Tuesday, August 31, 2010

I found a training plan!

Just like the vast majority of bloggers out there (this is a statistic I just made up), I follow other blogs. One of my favorites is found on active.com, and it's all about running. Through this blog I came across a 12 week training plan for those just trying to complete their first half marathon. It recommends that you have a base mileage of about 10 miles per week before getting started, and that's what I'm working towards. When I was training for the Peachtree last summer, my average mileage per week was anywhere from 10-12 miles. You sign up for the mailing list, and you receive that week's training plan in your inbox. If this were my first week on the plan I'd be running these distances:

Day 1: 2 miles
Day 2: 2.5 miles
Day 3: 3 miles (long run)
Day 4: 2 miles (recovery run)

I can do this! There is some more verbiage about how to warm up and cool down and when to stretch, which is awesome. If you're planning on adding some structure to your training, check out some available training plans online. If a site requires payment, don't pay. I paid for my Peachtree training plan last summer, but it came with sessions with coaches and informational seminars. If all you're looking for is a training schedule, they're available for free.

I'm collecting these weekly emails so I can start training with the whole plan ahead of me. It falls right in line with the goals I had set up for myself anyway. Beginning January I should be able to run 3 miles like I used to, which sets me up perfectly for that first week.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Will I have more free time?

I just finished my penultimate class (I love that word!), and my final class meets Saturday mornings starting next weekend. I'm thrilled that I'll have weeknights to focus on running and that running on Saturdays isn't terribly disrupted. The question is that does this new schedule equate to more time to run? I have a feeling I'll fall somewhere between yes and no. Will I run more? Yes, but not as much as I'd like. That's all good though. Getting some runs in is better than no runs.

Here's what I'd like to focus on through the end of the year:

Get back in decent shape and run the annual Pumpkin Run 5k at the end of October.

Focus on endurance and try to build my base up to around 15 miles a week. Then once the new year comes I will begin adding to that base for the half marathon in March. Speaking of which, I need to sign up for it - this race is way more expensive that the 5ks I usually run but it makes sense. There are a lot more resources involved with the planning and execution of this race.

Like all my exercise plans, I'll do my best and see where I end up. During non-running days I'll try to box more. It's such a fun work out that even if I'm not super serious about it I'll enjoy it. Plus my arms might end up looking hot like Michelle Obama's! LOL!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Running Music

Do any of you listen to music when you run? I haven't in a very long time because I found messing with an iPod while outdoors meant I was too distracted by it. First, it marks you as a target for thieves (Rex is a cop, so I can't help but think this way). Second, I spent more energy focusing on what was playing rather than my form. Third, my iPod kept freezing on me which just pissed me off. I may invest in a nano to avoid this problem in the future.

I've recently begun enjoying a lot of dance music, which is perfect for working out in general since it has such fun beats and is meant to get you moving. Since I'll be running a lot this winter, I've been considering using the free fitness center in my workplace and using an iPod (or some other MP3 player) to help pass the time. Treadmills are extraordinarily tedious. Like running a mile on it is sometimes the worst thing you could do. If I'm going to be serious about that half marathon I will have to use the treadmill if I want to make sure my training is consistent.

To give you an idea of what I will be listening to, here's what I've recently compiled:

Lady Gaga (love her!)
Kylie Minogue
Black Eyed Peas
Britney Spears (yeah, go ahead and laugh at me now)
Ke$ha (I think I hear the laughter from here! Talk about guilty pleasures lol!)

I'm thinking of checking out Katy Perry's latest album, but we'll see. Amazon makes it WAY too easy to download this stuff. I'm going to have to put myself on an Amazon ban for a while. Last time I spent this much time on there I ordered a pair of $85 Guess pumps. Speaking of which, they're on their way!!

Sorry guys, this post started out generic but ended up being super girly. Have I mentioned that one of my favorite things about running is buying cute running clothes? Gotta find whatever motivates you!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Barefoot Running

Have you heard about the new trend in running? There are these shoes that look more like toe socks than shoes. Personally I think it's a little silly. It reminds me of the caveman diet that some people like. Look, just because our distant ancestors didn't have a more varied diet and didn't have the best supportive foot wear doesn't mean we shouldn't take advantage of the modern world's hard work. Have any of you tried this trendy item?

Check out this article about these new shoes. It looks like a lot of folks have jumped on the bandwagon, but time will tell if the shoes are worth the price.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

What training plan to use?

Red alerted me to a training plan for a half marathon in the August issue of Runner's World magazine. I took a look (I am way behind in my magazine reading, so finding the magazine was an adventure), and I get the sneaking suspicion that it might be a tad more advanced than I need at the moment. It's a 10 week plan, so I have time to work up to it. Whoever heard of training to get ready for a training plan? Well, since I see it's more than I can handle I think it's good that I know my limitations. There is absolutely no reason to get hurt while doing this.

I'd give a better comparison to the other training plan I have in the book Everything to Know About Running except I can't find it. It's in the house somewhere; I just can't locate it at the moment. Oops! It's got a fabulous beginner's plan I might pick back up. I used it to help get in shape for 5Ks, so I know generally how it works. It does bug me that I can't find this book, but I can find every single text book I own for my master's program. I guess that just shows where my priorities have been for the past year and a half. I've learned so much and truly value the education I've received, but boy will I be glad to be finished with school!!

In the end if I don't really like either plan I'll search for one online. I'm sure Jim Galloway's site has something. How do I pick a training plan? Simple: how easy is it to understand, and can I achieve the goals laid out in it reasonably well? Right now I can't run a mile under 10 minutes, so when I see the Runner's World plan say run a 5 mile tempo run with 3 miles at 8:54, I know it's probably not for me.

(For those that don't know, a tempo run is defined by Runner's World as "Run easy for one mile to warm up. Then dial into the given pace. Run easy for a mile to cool down. Tempos should feel challenging; on a scale of 1 to 10, your effort will feel like an 8." Don't feel bad if you didn't know; I had to look it up LOL!)

HA! Like I could ever do that. Keep in mind this training plan is for folks looking to break 2 hours for their half marathon. I think I'll be lucky to hit 2:30. They do profile a lady who is trying to break 2:30, so it's nice to see them highlight those who can't run like the wind.

So in the end, we'll have to see. The August issue also talks about how hard it is to run during the searing heat of summer, so I know it's not just me struggling with this. I haven't run since last Saturday, and I won't run again until this Saturday. It'll all come together soon!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

How soon do you expect results?

I ask this because I have been seeing all year long that my mind keeps wanting to run at the pace I had run prior to falling off the wagon. An 11-minute pace was taking it easy, and it was no big deal to finish 3 miles. Now I struggle with finishing just one mile running. Part of me knows that this is okay, while the other part keeps trying to run faster. Needless to say pacing is a big issue I am now working on again. I think it's always an issue, but I see it's moved up on my list of areas to improve upon.

The reason I bring this up is because I came across a good article about expectations with weight loss and exercise. I think if you're into running for the weight loss, then you'll appreciate the advice in it. In this day and age of instant gratification dealing with our bodies can be excruciatingly frustrating. And I don't know about anyone else, but I'm pretty darned lazy. I don't know how people become professional athletes. You have to work out ALL THE TIME! Jeez! I'm just not that dedicated.

Speaking of crazy goals, however, I've decided I'm running a half marathon this spring. The ING half and full marathon is in March, and it's time I set a huge goal for myself. Even if I walk a lot of it, it'll be such an amazing accomplishment. Plus I have found that having a specific goal like that really makes my training much more focused. I'll probably use the training plan in one of my books, but we'll see if I decide on another one. School will be done in October, and frankly I think I enjoy training in the winter more than in the summer. It's been so hot lately that it's too easy to justify not going out. The winters here are mild enough to let me bundle up easily and still run. The exercise-induced asthma will flare up big time though. We'll see how it goes!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Getting back into the habit!

Well, I hope that's the case. Rex and I went running Saturday morning and then we boxed some more last night. I hope to get a run in tonight to keep up the good work. So far boxing is a lot of fun, and it's a great workout for the arms, back, and chest. We also incorporate a lot of core workouts because you can't go wrong with a strong core. We have about three more months before Rex has some work-related physical agility tests, so we'll be working more on speed drills and fartleks in the near future. I need to get him to a 10-minute mile for at least 1.5 miles. As long as we're consistent this will be very doable.

On another note, I wanted to share this interesting article about exercise myths. I've known about the running vs walking myth for a while, but I can't get over the fact that I can be more efficient with running over walking. I also liked that it said that the afternoon is the best time for exercise, since that's when I usually go running. Woohoo!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

First attempt at boxing!

And my arms are like jello LOL!! Rex taught me a lot about the basics, and I can see why it is such a great workout. We mixed in some core exercises too like sit ups, push ups, and bicycle kicks. I have a feeling I am going to be so sore tomorrow. We've already agreed to go running, so we'll see if I have any stamina left by the time the weekend rolls around. I promised a few folks a picture of me with the gear on, but I forgot to take a picture and my arms are too tired to move. I will take one soon and post it!