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Bettering Yourself with a New Years Resolution

Bettering Yourself with a New Years Resolution

This isn’t the typical New Year’s Resolution post declaring my New Years Resolutions.  I have my own personal resolutions, goals, and dreams I want to achieve in 2017 but that is a post for another day.

This also isn’t the post to say that I don’t believe in New Years Resolutions.

Long term readers know New Year’s resolutions is a topic I’ve written about several times.  I feel strongly about them and believe it’s important to share, most, if not every year. It’s also a reminder for myself!

 

So What is this Post about?

Every year on January 1st many people begin a journey to better themselves.  They create New Year’s Resolutions that include anything from fitness goals, life goals, to work goals or chasing dreams.  The majority of the population makes a resolution or goal they are looking to achieve in the new year.

According to studies, only 8% of people keep with their New Year’s resolutions.  If you think about it, that is still 8% more than last year.  That is over 59 million people who better themselves each year. 

While people make many different resolutions, this post is more about running, fitness and gym related goals.

It is about the people that join a gym each year to achieve their goals. 

It is also about the people judging those that are new to a fitness program. 

Each year I see “in shape” or fitness oriented friends complain about their gyms are crowded on January 1st.  I have even seen posts about how dumb having a New Years Resolution is.  There is everything from how silly new people look at the gym or even photos of people working out for the first time.

Please remember if someone has not given you permission to include their photo on your blog or social media, you shouldn’t.  It is never a good idea.  It is never appropriate to take a photo of someone without their permission, especially to make fun of them. 

I’m indifferent towards people who want to begin a new life on January 1st.  I’m happy for them to make positive changes in their life.  If they want to do it January 1st, great!  If they want to do is June 23…also great! I don’t believe you need to wait until January 1st to make life changes and any calendar date will do but if you start your journey then, so be it!

As a member of a local gym, I can relate that sure, having more people can be an inconvenience because there are fewer machines available.  The reality is everyone at the gym is paying for the same membership.  No one is more entitled to a piece of equipment because you have been a gym member for 1 day or 1000. If a person “getting in your way” annoys you, purchase your own home gym equipment.

Every single person from an elite marathoner to a star quarterback started somewhere.  Who knows where someone started, maybe it was with a New Years Resolution?

Judging someone based on their fitness level is ridiculous.  When people first begin something, they are the most self-conscious.

Personally, I can remember the first time I went to the gym.  I was 18 years old and was nervous the rest of the patrons were judging me.  I tried every machine in the fitness center in 10 minutes.  I had no idea what I was doing.

Gradually I found things that worked for me.  The first few months I was hyper aware of everything and everyone.  I had several thoughts including:

Was that person laughing?  Must be at me…

Are those people chatting? They must be chatting about me…

When I go to a new class such as spin or strength training, I still have those thoughts.

So as you ring in the New Years, remember that a New Years resolution might not be your thing, but some people are trying to better themselves.  Sure, some people might fail, but many will succeed.  I encourage you to think about when you were first beginning your fitness journey and not be upset with others for attempting to begin their fitness journey.

Questions for you:

When did you start your fitness journey?

Do you have a New Years Resolution?

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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:

running5k

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?

2016 Race Bucket List

As 2016 begins, I have started thinking about a race bucket list.  In a world where I stayed injury free and my schedule allowed I would be able to do all of the races I’ve had my eyes on. Who knows, I doubt I’ll get to all of them this year, but there are a few races I’ve had my eyes on!

2016 running race bucket list

January: 
The Carlsbad Half Marathon
I’ve heard this race is scenic and beautiful.  I was born in San Diego, and I’ve been dying to go back.  The half looks much flatter than the full marathon, plus San Diego weather beats the East Coast.

March: 
The Shamrock half marathon
2016 will (hopefully) be my fifth year running Shamrock.  I love the race series, and J&A does an excellent job putting the race together.  I recommend it to anyone!

It’s a flat, fast and crowd supported course and I would like to better my best Shamrock time of 1:25.14, if not just flat out PR.

At least I look jazzy right?

From last year

Shamrock Legacy: 
Year 1: 1:33.30
Year 2: 1:25.14
Year 3: 1:25.29
Year 4: 1:33:06 (two weeks post marathon and having hamstring/hip issues)

April: 
The April Fools half
The April Fools half marathon is where I set my PR 1.5 years ago.  The Atlantic City Race directors do an incredible job.  For being in such a large city, I love how low key the race is.  Plus it’s in a decent time of the year, and the only thing to worry about is how windy it is.

September: 
Air force half OR full
It scares me to put potentially another full marathon on the calendar. The fall is a very long time away.  My training has been going well, and if I can remain injury free, I would like to run either the Air Force half or full this year.  I’ve run two marathons and not enjoyed either but maybe the third time is a charm…or maybe not.

But hopefully I'll be more prepared than this if I choose that route.

But hopefully I’ll be more prepared than this if I choose that route.

I won’t run another full marathon until I have not only Pred in my shorter distances but am satisfied with my progress. Marathons are always there, and there is no reason to sign up until I’m ready to run another one.

Those are just a few races that come to mind.  I do plan to fill my schedule with plenty of 5ks, 10ks and halves, but these are a few I’ve had my eyes on!

There will be many races I’ll train and race untapered as a workout, and there are many races I’ll run after tapering and resting.

Questions for you:
Do you have a race bucket list? 
What is your all time favorite race?

New Year Equals New Me

This isn’t the typical New Year’s Resolution post declaring my New Years Resolutions.

This also isn’t the post to say I don’t believe in New Years Resolutions. I do have New Years Resolutions, but that is for another post. 

Start on January 1

I’m actually indifferent towards people who want to begin a new life journey or goal on January 1st.  Honestly, I’m excited for anyone to make positive changes in their life.  Every year I hear friends declare they are going to go to the gym more.  They plan to do X, Y, and Z.  That’s exciting, and I’m happy for everyone, no matter what their goals are.

Sadly, I also hear other friends publically wish resolutioners would get out of the gym or out of their way.Sure, having more people at the gym can be an inconvenience because there are fewer machines available.

The reality is everyone at the gym is paying for the same membership.  No one is more entitled to a piece of equipment because you have been a member for one day or 1000. If a person “getting in your way” annoys you, purchase your own damn gym equipment and stay at home.

Every year on January 1st many people begin a journey to better themselves.  New Year’s Resolutions include anything from fitness goals to life goals, work goals or even chasing your dreams.

The majority of the population makes a resolution or goal to achieve in the new year.  According to studies, only 8% of people keep with their New Year’s resolutions.  The facts are that is still 8% more than last year.

While people make many different resolutions, this post is focused more on the fitness and gym related goals.

This post is about the people who join a gym each year to achieve their goals.

This post is about the people judging those that are new to fitness programs.

Each year I see my “in shape” or fitness oriented friends complain about their gyms being crowded.  I have even seen posts about how dumb having a New Years Resolution is.  I’ve seen everything from posts about how silly new people look at the gym to even taking hidden photos of someone trying to workout.

Please remember that if someone has not given you permission to include their photo on your blog or social media, you shouldn’t.  It is never appropriate to take a picture of someone without their permission, especially to make fun of them.  Take a step back and realize how upset you would be if you found out someone was publically shaming you for trying something new. 

Here are just a few complaints about resolutioners at the gym I’ve seen:

The gym is crowded. No space for me! (sad emojis)

Someone took my elliptical (or any piece of gym equipment).

I hate how busy it is; I hope these people leave soon.

These people are wasting their time. (You are wasting your time complaining)

Those statements are rude and it’s even ruder to post.  Every single person from an elite marathoner to a star quarterback started their fitness journey somewhere.

Who knows where someone started, maybe it was with a New Years Resolution?

Judging someone based on their fitness level is both pathetic and sad.  When people first begin something, they are the most self-conscious.  New people (anywhere) fear being judged the most. It reminds me of people that won’t follow someone on twitter or facebook because they have five followers. It’s superficial.

I can remember the first time I went to the gym.  I was 18 years old, and I was nervous the rest of the patrons were judging me.  I tried every machine in the fitness center in 10 minutes.  I had no idea what I was doing.  Slowly but surely I found things that worked for me.  The first few months I was hyperaware of everything and everyone.  To be honest, I would still be mortified if I found out someone was publically shaming me at the gym!

Was that person laughing?  Must be at me…

Are those people chatting? They must be chatting about me…

So as you ring in the New Years, remember that a New Years resolution might not be your thing but some people are trying to better themselves.  Sure, some people might fall off the wagon, but many people will succeed.

I encourage you to think about when you were first beginning your fitness journey.  Do not be upset with others for attempting to begin their fitness journeys or using a machine typically in your routine.

Question for you: When did you start your fitness journey?

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