Sunday, January 10, 2010

Now That Was Some Arctic Style Running

This week I have failed to do my homework. Normally during my runs, mostly longer runs, I collect ideas to blog about. Well, this week the only thing I could keep thinking about was this "Arctic Blast" weather. The state of Georgia is popular for freaking out over the thought of snow or a "wintry mix" and the entire state shuts down. Well, I'll give it to you this time Georgia. The weather sure was "Arctic" like. Snowy, icey, slushy, and refrozen to enjoy the fun for two more days. The beginning of the week the weather was just cold, frigid cold. Temperatures barely reaching freezing. The middle of the week the temperatures stayed below freezing with unbearable wind chills. This, of course, made running unappealing for the week, but we bundled up and faced mother nature with all she had to offer. Then we ended the week with snow that froze over for 2 days. Temperatures on Friday and Saturday stayed blowing freezing keeping the snow/ice to linger around. Saturday we completed 13.3 miles on our normal trail, but this time it was dusted with a nice solid layer of snow. I have to say, it was actually enjoyable for the most part. Besides my face freezing and nose running nonstop, the challenge not to fall and the feeling of running on snow for that long of a distance made the run unique and added another element. I feel like I lived the life of a northern runner for a week. We are some dedicated marathon trainers to bare these conditions just to exercise. Now, can I have my 50 degree weather back? Please and thank you! I apologize for my mind being occupied with the insane weather for the week and that I couldn't present a pleasant topic to blog about. I mean, it was an "Arctic Blast" week!

Exercise of the Week: Hip Exercises (compliments of Runner's World Magazine). After a long run some runners will experience hip aches or soreness due to the repetitive movement for a long duration. Here are some exercises to help loosen the hip muscles and reduce aches, pains, or soreness.

The Knee Lean:
  • Stand with your legs shoulder width apart.
  • Lunge forward.
  • Drop your back knee to the floor while keeping your lunged knee at a 90 degree angle.
  • Let your hips sink towards the floor.
  • Hold for 10 seconds.
  • Complete with the other leg and hold for 10 seconds.
  • Completion of 1 set.
  • Repeat 3-5 reps.
Hip Hike:
  • You need a step or an uneven surface to complete this exercise.
  • Stand sideways on the step or uneven surface.
  • One leg should be on the step while the other leg (outside leg) is hanging off the edge.
  • Lift and lower the outside leg off the edge.
  • Complete 15-30 reps.
  • Switch sides to complete the exercise on the other leg for 15-30 reps.
  • Completion of 1 set.
  • Repeat for 3-5 reps.
Leg Raises:
  • Find a flat surface to lay on.
  • Lie on one side of your body with your legs on top of one another and toes forward.
  • Lift the upper leg up towards the ceiling. Remember to keep proper form and lift only as high as you can without breaking your form. Completion of 1 rep.
  • Complete 15-30 reps.
  • Switch sides to complete the exercise on the other leg for 15-30 reps.
  • Completion of 1 set.
  • Repeat for 3-5 reps.
Training Tip of the Week: A well balanced diet is important, especially for people who are exercising. It's hard to break bad habits, but it can be done. Start slowly and change something about breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Here are a few ideas.

Breakfast: Most people don't eat breakfast although it is the most important meal of the day. The reason being is because if you don't eat breakfast by the time lunch rolls around your stomach is completely empty. This will cause you to overeat at lunch. Make breakfast light and healthy. Eating greasy and fattening foods for breakfast won't result in anything good. Here are a few ideas.
  • Eat fruit and/or yogurt. Eat a banana, apple, orange, or even yogurt (low fat, if available).
  • Eat oatmeal with or without fruit/ nuts. You get a well balance meal with the fiber, protein, vitamins, and minerals.
  • Breakfast wrap. Try to steer clear of fried meats.
  • Top your breakfast off with juice (100% real juice to avoid added sugars and flavors), coffee, or water.
Lunch: Try not to overeat at lunch. Have a well balanced meal. Remember to eat slow and don't eat past the point of feeling "full". At lunch try adding:
  • A type of fruit. The USDA guideline for fruit serving per day is 3-5.
  • Add vegetables to your meal to get the recommended servings per day.
  • Add nuts. You can add nuts to salads, stir fry dishes, or to a chicken meal.
  • Drink water with your meal instead of soda, tea, or alcohol. This way you have no added calories.
Dinner: Make dinner your biggest meal. You want to refuel your muscles from your workout. Don't over do it. It's winter time, so make a stew or soup with meat, beans, legumes, vegetables, and/or peppers for flavor. Stew/soups are perfect to obtain a well balanced meal in one bowl. Add bread to the side for some extra carbs. Be creative and remember to get your fiber, protein, vegetables, fruits, beans, and minerals throughout the day.

Snacks: Snacking isn't always bad for you, if you make good choices. Eating chips, soda, or candy throughout the day obviously isn't good for you. It's okay to add these guilty pleasure foods to our diets as long as it is few and far. Instead, on a daily routine for snacks:
  • Eat nuts and/or granola. However, check the granola before hand because it can be loaded with sugar.
  • Raisins
  • Fruit
  • Vegatables
  • Yogurt
  • Dried Figs
Remember to not overeat. Just because something is low in calories, fat, or nonfat doesn't mean you can consume more. Eat in moderation and think before you eat, especially if you are trying to lose weight or consume the proper nutrients for recovery.

Training Songs of the Week: I'm loving the new Vampire Weekend this week! It's heavenly. I did included some other goodies. Enjoy!

1. Run- Vampire Weekend
2. Diplomat's Son- Vampire Weekend
3. Giving Up The Gun- Vampire Weekend
4. Just Say Yes- Snow Patrol
5. She Is Love- Parachute

Countdown to the Atlanta ING Marathon:
69 Days (March 21, 2010).

Happy Running,

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