Tips

Below are various blogs posted by the MFR team on tips to improve your running, do let us know if you have any questions or would like any advice and we’ll be sure to share.

Easy strength training for endurance runners

Posted by on 9:53 pm in Tips | 0 comments

Every runner will tell you they just love getting out and running. Most hate the treadmill, most would rather avoid the gym. But if you really want to perform, building strength work into your week is important to build your core, improve posture and help avoid injury.  This is a great article that gives some exercises you could do at home. strength-training-for-runners-ultimate-guide

http://running.competitor.com/2013/12/injury-prevention/strength-training-circuit-for-distance-runners_47933

Injury Prevention

Posted by on 8:18 pm in Tips | 2 comments

Remaining injury-free shouldn’t be rocket science, says Dr Jason Karp

Around 50% of runners deal with at least one injury a year, but there isn’t a good reason why this figure should be so high.

The main reason is that runners don’t train intelligently or they follow programmes that are not designed properly. Simply, injuries happen because the physical stress from running is too much for the body to handle at that time. The human body is great at adapting to stress, but only when you apply that stress in small doses. When you apply the stress too quickly for your body to adapt, something is inevitably going to break down.

Every time your foot strikes the ground, your leg absorbs two to three times your bodyweight. When you multiply that by the number of steps you take to run five miles, and multiply that by how many times you run each week, you can see how much stress your legs have to deal with simply to be a runner.

Predictors of injuries

The main reasons for running injuries are:

Mileage
How many miles you run in a week is the greatest predictor of injury risk. It’s hard to say exactly how many miles per week adds to the risk of injury because that’s down to the individual. You may be able to handle 50 miles a week and your running partner may become injured with 30 miles. Some runners can run more than 100 miles per week and not be injured.

Previous injury
If you’ve had an injury in the past, you’re at an increased risk for another one. A previous injury can make that body part more vulnerable.

Lack of running experience
If you’re a new runner, you have a greater risk for injuries, as you’re not yet used to the stress of running.

Training secrets

If you want to stop becoming injured, follow these seven training secrets:

1. Train smart

Train at more effective levels of effort to get the best results. The goal of training is to obtain the greatest benefit while incurring the least amount of stress. That means you want to run as slow as you can while still obtaining the desired result. Follow a systematic and progressive training plan, with each cycle of training building on what came before to create a seamless and safe programme.

2. Increase your weekly mileage slowly

How quickly you increase your weekly mileage has probably the greatest impact on whether you get injured. The slower you increase your weekly mileage, the less chance you’ll get injured. When you increase your mileage, add only about a mile per day of running so that you spread the stress around. For example, if you run 20 miles over four days in a week, run no more than 24 miles the next week by adding one mile to each of the four days. Don’t run 24 miles next week by adding all four miles to only one single day of running.

Many books and articles quote the 10 per cent rule of increasing mileage, but there’s nothing special about that figure. You can often increase it by more than that if you’re smart about how you do it. If you’re a highly trained runner, you may be able to get away with adding more miles more quickly, especially if you have experience of running longer distances.

For example, if you’ve run 60 miles per week in the recent past and now you’re training for your fifth marathon and building up your mileage, you don’t necessarily have to go from 40 to 45 to 50 and then to 55 and 60 miles per week over a couple of months. You may be able to make bigger jumps in mileage because your legs already have experience of running 60 miles per week.

However, if 60 miles per week is totally new territory for you, then you need to increase your mileage in smaller increments. If you’re a new runner, an older runner or are prone to injury, run the same mileage for three to four weeks before attempting to increase it.

3. Don’t increase your mileage every week

Run the same mileage for two to four weeks before increasing it. Give your legs a chance to fully absorb and adapt to the workload. You want 30 miles per week to be a normal experience for your body before increasing it to 35 miles per week – it all takes time.

4. Don’t increase the distance of your long run every week

This is especially important if you’re entering unchartered territory with your long runs. Repeat the same long run for a few weeks before running longer. You want a nine-mile run to become normal before you try to run 10 miles. Most marathon and half-marathon training groups make the costly mistake of ramping up the long run much too quickly because their training programmes are only five to six months long. They increase the distance of the long run every week throughout their programmes until it’s time to taper two to three weeks before the race.

That’s a good way for new or recreational runners to become injured because of the stress increases week upon week without a break. If you’re running your first marathon or half-marathon and you’re starting from a short(ish) long run, you need to give yourself much longer than five or six months to prepare without increasing the risk of injury.

5. Don’t make the long run so long

To avoid injury, don’t make your long run such a large percentage of your weekly running. Ideally, your long run shouldn’t be more than about a third of your weekly mileage. If your long run is 10 miles, you should run at least 30 miles per week. If your long run is 20 miles, you should run at least 60 miles per week. The majority of runners don’t run that much, so you need to be creative when training so that you don’t accumulate so much stress in just one run.

The long run should be stressful, After all, you’re running for a long time and trying to make yourself exhausted so that your body adapts. However, you don’t want the long run to be so much more stressful than any other run during the week. It’s always better to spread the stress around. Complete a medium-long run in mid-week that is about 65-75 per cent of the length or duration of your long run.

6. Run easy on your easy days

The biggest mistake runners make is running too fast on their easy days. This adds unnecessary stress to the legs without any extra benefit and will make it more difficult to complete a quality run on your harder days. Easy runs should feel gentle and allow you to hold a conversation (about 70-75% max heart rate).

7. Never increase weekly mileage and intensity together

When you begin to include interval training and speed work into your programme, either reduce the overall mileage for the week or maintain your mileage from where it was before you added the extra intensity. Your legs can handle only so much stress at once. Most runners that try to increase their running volume while also increasing their intensity will find that is too much to handle.

» Dr Jason Karp holds a Ph.D. in exercise physiology and has written five books and has more than 200 published magazine articles. He is also a frequent speaker at coaching conferences
Read more at http://www.athleticsweekly.com/featured/injury-prevention-26234/#lgBdmIeUc5R7mYsm.99

With thanks to Steve Hatton for discovering this article

Independent reviews on Running Shoes

Posted by on 8:15 pm in Tips | 0 comments

James recently recommended a review website with some great reviews on running shoes.

The site is runrepeat.com which has over 100,ooo independent runners reviews on over 1000 running shoes.

Pricing is irrelevant as it’s a US website, but a good read if you’re debating on your next footwear.

brooks-launch-1

7 Tips for Beginning Runners

Posted by on 7:54 pm in Tips | 0 comments

I know, this isn’t a fun beauty/makeup/nail polish related topic, but it is about something very near and dear to my heart. Running! I have never been the athletic type. I am short… like 5 feet tall short, and not super skinny (or even just regular skinny). I’ve had some babies and I like pizza. Starting to jog/run was hard for me! When I finally figured it out and what works for me, I fell in love! After a long winter of half-hearted treadmill jogs, it was warm enough to run outside the other day and I fell in love all over again! During my run I was thinking about how far I had come in a year of running and I wanted to share my tips for success with everyone!

1. Wear the right shoes!

I think every runner will tell you need to wear the right shoes, but I often hear people say they will buy nicer shoes once they get into running more. But I don’t think you will ever really get into it if you are wearing bad shoes that will make your knees, hips and feet hurt. It took me a long time to find a pair of shoes I loved. I tried lots and lots of shoes until I found the ones that really worked great for me. Going to a good running store that really knows what they are talking about and have someone help you find the shoes for you. Don’t bother reading reviews on the internet or asking your friends which shoes they wear, go to a store and find YOUR shoes. Some stores like Nordstrom or REI have a really loose return policy so you can run on shoes a few times (or more) before you decide if they are right.

2. Find your pace

When I first started running I went with a tall, experienced friend. She told me to pick the pace and so I started running what I thought felt comfortable. She quickly asked me, “This is pretty quick, maybe lets slow it down a bit.” I had NO idea I had been running “quick” at all. But on that run when she set the pace for me, I was able to run much further without being completely exhausted. I have since built up my speed quite a bit, but her helping me figure out my pace was a game changer. Start a little slower, you will find you can run further then pick up the pace when you are getting more comfortable.

3.  Learn to push yourself

I feel like part of what I had to learn in order to become a “runner” was that it just sorta hurts. You will breathe heavy, your muscles will get tired, you will get side aches. But those aren’t reasons to stop running and walk, or quit all together. You will find that your body catches up with you pretty quick and you will get stronger and stronger and you will be amazed what you are capable if you push through the pain.

4. Set a goal

The first running goal I set for myself was a 5k. My goal was to run it in a certain amount of time, and to run the whole thing without walking. I was so motivated to get out and run when I knew that I had paid the fee and was signed up to run on a certain day. So start with that, it’s almost spring. Get online and find a 5k and go do it! There is nothing like the feeling of finishing your first race. After that you can work toward  running a faster 5k, or a 10k, or my very favorite, a Ragnar Relay.

5. Increase mileage slowly

I am the champion of running injuries. But from my injuries I have learned! Sometimes I am just loving my run so I keep going and going and then have run further than I was ready for and I am injured. Experts say you should never increase your weekly mileage by more than 10 percent over the previous week. Nothing throws your progress off track quicker than an injury

6. Bribe yourself

I love a good bribe. If you can afford it, put $1 in a jar for every run you do, or even $1 per mile. Save that money up to buy something selfish just for you! New shoes? Pedicure? Whatever. Pick what motivates you and get to it!

7. Find what works for you!

I learned that a lot of things don’t work for me. I cannot run with people. I mean, I can occasionally. But for my every day runs I need to be alone with my music and to get in the zone. Some people love running with a friend, but I am (unfortunately) just not one of them. I also get really bored running on a treadmill or a trail. I love running through neighborhood and up and down hills. Experiment. If you feel like you are falling into a rut or getting bored, mix it up.

Discovered by James Moles, courtesy of: http://youputiton.com/7-tips-for-beginning-runners/

Glute Strength

Posted by on 8:20 pm in Tips | 0 comments

Put injuries behind you by working this key—but often neglected—muscle group.

For the past decade, coaches, trainers, and physical therapists like me have told runners to “work your core”—the muscles of your torso that support your every move. And so many runners have added crunches and planks that strengthen the abdominals and back to their routines. But these exercises do little for the powerhouse muscles that surround the pelvis. The gluteal (buttocks) muscles are so commonly left out of runners’ strength programs, I call them the forgotten core.

When we run, the glutes hold our pelvis level and steady, extend our hip, propel us forward, and keep our legs, pelvis, and torso aligned. So when our glutes are faulty, our entire kinetic chain gets disrupted. Studies link glute weakness to Achilles tendinitis, shinsplints, runner’s knee, and iliotibial-band syndrome. Indeed, many injured runners I treat come to physical therapy with strong abdominals and backs but weak glutes.

Part of the problem is that glutes aren’t as active as other running muscles during routine activities, which can make your hamstrings, quadriceps, and calves disproportionately stronger. Another issue is that most strength-training routines don’t isolate the glutes. If an exercise requires several muscles to perform the movement, the majority of the work will be done by the strongest of those muscles. Also, tight muscles, specifically the hip flexors, can inhibit the glutes and prevent their muscle fibers from firing.

Here’s how to see where you stand, plus exercises that will strengthen your neglected glutes—and give you a coveted runner’s butt. Do two or three sets of 12 to 15 reps two times a week.

Read full article: http://www.runnersworld.com/workouts/glute-strengthening-workout

With thanks to Steve Hatton