Great article about runner Julie Creffield:“Despite my size 18 frame I am a runner,” she wrote on the Huffington Post. “I have in fact been a runner for the last ten years running everything from 5k fun runs to full marathons. I run because I love the feeling of running, I love the community of runners where I have made many friends, but I admit I also run to keep control of my weight, and to help me lead a healthier and happier life.”She has recently launched the website Too Fat To Run which will provide first-time runners with the resources, including safety tips, to make their dreams a reality. The site will also sell merchandise, because, you know, you got to keep the lights on. Actually, one of the coolest things “Too Fat To Run” is doing, merch-wise, is selling runners apparel that provides a range of sizes for plus-sizers (most fitness wear does not clothe women past a size 16 or 18). The idea is to be able to make this business profitable enough to make “stylish, sexy, technical apparel” for plus-sized athletes."What we need are practical solutions where women feel empowered to be more active and where exercise is seen as something enjoyable and fun rather than a chore and something we must do."
I got an email the other day from a reader asking for advice about running her first half-marathon. She said she’d been running a 5K every month since December 2011 and wanted to know if I thought she could be ready to run her first half, the Miami ING (which, looks awesome!), by January 2013, […]
Decided to get out there early today before the heat built up! Still really humid and in the low 80’s, but had a nice breeze and cloud cover for most of the run. Four miles steady, followed by a mile of sprintervals and a cool down jog (which was not technically part of the workout, but I felt so good after sprints that I decided to ride the high for another half-mile).
So story about me and sprinting: I HATE sprinting usually. I’m bad at it - I’m just built for endurance, not bursts of power. Gangly legs and all - great for striding out miles, just in my way if I’m trying to get them to move quickly. But I LOVE bursting into a sprint at the end of a long run. I’ve got that runners high, I’m feeling pretty beat but accomplished - and then I reach in, find that last drop of adrenaline, and bust into a flat out sprint. Makes me feel like superwoman, seriously!
It also reminds me of my x-country racing days in high school. Our team motto was “leave nothing in the tank”, and as a rule we always sprinted the last quarter mile of every race. No matter how sore, tired, whatever - we hit that marker, and it was flat out until we were well over the finish line. Once I almost bowled over several people in the finish line gauntlet because the girls in front of me weren’t sprinting, and like hell was I slowing down just because there were spectators in my way! =P
So yep. Sprinting. Feels so good, but only after running a few miles!
As promised, here is my personal experience on getting fitted for running shoes!
I get many questions that go along the lines of “what kind of running shoes do you recommend?” or “what is the best running shoe?”, and the only answer I have to those questions is: the one that works for you! Go to a running shoe store (not big 5 or sports authority or sports basement, an actual running shoe specialty store) and get fitted for the right shoes! It’s free too!
Getting fitted can help you avoid potential feet, leg, hip, and back injuries by ensuring that the shoes you have fit you and your feet, stride, and pronation perfectly. Many people fall under the “cute running shoes” trap and neglect getting fitted because they prefer better looking shoes over better quality ones. People often tell me that good running shoes are too costly, but to that I ask, would you rather spend an extra $20 on a good pair of shoes or $100+ on doctor and therapy visits from injuries that could have been avoided from wearing good shoes?
At the store I go to, the fitting process is a 12 minute ordeal. They ask me about my mileage and any injuries, measure my arch, watch me run, find my feet size, and then use that information to bring out different shoes that they feel would work for me. Then, I try on the shoes and run around to get a feel of them.
Not all running shoe stores may have the technology that mine does, but the workers there should at least ask to watch you walk/run and measure your arches. If they don’t even ask to see you walk, leave and find a better place. If a store doesn’t bother to take the time to ensure you get the right shoe, then they’re not worth your time and money.
Hope this helped!
Yoga for Runners
Hello friends! Due to the success of my Yoga for Hip Openers guide and finishing up my second half marathon last month, I thought I would put together a warm-up & cool-down guide for runners. Hope you enjoy!
When I go out for a run, I generally warm up by running about half a mile at a nice easy pace and then stopping to do some dynamic warm-ups. These will get your heart pumping and the blood flowing to your legs.
- Standing Leg Swings: You can use a tree, or even a sign pole, to steady yourself. Keep your base leg straight and rise onto the ball of your foot, and swing your leg to the side and across your body. Do 10 of these before switching legs. You can also then turn and swing your legs front and back on each leg. Warms up your ham strings and hip flexors.
- High Knees: For these, take very small steps and bring your knees up close to your chest. Keep your core engaged and upright so you’re lifting from your abs. I like to do these for 20 seconds, walk a bit, and then do 20 more seconds.
- Butt Kicks: Taking small steps again, bring your feet up to kick your butt. These stretch out your quadriceps and calves. Go for 20 seconds, walk a bit, and then repeat.
Others you can include are: grape vines (sideways one step in front one step behind), backwards jogging, strides (elongated stride running), walking lunges, and skipping while swinging your arms across your body!
Static Cool Down
After your run, these yoga poses are great for cooling down and stretching out all the muscles you just used. Try to keep your breathing steady and hold each pose for 5-10 deep breaths.
- Downward Facing Dog: Keep your back straight and your legs long. You’ll feel this one down the backs of your legs. Don’t be afraid to walk it out, bend each leg, and even lift one leg up at a time. Keep your neck long and look back between your legs.
- Runner’s Lunge: Swing one leg through and have your knee bent at 90 degrees, hands on the ground, back leg straight and up on the ball of your foot. Make sure your knee doesn’t pass your big toe and feel this one through your hip flexor.
- Triangle Pose: Front leg facing forward, back leg turned out to 10pm on the clock. Keep both legs straight and keep your core engaged and back straight as you lean over. Extend your top arm high and if you have the balance, turn to look at it. Don’t keep any weight in your bottom hand!
- Standing Separate Leg Head-To-Knee Pose: I learned this one from the Bikram series - from Triangle pose, centre your hips to face forward and gently bring your chest toward your front leg while keeping your back straight. Don’t worry if your head doesn’t get near your knee! Reach with the chest, not the head.
- Warrior I Pose: Bend your front leg and extend arms high, keeping same leg position from previous pose. You’ll feel this one in your back calf and quad.
- Eye of the Needle Pose: Come onto your back and bend one leg across the other. Thread the needle by reaching through the bend in your leg and gently pull the underneath leg toward your chest. This one targets the glute and feels so great after running.
After completing, go back to downward facing dog and repeat with the other leg in front!
Some other poses I like to include are bound angle pose (stretches out the groin), standing and seated forward folds, and happy baby pose (great for hips and groin). Also in the first picture - using a tree or pole to stretch out your calves feels soooo good after a run!
All clothing pictured is from Nike and my shoes are the Bionic Free 1.0 DC edition.
in honor of National Running Day, here’s my Yoga for Runners guide again :)
The Runners Workout | Instagram @zovafit | via Tumblr on We Heart It