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Sunday, August 29, 2010
Saturday, August 28, 2010
Everyone around the world
Friday, August 27, 2010
I'm 45 and silly me thought that as I got older, the competition would begin to wane. Oh contraire! The exact opposite is happening. I used to place in the top three in my age group quite frequently at local races, but that's getting harder and harder to do. Once I moved into the 45-49-year-old bracket, the competition got a lot tougher. There are a lot of fast runners in their 40s, 50s and 60s.
What's the key? Well, the other day, a client of mine mentioned how surprised he was to learn how muscle-specific different sports can be. He's a runner in his 50s and he's a really good runner. He's coming to me to improve his upper body and core strength and endurance. He is right, different sports can be pretty muscle-specific. It's not until you try a different sport or do some general fitness training that your realize maybe you're not in as good a shape (overall) as you thought.
Runners tend to think it's all about their lungs and their legs and while those are major aspects of running, that's not all there is to running. A strong core and upper body is also needed to ensure powerful movement in the legs and in maintaining good running form. Youngsters in their 20s and early 30s tend to be involved in multiple activities--golf, tennis, soccer, softball, Frisbee football, volleyball, working out at the gym, etc. Because of this variety of activity, the upper body gets a good workout without the individual realizing they're strengtheing their upper body and core. Then somewhere in our late 30s, 40s and 50s, due to work, family, just life in general, many of the activities fall by the wayside. Somehow many manage to hang-on to running. Maybe it's because we can fit it in whenever. Maybe it keeps us sane. Maybe it's because it's cheap. But, over the years, that core and upper body fitness begin to wane. Don't use it; you lose it. Probably wasn't that obvious because as runners we tend to be lean. But lean doesn't always mean fit.
A runner needs muscular endurance in the upper body and core just as much as in their legs. You're swinging your arms just as much as your legs are moving forward. There's no resistance to your arm movement other than some air, but they're still moving. If your upper body doesn't have muscular endurance then a domino effect can begin to happen. First the arms fatigue causing you to round your shoulders and slump. This puts more stress on your core. If your core is not strong, then it will begin to fatigue as well, causing even further decline of your running form. By now your legs are taking the full brunt of the domino effect. Not only has the core stopped providing a strong support and power system for the legs, now the legs are having to deal with poor running form and soon fatigue will consume the legs as well. What's that I see? Could it be? Yep! The dreaded WALL! You're about to smack right into it.
So, what's an older runner to do? Invest a little money in an exercise mat, a medicine ball (or a set of dumbbells or weight plates) and work that core! Whatever the resistance form you choose, it doesn't need to be very heavy. An 8lbs, 10lbs, or 12lbs medball will do fine. 10lb, 15lb, or 20lb dumbbells will work nicely too. Use the core workout and your new toys to work that core. If you don't have a medball most of the exercises can be done with just body weight, a dumbbell, or a weight plate). Do the workout 2 or 3 times a week and you'll be well on your way to a much stronger mid-section. Check back in with the blog on Sunday for an upper body workout for runners.
Sunday, August 22, 2010
I'm a planner and a scheduler, so I doubt I'll give up my training plans, but the book helped me view my training plains more as a guide rather than the law. It also helped me not feel so bad when I do less or more than my schedule dictates, if it's based on what my body's telling me I can handle.
Matt has generously agreed to participate in a RunnerDude's Blog Ask the Author Contest. For the next week (8/22 - 8/29), email your questions related to the book, Matt's ideas on the whole idea of the mind-body method and running by feel, or just on running/training in general to firstname.lastname@example.org. Be sure to put "Ask the Author" in your email's subject line. Also, be sure to include your full name along with your question. All of the submitted questions will be forwarded to Matt. The submitters of the five best questions (selected by Matt) will receive a free copy of Run: The Mind-Body Method of Running by Feel!
The winning questions will be featured on the blog with Matt's responses!
So, don't delay! Send me your question! Don't forget, the deadline is Sunday, August 29th!
Saturday, August 21, 2010
A sprained ankle usually coincides with a sudden sideways or twisting movement of the foot. Often sprained ankles are associated with sporting events, but they all too frequently occur during everyday activities. We're all just an awkward step or an uneven surface away from a Sprain.
Did you know there's a rating scale for the severity of ankle sprains? The scale is based on the types of symptoms you're experiencing and the severity of the injury to the ligament in the ankle.
- Grade 1 Ankle Sprain: This basic type of sprain stretches the ligament beyond it's normal state. The symptoms tend to be limited to pain and swelling. You can usually walk without assistance, but running or jumping may be difficult.
- Grade 2 Ankle Sprain: This sprain is caused by more severe partial tearing of the ligament. The swelling and bruising is typically worse than that of a Grade 1 Sprain. You may be able to walk a few steps unassisted, but it's pretty painful.
- Grade 3 Ankle Sprain: This sprain occurs when there's complete tearing of the ligaments. The ankle is very painful and walking is usually very difficult. Your ankle feels very unstable as if it may "give-way."
A Grade 1 Sprain, will usually subside and heal with RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation), but if you exhibit the following symptoms, a trip to the doc it probably warranted.
· Not able to walk on your ankle
· Severe swelling
· Symptoms linger beyond a couple of days
· Experiencing pain in other areas than the ankle such as the foot or above the ankle
Sometimes the symptoms of a Grade 3 Ankle Sprain and those of an ankle fracture can be hard to tell apart without an X-ray, so when in doubt, see your doc.
So, what's a runner to do? Well, the best case scenario is to avoid ankle sprains all together and the best way to do that is to strengthen your ankles. The following video clip will take you through four simple exercises using an exercise resistance band that will help you strengthen all the small stabilizer muscles around the ankle area. The exercises will also help promote more flexibility in your ankles. Think of these exercises as "Pre-hab" to help prevent injury and avoid having to to "Re-hab" exercises.
Monday, August 16, 2010
- experience less bone and muscle loss as they age
- have lower blood pressure
- deal better with stress
- have a lower risk of stroke, breast cancer, osteoporosis, diabetes, hypertension, and heart attack
- have healthier arteries (better elasticity)
- have stronger immune systems
- have better weight management
- have good coordination and stability (which can help to prevent falls later in life)
- have more endurance and stamina
- have better mental acuity
- be more confident in their everyday lives
Sunday, August 15, 2010
- Help increase your VO2Max (how well your body takes in and utilizes oxygen)
- Strengthens your calf muscles which help propel you forward
- Increases your power and speed
- Helps increase endurance (especially longer hills like Geb's mountain)
- Can help increase your stride or foot turnover
- Helps improve arm movement which is key in helping drive you forward develops maximum
Friday, August 13, 2010
As with most everything, evolving science and research continues to shed new light on theories about running. In the Preface of Run, Matt explains how he feels Brain Training was somewhat of a rough draft for Run. He goes on to say, "I have a good feeling that the philosophy that is manifest here is one I will hold on to as I continue my pursuit as a student of the sport of running."
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
- Capture your motivation in a picture or quote
- Zipper pocket holds your mp3 player, keys and other items
- Ideal for everyday training and use
- lightweight fabric keeps you cool and comfortable
- Throw it in the washer, air dry, and it's good to go
- Two Sizes to fit every arm
- Customized armbands available for groups and teams
Friday, August 6, 2010
There are a ton of sports nutrition foods on the market. Like most anything, there's quality and then there's junk. Some sports bars are mainly glorified candy bars (full of fat and sugar), while others may be healthy but taste like cardboard. If you're like me and been running for any length of time (over 25 years, man I'm feeling old), then I'm sure you've tried them all. And if you're a connoisseur of sports nutrition, you've probably honed in one or two brands of that you prefer. If you're like me, once you've found something that you like and that works for you, you're hard-up to change.
The other day, I was contacted by Erin DeMarines. Erin is a competitive triathlete, certified nutritional consultant, certified sports nutritional consultant, certified personal trainer, and fitness model. Erin's also the founder of E-Fit Foods, Inc. and the creator of 3BAR. 3BAR has grown to become a leading energy bar of triathletes and people seeking a "clean, natural, low sugar, wheat and gluten free, and vegan energy bar.
Okay, I can hear the wheels screeching to a halt. I know, I know.....you heard all those "healthy" terms—clean, natural, vegan—and you're thinking two things....flower child and cardboard. I know, I know. But there's one thing I learned in my 45 years—most anything is worth trying once. You miss out on a lot of good eating, fun, and life if you're not open to trying new things. So, when Erin asked if I would like to test out 3BAR, I said, "Why sure!"
I received three different flavors of bars to try—Blueberry Blast, Tropical Tri, and Cocoa Crunch. The flavors sounded good. First thing I do when I try out a new energy bar is read the label. First thing I read was "vegan, kosher, wheat free, dairy free, gluten free, trans-fat free, cholesterol-free, GMO free , all natural....... my initial response to that was, "Healthy." My second response was, "Ut oh....cardboard nightmare!" But the last descriptor said, "Great Taste!" So, I held out some hope.
Before digging into a bar, I decided to read a little more about how the bars came to be. Come to find out Erin based the recipe off of a cookie recipe from her grandmother. She tweaked and refined it while making it for her personal training clients. The demand from clients grew until eventually 3BAR was born. Well, anything that begins with a grandma, has to be good. Right?
I received 6 bars (2 of each flavor—Blueberry Blast, Tropical Tri, and Cocoa Crunch). I'm currently in training for the Marine Corps Marathon as well as running with my groups I'm coaching, so nutrition and fueling is really important. Plus the North Carolina heat and humidity is really zapping me of my energy. Three times I ate a bar before a long run and three times I used the bars for refueling after an intense workout.
I'm happy to report the bars worked well in both situations. Before the run, it gave me what I needed for the long-haul without making me feel too full nor did it give me stomach issues on the run. When I ate them afterwards, they were easily and quickly digested and really seemed to help in my post run recovery.
The best thing is that even though the bars are free of just about everything, they are pretty dang tasty. My favorite flavors are the Tropical Tri and the Cocoa Crunch. Nothing wrong with the Blueberry Blast either, I'm just more of a chocolate and nut guy. The Cocoa Crunch has chocolate and peanut butter and the Tropical Tri has almond butter, chocolate and coconut.
So, can a bar that's vegan, kosher, wheat free, dairy free, gluten free, trans-fat free, cholesterol-free, GMO free , and all natural taste good? Hell yeah! Give it a try. Check out the website. Also check out this video clip where Erin talks about 3BAR herself.
Note: While I was contacted by Erin DeMarines to test and review samples of 3BAR, I was in no way compensated for the review nor was I encouraged to write a positive review. The review is based soley on my personal experience using the product.
Tuesday, August 3, 2010
A little background: This recipe evolved from a recipe I found on line. Originally it called for ground mace, butter, and about 3x the brown sugar. I quickly learned that ground mace is not for me, must be a learned taste. So the next time I made it with cinnamon and a tiny bit of cloves. Then I decided to try it without butter, didn't even notice it was missing. Then I decided that the granny smith apples made it sweet enough that I could cut back on the brown sugar as well. This has been a hit with everyone I've made it for. It's easy to prepare and doesn't require exact measurements so it is easy to adjust the amount you want to make. The recipe below makes enough for about 8 servings.
2 Large Sweet Potatoes
2-3 Granny Smith Apples
Covered baking dish
- Peel the sweet potatoes and cut into 1 to 1.5 inch scallops. Place in a pot, cover with water and boil until tender, about 10 mins.
- While the potatoes are boiling preheat the oven to 350. Core and dice the apples, leave the skin on the apples.
- Once potatoes are tender drain water from the pot.
- Place the potatoes in a single layer in the bottom of the baking dish then add a layer of apples.
- Take 1 heaping tablespoon of loosely packed brown sugar and sprinkle evenly over the apples.
- Sprinkle some cinnamon and cloves over the brown sugar, I use more cinnamon than cloves but you can add according to your own tastes.
- If you have more sweet potatoes and apples repeat steps 4-6.
- Cover and bake for 40 to 50 minutes until apples are soft.
Thanks Ashley! I made this over the weekend and it tastes great! Be sure to check out Ashley's website Adventures Of Running Mom.
Monday, August 2, 2010
Before a race, any race, I eat a bagel with peanut butter (crunchy, by the way. I don’t even like to acknowledge the existence of “creamy”). After weekend morning runs, I love pancakes! Actually, to be more precise, I love pure maple syrup. Pancakes are just a very efficient and tasty syrup-delivery system.
When it's time to race, I really enjoy participating with friends and family. Several people in my extended family are runners: a brother-in-law, a niece and two nephews on my wife’s side, and two nephews on my side. We’re spread across four states, but we get together frequently at races, either to run with one another or to cheer on one or more of the others. We’re all very competitive and enjoy the occasional side bet on which of us will do best. Bragging rights can last a loooooong time.
RD: What’s the funniest or oddest thing that’s happened to you while on a run?
David: Without question, my biggest running accomplishment was recording a 3:28:42 at the 2009 Chicago Marathon. Why, because that broke the 3:30 time I needed to qualify for the Boston Marathon! I used to be a middle-of-the-pack guy. (In fact, of my 8 marathons, exactly half are over 4 hours.) Until 2008, I never thought I would ever have a chance of qualifying for Boston. But in 2005, I had surgery to repair an ACL I tore playing volleyball. I worked hard at rehab for a year, then ran the 2006 Marine Corps Marathon ... and finished in a very disappointing time.
RD: Open Mike: Share anything you‘d like about your running experiences, past accomplishments, goals, dreams….anything you haven’t previously shared.
- My pace at the time was just enough to put me smack dab in the middle of the pack. While my speed has improved, I'm still no Meb or Ryan.
- I likened the fight against cancer to the parable of the tortoise and the hare. We won't defeat cancer overnight, but slow and steady wins the race.
- This is the best part - Sharon makes these delicious chocolate confections called turtles: pecans swimming in caramel and drenched in chocolate. Mmmmm! My big hook is for a donation of at least $50, you get a box of turtles. With Forrest Gump's box of chocolates, you never know whut yur gonna git, but with mine, you always know it's gonna be tasty!