Attention All Turkey Trot Registrants Who Are NOT Current Y Members:
Good news! Your registration for the Y Turkey Trot Charity 5K kicks-off your complimentary Y membership – good for up to 30 days until December 31, 2018! Just register for Turkey Trot, then stop by any Y Center with a copy of your receipt (email or printed) to activate your free Y membership today!
As much as most people dread the winter weather, here in Maryland there’s not much we can do to stop it! If you loathe the treadmill and opt to stay outside, we’ve got some cold-weather running tips for you.
Be Smart About Layering Up. When the temperatures drop, you’ll want to add layers to your running apparel. The general rule for outdoor running is to dress for temperatures 15-20 degrees above the actual temperature. Though you’ll be a little cool when you start your run…you’ll warm up in no time once you get going! Layering gives you the option to shed a few items if you get too warm, and it provides you with layers to add if you start get chilly during your cool down.
Cover Your Extremities. Your hand, feet, ears and nose are the first to freeze in cold weather, so protect yourself! Wearing a hat or hood prevents heat from escaping your body and keeps you warmer. Not a hat person? Try a headband or ear warmer instead. Make sure your socks are of good quality to keep your feet warm and dry, and don’t forget gloves or mittens!
Dealing with the Elements: Dealing with snow, ice and wind is unpleasant enough, but when you’re trying to get a workout in, it’s especially inconvenient. If you’re running in windy weather, start out running into the wind. This will keep the wind from blowing into your face once you’ve started sweating and chilling you more. You can prevent slipping on ice by shortening your stride and paying close attention to your running path. You can also add screws to your running shoes for extra traction. Be sure to get hex head or sheet metal screws. Use a drill to insert them in your shoes, pointy end first until the head is flush with your shoe (see image, left. Via Runner’s Connect).
Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate! When the temperature is lower, you may not feel like you’re working as hard, but it’s so important to keep hydrated. Aim for 8oz of water for each 30 minutes of exercise.
The bonus of running outdoors in colder temperatures? It feels easier and you’ll naturally increase your pace! Bring on the PR’s!!
Now that you’re most of the way through your training, you might be thinking, “Wow, I really like this running thing!” If you’re not, that’s ok, too. But hopefully you’ve been enjoying the training experience, and you’re looking for more information on how to improve your running. Or maybe you’re just looking for new sources of inspiration to help you stick with this healthy habit. Below are few worthwhile running-related reads!
Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen, Christopher McDougall
Award-winning journalist and runner, Christopher McDougall recounts his adventure from Harvard, across North America to Mexico’s deadly Copper Canyons, the home of the Tarahumara Indians. The tribe is home to the the world’s greatest runners, and McDougall sets out to discover their secrets and share their story.
Mile Markers: The 26.2 Most Important Reasons Why Women Run, Kristin Armstrong
Runner’s World contributing editor, Kristin Armstrong, shares compelling reasons women run and the parallels to everyday life. Armstrong shares her and reflects on her experiences to show the reader stories of inspiration, encouragement, family and endurance.
Run Fast. Eat Slow.: Nourishing Recipes for Athletes, Shalane Flanagan
4-time Olympian and incredible marathoner Shalane Flanagan partnered with Chef Elyse Kopecky to share over 100 recipes for nourishing meals, delicious snacks, nutritional drinks and treats. The book also includes inspiring stories and all recipes are free of refined flour and sugar.
A Race Like No Other: 26.2 Miles Through the Streets of New York, Liz Robbins
New York Times reporter Liz Robbins explores the history, intensity and excitement of one of the world’s premier races, the New York City Marathon. Robbins follows professional and amateur runners through New York’s most captivating race and its five boroughs – starting at the Verrazano Narrows Bridge in Staten Island to Manhattan’s Central Park finish line. This compelling read also features profiles of marathon legends, including Fred Lebow, the race’s founder.
Are you familiar with “the dreadmill?” We’ve all had that run. You know, each minute feels like an hour and you think you’ll never be done? For a lot of runners, the treadmill can be especially challenging to your mental game. On those days, think of the advantages of treadmill running…
Not buying what we’re selling? Distract yourself! Here are some ideas to help beat boredom:
Now that the long, light days of summer are behind us and we’re headed toward Daylight Savings Time, let’s talk about running in the dark. Keep yourself safe with these tips:
Lights, lights, lights! Be seen with reflective gear, flashlights and/or a headlamp. This allows you to be seen by cars, other runners or pedestrians and bikers. Flashlights and headlamps help you see where you’re going and reduce the risk of accident or injury. Stay on sidewalks whenever possible. When running on the road, run on the left side to see and be seen by oncoming traffic.
In Case of Emergency… Carry your cellphone with the Medical ID activated or your passcode turned off. This will help you get into your phone to call for help if necessary, or it will help someone access your phone to help you if you’re incapacitated. Consider getting a Road ID.
Trust your gut. Never, ever, ever ignore your instincts. If something feels off, or you feel uncomfortable, don’t hesitate to adjust your plans. Pay close attention to your surroundings and vary your routes to avoid any unwanted followers!
Find a running buddy! Your parents probably told you “safety in numbers!” and with good reason. Besides having someone to talk to, you can look out for each other. If you don’t have a running buddy, find a route that is well lit, and where there are other people and activities around you.
Ditch your headphones. With diminished visibility, you’ll want to be able to hear traffic and others around you. Your music and podcasts will sound that much better when you’ve had some unaided running time, too!
Do you have a go-to running song? Are you looking for inspiration to build the perfect Turkey Trot playlist? We’ve got you covered with some great running tunes and there’s a little something for everyone ! Looking for something other than music? We’ve got some great podcast suggestions, too.
Build your running playlist with these runners’ favorites!
Engage your brain with these fascinating podcasts!
Happy listening! (and running!)
Do you want to run with your four-legged best friend at this year’s Y Turkey Trot Charity 5K? Here are some tips to help you and your pup have the best experience possible!
All dogs should start with leash walking to learn control and manners. Teach your pet basic commands like “sit,” “stay” and “leave it.” Keep the leash short, about 2 to 3 feet so that your dog won’t pull you and becomes accustomed to being next to you, rather than in front of you. If you begin with proper leash walking, the switch to running will be easier and more enjoyable for both of you!
Consider your dog’s age, health, and breed. If you have a puppy, it’s best to stick to walking until their bones are fully developed, typically around 18 months. It’s also worth noting that breeds with short, squished noses are more susceptible to overheating and cannot take in enough oxygen to accommodate strenuous physical exertion. Not all dogs are runners, so it is important to take these things into consideration. You can get just as much enjoyment and exercise from walking together! When in doubt, check with your veterinarian.
Remember to start slowly, just as you would when beginning a training plan for yourself. Begin with 10 minutes of running every other day. Then add 10 minutes each week until you reach your projected 5K time. This gradual increase will allow adaptation without injury. This is also a good time for some trail running! The grass or dirt is easier on everyone’s joints! Be aware of wildlife and make sure your pet is up to date on flea and tick prevention. Take extra care to stop for water breaks and monitor your pup’s breathing to ensure he or she isn’t overheating (signs include seeming lethargic or weak, excessive panting and dark red gums).
When you’re done, take time to cool down and reward your dog with a nice head scratch and some extra attention!
Planning on running the Y’s Turkey Trot Charity 5K with your little one in a stroller? We’ve got some tips to help your family have the best experience possible! Here are a couple things to keep in mind for running and training with strollers.
Comfort! Make sure your little one is old enough that their neck can support their head to withstand any jostling and/or bumps in the road. Check the weather forecast before you head out, and remember that although you’ll be working up a sweat, you’ll child will be staying still and catching a cool breeze! Consider timing your run after your child’s meal so that they are content and maybe ready for a nap. Also, make your load a little lighter by packing a mini diaper bag for any “just in case” incidents.
Take care of yourself and be aware of your running form. There are different techniques for pushing a jogging stroller. Some people prefer to push with one hand on the handles and one hand free. Make sure to switch arms evenly. Others may push with both hands on the stroller. Finally, you may want to continuously push the stroller out from you and chase after it (the stroller’s wrist strap will prevent the stroller from getting too far too fast!). No matter how you push, remember to stay upright – not hunched over the handles.
Safety! Jogging strollers exist for a reason and safety is a big one. The special wheels help steady the stroller and offer a smoother ride for children. Make sure your jogging stroller has a wrist strap, so that in case of emergency, you’ll stay connected to your stroller. This is particularly important if you’re running downhill. Pay particular attention to the logistics of your running route – watch out for uneven sidewalks, traffic patterns and visibility. Finally, inspect your stroller, especially the wheels, before each run. Make sure the tires are properly inflated and not showing signs of wear and that there are no loose screws or missing parts.
Have fun! Running with a stroller is a great workout, and a great way for you to incorporate exercise into a busy schedule. It also shows children the importance of exercise, and is a great way for you to spend time together. Children love going for a ride, getting fresh air, and seeing new things while you get your workout in!
New to running and not sure where to start? Here are a few tips!
Start out easy! If you’ve been working out for a couple of weeks, it’s ok to start running up to 3 days per week for 30-40 minutes. If you’re just starting out, begin with run/walks. Download a Couch to 5K program, or pick a few markers – mailboxes, light poles or road signs – along your route for intervals. Gradually increase your running time by adding one minute of running for every four minutes of walking. Remember to start easy and build running time slowly!
Start each run with a warm-up and a cool-down. These can be 5 minutes of walking, some dynamic stretching and plyometrics like high knees, butt kicks and walking lunges. Don’t forget to foam roll, too! These will help you avoid injury, especially when you’re just starting out.
Make a plan. Map out your runs for the week and schedule them on your calendar. By picking the day, time and duration, you’ll have a few things to look forward to each week. Need some help picking a plan? Try one of the free plans from runner and writer, Hal Higdon: http://www.halhigdon.com/training/50933/5K-Novice-Training-Program
Treat yourself…to new shoes! There’s not a lot of gear needed to start running, but you’ll want to make sure you have a good pair of shoes. Visit a specialty running store, like Charm City Run, or peruse an online buying guide like this one from Runner’s World: https://www.runnersworld.com/shoefinder to help you find what you need. Remember, above all else, your running shoes should be comfortable for the duration of your workouts.
Engage your brain. Download a new podcast or exciting playlist to entertain your brain, or grab your friends and family to catch up over a run!
Looking for more tips? Our Y Personal Trainers are well-versed and ready to help! Once you’re laced up and ready to go, remember…this will be fun!