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Calling all Janney Jaguar runners and runners-to-be! Have you and your family committed to participating in Janney’s 11th Annual Janney 5K & Fun Run? We hope the answer is a resounding, YES! To start preparing for race day, please check out the Janney Family 5K Training Schedule, which is designed to prepare everyone from our youngest Jaguars to our more experienced runners in the training process. You will notice a combination of running and walking designed to build stamina and prepare you to run for about 30 minutes without stopping. All you need to get started is a pair of sneakers and a watch or timer. You can adjust the days of the week you run to fit your schedule, but be sure to include a few rest days and/or some cross-training (more information on the importance of both of those to come). Happy training!
The tip for the week is setting a family goal. Use how you felt last week as a baseline to see where your family is. How easy or difficult was the training schedule? Make necessary adjustments. Set a goal for race day. This could be as simple as completing the race or could be based around a specific time or amount of running/walking. Post your training schedule and your goal somewhere visible to all at home.
Our training tip for this week has to do with nutrition. Every experienced runner knows the importance of fueling up before a run and replacing calories you burned after. We are not here to provide diet or meal planning advice, but we did want to share some favorite pre- and post-run snacks. Before a run, try to focus on food that provides instant energy such as banana or apple with peanut butter, toast with avocado, pretzels and hummus, or even a piece of dark chocolate. Ideally you will eat your pre-run snack about an hour before your run. After a run you want to reload your muscles with fuel and your body with fluids. Try to eat something with carbohydrates and protein within 30 minutes of finishing your run. Some ideas include pita bread with hummus, trail mix with dried fruit, yogurt with granola and fruit, or the runner’s secret post-run treat: chocolate milk! Of course don’t forget to drink plenty of water.
This week marks the halfway point of our training program for the virtual Janney 5K. We hope you and your families have been enjoying getting out in the fresh air and slowly building up your mileage and stamina. An important part of training for any athletic event is being mindful of your body and how it feels. Being mindful involves paying attention to your breath and physical sensations, as well as how your emotions and thought processes are responding. Some tips for mindful running include: engage all your senses, try some pre-run mindful breathing, pay attention to your thoughts, allow discomfort to be acknowledged, and take time to reflect at the finish line.
The training tip for the week is about cross training. Now that we have built up our running stamina it is time to add in cross training if you have not already. Cross training is participating in two or more types of exercises or sports in order to improve your strength and performance in your main sport. As you are training for the Janney 5K it is important to take one or two days a week to do an alternative exercise to running such as yoga, biking, or weight training. Cross training has many benefits including increased strength, balance, and agility. It can make you a more well rounded athlete and focusing on different muscle groups may make you less prone to injuries. Cross training also alleviates some of the boredom that can result from doing the same exercise everyday. So grab your yoga mat, free weights (or cans of soups if that’s what’s available!), soccer ball, etc. and get moving on the cross-training days listed on our Janney 5K training schedule (click PDF below)!
Our training tip for the week has to do with stretching. Has all of your training been giving your sore muscles? If so, you might need to improve your stretching routine. There are two types of stretching: static and dynamic. Static stretching is where you extend muscles and hold them for a period of time. A key point to remember is not to do static stretching with cold muscles. If you are doing static stretching you should do a light warm-up jog and then take a quick stretch break before continuing with your run or save stretching for the end of your workout. Static stretches should be held for 15-30 seconds each and repeated 1 to 2 times on each leg or arm. Try not to bounce or pull too hard on any given muscle group. Some great static stretches for runners include the butterfly stretch or the quad stretch where you balance on one leg while pulling the foot of your other leg towards your glutes. Dynamic stretching is when you add movement to your stretching to get your body warmed up. For dynamic stretching you include movements such as lunging or twisting and you do not hold your stretches for a period of time. Dynamic stretching is best used before running. Examples of dynamic stretches include hip circles, lunges with a side twist, leg pendulums (where you swing one leg back and forth while balancing on the other leg) and arm circles. Regardless of the type of stretching you choose make sure it is a daily part of your training routine (even on your rest days) in order to keep your body in top condition for race day!
Our training tip this week has to do with one of the best parts of training for a race: recovery! Taking time to let your body recover is a key part to being ready for race day. Recovery might take the form of a recovery run, cross-training, or skipping working out completely for the day. A recovery run is a flat, short, slow run done within 24 hours of a hard run. Recovery runs should be shorter than the previous hard run and completed at a pace that is 60 to 90 seconds slower than your typical mile pace. To determine if your pace is on target try the Talk Test. If you are unable to speak in complete sentences without panting, slow it down. We encourage a light jog on a recovery day as it can help to break up the lactic acid that builds in muscles after a strenuous workout leading to less muscle soreness. It will also get your blood flowing, which can reduce muscle stiffness. If you do a recovery run after your weekly long run or speed work out, it can help to improve your endurance and prepare you mentally for the race by experiencing the feeling of pushing through fatigue. So in these final weeks before race day, do not forget to add in 2 to 3 days of recovery to help your body be ready for peak performance November 20th.
And now for our final training tip! This week you should taper your training, or lessen the number of miles or minutes you run in order to prepare your body to work extra hard on race day. The day before the race be sure to fuel up by planning out energy rich, but easily digestible, meals. Many runners like to carbo-load a day or two before a big race to increase glycogen levels, which can lead to greater energy reserves. You and your family may want to consider a pasta dinner the night before you plan to race. Be sure you are hydrating this week and getting a good night’s sleep, ideally 8 hours, before racing. On race day remember to dress in layers that you can easily remove as your body temperature increases and don’t forget to warmup and practice your usual stretching routine to avoid injuries. Finally, many runners choose a mantra to motivate them during races. Some examples you might want to try include: Think strong, be strong, run strong, One step at a time, or a Janney favorite, Go, Jaguars go! Happy racing!
Click the icon below to download the attached PDF.