Coach's Corner

SURGES

Are you tired of running the same pace all the time.  Are you afraid to join the speed group workouts thinking they are not for you because you’re not fast enough.  If this is the case I would recommend that once per week for eight weeks, you  insert a few “surges” within one of your mid-week runs. Run easy for 10-15 minutes then pick up the pace for 15 seconds. Then, return to your  easy pace for one minute before surging again. Started with 5 surges in Week #1 and added 2-3 each week. By Week #4, you will be doing 10-15 surges and could even carry these surges to 45-60 seconds.


These surges are not sprints and you should not get out of breath while doing them. The surges are simply a slight rise in effort and increase in pace so we can prepare the neuromuscular system for faster running. Many newer runners run the same pace for all their runs. But to boost fitness, there must be variety in training and thus new challenges to the body and mind to keep it adapting. Surges provide a safe way to do this while keeping the risk of injury very low. 

CHI RUNNING

“Good Performance doesn’t mean always running fast….It means running well at any speed. “Danny Dreyer


In Chi-Running, they suggest you do a body scan at least once when you running.  This will help you eliminate your tension.  You must relax everything except your abs.  First look at your posture; you to run as if something is pulling from the crown of your head. This will help with posture and lengthen your body. After, you can start your scan. Relax your face.  No clinging, the best way to use less muscles is to smile when you run. Relax your neck; do some neck rolls.  Relax your shoulders: bring your hands up but your shoulders down.  Relax your wrists; flatten out your wrists. Relax your shoulder blades; round your shoulder a little.  Imagine holding a stability ball.  Relax your chest; bring your shoulders forward and go in a deep belly breathing this  will ease the tension will open up your breathing.  Relax your lower back; allow your waist to turn while running this will help t soften those lower back muscles.  Relax your lower legs; you should feel them limp and very soft calves.


Good luck and let me know if you have any questions.  Dominique dhcoachingllc@gmail.com

NUTRITION

One of my favorite coaches and author is  Matt Fitzgerald; in his book Performance Nutrition for Runners he says that not only “You are what you eat, but you do what you eat”.   Running fitness is not just one thing but rather various physiological changes that happen in your body while training. Exercise scientists like our friend Dr Harry Pino will study these adaptations that occur in your body while you challenge your training.  While exercise stimulates these adaptations, it is the nutrients in your diet that produce them.  Knowing how they interact can be overwhelming and confusing.  In his book Fitzgerald explain the 4 principles of healthy eating and how it can improve your performance.  He says: “Only when you understand the fundamental principles of healthy eating can you truly take control of your diet and avoid becoming confused by details or blown along in the direction of each new diet fad. These principles are:  1. Eat natural food  2.Eat a balance and a variety of foods.  3. Balance your energy intake with your energy needs.  4. Customize your diet to your individual needs.”  Read his book,  he has certainly helped me  to avoid injury and fatigue during and after marathon training.


As always if you have any questions don’t hesitate to contact me dhcoachingllc@gmail.com

LISTEN TO YOUR BODY

Coaching isn’t just about throwing together some workouts, it’s more about being able to critically think about what each individual needs to work on, where their strengths and weaknesses lie, what their goals are and how to meet them, and how to encourage them throughout the program to ensure they are ready for race day physically and mentally (there are many more attributes of a good coach but these are some important ones).


I love when athletes ask about the workouts they are doing because it shows that they want to learn why they are doing them and how it will affect their fitness. The more they can learn about themselves and their running, the more opportunity they have to improve as they can minimize the mistakes and build on their strengths.


I encourage all of you to be your own teacher. Learn, absorb and try things in training that you haven’t tried before. Be a little risky to see how your body responds. Try training like a miler if you’ve always trained like a marathon runner or visa versa. Find out if heavy weights help you more than light ones. Test out ice baths versus Epsom salt baths to see what helps you to recover better.


The ways you can improve are endless so think about what you can be doing today to be better tomorrow.