Today I was a guest on "No Pain, No Gain, With Zayne", a health and fitness talk show on
WNJC 1360 AM. We talked all things running. Below are some highlights of the questions Zayne asked me.
How do you determine what type of running shoe to buy?
-Wet your feet and stand on a paper bag. After a minute, step off and look at the foot prints. Trace the foot print with a pencil if you want to look at it later.
You have a normal arch (neutral pronation) if: There's a distinct curve along the inside of your foot with a band a little less than half the width of your foot connecting the heel and toe. (Choose Stability Running Shoes)
You have a low arch (flat feet/overpronator) if: There's not much of a curve along the inside of your foot and your imprint shows almost the entire foot. People with low arches are more likely to overpronate (roll too far inward), which can lead to overuse injuries. (Choose Motion-Control Running Shoes)
You have a high arch (underpronator) if: There's a very sharp curve along the inside of your foot and your imprint shows a very thin band between your heel and toe. People with high arches typically don't pronate enough. (Choose Cushioned Running Shoes)
How do you feel about strength training in the days after a race?
-Strength training enhances recovery time after the race because it increases blood flow to the sore muscles. This can include weight training, push-ups, squats, and lunges.
Is it true some runners feel hungrier the day after a long run, rather than the day of the long run?
Yes. It is common for many runners, or any athlete for that matter to experience this. After a long, hard work out, the body releases beta-endorphins, which are natural forms of morphine. These endorphins act as an appetite suppressant. It is important to make sure you eat properly after a workout to refuel even though you may not feel hungry. Otherwise, the next day you will be famished and may end up binging on foods you’ll regret later.
Do you have some easy tips for runners who want to shed a few pounds?
-Sure…Replace soda, juices & coffee with water. This is an easy way to save on calories.
-Run a hard speed workout at least once a week. Do intervals at a sprint pace. This will rev up the metabolism and engage fast-twitch muscle fibers.
-Run before breakfast. This will raise your metabolic rate and you will burn more calories throughout the day. It will also make you eat less for breakfast & throughout the day since exercise helps to suppress the appetite.
-Eat at home. When you eat out all the time, you’re more likely to eat food that isn’t good for you.
What strength training exercises do you recommend specifically for runners?
-There are four moves I believe are most beneficial for runners.
-First, a high bench step. This strongly develops the hamstrings, with complimentary development of the glutes and quadriceps. Stand on a bench that’s about knee height. Place your body weight on the left foot, the right foot should be behind the bench. Slowly lower the body, in a controlled motion until the toes of the right foot touch the ground, then slowly straighten that left leg to the starting position. Do 8-12 reps on each leg. To make it more advanced, you can hold dumbbells in your hands with the arms straight at the side of the body.
-Second, a one leg squat. This strongly develops the quads and glutes with a complimentary boost to the hamstrings. Stand with the left leg forward and the right foot back, preferably resting on a 6” block. You can use the bottom step in your house. The feet should be hip width apart. Bend the left leg and lower the body until the left knee is at a 90 degree angle and the right shin is parallel to the floor. Maintain upright posture and make sure the ankle stays in line with the ankle. Do 8-12 reps on each leg.
-The third one is a one leg hop in place. This builds strength & coordination in the entire lower extremity, including the foot, ankle, shin, calf, thigh & hip. Hop quickly in place on the left foot for 30 seconds then repeat on the other foot.
-The last one is push-ups. Doing these will keep the core strong. A strong core helps you keep proper form when you’re fatigued during a run.
Do 2-3 sets of these exercises. They will take little of your time & will improve both your coordination & leg muscle power.
What are some ways to keep from getting bored with running?
-Try switching up your route. Running the same thing every day gets boring. Try something new. Throw in a new road or some trails.
-Run with a friend or group of friends or a running club.
-Do some hills or throw in some speed intervals.
Can you tell us some benefits of running?
- Improved cardiovascular health…lower blood pressure, lower risk of heart attack & stroke.
- It improves coordination
- Reduces risks of disease. Running raises HDL (or “good”) cholesterol, reduces the risk of blood clots, and encourages use of the 50 percent of your lungs that usually go unused. Running also boosts the immune system by creating a higher concentration of white blood cells that attack disease.
- Works great to manage weight. Running is one of the top activities for burning fat.
- Lowers stress levels. This is due to endorphins being released in the body during running. This is the so called “Runner’s High”