Friday, January 11, 2008


Spring racing season is right around the corner. Like most runners, if you've been doing mostly endurance runs indoors on a treadmill during the cold weather months, you may feel unprepared to hit that first 5K in a time that won't make you cry. Replace one day of your regular running routine by trying these different speed drills. It will pay off on race day!

Boot Camp Hills. Find a steep hill that's at least 50 to 75 meters long, and run hill repeats on it once every two weeks. Alternate running up the hill at close to top speed with "bounding" up the hill more slowly, with an exaggerated vertical motion. Start with six repeats per workout and gradually increase to 10. Between repeats, jog slowly back down to the bottom of the hill.

Hill Hops. After you've finished the above workout, begin hopping up the hill on one foot for 15 hops, then shift to the other foot for 15 more hops. Walk for a few seconds to recover, and then repeat.

Running on your Toes. After you have warmed up properly, "sprint" on your toes for 30 meters, taking small, quick steps with high knee action. Jog easily for 15 seconds to recover, and then repeat twice more. When finished, do the rest of your workout.
Jump and Sprint. Do a standing long jump, but at the moment you land, sprint for about 10 yards.

Laterals: Get in a slightly crouched position with your back straight and your arms out in front of you. Step quickly side to side, bringing the trailing leg next to the leading leg. Stay in the crouch and move 25 yards to one side, then return with the opposite leg leading.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Happy 2008!

Given up on New Years Resolutions? Most of America has. A recent poll shows every year that fewer and fewer Americans are participating in this once highly followed tradition. Why is that?

Because most of the time, we're completely unreasonable in the things we set out to do. We say we are going to be in the gym 7 days a week, when we know that there will be at least one day where it won't hsppen. We say that we are going to cut out fast food completely....until that day that we just can't take it anymore and have to have some Chick-Fil-A.

This year, let's be realistic. Here are some small resolutions that you can make (and actually keep) that in the long run, could make a BIG difference.

1. Take the milk you drink down by one grade. If you usually drink 2%, try 1%. If you've been drinking 1%. switch to skim. You'll be surprised at how quickly you adjust to the change...and how many calories it will eliminate.

2. Change all white producrs for whole wheat. Pretty much everything is offered in whole wheat now - taco shells, hot dog buns, even tortilla chips! You will feel fuller longer, and it's better for you.

3. Cut the number of soft drinks you consume in half. Even if you only drink diet drinks, try to cut back and drink more water. Most people don't consume half of the amount of water they should drink daily already, and carbonation only contributes more to dehydration.

4. Squeeze in one more hour of exercise a week. Maybe you could do Pilates on Saturday morning instead of skipping your workout. Or find a 10-minute Yoga DVD thst you could slip in every night before you go to bed. Little increases of activity add up over time!

5. Switch your normal lunch for a salad twice a week. You know that you need more vegetables in your diet, and a salad is the perfect way to do it. Add some lean meat for protein, as many veggies as you like, and a few nuts for some healthy fats, and you are all set. Steer clear of cheese, croutons, and cream-based dressings. Too many of those ingredients can make a salad as unhealthy as a Big Mac!