Running with the Mouse

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Disney travel experts agree on one thing: relax, take your time. But when it comes to Disney's marathons and other running events, they're wrong. In a race, you can't take your time. And you also can't show up with just your two feet expecting to win - or even finish! Preparing for a Disney marathon requires discipline, hard work, and good advice. We can't help you with the discipline or the hard work. But Robert Mathis, owner of DisneyRunning and one of the few people designated by Disney as 'Perfectly Goofy' for his frequent participation in their running events (since 1996!), has lots of good advice. So relax, take your time, and read his weekly column.

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FROM: Running with the Mouse Published As Needed

A Balanced Body Means Great Race Times

Robert gives cross training tips and information to keep you in peak physical condition between races.


I know most of you are now recovering from participating in either the Disneyland Half Marathon or the Wine and Dine Half Marathon over the last 4 weeks but if you are getting ready for the Walt Disney World Marathon or Goofy's Race and a Half Challenge, the journey is just beginning and not ending. This is when you start to increase you mileage. This is a good time to make sure you are keeping types of exercises to keep a balanced body with some cross training and non weight bearing exercises.
If you have access to a gym, this is a great place to start! There are many great exercises and machines to build  muscle while giving your legs some rest.

Here are a few things to help get your  cross training going:

Stationary Bike:

Bicycle Intervals Increase Speed of your races with less risk of injury as cycling is non weight bearing. If you do standing on the pedals using bursts of 30-60 seconds with recovery spells in between, you can see improvement in your speed in 4-6 weeks. High-power bike intervals work your leg muscle even harder than uphill running, but without the impact of hard running.


Weight Lifting:

If you want to achieve maximal payoff for your cross training it is hard to beat lifting weights or working the resistance machines. Resistance training will increase your oxygen capacity, help reduce your body fat, strengthen <http://www.active.com/running/Articles/3-Reasons-Strength-Training-Will_Benefit-Your-Run.htm>  your muscles and maybe make them larger, and will increase the density and strength of your bones. And since stronger muscles help to protect your joints, you may decrease your risk of injuries.

You get best results by building up to heavy loads. And one set of eight to 12 repetitions of each exercise, two or three times a week, will give you most of the benefits gained from two or three sets.

A reasonable, balanced program for runners would include half squats and lunges for combined leg muscles; heel raises for calves; toe raises for shins; leg extensions for quads; hamstring curls and bent leg sit-ups for abdominals; dead lift for thighs, buttocks and lower back; bench press for chest; bench pullover for upper back and chest; upright row for upper back, neck and shoulders; military press for shoulders; behind the head triceps curl, hammer bicep curl, and regular and inverted wrist curls for forearm muscles. You don't have to do every exercise at each workout, and alternating exercises helps prevent boredom with resistance work. Good form is important for effective training, so it's a good idea to sign up with a certified trainer or instructor to get you started.

These are the most popular ways that runners cross train. Think of them as supplementing and reinforcing your running, contributing to better overall fitness, and reducing your risk of impact injuries.

Pool Workout:

Swimming is less popular than cycling for runners, but has special advantages. It is non weight bearing and is a relatively low injury sport. Leg injuries are rare, although the frog kick used in the breast stroke has more risk than the flutter kick used in the crawl. Another advantage is that swimming works out your shoulders and arms, which typically are weak in runners.

This is a time to be careful as any injuries now could derail you from finishing and having a magical time at the races in January. I have used these the last couple of years to help me have very successful races at Disney.

Take care and see you at the races.