Running seems like a simple concept. Put on some workout clothes, a good pair of running shoes, strap on your iPod for some good tunes, and just go. Well, if it were that easy. I mean, overall running is pretty simplistic. It's when you start increasing mileage, wanting to increase your pace, and learning to eat during longer runs its seems like a puzzle. You have to find where everything fits for you and only you. Everyone adapts to the changes differently. There's no right or wrong on what to do; therefore, my advice to you is to do what works best for you. Yeah Yeah, you're probably thinking "no crap, I could have figured that one out", but think about it a little deeper. For example, I have to give myself good vibes about increasing mileage a couple days before the run. It's like talking myself into it. For some people they can just run "spontaneous distances". Not me. I have to know all the details of when, where, and how long the run is going to be. I'm a very routine person and the moment that routine is broken my body goes into shock and I break down. Okay, that's a little extreme, but it does effect my running, It's a mental battle. Now to the eating part. This is the most difficult part of running for me. I don't like to eat before I run because it may upset my stomach or give me cramps. BUT then during a long run my stomach will start to growl and feel so empty. After studying exercise/ nutrition in school I know the "right and wrongs" of exercise diets and not eating before a long run is a no no. Sigh. So, when I know I am going to do a long run I eat a piece of fruit or toast. You can even drink some juice or a fresh smoothie. Filling up on carbs will help prolong your run. I don't recommended foods high in fiber before long runs. Just think about it. Good nutrition will help you increase your mileage and pace because your energy sources will be full and ready to knock out those miles! What works for me doesn't necessarily mean it will work for you. No one can give you answers to what works best for you, just suggestions. Figuring out your running style, techniques, and eating habits is part of your running journey. Trial and error is the name of the game, now enjoy.
I was reading my daily blogs the other day when I came to the Runner's World Blog entry titled Wanted: Personal Road Crew. Mark Ramey talks about his 8 miler and how the road crew members helped him around the traffic and work area. He goes on to explain how he started thinking how practical and efficient it would be to have people following him around while running to stop traffic, make sure the crosswalk is clear, and help him dodge any blemishes in the road. To the average non-running person it may seem a little foolish, but to all the runners it actually may seem like a good idea. So to my point, while running this morning I forgot about all the back to school morning traffic. Between all the damn Marta Bus stops and the 3 Catholic School within .05 mile radius on Peachtree traffic was anything but flowing. As I approached one of the crosswalks there was a lady cop directing traffic to aid with the congestion. I felt like for a moment I had my own personal road crew. She made sure she stopped traffic for me not once but twice (twice because I made it a turn around course). I felt important for a moment and for once I wasn't looked at as "an inconvenience because I'm a runner". A lot of motorist don't like runners because we stop traffic or cross the crosswalk when it's our turn causing the motorist anger since they can't run the red light. It doesn't take a lot to make me happy... just stop traffic for me so I don't have to interrupt my run to yield to the motorist. :-) So, if you would like to be my daily personal road crew member please attach your running qualifications for me. Hell, I'll even let you ride a bike, or scooter if you prefer, to ensure you can block off traffic for me. :-) Like, I'm for real....
Training Exercise: Pull Throughs. Pull throughs are the same concept as swings but performed with resistance bands. Swings are commonly executed with kettlebells, but can be done with dumbbells. I know for me, I don't like to do swings with dumbbells. It just doesn't feel the same. Next best thing, pull throughs. This is a good exercise for your hips, glutes, and core. The swinging motion is working your hips and glutes and then end position is like a standing plank, working your core. To preform:
- Have a resistance band either connected to the wall, machine, or closed in a door. Make sure it is at floor level.
- Stand with you feet about hip width apart in front of the band (you will be straddling the band between your legs), Keep your back straight, chest up, and shoulders down.
- Slightly bend your knees.
- Grab the band from the floor or machine.
- Pull the band between your legs squeezing your glutes and straighten your body so you are now standing straight up. Just like a swing.
- Return to starting position. Repeat 3-5 sets, 8-10 reps.
Training Tip: Carry ID. Someone was telling me the other day of a horrific story of a woman about my age that was hit by a car during her morning run before sun rise. She is a Master student at Emory and was going for her daily morning run. She didn't have any id, much less anything on her, except her iPod. She was in the crosswalk when a car failed to stop and hit her. She was unconscious and rushed to the hospital in critical condition. Since she had no ID on her she was in the hospital for about 2 days before the nurse was able to reach her parents. The nurse said she is a mother and would want to know if her daughter was lying in the hospital dying. The nurse took the one piece of material the girl on her, the iPod. She traced back the vin number and found her parents to inform them of their daughter. The woman survived and is now back to running since the accident happened months ago. Tear, tear, tear. The story hit home and made me think. It happens to sound a lot like my running habits. I don't carry id, only have my iPod, run before sun rise, and have almost been hit a couple of time. I declared I'm going to start carrying some type of ID even if It's a dorky, but fashionable, running ID bracelet. Last thing I want is to be hit by a car and laying up in Grady with no identification. I don't like to preach or sound like a mom, but you never know.
Training Songs: This week is a good mix from both Ross and Jesse. Thanks guys! Enjoy!
1. Teach Me How To Dougie (Remix)- Cali Swag District ft. Jermaine Dupri, Red Cafe, B.O.B, & Bow Wow
2. Why Don't You Love Me- Beyonce
3. Bottoms Up- Trey Songz ft. Nicki Mina
4. Supernova- Mr. Hudson ft. Kayne West
6. Everything Is Broken- Mr. Hudson ft. Kid Cudi
Training Lagniappe: The Atlanta 13.1 is almost here! I'm getting excited and nervous at the same time. I always get this way before a race. I'm going for a new Half PR of 1:45 on a training guide I created for myself. It's kind of like I'm putting all my knowledge into my own hands by creating my own guide. If it works I'll take all the credit, of course...BUT if it doesn't work I'll blame it on it was my first one I've ever created from scratch. ;-). I took all my knowledge on exercise, running, and my experience on running to create my guide to help me increase my speed. I'm working on cutting off 4 minutes from my last half. It may not seem like a lot, but it is in the running world. Anyway, so far I'm sticking to my guide and it's going pretty well. I'll keep you updated on my progress so don't worry your pretty little face. :-) Good Luck to everyone else! Keep working towards your goals! Remember even if you don't reach your goal of a new PR, or whatever it may be, stay positive and take it as one more step to reaching your goal!
On a side note, and maybe for some inspiration, here's a picture I took one morning during my run at Piedmont Park. :-) It was a beautiful morning with beautiful flowers... I'm such a girl.
Jayme Bergeron, BS
ACSM Health Fitness Specialist