Latest Event Updates

Training for your first 5k

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Today, I wanted to talk about training for your first 5k. In a lot of ways, my upcoming Heart Walk will feel like my first 5k, even though it isn’t. I just haven’t run one in just over four years.

However, this post was inspired by a close friend of mine. The Heart Walk will be her first 3.1-mile race and she’s been following a training plan devised by a running app. This plan told her to do a five-mile run the very first week! That’s just not safe for a beginning runner. With that in mind, I’ve decided to list some general rules to creating a 5k training plan that works for you.

  1. Choose two rest days that fit into your weekly schedule. Avoid having them back-to-back try one mid-week and one at the end (Monday & Friday; Tuesday and Saturday, etc.).
  2. Start slow. A beginner should not run more than 10-12 miles in the first week. Also, you might want to do less or incorporate walking depending on your activity and fitness level prior to this first week.
  3. Increase mileage gradually.
  4. Incorporate cross-training. Running should be replaced by a low impact exercise on one of your five active days. Cross train 1-3 times per week to strengthen other muscle groups/increase flexibility. You can cross train on days you run- take a yoga class or work on upper body strength.
  5. STRETCH daily. Incorporate dynamic stretching before and static after.
  6. Incorporate one long-distance run, one speed workout , and one easy run each week.
  7. Listen to your body! If you need an extra day off, take it.

Lastly, have fun. Run with friends for extra motivation or create a fun playlist. Then enjoy your first race and do your best!

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Reflective Running Gear

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Today I wanted to talk about a running gear trend that I first noticed during the winter: reflective running gear. During winter there is noticeably less daylight, which forces many of us to run while it’s dark outside. My schedule is still pretty flexible so I didn’t have to deal with that. However, as the weather warms I take up night running more often. I am not a heat runner! On days where the temperatures reach 90 and above, I either skip my run or wait until the sun goes down.

Running night can be dangerous if you aren’t wearing gear that will get you noticed by oncoming cars. I know I’m not the only person who hides from the sun during summer! So I’ve decided to share some great reflective gear with all of you: 

Sneakers:

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Women’s Nike Free 4.0 V3 Reflective Running Shoe

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Men’s Brooks Glycerin 11 Running Shoe

Tops:

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Women’s Nike Legend Reflective

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Men’s Nike Legend Reflective

Bands:

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Brooks Women’s Reflective Running Headband

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Duravision Pro Reflective Armband with 4 LED Lights 

If you are a night runner, make sure to incorporate some type of reflective gear. Something as simple as a headband can ensure drivers notice you. Safe running!

Heart Walk 2013-2014

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I’ve finally picked my next run! As you can see, I have chosen the American Heart Association’s Heart Walk. More specifically, the Wall Street Run and Heart Walk, which will take place on Wednesday, June 18 at 6:45 pm.

The race is a timed 3-mile run/walk. It should be interesting considering I haven’t done an actual 5k since 2007! It’s been so long, I can’t even recall my personal best.

I have exactly 51 days to prepare and my foot still doesn’t feel up for any running. Normal people would probably wait until they can run pain-free to sign up for a race, but I’ve always been a bit stubborn. I’ve been biking and swimming a few times per week and will continue doing so until I’m ready to hit the pavement. I also tried some strength training on Friday- let’s just say that I have neglected my arms for far too long. I perform much better on leg day, I swear!

Anyway, before I go I wanted to share my donation page in case this cause is special to any of you, or if you just want to help!

My New Next Run!

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Hello all!

My next race was supposed to be The Zombie Run on May 10, however, it has been pushed back to October 25, which happens to fall a few days before my birthday and Halloween. Seems fitting to me.
That means I need to find a new race, because races are my motivation to train. I’ll be extra lazy otherwise! Ever since I received the email notification of the date change I have been thinking about what type of race I want to sign up for next. I’ve decided that since I am already signed up for one fun run and will likely sign up for The Color Run again (SO much fun), I should look for an actual no-frills race.
I’m thinking about a 10k or something a little longer, but shorter than a half marathon. Here are my top picks:
  • A 5k or 10k walk/run that raises money for the American Cancer Society
  • A 10k in NYC for women
So, I have a decision to make. I’ll let you all know what I decide after I sign up for one.
A great resource for finding upcoming runs: runningintheusa.com
I’ve been browsing it to find potential runs.
Do any of you have upcoming races or know of any? Tell me about them in the comments below!

Dynamic Stretching

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Happy Monday Runners! 

A few weeks ago I covered when to stretch and gave you all my favorite static stretches. I didn’t comment much on dynamic stretching, but I know many runners prefer it. So I decided to do some research and share what I’ve learned with all of you!

Dynamic stretching differs from static stretching in that you are moving. Livestrong defines it as “stretching comprises controlled movements, such as leg and arm swings, that slowly bring the muscles close to their range of motion limit without exceeding it.” They are useful before activity that requires a lot of mobility. Cough, cough- like running!

Some examples also given by Livestrong are:

  • Torso twists (gently please!)
  • Arm circles (try large and small circles)
  • Knee-highs while jogging
  • Stretching lunges while walking
  • Standing leg lifts 

After reading up on dynamic stretching I realized my team used to do some of them in practice as part of our warm-up.

  • Leg swings- stand with your hands on a wall or fence for support and swing your right leg up to the right. Then swing it back down in front of your left leg. Go back and forth a few times and then switch.
  • Butt-kicks while jogging
  • Karaokes- the strangest movements, but we thought they were so fun! I can’t really explain this one in words so here’s a video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PEbVqwLX8xY

Dynamic stretches are good to incorporate into your warm-up if you have the time. If you don’t think you have time, it would take less than five minutes to do each one listed above for 20-30 seconds each! Now, power off your computer/phone so you can get outside and enjoy this lovely weather with a nice run.

How To Safely Increase Mileage

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Happy Monday! This weekend was MUCH better than last weekend in terms of weather, don’t you think? In fact, the sunshine might encourage you to run longer and increase your mileage. Have you considered how to do this safely? Increasing your mileage too suddenly can lead to painful injuries, like shin splints. And no one wants shin splints!

There are two common methods used by runners to safely increase mileage. The first is the 10% rule. The second is known as the equilibrium method. Neither method is right or wrong; it depends on your own personal preference and what works best for your body.

The 10% Rule

This rule recommends increasing your weekly total mileage by 10%. It’s up to you where you incorporate the extra distance. You can opt to make one run longer to give your routine some variety. Or, if you prefer to run the same distance each time, you can distribute it evenly per run.

Let’s say you run 20 miles per week. Your 10% increase over 8 weeks would look something like this, depending on how you choose to round the numbers. I rounded to the nearest half:

  • 20, 22, 24, 26.5, 29, 32, 35, 38.5

The Equilibrium Method

The equilibrium method involves a 20-30% increase in one week and then remaining at that mileage for a few weeks before the next increase. Starting at 20 miles per week over 8 weeks, at a 25% increase this method will look like this:

  • 20, 25, 25, 25, 31, 31, 31, 39

As you can see, both methods bring you to a very similar total mileage by week 8. Each just takes a different path. Some of you might choose to forgo both methods and base your increase solely on how you feel. However, I would not recommend that for new or injury-prone runners. Has anyone used one of these methods before? Share your thoughts/experiences below!

Rainy Days

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What a rainy weekend it’s been! The rain has been pretty relentless- at least in the Tristate area. That is why I decided to make this week’s post about running in the rain!
 
I know a lot of people avoid running in rainy weather. But unless it’s a torrential downpour, I think it’s really just another excuse to skip a day of training. I, on the other hand, love to run in the rain! And I’ll explain why, but first lets go through some of the reasons I’ve been given for why people don’t run in the rain:
 
1. You’ll get sick.
2. You could slip. 
3. You’re sneakers will get ruined.
 
Now, I’ll make my case for why you should try it:
 
1. Rain does not make you sick. I repeat, rain does NOT make you sick. Germs make you sick. 
2. Your running shoes most likely have soles made of rubber. That will give you good traction, even in the rain, so slipping is unlikely. 
3. Avoid mud and your sneakers will be perfectly fine. 
4. You won’t feel as hot while running in rain.
5. You’ll probably sweat less.
6. I always manage to run faster in the rain- especially in races. Rainy race days are my favorite! 
 
Tips:
 
  • Take your wet clothes off as soon as your run ends so that you don’t start to feel cold.
  • If you happen to get mud on your sneakers, just wipe them off with a cloth. The washing machine could ruin them.
  • Dress appropriately. Water resistant clothing will help keep you from getting soaked during your run. Note that I said resistant, not waterproof. The latter can retain too much body heat. 
  • Avoid running when there is lightning.
  • If you chafe easily, Vaseline can help prevent that from happening.