Running Outside the Individual: How training partners make you faster

This weekend they will be running the NCAA Cross Country Championships. The pinnacle of excitement for college cross country, I’ve done a few pieces highlighting a few of the front runners vying for the individual title: Shelby Houlihan, Crystal Nelson, and Patrick Tiernan.
running workout faces  emojis
Whether you ran cross country in college, or even went to college, or not I urge you to read them because among all of there runs a similar theme: cross country is unique because it blends the individual component of running with the team aspect. As every runner knows, ultimately, a race is against beating yourself, and while track does have a team scoring element, it is in no way like cross country’s.

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Ask Me: HELP! I’m stressed…

Here’s an excellent question I got from a reader recently. If you’ve got any running related questions for me, feel free to drop me a line: cait@caitchock.com

Q: Hi,

I came upon your page regarding running and could not help but be very impressed. I am a 23 year old dental student in my final year and the stress of exams has got my anxiety to higher than average levels. I am writing to you regarding advice and techniques on how to relieve such stress/anxiety through the sport of running. I previously ran 5km a day, however due to recent time constraints I have been unable to match this goal. What would you suggest in terms of distance to ensure I do not spend too much time on recreational running? What intensity do you recommend I perform? And finally what supplementation would you suggest to help me improve and relieve said anxiety.

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A Rabbit Hole Exists

Running takes you away, into another world.
One you control.

Here, time is warped.
Shifted, ticking excruciatingly slower or insanely, much too fast.
Tick. Tick. Tick.
The watch can be a cruel master.

No one can truly see this world…
except for you.
The agony of the inner war waging,
workouts and races, outsiders don’t see.
They don’t FEEL.
running alice in wonderland
But we do. Runners feel,
feel things others can’t imagine…
or would just rather choose not to.

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Oh, the Places You’ll Run

You can take running anywhere and you can let it take you everywhere.

runner in london

Running will open you up to an entire new world…
…a new community. Friendships, relationships, instant connections. “I’m a runner too.”

The lessons you learn as a runner apply to all areas of life. It will make you stronger.
Physically. Mentally. Emotionally. Tougher.

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The Running Grinder and the Recovery Champ

Within every runner live the Yin Yang twins…the grinder and the ice-cream loving, sloth who lives to watch cartoons. We’ll call the latter the ‘recovery champ’.
runner and lazy girl art
While I jest, because it’s not just ice cream they love but pizza, donuts, burritos, french toast [insert runger fantasies here], there is truth to it.

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All About the Climb

Runners are constantly climbing. It’s in our nature to always have a goal we’re working towards, always wanting to push ourselves to do better. Whether it be chasing new PR’s, challenging yourself to expand your race distance range, or even after we’re past our ‘PR-PR’ years, redefining the times and bests (weekly, yearly, masters, etc.) bests.

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NEW Ezzere Addition: The Cotter Dandelion Tank

NEW!! The Cotter Dandelion Tank
Exclusive design, quantities
will be limited…
don’t miss out!

dandelion tank movie

Pre-Order NOW!

Sizes




So I have some REALLY exciting news for you today, let me introduce you to the NEWEST addition to the Ezzere brand line!

This gorgeous Cotter-inspired tank channels the freedom and whimsey of the dandelion. Make your wishes, but ultimately follow your heart.

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Waiting Can Suck, But the Patient Runners Win Out

Being patient sucks. Waiting for what we want isn’t fun, but the reality is that often times we are forced to wait. Even more often is it that rushing things will ultimately leave us more frustrated in the long term.

As runners, wouldn’t it be awesome if we could just lace up and make our next race/workout/run a PR? If only, right?! The natural tendency to want those faster times and better fitness TODAY is the breeding ground for injuries, overtraining, and slowed progress. Beautiful irony there, right?
runner pr
Every runner has been guilty of it, and hey, some things you just have to learn yourself the hard way. (Sometimes a few times to really NAIL that lesson home.) Being patient sucks…but we need to learn to embrace it.

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Embracing Discomfort: True rewards are only met when you’ve been pushed

Running is all about dealing with discomfort. It teaches us that we are capable of handling more discomfort than we think and it always increases our tolerance for pain discomfort.

Running strengthens us and skews our perception of just what is uncomfortable.
running motivation art
A non-runner complains about a stomach ache, a runner doesn’t start complaining until they are projectile vomiting. But the reason that runner’s complaining is probably because it’s in the middle of a long run and they NEED to keep that gel/drink down because they need the energy, not because it hurts. ;)

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4 Steps to Getting Through the Grind

Long runs and long workouts tend to scare people. It can feel intimidating looking down the barrel of a double digit run or mulit-mile repeats. We’re distance runners, we love this stuff, but large quantities of miles (especially faster miles) still intimidate us.

Running and that mental component, can’t escape the mind games. Our bodies are apt to surprise us and prove our limit-setting minds wrong…BUT it’s a matter of pushing past the mind crap (doubts/fears/discomfort) before we can be ‘pleasantly’ surprised.
skulls on a track
The best thing about running into new territory, be it your longest run, the most number of long intervals, or the most volume of hard running, they’re all scariest before you do them. Once you’ve conquered the best you’ve proven you’re capable of it and you get a new frame of reference.

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