Last Week’s Fitness News: Back to Normal?

Happy weekend, friends. This week was intense. Between “intensive” week at school, putting together the BostonStrongNYC run, and finishing up with my training for the Long Branch Half Marathon, I’m spent. Good thing I start my rotation tomorrow…

YIKES!

Congratulations to all the Eugene, Big Sur, NIKE Women’s DC and everyone else who raced this weekend. How did you do?

The running world is starting to get back to normal-ish. I know there have been changes to the Finish Line protocol at the New Jersey Marathon/Long Branch Half Marathon next weekend. Anyone else know of any big changes to pass along?

  • I’m happy to report (or to pass on the report) that only 30-something people injured at the Boston marathon remain in the hospital as of yesterday. Sadly, at least 14 of the victims had to have a limb amputated. I’m grateful that there are other people who have had traumatic amputations in adulthood who have been to speak with them and encourage them to that life will go on, including Achilles founder Dick Traum and Marine Sergeant Gabe Ramirez.
  • And as you may have seen earlier this week, the entire running community is here to support the victims and their families. We hope that came across in the BostonStrong<city> runs that were held Monday all over the world! You can read about BostonStrongNYC from ChristineKassandraMichelleTheodora, and Gia.
  • There are many businesses donating proceeds to The One Fund, including: Erica Sara Designs, Adidas, Sparkly Soul Headbands, and Oiselle. Are there others that I can tell people about? Tell me! I’m happy to good gossip about companies.
  • Behind this beautiful Boston Magazine cover.

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Beautiful.

Hope everyone had a great weekend. Posts may be sporadic as I try to figure out my schedule at the hospital. Safe to say I’ll be plenty busy!

Now go out and run!

Q & A: Cycling Your Training

Two super-common, and super-important!, questions I’ve that were sent in about cycling through training seasons. If you’re hitting up a Spring full or half, these are your jam!

Q. How many weeks do I have to taper for? I’m running a half next month.

A. Tapering down from your highest mileage runs and weeks is essential for your legs to be fresh and ready on race morning. I generally recommend two weeks for a half marathon and three weeks for a full.

Swoon. (Courtesy of heyrunnergirl.tumblr.com)

Swoon.
(Courtesy of heyrunnergirl.tumblr.com)

But why? Long runs are exhausting for your body. Even if you’re not sore from them, your body is tired from them and needs time to recover. That’s why you can have that “dead legs” feeling on your runs 24-48 hours after a long run. Weeks and weeks of adding mileage and hammering out speed workouts takes a toll on your muscles.

Do your last “long” run and then slowly ramp down the mileage over the next two (for a half) or three (for a full) weeks and give the heavier weight training a rest while you’re at it. You should show up at the start line itching to run.

Q. How long do I have to wait after one marathon before I can run another one?

A. I’ve written about this topic before but I want to address it a little differently. If you get through your marathon comfortably and recovery normally, you can run another marathon in 6-8 weeks, if you must. 1 week to recover, the 2nd to shake it out, the 3rd to check your ability to get a high-mileage week, the 4th to kick in some speed, and the 5th and 6th to taper back down.

If you struggled through your race or your training cycle was hindered by injuries or terrible runs or fatigue or sickness, you seriously need a rest. You need a PT. You need some time off your legs. You need to build up strength before you build up stamina and try again. I’m talking 6 months off from high mileage training.

(Image courtesy of Zazzle.com)

(Image courtesy of Zazzle.com)

You do yourself a serious disservice by forcing yourself through workout after workout and race after race when your body is breaking down. Stop. Assess your training  Get assessed by a professional. Start over.

Cycling through your training and having both and On- and and Off-season are absolutely essential to maintaining a healthy body and and getting into tip-top racing form. The pros cycle BIG TIME.

I recommend no more than 3 marathons a year for a 100% healthy runner and 1 if it’s your first time.

Got a question? Email me: runstrongereveryday@gmail.com

Now go out and run!

 

#BostonStrongNYC

My last marathon was Philly in the Fall of 2011. I didn’t know the course that well and had never run the streets of Philadelphia. In New York, I know the danger zones for potholes and curbs and all that good stuff. Not so much in Philly.

At mile 8, I tripped in the middle of the street and went crashing down in a giant pack of people. I spent approximately .013 seconds on the ground before I was scooped up by three male runners who barely missed a stride before planting me on my feet and sending me on my way to finishing my 9th marathon.

Yaaaaaaay Philly!

Yaaaaaaay Philly!

I’m still in awe of that kind of support from perfect strangers. And then I’m not because that’s just how the running community is.

We pick each other up and help each other finish.

That’s what we did on Monday in Central Park. 300 of my closest friends got together to show support for those killed and injured in Boston last week, our running community, and the entire city of Boston.

Take a look.

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The following photos are courtesy of Eric Stafford (do not reproduce images without permisison) whom you should really use for your next fitness event/shoot cuz he’s pretty rad.

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IMG_4668 copy

The idea was conceived by Brian Kelly, and I had two fabulous women who chipped in to make our event happen, Christine Yu and Julia Bienstock. Many thanks to American Apparel for donating the shirts so that we could raise money for The One Fund. Thanks to the fabulous Eric Stafford took some photos for us and, of course, to the Runner Army of New York City who showed up big time.

You guys rock.

Now go out and run.

Things to Do When You’re Injured

At any point in time, approximately 1/3 of my runner friends are sidelined by injury. By and large, running injuries are overuse and not acute, and the unpredictable nature of these type of injuries can make rehab frustratingly long.

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Tendonosis/tendonitis, stress fractures, bursitis, inflammation, muscle strains, malalignment of joints, and mystery pain are among the top ailments we see in PT clinics during high season (late Summer/Fall). It stands to reason that distance runners, as a psychological test group, are stubborn and plow through pain fairly regularly to achieve their goals. Have you ever tried to get a runner to stop running?

Yeah…it’s, ummmmm, impossible difficult.

What’s the injured runner to do when running isn’t an option?

  1. Swim: most injuries are water-friendly and swimming is good for you anyway.
  2. Lift: likely your injury is due to weakness and you’ll be hitting the weights with your PT anyway so you may as well make the most of your time and get strong.
  3. Finally download all the necessary software to actually use all the tracking stuff on your Garmin.
  4. Organize and display your race memorabilia.
  5. Try pilates and/or yoga: strengthening your range of motion is always a good idea.
  6. Bike: if your hip/glutes aren’t involved, grab 2 wheels and pedal away!
  7. Volunteer and/or cheer: support your friends and fellow runners and ring that cowbell!
  8. Stay on top of your PT exercises: you have the time, make sure you’re putting in the work to get back on the road.
I promise you, we're here to help!

I promise you, we’re here to help…and do paperwork up the ying-yang.

Being injured is the absolute pits. But, if you get professional help early from a physical therapist and stay on top of your exercises, you’ll be back on the road to health sooner than you think.

Have you been injured recently? What have you been doing in the mean time?

On a separate note, I’m looking forward to seeing all my fellow runners in Central Park on Monday, April 22nd at 6:30pm for a gathering to show our support for the city of Boston and all the families, runners, and spectators who were affected by the tragic events of this past week. Details for the NYC meet-up here.

Thank you to Well + Good and the Twittersphere/Facebook world for spreading the word.

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Meet-ups are happening all over the country. Find one in your city.

If you’re looking for a way to donate to the families, the Mayor of Boston has set up the One Fund. You can also purchase a t-shirt from Adidas, proceeds go 100% to the One Fund.

Now go out and run!

Coming Together: NYC

In the running community, we come together to cope with tragedy.

Next Monday, all over the country, runners will be coming together for a few miles to run. We’ll run to remember. We’ll run to forget. We’ll run to mourn. We’ll run to celebrate. We’ll run TOGETHER.

NYC runners will meet Monday, April 22nd at 6:30pm at Tavern on the Green for as many or as few miles as you’d like. Wear a race shirt or the Boston Marathon colors: blue and yellow.

Questions? Email me: runstrongereveryday@gmail.com

This is as informal as it comes, so bring everyone.

If you would like to participate in your city, find out if someone is organizing for Monday via Pavement Runner’s blog.

Boston-strong-cityNow go out and run.