Improve Your Running NOW!

Usually people who start up running after a hiatus will deal with injuries sooner than someone who stayed consistent with their training. We’ve been lucky enough to be blessed with runners as clients, so we know the trials and tribulations of a runners life.  We have high school cross country and track, Masters runners and your weekend road warriors that get personal training here at Critical Mass. Here are a few tips that we use for our clients.

1-TRY NOT TO CASH A CHECK YOU CAN’T CASH

Set small realistic distance goals. Thinking you can start at 3 miles (um um ELISE!) when you haven’t ran since last summer is asking for trouble. There is nothing to be ashamed about if you run for a .25 or .50 miles on your first day or even your first week. YOU NEED TO BUILD A FOUNDATION! Make the foundation strong and from there you should increase the volume week to week. There are many online programs that give you a nice progression for your runs. Tailor it to your specific goals and see how it works out for you!

2-WARM UP

This is like beating a dead horse but it has to be said. WARMING UP specifically for your run not only allows you to get into a good running pace early, but it will reduce the chance of injury. You can go to any local university and see that the runners do a very specific warm up, a dynamic warm up to be exact. A dynamic warm up excites the nervous system more so than static stretches. Hip mobility, hamstrings, ankles stability exercises and even some arm swings are focused on. Here are a few runner warm ups:

3-PROPERLY FUEL & HYDRATE YOUR WORKOUT

Whether it be a carb loading the night before or sucking down some liquid fats, you need to be fueled before you hit the road! Like NASCAR, your body needs to be running on the best fuel. Pop Tarts are not a  good fuel source, but you will see many high school aged kids snacking on these or other processed foods be fore a run. Realistically, athletes need energy from complex food sources that are from the Earth! That’s why its so important to stay on top of your nutrient intake. Not properly fueled can lead to poor performances and injury.

NO FUEL NO GAINS

The top runners in the world have a diet that will make your head spin! Here is some guidelines to a runners diet:

The recommended rule for carbohydrates to follow per body weight is:

  • Highly intense training (more than 4 hours a day): 4.5-6 grams per pound
  • Medium training (1 hour daily): 2.3 – 3.2 grams per pound
  • Low training (less than an hour): 1.3 – 2.3 grams per pound

Protein recommendations are:

  • If you run an hour a day, you require 0.6 grams per pound of weight. This increases the longer you run.
  • If you are training for a marathon, you can start with a protein intake of 1.2 grams and increase this to 1.5 grams per body weight on the days you do intense training.

Fat recommendations:

  • Don’t be afraid of fats. Fats are a great fuel source and help produce hormones. It’s been found that runners who intake 30% of their daily calories from fat have less injury occurrence.
  • Healthy fat increase has contributed to increased muscle mass and inhibiting muscle breakdown for fuel.  Source.

Stimulant recommendations

Having a cup of joe (coffee) can help wake up the nervous system and get you geared for a hard run. Don’t over do it though. Caffeine is a diuretic. Too much can have adverse effects on performance. A safe dosage should be at least 40mg but no more than 100mg.

Water intake:

  • A Glass when you wake up
  • Only sips during a run
  • A Glass before you go to bed
  • A safe bet is .66 x body weight in ounces through out the day.

IF YOU’RE THIRSTY YOU’RE ALREADY DEHYDRATED!

4- WEIGHT TRAIN

runners knee

Following a proper weight training program is essential in improving and sustaining a runners life. It has been shown that runners who strength train have a greater finishing kick than those who don’t weight train.  Weight lifting will help maintain good running form when fatigued which will help prevent injuries as well. Strengthening exercises should be the goal, not endurance type training. Save the endurance work for the road. Movements you want to master are the squats, Olympic lifts, any single leg movements and core strengthening exercises! Do not be afraid of bulking. If you are following a plan then it should be geared for performance not muscle size.

If you are at a loss on what you should be specifically doing in the weight room then contact Critical Mass. We do evaluations on strength, mobility and flexibility. From this we design a program that  can be tailored to your goals!

INCREASE YOUR RUNNING ECONOMY!

 

 

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