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Tips for Your Next DESTINATION Race

Destination Race Photo

By: Angela Ciroalo

Are you considering traveling to a race in another city, state or maybe even country? Try a destination race!
Destination races are great for solo runners, groups of friends, and even families.
They create the opportunity for the runner to visit a new place, take a vacation, meet new people, and participate in a new event.
In an effort to ensure the trip is worry-free, enjoyable and exciting, read my list of nine essential tips to prepare for your next destination race.
Earlier this year I traveled to California to run in a 10k race on the San Leandro Shoreline, a few miles from San Francisco.
The race was a lot fun, the course was beautiful, and the weather was spectacular.
As a result of my travels I shared with you several tips to help you have an awesome time and maybe even set a personal record during your next destination race.

Destination-Race-Packing-List

Pack Race Day Gear First
Before packing your favorite bathing suit, that beautiful dress that has been sitting in your closet, or the sunscreen – you may want to start by packing your essential running gear.
Imagine waking up race day morning to find out that your running shoes are sitting on your living room table?
Pack the essentials: shirt, shorts/pants, socks, shoes, gels, belts, headband, hat, or anything else that you run with on a daily basis.
When deciding on your outfit, be sure to check the weather forecast of the race destination.
For those who are concerned their gear might get lost or stolen, another option is to pack race gear in your carry on – or to even wear it during your flight, or while you are traveling.

Use Extra Travel Time to Relax
During your travels try to make time to stretch, drink plenty of fluids, rest if possible, and prevent any unnecessary stress.
Traveling can be difficult for everyone, although when you are preparing for a specific event travel can become exceedingly more difficult.
Use this time to visualize your race, remind yourself of all of the hard work you have done to prepare for this event, congratulate yourself for the success you have achieved thus far – and get excited!
Utilize this extra time during travel to prepare your body, physically and mentally. This way when you are arrive you are fully prepared for the big day.

Race at Beginning or End of Vacation? 
When planning your race destination, be cautious of where you place the race date during your trip.
Placing a race at the end of a vacation can leave you depleted and tired on race day. Additionally, you may not be in top shape and your results may suffer.
Scheduling the race in the middle of the trip can cause complications. The race may interfere with the itinerary or other vacation plans.
If possible, schedule your race at the beginning of your trip. This will allow you to race in your top shape, you will be in race mode (not vacation mode), you will be (hopefully) well rested, and you will have plenty of time to vacation and sightsee after the race is over. Most importantly you can celebrate your success throughout the remainder of the trip.
During my recent trip to California, I raced the morning after our flight arrived. Though this was slightly difficult because the flight had landed at 12 am the day prior, I was thrilled because I felt prepared, focused, and the time difference gave me an additional three hours of sleep.

What Do I Eat? 
What you will eat the night before, the morning of, during the race, and after the race are all very important factors to take into consideration.
The pre-race meal and the post-race meals are generally the more important meals, therefore you will want to be extra cautious when planning these out.
The last thing you want is to eat food your stomach is not familiar with the night before a race causing you to feel uncomfortable or ill. Stick to the age old tip; don’t try anything new race week.
When choosing a restaurant, pick food that you are familiar with eating the night before a run. In the event of an emergency or issue, be sure to pack snacks and foods that can be easily stored and consumed.
After the race be sure to not wait too long to properly refuel with adequate nutrients.
Some great tools to use when choosing your pre- and post-race meals include Zagat, LocalEats, Open Table or Yelp. These websites and smartphone applications with help you to locate restaurants and eateries that fit your needs.

Transportation to The Race
For those who utilized public transportation to arrive to their location be sure to pre-plan transportation for race morning.
The morning of a race can be stressful, tiring, upsetting and even nerve-wrecking.
In an effort to avoid confusion, or even arriving to the race late, plan your route and method of transportation in advance.
Ordering a taxi cab or using online transportation networks like Uber or Lyft can save you time, energy and money.
During my trip to California I used Lyft to arrive to my race destination race. The cost was inexpensive and the process was accommodating and safe.
Renting a car is another safe option. A can rental can also be beneficial if you plan to sightsee later that day.

Proper Hydration During Travels
Traveling often leaves the body dehydrated and tired. In an effort to avoid this common issue pack a reusable water bottle to use during your trip.
Most hotels offer filtered water to their guests and locations to refill water bottles.
Be sure to drink plenty of fluids the days you are traveling to and from your destination, the day before your race, directly after your race, and during your sightseeing ventures.

Sleep and Rest
It is quite common for athletes to lose sleep the night before a big event.
In an effort to avoid race day fatigue, make an effort to receive adequate sleep the days leading up to the race.
The days leading up to a race are often spent tapering (running less to rest your legs), therefore your body will appreciate the extra sleep.
After tapering and sleeping 8-10 hours before the big day you will arrive to race day fully prepared to give your best effort.
After the race, you will also want to set aside some extra time to rest your legs, sleep, stretch, foam roll and walk.

Destination-Races-600x600

Proper Post-Race Recovery
After a race it is easy to get caught up in the post-race activities, food and festivities; however these actions can make recovery very difficult.
After your race make time for your regular post-race routine which should include; hydrating with electrolytes and water; re-fueling with adequate protein, carbohydrates and fats as well as vitamins and minerals; stretching and foam rolling; resting and recovering; and getting a good night of sleep.
This may be difficult if you have limited time in your location and you want to squeeze everything in, however keep in mind that chances are you will feel it later.
After my race in California, I showered and went directly out to sightsee and explore.
While this was beneficial for my legs to spend time walking after the race, I did not to take some time to stretch, rest and properly refuel.
As a result, I felt fatigued and sore by the end of the day.
Take it from me, the extra hour of rest, proper refueling, and stretching can make a world of difference while decreasing recovery time dramatically.

Have Fun!
Take photos, do funny poses, make new friends, try new foods, take in the sights, try your best – and have a good time.
The purpose of your trip is to enjoy yourself. Destination races often go down as one of our top 10 favorite races ever completed.
They are filled with a sense of freedom, opportunity, mystery and excitement.
Take this time to enjoy this experience.

SF

Caption: Me in San Francisco for a destination race in February 2017 – Took first in my age group!

Tips for a First Half Marathon

Sadbhavana-Half-Marathon1

By: Angela Joy

The half marathon race is a running race made up of 13.1 miles, or one half of the full marathon distance of 26.2.

The half marathon distance is an appealing race. The event is long enough to serve as a challenge while not as intimidating as the full marathon.

In 2014 the half marathon race was recognized as the “fastest growing standard” race distance in the United States with a “12.5 percent annual finisher growth rate” from 2006 to 2012, according to RunningUSA, a not-for-profit organization that conducts annual studies on race registration, involvement and results.

In 2014 a total of 2,046,600 participants completed a half marathon race, an increase from 724,000 in 2006, according to a 2014 RunningUSA report.

What makes the half marathon so attractive? Red Bank resident and runner Donna Rubin feels that the half marathon is “very challenging, but attainable.”

She explains that once runners have completed the 5k or 10k they are ready for the “next step.”

“Half marathons are popular because they appeal to a wide range of runners,” Rubin, who completed the Philadelphia Love Run Half Marathon in March, stated. “The races often have fun themes, offer great ‘swag,’ and market themselves as destination races.”

She went on to explain that the half marathon races “seem like a fun event for friends to do together, while offering a nice reward for the investment in training.”

The state of New Jersey hosts an average of 30 to 40 half marathon races each year, according to the ‘Running in the USA’ race calendar.

The events are held particularly in the spring and fall, with the exception of a few races offered in the winter and summer months.

For those preparing for a summer or fall half marathon race, check out these 10 tips to prepare for your first half marathon this 2017.

  1. Decide why you are running the half marathon

Be clear with yourself about why you have chosen this race distance. Why it is important to you? Whether the race is symbolic, a challenge you would like to achieve, or is a stepping stone to another goal, decide this early on.

Remembering your purpose will motivation you on days when you want to skip training, sleep in, or better yet – quit.

  1. Establish your base

Local running coach and race director Bob Both confirms, “The half marathon distance is a popular one.” Both is the race director for the Asbury Park RunAPalooza race in April. He is also the RunCollege training group coach.

“(The half marathon) is a doable distance for any runner who already feels comfortable with running a 5k (3.1 miles) or five-mile race,” Both said.

New runners should not choose a half marathon as their first race. New runners should take time to build up to a race of 13.1 miles through proper training.

“For most who plan to do their first half it is endurance which is most critical,” Both said. “It is important to gradually build up your mileage.”

In an effort to avoid injury, Both suggests building up to a half marathon gradually. “Your body needs time to adapt and doing too much too fast can set you back.”

How much of a base should you build before taking on your first half? Both suggests running about 15 miles per week with a long run of about 5 miles.

Over a span of between 12 to 16 weeks the runner should gradually build up their long run from 5 miles to 10 or 12 miles.

Both offers training plans to his RunCollege training participants preparing for a half marathon. Training plans can be found on his website, https://sites.google.com/site/runcollege/.

maraton_01-1024x300

  1. Choose your race

When selecting your race keep in mind the weather you will face when training, the possible weather on race day, the amount of time you have leading up to the race, and any prior commitments you have that may impact your training.

Check out www.runningintheusa.com to view New Jersey half marathons this year.

  1. Follow a Plan

Similar to the training plan that running coach Both offers through RunCollege, there are a number of half marathon training plans available online. Not all plans available online are credible, however it is important to follow a plan week-to-week in order to build up to running 13.1 miles comfortably and safely.

Other ways to find a reliable training plan include hiring a running coach or purchasing a training plan.

There are a number of experienced running coaches in the state of New Jersey.

Additionally there are a number of training plans available for purchase. Some website that offer paid training plans include the running magazine website, www.RunnersWorld.com, the Olympic runner and running coach Jeff Galloway website, www.jeffgalloway.com, or the online training application featuring coaches from all over the world,www.trainingpeaks.com.

rook-run-angela-bad-formm

  1. Get the gear

New runners may not be familiar with running shirts, shorts or proper shoes. These run-specific items are not just for show, they are created to avoid chafing and injury while offering comfort during the run.

Locally running gear can be purchased in any athletic store. Additionally, there are a number of running shoe stores in Monmouth and Ocean counties which will offer a full gait analysis. The employees will assist customers in selecting a proper shoe, socks, and additional gear, as needed.

  1. Join friends and local running groups

Registering for your goal race with a friend or family member can be very motivating.

However, if this is not possible consider joining a local running group or get in touch with friends who also run.

The Jersey Shore Running Club is one group that welcomes new members to participate in several group runs during the week and on the weekend. Joining a training group like RunCollege is another outlet.

There a number of formal and informal groups in the area. Spread the word that you are preparing for your first half marathon race and ask friends to link you with local groups. Research local groups online. Find out how to join or where to meet, and get started!

Joining a group is very motivational. The group members are indispensible during times where you are “too busy” to complete your long run or you want to “give up.”

  1. Learn your course and train accordingly

When selecting your race, view the race course. Look for the elevation of the race, the amount of curves or turns, if the race loops and where you can meet up with friends and family.

If you find that your race has a number of hills, complete a number of training runs on a hill surface. You don’t want to be surprised on race day when you find yourself running up a steep hill that you did not train for.

If your race offers it, you may be able to complete a training run on the race course. This will familiarize you with the course and prepare you for any potential hiccups that may occur along the way.

  1. Fuel the run

When preparing for a half marathon race it is highly likely that participants will be running the longest distance they may ever have completed.

When the body is participating in exercise for long periods of time it is important to properly refuel with carbohydrates in order to avoid feeling ill and tired.

Any bout of exercise longer than 90 minutes should include carbohydrate intake, either in the form of liquid, gel or food.

Registered Sports Dietitian and author Nancy Clark recommends taking in carbohydrates 30 to 60 minutes into a run. When choosing a food or drink, choose a food or drink that has between 25 to 60 grams of carbohydrates and ingest this item in small doses every hour.

It is also important to eat food before running a half marathon and after a half marathon.

Food beforehand offers energy during the run. Food after the run restores lost glycogen in the muscles, creating energy in the body for the next run.

For more information on proper fueling strategies, look to Nancy Clark, M.S., R.D., www.nancyclarkrd.com.

  1. Don’t overdo it

A taper is when the training plan hits a mileage highpoint and then begins to decrease leading up to the race.

The taper period allows the body to fully rest in preparation for the race.

Both suggests running a long run of between 10 to 12 miles about 2 to 3 weeks prior to the race. Every training plan will be different, but not by much.

Once the runner has reached their longest run of the training period the taper period will begin.

The shortest amount of runs and lowest weekly mileage is found during the final week leading up to the race.

“In the final week you need to taper and cut back your mileage so your body, joints, muscles and mind are well rested,” Both stated.

Women

  1. Have fun

The night before and the morning of the race can be stressful. Participants have worked so hard for this moment and now it has finally arrived. There are a million things that can go wrong; there are also a million things that can go right.

The night before, eat a normal amount of dinner and relax. Stretch, drink water, rest your legs and visualize yourself running in the race. Many sports psychologists recommend visualizing the start of the race, how you will feel during the race, how you will react when you feel tired, and how you will finish the race.

Use these strategies to calm you down and try to get a good night of rest.

Race morning, focus on enjoying yourself. Take in the loud cheers, lining up in your corral, the beautiful sights, and your fellow runners.

The race is meant to be fun, so have a good time! You’ve earned it.

 

Winter Blues: Sick = No Running

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.

sick

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.”

Web MD; Exercising When Sick: A Good Move?

Moral of the story: If you must “take a break from running” and/or other forms of exercise, don’t be so hard on yourself.

Forgive yourself and remember that next week is: a new week, it is also THE NEW YEAR!

Therefore, don’t worry. The break may actually serve as very beneficial during such a busy and chaotic time of year.

Enjoy your break with ease, allow your body to heal, and feel better!

In the mean time, if you are feeling especially anxious to exercise, try walking OR Sick Day Yoga 🙂 Looks like fun!

awesome

See ya running. You will be missed. We will reunite on Monday, or Sunday, or Tuesday ….

❤ Sending you love, joy and blessings,

 

Angela Joy

Appreciate Who You Are Today

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?”

wearsafe

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.

triathlon

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 🙂

appreciatte

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.

appreciate-now

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.

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❤ Wishing you love, joy and blessings,

Take some time and appreciate yourself for where you are right now.

-Angela Joy

You Can Run Your First 5k!

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.

Women

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!

Michael Thorne Race

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.

Angela_Firecracker 5Mile_2016

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

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
Wk. 1 Walk 15 min. Stretch Walk/Jog 15 min. Stretch Walk 15 min. Stretch  Walk/Jog  20 min.
Wk. 2 Walk 15 min. Stretch Walk/Jog  20 min. Stretch Walk 20 min. Stretch Walk/Jog 25 min.
Wk. 3 Walk 17 min. Stretch Walk/Jog  25 min. Stretch Walk 23 min. Stretch Walk/Jog 30 min.
Wk. 4 Walk 17 min. Stretch Walk/Jog  25 min. Stretch Walk 25 min. Stretch Walk/Jog 30 min.
Wk. 5 Walk 20  min. Stretch Walk/Jog  30 min. Stretch  Jog 5-10 Walk 5-10 Stretch Jog 10 Walk 20
Wk. 6 Walk/Jog 20 min. Stretch Walk 10, Jog 10, Walk 10 Stretch Jog 15
Walk 15
Stretch Jog 18  Walk 15
Wk. 7 Walk/Jog25 Stretch Walk 8, Jog 15, Walk 7 Stretch Jog 20  Walk 10 Stretch Jog 22  Walk 10
Wk. 8 Walk/Jog 20 Stretch Walk 5, Jog 15, Walk 5 Stretch Jog/Walk 20 min. Stretch 5k Race! 

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

Belmar 5Mile_July 2016_Angela

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.

ST Pl
Female runner exercising

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.

–          Celebrate each accomplishment along the way.

–          Enjoy the journey and have fun!

Love running

 

 

Stay Cool on Your Next Run with These Great Tips!

By: Angela Joy

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.

Running water

  1. 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.

  1. 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

Long Distance

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

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  1. 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.

  1. 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.

Running 2

  1. 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. 

 

❤ Wishing you joy, blessings and love,

Angela Joy

10 Steps to Becoming a Runner

By: Angela Joy

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.

I am a runner

  1. 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.

You are  capable

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

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  1. 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.

 

  1. 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.

A female road runner runs down a road at dusk at Independence Pass.

  1. 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.

 

  1. 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.

You can do

  1. 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.

Juices

  1. 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.

I am

  1. 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.

Give yourself credit and have fun along the way!

 

❤ Wishing you love, joy and happiness,

Angela Joy

Tips for A Successful NEW Running Shoe Purchase

By: Angela Joy

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.

ARCH HEIGHT

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.

QUICK TIPS

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.

Run Faster & Stronger Through Strength Training

By: Angela Joy

Most runners participate in only one form of exercise which is, you guessed it – running.

Doing the same form of exercise each day is not effective in properly strengthening the body’s muscles, improving performance and preventing injuries.

As a result, it is suggested that runners participate in a consistent resistance training program to properly strengthen their muscles and evenly distribute their weight.

Strength training will not only assist in preventing injuries, it will also increase speed, endurance, runner efficiency, balance and flexibility.

STT RR

Why Strength Train?

As a runner it is easy to fall into the pattern of running the same route, for the same distance, for the same amount of time, day in and day out.

When we participate in the same consistent form of exercise our muscles are not being challenged.

Over time the body will acclimate to these activities and will not build strength or endurance.

Chief Science Officer at the American Council on Exercise Cedric Bryant reported that variety in an exercise routine allows the body to be physically challenged.

He concluded in an ACE article titled, “Why is it Important to Vary My Exercise Routine,” many of the body’s physiological systems, such as the muscular system, will adapt to an exercise program within approximately six to eight weeks.

He further stated that continuing to participate in the same form of exercise activities will cause the body to “reach a plateau because your body has adapted to the repetitive training stimulus.”

In an effort to prevent reaching a plateau it is not only beneficial to alternate between different types of workouts, but to also incorporate different styles, durations, equipment and intensities.

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The Benefits of Strength Training

The muscles used during running must be properly strengthened, stretched and cared for in order to sustain your running ventures, reach performance goals and increase your running abilities.

Strength training will create strong muscles, prevent injury, improve speed and confidence, improve running efficiency, while also allowing the body to more effectively utilize each breath.

A Runner’s World Magazine article titled, “Strength Training for Runners” stated that if you want to “perform at your full potential” you need to take a comprehensive approach to your training – which includes flexibility, mobility, balance and strength training.

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How to Strength Train

Strength training is defined by the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) as “a form of physical activity that is designed to improve muscular fitness by exercising a muscle or a muscle group against external resistance.”

Strength training activities can be accomplished through traditional free weights, body weight exercises, resistance machine exercises, elastic tubing, medicine balls, and even household items such as cans and jugs, the ACSM stated in a 2013 report on resistance training.

The ACSM recommends that a strength training program is performed a minimum of two non-consecutive days each week.

According to the ACSM, one standard strength training session should be made up of 8 to 10 different exercises that target all of the major muscle groups, and each exercise should be completed for a total of 8 to 12 repetitions.

Strength training workouts general target the chest, back, shoulders, bicep, triceps, abdomen, quadriceps and hamstring muscles.

Runners however tend to focus on specific areas of their body when participating in a strength training program.

According to Runner’s World Magazine runners should focus on strengthening three areas; the core, upper body and lower body.

Core muscles strengthen the abdominals and back. These muscles are the foundation of all movement. Therefore, a strong core create and support strong legs and arms.

Lower body muscles include the soleus, gastrocnemius, tibialis anterior, quadriceps and hamstring muscles.

These muscles create leg strength to withstand fast, long and difficult running ventures.

Upper body muscles include the shoulders, chest, biceps, and triceps. These muscles increase speed during running as the runner pumps their arms and proportionately balances their bodies.

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Strength Training Exercises

A few examples of resistance training exercises to improve running ability, strength and performance include;

  • Squats
  • Lunges
  • Plank
  • Clamshells
  • Bent-over row
  • Side plank
  • Lower body Russian twists
  • Scorpion
  • Back extension
  • Hip bridge
  • Jack knife
  • Alternating shoulder press
  • Deadlift

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Accomplished American marathon runner Amby Burfoot has inspired millions of runner with his quote, “You have to want it, you have to plan for it, you have to fit it into a busy day, you have to be mentally tough, you have to use others to help you. The hard part isn’t getting your body in shape. The hard part is getting your mind in shape.”

ST Runners

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