Happy Feet

Are you taking care of your feet?  They sure do take care of you.  Our feet are literally the point where we connect with the earth.  They also bear our weight, movements, steps, etc.   Here's how to ensure happy, healthy feet.  

 

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Often feet become deconditioned.  We wear shoes most of the time and the feet are held by the shoes in a position that allows for very little movement.

Ever had Plantar Fasciitis?  Let me tell you, it's very painful and takes time to recover.  The ligament that connects your heel bone to your toes is called the plantar facia. It supports the arch of your foot.  If this ligament becomes too tight or too 'stretched' it becomes strained.  It then becomes inflamed and the pain feels like a bruise right on your heel.  When you step down on your foot, especially after sitting or lying down – yowza!  It hurts!!

If you commit to doing these foot exercises, I promise you won't be stricken with the dreaded plantar fasciitis.

As a natural running coach, I require all my clients to do the following foot exercises.  Twice per day is best.  If you want to keep your feet strong and flexible – do these:
1.  Rotate the ankle, then rotate in the reverse direction.
2.  Point and flex foot
3.  Point toes, then splay toes
4.  Flex foot, then grip toes
5.  Write the alphabet with your toes.
foot exercise
(feet are really hard to draw!)
 
You will find that over time, your feet become much stronger, flexible, and happy!  You will feel this and see results in your calf, ankle, tibialis anterior & posterior, and toes.  
 
Runners with healthy feet avoid injury and are more efficient.  Even if you're not a runner – you need to care for your feet…they are taking care of you!
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Race day jitters?

 

Race day is coming up soon.  How do you feel?  How has your training been?  

 

Being a little nervous before a race is totally normal.  It also shows you care about your performance and have put in a lot of training to prepare.  There is a fine line, however, between normal nervousness and letting anxiety get to you.

 

There will be things that you can’t control, and things you can.  Focus on what you CAN control, and forget the stuff you can’t.  

 

There have been a number of races where I thought I was planned, prepped and, ready to go.  I’d had an vision in my head of how the morning of the race would go – when inevitably something would trip me up.  It seems like it is more the norm than not….something always goes wrong!  Have a plan B.

 

Dead iPod, forgot my race number, couldn’t find parking, hot weather, cold weather, alarm didn’t go off and had to scramble, didn’t plan my fuel correctly, didn’t bring my fuel, didn’t get any sleep because I was camping the night before, couldn’t find my bike helmet (for triathlon), faced MASSIVE waves (also during triathlon), watch/hrm battery died, got a flat tire, tummy issues :(  ….and many more deal breakers that are just too painful to recall.  Luckily these weren’t all at the same race.

 

What you can’t control:

the weather

what time the race starts

the parking

the race logistics

the other runners

 

So don’t let yourself get worked up if something is not going how you envisioned it being.  You gotta go with the flow.

 

What you can control:

 

Your stuff  Get your gear together a couple days before the race.  Racing bib, timing chip, shoes, socks, an outfit (that you know is comfortable and you’ve worn and tried out on a long run), post run clothes and shoes, fuel like electrolytes & gels (again – that you’ve tried and know work for you with out stomach problems), water bottles, something to wear pre-run when it's chilly, post run replenishment drinks, and a little cash isn't a bad idea. 

 

Your race plan  Learn as much as you can about the race.  The course, where the water & restrooms will be, where to meet your family or friends after the race, weather predictions and conditions.  Then plan accordingly.

 

Getting there  Plan ahead for travel time, parking, etc and then give yourself at least an extra half hour on top of that.  When I ran the LA marathon, I took a shuttle bus to get to the race.  I had forgotten my race number back at the hotel, and didn't realize it until I was getting on the bus.  I had to run ALL the way back to the hotel, wake everyone in my room up, then run back to the bus.  Got an extra little warm up run in that morning…and my roommates were NOT happy.

 

Mental preparation  Use mantras and positive self talk.  “I am healthy, I am strong, I can breathe” got me through a particularly difficult swim in a race I almost didn’t even start due to some asthma issues.  I know I wouldn’t have made it, had I not held strongly to this particular mantra.  Some others that I’ve heard:  ‘stay strong’, ‘finish strong’, ‘the hills are my friend’, ‘run Forest, run’.  Stay positive!  It’s the most important thing you can do.

 

It’s all in the attitude!  You can do it!

 

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What if everybody started running?

I ran across a study done by Mizuno Running.  They commisioned students from University of North Carolina to do an analysis, based on statistical data, to determine the impact on key areas of life like health, relationships and the economy.

If you're a runner, you know it makes you feel good.  Releasing those endorphins acts like a drug, making you feel more energetic, more awake, and happy.  Runners also have better health, fitness levels, and increased self esteem.

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I found it interesting to read the Mizuno study on what the macro impact would be if more and more people started adding running to their lives.

The study approximated that if everybody ran in the U.S., the following would occur:

  • $130 billion in health care savings
  • Increase of more than $47 billion to the national GDP (economy)
  • Nearly 2 billion pounds of total weight loss
  • 10 percent increase in household earning potential
  • 5 million fewer hospital visits
  • 135 million more victory beers (haha!)
  • 25% more breaths of fresh air

On a personal level, the study found that there would be 37 percent more smiles and a person's brain would be 20 percent stronger. People would spend seven billion more hours outside, while seeing 27 million more sunrises each week.  Seeing the sun rise during an early morning run is so rewarding.

Oh, and the benefits of running include more than six extra years of life, on average.  This means there would be 20 million more grandmas (and cookies, surprises, extra hugs).  Let's face it, the world needs more grandmas. 

mom & kids

For more information about the study, please visit http://www.ifeverybodyran.com.

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SLO marathon, here I come!

I'm super excited!  I've been asked by the SLO Marathon Staff to be an Ambassador for the race!!  (That's San Luis Obispo, not slow with the 'w' dropped off, haha!)

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There's nothing like being in that morning race crowd, trusting that your training will get you though this marathon.  You can feel the anxiety, nervousness, and drive in the runners around you.  Many people didn't get much sleep the night prior to racing and rise before the crack of dawn in preparation.  It's not easy!  It's actually pretty tough to train for months….pushing through pain, overcoming doubt, taking time away from other activities (like sleeping in), pushing yourself.  Not everyone does this – train for a marathon – but those who do, are rewarded with accomplishment, confidence, and self satisfaction they will carry in their hearts for life.

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I'm looking forward to seeing all those runners out there on April 28!  I've never run this race before, the course looks beautiful.  I'll do my best to be FAST at SLO!  I'm honored to be a part of this racing event.  Register for the race.  I hope to see you there!!

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Why Run?

Why run?

If you could run efficiently and pain free…how would that change your fitness goals?  If you could enjoy going out for a 30 minute run every morning and come back feeling happy and energized, can you imagine how the rest of your day will be?

I wish I had a dollar for every time I heard "oh, I would run but it hurts my knees" or "my doctor says running is bad for you".  As I meet new acquaintances, seems like when I mention that I'm a personal trainer and running coach these familiar excuses come up.  (I can help you learn proper form – so it won't hurt)

Running is GOOD for your body…it strengthens your heart and lungs – as well as your muscles and bones.  It also increases blood flow and oxygen to your organs, including your brain.  Want to think clearer, have a better memory, be in a better mood, sleep better?  Run.

Interval training will help with weight loss.  Quick bursts, such as sprints or running staris will give your metabolism a boost….which is a great way to break a sweat and drop pounds.

Got a goal for the coming new year?  Thinking about running a 5k, 10k….marathon?  You can do it…and enjoy it!

why-i-run

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