What Does It Take to Win a Marathon? (Part III)

Speed Work

Speed work is a voluntary element to put into your training program. It can enhance your aerobic capacity and make your easy runs feel truly easy. Tempo runs and intervals are the most common forms of speed work.

Intervals are a set of repetitions of a short, specific distance run at a considerably faster pace than usual, with recovery jogs in between. For example, you might run 5 X 1-mile repeats at a hard pace, with five minutes of walking or slow jogging between the mile repeats.

Rest and Recovery

Rest days mean NO running AT ALL! This allows your muscles to recover from strenuous workouts and help stop mental burnout. The biggest enemy of any hopeful marathoners is injury and the number one protection against injury is rest.

If you are just dying to do something active on your rest days, try cross-training. Cross-training includes hiking, walking, swimming, lifting weights, cycling, yoga, or any other active pursuit that isn’t high-impact.

14 – 21 days before your marathon, scale back on the intensity of your runs to allow your body to rest for marathon day.

Hydration

Almost all marathons have aid stations and water along the marathon route. If you’re going to bring your own water on race day, purchase a hydration belt or pack well in advance and get use to running with it on. Never, ever try it out on the day of the marathon.

During training, you’ll be doing lots of runs without the advantage of aid stations. Several techniques to consider:

  • Bring your own water using a hydration belt or pack, or even handheld bottles
  • Do a short loop course or long runs so you can put water in one spot along the way
  • Create your long run route to bypass water fountains
  • Put water bottles along your route the night or morning before the marathon

What Does It Take to Win a Marathon? (Part II)

The Building Blocks of Marathon Training

The principal elements of marathon training are:

Base mileage. Increase your weekly mileage over time. Run 3 to 5 times per week.

The long run. Do a long run every 7–10 days so your body can get use to long distances.

Speed work. Practice speed runs and intervals to improve your cardio capacity.

Rest and recovery. Sufficient rest aids in averting mental burnout and injuries.

Base Mileage

Most marathon training plans are from 10 to 25 weeks. 1st time marathoners should try to build their weekly mileage up to 55 miles over the four months leading up to the marathon.

3 to 5 runs a week is enough. A majority of these runs must be done at a relaxed pace. You should run at a simple enough pace to be capable of carrying on a conversation.

When constructing base mileage, don’t increase your weekly mileage by more than 10% from week to week.

Your next step is to increase to a long run every week. This should be attempted every 5–10 days, increasing the long run by 1-2 miles every week. Every 3 weeks, snip off a few miles so you don’t overdo it and risk injury. For instance, you could run 13 miles one weekend, 14 miles the next, then 15 miles, and then 13 again before moving on to 16 on the 5th weekend.

Doing these runs at a considerably slower pace than usual increases confidence, allows your body to get use to longer distances, and schools you on how to burn fat for fuel.

Remember, always let your body warm up and cool down with a couple of easy miles at the start and finish of any workout.

 

What Does It Take to Win a Marathon? (Part I)

For many runners, the wish to do a marathon is about individual challenge. You could want to prove to yourself that you can go the distance or test your limits. Perhaps someone has talked you into it. Maybe you’d like to get healthier, raise awareness for a charity, or simply lose weight.

Regardless your reason, keep a grasp on it and remind yourself of it often during the upcoming months. When the weather is nasty or your legs get tired, sustaining your motive will aid you in getting out the door.

For a summary on how to get going, such as stretching techniques, proper mechanics, and shoe selection, keep reading.

Getting Started

Know your limits. The 26.2 miles in a marathon will have you at a considerably higher risk for injury than your daily runs. Talk with your doctor before starting any training program.

Begin early: Conventional wisdom suggests that would-be marathoners run regular base mileage for at least 12 months before starting a marathon training program.

One of the usual causes of injury is developing weekly mileage too fast and too soon. Don’t undervalue the significance of steadily running between 20-40 miles per week on a regular basis before starting to train for a marathon.

Begin small: Running a few shorter races, such as 5Ks, 10Ks, or a half of a marathon, is a great way to prepare mentally and physically for your 1st marathon.

Selecting a First Marathon

Marathons range from low-key, quiet races on backcountry roads to spectator-lined city races with thousands of runners. To assist you in getting use to the race’s vibe and recognize your preference, run a couple of shorter races, volunteer at marathons, or cheer on a friend.

Selecting a marathon close to home may give you “home field advantage” with the chance to run on familiar streets. Nonetheless, selecting a race somewhere else can keep your motivation fire burning.

 

Serena Rules!

Here are six reasons (weapons!) that make Serena Williams such an amazing player, the total package, and so hard to beat.

Quick Return

She can return serve from well in the baseline due to the fact she reads the serves of her opponents very well and has incredible timing. By returning the ball so swiftly, she offers her opponents no time to prepare.

Playing the Angles

Williams frequently trades in power for smart angles. She will hit a forehand with plenty of topspin that will pull her opponent to the side of the court. This opens the remaining court for her next shot.

Deep and High Defense

Williams outrivals at offense, but also understands how to play defense when she has to. She will throw up a lob so high that she has plenty of time to reorganize and get back in position.

Slice Serve

Her serve is hard to read because her mechanics and toss seem the same each time. Williams can take something off her serve intentionally and slices it away from her opponent for an ace.

Power Serve

Not many women hit first serves harder than Williams. She possesses the most constant hard serve in tennis. She can paint the lines with it at will.

Lefty Forehand

Her two-handed backhand, the best in the history of tennis, depends profoundly on her left arm. She’s so amazing at it that she hits left-handed forehands in practice to enhance her timing.

She’s so damn fabulous. But what is it, precisely, that makes her so good?

Sure, there has been speculation that it’s her serve, stamina, power, and the way she controls a point. There are numerous factors that makes her game so spectacular.

She makes all too many folks uneasy because she is atypical and brilliant.

When the usual order of things is messed up by an athlete as dominant as Serena, the apple starts to shake. Serena has battled through it all with coolness and composure. The fact is she shouldn’t have to.

Baseball and Softball are Coming Back to the 2020 Olympics

Softball and baseball is making a comeback at the 2020 Olympics. For those who think that baseball is the finest sport in the world, this is incredible. More baseball!

Why ruin Monday nights on football all winter when there’s perfectly energizing Venezuelan Winter League action just waiting for everyone? And how dare you every four years have an international sportsball competition without the greatest one of them of all? Absolutely, baseball should be part of the Olympics.

The truth is there are plenty of folks that are suckers for the Olympics. For sports enthusiasts, the point is to watch sports you don’t care about 47 months out of 48. It’s doable to watch 17 hours of handball highlights on YouTube whenever you desire. Of course, you probably won’t do it. But put a five-ring watermark on the bottom of your TV screen and you would without a doubt.

However, baseball is a sport that some of us watch for thousands of hours each year. There’s no feeling of something fairly exotic. That’s not to say that you’re getting a second-rate version of the same game we’re all acquainted with. This isn’t Team Venezuela going up against Team USA.

Most likely, there will never be a Dream Team in baseball, but Olympic baseball will be programmed against other Olympic sports and MLB which folks really care about. That’s a harsh blow for any Olympic event wanting attention from Americans. The rest of the baseball world cares, okay? Other countries won’t have no issues sending their top, exciting players to the Olympics. The rest of the people on the earth won’t have any problem watching baseball in the Olympics to cheer on their favorite team. In North America, interest might be narrow and that’s putting it mildly.

 

Should Ballroom Dancing be Considered a Sport?

Is ballroom dancing going to be in the Olympics? A much better question is “how is it going to get there?”

Many professional ballroom dancers would love to compete at the Olympics and have a chance to earn a medal.

While there are those that say that ballroom dancing is an art and should never be part of the Olympics, there are others that the ballroom dancing belongs in the Olympic games.

They argue that that Olympic competition has termed ballroom dancing at the greatest level. On a practical level, bigger public recognition and more major sponsorships necessitates recognition in the Olympics.

Regardless your belief, there has been some advances in the past few years, signaling that ballroom dancing will be a part of the Olympics in the near future.

The Journey

In the late 90s, the World DanceSport Federation was acknowledged by the International Olympic Committee as the organization for ballroom dancing. With this, ballroom dancing bccame eligible for the Olympics.

It was during this time that the name DanceSport was created. It is to describe competitive ballroom dancing and the “sport” in the name connotates the alignment of ballroom dance to sports games.

DanceSport premiered on the program of the In the Asian Games of 2010, DanceSport was included on the program.

This is critical since these games are convened with the support of the Olympic Council of Asia.

Another crucial point is that ballroom dancing is easy to be held in several venues.

One of the reasons that softball and baseball were omitted after the 2008 Olympics is that some host cities had a hard time locating suitable venues within a satisfactory distance from other venues.

Regardless which country and which city is hosting the Olympics, locating suitable venues for ballroom dancing will definitely not be a problem.

Who is Maame Biney?

Maame Biney, 17, made the U.S. Olympic short track team for 2018 after sweeping the 500m at the Olympic Trials.

Beginnings

She was born in Accra, Ghana, a country on Africa’s east side. She began skating lessons at six after relocating to Reston, VA to live with her father.

While driving one day, Biney saw a sign for skating lessons on the roadside. Her father asked her if she was interested, but she didn’t even know what ice skating was. So, her father explained it to her.

She started with figure skating lessons then changed to speed skating on the recommendation of one of her coaches. Biney came unto the world stage at the World Jr. Championships in 2017.   She earned a bronze medal and finished 7th.

Biney has shown she’s one of America’s best skaters at the 2017 Short Track World Cup Qualifiers, a competition held in August that decides which short track skaters will go to the World Cups. She won the 500m and ended up in the top three in the 1000m and 1500m, giving her the overall top ranking.

When she competes in the 2018 Olympics, she will be the 2nd African-born athlete to represent the United States at a Winter Olympics. The 1st was Dan Westover, a biathlete who was from Madagascar and represented the US in the ’98 Olympics.

Additionally, she is the 1st Black woman to make the US team in speed skating or short track. The 1st Black man was Shani Davis from Chicago who made the 2002 team in short track.

Biney isn’t the only American Black woman heading to the Olympics. Others include Lolo Jones and AJA Evans in bobsledding. It shows that Black athletes are breaking down barriers in sports, particularly fields in which Black athletes were few and far between.

Best wishes to ALL our 2018 US Winter Olympic athletes!

Athletes to Watch in the 2018 Olympics

A few are stars already. Some are up and coming stars.

All want to make their mark when everyone on earth tunes in to the Winter Olympics 2018. The Winter Olympics will be held in PyeongChang, South Korea in February 2018.

Here’s some folks to keep an eye on:

Jamie Anderson (Snowboarder)

Jamie Anderson made her mark in her 1st Olympics in 2014. She won a gold medal in slopestyle snowboarding. And she has kept going ever since, winning gold or silver at the Winter X Games three years in a row (’15, ’16, ’17). Anderson, who is one of eight children, has said the greatest advice she’s gotten is “discover something you’re eager about and really go after it.”

Shaun White (Snowboarder)

Perhaps the most famous snowboarder on earth, Shaun White didn’t get to the podium in 2014 after back-to-back gold medals in the halfpipe event in 2006 and 2010. “It’s like when you have a bike accident. You have a scar that is a part of you and you learn from it.” At 31, he has some new tricks he has been working on and he is focused and ready to go.

Nathan Chen (Figure Skater)

This will be Nathan Chen first Olympics. The 18-year-old has made history already. In January, he was the 1st male figure skater in history to land 5 quadruple jumps in a single performance. Four weeks later, he did it once more.

Alex and Maia Shibutani (Ice Dancers)

They are referred to as “Shib Sibs.” Sister-and-brother duo Maia and Alex Shibutani are more than a catchy duo. The ice dancers have won two gold medals at two international competitions this season, the same amount they won the season before that, as well as the one before that. They’ve also won 1st place at the national championships in 2016 and 2017.

Swimming for Exercise

Exercise can be difficult on the joints. There are those who are runners who are in good shape, but their knees and hips are not in good condition. Any number of exercises can be helpful for you, but if you have aches and pains it might be difficult for you to get through a workout without being in pain. You may also want to do something that is simple on the joints if you are pregnant. If you want something efficient that is easy on the body, try a swimming exercise.

You will probably find a swimming exercise program at your local gym or YMCA. These classes are held in a pool and usually provided all year long. Most gyms have heated indoor pools that are upkept for those who wish to participate in a swimming exercise. It’s not just for swimming laps. There are many, many things you can do in a pool. You can buy your own pool, or you can use the community pool in the summer months. The community pool is a good choice, but it is always too crowded for any sort of organized workout.

You may find a swimming exercise that is like aerobics. Though it won’t be the same in water, it will be just as productive, and you will stay cooler throughout the workout. The water brings natural resistance, but it is also works well for your joints. There is not a lot of jarring movements in swimming, and you may find that some of your pains might go away.

You can also do swim dancing for your swimming exercise, or you can stick to the tried and true swimming. You can do laps or you can go up and down a lane, it makes no difference. The great part about a swimming exercise is that it doesn’t really matter what you are doing in the water, as long as you are receiving a good workout.

Planning a Golf Trip

A lovely California golf course

There can’t be anything better for the golf lover than to take a golf trip somewhere else than your home course. A golf trip is a nice way to get out of the norm, see the world, make friends, and play golf courses that are more incredible than you ever thought possible. Of course, if you live within driving distance of some of the nicer golf courses, you may think a golf trip isn’t necessary, but you couldn’t be farthest from the truth.

When you are planning a golf trip, it’s best to take along a few friends for the best golfing vacation. Your wife (or husband) might not be happy about it, but we promise, you’ll have a good time when you have some friends along for the trip.

A great place to plan a US golf trip to is Alabama. Robert Trent Jones was a golf architect who constructed close to 500 golf courses and is known as one of the top golf course designers on earth. In Alabama, there is the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail which has 11 different golf courses throughout the state that provide some of the best golf in the nation.

When you travel to play golf on the RTJ golf trail, you will find stimulating and fun courses that will deliver hours of enjoyment. This man was a mastermind when it came to constructing golf courses, so be prepared to be dazzled and frustrated.

If you want to travel for your golfing adventure, you can’t go wrong by going to the home of golf – Scotland. St. Andrews Golf Club is one of the most amazing places you can travel to and offer two different courses you can play including “the first golf course where the game of golf began. If you are a golfing enthusiast, think about a golf trip. There is nothing like it.