Tips to Avoid Injury for Half Marathon Training

Usually, half marathons are underrated. I mean, I usually read tips on how to train for marathons but rarely about half marathons. Seriously.  Even though you’re supposed to run for only a half marathon, necessary precautions should also be followed 100 % to avoid injuries. Here are rules of thumb  to follow when preparing for a half marathon to reduce chances of getting injured.

Don’t be too enthusiastic

This is common with new runners. Starting to train for a first half marathon can be very exciting. When new runners start to feel the improvements in their performance from one run to the next, and begin to see significant improvements when they look in the mirror, it is really easy to get carried away with enthusiasm and train too hard. Unfortunately that can often lead to a highly demotivating injury, which always occurs at the most inconvenient time.

Listen to Your Body When Training

The first important thing for all runners to do is to listen to their body. Often nagging aches and pains are a warning that we’re pushing too hard. Most injuries give a warning before becoming serious. That is the time to stop, have a few days off running, then start back very gently, being wary of any further warnings. It may be frustrating to have a few days without running, but that is much better than having an enforced month off. And even while you are off running you can still do some cross training or other exercises so the time is never wasted.

 

Read the full article at dailyrunningtips.com. 

Photo copyright by Flickr user cybrgrl.

 

Central Park Marathon Set on February

I know, a NYC marathon is on the bucket list of every runner (or if not every, most!) . For those hoping to run in New York, there’s an alternative to NYC Marathon. That is the  Central Park Marathon which apparently was the original location of the NYC marathon. I’m crossing my fingers that it won’t be cancelled this time.

A marathon held within Central Park is tentatively scheduled for February 24, 2013.

The race will be put on by NYCRUNS, the organizers of last Sunday’s low-key Brooklyn Marathon, which consisted of loops in and around Prospect Park.

On the race’s registration page, organizers say they might move race day to March or early April if a date becomes available then. In that scenario, registrants for the February date will automatically be entered for the later date. Organizers expect to know the race date by early December.

 

Read the full article at Runner’s World. 

 

Photo copyright by Flickr user Mark Heard. 

 

Tips for Running in the Dark this Winter

The winter season poses  a lot of challenge to runners.  Aside from the freezing  temperature outside, this season also has shorter day  which leaves runners no choice but to run even it’s  still dark.  Being outside in the dark exposes runners to variety of dangers like speeding cars, gangs, and higher chances of tripping over, to name some.  Here are some guidelines to keep safe when running in the dark, be it  a night or an early morning run.

Racing after dark is an entirely different sensation. After-dark races have been popping up all over the place in recent years. Some are organized as traditional races, while others have a glow-in-the-dark theme. The Zappos.com Rock ‘n’ Roll Las Vegas Marathon will send runners down the Las Vegas strip once again, while the Honolulu Marathon continues its before-dark 5 a.m. start near Waikiki Beach.

“It’s cool, something different than what you’re used to,” says Ted Woodward, a marathoner from San Francisco who’s training for Zappos.com Rock ’n’ Roll Las Vegas Marathon. “Most of the races I’ve done have been during the day, but running at night has a fun vibe to it.”

RUNNING SAFETY TIPS

November is Running Safety Month and there is no better way to celebrate than to go for a run. But as daylight savings ends, sunlit days get shorter and going for a run before dawn or after dusk may be the only time to squeeze in a few miles. Use these tips to stay safe when running in the dark.

✔ Wear bright, reflective clothing, head- lamps and glow-in-the dark items that all make it much easier for drivers to spot you.

 

Read more tips at running.competitor.com.

 

Photo copyright by Flickr user calmenda. 

 

 

Lessons Learned from Half Marathons

It is often said that experience is the best teacher. True, indeed.  In our daily life, we learned new lessons and so with every run.  Here are lessons learned from half marathons which Matt  from Angry Jogger happily shares.  Lucky us!

  1. Try not to set a time target in stone if it’s your first race (Larne Half Marathon 2011) - Or at least don’t feel upset with yourself if you don’t hit it. If you’ve never ran the race distance before then it’s difficult to know how it will feel. In my first half marathon in Larne I felt like shit afterwards for having to walk the last 2 miles and not achieving my sub 2:15 race target. 4 months previous to that I couldn’t run 2 miles.
  2. Don’t experiment with race gear on race day (Great Scottish Run 2011) -  I’d only ran wth my Camelbak once before the Great Scottish Run, but never with any fluid in it. Being a bit of a dick, I had no reservations filling it up with 2 fucking litres of Lucozade Sport and having it swash around on my back for 13.1 miles. Fortunately the Camelbak had the decency to leak in a crowded elevator rather than around the course itself. That would have been a complete fucking disaster rather than the minor humiliation it ended up being.
  3. You don’t have to abstain from alcohol to run a good race (Cardiff Half Marathon 2011) - I went into the Cardiff Half Marathon 2011 with 3 months off the booze. I had a bottle of wine with my Nachos the night before the Cardiff Half Marathon and woke up having slept amazingly well and later achieved a personal best. I’d assumed up to this point that alcohol was always detrimental to performance….

Read the full article at Angry Jogger. 

 

Photo copyright by Flickr user ahisgett.

Gift Guide for Runners

Holidays are around the corner. This week, we’ll be celebrating Thanksgiving and in just a month, Christmas is here! Santa, I’ve been good this year! (Hope Santa hears this). If you are unsure what to give to the special runners in your life, here’s a list for some ideas:

It’s Thanksgiving week which means Black Friday and Cyber Monday are just around the corner. I started making my shopping list but am kinda clueless about what to buy the other adults in my life. I don’t have the first clue what to buy for my dad or brother and I’m sure they feel the same about me! I asked them for a list so I’ll have some ideas – I’m hoping I can get some shopping done this weekend.

And if there are people in your life that may be clueless about what to get you – here are a list of great suggestions of gifts to buy runners this holiday season. If you’re on the Nice list, pass it along to Santa and your fam.

Read the full article at Run Eat Repeat.

Photo copyright by asenat29. 

Running Shrug for Cold Runs

Many dread early morning runs due to the fact that it’s breezy and cold outside.  If  you have to endure  running on early winter mornings, don’t just give it  a shrug, go get a shrug!

The Urban Running Girl shrug is basically a shirt… without most of the shirt! It covers the arms and shoulders, making it lightweight and easy to remove when you no longer need that layer. Plus, unlike arm warmers where you have to find somewhere to stash them once you’re done with them, this can tie around your waist without nearly the bulk that a jacket adds. This is perfect for cool morning runs (I live in Las Vegas, this could even be used for winter running!) and it’s a perfect option for races with cool starts. You can wear a tank or singlet and top it off with the shrug to stay warm. Your race number will stay expose while you stay warm until it’s time to remove the shrug.

It has handy little pockets at the end of the sleeves.

No, these pockets aren’t for storing stuff, they’re to tuck your hands into when you’re shivering in the starting corral or just need to keep your paws covered for a little while.

It’s multipurpose too!

You can use this for more than just running though. You could stuff it in your bag and pull it on in cold movie theaters (Does every place keep their movie theaters sub-zero? Vegas ones are cold!) You could slip it on over a t-shirt while working in the yard or just sitting in your office. (That’s been tested… it worked well!) I’m a fan, I think this is a smart design!

 

Read the full article at Jill Will Run. 

 

Photo copyright by Flickr user kirybabe. 

Beijing Marathon Lifts Order to Ban Japanese Runners

Beijing Marathon which is scheduled on November 25th earlier released an order to refuse Japanese runners due to security threats. Recently, they  reversed their decision and now includes  Japanese nationalities eligible to the marathon.  What happened to the threats? I don’t know either! Let’s find out from this article:

A source at the organising committee had earlier said “If they choose other nationalities including China, Japanese can take part,” the Asahi Shimbun daily’s online edition had reported Saturday.

Japanese companies such as Canon had sponsored the annual event until last year but they did not renew their deal this year.

In Beijing, officials from the organizing committee were not immediately available to comment on the report.

The two countries have been at odds over the sovereignty of the Japan-administered Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea, claimed by China, which calls them Diaoyu.

Tokyo’s nationalization of islands that are at the centre of a territorial row with Beijing sparked violent mass anti-Japan demonstrations in Chinese cities in September. Japanese nationals, businesses and diplomatic missions were targeted.

 

Read the full article at Japan Today. 

 

Photo copyright by Flickr user  poeloq.

How to Deal with Dog Attacks When Running

Dogs are man’s best friends. They can be a runner’s (best) enemy too! Running in the neighborhood exposes runners to threats of a dog attack. I know how terrible it is! I have a friend who had been chased and bitten  by 2 dogs when she had a jog  around the village one early morning.

Runners and dogs

It’s a sad fact that runners get bitten by dogs more often than ‘regular’ pedestrians. Apparently runners unleash their hunting instincts. Jim Fixx advised in his Runner’s book to pretend to pick up a stone to scare dogs off. But I’m not convinced about this method. It seems to me it would be smarter to actually pick up a stone.

Another tip I read somewhere is to pretend you’re a mad person. You have to act all weird, making odd noises and movements. But personally I think this will only stimulate dogs more to bite you.

Then there’s Pet Corrector: a bottle of air, that makes a hissing sound.  And of course I’ve still got my Dazer, which is lying somewhere in my cupboard, but now I’m thinking I should get it out.

10 steps: how to deal with scare dogs

I found this great article How to Handle a Dog Attack: 10 steps. It even has pictures in it.

 

Read the full article at Mom’s Home Run. 

 

Photo copyright by Flickr user State Farm. 

Tips on Finding the Perfect Running Shoes

Do you always have a hard time finding the “perfect” shoes? If  you always find yourself having bought several pairs and yet still feel uncomfortable, chances are you are also looking for the magic something that would make you say “I found the right one! “.  How do we decide if a pair of shoe is  a perfect match? Here are some guidelines:

1. It causes no pain. No abrasion, no hot spots, no unusual aches in my legs or feet. No pain is good. Note: sometimes pain may be present as your body adapts to a given shoe, and it starts to feel better after a few runs, so this may not always be a perfect indicator on your first run in a shoe.

2. It disappears on my feet. If I weren’t concentrating on how it feels, the shoe would go completely unnoticed. It doesn’t make me think about my form, it doesn’t force my feet to move in ways that they don’t want to, and it doesn’t get in the way while I run. When I run in a shoe that’s a good match, I feel strong and as if my body is in complete control. A good shoe works with my body, not against it.

 

Read the full article at Runblogger.

Photo copyright by Flickr user  Josiah Mackenzie.

High Schooler Raced Half Barefoot on Ice, Finished 2nd

What would you do if you are in the middle of a race, then suddenly your shoe (or shoes)  gave up on you? Would you continue racing to the finish line or would you give up? Here’s a story of an incredible high schooler who finished 2nd wearing only a shoe up to the finish line.  Let’s meet the pioneer of half barefoot running (I only made that up!).

A Canadian high school runner placed second in his provincial championships on Saturday despite covering almost all of the icy, rocky 6.7-kilometer course half barefoot, theSaanich News reports.

Ben Weir, a top runner at Gleniyon Norfolk School in Victoria, Canada, was steps into the 300-person race when he was clipped from behind and fell. When he got up and resumed running, Weir found that his left shoe was only partially on.

“My heel was out, and I thought I could figure it out as I went. But that wasn’t happening, so I knocked it off,” Weir told the Sannich News.

As if that were impediment enough, the temperature was just above freezing, and the course was full of snow, ice, and rocks.

Isn’t he fantastic?

Read the full article at Runner’s World. 

Photo copyright by Flickr user robertnelson. 

How to Make Treadmill Workouts More Bearable

Winter is coming and with the decreasing temperature outside, runners are forced to do the run inside which can be boring for obvious reasons. We should be thankful to modern technology for making pacing through the treadmill more bearable.  Here’s how:

1. Incline Training

Incline training really is a great feature; with which you can increase the intensity of your workout by a huge margin. Some treadmills are made with incline training as a main feature. These treadmills will usually support an incline grade of -6% to 40%. And remember, having a negative incline is just as important as having a positive incline, you need to know how to run downhill as well.

Using an incline trainer will prepare you for just about every condition, and at the same time giving you a great workout. Try this climbing treadmill workout next time you’re feeling bored at the gym.

2. Built-In Workout Apps

Most treadmills come with built-in apps that are designed with a variety of different workouts. Whether you want to focus on incline training, marathon training, 5k training, these apps work by taking the suggested training method and controlling the machine for you. This technology is beneficial in that you don’t have to keep changing the speed or incline yourself, the machine takes care of that for you.

 

Read the full article at  Will Run For Food. 

 

Photo copyright by Flickr user Official U.S Navy Imagery. 

Practicing Yoga Makes a Stronger Runner

It has been told many times over that practicing yoga brings a lot of benefits. Aside from the meditative and stretching nature of yoga which really improve one’s well being, yoga has a lot more to offer.  This article summarizes how practicing yoga makes a stronger runner.

Focus on what you hope to get out of a yoga class – it is not to turn you into a yogi but for you to integrate yoga to be a stronger runner. Don’t be worried that you’re not flexible enough – putting your foot behind your head has no relevance to your sport or your success in it so that won’t be your goal or outcome and that’s okay! As you develop more body awareness and intuition about your body’s messages, make sure that you focus on making it your practice and ask for modifications in postures if they don’t feel good in your body. It is not a weakness to ask, everyone has their areas they need to work on. What a runner may lack in range of motion, usually makes up for in strength and endurance on the mat. That’s why it is called a yoga practice.

Suggested Read: Runners and Yogaphobia 

Isn’t yoga “just stretching”?

While yoga will absolutely help in the area of range of motion, yoga also focuses on strength and balance. Doing the physical postures (asanas) with intelligent sequencing will open the body gradually, releasing muscular tightness and increasing joint movement. This is important to ensure there is enough suppleness in the joints and muscles to avoid loss of natural shock absorption and increase stress on the joints. But the great thing about yoga is that in addition to releasing tight muscles, it also builds strength in the body –addressing weak areas and muscular imbalances created by the repetitive running motion, awakening deep stabilizers that will improve performance when fatigue takes during long runs, and toning muscles not primarily used in running (upper body, spine, core) when they should play a role to make us more efficient runners.

 

Read the full article at Runners Feed. 

 

Photo copyright by Flickr user lululemon athletica. 

NYC Elite Runners to Run in Japan Marathon

The cancellation of the NYC marathon left many runners frustrated especially those who had flown to New York. Some already went home while others, decided to run, go with a Plan B.  Apparently, a couple of elite runners will be  flying to Japan to run in the Yokohama Women’s Marathon and Fukuoka Marathon on November 18 and December 2,  respectively.  After all the preparations, the run must go on!

New Zealander Kim Smith, who was fifth in New York City twice, has tweeted “[s]ince the marathon was cancelled I am now off to do the Yokohama Marathon.” Reilly, a Boulder-based agent who represents several Japanese runners, was reluctant to divulge other names until Japanese race organizers are prepared to do so. But he did reveal that one of the athletes he represents, 2007 Chicago Marathon runner-up Adriana Pirtea Nelson, born in Romania but now an American, will be racing in Yokohama.

Late on Monday afternoon, Amy Hastings, the fourth place U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials finisher and Olympic 10,000-meter runner who’d trained with Smith for New York, confirmed to Runner’s World, ”I am planning on running Yokohama along with Kim and Adrianna Nelson”

Read the full article at the Runner’s World. 

 

Photo copyright by Flickr user Stuart Grout. 

 

 

New York City Divided as NYC Marathon Proceeds

Hurricane Sandy’s aftermath caught the organizers of New York City Marathon between a rock and a hard place. Whatever they choose, somebody will surely be upset.  The marathon is said to unify the city but with the current situation, it actually divides the city as emotions go high with organizers decision to continue the race.

The comments by elected officials were echoed by thousands of people on social media. While some support Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s notion that the marathon can help get the city back on its feet, many others are disgusted that precious public resources will be used for a sporting event while millions of New Yorkers are without power, heat and food. Several online petitions and message boards have sprung up with thousands of signatures calling for the marathon to be postponed or canceled.

“This will forever tarnish the marathon as a brand and an event,” said Stephen Robert Morse, a 27-year-old from Brooklyn who started stopthemarathon.tumblr.com. “There are still thousands of people downtown and businesses that still lack necessities and it’s insulting to have tourists prioritized over the people of this city.”

The New York State Nurses Association has also asked the mayor to postpone the race.

Bloomberg, aware that the marathon generates hundreds of millions of dollars for the city, has repeatedly said the race will go on. He did not expect the Police Department to be overly burdened because the race is on a Sunday, when street traffic is limited. Many parts of the city, including Lower Manhattan, are expected to have their power back, freeing other workers.

 

Read the full article at The New York Times. 

 

Photo copyright by Flickr user Pam_Andrade. 

World Marathon Majors Add Tokyo Marathon

Tokyo Marathon has been in runners’ radar  for awhile. Having known as one of the largest and most colorful marathon around the world, it continues to attract more participants.  Until recently, the “Big 5″ – Berlin, Boston, Chicago, London, and New York  agreed to add Tokyo to the circle of World Marathon Majors.  Now, there’s a new reason to travel to Japan!

The Tokyo Marathon, which will be on February 24 in 2013,  transitioned from an elite race to a mass participation event in 2007. It now has 300,000 persons applying for 36,000 spots, which certainly puts it in the ballpark of the other World Marathon Majors in terms of size. It’s also now the earliest Major on the annual calendar.

“It has always been a thought that Asia naturally should be involved, and Tokyo fits the bill more than any other event,” said Tom Grilk, executive director of the Boston Athletic Association, which stages the Boston Marathon. Asia is a huge marathon market, of course, and the existing WMMs apparently hope that the pool of potential sponsors can be expanded. Emphasis on “potential.” The World Marathon Majors, collectively, do not have a title sponsor.

 

Read the full article at Runner’s World.

 

Photo copyright by Flickr user yoppy.