Archive for category Running Tips

An Inspiration

When you stand at the starting line, you join the club. When you stand at the starting line, you earn your membership. Millions dream of being where you are. You are no longer a dreamer. You are a doer.

Thousands more started a training program but never finished. They started with the same enthusiasm (or more than) you had. They started with more or less the same physical gifts or disadvantages that you did. They had no more and no less reason to be successful than you.

But somewhere along the way, they lost that enthusiasm. Somewhere on the road or on the track or treadmill, they decided that the rewards just weren’t worth the effort. They decided that they could live without finding their limits, without challenging their expectations of themselves, and without taking a hard look at their image of themselves.

You didn’t. If you’re standing at the starting line, you’ve not only accepted the challenge, but you’ve beaten back the demons. You’ve conquered your imagination and self-imposed limitations. You’ve gone farther, gotten stronger, and gotten tougher than you ever imagined.”

-John Bingham, “The Penguin”

John Bingham is an American marathon runner and author, nicknamed “The Penguin”, who has achieved widespread recognition for promoting the walking of long-distance race courses to the general public.

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EDITOR’S NOTE:

For all of you that will lace it up on Saturday at the Monument Avenue 10K and especially for all of you that participated in the YMCA 10K Training Team — you are an inspiration.  Have a great run or walk.

And a final note — a special thanks to Coach Dan who served as Head Coach for the entire 10K Training Program.

Coach Dan Blankenship

Coach Dan Blankenship

 

 

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Five Mile Journey in 8 Weeks – Week 8

 

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You are a Stallion!

“For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.” – 2 Timothy 1:7

Week  8

Be sure to read weeks 1 -7

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This is our big week.  For the past 7 weeks, you have been embarking on a journey to walk or run 5 miles.   This is the week.  Whether you are running in a race or running on your own the principles this week still apply.  Mentally you should try to relax this week and work up to your big event.  Depending on the training program and the distance you are walking or running, we will slow down the intensity this week to conserve our strength, allow our muscles to recover so that we are much stronger on race day.  This is called “tapering”.   That does not mean we become couch potatoes this week, it simply means we are cutting back on the distance and intensity.  I still want you to continue with the core exercises since these are very important as you build up your strength around the core muscles.

 Day 1

  • Walker – Walk for 2 miles
  • Walk/Run  – Walk/Run for 2 miles alternating between running and walking
  • Jogger – Run easy for 2 miles

Day 2

  • All – Core Exercises
    • 12 push-ups and 12 set-ups.  Do 3 times.
    • Leg lifts (lay on back and lift both legs 6” off the ground), hold for count of 30 seconds to 1 minute.  Repeat 3 times.
    • Planks – Hold plank exercise for 30 -60 seconds.  Repeat 3 times.
    • Side Planks –  hold for 15 – 30 seconds.  Repeat 3 times.

Day 3

  • Walker – Walk for 2 miles
  • Walk/Run  – Walk/Run for 2 miles alternating between running and walking, easy
  • Jogger – Run easy for 2 miles, easy

Day 4

  • All – Core Exercises
    • 12 push-ups and 12 set-ups.  Do 3 times, each.
    • Leg lifts (lay on back and lift both legs 6” off the ground), hold for count of 30 seconds to 1 minute.  Repeat 3 times.
    • Planks – Hold plank exercise for 30 -60 seconds.  Repeat 3 times.
    • Side Planks – hold for 15 – 30 seconds.  Repeat 3 times.

Day 5

  • REST DAY

 

Day 6 – RACE DAY

  • Treat this walk / run like any training run.  If you are running in a race, I hope the crowds are large at the end to motivate you.   If you are running on your own, imagine walking or running in a race, your race.   The Race Before Us, your journey is just beginning.

Day 7

  • REST DAY – CONGRATS for completing the race.

 

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Five Mile Journey in 8 Weeks – Week 6

When running this week, think like a tiger and run lite on your feet.  If you are a walker, be graceful in your walk.

Run Graceful like a Tiger

Run Graceful like a Tiger

Week 6

Be sure to read weeks 1 -5

This week’s schedule – This week you will hit a milestone.  4 miles!

Day 1

  • Walker – Walk for 2 miles
  • Walk/Run  – Walk/Run for 2 miles alternating between running and walking
  • Jogger – Run easy for 2 miles

Day 2

  • All – Core Exercises
    • 12 push-ups and 12 set-ups.  Do 3 times.
    • Leg lifts (lay on back and lift both legs 6” off the ground), hold for count of 30 seconds to 1 minute.  Repeat 3 times.
    • Planks – Hold plank exercise for 30 -60 seconds.  Repeat 3 times.
    • Side Planks –  hold for 15 – 30 seconds.  Repeat 3 times.

Day 3

  • Walker – Walk for 3 miles
  • Walk/Run  – Walk/Run for 3 miles alternating between running and walking, easy (you should be able to carry on a conversation easily; if not, you are going too fast)
  • Jogger – Run easy for 3 miles.

Day 4

  • Walker – Walk for 3 miles
  • Walk/Run  – Walk/Run for 3 miles
  • Jogger – Run easy for 3 miles.

Day 5

  • All – Core Exercises
    • 12 push-ups and 12 set-ups.  Do 3 times, each.
    • Leg lifts (lay on back and lift both legs 6” off the ground), hold for count of 30 seconds to 1 minute.  Repeat 3 times.
    • Planks – Hold plank exercise for 30 -60 seconds.  Repeat 3 times.
    • Side Planks – hold for 15 – 30 seconds.  Repeat 3 times.

Day 6 – Long Distance Day

  • Walker – Walk for 4 miles, steady
  • Walk/Run  – Walk/Run for 4 miles
  • Jogger – Run 4 miles, steady.

Day 7

  • REST

CONGRATS, only 2 more weeks to go!

Reminder:  Always stretch after your workout:  Simply a good habit and practice to get into.  Lite stretching of the same muscle groups you did in your warm up for 15 to 30 seconds and repeating two to three times will help keep you flexible.

 Training Tips for the week to help with Injury Prevention and Care.  These tips will help as you continue on in your exercise journey.

  • RICE – REST, ICE, COMPRESSION (wrap) and ELEVATION.  Some combination (or all) of these treatments have proven effective in helping with injuries.  In addition, a pain reliever (e.g. Ibuprofen) or cross training may be helpful but don’t take this on a long term basis without consulting with your doctor.  It’s vastly better to fall a little behind due to resting, than to run the risk of experiencing devastation by dropping out due to injury!
  • Cycling – can be a good way to keep yourself fit, depending on your injury.   When you walk/run, you are constantly using your hamstrings but neglecting your quadriceps (thigh muscles are not used as much during walks/runs).  Cycling does the opposite, so combining walking/running with biking helps your legs to keep the proper ratio of strength between the front and back muscles.
  • Swimming – Swimming is a great recovery exercise and is less stressful on your joints.  In fact, many Olympic runners train in water as a preventive measure to stay in shape and to reduce the stress they already put on their bodies through running.  If you can get to a pool during the week, I would encourage you to try it and make it a part of your overall training program – it’s a way to burn some additional calories too. 
  • Strength Training – Strengthening exercises can help prevent injuries and are particularly helpful with knee injuries.  A Physical Therapist or Trainer can analyze muscle strength in your legs, hips, and pelvic area and develop an individual strength-training program for you.  Some form of weight lifting, particularly for your upper body should be incorporated into your training to help prevent injury. 

If you are having trouble staying motivated this week, read the quote below.

Motivational Quote of the week:

“Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.” Thomas Edison

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Five Mile Journey in 8 Weeks – Week 5

Our Skeletal System in Action

Our Skeletal System in Action

Our bones need regular exercise to stay as strong as possible and exercises like walking, jogging, running and other physical activities are important in keeping our bones strong and healthy.   You can strengthen your skeleton by drinking milk and eating other dairy products (like low-fat cheese, frozen yogurt, and ice cream).  They all contain calcium, which helps bones harden and become strong.

Week 5

Be sure to read weeks 1 -4

This week’s schedule – This week is similar to last week, why?    Because we are establishing a base and from here, we’ll build slowly over the next 4 weeks.

Day 1

  • Walker – Walk for 2 miles
  • Walk/Run  – Walk/Run for 2 miles alternating between running and walking
  • Jogger – Run easy for 2 miles

Day 2

  • All – Core Exercises
    • 12 push-ups and 12 set-ups.  Do 3 times.
    • Leg lifts (lay on back and lift both legs 6” off the ground), hold for count of 30 seconds to 1 minute.  Repeat 3 times.
    • Planks – Hold plank exercise for 30 -60 seconds.  Repeat 3 times.
    • Side Planks – (NEW) – hold for 15 – 30 seconds.  Repeat 3 times.

Day 3

  • Walker – Walk for 2.5 miles
  • Walk/Run  – Walk/Run for 2.5 miles alternating between running and walking, easy (you should be able to carry on a conversation easily; if not, you are going too fast)
  • Jogger – Run easy for 2.5 miles.

Day 4

  • Walker – Walk for 3 miles
  • Walk/Run  – Walk/Run for 3 miles
  • Jogger – Run easy for 3 miles.

Day 5

  • All – Core Exercises
    • 12 push-ups and 12 set-ups.  Do 3 times, each.
    • Leg lifts (lay on back and lift both legs 6” off the ground), hold for count of 30 seconds to 1 minute.  Repeat 3 times.
    • Planks – Hold plank exercise for 30 -60 seconds.  Repeat 3 times.
    • Side Planks – hold for 15 – 30 seconds.  Repeat 3 times.

Day 6 – Long Distance Day

  • Walker – Walk for 3 miles, steady
  • Walk/Run  – Walk/Run for 3 miles
  • Jogger – Run 3 miles, steady.

Day 7

  • REST

CONGRATS, only 4 more weeks to go!

Reminder:  Always stretch after your workout:  Simply a good habit and practice to get into.  Lite stretching of the same muscle groups you did in your warm up for 15 to 30 seconds and repeating two to three times will help keep you flexible.

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Stairs make for great strength training!

Training Tips for the week:

2 Tips to think about this week while you are exercising – focus on these this week.

  • Cadence – Your cadence is measured by the number of strides you take over time.  For runners, an average cadence of 85 – 90 strides per minute is a very efficient cadence.  For walkers, this will vary depending on how fast you are walking but let’s say 75 – 85 strides in 90 seconds is a good target to achieve.  If you are slower, don’t worry.   Aim for what you can do and look for improvements.
  • Hands – One of the common things that I see with walkers/ runners is they cross their centerline (a straight line between your chin and your bellybutton) with their hands.  Your forearms should swing slightly across your body as you drive back and forth, but your hands should not cross your centerline.  When you cross the centerline with your hands, you create a side-to-side motion in your upper body, causing you to spend more energy with each stride.  Obviously when this happens, your pace slows so when you walk/run, check your hands to make sure you are not crossing the centerline of your posture.

See you on the streets,

Coach Dan

Coach Dan Blankenship

Coach Dan Blankenship

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Five Mile Journey in 8 Weeks – Week 4

 

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Week 4 – Stay committed 

Be sure to read weeks 1 -3

This week’s schedule – This is a milestone week!  This week you hit 3 miles in your long run.

Day 1

  • Walker – Walk for 2 miles
  • Walk/Run  – Walk/Run for 2 miles alternating between running and walking
  • Jogger – Run easy for 2 miles

Day 2

  • REST

Day 3

  • All
    • Add core exercises to this day in addition to the walk or run below.
      • 10 push-ups and 10 set-ups.  Do 3 times.
      • Leg lifts (lay on back and lift both legs 6” off the ground), hold for count of 15 to 30.  Repeat 3 times
      • Planks  – Hold plank exercise for 30 -60 seconds.  Repeat 3 times.
  • Walker – Walk for 2.5 miles
  • Walk/Run  – Walk/Run for 2.5 miles alternating between running and walking, easy (you should be able to carry on a conversation easily; if not, you are going too fast)
  • Jogger – Run easy for 2.5 miles.

Day 4

  • Walker – Walk for 2.5 miles
  • Walk/Run  – Walk/Run for 2.5 miles
  • Jogger – Run easy for 2.5 miles.

Day 5

  • All – Core Exercises
    • 10 push-ups and 10 set-ups.  Do 3 times, each.
    • Leg lifts (lay on back and lift both legs 6” off the ground), hold for count of 15 to 30.  Repeat 3 times
    • Planks  – Hold plank exercise for 30 -60 seconds.  Repeat 3 times.

Day 6 – Long Distance Day

  • Walker – Walk for 3 miles, steady
  • Walk/Run  – Walk/Run for 3 miles
  • Jogger – Run 3 miles, steady.

Day 7

  • REST

CONGRATS on accomplishing 3 miles as your longest walk/run in the training.  Pat yourself on the back, you deserve it.

Reminder:  Always stretch after your workout:  Simply a good habit and practice to get into.  Lite stretching of the same muscle groups you did in your warm up for 15 to 30 seconds and repeating two to three times will help keep you flexible.

 

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Run Tall

Training Tips for the week:

  • Too tired to exercise? – Try walking/running early in the day when you have more energy; don’t stay up late – turn off the TV and get your sleep.  Reduce your intake of high-sugar foods.  If you exercise after work, eat a healthy late-afternoon snack to give you energy (e.g. bagel, fruit or yogurt)

3 Tips to think about this weekend while you are exercising – focus on one of these as you do your walks/runs this week

  • Foot Strike – Runners – be careful not to over stride. If your lead foot lands in front of your center of gravity, you create a jarring and braking effect, causing your knee to be less able to absorb shock and sooner or later pain results.  To eliminate over striding, be sure that with each stride your foot strikes the ground under your hip and with the knee slightly flexed.  Walkers – your foot strike is slightly in front of your center of gravity – keep your natural stride and stay relaxed.
  • Shoulders and Arms – Your arms should swing naturally, starting at the shoulder joint.  Walkers should keep their arms slightly bent at the elbow, wrists relaxed, whereas runners should bend their arms at the elbow and keep hands cupped.  Runners should also focus on keeping their shoulders square and driving their arms backward, which will create a rebound effect, sending the arms forward.
  • Conversational pace – You should always be able to maintain a conversation while on training during your walks/runs.  If you cannot talk, or having trouble breathing and talking, then you are going too fast – ease back.

See you on the streets,

Coach Dan

Coach Dan Blankenship

Coach Dan Blankenship

 

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Five Mile Journey in 8 Weeks – Week 3

Dan Week 3

Week 3 – Carry your own torch

 Be sure to read week 1 and week 2.

This week’s schedule – focus on distance:

Day 1 – record your time.

  • Walker – Walk for 2 miles (or 3.21 km)
  • Walk/Run  – Walk/Run for 2 miles alternating between run and walk
  • Jogger – Run easy for 2 miles.

Day 2

  • REST

Day 3 (same as day Day 1 but finish 15 seconds faster)

  • Walker – Walk for 2 miles (or 3.21 km)
  • Walk/Run  – Walk/Run for 2 miles alternating between run and walk
    • Add core exercises to this day.
      • 10 push-ups and 10 set-ups.  Do 3 times.
      • Leg lifts (lay on back and lift both legs 6” off the ground), hold for count of 15.  Repeat 3 times
  • Jogger – Run easy for 2 miles.
    • Add core exercises to this day.
      • 10 push-ups and 10 set-ups.  Do 3 times.
      • Leg lifts (lay on back and lift both legs 6” off the ground), hold for count of 15.  Repeat 3 times

Day 4

  • REST

Day 5

  • Walker – Walk for 2.5 miles (4.02 km)
  • Walk/Run  – Walk/Run for 2.5 miles
    • Add core exercises to this day.
      • 10 push-ups and 10 set-ups.  Do 3 times.
      • Leg lifts (lay on back and lift both legs 6” off the ground), hold for count of 15.  Repeat 3 times
  • Jogger – Run easy for 2.5 miles.
    • Add core exercises to this day.
      • 10 push-ups and 10 set-ups.  Do 3 times.
      • Leg lifts (lay on back and lift both legs 6” off the ground), hold for count of 15.  Repeat 3 times

Day 6

  • Walker – Walk for 2.5 miles, easy
  • Walk/Run  – Walk/Run for 2.5 miles
  • Jogger – Run easy for 2.5 miles.

Day 7

  • Walkers
    • Add core exercises to this day.
      • 10 push-ups and 10 set-ups.  Do 3 times.
      • Leg lifts (lay on back and lift both legs 6” off the ground), hold for count of 15.  Repeat 3 times
  • Walk/Run & Joggers
    • Add core exercises to this day.
      • 10 push-ups and 10 set-ups.  Do 3 times.
      • Leg lifts (lay on back and lift both legs 6” off the ground), hold for count of 15.  Repeat 3 times
      • Planks – Hold plank exercise for 30 seconds.  Repeat 3 times.

Always stretch after your workout:  Simply a good habit and practice to get into.  Lite stretching of the same muscle groups you did in your warm up for 15 to 30 seconds and repeating two to three times will help keep you flexible.

See you on the streets,

Coach Dan

Coach Dan Blankenship

Coach Dan Blankenship

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Five Mile Journey in 8 Weeks – Week 2

 

RunLikeKid

Week 2 – Training to be a kid again!

Be sure to stretch or warm up before you run.  This is especially important on cold days.   Read Week 1 and see the link to basic stretching:  http://www.coolrunning.com/engine/2/2_1/126.shtml

Remember, this program starts gradually for each level (walker, walk/run, or jogger).   Be patient and don’t do more than what is listed in the schedule.    Our goal is to help you complete 5 miles in 8 weeks so it is important to stay true to the schedule below.

This week’s schedule:

Day 1

  • Walker – Walk for 36 minutes
    • 5 minute brisk walk, followed by 2 minute slow or easy walk; repeat.  4 min brisk walk, followed by 2 minute slow or easy walk, repeat.  3 minute brisk walk, followed by 2 minute slow or easy walk, repeat
  • Walk/Run  – Walk/Run for 2 miles (or 3.21 km)
    • Run 3 minutes, followed by followed by 2 minute brisk walk, repeat.   Continue doing this until you have reached 2 miles.
  • Jogger – Run easy for 2 miles.

Day 2

  • REST

Day 3 (same as Day 1 schedule)

  • Walker – Walk for 36 minutes
    • 5 minute brisk walk, followed by 2 minute slow or easy walk; repeat.  4 min brisk walk, followed by 2 minute slow or easy walk, repeat.  3 minute brisk walk, followed by 2 minute slow or easy walk, repeat
  • Walk/Run  – Walk/Run for 2.5 miles (or 4.02 km)
    • Run 3 minutes, followed by followed by 2 minute brisk walk, repeat.   Continue doing this until you have reached 2.5 miles.
  • Jogger – Run easy for 2.5 miles.

Day 4

  • REST

Day 5

  • Walker – Walk for 40 minutes
    • 6 minute brisk walk, followed by 2 minute slow or easy walk; repeat.  5 min brisk walk, followed by 2 minute slow or easy walk, repeat.  3 minute brisk walk, followed by 2 minute slow or easy walk, repeat
  • Walk/Run  – Walk/Run for 2 miles (or 3.21 km)
    • Run 3 minutes, followed by followed by 2 minute brisk walk, repeat.   Continue doing this until you have reached 2 miles.
    • Add core exercises to this day.
      • 10 push-ups and 10 set-ups.  Do 3 times.
      • Leg lifts (lay on back and lift both legs 6” off the ground), hold for count of 15.  Repeat 3 times
  • Jogger – Run easy for 2 miles.
    • Add core exercises to this day.
      • 10 push-ups and 10 set-ups.  Do 3 times.
      • Leg lifts (lay on back and lift both legs 6” off the ground), hold for count of 15.  Repeat 3 times

Day 6

  • Walker – Walk for 40 minutes
    • 6 minute brisk walk, followed by 2 minute slow or easy walk; repeat.  5 min brisk walk, followed by 2 minute slow or easy walk, repeat.  3 minute brisk walk, followed by 2 minute slow or easy walk, repeat
  • Walk/Run  – Walk/Run for 2 miles (or 3.21 km)
    • Run 3 minutes, followed by followed by 2 minute brisk walk, repeat.   Continue doing this until you have reached 2 miles.
  • Jogger – Run easy for 2 miles.

Day 7

  • REST

Always stretch after your workout:  Simply a good habit and practice to get into.  Lite stretching of the same muscle groups you did in your warm up for 15 to 30 seconds and repeating two to three times will help keep you flexible.

See you on the streets,

Coach Dan

Coach Dan Blankenship

Coach Dan Blankenship

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