This is me after my first 1/2 marathon ~ The Disney Princess 2013 at Walt Disney World!  Since then, I have continued to train for my 2nd 1/2 marathon and my first FULL marathon coming soon January 2014!!  I will better my PR (personal record ~ or some call it their PB, or personal best ~ I like to reserve PB for my sandwiches haha!) in my 1/2 and hope to complete the full marathon still standing ;) These races will be back-to-back Saturday-Sunday after running a 5k and 10k the Thursday and Friday prior to warm up!  I have learned a lot about running posture and cadence since this first race ~ I'm excited to share what has worked for me!


I came across this article and thought I'd share because I too believe yoga and running should be best friends!


 

Running with Prana ~ 10 Tips


1 ~ Download a metronome app for your iPhone.  Running with a metronome will help keep your cadence at a steady 180-190 spm (strides/steps per minutes). This is important because SPEED isn't gained by a faster cadence, rather a greater tilt, or lean.  Frankly, you ought to be aiming to make as many steps-per-minute with a jog as you are for your 10k race pace.  Your stride LENGTH dictates your speed. Your 'tilt' is your gas peddle :)  I like to keep my metronome so every 3rd step is a beat ~ like a waltz! Otherwise, sensory overload :(


2 ~ Don't let your hands pass your midline (no twisting at the waist, keep your upper body still).  For a steady, non-hill pace you want your elbows to go back behind you until your hand (loose fist) is by your waist, while the opposite elbow is beside your waist aswell.


3 ~ Gaining distance on a steep uphill; use a 'side step'.  Also helpful up hills is to change your arm swing so that your elbows never go behind you, rather your arms are moving to an almost 90 degree angle with your shoulder. Pump your arms to increase power.


4 ~ Keep you upper body stable/still, focused on the path.  You should keep your rotation from the waist DOWN. When your right leg moves to step, your right hip follows and your left hip wings back. All this control is from your CORE. Your limbs should be free. So this means pelvic rotation, runners!!


5 ~ MID-FOOT STRIKE.  I can't say that enough.  MID-FOOT STRIKE. When you land on your heels first, you're putting on the breaks. This leads to joint injury and hello, slower running times!


6 ~  Body tilt should NEVER come from your waist. Your tilt comes from your feet. You literally LEAN forward to increase speed. Your cadence never changes. 


7 ~ Your knees are soft and keep them low, your heels move behind you ~ no 'knees up'. 


8 ~ Breathing = belly breath!  At first this can be difficult especially if you're concentrating on all the other posture improving tips. So I recommend you begin to breath in through your nose, out your mouth ~ abdominal breath. This helps to pull a greater amount of oxygen into your lungs.


9 ~ Breath rate ~ 2:3 ratio.  2 counts on the INHALE and 3 counts on the EXHALE.  This is from Yoga ~ what we know about anatomy and the respiratory system is that it is your EXHALE that dictates how much air your breath IN, not your inhale.


10 ~ SMILE!!  Revisit running mantras in your head such as "enjoy the mile you're in", "I can do anything for a minute", "I am strong", "Soon, this will all be a memory" So Smile!!


Get up and RUN!!  A bad run is better than no run at all :)

Strength Training ~ Imperative for Every Body & Every Level of Fitness! 

Very easy 5 exercises I like to do ~ 20min 2-3x a week


"Your excuses start when you listen to your fears… rather than your confidence" ~ John Stanton, Founder of The Running Room


1~ 1-arm dumbbell (DB) snatch ~ this is great for runners especially because not only is the focus obviously on the upper back & shoulders, but the legs get a workout too!  (This is an explosive move, so choose a DB that is heavier than you think, but that you can 'snatch' over your head.) Standing with your feet a little wider than hip distance, have the DB in one hand turn the OPPOSITE foot out to a 90 degree. Lowever the DB so it's parallel to the instep of that opposite foot and explosively snatch/(throw without release) the weight up over your head extending your arm and legs. You start bent over and end standing up. Keep the opposite hand (without the DB) OFF YOUR BODY. After you've snatched to stand, with control lower the weight back to starting position and repeat the snatch 8-10x and switch sides. Do 2-3 sets :)

2~ Romanian single-leg deadlift with or without DB ~ standing with the DB in either hand using a hammer grip, lower your upper body to the ground as your left leg rises up (your body should look like a "T") keeping your standing right leg straight. Keep your body in a line as best you can from crown to left heel. Lower your leg back to the ground as you simultaneously lifet your upper body back to neutral. Repeat 8-10 times each leg for 2-3 sets. This exercis works on your hip muscles including the psoas, pectineus, TFL and improves your balance. Also GREAT for the hammies & glutes!! 

3~ Bridge march ~ laying on your back with knees bend, feet on the floor raise your hips to the ceiling (arms alongside your body, palms down). With control from your CORE, lift one knee so your toes are headed to the ceiling (keep your foot loose and not pointed). Lower that leg and lift the other...do this 8-10 times each leg for 2-3 sets.

4~ Single-leg jumps ~ explosively jump up onto a stair or a box (anything stable) with only one leg, trying to land on your whole foot (not just the ball/toe pad) . Do 8-10 jumps on one, then switch to the other. try for at least 2 sets.

5~Stability Ball (SB) pike-ins ~ my favorite ~ but it takes some getting used to so don't be hard on yourself, just persevere and be consistent with it...imagine you're in plank position, now raise your feet so your toes are on the SB. Roll the ball towards your head as you RAISE your hips over your shoulders, then return the ball to starting position/plank. This is a total body exercise, but most important to have your CORE engage and active. push into the ground and lift your hips high.  Try for 5-10 on your first go. The number isn't important if your form is bad (better to do 4 great pike-ins then 10 poorly).


Have you had your run today?

It's not always easy to schedule a run in when you're a social coordinator of a husband and 4 young children, a student, part-time Fire Fighter and the CEO of your household!  Getting outside to enjoy the nature's sounds & all her beauty is 100% my preferred venue to escape to ~ up to about minus 15C here in Northern British Columbia ~ and without earbuds ~ just my dogs for company, conversation and protection! To the left are my fur-pals ~  One-year old brother & sister from same litter, Johnny (black lab) & June (yellow-coloured black lab), and Copper-pup (shaggy shih tzu-blue heeler cross).


But as I like to consider myself always in 'training mode' whether or not I'm take a necessary break, or upping my training frequency to 4-5 times a week ~ sometimes I have to jump on the treadmill or spin bike (please pass the earbuds) for necessary cardio conditioning.


"To reach your high level of performance as an athlete ...you must first learn to enjoy training" ~ John Stanton, Founder of The Running Room


2 Great Workouts to Prep for a Marathon:


1 ~ Marathon Simulation:  Long run of 2.5-3 hrs trying for constant speed. Drinking water about every 15min to mimic drinking frequency of the marathon course. If you have the luxury of knowing your course gradients, play with that on your treadmill. Run at a pace 20-30min slower than your anticipated marathon finishing time. Try not to slow down on the 'hills' ~ this helps build stamina in your calves & glutes.

 

2 ~ Lactate Threshold Version 1:  Warm-up for 2-3 miels then run 6-10 miles at LT pace (not suggested for beginners).  Version 2: Warm up 2-3 miles then run 4-6 x 1 miles at LT pace with 1 minute recovery between. Cool down jog 2-3 miles.  Version 3: Warm up 2-3 miles then either 2x15:00 min or 3x10:00 at LT pace (longer intervals) with 3-minute recovery jogs in between. The 3rd version is best for beginners ~ even those just flirting with learning to run :)


Q:  **What is Lactate Threshold and why should I bother training at the pace?  How do I know my LT pace?


A:  Lactate is a by-product of anaerobic metabolism produced during exercise performed at all intensities; achieving a balance between the rate of lactate production and absorption is key. During light to moderate efforts, lactate levels in the blood remain low.

Conversely, as intensity increases, there comes a point where the body is unable to remove lactate faster than it’s generated, leading to improper muscle contraction and, ultimately, slowing down. Lactate threshold is the highest steady-state intensity that an exercising person can maintain for a specific period of time — increasing the threshold in training will allow runners to run faster, longer.