Tip of the Week: New Running Shoes for Race Day

With approximately 4 weeks left before the BIG day, some of you may have been asking yourself, “Do I need to replace my running shoes before my race?”

Well, if you are asking that question then the answer is probably… yes.

Why should I replace my running shoes?

Running in old or worn-out shoes is a very common (and completely avoidable) source of running injuries. Your running shoes lose shock absorption, cushioning and stability as you log miles. Running in worn-out shoes increases the stress and impact on your legs and joints. The easiest thing you can do to prevent those types of injuries is replace your running shoes before they’re worn-out.


When should I replace my running shoes?

The short answer is between 300 and 450 miles. Why the range? How quickly shoes wear varies based on a variety of factors including weight, gait, and the type of surface(s) you do a majority of your running on (pavement, dirt, treadmill).  If you run an average of 25 miles per week, you should be replacing your shoes roughly every 3-4 months.

Beyond the actual numbers, you can often times physically FEEL when your shoes are ready to be replaced. If they do not feel as cushioned as new ones and you feel every nook and cranny on the road while running. You may also begin to experience new aches and pains in your shins or knees because your feet and joints are trying to overcompensate for the now-missing stability and/or cushioning.

How soon before the marathon should you choose your marathon day shoe?

As race day approaches you will hear every coach you know say the following phrase, “nothing new on race day.” This applies especially to your shoes. If you need to buy a new pair of shoes before your marathon, then you want to make sure you do so with plenty of time to spare (i.e. 4 to 6 weeks). This will give you a more than enough time to break your shoes in with some short and, more importantly, long runs.  The breaking in process will also ensure there are no surprises on race day (i.e. an inseam digging into your foot, blisters, etc..).  If you are not sure whether or not your shoes need to be replaced talk to your coaches or visit your favorite running store for some expert advice.

 

 

Member Spotlight: Katerena Moustakis

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Where do you live?
Garden City, New York (Long Island)

What event are you running with Team for Kids?
2016 TCS NYC Marathon

What excites you most about running your event with Team for Kids?
I get to run with a group of people who are equally as moved by the Team for Kids mission. Just the notion of adding some meaning behind every butt-kicking mile I run moves me, to help provide kids with programs that will benefit them for a lifetime.

Where is your favorite place to run and why?
Cedar Creek Park to Jones Beach Bike path. It is a long trail along the parkway with the unmistakable Jones Beach Tower in the background, fishing along the side, small hills, boats passing you by, ornamental grass, views of the water, fresh air, and friendly faces. I love it because of that! Additionally, if you run or even bike far enough, you can enter the beach without paying for parking. Win! Moreover, after a long run, there is nothing like putting your feet in the water!

If you run with music, what are your favorite artists or songs to listen to?
A good playlist (for me) is absolutely essential. I start almost every run with the same song, Tim Segreto’s “I’ll Watch Your Back” (Sounds like – Oasis / Coldplay) it sets the tone. However, I usually listen to The Prodigy, Major Lazer, Rihanna, or any song produced by Calvin Harris to keep my legs moving. I love music!

What is your favorite post-run meal?
I usually go for a very large salad believe it or not. I literally reach for a small to medium size cake mixing bowl and throw lettuce, tomato, avocado, one hard boiled egg, Kalamata olives, dates and mukimame in it; a pinch of salt and one tablespoon of olive oil and I’m good to go!

When did your relationship with running begin and why?
I honestly always loved running because I played soccer from the time I was in grade school. However, my real relationship with running did not begin until the summer of entering my third year in college. I had slipped and fallen down concrete steps, landing so terribly that everything just shifted in my back. I fractured my tailbone, herniated some discs, suffered from nerve damage and could not walk properly for quite some time. I went to physical therapy for a while, and eventually just told myself: “Look, snap out of it, get up, get out, you’ll be fine, you’ll get better.” Eventually, walking turned back into running and has been my go to cathartic release since college, throughout Law School and every day since.

Do you have any pre-race rituals or superstitions, if so, please explain?
I have to start running, cross the start line and/or the finish line with my right foot. It is a Greek tradition that my family follows. Essentially, every New Year, or when entering into someone’s house or anywhere for the first time, we enter on the “right foot” to bestow good luck.

Why did you choose to run this event?
Back when I was in grade school, schools were just starting to implement healthy choices for both drink and food options (e.g., Sports drinks and Water as opposed to Soda). I think it is super important to suggest or at least provide an opportunity for youth to make healthy choices. Additionally, because of TFK’s mission, kids, not just by chance, will get the opportunity to educate themselves on physical fitness and empower themselves through these character-building programs.

Tell us a little more about yourself
I love to stay active, whether it is through running, cycling, swimming or just taking my dog out for a long walk. I also love to indulge in new foods and treat myself once in a while. On my downtime, I like to unwind with a classic Horror movie or any Quentin Tarantino flick. I know what you’re thinking – who unwinds with horror movies? This girl. Thanks to my older brother!

Connect with Katerena via the sites below:
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/kymkitty/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Katerena.moustakis

Tip of the Week: Recovery Runs

Recovery runs are defined as relatively short, slow runs completed the day after a long run, and they are a very important part of your training. It is widely believed that the primary purpose of recovery runs is to increase blood flow to the legs, clearing away lactic acid, thus expediting the recovery process. However, other running experts would argue that the most important benefits of recovery runs are the increased training stress (running on tired and fatigued legs) and training volume.

Endurance training is not just about  the long runs. Your weekly volume and frequency are equally, if not, more important. Adding these recovery runs to your schedule is a great way to increase both your:

  • Weekly Volume – the total amount of time spent running per week, and
  • Frequency – the number of days per week you run.

Simply put, running volume has a positive effect on running fitness and performance. The more running you do (within the limit of what your body can handle before breaking down), the more fit you will become. This is because  increases in running volume are closely correlated with increases in running economy.

Running is a motor skill that requires communication between your brain and your muscles. For runners, it’s simply about the time spent practicing the relevant action (running) that improves communication between the brain and the muscles. It’s not just a matter of testing our physiological limits (HARD efforts), but developing a skill through repetition.

If a runner tries to run HARD during every workout, the number of miles they are able to complete before breaking down will decrease. Moral of the story, if you want to achieve the maximum running volume, then you have to keep the pace slow for your recovery and easy runs (and your long runs too). It’s as simple as that. If you are injured, or feel running on recovery days does not work for you, then an easy spin on a stationary bike will do the trick. Remember to keep it easy and maintain 90- 95 RPM’s to simulate the same cadence we utilize while we run (other forms of cross training will also do).

 

Member Spotlight: Phil Patterson Jr.

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Where do you live?
North Lauderdale, Florida

What event are you running with Team for Kids?
The 2016 TCS New York City Marathon!

What excites you most about running your event with Team for Kids?
The fact that by choosing to run with Team for Kids it’s no longer just about me and my excitement to run this particular race but the that it’s also helping out others because of the fundraising.

What is your favorite place to run and why?
I would say the beach just because the weather is almost always beautiful and you can jump right in the water to cool off whenever you want to.

If you run with music, what are your favorite artists or songs to listen to?
Imagine Dragons dominate my running playlist. After that it’s a lot of Alternative, Rock, Dance and BPM/Electronic singles. Stuff that gets me moving. There’s also a guy by the name of The Ginger Runner who makes instrumentals that are nice to run to, especially for the moments of needing to relax mentally on the run.

What is your favorite post-run meal?
A cheeseburger and French fries with a coke zero.

When did your relationship with running begin and why?
June 2013. I was 95 pounds heavier, going to the ER every 6-8 months because of back spasms and had enough. I knew I needed to lose weight to take pressure off of my back and discs so I started running.

Do you have any pre-race rituals or superstitions, if so, please explain?
I always have a moment of prayer right before they play or sing the national anthem. I thank God for giving me the passion to run, keeping me safe during my training and then I just pray that he helps me run my best, that me and everyone in the race will be safe. I find that it helps keep me humble and supportive of those running. I know there are so many people who wish they could run but can’t so it helps me appreciate it all even more.

Why did you choose to run this event?
After the Haiti earthquake I went on 3 trips as a volunteer/missionary to help the country out. That required fundraising and the end result was life changing. I felt like it was time to do something different other than just run a race and always heard about Team for Kids and the NY races. So I wanted to add a special purpose to this race since it means a lot to me to finally get to do it and hopefully this blesses many others to find their passion in running as well.

Tell us a little more about yourself
I was born and raised in Florida, My dad is from New York (Buffalo). I am a huge sports fan and love music. If I could be in one place daily it would be the beach because I love the ocean (that includes fishing). I work at a running specialty store called Runner’s Depot. I also host my own running website where I interview and feature elite runners to share with my followers to provide tips and suggestions for runners of all kinds. I have been married for 2 years now and I’m most popular locally for my beard as it gets the attention at all the races and people recognize me more and more just because of it.

Connect with Phil via the links below:

Instagram: https://instagram.com/heelstriker954

Twitter: https://twitter.com/heelstriker954

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/philpattersonjr

Personal: https://www.heelstriker954.com

Member Spotlight: Gary Rubin

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Where do you live?
Washington, DC

What event are you running with Team for Kids?
The TCS New York City Marathon with NYRR Team for Kids!

What excites you most about running your event with Team for Kids?
I believe that supporting youth programs is essential to helping young boys and girls — especially those who may be what we call underprivileged — to develop teamwork, discipline, and heightened self-esteem. I grew up in Brooklyn and Queens (P.S. 219, JHS 189, Flushing H.S.), and there were precious few out-of-school sports programs, which would have been an important adjunct to classwork.

What is your favorite place to run and why?
Rock Creek Park in Washington, DC; along the Schuylkill River in Philadelphia; and, of course when I can, Central Park. The scenery along Rock Creek and the Schuylkill River are breathtaking; Central Park reminds me of growing up in NY (as I did in Brooklyn and Flushing).

If you run with music, what are your favorite artists or songs to listen to?
I don’t run with music.

What is your favorite post-run meal?
My favorite post-run meal (after a typical training run) is usually salad, fruit, and a home-made smoothie. However, after running a marathon or 1/2 marathon, I eat whatever I want! Pizza, ice cream, you name it!

When did your relationship with running begin and why?
I started running when I turned 30 (nearly 40 years ago). I wanted to lose a bit of weight and I had always been fascinated with running, though I never really had the discipline. But then it happened, and I have been hooked ever since.

Do you have any pre-race rituals or superstitions, if so, please explain?
I always (always) have the same pre-race breakfast: I/2 toasted bagel with almond butter, banana, and honey. I wear pink socks and shoelaces, and I have a fanny pack I always make sure I take with me. It contains some “lucky” things, stones, and coins, and small objects that I have collected over the years, as well as a few notes written to me by my late wife. I never run without them.

Why did you choose to run this event?
In an election year, the focus is (of course) on voters. Not enough attention is paid (in my view) to those who will become voters, the kids. Supporting youth programs, of any kind, is essential as kids tend to be forgotten. Running is a great way to instill discipline, teamwork, and just plain fun in folks, especially in kids.

Tell us a little more about yourself
I will have turned 70 about 10 days before the NYC Marathon, so the race will be a celebration as well for me. I love running through the streets of NYC, passing old neighborhoods I still remember fondly. I am an attorney in Washington, DC, a perfect city in which to run.

 

Tip of the Week: Hydration

It’s pretty much common knowledge that it’s important to drink water, and you now know, drinking water regularly becomes even more important when training for a marathon.  60-70% of our bodies are made up of water.  Water is extremely important for your body’s functioning:  it feeds your cells, helps you digest and metabolize food, as well as regulates your blood volume and blood pressure.  In order to keep your body running well and efficiently, you have to replenish the water that you lose through sweat, urine, respiration (breathing) and avoid dehydration, which can significantly affect a runner’s performance.

How do you know if you’re dehydrated?  Common signs include thirst, dry mouth, headache, feeling lightheaded, and dark-colored urine.  Signs of severe dehydration can include cramps, chills, and even disorientation.  So, what is the best way to prevent dehydration?  Easy- drink fluids.   Drink them before, during, and after exercise.

How much should you drink?  First, of course, you should be drinking water throughout the day.  A good rule of thumb, drink your body weight x .6 (in ounces) on a daily basis.  To hydrate before your run, make sure you drink 8 to 16 oz of water 1 to 2 hours before a run (or at least try 6 to 8 oz 15-30 minutes before your run).  However, during your long runs, you should also be replenishing the water that you’re losing – about 6 to 8 oz of fluid every 20 minutes during a long run.  But most importantly, drink when you’re thirsty!  Your body is well-tuned to regulate itself, and if you just drink when you’re thirsty, you can avoid underhydrating (leading to dehydration) and overhydrating (hyponatremia). We highly recommend that you carry your own water during your long runs so you don’t have to rely on water fountains, etc. while running. A few great options include water bottles, hydration belts, and Camelbaks. (PLEASE NOTE: Some marathons, including the TCS New York City Marathon, do not allow Camelbaks on race day due to security restrictions. Please check the event code of conduct for your race).

Electrolytes

An important component of staying hydrated is making sure that you are keeping your electrolytes in balance.  Electrolytes are minerals in your body fluids and blood that contain things like salt and potassium.  They directly affect the amount of fluids in your body, and you lose them when you sweat.  When your electrolytes (salt) fall out of balance during long runs, you run into problems like dehydration and possibly muscle cramping (the jury is still out on this).  So, when you run longer than 90 minutes, you should make sure that you are replacing these electrolytes.  There are a couple of ways that you can do this.

1- Electrolyte replacement drinks.  These are things like Powerade and similar sports drinks.  These drinks are best while you are running, but not so good if you’re just sitting around the house.  They have a high glycemic index (lots of sugar), and your body will use it immediately – which is GREAT when you’re running, but not so great when sedentary.  Coconut water, nature’s sports drink, also has electrolyte replenishment capabilities without the sugar rush – which is great for pre- and post-run electrolytes. Here’s an alternative to sports drinks that you can utilize when you are not exercising:
16oz of water
1/8 of Celtic Sea Salt (NOT table salt)
Squeeze a little lemon, lime, orange, mint, etc. for flavor. Enjoy.

2- Salt.  If you notice that you are a “salty sweater” – namely that your face, hat, clothes are grimy with salt when you complete your run, even when you are drinking sports drinks during your run, you should think about taking in additional salt.  Every hour or so, take in the contents of your garden-variety salt packet.  Make sure that you carry your salt packets in a little plastic baggie.  Otherwise, your sweat will disintegrate the packets.  If you find that you are still leaving a salt trail behind you after your long runs, try taking a packet every 45 minutes.  You can also use electrolyte replacement (salt pills) such as Salt Stick… take approximately 1 pill an hour (dependent on body size and sweat production, how much salt you lose- “Salty Sweater”).

Tip of the Week: Injury Prevention

Top 10 Tips for Injury Prevention

10 – Follow the training schedule and avoid OVERTRAINING. 

  • There is a fine line between OVER-training (doing TOO much and at too hard of an effort) and UNDER-training (doing TOO little). That small margin could be the difference between pain-free training and an injury.

 

9 – Get a GAIT ANALYSIS to understand your movement patterns & limitations.

  • Understanding the ins and outs of your unique running form will give you a more comprehensive understanding of the global movement patterns that could be limiting your strength, mobility and flexibility, and ultimately preventing you from achieving your peak performance.
  • A FREE “Peak Performance Analysis” is available to ALL TFK participants compliments of Finish Line Physical Therapy. Contact Coach Michael Conlon for further details.

 

8 – CROSS TRAIN.

  • Cross training is any form of exercise outside of running. It allows us to add volume and frequency to our training in a safe and effective manner. Running is a high-impact exercise that involves repetitive motion over a long period of time. By implementing other forms of cardiovascular exercise, we can improve our strength, flexibility and endurance without the added stress of running alone.
  • Here are a few popular examples of cross training: yoga, Pilates, swimming, cycling, CrossFit, etc

 

7 – Incorporate STRENGTH TRAINING 2x/week, emphasizing your lower extremity and core.

  • Regular strength training helps you stay healthy and become a faster, more efficient runner.
  • The best strengthening exercises: are three-dimensional, multi-joint; focus on the FULL body and are running-specific. Check out the “strength” workouts in your weekly TFK emails.

 

6 – Stretch in a DYNAMIC, THREE-DIMENSIONAL manner.

  • Functional, dynamic stretching is a more active and specific way to loosen up your body before a workout, expedite recovery post-workout and improve flexibility and joint mobility.
  • A good place to start is with a lunge matrix stretch to assess areas of the body that feel limited or restricted. From there, key in on specific stretches or movements to address areas that need it.

 

5 – Perform SELF-MYOFASCIAL release before and after workouts.

  • Self-myofascial work provides relief from muscle pain & soreness; increases flexibility & strength; accelerates recovery; and releases knots, trigger points and adhesions that can result from training.
  • Roll before and after exercise for BEST results; implement breathing techniques for relaxation.
  • Check out four rolling techniques at http://finishlinept.com/videos.

 

4 – Compression is KEY.

  • Post-exercise compression can be utilized to expedite recovery. Whether it be calf sleeves, full compression tights or the state of the art NORMATEC Compression Sleeves (www.normatecrecovery.com), compression is one of the most effective methods to enhance recovery, especially after those hard efforts (repetition, tempo or long workouts).

 

3 – HYDRATE early and often.

  • Water is crucial for your body to achieve optimal function. Water brings nutrition to your cells, helps you digest & metabolize food, and regulates your blood volume & pressure.
  • How much should you drink? 6 x body weight = # of ounces of water/day
  • Instead of sugary electrolyte replacement drinks (i.e. Gatorade), replace the salt you lose during a workout by adding a ¼ tsp. of celtic sea salt or Himalayan salt for every quart of water. To give it a bit of natural flavor, squeeze in some fresh lemon or orange juice.

 

2 – Introduce VARIATION to help avoid repetitive stresses.

  • Alternate and/or change your running shoes frequently; ensure you are in the most appropriate shoe for your foot and body type; vary running surfaces; change your running route; adjust the type of workout; and incorporate cross-training on non-running days.

 

1 – LISTEN to your body.

  • You are the only one that knows exactly what you are feeling. You are the best judge of whether or not you should RUN or REST. Be smart! If there is any doubt as to whether you should run, choose the more conservative route: complete rest or (pain-free) cross training.
  • Additionally, the AlterG Anti-Gravity Treadmill is a great option to continue running while recovering from an injury—without the added stress on your body. Finish Line PT has one! Visit com/services/alterg-anti-gravity-treadmill for more info.
  • Not sure how long to cross train for? When done in place of running, simply cross train for the same amount of time you were scheduled to run.