February 20, 2011

Spring ’11 Race Season – Bring It!


Spring Race Season is right around the corner, Smarties! Almost every weekend in and around Charlotte you can find a fun run 5K, and some 10K races with a few half-marathons sprinkled around. The Corporate Cup is March 12th and the Cooper River Bridge Run is April 2nd! Find more events at Run For Your Life. Register now and get moving!

Here are a few Smarty tips to prepare for your event…

First, let’s make sure your shoes are in good shape. Older than 6 months? Get a new pair. Go to a running store to be properly fitted. This should entail being observed while running on a treadmill to see if you pronate (roll in) and how your foot strikes. Let the sales person know if you are planning on running a race soon and what your training will involve. Smarty tip: Once you get a shoe you love, get a 2nd pair (you might find it cheaper online). Shoes are like bras, they should be rotated, especially during the warmer months with all that extra moisture. Shoes need time to dry out and get their “bounce” back.

Next, get a water belt or Camelbak for longer runs. I prefer the water belt with 6 small bottles on it. Staying hydrated makes everything better and even a slight drop in hydration can have a negative effect on your performance. Keep your pee clear and you are good. (Seriously!!)

Jog bra issues? I LOVE Moving Comfort…they’ll even keep nursing breasts still.

Chaffing? Aquaphor is the best. I run with a small tube in the “key” pocket of my shorts.

And just to keep on preaching….use sweat-proof sun block and a breathable running hat (lightweight) to keep the sun spots at bay.

Find a mantra that works for you. “Slow and steady wins the race”, “I AM doing this”, “I am so strong”, etc. Ignore the negativity in your brain or from your fellow runners. So much of reaching your running goals is mental.

Visual Imagery is a real technique used by trainers and professional athletes. Picture yourself accomplishing your goal. From now to race day, visualize yourself crossing the finish line feeling strong, breathing well, arms up and smiling face!! If you have a time you want to achieve, see the clock with that time on it. I told another runner about this and his 1/2 marathon time was exactly what he had been visualizing!!

If you are new to running, start slowly with low miles. If your lungs are sucking wind, just slow your pace but still be in a jog. Steady your breathing, let your heart rate drop and you can keep going. Get your positive mantra going and believe you can do it.

Your legs might burn and feel heavy but accept the challenge and work to achieve your goal. Mentally dividing your route into sections helps the distance seem more manageable.

And finally, I believe cross training is the key to successfully reaching your running goals. Cross training helps prevent injuries, balance muscles, improve your running and keeps you from getting burned out. Throw in strength training, spin class, yoga and of course, some boot camp classes and you will be amazed at your improved performance.

Susan O’Neill is founder of my new M/W/F morning hangout, South Park Boot Camp. This is the most motivated I’ve been physically in two years and these gals are such fun to train with and learn from. You’ll find normal peeps like myself, but throw in some yoga instructors, massage therapists, nutritionists and Susan, who if you didn’t love her, you’d hate her. Why? I’m not gonna lie to ya – it hurts, but Susan is so nice and always smiling, you stay motivated. She keeps you on track and works with all fitness levels. No injuries in this power hour! SPBC ROCKS – Cooper River, here we come! ~Jen Plym

3 Responses

  1. BVM says:

    Really needed to read this post today as I'm contemplating running my first 1/2 marathon in April. Thanks Susan!'I think I can…I think I can…'

  2. brooke b says:

    Great article, Susan!! {I highly recommend working out with Susan — great workout & great fun!}

  3. Amy Norman says:

    Great article, girls!! Nice work!! Susan, thank you for continuing to provide such a fabulous workout!! I always feel fantastic after class! The best workout by far…!!:-)

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