I can’t be bothered to run. I don’t want to get up out of my warm, cosy bed into the cold dark morning. One missed run won’t hurt. I’ll run later instead.
I know that if I can push through that first mile warm up, then I usually fall into the rhythm, find a good pace and start to control my breathing. Once that first mile is over, I know I’ll enjoy the run.
Why is the first mile so hard?
It’s the runner’s biggest question and worst fear: how quickly can I get out of shape? After putting in hours of training and hundreds of miles, most athletes worry it will all go to waste if they stop. That’s only partially true.
Unfortunately, plenty of hard-earned fitness can go away within two weeks. Most studies suggest that an athlete’s VO2 max, the maximum oxygen he or she can uptake and utilize, plunges in the first month of inactivity, according to Dr. Edward Coyle, the director of the Human Performance Lab at the University of Texas at Austin. VO2 max continues to decrease, albeit at a slower rate, for the first three months after ceasing activity. In highly-trained athletes, VO2 max decreases by 7 percent in the 12 to 21 days after stopping training and another 9 percent during days 21 to 84. In athletes who have trained for a few months, and increased their VO2 max with exercise, those changes are completely reversed with several months of not training.
If you’ve ever woken up with burning quads the day after a hilly race, you can probably blame all the downhill pounding. Although running uphill may feel more difficult from a cardio perspective, going downhill well is challenging—and a lot harder on your body.
Here’s why: Muscles contract in two ways—concentrically (muscle shortens: think picking something up) and eccentrically (muscle lengthens while contracting: think putting that something back down). “Eccentric contractions are much more costly from an energy and wear and tear perspective,” says Dr. Ivo Waerlop, D.C. “Running downhill requires lots of eccentric contraction, especially in the quadriceps and lower leg muscles.” Mastering the downhill with proper form will put less stress on your legs and can help you make up time in your next race.
Want to learn more? Read Rest Original Article Here…
Many people find their way to get fit and stick with that one form of exercise. As with any fitness regime it is good to combine a few avenues of fitness to maintain a balanced approach to your exercise routine. Running is good for the cardiovascular system and strengthening specific muscles but what about the rest of your muscles? They need to be toned and maintained. Core muscles are a prime example of an important set of muscles to workout. Without a strong core you are more prone to poor posture and back injuries. Yoga can help with toning and strengthening core muscles and many other muscles sets.
When training for a race there comes a point where a runner starts a tapering routine. This is when you cut down on the amount of running you do to rebuild your bodies reserves. This allows you to run the race with your body fully rejuvenated with energy. When doing your tapering routine a good question for runners is ‘Can a Yoga Session Replace a Run?'
Soon it will be time to start ramping your training schedule to prepare for the numerous races and marathons in the coming year. Hydration and fuel are important components to racing. Knowing what to eat and drink and when are important and depend on the person and the length of the race you are participating in.
Check out the article below ‘Running 101: Race Fueling Made Simple' from running.competitor.com to see the suggestions they have to offer.
Staying hydrated and fueled during races is not as complicated as you might think.
When in training, runners are always keeping a close eye on what, when and how much they’re putting into their bodies throughout the day. But when race day rolls around the questions inevitably start to surface. Did I eat enough for breakfast? Am I well hydrated? When should I pop my first gel pack? How often should I drink? Do I try a sports drink at Mile 12 or just stick to water?
The answers, of course, are going to vary by the athlete, but regardless of your ability level the last thing you want to be doing is doubting yourself on race day. You must toe the starting line feeling confident in your training, and it’s just as important to be sure of your fueling strategy as well.
In our desire to be healthy and stay fit, many of us become competitive and strive to do more and exercise better. Make goals and surpass them. Many become bored with the same workout routine and seek new ways to workout. The choices are many; Yoga with it's many disciplines, Pilates, martial arts, the gym with or without a trainer, cycling, running and many more. These days people seem to be taking their exercise to extremes without really finding out what it will do to their body.
The article below may just give you some food for thought.
Running usually makes the heart and circulatory system stronger. But some recent studies indicate that distance runners may be at slightly higher risk for atrial fibrillation, an irregular heartbeat. Richard Johnson / Washington Post
Sometime in the past couple of decades, the idea of running a marathon became less crazy.
But for some people, a 26.2-mile marathon just isn’t long enough. These athletes are turning to ultrarunning, a sport that not long ago was considered the reclusive, funky-smelling cousin of traditional road racing.
No one is saying that a marathon is short or easy, but there are some huge differences — physiological, logistical and psychological — between running far and running really, really far. Read Rest Original Article Here…
Why Are Morning Runners So Happy?
If you’re a morning runner who is often out the door before you have breakfast, a new study suggests that you might be more likely to experience the runner’s high.
The theory revolves around a hormone called leptin. Leptin is linked to feelings of fullness and satiety. It increases after eating, helping to quell hunger. Endurance athletes who exercise regularly tend to have lower leptin levels (if you're training for marathon and are constantly famished, you understand).
In a new study, published in the journal Cell Metabolism, researchers examined the impact of leptin on the brains of mice—as mice have leptin just like humans. Scientists disrupted leptin signaling in one group of mice, tricking their brains into thinking their leptin levels were low. The mice in this group ended up running double the mileage on their running wheels than mice in another group whose leptin levels were unaffected. Read Rest Original Article Here…
The Perfect Run
March 26, 2014 by Geoff Roes ·
There are so many aspects which are a part of every run we go on that it seems almost impossible to expect to ever have what we might call a ‘perfect run.’ The weather could always be a little more pleasant, the scenery a little more breathtaking, and our bodies a little stronger (to name but a few reasons why a run could be made even better). In this sense it would be easy to subscribe to the belief that there is no such thing as the ‘perfect run.’ The reason I can’t subscribe to this belief though, is that I have had a handful of perfect runs.
By no means are these perfect runs an easy thing to come by. Ninety-nine percent (or more) of the runs I’ve been on could have been better if certain aspects of the run were better. Every now and then though, a run in its totality seems to trump all of these individual aspects. When this happens it doesn’t even really matter what the weather is like or how our bodies are feeling. We can get to this place more often when the weather is great or when our bodies feel really strong, but a perfect run is a run in which the weather, the scenery, your body, or any other external factors seem to cease to exist. It is a run when you get done and you don’t even know what the weather was like or you don’t care how your body felt. This isn’t to say that you are not noticing these things around you, but instead that you are so in tune with everything around you that you cease putting any quantifiable value on them. It is when the scenery becomes not something that you see with your eyes, but something that you see yourself as a part of. Read Original Article Here…
Back on Track
Even the most devoted runners can get sidetracked from their routine by crazy deadlines, long-awaited vacations, or (worse) nagging injuries. But rather than fret over how long it's going to take you to return to speed, it's important to keep such detours in perspective. “You shouldn't feel guilty about taking a break from running,” says Marissa Tiamfook, a running coach based in Los Angeles. “Focus on the fact that you want to get back out there.” If for whatever reason your running shoes have gathered dust, here's how to get back on track.
SIDETRACKED BY: A jammed scheduleYou've ditched your workouts to make time for longer hours at the office or to plan a big event. The time away from exercising has left you tired and grumpy. “Science has proven that running is a potent stress-buster,” says Tiamfook. “But once momentum has stopped, it's hard to crank it up again.”
SIDETRACKED BY: A jammed schedule
COMEBACK PLAN: Sign up for a 5-K
SIDETRACKED BY: Postrace slump
COMEBACK PLAN: Set a new goal
SIDETRACKED BY: Vacation
COMEBACK PLAN: Dress the part
SIDETRACKED BY: A budding relationship
COMEBACK PLAN: Exercise together
SIDETRACKED BY: An injury
COMEBACK PLAN: Start slow
Force of Habit
1 Set a Cue
2 Reward Yourself
3 Repeat Read Original Article Here…
4 Signs You Should Retire Your Running Shoes
Running shoes don’t last forever, but you can’t necessarily follow the old adage that each pair will last 400 miles either. Running in old shoes can result in a variety of ailments as the shoe’s cushioning and structure breaks down, or trauma-related injuries (such as a bone bruise under the metatarsal heads) as the outsole wears thin.
Once you’ve burned through the outer layer of rubber to the point there is no tread or where you can see the next layer of material, it’s time to get new shoes. (The wear-pattern is also an indication of your gait pattern, so if there is considerable wear on one side and little sign of wear on another, it could indicate that you’re imbalanced.) Via running.competitor.com