Easy Ways to Shed a Few Pounds

1.   Replace soda, juices & coffee with water. This is an easy way to save on calories.

2.    Run a hard speed workout at least once a week. Do intervals at a sprint pace. This will rev up the metabolism.

3.    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.

4.    Eat at home. When you eat out all the time, you’re more likely to eat food that isn’t good for you.

Running in Cold Season

Check out this great article from Runner's World Magazine. It explains why many runners catch a cold leading up to or right after a hard run or race. It also includes many useful tips on how to avoid the sniffles.


Many runners would rather die than take a sick day from running. If you are already sick with a cold, how do you know if it's still ok to run? Well, considering you still feel up for a run, symptoms such as a chest cold, bronchial infections, and body aches require time off. Symptoms such as a runny nose, sneezing, or stuffiness shouldn't pose a risk to a runner continuing a workout. But remember, there are times when you may be feeling run down and going for a run could do you more harm than good. If your temperature is above 99 degrees, skip the run. During exercise, your heart pumps large amounts of blood from your muscles to your skin, dissapating your body heat. If you have a fever, your temperature will rise even higher, putting additional strain on the heart as it works to keep your body temp down. You also may have achy muscles while you're sick and running on these muscles could leave you prone to injuries. Listen to your body! When you're feeling better, ease back into your training program slowly.

Written by: Genie Bianchi, RRCA Coach

Quick Guide to "Runner's Knee"

*Runner’s Knee: The stress of running can cause irritation where the kneecap (patella) rests on the thighbone. The resulting pain can be sharp and sudden or dull and chronic, and it may disappear while you're running, only to return again afterward.

Causes:  Poorly conditioned quadriceps and tight hamstrings. Weak quads aren't able to support the patella, leading it to track out of alignment, and inflexible hamstrings can put pressure on the knee. If you want to treat and avoid another bout with runner's knee, add strengthening and stretching to your routine. Ice the area as well.

Quad Strengtheners:
-Leg lift with ankle weights: lay flat on the floor with an ankle weight on the leg and lift the leg straight up in the air until it's perpendicular to the body. Then slowly, lower back down.
-Front Lunge: Stand with feet hip-width apart and step the right foot in front of the body, lunge forward, keeping the knee in line with the ankle. Step the leg back to the start and switch sides.
-Body Weight Squats: Stand with hands on hips, feet hip-width apart and squat down. Do not let the knees goe past the toes. Return to standing. That's one rep.

100 Year Old Man Runs Marathon

The fact that this guy ran a marathon at 100 years old should be enough to make anyone realize that with dedication, commitment, and hard work, anything is possible. Check out the article:


Rants of a Runner

A few days ago, I took advantage of this crisp fall weather, and went out for a 10 mile run. The day was beautiful, I felt great, and I ran fast. I was listening to my music and minding my business when at about mile 7, a runner (male) came out of nowhere and was running directly across the street from me. Why is it that I have to be so competetive? Most of you know what I'm talking about (Runners are crazy like that). Rather than let this guy pass me, I sped up and tried to keep pace with him. I don't think I would have reacted the same if it were a female runner. I probably would have just waved like usual, but because it was a guy, I needed to see if I could keep pace. When you spend most of your runs alone, you tend to come up with little games to play with yourself. This was a game for me...heck, this guy didn't even acknowledge I was there. So there I went, pumping arms like crazy, huffing and puffing, (up a hill, no less). I knew I wasn't going to be able to hold it for very long, but I did for at least a couple minutes. At the top of the hill he gradually broke away from me, never even looking back. Me, on the other hand, my legs were burning!! But I felt great...I had challenged myself and threw in a nice little sprint when I wasn't expecting it. Today I'm paying for my bravado just a little...my left shin is very tender. But I'll do it again on the next run, I'm sure. So thank you, unknown runner, your presence (or maybe my own neurotic mind) challenged me to push myself harder.

Written by: Genie Bianchi

Icing Injuries

I am still suffering from horrible shin pain and once again, I have to take a few days off. (My marathon is only 3 weeks away!) In the meantime, I've been wrapping my leg with an ace bandage and icing the shin a few times a day. A lot of people ask how long to keep the ice on the area. If you're treating an injury, apply an ice pack for no more than 15-20 minutes at a time. Try 15 minutes, 3 times per day...or 15 minutes on, 15 minutes off, for up to an hour. Make sure there is a barrier between the ice pack and the skin. If the ice is left on for more than 15-20 minutes, this can lead to a survival response in cells that cause even more inflammation.
I added my pictures from my Assateague Island run on the "rave runs" page..check it out!

Quick Guide to Shin Splints

Over the past few weeks, my shins have been really tender...especially my left one. It was so bad at one point, that I had to take a week off from training. It's a good thing I did, because I was able to complete my last 20 mile training run yesterday, before the Marine Corps Marathon on October 30th. Today, a client was asking what to do for shin pain and I thought I would post a guide to dealing with shin splints. The main thing to remember is if the pain goes away after you start running, you're probably fine to run through the pain. If the pain never leaves, is unbearable, or hurts while walking, you should take some time off or see your doctor. DO NOT take ibuprofin before a run just so you can go out and run on it! You will only be hurting yourself further.

*Shin Splints: Inflammation of the tendons on the inside of the front of the lower leg.

Symptoms: Aching, throbbing, tenderness along inside of shin about halfway down, or all along the shin from ankle to the knee. Pain when you press on the inflamed area. Pain may go away during a run but return after.


Tired or inflexible calf muscles


Running on hard surfaces such as concrete or sidewalks

 Poor shoes, and increasing mileage too quickly

 Beginners are most susceptible.

Ice the area for 15 minutes, 3 times/day. Ice immediately after run.

 Cut down or stop running altogether.
Wear compression sleeves or socks to promote circulation in the lower leg.
Do alternative, non-impact exercises such as cycling or swimming.
Strengthen and stretch lower leg.
Warm-up well and run on soft surfaces.

New Pictures!!

Check out the "Rave Runs" page...I've finally uploaded some pictures! If you have any pics of runs in different places, please email them to me...I'd love to post them on the site! Please include the location of the run.

Sweet Potato Pancakes

Last night, for dinner I made sweet potato pancakes. These were a first for me and my kids loved them (and so did I!) This is a great meal if you're trying to add in some extra carbs for race day.

3/4 lb mashed sweet potatoes
1.5 cups whole wheat flour
3.5 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 eggs, beaten
1.5 cups milk (I only ended up using about 1 cup milk, any more and the batter would have been too runny)
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Sift together flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon
Mix mashed sweet potatoes, eggs, milk, butter, and vanilla in a separate bowl.
Blend sweet potato mixture into flour mixture to form a batter.
Cook until golden brown on a griddle.

I served mine with homemade whipped cream...delicious!!

Cross Country Mom

My daughter is in 5th grade and just had her first day of cross country club at her school. I was so excited when she came home & told me she signed up. She said she had fun and I was happy to hear the kids warmed up, stretched, ran for awhile, and even did some strength work in the form of planks, push-ups, etc. I believe running can do so much for kids...not only for their physical health, but in the way of boosting their confidence, teaching dedication, commitment, and the fact that hard work pays off. She may love the running, but she might not enjoy me too much this season. I can see I'm going to be one of those crazy, embarassing moms that is the loudest one at the meet. This morning I told her I was going to make a sign to hold at the meets that reads,"Run like snot". She wasn't having any of it..lol. I am officially banned from making any signs. :(

Stretching for Runners

Stretching improves flexibility, which in turn helps prevent injuries. Less injuries equal better training and stronger running. Stretching should only be done on warm muscles. One thing I do not recommend, however, is stretching after your long run. If you've been running for a few hours, your body is fatigued and there are microtears in the tendons, ligaments, and muscles. Instead of stretching, take an ice bath to reduce inflammation. Then, later in the day, do some gentle stretching.  There are all kinds of great stretches for runners, but I've listed just a few of my favorites.
Hamstring stretch with a towel: Roll a towel up to form a sort of rope. Lie with back flat on the floor. Lift one knee toward the chest and put the towel around the ball of the foot. Hold the ends of the towel and slowly straighten the leg into the air with the foot facing the ceiling. Pull on the ends of the towel down and pull your toes toward the shin. Then you can pull the ends of the towel up toward your face, which will pull the leg more toward your head. Try to hold each stretch for fifteen to thirty seconds. A tight hamstring can cause knee problems, so this one is a must after running.

Cat & cow stretch: Get on all fours with knees directly below the hips and hands directly below the shoulders. Round the back and drop the head toward the floor. Hold for a second or two. Then arch the back and lift the head. Hold for a second or two. Keep alternating. This is a great stretch for the back.

Standing glute stretch: A tight glute can cause all kinds of pain, including lower back pain. To do this one, stand with one hand on a chair for support. While standing, bring the left ankle up and rest it on the front of the right thigh. Your left knee should be bent and pointed out to the side. From this position, swing the butt back and bend the right knee, as if you were about to sit in a chair. Hold this for about 15 seconds. You should feel a nice pull in the back of the leg.

Written by Genie Bianchi, RRCA Coach

Running Quotes for the Week

-"Training can get on a man's nerves. There is no use or profit in denying it" -Alf Shrubb, Winner of 20 British Running Championships between 1900 & 1920 and one of the first runners to record his training regimen in a journal. (This quote is really how I'm feeling lately!)

-"Your bound to have days when everything seems sluggish and ungainly and you'd just as soon not be training at all. That's a good time to persist." -Jim Fixx, The Complete Book of Running

My favorite all time quote (I used to have this taped to the inside of my locker):
-"A lot of people run a race to see who's the fastest. I run to see who has the most guts"
-Steve Prefontaine, Running Legend and 1972 Olympian

"On days when I can't run, I don't feel myself, and whoever the self is I feel, I don't like nearly so much as the other" -Joyce Carol Oates (I know all you runners reading this know exactly what she means :)

Daily Supplements

-It's most important to make healthy foods your mainstay…but sometimes people don’t always get all the nutrients they need, especially if on a diet, or if particular foods are avoided because of an allergy or some other reason. Below is a quick guide to recommended supplements for runners. As always, be sure to consult your physician or a registered dietitian.
-Take a multi-vitamin and mineral formula. Look for one that provides 100% DV for a variety of nutrients from A to Zinc.
-Vitamin E- 100 to 400 IU
-Vitamin C -100 to 500 milligrams
-Calcium -500 milligrams if your 50 or under; 1000 milligrams if your over 50.  Older women and pregnant women need slightly more.