Plans Change

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Plans Change

Its just the way it goes sometimes. You have something planned and things go awry, just look at Gordan Hayward (don't click that) or Shalene Flanagan (do click on that one) . Injuries happen, family things get in the way, goals change. With running in particular its important to take these things in stride (no pun intended...well maybe a little pun intended). For most of us running is a hobby, for some a run can be a little more necessary than others...whether its to hit a qualifying time or de-stress from work or family stuff popping up. So what do you do when running just can't happen? 

hit the bike

If you've been hit with an injury and are not able to run there are few things that get you a similar workout. Riding a bike outside or in the gym is a great way to get some cardio in if you've got an impact injury from running. Cycling takes strain of the knees and helps build quad and hamstring strength for when you're ready to come back to the run. The bike can be a little tricky though as it takes a bit longer to get a workout in, a general rule of thumb is a 1:3 ratio for every mile of running you'll need to cycle 3 miles. 

walk it off

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DO NOT

DO THIS

Running happens to burn about 2.5 times the amount of calories as walking but that doesn't mean that walking isn't a great way to exercise or clear your mind. Walking does reduce the risk of injury and still builds strength. It's also a great way to blow off steam without getting too carried away. Also when you compare running to walking you may be surprised to find that 1 to 2 hours of walking or running at a gentler pace can decrease your risk of death by 25%*. However, if you walk in the middle of the highway that risk of death sky rockets**.

go for a swim

Fish do it. Why can't you? When an injury pops up the pool is a perfect place to visit. Its a little tricky to get the heart rate up in the pool but its a fantastic strength workout to replace your run. As a runner you can straight up go for a swim or you can even run in the pool. Sometimes I'll use it as a way to build some miles into my training while reducing the impact of running. I find running in the pool boring as all heck but for those who log miles on the mill on a regular basis its not much different. It does take more physical effort to swim as water provides much more resistance then wind does while running. Its a total body workout that is a great replacement when you're unable to run.

yoga

Yoga I hear is a great alternative for those of us who cannot run. Whether its a time crunch or you're hurt, you can easily find a yoga class and get a solid workout in while also clearing the mind. Not only will Yoga build strength but its also a great way to increase range of motion and flexibility as well. So if you're sidelined due to injury you'll be better off upon your return.

meditate

One benefit of running that often gets overlooked is the mental aspect. Traditionally folks use running to lose weight or run fast or get stronger, in reality its all those things and its a great way to manage stress. I use time on the run to plan out my day, maybe de-stress about work (I know such a stressful gig right?), rock out to some tunes, or just zone out. If your running plans change what can you do to manage that stress? Meditate. The benefits of meditation are tremendous, here are just a few according to the Huffington Post (a reliable news source depending on which side of the political spectrum you're on!): Meditation reduces stress, improves concentration, increases self-awareness, slows aging and increases cardiovascular and immune system health. So take a minute. Breath deep and relax.

*according to Paige Greenfield of Prevention.com
**according to me

Cheers, Eric

 

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Key Strengthening Exercises

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Key Strengthening Exercises

After taking part in a few cross-training exercises this past week I've realized I gotta get to work on some strengthening. Sometimes as runners we forget about the other stuff....the stretching the foam rolling the strengthening etc... So to help I've dug up a few exercises from our good friend Dr. Brian Hay of Performance Physical Therapy to share with ya'll that are great for keeping you injury free and will help to make you a bit more efficient. Check out a few of them below. 

The Split Bulgarian Squat

Hamstring Power and Mobility

Hip and Ankle Stability

Hip, Knee and Ankle Stability

Core Stability

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Running Buddies.

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Running Buddies.

I write a lot about getting motivated to run. Mostly because I have a tough time getting myself up and out the door. Today I'm going to touch a bit on why it's so helpful to have people to run with. 

The Snag

I'm currently on the Rhode to Boston and have hit a bit of a snag in my training. Most folks who run eventually hit a snag. Your training is going smoothly and all of a sudden its not. My snags typically are a mental thing more than a physical thing. Its just a grind training for a marathon and putting your head down and grinding it out when you feel tired is what its all about. The trials of miles and miles of trials, for those of you who've read Once a Runner. 

How to get out

There are many ways to get out of a running funk. Mix it up, hit the trails, get in some interval work, run in a new location. Today we'll focus on running with pals. 

Group Runs

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There are a ton of group runs around the state to join for a jog. In addition to the awesome Rhode Runner group runs on Tuesday (track session in the spring) Wednesday (recovery run) and Sunday (long run) you can hit up many other fun groups to run with. Steve Blais has a great group run at Lululemon in Cranston Tuesday evenings, the Narragansett Running Association runs Thursday evening down in Narragansett from the beach and also Saturday morning from the same spot. If you end up over the bridge and need a run in Newport join the Newport Run and Chug crew on Thursday evenings for a run and a pint! 

Buddy Runs

If you happen to have to run without the ability to hit up a group run finding a buddy can be super helpful. You'll hold each other accountable and make sure you both get out there for a run even when you don't feel like it! If you're in the Rhode Runner Running Club the Facebook group is the perfect spot to chat and get together for a run. 

Solo Runs

Solo runs sometimes are a necessity and to get out the door I usually throw on some tunes to get myself pumped up and out. I suppose you could call a friend and talk to them the whole time...

What do you do?

If you need to get out there what do you do to get yourself motivated? Leave your thoughts in the comments section. 

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Resolution Beach Trail Run Recap

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Resolution Beach Trail Run Recap

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intro

One of the most fun times of the year is when the 4th Season Trail Series kicks into gear. For those of you not familiar its a series of fairly nutty "suffer-fests" that range in distance from 5k to Half Marathon and take place down in South Country during the winter months. The Rhode Runner Squad typically takes part in full force and we kicked it off this season with a victory on the Mens side down at the Resolution Beach "5k". 

the scene

So I pull up to the parking lot and check out the temp in my car and its close to 20 degrees so I know its going to be a chilly run for sure. The waves are crazy big so immediately goal number one becomes don't fall in the ocean. The folks who run the event are always awesome and super organized giving out bib numbers and marking the course. We had an awesome contingent of Rhode Runner Club members too so it always make the race a bit more fun when your friends are around! We even had a few brave souls from our Beginning Runner Group last season make it out! There were a few folks who have been injured and it was great to see them out there cheering folks on! 

I tried to time it out so I wouldn't have a ton of time to hang around before the race started, I had a brief chat with a few club members then decided to run the course as a warmup to get a lay of the land. I actually ran into Steve Brightman and we noticed when we got back that we did a 2.5 mile run...interesting...

start of the race

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on your marks

get set. cold. I mean go!

The start of the race was switched up this year and we spent a lot less time on the beach, which I most definetly preferred. There wasn't much wind but when it did get moving it certainly made our run a little more difficult, I'm glad we got off the beach and into the trails fairly quickly. The sand was frozen in certain parts and so it was easy to get moving quickly there were some tricky stream crossings on the beach and figuring out exactly where to cross them was a little tough but I managed to get through without getting completely soaked. After the beach we took a left and headed into the dunes and then through the trails. 

the middle bit

The best part of these races is how well marked they are. My race strategy the first season I took part was to sit right behind someone and try to out-kick them so as not to get lost. But I quickly found out that Mike does a great job with his flags and arrows and all you need to do is follow the orange flags. This course the trails were a little rough as it looked to be newly cleared when we first entered them. I was able to make a strong move through a few corners in hopes of separating (not sure how well it worked!) There were some definite icy patches on this part of the course and staying to the edge was the only way to get through without slipping and eating it hard. The feet got a little wet at this point but thats par for the course! There was one slipping incident for myself when we got into the 2way section just to avoid running into folks but I was able to stay upright which is always the ultimate goal! After that we were through the house and back onto the beach! 

finish

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Garvin

takes the more manly route

The old house is where the Resolution Beach 5k gets even more fun! This year we detoured to avoid either slipping and falling or falling through a ginormous Ice chunk. We took a hard right out of the side door of the house and made our way down the rock wall and over the biggest water jump of the day. I took a look around to see if there was anyone real close before getting to this section because it can be a little tricky. I took the longer route of using the rocks to cross the water but managed to stay dry! The finish on the beach is always rough because it feels like it will never end, since we ran the same part in the beginning though it helped make it a bit easier to cross the streams on the way to the finish. 

afterwards

Maybe because its comprised of foods I don't normally consume but the after race spread is fantastic! Cookies, Soda, Pizza, Hot Chocolate, Soup all sorts of goodies for folks to indulge in. The prizes are awesome too I ended up with an Ice Scraper Mitten for scraping the car in the winter (very practical) and the team snagged a 15 pack of 21st amendment IPAs, can't beat that! Its always fun to hang out after the run too as we get to touch base with some of the other awesome running clubs in the State. WTAC and TNT were well represented down there and its always good to catch up with those folks!

Although the race was freezing cold and there was ice and water and jumping and slipping and wet feet and sand and all that, its always a blast. Its the uncomfortable things that make the race all the more enjoyable, you really get to know the other runners as you chamiserate over all the obsticales in your way on the race course! Oh and it doesn't hurt that the race actually ended up being 2.5 miles...though I heard it may get tacked on to the Old Mountain Race in February! 

See you out on the Rhode! Or the Trail! 

ERIC LONERGAN

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Essential Winter Gear

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Essential Winter Gear

I think its about time I wrote this blog post and shared it with the world...Although it may have been a bit more useful when it was -2 degrees out a few days ago. Well either way here it goes! Read on to see what gear is essential for making it through the Winter Months.

Peregrine

Whats a peregrine you ask? Well its a falcon. Wait how is that an essential piece of winter running gear? Its not. But the Saucony Peregrine 8 is. Its the best trail shoe around. Its got great traction for keeping you upright. Its water resistant to keep your feet dry. Its got a rock plate so if you're off road you'll protect yourself from rocks and roots. Its got cushioning so when you're on road you've got a cushy ride to protect yourself from impact. Literally its the best shoe ever. Just don't tell the other brands I said that. 

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stay upright

my friend

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fly falcon

fly

Hat/Headband

Gotta keep those ears covered. When the weather gets cold and the wind starts whipping having a great hat or headband is key. A great hat or headband will make your run exponentially better! The worst feeling for me is cold ears. I hate it. We've got a great selection of hats/headbands here at the Rhode.

Gloves

Now if you're my wife and you had to pick one essential winter item my guess is that it would be a solid set of gloves or mittens. If you're someone who tends to get cold hands when you're out there running a good set of gloves is key. Some have wind protection. Some are fleece lined and mittens are always the warmest option. 

Baselayer

A good base layer will keep you toasty in the winter time. It sits against the skin, moves moisture, traps body heat and keeps it close to your core. Sometimes these are tighter fitting garments and sometimes they are a little looser. I prefer the looser fitting pieces because they're a little more vertsatile but some folks are not fans. Either way check out an awesome North Face Baselayer below. 

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all about

that base

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no

treble

Midlayer

What is the most important piece of running apparel in your wardrobe?! DING. Times up. Its the mid-layer. Why? It is the most versatile, wear it by itself when its warmer, wear it with a t-shirt when its colder, wear it with a long sleeve when its even colder and then throw a shell on top when its the coldest! Mid-layers are also great because they typically are a half or quarter zip so you can ventilate a little be when you warm up. Check out this awesome top from the North Face.

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half zip

full warmth

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zip it up

or zip it down

Shell

Not just for turtles any more a good shell will keep you warm, dry and protect you from the wind. These pieces go right over the top of your base or mid layer and typically have a higher nylon content so as to provide a little more wind and water resistance. These pieces tend to be warmer than you think because they are a great insulator, if water is not getting in very easily, then heat ain't getting out that easily either. Check out these great pieces from Brooks and North Face.

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give em

shell

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rain rain

go away

Pants/Tights

Pants and tights are essential to staying warm this time of year. Tights are always going to be a little warmer than pants as they'll sit closer to the skin. There are also some great options that have wind protection built in or have some fleece lining to keep you warm. Some of them will even have pockets built in so you can carry a key, credit card or phone. Below is an awesome option for keeping those legs toasty when you hit the rhode in the winter. 

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north face tight

warm warm and warm

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boston pant

comfy warm versatile

Socks

Socks you can't get away from them. They're super important in the Summer and super important in the Winter. The best option is to go with a polyester sock or a wool/poly blend, these socks are great at moving moisture and nobody wants wet feet in the winter...nobody. Seamless socks also help to eliminate blisters to make your run a little more comfy. Check out this awesome set from Feetures! 

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new

new

Lights

Even though the days are getting a bit longer its still rough getting out in the day time. One of the most important parts of winter running is safety. Make sure you are seen out there, we've got a few great items to help ya out on that front and one of em is brandy new at the shop. Check it out and make sure to be seen when you're outside! 

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light up

the night

So these are our essential Winter items we recommend for making your Winter runs a little more comfortable. Winter can be rough, lets get out there anyway. If ya ever have any questions about what to wear, reach out to the folks at the Rhode and we'll help you out! 

Cheers,

Eric

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