Running Program Week 7

During the last 6 columns we’ve discussed general running guidelines to help you design a program to prepare you for the local, popular runs, the Portland Marathon and the Girlfriends Run for a Cure that will have thousands of runners and walkers participating from around the Northwest this fall.

In this Running Program Series I’ve focused on strengthening critical areas for runners such as the feet and hips.  Today, I wanted to focus on one last critical area to condition as a runner – your core.  If your core is strong, you will be better able to stabilize and align your body, absorb and brace for the impact of running and run more efficiently and with better mechanics.  It’s important to mention that your core is not only your abs – but also includes your back and hips. Try to perform the following exercises 2-3 days per week.

 

Tubing Trunk Rotation

Torso rotations 300x255 Running Program Week 7Anchor an exercise tube around a pole at about mid-body height.  Stand sideways to the pole holding the tube in both hands standing far enough so there is tension on the tube. Keep your abdominals contracted, maintain good posture and slowly pull the tube across your body. Perform 8-20 reps each side.

 

 

 

Read the rest of Running Program Week 7

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Running Program Week 6

During the last 5 columns we’ve discussed general running guidelines to help you design a running program to prepare you for the local, popular runs, the Portland Marathon and the Girlfriends Run for a Cure that will have thousands of runners and walkers participating from around the Northwest this fall.

Last week, we discussed the importance of strengthening your feet as a runner and today, I wanted to stress the importance of strengthening your hips.  Strong Hips = Strong Knees.  Weak Hips = Weak Knees. If your hips aren’t stable and effectively able to stabilize your pelvis while running, your knees will suffer.

Here’s some tips to conditioning your hips in a variety of ways:

Perform these exercises 2 days per week

Stepupb 150x150 Running Program Week 6Leg Step Up: Read the rest of Running Program Week 6

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Running Program – Week 5

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Today (week 5), I wanted to talk about your feet and how important they are to running.  As you run, the muscles of your feet and lower limb absorb the forces of up to three times your body weight.  So let’s say you weigh 150 pounds, that’s 450 pounds of force with each stride!  So it’s clear that the foot is important but very few people actually work on strengthening their feet and even though it’s one of the most important areas for runners, it’s the most neglected!

Here’s some tips to strengthening your feet and many you can do anywhere so shouldn’t take extra time:

Towel Crunches:

Lay a towel flat on the floor in front of you.  Place your bare feet on the towel edge closest to you and then curl your toes pulling the towel closer and closer to you.  Continue this exercise for a couple minutes. It’s an easy one to do while you’re watching TV or reading.  Some runners will do this in the shower with a wet towel making it heavier and more challenging.

Ball Curls:

Take a small soft ball like a Hacky Sac and squeeze your toes around the ball.  Continue for 1-2 minutes.

Toe Taps: Read the rest of Running Program – Week 5

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Running Program Week 4

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HAPPY LABOR DAY!!!

During the last 3 columns we’ve discussed general running guidelines to help you design a running program to prepare you for the local, popular runs, the Portland Marathon and the Girlfriends Run for a Cure that will have thousands of runners and walkers participating from around the Northwest this fall. Last week, we reviewed an action plan in the event you are experiencing nagging aches and pains associated with running.

Today, I wanted to talk about a running program that will help improve your performance as a runner.  Although most participants are just happy to get to the finish line of these events, there is a number of people that really want to work on their speed.

If you want to get fast, you have to train fast. Read the rest of Running Program Week 4

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Running Program Week 3

dEYbIkqKIL2bkegsT5PMMiczCU9xE fAFUokPDKJjvo Running Program Week 3During the last 2 columns we’ve discussed general running guidelines to help you design a running program to prepare you for the local, popular runs, the Portland Marathon and the Girlfriends Run for a Cure that will have thousands of runners and walkers participating from around the Northwest this fall.

But even if you do everything right, sometimes you still experience nagging aches and pains during your training program.  So what should you do if you find yourself in pain?

As we mentioned earlier, running is a high-impact sport and unfortunately, you may be forced to deal with the symptoms of an injury or an injury-just-waiting to happen.  In the event that this happens, you need to know exactly what to do to hopefully “nip it in the bud”.  If you find yourself experiencing any form of pain around the hip, knee, shins or feet, treat it immediately.  Injuries left untreated, can become chronic and seriously affect your ability to continue with your training program.

As a general guideline, the acronym “RICE” should serve as the basis of treatment for most minor, acute strains and injuries during your running program:

  • R stands for rest - that is either take a few days off or reduce your training intensity and volume.  Walking, hiking and/or water running are good backups when you need a break from running.  And as a general rule of thumb, some activity is better than no activity to keep circulation strong and to support the healing process so do whatever you can to keep moving without causing pain to the affected area.
  • I stands for ice - ice the affected area Read the rest of Running Program Week 3
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Running Program Week 2

20140720 0628 2 Running Program Week 2Last week, we reviewed a progressive Learn to Run program to help get you ready for the local, popular runs, the Portland Marathon and the Girlfriends Run for a Cure – Quarter & Half Marathon that will have thousands of runners and walkers participating from around the Northwest.

Today, I will discuss a few general guidelines for designing your running program:

  • Try not to run 2 days in a row if possible.  Running exposes your body to a lot of impact and it is helpful to allow your body time to recover in between running workouts, especially if you are prone to injury.
  • Allow for one full recovery day per week. It doesn’t mean you have to lay around watching TV and eating bon bons all day but it’s a good idea to have one day a week when you aren’t concerned about getting into your training zone and instead, allow your body a day’s rest from impact and intensity.
  • Invest in a good pair of running shoes and consult with an expert to help determine the right shoe for your body.  Check out the previous blog post where I discuss the key pointers on getting the right running shoe for you. Read the rest of Running Program Week 2
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Running Program Week 1

9e1cMzuEMTwNIOY9e4MLjXMYLZe5gditzRmHjkqbuUs Running Program Week 1At the beginning of October, there are 2 local runs, the Portland Marathon and the Girlfriends Run for a Cure that will have thousands of runners and walkers participating from around the Northwest. If anyone is going to finish either of these events strong and injury free, it’s important to start the training process now!  Based on that, I decided to dedicate my next series to helping someone prepare for a running event.  Keep in mind, this running program will also work for those of you who will be walking which is a way to get to the finish line with considerably less impact and strain on your body and fabulous health benefits!

With that said, most runners can attest to the benefits of running.  Running has been proven to be one of the most effective methods for improving your cardiovascular system, reducing body fat and maintaining a toned, lean physique….like they describe in this new studyNot only that, it’ll also help improve your self-esteem and confidence and decrease your risk of experiencing health disorders or disease.  Running is an incredible form of exercise but it can also cause its share of problems.

The Running “Terrible Toos”….. Read the rest of Running Program Week 1

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Try a Triathon – Swim, Bike, Run your way to the Triathlon Finish Line – Transitions

DSC00767 Try a Triathon – Swim, Bike, Run your way to the Triathlon Finish Line – TransitionsToday, we finish our Triathlon Training Series.  I hope you now feel you have the tools to conquer your first Swim/Bike/Run event and the programming guidelines and training tips to reach a personal best for you seasoned triathletes. This column will focus on transitions and race day preparations.

Triathlon Transitions:

An often forgotten and neglected part of the triathlon training process, but if transitions are done correctly, it can shave minutes off your final time.  I had a girlfriend who took 8 minutes during one of her transitions and I asked her “What the heck were you doing for 8 minutes?” and she proceeded to tell me about all of her clothing changes, trying to find items, and even deodorant application! Had she been more organized, she would have experienced a much more seamless transition! Having a good transition time requires practice BEFORE race day!

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Try a Triathlon – Swim, Bike, Run your way to the Triathlon Finish Line – Training Tips

IMG 1524 Try a Triathlon – Swim, Bike, Run your way to the Triathlon Finish Line – Training TipsOver the last 4 weeks, we’ve reviewed all the ins and outs of the sport of Triathlon and provided specific training tips. So hopefully you’re now inspired to try your first Triathlon this summer and will join us for the Girlfriend & Dudes Triathlon or Duathlon on July 20th to support the Children’s Center. Today we are going to tackle some specifics of program design to help you plan your training week. 

Frequency of Training:

It’s difficult for many to imagine training for 3 different sports but it can easily be done in 5-6 training days per week.  However, in order to achieve the frequency for each sport as listed in prior columns, it will often require two workouts per day – one in the morning and one in the evening or two disciplines back to back. Try to incorporate one Rest or Active Recovery Day per week and try to balance your program so you alternate different types of workouts. Here is a sample workout template that you will adjust based on your schedule:

Mon Tues Wed Thurs Fri Sat Sun
AM SwimPM Bike AM RunPM Resistance & Core Conditioning AM SwimPM Bike AM RunPM Resistance & Core Conditioning Rest Day Brick Workout (Bike/Run)or Mini-Tri Practice Swim and/or Yoga

Duration & Intensity of Training: 

Remember that duration and intensity are dependent on each other – for example, if you’re going to complete a really high intensity workout, it should be shorter…if you’re going to complete an easier intensity workout, it should be longer.  The key is to mix it up…some workouts will be harder and shorter and others easier and longer.  It’s also important to note that some coaches suggest that for longer Triathlon events (1/2 Ironman, Ironman), you only need to train to a maximum of 70% of the race time…for example, if you were going to complete a 4 hour marathon, you’d only need to run to a maximum of 3 hours in your training program. That’s a very wise and prudent approach if you find yourself prone to injuries or need to be efficient in your training because of a busy schedule.

Total Volume of Training:

How much time you spend training for your Triathlon will depend on your personal schedule, the distance of your triathlon and whether you are a recreational athlete, age group contender or elite level.  Clearly if your goals are more ambitious, you will need to spend more time training. Generally, you can follow these guidelines.

  • Low volume/Beginner:  5-10 hours/week
  • Moderate/Intermediate volume:  10-18 hours/week
  • High/Elite volume:  18-27 hours/week

Then, a good approach to designing your training program is to split your volume according to triathlon times; Swim 15-20%, Bike 50-55%, Run 20-35%.  So let’s say you are in the beginner level, based on this formula, you would spend 45 minutes – 2 hours swimming, 2.5-5.5 hours biking and 1-3.5 hours running per week.  It’s okay to adjust these percentages to spend a little more time on your weaker areas. When advancing your program, incorporate a gradual progression increasing volume of training no more than 10-20% every 1-2 weeks.  And if you’re new to exercise, incorporate 8-12 weeks of general base conditioning before beginning an aggressive sports specific program.

Strength Training & Stretching:

To maximize your performance and minimize your risk for injury, be sure to incorporate Resistance Training and Core Conditioning two times per week and spend some time after each workout stretching, foam rolling and releasing muscles.  During heavy training, it’s also wise to schedule in regular massage sessions to address those tight areas that may surface. We are hosting the Girlfriends & Dudes Triathlon, Duathlon and Kids Triathlon on Sunday July 20th as a fundraiser for the Children’s Center.  This event is perfect for new Triathletes because the ½ mile swim is in a calm section of the Columbia river at Frenchmans Bar so you get to swim with the current. Many of those fearful of the water love that if they just floated in the water, they’d get to the finish line in about 30 minutes and at any point, they can wade to the shore and touch down if they need a break.  The bike is a 12.5 mile flat ride and the 3.1 run/walk is on a flat, paved trail.  You can also donate an additional $25 to Children’s Center and get Charity VIP waive which means you get the best transition spot and get to start before everyone else. We also offer a Relay option, a Duathlon division and a Kids Race plus there will be a live band making it a really fun party! You can register HERE. You can find other Triathlon distances by visiting either of the following websites.

Stay tuned next week as we finalize the series by discussing tapering in the week(s) leading up to your event and planning your race day and transitions between sports.

Yours in Health & Fitness,
Sherri McMillan

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Try a Triathon – Swim, Bike, Run your way to the Triathlon Finish Line – Running Tips

rungirl Try a Triathon – Swim, Bike, Run your way to the Triathlon Finish Line – Running Tips

Over the last 3 weeks, we’ve reviewed all the ins and outs of the sport of Triathlon and provided specific swimming and biking tips. So hopefully you’re now inspired to try your first Triathlon this summer and will join us for the Girlfriend & Dudes Triathlon or Duathlon on July 20th to support the Children’s Center.

Today we are going to tackle the third leg of a triathlon, the run. Although most people are most fearful of the swimming leg, I hear many people say “I could never do a Triathlon because I don’t or can’t run”.  I hope to change those mindsets today!

Let’s first chat about your equipment needs for the running portion.

Posted in Running, triathlon by Sherri | No Comments