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February 1, 2015

How to approach your Super Bowl Sunday regimen

For many runners, men, women, football fans and spouses and friends of the aforementioned, today is the final day of football. One member of that group who will need to make major adjustments is the runner.

Sunday’s Super Bowl is one of the most-watched programs of the year, and has been for the past few decades. This is no ordinary football game, as it is probably one of the most time-consuming programs to watch.

For the runner, alternative forms of running are needed for getting in some exercise on this special day. If the runner is an early-morning person, the chances are that a run can be accomplished before everything begins. If that is not the case, then alternative forms of running must be tried.

The reason for this is that the pre-game shows start three hours before the game, with more analysis, predictions, interviews, past highlights, comments from players, etc. - and the list goes on - as to what people will be watching for three hours before the game. For an average game on other weekends, this pre-game show lasts maybe one hour.

The other problems come when normal break times are not available during this game. Taking a quick break during time-outs is gone, as this is when all of the high-dollar, one-of-a-kind commercials are aired and rated. Super Bowl commercials have their own after-show program for analysis and ratings, the same as the game highlights.

This is something that some of the non-football fans can appreciate, and they will watch the game just for the commercials.

Getting a quick run in during the half-time is not possible, as a famous performer will do a show that is next to a Broadway musical production. This is another “can’t miss” part of the game.

Post-game highlights, more analysis of the game and the commercials will go on for another two hours; and by that time it is evening. It is now too late to go for a run. A runner needs to find alternative means to get a run in while all of this hoopla is going on.

Alternative forms of running include running in place while the game is on. Or maybe try intervals and run fast, pretending to be one of the wide receivers or running backs during the game.

Another alternate method is to jump rope during the game. If you try the jump rope alternative, just remember that you need more space for the loop of the rope. Catching lamps, chairs, pets, food trays and friends sitting around watching the game must be considered when you start to spin that rope.

Moving the treadmill in from the bedroom is another alternative; but it will take up a lot of room. The other problem that I see with the treadmill is that not many runners can run on a treadmill without that pounding of the feet on the surface. That extra banging is a real distraction to the others in the room.

One of the best alternative forms of running while watching this all-important football game is using a mini-trampoline. The mini-trampoline is small, and the pounding of your feet on the flexible surface is almost silent. One other advantage for the runner is that - since the mini-tramp gives when your foot hits it - there is less pounding and stress on your knees and feet.

Don’t let the fact that it seems easier to run on the mini-tramp make you think that you won’t get a good workout. You won’t be very far into a run on a mini-tramp before you will realize that you will be breathing hard and getting a good workout.

If you are really serious about getting that run in during the Super Bowl game, one other problem you will face takes considerable restraint. If you have friends over, there will be more food, several types of liquid refreshment and snacks for you to pass on while on your run.

These are items that you will have to avoid before and during the run; but after your run they will be a good energy-replacement source. This is true only if those friends watching the game have left any food for you while you ran.

Try to watch enough of the game so that you know who won the game, and have an opinion on which commercial was the best.

Moe Johnson
Dr. Maurice Johnson - better known around San Marcos as “Moe” - is a professor in the Department of Health, P.E., Recreation and Dance at Texas State University - San Marcos. Moe has been a fixture in the San Marcos running community - both as a runner and race organizer - since way back when Moby Dick was a minnow. His column on running and fitness appears each Sunday in the Sports section of the San Marcos Daily Record.

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