Ways Runners Are Like Cats

  • Play hard, sleep hard. At least my cat does. After a vigorous round of playing with her mouse or any other of her assortment of toys – she likes to nap. I’m the same way. After a longer run, I like to take my “after long run nap”. Works for me, too!
  • Always land on your feet. OK, maybe this is just a me thing, but I’ve been known to fall a time or two on my runs. (It’s been more than 2, but who’s counting). Anyway, you need to be able to get back up and complete your run. For one thing, you don’t want to stay down – cars will stop and it’s kind of embarrassing. And, another thing, you need to get back home somehow. But, if you’ve never fallen during a run – believe it or not – it does help to get right back up and keep running.
  • Cats are independent. Even if you run with others at times, there are runs where you will be out there by yourself. You have to be independent to be a runner. You may be the only runner in your house – so you have to have the will power and drive to get out the door. Also, many (or all) runs may be solitary. So, you need to be OK with being by yourself.
  • Eating is good. Well, at least my cat thinks so. Runners need to eat for energy to head out on their runs and for replenishing after their runs.
  • Resilience. Watching my cat playing with her mice – I know that she is resilient and will go with the flow. She will be playing with one of her mice and it goes under the couch or the refrigerator. After she realizes that it’s not working when she tries to get it out – she moves on. To another toy or another mouse. Runners need to be resilient. Not all runs are going to go as planned. You may feel kind of draggy and just don’t feel like going the distance that day. Runners need to know to not let it get them down. Tomorrow is another day and another run – or mouse!

Holding Your Stamina While Running

There’s no shortcut to magically being able to run farther. You have to get out there and put in the miles. You will need to start running longer distances and run fairly often. You should be running 4-5 times a week if you want to build up mileage. However, you only want to add 10% to your weekly mileage from one week to the next. For instance, if you are running 10 miles this week, you want to be running 11 miles next week. Doing it this way will keep you increasing mileage safely without getting injured.

A couple days a week you should be doing tempo runs. What this means is that you will run for a few minutes at a faster pace than you usually do, then run slower to recover. You do this over and over until you have completed the distance you wanted to cover. In the beginning, you may only do a couple of these speed bursts – and that’s OK. Just add one more to them every week. I usually do this by using telephone poles. I’ll run faster for 3-4 poles and then recover by running slower for one pole.

A day or two a week you should also be doing a weight workout. Now, you’re not trying to bulk up and become a body building. Lifting some light weights (both upper and lower body) will increase the strength in your muscles. You will also be strengthening muscles that you do not use in running – this will help with making you a stronger runner. Also, doing some light upper body lifting will help your arm swing and will help you in the later stages of a long run.

As you can see, building up your stamina is fairly easy to do – but it does take some work. And, it won’t happen overnight. But, it’s a great accomplishment when you add a little more to your longer run. You will feel great when you reach your mileage goal!

Prepare For Marathon Races Abroad

To begin with, you have to get trained. Perhaps, you are new to running. To build up your skills for marathon, minimum of six months training is needed. On the other hand, three months of training would suffice for those who have been running distances regularly.

Next, you need to choose a marathon that fits your capabilities and interests. Depending on your preference, you can run your marathon debut in another country at a big city marathon or low-key races done in quite streets.

Do you want to run marathons in the United States? Bay To Breakers, Boston Marathon and Hood To Coast Relay are the top three events you can keep an eye on. Conversely, the Medoc Marathon in France and London Marathon in United Kingdom can give you a reason to tour Europe.

If you are into African races, Comrades Marathon and Great Ethiopian Run will definitely bring your dreams into reality. There are competitions that are spiced up with challenges like running on mountains and the frozen Arctic Ocean. The Himalayan 100-mile Stage Race in India, Trail Marathon in Peru and North Pole Marathon are the ideal marathon races for you if you want such type of runs.

When it comes to running races in another country, you preparation does not stop at picking the country of your choice. There are other things that have to do. Now that you have the exact race in mind, research about its location. It is best that you have a map of the entire race and basic information like the weather and time differences in that part of the globe. Research and chew on the rules too. Some don’t get to run the race even after intensive training for marathon because of disqualifications. The Boston Marathon, for one, has disqualified many runners with its strict guidelines.

More often than not, registrations to running competitions start months or even a year before the actual race. In fact, famed ones get fully-booked quickly like days after the registration started. So you better be keen to register early. After which, probe about any visa requirements. Start with the application process early to ensure that you get it on time.

Decide to arrive at the country of the race one to two weeks earlier. This will allow your body and biological clock to adapt to climate and time differences. In relation to this, professional runners who are driven to win arrive at least three months ahead of the scheduled race and train there. As you prepare you for your departure, pack all your things days ahead your flight. Ensure you have all your running gears ready.

Finding Time To Run With Young Kids

  • Run early in the morning before your spouse leaves for work. If you have explained to them how much you need the time to run, I’m sure that they will be supportive and help you out with the kids in the morning. Even though at first you may not think this is for you – you’ll see how much energy you have for the rest of the day. Also, then you don’t have to worry about making time later on.
  • Join a gym that has child care. You can get your run in (on the treadmill or outside) while your kids have fun playing with others. Another plus side is that in addition to running, you’ll have access to the equipment for cross training or easy weight workouts.
  • Find other parents who want to run. Then you can swap childcare duties with them. You can watch all the kids while they get their run in and then the other parent can watch while you get your run in. This is a win-win situation for everyone if you can find someone to do this with. The parents get their runs in and the kids have playtime with others.
  • Invest in a baby stroller. Many children love to head out with their parents while they are running. It’s also an extra workout for you and gets some fresh air for everyone. This is great solution if you truly have trouble finding time to run. And, if you are a parent who feels guilty about spending time away from your child, this is the solution. You can take your child with you and still get in a great workout.

If you are serious about wanting to be a runner, you need to make getting your runs in a priority. You also need to talk with your family so that they know you are serious about it. Everyone has busy schedules and usually much to do in a day. But with some pre-planning, you can get out there and run every day.

Good Snacks For Runners

I admit that I love salty junk food, so I’m glad to know that popcorn in a healthy snack. Popcorn is high in fiber and is also heart healthy. However, you want to make sure that you buy popcorn that is at least 90% fat free and does not have butter already in it. You can use butter spray on it if you need the butter fix. In addition, popping your own the old-fashioned way is a great way to do it!

Many of my running friends are chocolate addicts, so they’re happy that dark chocolate is good for them. Dark chocolate is high in antioxidants and can help you to stay healthy. Some studies have also shown that it can help to relieve stress and help to keep your blood pressure down. Just remember that it should be eaten in moderation.

Another healthy snack for the salty junk foodies is chips and salsa. Salsa is actually very good for you – it’s high in vitamins and antioxidants. Combined with baked tortilla chips – it makes a great snack for runners.

Dry roasted peanuts are another snack idea. Peanuts are a super source of protein and fiber. There was also a study done that showed the longer peanuts are roasted, the higher the levels of antioxidants. Also, peanuts that still have their skins are high in antioxidants.

Pudding is another great snack idea for runners. It’s another good source of calcium. You can either make it yourself with the mix – or buy it in the little snack cups. Those are convenient to have around whenever you need that little snack.

Runners need to make sure that they are properly fueled to run at their best. And sometimes you need to have a little something to eat between meals. In fact, studies have shown that you should be eating a little something every 3-4 hours. These snacks will get you satisfied without you having to feel guilty about snacking – whether you are a “sweet” person or a “salty” person. And, they will keep you fueled for your runs.

Cost of Marathon

You consider a few things when you join a marathon. Think of the entrance fee or registration fee, travel expenses, running gear or equipments, and the training. The total cost will depend on your marathon, and its location. The marathon organizers determine the amount athletes will pay. If you join local or low key marathons, the fee would be about $50-$60. That is fairly little. Major or famous marathon events have a more demanding fee than the local events. In fact, some marathon events require their participants to come up with at least $300.00 for the assigned charity for them before they can gain entry to the particular event.

The location of the chosen marathon event affects the cost as well. Of course, it will mean a lot whether you do a local or international marathon event. With international marathon events you will have to book 2 flights for back and forth. The farther, the more expensive you will pay. If you join a local marathon event, you pay much less for the transportation.

Regardless of the entrance fee, kind of marathon event (major or minor), location of marathon (national or international), preparing for marathon is not much. You have running gears and equipments to buy. Of course, you want to buy the proper outfit but that does not mean expensive running clothes. You probably even have a pair of decent running gears. Even so, running gears are not expensive. The equipments too are fairly affordable. The most bought running equipment is watch with GPRS. That too depends on your taste and preferences with watches. These sort of stuff depend on your aesthetic sensibilities. It can be cheap. It can also be expensive as you like.

Finally, you have the marathon training. It is a need to consider this matter. You just do not join a marathon without a proper training. Marathon training schedule or marathon programs are not expensive. You can buy it at less than $100.00. The training runs for different length of time. There are training for 12 weeks, and 16 weeks. Some do training for several months in advance of the Big Race especially the beginners. Whatever level you are as an athlete, you can fully give your confidence to your trainer or coach to train you well and good. Marathon training schedule have programs fit for beginner, intermediate, and advanced athletes. It is up to you to determine in which category you do belong.

Reasons to Wear Running Arm Sleeves

Sun protection

Most runners spend at least a portion of their runs outdoors, especially as the weather gets better in the spring and summer months. Running outside is a great way to get through those challenging runs by having more to look at than the treadmill in front of you at the gym, which is a great tool to keep your mind active. While there are many benefits to running outside, doing so increases your exposure to the sun’s harmful UVA and UVB rays. Over time this exposure can increase your risk of skin cancer.

It is recommended to wear sunscreen while spending any time outside but many runners find the greasy feel of sunscreen unpleasant. Wearing a pair of running arm sleeves with a high UPF factor is a great solution. These sun sleeves are made by a number of manufacturers and can block 97.5-100% of the sun’s harmful rays. If you are a casual runner or a pavement-pounding veteran, the sun protection that running arm sleeves offer is one of the top reasons to have a pair in your running kit.

Versatility

How often do you start a long run when it is a little chilly outside and then end up around mile 4 regretting that extra layer you put on? It happens to the best of us. Even if you take off that long sleeve tee, you’ll have to carry it with you for the rest of the run. Which leaves you with two choices, be too hot or deal with the annoyance of a shirt tied around your waist and slog through the rest of your run.

This is where the beauty of running arm sleeves comes in. If you had a pair, you could start your runs comfortably warm, and then just slip them down toward your wrists when you warm up. Worst case you have to take them off, which is easy to do while staying on that 8 minute pace. They can easily be tucked into your amphipod belt or case and be out of your way, adding little extra weight to carry. This works great if your run travels through some forested areas that are noticeably cooler than the uncovered portions of your route.

Compression

Some runners use compression sleeves for arms to help reduce swelling induced by longer runs. This swelling is due to muscle vibrations and tears, which induce an inflammatory response. This draws excess fluid into the arms. Wearing compression arm sleeves helps prevent arm swelling.

Compression arm sleeves can also be used as a recovery tool. After a long run simply put on a pair of recovery compression arm sleeves. These compression sleeves increase blood flow, which helps the removal of lactic acid that built up in your muscles during your run. This speeds the amount of time it takes to recover from a long run and also reduces muscle soreness.

Wear for Mud Runs

Clothing

For mud runs, less is more. Try to get light, tight fitting clothes. Avoid cotton and wool as they pick up water. Any clothing items that wick away water are a good choice. Your clothes might feel light and comfortable dry but wet it can be a whole other matter. A large t-shirt might end up hanging down to your knees after running with it wet for several miles.

Remember whatever extra weight you have on you, you must carry throughout the entire event. This includes the extra weight from water, so keep it light.

Accessories

Just like with clothes, only take what you absolutely must. Most events have water provided and possibly a banana or other food, so you shouldn’t have to carry any food with you.

Carrying your car keys or wallet is just a disaster waiting to happen. Even in a waterproof container the chances of losing them are great and the chances of finding them once lost, are pretty slim. Most events have places to securely store your personal items, or you may leave them with a spectator if you know one there at the event.

Hats, gloves, goggles are not necessary and may slow you down. Most events have a list of recommendations on what to wear. Read them closely.

Costumes

You are at the event to have fun. Many encourage participants to sport costumes. Wearing one may make the event more difficult to complete but adds to the reward factor and goes with the spirit of the event.

Training For Cross Country

The natural surface of cross country is varied and can include grass, mud, dirt trails, rocky areas, hills, gravel paths, and woodlands with roots or other tripping hazards and obstacles. Training for cross country must include preparation for these challenges presented by consistency of the terrain and changes in the elevation. An appropriate start would begin with light aerobic runs in county parks.

Take advantage of the variety in scenery. Look at pictures of ‘Rave Run’ from running magazines for inspiring ideas of more places to run (perhaps while on vacation). Get familiar with the feel of hard baked earth, with mushy mud, with cool moist sand on the soles of your feet. Learn to keep light on the feet even while cruising downhill. Get familiar enough with your surroundings so you can keep your chin up and scan the ground with peripheral vision or just occasional glances. This will develop your proprioception and reduce the chance of injury later when you run at full speed.

Since cross county distance events take place in the fall training should begin with accumulating base mileage over the summer months. Returning runners tend to log more miles than less experienced runners. A new runner may go out 3-4 times a week for 20 minutes runs. A more experienced runner may log runs 5-6 times a week or daily, totaling 30-50 miles a week and >500 miles over 3 months. Motivated runners may use the free online training log at Flotrack ( http://www.flotrack.org/ ).

One key to success in running is in having core stability. Core stability is an ability to move the arms and legs vigorously without compensatory movement in the abdominal spinal area and pelvis. Signs of core weakness include rotation, twisting of shoulders or hips, flexing or bending forward, and extension or leaning back. The base training period of summer months is a good time to work on the core with emphasis on resistance or weight training.

Dealing With Pre-Race Jitters

Many runners get anxious because they are afraid that they are going to forget something important. Have a checklist before you leave home with what you need. Type out a checklist, laminate it and actually check it off as you pack. Include everything – shoes, socks, anything that you may need. Even though it may be the middle of summer, I’ll still pack a lightweight pair of tights and a long sleeve shirt. You never know when the weather may turn. Be prepared for anything.

Sometimes your nervousness before a race is because you are afraid of the unknown. A good way to get over this is to be prepared for the race at hand. Get there early and get a map of the race course. Drive over it so that you will know where all the turns, hills, and finish line are located. Familiarity with the course will help you in this area.

Make sure that you get everything ready for race day the night before. I check a weather app to see what the weather will be hourly at the start and during the race so I’ll know what to wear. Then, lay out what you want to wear and pin your racing bib to the front of your shirt. Have your shoes and socks ready and if the race uses a timing chip – get it attached. Having everything ready before you go to bed causes you to be less anxious on race morning.

Don’t put too much pressure on yourself. Many runners get overly stressed out because they feel that they need to run a certain time. Just have the attitude that you are going to run your best and take that weight off of your shoulders.

You’ve trained hard for your race. You know that you are ready. Follow these tips and let the excitement of race day carry you to a wonderful day.