Temperatures in Atlanta have been brutally cold, reaching record lows with insane wind gusts. When is the last time Atlanta has had snow more than once in the same week?! The temperatures have held below freezing for most of the week, and have in the past few days crawled just above freezing. It's been cold for Atlanta. I know it may not seem like much to northerners, but us southerners, this is a big deal. I can finally say I know what 1 degree feels like.... death. I always say I love running in cold weather and that it's my favorite time to run. I believe I get my "best runs" out of the colder weather. Well, I asked for cold and got more than I bargained for. It's not until about mile 2 I can feel my finger and toes, but until then I think to myself "what the hell am I doing?!". I keep going and forget about how I can't feel any part of my body, and how my nose won't stop running. I finally reach mile 2 and my body starts to adjust and warms up, well, as warm as it's going to get. My advice: it may suck at first, but remember it will get better the longer you run. Don't think about how the whipping wind in your face feels like someone is throwing knives at you, just keep going :-)... sooner or later you will just become numb. If you can't bare the outdoor temperatures, resort to the treadmill. I hate the treadmill so much, I will put myself through these brutally cold temperatures even if it is snowing! :-) I have taken a few snapshots of the weather before my runs. Below is a picture of the weather before my 11 miler... it never got about freezing.
The things we scarface for the things we love :-).
Training Exercise: Plank to row. This is a good exercise mainly for your core, but will also work some of the shoulder/back. The idea is to resist the rotation of the hips and stay as center as you can to the ground while rowing.
Plank to Row:
- You can do this exercise with a free motion machine or with a resistance band. If you are doing it with a cable: lower the arm to the ground and set the weight to a reasonably lighter weight. The idea is the motion, not the weight. If you are doing it with a resistance band: secure the band to the wall, door frame, or around a machine. Make sure the band is at floor level.
- Get in push up position on the floor with the handle in one hand. Make sure you are far back from the machine/end of band so that there is a resistance created.
- While holding that position, begin to row back resisting the rotation of the hips.
- Y0u should feel your core tighten up/contract.
- Perform 10-20 reps on one side. Then do the other arm.
- Make sure you do both sides so your abs are being worked equally.
- Repeat for 3-5 sets.
- Once you have the motion and form down, you can make the exercise harder by adding weight/or stepping further back to add more resistance. Remember quality over quantity. Good form is a must!
Training Tip: It's cold, don't forget your gloves or thick socks! I know I talked about winter gear on the last entry, but it is so important with this wintry blast circulating the nation. Investing in some running gloves is always a good idea. It will help keep heat in, and keep your fingers from feeling like someone is stabbing you with a million tiny needles. Compression socks may also be a good idea. If you are running and realize that your feet never warm up, try getting new socks or wearing more than once pair. I know it may sound crazy, but it's important to keep the heat in! When exercising, the blood shuns to the working muscles. So, when running blood goes mostly to the legs and with the quads (front of the upper leg) being a big muscle more blood is needed there then say the foot, a relatively smaller muscle. Also, remember if it is snowing sunglasses may be a good idea. Trust me, snow flying into your eye is not a good feeling! If you feel the need to wear goggles, go for it! The idea is to try to keep your body parts from drying out!
Training Songs: It's the Christmas season, it's cold, and we all need good songs to get us through the torture of the weather! Enjoy!
1. Baby It's Cold Outside- Frank & Lynn Loesser
2. Rolling In The Deep- Adele
3. Say Hello Wave Goodbye- David Gray
4. Rock This Party- Bob Sinclar
5. Kiss With A Fist- Florence and The Machine
6. Cat Turned Blue- Rusted Root
Training Lagniappe: It's the holiday season and a good time to do a selfless deed. Saturday, December 11, 2010 Ross, Megan, and myself ran down the streets of Virgina Highlands in Atlanta in our undies dressed like Santa. Of course, it was for a good cause: Benefiting Camp Twin Lakes and resources for disabled children. Although it was chilly, it was the best 1.7 mile run I have done! :-) Remember to give back to your community and do something good for someone else, it's worth it. Happy Holidays!
This is Atlanta for you! :-)
Before the Run
It's all for the kids!
Jayme Bergeron, BS
Jayme Bergeron, BS
ACSM Health Fitness Specialist