like Eli, I did it
Showing posts tagged workout
Showing posts tagged workout
like Eli, I did it
How you dress for the elements can make or break your winter runs. This doesn’t mean you should pile on all the clothes you can possibly manage to stay warm. It is possible to dress too warmly, and the result can leave you sweaty and uncomfortable.
1. Dress in layers.
Wearing several thin layers of clothing helps trap warm air between each layer keeping you considerably warmer than if you were to wear one heavy layer. This includes socks; wearing two pairs of polypropylene socks keeps your feet warmer and drier than one heavy pair.
2. Wear the right fabrics.
One area where modern runners have a huge advantage on those who started out in the running boom of the late 1970s and 80s is in the types of fabric available for running gear. Materials such as polypropylene, capilene, and some wool/synthetic blends wick moisture away from your body and keep you as warm and dry as possible. Avoid wearing cotton because it doesn’t wick moisture and also has very little insulating ability, which will leave you wet, cold and uncomfortable.
3. Wear a protective shell.
It’s critical that you wear some sort of waterproof windbreaker or shell to protect you from the wind and precipitation. Gore-Tex is the best material to wear as it does a great job of releasing moisture from the body while also keeping out moisture from the outside elements. Nylon also does a reasonable job for a lesser price.
4. Cover exposed skin as much as possible.
A hat and gloves are absolutely necessary once the temperature dips below freezing. Your body will lose the majority of its heat through any exposed skin, so cover up as much as possible. If it’s really cold, you can cover exposed areas such as your face with Vaseline to reduce the potential of frostbite.
Running in cold weather also presents some unique safety concerns. Extreme temperatures can even pose life-threatening risks if you don’t take some basic precautions.
1. Always tell someone where you’re going and when you expect to arrive home.
Make sure that at least one competent person is aware of your plans. If you don’t arrive as expected, they’ll recognize that you’re missing and know where to look for you.
2. Always wear reflective gear when running after dark.
Due to the decrease in daylight hours, it’s more likely that you’ll be running in the dark during the winter. Make sure you wear light-colored, reflective clothing so that you can easily be seen by oncoming vehicles.
3. Run short loops.
When it’s cold outside, consider running multiple laps of a short course, rather than one longer loop. This ensures that you’ll never be far from home in the event of an emergency. Running a short course also ensures that you won’t be heading into bad weather for an extended period of time, which, aside from being extremely unpleasant, can significantly lower your body temperature.
4. Be careful rounding corners.
At least once a year I manage to fall flat on my face after stepping on an icy surface. The biggest risk occurs when you try to change direction with ice underfoot. Make sure you go very slowly when turning corners and be very careful on icy surfaces. Don’t worry about losing fitness by running a bit slower; the main goal is to get through the run without pulling a muscle or injuring yourself in a fall.
5. Carry your cell phone, identification and some cash with you for an emergency.
If you run into a major problem, make sure you have your cell phone handy and enough cash to get you home if necessary. This is good advice for any run, at any time of year. Sometimes unavoidable circumstances can leave you stranded and you definitely do not want to find yourself out in the cold, unable to run, and several miles from home without help.
The main message is this: Running in cold weather requires some planning and some sensible precautions. Once these are taken care of, your runs will be safer, more comfortable and more enjoyable.
ran in the rain, feels good
Things I’d wear forever pt 2
Things I’d wear forever
1. Nail good form. The key to running (at any speed) is to practice proper running technique. That means keeping the upper body tall yet relaxed, striking the ground with the mid-foot landing under the hip, and swinging the arms forward and back (not side to side!) at low 90-degree angles.
2. Count your steps. Get familiar withstride turnover, or the rate of steps taken while running, regardless of pace. The fastest, most efficient runners have a cadence of around 180 steps per minute and keep their feet close to the ground with light, short n’ speedy steps. To find your magic number, run for one minute, count the number of times the right foot hits the ground, and multiply by two.
3. Get low, get high. Short on gym time? Quick! Try speed training! Intervals, or alternating periods of high and low intensity while exercising, are just one way to build speed and endurance— and burn major calories in less time, too!
4. Stride right. There’s a reason you see all those “real runners” doing short sprints before the big road race. Striders (or strides) are a series of comfortable sprints (usually eight to 12, between 50 to 200 meters each) to improve acceleration technique.
5. Run the ‘mill. Feel the need for speed? Chase it down on the treadmill! Because the speed belt assists with leg turnover, it’s actually easier to run at a faster clip inside. Plus, the power to push the pace is right at your fingertips. A word of advice these geniuses could have used: Get on the machinebefore turning up the dial.
6. Stretch it out. The jury is still out on whether static stretches before running really prevents injuries. But leaders of the pack know stretching daily (target those hip flexors!) increases flexibilityfor better strides.
7. Pick a pace. Fartleks is a funny Swedish word (yes, our inner 10-year-old boy finds it hilarious) meaning “speed play.” Alternating jogs and sprints will gradually build up speed and endurance, plus you call the shots on when to switch it up.
8. Lighten up. Even ifbarefoot running isn’t your thing, sneakers are getting lighter and lighter to mimic the foot’s natural movement and improve stride. Try a minimalist pair to see if less weight means more energy for faster feet.
9. Get to the core. Fast and fit go hand in hand. Stronger core muscles (especially the lower abs) allow runners to tap into more force and speed out on the road. The best part: Just 15 minutes of core work a few days a week is enough for a faster finish.
10. Breathe in, breathe out. Just do it much faster! Learning how to breathe while running at faster speed takes practice. Use both the nose and mouth while inhaling and exhaling to get the maximum amount of oxygen to the muscles. Also, try belly-breathing (not to be confused with belly dancing!), which means filling the stomach with air on each inhale, not the chest.
11. Play with toys. Who doesn’t like new toys? Try a running parachute for added resistance, or if your budget allows, see what it’s like to go for a moon-walk, err, run on an AlterG Anti-Gravity Treadmill.
12. Head for the hills. Run just once a week, hill repeats are shown to improve speed, build muscle strength, and add a boost of confidence, too.
13. Add weight. Stronger, leaner muscles will only help when it comes to flying past the finish line. And while runners shouldn’t necessarily take up bodybuilding, just one to two short strength training sessions a week can go a long way.
14. Lose weight. On the other hand, research shows that shedding the pounds (fat, not muscle) can help runners shave time off the clock— an average of two seconds per mile faster per pound lost! Of course, not everyone has the weight to lose (lucky them!), so remember to consult a physician before starting any weight-loss program.
15. Look ahead. Simply looking down at your sneaks or turning your head while running to check out the competition can waste precious time. Instead, focus forward— about 10 to 20 meters in the distance— and keep those eyes on the prize.
16. Toe the line. The whole body plays a role in speed— from the head, all the way to the toes! Pay attention to the piggies and try dorsiflexion (bringing the toes up to the shin) while running. Less of the foot hits the ground for a quicker stride turnover.
18. Keep it steady. Slow and steady may win the race, but fast and steady builds speed! A tempo runchallenges speed-seekers to find a “comfortably hard” pace and hold it for a 20-minute period. Just don’t burn out before the run is over like that silly little hare!
19. Skip the sweets. Junk foods guarantee a sugar high, but they also slow us down. Stick to whole grains and pasta instead, which provide long-lasting energy— without the crash.
21. Go for a spin. Spinning is all about hip rotation and maintaining tough cadences— and the same goes for running! So put the pedal to the medal with some cross-training on the bike.
23. Strike a pose. Get a leg up on fellow runners by adding yoga to your training plan. The increasedflexibility from runner-specific positions boosts speed and aids recovery after a long sweat session.
24. Get enough shut eye. Studies show well-rested athletes have better reaction times and clock faster finishes. And think about it— the faster you run, the more time for kicking back and relaxing!
25. Strip down. When it’s finally race day, take it off! The extra layers and fuel belts, that is. The less clothing and gear on your body, the faster your time— which is why the pros practically get right down to their skivvies to run.
1. Repeat after me. From the Little Engine’s “I think I can, I think I can,” to a basic “Ommmmmm,” mantras can be the necessary motivation to keep on truckin’.
2. Change pace. Circuit training, a killer combination of cardio and strength training, can help break the monotony of a long workout. Run five minutes, then drop and do some push-ups. Wash, rinse, repeat.
3. Picture this. Visualize cheering fans or crossing the finish line to bang out one more set or lap. Or just go mental: Imagine this workout is the equivalent of the Olympic trials (no big deal).
4. Work with a pro. Get on board with apersonal trainer who will play the drill sergeant or the kind, motivational type (your choice!). Still want to slack when shelling out all that cash?
5. Break it down. Set mini-goals when the going gets tough. This isn’t a three-mile run— just six measly half-mile runs.
6. Look the part. Swing those arms and keep the eyes dead ahead when running. Shuffling those feet will naturally slow the pace (duh).
8. Gather feedback. Monitor heart rate, pace, and exercise intensity to both distract yourself and serve as a reminder of just how far you’ve come.
9. Grab a pal. Work out with a fit pal who will hold you to a higher standard. Stuck going solo today? Imagine they’re still there. After all, who wants to wuss out in front of an audience?
10. Have a purpose. Running in circles with no goal in sight? There’s nothing motivating about that. Having something to run for (think, fitting into those skinny jeans or lowering blood pressure) can be a necessary kick in the butt.
11. Perform. The guy across the weight room is definitely jealous. Put on a show, focusing on excellent form and making those lifts look easy as pie— you might start to believe it yourself.
12. Get distracted. Reading on the treadmill might not improve pace, but if it keeps those legs moving, it’s OK by us. Choose something inspiring for a little extra push (we can’t get enough of Born to Run).
13. Savor the pain. “Pain is weakness leaving the body,” the saying goes. Pain is also proof that this workout is tough. Clearly you’re doing something right, so why stop now? (Just know when pain issignaling something more serious.)
14. Hone in. When strength training, focus on the specific muscle targeted by each exercise. This can help maintain proper form, and remember, each lift will bring you one rep closer to that goal.
15. Put it in the bank. Think of time in the gym as deposits into the fitness bank. After saving up, cash out on a special treat (like new kicks or workout gear).
16. Build a resume. Is the promise of a better butt not enough? How about knowing those plyometrics will help kill it on the court? Instead of thinking of this as a workout, consider it a training session— gathering the skills to become a better athlete, parent, lover, you name it.
17. Who’s really getting cheated? Sure, no one else would know about skipping out on the last Chatarunga. But only one person loses in that situation (hint: it’s not the super-ripped chick sweating it out on the next mat).
19. Say “ahhh.” Imagining the post-workout pain is hardly motivational. Instead, get into a sore-muscle-relief routine. Knowing those thighs have foam rolling in their future could keep ‘em pedaling just a little further.
20. Tune in. Use music to zone out during the tough spots. Fast, heart-pumping tunes have been shown to bring cardio to the next level.
21. Count it out. When counting reps up from one, it’s more natural to push out one or two extra. On the other hand, some people push harder when it feels like a real countdown— try both to see what works best.
22. Compete. Whether comparing against the dude on the next treadmill over or your own time last training session, competition ups the ante and helps us forget about wanting to quit.