EDITOR'S NOTE: Erika has some fun this week with her blog and offers some advice on getting results with your running.
Why helllllo there! How are you doing on this fiiiine Thursday afternoon? Good? Good. Now that that’s out of the way, I’d like to give a big shout out to my awesome boyfriend for being so dang awesome.
Alex is quite the fitness junkie and ran track like a bossy boss when he was in high school. He was pretty dang good at it too to say in the least. Right now, he’s in the process of becoming a CPT (certified personal trainer) through NASM (national academy of sports medicine). He loves fitness. I love nutrition. We compliment each other quite well
He’s also written a handful of articles for a few websites/magazines because, like I said, he’s pretty rad. I know I said awesome earlier but he’s also rad. And cool. And quirky. And inspiring. And handsome. And he’s mine, so back off.
Any who, his awesome/rad/cool/quirky/inspiring/handsome self agreed to do a little guest post on here.
As I have stated MANY times before, I am NOT a runner. I can run, but not very fast or far. However, I know that there are a lot of people out there at enjoy running (still a phenomenon I’m trying to understand), so luckily my track star of a boyfriend can help me with the whole running thing.
“Runners to Your Blocks!”
All right, this one is for all of us runners out there.
Whether you currently run for a club, in marathons, on your street, or on a treadmill, you probably put your body and mind through hell to improve… your body and mind. Wait, what?
Okay, you probably run to be healthy. Or because you like it… but lets speak to the majority of the population here.
Most runners want one thing: Results.
And to get whatever results you are looking for, it’s crucial for ALL runners to partake in a proper pre-run warm-up.
First, lets start with the movement portion of a proper warm-up.
Rule #1: Get loose. Get your blood moving. Take a light jog. Do this before anything else! Use 5-15 minutes (depending on the length of your run) to just get the body moving. Mimic movements you will be performing on your run to get your body and your muscles ready to stretch and get going.
Rule #2: Stretch. The last you want is a tight/strained/torn/pulled muscle during a run. Stretch. Dynamic stretches are ideal for warm-ups. A dynamic stretch is one that involves movement and quick motions to stretch your muscles. By mimicking movements you will do while running, your ROM (range of motion), flexibility, and HR will increase. Let me just add one more thing about stretching that’s been bothering me. Rumors have been floating around that static (stationary) stretching hinders performance. Wrong. A static stretch held for 0-60 seconds WILL NOT impact performance (strength, speed and power).
I know it’s hard hearing so many opposing methods. I understand! I often find myself feeling like this when I try and research something.
Trust me… I feel your pain!
Back to stretching. That being said, if you can run comfortably without static stretching in your warm-up, you don’t need it. Static stretching is appropriate in a cool-down, however. The stretching study done by the National Academy of Sports Medicine can be found here.
Rule #3: Stretch until you feel warm but DO NOT let yourself cool down before you run. As a runner, I always see people stretch and run and warm-up and then stand there at the starting line. When your run starts your HR should be up and your respiratory rates should be elevated. Letting yourself sit for any sustained period of time right before a run is a mistake! Get warm and go.
Rule #4: Repeat rule #1 but at a higher intensity. Make the final stage of your warm-up similar, but on a less-intense scale, to your workout. This is crucial in getting your HR and respiratory rates up to appropriate levels to start your run on the right foot.
Not literally on the right foot. You can start on your left if you want.
Here you will find proper dynamic stretches and technique.
Now for the food part.
Rule #1: Eat a low-fiber, high-protein, high-carb food(s) 2-3 hours before you run. Something that’s easy to stomach like peanut butter on toast (Erika will love that), Greek yogurt, and/or a banana. Also, drink roughly 14-20 ounces of water during this time to ensure proper hydration.
Rule #2: Don’t eat fibrous veggies such as broccoli and onions, or high-fat foods prior to running. These may cause stomach distress. No one wants that while they’re huffin’ and puffin’!
Rule #3: If you’re feeling hungry 10-20 minutes before a run don’t worry. You can eat. In fact, you shouldeat. Have a small serving of carbs such as a few saltine crackers or a banana. My favorite snack right before I run is an orange. You can buy them in bulk, they don’t spoil too fast and they can take a beating if you keep them in your backpack. They also give your body the hydration that it needs.
The only other thing I’m going to say about running is… You can do it! I know it’s terrible sometimes but I believe in each and every one of you that you can and will kill the run you’re about to go on!
Oh, and warm up. It helps.
If you’d like to check out some of the articles he’s written, click on the links below!
-A couple of off-season training articles for YouthRunner Magazine
-A few product reviews for YouthRunner
-A few event recaps for oregonprepsports.net