eat. SLEEP. run.

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eat. SLEEP. run.

The importance of sleep when training cannot be overstated. Says the man who can't seem to sleep through the night. Anyhow. This weeks blog post focuses on sleep and the importance of proper recovery from your running and how getting enough rest can seriously help make your life better. 

wait how many hours?

This is the big question how many hours of sleep should I get a night? Well that depends. Regular folks 7 to 8 hours a night should do. For us Elite athletes more like 8 to 10. Whether you're training to run faster at your local 5k or complete the Boston Marathon you're taxing your body and you need to recover. 8 to 10 may sound like a lot but you'll find you won't just feel better on the run you'll enjoy your life a little more too! Sleep quality is important too, you should wake up feeling alert and refreshed if you've had a good nights sleep. 

benefits for training

According to the National Sleep Association “sleep is as essential as diet and exercise. Inadequate sleep can result in fatigue, depression, concentration problems, illness and injury.” That last word there is like fingers on a chalkboard to us runners. When you sleep your body releases a growth hormone that helps repair those tired muscles. If you do not sleep well, those muscles you just beat up cannot repair quite as well. Add that up over a few weeks and thats when those injuries pop up. If you are training MAKE SLEEP A PRIORITY just like you make your running a priority do the same for bed time. 

benefits for life

Sleep just is awesome isn't? When we sleep we repair damaged cells, we boost our immune system, we recover and we recharge our cardiovascular system for the next day. Getting a good nights sleep on a regular basis can help reduce your risk of heart disease, diabetes and a bunch of other ailments. Getting a good nights sleep can help ya be more productive and improve concentration. I could go on and on about all the awesome benefits of sleep but that might put you to...well...sleep. 

The conclusion here is that ya should probably make sleep a priority and get into the habit of setting up a before bed routine! 

Cheers,

Eric

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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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