Monday, January 24, 2011

10 training tips

I'm really enjoying my long runs in my marathon training. I'm not much of a sprinter, I'm more of an endurance runner so it makes sense I would enjoy the long, slow runs.

I'm not quite at my half way mark, though. Yesterday, my long run was 8 miles. I'll be going up to 20 miles during training, so 8 miles really isn't that long, considering my future.

I've participated in several half marathons, so I know what it feels like to run 13.1 miles, but that's as far as I've gone. I'm really excited to see how my body adapts to the new training as time goes on! It's been fun to see that my body can keep going and feel good during and after the run.

But, since I have health issues, I have really been doing everything I can to keep my body strong. Here are a few things I do in all of my training (triathlons, half marathons and now full a marathon). There's nothing here that's magical, but it's what's always helped me reach all of my fitness goals injury free for many years, even with my health issues:

1. First and most important, I gave myself plenty of time for training (6 months for my marathon).

2. I incorporated rest weeks every 4 weeks to give my body a chance to recover and get stronger.

3. I only do one long run/week. I also 'doubled' up on some of my long run mileage. For example, I'll do 10 mile long runs two weeks in a row.

4. I cross train and resistance train.

5. I always give myself 2 days a week off to recover.

6. Ice baths are a lifesaver after a long run.

7. Lots of water all week.

8. Extra attention to highly nutritious foods, plus I eat a light snack about every 3 hours to keep my energy up.

9. I get lots of sleep.

10. I 'front load' my workouts. Meaning, I like to do my long runs at the beginning of the week, take a day off, then finish up so I don't wait til the last minutes of the week to do everything because, what if something comes up and I can't do it? This way, I have lower stress to get things done.
11. I have what I call a floating workout schedule.
What I mean is, I know each day's workouts and miles plus my days off, but if I don't feel well physically or mentally, I allow myself to rearrange a bit. This way, I'm not a prisoner of my workouts. BUT - this can be tricky if you're not fully committed because you can end up putting it off and not getting your workouts in.

So, this is what works for me. It all might not work for you, but maybe you can take a point or two away to help in your own training or exercise schedule. If you have tips of your own, please share!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Past failures, future fitness

Not everyone succeeds in their quest for fitness when they hire a trainer. A lot don't. I used to lose sleep over this, worrying about how to motivate clients who aren't doing well in their training. I worried a LOT about it.

I don't know if it was all at once or after much research and talking to mentors, but I realized that this is just a reality of life. Some people aren't ready to make a change. They want to, they think they are, but when it comes down to it, they aren't willing to make the changes it takes to have a healthier lifestyle.

This doesn't mean they'll NEVER will succeed. It doesn't mean their trainer is a failure. They just aren't ready, simple as that. Successful lifestyle change takes making health a high priority in life. That can be tough when it hasn't been high on the list (or even on the list at all).

But it can happen. People can, and do, change. They get fed up with feeling bad, being heavy or whatever their personal reason and something inside switches. Even if they've tried and failed in the past, once that spark is ignited, there's no stopping them.

For as many people (and more even) I see fail, I see people get a spark in their eye, and kick butt! It's a wonderful experience to be a part of and it never gets old. It reminds me that I'm just a tool to be used, and I'm happy to be used!

You can make a healthier life for yourself. It's something that must come from the inside, though. It can't come from a personal trainer, a husband or wife or anyone else. Just you - and you CAN do it!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Ice baths

Since I've started training for my first marathon, I started reading up on ice baths. I never did ice bathing while training for other events, but I figured that if I was ever going to do it, now is the time!

So, I took the plunge a couple of weeks ago, and jumped into a bath tub full of ice water. Guess what? It wasn't that bad! Yes, it was freezing cold at first. But, after a minute or two, not that bad. I was really shocked.

But the best part was later. I felt GREAT! No tired legs, no pain. My body felt fresh and healthy. It was wonderful.

Today when I did my ice bath, I put a stocking cap on my head to keep my head warm, got in and just read a book for 15 minutes or so. It was relaxing and believe it or not, enjoying in a way.

So, I'm hoping that as my mileage gets higher that the ice baths play a role in helping my body stay healthy and injury free.

If you're like me and have never tried an ice bath after a long run, bike or another long workout, I urge you to just try it! You may be, in a way, pleasantly surprised.

Sunday, January 9, 2011


I took a break from doing extra things, like blogging, for a while because of my health. Read more about it here.

Following doctor's orders, I rested as much as possible, rearranged my schedule to sleep late, cut back on anything I was able to, etc, etc. Oh yeah, and I relocated from Indianapolis, IN to Yuma AZ!

Now that I'm here in Yuma, I'm actually starting to feel better! The low humidity is a HUGE relief. Even in the winter in Indiana the humidity is high. Not to mention the extreme cold.

So, taking precaution for my health, giving myself plenty of time and listening to my body along the way, I've decided to go for the goal I've had for two years: to run a marathon!

I'll be blogging about my experience along the way. It's my first marathon, so this experience is new to me. I hope that I can count on you for inspiration, and maybe encourage you to go for a goal that you've had (a marathon yourself possibly?!)