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Summer Berry Smoothie

Written by Cally Macumber May 28, 2024
Written by Neely Gracey
Updated by Cally Macumber

Looking for a healthy and delicious post run snack? Try this protein and antioxidant filled smoothie that will be sure to leave you feeling satified.smoothie2

Summer Berry Smoothie
  • 1/2 frozen banana
  • 1/2 cup plain greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 1/2 scoop vanilla protein powder
  • 4 frozen strawberries
Blend all ingredients, enjoy! 

-Makes 1 serving
Includes important recovery ingredients: Protein, Carbs, Antioxidants, Potassium, Calcium, Fiber

Written by Neely Spence Gracey
Updated by Cally Macumber

Fitness is built by introducing stress (training) to your body.

Your body initially freaks out (why running feels so difficult at the beginning of training), but it learns to adapt. The adaptation is a result of the stress+recovery=fitness equation. Without a proper recovery, your body cannot gain the intended fitness, thus, injury, illness, and burnout may occur. Today, we share some tips on recovery that will help you build your desired fitness and see results!

Recovery starts within your runs. In the summer, you will need to plan water/fluid stops to keep your hydration game strong. Drink sops while running will help keep your body happy and far away from dehydration issues. This practice will allow you to feel stronger mid run, and recover more quickly post

Post run recovery begins with fluids too. A simple 10 minute recovery program looks like this:

  • Sip fluids with carbohydrate and electrolyte (a recovery drink with protein is great too)

  • Start a short active stretch routine:

  1. Hamstrings

  2. Hips/Glutes

  3. Calf/Achilles

  4. Leg swings

Understand the pros of protein synthesis. Your body can only absorb and utilize 15-20 grams of protein at a time. Instead of over indulging on protein in one sitting, try spacing it out in 4-6 doses per day with your final protein snack just before bedtime. One cup of greek yogurt, 3 ounces of meat, fairlife milk, protein supplement, some cereals, or a smoothie are all good options. If you have protein in your system right before bed, your body can actively use it during the peak recovery that occurs with sleep!

There is huge benefit to a routine when it comes to sleeping. Develop a routine that works for your schedule that allots minimum of 8 hours of sleep per night. If you have a set time you start getting ready for bed, you will have better time management throughout the day, resulting in less procrastination and other stress inducing habits. Sleep is when your recovery hormones are at their highest and are working hard to make you stronger, fitter, and closer to your goals.

Happy training, and more importantly, happy recovery.

Written by Neely Gracey
Updated by Cally Macumber

The main way to meet your goals is to follow your training plan, but it never hurts to put a little thought into what could help support your active lifestyle! Recovery, Strength Training, Consistency, Hydration, Mid Run/Race Fueling, and Pre-Run /Post-Run Nutrition are all important details that will help you feel stronger and healthier. There will be a series of blog posts on each of these topics, stay tuned!

Pre-Run and Post-Run Nutritionsmoothie

When it comes to good eating habits, the number one thing to remember is moderation. Unless you have an allergy, or know certain foods don’t sit well in your stomach, then nothing is off limits. It’s all about the timing, and learning a good routine that works well for you. There are two key times when nutrition is critical during training; pre-run, and post-run. Let’s explore these in more detail.

Pre-run fueling is critical to dial in, especially if you have a sensitive stomach. If you’re a morning runner, you may not have much time to grab a snack before heading out to get in your training. Try something light, easy to digest, and carb focused for quick fuel. A banana, piece of toast, granola bar, sports chews, electrolyte mix, etc. All followed by water to wash it down and kick start your hydration for the day. Getting in some calories and fluids before a morning run is really important because you haven’t eaten for many hours, and you may have become dehydrated throughout the night. Fueling up beforehand will help ensure the success of your training efforts.

If you’re an afternoon/evening runner, than you have a day of meals to plan before your run. The morning isn’t too specific, but the meal/snack 3 hours prior to your run is very important. You will want to stick to something bland and not too heavy. A giant burrito may not leave you feeling great on your upcoming workout. Instead, try a sandwich, soup and side salad, sushi, etc. Good choices are things that are low in fats, easy to digest, and include no ingredients that irritate your stomach. Having a meal 3 hours before a run allows the body time to process and use the food as fuel. This will also help prevent cramps from eating too close to exercise.

Post-run fueling is all about starting the recovery process. In a run, your muscles are put under stress, and afterwards, they need protein to rebuild. Having carbs with your protein helps expedite this process, and according to the Olympic Training Performance Center, can also help boost your immune system. If you struggle to eat solids after running, you’re not alone! Try yogurt, smoothies, popsicles, or protein enriched milk. Whatever you consume post run, focus on carbs, proteins, antioxidants, essential fats, and fluids. The suggestion is to get in 100-200 calories within an hour of completing your run. You then have enough fuel to kick start recovery, protein synthesis, and rehydration before you get in your next full meal.  Finding a routine that works for you will allow your body to function at it’s best and be ready to nail those workouts as you chase your goals.

Written by Neely Gracey
Updated by Cally Macumber

Did you know that water does more than just keep you hydrated? Obviously, that is an important role, but water is essential in your body for three other important tasks.


   1-Water helps transport nutrients to the working muscles during training

   2-Water eliminates waste products (like lactic acid) during high intensity training

   3-Water works to keep your core temperature cooler by dissipating heat through sweating

Hydration does not have to be from water alone. Here are some other ideas of delicious, refreshing, and hydrating summer drinks.

The ramifications of not having enough fluid in your system can start with just 2% fluid loss. Headache, lack of concentration, dizziness, fatigue, inability to recover, and overall decreased ability to perform. Nothing that helps your training or allows you to work hard towards your goals. To avoid any of these happening to you this summer, here are a few things to include in your daily routine.

   1-Drink 8-12 ounces of water when you first wake up to kick start hydration

   2-Drink more than just water. Adding in electrolyte beverages will help your cells saturate with fluid and not dilute your body’s natural salt chemistry

   3-Drink consistently throughout the day. Keep a water bottle with you at all times

Hold up your water bottle in a toast to quality summer training and good hydration!

Whether you're lounging by the pool, enjoying a cool night on the porch, or taking a break between training sessions, a book is a great way to find some extra motivation! Check out our curated reading list:

  1. "Born to Run" by Christopher McDougall

    • This book explores the secrets of the Tarahumara Indians, known for their long-distance running abilities. McDougall dives into the science and spirit of running.

  2. "Run Fast. Eat Slow." by Shalane Flanagan and Elyse Kopecky

    • Olympic marathoner Shalane Flanagan and chef Elyse Kopecky share their favorite recipes designed to fuel runners. This book combines the joy of cooking with practical advice on how to nourish your body for optimal performance.

  3. "Running with the Buffaloes" by Chris Lear

    • This book follows the University of Colorado's cross-country team through a season of triumphs and challenges. Lear captures the dedication and intense training that drive competitive running.

  4. "Let Your Mind Run: A Memoir of  Thinking My Way to Victory" by Deena Kastor and Michelle Hamilton

    • Olympic medalist Deena Kastor shares her journey of mental transformation and how positive thinking played an important role in her running success. Her story is a motivational guide to the power of the mind in sports and life.

  5. "Choosing to Run: A Memoir" by Des Linden and Bonnie D. Ford

    • Choosing to Run is an inspirational memoir from Boston Marathon winner and Olympian Des Linden, sharing her personal story and what motivates her to keep showing up.

  6. "Finding Ultra" by Rich Roll

    • Rich Roll’s memoir talks about his transformation from an unhealthy middle-aged man to an elite ultra-endurance athlete. His journey of physical and mental resilience serves as a testament to the potential for personal change and achievement.

  7. Barn Boots to Running Shoes” by Nancy Kelley

    • Nancy Kelley, a longtime Runcoach customer, takes you through her experiences of training horses and then ultimately becoming a runner in this pervasive story about her journey.

  8. "Marathon Woman: Running the Race to Revolutionize Women's Sports" by Kathrine Switzer

    • Kathrine Switzer, the first woman to officially run the Boston Marathon, shares her story of breaking barriers and advocating for women in sports, a must-read for anyone looking for inspiration.

Breaking Barriers: 17-Minute PR at Big Sur Marathon

Major milestone:

17 minute PR at Big Sur Marathon

What is the secret to your success?

Running two workouts a week helped me get faster and more comfortable with being slightly uncomfortable.

What is the biggest obstacle to reaching your goals and how do you get over it? 

I have a psycho neurological disorder that is as yet undiagnosed. Under stress, I get episodes. Running long distances brings them on but I love to run long distances. It is an art I’m learning to time preventative medication taking while I run. This marathon I was able to stave off episodes until mile 25 when I ducked into a portapotty for 9 minutes to compose myself and wait for the medicine to kick in. My training was enough to have set a 26 minute PR but until I get a diagnosis I also have episodes to contend with when running distance.

What is the most rewarding part of training? 

The mile time trial was rewarding for me. I ran faster than I knew I could. Hitting paces during speed interval, tempo, and threshold runs easily as the training progressed showed me my progress as at first I could not hit the paces prescribed. Long runs always made me feel proud of myself.

What advice would you give to other members of the Runcoach community?

Runcoach is an excellent program. Having a coach is very helpful. As things come up and you need to adapt the plan, your coach can do that. The unconditional positivity Cally shined on me throughout training really boosted my spirits and confidence. Follow your plan as best as you can but know you don’t have to be perfect. Other aspects of life demand our time and I couldn’t accomplish all my runs. The program still worked to get me to the finish much faster than before.

Anything else you would like to share?

Cally is kind, knowledgeable, encouraging, and a runner I look up to. She’s a wonderful coach. She took the time to adapt my plan many times.

What feedback would you offer on the Runcoach experience?

It’s a great program with great coaches. I would use it again to reach a PR.

The adjustment to heat training is not easy, and not always fun either. We want to share some ways to help summer training not be entirely miserable, and, you may find you even gain more fitness along the way thanks to the added stress heat puts on your body!

1-RUN EARLY: Set yourself up for SUCCESS by running first thing in the morning. It is way easier to wake up, run early, and get it done, than to have life get in the way and you're left trying to force a run in the heat or after a long day.

2-HYDRATE: We recommend waking up at least 30 minutes before you head out for a run to consume 12-24oz of electrolytes. If you have a long run or a hard workout, get creative with your options during the run... know where you can stop every 2-4miles to get a drink, leave a bottle and run a 2-4mile loop or out and backs, carry a bottle, or have a friend/significant other bike with you to provide fluids. More tips on hydration here.

3-ADJUST: Recognize that heat is an additional stress on your body. You should not expect to hit the same splits as you could on a cool day. Slow down, focus on effort vs pace. Add in an extra minute of two of recovery in between intervals or pause tempos to dump water on your head and to get a drink. Cut the long runs back a mile or two or find locations more suitable for hot weather that can provide more shade, and listen to your body if you start to feel dizzy or over heated... be smart! You can also do your quality sessions on the treadmill if you want to stick to paces and build confidence.

4-RECOVER: To help boost recovery after a hot run, take a cool shower, get in the pool, or put your feet in a creek to bring the core temperature down. You will find this strategy will prevent you from feeling so zapped the rest of the day. More recovery tips here to help you reset after a hard day of training.

5-REHYDRATE: After a hot workout, you will be in the hole in terms of hydration. Spend the first 30 minutes post run being sure to get in a lot of fluids. I recommend an electrolyte mix because something with flavor is more appealing and it will help you get caught up on your hydration needs. Rehydrating after a workout in the heat is critical to ward off cramps, injury, and allows the body to be ready to run again tomorrow!

6-REFUEL: It can be tough to eat after a workout in the heat. The belly often feels icky, but replenishing is very important to reap the benefit of the workout you just put your body through! Try greek yogurt, fruit, a smoothie (Summer Smoothie recipe!), kombucha, coconut water, or protein shake. These liquid calories are easier on the stomach and your body will be able to start the recovery process once you get some fuel in the tank. Interested in nutrition for runners? More info here.

We hope you can use these tips to help you crush your training this summer, please reach out if you have any follow up questions!

Edited by Cally Macumber

What are you up to?

I’ve been as busy as ever. I just finished up a semester of classes, an internship, and a high school track season. . . oh and Runcoach! It’s been a great chapter, and I’m ready for the next. IMG_6286

What are you reading?

I’m reading The Way Forward by Yung Pueblo and Subculture Vulture by Moshe Kasher.

What are you listening to?

Mt. Joy, Hozier, and Quinn XCII.

What are your non-running goals for 2024?

Deepening the new relationships in my life.

Ok, but what about running?

I surprised myself by jumping in a 4 miler last second and running 4:55 pace. I think next step will be planning a fall marathon and working backwards from there!

A Remarkable Comeback: Cherry Blossom 10 Mile Personal Best

Major milestone:

I began running again about a year and a half ago after a 39 year hiatus. It was after I read about a terrible event in Memphis TN in early September of 2022 that I decided to Finish Liza’s Run, in memory of Eliza Fletcher, a mom and a teacher who was abducted on her morning run. I would learn later that Liza was my college classmate’s cousin.

What is the secret to your success?

I try my best to be consistent, even with a sometimes heavy work travel schedule. I’ve learned to make the best of hotel treadmills which are usually fairly new and very under utilized. I like that it is easy to put in pace times for speed work and most have televisions: I did a 10 mile run while watching the Olympic marathon trials. Of course I prefer running outside, but in an unfamiliar location, where drivers may not be familiar with runners, I hesitate to navigate traffic. Safety first!Success_Story_April

What is the biggest obstacle to reaching your goals and how do you get over it? 

Mental: A humbling experience: I had to accept that I wasn’t going to run a sub 35 minute 10K again. Now, I am grateful to be able to run at 60 and I take pride in what I can still do.  Physical: Not knowing better in the beginning. I ran at the same pace all the time. I made every run into a threshold workout and so I was always sore, nursing niggles and not really improving. 

What is the most rewarding part of training? 

Getting faster and feeling stronger every month!

What advice would you give to other members of the Runcoach community?

Follow the program as best you can. Run the long slow runs slow - it’s about building legs. Make easy days easy so you can have the energy for speed work. It’s ok to go for a swim workout if you’re really sore from working hard.

Anything else you would like to share?

This program is amazing and Coach Cally always responds quickly to any questions I have. If I hadn’t signed up, I’d still be doing threshold runs every time out, or have gotten hurt. I managed to take nearly 2:12 minutes off my run time in the Cherry Blossom 10 mile last weekend by following the assignments as best I could. Negative splits for the last two miles.

What feedback would you offer on the Runcoach experience?

It’s been a terrific experience! I signed up for Cherry Blossom training and decided to stay for the year. The assignments re- adjust according to your race schedule which is so helpful. Love the inherent flexibility.

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