Chicago Marathon 2017: clothing

What did I wear while running the marathon and why? How did I figure out the best clothes to wear while running for 5+ hours? How did I avoid chafing and blisters (well, for the most part). Continue reading for the answers and more. 🙂 When I first started running, I just wore whatever exercise…

Chicago Marathon 2017: clothing and accessories was originally published on Self Evolve

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What did I wear while running the marathon and why? How did I figure out the best clothes to wear while running for 5+ hours? How did I avoid chafing and blisters (well, for the most part). Continue reading for the answers and more. 🙂 When I first started running, I just wore whatever exercise…

Chicago Marathon 2017: clothing was originally published on Self Evolve

Chicago Marathon 2017: shoes

What started out as a light at the end of the tunnel I was in has turned into the brightest star in the sky for me. This past Sunday October 8th I ran 26.2 miles for the first time in my life. And not just for myself, but to bring clean water to those who…

Chicago Marathon 2017: shoes was originally published on Self Evolve

What started out as a light at the end of the tunnel I was in has turned into the brightest star in the sky for me. This past Sunday October 8th I ran 26.2 miles for the first time in my life. And not just for myself, but to bring clean water to those who need it in Africa. Through the help of many who donated out of love, I was able to provide clean water to 26 people for their lifetime! One person for each mile I ran in Chicago on Sunday. Aside from the amazing support system I found in my friends and family, many people have been interested in what I used to help me get through the training and prepare myself mentally and physically to run my first-ever marathon. So I’m going to take some time, write a few posts, and make a few videos on what helps me log my miles, run farther, and run faster.

For someone just starting to run, there are a few essentials you need to run. These are nonnegotiable items that without running would be very hard if not nearly impossible.

  • Running shoes. (I know there are barefoot runners out there, and more power to you if you’re one of them!)
  • Running clothes. (shorts, shirt, bra, and socks)
  • For long distances, a water bottle to stay hydrated and a way to fuel yourself (for distances over 10 miles).
  • Reflective gear/lights if you’re running in the dark. (i.e. early morning or late night runs)

These are nice things to have but aren’t necessarily needed:

  • A way to track your run. This can be anything from a printed map of your route to using a device or your phone with GPS to track your pace in addition to your distance and route.
  • Something to carry your stuff including that water bottle. I.e. your keys, phone, and anything else you might need to keep with you while running.
  • Headphones/music to listen to. This tends to help on those really long runs.
  • Gym membership/access to a treadmill to pace yourself and incorporate incline training.

Today I’m going to start out basic and talk about shoes. I know I’ve written about shoes and the importance of getting fitted before but this is more specifically related to the shoes I used to train and get through my first marathon. And yes I went through two pairs!

I got fitted by Fleet Feet Sports in Lincoln Square back in August 2014. I was fitted and fell in instant love with the Brooks Ravenna 5. As running shoe brands keep coming out with new models, the old models get discontinued so it is nearly impossible to find the Ravenna 5’s these days. I upgraded to the 6 when I had to, and they worked just as well for me. It was when I tried the 7’s that things started to go awry. I quickly stopped using my new 7’s and switched back to the 6 (thankfully they were still available and I was able to grab up an extra pair). So the Ravenna 6 is what I ran in during Marathon training and through the race itself.
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I love these shoes, but unfortunately they are hard to find since now the Ravenna 8’s are out! I plan on trying the 8’s in hopes they may be better than the 7’s, but I also am open to other shoes. Being a part of the running community in Oak Park, I have been given many opportunities to try other brands and types of running shoes during a short and sweet 3 mile run or sometimes a little longer. I’ve found that running in shoes for 3 miles is a decent way to test them out and enjoy trying other brands of shoes to see which types help or hinder my running style.

What shoes do you wear while running? Do you like more cushion or less? Or somewhere in-between? Do you have a source for old, retired shoes and if so, please comment below!

 

Chicago Marathon 2017: shoes was originally published on Self Evolve

Running with the runs

If you’re a runner, you’ve likely either have heard of or experienced firsthand a case of runner’s diarrhea. I’ve been a semi-serious runner for about four years now and I can safely say that my running friends are the ones I know the most about in regards to their bowel movements. There’s a special level of…

Running with the runs was originally published on Self Evolve

If you’re a runner, you’ve likely either have heard of or experienced firsthand a case of runner’s diarrhea. I’ve been a semi-serious runner for about four years now and I can safely say that my running friends are the ones I know the most about in regards to their bowel movements. There’s a special level of friendship that you achieve once you spend hours running with someone. All modesty goes out the window.

I’m here to share some expert (or just witty) tips to avoid running with the runs. These may help you run further without having to pop a squat.

  • Pay close attention to what you eat before a run. Not just the day of, but also the day before. If you’re consuming a lot of fiber, expect a lot of poo to follow. Most runners learn what works best for them. For me, a light breakfast i.e. a banana and Clif bar does the trick prior to my long runs. Avoiding cheese, dairy, and lots of fiber the day before also helps.
  • Try your absolute best to poop before running, like when you first wake up. And for me, avoiding coffee until after the run helps me not have the urge to go.
  • You may be trotting along and get what I call bubble gut. Is it a fart? Or a poop? General rule of thumb: don’t trust a fart after mile 10. Some runners don’t trust a fart ever.
  • If you do have the urgency to go, please find a bathroom or port-a-potty. It’s not worth it to destroy your clothes and dignity just to get that goal race time. Just saying.
  • If you are gonna pop a squat and have no other option, come prepared with toilet paper or something similar to wipe the bum. No one likes chafing poo.

I hope these tips help you on your long runs and on race day. Let me know what works for you in the comments below! And happy running!

Running with the runs was originally published on Self Evolve

How to be stealthy

Are you a loud runner? Do you make a lot of noise when landing and everyone around you knows when you’re coming up on them? When being chased, are you super easy to follow? I’m here to tell you, you can change the way you run in order to run more quietly and make another…

How to be stealthy was originally published on Self Evolve

Are you a loud runner? Do you make a lot of noise when landing and everyone around you knows when you’re coming up on them? When being chased, are you super easy to follow? I’m here to tell you, you can change the way you run in order to run more quietly and make another step towards becoming a stealth ninja.

Runners can permanently reduce impact forces through biofeedback. In a study done by Irene Davis and Harrison Crowell, they used a form of biofeedback to successfully encourage runners to reduce their peak tibial acceleration by half. Peak tibial acceleration is basically a measurement of how hard the runner lands on the ground with each step. And Davis is known as one of the world’s leading pioneers in gait retraining for runners. Gait retraining consists of encouraging specific changes in the strides of runners that correct habits that are associated with increased injury risk.

All of the ten runners in the study started out as stompers. Davis placed an accelerometer to the lower leg of each runner to measure tibial acceleration as they ran on treadmills. The data collected by the accelerometer was displayed on a screen in front of the runners, which allowed them to see a simple graphical display of their impact force. They were told to adjust their running in order to reduce their impact force result by half, bringing it down to normal range.

All of the runners were able to do this. They weren’t told how to change their strides to reduce impact. Instead, they were given the freedom to adjust as they saw fit in order to comfortably reduce their impact force. Over time, Davis took away the “crutch” of the biofeedback until the runners were maintaining their new lower-impact strides on their own, in their own way. Then the runners were sent out into the world with the instructions to continue to run in this way. A month later on recheck, the runners were still maintaining their new strides with lower impact.

This study shows that you can change your gait and stride in order to avoid preventable running injuries. All you really need is some feedback on how much impact you’re creating while running. Since I started out initially as a martial artist and then became a runner, I feel like I’ve never really been a stomper. But that’s only because they train use to be quiet and light on our feet in Kung Fu.

Do you pay attention to your impact force? Do you try to land softly and quietly? Do you try to sneak up on people when you run?

How to be stealthy was originally published on Self Evolve

Running for beginners

Are you looking to increase your cardio? Are you looking to get into running but don’t know where to start? Do you hate running but want a runner’s body? If you answered yes, this article is for you. Some background on me, I used to hate running with a passion. Despite being good at it,…

Running for beginners was originally published on Self Evolve

Are you looking to increase your cardio? Are you looking to get into running but don’t know where to start? Do you hate running but want a runner’s body? If you answered yes, this article is for you. Some background on me, I used to hate running with a passion. Despite being good at it,…

Running for beginners was originally published on Self Evolve

Carb loading and running

I’m sure you’ve heard the old saying, “Eat a mountain of pasta the night before a race!” Even to this day, I have people ask me if I’m going to eat pasta before the big race I’m training for. I’m here to break apart this old, nauseating thought that we somehow need pasta to run…

Carb loading and running was originally published on Self Evolve

I’m sure you’ve heard the old saying, “Eat a mountain of pasta the night before a race!” Even to this day, I have people ask me if I’m going to eat pasta before the big race I’m training for. I’m here to break apart this old, nauseating thought that we somehow need pasta to run far.

Carbohydrate loading can help you. What is carbo loading? It’s a strategy involving changes to training and nutrition that can maximize muscle glycogen (carbohydrate) stores prior to endurance competition. Athletes believe that by loading the muscles with glycogen, they can prevent hitting the “wall” and hopefully allow them to run at their desired pace for longer. It has the potential to improve performance by 2-3%, if done properly. The issue is, a plate of pasta isn’t carbo-loading. Follow these simple steps to properly carbo-load:

  1. Don’t skip the carb depletion phase. 7 days prior to the event do a long or strenuous workout which will deplete your body of glucose. For the next 3 days maintain a lower carb diet of 35 to 50% of total calories. For the final 2 days prior to the race switch to 75% of calories from carbohydrates, while dramatically decreasing overall work volume (the other 25% is largely protein).
  2. Avoid simple carbs! Don’t eat junk food, and avoid sugar. Ideal carbo-loading foods: potatoes, fruits, vegetables, whole grains. If you have trouble with high fiber/runners trots, look for options like sourdough bread with honey or sweet potatoes.
  3. Don’t carbo load for short distance races. 5K or 10K? Too short! Carbo loading is only needed if you’ll be running OVER 90 minutes. I would even argue that it’s not necessary for a half-marathon but should be done for a full.
  4. Don’t load for too long, only do it for about 2 days prior to the race. The rest of the time before the race? Not loading! Don’t load up for a week, that is just un-necessary.
  5. Don’t freak out over the weight gain. Carbs make you retain water, which is needed for race day! Don’t even worry about that number on the scale, unless you’re ignoring step #2 and eating cookies.
  6. Don’t skip your last load due to nerves. You want that race morning fuel! You must give your muscles that last boost of glucose to help prevent energy lulls, mood swings, and fatigue. Aim to 1-3 grams of high quality carbs, low fat and low fiber – oatmeal with banana or yogurt with fruit if you can stomach it.
  7. Don’t eat that pasta dinner! One large meal of carbs is NOT carbo-loading and for many people it has the opposite effect of what they desire.

Of course, at the end of the day, everyone is different. You have to find what works best for you. Personally, I haven’t carbo-loaded before. But, I have also never ran a full marathon before. I usually eat before every race though. On the morning of a half marathon I eat fruit, drink lots of water, and drink some coffee. The week leading up to the half? I just focus on eating healthy: lots of veggies, fruits, healthy proteins and fats. Now that I’m training for the full marathon, I will be sure to pay more attention to what I’m putting into my body.

Food is fuel. And fuel is energy. Do you carbo-load? What do you eat before running? Or do you run on an empty stomach? Leave your thoughts in the comments below!

Carb loading and running was originally published on Self Evolve

How to taper

Are you training for a half or full marathon? If so, is it your first? Have you heard of tapering? Do you know what taper means? If not, continue reading as this can and will change your life! #welcometothetaper I’m currently training for my first full marathon, but I’ve ran two half-marathons. The first one…

How to taper was originally published on Self Evolve

Are you training for a half or full marathon? If so, is it your first? Have you heard of tapering? Do you know what taper means? If not, continue reading as this can and will change your life! #welcometothetaper I’m currently training for my first full marathon, but I’ve ran two half-marathons. The first one…

How to taper was originally published on Self Evolve