Why training for Shorter Distances will you make you a Better Distance Runner

Why training for Shorter Distances will you make you a Distance Runner

Why training for shorter races will make you a better distance runner

Let’s face it, we all have our favorite distance.  For some people that’s a 55-meter sprint and for some it’s an ultra marathon.  Everyone has their favorite distance.

Personally, I enjoy the half marathon the most.  It’s short enough not to feel the fatigue of a marathon or the delusion but long enough that I don’t feel like I’m all out sprinting.

Sometimes we get stuck in the same race distance rut. We train for the same distance year round. Not only can it get repetitive on your body but it can also cause over use injuries and be mentally exhausting.

Sometimes the best thing we can do for ourselves and our running is to take a break and train for another distance.

But why?

Training for various distances can benefit any runner in a few ways. 

First: A mental break:

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Sometimes going through countless weekend long runs can be tiring, boring and downright unenjoyable. The feeling of high mileage can even become annoying, repetitive or mentally challenging.  Focusing at different distances throughout the year allows your brain a mental break.  There isn’t a need to run a 20-mile long run while training for 5ks, in fact, it’s counter-intuitive.

Sometimes lowering mileage and training for a shorter race can break you free of that training rut. Doing faster runs with more “action”, can bring excitement back to your running. To be honest,  I felt bored and tired after Phoenix.

My training the last six months have shifted to multiple speed workouts, races, and runs filled with action. That change broke me out of the LSD (long, slow distance) rut I had been in for months.

Long Runs also take a lot of time.  It’s not the three hours of actual running but the recovery period, as well as are the “are you going to want to be productive the rest of the day” mindset after a long run.  Most of my 20 mile long run days were spent relaxing at home and being as lazy as humanly possible.

Second: Running Shorter distances builds different muscles: 

Obviously running any distance uses muscles in your legs but each distance affects your muscles in a different way.

5ks use more fast-twitch muscles while longer races use more slow twitch muscles.  Building both can benefit your running in every distance.

Hidden Bonus: More racing

ok5k

Generally a half or full marathon costs upwards of 100 dollars.  Now you can do at least 3, sometimes many more 5ks for that same price.  So yes you are paying $25-30 per 5k, but you are racing more often.

You also recover much faster from races, so you have the ability to run more races while still recovering appropriately.

Here are some more research based articles:

The Risks and Benefits of Distance Running

Why You Should Drop the Marathon for 5ks

Tweet: Why training for Shorter Distances will you make you a better Distance Runner http://ctt.ec/Q36q3+ CC @fueledbyLOLZ

Questions for you:
Do you have a favorite distance to run?
What is your favorite type of workout?

One Mistake I’m Glad I Made

Lately, I’ve been in a blogging funk, so I decided to participate in a blogging topic challenge. Many of the blog topics are ones I haven’t discussed in a lot of detail. Most of the posts will relate to my personal experience with running, but there might be exceptions too.

Blog Challenge 1: One mistake I’m glad I made

No one likes to make mistakes.  The feeling of failure can be one of the hardest emotions to come to terms with. However, if you can learn from a mistake, it’s hard to consider the mistake a failure.  We all live, and we all make mistakes.

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I’ve made plenty if mistakes in life, in relationships and of course in running too.  

One of my earliest errors in running was overtraining and receiving my first stress fracture.  

At the time, I wasn’t glad.  In fact, I was miserable and upset but in hindsight, I’m glad I made that mistake. Early into my running career, I was running too hard and too fast for every single run.  I was running every mile between 7-7:15.  My 5k PR was around 20 minutes, and I had never even attempted a half or full marathon.

(To compare now my easy runs are above 8:30 pace or untimed and my 5k PR is 18:22.  Running is also not stressful this way.) 

While I wasn’t running extremely high mileage (in the 40-50s), the constant pounding and hard running lasted about a month.  On July 12, 2011 (also known as my 21st birthday), I ran hard and ultimately ended with a severe tibial stress fracture.  Looking back, it’s fairly obvious the cause was overtraining.  

Since I was new and had no idea, I thought, of course, I was training well.  While injured, I took the time to look back at my training and I learned more about myself and running than I had previously.  I began learning that my body is not invincible.  Little pains can manifest themselves into larger issues. It was a lesson I needed to learn early!

If I had continued down that path of running, it would have been a disaster and honestly, I would be injured with something more serious.

During my two months of rest and recovery, I learned that running isn’t and never will be everything in my life. I also learned that it’s appropriate to listen to cues of injury. Taking a rest day here and there is far easier than taking 8+ weeks off.

My tibial stress fracture shaped my training now that I’m not afraid to run easier miles, cut back mileage or take rest days altogether. Just thinking about back to back 7-minute miles is enough to exhaust me.

Each injury teaches us something about ourselves. Instead of dwelling in the injury, I think it’s important to look back and realize what can be improved.

Questions for you:
What is one mistake you are glad you made?
Has an injury taught you something recently?

So you want to start a blog?

Most of my friends in real life know I like to blog.  I don’t hide but I don’t promote it either.  I figured if people want to read it, they will.  This isn’t school and reading LOLZ blog isn’t an assignment.

Many friends that don’t blog have asked me…should I start a blog about my life?  

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In the last few years blogging has become extremely popular. New blogs pop up daily and blogging has become more commercialized. Some people make full time salaries from blogging alone (spoiler: that is not me).  

I posted a few months ago “how to start your own blog” but it leads to the question…should you start your own blog? 

If any of the answers are YES, you should indeed start a blog.  Of course the topic is always up to you…I chose to blog about running, coffee and diners because that’s my cup of joe.

Here is a list of questions you should ask yourself… 

  1. Do you find yourself writing facebook statuses that almost always include “click here to read more”? In blogging you can write 10 million word blog posts and never have to click here for more!  (Hashtag ain’t nobody got time for that).  If most of your Facebook statuses and text messages are mini novels…blogging is for you. facebook like
  1. Do you have a certain skill set that many people ask questions about?  I’m sorry, I can’t tell you how I got hooked on gas station coffee with whipped cream or traveling around the state of NJ to go to diners…If you already have a clear theme, then yes blogging is for you.

    The coffee life.
    The coffee life.
  1. Are you really awkward in real life?  Can you easily type thoughts onto the computer but in real time you can’t keep up? (Hashtag: can we just text our life away?)

    The answer is yes...as I selfie in a 200 dollar "bat" top.  What is this high fashion stuff?
    The answer is yes…as I selfie in a 200 dollar “bat” top. What is this high fashion stuff?
  1. Do you often forget what you do throughout the day?  Think of blogging as an online diary of your life.  What was I doing June 10, 2012?  I was living at home for the summer, working and had just gotten home from a wedding.  Thank you blogging for allowing me to look that up!
  1. Finally: Are you ready and commited to meeting people off the internet? In order to keep blogging you must exist in real life too. It gives you something to actually blog about!  Because blogging about blogging is really boring…

    Going to a blog convention! Wahoo.
    Going to a blog convention! Wahoo.

Question for you:

Why did you start blogging?

I found I talked about myself too much in real life…now if people don’t care they can just X out of the post (kidding).

Facebook Ads: Are they Worth it?

Are facebook adverts worth it?

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On facebook you can pay to have posts and ads inserted into more mini feeds.  You can manipulate the algorithm for more views to your facebook and blog post.  It isn’t a secret either.  Pages that pay to boost posts are labeled as “sponsored” on the mini feed.  On a boosted post, More people will see the post and it will drive awareness to your website and facebook page…but is it worth it? 

I help a personal friend with her coaching page.  She is a great coach and someone I would highly recommend in the South Jersey area.  We have played around with facebook adverts to boost her page and client base.  It has been working rather well.  She has signed more local runners and the page boosts have helped her build her community.  I couldn’t be happier for her!  It made me think, how would a facebook advert post for fueledbyLOLZ blog fare?

Unlike coaching, I’m not really offering anything.  I’m not offering coaching or a product.  I’m not offering the secrets to stay injury free, healthy or breaking news.  By reading my blog you are not eligible to win millions of things.   I just assume people put up with my poor grammar and spelling because they can find a LOL in there somewhere.

FueledbyLOLZ offers morning amusement with your coffee.   That is what I offer and probably will continue to offer. 

I decided to do an experiment and spend a whopping 20 dollars to boost one of my recent posts.  For my experiment, I chose a post many people responded well with without the boost.

Running on the Cheap: 

Basically a post about why Running doesn’t have to be expensive.

There are many cost options but I chose the 20.00 option.  It costed $20.00 for an extra 1000-8,000 people to view the facebook post (not my blog post but the facebook post (with the link attached) to be inserted into the minifeed).

You can pay more for more views.

Just because you boost your post, it doesn’t guarantee will see it or that they will like your page at all.

It doesn’t guarantee they will click the link to your post.  The only thing a paid boost guarantees is that the post will be inserted into at least 1,000 mini feeds (it could even be the same persons mini feed 1,000 times).

For instance (spoiler alert) when I payed 20.00 for a fueledbyLOLZ advert, about 6,000 people viewed the post.  The post itself, received 176 clicks to LOLZ blog.

facebook ad

The post was inserted into 6,082 feeds and I received 172 clicks to my actual blog.  It cost 11 cents for each feed it was inserted in.

The real question: Was it worth it?

First I must ask myself this: What did spending $20 to promote my post get me? It got me 176 extra clicks to my blog.  What did those 176 extra page views get me?  Possibly new readers or possibly readers who like the page but never read the post…it got me 176 clicks.

What did I learn?

I thought a paid boost would receive more interest or “boost” than 176 clicks (I’m not upset or sad, I just thought it would).

Overall Thoughts: 

I can’t tell you if it’s worth it to pay to grow your blog.

If you are offering a product or service, it makes sense to use facebook to advertise.

If you want to grow your blog and following then it makes sense.  Is it the best way to grow your following?  No probably not but if you gave enough money, you could probably gain hundreds of facebook likes and new readers

At the end of the day, having more or less facebook likes, twitter followers, blog readers doesn’t change who you are or your blog.  I might occasionally use facebook adverts again.  I don’t think it’s something I would use frequently but I can see how it would help bloggers trying to “make it big” and make money (FYI: I’m not sure what making it big means in blogging….).  If your main goal is to grow your blog and profit, then perhaps this is a route to experiment with.  For me I have no interest in blogging for a living and main source of income.  I can barely write a coherent 600 word post.

In cliff notes: You’ll probably get a few extra clicks from boosting your posts.  For blogging purposes, it doesn’t make as much sense to use.  If you are offering a product, service or something of value than it makes more sense to use.   For me I’ll spend 20 dollars on a bunch of coffee next time.

Questions for you:

Do you use facebook adverts? 

Facebook users: What do you think about facebook ads?

 

How to Grow your Blog in 6 Easy steps

There are several posts and several bloggers that could give you much better advice then I can.  I’m not an expert in blogging (which is why it’s not my career).  I don’t get paid very much (all of which goes towards the diners and coffee). That being said I do blog most days and do enjoy blogging.  So who better than to give you advice on how to start and grow your following then a blogger who enjoys to blog?

how to grow your blog

Step number 1: Begin your blog.

Write about a topic you actually like.  Create a jazzy username.  There are many templates that you can use:

Healthy food + Unhealthy food (kale juice and cake)

Healthy life choice+ Unhealthy life choice (running & sleeping)

Something, balance and something else (love, balance & workouts)

Phrase that contradicts itself (sugar free sugar cube is a good unchosen one)

sugar free sugar cube

 

Or something that makes no sense to anyone other than you: (fueledbyLOLZ?  What is a “lolz” anyways…why is it capitalized?)

This is actually the easiest step because you probably have determined you want to blog and already thought about topics that interest you.

Step number 2:  Grow your following.

A blog is like a flower...it must grow with things such as sunlight, useless images, and BS...
A blog is like a flower…it must grow with things such as sunlight, useless images, and BS…

The easiest way to grow your following is by commenting on blogs that you really don’t care about (but already have a massive following).  Using trivial comments such as “oh my stars you are inspiring” or “oh wow, I want to be just like you” works well.  Bloggers love to be famous and feel loved online!

The faster you can type a trivial comment when the post is published, the more people will see your blog.  For me personally, I sit by the computer and wait until X time when a blog post publishes.  I have a master list of the time each “big blog” publishes posts and I sit waiting to comment.  Number 1 commenter always baby girl (no).

Time to comment on blogs (old school LOLZ computer from 90s)
Time to comment on blogs (old school LOLZ computer from 90s)

Another good way to grow your following is using any of these methods:

Having many linkups with other blogs.  Always link up to every link up.  Your blog should be more predictable then the contents of my canned tuna.  Motivation Monday, Throwback Thursday, WIAW Wednesday…it’s like a template every day!  Asking people to click to your blog, tweeting to others to follow you, and follow4follow are all other good methods.

Step number 3: Begin to change your voice. 

Now that companies notice you have a bigger following you are in the in the clear!  Congrats you have made it!  This is when your following is large and in charge.  This is when your followers actually like you!  This is when you are liked by readers and companies are beginning to want to send you things.  This is where the fun begins!  It is the step you throw a party and tell everyone you are employee of the month and are getting a promotion!

Step number 4: Accept anything and everything sponsored. 

Some random body builder samples...because I am a body builder!  Perfect!
Some random body builder samples…because I am a body builder! Perfect!

 

Deodorant…trivial (and meaningless to you) crap…whatever, just accept it.

Stuff you know you’ll never use and will end up in a trash can?  Accept it.

Do you hate cycling but are getting a free bike?  Accept it!

Do you actually hate certain products but they will send you the product for free?  Perfect!

Do you have a new favorite thing every minute?  Perfect.

If you know nothing about a certain topic (but a company is already willing to sponsor you, then that is a start).  For instance, if you go to the drug store and buy deodorant, you are the perfect candidate for a CVS sponsorship.  If you actually hate running but have 10,000 followers…then you are the perfect candidate for a Boston marathon sponsorship.

Step number 5: Become sad when people don’t continue to comment on daily sponsored posts

Pink said it the best. She was speaking to us social media users! (You should feel like this)

 

Step number 6: Find your inner peace.

Either blogging is going to be your career or blogging is not going to be your career.  Either way you should stay true to yourself and your voice (something often hard in this world).  Blogging is hard, companies don’t want to send you stuff not to be reviewed and readers don’t want to see a bunch of trivial sponsored crap.

But at the end of the day…it’s only the internet…

Real life is just a bunch of moving internet selfies anyways....
Real life is just a bunch of moving internet selfies anyways….

Question for you: How do you grow your blog?

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