WEEK 16 HALF MARATHON + ‘SAINTS DAYS’ TRAINING PLAN STARTS TODAY
There’s not too much to do this week, as you are on the glide path to your half marathon race, except continue the taper. Don’t overdo the long run at the end of the week. You want to be prepared and fresh for the race.
There’s an extra session scheduled for foam rolling this week. Use it to roll out sore and stiff spots on Wednesday or any other day. It can be a full session or an abbreviated one.
If you are tempted to introduce new nutrition, shoes, gear, or apparel into your race preparations, be careful. There isn’t much time to truly test a new fuel strategy. The runs are not as demanding as earlier in the plan. Items worn on the upcoming shorter runs may not represent adequate trial runs.
If you have not yet found an organized race to run on May 19 or 20, there will be a suggestion for an Earned Runs race featured in tomorrow’s post.
FOR PROTEIN SPIKING OR A NUTRITIOUS SNACK When on the road, making your way through airports and staying in downtown hotels, do you find it difficult to locate nutritious high protein foods that won’t break your calorie budget?
Check out the nearby Starbucks Coffee shop. Some ae carrying vanilla flavor Siggi’s brand yogurt in 5.3 oz. serving cups. Each tasty container will provide 15 grams of protein, 9 grams of carbohydrate, and <1 gram of fat for 120 calories.
The top foil cover boasts, “more protein than sugar per cup”, with sweetening coming from organic agave nectar and fruit. The sides of the cup inform us there’s no artificial sugar (aspartame, or sucralose) or high fructose corn syrup. The skim milk used in making the thick yogurt, or “skyr”, in the Icelandic tradition comes from grass-fed cows not treated with growth hormones.
This product is perfect for business travelers and for families on-the-go looking for a truly healthy snack. In addition to being great source of protein for “spiking” as discussed in a blog this past week, it contains calcium which contributes to bone strength.
As an alternative, low-fat 1% milk can also provide dairy calcium and protein, about 8 grams, with 12 grams of carbohydrate, at about 103 calories. So, if the Starbucks you visit doesn’t have the yogurt, it may offer single-serving, boxed Horizon organic milk, with about half the protein at a slightly lower calorie cost.
If you have access to a room with ice and a bucket, buy more than one yogurt and keep the other cold until you need it later. Horizon milk boxes can be stowed in checked baggage, in briefcases and gym bags, or on the road in a car without refrigeration, and are good to drink until the date code on the box.
Why single out Starbucks as the go-to place? They are ubiquitous. Many hotels have a shop in the lobby. Office buildings also often have corner coffee stops. Airports may have other coffee brands as well, but generally also have a Starbucks Coffee shop.
If your favorite java stop doesn’t stock something nutritious you can grab for a protein ‘spike’, remind a server every time you visit to add something like Siggi’s yogurt or Horizon milk.
40 IS THE PERFECT AGE. Renee Moilanen, in her article for the Daily Breeze* “40 Is the Perfect Age to Prove Our Mettle” indirectly issues a challenge that likely many who are approaching 40 years of age are eager to accept and meet.
She presents statistics that support her theory that 40-somethings are willing to be tested to the limits of physical endurance to prove they still have what it takes. Moilanen reports, “Last year, the 40-plus crowd comprised the largest percentage of all marathon runners, making up nearly half the total. And 40 is the median age for male marathon runners — a number that hasn’t changed since 2005 — with the median age for women creeping closer to 40 each year, according to Running USA.”
“The 40-44 age bracket makes up the largest block in USA Triathlon, representing nearly one-third of the members. The average age of Iron Man competitors is even higher at 43.”
The article is a cheerleading piece that points out why people in this age group are well-equipped to take on endurance sports like marathon running and triathlons. They have learned to survive and bounce back from failure, can multitask, and already have adopted disciplined lifestyles. If you are well into your fourth decade (30’s) or made it into your fifth (40’s), this kind of writing can be inspiring. “Go get ‘em”, she seems to be saying, and “just do it” because life happens and you’ve shown you can handle it. Make the best of now.
There is a need for “master’s division” runners to adjust expectations, the author admits, because slower times are to be expected. She explains “we’re not trying to win these competitions or impress anyone. We do it to prove to ourselves that our bodies can still keep up with our brains, which don’t feel a day over 20.”
Earned Runs agrees that the 40’s are a great time to show you’re STILL ‘in the game’, or that you’re willing to GET in the game of running races. But that ‘game’ doesn’t need to be a mind-blowing and potentially joint-blowing experience. Many who have survived decades of running and are now into their sixth and seventh decades (50-60’s) are thankful for still being able to run at all!
Regardless of current age, most runners know age-group peers who have had to give up a favorite sport activity, like running, because they weren’t aware of or conscientious about safe training.
This lovely article encourages 40-ish runners who take on the more demanding feats of endurance (marathons and triathlons), BUT what about shorter distance competitions? Or walking competitions? A 5K or 10K running or walking race may represent “extreme” endurance tests to some in this age group who have not ever lined up at a race “start”. Training for a half marathon is a huge undertaking for someone who has never considered spending 2-3 hours on a weekend morning involved in a long run session.
In all age groups, attention must be paid to keeping body parts and tissues healthy, and preserving maximal function well into the future. If you truthfully wish to prove something to yourself, not others, search broadly for challenges that test your discipline and improve your knowledge of safe training practices.
As time ticks on, it will be a huge accomplishment to remain injury free, enjoying your sport.
*The Daily Breeze, is a publication from the South Bay area city of Redondo Beach, California in greater Los Angeles.
A PRESCRIPTION: “8 Ways Protein Spikes Can Improve Your Fitness”. In this article for Competitor.com Coach Pete Magill provides a discussion on how runners can benefit from increasing the amount of protein taken in each day. Not only is the total quantity important, but also the ‘dose’ and ‘schedule”.
Magill references Steve Magness, the author of “The Science of Running”, and an exercise scientist and coach. Magness recommends taking in about 15 grams of protein at each meal, 30 grams at bedtime, and “some” protein (amount not specified in the article) after 1-2 exercise sessions/day.
The article explains scientific thinking on how this nutrition strategy will help improve fitness. It’s very well done and cannot be improved by a summary; a great inspiration to assess and make changes to this part of your training plan. Read the article to learn all 8 improvements, which, not surprisingly, include increases in muscle size and strength.
Now for a little math; the protein spike calculation: 3 meals x 15 grams = 45 grams + 30 grams before sleep = 75 grams + “some” after exercise. At a minimum, the total amount of protein ingested per these directions, will be about 75-80 grams/day.
Each gram of added protein will provide 4 calories, which does not include the calorie contribution of carbohydrates and fats that may also be contained in the protein source.
The point to be made is that boosting protein will mean adding calories. Caution must be taken in choosing protein sources to avoid unwanted weight gain for some runners. If 40 grams of protein each day are taken in above what you would ordinarily consume, a very minimum of 160 calories would be tacked on to your daily tally.
Dairy products will always include extra carbohydrates, and some fats unless the products are fat-free. Meat, fish, and nuts will include fat, although there is significant variation in fat content in these foods.
Processed-food snacks like protein bars can, calorie-wise, be relatively expensive protein sources. Unsweetened, low-fat or fat-free Greek yogurt on the other hand, is a rich source of protein with a low carb-to-protein ratio and few-to-no fats.
Protein powders are especially convenient to use in situations in which refrigerated high protein foods aren’t available. Another advantage to powders is that many formulations have lower carbohydrate and fat content, with easily absorbed whey as protein. Dried preserved meats like jerkies may not be the healthiest items to eat on a regular basis, regardless of the meat origin (grass fed or corn fed).
Remember that even +50 calories/ day can lead to a weight gain of 1 pound over about 10 weeks (70 days x 50 extra calories = 3500 calories = one added pound of body fat).
Embedded in Magill’s article is a link to an excellent slideshow piece by Matt Fitzgerald, “11 Best Protein Sources for Runners,” also on Competitor.com.
If planning to spike your diet with nutritious high-protein foods, you may find you have less of an appetite or need for other snacks. One of the 8 ways of improving fitness identified in Magill’s article is that this nutrition adjustment has been shown to reduce hunger!
BIB USE SUGGESTION: CINCO DE MAYO FUN Start a new tradition this year. Pin on, store in a pocket, or simply put on your refrigerator door an Earned Runs bib AND commit to running or walking a distance that can be factored by the number 5, on May 5. Why? To celebrate the 5th day of the 5th month of the year, or Cinco de Mayo. It’s on this list of Earned Runs Events for this spring posted on the RESOURCES page.
“DAY OF 5THS FIVE (5miles or 5 K)
Of course, today is the celebration of the Cinco De Mayo holiday, but this date can also be an opportunity to be happy about the 5th day of the 5th month, and your ability to finish the 5th kilometer or the 5th mile of a personal Earned Runs race, run, or walk. Afterward, join everyone else enjoying the festivities of CDM!”
Below is the 2016 post on the holiday, which has been updated to include some information on its origins from the history.com link.
Very briefly, “Cinco de Mayo—or the fifth of May—is a holiday commemorating the date of the Mexican army’s 1862 victory over France at the Battle of Puebla during the Franco-Mexican War (1861-1867).” The item explains that although in the United States the day “has evolved into a celebration of Mexican culture and heritage, particularly in areas with large Mexican-American populations”, it is not a major holiday in the country to the south. So, if anyone is looking for a reason to party and run, Cinco de Mayo seems to be the perfect opportunity. Run or walk on this day with friends or solo
In honor of this 5th of May celebration, below is a link to “5 Benefits of Breathing Correctly” written by Erica Bellman for the MyFitnessPal.com blog. It’s a stretch, but there are 5 benefits for the 5th day of May, get it? The benefits of developing a deep breathing habit, described in this piece, could be of help to runners. They include pain management, increased stamina, and improved lung capacity. The end of the article describes a mindful abdominal breathing technique.
If you would like to learn more about what the holiday celebrates, besides an American excuse to eat Mexican food and drink margaritas, check out the History Channel website piece too.
FOAM ROLLING: GLAMOUR SHOT SESSION
If you are not yet motivated to use a foam roller to help with before run warm-ups or after run cool-down and recovery, there’s a video from SHAPE.com that might do the trick.
“8 Foam Roller Exercises for Flat Abs and Lean Legs” features Jay Cardiello demonstrating some of the classic roll-out moves to loosen muscles as well as a few new variations to help strengthen arms, legs, and core. Give it a look. Cardiello doesn’t provide hard specifics on how many repetitions of each move or the duration of rolling. You might us these simple guidelines, that seem to be favorite directions given by other trainers for similar exercises or rolling.
Start with 8 repetitions of each exercise move and work up to 12. Repeat the entire set of exercises again, eventually working up to 3 times.
OR repeat the same move over the span of 15 seconds, working up to 30 seconds. Repeat the entire set, eventually working up to 3 times.
Start rolling over the same area 10 times, working up to 15 times
OR roll for 10 seconds, working up to 15 seconds
One thing to keep in mind as you perform this routine. Any time you support your body with your arms they are getting a bit of a workout too. You may notice the day after your first session that your arms feel stiff! Hey this is good way to work the upper body without intending to focus on the arms.
EARTH DAY 4 MILE EARNED RUN EFFORT
I ran an Earth Day Earned Run Saturday and made it a 4-mile effort. Not a race. Just a run with a negative split. My training has been delayed because of a sore knee, likely a bursitis or tendinitis. It’s been about a month since I last ran a distance greater than 6 miles. My running streak is still intact, but other than prepping for and recovering from those one-mile daily runs, my activities have included swimming, resistance weight training, and stretching and foam rolling. The reason for the knee is probably, in part, related to going up and down a ladder during a 7-day painting streak. The other part is likely related to weak gluteal muscles. Am back to performing clamshell and side leg lift exercises daily.
I’m almost ready to resume regular activities. On Earth Day I put a plastic bag in my pocket and ran 4 miles, ending up about one mile from home. On the mile walk back toward home I picked up trash. There wasn’t all that much, but It did make a small difference in improving the natural beauty of the path.
It was such a tiny effort but surprisingly so EASY that I hope to do this once a week. I’ll record progress on my bib too, so that it motivates me to follow through on the commitment. Share with everyone your effort to help the planet. We can all benefit from inspiration and encouragement.
WEEK 15 HALF MARATHON + ‘SAINTS DAYS’ TRAINING PLAN STARTS
Today is April 23. It’s the day AFTER Earth Day 2017. Did you do anything yesterday to help or show appreciation for our planetary home? Provide a little TLC? If not, do something today. Or this week.
In our daily non-running lives, like in training, sometimes we don’t accomplish what was in our hearts and minds to do on a specific day. It’s convenient to give a shrug of the shoulders and then completely neglect the necessary workout, task, or responsibility. Just don’t do it and forget about it.
There’s nothing magical about April 22. We can take care of the earth any day of the year, or many days of the year, if we commit to making the effort. The same goes for a workout. If a specific critical workout is missed, like a long run, writing it off may not be the only option.
If there’s enough wiggle room in the schedule before a race, get it done as soon as possible and take up the training week at that point. Long runs, or strength training, or hill repeats can be performed on days other than what the schedule dictates. Care must be taken not to pile up too many consecutive days of intense work. Pre-run dynamic stretches, mobility warm-ups, and foam rolls are most helpful in preparing for this kind of make-up work. Post run stretches, foam rolling, and massages can ease the body afterward.
Don’t give yourself an easy pass when you miss a day’s training session. Carefully consider how you might go forward without risk of injury by re-scheduling it as soon as possible.
This week the long run is tapered down to 10 miles. If weather or life circumstances prevent it, get it done the next day. It may help to ‘slide’ your training plan over one day, making it Monday to Sunday for the last remaining weeks. For races occurring on May 20-21 there is a 3-week taper period built into the schedule that can be used for adjustments.
If you’re using an Earned Runs bib for a competition you designed, the race day can be changed as needed.
Bottom line, hold to your training plan and make minor SAFE adjustments as needed. Oh, and pick up trash along your recovery walk path (or cool down walk if your long run was re-scheduled to today) if you missed the chance to love our Earth yesterday.
IS RUNNING SELFISH? YES!!! ENJOY IT, BUT MAKE IT LESS SO
Susan Lacke, in her article, “Out There: Is Running Selfish?” for Competitor.com starts out by sharing her own perspective on this topic as a single person without children, and then goes on to quote other runners.
“The more I talked with fellow endurance athletes, the more the consensus grew: Yes, training is selfish. Yes, sometimes that selfishness inconveniences other people. Yes, that’s okay.”
The article offers a defense of those who spend time on the endurance ‘habit’, including an ultra-runner and a triathlete. The benefits of running, it contends, extend to family members, co-workers, and friends because the activity improves a runner’s ability to be “a better person, spouse, parent, employee, friend, and all-around human being”. Following a passion is something children are encouraged to do, especially in sports, says the tri-athlete, who wants to be able to enjoy being passionate about her sport too.
Lacke makes a convincing argument that being selfish is not always a terrible thing, Endurance runners’ children receive support to follow THEIR dreams; spouses may pursue career advancement, be rabid spectator sports’ fans, or enjoy hobbies. There should be “me” time for runners too, says the article. It ends with the statement, “Doing one good thing for you might just be the best thing to do for everyone else.”
However, all this selfishness may weaken relationships at home and work and between friends. Long runs or workouts are time consuming when factoring in the warm-up and cool-down sessions; these efforts can leave little energy for other activities later in the day.
Is it possible to lessen the impact of running on our non-running lives? Yes. Below are a few EARNED RUNS suggestions. You can become a less selfish runner by:
6) Requesting and using Earned Runs bibs can maintain an endurance habit!!! The reason this company came into existence was because of difficulties I experienced as a runner over many years, juggling family schedules. Custom races can be designed to accommodate relationship demands.
Yes, runners are selfish. Consider lessening the impact of your endurance habit on important relationships so you can continue loving your sport AND becoming a better "all-around human being".
For walkers hoping to re-purpose their activity sessions or just get a bit more energized, author Jodi Helmer has some tips in her article, “Ways To Amp Up Your Walking To Lose Weight, Tone, De-stress, and More…” for MyFitnessPal.com.
The “More…” part of the advice is WHY her piece is being featured on this post. It refers to training for a 10K race. Many walkers easily sign up for 5K’s in which friends or family may be participating as runners because they don’t intend or need to train for this distance. It’s a safe bet to finish because people who love to walk often cover this kind of ground on a good day.
Training to walk in a 10K seems to qualify as a genuinely ‘amped’ up walking activity. Helmer offers a simply described formula that involves walking 5 days a week, and incrementally increasing walked distances. The recommended times to be spent walking each week are not clearly laid out.
Personally, I would want to train a bit harder (“amp-up”) to insure finishing this distance competition. If a pace of 15-16 minutes/mile is average, the race duration will be about 95-100 minutes; longer with a slower pace. It may be best to follow a training plan that aims to have walkers gradually reach 90-100-minutes, or the full distance of 6.25miles (10K), on the last full weekend before the race. During the remaining last days the mileage/time might be lessened to rest the legs before race day.
Hal Higdon has an 8-week 10K walking plan. It can be adjusted to fit your experience. The long walk duration at each week’s end ranges from a smaller number of minutes to 90 minutes (35, then 45, 55, 65, 75, 80, 85, and finally 90).
The other walking goals in Helmer’s piece deal with employing this activity to slim down, de-stress, and tone muscle.
If the goal of amped-up walking is weight loss, she has encouraging words and a reminder to walk for 30 minutes a day, at least 5 days a week. To increase your calorie burn, the key move is to increase the intensity of your walks. Helmer provides a suggestion from Los Angeles walking expert Malin Svensson. She advises, ”incorporating intervals into your walk by walking as fast as possible for 60 seconds and returning to a normal pace for 30 seconds.” “ Do this 20 times to make up the entire 30-minute walk.”
If the energized walking aim is to improve your mental and emotional state, there’s a section about de-stressing. Although ‘amped’ up anything would not seem to be a way to chill out, Helmer makes the excellent point that taking your walking outdoors is essential to the process, and she reports research indicating that additional time is required to mentally disconnect from “negative repetitive thoughts”.
If the desired result of walking is to tone muscle, Helmer’s article informs readers that this activity will not “give you rock-hard abs or chiseled biceps”. Better to walk hills for this purpose, she writes, again on the advice of Svensson. “The steeper the grade, the more muscle activation required, according to research published in the journal Gait and Posture. The research also found that faster walking speeds on uphill grades require the most thigh muscle activation.”
Which of these walking goals would you consider working to attain? Weight loss? Longer race finish? Mental health? Stronger body? From the Earned Runs perspective, TRAINING FOR A 10k will help walkers to ACCOMPLISH ALL FOUR at the same time. It’s not necessary to work toward just one.
In training for a 10K you will be:
1) gradually acquiring the endurance to walk 90 minutes in one session, which is also recommended for de-stressing;
2) walking an increasing number of miles over 5 DAYS each week, and including higher intensity intervals, which is recommended for weight loss;
3) setting aside one day/week to TRAIN ON HILLS (like runners do), which is recommended for building muscle strength; and
4) preparing physically and mentally to cross the 10K FINISH LINE!!!!
If you don’t have an organized 10K competition in mind, or can’t find one that fits your schedule or budget (or those of your friends) request and you’re your 4 Earned Runs bibs for training, racing, and sharing.
Think about challenging yourself to train for and finish a 10K race. It could be the way to walking into a healthier, happier, and stronger life.
RUN AND WALK HAPPY!
Accomplishing the day’s running goals in the morning, before work, school, errands, or tasks are tackled, is touted as key to persevering in training, say many who write about such things. EnMotive.com, in the article “Become A Morning Runner with These Tricks” provides great practical advice on how to rise and shine and get in your LONG RUN. Not all runs of the week, just the LONG RUN.
I like this approach. The difficulty that would-be morning runners encounter, in my opinion, is that the advice and encouragement provided in many such articles is not sufficiently specific.
Being a morning runner need NOT be an “all or nothing” practice that you MUST come to enjoy. Perhaps the following statements and explanations will help you decide whether one or more early runs can be part of your exercise routine, and help you decipher advice articles like that in EnMotive:
1. Not ALL the week’s runs must be performed before sunrise.
Pick one or more routines to run this time of the day. It’s possible that the shortest or most intense workouts fit well into an early morning slot. I like early hill repeats but would rather cover longer distances in full daylight. Certain days of the week can handle an extra early rising time. Monday morning runs that follow easy Sunday evenings can be perfect for energizing the remainder of the week.
2. Early group/social runs are optional
The November Project is famous for 6:30am meet-ups. Running clubs will often schedule group runs in the early hours. There is safety in numbers, and commitment to others is a strong incentive to “just show up”. However, if additional time is required to travel to a designated spot where companions await, you may be better off going it alone near your home on your earliest days. Social runs might work better for more relaxed late-morning days.
3. Running outdoors is not required.
If your fitness center opens at 5am and has facilities that allow you to clean-up and get on your way afterward, your best shot at a morning run might be on a small indoor track or a treadmill.
4. Seasonal schedules can be practical.
Summer weather can be harsh, depending on your geographic location. Stay out of the worst heat and humidity of the day by running in the dawn’s early light. Choose the winter season to sleep longer.
5. Darkness is forgiving.
A clean-shaven face, make-up, styled hair, sweet smell, and contact lenses can wait until AFTER all the sweaty work is done. Clothes can be wrinkled, old, tattered, or not match. This is especially true if you plan to finish up before anyone capable of recognizing you is out and about. Some runners admit to sleeping in their running attire.
6. You don’t need to love it.
It can be the run you love to hate. “If you’re going through hell, keep on going”, is a famous line, attributed to British statesman Winston Spencer Churchill, which can apply to non-morning people on a morning run. Before too long, it will be over. If a morning run helps you follow a training plan, just get it done.
The statements above can be applied to evening runs as well. Running times that accommodate your home and work life are most likely to become physically and mentally enjoyable opportunities for exercise.
The KEY IS TO PLAN THESE TIMES IN ADVANCE, not to just expect them to happen.
BEAUTIFUL AND SOFT FOR LAYERING ON RUNS OR AFTERWARD. GREAT FIT!
Do you appreciate a well-made t-shirt? One constructed with heavier weight cotton? I do. Especially white, long sleeve tees.
Are you delighted to be the first to “get” a novel concept product? To support a company with a social mission?
I found the perfect garment online. It’s made by GETTEES™, which is headquartered in the Metro-Detroit area, in southeast Michigan. The company’s website creation story says that a hometown entrepreneur, Matthew Hunt, decided to locate a factory and produce classic t-shirts in a city that had seen a loss in manufacturing jobs over the decades. The workforce would be former auto workers and novice sewers, who would be trained to make, with “detail and craftsmanship”, garments of high quality. The company was “founded on the principle of putting people back to work”.
Hunt was turned on to this project while researching a case-study on the garment industry as a Michigan State University student, the website relates. It says the company hopes to disprove the notion that clothing can only be made overseas where impoverished populations accept sweatshop workplace conditions.
Products are advertised as 100% made in America. California as the origin of the 100% Supima cotton, North Carolina as the location where fibers are knitted into fabric, and Michigan as the place where design takes place and the fabric is cut and sewn.
My one purchase was a men's, small size, tailored-fit, Model T LS (long sleeve) from the Pinstripe Collection. In Dove (white). It’s substantial, soft, and wrinkle-free. A thing of beauty if you love crewneck t-shirts. The sleeves are "trimmed", the seams are “reinforced”. The fitted neckline has a pinstripe fabric backing. I bought it to run in this spring, TO LAYER over a sleeveless shell and under a windbreaker.
To my surprise this t-shirt looked terrific ON me. Most men's small shirts are too boxy through the torso to be worn anywhere but on a road or trail run. It's disappointing when unisex/mens race t-shirts with totally awesome graphics can't also be stylishly worn outside of a training session.
There are other long sleeve colors: Cherry (deep red), Hale (deep blue), Plymouth (medium gray), Silver (light gray), Lincoln (black), Pennwood (deep green). Short sleeve tees additionally come in colors of Cardinal (deep red), Hudson (medium blue), Kelly (green), Peach, Indigo, and Atlantic (blue).
As plain t-shirts go these are somewhat expensive ($39 for long sleeve, $29 for short sleeve styles) but they seem to have extended wear possibilities, as they are a bit dressier, especially for men who like to wear crew neck tops with casual slacks and jeans.
I can’t wait to see what other apparel items this November 2016 start-up company will offer in the future. Women's tees are in the works, it seems. I hope the mens sizing is not changed; the men in my family like fitted tees as well.
If you love t-shirts AND wish to join in a quest to bring garment manufacturing back to the U.S., give GETTEES a good look.
Earned Runs may pilot a promotional t-shirt from this company!
BIB USE SUGGESTION: EARTH DAY Here's another way to use your Earned Runs bibs
April 22, 2017 EARTH DAY ‘EARNED RUN’ (any distance)
Feel free to name this anything you like, but since Earned Runs promotes earth-friendly running, we will make a claim to some ownership. This is one of the best excuses to gather your friends and neighbors and walk-run your way along a favorite running course, or one that sadly needs a lot of effort at beautification, cleaning up trash as you go. Make Mother Nature proud!
Remember the Bibs are FREE. You receive 4 upon request, and they are mailed to the address provided. Another person at the same postal mailing address can make a request and receive 4 bibs. Earned Runs will honor requests made in good faith.
WHY only 4 BIBS? An item on the FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) page explains:
"I want to organize a running event locally. Can I request more than 4 bibs?
A: EARNED RUNS™ is meant to encourage self-motivated individual or small friendly competitions, comparable to “pick-up” games that are informally arranged between friends and family members. These events are intended to be "GREEN", that is, non-intrusive to local community life (no traffic disruptions or noisy gatherings), to have minimal effect on the environment (no waste or litter, no destruction of natural areas), and be safe for participants (no injury). We limit the bib numbers for this reason.
There are an increasing number of small local races that wish to grow participant numbers; consider partnering with an existing race if a larger race best fits your purpose.
Each person making a request can give one or as many as three bibs away, to other runners. Or suggest that other runners request a set as well. An individual runner who wishes to use all four bibs personally might designate each for a different purpose (a streak, for spring/summer/fall/winter season’s races, for training and competing in a single ‘big’ race, for stages of the RUN/WALK Across America challenge)."
WHEN WAS THE FIRST EARTH DAY? April, 22, 1970. The date was chosen because it fell between most college students’ Spring Break and Final Exams, explains an item by the Huffington Post and on the earthday.org’s website. The national coordinator was at Harvard University it seems. Because college campuses were hotbeds of activism at the time, it was thought that that energizing students to support environmental protection would be effective in helping to save the planet. President Nixon had just signed the National Environmental Protection Act into law without much reaction.
“The idea for a national day to focus on the environment came to Earth Day founder Gaylord Nelson, then a U.S. Senator from Wisconsin, after witnessing the ravages of the 1969 massive oil spill in Santa Barbara, California. Inspired by the student anti-war movement, he realized that if he could infuse that energy with an emerging public consciousness about air and water pollution, it would force environmental protection onto the national political agenda. Senator Nelson announced the idea for a “national teach-in on the environment” to the national media; persuaded Pete McCloskey, a conservation-minded Republican Congressman, to serve as his co-chair; and recruited Denis Hayes from Harvard as national coordinator. Hayes built a national staff of 85 to promote events across the land.”
Earth Day has gone global. On this one occasion we can all celebrate our shared ‘home’ together and raise consciousness about treating the planet with care; walk or run, alone or together to demonstrate support.
FAQ: Earned Runs page
POETRY TO CELEBRATE THE RUN Tracksmith™, is an independent running apparel brand that harkens back to the earlier days of the amateur athletic sport in New England in designing and making classic, prep-styled garments. The website ‘about’ page describes the company as “champion for the Running Class”.
Advertising materials are artsy and spare and often acknowledge the legacy of running and it’s more solitary and thoughtful aspects. “Guided by the belief that race day is sacred, we favor a straightforward, understated, and authentic approach” is the explanation.
To celebrate the running of the Boston Marathon today, below is a link to a recent offering, “We do Not Run for Prize”, which Tracksmith™ indicates was inspired by World War I poet Charles Hamilton Sorley’s work “The Song of the Ungirt Runners”. The link includes a video featuring runners wearing apparel items and the poem is read aloud in a voice-over. The poem's text is also included on the page.
I was not aware of this piece before seeing it here. My favorite line is at the end:
“And we run because we like it
Through the broad bright land.”.
Tracksmith seems to creatively express the no-frills spirit that lies at the foundation of Earned Runs. They do it beautifully. It’s a pleasure to visit their site.
Tracksmith is set to open its first brick-and-mortar retail store and community center, the Trackhouse, April 13, on Newbury Street in Boston’s historic Back Bay neighborhood. There are activities planned surrounding the Marathon. Good luck!
WEEK 14 HALF MARATHON + ‘SAINTS DAYS’ STARTS
Finally, on the last day of this week you can prove you have what it takes to run 13 miles!
If you have an opportunity to watch TV coverage of the Boston Marathon on Monday, take note of the leaders’ running forms. Their heads will be up, chests out, torsos tall and erect, shoulders loose and down, and elbows pulling back. Count the number of steps taken per 15 seconds (multiply by 4 to get steps/minute) to calculate cadence. Honestly compare what you observe in the elite runners’ forms with your own.
When advised to do this by a trainer to correct my form, I scoffed at the idea. I wasn’t an elite, was my thinking, so why run like one? I am a plodder, with a pace about 2.5 times greater than the best in the world. It would be pretentious!
But I followed the advice and started to check out running form on all images, including magazine covers, ads, and online articles. All the pros displayed similar form. Athletes who dedicate their efforts 24/7 to being the best runners in the world and building professional running careers that span decades don’t adopt a certain form to look pretty in pictures; they do it to be fast and prevent sidelining injuries. Hey, I realized wanted to be fast and avoid injuries too! So now I model my form on that of the elites, just like coach said I should.
There are other components to good form running. See the chart from New Balance on the RESOURCES page to refresh your memory. The secret to maintaining it throughout a long run is to build core, upper body, hip, leg and strength in training. I find that the greatest source of fatigue at the end of 13.1 miles comes from having a tired back, core, and arms. Which means I must work harder to become stronger in these areas. An additional benefit is that this work will translate into a more athletic posture.
BRIDGE TO PHYSICAL SELF
Running, walking, and fitness activities enable 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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