Member Spotlight: Carolina Cagno

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What event are you running with Team for Kids?
I’m running the Airbnb Brooklyn Half with New York Road Runners Team for Kids!

What excites you most about running your event with Team for Kids?
I’m excited to do something I love and, at the same time, support a good cause.

Where is your favorite place to run and why?
I love running when I am visiting a different city. For me, it is the best way the know a place. Here in Brazil, where I live, my favorite place to run is near the beach enjoying the sea breeze.

If you run with music, what are your favorite artists or songs to listen to?
Sometimes I run with music, others not. I am veeeeery eclectic, but what really makes me run faster is Axé and Funk (typical Brazilian music).

What is your favorite post-run meal?
Anything with peanut butter. 😛

When did your relationship with running begin and why?
I started running with my mom when I was 15, just after I “quit” competitive swimming. However, my big dive into the running world was when I was 20 and I challenged myself to complete a full marathon – and, of course, I chose NYC to be the first one! At that time, I was writing for a famous magazine here in Brazil and I reported my whole preparation on a blog inside the magazine website. It was a wonderful experience, a game changer in my life.

Do you have any pre-race rituals or superstitions?
Not yet…

 

Why did you choose to run with Team for Kids?
Because I really believe that sports can help people achieve their goals at all aspects of life. So, as far as I can I encourage young people to start running.

Tell us a little more about yourself.
I am Brazilian and 28 years old. I work with advertising, but my biggest passion is sport. Nowadays, I am training for a triathlon and I am to complete a half iron man by the end of the year.

Connect via the links below:
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/carolcagno/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/carolina.d.cagno

Tip of the Week: Posture, Cadence and Foot Strike

Proper running form is the key to becoming an efficient and injury free runner. To ensure you are running with the best possible form it is important for individual runners to assess the following: posture, cadence and foot strike.

First up, posture. The next time you go out for a run be sure to use the list below to assess your posture and to make sure you are properly aligned:

  • Stand tall with a slight forward lean from your ankles (not your hips).
  • Keep your eyes forward looking approximately 15 feet ahead (focus on shoulder blade region of the runner in front of you).
  • Breath naturally through your nose and mouth.
  • Keep your elbows bent at 90 degrees with your hands loosely cupped and your shoulders relaxed. Focus on swinging your elbows back and your hands forward (slightly towards your midline).
  • Keep your feet straight pointing in the same direction that you are running; forward (avoid turning your feet out).

Next, cadence. Cadence or step rate (steps/minute – spm) is defined as the number of times that your feet strike the ground in one minute. The ideal cadence that most running experts agree upon is 90 spm. Cadence is important because it is how you efficiently improve your running speed (running speed is defined as step rate x step length). Most runners need to first focus on improving their cadence. This can be accomplished by implementing running drills and strides into your weekly workouts to improve your running form. By doing so, we teach our “feet” how to turn over more quickly and more efficiently. In our order to achieve our quest of becoming a faster, more efficient runner, it is critical that we realize that step rate is only part of the equation. If we increase our step rate at the cost of decreasing our step length (i.e. shuffling gait) we will then negate any changes in running speed. The same can be said if we try to increase our step length (i.e. over striding) at the cost of our step rate. The key, increase your step rate (running drills, strides, etc..) without compromising your step length, or vice versa. It’s important to note that step length can be increased through exercises that increase your mobility, stability, flexibility and strength (ie. your weekly “strength” workouts).

The most efficient foot strike patterns are either a midfoot or forefoot strike. Landing below our center of gravity allows our muscles, fascia, etc., to absorb the impact we create while running. The issue with heel striking is that it typically causes a runner to strike the ground out in front of their body (forward to their center of gravity), slowing down their forward motion. In other words, a runner is essentially hitting the brakes with each and every step. This causes a runner to waste more energy and creates a greater amount of impact than necessary or desirable, thus contributing to the frequency of injuries among runners. Improving our cadence occurs when we land directly below our pelvis or center of gravity and take shorter, quicker steps. After all, an increased step rate = increased running speed; what runner do you know who doesn’t want to get faster and do so with less chance of injury?

Member Spotlight: Cat Stern

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What event are you running with Team for Kids?
I’m running the Airbnb Brooklyn Half with New York Road Runners Team for Kids!

What excites you most about running your event with Team for Kids?
Having the support of a team and knowing that I am running for a great cause is really exciting to me.

Where is your favorite place to run and why?
Prospect Park– it is so peaceful in the morning. People are always out running and it sort of feels like they are running with you like you are apart of something.

Do you have any pre-race rituals or superstitions?
I love to eat trail mix before, (it may be a placebo effect) but it gives me all of the energy that I need.        

If you run with music, what are your favorite artists or songs to listen to?
I love listening to any upbeat indie or rock such as TV on The Radio, MGMT, Interpol, or Phantogram.

What is your favorite post-run meal?
Random but I would have to say anything with olives– I really crave salt post-run so any salads or pastas with olives seems to really do it for me!

When did your relationship with running begin and why?
At a super young age (age 5) — my parents were (and still are) really big runners. I would always to the kids dash races at whichever run they were attending. It was so fun and exciting for me at such a young age to have that experience. 

Why did you choose to run with Team for Kids?
It is so important to me because I was afforded the opportunity to compete at a young age and I would want that for everyone else. It really helps a child’s mental development and your self-esteem and I am so grateful to be able to help support this.

Tell us a little more about yourself.
I work in media sales at Fast Company and live in Brooklyn. I have been a steady guest lecturer at my alma mater, Pace University, for the past year now. I also volunteer for the Felix Organization which helps send foster children to summer camp and mentor college students to help them with internships and career direction. I love to run (obviously, haha) and play on a soccer league on Thursdays. I also love cooking, horror movies/books, and meeting new  people.

Connect via the links below:
Instagram: _the_noble_savage_
Facebook: facebook.com/catstern91
LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/cat-stern-2b798634

Site Spotlight: Christy Emmond – Young Runners

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What program and site did you visit?
I ran with Young Runners Track Team at Global Technology Preparatory Middle School in East Harlem.

What was your motivation to visit a site?
I’m the music teacher at Global Tech and I really wanted to be able to make a few Young Runners practices this year.  I was very open with my students about my training for the NYC Marathon (my first marathon ever!). My students – especially the Young Runners – were so interested by the idea of running a race with a goal of finishing instead of winning.  I really got to talk with them about what it was like to decide to do something that I wasn’t capable of doing when I signed up, and show them how to set a goal and accomplish it with a crazy amount of work.  I also love getting to know my students outside of my classroom and to see their other interests and strengths.

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Run NYRR Five-Borough Series: Queens 10K with TFK!

Just in, runners: NYRR Five-Borough Series: Queens 10K is SOLD OUT! Want in? New York Road Runners charity Team for Kids has a limited number of spots! Sign up today at http://bit.ly/NYRRQueens10K2017TFK

Hear about Rita’s experience running the NYRR Five-Borough Series: Queens 10K with Team for Kids:

“Running with Team for Kids added more value to what we love to do most – run! My brothers (Daniel and Anthony) and I, along with our family friend, Tim, run many New York Road Runners races together. Running with TFK was especially meaningful because of the impact we were able to be a part of, in raising funds for the NYRR youth programs. Not to mention, the TFK community is beyond AWESOME! They are as inspiring as the cause itself; from day one, we felt the support and camaraderie. We believe in the TFK cause and will continue to support the youth programs! Go Mighty Milers and Young Runners!” – Rita Omokha

Member Spotlight: Karen Lim

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What event are you running with Team for Kids?
I’m running the Airbnb Brooklyn Half with New York Road Runners Team for Kids!

What excites you most about running your event with Team for Kids?
This is my first time running for a cause, so I am thrilled that it’s for TFK! I am also really excited to run on the support of my family and dearest friends. It was my birthday on March 6 and I began my fundraising shortly before that. Seeing the amount of love and support (and money obviously!) I’ve received truly makes me so proud to be related/affiliated/amongst such good-hearted people so this race is extra special to me.

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Tip of the Week: Cold Weather Running

Running safely and comfortably in cold weather is all about planning ahead and LAYERS! In fact, once you learn a few key tips, many of you will actually find running in cold weather much more pleasant than running in the heat.

Here are a few general tips to help you run safely and comfortably in cold weather:

– Dress for 15-20 degrees warmer than it actually is outside to prevent overheating. You should feel slightly chilly when you start your run, but you will warm up quickly once you get going.

– Cotton is a poor choice for running clothes, socks, etc. It doesn’t wick away moisture and will cause you to chill. Choose technical materials that are designed to keep you dry and warm. Remember, “Cotton is Rotten”.

Before going for a run in the cold, go through the following head-to-toe checklist:

  1. Head and Neck: You can loose 30-40% of your body heat through your head. So, be sure to wear a warm hat, such as a wool or fleece on really cold days. People who tend to over heat often prefer headbands, unless it is extremely cold, then you’ll need a hat.
  2. Upper Body: The key to keeping your upper body warm is layers –NOT wearing one heavy layer! This can’t be stressed enough, as you will definitely overheat if you try to complete a hard workout in a heavy coat!! Here are the layers that you will need:
    • Base/wicking layer – this is a snug fitting, light layer made out of technical fabric, such as DryFit, CoolMax, polypropylene, etc., and will serve to wick the moisture away from your skin.
    • Middle layer – this is your insulating layer and will also serve to continue wicking moisture away from your skin, but should also provide some insulation.  Fleece, Thermax, and Polartex are examples of suggested materials for your middle layer.
    • Outer wind-proof layer – this layer is reserved for extremely cold weather and protects you from the elements, but still allows moisture and heat to escape so you don’t chill or overheat. Look for outer layers that have zippers to help heat escape and avoid non-breathable layers.
  3. Legs: Running tights or running pants made of synthetic, technical material are perfect for cold weather running. Running tights come in a variety of thicknesses to accommodate even the coldest of temperatures.
  4. Hands and Feet: Running gloves or mittens are critical for keeping your hands warm on cold days. Mittens are the best choice for colder days. Heat packets that give off heat once opened can be inserted into your gloves to keep your hands warm, if needed. Thick running socks made of wool or Drymax will keep your feet warm. A moisture wicking sock liner can also be used.