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General Safety

Training Safety


Run/Walk System


Running Form


Overcoming the Winter Training Blahs!



General Safety

• Run on trails that are well traveled and that you know.

• Run with a buddy.

• Always let someone know where you will be running and when you can be expected to return.

• If you wear headphones, keep the volume low enough so you can still hear someone approaching from behind you.

• Carry a cell phone with you.

• Lock valuables in the trunk of your car.

• If you are injured or have an emergency, call 911 and see your doctor.

• Be aware of the weather.



Training Safety

• If it hurts, stop doing it.

• It’s recommended that you have no more than 4 runs per week and no more than 2 run days in a row.

• Know your limits.

• Trust your body’s signals.

• It’s recommended that you increase your training load no more than 10% each week.

• Be cautious during speed work or trying to run faster as that is when most injuries occur.



• If you are running for less than 45 minutes, water should be sufficient to stay hydrated.

• If you are running for 45 minutes or more, it’s recommended that you hydrate with sports drink. Some people find sports drink too sweet or it upsets their stomach. If you experience this, try half sports drink and half water.

• Drink throughout the day as you normally do to stay hydrated.


Be Cautious of Dehydration Definition:

Excessive loss of bodily fluids. Symptoms include thirst, dizziness, weakness and nausea. Serious dehydration can lead to cramps, chills and disorientation.



Stop running, get to a cool place and drink plenty of fluids.

Of course, the point is not to become dehydrated in the first place. Everyone's fluid needs vary. You know you're getting enough if you void large volumes of pale urine at least six times a day (note: B vitamins turn urine yellow-green).

To determine how much liquid to take during a run or race, you need to know your sweat rate, and that can vary between 1 and 4 quarts per hour. Weigh yourself nude before a timed training run, and then again after. One pound of weight loss equals 1 pint of water loss. Calculate your sweat rate and use this to determine your fluid needs during a run or race.

For example, if you lose 2 pounds during an hour run, that's 2 pints or 32 ounces. Thus, you need 8 ounces of water or sports beverage every 15 minutes. (Performance note: As little as 2 percent dehydration will have a negative effect on your race performance.) Source: RunnersWorld.com


Be cautious of over hydrating or hyponatremia.

Hydration Guidelines Source: RunnersWorld.com PUBLISHED 08/04/2003 Our Recommendations We also believe that it's a good time to review your hydration practices. Runners need to pay more attention to their daily fluid consumption than most people, but we don't need to be obsessive. Given half a chance, the body will self-regulate to a normal, healthy state of fluid balance.


Our recommendations:

1. Drink generously, but appropriately. Know yourself and your needs, and make adjustments for the weather. A runner training through the summer months in Chicago for a fall marathon may need to drink more during and after a slow 16-miler in August than during and after an all-out marathon effort on a cool October morning. 2. Use sports drinks. Before, during, and after workouts and races, drink specially-formulated sports drinks. These drinks contain the water you need, appropriate amounts of carbohydrates, and small amounts of sodium. It's the combo of all three that really helps you in the long run. 3. Pay particular attention to postexercise rehydration. You're likely to become temporarily dehydrated during a long, hard run, so make sure you drink enough afterward. The same goes for food. Get your fluids, get your carbohydrates, get a little sodium, get a little protein--and you'll be fine. 4. Weigh yourself daily during periods of intense training. If you're losing weight, make sure it's from fat loss, not chronic dehydration. You can also check your urine color. It should be clear or light yellow (unless you have recently taken some B vitamins, which can turn the urine bright yellow). 5. When running long and slow--4 or 5 hours or more--monitor your fluid consumption. Be sure you're not drinking more than you need. Also, consider running with a salty snack that you consume at the 20-mile mark. If you're a woman, pay particular attention to these recommendations. 6. Drink when you're thirsty. While it's true that your thirst doesn't kick in until you're 1- to 2-percent dehydrated, there's nothing terribly wrong with that. Remember: Your body has an "exquisitely tuned" water-balance mechanism. Use it. Water in, Water Out



Run/Walk System

• The run/walk system builds endurance which is necessary before trying to add speed.

• It allows you to cover longer distances comfortably and safely compared to running non-stop.

• It increases the amount of time you are active and exercising.


1. Run at a slow to moderate pace for several minutes or until you are short of breath or fatigued then switch to a walk.

2. Walk briskly to keep your heart rate up and your muscles warm.

3. When your breath or strength has returned, start running at a slow to moderate pace again.

4. Repeat


Over time as you get stronger, reduce your walk time and increase your run time.




Breathe through your mouth or nose as you need to. Trying to breathe only through your nose restricts airflow and is not recommended.

In the run/walk system, your breathing will be your signal of when to switch from a run to a walk and vice versa.



Belly Breathing

• Allows for maximum oxygen flow

• Place your hand on your belly and inhale. Your belly should rise if you are properly belly breathing. This means your lungs are fully expanding down through your diaphragm which causes your belly to rise. If not, you are chest breathing which is inefficient since your rib cage cannot expand.

• When running, try to consciously be belly breathing.

• To practice, while lying down or standing in line somewhere, place your hand on your belly and feel it rise and fall as you inhale and exhale. Over time, you will more naturally and automatically belly breathe even while running.



Overcoming the Winter Training Blahs!

If you have been struggling with your running, it may be more mental than physical.  Here are a couple of tips that may help you get back into the zone…

  • Keep in mind that winter training is tough…it wears you out…and that’s ok, it’s not just you

  • Change your running routine slightly…leave the watch, the radio, the “required” mileage or pace at home, just run for fun

  • Run with someone else or run alone

  • Change your music on your ipod

  • Do Indian Runs where runners run single file and take turns leading the run, it forces you to run at different paces

  • Run a different trail…

  • Run with someone and the rule is only positive talk the whole way, it helps to get your mind right

  • Run a 5K race, it gets you into the “I can do this” mode and you get to meet new people

  • Get more sleep, you could be getting cumulative fatigue from all of your mileage, you should be trying to get 15-30 minutes extra sleep every night, especially those getting close to race day.

And finally, Spring is coming which means sunshine, skimpy clothes, and sunshine!  J


See you on the trail!









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