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Free Running Tips and Training Advice
from Howtobefit.com

The roots of our website are in running and we were originally a resource for runners. Having broadened our scope to provided resources to a larger audience, we still feel as if we should offer our running visitors an opportunity to learn from our experience and knowledge of running. So we decided to provide free running advice by email as well as a link to our other site Nextsteprunning.com, which has all of the running workouts from our youth running club.

If you are just beginning a running program, we are confident that we can provide you with answers and advice on the questions that new runners face. If you are an experienced runner, we feel that with 39 years of competitive running experience and 22 years of coaching experience, there still could be a few questions that you might want answered or a little advice to follow.

We would also like to give you the opportunity to share your knowledge and experience with our website visitors and ask that you please send us running related information and advice that you feel that you would like to share with us.

Finally, if you prefer, we have a Chat Room that you can enter to discuss all aspects of running with your fellow visitors!

Click here to Log in to our Running Chat Room


Running Training Advice from Runner's World Magazine

Running Advice

"There is no single right way to cross-train for running. As with your running itself, how you should cross-train depends on several factors, including your goals, personal preferences, and past and present injuries, as well as how your body responds to various types of training."

Running Advice

"When running in cold weather, apply lip balm under your eyes, as well as your lips. Not only does the balm have screensaver SPF 15, but it won't rub off easily while running. - Kathleen Pennepacker

Running Advice

Chocolate: the world's most acceptable addiction. Dark chocolate is great for your cardiovascular health. One of the latest studies found that eating 3.5 ounces a day lowered blood pressure in people with hypertension. So it's a bonus that it does your romantic heart good.

Running Advice

"Winter forces flexibility into your routine. You must run whenever, whatever and wherever you can. You can't expect to run every day. Instead, hope to have about three or four good workouts a week. But most days, you can get out and do something. Few winter days are so deep-frozen that running is foolishly risky." - Joe Henderson

Running Advice

"You'll benefit from days of complete rest. Typically, that means taking 1 day off each week or every 10 days. This rest will allow your legs to more fully recover for upcoming hard efforts. It can also fend off injuries that might be creeping up." - From Runner's World Complete Book of Women's Running by Dagny Scott

Running Advice

"Do some downhill running to help increase your stride rate. Gravity promotes quicker leg turnover, and good form on downhills requires a slightly shorter stride and quick, light steps." - Don Kinsella

Running Advice

"Keep a positive attitude. You'll need it often because every runner has bad days and occasional injuries. Staying positive will help you overcome obstacles and continue running." - Jane Hahn

Running Advice

Back Extensions: Back extensions strengthen the muscles of the back. Strong back muscles ensure upright, efficient posture and limit unnecessary rocking of the torso.
On a back-extension device, lie face-down, with your hips over the support pad and your feet tucked underneath the foot rollers. With arms folded across your chest, slowly lift your torso above horizontal (so your back arches slightly), then lower your torso to well below horizontal. With this strength exercise, you can do 15 to 20 repeats initially, and work up to 30 or more reps as your back strength improves.

Running Advice

Trust your instincts. "If you want to run tomorrow, and the next day, and as many days into the future as you can imagine, keep grabbing hold of--and holding on to--what you like best about the sport." - Joe Henderson

Running Advice

"To stay comfortable in frigid weather, wear a microfiber shirt as a first layer, followed by a breathable windbreaker, gloves or mittens, and a hat. Begin by running into the wind, not with it, which will keep you from sweating too much." - Matthew Linde

Running Advice

Run the tangents. Every time you round a curve, scope out the flow of the course ahead and position yourself so you can take the inside of the next turn. Running the tangents will help you run the shortest distance possible.

Running Advice

Even though running is primarily a lower-body activity, your arms aren't just along for the ride. Your hands control the tension in your upper body, while your arm swing works in conjunction with your leg stride to drive you forward. Keep your hands in an unclenched fist, with your fingers lightly touching your palms. Imagine yourself trying to carry a potato chip in each hand without crushing it. Your arms should swing mostly forward and back, not across your body, between waist and lower-chest level. Your elbows should be bent at about a 90-degree angle. When you feel your fists clenching or your forearms tensing, drop your arms to your sides and shake them out for a few seconds to release the tension.

Running Advice

Powerhouse Parsley: 1/2 cup of fresh, chopped parsley packs 2/3 the daily value for vitamin C (40 mg.) and that's two times the C in 1 whole cup of pineapple, 1 whole lime or 1 cup of blueberries. It contains twice the folate (46 mcg.) found in 1 cup of lettuce and is a virtual "ironmaster," with 10 times more iron (1.86 mg.) than 1 poached egg. It also has a good supply of calcium and beta-carotene.

Running Advice

"Don't get caught up in someone else's race pace. It's easy to ignore your body's signals and run too fast too soon. Have a pacing plan and stick to it. When the gun goes off, focus inward, stay relaxed, and trust your ability to pace yourself." - Richetta Coelho

Running Advice

Soy foods, such as edamame, make a perfect complement to cardio training. Research that tracked 65,000 Chinese women with no history of heart disease found that those with the highest soy intake had the lowest risk of developing the disease, while those who consumed the least had the highest risk. Edamame is also a good source of iron, a structural component of blood that carries oxygen to the cells. Low iron can lead to poor oxygen delivery, causing anemia, fatigue, and poor work performance.

Running Advice

Blister Aid: If a blister is large enough that you can see the fluid inside, it's better to drain it. Otherwise, you risk a painful pop midrun. Podiatrist Steven Chatlin, D.P.M, explains how to safely drain a doozy.
1. Sterilize a needle by rinsing it in rubbing alcohol or putting the point in a flame until it's red-hot.
2. Wash the blistered area with soap and water. Make a small hole in the blister and squeeze out the clear fluid.
3. Do not remove the skin over a broken blister; the new skin underneath needs this protective cover.
4. Apply hydrogen peroxide to prevent infection and wrap the area with antibiotic ointment and a sterile bandage.
If the blister swells, reddens, or discharges thick yellow/green fluid, it may be infected; see your doctor.

Running Advice

Run in snow with a short, relaxed stride, so that if you slip you can catch yourself. Short steps tend to increase leg turnover (a good thing), even though your pace may be slower than normal due to slick footing and extra clothing. - Jerry Smith

Running Advice

"Doing the right training is more important than doing the most training. Increasing your weekly mileage is not a certain recipe for success." - From Runner's World Complete Book of Women's Running by Dagny Scott

Running Advice

"If your feet tend to get really cold on your winter runs, treat your shoes with a waterproof spray. The spray will protect the shoes from the elements and, in turn, keep your feet warmer." - Kathleen Jobes

Running Advice

"To minimize damage both in training and in racing, keep your weight low, wear shoes with plenty of support, and run with a shuffling style to lessen the pounding on your legs and feet." - From Runner's World Complete Book of Running by Amby Burfoot

Running Advice

"Instead of being locked into a long run on a specific day each week, remain flexible. When good weather is forecasted, be ready to go. Also remember that a short run is better than no run. Run for 15 minutes here, 20 minutes there as the weather permits." - Katie Herrell

Running Advice

Cheers to Chilean Red: To reduce your risk of cancer, drink red wine from Chile. Compared with Cabernet Sauvignon from France, Chilean Cabernet contains 38 percent more flavonols, antioxidants that plunder cancer-causing free radicals.

Running Advice

Many runners wear braces, sleeves, and other knee-support devices needlessly. "I know a number of runners who wear them without consulting their physician," says sports physician Lewis Maharam, M.D. "If you have chondromalacia or ITB syndrome, for example, you may make it worse by wearing a knee support."

Running Advice

When the weather gets downright nasty, cross-training can keep you fit, condition muscles you usually don't use while running, and leave you highly motivated to get out on the roads whenever you can. Alternating short winter runs with other forms of exercise can also eliminate any nagging aches and pains that may have accumulated during the past year of running.

Running Advice

"Just as fast running makes your standard pace easier, long runs make your regular distance seem shorter--thus easier. By pushing the pace on some days and lengthening the distance on others, you'll be able to cruise in the effortless zone on the rest of your runs."

Running Advice

"Do you know your stride rate? Try to hit about 180 strides per minute (both legs), or 90 if you're counting just one leg (left or right). To maintain stride length at this frequency, do hill running and strength training (concentrate on the quadriceps and calf muscles)." - Adam Bean

Running Advice

Hip Hikers - Strengthen your buttocks and hip muscles by doing the following: Stand sideways on a step or low bench with your weight on your left leg and your right leg unsupported over the edge of the step. Keep both knees locked so that your legs are perfectly straight throughout the exercise. Lower your right heel toward the floor by tilting your right hip down. Don't bend your left leg at the knee! Then raise or "hike" your right hip as high as it will go. Lower and raise the right hip 12 times before switching to the left hip. Perform two sets with each hip twice weekly, on nonconsecutive days.

Running Advice

Get Inspired With Quotes: "Keep a file of inspirational quotes or a shelf of motivational books, and pull one out on those days when you're not fired up for training. I find that a thoughtful article also works well. Most mornings, I run for 45 minutes after reading several features in the Wall Street Journal. During my run, I "debate" with the journalists who wrote the stories. The best part is, I always win!" - Jeff Galloway

Running Advice

Swap the salt. Salty chips soothe some folks, which can be hard to stop eating once you get started. Opt for salted air-popped popcorn for big calorie savings. Or mix ready-to-eat breakfast cereal with soy nuts and pumpkin seeds. Drizzle the stuff with soy sauce, and then bake it in the oven. You'll end up with a salty snack loaded with protein, vitamins, and minerals.

Running Advice

For treating the aches and pains of running, ice is the best initial remedy. Ice constricts blood flow, which reduces inflammation and usually pain. The sooner you do this the better--within 30 minutes after a run is ideal. Following icing with a hot shower not only feels good, but it's also safe. The ice shuts off the inflammatory process, so heat (which could otherwise aggravate a swollen muscle or joint) after this point won't do harm.

Running Advice

"When I was in college, Frank Shorter autographed my training log and wrote: 'Remember, Kevin, consistent training is more important than any training theory.' In the decade since, I've found that to be so true. If you train consistently, you'll get stronger and stronger in both your training and your racing." - Kevin Collins

Running Advice

"The main priority of the base phase is to prepare the body for the challenges of the build phase. It accomplishes this by establishing a solid foundation of endurance and developing VO2Max and fast-twitch muscle fibers with judicious doses of very high intensity running." - Matt Fitzgerald

Running Advice

Make it Steak: "A juicy piece of steak may not look like a healthy entrée, but it is. If red meat is a part of your menu plan, steak should be one of your regular selections. It's loaded with vital minerals such as zinc and iron, two minerals many runners don't get enough of. Fish and chicken also supply these minerals, but beef packs more per serving than the white meats." - Liz Applegate

Running Advice

Avoid pain in your backside, or sciatica, by doing the following: Work your back and abs, stretch early and often, run on a soft surface such as a track or dirt path (avoid the pavement), wear well-cushioned shoes, stand up straight, use your legs, avoid long hours of sitting in a chair, and think about not twisting and turning in exercise.

Running Advice

Pace Talk: "Pace yourself evenly. This means working against your natural urges to surge when you're fresh, and to slow when you're tired. Hold back early, and hold on later. By spreading your effort out evenly over the entire distance, you will improve quickly." - Joe Henderson

Running Advice

"In many cases, the advent of a serious knee problem is slow in coming, with many signs along the way, and there is much that can be done to strengthen the structures that supports this essential joint." - Brian Halpern, M.D.

Running Advice

"If you're worried about keeping up with your running during the holidays make sure you store a bag of emergency workout gear in your car. When you can sneak in a run, make a quick change and head for the nearest track or park. Don't go home because chances are you'll never get out the door again." - Lindsay Shafer

Running Advice

Old Spice: A California study found that curcumin--a compound found in the Indian spice turmeric--may slow down or prevent the progression of Alzheimer's. "Curcumin is a powerful anti-inflammatory agent," says Greg Cole, M.D., the study author. The spice is so powerful, in fact, that Dr. Cole believes it may be responsible for the low incidence of Alzheimer's in India. Don't like food that burns? Curcumin is also available as a supplement.

Running Advice

If you're rebounding from an injury, slowly return to running or the injury might come back to visit like an unwelcome in-law. Half of all injuries are recurring ones, and runners could avoid a large percentage of them by being more cautious when beginning to run again.

Running Advice

A Shoe Fit: "Finding a shoe that fits your foot right is more important than opting for a particular brand. Visit the shoe store in the late afternoon or evening, since your feet swell during the day (and also while you run). Be sure to get your foot size measured on a Brannock device. Also, bring socks if you wear socks while running. Buy shoes that are about a half-inch longer than your feet."

Running Advice

Can we talk turkey? As the star attraction on your Thanksgiving table, the big bird deserves a proper amount of attention. And that applies not only to its initial performance but also to sub-sequent appearances in the continuing drama of leftovers. There's good reason to treat this turkey right. White-meat turkey is hands down the winner in the meat and poultry Oscars. With less than 3 grams of fat per 3 ounce cooked serving, it's leaner than any other cut around. And even the dark meat, which weighs in a little higher at about 6 g. per serving, qualifies as a super-smart choice.

Running Advice

Inflexible leg muscles can put strain on your back and often runners with back pain have tight hamstrings. Try the following exercise to stretch your hamstrings. Lie on your back with your nonexercising knee bent and your foot on the floor. Extend your other leg out straight. From your hip, lift your straight leg as far as you can, aiming your foot to the ceiling. Hold for two seconds, release, and repeat 10 times on each side.

Running Advice

You Can Do It: "You can run a marathon successfully by training just 4 days a week with mileage topping out at 35 to 40 miles a week. The key is completing those all-important long runs, which prepare you mentally and physically to handle the marathon distance." - Art Liberman

Running Advice

"The harder you train, the more important it is to listen to your bodyand make the necessary changes. Your body talks to you all the time, but you don't always pay attention. Try to recognize the difference between niggling soreness and pain. Do the same with the general tiredness from a busy schedule versus the exhaustion that signals overtraining." - Dagny Scott

Running Advice

"Don't be ruled by your past racing history. Base your quality sessions on your recent racing performances, not your personal records from decades ago. Some days simply run at a good, steady effort." - Sean Downey

Running Advice

Jot it Down: Keep a food diary for a few days, a couple of times a year. "A food diary can help you determine why you become injured, why you fade at the end of a run, or why you're suffering from your third cold of the year." - Liz Applegate, Ph.D

Running Advice

Got Achilles pain? Then keep it low and slow. Drastic changes in your running routine can cause Achilles problems. Don't rapidly increase your mileage or speed. And be careful not to overdo hill running or stair climbing, or run too much after a lay off.

Running Advice

Negative-split workout: By starting a little slowly in your key speed workouts and speeding up during the last couple of repeats, you'll learn to do the same in a race. It's never a good idea to finish a workout running all-out, so pace yourself accordingly." - Jeff Galloway

Running Advice

"Run less often, but longer distances. If you only run three times a week, your body will recover from workout to workout, and you'll find it easier to cover more distance on the days when you do run. On your nonrunnng days, do strength training, swimming, bicycling, walking, or whatever other activities you enjoy the most." - From Runner's World Complete Book of Running by Amby Burfoot

Running Advice

"Think quality, not quantity --it's the effort you put in that counts. If you've only got 20 minutes, use them. Don't skip your workout altogether. Just do something a little shorter and harder than you might have had planned." - David Willey

Running Advice

Protein Power: Taking in protein immediately after strength training may help you increase your muscle mass. Snacks like low-fat yogurt, eggs and protein bars are good choices.

Running Advice

Stretch it Out Post-Marathon: Stretching helps work out the waste products that accumulate in your muscles during the marathon, so stretch daily during your post-marathon recovery period. Massage also helps with waste removal, especially within 48 hours after the race. Plan ahead, and make an appointment with a massage therapist for the day or two following your marathon.

Running Advice

You Can Do It: "You can run a marathon successfully by training just 4 days a week with mileage topping out at 35 to 40 miles a week. The key is completing those all-important long runs, which prepare you mentally and physically to handle the marathon distance." - Art Liberman

Running Advice

Eat More Marinara and Watermelon: Two to four servings of tomato sauce a week can cut your risk for prostate cancer by 34 percent. Like tomatoes, watermelon contains lycopene, a phytochemical that may reduce your prostate-cancer risk by as much as 34 percent. A single 1-inch slice of watermelon has as much lycopene as four tomatoes.

Running Advice

Don't run in wet shoes, which can cause blisters and athlete's foot. If your shoes are wet from the rain, immediately stuff them with crumpled newspaper to keep their form and last longer. Later on, a hairdryer on the lowest setting can be used to thoroughly dry them before your next run.

Running Advice

"One of the great beauties of racing is that everyone has an equal chance to "win"--at least their own race. Unlike other sports, there's no need to beat an arbitrary standard (such as "par" or an opponent's score). You measure yourself against your personal records. Your PRs give you an objective measure of success that doesn't depend on defeating anyone else." - Joe Henderson

Running Advice

"When you do run face-first into pain, know that it is okay to step back a bit. While many athletes see backing off as an overt admission of spineless wormdom, elite runners don't hesitate. When they start to struggle, they ease off the pace, regroup physically, then push on again." - From Runner's World Complete Book of Running by Amby Burfoot

Running Advice

"To draft or not to draft behind another runner is always an open question. Base your decision on the wind and weather. Draft if you're dealing with a rather stiff headwind. The strength of the wind will cause the air to swirl around the front runner, and you'll benefit from both the drafting effect and the cooling of the wind. If it's a calm and humid day, run a little off to the side of the runner in front of you. On a calm and dry day, the heat won't be as much of a problem and so drafting is also fine." - Jack Daniels

Running Advice

You'll avoid lower-back pain by strengthening the erector spinae muscle group. Try these two exercises to improve your posture--and your running:
Seated Rows: Sit on a large stability ball facing a cable column or an elastic band tied to something stable. (If you don't have a ball, use a stool instead.) Grab the cable or elastic with both hands. Sit tall and upright, and pull the cable toward you. Bring your hands to your rib cage and squeeze your shoulder blades together behind you. Hold for 1 second. Do two sets of 10 repetitions.
Press-Ups: Lie on your stomach and place your hands on the floor near your shoulders as if you were going to do a regular push-up. Slowly push your upper body off the floor by straightening your arms. Keep your hips on the floor. Hold this position for 3 seconds. Relax your arms back to the floor. Repeat 10 times.

Running Advice

Switch from refined grains to whole grains and you'll have more energy and a better recovery after your run. You'll also get an intake of soluble fiber (the fiber that comes from oatmeal), which lowers cholesterol, and insoluble fiber (the fiber that comes from wheat bran), which prevents constipation and appears to fight colorectal and breast cancer. In addition, whole grains provide minerals such as zinc and selenium, which are lost in refining and not replaced by enrichment, as well as antioxidants like vitamin E and other phytochemicals.

Running Advice

"Whether to build strength or to condition themselves for hilly races, most top runners use hills in their training. Bill Rodgers, who in his prime had an excellent reputation as a hill runner (particularly on the descent), was among them."

Running Advice

"Run alone for undisturbed thinking. Run with a few friends for uncluttered conversations. Run to slow down, and to exercise a body and brain which don't get much chance to work without mechanical crutches." - Joe Henderson

Running Advice

If you have chronic and consistent knee pain, it might be the result of poor gait habits. It's worth it to be assessed by a professional. A gait coach will actually run behind you, analyze your stride, and train you to correct bad habits.

Running Advice

King of Seafood: Salmon, an outstanding source of omega-3 fats, which cut the risk of heart disease, boost the immune system, and protect against inflammatory conditions such as arthritis and psoriasis. Salmon also gets high marks for protein and vitamin B12.

Running Advice

"If there is one overarching principle of endurance-building, it's gradual adaptation. That is, be consistent, be patient, and build up slowly. This principle applies to all circumstances and all runners." - From Runner's World Complete Book of Running by Amby Burfoot

Running Advice

If you haven't gotten to know the folks at your local specialty running store, take a field trip sometime soon. Bring in your running shoes and talk to the folks there about your marathoning plans and training. Tell them about any aches, pains, or discomfort along the way. Chances are that someone at the store will set you up with a piece of equipment that will make your training go so much easier.

Running Advice

"In many races, especially longer ones, you'll go through microcycles of feeling good and feeling not so good. If you start to feel tired or just generally crummy, wait it out. After a while you'll cycle into feeling better. By remaining calm and mentally strong, you'll increase the likelihood of recovering physically during the race." - Dagny Scott Barrios

Running Advice

It's a mistake to stretch a muscle to its limits when it feels tight or fatigued. Stretching can actually cause injuries if done the wrong way (bouncing or pushing too far). If your running muscles are tight from exercise try massage, walking, or a shortening of stride length before stretching.

Running Advice

Eat yogurt every day if possible, and be sure to buy the kind that contains live and active cultures. Research suggests that eating 2 cups of live-and-active-culture yogurt each day boosts your body's production of gamma-interferon, a substance that is crucial to your immune system.

Running Advice

"In runners, the muscles of the upper body lag in strength behind those of the lower body, which get all the exercise. Runners should supplement their miles with exercises that restore strength balances and make fitness more complete." - From Runner's World Complete Book of Running by Amby Burfoot

Running Advice

"If you experience numerous nagging injuries, remember that more isn't always better. Consider programming some downtime into your training by taking off at least 1 day each week. Also, make sure to give yourself some recovery time after every race." - Eric Paul

Running Advice

Healthy Snacking: Raisins, along with apples, pears, nuts and parsley are a great source of the mineral boron, which plays a role in brain function, perhaps combating drowsiness. So, eat up!

Running Advice

Maintaining flexibility of your iliotibial (IT) band is crucial to keeping your legs limber. This broad, flat ligament that connects your hip to your lower knee is the most frequent cause of outer-knee pain in runners. 1.Stand with your right side facing a wall. 2.Cross your left leg behind your right. 3.Lean your left hip away from the wall. 4.Bring both arms overhead, clasp your hands and pull them to the right. Switch sides and repeat.

Running Advice

Try a Solo Flight: Every few days, run solo. Solo running allows you to relax and de-stress. You don't have to worry about anyone else, so you feel in control of the workout. It's easy to adjust your goals and expectations up or down. This sense of freedom releases your mind and body. - Jeff Galloway

Running Advice

A Timely Matter: "Mornings are hectic enough and evenings are already filled with activities. That leaves your lunch hour. More and more employers are offering physical-activity programs at work and flexible hours to help their employees find time in their day to exercise. If your employer doesn't offer something currently, ask. Most employers are receptive!" - Michele Ervin

Running Advice

"Taper your to-do list. Sure, you're training less the week before the race, but that doesn't mean you should fill your downtime with chores. Don't clean the garage. Don't even alphabetize your books. Just kick back, relax and focus on the only task that counts--replacing your heavy training with some very heavy rest." - Budd Coates

Running Advice

Over 40? Hit the gym: "Injuries would be cut in half if every runner over 40 runner started strength training. Weight training strengthens and energizes the whole body, and it'll help keep you injury-free. Aim for two sessions a week, and figure to do eight to ten different exercises that work your entire body." - Jim Porterfield

Running Advice

Summer Sipping: Drink plain old tap water, bottled spring water, or sparkling mineral water, which are naturally calorie-free. Some bottled waters even supply a dose of minerals such as calcium and magnesium. If you're looking for flavor, try unsweetened iced tea (black, green, or herbal) flavored with lemon, lime, or fresh peppermint leaves. For coffee and chocolate lovers, make your own iced mocha by combining coffee, non-fat milk, and a tablespoon of chocolate syrup. This drink will save you more than 200 calories compared with coffee-shop versions.

Running Advice

"Running your first fall marathon? Don't worry about the actual mileage of your long run as much as the time you spend on your feet. You should eventually be able to do a long run that approaches the same length of time that you expect to run in the marathon. Even if you're planning on a 4- or 5-hour marathon, try to work up to 80 percent of that for your long run." - Richetta Coelho

Running Advice

"When dealing with the discomfort of hard racing, try to cope with the pain by focusing on the runner in front of you. This allows you to disassociate from your own body while you still concentrate on the race itself. You embrace the hard effort, but don't allow the pain to deter you from your goal." Don Kinsella

Running Advice

"Big goals are achieved more easily if you break them down into smaller goals, which are then used as stepping stones to reach the final goal. For example, instead of trying to qualify for the Boston Marathon before you've ever run a half-marathon, your first goal should be to finish a 10-K within the next 2 months. As this goal approaches, plan your second goal of finishing a half-marathon in the next 3 months, and so on." - Jeff Galloway

Running Advice

Ease the Queasies: Some options for calming stomach discomfort on the run: Take a breather and walk for a while. Sit on a bench or on the ground for a minute. A little bit of food can also help when nausea strikes.

Running Advice

"Feeling tired? When you're low on iron or certain B vitamins, you feel run-down all the time. Consider a consultation with a sports nutritionist who can identify the areas in your diet where you may be deficient." - Kathleen Jobes

Running Advice

"A marathon demands patience, as gratification is long delayed. The race doesn't start on marathon morning, but months earlier with the commitment to train. Along the way you spend more training days patiently holding back than pushing ahead." - Joe Henderson

Running Advice

Knee extensions build quad strength, but these two exercises strengthen your quads in a way that's more specific for running, and will leave muscles less fatigued.

Sideways step-downs: Stand with both feet on a 6-inch step. Keeping your hips level, slowly lower your left foot off the left side of the step. Tap your heel on the ground, then return to the step. Repeat with the right leg off the right side. Do one to three sets of 15 to 20 repetitions on each side.

Wall slides: Stand with your back against a wall and your feet 16 inches from the wall, knees slightly bent. Keeping your back straight, slide your back and hips down the wall until your knees form a 90-degree angle. Pause, then slide back up the wall. Do three sets of 15 to 20 repetitions with a 1- to 2-minute rest between sets.

Running Advice

Low fat, low fuss broccolini: a cross between broccoli and Chinese kale. You can steam, sauté, poach, roast, or grill it. As long as you don't overcook broccolini, you'll get brilliant green color and a crunchy texture. Prep work is effortless--you eat the whole stalk; no trimming needed. A 3-oz portion has 130% of the DV of vitamin C, and 30% of the DV of vitamin A (in the form of beta-carotene).

Running Advice

Refueling is Key: Eating and drinking after a workout is key for a quick recovery. But sometimes after hot, long run, solid food is the last thing you want. During that crucial 30 to 60-minute window when you need to refuel, try a high carbohydrate recovery drink. These drinks contain more carbs than sports drinks. Some also come with added protein, which may help rebuild muscle glycogen stores faster.

Running Advice

"Can't fit in a once-a-week massage? Self-massage works well, too. Taking even 30 to 40 seconds to knead your feet or calf muscles before or after a run can really make a difference." - Charlie Butler

Running Advice

Be Body-Aware: Water running increases your body awareness because of the added resistance of the water. Once a week, hit the pool and use a flotation vest or belt to run where your feet can't touch the bottom, paying special attention to a smooth leg motion.

Running Advice

Downhill Caution:: Downhills are more likely to cause injury than uphills since the body absorbs more shock on impact. Braking may cause the muscles along the back of the legs and in your back to fight against gravity, causing additional stress. To minimize the shock, run hitting lightly on the ball of your foot and then the heel, rather than hard on the heel.

Running Advice

Juicy, sweet tomatoes plucked fresh from the vine are one of summer's greatest pleasures. They're also packed with vitamin C, potassium, fiber, and lycopene, the pigment that colors tomatoes red--and fights disease. Tomatoes and products such as ketchup and salsa may also protect against lung and stomach cancers as well as cataracts.

Running Advice

"Regardless of your personal running goals, during the heat of the summer, the body's number one goal is self-preservation. If you ignore that, you won't meet your goals. Runners should plan their running routes carefully, respect the heat and sun during the middle of the day, and drink before, during, and after running."

Running Advice

"Perhaps you've used the "I'm not fast" or the "I don't have a competitive chromosome in my body" excuse. Don't let excuses keep you from racing. You can--and should--race. Whether you have a time goal in mind or just want to get to the finish line, racing lets you gather with energetic, supportive people. Racing will motivate you to train better. It will inspire you to run more races." - Jeff Galloway

Running Advice

Cool Down Your Toes: If your feet swell or get overheated when you run, consider applying ice or soaking your feet in cold water immediately afterward. Adding Epsom salts to the cold water helps some runners, but the downside of using salts is that, if overused, they can make your feet too dry.

Running Advice

Figs: Taste for yourself why figs were Cleopatra's favorite fruit. Fresh figs have a creamy, melt-in-your-mouth texture and a subtly sweet flavor. But it's their rich nutrient content that should solidify their place on your table. Each large fig has just 47 calories and barely a trace of fat or sodium. Five figs--a nice breakfast or dessert serving--contain 10.6 grams of fiber (more than twice as much as 1 cup of raspberries); 742 milligrams of potassium (more than an extra-large banana); 112 mg of calcium (equal to 1/2 c milk); 54 mg of magnesium (about the same as 2 pieces of whole wheat bread); 1.2 mg of iron (same as 3/4 c of raw spinach) and B vitamins, vitamin A, and folate.

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