Archive | November, 2011

Mass Dash Relay; Experience Worth Everything

29 Nov

You make think running a 5k is hard. It is. You may think running a half marathon is hard. Very Hard. You may think running a marathon is hard. You better believe it. Why don’t you try to run 200 miles and tell us what that is like?

Well, not 200 miles ALL by yourself.

The Mash Dash is an event where 2-12 runners combine and run 200 miles from the western area of Massachusetts all the way towards the Boston area. The starting point to this race is Mount Greylock and finishers stop near the John F. Kennedy Library in Boston.  It is a relay race with 36 points in which runners can switch off with teammates. Along the way, there are great sights such as ponds and lakes, mountains and rivers. While running (or waiting to run), you pass the University of Massachusetts in Amherst. There are many other places where you can stop and grab something to eat or grab something to drink.

With two vans operating at one time, the running is continuous. Even when dark hits, you are still running and the vans are still following. Want to run in the complete dark except for a head light and reflective vest? Well, then this could fit what you want.

The proceeds of the race go towards the Jimmy Fund and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in honor of Neal Webber who fought cancer for four years and sadly past away in 2008. The Mass Dash has raised tens of thousands of dollars for the JF and DF and hope of curing cancer. 1000 dollars (team entry) goes directly towards helping these charities.

About the Mass Dash Relay:

People per team: 2-12

Where: MASSACHSUSETTS…all of it!

When: July 14-15, 2012

Charity: Jimmy Fund, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

Team Cost: $1000 (if you raise $3000, your team fee is waived)

For more on the Mass Dash, visit their homepage.

Why is Stretching so Important?

28 Nov

Stretching will not take you very long to do, but it is a very important factor of running… especially if you want to be a fast and healthy runner. It is going to provide a great amount of benefits to your body and to your overall running speed. It does not matter what event you do; cross country, distance track or sprinting… it is all important to get good stretches in before AND after your run.

Why is it important to stretch before running?

– Stretch out your muscles (most obvious)

– Increase blood flow wear you stretch

– Provide an oxygen to supply to those muscles

Stretching before running is a very key factor in being the best runner possible. Most runners take a jog before the stretch because it is not good to stretch cold muscles. Have you ever tried running at a decent speed without stretching? It is very uncomfortable and can lead to some injuries such a muscle pulls.

Why is it important to stretch after running?

– Helps prevent lactic acid from building up in your muscles

– Helps muscles loosen up and will help prevent pain if they become very stiff.

Stretching after running is as important as doing it before you go for a run. You will want to relax all your muscles in your body and if you do an effective stretching period after you run, your legs will feel a lot better the next day than if you decided not to stretch out your muscles.

Some runners find that dynamic stretching helps loosen the body up as well. You want to stretch both sides evenly so it will feel the same while you run and so that you don’t have greater risk of injury on one side. Stretching will also include flexibility which can help runners.

Marathon Info: Boston Marathon

27 Nov

It may be months away, but it is one of the biggest marathons in the United States. When you think of the biggest sports events in Boston, your thoughts direct towards Patriots and Red Sox games and being the biggest. But, the Boston Marathon is the biggest event in Boston, Massachusetts and it is looking to grow every year for many years to come.

Here is some info on the marathon that helps make Boston who it is.

Boston Marathon

Date: Patriots Day (3rd Monday in April)

Top Time: Men’s Geoffrey Mutai (Kenya) 2:03:02 in 2011; Women’s Maragret Okayo (Kenya) 2:20:43 in 2002

Spectators: About 500,000

Runners: About 20,000

Organizer: Boston Athletic Association

Other Facts…

– In 1996, the race had 38, 708 people running

– Heartbreak Hill, which is a Boston Marathon famous hill, goes for .4 miles that rises 88 feet

– Oldest Marathon

As you can see, this is quite the marathon. For those of you in Boston or around Boston, watching this event or running in it will provide a great experience.

Poll #3, What is your favorite type of running?

26 Nov

Blind Teen Running Cross Country? Totally!

25 Nov

Usually, training and running cross country is hard enough. But, now try to close your eyes and avoid roots and bumps while running. Well, this is what Ohio runner, Sami Stoner, has to deal with day in and day out.

The 16 year old and junior at Lexington High School is legally blind and is believed to be the first blind runner to run cross country with a guide dog in the state of Ohio. Her golden retriever also guides her around school during the day. The dog, Chloe, helps her move around roots and bumps and Sami has to feel how the dog is moving to tell where she should move.

Her personal record (as of October) is a time of 29:53. She also has to start 20-30 seconds behind all the other runners so she does not get spiked by runners in front of her. Along the race course, she is known to pass some other runners.

So next time you run, just be grateful for what you can see.

Cross-Training Actually Helps

25 Nov

A great amount of runners of dealt with shin splints, runner’s knee and plenty of other injuries. When these injuries first start happening to beginner runners, a common thought is ‘There goes my fitness level’. You may be training for a race and give up once your injury occurs to you because you think that the injury will stop you from training. Well, that can be wrong…

It may not be able to cross-train with major injuries, but you can still train with smaller running injuries such as shin splints and runner’s knee. Different exercises will work different parts of you body and will be put less pressure on parts of the body than running does. You can also cross-train if your not injured and that can help your overall time. There is a long list of cross-training exercises that you can do if injuries may be slowing you down or you just want to get a good exercise in to change up the routine.

Biking is one of the most popular things for injured runners to pick up if they want to cross-train. If you bike enough, your aerobic endurance will either stay where it is or even expand greater. You are using a great effort to ride a bike, but that doesn’t mean that you shin splints will start killing you. Biking is a non-impact sport as you don’t put nearly as much pressure when your biking as you do when you are pounding our feet on the ground while running. This will help keep your fitness up while keeping the pressure off of your specific injury. Biking is also a fantastic workout for your quads when you bike up hills and that will transfer to the running races when your quads are getting tired and you need more muscle.

Swimming is also a big exercise that goes along with all cross-training methods that runners will use if injured… or even if healthy. A common misinterpretation is that gaining upper-body strength will slow you down greatly. While many of the top runners in the world may be lean, some great runners and overall athletes have good upper-body strength and swimming helps you with that. If your arms and shoulders generally tire out when you are running, then swimming is good for you to cross-train. Like biking, it is also going to give you a good workout in terms of the aerobic and  cardiovascular area. Your shins and many other leg bones and muscles with thank you because it puts a very limited amount of stress on it.

Pool Running is a not known among runners as much as biking and swimming is. It is pretty self-explanatory… running in the pool. While it may take a while to work your lungs, you are working your leg muscles without having much pressure on your legs. Again, your legs are going to thank you if they are injured because they will work, but they will not be hurting as much as if you are running on pavement.

Other cross-training exercises: Rowing, Calisthenics, Skating, Yoga (flexibility)

Cross-training is not only for runners who may be injured but can also be beneficial to the runner who wants a day or two break from running, but wants to keep up their physical fitness level that they had while they were running and training for a race or event.

Why You Should Run

23 Nov

Running is interesting… it is something that you don’t always want to do, but you know it is very important. For people who have not started to run, they need to look for a reason to start. Starting something is a very hard thing to do, but here are some tips on why you should start running.

  • Physical Fitness- If you want to get in serious shape, running is a key to getting to your goal. It does not matter if you run 1 miles or 10 miles, you are still burning calories and getting in shape. By running, you can also get in shape for other sports that you do such as soccer or basketball. Some sports include a great amount of running and if you run enough, it will help build up your wind.
  • Meet New People/Run With Family or Friends- You can meet plenty of new people while running. There are places to do it such as races or running groups in your town. The ability to run with some family or friends is also appealing to people who want a nice place to catch up on your or your friend’s life.
  • Good Place To Think- Sometimes, when you want to think about an idea, going for a run will help with that. You may need a nice and quiet place to think over things. Even if it is a great idea or something going wrong, you can almost always think of something to help make it better.
  • Accomplishments- If you don’t run much or you go for a longer run than usual, a good run will make you feel good and have the feeling have achieving a new accomplishment. If you PR (run a personal record), that will also help you confidence.

Most people, after they start running, feel better. Everything from physical fitness to mental stability to social atmosphere will help out in your life now and later. So tie up your shoes and start off by taking a couple laps around the neighborhood. OR if your advanced, go run a long distance. But, everyone has to start somewhere and everyone has a reason for starting.