Break the Barrier: Conquer the Sub-1:30 Half Marathon with This Game-Changing Training Plan

How To Run A Sub 1.30 Half Marathon

If your goal is to run a sub-90-minute half marathon, then you’re in the right place.

Here’s the truth.

Running a half marathon in under 90 minutes isn’t for the faint-hearted and requires more than just average running skills. It takes a burning passion to push the limits and surpass them.

But the good news is that almost anyone can do it with the right approach. Whether you’re a seasoned runner or just starting out, there are specific strategies and techniques that can help you achieve your goal.

In this article, we’ll take a deep dive into what it takes to run a sub-90-minute half marathon. And that includes:

  • The required pace for the 90-minute HM
  • The prerequisite you need to have
  • How to start training for the 1.30 half marathon
  • The EXACT workout paces you need for a 90-min half marathon
  • The training plan to follow
  • And so much more

So, whether you’re a seasoned runner or just starting, let’s lace up our shoes and start the journey towards the sub-90 minute half marathon.

The Required Pace For A 1.30 Half Marathon

To achieve a 90-minute half marathon, you’ll need to run at an average pace of 06:50 minutes per mile or 4:15 per kilometer or faster. That’s no easy feat, and it requires an incredible level of fitness and training.

To even begin this journey, you need to have a solid running base, meaning you should be able to comfortably run a sub-18 5K, sub-40 10K, or a sub-3:15 marathon.

The 1.30 Half Marathon Plan – Who is it For?

Running a sub-90-minute half marathon is not for the faint of heart, but it is a goal worth pursuing. This plan is designed for experienced runners who are willing to put in the hard work and dedication required to achieve this feat.

But let’s be real here. The average runner may find it difficult to reach such an ambitious goal. Many runners set lofty goals without considering the amount of effort and dedication required to achieve them. It’s important to know what pace you need to run on race day to meet your target time, and this plan is specifically tailored to help you reach that pace.

So what does this plan entail? You’ll be hitting the pavement four or five times a week with a mix of easy, tempo, fast, and steady runs. Each week includes 1-2 easy runs, one speed-based run, and one long run to build your endurance. You’ll also be incorporating cross-training workouts twice a week to strengthen your muscles and prevent injury. And don’t forget to take one rest day a week to allow your body to recover and rejuvenate.

But this isn’t just about putting in the miles. This plan is strategically designed to improve your speed and endurance. Each week includes threshold and race pace runs, with targeted work on short and medium intervals. You’ll also be doing tempo workouts as long runs that include race pace work to simulate race day conditions.

The Requirements Of Running A 1.30 Half Marathon

Firstly, it’s important to know that running a sub-90-minute half marathon requires more than just showing up on race day and running as fast as you can. It requires preparation, consistency, and dedication.

If you’re already an experienced runner and have completed several races before, then you’re on the right track. However, if you’re a beginner runner, don’t be discouraged. With the right training plan and attitude, you can work towards achieving this goal in the future.

To give yourself the best chance at success, I’d recommend that you can already complete a half marathon in or around the 110-minute mark. This means that you have a good base to work from and can focus on improving your pace. If you can run a 10K within 40 to 42 minutes, then you’re definitely on the right track to achieving your sub-90-minute goal.

How Long is The HM Training Plan

The 12-week timeframe of the 1.30 HM plan is designed to help you find the sweet spot of training duration. Train for less than eight weeks, and you may not have enough time to build a good base. Train for longer than 16 weeks, and you risk losing the motivation and drive to train.

However, what if your target half-marathon race is scheduled for more than three months out in the future? Then, it’s recommended that you add a sub-goal along the way. This could be running a 10K race or another half marathon to help you build your confidence and momentum along the way. Remember, the journey is what matters—not just the destination.

Be Specific in Training

Running a half marathon is no small feat, and if you’re aiming for a specific time, it’s important to be specific in your training. It’s like sharpening a knife – you want to hone in on your target pace by training at that pace for shorter distances and durations during your workouts. But don’t just focus on the pace; the key to running your fastest race is teaching your body to clear lactic acid faster than it builds up. That’s why it’s important to include sessions with 20 to 60 minutes at your target race pace at least once a week.

However, it’s important to find the right balance. You don’t want to perform too many half marathon pace runs as this may increase your injury risk. Follow the 80/20 percent rule in which three-quarters of your miles should be easy, whereas the rest should be hard. For example, if you log around 40 miles a week, 32 of these should be easy, while the remaining 8 miles should be devoted to some form of speedwork.

Having variety in one’s running plan is the signature move of a well-rounded program. And that’s a good thing. A study published in the Journal of Sports Science and Medicine found that runners who followed a structured training plan improved their 5K and 10K times significantly more than those who did not follow a plan.

Additional resource – Maintaining muscle during marathon training

Easy Runs

Easy runs should be performed at a comfortable pace and are designed to give you a good aerobic base. Don’t stress too much about the distance or speed of these sessions – they should be enjoyable and easy.

You should be able to keep a conversation going on easy runs, so they’re perfect to do with friends. If you can’t hold a conversation, you’re going too fast.

To err on the side of caution, I recommend using a heart rate monitor. Your target zone should be around 65 and 75 of your maximum heart rate.

Interval Training

If you’re looking to race at a fast pace, then you should train at your race pace (and a little bit faster) at least once a week. This is where interval training comes in, which consists of running one fast interval followed by one slow interval.

Then you repeat for the duration of the session. Interval training is the best way to improve your speed when training for a half marathon. Speedwork can also teach your body how to recruit more and more muscle fibers while running.

In my 1.30 HM training plan, I include various interval work, ranging from 400-meter to 2Km intervals. The intervals should be performed as instructed in the plan. For shorter repeats like 400 and 800, I recommend doing them on a track, but for longer repeats, you might want to do them on the road.

Here’s how fast you should perform interval training:

  • 400-m reps – These should be drastically faster than your HM race pace, at a roughly 6:00 per mile pace with a 60-second recovery jog. Ten mph or 16.2 km/per hour for treadmill sessions.
  • 800-m reps – Same as above, shoot for 6:20 pace per mile again with a 90-second recovery jog. 4 mph or 15.2 km/per hour for treadmill sessions.
  • 1K intervals – Again, at slightly faster than race pace and should be at roughly 6:40 with a two-minute recovery jog. Nine mph or 14.5 km/per hour for treadmill sessions.
  • 2K intervals – These should be performed at your goal race pace of 6:50 per mile with a two-minute recovery. 8.6 mph or 14.1 km/per hour for treadmill sessions.

Remember not to overdo it; otherwise, you risk being too overtrained for the other runs in the plan.  Overall, the total interval distance shouldn’t exceed 15 to 20 percent of weekly mileage.

For more guidelines on speedwork, check the following posts:

And here’s the average time to run a mile.

Tempo Runs

Tempo runs consist of non-stop sessions with a build-up halfway to a 10K race pace, and they’ve a lot to offer.

Tempo runs are fantastic strength builders and are a must, especially when training for a half marathon. They also help keep pace without building too much lactate in your muscles, which eventually helps keep a faster pace for a longer period.

The typical tempo runs would start with 10 to 15 minutes of easy running, then speed up gradually for 20 to 30 minutes near the midpoint, then 5 to 10 minutes easy as a cool-down toward the end.

That’s all.

I’d also recommend performing your tempo workouts at your target half-marathon pace, which is 5:50 per mile. Build up the speed gradually, not suddenly.

If this is your first time doing tempo training, start with tempo intervals of 2 to 5 minutes at a tempo pace with 1 to 2 minutes of easy running as recovery in between. Shoot for about 20 minutes at a tempo pace.

Increase the distance until you can finish five or six miles at a tempo pace a couple of weeks before race day.

Additional resource – How long is a half marathon

Girl in sportswear does warm-up in the park on a cloudy day.

Long Runs

Taking on the 90-minute half marathon means that you likely already do a long run of roughly 90 minutes or longer every weekend.

If it’s the case, then I’m not surprised.

Long runs are the bread and butter of endurance training.

They’re the best for building aerobic endurance.

But how do you increase distance without incurring injury?

The key is to do it gradually. As a rule, build up the distance of your long runs gradually. Following the 10 percent rule is the best way to go.

During the program, you’ll add 1-2 miles to your long run every 1-2 weeks. You’ll also be taking a recovery week every 4 to 5 weeks in which you reduce the long run distance by 30 percent.

To complete a sub-90-minute half marathon, you’ll want to run more than 13.1 miles during your long peak runs—4 to 6 weeks before race day.

Don’t try to run these sessions too fast.

Forget about how fast or far you’re going. Focus on spending more time on your feet. Time over distance.

Many runners often complete long runs too fast, but even a mild effort can benefit your half-marathon performance.

Start your long runs at a super easy pace, then work up to a mild effort—around 7:50 per mile pace is good. Then, as race day approaches, throw in a few miles at the end at your race goal pace. But don’t overdo it.

Stick to a comfortable, conversational pace, except when a 3/1 long is prescribed. This is a session where you run to cover the first two-thirds of the run at a conversational pace, then speed up near your goal HM pace over the last one-third of the run.

Overall, you should be feeling refreshed, not exhausted, at the end of the run.

Warm Up

Before you hit the road and start logging miles, it’s important to warm up properly to lay the foundation for an efficient run. Think of it as priming your body for the physical challenge ahead. Without a proper warm-up, your body may struggle to keep up with the demands of your workout or race.

  • For speed workouts and races, a 10 to 15-minute jog is a good start. But don’t stop there. To get your muscles ready, add some dynamic movements like leg swings, lunges, and squats to your routine. And to get your body firing at all cylinders, throw in a few 100-meter strides at near maximum speed.
  • For long runs, you can warm up on the go by starting the first few miles at a slow pace. But a 10-minute brisk walk followed by a few dynamic exercises will help ensure your muscles are properly warmed up.

Additional Reading – Half marathon pace chart

Stretch And Strength

While most half-marathon training plans focus mainly on running, cross-training is essential for improving performance and preventing injury. By doing non-running workouts like strength training, you can build overall body strength and endurance without subjecting your body to more running-related stress.

The ideal strength routine for endurance runners would consist of push-ups, pull-ups, lunges, bench presses, planks, and other compound movements to build overall body strength and endurance.

What’s more?

I’d also recommend stretching regularly after your runs. Static stretching helps release tight muscles and as well improves overall mobility.

Just keep in mind that these are, in fact, easy days, so don’t overdo them. Keep it light. Keep it easy.

Rest

Proper recovery is key to achieving your 90-min half marathon. By incorporating proper recovery practices, you’ll get the most out of your runs while limiting your risk of injury.

Pay attention to your fatigue level, especially as race day nears—and don’t lose sleep over taking a day or two off.

Your Pacing Strategy

To run a sub-1:30 half marathon, it’s essential to pace yourself properly throughout the race.

One effective strategy is to break the race down into smaller segments and pace accordingly. For example, you can divide the half marathon into three 4-mile segments and one 5.1-mile segment. During the first two segments, aim to run slightly slower than your goal pace.

In the third segment, aim to run at your goal pace. Finally, during the last segment, aim to slightly increase your pace.

What’s more?

Be sure to adjust your pacing based on factors such as course elevation, weather conditions, and individual fitness level.

Weekly Mileage For Running A Sub 90 Minutes Half Marathon

One of the keys to success is building up your weekly mileage gradually. While there’s no magic number of miles that will guarantee you a sub-90-minute finish, most runners will need to put in some serious work to get there.

If you’re currently running around 20 miles per week, don’t worry, you can still get there! Aim to gradually increase your weekly mileage to around 40 miles throughout the early weeks of your training. Think of it like building a sturdy foundation for a skyscraper. The more miles you run, the stronger your endurance base will be and the faster you’ll be able to run.

But it’s not just about running more miles. You also need to be smart about how you structure your training. Keep your long run mileage to around 25-35% of your weekly volume. For example, if you’re running 26 miles a week, aim for a long run of around 6-9 miles. Going too hard or too fast can lead to injuries that will only set you back in your training.

As you build your weekly mileage, be sure to also focus on cross-training and strength training to prevent injury and build overall body strength. A strong body is a resilient body, and you’ll be better able to handle the rigors of training if you’re doing push-ups, pull-ups, lunges, and other compound movements.

Additional Resource – Here’s your guide to the Yasso 800 Workout

The 1.30 Half Marathon Training Plan

Now, onto the training plan. This is just a guide, so feel free to adjust it to fit your schedule and needs. But remember, consistency is key. You won’t get to the finish line in under 90 minutes if you’re not putting in the work.

This plan includes a mix of easy runs, speed work, and a long run each week to help you build endurance and speed.

Week – 1

Monday – Rest Day or Cross train

Tuesday – Easy Run: 4 miles

Wednesday—Speedwork: 6 X 800M

Thursday– Easy Run: 4 miles

Friday—Rest Day or Cross train

Saturday– Steady Run: 4 miles

Sunday – Long Run: 10 miles

Week – 2

Monday – Rest Day or Cross train

Tuesday – Easy Run: 5 miles

Wednesday—Speedwork: 10 X 400M

Thursday– Easy Run: 5 miles

Friday—Rest Day or Cross train

Saturday– Steady Run: 6 miles

Sunday – Long Run: 10 miles

Week – 3

Monday – Rest Day or Cross train

Tuesday – Easy Run: 5 miles

Wednesday—Speedwork: 5 X 1K

Thursday– Easy Run: 6 miles

Friday—Rest Day or Cross train

Saturday– Steady Run: 4 miles on hills

Sunday – Long Run: 11 miles

Week – 4

Monday – Rest Day or Cross train

Tuesday – Easy Run: 6 miles

Wednesday—Speedwork: 4 X 2K

Thursday– Easy Run: 4 miles

Friday—Rest Day or Cross train

Saturday– Tempo Run: 4 miles

Sunday – Long Run: 12 miles

Week – 5

Monday – Rest Day or Cross train

Tuesday – Easy Run: 7 miles

Wednesday—Speedwork: 12 X 400M

Thursday– Easy Run: 5 miles

Friday—Rest Day or Cross train

Saturday– Steady Run: 6 miles

Sunday – Long Run: 13 miles

Week – 6

Monday – Rest Day or Cross train

Tuesday – Easy Run: 7 miles

Wednesday—tempo run: 5 miles

Thursday– Easy Run: 5 miles

Friday—Rest Day or Cross train

Saturday– Steady Run: 7 miles

Sunday – Long Run: 13 miles

Week – 7

Monday – Rest Day or Cross train

Tuesday – Easy Run: 7 miles

Wednesday—Speedwork: 8 X 800M

Thursday– Easy Run: 6 miles

Friday—Rest Day or Cross train

Saturday– tempo Run: 6 miles

Sunday – Long Run: 14 miles

Week – 8

Monday – Rest Day or Cross train

Tuesday – Easy Run: 7 miles

Wednesday—Speedwork: 8 X 1K

Thursday– Easy Run: 7 miles

Friday—Rest Day or Cross train

Saturday– Tempo Run: 6 miles

Sunday – Long Run: 14 miles

Week – 9

Monday – Rest Day or Cross train

Tuesday – Easy Run: 7 miles

Wednesday—Speedwork: 5 X 2K

Thursday– Easy Run: 8 miles

Friday—Rest Day or Cross train

Saturday– Tempo Run: 7 miles

Sunday – Long Run: 15 miles

Week – 10

Monday – Rest Day or Cross train

Tuesday – Easy Run: 7 miles

Wednesday—Speedwork: 12 X 400M

Thursday– Easy Run: 7 miles

Friday—Rest Day or Cross train

Saturday– Steady Run: 7 miles

Sunday – Long Run: 15 miles

Week – 11

Monday – Rest Day or Cross train

Tuesday – Easy Run: 5 miles

Wednesday—Speedwork: 10 X 1K

Thursday– Easy Run: 6 miles

Friday—Rest Day or Cross train

Saturday– Tempo Run: 6 miles

Sunday – Long Run: 10 miles

Week – 12

Monday – Rest Day or Cross train

Tuesday – Easy Run: 4 miles

Wednesday—Speedwork: 8 X 400M

Thursday– Easy Run: 3 miles

Friday—Rest Day or Cross train

Saturday– Steady Run: 3 miles

Sunday – Half Marathon Race Day

Additional Resource – Your Guide To Running Heart Rate Zones

The 90-Minute Half Marathon Plan – Conclusion

Crossing the finish line of a half marathon in under 90 minutes is like summiting a mountain peak – it’s an exhilarating achievement that only a select few can claim.

According to my own estimates, less than 5% of all recreational half marathoners can break the coveted 90-minute barrier.

But don’t let that discourage you – with hard work, determination, and a little bit of grit, you can join the elite ranks of sub-90 half marathoners.

So, lace up your shoes, set your sights high, and prepare to conquer the road ahead. Remember, every step you take brings you one step closer to the summit – so don’t give up until you reach the top!

Compression Pants for Running: Your Ultimate Guide to Enhanced Recovery & Performance

Compression Pants for Running

Looking to soothe tightness, prevent strain, and speed up recovery? Then look no further than a pair of Compression Pants for Running.

Many runners swear by wearing compression gear, whether leggings, compression socks, shorts, or other items, touting an increase in athletic performance and recovery rate.

Originally prescribed by physicians and sold in drug stores, compression gear was initially designed to improve circulation for issues like arthritis and diabetes. In fact, compression gear has been employed as far back as ancient Greece to help with wound healing. However, these days, compression gear has taken the fitness market by storm.

When choosing compression clothing, there are a few key factors to consider, including size, material, and length.

In this guide, I’ll address all your concerns about selecting the right running compression garments. So, whether you’re looking for enhanced performance or faster recovery, read on to find the perfect compression gear for your running needs.

What Is Compression Clothing for Running?

Compression pants, often referred to as compression leggings, are snug-fitting garments primarily made from breathable spandex. They closely resemble leggings but are designed to be even tighter, hugging your body from the waist down to your ankles.

Originally, compression leggings were developed to prevent vein-related issues like varicose veins and deep vein thrombosis from becoming chronic conditions. However, their benefits extend beyond medical applications. But getting varicose veins treatment is a better option.

Runners, in particular, have embraced compression pants for various reasons.

Key Benefits of Compression Pants:

  • Support for Affected Areas: Compression pants provide targeted support, making them ideal for managing lower-body pain or injuries (excluding the feet). They act as a second skin, offering stability and reducing muscle strain.
  • Moisture Wicking: These pants are designed to wick moisture away from your skin, preventing chafing, blisters, and rashes during your runs.
  • Muscle Warmth: Compression technology keeps your leg muscles warm, reducing the risk of muscle injuries and promoting faster recovery.
  • Pain Reduction: If you experience muscle stiffness or soreness, compression pants can help alleviate discomfort and improve overall comfort.
  • Joint Stability: They offer added stability to your joints, which can be particularly beneficial during high-impact activities like running.

Why Wear Compression Leggings for Running

Ever wondered why some runners swear by compression leggings? These snug-fitting garments offer more than just a stylish appearance; they can significantly enhance your running experience.

Let’s dive into a few of the reasons you need to be sporting these compression wonders:

  • Reduced Muscle Oscillation: Compression leggings provide a tight fit that minimizes muscle oscillation during high-impact activities like running. This stability can lead to improved running form and less energy wasted on unnecessary movement.
  • Enhanced Circulation: By compressing the muscles, these leggings help push blood back towards the heart, improving circulation. This can lead to better oxygen delivery to your muscles, reducing fatigue and enhancing endurance.
  • Aerodynamic Benefits: Research published in the “Medicine & Science in Sports and Exercise” journal has shown that compression gear can provide a “small aerodynamic drag reduction.” This advantage is especially relevant for speed sports like running, where every second counts.
  • Joint Support: Compression leggings offer added support to your joints, reducing the risk of injuries during intense workouts. Research in the “Journal of Sports Science” has highlighted the positive effects of compression gear on joint movement control and muscle torque.
  • Improved Running Economy: These leggings can enhance your running economy by promoting better biomechanics and muscle coordination. This can translate into increased running efficiency and reduced energy expenditure

Additional Resources:

How To Choose Running Compression Pants

Now that you know a thing or two about compression pants, let’s look into how to choose the best pair for you.

Size and Length

Before making a decision, familiarize yourself with size charts provided by most brands. Many brands offer online size guides to help you choose the perfect fit. Trying on a couple of sizes and returning those that don’t suit your body shape is a smart move.

Compression pants come in various lengths, including 7/8 length, capris, ½ length, and shorts. Your choice of length should take into account the season and your personal preferences.

Opt for shorter lengths like shorts or 7/8 tights in hot summer weather to stay cool and comfortable. Full-length tights may not be the best choice in the scorching heat.

Shorter Vs. Longer

Shorter pants offer better ventilation and a wider range of movement. Longer pants, on the other hand, help prevent chafing, making them ideal if your thighs tend to rub together during runs.

Avoid Loose Fit:

Remember that compression pants that are too loose won’t provide the desired pressure for your muscles and joints, diminishing the benefits of compression gear. Ensure a snug but comfortable fit.

Prevent Overlapping:

If you opt for 7/8 tights, pairing them with long socks can prevent any uncomfortable overlapping.

Additional Resource – Your guide to running jackets

The Right Tightness

Your compression pants should fit snugly but not be so tight that they cut off your circulation. They should feel like a second skin, providing support without restricting your movement.

When you first put on your compression pants, they should feel exceptionally tight. Don’t be alarmed; this is normal. The fabric will gradually adapt to your body shape, and the tightness should diminish with wear.

Choose Your Regular Size:

Start with your regular size when selecting compression pants. Keep in mind that they should feel tighter initially but become more comfortable over time

Additional Resource – Your Guide To Joggers Nipples

Material Quality

Look for compression leggings made from materials that offer stretchiness for flexibility, breathability to keep you cool, and moisture-wicking properties to keep sweat at bay.

Most running compression pants use materials like polyester, polyester-spandex blends, or nylon blends to provide a snug fit. Polyester-spandex blends offer excellent stretch and moisture management.

Fabrics with a higher concentration of nylon are excellent for wicking sweat away from your body quickly, helping you stay dry during your runs.

For colder weather, look for compression pants that may incorporate merino wool for added warmth.

If you sweat a lot or often run in hot conditions, opt for compression leggings with anti-microbial properties to help prevent odors and bacteria buildup.

Avoid Cotton:

Steer clear of compression pants that contain cotton. Cotton dries slowly and can lead to chafing, making it unsuitable for active workouts.

Additional resource – Your guide to running compression arm sleeves

High Visibility

Look for compression pants that feature reflective strips. These strips can enhance your visibility in the dark, especially during early morning or evening runs when visibility is limited.

If you prefer compression pants in dark colors, consider pairing them with bright-colored tops or accessories. This contrast can help you stand out to drivers and pedestrians.

Add reflective accessories such as vests, armbands, or hats with reflective elements. These can further enhance your visibility.

Consider wearing multiple layers, including a reflective vest or jacket, for added visibility during nighttime runs.

Choose well-lit routes or paths that are less likely to pose safety hazards. Familiarize yourself with the area to know where potential obstacles might be.

Additional resource – Sore quads after running

Pockets

Pockets in your compression pants allow you to carry small essentials like keys, cards, or gels without the need for additional accessories or belts.

You can enjoy a more comfortable and distraction-free run when your essentials are securely stored in your pocketed pants.

Compression pants with well-placed pockets can prevent items from bouncing or shifting during your run, ensuring they stay in place.

Need to access your keys or energy gels? Pockets in your compression pants provide easy access without having to stop or slow down.

When choosing pocketed compression pants, consider your specific needs. Some pants have small key pockets, while others feature larger or multiple pockets. Think about what you’ll need during your run and select pants that cater to those requirements..

Additional Resource – Prevent chafing when running.

Price of Running Compression Pants

High-quality compression pants are designed to withstand the rigors of frequent use. They’re less likely to wear out, tear, or lose their compression over time, saving you money in the long run.

Premium materials and construction methods make for a more comfortable running experience. You’ll appreciate the fit, feel, and breathability of quality compression pants during your workouts.

Quality compression pants are engineered to enhance your performance. They offer better muscle support, moisture-wicking properties, and improved compression, helping you perform at your best.

While cheaper options may seem like a deal, they often need frequent replacement. High-quality compression pants can last for several seasons, ultimately saving you money.

Compression pants with medical-grade compression can provide valuable benefits like improved circulation, reduced muscle soreness, and faster recovery. These benefits are well worth the investment.

Additional Resources

Compression Pants for Running – The Conclusion

There you have it! If you’re planning to purchase a set of compression leggings for running, then today’s post has you covered. The rest is just details.

Please feel free to leave your comments and questions in the section below.

In the meantime, thank you for dropping by.

Is There Life Insurance Specifically For Runners?

How To Prepare For Your Best Running Race

As a runner, you are constantly working to keep yourself fit and healthy. Running is a passion that requires a conscientious commitment, which is exactly the sort of thing that improves the quality and length of your life. As such, you may be wondering if there is life insurance geared specifically towards runners.

While you are unlikely to find insurance products designed for runners, being a runner can impact your life insurance. You can choose the best option from the types of life insurance available with your specific needs in mind. Your runner’s lifestyle may also impact your premium, if you choose life insurance that requires a medical examination.

Life insurance can be confusing for anyone. Here’s what you need to know about life insurance as a runner.

What type of runner are you?

Before getting into the ins-and-outs of life insurance itself, it is important to reflect on how the type of running you do impacts your body.

If you run a few miles every day and occasionally complete a half-marathon, your health is likely ideal for a life insurance medical. Your heart health is likely benefiting from all the cardio, and since you are not pushing your body to extremes, it is likely in great shape too.

If, however, you regularly run marathons (and practice running long distances between those marathons), you may have experienced some issues impacting your muscles, tissues, bones, etc. That being said, these issues are unlikely to raise your premiums, as they are not injuries that put you at a higher risk of untimely death.

The same cannot necessarily be said for trail runners. Life insurers ask about any dangerous hobbies. Depending on the types of trails you run, your hobby could be considered dangerous. In most cases, you won’t have to worry. Only if you are trail running on mountains where accidents happen or where the elements are particularly risky might this come into play.

What life insurance should you get?

The good news is that as a runner, you will probably benefit from a medical exam by getting lower premiums. There are plans which don’t require medicals, but if you’re confident about your health, there is no need to avoid an exam.

In terms of the type of life insurance itself, there are two main categories: term insurance and whole life insurance.

Term life insurance covers you for a specific period of time – usually around twenty years. Many people get term insurance when they are in the prime of their life. It will take care of their families while children are still in school, but will not benefit them in any way once the term ends. It is the cheaper type of life insurance.

Whole life insurance, on the other hand, covers you for the rest of your life. Rather than paying a premium so as to get a fixed payout in the event of death, your premiums contribute to the eventual payout. Whole life insurance is significantly more expensive, but is perfect for people building real wealth for their families.

Your choice of life insurance will have more to do with your career and ambitions than with your running lifestyle (unless running is your career, of course). Choose whatever makes most sense to you, but try to do so as soon as possible. The younger you are when you start a life insurance policy, the cheaper it will be.

Do you need life insurance?

As a runner, you may be healthier than most of your agemates. Your heart health may be exceptional. Do you really need life insurance if you are healthy?

Unfortunately, no one can control everything that happens to them. Even if you manage to keep your heart healthy, there are other illnesses which you might get. There is also the possibility that you will be in an accident or simply in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Waiting until you are diagnosed with an illness to get life insurance is unwise, as you may not be able to get cover at that point. Getting life insurance when you are young and healthy is the best decision. It will ensure that your family is taken care of, without you having to spend too much money every month.

Run Strong, Finish Strong – 6 Ways to Make Sure You Do Not Slow Down in a Race

Imagine this: you’ve trained tirelessly for that big race, and the finish line is finally in sight. You’ve put in the sweat, the early mornings, and the dedication, but the last thing you want is to see your performance decline in the crucial moments.

The mid-point or end of a race can make or break your entire effort.

But fear not, because there are strategies and steps you can take to ensure you keep that momentum going strong and finish your race with a bang.

Let’s dive into these tactics to help you run your best race from start to finish!

Interval Training

Keeping a strong pace throughout a race requires a strong body and mind. Interval training is a game-changer when it comes to maintaining a strong pace throughout your race. It’s not just about physical strength but also mental toughness. Incorporating challenging interval sessions into your running plan can help you push through those crucial moments and finish strong.

To take it up a notch, consider adding faster miles at your race pace during long runs.

Embrace The hills

Want to take your intervals to the next level? Do them on hills.

Hill intervals can build strength, boost your lactate threshold, and enhance your running economy, all of which are key to achieving that strong finish. So, let’s tackle those hills and intervals to ensure your race day success!

Practice Race Pace

Ever find yourself starting a race too fast and paying the price later on? It’s a common mistake, but one that can be avoided with the right approach. To maintain a steady pace during your race, you need to be intimately acquainted with your target speed. The best way to achieve this is by practicing your race pace during training.

By sweating it out in your workouts, you’ll be better prepared for the battle of the race. Pay attention to how it feels to run at that pace—your breathing, your stride, your overall effort level. These cues will serve as valuable guides on race day, helping you stay on track and finish strong.

Increase Your Strength

As you approach the final stretch of a race, having strong muscles becomes crucial. Even when your muscles are fatigued, they still need to work hard to carry you through to the finish line. That’s where strength training, mobility work, and plyometric exercises come into play. Consider incorporating this routine into your training twice a week:

  • 30 air squats
  • 20 lunges
  • Ten jumping lunges
  • One-minute plank hold
  • One minute of high knees
  • 30 push-ups
  • Ten burpees
  • Ten squat jumps
  • Ten pull-ups

Repeat this cycle two to three times for a complete workout that will help build the muscular endurance you need for the final stretch of your race. But what about during the race itself? Let’s dive into some race-day strategies to keep you moving forward and finishing strong.

Additional Resource – Virtual Races Guide

Start Slow

Starting slow might not feel natural when the adrenaline is pumping, and the race excitement is at its peak, but it’s a crucial strategy for maintaining a strong pace throughout the entire race. Many runners make the mistake of going out too fast in the beginning, only to struggle later on.

Here’s how to approach the start of your race:

  1. Be Conservative: Depending on the race distance, allow yourself the first 1-2 minutes or even a few miles to settle into a controlled pace. You should feel like you’re running slower than you could because adrenaline can make everything feel easy at the start.
  2. Control Your Pace: Recognize that the initial burst of energy might tempt you to go faster than your planned pace. Instead, pick a pace you know you can sustain for the entire race. Trust in your training and race strategy.
  3. Avoid Overexertion: Starting too fast can lead to early fatigue and a drop in performance. By holding back in the beginning, you conserve energy for the later stages of the race, where it can make a significant difference.

Additional Resource – Your Guide to Fun Runs

Do a Negative Split

Now, let’s talk about a racing strategy that can really boost your performance – the “Negative Split.” Unless you’re sprinting, like those lightning-fast 100m or 800m races, you should seriously consider giving this strategy a shot. Why, you ask? Well, research has your back on this one; it’s the golden path to achieving your personal record (P.R.).

Now, don’t get me wrong, it sounds simpler than it is. At the start of a race, most runners are raring to go, feeling strong and confident. But here’s the deal – for every second you blaze through those early miles, you risk paying the price in the latter half of the race.

So, how do you master the art of negative splits? It’s all about practice. During your training runs, make it a mission to run the second half faster than the first. Think of it as training your body to finish with a bang. Start by cruising through that first mile at a comfortable pace, then keep an eagle eye on your time as you hit that mile marker.

It’s like building a crescendo in a song – start slow, and as you hit the halfway point, crank up the tempo. You’ll be amazed at how this strategy can help you finish strong and achieve those personal bests.

Additional Readings:

Magnesium for Runners – The Guide You Need

Compression Pants for Running

Curious about the importance of Magnesium for runners? Then you have come to the right place.

You can take many measures right now to ensure optimal muscle recovery, some of which involve consuming the right nutrients. That’s where Magnesium can help.

Although Magnesium doesn’t draw the same attention as other nutrients, it undoubtedly deserves the spotlight.

This is especially true if you want to improve your performance and recovery.

In this article, I’ll dive into the benefits of Magnesium for runners and how to get enough each day.

Sounds great?

Let’s get started.

What is Magnesium

Magnesium is one of the essential electrolytes in the human body, and healthy levels are key for the proper function of the heart and nervous system.

Let me explain more.

Magnesium is one the most important micronutrients in your body, where roughly 24 grams of the stuff is found.

About 50 percent of Magnesium is stored in your body and roughly the same in the intracellular space or inside the cell. About 1 percent of the total Magnesium is found in your blood.

This micronutrient is involved in roughly 300 biochemical reactions in your body and is vital for muscle function, energy production, heart health, insulin metabolism, protein synthesis, etc.

For these reasons—and some more—even the tiniest deficiency can impact your running performance and health.

Magnesium Deficient

Although magnesium is one of the most important nutrients in the body, deficiencies are pretty common, especially among runners and other endurance athletes.

Since magnesium is not found in high concentrations in vegetables and fruits, only a few people get enough of it.

Even though the daily allowance is only 420 mg a day for men and 320 mg for women, it’s a rate to have too much Magnesium in the body, so don’t worry about exceeding this level.

The Benefits of Magnesium For runners

So why should runners pay attention to their magnesium intake?

Many reasons. The fact is, Magnesium is likely one of THEE most important minerals in your body.

It’s needed for energy production, bone development, and muscle recovery. This micronutrient also protects you from oxidative damage, which is more likely a result of energy produced during training.

Again. Don’t take my word for it. Let’s check out some of the research.

  • Research has found a strong link between increased magnesium intake and bone mineral density in endurance runners.
  • Research published in the European Journal of Applied Physiology reported that one week of magnesium supplementation reduced muscle soreness after a 10K downhill trial run.
  • Study out of Nutrients that looked at elite cyclists completing a 21-day event reported that supplementing with magnesium may have provided a protective layer against some of the muscle damage induced by hard training.

I can go on and on but you get the picture. But don’t get me wrong neither. I couldn’t find any strong proof that Magnesium helps improve endurance performance, but it may impact other variables such as muscle health and exercise recovery.

Additional resource – Running supplements for runners

Magnesium Deficiency Symptoms

Magnesium deficiencies are rampant. A survey has found that over 50 percent of adults were getting less than half of the recommended amount of Magnesium.

So how can you tell if you’re deficient in magnesium?

Simple. Check yourself for signs that you need more Magnesium. These include:

  • Insomnia
  • Frequent headaches
  • Constipation
  • Cramps
  • Low energy
  • Poor recovery following running
  • Depression
  • excessive fatigue
  • Low bone density
  • interrupted sleep
  • inability to lose fat
  • a weakened immune system
  • fatal heart arrhythmias during intense exercise.

You may benefit from upping your magnesium levels if you’re experiencing a few or more of these symptoms.

Deficiencies are Common

Research suggests that about 48 percent of the United States population appears to fall short of satisfying their magnesium needs through their diet alone.

Long-distance runners are especially prone to magnesium shortages because much of it is lost in sweat—usually roughly 2 to 12 mg per liter of sweat. Thus, the more you sweat, the more Magnesium you shed.

How Much Magnesium do you Need?

The recommended daily allowance for Magnesium is around 320 to 420 for adults depending on age, gender, and other variables.

How do you Test For Magnesium

Since only 1 percent of Magnesium is found in the blood, it doesn’t show up well on most blood tests since most of the nutrient is stored in your muscles and bones. For this reason, checking how you feel and your food intake is a better way to measure your needs.

Additional Resource – Here’s your guide to pre and post run nutrition

How To Calculate Your Needs

As a general guideline, you might need 3 to 4 mg of Magnesium per pound of body weight. So, for example, a 180-pound runner would need around  540 to 720 mg per day.

You should also keep in mind magnesium needs increase as you age, especially after 30, due to bone loss.

What’s more?

Runners, and athletes in general, may need up to 10 to 20 percent more.

How To Improve Your Levels

Before you order supplements, try to boost the amount of magnesium-rich foods in your diet. Shoot for around 300mg to 400mg daily, including plenty of leafy greens in your diet. Keep in mind that the RDA for an adult is around 300 mg to 400 mg daily.

The best food sources of magnesium include green leafy vegetables, unrefined whole grains, nuts, dark chocolate, and seeds, especially pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds, lentils, beans, peas, and soy.

Let’s check the amount in one 100-gram serving.

Fruits & veggies

  • Kale: 88mg
  • Green peas: 33mg
  • Avocados: 29mg
  • Spinach; 79mg

Legumes

  • Lentils: 36mg
  • Raw pinto beans: 176mg

Soy products

  • Soybeans: 280mg
  • Tofu: 60mg

Seeds

  • Pumpkin seeds: 590mg
  • Sesame seeds: 350mg
  • Sunflower seeds: 325mg

Nuts

  • Brazil nuts: 350mg
  • Cashew nuts: 250mg
  • Peanuts :160mg
  • Walnuts: 150mg

How To Supplement With Magnesium

Although most people choose to supplement with a pill, when it comes to Magnesium, in some cases, the digestive system may fall short of absorbing nutrients efficiently.

To sidestep this, consider taking skin-absorbed supplements. These are often available in forms like oils, body butter, and flakes that you can add to your bath.

What’s more?

A post-workout magnesium bath is a fantastic way to help release tight muscles and soothe the mind.

Additional resource – What to eat after running at night

Do you need a Magnesium Supplement

Like any other micronutrient, magnesium is also consumed in supplemental form, especially if you cannot meet your required daily intake through diet alone.

Although supplements may have much to offer to those already magnesium-deficient, research has yet to confirm that supplementing with magnesium can consistently improve athletic performance in those with adequate levels.

Additional resource – Best sources of electrolytes for runners

Magnesium For Runners – The Conclusion

There you have it!  If you’re curious about the importance of magnesium for runners, then today’s post should set you off on the right path. The rest is just details.

Please feel free to leave your comments and questions in the section below.

In meantime thank you for stopping by.

How to Choose The Best Running Shoes For Plantar Fasciitis

running blisters

Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common causes of heel pain, especially among runners. Stretching and strength training are some of the best ways to prevent it, but you may consider getting proper running shoes that help soothe the pain.

Although improper running shoes aren’t always a cause of plantar fasciitis, proper footwear can help soothe and prevent plantar fascia pain.

So what should you look for when it comes to running shoes for plantar fasciitis? That’s where today’s post comes in handy.

In this article, I’ll share a few simple guidelines to keep in mind next time you go running shoe shopping when you have a history—or are dealing with—plantar fasciitis.

What is Plantar Fasciitis?

One of the most common causes of heel pain in runners is what’s known as plantar fasciitis, which is an inflammation of the plantar fascia and can cause discomfort and distress.

The plantar fascia is the rubber band-like structure on the bottom of the feet. It attaches your heel bone to the front of your foot, extending from the base of the toes and connecting to the heel bone.

The Symptoms

If you have suffered from plantar fasciitis, then you’re familiar with the sharp pain and how it can not only compromise your running plan but disrupt your daily life.

In severe cases, the pain can make it almost impossible to bear weight—let alone—exercise on the injured foot.

The telling sign of plantar fasciitis is stabbing pain in the bottom of the foot, especially upon getting out of bed in the morning or after standing for extended periods. It’s common to feel pain after training, not during the exercise.

How To Treat it 

The most common way to treat bouts of plantar fasciitis is to take enough rest. In most cases, it usually resolves on there within a few weeks. To speed up recovery, feel free to apply cold therapy and take anti-inflammatory meds.

If you don’t want to stop training, reduce your mileage and avoid any movements that worsen your pain. However, taking a long sabbatical from running isn’t the solution, especially if you’re prone to plantar fasciitis.

The Many ways of Prevention

There are many measures you can take right now to help protect yourself from plantar fasciitis—one of these lies in picking the right footwear.

Don’t get me wrong. Although proper running shoes are key for preventing running pains, new kicks won’t fully cure your plantar fasciitis. This is especially the case when there’s something wrong with your foot posture, foot, and calf muscles.

For this reason, I’d recommend that you consult with a physician to get at the root cause of your foot problems and learn more about the proper footwear and posture that support your foot type and gait style.

Additional resource – your guide to running with metatarsalgia

The Best Running Shoes For Plantar Fasciitis 

Although there’s no such thing as plantar fasciitis shoes, a few things to look for when choosing a new pair. By choosing the right pair, you’ll help keep your

Let’s dive in.

Go With Running Shoes

The golden rule of choosing running shoes is to run in shoes specifically designed for running. You cannot play tennis in your walking shoes, nor should you expect to be able to run in your basketball shoes. It doesn’t work that way. (Here’s how to break in new running shoes.)

Non-running footwear isn’t designed with the support and cushioning you need for your muscles and joints while logging the mile, which is a high-impact exercise per excellence.

You should also consider what type of terrain you’re running on. There are three main categories to choose from road, trail, or track. Then, run in specific shoes designed for the specific terrain. It might seem like overkill, but you can’t go wrong on this.

Additional Resource – Here’s a list of the best running shoe brands.

Choose Neutral Shoes

The ideal shoes for dealing with plantar fasciitis are shoes that keep your foot position neutral. For example, some runners have a high arch and tend to underpronate, whereas others have flat feet and are overpronators.

Additional resource – How to recycle running shoes

Arch Support

Since plantar fascia impacts the arch, popper arch support should be one of the first things to look for in any shoe. In most cases, running shoes have a proper arch, and heel support can help with plantar fasciitis.

What’s more?

If you have flat feet, go for shoes with strong arch support. This may help soothe the pain that flat feet can cause.

Additional Resource – Here’s your guide to running shoes for flat feet.

A Reasonable Heel-Toe Drop

A good running shoe for plantar fasciitis should have a relatively raised heel. This means that your heel should rest a little higher than your toes.

Why does this help?

Having sue drop height may help take undue pressure off both your arch and the Achilles tendon. However, since your Achilles tendon is attached to the heel bone, extra stress triggered by it can also impact your plantar fascia.

The higher the heel, the more pressure is put on the front of the foot. Again, this may lead to pain down the line. On the other hand, going completely flat can also stress the arch and heel.

Just keep in mind that having too much heel drop can be risky.

As a rough guideline, a proper heel heigh-hoed be around a quarter to half an inch.

Additional Reading  – Your guide to the heel to toe drop.

Mid Foot Cushion

Changing your running gait and foot mechanics is a long and challenging process. However, if you’re dealing with any heel pain caused by plantar fasciitis, limiting heel impact can help bring some relief to what’s ailing you.

Overall, midsole cushioning can help reduce the impact on the heel during your running gait.

Additional resource – How to clean running shoes

Running Shoes To Avoid

Overall, avoid running shoes that are too tight or restrictive. These may hinder your foot’s ability to move naturally, and you don’t want that.

These shoes also put more pressure on your foot which may make your plantar fasciitis—or any other Lowe leg injury—worse. You don’t want that, do you?

What’s more.?

You should also avoid minimal running shoes with minimal stability. Examples line Vibram Five-fingers and any other minimalist type of shoe.

You should also avoid shoes with little to no cushioning, arch support, or heel support to reduce the impact on the ground.

Additional Resources

Guide to the different types of running shoes

Guide to insoles for running shoes

Running Shoes Vs. Cross Trainers

Your guide to running belts

How to Prevent Dehydration During a Run

start walking

Feeling dizzy and exhausted while running? Then you might be logging the miles dehydrated.

Here’s the truth. Dehydration can impact your running performance and health like nothing else. All runners need to pay attention, regardless of age or fitness level.

Here’s the full guide to hydrations, warning signs, and why runners need to be proactive about what and how much they’re drinking.

Sounds exciting?

Let’s get started.

What is Dehydration

Dehydration happens when you lose your more fluids, usually via sweating, than the amount you take in. You’re technically dehydrated when you lose more than two percent of your body weight in fluids.

This, in turn, zaps your body out of the water and fluids needed to perform its normal functions.

And athletic performance is no exception, as losing two percent of body weight in fluids may lead to a 4 to 6 percent drop in running performance. Not cool at all.

Of course, don’t take my word for it. The American College of Sports Medicine reported that dehydration of around two percent of body weight hinders aerobic performance in mild to hot weather.

In fact, the higher the levels of dehydration, the worse the exercise performance.

Therefore, if you’re serious about running your best, make it a goal to start your run/race well hydrated, and then keep your fluid levels throughout the run and replenish them afterward. Nothing complicated.

The Causes of Dehydration in Runners

Technically speaking, dehydration while running can be blamed on various factors.

These include

  • Sweating and heavy breathing, or respiratory losses
  • Energy burning as measured from indirect calorimetry measurement, or substrate oxidation
  • Lack of water availability in the bladder
  • Water oxidation

Combined, these variables can lead to a loss in body fluids that sets the stage for dehydration, especially over time and/or when the fluids are not replaced.

Additional resource – Here’s how much water a runner should drink

Why Hydration Matters

Whenever you run or exert your body in any way, you sweat. This triggers a chain of reactions that leads to reduced running performance, especially if you fail to replace your body fluids as soon as possible.

Few things can compromise your running performance faster than dehydration as a runner. Drinking enough water is key for protecting against heat-related conditions, such as heat stroke, which can have dire consequences.

What’s more?

Dehydration can slow you down. This research has found that even a small decrease in hydration can impair athletic performance.

When you sweat, several things take place.

  • Your blood volume reduces, limiting the amount of blood returning to your heart.
  • The amount of blood your heart pumps declines
  • Your working muscles will receive less oxygen-rich blood
  • Your body will aerobically produce less energy
  • You’ll be forced to slow down.

That’s not a pretty picture, right?

Additional Resource – Why Do I sweat too much while running?

Here are the signs of dehydration.

As dehydration gets worse, the symptom will become much more severe, including:

  • Muscle cramps
  • Heavy legs
  • Intense headaches
  • Nausea and confusion
  • Gi distress
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Stopping to sweat altogether
  • Sharp decrease in running performance and output
  • Dark urine with less volume

Ignore these, and hydrastine can rapidly cause heat exhaustion or heat stroke, resulting in hypovolemic shock and eventually death.

Additional resource – How to prevent nausea when running

Stats on Dehydration

Think you’re already drinking plenty of water, think again.

Research has reported that over 75 percent of Americans are walking around dehydrated.

If you happen to be one of the dehydrated ones—and you’re a runner—logging the miles may mean putting yourself at risk.

Any sliver limning?

Research has reported that following a thorough hydration plan during exercise, when compared to drinking only when thirsty, improves endurance performance, and it will help you ward off some of the nasty symptoms below.

How to Prevent Dehydration During a Run

To prevent dehydration while running, take the following measures.

Additional Resource – What’s the best temperature for running?

Drink Water

The best way to prevent dehydration is, of course, to drink enough water all day long—and not just around your workouts. This means having frequent glasses throughout the day instead of chugging larger amounts in one go

The problem with drinking too much water within a short time is that it will force the kidneys to flush it. This, in turn, leads to frequent bathroom breaks. And you don’t want that.

What’s more?

When you chug in too much water, you’re also diluting your body’s sodium balance, increasing your risk of hyponatremia during your run. Hyponatremia is as bad as dehydration.

As a general rule, aim to drink roughly 2-3 mL per pound of body weight three hours before a workout.

If you’re running for a long time and/or exercising in the heat, consider adding a sport or energy drink to help restore carbs and electrolytes.

Timing also matters. Let me explain.

Before Runs

Start your runs well hydrated. Overall, I’d recommend drinking 16 to 20 ounces of fluids two to three hours before running and another 8 ounces 20 to 30 minutes before starting your session.

Additional reference – Stop peeing when running

During Running

You might not need to drink on the run for a session lasting less than an hour that invokes moderate effort.

Instead of pouring water over your head, drink it. Drinking cools you from the inside out.

As a rough guideline, take 4 to 6 ounces of water every 15 to 20 minutes during your long runs—or any run exceeding one hour.

Running a long distance? Consider sports drinks with 4-6 percent carbs to replace lost carbs and electrolytes.

After Running

To replace your fluid losses after a run, drink 16 to 24 ounces—roughly two to three cups—of fluid for every pound of bodyweight lost during training.

You should also keep track of your fluid intake, thirst, urine color, sweat loss, and bodyweight changes. And remember that it’s more efficient to drink tiny amounts of water throughout the day rather than a lot all at once.

Keep Track

Drinking water helps you stay well hydrated, but keeping track of your hydration levels ensures you are actually taking in enough fluid or too much.

The easiest way to keep tabs on your hydration is to check your urine. If it’s lemonade or straw color, you’re well hydrated. But if the urine is dark and yellow—think apple juice color—you need more fluids.

Another reliable way to monitor your hydrating is by measuring your sweat rate. This is especially helpful following a long run in which you’re pretty sure you have lost a lot of body fluids.

You can do this by taking your pre-run bodyweight and deducting your post-run bodyweight, recorded in an ounce. The number you get is the amount of fluid burned during training.

The test is simple. Weigh yourself before and after running. Ideally, you should weigh roughly the same.

But if you noticed that you’d lost more than a few pounds, then you’re likely not drinking enough water.

Only shed one to two percent of body weight? Then you’re likely in the hydration sweet spot. But losing more than two percent of your body weight means you need more hydration during your long runs.

Additional resource – What’s the best temperature for running

How much?

As far as I can tell, there’s no one-size-fits-all hydration rule for runners since everyone has a different body weight, sweat rate, training level, exercise effort, speed, etc.

However, most experts drink about 16 to 24 ounces of fluid for every pound lost, then plan to boost your fluid intake the next time you run.

In other words, if you shed more than two to three percent of your body weight during a workout, drink around 1.5 liters of fluid for each kilogram of lost body weight.

I’d also recommend eating something—think of a snack that contains some carbs and protein—to help kick off the recovery process.

Remember that it’s not easy to maintain your body weight during a long run, especially during the summer, so don’t feel alarmed if you lose more than a few pounds following a long run.

Additional resource – Ice bath for runners

CBD Oils For Runners – The Complete Guide

woman running

Curious about the benefits of CBD for runners?

Then you have come to the right place.

Here’s the truth.

CBD oil isn’t just another sneaky way to use marijuana.  In fact, the stuff is an effective tool for enhancing recovery and improving performance. That’s why it has gathered a lot of steam over the last few years.

What’s more?

You may have noticed that CBD has been infused and added to almost everything from toothpicks to bath bombs and coffee.

So it is worth it? That’s where this article comes in handy.

In this post, I’ll explain some of the mechanisms behind CBD oil, and that includes:

  • What is CBD oil
  • How does CBD work
  • The benefits of CBD for runners
  • How to start using it as a part of your training
  • And so much more

Keep on reading for the answers.

What Is CBD Oil

CBD or Cannabidiol oil is one of more than 100 compounds derived from cannabis but don’t let that scare you off – using the stuff won’t make you high. Found specifically in the stalk and seeds of the cannabis plant, CBD is a natural concentrate that packs in less than 0.3 percent THC, or the psychoactive element in cannabis..

It’s also a compound has been praised for its healing powers without getting you high. . This, in turn, makes CBD oil helpful among athletes and people from all walks of life.

The Human Body And CBD

Don’t let the fact that CBD is extracted from cannabis scare you off.

Here’s the plot twist.

Your body produces some cannabinoids already.

The human body has an endocannabinoid system (ECS), which consists of a complex control nerve center that regulates many of the key bodily processes, including metabolism, appetite, stress, sleep, and immune function.

It’s, in essence, a system that manages your body’s homeostasis.

The endocannabinoid system impacts your body’s responses to inflammation, pain, stress, mood, sleep, and metabolism.

Here’s how it works.

By interacting with the receptors within the ECS (CB1 and CB2), CBD oil can influence your brain’s and body’s response to a number of things. This, in turn, is believed to help in soothing different symptoms associated with fatigue, anxiety, and stress.

For this reason, some research has pointed out that CB may support your body in keeping a balanced, healthy state which is key for a successful and quick recovery.

Will CBD Oil Make You High

If the reason you’re interested in CBD oil boils down to getting “high,” you’ll be disappointed.  A lot of people assume that CBD triggers the same effects as marijuana since both naturally occur in the same plant.

But, That’s not the whole story. CBD alone is a non-intoxicating drug that won’t cause a high.

What’s more?

CBC can also be extracted from the hemp plant, which has no psychoactive effects. That’s why only hemp-derived CBD is available legally in many states.  For instance, Pennsylvania Cannabis laws allow CBD oil products as long as they meet certain parametersBy law, these products pack in no more than 0.3 percent THC, which isn’t enough to trigger any psychoactive symptoms.

But overall, though CBD won’t make you high, it does alter consciousness in some way. So you may experience less pain and feel mellow and at ease.

Additional resource – Learn more about CBN  here.

Will CBD Show Up During A Drug Test

In most cases, CBD alone shouldn’t trigger any drug test.

However, some Cannabidiol oil products may contain some trace amounts of THC or tetrahydrocannabinol, the intoxicating ingredient shown on drug tests.

To err on the side of caution, if you’re about to get drug tested, consider avoiding CBD products altogether.

If you want to avoid THC, use broad-spectrum products or isolate varieties. These, by definition, should be THC-free.

The benefits For Runners – The Research

Although you can find a lot of anecdotal evidence on the internet regarding the many benefits, CBD oils offer, most scientific proof suggests that it may help reduce inflammation and pain. For this reason, CBD oil is a great option for any post-run soreness or pain.

Of course, don’t take my word for it. Research that looked into arthritis rates reported that it drastically reduced joint swelling and pain markers, missing the side effect of drugs.

Let’s check some of the acclaimed benefits.

One example is a 2016 research on arthritis raters that reported that it drastically reduced joint swelling and pain, minus the side effect of other drugs. Of course, this is just one study, but I’ve found plenty of other research papers that reached similar conclusions.

These include:

Despite the many promising benefits, research is still scarce due to the legal challenges surrounding the supplement. As a result, even vital factors such as delivery and optimal dosage are still being assessed.

But overall, my hopes are still up, and I’m pretty confident we will see a lot more research conducted on the subject. So it’s just a matter of time.

Ways To Consume CBD

CBD oils come in many forms, some of which you can blend in smoothies or drop onto your tongue. In fact, thanks to the rise in popularity, CBD oils have been added to virtually everything, from carb drinks, protein shake, gummies, chewing gums, and even chocolates.

But is there an efficient way to take in CBD OIL?

As far as I can, most experts recommend taking CBD oil with a meal, possibly one high in unsaturated fats—think cheese and nuts. This is believed that it allows for better first-fast metabolism, the speed at which your body can absorb the active elements in CBD oil.

Additional resource – Sore quads after running

Does CBD Help Runner’s Knee

Runner’s knee is often caused by inflamed tissues around the patella—or the kneecap.

Since CBD acts like a natural pain reliever, it may target specific issues to help you speed up recovery and return to training. Using it regularly helps soothe your aching muscles during a hard run and assists in a swift return to full fitness and peak performance.

Just keep in mind that CBD isn’t the answer to all of your knee pain prayers. Instead, consider a temporary relief measure, as any serious injuries will need to be looked at by a doctor.

Remember that running is a high-impact sport that takes a toll on your muscles and joints. That’s why you’re better off managing your training load wisely and getting the right help from a certified physician in cases of chronic pain.

I cannot stress that enough.

CBD for Shin Splints

Again, the answer is yes, as it can help reduce inflammation and allow your muscles to relax.

The same can be said about other overuse running injuries such as plantar fasciitis, ITBS, etc.

Additional resource – Running shoes for plantar fasciitis

Tips For Using CBD Oils For Runners

Here are a few guidelines to help you get the most out of CBD.

Enjoy

Consistency

For CBD to take effect, you’ll need to use it regularly. It’s not an overnight thing to be used only once; magically, all things improve.

Just like anything else, results take time, and outcomes may vary from one person to the other.

Sublingual Drops

Taking under the tongue is a fantastic way of helping soothe total body inflammation, bring pain relief, ease the mood, and so much more.

Just make sure when you’re doing sublingual drops to let the oil get absorbed in your mouth instead of swallowing it.

Try Creams

Dealing with a specific area of pain? Then consider trying CBD creams, as they work well for localized areas of pain.

Lotions are also a great alternative to sublingual drops since the oil can be absorbed through the skin, too.

When it To take

As far as I can tell, there’s no universal answer as it depends on the individual and how they react to CBD oil. It’s a trial and error thing. No way around that.

For some folks, CBD oils may cause alertness. Thus, they prefer to have it first thing in the morning or during the afternoon to ward off the post-lunch energy crash.

Whereas others report feeling a calming and relaxing effect, therefore, prefer to have it at night or closer to bedtime.

But overall…

Most experts recommend taking CBD at night as it works well, helping you relax and sleep well.

As you already know, sleep is vital to good health and exercise recovery, so this can help with that while also soothing any inflammation or pain you might be dealing with at the moment.

Check The Law

Although the use of CBD has zero to few health risks, the stuff is still illegal in some areas of the U.S. (and around the world)since it’s derived from cannabis.

Do your due diligence.

Additional resource – Common running injuries

Not a Magical Pill

Contrary to some CBD product ads, the stuff is no magic pill.

Just like it’s bad to rely heavily on pharmaceuticals to manage everyday pain, turning to CBD to soothe pain shouldn’t be considered a cure.

Sure, it may help soothe some pain, but it won’t cure a stress fracture or an ankle sprain.

As a runner, you’ll have to scale back your training—or stop altogether—to recover from an injury. Trying to drown chronic pain in CBD oil is a recipe for disaster. And you don’t want that.

Check With The Source

Like any other over-the-counter medicine, pay attention to what and where you buy your CBD. Avoid products you find for sale in gas stations or places like that.

Instead, choose an athletic-friendly, high-quality one that delivers a pure product so you can prevent accidentally dosing yourself with harmful chemicals.

Conclusion  – Is CBD Good For Runners

CBD can be a great option for runners thanks to its pain-soothing effects.

Soothing inflammation can also be a fantastic way for a runner to improve recovery post-workout.

And since it’s all-natural, you won’t have to worry about it negatively impacting your body as many synthetic anti-inflammatories can.

How To Transition To Zero-Drop Running Shoes

How To Transition To Zero-Drop Running Shoes

Ready to take the leap into the world of zero-drop running shoes? You’ve landed in the perfect spot. Whether you’ve heard whispers of their benefits or you’re simply curious about this footwear revolution, I’ve got you covered.

Zero-drop running shoes have experienced a surge in popularity, captivating the attention of experts and runners alike. Some claim that these shoes are the holy grail for runners, offering a pathway to unlocking their true potential. But is it all hype, or is there solid scientific evidence to support their claims?

Let’s dive in and uncover the truth together.

In this article, I’ll unravel the mysteries surrounding zero-drop footwear, providing you with all the knowledge you need to make an informed decision. I’ll explore the ins and outs of zero-drop running shoes, comparing them to their counterparts in the footwear realm.

I’ll lay out the pros and cons, ensuring you have a comprehensive understanding of what to expect.

And of course, I’ll equip you with the tools to choose the perfect pair that suits your unique needs.

Sounds like too much ground to cover? Then let’s get started.

What is Zero Drop Running Shoes?

Imagine walking barefoot on a sandy beach, feeling the grains of sand between your toes and the earth beneath your feet. That sensation of being fully connected to the ground is what zero-drop footwear aims to replicate. So, what exactly does “zero-drop” mean when it comes to shoes?

In the world of footwear, the term “drop” refers to the difference in sole thickness between the heel and the toes.

It’s like the gap between two different altitudes on a hiking trail. A higher drop means there’s a greater elevation from the heel to the toes, while a lower or zero-drop means the sole maintains a consistent height from front to back.

Zero-drop shoes are the rebels of the footwear world. They strip away excessive cushioning and bring your feet closer to the ground, allowing them to lie flat on the shoe’s surface. It’s like stepping onto solid ground without any barriers between you and the terrain.

By eliminating the drop, zero-drop shoes aim to mimic the natural movement and function of your feet when you’re walking barefoot.

Think of it as a return to our primal roots, where our ancestors roamed the earth with minimal interference from modern footwear.

One of the key advantages of zero-drop shoes is their ability to provide ample space for your toes to spread out. Say goodbye to cramped, confined spaces that squash your foot into unnatural positions. With zero-drop footwear, your toes can splay and wiggle freely, allowing for optimal foot alignment and stability.

Flexibility is another hallmark of zero-drop shoes. They allow your feet to move naturally, almost as if you were wearing no shoes at all. This flexibility promotes better foot strength and encourages a more efficient running or walking gait.

But don’t be fooled by their simplicity. Zero-drop shoes may be minimalistic, but they can still provide the necessary support and protection for your feet. Advances in shoe technology have led to the development of lightweight materials and strategic design elements that offer the right blend of comfort and durability.

Research has shown that zero-drop shoes can have positive effects on foot mechanics and muscle activation, potentially reducing the risk of certain injuries. However, it’s important to note that transitioning to zero-drop footwear should be done gradually to allow your body to adapt and avoid any sudden strain on muscles and joints.

Additional Resource – Running shoes Anatomy

Measuring The Drop

Imagine you’re at a shoe store, eyeing those fancy running shoes on display. You pick up a pair and notice something intriguing—the heel-to-drop measurement. It sounds technical, but it’s simply the difference between the height of the heel and the forefoot in the shoe.

Let’s break it down with an example. Say your running shoes have 12 millimeters of material under the toes and 18 millimeters under the heel. Quick math tells us that the difference is 6 millimeters—that’s your heel-to-drop measurement.

But what about zero-drop shoes? Well, as the name suggests, they’re a whole different ball game. Zero-drop shoes take things to a whole new level—literally.

In these shoes, the forefoot and the heel are on an equal playing field, with no elevation difference.

Zero-Drop VS. Minimalist shoes

Now, let’s clear up a common misconception. Are zero-drop shoes the same as minimalist shoes?

Not exactly. While they often get lumped together, they’re not entirely synonymous.

Zero-drop shoes are all about that level playing field—no heel elevation, no fuss. On the other hand, minimalist shoes can have a range of drop, typically between 0 to 6 millimeters, but sometimes even up to 8 millimeters.

Minimalist shoes also tend to have limited cushioning and arch support, emphasizing a more natural and minimalistic design.

Think of it like this: zero-drop shoes are a specific subset within the broader category of minimalist shoes. It’s a bit like saying that a square is a type of rectangle, but not all rectangles are squares.

Similarly, while zero-drop shoes fall under the umbrella of minimalist shoes, not all minimalist shoes can claim the coveted zero-drop status.

How To Zero Drop Shoes Are Different From Regular Running Shoes

Let’s take a stroll through the world of footwear and explore the remarkable contrasts between standard road running shoes and their rebellious counterparts—zero-drop footwear.

Picture this: you’re standing in front of a display of running shoes, and your eyes wander from one pair to another. The differences in structure, weight, and overall design of these shoes are as distinct as night and day.

Standard running shoes, with their heel and arch support, aim to create a noticeable difference in height between the heel and the ball of your foot. It’s like they’re playing a game of seesaw, keeping these two areas at different levels. But here’s where zero-drop footwear turns the game on its head.

These innovative shoes strive to imitate the natural barefoot position—the perfect harmony where the arch, heel, and ball of your foot align at the same level.

It’s like stepping into a world where your foot can be as free and uninhibited as if you were walking around barefoot.

But that’s not all there is to it. Zero-drop shoes have an inherent flexibility that sets them apart from their standard counterparts. They’re like a dancing partner who can effortlessly move with you, mimicking the natural motion of your foot when it’s unencumbered.

In contrast, standard shoes can sometimes feel a bit stiff, like a rigid structure trying to contain your foot’s natural inclination to move and flex.

Now, let’s talk about weight. We all know that feeling of strapping on a pair of heavy shoes, as if we’re lugging around anchors on our feet. Well, zero-drop shoes offer a refreshing change in this department.

Since they require less material and forgo the need for extra cushioning, they are delightfully lighter. It’s like trading those clunky weights for a pair of feathers. On the other hand, standard running shoes can have a bit more heft due to their wide midsole, added cushioning, and various materials.

So, as you can see, the differences are plain to see with just a glance. Zero-drop footwear dares to defy the norm, embracing a design that mirrors the natural alignment and movement of your foot when barefoot.

It’s like slipping into a second skin that allows you to connect with the ground beneath you. Standard running shoes, with their sturdier build and extra cushioning, offer a different experience, providing stability and support for those who crave it.

Guide To Foot Arch Support For Running

The Benefits Of Zero-Drop Running Shoes

When you slip into a pair of zero-drop shoes, you enter a realm where your foot is allowed to rest in its natural position. It’s like giving your foot the freedom to express itself, to engage the muscles and joints as they were designed to function.

In this state, your body becomes less dependent on the shoe itself and more reliant on the innate power of your feet and legs.

Think of it as a shift in perspective, a paradigm that encourages your body to find its own balance and stability. With less reliance on footwear, you may experience improved alignment and posture. It’s like discovering the perfect posture for a photograph—your body effortlessly aligns itself, resulting in a more efficient and effective running stride.

Not only does running in zero-drop shoes promote better alignment and posture, but it also enhances your overall mobility. Your foot can move more naturally, unrestricted by the elevated heel found in traditional shoes. It’s like giving your foot wings to soar, allowing it to flex and bend with each step. This increased mobility can lead to a more fluid and efficient running gait, propelling you forward with grace and ease.

But the benefits don’t stop there. By embracing zero-drop shoes, you’re also tapping into the inherent strength of your foot and leg muscles. Just as a blacksmith hammers a piece of iron to forge it into something stronger, running in zero-drop shoes can help build resilience and strength in your foot and leg muscles. It’s like a workout for your feet, gradually developing the muscles that support your every stride.

And let’s not forget the potential reduction in injury risk. Several studies have explored the impact of zero-drop shoes on injury prevention and found promising results. Research papers have shown that transitioning to zero-drop shoes can reduce the impact forces on your joints and muscles, potentially decreasing the risk of common running injuries. It’s like giving your body a shield of protection, allowing you to run with confidence and peace of mind.

Additional resource – How to measure foot size for running shoes

The Downsides of Zero-Drop 

While zero-drop running shoes offer a host of benefits, it’s important to be aware of their potential downsides. One of the common concerns is the added strain on your calf muscles.

Think of it like starting a new workout routine without giving your muscles time to adjust. If you rush into zero-drop shoes too quickly, the increased load on your calves can lead to discomfort and potential injuries. It’s like asking your muscles to perform a challenging ballet routine without adequate preparation.

Another consideration is the vulnerability of your feet when hitting the trails. Zero-drop shoes tend to have a thinner sole, which means you have less protection from sharp rocks and uneven surfaces.

It’s like walking barefoot on a gravel path—it’s easy to stub your toe or develop calluses.

So, if you’re a frequent trail runner, you may want to exercise caution and perhaps opt for shoes with a bit more cushioning to shield the soles of your feet from potential harm.

It’s important to note that individual foot characteristics and history of foot conditions play a role in determining the suitability of zero-drop shoes. If you have a history of Achilles pain, shoes with a higher drop can provide additional support and alleviate discomfort.

Similarly, individuals with flat feet may require extra arch support, as going completely barefoot for extended periods on hard surfaces can lead to collapsed arches and related issues.

Just as a suspension bridge requires sturdy pillars for support, your feet need the right structure to maintain their natural alignment.

While zero-drop shoes aren’t inherently detrimental to your feet, it’s essential to consider your unique circumstances. If you have a history of foot pain or have less cushioning in your feet, transitioning to zero-drop shoes may increase discomfort rather than alleviate it.

In conclusion, I won’t recommend zero-drop shoes if you have:

Additional resource – How to clean running shoes

Transitioning into Zero-Drop Running Shoes

First things first, let’s establish whether zero-drop shoes are the right fit for you. Think of it as choosing the right tool for the job.

If you’re a seasoned runner, someone who has explored the ins and outs of the running world, then zero-drop shoes might be your ticket to an enhanced running experience. However, if you’re new to the running scene or prefer a bit more cushioning and support, it’s perfectly alright to opt for shoes that offer those features.

Remember, finding the right shoe is like finding the perfect companion for your running journey.

Once you’ve made the decision to dive into the world of barefoot running, it’s crucial to take things gradually. Think of it as building a solid foundation for a sturdy house. Rushing the transition and expecting immediate results can put undue strain on your muscles, particularly those in your calves.

We don’t want your running experience to turn into a tug-of-war with your own body, do we?

The length of your transition period will vary from person to person, just as the rhythm of a song resonates differently with each listener. We all have our unique running styles and physiology, so it’s important to honor your body’s needs. However, here are some tips to guide you along the way:

Start by incorporating your new zero-drop shoes into a short and easy run once a week. This will allow your body to gradually adapt to the new style without overwhelming it.

Embrace the dance between your old and new shoes. Alternate between them on different days, allowing your body to experience the contrast and adjust accordingly.

Increase the number of consecutive days you wear your zero-drop shoes, listening to your body’s cues along the way. If it tells you to slow down and take it easy, heed its advice.

Experiment with incorporating your zero-drop shoes into specific training sessions. For example, you can use them during the warm-up miles of a tempo run, giving your feet a taste of the barefoot sensation before switching back to your familiar shoes.

Gradually increase the frequency of your runs in zero-drop shoes as your comfort level improves.

Remember, this transition is a journey, not a sprint to the finish line. Take the time to truly feel comfortable in your new shoes and allow your body to adapt at its own pace. It’s like learning a new dance routine; you need to practice, listen to the music, and let your body find its rhythm.

Additional Resource – Here’s your guide to running shoes for flat feet.

Pay attention to Your Body

Expect some degree of calf soreness and lower leg pain when you go right to zero-drop footwear, especially if you’ve been using supportive, heavy shoes for a long time. Your muscles will need to adapt, and this doesn’t happen overnight.

Your ankle, feet, and calves are likely to feel sore during the early weeks of the transition from your old shoes.

In most cases, it can take up to four to six weeks to make a full transition. So be patient. It’s not something that happens overnight.

Remember that you can also wear zero-drop shoes during any activity, from running to cross-training to buying groceries and walking the dog.

Once you’re ready to make the switch, I’d suggest that you start out with a pair of shoes that feature a 2 to 4mm drop before moving into standard zero-drop shoes. Give your feet time to adjust.

Additional Resources – Here’s how to dry running shoes.

How To Transition To Zero-Drop Running Shoes – The Conclusion

There you have it

If zero-drop running shoes have picked your interest, then today’s post should get you started on the right foot. The rest is just details.

Thank you for dropping by.

Keep running strong.

David.

Fueling Endurance: How to Optimize Marathon Training with the Keto Diet

runner trying to run up a mountain

Welcome, fellow runners, to the ultimate guide on keto marathon training!

For years, marathon runners have relied on carbohydrates as their go-to fuel source during long training sessions and races.

But what if I told you that there’s another way to fuel your body that could potentially improve body composition, mental function, and energy levels?

But here’s the caveat: “Low-carb and high-fat? Isn’t that a recipe for disaster when it comes to endurance running?”

Well, it’s not that simple.

In this article, we’ll dive deep into the world of keto marathon training and explore the benefits, challenges, and strategies for success.

So, whether you’re a seasoned runner or just starting your marathon journey, get ready to take your performance to the next level with the power of keto.

Running On Keto – Can You Do It?

The short answer is yes. Over time your body will adapt. But the long answer is multifaceted.

Let’s first discuss what the keto diet is all about. Also know as the ketogenic diet, this is a high-fat, low-carb nutrition plan is designed to put your body into a state of ketosis. In this metabolic state, your body relies on fat instead of carbohydrates for energy.

Getting into ketosis and staying there requires a strict diet with fewer than 20 grams of carbs a day. That means saying goodbye to beloved carbs like bread, pasta, and rice. And if you’re new to low-carb diets, the transition can be challenging. But it doesn’t take forever.

Once your body becomes keto-adapted, you’ll experience increased energy levels, improved mental clarity, and even better sleep.

Some runners even swear by the keto diet, claiming that it helps them avoid hitting the infamous “wall” during long runs. Some research has suggested that the keto diet may increase our body’s ability to use fat as a fuel source during exercise. This, as you can tell, can lead to better performance and less fatigue.

Of course, as with any significant dietary change, it’s crucial to consult a healthcare professional before starting a keto diet. They can help you create a personalized plan that meets your nutritional needs and ensures that you’re fueling your body properly for your runs.

Note – Ketosis Is Not Created Equal. Keep in mind that everyone’s body works differently. You might be able to reach ketosis by eating roughly 30 grams of carbs. All while, others may need to reduce their carb intake to 10 or fewer grams per day to be successful.

What Should I Eat On The Keto Diet?

That’s probably one of the most common questions posed by beginners who want to try the keto diet.

It’s simple.

Stock your kitchen with everything you need to reach keto success.

Leave nothing to chance.

Here’s a sample list of keto-friendly foods:

  • Fats and oils, including butter, olive oil, sesame oil, almond oil, and flaxseed oil.
  • Dairy products such as sour cheese, sour cream, heavy cream, and Greek yogurt.
  • Eggs and lots of eggs.
  • Meat, especially chicken, beef, goat, and veal.
  • Fish, including trout, salmon, sardines, catfish, and tuna.
  • Nuts and seeds like walnuts, almonds, pumpkin, sunflower, and sesame seeds.
  • Some fruits, such as avocadoes, strawberries, and raspberries.

Here’s what you need to avoid on the keto diet

  • Grains and starches, including wheat, corn, oats, and rye.
  • Processed foods. If it has carrageenan, don’t eat it.
  • Sugary foods and drinks
  • Low-fat products such as drinks, glute, diet soda, etc.
  • Fruits
  • Root vegetables
  • Beans and legume
  • Alcohol
  • Anything else that has sugar

Additional resource – Best supplements for runners

The Pros and Cons of The Keto Diet For Runners

Just like any other nutrition plan, the keto diet comes with its own set of pros and cons. Let’s take a closer look.

Improved Sleep

Improved Sleep: Are you tired of feeling tired? Once you reach ketosis, your sleep cycle will improve. This means falling asleep faster and waking up feeling refreshed.

According to Natures Rise, you can also leverage mushrooms to improve your sleep. But why mushrooms? —you might ask.

Well, mushrooms like Lion’s Mane are very low in carbs—therefore, they fit right into the low-carb category of the keto diet. With mushrooms on your side, all you have to worry about is a good source of high fat, and your keto diet will be ready.

Improved Body Composition

Keto works like magic for weight loss. Research shows that it can help you start burning fat quickly and improve your body composition. You can even work out on the keto diet and lose weight without affecting lean muscle mass. For example, this research reported that working out while on keto can boost weight loss from stores without affecting lean muscle mass.

Other than weight loss, the keto diet can help:

  • Improving digestion
  • Improving mental function
  • Lowering the glycemic index
  • Lowering the risk of heart diseases, some cancers, and epilepsy
  • And so much more.

Additional resource – Running with diabetes

The Downsides

One of the downsides of the keto diet is poor performance during the early weeks of the diet. It’s like trying to run a race with flat tires – your body simply can’t keep up. But don’t let this discourage you. Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day. Becoming fully fat-adapted takes time, and it won’t happen overnight.

That being said, once you’re keto-adapted, you’ll experience improved sleep, improved body composition, and many other benefits.

But what about marathon runners? The keto diet eliminates grains, sugar, and starches – all of which are typically the main source of energy during long-distance running. This can be a major concern for seasoned runners who have relied on carbohydrates for fuel.

But it’s not all doom and gloom. Once fully fat-adapted, the body becomes more efficient at burning fat for energy, even during low to mild-intensity training. Research has shown that fat adaptation can take anywhere from 4 to 8 weeks on the keto diet, depending on metabolism and other variables.

What’s more?

Keep in mind the science is still divided on the long-term impact of the keto diet. While many people have seen great success with the diet, others have not. It’s a personal decision that should be made with careful consideration.

Marathon Training Fueling Needs

Adopting the ketogenic lifestyle means no grains, sugar, starches, loaves of bread, or the sort. This must be triggering all sorts of alarms if you’ve been around the long-distance running block for a while.

After all, aren’t carbs the main energy source on the run?

Most experts recommend that regular marathon runners consume around 400 to 600 grams of carbs daily. That’s over 20 times more than the recommended carb intake on the ketogenic diet.

The truth is a little bit more complicated.

According to my experience, as well as plenty of anecdotal evidence, once you’ve fully fat-adapted, you’ll be running on fat almost as efficiently as on carbs, especially during low to mild-intensity training.

Let me explain more.

Additional resource – Before you sign up for a marathon

Keto Adaptation

While most athletes rely on carbohydrates as their primary fuel source, those who have been on the keto diet for a while can tap into a seemingly endless supply of energy stored in their body fat. This is what’s known as being “fat-adapted,” and it can take anywhere from 4 to 8 weeks to attain.

But what exactly is going on inside your body when you make the switch to fat-burning mode? Well, it all comes down to the molecule that powers your muscles: adenosine triphosphate (ATP).

To produce ATP, your body can use either carbohydrates or fats. When carbs are readily available, your body will use them to create ATP. However, when carb levels are low, your body will switch over to using fat for fuel instead.

The argument for fueling with fats

Here’s the exciting part: research shows that body fat contains around 20 times more calories than glycogen, even in lean individuals. This means that if you’re fat-adapted, you can access a much larger energy reserve than if you were relying solely on carbs.

Of course, this doesn’t mean you should go full-on keto if you’re an endurance athlete. Your body still needs some carbs to function properly, especially during high-intensity workouts. But by limiting your carb intake and training your body to use fat as fuel, you can enhance your endurance and unlock a whole new level of performance.

Research On Keto And Endurance Performance Training

So, what does the research say about keto adaptation and endurance training? Well, there’s a growing body of evidence that suggests that the keto diet can indeed improve endurance performance.

For example, a study published in the Journal of Physiology found that endurance-trained athletes who followed a ketogenic diet for ten weeks had greater fat oxidation rates during exercise and were able to maintain their exercise intensity for longer periods of time.

Let’s look at another research.

Around 40 years ago, Stephen Phinney, a world-famous keto researcher, conducted an experiment that could give us a clue.

He analyzed the endurance of six obese, untrained subjects on a treadmill under two different conditions:

Group I – a normal diet that contained carbohydrates, and

Group II – a hypocaloric ketogenic diet (protein-supplemented fast or PSF).

The result was astonishing. The keto group could stay on the treadmill for around twice as long before becoming exhausted compared to the carb-fed group.

But that’s not all. Another experiment had 20 elite ultra-marathoners and Ironman distance athletes perform a maximal graded exercise test and a 3-hour submaximal run at around 60 percent of VO2 max on a treadmill to assess metabolic responses.

During the experiment, Group I was fed the classic high-carb diet, whereas Group II was given a low-carb diet for an average of 20 months. The result? The researchers concluded that long-term keto-adaptation results in drastically high-fat oxidation rates.

Additional resource – 30 Keto recipes 

The Case of Zach Bitter

Now, let’s talk about Zach Bitter, the legendary ultra-marathoner who holds the American record for running 100 miles. He’s been surfing the keto wave since 2011 and cycles between ketosis and low-carb.

What’s more? He focuses on ultramarathons, which are run at a slow and steady pace, making fueling with fat more sensible.

However, it’s important to note that the more intense the race, the more you’ll need carbohydrates instead of fat for fuel.

You can hear him talk about his keto experience on the Lex Friedman podcast:

Note – as I mentioned earlier, full-fat adaption may take up to two to three months. This is when the body uses fat as its primary energy source. However, most of the research I found did not last this long, leaving many questions about whether the subjects were fully fat-adapted, whether their ketone levels were measured, or whether they were in ketosis.

Can you Train For A Marathon While On Keto?

Of course, the answer is yes. You just have to do it the right way.

If you’re willing to invest enough time and effort to make fat your main macronutrient and fuel source, you can train and run a marathon on keto.

How long it will take you when you’re newly on keto depends on you, but according to most experts, it can take months.

What’s more?

Some people may never seem to become completely fat-adapted while eating keto. If that’s your case, consider trying carb-cycling or switching from keto to low-carb eating during heavy training days.

Keto Marathon Training Tips

Before you toe the line of a marathon race on keto, there are a few things to consider.

These include:

  • Your ketosis length. The first thing to consider is how long you have been in this metabolic state. In most cases, when you’re new to the keto diet, you’ll find it hard to muster up the energy needed for distance running at your pre-keto pace and speed.
  • Your calories. You cannot stay in ketosis while eating low-fat. That’s the rule. Your body is primarily fueled by fat on the keto diet, so not meeting your calorie needs means you don’t have enough fuel in the tank.
  • Your fat intake. Serious about making fat your main source of fuel? Then your diet must reflect that intention. Simply increasing your protein intake won’t do the trick. If you don’t fuel your body with enough healthy fat, you won’t be able to power through those long workouts.
  • Carbo cycling. Consider adding a few low-glycemic index carbs during heavy training days to ensure you have enough fuel in the tank. Remember that to stay in ketosis, you’ll need to stay under 40 to 60 net carbs per day, depending on your metabolism and training volume.

And that’s all!

Additional Resources

Here’s your guide to the Yasso 800 Workout

How to qualify for the Boston Marathon

Keto Marathon Training – Conclusion

If you’ve been keto-adapted for a while and it’s working well for you, then nothing should be stopping you from running a marathon on a keto diet.

I won’t recommend trying the keto diet in the last few weeks leading your marathon.

Think long-term.

Three to four months is a good time range.

Transitioning from eating more fat to fewer carbs takes time for your body to adjust.

That’s why the off-season is the perfect time to transition to a keto diet—or at least when you’re not training for a specific race when you don’t have any race on the schedule soon.

Once you find out what works the best for you, you can start to train for races on a keto diet.