Greetings Runners. We are nearly seven weeks out of the big Race Day! Hopefully, you have enjoyed the training process so far. Here are a few helpful hints.
- Find the right shoes. How Do You Run?If you own a well-used pair of running shoes, check the wear pattern on the soles to help determine your running mechanics.Pronation shows a wear pattern centralized to the ball of the foot and a small portion of the heel. It is the foot’s natural inward roll following the heel striking the ground.
Basic (neutral) pronation helps absorb impact, relieving pressure on knees and joints. It is a normal trait of neutral, biomechanically efficient runners.
Overpronation is identified by wear patterns along the inside edge of your shoe, and is an exaggerated form of the foot’s natural inward roll. Overpronation is a common trait that affects the majority of runners, leaving them at risk of knee pain and injury. Overpronators need stability or motion control shoes.
Supination (also called underpronation) is marked by wear along the outer edge of your shoe. It is an outward rolling of the foot resulting in insufficient impact reduction at landing. Relatively few runners supinate, but those who do need shoes with plenty of cushioning and flexibility.
Types of Running Shoes
Cushioning shoes: Are best for mild pronators, supinators, or neutral runners for off pavement runs. Provide increased shock absorption and some medial (arch side) support. Some super cushioned shoes provide as much as 50% more cushioning than traditional shoes for even greater shock absorption and stability.
Stability shoes: Good for neutral runners or those who exhibit mild to moderate overpronation. They often include a firm “post” to reinforce the arch side of each midsole, an area highly impacted by overpronation.
Motion control shoes: Best for runners who exhibit moderate to severe overpronation. Offer features such as stiffer heels or a design built on straighter lasts to counter overpronation.
- Breathe from your belly.
Abdominal Breathing Benefits
Many people tend to use shallow chest breathing when they are stressed. The stress could be caused by exercise or emotional or environmental factors, for example. Chest breathing reduces your lungs’ ability to get more oxygen into your body because the greatest amount of blood flow occurs in the lower lobes of the lungs. Thus, rapid and shallow chest breathing reduces your ability to deliver oxygen and nutrients into your blood, says the American Medical Student Association. However, when your diaphragm contracts in abdominal breathing, your belly expands like a balloon. This forces air into your lungs and pulls blood into your chest to return more blood into the heart, which increases oxygen uptake, It also promotes relaxation and decreases tension.
Basic Belly Breathing
To increase your awareness of belly breathing, lie face up on the ground with your feet on the ground and your knees placed slightly apart from each other. Put your hands on your belly and inhale slowly and deeply for four seconds. Your belly should push your hands up. Hold your breath for four seconds and slowly exhale for four seconds. Repeat this exercise for 10 to 20 deep breaths. Each breath should last 12 seconds.
Upper Back Release
Place some pressure along the sides of your upper spine and release some connective tissues that may hinder deep breathing. Fitness coach Jill Miller, a contributing writer for IDEA Fitness Journal, recommends that you use two tennis balls and place one on either side of your upper spine between your shoulder blades while you are lying on the ground. Breathe slowly into the back of your ribs and slowly rock side to side, allowing the balls to massage your ribs. Do this for one to two minutes before moving the balls an inch or two toward the lower part of your upper spine. This massage and breathing combo releases tension in your ribs and posterior diaphragm rib connections and improves diaphragmatic breathing awareness.
Seated Overhead Reach
Long hours working at a desk can weaken your deep abdominal muscles. Do this exercise every 15 to 20 minutes while sitting at your desk. Sit at the edge of your chair and lace your fingers with your arms extended in front of you. Inhale slowly and deeply into your belly and then slowly exhale as you raise your arms over your head. Take five to six deep breaths as you hold this position. Then lower your arms in front of your chest. Repeat this exercise four to five times.
- Learn to love the Foam Roller. The foam roller can help to prevent injury. Click on the link for a helpful foam rolling guide.
Stay tuned for important race day info. Happy Running!