• Don’t Skip the Warm-Up and Cool-Down

    Caitlin / April 14, 2020
  • When Your Race Is Cancelled

    Caitlin / March 24, 2020
  • TEN THINGS TO KNOW BEFORE RUNNING BOLDERBOULDER

    By Jessica / April 12, 2018
  • THREE SIMPLE SELF-CARE TIPS FOR RUNNERS

    By Larry / April 12, 2018
  • Don’t Skip the Warm-Up and Cool-Down

    Caitlin / April 14, 2020

    You’ve probably been told not to, and yet you’ve probably done it countless times... skipped your warm-up or cool-down (citing lack of time as the primary reason). The warm-up and cool down are actually important parts of a workout routine. Not only do they help you get the most out of your session, but they also reduce risk of injury. When you’re already investing so much time and energy into your sport, why would you NOT want take advantage of your full performance capabilities?

    Warm-ups generally involve doing your sport but at a reduced intensity level, helping your body prepare for the activity. Physiologically speaking, it revs up your cardiovascular system by dilating blood vessels and increasing core temperature, heart rate and blood flow to muscles. At the initial onset of exercise, your heart rate abruptly increases due to a complex series of reactions from your nervous system. It requires at least a few minutes to normalize back to a steady state rate.

    Cool-downs are equally as important. An abrupt stop can cause lightheadedness, as your blood pressure and heart rate can drop rapidly. A proper warm-up and cool-down may add a few extra minutes to your workout, but it decreases the stress on your heart and muscles and can greatly reduce risk of injury and adverse reaction during exercise.

    There are various ways to warm-up and cool-down for each sport, but the principles are essentially the same. Especially for a sport that can involve more than one training session a day, it’s important to get that warm-up and cool-down in between.

    For a generally easy session, it’s recommended to spend a good 5-10 minutes warming into the activity. For higher intensity workouts, 10-15 minutes. A cool-down of 5-10 minutes is also adequate enough to let the heart rate come down while allowing blood flow to continue through the muscles. We’re sharing a few tips for a proper warm-up for both cycling and running, to help you get the most out of your sessions.

    CYCLING
    On the bike, warm-up for 10-15 minutes at 40-60% of your threshold power or effort. Feel free to throw in some short high cadence spin-ups to get the legs and heart going before any intensity in the main set. This is also a good time to incorporate drills (i.e. cadence work, single leg drills) to improve pedaling efficiency.

    RUNNING
    Because running is a weight-bearing sport, it puts a lot more stress on the body than cycling. A proper run warm-up will typically consist of mobility and muscle activation activities (see below) and 10-15 minutes of easy, aerobic running. For a speed or high intensity workout, include more dynamic form drills such as high knees, butt kicks, various types of skips and side shuffles.

    So, what’s the deal with all this talk of mobility and muscle activation? Well, if you’re like most of us, you probably spend a good chunk of your day sitting. That can equate to short muscles on the front of the hip (hip flexors) and inhibited muscles on the backside (glutes). Our glutes are huge power generators while running and are important for stability up and down the kinetic chain. When we sit, not only are they inactive, but they also have decreased blood flow to the tissues. For some, these muscles need extra attention to wake-up before going out for that run. Below are three great exercises to improve hip mobility and glute activation pre-run.

    Lunge Matrix Stretch
    This is a good, dynamic stretch to open up the hip in all planes of motion. Start off with a lunge to the front. With your arms, reach down then up, side bend right and left, and then rotate to the right and left. Repeat the same arm movements while lunging out to the side.

    lunge-matrix-stretch

    Side Steps with Band
    Keeping knees slightly bent, toes pointed forward and feet parallel, step out to the side and follow with the other foot, keeping tension in the band at all times. You’ll want to feel the muscles on the outside/back of the hip working. For one level easier, place the band just above the knees and keep those knees in line with your toes. For one step harder, place the band around your toes and work on keeping your knees in line and feet parallel.

    band-side-steps

    Standing Fire Hydrants
    This is a great two-for-one exercise, targeting glutes on the standing leg, and glutes on the moving leg. With a resistance band just above the knees, stand on one leg and bend the opposite knee. Open up that knee out to the back corner, mimicking what a dog does when he needs to go to the, well, you know. Be sure you have a soft bend in your standing leg and that your knee isn’t locked out.

    standing-fire-hydrants

  • When Your Race Is Cancelled

    Caitlin / March 24, 2020

    So your race has been cancelled or postponed... welcome to the club! A lot of us are in the same boat. With the current pandemic, it can feel like we’re in limbo, unsure of what next steps to take. With gyms and pools closed, some are taking advantage of this ‘timeout’ to have fun with training or to set personal goals. But others are really feeling the lack of motivation setting in. So what should you be doing right now when you don’t have a race goal in sight? Here are a few tips to keep you both healthy and motivated during this time.

    1. Avoid excessively high volume and intensity to keep your immune system strong. We all know that the physical stress of a grueling training session or race can weaken our immune system temporarily. Now is not the time to make your body vulnerable by beating it to the ground.

    2. GET OUTSIDE. You may have a shelter-in-place order in your town, but getting outside for a hike or to exercise, and getting fresh air and Vitamin D are crucial for both your physical and mental well-being.

    3. Let those nagging injuries heal! If you didn’t address your weaknesses or imbalances over the winter, now is the time is take a step back and get 100% healthy and strong, without the pressure of races creeping up on us. Check in with your physical therapist on how she or he can help!

    4. Revert to more pre-season type training. Temporarily back off from doing peak-season, race-specific workouts, even if you initially had a spring race on your schedule. Save the race-specific training for this summer, when racing picks back up.

    5. Use this time to do things you wouldn’t normally do, like going for a technical trail run or challenging yourself on a Strava segment. Give your body a new stimulus that it may not be familiar with.

    6. Create small, personal goals for yourself over the next few months, like setting a 1 min or 5 min power PR on the bike, or doing a 1-mile time trial on the run.

    7. Build mental stamina by training solo. If you rely on training with a group to keep you motivated and accountable, use this time to train your mental game by doing hard or long workouts alone.

    8. Remember, your training doesn’t disappear when your race is cancelled. You’re still putting money in the training bank, even if you can’t see the outcomes on race day yet. Eventually things will return to normal and our routines will return to normal. The most important thing right now is the safety and well-being of our community.

  • THREE SIMPLE SELF-CARE TIPS FOR RUNNERS

    By Larry / April 12, 2018

    1) MITIGATE INFLAMMATION
    2) SLEEP
    3) PERFECT YOUR FORM

    MITIGATE INFLAMMATION
    A common mistake among athletes in-training is going too hard for too long. We get it, we’re competitive athletes who thrive on endorphins and the challenge. But here’s the thing – rest and recovery are essential parts of performance. Ignore them at your peril. A few simple actions can help aid recovery: 1) increase your water intake and maintain your electrolyte balance; 2) eat your fruits and vegetables (can you hear Mom?); 3) turmeric – use supplements and add it in your diet; 4) Cold Laser Therapy (see the blog post on this one; it’s well worth the read.
    https://buildyou.co/2018/04/02/five-faqs-about-cold-laser-treatment/

    SLEEP
    Studies have found that your central nervous system recharges in your sleep. So, if you’re sleep deprived, your balance and coordination are likely to be off. Listen to your body (and Mom, back in the day). Get to bed! Oh, one more thing – getting up at a consistent time also helps regulate your sleep cycle and improve the quality of rest.

    Now, eat your greens … and your breakfast.

    PERFECT YOUR FORM
    Chances are, no one taught you how to run when you were a kid. As children, running is/was as intuitive as our need to climb trees and eat sweets. But, we know that not all running gaits are created equal, and many of us have imbalances we are not even aware. Moreover, these imbalances can and often do hurt runners of all kinds.

    Solution – work with a pro, and get a proper diagnosis of your stride, foot strike and running gait. If you are one of the many unfortunates an issue, some good advice based on advanced biomechanical knowledge can get back on track. For what it’s worth, Jess can help a lot in this department.

  • TEN THINGS TO KNOW BEFORE RUNNING BOLDERBOULDER

    By Jessica / April 12, 2018

    1. THIS 40-YEAR OLD TRADITION ATTRACTS RUNNERS FROM ALL OVER THE WORLD!

    2. LAST YEAR, THERE WERE OVER 54,000 PARTICIPANTS. IT IS CLAIMED THAT ALL 54,000 PARTICIPANTS HAVE FUN.

    3. THERE IS A GUY WHO HANDS OUT BACON. FIND HIM.

    4. IT IS THE SECOND LARGEST 10K RACE IN THE USA AND THE FIFTH LARGEST ROAD RACE IN THE WORLD. YOU COULD SAY BOLDERBOULDER IS THE COOL KID IN CLASS.

    5. IT TAKES PLACE EVERY YEAR ON MEMORIAL DAY.

    6. THERE ARE SLIP-AND-SLIDES, AND—YES —YOU SHOULD PARTAKE.

    7. IF YOU’RE NOT GETTING COMPETITIVE (OR MAYBE EVEN IF YOU ARE), IT’S BEST TO WEAR A COSTUME.

    8. IT IS ESSENTIALLY ONE, LONG, HILARIOUS PARTY. KEG STANDS MAY OR MAY NOT BE INVOLVED.

    9. THERE IS A CLEAR BAG POLICY: ATTENDEES ARE PERMITTED ONE CLEAR BAG NO LARGER THAN 12 INCHES X 6 INCHES X 6 INCHES, OR A ONE-GALLON RESEALABLE CLEAR PLASTIC BAG, INTO THE STADIUM. BAGS THAT ARE NO LONGER ALLOWED INTO FOLSOM FIELD INCLUDE BACKPACKS, CAMELBACKS, LARGE PURSES, OVERSIZED TOTE BAGS, CAMERA BAGS AND BINOCULAR CASES, DIAPER BAGS, FANNY PACKS AND PRINTED PLASTIC BAGS.

    10. THERE ARE SEPARATE WAVES OF START TIMES, WHICH YOU’LL WANT TO REGISTER FOR BY CLICKING HERE.