Category Archives: Running Tips & Tricks

Get Your Stretch On!!

Hey there RYPEness!

We are getting hot and heavy into our training. Runs are getting longer, rides are getting longer, swim workouts are getting longer!! Although we are looking and feeling great, our muscles are definitely taking a pounding. More often than not, we feel that the amount of exercise that we are doing is more than enough (two-a-days on a reg now!!), and therefore our body needs to be subjected to no more.

…au contraire mon frere! Ya gotta stretch. Two main reasons:

  1. Elasticity! Our daily training requires that our muscles endure a LOT of repetitive motions, and stretching properly will help our muscles push through this. The more elastic our muscles, the more flexible we are. The more flexible we are, the less prone we are to having our muscles tighten up on us during a race! AND!…Flexibility = Increased Speed. Yeah baby.
  2. Injury Prevention! Besides getting all elastic n’ stuff, stretching prevents us from getting injured. As we training, we are building our endurance, which is allowing us to swim, bike and run farther distances. Stretching and having flexible muscles substantially minimizes the chances of pulls, tears and cramps. So you need to ensure you are doing the proper stretches before and after your training sessions.

 

So there ya have it….why you should stretch. Now, I guess you are wondering how you incorporate this. Well, your most intense stretching should always be done AFTER your workout. That’s when you muscles are warm and soft….so you get a better stretch. Your stretch before the workout should be more to loosen up. Also, make sure your stretches are static, meaning not bouncing. You want to stretch to a point of discomfort, but not pain…and hold the stretch for 30-60 seconds.

Here is a list of some good stretches to do:

You can usually run through these stretches in about 15 minutes. So make sure to just pad incorporate that time into you total workout time…BECAUSE ITS KEY TO YOUR RYPENESS!!

See ya!

WHOA!

Hey there RYPEness!

It has been a whirlwind of the past few days! So much going on…and not enough time to get it done! Sometimes you start to feel like there is no way you are going to over-come, accomplish or catch a break. Days can get full…between responsibilities for your career, responsibilities for your children, responsibilities for your spouse, it sometimes feels that there is no way that you can take some time for yourself.

black-woman-stressed-536x250Bottom line? You have to. And the relief from the aforementioned stresses can be gone is a little as 30 minutes. Sounds too good to be true, ey?

Try this…go for a run. Go for a nice 30 minute intense run. And if running isn’t your thing, power-walk!

If you run with music, put on a playlist that is positive. I had a friend advise me to create a playlist called “My Soundtrack”. That playlist was to only contain songs that encouraged me, spoke to me, made me feel good, made me feel powerful, made me feel empowered. If you are stressed out, the last thing you need is Lil’ Wayne yelling obscenities at you. Save that playlist for another time! Right now, put your soundtrack on repeat…even if it’s only one song.

If you are not a music runner, clear your mind and put yourself in your favorite place. Imagine calm. Talk to your Creator. Be introspective.

….and RUN. Release all of that stress, release all of that negativity, find your greatness and let it out!

 

Check out a few of these facts on what exercise does for you:200512522-001

  • It pumps up your endorphins. Physical activity helps to bump up the production of your brain’s feel-good neurotransmitters, called endorphins. Although this function is often referred to as a runner’s high, a rousing game of tennis or a nature hike also can contribute to this same feeling.
  • It’s meditation in motion. After a fast-paced game of racquetball or several laps in the pool, you’ll often find that you’ve forgotten the day’s irritations and concentrated only on your body’s movements. As you begin to regularly shed your daily tensions through movement and physical activity, you may find that this focus on a single task, and the resulting energy and optimism, can help you remain calm and clear in everything that you do.
  • It improves your mood. Regular exercise can increase self-confidence and lower the symptoms associated with mild depression and anxiety. Exercise also can improve your sleep, which is often disrupted by stress, depression and anxiety. All this can ease your stress levels and give you a sense of command over your body and your life.

Nice right? Just 30 mere minutes can do that?

Yep….sure can. Here is a link to the complete article that talks about other benefits of exercise on your mental health:

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/exercise-and-stress/SR00036

So, you still think that finding 30 minutes a day is too much for you? I didn’t think so. Go to your local Meetup.com and find a run group. There are soooo many out there that are awesome and can definitely meet your running needs. Think you may be a solo runner? Then cool…find your 30 minutes for “me” time and re-align yourself with your personal soundtrack. Exercise is key to feeling good!

happy

And….your sanity is not a bad reason to start training for a triathlon. I’m just sayin…

Hyped 2b RYPE!

FUN in your RUN

Good morning RYPEness!

First let me give a shout out to the Louisville Cardinals for their National Championship win last night…and Coach Rick Pitino for being the first coach to ever win two National Championships from two different schools!!! That was probably one of the best games ever!! Kudos to the Michigan team because you surely played your hearts out!!

So…remember yesterday I told you to get your race schedule together to build that momentum and motivation needed to be consistent with your training? Well, let’s piggy-back off of that. Include some FUN in your RUN! Look around, its not hard to see that fitness has become a focus in this country (about dang-gone time!). As a result, we are seeing more and more races show up on the scene….more and more creatively FUN races! Do you know how much being surrounded by “fun” energy helps get you through the event? I remember when I did IRONMAN Florida, I looked forward to the aid stations because they were all themed (there was a Christmas themed one, a superheroes one, a medieval themed, etc.) I would get distracted from the fact that I was ONLY on mile 64 out of 112 because I was focused on getting to the next aid station to see what was in store! Endurance events are actually ones that will welcome a distraction…I mean, there is only so much focusing on form I can do when I have to run or bike for hours on end, know what I mean?!

Race schedules are out now…so Google “fun runs” or “fun triathlons” in your area and get those on your schedule. Grab a bunch of your friends to join you! I am sure you have that one friend that swears they “can’t” run or that a triathlon is too much for them. Once you get them to do one, I will bet money they will do another! It’s just so empowering to do your first event, especially when you were your own naysayer, and cross that finish line. It WILL change your life and outlook….forever!

I created a Team RYPE for the Electric Run that is coming here to Charlotte! If you are in this area, come join us! It’s going to be a blast!! But if you aren’t, check the list because this event just might be coming to your city too! And if it’s not, I know there are some cool, fun, different events that you can motivate your friends to participate in with you.

Start a movement near you to “Realize Your Potential Everyday!…to be healthy: mind, body and soul!”

Keep it RYPE!!

Electric Run

 

Let’s run…better!

Happy Tuesday RYPEness!!

These up and down temperatures are definitely making it a little harder to stay consistent with a training program. I know if you are like me and you step out to some frigid temperatures, the motivation dissipates like morning dew! HA!

Let me be clear: I DON’T LIKE COLD. PERIOD.

Nonetheless, you still have to do it. And even after the cold permanently breaks way to consistently warmer temperatures, there are still other things that creep up that will take you off or your game plan. I came across a sweet article (full article here), and they had some great tips, 27 to be exact. So I thought I would list their tips for you, adding a few little extra jewels here and there!

1. Run with others. To make sure you do a workout, there’s nothing like the social pressure of knowing someone else (or a group) is waiting for you. Bonus: It’s often more fun than running alone, especially if you’re doing a long run, or a speed workout on the track.

Tuesday Night RYPE Runs will cure your run alone blues! Check us out on the Realizing Your Potential Everyday Facebook page for official event listings and times!!

2. Try something new. The fitness world is full of new and fun-filled events, and they don’t all require a 3-week trip to Borneo and a survivor diet of grubs and lizards. Don’t let yourself get bored with an endless string of 5K and 10K races. Cary Stephens, an attorney in Corvallis, Oreg., found himself drawn to “scrambles,” an off-road running adventure. (To learn more, visit http://www.bigredlizard.com.)

3. Run like a tortoise. We can’t lie to you. This isn’t a sport of instant success and miracle shortcuts. Patience pays off, often in a very big way. At the beginning of a marathon training program, many participants can’t imagine themselves running more than 5 miles. Twelve to 16 weeks later, voilà: the cheering crowd and unbelievable exhilaration of reaching a marathon finish line. Stick with the program. Repeat: Stick with the program. Prepare to be amazed.

4. Take a break. To every thing, there is a season. You don’t have to run every day, every week, or even every month. Many top runners visualize their training year as a mountain range. It has peaks and valleys—recovery periods when they let their running taper off, so that they can build all the higher in their next training period. For healthy, consistent training, your body needs regular—that is, weekly, seasonal, and annual—recovery periods.

5. Eat a healthy breakfast. We can’t emphasize this one enough. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, because it fuels you for the entire day. To skip breakfast or eat a skimpy one is like failing to rehydrate and refuel after a marathon. You wouldn’t do that, would you? Well, your night’s sleep is like a marathon to your body, because you don’t get any fuel while you’re sleeping. So carbo-load at breakfast. And add a little protein.

Eating granola and yogurt has been a GREAT source of fuel for me in the mornings! Although this article calls for a little protein, I actually require a bit more. So sometimes I sneak in a piece of bacon (or two) to get me going! MMMMMMMM……BACON!

6. Get cozy with frozen vegetables. This isn’t a nutrition tip. It’s an injury-prevention tip. If London Marathon winner Paula Radcliffe can take ice baths after a hard race, you can stand a bag of frozen peas against your sore knees for 15 minutes. Nothing reduces inflammation and holds injuries at bay like ice. Result: You stick to your training program. Don’t like veggies? Fruit works, too. Try a small bag of frozen blueberries or strawberries. Or one of the many commercial ice wraps, often with handy Velcro straps. (You can find a good one at http://www.contourpak.com.)

7. Find a coach. Maybe the kind who yells at you every once in a while. (But probably not.) Point being, a coach’s first job is to motivate you in a way no one else can. Second job: To lay out your training program. Third job: To prevent you from straying from the program, probably by running too much or too fast. You can find a coach by asking around, calling running stores, and checking the Internet.

8. Join the “X” revolution. Despite the many proven benefits of cross-training, we still know too many runners who only run. C’mon, folks. We love running, too. We know all about the “specificity-of-training” rule, but we still skip the occasional running workout to get in some cross-training. Mainly strength training, bicycling, elliptical training, yoga, stair climbing, pool running, rowing, and walking. Why? Not because we think these routines will make us faster in our next half-marathon, but because they make us fitter and less prone to injury.

Sounds like this is telling you that you NEED to do a Triathlon! Training for a triathlon, by default, forces you to cross train, because the event itself is a cross training event. Your training week will consist of two – three days of running, two – three days of cycling, and a couple of days of swimming (yes, there were will some two discipline days!). And this cross training not only serves the purpose mentioned in point #8, but it also helps us sculpt those sexy bodies! The Enka Triathlon is on our list…join us.

9. Keep a log. Your training log is a great source of the kind of motivation that builds consistency. It beckons to be filled in, reveals the secrets of your training and racing successes, and provides lots of inspirational quotes and useful tips. At least it does if you’re using the new Runner’s World Training Journal, available at http://www.rodalestore.com. Check it out.

10. Enter races. You don’t have to race to be a serious runner, but, geez, there are so many good reasons to enter races. Jeff Galloway, RW columnist, says that entering races, especially marathons, “scares” people into training the way they should. That’s a good one. But we also like the sense of community you get from races. They help you realize that you belong to something big, and that there are more people than you imagined who share your running and fitness goals. Besides, it’s good to go for the burn every now and again.

SO VERY TRUE! Running for the sake of running and being healthy never keeps me inspired for long. I am just being honest here. I KNOW that making our healthy well-being a priority is what RYPE is about. However, we are all realist here, and realize that most of us dont tick that way. After a while, the act becomes mundane, not unless we put a carrot at the end of the journey…that carrot being crossing the finish line feeling good, strong and EMPOWERED!

11. Pay attention to your shoes. Some things should be obvious, and this is one of them. But it’s worth repeating, if it keeps even one of you from getting injured. Most shoes wear out after 300 to 500 miles. You often can’t see the wear, but, your knees, hips, back, and Achilles tendons know it. Give your old, worn shoes to a local Salvation Army or similar group, and get yourself to a running-specialty store for a new pair. (While you’re there, buy some reflective gear. The days are getting shorter. Make sure you’re visible on the road this winter.)

Remember…GO SHOPPING! Good running shoes are your best friend, because your feet are the only pair you will have. Treat them well.

12. Run early. You want to get something done? Do it early in the day. Everything gets tougher later in the day when various tasks and responsibilities start ganging up on you. In a recent Runner’s World Online survey, the two most popular workout times were 5 a.m. and 6 a.m.

13. Practice good posture. Not just when you’re running, but all the time. This is especially important if you’ve got an office job, and are sitting at a computer all day (like us). Make sure your keyboard and monitor are properly positioned, and sit straight but comfortably in your chair. Some of us have recently started sitting on those large Swedish exercise balls, which encourages good posture because you have to use your legs and stomach muscles to keep from falling off. Good posture can improve your running efficiency and decrease injury risk. Ergo, better consistency.

14. Use the fridge. In two ways. First, be sure it’s always stocked with those key foods you rely on for healthy nutrition and snacking: sports drinks, low-fat yogurt, fruit, nuts, carrots, etc. Take your pick. Second, put something inspirational on the outside of the fridge: a picture of you and friends at a race, a training plan, a great quote.

15. Schedule it. You’ve got your Microsoft Office calendar, your PDA, your Day Planner, your napkin with the scrawled list of stuff you absolutely, positively have to get done today. Be sure to write in your workout. Carve out an hour in your day. The experts all agree: Your exercise is one of your most important daily activities. Make it happen. The President of the United States exercises almost every day. You should, too.

16. Subscribe to our free e-mails. We send out several free e-mail newsletters each week, and they’re guaranteed to inform and inspire you. Go to http://www.runnersworld.com/newsletters, where you can pick the one or the several newsletters that most appeals to you.

Do this! Subscribing to healthy lifestyle newsletters and blogs (like this one!!) can bring you a wealth of information to help you along your journey. Education is key!

17. Get your clothes ready. And your shoes. Root through your closets and drawers the night before a morning run to select and organize the running gear you need. Another good trick: Have a complete bag of running gear (and a dry shirt and towel) always at the ready in the trunk of your car. You never know when you’ll be able to use them.

18. Run on different surfaces. See how many different surfaces you can run on in a week: Asphalt, gravel, trail, grass, track, treadmill, beach. Each stresses your leg muscles in a slightly different way, helping to prevent overuse injuries. (If possible, avoid concrete, the hardest and least accommodating surface for runners.)

19. Take a trip. Reward your training and racing successes with a special running vacation. Take in an exotic international marathon; many runners have had good luck with a trusted provider, Marathon Tours (www.marathontour.com), which can offer guaranteed entry into those difficult-to-enter events. Or, organize your running partners into a relay team, and enter an exciting and fun-filled road relay like Hood to Coast (Oregon), the Hana Relay (Maui), the Lake Tahoe Relay (California), the Cabot Trail Relay (Nova Scotia), or the Lake Winnipesaukee Relay (New Hampshire).

I could not agree more! I find that when I sign up for a good race in a cool place I seem to train better! I am excited about the trip, and even more so about crossing the finish line in an exotic place where I can bask in the glow of my accomplishment! RYPE is rolling to Jamaica this December to run in the Reggae Marathon/Half Marathon/10K. Doesnt that sound awesome? Can’t you see yourself crossing that finish line and being handed a cold cup of water and a Red Stripe beer? I can!

20. Stay flexible. We like that word—it has so many important meanings. Here, we’re talking about a regular stretching program to keep your legs limber and injury-free. Or yoga and Pilates routines, both of which are enjoying a huge surge in popularity. Pick the approach that works best for you. You need to prevent injuries if you want to improve your training consistency.

I try to make it a point to do a Yoga class once a week. Its good for the muscles, it tones you up, and helps clear your mind of unnecessary clutter and stress. Try it!

21. Run before you get home. If you can’t run in the morning or at lunch, at least try to run before you get home from work. Stop at a favorite park or trail on your way home from the office, and do a workout there. Or arrange to meet some friends for a run at 5:30 p.m. Once you’re at home, it’s hard to get out the door again for a workout.

I have derailed myself PLENTY of times by stopping by the house “quickly” before heading back out to run. Something about the comfort of home that removes any motivation to do what I was supposed to be doing.

22. Stay hydrated. Eat your fruits and vegetables. Get plenty of sleep. We know: You’ve heard all this stuff before. Okay, we’ll stop. But just remember that the simplest, most basic advice often makes the biggest contribution to improved consistency.

23. Adopt a runner. Sometimes, the most motivating and rewarding thing you can do is to reach out to someone else. It could be someone close: at work or even in your family. Or your club might receive occasional calls from new runners, or those who want to begin. Offer to help. Beginners don’t need a mentor with a Ph.D. They need encouragement, a personal connection, and the kind of basic training, nutrition, and injury-prevention experience you already possess.

24. Start a running streak. We don’t mean that you should run every day like. In fact, we don’t advise that for most runners. But we like the idea of running the same road race every year, like Jack Kirk, who has completed the Dipsea Race in Mill Valley, Calif., for 67 years in a row. Or you could run one marathon a year, every year. Or you could “collect” states by racing in a different state every year.

25. Join an online community. Many running Web sites, including ours, have forums or message boards where runners exchange information, opinions, and greetings that develop into digital friendships. Often, these blossom into “encounters,” where the online friends agree to meet at a particular race. Along the way, they encourage each other’s training, and lend a sympathetic ear when that’s what you need most.

Active.com is a great source for information on healthy living. BUT….Realizing Your Potential Everyday is all about bringing your great tips and tricks, fun destination races, recipes that are nutritious, easy and fun, and a group of really cool sistahs. Check us out too….Realizing Your Potential Everyday!!

26. Establish a pre-run routine. You warm up at the start of a race, and at the beginning of a workout, but it’s also helpful to warm up for your warmup, so to speak. Follow a routine. Sixty minutes before your run, reach for a bottle of sports drink. At run-minus-30, get up and take a 3-minute stroll to loosen the legs. At run-minus-10, listen to a favorite psych-up song. Include any other short activities that work for you. Psychologists say these routines help us develop the healthy patterns we want.

27. Don’t obsess about it. Hey, we wish every day went as planned, and every run fit perfectly into the scheme of things. But stuff happens. Life has a way of playing tricks on all of us, both the unexpectedly happy variety and that other kind. Don’t worry about the runs you miss. Sometimes the best advice is simply to run with a smile on your face, and to enjoy and appreciate every workout. Come to think of it, that’s always the best advice.

So….I really hope these tips helped you. I definitely pulled away some jewels that I can incorporate! I also hope to see you out on the RYPE trails one day…like next Tuesday maybe if you are in the Charlotte area!

Hyped 2b RYPE!!

Feeling good, feeling GREAT!

Hey there RYPEness!!

OK, so day one of the 7-stage detox is DONE! It did prove itself to be challenging….so much so that water could not sustain me, I had to make some vegetable broth. HOWEVER…..it was perfectly legal within the guidelines of the diet. 🙂 AND!!….I discovered a really good vegetable broth recipe! Need to add some flavor to your brown rice, couscous, etc.? Then try making this broth, freezing it in useable portions and incorporating it into your favorite recipes!

Ingredients:

  • 10 cups water
  • 1 medium-sized onion, unpeeled, studded with 4 whole cloves
  • 2 cloves of garlic, unpeeled and lightly bruised
  • 2 celery ribs with leaves, cut into large chunks
  • 8 white mushrooms, halved
  • 2 carrots, unpeeled and cut into large chunks
  • 2 leeks, trimmed and cut into large chunks
  • 2 medium-sized tomatoes, quartered
  • 4 medium-sized new red potatoes, halved
  • 8 fresh parsley sprigs
  • 2 fresh dill sprigs
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 8 black peppercorns
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt

1. Place water in a large, heavy pot. Rinse all the vegetables well, then add to pot. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, for 1 hour. Adjust the seasonings to taste and simmer for 30 minutes longer.

2. Strain the broth; discard the bay leaf but reserve the vegetables to eat as is, or pur
e them and use to thicken soups or sauces for stews. Let the broth cool to room temperature and then refrigerate, covered, in a storage container or freeze. Refrigerated, it will keep about 4 days. This recipe is easily doubled, and you will need more than 4 cups of broth for three of our soups. Read More http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Fresh-Vegetable-Broth-106690#ixzz2OebCzsCZ

It was super tasty!! And because it requires you to use the vegetables with their skins still on, it is packed with nutrients!

So glad I made it. Even though today we could add fruits, I realize that I am a person that needs a savory taste. That broth does the trick! As a matter of fact, that was my go-to option on the run portion of my Ironman race in 2010. I could not stomach another e-Gel, Gu, or what-have-you. I had no desire for a piece of fruit or anything sweet! Thank goodness they had hot broth (it was pretty cold during the run) to satisfy that craving and allowed me to focus on the task at hand.

And speaking of focus….ever had those days where getting through your run seemed like something that would never happen? Check out this article on focus topics that help get you through your run, and in turn will help you build your fitness to become a better runner. Never hurts to take some cues from the pros!!

http://www.livestrong.com/article/760-focus-running/

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Be RYPE….

Ya mon!

Hey there RYPEness!

This back and forth weather is crazy, isnt it? But I must admit that these high 40 mornings and mid 50 evenings make getting into the run swing of things a lot easier. Ya know? After I get over that initial shock of coldness, it actually starts feeling pretty good….as long I as my fingers and ears are warm. 🙂 Definitely take advantage of getting that run fitness level back up with these run-friendly temps…make it as easy as possible, right? RIGHT!

Anyone who knows me knows how much I love to have a really good time. So, to keep up with my fitness, I think its cool to find endurance events in super cool places. First off, when I am training for the event, I have a smile on my face when thinking about the destination I am going to. Secondly, once I have completed my event in this most awesome place, I don’t feel the least bit guilty about what tasty foods (and beverages) I may indulge in.

I tri…therefore I eat. That’s my motto. LOL!

So that being said, check out what RYPE is doing: we are heading to Jamaica in December to do the Reggae Marathon, Half Marathon and 10K!!! The race is December 7th and I heard its a great time! I absolutely LOVE Jamaica! The island and its people are warm and beautiful! I have done Jakes Off Road Triathlon a couple of times and have been dying to get back down there to do another event. All I can say is….I CANNOT WAIT!

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I was perusing the internet for stuff about the race and came across this cool sistah’s video race report. Take a look see…and then plan to join us!

http://www.runwifeyrun.com/travel-tuesday-reggae-half-marathon-race-day-video-recap/#comment-16682

Hyped 2B RYPE (and going to Jamaica!!!)

 

Run RYPEness Run…

Hey there RYPEness,

You know…I have to stand back sometimes and laugh at myself. Ten years ago, you would have NEVER heard of me trying to encourage anyone to get out and run, because I hated doing it myself! You can ask some of my buddies from high school that I played basketball with about my attitude towards running and they will tell you about countless lies I told to get out of running sprints and stuff in practice! Despite the fact that I was actually pretty fast and my father encouraged it, I quit track cause the thought of running for hours during practice turned my stomach.

But…look at me now! At age 16 I wouldn’t run to save my life, but at 44 I am doing marathons. IT’S NEVER TOO LATE TO START LIVING A HEALTHY LIFESTYLE!

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A marathon finisher? Yep!

Did you know that doctors have long suspected that exercise can lift the mood and now regular exercise routines are being investigated in the context of patients with depression and anxiety? Exercise can help release endorphins and neurotransmitters that trigger positive feelings. It can also boost your confidence, take your mind off worries and lead to more social interaction if you go to a gym or come out and run with a group of really cool ladies who are getting RYPE!

Endurance events empower us, plain and simple.

So even if you are not going to accept my challenge of taking on a whole triathlon, why don’t you come out and join us for some weekly fun and easy runs? You will be amazed at how your body will react to the introduction of running, and even more amazed at how maintaining this regular routine will change your whole life for the better!
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Hyped 2b RYPE!

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