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Fitter and Faster

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Re: Fitter and Faster

Post  Mark B on Tue Nov 05, 2013 5:50 pm

My son was diagnosed with sleep-onset disorder. He takes 3 mg of melatonin about an hour before he expects to go to sleep, and he actually sleeps, rather than bounces off the walls. Might be worth a check.
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Re: Fitter and Faster

Post  Julie on Tue Nov 05, 2013 9:33 pm

I had a long series of sinus infections April-June of 2012 when I couldn't sleep due to very deep grief. I took Ambien which sort of helped. I hope you figure something out. It stinks being sick and tired all the time.
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Re: Fitter and Faster

Post  Penelope on Tue Nov 19, 2013 9:17 pm

Thanks for stopping in, Nancy, Mark, and Julie.

I'm finally better in terms of the cold.  I still have a lot of sinus symptoms, but the fevers and feeling awful have finally gone.  I ended up taking sonata, the prescription sleep aid, a few times, and some norco because of a horrible toothache that thankfully is better--between the 6 days of that, I'm managed to reset my sleep schedule.  My sleep still isn't great, last night woke up hot again, but it's better than it was.  For whatever reason, I seem to be really sensitive to caffeine now, too.  I used to never have any issues with drinking caffeine and sleeping, and now, if I drink anything caffeinated, it has to be in the morning.  I had a regular coke today and I can barely tolerate that stuff these days--the caffeine and sugar combo are evidently too much for me now.  What the hell is happening to me--I never had issues with coke before this summer!

Anyway, I'm getting back into running after 5 weeks of being sick, and it feels like I've lost everything.  There are some scattered workouts but until Saturday, I haven't done anything regularly.  I've also decided to take a lot more seriously the stretching and core strength and foam rolling.  I just have to do it.  I've decided that there are too many TV shows I want to watch, and I can seriously do stretching, foam rolling, or strength every night watching TV.  (Normally, I only watch Parenthood and The Voice…I'm adding Big Bang Theory Modern Family, and if I can get them on hulu, Downton Abby, Shameless, and Breaking Bad.  It'll be a good way to relax / watch more TV, and force myself to stretch and such.  
And, for better or worse, I get colds too easily, and when I have a fever, maybe I shouldn't run, but I can foam roll or stretch, instead of doing absolutely nothing.
I'm at the weight I want to be at, 119.  The ratio of fat:muscle is way too high; I'd rather weigh more and have muscle, and that is part of my new interest in adding an at-home strength routine.  I just finished reading the book Core Performance Endurance, which has a lot to say about nutrition and core exercises.  I'm not following it completely, but using it for ideas.  I made my own routine that requires the least amount of equipment--if I have togo to a gym for this, forget it, I know I won't do it.

Here is my very short running log from 10/20 when I was too sick to do my last half, through now.


Sun [url=tel/27/13 3]10/27/13[/url]  3.1 miles adeline's angels 5K.  Ran this race because I had to--my cousin put it on.  I was sick, coughing up stuff that people running a 5K should not be coughing up, and really in no shape to run, but we all did.  The air was cold, which did not help my body at all. I forget my time because I really don't even care, 27 minutes or something; I had to walk in the 2nd mile for a few minutes due to a coughing spasm.  I started off fast, and maybe that didn't help. There were about 100 people; the women's race winner ran it in 23 minutes and change, which I can / have done, so it was a little frustrating for me.  I know I didn't truly have pneumonia, but the thought crossed my mind.  My Dad even beat me--he felt good and blew by.  My mom and dad both won their age groups.  

Tues 10/29/13  3 miles tues with Mom, untimed.  Still sick, but was starting to feel a little better.
Wed 10/30-Fri 11/1, worse.  

Sat 11/2/13 outside, 4.01 in 38:03, 9:30 avg.  Splits were 9:52, 9:45, 9:14, and 9:09.  I'm not sure if there was a tailwind when I turned around--I don't recall the first 2 miles being absurdly windy, though.  I mostly felt good but still had some sinus discomfort.  I was just relieved that I haven't lost everything in terms of fitness after this involuntary break for illness.  I was worried I'd be starting from "scratch" again and running 11 minute miles all the time.  Thankfully not the case, at least today.

Sick from 11/3 through 11/13 with another bad cold / fevers.  I waited an extra 2 days just to be safe, because I thought maybe I'm doing it to myself by running the second I don't have a fever / don't feel awful….

Sat 11/16 treadmill, 3 miles in 29:25, 9:48 avg. Incline at 0.  Felt okay, not great, first run back.  Wanted to take it easy since I've run very little over the past several weeks.  I started at 6.0 and increased by .1 mile per hour for each mile.  I was reading about core strength and cadence and how the optimal number of steps per minute (on one foot) is 90.  So to help fight the boredom I counted mine.  At 6.0 mph for 3 trials, mine were 85, 85, and 85.  At 6.1, 88 and 88.  At 6.2, 88, 86, 86.  Not sure if the beat of the song affected it or not, and probably need to try it on real ground and not a treadmill.  I'm also not sure where the 90 number came from.

Sun 11/17 rest day.  Normally try to run 3 days in a row, but it's been a month since I've done any decent training and I feel very sore and out of shape.

Mon 11/18 treadmill, 0.5 incline, 3.0 in 29:40, 1st half at 6.0, 2nd half at 6.1 (9:50). Felt tired and out of shape and when it finally ended, was glad to be done. No joy in this run.   

Tues 11/19 0 miles, rest day.  I'm trying to not overdo it.  My plan is MWFSun this week until the runs all stop feeling horrible, and then get back into a 3 days run, 1 day rest type of deal.
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Re: Fitter and Faster

Post  ounce on Tue Nov 19, 2013 11:02 pm

Your taste buds have changed.  Great opportunity to cut the sweets and processed foods, then go and eat real food.

Please say more about Core Performance Endurance.  Continued better health to you, Kathy.
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Re: Fitter and Faster

Post  Penelope on Wed Nov 20, 2013 11:42 am

ounce wrote:Your taste buds have changed.  Great opportunity to cut the sweets and processed foods, then go and eat real food.

Please say more about Core Performance Endurance.  Continued better health to you, Kathy.
Exactly, Ounce! Actually, starting last month, every month I've decided to give up something unhealthy (food wise) permanently.  Burrito shells/taco shells, milk chocolate, and artificial sweetener are October, November's and will be December.

Core Performance Endurance is a good book, and I think you'd enjoy it. I bought it years ago and finally read it now.  The author has worked with many endurance athletes, both pro and 'regular' for lack of better word and notes that even elite athletes may have a lot of muscle imbalances and benefit from a strong core.  The actual exercises can be found as videos on their website core performance.com

Here are my notes: some of the things I learned from it (or re-learned/re-inforced, as some of it does seem obvious)  Most of what I learned is nutritional, though:

--if your core is weak, your body spends energy with each step just stabilizing the core, and if you have a strong core, that energy can go into running faster
--muscle imbalances put undue stress on connective tissue (tendons, ligaments, fascia)
--warming up with some core stuff before a run will help you to start the run faster and not waste the first mile warming up (thus a better use of time)
--it's really important to pay attention to how your muscles feel and spend some TLC on them (stretching, foam rolling); they give you warning signs (i.e. spasms) before a big injury if you listen
--static stretching right before a run or race is one of the worst things you can do; it's "trying to commandeer their muscles and turn off the circuit breakers right before they need them most"
--static stretching is best done after a workout or at bedtime
--most efficient running cadence is 91 steps (one leg) per minute
--an entire chapter on heart rate training (stuff already known)
--eat 2-4grams/carbs per pound of body weight per day, or eat a fist-sized portion at each meal (for me, 240-480 grams/day of carbs)
--if you have to eat processed foods or higher glycemic-index cards, do it after a workout not right before
--for protein, the fewer the legs it had when it was alive, the better (fish > chicken > beef, pork, etc)
--aim for protein intake of 0.6-0.8 grams/pound body weight (for me, 72-96 grams of protein/day)
--a deck of cards size portion of chicken or 4-leg meat is about 35 grams
--consider getting a protein shake mix and adding it to OJ (EAS myoplex, or whey protein)
--trans fats also may be labeled as hydrogenated or fractionated; avoid
--best fats are from nuts, fish oils, and seeds; unsaturated fats that don't raise cholesterol.  Olive oil, canola oil, flaxseed oil, fish oils are good
--eat fish at least 3x/week or start taking fish oil / flaxseed oil
--eat to perform: try to eat 3 for 3; every 3 hours consume all 3 nutrients (carbs, proteins, fats)--this is 100% unrealistic for me.  
--frequent smaller meals help keep energy levels higher and increase lean mass
--remember that muscle is what gets eaten when you're fasting, and will keep its fat stores as long as possible
--never run in the morning without at least some breakfast; you've fasted all night and will just use muscle up for fuel
--drink 0.5-1 oz / water per pound per day (for me, 60-120 oz water /day); don't hydrate with gatorade /sugary stuff unless running in the heat or for 1 hour or more
--coffee has antioxidant properties (yay!) Soda may have up to 15 spoons of sugar in a 12 oz can, avoid it
--consider a Biblical beverage plan: only water (okay to mix with post-workout recovery drinks) and rare red wine….does crystal light count?
--before a run, consider OJ + a scoop of whey protein (rec 15-30grams carbs and 5-10grams protein) (Trop 50 OJ 8 oz is 13 grams of carbs)
--during long runs, need 30-60 grams carbs / hour (sports beans have 25 grams--add a few beans to each pack esp since always drop a few?).  30 grams carbs in 16 oz gatorade (too much, not possible)
--after workouts, liquid nutrition is easiest to digest (consider myoplex recovery shakes…or chocolate milk)
--at races, the sooner you eat after finishing, the faster you start to recover
--for supplements, consider glutamine (helpful for muscle health) aim for 10-12 grams/day
--for caffeine in races, rec 5 mg/kg (for me, about 270 mg/caffeine) to get any performance effects

Movement Prep: see videos on website
-reverse 90/90 stretch, inverted hamstring stretch, forward lung elbow to instep, knee hug in place, backward lunge with lateral flexion in place,  leg cradle 
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Re: Fitter and Faster

Post  Michele "1L" Keane on Wed Nov 20, 2013 1:53 pm

Well the most important note that I got from your post Kathy was the biblical beverage part - I can handle water and red wine as my beverages of choice Wink

Thanks for the post - I'm doing pretty good with an occasional slip up.

And Crystal Light is probably not good as it contains artificial sweetener.  I remember overseeing its production when I worked for General Foods back in the mid-late 1980s.
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Re: Fitter and Faster

Post  ounce on Wed Nov 20, 2013 2:20 pm

Thanks, Kathy.  Now I understand the specific why of a strong core.  I knew it helped running muscles by diverting some of the 'load' to other muscles, but the specificity filled in the gaps.

I would recommend using another liquid for the orange juice with the whey.  You get a tremendous sugar boost, then a crash, when you drink orange juice.  Pretty much that's the way any fruit juice will work.  Eat a whole orange and you'll get a slower release of the sugar because of the pulp.

As far as the protein, work on getting wild-caught or grass fed sources.  As for eggs, don't be afraid of the yolk.  Just get non-GMO corn-fed eggs, like at a local farmers market, from free to walk around chickens.  Many farmers enhance the chickens diets with flaxseed, which will up the Omega-3's in the egg.  As you probably remember, dietary cholesterol is different from blood cholesterol.

There's no need for Gatorade, unless you just need a sugar boost during a race.  You could buy some supplements like nuun or S!Caps to get sodium and potassium.

Keep us updated, please.
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Re: Fitter and Faster

Post  Penelope on Wed Nov 20, 2013 4:00 pm

Michele \"1L" Keane wrote:Well the most important note that I got from your post Kathy was the biblical beverage part - I can handle water and red wine as my beverages of choice Wink

Thanks for the post - I'm doing pretty good with an occasional slip up.

And Crystal Light is probably not good as it contains artificial sweetener.  I remember overseeing its production when I worked for General Foods back in the mid-late 1980s.
I shoulda known crystal light was too good to be true! I'm intrigued by the biblical beverage thing, too! But I'm not sure I'm ready to give up milk.

ounce wrote:Thanks, Kathy.  Now I understand the specific why of a strong core.  I knew it helped running muscles by diverting some of the 'load' to other muscles, but the specificity filled in the gaps.

I would recommend using another liquid for the orange juice with the whey.  You get a tremendous sugar boost, then a crash, when you drink orange juice.  Pretty much that's the way any fruit juice will work.  Eat a whole orange and you'll get a slower release of the sugar because of the pulp.

As far as the protein, work on getting wild-caught or grass fed sources.  As for eggs, don't be afraid of the yolk.  Just get non-GMO corn-fed eggs, like at a local farmers market, from free to walk around chickens.  Many farmers enhance the chickens diets with flaxseed, which will up the Omega-3's in the egg.  As you probably remember, dietary cholesterol is different from blood cholesterol.

There's no need for Gatorade, unless you just need a sugar boost during a race.  You could buy some supplements like nuun or S!Caps to get sodium and potassium.

Keep us updated, please.
Ounce, you'd really like this book--there are several pages/chapters devoted to explaining the mechanics of a strong core and how the shoulders and core directly / indirectly affect the leg muscles, especially the hips and glutes.  

I actually don't agree with everything the book says, even some of the notes I took.  I don't like gatorade during runs, even though I took notes on it saying how much to drink.  Very much prefer sports beans for carbs and electrolytes.  And yeah, there wasn't a whole lot of love toward eggs in the book, and I eat them a lot (yolk included).  
I haven't ever tried the OJ / whey, because I don't have whey protein and I have a bad feeling I'll find it unpalatable.  I think part of why they recommend combining OJ with the whey it is to help prevent the blood sugar crash.  I drink Trop50, the lower sugar /lower carb kind of OJ, so not sure it'd be enough anyway. I wrote down their suggestions but some of them I probably won't ever do.  Same with eating every 3 hours all 3 types of foods.  I can eat q3 if it's quickly but all 3 every time is going to be too much food for me, too long to prepare, etc.  

--------------
I am attempting to run outside today, and have been for a couple hours.  I ate something yesterday that my body didn't like and having some GI issues.  Every time I think I'm fine, I get up to start getting out the door and another ominous rumble comes and things seem shaky.
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Re: Fitter and Faster

Post  Julie on Wed Nov 20, 2013 7:00 pm

I don't follow the eat before morning run unless I was really hungry the night before or if I'd go for a long run. Maybe it would help to have a little something but I figure glycogen stores get me through a 6-10 mile run anyway.

Crystal lite is full of fake chemicals and could hurt your stomach if you're having issues. Do you do OK with gluten? I just ask because I'm intolerant of it and it took me a long time to figure that out and be miserable enough with just a bit to keep me off it for good but it caused all sorts of GI issues for me.
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Re: Fitter and Faster

Post  Penelope on Sun Dec 29, 2013 12:29 pm

It's been awhile. 
My running has just sucked.  Ever since I got that really bad cold / sinus infection in October (which is finally gone now, knock on wood), I just haven't been able to get back on track.  I'm frustrated with myself because over the spring and summer I did SO well in terms of consistency.  It was probably from stress, but still, I did it, and I made progress.  I remember worrying about how to take time off / recharge without losing everything, and whether to reduce miles or change my focus or what.  But then I got sick and the decision was made for me.  I fought sinusitis for 5 weeks, and then it was like I'd lost my momentum.  The weather in mid-November was less conducive to running in terms of being dark and cold, and I got very very busy, and it just fell off. 

I'm really not proud of it--yes I was really busy, but I could have tried harder.  I dislike running in the cold, and I really dislike running in the dark alone.  My gym is a 5 minute drive away, but it seems like so much of a production to get my car from the valet garage, drive there just to endure the treadmill for 30 minutes…and then I feel like I need to look at least presentable if I'm going out in public….I don't really like going to the gym.  Yep, excuses!  So, I did about 10 runs in November and probably another 10 in December and nearly all of them so far have been in Florida. I'm embarrassed and disappointed in myself.

I've been longing for a treadmill in my own house, so I can catch up on TV and run any time of day (without having to spend time getting there).  But there's no room.  I need a 2-bedroom for that.  
Options are: 
1) suck it up and run outside in the cold / dark.  I have warm clothes and can get one of those head flashlights.  
2) suck it up and run on the gym treadmill
3) don't run, and do some other workout DVD at home.  I have the 30-day shred but I hate that awful Jillian Michaels.  Her personality is a barrier, so I'd probably have to find some other cardio / strength type of fusion.

Oy.  I hate winter in the North!
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Re: Fitter and Faster

Post  Penelope on Tue Feb 11, 2014 11:21 pm

Lack of routine, being really busy with work and masters degree classes, the cold weather, dislike of treadmills, living a little farther from the gym, but mostly lack of a clear goal, have sapped my motivation. And recurrent viral colds have done me in too.  I've been running, intermittently.  But until I have a goal, I'm useless.  I like to run, but I won't prioritize it over other things when I am goal-less.  This time last year was pretty stressful, and the stress was so high, it drove me to run.  For better or worse, I don't have that need anymore; it's negotiable instead of non-negotiable.  Instead, I'm even more busy but with less stress--it's a double hit on my motivation.  Anyway, I need to get myself together and start running regularly, and the only way to do that is to start racing again in the spring.

One of the issues I have is that I get colds a lot and when they're bad / last a few weeks, it seems to derail my training.  I am exposed to that stuff all the time, but my plan to stay healthy is gallons of alcoholic hand sanitizer, vitamin C supplements, improved sleep, and listerine / green tea at the first niggle of anything.  I'm also drinking a lot more water this year--it was a new-year's resolution.  

I got bored by the end of the season last year, and I realized it's because I keep running at the same range of paces all the time.  I love running faster--it's such a thrill.  But I can only run that fast 1-2 x /week, unless I want to get injured, sick, and overtrained. I've been stuck in this boring rut of paces that bore me and don't challenge me.  So this time, my plan is to do Hal's intermediate half marathon plan, and follow it closely except the long runs, which I'm using my own plan on.  If the intermediate plan is too hard, I'll do either 1 tempo run or 1 pace run per week.  And I'm going to start doing core work / strengthening / stretching.
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Re: Fitter and Faster

Post  nkrichards on Wed Feb 12, 2014 1:07 pm

I know how you feel Kathy.  I'm in a similar situation for different reasons.  I had a fantastic marathon the first weekend in November and for various (legitimate) reasons I've logged a total of 40 miles since then.  Sad 

I'm also struggling to find the motivation to get back on track.  I don't have a goal let alone a goal race for this year and I'm just not sure what I want to do...  Like you I'm hoping that putting some races on the calendar will help so I've dug out the calendar and started thinking about what I want to do.

I realize that knowing I'm in a similar situation doesn't help you but don't think you're the only one that's struggling to find the motivation to get out there and run.  Good luck finding that goal race that gives you a reason to run and stay healthy along the way.

Best of luck...Nancy
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Re: Fitter and Faster

Post  Julie on Sun Mar 09, 2014 6:54 pm

Hope the colds are subsiding. My first year working in the public high school I was sick about every 3 weeks and the 2nd year was not as bad so hopefully eventually you don't suffer as much. Have you ever tried Emergen-C? I just got a free sample so it was on my mind but mostly vit C and B6 and a few others. We have hand sanitizer everywhere in the house and with preemies we make everyone sanitize upon entering our home even if they won't be touching a baby.

I hope your last few weeks of running have been going better.
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Re: Fitter and Faster

Post  Penelope on Wed Mar 12, 2014 9:05 pm

Thanks for visiting Nancy and Julie! Somehow I stopped getting the emails notifying me that people posted.

Julie, I do 1000 mg of vitamin C daily, have been for a couple years, and honestly I think it works wonders.  I think I just get exposed to a lot, but last year I was able to fend some colds off even when coworkers next to me all week have been coughing / sneezing. Since I moved this summer and my sleep has not been as good, I think I'm more susceptible.  Last month I bought hand sanitizer and it seems to be helping.

I bought a treadmill and I am thrilled with it.  And I let myself get a good one instead of the cheapest thing I could find, which is usually my habit with large purchases….I have no regrets at all though.  And I just cancelled my gym membership.

A coworker mentioned something called Splash-n-Dash, which is basically a swim-then-run type of thing.  So a tri, minus the biking.  I'm going to look into those while I live here in Chicago.  I LOVE to swim, but chlorine really damages my hair (even when I put it up, put conditioner in it first, etc, it can't handle it)…and while I live in Chicago, in the summers I can swim at the Ohio St Beach for free and without chlorine….(what with instead, we won't go there….) so I may look into them.  In the meantime, I'm just getting back into running.  My usual paces seem very hard because I'm out of shape and have gained weight as well.  But I'll get there…have a few races in mind in the spring that will keep me on track.
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Re: Fitter and Faster

Post  ounce on Thu Mar 13, 2014 9:48 am

I'm glad that you're on the path to beating some of the bugs and crud that's been messing with you.  Those things really had your number, last year.  Good luck on the road back to wherever your running and swimming takes you.
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Re: Fitter and Faster

Post  Penelope on Mon Mar 17, 2014 8:07 pm

Thanks Ounce!
I'm not sure about the swimming…it's an idea but we'll see where it goes (or doesn't go). 
Here are my runs recently:
Mon 3/10/14. Inside on my TM. 5.0 in 51:55, mostly at 5.7, heart rate in 155-160 range. Felt good

Tues 3/11/14. Inside, on my treadmill, 3.0 miles at 6.0, finished in 29:46, felt okay, but effort level hard.   

Wed 3/12/14 on TM. 3.0 at 5.7/ 10:31 pace, in 31:20. Felt decent.  

Thurs 3/13/14. 0 miles, planned rest day.  

Fri 3/14/14 TM. 3.51 in 34:40, 6.0 mph.  This treadmill is off and needs to be calibrated. Was harder than it should have been, which makes sense given that it's underestimating pace. 

Sat 3/15/14 T M 6.01 in 60:01, first 5 at 6.0 and last mile at 5.7-5.8.  Was hard and nearly stopped at 3, but pushed through.  Did an auto calibrate of the treadmill but it's still too fast; should have finished in 60:30ish.

Sun 3/16/14 T.M. 3.5 miles in 35:20, at 5.9 mph (which should have been about 35:45 when accounting for the 15 sec it takes to get to that speed). Felt alright.  The heart rate monitor read 56-78 the entire time which is obviously wrong.  Technology seems to be failing me lately.

Mon 3/17/14 0 miles, planned rest day. Walked home from work 1.25 miles. Remind myself to call the treadmill company and see if there's anything else I can do.  I have to study for a grad class final exam in 2 days and even though today is my planned rest day I'm itching to run instead of study.
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Re: Fitter and Faster

Post  Julie on Mon Mar 17, 2014 9:03 pm

Sounds like a solid week!

What class(es) are you taking? Hope the exam goes well!
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Re: Fitter and Faster

Post  ounce on Tue Mar 18, 2014 10:47 am

Penelope wrote:
Mon 3/17/14 0 miles, planned rest day. Walked home from work 1.25 miles. Remind myself to call the treadmill company and see if there's anything else I can do.  I have to study for a grad class final exam in 2 days and even though today is my planned rest day I'm itching to run instead of study.

For me, it's almost, "I'm itching to run instead of __________."
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Re: Fitter and Faster

Post  nkrichards on Tue Mar 18, 2014 7:57 pm

Wow...you really do like that new treadmill!

I'll do practically anything to avoid running on mine.  It is definitely a necessary evil.

Glad you're enjoying it!
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Re: Fitter and Faster

Post  Penelope on Mon Nov 10, 2014 12:55 am

Wow, it's been a long time since I wrote in this dinosaur!!  I was thinking about how it would be cool to start a new blog, but that I don't have much time to keep up with the blogs.  So maybe I'll just periodically update this one.

In the past few months:
--I did my first and perhaps only Olympic distance triathlon in Chicago. Conditions were terrible with heavy winds, I was terribly trained, I used a hybrid bike, and the whole thing was a real mess, but I managed to finish it, and I'm proud of myself for that.  My parents came, and that was why I finished.  Otherwise, the course went very near my high-rise twice on the bike and I may have gone home.
--I reached the highest weight I've ever been shortly after (and no it wasn't muscle, it was all fat).  Even at that weight I'm still in the normal BMI, but the image in the mirror was deemed unacceptable by some standard I must have, and I decided it was time to get serious about losing weight for good, eating healthfully, and not eating at work out of anger / frustration (which is why I gained it in the first place).  So I've been doing MyFitnessPal 1200 cal / day (it seems low but that's what it says for me to do) and eating a little extra when I burn calories running.  I've been doing it since 10/4 and have lost 6.5 lbs.  I have another 9.5 for my goal weight, and I also need to focus on building muscle and losing fat.  I've always been on the fattier side rather than muscular side, even when I've been at very low weights. 
--I got my 2nd set of shinsplints since starting running on my treadmill earlier this spring, and got rid of them in the same way--ice and avoiding the treadmill.  I researched it and apparently some people only get shinsplints on the treadmill.  I also learned that my treadmill is steel, which is harder than the concrete / asphalt I generally run on.  I ended up switching back to my Asic 2170s with gel inserts and am no longer putting the treadmill at 1% incline.  
--I got (and still am recovering from) my annual Terrible Fall Cold.  I get a severe, really bad cold, every year, usually in October, that lasts usually > 2.5 weeks and destroys my fall running momentum just in time for winter.  And sometimes it's followed by a good sinus infection requiring steroids, too.  I'm on day 13 but gradually improving.  This happens every single year, and then I don't want to run all winter, and start over each spring
--I'm tired of being slow, of seeing people who weigh much much more than me / are overweight, or who smoke, blow past me at races. (This has been happening since my high school cross country/track days.  There were literally girls who smoked who were faster than me.)  I'm tired of feeling like I'm not a serious runner because I'm slow and I just can't seem to keep up a good consistent training schedule--I always get sick, or burned out, or both, and take time off.  I'm tired of being ashamed of my race paces rather than proud of finishing races.

So, with all that, and a lot of information from Mark Bowder and some internet research / reading, I've decided that I'm going to try low heart rate training.  I think it's the answer to some of my issues:
1) it may help me reduce my body fat by burning fat instead of muscle / glycogen
2) even though I never felt like I was overtrained, maybe I was, and maybe I won't get an annual Terrible Fall Cold to de-rail my running
3) everyone who has done it has very convincing data showing dramatic improvement

So, I've decided to go for it.  I used Maffetone's formula, so for me, 180-33=147, -5 for lack of training = 142.  I think the -5 was questionable and I could have just used 147, but I figured I'd error on being conservative.  I don't want to do this and have it not work.  So, I'm using my HR monitor to keep my HR in between 140-144 and running on my treadmill, now at 0% incline and with more supportive shoes.  I think I have to work my way up to miles on this treadmill in terms of the shinsplints, so I'm doing 30 min at a time for the first 2 weeks (10 runs).  And every 2 weeks will add 5-10 min.  That buildup seems ridiculously slow to me, but if it's what it takes for me to be able to run on that treadmill all winter without NSAIDs or worsening injury, so be it.

By building up the time / distance for my shins, it also gives my brain a buildup in terms of discipline.  I find it easy, yet hard, to run at turtle paces and often at paces that I think I can walk faster at.  I don't think I have the mental stamina / discipline to just go out and run 6 miles at that slow of a pace.  So the gradual buildup will help with that.  Even watching TV I struggled with boredom.  I'm thinking of getting a good audiobook and only being allowed to listen to it when I'm running slowly, so it'll be something to look forward to.  I'm still experimenting a good deal.  The first run I did slowly, I experimented with the treadmill's heart rate cruise control.  In theory a good feature, but it didn't allow me to control it and didn't control my HR as tightly as I can manually adjusting the speed.  So, the whole thing is a learning curve.
I think I'm going to do 100% LHR training for at least 6 months, and track my progress each month.  At the end of the 6 months, I'll see where I am in terms of miles and improvement, and if I've plateaued, I'll start doing 20% of my running at harder paces.  If I'm still seeing improvements, I may stick with it longer except for some races.  It's a work in progress, but I'm excited for it!
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Re: Fitter and Faster

Post  Michele "1L" Keane on Mon Nov 10, 2014 9:54 am

cheers cheers cheers cheers
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Re: Fitter and Faster

Post  ounce on Mon Nov 10, 2014 10:37 am

I think you'll find the HR training, while slow and tedious, will get you running faster at the same HR.  Think of it like adding another gear to your car's transmission, in that you'll be able to go farther and faster at the same RPM.  Let it work.

HR training isn't speedwork, though, and should never be thought of as such.
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Re: Fitter and Faster

Post  Penelope on Mon Nov 10, 2014 8:35 pm

Thanks for stopping in Michele and Ounce!
Yeah, this is like the opposite of speed work! Slow-work!  I like the idea of thinking of it as adding another gear.  That's kind of what it feels like because I'm really sore! I ran Sat and Sun at slow paces and although it was easy, it was kind of hard because I was holding myself back.  And trying not to bounce vertically at the slower pace.  My quads are kind of sore today! I don't know what else it could be from, other than different patterns of muscle use / maybe my gait is somewhat different.  I think the extra gear will take some time to build...
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Re: Fitter and Faster

Post  Mark B on Mon Nov 10, 2014 8:47 pm

Hey, Kathy! She's back blogging!

Yup, you're going to discover all sorts of muscles using the low HR approach: The slow-twitch muscles that some speed-demon runners never really get in shape. That can be all well and good if you're running shorter distances, but when the time running starts stretching out there, the lack of fatigue-resistant, slow-twitch muscles leads to heartbreaking and frustrating fades.

I don't know if you ever waded into that Hadd post I'd sent you, but he goes into the physiology in some detail. The nice thing about that is that it makes it easier to go slow when you understand the science behind it. He also gives a good example to where he, a speedy guy, decided to run with a group of slower runners... and thought he was going to die, because his legs weren't conditioned for that lower gear.

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Re: Fitter and Faster

Post  Tom H on Mon Nov 10, 2014 9:23 pm

Kathy, the training road using LHR is a long one, but a very productive one.  I took the same route years ago and was lucky enough to (as you do) have Mark as a great resource/guru/teacher/mentor/sarcastic instigator.  It took a lot of miles to start seeing results, but they did come and resulted in PRs along with fewer injuries during training.  If you haven't, I'd suggest your read up on the approach as there will likely be times you'll be saying, "Is this really working?", and having the deeper understanding will help you get through them.
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