Wining Wife®

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Category: Health and Fitness

Triathlon Training, Here I Come!

Triathalon reference material

triathlon reference material

A few weeks ago, I was sitting around, thinking about how best to lose the pregnancy weight, and the pre-pregnancy weight that was hanging out after my bout with tendonitis.

I cannot remember what it was that made me say, “Hey, this would be cool; I’m going to do a triathlon this year.” It was something! Swim ~ Bike ~ Run – what a way to get back into shape!

So, I went in search of some triathlon reference material. I already had several books on running, but recently found the book Triathloning for Ordinary Mortals at a used bookstore. The great thing about this book is that it has workout plans. Before I can even think about starting to train for a triathlon with Wining Husband (yes, I rope him into every adventure I undertake…we walked across fire on our wedding night, after all), we need to get into good cardio shape. This book takes readers from not running at all to triathlon. It may not be this year, but we are definitely going to do a triathlon. (And hey, I have my designs on doing a half-marathon at some point as well).

So while we’ll focus on the walking to running part at first, I’m looking forward to swimming again. I’ll need to get ahold of a swimsuit and eventually a bike as well. Since I have no delusions that we’re just doing this to finish, neither of those items will probably be particularly expensive – just enough so that they are safe and get the job done.

I’m really excited. Our first workout is tomorrow night.

Have you trained for a triathlon? What was your experience with it?

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Do You Incorporate Interval Training into Your Workouts?

Do you use intervals when you work out?

Do you use intervals when you work out?

Whenever I’ve begun a running regimine, something I’m taking a break from due to an injury and pregnancy due (doctor’s orders…), I use interval training as a great way to get back in shape and increase my stamina. What I wasn’t expecting was to read the article “Interval Training Makes You Efficient At Work” at Business Insider. Evidently intervals aren’t just good for your body – whether you’re starting out or you’ve been running for a while, but they’re also good for your mind.

You can bet that when I begin running again I’ll start out interval training, especially as I build up to 5k races again once baby is here (did I mention I want a jogging stroller?) Intervals consist of 30-60 seconds of running combined with an equal amount of walking.

The gist of the article by Tony Schwartz is that we can apply the same sort of strategy to our workday. Work hard in shorter bursts followed by short bursts of relaxation. Before you laugh and say that it sounds like a good way to justify playing Candy Crush Saga on Facebook between meetings, it appears that the research supports this hunch just as it shows that interval training is much more effective in sports training.

What do you think? Do you use intervals when working out? Do you use intervals when working? I have been known to “Speed Date” my tasks when I feel overwhelmed by my to-do list. It’s amazing how much you can get done in 5 minutes (and how many small tasks can be knocked off your to-do list in 5-minutes or less!).  I know that once baby comes, I’ll be out there pounding the pavement again!

 

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Running after a Break

My ribbon and I!

My ribbon and I!

When you start running again after a long break, it’s important to ease back into it. Otherwise, you could end up with muscle cramps – or worse – a knee or ankle injury. Instead, you’ve got to start out slow and build up slowly and steadily over a period of several weeks.

As you may be able to guess, I jumped right in. My calves and ankles were very unhappy with me – both because of jumping right in and because of lingering effects of a severe allergic reaction to an antibiotic medication. It reminded me of how important it is to build up. But I’m determined! I love running as a sport, and I’m looking forward to beating my old times.

It was excellent to get a ribbon after having a long break, but after my run today, I’m aware that I’ll need to build slowly in order to avoid a running injury. I tend to like the Cool Runnings Couch to 5K programs – but Runners’ World and Spark People also have good 5k training programs to get you re-started on a routine.  It’s really helpful to have a variety of programs to work with so that you can start exactly where you’re at when your feet hit the pavement.

If it’s been a while since you’ve run, what do you do to get yourself started again? Is there a program that you follow or do you do hit the pavement and let your body dictate the training program?

 

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Running Gear – Finding Shoes

A pair of ASICS stability running shoes, model...

A pair of ASICS stability running shoes, model GEL-Kinsei (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

When running, it’s so important to have the proper gear. One of the best parts of starting up a running routine is that you need very little by way of equipment. That equipment, however, is very important. The shoes you run in can make or break your run. The wrong shoes can lead to injury and discomfort. The proper shoes can lead to a comfortable run. The best thing to do when you are looking for running shoes is to head into a running store. Here, they will watch how you walk and run and suggest the proper shoe for your needs.

 

Recently, in need of new running shoes, Wining Husband and I wandered into our local running shop. Here, our feet were measured, we were asked to roll up our pant legs and stroll and run, and then we were fitted with running shoes. Sometimes you need an additional accessory like an instep pad or heel pad in order to help ensure the proper fit for your shoe. We both purchased Asics brand shoes, which I’ve had really good experiences with over the years.

 

What shoes have you run in? Post your thoughts in the comments section.

 

 

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Why I Run

 

Theme Song: “Run Baby Run” by Sheryl Crow

So, today is National Running Day. I’m not currently able to run, and I won’t be until I get clearance from a doctor that it’s okay to start up again. I miss it. Running is such a freeing experience. Not only does it help my health and my moods and me to feel active, but it also allows me time to think about what’s going on in the world around me. Since I haven’t been able to run, it’s been rough. I miss running! Some days I feel like my feet may run on their own and leave the rest of my body behind. I run because it became part of my life. I’m hoping that later this year I’ll be able to participate in a 5K or two! I run because  I like being outside and feeling the air around me. I run because it’s a lot of fun, and a lot of my friends are runners.

Image

Why do you run?

 

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Run For Food!

 

So, on Thanksgiving, I participated in the Run For Food fundraiser to help the local shelter – The Jesus Center. It was my second 5K, and overall, I’m pleased with my results. I came in under 40 minutes at 39.11.3. Not bad for someone who was coughing up a lung last week. Here are the statistics from that race:

  • I came in 25th out of 36 people in my age group. The fastest run time was 19.22.6 and the slowest run time was 1.16.17.5. The mean time was 36.31 minutes, the median was 34.12, and there was no mode.
  • My average mileage was 12.61 minutes per mile. I ran the first and third miles in their entirety, though I did walk most of the second mile.
  • Out of all the women who participated, I placed 325th out of 399 runners. The mean time was 33.20, the median was 30:51, and the mode was 26:45.
  • Overall, I placed 664th out of  791 timed racers. The mean overall time was 31.20, the median overall time was 29.04, and the mode was 23.52.

This is pretty good – I’m pleased with the fact that I met my goal of coming in under 4o and running at least one mile without slowing to a walk. I think I did a decent job of pacing myself. My next goal will be to bring my time down to 35 minutes.

 

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Notes on My First 5K & Why Running?

 

Memorial to the oldest annual running race in ...

Memorial to the oldest annual running race in Europe. Prague-Běchovice, Czech Republic. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Theme Song: Death Cab for Cutie, “Transatlanticism”

 

So on Independence day, I ran my first 5K race. I didn’t do too bad. I’d met two of the goals I’d had going into it – to finish the race and to have a race time under 45 minutes.

 

  • I placed at 183 out of 216 people who finished the race. The fastest score was just over 17 minutes, the slowest was 55 minutes.
  • I placed 30th out of 33 women in my age group.
  • My time was 42:14 and I averaged 13:36 minute miles. That was with walking for between 1/3 and 1/2 of each mile.
  • The average speed of all runners in the race was 30:46 for the median time, 22:12 for the mode time, and 32:30 for the mean.
  • The average speed for runners in my sex/age class was 32:18 median and 33:16 mean (no mode).

 

That’s not too bad for someone who was running a first race and who only had been seriously training for 3 weeks prior to the race – and hadn’t run for a week prior to the race due to weather.

 

I’ll be signing up for another 5k soon and training some more. I’d like to improve my time by at least 3 minutes.

 

So recently, I was asked “Ronda, is this some sort of Forrest Gump thing? I mean, all the running.” 

 

I took this question to mean – why are you so into running?

 

There are many things that contributed to my taking up running. Here are some of them:

 

  1. All you need to participate in running as a sport and fitness activity is a decent pair of running shoes. There’s no gym subscription, no special equipment, no trainer or coach necessary. This makes it an economical choice when it comes to cardio.
  2. Running builds bone density.
  3. I’ve always wanted to be a runner.
  4. I have many good friends who are runners. They’re awesome people who inspire me.
  5. I wanted to conquer a challenge. I’ve always struggled with running, so I want to improve that skill.
  6. I walk around 15 miles a week on average. I wanted to take that to a new level.
I enjoy the feeling of accomplishment completing a running workout gives me. So, yeah, in that sense, maybe it is a Forrest Gump thing…You never know, you may catch me running cross-country one day.

 

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Writing and Running (Running and Writing?)

 

56/365 morning run

56/365 morning run (Photo credit: kharied)

 

 

Theme Song: “Army of Me” Björk

 

Projects of the day: Finish up stuff for Bright Hub, cut my firewalk article down, revise my philosophy and the lover article, write up an interview and an article on sports activism, get my hair cut 🙂

 

Recently, I’ve started a couch to 5K training program.  Part of the reason I did this is that I was motivated to be able to take part in 5k runs for charity, part is that running is about as cheap as you can get when it comes to exercise, but the biggest part is that I’ve never been a runner (not by a long shot), and I want to be a runner. Runners are the people you see flying by your car as you sit at a stop light. I want to be that person. Runners are focused on a goal, and they can wear sweatpants or yoga pants in public (after a run) without seeming like bums.

 

I’ve set as a goal this year to compete in a 5k race. I don’t care whether I win or lose the race, I just want to finish the race without dying. I already did a 5k walk for CROP with Church World Service back in March. That was fun. I got to meet some cool people. For a long time, as it is often with me, I wanted to take part in a 5K.  This will be my year for that. I’ve still got 6 months – and it will  happen.

 

There are things I’ve learned along the way in the past 3 weeks. Here’s the original list I posted on Facebook:

 

  1. My shoes are awesome, and it makes a huge difference on the way running feels. Usually I wind up either with calf cramps or shin splints…not so in these shoes.
  2. If I drink caffeine before running (like the other day) it seems to be easier to push myself when running. I had a rough start this morning, and didn’t go as far as I wanted to, but nonetheless completed the plan for today.
  3. I’m really going to need new running pants soon (along with everything else…) so I don’t moon people. I bet I could have gone further had I not had to run holding my pants up. I’m also sure people were amused by the sight of such a thing.
  4. It’s hard to think about anything other than running while you’re running. I started plotting my day in my head and got distracted when I needed to make sure I did not trip on a sidewalk crack and fall on my face 😛 (And yes…that’s a total Ronda thing to do! In grad school in Illinois I perfected the art of falling on my butt without spilling my coffee on my icy walk to class.)
  5. At some point while running you no longer care what people driving by think.
  6. Running in the rain is kinda fun.
  7. I’m looking forward to my runs – it’s hard to wait for it to get light outside so I can get out there!

 

I have since thought of more things to add to this list:

 

  1.  “Whether you think you can or you can’t, you’re right.” (Henry Ford) – I’ve found that if I think, at all, “This is going to be hard” at any point in running, then that thought will take over and I’ll psych myself out and talk myself out of  pushing my body. I can’t think about the distance or time left to go. I just have to be in the moment. The mind is a very powerful thing.
  2. If I drink alcohol the night before training, as I had a pint of beer last week after a former coworker’s memorial, I will not do well, I will drag. It will feel as though I’m moving in slow motion. That will suck. Alcohol is poison to your body – that’s why you get foggy when you drink. It really messes with your ability. As much as I enjoy red wine and craft beers every once in a while, I can’t drink them if I hope to do well the  next day.
  3. If I eat crap the night before training, as I had a burger and fries last night, then I will drag. More than dragging, I will not be able to go for endurance or speed. Today I went 1.49 miles in 20 minutes. That’s a drop down to a 15 minute mile. For the last 3 runs, I was averaging  about 2 miles in 20 minutes. Today, I just couldn’t keep up the speed.
  4. Whatever you focus on will happen. When I started out this morning, I saw pollen on the ground. I thought “Oh, no pollen! My asthma!” Sure enough, my lungs cooperated with that thought and felt tight for the duration of training. The result was that I wound up walking 3 minutes, running 1 minute five times instead of the 3 minutes/2 minutes intervals I’d planned on.
  5. You’ve got to focus on the result. When I turned off my mind and just did – thinking about how triumphant I’d feel if I completed all 5 intervals, even if I was doing 3/1 instead of 3/2, I was able to finish all the intervals – even if I had gone slow at first. I pushed myself at the end, and more distance was covered in my last 2 intervals than in the first three.

 

A lot of the things I’ve learned about running can be applied to writing  (or anything you want to be successful at). Here’s how they translate:

 

  • You’ve got to have the best tools for the job
  • If you do one thing at a time (and not multi-task) and you’re present, you’ll get done faster
  • You can’t care what others think
  • You will perform how you think you will
  • If you drink alcohol or eat poorly, you’ll drag and the day will go on forever
  • If you focus on what-ifs, those what ifs will be more likely to happen. Your actions follow your thoughts
  • You’ve gotta focus on the result – it’s the only thing that will keep you going when you’re bored with the project, feeling stuck, or stricken by the urge to check Facebook. Just like with the Firewalk, if you stop in the middle of what you’re doing, you’re going to fall apart.
  • You’ve got to be patient with yourself and go bit by bit. If I tried to run 5K all at once without training, I probably wouldn’t go back out to do it again. If I tried to write a book all at once, I’d probably give up. You’ve got to do it in stages and have faith that all the stages you go through will add up to be something greater. A run is made up of smaller distances, a book is made up of chapters. You put them all together and you’re at the finish line.
Are you a runner? Is there something you participate in that requires you to reflect on routine? Is there a goal you’ve been making steady progress toward? What are things you’ve learned in the process?

 

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