are three performance-enhancing foods that when incorporated into your daily routine, can lead to stronger racing and faster recovery. And what runner doesn’t want that?

Let’s start with one of my personal favorites:

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10 Vegan Foods We Couldn’t Live Without

Beans in tomato sauce and rice - a delicious vegetarian lunch. O

Everyone has their staples … the foods or meals they turn to week after week.

But how many of your staples do you rely on simply because of convenience, and how many are foods you would truly never want to give up?

In today’s episode Matt and I discuss their top 10 favorite vegan food we couldn’t live without. The foods, sauces, meals, and drinks we rely heavily on week after week for both nutrients and pleasure.

And believe it or not, hummus didn’t make the list.

Here’s what we talk about in this episode:

  • Are there foods we really couldn’t live without?
  • Sauces and homemade dressings we always have on hand
  • Matt’s favorite pasta dish
  • A simple way to get your G-BOMBS

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Summer Running Camp, Part 2: Running Form

A man in a sports uniform is running along the shore of the lake

Get your lake gear ready, it’s time for week two of Summer Running Camp!

During the first week of summer camp we discussed building a consistent running routine. This week, we move on to proper running form.

Most of us learned to run as children, playing tag, sports, and chasing friends around the neighborhood. But it isn’t until we get older — and start running for exercise — that running form even becomes a consideration.

At it’s worst, your running form can leave you injured, but proper form will help with your overall running economy, reducing effort and fatigue while increasing speed.

So what are the basic principals of proper running form?

That’s what we cover in week two of camp.

Here’s what we talk about in this episode:

  • Why proper form starts with your head
  • The forward lean … why is it so hard?
  • The form technique that changed Matt’s running forever
  • Midfoot vs. heel striking
  • Doug’s big announcement!

Click the button below to listen now:

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5 Effortless Ways to Eat Just a Little Bit Better

Fresh Turmeric Root

No doubt about it, it’s hard to suddenly start eating a whole lot better. Because while it’s no secret that eating almost exclusively whole, plant-based foods is a recipe for health, getting there is a journey that takes either a lot of time (my case) or a lot of willpower.

But if you’re a No Meat Athlete reader, you probably already eat pretty well (congrats!). So what next?

Over the past few months, I’ve made a lot of tiny upgrades to an already pretty healthy diet. Upgrades that take almost no extra effort (in some cases, none at all), but each makes a significant impact. And when you add them all up — or better, when tiny upgrades like this become your habit, and you make 20 or 50 of them over the course of a few months — your diet is substantially better for it.

Here are some simple ones to nudge you down that path.

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How We Use Summer for Motivation and Reset

Excited Child in Beach Towel on Summer Day

Summertime, and the livin’ is easy — am I right?

Summer means warm weather, fresh veggies, and vacations. All the things we loved as young kids and still love today.

But for Matt and I, the mid-year months also provide an opportunity for renewed motivation and reset.

Maybe it’s the fresh food. Maybe it’s the simple desire to look good at the beach. Whatever it is, we’re both making changes this summer.

In today’s episode we discuss the power of the summer season, and how to use it to set new health, fitness, and nutrition goals to round out the year.

Here’s what we talk about in this episode:

  • Why a mid-year reset?
  • How access to fresh vegetables changes our diets
  • Matt’s new daily food routine
  • Motivation for fall races
  • Running and eating your way through vacation

Click the button below to listen now:

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3 Marathon-Specific Workouts to Help You Set a New PR

African female athlete training on race track

At first, a marathon goal is all about finishing … a challenge so big it’s hard to comprehend before it happens.

Then, after your first or second 26.2, the desire just to finish turns into a desire to finish faster. And faster.

What if I could drop below four hours? What if I could qualify for Boston?

The opportunities for improvement feel endless.

But how? How on Earth are you ever going to finish a marathon and do it with more strength, endurance, and speed?

The answer is more straightforward than you might think.

Train Fast (and Slow) to Race Fast

Have you ever heard of “junk miles”? Whether you’ve heard of the term or not, chances are you run them.

Junk miles are miles considered too fast to effectively build endurance, and too slow to help improve your speed. And unfortunately, after working with dozens of runners as a coach, I’ve discovered that a lot of runners spend most of their miles right there.

In the junkyard.

To improve your speed at the marathon distance, you must become more strategic with each run. Spend most of your time running at an easy pace building endurance and base strength, and sprinkle in speed work once or twice a week to boost your power and speed.

It’s there — during those strategically planned speed workouts — that the magic of a faster marathon begins to take shape.

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