Sunday, October 23, 2011

"Life's Too Short To Even Care At All"

T- Minus 12 days till my second full marathon in Savannah! This time around, training has been tough for me. I have been following a harder training regimen with a spontaneous schedule. I have a hard time coping with the idea of detouring off the original training plan to suit my schedule. I see a guide to follow, and I tell myself I must follow the guide to a T. However, through all my studies of exercise and adaption, I know not everyone is the same and extra rest is absolutely acceptable. Remember a training guide is simply a guide. It's the base to your training. It's not your life and don't captivate yourself in the technicalities. The closer a race gets, the more fatigued and exhausted you become. That's a sign you may be close to over-training and it's time to start your tapering. The last 4, or so, months you have worked your butt off training for the race, and there is no need to risk injury at this point. Tapering is the time all runners look forward to during training. It's the break in training that feels like it couldn't have come at a better time! Your weekly mileage decreases steadily but drastically. It may be difficult at first to take the must needed rest. You go from being always active to moderately active. Some runners feel like they are doing something wrong and a little "bum like". Enjoy the rest because your body needs it. The idea is to let your body rest before the race. When race day comes around you will feel fresh, rejuvenated, and ready to run those 26.2 miles! During this time, focus on moderate exercise, good nutrition, and hydration! You won't be eating a much as you were when running 40 miles a week, so don't over eat! Staying hydrated is key to running your best race! Always have water with you throughout the day. Remember to relax and get excited to showcase all your hard work in the next couple weeks! Happy Tapering!
Battle womb of a 20 miler
Battle womb #2 from a 20 miler

Training Exercise: Foam Rolling. Foam rolling is a great way to increase blood flow to all your muscles. It may feel a little uncomfortable the first time rolling because tightness that hasn't been worked out in your muscles. The breaking of the muscle fascia (the connective tissue that is on top of the muscles) mimics the feeling of a deep tissue massage. Breaking the fascia helps increase blood flow to the muscles, reduces soreness/tightness, and may increase flexibility. Try foam rolling before and after a workout and/or hard run. You will feel better and will have a new addiction. 

Basic Foam Rolling:
  • Pick a muscle you want to roll. You can roll your upper back, shoulders, hamstrings, quadriceps, IT band, and even your calves. 
  • We will use your hamstrings as the example: While sitting on the floor, place the foam roller under on of your legs while your hamstrings are rested on the roller. 
  • Lift your hips off the ground, using your hands to support you. One leg will be on the roller. 
  • Now walk your leg up and down the roller with your hands behind you. As you roll you will feel the tissue breaking up in your hamstrings. 
  • Roll until you feel it is acceptable. Then switch legs and then muscles. 
Hamstring Foal Rolling Position

*You can also use a tennis ball or golf ball to break up the muscle fascia as well. Instead of rolling on the ball you will apply pressure on the ball in your hand and move it up and down, as you would with foam rolling. 

Training Tip: Rest is just as important to training as the actual running. It allows your body to recover from the constant pounding and stress you have applied on your muscles and bones weekly. The impact of running (or working out) breaks down muscles fibers in order to build the muscles up and make stronger. The rest period is when the muscle fibers build back up in strength. If rest is never taken, then the muscles remain in a stage of fatigue and more harm can be caused than good. Depending on your training regimen your tapering period may be longer or shorter than others. It's all based on an individual basis. You know your body best, so if you feel like you need an extra day of rest, take it. If you feel like you need an extra week of tapering before the race, take it. 

Training Songs: Many people ask me what gets me through 20 miles and all those long runs?! My answer: Good tunes within numerous genres! You need the ups and downs!  Enjoy!

1. Cough Syrup- Young The Giant 
2. Dedication of My Ex- Lloyd ft. Andre 3000
3. Slow Down Baby- Christina Aguilera 
4. Sound of Freedom- Bob Sinclair
5. Sexy and I Know It- LMFAO 

RR (Runner's Roux) Lagniappe: Healthy eating is just as important as exercise! On that note, I competed in the Southeastern regional Aetna Healthy Food Fight competition at Taste of Atlanta. I cooked my delicious and healthy Pumpkin Butternut Squash Chili with Turkey. It's a very hearty, healthy, and Fall comfort dish! It was my first time in a cooking competition, and I had a blast cooking for the judges, head chef, and festival-goers! Remember a healthy person makes a happy person! :-) 
Ready to be judged!
Happy Running, 
Jayme Bergeron, BS
ACSM Health Fitness Specialist 

Sunday, October 2, 2011

"Awe, Baby, Those Are Such Great Shoes"

Morning Sunrise at Silver Comet Trail 
Today marked the end of week 13 of Marathon training! Weeks 11-15 are the toughest of a marathon training regimen. Weekly runs increase, long runs are at the peak, and total mileage is at it's highest. This is my second week running a total of 40 miles in one week. My body feels better than it did last week, but since my long run this week was 20 miles, I'm feeling a little ginger today. This may be the hardest part of training, but it's defiantly my favorite. This is the time when you really get to know yourself, your limits, your degree of self discipline, and how far/hard you can push your body. It makes you a stronger person mentally, physically, and a test of your overall endurance (Yes, I know that's part of physical- just go with me). Just know when you come to this part of your training, everyone feels the same way you do! It's tough to get out of bed and think of running 20 miles. It can be daunting and discouraging. Don't think of it that way. Get dressed like you would for any other run. It is just another run, right?! Follow your normal routine, but make sure you pack all your goodies the night before. This way you aren't overwhelmed with too much to do right before you head out the door. Next get out on the road/trail and start your run. Break it up into segments. I think of it as two 10 milers. Focusing on the now is key. Don't stress yourself out while running because your trying to wrap your brain around the idea of 20 miles. No, focus your mind on the first part. Once you get half way all you have to do is make it back home or to the car. It's down hill from there. The first half of the run is the easiest. This is the time to find what pace is comfortable, work on your breathing, work out any kinks, and enjoy the scenery. When you reach the turn around point, don't think of it as "I have to do that all over again!?!". Instead break that 10 miler down into two 5 milers! You just ran 10 miles, at that moment you know you can run another 5 miles! The concept is to keep your mind focused and fresh. It keeps all negative thoughts away. Then once you reach that 5 miles, all you have remaining is the last 5 miles. Remind yourself you just ran 15 miles, what is another 5?! Also, using landmarks to break your run down into segments is another training tool. It's just like the mileage idea, however, you're telling yourself "Ok, run to the blah blah blah and then after that is blah blah blah". I also use landmarks in edition to the mileage idea. The good thing about running is that each route is broken into pieces. It's rarely ever one continuous stretch. Trails are separated by crosswalks and running a street route you normally make numerous turns onto different road. This way you can tell yourself to just make it to the end of this stretch... then once you get there you realize you DO still have energy and keep going telling yourself to make it to the next. Once you finish your long run, you will feel accomplished and refreshed! You may have an urge to fist pump, Jersey Shore style. I did! Oh yea, it happened! Good luck and have fun!

So, 20 miles is a long way. That's roughly 3 hours of continuous running that allows you a lot, A LOT, of time to think. Here are some of my thoughts from today's 20 miler. Remember these are my thoughts...You'll enjoy, promise ;-)

  • I'm so glad I grabbed that long sleeves running shirt!
  • Where is everyone?! It must be too cold for people! 
  • I'm never going to make it to 4 miles, ugh. I truly do hate the first 4 miles! 
  • Awe, old people! So cute wrapped up in their full blown winter gear, sipping coffee, and wishing me a Good Morning. Glad I can read lips.
  • Coffee, I could use some! 
  • I love the falling leaves and pine straw on the ground! Who doesn't love Fall?! Oh, right, Ross! 
  • Someone's burning firewood, love it! I wonder if they have coffee?! 
  • WTF just hit me in the head?! 
  • Where the hell did that rock come from? 
  • I need to remember to tell Jesse we are considered "Irish Twins". I thought that was only if you're a year apart, but my client said 'close enough'... Why is it called "Irish Twins"? Is that because Irish people have lots of babies? 
  • Ah, another 'Road Kill'... Damn it, I was going to keep track of my 'road kills'!
  • I love this runner in front of me! He has an awesome pace.... I accept this cat and mouse game you've created without knowing, mister! 
  • Where am I?! I feel like I'm in Arkansas with no civilization... It went from city to country too quickly... And there's a cow, WTF?!
  • I wonder if anyone has ran all the way to Alabama on this trail? No, that's crazy..... Why, thanks Powder Springs for welcoming me to your city! 
  • This guy in front of me rocks! I really don't want to lose him, but I have to turn around.... Creeeeepy, he's turning around at the same spot... YAY
  • He would have water with him!.... why doesn't this trail have water on it?!... I'm gonna write the board... Yea, no I'm not... 
  • What if I was famous, would people know it's me running?! I wonder if I've passed a famous person, like Luda?... Nevermind, he doesn't run...
  • What little man?! The beats just take over Playin' wit my not-so-distant- cousins from the A-T-L. Aaah! Back in the mud I've been in....
  • What's wrong with this guy?! Oh he's cramping...ho hum, time to pass. Adios awesome pacer, thanks for the past 11 miles... 
  • Ouch! Really, shirt?! Well, people will now know I was wearing a V-neck!
  • Awesome, I feel the blister on my foot coming back! 
  • I wonder if I knock on someone's door if they would give me water... I really just considered that?! 
  • Glad I put some Rod Stewart on here... Mom would be proud.... Momma's birthday is next week.... hmmm.... 
  • Beer and coffee really are the best cures for a long run... Why? You want to hydrate and those do neither... eh, who cares. I love them both! 
  • I really hate birds and why is that bird flying so low?! Get away... ahh!
  • Savannah is only 30ish days away! OMG! I wonder if Ross and Mackenzie would wear Atl Bergeron Curb Crew shirts... Nah, Ross will laugh in my face...
  • Home stretch.... I'm gonna fist pump it out when I stop! 20 miles deserves a Jersey Shore style fist pump! 

Training Exercise- Bosu Dead Bugs! Dead bugs with the stability ball already feel great on the core, but adding the Bosu ball makes it even more challenging, adding in an instability component. To preform: 

BOSU Dead Bugs:
  • Place the bosu DSU (dome side up) in an area with lots of room around it. 
  • Lay down on the bosu with you back on the top. You may have to readjust a couple of times before you feel stable for the most part. Key: Your lower back will be the part mostly on top of the bosu, right about your glutes.
  • While lying back on the bosu, keep your chin up allowing your neck to be in a neutral position, and bring your knees up towards your chest. You will look like a dead bug. 
  • Now, straighten opposite leg and opposite arm. You're going to feel a lot of instability, but you are using your core to keep your body balanced on the bosu. 
  • Bring both arms back in to the starting position, and release the other arm and leg. 
  • Repeat for 20-30 reps depending on your fitness level. 
  • For extreme athletes add the stability ball back into the exercise between your knees and hands. Remember to keep pressure on the ball. NOTE: I have not attempted the exercise with the ball because it's already tough on the bosu, so you are at your own risk! 
Training Songs: Knowing I was going to run 20 miles, I added some new and old songs onto my playlist to have a wide variety! Here are a few! Enjoy! 

1. Y. U. Mad- Birdman ft. Nicki Minaj & Lil Wayne
2. At Or With Me- Jack Johnson 
3. Maggie May- Rod Stewart
4. Give A Little More- Maroon 5
5. Don't Stop Till You Get Enough- Michael Jackson 

Training Lagniappe:  You may wonder what someone eats after 20 miles. Well, since you have exhausted your energy sources you need a good balance between protein, carbs, and minerals. I had lots of water, a protein shake, banana, and whole wheat saltines with natural PB. I had an OJ with me to get some sugar carbs back in me, but I couldn't stomach it, so I decided not to give it a try. The serving of potassium and magnesium in a banana helps to prevent/reduce cramping. It's a runner's best friend from the fruit family. The whole wheat saltines and natural PB were a good balance of carbs and protein. It's easy to stomach, fills you up after eating everything else, and really did make me feel better. Everyone is different, but those were my choices... Now time for more food! :-)

My goodies after 20 miles!
Happy Running, 
Jayme Bergeron, BS
ACSM Health Fitness Specialist