So I’ve been getting a lot of questions regarding running and cross country. I’m so happy that a lot of you are so excited about joining your school’s XC team! I really wish I had time to answer all of your personal questions, but I just don’t. Lucky for you, I have a WHOLE ENTIRE PAGE dedicated to answering questions about running!Tips from the one and only…me :)
One of the things about running is that you’re ALWAYS pushing yourself to your limits, and sometimes past them. I suggest mixing up your running workouts in order to build endurance, speed and strength! Here are a few suggestions:
- Run hill repeats. Find a steep-ass hill and run up it..over and over again. It doesn’t really matter how fast you go, as long as you KEEP GOING. It’s important to push yourself, because part of running is learning how to put up with tired legs and sore muscles!
- Fartlek training. Basically during your run, jog for 5 minutes, then sprint for 15 seconds. After your spring, go right back into jogging. Repeat this until you reach 30 minutes.
- Strides. These can be done before/after your run. Mark out 100meters or so and sprint it. Jog back to where you started, and do it again until you reach 4 to 5 times. (This helps with speed at the beginning of races.)
- Strength training. You’ll need to build up those muscles in your legs! I suggest this POP Pilates video for calves and thighs.
- CORE. The fastest runners have insanely strong core muscles. This means you not only need to build muscle in your legs, but also your core, or “abs”. Check out Gain Fitness to find workouts to target this area.
- Arms. Strong arms also benefit runners. Start doing push-ups and use the Gain Fitness website to find upper body workouts!
This list was made by Steph, not me. Go check out her blog!
These links are pulled from everywhere: LiveJournal, Active.com, RunnersWorld and beyond. I found them useful when I was beginning running, and I hope other beginners will, too. This is not a full, comprehensive list of “everything about running ever,” but I hope to shed some light on good places to look for information for beginners.
Good Places for Beginning Runner Q&A
“Newbie” Advice (by supermanz)
Running Basics Explained
Additional tips from Vivian :)
Step 1: Put on some shoes.
Step 2: Open the door.
Step 3: Go!
Some other steps that might be useful…
- Run for a reason. Whether it’s distance or time or to clear your mind of all the crap that happened during the day. Do it for a purpose, and don’t forget that purpose.
- Push yourself. Do a little better every day. This doesn’t mean you have to increase time or distance every day. Just improve your mindset a little day by day and you will the PR’s will come.
- Save a little energy. There is absolutely no point in hurting yourself so much that you can’t drag yourself out of bed tomorrow to do it all over again. Toe the line between possible and impossible; keep your sights on the incredible, and some day it’ll be here.
- Wear the right thing. Running makes you sweat, and sweat, although sexy, can also hinder your progress. You want wicking material (ie spandex, polyester). You also want good shoes. Not $200 shoes, but not $10 Target shoes either.
- Write down your progress. It’s so much more motivating if you have a record of how far, literally, you’ve come. Anything you to do help you reach your goals is upward trend.
You’re out the door, what now?
- Focus on your breathing. Every living thing is breathing. Your lungs are breathing, the trees around you are breathing, even houses breathe. Breathing is natural. Focus your energy on inhaling and exhaling to fuel your muscles with oxygen.
- Plan beforehand. One of the worst feelings in the world is to be partway through a planned run and feel (1) like you have to poop, (2) like you have to pee, or (3) like you’re breathing sandpaper. Avoid this problem by pooping, peeing, and drinking water before going on the run. Trust me, just do it.
- Take a break if you need it. I do it. Marathoners do it. Everyone does it.
Okay, back from the run, riding the high…
- Stretch. Your muscles are warm now, and it’s a good time to stretch. Calves, hammies, quads.
- Chocolate milk is the best recovery drink. So everyone says, and I haven’t done any research on this, but it’s worked for me.
- Smile! Exercise makes people happy. Other people see it on your face, and they’ll be happier too.—————-Running (Training Plans) from Ela!
- The 5K ☞ Prepare to race this classic distance with a training program that carefully balances both mileage and speedwork.
- The 10K ☞ Most runners considering the 10K already have the miles under their belts to compete adequately in the distance. The Cool Running training program enhances that endurance while sharpening the pace through speedwork.
- The Half Marathon ☞ The 21K distance provides a challenge beyond the popular 10K while allowing for more flexibility than marathon preparation. Our 12-week training program will get you ready.
- The Marathon ☞ As more and more runners turn to the marathon to prove their running mettle, a sensible training program is more important than ever for building safely to peak performance.
- Speedwork for Beginners ☞ A speedwork program for beginning runners.
- Speedwork for Intermediate Runners ☞ A speedwork program for beginning runners.
- Speedwork for Advanced Runners ☞ A speedwork program for advanced runners.
- Speedwork for Competitive Runners ☞ A speedwork program for competitive runners.————————-Tips from boostyouresteem.tumblr.com :)
- Get a running app. Every smart phone has at least one available for free. Guessing your pace is isn’t going to cut it if you’re counting calories or training for a marathon.
- If you’re running marathon length races, a break during the first mile or two is the most important.
- Pace yourself. It doesn’t matter if there are 50 people ahead of you or 50 people behind you. Don’t judge yourself by their standards. You have your own pace and it works for you.
- Pay attention to your breath. Inhale left foot, exhale left foot.
- Forget yogic breathing. It doesn’t apply here. In and out through your mouth.
- No matter how much you think you sound like Vader, you breathing aren’t nearly as loud as you think you are. Don’t hold back. If you don’t get enough oxygen, your muscles fail.
- Don’t slam your feet on the pavement. Keep it as light as possible. If you’re on a treadmill, the entire gym shouldn’t be able to hear it.
- If you can’t figure out if you’re a mid-foot striker, heel striker or toe striker, it doesn’t really matter. Unless your legs are killing you, just keep going. If you focus too much on your legs, you’re probably going to eat it.
- Run against the traffic.
- Only put a headphone in one ear, you want to hear a car before it makes you roadkill.
- Ladies, loop your headphones through your sports bra. Fellas, run it under your shirt. If you’re going shirtless, hook the extra cord up in the armband so it doesn’t bounce around and hit you in the face.
- Make a playlist before you go. Don’t rely on shuffle. Get a good selection of high bpm songs, or something that will make you angry/excited. You don’t want to pause and let your heart rate/stride falter while you try to skip all your Death Cab for Cutie songs.
- Take rest days.
- Mind over matter. Your legs don’t really hurt that badly. Yes, you can breathe. Keep going.
- But listen to your body. If you legs are honestly giving out, head home.
- Hydrate but don’t water log.
- If your endurance is terrible, work it up with stationary bikes or cardio classes. Get your aerobic ability and actual fitness level up.
- Stretch your calves with toe raises. Rock back on your heels and bring your toes up a few times before you run to reduce shin splints.
- Strength train. You’ll get less shin splints as you build up the muscles in your legs.
- Find good sneakers and pay good money for them. You can get all your other gear for cheap, but go name brand and take time to find a shoe that works for you. Some podiatrists will even fit you for what type of shoe you should wear.
- Stick reflective tape to your heels if you run at night and bring a flashlight so you don’t turn an ankle.
- Pay attention. Be alert. Don’t get hit by the train that runs through traffic near the Fens. Run as if no one sees you. Make it your responsibility to keep yourself safe.
What an awesome compilation of tips!
Busy Day yesterday! We started the day with café and tostada at Bar Alfalfa, and then went to our professor José Carlos’ office at the Centro de Alto Rendimiento, where he works with professional and semi-pro athletes in the high-tech facilities that do everything from rehab to psychology for athletes. We then spent the morning canoeing and kayaking on the Guadalquivir! I had so much fun, and especially loved the second half of the morning when we took out the sea kayaks and got to individually kayak around (we had a lot of trouble in the canoe coordinating with the 8 Spanish teenagers we were put in the boat with). We then came home for a delicious lunch, before Meghan and I went to one of our favorite neighborhood cafés with Wifi to get some work done. After a couple of hours of studying and essay writing, we went out on the town to get ice cream and go to the Metropol Parasol to watch the sunset (one of the things on our list of things to do in Sevilla before we leave!). When we got close to las setas, there was a cool open-air market where I found two awesome rings and a bracelet. The sunset was incredible, and I put up some of my favorite pictures from the night. After seeing the sunset, we headed over to Santa María la Blanca to go to the Freidura. This is a place I took mom and Noelle to when they were there, and it is this tiny shop that only sells fried fish (shrimp, hake, hake roe, calamare, cod and some chicken and croquettes for those who don’t love fish). The place is so fun because all of your fried goodies are sold by weight and given to you in a paper cone. You then sit outside on tables owned by another restaurant, so you buy drinks from them. So for less than 10 euros I was stuffed with my 1/4 kilo of fried shrimp and 6 croquettes and satisfied with my tinto de verano! All in all it was a great day in Sevilla and made me realize how much I will miss this place!
I put together a bunch of the little video clips I took to make a short video showing what different parts of Semana Santa were like. Enjoy!
Pictures from the Betis game!
Here is a video from my seat as the
soccer futbol game was beginning! There isn’t any zoom on this or anything, so you can see how insanely close we were!!!!
So last night we all had an amazing night, because out professor got us free tickets to the Betis futbol (soccer) game so we all last minute changed plans and went out for some tapas around 8 and then to the stadium! We had absolutely incredible seats, row 11 goalside and no one ended up showing up in front of us so we basically had the whole front section to ourselves.
In Sevilla futbol is a way of life, not just a sport and there are two Sevillian teams, Betis and Sevilla F.C. Figuring out which team is objectively better is basically impossible, and it depends on the Sevillian you ask.
The game was Betis versus Las Palmas, the team from the Canary Islands in the Copa del Rey tournament, and it was a very important game for Betis, because they had lost once to Las Palmas in this tournament so to stay in they had to win. The game was tied at 0-0 almost the entire game, and then in the last couple of minutes Betis pulled through and scored a goal. It was insane when they scored, the entire stadium was vibrating with energy and people were jumping around like crazy. Watching the fans at this game was just as fun as watching the players themselves! Whenever there was a bad call, or a mistake made by the team the fans would erupt with all sorts of curses and some people even had to leave their seats and walk around they were so upset.
Betis won the game and everyone was going nuts outside of the stadium, and even when we got in the cab our driver was so excited that we were at the game and that Betis won. We ended up going out to the Plaza Alfalfa, one of the few plazas with nightlife that we actually comfortably know how to get to and from, for some celebratory drinks and ended up meeting some other American students in a tiny bar usually filled with locals which was fun!
All in all, we had an amazing night last night, and lucky for me coffee here is amazing and cheap (1.10 Euro) so waking up for class this morning wasn’t even a problem. I was actually quite proud of myself that this morning I was able to find my way to the coffee shop I went to yesterday, order my coffee, pay correctly, find a farmacía, find blister band-aids (one downfall of a huge walking city), and pay for them correctly. It’s the little things that count! Anyways, I will be posting pictures from the soccer game right after this post.
Here are some pictures from our tour around Sevilla last night with our professor, Jose Carlos! These are all pictures of this cathedral called La Giralda, from different points of view from different parts in the city. It was originally a mosque, but then during La Reconquista, when the Moors were expelled from Spain, it was converted into a Cathedral, and they put a scuplture on top that also functions as a windmill!
Hopefully “today” (it was a full days worth of traveling but the 24 hour period was spread out over two calendar days) will be the worst day of my Study Abroad experience. Before I go on to explain why this day will earn that title I do want to say that I write this post guiltily from the Madrid Barajas Airport, because complaining about travelling to spend five months in southern Spain seems spoiled, but still it was a rough day.
My day started at 6:30 am (I’m using CT time throughout this blog because that’s what my computer is still set to and what I have been going by!) so that I could get up before my sisters went to school and do what was by far the most painful part of the day; say goodbye to everyone. After some very depressing and teary goodbyes I left the house wondering how bad it would really be if we just turned the car around and I stayed home. Finally, my dad and I got to Bradley, checked in and got to the gate with no problems (shocker!). Apart from the one-hour delay, and one last goodbye that left me biting back tears as boarding, the flight to Chicago was cake. The plane was so tiny that my window seat was actually a dual window/isle seat (there were only three rows of passengers separated by one isle). Once I got into Chicago I now had just under four hours to kill, which actually went by pretty quickly. A 3$ bottle of water and 5$ boxed pasta salad later, I was sitting at my gate waiting for the flight.
Turns out today was a huge day for all of the study abroad programs in Spain because the flight was packed with college kids on their way to Madrid to study abroad (or like me to pick up a connection to another Spanish city). Sadly, I didn’t find anyone on my program, or going to Sevilla, but I did get some great tips from some flight attendants about what wine to try aboard my international flight (apparently there basically isn’t a drinking age on international flights, or at least not on Iberica ones- who knew!) I didn’t end up enjoying that glass of Moscato, because about two hours into the flight to Madrid, circa 10:30pm I crashed. I wish I mean I fell asleep, but I mean I had a pounding headache (and forgot Advil), was sweaty, tired, sad, homesick, nervous, getting elbowed by the chubby guy next to me and basically had an internal breakdown. Luckily the lights were off in the cabin so no one noticed my meltdown, and I actually managed to get a whole two hours of sleep before the cabin lights came back on and we were served breakfast. Now here is where my travel day started to turn around… apparently to Iberia a perfectly acceptable breakfast is a muffin, a ham and cheese croissant, fruit and a KitKat bar. With some muffin, Kit Kat and ham in my system I hit my second wind.
After deboarding the plane I relized for the first time I was on Spanish soil. Yay! Since we got in around 6:30am local time, the airport was empty which was super creepy, I have never been in an airport so empty at any time of day or night. It also looked like I had just been placed in my LegoLand PC game from 6th grade inside the airport which weirdly made me feel a lot better. Finally, in Madrid I was able to change my clothes, brush my teeth, wash my face, put on some jewelry and makeup (gotta look fresh for my hostmom) which, no exaggeration, made me feel like a totally new person. Now I’m just sitting in the Madrid airport writing this, waiting for my gate to be posted so I can finally finish this travel day from hell, and meet my host mom. I will most likely add more to this post, because I am writing it without Wifi on a Word document (to upload later), but if not stay tuned to find out about meeting the parents… er, hostmom
With this post, I am officially changing this blog into a study abroad journal/blog (although almost all of my recent posts have been about Sevilla or traveling)! For everyone who doesn’t already know, in less than four days now (wait, what!!!!) I will be heading off to Sevilla, Andalucía (Southern Spain) for the next semester to study/travel/explore/find myself (and all the other things you are supposed to do while studying abroad).
As of today I have done pretty much everything (save for a few small matters, mostly unnecessary things) I need to do to prepare for my flight on Monday morning. Packing seemed to be its own growth experience and challenge. As someone who typically packs two huge suitcases on a weekend trip, managing to fit my whole life in two suitcases (and one stuffed carry-on item and a giant purse) is a major accomplishment. It was also the
‘oh shit’ ‘Dios mio’ moment, when I realized that this is really happening, and I will actually be spending the next five months of my life living abroad.
With the reality of studying abroad so close, I am experiencing a huge variety of emotions; ranging from anxiety, excitement to actual fear. As I described to my mom after packing and everything, my mentality is reminiscent of the days leading up to leaving for summer camp; when you just keep thinking ‘well I’m sure this experience would be great and all, but I think I’ll just stay at home forever’.
Flamenco styley, Sevilla, Spain, 1999.
Negro, gris y cuero, perfecta combinación!