Friday, January 14, 2011

Water During Exercise?

     I know.  I have heard it all before.  You should drink water before, during, and after you exercise.  The human body is 55 percent to 78 percent (depending on your age) water, and it is important to replenish the lost water during your workout.  I have no problem drinking water, prior to running.  And I have no problem rehydrating, after my running workout.  However, I find it very difficult to drink the recommended amount of water during my run. 
    Health experts recommend that you drink 8-10 ounces of water or some type of a sports drink for every 15-20 minutes of vigorous exercise.  I find this recommendation to be very difficult because of the logistics, my impaired coordination, and my smaller than average bladder.

Practically speaking.
     If I run for roughly 50 minutes, I am supposed to drink 24+ ounces of water, during that workout.  That is greater that the amount that fits into a typical water bottle.  I have one water bottle holder on my treadmill.  Maybe I am overthinking this, but where is that water supposed to go?  I am supposed to stop my treadmill midway throughout my workout to go and get more water?

I need to stay ON the treadmill.
     I typically am a fairly coordinated person.  Let’s just say I have no problem walking and chewing gum, at the same time.  However, I find it difficult to drink and run, at the same time.  When I am breathing heavy and pushing it to my limit, in order to increase my running endurance, I find it very difficult to go through the motions of getting a drink.  Also, I am paranoid about losing my footing on the treadmill, and ending up on the floor.  Call me crazy, but that does not sound like a good time.

Potty time.
     If I drank the recommended 8-16 ounces of water prior to my workout, and then added another 24+ ounces during the course of my workout, the little girls’ room would definitely be calling my name, before I made it through my 3.1 miles.  – --Just sayin’

     For the above stated reasons, I will be opting out of the recommended 24+ ounces of water, during my workout.  Maybe, as I train for 5k and build up more endurance, I will change my mind. But for right now, I will be hydrating solely before and after I run.            

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Week One Progress Report

     Week one is completed!  I made it through my 5k training schedule for week one.  I feel great and I even lost 3 pounds.  I started my week two training schedule.  It requires me to run for 90 seconds, followed by a 2 minute walk.  I repeat this pattern until I have gone 3.1 miles.  Yesterday, it took me 46 minutes and 50 seconds, which is a slight improvement from last week.  I have made a little progress and now I will just keep running.

     This week I learned the importance of stretching. I felt so much better on the days I stretched after I ran.  On the days I was pressed for time and did not stretch, my muscles felt tight the rest of the day. 
     I also learned that I have to be intentional about scheduling my running time.  If I just try to haphazardly fit it in sometime during the day, it is easy to run out of time.  If I schedule it and include running on my to do list, I am sure to complete my 5k training plan for that day.   

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Running on a treadmill vs. outside

                Whether you run on a treadmill or run outside to train for 5k, you can achieve the overall health benefits of running.  Some people prefer to run inside on a treadmill, so they are protected from nasty weather conditions.  Others other enjoy running outside, for a healthy dose of vitamin D and fresh air.  I can see the benefits of both methods, and there is an ongoing debate about which is the "best" way to train for 5k.  There are advantages to both.
The advantages of using a treadmill, include:
1.            You can control the incline and your pace, easier than you could outside.
2.            Weather conditions are irrelevant.   You can run rain or shine. 
3.            The treadmill provides more shock absorption and cushion than the hard pavement.
4.            You can track how many calories you have burned, your distance, and your heart rate.
5.            Treadmill allow for no excuses such as, "It's raining" or "I don't have a babysitter."

The advantages of running outside include:
1.            Terrain is like the terrain you will experience in an actual race.
2.            Fresh air.
3.            Fighting the terrain and the wind resistance will cause you to burn a few more calories.  
4.            The scenery is more interesting than your wall.
5.            It is free.
6.            You use more of your own energy. 

                I prefer running on a treadmill, while I train for 5k.  I live in a part of the country, where we actually get a real winter.  In fact, it is snowing outside, right now.  If I did not have a treadmill, the snow would be a perfect excuse for me to skip my daily run.  However, since I use a treadmill, that excuse will not work.  I also like a treadmill, because I can run in my house, while my kids play.  I do not have to wait, until their father gets home from work or until I can find a babysitter.  Although I fully understand the benefits of running outside, at this stage in my life, a treadmill is definitely more convenient.    

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

I started to train for 5k - and my legs are letting me know

     Yesterday, I started to train for 5k.  That's the first step, right?  I followed my plan, and it took me 47:30 to go 3.1 miles.  Although, I did not run the whole time, I completed the distance of a 5k, in what I think would be a "worst case scenario time."  This time includes a slow 5 minute walking warm up, and I ran for 60 seconds, then walked for 90 seconds.  If I follow my plan, my time can only get better. 
     I feel good about starting to train for 5k.  However, today my legs are a bit sore.  I did a bit of research to see what I should do about it.  I found that I have a slight case of DOMS, delayed onset muscle soreness.  DOMS is thought to be caused by inflammation of the muscle as a result of microtears of the muscle fibers.  This is a common condition after beginning a new exercise program. 
      In order to lessen the symptoms of DOMS,  I need to get rid of the lactic acid and get some blood flowing to the muscles that are sore.  I need to do this through Active Isolated Stretching.  This involves slow, gradual, and controlled elongation of the muscle through a full range of motion  and held for 15-30 seconds in the furthest comfortable position.  One should not stretch to the point of pain. 
     The best prevention for DOMS is to start a new exercise program slowly.  Gradually build up your endurance and you should be okay.  I guess it is a little late for me!                         
     Today, my plan is to stretch, and do a 30 minute brisk walk. 

Saturday, January 1, 2011

My motivations for running…

     I have made no secret that I have previously embarked on the goal to run a 5k and have not succeeded.  Life got in the way, and running was no longer a priority.  This time, I am doing it differently.  I am going to outline my motivations for running, so when life interferes, I can look back and get re-motivated. 
1.     Cardiovascular benefits.
     The benefits of running on my cardiovascular health is a motivation for me.   Running lowers blood pressure, improves blood circulation, and helps arteries to maintain their elasticity. It reduces the risk of heart attack and stroke.  I have a very strong family history of heart disease.  In fact, my dad had open heart surgery at the age of 37.  Yikes! 

2.     Psychological benefits.
     There are many psychological benefits of running.  It has the ability to alter your mood.  It accomplishes this by allowing your body to release endorphins, which are feel good hormones.  Running  lowers stress levels, which would obviously put you in a better mood.

3.     Increase in Energy.
     Running increases energy. In fact, some runners actually claim they feel more energized after a run, than before they began. 

4.     Weight Loss.
     Last but not least, I want to lose some weight.  I have about 25 pounds of “baby weight” to shed. However, I’m not going to lie – my “baby” is three years old.  I guess it is time to claim that extra 25 pounds as my own.  
     What are your motivations for running a 5k?