Category: Training

5 Tips For Avoiding Cycling Injuries

By Nathan Koch, P.T., A.T.C. | www.swimbikerun.com

Cycling is an extremely repetitive sport that involves long duration and high-intensity training—which can ultimately lead to injury. Much like changing your car’s oil allows it to perform better and last longer, these five injury prevention techniques can help you perform at a higher level and reduce your risk of overuse.

1. Pre-workout: Perform dynamic stretches for 5–10 minutes, such as leg crossovers and scorpions to open up the hips and spine. They will help reduce joint and muscle stiffness prior to hopping on the bike.

2. During the workout:
Keep your cadence at 90 rpm or greater to reduce stress on the knee, specifically the patellofemoral joint (kneecap area). High-intensity training at lower rpm may have rewards but also comes with greater injury risk.

3. Post-workout: Use the foam roller to reduce muscle soreness and tightness. Focus on the iliotibial band, quadriceps and piriformis (a deep gluteal muscle).

Read two more cycling injury prevention tips.



Running Makeover: Bust Out of a Rut and Find New Motivation

By Jason FitzgeraldActive.com

Are you stuck in a rut? Many runners often find themselves doing the same workouts over and over again—and it’s the wrong way to see progress!

If you’re doing the same distances in the same shoes on the same tired loops for the same race goals, then your training is boring. It’s time to spice it up and add more variety to your running.

Most runners can introduce more variety into their running by training for a new race distance, running more on trails, or simply trying a few new types of workouts.

Variation is crucial in your training plan. Every week should have at least four different paces and many types of strength workouts to help you stay healthy.

More importantly, in the long term, runners should focus on different types of races. Have you ever met the two-marathons-per-year runner who only does marathons and has just one speed (slow)?

Unfortunately, these runners rarely see improvement, and always seem to be in a rut with constant injuries. Training variety is a crucial way to help reduce injuries.

But having a varied training plan doesn’t mean that you run random distances, paces and workouts. Every plan needs to follow a logical progression, and your workouts should be similar from week to week.

The real variety is in the details:

  • Rotate two or more pairs of running shoes
  • Alter your paces in subsequent workouts (if you ran even splits last week, try negative splits this week)
  • Run on trails, avoid the track, and tackle more hills

These changes will help you stay motivated and prevent the boredom that results from doing the same routine over and over again.

Once you make running a habit, these small variations will improve your ability to stick with your training and help prevent injuries.

Check out the a few more motivating ideas.



Two Workouts to Make Marathon Race Pace Feel Easier

By Jay Johnson | Active.com

If you run half marathon race pace and marathon race pace during preparation for a 26.2-mile race, maintaining marathon pace should feel manageable come race day.

Half marathon pace training has a place in intelligent, proper marathon training. I like to assign half marathon race pace for certain workouts because a properly trained runner’s half-marathon personal record correlates with his or her marathon PR.

Half-marathon pace is a great way to get an intense aerobic stimulus. When completing a run at this pace, your biomechanics are forced to change in a subtle way—your knees lift slightly higher at half-marathon pace, compared to marathon pace.

What Is Proper Marathon Training?

Proper marathon training should include a progression of long runs that gets you to at least one, if not more, “long-long” runs, where you go over 20 miles. This means you’ll log several long runs between 14 and 20 miles before race day.

You should also be able to run solid Yasso 800-meter workouts: Run 800-meter repeats on a track in the same minutes and seconds as your marathon goal time in hours and minutes. So, if you hope to finish the marathon in 3 hours and 30 minutes, you should complete the 800s in 3 minutes and 30 seconds. The recovery is simple as well: Run a 400m recovery jog in the same amount of time that you ran your 800m; so in this example, you should run a 400m recovery in 3 minutes and 30 seconds. This workout is wonderful not only for its simplicity, but also for its ability to predict marathon finish time.

In between these workouts, you should be able do some other high-level aerobic running. Examples include faster running done at 10K race pace or half-marathon race pace, or simply running marathon pace with a focus on relaxation.

Once you’ve got these bases covered, mix it up by training at two different paces: half-marathon pace and marathon pace.

  • Workout 1: Combine Half Marathon and Marathon Race Pace
  • Workout 2: Run at Marathon Pace Close to Race Day

Check out the details for these two marathon workouts.



Survival Strategies for Winter Running

By | Examiner.com

The coldest days of winter are upon us. It’s dark, it’s freezing, sometimes it snows, and it’s no wonder anyone could have difficulty getting outside for a run. Here are some tips to keep going until spring comes to relieve us in a few months:

Wear layers. I can’t say it enough. There’s nothing more miserable than being cold for your entire run. Bring gloves and a hat or headband because you lose a lot of heat through your head and hands. And several thinner layers will trap heat better than one big thick layer. This also provides you with the flexibility to adjust your body temperature just in case you get warm in the middle of your run. Make sure your bottom layer will wick away the sweat because if it’s just cotton, then when you start to sweat underneath all those layers, you’re going to get cold.

Wear bright clothing or a reflective vest, and carry a flashlight or headlamp if you’re running in the dark. It’s not the coolest thing in the world to be wearing an orange reflective vest, but safety is so important. You want to make sure you’re visible to cars because on a dark, slippery road, accidents happen, and the last thing you want is to end up in a cast or in bed for several months.

What happens if you’re sick? The general rule of thumb is that if your symptoms are above the chest (i.e. runny nose, sore throat, etc.), you’re safe to run, but if your symptoms are below the chest (i.e. nausea, vomiting), you should play it safe and rest. If you’re not sure, it may be better to rest and take fluids and see if you feel better tomorrow. An ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure.

Drink plenty of fluids. You probably won’t sweat too much when you’re out running since it’s so cold outside, but you’re still getting dehydrated. It’s common to under-hydrate during the cold winter months because we just don’t feel like drinking water when we’re cold in the same way we do when we’re hot and thirsty. But your body still needs it, so make sure that you still take in plenty of water when you’re done running to facilitate recovery.

Check out a few more winter running tips.



7 Traits Of Mentally Tough Runners

By JoAnn Dahlkoetter, PhD | Competitor.com

How many of the seven key traits of mentally tough runners do you have?

Do you know what makes runners mentally tough, especially when workouts or races are not going well? Do you know the best way to develop resilience in tight situations? To answer these questions, you must first understand what mental toughness means to a runner.

What is mental toughness for runners?

Mental toughness is the capacity to reliably perform at your best regardless of external conditions, distractions, or internal emotions.

As a champion athlete and sports psychologist who has worked extensively with Olympian athletes and runners of all levels over the years, I have developed a constellation of key traits and habits that define mental toughness.

The good news is that you do not have to be born with mental toughness. Mental toughness is an acquired trait. You don’t have to go through a life-threatening experience to gain it. You can learn to be mentally tough through your workouts every day. You will be challenged many times to keep moving forward and reach your goal. The more you learn, the more mental toughness you gain.

What are the qualities of the mentally tough runner?

Here are some of the common themes I’ve observed among runners who succeed. There are several key traits that make up mental toughness. Regardless of where you are in your training, you can become a mentally tough runner and make this your strength.

RESILIENCE – The ability to bounce back from adversity, from pain, or from a disappointing performance. The mentally tough runner can realize and admit a mistake, understand a missed opportunity, isolate the lesson, and quickly move on to focus on the immediate goal ahead.

FOCUS – The ability to focus in the face of distractions or unexpected circumstances. The mentally tough runner doesn’t avoid situations but addresses them right away.  For instance, when you’re in the last miles of the marathon, you feel dead tired, you’re hurting, and you want to quit. That is the time to focus. You say, “I must keep moving forward, just this step, one more step.” And you’ll likely get to the finish line when you are mentally tough.

STRENGTH – The ability to handle an unforeseen turn of events and remain balanced and calm, continuing to be competitive. The mentally tough runner remains both strong and flexible, able respond to any situation that arises.

PREPARATION – The ability to anticipate situations ahead of time and feel prepared so there is a plan of action for anything that might happen. The mentally tough runner doesn’t panic in a crisis (e.g. falling back in a race or a workout). For instance, you may be in a race, and your competitor moves in front of you. You have a method to stay mentally calm, adjust your pace, and follow through with your plan.

Can you guess the next three traits?

 



3 Tips for Running With Your Dog

By Giselle Domdom | Active.com

“Happy dogs are happy around people, and active dogs are happy dogs,” says Liz Devitt, DVM and veterinarian for Dog Run Dog events.

If you love running with your dog, Devitt has a few helpful suggestions to make sure the experience is enjoyable for both you and your pooch.

Know the Signs of Fatigue in Your Dog

Fido can’t tell you when he’s tired. To make sure you’re not overworking your hound, Devitt suggests paying close attention to any physical signs of exhaustion.

“There’s panting and then there’s ‘Can’t stop panting,'” Devitt says.

If your dog’s rear legs are dragging or tail starts to go down, it might be time for a break.

Prepare for the Race

If you’re signed up for one of the many Dog Run Dog events or another race with your pup, be sure to train.

“Make sure your dog is fit enough for the distance,” Devitt says. “Just because you can do it—can gut it out—doesn’t mean you or your dog should.”

Devitt suggests getting the OK from the vet to make sure your dog can handle the distance safely. Most dog races are a 5K or 10K distance. Just because you can handle the 10K doesn’t mean it’s the best choice for your canine. Devitt suggests dropping your dog off after the first 5K if you want to push through the 10K.

What should your dog wear?



How to Run on a Treadmill Without Dying of Boredom

Tina | CarrotsNCake.com

Here are a a few great tips for beating boredom on the treadmill. You can read Tina’s complete article.

  • Have a plan. I almost always use some sort of workout to guide my run on the treadmill. It keeps me on track and motivated, and usually the time flies by. Some of my favorite treadmill workouts are 45-Minute Treadmill Workout, Not a Boring Treadmill Workout, 3-Mile Challenge, and Melissa’s 3′s and 5′s Treadmill Challenge.
  • Try an interval workout. Instead of running at a constant pace, I mix up my run with easy and hard intervals. Changing up speeds and inclines keeps my workout interesting, and (bonus) interval workouts increase my caloric burn. Here are some of my favorite interval workouts.
  • Think entertainment. Watch a movie, create a new playlist on your iPod, listen to an audiobook, comedy podcast, or talk radio. Anything that keeps you entertained will help make your time on the treadmill less boring.
  • Schedule your workout around your favorite TV show. Most shows are 30 or 60 minutes, which is the perfect amount of time for a workout. I also like to pick up my pace during commercials. I’m just waiting for my show to come back on, so I might as well push it!
  • Alternate the treadmill with another cardio machine. When I’m just not feeling the treadmill, I’ll break up my run by alternating my time with the elliptical or bike. For instance, if I want to run 5 miles, I’ll run 3 miles, use the elliptical for 15 minutes, and then finish on the treadmill with 2 miles. Spitting up the mileage makes it more manageable and helps my workout fly by.
  • Run with a friend. When Mal and I were training for our first marathon, we did a few runs side-by-side on the treadmill. It was motivating to have someone else to run with and we chatted quite a bit to help pass the time. It was also nice because we could run together at different paces.
  • Learn something new. I’m a huge fan of NPR (Car Talk is one of my favorites), so I often listen to the podcasts during my runs. I almost always learn something new, and it’s a great way to catch up with current events.
  • Let the music guide you. I often listen to the Lady Gaga station on Pandora when I run, so every time I hear one of her songs, I pick up the pace. Sometimes, I’ll even pick two artists if I really want a challenge (i.e. Lady Gaga + Katy Perry). I never know what’s going to play next, so it spices up the run!
  • Play number games. If you’re a weirdo like me, counting things while I’m on the treadmill helps me pass the time. Today, for instance, I counted how many guys with cut-off shirts walked into the gym. (Seven, if you’re wondering.) Here are some other number games I play on the treadmill.

 



GoGoRunning Has a New Headquarters

GoGoRunning now has a physical meting space, Just Sports! On January 2, 2013 GoGoRunning President Powell Fulton and Founder Coach Jay Stephenson purchased Just Sports and Tennis!

We now have gait analysis, and awesome fit process to get you in the right shoe, VO2max testing, group runs from the store, and in-store race registration (race directors please contact coachjay@gogorunning.com for details). We hope to serve the running, walking, day hiking and tennis community in Rome well.

 

 

New Group Run

The new group run will take place on Thursdays at 6:00pm, starting from Just Sports and Tennis. Join us for a 30minute-1hour run on the paved trails of downtown Rome. Park in any of the adjoining parking lots to the store.

296 W 3rd St SW
Rome, GA 30165


The Ultimate Winter Training Guide for Triathletes

By OutSeason | www.Endurancenation.us

Every year we watch thousands of athletes compete on the Ironman and 70.3 race circuit — after all as coaches we travel to most of the major events on the race calendar. Race day is special not just for what happens, but because it’s the culmination of months of training and focus.

While race day is all about execution, all the training leading up to this point determines the nature of your race. Speed isn’t something magical that shows up, it’s earned. And no part of your training is more speed focused than what you do in the winter.

You Will Plan A Full Season

The first thing you should do is sit down and create a roadmap for your full season. This will be your overall guide to building fitness and allowing you to peak for your A race of the year. Using the Endurance Nation approach to seasonal fitness, you will incorporate time for building your fast in the OutSeason and follow that up with ample time to add far in the Race Prep phase. Here are two articles that look at the season planning process in more detail:  A Season Map and Season Planning Case Studies.

You Will Select Appropriate Activities

The hardest part of the wintertime siren song of volume is the true variety of options. Outside of the usual triathlon disciplines, you can ski, skate, hike, ride cross or MTB. You can look outside of aerobic work and find yoga, crossfit, core strength, weight training and much more. Before you know it, you could easily be singing up for the same amount of training time you did in the winter!

Instead, you’ll drop the swim workouts unless you average slower than 2:00 per 100 yds in the pool. You won’t lose that much swim fitness and it only takes a few weeks get it back.

If you want some diversity in your winter training cycle, you can pick one or two outside activities to complement the work you are doing to build your fitness. An example would be skate or crosscountry skiing that you did once during the week and once on the weekends. We vastly prefer you picking one additional activity to replace swimming, something that you pursue in-depth, as opposed to filling your calendar with too much.

Read more about focusing on fast and ROI.



How to Pick Your Running Goals

By | About.com

Setting running goals is a great way to stay motivated to run, and the start of a new year is the perfect time to think about what you want to accomplish. Here are some tips for setting attainable goals:

Choose realistic goals. Don’t set yourself up for failure. Your chances of achieving your goals are much better if they’re realistic. Of course, it’s always fun and inspiring to dream, but try breaking your ultimate goal up into more manageable, realistic goals that could lead you to it. For example, you’re not going to run a sub-25:00 5K if your current personal record is 35:00, but you can start taking steps toward getting faster.

Don’t take on too much. If you have too many goals, you’ll burn yourself out and may not accomplish any of them, leaving you feeling disappointed and defeated. Instead, focus on a few key goals and the steps you need to take to reach them.

Set small, attainable goals. If you have an ambitious goal, such as running your first  marathon, make sure that you have smaller, attainable goals with measurable results along the way. They’ll help you track your progress and prevent you from getting bored or discouraged. If your goal is to complete a half-marathon, first try to run a 10K or shoot for a personal record in the 5K. An added benefit of setting smaller, attainable goals is that even if you don’t meet your ultimate goal, you’ll still have achieved other accomplishments along the way.

Don’t forget to have fun!

What are your running goals? Let us know in the comments.