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Digital Running Club » Entries tagged with "Training"

Ask the Experts: Ice Baths

Ask the Experts: Ice Baths

“My friend told me I should take an ice bath following my long runs. That sounds a little crazy! Should I give it a try?” -Pauline S. Omaha, NE Taking an ice bath following a long run is almost as much a tradition for marathon trainees as the post race medal. The theory behind it goes something like this: Running hard and/or running for long periods of time causes micro trauma in the leg muscles. This is good … Read entire article »

Filed under: Ask the Experts, Columns

Improving Running Economy

Improving Running Economy

The term “running economy” refers to the volume of oxygen someone consumes relative to their body weight at the speed they’re running. Here’s a quick example that looks a lot like a word problem, but don’t worry, I’ll do the math for you: Jim uses 60 milliliters of oxygen per kilogram of body weight per minute to run at 8 minutes per mile. Assuming he maintains that pace for a whole mile, he’ll consume 480 milliliters of … Read entire article »

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Speed work without a track

For many, the thought of doing speed workouts or “speed intervals” evokes thoughts of high school track & field practices and seemingly endless laps around that boring track. There really is no better place to get an accurate look at your fitness level than a standard 400m oval track, but most of us don’t have easy access to a track once we leave our academic pursuits behind. Although the track is a useful tool for just about any runner, Lack of Track Syndrome (which we endearingly call LOTS) is no excuse to skip the speed workouts that are essential to improving fitness and race performances. There are a few other options available, especially with today’s technology. The Marked Path Many local parks have marked sidewalks or trails. Sometimes, only the miles are marked, … Read entire article »

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Warming up when it’s hot

Many people falsely assume they don’t need to warm up when it’s hot outside. It’s certainly an understandable thought. After all, if you’re sweating buckets just standing around waiting for your race or speed workout to start, the thought of getting any warmer isn’t exactly appealing. Unfortunately, the terms “warm up” and “cool down” were probably invented by a track & field coach in a very cold location. They are very misleading terms. While physically warming your muscles up before a race or tough workout is certainly a function of the “warm up”, it’s not the only function. Perhaps the most important function of the warm up is to get your body’s energy systems ready to perform. It takes about 2 minutes for the body’s aerobic energy system to activate.  Before … Read entire article »

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Ask the Experts: Speeding Up

I’ve been running 5K every other day since I ran my first 5K race on Thanksgiving. I just can’t seem to get my time below 28 minutes. How is it possible for people to run under 20 minutes? Am I just slow? – Jonathon M., St. Petersburg, FL While some people are indeed naturally faster than others, just about anyone can run a 5K in under 20 minutes, given enough of the proper training (the really fast people do it under 16 minutes). We all grew up with the saying “practice makes perfect”. I’m not going to argue with that, but after a certain point, simply running 5K over and over again will yield smaller and smaller results. The trick is to train the individual aspects of your physiology that are required … Read entire article »

Filed under: Ask the Experts, Columns

The Dreaded Training Plateau

If you’ve never experienced a training plateau, you’re either my hero or you haven’t been training long enough. It’s easy to stay with a training program when you constantly see progress toward your goal, but when you hit a plateau, everything changes. You feel like you’re working just as hard as you did before, but the progress is gone. You’re running in place, spinning your wheels, and swimming against the current – a very unsatisfying triathlon indeed! What causes the plateau? Like most things, the training plateau can be the result of a number of factors. The most common one is your body’s own adaptations. This is especially common for people who are exercising to lose weight. A person who weighs 250 lbs burns more calories walking a mile than a person … Read entire article »

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Myrtl Routine

The Myrtl routine is a set of body weight exercises that can be done just about anywhere. Legend has it that the Myrtl routine is so named because it strengthens the “hip girdle”. I’ve seen it spelled with the trailing “e” as well, perhaps implying it was invented in Myrtle Beach. In any case, the Myrtl routine is a great way to strengthen and increase the flexibility of the hip girdle, which is a key and often overlooked area on a runner’s body. Weakness in the muscles that make up the hip girdle has been attributed to overuse injuries like Iliotibial Band syndrome, patellofemoral pain, bursitis and hamstring injuries. On the other hand, a strong hip girdle has been associated with conditions including “economical running” and “a strong finishing kick”. Based on … Read entire article »

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