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:
- Self Discipline
- Good Health
- Feel Better
- Sense of Accomplishment
- Outlet/Stress Reliever
- And a million more!
- 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!
Jayme Bergeron, BS
ACSM Health Fitness Specialist