How to train without a Coach
Training without a Coach

I’ve run off and on since 2011.  Throughout that time I’ve run in college with a coach, out of college without a coach, as well as out of college with a coach.

During each time period, I’ve learned a lot about myself.  I do believe personalized coaching is beneficial for many people.  It takes finding the right coach, both someone who works well for your running style, as well as someone who you socially connect with it.

A few weeks ago, a reader asked me to write about self-coaching and how I liked that.  Thinking out loud, all of my PRs have been set from self-coaching.  Good or bad, it’s just a fact.  I haven’t had a negative experience with any of my coaches. However, my schedule changes often, and I have found self-coaching to work well for me.

I’ve Learned a Few Things:

Self Coaching is Free:

First, I have a firm stance coaching should cost money.  You are getting a service, that you don’t already have.  To be honest, I’m less likely to even follow “free coaching” because I could do my own thing either way and not feel guilty.

You Know your Strengths and Weaknesses the Best:

First, running is a learning process. Your strengths and weaknesses change.  When I lived in the Adirondacks, I was much better at running hills.  Now living in a flatter area, hills are no longer my strength.  If you ever are next to me in the last .1 of race, know that finishing kicks are also not my strength.

You are More Internally Motivated:

My goals, and wanting to run are for me.  I don’t have to report to anyone, and I don’t have to “fear”, telling a bad workout, race, or anything else.

So How Do You Determine Workouts and Paces?

This is different for every single person.  

Personally, I use a few different methods.  In college, we used the McMillian calculator and could find appropriate paces for workouts from that.

When building mileage from a break (whether injury or just a break), I usually start with whatever feels good.  My first run back is never more than a mile.  From there, I add minutes to my run (not miles).  It’s important not to stress the pace when increasing mileage but just the time on your feet.

I also think looking back at your history with the sport is essential.  For me, I ran my fastest 5k and half marathon on “traditional training.”  I went to the track and did workouts like 400s as well as tempo runs.  That isn’t the case for everyone!

Many athletes run very low mileage with more core and strength.  If that is how you thrive, that is how you thrive!

Running is different for each and every person.  Many people thrive on a coach.  Many people enjoyed more of a laid-back approach.  As someone who spent years of high-intensity swimming, I no longer thrive on it both mentally and physically.

Related Running Posts:

How to Choose the Best Running Shoes (For You!)
How to Build Back Mental Confidence
Care Free Training
Who Cares Where You Run?

Questions for you:
Are you self-coached?
What are you currently training for?

Nike Zoom Fly Review

Nike Zoom Fly Shoe Review

Keep in mind, the Nike Zoom Fly 3 is now out which is an all-around better version of the zoom fly.

When Nike created the “breaking 2 project”, they created two shoes: the Zoom Fly and the Nike Zoom Vapor Fly 4%.  The Nike Zoom Fly retails at $150, while the Zoom Fly 4% comes in at $250.  That is, if you can find a pair of Zoom Vapor fly 4% in your size.

The Zoom Fly Shoe is a bit heavier and made for the everyday runner (or any runner not trying to break 2 hours in the marathon).

The Zoom Fly made more for training.  When we first brought The Nike Zoom Fly into work, I wanted to try them because “everyone was”, however, I had plenty of shoes in my rotation.  Waiting enough time also gave me the option to buy a flashy red colorway too.

Nike Voom fly red

The Nike Zoom Fly Fit:

The Nike Zoom Fly is more narrow than many of Nikes training shoes including the Pegasus and Vomero.  The upper of the Nike Zoom Fly is seamless, so it’s able to fit wider feet.  They don’t make either in a “wide”.  I bought a women’s size 10 which is fine, but I do believe a 10 wide would be a slightly better fit.  The flymesh upper makes it more forgiving.

Nike Voom fly red

The Nike Zoom Fly Ride:

The Nike Zoom Fly weighs about 8.75 ounces for men and 6.5 for ladies.  While the Nike Zoom Fly is not the lightest, it’s a lighter shoe.

The Nike Zoom Fly has 10 mm heel-toe drop so it isn’t minimal either.  The focus of The Nike Zoom Fly is for “everyday” training.  The Nike Zoom Fly is not the shoe meant to run sub 2 hours in a marathon but the shoe to keep you healthy during training.  Nike is in the process of changing many of their running shoes to the new technology you see in the Nike Zoom Fly and Zoom Vapor Fly.

I’ve run just over 100 miles in the Nike Zoom Fly and I like the fit and feel a lot.  The Nike Zoom Fly is soft and cushioned but not too squishy.  It’s responsive enough that I like to do workouts in it without my feet feeling too beat up.  I was doing workouts in either the Saucony Type A or the Altra Escalante but have found the extra cushion to be nice and better to recover faster.

One thing I will say is, similar to the Nike Lunarglide, there isn’t a whole lot of traction at the bottom.  On a rainy day or mud, be prepared not to feel as much contact with the ground.

Nike Voom fly red

Finally, something I shouldn’t comment on, but I will is these are a good looking pair of shoes.  It’s always fun to run in a shoe that you’re like…wow these are sharp.

The Nike Zoom Fly Conclusion:

Personally, I see the Nike Zoom Fly as a tempo, speed, or racing shoe.  While I know many people who do the bulk of their mileage in the Nike Zoom Fly, I personally need more cushion.

https://www.instagram.com/p/Bb-eNCDjAFc/?taken-by=fueledbylolz

Current Rotation:
Saucony Freedom (daily runs, easy runs)
Brooks Glycerin (daily runs, easy runs)
Brooks Levitate (easy runs)
Hoka Clifton 4 (daily runs, easy runs)
Nike Zoom fly (workouts)
Altra Escalante (workouts)
Saucony type A/Endorphin (racing)

Finally, have you subscribed to the LOLZletter? It’s a free newsletter that comes out each Monday. In the newsletter, I share running industry trends and things relevant to the sport. 

Questions for you:
Did you watch the Nike Sub 2 hours documentary?
What is your current favorite running shoe?

Medford Lakes Turkey Trot (19:02)

On Thanksgiving, I ran a local turkey trot.  It’s one of my favorite races, and despite not feeling great, I still wanted to run.  This year my calves were extremely tight, and my food poisoning was not making my motivation any better.  During my warm-up, I had to stop 3 times for 3 miles to use the bathroom.

At the start, I just hoped I could make it from the start to the finish without stopping.  Not something I had much success with it at the Philadelphia half.

My local running club was wearing turkey tutus, so I decided to join in too. We all lined up, and by the time we knew it, we were off.  My friend, Erin and I had planned to run together and see how it went.

Medford Lakes Colony Turkey Trot 5K

The first mile is crowded, and we were surrounded by a ton of people including many high schoolers.  One high schooler elbowed me around a turn, and when I didn’t take it, he cursed me out.  I laughed out loud and just passed him and never looks back.  We hit the first mile in 6:07.  I can’t say I was overly thrilled with it, but you have to race where you are.

The second mile began to spread out and Erin and I were passing a bunch of people feeling decent.  She had also raced the Philadelphia half so wasn’t feeling the best either.  We could see the first and second woman just 10 seconds ahead.  We crossed a few roads and hit the second mile in 6:17.

The third mile became gritty.  Both Erin and I were struggling but just pushed forward.  We passed two younger kids.  The last mile takes several turns and goes around the school.  We both kicked as hard as possible.

Medford Lakes Colony Turkey Trot 5K
Not my most glamourous angle but that’s the pain of a 5k

I crossed the finish line in 19:02 and as third woman overall and Erin crossed in 19:03.  It’s great to have someone to run with.  Erin has beaten me in several races, and we are in about the same fitness.

Medford Lakes Colony Turkey Trot 5K
The awards are always handcrafted from the area which is fun

It’s not my fastest time on the course (last year I ran 18:30), but it’s important not to compare yourself to anyone, including yourself.  I know once my food poisoning passes out and the fatigue runs it’s course I’ll be back to feeling good and racing where I was in October.

Photos via Matthew Renk Photography 

Questions for you:
Do you have someone to race with?
Did you run on Thanksgiving?

Training: Recovery and Turkey Trot

Last weeks training was spent relaxing after the Philadelphia Half Marathon and preparing for the yearly Turkey Trot.

me running

Since I didn’t run at 100% at Philadelphia, I felt as though physically I recovered decently to race last Thursday.  Mentally, not as much, but from a physical standpoint, I felt decent for the turkey trot on Thanksgiving.

Monday: Easy 45 minutes
Tuesday: Short hike in North Jersey
Wednesday: Easy 60 minutes
Thursday: Turkey Trot 5k (19:02)
Friday: Easy 45 minutes
Saturday: Easy 60 minutes
Sunday 14 miles/6.5 7:23 pace

Thoughts:

In all, I feel good about the week.  My food poisoning still has me feeling more tired, but on Sunday I was able to finish 14 miles and not be sick (unlike Philadelphia haha).  I’m now 21 days (out of a possible 70) from initially coming down with the disease.

While I am starting to feel better and I don’t feel like I’m going to be sick as frequently, but I do feel more tired all of the time.  After the half marathon, I did increase the dosage to the recommended amount of antibiotics (I was taking a half dose).

Turkey Trot: (19:02)

I’ll have a full recap tomorrow, but I was thankful to run with a good friend of mine who pushed me along the way.  We also ran part of Philadelphia together.  I didn’t feel great, but I was happy with how I ran for the day.  I’ve had a hard time not comparing myself to times I was running in October, but I know once I feel better I’ll be back down to where I was.  I had a great time as always at the Turkey Trot, and it’s one of my favorite races of the year.

Posts from the week:
Philadelphia Half Marathon Recap
Hiking 7 Bridges (Colorado Springs)
Visiting the Grand Canyon

Questions for you;
Did you race on Thanksgiving?
How do you recover from races?

Snooze (Colorado)

While in Denver, we tried to make our rounds to a couple diners.  I’m not 100% sure Snooze is considered a diner.  It more or less falls into the gray area.  Anyway, Snooze was right near our hotel and my good friend, Kevin, said it was good so we decided to give it a try.

We arrived at Snooze in Westminster on a weekday, and it was busy but not chaotic.  They quickly sat us in one of the modern booths.

Atmosphere: A
Snooze has several locations, and the one at Westminster is the newest. The inside has a full-length bar, is very open, and plenty of booths and tables.

Snooze Denver colorado

Coffee: A
The coffee was brewed hot with plenty of whipped cream.  It was good.  I appreciated how large the coffee mugs were too.

Food: B
The menu at the Snooze is unique and fun.  They have several breakfast and lunch options including pancakes, omelets, and small salads.  I ordered the B.E.A.T Sandwich which came with bacon, fried egg, arugula and sliced tomato served with bacon-tomato aioli on a toasted ciabatta roll.

Snooze Denver colorado sandwiches

I liked the food and the ciabatta roll was great, however, the portion size was small.  I could have used a little more food.

Service: A
Even though it was busy, our waitress was kind and attentive.  She refilled everything quickly and our food came out fast as well.  I have no complaints.

Cost: $$$
For my sandwich and coffee, the cost was $12, which I did find more pricy for the amount of food.

Overall Thoughts/Would I Come Back?
I liked Snooze and if I’m in the Denver/Colorado area I would go back.  I might end up ordering two entrees though.

Atmosphere: A
Coffee: A
Food: B
Service: A
Cost: $12-$20
Overall: A

Closeby diners I’ve Been:
Sams 3 (Denver)
New Castle Diner (New Castle, Co)
King Chefs Diner (Colorado Springs)

See all Diner Reviews Here.

Question for you: What is your favorite breakfast?

 

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