Monday, June 24, 2013

Joe's Tips - Running in Hot Weather

Fitness Expert Joe Carabase, founder of "The m.e.l.t. Workout," will be joining us regularly to share his expertise on nutrition, exercise and strength training.  First up, Joe shares some insight on preparing for and refueling after summer exercise.
  • WATER up! The body will be working on overdrive with the heat, do not risk dehydration. Drink .75 x your bodyweight in oz.'s of water the days leading up to the event and .35 x your bodyweight in oz. the morning before.
  • Carb up the day before and morning of: Add 1/2 plate of a complex carbohydrate to each meal; potatoes, quinoa, whole wheat pasta, any dense wheat or sprout bread, brown rice are great options.
  • Buddy Up! Excessive heat can lead to dizziness and impair decision making, having a buddy is an additional way to hold each other accountable to staying safe!
  • Listen to Your Body: At the end of the day, it's just a race. Do your best and be extra cautious of any symptoms of heat exhaustion; light headedness, dizziness, nauseous, abnormal fluctuation of body temperature, lack of sweating and/or excessive sweating, bad headache, muscle weakness or cramping, rapid heart rate, confusion or disorientation, loss of balance and body control, red and dry skin, rapid or shallow breathing. Seek immediate help if any of these symptoms arise and be on the lookout for your buddy (and others) if you see anyone drop to the ground. These symptoms can quickly escalate into a heat stroke, potential brain damage and even death.
  • Run with an electrolyte gel packet or something you can easily consume half way through the race. Always consume with water!
  • Refuel post race: Enjoy a quick fast acting carbohydrate such as a piece of fruit or Gatorade immediately post race then a meal with 1/2 - 3/4 plate complex carbohydrate and 1/4-1/2 plate lean protein.

Joe Carabase, CPPS & Nutrition Specialist
Fat Loss & Strength Coach, Speaker & Author
Founder of The m.e.l.t. Workout

Joe is known nationwide for blow torching fat off people of all fitness levels in his action pack workouts recognized by USA Today as "World's Fitness Elite."

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Trail Runs - Back to Basics

Gay City State Park, Hebron, CT
Trail runs lead us through beautiful terrain, often shaded by canopies of trees and winding through the hills and valleys of untouched land. As much as I love them, I must admit my relationship with trail running is rocky – quite literally. A certain level of coordination is required to run trails smoothly and unfortunately, I don’t really have it. As much as I love the beauty and serenity of the experience, the raw elements of nature cannot be denied. What makes the trail fun is also what makes the trail challenging. The unknown at every step – a rocky stretch, a stubborn root, a downed tree, a fresh patch of mud to get stuck in…you never know what you’re going to come across. How tough is trail running for me? My dad always said “Beth trips over the pattern in the kitchen linoleum.” Nevertheless, I do love running in the woods.

Connecticut State Parks are celebrating 100 years, and we love showing them off with trail races. With a few hundred friends, we enjoyed 3.3 and 5.5 miles at Gay City State Park in Hebron last weekend. We’re ready for another 3.5 miles at Bluff Point State Park in Groton this Sunday for our first-ever Bluff Point Trail Run.
Summer Solstice Trail Run Finishers

If you’re a little unsure about taking your run off the pavement, or a little coordination-challenged (like me), Bluff Point is great way to go. A smoother course than many with mostly dirt trails, it offers breathtaking views of Long Island Sound combined with lush forest. You can go it alone with the security of knowing our course monitors will have your back this Sunday. We cap entry to ensure a manageable field that also protects the trails we’re enjoying.

We welcome hearing about your favorite trails and the paths that brought you to them. Please share any suggestions you have for trail races or what you’d like to see in an upcoming off-road event.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Legends Run

HMF Legends Run
I am a running geek - I admit it. I have been a runner for almost 40 years (gasp)! It is who I am and what I do. I may have slowed down quite a bit but I still love every mile I run. I am lucky to share my passion with the rest of the HMF team.

With the recent addition of theatrical mud runs and color runs, we wanted an event to pay tribute to those who inspired us to love the pure sport of running. This passion is the impetus behind our new 4 mile Legends Run. We will bring together runners - young and old, beginner and advanced, casual and competitive, hard-core geeks and weekend warriors - to celebrate our common love of running.

Connecticut is home to many amazing running stars that have shaped our sport. On Sunday, June 30th in the beautiful rolling hills of Middletown, we will bring you together with local running legends Amby Burfoot, Bill Rodgers, Donn Cabral, Julia Chase-Brand, Bill Tribou, Tom Butterfield and Lindy Remingino. Meet them, talk about what makes them tick and enjoy your Sunday morning run with them.
Julia Chase, 1961

This race has a lot of personal meaning for me. Julia, Bill and Amby as well as Kathrine Switzer and Joan Benoit have been part of my running culture since I began running 40 years ago. As the first woman to run the Manchester Road Race, Julia paved the way for me and all other female athletes. Thanks to her, I have run Manchester every single year since 1973 – never missed one. Bill was supportive of my work with the ING Hartford Marathon since it began in 1994. I remember Bill’s parents coming to our kickoff events that year and his father saw a fax machine in my office. It was the very first fax machine Mr. Rodgers had ever seen!

Donn Cabral graduated from high school with my daughter, Olivia, who had the unfortunate luck of getting chosen as his head-to-head competitor in a racing game with a squirt gun. Needless to say, Olivia was defeated before she even started. “Donni Cabral? What are you kidding me?!” she said.

Bill Rodgers, 1980
We’ve been so inspired by these runners through the years and we hope the Legends Run leads you to a reconnection with or a new discovery of the sport, its history and its local legends. I think it’s especially important for young runners, our “future legends,” to meet and greet those whose footsteps they are following in. I hope the race becomes an annual tradition with more and more legends recognized and showcased.

We'll be holding a Twitter Q&A with Donn Cabral on Thursday, June 13th at 3:00 p.m., with Amby Burfoot on Wednesday, June 19th at 3:00 p.m. and with Bill Rodgers on Thursday, June 27th at 3:00 p.m. EST. Tune into our Twitter page to learn more about them and ask questions yourself using #LegendsRun!

Friday, June 7, 2013

Amica Iron Horse Half Marathon, 10K & 5K Race Recap

Amica Iron Horse Start Line
In the days following a race – before we get too enthralled in our next event – we like to reflect on what worked and what we can keep working on. Everybody at HMF completes a “lessons learned” document the day after every race. Last Sunday’s Amica Iron Horse Half Marathon, 10K and 5K gave us a lot of great moments, and a couple we’d prefer not to repeat as well.

HMF Fit Kids
 Everybody who joins us appreciates the beautiful course out in Simsbury farmland, we are grateful to the town for welcoming us back year after year. The figure-eight shaped race route is extremely popular for the bucolic scenery. With convenient parking, a great playground, a huge climbing rock wall, an HMF Fit Kids Fun Run and the band shell buzzing with festive summer tunes, the sold out race was well attended by families too. This is the first race we’ve awarded all participants with finisher medals, something we heard positive feedback on. We also heard a lot from you about the delicious grilled cheese sandwiches prepared by Boy Scout Troop 175 with cheddar courtesy of our generous sponsor, Cabot Cheese we have a winner there for sure!

Volunteers handing out water
With a heat wave setting in mid-week before the race, we also knew conditions could be challenging and we wanted to prepare our runners in advance and on the course. Extra water stations were manned by our incredible volunteers and we were joined by some thoughtful neighbors lining the course with squirt guns and hoses to help cool off runners. With our new Event Alert System in place, we monitored the temperature as it began to rise and decided to post Red Alert status around 10:15 am. This was done, not because of the temperature, but because quite a few runners were struggling out there. We encouraged runners to slow down or walk, and to listen to their bodies – water intake and shade can only help so much if your body is pushed beyond its limits. Runners’ safety is our number one concern and medical response is always in place – as always, Simsbury Police and first responders were top notch. We prefer our EMTs to be bored, and although we did require their assistance to help some struggling athletes, we commend everyone who remained vigilant about their own well being by preparing, heeding warnings, seeking help or slowing down when necessary.

Amica Iron Horse Finish Line
The Amica Iron Horse events will continue to be one of our favorites. We’d like to hear more from you on what makes this event special and any notable experiences you’ve had with us in Simsbury too.