Runnergirl Training: April 2011

Monday, April 25, 2011

Cardio or Weights First?

Often people ask if cardio or weights should be performed first. The answer to that question is the focus of your training goal. Read more here.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Reactive Hypoglycemia

By Runnergirl Training

Reactive hypoglycemia occurs when blood sugar rapidly drops during a workout, shortly after eating, or random occurrences during routine dietary habits.

Factors involved include timing & type of training, most recent nutrient intake, prior hypoglycemic episodes, hydration level, time of day, stress level, blood pressure level, & individual sensitivity to a drop in glucose.

Ways to prevent reactive hypoglycemia:
- Avoid exercise when you have not eaten within the past 4 hours.
- Eat complex carbohydrates, instead of simple sugars. Example peanut butter & crackers, instead of a cookie.
- During exercise, consume carbohydrates (sports drink, gels, bars, etc).
- If you are overtraining, you have an increased probability to be hypoglycemic.
- Being hypoglycemic, eating, & exercising too soon after being hypoglycemic increases the probability to again become hypoglycemic.

Stellingwerff, T. (n.d.). Reactive Hypoglycemia- is it a real phenomena among  endurance athletes. Retrieved from

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Product Review : Odwalla Bar - Sweet & Salty Peanut Bar

One of my favorite snack bars is the Odwalla Sweet & Salty Peanut bar. Reminds me of a Pay Day bar. Balanced nutrition & portable!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Self-Myofascial Release - Exercise Physiology of Foam Rolling

Written By Runnergirl Training

Self-myofascial release is a form of stretching and is often accomplished by use of a foam roller (cylinder of foam).

According to Clark and Russell, SMFR uses an individual’s body weight by incorporating a foam roller to massage restrictions that are in the soft tissue. The kinetic chain involved includes joints, neural system (nerves & central nervous system), and the soft tissue system (muscles, fascia, ligaments, tendons).  All of these components must function together to prevent the Cumulative Injury Cycle.

The Cumulative Injury Cycle is composed of several factors. Tightness in the muscles indicates soft tissue adhesions and neural-hyperactivity. The motion of the joint can become altered and change the neural feedback with the CNS (Central Nervous System). This causes a decline in the efficiency of neuromuscular actions. It is followed by premature fatigue and results in injuries.

Hirth (2007) explains the vital role of SMFR for a specific muscle group:
     The clinician could utilize an inhibition technique for the hip adductor complex, such as rolling on a foam roller. Often there are tender points in these muscles that are painful when pressure is applied. Placing constant pressure on the tender points for 30 seconds is thought to decrease muscle spindle activity in the overactive muscle. The next step would be to stretch the inhibited muscle. In this case, one could perform a standing hip adductor stretch for 20-30 seconds. Once the overactive/tight muscle group is inhibited/lengthened, the focus would be directed to activation of the weak gluteus medius.  Hip abductor muscles may play a vital role in controlling knee valgus motion. (p.13)

The following chart from Clark and Russell shows the benefits of SMFR:

Benefits of Self-Myofascial Release
- Correct muscle imbalances
- Joint range of motion
- Muscle soreness & relieve joint stress
- Neuromuscular hyper tonicity
- Extensibility of musculotendinous junction
- Neuromuscular efficiency
- Maintain normal functional muscular length

The following chart from Clark and Russell shows the correct way to use SMFR:

General Guidelines
- Hold each position 1-2 minutes for each side (when applicable).
- If pain is reported, stop rolling and REST on the painful areas for 30-45 seconds.
- Continuing to roll when pain is present activates the muscle spindles, causing increased tightness & pain.
- Resting 30-45 seconds on areas will stimulate the golgi tendon organ (GTO) and autogenically inhibit the muscle spindles, reducing the muscular tendon, & will help regulate fascial receptors.
- Maintain proper Draw In Position, which provides stability to the lumbo-pelvic-hip complex during rolling.
- Perform SMFR program 1-2 x daily.

Clark. M, & Russell, (n.d.). A. Self-Myofascial Release Techniques. Retrieved from 

Hirth, C. (2007). Clinical movement analysis to identify muscle imbalances and guide exercises. Athletic Therapy Today (12) 4, 10-14.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Running Watch & Heart Rate Monitor Reviews

This is my fitness trackers and running watches review. It is limited in scope since it is only the products that I have personally purchased and owned. Read my review here!

Q Angle & Quadriceps Strengthening

Q angle knee online personal training

written by runnergirl training

The Q angle is a measurement derived from measuring a line from the tibial tuberosity up to the midpoint of the patella (knee cap) & another line from the anterior superior iliac spine to the midpoint of the patella. A large Q angle can cause knee pain & injuries. See more below!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Agility Drills

Try out these agility drills. They can be performed without the rings, just use any marker for jumping.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

10 Fitness Facts

Fitness offers an array of benefits. Find out 10 of them here to motivate you to get moving!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Pace Calculator

Check out Cool Running's pace calculator here.

Nip Guards

If you're a male athlete you might be interested in trying Nip Guards. I have had a few guy runners express issues and this is the product that many use when working out.

Training For Your First Half Marathon

Are you ready to train for your first half marathon? Here is a fantastic training program by Hal Higdon to get you moving!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Be Inspired - Alanis Morissette

Be inspired by Alanis Morissette, a singer & a runner!

Product Review - Perrier

A fun treat that packs zero calories is Perrier water. It fills the cravings for a carbonated drink without adding calories to your day. Try out the various flavors and sizes!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Triathlon Training Programs

Want to start a triathlon training program? Check out Hal Higdon's triathlon programs here & here.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Dehydration - Signs & Seeking Help

Dehydration can negatively impact your body, training, performance, and long term health. Learn the signs and when it is time to seek help here.

Running Mentally Tough

Running is comprised of both mental & physical aspects that keep your feet moving. Check out these mental strategies to overcome mental barriers!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Stomach Problems

Do you experience stomach troubles when working out? Check out this article for suggestions on how to get through them!

Incorporate Races Into Training Programs

races training running half marathon program coach

written by runnergirl training

You may want to incorporate races into your training program if you are training for a half, full marathon or even a longer distance. Races are a great way to test your race preparedness both mentally and physically. They can function as speed work, tempo or race pace runs in your program. See more below!

You will modify your training program to accommodate including the shorter races. For example, if you wish to include a 10k race on a weekend omit that week’s most demanding workout. Most likely you will drop the long run or speed work. This will help prevent overtraining and burnout from adding in too many demanding workouts.

The main focus of any training program is to arrive at the race properly conditioned, not injured and prepared for that event. If adding in shorter races is too taxing on your body remember to focus on your goal race and not feel pressured to constantly race.

As always, listen to your body and modify your training schedule to allow for adequate rest and recovery.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Cucumbers Are Cool!

Wonder what nutritional benefits are offered in cucumbers? Find out here!

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