Archive for July, 2012

Level 2 Week, Monday and Tuesday

July 31, 2012 - 9:54 pm 2 Comments

Since Sunday is my long distance day, Monday is my recovery run day. Long runs push my legs and that sometimes even leads to delayed onset muscle soreness. Wiki had a pretty good article about it. I’ve found a nice slow run or walk if I’m really sore helps a ton. No more than 20 or 30 minutes is needed. The run helps stretch my legs out and get blood pumping to them. This short slow run still burns enough calories to be good for losing weight.

Now for Tuesday. It’s my weight training day, but this Sunday’s run left my calves still sore so I modified my routine. I did squats and lunges and as many arm and ab workouts as I could. Weight training is an important facet of weight loss. Muscle burns more calories than fat so the more lean muscle you carry around the higher your basal metabolic rate is. Stronger muscles are also important for injury prevention and bone health. Studies have shown that weight training increases bone density.

*I want to make an important note here. I should be calling it strength training, since most of what I do simply involves my own body weight. ie. pushups, situps and squats. It’s important to do strength training no matter your age or gender. Women needn’t be afraid of weights or “bulking” up. Those men who become body builders train hard and long and under very special circumstances. Plus, women lack the testosterone to bulk up even close to what men can do. Being strong is essential in any physical activity. It by no means lessen femininity.*

Now that I’m off my soap box… This level 2 week only has one day of weight training planned, so next week I may bump it up to two. I also might add more in as I get stronger. Squats and lunges still leave me pretty sore, so I can’t do them to often, yet. But hey, no pain no gain, right?

Level 2 Week, Sunday

July 30, 2012 - 12:19 pm No Comments

( just a reminder that level 1 week will be a rest week after level 4 week so I’m starting off on level 2 week)

  • Distance Run
  • Today starts the first day of level 2 week. Sunday’s are my distance run days. Pushing yourself distance-wise is important for a variety of reasons. Long runs push the limit of your cardiovascular system. Keeping your heart rate up and breathing heavy for a nice long time does wonders for your performance and for your health! Distance runs should be done at a nice comfortable pace with walk breaks thrown in if needed. My basic distance run is 5 miles because it gives me a good hour of running even on my slowest days. For this level 2 week I bumped it up to 6 miles. I really enjoy distance running and my other workouts mostly help me be a better distance runner, but even sprinters benefit from a nice long run. You build good leg and core endurance and like I said before, push your cardiovascular system’s endurance limits.

    Another great benefit of distance run is calorie burning and fat burning. Distance running is really hard to beat when it comes to the number calories burned. And because it’s a slower, longer workout, you can burn more fat during the run. I usually run first thing in the morning on an empty stomach. When your body burns through the available glucose in your blood stream it starts to break down fat for energy. On shorter runs you most likely don’t burn through enough of you blood glucose to start burning fat. *Special note, if the calories you consume is still less than the calories you burn, you’ll lose weight, but your body will be burning muscle along with fat for energy. Muscle building workouts and these long cardio workouts will help your body burn more fat*

    For me, another great benefit of nice long runs is quiet time to myself. I often do these runs without headphones. I really love running and meditating. It’s a soothing, stress relieving exercise.

    Not just a runner, but a good one

    July 30, 2012 - 9:14 am No Comments

    I recently got into running and like so many wonderful people, decided I’d like to blog about it. I wanted to describe my journey toward being not just a runner, but a good one ( hence the title of the page). I ran my first half marathon in October 2011 at age 26. It was an amazing experience! One of those things in life you get a thrill just from completing. But, I’m young, healthy and have plenty of opportunity to improve. So that’s what I’m going to do! I’ll get faster, stronger and be able to run longer. And I’ll chronicle it all here. I welcome any advice or ideas or questions. Now begins the quest!

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    New running program

    July 3, 2012 - 2:09 pm No Comments

    The first thing I want to discuss about running is weight control. I first started running as a way to lose weight, but now I want to continue my weight loss as a way to become a better runner! It makes sense, really. The less fat I carry around, the more efficient my poor little legs can be!

    The first step to losing weight is to determine how much I want to weigh. I’m 5’6″ and in my late 20s. Looking back at college pictures I’ve decided that 135lbs is a good target. I think it requires me to drop some fat while still giving me the feminine figure I like. I may end up dropping more in a few years when I attempt a marathon, but for now this works for me.

    Now, to lose the weight! I weigh 145 now, so I’ve got a good 10 pounds to go. I haven’t signed up for any races so I’m going to design my workout program for weight loss rather than performance, although I’ll still be improving that as well.

    Before I start discussing my workout program, I want to talk about diet. Weight loss is a two prong attack. Calorie control and exercise. For the calorie control I use Livestrong.com’s calorie tracker. It’s a great tool and really easy to use! It can walk you through deciding how quickly you want to lose the weight and how many calories a day you need to accomplish it. It also allows you to input your workouts to account for the calories you burn (which I recommend). Simply put, eat less than you expend and you’ll lose weight. The trick is being consistent and accurate with calorie control. Just because it’s simple, doesn’t mean it’s easy!

    Now, to my workout program. After reading lots about running training programs and trying a few, I’ve decided to develop a 4 week rotating program. It will involve 3 increasingly difficult weeks with one rest week. I’ll post daily as I haven’t figured out exactly which days to do what workouts. I do know I want to incorporate a long distance run, a recovery run, a tempo run, interval training and weight training. I’ll cover what those mean as I go. I’ll start with week level 2 since that’s where I’m at this week. Now, let’s go!

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