Runners Rock and Camaraderie

One of the great things about our sport is the sense of belonging and camaraderie. How many times have you found out a person is a runner and it doesn’t matter if they are a total stranger or not, you instantly feel a connection? You ‘get’ them and they ‘get’ you.
guy running
People sometimes think that running really isn’t all the much of a team sport. More-so in track where it could be certainly argued it’s more individual; but that’s really not the case because even though you ARE out there and performing as an individual you aren’t really alone. Even if you don’t belong to an actual team or worrying about a team scoring, you are a member of the team of runners.

Your competitor knows what it takes to put in the miles and the training, they know that you’re hurting just like they are, and they know exactly what it’s like to be in your shoes…because to a certain degree they are. Certainly they want to beat you, but they have to respect and at least understand you.

Outside of actual races runners tend to be incredibly personable and gregarious…if I do say so we are some pretty down to earth and cool folks. Sure, we’re weird, we’re geeky in many ways, we could talk lost toe nails, war stories, Nip Guards, and GI distress like it’s nothing.

Perhaps we have to have a sense of humor to balance out the insane desire to get up, do the same repetitive action again and again, and at times punish our legs like none other.
friends running
Runners can make for the best of friends, spend enough long runs and interval sessions with someone and you’ll probably wind up knowing more about them than anyone else…or at least understand them unlike others. There is something that happens in those unsaid moments in the middle of long runs, in the last few excruciating repeats, in those runs done in torrential downpours and gale force winds, and in the jittery pre-race warm-ups.

Runners ‘get’ it.

1) Were you on track and cross country teams through school or any other places?

2) Are many of your friends runners or are you pretty much the only one? (It’s totally cool, I love my non-running friends too!)

3) Do you sort of feel like you instantly like a stranger more when you find out they are a runner?
Umm…guilty! :)

4) In blogging I get this, do you feel like you know a virtual stranger really well because they are a fellow runner and you can relate to them?
Yup…crazy, I think I’m getting more virtual than real life friends. ;)

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Running Hard: Outward Appearances Can Be Misleading When You Give it Your All

Now, it’s interesting how different people act after finishing races, or hard workouts too. Outside observers then tend to assess just how hard the athlete ran depending on the looks of anguish, falling to a heap, or tossing their cookies.

girl on track

Cross the finish line and drop to the track...

Though I sort of think that can be really misleading…

* Sometimes the fastest or best races of one’s lives come in the form of those rare, freak, awesome beyond awesome races where they feel ‘easy’ or at least eas-ier. Everything lines up and even during the race you sort of think you’re having an outer body experience like, “Am I really running these splits…are these really my legs doing this?!” You just roll with it and after you cross the line you’re ecstatic with the results…you no doubt KNOW that you’re tired, it’s just you felt amazing and so you might smile and it might ‘look’ then that what you did was easy.

* Sometimes you see arms thrown up, crossing the line with fists pumping…here it’s the adrenaline and excitement that temporarily masks the pain. I’m sorry, you win a Gold Medal, I think you gather the reserves to let that excitement burst through.

* Yes, dropping to the ground surely shows that you’re tired and left a heck of a lot our there. I have the highest admiration for mental grit and getting the most from yourself. BUT, just because you don’t drop to the ground that doesn’t mean you didn’t punish yourself enough…in the end YOU know if you did or not.

* Tossing your cookies…here is one where I think it depends a lot on the runner. Lots of people play up the, “Wow, you barfed…THAT means you’re the toughest runner around…THAT really shows you pushed it,” but really, throwing doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re macho tough, there are other factors involved. Yes, it surely could be that you just put it ALL out there, or it could mean that you shouldn’t have had three hot dogs 20 minutes ago. Finally, sometimes people do throw up if they ran outside their fitness level…props for pushing it, but maybe it means they should have built a little more base or not taken that whole summer off.
runners on track
I think what it really comes down to is the particular athlete and how you tend to respond to the excruciating pain we willing put ourselves through at times. :) No bagging either which way; some people are barfers but just because you’re not a puker that doesn’t mean you’re not running hard. Similarly, different races and workouts certainly feel a lot different…having one of those magic days will no doubt leave you finishing looking a lot different from one of those races where from the gun you feel like you’re running with legs of lead.

Outward appearances are misleading…some of the fastest harriers make it look effortless as they click off lap after lap. They look like machines, their form is pristine, no wasted movements, their faces stoic. They are running relaxed…but for darn sure you know that behind that mask of effortless they are working their tails off and it’s hard for everyone.

It’s never easy…I mean even in those awesome beyond awesome moments it might have felt eas-ier, but it was hardly easy to get to the moment. It took months, years, zillions of miles and way too many hard workouts you’d care to remember.

It’s never easy…and so that’s why we need a little extra motivation now and then, to keep reminding ourselves WHY we keep doing this. But then we remember we really it. Yes, we love when the stars align and we get one of those awesome beyond awesome days, but also we just love the thrill of kicking our own butts.

1) How do you usually look after races, or hard workouts? Do you tend to do the hunch over, the drop to the ground, the hands over head?

2) Have you thrown up after a race of hard workout, do you tend to just do that regardless of pre-run food choice or fitness level?
I’ve never thrown up, but I can really close once…it was my first race and had run maybe one or two times before that. :P

3) How do you try and stay relaxed when you’re running hard?
I try to focus on keeping my form, keeping my shoulders down, and then staring straight ahead at a specific point (like the back of the person ahead of me) to try and zone out.

4) Those awesome beyond awesome days, have you had one, how many, and do you remember it clearly?
I think I’ve had one or two…and I remember clearly thinking there was something wrong with the clock. :P

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Indoor Track: Race it or Skip it…AND Falling into Pinterest

I feel into Pinterest. Actually apparently now you have to beg your way into the site and actually get invited…wow, the egos on these social media sites!


Pinterest even rode in on a unicorn and handed me the invite. ;)

So I now have another way to waste ungodly amounts of time toss up my work, so please come follow me! Overt plug…yes, but I’ve got other boards too where I’m not hogging the spotlight, I spread the love. ;) Come pin me!

There are some serious races going off this weekend and indoor track season is rolling in full force! Growing up in California where indoor track is virtually unheard of (I didn’t even run on one until I was out of high school) this time of year was pretty much just base building until outdoor track season.

There are positives and negatives to running indoors, having three seasons instead of two.

Some Pro’s:
* Keeps you sharp
* Keeps you hungruy and motivated (I know some runners find it difficult to WANT to bust their bums if there isn’t the incentive of a race coming up)
* Another season and another chance to set PR’s and win do well in races

The Con’s:
* Three seasons is a lot and can be tiring
* Not racing and building a stronger base can pay off with a better outdoor season

It’s more about what your priorities are and where your bigger goals lie.
If you’re really wanting to capitalize on a powerful finish to outdoor track, or had a really long cross-country season, perhaps skipping indoors or at least not focusing too heavily on it is the way to go. Lots of athletes sort of ‘train through’ indoors, don’t taper too much for the races, don’t exactly put in the speed training and race more to just get a progress check, keep the legs moving, and just get that racing feeling.
runners booty lock
Regardless, as a track fan/nerd it’s always awesome to be able to watch and see what happens any time a gun goes off.

1) Do you run, or have you run, indoor races? Were you big into the indoor season?
I’ve only run a handful of indoor races, am I the only one who gets a nasty case of raspy throat after racing in the stuffy air?

2) Would you prefer two seasons or three?
I’d be up doing some indoor races, but probably go the more train through them route if I were still competing…or rather, whatever my coach thought was best. It’s always nice to put the racing shoes on from time to time.

3) Are you a track nerd and following the races this weekend?
What do you think?

4) Who’s on Pinterest?? What social media sites do you use the most?

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P90X: A Bit Overhyped and Do Runners Actually Do This Thing?

You too may be guilty of letting those annoying, yet oddly entrancing, informercials for the P90X training system run a little longer than you’d like to admit. Though, the same sort of effect does occur when the Shake Weight or Ab Zapper comes on…they pull you in and by the time you realize you’re watching there’s a little bit of drool on the remote.
muscle girl
Back on track here…the P90X training thing looked to me like just another twist on in-home fitness. A trainer looking to be the new Jane Fonda so to speak…only meatier, musclier, and with a bit of the army-esque ‘gggrrr’ appeal. They have the clips of sweat drenched men in cut-off’s busting out burpees and ladies with abs that could grate cheese.

They have to, it is after all aimed to get you to buy into the program. It looked like a combination of weights, plyometrics and core work which isn’t bad…but then again nothing incredibly revolutionary or late-breaking. Just my opinion…really, when it comes to the general public, getting them to do anything on a consistent basis is better than nothing. It also looked like there was an accompanying diet program which would also help explain the stark contrast of before and after pictures.

For the general public, what a lot of their workouts are lacking are:

*Consistency and personal accountability
*Intensity (a leisurely stroll around the block does not a true workout make…you want to get your heart rate up there and keep it there)
*Cardio and strength (many go the either or route, you need both…and it’s possible to combine the two in one workout)

P90X seems to supply that but so does a lot of other training techniques. My thing with it is that it tastes like a gimmick because it’s telling you it’s such a revolutionarily, different training product. That there is nothing else like it or will give you results…that’s not the case.

But how effective would any of this be for distance runners, or serious runners for that matter
? Obviously I’d never pick this over actually doing the miles or intervals, but maybe in accompaniment. (A side note, I’m sure P90X isn’t exactly trying to appeal to competitive distance running market, more the masses, but this is a running blog and so I’m at liberty to roll with this one.)

I’d say if you picked and pulled apart different aspects of the P90X and pared it down to what distance runners tend to lack, then it could work. I would just see this as being a bit of a supplement to the training rather than a switch (obviously). I haven’t dissected P90X enough to know exactly which parts may or may not be included in the list below…my point more-so is that finding these elements and including them in any way will help runners if done correctly. And that you don’t need to buy into P90X to be able get these things.

*Plyometrics: These are explosive movements, things you see the sprinters doing a lot; think leaps, bounds, box jumps, high skips…I wrote a bit more on them HERE. The thing with plyometrics is they will build muscle strength which translates to power and speed. You can do this to a degree with really short intervals (like 200′s) but as distance runners we don’t tend to recruit those fast twitch muscle fibers too much…so plyo’s are a nice way to do so.

*Core work and flexibility: Putting in lots of miles tightens up runners and many of us (myself included!) are too lazy to stretch. But it’s hampering us in a few ways; not only setting us up for injuries but also, being tight limits our range of motion. If you can’t get full extension because you’re too tight, that’s not a good thing. With core work, your torso is your powerhouse and there are tons of little, intrinsic muscles that typically get overlooked in strength routines.
girls flexing
*Strength: Runners do tend to not exactly love the strenght work, but having stronger arms will help your running…your legs can only turn over as fast as your arms can pump. Also, building strength helps keep you running with proper form as you tire in addition to the obvious power you pick up from stronger muscles.

*Functional muscle: I don’t tend to think going into the weight room and pounding the dumbbells is the most effective route to go…why build bulk for the sake of bulk? Rather, I think that functional training, where the moves are more dynamic and sports specific is going to do you more favors. So resistance training doesn’t have to be confined to the gym; things like resistance bands could work, medicine balls, kettlebells, even holding weights and mimicking the arm swing motions you do with running. Build muscle that will DO what you want it to when you run; this is different from just getting toned to look good which you can easily do in the weight room.

*Mentality: While I sort of laugh at the army-fied nature, it does come down to pushing yourself HARD enough to get the benefits. If you need a guy yelling at you to pump you up, by all means. Running hard hurts, you have to run hard to run fast…do the math and you get running hurts. Mental training is not to be overlooked and it’s good to continually callous your mind just as you do your body.

Nothing against Tony Horton, I think he’s a smart marketer and that’s what it does take to be successful today. I give him props for helping a lot of people take control and improve their lives…something we do need. (HERE is an article from Competitor that tackles this same kind of question.) I just don’t like the message that it’s completely revolutionary and the ONLY thing that works…like the magic bullet.
tired runner
There is no magic pill to make you better…it takes consistent, hard work and lots of motivation. That can come in a variety of forms, no person is alike and their training programs will reflect that…it needs to contain some basic elements, but in the end there is no cookie-cutter mold that works for everyone.

1) What do you think about the P90X training system? Do you use it or have you tried it?

2) What are your thoughts on strength, core, and dynamic training for runners? Do you do plyo’s or other methods, and how have they impacted your running?
I think plyo’s really help with building power and speed…but you have to be smart when you do them and at what point you are in the season. Also, core and strength work I know has vast improved many a runner!

3) What’s the ‘best’ or funniest informercial you’ve seen?
Shake weight is looking like the front runner at the moment. ;)

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Defining Your ‘It’: Dreaming, Thinking, Setting Goals

What is ‘IT’ to you?
running motivation
Do you know what you want? Is there an inkling in there? Are you not totally sure that it’s what will make you happy, but it might? Are you afraid to say it…maybe even think it?

Setting our sights on something can be scary…sometimes speaking goals puts too much weight on them. But it still could be worth putting the weight on the words and striving towards ‘It’…striving towards something.

Having a concrete goal and writing it down has proven to be one of the most effective ways of actually achieving something…funny how the a remarkably ‘simple’ act is instrumental in a potentially insurmountable outcome.

Because even if you don’t exactly get to the ‘it’ you originally thought of…getting there is a journey and if your ‘it’ evolves over the trek that’s okay. Redefine it. But still go after it.

Heck, even if you fail…and you might, there are no promises, it’s a risk…at least you tried, right? At least you won’t have to wrestle with the regret of not knowing.

Goals can be scary to share, but the people who DEFINE their ‘it’ and write it down somewhere, even if in secret, are far more likely to continue on that journey towards it. They have better chances of achieving their ‘it’…but even if they don’t, at least they don’t have the regrets of now knowing what ‘could be’ if they never tried.

Define it…Redefine it if you have to…go after IT.

running for cake

Or is this more your style?? ;)

(Hey, even if your ‘it’ for the moment is cake…if it gets you through the workout I call it a win! hehe. Not all goals have to be so HUGE or long term…mini-goals can be set and achieved too!)

1) What’s and ‘it’ you have?

2) Do you write your goals down, or have a little to-do kind of list?
I have way too many lists, mostly because I seem to get lots of ideas in strange/random places and I don’t want to forget about them. :P

3) Do you bait yourself to finish certain tasks/workouts that will get you headed towards where you want to go?
All about the carrot in front of the horse…works surprisingly well too! :)

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My Adventure in Cryotherapy: The treatment that’s reportedly 4 times better than ice baths (read: FREEZING!!)

Last weekend I had the opportunity to visit US Cryotherapy. I’d been hearing a bit about cryotherapy from a few places (ie: Oregon Project Runners getting a Cryosauna and more comically Usain Bolt’s little foot and frostbite situation) and the gist I’d gotten was that it was supposed to be more effective in speeding along muscle recovery than ice baths.

I knew of a few groups of elite runners getting in on the cryotherapy action and they found it beneficial. I mean we all know that Paula Radcliffe and plenty of other pros swear by ice baths immediately after their workouts; the draw of the cryotherapy chambers then, is that you get the same (if not more) benefits in less time. Reportedly the systems are four times more effective than the standard ice bath. So, how is it supposed to work in a few minutes instead of the 10-15 minutes of an ice bath??
cryotherapy chamber
It’s FLIPPING FRIGID!!! This is me coming out of the cryotherapy chambers after a bit over 2 1/2 minutes…I was a squealing mess. In fact, you can watch my entire cryotherapy adventure here…

Let me tell you, I was not prepared for how cold it actually was, partially because I tend to tune out when I hear lots of numbers and my temperature estimation is always way off…I feel like it’s cold when it’s under 70.

Fun Facts:
* US Cryotherapy is the only treatment center of it’s kind in the United States. Apparently there are more in Europe but they are just starting to make the trip abroad.
* Temperatures: -76° to-166°F
* Uses: speeds up muscle recovery and decrease inflammation
* How: 4 times colder than an ice bath, it will cause your veins to first constrict then re-open which causes blood to flow back to the treated areas and this leads to cellular repair
* I’d seen the videos of Dathan Ritzenhein going into a cryosauna chamber, so I thought I was going to go into a tube/pod thing with my head sticking out. I went into a room and this one is different in that it’s not gas-powered (liquid nitrogen) but rather, powered by electricity. With the gas you can’t have your head and shoulders being treated, but with the electric it is safe to do so. Also, with the electric chambers the temperature stays constant and is evenly distributed over your entire body versus the jets in the saunas.

Anyways, I went into the main (colder) chamber for 2 minutes (the max is 3 1/2) and afterward they have you do a bit of easy cardio just to get the blood moving again. While it was a punch to the gut shock to the system, I did warm back up pretty quickly and felt fine right after. I’d even say that I felt able to walk around and move again much faster than I’ve felt after any ice bath…you know the post-bath rigimortis shuffle. ;)

Last I went in and tried their localized treatments, here would be what you’d use on small areas experiencing soreness or any issues. (last part of the video) It felt like a hairdryer on my skin but with cold air…not nearly as cold as it felt in the chamber, and this little guy wasn’t even that hard to tolerate. I got it on my left quad and right hip flexor.

How would I say I feel after? Well, I feel fine and nothing starkly different either way; my hip flexor has been stiff/tight on an ongoing basis because of the ellipticaling I’ve been doing, hence the local treatment on it. I’d say the next day it was a little less sore, but there could be a little ‘power of suggestion’ thing going on in my mind. (Update: it’s now three days since and my right hip flexor is a lot less tight; funny, now it’s my left hip flexor, the non-treated side, that’s sore! haha…but that’s pretty usual, aren’t we all sore somewhere all the time when we workout regularly?? So it’s no biggie.)

The thing though, is that I’m not in heavy training and not with a real muscular injury so to speak. That said, I do honestly think that the therapy would be really beneficial if: 1) you go in after a hard workout 2) go in on a consistent basis (I didn’t expect a miracle after one trip) 3) have an acute or ongoing stiffness/soreness/muscle injury to get treated.

The verdict: we all know ice baths work…these chambers are supposed to be even more effective. They are incredibly cold but, the self-induced torture is only a minute or two…even this weather wimp could handle it. An ice bath is 15 minutes of torture AND you’re numb for awhile afterwards…given the option/luxury I’d pick the two minutes with cryotherapy…just saying.

The catch: Like I said, getting access to one is pretty difficult unless you are sponsored by Nike or another big company, or lucky enough to live in the Roseville, CA area. It is also a lot pricier than an ice bath, so it would be an investment. Which, if you’re not loaded with the extra fundage could be tricky and really only take a trip if you’re dealing with a real muscle problem (or one of the other specific injuries this works for) or in serious training mode and want to recover after an especially hard workout/race.

The Wow Factor: I have to say, the whole experience was pretty cool. I felt a little special, even though I’m not, and so props for the ego stroke…I mean it IS the only place in all of the United States after all. ;)

***Thanks to US Cryotherapy as I was given a complimentary treatment.

1) Had you heard anything about this cryotherapy treatment?

2) What are your thoughts, would you want to try it? Do you already use ice baths?

3) Honestly, I know I look like such a doof…but how do you handle -166 degree F??

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Superstitions, Stupidstitions, Rituals and Routines…

Do you have any superstitions? Any little routines that you like have to do before a race? Some little secret good luck charms or habits that for whatever reason you do; you probably know on some level they are ‘dumb’ or silly and don’t reeaaally promise a good outcome, but you do it anyways…better safe than sorry, right? ;)
running racer
To a degree getting into a routine is a good thing:

* Keeps you organized
* Makes sure you don’t forget something
* Consistency is generally always the best bet in terms of running/workout performance (limit the variables)

So it could be argued that those little pre-race, or workout, ritual/routines DO have some kind of positive effect on the outcome. It’s more just a matter of what they are and how quirky they get. Hey, we all have embarrassing little habits/secrets, I’ll show you mine if you show me yours! ;)

Good ‘Normal’ Pre-race/run rituals:

* Starting your warm-up exactly the same time, every time out: this could be for both hard workouts and races…again, consistency
* Doing the same sequence of warm-up drills/strides: after your easy running, do your stretches, drills, and strides in the same order…helps your body know what’s coming and ensures you don’t forget something
* Putting the shoes/bib number/singlet on in the ‘right’ order: okay, here is kind of where we move towards not that important, but if it helps you not forget something…I know some people have to put such-and-such on at just the ‘right’, specific time before they go to the line
* Same pre-run/race foods: okay, the night before you probably want to steer clear of the World’s Hottest Tri-Bean Chili, but the night before isn’t going to make or break you (unless you’re moving into the marathon, plus races) but rather what you eat in the hours leading up to the run or race. Though, I won’t judge if you’ve ‘got’ to have your ritualistic bowl of pasta. You don’t need to feel chained to the SAME pre-run foods but it’s probably a good idea NOT to trying something new on race day.

The Funky Stupidstitions Superstitions:

* Lucky Charms: Okay, I’m not making fun of anyone who has them, because I used to like to race in a certain brand of socks…don’t worry I washed them and cycled through different pairs. (They had funny cartoons on them) Yes, I looked dorky, but I will say though, that going with comfort and socks I knew didn’t give me blisters isn’t totally invalid reasoning…maybe…hehe.
* Last Minute Details: I’ve known people who HAVE to eat exactly THREE pieces of a particular candy snack just before they put their spikes on…there was a girl who liked to listen to the exact same pump-up song during her warm-up…I liked to do one last jump in the air (I probably only cleared about 2 inches) just before the gun went off. These things don’t really impact the outcome, we know that, but it makes us feel secure…mmmmk.
* The Carry-ons: These guys are the ‘lucky’ things hidden away where only you know about them. Think the girl with the stuffed teddy crammed in her sweat bag. It could also be a bracelet or piece of jewelry I guess…these are kind of lucky charms but they have a little more meaning behind them. Maybe that stuffed teddy was given to her by Joan Benoit…you never know???

hot dog

Also probably not the best pre-run food option. ;)

The thing is, routines and rituals are pretty normal in our sport. Runners do have to have a little bit of OCD in us to get our butts out the door to do the exact same motion day in and out. It’s just a matter of keeping routines in check so that they aren’t on the overly-obsessive side. An example is refusing to adjust your training regardless of how you’re feeling because you feel you HAVE to do XX number of miles/minutes.

That is not going to help you; in training you want to think of the program as the outline…as you go along you define the outline and that could include some erasing and reworking within reason. The same things goes for races, sometimes you have to think on the fly and adjust your pre-race plan. Be flexible…at least just a bit. ;)

1) Do you have any rituals that you like to do? Can be pre-race/run or anything else.

2) Do you generally like things scheduled and organized or are you a more on the fly person?
Depends on what it is I guess…with running and workouts I like a little more order.

3) And superstitions that you know logically have no bearing on the result but you like (or in the past liked) to do?

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Running the Numbers: When to Eat High and Low on the Glycemic Index

Is this bagel high or low on the glycemic index? Am I supposed to be eating low glycemic foods or are it the high ones that are better? Wait, what the heck is the glycemic index anyways?
runner on track
I’m a runner and I love carbs. By now I think we’ve all learned that multi-grain breads are better than the standard white and we should veer towards brown rice over white. But in the flood of ongoing studies and information shoved down our throats it’s sometimes tough to stay up to date on what the latest word is about the stuff that goes in our mouth.

I love exercise because it does make me feel like I have license to chow. The whole ‘if the engine is hot, it’ll burn’ thing, and getting too stressed about what foods are ‘good’ or ‘bad’ isn’t the best thing…and honestly there are conflicting messages; depending on who you talk to and what you read you could end up wondering if there is actually anything you should be eating!

But let’s be honest, to a certain degree we fitness folks have to be aware because part of running our best is fueling our best. So at least informing ourselves enough to achieve our performance goals IS smart. I like the saying, “Eating for performance.”

The glycemic index then rates our foods depending on the rate of which they are broken down by our body and converted to energy; it works off of a scale of 1 to 100.

High GI foods (rated 70 or more) are broken down the fastest; these are our white breads, cereals, potatoes and starchy goodnesses. Here we also have our sports drinks and foods. Think of these ones as the more processed foods.
* They offer up the fastest form of energy once eaten.
* Times to eat: during a race/workout, just prior to a race/workout (like if it’s the last thing you’re having), RIGHT after your run…within 15-30mins
* RECOVERY WINDOW: I’ll say it again because it’s this important, you want a high GI food along with a protein source within 30 minutes after your workout…miss this window and your recovery rate drops at least 60%
fresh carrot
Low GI foods (rated 55 an under) are absorbed more gradually by the body; here are our apples, bananas, old fashioned oats, and beans. These ones are of the unprocessed variety, and usually high fiber.
* Supply gradual, sustained energy
* Keep you fuller for longer
* Times to eat: hours after a workout (post the recovery window you’ll want these guys) and throughout the entire day unless you are actually running or are about to head out

Moderate GI foods are anything in the middle and depending on your workout/running schedule choose from them according to which above category they are headed towards the most.

The bottom line is that the Low GI foods are typically your best bets but it’s important to realize that there ARE times when your body will crave that immediate source of energy. If you’re in a marathon, eating an apple isn’t really going to be doing you the favors you want it to. (and I’d like to see you multi-task that one too! hehe)

I’ve spoken with Krista Austin and in working with Dathan Ritzenhien she shares that before a race he’ll eat just plain, white rice. It gives him the quick shot of energy he’ll need, it’s a low residue food (read as not much fiber which will sit heavy in the stomach) and he knows it won’t cause him any distress. Is it plain? Sure, but he’s not eating it because it will glorify his taste buds…he’s eating for performance.
eating pop tarts
On that note, once your race or workout is done, then you can tantalize your taste buds all you want…I mean you earned it, right? ;)

You can read more tips on how to fuel your running in this article I did: Timing Your Fuel

1) Do you worry about low or high GI foods? Do you try to pick one form of carbs over the other? (ie: whole grain, brown vs. white, etc.)
I do try to stick to whole grains and brown rice/pasta, but I’ll admit to not really keeping track of the GI foods all that well…working on it?? ;)

2) Which, if any, things do you ensure to eat to fuel your running best? Or that you eat because you know it’s best for your body?
Over the years I’ve gotten a lot better at upping my protein, I love eggs, cottage cheese, and shrimp the most. The carby’s I never had a problem with.

3) Thankfully when you are busting your butt you still carry that license to indulge a little more, what’s your top pick? Or, because in heavy mileage it’s sometimes straight up necessary to go for calorie dense foods (hello, Bill Rodgers eating mayo-covered pizza…it worked for him!) how do you pound the cal’s?
Said it a million times, but go to pick for treats are Pop-tarts and Ben & Jerry’s pints…there, said it again.

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Some Running Motivation…

kara goucher and shalane flanagan

For the next time you feel like skipping your workout.

Yes, you may or may not harbor Olympic aspirations, but all of us have our goals that we are striving towards…stay the course! :)

If you’re a fan of mine on Facebook you already got a sneak peek of this poster! So if you’re not liking me yet, you’re missing out. ;) (Sorry for the overt plug…haha)

1) Did you have a run/workout today? A race? A rest day (which is also part of a training program if it’s what you need!)?

2) What’s one of your favorite motivational quotes, mantra’s, or things you say to yourself when things get tough?

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Running Stereotypes…Are You guilty of Some?

Running stereotypes…the good, the bad, and the ugly. Let’s hear them and I’ll even go so far as to own up to the ones I’m guilty of.

1) Wearing sweats or workout gear like they are ‘normal’ clothes.
(I do want it to be known I DO own ‘normal people clothes’ and have been known to actually wear them!)
sweat pants
2) Having far too much of your income being spent on food.
Guilty…I go through sleeves of bagels and english muffins.

focaccia bread

Really any carb for that matter...

3) Talking about GI issues like they are regular conversational topics.
What, you don’t all discuss the less than stellar pit-stop points on a particular route over lunch too? Also, love this poster that was up on SkinnyRunner:

4) You can tell how experienced a runner is by what they are wearing.
*Frosh year of high school: boys wearing boxer shorts and long basketball shorts
*Soph year: boy ditches boxers but still clings to longer shorts
*Jr year: boy caves to short shorts but swears on his life he’ll never don running tights
*Sr year: boy is wearing running tights

5) Runners are secretly constantly comparing their times/paces to the ones they hear any celebrity doing. They either laugh or respect the celebrity accordingly.
Totally guilty! I read that Jennifer Aniston said she runs on the treadmill at 6mph (10 min/pace) and I knew I could take her. I later read that Ryan Reynolds ran a 3:50 marathon and was impressed, I mean not too shabby for an actor. This was around the time he was dating Scarlett Johansen and she was seen running in the Vibrams…I disliked her even more. (PS-I just outed myself as a celeb rag reader…opps!)

6) Runners will have odd tan lines.
Guilty of the watch and sock tan at times…watch one comes with the territory.

7) A person running on the street is just asking to have some idiot shout at them from cars or have random items thrown at them.
FALLACY!!! Don’t get me started, I’ve had a half-ful water-bottle hit me and my mom got a mini-pumpkin to the throat one Halloween…not funny.

8) Anyone who runs obviously is training for a marathon.
Bwahaha…I love how disappointed people get when they find out I’ve not run a marathon and they look at me like I’m not a real runner and parading around trying to be one. I thing the marathon is awesome (duh, I was a little Oly Trials obsessed) but it’s not the ONLY event! hehe

9) All runners love pasta.
I actually don’t…call me a weirdo but I’m not a big Italian food fan unless it starts with a P and ends with an -Izza…OR it’s garlic bread.

10) Fast runners wear sunglasses.
Hit an miss, but I will say that Kara Goucher was rocking the shades at the Trials.

That’s it for today folks! I’d also like to give a shout out to Fabs @FabianBuchheimon Twitter for giving me some ideas!

Have to keep it short, but I’m working on some fun new surprises here, so stay tuned! Also, if you haven’t checked it out, I’ve got an article up on Competitor about treadmill training…fun workout ideas and tips on how to maximize your indoor runs!

Questions for you runners!

1) What are some running stereotypes and are you guilty of them?

2) Have you ever had something thrown at you while running?

3) Worst mistake you’ve ever made in opting for running attire?

4) Are you a big pasta fan? If not, what’s your favorite kind of food and do you have a night before race dinner like to have?
Mexican food…maybe the burritos give me a little more get-up and go. :P

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