THE 'EARNED RUNS' COMPANY NAME lends itself to an activity that may appeal to you as the Halloween holiday approaches. Nutrition specialist Cindy Ma wrote a fun piece for MyFitnessPal.com that actually has me thinking what specific candy I might want to “earn” in advance of or after October 31.
The infographic article, “Earn Your Favorite Halloween Candy” clearly demonstrates the differences that exist between candies in terms of energy required to 'burn' calories consumed. My favorites have always been Snickers bars, M&M Peanuts, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, and KitKat bars, in that order. Considering that the minutes quoted account for eating just one snack/fun size of each treat, I’ll need to get busy this weekend working off the expected splurge: 22, 24, 30, and 19 minutes respectively FOR ONE OF EACH!.
A word of caution though. The calculations are based on expected calorie expenditure by average-sized males and females. Walkers and runners smaller/weighing less than those body types (5'3" female at 166 pounds and 5'8" male at 195 pounds) should anticipate a lower burn rate.
I probably won’t boost my exercise amount for this purpose, however. It is a mental trap for me to expect that more and more activity can accommodate higher calorie intake. There’s only so much time to exercise, and there’s a risk of injury in overdoing physical activity.
The best plan for me is to remain active and balance intake by cutting back on other yummy higher-calorie treat food and drink in the days before and after, if I plan to snack on Halloween candy.
CONFUSING ADVICE ABOUT STRETCHING If you read consistently about running and working out, you’ll be aware that most trainers and coaches who author articles in this area do not recommend static stretching prior to intense running or performance at events. There’s an almost universal caution NOT to perform passive or active static stretches pre-run or pre-performance.
We’re told to reserve them for the post-run cooldown period. The benefits of warming up with dynamic stretch exercises have been promoted. The usual explanation is that static (sometimes named as ‘passive’) warmup work can hurt and dynamic exercises can enhance performance.
All the Earned Runs training plans, which are adapted from respected coaches, have urged runners to perform static stretches after their hard workouts, in addition to foam rolling. Mobility and dynamic stretch exercises are scheduled before runs and races.
Recently an article by Aleisha Fetters for MyFitnessPal.com questions whether ANY stretching is beneficial AFTER a run/workout. “The Science Behind Skipping your Post-Workout Stretch” references expert William A. Sands PhD, the lead author of a recently published research review paper in the Strength and Conditioning Journal. Sands recommends a “warm-down” rather than stretching after an intense session of physical activity session to best recover muscle strength.
If we are to follow these recommendations, based on scientific studies, will there never be need for static stretching, as opposed to dynamic exercises? Will all trainers and coaches adopt this new thinking?
Earned Runs thinks that to try to answer these questions several concepts that are often bundled together should be addressed separately. First, it’s helpful to be clear about the different types of stretching. Second, the issue of stretch timing after exercise is important. Third, the difference between stretching to improve and maintain flexibility, as opposed to promoting muscle recovery after intense activity, must be recognized.
Different types of stretches
Seine Freeman BS, a strength and conditioning expert has provided the very best, although lengthy, article on stretching that I’ve found to date, in a piece, “To Stretch or Not To Stretch” (PDF). It’s been posted on the Earned Runs RESOURCES page since last year. This discussion provides a perfect opportunity to highlight what it offers.
“Running and distance walking make your legs strong, toned, and, unfortunately, tight” Freeman says. “After many miles,” your “hardworking muscles and tendons can develop imbalances, scar tissue, and tensions, slowing you down and paving the way for common overuse injuries.”
“The goal of stretching” Freeman says, “is to maintain an appropriate range of motion around specific joints,” especially for runners and walkers dedicated to regular, consistent training. With age, the elasticity of soft tissue decreases, so the benefits of stretching are greatest for “mature runners and walkers.”
Below is a summary of how Freeman explains the different TYPES of stretches. Much of her exact wording is used and it is NOT the work of Earned Runs; the article is best read in full as intended by the author.
*Static: stretching that is done to lengthen/stretch a muscle while the body is at rest, not moving. Slow fluid movements are used to get into the stretched position and this position is held for a period of time (usually at least 30 seconds and sometimes 60 or more seconds)
Active static stretching requires effort from the muscles of the body
Passive static stretching requires no effort and uses assistance from other sources
*Dynamic: stretching that is accomplished as you are moving/in motion. This kind of stretch is not held but activates and loosens muscles and tissue as it takes major joints through a full range of motions. Starting with gentler and slow repetitive movements, dynamic exercises gradually build to increase range of motion and speed, and are designed to prepare your body for the movements you plan to perform.
Freeman discusses the importance of regular, even daily, static stretches to overall flexibility. Doing so can “address muscle imbalances and asymmetries. Ultimately this will help to prevent overuse, especially if special attention is paid to stretches that reveal more tightness on one side than the other”. With regard to the topic of timing, she indicates stretching should occur after a warmup period.
There another dimension to stretch timing. WHEN, EXACTLY, IS THE PRE-RUN PERIOD in which the dynamic moves are best? Immediately before, like we see the track athletes doing on the infield or along the sideline of the oval just before their event is called? And WHEN, EXACTLY, IS THE TIME PERIOD IN WHICH PASSIVE STRETCHING IS ‘BAD’? Immediately before, 30 minutes, or an hour before a tough run, workout, or race? And specifically, when is it not a good idea, afterward.
The research review article with lead author Sands, featured by Fetters, does not provide new evidence. It discusses previous research, and includes a sentence that mentions passive static stretching. There is one reference for the statement “neither hot or cold or stretching for 15 minutes after stairclimbing exercise was effective in recovery with equivalent control and experimental groups up to 72 hours after exercise”.
That 2008 reference, “Effect of Postexercise Recovery Procedures Following Stairclimb Running” looked at 20 club and elite level rowers who performed an exhaustive exercise designed to cause muscle damage. Subjects rested, performed 15 minutes stretching (8 stretches x 2), or went through a hot/cold water immersion protocol immediately after the exercise and at 24, 48 and 72 hours. Before and at 72 hours after the session of exhaustive stairclimb running, performance tests were administered. Blood levels of an enzyme released by damaged muscle were measured and participants rated muscle soreness after the exercise and at 24, 48, and 72 hours.
The results did not reveal a difference between the 3 types of recovery methods with regard to “significant strength or performance benefits” or alleviation of perceived muscle soreness. The study did not test the effect of these methods on flexibility, performance, or injury tendency at the same time intervals or much later in the rowing season.
The focus of the research review referenced by Aleisha Fetters is on elite, or near-elite level performance and muscle soreness within 3 days of an exercise designed to cause muscle damage. The focus of Seine Freeman’s advice on stretching is to help average, everyday runners and walkers prevent overuse injuries related to imbalances and asymmetries.
It seems that what is often reported about static stretching in running articles (“don’t do it”) refers to its effects on peak performance relatively soon after a tough workout. The research says it’s no worse than other methods. On the other hand, general health oriented literature indicates the majority of non-elite athletes would benefit from daily maintenance stretching to stay healthy and avoid injury problem (”do it”).
The most judicious course of action seems to be to regularly perform static stretching to remain flexible, as flexibility is a measure of health especially with advancing age and can help keep runners and walkers on the road, doing what they love. The caveat: don’t time static stretches just before events to enhance performance or after very intense workouts to speed recovery.
One last bit of science. A recently published study concluded that collegiate trainers seem to “underuse the current research evidence” on pre- and post- activity static versus dynamic stretching. It may be that, on the contrary, their practical experience leads them to differentiate between stretching for performance enhancement versus injury prevention in the prescription of stretching exercise type.
Athletes interested in preserving function and enjoying years of problem-free exercise activity might benefit from discriminating between advice to improve performance and that which aims to maintain overall health.
LOWER LEG MOBILITY MAY HELP LOWER RUNNING AGE
Eric Cressey, the creator of a Running.Competitor.com video article, “Monday Minute: Wall Ankle Mobilization”, says the routine demonstrated in it “is a great way to help identify” problems with the lower leg and foot. It helps with problems that involve the Achilles tendon as well as plantar fasciitis, and increase ankle strength and mobility. Performing the routine doesn’t require much time. It is simple and something I’ve done after runs (sometimes in the middle of tough runs) to quickly reduce lower leg stiffness.
There have been a couple of posts in 2016 that concerned ankle and foot health. The September 6, 2016 blog “JOINT THAT REFLECTS A RUNNERS AGE”, reported on research that indicated that what makes runners show their age, is related to reduced ankle function during the stance portion of the running stride.
The blog provided an link to a physical therapy website page, “GMB Fix Your Feet” by Jarto, a website page that provides information and routines to improve foot and ankle health. The physical therapist first introduces the basic anatomy and movements in these structures, then discusses the importance of working on this area, and lastly how to incorporate the demonstrated exercises (foot mobility and strength, calf stretches, self-massage) in a training routine.
The later BLOG feature, “2017: YEAR OF HAPPY FEET AND ANKLES; BUILD RUNNING STRENGTH FROM THE FEET UP” was posted January 3, 2017. It highlighted an article by Allison Pattillo for Competitor.com, which reminded runners of the importance of foot strength. In it she quotes Eric Orton, an endurance athlete and coach. “The health of our feet, good or bad, relates to our run health”.
Orton goes on to say, “If you really think about it, our feet are the only thing touching the ground”, and “We are only as strong as our feet.” The athlete-coach indicates that exercises which focus on the foot and even ankle, hip, and spine muscles “that are often overlooked, are essential when it comes to developing healthy patterns in running muscles.”
If you’re looking for a quick addition to your regular routine that will possible help you appear younger as you run, and keep you running into later years, Cressey’s ankle mobilization trick may become a go-to move. If you’re looking to perform much more ankle and foot work, possible because this is a problem area for you, check out the GMB piece.
FREE 3M™ BRILLIANT REFLECTIVE STRIPS SAMPLE. It will be getting darker out on the road in November when the time change occurs, when much of the nation will switch from Daylight Saving to Standard Time. Before that day, November 5, 2017, there are Halloween- and Day of the Dead-themed events that will be held at night
Check out the RESOURCES page under the “SAFETY” section for a link to the Road Runners Club of America (RRCA) General Running Safety Tips guidelines sheet. Remember that wearing white will not make you visible in the darkness. Best to wear clothing with reflective material or to run with lights; those that blink will more readily be noticed.
Consider that you will need to be seen from all directions, front, back, and sides. Apparel with this type of material can be expensive and frequently there is only a small amount of it on the shirt sleeves, pant legs, or cap. One way to enhance visibility is to stick or iron on reflective strips. Ironing can be a tricky business.
Earned Runs is giving a FREE sample of 3M™Scotchlite BRILLIANT Reflective (stick on) strips to those who request bibs, while supplies last. If you already have bibs, contact Earned Runs by email. Identify the address to which the bibs were mailed (it’s how we track bibs) and a sample will be mailed.
3M says in its advertising material that the strips can be seen up to 500-700 feet away. In a picture of the strips, the medium blue color is what is seen in daylight conditions. In darkness (my closet) the flash went off and the result is a brilliant white blaze where the material is stuck into a running jacket. This is what is said to happen when headlights hit the material. It what happens to the jacket I bought a couple years ago that has huge panels of reflective material (>50% of the lower portion). It's not sold anymore, unfortunately.
Since the samples are the stick-on type, the best way to utilize this non-permanent strip is on apparel that won’t be washed. The company doesn’t comment, but this makes sense. Keep in mind that any adhesive material can mark a surface after removal, so be careful in selecting apparel for this purpose.
The strips can be purchased as iron-ons or stick-ons, and in different colors (red, blue, black, purple). The iron-ons can survive 50 washes 3M says.
There are other ways/devices to go "hi-viz", butthe strips might help in certain circumstances.
NOTE: Stick on a running/walking buddy dog's leash or collar! Use on Halloween night to make Trick-or-Treating safe.
BREAKING THE CYCLE of winter flabbiness, inspiration for Earned Runs, potential fun getaway activity AND foundation for a streak?
“Part of the November Project's success is that it addresses some fundamental barriers that stop us from exercising, like weather or financial cost.” In an article for CBC Sports, “November Project Aims to Remove Financial, Motivational Barriers to Exercise” Adam Kreek describes his experience at a December 2015 session in Victoria BC, Canada, and tells a bit of the NP creation story. This free fitness movement, he explains, was founded in 2011 in Boston by two former collegiate rowers, Bojan Mandaric and Brogan Graham, who had difficulty staying in shape during cold New England months.
Locations have grown to include multiple locations (I count 44), mostly cities across North America (USA, Canada) but also some in the UK (London), Europe (Amsterdam, Netherlands; Novi Sad, Serbia; Reykjavik, Iceland), and Asia (Hong Kong, Malaysia). The movement motivates and encourages “people of all ages, shapes, sizes and fitness levels to get out of their beds and get moving”. Activities are scheduled in early mornings, many in the dark in the winter months.
Learning about the NP movement in 2012, (see WBUR’s CommonHealth piece) I was inspired! I lived in a small city. Could I successfully start a tribe there? Or was it another organized fitness activity I had to pass up due to circumstance? At that time I was struggling with how to feel part of the larger running community; yearning to participate in fun races that circumstances and finances would not allow. Eventually I came up with the concept of EarnedRuns™, which is like a micro-NP that also aims to remove the barrier of financial cost and bring people together (groups of 4 or less!) to have fun running, regardless of the size of their city.
Many are now ABLE TO JOIN this “grass roots morning fitness tribe” since the movement has spread so far. To read more and FIND LOCATIONS there is a link to the website and an early article about NP beginnings.
“Nomad” is an NP, “one-time pop-up version of the program” that was launched in 2014, according to a Portland Press Herald item that appeared in November that year in advance of the first Nomad session there. The purpose of pop-ups is to “scout the potential for future November Project locations.” The most recent Nomad was held in Bethlehem PA, on October 14, 2016. It appears that Dallas TX was added as a permanent location in summer 2017.
If you’d like to join this early morning, big city workout experience, alongside elites and novices, check the list for the nearest or ‘destination’ location. Many hold sessions on Wednesdays only, but others schedule Monday and Friday meet-ups too. If travel is required, a Friday morning session allows you to get the hard work done at the very beginning of a unique weekend getaway.
It’s FREE; if you’re on a budget what a fun way to get to know a city and find friends. Yes, you can register for a big urban race in one of these places, but consider running with the locals at a 6:30am November Project session. The amount saved in registration fees can be donated to a local or national charity, used to buy TGIF beer in celebration with new-found buddies, or fund another Friday getaway.
?Streak the NPs!
NUT BUTTERS TO-GO: Justin Gold, the founder of JUSTIN'S is quoted on the nut butter company’s 'About Us' page as saying, ”The most important thing is to just start. You will never end up anywhere if you don’t start somewhere.” The rest of the quote explains, “If I hadn’t started making jars, it wouldn’t have given me the opportunity to get to where I am today.”
What began as a quest to feed his vegetarian-self with better tasting food turned into an entrepreneurial adventure and huge success story. The budding nut butter manufacturer whipped up various flavors in the kitchen he shared with roommates, and stored the assortment of tasty experiments in its cabinets. Soon he started labeling them, “Justin’s- DO NOT EAT!”. Apparently, the delicious spreads were being stolen by hungry friends.
The company story is familiar, but one many of us are afraid to write for ourselves, regardless of the “product” we plan to sell to ourselves or others. Gold starting slowly, working during the day at a job and making butters at night. He sold jars at farmer’s markets then to small stores, then a larger chain (Whole Foods) who awarded the company a grant to expand and grow.
The purpose of featuring Justin’s products in an Earned Runs post has to do with a “eureka” moment experience by Justin as a health-conscious athlete in 2006. He realized no one had ever packages a “clean protein” in an on-the-go squeeze pack, like the sugar/caffeine-filled gels on sale at sport specialty stores. To Gold, a cyclist, the squeeze pack “provided a portion-controlled and convenient source of protein”.
I discovered Justin’s Honey Almond butter when I stayed at a runner friend’s home while she and her family vacationed. I returned late in the day to Mary’s big-city apartment hungry and too tired to go out and grocery shop. I did what Justin’s roommates did, and stole her nut butter. Of course, I replaced the by-then empty jar, but I was hooked. Then I discovered the squeeze packs.
There are several reasons I spend the extra money on this pricey product. It tastes great. The honey in it is just enough sweetness to satisfy a craving for a treat, and I don’t seem to need to eat as much as when I eat regular peanut butter. And, it comes in a squeeze pack for travel.
This butter is made from a “tree nut”, and has different nutrient mix, thus is a way to increase dietary variety. Both tree nuts (true nuts) and in-the-ground grown peanuts (legumes) are considered by nutritionists to be of equal benefit to cardiovascular health. The Honey and Maple Almond Butters have a slightly lower protein content than classic almond or peanut butter (about 6 grams versus 7-8 grams per 2T serving).
One of the main goals in my personal Fall 2017 House Cup Challenge is to increase protein intake in order to build muscle and replace fat. Justin’s is a nutty aid to reaching it.
The other reason JUSTIN'S is featured in GEAR LOVE is his quote, mentioned above. It’s what Earned Runs believes.
WEEK 6 TURKEY TROT 2017 WITH TRACK DAY 5K Beginner Training Plan
Monday is the first day of Week 6 of the 10-week (plus part of a week) plan. On the track you have graduated to running FULL laps only; no more half laps, except when walking, during the remainder of the plan.
The reasons and importance of foam rolling and rest days have been discussed recently. Have you remembered to perform MYRTLs every week? The mobility routine is scheduled only once/week on this beginner 5k plan, but ideally you should be loosening up before each run. Jay Johnson’s video demonstration is no longer available online. However, the pdf is on the RESOURCES page (and below) and contains images that should help you to learn the basic moves.
An excellent YouTube video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nmHjMCN0nx0 presented by the Wolf Creek Track Club’s USATF Registered Coach Brandon Wise, does a beautiful job with demonstrations of 12 moves from several angles. Pay close attention to the words superimposed on the video describing the move. Coach Wise progresses so quickly through the exercises that you might miss one as the camera switches views and the coach moves. This video is also always available on the RESOURCES page
Not only do these exercises help you to improve and maintain mobility in the hip girdle (mobility + girdle = MYRTL) some also assist with hip strengthening. The side leg lifts and clamshells included in this set of moves are often prescribed to build the gluteus medius (GMed) muscles. The GMed help to prevent runners’ and walkers’ knees from wobbling, as one leg after the other is alternately set down in a linear forward motion.
Outside of this routine, you may wish to work on GMed strength and add light ankle weights for the side leg lifts and a mini-resistance band just above the knees for the clamshells.
Once you master the routine and perform it regularly before runs, you will “feel” ready to move, especially early mornings or evenings after sitting all day.
WEEK #6 (3.0 miles)
START: One lap warm-up walk
RUN: 2 full laps and WALK: half lap
Repeat: 3 times = 1.875 miles
RUN: 4 full laps and WALK: half lap
Repeat: 1 time = 1.125 miles
END: One lap cool-down walk
You are more than halfway through the plan. Thanksgiving is approaching. Great work!
SAMPLING OF PICTURES TAKEN ON RUNS OR WALKS, MORNINGS AND EVENINGS, 2015 THROUGH 2017. There are too many to post, but this selection shows roughly a progression through the seasons from October to October.
It became apparent early on that the need to find images for the blog posts opened my eyes to the beauty awaiting on everyday runs and walks, both at home and while away visiting. Now one of the highlights of a business trip is the hunt for interesting photo opportunities.
The surprise is that the most familiar places may suddenly reveal hidden visual gems at just the right time. Like the unexpected glint of a rising or setting sun reflected off a natural or structural surface. A prism of color, plume of fog, or a frosty coating created by atmospheric vapor on a hazy or brightening day. Vibrant colors that show themselves when the sun doesn't dominate the scene. And glowing light that is most precious because it is scarce, distant, or small.
Share your pics of last year with Earned Runs!
FOR A BLAST FROM THE PAST EXPERIENCE and a great workout, consider dusting off the DVD tapes stored in the basement, or check out the thrift shop, and go retro. If you still have a DVD player that is. We have an old Denise Austin tape I think. The internet is another place to locate some retro classes. Jazzercise offers a subscription to updated online classes. Some original Jack LaLanne Show videos are posted on YouTube.
Below are the seven oldies-but-goodies and their corresponding modern updates, as assembled and discussed by author Jessica Smith for SHAPE in "Then & Now: Seven Retro Workouts That Still Get Results.”
Earned Runs is highlighting these workouts as potential opportunities for cross training, which is scheduled within a plan to “save your legs” for important endurance runs, intervals, and speed work. Besides, these sessions could be fun way to sneak in a workout while getting together with the family or friends. If you’re watching “Blade Runner”, “Ghostbusters”, “Star Wars”, and other movie hits that had their origins decades ago, why not try old school exercise methods.
*Lotte Berk Method/Barre workouts
*Hi/Lo Aerobics/ Dance cardio
*Calesthenics /Bodyweight training (bootcamp)
*No frills weightlifting/CrossFit
*Mini Trampolines/Urban bounding
In addition, the multi-directional, stop-and-go nature of some of these types of workouts can benefit bone health in men and women.
GirlForce is a global initiative recently rolled-out by Jazzercize, “to support young women in creating healthy habits”, indicates Shanna Missett, the company’s 48-year old president (daughter of founder Judi Shepard Missett). What a timely program, offering free classes to young women 16-21 years old, who typically reach peak bone mass by age 18.
Most old school exercise programs did not require the extensive use of gym equipment, making them, even in modern times, a potentially economical choice for consumers hoping to improve and maintain fitness on a budget.
This weekend, in cleaning out the closet or basement you might uncover a fitness treasure. It's a win-win!
“THE UPPER BODY WORKOUT You Can Do Even If You Have Wrist Pain" For males or females, this easy-to-learn upper body strength (UBS) workout is performed with a single set of light weight dumbbells; heavy weights are not needed. It is perfect for a post-run/walk strength session.
Jeanette Jenkins of The Hollywood Trainer Club demonstrates the moves in a video. By doing so she also shows the fluid transition between each different exercise. The entire routine is explained in the Fitnessmagazine.com article by Sophie Dweck:
*Back Row and Fly
*Triple Fly (this is a combination “I” - “Y”- “T” Raise exercise with weights!)
*Biceps Curl with Shoulder Press
*Medial Delt with Rotator Cuff (this move incorporates the “W” and “L” Raise moves!)
*Triceps Kickback with Rotation
*Triceps Press and Lift
For those hoping to achieve a youthful upright posture that contributes to good running and walking form, this is a terrific routine. Each time your arms are elevated from the resting position at your side and PULLED BACK (you must feel the squeeze), the muscles of the back are worked.
The benefit of the I-Y-T Raise exercise (Jenkins refers to it as a “Triple Fly”) is that it can alternately be performed WITHOUT WEIGHTS. And it can be made more difficult when lying on a Swiss Ball (engages the core muscles) or on an incline bench. When traveling, I-Y-T’s can also be done lying on a hotel room floor. A complete upper back workout can be achieved using a full “I-Y-T-W-L” exercise, by adding “W” and “L” moves.
The Men’s Health, ”BIG Book of Exercises” Upper Back Chapter includes a 6-page section demonstrating the “I-Y-T-W-L” Raises with LIGHT weights!
What are the “W” and “L” moves? Jenkins combines these moves and calls them the Medial Delt with Rotator Cuff exercise. [As the arms are elevated in a “T” move, the “W” move involves bending the elbows at a 90-degree angle with the hands UP. An “L” move involves bending the elbows at a 90-degree angle with the hands FORWARD from a “T” position.]
My “secret” very easy UBS session is to perform I-Y-T-W-L Raise sets (15 repetitions of each ‘letter’, 3 sets, holding each move for 3 seconds) during my cool-down walk on the way home, without weights. The key to getting a benefit without using weights is the HOLD of the position for 3 seconds in which the back muscles are squeezed together. I concentrate on pulling my elbows back just behind my ears to achieve a good SQUEEZE, without arching my back (see below).
I LOVE the “I-Y-T-L-W Raise” exercises because they represent a TOTAL upper back workout that especially strengthens the trapezius muscle, as well as the rotator cuff muscles and muscles of the shoulder/deltoids.
The important point to be made with all these exercises is that the back should NOT be abnormally arched but in a normal upright position, just as Jenkins does in the video. Keeping the head/chin level (not tilted back), eyes forward, will help prevent arching.
Something I might try next is to stow a set of 5 pound dumbbells at the end of my drive (if leaving from home) or in my car (if driving to a route) and performing this full routine.
For those who hate planks, especially because doing them hurts your wrists, Jenkins has prepared a gift of this workout.
THE ‘ABOUT’ PAGE EXPLAINS: EARNED RUNS...“…Is a company that enables runners and walkers, alone or in small groups, to train and compete in affordable, personal events by providing FREE PROFESSIONAL RACE BIBS and online RESOURCES. In addition, Earned Runs promotes personal challenges that improve overall physical fitness.
Earned Runs bibs can be used as a means to self-motivate, track progress toward fitness goals, and record achievements. We encourage competitors to train wisely and safely, and to be charitable and earth-friendly.”
The remainder of the page tells the Earned Runs CREATION STORY and includes the MISSION STATEMENT. There’s a quote from Sir Roger Bannister, the physician who ran the world’s first sub-four-minute mile:
"We run, not because we think it is doing us good, but because we enjoy it and cannot help ourselves…The more restricted our society and work become, the more necessary it will be to find some outlet for this craving for freedom. No one can say, ‘You must not run faster than this, or jump higher than that.’
The human spirit is indomitable."
Do you think of yourself as an athlete, like Bannister? Would you like to? Are you the only person in your family or group of friends that seems to possess a SIMILAR “craving for freedom”? Do you keep secret the dream to “run faster than this, or jump higher than that”? To train consistently with purpose, to take on a challenge and commit to a program of preparation? To elevate your exercise or sport performance to a higher level, such that you can answer, “YES! I AM AN ATHLETE”?
Earned Runs wants to help you get there. First, understand first that you are not alone; there are others who quietly wish to be inspired, to be motivated, to push beyond their current limits.
Second, know that regardless of your physical abilities and experience, you can improve at least one aspect of fitness with concentrated effort.
Third, accept that a regular routine of running, walking, or working out, just to ‘get exercise, without a target performance toward which to aim and a plan to reach it, will not move you toward “better”.
Fabled UCLA basketball coach John Wooden said, “Never mistake activity for achievement”. Just doing ‘something’ over a period of months or years is not likely to generate the thrill of victory that many yearn to experience. Wooden was a victory expert; his teams at the Westwood Village university campus achieved 10 NCAA National Championships in 12 years!
How does one begin to become an athlete? Requesting Earned Runs bibs could work for some. When you have one in your hands, turn it over and write a brief statement that roughly describes a goal or challenge on the back side. Put the blank front side up where it can be seen or touched every day: on a refrigerator, inside cupboard door, bulletin board, or mirror. You might place it in a book or calendar you access frequently. Fold it into a jacket pocket or purse.
Mentally refine, edit, and adjust that goal until satisfied it reflects your athletic dreams, and then re-write the statement. Search the internet for ideas and resources to determine how to accomplish it; the Earned Runs website is one place to start.
When you have identified a specific event in which to participate or challenge to meet, write it on the front of the bib, with the date of expected competition or completion. Consider it a contract.
The next task is to find a training program/plan and adapt it to your needs. Information on the CHECKLIST page might be helpful in this task. Jot down the daily schedule into a log book or make a paper copy to use; be sure every day has an entry, including “rest” when there’s no required physical workout.
You’ll be on your way at this point. Start the plan and check off each completed workout.
To paraphrase the old saying about insanity (which doesn’t make sense), stagnation and frustration are created by “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”. Stop that.
NOTE: If you become stuck in the process, post a question through the CONTACT page to get help navigating the Earned Runs website for information. Look at the HOME and RESOURCES /WALKER RESOURCES pages for ideas as well
Examples of rough goals that dont' involve running an organized race 5K or longer:
* Run a personal one mile race on a track.
* Gain upper body strength to stow a carry-on in an overhead bin, without help
* Condition in preparation for a best ball golf tournament, to hit the longest drive.
* Backpack and hike a long trail on a camping vacation.
* Gain balance and strength to paddle board standing up.
* Attain an athletic, youthful posture
* Decrease my waist-to-hip circumference ratio
SAFETY FIRST! DAYLIGHT SAVING TIME (DST) WILL END NEXT MONTH. THE CLOCKS WILL BE TURNED BACK AN HOUR in the United States on the first Sunday, November 5, 2017 at 2:00am local DST to 1:00am Standard Time. The change will mean that the sun sets with darkness following about an hour earlier than the previous day.
For those who work from roughly 8 or 9am to 5 or 6pm it will mean traveling home in twilight or near dark conditions when visibility is decreased. Drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians will need to be more aware of each other while on the road and use more caution.
Runners and walkers who enjoy evening or after work exercise will be wise to retrieve reflective and blinking light safety aids that were stored in the brightening months of spring and summer. Or try some of the new products on the market. Some are featured on the GEAR LOVE page.
Of course, those who get out in the morning will enjoy an hour of additional light. But that ‘gift’ is time-limited, as the total amount of available daylight will progressively shorten until later in December.
Running.competitor.com issued an article by Ashley Lauretta, “This Rule of Good Running Can Help Save Your Life”. It advises runners/walkers on the safest practice when using the shoulder of the road. It’s simple, and many may already know it, but sometimes we get lazy. The article explains how dangerous not paying attention to this detail can be. You’ll need to read the article though, as we don’t want to steal Lauretta’s thunder. The rule should absolutely be followed in darkness, and it’s a safe bet in daytime and on bad weather days as well.
NOTE: Time changes (from standard to daylight saving and back) were introduced in the United States in 1918, to save fuel during World War I. In the United Kingdom, the changing began in 1916, and DST is referred to as British Summer Time. UK clocks ‘fall back’ on the last Sunday in October, which this year will be on the 29th. Not all the countries of the world observe the practice. The Wikipedia item about DST has a chart that describes some interesting periods in the UK, when there was “Double” Summer Time, Year-round Summer Time, and Two-Stage Double Summer Time
IF YOU READ THE ARTICLE, “5 Culprits Behind Your Fitness Plateau” by Amy Schlinger for MyFitnessPal.com perhaps you will zero-in on the specific habit or tendency unique to your fitness situation, one which has perhaps resulted in a performance plateau or possibly pain and injury. You may then unwisely dismiss its importance to you personally, or hopefully, change your ways. Regardless, don’t miss the overall message of the piece: listen to expert advice about training.
What are Schlinger’s training culprits for runners? To oversimplify and too briefly summarize an article that deserves complete reading, these “causes of a problem or defect” involve not getting enough variation, challenge, rest, or recovery in your training.
How will listening to expert advice help? Nearly every formal race training plan above the beginner level will: 1) incorporate workouts of varying intensity, duration, and type, 2) recommend optional cross-training for rest days, plus schedule complete rest days, and 3) increase the difficulty of each workout in a gradual, safe fashion. Plans won’t specifically include this warning, but the decision to stop training and remain on the sidelines because of injury is the responsibility of each individual.
When you evaluate a race preparation training program, do you look over the ‘run’ days and ignore other training components? Possibly because you don’t consider them essential to the prep or your ability to run your best race? The mark of a great plan, if we interpret Schlinger’s piece a bit more broadly and deeply, will be the scheduling of these ‘extra’ components. They have been designed to provide appropriate challenge, variety, and rest such that plateaus AND injury are avoided, and a BEST performance can be achieved.
If the title of the article grabbed your attention, it’s possible you are experiencing frustration. I am. Why? It’s because I’m in the middle of recovery from an injury. Waiting until healing is complete, worrying that resolution won’t allow performance at previous levels, feeling lack of control, doubting myself in general.
I was reminded that culprit #5, “You were recently injured” likely explains my injury. It would have been best to completely back off running, training, and other activities that added stress, much sooner and for a longer period of time. AndI should have recognized that culprit #4, not scheduling enough rest, would eventually land me in trouble.
As fall training begins, take advantage of the advice of experts. They make a living helping elite athletes achieve their dreams.
WEEK 5 TURKEY TROT 2017 WITH TRACK DAY 5K BEGINNER TRAINING PLAN STARTS Monday. After four weeks of training you should be settling into a groove and hopefully becoming accustomed to track days, if you decided to stick with that part of the program. Running duration and distance is increasing and you should be feeling confident as you successfully progress through the plan.
As you pick up your mileage, you may decide you need FULL REST DAYS and will SKIP THE CROSS TRAINING option. This is perfectly fine and a smart thing to do if you notice too much fatigue carrying over on your running days.
42-year old Olympian marathoner Meb Keflezighi* provides great advice for runners in an article that was featured in a blog last year (October 11, 2016). “Meb’s Tips for Performing Into Your 40s and Beyond”. He says to listen to your body; it’s safer to err on the side of doing less than more, if it means avoiding injury. BUT HIS ADVICE APPLIES TO BEGINNERS TOO! No matter what your age, the risk of injury increases with overtraining. So, take a break, get enough sleep, make sure you stretch an foam roll, and perform weekly core and strength training work.
*NOTE: Meb is running his 26th and last competitive 26.2 kilometer race this November, the TCS NYC Marathon.
IF YOU ARE IN THE MARKET FOR SOME NEW running shoes, in late summer and early autumn the new shoe reviews are published. Below are 3 guide/reviews for you to assist in this task.
1) The Active.com 2017 Fall Running Shoe GUIDE is introduced in this way: “We know the options are plentiful and your feet are unique, so we assigned a handful of ACTIVE.com's most accomplished runners the task of testing (and testing and testing) the newest sneakers on the block, in an effort to help our readers make the most educated decision when they hit their local running store.”
The slideshow review is divided into sections: Daily Trainer (slides 1-7), Fast (8-11), Cushy (12-16), and Trail (17-21).
2) Runner’s World 2017 Fall Shoe Guide, published in late August and written by Jeff Dengate and Martyn Shorten PhD, reviews 25 NEW shoes. RW testers wear them, data is collected, and the lab analyzes the data. (explained in another linked article). A short review of each shoe is available free online, but to access the men’s or women’s full review a subscription is required. A cool video demonstrates each product. The magazine issues top awards in several categories: BEST debut, BEST update, and BEST buy. There is an “Editor’s Choice” award which kicks off the list.
A free shoe finder function includes other shoes previously reviewed. I prefer the paper magazine article over the online feature for my first look at the new shoes.
The RW Guide to 2017 Fall Trail Shoes was published in late September, with the same procedure followed, same article format, and same authors. If this the type of shoe you’re interested in finding, check out the 12 pairs in this guide.
3) RunRepeat.com’s guide, “473 Best Running Shoes in 2017: 67,093 runners reviewed these shoes with an average score of 85/100” is, like the title implies, a ranking by runner reviews. You can see the entire list or search by category or brand. Additional shoe and review information is available on each ranked model. The #1 shoe by “runscore” is the Adidas Adistar Boost ESM. in this ranking category, Adidas grabbed 5 of the top 10 spots.
Good luck with your search; shopping is part of the fun! I always gravitate toward choosing the brightly colored shoes but always come to the realization that other factors will determine the best shoe for me, including size, experience, running mileage, and footstrike. Don't be disappointed if appearance doesn't win out over utility in the recommendation you receive from shoe experts. The answer to fashion versus function is to save up for an extra pair to wear just for looking good.
BRIDGE TO PHYSICAL SELF
Running enables us to experience our physical selves in a world mostly accessed through use of fingers on a mobile device.
EARNED RUNS is edited and authored by me, runner and founder. I began participating in road races before 5Ks were common. I've been a dietitian, practiced and taught clinical pathology, and been involved with research that utilized pathology. I am fascinated with understanding the origins of disease as well as health.
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