Sunday, May 31, 2009
If Jeff ever decides to change careers, I think he could go into producing a "how-to" television show. He has a great knack for conveying good information with just the right amount of comic relief sprinked in. I think it's his honesty and openess about his triumphs and failures on his marathon journey (as well as his humor) that make the clips so compelling.
I asked Jeff if he'd consider doing a guest video posting for you guys—RunnerDude's readers. He took me up on my offer and wanted to know what he should do the clip on. Well, since it was the beginning of the month and time for another The Runner's Palate recipe, I thought it would be great for him to share one of his favorite recipes, and that's what he did. So, drum roll please........... Introducing Jeff Pickett and his recipe for the ultimate post-run meal—the breakfast burrito (and the crowd roars)!
Don't worry, I'm not talking about adding 20-pound guns to each arm, but doing the following routine will give you that extra strength to pull you across that finish line.
1. Shoulder Shrug Using Dumbbells
2. Lateral Raise Using Dumbbells
07 Beginner: Shoulders - Dumbbell Lateral Raise - For more funny movies, click here
3. Bicep Curls
Arm & Shoulder Workouts: How To Do Bicep Curls
4. Tricep Dips
5. Abdominal Bicycle Crunches
Saturday, May 30, 2009
The key to FIRST is less running. Don't be fooled into thinking that less means easy. In this case, less means more. Not more miles, but instead, more focused and intense workouts. It sounds odd but runners using the Furman approach train less and 16 weeks later they're running faster. A couple of my running buddies (Less and Fred) have used FIRST and stand by the program. They both agree, though, that the program is not easy and the workouts are hard, but that the program works.
The plan is meticulously laid out in the book Run Less Run Faster. The authors have managed, however, to present the information in a very user-friendly manner. The three weekly workouts are based on the runner's current running level (this is all detailed in the book). The other great thing about the book is that it provides training plans for all 16 Boston qualifying times. Need to run a 3:10 to qualify for Boston? There's a plan for you. Need to run a 3:3o (that's me)? There's a plan for you. There are separate training plans for men and women.
Friday, May 29, 2009
Thursday, May 28, 2009
Another way to help increase your stride is to listen to music while you run that has a beat that mimics something around 180 beats per minute. Don't have time to count the beats of all the songs on your playlist? You're in luck! Erin Sholl (a Battle Creek, Michigan transplant in Brooklyn, New York) is working on her independent songwriting project: Lady Southpaw. Her mission is using vocals, electric and acoustic guitars, computer beats, keyboard synthesizers, harmonica, accordion, and even a baglama to design songs for running. So far she's written six new songs based on research about music and the brain, getting in "the zone," and developing a consistent optimal running stride rate.
Erin ran her first marathon last fall through Team in Training and now she has her sights set on the 2010 NYC Marathon. While fundraising for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society she was inspired to write a song about the experience and give it to her donors as a thank you gift.
At one time Erin was a certified personal trainer so she has a fundamental understanding of running biomechanics and training programs but she's mainly coming from the perspective of a "nerdy artist." She likes experimenting with sounds and bringing together big ideas like the ultimate music listening experience with the ultimate running experience and finding the zone where they meet. So, she did some extra research and took some time to write the songs. Erin's been documenting her progress about what she has so far on her blog—Running Rocks. She's hoping it's only the beginning. You can find out more about Erin and Lady Southpaw on her website.
Most of the running songs Erin's created are written at tempo of 180 bpm but the first one is written at 160 to help you work up to that speed. She says that if you count the number of times your left foot strikes in one minute it should be between 80 and 90 times. Multiply that by 2 and you'll have your 160 or 180 beats per minute. Erin's stresses that you should work on short quick steps to reduce the impact on your joints, helping to prevent injury.
Erin wants to add more songs to the six she's written. She knows you need a lot more songs than six to train for a marathon, but she wants to make sure she's on the right track and make sure that her future songs are something that runners want to hear.
If you'd like to try a free song in return for giving Erin some feedback, write to Erin at firstname.lastname@example.org. The Songs for Running will be released for sale later this summer. Right now you can get the Lady Southpaw self titled E.P. (which is not written for running) from most online music retailers including iTunes, eMusic and Amazon.
Check out the clip below of Lady Southpaw in action playing for runners in the HOHA Classic 5K race in Hoboken, NJ.
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
1. “Warm up properly and then stretch. Run nice and easy for about 5-10 minutes, then stretch once you are warm and the muscles and joints are more pliable. Never stretch ‘cold.’”—Stew Smith, a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, a former Navy SEAL, host of Military.com Fitness Center , and author of several fitness and self defense books such as The Complete Guide to Navy SEAL Fitness, and Maximum Fitness
2. “I do a lot of cross-training with other sports, including mountain biking and windsurfing, to strengthen all my muscle groups.” —Dean Karnazes, endurance runner and author of 50/50: Secrets I Learned Running 50 Marathons in 50 Days—and How You Too Can Achieve Super Endurance
3. “The lower extremities are the ‘working muscles’ for runners. They need to be emphasized, not ignored, and a stronger lower body means greater muscular endurance.” —Ken Leistner, Ph.D., strength coach
4. “The single best thing you can do to make your running easier and more enjoyable is to run regularly with a friend.” —Bill Rodgers, a four-time winner of the Boston and New York City marathons, former American record holder for the marathon
5. “Avoid running in extreme temperatures… drink lots of fluids and get your shades, hat and sunscreen on.” —Nick Grantham, known fitness presenter and writer with articles published in leading sports publications such as Triathlete's World, Men's Health and Men's Fitness including monthly columns in Sports Injury Bulletin and Maxim magazine.
6. "Many new runners are injured because they don't take the time to put together a safe running program" —Joanie Greggains, fitness expert and author of Fit Happens.
7. “Many running injuries are a result of overtraining: too much intensity, too many miles, too soon. It's important to go easy when adding mileage or intensity to your training. You shouldn't increase your weekly mileage by more than 10% each week.” —Christine Luff, fitness writer, avid runner, and running coach.
8. “Wearing the wrong type of running shoes for your foot and running style can lead to running injuries.” —Christine Luff, fitness writer, avid runner, and running coach.
9. “Sixty percent of a shoe's shock absorption is lost after 250-500 miles of use, so people who run up to ten miles per week should consider replacing their shoes every nine to 12 months.” —American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
10. “Over-stretching or improper stretching can easily lead to injury…..it's always best to begin your run with 5 minutes of walking at a good steady pace. Follow that with 10 minutes of easy running before you begin to pick up the pace a little. By doing this, you will slowly stretch your muscles, ligaments, and tendons and will be preparing them for the impending run. Using this warm-up technique will greatly diminish the chance of injury.” —Ray Fauteux, fitness writer
11. “An obvious way to prevent injury, but worth stating. Busy roads with little room for pedestrians should be out. After all, how many joggers do you see paying the toll on the interstate? Similarly, extremely rough, trail-free terrain should also be avoided as it presents unsure and unsafe footing. Your best bet is a quiet road with steady gravel/dirt on its side—grass, in a best case scenario—or on sidewalks with good “give” for your feet. Avoid running for extended periods of time on hard cement or concrete, as this can lead to stress fractures and shin splints.” —Jon Rineman, fitness writer for Life123.com
12. “During hot weather, running should be scheduled in the early morning or evening hours, to avoid heat exhaustion. Do not run when pollution levels are high. Be sure to have adequate rest between training sessions.” —American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
13. “Hard workouts include long runs, races, speedwork, hill repeats, and/or any other stressful workout. Do not run two hard workouts back to back. For example, if you complete a long run on Sunday, do not plan to go to the track to do a speedwork session on Monday. Similarly, if you run a 10K road-race on Saturday, avoid doing a long run on Sunday.” — Art Liberman, author/coach, creator of marathontraining.com
14. “With road races, people need to remember that they are running on concrete, a hard surface that requires the body to take a lot of pounding. It's more important than ever to wear a good shoe and sock combination to provide necessary cushioning.” — Joanie Greggains, fitness expert and author of Fit Happens.
15. “Perhaps the most important tip in preventing injuries is to do something if you feel things going wrong. Often runners ‘run through’ pain and this leads them to a point that a fairly minor injury ends up being a very serious one. If you are having pain, get in checked out by your doctor or a sports medicine doctor before it becomes a serious problem.” —Joe English, professional running and triathlon coach and a journalist
So, in a nutshell:
1) Wear the correct shoes and change them frequently
2) Increase mileage slowly
3) Warm-up and cool-down before and after running
4) Vary your running surfaces
5) Avoid hard workouts on consecutive days and add cross-training to your plan
A great resource for all runners' libraries is Joe Ellis' book Running Injury-Free . Also, check out the video clip below from eHow.com for a few running injury-prevention tips.
How to Prevent Running Injuries -- powered by eHow.com
Monday, May 25, 2009
Sunday, May 24, 2009
Then about 10 years ago Jorge Cruise wrote a book called The 3-Hour Diet that really turned the diet world on its head. Cruise presented a three-point approach:
Jorge Cruise is a well-spoken, good-looking, fit, charismatic guy and I think that's part of his appeal to the masses. Plus he once was overweight and used his method to lose the weight and become one of biggest fitness gurus on the planet. So, he has some street creds with the us regular folk. Who would you rather listen to, a guy in a lab coat or Jorge? Check out the clip below that gives a 10-year overview of Cruise's success.
Most scientist aren't disputing Cruise's eating plan, they're just saying that there haven't be any studies to support his theories that eating more smaller meals increases your metabolism causing you to burn more calories. One team of nutrition researchers recently concluded that whether you eat 3 or 6 meals a day, weight loss ultimately comes down to "how much energy (or calories) is consumed as opposed to how often or how regularly one eats." Basically it comes back down to what we already knew: Calories IN = Calories BURNED. If you want to lose weight, you need to shift the equation to Calories BURNED > Calories IN. So, which ever method (3 meals or 6) helps you to eat fewer total calories at the end of the day and burn more total calories at the end of the day is the method for you.
Saturday, May 23, 2009
After each run, I took a quick shower and put the socks back on for a couple of hours for recovery. My kids tease me about my new black "dress socks" that I wear around the house (my CEP Socks are black). I really did have strong reservations about wearing "socks" when running and how effective they'd be, but I'm a believer now.
Friday, May 22, 2009
Luckily because there are so many different varieties of sports drinks on the market, you're likely to find something to suite your needs. For example, if high amounts of fructose or sucrose give you stomach issues you can now find ones that have lower amounts like Gatorade G2 or ones that use complex carbs like LIV Organic Sports Drink or Powerade Zero that contains no carbs but does provide electrolytes and sodium.
Hypotonic Sports Drinks—Contain electrolytes and a small amount of carbs. This type of drink replaces fluids quickly but doesn't provide much of an energy boost. If a runner uses hypotonic sports drinks on a long run, he/she will need to supplement with sports gels to get the needed carbs. (Examples: Gatorade G2, Powerade Zero, Amino Vital)
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
Step 1: Eat lightly and normally the week before the marathon.
Step 2: The day before your marathon, do a 3 minute, very-high-intensity speed workout in the morning. (For the reporter who wrote the article, that meant running two-plus all-out laps at the track.)
Step 3: Consume 12 grams of carbs for every kilo of lean body mass spread over the next 24 hours. That's a HUGE amount of carbs. (The reporter who wrote the article is a runner who weighed 150lbs. To get in this amount of carbs, he drank four 18-ounce cans of ABB Carboforce . He said ten 12-ounce bottles of the new Gatorade Carbohydrate Energy Formula would work as well too.)
• Carb-loading can cause some runners to experience digestive discomfort. The Mayo Clinic suggests avoiding or limiting some high-fiber foods (beans, bran and broccoli) one or two days before the raced.
• Carb-loading can also affect your blood sugar levels. The Mayo Clinic suggests consulting with a doctor or a registered dietitian before starting carb-loading, especially if you have diabetes, and especially if it's your first experience with carb-loading.
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
What does this mean? Your body begins to slow down because it's running out of fuel. Both your brain and your muscles use glycogen for energy. Your brain is the master control center of the body, so when the glycogen supply starts to run low, the brain gets the remaining glycogen and the legs are left to fend for themselves. Your legs become fatigued and you begin to slow down. When your levels of glycogen plummet even more, your brain starts to become fatigued. Runners often describe this stage like being in a fog. At this point, some runners begin to experience confusion, become very emotional, and some even hallucinate. Hitting the wall or bonking is how your body protects itself. Your body needs glycogen to properly run your brain and muscles. When your glycogen stores get dangerously low, your brain takes over making you slow down to protect itself.
Mind over matter, the art of distraction, or putting on your game face can also help you avoid or get through the wall. There are two different approaches you can take—inward or outward. A more experienced or elite runner may take the inward approach—focusing on the needs of his body, taking note of how his body is feeling, monitoring his stride, pace, hydration needs, etc. A less experienced runner may take the outward approach by diverting his attention to something other than his body such as mile markers, water stations, other runners, landmarks, etc. (Personally, counting mile markers has the opposite effect on me. Marking a runner to catch up to works better for me.) The outward approach could also involve the runner using imagery—imagining he's chilling on a beautiful beach—to help him disassociate from the race and the fatigue. Putting on a game face is another outward strategy that's good to use in the last miles of the race. Getting mad or angry and determined to catch that runner ahead of you or to cross that finish line ahead can help you override your central nervous system trying to shut you down. May only last a little while, but it could help you gain a mile or so. It's best to keep the outward approach for later in the race. If you're not aware of your pace or your body's needs earlier in the race, you could find yourself hitting that wall even earlier than expected.
Another strategy to help avoid hitting the wall is to consume carbohydrates while running. This can be done by drinking sports drinks like Gatorade and/or eating carbohydrate gels, jelly beans, or shots such as GU, Power Gel, Accel Gel, Jelly Belly's Sports Beans , GU Chomps, etc. The trick in using these products is ingesting them before you begin to feel fatigued. It takes some time for the carbs to get into your system. You need to be supplying the carbs ahead of the onset of fatigue so when your glycogen stores run low, there's more on the way to replace them. Golden rule of running...never try something during a race that you've never tried in training. So, find out ahead of time which sports drink and sports gel will be provided along the course. If it's not the brand you're using, you'll need to pack your own.
I discovered Greek yogurt about a year ago and have been using it ever since. I had read an article about how you could use Greek yogurt as a substitute for sour cream in baked potatoes. I use the 0% fat version and it really does taste great as a sour cream substitute. Even my kids like it. You don't feel as guilty loading that potato when it's full of protein and fat-free. Greek yogurt also tastes great by itself as well as topped with fresh fruit. I make a killer Protein Breakfast Smoothie using Greek yogurt (click here for the recipe). It's also great with oatmeal. Try it in the Ultimate Power Breakfast (click here for the recipe).
Monday, May 18, 2009
Sunday, May 17, 2009
2. If possible, pick up your race packet the day before the race. If that's not possible, arrive at least an hour before the start time to get your packet.
3. If it's a race you've never run before or if it's in a town you've never been to or are unfamiliar with, be sure to use a site like MapQuest or Yahoo! Maps to get directions. Both sites provide estimated travel time, mileage, turn-by-turn directions, and maps, which you can print and take with you.
5. Make sure you have the breakfast foods you normally eat before running on-hand. Race day is not the time to test out something different or to discover your cupboard is bare.
6. When it's time, be sure to line up according to your estimated pace for the race. Some races organize the runners by pace, but in most small local races you're left on your own to do this. Elite runners (the ultra fast guys and gals) are in the front typically followed by groups of runners which decrease in pace times by typically a minute. For example, behind the elite runners of a 5K, the next group might be runners expecting to run a 6:00-7:00 minute mile. Behind this group would be the 7:00-8:00 minute milers, followed by the 8:00-9:00 minute milers, and so on. Neither delaying the fast runners nor being trampled is a good thing.
7. While in the starting corral, look down. Make sure your shoes are tied.
8. Expect the first half-mile to mile in a race with lots of runners to be very crowded and tight. This will eventually ease up as runners spread out along the course.
10. Never come to a dead stop in a race. This can cause a pile-up! If you need to tie your shoe, pull off to the side.
11. As you weave in and out and pass fellow runners (especially during the start of the race), be sure to say "Excuse me" "Coming through" or "On your left/right."
12. If you hear "Excuse me" "Coming through" or "On your left/right", be sure to move over. It's proper etiquette to allow the runner to pass when they've announced their intentions.
13. If you plan on discarding some layers of clothing along the race course, be sure to move over and drop the clothing along the curb.
14. Pay attention to automobile traffic. The course may not be completely closed to traffic or a car could accidently wander into the course route.
15. Check the race website prior to race day for the location of the water stops. This is more important for longer races, but good info to have for any race.
16. Check to see if the race organizers have announced the brand of sports drink provided on the course, if only water will be provided, or if both will be provided. If the race is using a brand different from what you've used while training, better plan on carrying your own.
17. Often a water station will have more than one table. Heading for the second table will help you avoid the "clog" that often occurs at the first table, especially in the early miles of a race.
18. If you plan to stop at or walk through a water station, it's best to keep moving through the station, get your water, and then pull off to the side out of the way of your fellow runners. Once you're ready to run again, be sure to look before merging back into the flow of runners.
19. If it's a winter race, take extra precautions at water stops. Often they become skating rinks!
20. To avoid spilling the water or sports drink down your front, squeeze the top of the cup forming a V-shape. Use the tip of the V as a spout and drink from this end.
21. If provided, be sure to toss the cup in a waste can. If none are provided, carefully toss the cup to the side out of the traffic area.
22. Encourage your fellow racers. This works well in out-and-back courses where you'll see the lead runners on their return. Root them on. Then when you're on the return, encourage the runners in the back of the back.
23. At the end of the race, be sure to keep moving through the shoot until you're clear of the finish area.
24. Be sure to partake in the post-race food and drink that's usually provided, but remember that moderation is the key. Not a good idea to stuff yourself after a race plus there are runners behind you that are looking forward to refueling too.
25. Don't toss that bib after the race. Bib numbers are often used for door-prize drawings.