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The Run Express aspires to be a weekly publication providing useful running-related content while keeping you updated on everything going on in the Run Expression universe.
Seize the Moment
While packing my family in the minivan to go to Brian’s Run this past weekend, I recalled how accessible running is. It took me all of 20 minutes to dress and pack for my race, get my two kids equipped in proper attire for their race, and throw some extra water and clothes in the car. It brought back memories of packing for triathlons, windsurfing sessions, and mountain bike races. As amazing as those activities are, there’s quite a bit more gear, time, money, and effort required. With running, I love the simplicity of just needing some decent shoes, athletic attire, and a bottle of water.
It is hard to get a family of four out the door to do anything — but we managed to get everyone to Brian’s Run, including my parents, for the tradition that started for me when I was 6-years old. My father used to get me to the kids “fun” run just about every year, and I was delighted when both of my children agreed to run this year (pro tip: don’t tell kids about the race until about 4 hours prior — much less time to stress that way). Even more amazing was the delight and satisfaction they took away from the experience. My son, who is struggling with juvenile arthritis, ran the entire 1-mile race. My daughter, who is the same age as I was when I ran my first Brian’s Run, asked if she could do more races with me. I was greeted a the 1-mile mark of my 5-mile race with smiles and high-fives and they were there cheering me on again the last 400 meters on the track. So fun (despite being a chilly, rainy, dismal day)!
I feel very grateful that running provides such easily-attained enrichment in my life. It’s important to me that we all find as many ways as possible to take advantage of what running has to offer. There are so many benefits: health, mental cleansing, socialization, self-confidence, family growth, and on and on. So if you are feeling up to it, lace up your shoes to go train. If not, rest up and think about getting out there as soon as you can.
Before you step out the door to run tomorrow, do you know how you are going to prepare body? Yes, running only requires some decent shoes and athletic attire, but your body will treat you best if you develop a good routine for getting it ready to move.
Often called a “warm-up,” movement preparation is the process for preparing your body for energetic activity. It is essential if you want to perform at your peak. Even on “easy days” when peak performance isn’t your top concern, movement preparation will refine movement patterns and technical skill, increase mental focus, activate key stabilizing muscles, increase heart rate and core temp, and actively lengthen muscles. This makes your run training much more beneficial and less likely to injure your body.
Hopefully you have some good routines in place already. If you are interested in taking it further, here’s an example workout on The Runner’s Toolkit: https://runnerk.it/move-prep-a
And here’s a great article from Chris Miller on Simplifaster: https://simplifaster.com/articles/warm-up-performance-preparation/
The Movement Paradigm
It was a pleasure joining a multi-disciplinary group of movement professionals at Dr. Arianne Missimer’s Movement Paradigm Summit in November. I personally experienced some amazing Qi Gong, mindfulness, yoga, dance, and clowning (yes, clowning) instruction, but there were at least 20 movement experts presenting. It’s a great credit to Arianne’s open-mindedness that she included running instruction in this mix.
Joining this event helped me realize why Arianne is so focused on movement, mindset, and nutrition as the central tenants of her practice. The mind, the body, and the food we consume are tightly linked to so many aspects of performance in our life. Movement is dictated by the mind. Our mind is enhanced with movement. Our mind and body need the right nutrients to function. Just about any pursuit in life is enhanced when we pay attention to these things.
Attention seems to be the key. We all intuitively understand the links between our mind, body, and food we consume. But how many of us pay attention to these things on a regular basis? What practices do we have to link the three together?
I love this quote from a post by Brad Stulberg: “In many ways, we are what we pay attention to. The things that we work on also work on us. There is no such thing as ‘passive’ consumption. Everything we take in has an effect on the taker-inner, on us. Our attention is perhaps the most precious resource there is. We need to use it as skillfully as we can.”
As a runner, Arianne has helped me apply attention to practices and principles that improve my race performance along with performances at work, at home, and in my social life. I greatly value our collaboration on The Runner’s Toolkit and with the athlete’s we coach.
2019 is looking like an exciting year for movement. Arianne will open the doors at The Movement Paradigm Integrative Health Center in Downingtown, PA on January 2nd. We have a lot more planned for The Runner’s Toolkit and will be collaborating on more events to help runners. Stay tuned!
The Runner’s Workshop Live
We’re trying something new this week. At 8pm on Wednesday, Dec 4th, I’ll be broadcasting a live show on YouTube and Vimeo. Please keep expectations very low for this first pilot, but I hope to grow it into something you’ll want to tune into on a regular basis. I’d tell you exactly what it is going to be but I’m honestly not sure — I’m just as interested as you to see how it emerges.
You can tune in live (or access a recording) at one of the following locations.