Alexi Harding

MapMyRun’s ‘The Running Stories You Loved in 2017’

2017 was a fantastic year for running. Because of this, MapMyRun has recently published a blog highlighting some of 2017’s greatest running stories.

Here is an excerpt:

“Running can be a love or hate experience — even if you call yourself a runner. As far as workouts go, it’s one of the simplest ways to train, so long as you have a good pair of running shoes. Looking back on the year, we sifted through the articles we published on the subject and selected the ones that resonated the most with you.”

To read the full article, click here.


Close the Loop

If any of my fellow runners are looking for a place to purchase some of the best gear possible, make sure to check out The Loop, based in Austin, Texas. If you get the chance to visit, you’ll be treated  to one of the best athletic apparel outlets in the country. With a carefully curated selection of footwear and apparel, The Loop’s catalogue is completely selected by and for the local community.

For more information, visit The Loop‘s official website.


How to Prepare for Your Next Run

Running is an amazing activity that can provide tremendous health benefits. But, like any sport, if done improperly, you run the risk of seriously hurting yourself. After my exhilarating experience at the New York City Marathon this year, I figured that I could offer a few tips and tricks that will help you warm up for your next big run.

Stretch Those Calf Muscles

Alexi Harding Stretching

It seems like a no-brainer that you should stretch before you perform any physical activity. However, when preparing for running, you may want to consider a very specific type of stretching before taking to the trail. What you’ll want to do is perform a dynamic range-of-motion stretch. Essentially, what you’re doing is stretching your calf muscles in such a way that your gastrocnemius and soleus muscles (the muscles that make up your calf) will get a good, hearty stretch. It is effective in avoiding straining and over striding your muscles.


Alexi Harding Walking

This might sound silly, but walking is the ultimate tool to prepare your body for running, especially if you’ve been sitting for awhile. In essence, by walking, you are getting all of the muscles associated with running a bit of a low-intensity warm-up exercise.

Practice Striding

Alexi Harding Stride.JPG

Next time you are preparing for a big run, get out there and stride. A few 100-meter strides can do the body good in preparation for a run. It floods your muscles with blood and can stretch out the muscle fibers. There is a specific way to perform strides:

  • Jog for about 2 minutes
  • Stride in one direction while gradually accelerating and decelerating over the course of 60 to 100 meters
  • After each stride, make sure to shake your legs for a minute and a half
  • Then repeat the process in the opposite direction


Some Tips From the Pros

Who better to learn from than the pros? Olympic marathoner Alan Culpepper claims that he woke up four hours before the event and ate an incredibly simple, small meal right away. He also suggests to to stay hydrated and to eat another small meal about an hour or so before the marathon. Dr. Christopher Vincent, a chiropractor and sports physician who works with elite runners, suggests that you not just get a good night’s sleep before the race, make sure to get several days of good sleep before the race.

Preparing for a marathon can be a difficult task, but if done properly following some of these tips, you should do well. Good luck and have fun.