Archive for January, 2007

Some Advice On How To Stay Motivated To Run

Staying Motivated to Run

Do you have a hard time staying motivated to run? There are a lot of things that can affect your desire to go running. In f act, every runner, even those who are passionate about it, often experiences times when they would rather be doing anything but running. In order to stay motivated to run, it is important to understand that a lot of these “reasons” are actually just excuses. And excuses often indicate a simple lack of motivation.

The good news is, these issues are very easy to overcome, especially if you understand all that running can do for you. It improves your health and your mood and is very good exercise. When you feel as if your motivation for running is not as good as it can be, use some, or all, of these tips to get you going.

Understand Why You Like Running

After you get back from a particularly successful run, get a piece of paper and write down exactly why you love running. Keep this list in a safe place. Now, when you can think of a million things you would rather be doing, read the list. Use it as a way to inspire you and get you out the door.

Prepare the Night Before

If you go running in the morning, lay out your clothes and shoes the night before. Sometimes, it is difficult getting moving in the morning. When you are groggy, the last thing you want to do is shuffle around for your clothes. If you make the process of getting dressed simple, you will be more likely to stick with it.

Train for an Event

Sometimes, having an event to train for is a great motivator. It doesn’t need to be a marathon. You can pick something a little less involved, like a 5K or a 10K. Select an event, choose a training program, and stick with it. If you want even more to shoot for, choose a running event that is a benefit for charity. Not only will you have a goal to help you stay focused, but you can also help raise money for your favorite charity.

Find a Running Partner

Some people like to run by themselves because they enjoy the solitude. However, others have a difficult time getting motivated unless they have someone to run with. If you need to run with people, you can either find a running partner or join a running group. It can be fun to train with others, especially if you all share the same goals.

Run With Music

Music can also be very motivating. If you have a difficult time concentrating during your runs or if you have chosen not to run because you think it is too boring, try bringing some music along with you. Choose something that is upbeat and lively so that it will help you move more quickly.
About the Author

Gray Rollins is a featured writer for TheRunnersGuide.com. For more tips on staying motivated to run and for a marathon training guide, please visit the site.

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Posted by The Running Guy - January 30, 2007 at 10:20 pm

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Simple Tips On Training For A Maraton

Running a marathon may seem daunting, but with the right training, 26.2 miles is perfectly doable. Even people who have never run a distance longer than 3 or 4 miles can successfully train for and run their first marathon. Even seasoned marathon runners benefit from structured training programs, especially if they have a goal to finish it in a certain amount of time.

Do you want to run a marathon? Well, all it takes to do so is to select a good training program and to make the commitment to stick with the plan. The training is designed to help condition your body to withstand

Set Goals

Before starting a marathon training program it is important to set goals. For example, if you have never run a marathon before, the goal may be to simply finish it. If you have already completed at least one marathon, you may have a specific time goal in mind. Clearly defining your goal will help you select the right training program.

Make the Commitment

In order for you to reach your marathon goals, you need to make the commitment that you will stick with the training program. It isn’t enough setting the goals. If you do not have the desire to follow through, or if you only do half of the training, the possibility is very strong that you will not have a good marathon experience. And, this lack of commitment can also set you up for injury. It is important to reserve a set amount of time prior to the marathon where you will remain focused on the training.

Choosing the Right Program

Marathon training programs vary in length and in difficulty. Some of them are as little as eighteen weeks long. Others are twenty four weeks long or more. The marathon training plan that you choose will have a lot to do with the goals that you set. If it is your first marathon and your goal is simply to finish, an eighteen week program is more than adequate.

To choose the best training plan, you may want to take a look at several different programs. For example, a popular training plan has you running four days a week and cross training with an activity such as walking once a week is pretty typical. This plan includes a long run that starts a round 6 miles long and increases in length. Some of the weeks are designed to give you a chance to recover. But each training plan is different so you will need to find the one that is best for you.

Getting the Right Gear

Getting the right gear is almost as important as choosing the right plan. It is vital to have a pair of running shoes that fits well and has adequate support for your particular stride. Visit a specialty store and work with the staff so they can help you get fitted with sneakers, socks, and other accessories. If you follow this advice and use a structured training plan, your marathon will be successful.

Gray Rollins is a featured writer for TheRunnersGuide.com – a site packed with resources and training programs for runners. For more running tips and for a full marathon training program, visit TheRunnersGuide.com today.

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Posted by The Running Guy - January 24, 2007 at 9:49 pm

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Tidbits During Marathon Training

You have probably started training your way for a Marathon event or have already collected ideas and suggestions for the actual Marathon run. Here, you’ll find things you need to maintain and keep in practice while marathon training.

How fast should I be running during my marathon training?

At this stage, you’re body and muscles have already adapted the pace you’ve been undergoing either from your daily regular exercise or an earlier training for marathon. Either way, the target here is to let your body adjust to the actual marathon run event. It is recommended to run on top speed this early. Although you still decide how fast you should be running, be sure to increase the pace within this period of marathon training.

What about cramps during marathon training?

Yes. Don’t be surprise if you find your limbs, muscles, thighs, arms, joints and feet cramped up after executing a long distance run. Although it is just part of the training, what usually happens to some is that they tend to look-over this minor detail. This should not be the case though. What is important here is for you to be sure that the pain doesn’t stay on your body long enough for you to miss your weekly long distance runs. Recovery has to be quick. If that didn’t happen, be sure to shorten your usual long distance run. Keep in mind also, not to set a goal you know you can’t possibly achieve for it will just defeat the purpose of running the marathon.

For lasting pains or trouble in breathing, see your doctor immediately.

But do I need to complete long distance runs during marathon training?

The answer would be yes. Long distance runs are important during training since it is the phase for your body to adapt for the main event. Remember, marathon is a 26.3 miles run so it wouldn’t help at all by shortening your run distance. If you have run at least 50 miles a week, this is already an indication that you can finish a marathon race. Don’t forget to improve on your stride during these long runs, at a pace which you can adapt on very well.

What about the food I eat during marathon training?

Pretend you have achieved your weekly long distance runs; this means you’re body has the right to be treated well. This time, you need to watch your weight and your strength. For this particular goal, you need to create variations on your food. Anything that’s excessive in oil, cream and spices should be very well avoided. There are actually no set food restrictions here, but what’s recommended is food low in fat but rich in fiber. This ensures weight control and sustained energy.

How about my exercise during marathon training?

At this point, don’t drop your yoga and meditation (if you still haven’t started practicing Yoga, start with this exercise for mental composure). Since you’ve readjusted the variation of the food you eat, you also need to do exercises that can maintain your weight. Always remember, this weight exercise is not for your reduce bodyweight to become slim, rather its a way for you to develop strength on the different parts of your body. Still, if you have excess fats on your thighs, abdomen and hips, this is also a turning point for you and you should start on those key points.

90 Day Marathon Training – Learn how to train for a marathon within 90 days. An All-In-One Approach To Safe, Smart http://www.90daymarathontraining.com With Everything You Need To Know From Good Nutrition To A Winning Mindset!

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Posted by The Running Guy - January 16, 2007 at 7:43 pm

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Boost Your Self-Esteem by Running – Or Just Don’t Boost Your Self Esteem At All

Running is a great self-esteem booster, especially if you are a beginning runner. Running will allow you to test and expand your limits like never before. With each milestone you reach you will find yourself more confident and able to take on the world.

Starting out slow reaps big rewards

Even if you can’t run to the mailbox without huffing and puffing, you can run to boost self-esteem. The first time you run to the mailbox, down the street, around the block or whatever distance it is, you will feel a great sense of pride and accomplishment. The first time you go out, you will probably do a lot more walking than you will running. However, if you keep at it, you will soon find yourself running more and more until one day your run the entire route without stopping.

The important thing to remember is to start out slow and not overdo it in the beginning. Your body does need to adjust to your new activity levels, especially if you previously lead a sedentary lifestyle. Overdoing it and causing overuse injuries can be a big discouragement, especially after seeing the progress that you made. Most people won’t want to increase their weekly mileage by more than 10%. However, do what works best for you, some people can handle a larger mileage increase and others need to increase the mileage much more slowly.

Running is 90% mental

Despite how your muscles may feel, 90% of running is purely the mental capacity to be able to do it. Building up this side of your brain by telling yourself you can do it, you can finish the race, you can run for 30 minutes non-stop, or whatever your goal is will invariably be a surefire way to build up your self-esteem. What happens is that while running, in order to finish, you will have to come up with some good things to say to yourself, often referred to as positive self talk. This self talk not only gets you through your current run, but will start seeping into the rest of your life and you’ll find yourself using it at work, while doing dishes and burdensome tasks will no longer feel so bad.

Goal setting

With running, you can set goals large and small. For the beginning runner, a good goal might be to complete a local 5k. You with undoubtedly enjoy the sense of accomplishment – not to mention the bragging rights at the office.

Remember to set realistic goals for running and you’ll build up your self-esteem – and miles – much faster.

Alan King is a writer that concentrates on helping people better themselves, for cutting edge information you NEED to know about your self esteem before you try to change your life check out his website at http://someofthebest.info

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Posted by The Running Guy - January 11, 2007 at 8:22 pm

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The Cool Down – Recover Faster & Avoid Injury!

Many people dismiss the cool down as a waste of time, or simply unimportant. In reality the cool down is just as important as the warm up, and if you want to stay injury free, it’s vital.

Although the warm up and cool down are just as important as each other, they are important for different reasons. While the main purpose of warming up is to prepare the body and mind for strenuous activity, cooling down plays a different role.

Why Cool Down?

The main aim of the cool down is to promote recovery and return the body to a pre exercise, or pre-workout level. During a strenuous workout your body goes through a number of stressful processes, muscle fibers, tendons and ligaments get damaged, and waste products build up within your body. The cool down, performed properly, will assist your body in its repair process.

One area the cool down will help with is “post exercise muscle soreness.” This is the soreness that is usually experienced the day after a tough workout. Most people experience this after having a lay-off from exercise, or at the beginning of their sports season. I remember running a half marathon with limited preparation, and finding it difficult to walk down steps the next day because my quadriceps were so sore.

Post exercise muscle soreness is caused by a number of things. Firstly, during exercise, tiny tears called micro tears develop within the muscle fibers. These micro tears cause swelling of the muscle tissues which in turn puts pressure on the nerve endings and results in pain.

Secondly, when exercising, your heart is pumping large amount of blood to the working muscles. This blood is carrying both oxygen and nutrients that the working muscles need. When the blood reaches the muscles the oxygen and nutrients are used up. Then the force of the contracting (exercising) muscles pushes the blood back to the heart where it is re-oxygenated.

However, when the exercise stops, so does the force that pushes the blood back to the heart. This blood, as well as waste products like lactic acid, stays in the muscles, which in turn causes swelling and pain. This process is often referred to as “blood pooling.”

So, the cool down helps all this by keeping the blood circulating, which in turn helps to prevent blood pooling and also removes waste products from the muscles. This circulating blood also brings with it the oxygen and nutrients needed by the muscles, tendons and ligaments for repair.

The Key Parts of an Effective Cool Down

Now that we know what the cool down does and why it is so important, let’s have a look at the structure of an effective cool down. There are three key elements, or parts, which should be included to ensure an effective and complete cool down. They are;

1. Gentle exercise;
2. Stretching; and
3. Re-fuel.

All three parts are equally important and any one part should not be neglected or thought of as not necessary. All three elements work together to repair and replenish the body after exercise.

To follow are two examples of effective cool downs. The first is an example of a cool down used by a professional athlete. The second is typical of someone who simply exercises for general health, fitness and fun.

Example Cool Down Routines

Example 1: – For the Professional

• 10 to 15 minutes of easy exercise. Be sure that the easy exercise resembles the type of exercise that was done during your workout. For example, if your workout involved a lot of running, cool down with easy jogging or walking.

• Include some deep breathing as part of your easy exercise to help oxygenate your system.

• Follow with about 20 to 30 minutes of stretching. Static stretching and PNF stretching is best at this time.

• Re-fuel. Both fluid and food are important. Drink plenty of water, plus a good quality sports drink. The best type of food to eat straight after a workout is that which is easily digestible. Fruit is a good example.

Example 2: – For the Amateur

• 3 to 5 minutes of easy exercise. Be sure that the easy exercise resembles the type of exercise that was done during your workout. For example, if your workout involved a lot of running, cool down with easy jogging or walking.

• Include some deep breathing as part of your easy exercise to help oxygenate your system.

• Follow with about 5 to 10 minutes of stretching. Static stretching and PNF stretching is best at this time.

• Re-fuel. Both fluid and food are important. Drink plenty of water, plus a good quality sports drink. The best type of food to eat straight after a workout is that which is easily digestible. Fruit is a good example.

Getting serious about your cool down and following the above examples will make sure you recover quicker from your workouts and stay injury free.

Article by Brad Walker. Brad is a prominent Australian sports trainer with more than 15 years experience in the health and fitness industry. Brad is a Health Science graduate of the University of New England and has postgraduate accreditations in athletics, swimming and triathlon coaching. He also works with elite level and world champion athletes and lectures for Sports Medicine Australia on injury prevention.

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Posted by The Running Guy - January 6, 2007 at 9:41 am

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