Tag Archives: race

Start Running! Here’s How.

Want to start running?  Starting something new can be very intimidating and running is often tops on the list.  Even those who have taken a hiatus due to injury or burn out can have trouble getting started again.  With the potential for injury, getting a physician’s clearance before beginning a run/walk or running program is incredibly important.  After being cleared, here are some tips for getting your running program started.

Support.  Make sure you have the right shoes and use a specialized running store to find them.  Properly fitting and supportive shoes will prevent injury and help keep you pain free.  For women, a properly fitting and appropriately supportive sports bra is just as important as good shoes.  Don’t be afraid to try a few different options to find the one you like best.

Before and After.  Warming up is a key element to getting in a good workout, so spending five to ten minutes raising your heart rate and getting muscles ready to work will help reduce your risk of injury and aid you in achieving better results.  Just as warming up is important, cooling down after your session with five to ten minutes of stretching will ease post run soreness and tightness.

Comfort.  One element of having a successful start is staying in your comfort zone.  Don’t push yourself too hard, too fast or you risk burning out, being injured or not enjoying your new activity.  Stressing out about how fast you run when you are a beginner will have the same effect.  Concentrate on building endurance, and being proud of yourself for starting a new activity, before being concerned with how fast you run each mile.

Find a buddy to run with.  You don’t need to run with a friend every time you head out, but once a week running with a friend can be a great motivator.  There are lots of programs available on the internet you and a friend can work on together.  It’s always a great idea to find a coach or join a group of other beginner runners in your area, which is a great way to find the perfect running buddy.

Race.  You don’t have to be ready to race, but getting out and experiencing one is a great way to set goals and stay motivated.   The race shouldn’t be about winning your age group, or even running the entire way, it’s about being in an electric atmosphere where a bunch of strangers cheer for you.

Check out FitNicePT’s newest program, VB Mother Runners, and learn how we can help you get started today!  Not a mom?  Ask us about our other training options!

Need to Know: Treadmill versus Outdoor Running

As the weather cools off and snow starts to fall, lots of runners turn to the temperature controlled pleasures of a treadmill.  While it can be a little less scenic than running outdoors, treadmill training has its own benefits.  It has its own pitfalls as well, so read on to learn what you need to know about the differences between outdoor and indoor running.

Running indoors is safer, sort of.  With the shorter days of winter, running indoors is safer than running outside in the dark, and it’s also much less slippery than maneuvering over snow and ice.  Treadmills can be dangerous as well, and while you can get in some guilt free TV time running indoors, it can also be boring.  Terrain is constantly changing outside, but you can turn your brain off on the treadmill because your foot lands the same way every step.  It’s important to stay aware, too far to the left or right and you can be sent straight back into a wall, another person, or another piece of equipment.

The belt of a treadmill is more forgiving than the pavement or sidewalk out in the cold.  At the same time, the belt helps you along.  It’s important to know that because the belt does this, your running form can change, and not always for the good.  Your foot can be in contact with the belt longer than it would be with the ground outside, and that alters your running stride.  Since the belt is moving, your quads fire to push off, but rather than using your hamstring to finish your stride, the belt does it for you.  This change puts extra strain on the quad and gives the hamstring less work to do.  Some people also learn forward excessively in an effort to keep up with the moving belt, which isn’t an issue outside.  Being aware of this and making sure to take short, quick steps will help protect proper running form.

Treadmills are flat.  They also have a great incline feature, allowing you do get in some serious hill work without braving the elements.  Raising the belt to various levels during a run can help keep your mind working, leaving you safe and sound in the middle of the belt, and can keep hamstrings a little more active.  Another outdoor condition you won’t find in the gym is wind.  Working against wind resistance is a natural part of running outside, and training without it can mean you expend less energy over the course of your run.  By increasing your pace slightly, you can get the same increase in heart rate as running against some wind while staying nice and warm inside.

Now you know how to get the most out of your next treadmill workout, so keep up on your training and get ready for your first spring race!

For more information on treadmill training or getting ready for your race season, contact us at Info@FitNicePT.com!!!

 

Have a Successful Race Weekend

It’s race weekend!  You are pumped up, and ready to run the PR you’ve been training for.  There are quite a few things that can get in your way, regardless of your infinite enthusiasm, so avoiding those pitfalls will help ensure you have a great race.  Before race day, you want to sit down and make a plan.  Having a plan will ease race morning stress and taking these tips into account will help make sure your race day a great one.

Know what to wear.  Check the weather and dress appropriately.  Sweat wicking clothes are ideal, and if you plan on stripping off layers as you run, make sure you aren’t going to dump the one your number’s pinned to.  Speaking of pins and numbers, plan on putting your race number on the night before the race, safety pins can be a pain, and the hassle isn’t worth the energy right before your big run.  Save yourself as much work, and stress, as you can race morning.

Watch what you eat and drink.  Ensure you’ve hydrated properly for the days leading up to the race, and eat things you know you can handle.  Race week isn’t the time to try to Inferno Wings at the local bar.  Dinner the night prior should have plenty of carbs without being acidic or rich.  Acid can cause all sorts of problems, ranging from upset stomachs to heartburn, and nobody wants that on race day.  Breakfast race morning should be what you usually eat before a run, something that provides carbohydrates and you know works, again avoiding rich or fatty foods.

Be early.  Knowing your parking map and how far you might be from the start, while also accounting for traffic can help ease stress.  Part of your planning should account for the time it takes to get into a parking spot, from there to the start, and the lines at the port-a-potty, should you need one.  Arriving with time to spare will help keep you from feeling rushed, give you time to warm up and stretch out, and get your head in race mode.

Get plenty of sleep the night before the race.  Like being early, this too will ease stress while also making sure your body and mind are well rested.  Positive thoughts are incredibly important when you want to run a new PR, so being bright eyed and bushy tailed will keep you in the right frame of mind.

Pace yourself during the race, especially at the start.  With starting line jam ups, your adrenaline pumping, the band rocking, and the crowd cheering, it’s tempting to sprint right out of there, but don’t waste your energy.  Your training provided you with a good knowledge of how you want to pace yourself, so believe in it.  You want to not only finish, but finish well, and burning out in the first two miles just won’t help.

Celebrate that you’ve finished.  You just ran a race, and that’s hard work.  You trained for weeks, probably months, and crossed the line.  Give yourself a pat on the back, be proud of what you’ve accomplished, and be sure to hit the post race party to enjoy your moment.