Get Your Mind Racing

KEY: long before race day, begin to focus your mind’s eye on your goal. Visualizing success can help you attain it.

Racing isn’t the be-all end-all of running. Entering races, however, remains a potential peak experience that too many runners miss because they don’t do enough prerace “headwork.” Whether your goal is to run a personal best time or merely to finish your race, proper mental preparation will help you accomplish it.

Too often runners spend hours training their bodies, only to line up on race day and suddenly find themselves overwhelmed with fears and questions: How fast should I start? Where are the hills, and how bad are they? Where is the finish, and what is it like? Here are a few tips to help you develop a positive mental attitude about running a race. (more…)


The Building Block of Good Nutrition

You’ve learned about good nutrition in health class, but if you’re working out, it’s
even more important. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food
Guide Pyramid, there’s a definite eating plan we should strive to follow for
optimum nutrition.

GRAINS should be the foundation of your diet, with between 6 and 11 servings
each day. A serving is 1 slice of bread (so a sandwich counts as 2 servings!), half of a bagel or 1/2 cup of rice or pasta. For more fiber and better nutrition, think whole grain: Brown rice is better than white rice rice; whole-wheat bread is better than white bread. (more…)

Daily Routine for Optimum Health and Performance

This routine will increase energy, mood, alertness and productivity during the day not just for workouts but for your other activities. It will keep your appetite and sugar cravings under control and prepare you for a night of restful sleep.

Time meals and snacks 2-3 hours prior to exercise

Eat “good” carbs every 3-4 hours

After a moderate to hard exercise, eat a snack with carbohydrates (more…)

Recommended Food Group Choices

Calcium: 1-3 servings (1 cup of milk or yogurt per serving), low fat cottage cheese, skim or 1% milk, soy milk, plain yogurt with active/live cultures

Protein: 5 servings (2-4 oz per serving or 1 cup of beans), fish 3-5 times per week, high quality protein twice a day, whey protein for recovery, bean based meals like bean burrito, no skin poultry, fish, legumes

Vegetables: 3 servings, dark green daily, colorful vegetable or fruit daily, always have vegetable (veggie in a sandwich is good but not enough) at lunch and dinner (more…)

Glycemic Index of Selected Foods

Definition: GI (glycemic index) is a measure of the ability of 50 gms of carbohydrate within a food to raise blood sugar. For example, 50 gms of pure glucose, 1 cup of ice cream, 5 cups of whole milk and 7 carrots are compared.

Factor affecting glycemic index:

The amount and rate of carb consumption (how fast and how much)

The simultaneous presence of fat (fat deceases the glycemic response) (more…)

Troubleshooting: Body Signs and Symptoms

Dehydration: feeling unwell, dark color or strong smelling urine, low energy during training, high resting heart rate, constipation, lower VO2 max, thirst, chapped lips, muscle cramps

Low Carbohydrate Diet: poor sleep, sugar cravings, irritability, feeling flat during training, not recovering after a workout, general fatigue, frequent infections/illness

Hypoglycemia: sugar craving, nausea, irritable, foggy, lack of concentration, shakiness, aggression and headaches

Low Protein Diet: frequent infections, low energy, sleepy, susceptible to injury, poor recovery (more…)

Recovery Practice for Endurance Athlete

Mild exercise – 30-45 min of easy running to get blood flow to muscles without stress.

Hydrate with 16-24 oz of water depending on weather and your weight

Cold Water immersion – immediately after exercise if possible

Elevate legs over heart for 3-4 min before bed and first thing in the morning

Moderate to hard exercise – workout was hard but not exhausting. For example, track workout of 6x 800 or a 90+ min run that was moderately hard. (more…)

Do’s and Dont’s for Runners

1. Don’t begin a running program without a full medical exam.

2. Do tell someone where you’ll be running and when you expect to return.

3. Do watch out for cars, and don’t expect drivers to watch out for you. Always run facing traffic so you can see cars approaching. When crossing an intersection, make sure you establish eye contact with nearby drivers before proceeding. (more…)

Timing Your Fuel

Cross Country Nutrition Answers to questions you might have about fueling for the season
 Nutrition is one of the most modifiable and controllable factors in athletic success, but too often it’s also the most ignored. Paying special attention to good sports nutrition, especially starting at a young age, may be the key to reaching new heights. The following are some of the questions that I’ve been asked, and have asked myself, through my years of training.


Building Teamwork

10 Rules to Run By from “Coaching Cross Country Successfully”
by Joe Newton, with Joe Henderson; Human Kinetics 1998

  1. Team is the essence of life. It’s how to blend the talents and strengths of individuals into a force that becomes greater than the sum of its parts.
  2. Great teamwork is the only way to reach your ultimate moments, to create breakthroughs that fill your life with a sense of lasting significance.
  3. Everyone is a team player, whether he knows it or not. His family, his workplace, his place of worship, his neighborhood functions as a team.
  4. However, teamwork isn’t simple. In fact, it can be a frustrating, elusive commodity. That’s why there are so many bad teams, stuck in neutral or going downhill. Teamwork does not appear magically just because we talk about it.
  5. Forty years of coaching have proved to me, over and over again, that the complex inner rhythms of teamwork (flows of ambition, power, cooperation, and emotion) are the keys to making dreams come true.
  6. People are territorial animals. We all want to take out something to call our own. We strike back when our turf is threatened. Don’t smother those territorial and competitive instincts. Harness them for the good of the team. Understand that sometimes the individual must give up some territory for the good of the team.
  7. Willing sacrifice is a great paradox. Runners mostly give up something in in the present (comfort, ease, recognition, hair, rewards, and so on) to attract something even better in the future: a sense that they did something that counted.
  8. A team needs a covenant, an agreement that binds people together. Sometimes a covenant is written. Sometimes it is unspoken, complete expressed through action or thought. Any team afflicted with the DISEASE OF ME functions with a tacit covenant of self-destruction.
  9. There are only two options regarding commitment to a good covenant. Team members are either in, or they are out. There is no such thing as life in-between.
  10. Being ready isn’t enough. Runners have to be prepared. Being prepared demands mental and physical conditioning and conscious planning. A runner who is just ready and not totally prepared simply increases risk and is a liability to the team.