Jay Johnson Solves 17 of the Most Common Running Problems
How Can I Calm My Pre-Race Nerves?
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You have to remind yourself that you're prepared and, if you stress, you'll race poorly. Practice mindful breathing and visualization every other day starting 10 days out. Five minutes is enough, but it could grow to 10 or 15 minutes. Remember, you've put in the work and you need to relax to realize the fruits of that work.
What Pace Should I Run During a Distance Race?
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Do you have an indication based on predictor workouts or long runs what pace you might be able to run? If so, go out even slower then that pace. Why? You can always speed up later in the race if you go out conservatively, but if you go out too fast, you're going to have a rough day.
What's the Best Recovery Strategy?
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Some research supports ice baths after runs, while newer research says that inflammation in the muscles may signal the body to become stronger. For sure, you need to consume some fat, carbs and protein immediately after the run. I like 20 to 30 minutes of swimming—either easy laps or aqua jogging—after the long run. The hydrostatic nature of a pool filled with water gives you a gentle massage, and should help with recovery.
Are Minimalist Shoes All Hype?
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I love a minimal shoe during the day, and wearing the Nike Free 3.0 almost exclusively for the last couple of years has made my feet stronger. Standing in a minimal shoe improves your proprioception, and should improve foot intrinsics. So if you're running in them, I'd wear a pair during the day, but work into that. Start with an hour or two for a few days, then 3 to 4 four hours for a week, etc., until you get up to a full day in the shoes.
How Can I Transition to Minimalist Shoes?
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You need a progression when it comes to shoes that have no heel. I'm not saying they're bad, but you can't go from a traditional running shoe to a pair of Five Fingers and not have a high risk of injury. The keys to natural running are posture, neutral or slight forefoot landing, hands brushing past the hips and a cadence of roughly 180 strides per minute.
How Can I Transition to Minimalist Shoes, II
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Now, you can't think of proper form, landing and cadence on day one. So I would first work on posture in your old shoes. Then I would move toward a neutral footstrike in your new shoes. Changing your stride rate is hard, so to make it easy just count one leg, and try to hit 90 in one minute. Or, just count for 10 seconds and try to hit 15 on one foot.
How Can I Become a Better Runner?
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To improve, you either need to run a bit more or a bit faster, but not on the same day. Focus on one of those goals once a week. Injuries happen, and happen often. If you are injury-free, you want to stay that way. So be patient and don't get greedy with trying to improve your running fitness overnight.
How Can I Get Rid of IT Band Syndrome?
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IT band injuries are tough. Usually weak gluts are a root cause. Find a certified coach or therapist to help you strengthen that area, and click on the button below to watch a helpful video.
I Have Achilles Pain; Does Stretching Help?
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Stretching that area is not always a good thing. It doesn't respond as well as tight quads. I would find a person who does Active Release Therapy in your area. The good news is that you can recover from this as long as you don't stress that area any more. Don't race, and you might need to take some time off.
How Should I Fuel for the Marathon?
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Target the rule of 15: 15 grams of carbohydrates, 150 mL (5 fl. oz.) of fluids every 15 minutes during the race. Since each gram of carbohydrate delivers four calories, this is 240 calories per hour. Sports drinks typically provided at marathon aid stations contain around 14 grams of carbs per 8 oz., and this is not a concentrated enough form of carbohydrates. You should supplement with energy gels.
How Can I Avoid Hitting the Wall During 26.2?
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For most marathoners, the phenomenon of hitting the wall comes from two things: going out too hard, and trying to run faster than your fitness level. Many runners don't complete enough long, long runs to help with lipid metabolism. So when pass 18 miles, they start to falter. Sound marathon training takes months, but if you put the work in and train intelligently, you can have a good experience.
What Should I Eat the Night Before a Race?
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Eat a light meal the night before. What do you usually eat when you're not thinking about racing? Eat that. When you get really serious about your racing, you can then dial it in, but until then just eat what you normally eat. The morning of a distance race is different. You need to eat 2 to 3 hours before the race, and you need to practice this meal and the timing of this meal in training.
Do I Need to Eat Before a 5K?
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A light meal is always best. The great thing about a 5K is that you can experiment with both what to eat and how early before the race to eat it. As my college coach liked to say, "tea and toast."
Can I Complete a Long Run When Injured?
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You need to have the idea that fixing the injury is goal number 1. Finishing the run is goal number 2. With that in mind, you probably don't want to risk further injury with longer runs. Next year, when injury free, complete all of your long runs, and aim to PR.
What's the Proper Age to Run a Marathon?
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If you love the sport, then it could be pre-20s. But for most people it's sometime in their 20s. You need to have lots of 5Ks, 10Ks and a few half marathons under your belt first.
How Can I Improve My Marathon PR?
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The key to a quality marathon PR comes down to two things. First, you have to get that long, long run in. No human has enough stored glycogen to finish the marathon (we have about enough to run 18 miles), so a run of 20, 21 or 22 miles in your prep is important. Why? You teach your body how to burn fat (i.e. lipid metabolism), and that is key to running to your potential in the marathon.
How Can I Improve My Marathon PR, II
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Another point would be a bit more volume. If you're running 40 or 50 miles a week, you will be well served to bump up 10 miles a week higher. Finally, you need to be able to groove at marathon pace, so you need to run that pace in workouts. A 12-mile run with 10 miles in the middle at marathon pace is the type of run you should do during marathon training.