April 21, 2024

Stretch for Runners

Get Fit Quick Tip:

Standing Inner Thigh and Hamstring Stretch

Do this stretch for runners after your next workout. Begin standing and pull your right foot up in front of your belly button. Move your right knee to the side of your body. Hold your lower leg and ankle with both hands, keeping  your lower leg parallel to the floor. Keep your torso straight and shoulders back. Hold for 10-30 seconds, then release. Repeat pulling your left foot up in front of your body. Using both hands hold your left calf and ankle, letting your knee fall to the side. Hold for 10-30 seconds, then release.


*Consult your physician before beginning exercise. This stretch is for those without injury concerns.



Do this strength exercise…

Get Fit Quick Tip:

Bridge for multi-benefits!

Do this exercise to strengthen your core, and lower body.

Here’s how to begin: Lie on your back. Place both arms straight along side your body, flat on the floor. Maintain your neutral pelvis position, then gently lift your hips up off the floor. Hold for 10 seconds, then release. Build to 10 reps.


*Consult your physician before beginning exercise.

Do this stretch…

Get Fit Quick Tip:

Kneeling Hip Stretch

Do this kneeling hip and quad stretch to decrease front thigh tightness. Kneel on your right knee. Tilt your pelvis back and under. Let your hips fall slightly forward. Hold for 10 seconds, then release. Repeat the stretch kneeling on your left knee. Hold for 10 seconds, then release.


*Consult your physician before beginning exercise.


Get Fit Quick Tip:


Add sprint intervals into your walking, jogging or running workout.

Find a 50-100 yard path that allows you to perform regular timed sprint repeats. After a sufficient warm up of 8-10 minutes, sprint your time trial for a base interval. Repeat the intervals as long as you can log a decreased time each one. All-out intervals challenge your cardiovascular system, and your muscles, all in one time-efficient workout. Perform your sprint workout once each week to allow recovery of your muscles. This workout is for intermediate/advanced exercise without injury concerns.


*Consult your physician before performing exercise.

Should you add a hill workout to your fitness routine?

Get Fit Quick Tip:

Hill Repeats!

Hill workouts via repeats are great for cardio! Walk, run, power hike or even sprint up the hill, and you’ll burn mega calories and strengthen your legs. Choosing a hill of moderate incline, and about a quarter mile long is a great starting point. Begin with a warm up of walking on a flat surface for at least 10 minutes. Then do your hill repeat up, followed by a gentle jog or walk down. Turn around and head up again. Repeat 2-4 times. Perform your cool down for at least 10 minutes on a flat surface.


*Always consult your physician before beginning exercise. Hill repeats are for intermediate or advanced exercisers without injury or illness concerns.

Essentials for Runners by Jason Saltmarsh

Reminders for Runners

1. If you have a morning race or workout, decrease your warm up time with a hot/cold/hot shower before you go. It boosts circulation and helps jump-start your day.

2. Ouch! Wrap painful blisters in band-aids and duct tape to avoid further injury when racing. Afterwards, let them air out and keep them clean so they can heal properly.

3. Grab a cup of coffee 1/2 an hour before running to boost your workout performance. It takes about 30-45 minutes to work it’s most powerful magic, but you’ll feel like you have rocket boosters strapped to your feet.

4. If you don’t have a gel or sports drink available, you can drink a flat Cola for fuel. Believe it or not, plenty of sugar, caffeine, and carbohydrates make this the drink of choice for many athletes.

5. Get two pairs of running shoes and rotate them to help prevent injury. The shoes will last longer, and your feet will be healthier. Some runners choose a fast shoe for workouts and races, and a comfortable shoe for regular mileage.

6. Gauge ‘comfortable pace’ during training with the talk test or by singing the Brady Bunch theme song. If you’re unable to talk to your friend, or sing the song, you’re going too fast.

7. Take some cash, your fully charged phone, and toilet paper on runs lasting more than 90 minutes. Better to have and not need, than to need and not have. Trust me on this one.

8. Write down your training goal, race goal, etc. and stick it on your refrigerator. It’ll keep you accountable and remind others to support you. And, it’ll make you think twice before reaching for a second helping of coffee toffee crunch ice cream.

9. When it rains, use lots of Vasoline all over everything that could chafe, blister, or rub. Water is not your friend on race day unless your drinking it.

10. Run with a friend. It makes the miles easier.

Jason Saltmarsh is a 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.


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 101 by Kristie Cranford

So you’ve decided to become a Runner, how do you begin?

There is nothing more exciting and energizing than waking up one morning and deciding, today is the day you’re going to make the leap and add the title “runner” to your resume of life. Here are some important tips to get started:

Talk to your doctor. As with the start of any physical activity, make sure your body is as ready as your mind. Get a physical. You need a healthy foundation to begin.

Get properly fitted for shoes. Go to a local running specialty store and get properly fitted. They will watch you walk across the floor. Some will even analyze your gait on a treadmill. Good fitting shoes are crucial. Remember, running shoes are equipment, not an accessory. Don’t just go out and buy a pair of shoes just because they look “cool.”  Be prepared to spend $100-$125 (average) for a high quality pair of shoes.
Eat right. Your body is a fine tuned machine, don’t put the wrong fuel in it. Just because you are running does not mean you can eat everything and anything you wish. Eat clean, and remember you can never have too many fresh fruits and vegetables. 

Don’t buy a whole new running wardrobe. Ditch the cotton (it will weigh you down) and wear clothing with moisture wicking fabric that will take the moisture away from your skin. It’ll take time to learn what works best for you during a run. Get a couple shirts and shorts to start and build as you find what is comfortable and suits your needs and running style.

Wear sunscreen. Sunscreen should be something you put on every day just like your clothes.

Experiment. Running for fitness is a learning experience. What works for your friend will not necessarily work for you. There are so many different shoes, energy gels, etc on the market. Be open to trying out different products and gear, and don’t get discouraged if something doesn’t work for you. Keep experimenting!

Distance before speed. Work your way up to where running 30-40 minutes continuously is manageable before even thinking of adding speed work.

Find a support group of running buddies. Non-runners simply won’t relate and may not be interested to hear your constant chatter of races, energy gels, shoes, etc. Find a friend, buddy, social media group with whom to chat up running. The support, camaraderie, and motivation in the running community is like a big happy family. Your support group will cheer you on and lift you up.

Running is a fun and challenging workout! Enjoy the experience.

Written by Kristie Cranford, CPT. A wife, mother, cancer survivor and competitive athlete, Kristie is an ACE Certified Personal Trainer as well as a Running/Triathlon Coach for PRSFit Nation. Living in Las Vegas, she is the Chair of Long Distance Running for USATF-Nevada Association, a Coolibar sponsored athlete, and Raw Elements Sunscreen Ambassador. Contact Kristie via email, CoachKristieLV@yahoo.com. Or via the web on www.prsfit.com and http://coachkristie.com.