Winter IS Half OVER!

Do you realize that winter is half over?  That means 2 things.  Yes, we have a few more weeks of cold weather, snow and black ice to deal with.  But it also means that you are suddenly that much closer to your 5K or whatever race you have been planning for this year!  Do you have a plan?  Are you executing your plan? Are you ready to commit?

February, 2017

This is the key month to your winter training.  This is when you get your schedule together, run your base miles and also make sure you have all your gear ready to go for the year.  Do you need to order new supplements?  Do you need new shoes?  Did you plan out your running schedule?

March, 2017

Your spring races should be on your calendar.   Everything should be ready to go.  If you don’t have a schedule yet, this is the time to get one immediately.  If you can’t plan on your own, are you ready to hire a coach to help you or join a local team or club?  For the beginner, did you find your couch to 5K program yet?

April, 2017

Your races are already here!  Did you plan and execute your plan properly?  Only you will know at this point.  The rest of the year lies ahead and all I can ask at this point is, “Are you ready?”

Happy Running

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What is Success To You?

What is your definition of success?  Think about it – what is your definition of success – as it pertains to your life.  Is it making $1 million by the time you are 40?  Is it becoming the president of a company?  Can it be getting married to the perfect person?  Is it getting your kids to school on time?  Or is it running 3 miles from the first time?

I say tomato….

I’m sure if I asked 100 different people that question, I would get 100 different answers….  This is because success is an individual thing.  That is the KEY point.  You can use others as inspirations, but in the end is what you want.  It is truly what you want.  Not what your family wants or your friends or your co-workers.  If you have different ideas of success, then stop comparing yourself to the person next to you!

As I showed in a previous post, with running there is always somebody faster, so don’t worry about them – their workouts are different than yours …..their pace is different than yours.  Your success with running is feeling better – it is fitting in a new smaller dress size – it is feeling more confident – it is moving faster than you did before.  It is getting that ‘mojo’ back – especially if you once also were a runner and are looking to get back into it.

Such easy small steps to success!  That means that running can lead you to a positive feeling –a good feeling of doing something….and you don’t need to win anything.  It’s just more steps forward in your life, both figuratively and in actuality.

Just start….

Starting is the hardest thing to do.  You feel that the end goal is so far away……but it really isn’t.  To come back to running or to become a runner can take as little as 9 weeks – for some more and some less.  Relatively in life what is a few months?

You can do this….you just need to get started with a friend or coach or your spouse giving you the time you need.

The rest is up to you.  Can you achieve a level of success?   I think so, most definitely!

 

For more tips and tricks to running success and for my free 9-week beginner running plan, just click here

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On Positive Attitudes…..

Wednesday Morning

I started this year working at a school with a great teacher in a local grammar school 4th grade class.  She said to me on the 2nd day of school, ”This is so overwhelming.  I have so much to do.”  So I responded, “Is it worse than yesterday (1st day of school)?” Her answer: “No, not really.”  Mine: “Then we are doing better, right?”  With a somewhat surprised look, she looked at me: ”You are right!”

Positive Attitudes

A positive attitude generally puts you in a better position to yield positive results.  Even if these results are not what I had hoped they would be, they can be something to learn from.

How does this relate to running?  If you are new to the sport, it is easy to give up – to not fight through the pain.  Why should you – it’s so easy to sit on the couch.  For experienced runners, what is the incentive to keep going?  You have already done so much….every race you ever dreamed of in every age group and in every weather condition.  So why keep on going – it’s so easy to sit on the couch.

Sit on the Couch?

How could everyone want to sit on the couch?   It is simply easier to do nothing rather than do something.  It is easier to run 3 easy miles rather than a track workout.  It IS hard to wake up and renew your body every day.  But it is also easier to think of 1 run at a time – 1 day at a time.  While you can plan your week, each activity is still a daily thing.   Remember – your success is always unique to you.  It is you vs. you!  If you were always comparing yourself against people who were better, you might not realize how much better you are getting.  So get out there and show yourself what you can do – BE POSITIVE.   What do you have to lose by having a positive attitude?  Again, being realistic and being positive are different things, so go for it with the positive attitude.

Happy Running!

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On Plantar Fasciitis….

When I don’t know about a subject other than suffering the injury, I turn to a professional for some clarity – here is my PT friend Jessica Garcia on plantar fasciitis:

“As runners, more than likely every one of us has had a pain in our heel or foot at one time or another and our first thoughts have been, what is it and can I still run , and probably not in that order. Typically we will try to ignore it hoping that it goes away and if it doesn’t we will look to our fellow runners or the internet for answers. Somewhere in this process we are bound to come across the term plantar fasciitis and wonder if that’s what the problem is and if so how do we fix it. So let’s take the mystery out of this thing they call plantar fasciitis.

The plantar fascia is the thick band of tissue that runs across the bottom of your foot and connects your heel bone to your toes. It is made of collagen, a rigid protein that’s not very stretchy. Plantar fasciitis is the inflammation or tiny tearing of the plantar fascia.

Tell-tale signs of plantar fasciitis include sharp pain in the heel when getting out of bed in the morning due to being in a contracted position overnight. Other symptoms include a dull ache along the arch or bottom of the foot which can be sharp, as well as a tight and painful sensation at the base of the heel.  The pain gets worse when you climb stairs, stand on your toes, stand/sit for long periods of time and at the beginning of exercise. The pain gets better or goes away as the foot limbers up but returns when exercise is completed.

The causes of plantar fasciitis can be broken down into two categories: intrinsic factors, those related to the body itself, and extrinsic factors, those “outside” the body. Intrinsic factors are decreased core strength (stable core reduces stress on spine and stops pain transference to foot), decreased flexibility of calf, hamstrings and hip flexors, and biomechanical issues including flat, high-arched feet  and increased foot pronation. Extrinsic factors can primarily be thought of as training errors: improper/worn shoes, sudden increases in training mileage or elevation; beginning speedwork; running on hard surfaces or simply overtraining.

The tricky thing about plantar fasciitis is that many people can continue to run with symptoms—the condition has to be pretty severe to make a stubborn runner with a high pain threshold stop training. Having said this, there are times when it’s better not to push through the pain. Using a red (stop), yellow (caution), green (go) spectrum the following can be used to help answer the burning question of to run or not to run:  Red: Ongoing, arch pain & tenderness that doesn’t fade even once you’ve warmed up, Yellow: Pain when you step out of bed, get up after prolonged sitting or during the first few minutes of a run, Green: Pain free all day including first steps in morning, walking barefoot on hard surfaces without an issue. Plantar fasciitis can be a nagging problem, which gets worse and more difficult to treat the longer it’s present. If pain persists it’s a good idea to see a professional. Conservative treatment significantly decreases symptoms in about 95 percent of sufferers within six weeks however fixing the problem relies on determining the responsible process.

The bottom line is that plantar fasciitis is an overuse injury. Overuse injuries are the great equalizer, taking out the elite and weekend warrior alike. Most runners experience their share of injury, and although many of these conditions can be nagging, few are more so than plantar fasciitis.”

  • Jessica Garcia is a PT in Paramus, NJ and has her own practice – Ultimate Motion

 

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On Running & Your Family

I’m sure you all have the perfect running family…….:

You:  “Honey, I’m going for a (insert time) run and then I’m going for some drinks with my running friends.”   Spouse:  “Sure honey – in fact, I’ll even drive you so you can have a couple of extra drinks.”

Spouse:  “I love how my spouse always runs with a runner of the opposite sex.  It makes our marriage that much stronger”

Kids:  “We’re so proud of you, mommy/daddy – I can’t wait to wake up early on Saturday and see you finish your next race!”

Mother-in-law:  “I’m so happy my son/daughter-in-law is taking the time for himself/herself to run and really dedicate this extra time to it to get better at it”

Yeah, right…..

This might as well be a TV episode or another form of fiction.  Real life does get in the way and you have to tread a fine line to balance everything.  As a new runner, you need to get your family on board that life includes you taking care of yourself as well as them.  If you are an experienced runner and want to take it to the next level, your family has to be on board for the extra time and expense for this.   In either case, you have to work together.   The conversations will never be as smooth as the ones above, but they will become more manageable.

So the key is to start – just take those first steps.  Include your family, whether you are running around the track while the kids are playing soccer in the middle or you get a nice running stroller for infants and toddlers.  If you need the ‘me’ time, then the spouse needs to step up and help.  This is a good thing – you aren’t staying up late drinking with the guys or going on frequent lady trips to Vegas.  You are getting in shape – and that in the end helps your family.

So get out there and compromise – this is your life and you want to get better for you.

Happy Running

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Become a Runner in Less Than 1 Hour per Day

I don’t have time…..it is a common statement.  When you have that first child and you are balancing everything:  the baby, your spouse, no sleep, your job….perhaps other kids and the ever=present grandparents….wow.  How does anyone get through it?  Who has time for exercise and even follow a proper diet with all that going on?

I’ll have to say that you need a team attack on this one.  Your family has to be on board for you to be able to start any kind of program.  I’m here to tell you that all you need is about 5 hours a week to commit to become a runner, new or again….couch to 5K or if you are a “glory days” runner coming back from previous success.

First of all – your family needs to back you.  You need 3 mornings a week and 1 weekend day to get back into shape.  Yes – you can run with a baby stroller, but your spouse needs to watch the other kids.  And you know what?  You want to make this about you – not your baby in the stroller.  The other 163 hours per week you promise to commit to everyone else.  For YOU – you want 5.   You all have to make it work together.  Tough luck – there has to be a compromise.

This is less than 1 hour per day!

Secondly, you don’t even need to run at first.  If you can walk, you can be running in about 2 months.  You need to just get out there and take those first steps.  So don’t be afraid of those steps – they will be new – they will be hard – but they will get you there.  Finally – the side effects will be positive.  You’ll have more energy once you get into a rhythm, you’ll feel in better shape and you will get your confidence back.  Find some friends or join a running group and make it social and everyone benefits.

5 hours…..

Are you ready to commit?

Click here for my free 9-week running program:  Free Plan

 

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Stealing a Workout?

Yes – I did it……I confess to stealing….someone’s workout.   Huh?   How can you steal someone’s workout you may ask?   Very simply, my friend told me what he was going to do this week in a track workout.  I saw that it was exactly the same pace I needed to do and would help me for the same race length – 5K, so I executed the workout this morning within 8 total seconds.

It’s pretty much just for pride that it might be a little shady, but there are merits in at least sharing workouts with your friends.   While I have said time and time again, just because Ryan Hall may have run 120 mile weeks at his peak and that helped him become a world record holder and Olympian, it does NOT mean that you should so it.  However, if your friend Larry of comparable pace and age posts that he had a unique track workout and you think it could help you also, then do it.   Why not?

It may be a new kind of workout for you – the speeds may be similar, but it is a different distance or a different rest.  We all get into a rut, where we settle into the same workout over and over.  Mix it up!  I tell people to do it but sometimes I don’t do it myself.  My old standby is 8 x 400m.  HOW many times have I done this – just because we always did it in high school, over 30 years ago?

So listen, never stop learning, and keep things fresh.  So, while I completely stole this workout today, I do believe that it will help BOTH my friend and I equally for our next race…

Happy Running

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Stealing a Plan