AORTA News: April 5th, 2021

Upcoming Local Races!

Run It To Win It 5K
Distance: 5K
Saturday, May 15
Time: 8:00 AM
Where: Downtown Opelika
Fee: $30 ($15 for 12 and Under)
Description: Run it to Win it 5k is a benefit form SLAAM youth basketball teams in the Auburn/Opelika area. The race will be held in downtown Opelika with the starting and finish lines at the Courthouse.

Unity Stampede 5K and 1-Mile Fun Run
Distance(s): 1-Mile, 5K
Saturday, May 22
Time: 5:30 PM
Where: Opelika Sportsplex, Opelika, AL
Charity: Proceeds will fund Character Education through the Community Foundation of East Alabama, provide scholarships for students at Southern Union State Community College and to promote wellness and healthy lifestyles in the community.

Weekly Whimsy

The Ultimate Training Tool: Long Runs
Ashley Mateo, Runner’s World (paraphrased)

The long run: Whether you love them or hate them, they are the cornerstone of any half or full marathon training cycle. But they can also be equally important to your 5K and 10K training.

What’s the Point of the Long Run?
The benefit - regarless of the distance you’re training for - is the aerobic gain you make during those miles. Long runs force the body to become more and more efficient.

Aerobic (or endurance) running also strengthens your slow-twitch muscle fibers which fire with minimal fatigue, compared to fast-twitch fibers which are used during short, explosive efforts but fatigue more quickly. Long runs force the body to create more capillaries, giving the oxygen a smoother and faster path to the mitochondria where energy is produced and stored. Another benefit is that long runs teach your body to use fat as fuel over carbs.

Mentally, the long run prepares you for the psychological challenge of racing for hours. Even if you’re not racing, a long run offers your mind the chance to tap into the ever-elusive runner’s high.

What to Watch Out For On a Long Run
A long run places more stress on your body. So if you start running long before your body is prepared to run long, you could put yourself at an increased risk for injury, including overuse injuries like plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendonitis, runners' knee, iliotibial band (ITB) syndrome, and shin splints.

If you experience any of these conditions before the long run, acknowledge it and listen to your body. The only sensations you should feel during a long run are a slight challenge aerobically as it gets longer.

Gear You Need for a Long Run
In addition to a good pair of shoes, it’s important to carry fuel and hydration in the form of a running belt, a handheld water carrier or a pack. If longer than 90 minutes, make sure you carry electrolytes in the form of a drink or gel. If you don’t fuel properly, you’ll start depleting your glycogen stores.

In general, take in 30 to 60 grams of carbohydrates per hour during a long run. You should also be drinking anywhere from 24 to 32 ounces per hour of your run. You may also want to wear headphones to play music or a podcast to keep from getting bored, and carry a phone and credit card or cash in case of an emergency.

How Long Should Your Long Run Be?
There’s a huge variation in how long your run should be, depending on the type of runner you are. Some coaches suggest long runs cover 1-1/2 times the distance of what you consider a normal-length run. Others say a long run should be about 20-25 percent of your overall weekly mileage. So if you’re running 40 miles per week, your long run will be 8-10 miles.

According to the Road Runners Club of America, a long run technically isn’t a long run unless it’s over 90 minutes, so the exact distance depends on your pace.

If you’re training for a certain distance, these are the recommended peak long run distances:
5K: 5-6 miles for beginners; 10-12 miles for intermediate/advanced.
- 8K/10K: 6-10 miles for beginners; 12-14 for intermediate/advanced.
Half-Marathon: 12-13 for beginners; 16-18 for intermediate/advanced.
- Marathon: 18-22 for beginners; 18-30 for intermediate/advanced.

How Fast Should Your Long Run Be?
No matter the distance, your long run should be at an easy pace which should fall on the lower end of the rate of perceived exertion scale. Your heart rate should be 50-70 percent of your maximum heart rate, and you should be breathing naturally and able to hold a conversation effortlessly.

Run as slow as possible as long as it’s mechanically comfortable. Don’t look at pace until you’re done, just focus on something comfortable.

For shorter distances, long runs can be slow and enjoyable. But for half and full marathoners, they should be a little more structured. Add faster-paced running; like alternating fast-pace and medium-pace miles, surging for two minutes at the beginning of each mile, or simply running the last 5K of your long run really fast. This is important as it helps train your legs to get used to running fast even with lots of miles on them.

How to Recover From a Long Run
Running long warrants more rest and recovery post-run. Shoot for a mix of carbs and protein, preferably at a 4:1 carbs to protein ratio which is the ideal rate to most effectively replenish muscle glycogen stores.

Take the day off after a long run. Instead of running, just walk around for 20 to 30 minutes and spend 10 minutes on a foam roller. In fact foam rolling has been shown to reduce delayed-onset muscle soreness (DOMS) while enhancing muscle recovery.

Link to RunnersWorld article

Quote of the Week

    “Running won’t solve all your problems…

         But then again, neither will housework."

                                - Anonymous

Video of the Week
We Ran a BEER MILE And It Was Awful (6:13)

Running a race is hard enough but add in four cans of lager to the equation and watch what chaos ensues.  Running Channel presenter Anna gathered together a crack team of running and/or drinking experts at Love Trails Festival to take on the Beer Mile Relay Challenge. How did they get on? Were any of them sick? Watch and find out what it's REALLY like to run a beer mile.

** AORTA provides this informational video to its members as a courtesy and does not endorse any particular product, process or service.

Ongoing Events

6AM Saturday “Group" Runs

We’re now over a month back with water stops and while we’ve removed the 10 person group restriction, we still ask that all abide by the following additional protocols.

1) Maintain social distancing
2) Bring your own water if you don’t wish to use the group water stops.
3) Remain at home if you are sick, are in a high-risk group (60+), or have a pre-existing condition.
4) Avoid extra-long runs (marathon distances) which can suppress your immune system for as long as 72 hours. If you want to push yourself, consider HIIT sessions (10 mins hard, 10 mins easy) which are easier on your immune system.

Routes start at the Corner Village parking lot at the intersection of E. Glenn Ave and N. Dean Road. Please park near theTCBY/PakMail storefronts and away from the Kroger entrance.

Water Stop Volunteers Needed
Water stop signs and coolers are available at the following location: 1536 Professional Parkway, Auburn, AL. (Thank you Adahli Massey!). Coolers and signs can be picked up Monday-Thursday from 8AM-4PM and on Fridays from 8AM-12 noon. Items are in the room next to the back door. If you are unable to pick up supplies on these dates/times, e-mail to make alternative arrangements (we deliver!).

Race Volunteers Needed!
As a runner, we know your time is valuable. But if you have a couple hours to spare, we could use your help for one of the upcoming AORTA supported or directed races! Assisting at a local race is a fun and rewarding experience. You are surrounded by health conscious individuals that, like you, are motivated fitness enthusiasts and appreciate the effort of volunteers.

Saturday Runs - Be Safe!
To encourage more “safe running”, follow these guidelines when running before sunrise or after sunset:
1) Stay on sidewalks when available.  If there are none, run against traffic to see oncoming cars.
2) Be visible! Wear highly reflective gear, a headlamp and/or flashing light.
3) Choose well-lit streets and routes when possible.
4) Ditch the music which could dull your senses of other potential dangers.

 AORTA Travel & Shoe Bags

These awesome bags are still available and can be ordered today!  Click here or on the photo below.  Payments can be made through PayPal or credit/debit cards. Quantities are limited so get yours before their gone!
   AORTA Travel Bag: $25
   AORTA Shoe Bag: $15

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