Runner’s World February 2005
By Jeff Galloway
Fun Winter Runs/ When the body is willing but the mind is weak
It’s cold, it’s dark, it’s damp, and it’s
enough to make you think long and hard about heading out for a run.
But if you turn your run into a mission, your mind will stop dwelling
on the negatives and instead figure out how to get the "job"
done. Your mission today - should you choose to accept it - is to
(A) run to a store to pick up a newspaper or lottery ticket; (B)
run to the nearest park and bring back a snowball or piece of bark
from a tree; (C) count how many other people are walking or running
outside - and keep running until you see 10 other people.
Q. My energy levels often fluctuate on runs. Is this normal and
what can I do to get through the rough spots?
A. This roller-coaster ride is caused by blood-sugar fluctuations.
The key is to find a pre-run eating strategy that will stabilize
your blood sugar and keep it level throughout your run.
If you’re especially prone to blood-sugar fluctuations, try
taking in between 100 and 200 calories 20 minutes before your run.
Some sports drink and part of an energy bar would do the trick.
If you’re running for more than an hour, take along some portable
carbohydrates (energy gels or sports drink) in case your blood-sugar
level stars to drop. But don’t wait until you’ve tanked
to take them. At the first sign of energy loss, toss down a gel
or take in some sports drink to head off a full-blown crash.
The Excuse (And How To Beat It)
When I stop improving, I lose motivation.
For most runners, "improvement" means getting faster.
And when you first start running - and especially racing - it’s
almost hard not to see your times improve. But when you let your
finishing times become the sole definition of running improvement,
you’ve become what I call a "time addict," which
can lead to injury and burnout.
Easy, noncompetitive runs allow you to "improve" in other
ways ever time you head out the door: increased energy, better fitness,
a positive attitude, a sense of accomplishment, more self-confidence.
If you’ve become a time addict, try the following tips for
the next month to help switch your focus away from the clock.
1) Leave your watch at home. And don’t compute your pace
2) Once a week, run with a friend who has not time goals and runs
slower than you usually do.
3) Learn to take walk breaks before you get tired. While walking,
enjoy the scenery.
4) After a month, schedule a race if you want. But don’t think
about time. Instead, start at the back of the pack and see how many
people you can pass, or pace a companion and talk the whole race.
(Say What?) Running Jargon, Translated
Chip Time: A finishing time recorded by a small electronic chip
that is attached to a runner’s shoelaces. The chip sends a
signal to a device when it crosses both the starting and finish
lines, giving the runner an exact race time.
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