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6 Pain Prevention Tips to Keep You Running

bonnie pfiesterEarlier this year I developed tendonitis in my left ankle. It was so bad, I not only had to stop running, I couldn’t even walk. I went to Total Health Vero Beach for therapy, and slowly but surely it started improving. Well, after something like that gets you down, needless to say, you are a little scared to jump back in your running shoes.
with both feet.

In the last month I have a done a few short “test runs”. So far, so good, although I still had a little twinge in the ankle following the runs so I continue to be cautious – knowing that I could irritate it if I wasn’t careful and be right back where I started.

So you can understand how hard it was to hear that a bunch of peeps from our gym were going to run, what we Veroites call, “the loop” – a 5.6 mile run that goes over both our two bridges (our only real hills in our town) over the waterway to the beach. It’s a great run! It’s scenic, it’s fun, and I didn’t want to miss it! So, I decided I’d just do what I could, and if my ankle started acting up, I’d just turn around, slow down or walk if I needed to.

Team Max

Reebok DMX SkyTo my surprise, I had literally no pain. I was running in my Reebok DMX Sky running shoes which have a ton of cushion and support. I honestly think that helped a lot. I typically wear a minimalist “barely there” shoe that’s pretty flat but, since my injury, I’ve felt I needed more of a lift in my heel, as well as more cushion for a softer impact. So far, I’ve only tested my runs in this shoe and I’ve experienced no pain while running. (below i’ll talk about post-run injury prevention)

sunriseAs we reached our halfway mark, overlooking the pretty water, enjoying the view, I was not just on top of the bridge, but I was on top of the world! I had no pain, I felt great and, I was ready for the next half of the run.

(This was the view at the top of the bridge. The water was like glass – just pure beauty!)

So off we went! I was SO excited! I ran the whole 5.6 mile loop without stopping (except to take these pictures! ha!) WOOOO HOOOO!

Girls running

As finished up our last few steps and approached our cars, I looked at my running app to check my pace, distance and all that jazz, only to find my app quit tracking my run at 2.9 miles! Ughhhhh!! DARN IT!! Since my running app and Jawbone UP app syncs with my LoseIt app, I get super bummed when I miss out on a posting calorie burned or increased activity of any type. It almost gives you that feeling as if you didn’t do it unless you can see it, sync it and share it. lol

funny facebook fitness cartoon

It reminds me of this silly facebook cartoon I’ve seen floating around facebook. I know I’m not the only runner in the world that has these silly technical error moments. However, I’m so thankful for all the fitness toys, and social media, made available today because it holds us accountable, gives us clear goals and makes fitness more fun.

For those of you runners who have had this happen to you, I made this graphic for you! ha 🙂

running app funny

Post Workout Injury Prevention Tips

Sometimes we feel great DURING our workout, but pay for it LATER. Here are a few tips to prevent pain and problems that can slow a runner down.

6 Tips to Fight Injury

Running Injury1. Prevent inflammation. Take anti-inflammatories to prevent inflammation. Once inflammation sets in, it’s much harder to manage. Don’t wait until you have noticeable pain and swelling.

2. Manage swelling. If you feel you are the least bit swollen, ice the area religiously. If you can control the swelling, you can control the pain. The problem is, people HATE to ice. No one likes to be cold – and ice can be downright painful. I use these Hot Socks to keep me cozy. They really helped me endure the ice and make it a lot more comfortable.

3. Stretch. Now that it’s 2 days after my run, I can begin to feel my ankle tightening up due to tight calves and achilles. If I want to prevent issues, I need to keep those muscles and loosey-goosey. This is going to be key for me if I want to run on a regular basis again. Most injuries are due to tight or weak muscles. I am SUPER tight, so this is something I really have to work on. Here is a good video on how stretching can prevent (or help heel) common foot issues. These are the stretches I do that also help my ankle.

4. Listen to your body. Allow your body to recover before you beat it up again. Don’t rush things. It will be tempting to want to jump right back to your old routine, but going slow at first can prevent you from having to stop completely.

5. Don’t stop rehab. Most people quit rehabbing their injury when they quit hurting. The same way we shouldn’t wait until we have a bad injury to stretch or ice, we should continue the steps that helped us to heal as preventive measures too.

Athletic Shoes: The Sole Purpose6. Consider your footwear. If you started having problems suddenly, think of what changed. Was it new shoes? Is it old shoes, and time for new shoes? For me, I believe it was going from a shoe with a greater drop to a flatter shoe (which I loved, but I don’t think they loved me).  Most running shoes raise the heel 22-24mm off the ground while lifting the front of the shoe only 10-15mm off the ground. They call this ratio the “drop”. This tiny difference was enough to add more stretch in my Achilles, calves and surrounding ankle muscles/tendons with each repetitive step. This doesn’t mean I can’t go back to them, but not until I stretch more and get that area more flexible. Personally, I believe this also has a lot to do with wearing heels all these years – and then going to running practically flat-footed. So, this reinforces my need to stretch.

NOTE: Often times I say that running injuries can be due to shoe choice – but I don’t just mean poor shoes, I mean not the right shoes for YOU. Just because I love a shoe, doesn’t mean you will too. Reebok recommends rotating between 2-3 pair of shoes to avoid damage due to repetitive action. 

CLICK HERE to Learn More About Choosing the Right Show for You 

FitFluential LLC compensated me for this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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Motivation For Runners

You need to run BUT

IMG_1963When it comes to exercise, why do we even think twice about whether we should do it or not? Because we allow ourselves to fixate on how we feel NOW. Whether it’s how we feel physically, or how we feel emotionally, we let those feelings determine our actions. Yet, if we were to just focus on how we feel when we are FINISHED, I believe our actions would change drastically.

If you have a goal, let all your actions (what you eat, what you do, what you sacrifice) all be to get you one step closer to that goal. I think our problem is we do too much thinking, and too little doing. Next time you think about whether you should workout or not, you are waisting precious time pondering the inevitable – so just do it! You know it has to get done eventually if you want to reach your goal.

Don’t just Live, #LiveWithFire

Your Turn:

What gets you out the door?
How do you stay motivated to keep running when you, and everything around you, fights you every step of the way?

Shoes in the mantra pic: RealFlex Fusion RT

Shoes in the pic of me running:  This is when I was testing the DMX Sky on the (Right Foot only) and comparing it to another style. Click here to read more – Fitness Motivation: The Hardest Step is the 1st Step.

FitFluential LLC compensated me for this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Sculpt Your Body With What You Eat

You have the power to sculpt your body with the foods you eat, as well as the type of exercises you do. Before I address how to sculpt your body with how you eat, let’s talk about how you train.

Sculpt Muscle by How You Train

“The more muscle your workout requires, the more muscle you will gain…”

Training for muscleWhile protein is very important for sculpting a fit body, supplementing without the proper training will not get you the results you want. How you train greatly determines what you store for energy and what you use for energy. With intense movements, your body will likely store more energy as muscle. Your body is smart. The more muscle your workout requires, the more muscle you will gain, or keep.  – And don’t worry ladies, you won’t be a beef-cake bodybuilder, you will just look super fit. It takes a LOT of work to look like a man! 😉

On the contrary, if you are a marathon runner, you are more prone to burn both muscle and fat as energy, and store fat, because muscle is not needed as much for low to moderate intensity workouts. While running a marathon is quite grueling, it doesn’t require a lot of explosive power, it requires endurance. Of matter of fact, a runner’s body considers muscle as unnecessary added weight. However, fat is a good source of energy for long runs, so that is why your body is prone to storing fat. If a runner wants to maintain muscle, they need to pump up their muscles in the gym (and pump up protein) in addition to their running program to encourage their body to keep muscle.

Sculpt Muscle by How You Eat

Eating for MuscleNow that you understand the importance of how you train, let’s dive into your eating. As you’ve heard before, “you are what you eat”. Fat and carbs makes fat bodies. Protein make fit muscular bodies. That is why it is so important to get enough protein if you want to maintain, or add, more muscle mass. Your body is always burning calories from a combination of fats, carbs and protein. If you eat carbs and fats, but are low on protein, your body doesn’t just stop burning protein. It still burns protein, but it burns stored protein (muscle). The same goes for fat stores. If you are short on fat or carbs, your body will burn stored fat to turn it into the fuel it’s missing.

If you are like me, and don’t want your body to burn muscle, then you want to keep a steady stream of protein in your diet so your body can feed off that – and not feed off your precious hard-earned muscle. If you want to GAIN muscle, then you need to give your body more protein than it needs so it stores more protein (muscle).  *Use the protein calculator, below, to learn how much protein you should get a day.

Just the same way our body stores fat and carbs as body fat when you eat too much of it, your body can store excess protein as well. However, you still have to watch overall calories if you don’t want to gain weight, because too many calories is still too many calories – and it can cause you to gain weight, whether it’s coming from muscle or fat. Understand, if you eat more calories than you burn, you WILL gain weight – whether it’s muscle weight or fat weight.

So, the trick to a lean muscular physique is to eat a low-calorie, low-fat, moderate-carb, high-protein diet. This will encourage your body to burn fat stores to reduce body fat, while storing (or maintaining) protein to sculpt muscle. 🙂

Calories IN vs Calories OUT

What’s Your Number?

Click HERE to use GNC’s Protein Calculator to help you decide how much protein should be in your diet.

What's Your Number?

Top 10 Craziest Fun Runs & Obstacle Courses

SUPER HERO RACEWhat do zombies, paint, glow sticks, costumes, obstacles, mud, black lights, pumpkins and beer have in common? They are just some of the wild ingredients used in conjuring up some of the craziest runs around!

Traditional 5Ks are fun, but now there are SO many more ways to run for a good cause. Boring 5Ks are being overshadowed by entertaining runs and obstacle courses. Here are my top 10 craziest races, with the help of Blood, Sweat & Cheers – a site dedicated to finding fun active stuff to do.

The Zombie Run1. The Zombie Run – Run from the undead in this bizarra Zombie race. Beware – you can die. Every participant gets flags (like in flag football). These flags represents your health. The goal is to get out alive and well.

2. Cupid’s National Undie Run – Run in your undies in the name of Love. “Don’t get your panties twisted”, you don’t have to wear skimpy underwear, you can wear your favorite sleep attire to support the Children’s Tumor Foundation.

3. Rat Race Race pits team of 1-3 against each other on a while scavenger hunt through the city. Combining running, biking, kayaking, climbing and public transportation systems, this race transforms some of the nation’s greatest cities into a playground.

4. The Peeplechase – Based on the Steeplechase Olympic event (inspired by an equestrian race), this race will  test your speed and skill against world-class Metalists and local competitors. The race features 2 heats, and an optional 3rd heat for charity.

The Neon Dash5. Neon Splash Dash – Runners dash across this 5K night course moving through checkpoints to get splashed with neon U.V. Glow color revealed under black light.

6. Super Hero Scramble This race lets you live out your childhood fantasy and be the super hero you always wanted to be. Trade your Wonder Woman Underoos (yes, I had those) for your favorite costume and cape on this 4-6 mile obstacle race!

Fugitive Run7. The Doughman – A quadrathalon that combines eating and athleticism. One part cycling, one part swimming and two parts footrace. The relay race is for teams of four, and broken down by food type: Running: meat; Running: vegetarian; Bike: meat; Swim: vegan.

8. The Tap & Run – Replacing water stations with beer stations, this race is getting all the “buzz”. Not a healthy race, but a dream race for beer drinkers. They even have a belching contest – go figure! ha!

Naked Pumpkin Race9. The Fugitive Run – Prison Break Themed Obstacle Course where prison guards try to catch you, fellow inmates try to lead you off course and different paths lead you to freedom or back to prison.

10. The Naked Pumpkin Run – This race is filled with running human (naked) jack-o-lanterns. Brave runners (or stupid! You’re call! Ha!) run the entire 5K with a pumpkin on their head. At least no one knows who’s pink parts they are seeing. Wow! I need to wash my eyes out with bleach. ha!

Blood, Sweat & Cheers

Blood, Sweat & CheersGET THE LATEST, GREATEST, CRAZIESTS NEWS & EVENTS!
Blood, Sweat & Cheers is the fun-loving newsletter packed with off-the-wall activities, events, workouts and gear that make everyday life more fun. If you’re a fan of the active life, then BSC is the email you’re going to want to read. From local beers and bars to fitness and fun runs, BSC works hard and plays harder. If it’s fun, active and social, BSC is covering it.

Each day readers get one great story about a crazy 5K, the latest workout craze, our favorite beer accessories or awesome piece of gear they need to own now.

Sign up today and you could win a GT Performer BMX!
A second lucky winner will receive a $150 Lululemon gift card, so signup now!

WIN a BMX Bike! 

FitFluential LLC compensated me for this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own. 

Will Run For Food

Sometimes a picture is worth a more than a thousand words. In this case, it’s worth a thousand wasted steps! (probably a LOT more!). Don’t run just to eat more – run for results. Run for a new fit and better you!

 

For More on this Topic, Read:

You Can’t Compete with What You Eat
You Can’t Run Off the Pounds
Exercise Can’t Compete with Diet 

No Fitness Mantra Will Workout For You

We all love motivational quotes. We love how they make us feel, and we like how it makes us think. HOWEVER, we can’t rely on feeling motivated to get us to the gym. Motivation will not suddenly show up and magically create a super natural energy in us that makes us run like a deer or lift like an ox.

The only thing truly magical is how our body changes when we run, even when we don’t feel like it. Or, how our physique changes when we hit the weights, even when we would prefer to hit the sack. Only after we keep showing up, day after day and working out whether we feel like it or not, is when the real magic happens. Then, we find ourselves more motivated than any fitness mantra could make us. Why? Because we motivated by our own results.

Stop waiting for motivation, and start working out. #getafterit

FitFluential LLC compensated me for this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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