5 Ways to Relive Your Races with your Running Bibs

August 3, 2011  |  Post Race  |  3 comments

Running bibs are memorabilia from each and every race your run. As runners, we put a lot of time into time, effort and money to each race we run but we never take the time to look back at what we just accomplished.

So today, I’m going to tell you 5 ways to relive you race with your running bibs:
Running bibs

1) Scrapbook. Make a scrapbook of your running bibs with plane tickets, pictures, race swag and anything else that reminds you of race day.

2) Bring your race bib to work. Pin it up in your cubicle or a corkboard available to you. Or, frame it and put it beside your computer screen. You might be surprised when it can bring you some well-needed motivation.

3) Pin it to your ceiling. If you’re training for your next race, put your running bibs on your ceiling above your bed to look at each morning as you wake up. It’s guaranteed to bring a smile to your face and get you ready to run that day.

4) Digitize your running bibs. Scan your bibs and save digital copies of them to make collages on your computer or add them to slide shows and videos you make in the future.

5) Build your shrine. If you have an area where you work out at home or a place where you walk by each day, celebrate your hard work by creating an area showcasing your success. This is similar to suggestion #1 but instead, on a sturdy frame or corkboard, add your running bibs, plane tickets, pictures, bracelets, etc to remember that day. Even if you have only had one race, make a shrine out of it!

Running bibs may be just an after though to most runners. Put your bibs to good use by celebrating your hard work and dedication to running.

What do you do with your running bibs?

Q&A – 3 Steps to Healing Your Repetitive Injuries

December 23, 2009  |  Marathon Training  |  63 comments

Deanna M asks: How do you avoid repetitive injury if you allow healing time?

Repetitive injuries are common with runners because it gets frustrating sitting on the “sidelines”. But if you ask any experienced runner/athlete, they will tell you to rest rather than go all out on your next run. Here is how you deal with the possibilities of repetitive injuries while allowing it to heal properly:

my hurt ankle

photo credit: truthlying

1) Rest your injured body. This is very straightforward. Listen, if you have pulled your back or your shins are firing up to the point you can barely run or whatever it is, the best thing to do at that point is rest. There is no reason why you should be running or pushing yourself while sustaining an injury.

The one question that pops up is: “how long do I rest for?” The answer to this question is solely based on the extent of the injury. There are injuries that are more serious where the injury involves damage to the skeletal structure. For those injuries, your physician will have the most realistic rest period. For smaller injuries, rest for a couple of days at the very LEAST before jumping back into exercise or the same injury will reappear faster than you can say “OUCH!”.

2) Ease into running. Once you feel that your body is 80-90%, ease into running rather than immediately going for a 10 miler. It’s funny because I was in the situation where I had enough of just sitting around. The day I felt good, I ran like I never ran before and was running as if I were chasing freedom!

…when I got home, that inspirational and invigorating run turned into a world of hurt and pain. The best way to start running again is doing lower impact exercises. Go on the elliptical and the bikes before you start running on the paved ground. What many runners really enjoy is swimming during injuries. I swam a couple of times during rough patches of training and I have to say that I enjoyed the change of pace.

3) Track your results or prepare for more injuries. Tracking your training through tools such as journals or an online tool such as Training Peaks. Here is more information on what running logs are and how you can take advantage of them: Running Logs.

An injury is simply but repetitive injuries are even worst. I’m sure that with resting, easing into running and tracking progress as the body heals, running will go back to normal and enjoyable!

Racing Weight: How To Get Lean For Peak Performance

December 17, 2009  |  Guest Articles  |  1,652 comments

Here is an article by a friend of mine, Matt Fitzgerald. He has just released his book “Racing Weight: How to Get Lean for Peak Performance”. Matt wrote the book to help runners, like you, manage their weight during their training schedules. I don’t know about you, but there are definitely hundreds, if not thousands of runners who jump into running to get that instant gratification; they want to shed those pounds ASAP!

Matt shows you how to realistcally manage weight and the challenges along the way. Enjoy the article!

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“There are lots of good books on endurance sports nutrition. There’s Sports Nutrition for Endurance Athletes, by Monique Ryan; Nutrition Periodization for Endurance Athletes, by Bob Seebohar; Performance Nutrition for Runners, by yours truly; and many others. Most of these books contain a chapter on weight management. But body weight and body composition are such major factors in endurance performance that they really deserve more than a single chapter, don’t you think?

I thought so, anyway, so last year I set about writing the first book exclusively focused on the issue of weight management for endurance athletes. That book, entitled Racing Weight: How to Get Lean for Peak Performance”, has just been published. If you have ever struggled to reach and maintain your optimal racing weight, you’ll want to check it out. I know I’m biased, but I think it will help you!

Racing Weight is divided into three parts. Part I (“Finding Your Racing Weight”) covers the importance of being light and lean if you want to perform better and gives you some unique new tools to determine your own optimal performance weight and to track your progress toward it. In this section you will also find chapters that address seasonal considerations (which cover topics such as managing your weight during the off-season versus the competitive season), as well as sport-specific nutritional challenges, and tips for beginning endurance athletes.

Part II (“Five Steps to Your Racing Weight”) presents a five-step plan to get leaner and lighter in a way that maximizes performance and all-around health. Each step in the plan is based on the latest advances in the science of weight management, especially as they relate to endurance athletes, and on the practices that are proven to work best in the real world. Here’s a quick synopsis of the Racing Weight plan for body weight optimization:

Step 1: Improve your diet quality.

Step 1 in my Racing Weight plan is to improve your diet quality, or the amount of nutrition you get from each calorie in your diet. Increasing the nutrition-per-calorie ratio of your diet will enable you to get all the nutrients you need for maximum performance from fewer total calories, thus enabling you to become leaner. An effective way to improve your diet quality is to grade or score the quality of your current diet and continue to score your diet quality as you make efforts to improve it. Nutrition scientists have come up with various ways of measuring diet quality. Most of these approaches are a bit too complex to be useful to the average runner, so I created a simplified diet-quality scoring system that you will find very easy to work with and that will help you nourish your body for health and endurance performance.

Step 2: Balance your energy sources.

There are three main sources of energy for the human body: carbohydrate, fat and protein. Each of these three “macronutrients” is used by the body in a different way. There are also different types of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins that affect the body in slightly different ways. Consuming the right balance of macronutrients and the right balance of carbohydrate, fat, and protein types will help you achieve your optimal performance weight.

Step 3: Time your nutrition.

When you eat affects your body as much as what you eat. The timing of your food intake has a big impact on what’s known as energy partitioning, or what becomes of the calories you consume. There are three main destinations of food calories in your body: muscle, fat cells, and energy. If you want to become leaner, you need to shift the balance of energy partitioning so that more calories are incorporated into your muscles, fewer calories are stored in your fat tissues, and more calories are used to supply your body’s immediate and short-term energy needs. This shift will lead to more metabolism-boosting lean tissue and less health-jeopardizing fat tissue.

Interestingly, you can often achieve this objective with little or no reduction in the total number of calories that enter your body. We’re really talking about redirecting calories once they’ve entered your body, not about decreasing the number of calories that enter your body in the first place. The practice of nutrient timing, or consuming the right nutrients at the right times throughout the day, will enable you to partition your energy more effectively and achieve your racing weight.

Step 4: Manage your appetite.

Appetite is important. It is your body’s built-in mechanism for food intake regulation, and its job is to drive you to eat enough to meet your body’s energy and micronutrient needs, and no more. The appetite mechanism works very well under normal circumstances, having survived millions of years of evolutionary testing to the benefit of our health. But our modern lifestyle does not constitute “normal circumstances” in relation to the environment in which most of our evolution took place. Consequently, our appetite cannot be entirely relied upon to ensure that we don’t overeat.

In recent years scientists have learned a lot about how the appetite mechanism works. Understanding how your appetite works puts you in a better position to manage it effectively so that you consume only the number of calories you need to maximize your performance and no more.

Step 5: Train right.

Training errors are common in every endurance sport, even at the highest levels of competition. Many of these training errors not only limit performance but also prevent athletes from becoming as lean as they could be. Training methods continue to evolve at the elite level of each endurance sport. Bringing your training methods up to date will help you raise your level of performance and achieve or maintain your racing weight.

Part III of Racing Weight: How to Get Lean for Peak Performance” (“The Racing Weight Menu”) provides resources that will help you put the Racing Weight plan into practice. These resources include sample food journals from elite athletes in several different endurance sports (including Ryan Hall and Chrissie Wellington);

21 delicious and easy-to-prepare breakfast, lunch, and dinner recipes created by professional triathlete and dietitian Pip Taylor; and information about the few nutritional supplements that may help you get leaner.

‘Tis the Season

The holiday season – also known as the off-season for many endurance athletes – is upon us. This is the time of year when we tend to stray farthest from our ideal racing weight. That makes it the perfect time to invest a little pocket change in a resource that will help you reverse the trend. Don’t wait: Get your copy of Racing Weight: How to Get Lean for Peak Performance” today!”

Marathon Training – How to Avoid Leg Cramps

November 20, 2009  |  Guest Articles  |  4 comments

Here’s an article from Mike Stapenhurst:

Most marathon runners have experienced leg cramps at one time or another. This can be a sudden cramping as your leg muscle seems to curl into a ball, with excruciating pain forcing you to stop, or it can be a gradual tightening of your muscles to the point where each step becomes extremely painful. Following are some ways to help you avoid this frustrating problem during your marathon.

What Causes Cramps?

Actually we don’t know exactly what causes cramps! There are many theories about this and possible causes including dehydration, the loss of electrolytes and minerals, and muscle fatigue. Newer theories believe that cramps are caused by an imbalance between nerves and muscles. Other factors involved are age and body weight.

Avoiding Cramps

Here are some recommendations for minimizing the chances of getting cramps while you are running the marathon.

Sufficient Training

You need to be well trained for the race. If your muscles are pushed beyond their training limits this will make them much more susceptible to cramps.

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RW: Ripped Abs in Three Moves

November 15, 2009  |  Marathon Training  |  4 comments

Here’s a video from Runner’s World. In this video, you’ll see three moves that are made to strengthen your core and allow you to have greater control when you’re out running.

Your core plays a key role in your running form and your endurance. If you haven’t been working on your core, I suggest that you start with these three exercises.

No More Aching Heavy Legs!

November 12, 2009  |  Marathon Training  |  320 comments

Have you ever had those runs where your have aching heavy legs? After a couple minutes, it feels like you can’t even lift the legs off the ground. There are many reasons for this common issue known as “heavy legs”. Here are reason why you’re legs feel heavy and what you can do about it on your next run:

DSC_1086
photo credit: Zach Klein

  1. Running high mileage: As you increase your mileage in the early stages in your training, it’s important to pay attention to how your body responds. If you are having troubles with the mileage in week 2, there is an issue present. Building a stronger foundation may be the solution. Take into account what kind of mileage you’re comfortable with running and what distance or weekly mileage causes heavy legs.
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7 Ways to Deal With Running Fatigue

November 7, 2009  |  Marathon Training, Mental Training  |  618 comments

Running fatigue is one of the worst feelings a runner can experience while running a marathon. To the untrained mind of a runner, the instant that fatigue sets in, the runner loses all control over their body. The only thoughts circling their heads are “OMG!! I’m soo tired. I can barely keep up my pace…can I even finish this race anymore?”

These kind of thoughts are crippling for your confidence. As soon as you believe that these thoughts are true, you have just surrendered any ability to finish your marathon.

How to Take Fatigue Out of Your Running

nap timephoto credit: refractionless

There are many ways to deal with running fatigue and now, I will share with you 7 methods that I have found that worked for me:

  1. Eliminate anxiety before running. When I begin a run, my goal initial goal is to run the mileage that I have been assigned based on my running schedule or a pre-determined mileage with the specific pace, heart rate, etc. But, when I finish my run, I want to feel ecstatic and be glad I ran so I can be super-energetic doing the rest of my tasks for the day.
  2. Keep Your Body Hydrated. There are far too many runners that only hydrate during the race; this is a HUGE mistake. Your body needs to be hydrated before, during and after your race/training sessions because it will help the constant recovery of your body. To learn more of hydartion, here are two posts on the effects of dehydration and preventing dehydration with electrolytes.
  3. Become Comfortable in Your Running Attire. The last thing you want is to be running a marathon and being bugged by that wierd bump in the shoe. Make sure you have on the right shoe, shirt, shorts, etc. for YOU! Everyone has their own preferences as we’re all different. Get comfortable clothing and shoes so that when you’re running, you’re putting all your efforts on finishing the race instead of trying to prevent from getting distracted by the annoying feeling in your shoe.
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Finally, Get Rid of Your Thoughts of Anxiety!

October 23, 2009  |  Mental Training  |  129 comments

Racing without thoughts of anxiety is an obstacle that suddenly hits runners in the last week before the race. Runners usually face a level of uncertainty and a little self-doubt on their abilities to run a race. There are few reasons for why this happens and I will share some ways of getting rid of anxiety.

freedom
photo credit: cguille

WHY ME?!?!

When that wierd, uncomfortable feeling hits, it spirals out of control which can really mess with your head.  The common reasons for these feelings are:

  • Self Doubt: When you believe that you aren’t ready to run your marathon or worse, you don’t believe you’re a runner, it can really damage your self image. You honestly have to believe that you are mentally and phsyically prepared to run your race.
  • A Bad Run: If a runner has a bad run near the last couple of days before race day, it can hurt you mentally. The fact is that there are going to be some days where you feel like crap! Forget that day even happened and move on; you’re better than that!
  • Getting Sick: There are runners who get sick during their training. It’s heart breaking to dedicate yourself to train for so long and all of it fall apart because of a cold. It depends on the severity of your sickness and how quick you recover.  This topic is sensitive because it depends on how badly you have fallen into a cold.

There are more reasons that creates a level of anxiety and I would like to hear what you think in the comments section below.

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Chi Running Secrets With Danny Dreyer

October 16, 2009  |  Marathon Training, The Running World  |  115 comments

Running an injury free marathon is a challenge in today’s running world. There are far too many runners that hurt themselves before even competing for their marathon or they have damaged their body through improper technique that when they run the 26.2, those same damaged joints take such a beating that they ultimately give up.

Danny Dreyer's Chi Running

What is Chi Running?

Chi Running is perspective on running that incorporates principles of Tai Chi meshed with running. Chi Running is much different from the common perspective on running which is “no pain, no gain”. Instead, it involves a method of running that revolves around using your body’s core to run rather than individual muscles pushing you towards the finish line; a holistic approach if you will. The major differentiation is that Chi Running is an injury free method of running. With its holistic approach to running, the possibility of getting injured decreases dramatically.

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Runner Collapses During Baltimore Marathon, Dies

October 14, 2009  |  The Running World  |  No Comments

BALTIMORE — A runner who collapsed Saturday morning while participating in the Baltimore Marathon and later died has been identified as an MIT graduate student.The runner was identified as Peter Curtin, 23, of Boston.

Baltimore City fire spokesman Kevin Cartwright said Curtin collapsed at mile 23 with a core body temperature of 107 or 108 degrees. Fire officials said he was in cardiac arrest when he was taken to Union Memorial Hospital at about 11:20 a.m.

Source: wbaltv.com

It’s sad to hear about stories such as this one because a marathon is an event where people reward themselves with a beautiful experience. Knowing one’s limits is important to your intensity of training for a marathon but especially tolls it can take on your long term health. Unfortunately, the runner pushed himself too hard and passed away

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