CONSIDER A SPECIAL 2020 SUMMER CHALLENGE
Spend 9 minutes of your warm-up or outdoor exercise session to reflect on the fact that because of race, lives can be unjustly threatened and sadly, lost. That people can be afraid to exercise outside their homes or neighborhoods and may not fully be able to enjoy what we runners say is the most accessible sport. And that there may be ways in which your action, voice, or attitude can effect a change. Do it just once this summer or periodically as you head out to exercise.
Professional distance runner Marielle Hall provides material for us to ponder in those 9 minutes in a June 2, 2020 runnersworld.com article, “Racing to Stay Alive.”
As a black athlete, Hall shares her experiences and describes her reactions to learning of the dehumanization and violence suffered by “black and brown bodies”, especially when viewing the video of the attack on Aumaud Aubry. Aubry was out running when he was assaulted. She lays out the challenge of fighting such injustices in sport terms that we should be able to understand:
“Fighting racial injustice in America is an endurance sport. It is going to take time, and sustained focus, to galvanize our communities. Being tired is not enough. The race can be won, but it requires dutiful action from all of us.”
Marielle Hall in runnersworld.com article, “Racing to Stay Alive.”
Perhaps we don’t see ourselves as being part of the problem, can’t imagine ourselves acting like other horrible people do in videos that capture instances of injustice.
But if we dedicate part of one or more runs to focus on the issues faced by blacks and others* during an activity as peaceful as running, walking, or bicycling we might prevent our personal omission or commission of a future act which, although miniscule in scope and seemingly innocent in intention, upholds a hurtful system.
Earned Runs, striving to motivate and support personal athletic endeavors for all, hopes to help with winning the endurance race Marielle Hall has challenged runners to set as a goal. We’re promoting this special 2020 Summer Challenge, which involves committing to at least one 9-minute period of contemplation during outdoor exercise. Submit a request and receive special stickers with your set of competition bibs.
RUN & MOVE TO PROTECT BLACK LIVES
*It’s not an easy task to write about race, partly because it’s not always clear whether terminology will be unintentionally offensive, dismissive, or not inclusive of all who suffer racial injustices. If the use of “black” is objectionable, please comment on this post to explain and inform. I tried to use language in Marielle Hall’s article as a guide.
Patricia K Senagore
THE EARNED RUNS BLOG IS USING THE MONTHS OF JUNE, JULY, AND AUGUST THIS YEAR AS VACATION TIME. Taking the advice that frequently is provided here, we are hoping to come back in September refreshed and re-invigorated from time spent enjoying the nicer outdoor conditions and longer daylight hours in activities that do not involve sitting. For me that might include gardening, preserving, hiking, cooking and baking, puzzle gaming, cleaning and organizing, to name just a few examples.
It is hoped that moderately vigorous physical movement will increase beyond that exerted in formal exercise, and that more effort will be made to build and stengthen personal and community relationships (within that which is allowed by recommended social distancing practices, of course)
In our 7th year of operation as a business and 6th year of regular blog postings, it seems a perfect time to take a ‘real’ vacation, especially as so many sports activities are transitioning to virtual experiences.
This summer will be one like no other, it appears, in which most of the elite running competitions have altered their spring and summer schedules and instituted virtual options for recreational participants. The 2020 Boston Marathon, at first postponed from April until September, has recently been cancelled; a virtual marathon will be held instead.
Many other less famous events have become virtual. The 2020 Charlevoix Marathon that I trained to participate in on June 20, was also cancelled. A virtual event was organized for registrants and others not yet registered. The Big 10 10K also announced a virtual version for the summer of 2020, which I may join as well. Fees are a bit less for virtual competitions, which makes them especially attractive for economy sake.
Another selling point of virtual races this year, in my opinion, is that the entire field will be accomplishing the goal distance remotely. We will all be in the same situation, attempting to remain together in spirit as members of the competing/running/walking/fitness community in a time of social restriction.
Event organizations severely stressed financially by the pandemic shutdowns can perhaps make a comeback if support is received by faithful participants through virtual race registrations. If you care about specific races, learn how you might help in this way.
Earned Runs has a new sticker (image above) that celebrates this virtual summer and all the summers that will follow. We think it’s likely that the trend will take off and continue strong into future seasons, even as real-time physical events resume operations when safe.
Earned Runs competition bibs can help runners and walkers and all other fitness enthusiasts train for summer or fall virtual events and can be used to compete is custom-designed personal competitions. Although blogposts will take a break, bib requests will be accepted as usual and sets mailed. Several stickers will be included. Check out the Summer line-up shown below. This summer we will accept requests through the CONTACT link for specific stickers. Please send complete proper mailing information.
Additions and updates will be made in other earned-runs.com pages, like RESOURCES and GEAR LOVE. All materials for the summer Challenges including “Run-Walk-Bike Across America 2020” Summer Challenge II can be found on the RESOURCES page.
Hopefully each of you can find a way to de-stress from the worrisome goings-on and dangers of the winter and spring. If not a full-stop vacation, at least one or a few long weekends. Thank you for your interest and support.
Please email to connect over these months.
See you in September...
RUN& MOVE HAPPY!
FIND A FORMULA THAT ‘FEELS’ BEST TO IDENTIFY YOUR PERSONAL TARGET RANGES AND TO MEET FITNESS GOALS. There have been Earned Runs blog posts in the past about the hidden benefits of high intensity exercise with regard to improved immunity and decreased risk of dementia. One of the articles discussed, based on research in which data was collected more than 4 decades, measured exercise intensity using the Borg Rating of Perceived Exertion (RPE) Scale.
Exercising participants subjectively described the degree of difficulty of a cycle ergometer session effort with an expression like “very light”, “very hard”, or “very, very hard.” that corresponded to a number on the Borg RPE scale (likely the original 0-21 scale).
The Borg RPE scale, the original or one of its two revisions, has been used successfully in many research studies. Runners and other exercising athletes may have used their own version of a perceived exertion scale without knowledge of the formal Borg research tool. Trainers and coaches would refer to this practice as running or training by “feel” to distinguish it from efforts measured objectively by heart rate.
Because the intensity level at which exercise is performed is increasingly seen as key to obtaining health benefits, like weight control and blood pressure and glucose management, how do we know by ‘feel’ that we are at the correct level to achieve a specific outcome? How do we know we are working hard enough or not overly hard when we use ‘perceived’ exertion measures to guide training?
Is a heart rate monitor required?
Probably not. However, if checking your individual perception of effort against a heart rate monitor number will help build confidence by taking away uncertainty, go for it. Use the Borg RPE scale to describe the subjective difficulty of a session and at that time record a heart rate monitor reading. Check that reading against a target heart rate range. After that, exercise mostly by ‘feel.’ Check a heart rate monitor intermittently as needed to allow for improvement or detraining. What feels hard at the start of a training program will be considered easy in later weeks. Conversely, what was easy during a training peak might not be so after months of not working out.
An article by Laura Williams, “What is My Max Heart Rate and How Can I Use It In Training?” for runnersworld.com helps with that process. Williams describes the pros and cons of using the popular and simple (Fox) method of calculating Maximum Heart Rate (MHR): 220 beats per minute - minus your age. She includes other formulas as well.
Multiplying your MHR by a desired percent effort will determine your training level target heart rate. The values for 65%-85% effort by age are likely to be generically posted on exercise equipment in fitness centers. Thus, the 65-85% effort range of a 20-year old person with a 200 bpm MHR would be 130-170 bpm, 114-149 bpm will be 65-85% range for a 45-year old with an MHR of 175bpm, and 98-128 bpm will be the range for a 70-year old with MHR of 150bpm. However, it is thought that this simple Fox calculation of MHR doesn’t take into account fitness level or gender. And the range posted on machines is likely too broad to help figure out intensity level/zone.
An article by Paige Waehner for verywellfit.com explains in detail how to calculate MHR based on your individual resting heart rate by using UPDATED formulas compared with the Fox formula. For men and women [206.9 – (0.67 x age)], the Tanaka formula has been developed, and, specifically for women [206 – (0.88 x age)], the Gulati* formula. Another article by the same author posts a Target Heart Rate Chart for low, moderate, aerobic zone, and vigorous intensity training based on the Tanaka formula (which for most purposes can be rounded off to 207 - (0.7 x age), according to age.
Another article on the topic, authored by John Bobalik for active.com uses the Fox formula to determine MHR and then the Karvonen method (which requires you to know your resting heart rate) to determine the various target heart rates for training/effort levels:
-aerobic range for fat burning (50-75% MHR)
-aerobic range for fitness (75-85% MHR)
-aerobic-anaerobic threshold (85-90% MHR)
-anaerobic range for fitness (90-100% MHR)
The math calculations are clearly explained with examples in Bobalik’s piece, and I found it the most useful of all the articles cited. A different site provides a calculator which will do this after you insert numbers for MHR and resting heart rate.
Some women may wish to use the Gulati* formula to determine their MHR. The maximum number is a bit lower and the target ranges of beats per minute per training level tend to run a bit lower. A 70-year old female’s MHR would be 150 bpm by the Fox formula and 144 bpm by the Gulati formula, which would lower the target goal effort for each zone.
Men and women hoping to get the most out of themselves may wish to use the Tanaka formula. A 70-year old’s MHR would be 150 by the Fox formula and 160 by the Tanaka.
Williams’ runnersworld.com piece reminds readers that however calculated, MHR formula-derived rates are estimates that should be used as guides to training. The target numbers may need to be adjusted up or down depending on perceived effort “as time goes on and you adapt to training”. Again, it seems that ‘feel’ plays a deciding role in how we train.
Do you want to avoid formulas, calculations, and target heart rates altogether when determining training effort intensity levels? The parting message from the NYT WELL blog* might be for you. “Everyone kind of has their own natural pace”, expert Dr. Tim Church is quoted as saying.
Keeping track of a number may distract some from sticking with an exercise program that’s enjoyable. Skip the math and work by “feel,” as hard and as long as you wish, if a non-formula approach helps you meet your fitness goals.
RUN & MOVE HAPPY!
*Tara Parker-Pope discusses the research that generated the re-calibrations for both men and women in a 2010 nytimes.com WELL blog. In Parker-Pope’s piece she identified the lead researcher at Northwestern University in Chicago as the source of the new women’s formula, Dr. Martha Gulati. The original publication in the journal Circulation was located by Earned Runs; see the very last section “Clinical Perspective” for explanation of the new formula.
The specific source of the Tanaka formula was not provided by Parker-Pope although the work of University of Colorado researchers was mentioned.
(compares Fox, Tanaka, and Gulati and the Karvonen method)
(uses 206.7 minus (age x 0.67 formula)
Target Heart Rate Calculator chart using Tanaka MHR formula
(uses 206.7 minus (age x 0.67 formula)
(Karvonen calculator tool)
Explanation of resting heart rate, with fitness charts by gender, age
IN-EAR IPHONE-STYLE EARBUDS DON’T STAY IN MY EARS unless it’s cold outside and I am wearing earmuffs that, in addition to keeping my ears warm, help hold them securely in place. This situation is a double-down on a potentially unsafe practice, especially in high traffic situations on city streets and isolated areas in which muggings might occur.
Wearing the in-ear ‘marshmallow’ style or 'jelly' (silicone) buds is similarly risky for me, drowning out sounds that I might need to hear to stay healthy and whole. Plus, they tend to make annoying squeaking sounds when worn in my ears (anybody else have this problem?).
Whether listening to music while exercising is good or harmful for the body and soul is not the issue here. It could be a topic for debate if you feel strongly about being mindful of physical signals during workouts versus needing tunes to increase or maintain pace activity.
It’s about wearing a headphone set that can help with accessing a phone or device for any number of reasons. Sometimes I listen to app updates on pace and mileage during training runs/walks that require multiple changes over the course of a session. Other times I listen to audiobooks, especially on long easy runs. Most times I want to be alerted when family or friends attempt to connect.
Whatever your reasons for needing headphones, a bone conduction set may work when other types don’t deliver good results, under circumstances in which high-quality music sound is not terribly important and awareness of outside situations is wise.
The Aftershokz™ Air set I recently purchased employs Bluetooth™ technology, which allows amazingly easy listening and phone conversations without in-ear components or dangling microphones I haven’t tried other brands (or wired versions) and am not offering an endorsement of Aftershokz™ products over others. This set works well enough for my purposes.
Now I can look forward to a summer of running/walking in weather nice enough that earmuffs won't be necessary.
RUN & MOVE HAPPY!
IT'S EARNED RUNS' 2020 SUMMER CHALLENGE PLANNING TIME
NOTE: FOR ALL SUMMER CHALLENGES, INCLUDING THE “RUN-WALK-BIKE ACROSS AMERICA 2020”, EARNED RUNS will be using blog posts from Summer 2019 for Summer 2020.
Rather than modify language to reflect changes brought on by the coronavirus pandemic, which will be different from place-to-place and time-to time across the globe, we chose to go with links to the optimistic and enthusiastic posts of the preceding year.
The dates in the posts will be inaccurate, but that shouldn’t affect your ability to to get going and enjoy the outdoors in the coming months.
Have fun and take care to follow precautions issued by the health organizations and local /state/national officials.
Check the RESOURCES page for information and materials on each challenge under the heading of SUMMER CHALLENGES 2020!
RUN AND MOVE HAPPY!
THE LAST MONDAY OF MAY is the Memorial Day Holiday in the USA, which marks the unofficial start of summer vacation season here. The Northern Hemisphere is beginning a wonderful period of long and bright daylight hours and warm weather. A shift of one to several weeks to frame an earlier or later time period would work just as well for those not inclined by nationality in otherparts of the world to recognize these specific celebrations.
Regardless of the day used to mark the beginning of the season, now is the time to plan a summer physical activity schedule.
School may have or soon will be dismissed for students for the entire summer or an inter-session break. Workplaces may be putting off regular meetings that interfere with the enjoyment of long weekends or extended noon lunch hours until after Labor Day. It’s a ideal opportunity for some to adopt a more relaxed and fun approach to exercise.
Why stick with a the same old, year-round workout/running/walking/bicycling, or swimming routines? Consider challenging yourself to try something new. It needn’t be the most physically demanding feat. Just different and a bit adventurous FOR YOU.
Ideally your challenges should take advantage of the great outdoors and the 'socialize-ability' (made-up word) of a season which entices many more of us to be out and about at all times of the day and evening. Think about trying hiking, stand-up paddle boarding, kayaking, fat-tire or gravel biking, golfing, and open water swimming instead of grinding out 20-50 weekly miles of continuous running, walking, or cycling. Re-format indoor workouts and take them outside when possible.
Throughout the month of May, Earned Runs will highlight some activities in which you may be interested in participating. The Unites States' Memorial Day, falling on May 27 this year, will be identified in most cases as the ‘kick-off‘ date, but an alternate start will work just as well if scheduling is an issue or cultural differences make another date more appropriate.
The goal is to PLAN now, so the precious early days of summer aren’t squandered because of inattention and procrastination. Commit now to developing a solid program for yourself.
Like a summer camp or a playground/pool might do for children and adolescents on vacation from school, populate the calendar with specific adventures and workouts on specific days that might be paired with socially fun gatherings like beer runs, urban art tours, or even outdoor movie nights (plan to walk to the venue).
Below is a simple list, a draft preview, of potential Earned Runs 2019 Summer Challenges. The first 3 activities on the list were introduced in 2016 but confined to running. The 4TH challenge was added in 2017 for walkers. Two other challenges were added in 2018 and where possible challenges were adapted to include running/walking/cycling/fitness activities. Changes may be made this year as well as the final 2019 Summer Challenge line-up is still in development.
- Run/Walk/Cycle Across America
- Fastest 5K (or a string of FUN 5Ks)
- Summer Series Sweep
- Buddy Up
- Obstacle Course
If you have not yet printed or requested FREE Earned Runs Bibs (you’ll receive 4), do so soon. Bibs can be used to run/walk/cycle personally designed races, for training purposes, and for charting progress toward a challenge fitness goal. They can be used to motivate and inspire too.
RUN & MOVE HAPPY!
SUMMER PLANNING: SHOW-HOLES, SCHOOL-HOLES, TRAINING-HOLES
WHAT ARE YOU DOING ON YOUR 2020 SUMMER OF COVID-19 VACATION?
The 18th and last week of the Half Marathon + ‘SAINTS DAYS’ Training Plan, which spanned January to mid-May, has been completed. Participant runners and walkers will have accomplished their long-distance goal race and should be in recovery mode for 2-3 weeks.
After finishing a long training plan, initially I tend to be elated and relieved, only to experience a subsequent let-down. This feeling is comparable to the sadness of a “show-hole”, the slang term said to have been invented by Amazon Fire to describe the sense of emptiness that follows the ending of a favorite TV series.
‘Training holes’ can occur upon the completion of multi-month programs designed to prepare for big competitions like ultras, triathlons, marathons, half marathons and obstacle course events. Both show-holes and training-holes and are nothing to laugh about (well, maybe just a little). They are periods of time in which our schedules are in some ways uncomfortably uncluttered and there no longer is a programming slot or a daily workout to which other weekly activities are anchored. As much as there was to complain about, the absence of such commitments creates a void.
WHAT’S NEXT FOR THE SUMMER OF COVID-19?
Many elementary school children and their parents must annually deal with a ‘school-hole’ at the end of the academic year, and faced with a wide-open summer. Some break up the long stretch between June and the end of August with a variety of music, sport, or theater camps. Or schedule stays with distant relatives. High school and college students take summer classes, enroll in travel-abroad study programs, or secure jobs to earn needed funds. Friends and families break up the roughly 15-week period with weekend trips and vacations, both spontaneous and advance-planned.
Not his summer. Training holes are the least of our problems.
Daily test-positive infection case and death counts remind us that straying from quarantine recommendations may jeopardize health. The layering on of global health emergency-generated stay-at-home orders with government mandated restrictions on schools, businesses, restaurants, organized sports, and entertainment has compounded feelings that attempting to enjoy the summer of 2020 might be a lost cause.
We’re not sure what activities, other than virtual, will be allowed or safe. There is cautious hope that scattered attempts to re-open the world are successful and further easing might be possible. However, we are warned the situation potentially can worsen as fall approaches! Uncertainty about the immediate, near, and distant future saps strength, enthusiasm, and motivation.
In normal times, adults without children at home might not feel the need to construct a summer fitness activity schedule for themselves.
However, at any age lack of planned fitness activities can lead some to experience anxiety about exactly how to enjoy these “carefree” days and how not to miss out (FOMO); even mental health can be affected. Spontaneity isn’t easy; it can be stressful to come up with novel recreational opportunities on the fly.
At a normal summer’s end there’s potential for even more disappointment to set in when, retrospectively, nothing fun, exciting, or even mildly awesome took place that would help write that classic elementary school report, “What did you do on your summer vacation
In this abnormal “2020 Summer of COVID-19”, it may be critical to physical and mental health to establish a season long plan and follow a routine for exercise.
In previous non-COVID years Earned Runs has suggested that to fill an ordinary ‘training-hole’, activities that ‘challenge’ old routines should receive top consideration,
In the “2020 Summer of Covid-19” Earned Runs believes it is especially important to motivation and morale to change exercise activities that were used to fill fitness needs in the first months of the pandemic shutdown.
For example, if you walked or ran without a goal achievement or training plan in the first months of March-April-May you might:
Rather than expecting to test yourself over months with a grueling challenge, take it easy this summer. Expend enough effort to feel you are routinely physically active and not losing fitness ground, but frequently enough that you are able to tally multiple regular sessions in a log (or on a free Earned Runs Competition Bib). In September you’ll enjoy looking back at a season’s accomplishments, and write that report (“What I did on my summer vacation”)
Follow a relaxed but firm, no-cheating schedule that allows you to enjoy the time you are active. Consider injecting a bit of learning into virtual event efforts by ‘exploring’ the special locales in which they ordinarily would be held. Search for virtual events in small scenic towns as well as big famous cities around the world.
Another way to shake-up the summer might be to simply change the time of day in which you work-out, if possible, given that work schedules have been disrupted by the pandemic.
Attempt to become a morning exerciser if previously hitting the gym or road after work in the late day or evening. Take strength workouts outside to the beach or park in the early hours of the day before the crowds arrive. Bring a few different resistance bands or dumbbell weights, and use benches and picnic tables to perform various exercises.
Earned Runs will highlight several 2020 SUMMER CHALLENGES that might appeal to the kid in you that still wants this stressful summer to be special and magical. There will be a follow-up post to help planning. Check the RESOURCES page for materials.
RUN & MOVE HAPPY!
THE ABSTRACT OF THE SCIENTIFIC ARTICLE, “Nutritional strategies for maintaining muscle mass and strength from middle-age to later life: a narrative review” in the February 2020 issue of the journal Maturitassummarizes the results of a review by scientists looking for evidence that early nutritional interventions might improve later life circumstances when it comes to preserving muscle. Athletes looking to enjoy their sport as masters might wish to take note.
The findings of a number of scientific studies were examined in this study and discussed to help guide future dietary prescriptions aimed at maintaining muscle tissue and strength in individuals as they age, or perhaps, even reversing losses.
Nutrients discussed include:
Diet will help this process by supplying adequate amounts and types of building materials, as well as substances that allow effective synthesis of muscle tissue and which prevent excessive breakdown. The details of such research studies are what fuel some to follow certain whole food diets or shop for expensive concentrated supplements.
The bottom line appears to be that a magic dietary formulation for saving the muscle we have in middle age as we grow older has yet to be identified. Building and maintaining a healthy amount of muscle is likely always to involve persistent strength training. We will need to work at it over the decades, not just for a season or a specific competition.
Initially I was a bit disappointed by the conclusion; it wasn’t unexpected. Truly amazing findings would have made the headlines last year when the paper was e-published ahead of print. Many of us would have responded and cleared the pharmacy or grocery store shelves of items that promised to deliver easy results.
The hopeful news is that scientists are looking for shortcuts to healthy body function in old age now. They admit that the only proven remedy for too little muscle, up to this point anyway, is exercise. We have a chance to keep what muscle we’ve got if we pay attention to this fact and persevere with resistance training over time. This way we’re covered regardless of the results science delivers.
The thought of needing to strength train FOREVER in order be strong into one’s 80’s and nineties may be discouraging. However, the Earned Runs philosophy of physical activity to achieve significant and meaningful health benefits fits perfectly with this prescription. By committing regularly to consecutive challenges, sometimes planned a year or more in advance, hitting each mark, building on each success, the path to reaching that long-term goal is smoothed and made accessible.
Getting on this path is as easy as requesting a bib set and using to to record a year’s worth of progress and victories.
RUN & MOVE HAPPY!
Alfonso J. Cruz-Jentoft, Bess Dawson Hughes, David Scott, Carrie M. Sanders, Rene Rizzoli. Mauritas 132 (2020) 57-64.
TRAINING PLAN STARTS This is the very last week of the full plan for runners and walkers who decided to train longer. Congratulations to everyone who made it to this point or who ran or walked their race yesterday, today, or on a previous weekend. You committed and persevered.
YAY FOR YOU; WAY TO GO!
Remember to take time to recover from this long-distance endurance race (one day per mile); take a couple of weeks off from hard training runs/walks. Consider mixing up the summer with exercise that doesn’t focus on another endurance race. Earned Runs will be taking the summer “off” from blog posting, so the last few posts in May will offer suggestions.
RUN & MOVE HAPPY!
HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY!!!
THIS PIECE OF RUNNING/WALKING APPAREL was tested on a half marathon run on a warm-for-Michigan sunny spring day. Not the usual environmental conditions in which I would don a neck gaiter. At first, I pulled it up when I met people on the path coming from the opposite direction and down after they passed. This tactic proved to be too distracting when the path became busy, so I left it up for remainder of the full session.
Clearly, moving continuously and breathing hard for several hours with the Coolnet+ UV protection Buff™ covering my face wasn’t as easy as going without. But I was surprised at how little it bothered me after a while.
I stuck with a familiar brand that hasn't caused irritation after hours of wear in the past. My thought was that the skin of my lower face would ultimately thank me for saving it from the sun exposure of a summer of COVID-19 social distancing.
Various opinions have been put forth regarding the necessity of wearing masks during exercise. My policy is to be prepared to put myself and others at ease during a time when emotions can run high about the dangers of spreading disease.
Compared to efforts made by others dealing with issues related to coronavirus it's not a big deal to put on a summer weight neck gaiter.
RUN & MOVE HAPPY!
NOTE: The stretch of the knit material relaxed the fit too much for my size neck/face. Pinching the back of the upper neck opening and wrapping it with a covered elastic band, like a ponytail, narrowed the opening and allowed it to stay put and up for the run's duration. See the smaller image with the pink hair band.
TRAINING STARTS Some of you may be running/walking your virtual or personal half marathon race at the end of this week on Saturday or Sunday. Good luck if you are putting toes to the start line. If not, and you are racing the next weekend May 16 or 17 it’s important to carry on with the taper.
Take time to go review your nutrition plan for the week and night before, and for the day of the race.
In addition to determining pre-race and race-day nutrition, outline a course, and check transportation and parking in advance if you need to travel a short distance. Plan to take water or fluids with you or find safe places to stash containers along the course it in advance. I regularly run/walk personal custom races as an individual, and for the longer distances find that looping past my home allows emergency potty-breaks if needed. My stashes have been ‘removed’ by others on several occasions; best not to leave bottles or food in plain sight.
If you’re running/walking a ‘neighborhood’ race, be prepared to wear a mask or Buff/neckwear that will adequately cover your face when near others. Be aware that you may need to move to the opposite side of the street to respect social distancing recommendations.
Race day is almost here! Let the taper allow you to be fresh for the big effort and get all details settled so your mental focus can be on performance and you can visualize success.
Even if not joining a crowd in a large organized event, I still have experienced nervous anticipation and doubts leading up to the start and in the initial stages of the race. For some reason, mile 3 seems to mark my worst uncertainty, representing the point at which I was sure I would quit. Once passed, my mental focus was regained, and confidence returned; I finished every race.
Stick with your plan, stay the course, and resolve to run/walk each single mile at a time.
RUN & MOVE HAPPY!
AFTER A SPRING SEMESTER-AT-HOME REQUIRED FINDING FITNESS ACTIVITIES TO FILL SCHOOL DAY SCHEDULES, EARNED RUNS HAS YOU COVERED ALL SUMMER 'SEMESTER' LONG. Our original “Across America” Summer Challenge takes walkers, runners, and bicyclists over more than 3,700 virtual miles of a cross country course, starting in Portland, Oregon and ending in Portland, Maine. Each week’s 2-3 mileage segments can be scaled to fit younger to older children’s physical capabilities as well as those of supervising adults.
Over several years of presenting this annual summertime challenge, weekly blog posts have expanded to form a virtual road map guide of the sights along the course. This year the format may change, with the entire collection of 15 posts from 2019 season provided at the start of the challenge, rather than week by week.
Parents are able to build upon the weekly Earned Runs posted narratives or ask their stay-at-home students to explore further, as they make their virtual way across the continent. Or, the activity can solely be used as a means to encourage kid exercise with a purpose.
The activity inherently teaches youngsters how to commit to a fitness goal, adhere to a training schedule, meet defined daily/weekly mileage marks, and experience achievement. Kids can train with family and invite friends.
Since the challenge is virtual, a short loop course can be set in the neighborhood (around the block for example), on a nearby track, or in a park to allow adherence to local coronavirus inspired restrictions. Setting a regular time for this activity, like just before a noon lunch break, will help introduce regimen to what otherwise might be disorganized weekdays.
Check out the introduction post from 2019 while the 2020 version is being updated.
NEW THIS YEAR is another TRAVEL TREK™-ADAPTED, CROSS COUNTRY BIKE TRIP-INSPIRED schedule. This virtual journey is a bit shorter; it courses along the southern portion of the USA from Santa Barbara CA to Myrtle Beach SC, following historic segments of the famed Route 66.
Stay tuned for more information and check out the RESOURCESRequest Bibs/Contact page for last year’s SUMMER CHALLENGE 2019 materials to get a peek at what might be offered for SUMMER 2020.
Request a set of 4 EARNED RUNS Competition Bibs to help you plan and execute a summer exercise program for children stressed by a spring semester confined to home.
RUN & MOVE HAPPY!
TRAINING PLAN STARTS There’s not too much to do this week, as you are on the glide path to your half marathon race, except to 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.
An extra foam rolling session is scheduled for runners this week. Use it to roll out sore and stiff spots on Wednesday or any other day of the week. It can be a full session or an abbreviated one. Walkers will officially have one added on Thursdays in 2 weeks but may wish to start the extra session this week (It was an oversight that again occurred during updating; sorry!).
If you are tempted to introduce new nutrition, shoes, gear, or apparel into your race preparations, be careful. Most experts would advise against making changes. 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.
New spring fashion upgrades can serve as rewards for following through on your commitment to train and finish a goal race!
If you have not yet found an organized virtual race to run on May 16 or 17, or plans have collapsed for one, consider pinning on an Earned Runs bib to be sure you meet the challenge of running or walking the half marathon for which you trained. Don’t let circumstances deter you from reaching your goal race! Request a set today to keep one in reserve, “just in case”.
RUN & MOVE HAPPY!
IF THIS FALL IS EXPECTED TO USHER IN THE 3RD WORLD RUNNING BOOM, and you would like to be a part of it, consider combining walking with running. American Olympic runner Jeff Galloway is known for popularizing this type of training, which is individualized according to the trainee’s time completing what he has termed a “Magic Mile.”
Galloway has posted about how he developed his system in the 1970’s and offers plans with support for purchase on his website. A timer device, the size of a pedometer he indicates, is sold that sounds alerts when it’s time to switch between running and walking modes during training sessions.
With the free information provided by Galloway on his website, including the Magic Mile pace calculator which helps an individual to determine the ‘right run walk run ratios and race pace by distance, and in an ACTIVE.com post, runners can create personal plans at no cost. The benefits of purchased plans likely come from being part of a community of followers, and the support and expertise bestowed by the Olympian’s years of experience coaching, advising and writing about the sport.
Amanda Brooks website RunToTheFinish.com, aimed at helping ‘middle of the pack’ runners, reviews the method for marathon training and summarizes it’s major principles.
Jenny Hadfield offers two Run/Walk plans not connected to Galloway that were originally posted by WomensRunning.com.
Since I started combines running and walking, albeit without a formal plan like Galloway’s, I have noted many of the benefits that his disciples profess. As a senior runner I have avoided injuries. My long runs do not leave me fatigued and unable to enjoy the remainder of the day. After almost 2 years of recovering from an injury I have gained confidence that I will not repeat mistakes that probably contributed to the problem.
I have not purchased a Galloway product thus cannot comment on the full training regimen. Hopefully for injury avoidance the method also emphasizes the importance of incorporating strength, balance, mobility, and cross training in addition to lifelong walk breaks on runs.
Consider combining walking with running as a way to break into running or resume running if you’ve been away from the sport for a long period of time. At least read about it; maybe you’ll be motivated to join the surging number of runners predicted to make up the 3rd running boom in the fall of this year.
RUN & MOVE HAPPY!get-ready-to-power-the-expected-post-covid19-running-surge.html
TRAINING PLAN STARTS The 50th Anniversary of Earth Day, April 22, 2020 falls on Wednesday this week. The first celebration of our ‘Mother’ occurred back in 1970.
We can take care of the Earth any day of the year, or many days of the year, we tell ourselves. But sometimes the fact that a special day has been specifically reserved for an event increases the likelihood it will be honored.
For many this weekend, rather than April 22 itself, may offer the best chance for observance, especially if work or home duties will potentially make doing so on the official date difficult. Are you planning anything this week that shows appreciation for our planetary home or provides a little extra TLC for the environment?
In our daily non-running, non-fitness lives occasionally we don’t accomplish what was in our hearts and minds to do on a certain day. It’s convenient to give a shrug of the shoulders and then neglect the necessary task or responsibility. We just don’t do it, forget about it, cross it off the ‘to-do’ list.
However, critical long run/walk sessions for specific upcoming endurance races cannot be performed any random day of the year. To save the situation, in the case of training for this 2020 half marathon, Earned Runs has you covered to accommodate a miss. There’s enough wiggle room in the schedule.
Walkers have their longest distance session of the plan this weekend and can make up a in week 16, omitting a taper week to get it in if missed*. Runners have already begun their taper, and it is sufficiently long that shortening it won’t be a problem.
Let yourself begin to mentally relax, knowing that 4 months of hard work is behind you, and that in general both runners and walkers are prepared for the challenge ahead. If possible, pick up trash along the way on your cool down session today or any day this week. It’s a chance to love our Earth!
RUN & MOVE HAPPY!
*Walkers training for a half marathon are essentially READY for their competition on any day. If not registered for an organized virtual race, walkers can extend this upcoming weekend’s 13 mile walk to 13.1 miles and will accomplish their goal race!
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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