Wednesday, December 29, 2010
I thought this was a helpful post regarding running shoe care.
Taking a few extra steps can put some additional life into your shoes - and save you money. Check it out - these tips make logical sense and there are videos included.
Saturday, December 25, 2010
If you're regularly participating in events, you'll be faced at some point with the grief of not reaching your goal.
This happened to a writer of the Mission to Another Marathon blog recently. She graciously accepted the hugs and high fives and moved on. What else can you do?
If there's anything I've learned in my fitness career - most events have an "annual" attached to their names. That means you can always return and try again. Or you can try another event at the same distance at the same time of year.
The most important issue is determining "what went wrong?" Educate yourself as to the steps you can take to improve.
Perhaps you need to change your goals. Check out this article from Runner's World to learn more about alternative goals for a successful race.
Thursday, December 23, 2010
I read about this marathon in the New York Times recently - it's not for the faint of heart.
The Mount Lemmon Marathon annually takes place near Tucson, Arizona in the fall and features a 7,700-foot climb of 26.2 miles. That's really high!
No wonder it's billed as the "world's toughest road marathon". Check it out and read what veteran marathoner Bart Yasso has to say about this test of endurance. Although, not a participant, he was a special guest at the event this past fall.
Monday, December 20, 2010
Check out this post from Tri Coach Rich Strauss about triathlon training in the off-season.
He offers advice on how to be faster and make the best use of your time limitations for effective training.
As many of us are "self-taught" in the tri world, Strauss gears his comments to the "self-coached" athlete.
I will probably be doing a limited amount of posting during the holidays, but will cut back some. Enjoy the holiday season with your family!
Saturday, December 18, 2010
If you're going to engage in distance running as a pastime, you must believe in yourself.
The Runner Dude's Blog recently related how training to reach distance running goals is like a long-term investment. Ultimately, there will be hiccups along the way, but one needs to be patient and follow the program. In the end, savings and patience provide return on your investment. In other words, don't spend your time worrying and believe in yourself.
Read this post to learn how you can motivate yourself to overcome the obstacles that all runners invariably face in working to reach their goals.
Friday, December 17, 2010
Yoga is such a great form of exercise.
Check out how the music group Sugarland uses yoga as a fitness tool in this article written by Jen Murphy in the Wall Street Journal.
Yoga is very relaxing and easy to learn. Some people tell me they don't feel they get a "workout" from participating in yoga. I believe yoga is most effective when you supplement it with other cardio activities.
Try to attend a yoga session and learn how its benefits can work for you.
Wednesday, December 15, 2010
Need a little motivation to eat less and feel more active?
Watch a fitness commercial. According to a study highlighted in USA Today, people who watched a fitness commercial ate less and felt more active versus commercials for other products or services. They also felt more body- and health-conscious.
Check out Nanci Hellmich's article to learn more about the results of this study. The next time you need motivation to eat less or work out more, you may need to dig out those old Tae Bo commercials.
Monday, December 13, 2010
Never let others define you.
I really appreciate the wisdom of this statement. When others tell you can't do something, prove them wrong. Work to show them you can.
This post from Daily Spark serves to provide us with the motivation to be everything we believe we can be. If we believe we can accomplish something, don't let it end with the perception of someone else telling you that you can't.
Saturday, December 11, 2010
Reading the Frayed Laces blog recently made me think about the importance of goal setting in our training.
Admittedly the goal of becoming an "Ironman" by completing an Ironman triathlon event as illustrated in his Frayed Laces post is a little ambitious, but it serves to make the point. We can all be more focused and effective in our fitness activities if we work toward a goal. Whether it's losing a certain amount of weight, completing a 5K under a certain time or competing in a marathon -- we'll all be that much more committed if there's a plan in mind toward a specific accomplishment.
And yes, I do remember I just wrote about taking it easy and taking time to work out "just for fun". There really is a place for both. Sometimes we need goals to keep our training on track. But at other times, we need a break too.
Take time to evaluate what goals will be important to you as we work toward next spring/summer's event season.
Thursday, December 9, 2010
So I have read that a Southern Baptist leader is denouncing yoga. What gives?
Yoga is one of the most innocent practices I know, but R. Albert Mohler, president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary says yoga is not a "pathway to God" or representative of Christianity.
Wake up, Al! I don't think most of the 15.6 million Americans who practice yoga view it as the "pathway to God". They do it because it's a relaxing way to be in better touch with yourself through relaxation, stress relief and low-impact physical activity.
Mohler's comments make it appears as though yoga is the equivalent of satanic worship. I think he probably has greater problems he could be attending to if he really wants help people find their pathways to God.
Tuesday, December 7, 2010
What are your pre-race rituals?
Do you have to have a certain food? Are you a coffee drinker? Are you checking to make sure your "lucky" race shirt is washed the night prior to the event?
Personally, I have to get that shot of coffee before every workout. It gives me a nice "wake up call". I also have a stretching routine I do prior to all events.
Check out Christine Luff's post on pre-race rituals. Also, take a minute to comment on this post and share yours with us.
Saturday, December 4, 2010
While it's a bit late for this post where I live, many of you can still enjoy the benefits of the fall running season.
This post from Run Girl Run is a reminder of why running is so great when the fall weather is mild. There are a wide variety of races in which you can participate, you don't have to get up at the "crack of dawn" to "beat the heat" and the scenery is great.
Fall is a GREAT time to run!
Thursday, December 2, 2010
I just read a great post that serves as a reminder to all of us working to stay fit -- shouldn't fitness be fun?
Many times I share tips in my post that help bring "purpose" to our training efforts. However, it's important we enjoy our fitness endeavors too.
As we start the holiday season, many of us are "in between" seasons. Take this time to relax and enjoy your workouts. Just go for a run, spin class, yoga class or weights session and enjoy it. We should try and do some workouts that lack in purpose, but offer more in enjoyment.
Read this post from the Iron Mom blog and you'll understand what I mean.
Tuesday, November 30, 2010
As we wind up the year, perhaps now is a good time to reflect on ways to "get back on your horse".
If you were disappointed with your fitness goals this year, take a read over this article from Cheryl D. Hart that was published in USA Triathlon.
I can't tell you how many times I've encountered disappointment from results at an event or my resentment for not being able to participate in an event due to injury. It's bound to happen. The most important takeaway from this experience is to learn from any mistakes and move forward.
Most events are annual, so in the popular Chicago Cub vernacular, there really is another "next year". Truthfully, you can always do an event again the following year. Don't be defined by the results that disappointed you, be defined by how you recover.
As the Japanese proverb quoted in the article says, "Fall seven times. Get up eight."
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
A recent article featured in the Wall Street Journal made me think quite a bit about this issue posed in my headline.
Let me get this straight - after much discrimination in the field of running, women are now saying "no" to men by sponsoring running events "for women only"? Yes, I know there are a number of distance running events that are geared toward women, but what's the big deal with men participating in the events as well?
Running has come such a long way as a sport that truly integrates gender in my mind. How many times do you see a group of people running where there are participants of BOTH genders? How many times do you see so many men and women running together at events?
If event organizers want to market to women with female-specific races, I'm fine with that, but I don't see a problem with men being allowed to participate too. I see this Wall Street Journal article by Kevin Helliker inspired many comments. Let's hear from you - what are your thoughts on this issue?
While you post some great comments on this issue, I'm going to take some time off to enjoy travel for the Thanksgiving holiday.
Monday, November 22, 2010
Let's face it - those long runs can REALLY drag you down.
Running long runs can often become a grind that makes us less enthusiastic about the weekend's "big one". I'm a little unusual as I am always looking forward to my Saturday long runs. I view it as a highlight of my week mainly because I run with people with whom I enjoy running or I know I'm going to get some valuable thinking time to myself.
However, if you're looking to make your longs more interesting or make them an opportunity to improve your pace, you need to read this Runners World article from Bob Cooper.
Using "slow and steady", "progression" and "dress rehearsal" strategies as Cooper calls them, you can improve your pace for the next event. Try one of these approaches on your next long one.
Saturday, November 20, 2010
I LOVED this story! A CEO putting her money where her mouth is by leading a healthy lifestyle to serve as an example to her employees.
I have written about this in the past - promoting health and wellness among employees can do nothing but make healthier employees who are less expensive to insure.
In my mind, it only makes sense that we would have less expensive health care premiums if people led healthier lifestyles. Employers can lead the drive toward healthier lifestyles by taking a more active role in the promotion of health in and out of the workplace.
Read this USA Today article about Margaret Sabin, a hospital CEO in Colorado Springs. She also works as a fitness instructor to act as a model to her employees for healthier living.
I hate to say it, but we've become a nation of lazy, overweight, cigarette-loving and unhealthy folks. It's no wonder health care costs so much in this country. Employers can make a difference by taking the lead toward educating their employees about the benefits of living a more healthy lifestyle.
Thursday, November 18, 2010
There is quite of bit of discussion about running barefoot these days.
Some experts speculate that it's better for you to run barefoot. I'm not sure I believe that, but check out the following article and video featuring Harvard Professor Dan Lieberman from www.nesn.com to see what you think.
Whether we like it or not, running is not a natural act for our bodies. It's a lot like throwing a baseball - we can do it, but it causes a lot of stress on our bodies - whether you're running with shoes or not. Be reasonable in your expectations for your body to avoid getting set back with injury.
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
Looking for some new ways to tone up your core?
Many are regularly seeking the "six-pack" abs. These exercises will help.
Check out these exercises from www.sparkpeople.com. There are several good exercises listed along with links to demos and videos for additional core exercises.
Don't forget - a solid core requires a healthy diet and regular cardio exercise as well.
Sunday, November 14, 2010
Reading a post tonight made me thing about making a recommendation to those of you out there who are participating in fall/winter events. Don't forget to try out any new gear prior to doing your event.
This post in the Happiness One Mile At A Time blog helps make the point. Never try new shoes, new clothing, new nutrition products or gadgets for the first time during an event. Test things out beforehand. New shoes can cause blisters, new clothing can cause annoying chafing and new nutrition can make you sick!
Get a feel for something new you want to use long prior to race day and you won't have any regrets.
Thursday, November 11, 2010
As mid-November approaches, I know our days of doing anything outdoors are pretty limited. With winter getting pretty close, I thought I would share something to make us think warm thoughts.
Read Gale Bernhardt's post from www.active.com about getting acclimated to warm climate events.
As the theory goes, you really can't control what the weather will do when you compete in an event. The best plan is to try and train in conditions that you EXPECT at your event so you're prepared. Heat is particularly tricky because it undoubtedly slows your pace and you have to be prepared to fight that off.
Hopefully, this post will help you think about warm thoughts and ideas for events next spring and summer. Off for a couple of days - see you soon!
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
If you're looking for a new resource for a diet, the Mayo Clinic is a pretty good place to start.
Here's a review from www.thatsfit.com on The Mayo Clinic Diet, a new book about eating your way to a healthier lifestyle. The book is written by the weight loss experts at Mayo.
Sometimes we just need something new to offer a fresh perspective about healthy habits and losing weight. This book could be just what you're seeking.
Monday, November 8, 2010
I love this post about eating locally. We really should make an effort to support local food products.
Eating local usually means eating fresher, healthier food products and this is the point of this guest blogger post on Carrots and Cake.
I'm quite fortunate in that living in the heartland of the Midwest, I have many options for eating some great local food. It's this time of year where we often end our long Saturday runs at the Downtown Farmers Market so we can enjoy some locally-baked breads, locally-raised meats, locally-grown veggies and other great products.
Farmers markets are so popular now, they represent a great opportunity to sample local food from your area.
Check out this post so you can learn some other ideas for lending more support to local food products.
Saturday, November 6, 2010
Today, I'm just sharing something fun!
This link takes you to YouTube video that was recently posted on the Frayed Laces blog. The accompanying video is about taking the lead and establishing yourself as a leader. It's very fun and inspiring, so I thought I would share.
Enjoy some frivolous and entertaining inspiration today!
Tuesday, November 2, 2010
Sunday, October 31, 2010
There is some great new equipment available that you need to see.
An article in the Wall Street Journal recently highlighted some of these new items that can do two things for you. First, mix up your routine and work muscles you're probably not accustomed to working. And second, help you reduce impact on muscles, tendons and joints that can be subject to injury if you're not careful.
I've recently experimented with the TRX equipment that our gym has recently acquired. It provides a great workout.
Check out some of these new products and how they might help you.
Saturday, October 30, 2010
Short on time this week - so I'll get to the point.
Fitness magazine recently featured a great article with tips that will help keep you motivated toward your workout routine. The article provides some information about certain cues you can use that are easy, but not so obvious, to help you stay on track.
Take a look to see if these strategies could be helpful to you.
Thursday, October 28, 2010
We're all looking for something a little different from time to time.
There's nothing wrong with "shaking things up a bit", but these runners take it to an extreme. Check out this article from USA Today about runners who take to the mud, trails, mountains, hills and rivers to get a little extra in their efforts.
In Iowa, I'm always amazed at the number of people who participate in the Living History Farms Race. It is a true "cross country" race that travails fields, fences, creeks and other obstacles. Not exactly my way of running, but this event has sold out in the past.
If you're seeking a new running experience, perhaps this article provides some food for thoughts.
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
Are your abs and back struggling to lift you over those hills on your bike?
There is no doubt the muscles in our legs are the keys to success in biking, but your core muscles are very important as well.
Check out this post from Dimity McDowell on www.active.com that shows a great core routine you can use to strengthen those back and ab muscles.
As we move into the off-season, now is a great time to focus on building your strength in these areas of your body.
Sunday, October 24, 2010
We often forget about how important "fuel" for our bodies can be when we're doing endurance activities.
This post on the Run To The Finish blog is a reminder to pack the water bottle, sport gels or jelly beans needed to get you through your activities.
We tend to think that overeating or drinking prior to an extended workout will make our stomach upset. The opposite is true. This is an especially important reminder for newbies. If you're going to be involved in activity for more than an hour, you will at least need water (particularly if it's warm).
It won't hurt to make sure you eat a good meal and properly hydrate several hours prior to extended activity.
Another key point to remember - use your training activities to experiment with the appropriate nutrition. You don't want to get to "race day" and try something new. Now THAT can lead to getting an upset stomach.
Thursday, October 21, 2010
A number of people are adapting to more part-time healthy eating habits.
Part-time vegetarianism is gaining popularity for many people. The practice involves cutting meat from your diet on certain days of the week. For example, I have a number of friends who do "Meatless Mondays". No meat on Mondays at all. This is a very healthy and gradual approach to exploring vegetarianism.
Check out this post from Jen Mueller at the DailySpark blog to learn more about how you can incorporate vegetarian practices into your routine on a part-time basis.
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
Fitness doesn't get easier as we age.
While many of us are still passionate and competitive, we're more susceptible to injury as we get older and work to maintain a strong workout schedule. Running is particularly difficult as the impacts leaves you open to knee, joint, IT band, ankle and other injuries.
So what do you do? The Runner Dude blog has some good answers. You can stay competitive by doing some exercises that are specific to making your upper and lower body stronger . . . and less susceptible to injury.
Take a look at these core exercises that will help you in your efforts to keep running jinury-free.
Sunday, October 17, 2010
When I last wrote, I mentioned the USA Today Family Fitness Challenge.
Here's an idea to pursue that challenge from the Fit Mom's blog. Get to the park! There are plenty of activities you can do to keep fit with your children in a trip to the park. Some great ideas start right here in this post.
It's also a nice time of year to blow off the gym and enjoy one of your community parks for a run or bike ride. The temperature is favorable and the fall colors are in full bloom.
Forget the gym once in a while and get out to a local park on your own or, better yet, with your family!
Monday, October 11, 2010
Families working together toward better fitness. Now that's a GREAT idea!
I'm late on the trigger for this, but USA Today's Family Fitness Challenge series has some great ideas about families working together toward good fitness. Check it out here on the website. The program started in June and went throughout the summer with articles every week about ideas and themes for family fitness activities.
We've tried to adopt this sort of activity as well. For example, my youngest son decided he wanted to play tennis. It's so easy to find a tennis court and play a few sets of tennis. A few weeks ago, we decided we wanted to go to a local park and have a "home run" derby. Anything that gets you outdoors moving around with your children is great.
The key is identifying activities that children and parents will ALL enjoy together. If you check out the Family Fitness Challenge, you may find some ideas to help get yourself out with your family in a new activity.
I'm going to take a few days off from posting, so you'll hear back from me in about a week or so.
Sunday, October 10, 2010
I'm a big believer in personal trainers.
But let's be honest. Just like any other business, there are some "bad actors" out there who don't have your best interests in mind. This post from Nicole Nichols at the DailySpark blog outlines some questions to consider when seeking out a personal trainer.
There's a natural conflict when a trainer is also the person selling you the service - sometimes not a bad thing - but a reason to be aware. I find personal trainers best benefit those who really need some guidance or motivation toward developing a fitness program.
Remember, fitness trainers do not come cheap and most are worth every penny you will compensate them for their service. But that dictates you should take time to do a little research to help you identify the personal trainer who best fits your fitness needs.
Friday, October 8, 2010
I've written about this in the past, but I really mean it this time - exercise helps ease anger and stress.
How do I know? Well, Everyman Tri news just published an article about a study that reveals this to be a true fact.
Check this post out to learn how there are even more benefits proven to be the results of a consistent fitness routine.
Wednesday, October 6, 2010
I know, it's fall. But it's early fall . . . and that means World Series.
If you're like my sons, you might be still playing fall baseball too. So, here's a new outfielders drill from the Baseball Coaching and Drills blog. It helps improve release time when getting the ball to the cut off man.
The drill involves timing how long it takes the outfielder to return the ball to the infield. Try it and see if it helps the players on your team.
There's a video that helps walk through the drill.
Monday, October 4, 2010
It's great when you don't have to go through the negative consequences of a mistake because you learned from someone else's misfortune.
You have that opportunity by reading the submissions of other runners on this DailySpark blog post.
Learn that it's important to rest and not run too hard on easy days. Or learn the value of appropriate nutrition while training for a distance event.
A little research on these mistakes will help you avoid the mishaps others have experienced. And that's what makes runners great . . . they are always willing to share knowledge with others to help further the sport.
Saturday, October 2, 2010
At this time of year, we're seeing the weather cool off a bit, but this information about why hydration is important to your "cooling system" is worth noting.
This post on the Frayed Laces blog outlines how fluid intake is critical for athletes so they can sweat successfully. Our ability to sweat is important as it is our internal "cooling system".
Don't take hydration for granted. Make sure you're properly hydrating yourself and the athletes you coach during intense activity.
Keep in mind that sodium intake is also a consideration here as we lose it when we sweat.
Thursday, September 30, 2010
I'm sharing some interesting perspective posed on the Youth Sports Parents blog regarding young athletes and reconstructive ACL surgery.
Mark Hyman's post refers to a recent study highlighted in the New York Times that sought to identify whether patients fared better with the surgery or just with physical therapy rehabilitation.
The study doesn't really come down on side over the other, but Hyman makes a keen observation that if a young athlete is contemplating such serious surgery, but may not play sports beyond the first few years of high school, then perhaps the "hammer" of surgery goes beyond what is necessary.
Obviously, families need to consider these issues on their own based on the situation. However, Hyman poses some interesting points to consider if one of your child athletes is facing this type of a decision.
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
Training to race your race in a triathlon.
If you're looking to finish at a certain time, then you need to train so you meet those time goals. Train to meet YOUR goals.
Amanda McCracken has some tips on tri workouts in swimming, biking and running that will help you meet your time targets.
I don't know about you, but I'm always looking for new workouts that will help me reach closer to my goals -- and sometimes they are hard to find. So, be sure to check this article out.
Sunday, September 26, 2010
We all need "scale back" weeks.
Believe it or not, they are important toward recovery for our bodies. This post from the Run Girl Run blog highlights why recovery weeks are good for us.
I recently had a recovery week that extended into a two-week recovery period due to a job transition. Sometimes our bodies need rest. Sometimes important issues come up in our lives that make it necessary to scale back in our fitness routines.
We shouldn't ever feel bad about "scaling back". We should listen to our bodies and give ourselves rest when needed.
Friday, September 24, 2010
There are some great products available that can help with knee discomfort.
Laura Johannes recently wrote about a few of these products in the Wall Street Journal. Patella bands are thin straps that fit around the bottom of your knee and can reduce the amount of pain you feel in the front of the knee.
The Imak or the Cho-Pat are two common straps athletes wear for relief. Personally, I've been using the Cho-Pat strap for about a year now and it is helpful.
Check out this article to see how you may be able to relieve some knee pain.
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
If you're dedicated to fitness, you never know when your ability to perform CPR may come in handy.
I've been CPR-certified for many years and luckily have never had to use it, but it's good to know that I can if needed.
Check out this post from Jen Mueller at www.sparkpeople.com. The article shows new techniques recommended when performing CPR.
If you're not CPR-certified, consider asking your Human Resources department where you work to bring in educators to certify employees. You never know when it may be necessary. Representatives of the American Red Cross and other safety organizations will conduct CPR training at your place of employment.
Monday, September 20, 2010
Does your spouse or significant other often tell you to shower following your workouts?
My wife can't stand the smell of sweat, so I get this a lot when I return home from a run or bike ride. As a result, I had to share this post from Kristen Seymour at www.thatsfit.com on how you can prevent bad odor after your workout.
The post discussed some products available that will help you. Additionally, taking a shower wearing your workout clothes, using baby powder or stuffing newspaper in your running shoes when not in use are tips suggested in the article.
Check it out and maybe you'll avoid the odor that can offend the ones you love.
Saturday, September 18, 2010
It's late summer . . . any maybe you're just a little tired and worn down.
We're still experiencing those days where it can be very warm and humid, so by this time of year, we can get a little bored from the routine. Read Christine Luff's post on how to break out of the "funk".
It's funny how a purchase of new running gear or trying a new cross-training activity to break things up can make a difference.
Additionally, there are so many great fall racing events. Jump online to find an event to enter. Once you've paid your entry fee to an event, you usually feel rejuvenated toward a new training program committed to that event.
Don't let the "late summer blues" bring your running game down.
Thursday, September 16, 2010
It's funny how the various roads we travel can have special meaning for us.
Mary posted photos and reflections on some of the important roads in her life on the Work Hard . . . Play Hard blog. She also included why each road was important to her.
So, next time you move out to take a ride or a run on some of your favorite roads, reflect on why these routes are important to you.
Friday, September 10, 2010
There are many great sources of protein available to help feed those muscles.
Check out this post from www.active.com that features a variety of articles on the benefits of protein, good sources of protein, the use of protein supplements and other topics.
Your muscles need protein for fueling and refueling. Look for those sources that are best for both before and after your workouts.
And don't forget, children especially need their daily supply of protein. Those muscles on little guys need to be fed properly! Milk, peanut butter and sandwich meat are always easy sources of protein for children.
Taking a little break from blogging for a few days - back next week!
Wednesday, September 8, 2010
I caught up with some great reflection in the Krazy Kit Kat blog that I wanted to share.
This blog often carries some great workouts and perspectives on fitness. I could relate to this entry because it made me think about the times that we should be patient in our quests to recover from injury.
While all of those who wish to "get back in the game" following an injury are generally very impatient, patience in this case is the better part of valor. Good things often do really come to those who wait and are patient.
Always resist that urge to return to serious training when you have an ache or pain that has persisted beyond a few days. Seek the counsel of a medical professional to get a recommendation on how you can be someone who experiences good things because you waited.