Wednesday, May 27, 2015

#askHMF Twitter Q&A with Hartford HealthCare Rehabilitation Network

Training runs are getting longer, you’re increasing speed work, the race calendar is filling up…don’t get sidelined by injury now! 

Proper warm up and post-race stretching can go a long way to keep you healthy.  A team from Hartford HealthCare Rehabilitation Network will be joining us again at next weekend’s Amica Iron Horse Half Marathon, 10K and 5K in Simsbury to provide on-site services and answer your questions on training, injury prevention and recovery.  The team is trained in running assessment, foot type analysis as well as identifying areas that may be more susceptible to injury or over use syndromes.

Tomorrow, you can have access to the Senior Sports Medicine Physical Therapist for Hartford HealthCare Rehabilitation Network. Stefanie Bourassa DPT, MSPT, CSCS, will be available LIVE from 2:30-3:30 pm to answer your questions on Twitter.  How do I train through an ankle injury?  What are the best stretches for a tight IT Band?  And a hundred other questions…

Just send your question in either of the following ways - two randomly selected people who submit a question on Twitter and Facebook will each receive a free HMF Events training shirt: 
  • Tweet a question to us at @runHMF using #askHMF
  • Post a question on our Facebook page using #askHMF (either on our wall or comment to the post)

Areas of expertise include:
  • Dynamic Stretch Warmup
  • Post-exercise Stretching
  • Plyometric-type (Jumping) Drills
  • ACL injury prevention
  • Hamstring Strengthening
  • Core Strengthening
  • Foot Biomechanics
  • Shoe Analysis

Stefanie will answer all questions and we’ll be sure to provide her response on Twitter live as well as in reply to your comments posted here or on Facebook.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Eversource Hartford Marathon and Half Marathon

We are proud to join Eversource to unveil the new look of the Eversource Hartford Marathon and Half Marathon (October 10) following a successful inaugural event partnership in 2014.  Check out some highlights from today's press release below, and thank you for your continued support!

A Commitment to Sustainable Practices
With support from the sustainability experts at Eversource, HMF takes pride in earning renewed Gold level certification from the Council for Responsible Sport for best practices achieved at the 2014 event. 

Since the Council’s inception in 2007, about 100 events across the US have earned the two-year certification, with only 23 events earning Gold level status. The formal submission and review process recognized efforts in operations including procurement, resource management and community legacy. Sustainability efforts include:
·      Diverting 9,849 lbs of waste from landfill
·      Eliminating 12,602 wax cups by utilizing a 40-ft multi-use water bubbler at the finish line
·      Donating 2,610 lbs of food to local charities and composting 320 lbs of food waste
·      Distributing 16,500 reusable water bottles
·      Offsetting 72 metric tons of carbon emissions
·      Donating 1,800 lbs of clothes to local charities

In addition to maintaining these practices and seeking new solutions for waste management in 2015, HMF and Eversource have also committed to ensure responsible event rebranding. One thousand yards of branded mesh signs from the 2014 event are being repurposed into reusable tote bags that will be given away to event participants. Coroplast event signage was also donated to Two Rivers Magnet School for use by Environmental Studies students in several projects.

Supporting Connecticut’s Economy
The 2014 event generated an estimated $13.2 million of economic value for the area, according to a report by Witan Intelligence, Inc. Approximately 65,000 spectators, participants and volunteers visited the Hartford area for the 2014 event, spending an estimated $8.7 million on lodging, shopping and dining, which in turn, supported jobs and “indirect spending” on payroll, goods and services, according to the report.

Health and Well Being of Youth, Communities
Support for youth fitness and charity organization remain pillars of the Eversource Hartford Marathon and Half Marathon. A record number 2,500 students participated in the 2014 HMF FitKids in School program during race week and $3,000 was provided in scholarship to local high school runners.  Additionally, the HMF FitKids program offered ¼ mile, ½ mile and one-mile race distances for children ages 2-11 to experience race day and celebrate their achievement with a finisher medal and “Super Kid” cape.

Each year, thousands of participants are motivated by fundraising efforts on behalf of various charities and causes. More than $6 million has been raised for the events’ official charity partners which support community and philanthropic initiatives across the region. Official charities of the 2015 Eversource Hartford Marathon and Half Marathon will be announced in early June.

Friday, May 8, 2015

The secrets to happier (and faster) miles

Creating balance as a runner often entails finding the right plan and making the time to stick with that plan. Ensuring a solid mental game is easily overlooked.  We asked for some advice from Runner’s World journalists and seasoned athletes, highlights of their comments are included below.

These talented runners and accomplished women will be delving further into the topic during the free expo in Mystic on Saturday, May 30 (12:00 -5:00 pm).  You don’t need to be running the event to visit the expo, more details here!

Michelle Hamilton, contributing editor, Runner’s World
In 2012, I wanted to run a personal best in the half marathon and marathon before age zapped me of the opportunity, so I examined my training program, looking for how to improve it—another 20-miler? more tempo run? It dawned on me that I’d been doing that for five years and maybe what I needed wasn’t a better training program but a different way of approaching it. 

I hired a mental-game coach and it completely changed my running (and my life really). The mental-game coach helped me see many things, but the backbone of it was shifting all of my negative thinking to positive thinking. We all know we’re supposed to do this and believe it, etc, etc but committing to it in the same way I commit to speed-work led to that personal best in the half and marathon (at age 44!).

So, for this week, try this: pay attention to your self-talk before, during and after your run. If negative thoughts arise, replace those thoughts with something positive. Repeat the positive thought a few times so it sticks! 
Research shows it takes five positive thoughts/comments to “undo” the defeating effect of a negative one.
Keep in mind that even something as innocent as “I don’t feel like running” or “That run didn’t go as planned” has a negative bent to it. Replacing it with “I want to stick to my plan” or “That run didn’t go as plan but I’m proud I got it in” can increase your motivation to run or stick to your training.

Elizabeth Comeau, editor, Zelle, Runner’s World’s women’s initiative
As a mom juggling work, child care and training, I live by the motto: Have a plan and stick to it. By “plan” I mean a weekly (or monthly) schedule that includes your training and your family life. Having a plan that combines both helps keep you focused and sane, and makes it easier to see what things might need juggling to accomplish all that you want. So, take the time to plot out your goals and schedule for the next day/week/month. Everyone’s plan will include different elements but they could be a weekly meal plan, grocery list, appointments, can’t-miss workouts, even laundry. Be committed to your plan but be sure to build in some flexibility for the unexpected.

Molly Evak, former NCAA All-American in steeplechase, now marathoner/half-marathoner and mom of one (soon to be two!)  
Pay attention to your body. Your body is a treasure trove of useful information if you learn to listen to it. Pay attention to its aches and pains; how it responds to different workouts and foods; how quickly it recovers (or doesn’t). All of this information can help you pick the training program or fine-turn the one you’re using. Other ways of reading your body: tracking your morning heart rate, doing a mental check-in with your body during and after a workout. Pay attention - get to know it and your training will improve.  

Friday, May 1, 2015

Help Nepal - donation match

Like so many of you, we watch TV or scroll news sites horrified at the images from the devastation in Nepal.  It's difficult to even comprehend the loss of life, the destruction and the altering of so many futures effected by the recent earthquake.  

We have seen the generosity of the running community in so many ways over the years - through the recent HMF CAN drive initiative, in support of many causes and charities that you run for or raise funds for.  And, of course, the overwhelming response at the Sandy Hook Run for the Families, when nearly $450,000 was raised by runners and supporters in Hartford on March 23, 2013.

We know there are many options out there to support the people of Nepal with monetary donations, we urge you to consider contributing to the cause that most compels you.  We're hoping to give you another reason to make that donation - we want to make your efforts go further.

Through the generosity of the Richard P. Garmany Fund at the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving, donations made through HMF will be matched, up to $5,000.  All donations made through HMF (online hereor in person by cash or check at CTfastrak 15K registration and results tents) will go to the American Red Cross relief effort.

In addition to the matching donation, any single donor who contributes $100 or more through this campaign will receive $20 in credit for a future Hartford Marathon Foundation event (to be used by December 31, 2015).  Please be sure to include your contact information with donation, HMF will send you the $20 non-transferable discount certificate.

DONATE HERE - cash/check donations also accepted at CTfastrak 15K registration and results tents on May 3.

Thanks for your continued support and generosity.