WEEK 2 ‘SAINTS DAYS’ TRAINING PLAN STARTS TODAY. This is the week you start to pick up the mileage a bit. Although it seems you are expected to run 10-minute miles, "run 35 min or 3.5 miles" translates mathematically to running 1 mile in 10 minutes, you can run at a slower or faster pace. Be sure to cover the scheduled mile distance, which will then extend over a longer time period. Of course, if you are able to run at a comfortably faster pace, you will finish in less time.
There are no speed drills in this part of plan, so the mid-week runs are intended to be easy. If you would like to try a simple progression run on a Tuesday or Thursday session, try going out easy and after you’ve covered half the distance, finish the second half a bit faster, so that you cover that same distance at in a shorter period of time. For example, if the initial 1.5 miles of a 3-mile run take 15 minutes, try to finish the next 1.5 miles in under 15 minutes.
Think of it as mentally beginning to develop a race day strategy, even this early in training. There was a post (January 17, 2018) soon that detailed progression runs.
The reason to complete the prescribed distance mid-week involves the long run at week's end, which will gradually increase in length. The goal of training is to be physically and mentally prepared to run the entire race. Thus, it will be "easier" over the duration of the 18-week plan to cover the full distance each running day, even if though it may require more time than listed is on the plan. GOOD LUCK!
RUN & MOVE HAPPY!
BROOKS SPORTS INC. CEO WANTS TO UNDERSTAND "NON-RUNNERS" WHO RUN! An item in Bloomberg.com's Businessweek section, which ran in early January, just after New Year’s Day, reveals what the less than gigantic running shoe manufacturer Brooks’ CEO defines as “not a runner”. "Why Brooks Needs Runners Who Hate to Run."
Author Clare Suddath seems to seriously consider, if not accept, the attitude and the demotion it is serving up to designated non-runners like herself. Possibly in a tongue-in-cheek, going-along- to-get-along manner, she relates to readers the perspective of Jim Weber.
According to the article, Weber believes that professionals who compete in races for prizemoney are runners, and all the rest are “self-defined”, but not actually, runners. Furthermore, she quotes him as admitting, “running’s not really a sport.” The fact that “19 million Americans who participate in some kind of organized road race” annually “aren’t competing to win anything” is presented as supporting evidence of running’s non-sport status. Further explanation is offered that an additional 28 million regularly running (non-runners) don’t even race.
Apparently, Weber is trying to understand WHY these 47 million non-runners run so they can persuade them to “drop $100 - $180 on a pair of shoes”. Suddath reports “the 104-year old Seattle-based company that makes running gear, and only running gear” and that Weber suspects the answer is personal. “The answer is almost always personal”; “when people run, they’re doing it for themselves,” opines the CEO. Insightful.
The article, posted in a business magazine, mostly tells the confusing story of the Brooks company. How it survived various challenging times, ownership situations, and running trends to become a little known but top brand in specialty stores and with elite runners. Brooks was able to position itself in this niche by re-focusing and selling “high-end shoes designed for serious runners” with Weber’s leadership, the piece indicates. Now, it seems Weber wants Brooks to “become a $1 billion brand” by tapping into the sentiments of the people he deems non-runners in order to sell gear to “runners who don’t like to run”.
The information about Brooks is quite detailed and historical. That It has survived all these years is remarkable. I recall that Greg Meyer, a famous star distance runner from my hometown and high school, who won the 1983 Boston Marathon among other famous races, worked at Brooks for more than a decade when it was owned by Wolverine World Wide. I exclusively bought this brand of shoes for years because they worked for me, because of Meyer’s association, and because it seemed to be the shoe for the ‘every-man/-woman’ runner like me. The Earned Runs sign-off message was inadvertently the same as Brooks, “RUN HAPPY!” until 2018.
Is it true that Brooks doesn’t see non-professionals as real runners? The footwear manufacturer’s website doesn’t seem to share the perspective described in the Bloomberg story. It highlights inspirational coaches, company charity efforts, and its aims to help all people live healthy lives through running. To me it still seems to be the shoe for every-person, not elites only.
If Brooks wishes to understand why people run without entering races, compete without promised prizes, and want to think of themselves as real runners (walkers, obstacle course competitors, triathletes, etc) , Earned Runs might be able to provide insights that help with future marketing campaigns.
Why do you run? Walk? Challenge yourself athletically? Do you hate it?
RUN & MOVE HAPPY!
WHY BREATHING IN COLD AIR HURTS
This week the topic is a fun one, not requiring explanation or interpretation of research.
The Weather Channel often presents brief science lessons related to weather. Most who keep this TV cable channel on for long stretches of time, like background music, love these education breaks. It’s why we watch so devotedly.
This week there was an item about why outdoor exercisers might sometimes complain that breathing cold air hurts. Why a burning sensation might be felt in the throat and chest. Later in the day when I searched the TWC website for a video or mention of this particular lesson, to use it for this post, it could not be located. An internet search explained why. It turns out the TWC staff have a website on which to post stories like this! Who knew? It is www.weloveweather.tv.
The explanation is simple; it’s the dryness not the cold. Inspired air must be at body temperature and 100% humidity by the time it reaches the lungs. After passing through the nasal passages (nose) and oral cavity (mouth) it reaches the trachea. Since winter air is extremely dry, cells lining this tubular structure are tasked with using their own moisture to raise air humidity levels to 100% and temperature to 98.6 degrees.
This process can leave tracheal tissues dehydrated and irritated. Especially when lots of air is moved into the respiratory tract very quickly.
Stop running or being active outdoors in cold weather (not an option for many)
Wear a mask or scarf covering the mouth to pre-warm/moisten air before it enters the body
Breathe through your nose, it’s large surface area is better at warming than the trachea
Stay hydrated to give your tissues every chance to do their work
Weather lovers not only have an explanation for a physical reaction to frigid temps but they may now have more weather channel information available.
RUN & MOVE HAPPY!
NOW IS THE TIME TO FIND AND FIX ASYMMETRIES Ashley Mateo asks, “How Symmetrical Are You?” in an article for Runnersworld.com and provides 6 moves to functionally test this physical quality. In a related linked article, “Six Moves to Improve Symmetry”, she provides 6 exercises to help fix problems that may have been identified. A third article explains asymmetry and why correcting issues in this area are important to running efficiency for top performance and, most importantly, to avoiding injury.
One of the experts quoted in the third article, Lance Walker at Michael Johnson Performance training centers, discusses how not correcting inequalities “in strength, stability, mobility, flexibility, and balance means asymmetries are just going to expose themselves at the worst possible time, leading to less than optimum performance”. Under “extreme circumstances”, like a long-distance endurance race, problems will surface. To some this could be a slower-than-hoped-for time. For others, asymmetries can manifest as pain even before the race, especially in the later stages of a training plan when weekly miles increase and speed workouts are scheduled. I’m speaking from personal experience in this regard. Pain and injury arising from asymmetries have prevented my participation in running events at several times throughout my running career.
I know this because the moves in the tests have been used to diagnose my problems. And the exercises, or others very similar to them, have been prescribed by physical therapists at these times. Hard work and perseverance was required to heal and resume running. I resolved each time to maintain ‘symmetry’, or as close as I was able to get to this state of perfection. Eventually in each injury–rehab cycle my attention to this kind of work dropped off. It was, and still is, more satisfying mentally and physically to work at exercises that I do well, than those that are difficult because they address deficiencies.
I read this string of articles with a bit of dread. Then more dread as I prepared to test myself. The results weren’t completely horrible. But I do have weaknesses and asymmetries that require attention. The focused work I’ve done on strength lately has helped. That feels good. From experience, I know that although it’s difficult and time consuming to correct deficiencies, spending 2-3 weeks on the recommended exercises and my old PT regimen should result in some progress. Enough progress to inspire continued and concentrated work. Winter is a good time for indoor rehabilitation. Soon enough softer spring weather will present an irresistible lure to enjoy exercise outdoors.
That’s the message I hope you receive in this post. Now, not later, is a great time for a reality check. Test yourself for symmetry then do the work to correct problems. Before the important race, before your training plan gets tough. If you cannot perform the move at all, don’t be discouraged. I’ve been there, and likely so have many others.
You may need to cycle through this process every so often, but you’ll have company. None of us is perfectly symmetrical. The third article, “How Symmetry Can Make You a Better Runner” indicates that runners in particular are prone to injury, and “a lot of that has to do with not properly fixing muscular imbalances.”
Mateo has helpfully lined up a test, the fix, and an explanation of the problem.
RUN & MOVE HAPPY!
Matt Fitzgerald explains and describes several different types of progression runs that he recommends to runners who wish to increase speed in “Want to Get Faster? Add These to Your Weekly Schedule” for ACTIVE.com. His slideshow article provides runners with coaching on how and when to incorporate each one into weekly training schedules.
The simplest is the fast-finish progression run, which may be appropriate for those training with the Earned Runs HALF MARATHON WITH ‘SAINTS DAYS’ 5K& 10K beginner plan. This progression run takes advantage of a normal impulse to hurry home. I use it frequently whether running or walking. It involves finishing the second half of the planned distance in a shorter period of time than the first half. For example, if the initial 1.5 miles of a 3-mile workout is covered in 15 minutes, the next 1.5 miles would finished in under 15 minutes.
The threshold progression run requires a pace that a runner determines by running at a fast pace for 60 minutes, so it’s for those who have experience. The “threshold” portion, Fitzgerald says, is run at “’lactate-threshold pace’ (or the fastest pace you could sustain for one hour in race circumstances)”. It might be a progression run for those preparing for a marathon or half marathon”
The marathon pace progression run benefits runners preparing for any distance race but is used differently depending on the specific distance, 5k, 10K, half marathon or marathon. The specifics are covered in the slideshow.
Fitzgerald is an expert. If you’re interested in these speed workouts, definitely read the article and perhaps other training information he has written on the topic. Save it for later if you don’t think you need it now.
RUN & MOVE HAPPY!
A PLAN FOR WALKERS to train for 2018 "SAINTS DAYS' 5K & 10K in February and March can be downloaded the RESOURCES page. This is the first year a walk option has been offered.
This plan is for runners wishing to save their legs this time of the year and who have run a 5k. Also it is for experienced walkers who have covered 3 miles in distance regularly but who wish to participate in a mid-February 5k then a mid-March 10k race.
It will be trial event this year. Comments are welcome!
RUN AND MOVE HAPPY!
WALKER 'SAINTS DAYS' 5K & 10K TRAINING PLAN
“I Gave Up Drinking Alcohol (Mostly) and Here’s What Happened” by Joy Manning on Runnersworld.com, is subtitled, “one woman explores how the ‘mindful drinking’ movement is helping people get high on being dry.”
If one of your resolutions for 2018 is to lose weight to run/walk faster and injury free, look or feel better, or be fitter and healthier, the place alcoholic beverages will take in that diet is on your mind.
At a minimum, most basic no-frills drinks, like a beer, glass of wine, and single shot of liquor contain at least 100-150 empty calories. Enjoying one is more likely to boost an appetite for food than kill it. It’s a challenge to cut calories without cutting out alcohol.
It turns out that drinking less or not at all is a trend these days, or a ‘movement’ in more current language. Manning explains that mindful drinking involves “re-examining your relationship with alcohol by cutting back or tee-totaling”.
Persevering with a reduced-calorie diet plan is partly physical, as there’s hunger to deal with, but it’s also an issue of the mind. The perspective that what you are attempting is becoming popular can be a huge boost to attitude and help avoid the mindset of denial.
Last Saturday one of the posts was about beer running. The runner highlighted in the featured article in DRAFTmagazine.com was a brewer and wanted to continue drinking beer. It was reported that he lost 180 pounds while running and having a daily beer. He apparently successfully incorporated moderate alcohol intake into his diet. One of the healthiest nutrition plans endorsed by medical experts is a Mediterranean diet, which can include a daily glass of red wine.
It doesn’t seem to be absolutely necessary to eliminate alcohol to practice healthy living or lose weight, unless there’s a medical issue. But being mindful of how much, when, and why alcohol is consumed may be one of the best moves to make to accomplish a fitness-related goal. It’s the kind of mental re-training that dieters undertake with food.
Manning indicates that women are increasingly engaging in high-risk drinking, 4 or more drinks in a night. The niaa.nih.gov website, Rethinking Drinking, quotes 3 drinks in a day or 7 or more per week for women, and 4 drinks for men in a day, or 14 or more per week.
If this issue has been on your mind, take heart. It’s a popular movement you may wish to join.
Thanks to Joy Manning for sharing! Be sure to read the entire article.
RUN & MOVE HAPPY!
Earned Runs™ HALF MARATHON WITH ‘SAINTS DAYS’ 5K & 10K Beginner Training Plan January 14 to May 19, 2018; FINAL Plan Parts 1 and 2 are available on the RESOURCES page (and below). This plan is 18 weeks long and picks up from the easy 5k that runners would have completed on New Year’s Eve or Day.
The two themed ‘saints’ runs, include a 5K about the time of St. Valentine’s Day, February 14, and a 10K about the time of St. Patrick’s Day, March 17. The 5K is incorporated into the schedule at about weeks 5 or 6, and the 10K at about weeks 9 or 10. There should be a good number of races to choose from if you decide not to custom design your races using Earned Runs bibs.
The half marathon would be run on or about the weekend of May 19-20. Events are held that weekend in Cleveland, Chicago, and Denver for example. This plan has a significant taper. Some plans would have scheduled a half marathon a week or two after the 12-mile long run (April 14rd in this plan). You may decide to alter the schedule and run earlier.
The USATF.org website has a calendar search that may help you find organized 5K, 10K, and half marathon races. Below Is a link to my half marathon search April 14-May 31, 2018. Change the search parameters to obtain results that fit your needs.
RUN & MOVE HAPPY!
NOTE: I will train to walk both 5K and 10k events. The past two seasons knee issues have made summer and fall running difficult for me, which may have resulted in part because of winter training and racing on uneven surfaces of hardened snow and ice. This winter I’m walking to train outdoors and will determine whether strength workouts with weights will help with faster finish times in the ‘SAINTS DAYS’ events. The walking modifications to the plan will be shared early this week.final_half_marathon_w_saints_days_2018_part_2_january11.pdf
HALF MARATHON WITH 'SAINTS DAYS' Plan Part 1 JANUARY 14 - MARCH 24, 2018
HALF MARATHON WITH 'SAINTS DAYS' Plan Part 2 MARCH 11 - MAY 19, 2018
“JUST START” readers are told by the title of an article in DRAFT magazine. The piece begins with the story of one runner, so embarrassed by his large size, 380 pounds, to attempt running during the daylight hours that he woke at 3am to get on the road.
We learn how he pumped up to finally start. And that he lost a large amount of weight over time. And that he did it without giving up beer, daily. Beer is an essential part of his life as a brewer and as a runner, it's explained. So much so that Jake, (formerly "Big Jake" the article ays) started and ended a 50 mile ultra-marathon at breweries, where he finds a community of support.
The article is about getting started, but it is also a reminder that everything about endurance sports doesn’t need to be painful and serious. To persevere in accomplishing a tough goal we can seek encouragement and support from that which we love.
Some might involve spouses and children to extend time with family. Others may be motivated by love of outdoor beauty to arrange runs, walks, or cycling efforts in spectacular natural settings. Wanderlust can be satisfied by participating in faraway destination events. Style and fashion followers can find excitement in choice of fitness attire and gear.
But let’s get back to beer and running. In all situations involving drinking alcohol, moderation is rightly advised. And so it should be with beer drinking and fitness activities like running, walking, cycling. Jake appears to have successfully managed weight loss while pursuing a career passion.
There's a post coming Monday on the "mindful drinking" movement.
RUN & MOVE HAPPY!
The New York Times WELL blog contributor Gretchen Reynolds authored an article, “Exercise Alters Our Microbiome. Is That One Reason It’s So Good for Us?’ that explains very complicated research in understandable terms.
Reynolds discusses in depth the results of a study which sought to determine if exercising for 6 weeks changed intestinal microbe populations in previously sedentary adults. And if reverting back to being couch potatoes during a 6 week ‘washout period’ reversed the exercised-induced changes. Scientists from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign further sought to learn if what happened was different in persons who were lean versus obese at the start of the study
Previous work in mice by the same researchers provided clues that this these changes might occur in humans. In addition, the animal research showed that alterations in gut microbes associated with exercise provided some protection from irritation and inflammation in the colon and a healing advantage from their damaging effects.
Reynolds details how the study was conducted in 32 men and women and reveals the results, that gut microbe populations did change, but differently in each person. However, she reported, “there were widespread increases in certain microbes that can help to produce substances called short chain fatty acids”. These SCFAs “are believed to aid in reducing inflammation in the gut and in the rest of the body”, and “work to fight insulin resistance, a precursor to pre-diabetes, and otherwise bolster our metabolism”.
According to the article and the pre-print research publication, participants who began the study as lean showed the greatest increases in the SCFA-producing bacteria compared with those who began the study as obese. Increased fecal concentrations of the protective substances, SCFAs, was only noted in lean participants. The abstract reported that “exercise-induced changes in the microbiota were largely reversed once exercise training ceased”. It was concluded that the changes were “independent of diet and contingent on the sustainment of exercise”.
Earned Runs NOTES from the full pre-print research publication (abstract is online):
Volunteers: 32 study participants were aged 25-40; lean subjects had a body mass index < 25; obese subjects BMI was >30. In the lean group, there were 9 women and 9 men; the obese group included 11 women and 3 men. No information was provided on race/ethnicity.
Sedentary activity: defined as exercise activity of 30 minutes or less per week for 3 months prior to the study, and a low (10 or less) score on a questionnaire that assessed activity. Participants were instructed to revert to this same sedentary activity level during the 6-week ‘washout’ period (W6), after the 6 weeks of exercise (E6).
Exercise: subjects progressively increased activity from 30 to 60 minutes on a treadmill or cycle ergometer, their choice, at levels that increased from 60% to 75% heart rate reserve, on 3 days each week, for 6 weeks. Details on exercise session location and supervision were not provided.
Diets: were detailed prior to the start of the study; instruction was given not to make changes throughout the study and to maintain usual eating habits, including alcohol and caffeine intake.
Fecal specimen analysis: volunteers submitted fecal specimens (within 30 minutes of collection) for analysis of changes in intestinal microbiome composition, bacterial DNA and gene function, and levels of SCFA. Specimens were submitted at baseline before the study period (E0), after 6 weeks of exercise (E6), and after reverting to 6 weeks of sedentary activity (W6).
Body Composition: was assessed by Dual Energy X-ray Absorptiometry at baseline (E0), after exercise (E6), and after the washout period (W6)..
Three day menu: Each of 3 days before each fecal collection, all volunteers used the same food menu, eating the same types of foods. Daily diet composition over these days was nearly the same in both groups (calories and percent carbohydrates, protein, and fat).
ADDITIONAL study information in the publication not highlighted by the Reynolds article:
“Gut microbiota composition was different between lean and obese individuals at baseline” the time period before exercise began. “After exercise training, there was no difference between the groups.”
Beneficial changes in microbial composition and SCFA in the obese group were seen with participants with more percent lean muscle and less percent body fat.
Body composition changed in both lean and obese persons after 6 weeks of exercise: more lean muscle, less body fat and greater bone mass density. There was also marked improvement in cardiorespiratory fitness as measured by VO2max. All but the BMD increase was reversed by the ‘washout’ sedentary period.
COMMENT: At first glance this research is a bit discouraging. It seems to be revealing that lean people are the only ones to greatly benefit, in terms of their gut bacterial health, from exercise. A ‘rich get richer’ message. And that any gains made will be lost if exercise is stopped regardless of BMI. A likely ‘lose- lose’ situation for those with a BMI greater than 30.
The study did not provide information on the microbiome of persons with BMI between the lean and obese groups (25 to 30). Or individuals older than 40 years.
However, the research details suggest that an individual’s body composition could be the determining factor in the process by which exercise favors the development of a beneficial intestinal microbiome and the production of SCFAs. That key combination is a higher percent lean muscle plus a lower percent body fat.
Rather than being a marker for ‘maladaptive’ obesity the researchers propose, high fecal levels of SCFAs “are indicative of healthier body composition and enhanced cardiorespiratory fitness during obesity”.
Going out on a limb a bit, the authors also postulate that exercise-induced microbiota changes leading to increased production of fecal SCFAs may “prevent the occurrence or offset the symptomology” of Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD).
Scientifically there’s quite a bit to unravel in this research, which will require much more research, admit the publication's authors. Exercise is known to provide numerous health benefits, and perhaps now we are learning a bit more about how, they conclude.
Earned Runs thinks this work suggests that whether or not you are able to achieve leanness by dieting, if you work to build muscle mass and lower body fat, there is a greater likelihood that regular sustained endurance exercise will produce the advantageous protective microbiome changes identified in this study. Workouts that involve high Intensity interval and strength training may help endurance exercise bring about healthier body changes
Bottom line is that we might derive more benefit from running, cycling, and other endurance activities if we also train to build muscle and lose fat!
RUN & MOVE HAPPY!
‘SAINTS DAYS’ 5k & 10k are ‘Tune-ups’ for Your 2018 Spring Half Marathon*.
Pete Magill wrote a piece, “Tune-up Races Are Essential to Producing Peak Performances” for RunnersWorld.com in 2011 that provides a SECOND REASON why you might like the HALF MARATHON WITH ‘SAINTS DAYS” training plan that starts Sunday, January 14.
The FIRST REASON is that Valentine’s Day (originally and officially “Saint Valentine’s Day”) and Saint Patrick’s Day are winter/spring holidays that inject a bit of color, fun, and group joy into a season that has mostly been cold, wet, and dreary.
Spring will not arrive for several weeks or more in most locales, and beyond celebrating past American presidents, there hasn’t been much impetus to generate a party atmosphere during the dark winter months. There are numerous races and fun runs surrounding these holidays that urge people to come out of frigid weather hibernation to test their legs and anticipate the spring and summer running seasons. So, the social purpose of running these themed races is to have FUN!
Magill discusses the more serious SECOND training reason for inserting shorter distance races into half marathon training plans, as well as those for 5K/10K’s and marathons. He refers to them as “tune-up” races and says, “While we can simulate many of the physical demands of racing by running hard intervals or a time trial, that simulation is far removed from the experience of toeing the line.”
Tune-up races help runners learn to deal with nerves, situations, and obstacles to top performance that they may be faced with on race day he explains, and refers to problems with weather, port-a-potties, and parking, among other issues. With the confidence gained from participating in these ‘practice’ events, runners may be better able to put their best mental and physical games together to achieve a personal win in their goal race.
In discussing tune-ups for a half marathon, Magill obtained advice from expert Paul Aufdemberge, who said that a couple races could be run roughly 1-2 months from that event, and that distances longer than 10k should be avoided. The "SAINTS DAYS" 5K and 10K schedule follows this advice. Specific recommendations for tune-ups races before 5K/10K and marathons are also provided by Magill, who sought input from and quoted other competitor-coaches. Each expert cautioned against running too hard in and expecting too much from these events.
Regardless of whether you’re training to run a half marathon later, consider wearing your heart on your sleeve (or bib) for Valentine’s Day and going “green” on St. Patrick’s Day by planning personal or organized races in celebration of those holidays. FOR REASON #1. There’s less than one month until February 14 and after that a wee bit more than a month until March 17. These FUN runs can break up the long stretch of winter running from now until spring.
RUN & MOVE HAPPY!
*Updated post from 2017
MOBILITY, FLEXIBILITY, STRENGTH, BALANCE, & MORE Are you ready to begin training for the HALF MARATHON with SAINTS DAYS 5K& 10K? If so, commit to performing the pre-run hip girdle MOBILITY (Myrtls) and FLEXIBILITY (dynamic warm-ups or “DWarmups”) routines. Resolve to be kind to your soft tissues by performing post-run STRETCHES and foam ROLLING work that is incorporated in this plan along with the days of running.
Don’t forget the upper and lower body STRENGTH training. It doesn’t need to be complicated; a strength session is scheduled for one day each week initially and there’s an option for a second session later in the plan. Potential workouts have been featured in recent blog posts. Most trainers will say it’s good to mix-up or rotate strength exercises, such that you never quite become comfortable performing them. Select several to rotate for this training plan.
Any lower body exercise that can be performed standing on one leg will increase the difficulty and also work on improving BALANCE. To prevent falls, have stable support structures nearby, regardless of fitness level. Trainers for young and fit athletes, like football players, nearly always warn that even sport elites can initially be a bit unbalanced performing new exercises and dynamic warm-up’s.
CROSS TRAINING is another option on non-running days; a chance to try new activities and save your legs.
The RESOURCES page has links to suggested routines for these workouts; a few include video demonstrations. Below is a sampling:
CLASSIC LOWER BODY exercises that can be performed without extra weights include:
Lunges: forward, reverse, side/lateral, and forward with rotation
Bridges/hip raises: both feet on floor (easier), single leg (harder); on stability ball (harder)
Squats: front and split
Side leg raises: without (easier) or with a resistance band (harder)
Clamshells: without (easier) or with a resistance band (harder)
Resistance bands walks: lateral and “box” stepping
CLASSIC UPPER BODY exercises that can be performed without extra weights include:
Floor “Y’, “T”, “W” and “I” arm raises; done on stability ball (harder)
CLASSIC CORE/STABILITY exercises include:
Planks: prone, sideways, supine; there are many easier/harder variations
Dead bugs: without (easier) and with a stability ball (harder)
Mountain climbers (many variations)
One leg stand: harder on unsteady surfaces (folded towel, pillow, Bosu) or with closed eyes
Step downs: front, side, and back
EARNED RUNS plans strongly EMPHASIZE the IMPORTANCE of this work to INJURY PREVENTION over the course of the training period by scheduling these components on ON THE DAILY/WEEKLY PLAN. Most training plans will recommend similar supportive work on mobility, flexibility, balance, and strength, but won’t schedule the actual sessions on specific days.
However, be aware that you can customize the plan and change things up to meet your needs. For example, the "Dead Bug" is a safe and effective (abdominal and back) core exercise scheduled every Wednesday, but another exercise can be substituted and it can be performed any day(s).
Your 2018 running season officially begins!
RUN & MOVE HAPPY!
THERE'S A NEW FAD that seems to have originated on the West Coast but has taken hold in other ‘pockets’ around the country. Lindsey Bever authored a great piece for The Washington Post, “‘Raw Water’ is the latest health craze. Here’s why drinking it may be a bad idea” that doesn’t need much explanation, once you’ve read the title. But is definitely worth the read.
To avoid additives like fluoride and chlorine and contaminants like lead, and to gain natural minerals and beneficial probiotic bacteria, proponents are successfully selling some on the idea of drinking untreated water. And selling what’s referred to as “captured’ water at very high prices.
Scientists who are responsible for preventing the spread of waterborne infections through public systems applaud the concern that has arisen about water safety. However, the piece cautions that “by shunning recommended water safety practices, experts warn, raw water purveyors may also be selling things you don’t want to drink- dangerous bacteria, viruses and parasites.” That’s right, parasites!
Yes, minerals might be eliminated through filtration methods, but these same minerals are also present in foods, and can be obtained by eating a healthy diet, experts referenced in Bever’s piece say. They feel the advertised benefits of raw water are not worth the risks. It is pointed out that, “lack of clean water kills hundreds of thousands of children each year” around the globe
Invisible dangers lurk in drinking water captured and bottled directly from a spring. It may appear to be clear and taste fresh, but not be clean. “The cleanliness of the water, they say depends on things you can’t see- whether herds of elk or moose or caribou have relieved themselves in a stream that you’re drinking from and left it full of parasites. Or whether there has been groundwater contamination from naturally occurring elements such as arsenic, radon, or uranium, or from pesticides and other chemicals”.
The experts should have had you at “parasites”. I lectured medical students at Michigan State University. One of the most unpopular topics in gastrointestinal pathology was parasitic infection. To students it seemed such a rare illness, and they weren’t eager to spend time learning the material. And parasites can burrow through tissues and migrate from the gut to the lung and liver and even the eyes. It was a disgusting topic.
Two of the GI diseases we talked about were giardiasis and cryptosporidiosis; both contracted by drinking untreated or incompletely treated water. If any former students are reading this I hope you remember how the diseases were differentiated by me and Dr. Mulks (hint: ‘Crypto’ in public systems v Giardia in streams, beaver ponds).
There’s always another side to such discussions, and an article in the New York Times provides more of the arguments put forth by proponents. Read before you buy this dangerous and expensive substance.
RUN & MOVE HAPPY!
STRENGTH SESSION THAT MAY WORK FOR ‘SAINTS DAYS’ PLAN. Sara Lindberg has put together a strength workout in an ACTIVE.com slideshow article “20 Minute Bodyweight Workout for Weight Loss”, with ten exercises that could be used on strength days of the HALF MARATHON WITH ’SAINTS’ DAYS’ 5K & 10K TRAINING PLAN.
The ‘SAINTS DAYS’ plan alternates upper and lower body strength workouts on 1-2 days each week. Two to three days per week of strength sessions would be ideal, but one workout/week is better than none. Scheduling it as part of race preparation may be the first and only nudge new runners will receive to incorporate strength work into training.
This routine can be switched for a lower body session in the plan; it has 5 exercises that primarily work the hips and legs (squats, lunges, jumps, glute bridge, superman). There are 5 exercises that build core strength and help improve posture and trunk stability. They are listed below (with muscles worked added in parentheses)
What’s great about this particular workout is that the movements in each exercise are relatively simple, except for “The Hundred”. The demonstrations are straightforward (there’s an additional reference to help with learning proper technique for the Hundred).
The directions given by Lindberg say you should repeat the entire set 2-3 times. If you’re not familiar with these exercises the going may be slow at first, 20 minutes will slip by quickly, and you’ll only have time for one set. If you find the entire workout is too much for the time you have, break it into 2 sets of 5, each performed on a separate day. Select 2-3 exercises that are more difficult and add 2-3 that are easier for each set.
Trainers and coaches will recommend changing up routines periodically to challenge muscles in with different moves, but mentally it can be hard to do this. Try this workout. If you don’t like it, continue to try others. Take exercises you do like from each workout and create your own.
Even if exercises are described as working the same muscle, if the basic move is different, functionally the muscles will be challenged in a different way. For example, squats and forward lunges both work the quadriceps muscles but they will strengthen the legs a bit differently.
I plan to keep this routine on hand to use for one workout a week January to June. I’ll need 2-4 others that use weights, part of keeping my resolution to weight train. I can run through it quickly in the early morning at home in front of the TV and catch up on weather, sports and, ugh, news.
Exercises are listed below for ready reference. I write my list lengthwise on a business envelope, folded in half, with a different workout on each side. I keep this and other ‘envelopes plans’ in a plastic bag with ear buds and a resistance band, which I take with me wherever I workout. Including in my suitcase when traveling.
Good luck putting together your strength work plan! Perhaps this routine will be of help.
RUN & MOVE HAPPY!
-Squats with side leg lift (quadriceps, hamstrings, gluteal, calf, lower back, abdominal muscles).
-Push-ups (pectoral, deltoid, triceps, biceps)
-Plank jacks (same as planks plus more effort to stabilize)
-Forward alternating lunge (quadriceps, gluteal, hamstring, calf, lower back muscles)
-Plank (abdominal, lower back muscles)
-Squat jumps (quadriceps, hamstrings, gluteal, lower back, and abdominal muscles).
-Superman (upper and lower back, gluteal, and hamstring muscles)
-Bird dog (upper and middle back, shoulder, glutes, abdominal muscles)
-The Hundred (abdominal muscles)*
-Single leg glute bridge (gluteal, abdominal, lower back, quadriceps, hamstrings, and inner thigh muscles)
THE 2018 HALF MARATHON with SAINTS DAYS 5k and 10K Training Plan
(FINAL DRAFT) is now available on the RESOURCES page. There will be one more check before the first day of training Sunday January14. There aren’t likely to further edits; it’s just a precaution to find mistakes It’s a good idea to look it over. Remember with any plan there is some wiggle room to make changes.
The long run day in this plan is on Saturdays. Some might find it more convenient to shift the schedule forward or backward such that this run falls on Fridays or Sundays. Initially the runs are shorter in distance, but as the plan progresses will require a considerable time commitment. Check your school, social, and work calendars to determine if alterations now will help you persevere in the later months of the plan.
Note that dates of the 5K St. Valentine’s Day and 10K St Patrick’s Day races in the plan fall on weekends before and after the actual holiday. Search online for organized events as soon as possible so that you can write the specific date on your calendar. Because these themed races might be held on any weekend day near the saint’s feast day (February 14 and March 17) you’ll need to personalize the plan once you register for these races.
Remember, a custom race can be arranged if you use Earned Runs bibs for these events!
Walkers can follow the same plan to participate in a 5K and possibly a 10K.
RUN & MOVE HAPPY!
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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