Friday, March 24, 2006

Running Advice Installment #5

As we approach higher mileages in our training and specifically as related to the long run, time commitments can make it difficult to do a run that takes 1-2 hours. In order to make this more manageable, it is possible to break up the long run into two shorter runs done in seperate segments. For example run 3 miles in the morning and 4 at night. While it is good to do the mileage all at once, you still get many of the benefits just by doing all the mileage on one day.

In the area of strength training, the core is an essential area of the body for general overall fitness as well as for your running health. The core consists of the abdominal muscles, lower back, quads, hamstrings, groin, and hip flexors. By performing some simple exercises, you can provide more strength and stability to your running as well as reduce the risk of injury.

Exercises for these areas:
-Abdominal muscles: crunches (raise body half way off ground from a laying down position, lifting the torso up.) Try to do 20 repetitions to start with
-Lower back: lay on stomach, lift legs, arms and torso so that only the stomach rests on the ground. Hold for a second then release. Do 10-15 reps. Be sure not to strain too hard or back injury can result.
-Quads: lay on back lift up one foot at a time about 6-8 inches off the ground and hold for 1 second, perform 20 reps.
-Hamstrings: roll over on stomach and lift legs one at a time 6-8 inches off the ground and hold for 1 second, perform 20 reps
-Groin: roll over on side and lift leg that is on the ground several inches off the ground. 20 reps
-Hip flexors: roll over on side and lift leg that is not touching the ground a few inches off the ground. 20 reps

These exercises will provide you with a solid core. Feel free to do additional reps or sets as you become acclimated to the exercises.
Happy running,

Coach Dre

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

A Tale of 5 Cities

Our tale begins at 6:50 am at the Kansas City (city number 1) airport where the protagonist steps on a flight headed for Minneapolis (city number 2). Due to last minute booking, he draws the seating assignment of middle seat. En route to Minneapolis, the pilot came on the intercom and announced that after circling Minneapolis, waiting for the winter storm to clear he needed to obtain more gas in order to complete the journey. This took us to city number 3 in Fargo, North Dakota. Approximately 1 and a half hours were leisurely spent on the ground and in assigned seats while refueling and continuing to wait for the weather to clear. Upon arrival in Minneapolis, the flight landed in near whiteout conditions.

Unfortunately, the protagonist's 10:30 am flight was canceled. This did not stop him on his journey to his final destination. He promptly rebooked a flight scheduled for 12:58 pm in the afternoon to Milwaukee. The gate was subsequently changed not once, not twice, but three times. However, the protagonist enjoyed a root beer float at A&W in the airport which considerably improved his mood.

The flight for Milwaukee finally left around 4:45 and arrived unscathed in Milwaukee (city number 4) at 5:45 pm. The protagonist obtained a rental car and drove the hour and 10 minutes to his final destination of Fond du Lac, WI (city number 5) arriving at 7 pm.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Running Advice Installment #4

Still haven't received any submissions as to a team name. Come on, get the creative juices flowing. :)

When you are doing your easy runs, one way to help ensure you are not running to fast is to see if you can talk with someone while running, if not you're probably going too fast. Remember these easy days are when we allow our bodies to rest up and recover from the tougher workouts. An alternative if you are not running with a buddy is to sing to yourself. (This can be much more convincing than talking to yourself. People may think your crazy if your talking to yourself. Ok, they probably already think your crazy because your training for a half-marathon, but I digress)

A similar pacing strategy can be used when on your long run. The long run is where we build endurance and thus we're not as concerned with speed. For those of you out there who have the urge to jack rabbit, please resist until a time such as a tempo run or a speed workout like intervals.

Another suggestion during your long run is to not be afraid to walk. There is a common misconception that walking means you're not a "real" runner. This couldn't be further from the truth. Incorporating walking into a workout allows your muscles to get a much needed break and enable you to run for a longer period of time. Ergo, we see that while the borgeous public irrationally believe in the fallacious philosophy of "run at all times or not at all," we can pursue higher plains of performance never imagined by said public. (Sorry, must be a little late and vocab is creeping up)

Anyway, hope y'alls running is going well and as always please feel free to send me any questions.Happy running,

Coach Andrew (Dre)

"Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize." -1 Corinthians 9:24

Friday, March 03, 2006

Running's Parallel to the Spiritual Life

A good word from pleasantvalleyliz. I've also really found running to have a strong parallel with the spiritual life. Wow, especially on those hills really gets you praying. On a somewhat related exercise topic, when I was on a bike ride from Athens, GA to Jacksonville, FL (Yes, really) it seemed for a long while that there were no downhills. I started saying Bible verses and found particular comfort in Psalm 23. "Even though I walk (ride) through the shadow of the valley (didn't see many of those) of death I will fear no evil for You are with me." I think sometimes I can get close to God in those times of intense physical exertion where partial insanity is a bit of a factor. :)

This weekend I am in Atlanta visting the folks. While here, my mom and I are going to a conference on spiritual warfare at her church. The speaker made a good point in that many times we talk about prayer or reaching the lost but don't always actually go and do it. He also had us do an exercise of: Write down 10 people who you could share a prayer request with. Then write down 10 people you could share Christ with. Point being: while it is important to hang with fellow brothers and sisters in Christ, it's also good to spend time with people who don't know the Lord to open opportunities to share with them about Him.

A Meditation on the Speed Limit Civil Obedience ATL style.
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