It was as if I was given a death sentence – not only was I advised to stay home, lay in bed, drink plenty of fluids and refrain from going to work – I was also advised to “take a break from running.”
A break from running? But, I was doing so well! My 5k and intervals times were improving, I was feeling more confident, faster, and overall “fitter.”
“Sometimes we just have to listen to our bodies and take some time to rest and repair.”
Unfortunately we live in a world where every now and things do not always go how we planned. I was hit, and I was hit hard – a cold and throat virus: fever, chills, aches, sore throat, swollen glands, coughing, phlegm, need I go on.
But, me, sick? No, not me. I don’t get sick. I eat so healthy and take care of myself so well, that is impossible. I think not!
Sickness happens, especially this time of the year. My advice, “take a break from running, weight training, cycling, swimming, the whole nine yards.” Our bodies need time to heal and recover. If we use our energies to exercise we are pulling our energy away from healing our bodies from our illness.
A difficult concept to comprehend, I know.
When I first began feeling “under the weather” I pushed myself to go out for an interval run – just four miles I thought.
I arrived to work feeling tired, lethargic, sore throat – it had begun.
The next day I taught my regular Pilates class – and refrained from all other activities. At this point I was starting to feel achy, it was difficult to talk, and I was coughing. Before leaving the gym I wanted to strength train; not so fast, the fever set in.
Lesson Learned: When the first sign of sickness appears, listen to your body. Of course, this fully depends on the type of sickness. In my case, it was an infection severely depleting my body of energy, therefore exercising was not the best decision.
However, in some instances it may be beneficial to exercise when not feeling well. Click here or here to read guidelines of whether exercising while sick may benefit or hinder you.
“A neck check is a way to determine your level of activity during a respiratory illness,” adds Neil Schachter, MD, medical director of respiratory care at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York. “If your symptoms are above the neck, including a sore throat, nasal congestion, sneezing, and tearing eyes, then it’s OK to exercise,” he says. “If your symptoms are below the neck, such as coughing, body aches, fever, and fatigue, then it’s time to hang up the running shoes until these symptoms subside.”
And they’re off! The clock is ticking and the runners are making their way through the 5k route towards the finish line.
I make my way through the crowds of people, running one step at a time, trying my best to keep up, however I can’t help but feel—well terrible.
My legs are sore, my throat was throbbing, even my bones felt pain—I was tired.
I had been racing and training hard all summer with little to no recovery periods, and I was feeling the effect.
Continuous exercise, day after day, with little to no rest or recovery can be detrimental to performance as well as health.
Negative effects can occur in muscular strength, mental strength, and physical health.
The Effects of Too Much Exercise
According to an article published in the U.S. News & World Report titled, “Ten Signs You are Exercising Too Much,” over-exercising without allowing your body adequate rest can lead to “diminished strength and increased body fat.”
The article, written by contributing writer Chelsea Bush, further explains when recovery is not available the body will begin to store fat opposed to burning it.
During exercise the body will transform into survival mode causing it to do what it needs to in order to ensure energy is available at all times. As a result, fat can be stored to avoid the chance of low energy levels.
Ms. Bush stated in the article that the best way to recover from a difficult workout, such as a fast-paced or long run, is to rest one to two days.
If a full day of rest is simply not possible it is acceptable to participate in a very light bout of recovery exercise.
Additional resting requirements suggested by Ms. Bush include a minimum of eight hours of sleep per night, proper nutrition, and proper hydration.
How To Properly Recover
Providing the body with adequate recovery is just as important as completing workouts.
In order for the benefits of a hard work out to be experienced the muscles must repair and rebuild so they can strengthen, which will only occur through rest periods.
An article published in the online healthy living website, Very Well, exercise physiologist and fitness consultant Elizabeth Quinn explains why rest and recovery are essential after exercise. “Rest is physically necessary so that the muscles can repair, rebuild, and strengthen,” Ms. Quinn explains. “In the worst-case scenario, too few rest and recovery days can lead to overtraining system—a difficult condition to recover from.”
During recovery the body will adapt to the stress placed on it through exercise. It will also replenish energy stores lost through the energy needed to exercise as well as repair tissue, Ms. Quinn explained.
Without periods of recovery the body will continue to breakdown and symptoms of overtraining will occur.
Symptoms of overtraining can range from a general overall tiredness, depression, decreased sports performance, increased risk of energy, lack of interest in training, lack of sleep, along with other symptoms, Ms. Quinn stated.
How To Properly Recover
When recovering from a hard workout or a race there are several recovery measures that should be taken immediately after.
In an article titled, “How to Recover From a Race,” published by Runner’s World Magazine, recovery should be taken in stages from the moment the race or workout ends, to the days and weeks that will follow.
Within the first 24 hours after the workout the body should consume carbohydrates and protein to adequately restore the energy lost during the event.
Within those same 24 hours relaxation of the muscles along with light foam rolling can assist in recovery and blood flow throughout the body.
Once nightfall comes, the athlete should sleep a minimum of eight hours to allow the body and mind adequate restoration.
Runner’s World contributor Brad Stulberg writes, “When you do finally feel drowsy, don’t cut yourself short. Sleep is vital to recovery, so don’t be afraid to hit the snooze button.”
Throughout the next two to three days the athlete can resume exercise, however light exercise is recommended.
“Active recovery expedites the body’s natural repair process by delivering more oxygen and nutrients to the muscles,” Mr. Stulberg stated. “Just keep it easy—go for a walk.”
Physiologist and doctoral candidate at the University of Utah’s Vascular Research Lab Corey Hart stated in the Runner’s World article that the athlete should listen to their body.
It is common for athletes to reach for ibuprofen to fight pain after a race or workout, however Hart recommends against it.
“The inflammatory response is signaling recovery,” Hart stated, “and that is not something we want to mask.”
Once three to seven days have passed athletes should check in on how they feel to determine the next steps of the recovery process.
Hart stated that athletes who complete longer distances can experience extended periods of fatigue, known a central system fatigue.
“While training, you are constantly suppressing fatigue or downright ignoring it, which can throw your hormonal profile out of whack,” Hart added.
Those who are still experiencing feelings of fatigue should take precaution and allow time for lengthened rest in an effort to avoid a weakened immune system or injury.
Hart said, “Do not fight this fatigue,” instead he recommends light active recovery.
After even seven to 21 days the body may still be undergoing recovery, depending on the type of workout or race that the athlete endured.
Therefore, the athlete should be cognizant of how their bodies feel.
Physiologist at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, New York Michael Joyner stated in the Runner’s World article that throughout the seven to 21 days after the race athletes can begin to incorporate “some” intensity workouts, depending on how their body has recovered.
“The main thing to remember is that you can’t train if you are injured,” Joyner stated, “focus on reading your body and backing off if soreness and fatigue don’t improve.”
In sum, recovery is a very important aspect of training that should not be ignored or discounted.
Athletes who work out hard will recover just as hard, therefore regardless of the type of activity completed all athletes should make recovery a priority.
Appreciate who you are today, and what it took for you to get here.
As I crossed the finish line of my second triathlon the first thoughts that crossed my mind were, “What was my time?” “Whats place did I finish in?” “Did I beat my time?”
This in unfortunate because I had such a great race and I was not taking the time to appreciate my experience, recognize how fortunate I was to even participate in the race, or express my gratefulness for the training the I had done over the past several months.
Instead I was ready to put myself down, sabotage my results, and only focus on the negative aspects of the race.
Yes, if you are trying to improve it is important to recognize your weaknesses and work to improve them. However, it is not healthy or beneficial to dwell over the negatives without giving recognition and value to the positives.
Though I did not finish at the time that I had anticipated or the rank I was hoping for, I did pretty awesome.
My greatest strength of the race was the run, the second was the bike and the third was my transitions.
My greatest weakness was the swim.
Now that I have recognized my strengths and weaknesses I will examine the how and why?
The Swim: 1/2 mile – time 25:06 – 203rd place
– I finished it!
– The water was clear and beautiful
– I became very anxious
– I was not prepared to swim for that long of a distance (1/2 mile)
– I was not prepared to swim that fast
– I was not prepared to run in the water and then swim
Therefore, I learned that:
– I need to practice a racing start
– I need to learn to swim well with others around
– I need to practice sighting the booeys
– I need to swim longer with periods of speed
– I need to swim more often (3 times per week)
– Most importantly, I need to become comfortable swimming in the water
The Bike: 11.5 miles – time 40:44 – about 16 mph – 48th place
– I made up for the (significant) lost time in the swim
– I passed at least 50 people
– I loved the downhills, they were a lot of fun!
– The views were very scenic and beautiful!
– The women racing were all very kind and encouraging
– Picking people in front of you and then making it a goal to pass them is very helpful
I learned I need to:
– Learn how to effectively change gears (how, why and when)
– Cycle faster and more efficiently
– Learn how to effectively pass in a race (proper bike etiquette)
– How to properly fuel and hydrate on the bike
– Get a good racing bike (for sure)
– Preparing my mind for the run
– Save my legs for the run
The Run: 3.1 miles – time 23:09 – 6th place
– I did fantastic! I ran 3.1 miles in 23 minutes, which is not my best time, but I am happy with it after having swam and biked
– I passed another 50 or so women
– I felt awesome running! I ran strong and effortlessly.
– I had fun and got into a comfortable racing rhythm
– I did not get hurt, which was great because we ran through trails
I learned I need to:
– Practice running after biking (pre-planned brick workouts)
– Improve my speed and running economy
– Prepare for the run mentally
– Give some more time to cycling and swimming while maintaining my running ability 🙂
Overall, I am appreciative that I was able to participate in my second spring triathlon race.
Though I did not finish where I would have liked to, there is a great deal of room for improvement.
I learned that I need to take the strengths that I have, recognized the weaknesses, and most importantly appreciate where I am.
Six months ago I knew nothing about triathlons and was intimidated to get into the water. Today, I have completed two sprint triathlon races, one of which included a half mile open water swim (something I never thought I could do) and I ended up finishing 41st in the race and 5th in my age group.
Yes, I do want to improve. Yes, I want to be faster. Yes, I want to become a better, faster and stronger athlete.
All of these goals take time. They must be recognized as goals.
The only way to achieve a goal is to recognize where you are right now (your starting point), create a plan, and finally begin taking steps to achieve your goal.
Anything worth having is worth waiting for. You will appreciate something much more if you spend time working hard to achieve it. You are worthy of greatness, you just need to allow yourself time to get there.
Nobody become a pro-athlete overnight. Everything in life takes time.
Appreciate where you are RIGHT NOW, then take steps to move towards where you want to be. You will get there – at the right time, the right place, and with the right people.
❤ Wishing you love, joy and blessings,
Take some time and appreciate yourself for where you are right now.
The triathlon; a swim, followed by cycling, and ending with a run. To some this may sound absurd, to others this may sound like a Friday morning workout.
For me, however, it appeared as a difficult to obtain goal.
Running several days a week was one thing – but cycling and swimming, there was no way.
First of all, I did not know how to swim. I had taken a few swim lessons as a child.
I swam in friend’s pools, the ocean and the river every now and then. But overall I did not know the first thing about freestyle swimming, goggles, one piece swimsuits, swim caps – or anything else related to swimming.
Secondly, I would need the proper bike – a beach cruiser likely will not cut it.
And last but not least – how would I transition between all three? What would I wear? How would I train?
These questions and fears ran through my mind along with many others.
It wasn’t until I overcame the barriers preventing me from beginning my triathlon training that I took the first steps towards accomplishing my goal – which you, too can do.
Step 1: Overcome your barriers preventing you from completing your first triathlon.
The barriers preventing me from participating in my first triathlon included learning to properly and confidently swim in a race and a road bike to train with and use during the race.
In an effort to overcome these barriers and begin my training I first purchased a used road bike.
The bike is not great by any means – however it is a good first road bike that served as a wonderful learning tool for a first race.
Secondly, I signed up for swimming lessons at a local YMCA.
These swimming lessons were not easy by any means, in fact they were incredibly difficult and I still struggle to get myself into the pool to improve my swimming skills.
Not having the opportunity to be around a pool and swim laps as a child or teen made it difficult to learn the sport.
Nevertheless, I did not allow the frustration and sometimes embarrassment prevent me from accomplishing my goal.
Each Sunday morning I showed up, I remained positive, and put forth my best effort.
Learning how to do something new as an adult can be difficult, however there is no reason to give up just because the task is hard.
(This was not my training plan, this is just an example of a triathlon training plan)
Step 2: Follow the proper training plan to achieve your goal.
After researching numerous triathlon training websites, books, and plans I put together a training plan that would fit my goals, schedule and fitness level.
Throughout my training I swam one to two times per week, cycled two to three times per week and ran three to five times per week (running is obviously my favorite of the three).
Transitioning from one sport to all three was definitely a challenge.
One must determine where they are going to swim, where they will cycle (indoor, outdoor and if outdoor the location) and for how long.
(Some training plans recommend training less than I did. However, based on my current fitness level this amount seemed fitting.)
Following a triathlon training plan can be difficult and time consuming.
One should a lot about one hour per day for five to six days per week for triathlon training.
Some days you will feel tired. You will want to quit. And then, when you least expect it you will overcome these feelings and wake up at 5 a.m. for your workout, go to the gym right after work, swim when you want to sleep and skip a fun night out to complete a skipped workout. These things happen, they can be stressful however they are worth it.
Step 3: Choose your race.
The most common first triathlon race is the sprint triathlon.
The sprint triathlon distance is generally a half mile swim (or less), a 10-15 miles bike, and a 5k run.
This race is doable for first triathletes who are swimming, cycling and running throughout the week one to two times.
For women seeking their first triathlon there are many women-only races that serve as very welcoming.
I however, chose the Atlantic City Triathlon in August.
The race was the perfect size, location and distance for me.
Things to consider when choosing a race include;
The distance of each event in the race
The location of the race and each specific event.
The body of water the swim portion is located in
The standard temperature of the body of water the swim is in
The distance the race is from your home
The locations your family and friends can watch you from
The depth of the hills and amount of turns during the cycling course
The type of course and temperature of the running portion
I am sure there are other factors to consider, however these are a few to think about when deciding.
Step 4: Get the proper gear.
Being a triathlete can be expensive.
Gear for swimming, biking and running is required – in addition to the specifically made triathlon gear.
Some gear to consider would be purchasing a road or hybrid bike, a pair of triathlon shorts and a triathlon top which can be worn during all three events instead of putting shorts and a shirt over a bathing suit, spare tire tubes in case your tire goes flat, a helmet which is required to participate, and comfortable running shoes.
After stressing over what to wear I decided to purchase a pair of triathlon shorts in addition to receiving a triathlon top given to me by a friend.
Before, during and after the race I was very pleased with my decision and the lack of stress I experienced trying to change during transitions.
Step 5: Participating in the race and having a great time.
While people can choose to participate in a triathlon for many reasons (weight loss, challenge, competition, to prove a point) the overarching goal should be to have fun.
After stressing over getting to the race, checking in at the expo, properly preparing my bike, checking in to a hotel, training, the course and much more – I ended up having the most fun that I have had all year!
My first triathlon was definitely one of the best experiences of my life. I enjoyed every second of it and cannot wait to compete in my next race.
I ended up finishing the race with a great overall time, experiencing no issues, and receiving a medal for the second fastest finishing time in my age group. To put it lightly I was over the moon.
Now it was not a goal of mine to rank in my age group and I don’t recommend setting it as an expectation, but this does not mean that it is not possible. Shoot for the stars, you never know what you are capable of until you TRI.
I encourage you to go out and accomplish your goal, whatever it may be. Whether it is a triathlon, a 5k race, a marathon, losing an amount of weight, gaining more muscle, feeling healthy or feeling happy – start today.
Overcome your fears and achieve your goals: Here is how.
By: Angela Ciroalo
Have you ever dreamed of running in a 5k race but never thought you could actually do it.
Instead millions of doubts, questions and concerns flashed through your mind; How would you prepare for it? Are you actually capable of completing it? Where would you even start? Could you get injured? Is it even worth it?
So many questions run through your mind, causing you to doubt your abilities and pass the idea off as a brief moment of excitement.
Don’t let your dreams stop here. Give your dream a chance. Challenge yourself and let your body show you what it is capable of!
You can do anything if you put your mind to it and you CAN finish a 5k race!
Think back to how you felt when the idea first ran through your mind. You saw yourself running in the race, crossing the finish line, and feeling absolutely fantastic. This does not have to be a fantasy. Make your dream a reality. Follow the tricks, tips, advice and training plan provided in this article.
Step 1: Change your mindset.
A 5k race is achievable for everyone and anyone.
You can, and you will, complete your first 5k race.
Now that you have read that sentence, repeat it, think it, and believe it. Tell your friends. Tell your family. The more you say, the more you will believe it.
At times when your beliefs run low, use visualization and envision yourself crossing the finish line.
When times are tough and you don’t feel like exercising in preparation for the race remind yourself of your goal and how are going to feel once you achieve it!
Step 2: Choose Your Race
Select the race that you plan to complete.
Use local race calendars to find a race that is close by, in a convenient location and is runner/walker friendly.
Choose a race that is within the next three months to prevent any relapse or a change in mindset.
Ensure that you, your family and your friends are not busy that day.
Once the race is selected – sign up! Don’t put it off and forget about it.
Step 3: Begin working toward your goal.
In order to prepare for the race start your training by walking.
Walk three to five days per week for a total of 20-30 minutes. Walking will create your baseline fitness level, which you will improve upon as you are training.
Once you feel comfortable walking several times per week for a few weeks, begin to implement jogging into your walk.
Jog for several seconds, followed by walking for a few minutes.
Increase the amount of time you jog during each workout until you are able to jog for a full 20 minutes or more.
Follow the 8-week long training plan provided below. The plan will guide a new runner to walk/jog their first 5k race!
You Can Run Your First 5k 8-Week Training Plan
Walk 15 min.
Walk/Jog 15 min.
Walk 15 min.
Walk/Jog 20 min.
Walk 15 min.
Walk/Jog 20 min.
Walk 20 min.
Walk/Jog 25 min.
Walk 17 min.
Walk/Jog 25 min.
Walk 23 min.
Walk/Jog 30 min.
Walk 17 min.
Walk/Jog 25 min.
Walk 25 min.
Walk/Jog 30 min.
Walk 20 min.
Walk/Jog 30 min.
Jog 5-10 Walk 5-10
Jog 10 Walk 20
Walk/Jog 20 min.
Walk 10, Jog 10, Walk 10
Jog 18 Walk 15
Walk 8, Jog 15, Walk 7
Jog 20 Walk 10
Jog 22 Walk 10
Walk 5, Jog 15, Walk 5
Jog/Walk 20 min.
Step 4: Look and Feel the Part
In an effort to feel fully prepared for the race it is important to feel as though you “fit in” with other runners.
Try stopping in to a running specialty store and check out the different styles of shorts, tops and shoes that were created for runners.
The clothing and specialty outfits are not essential. They were created for comfort, support and injury prevention.
Pick out an outfit that makes you feel comfortable running.
Practice your run in this outfit a few times, then save it to wear during your big day. A comfortable running outfit will ensure confidence, ease and prevention of injury on race day
Step 5: Train Appropriately.
Warm Up: Before each workout complete a 10 to 15 minute warm up. The warm up is crucial for preventing injury and ensuring a great workout.
Run or walk at a speed that allows you to maintain a conversation. You should not feel out of breath or tired at this point.
The Workout: Follow you training plan and run and/or walk for 10 to 30 minutes three to four times per week leading up to the race.
Cool Down: Once your workout is completed the body should be adequately cooled down before fully stopping. Begin slowing your speed down, allowing the heart rate to return to resting levels.
Walk or run at a conversational pace for five to ten minutes.
Follow your cool down with stretching. Hold your stretches for 10 – 15 seconds to create flexibility and prevent injury.
Step 6: Follow these great tips to motivate you in preparation for your first 5k race!
– Find a running partner buddy to train with, run the race with, or hold you accountable.
– Set a goal finishing time.
– Create a vision board to place on your wall reminding you of your goal.
– Lay out your running clothes the night before a workout.
– Share the good news. Tell friends and family that you will be participating. Invite them to cheer you on.
– Keep a training journal to monitor the progress you are making.
– Look up the race map to fully prepare you for the event.
– Don’t beat yourself up if you miss or skip a workout.
All year long we count down the days till the sun is shining, the ocean water is glistening and the warm sand sits beneath our toes – alas summer has arrived!
When you live along the Shore, you can’t help but love summer. When you are a runner this love has a completely new meaning.
Warm weather means more daylight which equates to more running – and who doesn’t love more running?
While the warm weather and increased daylight can be fantastic the summer season does have the potential to create some critical situations such as; heat exhaustion, heat stroke, severe dehydration, sun burn, and severe body fatigue.
In an effort to stay cool and healthy this summer while running, try following the following tips.
Stay Properly Hydrated
Hydration is critical when running during the summer months.
Dehydration can lead to difficulty breathing which can lead to injury, falling faint, or even heat stroke.
When the body is lacking hydration the amount of blood volume decreases causing the heart to pump harder which will impact performance.
As a result it is best to drink water before a run, during a run and after the run.
Be conscious of your hydration level.
Try checking the color of your urine to determine how hydrated your body is.
The darker the color the lower the level of hydration.
The lighter the color the greater the level of hydration.
Warm Up and Warm Down
Before you begin your workout or next race be sure to start with a warm up.
I know this may sound counterproductive especially if temperature is warm and your body already feels warm, however the warm up is a very important part of running.
The warm up allows the body to adapt to the movement that you are preparing for.
Blood is pooled into the legs and arms away from the organs in order to allow you to run.
The warm up also allows the body time to acclimate to the current temperature.
If you spent the morning indoors with the air conditioning on your body will not be prepared to jump outside in the heat and start running.
The warm down, or cool down, is also important.
If it is very hot outside and you have just completed a workout you it is important to slow down your pace for another mile or so, allowing the body to cool down, the heart rate to decrease and
Wear Sun Screen
While running outdoors during the summertime it is important to apply sunscreen to skin surface areas that will be exposed on the run.
Sun burns and skin cancers are not fun, therefore preventative measures such as applying sunscreen early and consistently are essential.
In an article published in Running Times in May 2015 San Diego runner and board certified dermatologist Jeffrey Benabio stated that the best sunscreen to apply is the on “you’ve got.”
Benabio suggests applying sunscreen with an SPF of 30 while consistently re-applying.
When applying sunscreen make sure to cover all of your bases; face, lips, head, ears, chest, arms and legs.
Wear the Proper Attire
While I can suggest to you specific clothes to wear in the heat it is equally important to recognize clothes not to wear in the heat.
Clothes that are black, made of cotton, are too big, and stick to the body should not be worn when running in the heat.
Items that should be worn include dri-fit and sunlight reflective clothing, sleeves to block the sun, a hat or visor and sunglasses.
Each item will assist in keeping your skin health, sunburn free and the body cool.
Run at the Right Time of Day
In an effort to avoid the high temperatures or high humidity try running early in morning before sunrise or late at night just before sunset, or even after if possible.
Avoid running in the middle of the day when the temperatures are at their high and the sun is strongest.
Both running early and late in the day may seem inconvenient, however both can be very relaxing and enjoyable.
Very few people are awake or out on the road at these times plus you might get a chance to see a sunset or sunrise.
Run in Shaded Areas
Try running in a new location.
Seek out areas close by a body of water, surrounded by trees or in a cool area.
Running on asphalt, in the middle of the day, without any trees or a breeze can be disastrous.
No matter how well you have prepared for the run you will feel drained and can potentially harm the body.
Seek out shaded areas and enjoy the run without the discomfort.
Listen to your Body!
Most importantly listen to your body.
Running is the heat can have a dramatically negative impact on the body.
If the proper precautions are not taken you may find yourself feeling nauseous, sluggish, tired, ill and/or dizzy.
Listen to your body. If it feels too hot to run – don’t.
If you feel tired and think you should stop, don’t test yourself – not on a hot day.
Recognize and feeling of concern and address it as soon as possible.
When dealing with heat, err on the side of caution.
Enjoy the sun and the surf this summer. Stay cool and keep running!
Do you like to run in the summer? Share with me some of your favorite summer running tips! I would love to hear from you.
Are you someone who would like to run, but feel intimidated or unsure where to start?
When the furthest run you have ever completed was the mile run in your high school gym class running for fun can seem impossible. Don’t worry, you are not alone.
In an effort to offer motivation and support in beginning your running journey, I have listed my top 10 tips to becoming a runner.
Start slow: My first tip is to start out slowly.
People often think that running must be completed at a fast pace, for multiple miles, almost every single day.
The truth is it is best to ease into running. Start with the run-walk method.
The run-walk method allows new runners to build up their running endurance, prepare and train their muscles, and strengthens their lung capacity.
During the first week of your training plan the Road Runner’s Club of America [RRCA] suggests beginning walk to run interval consisting of a one-minute run followed by a four minute walk for a total of thirty minutes.
Each week increase the amount of time spent running while interchangeably decreasing the amount of time walking until you are able to run for the full 30 minutes without walking.
Set a goal: Whether the goal is as small as “running for 10 minutes without stopping” or “running in a 5k race” it is important to set a goal for yourself.
The American Council on Exercise [ACE] suggests setting SMART goals.
SMART goals are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound.
Specific goals are not broad or general. They are simplified and precise.
Measurable goals have a specific distance or time.
Attainable goals are within your reach.
Relevant goals are relatable to your long-term goals.
Time-bound goals have a set deadline.
Short-term and long-term goals can also be set. Short-term goals help to build the momentum and confidence.
Long-term goals are beneficial when the motivation and confidence wear thin.
Keep a training journal: In an effort to track your progress it can be very helpful to keep track of your runs.
Write down the days you ran, the mileage you completed and the time you completed the runs within.
After each week compare and contrast each run.
Make notes of where you may have run at a faster pace, a slower pace, a longer distance or a shorter distance.
Learn to warm-up, cool down and stretch: For new runners it is fantastic to implement these three healthy habits early on.
Starting off with a slow and steady warm up allows oxygen and blood to be delivered to the muscles and fully prepare the body for the run you are planning to complete.
The cool down allows the body to ease the blood flow away from the muscles that were working and back through the rest of the body.
Stretching allows the muscles that were just exercising to stretch and prevent any tightness, injuries or pain.
Incorporating these three habits into your running routine will not only make you a much better and smarter runner, it will also prevent you from a great deal of pain and injury.
Follow a plan: Once you have chosen your goal your next step is to create a plan that you guide you in accomplishing your goal.
The plan that you choose should be catered to your goal distance and time, it should offer you ample preparation time, while also providing a manageable schedule of training runs each week.
Get a good pair of shoes: It is important that you run in a supportive and comfortable pair of running shoes.
Running shoes that are several years old and worn down can cause injuries to your body.
Seek out a local running store and request a shoe fitting, along with advice for selecting the perfect fit.
The right running shoe will offer your feet support, will improve your stride, and will prevent injuries caused by incorrect or old shoes.
Make friends that run: Having friends that enjoy running can be motivational, resourceful and supportive.
At times when you want to give up, skip a workout, or you are just looking for advice – the right running buddy will come in handy.
Whether your buddy is a new friend, an old friend, a running group or an organized running club – having people around interested in the same thing as you, training for a similar event, can be very helpful and supportive.
Seek motivation and guidance: Motivation and guidance can be found in multiple places, including the internet, speeches and presentations, friends, and books and podcasts.
When preparing for a new event or type of race I often seek out new information from podcasts, YouTube videos, books and presentations.
I make an effort to learn as much information on the topic as I can.
I look to professional and accomplished contestants who have made a name for themselves in that event or type of race.
I also enjoy learning the how and why they chose to accomplish their goals. These stories always offer insight and motivation.
Eat and drink well: When additional strain is put on the body it is important to replenish and refuel the body.
Proper nutrition and hydration will assist in improving runner’s performance, strength and overall health.
Enjoy the process: Last, but not least; enjoy your running journey.
This is a very precious time. Learning a new skill is not easy for anyone.
Pilates is a low-impact and safe form of mind-body exercise. Pilates improves
overall body strength, posture, breathing, alignment and flexibility.
How is Pilates Beneficial?
Pilates is known to improve strength without the body taking a toll. The exercises
focus on movement quality opposed to the amount of repetitions or resistance.
Pilates can benefit everyone:
Confidence in Movements
Creates Stability and Control
Enjoyable and Relaxing
Reduces Risk of Injury
Pilates Creates Increased Stability and Balance
Increased control and stability is important for older adults as it can help improve
functional movements including balance and posture. Pilates increases stability,
posture, strength and flexibility throughout the body, which can improve balance.
Pilates Creates a Strong Core and Straight Posture
Pilates exercises can develop a strong core (abs and back). Strong, lengthened abdominal and back muscles create fluid movements and a straight spine.
Long, Lean and Flexible Muscles are Formed
Pilates elongates and strengthens, improving muscle elasticity and joint mobility. A body with balanced strength and flexibility is less likely to be injured. Pilates exercises train several muscle groups through smooth and continuous movements. Through the development of proper technique your muscles are trained to move in safe, efficient and functional motion.
Whether you are new to running or have been running for years you have discovered that the shoes you wear are a hot topic.
A runner’s shoe has great influence on their form, stride and sometimes even running ability.
Whether you believe this to be true or not, running shoes have become incredibly popular, whether you are buying for looks, comfort, support or stability.
For those seeking to purchase their shoes in an effort to improve their stride and performance there are several tips that can assist you in making your decision.
SELECTING THE CORRECT RUNNING SHOE
Hundreds of athletic shoes are advertised and sold every day.
When choosing shoes there are many reasons why you may choose one shoe over another.
Some choices are made based off of the fit; some are based off of the color, while others are made based off of the amount of support (or lack thereof).
To determine which shoe is right for you it is best to seek out a running shoe specialist and/or podiatrist.
Either type of professional will conduct a gait analysis to determine what areas may need more or less support.
The professional will then provide you with a suggestion for the style, type and support level shoe that is best for you.
The reasoning for the gait analysis, and combined emphasis of running shoe importance is most believe that specific types of running shoes may aid in preventing common running-related injuries.
Runners seeking advice on proper shoe selection most often visit a specialty running shoe store or visit their podiatrist.
When visiting a running shoe specialist and/or podiatrist a gait analysis is often completed to determine the shape of the foot, height of the heel, landing of the foot and positioning of the foot when standing and running.
The gait analysis is often done on the ground or on a treadmill.
During the analysis, the shoe specialist and/or podiatrist will evaluate the runner’s foot and strike.
CHOOSING YOUR PERFECT RUNNING SHOE
As a runner you will soon learn that the sneakers you wear are a hot topic among other runners.
Proper running shoes are known to prevent common running injuries, overpronation (the internal rolling of the ankle), supination (the external rolling of the ankle), shin splints and tight Achilles tendons.
Running shoes seek to fit each runner’s specific needs based on their shoe size, speed, mileage, arch height, gait, and heel strike.
When seeking to choose the right fit there are several factors that should be considered.
Some common areas that running shoe specialists and podiatrists tend to focus on examining include the runner’s foot size and width, arch height, amount of ankle pronation, foot strike and stride, and how the shoe feels when worn.
SHOE SIZE AND WIDTH
A running shoe specialist will ask to determine your foot size and width.
Many people assume that they are the same shoe size in every shoe. However, many running shoes fit differently and often run large or small.
Therefore, it is best to undergo a proper foot size fitting before beginning to try on shoes.
Another factor that may also impact the foot size and width is the time of day you are trying on shoes.
Our feet tend to swell during a run due to the impact being placed on the feet.
At the end of the day our feet also tend to swell due to the walking conducted throughout the day.
As a result, it is suggested that a proper shoe fitting is conducted at the end of the day.
The arch of your foot is a common location to examine when selecting running shoes.
The foot arch can either be high, neutral or flat.
The height of the arch can be determined during a full gait analysis.
For those seeking to determine their arch height at home the foot print test can be conducted.
Step onto a wet surface using a bare foot. Once the foot is wet, step onto a dry paper towel to create a foot print.
Once the footprint is created the arch height will be visible based on the amount of foot shown in the print.
Generally those with a low or flat arch are suggested to wear a supportive or stability shoe. It is suggested that those with a high arch wear a cushioned shoe.
This theory does not positively impact everyone; however it is commonly recommended in most running shoe stores and has been found to be beneficial to many runners.
The reason a flat-footed runner is often recommended a stability shoe is to control ankle overpronation, which is an inward rolling of the ankle as the foot strikes the ground.
High arches runners are generally recommended support to assist in an injuries that may occur due to the space between the foot and the shoe.
Supination, or the outward rolling of the foot opposite to overpronation, is also common among high arched runners. However, it is not always the case for all high-arched runners.
FEEL OF THE SHOE
Avoid becoming so caught up in choosing a motion controlled shoe versus a neutral shoe that you forget to try the shoes on and evaluate how they feel.
When trying on running shoes place them on both feet, walk in them, sit in them, and jog in them.
The way the shoe feels on your feet while you are running is a very important factor to ensure the shoes are right for you.
Therefore, before making your final purchase make sure the shoes feel secure and comfortable while running.
Choosing a shoe can be quite difficult. Try not to let the shoe’s colors or style take greater importance than the feel of the shoe when it is on your feet.
Also remember that not all recommendations are 100 percent true.
Each recommendation from a running specialist or podiatrist may be beneficial for some, but not for all.
The reason for this is that all people are different, therefore all feet are different. What may work for one person may not work for you.
Choose shoes that you feel are best for you and you will be sure to love your decision.
Some tips to use when purchasing your next pair of running shoes;
make sure there is space between the end of your big toe and the front of the shoe
replace your shoes every 300 to 400 miles
ask for deals and/or discounts
avoid buying shoes that are too small regardless of how they look
make sure you love the shoes
INSPIRATION TO RUN!
This month’s inspiring quote is from the competitive American marathon runner Amby Burfoot.
“Winning has nothing to do with racing. Most days don’t have races anyway. Winning is about struggle and effort and optimist, and never, ever, ever giving up,” Burfoot once said.