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We are training for our first cross crountry race!

The inner spirit of running is also different from that of most other sports.It can be competitive or it can be non competitive as you chose to make it.Running may well turn out to be one of the most significant experiences of you're life.Yet it doesn't always seem fun when you first try it.You're muscles may be soft,you're joints may be stiff and you're heart and lungs aren't use to working work hard.

As a result you'll feel slow and awkward when you run and will ache a bit afterwards.
But even if you're severely out of condition it only means it will take a bit longer to get back into shape.I ask you to trust me,"THE GOAL"I promise is worth the struggle.Within a few weeks you'll be covering 4-5km at a time.After a run you'll feel refreshed.You'll have more energy and more zest.You'll take more pleasure in both school and play.You'll sleep more soundly and feel better then before.

Its best when its worked into the fabric of you're life's,as an indispensable part of each day.So  start slowly.If you read a lot about Running you'll often come across"train don't strain"you'll improve just as quickly rather take it easy than continually flogging yourself to go further and faster.

Do you remember the first time you tried to play soccer or netball?Wasn't it awkward to kick the ball or pass the ball the way you're coach wanted you to.Running is like that.Everybody knows how to run.Further more the more you run the more efficient your styles becomes.Just run,breath naturally.Remember that you running not just for fitness but for fun.

Running is a holiday for everyday chores,a special treat for you're mind and body if you concentrate on the fun the fitness and style will take care of themselves.


1. The Top Ten Team Work Ideas when it comes to running

  • Just do your best.Compete against your own time.Try you're hardest.Doing you're best can only be anything of the following;running faster,running further,trying something new,better form,better breathing or better attitude.
  • Sometimes offer to run with a slower runner and give encouragement.
  • Cheer for runners on the other team,too.All kids are our future we need to make everyone feel loved.
  • Offer to bring a healthy snack to the run.
  • .Educate you're parents to have positive things to say to all runners;"looking good"
,         you're at it,keep trying,were behind you you're awesome.NO BOOING ALLOWED!
  • Ask teammates if there's anything you can do to help the team.
  • Let the coach know that you think all kids should earn certificates or medals when finishing a event before you're team mates ,make sure to wait for them and to cheer them on even the slowest.They will notice and remember what you have done. Suggest to you're coach to have a award ceremony  after run.
  • Be on time,respect the rules.Say,"please",and "thank you"to your teammates and coach.
  • If you disagree with something ask you coach to discuss it.You should have a voice to.


2. Warm Up and Cool Down

Of prime importance in any form of training session is a warm up and cool down.In every book you read be it training for rugby,running or swimming theres a section about warm up and cool down.It has been proved that the body will preform better when it has for warned of a hard effort as supposed to being dropped into the deep.
Jog easily for about 2.5km until you feel you have warmed up and stretch properly you can do a few strides of 80-100m.Starting from a jog  building up  to a sprint do a few of those just to loosen up the legs.Each runner should find a way that suits him or her.Any method is acceptable as long as it both prepares you physically for the race.
Not to warm up is to run the danger of injury and likely result in a below poor performance.In training ,a warm up will ensure that you are making the most efficient use of training time.Cool down is usually done after a  training session,in the same way as the warm up but no strides added.

Mental Warm ups- A long with light running and stretching many runners also prepare themselves mentally before each run.Having your mind in synch with your body is always a good idea.
Visualization-The act of Visualization yourself running with ease and  perfection form prior to going out and doing it,it has been proven to affect your bodies response.Your muscles can be trained to preform as you imagine them to.
Verbal-affirmation-Conducting positive talk is a way to psych yourself up before a run.Tell yourself,"I really feel strong today"Im sure I can run further then usual today.


3. Our Fourth running session with Nombulelo Secondary School a endurance session

Im keen to see on this session what the girls are capable of doing when running for a bit longer then they are use to.This session will test their fitness and endurance.The whole session excluding warm up and cool down will be 30 minutes.It will be a combination of Walking/running again but more running then walking.Two minutes of running followed then by one minute of walking this will be done continuously on whistle blows until 30 minutes has lapsed.I will try and measure out a route with my Gps for them to run on, so that they know what distances they have  covered in the 30 minutes of running and walking.A winner will be chosen for the endurance  session a be rewarded with a reward.


4. Stretching for Running and why its important to stretch!

Stretching is something you've got to do if you're a runner.Some people like it ,some hate it but its the rules.Its keeps you relaxed,flexible,increases your range motion and keeps you injury free. A FEW THINGS TO REMEMBER  WHEN YOU STRETCH

  • Expect results only after weeks or months of regular stretching
  • Stretch all year round
  • Stretch before and after exercise.
  • Select the stretches you do carefully,start easy and build to more advanced stretches.
  • Alternate the muscles that you stretch maybe from the calf to the quadriceps,then the Hamstring.
  • Don't  bounce when you stretch.
  • Keep it comfortably,never stretch until you have pain.Count to at least 10 seconds....slowly,better yet count to 20.
  • Dona stretch a cold muscle make sure you're thoroughly warmed up before stretching
  • stretch a bit before you run and stretch a lot after.

Stretching prevents injuries the more sufficient the stretching the more less you are at risk picking up injuries.Stretching should always be done correctly in the right method starting from the head moving down to the ankles one repeat should be done on both sides.Never stretch to the point of pain forcing the muscles further then it can go it can do more damage then good.
Try  and do the correct stretches for the right body part!


5. My third training session BOOT CAMP!

Todays session will be a little more exciting and will veer off from the usual running.As always we will run to warm up for around 10 minutes.Once everyone has warmed up throughly we will start with our aerobics work out.Todays session will be a circuit training session.For each circuit exercise it must be done for 20 counts  before moving on the next session.

Sit Ups-Laying on your back knees bent raise head towards knees with arms behind the head.
Push ups-Straight legs or bended knees pushing up yourself up and down with bended elbows.
Star Jumps- Jump up and down open legs and open arms
Star jumps to the front-Do the star jump move but then move hands also to the front.
Touch the knees-run on one spot lifting the knees high touching your hands.
Kick left and right-kicking the legs high left then right.

Then  the session was ended with a 5 minute easy recovery jog.


6. Training session 2 on the Running Project!

Training session two will be  more of of a combination of running and walking and this session will be done for 25minutes excluding the warm up and cool down.
The warm up session will consist of 5 minutes of easy jogging to get the blood flowing and to get the muscles warmed up.Light stretches will be done to prevent any muscles strain.imageexpanded|raUID=443105087191967947|size=widtheditor|

Once we have completed the stretches our work out of 25 minutes will begin.This work out will be done on whistle blows.First whistle blow will mean run if you hear the next whistle it will mean you have to walk,so the session will consist of run,walk,run till the 25min has lapsed.After the run,walk session a little cool down run will be done.


7. Tips - A Few Pointers On The Correct Running Style

Your head-Should be straight up and down or slightly leaning forward .If your head is arching
Your mouth-
back you throw the rest of your body backwards.-Breath through a comfortable open mouth.Some runners like to breath in through the nose then out through there mouth.
The lower lip-If you have a lose lower lip that means your not clenching your teeth.And the rest of our body is staying lose.
Shoulders-Low rather then high.Lose rather then tense.They should have an upright or slight forward lean.
Arms-Bent at the elbow.Swing backwards and forward between the waist and the bottom of your rib cage try to do little side to side motion as possible.
Hands-Half fists  do not clench.Keep them between the waist and the bottom of your rib cage level most of your running.Pump them higher and harder when sprinting or going up hill.
Thumbs-Keep them close and outside the fist.
Back-Upright or slight forward lean.
Lungs-Learn to belly breath,take a deep breath and push down with diaphragm,expanding the stomach,not chest.
Hips-forward and under you
Butt-Forward and tucked under
Knees-Gentle lift but not pronounced
Leg swing-Reach out just ahead of you to land swing your leg back behind you-you foot going halfway up forward en towards your butt.
Foot placement-Land on your heel roll to the front of your foot push off with your front of foot not just your toes.


8. My first training session on the awareNet runnining Project

The first day of training I will assess the fitness of the kids.We will do an easy warm up jog of 10 minutes followed by a few stretches.
Stretches-Stretching the neck first we do little circles  to the left then to the right doing three little circles on each side  and then back in the center keeping the  stretch for 20 seconds.We then warm up the arms doing big windmill circles to the front then to the back.Followed by smaller circles to the front then to the back doing each one 5 times after warming up the arms we stretch each arm throughly and keep the stretch for 20 seconds.
You then move down to the waist doing rotating movements with the hips doing 5 circles to the left then 5 circles to the right.You also stretch the hips from side to side holding each stretch for 20 seconds left then right.Once the hips feel warm up  we then we move down to the legs firstly stretching the quads(the front of the leg) balancing on one leg we pull the legs backwards and try and keep it for 20 seconds repeating  each leg once,once we have stretched the quad we stretch the hamstring(back of the top leg) also holding each stretch for 20 seconds.It is very important to warm up these muscles throughly to avoid straining them once we start with our aerobic session

Once  we've stretched the hamstring we move  down to the calves also holding each stretch for 20 seconds,different ways can be use to stretch the calves also make sure you stretch the calves throughly.Once we have warmed  up the calves,we do the ankles doing small circles to the left doing five of them then then doing the right ankle repeating it 5 times as well.

Once throughly stretching the whole body we then resume our aerobic work out.The aerobic work out will then consist of 20 min easy jogging just to get the blood flow going and the heart beat up.Once we have done our aerobic work out when end our session with a cool down lap of 5 minutes of brisk walking. A cool down lap should always be followed by easy stretching to avoid any strains.

Find more pictures here.


10. Helpful Tips for Running Your First Race

  • It is very important to not be overdressed or under dressed for your race.
  • Runners should arrive at least one hour before their official start time.
  • Warming up is essential before every race. Not only does it get the blood flowing to the muscles, it also helps begin the mental preparation for your race.
Let the Race Begin

Race anxiety, as mentioned earlier, is quite common. With that being said, having a little extra adrenaline works to a runner's advantage. If the event you are participating in allows for runners and walkers, you may want to line-up mid-pack. This will allow you not to get pulled into a faster runner's pace or have to dodge walkers participating in the event.

Start your pace much slower then you feel you should and then allow for a gradual pick up in pace as the race progresses. Once the field thins out, you can then choose a pace that you can comfortably hold for the remainder of the race. If you find yourself running too fast, slow your pace or add a nice walk until you are ready to pick up your pace again.

Time to Cool Down and Refuel

Once you have crossed the finish line don't stop. It is very important do some light jogging/easy walking 10-15 minutes post race. This helps keep the blood from pooling in the lower extremities while helping the body remove the built up lactic acid within the muscles. And don't forget to do another round of light stretches.

Once your cool down is complete, you need to start re-hydrating. You may also want to change into some dry clothing. As your body's core temperature begins to drop, wearing damp, sweaty clothes can cause chills.

Drink plenty of water now and throughout the day. The best determination of your hydration level is by monitoring the color of your urine. The desired color is a pale, lemonade color...anything darker means you may be dehydrated and anything lighter means you may be over-hydrated and you need to drink a sports drink such as Powerade,  which contain electrolytes to allow for proper sodium and potassium replacement.

You also need to make sure you get in a nice recovery snack as soon as possible after your race. Consuming a post-run snack containing carbs and protein will aid in muscle recovery as well as replenishing the glycogen stores within the body. Something as simple as a banana and peanut butter or low-fat chocolate milk will suffice.

Once you have refueled and re-hydrated you will want to get in some nice stretching. Be sure to stretch the hamstrings (back or thighs), the quadriceps (front of thighs) calves and upper body.


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by: Terri-Lynn Penney
on: 2012-06-25 14:54:21