Nikki Lanzer

#BigDamJourney WEEK 7

Welcome to Week 7 of our #BigDamJourney training! There's only 2 weeks left before our VIRTUAL run! During this time, we encourage you all to try and opt for outdoor runs in the fresh air versus logging your miles on a gym treadmill!

In Week 7, we're bumping up our distance! We'll be alternating rest days and days where you'll run 2.75 miles! By the end of the week, you'll be just shy of our racing distance! 

And always remember--warm up, stretch, and wash your hands! 

#BigDamJourney WEEK 4

BigDamJourney WEEK 4

Welcome to Week 4 of our #BigDamJourney training! After this week, we're halfway through our schedule! If you haven't started training yet, it's not too late to hop into this plan, enhance your endurance, and come prepared and injury-free to the starting line! 

In Week 4, we're using a training tool that we did in Week 3—fractions! This week though, we're increasing the distance just a tad. You will begin with a 1/2 mile jog followed by walking a 1/4 mile. Repeat this jog-walk interval two more times, and then finish with another 1/2 mile jog.

On Thursday this week, you will go through another jog-walk interval, except only once  through: jog 3/4 mile, walk 1/2 mile, and finish with another 3/4 mile jog.

Finally on Saturday, you'll get to go for a nice and easy 2-mile jog. Like the previous weeks, all the days in between run days are rest days! Find a fun sport or activity to do!

Keep up with our complete #BigDamJourney training plan here!

#BigDamJourney WEEK 3

#BigDamJourney WEEK 3

Welcome to Week 3 of our #BigDamJourney training schedule! We're now less than 6 weeks away from race day! If you haven't started training yet, it's not too late to hop into this plan, enhance your endurance, and come prepared and injury-free to the starting line! 

Just like the first couple of weeks, Week 3 alternates between Rest Days and Run Days. This week, we're intruducing something we call "fractions" on the run days, which is another variation of run-walk intervals. For the fractions this week, you will begin by running 1/4 mile, then walking 1/8 mile. Next, you will run 1/2 mile and walk 1/4 mile. After that, you will do another 1/4 mile run and 1/8 mile walk. Finish the workout with a 1/2 mile jog. Basically, the walk will be half the distance of each jog set. 

For at least one of your rest days this week, try finding a new activity or hobby to try. If you've always been curious about yoga, plan ahead and sign up for a class! Or if you've been meaning to catch up with a friend, suggest taking a walk together—you'll get in quality conversation and easy-impact activity too!

Keep up with our complete #BigDamJourney training plan here!

#BigDamJourney WEEK 2

#BigDamJourney WEEK 2

Welcome to Week 2 of our #BigDamJourney training schedule! Don't worry if you missed the first week—there's still plenty of time to jump right in! Follow this plan, build your endurance, and feel prepared and injury-free come race day! 

Just like Week 1, Week 2 alternates between Rest Days and Run Days. The “on” days consist of 90/90/3/3 interval repeats. This means that you jog for 90 seconds and walk for 90 seconds, and then jog for 3 minutes and walk for 3 minutes. Go through this process two times.

By this second week, your body may still be getting accustomed to using its "running muscles," but you should feel the process starting to get a little easier as you work your way through the schedule.

Keep up with our complete #BigDamJourney training plan here!

Runner's Guide to Dealing With Muscle Soreness

Runner's Guide to Dealing With Muscle Soreness

After your “runner’s high” fades away, you may feel your legs starting to become stiff and sore, or you may hop out of bed the next morning only to find that your quads really don’t want to move. You might experience pain that ranges from mild discomfort to fatigue that makes climbing a staircase seem like a Herculean task. 

If you frequently deal with muscle soreness following a workout, there are a number of preventative measures, stretches, and pain alleviating strategies that could easily fit into your workout plan. This brief guide will share some of the best ways to get a solid workout without overworking your muscles, and how to distinguish between regular muscle soreness and more serious running injuries. Let’s get started! 

Recognizing Pain: Soreness vs. Injury

Some level of soreness and discomfort is expected when someone begins a new exercise regimen or increases the intensity of their workout. “For muscle strength to increase, the muscle must see some increase in stress over what it is used to experiencing, and this stress is usually perceived as the ‘burn’ in muscle during activity,” doctors Edward G. McFarland and Andrew Cosgarea explain. “This pain should be short-lived and resolve soon after the activity ends.” 

The short-term pain described by McFarland and Cosgarea is typically categorized as “good pain.” It signifies that you’re being challenged without pushing yourself to the point of actual injury. If you feel sore or fatigued right after a run, or if you experience delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) a day or two after a workout, you can follow the strategies listed below to alleviate your pain. However, if your muscle becomes too sore to move much, begins to swell, or you feel excessively fatigued for a number of days, you need to contact your doctor to check for potential injuries. Severely overworked muscles may develop permanent damage if not treated properly right away. 

Strategies to Relieve Soreness

The most critical part of treating any ache or pain after a workout is to reduce or stop exercising your sore muscles for a short length of time. This doesn’t necessarily mean you need to skip all of your workouts; simply focus on different muscle groups as your body recovers. For example, the day after a difficult run, you could do mostly upper-body exercises. The key is to not force yourself to do anything that further aggravates your sore muscles.

Aside from resting your tired legs, you can relieve soreness by:


  • Using ice. Applying an ice pack to your sore muscles for just 15 minutes can reduce swelling and pain, providing some level of immediate relief.
  • Elevating your legs. Propping your legs up so they’re above your heart will reduce blood flow to the muscles, which can ease pain and reduce swelling.
  • Doing gentle stretches. Stretching out stiff hamstrings and calf muscles for about 30 seconds may help improve your recovery time.
  • Massaging the area. Whether you use a foam roller, massage your legs yourself, or visit a professional masseuse, it can help alleviate DOMS by up to 30%.
  • Going for a light jog. Keeping your muscles moving a bit can speed up the recovery process and improve muscle strength. Of course, this is only recommended if your pain doesn’t increase with light exercise. If you feel pain, stop!


Prevent Pain with a Recovery Plan 

Now that you know how to manage soreness from running, what steps can you take to prevent severe pain in the first place? Coaches from Runners Connect suggest this recovery strategy to alleviate pain right after a difficult run and prevent your pain from worsening in the days following your workout: 

  • Keep yourself hydrated. You should try to take small sips of water throughout your run and then replenish your electrolytes with a sports drink after working out.
  • Have a cool-down routine. Let your muscles relax with a short walk followed by some simple stretches that focus on the major muscle groups. Gently stretch your muscles for about 30 seconds without bouncing your legs or rushing through the movements. Give yourself time to cool off.
  • Replenish with plenty of protein. “Eat foods high in carbohydrates and proteins,” recommends Susan Paul, a running coach and exercise physiologist. “High-glycemic foods like baked potatoes are a good choice because they are absorbed into the bloodstream quickly. Protein should be from lean meats, eggs, dairy, or vegetable sources.”
  • Take a bath. Ice baths, while they can be a shock to the system, can relieve sore muscles and numb pain for hours afterwards. If you don’t think you can handle submerging your legs in freezing cold water, you could try a warm bath using Epsom salts.
  • Listen to your body. If you feel too sore to workout the next day, take a break. Don’t put further stress on your body as you recover. Be sure to get plenty of sleep, get proper nutrition, and put your overall health first. You’ll be back to running in no time!
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