Sunday, April 18, 2010

"Do It For The Babies!"

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.
Hold planks for 30-45 seconds for 3 sets. Roll outs or pike ups can be done for a count of 20-30 for 3-5 sets. Remember, you can always tweak the reps/sets to what fits you best.

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! :)

1. Someday
2. Her Diamonds
3. 3 A.M.
4. This Is How A Heart Breaks
5. Getting Late

Upcoming Events:

Countdown to the Atlanta Live DOW Run For Water:
0 Days (April 18, 2010)

Countdown to the Northeast Warrior Dash:
34/ 35 Days (May 22, 2010 and May 23, 2010)

Countdown to the AJC Peachtree Road Race:
July 4, 2010

Happy Running,

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Yellow Is Not My Color

It's Spring time in Georgia when everything starts to turn yellow. It's the worst month of the entire year. The flowers are blooming, the temperature is perfect for running, but the pollen counts are outrageous. Running during pollen season can be dreadful, or harmful, for people with allergies. The pollutants can take a toll on your body causing you to feel run down and resulting in a negative athletic performance. I have listed a few tips to help you enjoy your run even during this pollen season.
  • Try getting your run in during the early morning. Avoid afternoon runs as much as possible since that's when the pollen count is the highest.
  • Remember during your run you are breathing in the pollen, running in an area with less trees/grass will assist in avoiding the pollen.
  • Focus on your breathing pattern. For people who have allergies to pollen your airway will be compromised.
  • Keep your body full of fluids to help avoid your airways from drying out.
  • Try chewing gum to keep your mouth moist.
  • Wash off all exposed body parts after your run. The pollen can irritate causing damage.
  • Remember, pollen season will be over soon!
Training Exercise(s): Hills and mile repeats! Ah, it's like nails on a chalk board, but both are needed to improve performance. Hills aid in gaining strength in your legs. Mile repeats help to increase endurance and speed. When you put the two training concepts together you have magic. Hills and mile repeats will help strengthen your muscles, increase your endurance, increase your speed, and make you a better runner overall. Try doing hills 1-2 days a week, mile repeats 1-2 days per week, and long(er) runs 3-4 days per week. Just remember to have at least 1 day of hills and 1 day of mile repeats. Try fitting them into your running schedule where it fits best for you.

Training Tip(s): Spring time entails a lot of races. Try to do distances that you haven't done before or haven't done in a long time. If you are more of a long distances runner try doing some 5k, 6k, or even 10ks during the Spring time. Not only will it add variety to your running, but it will also help you get stronger. Training for a shorter distances allows you to increase your pace; therefore, making you faster and stronger. Have fun!

Training Song(s): Since it is almost Earth Day the following songs are only appropriate. Instead of Earth Day lets make it Earth Week; yep, i'm part tree-hugger! Enjoy! :)

1. Back To The Earth- Rusted Root
2. Cat Turned Blue- Rusted Root
3. Two Of Us- Matt Costa ft. Jack Johnson
4. Too Much- Dave Matthews Band
5. Sexting- Ludacris (This one is just for fun!)

Upcoming Events:

Countdown to the Atlanta Live DOW Run For Water:
6 Days (April 18, 2010)

Countdown to the AJC Peachtree Road Race:
July 4, 2010

Happy Running,

*I promise I will soon be back to blogging like normal! Sorry for the lapse and short blogs lately.