I’ve always believed that the healthiest foods are the real foods—the quality vegetables, fruits, whole grains, low-fat dairy, and lean proteins packed with everything runners need.
A preworkout stretching routine doesn’t prevent injuries or improve performance, so there’s no reason to do it. The time to do your stretching is after your run, or even later in the evening.” Stretch (without straining) your calves, quads, and hamstrings for 10 to 15 minutes.
The over-the-counter meds are not perfectly safe and aren’t meant to mask pain.
The heart is a muscle. If you don’t exercise it, it becomes weak and flabby. Still, every runner should know the signs of a heart attack: unusual shortness of breath; chest, arm or neck tightness (especially on the left side); nausea; and a cold sweat. If you experience these, stop immediately, and call your doctor.
Don’t compare yourself with others. Every runner gets into shape according to his own body’s schedule. Physiologists have calculated that any and all running paces are fast enough to put you into the moderate-to-vigorous aerobic zone that delivers health benefits. So take your time and focus on going farther, not faster.
FROM: Start Right Here
All you need to know to begin running for the first time.
By Amby Burfoot, Runner’s World
Sharks die when they stop moving. Runners do not. Keep this in mind the next time you encounter a “Don’t Walk” sign at a busy intersection. There’s no need to jog in place or dance from foot to foot like you have to pee. Just chill. Wait a few moments.
Running rules of thumb
1. If you see a Porta Potty with no line, use it. Even if you don’t need to.
2. If you have to ask yourself, “Does this driver see me?” the answer is no.
3. If you have to ask yourself, “Are these shorts too short?” the answer is yes.
4. One glazed doughnut = two miles.
5. You rarely regret the runs you do; you almost always regret the runs you skip.
6. Not everyone who looks fast really is, and not everyone who looks slow really is.
7. Nobody has ever watched Chariots of Fire from beginning to end. Not even the people who made it.
8. You can never have too many safety pins on your gym bag.
9. Running any given route in the rain makes you feel 50 percent more hard-core than covering the same route on a sunny day.
10. If you care even a little about being called a jogger versus a runner, you’re a runner.
Runners injest a fair amount of healthy foods, which produce gas in the GI tract, where it cannot stay forever. Especially when that GI tract is bounced and jostled. Passing gas while running is excusable and inevitable…
You may advertise a personal record (PR) time, or otherwise claim it as your own with no further explanation for two years after setting it. After two years, however, it becomes uncool to tell people, ‘My marathon PR is 3:12’ without providing a disclaimer—e.g., ‘My marathon PR is 3:12, but I ran that 63 years ago.
Even if you’re running the race of your life, you can still manage a bit of eye contact and a nod as you grab a cup of water from an outstretched hand. Even if it feels like your quads are quite literally on fire, you can manage to sputter a short ‘thanks’ to the course marshal standing in the intersection. It will make the volunteer feel good. And you, too.
FROM: A Few Rules to Run By
What you need to know about short shorts, Porta-Potty lines and other unspoken principles of the runners’ code.
By Mark Remy, Runner’s World
Should runners worry?
Running, in particular, is considered to be hard on the body. Unlike walking, running is a high-impact exercise. It’s simply a matter of gravity: What goes up must come down.
Walkers have one foot on the ground at all times, while joggers and runners are entirely airborne for part of every stride. Each time a foot hits the ground, it puts a stress equal to eight times the body’s weight on a person’s feet, legs, hips and neck. In just one mile, a runner’s legs will have to absorb tons and tons of force from the impact.
Running actually causes relatively few physical problems. It’s a testament to the wonderful construction of the human body. The faster the pace, however, the greater the impact and the greater the risk of injury. But that doesn’t mean that running will cause arthritis. In fact, new studies provide reassurance that exercise, and particularly running, are safe for healthy joints. Exercise may even help joints stay healthy.
Tips for running safely
With care, jogging and running can be safe and enjoyable. The main rules are familiar: Start slowly, build up gradually, alternate harder and easier work outs, and listen to your body. Here are a few additional tips:
* Wear good shoes. Buy shoes specifically designed for running, not walking. Change your shoes every 300 to 400 miles; even if they don’t look worn, they will have lost crucial cushioning and support.
* Don’t run on uneven or slanted surfaces. Find the most forgiving surfaces available; asphalt is softer than concrete, packed dirt or grass better still.
* Don’t increase your distance by more than 10% a week even if you feel terrific.
* Vary your pace.
* Always warm up with stretching exercises before you start out, then walk and jog before you run. Don’t try to sustain a rapid pace; instead, slow down and coast from time to time. And always slow down to a walk at the end of your run.
* Be careful on hills. Going up hills requires lots of extra effort; expect to slow down and lean into the hill. Don’t try to sprint down; to avoid injury, shorten your stride and hold back. Remember the old runner’s motto: Uphills train, downhills maim.
* Unless you are entered in a race, don’t race. And even in a race, remember there is always someone faster (also smarter, richer, thinner, and better looking; that’s life). Know your limits and stay within them to avoid injury. As usual, Shakespeare got it right, “Too swift arrive as tardy as too slow” (Romeo and Juliet).
* Follow simple rules for safety, hydration and weather.
* Do extra stretching for the muscles and tendons of your legs, especially your hamstrings, calves, and the others at the back of your legs. Running makes these muscles strong, but also tight.
* Don’t run through pain.
FROM: Running and Your Joints
Why we run and how it helps our health.
By Harvey B. Simon, M.D., Harvard Health Publications
“Symptoms are a great guide in running,” Dr. Judith F. Baumhauer, of the University of Rochester School of Medicine in New York, said in a news release from the American Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Society. “Common sense is a good barometer of when something is wrong and professional help is needed.”
Running surface matters.
* Try to run on a surface that is softer than pavement, such as a running track. If you’ve just starting running or are returning to it after not running for a while, the smooth, flat track surface will make it easier to avoid tripping over irregular roots, rocks or inclines that can cause sprains.
* Work up to hills or off-road running. Running up hills puts added stress on the Achilles tendon, which is commonly injured in runners, while running downhill puts more pressure on the knees, hips and back.
* A track is better than a treadmill. Treadmills can lead to repetitive stress injuries because runners don’t vary their stride.
* Begin your sessions with a slow walk progressing to a slow jog before picking up speed, especially in the early stages of training.
* Beginners or those just getting back into running should take a day off between runs, to allow muscles to rest, recover and heal. This is especially true if you’re feeling sore.
…make sure you’re getting enough vitamin D and calcium. “A deficit in these areas can increase your risks for stress fractures due to the increased load on the foot with running
FROM: Get the Most Out of Your Run
Simple steps can prevent injuries, experts say
— Jennifer Thomas —
Attention, beginner runner: It’s safe—and smart—to start out slow. Really slow. “Easing into it helps your muscles get used to the impact of running and helps your mind get used to the effort,” Hinton says. She recommends following a run/walk program like the one here three times a week (not on consecutive days). Begin and end each session with a five-minute warmup walk. Repeat a week if you don’t feel ready to move up. When you’re able to run consistently for at least 30 minutes, you can start adding more distance.
Week 1: Run 2 min., walk 3 min.; repeat 6 times.
Week 2: Run 3 min., walk 3 min.; repeat 5 times.
Week 3: Run 5 min., walk 2 min.; repeat 4 times.
Week 4: Run 7 min., walk 3 min.; repeat 3 times.
Week 5: Run 8 min., walk 2 min.; repeat 3 times.
Week 6: Run 9 min., walk 1 min.; repeat 3 times.
Week 7: Run 30 minutes
After you’ve been running for at least six weeks, add intervals to continue building fitness and shedding pounds. Intervals are short bursts of speed that engage the muscle fibers that make you go fast. (Bonus: Research has shown that sprints trigger a fat-frying response in your muscles.) To do them, warm up for six minutes with an easy jog. Then run faster for 15 to 20 seconds. Slow down to an easy pace for three minutes. Repeat the cycle three to five times, then cool down with a six-minute jog. Do intervals once a week and increase your sprint length by 10 seconds each week until you can go all-out for 80 seconds.
FROM: You—Yes, You!—Can Be a Runner!
Jogging is an all-star calorie crusher, mood enhancer and disease fighter. And you don’t have to be hardcore to reap its many benefits. Try our easy get-up-and-go plan and watch the weight melt away.
By Dimity McDowell, Women’s Health
Think of getting your daily dose of exercise as your fitness prescription to good health. Sure, being a slug all week is somewhat counteracted by your weekend activity, but if you regularly rev your body up a bit every day, you’ll get the stimulus from exercise that helps make your heart and body stronger and healthier.
FROM: Must I Exercise Every Day?
Busy weeks mean that workouts are only possible on weekends.
by Martica Heaner, M.A., M.Ed., for MSN Health & Fitness