Tips to Get your Workout Done Early

Tips to Get your Workout Done Early

Recently I received a question about running and working out in the morning.   I haven’t always been a “morning runner,” but since graduating college, I’m a morning runner 99% of the time.  There are only a handful of times a year that I run in the afternoon. (In 2019, there were 4..and I count NYCM that started late). If I don’t run before 9 am, chances are I don’t run.  Of course, it doesn’t include races, although I did wish they all started before 9.  Keep in mind, there is no best time to workout. Do what works for you and forget about the rest.

I will be the first to tell you it’s much easier to run in the morning during the summer.  In the summer, it gets light earlier, and it’s warmer.  You don’t feel as though you’re ripping blankets off to go for a run in the dark and cold.  For me, with a constant change of schedule, it’s better for me to get the run done earlier.Tips to Get your Workout Done Early

Here are a Few Ways I Wake Up to Workout:

Turn Off Technology: 

I am known to turn my technology off around 9-9:30 pm.  I might go to bed a little later, but I stop fiddling with the computer, texting, etc.  It allows me to wind down and actually get to bed.  Tweeting at the pillowcase keeps me wide awake.  I started doing that sometime in 2013, and I’ve found it’s much easier to fall asleep. Did I miss your stellar 9 pm Instagram post? Maybe…but I’ll see it in the morning.

Set an Alarm (or 2 or 10):

I’ve adjusted to waking up between 5-5:30 am most mornings.  To be honest, at this point it doesn’t phase me.  However, it didn’t use to be like that, and I needed an alarm to pull me out of bed.  I always recommend setting the alarm.

Check the Weather the Night Before:

Mentally I like to have an idea if I’ll be running inside or outside.  Or if it’s going to be snowing, pouring rain, or windy.  Not all surprises are good ones.

Make Sure. You Have Appropriate Gear Clean:

Many bloggers will tell you to lay your clothing out, and I think that is fantastic advice, however, for me if I have appropriate gear cleaned and findable, I consider it a good day.  My life and gym clothes are not always ever “social media flat lay photo ready”.  Usually, it’s in my drawer, and I’m mindlessly grabbing things to put on. Sorry, I don’t match… I really don’t care.

Phone a Friend:

Meet someone for a workout. There have been several times that I wouldn’t have worked out if I wasn’t meeting a friend. Don’t underestimate the power of numbers.

Consistency is Key:

Sometimes we want to change but aren’t willing to give it time.  Give your new routine for at least 2 weeks.  If after two weeks, it’s not for you, find something that is!

Finally, remember this…there is no right or wrong time to workout. If you prefer a lunch or evening workout, that’s cool!  Don’t stress about it and choose that best time that fits into your needs.

Questions for you:
What time do you like to workout?
Do you have any methods to wake up in the morning?

A History of Injuries

A History of Injuries

One of the most requested posts is about my history with injuries.

I haven’t always stayed injury free, and I have several injuries throughout the years. Before recently, my blog could have alternative names such as fueledbyInjuries or InjuriesNlolz.

Many of my injuries were because I overtrained or ran easy runs too fast.

Over time, I’ve learned that you can’t outrun an injury. Life doesn’t work like that. If you are worried, rest. Resting a few days often saves you from resting a few weeks, months, or even years. You don’t gain fitness in a day and you definitely don’t lose it either.

When I first started running in 2010, I had many years of haphazard running.  It took a lot of trial and error and learning from experience to determine what works best for me. As with anything, I learn best when I do something and make mistakes along the way.

You can read my full running story here (or in one of the headings above).

In summary, I began running in July 2010.  I ran off and on and was still a member of on my collegiate swim team.  Swim season lasted from September until late February, so there was no running during that time.  During the off-season, we were allowed to work out as we pleased, so eventually, I picked up running.

run for the hill of it

Here is my History with Injuries:

My first serious running injury:

Tibial Stress Fracture (July 2011-September 2011)

How it happened:
I ran every day for an hour on the treadmill.  I didn’t know you weren’t supposed to train fast every single day.  I thought to race faster you must train faster.  So every day I made the goal to beat the previous day’s mileage for 1 hour.  I never ran for more than an hour, but I ran seven days a week. I was running between 7-7:15 pace for an hour.

Ultimately I was far more exhausted from running 50 miles then I am now.  My body broke at a road race on my 21st birthday. Midway through a run-swim-run race, my body broke, My tibia fractured and I was done.

I learned more about myself than any other injury.  To be honest, I needed that injury to realize that training was idiotic and not right.  My tibial stress fracture shaped my training to include a lot more easy miles. I don’t time my easy runs anymore, and I don’t GAF whether the pace is 10 minutes or 8 minutes.

Happy 21st birthday to me with my non detected tibia SF

Cyst: August 2012-October 2012:

How it happened:
During September 2012, I developed a cyst in the arch of my foot.  The doctors still don’t know exactly how it formed it could have developed anywhere in my body (I’m so thankful it wasn’t my brain).

They don’t believe it was running related, but it prevented me from running.  I was able to run with minimal pain until the cyst became large enough to rip the muscle from my bone. After tearing the muscle off my metatarsal, it halted running completely.

After recovering for two months and a shot to reduce the swelling, I came back and ran my fastest college cross country race.

 

Fractured Elbow (August 2013):

How it happened: 

While cooling down at a road race in August 2013, I was hit by a cyclist.  I was knocked to the ground, and it fractured my elbow.  I was devastated, but after a week, I was able to run slowly.

I decreased mileage, but it ended up being the most nonserious elbow fracture I could have.  At the time, the decline in mileage was terrifying because I was training for my first marathon, NYCM.

It taught me; you have to roll with the punches. A few days of rest does not impact fitness.

When I got my sling off

Second Metatarsal Fracture (August 2014)

How it happened:
Fast forward to moving to Texas and then New Jersey. In August of 2014, I got a second metatarsal fracture. In hindsight, I believe I upped my mileage too quickly.  Even though I was running easy, I think my mileage went up too fast.  At the time, I was training for my second marathon, Wineglass.  I healed by race day, but it would have been dumb to run a marathon on a newly recovered stress fracture.  To be honest, I don’t think my heart was ready to race another marathon, and it was a good out.

I chose this photo because I think I ran a hard track mile and then the next day ran a 20 miler for the marathon. #dumb

Bum Butt (February 2015-March 2015)

How it happened:
I tweaked something running my second marathon and kept running.  Around mile 18, my butt started to throb.  By the end of the marathon, my whole left side was in pain.  Should I have finished the race?  Probably not…Did I PR? Yes…

I didn’t heal as fast as I should have because I continued to run after the marathon.  I took two weeks off (which helped) but then I ran too hard too fast.  Looking back, I made good progress and then threw it all away running again.  This is something I’m 100% kicking myself for…even though I had an excellent time at Shamrock 2015.  If I had taken a month off, I wouldn’t have had two months to deal with the issues.

Ankle Fracture June 2016:

How it Happened:
This was the only injury I’m not entirely sure what I did. Did I tweak my ankle running on trails? Did I run too much? I don’t know. In June of 2016, something felt off. I couldn’t pinpoint it, and it almost felt like plantar fasciitis on the outside of my foot. An X-ray confirmed I had a minor fracture. The fracture healed with time off but it worried something else was not right. Test results found my calcium, vitamin D, and blood levels were fine.

One thing my ankle fracture taught me was I liked hiking. After healing, I spent a good portion of the summer hiking and enjoying the outdoors that way.

There are many times I look back at my training and think: If I had taken a few more days off, or if I had realized that ache was a minor bone pain….but each is a lesson to move on.  I have learned that running in pain isn’t worth it to me.

You cannot outrun injury, and it will catch up to you.

I tell any runner, new or old; there is no shame in rest and easy days. I am to the point in life and running that it will never be my sole purpose in life. Resting and staying healthy is more important to me than running every day.

Question for you: Have you had a running injury before?

Why Train for Shorter Distances?

Why Train for Shorter Distances?

Let’s face it, we all have our favorite distance for running and racing.  For some people, that’s a 55-meter sprint, and for some, it’s an ultra-marathon.  Everyone has their favorite distance, and that is ok.  That’s the beauty of the sport.

Personally, I enjoy the half marathon the most.  In fact, I’ve run 50 now. It’s short enough not to feel the fatigue of a marathon but long enough that you’re not sprinting the entire race.

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

In 2018, I trained for Many Distances:

In the winter and early Spring, I trained and PRed in a half marathon.

Phoenix Half marathon feb me running

Mid to late Spring, I ran but didn’t actively train for anything.

In the summer, I trained for two trail races, something I had never done before.under armour copper mountain race me running

Then in the fall, I trained and PRed in a marathon.

New York City Marathon me running

Since 2016, there has been one to PR to allude me: the 5k. I wished I had an opportunity to race a 5k when I was in half marathon shape, but I didn’t.  So now as we enter 2019, I’m looking forward to just building speed and fitness for both 5ks and half marathons.

So anyway, sometimes the best thing we can do for our running is to take a break and train for another distance.

But why?

A Mental Break:

Sometimes going through countless weekend long runs can be tiring, boring, and downright unenjoyable. At the end of the NYCM training cycle, I felt exhausted from long runs and higher mileage. I felt like my life was starting to revolve around when and how I would get the long run in, and that’s not me.  I like to do other things whether it’s seeing friends, hiking, or not just not worrying about a long run.

The feeling of high mileage can be repetitive or mentally challenging.  Many people thrive on that, but many people don’t. 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.  I used to hate speed work, now it’s one of my favorite workouts of the week.

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.

Running Shorter Distances Builds Different Muscles:

Obviously running any distance uses muscles in your legs but each distance affects your muscles differently.

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

Aerobic Capacity

Training for short distance races has big benefits for your aerobic capacity. Recently, I’ve heard a few elite athletes talk about the marathon like “death by 1000 small papercuts”.  The marathon or any long event is a moderate effort over a long sustained, period. When you race shorter, you develop your body to utilize more oxygen in a shorter period of time. (IE: All of the pain of a long race into a shorter one). The more oxygen you can consume, the more physical work you’ll be able to do.

Leg Speed and Turnover Increase:

By running and racing shorter distances, you are able to increase turn over. You’ll become a more efficient runner at both shorter and longer distances.

When I raced my full marathon, I knew I wasn’t in the best shape of my life, because my half marathons and shorter distances were much slower than the Spring. I’ve always done better, when my shorter races are faster too.

More Racing: 

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 can run more races while still recovering appropriately.  Maybe that is my favorite part!

Racing 5ks or a shorter event doesn’t have to be painful or boring. It’s a challenge to train or race for like any other event.

Questions for you:

What is your favorite distance to race?

Do you have any running goals for 2019? 

Base Building Week 7: January Grind and Racing

Base Building Week 7: January Grind and Racing

Last week was a good week of training.  I’m starting to get back on some sort of routine after the New Year.  Does anyone else feel like the shortest weeks feel like the longest?

Anyway, with the New Year and a race, my workouts shifted around a little bit. Instead of doing a personal 5k, I raced one with friends and did more speed work on the weekend.

After getting back to NJ and diving straight back into a work schedule, my body was exhausted. From December until now, I feel like I’ve been go go go, and I haven’t had a lot of time just to relax.  This isn’t with just traveling for the holidays, but with work and life too. On Saturday, I got about 9 hours of deep sleep so felt better.

Monday: Easy 60 minutes
Tuesday: Resolution Run 5k (19:44) total mileage 10
Wednesday: Easy 60 minutes
Thursday: Walked 30 minutes
Friday: Easy 60 minutes
Saturday: 6X800s with 400 jog recovery (total miles 10)
Sunday: 12 miles with 7 at 7 at 7:03 pace

Thoughts:

Resolution Run: 19:44

I’ve already written a full recap, but it was fun to finally jump into a 5k.  It was hot, humid, and windy (70 degrees on New Years…ok) but I was happy for the challenge. I’m about 90 seconds away from where I want, but I’m happy with the effort. I know I have a lot of work to do there, but I’m looking forward to the challenge.

Saturday: 6X800s with 400 job (average 6:15 pace)

The workout went a lot better than anticipated. It was 42 and raining but I’m happy with the effort.

Sunday Long Run: 12 miles with 7 at 7:03 pace

This run felt hard. My legs felt training. Not in an injured way, but in an, I’ve run a lot way. I was happy to get it over with. I’m pleased with my effort, but I was hoping the pace would feel easier.

View this post on Instagram

Long Run done early. 12 miles with 7 at 7:03 pace.

A post shared by Hollie (@fueledbylolz) on

 

Posts from the Week:

Resolution Run 19:44

Don’t Just Survive Running in Winter Months…Enjoy Them

2018 in Blogging

Next week, I plan to just lather, rinse, repeat, with a speed workout, 5k (chances are it will be by myself), and long run.  The boring, consistent January grind.

Questions for you:

How was your New Year?

How do you get back into a routine?

Don’t Just Survive Running in Winter Months…Enjoy Them.

Don’t Just Survive Running in Winter Months…Enjoy Them.

In the summer, there are an abundance of articles about how to survive summer running, and in the winter there are plenty of articles of “how to survive winter running”.

Both of those arguments imply we are only surviving the summer and winter months.  They imply we aren’t supposed to enjoy running during that time…just survive.

While winter can be frigid and summer can be scorching, the reality is every season has their positive and negatives. Parts of Spring and Fall are either rainy, cold, too hot, or something else to complain about. So for argument’s sake, we will say about three months of the year are good running months are actually decent to run.  You can pick any weather to complain about.

That logic leads me back to the beginning.Don't Just Survive Running in Winter Months...Enjoy Them.

How do you survive and even enjoy running in the winter months?

It’s something I’m battling right now.  I’m not a cold weather person.  Ironically, I went to college where it could be -30 in January. Why I chose to do that, I don’t know but I also don’t regret it.  This year, I’ve enjoyed most of my runs and enjoy the feeling of getting out there (even if out there is to the treadmill).

Here are a couple of tips to enjoy running during colder months:

Run Indoors:

If it’s too cold, run inside. This could mean purchasing a gym membership or treadmill. There is no shame in running indoors when it’s too cold, dangerous or miserable.  I wrote about it recently, but a treadmill is a tool. It’s not bad, embarrassing, or shameful.

Layer Up:

If you are running outside layer up.  There are countless pieces of running apparel to keep you warm.  People who train successfully through the winter months, wear appropriate clothing.

Now there are windbreakers, long sleeves, insulated tops, built in windbreaker leggings and just about anything you can imagine. Google can provide you with ideal layering techniques. Since I’m always ten jackets ahead of people, I prefer to wear more layers. What works for you, doesn’t work for everyone.  It might be trial and error for figuring out the right amount of layers for different temperatures.

Running is lifelong:

One run is not going to make or break you. If you are truly sick of winter running, don’t force yourself to run through the winter. Find alternatives that aren’t going to miserable.  Get a gym membership and try new workouts and cross trianing  Cross training will only make you stronger, plus help burnout.

Finally, as a public service announcement: don’t try and run fast on ice (run indoors if it’s icy). No run is worth falling and hurting yourself on ice.  I would know since I slipped and fell in a parking lot in college.   I ended up breaking my arm.

Questions for you:

How do you enjoy winter running?

What are your favorite pieces winter gear? 

%d bloggers like this: