Tag Archives: progress

Realistic Running: Being Mindful of Where You Are

As a woman relatively new to running, I often find myself comparing my progress to others. I see other people flying down the road with ease, and the voice in my head tells me I should be able to run faster, go longer, and tackle serious mileage each week. When my legs get tired or I’m out of breath, I get frustrated because I expect my body to be able to do exactly what I want it to do. The problem is, I think my body is smarter than I am. When I increase my mileage too quickly, and my legs are aching and flimsy, my body is telling me to slow it down (and/or do more strength training). I need to be able to recognize the difference between when I need to push through, and when I seriously need to pull back.

This is especially true for my half-marathon training plan. I ended up changing to a new one because the original one increased my mileage too quickly. While it would have been perfect for me this past summer when I was running 6 miles at a clip, I had to admit to myself that I was biting off too much at once. After taking a couple months off this fall, I needed a plan to go off of that eased back into the heavier mileage totals. This is one that I switched to:

My New Half-Marathon Training Program

This is actually a training plan a friend recommended I look into, and I feel it is a better fit for me. Unlike my previous program, the Prevea schedule is a little longer and more gradual in terms of mileage increases. I believe it was actually developed for people planning to race in the Cellcom Green Bay Marathon this May. They have other schedules to refer to if you’re interested, and can be found on the race’s website.

What I’ve found since starting to train for the half-marathon is that many of these training programs claim to be designed for “beginners,” but then have you running a 5 mile day the first week. I believe the term “beginner” is completely relative. You might be a beginner in terms of never having raced before, but still able to run an 8-minute mile without breaking a sweat. Or you may be a beginner who has never broken into a jog a day in your life. Either way, you need to find a program that fits your fitness level. In my case, I wasn’t new to running, but I hadn’t ran more than 3 miles consistently in the last 3-4 months.

If you’re starting a program, don’t just pick a program and go with it. Take into serious consideration your goals, and be realistic. Also, be willing to stray from the program or modify it to fit your needs. There might be a day when running 10 miles just isn’t going to happen. Maybe your body needs to rest. Maybe you’re just not into it that day. If you can’t make the full 10, split up your run by doing 5 in the morning and 5 later in the day. Just give it your best, but remember that your best will change from day to day.

Be mindful of where you are in your training, listen to your body, and make adjustments accordingly. Know when to push yourself harder, and when to ease up. Find a balance.

Have you used a training schedule to prepare for a race or goal? Did you have to make adjustments to your training? I’d love to hear from you!

Giving Technology a Test Run…Literally.

Meet My New Bestfriend

Meet My New Bestfriend

I hate the idea of treadmills and the way they never cease to make me feel like a hamster on a wheel going round and round. That being said, I am not skilled enough in the running department to be able to make mental notes of my pace, distance, etc. The treadmill is like my own personal assistant that says, “Alright Kristen! You have one mile to go! Let’s get a move on!!”

Turns out, the treadmill is no longer my only ally and I can now run off the machine while still getting the same feedback…oh and I’m not talking about the Garmin Forerunner or the Nike+!

I just downloaded the Runtastic app for my blackberry. It didn’t cost me a dime and the program has impressed me! Clearly the idea of “getting what you pay for” does not apply here. The Runtastic app uses GPS to track your distance and manages to also calculate your speed, time, calorie burn, average speed, fastest pace and has the capability to track your heart rate. Yeah. It’s that good.

I gave it a go this afternoon. I started the app and plopped my bberry in my pocket and off I went gracefully running into the sunset…

By the end of my two mile jaunt, the app didn’t fail to keep its promises and I noticed I was more apt to run harder knowing I was being held accountable by the little device in my pocket. One thing I failed to notice until recently is the ability to pause the workout so if you need to make a pit stop somewhere you have that option.

The workouts can be saved and logged so you can refer back to them or you can also upload to Facebook or Twitter…handy if you want to brag to all your friends or want feedback.

Overall, I can see this new app becoming my new favorite thing! I’m ecstatic that I am no longer a slave to the treadmill and am free to roam off the beaten path without sacrificing the stats at the end of a good run.

the p90x project

So this is my first real post for my new blog.  I’ve decided to track my P90x progress and share it with the world, along with any tips or tricks I pick up along the way.  Today is actually day 2 of the adventure.  For anyone who isn’t already familiar with P90x, it’s a workout system with about 13 dvds.  Every day is a different video which helps for people who are ADD when it comes to their workouts (like myself).  The workouts vary from Plyometrics (jump training) to old school push-ups and pull-ups to yoga.  There is a diet that you are advised to follow, mainly because you burn so many calories and work your muscles so intensely that it is smart to eat properly as well and get enough calories, etc.  I am not following the diet too closely, but I am making many of the recipes.  They aren’t difficult and taste pretty good!  I was surprised that I’ve been going through full days without my stomach growling while in class.  I’m not working out because I need to lose a lot of weight.  Mainly, I enjoy being active.  I was never a sports girl, but I enjoy the feeling I get after working hard.  I like to see what my body can handle and it makes me feel good the rest of the day.  Plus I like food and eating and this is my way of not feeling guilty for chowing down on the occasional ice cream sundae.  Anyways, follow along and feel free to give tips or ask for them as well.  I’ll try to help.