August 23, 2011: Bring a friend into
There are few joys that have a longer
lasting effect than seeing someone get off the couch and get "hooked"
on the enhancements of running or walking. Ask at least one friend,
relative or co-worker to walk or run with you this month. Below
are some tips from my Running
Getting Started book and from the Walking
The Complete Book about how to be a good coach/mentor.
The half marathon season is picking up. I've included some tips
on preparing for raceday, from my book Half
There's a new fluid belt from iFitness.
It fits better than any I've used. The bottles stay in their holsters,
the pouch can carry food, keys, etc, and there's a simple attachment
for a race number. We are excited to be selling these iFitness items
Montana is full of friendly people. The Missoula
Marathon/Half last month was a scenic and well-run event. I'm
looking forward to Billings
September 16-18. Many runners participate in one of the events and
then visit Yellowstone or Grand Tetons National Parks.
Marathon tour is about to close out for this year. The Apostolos
tour is an exceptional experience in connecting 2500 years of distance
running with the foundations of western civilization. I will be
Eating with a purpose! I've included some great for tips from my
wife Barbara about how to gain better control over eating behaviors
by having some cognitive strategies.
Enjoy every mile!
P.S. Stay updated by following me on FaceBook and Twitter
A GOOD COACH
One of the very best ways to consolidate the items you’ve
learned from exercise, is to help someone get started. Not only
will you realize how much you have learned. You’ll find that
you see the "big picture" better as you explain the benefits
of exercise to a novice.
But the best part of this experience is the inner satisfaction.
You’re not only helping someone, you’re introducing
them to an activity that can improve the quality of their life—for
the rest of their life.
Get them a good textbook
Go over a chapter at a time, starting at the beginning. Hi-lite
the key passages in the book for him or her. You don’t have
to do this on every chapter, but it really helps to get each novice
headed in the right direction.
Make each session enjoyable—especially during the first month
If your coachee is huffing and puffing, slow down and shuffle more
from the beginning of every session. If there is continuing struggle,
then stop for that day. There shouldn’t be any huffing and
puffing for several months, if then.
When you suspect even the possibility of low blood sugar, share
an energy bar and coffee, tea, diet drink, etc. about 30-45 minutes
before the start. Have a reward after each session—especially
a snack to reload composed of 80% carbohydrate and 20% protein.
On some special occasions, however, it’s OK to have a reward
snack that may be a little more decadent than usual.
Find interesting areas where you can walk—scenic areas, smooth
Convenient walking routes near work or home, are best for busy people,
most of the time. But once a week, an excursion to an interesting
area can be very rewarding. It’s great to have variety, and
you should give your coachee some choice.
On each walk, have a joke, a juicy story and maybe--a controversial
This will break the ice, inject some humor, and help to make for
a positive bonding experience. With beginners who are having a hard
time getting into it, the little humorous items are often appreciated
as much as the shoes and clothing.
Don’t push too hard, but encourage
One of the most difficult decisions in coaching is whether to push
or back off—whether to use a pat on the back or a kick in
the butt. In general, it is important that the person get out there
and exercise regularly with some enjoyment from each session. When
motivation is down, just shoot for a minimal amount, every other
day. Realize, however, that to really get hooked, the new walker
must develop the desire from within.
After a certain number of weeks, or after reaching a certain level
of fitness, surprise with a reward. It doesn’t have to be
something expensive or exotic. The reward allows the new exerciser
to focus on his or her progress, and feel the satisfaction of steady
work paying off.
When your coachee is ready, find a fun race to attend.
Races are such positive experiences for new walkers, when they have
a good leader to coach them through the experience: calming the
anxieties and sharing the celebration. Your new exerciser will almost
always realize that he or she is like most of the others in the
race. Just having a race date on a calendar will provide the beginner
with an identity that will increase motivation.
Tell him or her about your mistakes
When you open up to your novice with a personal story, the lessons
become more powerful.
Don’t over-sell the effects of exercise
The benefits are so powerful that almost everyone who stays with
it for 6 months, will continue. If your coachee is falling asleep
during your one hour speech on the wonderful world of cardiovascular
fitness, you know that you’ve stepped over the line. The experience
is more powerful than the preaching—and both are part of the
Your greatest reward will be an independent exerciser
Take it as a real compliment that your coachee will need less and
less of your guidance. This means that you were an excellent coach,
and that he or she can find a new person and enrich another life—and
you can too.
The best form of running improvement comes from inside. My faster
times are long gone, but I enjoy my exercise and appreciate it now,
more than ever. Practically every day I feel better, work better,
think better because I cover my miles. It doesn’t get any
Getting Started and Walking
The Complete Book
HALF MARATHON COUNTDOWN
The Afternoon before
Don’t run the day before the race. You won’t lose any
conditioning if you take two days off from running leading up to
the race. If the race has an expo or other festivities, this is
often interesting. Companies in the running business have displays,
shoes, clothing, books, etc.--often at sale prices. Beware of sale
shoes, however. It is best to go to a good running store and go
through the procedure noted in the shoe chapter above to select
a shoe that is designed for the type of foot you have.
Some races require you to pick up your race number, and sometimes
your computer chip (explained below) the day before. Look at the
website or the entry form for instructions about this. Most races
allow you to pick up your materials on race day—but be sure.
This is sometimes called a "bib number". It should be
pinned on the front of the garment you’ll be wearing when
you cross the finish line.
More and more races are using technology that electronically picks
up your race number and time as you cross the finish. You must wear
this chip that is usually laced on the shoes, near the top. Some
companies have a velcro band that is attached to the ankle or arm.
Read the instructions to make sure you are attaching this correctly.
Be sure to turn this in after the race. The officials have volunteers
to collect them, so stop and take them off your shoe, etc. There
is a steep fine for those who don’t turn in the chip.
The carbo-loading dinner
Some races have a dinner the night before. At the dinner you will
usually chat with runners at your table, and enjoy the evening.
Don’t eat much, however. Many runners assume, mistakenly,
that they must eat a lot of food the night before. This is actually
counterproductive. It takes at least 24 hours for most of the food
you eat to be processed and useable in a race—usually longer.
There is nothing you can eat the evening before a race that will
But eating too much, or the wrong foods for you, can be a real problem.
A lot of food in your gut, when you are bouncing up and down in
a race, is stressful. A very common and embarrassing situation occurs
when the gut is emptied to relieve this stress. While you don’t
want to starve yourself the afternoon and evening before, the best
strategy is to eat small meals, and taper down the amount as you
get closer to bed time. As always, it’s best to have done
a "rehearsal" of eating, so that you know what works,
how much, when to stop eating, and what foods to avoid. The evening
before your long run is a good time to work on your eating plan,
and replicate the successful routine leading up to race day.
The day before, drink when you are thirsty. If you haven’t
had a drink of water or sports drink in a couple of hours, drink
half a cup to a cup (4-8 oz) each hour. Don’t drink a lot
of fluid during the morning of the race itself. This can lead to
bathroom breaks during the race itself. Many races have porto-johns
around the course, but some do not. It is a very common practice
for runners that have consumed too much fluid that morning to find
a tree or alley along the course. A common practice is to drink
6-10 oz of fluid about 2 hours before the race. Usually this is
totally out of the system before the start.
Tip: If you practice drinking before your long
runs, you can find the right amount of fluid that works best for
you on race day. Stage your drinks so that you know when you will
be taking potty breaks.
The night before
Eating is optional after 6pm. If you are hungry, have a light snack
that you have tested before and not caused problems. Less is better,
but don’t go to bed hungry. Continue to have about 8oz of
a good electrolyte beverage like Accelerade over the 2 hours before
you go to bed.
Alcohol is not generally recommended
because the effects of this central nervous system depressant carry
over to the next morning. Some runners have no trouble having one
glass of wine or beer, while others are better off with none. If
you decide to have a drink, I suggest that you make it one portion.
Pack your bag and lay out your clothes so that you don’t have
to think very much on race morning.
-Your watch, set up for the run-walk ratio you are using
-Top—see clothing thermometer
-Pin race # on the front of the garment in which you will be finishing
-A few extra safety pins
-Water, Accelerade, pre-race and post race beverages (such as Endurox
R4), and a cooler if you wish
-Food for the drive in, and the drive home
-Bandages, Vaseline, any other first aid items you may need
-Cash for registration if you are doing race day registration (check
for exact amount, including late fee)
-$25-40 for gas, food, parking, etc.
-Race chip attached according to the race instructions
-A few jokes or stories to provide laughs or entertainment before
-A copy of the "race day checklist", which is just below
You may sleep well, or you may not. Don’t worry about it if
you don’t sleep at all. Many runners I work with every year
don’t sleep at all the night before and have the best race
of their lives. Of course, don’t try to go sleepless….but
if it happens, it is not a problem.
Race Day Checklist
Photocopy this list so that you will not only have a plan, you can
carry it out in a methodical way. Pack the list in your race bag.
Don’t try anything new the day of your race—except for
health or safety. The only item I have heard about when used for
the first time in a race that has helped is walk breaks. Even first
time users benefit significantly. Otherwise, stick with your plan.
Fluid and potty stops—after you wake up, drink 4-6 oz of water
every half hour. If you have used Accelerade about 30 minutes before
your runs, prepare it. Use a cooler if you wish. In order to avoid
the bathroom stops, stop your fluid intake according to what has
worked for you before.
Eat—what you have eaten before your harder runs. It is OK
not to eat at all before a 5K unless you are a diabetic, then go
with the plan that you and your doctor (or nutritionist) have worked
Get your bearings—walk around the site to find where you want
to line up (at the back of the pack, or in a pace group), and how
you will get to the start. Choose a side of the road that has more
shoulder or sidewalk for ease in taking walk breaks.
Register or pick up your race number—if you already have all
of your materials, you can bypass this step. If not, look at the
signage in the registration area and get in the right line. Usually
there is one for "race day registration" and one for those
who registered online or in the mail and need to pick up their numbers.
EATING WITH A PURPOSE
by Barbara Galloway
• Know the calorie content and nutrient breakdown of what
you're eating (read the label or use a website like fitday.com)
• Concentrate on the positive: "I can eat more of (good
tasting fruit and crunchy vegetables") rather than "I
have to eat less of _______".
• Visualize the food on your plate as being in your stomach.
Ask yourself "Do I want to stretch my stomach to cram in more
food" "Do I need that much right now?"
• Don't have more than 3 items or "dishes" at one
• Use spices to improve the taste of food. Food that is "spicy"
tends to leave you feeling more satisfied.
• Drink a glass of water (6-8oz) before eating, and drink
4-6 oz during the meal.
• Hot fluids (tea, coffee, broth) leave you feeling fuller
than cold fluids
• Never eat fatty appetizers if you are very hungry before
a meal. Instead, choose soup, salad, hot tea, warm skim milk.
• Take vitamins with a meal and avoid caffeine for half an
• Don't even think about going to a buffet
• Visit the grocery store with a mission. Have a list of exactly
what you will buy and only buy what is on the list.
• Veggies: steam, toast, or stir-fry—or eat them raw
or in salads
• Use non fat dressings or spray-on dressings for salads
• Eat slowly! Increase the number of chews for each bite—this
triggers more satisfaction in the stomach.
• Count every calorie eaten—it only hurts you to "forget"
the amount or certain foods in your totals
• Fluid calories add up quickly. Budget your alcohol, fruit
• Buy the highest quality foods: lean meats, fruits, veggies
and whole grain products. These may cost a little more but you'll
appreciate the quality, especially when the taste is better. You
will feel better about the quality of your nutrition.
• Herbs and spices can enhance the savory flavor of foods,
leaving you satisfied with fewer calories consumed.
• Try to accumulate your daily quota of vitamins and minerals
from food. If your daily analysis of nutrients shows regular deficiencies
(based upon the recommended daily allowance, RDA) then find a really
good vitamin. Jeff travels a lot and takes Cooper Complete vitamins,
designed by Dr. Kenneth Cooper.
• In choosing a restaurant, check out the websites to find
one that breaks down the nutritional composition of the menu items.
By planning ahead, you can avoid impulse eating.
• Another option is to get a nutritional guide when you arrive
at the restaurant and analyze it before the waiter takes your order.
• Try to avoid or severely limit trans fat and saturated fat.
and Fat Burning for Women
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