Workouts of the Week: Trending

I’m in the uncomfortable zone.

I had one good week of running, and I feel darn good about it.

But I don’t want to jynx myself either.  I don’t want to get overzealous.  In June, I had a string of about 3 good weeks that I thought would turn into the epic comeback after a burnout.

But here we are two months later.

So with that, I’ll just say I had one good week of training.  Not a comeback, but also my best week of training since June.

As I mentioned last week in my monthly recap, my goal is to run about 45 minutes or 5 miles most days with appropriate rest as well as a long run. I want to recreate a foundation and base to keep my body healthy.  This will stay a trend until I feel good. We will see where next week takes me.

For me, this is also a critical time because I’m most susceptible to injury.  I haven’t been consistently running mileage.  I have been running enough, but it hasn’t been as consistent as training.

This critical time is when begin to pay more attention to recovery including stretching, foam rolling and more frequent deep tissue massages.  Yes, pricey but less than a trip to get a Xray or even MRI.  Plus, I haven’t spent much in running shoes or race entry fees, so it all evens out.

Monday: 45 minutes running
Tuesday: 45 minutes running/15 minutes core
Wednesday:  OFF
Thursday: 45 minutes running
Friday: 45 minutes running/15 minutes core
Saturday:  45 minutes running
Sunday:  Long Run: 55 minutes

Total: 30-33 miles

While boring, it’s all part of the process.  I took quite a bit of time away from training, so it’s important to build back a strong foundation. I don’t want to commit to actually “training” until I have the time, but I do my schedule is going to begin to free up soon.

Posts of the Week:
July Workouts
How Easy is it To Get Out of Running Shape?

Questions for you:
How long do you typically stay in a base building, easy running mode?
Do you get deep tissue massages?

I love them!

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How Easy is it to “Get Out of Running Shape”?

I am not in peak running shape.  In fact, I am still a healthy and active person, but I’m not “in shape” right now either.  Thinking out loud, one could argue being “in shape” is actually just a gray area.  Just like fast and slow, elite or not.  One person’s “in shape” is another person’s out.

It takes a long time to lose running fitness.  You don’t lose fitness with a day or even a week off.  In fact, the benefits of rest far outweigh any small consequences.  You could argue the benefits of taking 1…2..or 3 months off of training too.

This is the longest I have taken off from seriously running since starting in 2011, and I’m okay with that.

So Back to the Question: How Long Does it take to Lose Fitness?

Something I learned a while ago is there are two “types” of fitness:

  1. Aerobic fitness which is essentially your endurance!
  2. Structural fitness which is the ability of your body to withstand the impact of running. (Essentially why you can’t go from not running to running 10 miles all of the time without an injury…)

Both are equally as important, but they are both different.

Aerobic Fitness:

For most runners, it takes between 1-2 weeks of full rest (doing zero things) to lose fitness.  Doing any cardio whether it’s biking, elliptical, swimming…whatever will keep your aerobic fitness going.  Since I’ve been doing random things, I haven’t lost 100%.  To be realistic, I’ve probably lost about half.

There are many factors of how fast you lose your aerobic fitness.  For instance, the longer you’ve been doing something, the longer it takes to lose that fitness.  Someone who ran for a month and stops, loses fitness much faster than someone who has been running for a decade.

It’s also important to note you can’t be in peak fitness forever and you shouldn’t try too.  If you never take time off, your body will get hurt, and you’ll be forced to take time off.  Which leads us to structural fitness!

Structural Fitness

We all know I’m injury prone, so this is the fitness I care personally more about.  You can regain your aerobic fitness with proper training and build up.  You cannot recover your body once you have permanently damaged it.  Structural fitness is what keeps your body healthy and injury free.  It can take months to years to gain this type of fitness, but at the same token, it can take months to years to also lose it.

When you don’t use certain muscles, your body loses them.  (This isn’t limited to running.)  As many readers know, I swam for nearly 15 years before starting running.  If you asked me to swim now…well…LOL.

Even if you choose to stop running entirely, doing a little bit of strength can keep those muscles stronger.   When returning to running, it’s important to watch and monitor your body.  Don’t go out for a long run your first week back.  Don’t jump into old training methods and don’t expect your body to be as strong for the activities you were once doing.

Ease slowly into running to build strength as well as function in your muscles.  It can be difficult (yes even for me!), but it definitely keeps you more injury free.

In short, fitness isn't built in a day and it's also not lost in a day.  Your fitness journey spans the course of your life and it's important not to get caught up in a single week, month or even year.

Related Posts:
Racing My Way to Fitness
Quick Core Ideas for Runners
Five Tips for Coming Back after an Injury
The Importance of Easing Back into Training

Questions for you:
How often do you take rest periods?
When was the last time you fully rested? 

July Workouts

Where to begin about July?

Maybe with a LOL.

Weekly workout logs are one thing but reflecting upon a month of no real “training” is weird. Am I a runner? Am I a running blogger?  Do I just Instagram?

In June, I had all of the intentions to start running again.  Life happens and that went on the backburner.  Am I cool with that?  Yes, my body is just resting from heavy training a lot longer than I ever imagined.

At this point, I’m barely able to keep record of my own training log.  My running might be like a bad train wreck you may or may not be able to look away.  That’s cool though, I’ll get back to serious training and crushing PRs at some point soon in my life.  While I said this last month, I do anticipate August to be busy and September, not as much.

Moving forward, the month of July was laid back as far as training went.  I ran when I could.  I was able to run more outside than I previous ly anticipated but nothing more than 5 miles.  In fact, I think the last time I ran more than 8 miles in a row was before April.

First and foremost, I am happy.  Life is going fine and I’m enjoying everything that has kept me busy.

Something I did not anticipate, is it is hard to explain not wanting to run.  When I tell someone I’m not running, they immadiately ask if I’m injured.  Followed with am I pregnant. I’m not injured, pregnant, or whatever else.  I

I’m not injured, pregnant, or whatever else.  I prioritize other things and when I’m not busy volunteering and working, I’m living life.

I could wake up at 4, go for a run and be out my door between 5-6.  Be gone for anywhere between 10-14 hours.  Then come home and do it again.  But honestly, that doesn’t sound pleasent and I still wouldn’t be training well.  So I choose not to.

July Stats: 
Miles Run: 90 (about, my Garmin is now on 3 months of not being charged)
AlterG Miles Run: 30
Cross Training Sessions: 4
Favorite Workout:
Hiking Stairway to Heaven

Posts from the Month:
How to Choose the Best Running Shoes (For You!)
Hiking the Stairway to Heaven
Staying Fit While Not Training
Brooks Ghost 10 Shoe Review
Staying Prepared on Long Days
Running on the AntiGravity Treadmill

Personal: 
Flying through NYC
27 Facts about Me

Goals of August:

I posted on twitter but I want to jump into a local 5k this month.  I haven’t picked one out and I don’t expect any miracles but I would like to just run a race and get my feet back in the water.  Now, that I’m more aware of my schedule I also plan to consistently run.  I’m hoping I can begin to build a base.  My goal is to run 45 minutes/5 miles most days.

Questions for you:
How was your training in July?
Are you getting ready for anything? 

 

Workouts: I Did Them…

Another week of workouts of down…

And another week of summer in the books…

I feel like this summer is the most “nonsummer,” summer I’ve ever felt.  I have yet to go to the beach and have yet to do anything all that “summery” minus (hiking).  I guess that is adulthood.

This week and the next two are going to keep on picking up with work and life.  I won’t be able to do a lot of new and exciting fun stuff, but I will be working and hopefully getting a few runs sprinkled in.  The month of August is going to be busy in general.  I’m okay with that though.  Like the last 5 weeks, I’ll do what I can do.  Text can’t always paint the right story, but I’m not bitter about not running, I just can’t run right now.

I keep blogging because life isn’t always about cranking intense miles.  Life also isn’t about running high mileage and it’s also not about taking a 100% break.  As competitive runners, you can run less or low mileage and be fine.

Monday: 4 miles easy
Tuesday: Rest
Wednesday: 4 miles easy
Thursday: Rest
Friday: 1 hour Alter G
Saturday: 4 miles easy
Sunday: 6 miles easy

In all, I felt good.  I’ll have a full month of workouts recap tomorrow.

Posts from the Week:
How to Choose the Best Running Shoes (For You!)
Hiking the Stairway to Heaven

Questions for you:
What was your best workout last week?
Are you training for anything? 

How to Choose the Best Running Shoes (For You!)

As someone who works in a running shoe store, I can tell you I’ve personally fit about 1000 people for running shoes, and I’ve watched hundreds more be fit too.

Searching for your own personal shoes can be tough.  What do you look for?  How do you know when they are “right”?

When searching for running shoes, I always advise people to get fitted at their local running store.  Thinking out loud, people that work in a running store have seen dozens of brands, styles, and companies. Plus they know shoes well.  That being said, you know your feet.  You know what feels most comfortable.

Most people come in and have no idea what to look for in a running shoe. 

The short answer: Does it feel good? 

Yes, then it’s the right shoe for you.

No?  Then it’s not the right shoe for you.

The Long Answer:

Here are some important details you should look for in shoes.

Size (Length): 

I cannot emphasize this enough.  Do not buy your shoes too small.  During the day, your feet can swell and lengthen anywhere from a half-full size.  This is magnified during running!  Always make sure there is a thumb’s width of space between your biggest toe and the end of the shoe.

Yes, your feet lengthen over time and age so make sure you get your measured frequently.  After putting your shoes on, make sure you can wiggle all of your toes.  If you can’t the shoe is too tight or too narrow.  This brings us to point number 2.

Size (Width): 

The width of a shoe is one of the most underlooked aspects of a shoe.  Most running specialty stores carry at least wide if not double wide!  Do not be scared to go into a wider shoe.  If you are getting holes on the side of your shoe from your pinkie toe, this could be a sign the shoe is too narrow.  Having extra room is always better than not enough.  I never knew I needed a wide until working at the store.  Now, I love it.

Heel: 

In any running shoe, your heel should feel both snug and secure.  It should never feel tight.  If you feel as though you are “slipping,” lace your shoe to the final eyelet. This will you’re your heel more into place.  Some shoes are cut lower than others but make sure you’re comfortable in the cut of the back too.

The heel should never feel tight, but there can be a little bit of movement.  If the heel feels uncomfortable in the store, then it won’t feel good while running.

Feel:

You can be fit into the appropriate shoe but it doesn’t feel good, it doesn’t.  How a shoe feels to you is one of the most important aspects of the shoe.  You want a shoe that feels natural.  You don’t want a shoe that “you’ll have to get used too”.  Don’t get a shoe to alter to your stride because that can create many more issues.  Running Stores recommend taking the shoe for a quick run in the store.  That initial few steps often can tell you an immediate yes or no.  Also, most running stores have an exchange policy to work with you.

With so many different shoes out there, it can be hard to figure out which one is “best for you”.  Remember, there is no right or wrong answer but only what feels good and keeps you injury free.

Other Running Store Topics:
Thoughts While Working at a Running Store
How to Get the Most Shopping at a Running Specialty Store
Should You Wear Running Shoes Outside of Running?
How to Find the Perfect Pair of Running Shoes
There is no Perfect Running Shoe

Questions for you:
What is your current favorite running shoe?
When was the last time you bought running shoes?

Workout Log and Rambles

Another week of boring running in the books…

That’s one-way to start a post right?  If you live on the East Coast, you know last week was extremely hot and humid.  I would love to tell you I missed seriously training in the weather, but I didn’t.  Training in the 90s doesn’t appeal to me.

On a life standpoint, I do feel like the heat really takes it out of me. During the last few years, I used to be fine in the heat, but this summer I’m exhausted almost every single day I come home!  I’m thinking about joining the local neighborhood swim club for the month of August, just so I can soak up some Vitamin D while being lazy in the evening.  (That should go in a training log right?)

To be honest, each week I contemplate not writing a training or workout log.  I’m not exciting, I’m basically running easy, and nothing is ever eventful.  Heck, I’m not even cross training much right now.  I feel like maybe I should even give up for a while on the runner and healthy living and blogger track.  It doesn’t help that many runners only post training on Instagram anyway now.

But here I am, still blogging.  Which is probably where I will stay. I’m still busy with work, volunteering, and life.   This post probably takes about 30 minutes at the most so somehow I keep writing it. Plus it’s not like I’m running while eating breakfast…

Enough of my rambles:

Monday: 30 minutes running
Tuesday: 1-hour AlterG (75% body weight)
Wednesday: 30 minutes easy
Thursday: Rest
Friday: 30 minutes easy
Saturday: 1 hour AlterG (75% body weight)
Sunday: 30 minutes easy

I could tell you that cross training is important and doing strength good will keep you injury free, blah blah blah.  I know these things, but right now I’m not prioritizing any of it.  As I mentioned on Thursday, I’m trying to do something active most days.

Don’t get me wrong, I am loving life, but running is just not a priority right now.  

Posts from the Week: 
More Hiking and Running
Flying around NYC
Brooks Ghost 10 Shoe Review
Staying Fit while Not Training

Questions for you:
Why do you blog?  I ask myself this often.  In the last 6 years, I think there are still maybe 2 bloggers I follow that still blog.  It’s not my full time, and I’m not even that exciting.
How was your week of training?

Staying Fit While not Training

Recently, I’ve been running about 20-30 miles a week.  I’m not training for anything and depending on my schedule, many of my miles are indoors.  This week when I have the most time, of course, it’s been over 90 degrees most days. That is fine, I’m not a pace oriented person and the only time I’ve charged my Garmin in the last few months was for hiking.

Thinking out loud, I’ve been running for just about 6 years now.  Usually, you can find me training for something, racing a few times a month, or injured. Right now, I’m doing none of those things. I rarely just take “me” time, and I never burned out until April.

Most weeks, though, I’m just busy.  As a blogger, it can be tough to find: “stuff to talk about” when you are working for most of the time.

As I mentioned, I’ve just been busy.  This summer has been extremely enjoyable and not much of that has to do with running.  Recently, I went flying around NYC with my husband but we’ve done a lot of fun and unique stuff.

What I have been trying to do is get about 30 minutes of exercise in most days of the week.  Whether that is running, going to a class, or just taking a walk with my husband, I want to get some sort of fitness in!

As athletes we often feel as though we have to be “hardcore training” or doing absolutely nothing and resting.  I’m all for rest days, and I believe resting in general is undervalued but it doesn’t have to be the all or noting concept.

Usually 30 minutes of activity is better than none.  Of course, there are exceptions (if you are tired, sick, injured, etc.) but it’s all about balance.

Here are just a few things I’ve been trying to incorporate into my week:

  • Planning Ahead: Right now, I don’t always know what will pop up in my day or even week. I can plan ahead and know at least on weekends, I can get a longer run or activity in.
  • Staying Flexible: As I mentioned, I don’t always know whether I’ll be able to have time to run until halfway through the day. I try to keep clean exercise gear in my car.  If it means running inside, running on the AlterG treadmill, or running when it’s hot, that is fine.  It’s also fine when there just isn’t enough time in the day.  I try not to make that a habit but I don’t get bent out of shape when there isn’t time to workout.
  • Catch up on TV and Run Indoors: Yes, I have a few guilty TV pleasures (including America’s Got Talent). If I can get everything done throughout the day, I dedicate the time to watching TV and running.  The run goes by quickly, and I actually get to run.
  • Focus on Eating Better: Since I’m not running as much, eating better is a priority. When I do eat better, I feel as though I have more energy and can accomplish more too.  Like fitness, it’s not all or nothing but I have been focus and prioritize on eating better.  I’m not strict or counting calories but I try and grab an apple versus a bag of cookies.  I’ll save the desserts for the diner.

Running and fitness doesn’t have to be all or nothing.  You can stay active without training for anything.  Don’t get me wrong, I look forward to being a little less busy and picking out a goal race, but that time isn’t now.

Other Related Posts: 
Quick Core Ideas for Runners
NonRunning Workout Ideas

Questions for you:
How do you stay active with a busy schedule?
Are you training for anything now?