The Do’s and Don’ts of Distance Running, Part II

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Food is very important to aspiring and world-class athletes. Food is what is going to drive that physical engine of yours. You don’t have to just eat berries or nuts: try to have a proper nutritional balance. Runners are mainly driven by carbohydrates. Pasta and bread are definitely on our list. High-quality carbs will definitely help your run. If you are on a low-carbohydrate diet—it will affect your athletic performance.

I do recommend some degree of nutritional supplementation. Recommended Daily Allowance guidelines are woefuly dated. In other words, you’ll never get enough of it from your diet. The vast majority also do not have the time to eat the quantities of fruits and vegetables listed in the food groups. Workouts will drain your body of nutrients. But there still is no substitute for the natural vitamins and minerals found in fruits and vegetables. There also are nutrients in fruits and vegetables not necessarily found in vitamin supplements. But vitamins are still very good for the body. Very good ones are vitamin C and the B-complex—which helps the body fight physical and emotional stress and tiredness. Since they are water soluble, it is best to take a time-release formula. One could take several grams of vitamin C a day. Don’t worry about kidney stones; it is a myth. Take at least fifty milligrams a day of vitamin B.

RMy Running Comeback »I would recommend the Reishi mushroom for your running. The organic germanium (which is in much higher concentrations than in ginseng) greatly improves the oxygenation of human blood—substanially improving your physical endurance. It also lowers dangerous cholesterol and blood-fats, as well as being a complete cardiotonic for the heart. Since I have been taking them, my endurance and overall speed have greatly improved. Are you not a seasoned athlete? Don’t use it as a substitute for good training. Then head out on a hard run that you are not trained for. Use Reishi in a program of gradually building up your endurance. You still have to build up your heart and lungs.

Eating a light meal a couple of hours before a run also helps to maintain your blood-sugar levels. Stress, work and everyday life can drop your blood-sugar levels quickly. It’s better to do your run feeling strong then tired. Also, maintain the glycogen levels in your muscles that keep your body working out by maintaining a proper balance of nutrients in your body. Glycogen is what keeps your muscles going.

Always eat a light meal an hour before a race. But your main meal should always be the evening before; most races are in the morning. Distance runners should also have sufficient sleep before competing. I have done marathons on three hours sleep—you don’t want to do that. Eat, sleep and hydrate well before a race. Even if you are just trying to finish, that physical machine of yours could crash and burn so easily without the proper maintenance.

Don’t think you are superhuman! A good race is planned well and strategically. The three words are the credo of the distance runner. Additionally wear good shock absorbing shoes for your races and the training before. If you wear lousy, cheap shoes, your feet are going to feel like a sledgehammer hit your feet. Imagine running 26 miles in poorly constructed shoes. You do not want to be in pain the last few miles of that race: the shock waves not only hurting your feet—but leg muscles as well.

Wearing good shock absorbing shoes during training and racing can mean the difference between crippling injuries and years of running without them. In my early years of running, I, being a novice, did not necessarily wear good shoes. Water on the kneee changed that and quickly switched to an air shoe. I know that they can run into a deep expense. A solution to that would be to scour the thrift stores. There are many runners who don’t train properly; they end up giving it up far too quickly. I have found many high-quality air and other shock-absorbing shoes with low-wear on the soles for just a few dollars at thrift stores.

I do not want to spend several hundred dollars on a pair of shoes that will wear out in several months of heavy training. Of course spend the money if that’s what you want to do. Personally, I have saved at least several thousand dollars over the last twelve years that was spent elsewhere.

With training schedules, it varies amongst runners. Some do it every day. I usually average 10-15 training runs a month (of different multi-mile distances). Do what fits you. If you are doing a marathon for the first time, try and do at least a year of training runs. Take that time to build up to the point where you could do twenty mile runs. Don’t kill yourself in the process. Build up your muscles, heart and lungs running up huge hills and running very fast for gradually longer times. If you are not worried about time, you don’t have to sprint.

I recommend at least a year of training for all runs starting at six miles or higher for the beginner runner. Simply, because the beginners do not have the experience and training to be to handle a long run. There may be some prodigies amongst the new runners who have unusually strong hearts and lungs. But all new runners need at least a year of training before competing. Also, integrate your running with some weight training and cardiovascular machine use. But allow it to be only a small part of your training.

See you on the course!

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