All runners/athletes want to increase their speed. The faster you go the better your performance will be. Well, there are numerous ways to increase your speed such as hills, mile repeats, interval running, or even strength training. Well, I have a new theory: running during rush hour. When running during rush hour there are cars everywhere, right? They are all trying to turn onto the main road or turning onto the side roads. Crossing crosswalks can be very awkward for runners mostly because motorist make it that way. Although, you have the walk symbol the driver wants to try to squeeze into the tiniest opening so he doesn't have to sit at the red light any more. Well, he decides to pull out into traffic as you are crossing and he then does the stop-go jerk with his car because he is now flustered. So, to save your life you speed up to get to the other side. Example number two is while running with that traffic you will pass the same car a couple of times as he gets stuck at red lights and you keep going then he catches back up with a green light. Okay, so I hate running next to cars that are gliding at the same speed as I am. It is very awkward for everyone around. Like, should I look over and say hey or give a high five? I mean, there is no need to ride right next to me. I get this urge to speed up and pretend like it never happened. To conclude my theory of running in traffic, just speed up. Speeding up while running in traffic helps to save your life from road rage motorist as well as save the awkwardness for everyone while some motorist feel the need to glide at the same speed you are running. I guess you could say it's a form of intervals. Traffic intervals. Each time you approach a crosswalk speed up for about 20 seconds and then slow down back to your normal pace. You can also do intervals between traffic lights, as long as they are close. Sprint in between every other traffic light. This way you won't be stuck running next to the "gliders." It's interval running with a twist. Needless to say, it will help increase your speed. Increasing speed increases performance. Now go play in traffic. :)
As many know, Earth Day is April 22, 2010. So in honor of the day there has been many earth friendly events around Atlanta this weekend. Today was the Inaugural Dow Live Earth Run For Water. The race consisted of running 3.7 miles around downtown to mimic the distance women and children walk daily to obtain water. The global event took place in more than 40 cities worldwide. One of the two signs I saw on the route was "Do It For The Babies!" Congrats to everyone who participated in the race. Atlanta did it big with hosting Rob Thomas as the post race performance. Awe, you best know we had front row. It made running for water more enjoyable. Remember, Earth Day is Thursday, but everyone should be earth friendly every day!
Training Exercise: Abs. Avoiding "bending" or "crunching" type movements for ab work will help decrease related back injuries. Keeping the abdominal muscles stationary will contract and "work" the muscles while there is no pressure on your back.
Progression of Ab work:
- Plank on the ground. Hold the plank position while you are on your knees and elbows. If there is pain in your lower back just lift your butt up a tad.
- Side plank.
- Side plank with a leg/ arm up in the air.
- Side plank with a leg/ arm up in the air while holding a weight. Don't try to weigh yourself down. The weight is to add more tension to the hold.
- Plank on the stability ball. The movement will be like doing a plank on the ground, but your elbows will be on the stability ball. Don't rest your chest on the ball.
- Plank on the stability ball with roll outs. You will do the same thing, but roll the ball out and back in with your elbows.
- Pike ups. Pike ups are done on the ground starting in push up position. Have something under your feet that will allow you to slide on the surface. You will keep your legs straight and slide them in as close to your chest as you can. The end position will look similar to a jack knife, but reversed.
- Pike ups on the stability ball. This is more of an advance movement. You will have the tops of your feet on top of the ball instead of the ground. You will then do the same movement as a regular pike up, but now you have to stabilize the ball.
Training Tip: Have fun! Remember to have fun with your exercises and runs! Once it starts to feel like a chore you are more likely to feel burnt out and tired of exercising. Mix up your runs with changing the distance you run, the route you run, or even change up your workouts. Add a different type of exercise to your workout, go for a swim, or a bike ride instead of a run. Have variety and keep it fun!
Training Songs: In honor of Rob Thomas's performance in Atlanta this morning I have included part of his set list! Enjoy! :)
2. Her Diamonds
3. 3 A.M.
4. This Is How A Heart Breaks
5. Getting Late
Countdown to the Atlanta Live DOW Run For Water:
0 Days (April 18, 2010)