Friday, April 26, 2013

Last-Minute Race Day Tips

Race day is upon us!  Many of you are running the Derby Festival Marathon or the Flying Pig Marathon in the upcoming week, so it's time to start figuring out your plan for race day.  Race day can be overwhelming and nerve wracking, so it's best to think about all the little details well in advance.

To start, a small warm up is always good.  You don't want to waste any energy or overdo it before a marathon, but with early start times, you should try to walk or run for 5-15 minutes prior to the event so your muscles are prepared for the task ahead of them.  A little bit of warming up can minimize your risk of feeling too tight early in the race.

The next, and possibly most important, tip is to pace your early miles very carefully.  In most cases, these first miles will decide how you feel in the last miles of the race.  Plan to run a conservative pace starting out, or consider tagging along with a pace group.  It is so easy to get caught up in the excitement of the race and think it feels so easy, but if you are using more energy than you are used it, it will catch up to you be the end.  Remember that more often than not, a slower start will result in a faster finish.

Another critical thing is to stick with your routine.  Use shoes and clothes that you have trained in and feel comfortable with.  Eat food that you know won't upset your system.  This is not the time to try a new type of fuel your friend recommended or wear a new outfit you bought at the Expo.  Just go with what works!  To make sure your routine doesn't get thrown off, remember to give yourself plenty of time on race day, too.  Logistics can be a nightmare with so many people trying to get to the same place, so give yourself extra time to find somewhere to park, locate the restroom, get in your corral, etc.  No need to add extra stress at the last minute when you have to sprint to the start line because you didn't leave yourself enough time to park.

You also need to hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!  A couple of days before the race you should start pushing your fluids, and you should continue this throughout the race and when you are finished.  Performance is seriously hampered when you are even a little bit dehydrated.

With all of this in mind, trust in your training and have fun!  You already did all the work - you will do GREAT.  Please stop in the store and let us know how you do in your race.  We would love to see pictures!  Good luck!!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Why Train for a 5K?

Why run/walk?
o   Physical and Mental Challenge (Accomplishment of Goals)
o   Stress Relief
o   Added Energy
o   Social Activity/Meet New People
o   Toned Muscles
o   Burn calories – eat more or lose weight!
o   Runner’s High
o   New wardrobe
o   Train Mind – Perseverance, Focus, Determination, Work Ethic, Self Motivation
o   Health Benefits
        §  Healthy weight (lose or maintain)
        §  Prevent Muscle and Bone Loss (Use it or lose it!)
  §  Reduced Risk of Diseases Like Heart Attack, Stroke, Breast Cancer, Diabetes
        §  Boost Immune System  (Higher Concentration of White Blood Cells)
  §  Builds Confidence (Defeat Obstacles/Challenges, Healthy Self-Image)

How to Avoid Injury
o   Develop Core Strength
o   Warm-Up
o   Stretch After Running
o   Relax (Minimize Tension in Shoulders, Arms, Face)
o   Good Form (Stand Tall, Hips Under Shoulders, Shorter Strides)
o   Listen to Your Body
o   Build Mileage and Intensity SLOWLY Over Time

Follow a Training Plan (Like OURS!)
o   Adjust and Go At Your Own Pace
o   Enjoy It and Have Fun!

If you've ever wanted to run or walk a 5K, this is the perfect time to act on it!  Come train with us!  Our free training groups start Saturday, May 18th at the store in Edgewood and Monday, May 20th in Burlington at England-Idlewild Park.  The Edgewood groups (intermediate and Couch to 5K) will meet Tuesday evenings tat 6:30 PM and Saturday mornings at 9:00 AM, and the Burlington Couch to 5K group will meet Monday and Thursday evenings at 6:30 PM.  We have great pace coaches for every ability, and we provide routes, hydration, and lots of encouragement!

Learn more at one of our informational meetings (all held at the store).  We hope to see you soon!
Info Meetings:
May 8th - 6:30PM
May 11th - 9:00AM
May 13th - 6:30PM
May 16th - 6:30PM

Monday, April 1, 2013

Pamper Your Feet!

It's the first day of April, which means several things.  Reds Opening Day!  Warmer weather.  April Fools Day.  And race season is just around the corner!

If you've been fitted for a good pair of running/walking shoes, you have taken the first step in taking care of your feet.  The next thing you'll need is something comfortable to wear when you aren't working out (or something to put on your feet as soon as your finish your race!).  Injuries like plantar fasciitis are so common when people start wearing $2 Old Navy flip flops in the summer, as they provide no arch support and are terrrrrible for your feet.  We have a HUGE collection of summer sandals in now that feel amazing and provide great arch support.  Keen, Teva, Oofos, Spenco, Sole, Merrell... if you want it, we have it!  From waterproof hiking style sandals to fashionable thongs and slides that are actually good for your feet, you have to try a pair for yourself.

I was as guilty as the next person of wearing flats to work and cheap flip flops by the pool, but I soon found out how uncomfortable foot pain can be.  Our feet don't get better over time, so do what you can to protect them and keep them happy now!  Stop by the store and let us help you find the perfect pair for you.