Posted Pamela Young on 4/23/2015 |Wellness Tips
Girls on the Run is about empowerment and living with joy, health and confidence. In our program, we use running as a learning tool and a way for girls to experience that big things are possible when you keep moving forward. Not surprisingly many of our coaches, volunteers, supporters and staff find empowerment in running as well.
For this month’s Wellness Tip, we asked some of the avid runners on our staff to share the go-to techniques they use immediately preceding and following a run.
Stephanie Lasure, Girls on the Run International’s accounting specialist is an ultra-marathoner who just just completed the Boston Marathon. She’s also a big fan of visualization. She shares, “The day of and before a run, I envision crossing the finish line with my arms in the air and a smile on my face.” Stephanie also has a visualization strategy for the moments before the run begins. She says, “I shut out all the chatter around me. It’s incredible how much negative talk takes place in the corrals before the starting gun goes off. Things like, ‘I’m under trained’ or ‘I’m afraid I won’t hit my time.’ My friends know that in the corral I have my head down with my fingers in my ears, and they don’t take it personally. In my head I am telling myself to relax, slow down, smile and enjoy the ride.”
As with many of the runners among our staff and volunteers, Stephanie is a Girls on the Run SoleMate—meaning she uses her participation in runs to raise money to support the work we do. She raised more than $500 for Girls on the Run Charlotte while training for the Boston Marathon.
Our director of council management, Lisa “Coach” Keller also has a tried-and-true practice right before a run. Say Lisa, who has participated in marathons, triathlons, 10ks, 5ks (and of course the Girls on the Run 5k!), “It’s mandatory for me to enjoy a good stretch before each run. It targets my running muscles and increases my breathing, so my body and mind are ready to go.” Lisa suggests 10-15 minutes of dynamic stretching, starting slowly and focusing on a series of small movements that gradually increase in range of motion. She’ll be putting this in practice when she runs the NYC Marathon this fall to raise money as a SoleMate for Girls on the Run NYC.
Another Girls on the Run SoleMate is Suzanna McCloskey, who will be running the Nashville Country Music Marathon in her home state of Tennessee this week to raise money for Girls on the Run Charlotte. Suzanna, who has been an ardent runner for the past three years, suggests not changing your routine or trying new things right before or the day of a run. Says Suzanna, “Don’t introduce anything new into the mix. Stick to what you know works for you. For example, if you’ve never had pancakes the morning of a run, don’t try it. You don’t know how your body will respond, and you may end up regretting it.”
And what about right after completing a big run? Lisa again encourages a stretching regimen, saying, “After a run, 10 -15 minutes of stretching exercises help me cool down gradually, stay flexible and express gratitude to my body for a job well done!”
Do you run, bike or participate in other athletic events? Make your hard work pay off for 3rd-8th grade girls in your area by becoming a Girls on the Run SoleMate. Learn more.