A few ways runners benefit from vitamin C
by Coach Jenni Nettik
That’s a picture of my fruit bowl this week, actually, my half eaten fruit bowl. It’s filled with twenty cent grapefruit, sweet clementines, my favorite Italian treat–blood oranges, and a fresh lime from our indoor tree. The abundance of fresh citrus fruit is one of my favorite things about winter, a season that’s a little gloomy this year, even in Colorado.
Well, it turns out my love of grapefruit and all things citrus may actually be good for my running. Citrus fruits, as well as tropical fruits, are packed full of vitamin C. A vitamin that performs several important functions for runners.
Vitamin C is necessary for the formation of connective tissues like cartilage, tendon, bone and skin. Unfortunately, many runners are familiar with injuries to connective tissues like runners’ knee, IT-band pain and stress fractures. Vitamin C is vital to the healing process and overall joint health.
Vitamin C plays a role in the production of hormones and neurotransmitters secreted during exercises. Neurotransmitters like norepinephrines stimulate the heart, blood vessels and sweat glands during exercise. Like the runner’s high? They’re responsible for that euphoric feeling too!
Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant. It may reduce the the symptoms and duration of upper respiratory tract infections, more likely to occur after strenuous physical activities like running. Stay healthier and prevent disruptions to your training by eating foods high in vitamin C to prevent illness.
Vitamin C helps with the absorption of iron. Many runners struggle with Anemia or low iron levels which can cause fatigue and negatively impact performance. Consuming vitamin C with non-heme iron rich foods or supplements enhances the absorption of iron.
While vitamin C has lots of health benefits, contrary to popular belief, it can’t actually cure the common cold.
What’s your favorite thing about winter–running related, or not?
Source: Sports Nutrition for Endurance Athletes, Monique Ryan
How to make your New Year’s resolutions last a little longer!
by Coach Jenni Nettik
1. Write down your goals! Keep them somewhere you’ll see them–on the fridge, in your office, on your phone or even broadcast them to the world on social media.
2. Sign-up for your race or event. Now your money and mind have the same goal!
3. Keep a running log or journal. Tracking progress helps keep motivation high. Use an online program like Garmin Connect and your data will automatically upload from your watch to the computer. Know you need support from others? Record your workouts on Instagram or Facebook and use the positive feedback to stay motivated when things get tough. Want to keep it simple? Use my favorite–a Moleskine notebook. Record your accomplishments the old fashion way with a pen & paper.
4. Reward yourself! Set small goals and reward yourself for reaching them. Did you get your long run in even though it was cold and windy? Make time to take a hot bath. Did you workout three days a week for the entire month of January? Get yourself a new pair of Smartwool socks to keep your feet warm during your February runs. Did you squeeze in a morning run even though you despise them? Treat yourself to a cup coffee! The rewards don’t have to be big, just something to tell yourself thank you!
5. Recruit & run with friends. Schedule a weekly friends’ run. Use it as a time to catch-up during the week. If your motivation is running low, chances are someone else will have a little more enthusiasm and you won’t want to disappoint.
6. Join a run club! Lots of shops, bars and restaurants in Denver offer free run clubs. Joining a club like HTB Run Club means you’ll meet other like-minded folks who enjoy socializing, running & drinking beer at the same time and place each week.
7. Get a coach! A coach will help you reach your goals by tailoring a training program to your specific needs. A coach can help keep you strong & healthy by focusing on things you don’t enjoy doing on your own like strength exercises, mobility stretches, speed intervals and hill repeats. A coach also keeps you accountable to someone besides yourself. Mercuria Running is a great place to start your search for a coach. Use the code: NEW YEAR to take 10% off your booking during the month of January.
What helps you stick to your running resolutions?
Running on (Thin) Ice
A few tips for tackling slick surfaces
by Coach Jenni
It’s that time of year when things are frozen and just a little slippery outside. That doesn’t mean you have to be stuck inside on a treadmill. It’s a great time to go outside and explore the winter wonderland around you. Here are few tips for running on slick surfaces:
1. Try to stay relaxed, it’s easier said than done! If you’re tense while running, you’ll feel it the next day. Start with a good dynamic warm-up so your body is warm, relaxed & ready to go!
2. Regularly glance down at your running surface & pick the clearest path. Avoid painted lines and seek out pavement over cement, it tends to have a little better traction. If it’s really slick out, a dirt path may be your best option.
3. When running on ice, shorten your stride. Think: quick, light steps! Shortening your stride will ensure that you land under your body, the best position for good balance.
4. Resist the urge to lean back, stand tall with good posture. Again, this will help you land under your center of mass & improve balance.
5. Land on your midfoot or flat-footed. Shortening your stride will encourage you to land on your midfoot. Your midfoot provides more surface area & better balance than landing on your heel. You may notice that you slip more walking, than running, that’s because walking uses a heel strike.
6. Think about lifting your legs with your glutes, rather than pushing off with your toes. Pushing will cause you to slip.
7. Use your arms for balance, airplane them out to your sides if you need a little extra help.
8. Finally, if you have trail shoes, use them, they have more tread than traditional running shoes & provide better traction.
Stay safe & enjoy the frosty landscape around you!