Dear Running Enthusiast, Training for a running event is a huge commitment and a daunting task. We have put together this training manual to help enhance your running experience and assist you in reaching your goals. We have picked the brains of some of the most experienced running professionals in the industry to make this project come together. This manual is a product of over 100 years of running experience and is a collaboration of articles, stories and tidbits of information that we felt would be helpful and educational. It is not designed to be read like a book or novel, but instead as a resource manual. Detailed information about the author of each article can be found by clicking on the names below each title. Don’t forget about the names at the bottom of every page as well. These are the sponsors that made this project a reality. Click on any of these names to visit their websites. The training manual is designed around three very important concepts. • Training fundamentals • Injury prevention • Functional programming. To achieve the goals you desire, we recommend that you do the following: 1. Read each section of this manual thoroughly. 2. Have a nutrition plan that supports your training. If you feel this is already covered, great! If not, please consult with a registered dietitian or nutritionist in your area for assistance. 3. The information covered in this packet should be considered a basic guideline only. For more detailed information concerning any of the topics listed, please seek the guidance of a qualified professional in that particular field. 4. All participants are advised to consult their physicians before participating in any exercise program. 5. The concept of recovery is very important. Your improvement is not based on the ability to handle tough workouts, but rather on how well you recover from them. Forget the old adage “no pain, no gain”. When in doubt, leave it out. We would rather see you start a race less fit than not starting at all. Utilize this resource to energize your training. As you know, we all have a limited supply of energy. While it is neither created nor destroyed, the use of this energy
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determines our performance. Although physically we cannot make increases in our energy, we can however increase our available energy through the way we live, work, play, think, train and eat. We can become more efficient physiologically (training, oxygen utilization, muscle strength, endurance) and utilize less of our available energy. Train smart and become energy efficient! Happy running, The Training Studio Staff
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Running doesn’t have to be difficult! By: Dale Benedict The number of recreational runners is growing drastically each year. Unfortunately, this growth has also contributed to an increase in running-related injuries. A large majority of these injuries can be eliminated with an educated, systematic approach to training. This type of training must include three very important concepts: training fundamentals, injury prevention & functional programming. Training Fundamentals This aspect of the program includes items such as: mental training, basic nutrition knowledge, important clothing and shoe information and running etiquette. Did you know that eating properly before, during and after training; can drastically improve your performance and reduce your recovery period? Another very important training fundamental is getting correctly fitted in the proper shoe. Shoes can be considered the single most important component of running/walking equipment. When purchasing footwear, please take the time to seek out a qualified professional that is an actual runner. Choose a shoe that compliments your foot, not your taste in style or color. Eating right and wearing the correct shoes still won’t create any new friendships without proper running etiquette. There are still some runners out there that think they own the road. Motorists get very angry when they come upon a group of runners/walkers that are four or five abreast, taking up the whole road. Can’t we all just get along? Proper running etiquette would require participants to stay on the left side of the road (into traffic) with no more than two runners side-by-side. I recommend that groups stay single file on all heavily traveled roadways. A little courtesy can go a long way. Last, but certainly not least, the mental aspect of running is often and very easily over-looked by the majority. Spend some time learning how to utilize this very important tool to help you achieve your goals. Injury Prevention The number one cause of all running related injuries is overuse. Overuse can be described as too much, too fast, too soon or too often. These overuse problems can be considered a source of communication for your body. The body is trying to tell you that it cannot handle the stresses that you have placed on it. LISTEN TO YOUR BODY! There is a limit to how much training the body can absorb. Remember that rest and recovery are as vital to improvement as hard work. Stretching is also a very important component of injury prevention. Wouldn’t you rather spend five to ten minutes stretching, versus recovering from an injury for six weeks? If by chance you do happen
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to come in contact with an overuse injury, please see a qualified professional. Do not try to self-diagnose. I repeat. Do not try to self-diagnose. Cross training is another important piece of the injury prevention puzzle. Everybody needs a break away from the pounding on your joints. Strength training, swimming, stretching, cycling are just a few examples of cross training. The physiological benefits associated with cross training include: increases in bone mass, muscular strength, strength of connective tissue and flexibility. These benefits can reduce the risk of injury by improving mobility, strengthening ligaments and tendons around joints, and/or eliminating muscle weaknesses and imbalances. It is a good idea to include one or two days of cross training into your program each week. Functional Programming Functional programming can be defined many different ways. The basic premise is to decide what your goals are and then develop a plan specific to those goals utilizing sound, proven training concepts. Periodized training is one of those proven training methods that when used properly can be very effective. The concept is simple, break your training calendar into specific, structured phases, all designed to build off each other. This is also crucial component for adequate recovery. What about your running technique? How do you monitor your intensity when running? The common saying â&#x20AC;&#x153;Quality versus quantityâ&#x20AC;? is also worth mentioning. The concept here is to develop a program that includes several different aspects of training, not just mile after mile after mile. For example, try to include speed work and/or hill training into your program instead of running five miles at the same pace every single day. The goal here is to keep the body changing by altering the type, frequency, duration or intensity of your activity. This information is for everyone, from the sub 3 hour marathoner to the 6 hour marathoner. The concept of running is just like anything else, if you follow an actual program based on all of these principles, you will see tremendous results. If however, you decide to pick and choose some aspects of the program and excuse others, the results will not meet your expectations. Letâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s keep the running spirit alive in by following the injury-free approach. Happy running!
Training Fundamentals Running Basics • • • • • • •
Important clothing/attire Running/Walking safety Gear Acquisition Syndrome (G.A.S.) A Question from a areader on Minimal Footwear Update to Nothingness Shoes Your Clothing can do more than just cover you Does your running light shine?
The Mental Side of Running • • • • • • • • • •
Training the Inner Athlete Discovering the hero that lies in you Visualization What you see is what you get Unshakeable self belief Mind Games The Runners high Your very last run A Running Mood The Running Con Game
Eating & Refueling • •
Eat Your Way to a Lean Physique 15 ways to Improve your athletic performance now
Running Basics Important Clothing/Attire By: Stacey Hardin Shoes: First, let’s talk about feet. “Which running shoes are the best?” This is a question most people ask when they are starting to run and a very important concern at that. You should look at your footwear as the most important piece of equipment you obtain. Your feet take thousands of steps for every mile of ground you cover. With every step, a force bearing three times the weight of your body is absorbed in the feet, ankles, knees, hips & spine. So, it’s clear that running shoes must offer runners a lot of protection. Shopping for shoes can be overwhelming. One suggestion is to buy your running shoes from a store that specializes in them. There you will find the best selection and salespeople who know running shoes and how to fit them to your feet. Talk to a salesperson and let them know how much running you will be doing. You might take an old pair of running shoes with you so he/she can see the wear pattern of the shoe. If you use orthotics, take them with you. Some runners may pronate, while others may supinate. These are all factors that can help a knowledgeable salesperson find the right shoe for you. Here are some tips that might help when trying to find a good fit: •
Try on shoes late in the day when your feet are slightly swollen, because your feet swell during running.
Wear the same type of sock that you will be wearing when you run.
If you use orthotics, make sure to bring them with you.
The shoe should feel snug, but not tight.
Go for quality.
If you haven’t bought the shoes that you plan to wear in the race, do so at least two weeks prior. If you’re current pair has more than 400 miles on it or is worn or frayed in any way, you should replace it. Never race in brand-new shoes and don’t change models either. Stick to the shoes that you’ve been wearing throughout your training.
Clothing: When you’re looking for running clothes, remember this word “breathable”. Breathable fabrics are great, whether it is hot and humid or cold and snowing. This type of fabric allows perspiration to evaporate from your skin, which keeps you cool in warm weather and warm in cold weather. Although cotton is light and natural, it is not the fabric of choice. In the summer, it soaks up sweat, sticks to your skin, and keeps you hot. In the winter, it soaks up sweat, sticks to your skin and gives you a chill. When a cotton shirt gets wet, it can more than double in weight and it retains 80% more moisture than most synthetic shirt. Still, there are some that prefer cotton. Shorts are an important part of your running wardrobe. Running shorts are modeled after the old “gym” shorts, but are cut higher and are made looser than the old style gym shorts. This allows for minimum restriction of movement. Most running shorts today are made of a lightweight nylon or other “breathable” fabrics. The fabric you choose is a matter of personal preference. Most all of them are lightweight, quick to dry, and easy to care for. Sleeveless tops or singlets as they are called may become part of your running wardrobe. Many runners like this article of clothing because it is cool, versatile, inexpensive, and loose fitting so it doesn’t restrict movement. Singlets are made of nylon or some similar fabric. Many have mesh panels below the chest in the front and the entire back may be mesh. This allows a singlet to be exceptionally cool during warm-weather runs. Singlets are one of the least expensive pieces of clothing items you may purchase for running. Long and short sleeved T-shirts: Most people have a drawer or two full of them. These are invaluable items to some runners. They can be worn in temperatures from the thirties to the nineties. When worn large, they can cover another garment layer or two for warmth. One drawback, as noted earlier, most T-shirts are made of 100% cotton or a cotton/poly blend. These do not breathe well and are not quick drying. You can, however, purchase short- and longsleeved T-shirts in the breathable fabrics mentioned above. Running pants are becoming the leg wear of choice by most runners. They are replacing the old sweats we used to wear. They are lighter, less restrictive, and generally look better than sweats (if that matters). Some running pants go down to the ankle and have zippers to allow for easy on, easy off. This type of pant can be tight fitting to the skin or have a looser fit. The type of running pant you choose is basically up to you. In cold weather, you may want to wear pants that have a material known as polypropylene.
This material has a dual purpose, it is exceptionally resistant to cold weather, while it “wicks” away moisture from the skin. Sweats do have a place in a runner’s wardrobe. They keep you warm while you’re standing or sitting around waiting to run. You can also wear them during easy runs or low-key fitness activities. Sweats used to be made exclusively of cotton, but today you find sweats in a variety of fabrics, which are lighter and warmer than cotton. One of the best types of these fabrics is fleece, which is warm and light. Outerwear should not be forgotten when it comes to clothing the runner. Outerwear should be warm, dry and wind-resistant. It is best to find outerwear that has ventilating devices, such as zippers. There should be ventilation under the arms and in the back, since this is where warmth from the body tends to collect. There should be zippers on the pants as well for easy on, easy off. Your outerwear should be made of lightweight, soft, water-resistant fabric that does not trap moisture inside the garment. If you train in very cold conditions, find out the temperature ranges down to which a garment will protect. This can be very important to your health and safety. Headwear and gloves or mittens: As many of us already know, you can lose up to 50% of body heat through the head. So, wearing a hat while running outdoors in cold weather makes a lot of sense. If you wear a hat, you can remove several layers of clothing from the rest of your body. Some people wear baseball caps. During very cold weather, however, you may want to wear a ski cap, which will keep your head very warm. If you don’t wear a cap with earflaps or your ski cap does not cover your ears, you may want to wear earmuffs to keep your ears protected. Because your hands are far away from your heart, they get cold before the rest of your body and remain cold even when the rest of your body has warmed up on your run. Mittens keep your hands warmer than gloves because they allow your fingers to warm each other. If you have no mittens or gloves, you can use socks. Socks are quite warm and they allow your fingers and thumb to warm each other. The right socks can be crucial to successful running. If your socks are old, dirty, wet, or worn they can bunch up, scratch the skin, or wear through. These things can cause blisters to develop. A blister can be a minor annoyance or a nightmare. To avoid this, you want to make sure your socks are clean, dry, and not worn out. Sports socks are generally made of cotton blended with some other type of material for stretch. Socks, like other clothing, should be made of a material that breathes and “wicks” moisture away from the feet. The style of sock is up to the individual. There are ankle socks,
crew socks and socks that cover the calf. Choose the one that is most comfortable to you. For women only: For women, the sport bra is probably the most important piece of running apparel for both comfort and health. As you walk or run miles and miles, your bra should fit and look great. Your sport bra should fit comfortably and give you some support. If you jump up, your breasts should stay reasonably still. The arms should have plenty of room to be mobile, with no restriction. If it’s uncomfortable when you try it on, don’t buy it. Some people think support means cutting off the circulation, not true. You can be comfortable and get the support you need. There are different styles of sport bras, the basic bra style, the T-back bra, and the halter crop bra. The style you get is up to you. What is important is finding the bra that will support you and is also comfortable. Clothing Thermometer What to wear when it gets colder (in Fahrenheit) • 50-60 degrees: Tank top, singlet or T-shirt and shorts •
40-49 degrees: Long sleeved T-shirts or tights or wind pants, sock or mittens and gloves
30-39 degrees: Long sleeved T and T-shirt, running pants, socks, mittens or gloves, and hat over ears
20-29 degrees: Polypro top or thick long sleeved T, another T-shirt layer, running pants, mittens or gloves, and hat over ears.
10-19 degrees: Polypro top and thick long sleeved T, running pants, wind-suit (top and pants), thick mitten, thick hat over ears.
0-9 degrees: Two polypro tops, thick running pants (and thick underwear), Gore-Tex or similar thickness warm-up, gloves and thick, ski mask and hat over ears, and vaseline covering any exposed skin.
Running Safety By: Stacey Hardin Basic rules of the road: •
Always carry id with you, especially if training alone.
Try to stay single file when running or walking in groups.
Common sense should tell you to wear reflective clothing when running or walking in the dark. Use strips of reflective tape, reflective shoelaces or reflective vests.
Always be aware of your surroundings. We do not recommend wearing headphones while running.
Remember: be prepared to give in quickly. Avoid confrontations. It doesn’t matter if you were “right” if you get hit. Survival is the goal.
Run on the sidewalk when you can. Try to find secluded residential areas, parks. Obviously, paths and trails are even better.
Run facing traffic if you must run on the roads. Always be aware of the shoulder, curb, and etc.-a place to leap if necessary. Also be aware of traffic behind you.
Gear Acquisition Syndrome (G.A.S.) By: Larry Holt When the holidays are upon us and gift-giving time is knocking on our door, here are some practical thoughts on gift buying for the runner, or by the runner for a runner, or while looking at a runner while walking, or while walking and sometimes running. In short, if you’re a runner, share your wants, and if you’re not, then good luck. First, let’s look at water bottles. Like momma would tell you to go to the bathroom before you leave, in this case it is, get a drink before you start. Seriously, if you’re running less than an hour and the temperature is under 80 degrees, you don’t need to tote your own water. Besides, most places have water somewhere. Granted, if you’re doing hour-plus runs in the woods you might want to carry some water. In some real urban areas it might be tough to find a spigot or fountain, but packing 16 to 24 ounces of water can create more problems than it solves. Next up: One word. Visibility lights. Okay, that's two words, but one very important item. No outdoor exerciser can have enough of these. There are two types. Everyone needs the kind that says, "I'm here." Those are the blinky ones that help you be seen. There are also lights for seeing. These aren't quite as necessary, unless you run/walk in really dark and secluded places. Usually moonlight and streetlights are enough to see without suffering "the fall." Reflective vests do a good job making you visible, but require a light source to be seen. Meaning, the oncoming car or bike needs to have lights on and pointing at you for you to be seen. It beats nothing. Be careful, too, with the placement of visibility lights. You really need 360 degree visibility. Front and back is good. And, socks — who has enough? Better yet, “Who has enough that match?” Sock technology has changed in the past five years. You are cheating yourself if you haven’t tried some of the new ones. Suggestion — Feetures! brand. The new ones have silver in them and reduce embarrassing stinky feet! Last, look at for whom you are buying. Buy what they use. If you’ve never seen this runner/walker listen to music while exercising, chances are they would have by now if they wanted to. If Jimmy loves Brooks, wears them all the time and has
for years, buy Jimmy Brooks. (Even if they look exactly the same as his last pair.) HINT: don’t ask Jimmy what size he wears. He probably doesn’t know. Look in Jimmy’s shoes and see what size they are. Look for U.S. size. Shoes are a tough purchase, proceed with caution and don’t get creative. Running is simple activity and those that gravitate to it are, for the most part, simple in what they need. A little G.A.S. goes along way.
A question from a reader on minimal footwear By: Larry Holt John asks: I’ve used Powerstep insoles in all my running shoes for a little over two years now. I was beginning to have symptoms of plantar fasciitis while increasing my mileage for the Triple Crown races, and I haven’t had any problems since getting the insoles. However, seeing the current trend towards minimalist and barefoot-style running shoes makes me wonder if I should work to strengthen my feet and transition away from using insoles. What are your thoughts? kencombsrunningstore.com replies John: Thank you for your comment! I think it would be smart to occasionally leave out the insoles. You may never to leave them totally, but starting with shorter runs, say once a week, in a more minimal shoe and leaving the the Powerstep insoles out. It would be too early to tell if you could go totally without them, but smart to strengthen the feet and lower legs by going without inserts. With the recent interest in the less is more, minimal, natural motion, etc., shoes there comes a quandary. What to do with those darn orthotics? This was the same dilemma Chris McDougall, the bestselling author of "Born To Run," faced. He was riddled with injuries of some sort or another all his life that prevented him from sustaining a running regimen. He did eventually work out of all inserts and even into the Vibram foot covering. But is this for all us? The answer is no. Should all of us occasionally work our feet and lower legs in a way that the big traditional shoe won’t let us? I say yes. The key here is how much should you do and how often and on what surfaces. That is your $10,000 question. What you definitely don’t want to do is mess up what is currently working for you. But keep in mind you can prophylactically attack an injury — that is, stopping it before it becomes an injury.
The two big don'ts: - Don't go too fast into a different foot environment (shoe). - Don't expect too much if you are an orthopedic nightmare. It’s not a fix-all. The orthotics used to correct mechanical issues may still be necessary in minimal shoes but the possibility of a minimal insert is there as well. The key is to go slowly and take your time moving in that direction. Move gradually if your in a motion control shoe. The next move would likely be a structured shoe, then a neutral shoe, then a lightweight trainer, then a racing shoe ... and so on. Find where on the shoe spectrum what works for you on a regular basis and occasionally venture into “less” in order to really strengthen and gain better form.
Update to Nothingness Shoes (who’s playing now) By: Larry Holt Nihilism in footwear is growing and growing. The latest to jump on the nothingness band wagon is the company known as BROOKS. While the big guys (except Nike) said no in the beginning , now it looks as though the movement is here for awhile. While I don’t think it will stay in the form of FIVEFINGERS (or toes) The notion that we’ve been running with too much on our feet will stay for awhile. The points for going “less” have been made and elaborated on in abundance but in case you haven’t heard, it’s all about correcting the mechanics of the gait. After Nike’s Free and Luna , which just in the last year took hold, the next of the big five was Saucony with the Kinvara last fall. The addition of the Hattori (even more minimal with zero drop) and the Mirage , a structured minimal shoes completed Saucony’s menu of minimal shoes. Next New Balance hit the stage with their three MINIMUS shoes. One for trail , one for road and one for lifestyle. These three New Balance shoes came out this spring and already New Balance is sold out until this upcoming fall. The Kinvara has a 4 millimeter drop and so does the New Balance series. Next up for fall of this year is BROOKS. They too are releasing four styles in the minimalist flavor (4 mm drop) The first is the Pure Connect with a heel of 14 mm and forefoot 10 mm. The Pure Grit which is the trail shoe , 15 mm and 11 mm. The Pure Cadence has some stability built in and is 18 mm and 14 mm . The last is the Pure Flow and it’s the neutral but more midsole than the Connect at 18mm / 14 mm. While the other biggies , Adidas, Mizuno, Asics don’t have a minimalist shoe per se they do offer light weight trainers and racers that come close but don’t have the 4 mm difference that the above shoes have. They would make better transition shoes rather than destination trainers. Also don’t forget the TRANSITION by Pearl Izumi. It’s been checking well and can be a minimal trainer as well as a multisport shoe as well. Keep in mind the minimalist shoes are generally under 10 ounces in men’s shoes, under 9 in women’s.
There are also some smaller players offering minimal shoes as well. Inov8 an English trail or fell running shoe has branched out into the minimal t rail and minimal road shoes. Newton, Plano, Merrill too offer legitimate minimal shoes and should be looked at as well. All in all I think the New Balance series makes the best presentation but the Brooks when it comes out in the fall will be hard to beat. Before you go over to one of these , pick a few up and try them on first. They all don’t fit the same and they are definitely a different feel from the traditional Asics 2100 , or Brooks Adrenaline. You will mid foot strike with these minimal shoes and that’s what you want. This transition needs to be very gradual and the instructions for transition need to be followed. It’s not an overnight procedure.
Your Clothing Can Do More Than Just Cover You By: Larry Holt Originally our clothing was meant to mainly protect us from the environment, sun, temperature, pesky bugs. But today’s compression wear can do even more for the athletic workout types. The manufacturers advertise two main benefits. - Enhanced Performance - Faster more complete recovery periods. Faster recovery comes from increased circulation / oxygenation. This reduces Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness, reducing muscle fatigue. The reduced ‘vibration’ in the muscles also increases performance by reducing muscle fatigue. The enhanced performance aspect is arguable but one would have to agree if you recover faster and reduce muscle fatigue, indirectly you would have a better performance. Here are the garments currently out there you can get in gradient compression. Sleeves, Calves, Long Sleeve Tops, Short Sleeve Tops, Shorts (bike type length) Socks, Tights. Also starting to show up on the market are cycling pieces as well that use this same bio apparel technology. The major players out there making this higher end product are: SKINS 2XU CWX UNDER ARMOR (not real compression but looks like it) ZENSAH Skins even has a product (long sleeve top) for heat activities that has a menthol fragrance to trick the mind into thinking it’s cooler than it is. $180.The jury is out on this one. Some minds trick easier than others. Real compression isn’t a cheap purchase. Tights run over a hundred dollars. Tops run almost a hundred. Sleeves, calf and arm run about thirty five. None of these products are particularly warm for winter wear but can be combined with other more insulated winter pieces. The CWX brand does make some insulated product with compression placement in vulnerable areas.
For runners there are three probable pieces. Calf, Tights and Shorts are appropriate. These are highly recommended if you have a propensity for trouble in those areas. Tight or pulled calves, hamstring problems, quad soreness would be ideal issues to use compression clothing to minimize pain. Without question the full tights rapidly help recovery. After hard workouts or long hard races cut your recovery time tremendously wearing these. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s definitely worth looking at if you think injuries or hard training is in your future. Who among us doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have that in our future?
Does your Running Light Shine? By: Larry Holt Sometimes I think it incumbent upon us to evangelize a bit when it comes to our religion of running. (Not to really equate it with a real religion.) But you know sometimes I think we owe it to our sport to spread the good news. The trick is knowing when and where. There is nothing worse than becoming Joe Jockstrap at work insisting on the superiority of running versus other activities. That ruins the subtle means the rest of us take to convert beat-up soccer players. Knowing when to flip the “porch light on” is way more effective than leaving it on 24/7. Sometimes a shining light certainly has no effect but to dull the already overloaded senses. So maybe the trick is to lead by example. Let your light shine by keeping that svelte figure. Let your light shine by being alert and bushy-tailed as you walk into work. Let your light shine with your healthy attitude and presence. We can take some what of a preachy road, too — but be careful not to sound preachy. A subtle, “Nice day for some hill repeats,” might even be too far and a bit righteous. We need to offer small helpings so as not to overwhelm our soon-to-be runner friend. Working into the topic at the right time and in the right doses is best. In the buffet line standing next to someone obviously struggling with excess weight isn’t the time to say, “My 20-miler yesterday is still making me hungry!” We do need to be sensitive. Once the questions start rolling in from the inquiring mind, you can prioritize and “Top 10” it to them. But what is really important is to let the inquisitor develop their own personal style of running. Too many new runners come ready to attack the activity with preconceived notions. “Jimmy says I’ll need to eat 10 gels before the 5k.” What Jimmy really needed to do was keep is gel-filled mouth shut and let that new runner find what works for him. Offer powerful UNIVERSAL TRUTHS …and let the cracks fill individuality. While there are some absolutes in running — hydration, lots of new shoes, layering, wearing reflectivity — there are 10 times as many “personal taste” answers. Ten gels might work fine for Jimmy before a 5k, but that isn’t an absolute but a personal quirk. Think of other absolutes that let the running light shine as
well as letting others have their own light as well. But still, the most effective means of sharing the running flame is just being seen. A neighbor seeing you head out morning after morning, evening after evening, Mini after Mini, will notice there must be some sort of attraction there. â&#x20AC;&#x153;SOMETHING KEEPS HER COMING BACK!â&#x20AC;? It must be something mighty attractive to get someone out of bed at that hour. It must be very addictive to make someone put in 13 miles in that heat. Actions speak at a much higher volume. Good luck in your training and may you hit all your goals.
THE MENTAL SIDE OF RUNNING Training the Inner Athlete By: Cheryl Hart “Real change---lasting change always begins on the inside. By strengthening your psychological core (the deepest, truest part of who you are), you enhance both your physical abilities and enjoyment of running. You want to be “mentally tough,” but you know what that means? What are your strengths and weaknesses? Do you struggle with self-confidence, resiliency (the ability to bounce back after setbacks), negative self-talk, motivation, focus, anxiety management, or consistent effort? Awareness is the first step of mental skills training that leads to embracing who you are during the miles, smiles, and trials along the way. When you learn specific strategies and techniques for discovering and developing your personal strengths, you’ll find that these skills spill into all other areas of your life. I’ve interwoven some articles that I’ve written over the years to share my personal experience in awareness and development of the mental side. Start living fully today by improving your strength of mind, body, and spirit---one baby step at a time. Celebrate small victories. Pat yourself on the back each time you make the slightest progress. Make a list each week of three things you accomplished or improved upon in the past week. Consider the personal strengths and skills that you used to make this happen. The kinder you are to yourself, the more apt you’ll be to support your own efforts along the way. This creates a ripple effect and a positive self-fulfilling prophecy. Attitude is everything. Instead of focusing most of your attention on problems, setbacks, and deficiencies, concentrate on opportunities for improvement and changing what is within your control. Stay fully in the moment. Don’t dwell on past failures or obsess about numbers and future outcomes. Flaws and shortcomings make us human and complement your strengths and capabilities. Adopt an attitude of joyfulness, patience, and self-forgiveness. Enjoy the journey
toward reaching your full potential. As Lance Armstrong says, “Live strong,” because you have what it takes, even if you don’t know it yet!
“Discovering the Hero That Lies in You” By: Cheryl Hart “What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.” -- Ralph Waldo Emerson These words are engraved on a necklace that I wear daily. They serve as a constant reminder to live each moment to the fullest, not dwelling on the past or seeking an imagined future. As we begin a new year of running, let’s embrace the opportunity for reaching our fullest potential, while enjoying every step, every mile, of the road along the way. This idea has emerged and been popularized in a myriad of “Zen running” books that challenge us to reach awareness of the moment. The theory proposes that the meditation process, usually performed in the sitting position, can be accomplished on the run. The objective, whether training or racing, is to free ourselves from conscious thoughts and to connect with our deepest self. We are enlightened when we are completely aware of what we are doing, totally in the moment, without any mental prompting or ego-induced pressure. By doing so, we are able to enjoy the pure pleasure of running— body and soul melting into one. A friend, who missed qualifying for the 2008 Duathlon World Championship, shared his thoughts beneath the summit of Grandfather Mountain in North Carolina. “There were no lingering thoughts of the competition or future projections toward tomorrow,” he said. “Instead, I felt the energy of the mountain insuring me that the worth of being an athlete resides in never focusing toward a distinct destination, but feeling each moment of the continual journey.” In sport psychology, we emphasize that athletes should focus on the process rather than obsessing on the end result. Too often, runners experience anxiety, threat, and self-doubt before or during a competition. While they are worrying about the desired race results, they miss out on the real reason they began running in the first place, and are left feeling empty and defeated. Great runners are able to stay
relaxed and consequently enjoy the experience and also end up with a more satisfying finish. This kind of enlightenment, or spiritual insight, leads to deeper awareness, understanding, wisdom, perception, sensitivity, freedom of thought, appreciation, open-mindedness, and discipline. These are qualities that are certainly advantageous to running. Luca Speciani, author of the book “Lo Zen e L’Arte Della Corsa” (Zen and the Art of Running) says “anti-Zen runners cling to things, people and ideas, attaching too much importance on them and turning them into something they are not. Missing a goal creates a crisis of identity rather than an opportunity for personal growth.” Performance anxiety creates tension and often prevents runners from experiencing joy and full capability. On the other hand, when we change our perception and attitude, we open space for childlike exhilaration. Author Danny Dreyer of “Chi Running” believes that if we “learn to be more centered and have a more mindful approach to our running and life, we will discover how to be mindful, quiet, and energetic all at the same time.” He observes how children at play run naturally and effortlessly. They are having so much fun that they are not working or thinking about their running. Heather Sackett, a professional Ironman triathlete, reinforced this idea of playing. “On any given day here in the beautiful Adirondacks, there is nothing in the world I would rather be doing than running River Road, biking the Wilmington Notch or swimming in Mirror Lake,” she said. The key is taking just one step at a time, letting the day unfold moment by moment. This means not looking back over your shoulder. Hold fast to Emerson’s advice that “what lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.” Don’t worry about who might be breathing down your neck or how much distance you need to gain to catch the next runner. Stay within yourself. Run your own race with joy and confidence in who you are. When you look inside yourself, you may be surprised to discover a strength, courage, and discipline that you never knew were there. “Lord knows dreams are hard to follow, but don’t let anyone tear them away…For then a hero comes along, with the strength to carry on, and you cast your fears
aside and you know you can survive. So when you feel that hope is gone, look inside you and be strong, and you’ll finally see the truth---that a hero lies in you.” (Mariah Carey, “Hero”) After 57 years of living and 30 years of competitive running, I have discovered that life---and runs should be savored, not rushed. Wilfred Peterson said, “Remind me each day that the race is not always to the swift; that there is more to life than increasing its speed. Let me look upward into the branches of the towering oak and know that it grew slowly and well.” Here’s to a new year of joyful runs and personal growth!
VISUALIZATION By: Cheryl Hart Your self-concept (how you see yourself) determines whether you believe that you are worth caring for. Embrace the fact that you are not perfect and don’t need to be. Don’t plan the body you want but rather the life want. Then build from the knowledge that a big factor in living your best life is to build the strongest, healthiest body possible. Create a clear visual image of yourself as successful, fast, fit, and agile. Imagine a vibrant, energized, youthful you. Stephen Covey, author of The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, believes that successful individuals “keep the end in mind.” Who do you “see” yourself becoming, and where do you want to be? Clients who have trouble creating a positive mental image are the ones who have difficulty reaching their goals. I believe that goals bring purpose, fun, passion, purpose, and playfulness to life. What has the lack of fitness (both strength and endurance) prevented you from enjoying? Consider both physical and psychological limitations. Now see yourself in a new way, with a successful ending and then develop strategies to make that a reality. Have you always dreamed of running a marathon but thought,” There’s no way!” Don’t wait until someday to feel a sense of pride and wellbeing. Visualize yourself not as you are now, but as you can and will be.
“What You See Is What You Get!” By: Cheryl Hart “Deep within man dwell those slumbering powers; powers that would astonish him, that he never dreamed of possessing; forces that would revolutionize his life if aroused and put into action.” --- Orison Swett Marden Autumn is my favorite time of year----brilliant colors, crisp air, and perfect running weather. Weary in the aftermath of the pressures and demands of training and competition, most triathletes welcome fall, and the end of their prime racing season with a sigh of relief. This period of physical rest is important for allowing the body to rejuvenate. It’s also the ideal time to develop the mental muscles necessary for peak performance. And believe it or not, it begins with daydreaming. Let your imagination soar. Allow yourself to experience the magic of thinking big without any pressure or expectations. Dreams are not commitments, but possibilities. All human accomplishments start with a dream or a vision. Dreams of excellence precede reality. Having a vision for your future increases the likelihood of realizing your dreams for athletic success. This vision brings the clarity of why, when, and how you will move toward your goals. Mental imagery involves athletes imagining performing well and successfully. This visualization or imagery process is one of the most essential tools used in mental skills training. It is important that you first know exactly what you wish to accomplish before attempting to “see” yourself achieving that goal. In your mind’s eye, you are enjoying the athletic event and feeling a sense of satisfaction with your performance. To begin: close your eyes, and clear your mind. Enter fully into the image, incorporating as many senses as possible. In order for visualization to work effectively, it must be vivid. You should see, hear, feel, touch, smell, and perform, as you would like to perform in real life. Bring in as many senses as possible, as well as the emotion or meaning attached to the image. Guide yourself through the whole event with perfection, experiencing complete control of your body and mind. If you make a mistake while visualizing the performance, go back and make the necessary corrections until you have guided yourself through a whole performance with complete satisfaction. In addition, rehearse how you could and will react positively to a variety of adverse situations. This is a skill that requires
practice. You can recreate past successes or imagine a new event with a satisfying performance to prepare for a positive experience. Every time you see yourself performing exactly the way you want to perform, you physically create patterns in your brain. It’s like a blueprint in the brain that tells the muscles when and how to move and with how much exertion. The best athletes can testify that with mastered visualization, the exact same muscles fire when performing a skill mentally as when performed in reality. Imagery can also be used as a motivational tool. Before and during training sessions, and competitions, calling forth images of your goals serves as a vivid reminder of exactly what you are trying to accomplish in an event and the “why” it will matter in the end. If these are aligned, this increases the intensity of your focus and effort. Visualization is also effective in perfecting skills. The most successful athletes see and feel themselves performing successfully on a consistent and regular basis. Through visualization athletes become familiar with the competition site (reducing pre-competitive jitters), mastering a technical skill, or a race day strategy. Mental imagery is useful for developing self-confidence, coping with new situations before encountering them, and dealing with stress related reactions such as muscle tension and loss of focus. Rather than typical avoidance inadequacies, begin by imagining yourself overcoming whatever you consider to be your greatest weakness. Season after season, I’ve discovered that autumn is the perfect time of year for developing mental techniques. Athletes are in a more relaxed state and particularly open to mental imagery. Daydreaming and mental imagery go hand in hand. Breathe deeply the autumn air, close your eyes, and dream big dreams. See yourself as strong, powerful, and fast, for as Flip Wilson once said, “What you see is what you get.”
Unshakable Self- Belief By: Cheryl Hart The most important factor in achieving a strong mind-body connection is confidence (self-efficacy). You must believe that you are capable of successfully achieving your goals or mastering the “task at hand.” If we break the challenge down into manageable increments, and take these one at a time, it is not so daunting. Think of the adage, “Mile by mile, it’s a trial, but inch by inch---it’s a cinch.” Stay fully in the moment, focusing only on what is within your control in that point in time.
“Mind Games” By: Cheryl Hart My brother-in-law recently ran his first race with me. Over the 10 miles I plotted moves on opponents, checked our pace and pretended to breeze through the eighth mile, though dying inside. That evening, after giving the race some thought, he suddenly said, “I figured it out. What wore me out is there’s just too many mind games!” Though coaches and athletes agree that at least 50 percent of performing well is mental, little time is spent training our mental skills. The challenge is not just in conquering the opponent but the conquering of ourselves. In any athletic event we face and struggle against our insecurities, doubts and fears. “Nowhere is the body-mind connection more delicately balanced than within the arena of competitive sport,” said Dr. James Loehr, director of Sports Psychology at Santabel Harbour Resort. “Being in control allows us to extend beyond our ordinary limits and to become a fuller measure of our potential than thought possible.” Intervals, hill work and killer miles may train the body, but in the end it’s the mind that controls the pace. The ability to dig deep determines who will win on a given day. So often we fail to meet our goals because of negative thinking rather than improper training. It’s important to keep our minds focused on the present
situation and reassure ourselves that we can handle the mile ahead, or maybe just the next step. Jackson Brown, Jr. stresses two rules of perseverance: “Rule #1: Take one more step. Rule #2: When you don’t think you can take one more step, refer to rule #1.” Remember the children’s book, The Little Engine That Could?” He kept telling himself, “I think I can, I think I can.” This gave the little engine enough confidence to push up the hill chanting, “I know I can, I know I can... As short-term goals are reached, a positive self-image is developed with each success. We shouldn’t evaluate our race based on whether or not we defeated someone else, but rather on our own performance. Preparing physically before a race is a good way to get rid of self-doubt and insecurities. When we know deep down we haven’t done the proper training, we are more likely to feel apprehensive. Once we’ve built up our mental strength using visualization can further enhance our potential. It’s important to become familiar with the racecourse. Once we learn where the hills and mile marks are, we can plan our race strategy and run the entire race inside our heads. What kind of pace will we have the first mile? Will we pick up the pace or maintain it if we’re feeling strong? Carefully preparing answers to these questions before the gun goes off at the start will give us more confidence. No matter how well we plan for a race, we must be prepared for the rough spots when it all seems to fall apart. The ability to concentrate may be the first thing to go. Our minds start to wander. Inwardly, we whine, “I’m tired, it’s too hot, and my legs feel like lead.” We must listen to what we’re saying and thinking. By becoming aware of that inner voice, we can shout back, “Stop!” as soon as the negative thoughts emerge. Instead of giving up, we can try slowing the pace a little until we get a second wind. We must stay in charge of what goes on in our minds so we’ll be in a position to control our bodies as well. “If all else fails, try that hypnotic concentration technique in which you focus on a single point such as the space between the shoulder blades of the runner want to
catch and pass,â&#x20AC;? said University of Virginia sport psychologist, Linda Bunker, PhD. This fixed gaze will have a calming effect and eventually we will feel enough in control to conquer those brief periods of pain and fatigue. Russian weight lifter, Yuri Vlason, expressed so eloquently that magical moment when the mind and body connect and extend beyond our ordinary limits to reach the unreachable goal: â&#x20AC;&#x153;At the peak of tremendous and victorious effort... while the blood is pounding in your head, all suddenly becomes quiet within you. Everything seems clearer and whiter than ever before, as if great spotlights had been turned on. At that moment you have the conviction that you contain all the power in the world, that you are capable of everything, that you have wings. There is no more precious moment in life than this, the white moment, and you will work very hard to years to taste it again.
“THE RUNNER’S HIGH” By: Cheryl Hart Most runners report feeling better psychologically, emotionally, and spiritually after running. The runner’s high includes “a sense of mental alertness and awareness; a feeling of liberation; a lift in the legs; suppressed pain or discomfort; and the sense of ease, perfect rhythm, and exhilaration” (Sachs, 1984 & Berger 1996). This state of euphoria cannot be reliably predicted but chances are greatest if the weather is cool and calm and there is a lack of distractions. However, the primary factor is that there must be no concern with pace or time. Let go of all outside or self-imposed pressures and expectations. Forget about disappointments in yourself or others. Just meet the road like a best friend, anxious to share time together. This reminds me of one of my favorite scenes in the movie, “What Women Want” where Mel Gibson is pitching the following Nike ad: “You don’t stand in front of a mirror before a run wondering what the road will think of your outfit. You don’t have to listen to its jokes and pretend they’re funny in order to run on it. It would not be easier to run if you dressed sexier. The road doesn’t notice if you’re not wearing lipstick. Does not care how old you are. You do not feel uncomfortable because you make more money than the road. And you can call on the road whenever you feel like it. Whether it’s been a day or even a couple of hours since your last date. The only thing the road cares about, is that you pay it a visit once in a while. Nike, no games. Just sport.” Perception is essential to success and contentment. How you see yourself and the road that lies before you? Whenever you lack motivation or feel dissatisfied with the progress you’ve made, remember that this stems from a lack of gratitude. Next time you’re comparing yourself against a fitter, faster runner, or struggling to lace up your shoes, remember how blessed you are to be healthy and strong enough to run.
A friend shared with me the story of her daughter’s battle with a life-threatening disease. One day frustrated and weary from chemotherapy treatments her daughter shouted through tears, “Why do I have to do this?” Without thinking, my friend suddenly burst out the words, “You get to!” She wanted to give her daughter the gift of gratitude, even when times are tough. Though they eventually lost that battle, she continues her drive to remind others of the importance of an attitude of gratitude by distributing bracelets that bear the words, “I GET TO.”
“Your Very Last Run” By: Cheryl Hart “I ran eight miles this morning. It felt like a marathon.” This was the entry in my running logbook several years ago after a strange, debilitating illness. Extreme fatigue, coupled with a high red blood cell count, left the doctors baffled and concerned. There were days when it was an effort just to shuffle to the next room. It felt like I was trying to awaken from a bad dream. Despite heavy legs and labored breathing, I found renewed joy in just being a runner again. The miles unfolded in the coolness of the morning, refreshing my spirit. I exchanged greetings with other runners, feeling the familiar sense of kinship we share. I relished the tiredness in my muscles after the run and flush of color in my face from the exertion. Helen Keller often described how her senses became more acute because of her blindness. She considered it a gift to smell the flowers blooming along the riverbank where she canoed, or to feel the onset of rain in the air. For months, I watched runners pass beneath my large window overlooking the park’s running path. I longed to feel the wind in my face or the rain wetting my eyelashes. I wondered if those runners fully appreciated that mile at that moment. Did they see the Canada Geese floating beside them or the dogwood blossoms showering gently down by their feet? There is a scene in the movie, “Awakenings” when Robert DeNiro awakens from a sleep-like state and feels the fan blow on his face. He is so excited about being fully alive. His heightened awareness of the most ordinary joy prompts him call his doctor in the middle of the night to convince him of the need to wake the other patients. I feel that kind of urgency today. Do you know how lucky you are to be runners? Just to be healthy and strong enough to be out there on the road? Don’t wait until you are ill or injured to realize how blessed you are to be running. On those “bad days” when you struggle up the hills or fall off the goal pace, know that even a bad run is a good day.
“A discontented mind experiences everything as not good enough,” says ChinNing Chu, author of Do Less, Achieve More. Allow yourself to be content and even exhilarated by the sheer act of fluid motion. As the year comes to a close, many of you are reflecting on your performances with dissatisfaction. You’re contemplating if and how you can improve next year. While clear goals are essential, performance anxiety creates tension and prevents us from experiencing joy and full capability. I wear a necklace engraved with an Emerson quote that reads,” What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.” These words serve as a daily reminder to live each moment to the fullest, not dwelling on the past or seeking an imagined future. When we change our perception and attitude, we open space for childlike exhilaration. Marcel Proust echoes this in saying, “the real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in seeing with new eyes.” If you knew that your next run would be the last, what would you do and where would you go? Would you worry about your pace? Would you follow the dictate of your training log and carefully monitor your Garmin for splits and heart rate? Just for today, imagine this is your last run. Run into the New Year, embracing each opportunity for full potential, while enjoying every step, every mile along the way. Take off the headset you wear to drown out your effort and become fully aware of your breathing and the water cascading over the edges of the creek. That pounding in your chest is a sign that you are fully alive. Savor it and run like it’s your very last run.
A Running Mood By: Larry Holt
“Not by years but by disposition is wisdom acquired,” wrote Plautus way back in the second century B.C. How did he know our moods would shape our wisdom? In the cyclical nature of running, our disposition so much shapes our wisdom of running. After a race or long build up to an event, our moods definitely swing from high to low. It is during these times of extreme highs and lows that our wisdom wanes. A group recently finished a marathon with nearly all of them running personal bests. They began to discuss what they could have done to elevate their performances. Their mood was high. “What if we’d run more miles?” “What if we’d done more tempo runs?” “What if we’d had on racing shoes?” There’s nothing wrong with a mild case of the what-ifs, but when we have a good performance and our self-perception is high, our wisdom may suffer. Likewise, after poor performances, judgment suffers. Plautus could have easily said, “Not by miles, but by disposition, is wisdom acquired.” The most experienced runners are not always the wisest. However, the more experienced possess a more leveled mood, yielding better decision-making. Improvements in our running performance (long-lasting improvements) come from tweaking our training regimens. Adding one extra day or eliminating one day a week or changing our diet slightly might be a tweak. Adding a session of hill repeats over the next training cycle weekly may be all that’s necessary. Not by how many miles or how long you’ve lived does this “RUNNING KNOWLEDGE” occur. It's through our mood we gain wisdom. Moreover, we need to realize through this running wisdom when we’ve achieved what we want. We have to read the road signs and see when we’ve gotten there. A predetermined place that once we’ve reached it, we realized we have. Not only that we’re there, but how we got there. In October, Jane wants to run Marine Corps Marathon in four hours. Come November, Jane is sitting at Thanksgiving dinner and accepting accolades for finishing in 3:55. Naturally, Jane wishes she had run a bit quicker, but her wisdom and mood leave her content and sure of what she did accomplish. Looking back she wouldn’t have done her training any different. She
hit her target. In the future she has a recipe for hitting that target again. Sheâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s been to the mountain top and left bread crumbs along the way. By dissecting what Plautus said about our running knowledge, we can see age and miles donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t make us a wise runner. Our running wisdom comes from our disposition. Our outlook has to be realistic and content. It is molded by more than just our running. So improving our mood improves our running. The buckets have to be physically capable of accepting more rain. Once full, the buckets know they have done what they can to accept rainwater. After the next dry spell, the bucket will accept more rainwater the same as they did time and time before. We do like a bucket in a good mood. Get your disposition where it should be.
The Running Con Game By: Larry Holt
"Con" in this instances is a prefix for CONFIDENCE. Normally, this is a negative prefix, but it doesn’t have to be. In fact, the running con game or any con game that involves pursuit of goals, works to the runner's advantage (or any athlete). Confidence is that little extra help that puts one person over the top and leaves others scratching their heads. There is a big difference between confidence and cocky. Confidence is having a plan, executing it and then being satisfied with the outcome. Not a big deal. To run a sub-40 minute 10k, I think I need these ingredients: Two days a week of X, then one day a week of Y, followed by twice a month of Z. This execution of a plan is what gives us confidence. Not second-guessing, not varying and changing (to large degrees) and not jumping ship at first sign of distress. Study the goal and the plan and make minor adjustments as you carry out your plan. Essential to attaining the goal is a firm belief in your preparation. It’s difficult to accidently hit your goals. Not many people have PRs on Wednesday morning runs. Maybe on Thursday mornings, but not Wednesday mornings. (Kidding.) At the core of confidence lacking is believing in a secret formula. The belief that what Sally Fastfoot did for her last four weeks of speed work was better than what I did for mine. What makes us think that what she did was any better than what you or I did? Hopefully Sally knows or has a coach that knows what she needs to do and it has nothing to do with what we need for our workouts. Some people like a full distance when training for a marathon. Me? I’d rather do more “pace” work and definitely not a full marathon distance run. For me, 18 to 20 miles at close to race pace is much better than slogging out 26.2 and is more productive, physiologically and mentally. After working with several participants the past two years for Ironman events, I've learned confidence is even greater an issue for them. Of course any race you need confidence in any contest, but in one that has many phases and is long in duration, there are many occasions you question your conditioning. If you're racing 800 meters or the mile or even a 10k, there is little time to question your training.
Questions do happen, but normally not many times. You either have it or you don’t. In a multi-sport event and an event that can last upwards of 15 hours, you can go in and out of confidence. In some areas (swim, bike, run) and under certain situations (heat, wind, rain) you can have lows and highs and not even know your own name. In the end you really have to believe in yourself and where you are when you’re having that “close talk” with yourself. It’s the talk you rarely have except in those trying moments of training and racing. Confidence can take someone who has done less work over the top. An athlete who has worked like a horse but lacks selfesteem and confidence can be crushed by the slightest obstruction. They were fragile to begin with and a hot day, a rain shower, a hill, even a lost water bottle, and they are toast. I once bowled with a fellow and, no, I am not regular bowler. After he got an occasional spare or strike, I heard him say to himself, “No biggie, not a big deal.” I got it. He was displaying confidence. He was expecting success and then when he got it, he told himself, “As expected.” Confidence shows and is contagious, so don’t share too much with your competition. Once you’ve hit your goal and done what you’ve expected, act like you’ve done it before. Tom Landry once told an exuberant footballer after he ran into the end zone and carried on like he had walked on the moon, “Act like you’ve been there before, son.” Whether it's the end zone, or the podium, act like you've been there before. That’s confidence.
EATING & REFUELING Eat your way to a lean physique! 5 simple strategies for burning fat and increasing your metabolism By: Dale Benedict The wait is over, no more “Hollywood” diet plans, quick fixes, secret diet shakes or pills. The answer to the underlying issue of long-term fat loss is finally here. These five simple eating strategies will help you achieve the body you’ve always dreamed of. Remember those late night infomercials that promised a thirty-pound weight loss in thirty days? This miracle also translates to 40 pounds back in 90 days. Long-term change is a gradual process, it doesn’t happen overnight. This is an eating lifestyle, not a short-term fix. Common sense should also tell you that eating is also only one small piece of the total fitness puzzle. A combination of cardiovascular exercise, strength training and proper eating must all work together for long-term fat loss. There is no quick fix, so stop looking for the easy way out. #1
EAT MORE CALORIES
Surprise, Surprise!! Low-calorie eating plans (below 1200 calories) will do more harm than help. Metabolism is the key. When the body is depleted of calories on a regular basis, it shuts down into “starvation” mode, which in turn, causes a drop in your metabolism. This drop in metabolism is created by the body breaking down it’s own muscle to be used as fuel. The choice is simple, either you eat the correct amount of calories and maintain (or increase) your current amount of muscle, or eat a low calorie diet and lose some muscle in the process. This doesn’t seem like a hard decision. The trick is to consume enough calories to keep your metabolism high, but get enough of a caloric deficit to burn fat. Just in case you are wondering, the caloric deficit is created by the simple concept of exercise (cardiovascular training, weight training, etc). #2
SLASH FAT CALORIES
Calories from fatty foods (butter, fried foods, candy, etc,.) are immediately sent to the bodies fat storage, whereas calories from other foods have to be broken down and converted into fat – a process that actually burns calories. Reduce your intake
of fatty foods by choosing the low-fat or non-fat alternatives: lean proteins like white meat, poultry, fish, and egg whites; low-fat dairy products; low-fat salad dressings; and other reduced fat items. Learn how to reduce fat in your diet by making some very simple healthy substitutions. Try a baked potato instead of French fries, skim milk for whole milk, pretzels for potato chips, frozen yogurt instead of ice cream, and grilled chicken in exchange for a cheeseburger; to name just a few. Also, rather than frying your food, why not try to broil, bake or microwave instead. #3
THINK YOUR WAY THROUGH THE CARB CONTROVERSY
There is a lot of publicity surrounding the concept of carbohydrates. These three simple strategies will help you learn the doâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s and dontâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s of carbohydrate consumption. CONCENTRATE ON NATURAL FOODS It is common knowledge that natural, unprocessed foods are used more efficiently by the body, and are less likely to be stored as body fat. Fresh vegetables, whole grain foods, and other complex, natural carbohydrates should make up the majority of your diet. The body uses these natural, complex carbohydrates to make and replenish muscle glycogen, the carbohydrate stored in the muscles and liver used to provide energy for exercise and activity. Natural foods are also rich in fiber. This fiber found in whole grains, fruits, and vegetables keeps your digestive tract healthy and free from cancer-causing substances. Refined carbohydrates have undergone too many steps in man-made processing, and are consequently not utilized very well by the body. These processed bread and pasta products (white bread and white rice) have more of a tendency to be converted into body fat. MODERATE YOUR INTAKE OF CARBS FOR FASTER FAT LOSS Carbohydrates, also known as energy foods, are a very important part of any diet. But, if you are interested in speeding up your fat loss, simply cut back slightly on your carb intake. A reduction in carb intake means your body has less glycogen to run on, so it starts burning fat instead. There is however one major drawback: fewer carbohydrates result in low energy and a cranky mood (because less glucose gets to the brain, and glucose is brain fuel). The solution is simple: include a complex carb with every meal except dinner. That way, you have the energy when you need it most, during the day for exercise and other activities. If your body and mind can tolerate it, reduce your carb consumption drastically following your mid
afternoon snack. Limiting starchy carbohydrates in the evening reduces the number of calories at dinner. Save your larger meals for breakfast and lunch. SAY “NO” TO SUGAR Sugars (honey, syrup, table sugar, brown sugar, high fructose corn syrup, to name a few) are rapidly digested into glucose, a sugar in the blood that is quickly converted into glycogen for the muscles and liver or carried in the blood to fuel the brain and muscles. Eating too much sugar at one time can cause the excess to be turned into body fat. This process is very simple to understand. Excessive sugar triggers a surge of the hormone insulin, which in turn activates certain enzymes that promote fat storage. Natural, complex or starchy carbohydrates do not cause this reaction, and are therefore less likely to be stored as fat. So if you’re interested in fighting fat, avoid excess sugar. #4 EAT ENOUGH PROTEIN An exercising body requires a sufficient amount of protein to develop and maintain muscle. During digestion, protein from your diet is broken down into amino acids, which are reshuffled back into protein to make and repair body tissues. Without the correct amount of dietary protein, a large number of the amino acids used in this rebuilding process can be used as an energy source by the body during exercise, especially intense aerobic workouts. This is the main reason why exercisers need more protein in their diets than sedentary people. Your body will get the protein it needs one way or another. If you don’t eat enough, it will automatically start to break down muscle tissue to get the amino acids required for energy. Consequently, you will end up losing valuable metabolically active muscle tissue and sabotage your fat-loss efforts. #5
EAT SEVERAL MEALS A DAY
The concept of “three square meals” is long gone. This is probably good news since most people prefer to nibble throughout the day anyway. Eating frequently during the day has several fat-burning and nutritional advantages: A higher calorie burn rate Each meal causes a temporary rise in metabolism to digest and absorb food. Eating 5-6 meals a days causes the metabolism to stay elevated more often, which in turn gives you more fat-burning potential. More energy
Frequent meals provide the body with a constant stream of energy-producing nutrients. Better absorption of nutrients Research has shown that a larger percentage of vitamins and minerals are absorbed with a series of small meals, compared to two to three large ones. Less temptation Eating five to six times per day, every three to fours hours, gives you less of an opportunity to binge on foods you shouldn’t have in the first place. This means you will never get hungry and become a victim of food cravings. It’s that simple. This eating philosophy is not Rocket Science. It does however take some time to initiate the whole process. Don’t try to change everything in a week, take it one step at a time. Don’t make any more excuses. If you really want to change, you will find the time to do what it takes. It doesn’t matter how many seminars you attend or how many books and articles you read, you yourself have to be ready to make the change and commit to a different type of lifestyle. Until this occurs, all of this information is useless. Keep this article for reference, and when you decide you are ready, re-read it and start the fat-burning process.
15 Simple Ways To Improve Your Athletic Performance By: Steve Born of Hammer Nutrition Steve's decade-plus of involvement in the sports nutrition industry, as well as nearly 15 years of independent research in nutritional fueling and supplementation, has given him unmatched familiarity with the myriad product choices available to athletes. Proper fueling of the body prior to, during, and after exercise requires personal experimentation to find the ideal fit for you, the individual athlete. There is no “one size fits all” approach; we are all “experiments of one” when it comes to fueling during exercise. You need to determine, through trial and error in your training, what works best for you. However, there are some basic guidelines that will enable you to eliminate much of the guesswork, so you can more rapidly learn how to properly fuel your body, allowing you to enjoy higher quality workouts and better race performances. Some of these recommendations may seem pretty foreign to you, especially in regards to fluid, calorie, and electrolyte replenishment during exercise, where some “experts” tell you that you need to eat and drink at or near depletion rates. Before you subscribe to and follow those suggestions, consider the words of Bill Misner, Ph.D.: The human body has so many survival safeguards by which it regulates living one more minute, that when we try too hard to fulfill all its needs we interfere, doing more harm than good. If I replace all the fuels I lose at the rate of 700–900 calories per hour, I bloat, vomit, present diarrhea, and finish the event walking or at an aid station. If I replace all the fluids lost all at once, I end up in the emergency tent with an IV for dilutional hyponatremia. If I replace all the sodium my body loses at the rate of 2 g/hour, I end up with swollen hands, eyes, ankles, feet, and noticeably labored exercise, or hypernatremia–induced bonking. At an easy aerobic pace, the rate of metabolism increases from a sedentary state to a range of 1200–2000%. As a result, the body goes into “survival mode” where blood volume is routed to working muscles, fluids are used for evaporative cooling mechanisms, and oxygen is routed to the brain, heart, and other internal organs. Interestingly, it is NOT focused on calorie, fluid, and electrolyte replacement, as some of the “experts” advise.
Pretty bold words (and warnings), indeed. The truth is that you don’t need to suffer the undesirable maladies Dr. Misner describes; they’re not a mandatory part of being an athlete. If you follow our suggestions, we believe you will not only avoid performance–ruining and potentially health–threatening consequences, you will also have much more enjoyable experiences and achieve better performances in your workouts and races. These suggestions have their roots in science and have been proven time and time again (and again and again) over the course of several years in working with endurance athletes. You have nothing to lose, and a whole lot to gain, by testing them in your training. I’m betting that the more of the following recommendations you adopt and practice in your training and racing, the fewer problems you’ll run into fueling–wise and the better your performance will be. 1. Keep fluid intake during exercise between 16–28 ounces per hour. There’s probably more misinformation on the subject of hydration than any other aspect of fueling, which is really bad because over hydration also presents the most serious physiological consequences of any fueling issue. Acute over hydration can cause hyponatremic (low sodium) induced coma and death. In general, most athletes, under most conditions, will satisfy hydration needs with a fluid intake in the range of 20–25–ounces/hour—roughly the equivalent of a standard sized small or large water bottle. Lighter athletes and/or athletes exercising in cool weather conditions may only require an intake of 16–18 ounces/ hour. Larger athletes and/or athletes exercising under very hot and humid conditions are the ones that can consider fluid intakes at the high end of that range (28 ounces/hour), perhaps even upwards of up to 30 ounces/hour on occasion. Sure, you can sweat more than that, but you cannot physiologically replace it ounce–for–ounce. Regular fluid intake over 30–34 ounces hourly really increases the potential for serious performance and health problems, so keep that in mind before you indiscriminately gulp down excessive amounts of fluid. If you override your internal mechanisms, you’ll find out the hard way how your body deals with excess water intake during intense exercise. Unless you enjoy nausea, bloating, and DNFs, forget advice like “drink to replace” or “drink even when you’re not thirsty”—it’s just plain wrong. 2. Restrict caloric intake to 280 cal/hr or less during exercise.
If you want to watch your race go down the drain fast, follow the “calories out, calories in” protocol that some “experts” recommend. Fact: your body can’t process caloric intake anywhere near your expenditure rate. Athletes who attempt to replace all the fuels they lose—which can be upwards of 700–900 calories per hour—will most likely end up with bloating, nausea, vomiting, and/or diarrhea. Sound like a good strategy to you? We didn’t think so. If you want to achieve your best performance, replenish calories in “body cooperative” amounts, allowing your fat stores to make up the difference, which they will easily do. For average–size athletes (aprox. 160 lbs) 240–280 cal/hr is a good gauge to work within, though oftentimes not even that many calories are needed. For lighter athletes, 150–180 cal/hr may be just the ticket, while larger athletes can consider hourly intakes up to 280 cal/hr, perhaps 300 cal/hr on occasion. Far too many athletes think they need to match calories out with equal amounts of calories in. They’re usually the ones on the side of the road or off the back, waiting for their stomach to stop rebelling. If you follow a more sensible caloric intake, you’ll be blowing by them, not joining them. 3. Avoid simple sugars in your fuels; use complex carbohydrates only. You’ve heard the phrase “garbage in, garbage out,” right? Guess what—simple sugars (glucose, sucrose, fructose, and dextrose) are garbage. They’re inefficient fuels for exercise, and they’re health hazards when consumed regularly in typical dietary quantities. They have no place in your body. This leads to the question, “Why do companies include these types of sugars in their products?” Most likely because simple sugars are cheap, they sweeten the product, and they allow the label to read, “Packed with XX carbs per serving.” But just look at the side panel to find out what you’re really getting. Simple sugars give you energy peaks and crashes, and they also have a severe limitation on absorption. They need to be mixed in weak concentrations for efficient digestion, which means you can only intake about 100 cal/hr. You can consume more, but you can’t absorb more. You’ll only get sick trying. Complex carbohydrates, however, absorb at about three times the rate as simple sugars. That covers the 280 cal/hr maximum we just mentioned. Plus you get smooth, steady, reliable energy–no peaks and valleys. Yes, complex carbohydrates do contain, as
part of their naturally occurring structure, a small percentage of 1– or 2–chain sugars. There’s a big difference, however, regarding how your body responds to these sugars when they are “part of the whole” rather than when they’re isolated and added to a product as a separate ingredient… big difference. As far as the fairly recent “multiple carbohydrates” studies are concerned—the research that found that a blend of carbohydrates increased oxidation rates, indicating higher energy production—take a closer look at the studies before you jump on the bandwagon. What you’ll notice is that most of the studies’ subjects (cyclists) exercised at low intensity, only 50–55% maximum power output, which I think we’d all agree is very much a recovery pace, if that. To be blunt, at a leisurely 50% VO2 Max pace, athletes can digest cheeseburgers and pizza with no gastric issues. So the issue isn’t whether the results of these published studies are disputable, but rather if they apply to faster paced, longer duration bouts of exercise. We do not believe this to be the case, which is why we do not recommend the use of multiple carbohydrate sources during exercise. Look, we’re not going into a long physiology lesson now; we just want to save your body, your health, and your performance. If you take the “garbage in, garbage out” concept with any seriousness you’ll avoid the glucose/sucrose/fructose/ dextrose products and stick with complex carbohydrate fuels. 4. Exercise in the 2–3+ hour range requires protein, too. Carbs alone won’t satisfy all of your energy requirements once you exceed two hours or so. Protein will have to satisfy roughly 10% of your energy requirements. You have two choices: 1.
Use a fuel such as Sustained Energy or Perpetuem that contains both complex carbohydrates and soy protein. 2. Allow your body to literally feed upon itself (that is, digest your own muscle tissue) to make fuel. Did you pick #1? Good call! 5. Use soy, not whey, during exercise. Whey protein is a superb protein when it’s used at the right time: after exercise. Do not use it before or during because the added glutamine quickly degrades to
produce ammonia. Ammonia build–up is a primary culprit in muscle fatigue, and you’re already producing ammonia when you exercise. Don’t make it worse. Now, there is some confusion regarding glutamine and ammonia that we’ll clear up. Yes, glutamine does eventually scavenge ammonia. The key word, however, is “eventually.” When glutamine metabolizes it increases ammonia initially, but then scavenges more than originally induced systemically, taking approximately three hours or so for it to accomplish this. Again, since you’re already producing ammonia during endurance exercise and since ammonia is a primary culprit in fatigue, it seems logical that you’d not want to increase ammonia levels. However, that’s exactly what you’ll do when you consume glutamine supplements or glutamine–enhanced whey protein during exercise. Soy or rice gives you the protein you need with minimal extra ammonia production. After exercise, when ammonia production is not an issue, glutamine– enhanced whey protein is great for immune system boosting, muscle tissue rebuilding, and enhanced glycogen synthesis. 6. Use liquid fuels as your main energy source, even during prolonged training and races. There’s nothing wrong with consuming a little solid food on occasion during prolonged exercise as a pleasant diversion from the monotony of liquid fuel consumption, but you must: • Make wise choices. Choose foods that have little or no refined sugar and saturated fats. Don’t think, “I’m a calorie burning machine so I can eat anything that I want.” What you put in your body greatly determines what you get out of it. • Remember: garbage in, garbage out! • Make solid food consumption the exception, not the rule. Solid food is harder to digest than liquid, and it requires more time, water, and electrolytes. Relying too heavily on solid foods can leave you feeling lethargic, bloated, and nauseated. Liquid fuels digest and absorb readily, so you avoid those unwanted maladies. Most of all, avoid all junk foods, which contain lots of saturated fats and refined sugars, at all times. Believe me, when the latter stages of the race are upon you, you’ll be thanking yourself that you took a pass on that sugar & fat laden pastry earlier in the race.
7. Remember to replenish electrolytes during exercise. You can get your energy fuels (“gasoline”) dialed in right, but if you neglect the electrolytes (“oil”), the dash light comes on–except your body doesn’t have a dash light. Instead, you get cramps, spasms, muscle revolt, irregular and rapid heartbeat, and major bonk. Don’t wait for the light to come on; those are the final symptoms of increasing impairment. If you don’t respond well before your body’s oil light comes on, you can pretty much kiss optimal performance, and probably the whole race, goodbye. 8. Don’t rely on salt tablets to fulfill electrolyte requirements. •
“Electrolyte replenishment” does not mean “sodium or salt replenishment.” Sodium chloride (a.k.a. “salt”) is indeed an important component of electrolyte replenishment but it does not fulfill the entire requirements. Calcium, magnesium, and potassium should be replenished as well as all these minerals play key roles in the maintenance of many important body functions. Most of us obtain more than enough salt from our daily diet and most athletes have a reservoir of upwards of 8,000 – 10,000 mg stored in body tissues. In other words, when you start your race you’ll most likely be doing so with a huge reserve of sodium chloride “on board.” Keep in mind that “too much” can have as many performance inhibiting–to– ruining consequences as “not enough.” Over the years we have observed that far too many athletes “over salt” their bodies during exercise, with a variety of maladies such as bloating, water retention (edema–like symptoms), and stomach distress being the usual and undesirable outcome.
When it comes to sodium/salt replenishment the key is to provide an appropriate dose to support the maintenance of normal body functions without overwhelming the body with too much, which will override and neutralize those mechanisms. How much salt is enough? Electrolyte depletion is widely variable—you can’t rely on a “one–size fits all” bottled drink or drink mix. You need to experiment and find your own range for any given weather condition and duration of exercise. That being said, 200–400 mg of sodium chloride (salt) per hour, as part of a full spectrum electrolyte replenishment product, is a good starting point for most athletes under most conditions. That’s the amount you’ll receive in 2–4 capsules of Endurolytes or approximately 1–1.5 tablets of Endurolytes Fizz. Certainly there
will be occasions when 100–200 mg of salt will be completely adequate; on hot– weather workouts or races, it may be necessary to consume 500–600 mg/hr. 9. Don’t use any new supplement or fuel, or supplement/fueling protocol, in a race without having first tested it in training. This is a cardinal rule for all athletes, yet you’d be amazed how many break it. Unless you’re absolutely desperate and willing to accept the consequences, do not try anything new in competition, be it equipment, fuel, or tactics. These all must be tested and refined in training. Because all Hammer Nutrition fuels are specific and formulated to easily combine with one another, you have all the flexibility you need to ensure that you can tailor a fueling program for any length of race, regardless of conditions. You’ll never have to guess or try something off the table in hopes of trying to keep going another hour. 10. Be flexible with your fuel consumption during a race, keeping in mind that what may have worked in training may not be appropriate under race conditions. Caloric intakes that worked during training may not be appropriate during a race; you may need to consume slightly less in a race than you did during training. Why? Increased anxiety, increased pace, and increased potential for dehydration all contribute to the possibility of a less–than–optimally functioning digestive system. In addition, at the increased pace during a race, more blood is diverted from digestion and directed toward maintaining muscle performance. When you get to the race it’s great to have a caloric “game plan” in place, but don’t be a slave to it. You may need to alter that game plan (which may mean a slightly lower hourly intake of calories) to accommodate the possibility of a less–than– optimal digestive system. 11. Replenish your body with carbohydrates and protein as soon as possible after each exercise session. Here’s a statement to remember: “When you’re done training, you’re not done training, at least not until you’ve put some fuel back into the body.” Equally important as your workout (muscle exhaustion and nutrient depletion) is what you do immediately following your workout (muscle repair and nutrient
replenishment). If you neglect to refill the tank, you’ll never get the full value out of all the work you just put in… and what a waste that would be. Increased fitness simply won’t happen, at least not efficiently or effectively, if you ignore your body’s cries for fuel replenishment. Give your body what it needs immediately after exercise, when it’s most receptive to replenishment, and it will respond wonderfully—recovering faster, efficiently adapting to physical stress, and “learning” how to store more and more readily available fuel in the muscles. An ideal and easy–to–use post–workout fuel is Recoverite, with its 3:1 ratio of complex carbohydrates and protein. Mix a couple of scoops with water, drink, you’re done… simple. You’ve just put the best “finishing touches” on your workout that you possibly could, and you’ve given your body a great head start on tomorrow’s workout. 12. Don’t over–consume food the night before the race in the hopes of “carbo loading.” It would be nice if you could maximize muscle glycogen stores the night before the race, but human physiology doesn’t work that way. Increasing and maximizing muscle glycogen stores takes many weeks of consistent training and post–workout fuel replenishment. Excess consumed carbohydrates are only going to be eliminated or stored as body fats (dead weight), so don’t go overboard during those pre–race pasta feeds. Eat until you’re satisfied, but not more. 13. For workouts and races over 60 minutes in length, finish pre–exercise food or fuel three hours prior to the start. Let’s assume you’ve been really good—you’ve been training hard (yet wisely) and remembering to replenish your body with adequate amounts of high quality calories as soon as possible after each and every one of your workouts. Great! You’ve now built up a nice 60–90 minute reservoir of premium muscle glycogen, the first fuel your body will use when your long race begins. Don’t blow it now by eating something an hour or two prior to the start of the race! Do you know what happens when you eat within three hours of exercise? Your muscle glycogen stores get burned much more rapidly… in long–duration events that’s definitely not performance enhancing! For workouts and races lasting longer than 60 minutes (perhaps up to 90 minutes at the most), refraining from calorie
consumption for the three–hour period prior to the start is crucial because you want to preserve your glycogen stores, not accelerate their depletion. During shorter–distance workouts and races, however, accelerated rates of glycogen depletion/utilization are not problematic so following the “three hour rule” isn’t a necessity. You don’t need the calories for energy (muscle glycogen stores will take care of the majority of that), but the presence of carbohydrates will elevate glycogen utilization. That’s what you want for a short race. If you eat something 1–2 hours prior to the start of a short–duration race, thus causing the insulin “flood gates” to open, yes, you will be depleting your glycogen stores at maximum rates. However, at this distance it’s a beneficial effect, as glycogen depletion is not an issue when the workout or race is over within, at most, 90 minutes. Bottom line: Fast three hours prior to the start of a longer–duration event (60–90+ minutes). For shorter events, consuming a small amount of fuel an hour to two prior to the start may enhance performance. 14. Don’t sacrifice sleep to eat a pre–exercise meal. OK, you’re convinced that it’s a good idea to eat at least three hours prior to the start of your workout or race. “But wait,” you say. “My race starts at 7 a.m. Are you telling me I have to get up at 3 a.m. or so just to eat?” Well, you could get up to eat if you’re so inclined, but you don’t have to. The fuel you’ve got stored in the muscles? It’s going to be there, full strength, even after a night–long fast (really). In the morning your brain may be saying, “I’m hungry,” but your muscles are saying, “Hey, we’re good to go.” Bottom line: do not sacrifice sleep just to eat. If you’ve got an early morning workout or race, the best strategy is: Eat a high quality meal the night before (topping off liver glycogen stores) Get an adequate amount of sleep Have 100–200 calories of easily digested fuel (Hammer Gel is ideal) 5–10 minutes prior to the start of the race That’s right, 5–10 minutes prior, not one or two hours prior. The key, in terms of muscle glycogen depletion rates, is in the timing. If you must eat before the start of your workout or race, you need to complete consumption three hours prior. If that’s • • •
not logistically feasible, have a little something 5–10 minutes prior. Do that and you won’t expend your hard–earned glycogen too rapidly. 15. Consume appropriate amounts of high quality food for your pre–exercise meal. The goal of the pre–race meal is to top off your liver glycogen, which has been depleted during your sleep. Believe it or not, to accomplish this you don’t need to eat 600, 800, or 1000 calories or more, as some would have you believe. A pre– exercise meal of 200–400 calories – comprised of complex carbohydrates, perhaps a small amount of soy or rice protein, and little or no fiber or fat, and consumed three hours prior to the start of the workout or race – is quite sufficient. You can’t add anything to muscle glycogen stores at this time (you’ll just be topping off liver glycogen stores), so stuffing yourself is counterproductive, especially if you’ve got an early morning workout or race.
Injury Prevention • •
Running HURTS, but it doesn’t have to Cross-training (Strength Training)
Running Hurts, There, I said it! By: Rob Gentile While running can hurt, it does not need to be painful. What is the difference? For our discussion, HURT relates to the struggle to push your body to do things farther and harder than you are used to. PAIN relates to the signs and symptoms relating to breakdown, damage, and injury. Running 10 miles for the first time hurts, and it makes us smile a little when we are done. Tearing a calf muscle causes us pain, and makes your Physical Therapist smile a little when you come for treatment (they are a strange group). Starting any new exercise program requires a certain amount of attention to the body for signs and signals relating to the start of an injury. Prevention is the best method for running pain free. If the problem cannot be prevented, then quick identification of the injury and early, appropriate treatment is the key to staying on schedule and running safely. Let’s start with Prevention: Like any machine, the body is required to use an incredible number of moving parts. This includes joints, muscles, ligaments, and tendons all working together in a controlled fall we call running. But BETTER than a machine, the body is amazing at adapting to changes around it. Too cold? Blood is rushes to the area to warm it up. Too hot? Perspiration on the skin evaporates to cool us off. Hamstrings tight? Shorten the running stride. Hips a little weak? Lean more from side to side to vault over the leg while running. Some of these adaptations are
helpful (sweating) and some may be a problem (tight hamstrings). Tight muscles or weak areas may not be an issue while sitting at a desk all day, but may become more trouble when you start adding several thousand more steps to your week with a running program. That is when wear and tear can build and lead to injury. Preventing wear and tear injuries may be as simple as having a gentle, full body warm up followed by a general stretching program incorporated into each work out. Stretching is easy and takes only a little bit of time everyday. And it may very well be the single most important thing to prevent injury in new runners. Some may say you have to stretch before a workout; some may say you have to stretch after you workout. This manual is going to tell you it does not matter. Just like the world famous fitness tagline, you need to “Just Do It”. Before… after… during… doesn’t matter. Just Do It. And when you do it, do it gently – no bouncing. Hold it long enough – at least 30 seconds at a time and get it done. There are many ways to stretch the main muscle groups, and after caring for runners for the last 17 years, here are the top three stretches. Each is held for 30 seconds and repeated 3 times. A long, gentle stretch is the best. Quick, ballistic (or bouncy) stretches cause more harm then good. And finally, stretches should never be painful. They may be uncomfortable, and may never be your favorite thing to do, but they should not be painful.And here they are:
The Calf Stretch:
The Hamstring Stretch:
The Piriformis Stretch:
Prevention may also include CROSS TRAINING. It means incorporating different muscle groups at different intensity levels to reduce the risk of injury. New research shows better over all athletic performance and decreased risk of injury can be had when specific sport training (getting ready for a marathon) is complimented with different activities, working different muscle groups (riding a bike to give the running specific muscles a break). Prevention may also include help from a Physical Therapist, or other qualified health professional, to identify problems with your machine prior to getting into a running program. Consider it like a tune-up for your car before a long drive on vacation. Maybe you have a flexibility issue somewhere, or weakness you did not know about. Maybe you have TOO much flexibility and you may benefit from stability exercises. These are problems better identified prior to a running program, before the pain starts. This is why, all fitness programs start with the old favorite, â&#x20AC;&#x153;please consult with your health care professional prior to starting a vigorous activity.â&#x20AC;? Here is where I put in the shameless plug for a visit to your
friendly, neighborhood Physical Therapist prior to getting into the running program. We can identify those mechanical issues now, before they become a problem later. Early attention leads to early intervention, keeping you on track to your goals. Plenty of HURT, but no PAIN!! Ok. Prevention did not work. Let’s look at some of the more common injury prone areas. First, let’s talk DOMS, or Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness. This feels like damage. It is definitely some kind of pain. Why would anything that is supposed to be good for me, hurt this bad? DOMS is the onset of pain and aching in the muscles after starting a new exercise activity. It usually sets in about 24 hours after the workout (up to 48 hours for us older folks) and it hurts to use the muscles in questions. Sitting down hurts. Standing up hurts. And let’s not even talk about going up or down steps! And it is all perfectly normal! It will go away. Always. It may take a few days, but it will get better. Staying active during this period is usually recommended, and medications will not usually help. Remember, it gets better and. And as long as you continue to train, it will not come back. The most common complaint in the clinic, requiring attention, would be pain in the arch of the foot and into the heel. Often called Plantar Fasciitis, most runners will complain of pain first thing in the morning, making it difficult to take those first few steps out of bed. Symptoms usually get better as the day goes on and this problem responds well to ice and stretching of the calf muscles. Assessing your running shoes for excessive wear and tear is also important. If you have more than 400 miles of activity on your shoes, it may be time to retire them to garden or yard work and move to a new pair of running shoes. If the pain continues to get worse in spite of these changes, a trip to your Physical Therapist may be in order. He can look in more detail at your running mechanics, your foot strength and mobility, as well as make recommendations for your shoes and shoe inserts. Another common complaint relates to pain in the front of the lower leg, or Shin Splints. This pain starts after the first few minutes of running and continues to get worse until most people will have to stop. This pain can almost always be related to a sudden or drastic change in activity level. You know, trying to run ten miles after sitting on the couch for the last six months. Or more likely, adding too many miles at too high of intensity too quickly. This is why the Running Program is
vitally important, especially to new runners. It is designed to gradually build your tolerance towards your goals, minimizing the risk for injury from overtraining. If the pain continues to get worse, your PT may look at your shoe condition, ankle flexibility and mobility, as well as an assessment of the arch of the foot and the need for inserts or orthotics. Left untreated, Shin Splints can turn in to a Stress Reaction followed be a Stress Fracture. This will require you to take time off from running until your Doctor (MD) has released you and it could take anywhere from 6-8 weeks to heal. So letâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not go there. If shin pain has not started to ease after the first week of a new training session, even with ice and over the counter pain medicine, make sure you get it looked at before it becomes a problem. The knee is not immune either. Runners will complain about several parts of the knee. The most common problem is on the outside of the knee joint where a tendon called the Iliotibial Band (ITB) connects. This area becomes problematic with overuse and the outside of the knee becomes more painful as you continue to run. This is one of those conditions that may be a result of poor biomechanics such as a flexibility problem in the foot or ankle, weakness in the hip, poor hamstring flexibility or weak core muscles. None of which are easy to identify (unless you have gone to your friendly, neighborhood PT!) This pain is treatable, and the quicker the better. Very often, the ITB is a symptom of long standing mechanical problems, but does not turn its ugly head until you start to run (or bike, or swim) and it may require help to get over if ice and anti-inflammatories do not help. The other major areas are the low back and hips. The pain can be sharp in the area of the back pocket (sacroiliac joint or piriformis) or on the outside of the hip (bursitis, tendonitis) or it can be a dull ache, radiating down the back of the thigh (sciatica). All of these should resolve after a day or two of rest, ice and antiinflammatories. Anything longer should be attended to fairly quickly. Again, the joints in the hip and low back are sensitive to problems lower in the chain. Imagine going to work, and your entire office is out sick. Being a good soldier, you can manage to keep things afloat for awhile, but after so long, you grow tired of the strain and you finally break. The low back is the same. The body does an amazing job of adapting to changes in flexibility and strength, but after a time, breakdown can occur. There are multiple joints and muscles in the low back and they all will eventually grow tired of compensating for something down below. If prevention was not on the schedule prior to the pain, then quick intervention is
important now. If treated early, biomechanical low back or hip pain can be eliminated in as fast as 1-2 sessions. If left to its own devices, this pain will eventually stop you from running and may begin to affect your daily routine. Prevention is key, but quick intervention is crucial to a rapid resolve of your symptoms. Finally, we have laid out several possible injuries but there is no way we have listed every possibility. If you have any questions at all, please talk to your training staff, your PT or your doctor. Unfortunately, there are times where you may need to see a healthcare professional, take some time off, and heal. But with a great training program run by experts (got that here), preventative care available from your PT (shameless plug for Rgentile@kort.com ), and a little motivation to get off of the couch, you should be ready to get in great shape and maybe even compete in a race or two! Good luck and good training. Andâ&#x20AC;Śof course it hurts. Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s why we are smiling!
What exactly is Cross-training and how will it help me? By: Dale Benedict I am so glad you asked. Cross-training is a very important tool that when utilized properly can reduce the risk of injury and help you become a better runner. Any type of cardiovascular, strength or flexibility activity can be considered crosstraining. The concept is simple, find an activity that gives your body a break from the same repetitive motion day in and day out. For a runner that translates to an activity that gives your running muscles and joints a break. Let’s think about that for a minute. Under this specific definition, would trail running be considered cross-training? No, it would not, because the same muscles are used in a similar fashion and your joints are still under constant pressure (maybe not as much as the asphalt, but still being stressed). A better alternative would be yoga, swimming, cycling and/or strength training. All of these examples will help you stay in shape and give your joints that much needed break, but one activity can give some additional benefits that may make it seem like a better choice. Drum roll, please. The answer is strength training. Before we get into the specifics regarding strength training, let’s cover the ideology of strength training and what it means to the endurance athlete. METABOLISM The concept of strength training begins at the cellular level with metabolism. Increased muscle mass directly correlates to an increased metabolism, a major component of daily energy expenditure, which in turn complements aerobic exercise for weight control. This increased metabolism theoretically will drop your body fat percentage, turning you into a leaner and more efficient athlete. I say “theoretically” because this also comes with the assumption that you are eating correctly with proper amounts of protein in your diet.
FUNCTIONAL STRENGTH Functional strength for the endurance athlete translates to exercises and programs that specifically address the sport of running. Functional strength deficiencies can be addressed several different ways, through sport-specific weight training routines, via sport-specific high intensity interval training, or with structured sport specific plyometric workouts. It is good practice to include bits and pieces of all these routines into your periodized off-season strength-training program. INJURY PREVENTION/FLEXIBILITY The physiologic benefits associated with resistance training include increases in bone mass, muscular strength and strength of connective tissue. These benefits can reduce the risk of injury by improving mobility, strengthening ligaments and tendons around joints, and/or eliminating muscle weaknesses and imbalances. Common overuse injuries can often be tracked back to some type of flexibility issue. Limited flexibility decreases the range of motion therefore restricting and delaying progress with muscular development. Spend at least 15 minutes everyday stretching out your problem areas. It is also good practice to stretch after every workout as well. As you can see, strength training is no longer just about getting stronger, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s about getting leaner, becoming functionally stronger, preventing injury and staying flexible. The overall concept of strength training can be very complicated and intimating for the average person. Please take the time to seek out a qualified professional that has experience designing and developing sport specific programs. The initial investment involved with learning proper form and technique by hiring a professional is worth it in the long run.
Functional Programming Planning/Designing your running season • • •
Thinking Ahead Your Running Inventory Racing Tips/Checklist
Running form/technique • • • •
Chi running To Monitor or Not to Monitor! Kickstart your running relationship The Run/Walk methodology
Thinking Ahead – Failing to Plan is planning to fail (yikes, that sounds corny) By: Larry Holt Some three to four months before your race date is the time to get your ducks in a row for your event. Sit down with a calendar, pencil, paper and beverage of choice to outline the schematics of your marathon or half marathon? This won’t take long — so turn up the music and lock the door. First, let’s get in the most essential ingredient. If you have 16 weeks good — that’s optimal. While it’s not required to have eight long runs, it's a good goal. "Long runs" build up for marathoners starting at 90 minutes. Add about 10 to 15 minutes every-other week. On the off-weeks, step the long run down a bit. Put these on the calendar so they are reserved. Only death (yourself or close family/friend) can keep you from it. It's okay if you need to swap days here and there, just make sure the run happens. Your body doesn't know if it's Sunday or Tuesday — but it'll know you skipped a run at mile 15, that's for sure. Next, set yourself up weekly templates. These are the more flexible, but important, plans for the week during each month of training. Let’s say for the first month, the plan is 30 miles per week. Then we need a template of that week, possibly two, if one of the weeks includes the long run. Week one: Monday - easy 35 minutes (4 miles) Tuesday - pace run 45 min (6 miles) Wednesday - off Thursday - easy 35 minutes (4 miles) Friday - off Saturday - steady pace run 32 minutes (4 miles) Sunday - 80 minutes (9 to 10 miles) Week two: Monday - easy 35 minutes (4 miles) Tuesday - pace run 45 min (6 miles) Wednesday - off Thursday - easy 50 minutes (6 miles) Friday - off Saturday - steady pace run 32 minutes (4 miles)
Sunday - 60 minutes, desired marathon pace (7 miles) Subsequent weeks would build from here, using the above as your basic recipe or template. Also, if you have the week to play with, it’s nice to put a week of “down but not out” in the middle of the process. It's just nice to have a break. The reason we like this ratio or proportionate approach is that it allows for flexibility. The world isn’t ruined because of an unplanned piano recital or unannounced pesky in-law visits. We can easily make day-to-day adjustments and remain on track. Other considerations we might want to look at and also pencil in to remind us are: Footwear changes, replace training shoes about every 400 miles. Increase carbohydrate intake about six weeks into training. Try using new energy and electrolyte drinks during long runs. All marathons have them on course, so you should work them into training. Check the race website for specifics about what will be on the course. • Add two days a week of cross-training or multisport to reduce chances of injury.(Lift, bike, swim.) • Get that heart rate monitor and learn how to use it so you stay within yourself on some runs and push yourself on others. • Meet the gang for Saturdays run and has coffee. • • •
Now you can unlock the door and let the family in. The plan is in and you’re ready to accept the assignment. Happy Trails
Your Running Inventory By: Larry Holt In order to be prepared for your running season you need to be properly inventoried. Are you? Here are the arguable departments of inventory you may want to possess before stepping into racing season. • Hill Training — long hills/ short hills • Tempo (pace work) • Track (speed work, faster than race pace) • Long Runs (slower than race pace) • Maintenance Mileage • Cross-training • Nutrition • Rest/Recovery • Equipment Those ingredients are almost universally accepted. What aren’t universal are the amounts or ratios of each. This is what you spend years formulating. You become an expert — the world’s best expert — on yourself. Sit down sometime real soon and take an inventory. Old running journals might help you to see what has worked well before. For instance, hill work my chronically cause hip pain, so you would leave that out. A sample recipe of the above inventory might be: Week one, first cycle of a three-cycle build up: Hill repeats 10 X 1 min 4 basic run easy days Track work 6 X 800 meters @ 5k pace 400 meter recoveries Cross-train twice 45 min So you see there are many combinations of the ingredients and that is the magic of the mixture. That is where experience and self-awareness comes in. Sometimes even an outside more objective observer (coach) can help. Now you’ve sat down at the kitchen table and determined your template of a workout week. Keeping in mind periodization, which is nothing more than a systematic arrangement of hard work and hard rest, you can see what needs to be done at different points of the period.
That template will vary through the season, increasing some inventory items and decreasing others. We donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t need the same inventory for a 5k early season race as we do a half marathon mid-season race. Just like a business needs different inventory for different seasons ,so does an athlete/runner need different tools depending on the task. Many of us get into a rut and attack each season with the same tools. Our bodies respond to stress differently as the stress differentiates. Plan for this and see what inventory you need to best meet the occasion. Be prepared and ahead of the game.
Racing Tips/Checklist By: Dale Benedict Countdown To The Big Race Preparing for a race is at the same time both simple and complex. The simple part is the training. If you follow any reasonable schedule for several months, you’ll probably get yourself in shape for the distance. Putting all the other pieces in place, on the other hand. Often amounts to a considerable challenge. You have to eat right, get enough sleep, avoid injuries and colds, pick a great race, travel perhaps to a strange city, and then negotiate all the ins and outs of number pickup, meals, getting to the start on time, and so on. Race morning, by itself, is often a graduate level course in logistics and deployment. With all these things to consider, it helps to have a plan and a checklist. That is the purpose of this section. Here is everything that you have to think about and how to handle it. The race is a gamble. Over its vast distance and time, anything can happen, you can’t control the weather or the course. So, the object of the game is to focus on those things that you can control. We’re not just talking about long runs and pasta. The wellprepared runner looks after every detail of proper physical and mental training, nutrition, hydration, clothing, and equipment. In the last three days before your race, you should focus on these matters even more as you fine-tune your training and your diet and pull all the last minute details of your race in order. In general, you shouldn’t introduce new elements into your training or – if possible – into your life during these last three days. To help you with your final preparation for the race, here’s a daily checklist of things that you should do in the last three days prior to your race. Day 3 This is a good time to make a list of clothing and equipment that you’ll need to take with you to the marathon such as petroleum jelly, tape, extra shoelaces, a key holder, plastic garbage bags in case it rains, and recovery foods (gels). Purchase any items you need now. • Are you obsessing about carbo-loading? Contrary to popular belief, if you have followed a high-carbohydrate training diet, you don’t need to change your pattern very much these last few days before the race. You may want to increase your carb intake by roughly 10 percent by eating extra servings of bread, fruit, pasta, or rice. Vary your diet, but don’t add unfamiliar foods. •
Don’t worry if you gain a few pounds between now and the race. It’s extra water and carbohydrates that you’ll need for the race
Day 2 If friends or family have come to watch you race, make arrangements to meet them near the finish. • The food you eat today will help you more in the race than the food you’ll eat tomorrow. Keep up your pattern of ample carbohydrates and fluids. And especially now, don’t try anything new or exotic. • Race-day weather forecasts should be detailed and accurate at this point. Plan your race day outfit, and if you need any last minute items, visit the marathon expo. Pick up your race packet as early as possible to avoid the last minute rush and carefully read all the instructions. •
Day 1 Lay out everything that you plan to wear or bring to the start: racing singlet and shorts, tights and a short- or long-sleeved shirt if appropriate, rain suit, whatever you will need. Pack a separate set of warm, dry clothes for the finish. Your equipment should include your bag, running number, extra shoelaces, safety pins, car key, beverages, and food for before and after, petroleum jelly (to prevent chafing), sunscreen, headset, and garbage bag in case of rain. • Other details: Make fail-safe plans to get to the start and meet someone at the finish. Have a backup plan for every possible disaster. Go to sleep confident that nothing stands between you and getting to the starting line feeling calm, strong, and ready to go. • Race-related anxiety dreams such as missing the start, losing your shoes, or running the wrong course are common. So don’t worry if you don’t sleep well. If you’re generally well rested, one night’s poor sleep won’t hurt you. •
Race day • Keep warm and comfortable until the last possible minute before the race. Many runners wear old sweats to the start and discard them just before the gun. Otherwise standing around in the cold can cramp your muscles. Apply petroleum jelly to areas likely to chafe, such as underarms, nipples, and inner thighs. Mark your bag so you can find it easily at the finish. During the race, discard layers if you feel too warm, or you’ll lose precious fluids through perspiration. Keep extremities covered if it’s cold.
Warm-up: It’s not necessary to warm up extensively, but try to do some walking and a few minutes of jogging to loosen your legs and raise your body temperature. • Racing: Running a successful race is an exercise in holding back. Ideally, the hard work shouldn’t begin until the two thirds of the race is over. Then your training and willpower will get you to the finish. During the race, remain calm and focused. Note your splits, and take encouragement from a steady pace early on, even if others are passing you. Break the race into segments, and work through each part rather than attack the full distance. • Don’t eat or drink anything on the course that you haven’t tried in training. If you do, you may suffer digestive woes. Take water early and often. If you feel cramps or stomach upset en route, walk until the problems lessen. • When you come through the finish line, keep walking and take fluids right away. Pat yourself on the back – you made it. Find your friends and family and go celebrate. •
RUNNING FORM/TECHNIQUE ChiRunning: Let Gravity Do The Work By: Steve Kissel Imagine running without using your lower leg muscles to propel you forward. Imagine how much better your legs will feel afterwards by running with your lower leg and feet muscles relaxed and gravity doing most of the work. This is what ChiRunning teaches you to do. ChiRunning is a running style developed by ultra-marathoner Danny Dreyer. ChiRunning uses the principles of Tai Chi to create a more efficient and effortless form of running by teaching you to cooperate with the pull of gravity. ChiRunning also teaches you to cooperate with the force of the road coming at you, be receptive to that force instead of meeting it head on. This allows you to run with your lower legs relaxed and reduces impact thus greatly reducing the chance of injury. The four main components of the ChiRunning form are postural alignment, leaning from the ankles, lifting the feet/ankles and your arm swing. Alignment and relaxation are the key. Aligning your posture in a straight line through your shoulders, hips and ankles allows your body weight to be supported by your structure keeping your muscles relaxed. Maintaining alignment and relaxation while leaning forward from the ankles (not your waist) allows gravity to propel you forward. Your legs and feet will simply provide support for you as gravity pulls you down the road. Your lean is your gas pedal. This is what determines how fast you go. If you want to run faster, lean more. If you want to slow down, lean less. It is important to maintain your alignment as you lean from the ankles while keeping the lower legs and feet relaxed. As you lean more to go faster you need to be able to relax your legs and feet more. This is unlike power running from an upright position where you work your leg muscles more to go faster. It is important to find that balance spot with your lean where you are not so upright that you have to push yourself forward with your legs but not leaning too much that you are holding your angle by tensing your lower legs.
ChiRunning greatly reduces impact each time your foot strikes the ground which reduces the chance of injury. Maintaining good postural alignment and leaning from the ankles minimizes this impact. Your feet contact the ground underneath or slightly behind the hips from the leaned position. This allows your feet to strike the ground while moving to the rear in the same direction as the road passing underneath. Running upright and striking the ground in front of the hips results in meeting the force of the road head on, increasing impact and increasing the chance of injury. This is also inefficient in that every time your foot strikes the ground in front of your hips, the resulting jarring impact is like momentarily putting the brakes on. Your foot strike should be in the mid-foot position just behind the ball of the foot. Landing on your heel increases impact and landing on the ball of your foot overworks the lower leg muscles. Each time your foot strikes the ground all you have to do is pick up your foot to keep up with your forward fall. It takes much less energy to pick up your foot than it does to push your body forward, which is what you do if you run in an upright position. Arm swing is also an important element of ChiRunning. If your arms are not swinging enough, your lower body will have to work harder and you will tire more quickly. Your arm swing provides counterbalance to your lean and also provides stability in the upper body resulting in a more efficient leg swing and stride length. Your arms should be relaxed with elbows bent 90 degrees. Your arm swing should be to the rear and then relax to return to the forward position. Pumping your arms by flexing and straightening at the elbows will waste energy and possibly bring you out of your lean to an upright position. Following are some drills you can do to practice your ChiRunning techniques: Postural Alignment and Lean - Align your posture to envision a straight line through your shoulders, hips and ankles. Relax all the muscles in your legs, especially from the knees down. Lean forward slightly from the ankles. Your body will begin to fall forward and down. Keep your lower legs relaxed. Instinctively you will pick up one foot and move it forward for momentary support to keep from falling on your face. As you maintain your alignment and lean you will continue to fall forward over that foot and will need to pick up the other foot to move it forward for momentary support. Continue to alternate picking up one foot and then the other to keep up with your fall.
Foot/Ankle Lift - Stand in a staggered stance position and transfer your weight to your forward foot. While transferring your weight to the forward foot, simply lift your back foot while keeping your knee low. Walk a few steps with this same lifting action as you transfer your weight to the forward foot. You should not feel any pushing off the back foot or pressure through the ball of the foot - only a slight lift of your ankle as your lower leg muscles stay relaxed and your toes dangle below your heels. Arm Swing - Stand in a staggered stance position. With arms straight, extend both arms to the rear and relax to let them swing forward at the same time. Pick up the speed to a running cadence and focus on relaxing them forward. Now bend both elbows to 90 degrees and continue the back-relax swinging motion of both arms at the same time. Notice how much easier it is to swing the arms with the elbows bent - shortening the pendulum. Now alternate the arm swing to a running motion, one arm back at a time and continue to focus on the back-relax swinging motion. Begin Running - Now put the components together. Check your postural alignment of your shoulders, hips and ankles. Drop your focus to your lower legs and feet relaxed and balanced. Bend your elbows to 90 degrees and begin your alternating arm swing with the focus on the back-relax swinging motion. Now relax into your lean from the ankles - feel gravity begin to pull you forward and down. As you fall forward pick up your feet to keep up with your fall. Remember to lift your feet/ ankles and do not push yourself forward. Start with a short stride and feel your feet land under or slightly behind your hips. Lean a little more to go faster and a little less to go slower. Alternate between leaning a little more and a little less. The benefits of ChiRunning are obvious. Your running will be more efficient and effortless by eliminating wasted motion and allowing gravity to work for you. The chance of injury is also greatly reduced by minimizing impact and not overworking muscles in the lower legs and feet. ChiRunning creates a safe and effective running form that you can enjoy for a lifetime.
To monitor, or not to monitor The questions surrounding Heart rate training By: Dale Benedict Heart rate training is a systematic method for getting the most out of every workout. Whether your goal is to improve cardiovascular fitness or to stay in the fat-burn zone for weight loss, all of this can be achieved through heart rate training. Some consider the heart rate monitor the single most important piece of exercise equipment ever invented. This very simple apparatus can change your training forever. The purpose of this article is to answer some of the myths or misconceptions associated with heart rate training. What is a heart rate monitor? The monitor is made up of two pieces, a chest transmitter and a wrist receiver. The chest transmitter is placed against the skin around your chest, just below the chest muscles. This transmitter detects your heart rate continuously and transmits this signal to the wrist receiver. The receiver then converts this signal into data that represents the number of times your heart is beating each minute. Heart rate monitors vary in price from $60 to over $300. The amount of money spent is directly related to the number of features. One feature that I would highly recommend is the concept of the high and low limit alarm. When set properly, this feature will beep when you exercise above or below your specific zone. Once the watch is set all you have to do is listen for a beep. Why is my heart rate important? One of the most fascinating features of the human body is its ability to change in response to the demands placed on it. Working out in one of the specified heart rate zones will overload your aerobic system. During rest and recovery, your body responds to this overload by making you stronger. This is accomplished by improvements in cardiovascular and muscular function. These improvements create a stronger and more efficient heart, skeletal muscles that become better at extracting oxygen from the bloodstream, and a lower exercising heart rate. This is where the heart rate monitor comes into play. As the body adapts, harder workouts are required to maintain the concept of overloading the system. How do you know if you are training at the right level?
To better understand this concept of adaptation, letâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s create a hypothetical scenario. Jane is a 40 year old, beginning exerciser trying desperately to lose 20 lbs. Her trainer at the local gym set up a program that required walking on the treadmill for 30 minutes at a speed of 3.5 mph. Jane lost a little weight initially, but after about 45 days of exercising consistently (3-4 days/week) her weight loss dropped off. Letâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s assume hypothetically that Jane is also eating the same amount of food. What Jane has failed to realize is that her body has adapted to the current regime. She must again overload or shock the system. Her heart rate has dropped and most likely fallen below the training zone. It would have been more productive for Jane to use heart rate to stipulate her training intensity instead of MPH on the treadmill. This way we can be sure that she stays in her correct zone every time. Jane will find that as her body adapts to the program, she will have to work harder and harder to maintain the current heart rate. How do I calculate predicted maximum heart rate and specific training zones? This is where it gets tricky. First, we need to estimate your maximum heart rate. 205â&#x20AC;&#x201C;1/2 your age (+5 for females or experienced athletes) = Predicted max HR Keep in mind that this formula is not exact and carries a standard deviation of +/7-10 beats per minute. This method will provide an approximation of your true maximum heart rate. This estimate can be used as the foundation for monitoring your exercise intensities. This is not an all-inclusive formula. There are several different formulas out there for different types of people. Please seek out the advice of a experienced professional to help you find the right formula. To eliminate some of the guesswork, we also advise participants to search out a facility that does metabolic testing. While also a estimation, metabolic testing can give a more educated idea of predicted max heart rate. Resting heart rate is our next objective. To find resting heart rate, one must wear the heart rate monitor in a completely relaxed state. This can be achieved just before bed or upon waking in the morning. Practice deep relaxed breathing for several minutes to register the lowest heart rate possible. Now that you have estimated your maximum heart rate and your resting heart rate, we can use these numbers to predict your training zones. Please remember that everyone must have a goal or objective in mind when designing an exercise
program. Training zones are useless without an overall plan. Once again, it is important to seek out the advice of a qualified fitness professional if you need assistance designing a program. This formula is designed to help predict your training zones. (Predicted MHR) – (RHR) x percentage + (RHR) = Training zone heart rate RHR = Resting heart rate, MHR = Maximum heart rate Using our scenario from above, let’s give Jane a resting heart rate of 82. We will figure a training zone of 60-70%. She is 40 yrs old therefore her predicted maximum heart rate is 190 BPM. (205-20+5) 190 – 82 x .60 + 82 = 146.8 (rounded up to 147) 190 – 82 x .70 + 82 = 150.6 (158) For a training zone of 60-70%, Jane’s heart rate should fall between (147 – 158) Now let’s discuss what these training zones are and how they can help you train efficiently. Zone #1 50 - 70% MHR Training in this zone will cause the body to utilize fat as its primary source of fuel. This zone is recommended for those just beginning a program, those that are recovering from an illness or heart condition or those looking to maintain a general level of fitness. The benefits associated with training in this zone are maintaining weight, maintaining general fitness and recovery training from higher zones. This is where the average person would exercise to get in shape. Zone #2 70 – 80% MHR Increased cardiovascular fitness is the major benefit associated with this zone. As the muscles of the body including the heart consume more oxygen, the body changes its primary fuel from fat to carbohydrates. This does not mean that weight loss will not occur in this zone. A calorie is a calorie. Weight loss occurs when caloric expenditure exceeds caloric consumption. Experienced athletes also use this zone for endurance training.
Zone #3 80 – 95% MHR This level of training is considered Anaerobic, meaning the demand for oxygen is so high that the body cannot keep up. This in turn causes a build-up of lactic acid in the system. This is where serious athletes gain performance benefits. Competitive athletes use this zone for interval training or “speedwork”. One of the common problems associated with this zone is the fact that many athletes spend too much time training here. A general “rule of thumb” is to spend no more than 50% of your training time per week in this zone. When used wisely, the heart rate monitor can enhance anyone’s training program. Whether it is to finish your first marathon, to drop 20 lbs, or to shave 30 seconds off your 5K, everyone must have a plan or goal in mind. A poorly designed schedule or sporadic adherence can reduce the heart rate monitor to an expensive toy that you will quickly tire of.
Kick Start that Running Relationship By: Larry Holt Our running relationship is not a whole lot different than any other kind of relationship. It can, and will, get stale. No matter how much we were once in love, eventually we will take each other for granted and loose sight of just how important we are for each other. So from time to time, we have to jump start that relationship again. It can be just as special as it once was, it just needs a little help. There are many many ways to prime that relationship pump but here are three that work well. Don’t limit yourself to these, but think of your own as well. Give at the non-routine mechanisms three months to take hold. Try and do one of these a week…preferably two. Go out of your way to run with someone different. Don’t get hung up on pace — that they’ll slow down or vice-versa. The new conversation and possible tips that you can give or get will be well-worth the adjustment in pace. If you don’t end up helping someone slower or newer, then you might get that same help to from someone faster or more experienced. Extend the invitation or ask to join someone else for a run. Find a new route. I try and do this almost every week somehow. Even if it takes driving to another location or running from work. This is a sure-fire way to fall back in love with running. Remember how cool it is to run on vacation in some other city or location? Nothing beats listening to a new song by the same artist you’ve grown to love. Get anaerobic. Another great weekly or bi-weekly addendum to your daily JOG is this. It doesn’t have to be any magic amount or specific workout. One of the easiest is just to do 10 times one minute with a one minute recovery. On this “GET ANAEROBIC” workout, combine it with 15 solid minutes of stretching afterwards. If you need to cut the workout short, it’s still worth it. 10 min jog, 10 x 1 min hard, 1 min easy recovery, cool down 15 min and stretch for 15 minutes.
Some stretching should be done most days after a run ,but on this day make it part of the conscious workout. Make it like saying your prayersâ&#x20AC;Ś.something you just have to do at least on this day. Donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t limit yourself by only having these spices in your kitchen. They are just favorites of many. You can find your own, just get to it. Add some spice to your running relationship and it will take care of you a long time.
The Run/Walk Methodology By: Dale Benedict This concept has been developed by, Olympic Marathoner, Jeff Galloway. The Run/Walk program is designed to reduce the chance of injury and over-training while also increasing overall performance. Under the Run/Walk guidelines, training during the week is relatively the same as most programs, with the exception of fewer total miles. The long training on the weekends is what sets this program apart from others. They utilize long, slow training with walk breaks. The number one goal for the weekend training is endurance. Therefore, speed means very little. You are simply trying to get miles under our belt to increase endurance. All participants are asked to follow the â&#x20AC;&#x153;two minute ruleâ&#x20AC;?. This rule states that all mileage run on the weekends should be at least two minutes per mile slower than what could have been achieved on that particular day. Each person is given a walk/ run ratio based on the speed of that particular individual. These walk breaks give the running muscles just enough of a break to speed up recovery and increase overall performance. When you combine training during the week at close to race pace with long, slow run/walk training on the weekend, you get the perfect combination. This program can be used by everyone, from the sub 3 hour, marathoner to the 6 hour, marathoner. This may seem hard to fathom for most experienced runners, but it really does work. We have used it for several years in conjunction with The Training Studio Mini Marathon training group with tremendous success. But it is just like anything else, if you follow the entire program chances are you will see tremendous results. If however, you decide to pick and choose some aspects of the program and excuse others, the results will not meet your expectations. Mr. Galloway has several books on the market that can give you more details and specifics about the program.
Appendix A Running courses/General running info Park info: Check out the olmstedparks.org for information about all of our local parks.
Louisville Area Water Fountain map: Check out this map listing all water fountains in the Louisville area. Local running friendly routes Here is a list of several different routes we have used over the years. Most of these are an out and back course leaving from The Training Studio in St. Matthews. 10 mile Frankfort Avenue 5 mile St. Matthews 10 mile Bowman Field 8 mile Rudy Lane 11 mile Bowling - Winchester - Iola 7 mile Seneca - Alta Vista 8 mile Water Reservoir 10 mile Westwind - Turnerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s