Sunday, September 26, 2010

"13.1 Atlanta: Where The Party Meets The Pavement!"

First, I want to apologize for not updating in a couple of week. I, again, had computer problems, but now i'm back and should be back for good!

Next Sunday, October 3, is the 13.1 Half Marathon in Atlanta! So it's officially tapering time! Tapering time is always bittersweet for me. I'm ready to slow down and rest, but once a few days into it I feel like a slug and need to exercise more. Rest is important, especially before a race. Everyone is different, so how people taper is personalized. You know your body better than anyone else; therefore, the amount of rest you need is to be determined by you. I know there are plans/suggestions out there that state how much you need to rest and what activities are best during Taper Week, but I honestly think each person can determine that for themselves. Some people may need more rest than others, while some may not need any rest. I've noticed that for each race I've ran I have trained and tapered differently. Honestly, I can't tell you if one technique is better than other. I based it off how I was feeling and my goals. This race I have set a new PR Goal for myself of 1:30. I need to shave roughly 18 minutes off my last half enable to reach my goal. This time around I have trained harder during my weekly runs than I have in the past. I have added more hills, weight lifting, and some sprints. Hopefully, it will pay off. I know I will be happy with any time under my last race time.... A few taper tips to remember:
  • Rest- Obviously. If you're like me and insist on still running and lifting weights, just take it easy. Cut your runs shorter than what you would normally run and maybe even slow the pace down a little. If lifting weights, lift lighter than you normally do. This way you are still exercising, but taking it easy. Taking it easy will allow your muscles to still rest and not reach fatigue, so when race day comes you are still fresh.
  • Fall into that sedentary lifestyle the day before the race! Well, not completely... leave out the nachos! Take it easy with no exercise and as little walking as possible. Just seriously relax and clear your mind.
  • Stay hydrated throughout the week! This is the time to really be serious about hydration. Remember it takes a couple of days for water to reach the cellular level. Meaning, you need to drink plenty of water throughout the week to ensure your muscles and cells are fully hydrated. Last thing you want is to cramp during the race after all your hard training.
  • Stretch! This one is hard for most people, including me. Stretch those muscles throughout the day to release any tightness or possible cramping. For me, my calves are always tight. I don't stretch them as much as I need to and I am working on stretching them more. Try to get up and walk around after a few hours of sitting to help keep the blood flowing. While walking around, stretch your muscles. Also, when at home just sitting around is the perfect time to stretch. I promise it will help keep you lose and focused on race day. It's also very relaxing :-)
  • Think about your pace and envision yourself running on race day. If you believe you can do something, you can! You've been training for this day and your body is capable of handling the distance, now it's just mental. Stay positive before and during the race!
  • Most of all: HAVE FUN!
Training Exercise: Reverse Fly: My new favorite muscle group to work is the back! As you all know it used to be the hammies. Now, it's back time. Like the hammies, people seem to forget to really work those back muscles. Strong back muscles help in lifting, breathing, flexibility, and reduce low back pain (obviously).

Reverse Fly:
  • Grab a light weight. Don't over do it.
  • Stand with your feet about shoulder width apart with a slight bend in the knees.
  • Bend forward keep your chest up, back straight, and glutes out. It may feel unnatural at first, but it takes the stress off your back.
  • Arms start straight down with palms facing each other.
  • Keeping your arms straight raise them out to the side of your body as far up as you can.
    You will feel it in your upper back and some in your shoulders.
  • Repeat: 10-15 reps, 3-5 sets
Training Tip: Carb load a couple nights before the race! Our main energy source our body uses is carbs, but our body is very ineffective at storing carbs for a long time. The idea behind carb loading is if you load up on carbs a couple nights before and some the night before, that when you run the long distance the next day your body will be able to tap into what carbs are left in your body to help push through those last miles. (It's a complex system, but that's the jest of it). When you are running/exercising for over an hour (on the safe side) your body needs carbs to push through and continue the exercise. Remember to choose healthy complex carbs such as whole wheat, nuts, greens, etc... not the simple carbs like candy! I'm making a homemade Turkey Lasagna with veggies for part of my carb loading!

Training Songs: As you know, I'm a music junkie and always looking for new song and even bring back oldies. One of the best apps I have on my iPhone is the Bing Music App. I always seem to forget about it, but you choose the year you want to listen to and it has the top 100 of that year. Oh yea! This week i'm bringing you back to 2005, the year I graduated high school! Enjoy! :-)

1. Wait (The Whisper Song) - Ying Yang Twins
2. My Humps- Black Eyed Peas
3. Soldier- Destiny's Child
4. 1, 2 Step- Ciara/ Missy Elliott
5. Get Back- Ludacris
6. Over and Over- Nelly ft. Tim McGraw
7. Drop It Like It's Hot- Snoop Dogg
8. Sugar- Trick Daddy ft. Ludacris and Cee-Lo
9. Switch- Will Smith
10. Don't Cha- Pussycat Dolls ft. Busta Rhymes

Training Lagniappe: Team Bergeron- Mardi Gras Half Marathon- February 13, 2011- NOLA. Be there or be square! You won't miss us obnoxious Bergerons... That's right, we're making shirts... BRIGHT YELLOW SHIRTS! :-)

Happy Running,
Jayme Bergeron, BS
ACSM Health Fitness Specialist

Sunday, September 5, 2010

September Declared: Childhood Obestiy Awareness Month

First, let me start by saying I'm not getting into a political debate with anyone. You have your views, I have mine. However, no matter what political stand you take childhood obesity should be a concern for all.

Being a fitness/health guru myself, it makes my heart smile more than anyone knows to see the First Lady advocate for childhood obesity. I have always had a fascination with helping children fight obesity and understand it is a nasty lifestyle. Children are creatures that do by example, we all know that. It's not only important for adults and the elders to get out and be active, but it's also vital that children are too. It's shameful to know that America is one of the top obese countries in the world. Why? Because people admire "convenience" and being "cheap". We teach our children that it is okay to order fast food, play video games, and not break a sweat daily. Why? It takes 30-60 minutes a day to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Go for a walk with your children or dog. Play in the park. Just move.

Read the Presidential Proclamation- Nation Childhood Obesity Month.

I think everyone should encourage others to get moving. It's the least anyone could do. Encourage your close family and friends to go on a walk after work, during lunch, or in the mornings. Find a buddy or a group and do some type of exercise with. Remember exercise can be any activity that gets you moving, ie running, walking, soccer, throwing a ball, skipping, riding a bike, dancing, or whatever tickles your fancy.

Another way to get children, people in general, moving is to volunteer for some type of after school activity. If you're a parent, round the kids up after school and let them run around and play outside before dinner (well, after they finish their homework of course). Be creative and do your part to make this a healthy country. Adding exercise in your routine can be as easy was watching tv... Think about it. Childhood obesity is a bigger problem than most people want to admit. No one is "comfortable" being overweight or obese, even if they say they are. Being healthy is comfortable. Corny, I know. Make your heart happy and move!

Training Exercise: Chest Fly. This is great exercise to help define your pec (chest) muscles and some of your shoulders. Having a strong chest will create more power and strength in lifting activities and can play a role with breathing due to a decrease in fatty areas around essential organs, ie the diaphragm. Plus, it gives you a great beach bod, men and women :-). Remember there are always progressions to each exercises to challenge your strength and endurance.

Basic Chest Fly:
  • First, find the appropriate weight to lift. If you don't know how much you can lift, think of how much you can bench press and choose weight somewhere around that number. Remember it will be less, maybe significantly less, because you will be lifting a weight in each arm opposed to use the power in both arms together to lift the weight.
  • Lay flat on bench.
  • Grab each dumbbell/ weight in each hand.
  • Position arms out with elbows 90 degrees and shoulders fully extended. Elbows should be up and shoulders should not be "sagging down". Palms should be facing forward.
  • Bring the weight up over your chest, fully extending your arms. The motion is like forming a triangle from the starting position. Do not tap the weights at the top.
  • Return to the starting position. Remember to keep elbows up and do not let the shoulders drop. If the shoulders and elbows begin to drop it could be an indication the weight is too heavy or poor form. You may need to drop in weight to help correct proper form.
Training Tip: Check your shoelaces before hitting the pavement. Don't tie them too tie or too loose. If you tie them too tight you can end up with a throbbing foot (raising my hand), or if they are too lose you will be lacking some ankle stability thus resulting in injury. Make sure you don't feel too much pressure on your foot while walking to start your run. If you feel any nagging pain just loosen them a tad bit. I know this sounds like common sense, but, you know, it happens to the best of us. This isn't the first time I've done it! Sometimes it's too early in the morning, or I am just anxious to get out there to run, and I get ready so quick I don't realize how tight I tied my shoes until half way through the run. At that point, stop and loosen them. Don't be a hard head like me and keep going. You will pay for it, trust me. I am still hurting after 5 days. I compressed the top of my foot to the point where it now hurts to flex my toes and a lingering pain each time my foot hits the pavement. Moral of the story, make sure you feel comfortable before starting your workout. If you at any point feel any discomfort just stop and adjust.

Training Songs: I've received some good suggestions for songs (thanks Ross) this week... and added some oldies! Enjoy!

1. Letting Go- Sean Kingston ft. Nicki Minaj
2. Hot Tottie- Usher ft. Jay Z and Ester Dean
3. Hot In Here- Nelly
4. Just a Dream- Nelly
5. You Don't Know Me- Ben Folds

Training Lagniappe: Flip Burger is opening up in Buckhead coming Fall 2010!! Bye bye Howell Mill, Hello Piedmont! Flip has amazing burgers and some of the BEST milkshakes ever! Being a foodie, this makes my heart smile! I like to believe Flip will help me prep for those long runs I have coming up! Burgers and milkshakes are packed with carbs, right? ;-) Seriously, go to Flip if you never have!.... After typing this, I realized what my topic was for this week. I'm not suggesting eating out is part of a healthy lifestyle! Just try Flip and enjoy it once in your life. :-)

Happy Running,
Jayme Bergeron, BS
ACSM Health Fitness Specialist