Plan, train and watch the pain

Running is hard on the body; hard on the feet, the knees and the joints.

So running in an event such as The Daily News Boogie means training and it means knowing what to do when your body is signalling there's trouble.

Chiropractor and kinesiologist Sarah Brise is also a runner who competed in the 2010 Penticton Ironman.

The first step to avoiding pain and injury is to create a training plan that includes rest days and limits increases in running distance or time to no more than 10 per cent per week so your body has a chance to adapt.

"Doing a walk-run program is a good way to prevent injury because it's less strain on your body," she said.

Having the right gear is important, too, especially for the feet, which take the brunt of a run.

Brise recommends taking your old running shoes with you when shopping for new ones. And go to a store where you are evaluated for the way you stand, walk and run as well as your feet themselves.

"Stretching is important to do after you run, more so than before. Give yourself a chance to have a good cool down then stretch out your leg muscles afterward," she said.

And drink. Hydration is a vital part of running. Carry water with you and drink before and afterward. Follow a run with something to eat that includes protein and carbs.

Brise said a little discomfort can happen as muscles get stronger and adapt to running. If it disappears after the run and it's not bothering you, it should be OK to keep running.

If pain persists, however, ease up and get help to make sure you don't have a serious injury.

TRAINING TALK: GORD CUMMING

If you haven't done so already, now is a good time to introduce some cross-training. Time to challenge yourself and increase your running ability and stamina.

Cross-training can be defined as combining other fitness activities with your current running program. In order to add other activities, you must first consider what would benefit your current training situation.

In preparation for The Daily News Boogie, running is my primary training focus. My current cross-training plan includes: a swim once a week (minimum of 20 minutes), several 'hot laps' on my road bike around the Juniper Loop (25 minutes), one 'tempo' run (faster pace, shorter distance/25 minutes), and then my Sunday morning long run (15-plus kilometres).

Combining my running with swimming and biking keeps my mind fresh, focused and excited to exercise. In addition, my running muscles get a rest since both activities are low impact, which allows for some relief from the constant pounding that running brings. All these activities together work a variety of muscle groups while continuing to build my cardio.

Enjoy the change of pace that cross training can, and will, bring to your regular running routine. Reap the benefits and your body will thank you! Be confident in your ability to add variety to your training and the motivation to keep going toward your Boogie goal.

Reflect back on where you were when you started, and how far you have come - and be proud!

TRAINING TALK: JENN RENSCH

This past week at RUNClub, we had a potluck. Yes, a
potluck - after we ran of course. You're probably wondering what a potluck has to do with training.

It's all about commun-ity. When you train with RUNClub, you really are a part of a community. Last year, Arjun Singh jokingly referred to it as a cult when he was writing his Training Talk pieces. My running partner and I refer to it as the "shiny, happy people." And thank goodness for those shiny, happy people.

Last week I had doubts. I wasn't "feeling" it. I was asking myself what the hell I'd gotten myself into.

The thought "with my ex-smoker lungs, I'm not a runner" kept going through my mind. I came to RUNClub for the mechanics of running; I never expected the emotional support (or expecting I'd need it).

When you show up for a RUNClub session, the energy of the coaches and your fellow runners dispels those feelings. I can't explain how, but it truly lifts you up, boosts or rejuvenates your motivation. You just need
to show up.

I wasn't planning on sticking around to break bread with my fellow 5K trainees, but ended up in a conversation that turned into a few more conversations. We shared stories about our challenges and successes, tips on how we keep track of our intervals, what routes we were running, how we were fitting it into our lives and motivations to begin or continue to run. With that support, I am a runner.

TRAINING TALK: NEVILLE FLANAGAN

I've run Kenna Cartwright Park twice this week. Those hills just don't get any easier. I went to Charles Anderson soccer field and went through my stride-out workout and then on the down days went for some long walks. How wonderful it is to wake each morning and feel healthy and fit. There is a difference, you know. One can be heathy, but not necessarily fit.

Those of you training for The Daily News Boogie must be saying to yourself at this time how different you feel; how you are looking at yourself and feeling confident about yourself.

The run is only weeks away and you've been consistent and now into a routine. I am sure some will say they are healthy, so why run. The difference, of course, is that those people still carry the weight, eating more than one should and being too idle. Fit people, like those training for the Boogie, are thinking more now about their weight, the food they are eating and their runs and walks. They're also meeting people who have the same outlook on life.

The Boogie is not the end of it, of course. It is just the beginning of a healthy and fit lifestyle.

With new-found confidence - especially those who started out on this RUNClub journey - people can see how they can use the training in other aspects of their lives.

Boogie runners will cross the finish line and be praised by families and friends. They will show them what can be achieved by going out of the box and "just do(ing) it."

That is one of Jo's mantras. Just do it.

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