HOLIDAY GIFTING SEASON: BUY & GIVE RUNNING SOCKS WITH A PURPOSE
What one learns viewing the ad for BOMBAS socks is that this personal item, which receives less respect from runners when compared with shoes, is the most requested piece of clothing for the homeless.
According to BOMBAS founders, used socks are not accepted as charitable donations. It makes perfect sense, but not something that is out there. This probably applies to underwear as well, but that’s for another post.
If you’ve purchased running socks recently, you realize they are not inexpensive. A donation of well-constructed socks is not the same as putting a dollar or change into a collection box in the place you buy coffee, groceries, or gas. A big plus is that Bombas DONATES SOCKS FOR you. Every pair purchased means one goes to charity.
Over 1,300, 000 pair have been donated according to the company website. I mean to trial a pair soon. Love the “bee” logo (“bombas" is derived from the Latin word for “bumblebee”). Here’s what the company says about it’s logo: “Bees work together to make the hive a better place. We like that. When we say Bee Better, we mean it as a mantra, a way of approaching every day. It's stitched into the inside of every pair of Bombas for a reason.”
That's a sentiment Earned Runs shares!
IN THE RUNNER'S WORLD ARTICLE “This 17-time Marathoner Tried Run-walking a Race- Here’s What Happened”, author Meghan Kita describes why and how she came to trial run-walking, and her experience doing so during a Bethlehem PA half marathon race. I recall having repeatedly passed, then been passed by, someone run-walking a long race, so her story appealed to me. Did it work for a seasoned non-stop running marathon finisher?
Kita explains how running coach and Olympian Jeff Galloway popularized the method of long distance racing/ training in which periods of running alternate with periods of walking. “The run-walk method involves running for a pre-determined length of time, taking a planned walk break, and repeating” throughout the entire race, she says. “The purpose is to reduce stress on the body and mind.”
Her strategy was to run a mile and then walk a minute, using every mile marker in the race as a reminder. She was following in the footsteps of Amby Burfoot, who used and had written about the practice “back in the 90’s”. Burfoot has solid credentials as a former editor-in-chief of RW and winner of the 1986 Boston Marathon.
If, in the 2017 running year, you are looking for a way to decrease the wear and tear on your body, preserving it for runs and races now and far into the future, read the article in full. Beginning runners should consider this method too. I am definitely interested, and her perspective has pushed me toward more seriously training this way. A link at the bottom of her article takes you to the Jeff Galloway website home page. Click on the MAGIC MILE link in the mid-low portion of the left-hand column and you can get more specifics about times to run and walk in training.
TODAY: CYBER MONDAY ROLL-OUT of new running gear suggestion page!
Runners find that certain items make their workouts, routines, and hope-to-be-healthy lives easier or more effective. Some gadgets are complicated pieces of technology and very expensive. Others are incredibly simple and inexpensive.
Earned Runs greatly appreciates the innovative science that produces both high-tech aids that require big budget commitments to purchase, the simple, few-working-parts finds which don’t break our piggy bank savings, and everything in between.
It’s for the thrill of the hunt that we seek to identify something to improve our sporting lives. If no one else in our running circle has it yet, all the better. Earned Runs is trying to help with your hunt by offering some suggestions on the NEW! GEAR LOVE page. All savvy shoppers know they can search further online to find something cheaper, better for their own purposes, or in some way ‘cooler’.
We encourage this kind of treasure hunting. Please share the evidence of your greatness as a shopping goddess/god and tell Earned Runs what you found and love by emailing us about it. We won’t use email addresses or provide them to others.
IF A PURCHASE IS MADE THROUGH THE AMAZON link in the NEW! GEAR LOVE page, Earned Runs benefits from Amazon through an associates program. It will support our giving free bibs and information. Thanks to you if you do this!
NOW THAT THANKSGIVING HAS COME AND GONE we can start to anticipate the coming Hanukkah, Christmas, New Year, and other winter holidays. Many will become mentally and physically involved in preparing for the gift giving, feasting, and socializing. Others will, well, just get carried along and enjoy them without making much of an effort. You can decide who is who in your family and circle of friends.
I find some anticipation and planning activities to be as fun, if not more so, as the actual festivities. Many holiday joys cannot be experienced unless the PREP WORK is performed. It’s possible to feel the same way about fitness. Researching and plotting out what I WILL DO is quite exciting as I visualize the effect of my future work on my future body: stronger, faster, more capable. Think of it, you can begin to PREP NOW for January just by reading, digesting information, and dreaming, guilt-free. NO EXERCISING IS REQUIRED. How easy is that?
It’s important to recognize that a smart mental approach to fitness will help advance your physical efforts. During this busy holiday time, make things easy for yourself.
Start thinking about the coming year and, before sitting down to develop a firm plan after the craziness has subsided, cast a wide net to gather information that serves TWO PURPOSES. FIRST attempt to build an image of the athlete you wish to become. SECOND, seek advice that appeals to you as ‘do-able’ and for which the promised results fit with that image. A smart, individualized plan is an essential foundation for effective fitness work.
You have the same advantage as the elites; all have 24 hours a day in which to train, recover, and maintain a positive attitude. You can do this!
5K 2016 TURKEY TROTTERS who wish to run a New Year’s Eve 5k or a Resolution 5k Run on New Year’s Day and who would like a bit of STRUCTURE to get them pointed in the right direction to prepare for another fun event, this is for you. It’s adapted from the Earned Runs “On to the New Year 2016” plan offered last year after Thanksgiving Day for those who followed an abbreviated 4-week plan to get ready for their Turkey Trot. It will be posted on the RESOURCES page.
You have more than a week to recover from the Thanksgiving Day 3.1 mile run and mentally rest up. The general rule is to avoid intense workouts for a length of time determined by the race distance: 1 day for every 1 mile of race. Thus after a Thanksgiving Day 3.1 mile (5K) race you would take 3 days to rest, with only easy short runs, cross-training sessions, or walking. This plan starts December 4, at about the level of intensity scheduled a month earlier (October 24).
OR you can devise your own plan to prepare for an event roughly 4 weeks later. Either way, think about using the past several months’ training effort to position yourself for a vigorous end to the year 2016 or confidence boosting beginning to the year 2017.
ON TO THE NEW YEAR 2017 5K TRAINING PLAN PDF
A post scheduled for Saturday November 26 may have been repeatedly posted by mistake. It's been again scheduled for that day. Enjoy your holiday preparations; hope all travels are safe and happy! PKS
SMALL BUSINESS SATURDAY: SPECIALTY RUNNING STORES are alive and flourishing. The subtitle of the article “Specialty Running Stores Sell More Than Just Shoes” by TJ Murphy for RunnersWorld.com encapsulates one of the main points made by the author. “The best ones also sell MOJO, in exactly your size.” FOR THIS REASON, visiting one should be a strategy of beginning runners to persevere in their training! 'Mojo' is slang for magical power, borrowed from the voodoo world where “mojo” is a magical power charm bag.
Before getting to that topic, here’s a bit of background on Small Business Saturday. According to a Wikipedia entry, the first SBS event was held in Roslindale Village, Massachusetts on the Saturday after Thanksgiving 2010, “sponsored by American Express Corporation, in partnership with the non-profit National Trust for Historic Preservation,” Roslindale Village Main Street, and the mayor of Boston.
“Small Business Saturday encourages holiday shoppers to patronize brick-and-mortar businesses that are small and local. Small Business Saturday is a registered trademark of American Express corporation”. Because this event promised to benefit local politicians, small town as well as large city local businesses, and large credit corporations, the promotion gained steam. It’s a win-win-win proposition.
Specialty running stores belong to this group. Once thought to be moribund because of the rise of internet competition as well as big-box store chains selling athletic footwear, they appear to be doing quite well, thank you very much. These small store owners and their employees must work incredibly hard to meet and beat the challenges of the competition (the article explains how, in detail) but they seem to be doing so successfully.
Part of this success comes from helping customers wade through the confusion of running shoe section. Another part comes from efforts to build and support a sense of “community” in their locale by sponsoring racing events, training and injury prevention clinics, and sometimes supporting high school running teams and charity groups. One such business is Gazelle Sports, headquartered in West Michigan. In addition to serving in those ways, it is also a B-Corporation, a certification that indicates a company “uses the power of business to solve social and environmental problems”. I love this store chain.
MOST IMPORTANTLY for the reluctant, uncertain, or timid beginning/want-to-be runner, specialty running stores can serve as low-key personal boosters, a source of 'mojo'. There’s not much evangelizing to fear; there won’t be sales-pushing. Generally, an associate will approach you in a non-threatening manner and ask to help you make whatever selection you are pondering as you browse. This could be a small package of GU gummies.
In my experience, these content-expert sales persons will provide serious advice regardless of the value of the item, as if you are a serious runner! Thus the personal boost or mojo, comes from within, with the realization that you have it in YOU to be part of RUNNING.
BLACK FRIDAY SHOPPING "This Year’s Starbucks Holiday Collection has Something for Everyone on Your List” by Refinery29.com reviews many of the items offered by the iconic coffee shop. Even if you don’t enjoy their beverages as much as those from other coffee vendors, you may have someone on your gift list who does. The gold crown topped, tall cream-colored porcelain cup (slide #16) that resembles the face of the logo’s siren is unique, but out of stock. Maybe the crown could securely hold a small pastry too? There's also an expensive cup with Swarovski's crystals.
If you are out shopping early today and plan to stop at Starbucks for a jolt of something to wake you up, check out the gift possibilities too. There are additional items on the official website, including some featuring cute polar bears.
A quick check of Biggby's and Peet's coffee websites for gifts these companies might be offering this Holiday season did not produce results. If you can suggest other coffee-related collections to feature, please comment.
RUN (AND SHOP) HAPPY!
TODAY can be a day not only to give thanks, but to acknowledge each other and the gratitude that we share for living in America. We are free to disagree. Taking a walk or run outdoors may boost pre-dinner appetites or aid with post-dinner digestion AND provide an opportunity to enjoy gathered loved ones and neighbors we encounter on the way.
“The 25 Golden Rules of Running: Time-tested, Universally Accepted Axioms of the Sport”
by Bob Cooper. “The 25 Golden Rules of Running: Time tested, Universally Accepted Axioms of the Sport”. Consider the article by Runner’s World a HUGE GIFT! This one item packs nearly everything runners must keep in mind to be successful in their sport. I’ve lived/run by all, but learned them one at a time by reading, through advice handed down from trainers or other runners, or personal experience. Here they are, all together.
Possibly the wisdom of each rule (and the exceptions) won’t be fully recognized by those of you who are new to the sport until the issues present themselves later in your running careers. So print and keep this gem of an article in your “files”; (gym bag, refrigerator, locker, etc.).
The very first rule is one that could easily be ignored (I am guilty): to train effectively some of your workouts must ‘mimic’ the specific event for which you are preparing and the specific finish time to hope to achieve. This means running at goal pace for a portion of your training. The conditions expected at the goal competition should also be taken into account.
The rule’s explanation does not provide an exact meaning, but it seems reasonable that if you anticipate racing in heat or cold, over hills, on a slippery surface, or in the dark, you should be training at least some of the time in the same environment. This can be difficult if it’s a long distance race that is months away, and is scheduled in a different season, climate, or geographically dissimilar location.
You must manage expectations accordingly. It’s possible that a later long distance event would better fit training circumstances, with earlier shorter distance races serving as practice events. It’s helpful to plan a running YEAR such that all competitions help to prepare you for the big race in which it’s important for you to shine. Your RACE YEAR needn’t start January 1; it could start this November 2016 if you are aiming to run in a Rock N’ Roll Marathon Half Marathon series race in Las Vegas 2017.
This kind of long range planning may seem crazy if you don’t have a specific goal race; hence the name, “Specificity Rule”. However, if you have a busy family and/or work life, it can organize arrangement making and help you avoid future disappointments and cancellations. You can plan around children’s sport seasons, weddings, conferences, vacations, and business trips. Sure, there will be some unexpected occurrences that threaten to bust your calendar, but with long range planning you will be able to put things in proper perspective and find a way to enjoy all of life.
Here's the list; you obviously must read the article to 'get' the rules! A link to the article will be posted on the RESOURCES page, and hopefully RW will allow it to remain active for a long while.
WOOL ATHLETIC SHOES Are you looking for an earth-friendly alternative to shoes made with synthetic materials? How about ‘runners’ constructed with 100% merino wool uppers and sustainably-grown castor bean-derived polyurethane insoles? Tim Brown and Joey Zwillinger, the founders of shoe company AllBirds proudly state that the significance of their being ZQ-certified means “no sheep were harmed in the making of these shoes”. What other shoe manufacturer would need to make this statement?
Other socially conscious bragging rights claimed by this San Francisco-based start-up: 1) ambitions and progress toward becoming a certified B-corporation, “meaning we meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency”, 2) shipping shoe-box packaging that uses 40% less materials than traditional methods, and 3) partnership with charity organization Soles4Souls to donate used shoes (discussed in a previous BLOG post May 11, 2016 with link on the GENEROSITY page).
Their main assertion is that the shoes are extremely comfortable and attractively stylish. I am hoping to trial these shoes, partly because I agree they look great and mostly because I wish to support this environment-saving and generosity story. I would wear them for leisure. The product’s reviews are favorable and enthusiastic (WIRED, FAST COMPANY, and POPSUGAR, among others). Could these shoes work for long distance, endurance running and training?
It’s exciting and promising to learn of how entrepreneurs are thinking and working to make a better life and world for many, by creating such novel products.
RUNNERS NEED STRONG CORE MUSCLES when moving forward in an upright position, so strengthening them while standing makes sense. “13 Standing Core Exercises Better Than Crunches” by Jennifer Moncayo for Rodale Press on Runner's World.com might be for some who absolutely won’t perform floor core exercises. It promises 13 but there are only 12 no matter how I count. Did you find 13 exercises? There are a few that don’t require equipment; a medicine ball is used in several. The ‘cable’ exercises must be performed with a piece usually found in a fitness center.
The pictures are somewhat explanatory but there aren’t clear directions in this article. Likely an experienced gym rat can figure out how to perform most of them without too much extra instruction and determine other details (weight, repetitions, sets). Some may take a search of the internet. Although this article doesn’t earn the highest marks for being helpful to the novice, it does open up the range of workouts that can be performed to improve core strength for anyone looking to find an alternative to floor work.
Additionally, because the exercises are done standing, many also work to improve balance and coordination. Because of this, difficulty is increased for those of us with chronic balance issues and is a TERRIFIC REASON TO PERFORM THEM! Muscle groups other than abdominal muscles are worked, another reason to find a few that appeal to you for incorporation into your exercise plan.
Here's the list; go to the article for the explanation.
Knee Cross Crunch
Double Arm Reach
Cross Body Chop with Medicine Ball
Medicine Ball Side Throw
Medicine Ball Slam
Standing Core Stabilization with Dumbbell
Overhead Dumbbell Side Bend
Standing Cable Crunch
Torso Rotation with Cable
Standing Rotational Chop with Cable
RACE WEEK TURKEY TROT WITH TRACK DAY 5K Beginner Training Plan starts Monday. This will be a busy week for many non-race related reasons. Enjoy the pre-holiday rush. You may want to stretch, foam roll, and perform the MYRTL mobility routine before the race.
These activities can be beneficial in the days leading up to competition as well as after. If nerves leave you unable to relax during that time, their performance can help you “do” something other than just rest.
GOOD LUCK RUNNING YOUR RACE!
Enjoy the thrill of finishing. The remainder of the weekend will be spent in recovery.
THE MOST POPULAR DAY OF THE YEAR TO RUN A RACE IS THANKSGIVING. All who have been training with the 2016 Turkey Trot with Track Days Beginner 5K Training Plan have a chance to help put this year’s finisher numbers over the million mark.
Last year, Thanksgiving maintained its No.1 spot in the USA as the favorite day to join with others in running a ‘race’, according to an item in the most recent RunningUSA.org newsletter. Since a tally was first recorded in 2011, the number of participants crossing finish lines increased each year, from a bit less than 700,000 to just over 900,000 in 2015.
Participants may run, jog, walk and run, or just walk. They may be talked into the activity at almost the last minute, as everyone else piles into the car to drive to the race, or spend 4 or more weeks training to run the entire distance and cross the finish line. It’s possible that events this day represent ‘gateway’ races, which turn casual holiday joiners into dedicated runners, hooked on the sport for good.
The newsletter quotes Rich Harshbarger, Running USA CEO. “The sport of running is increasingly social, so it’s no surprise Thanksgiving turkey trots are on the rise with the holiday being centered around family and friends,” he said. “Becoming such a popular running day, it seems as if nearly every community has their own turkey trot, which only strengthens the community and family focus of the day.’”
If you haven’t yet made plans to run an organized event that day with your special social group there’s still a few days left to request Earned Runs bibs. For every single request, 4 bibs are mailed. The decision to put together a walk or run can be made at the last minute. Simply plot out an easy course beforehand, round everyone up, have them pin on a personal bib, and get going. Start your own personal “community” Turkey Trot tradition this year.
WE ARE LEARNING OF THE IMPORTANCE OF SLEEP IN RECOVERY from exercise, especially intense exercise. Athletes of all sports including running are paying more attention to sleep quantity and quality.
Daily exposure to smartphone screens has been suggested as having a negative effect on sleep, and scientists are attempting to help sort out the particulars. The AMA Morning Rounds edition of November 10, 2016 lead with an item discussing the results of a study on the effect of smartphone screen time on sleep quality. The research was recently published in PLoS ONE, “Direct Measurements of Smartphone Screen-Time: Relationships with Demographic and Sleep” by Matthew A. Christensen and colleagues at the University of California San Francisco.
These scientists performed an analysis of 653 interested participants 18 years of age and older who were enrolled in a larger study. Place of residence included all of the 50 states; 23% were from California. Both males and females were represented.
Sleep time over a 30-day window was continuously measured by an Android-based mobile phone app. Data on total and average screen time, specifically during self-reported bedtime hours was computed and analyzed. A survey was used to obtain demographic and medical information and sleep habits. Only 56 participants had both 1) completed the survey and 2) submitted all possible screen time data.
Results showed that the “median total screen time over 30 days was 38.4 hours, average screen time was a median 3.7 minutes/hour. Longer average screen time was associated with shorter sleep duration and worse sleep efficiency.”
In the AMA item a CNN report quoted Gregory Marcus, MD, the study’s lead author, who said, ‘When we looked at smartphone use around the time when participants reported they went to bed, more smartphone use around that time in particular was associated with a longer time to fall asleep and worse sleep quality during the night.’”
The study’s discussion explains further. “That increased screen time in the hour of and after bedtime, but not the hour before was associated with greater sleep onset latency agrees with the notion that screen use before attempting to fall asleep may be particularly problematic”.
The good news was that total smartphone screen time was NOT associated with physical activity level or BMI (Body Mass Index), unlike TV time; the authors thought this was due to smartphone “functionality” and use of these devices during physical activity. Of interest, although “searching for medical information was one of the most common activities carried out” with these devices, “none of the medical conditions evaluated were associated with average screen time.” Guess we aren’t as ill as we fear!
Research papers nearly always discuss what limitations exist in the study’s construction and conduct. The obvious one in this study is that only Android phone users could participate; no iPhone users were included. The relative age of the study participants was older (early 30’s to 60’s), and there was a greater proportion whites and females, and those who are better educated and wealthier compared to the US census population. Participants were self-selected (not randomly picked) from the population and were already part of an online health study.
Overall this seems to be encouraging information. Many of us must use time after work and dinner to manage schedules and finances, answer personal emails, shop, conduct correspondence, and keep up with our social circles and local and world events. Fewer people rely on desk top or even lap top computers, and find it easier to work on smartphones as we commute, run errands, and perform household and child- and pet-care duties.
This study seems to indicate that ONLY the time during and after what is considered our “bed time”, is smartphone screen viewing likely to adversely affect sleep quality. Once the screen is dark, it should stay dark. A good discipline might be to complete all phone-work before changing into night clothes, cleaning teeth, and getting into bed.
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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