Thursday, March 6, 2014

Hip Strengthening Exercises

      Weak hips can be the cause of IT band pain, patella tendonitis (runner’s knee), Achilles tendinitis, sciatica, iliotibial-band syndrome, and other common running injuries. Not to mention an inefficient stride which can slow you down. To avoid these issues, try incorporating hip strengthening exercises into your routine 2-3 times per week. Below are a few exercises that can prevent injuries and help keep you running strong!

     Side Leg Raises:
  • Lie on your side with your legs stacked on top of one another.
  • Lift your top leg to about 45 degrees and then lower it back down.
  • Repeat 15 to 20 times per leg

Bird Dog:

  • Get on all fours on the ground.
  • Focusing on balance, lift your right arm and extend it straight out in front of your body.
  • Simultaneously lift your left leg and extend it out behind your body.
  • Bring your extended arm and bent knee back to the center under your body, then extend them both out again.
  • Repeat 15 to 20 times on each side.

Hip Hikes: 

  • Standing on an elevated surface, on one foot, drop the right side of your pelvis a few inches downwards while keeping the left side in a neutral position.
  • Activate your left hip muscles and lift your right side back to the starting position
  • Repeat 15 to 20 times on each side.

Single-Leg Bridge:

  • Lie on your back with both legs bent and your feet flat on the ground.
  • Lift your left leg off the ground and extend it while you raise your lower back and butt.
  • Hold the position for two seconds and lower back downwards in a controlled manner.
  • Repeat 10 to 15 times on each leg.

Donkey Kicks:

  • Get on all fours again, but this time you will only be lifting and extending your legs, keeping your hands on the ground.
  • Instead of extending the leg backwards like you did during Bird Dogs, keep the knee slightly bent and kick upwards, with the bottom of your shoe facing the sky.
  • Repeat 15 to 20 times on each side.

Clamshell (with or without resistance band):

  • Lie on your left side on the floor with your hips and knees bent 45 degrees.
  • Your right leg should be on top of your left leg, our heels together.
  • Keeping your feet in contact with each other, raise your right knee as high as you can without moving your pelvis. Don't allow your left leg to move off the floor.
  • Return to the starting position. 
  • Repeat  10 to 20 times on each side.

Happy Running! 

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Monday, January 20, 2014

Garmin vs. TIMEX- Which one is for you?

Are you in the market for a GPS watch? Two of the most popular brands are Garmin and TIMEX. We often get asked the question “What’s the difference?” So today I’m going to compare the most popular models (for running) from each brand against one another so that you can make an educated decision when you buy your next watch.
Garmin- Forerunner 10
TIMEX- Easy Trainer
·         Tracks pace, distance, calories burned
·         Virtual Pacer
·         Identifies personal records
·         Auto Pause
·         Auto Lap
·         50-meter water-resistant
·         Can upload workouts to Garmin Connect
·         5 hour battery life in full GPS mode
·         Rechargeable Battery
·         Price: $130
·         Tracks pace, distance, calories burned
·         30-workout memory to review details after your workout
·         Quickly acquires and retains the GPS signal with SiRFstarIV technology
·         Hands-free auto-split and interval timer
·         50-meter water-resistant sports watch with INDIGLO night-light
·         8 hour battery life in full GPS mode
·         Rechargeable Battery
·         Price: $100


Garmin- Forerunner 220
TIMEX- Run Trainer
·         Tracks pace, distance, calories burned
·         Heart Rate Monitor
·         Customizable screens
·         High-resolution color display
·         Automatic (wireless) uploads to Garmin Connect
·         Live tracking and social media sharing
·         Training plan support
·         Auto Lap and Pause
·         Identifies personal records
·         Compatible with free training plans from Garmin Connect
·         Water-Resistant in 50 meters
·         11-hour battery life in full GPS mode
·         Price: $250
·         Tracks pace, distance, calories burned
·         Heart Rate Monitor
·         Customizable display with up to 4 data lines
·         15-workout downloadable memory with data summary
·         Five interval timers with optional warm up/cool down
·         Alerts for Heart Rate, Pace, and More
·         Hydration and Nutrition reminders
·         Recovery Heart Rate Timer
·         Five Alarms and Countdown Timer
·         8-hour battery life in full GPS mode
·         Water-Resistant to 50 Meters
·         INDIGLO Night-Light
·         Price: $230


Garmin Forerunner 620
·         Tracks pace, distance, calories burned
·         Color Touchscreen
·         Recovery advisor
·         Race predictor
·         VO2 max predictor
·         HRM-Run Monitor—adds feedback on running form by showing your cadence, ground contact time and vertical oscillation, or degree of bounce
·         Virtual Partner, Virtual Racer, Auto Lap, Auto Pause 
·         Automatic uploads to Garmin Connect
·         Live tracking and social media sharing
·         Free training plans from Garmin Connect
·         50m water resistant
·         11-hour battery life in full GPS mode
·         Price: $450

Happy Running! 

Friday, January 3, 2014

Avoid the Cold, Don't Avoid Your Run---Tips for Treadmill Running

Edgewood, KY 4-Day Forecast

High: 36  Low: 27
High: 37    Low:-10
High: -6      Low: 9
High: 4        Low:-2

Most (sane) people, unlike Chris (pictured at the right),
 would take one look at these temperatures, and avoid running outside. Makes sense, but it doesn’t mean you have to avoid your run altogether. Personally, I’m not a fan of the treadmill, but when it’s -10 degrees out a treadmill doesn’t sound all that horrible..

Now, if you aren’t used to running on a treadmill there are a few things you need to know.

Warm Up Right
Most runners know their pace and plug it in right away on the treadmill, but what many people don't know is that going from zero to sixty could cause injury. When we run outside our bodies naturally and gradually roll in to our optimal pace. Below is a basic way to warm up to help make your workout as beneficial and safe as possible:

  •          Walk for 3 minutes: Start easy and build  up to a brisk walk in the last minute.
  •          Jog for 3 minutes: If you know your marathon pace, this effort is about 1 to 1.5 minutes slower per mile.
  •          3 x 20/40: This is 20 seconds fast, 40 seconds recovery. Goal here is to get the blood pumping and have you ready to hit your intervals/training session at 100 percent.

Watch Your Step                             
While the cushioned surface helps prevent injuries, some people report aches and pains after putting extra time on the treadmill. Be sure to run at a pace you can comfortably sustain. If you can’t keep up with the treadmill without grabbing the handrails, you’re going too fast. Holding onto the handrails can throw off your stride and create a twisting motion, which can lead to injuries.  As you tire, lower your speed or incline.

Use the Incline to Your Advantage
Running on a flat treadmill is similar to running down a slight decline on the open road. Combined with the treadmill’s inertia, you could start to over-stride a bit and lose your natural running form. Standard Treadmill Protocol is to set the incline at 1% as the baseline for all your runs.

As you begin to improve on the treadmill, the natural tendency is to increase the speed at which you are running, but this won’t translate to the open road. Instead of just going faster; challenge yourself by increasing the incline.

Decipher the Pacing Info
Many treadmills show pace as miles-per-hour (MPH). Below is a cheat sheet so you can find your minutes-per-mile pace, more commonly used by runners:

·         4 mph = 15:00 minutes per mile
·         4.5 mph = 13:20 minutes per mile
·         5.0 mph = 12:00 minutes per mile
·         5.5 mph = 10:55 minutes per mile
·         6.0 mph = 10:00 minutes per mile
·         6.5 mph = 9:14 minutes per mile
·         7.0 mph = 8:34 minutes per mile

Now that you’ve read some tips on treadmill running, watch the special edition of Wednesday with Wheels to hear his perspective and advice about running on a treadmill. 

Happy Running!