by Dipti Joshi
This week’s expert guest and one of the Y’s top trainers, Lamont Rollins, smilingly shares his three tips for happier walks and runs:
1. “Clients have easier runs and walks if they foam roll both major and minor muscle groups like the calves, quads, hamstrings, adductors, glutes, and even shoulders for as little as 30 seconds to a minute each, beforehand.”
Yes, the data shows foam rolling the muscles increases flexibility for a short time. Foam rolling is a form of self-myofascial release, or self-massage that can be used before and after activity. So, instead of running or walking with heavy legs for the first mile or two, get an easier start by foam rolling to get rid of tightness before activity. Foam rolling improves range of motion for a short duration, so you become more efficient at the beginning of your run. Foam rolling after a run or walk can reduce soreness and pain. It’s not advisable to foam roll if you have certain conditions. Talk to your trainer, therapist, or doctor.
Yes, the data suggests one of the most effective ways to cross-train is to lift weights and gain strength, especially in the lower body, because it is a solid way to improve your performance and running endurance. Let’s face it. Most runners and walkers want to be faster. The benefits of cross training in other ways, like swimming, or cycling, includes maintaining overall cardiovascular fitness, possibly reducing repetitive use injury by forcing days off from running, and keeping you happier by not doing the same thing every day. The only way to get better at something is to keep doing it, but mix it up by sprinting one day and going for long, slow runs on other days. (Reference-Tanaka)
3. “Music is not just fun, but a great way to motivate you.”
Indeed. It reduces boredom, and may even help with recovery by distracting you from feeling pain. The rhythm of the music you listen to can influence and synchronize your own walking and running rhythm. Studies show most people gravitate to 120 beats per minute, but listening to higher cadences can increase motivation, especially while trying to run faster, or while engaging in higher intensity workouts. You can use cool pacing apps like paceDJ (http://www.pacedj.com), or RockmyRun (http://www.rockmyrun.com) to help you pick songs with faster beats from your own playlist, or just to measure your own rhythm, and play music to match.
If you’d like more information on our Running & Walking Clubs, please contact Greg Loomis at firstname.lastname@example.org