Monthly Archives: October 2014

Sweet or Mashed? Running on Potatoes

Potatoes are versatile, delicious and inexpensive.  You can get a great carb load from a potato without many of the ugly features of pasta, such as processed grains.  One cup of mashed, boiled or baked potato contains more run fueling complex carbohydrates than one cup of your favorite noodle as well as loads of vitamins and minerals.  With russet, red, yellow, sweet and purple all packing a nutritional punch pasta can’t deliver, potatoes are a great way to power your workouts.potatoes

Easy to digest, potatoes will keep you safe from stomach issues during a long run and save you time in the kitchen.  Mashing and freezing potatoes is a great way to have a healthy food quickly in hand.  The tubers also rank highly on the glycemic index which means the carbs get into your bloodstream quickly, giving you a boost right away.  Add protein or low fat cheese for a slower burn and steady source of energy.

More good news?  The rumors are false.  All of the nutrition isn’t in the skin.  You’ll miss out on about half of the available fiber by peeling it but most of the good stuff hides in the flesh.  Craving fluffy white mashed potato?  One big russet contains 63 grams of carbs, zero grams of fat (!), eight grams of protein, 64 percent of your daily vitamin C, 53 percent of vitamin B6 and potatoes1,600mg potassium.  A medium banana contains only 425mg potassium, making the potato a better way to help your muscles work and keep fluids balanced.  Want a baked sweet potato instead?  One cup will give you 700 percent Daily Value vitamin A, zero grams of fat and 65 percent of vitamin C.  Both varieties are rich in antioxidants, calcium and magnesium while lacking in cholesterol which makes them heart healthy snacks as well.

Unfortunately, you’ll still need to be careful about those fried potatoes.  The frying process wrecks the nutritional value and the huge volumes we consume is part of the reason spuds often get left out of dinner plans.

Want to add potatoes to your training nutrition plan?  Ask us how!  Email or fill out the form below.

Volunteers: Giving Back to Running

Volunteers are a huge part of the friendly, open and incredibly supportive running community.  Runners giving back is what keeps the community ticking, events from being cancelled and friendships growing.  Without the generosity of volunteers, Race Day would look completely different, trails would be littered with trash and there would be a whole lot less smiling.  With Fall race season in full swing, look at your schedule and find a time to give back in one of these five ways.

One of the easiest ways to give back is to volunteer at a race.  Without Race Day volunteers, water stops would be unmanned, packet pick-ups would be mayhem and race day registration would be a thing of the past.  Think about your last race and count the number of times one of the volunteers was a part of your day.  The best part of pitching in for a race is that there are lots of jobs available for anyone who wants to lend a hand (you can even be a pacer).  From packet pick-up days before the event to post race water stop clean up, there’s sure to be something that fits your preference and schedule.

Traveling for a race but still want to help out?  Consider running for charity.  Many races partner with charities who are happy to provide race entries for those who meet specific fundraising goals and deadlines.  This option is especially useful for those who are trying to earn entry into a sold out race or participate with a team of fellow charitable runners.

Just say ‘thank you’.  Something so simple can put a smile on any face, especially when it’s unexpected.  Most Race Day volunteers have been awake for hours by the time you see them and are looking for a nap, not kind words.  Saying ‘thank you’ at each water stop, whether you grab a few ounces of fluids or not, when you receive your medal and pick up your gear is sure to brighten a tired volunteer’s day.

Runners are shoe hoarders.  With a few pairs in the regular rotation, some older ones in the garage, a beach pair, a trail pair and those cruddy old ones for yard work, there can be upwards of ten pairs in any home.  Donating old shoes that aren’t too beaten up means they can be given to those in need while pairs that are all but worn through can be recycled into sports surfaces.

Clean your favorite trail, road or path.  Keeping the running landscape clean helps ensure safety and keeps the environment everyone enjoys from decaying.  Local running groups typically have one or two meet-ups each month when members will get together and tidy a few miles of roadside or trail.

Volunteers are an indispensable part of the running community.  Give a little bit of your time, fundraising skills or old shoes today and become an invaluable part of it.

Want to volunteer?  Cont

act or fill out the form below for help finding the perfect fit for you.

Succeed With Your C25K Plan: 5 Tips

Setting a goal, choosing a race and starting to train is an exciting thing.  There are lots of C25K plans out there and no matter which one you pick, these five tips will help you have a successful experience that leaves you wanting to come back for more.C25K PlanDress appropriately.  Head out to your local running store and make sure you have the right footwear.  The correct shoes can make a big difference in both comfort and injury prevention.  Once you’ve found the right pair of shoes, make sure you have comfortable sweat wicking clothing that won’t leave you chafed to go with them and you’re ready to kick off your C25K plan.

Start slowly.  A C25K plan isn’t designed to make you hate running.  It’s meant to help you love running, reach a goal and learn about yourself.  Take it easy in the beginning, you have plenty of time to build mileage and speed.  Rushing into long or very intense runs is an invitation to injury that could derail your entire C25K plan and leave you discouraged.  Accomplishing lots of little goals, from running for 10 minutes to running one mile helps you stay motivated and safe.

Create a playlist.  Music has not only been shown to increase athletic performance, it also makes running a little bit more fun.  Singing, humming or just thinking along with a song can help the minutes and miles speed by.  Your vocal abilities are also a good gauge of how hard you’re working.  If you can barely utter a word without gasping, it’s time to back off a bit, while taking deeper breaths in time with lyrics will help your heart rate stay down.

Learn about nutrition.  At least a little bit.  Properly fueling any run you plan to finish is a key part of C25K plan success.  Especially if your C25K goal is part of a larger program to shed pounds or increase health, running doesn’t automatically mean you can, should or need to eat more food on a daily basis.  Figure out what you do and don’t like to eat before you head out for a run (bananas and oatmeal are great), what the best foods are to help your body heal afterwards (peanut butter, chocolate milk) and drink lots of water to stay properly hydrated at all times.

Stay positive.  If a week is hard, that’s OK.  Don’t be afraid to repeat a challenging week or take an extra day off when you really need it.  You’ve made a commitment to getting fit and improving your health but that doesn’t mean it’s going to be easy.  Every athlete, from beginners to professionals has rough patches every now and then.  It’s the ability to adjust your training and stay tough mentally that will get you through these times and see you reach the goal you set in your C25K plan.

Use these tips to stay on track with your C25K plan and most importantly, have fun!

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4 Must Do Strength Moves for Runners

As most experienced runners know, there’s more to running than just running.  Strength training plays a big role in injury prevention and performance.  Strong muscles support the body better, protecting it from getting hurt, burn more calories than fat and make you more powerful with each stride.  Here are four strength moves for runners that will help improve form, increase endurance and hit that next PR sooner.

Push-ups:  Push-ups can tell you lots about the way you run.  A push-up with a weak core, sagging hips and an arched lower back makes us unstable and will transfer over into overextended running.  Performing a proper elbow in, vertical forearm push-up means better shoulder stability and a larger range of motion.  These two things combine to give you an improved arm swing with good elbow drive in a north-south direction.  An elbow out, angled forearm push-up creates an strength moves for runnersinternally rotated shoulder position and an inefficient running arm swing.

Planks:  A plank is little more than a stationary push-up and has many of the same benefits.  Planks will help you strengthen your core, improve posture and build endurance.  There are a wide variety of planks, each making your shoulders, wrists, trunk more stable while helping you relax and take a deep breath (or five).  For more reasons to plank every day, check out this post and these videos.

Bodyweight Squats:  One of the best strength moves for runners, squats strengthen running specific muscles and increase the range of motion around the hip joint.  More power through a bigger range of motion not only means better running, it means safer running.  Stronger quads, glutes and hamstrings, which stabilize the knee and hip, will reduce your risk srength moves for runnersof injury.  Be sure to push the hips back until your knees is at a 90 degree angle and drive the knees out to get the most benefit from every squat you complete.

Single Leg Deadlifts:  This strength move is perfect for preventing hamstring injuries, strengthening the hips, improving balance and building muscle in the glutes.  Hold a free weight in front of your body while slightly bending one knee then hinge at the waist and lift the opposite leg behind you until the weight reaches the middle of your shin.  Be sure to keep your back flat, engage your core and not let your shoulder get round as you return to the standing position.

Use these strength moves for runners and you’re sure to see the benefit.

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