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4 Insights I Gained From Running Retreats

by RunnersConnect: Coaching Community, Running Experts, Inspiring Runners, No Fluff Blog
November 16th 2022

For those of you who have been fans of RunnersConnect for some time now, you know that some of our favorite events of the year are our running retreats.

Hello fellow runners, I am your host, Finn Melanson and this is the run to the top podcast, the podcast dedicated to making you a better runner with each and every episode we are created and produced by the expert team of coaches at runners connect dot net where you can find the best running information on the internet as well as training plans to fit every runner in every budget. Have you ever considered going to a running retreat, curious to know what's involved or what the benefits are well in this episode, Coach Jeff God, it goes into detail about four insights gained from our runners connect retreats last year and how you can apply those lessons to your own training. Listen in to hear more. Today's episode is sponsored by magnesium breakthrough from by Optimizers. Their industry leading magnesium supplement is organic and contains all seven forms of magnesium which helps you sleep better and reduce stress by optimizers are having a black friday special offer from november 21st to the 29th where you can get magnesium breakthrough in all of by optimizers, best in class products for 25% off.

Before we get into the conversation, if you are looking for the best way to get motivated, improve performance and recovery and increase focus for your post run strength workouts, you'll love the new perform from the amino company, I'll tell you more about them later in this episode. Or you can check them out by researching amino co dot com backslash R. T. T. T. That's amino cho A M I. N. O. C. O dot com backslash R. T. T. T. For those of you that have been fans of runners connect for some time now. You know that some of our favorite events of the year are are running retreats. It's truly amazing to get to spend 4-5 days with passionate runners talking about running, exploring awesome trails and learning together. Now runners attend our retreats for a lot of different reasons. The chance to run in some awesome places. All of the one on one coaching and learning or even just to be surrounded by a group of like minded people who love running as well.

But for us coaches, they also serve as a fantastic purpose You see. Although our running retreats are 100% focused on delivering a great experience to our attendees. We also are rewarded with the opportunity to learn and grow as coaches. Moreover, when we host a retreat, it further reinforces why I love what I do. Plus I always glean new insights into what works what doesn't and what our runners like you experience. So in today's episode I wanna go over four insights I gained from our retreats last year and how you can apply these lessons to your own training Lesson. one don't set limitations on yourself. Is this retreat only for fast runners? I'm really slow and I don't think this is for me. Am I too old to attend this retreat? Well I have anyone to run with. I'm sure I'll be the slowest person there. This is just a sampling of the emails I received from runners with hesitations about signing up for retreats.

I probably get like 45-50 emails like this every year when we open up registration and the negative self talk doesn't end there. When we pick up from the airport, almost everyone jokes, oh, I'm so slow, I'm gonna be the slowest person here. However, once we get going on the first one, everyone realizes that they aren't the slowest runner and there are plenty of people at their pace. Even better. They are inspired by those running faster and slower than themselves. By the end of the weekend, everyone is cheering each other on as they finished their long runs. It's not pace that defines any of the runners that come to our retreat. It's the amazing goals, the perseverance through adversity and the upbeat personalities that everyone can relate to. So what can you learn from this mainly don't set limitations on yourself. You're not too slow to run a marathon age doesn't mean you still can't have big goals. Not everyone is faster than you or look down upon you. If they are most importantly, don't let negative self talk prevent you from challenging yourself and experiencing new things in running and in life to let your mind be free of these limitations and negativity and you'll be open yourself up to performances and experiences.

You didn't think were possible Lesson two. We share a lot of the same form and muscle imbalances. One of the favorite sessions for our attendees is when we conduct the video form analysis, watching yourself on video really opens our eyes to our mechanical floss. But what I find most interesting as a coach is that while we all may run at different speeds, be different ages and have different goals, many of us suffer from the same form issues. It's really incredible to do 10 back to back video analysis and see the same issue pop up and how it can look different within these 10 different people. After making this realization, I realized I should have anticipated this as a lot of the times we assign a lot of the same strength or rehab exercises to athletes when we write training schedules, but seeing it on repeat analysis after analysis finally made a stick. Now the most common issues, we saw our hip drop, crossover running form and overreaching or over striding and we have a ton of articles on runners connect about these and then also how to fix them.

So just go ahead and google runners connect hip drop or runners connect crossover and you'll see all the articles that we have. So what can you take from this lesson? This is a good reminder that an effective preh ab and strength training routine doesn't need to be fancy or have 1000 different exercises. Most of us suffer from from some similar issues? So a simple diet of hip glute and core work is extremely effective. Start with this as your base. In fact of the roughly 230 to 40 runners, we had attend our four retreats last year, I'd say that 75% of them had the same issues and thus needed the same strength drill and stretching plans. Once you have the base down then you can Sprinkle in any unique needs you have on top. This allows your strength sessions to be concise, time efficient and yet super effective. You can have a very effective strengthening routine in only 10-15 minutes, no gym needed and no, I don't have the time excuses. So make sure that you're doing your rehab and injury prevention work And before we go on to lesson three, Let's hear from our host.

Finn Do you know if you're getting enough magnesium because four out of five Americans are not and that's a big problem because magnesium is involved in more than 600 biochemical reactions in your body specifically for us runners. Magnesium plays a critical role in energy production, muscle recovery, improved sleep and bone development today. I want to talk to you about the most common signs to look for that could indicate whether your magnesium deficient. Listen carefully to the end because there is a black friday special offer happening and this could be exactly what you need? So here we go. Are you irritable or anxious. Are you waking up tired even on days you get enough sleep? Do you experience muscle cramps or twitches? Do you have high blood pressure? Do you find yourself struggling to recover between runs more than normal? Now here's what most people don't know taking. Just any magnesium supplements won't solve your problem because most supplements use the cheapest kind that your body can't use or absorb.

That's why we exclusively recommend magnesium breakthrough. It's the only full spectrum magnesium supplement with seven unique forms of magnesium that your body can actually use and absorb. Here comes the best part, the makers of magnesium breakthrough by optimizers are having a black friday special offer from november 21st to the 29th where you can get magnesium breakthrough in all of the bi optimizers. Best in class products for 25% off. Just go to buy optimizers dot com backslash. Run to the top and enter code run 10 to get 25% off any order. This is the best time to stock up on the products you love and to try new ones. All by optimizers supplements are best in class. If for some reason you feel differently you can get a full refund, no questions asked and they are so confident that you will enjoy the products that they offer a 365 day money back guarantee. But do it while supplies last and don't miss that november 29th deadline.

Again, the link is by optimizers dot com backslash run to the top by optimizers is spelled B I O P T I M I Z E R s enter code run 10 at checkout to get 25% off your next order. I know how critical post run strength work is to help keep me strong and injury free. It's not a coincidence that injuries are more common with runners that skip their post run strength work. But I get it. We are usually tired after runs, especially on workout days. And many of us don't have quite the energy and motivation to get that strength work in. Now that I've been focusing more on my strength workouts without a race on the calendar. I've been craving something that could both help with energy and focus post run and also provide a nutrient boost. So I can maximize both my recovery and performance when strength training. That's why I've been loving perform from the amino company perform is an amino based acid formulation that I simply add to my water post run.

It tastes great and it's easy on my stomach as well. But more importantly, it immediately gives me energy and focus to jump into my strength training and even better perform. Also helps improve strength performance. It reduces fatigue and increases muscle protein synthesis so you can recover faster from both the run and your strength training. I feel great when taking perform but I appreciate even more that it's all backed by actual science. In fact, the research on Amino acids and performance enhancements is well documented with hundreds of studies demonstrating their effectiveness. You can even use perform during your long runs and workouts to increase focus and performance during the run itself. If you are interested in giving perform a try, we've got a special offer for you where you can save 30% and get a free gift by using the code RC 30. Just head to amino co dot com backslash R T. T. That's A M I N O C O dot com slash R T T. T. And use the code R.

C. 30 at checkout to save 30% and get a free gift on your next order Lesson. three long term planning is key. Each attendee to the retreat, gets a dedicated one on one coaching session where we go over their training, answer questions etcetera, etcetera. One of the things we try to focus on is the coaching staff is a long term planning, not just focusing on the next race to come, but what the plan looks like for the next year and beyond this. Focus on long term planning is a real eye opener for many athletes, what we most often find is runners will have two or three big goal races throughout the year, but no real plan about how to train between these segments or structure of the year so that each race builds on itself and how to translate the strength gained from each segment into the next. Another. Big issue is looking at the next big race as the be all and end all and not thinking about the bigger picture, especially when it comes to injuries.

I spoke with about a half dozen runners who kept struggling with injury cycle after injury cycle. The common thread was that each was doing everything they could to patch their things together for the next race, taking rest to recover from the injury and then ramping back up quickly for the next race. The lack of long term planning was keeping them in this injury cycle. And I also wrote this about this in our newsletter a couple weeks ago when we discussed the withdrawal of Ryan Hall from the new york city marathon. So go ahead and check out your email if you want to read that about long term planning and injury prevention. So, what can you learn from this? Runners tend to think of training and isolated blocks. 16 weeks of training for this marathon. 12 weeks of training for the upcoming 5K et cetera. However, training doesn't occur in neat little segments like we have the habit of thinking. Each training cycle builds upon the last to improve some aspect of your fitness and make you a better runner overall. Therefore, rather than looking at training and independent 12 or 16 weeks segments, you should take a holistic and long term approach to your training and plan your racing and training schedule in one or to your blocks?

Think about how you're going to build off the last race, whether it be mileage, pace, percentage of quality workouts, etc. Likewise, if you're injured, don't be afraid to take a step back and realize that the next race isn't the last you'll ever run if you need to be at 75% fit this time around in order to be 100% healthy. That's okay. Being 100% healthy after the race means you can build off the training cycle rather than needing to rest and start back over Lesson four. Don't Skip The Ancillary Work. One of the greatest things about a running retreat is that you have the entire day to focus on your running if that's what you choose. This means you have all the time in the world to add in those things that you should be doing, but never have time for like stretching, foam roller and strength training during the retreat. We have dedicated strength training, stretching and foam rolling sessions moreover, many attendees jump in an ice bath post run to reduce information or use the hot tub to get loosened up before stretching and what does this lead to being able to train more than they usually do and actually feel better.

One thing we commonly see at each retreat is runners being able to run more and run faster than they normally would at home with less soreness and fatigue. So what's your takeaway now? I know that not every day can be like a running treat with ample time to get in all the little things however you should make an effort to do so whenever you can. The difference it can make to your training is immense. I think too often we think of all this little stuff as that has to take hours, but that's not true. If done correctly and efficiently, you can add strength, foam rolling and stretching to your routine in just a few minutes each day. Here's an example of how pre run can include a three minute warmup using a quick dynamic warm up like the lunge matrix During an easy run if you're really short on time, cut your mileage by one mile and add in 10 minutes of full rolling after your run. Now one mile isn't going to do anything for your fitness, but staying healthy and improving your recovery.

Sure can. So this case the sacrifice of one mile to be able to add in full rolling is really critical. Post run, you can add in a quick active isolated stretching routine. An essential routine hits all the major areas and your trouble spots and only about 5-7 minutes. Then work on some strength. As I mentioned earlier, a runner focused strength session takes about 15 minutes. You can do it at lunch over four bed if you're short on time right after a run. This sample routine allows you to warm up for moral stretch and add strength training by adding in about 20-25 minutes to your day. 20-25 minutes is not a lot, it's really more realizing it can be done and then dedicating the time you need to do it once you do and see the difference, it makes like all those at the retreats, it's easier to keep it going. Bonus Lesson five, that extra push helps. One of the biggest surprises from the retreats last year was when we had a voluntary hill workout and speed session, We were at our retreat in Flagstaff and despite being an altitude of 7000 ft, I watched runners crank out some fast splits much faster than they normally can when they train alone back at home.

It was truly awesome to see everyone pushing themselves beyond their comfort zone and what they thought possible. The reason boils down to having other people to push and encourage them. It's incredible how much having someone else there to work alongside, you can elevate your training game. So what can you take away? Well if possible, find a group to run with, Even if it's only one workout a week or every other week, this one isn't as easy to implement as the other lessons learned, since you need to have fellow runners around that it can be extremely powerful if you don't have any friends that run, try finding a running group. The first place to start is your local running store. They will likely know all of the groups in the area. It can help you find one that works for your location and your experience level. If you don't have a running store nearby, search facebook and google or contact local race organizers to see if they work with any groups, you can even ask fellow runners at your next local race if they know any good running groups around. When you do find a group, have a quick chat with the group organizer or leader to see if they have members at your experience level and pace don't be shy or intimidated.

Like I mentioned in lesson one, don't let the fears of your pace etcetera prevent you from experiencing all the joys of running and becoming a better running yourself. One of the best things about runners is that they are all friendly and welcoming no matter your speed or experience level. So I hope that you enjoyed today's lessons and even though you might not have been able to join us in 2022 for any of our retreats, you were still able to walk away listening to this episode with some awesome lessons learned. So thanks for listening. Hopefully, maybe we can see you at a retreat in 2023 and if not, definitely stay tuned to our podcast, email newsletters, YouTube and instagram to keep learning more. Thanks so much and have a great run today. I hope you enjoyed that episode. I personally got a lot from it, especially when Jeff talked about the form analysis and the associated rehab and strength routines that are prescribed based on the results as well as the importance just in general of ancillary work, like stretching, foam rolling and as I mentioned, general strength training, it never ceases to amaze me how the little things that take just 10 to 15 minutes each day really add up and and they're key to what you love to do most, which is to run daily.

So what were your thoughts and what were your favorite lessons? Feel free to share them in the comments section of this episode on instagram and facebook truly, we would, we would love to hear from you. Thanks for listening to the run to the top podcast. I'm your host, Finn Melanson. As always, our mission here is to help you become a better runner with every episode. Please consider connecting with me on instagram at Wasatch Finn and the rest of our team at runners connect. Also consider supporting our show for free with a trading on the Spotify and Apple podcast players. And lastly, if you love the show and you want bonus content behind the scenes experiences with our guests and premier access to contests and giveaways. Then subscribe to our newsletter by going to runners connect dot net back slash podcast until next time. Happy training.

4 Insights I Gained From Running Retreats
4 Insights I Gained From Running Retreats
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