fuel Dec 16, 2020

Ladies, we are so excited to share some top notch advice from a professional runner. Yes, we’ve all seen the slogan the crazy cross country kids wear, “my sport is your sport’s punishment”, but running isn’t all bad… all you need is a decent pair of shoes and to get out the door.

Whether you’ve never run a mile in your life or you’re one of those can’t-get-enough marathoners, our boss babe friend, Emily Oren, shares with us some secrets to success in the running world.

But first- just for fun, here are some of her personal best times to make your brain pop:

Mile: 4:35 (yes, she’s a girl)
5K: 15:37

Emily has also claimed 9 national titles (ok, seriously we’re already impressed) and 14 Division 2 All-American awards (was even the NCAA Top Point Scorer in 2016). After college, she competed in the Olympic trials, placed 5th at the World Championships, and hopes to compete in the 2020 Olympics.

Needless to say, Emily is a straight up baller. Be like Emily. Actually, just try to be like Emily because we think that we can all agree that running a 4:35 mile should be illegal.

Emily’s got a lot of good stuff to say, but we want to stick with her best pro tips.

Pro tip #1: Her favorite running-related items

Strava: An app for both running and biking! You can join a running community and see your friends routes and training. There are “segments” you can try and get course records on, or even just see if you can beat your own records.

Compression socks: These are great for when your calves get tight. It helps increase blood flow to keep your calves working properly!

Foam roller: Recovery is key! Foam rolling can HURT, but if you’re going to dedicate yourself to this whole “running thing”, rolling out your sore muscles will make tomorrow’s run much more enjoyable!

Koala clip: These iPhone pouches clip comfortably on the back of your sports bra making it easy for you to listen to music AND track your mileage without having to hold your bulky iPhone.

Watch: Even if you don’t want to commit to getting a GPS watch, at least make sure you have a standard timing watch to get an idea of how far and how long you are going.

Good running shoes: Go to a local running store and have them fit you for shoes. Everybody needs something different. The workers there can watch you walk and give you good advice on what type of shoe would work best for you to help prevent injuries.

Pro tip #2: Running terms to know

Tempo runs: Otherwise known as “comfortably hard” running. You should be able to do a tempo run for longer periods of time. Depending on your level, tempos can last anywhere from 2-6 miles. Generally, they are about 30 seconds slower than your 5k race pace. Think you can run a 25 min 5k? Your tempo should be at around 8 min mile pace.

Intervals: These are generally shorter and faster. Intervals are typically done on the track, but a fartlek (yes, that’s the real name) is typically done on the roads. An example could be 5x2 min hard/1 min rest (AKA run for 2 min fast and then jog, walk, or rest for 1 min. Do it 5 times.) On the track that could look like 5x400 hard/200 jog (400=1 lap, 200=half a lap).

Cross train: Any workout or activity that is NOT running. Usually an aerobic activity like biking, swimming, or the elliptical; but, it could be a yoga, barre or workout class.

Strides: Done at the end of a run a few times a week, usually 3-6 times. Think of it like a sprint, but not completely all out. Usually about 80 meters or half a football field. You can do them in front of your house between two poles, barefoot in a grassy area, or up a short hill! Strides help your body get used to changing gears.

Pro tip #3: Best ways to warm up

In the running world, you only need to do a warm up before a workout or a race. If you just jump into quick workout or hard race, you are much more prone to injury, and it can just be painful getting started.

  1. Run 5-15 minutes before you workout or race to get the blood flowing.

  2. Remember the soccer drills like butt kicks and high knees that you did once-upon-a-time? Do 5-10 dynamic drills to get your explosive muscles ready to go!

  3. Do 2-4 strides to get your body used to a fast pace.

  4. BATHROOM BREAK. Nothing sucks more in a race or workout then needing to go to the bathroom halfway through!

Pro tip #4: General training guide

If you just signed up for a 5k, half marathon, or marathon, this is helpful for you!

Getting into race shape doesn’t just have to do with getting out the door and running 3-4 times a week. There are much more effective ways to get your leggies race-day ready! Emily runs around 75 miles every week (working out sometimes twice a day!). While that sounds soooo fun *ahem, sarcasm*, Emily does give us some insight into what a normal training week could look like.

Monday: Longer easy run and strides

Tuesday: Workout day! Tempo or hills (make sure to warm up and cool down at least ½ a mile)

Wednesday: Easy run, cross train, or day off

Thursday: Regular run, strides

Friday: Workout day! Interval training or fartlek (make sure to warm up and cool down!)

Saturday: Easy run, cross train, or day off

Sunday: Long run, usually 25% of your weekly mileage. Running 25 miles this week? Do 6-7 miles.

Basic breakdown-- 1-2 workouts/week, 1 long run/week, strides 3x/week, a few easy runs + recovery days.

P.S. doing core, general strength, and lifting a few times a week is great for runners!

Lastly, couch to 5k advice:

Just starting to run? Here is a helpful tip from Emily: “Ease into it, maybe start with some walk/jogging intervals like running for a minute and walking for 2 minutes. Soon you'll be able to run for 2 minutes and walk for one! And make sure to take rest days they are just as important as the days that you are running. Buy yourself a kick-ass running outfit so you'll feel good the second you put it on.”

Let us know the tips that work the best by commenting below!