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Posts tagged ‘ryan hall’

Renota Canova – Ryan Hall’s New Running Coach

Yesterday I watched this video of Ryan Hall discussing his new running coach – Renota Canova. I had never heard of Canova so I did a little research on him tonight. It turns out he’s coached quite a few very successful marathoners and has a very specific approach to training.

Canova has coached Moses Mosep, a 2:03:06 marathoner, Floerence Kiplagat, and a long list of other runners. You can check them out here. His approach to training is very detailed and you can read a great explanation of it here. But for a quick summary, here are a few of the details:

  • All out hill workouts
  • Circuits (jumps, high knees, back kicks, etc.) between moderately paced intervals
  • Shorter intervals
  • Fast long runs (long runs should be done at roughly 95% of marathon pace)
  • marathon pace intervals with moderate rest
  • High volume intervals (ex: 10x1600m @ 15k pace)

In other words extensive hill work, circuits, increasing the intensity of amount of hard running, with great differences in intensity between hard sessions and recovery days.

Sometimes I wish I had enough time and money to travel to Kenya and learn from the best. I wish Ryan Hall all the best with his new coach. His best race performance is yet to come, kind of like mine. ūüėČ

Happy Trails and Happy Running,


Rest and Injuries

There are many reasons why I don’t like going to the doctor about a running injury. But the main one is because the typical recommendation is¬†rest.¬†Rest? Mmmm… not going to happen. I’ll take a break from running but I can’t just sit around with ice on my hip.

Ryan Hall did an interview discussing life after his DNF at the Olympics. He dropped out due to tendonitis and a hamstring injury, but within 3 weeks, he was back to normal. He didn’t follow the¬†take some time off and this will heal itself approach. He focused primarily on strength training and his tendonitis went away. Check out what he had to say about the importance of strength training and injuries:

Ryan Hall, Life after the Olympics

Ryan Hall, Life after the Olympics

I always notice that when I suffer an injury, I always feel stronger when I return back to running. It’s because I spend all the extra time focusing on strength. That really needs to become a non-negotiable part of my training.

Happy Trails and Happy Running,


Ryan Hall’s Diet

Ryan Hall recently released a PDF document of his recommended diet. Because I’m always looking for that edge, I was ready to make my grocery list and head to Trader Joe’s. Well it turns out I already eat 95% of what he recommends. (YAY!) Kale, beets, kefir, avocado, sweet potatoes, eggplants, bananas, eggs, cottage cheese. They are all in my refrigerator, with the exception of beets. (I prefer beet juice instead.) And the best part? Also, his recommended dinner includes sweet potato fries, my absolute favorite! And his bedtime snack is oatmeal with almond milk. Well if I’m not eating peanut butter before bed, I’m eating a bowl of muesli (which includes oats) with almond milk. Perhaps it isn’t the best idea to eat that much before bed but whenever I’m running a lot, I’m pretty much hungry every 2 hours.

The main thing that I do not include in my diet, that Ryan Hall does, is Muscle Milk. There is something about the fact that it is called milk, but doesn’t include actual milk that bothers me. Plus the Muscle Milk light includes fake sugar. That’s not my thing.

Check out his diet… a lof of good information:



Ryan Hall's Diet

Check out Ryan’s Diet here

Happy Trails and Happy Running,


Running Update: Over the past 24 hours, my hips have popped, cracked, and stretched every possible way. Literally, my bones are sore. However, my ¬†body feels much more in alignment and my hips feel better. We pushed my track workout to Thursday to give my body a little more recovery time. I ran an easy 6 miles today and made sure to go slower than yesterday. Other than my sore bones, everything went well. I’m amazed at how easy the miles feel. 8:00 pace and I felt like it was more of a jog. Now if it can just stay that way for 1 1/2 more weeks. Stats are here.

Rest Days and the Elites

My coach has me on a 6 day a week running plan. This is a little more than I am use to running but I’m happy to do it as long as I don’t get injured. I think that if I go easy when I should go easy and go hard when I should go hard, I’ll be just fine. But I’m still doing my yoga poses every morning to be on the safe side.

Yesterday after my 10 miler, I decided I was really looking forward to my rest day today. We were having brunch for my dad’s birthday so it was a perfect day to take it easy. However, as in typical Tracie fashion, before I went to bed last night I set the alarm clock for 7 am (which is the latest I ever sleep in) and planned out my strength training session. Mario’s reaction when I woke him up this morning to go to the gym: “Geez Tracie, do you ever take a rest day?”. Ummm, not if I can help it.¬† Read more

Sleep Positions

I don’t remember where I read this but somewhere a while back I read that Ryan Hall slept on his back because it was good for his hips. Ever since then savasana pose has been my preferred sleep position. Sometimes I stay like that all night long and never move. Well it turns out most doctors agree the supine position is best. Read more


This week is a scheduled recovery week. I’m not worrying too much about pace or really long runs, and it’s been quite relaxing. I’m trying to give my legs and body a chance to recover from training in this heat and humidity. It acutally works out perfectly because my mother-in-law is in town and I am able spend more time with her. I aim to follow the train hard for three weeks, go easy for one week method, but it sometimes can vary depending on how life happens. Also during the week, I try to take one day off completely. ¬†However, more often than not, I just happen find myself at the gym regardless. Opps!

I decided to do a quick search tonight on how Ryan Hall incorporates rest into his training. I read a while back that since becoming self coached, he took every Sunday as a rest day. When I searched the topic tonight, I learned a little more.

Ryan Hall learned about the importance of rest from Matt Dixon, a Brit who coaches amateur athletes as well as others who are a little more competitive. Dixon has taken on the task of teaching overtrained and underperforming athletes to incorporate more rest and more food post hard workout  into their training. Not only has he helped Ryan Hall to become the fastest American marathoner ever, he also helped triathlete Chris Lieto reach peak performance. Dixon got Hall to drop his training volume from 120 miles per week to 100 miles per week as well as to eat more post workout.

Michelle Hamilton:

Dixon isn‚Äôt a 21st century wizard with secret knowledge; he just believes that recovery is under-valued and under-utilized. ‚ÄúOur goal is not to train as hard as we can, but to perform well,‚ÄĚ Dixon says. ‚ÄúAnd to perform well you have to be very fit, but not fatigued.‚Ä̬†
Recovery, however, shouldn‚Äôt be confused with easy. ‚ÄúRecovery is the thing that enables hard training,‚ÄĚ Dixon says. If you‚Äôre rested and fueled, you can you push yourself to new heights in key workouts and increase fitness.
This philosophy is the cornerstone of a broader methodology Dixon calls the four pillars of performance: endurance (or workouts), recovery, nutrition and strength. ‚ÄúI talk a lot about recovery because that‚Äôs what‚Äôs often missing [from people‚Äôs training],‚ÄĚ he says. But he believes all four pillars must be treated equally if you want to maximize performance.

One of my local running heros is Kelcey Carlson – a news reporter here in Raleigh, NC. (I saw her at the grocery store once and had to introduce myself. I felt like I just met Kara Goucher. :P) ¬†She is a 3:04 marathoner, has two kids, and a full time job. She only runs 5 days a week and I’m sure the other two are spent doing family and/or work things. She rests. Ryan Hall rests. I think I should rest too.

When I don’t rest, I end up like this no matter where I am. I actually have quite a few pictures of me randomly sleeping in various locations. I fell asleep typing a blog not too long ago.


Happy Trails and happy Running,


Meb’s Marathon Reflection

Today has been a little hectic and I haven’t had the time to put into my blog entry that I would like. Between getting ready for company this week and buying a car, we’ve had little down time. However, during the 4+ hours we spent at the car dealership, I was able to read Meb’s marathon reflection from the Olympics. It is a great read and makes me respect him even more. Read more

Kenyans and the Simplicity of Running

First and foremost, a HUGE CONGRATULATIONS to Meb Keflezighi on his amazing 4th place finish in today’s marathon. ¬†I have to be honest – I had all but counted him out halfway through the race. ¬†He seemed so far back, and I thought it was highly unlikely he would be able to catch up to the other runners. ¬†But as with the marathon, anything can happen. ¬†One by one, he picked off the other runners and went from 20th to 4th. ¬†What an amazing way to complete his last Olympics. And my heart goes out to Ryan Hall and Abdi¬†Abdirahman. ¬†Some races just don’t turn out the way we hope.

Now to the Kenyans…

Although a Kenyan did not take gold today, one can not deny their unbelievably amazing running talents.  There are many reasons we believe contribute to their dominance of the long distance running field.  Altitude, diet, their need to escape poverty, running from an early age, etc.  John Burnett from NPR spent a few days last month eating like the Kenyans and his article makes a point well worth noting: the Kenyans eat simple. No special drinks, no special bars, no protein powders, and no supplements.

“It’s just normal Kenyan food ‚ÄĒ vegetables, spaghetti,¬†ugali,” said Wilson Kipsang, captain of the Kenyan marathon team… They eat food eaten by ordinary Kenyans. You wouldn’t expect an Olympian to eat what they eat. The cook is not a sports dietician, just a woman from the village,” he said, chuckling.

On top of their typical Kenyan food, their approach to fluid intake is also a little different.

Hundreds of aspiring athletes ‚ÄĒ and a few world record holders ‚ÄĒ ran past us with efficient, relaxed strides in their daily 30- to 40-kilometer course along the rust-colored paths surrounding Iten. Not one of them carried a water bottle.

No special drinks. No special food. And they continue to dominate. ¬†I’m the first to admit I’m always looking for foods or drinks that may give me that extra boost. ¬†I mean I actually consumed an entire bottle of beet juice the day before a race because I thought it would improve my performance. ¬†But Burnett’s article has encouraged me to reflect a little more on the sport. ¬†Running, for as complex as we can make it, is still a simple sport. ¬†There is no replacement for the miles of training. ¬†There is no magic food… well maybe chia seeds ūüôā Simple, clean nutrition is what your body needs. ¬†Even Meb says in this article that he has no specific nutrition plan – just a clean diet and to have pasta the night before a race.

Tomorrow marks 12 weeks until my next race. ¬†I’ve been running all summer injury free and have been able to put in more miles per week than normal. ¬†I’m focusing more on finding joy in the sport. ¬†Take easy days, push hard, rest, eat, and pay attention to my body. ¬†Certainly I am no Kenyan but I appreciate their approach to the sport.

Happy Last Day of the Olympics!


Recovery Boots

This morning I was reading an article about Meb Keflezighi¬†and his preparation for the Olympic marathon on Sunday. ¬†He gave a brief ¬†look into his training and how he addresses recovery. ¬†One of the things he mentioned was¬†recovery boots. ¬†Recovery boots? That’s a new one for me so it immediately peaked my interest. What I imagined (some cool boots to go with my compression socks), was far from reality. ¬†Recovery boots are intense and when I make millions, I might just buy a pair for $1200.

I found two brands that seem to be pretty popular: Recovery Pump and NormaTec.

Recovery Pump:

The Pump is an FDA approved, medical grade SIPC-Sequential, Intermittent, Pneumatic, Compression device with 4-chambered sleeves that inflation sequential from the toes to the base of the buttock. Device used for recovery in maximal, endurance sports. The Boots massage the muscles to improve circulation during use and help reduce swelling, soreness and fatigue, all while you rest and relax.

The brand used my Meb Keflezighi and Ryan Hall is NormaTec.  They are quite a bit more expensive Р$1650 for us normal athletes and you have to call if you want info on ordering the elite system. Their website has a detailed science section and testimonial section.  Some other athletes using the NormaTec boots are Chrissie Wellington, Kevin Garnett, Shaq, Levi Leipheimer, Craig Alexander, and Steve Nash. Heck, even Mark Wahlberg has a pair of the NormaTec boots.

Why are these boots good for the athlete?  The boots increase circulation and venous blood flow, reduces swelling, and massages all of the muscles in your lower extremities (thighs, calves, ankles, feet).  In addition, before a workout, the boots can be used to energize your muscles.

Right now I’m sticking to my compression socks (mainly because I clearly can not afford $1200+ for a pair of recovery boots). ¬†BUT I am keeping them in mind so one day in the very distant future, I might just buy a pair.

Doesn’t this look fun? I wonder if they will have a booth at the expo of my next race…

Happy Trails and Happy Running,


Olympic Marathoners and a Google+ Hangout

I love Google+. ¬†I have met some amazing people through G+ and have learned a lot from other runners and fitness advocates. ¬†Although I haven’t actually met any of these people in real life, I still feel pretty connected to them. ¬†We share running stories, encourage one another, and every now and then¬†have a¬†hangout where we can actually chat. ¬†Hangouts are perhaps my favorite feature of Google+. ¬†It’s basically where a lot of people can get together and chat via a webcam – like a video conference.

Well did you know that the New York Times has been hosting Google+ hangouts with some of the Olympic marathoners? ¬†Yea, I didn’t know it either. ¬†But perhaps if I had opened my Google Reader a little earlier, I would have known to submit my info so I could actually chat with Ryan Hall and Shalane Flanagan on Google+. ¬†How cool would that have been? ¬†But no worries – I still have my chance. ¬†They are interviewing Kara Goucher tonight at 6 p.m. ET. ¬† If you’re around at that time and are a Kara Goucher fan like I am, tune in here to watch what Kara has to say about the Olympics. And if you want to see was Ryan and Shalane had to say, you can watch a replay of the video. Here is Shalane and here is Ryan. ¬†

Thank you New York Times and Google for putting this together.  Now I even feel connected with a few Olympians.  I love technology.


Photo Courtesy of Stewart Dawson, Wikimedia Commons


Happy Trails and Happy Running,