If you're running the Boston Marathon on April 16,
congratulations! It's quite an achievement to be participating in
the oldest city marathon in the world. In fact, this historic race
began in 1897 with just 18 runners. Now the elite international
road race annually attracts more than 20,000 registered
participants (26,895 people in 2011), including top athletes from
around the world. Not to mention more than 500,000 spectators
lining the streets between Hopkinton and the finish line in
If you aren't participating this year, keep in mind that the 117th
Boston Marathon is scheduled for Monday, April 15, 2013. According
to the Boston
Athletic Association website, next year's applications
will be accepted beginning September 2012. And, remember, the
Boston event is one of the very few marathons that require you to
meet a qualifying time before you even can enter. "The Boston
Marathon is a huge, elite event," says Maureen
Petrasko, president of NZ Manufacturing. "It's for the
serious runner - very serious runner." So, if you're determined to
qualify, step up your game plan now!
Training for a marathon is a major undertaking that requires time
and motivation, as well as a certain level of fitness. You should
be able to run for at least 30 minutes without stopping before you
even consider such an enormous feat. During your actual training,
your mileage should gradually increase each week, with your longest
run being 18-20 miles. Here are our other "super-six tips" to
Only 1% of people around the world can say they've actually
finished a marathon. And you're about to be one of them! So good
luck with your training and remember to have fun!
For those of you who started off the New Year with high
expectations of setting some fitness goals, getting into fitness
routine and then have fallen short of those goals, I just want to
say it is never too late!
One of the easiest ways to begin is by just moving and putting one
step in front of the other. Sounds a bit corny doesn't it? Walking
and/or jogging are one of the most accessible forms of exercise as
you can accomplish a 20 minute workout virtually anywhere.
Regular aerobic activity helps improve cardiovascular health, helps
in aiding weight loss, reduces stress, and boosts your energy
level. All of this is positive. This will give you your own
personal satisfaction. You are doing this for you! Remember
that before beginning an aerobic training program, check with your
So, are you ready to start? You may just want to run or
you may want the challenge and excitement of signing up for a race
- maybe a 5k - which is 3.1 miles. The shared fear with all
runners, beginners to seasoned are concerns about being
last. You will soon realize all runners come in different
shapes, ages, and sizes. With this in mind, runners also have
different speeds. If you never ran before start walking and add
running in between. Gradually you will be running more than
walking. You can get running advice and support at numerous
outlets: local fitness facilities, running groups, running
specialty stores, and online.
I started running when I was 38. I was asked by a friend to
run a local 4 miler. So, training began - 15 years later and
all kinds of races I'm still running and enjoying it. If you have
read my posts in the past, you will know that I am advocate of
cross training. Make sure you mix-up your fitness routine so that
you do not get bored doing the same thing as well as minimizing
joint and muscle injury. Cross training alternatives may include:
swimming, yoga, weight training and/or biking to name a few.
So, it's time to refocus on your New Year's resolution and set a
goal - but be realistic. Sign up for a local 5K. Fill
out that race form and now you have motivation. Train
properly and always have fun! Get to the starting line with a
smile on your face! The race starts - you do what you trained for -
you run. When you cross that finish line, and people are
cheering you on - you will have the biggest smile - because you did
In good health,
I began my 100 mile journey in by boarding a bus at 3:00am to
transport the runners up to the start line in Cleveland. I
was ready for this after 7 straight months of training. The
course was absolutely beautiful. The course took you through
some of Ohio's most scenic parks including the Cuyahoga
Valley National Park, Summit
County Metro Parks, Towpath Trail, Buckeye Trail, Hike and
Bike Trail and The
Bridal Valley Trail. The course consisted of 75% trail and 25%
To complete this grueling course was
an amazing experience. Looking back now is as emotional as the day
I crossed the finish line. The experience was by far my greatest
challenge to date and definitely tested my limits both physically
and emotionally. My support crew was amazing! They were also tested
by having to be awake for 30 plus hours and available at each
support stop, being prepared to supply the necessary foods, drinks
and clothes. I want to say all of this was possible because
of all their support.
I walked/crawled away with blisters on
both feet but other than that, I feel great!
In between training, time was taken off due to bitter cold and of
course taking time to relax with family and friends.
You need to build miles safely. Three weeks hard and one week
recovery. Races in between are for time on your feet . You should
feeling stronger and recover quicker during that 4th week. As
pay attention and listen to your body.
I truly feel anyone can complete any challenge, you need to
safely and rest when your body tells you. Eat properly and
exercise both mind and body and, as always, have fun!
In good health,
I wrote about a month ago the 'running' account of my journey
toward the 100 mile race that will take place on July 30. The
event is The Burning River
100 Mile Run that begins in Cleveland and takes you along a
route ending in Cuyahoga Falls Ohio, spanning a 30 hour period of
continuous running. At this point, I figure there is no
turning back. I have prepared for this event for the past 25
years through fitness teaching, running races, duathalons, tri's
and bike adventures. I am not a crazed fitness fanatic that
watches every carb and gram of protein I eat. I often meet up
with friends for a leisure bike ride that includes a break half-way
for lunch and a beer. What made me want to run 100
miles continuously? I am still asking myself that
This journey will take me over a wide array of terrain. Miles
will be covered on rugged trails, into creeks, on driven motorways,
bike and walking paths and steep steps in the metro parks (90 steps
at around mile 90). If that isn't cruel, I don't' know what
is. I will change running shoes approximately four times
during this event along with clothes changes to keep me dry.
Food breaks will consist of tea, broth soup, peanut butter
sandwiches, and plenty of sports drinks. A support crew will follow
me along the way with a trunk filled with all the necessary gels,
sprays, clothes, shoes, socks and miscellaneous first aid supplies
that I will need. This support group will stay with me during
my journey and will forgo a restful night sleep as I run through
parks and trails during the night time hours with headlamp in
tow. If it were not for the support of my fellow workers,
friends and family, I could not possibly have gotten to this point
in my life.
For those of you who have been following my journey, thank you for
your support and encouraging words. I will keep these well
wishes neatly tucked into my head during the approximately 30 hour
run on July 30.
Please feel free to contact me with any fitness questions or ideas
you may have. I would love to hear from you.
In good health,
NZ MFG INC.
Why would anyone want to run 100 miles at once?
I am often asked this question, especially now that I am
less than 100 days away from the date of The Burning
River 100 mile event.
I began this journey over 25 years ago when I became a fitness
instructor. From then on, I have tried to push myself to improve my
performance and overall health. I believe in an overall approach to
fitness that includes aerobic activity (running, biking, swimming
and cardio classes), including core and overall strength training
(Pilates, yoga and resistance training). Backed by research too
numerous to site, the combination of aerobic and strength training,
along with proper diet and rest provide the building blocks for
achievement of fitness goals.
Fitness is more than being able to run your first 5k, biking
adventure, walk-a-thon, tri-event, or even a 100 mile run. Fitness
is a state of well being. Fitness is the forming of friendships.
Fitness is a time management skill. Fitness is a stress reliever.
Fitness is a time for planning and reflecting. Fitness is a breath
of fresh air. Fitness is a love/hate relationship. Fitness is an
event. Fitness is a lifestyle. Fitness is YOU.
Not everyone can run 100 miles at once; however, I find that by
setting goals, no matter how big or small they are, they keep me
focused on the event ahead and just maybe with the training behind
me and some miles to run yet ahead in the next 100 days, I will
cross the finish line of The Burning River 100 mile event.
Follow me on my journey. Why not set a fitness goal today? Perhaps
you have already accomplished a fitness achievement that you would
like to share. Please feel free to contact me with any fitness
questions or ideas you may have. I would love to hear from you.
Remember, fitness is YOU.
In good health,
NZ MFG INC.
The rate of force development, commonly called power, is crucial
to many sport performances. Running athletes develop power by
generating the maximum amount of force over the shortest period of
time. The product of stride length (force applied) and stride
frequency (motion) will determine running speed. To optimize
performance in running it takes mobility and strength. One of the
best ways to increase mobility and strength to specifically carry
over to running is to use elastic resistance training.
The training principle of specificity requires that you use your
muscles in the same contraction mode and range of motion in
training that you are interested in improving for your skill. Using
elastic resistance like the TurfCordz series can help a runner
develop functional strength that will carry over to increasing
running performance. The properties of elasticity allow for
resistance patterns that are independent of gravity but dependent
upon rate and length of stretch of the cord. In addition, Cords
have the advantage of applying resistance in multiple planes of
unrestrained movement patterns. When athletes engage in varied
speed drills the resistance also accommodates so muscles can work
in the same movement pattern and joint angles specific to running.
This accommodative property occurs with both slow speed and high
speed training. The cord can be used for explosive start drills, or
even with performing isometric holds in positions when the band is
stretched; for example lunge positions) . Ultimately the resistance
can be tailored specifically to the area of strength weakness the
runner may need to improve.
Running uses a considerable amount of abdominal strength. To
strengthen the abdominals and rotator muscles of the trunk cord
resistance can be used to offset excessive twisting that can occur
due to muscle weakness and prevent the hips and shoulders from
rotating too much during the run. It is very difficult, if not
impossible; to duplicate the exact movements of the legs, hips, and
shoulders used in running with isotonic loads using dumbbells,
barbells, or machines.
Furthermore, the low inertia of the cord mass makes high speed
training a real plus with this type of equipment. Muscles store
energy when undergoing lengthening just like elastic cords. This
type of training is very portable and is not limited to a
gym/fitness setting which makes it ideal for runners who want to
take the cords to the track. Runners can also partner with other
runners and match resistances by alternating each other as the
anchor point on the other end of the cord.
Even though running is considered an aerobic activity runner need
strength to build what experts call a "speed reserve." This reserve
will help give you a burst of speed when you need it most --
something you'll find invaluable when you hit the inevitable "wall"
during a race or marathon.
This type of training also helps reduce the chance of injury. When
you run, your lower body and feet absorb a force up to five times
your body weight every time your heel hits the ground. The
cumulative impact of this constant stress can be devastating if
your body is not conditioned properly. Impact-related injuries are
usually associated with muscle weakness or imbalance. Because
resistance training results in stronger bones and muscle as well as
increased flexibility and stronger connective tissue, it can help
you avoid fatigue related injuries.
Working on specific strengthening exercises along with your
current running program should help you achieve faster race times.
Also you may want to include a variety of lower-back, and upper
body exercises that will improve your strength.