3rd Annual Taking Strides for Our Cause 5K for the Saugus YMCA.
The race is Saturday, November 8th at 9AM at the DCR’s Breakheart Reservation in Saugus. Anyone who has run through Breakheart knows about the killer hills. I think there are 5 of them, but there seems to be a new one each time I run through the park.
This will be my 5th in a series of 50 5Ks that I plan to run before I turn 51.
I’m not going for a PR or to place in my age group. Breakheart has a series of killer hills that I’ve run many times.
My experience on those hills will be helpful in avoiding an injury.I know where I can run hard in the park and where I need to use caution.
Are you running any races this weekend? Fall is a great season for running and racing with many races of all distances every weekend.
If you are looking to run your first 5K, this is a great time of year to give it a go.
I finally set up a YouTube account for Omni Running today.
My first video is a review of all of the stuff I’m taking to Baystate tomorrow. Used my cell phone, so the quality isn’t great, but take a look if you want to see all of the stuff I’m hauling to Baystate.
I mention a few brands, but none of them have paid for product placement. This is all stuff that I use, so I can personally recommend these items to you. We are all different, so items that work for me may not work for you. As always, test out new products during your long runs.
You’ll note in my video that I’m breaking this “Runner 101” rule.
Most runners can run a 5K or 10K training run without any problems. Most of us don’t even need Gatorade or gel to get through these runs. Once you get beyond your routine running distances and into the “long runs”, lots of things can go wrong.
During a short run you may experience chafing from a new shirt, or blisters from new shoes. A long run is when the real world problems will show up. If your shoes are off just a little but you may not notice this during a 5K run. But when you run 10 plus miles in your new shoes those blisters can turn into a disaster.
A long run is the time to experiment. Sometimes I will try out new shoes or food and hydration items. If things go terribly wrong, I can walk home, call for a ride or catch a ride with one of the support team members. It is better to have your experiment fail during a long run and not during your race.
If you are following a training plan, try to run the pace that is called for. Long runs are typically run at a slower pace than shorter runs. You want to push yourself during a long run, but you also need to listen to your body.
After the run
Recovery from a long run is different than recovery from your normal run. After your routine training run you need to re-hydrate, maybe eat and take a shower. A long run pushes your body beyond the routine. You want to push yourself during these runs, but you also want to pay more attention to your post run routine.
I usually follow RICE – Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation. When you get home take a nice hot shower. This will help relax your muscles. If you can, lay on a sofa with some ice packs on areas that are particularly sore. You have to be smart with ice packs as they can cause frost bite.
If you can prop your legs up with a few pillows this will give you the Elevation part. This often helps me get the ice packs pressed into the areas that I need it. I don’t do a lot with compression, but many people swear by compression socks or pants.
It’s important to eat after a long run also. There is debate as to whether this needs to be in the first 30 minutes after a run or it doesn’t really matter. There have been times when I have not been hungry, even after a marathon. Really long distances can mess up your system and your mind.
You should drink as much water as you want right after your run. Sports drinks will help replenish your electrolytes and carbs. I think it’s okay to have a bagel, sandwich or pretty much what ever you feel like.
I try to avoid overly fatty or greasy foods. These are usually too heavy for my stomach after a run. I also avoid high sugar items like donuts and pastry. You may find your self craving these items. That is your body telling you to get some carbs into the system. If you make smart choices post run, you can replenish your body’s energy stores without un-doing all of your hard work.
There is some debate about stretching before a race. There is less controversy over stretching after a race or run. Your muscles are often tight and need some stretching after a long run or a race.
You should do what ever your normal stretching routine is after a long run. I would advise adding new stretches after your shorter runs. Your muscles are less fatigued and there is less chance of pulling something.
Walking around is better than sitting down after a long run. Sitting reduces the flow of blood to your muscles just when they need it most. Blood flow brings nutrients that your muscles need to repair themselves. Blood flow also carries away damaged cells and metabolic left overs from your run such as lactic acid.
Stairs can be painful after your long run, but they will really help stretch your muscles and tendons. Movement may be painful after a long run, but movement increases blood flow.
I hope you find this information helpful as you train for your fall races.
The time at a race waiting for the start, can seem to drag on forever. Then, all of a sudden, it is time to line up and you still have things to do. Things that are crucial to your pre-race routine.
All veteran runners have a pre-race routine. It develops over time as you find out what works best for you and enhances your performance. If you are new to running, you will develop a routine soon enough.
Many last-minute items require a bit of privacy. Things such as applying body lube, glide or what have you. Maybe you need to strategically apply band aids. Maybe you need to change shirts or into your sports bra.
To do these last-minute items, many of us head to the only source of privacy available at a race, the Porta-Potty.
A few years ago I ran the YuKanRun Half Marathon in Gloucester. I’m usually pretty good managing my fluid in-take and bathroom breaks. This time I got into the Loo Line too late. When I was about 10 people away from relief, the announcer started calling us to line up. Then they played the National Anthem. When they told runners to take their mark and I was 5 people from the door.
I had to jump out of line, run over to the start and find my spot before the gun went off. And I just made it. Off I was with a full bladder, no last-minute stretching or fuelling.
As I settled into the race, I realized that most of my urge to purge was just pre-race nerves and that I would be okay if I managed my fluid in-take for the rest of the race. I had a pretty good race but didn’t perform the way I wanted to.
My current pre-race routine was beginning to take shape in those days. One part was to drink as much as I wanted until one hour before the race and then stop. The other major part of my routine was to get into the porta-potties at least twice, and at least once in the hour just before the race. The closer to the start the better.
On this day I managed to drink all of my fluids, but missed my last break. I managed to get through the race without any issues, but it could have been a disaster alla Utta Pippig.
So what is the point of this rambler? Well, I was five people away from getting my last break before running 13.1 miles. Many times I have thought back to that day and thought that if the hundreds of people in front of me had managed their time in the magic box just a little more efficiently, I and probably several people behind me would have had sweet salvation.
How to manage your time in the Loo
Make sure you have your lube, glide or sun screen handy
Make sure you have the clothes you want to change into handy, and not in the bottom of your bag
Have your shorts or sweat pants un-tied and ready to go
Have your jacket un-zipped if you need to take it off
If you need to remove your shoes, have them untied. You know they will get tied in a knot when you try to take them off
It’s always good to have your TP started before you start your business. Trying to fish out the start of the TP roll can be a challenge
Things you really don’t need to do in the Loo
Change your clothes, for the most part. Runners are not bashful.
Mix your beverages
Inventory your pockets or running belt
Call mom on your cell phone
Sit back and relax
Have a smoke
Anything not vital to achieving the best run of your life
Now get the hell out of the Porta-John, there are 500 people in line waiting!
This weekend the fall Sunday Long Run series began
We call it the fall series because these runs are training for the fall marathons. Specifically for The Bay State Marathon in Lowell, but it works nicely for the other fall marathons as well such as Hartford and Philadelphia.
It seems like just last week I was running over the Roosevelt bridge from New Brunswick into Lubec to finish the Bay of Fundy International Marathon. During the almost six weeks between Boston and Fundy, I took less than two weeks off for recovery. I’ve done 14 races so far this year, and it seems like I’m always in training.
I do enjoy racing and look at 5k and 10k races as part of my training. I always push my self harder when I’m running a race, so these are great speed workouts for me. They allow me to test my self and gauge my level of fitness. While I do enjoy racing, I know that I need to train for them, unless I’m showing up just to drink beer. I rarely show up to a race just for the party. Even when I’m injured or it’s a themed holiday race, the fire in the belly is always there. I love it.
I definitely appreciate the importance of the Sunday Long Run and proper training. Proper training cannot be rushed, there are no short cuts to the starting line. The rule of thumb is to increase your weekly mileage by no more than 10% and build in a few step back weeks to allow your body to recover late in the training program when the mileage can be grueling.
Tip for new runners: Look at the miles you run on an average week. These are your base miles. This is where you start and add 10% from. If you only run one day a week for a few miles you may be able to go well beyond this rule of thumb.
Besides all of the training, there are so many other things to think about. Each of us discovers over time what works best for us. Everyone is different. The gel or shoe that works for your friend may not work for you. I found this info graphic on about.com. I like infographics because they present a lot of data in an easy to consume format.
Give some of these tips a try during your long runs and see how your body reacts.
My hydration rule is to drink all I want up until 1 hour before the race, then I stop drinking everything. During this hour I try to get into the porta potty twice to make sure I’m all clear for take off. They say to slow down drinking in the half-hour before a marathon. I don’t think that tip will work well for you.
You can see what works for you, but I avoid a lot of fiber and high fat foods the 24 hours before a race.