Happy Friday, y’all! ☀️ To our friends on the East Coast, especially in the northeast, I hope you all are staying warm and staying safe — this winter storm looks like a big one! 🥶
Lately I’ve been wondering what I can do to improve my own running outside the actual act of running — if there’s anything I should be doing with:
Getting better/more sleep?
Trying different foods/a different diet?
Trying a different running shoe?
Listening to a certain kind of music (or not listening to music)?
Is there anything you’ve tried that’s worked for you? I’d love to know — Terrell
I am always trying new running shoes. Most of them don't work and I end up returning after a few miles, but every once in a while, I find a real keeper like the Hoka Arahi. At one point, I had like 800 bucks of rotating returns and purchase on my Amazon credit card, but it eventually sunk into the normal 150ish when I returned the ones I tried out that didn't work.
I emailed you on this discussion.
I create playlists for specific trails, with warm up and cool down music (and music for the drive there!). I watch running documentaries and read this blog. I run in beautiful places, which motivates me. I am realizing my diet (vegan leaning but with fish) isn't conducive in that I don't eat enough nutrients/protein! I went from being inactive to running every other day and now I'm ravenous.
First, love the image by Oprandi of Runner in the clouds. Second, love all the comments below. Each of us is tinkering to discover what works best. Love the N=1 approach as we take on responsibility for our own lives and share with others. A yoga teacher once opined that if you break down the word Responsibility it actually means “the ability to respond”. So each of us is trying to figure out what works best in any given situation. For me, and I am a great believer in “bio-individuality”, adopting a vegan diet 50 years ago has helped me recover faster from training runs, keep my arteries open and my heart pumping despite a family plagued with cardiovascular disease. You might want to experiment. Just saying…
i know i need to do more core work. always running forward and not doing any side to side makes me not as limber as i feel i should be. i've also made sure to be stretching my achilles after every run.
For me, learning about (and implementing) better nutrition and hydration.
All of the above! For me, Yoga after running and changing my playlist from time to time are a must.
Good sleeping is VERY important.
Was out on a two-mile walk with my wife today at lunch … passed a kid park and tried to do a chin-up on the monkey bars and discovered I couldn’t! Boy do I need to weight training!
I am a fitness buff who happens to run. For decades I have had a balanced fitness routine with equal parts of strength, endurance, and flexibility, all supported by a reasonable nutrition program. Running is an important component of endurance that supports and is supported by the other pillars. So far, the regimen has worked. Mid 70s and still running 6 halfs per year, along with shorter runs interspersed.
The Covid situation has been frustrating. I hesitate to go to the gym, where there are still too many un-vaxed, un-masked people working out. I’m tired of registering for in-person runs only to have them cancelled or downgraded to virtual. What I have enjoyed about running has been the charities, or locations, or themes of runs. I hope we can get back to that soon. The sooner we can all work together to shut down Covid, the faster we can get back to our programs.
Start over again :) . . . You have recommendations from other readers as to what they do to improve their running, so not too much for me to chime in on!
I have been known to do yoga After running (and still do) which is good for relaxation as well as letting the muscles strengthen.
Better food to fuel the body?. . . I've been a vegetarian for over 50 years. That is personal, many would disagree as to how it helps.
Very little or no sugar. Glad to see the booze is out. That will help immensely for mind control and weight. I commend you! (It does take awhile to get rid of the sugar addiction!)
Running with music is a distraction for me, as well as any other sound besides nature. Many would disagree again.
As far as shoes, I'm a barefoot runner or use zero drop. I also have a very light footstep, no recommendations here, but if new shoes make you feel like a better runner, go for it!!
Only thing I see missing is concentrating on posture, a shorter foot stride, and core work. . . Little things that make you light on your feet while running. . . you can go faster and longer!
CBD has been very helpful with both discomfort from training and getting a good night's sleep. Cream, oil or gummy, it really works. At least for me. Since full approval for sale their are very well controlled products out there. Available in both full spectrum and Isolate for those who need to be sure no THC is in the product.
The past two years I have averaged 400 miles per riding season on my bike. (April-Nov time change) I ran the AF 1/2 last Sep. I was very encouraged by how much it helped. Even though I was behind in my running schedule I ran a very decent pace.
I smoke cigars weekly. (Once or twice per week) and have been doing so longer than I have been running. So I cannot say if it affects my times. In my late 50’s I am not so much about time as just staying in shape.
Getting ready for Spring Heart Mini here in Cincinnati. (3/13, 1/2) But without the bike riding right now to help me, I am a little concerned if I will be ready. Considering re-joining a gym to at least ride stationary bike. I can’t do treadmill so all running is outside. It was fun yesterday in 10 degrees! I actually love it, just sometimes hard to make yourself go out in it at 4:00 am.
GA -- For me doing squats to strengthen the quads is what helps the most -- probably should try a different diet
Probably goes without saying by smoking is not conducive to running. Within 2 weeks of quitting cigarettes my mile pace dropped by over a minute. It was shocking to me just how bad cigarettes were for my lungs and also how fast my body recovered. Still smoke the occasional stogie every once in a while but is for my sanity lol. Thanks for the great topic.
I do weight training, on opposite days, when I can. Just work for lean muscle mass with high reps, etc. and lots of core stuff. Would love to lose that "extra 10" so the cookbooks are a find...
Strength training. UGH! I hate it, but I know it makes a difference to improving my running and, more importantly, staying injury free. I always do it before a run, because I KNOW I would not do it after. I try to do about 10 minutes worth before a run, and less than 10 minutes before work. Combination of core, some legs and some arms. No weights. I should probably do more, though.
I use an Elliptigo about once a week instead of running. Staying under a certain weight also helps me.
I'm all ears for this...
At the end of 2019 I renewed my love affair with running and started training hard again with a plan and a purpose. For almost two years I was grinding away on long runs, tempo runs and speed work and seeing little difference. And while I was super focused on my running I was definitely not as focused on my nutrition and hydration levels. This past September I tipped the scales at the heaviest I had been in my life. How could this be as I was training so hard?? Well...real life lesson that you can't out run a bad diet. So I cleaned up my diet and cut out the booze! I follwed a loose version of "Whole 30" and eliminated "added sugars" to my diet. As I dropped the pounds (17 as of yesterday) so did my mile splits and I overall feel better on every run. My advice to anyone who is doing the work but not seeing gains: look at your nutrition and recovery. And while looking good in a bathing suit is nice, to me feeling good and being fast is a lot nicer! Full honesty: the first 2 weeks of clean eating and eliminating sugar was difficult but once you get in the habit of good food and get past the cravings (day 10 was the turning point) it becomes not as difficult. Anyone looking for nutrition inspiration I recommend Shalane Flanagan's cook books...they're right on the money!
First....stay safe and warm to all in the path of the storm.......I just discovered the rowing machine at the gym......i am doing rehab after my knee surgery.........so the bike was recommended to build back strength and movement......walking of course but was really blown away by the research I did on the rowing machine..........so this has been my first week but it is definitely become my new favorite time spent exercising..........so I will keep you posted to see if it lives up to the claims made in my research!!! Stay warm!!
I have a dvd (yes, old-fashioned gal) that features weights along with leg, esp. thighs, work on alternate days.
I was surprised at its effect on my stamina.
I think what has worked for me is looking at the whole big picture. You can run and exercise but you also need to eat healthy too. You need to rest when needed and do your best to sleep well. And my newest part of being a runner is joining the running club here in my town. I am nervous but excited and look forward to learning from the other runners.
Strength training, especially on legs, on non-running days has helped me with speed and endurance. I definitely recommend cross training for runners to improve performance without the pain that comes from additional miles. Also, I think I'd like to try hot yoga for recovery. I have arthritis and think it would help. What does anyone else think?
I try to get out every other day, so Monday, Wednesday, Friday etc. & do Yoga on the days in between as well as some strength training. The stretching helps with recovery & I found helps with fatigue.
I think diet is also a big one. Going out first thing in the morning can be a great way to start the day but on an empty stomach, probably start to struggle for anything more than 5/7km. Longer runs I go early afternoon after a nice big breakfast & plenty of coffee!
I just added weight training in December. I do a full body circuit 2x a week, and I already feel stronger as a runner. I do yoga once a week for some flexibility. I also like to jump rope. It’s been a good combo. I started listening to music when I run on the treadmill just to help the time pass. I prefer to run outside with no music.
Thanks for your well wishes Terrell. I live just outside Boston in the 24+ inch storm path and have great confidence in our very experienced storm recovery teams! As for me, I routinely do more cross-training than running which really helps my running along. Step bodyweight work, rowing, cycling, strength, mobility...basically I just try to challenge as many muscle groups as possible each week however I can. So far, so good...but I do have a wonderful sports therapist on "speed dial" when I mess myself up. Lol!!
My wife and I just started doing "yoga" 2 days a week back at the end of November. It has helped my recovery from runs! My hips are doing sooooo much better. I have always stretched before and after runs, but participating in the yoga class twice per week has helped my stretching far beyond what I was doing on my own. If there is a yoga or stretching class anywhere near you, I strongly suggest trying it out. Of course, you can always download classes on an app, but there is just something about being in a class with others that helps hold me more accountable to show up and put in the work.
Good morning from San Carlos Apache reservation🖐😊,
Me I run for losing weight, getting fit and tone. Besides I'm a type 2 diabetic and I've come a long ways since 2017, I was 189 back than, I was having stomach problems for 10 years trying to figure out what was wrong with me, went to see specialist, come to find out my stomach walls were messed up from my prior surgery I had, so one day I started walking mornings and evenings. Than jog 2 miles daily, finally started to run, I ran 2 to 3 miles for a year, than pick up another mile which came to 4 miles my weight was 166 by than, it was like a yo-yo on my weight, so I started running 6 to 8 miles, so I was encouraged to run the half marathon so I put my training into gear and started running 8 to 10 miles, so now I weigh 145, so my goal is staying in shape, I'm going to be 61 in May so I'm not ready to get older yet, I love my running for weight, health, fit and encouraged others. Most of all I thank God daily n always pray when I run.🙏🏃♀️❤
2) Taking off pressure/expectations, enjoying instead of being focused on time/pace
3) Strength training and stretching/recovery
4) Good sleep + nutrition, electrolyyyytes!
5) Perspective on why I run - it makes me happier/feel better, my family has some history of high blood pressure and diabetes so it both keeps me healthy now and sets me up for a healthier future.
6) Shoes that fit me/my stride well definitely make it a more comfortable experience.
This will sound completely bonkers, but what helps me is the same routine. And then completely changing it once in a while.
What I mean by that is, a careful balance of consistency with the right amount of spontaneous change. My OCD absolutely needs the routine but I also need the occasional change to keep from getting stagnant which, in turn, causes my improvement to slow greatly.
Also, the best thing I ever did was to join my running club. Running is an individual sport but I would not be where I am without them.
Encouragement from my family and friends.
funny, you mentioned two things I was going to recommend that work for me.
First off, weight training. I was a gym rat long before I became a runner, so I am biased towards lifting weights. But I have read numerous articles hailing the benefits of weight training (total body, not just legs), even to the runner. Plus, I simply enjoy doing both. Each have their own health benefits.
Secondly, you mentioned NOT listening to music. I have always been an avid music listener when out on my runs, and I still do for road running (let's face it, music just makes the miles go by a little easier and a little faster), but I have recently decided to leave my beloved AfterShokz at home when I go out on trail runs. It has been so nice being out in nature, just listening to the sound of my feet hitting the trail, and the occasional wild animal running through the woods around me, reminding me that I am a visitor in their territory. And I just feel more aware of what's going on around me, which is a huge safety plus, since we share our local trails with mountain bikers. Sometimes those folks can sneak up on you quick, and if you don't hear them coming from behind, it could get a little precarious for you and them.
Stretching & rolling…plus the constant “journey” to keep in the best running shoe to take care of my feet.
if you live in snow country learn to xc ski. best cross/off season training. provides a total body workout (arms account for 30% of forward movement). it's fun and can be fast: 50 km times at 2 hours! There is a learning curve, but it is worth the work.