IF YOU'RE TRAINING FOR A LONGER DISTANCE SPRING RACE like a half marathon, marathon, or 25K event (like the one held in my hometown Grand Rapids MI, the 41stFifth Third River Bank Run on May 12, 2018) you may be in the middle of a taper. Ashley Lauretta explains this strategy for Under Armor’s MapMyRun.com blog in an article “Don’t Make these 5 Common Taper Mistakes”.
“Tapering for a race involves decreasing your mileage so your body can be physically - and mentally - fresh on race day.” Lauretta says. The quoted expert in the article makes a distinction that is important to recognize, that the main reduction is in training volume and “to a lesser extent, intensity.”
This may be easier said than done by those who have progressively increased the week’s mileage plus the distance of the long run over several months. This demonstrable progress is a security blanket we have wrapped ourselves in, which, even on those cold wintery runs, warmed us emotionally and physically. If we’re doing more and more, we’re doing better and better, right? To stop going forward in training and start dialing it back, it’s as if we’ve been asked to hand over the blanket before the race start.
In addition, with spring weather arriving, we are eager to spend more time outdoors in sun and clear skies. And if the fueling part of training has been smart and not overdone, the sleek, strong body that has developed as a result of strength and endurance work deserves to be seen, we think. The flip side fear is that less training volume could lead to putting on unwanted pounds.
Lauretta addresses that fear and other issues by cautioning against 5 taper mistakes:
Earned Runs comment: customizing requires experience; 1st time distance race runners may not be able to personalize until the next long event. Keep a log this race; may help the next
Not continuing training intensity
Earned Runs comment: reduce volume but keep up some intensity to maintain training gains
Worrying about putting on weight
Earned Runs comment: follow a nutrition plan to fuel for the race; some gain is expected. Don’t use the taper as an excuse to binge
Not reserving time for sleep
Earned Runs comment : Sleeping may not come easy; spend sleep time in bed/relaxing
Not trusting the plan
Earned Runs comment: the taper is part of the training plan; follow each week’s schedule
It’s best to read the full article to receive the benefit of the advice.
The taper will be good practice for a successful post-race recovery strategy. After your goal race has been completed you will need take time to heal and rest. Although at this point not having tough training sessions seems like a well-earned reward, it’s amazing how that down time period can become stressful.
RUN & MOVE HAPPY!
WEEK 16 HALF MARATHON 2018 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. Also, the runs are not as demanding as earlier in the plan and can’t serve as trials for new items. Foods taken and gear worn on the upcoming shorter runs may not be adequately assessed as to whether or not they will work on race day.
If you have not yet found an organized race to run on May 19 or 20, or plans have collapsed for one, consider pinning on an Earned Runs bib to be sure you meet the challenge of running the half marathon for which you trained. Don’t let circumstances deter you from reaching your goal race! REQUEST a set today.
Keep one in reserve, “just in case”.
RUN & MOVE HAPPY!
PLAN TO TRAIN OVER THE SPRING AND SUMMER FOR THIS EARLY AUGUST EVENT An email was sent out to announce the dates and route of the upcoming 4thEPIC EverWalk. It will start in White Rock, BC Canada and end in the USA on Puget Sound, at Seattle WA.
The announcement also indicated the dates, Sunday August 5 through 11, 2018. It seems there have been quite a few inquiries, so this route may prove to be a very popular. This fact combined with news that registration will be capped at 150 participants, means early registration will likely be necessary.
The EverWalk website hasn’t yet posted a registration page. Frequent checking will help hopeful walkers sign up soon after registration opens. As has been the custom in previous EPICS, One-day, Half-day, and Multiple half day entry spaces will be available, the email promises.
I’m a bit disappointed as these days are already taken up with another event, so I have no chance of walking. Maybe I would not have joined up anyway, but the location and days seem perfect.
Curious about the starting point? Here’s some information. According to a Wikipedia entry, White Rock is a city in British Columbia, south of and part of the metropolitan Vancouver area, which borders Semiahmoo Bay. It has a moderate climate year-round, with a temperature that is often 2-3 degrees higher than nearby Vancouver. Being a bit of a distance away from the Coast Mountains, it experiences less fog and rains and receives roughly 20% more sunshine than the larger city to its north. In July-August the mean daily temperature is about 63 degrees Fahrenheit, 17 degrees Celsius.
The nearby border crossing into the US, at Blaine Washington on the southern side and Surrey BC on the Canadian north side, is marked by the Peace Arch. It was erected in 1920 to honor the Treaty of Ghent, which ended the War of 1812 between Great Britain and the US.
The exact route of the EPIC EverWalk has not been revealed, but possibly it will take participants to this historic site. The international border, the nearby waters of the pacific coast, and moderate weather conditions promise to make this journey memorable and rewarding.
There are roughly three months to train for this walk. Best to make plans and get going if you do wish to register. It’s exciting to see that Diana and Bonnie have continued with their quest to make this organization the “biggest walking initiative in America.”
As posted on the website they urge, “Find the EPIC within in you. Discover who you want to be, what you want to do, as you walk the curvature of the Earth!
RUN & MOVE HAPPY!
The Peace Arch is a monument situated near the westernmost point of the Canada–United States border in the contiguous United States, between the communities of Blaine, Washington and Surrey, British Columbia. By Arnold C (User:Buchanan-Hermit) - Own work, Attribution, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=1107740
…AND CAUTIONS. CAFFEINE IS A KNOWN exercise performance enhancer, especially in trained athletes. It works on a number of different body tissues, although not all changes may be responsible for improved performance, which include:
An article in BusinessInsider.com by Kevin Loria and Erin Brodwin explains how caffeine, a drug, works as a stimulant to produce multiple positive effects. However, for each good effect related to caffeine intake the authors described the downside effect, especially in sensitive individuals. The properties of caffeine that provide a boost may also result in anxiety, irritation, and jitteriness they advise.
It’s benefit to exercise is described in the article; “It’s one of the best athletic performance enhancers out there,” declares the section title. Embedded in this section is a link to a 2014 item in the TheAtlantic.com, which lays out the ways in which the small improvements associated with caffeine supplementation can be important in competition.
Thus, elite athletes and average endurance sport enthusiasts are interested in enjoying the positive effects of caffeine on exercise performance. Especially those who also enjoy the wake-me-up and pick-me-up benefits of consuming caffeinated substances in the morning or other times of the day, while not involved in exercise activities.
However, the popular scientific thinking that ‘habituation’ reduces or wipes out the performance boost has troubled some regular caffeine-imbibing athletes, who have been advised to stop taking caffeine-containing substances for several days to weeks before using it to enhance performance.
Fortunately, a study published in the Journal of Applied Physiology, titled “Dispelling the myth that habitual caffeine consumption influences the performance response to acute caffeine supplementation”, has provided evidence which dismisses this theory.
The study was conducted by scientists at the University of Brazil at Sao Paulo who had actually hypothesized that the opposite would happen! That the athletes’ “habitual caffeine intake would influence the ergogenic effects of caffeine supplementation, with greater aerobic exercise performance gains in individual with lower regular consumption.” A lower pre-performance intake habit would translate to bigger gains with supplementation just before exercise.
Forty, male, endurance-trained cyclists were grouped according to daily caffeine intake: low (~58mg/day, about 1 small cup/day), moderate (143mg/day; 2-3 cups/day) and high (~351mg/day; 5 cups/day). Each performed 3 simulated time trials, ~30 minutes duration. They were instructed to cycle as fast as possible to achieve a set amount of work, after receiving a gelatin capsule dose of caffeine (CAF: 6mg/kg body mass), a placebo (PLA; dextrose, 0mg caffeine), and no supplement (CON; 0mg caffeine).*
The results revealed that low, moderate, and high “caffeine consumers showed similar absolute and relative improvements in cycling time-trial performance following acute supplementation” compared with placebo and control subjects.
In other words, those who regularly took in significantly more caffeine received the same performance benefit from a dose just before performance as those who usually took in small or moderate amounts.
The scientists indicated that the dosing strategy was based on previous “meta-analytic data” which showed that consumption of 6mg/kg body mass, taken 60 minutes prior to exercise, “improves performance” by +1.9%, both during high intensity exercise and endurance protocols. In their study, “caffeine supplementation improved exercise performance by 3.3% compared with” controls, and “2.4% compared with” placebo, roughly in line with the reported +1.9% overall improvement. But the effects were individualized. Fifty percent of participants improved above the variation of the test; the others did not.
Perceived negative side effects (increased heart rate, gastrointestinal upset, anxiety, tremors, insomnia) were similarly reported among the different groups; the level of previous habitual caffeine consumption did not make a difference. This also seems to a dispel myth about caffeine, that high consumers may be less susceptible to these effects than non-consumers.
The authors acknowledged that the level of acute caffeine supplementation required to enhance performance, 3 mg/kg BM, is lower than the amount administered in their protocol, 6mg/kg BM.
The work of these and other investigators was reviewed and discussed by exercise physiologist and sports nutritionist Asker Jeukendrup in a piece for mysportscience.com. He concludes that to experience a boost in performance from caffeine, a withdrawal period is NOT needed. His recommendation to athletes is to “maintain your normal caffeine consumption during preparation for competition. You will still be able to benefit from the effects of caffeine in competition and avoid any possible withdrawal symptoms in the days before”.
For average endurance athletes, this is likely good news. Caffeine supplementation may be something many will be encouraged to try an hour before a competition or exercise session. Be aware that caffeine has been added to many endurance sport fuels (gels, drinks, gummies, shots). It’s easy to overlook when purchasing these items. Best to check the product information to be sure you’re getting the intended amount, not too much.
And remember that the 6mg/kg this study used was considered twice the amount needed to generate a performance boost. Consider what has already been taken in as coffee, tea, soda when calculating what to add to the lower amount.
Powdered pure caffeine is a dangerous substance and should NEVER be used!
Use a caffeine calculator to see how much daily intake is safe for your body weight. A 125-pound woman (57kg) wishing to take 3mg/kg caffeine only requires 171mg as a supplement. An 8oz. cup of brewed store-brand (like Folgers) coffee contains about 95mg. Thus, a bit less than 2 (8oz) cups will do the trick for her. A 170-pound man (77kg) would try for a dose of 231mg, so about 2.5 cups. That’s not much for a regular coffee drinker who has easy access to this beverage every morning. Extra supplementation isn’t necessary. Soda drinkers and energy-beverage drinkers will have a different calculation.
The use of caffeine as a performance enhancer was made less complicated by this research. No need to abstain before an endurance workout or race. For me it would be simply drinking my usual amount of pre-breakfast wake-up coffee.
RUN & MOVE HAPPY!
*More method details. The study participants were either professional or amateur competitive cyclists who, each week, cycled at least 150 km and trained 4+ times. Experimental exercise sessions were randomly assigned. Each was performed following 6 hours of fasting, on different days, at least 7 days apart, and 60 minutes after the ingestion of a caffeine or placebo capsule or no supplement. Participants had been instructed to abstain from training, alcohol, and caffeine-containing substances in the 24-hour period prior to each exercise session, and completed a 24-hour food recall survey.
WRITE REGULARLY TO RUN, WALK, CYCLE, EXERCISE WITH AN IMPROVED MIND
Author Becky Kane indicated she asked 32 friends about journaling to prepare writing her article, “The Productive Benefits of Journaling (plus 11 ideas for making the habit stick)” for Doist.com, and only 4 admitted to have cultivated this habit.
If she had asked me, I would not be among that smaller group of diarists. Kane introduces the topic by listing some famous people who regularly wrote down personal thoughts. Naturalist Charles Darwin, WWII British prime minister Winston Churchill, and Spanx founder Sara Blakely. There are others, listed in various articles that are dominated by men. Scientist Marie Curie, artist Freida Kahlo, and free black woman Emilie Davis are three other women who journaled.
These people were busy living productive lives, it seems, and maybe they had thoughts that documenting small events would later be interesting to others.
Kane provides the perspective that the reason to put pen to paper, and perhaps why these recognizable names did, is for its personal, not public, benefits. That today we are increasingly ‘passively consuming information” and the “key to learning” is to stop, and “start actively engaging with the ideas we encounter.”
With Kane’s advice in mind, perhaps it would be more beneficial for athletes to write a journal than “bullet” one (see Earned Runs previous post). Why?
The mental component of athletics has always been crucial to success at elite levels. It is also important at the everyday-athlete level too. We may decide not to follow through on training plans because of pressures exerted on our personal and work lives. Our confidence and desire to perform well may be knocked down by troubling circumstances that have nothing to do with fitness. In a vicious cycle, our poor personal sport performance may have deleterious effects at home and in our careers.
Reflective writing can help “train our attention and strengthen neural pathways.” Becky Kane says. She quotes a neurologist who explains all the cognitive steps that the “practice of writing can enhance”. There’s much more to her argument promoting this activity, best read in full in her in-depth article.
Her next two article segments cover what the title promises: tips on how to get started and suggestions for journal themes. The following list of writing approaches could contain one that has enough appeal it motivates action: Gratitude, Goal, Value, Ideas, or Curiosity journals, and Morning Pages.
Earned Runs suggests that regardless of the approach, based on Kane’s discussion. writing in journals should NOT zone in on athletics to benefit our athletic lives. By addressing distractions, working through issues that threaten to overwhelm us, documenting ideas, or expressing wonder or gratitude we free ourselves to enjoy fitness challenges, commit to reasonable goals, and experience the satisfaction of accomplishment.
As Kane indicates, journal writing shouldn’t be a self-conscious effort; it doesn’t need to be edited, sound good, or make good reading. The same as running or other fitness activities, we just need to get going and do it to experience any benefits.
In a way that makes it easier.
RUN & MOVE HAPPY!
IF YOU’RE NOT DOING ANY STRENGTH BUILDING, but only running, cycling, swimming, or walking for aerobic fitness, how do you get into this kind of training? ‘One’ approach, that Earned Runs suggests, is to start with ‘One’ exercise. If diligent in performing it, the progress experienced may provide incentive to add one more, and then another, and another.
The key is to select an exercise that initially you perform relatively poorly, then repeat it regularly, daily perhaps, such that progress is recognized and the benefits appreciated. That’s when the motivation to add a second strength exercise might kick in.
It’s been my experience to join a fitness center, receive an evaluation from a trainer and then start on a new routine that may include 8+ separate exercises. During one of these sessions, 4 (Group A-D) workouts were prescribed by Trainer Y to mix up over 2 weeks. There were 40 different exercises in total, including upper and lower body exercises, using body weight, resistance tubing, machines, and multiple other pieces of equipment. They were challenging and complex, and worked multiple muscle groups and balance all at once.
I had mastered 2 workouts (an upper and lower body set) from a previous expert, Trainer X, before this time, each composed of 15 moves. There were 30 different relatively simple exercises using bodyweight and a Swiss ball.
Then we moved, joined a new gym, and met Trainer Y. There was no overlap between what Trainer X and Trainer Y prescribed.
By the time it came to learn Trainer Y’s Group D routine, I was not motivated to try further. Cycling between so many exercises did not allow me to feel I had mastered any one, and thus could not feel stronger. Plus, I did not want to add more mental work to the physical effort.
After that point, by trial and error, I found that the best way for me to mix up strength training with Trainer X’s base program was to find new workout method sets rather than new exercises that utilized a mixture of different methods. I added a dumbbell-weight upper/lower/core set that builds strength, and a kettlebell set that also builds total body strength and balance.
And slowly mastered each of Trainer Y’s totally wonderful exercises, one at a time, such that a list of 12 could be combined into one routine.
Physiologically it’s more beneficial to perform a mixture of exercises utilizing different methods, but I find I persevere with training initially using same-method routines. Mostly the same, anyway; bodyweight exercises nearly always are included in a routine’s warm-up. The list can be abbreviated when time is short or I’m travelling and gym equipment is limited, which encourages perseverance. Any exercise that is worked on one leg or requires a split stance improves balance.
SHAPE.com magazine posted an article by Lauren Mazzo, “Why the Reverse Lunge is One of the Best Exercises to Target Your Butt and Thighs” that might be the perfect ‘One’ strength exercise to attempt. It’s just ‘one’ move that doesn’t require equipment, at least initially, and not much room space.
Mazzo says, “Though it's a foundational functional movement, the backward motion of the reverse lunge exercise makes this more of a coordination challenge than a strictly strength-training exercise”. She also comments on research that indicates this exercise is kinder to troubled knees. Variations can make this move more challenging and beneficial.
The author reminds readers that the reverse lunge is actually a variation of the more basic forward lunge, and she urges mastery of it and the walking lunge before attempting the reverse move. Adding a barbell or medicine ball, or dumbbell or kettlebell weights increases the difficulty and strength building potential.
If strength building is a goal, but starting has been an issue, read Mazzo’s article to find motivation. ‘One’ exercise is better than none.
In the 1991 movie, “City Slickers”, the hard-living, trail boss cowboy Curly, played by Jack Palance, asks Billy Crystal’s, New Yorker, dude-ranch-vacationer character Mitch Robbins if he knows the secret of life. Curly holds up one index finger, saying, “This.” Of course, Mitch asks, “Your finger?” Curly replies, “One thing. Just one thing. You stick to that and the rest don’t mean s***”. “But what is the ‘one thing’?” Mitch inquires. To which Curly replies, “That’s what you have to find out.”
When it comes to exercise, life isn’t that dramatic! Or funny. However, Curly’s advice might be helpful combined with Lauren Mazzo’s, to help find the one exercise that inspires strength training.
RUN & MOVE HAPPY!
Note: the movie was filmed in several locations including the state of New Mexico, according to a Wikipedia entry Thus an image of towering strength in that state was chosen for the post, Shiprock.
SUFFERERS APPROACH TO EXERCISE A short article written by Jennifer Purdie for Under Armor’s MapMyRun Blog, “Spring Allergy Tips For Runners” reminds runners of ways in which they might lessen their suffering during spring, what many refer to as “allergy season”. Purdie’s advice might best be heeded by all who are eager to finally are able to get active outdoors in better weather.
The author references family medicine physician Dr. Rachel Carlton Abrams, and Dr. Deborah Gentile, director of research, division of allergy, asthma and immunology at Pediatric Alliance in Pittsburgh”.
Another advice piece, “Running With Allergies” by Sarah Johnson for ACTIVE.com discusses general rules, such as the ‘neck rule.’ “If your allergy symptoms are above the neck, such as stuffy or runny nose and sneezing, it's probably OK to run. However, if you are exhibiting any symptoms below the neck, like chest congestion, upset stomach, or body aches, then it's time to call for a rest day.”
Runner’s World posted an item in 2012 written by Lisa Jhung, “Nothing to Sneeze At”, which highlighted advice provided by a runner-allergist, Stephen Klemawesch. A 2014 Women’s Running article also features this doctor’s advice; some parts address women’s issues.
A more current item was posted on WebMD in January 2018, “6 Ways to Keep Exercising Outside with Allergies”.
The advice in these items is organized and summarized below:
KNOW YOUR POLLENS!
Learn by testing which specific allergens cause you problems.
After running, prevent continued exposure to pollen:
Seek medical advice for new treatments with less side effects! Start taking medications in advance of the season if possible.
The point of running, walking, cycling and fitness work is to get exercise AND enjoy the process. If allergies are messing with your mind and body, take your workout indoors. Run or walk laps on the small gym track or hop on a treadmill, elliptical, or stationary bicycle. Get in a cross-training session by swimming indoors (unless pool chlorine irritates), playing tennis, or strength training.
It may be best to regularly set aside time for physical activity in the late afternoons or early evenings, to make same-day last minute alterations to workouts less disruptive and inconvenient.
Learn to love rainy days. Precipitation clears the air!
RUN & MOVE HAPPY!
Or, why the Boston Marathon should be given more attention in the USA!
LET ME GET IT SAID UP FRONT; I’VE NEVER RUN, ATTEMPTED TO RUN, OR TRAINED FOR A MARATHON. I’m a fan, having spent a little over 40 years running and occasionally competing in small-ish, lesser distance races. The higher profile events that I have run include a RunDisney Princess Half Marathon Weekend 5K (the only race in which registration was still open) and the Chicago Hot Chocolate 15K.
But that makes me a perfect spectator and fan. I’ve got enough experience to appreciate the rigors of training and anticipation of challenge, have traveled far to toe the line (okay several waves back and hundreds of places deep); taken off with a mass of other hopeful runners at the start signal. And I’ve finished, surprised and giddy when placing first, second, or third in my age division in a few local events.
Watching the 2018 Boston Marathon I was primed for an unexpected or thrilling outcome. As in the rest of the outdoor-competed, sporting event world, bad weather can change everything. The field of American and international elites this year was super packed with contenders, each capable of wearing the laurel wreath. I told the family of my plan to record it, wanting to capture history if it was made in any of the events.
Afterward I was describing the wins of Des Linden, Yuki Kawauchi, Tatyana McFadden, and Marcel Hug to my husband, who is relatively unaware when it comes to running. He’s a golfer and totally gets into watching the big tournaments on TV. Trying to relate how crazily amazing the Boston Marathon was, I attempted to relate it to golf’s and other sports’ major championship-level competitions.
That started the wheels turning in my brain. Marathons in which the world’s elite runners agree to compete are unlike any other sport competition of the best of the best. And Boston is the jewel race, with the history and tradition of being the first in 1897 to follow the example of the modern 1896 Olympics signature event.
Below are 6 reasons why major marathons, with the Boston race leading the pack, are unique among championship sports competitions*:
1. Runners of any country can enter, although they need to qualify by time. Marathons are truly international competitions, every time they’re competed.
2. Elite women and men compete in the same event, under same conditions, although in separate groups with slightly different start times. Non-elites run together.
3. A field of very talented plus not-so-talented amateur non-elite participants competes nearly at the same time on the same course, and potentially can become overall winners with the best time.
4. Each competitor ‘plays’ the entire multi-hour event, exerting elite-level effort over the race’s duration, without lulls or breaks.
5. Race start times are not arranged to accommodate media coverage. Most of the rest of the world doesn’t have the chance to watch. Boston’s Monday event is a holiday of the people of Massachusetts! Even though that weekday morning slot may hurt event television ratings.
6. Marathons have embraced competition by persons with significant challenges, adding events for wheelchair and physically impaired athletes of both genders. Boston was first to hold a wheelchair event.
What’s hard to understand is that so many high-profile people in the US who run for fitness and enjoyment, who proudly call themselves runners, but who don’t rejoice in the spirit of the Boston Marathon. Our country was first in the world in organizing this kind of competition. Why don’t we make it a big deal?
How would everyday golfers react if allowed to play behind the professionals on a championship course just minutes after the tournament started? Or women, men, and physically challenged recreational league players if they could take the football field, soccer pitch, baseball diamond, or hockey ice at the Super Bowl, World Cup, World Series, Stanley Cup playoffs?
Ridiculous of course, because logistics and common sense argue against this move. But that’s why US runners might consider celebrating Boston’s Marathon, and Chicago’s and New York’s as well others with a bit more appreciation. We welcome and host the world at these events regardless of gender or physical challenges.
Major marathons are unique and inclusive championship events; Boston leads them all.
RUN & MOVE HAPPY!
* I attempted to verify that all the world major marathons had all the characteristics described. It wasn't possible to find that information in a timely fashion. Please provide specific corrections if you think there are terrible inaccuracies. Thanks. PKS
WEEK 15 HALF MARATHON TRAINING PLAN STARTS
Today is April 22. It’s Earth Day 2018. Are you planning to do anything to help or show appreciation for our planetary home? Provide a little TLC? If not, do something tomorrow. Or this week.
In our daily non-running, non-fitness lives, just like in a training program, 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. We just don’t do it, forget about it, cross it off the ‘to-do’ list. Whatever the self-assigned duty, it was possibly going to be difficult to attempt or finish, or unexpected events may have prevented our accomplishing certain self-assigned duties.
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 worm-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 19-20 there is a 3-week taper period built into the schedule that can accommodate a few re-ceduled runs.
If you’re using an Earned Run bib for a custom competition that you designed, the race day can be rescheduled as needed.
Bottom line, hold to your training plan and make minor SAFE adjustments as needed. Oh, and pick up trash along the way on your cool down walk today, if your long run is yet to be performed, or along your recovery walk path tomorrow. It’s a chance to love our Earth!.
RUN & MOVE HAPPY!
Walkers training for a half marathon by the Verywellfit.com Plan are likely to be starting week 8 or 9, if the schedule began after the 10k with week 3-4 of that 16-week program. A screenshot capture image is provided below. Or visit the full plan webpage through this link.
HERE’S ANOTHER WAY TO USE EARNED RUNS BIBS ON SUNDAY April 22, EARTH DAY. Run or walk the 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 or 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!
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 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.
RUN & MOVE HAPPY!
[UPDATED POST FROM APRIL 2017]
Remember Earned Runs 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)."
RECENT RESEARCH STUDY FINDINGS SEEM TO SUPPORT the concept behind the opening of a novel chain of centers aimed at facial fitness and beauty. Rina Raphael reported on this for FastCompany.com, in an article, “The world’s first face gym wants to make your head sweat.”
FaceGym in London, was founded 2 years ago by Inge Theron, a U.K. beauty journalist. A New York City studio will be opening in Noho. FaceGym is s a spa-like operation offering 30-45 minute communal sessions, starting at $70, that resemble exercise routines. Warm-up, workout, cooldown. Theron says some of it might be considered relaxing, but other components makes the face hurt, just like muscles after a tough workout at a traditional gym.
Trainers do the massaging, kneading, and contorting of muscles. The research study did not have trainers performing the moves.
In the Northwestern University study, led by Dr Murad Alam who is vice-chair and professor of Dermatology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, participants were first trained to perform 32 separate exercises. Then they went home to work 30 minutes each day, for 8 weeks on the routines. During weeks 9-20 the exercise routine was performed every other day (3-4 times/week).
An article by Sarah Knapton on the website telgraph.co.uk of British newspaper, The Daily Telegraph,explains the theory behind the research. “How 30 minutes of facial exercises a day can make women look three years younger”, reports that reduced facial skin elasticity with aging leads to the downward sliding of little fat pads that lie between skin and muscle. A plump youthful appearance is lost as the skin sags and the fat pads re-locate, causing the “face to fall.”
Dr. Alam, and Dr. Emily Poon, an assistant research professor at Feinberg, were quoted in the story. If the muscles became bigger, it was thought, “the skin has more suiffing underneath it, and the firmer muscle appears to make the shape of the face more full”.
The scientists concluded that “a regimen of at-home facial exercises maintained for 20 weeks seemed to improve mid-face and lower face fullness.” The mechanism, they proposed, was that muscles hypertrophied, or enlarged, just as they do in other parts of the body with training. Further research is needed to identify “causes and effects” and determine if the regimen works generally in all persons.
The Knapton article has images demonstrating some of the exercises and a link to the website of the "face-yoga” trainer Gary Sikorski of Happy Face Yoga, who developed the 32 exercises and who co-authored the paper.
Spending money on sessions in a face gym may not result in the same outcomes as in the research study, especially if the effort is passive. Just like in gyms that train the rest of the body’s muscles, you probably need to put in the work yourself.
However, if the spa-like sessions are also used to train clients and encourage regular exercise at home, they could be a wonderful, if expensive, support system. Consider purchasing Sikorski’s DVD and spending 30 minutes at home each day in front of a mirror instead. Or perform the exercises that are demonstrated in the article and YouTube demonstration at no cost.
RUN & MOVE HAPPY!
Notes on the research:
The twenty-seven women in the study were self-selected (volunteered) and between the ages of 40 -65 years. There were a mix of races and ethnicities, but predominantly non-Hispanic/Latino whites participated.
The outcome was measured by 2 physicians who were blinded as to the participant age. They were asked to rate facial characteristics (wrinkles, lines, folds, fullness, crow’s feet etc.) by viewing photographs, and then estimate the age of each participant. Participants were also asked to rate their satisfaction with the changes on a 11point scale.
“Blinded ratings of validated photoscales showed significant improvement in upper and lower cheek fullness”. The mean age estimate decreased by roughly 2.7 years after treatment (50.8y to 49.6y at 8 weeks, and to 48.1y at 20 weeks. Participants were all highly satisfied!
SOMETIMES IT DOESN’T SEEM TO PAY TO GET ON TOP OF WORK, especially on weekends when taking a break might be healthy. Last Saturday in the course of some simple website housekeeping tasks the entire content of the Earned Runs Resources page was accidentally deleted. Yes, gone in a single click.
After panicked consultation with the host help desk, the truth of the situation was confirmed; there was no way to restore content. It would have been better to delete the entire page than the one section that held all the links to various downloads, YouTube videos, PDFs, articles, websites, etc.
Compared with other accidents, this one did not result in physical injury. The consequences did not include disability or illness. Family relationships or friendships were not damaged. It will be a tedious chore to locate and restore information to reconstruct the page. This time more than one section will be hold materials. A back-up method will be established even if labor intensive. The effort to imperfectly put all the pieces together again will be far more work than a routine manual back-up.
Hopefully the restoration will result in an improved and updated RESOURCES page. Earned Runs asks for your patience. Each week materials will be added, starting with basics, like “MYRTLS” and “FOAM ROLLING”, below.
Comments are welcome.
RUN & MOVE HAPPY!
Inside Nike Running™ Coach Jay Johnson Flexibility
MYRTLs video demonstration by Wolf Creek Track Club USATF Registered Coach Brandon Wise
Earned Runs MYRTLs BLOG post
Men’s Health Magazine
Warm up or between sets or workout sessions
Embedded Video :360 ABS Foam Roller Warm-up (brief ad precedes the video)
Earned Runs Foam Rolling BLOG post
THE KETTLEBELL MAY DESERVE MORE RESPECT THAN IT RECEIVES, it seems. Check out the in-depth story that KettlebellsUSA.com offers visitors to its website. According to the piece, this funny-looking weight has been around for about 350 years, first used “as handled counterweights (bearing the Imperial Seal) to weigh out dry goods on market scales.”
If the origins of the kettlebell inspire you to try exercising with this type of dumbbell, next read “Complete Guide to Kettlebell Training: Beginners to Advanced”. Author Greg Brookes delivers on the promise of his article’s title in a very helpful way. Far more educational than most kettlebell workout routines, it frontloads an infographic that summarizes much of the information proved in the following text.
Topics include advice on selection of equipment and weights to use, an explanation of competition kettlebells, and how to get started. Brookes perspective in this area may be the most valuable portion of the tutorial. He recommends first working on “stabilization” training (Level 1), then progressing to “dynamic” training (level 2) and eventually “advanced” training (Level 3). For Levels 1 and 2 Brookes provides exercises and a 3 to 4-week workout plan. For Level 3 there are three workout circuits.
Drawings offer frame-by-frame demonstrations of the exercises. There are videos as well. The very bottom of the guide promises links to a couple 12-week training programs bit the links are no longer active.
Strength training with kettlebells is not an area of my/Earned Runs expertise. However, the GB Personal Training guide seems to take safety into account, emphasizing that beginners work initially to minimize risk of injury and then to maximize training benefits. Urging them to “start off with the basics and build a strong foundation” by strengthening small “Stabilizing” muscles before working large “Prime Mover” muscles. This approach is similar to what physical therapists have taken in helping me with rehabilitation.
If you’re keen on trying kettlebell exercises without the expert help of a certified trainer, review the GB Personal Training before attempting workouts. It might change your perspective on the best way to incorporate them into a fitness program.
A link to the GB "Complete Guide" can be found on the RESOURCES page for later reference.
RUN & MOVE HAPPY!
“IT RHYMES WITH ‘ENJOY’”Discovering LaCroix Sparkling Water years ago, before it surged in popularity, I found it a great way to slake my thirst after a long run while avoiding the artificial ingredients spiking up the sweetness of many zero-calorie carbonated beverages. Back then sucralose was not as widely used as today, which has since worsened the situation in my opinion. At the time I was taking in quite a bit of diet soda daily, mostly cola products.
Another worry was about the effect of phosphoric, citric, and carbolic acids in various non-alcoholic drinks on tooth enamel. Some flavors of LaCroix contain citric acid and two that did were my favorites: lime and grapefruit. To avoid this category of ingredient I then switched to only drinking water, but lasted less than a year on that regimen. I resumed drinking diet soda, but this time restricting myself to non-cola products.
Once again, I’ve turned back to LaCroix and water only. There is research information suggesting artificial sweeteners can affect insulin levels just as real sugars do and potentially lead to insulin resistance.
Nowadays, LaCroix is easy to find because it enjoys almost a cult following among young consumers. However, it can be daunting to pick a flavor from the shelf if you are tasting this beverage for the first time.
Help comes from an article updated in December 2017 by Pete Cottell for Thrillist.com reviews “all 21 flavors”. I tend to mostly agree with his ranking but cannot fully endorse it because I haven’t sample each flavor.
For nutritional information, the wonderful FAQ section on the company website is worth checking out. This is where the correct name pronunciation is given and the helpful ‘it rhymes with enjoy” is found.
If you’re searching for an after-run drink alternative to plain water and diet soda, think about sparkling water, keeping in mind the advice of the NYT Blog AskWell article
RUN & MOVE HAPPY!
Full disclose: I am not a food purist, although I wish I had the self-control. I spend my artificial sweetener allowance on sugar-free gum mostly.
Desiree Linden, first American woman in 33 years to win the Boston Marathon!
Yuki Kawauchi of Japan, a once-a-month 'citizen' runner, first Boston winner from his country since 1987!
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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