After postponing our first training session due to a heavy flow of maple sap, it was great to sit down with Austin Mandryk to talk about running. The group started by talking about their reasons for running and past experiences. Then we really got into it. Here are a few thoughts to carry you through your running training:
1.) Go slow! Start out with a lot of easy running or even walking. With only 6 weeks to train at this point, you may be tempted to push hard every day to get in shape. That is a sure way to injury. Take it easy and push yourself a little further every day. Before you know it, you’ll be running 5k’s in your sleep and you’ll be healthy.
2.) Be consistent. If you work out every day for a week and then take 10 days off, you’ve just lost everything you had gained in the first week. If you can only work out 3 days per week, at least stick to it. You’ll notice results come quickly if you are consistent.
3.) Warm up, cool down, and stretch! By beginning your work outs with 10-15 minutes of light activity (if you can’t talk while warming up, your working too hard), you will be more likely to avoid injury and your work out will seem easier. After your warm up, stretch for another 10-15 minutes. Once your work out is over, try to cool down for 10 minutes (same pace as your warm up) and stretch again. Even better, try to massage your muscles to stretch those muscle fibers. It helps push out harmful substances (like lactic acid) and, you guessed it, prevents injury later on.
4.) Dress appropriately for the weather. Especially during your warm up, your muscles are cold and more susceptible to injury. Keep those legs and arms covered until you are completely warmed up.
5.) Footwear is key. DO NOT RUN IN BOOTS! While boots have plenty of support (and are super stylish), they are horrible for running. Get some sneakers that fit well and provide plenty of cushioning. Your joints will thank you.
6.) Eat after you run. Your muscles are replenishing their stores of sugars and proteins right after your work out. Be sure to eat some protein and carbs (a ratio of 1g protein:4g carbs is suggested) within 1 hour of your work out to give your muscles what they need to stay healthy. Beware of high fructose corn syrup. The high concentration of fructose can prevent all of the sugars being absorbed and they may be converted to fat instead.
7.) As your work outs progress, begin to throw some short sprints in towards the end of the run. Running a little harder (not a full out sprint) will help train the different muscle fibers for that kick at the end of the triathlon.
8.) Pain in one place may mean a problem somewhere else. If your back hurts after every run, it may not be your back that has an issue. Problems in your ankles, knees, or other body parts may translate as pain in a different area. Really examine your routine and make improvements everywhere (more stretch time, less bounce in your run, better shoes, etc…) to feel better overall.
9.) Have a vision. Why are you running? While beating Team EE in the Triathlon is a good goal, that isn’t the reason you’re running, is it? Find your reason and use it for motivation.
10.) Just in case you didn’t get it before, AVOID INJURY. It’s better to progress slowly and allow your body to adjust than it is to push too hard and get hurt. Once you’re injured, it is that much harder to be consistent in your training and make progress.
One of the best things that came out of this session was the origin of the word competition. When broken down, it means “to strive with.” We hope that you find someone to strive with as we all work towards our personal goals of wellness and happiness. If you have any questions about running or fast- and slow-twitch muscle fibers, please feel free to contact Austin Mandryk at firstname.lastname@example.org or (845) 985-2291 ext. 212. And don’t forget to contact Katie Taylor or Laura Johnson about the swimming training Thursday, April 3, at the Kingston YMCA. We’ll let you know when Ben Snyder will be presenting on biking and training for triathlons.
Kevin and Katie