Why Runners Need Yoga

Every time I end up with a running injury I’m reminded that I really need to stretch. Not just that perfunctory stretch I pretend to do that probably just makes things worse, but a long, range of motion, stabilize the body type of stretch. I can almost feel the muscle tightness, but never take the time after a run to really get those muscles back in shape.

Though it may be hard for type A runners to slow down long enough to maintain a downward dog, it makes good sense to incorporate yoga into your running routine if you want to improve your running technique.

Here are 3 reasons why runners need yoga:

  1. Yoga strengthens your core – A stronger core helps keep your body stable while you’re running and decreases your chances of being injured. Yoga is a complete, total body workout that works the outer body and inner body at the same time, protecting your internal organs. It works both the large muscles in the body and the smaller ones, targeting the respiratory, skeletal, and cardiovascular systems. Yoga uses your own body weight to make you stronger. It also stabilizes your back and neck.
  2. Improves breathing – Runners who do yoga ensure more oxygen is circulating throughout the body. Yoga targets the upper, middle and lower portions of the lungs, something running doesn’t incorporate. Yoga gives you increased lung capacity, which improves both endurance and running performance.
  3. Increases flexibility – There are several ways runners can increase their flexibility, and yoga is one of those. Yoga is great at increasing your range of motion and helping to prevent injuries. Yoga stretching allows you to extend your muscles through their full range of motion, actually making it easier to run. And what runner doesn’t want that?!

I’ve always resisted yoga as being too slow and boring, but if it can help make my running faster and easier, I’m ready to give it a try. What about you? Are you a runner who swears by yoga?

Marathons Going Green

Yesterday was the annual L.A. Marathon, which was perfectly timed on festive St. Patrick’s day and the weather was perfect. Approximately 24,000 runners went the 26.2 miles from Dodger Stadium to Santa Monica. It’s one of the largest marathons in the country and brings in runners from all parts of the world. So, on a day synonymous with green, I was surprised to see one of the biggest marathons in the country didn’t seem to be going green.

6,000 volunteers hand out oranges, bananas, and over 70,000 gallons of water to runners as they pass by. Then they kept the streets clean by raking the trash continuously. 1, 220,000 paper cups. I could help but think at least some of that waste could be kept to a minimum if they’d only used swiggies, wrist water bottles, instead. At least a little of the marathon could be greener with eco-friendly wrist water bottles. I would think you could save on time by not having to slow down at the water stations so often. You could just fill them up quickly on the go. And they can also be frozen to lower your body temperature in the heat.

With all the talk of going green, you would think marathons would be more conscious of the enormous amount of paper cups that are being used and find an alternative.

So, race directors, give me a call. swiggies are a great solution to that problem. And they’re BPA-free. Put your logo on them and participants will keep them for a long time, showing off your logo over and over again. And showing that you care about the planet at the same time by going green. It’s the best advertising money can buy.

 

 

 

Psychological Benefits of Running

As I was running through the hills near where I live I was thinking that it’s great just to take a break away from the office, away from the computer, and away from stress. Even if it’s just for a short time. There’s a lot to be said for tuning out the world for a while on a run and the psychological benefits of running.

Here’s another good article by Judy Mick that discusses that topic:

Most everyone knows that there are great physical benefits of running. It keeps you healthy and in super shape. But, many don’t know that running in great for you mentally as well. Here are some ways that running makes you stronger mentally as well as physically.

Running provides great stress relief. There are several ways that this happens. If you have a problem that you need to figure out how to handle, a long run gives you the time to sort it out in your mind. You’d be surprised how clearly you can sort through things during a 2 hour run.

Also, going for a long run can just clear your mind. If you’ve got many things going on in your life, a nice run can help to just get away from things. Many runners will take this time to be by themselves and just be out on the roads – themselves and nature.

Others will run with someone to have company and just forget about their problems.

Another way that runners deal with stress is just going out and blasting through a run. If it’s been an overly stressful day, you can go out and do some speed work. This will help to get all that stress out of you. Trust me, it feels great!

Running will improve your attitude. There are those that think “runner’s high” is a myth. But, there is something to be said about how good you feel after a run. The release of endorphins that accompanies running does make you feel better and keeps you a happier person. There are even some doctors that prescribe a running routine for their patients that are suffering with depression. For these runners, this also helps them to focus on something else rather than their problems.

A regular running program will also improve your confidence. This can happen in many ways. This confidence can come from goals that you set and accomplish. Many runners start running as a means to lose weight. As they reach this goal, they gain confidence to keep on running and it spills over into their everyday life, also. Runners also gain confidence from setting other goals, such as training for a specific race distance, tackling that big hill, getting faster, etc.

You know how running benefits you physically. Isn’t it great to know that running will also help you keep a good attitude and in a good mood? For many people, this may be even more important.

Running is a simple sport – but there are also many things that you need to know and be aware of. Sign up for my Free weekly newsletter at Runner For Life for advice to stay out on the roads and keep running for life.

Mayor’s Marathon & Half Marathon

Conoco Phillips presents the Alaska Mayor’s Marathon & 1/2 Marathon in Ancorage, AK

June 23, 2012

Alaska’s biggest marathon begins at Bartlett’s High School  and runners run a scenic course. It’s sanctioned by USA Track & Field.

http://www.mayorsmarathon.com/index.cfm

National Running Day

If you see a lot more runners out today it’s probably because it’s National Running Day. The running industry has dubbed the first day in June a day when runners everywhere lace up their sneakers and hit the road, or trails, or the treadmill.

Cities and small towns across the country are planning running events to celebrate the fact that running is a free, easy… okay it’s free, way to work off stress.

So, grab a friend, two legged or four legged, and head out for a run to celebrate. To find out more go to:

http://www.runningday.org/

Race Day for Beginning Runners

If you’re participating in your first marathon there are a few things beginning runners need to know before the big race day.

Here is some advice from Judy Mick, who is an expert at this and who hasn’t missed a day of running since 1985. Now, that’s what I call dedication!

You’ve signed up for your first road race. You’ve completed the training and now race day is finally here. There are some things that you want to make sure you do to make your race go smoothly.

First of all, you want to pick up your race packet the day before the race. Some of the larger races have an expo the day before the race. Make sure you check this out. You can pick up your packet and look through the cool stuff that they have for sale there. You want to have your race bib and timing chip the day before.

Choose what clothes you will be wearing. Check the local weather forecast and see what the weather is going to be at race time. There are also wonderful smart phone and tablet apps for the weather. With these, you can check the weather for the exact time period of the race. It’s great for helping you to decide on the proper clothing.

Also, the night before race day, I’ll pin my race number on my shirt and have it already done. Most races want the bib on the front of your shirt. Make sure you do this. The race officials will be able to see you and also, if they are taking race photos they will pick you up.

I’ll also get the timing chip fastened onto my shoe – OK, my hubby does that for me. Waiting until race morning to do all of this just causes undue stress on you – and you’ll know that it’s already done.

Make sure you eat something at least an hour before race time. Eat something that is high in carbs. But, stay away from fiber – not going into detail on this one – I’ll just say that you don’t want the fiber to kick in during your race! I usually eat a Power Bar. It has the carbs that I need and fills me up.

Get to the starting line early. My rule of thumb here is at least an hour before. You can park easily and find out where the port-a-potties are. If you wait to find them just a little before the race, you can risk being in line when the gun goes off.

Line up in your proper spot. If you are running 10+ minute miles, don’t line up in the front of the pack. This will just make the faster runners mad – and you may get trampled when the race starts. Many races have instructions marked where to line up for what pace you’ll be running.

Congratulations, you’ve made it to the starting line! Now, wait for the starting gun and then run your best!

Running is such a great sport! Sign up for my Free weekly newsletter at Runner For Life for other tips and tricks that will help you in running.

Holualoa Tucson Marathon

December 11,2011

Starts at 7:30 a.am.

Expo – December 9th from 1:00-7:00 p.m.

Starts in historic town of Oracle north of Tucson and runners follow a scenic route SH #77 along Santa Catalina Mountain range.

Website:

http://www.tucsonmarathon.com/SUNDAY__DECEMBER_11__2011.htm

Malibu Marathon & 1/2 Marathon

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Both marathon and half marathon runners share the same finish line, but start in different places:

Full marathon starts at Freedom Park, 1/2 marathon starts at the halfway point of full marathon and both travel along PCH

The Malibu Marathon is fully endorsed by the city of Malibu

Website:

http://www.malibuintmarathon.com/index.htm