Thursday, November 17, 2011

Finish Line Friday's-10 Great Tips-Week 6

Guest blogger-Casie Dussia
Founder of Run with Endurance
 My first half marathon is Sunday and I'm taking the week off from blogging.  If you missed last week's hair tips click here.  Guest blogger Casie Dussia is sharing her top ten tips to help you stay focused, healthy and injury free!

1. It's all about the shoes!
What is the most common conversation among runners? Shoes! They make all the difference! I highly recommend that you go to your local running specialty store and take advantage of their knowledge. Ask them how often you should replace your shoes. They will answer that question in miles, so keep track of how many miles you put on your shoes. If you're keeping a running log, this is simple - put a star on the date you start using your shoes! And only use your running shoes for running!

2. Drink some water, then drink some water, run, then drink some more water!
General rule: take your weight, divide it in half and drink that in ounces per day. Add to that "base" amount approx. 4-6 ounces per every half hour that you run. For example, if your base amount is 70 ounces and you're running for 1 hour today, you want to consume approx. 80 ounces of water. During the hot summer months, you may need to consume more.

3. 3 essential supplements (in my opinion)
Daily multivitamin, quality joint maintenance (I recommend Anabolic Laboratories), and vitamin C supplement (I recommend Emergen C taken once daily, unless you feel a cold coming on, then take twice daily). Studies support that when runners take vitamin C, they have stronger immune systems.

4. When increasing mileage, add about 10% per week
If you're currently averaging 15 miles per week, add 1 1/2 miles next week, about 1 3/4 - 2 miles the week after, and so on. About every 4 weeks, take a "recovery" week - decrease mileage, going as low as your base weekly mileage, which in this example would be 15 miles. Then, resume where you left off, provided you're healthy and injury free.

5. Stretch, stretch, then stretch some more!
I like to use the rubber band example: Have you ever taken a new rubber band and stretched it several times? It feels a lot more flexible and softer. You're muscles and tendons are no different. Nice, low impact stretches with no "bouncing" are most effective. I recommend stretching before and after your run. The only time you don't want to stretch is when you're outside in very cold temps and your body isn't "warmed up". Stretch a bit inside before going out, then use your first mile as warm up, taking it easy.

6. Cross train!
Not only to work different muscles that support key running muscles, but also to mix it up. Bike, swim, elliptical, hill climb, anything that elevates your heart rate and keeps your body guessing.

7. Focus on 3 key running workouts: speed work, tempo run, long run.
Let me know if you need info on any of these and want to know the most effective way to incorporate these into your personal fitness level/goals. An ideal weekly workout schedule might look something like this: Sunday - off or cross train, Monday - speed work, Tuesday - strength train, easy run, Wednesday - tempo run, Thursday - off or cross train, Friday - core workout, easy run, Saturday - long run. NOTE: distances depend on what you're training for and your current fitness level. 

8. Strong core = strong runner!
Your core is the center of your strength! A weak core leads to lower back pain, tight hips, and a sloppy stride, forcing the rest of your body to work harder than it needs to!  Search recommended core workouts for runners online.

9. Learn your body!
Research your aches and pains and log what hurts and when. Rule of thumb: if it's back, knee, or ankle/foot related, you're probably over training. Try icing the area to decrease inflammation, decrease your mileage, and replace with cross training. If you have tight muscles/muscle spasms, you may be dehydrated. If you have foot/shin pain, you may need new/different style shoes. Trying these possible solutions will help narrow down the problem. These pains can mean something serious, so if they persist, stop running and seek professional advice.

10. Most importantly, HAVE FUN! Embrace each run as an opportunity to grow stronger for God's purpose. Don't get discouraged! Life happens - we might have to skip a run or 2 every now and then. We might have an "off" day and have to cut a run short. At least you're out there doing it! Remember that building endurance is an on-going process - it's a journey. You're a runner - God's runner! Enjoy it!
~Casie Dussia is the founder of RWE, a small business owner and a personal trainer that ministers to women’s soul, mind and body. She has a passion for health and fitness, and has made a commitment to help other women become healthier.  Click here to visit her website~

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