Greyhounds Masters Track Weekly Workouts

Coach Sam's Tips


2017 Season 

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Training with Coach Sam and the Greyhounds


From: SAM WALKER 

Subject: Tip of the Week

Date: March 13, 2017

Always practice proper technical form while training.

The warmup session is the best time to ensure you are performing each exercise correctly.  e.g. Ensure your arms are bent in a 90 degree angle and swinging beside your body in the direction of your run.  Don’t get sloppy here and let them hang down.  You wouldn't want your body to get used to this when you are in competition.  Understand as well that practicing poor technique or training when your body is too mentally drained can be as bad as running on a stress fracture.  Of course (every once in a while), it is okay to back off a bit.  Not to say that you should look at the bad weather outside and decide against training.  In this case (instead of doing nothing at all), do some indoor pool running or perform some exercises within the comfort of your own home.  But always ensure you are able to rest and still recuperate before training again.  Your body requires this as much as it requires proper food and nutrition in order to perform.


Coach Sam


From: SAM WALKER 

Subject: Tip of the Week

Date: March 6, 2017


On Breathing

Breathing properly while running not only helps to avoid cramps but it also helps the body to stay injury free.  Have you ever noticed it is a little bit tougher to breathe in the cold winter months?   After some time spent outdoors in the cold as you breathe in, you may notice a burning sensation in your lungs.  This does not mean that your air pipes are freezing due to the cold.  Air needs to be brought up to 100% humidification before it reaches your lungs.  There are cells outside of your trachea that assist with this but in extreme cold weather conditions, these cells can become dehydrated as they give up their water supply in order to humidify it before reaching your lungs.  In the cold weather (even when you feel you are not sweating), it is still important to ensure you provide your body with plenty of fluids.  The extra fluid will help to reduce the cell dehydration which should lessen the burning sensation felt.  

The air is 11% denser in the winter (compared to the summer).  Denser air equals more wind resistance which means you will need to work harder to run, resulting in extra effort consumption, resulting in . . .   Oh man!  Good Luck and lets pray things warm up around here real soon!



Sam


From: SAM WALKER 

Subject: Tip of the Week

Date: February 20, 2017


On The Surface

The running surface of most tracks provides enough impact protection for one’s body but some tracks have a very hard surface (usually older tracks), while others have a softer, “spongier” surface (usually newly laid surfaces).  

What is the best type of track to run on?  This will depend on the runner and the distance being performed.  A middle distance runner performing lap after lap and would prefer a softer surface.  This however would not help the sprinter who is only racing for a few seconds.  Their preference will be a harder surface for a quicker touchdown and solid platform to push off against.

As a result of the different densities, you may find that your times may be faster or slower in comparison to other tracks you travel to.  When using track spikes, keep in mind that the softer track surface will require a longer spike tip.  The harder track surface will require a shorter length.  Using the wrong spikes for each track can affect your performance time.

Also note that each track has specifications as to the allowable spike tip length which should be followed but not switching to a longer spike tip on a softer surface track will not allow for the greatest push off.  Having too long of a spike on a hard surface will cause your body to experience some seriously uncomfortable shock absorbtion. 

Analogy:  You can drive in the snow using All Seasons, but you will have a better grip on the road using winter tires.  

Best to ensure you carry multiple lengths and switch them when or if necessary.


Coach Sam


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From: SAM WALKER 

Subject: Tip of the Week

Date: February 13, 2017


Achilles Heel

Achilles Hell (uhhh . . . Heel)   Achilles TendonitisWithin the next several weeks, we will begin competing indoors as well as outdoors.  An increase in intensity will be required and though an attempt to strengthen your muscles by progressing gradually has been planned, many runners with tight or weak calves who suddenly increase their training are susceptible to .

The achilles tender connects the two major calf muscles to the back of the heel.  When placed with more stress than the calves can handle or if the calves are too tight due to a lack of a proper warmup,  the tendon can become irritated.  While training, if you experience severe pain and swelling above your heel and it continues even when you are not running, it is recommended to stop.  A minor strain can heal within a few days of rest but continuing to run through it can result in several months of slow recovery.  Trust me on this one!

Apply ice a few times per day to help reduce any swelling but alternate between hot foot baths to help promote blood circulation in that area.  

Strengthen the calves with eccentric heel drops: Stand with the balls of your feet on the edge of a step. (You can hold on to something to stabilize yourself if necessary).  Rise up on both feet. Once up, take the pressure off of your stronger foot and lower yourself down using your injured foot, (dropping your heel below the step). Rise back up with your strong foot.  Perform 15-20 reps each day.  Perform up to three sets if you can handle it.

When you can pinch the tendon anywhere from the heel up to the calf and no pain is felt, you are good to go again.

Strengthening the calves will help prevent a relapse.  Compression socks may also assist in your recovery when you are ready to return to training.


We’re all in it for the long haul!  Staying healthy could be considered more important than the training itself.  Should you experience ANY tweaks or discomfort as you train, exercise extreme caution.  



Coach Sam






From: SAM WALKER 

Subject: Tip of the Week

Date: February 5, 2017



It is now the time that running stores begin to stock track spikes.


A couple years ago I wrote a tip on track spikes.  It was an oldie but a goodie so I will make it this weeks tip of the week as well:


Track spikes are meant to help an athlete perform at their best.  

This shoe is light weight and gives traction where needed which can greatly boost an athlete’s self confidence.

Prices range from $50 up to $200+ but a runner must first determine what type of running event he/she is looking to compete in because there are basically three main types of track spikes to choose from: 

  • Short Distance (100m-400m)
  • Middle Distance (800m-5000m)
  • Long Distance (5000m+)


It is perfectly normal (and sometimes recommended) for a beginner to use a pair of “distance” spikes.  As the athlete progresses, a choice can be made to wear a shoe more specific to their event if necessary.


Yellow-Track-Spikes

Short Distance (100m-400m) - Sprinting Spikes

Sprint spikes are extremely light weight.  To make the shoe light, cushioning is sacrificed.  Definitely no cushioning in the heel because the true sprinter never comes down on their heel.  Always up on the balls of their feet where sits the spike plate (the forefoot platform into which the pins are mounted).  This plate will have the maximum number of pins to provide as much traction as possible.  The overall sprint spike’s platform has a firm and rigid base which helps the sprinter move forward . . .  in a straight line!  

The more flex in the base is only beneficial for the curve of the track so think of this when you make your decision:


Are you only going to run the 100m?  Buy a pair that is extremely firm!


Are you wanting to run a few laps in competition?  Look for a shoe with more flexibility like a middle distance track shoe instead.  The flexibility helps when running the curve because it places less strain on your feet and ankles.


Middle Distance (800m - 5000m) and Long Distance (5000m+):

This track shoe has cushioning in the heel and a less rigid foot plate compared to the sprinter’s shoes.  Light weight is still key here but added cushioning is placed in the heel area so you won’t find ones as light as a sprint spike.  Distance spikes have fewer spikes (usually three to seven).  Typically the longer the distance, the fewer spikes are required.


When choosing a size, look for a shoe that is a little more snug than your regular training running shoes.  They should feel like they are a part of (and meant for) your foot.  They should not cause discomfort.  Since a snug fit is preferred, you may choose to wear socks or not.  If wearing socks, choose thin ones (not the wooly ones you’re wearing right now due to winter)!  Remember . . .  You want to be as light as possible!


Try your spikes out gradually before competing in them.  Due to minimal cushioning (sprinting spikes especially), your achilles and calves will notice the difference.  Do a few strides after a thorough warmup in practice and then switch back to your training shoes to give your legs a rest.


For those of you residing in the Lower Mainland:


For a limited time Only at the Kintec Surrey  (King George)

They have track spikes from Kids to adult size (sprints and distance spike).

Prices range from $80-150.  Mention Blastoff code and get 20% off.

They will be at the Surrey location from Feb 1 to March 4 /2017


Most specialty Running stores (Peninsula Runners, The Running Room, The Running Den) will give a 10% discount if you mention you are a part of a track and field club so don’t forget to ask no matter where you live.



Coach Sam



From: SAM WALKER 

Subject: Tip of the Week

Date: January 30, 2017

Most runners know how their bodies can be affected when it comes to food or drink.  The day of competition however, is not the time to eat or drink anything new (or out of the norm) that may negatively impact your stomach.    Stick to what works for you to avoid an upset stomach due to preface anxiety.

This is just like experimenting with different technical aspects of your run.  Leave these types of experimentations for a regular practice.


Coach Sam




From: SAM WALKER 

Subject: Tip of the Week

Date: January 23, 2017


Getting Deep:  Words of wisdom from Coach Sam


Everyone has their own views on what success and failure is.  You may not be the best runner, but you can be better for what you ask of yourself.

You can’t challenge your limitations without trying to do something that is greater.  Neither can you accomplish anything without a slight possibility of failure.

Competition time is coming so with this in mind, always do “your" best . . . even if it results in failure.  For that in itself is a true accomplishment.


Coach Sam



From: SAM WALKER 

Subject: Tip of the Week

Date: January 16, 2017


Long or Short?

A long first step out of the blocks?  Or a short first step?  What should it be to get you up to top speed the fastest?  

What ever is optimal for your body is the answer.  We are of all different sizes so to optimize your run out of the blocks, focus on a “triple extension”:Get a full extension from the ankle, the knee and the hip on the drive leg (front leg in the blocks) before the back leg comes forward and touches the ground.

Imagine you are a plank from the ankle.  You want to drive out at a 45 degree angle to the ground and get full extension through this leg as you push off, all the way up through your shoulder.

Wherever your back leg comes forward and now touches down, will depend on how much power you were able to use to explode out of the blocks and how effective you were in your triple extension of your drive leg (the one in the front).


Coach Sam



From: SAM WALKER 

Subject: Tip of the Week

Date: January 9, 2017

Making Strides to a Faster You!

We understand that a thorough warmup is important to assist with avoiding injuries and preparing your body for the excess pressure it may be put under.  As equally important is the cool down after your workout.  Directly after a training session, try performing a cool down stride (over 100m) with the goal of lengthening your stride as much as possible but also running as fast as possible.  Remember? Stride length x stride frequency = SPEED.  

Lengthening the stride at the end of the workout will help to stretch out those muscles and hopefully pattern you to perform at a faster pace as your body gets used to this over time.


Coach Sam




From: SAM WALKER 

Subject: Tip of the Week

Date: January 2, 2017

Drink More!

It is important to note that water is responsible for transporting all nutrients in the blood that we use for energy.  Most of us are aware that a healthy recommendation of water consumption per day is at least 8-10 cups.  The warning mechanism in your brain will let you know when you are thirsty but to ensure you are drinking enough, take your weight and divide it by two to help determine how many fluid ounces you should be drinking throughout the day.  If performing intense workouts, drink more! 


Coach Sam



From: SAM WALKER 

Subject: Tip of the Week

Date: December 19, 2016

Slow Down!  This A’int a Race!

Taking its time, Nature has it’s own agenda.  One day (perhaps not soon enough), the snow will melt and as the season slowly changes, the temperature will begin to warm.  Slowly poking their heads from the ground, new buds of growth will be noticed.  Trees will eventually have an abundant amount of leaves and flowers will bloom.  All in time because, as in nature . . . Everything takes what?  TIME!  So to, does your training - Learning and mastering proper form, conditioning and your eventual peak performance for the season all require you to go through the steps.  Use the time you have to ensure each step of your training is met . . . and enjoy the process.

Wishing you ALL a very Merry 
Christmas!!


Coach Sam



From: SAM WALKER 

Subject: Tip of the Week

Date: December 12, 2016


Running and Alcohol - Less is More!


’Tis the holiday season to enjoy (or not enjoy) the company of family and friends.  For many, this may "have to" include a few alcoholic drinks here and there.


Drinking can affect your body in ways that you may not be aware of (or after a number of drinks, not be too concerned about anymore).  If consuming a few beverages is on your agenda, be conscientious of the training you have put your body through up until now.  Here are a few ways that drinking can affect you as it compares to your running training and alcohol drinking:


Dehydration - Alcohol leads to body dehydration.  Consider alternating between each alcoholic beverage with a glass of water.  Staying hydrated will help prevent muscle cramps, strains and general fatigue.

Unhealthy Eating - Drinking can affect your decisional choices.  Plan ahead of time and prepare accordingly.  Switch to a light beer or choose alcohol with less sugar.  Think of your body as a race car and give it good quality fuel?

Sleep Pattern - Ever notice those who drink a lot will pass out only for a few hours? Drinking alcohol causes you to immediately go into a deep sleep (missing out on the first stage of sleep (rapid eye movement - REM).  When the alcohol wears off, you return to REM but it is much lighter and easier to wake which will leave you feeling more exhausted than rested.

Change of Routine - Alcohol can mess with your routine.  The next day after drinking can cause you to feel sluggish, tired and unmotivated. Be weary of this and reduce the amount you drink in order to avoid the struggles encountered the next day.


Drink in moderation!  Enjoy!  Be safe!


Coach Sam





From: SAM WALKER 

Subject: Tip of the Week

Date: December 5, 2016

Thinking of a way to improve on your athleticism? . . . . Just Sleep On It!

We all know how important sleep is.  Some people need less, some people need more.  Some people (like myself) think they can get away with less but lately my body has been breaking down:  Achilles issues, sore back, sore neck, sore shoulder, sore everything.  Why have I not been recovering.  


The question has been asked:  "How much sleep are you getting”?  


Coach Sam, "Uhhh . . .  Not very much”!


How much sleep we get can affect our race/training outcome.  In my case, I realize I have not given my body the time it needs to recover and heal.


As an athlete, getting enough sleep should be considered high priority along with your nutrition, footwear and exercise choices.  You train hard so why reduce the potential you have by neglecting your body the rest it needs for recovery.


My body had been sending me signals for a while but I had ignored them making my muscles pay the price.  Sleep is when your body repairs and regenerates damaged tissue from the day’s workout and builds bone and muscle to be ready for the next workout.  Limiting the amount of sleep your body needs only holds you back from reaching your full potential.  With the already many day to day obstacles in our way, don’t let this one become another. Focus on getting the rest you need by placing your sleep schedule on a higher rung on the ladder in your life.  This is something I am committing to doing.  Starting now!  Good night!


Coach Sam



From: SAM WALKER 

Subject: Tip of the Week

Date: November 28, 2016


Shhh . . .  Be Quiet!

If you can hear the clomping of your feet while running, you may be landing too hard. Your body (muscles and joints) are already absorbing a lot of the extra foot pounds per strike and pounding the ground can lead to injury.  In addition to this, a long touchdown rate will greatly affect your speed.  

Focus on landing softly and springing off every step.  This can be achieved by leaning slightly forward from your ankles and landing on your midsole (using the calf muscles to act as shock absorbers).  Don't over-stride and let your feet get ahead of you as this will cause you to come down on your heels which will lead to “braking”.  Always make it a point to stay ahead of your feet and let your legs swing to the rear, not forward.  For each touchdown, the foot should land directly under your centre of gravity - Cycle the legs (like riding a bike).  This can be achieved by keeping the front of the hips and torso slightly forward so that your foot lands more directly under your body, allowing your hips to extend freely (without restriction) as the leg pushes backward, propelling you “quietly” forward.


Coach Sam




From: SAM WALKER 

Subject: Tip of the Week

Date: November 21, 2016

You get out of it, what you put in!


The track season is like a race, some go out too fast and fall short of their goals before the finish line.  Some go too slow and never realize their full potential.  Overall its really about learning about oneself.Some days will be good with everything going your way while other days, maybe not so much -  Your feet feel like lead, the little voice inside your head is seemingly very convincing on why you should just call it quits and you can’t catch your breath . . .

But, If you can find that even balance and train accordingly, you will be well on your way to success.  Keep It Up Everyone!


Coach Sam


From: SAM WALKER 

Subject: Tip of the Week

Date: November 14, 2016


The Psychological 800m - Two whole laps of craziness!


For those that appreciate this distance and are looking for a suggestion on how to run it, try breaking the race down into 200m segments.  Rather than exploding out of the gates and running the first lap hard, try proceeding conservatively for the first 200 but then follow up with an almost all out 400m (from the 200m to the 600m).    

Running the first entire lap (400m) too fast can psychologically affect you negatively because by the time you have completed this lap, your mind may be telling you that you are only half way.  But by running a fast 400m (from the 200m to 600m mark), you will pass that 400m line and the balance of the race should not be so mentally stressful.  For the last 200m, you will need to call upon whatever you have left in the tank but by that time . . . your well over half way anyways.  Easy breezy right?!


Coach Sam



From: SAM WALKER 

Subject: Tip of the Week

Date: November 7, 2016

You may not find yourself overheated like in the summer but as we approach the winter months, it will still be important to perform a cool-down after a heavy exercise session.  With both your body temperature being higher than normal and your heart beating faster, performing a walk or slow jog for a few minutes immediately after exercise will help the body return to it’s restful state.  You may even choose to gradually decrease your effort over the last 3-5 minutes of your workout.     

After heavy exercise, the blood vessels are dilated so stopping all of a sudden puts a lot of strain on the heart as it continues to pump the blood out to the muscles.  Cooling down may prevent drops in blood pressure that can often lead to dizziness.  This is why it is recommended to continue walking after a hard run (even when feeling flushed and exhausted).  Continuing to move slowly after exercise will help the heart to gradually decrease it’s rate and help to prevent pooling of blood in the muscles.


Coach Sam


From: SAM WALKER 

Subject: Tip of the Week

Date: October 31, 2016

Strength training will not only help to make you stronger, but healthier and more of a well balanced athlete.  Avoiding strength training can lead to more injuries and less gains of improvement over the long term.  

The stronger you get, the more resilient your body will become to the demands.  The repetitive impact of running won’t wear you down as much plus, when you’ve got a strong body, any preexisting conditions will be less likely to worsen. This is because strength training helps to improve structural weaknesses in your body, whether in the muscles, joints, or connective tissues. Often, this can help to or eliminate the source of many common running injuries. 


If you have a gym membership or equipment at home, then weight lifting exercises are a great choice. Runners should focus on runner specific exercises that work multiple muscle groups, such as squats, deadlifts, bench press, and overhead press. If you have access to a pull up bar, then pull ups and chin ups are great choices too.  


No access to weight equipment?  That’s okay.  Your body will adapt to any kind of resistance, so it doesn’t matter where that resistance comes from (e.g. free weights at the gym or bodyweight exercises at home).  In fact, bodyweight exercises are superb options for runners, one being that they help to strengthen your core.  You can do planks, side planks, mountain climbers, push ups, bodyweight squats, and lunges.  In fact, this Saturday, we will perform all of these in our "continuos warm-up drill" to show just how easy and "fun” they can be.  Yes, I did say fun!


 One or two 10 or 20 minute sessions per week will suffice in your strength training regime. As you progress, you can increase the duration and frequency of your sessions to make them more challenging.  Don't overwhelm yourself during the first few weeks. Like running, it’s fine to ease into the training slowly if you haven’t been doing it regularly.  See how your body responds and adjust accordingly.  It is our Greyhound mission to progress towards good health and well-being.  We can do this together!



We have many knowledgeable members who can assist in providing the knowledge on what additional exercises to perform but as a reminder to all Greyhound members residing in the Lower Mainland:


Maria Morano (Form Function and Fitness) is still offering STRENGTH TRAINING classes specifically geared to the runner.  This week, classes have been rescheduled to Friday (7am) and next week will be cancelled as she will be away but please feel free to contact Maria directly for updates: maria@formfunctionandfitness.com or  604-715-2253.  Drop in fee for Greyhound members: Reduced to $15 (from $20) and a further 20% discount given if a 10-pass package is purchased.


Coach Sam


From: SAM WALKER 

Subject: Tip of the Week

Date: October 24, 2016


running-shoes-1-537x402

All Tied Up

Shoelaces too long for your running shoes?  You can cut them and deal with fixing the frayed ends or you can double knot them.  If they are still excessively long though, the giant bunny ears flopping around will look kind of funny (not to mention the tripping hazard you may encounter). One quick and simple trick is to double knot them but then take one or two "ears” and tuck them into the lacing at the toe end of your shoe.  Keeps them neat and tucked away and helps avoid the annoyance of your laces coming undone.  Hey!  That’s two tips in one!!

Coach Sam



From: SAM WALKER 

Subject: Tip of the Week

Date: October 17, 2016


Short’n sweet

If you’re forced to run in the rain, be extra careful. You may need to shorten your stride when running on the wet track or wet asphalt (which can become quite slippery when wet).   


The shorter and quicker your running stride is, the less time your feet are in contact with the ground.  By reducing the amount of time your feet are in contact with the wet ground, you can reduce the chances of slipping.  A shorter (quicker) stride will also help to reduce the amount of time your feet remain in puddles.  Maybe a good time to do some high knee training?


Exercise caution when slowing down at all times and especially on wet surfaces.


Coach Sam

2015-06-06 11.16.27


From: SAM WALKER 

Subject: Tip of the Week

Date: October 10, 2016

Oh the weather outside is frightful...

Here in BC (especially the lower mainland anyways), the weather doesn’t get too bad in the winter but I guess it depends on who you’re asking cuz I personally like to be warm ALL the time.  With the winter months coming, (If indoor training is limited and you are forced to run outdoors), don’t forget to continue to replenish your fluids.  In the summer we may sweat profusely requiring us to drink more.  In the cooler months we may sweat less but will still be required to replenish our fluids.  if the temperature outside is below freezing, use an insulated bottle.  Its tough to drink water when it has already turned to ice!  Even better yet, along with the insulated bottle, put hot water insides so that when you are ready to drink, it will help to keep you warm.


Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

Coach Sam


From: SAM WALKER 

Subject: Tip of the Week

Date: October 3, 2016

Know your limits

Many of you may have been training for quite some time and your body may already be conditioned for the work you will put it through.  But for those returning from a previous injury (or new to the sport), beware of the “terrible toos”:  Doing too much, too soon, too fast.

Your body needs time to adapt to the training and get used to stresses it is being put under.  For this reason, if the volume is high, the intensity will always be low.  Muscles and joints need recovery time so a gradual increase in speed will only occur as we progress through several weeks of training.  Rushing the process leads to a break down rather than a build up.

Listen to your body.  If the training volume is too high, scale it back and run according to your potential.  


Coach Sam



From: SAM WALKER 

Subject: Tip of the Week

Date: September 12, 2016


A body at rest, stays at rest

When the season draws to a close and you take some well deserved time away from training, do your best to still stay active.Your switch from training to getting sucked in by the vortex (your comfy couch while watching TV), should be kept in moderation.  There are many options to keep you active throughout your day.  Though you can definitely try a new sport, you’re definitely not limited to sports or structured exercise programs: Take walks.  Go dancing.  Ride your bike instead of driving.  Use the stairs instead of the escalator.  Park at the far end of the parking lot and walk to your destination.  To remember what it felt like to be a kid again, get a skipping rope and, I don’t know . . .  skip over to a friend’s house?  Do some housework or do some gardening.  Go for a hike.  I’m sure you get the picture and will have some of your own ideas that you can apply.   

If anything, remember that a body in motion, stays in motion.  It will be easier to start training again if your body did not get used to just being a bump on a log.

Good Luck!  Enjoy your rest!


Coach Sam



From: SAM WALKER 

Subject: Tip of the Week

Date: September 5, 2016

Proper Sprinting Form is like riding a bike

When you pedal a bicycle, your feet move around in a circle as you pedal.  This is basically how you want your legs to move when you sprint.  In your warm up, practice high knee butt kicks as it closely mirrors the sprinting form.


While standing tall on the balls of your feet, bend one knee and bring the heel up directly underneath your butt.  Don’t forget to dorsiflex the toes (point them upwards towards your shins) and continue to raise the knee to hip level.  Without kicking your foot out in front of you, release it back to the ground as you were pedalling a bike.  Touch down should be under your body’s centre of gravity.  Upon ground contact, make sure to fully extend the leg as you apply force pushing back on the ground which will cause your body to move forward.  Repeat this cyclical motion with the opposite leg.  As you become efficient with the process, you will become more efficient as you run.  Work on your flexibility because poor flexibility in the knee or hip flexors will hinder your overall performance disallowing you from ever reaching your full potential.  


Coach Sam


From: SAM WALKER 

Subject: Tip of the Week

Date: Aug 29, 2016

Plant the “seed" and reap the fruit


What is a seed time in track and field?  


It is generally the fastest time you were able to perform that specific event (generally from your past season).  When registering, some new masters athletes will not place a time down at all or they will put the time they were able to run from high school or university. . . 30-50 years ago!  My thought on this is if you doubt it may not be possible now, at least put something down and try to be realistic   If there are several heats, the officials will try to balance out these heats so that it gives everyone a fairer chance to make it to the finals.  

You should want the best opportunity to have a better lane assignment in your track event but the choice will typically be up to the officials.   

The fastest runners will typically be given the middle lanes.  They are able to see everyone out of their peripherals and this can be quite advantageous (especially when trying to qualify for the finals).  Expending all of your energy to come first or second by powering through the finish in a semi final (when you are only required to come in the top three) will only reduce what energy you have for the final competition.

It may seem unfortunate but the slower runners will be either given lane one or two or maybe lane seven or eight.  If you don’t put down a time down at all, you will be considered to run slow and be given one of these such lanes.  These are considered to be poor lane assignments.  Why?  Well, running the 400m in lane 8 for most can be quite inconvenient not knowing where everyone is in the race.  And lane one might be considered inconvenient to some who feel running the tighter curve is too much of a challenge.  Lane one is also used quite heavily.  Think about it . . .  All middle distance runners will eventually converge to lane one as they progress through their laps.  The general public usually uses lane one because it is the easiest to judge the distance they are walking or jogging.  With all the wear and tear that lane one is put through, it is usually the lane in the worst shape.


This all being said, if you can run the curve strong, don’t worry about the inside lanes.  If you are good at running your own race at your own pace, don’t worry about running on the outside lanes. 

Hopefully whichever lane you receive, you will be seeded correctly and benefit from the fruits of your labour.



Coach Sam

 


From: SAM WALKER 

Subject: Tip of the Week

Date: Aug 22, 2016


Where the mind goes, the body follows.

Training and competing for running has as many ups, as it has downs.  Sometimes it may seem like there are more downs than ups but by focussing more so on the positive, we can come to some form of balance. 


It is okay to acknowledge and address your failures but choose not to dwell on them.  Doing so will only bring you down, leaving you feeling unmotivated and unwilling to continue due to this negative state of mind.  This negative thought process can prevent you from realizing your full potential.  Rather, think of the positive aspects of your run and focus on these positives.  What are you doing well?  Remember the time when . . .?  

If your inner voice begins to think of something negative (e.g. This is too hard, I can’t keep going, etc.) employ a stop mechanism wherein you shift your focus to something positive.  This may be motivating words to yourself (I’m not going to give up!  I’m going to try again!  I am capable and I can do this!), or a body cue like remembering to relax, breathe or pump your arms.


Practicing proper running form over and over in practice will eventually lead to proper running form in competition.  Aside from training the body, we should also not forget to train the brain.

Think positive!  YOU CAN DO IT!


Coach Sam



From: SAM WALKER 

Subject: Tip of the Week

Date: Aug 15, 2016


A picture is worth a thousand words and a video can be invaluable


In real life we don’t always have the immediate ability to playback what just occurred but having someone take rapid photos or a video of your own athletic performance (for later review) can be very helpful in order to determine key aspects that may technically need correcting. 


DSC_2473


With the Olympic events currently in progress, take the time to record your preferred events so that you can re-watch the various athlete’s technique.  Every athlete has their own style but by studying how they perform, it may help you reach the highest levels at your own “olympics”, (whichever track and field meet that may be).  


Coach Sam


From: SAM WALKER 

Subject: Tip of the Week

Date: Aug 8, 2016

Make Sure You Are Not Light On Electrolytes


Have you ever felt dizzy, nauseous or experienced excessive muscle fatigue or had muscle cramps after/during a practice?  You may have been low on electrolytes.


What are electrolytes?  Well, in a basic sense, electrolytes are minerals (sodium, calcium, potassium, chloride, phosphate and magnesium) found in your blood, urine and body fluids from the food you eat as well as the fluids you drink.  Maintaining the right balance of electrolytes helps to regulate your blood chemistry, muscles and other processes so that they all work properly during physical exercise.

  • Sodium and Chloride help maintain normal blood pressure and also help to support muscle and nerve function.  
  • Calcium helps with muscle contraction.  
  • Magnesium aids with healthy cell function.  
  • Potassium and phosphate help to regulate energy and PH balance within your body.

Intensive exercise and hot weather usually leads to excessive sweating which is a contributing factor to electrolyte imbalance.  When your electrolyte levels are too low, you can begin to experience muscle cramps, fatigue, nausea and even mental confusion.  Aside from the famous sport drinks (e.g. Gatorade) which will increase your electrolyte levels, there are several food options which will help replenish your electrolyte stores as well:


When you sweat, you are mainly losing sodium so think about replenishing with salty foods like Pickles, Tomato Juice or Peanut Butter.

The balance of the other minerals may be restored by eating leafy greens, tomatoes, celery, bananas, yogurts, nuts and beans.


It is important to note that the body loses water faster than it loses electrolytes so to restore balance, ensure ample water is taken before and during exercise.



Coach Sam



From: SAM WALKER 

Subject: Tip of the Week

Date: Aug 1, 2016


Don’t Get Worn Out!

images

All running shoes wear out eventually and should be replaced.  Yes . . . Even your favourite pair!  Worn out shoes lose their effectiveness and can be the cause of injury therefore they should be replaced (according to the internet) every 300 to 500 miles.  Uh, or is it 450 to 550 miles?  How quickly they wear out will really depend on the amount of use, your body weight as well as your foot type.  You may know when your shoes need to be replaced but if not, check for these obvious signs of wear:

The outer sole is worn down.

The midsole feels soft and collapses easily when put under pressure.

The inside cushioning becomes worn or no longer feels cushiony.  

And finally, if your toes are sticking out . . . It’s definitely time to replace those shoes!


Coach Sam



From: SAM WALKER 

Subject: Tip of the Week

Date: July 25, 2016


Get Off To A Clean Start

This is basically how a sprint race should go:


Start Line Referee: “TRACK IS CLOSED.  WARMUP SUITS OFF.  STAND BEHIND YOUR BLOCKS” Pretty straight forward to do as your told here

Starter: “ON YOUR MARKS “  Get into position and when everyone is motionless the Starter will proceed

Starter: “SET”  Immediately move into a set position and get ready . . .

Starter: “BANG (sound of gun) after a + 2 second count”  Explode out of the blocks and run like Forrest Gump!


BUT . . .  What happens when you (or someone else) takes off before the gun?

A false start will be signalled by the sound of a second gun being fired.  


At the amateur level, false starts are announced by the Starter or designated Start Line Referee when an athlete moves after SET has been called.  At the International level, technology comes in to play to measure the runner’s reaction time from the starting block pedals.  0.12 seconds is the natural time it takes for information to transfer from the brain to the muscles.  Pressure must be applied to the starting block pedals but if released in less than 0.12 seconds before the gun fires, it is deemed a false start.


Currently (here in BC), there are different rules for different aged athletes.  Junior Development age groups (9-14 year olds) are generally given a warning depending on the circumstances deemed by the officials.  Older athletes are not given the opportunity to false start.  They should know better by now - One false start and you are disqualified.  Master aged athletes (35+) receive one false start exemption.  The next false start is then charged to the field so whomever jumps the gun next, will be DQ’d.


False Starts hold up the race but in Masters athletics, it is my personal belief that athletes do not intentionally try to false start in order to psyche their fellow competitors out.  Sometimes it just happens:

Crowds being too noisy, a competitor in the next lane flinches, being off balance are all examples on what can cause an athlete to react prematurely.


Athlete:  "Oh man!  I don’t want to false start!  What can I do to prevent a disqualification?”


It is generally known for a sprinter to take off on the “B” (BANG of the gun).  First and foremost, the best way to prevent a false start is to PRACTICE reacting to various SET times and potentially even go on the “A” (BANG of the gun).

If however you are already in the set position but you are off balance or the crowd is too noisy, raise your hand to signal a reset to the race.  This is not always guaranteed to be noticed so as a word of advice:  If you hear the gun go but don’t hear the second gun, KEEP GOING!


Coach Sam



From: SAM WALKER 

Subject: Tip of the Week

Date: July 18, 2016


I Think I Can . . .  I Think I can . . .   I Think I can . . .


At this point in our track season, most of us are actually well past the “I Think I Can” stage but for those who are just starting out or returning from injury, think about the children’s story "The Little Engine That Could”.


Getting out to train seem too hard?  Feel like calling it quits during a tough practice?  It is mind over matter.  You will get to the top of the hill!  You will make it down the other side!  You must press on, realizing that each of us has a certain amount of athletic potential.  A negative mindset prevents you from reaching your potential.


Surround yourself with positive people


Implement self-affirmation and positive self-talk into your daily routine 


Only a few more competitions remaining.  If you have not already done so, go for your goals or readjust and set new ones.


BELIEVE!  If you think you can, YOU WILL!


Coach Sam  

IMAG1681_BURSTSHOT002_1


From: SAM WALKER 

Subject: Tip of the Week

Date: July 11, 2016

From one “Walker" to another - WALK before you can RUN


For many, RACE WALKING is quite popular.  The rules governing the race walk events are the same as for endurance running except there are judges watching for (and warning) walkers during the competition that one leg must always be in contact with the ground.  As well, the knee of the front leg must be straight at the point of contact with the track. Walkers get two verbal warnings before they are disqualified with a third.


Running not for you?  Give this event a try


Coach Sam


Suzanne Sharp, our Racewalker from Prince George, has added the following valuable information to Sam’s tip:


Race walking differs from running in that it requires the competitor to maintain contact with the ground so that no visible (to the human eye) loss of contact occurs. The advancing leg must be straightened (i.e. not bent at the knee) from the moment the foot makes contact first contact with the ground until in the vertical .

Race walking judges can caution competitors who push the envelope a touch too far by first cautioning them and showing them a white paddle (there are 2 paddles- one for bent knee infractions and one for loss of contact infractions) but the same judge cannot give a walker a second caution for the same offense. All cautions are recorded on the judge's tally sheet.When a walker clearly fails to comply with the walking rules the judge sends a red card to the chief judge. Three red cards, from three different judges, will result in a competitor’s disqualification. Additionally, the chief judge can disqualify an athlete inside the stadium (or in the final 100 meters of a race that takes place solely on a track or on a road course) if the competitor clearly violates the walking rules, even if the competitor has not previously accumulated any red cards.

Suzanne Sharp
Greyhound racewalker from Prince George

 

From: SAM WALKER 

Subject: Tip of the Week

Date: July 4, 2016

This may be of “pin”terest . . .

Y’know the pins you use to attach your competitive number to your singlet?  What do you do with yours when you’re done?  Do you save them?  Or have them piled up and eventually just chuck em?

Save at least four and attach them to your track spikes bag.  This way if you (or another competitor) loses one (or if the hosting meet is short on pins), you will always be prepared.

Simple, but effective.

Donating the pins back to a club hosting a meet would be appreciated as well, I’m sure.

Coach Sam


From: SAM WALKER 

Subject: Tip of the Week

Date: June 20, 2016

If you want the race to end sooner...

Run FASTER!

Having excess energy or saving for a last kick is often a miscalculation in training. Of course some runners have higher tolerances than others or are capable of different speeds, but perception of effort is a matter of choice.  Starting the race hard and maintaining a quick pace takes commitment and mental preparation right from the get go.  Your brain gives you the go ahead to “kick” at the end (because it has calculated that you can make it), start training yourselves to trust that you can start your race quicker as well.  Pushing past your comfort zone in practice will help you establish a quicker pace which should then result in a faster time.  


Coach Sam


From: SAM WALKER 

Subject: Tip of the Week

Date: June 13, 2016

Rule #1:  Say, "Its Gonna Be Okay!


As we head into competition this weekend, it is important to understand that you may win, you may not.  You may achieve the goals you’ve set out for yourself, you may not.

Some of us are slow, some of us are fast.  We come in all shapes and sizes.  We compete against ourselves and understand that running can be a solo sport but as a team we support each other and are stronger for it.

We all started this venture with the belief that we could run and we strive to achieve (to the best of our abilities).  Be positive!  

We are all athletes (believe it or not) and what happens in competition is a measure of our character.  


Realize that many of the benefits come from participation, NOT from the outcome.  


Nervous?  See Rule #1


Coach Sam


From: SAM WALKER 

Subject: Tip of the Week

Date: June 6, 2016

If you want to do your best.  Eat your best.

Along with proper training, proper nutrition will help improve your overall performance.  

Eating high carb meals the day before competition will help fuel your muscles (e.g. breads, bagels, pasta, rice, potatoes, cereal, fruit, juices, vegetables, yogurt and milk.  Adding protein will assist in muscle repair (e.g. lean red meat, poultry, fish, eggs, milk, cheese, soy products, beans, nuts and seeds).  Sorry fast food junkies!  Be advised - Fried or fatty foods do nothing to fuel your muscles or enhance your performance.


If you want to avoid hunger pains before training or competition, be prepared with easy to eat snacks (e.g. lean meat or peanut butter sandwiches, cold pasta salads, bagels, toast, yogurt, graham crackers, trail mix, energy bars, fresh fruit).  As you get closer to competition, rely more heavily on fluids (e.g. pudding, fruit juice, sport drinks, honey).

Of course knowing what your body is willing to accept and when should be figured out well beforehand.  I raced in the indoor 400m a few years back and was not nutritionally prepared. I ate a huge bowl of spaghetti right before my race.  Feeling so heavy, I ran my slowest time as a result.  Now I like to carry a couple hard-boiled eggs with me, should I be feeling peckish.  Decide for yourself what suits your body best. 


Always refuel and re-hydrate within 30 minutes after training or competing (e.g. sport drinks, bread and peanut butter, sports bars, dried fruits and nuts, protein or meal replacement drinks, WATER).  The goal behind this time window is to restore muscle glycogen, repair muscle damage and replace fluid and electrolytes.  Doing so within 30 minutes helps to maximize recovery and enable your body to be ready for further training or events.


Coach Sam



From: SAM WALKER 

Subject: Tip of the Week

Date: May 30, 2016


What Will Happen In the Long Run?

Many distance runners may already be doing this but if not, these runners may choose to substitute one of the Greyhound daily workouts or add an extra training day to perform at least one long run per week.


Definition of a long run will vary depending on the athletes athleticism. 5km may be considered a long run for some yet for others, maybe 10km or more is more like it.  In any case, a long run will help to improve your aerobic capacity in order to run faster longer.  Helping you become more efficient, these longer distances help to strengthen your cardiovascular system by creating more mitochondria (the energy producers of your cells).  Rest days should be factored in to ensure your body benefits through recovery so it is recommended to only perform a long run once per week.


You’ll be better off in the "long run".


It is important to note that long runs use the aerobic energy system (use of oxygen) therefore they are not a benefit to the sprinter who should be targeting the anaerobic alactic (without oxygen) energy system.


Coach Sam


From: SAM WALKER 

Subject: Tip of the Week

Date: May 23, 2016

A small shift in lifting the toes up to the shins (dorsiflexing) while running (during each stride) will provide you with a reduced overall sprint time by improving speed and overall sprint efficiency.


Why?


Less of the foot hits the ground for a quicker stride turnover



From: SAM WALKER 

Subject: Tip of the Week

Date: May 16, 2016 

The race is not over . . . until it’s over.  

When training (and especially in competition), treat the finish line as something you run THROUGH, not something you only run TO.  Slowing down prior sacrifices critical time.


Just before approaching (a few meters before the finish line), lean slightly forward with your shoulders and chest to help get yourself over quicker.  Doing so will help to push your body through.


Be cautious!  When sprinting, the quick, excessive “dip” before the line should be practiced first, in order to find your balance point.  Arms will need to move quickly to counter-balance your body’s shift.   Should you feel like you may fall forward, swing the arms overarm and forward, rotating them windmill fashion.  This movement helps the upper body to rotate backwards which will hopefully avoid an embarrassing face plant or injury.


Coach Sam


From: SAM WALKER 

Subject: Tip of the Week

Date: May 09, 2016 

What strides will you take to improve?


Hip flexors being too tight will limit hip extension resulting in a reduction of stride length.  Targeting the hip flexors through stretching will increase their flexibility for better strides.


Forward lunges work very well to improve hip flexibility and may be performed during your warm up.

Step forward with either your left or right foot (keeping the foot flat on the ground).  Bend the front knee to a 90 degree angle to your body (keeping the thigh parallel to the ground).  Your other leg should be extended directly behind you.  Keeping the back knee bent and down (heel lifting off the ground), ensure your upper body is held high and hips remain low.  Lean back cautiously to "deepen” the stretch.


Performing an exercise such as this for better posture and flexibility (prior to sprinting) has a carry over effect which can result in faster times.


Coach Sam


From: SAM WALKER 

Subject: Tip of the Week

Date: May 02, 2016 

Nothing will change . . . without a change in your routine.


If you are training without a real sense of purpose or not pushing when it is called upon, you are setting yourself up for disappointment come race time.  


Consistently training at the same pace all the time does not allow your body to adapt;  However, breaking out of your comfort zone through a faster pace (when necessary), should allow your body to adapt to the new demands.  Your heart will get stronger.  Your cardiovascular system will be more efficient and your muscles will also be better able to function at full force.  That being said, going too fast can set you up for failure if you have multiple repetitions to complete.  Going too slow may not program your body to perform at the ability it may need to achieve your goals. 

For those of you training on your own, using a stopwatch to time your pacing helps hold you accountable.


If you are training for the 400m and doing repetitions of 600m, break the overall run down into 200m increments, 100m or even 50m increment pacing times.  If you have a stopwatch that records your splits, you can look at your results at the end of your rep.  Otherwise, (while running) a quick glance of the watch at the key intervals will help determine where you are at.

Figuring out (before the workout) how fast you need to go for each segment, will eventually teach your body how to run at the correct pace and you will “feel” it in your pace.

The same applies for any running distance.  Determining your pacing and allowing the stopwatch to hold you accountable will help keep you on track.


If you are not already timing yourself, try something new . . . for a “change”.


Coach Sam


From: SAM WALKER 

Subject: Tip of the Week

Date: April. 25, 2016 

To: Greyhounds

When your ability to run hard outpaces your ability to withstand the stress, you risk injury.  Strength training may be lacking from your “exercise” diet if you are chronically injured with aches and pains that seem to frequently derail your training.


It’s time to hit the gym!  A strength training routine is required, (if not already in action).  It is known that weak calf muscles cause issues with achilles tendons.  Lower back pain felt when exploding out of the blocks may indicate weak back muscles.  What aches or pains are you experiencing?


Gaining power/strength will not only help you become more efficient (allowing you to use less energy when running) but a proper form of strength training exercises can also assist you to run faster.


One of our very own Greyhound members, Maria Morano (Form Function and Fitness) is offering STRENGTH TRAINING classes specifically geared to the runner.  Classes start this WednesdayApril 27 2016.  Drop in fee for Greyhound members is reduced to $15 from $20.  A further 20% discount given if a 10 pass package is purchased.


See attached for more detailed info. or contact Maria directly:

maria@formfunctionandfitness.com or  604-715-2253


Coach Sam



From: SAM WALKER 

Subject: Tip of the Week

Date: April. 18, 2016 

To: Greyhounds

Follow a pre race ritual / routine to lessen anxiety and promote confidence, focus and relaxation.

At least a day or two day before competition, ensure your gear required (e.g. water bottle, track spikes, singlet, etc.) are all set out and ready. The night before, use visualization and review your race strategy earlier in the evening (well before bedtime) to avoid restless thoughts.  You will want to sleep peacefully, without your mind churning and keeping you up all night.  Keep your normal bedtime.  Hopefully it is not a late one?

Day of competition, get up (hopefully rested), shower (if necessary) and eat something light that will not make you feel heavy but will also carry you through.  Give yourself time and ensure a thorough warmup is performed well before the race begins.  

At “On Your Mark” - If it involves jumping up to do a couple tuck jumps, slapping your thighs or exhaling loudly, follow the same pre-race routine at each competition to stay focussed and relaxed.

Stay loose.  Think positive!  Enjoy!


Good luck to ALL competing this weekend

Coach Sam


From: SAM WALKER 

Subject: Tip of the Week

Date: April. 11, 2016 

To: Greyhounds


Restful Thinking . . .


Get into the mindset that resting isn’t failure.  In order for your body to perform well for you, YOU must learn to care for your body.  Understanding that muscles grow when you rest.


For those looking to attend the 55+ Games in September 2016 or others training to compete at this years America Masters Games in late August, we still have a long season ahead of us.  

Exercising breaks you down and its the rebuilding that makes you tougher.  Though tough workouts are necessary to make you a better runner, those improvements don’t occur during the workout - they occur on your rest day.  


The runner’s workouts are planned with an attempt to consider rest but many athletes may have other exercises they partake in or are at different levels of fitness.  If you feel excessively fatigued, experience ongoing soreness, have a decrease in athletic performance, feel overly tired during your workouts or just plain are not into it . . .  Listen to your body’s signs that you may be over training.  It roughly takes one to two weeks before your cardiovascular endurance is affected so don’t feel guilt.  Take a day or two.  Maybe a week off, but rest up and come back feeling refreshed, ready and strong.  The track will still be here.


Coach Sam


From: SAM WALKER 

Subject: Tip of the Week

Date: April. 4, 2016 

To: Greyhounds

It may only be a split second difference but it makes sense that the arms can be moved quicker than the legs due to their smaller mass.  Keep this in mind when exploding out of the blocks (or from a standing start) - MOVE THOSE ARMS!  

IMG_0025


The arms initiate leg movement.  If you want to get out fast, react quickly by actioning the arms to help drive you forward.

Coach Sam



From: SAM WALKER 

Subject: Tip of the Week

Date: Mar. 28, 2016 

To: Greyhounds

Trying something new should be done in practice.  Not on competition day.


Got new spikes?  Ensure you are comfortable in them during practice first.  Deciding to go barefoot or wear socks?  Experimenting in practice can determine whether blisters or discomfort may occur.

It is recommended that any new food, equipment or clothing be tried out before competition first as well.  Everything could be fine, but why take a chance?  

You don't need anything else to have to worry about . . . Other than doing your best!


Coach Sam


From: SAM WALKER 

Subject: Tip of the Week

Date: Mar. 21, 2016 

To: Greyhounds

Have You Hugged Your Local BC Athletics Official Lately?


OK!  So you may not have to go that far, but did you know that the BCA Officials are volunteering their time?  Weekend after weekend.  Track and field meet after track and field meet - they are there for YOU.  Allowing you the privilege to get out there and obtain sanctioned results to better your rankings.  Lets be sure to treat them with the respect they deserve and as equally important . . .    

Be sure to THANK them for their time!


Congrats and well done to those who have competed the past two weekends!  Five weeks until our next main outdoor competition at Bear Creek Park in Surrey.


Coach Sam


From: SAM WALKER 

Subject: Tip of the Week

Date: Mar. 13, 2016 

To: Greyhounds

How do you run faster when you just don't feel it's possible?  Try In and Outs.



When applying maximum effort in a race - hold your breath, lean slightly forward and push hard as you try to accelerate.  This is called the "in" portion and will only last three or four strides.  

On the "out" portion breath normal again, come back to an upright running form and try to maintain your speed.   

This technique would be recommended for the last 60m or so of your race.  Try cycling through this a few times before the line.


As always, don't forget to drive those arms fast to get the legs to follow suit.


Coach Sam


From: SAM WALKER 

Subject: Tip of the Week

Date: Mar. 7, 2016 

To: Greyhounds

The Arms . . .  Bend It Like Beckham!


I had mentioned in a previous Tip from last season that the arms are often not focussed on enough when sprinting but so necessary for speed development.  Poor technique will effect your race.


When sprinting, ensure your arms are bent in an L shape (90 degree) position.  Pumping them will help build speed.  With the arms in motion, the chest opens up, the body relaxes, breathing comes more naturally and the body can maintain the run longer.  Not doing so takes energy away from the run.


Now it may not be entirely possible to hold your arms fixed in a perfect 90 degree angle on the back swing when sprinting - This is not a problem, but making an attempt is vital.  If the arm is allowed to open up to an over extended position on the downward backswing, it takes longer for the arm to be able to swing forward.  The key is to be able to swing the arms as quickly as possible, not delay their action.  Why?  Because your arms counter balance your stride.  The quicker the arms, the quicker the legs!

When swinging the arms, you must aim to push the elbows DOWN, not BACK on the backswing.  When runners fire their arms straight back (without first driving them down), it often leads to bunched up shoulders which causes tightness and limits range of motion.


When swinging the arm forward, imagine you are going to put your hand in your pocket . . . but don’t!  Keep swinging up to the cheekbone.  Swinging much more than that (in either direction), will result in over striding.  Over striding leads to a breaking action (slowing down) and can also lead to strains, pulls and tears in the muscle. 


It has been said before, but I’ll repeat it again: “Avoid crossing the arms in front of your body”.  

Arms should swing beside your body in the direction of your run.  Imagine a vertical midline on your body keeping your right arm on the right half and your left arm on the left.  Crossing this mid line causes you to wobble (slowing you down), and can allow your hips to rotate which then burns much needed energy making you run slower and get tired faster.


Coach Sam


From: SAM WALKER 

Subject: Tip of the Week

Date: Feb. 29, 2016 

To: Greyhounds


Oh the beloved rain!  

Keep a garbage bag in your pack so when you are training outdoors you can use it to keep your belongings dry.  Seems like common sense but I fail to do this all the time when I'm training at the track.


(I mentioned "garbage bag" because it's big enough for your things, as well as your training partners when they don't have a bag of their own!!)


Coach Sam


From: SAM WALKER 

Subject: Tip of the Week

Date: Feb. 22, 2016 

To: Greyhounds

Last week I mentioned the term "cotton mouth" and many of you were like, "Ohhh!  So that's what it's called".


Actually the correct term for a dry mouth is Xerostomia (zero-stow-me-uh).  The mouth can get so dry that your lips stick to your teeth, you struggle to talk and it can be difficult to swallow.


What is the cause?  

Answer: Generally a decrease in saliva production.


What is the solution? 

Answer: Overall hydration but chewing gum (preferably sugar free), or sucking on a candy/mint will increase saliva production and help you avoid/prevent "cotton mouth"


Always stay properly hydrated throughout the day.  During the warmer weather, you are more at risk due to increased sweat production.  When running, try to breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth.  Breathing excessively in and out of your mouth can increase your chance of a mouth drying out quicker.  Finally, (if you were not already aware of your excessive amount of trips to the washroom) . . . Caffeine is a known diuretic which can affect the fluid balance in your body.  Try to avoid (or at least reduce) your caffeine consumption.  


Happy running . . . preferably without a dry mouth!


Coach Sam


Further tip on “Dry Mouth” from our newest Greyhound member) Alex Galo D.M.D.

To protect your teeth, best thing to do for dry mouth is drink pure water. Most sports drinks are very acidic and contain high levels of sugar. Most candies obviously have very high sugar esp. Tic Tacs. Also sugar gives an initial energy high but once insulin kicks in to allow your cells to remove sugar from the bloodstream, your energy levels will be lower than before you had the sugar.



From: SAM WALKER 

Subject: Tip of the Week

Date: Feb. 15, 2016 

To: Greyhounds

Training for hours, repetition after repetition after repetition.

Putting our bodies through discomfort.  

Facing the harsh outdoor elements head on.

Blurry vision, cotton mouth, tightening and tensing up.


Travelling to a meet that may take hours or a couple days, only to run a race that takes what . . .?  A few seconds or a few minutes to complete?  


Are we crazy?  Putting ourselves through this weekly physical abuse we call training?


I’ve always found it strange that whenever its race time, we often can’t wait to get out there to achieve and give it everything we’ve got!   

Maybe because COMPETITION is addicting!  I feel it is the report card on the student athlete’s progress.

 

For those that have competed the past two weekends . . . Stay excited!  This will help fuel you in your training.  If you set and reached your goal(s), raise the bar higher!  It’s all a part of track and field to better improve your own self.


For those that have not yet competed . . . Do you have a fear of defeat?  Fear of injury?  Fear of the unknown?

It all comes down to preparation through training.  Training brings you power, strength and confidence.  

 

Well done to all who put one foot in front of the other.  Sometimes, that’s all it takes to get to where you want to go!


Good luck to those still wanting to get their feet wet at the next meet coming up!  You can do it!  BELIEVE!  Don’t worry about everyone else’s performance compared to your own.  As I had mentioned in a tip previously:  “At some point there will always be someone faster”.  Individually, you only have to try to beat yourself!!  Enjoy.


Coach Sam


From: SAM WALKER 

Subject: Tip of the Week

Date: Feb. 8, 2016 

To: Greyhounds


I was reminded of this quote from Martin Luther King Jr. by one of our athletes this past weekend and it deserves to be passed along:


"The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.” 



Next weekend, we compete at the BC Athletics Master's Track and Field Championship in Kamloops.  If you want to surpass your own expectations, step outside of your comfort zone.  Whatever your event, push yourself!  Give the best that you can give.  It is then that you will find what you are truly made of.  

Your reward . . .  Contentment on a job well done.


Take time this week to work more on technical aspects of your events.  We want to go into competition "thirsty" for competition, not drained due to excessive work.


Well done to those who competed this past weekend at the Harry Jerome Indoor Classic.  Good luck to those competing next weekend.


Coach Sam


From: SAM WALKER 

Subject: Tip of the Week

Date: Feb. 1, 2016 

To: Greyhounds

Have no time and feel STRETCHED to the limit?


Many feel the actual workout is the most important part in training and do not allocate time for anything else. In actuality, avoiding injury is most important.  


Before your race or workout, be sure to warm up through walking or doing a slow jog and then begin with some dynamic stretches (fluid motion stretches):  Ankle rotations, leg swings, trunk rotations, arm swings, shoulder shrugs, lunge walks, etc.  This gets your blood pumping through movement of the limbs and body parts. 

Now you should be ready for your routine running drill exercises.


Understand that better flexibility can help improve your performance or decrease your risk of injuries by helping your joints move through their full range of motion and enable your muscles to work more effectively. As an added benefit, stretching assists in removal of waste and also increases blood flow to the muscles.  Blood, (especially in the veins) is squeezed out on the stretch.  As the stretch is released, the muscle returns to its normal size and brings in fresh blood.  


You’ve had a great workout or ran a great race and can’t wait to get home, BUT . . .

Not allowing time for a post workout stretch can leave you feeling stiff with sore muscles.  After your workout (not immediately after but before the muscles return to their natural state), static stretching (holding the stretch) is recommended.   Set aside time here and focus on major muscle groups such as your calves, thighs, hips, lower back, neck and shoulders.  

You know your body’s ailments so approach all stretching with caution. If you have a chronic condition or an injury, you may need to adjust your stretching techniques. For example, if you already have a strained muscle (e.g. hamstring tear), stretching it may cause further harm.  Expect to feel tension while you're stretching, not pain. If it hurts, you've pushed too far. Back off to where pain is not felt then hold the stretch.  30-60 seconds is recommended.


 

Coach Sam


From: SAM WALKER 

Subject: Tip of the Week

Date: Jan. 25, 2016 

To: Greyhounds


Keep On Movin'


After (or during) heavy training repetitions or after a competitive race, the quickest way to recover is to "keep moving".  Jogging slowly (in comparison to walking) will actually help to speed up the process.  In addition to giving your heart the opportunity to slow down gradually, continuing to move helps deter blood from pooling in your legs.  By continuing to move, any lactic acid is then moved out of your muscles into your blood so that it can be removed quicker.  

Be sure to drink plenty of water after your workout as this aids in the overall flush of these wastes from your system.

Once your heart rate has lowered, you can help improve the circulation in your legs further by lying on the floor with your legs above your head (resting against a wall).  Doing so can also help to rid your legs of waste. 



Coach Sam


From: SAM WALKER 

Subject: Tip of the Week

Date: Jan. 18, 2016 

To: Greyhounds


Caution . . . Curves Ahead!!

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Indoor competition is almost here!  For those training to compete in races that have a curve like the 200m, 400m , 800m, etc. prepare your race strategy ahead of time.


For the 200m sprint, you must stay in your lane for the entire lap.  That being said, run the curve hard but plan to accelerate ("whip out of") the curve before the straight stretch.  Many inexperienced athletes will tend to slow down as they enter the curve due to the extra effort involved from being pulled outwards.  Accelerating out of the curve is extremely beneficial to the athlete who is in the lead because it can add some distance before the final home stretch.  If you are not in the lead, be aware, that you too should be accelerating out of the curve to maintain close contact.


When running the indoor 400m, the officials will instruct you as to where you may cut in (if you are not already in lane one).  At the Kamloops, BC indoor track, markers will be set on the track (roughly at 150m) after the curve.  Word of caution:  Do not cut in at a sharp angle - Doing so will lengthen the distance you will have to run.  Rather, make a gradual cut to the inside lane before you begin your second lap.  Cutting in sharply also applies to distances greater than the 400m.


As an added note for the longer distance runs (400m+) when competitors are close to you and you are all are relatively going the same pace, avoid passing by swinging to the outside of a curve to pass as this is an energy drain.  Rather, (if time permits) pass on the straight to save energy. Be aware of others trying to pass you.  They may come from the left or from the right so ensure you are hugging the left side of your lane.  This enables you to run the least amount of distance but causes them to have to push to run further on the outside.


Coach Sam



From: SAM WALKER 

Subject: Tip of the Week

Date: Jan. 11, 2016 

To: Greyhounds

I’m sure you all agree, muscles that are elastic, healthy and ready to perform make training and competing a lot easier.  

 

Unfortunately, running causes your muscles to go through a constant process of breakdown and repair.  Over time this causes the muscles to become tight when the fascia (the connective tissue surrounding them), starts to thicken and shorten to protect the underlying muscle from further damage.

Utilizing stretching alone is not always enough to release this muscles tightness.  Imagine a bungee cord with a knot tied into it and then envision stretching the cord. This just creates tension, (stretching the unknotted portion of the muscle) but the knot remains unaltered. 


                                 Enter the massage stick or foam roller!


A massage stick is portable.  You can place in your gym bag and use at your convenience.  

Foam rollers come in various sizes but are typically larger than what you would want to be packing around.  They are great for rolling your body over to loosen up the hamstrings, glutes, etc.

Either of these tools can help to break up the muscle knots or stretch and loosen the fascia so that it and other structures can move more freely.  They give you the ability to apply self pressure in precise locations to control healing and recovery which can result in decreased muscle and joint pain.

 

Words of caution when using a massage stick or foam roller:

  • Rather than constantly working directly on the area that causes pain, slowly roll your way away from the pain center to the connecting muscles.  Work those areas thoroughly, then proceed back to the area of pain and work gently at first over the area again.
  • Avoid rolling too quickly - Fascia is a thick, fibrous web of tissue. As such, it can’t be released with a quick pass of the roller. You need to be slow and deliberate in your movements.
  • Avoid prolonged time spent on the area in one session as you may risk irritating the spot more.  If you have a really troublesome area you can always come back for another session a few hours later when the muscle has had time to relax.
  • Know your limits:  Giving yourself a self-massage is excellent upkeep, but have the wisdom to recognize when a problem calls for a professional massage therapist.


CoCoach Sam


From: SAM WALKER 

Subject: Tip of the Week

Date: Jan. 4, 2016 

To: Greyhounds

Happy New Year to ALL!


We have transitioned to speed in preparation for the upcoming indoor track and field meets in February and March 2016.  At this time of the year it is extremely cold so please be safe out there.

As with any speed conditioning exercises, please complete a very thorough warm up.  Slowly and gradually increase the intensity of your strides to a point wherein it will not be a shock to your body.

In this winter season, you may be questioning, "When is the time to use spikes on the track"?  


Very cautiously, and after a "very" thorough warm up (extend it if you need to), I recommend only wearing spikes for a few short repetitions at first (and then switch back to your regular running shoes).  With limited cushioning (and an already hard running surface due to the cold), you are going to want to protect your feet and legs as much as possible.  Each practice, you may extend the length of time wearing them.  If the track is slippery, you risk injury from slipping (should your heel touch and slide).  Please ensure you take extra care when slowing down.  Don't force it!  After all of your training, it would be a shame to meet up with an injury now.  It may be of benefit to wear your spikes and do your training on the infield or artificial turf instead of the track at first.  You will have to judge the condition of the track for yourself and make the best judgement call.  Err on the side of caution.


Coach Sam


From: SAM WALKER 

Subject: Tip of the Week

Date: Dec. 21, 2015 

To: Greyhounds

I wish you all good health, continued improvement, an injury free season, enjoyment and happiness this holiday season and throughout the New Year! 

From my family to yours . . . I wish you ALL a very Merry Christmas!! 

Coach Sam


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