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Antelope Island Buffalo Run 100 mile Race Recap

It was 8am on a Friday morning and it was pouring rain. I drove onto Antelope Island and pulled into a parking lot to grab my bib number and shirt. It was all real now. I was unusually calm this morning, which compared to my previous 100 mile attempt was very reassuring. As I drove to the starting area, I saw it, my first buffalo about 5 feet from my car. How in gods name am I supposed to run with these gigantic creatures just running around the island?? Well, no one had been hurt yet so I guess it’ll all be good…..right?

I arrived about 2 hours before our early starting time, which was intentional. I tend to get very anxious before races(especially my NUMBER ONE race) so arriving TOO early is my plan. I dropped my drop bags onto the tarps, walked around a bit, took my before race photo, and sat back in my car and played some solitaire. Yep, sitting and playing solitaire keeps me calm and not overthinking what is about to come. I had put in training for the past 6 months, including two 40 milers and a 24 hour race, so I felt ready and was ready. It was about 9:30am so I wandered into the tent for the pre race briefing(which included instructions on how NOT to get charged by the buffalo. Very reassuring.) and just like that we were lining up. This was what I had planned and trained for over the past 2-3 years. I had never felt more ready.

The race layout was two 50 mile “loops”(more like a couple of pinched loops and an out & back of about 20 miles) which was perfect! If you have tried to do 3-4 loops of a longer race, it can be very daunting. This way, I could finish the 50 miles and end up at the start/finish to get a little boost from my pacers & crew(which consisted of my husband Jeremy and great race support Bruce). With ONLY about 7500 ft elevation gain over the entire 100 miles, this was a much less daunting course then some others I had attempted(Tushars with it’s 10,000-12,000ft climb and Rio Del Lago with it’s 14,000+ elevation gain) so that helped my confidence. I stuck to my aid station plan almost flawlessly: Refill your pack, add electrolytes every other aid station, refill your food making sure you had at least 800 calories on you at all times, put BioFreeze on your feet to stave off soreness, and sit down for a bit but try to keep it to 5 minutes.

Within the first 5 miles of the course, I found myself playing chicken with a buffalo on the trail. He goes one way, I go the other. He turns around, I try not to freak out and get around him. All I could remember was “Don’t look them in the eye!” and “Do not run if you are close to one!”. Talk about instilling a slight fear of death. Those first 50 miles felt great, my body felt better then I could have hoped for. My pace put me about 2 hours ahead of cutoff times and I was feeling awesome! As I came into the finishing tent about 12:30am Saturday morning, I was welcomed by my husband and Bruce, a VERY welcome sight. I sat for 20 mins(knowing I was ahead of schedule) and shoveled pizza, soup, and coke into my mouth as fast as I could. I knew these next 20 miles were the hardest part and that being night time, I may forget to eat as often as needed. So, I was trying to front load and get some calories in while I could.

Expecting Jeremy to jump in as pacer for the next 20 miles or so, he said “Ok, you go the next 20 miles and I will be right here when you get back.”. Huh?!? This was the hardest portion of the race! I have to go alone?!? Being pretty tired and not able to really think too much, I said ok and at 1AM, I headed out. The next 20 miles were rough! Most of the elevation of the course was in THESE 20 miles. Winds had picked up to 25+ mph and on some steep drops off of the trail, it was a little questionable. I was tired(as expected), cold, and it was just a rough 6-7 hours. Each aid station I would sit, put my head in my hands, and wallow, but then I would get my shit together, refill, and head out. Just trying to get through the night and into sunrise was my goal for this portion of the race.

It was 8AM and I was feeling pretty defeated. I had cried a few times, or tried to at least(you’d be surprised how hard it is to cry under duress and when you are clinging to hydration) and as I came around the corner and the finishing tent was in sight, I saw Jeremy. At just the right time and with just the right tone, he said let’s get this done! Only 23 hours in, I had 9 more hours to get this last 30 miles done. I can actually finish this thing! With the night behind me, my spirits were lifting pretty quickly.

The next 25 miles were a constant awareness of time, of movement, of alternating between my shuffle jog and walking a little when needed.   Jeremy was there the whole way, telling me to try to run. He made sure I had what I needed at every aid station, coke, food, refilled camelback. He was the best pacer I could have asked for. Of course, being 24 hours into a non stop race, I was starting to get a tiny bit agitated. I wouldn’t expect anything less honestly, and those who know me, would probably be surprised it took me that long to get to that point. So we kept moving and as we hiked up the hill and approached the 95th mile, Jeremy let me finish the last part on my own. I know part of it was because, well, he was probably sick of moving like a snail for 25 miles. But I like to think it was just that he wanted me to finish alone, what I had started alone.

I came around the back side of the final loop and I could see it, the finishers tent. It was then that everything just came together in my head. Oh my god, I am going to finish 100 miles. Oh my god, I am not last! Oh my god, all of that hard work and those long weekend runs paid off. I DID IT! And so I came down the final stretch into the finish, I could hear Jeremy and Bruce as they watched me walk, run, walk some more, run some more, and I just felt complete happiness. Again, I tried to cry and probably got two tears out(it’s hard to cry when you’re exhausted haha) and I came into the finish, the happiest I have been with myself. I realized that it was possible and I just made it so. The remainder of that day really didn’t entail much more then a shower, pizza, TV, and sleep.

 

A Few Things that I Learned on this Race

 

*I didn’t listen to ANY music! I tried, I really tried to, but I wasn’t feeling it and it ended up being 100 miles listening to other runners, my mind, and the surroundings. This just surprised me, a lot!

*My feet, which had given me trouble all throughout this training cycle, held up great! Knowing they were a little difficult, I made sure I stopped at each aid station and out on biofreeze. The 30 seconds it took really helped keep them mellow and was worth the time.

*I OVER packed my drop bags. Expecting rain, each bag had a sweatshirt, socks, a hat in two. I was over prepared and it helped avoid some of the anxiety during the race.

*ALWAYS PACK A HEADLAMP IN YOUR PACK! Instead of trying to time where I would be when it got dark, I kept my headlamp on me at all times. You ever run in the dark on a trail? Yeah, probably not because it’s stupid! I ran into a few people who didn’t get to their light in time and well, a few didn’t finish. Maybe this was part of the reason.

*I found it helpful to separate this race into 3 separate races: the morning portion, the night time, and post sunrise. The goal is basically, get through the night and you’ll come out on the other side in a much better spot. Push through the dark place!

*My many training runs taught me that the food you like to eat while you run, may be the food you hate on race day. You NEED to have a lengthy list of options. Pros can sustain themselves on a single type of nutrition, but for the rest of us it’s all about what you can basically get into your body. Pop tarts I consider my staple base. Soup, like an angel, especially when it’s cold and/or dark. Potato chips, you can just shove them in by the handful and not pay a price for it. Pizza, um yeah pizza was a great treat a the 50 mile mark. Ibuprofen(I know it’s not food) was a life saver twice when I just couldn’t get past the pains of the run. Gummy candy, easy to shove in and kind of a treat when you need a break from pop tarts. Coke, coke, and more coke! Even if it were 5 sips, every stop on the last stint included coke. Sugar, carbonation to settle your stomach, and it’s fairly calorie dense for the volume.

*Why would you run a 100 miles when your training was a marathon? Yeah, I don’t know why either, but I met a few people who were in that boat. Why go in unprepared mentally and physically, when you can train and be much more relaxed on race day? Needless to say, some of these people did not finish. You may be able to push through the physical under preparedness, but mentally you WILL suffer!

*You finish, exhausted and just drained of every ounce of energy. You say you will never do this s**t again. Two weeks later, you’re signed up for a 48 hour. Yeah, they’re right. You WILL do it again, if the passion is inside of you.

 

 

Antelope Island Buffalo Run 100 mile race, March 2018

Coach Melissa Farrell

100 Mile Finisher

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The Road to Running 100 miles

riodellago.jpg
As I approach 4 months out from my first 100 mile run, there are so many things that go into training and preparing for the big day.  For the first couple of months, it was nutrition & hydration.  Easy right?  Well, preparing and training your body to intake energy to sustain 22 hrs+ of work, well, it’s hard work.  Once that was buckled down, it was strategy.  You think you can literally RUN 100 miles?  Well, if you have done it then more power to you.  If you haven’t, you have to be smart.  This means being prepared to walk most uphills in order to conserve energy for the latter hours.  You check your ego at the trailhead, literally. 

And here we sit, coming off a few pretty long training runs.  Runs that include hours upon hours of walking, running, hiking.  Hours of heat exposure, stopping at the car so you can shove food in your mouth and ice in your hat.  Hours of mental training, of repetitive mantras of positivity and riding out the dark times.  And with the day quickly approaching, one of the final steps is to prepare those who will support you on race day.  Your crew, your pacer, your family & friends.  Remember they have probably never gone through such an experience and so the only way they can help you, is with some draw out instructions.  Here are my instructions that I sent to my pacer for my upcoming 93K training race.

**I tend to be a lone runner, which means I am not a big talker.  Though I do need distraction during the later miles of the run, it doesn’t mean you need to entertain me or talk the whole time.  It is a good idea to say something once in a while to a)make sure I am alert, b)take my mind off of what is probably a very dark place, and c)to distract.  If I ignore you, don’t take it personally.  I am just saving my energy for more important things, like running 100 miles 😉

**Your primary job will be to a)make sure I eat enough calories(We will chat before the race but we are probably looking at about 300 calories per hour), b)make sure I am drinking consistently(most likely this should be every 15 mins or more often during the hotter hours), with the goal being about 25 oz of electrolytes per hour, c)Keep tabs of when I go to the bathroom(fun, huh?) so that you can tell if I am dehydrated.  If once every couple hours is happening then we are probably good to go.  

**AID STATIONS: Make sure I eat enough calories before heading out.  Make sure if there was something that was an issue(wet socks, chafing, food that didn’t sit well, etc..) that it is addressed at the aid station before setting back out.  Be prepared to spend 10-15 mins at aid stations, depending on the difficulty of the previous miles.  MAKE SURE I reload my food and electrolytes, since it may be 6+ miles or so between stations and this can take 2 hours if it is a difficult part. MAKE SURE I prepare for the upcoming miles, if it will be getting dark I need a headlamp.  If it is approaching night time, make sure I bring a long sleeve shirt.  If my socks are wet, make sure I change them.  Basically, be my babysitter. 
**Watch where we are going.  Even though I can see, it doesn’t mean I am looking…..at anything really!  Especially when it gets dark, we will have headlamps but since I will most likely be a little loopy, you will need to keep track of the trail and just make sure I don’t veer off into the abyss 🙂  
**Be prepared for some slow running/walking or hiking.  The ultimate goal in these races is to keep moving forward, even if it is down to a slow walk.  If we are approaching a downhill, feel free to suggest trying to run it.  I’ll tell you if I don’t feel like running, and I just won’t.  BUT sometimes a little nudge is all it takes for there to be a spark lit under my ass, so suggest away!  
**DON’T LET ME QUIT!  Of course I will want to quit a LOT of times.  As ridiculous as it sounds, just tell me at the next aid station.  If I am persistent about quitting, try to talk about something different and distract me.  It kind of is like being with a kid or a puppy, cause at later miles I can be easily refocused off of my pain.  There will be times where no matter what you say, I will be dead set on quitting.  Feel free to tell me “Don’t be a wuss.”  “Be the badass that you are.” “Don’t fuck up all that work you’ve put in.”  “When it’s over you can have ALL THE CAKE YOU WANT!”, you know, shit like that 🙂 
If you haven’t paced an ultra runner, you should try it!  It’s a chance to see humans broken down, pushing themselves to the limits both physically and mentally.  It’s a chance to see some beautiful courses and to be the hero who plays a critical role in getting that runner to the finish line safely. So to all who have played a role, you rock!  
Melissa Farrell
Las Vegas Runners Coach
Ultra marathoner & Cake Lover
Melissa Farrell - Running Coach
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Its Not Rocket SURGERY- by Jeremy Wallace

Run Faster - Las Vegas Runners

Run Faster - Las Vegas RunnersI have a secret to tell you and you’re not going to like it, especially after everything you’ve read in running magazines.  You know, the articles that promise new speed if you add a tempo workout, fartlek, interval or other type of run.  They make you believe you’ll lower your PRs if you lift weights, do yoga, eat chia seeds, never eat bread, change your shoes, drink milk, don’t drink milk, skip heavy lifting, add mileage, stretch, skip the stretching, land mid-foot er… um forefoot and lower your mileage.  I’m sure you’ve read some of these articles right?  Well, I hate to break it to you, but these articles fail to mention the secret, which is THERE IS NO SECRET, but most of us have not reached our running potential.  Why?  With all the information AND misinformation out there, we have no idea how to reach it or we maybe we just don’t want to do the work.  Don’t get me wrong, the above methods work, but maybe not for you.  I’ve worked with and studied athletes of all backgrounds and abilities and there are certain characteristics of a fast runner.  Lucky for you I’ve put it all together in this article and you will now have the knowledge to run a 2:30 marathon.  Well…….. maybe not, but you can certainly run faster than you do now if you take a little of this advice.  Don’t want to run faster?  Don’t read any further.

-FIND WHAT WORKS FOR YOU-
You’re not like any other runner, ever.  Not in your stride, landing pattern, arm swing, nutrition, family commitments, mileage and sleep needs or flexibility.  So why are you following Shalane Flanagan’s training plan that you read about in Runner’s World when you haven’t even studied your own gait?  In order to reach your potential, you should have a carefully designed training plan based on your specific needs.  If you’re a runner who gets injured often, maybe 80 mile weeks aren’t for you and you need to cross-train more.  If you can bend over backwards and put your head between your legs, you probably don’t need to spend a lot of time on flexibility, being more mobile might even make you run slower.  If you can’t even touch your shins with your legs locked, you could probably use a flexibility routine.  If your arms flail wildly to the side like a Pterodactyl when you run, you might use some core activation work.  My point?  Just because your running buddy does 25-mile tempo runs leading up to his 10K doesn’t mean you necessarily need to follow suit.  Find out exactly what you need then work really hard at it.

-DON’T RUN SO HARD-
I work with a runner who we’ll call Beth.  She’s a great athlete.  She regularly places high in her age group or overall in the events she completes.  Beth always completes her assigned workouts, eats well, recovers well, and used to run really HARD….. all the time, which many of you also do, which might also be why you’re not getting any faster and why Beth started to have problems!  No joke.  If you’re always running hard, it can be very difficult to recover between workouts.  It can also make it difficult to run hard when you really need to.  Most runners have a mentality that in order to be fast, they have to run fast, which is true, but you can’t run all of your training mileage at race pace and expect to perform well in an actual race.  Two things: (1) You don’t get faster during your workouts, you get faster during your recovery time.  (2) Hard workouts should be carefully planned and spaced to make room for recovery.  Every workout that isn’t hard should be easy.  How easy?  So easy you think it’s too easy.  Deena Kastor, the US record holder for the women’s marathon, ran that record at a 5:12/mile pace but was known to regularly complete her easier efforts closer to the 9:00/mile range.  If she was feeling particularly tired, she might even replace her run with a walk.

-……or RUN HARDER-
On the opposite end of the spectrum is the athlete who does all of his runs at a leisurely pace, taking care not to tax his body to the point of breathing hard or sweating, enjoying the run and smelling the flowers, content with his daily 5 miler at the same pace over the same terrain.  Sound familiar?  I’m not knocking the routine, it’s actually very healthy but if you actually want to improve your run fitness and run fast, you’re going to have to occasionally RUN FAST.  Hard running improves your cardiovascular fitness and works your muscles in a way that easy running just won’t.  I tell my athletes this, “hate the workout because if you go any slower you’ll be dead OR hate it because you feel like you’re going to die of exhaustion.  Pick one or the other, nothing in between.”

-BE PATIENT-
Let me give you a scenario.  Runner approaches coach to inquire about training, coach asks runner what he’d like to train for, runner says he’d like to train for a big marathon PR and qualify for Boston and he’s ready to begin training, coach asks when the event is, runner says 6 weeks, coach slaps his head in frustration and out comes a big sigh.  Sound silly?  It happens to me ALL THE TIME.  We want to run faster, right now, but run fitness takes time.  Years in fact to build to our potential, and months if you want to train for an event in the right way.  So set long-term goals and be willing to commit long-term.  After you’ve found your weaknesses, be patient with yourself and learn to enjoy the journey.  You have the rest of your life.

-BE CONSISTENT-
They say it takes about 7 years to build to your running potential.  You can’t train 6 weeks for a ½ marathon then take 6 months off and expect to be faster when you return.  On the other hand, those of you who are constantly injured because you want it now, who refuse to listen to your body and/or fix deficiencies in your form/flexibility/nutrition etc, it’s very difficult to be consistent when you’re sidelined.    You know who you are!  You’re the person who runs 18 milers with a patellar knee strap, limping the entire way, running until you’ve compensated so much you wind up with another injury you can’t run through.  Have knee/IT/back/whatever pain?  Guess what?  It doesn’t have to be that way but you need to do your homework to find out exactly what’s causing that pain, then work diligently to fix it, not just put a band-aid on it.  Sometimes it’s not obvious (ie knee pain caused by weak glutes).  Some things can’t be fixed without surgery, like arthritis or torn tendons, but most running injuries can be taken care of in a fairly simple way if you take the time to figure it out.

-BE ACCOUNTABLE-
For such a simple sport, distance running is bio-mechanically complicated.  Get a coach, if not a coach, at least a good friend who has a solid background in running who can help motivate, instruct, fix your deficiencies and offer advice.  This motivator doesn’t have to have a doctorate or even be a certified coach.  I’ve learned that there are some people with a lot of knowledge who make terrible coaches.  Find someone you respect, who works with you in a way that makes you a better athlete and be willing to take direction.  Most of the best runners (and athletes in most other sports) in the world have coaches.  What makes you think you don’t need one?

-BECOME A STUDENT OF THE SPORT-
The fastest runners generally know exactly what makes a fast runner.  Have you ever watched video of an efficient runner?  Have you ever videotaped yourself running?  What’s the difference?  Now, how are you going to find your efficiency?  Have you looked at the commonalities of great distance runners?  If you don’t know what’s going to make you better, how will you ever get better?  Hint: It’s not all about running harder/faster/longer.  Know the area where you could use the most improvement, then focus.

-FIX YOUR FORM-
The best runners in the world don’t necessarily work harder than you, they’re just more efficient.  Their strides look effortless because they almost are.  Their legs, glutes, core, ankles and arms have learned to work so efficiently and fire so rapidly and precisely it can seem as if they’re floating.  Don’t get me wrong, you don’t need to fix everything.  Women’s marathon world record holder Paula Radcliffe has a very distinct, very inefficient head-bob when she’s tired, but If your running style resembles more donkey than gazelle, there are lots of things you can do to make it better, but it will take time, consistency and A LOT of effort.  COMMIT!

-FUEL TO TRAIN-
Meb Keflezighi, the fastest US marathoner ever, runs 100+ mile weeks and enjoys a single snack-size Snickers bar after particularly hard efforts during training.  Why do you think you can get away with chowing down half a birthday cake after a 5K?  Begin to think of your food as fuel for your next workout.  I’m not a dietitian and don’t pretend to know all there is about nutrition and I’m definitely not a food saint.  In fact, those of you who know me also know I indulge in the occasional donut, but there is a simple fact I’d like to share with you: most of us eat way too much of the wrong thing and weigh more than we need to for fast running.  You don’t need to eat like a rabbit, but you do need to pay attention.  There is also a definite correlation between body weight and running times.  Bottom line: If you want to be a faster runner, fuel better and weigh less.

-GET MORE REST-
You can follow the above advice and run until you’ve chafed yourself into runner’s bliss, run so hard you’re going to puke and so many miles you go through a pair of Kinvaras every week, but if you don’t take down time, you will not reach your potential.  The exercise is the stimulus, the down time is when you get faster.

-BELIEVE IN YOURSELF-
Generally, if you really want it, you can have it.  Believe that you are not too slow, old, young, fat or weak. You’re not.  Whatever you don’t have, you probably just haven’t been willing to go get.  Decide you actually want to be faster, then go after it with a passion and don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t have it.  Am I promising that you can run a four minute mile if you work really, really hard?  Well, no, but I am promising that you can be a lot closer to it than you are now.

Well, did I share anything with you that you didn’t already know?  We are runners and naturally want to work ourselves hard, but if you’re not doing things to make yourself a better runner, you’re not training, you’re just jogging hard.  I know the “J” word is offensive to some but some of you are stuck in Jogger’s Paradise.  Find what works, work smart, be patient and consistent, be accountable, fix your problems, stop eating so much, sleep more and believe in yourself.  You don’t have to listen to me.  I’m not an Olympian and I haven’t run under 2:30 in the marathon (yet).  Hell I don’t even have an exercise degree.  I’m just a run coach with a love for the sport, some modest but respectable PRs and a donut habit but I can tell you for certain that it’s not rocket surgery……. or brain science!

Happy Running!
Jeremy Wallace
Assistant Whip Cracker
USATF and RRCA running coach


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It’s time for another free race entry giveaway!

The Color Run 5K is coming to Las Vegas on February 28th, and YOU can be the lucky winner of a FREE race entry!  The Color Run, also known as the Happiest 5k on the Planet, is a unique paint race that celebrates healthiness, happiness and individuality.

Now the single largest event series in the world, The Color Run has exploded since our debut event. We have more than tripled our growth, hosting more than 300 events in 50+ countries in 2014.


TO ENTER TO WIN: Just comment below with your name, email, and share “What makes you happy & shine?” along with the hashtag #WeShine Winner will be chosen on FEBRUARY 15th and notified via email.  


Good luck and Happy Running!
Melissa & Jeremy
Las Vegas Runners Coaches




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An Athlete’s Track to the World Championships

Team USA - Las Vegas Runners

Team USA - Las Vegas RunnersBy: Melissa Farrell

“So, I qualified to represent Team USA at the Duathlon World Championships in Spain in 2014??  Do I want a spot on the team?  Um, YEAH!”  That is pretty much what went through my head when I found out that I had qualified for Team USA after the National Championships in AZ last year.  I will be honest, I am not an elite athlete, I have only been running seriously for about 3-4 years, I love running ultra distances, and until 2012 I had no idea the duathlon was an event.  Trying to motivate clients, I had decided to explore the possibility of competing in a triathlon in June 2013.  As anyone who knows me knows, I am not, shall we say a FAN of swimming.  I like to be on my feet…..on land……breathing oxygen.  When the option to compete in the duathlon option came up, I jumped on it!  Running & Biking, you mean no swimming?  I’M IN!  After placing 3rd female overall, the journey began.

From there I went to Nationals and in two months we will be on my way to Pontevedra, Spain to compete against the best in the world.  It may sound intimidating to most, but the way I look at it is I have a chance to compete against some awesome athletes and see how they race, learn from them, rub elbows with them, and experience the atmosphere of a World Championship race.  I’m going out to do the best I can and have been putting all my efforts into my training & preparation for this race.  It’s intense when I think about it, but I feel very fortunate to have such a great support group in Vegas to allow me to experience such an event.

In January of this year, I began seriously training and prepping my legs for the fast pace of a 5K run, 20K bike, and a 2.5K run.  Getting my body used to jumping from one regimen to another and then finishing off with pretty much a sprint to the finish.  Now, for those of you who are runners, I want you to imagine preparing to run a mile, as fast as you can, after doing 3 sets of heavy squats and some hill repeats and oh, throw some weighted step ups in there too.  I remember the first time I stepped off my bike, put on my shoes, and began to run.  I swear my legs were no longer stable and I waited for the jelly to force me to the pavement.  But like any training adaptation, that’s just what my body did, adapt.  Over the weeks things have become easier, speeds have increased, transitions have become smoother, and the confidence has increased.

As we approach the final two months of training I am feeling great!  I know I have put in the work and I see it paying off.  I no longer about what others think because I am on my recovery day and running a 10:00/mile or biking for 15 miles at a snails pace.  I do my own training, on my own schedule, with my own rules and that is exactly what I encourage everyone to do.  Set a goal and get with someone who will help you reach that goal whether it be to run your first 5K or PR in your marathon or try out a triathlon this year.  If you want it and you put the work in, you will get it and it’s that simple.  I will be keeping updates on my progress for those interested and look forward to sharing my successes come race day.  I appreciate ALL of your support and only wish I knew a way to say thank you to everyone.  And a special thank you to my biggest support system and the best training partner I could ask for.  Jeremy, you have helped me stay on track and been there through all the ups & downs(as in ANY training program) and for that and much more, I thank you!

Viva Espana!!

Melissa Farrell
Co-Founder & Running Coach, Las Vegas Runners
Ultra runner & World Championship Duathlete
www.LasVegasRunners.com

Melissa Farrell - Running Coach

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Las Vegas Runners Race Giveaway!

Las Vegas Runners Race Giveaway

Las Vegas Runners Race GiveawayTime to giveaway a race entry to one lucky member!  Mountain Man Events 14th Annual St Patrick’s Day Run will be coming Saturday, March 15, 2014 and we’re giving away an entry to the 1/2 marathon or 5K, your choice!  The event is held on the River Mountain Loop and Six Tunnels Trail.  Both events have some spectacular views of Lake Mead and the 1/2 marathon even has a view of Hoover Dam and the Colorado River Bridge!  To see more about the event, click here.

TO ENTER THE DRAWING, all you have to do is comment on this post with your name, why you run, your favorite race distance & why. Winners will be chosen at random from all comments.

You must be a paid annual member of Las Vegas Runners to be considered.  To become a member, click here.  All entrants must enter by noon, March 3 to be considered.  You can enter up to once per day to win the free entry.  The drawing will be at noon on Monday March 3rd for our winner.  Winner will be announced on our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/lasvegasrunners.

*One entry per person per day.  Please watch our Facebook page for updates and announcements. Winners will be notified via our Facebook page and can claim their prize by emailing lasvegasrunners@gmail.com before 6pm Monday, March 3, 2014. 

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Eat to Run, Eat for Your Run, Eat to Win

Nutrition for Running

Nutrition for Running

By: Melissa Farrell

April 2013, I decided to run the Labor of Love 50 miler for the first time.  Having completed the 50K the previous year, I knew the course and most importantly I knew when and where I would be able to eat.  We drove to the race start and as I prepared to get set up for the start, I realized something was missing.  I had managed to come without my water bottle.  I had packed my drop bags, I had the food I would need, but without adequate hydration I was screwed.  50 miles, nothing in hand, this was not going to go well.

With nothing to carry to keep my energy up, it was time for a quick change of plans.  I made a decision that the only way I was to make it through 9 hours of hilly hell was to take advantage of every aid station.  I made it a mission to make sure I hydrated every 4-5 miles.  With no other option, I went into it and hoped for the best.  9 hours, LOTS of bananas, and a lot of electrolytes later, I finished the race in 2nd place and felt great!  Well, great is a relative term, but I felt pretty damn good!

Any time you are preparing for a race, whether it be a 10K, a half marathon, or an ultra, it is IMPERATIVE to have a plan in place for your run.  This doesn’t mean picking up some protein bars on your way to the race start or swinging by Krispy Kreme for some “quick sugars”.  It means taking the time to test out different foods during your training runs.  It means tweaking your regimen where need be BEFORE race day.  A lot of runners make the mistake of getting to the start line with either no plan in place or an untested plan.  A bad move that may lead worse results.  I have done 5K’s to 50 milers to Duathlons and I can say that each race was varied in terms of nutrition and how you plan for it.  A 5K may not warrant any race time nutrition, but instead may require a plan in place for before the run.  A marathon may require a pre-race plan as well as a plan for race time hydration.  A 50 miler requires a plan for the week before as well as a plan for hydration AND nutrition during the run.  I don’t know anyone who can run for 8+ hours without eating or drinking anything.  No WAY that will go well.

So how do you test out different systems during your training runs?  The best time is during your long runs.  These runs tend give you the time to gauge when you need to start your nutrition, when you become depleted so you can plan for these moments, and amounts or types of products to use when it comes to race day.  If you plan on running for longer then an hour, you generally will need some type of electrolytes and/or sugars to replenish your energy stores or you will feel the depletion.  General rule is about 4-8 oz every 20 mins of your run(speed will have something to do with the variance).  There is also hydrating leading UP TO your run.  You cannot make-up for dehydration on your run and trying to front load with fluids will only lead to sloshing and discomfort during your runs.  If you run until you’re thirsty, chances are you will be suffering the rest of the race.

I know a number of people who will tell you that eating a gel substance that tastes like espresso is not on their highlight list of foods they love, but I will tell you when you need it, you’ll be thankful.  Why else would I pick up a GU off of the ground during a 20 mile run and GLADLY eat it?  Look, if you’re hungry and depleted, you’ll do just about anything!  There is no set rule as far as “this is THE food you need to eat during a run”, there is a lot of flexibility and each runner is different.  My go to’s?  Bananas, animal crackers(a childhood fave and easy to hold while running), gummy bears, and gatorade.  I will gladly eat a GU if it is the only option or if I need something quick!  You need to test out different foods during your training runs.  Training is exactly what is says, TRAINING for your big event.  In ALL aspects!

Melissa Farrell
Co-Founder & Running Coach, Las Vegas Runners
www.LasVegasRunners.com

Melissa Farrell - Running Coach

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Challenge nation giveaway! 

challenge-nationLas Vegas Runners is giving away FOUR FREE entries for you and 3 teammates for the Las Vegas edition of Challenge Nation on November 17th!!

TO ENTER: Leave a comment below with your name, your TEAM name, and why you love to run!  Winners will be announced on November 10th and notified via our Facebook page 

https://www.facebook.com/lasvegasrunners

Join the scavenger hunt and have LOTS of fun plus a chance to win some GREAT prizes.  For more race information visit www.challengenation.com/lasvegas