Thursday, April 21, 2011

"I Don't Mind Stealing Bread From The Decadence"

For the past 3 years I have ran nonstop. I've purposely made it a point to always have a race to train for year round averaging 4-5 races a year. My thinking is that if I always have something to train for, it will keep me accountable for my running. I feel like if not, I would begin to slack on my running. The layout of my race schedule looks something like this:

January-March: Half Marathon or Full Marathon
April-September: 5k and/or 10k
August-October: Half Marathon
October- December: Half or Full Marathon

Just by a glimpse, I have come to the realization that I have a lot of endurance races I do yearly. I've put a lot of miles on my shoes, and a lot of (good) stress on my body. I can argue both ways on this in regards if this is good for the body or if it will start to harm the body. Here are my points:

The Good:
  • Accountability
  • Self Discipline
  • Motivation
  • Good Health
  • Feel Better
  • Sense of Accomplishment
  • Outlet/Stress Reliever
  • And a million more!
The Bad:
  • Lack of Rest
  • Burn Out
I only have 2 negative points and a million positive points. I tell people daily the importance of resting to avoid burn out. Sometimes it's hard to take our own advice. I've been running serious for 3 years now, always have a 'long run' built in weekly. After the Mardi Gras Half in February my body has decided to finally tell me it's time to cut back. The past couple of months I have cut back on my weekly mileage. I've had mix emotions on this topic because I am afraid by relaxing I am going to lose everything I have worked so hard for over the years. I've built up so much speed and muscle by pushing myself to the limits. However, once again, I need to learn to take my own advice.

If you neglete rest, exercise will begin to do more harm than good. Rest is key to repairing/building the muscles after they have been through the stress of exercise. If you fail to let them rest, over time the muscles will never be able to repair and will begin to not function to their full ability. My point is, train for the appropriate race at the correct time. If your next race is a 10k work on the training for that race and not the distance of a half (my biggest fault). If the distance of a half is your typical race throughout the year and you are training for an upcoming 10k, take that time as 'active rest'. By that I mean, you are still working the body at the intensity of a 10k, but it's also recieveing some rest since you aren't pushing at a half marathon intesnity. Bascially your body is working, but resting in comparison to normal. It's healthy for the body. Focus on the upcoming race and how to get faster and stronger. This will pay off when it comes back around to training for a half or full marathon. Your body will still feel worked, but well rested to take on the increase in mileage. I'm beginning to realize this is what my body needs. Trust me, your body will come to a point and not let you continue to train for a full year round. That's a lot of stress on the body and only a selected few are able to maintain the intensity. Focus on yourself and no one else. I love running and I'm working on rediscovering the reasons why. Since my next race is the Peachtree Road Race (10k), I am only training at a 10k intensity and not the half marathon intensity like I had been. Easier said then done, but i'm working on focusing only at this goal in hand at the moment! My body is starting to slowly feel refreshed and rejuvenated, again. Remember to always listen to your body, and not stress if you need to slow down your running intensity. Running is an up/down sport. You have your peak season and your down season. Just enjoy running and how it makes you feel!

Training Exercise: Cross Train!! I know I have mention this before, but it's important to the body. Your body feeds off variety, and it will help aid in gains in your training. Cross training allows you to work your muscles, but in different ways. I have begun spinning with my friends and it's a good break from running. I'm so glad they have convinced me to jump on the bandwagon, our bandwagon :-). I'm still running, but since I have cut back on my mileage some, spin allows me to keep my legs strong and burn more calories than if I were just to only run on my cut back mileage. I highly recommend spin to anyone, especially runners. You make it as difficult as you want. It's a good workout for your legs and core! I have noticed that it's helped me jump back into running after taking a few days off a lot quicker than if I were to not run and only workout. Spin is only one idea. You can also ride a real bike, swim, climb, etc.

Training Tip: It's starting to get HOT in Atlanta. So much for Spring. I know for me, I get my best runs in the morning right after I wake up. However, with my job I am not able to do that much anymore so I have to wait till the afternoon or night. Since it's getting too hot in the middle of the day, I've been waiting till sunset to run. It kind of mimics sunrise with the cooler air and less traffic. Just remember between 10am- 4pm is the hottest part of the day, therefore, making your outdoor run just a tad tougher. If that's the only time you can squeeze in your outdoor activities then carry lots of water and power through the heat. BUT if you are able to get out before sunrise, do so! There are no words for the feeling it gives you! As of now, my runs are taking place after a nice afternoon nap, followed by some coffee, then a run to end my day! Find what time best suits you, and always remember to fuel up especially since Summer is approaching. Don't worry, I'll remind you in later posts as Summer shines it's pretty little face on us in the upcoming months!

Training Songs: I've downloaded some new goodies with the help of some awesome friends, noteworthy: Ross! :-) You'll see the variety I've had this month! Enjoy!

1. Tomorrow Can Wait- David Guetta ft Tocadisco
2. It Felt Good On My Lips- Tim McGraw
3. Turn On The Radio- Reba McEntire
4. Good Girl- Alexis Jordan
5. Best Love Song- T-Pain ft Chris Brown
6. Hunger Strike- Temple of The Dog ft. Pearl Jam and Soundgarden
7. Written In The Stars- Tinie Tempah ft. Eric Turner
8. Out of My Head- Lupe Fiasco ft. Trey Songz
9. The Lazy Song- Burno Mars
10. Closer To The Edge- 30 Seconds To Mars

Training Langiappe: As many of you know April is Earth Month. BUT tomorrow, April 22, is Earth Day! Earth Day means lots of freebies around different businesses. My favorites are: Free Coffee at Starbucks or Caribou if you bring in your own mug, and my favorite of all time is a Free Milkshake at Evos! Yessss Pleasssse! I love the rewards for being green and caring about our planet! So get out tomorrow and enjoy some free coffee and milkshakes... and, of course, Earth! Don't you worry, I already have my plan of attack mapped out! :-) Peace, Love, Green!

Happy Running,
Jayme Bergeron, BS
ACSM Health Fitness Specialist

Friday, April 1, 2011

"Between Two Lungs... My Running Feet Could Fly"

There is a reason for everything we do in life, including running. Some people run to blow off steam, others because they find enjoyment out of it, some "because they have to", or sometimes for a good cause. There are a million reasons people run, but I honestly don't think anybody runs for the same reason. They may be similar, but there is always a personal reason (even if kept hidden inside them) a person runs. I have always used running as an outlet from the rest of the world. I use it as "me time" and to get things off my chest. Some of my best thinking comes from my runs, especially long runs. It allows me to analyze situations and weigh all my options before making an irrational decision. After my runs, I feel refreshed and clear minded.

Running is one of the simplest and purest forms of exercise. It requires moving one foot in front of the other with a little speed and power behind it, but a lot of self discipline is expected. It's a test of how hard you can push yourself, and how much "pain" you can endure. My point is, running is something a lot of people take for granted. It's a simple movement any healthy, non sick, person can do. But why don't more people run? So many people complain they want to be in shape, but don't have time/money for a gym. So why don't they run? It's free and it's on their time. My point is, I have a new motivation to run. After my brother got ill, I took a lot of time to think during my runs. Having someone so close to you become severely ill makes you ponder a lot of things in life. It broke my heart to see my brother struggle to just stand up from the couch, much less walk to the kitchen. Each day he becomes stronger and covers more ground in his recovery. He's definatanly a fighter and an inspiration! That brings me to my point: I run because I can. I run for Jason. I took a pledge during one of my runs to not skip out anymore just because I'm tired from work, or whatever my reason may be. I've been wanting to get my weekly mileage back to around 23-30 miles/week. I have no reason not to. For now on, I lace up my shoes and run because other people truly can't. Each mile I cover, I cover for him. In a sense, I feel like it's my way of "helping" him, doing something for him. Once he is fully recovered, I have hopes to persuade him to do a 5k with me because he CAN! After everything he will have gone through, I feel like accomplishing something he doesn't think possible at this time will give him the sense of self accomplishment that is indescribable. That is the reason I love helping people and promoting a healthy lifestyle: making people accomplish goals they never thought possible. The feeling of self satisfaction.

Why do you run? Just think about it.

Training Exercise: Crazy Ivans. I actually ran across this exercise from Nike. It's just a variation of a Russian Twist, but incorporates the "wood chop" motion. It's easy to perform.

Crazy Ivans:
  • Start by sitting on the floor with a weighted medicine ball or dumbbell.
  • Lean back on your butt slightly bringing your feet off the ground-- You're core will be supporting you for the exercise.
  • Start with the MB/DB by one side.
  • Twist up to the opposite side as if you are reaching up to the ceiling.
  • Then return to the starting position.
  • That is 1 rep. Continue for 15-20 reps. Then switch to the other side.
  • Complete 3-5 sets.
*Remember keeping your feet slightly off the ground engages your core (stomach, lower back, and hips). Resting your feet = cheating.

Training Tip: It's pollen season, at least in the South! Remember to wear some type of sunglasses and, if possible, don't run with your contacts in if running outside. Remember the wind will whip that yellow residue around and blow into your eyes. Without sunglasses your eyes can become irritated causing a headache. Also, if you wear contacts the pollen can either scratch the contact or stick to it causing more irritation on your eye. Other than that, Spring is swell!

Training Songs: I haven't had much time to download many new songs. I've been in a very Jam Band kind of running mood. It reminds me of Summer and good times! Enjoy!

1. Hope- Jack Johnson
2. The Way I Am- Ingrid Michaelson
3. Cornbread (Live)- DMB
4. Untitled (Live)- O.A.R
5. Little Lion Man- Mumford and Sons
6. No Hands- Waka Flocka Flame ft. Roscoe Dash & Wale
7. Stay The Night- James Blunt
8. E.T.- Katy Perry ft. Kayne West

Training Lagniappe: I, along with almost everyone I know, got a spot in the 2011 AJC Peachtree Road Race for July 4th! YAY...It's almost Warrior Dash time! We did it last year and it is some of the most fun you will have during a race! If you haven't done it, or don't know anything about it you HAVE to check it out! I am determined to beat Ross, again! :-)

On a side note: Here is a picture I took the other night after my run. It was very gloomy day, yet the sun was shinning on the two buildings. I thought it looked pretty :-) I love ATL!

Happy Running,
Jayme Bergeron, BS
ACSM Health Fitness Specialist