Friday, May 21, 2010

How to Run a Large Race - running strategies

How to run effectively in a large race

Last evening, I ran the Corporate Challenge here in Albany. I enjoy running larger races at longer distances, like the Boilermaker 15K, because there is time to "make up" for a slow start during the middle and end of the race. Other large races are also chip timed, which gives runner a more accurate finishing time.

The Corporate Challenge is only 3.5 miles, and I walked/jogged the first five minutes of the race. Several times during the race I was slowed down by being unable to pass the sheer number of racers in front of me who had started out too fast and were slowing down to a more routine training pace.

What should a competitive, but middle-of-the-pack runner do in a race like this?

I decided to focus on practicing my racing skills for future races.

In a large crowded race, I will practice finding paths in between runners so I can pass more effectively.

In a smaller race I usually run at my pace until I find another runner at a slightly faster pace, and then concentrate on keeping up with him/her. In a large race, there are just too many people running at different speeds to find a good long term pacing partner. Instead, I concentrated on listening to my body and keeping the pressure on myself to run near my lactate threshold.

The sprint finish is downhill, so I practiced using gravity to help me move forward and raising my knees so that I could run with a full, fast stride.

I ran nowhere near a PR, but it felt good to pass so many people!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Book Review: Making the Cut by Jillian Michaels

In the book ‘Making the Cut,’ personal trainer Jillian Michaels offers a diet and exercise plan targeted for fit men and women looking to lose the last 20 pounds and perfect their already- athletic bodies.

Michaels offers a good plan for recording initial fitness measurements, including a step test, pushups, situps, and a wall sit. She also offers a 49 question Metabolic Typing Test to determine if the reader is a slow oxidizer, balanced oxidizer or fast oxidizer. I found this test very interesting. It focuses on what the reader instinctively chooses to eat and how food affects mood, energy level and feelings of hunger throughout the day. It was an eye opener to realize that a nutrition plan really cannot be one size fits all. If an athlete is used to eating and feeling satisfied with a fat-heavy diet of meats and cheeses, switching to a salad and fruit based diet is a big stretch!

This book has many of the same elements as other diet and fitness plans – recipes, shopping lists, menus as well as workouts and exercise descriptions. Michaels focuses on circuit workouts and a mix of single joint and multi joint exercises, but no sports specific training. ‘Making the Cut’ is about having an attractive body in a bikini or for a special occasion like a wedding or reunion.

What is your opinion of Metabolic typing?

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