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Jamie Sheahan and Ben Lustgarten running in downtown Burlington. Photo Credit: Zach Walbridge.

Hi, I’m Jamie and I want to welcome you to C.H.A.M.P.! A Community Health and Movement Project aimed at creating an inclusive, diverse, and supportive active community in the Burlington area. If you are new to running, an elite runner or just looking to start a new walking regimen you will fit right in. In the interest of full disclosure, I run — a lot — and I love it, but I still find it hard to put myself in the category of “runner.” That’s because I used to hate running. To be fair, I sucked at it. I grew up playing team sports and absolutely dreaded team runs. I was always at the back of the pack, huffing and puffing my way along.

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Comments | Posted in Expert Tips Running Training and Nutrition By Jamie Sheahan

Brittany finishes the 2019 Salomon Catamount Ultra 50K. Photo Credit: Ironwood Adventureworks.

The dawn of the virtual race. For many runners, virtual races have become the new norm - from living room 5k’s to backyard ultras. The running community has banded together creating hashtags like #RunningIsNotCanceled and events like the Aravaipa Strong Virtual Race turning out over 2000 runners across 29 countries - numbers that rival even some of the most prestigious races. Most have small or no prizes or medals but for many a percentage of each entry goes to charity, like Ironwood Adventurework’s Shelter In Pace Virtual Marathon. So to think motivation is low sounds contradictory, but the truth is, many people are feeling like their hearts aren’t in it, or are feeling disorganized and stuck in their training. So what can you do?

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Comments | Posted in Events Expert Tips Running Training and Nutrition By Brittany Beland

Selecting a Marathon Training Plan

Feb 20, 2020 2:32:37 AM

The 2019 Vermont City Marathon. Photo Credit: Zach Walbridge.

If you have recently decided to run a marathon this spring, you will know the uncertainty of figuring out how to transform yourself from your current state into someone who can run 26.2 miles and maybe even stand up at a BBQ later. There’s no other race that inspires the same type of equal parts giddiness and terror. In my experience, locking down a training plan that works for you is the best antidote to some of these nerves.

After a two year hiatus, I am finding myself in this exact situation. From May 2017 to May 2018 I trained for 3 marathons. My plan for the second two looked quite different from the first and very extremely contrasting results. While I trained for my first, the Vermont City Marathon, I was doing a lot of speedwork with a track club in Boston. These workouts involved me running all out for shorter repeats like 800m. I built up to 20 miles on my own and continued to run hard on Tuesdays with the club. When Memorial Day weekend rolled around I ran 3:49 and felt like death for the last 8 miles. Shortly after this, I left the club and started training on my own.

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Skirack's Marisa Rorabaugh mountain bikes on a hot July day at Perry Hill in Waterbury, Vermont. Photo: Zach Walbridge.

It finally feels like summer has hit. As the weather here in Burlington changes from mostly rain to mostly sun, the temperatures have been rising, along with the humidity. While I sit to write this, the weather forecast promises that today will be one of our hottest yet this summer, with temperatures approaching 85 degrees Fahrenheit. With the arrival of the sun, everyone I know is itching to get outside and play after a long, cold spring. In fact, I am planning to be on my mountain bike for at least a couple hours this afternoon and evening, culminating in racing the weekly Wednesday night mountain bike race held at Catamount Outdoor Family Center in Williston. My main concerns for today are having massive amounts of fun, and making sure I have a hydration and food strategy in place to avoid my fun being cut short by heat-induced bonking.

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Comments | Posted in Expert Tips Training and Nutrition By Marisa Rorabaugh

Catamount Ultra 25K: Race Day

Jun 27, 2019 4:56:00 PM

Skirack's Chloe Egan makes her way to the Catamount Ultra 25K finish line on June 22. Photo: Ironwood Adventure Works.

Well it’s Wednesday morning and I can go down stairs quickly again. The Catamount Ultra 25K (part of the Salomon Running Festival) was unlike anything I have ever done and proved to be just as difficult as I suspected. All in all I’m really glad I did it. Thinking back, the race exists in my brain as a series of four segments in which my running style got progressively wilder and slower.

The weather was near perfect last Saturday (June 22) at the start and I stood shivering next to my Skirack colleague Sara Falconer, feeling excited and ready to go. My legs felt surprisingly fresh and it seemed like my bizarre combination of post Vermont City Marathon rest, low-milage and hill training had done the trick. This actually proved true; at no point in the race did I feel under trained in a general fitness sense, although I did feel vastly under trained when it came to this type of race. Basically, I felt fit but slow if that makes any sense.

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Comments | Posted in Events Running Training and Nutrition By Chloe Egan

Skirack's Chloe (front), Brittany (middle), and Sara (back) scramble up a steep hill, while on a training trail run at Lone Rock Point in Burlington, VT. They are preparing to race in the Catamount Ultra 25K/50K on June 22. Photo: Zach Walbridge.

I’m less than two weeks away from racing the Catamount Ultra 25Kon June 22 and this trail running business is still a mystery. I feel like I’ve been working on individual elements but I haven’t put the pieces together. I think I have endurance built up from my Vermont City Marathon half training, but it’s been a bit of a weird transition going from recovery back into 25K trail training in early June.

I know I can run 15.5 miles, but I have never ever run such a long distance on this kind of terrain. My coworker Brittany Beland, who will be racing the 50k - double my distance, has previewed the Trapp Family Lodge course and confirmed my suspicions. The first 6 miles of this course will likely be the most difficult kind of racing I have ever done. It’s going to be steep and slow.

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Comments | Posted in Events Running Training and Nutrition By Chloe Egan

Mountain Dew

Jun 3, 2019 4:56:41 PM

Skirack's Brittany (front), Chloe (center), and Sara (back) on a training run at Lone Rock Point in Burlington, VT. They are preparing to race in the Catamount Ultra 25K/50K on June 22. Photo: Zach Walbridge.

Trail running. The simultaneously more intense and more laid back version of road running. Back country running. I have to admit I don’t know a lot about the culture and sport, but I have my first Vermont summer in a while stretching out in front of me and I’m ready to dive in.

When I think of trail running, I remember reading Born to Run, a paperback I purchased from the downtown Borders and read during an angst-ridden senior year of high school. I recall a passage describing this phenom ultra runner’s favorite mid-race refuel. I read that she would pause to ingest a Mountain Dew along with a slice of pizza and my head exploded. I was afraid to eat mayonnaise on a sandwich six hours before my heat of the 800m at the Burlington Invite. Trail runners had to be a different breed.

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Comments | Posted in Events Running Training and Nutrition By Chloe Egan

Emily

You are so strong. Look down at your legs and flex your quads and think about how hard you’ve worked up to this point. With 3-4 months of training behind us, we are now only days away from the Vermont City Marathon.

I was feeling waves of nerves and excitement up to this point, especially as I began to taper. With only 2 weeks to go, all I wanted to do was ease my mind by running harder, faster, and stronger. But that was the opposite. It was quite luxurious I’ll admit to drop my mileage and be able to fit in all my runs during the day or spontaneously in the morning before work. However, the first week of tapering was mentally and physically challenging for me. My body wasn’t used to feeling satisfied by shorter runs, but then again that’s what it needed. The importance of tapering is that your legs can relax and feel lighter before a race by allowing them to store carbohydrates and glycogen, your race day fuel.

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Dress to Impress (Yourself)

Apr 4, 2019 12:38:12 PM

Emily

The sun’s beaming, the snow’s softening, and it's finally time to shed those layers! I love the winter, but this time of year is so special. Everyone is ridiculously happy and we get to see blue sky’s multiple days in a row. It almost makes you want to scream, “We made it!”

With the change of seasons comes a change in how we dress while you are training for the Vermont City Marathon (or any adventure) in April . A great pro-tip would be to make sure that you keep a synthetic layer or wool and synthetic blend as your next-to-skin layer. This will help to wick moisture from your body, keep you dry, cool, happy, and out there for longer.

That being said, here are some of my new favorite pieces broken down by different scenarios.

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Get Up Offa That Thing!

Mar 11, 2019 7:00:00 AM

Get Up Offa that Thing!

1 month of consistent Vermont City Marathon training, and look where your feet have taken you! It’s pretty incredible to think about how many miles you’ve traveled, and how much your body has adapted, grown and experienced in this short period of time.

I set out on my 10 mile long run this past Saturday feeling a mixture of excitement and nervousness. It’s a big milestone, first double digit long run…goodbye single digits! As I had mentioned in my last post, this was the longest distance that I’d run before and let me tell you, it was night and day. With consistent training, proper nutrition and hydration, Clif blocks, and the right gear I shaved off 30 minutes from my time 2 years ago!

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Comments | Posted in Expert Tips Running Training and Nutrition By Emily Hoffman
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