Love of the Sport

Copenhagen_Marathon_443935aI received a good tip this weekend and wanted to share a few I received over the years from other runners I interviewed or ran with at some point.

When you’re running, breathe out when your left foot strikes the ground and this helps with cramping.

Eat a bunch of nachos before you go on a run every once in a while. It will feel like hell, but will prepare the body for a race. When you hit a while, you’ll make it through.

Don’t be afraid of walking. It’s okay to run five minutes and walk five minutes. Many are afraid of walking but it helps you have the energy to finish.

Try not to take a gel before going up hill. Wait until it’s flat.

Treat a training run as a training run. It’s not necessary, in fact it’s detrimental, to go all out all the time. A lot of age groupers try to do this to show off. Don’t.

The most important night of sleep is two days before the race. Most people don’t sleep well the night before a race anyway.water bottles

Try compression socks. They can help with lactic acid build up.

Don’t take a hot shower within 24 hours of a marathon. It can make lactic acid worse.

You don’t need water for the first 60 minutes of running. You should be able to last an hour without needing any hydration.

The longest you need to hold a stretch is 30 seconds. After that, you’ve already maximized a stretches potential and you’ll be wasting time.

What about you? I am sure you have tips to offer!



What You Shouldn’t Do While Running

runWe’ve all seen  runners at every race (and I’m completely guilty of this as well), carrying water bottles, iPods, cell phones and other gadgets. When you head out for a long run, it’s necessary to carry some kind of nutrition with you and many of us enjoy listening to tunes while we workout.

However, a recent article in the Washington Post suggests that may not be a good idea. In fact, holding objects while running can actually harm your form. Why? Good running starts in the hands. According to Ben Opipari, a former track coach, it’s relatively easy to see the difference between holding an object while running and not:

“To see how this happens, pretend to grip a bottle and move your arms as you would while running. Even without the bottle, your forearm muscles contract. Or try running with your fists clenched. That tension in your hands creeps to your forearms, then your upper arms. This makes shoulder rotation more difficult, which inhibits your leg drive. To become more relaxed, hold a saltine cracker between your thumb and forefinger, and try not to break it while running. It’s easy to see how even an empty water bottle or an iPod could have a detrimental effect on your gait.”

Jonathan Cane, founder of City Coach Multisport in New York City, can easily spot a runner holding on to something: One arm will move less and thus creates an asymmetric movement. In short, you don’t have proper form if you can’t move both your arms. They are more important than you think in proper running technique.

Luckily, for those out on a run lasting one hour or less, you don’t need water. Your body’s natural hydration should work properly and you don’t need to drink until post-exercise. However, if you’re training for a half marathon or longer, you need to run more than an hour at least once per week. If this is the case, you’re better off wearing a small hydration belt that doesn’t weigh much to leave your arms free or better yet, loop the course and come back to a water bottle you’ve left at a particular spot.

Happy running!