2013 Body Protection Tour Begins In Europe

The 2013 Body Protection Tour began in Europe in Scotland (Glasgow and Edinburgh) and Northern Ireland (Belfast). It was a great start to our 2013 adventures as we visited places we have not been before. The photo below is after the Body Protection workout at the Marriott Glasgow on route to catch Andy Murray winning Wimbledon at a boisterous Scottish pub – great fun!

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We now travel to New England for a talk in Hanover, NH. The “Body Protection” presentation will take place on 7/24 at 7pm at The Mayer Room at the Howe Library. Feel free to come by if you are in the area, it will be free of charge. For more information, please visit http://www.teamamp.org/content/july-24th-2013-summer-speaker-series.

I will also be attending a track workout at Dartmouth College the night before on 7/23 to meet some of  the local runners. Come out and say hello and join us in a speed workout! Then it will be onto Massachusetts and Maine before we do a 4-city tour of the Middle East in August.

Recovery Begins On The Inside

Recovery is not only a big part of a successful racing tour, but also of a successful workout week. When does recovery begin? It starts immediately after you cross the finish line. What you do to cool down, rest your mind, and nourish your body is the key to how soon you can train or race again. The first thing I reach for after the race is water and my Vega Performance Protein. This natural plant-based product builds and repairs my muscles and reduces recovery time between my training and races. It is dairy, gluten, and soy free and I love the chocolate. I mix this Vega Sport powder with rice milk, almond milk, or just water to begin the repairing process with its 26 grams of protein per serving. If I do not have the powder, then I reach for water and the Vega Sport Protein Bar with its 15 grams of protein.

Below I am having a Protein Bar after our 8 mile Saturday workout, strength exercises, and flexibility. We were soaked in the Florida heat, but it was good preparation for our 2013 Body Protection Tour that begins in the Middle East early next month.

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(Photo by Wayne L. Johnson – waynepacer.smugmug.com)

I have been using Vega Sport products since my first running tour in 2008. I take the Vega One nutritional shake first thing in the morning when I awake and then the Vega Sport recovery products after every workout.  Treat your body right and start your recovery from the inside first so you will be able to successfully perform again later!

Cool Down?

A new study published in The Journal of Human Kinetics claims that a cool down does not relieve the pain from workouts. The test compared individuals after exercise. There were three groups: Group 1 that warmed up before exercise but did not cool down,  Group 2 that did not warm up before exercise but cooled down, and Group 3 that just exercised. The study states that the group with least amount of muscle pain was Group 1 emphasizing the benefit of a warm up. Groups 2 and 3 were found to have the same degree of muscle pain emphasizing the lack of importance of the cool down. Please check out the article by Gretchen Reynolds from the NY TImes: http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/04/24/do-we-have-to-cool-down-after-exercise/

At www.OneMileRunner.com, I have gone into great detail about my extensive warm up, mobility program and the difference it makes for me to avoid injury. In addition, even if a cool down does not assist in post exercise muscle pain, it is an ideal time to increase your flexibility as your muscles are filled with blood. Our 3-D flexibility program is a wonderful way to work on your range of motion. So do you take the time to cool down or not? The choice is yours. I will choose to open up my range of motion at the completion of my workouts with 3-D Stretches, hurdle walk overs, a foam roller, The Flex-N-Go, and The Stick to loosen my tight areas.

Congress Avenue Mile Cancelled

On my 50th birthday, we found out that the Congress Avenue Mile was cancelled due to Run Tex, the company that puts on the race, closing their doors and going out of business after 25 years. This was a shocker as Run Tex has been in business a long time and was a big part of the athletic community in Austin, TX. They put on races, put out water for locals running on Saturday, and even had a foundation to help the area.

I was planning on running a few of my favorite races in 2013 starting with the Congress Avenue Mile. However, after training heavily since the Super Bowl, we will replace it with an upcoming race later this year. We have been racing heavily the last ten years and this is the first time that this has happened. I am always careful about when I kick in the high speed workouts to my program. If I knew that there was a chance that this could happen, I would have waited on my three speed workouts a week until later in the year, but that is how it goes…

Turning 50

I am turning the BIG 50 on Wednesday. I received my first AARP card in the mail this past weekend – so it is now official. I remember when I was a kid and I asked how old some of my parents’ friends were and they told me “50.” I thought, Gosh that is old! However, now that I am on the doorstep of 50, my perspective has changed and it does not feel that “old” after all.

My Dad died of colon cancer at 56. He was an energetic guy who I thought was in decent shape as he could still perform his signature drive to the basket in defensive traffic, get fouled, and collect his three point play at 50, but life took him very quickly after that. How will things change for me at 50? I am not sure, but I can promise you to live my life to the fullest concentrating on the quality of my existence. It has been 20 years since my Dad’s passing and I still thank him for his influence on my life. Turning 50 this week does make me think of him a bit more…

We here at www.OneMileRunner.com have decided to choose a few of my favorite races to compete in this year. It will all begin next month in Austin, TX. To prepare for the event, I topped off another 30 mile week of running with 5 half-mile quick repeats on the road. Next Saturday, feel free to join us in Sarasota for a one-mile time trial, point-to-point, for a “dress rehearsal” to see what we need to sharpen upin our last month of training.

Congress Avenue Mile

20130309_1WJ2155640x427(Photo by Wayne L. Johnson – waynepacer.smugmug.com)

As I turn 50 years old in less than one month on April 10th, it is time to announce my first race for 2013 – The Congress Avenue Mile in Austin, Texas on May 18th: www.congressavenuemile.com. It was the second race in my 20/20/20<5@45 event back in 2008. I won the Masters Heat (over 40) in 4:50 at 45 years old. I have begun training now to try to beat my time of five years ago. Racing the mile faster five years later at 50 would be a great way to kick off the racing season. In 2013, I will be returning to some of my favorite races around the country. We travel to Texas first.

Our training concentrates on first establishing a running and strength base. In the photo above, we destroyed one of my 6 pound medicine balls on aggressive throw downs in the strength portion of the workout. As in the past, I put in 30 miles a week with each day being a different distance and theme to race one mile well in May.

With St. Patrick’s Day upon us today, I will be toasting the holiday with my green drink specially prepared by beautiful Sekyen. The concoction is made of kale, carrot, celery, spinach, and apples – and it is pure energy! Happy St. Patty’s Day to you all…

3 Ways To Be Explosive and Powerful

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(Photo by Wayne L. Johnson – waynepacer.smugmug.com)

While the northeast was clearing out from the record snow fall, we were finishing up our first week of training with 7 x 1/4 mile on the incline of the Ringling Bridge in 75 degree weather. In speaking to family and friends up north, they were all having fun in the snow. To each their own as I am happy to be running and training in the Sunshine state.

In my last blog post, I spoke about the importance of landing stiffly on your foot pad when sprinting to decrease your time on the ground and thus becoming faster. Many runners have a difficult time with this stiff landing and the explosive push off because they do not yet have the strength in their lower extremities to run like this for very long.

Here are 3 ways to properly develop the muscle structure in your legs to become explosive:

1) Work your way up to the Speed and Explosion segment of Body Protection, at www.BodyProtection.com.
All the explosive movements are done on your foot pad as you can only stay 1/4 of a second on the ground. Very difficult to do, but worthy of trying as you build your legs for speed, stability, and power.

2) Practice your Power Preparation before you run to prepare your legs for the power needed to run faster in your sport at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4WxcZtJeYAE&list=UUuZjTDO6NmSeuiWZ7jbgrxw&index=34

3) As you can see in the above photo shot yesterday at the conclusion of our workout, cool down with flexibility exercises that increase your range of motion for sprinting like the walkover/ bounding hurdles. Please note the stiff landing and how my heel does not touch the ground when I am bounding: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dGEaFslzNf0&list=UUuZjTDO6NmSeuiWZ7jbgrxw&index=73

Remember that I maintain my stiff landing throughout my mile competition. Months of strength, explosion, and speed training needs to be done in order for you to depend on your sprint and power form. I will be announcing my first race in 2013 in my next blog post. All the best with becoming your best!

The Secret To Running Faster

Most people discuss the two most common ways to run faster by increasing stride frequency or increasing stride length. However, I feel the key to running faster is landing stiffly on the pad of your foot. The more time that you spend on the ground, the slower you will go. It is simple – fast running is not done on the ground but in the air. If you have not worked your entire body to incorporate speed and explosion, you will not perform very well or you will get injured.

When I am running faster, my foot lands stiffly on my foot pad (the area between the toes and the arch of your foot). This area is commonly referred to as the “ball of the foot” which has a fatty pad that protects the five metatarsal heads and provides a nice cushion when you land. When you run fast you are putting 100% of your body weight on this specific area. When I say landing “stiffly,” I mean that my heel does not hit the ground. I am trying to reach out in front of my body as far as I can and still land on the foot pad; thus , decreasing my time on the ground. Landing on your heel is like putting on the brakes due to your leg being straight and spending too much time on the ground. A variety of injuries (from your foot to your back) can occur if you continue to land on your heel. Once I land on the pad of my foot, I explode forward and up with almost a bounding feeling.

The best way to find out how you land is to take your shoes off and run. See if you land on the ball of your foot, your heel, or flat. A soft flatter landing (still hits the foot pad first but allows the heel to touch) is good when running slowly and with a shorter stride length as you do not want to run with a stiff landing unless you are elongating your stride length. If you continue to land stiffly with a short stride length, this will create a sheering effect as your femur pushes down in front of the tibia creating knee pain.

Please spend time strengthening all your muscles, ligaments, and tendons (especially in your legs and feet) before trying this stiff foot pad landing. Please visit www.BodyProtection for your copy of the exercises and movements to create the strength you need to become an explosive, fast runner.

The Power of Juicing and its Affect on Performance

Whether you are an elite athlete or an amateur enthusiast, one element of your lifestyle that will undoubtedly improve your sporting performance is your diet. Nutrition and lifestyle are key elements to the way in which you can perform physically and mentally, and despite the lengths that people will go to with their training, diet is all too often forgotten about. The basics of nutrition can be found in many different online resources and it’s important to gain a good understanding of what your body requires to perform at its optimum level and then implement this into your diet. If you are looking for an extra boost to your diet that will dramatically improve peak performance and give your body a ‘hit’ of goodness, juicing could be the answer.

 

What is Juicing?

Juicing is essentially the process of extracting the juice of fruits and vegetables and drinking them. Some nutritionists advocate juice fasting for periods of time for anyone interested in cleansing their bodies or losing weight, and this has been proven successful time and again. Athletes however, use juicing in order to boost their nutrient levels and give their bodies a timely injection of energy before, during, and after sporting activity. Almost all of the nutrients and goodness from the fruit and vegetables remain in the juice but the fiber is taken out, leaving a highly concentrated juice drink.

When you drink a fresh fruit or vegetable juice (which does not contain the fiber) the body is able to transport the vitamins and minerals around the body extremely efficiently. This provides you with a ‘quick fix’ of healthy, vibrant, natural energy. Because the fiber has been extracted from the juice, the digestive system does not have to remove it, meaning less work for the same nutritional goodness. The digestive system uses up to 60% of the body’s energy when it is working hard to digest a big meal, and this is why you often feel lethargic after consuming a large feast. Juicing is a quick and effortless way for you to get an influx of nutrients into the body.

 

How Can Athletes Utilize Juicing?

Juicing can be used to great effect by athletes who are looking to maximize the body’s potential as it allows you to load the body up with nutrients without using up valuable energy during digestion. You can also consume much more equivalent fruit and vegetables as it is condensed into a refreshing drink. Used as part of a well planned training and nutrition regime, juicing really can provide you with an additional boost just when your body needs it.

Freshly squeezed juices contain huge amounts of electrolytes, which help to rehydrate the body, and getting it from natural juices is the healthiest way. If you are really looking to give the body a boost of nutrients, you can also add in some natural hemp protein powder, spirulina, or wheatgrass powder to help the body to fight fatigue in the aftermath of heavy exercise. Research shows that the optimum time for the body to take in natural proteins in around 30 minutes after exercise, so having a juice drink 30 mins after exercise will be a great way to replenish lost nutrients.

For greatest effect, juices should be consumed on an empty stomach as this is the quickest way for your body to extract the goodness from the liquid. This means that on a race day you can utilize the body boosting power of juicing by consuming a nutrient dense juice one hour before the event, another during the race (if possible) and then another 30 mins after completion, with added natural protein powder if desired. This regime can also be followed on training days.

 

How to Get Started

There are countless different recipe ideas and combinations out there, with some being particularly good for short term energy boosts, and others for prolonged energy usage. The trick is to try as many different juices as you like and see what works best for your body. Beetroot, cantaloupe, pineapple, kale, spinach, celery, apple, orange, pear, lemon, and watermelon are all great items for athletes to juice as they provide tons of energy for the body. A ‘green juice’ may take a little bit of time to get used to as the flavors are particularly strong, however your body will reward you for sticking with it. You can always start with more fruit based juices and slowly add in your vegetables if you prefer.

Juicing is the perfect way to stock up on nutrients and energy without placing extra demands on the body due to heavy digestion, so if you want to feel light and energetic before and during exercise, give it a go.

By Lily Hardcastle

A Simple Way To Run Faster

So many runners just go out and jog through their distance training for the week. They like the camaraderie of their fellow runners as they speak about their lives, races, and nagging injuries. They jog long and slow many times during the week and when they have more time on the weekend, they go a little longer. Then after so many miles of running, they wonder why they are not getting any faster in their races.

These runners have trained their slow twitch muscle fibers and their aerobic base all week, but they have not developed their fast twitch muscle fibers and their anaerobic base. If you are one of those runners who love to run, hate to go to your local track, and want to get faster, here is a simple way to get faster in your running workouts.

Instead of just jogging with your friends, take 20-30 minutes in the middle of your next run and increase your pace and effort. A fun and easy way to do this is to take turns choosing different objects to open up your stride to for a short burst. For example, one person might say “to the telephone pole” which is 100 yards away. After you all pick up your pace to the telephone pole, then slow back down to your normal jog for some time to recover your breathing. Then the next person might say “to the stop sign” which is 50 yards away. After you all pick up your pace to the stop sign, then again slow back down to your jogging pace to recover. By changing the short distances and the recovery times in between targets, you begin to work your body in a way that will help you get faster. You will begin to feel muscles higher up your legs that not have been incorporated before in your running style and you will feel your lungs expand even further with your deeper breathing.

You might find out that the chatter begins to wane as the intervals increase, but I hope you find the change in your run not only beneficial to your race times, but also a lot of fun as you begin to open up your stride with your friends.