The Runner's Diary.

"Run often and run long, but never outrun your joy of running."

Just So You Know....

Most injuries result from a change in your training. A change in shoes, an increase in mileage, hill or speed work, or a change in surface. Almost always there is some associated weakness of the foot, muscle strength/flexibility imbalance, or one leg shorter than the other. Use of heel lifts, arch supports, modification of shoes and corrective exercises may be necessary before you are able to return to pain-free running.

Try some light jogging or walking before you stretch,  stretching 'cold' muscles can cause more harm than good.

To boost speed when crunched for time, replace long runs with tempo workouts. These comfortably hard runs will accelerate your fitness.

Banana Oat Energy Bars!

What you’ll need:
2 very overripe bananas
½ cup vegetable oil
1 cup unbleached sugar
½ tsp vanilla extract
1 ½ cup rolled oats
¾ cup unbleached flour (up to ½ cup of which can be whole wheat flour)
¾ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
½ tsp cinnamon
½ tsp nutmeg
¾ cup toasted chopped walnuts
¾ cup dried cranberries
(Use your choice of nuts and dried fruit as substitutes)

How to make it:
1.  Preheat oven to 350, grease 8x9’’ baking pan
2.  In a mixing bowl, mash bananas. Mix with sugar, oil and vanilla extract until smooth.
3.    In a separate mixing bowl, combine baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, flour and oats.
4.  Add banana mixture to oat mixture, mix until just combined.
5.  Fold in walnuts and cranberries, careful not to overmix.
6.  Pour mixture into baking pan, and spread evenly. Bake for 20 minutes or until the top is browned and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Allow to cool completely before cutting.

Science has proven that running is a potent stress-buster

Strength Exercises to Help You Run Faster:

Box Jump

Enables leg and core muscles to "turn on" faster during a run.

To Do: Face a sturdy knee-high box, an aerobic step, or a weight bench. With feet slightly apart, jump onto the box, taking care to land as softly as you can. Step back down. Do three sets of eight reps.

Rotating Lunge

Strengthens hips for better balance and stability during push-off.

To Do: Place the top of one foot onto a bench about three feet behind you. Lunge and rotate your torso 45 degrees to the right, back to center, and then to the left. Do two sets of eight reps.

Straight-Leg Deadlift

Develops propulsive force in the glutes and hip extensors, which will help your push-off as you increase your pace.

To Do: Place heavy weights on the floor in front of you. Hinging at the hips, with back straight, bend over and grab the weights. Keeping your core and glutes tight, straighten up. Slowly lower the weights to the floor. Do two sets of eight reps.

Kneeling Hip-Flexor Stretch

Improves range of motion in the hips.

To Do: Step into a lunge and lower your back knee to the ground. Keep your upper body straight while you tilt your pelvis to feel a stretch. Hold for one minute. Do three times on each leg.

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