December 14, 2018

What to wear on your next run: A guide for every climate by Jason Saltmarsh

Wondering what to wear during your next run? Choosing the proper clothing and gear is important to your performance, your safety and your enjoyment.

Remember the classic runner’s rule: Always add 20 degrees (F) to the temperature outside, and then dress appropriately. Example: If it is 72 degrees outside, it will feel like 92 degrees during your run.

 

Above 85 F (29.4 C)
At this temperature run with as little on as possible without upsetting your neighbors or the local authorities. Hydrate often during your run, run a course that allows for you to stop and get home quickly without being stranded too far from home (repeat loops). Let someone know you’re out there before leaving.

Try to run in the early morning or early evening hours to avoid the hottest part of the day. Watch for signs of  overheating. Think about taking the day off or going for a swim.

Shoes, socks, shorts, sunglasses, sunscreen, visor or cap (pre-soaked and frozen)

Phone in case of emergency

75 to 84 F (23.8 to 28.8 C)
Remember that your body will heat up quickly on the run. You’ll want to hydrate appropriately and avoid the midday heat if possible.

Wear reflective gear if you are headed out before sunrise or after sunset.

Shoes, socks, shorts, sunglasses, sunscreen, visor or cap, singlet or tech t-shirt optional

60 to 74 F (15.5 to 23.3 C)

This is a nice temperature for running. Enjoy the experience.

Shoes, socks, shorts, tech t-shirt, sunscreen

45 to 59 F (7.2 to 15 C)
Great racing weather! Marathoners and half marathoners rejoice. These days were made for PRs. You’ll want to warm up with an extra layer and have it ready to put back on when you finish.

Shoes, socks, shorts, long sleeve or short sleeve tech shirt, sunscreen, light jacket for warm-up

35 to 44 F (1.7 to 6.7 C)
These temps may be a bit too cool for the spectators, but the runners are still feeling great. Be sure to stay warm before and after your run with a jacket and sweatpants. You might consider a pair of light gloves and a hat. The most dangerous part of the day is post-run if you are sweaty and exposed.

Shoes, socks, shorts, long sleeve shirt, light gloves, beanie, lip balm, pants and jacket for warm-up and post-race

Light leggings are optional for those who are averse to the cooler temperatures

25 to 34 F (-3.8 to 1.1 C)
Welcome to winter running! The temps may be dropping, but that doesn’t mean you have to drop your mileage. Layers are key when dressing to survive cold temperatures. But, you don’t want to sweat too much, so be sure to wear breathable layers made for running.

Shoes, socks (wool), leggings/tights, tech t-shirt, running jacket, gloves/mittens, hat, Vaseline on face, lip balm

Below 25 F (-3.9 C)
This is when you start to consider the benefits of a gym membership or a treadmill. Only the truly dedicated/crazy ones are out there on days like this. But some of us can’t be caged and just need to be free. Choose a course that allows for you to return home quickly if you need to (repeat loops.) Let someone know you are out there before you leave.

Shoes, socks (wool), leggings/tights with shorts over them, long sleeve tech shirt, additional tech t-shirt, running jacket, mittens, hat that covers your ears, neck warmer or collar turned up on jacket, Vaseline on your face, lip balm, sunglasses.

Phone in case of emergency

Rain
Wear a hat to keep the rain out of your eyes

Consider nip guards or bandaids to avoid painful chafing from heavy wet clothing

Vaseline on other chafing areas

Waterproof shell if temperatures allow it

No shirt if temperatures (and local laws and customs) allow it

Vaseline on toes and heels

Snow
Winter gear (see above)

Reflective safety clothing

Shoes with modified spikes or non-slip treads attached

Ace bandage or gaters wrapped around your ankles if the snow is deep enough to get in your shoe and cause discomfort

Vaseline on face

Lip balm

Wind
Windbreaker if appropriate

Sunglasses

Vaseline on face

Lip balm

Safety is paramount! Remember: There are some weather and climate conditions that are too dangerous for anyone to be out running on the roads or trails. Always use good judgement and stay safe to run again another day.

Other ideas? What did I forget to mention? Let me know in the comment section.

Jason Saltmarsh is an competitive masters runner at distances ranging from 5K to the half marathon. In November 2013, he raced his first 26.2 at the iconic New York City Marathon. Jason’s goal is to share with others the benefits and joys of running, fitness and healthy living. For more information, please visit saltmarshrunning.com

7 Steps to Race Ready by Nicole Bryan

This article is sponsored by RunnerBox.

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7 Steps to Race Day Ready by Nicole Bryan

 

Whether you’re racing a 5K or an ultra-marathon, or any distance in between, the preparation required is similar. You’ve logged many miles, spent many hours insuring you have the appropriate gear and you’re now ready to toe the line. Every race veteran will tell you there are a few essentials to being race ready. Here’s the inside-track:

Skip the last minute miles. While last minute cramming may have helped you pass a college exam, it won’t help your racing. Your job is to arrive at the starting line 100% refreshed and ready to race. In fact, those last minute miles may do more harm than good. Running fitness is cumulative. One run missed or added will not make or break your running performance. Leave your miles to training, not to the week before the race.

Confirm your race start time. It sounds silly, but race schedules change! Don’t risk a morning panic attack by foregoing this easy step. Upon your race check in, simply confirm the start time. In fact, take a picture of the posted schedule and wave starts with your phone so you may easily refer to it when planning your arrival time.

Stick with food you know. Go online beforehand and do a menu search of the available eateries in the area. Once you’ve chosen your familiar meal, go one step further and make reservations for your dinner time two weeks before. Doing so, takes the guess work out of where to eat and when to eat. Plan to eat early to allow for proper digestion. The night before a race is not the time to try a new recipe or food choice. What you usually consume the night prior to your long runs is what you should consume the night before your race. The same applies to your breakfast the morning of the race.

Plan for an early evening. Three of the most challenging words for athletes to hear: Take it easy! You may be too nervous to go to sleep early, but you can still rest and relax. Watch a movie, chat with friends. Lounge, guilt-free!

Safety first. Before pinning your bib to your shirt the night before, take two extra minutes and write your emergency contact number on the back, as well as any vital medication/treatment information. Even with a timing chip secured to you, providing this easy accessible information on the back of your bib, may save valuable time during an emergency.

Be aware of the weather forecast. Know the temperature and wind conditions as both of these specifically can alter your run efforts. Do you need to pack warm-up or cool-down clothes? There’s nothing worse than shivering your way through a race or overheating due to lack of planning. Be sure to heed the warning of nothing new on race day as well. This applies to clothing, as well as shoes and technique. If you haven’t worn it, consumed it, or tried it in training, don’t try it on race day!

Allow time for a warm up. Regardless of the distance you’re racing, a proper warm up is an essential part of every athlete’s race day regime. This could mean simply walking from your car to the race start, or walking around the starting line. The goal is to increase heart rate and increase circulation, therefore preparing your body for the work of exercise.

YOU ARE READY.

5 Easy Steps to Becoming a Runner by Jason Saltmarsh

My Story
Four years ago I was overweight, had trouble sleeping, made poor diet choices, worked long hours, and was on the precipice of a mid-life crisis. I decided that I wanted to be here to see my grandchildren and great-grandchildren. I wanted to be active and set a good example for my family. So, I decided to run.

Today, I’m fifty pounds lighter, I’m a competitive master’s runner and I feel healthier than ever. This November, I’ll be running in the New York City Marathon.

Step 1 – Have a Plan
My running actually looked a lot like walking to those who saw me struggle down the road during the first few months. However, the thing that helped me get on track was having a plan AND sticking to it. I could look at my calendar and plan accordingly for every workout. The beginning is the most challenging time, because you are forming new habits and breaking old ones.

Creating a calendar is essential to staying on track. Protect your workout time. Don’t compromise. This is important for you. I would recommend putting that calendar in a place where your family and others can see it and support you. It keeps you motivated and accountable.

Step 2 – Set a Goal
My first goal was a local 5K race. I decided when I began training that I would complete a 5K race within three months. Time should be of no concern.

Finishing should be the goal the first time you race or run a new distance. Find local races by searching online or talking to others in the running community that you may already know. Choosing a local race has a few advantages. First, you can easily make it to your race without a lot of logistical planning and expense. Second, it is easy to have your family or friends there to support you. And third, you will hear about the race in the local media outlets and be reminded of your goal as you train.

Step 3 – Eat Well
I chose a few easy steps to get my diet under control. I stopped eating as many bad things, and ate more good things. I stopped going out for lunch, and brought my own to work. I focused on less sugar and cut out surgary drinks altogether.

Challenge yourself: Try eating two servings of vegetables with dinner. Try eliminating sugary desserts for 4 weeks. Try eliminating alcohol for 4 weeks. Try not to eat anything that comes in a box with heating instructions for 4 weeks. These little measures will result in huge health and weight-loss benefits.

Step 4 – Sleep Well
I find that eight hours of sleep each night keeps me in good condition both mentally and physically. Your body needs time to repair and adjust to the stress of a new training regimen so that it can grow stronger.

Be sure to reap the benefits of your hard work by letting your body rest. You may want to give yourself a curfew for a few weeks and see how it goes. If you run in the early morning hours, you’ll probably miss some of your favorite nighttime TV shows. That’s what the DVR is for!

Step 5 – Stay Flexible
Life is unpredictable. Not everyone responds to training the same way. You’ll have good days and not so good days. That’s OK. Listen to your body and rest when something hurts. The individual workouts are not as important as the overall training effort.

There are communities of runners (both online and off) that support, encourage, motivate and challenge each other to reach their goals. Local running clubs can usually be found either online or by visiting running specialty shops. Online, you can turn to your social networks such as Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and the blogging community for more information and resources.

Stay focused. You can do this.

By Jason Saltmarsh. www.SaltmarshRunning.com – Run for your life!
Twitter @SaltyRuns

Running: How much is too much? By Charlene Ragsdale

As we begin running, we are faced with the choice when/if/how to increase our mileage. While it may seem to be an easy choice, it isn’t. The choice to increase mileage should not be done carelessly. Safety first! Whether you are a newbie or a seasoned athlete, start with two thoughts:
1. Your current fitness level
2.  Define your goals

Accessing your current fitness level is critical. A newbie runner cannot and should not attempt to run a 10 mile run, in their first week. However, a seasoned athlete may be able to do so. Running should be goal focused. You may want to lose weight, gain fitness or train for a race. Speak with those of whom you value their time and experience to find out more about what it takes to achieve your goals.

When the time comes to increase your mileage:

There is a general rule of thumb: Increase your mileage per week by 10% and train at that distance for 3-4 weeks.  Then, increase it some more. Overdoing the mileage can and often will lead to fatigue, burn out and even injury. Know your body limitations!

When increasing your mileage, know why you are doing so. Again, keep your eye on the goal. Increasing your weekly mileage by 5 miles can be mentally exhausting. Focus on the long term goal and when the times get tough, remember that goal. As you increase your mileage, be sure to pay attention to how your body (and mind) are adjusting. If you are becoming overtly fatigued or drained, back down on the miles.

Above all else, have fun. Increasing your mileage should be a great gauge for your training and will provide inspiration to keep running.

Charlene Ragsdale is a RRCA Certified Running Coach, IFA Certified Sports Nutritionist and member of the USATF Master’s All-American Team. She can often be seen at on the podium as a frequent Age Division & Overall Winner in several distances. She lives with her Chef husband, two sons and two dogs in Las Vegas, NV. You can follow her at her blog: www.FABRunning.com

How to Run Faster by Charlene Ragsdale

So you’ve been running for awhile and even have a few races on your athletic resume, but how do you increase speed? Running faster takes a specific approach as well as specific training. Get back to the basics of running faster specifics with these three expert tips:

Choose the right race, for fastest times
This may seem like common sense, but if you want to run a faster pace choose your race wisely. Participate in a race that is known for being a fast course, at the right time of year for weather and conditions.  Stay clear of races that have hills, extreme weather (cold or hot) or many corners. The straighter the better.

Do more training at your race pace
Beginners tend to run their long runs at a slow pace, which makes them good at running long, slow miles. But if you’re shooting for a certain race time, you’ll need to focus more on your goal race pace.  Every distance has it’s own requirements.  Focus on the race requirement to complete a 5k, 10k, Half or Full.

Do speedwork
Do track work, sprints, or even fartlek’s.  Until you engage your fast-twitch muscles, your legs will not know how to react when you need to run fast.  Just as you are building endurance, you have to build your fast twitch muscles for speed.

Charlene Ragsdale is a RRCA Certified Running Coach, IFA Certified Sports Nutritionist and member of the USATF Master’s All-American Team. She can often be seen at on the podium as a frequent Age Division & Overall Winner in several distances. She lives with her Chef husband, two sons and two dogs in Las Vegas, NV. You can follow her at her blog: www.FABRunning.com

To Race or Not To Race? By Charlene Ragsdale

Many of us start running to race. Some start running for fitness and health, and then decide to run a race.  Regardless, careful planning must take place in order to determine if racing and what race is best for you and your goals.

How do you choose the best race?

Before you hop on the bandwagon of “I want to run a marathon this year, but I can’t run a mile, yet!”

Consider this:

1.  Your current level of fitness.  You don’t need to be an athlete. However, if you are extremely overweight and are unable to  run/walk a mile without being out of breath and want to run 26.2 miles within the next 6 months, I would recommend you start with a Half Marathon.

2.  Look in your local area for the races.  See what appeals to you. It might be the date, the theme or even the medal. Find the race that attracts you. That is your focus for the at least the next 6 months.

3.  If you are determined to travel for your first race – you have a multitude of options. When traveling, you need to consider hotel, food, spending monies – in addition to the race registration fees. Calculate that before you register for the race. Races do not offer registration refunds.  Make sure you can afford to travel, before you register.

4.  Develop a good training plan. You can find a host of training plans online or hire a coach. Again, keep your eye on the prize – your focus race (at least 6 months out from your training start date.)

5.  After training for 3 months, if you want to participate in the race experience, sign up for a 5k or 10k.  This isn’t required, but it might help you mentally prepare for the big day

6.  Be realistic on your first race, especially if it is a Half or Full Marathon.  Your one and only goal should be to finish upright and healthy. Time goals shouldn’t matter. You only get on First Half or Full. Relish in it and do the best you can do that day.

Charlene Ragsdale is a RRCA Certified Running Coach, IFA Certified Sports Nutritionist and member of the USATF Master’s All-American Team. She can often be seen at on the podium as a frequent Age Division & Overall Winner in several distances. She lives with her Chef husband, two sons and two dogs in Las Vegas, NV. You can follow her at her blog: www.RunningWithCharlene.com

Ask A Pro by Julie Mulcahy

Question: I’m a new runner and it feels great! However, my friends tell me that I’ll ruin my knees and should choose a different workout. Is this true? –Tina, San Diego Ca.

Answer: Running does not ruin your knees for the following reasons:

Running promotes cardiovascular fitness, helps manage weight and improves overall leg strength. Weight bearing activities, such as running, can also help reduce the risk of osteoporosis. Running also improves energy, mood and total fitness capability.

If running did ruin knees, most marathon/Olympic/elite runners should have knee problems as they run the most miles. Research has not shown that to be true.

However, running with improper form and technique or over training (in any sport) can lead to not just knee problems, but other injuries as well. See a health care professional if you need guidance.

Also important to note is that in my experience, I have seen many clients who have knee problems that I believe stem from a sedentary lifestyle and obesity. Being overweight puts additional pressure on knees and other joints of the body, which may cause problems. Again, running is excellent for weight management.

In general, running helps promote health and fitness, which I believe is always a good thing

Julie Mulcahy M.P.T is a licensed Physical Therapist with over 19 years experience in sports medicine and orthopedics. Julie is also busy mom of 4 children and a marathon runner. She may be reached by email jam82296@hotmail.com or @PTrunningmomof4

Re-Evaluate your Running by Matt Fitzgerald

Running is a rewarding sport and a great way to get fit, but proper progression is essential to long-term sustainable running. Because of its high-impact nature, running can lead to a more overuse injuries than non-impact forms of exercise such as swimming and bicycling.

Re-evaluate your running often to prevent aches and pains. Here are five specific measures critical for long-term sustainable running:

Ease into it. Experienced runners are more resistant to injuries than beginners because their legs have adapted to the repetitive impact of running by becoming more durable. But getting to that point is tricky, because running initially breaks down bone, muscle, and connective tissue before rebuilding it stronger than before. This is when the risk of injury is greatest. 

To minimize this risk you need to give your legs time to rebuild between runs. When you start a new running program you should run every other day at the most. As you progress, heed the 10 percent rule: Don’t increase your mileage or the distance of your longest run by more than 10 percent from week to week.

Listen to your body. Most of the overuse injuries that force runners to miss weeks of training start off as mild aches and pains. If you react to these warning signs quickly by ceasing to run immediately and taking a day or two off, you’ll prevent small problems from becoming big ones.

Strength train. Research has shown that weightlifting and other forms of strength training reduce injury risk in runners by increasing stability in key joints (especially the knees and hips.) Perform functional strength workouts that focus on the core, glutes, hips and legs two or three days a week.

Fix your form. Some of the most common running injuries are connected to abnormalities in an individual runner’s stride. If you do become injured, visit a physical therapist with lots of experience with runners to identify the flaw that contributed to your problem, as well as outline a progam to correct it. Trying to change your stride on your own may do more harm than good. However, one exception is the little trick of trying to make less sound when your feet land. This will force you to run with less impact force and may reduce your injury risk.

Matt Fitzgerald is the author of RUN: The Mind-Body Method of Running by Feel. He is also a Training Intelligence Specialist for PEAR Sports.

Being Run Ready by Dr. Kent Sasse

It is the time of year when the temperature encourages people to lace up their sneakers and every weekend boasts a run (or two.) Planning to run a marathon, half marathon, or even a 10K requires training and proper maintenance for your body. For beginners it is especially important to begin a regimen and educate yourself on best habits.

Listen to your body. It is not how fast you run today, or even how far; it is about how many years you can enjoy running. For older runners or those with injuries, don’t run if it hurts. Give your body a chance to heal. Take advantage of the days you feel good and go on longer runs, push yourself, and seize the opportunity.

Run with a partner that can encourage and motivate you. Training with others with a similar interest and passion for running means you can train for events together, swap training techniques, engage in a little friendly competition or maybe even participate in a relay as team.

Hydration. Water is obviously integral to successful and healthy running, but even more so in extreme conditions of heat and altitude. Hydrate before your runs by drinking water right before, hours before, and even days before. You will recognize hydration by (almost) colorless urine. Drink water consistently rather than consuming more than 16 oz. before a run itself. Drinking enormous amounts of water prior to a run can cause issues so hydrate often rather than in huge doses. If water stops are not on your runs- and even if they are- supplement with a water belt.

Food Intake. Eat your normal balanced breakfast a couple hours before a strenuous run; normalcy is easier for your body to digest. Stay away from heavy meals, and opt for oatmeal and bagels and bananas. Don’t forget a dose of protein as well to keep those muscles happy.

Dr. Sasse founded Western Bariatric Institute and iMetabolic. He is also the author of numerous books and a featured speaker nationally in the field of weight loss.

Top 3 Tips for Injury-Free Running Written by Julie Mulcahy

This article is sponsored by PRO Compression. At PRO Compression, foot comfort runs in our veins. We’re all about giving our customers an edge, providing you with socks that will enable you to perform better through improved blood circulation for the most extreme run, weekend jog or golf outing. Wear PRO Compression socks while flying to events, while sleeping, and during and after the races to help increase blood flow, reduce inflammation and remove lactic acid. Athletes tout PRO Compression as their socks of choice due to the built-in “stabilizing zone” for added support and the socks’ slightly padded heels and toes that eliminates hot spots and blisters. PRO Compression socks should play a major role in all athletes’ racing strategy. Our socks are the result of years of innovation and designed to keep you ahead of the competition. A better footwear choice is simply not available. For more information on PRO Compression socks and other compression products contact Eric Smith at: eric@procompression.com. Use discount code YOURWAY20 for 20% off any Marathon Compression Sock or Trainer Low Running sock at http://www.procompression.com/

 

Top 3 Tips for Injury-Free Running Written by Julie Mulcahy

Have you been running for a while now, and recently experienced some aches and pains? Nothing is more frustrating than getting a great running program started, only to be sidelined with a running injury. There are a few common mistakes people make that can cause running injuries. Here are your three top tips for injury-free running:

Running shoes. It is very important to have appropriate running shoes. The shoes your running partner wears may not be the best for your foot type. Shoes fall into a few categories including motion control, neutral, cushioning and minimalist. Reputable running shops have staff educated to help you select the right shoe and determine the right fit based on your foot type.  Some running shops utilize a force plate to the help determine foot type. As you stand on the force plate it measures how your foot bears your body weight. Good quality running shoes can range in price from $80-130. This may seem like quite an investment, but time and frustration of an injury can be much more costly. A good trick is to ask about older models of shoes. Shoe stores often have sales on older versions of a shoe because the color pattern has been discontinued.

Distance. Ramping up distance too quickly is a very common reason runners become injured. Increase up your distance slowly. Your muscles, ligaments and bones need time to adjust to the impact of running. If you are just beginning a running program, start with a gentle walk-run combination. Try to maintain a comfortable pace where you can carry on a conversation while running. As you ramp up your miles, add about 10% per week as a reasonable goal. If you are experiencing unusual fatigue, take a week to drop back your mileage. You may even notice feeling stronger and faster coming back from a drop-back week. 

Terrain. Keep in mind that most roads are sloped, changing the direction about every other run, allows both legs to experience the changes in the terrain. Also, different surfaces can utilize different muscles in the body. Trail running requires significant ankle strength to adjust to the constantly changing terrain while road running can place more impact on the body. Suddenly changing the terrain your body is used to can potentially cause an injury. Make changes gradually so your body can get accustomed to the new demands. If you are adding hills to your route, add them gradually on shorter runs.

Most importantly to remain injury-free, listen to your body! Muscle fatigue is a normal result that can occur with any new exercise. However, if discomfort persists or becomes worse, see your health care professional to assist you in getting back on the road pain-free.
 
This article is written by Julie Mulcahy, MPT. Julie is a licensed Physical Therapist with over 19 years experience in sports medicine and orthopedics. Julie is also busy mom of 4 children and a marathon runner. She may be reached by email jam82296@hotmail.com or @PTrunningmomof4 on Twitter.