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Running Ichiban


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While you are resting, someone else is training...When you race them, they will beat you!

Training is what a runner does. A runner doesn't succeed in racing, unless he trains. This page is a collection of some simple tips on how to train. On the right, there is a column on how to rest. This column is list of stretches to do AFTER a workout. Before a workout there should be a slow warmup on level ground, increasing in pace until you are at your workout pace. Some drills, strides, or other active stretching may also help. Stretches which require you to stay still for a while should be done only after workouts and after a warm down(also on level ground decreasing in pace)to ensure improvement, and keep injuries to a minimum.


"It only hurts up to a point, and then it doesn't get any worse."-Ann Trason
Training is where you must hurt, it will pay off in the race.

Learn from your mistakes-this is probably the most important thing to do, if you want to improve.
Keep a log-this is the only way that you will know what works for you, and what doesn't. Put everything relevant in your log.
Keeping a consistent workout schedule is important to your progress as a runner. If you miss more than a day consecutively, it can compromise your progress if you are training to race. However if you are injured, this can't be helped, and to wait for your injury to heal would be better than to train through the pain, because a relapse may occur, not allowing your injury to heal properly.
A runner must not only keep his legs in shape, but his entire body. Running exercises your lungs, your heart, and even your diet strongly affects your performance as well. Strength training to help you keep your entire body in shape is a good idea. A runner gets a majority of his balance, and controlled breathing from his abs, which are the center of his body, and therefore is what "holds him together," so to speak. The lower back is also important because it allows the runner to keep his posture and correct form as he runs.
Here are some exercises for the middle part of your body:
1)Lie on a bench. Reach over your head and hold onto the bench. Raise both legs in the air until your toes point at the ceiling. Keep both knees slightly bent. Raise and lower your hips, keeping them from touching the bench.
Sit on the floor with your knees bent, and hold your arms straight in front of you. Keeping your arms low, lean back until you're halfway to the floor. Lift your feet off the floor and extend your legs until they are straight. (Keep your legs low.) Hold for up to 30 seconds and then repeat.
2)Sit with your knees bent, and your feet flat on the floor. Cross your arms over your chest so that your hands rest on the opposite shoulders. Keep your back straight and lean back. Gently twist from side to side. NOTE: There should be absolutely no movement from the waist down. If this exercise is performed correctly, there should be a minimal range of motion (only a couple of inches to each side).
3)Lie on the floor with your knees bent. Raise your legs so that your hips and knees are bent at 90 degrees. Place your hands behind your head, keeping your elbows on the floor. Twisting from the waist, bring your right elbow towards your left knee, and at the same time, extend your right leg. Your left elbow should remain on the ground. Complete the set on one side then change to the other. Note: Do not alternate every other one.
4)Basic crunch: Works the rectus abdominis, the wide flat muscle that runs from your breastbone to the front of your pelvis. Lie on the floor with your feet hip-width apart. Cradle your head in your hands without lacing your fingers together and with your elbows rounded slightly inward. Tilt your chin a little way towards your chest and pull your abdominal muscles in. Exhale through your mouth as you curl your head, neck and shoulders up off the floor. Hold at the top of the movement for a moment, then inhale as you slowly lower down.A couple of general points to think about as you do this exercise: You do not need to "go for the burn" during this or any exercise. However, you should be able to feel the muscle working hard within 8 to 15 repetitions. If you can do more than 15 reps of any exercise -- including an abdominal exercise -- you need to review your form and think about making some changes to that exercise. Some people can do hundreds of reps of crunches in a row. That's because they slam through the exercise too quickly, using more momentum than muscle power. Move SLOWLY. Each crunch repetition should take about five seconds to complete, not a millisecond.
A detailed description of one repetition: Start with your hands behind your head. Your fingers aren't laced together. Your elbows are rounded slightly inward; you should just be able to sneak a peek at them in the corner of your vision. Your chin is tilted slightly backward as if you were holding a grapefruit between your chin and your chest. Your knees are bent and your feet placed flat on the floor, hip width apart. Your abs are pulled inward to protect your back, but you aren't jamming your back into the floor. To pull your abs inward, don't suck them in; instead, imagine that you have a girdle on that's about two sizes too small. In other words, tighten all of your middle muscles to achieve this girdle-like feeling. Exhale and slowly curl upward and slightly forward, using ONLY your abdominals to power the movement. Imagine someone is about to drop a weight on your tummy and you have to tense up and curl inward to prepare yourself for the impact. At this point most people pull on their heads and their elbows pull inward. That is a no-no. Your head, neck and arms should not change position AT ALL as you lift upward. As you come to the top of the movement, your shoulder blades should just be clear of the floor and you should be looking though the space between your knees. Pause at the top a good slow second or two and pull your abdominals in even more. Slowly, slowly, SLOWLY lower to the start (as opposed to just releasing your muscle and plopping back downward). Think of retracing the path on the way down that your spine took on the way up. Your head should just lightly touch the floor, and then you should be moving up into the next rep.
If you can do 15 perfect reps using this exact technique and the exercise is still too easy, you can make some simple modifications: Slow the movement down even more. Do 10 short reps at the top of the movement before lowering to the floor. Pick your feet a quarter inch up off the floor. First, a little anatomy: You have four major abdominal muscles. The one that runs the length of your torso from your sternum to your pelvis is called the rectus abdominis. Because it is one long wide flat sheet of muscle, some scientists think it's a waste of time to do exercises to focus on the upper half of that muscle and other exercises to focus on the lower half. Me, I think that regular crunches do tend to hit the upper rectus fibers and reverse crunches tend to hit the lower fibers, so it's probably worth your while to do some of each. I will describe good form for both types of exercises shortly. For beginners: Do one set of each exercise, 8-15 reps per set. Gradually increase to two sets of each. Remember to exhale as you exert effort, since the act of forceful breathing kicks in the fourth major abdominal muscle group, the transversus abdominis.
5)Reverse Crunch
Lie on your back with your legs off the floor, your knees bent and positioned directly over your hips; cross your ankles and drop your heels toward your butt. Rest your arms on the floor beside you. Rest your head on the floor, relax your shoulders, and pull your abdominals inward. Lift your butt one or two inches off the floor so that your legs move directly up. Hold the position for a moment, and then lower slowly.
6)Crunch with a Twist
Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet hip-width apart and flat on the floor. Place your hands behind your head so that your thumbs are behind your ears. Don't lace your fingers together. Bring your elbows out to the sides and round them slightly inward. Tilt your chin so that there is a few inches between your chin and your chest. Pull your abdominals inward. As you curl your head, neck and shoulder blades off the floor, twist your torso to the right, bringing your left shoulder toward your right knee. Your shoulder doesn't need to actually touch your knee. Lower back down. On the next repetition, twist your torso to the left, bringing your right shoulder toward your left knee. Continue alternating sides.
7)Back raises: This exercise works your lower back.
[A]Lie on your stomach with your arms and legs outstretched. Tilt your head so that your forehead rests on the floor. If this is not comfortable, turn your head to either side.
[B] Lift your right leg and arm a few inches off the floor and stretch them out towards opposite ends of the room, as if you are trying to touch something with your fingertips and toes that is just out of your reach.
[C] Hold a moment and slowly lower to the start. Repeat with your left leg and arm. Alternate until you complete all reps.
If you don't have dumbbells, try using soup cans or bleach bottles full of sand or water as weights.
8)"The Tilt"
Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor about hip-width apart. Rest your arms wherever they're most comfortable. Gently press your back down and pull your abdominals in toward your spine. Don't tilt your head up and back. Keeping your entire back against the floor, gently squeeze your butt, and tilt your hips up until your rear end curls an inch or two off the floor. Hold this position for a moment and then slowly lower your hips back down.
Your abs and midsection are not the only parts of your body that need to be in shape, and your upper and lower body must be strong too.
1)Squats: This exercise works your butt and legs.
[A] Stand tall with your feet hip width apart and your hands on your hips.
[B] Bend your knees and lower your body until you feel your upper body folding forward over your thighs. How low you go will depend on your strength and flexibility, but never go so low that your buttocks is lower than your knees or your knees shoot out over your toes.
[C] Stand slowly back up, taking care not to lock your knees.
2)Lunges: This exercise works your butt and legs.
[A] Stand tall with your feet hip width apart and your hands on your hips.
[B] Leading with your heel, step your right foot a stride's length forward and bend both knees until your right thigh is parallel to the floor and your left thigh is perpendicular to it. Don't allow your knees to shoot out past your toes and be careful not to arch your back.
[C] Press off the ball of your right foot to stand back up. Repeat with your left leg and alternate.
Sample upper body exercises:
3)Push-ups: This exercise works your chest, shoulders and arms.
[A] Kneel on a mat with about 75 percent of your weight balanced on your palms. Pull your abdominals in so your back doesn't sag and your spine is in alignment.
[B] Bend your elbows and lower your body towards the floor. Once your upper arms are parallel with the floor, press back up to the start.
4)Shoulder presses: This exercise works your shoulders and arms.
[A] Sit up tall in a chair or on a bench with a dumbbell in each hand. Bend your arms and raise the weights up so that they are level with your ears and your palms are facing forward.
[B] Slowly straighten your arms upward taking care not to snap your elbows. Then, slowly lower the weights until they are alongside your ears again.
Stregnth Training is not going to make you a good runner by itself, and the best way to improve your breathing, form, and speed, is to run!
Different workouts do different things, and in order to improve at everything, you must do everything. Everyting includes, long runs, intervals, fartlek, hill runs, and recovery runs.
Long runs can be explained easily:a run for a longer amount of time than a usual workout, of continuous running, and consistent breathing. This is to build endurance, and consistent breathing. During this workout it is often good to concentrate on certain elements of your running, such as form(keeping your arms where they should be, abt. 90 degrees, and your hands going from your midsection to just behind your hips, concentrating on front mechanics or back mechanics, your posture, look abt. 10 feet in front of you{too far or too close will slow your pace}), form, and it's also a good time to think abt. future workouts, or even an upcoming race.


Stretches are one of the main components of a workout, and not to be missed. REMEMBER: You are the only one that will suffer from not stretching.

"Spread 'em"-sitting on the ground reaching for your legs, one leg at a time, and once in the middle.(legs spread open to about 90-100 degrees.
"Butterflies"-sitting with bottom of feet touching each other right in front. Feet are brought close to self, and body leaned over forward. Elbows may push down on knees for stronger effect.
"Inverted Hurdles"-sitting, one leg is out, at the same angle as "Spread 'em", the other is in like "Butterflies". reach towards foot, then switch sides.
"tv's"-sitting, one leg is in the "butterflies" position, the other is pointed the opp. way, and it's knee is touching the bottome of the first foot. Lean forward, towards the foot, then switch sides.
"Mountain Climbers"-get into pushup position, then raise your butt into the air and place one foot on the back of the other, then switch.
"Flamingos"-standing, reach behind you and raise the opp. foot to your butt, then switch.
"Arms Across"-reach one arm across your body pulling it with the opp. arm to your shoulder blade, then switch.
"Tricep Stretch"-raise your elbow behind your head and push gently backwards with the opp. arm, then switch.
"Arm Swings"-swing your arms forward and backward for a few times until your arms feel loose and shoulders relaxed.