ISSUE # 63
August 19, 2016
From the Top
By PRA President Jason Libbert
Am I Runner?
Do you consider yourself a runner? What is a "runner"? If you Google "runner", (I mean is there any other way to find out info?!) the top two definitions are: a person who runs, especially in a specified way AND a person who smuggles specified goods into or out of a country or area. While some of us may fall into the second definition, I think the majority of us would most definitely be classified as a runner - a person who runs.
But as more and more people "run" these days, more and more people do not think of themselves as runners. Maybe it's because you think of a runner as a professional track and field athlete, or someone who is fast (relative term), or someone who runs marathons, or someone who travels to run, or someone who wins races or age group awards, or some other reason why you think you might not be a runner. And what about those of us that run / walk during our run? Does that disqualify us from being a runner? My argument and message is this - if you run, regardless of why, how long, how often, or where, then you are a runner! P.S. - walking is great too.
Running is a great form of exercise. Running, the physical motion, is free! Yes, there are costs for shoes, gear, entry fees, etc., but for the most part it is an inexpensive sport. Running is social. Running is therapy. Running is a stress reliever. Running is..... fill in the blank. And running is fun.
So I would encourage you to run and think of yourself as a runner. Next time someone asks you if you are a runner, confidently tell them "yes", regardless if today is your first time hitting streets or you're breaking in your 3rd pair of shoes...this year. Enjoy, be safe, have fun and run - or walk!
Registration Now Open For the Following PRA Events:
How they Train
With Aaron Runyon
Did you compete in high school or collegiate cross country or track? No, not at all.
How many years have you been running? Somewhere around 10 years now.
Lifetime personal records: 5k - 17:13 and 10k - 37:53. Other than that I would have to look back through training journals. I don't really keep track of any of the others.
Running Achievements for which you are Most Proud: Balancing family, running, triathlons, work, and community service through 10 years of running. Making it part of my family's lifestyle and not just something I do individually.
What running events do you train for or what are your training goals? I try to mix it up so this really changes based on the season and year. My wife and I usually sit down and decide before running "season" starts each year (for us, that's November through about March). We train together so we will decide, "this year we want to run a fast half," and then that is what I will train for. My training goals are always focused on personal improvement. They change all the time, but they are always focused on improving something about my running. This could be a time, or form, turnover, finishing speed. It just depends. I just try to keep goals from being one dimensional.
Do you typically run when not injured and consistently running? During running season I will be somewhere between 40-60 miles per week. During triathlon season I'm lucky to get 25 miles per week.
What does your typical week of running look like?
- Monday: Easy miles
- Tuesday: Tempo run or intervals
- Wednesday: Easy or off
- Thursday: Intervals or Tempo, whichever I didn't do Tuesday
- Friday: Easy
- Saturday: Off
- Sunday: Long Run
How does your training vary over the course of a year? November through March is running season during which I'm normally building mileage and training towards some peak events in the spring. April is traditionally an off month. Then May through the Santa Rosa Island triathlon the first week in October is tri season with the rest of October being off. Then it all starts over!
Do you take recovery or down time? Absolutely. Throughout running and triathlon season I take a pretty substantial down week every third week. In addition, I will take about 2 weeks either completely off or just doing whatever I feel like after each season. This allows time to catch up mentally, physically, and on projects.
What injuries have hampered your training over the past year? None. I've had no injuries that have kept me from running since I started 10 years ago.
What type of running shoes do you prefer? Well, this varies too. I rotate my running shoes between lots of different brands and models. Right now I'm a fan of the New Balance fresh foam line. I prefer something without a lot of structure but good cushioning.
Do you stretch? I do, post run, and I do strength training as well.
What are your favorite running routes? Well, I run/ workout at 4:30am so most mornings my choice is limited to my neighborhood or the treadmill. However, on the weekends I will run around Spencer Field in Pace or through some of the hilly neighborhoods. It has to be somewhere safe to push Jonas in the stroller because we run as a family on the weekends.
What running resources do you like that would benefit someone else? Other runners and books. Some of the best resources available.
What advice do you have for beginning or experienced runners to help them with their training? 1. Have a plan. 2. Build in regular rest time. 3. Stretch and strength train. 4. Read books to become your own coach. 5. Find balance and keep it in perspective.
How to Breath More Effectively for Improved Performance
By PRA Board of Directors Member Lorenzo Aguilar
Take a deep breath in through your nose. A big deep breath. What do you feel? Traps, Neck, chest? Now take another deep breath and exhale only ½ of all of that air. Most of you are probably thinking what a goofy ineffective way of breathing? Now think of breathing that way in a stressful run/race. Fatigue and lack of performance come to my mind which could lead to compensation patterns (ex: head kicked up, shrugged shoulders, flared ribs, over-arched back, etc). More than 50 percent of runners breathe inefficiently (If you felt traps, neck, chest..that is you!). It is usually assumed that respiratory muscles are strong for
endurance athletes. Studies have shown that performance can be improved by doing respiratory training. The diaphragm is a huge, umbrella shaped muscle at the bottom of the rib cage. The diaphragm
is the main respiratory muscle. It also plays an important role in stabilization. Due to stress, bad posture, and muscle imbalances, more than half of the adult population does not activate this muscle properly. As we breathed in, in the above exercise, we should have seen/felt the stomach rise and poke out as the top of diaphragm contracts and compresses the ab space. As we breathe out, both the chest and stomach should move down. I tend to see the opposite when seeing a new client/runner for the first time. Breathing this way will cause the diaphragm to weaken which can lead to less core/pelvic stabilization and a decrease in performance. There are some basic and simple exercises to do to strengthen the diaphragm that require little to no equipment.
Lie on the floor on your back with your knees bent. Place a head support (folded towel) to get you more comfortable. Place your hands on your stomach. Concentrate on breathing first to your belly without using your chest. Let the belly expand and then exhale all your air until you have nothing left to exhale (keep exhaling-you may even cough which is ok). You should feel your ribs/stomach fall down naturally toward your pelvis. To progress this exercise, press down with your hands or add a small weight to your belly. Continue to belly breathe. 5-10 inhales/exhales per day would be a great start. Also, you can add the belly breathing to your core exercises (ex: plank) to strengthen the diaphragm and core even more. Try this out and the results will surprise you!!
Lorenzo Aguilar is a PRA board member. He holds a B.S. in Exercise Science and is a Corrective Exercise Specialist (CES) through NASM. Contact him at
Benefits of Sports Watches
By Peter Nehaus of Tri Gulf Coast
Do I need a fancy watch to track my runs or rides? Can't I just use my phone? For running and biking, the GPS in your phone will work, but having a dedicated device makes tracking a little easier. And if you want to track swimming, or just want leave your phone at home, then a GPS sport watch is what you need. It used to be that there were smart watches, GPS fitness watches, and step or ac
tivity tracking bands, and selecting a device was relatively easy based on what you wanted it to do. However, the line is getting blurred between all three categories, and the choices can be overwhelming. Knowing what you want to use it for and how you want to use it will help narrow down the options.
One question that can narrow down the choices is do you plan on using it for swimming, and is it for open water or just indoor swimming? There are only a few watches that are waterproof enough for swimming and can also track swims. For me, even though my watch does not feature an open water swim mode, it will track an open water swim in "run" mode with enough accuracy for my needs. And if you want to track your progress in a triathlon, then you will need a watch billed as "multisport". This means that with generally a simple button press, you can go from swimming, to cycling, to running, and even get your transition times.
If you don't need swimming, then you are looking for a watch that can track a run or ride, which means there are lots of choices. Even though a watch has GPS, it might not have a mode to track cycling, so confirm this capability if you need it. As GPS watches have gotten smaller, it is now possible to use them as everyday watches. The benefit to having your training watch be your everyday watch is that you get step and possibly sleep tracking in the same device that will track your workouts. And now, most watches feature some form of "smartness", meaning at the very least, they can connect to your phone and will enable your phone to push notifications (incoming calls, text messages, etc.) to your wrist.
If you are considering using the sports watch as an everyday watch, check on the battery life. Sport watches that come from true smartwatch parents might have beautiful screens, but they generally need to be charged every, especially if you are using the GPS on a regular basis. Sports watches that have limited smartness and lower resolution screens have the benefit of lasting for a few days between charges.
A new feature that is becoming more common on sports watches is on board memory for storing and playing music or podcasts. These watches connect to a pair of Bluetooth headphones, and allow you to listen to music without requiring you to have your phone. This does mean you have to plan ahead and put the music on your watch before heading out, and streaming apps won't work.
Now what good is doing a workout if you cannot share your results? Just about all new watches have Bluetooth and connect to an app on your phone. The app then pushes the data to the cloud. A few watches have Wi-Fi and can upload your workouts directly to the internet without the need to go through your phone first. But I wouldn't put too much value on this feature unless you don't use a smartphone.
So what do I use? I have the original Vivoactive by Garmin. I use it for indoor pool swimming, running, and biking . Since it is hard to see my wrist while I ride, so I also have a very basic bike computer to show my speed and distance during the ride, and use my watch to track the ride to review afterwards. The Vivoactive is small enough to wear all the time, and I like getting notifications on my wrist, as well as tracking steps and sleep. It is also nice not having to remember to grab my watch before doing a workout since it is always on my wrist. But I am always keeping my eye on the latest products, and I regularly read the blog at
for in depth reviews of sports related devices.
PRA Updated M
By PRA Membership Coordinator Heidi Lipe
Here are some helpful tips about becoming a member of the PRA!
Why did you decide to change to a different database for membership?
PRA made the decision to move our membership database to ImAthlete, which will allow us to have a rolling membership, meaning that your membership will expire 1 year from the date you sign-up as a member of PRA, rather than on a fixed date as in previous years. This is of great benefit to those who hear about PRA and make the decision to join throughout the year. We are working to make this process even easier for you and encourage you to visit the PRA web page often for information on what's happening with PRA and in our community.
How will I know if my membership is due to expire?
You will receive an email from the site prior to your membership expiration and one after your expiration reminding you to renew your membership. If you choose not to renew at that time, you will become inactive in the membership database.
Does this mean membership fees will increase?
No, membership rates remain $15.00 for an individual and $20.00 for a nuclear family. BONUS: With your membership you will receive discounts on entry fees for races sponsored by PRA. So, depending on the number of races you sign-up for and the dollar amount in race discounts, your membership can end up being free!
How does PRA benefit from using ImAthlete?
ImAthlete has a report writer function which can be used to generate reports based on concise data collection. This will allow us to look at and compare trends in membership and race registrations. It will also help to identify areas for growth potential. The goal of PRA is to make your race experience a positive one in order to serve you as a member.
July PRA Board of Directors Meeting Minutes
July 12 2016
Pensacola Sports Board Room
Meeting was called to order by Pres Jason Libbert at 5:30pm. President Jason Libbert
welcomed everyone and roll call was taken.
Board Members in Attendance:
Jason Libbert, Austin Adkison, Jennifer Taft, Claire Duren, Steve Lipe, Heidi Lipe, Lorenzo Aguilar, Michele Williams.
Guests in Attendance: Jared Brandenburg, Kim Stewart.
Previous Month's Minutes:
Minutes from the June 2016 Board of Directors Meeting were read and a motion to accept was made by Jennifer and seconded by Lorenzo. Motion passed.
Jason said he wanted to clear up his roll as PRA President. He said his entire focus will be with the PRA during meetings and any PRA sponsored events. His roll as an employee of Pensacola Sports will be kept separate.
Vice Pres Report: Austin said that at this time he had nothing to report.
Jennifer advised that currently there is $70,000 plus dollars in the PRA account. For the current month, with expenses, the account was down around $4,000 but for the year to date it was still over $19,000 to the good. Motion was made by Heidi to approve the treasurers report and a second by Claire. Motion passed.
Caleb said that everything is being finalized for the August 27, Argo 5k, that will be held on the UWF campus. Packet pickup will be the Thursday, prior, at the campus, and on Friday at Running Wild. Paul, the owner of Running Wild is donating gift certificates to the winners. The post race party will be at Goat Lips. On site food will be provided by Chic-Fil-A. The UWF cross country team will be assisting with the volunteer duties at the event.
Michele said that everything was still going smoothly with more sponsors still being added. She said the course was changed to make it easier for traffic and security and it will be the same route as The Firecracker 5k race.
The annual PRA social will be held on July 28 at Seville. There will be free food and drinks and door prizes. It will run from 6:00-8:00pm.
Jason passed around a sheet in order to update all of the board members contact information.
- We still need an equipment coordinator
- We need a volunteer coordinator.
- The Race Director for the 2017 Pensacola Beach Run will be Lorenzo.
- We are needing a race director for the 2017 Fiesta Run/Walk
- Jason made a motion to add four more people to the board. This included Bryan and Ashley Carter, Craig Henry and Jared Brandenburg. Heidi made a second to the motion and it passed. Welcome to the new board members.
Meeting was adjourned at 6:41pm.
All current PRA members are invited to the University of West Florida Track at 5:30 PM each Monday evening for a FREE interval workout overseen by UWF Cross Country Coach Caleb Carmichael! To learn more, join our
PRA Call for Volunteers
The PRA is an all-volunteer, 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization with the mission to promote, support and develop running, walking and racing along Florida's North
ern Gulf Coast. We want the dollars spent by the running community spent on the running community, to enhance the experience of being a runner or walker in Northwest Florida.
The events and programs we produce would not be possible without the support of the Pensacola area's active and involved community of runners and w
alkers. That said, we are always looking for new blood to get involved and help take us to the next level.
We currently have open positions on our
Volunteer Coordination Committee and our
Equipment/Course Coordination Committee
. Both of these
extremely important roles provide excellent and fulfilling opportunities to meet some great folks and to get involved in the local fitness community.
If you'd like more information about either of these positions or other ways to get involved, or to be added to our general volunteer database, please send your your inquiry and contact information to the PRA at
Registration Now Open For the Following Events by PRA Partners:
Thanks to our Organizational Sponsors!
A PENSACOLA RUNNERS ASSOCIATION PUBLICATION