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Running Advice - Extra, Issue #007 -- November 2003 Issue
November 28, 2003

Hope you had a great Thanksgiving, spent time with family and friends, and remembered to count your blessings.

Before indulging in a traditional Thanksgiving feast, I ran in a rain-soaked Turkey Day 10-K (Montclair Run - Birmingham, AL) -- and loved every minute of it! About 500 other brave (or foolish) souls weathered the elements and joined me in splish-splashing through a fun-filled 10K.

If you've never run a race on Thanksgiving, give it a try next year. What a great excuse to stuff yourself afterwards and with no regrets! :)

I'm altering this month's newsletter just a bit. A few readers have sent in some great comments and I want to thank/acknowledge them by including a snippet.

Please feel free to write with your questions and just might end up in print!

With that said...let's get started with this month's newsletter.

Jeff Ray

Running Quotes

"There are two types of people: Those who run and those who should."

Author Unknown

Reader Comment's

Jim Bernard on one of the primary causes of running injuries, heel striking:

"I used to have typical running injuries, sore knees, sore shins, etc. For some years I could not run consistently due to recurring injuries. Then I discovered the advice of Olympic silver medallist, Gordon Pirie, who used to say that he had probably run further than almost any other athlete in training, (thousands of miles each year - for decades) and never had any serious leg injuries.

He put this down to the fact that he never landed on his heels when running, only on the front of his feet, as a sprinter does.

If you think this is strange advice, try running barefoot for a short distance, and you will find that you naturally only land on the front of your feet, never on your heels.

Your heels are simply not designed to take your weight when you are running, but the front of your feet easily copes with the stress and strain of running.

I took Gordon's advice and have had no leg or feet injuries since, and I can run faster than ever.

All runners should learn this lesson."

Readers, what do you think? For more informaton on Gordon Pirie, check out

Ray's Rambling's

Having trouble creating a new running route? Simply run your favorite route in the opposite direction. Mixing it up will make things more interesting. And you're bound to notice things that you never did before.

Coach Speak

Keep Some Speed in Reserve: Distance running is one sport that requires doing less than your best most of the time. That is, you hold back now so you can keep going later. You can't run all-out in the first mile of a long race-or you won't finish. You can't train your hardest every day without ever easing off-or you won't last. Successful running demands that you pace yourself. -Joe Henderson

Injury Prevention and Treatment

Build Stronger Buttocks and Hammies: Find a big gym ball, then lie on your stomach on an inclined weight bench, with your hips at the edge of the elevated end of the bench and your legs hanging straight down. Place the ball between your ankles, tighten your glutes, then slowly lift your legs until they are parallel with the rest of your body. (Don't lift so far that you begin to arch your back.) Start and control the movement with your hamstrings and glutes, rather than "swinging" your legs. Hold the position for a count of three, and then slowly lower the ball again. Hold it an inch or two above the ground, and then lift again. Repeat eight to 10 times for a set. Work up to two or three sets.

Nutrition Tip

The Pep of Peppermint: Results from a study at Wheeling Jesuit University showed subjects who sniffed peppermint before exercising ran faster, did more pushups, and showed greater grip strength than those who weren't exposed to the peppermint scent. Try it: Sniff peppermint oil, stretch in a room with a lighter peppermint candle, or chew peppermint flavored gum and spit it out before running.

Workout Spotlight

Hill Attacks

This workout builds anaerobic power and running economy. Jog easily for 1 mile. Run up a steep, short hill (one that takes you about a minute from bottom to top) six to 10 times at close to top speed. You should be huffing and puffing at the top. Recover by walking back down. If you live in a flat area, substitute stadium steps or a stairway in a tall building. Cool down with 1 mile of easy running.

If you're looking for a quality treadmill to do some indoor training, I highly recommend SmoothFitness.

SmoothFitness has a 'Best Buy' rating from Runner's World magazine, offers Free Shipping, nationwide service support, and a Money-back guarantee. "Best Buy" Rating - SmoothFitness Treadmills

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