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Recovering from Workouts

Recovering from Workouts

A few weeks ago, a reader asked me to elaborate more on how Vital Proteins were helping to recover from workouts.  For the last 6 months,  even before I was an ambassador, I have taken Vital Proteins directly after every run.

I’ve gotten even more efficient at it during the summer too!  Now that it’s hot, my smoothie “recipe” is the first thing I want to cool me down.

Do I Personally Find Collagen to be Effective?

I wouldn’t post if I didn’t, but I genuinely do recover faster from workouts.  While I’m not doing many hard runs right now, I am running and still want to recover.

Why?

In general, protein helps muscles repair.  It doesn’t matter whether you use protein powder, supplements, collagen, or even have a slice of steak. There are dozens of scientific articles for having some sort of protein after each runs.

I mentioned a while back, I used to not have any protein because honestly, I was either forgetful or running late.  Since incorporating Vital Protein Collagen, I’ve added an extra 12-18 grams of protein depending on which product I use.

You could use other sources of protein, but collagen is fast, efficient and has other health benefits including healthy skin, nails, and hair. 

Here are a couple other benefits:

  • Helps decrease joint pain
  • Bone Health

Joint Pain:

I’m lucky that I don’t have a lot of joint pain.  I typically run in a well-cushioned shoe, but my form is more likely to give me a stress fracture versus joint issues (right now).

Speaking of Bone Health:

My form in running causes me to be very injury prone.  I’ve attempted to change it, but I walk and run on my toes. I always have and probably always will.  (Many nicknames include: twinkle toes, human ostrich, and ballerina runner) While it makes me a lot less susceptible to muscle injuries, it makes me a lot more vulnerable to bone injuries. Bone health is a huge importance of all runners, especially females.

Many scientific studies have shown that you can prevent osteoporosis by supplementing with collagen.  Collagen is able to stimulate the bone creating cell: osteoblast. This helps to make bones stronger and also healthier.

So those are just a few reasons that I’ve found taking Vital Proteins to directly help with running.  I’ve never used another collagen brand, but I’ve never had an issue with Vital Proteins and have liked every product I’ve tried (which is most).

The Products I’m Liking the Most This Month are:

vital proteins collagen peptides

Beauty Collegen in Strawberry Lemon

Banana Cinnamon Collagen Whey 

While I’m an ambassador for Vital Proteins, all thoughts and opinions are my own.  

Questions for you:

What are some ways you get protein after a workout?  

Runners: How do you keep your bones strong and healthy? 

Have any Collagen Questions?  Ask Away!

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Training Last Week: It’s Hot

Training Last Week: It’s Hot

Last weeks training was nothing unusual or unique.  Like most people, I’m grinding away.  I am the first to tell you, I am not adjusting well to the heat.  That doesn’t mean I don’t like it, but paces that were once easy for me are far more than challenging.  In fact, last weekend I ran my slowest 5k in almost a year, and I was working hard!

Monday: Easy 45 minutes
Tuesday: Easy 45 minutes
Wednesday: Easy 70 minutes
Thursday: Rest
Friday: Easy 60 minutes
Saturday: Irish Festival 5k (20:25)
Sunday: Easy 60 minutes

Thoughts:

As mentioned, there isn’t a lot to say about this week.  I’ve just been summer grinding away.  I know it won’t be a “fast” summer, but I am trying to stay as healthy as possible.  Running PRs and racing halves faster than a 5k, seems like a lifetime ago but that’s what I usually say most summers.

Irish Festival 5k: 20:25:

I’ll have a full recap soon.  Over the weekend, my husband and I decided to drive up to Connecticut to pick up some miscellaneous car parts, including a bumper.  We saw a 5k in Bergen County, which seemed fun and we decided to run it.  The course itself was relatively hilly, with the second mile all uphill.  On top of that, there was zero shade so you could feel every part of the 80+ degrees.   My splits were 6:20, 6:40, 6:45 and I was the third female.

I’m pleased with my performance for the day and with factors and have no complaints.

Posts of the Week:

Benefits of Racing Frequently

Bungalow Beach 5 Miler (32:12)

Diadora Fly Shoe Review

Questions for you:

What are some techniques you use for summer running?

Do you run better in the Winter or Summer?

Benefits of Racing Frequently

Benefits of Racing Frequently

My cup of tea is not everyone’s cup of tea.  In fact, trivial to the post I don’t drink tea, just coffee.

It’s no secret I haven’t been training like when I set my half marathon PR in February.  After February, I trained and ran, but I know myself well that I’m good for a couple of PRs (if I’m lucky) a year.

April, May, and now most of June has gone around, and here we are.  I want to consistently run and train again, something I rarely do over the summer.  It’s hot and humid, but I want to spend all of my time outside.

Like when I set my 5k PR over two years ago, I plan to do a lot of 5ks on weekends.  This is what led to my 18:13  a couple of years ago.  I don’t think I was quite there in February but did run 18:29 at the Haddonfield Adrenaline 5k in March.

Benefits of Racing Frequently

Many people have asked:

Why race so much? Why spend so much money on running road races?

I’ve talked about this before but I don’t have kids, and my husband and I don’t spend a lot of useless junk.  I prefer experiences or good food, versus an expensive piece of clothing or whatever.  In fact, my New Year Resolution was not to buy any new nonrunning clothing.  So far so good.

 Won’t You Get Injured?

I would like to hope not but I take at least 1, sometimes 2 days off per week.  I either cross train (it’s been hiking recently) or don’t do anything.

I also take my easy runs, extremely easy.  I could run 8 minute miles (extremely unlikely) or 12-minute miles, but I keep it easy and by effort.  I mentioned last week I had a Garmin Vivosport which I put in timer mode.  I usually run for X amount of minutes or on a route I already know the distance (then I don’t time it).

It’s Also Important to Remember a Few Things:

You’re not going to progressively get faster:

As I know and have experienced many times with racing frequently, you won’t get faster every single time you race.  You shouldn’t expect too!  Progress is not linear with anything.  Last week I ran a 20:06 5k.  It’s a great base and who knows, next 5k might be slower but I know I’m putting in the effort, miles, and consistency.  A few years ago, I ran a 19:10 5k in one I was hoping to PR.

Remember, at the end of the day, “it’s just running.”  You will be the same person whether you logged a PR or didn’t.

Races are Hard:

If you are like me, you know you can push yourself harder at races.  If I do a workout alone, it usually feels harder and more of a challenge.  Running a race as a workout, allows me to push myself harder than I would alone. I usually have to watch out for mentally burning myself out from overracing.

Racing with Friends:

Since I work at a running store, I do appreciate being able to see friends or people I’ve helped in achieving their goals.  It’s great to run with friends at local races and support a local cause.

Progress is Measurable:

There are many factors with a race, but you are able to see if you are progressing or not.

I like the ability to see that progress.

The Experience of Racing:

I don’t get nervous before big races.  Sure I get the butterflies but I don’t nervous to fail because I know both good and bad races come with the territory.  Not every race will be the best ever, but it’s those not great races that make the good ones feel…good!  I know my family and friends still care about me whether I PR or not.  The experience of toeing the line frequently has taught me that.

Questions for you:

Do you race often?  Do you prefer too?

Blah Blah Blah: Run Easy

Blah Blah Blah: Run Easy

It seems every year, I post about running easy.  I’ve been blogging for 8 years, so it’s about 8 posts saying about the same thing.

Never the less, it’s still an important and relevant topic.

Racing your easy runs won’t get you a PR.

It won’t make you an Instagram hero either.

It will, however, get you burned out, or injured.

Don’t think I haven’t been subjected to this and learned the lesson of injury the hard way.  Long term readers know my first tibial stress fracture (7 years ago now) was caused by overtraining.  In short, I ran my easy runs too fast.  My last burn out wasn’t necessarily caused by running too fast, but more life stress, trying to run high mileage, and just doing too much.

Every week I post a running log and mileage recap.  Every month I do something similar.  Every week on Instagram, I get a few messages about “how fast do you run your easy runs,” and I will always respond the same way: honestly I don’t know or care.  Typically I use my Garmin Vivosport.  It’s not fancy, and that’s why I like it.  It will tell me mile splits if I want but for the most part, I just do timer mode.

I have a few ways I do an easy run

  • I run a route I know to be X amount of miles and don’t time it. I could finish 5 miles in 45 minutes or an hour…I will only have a good idea by the kitchen clock.
  • I just run for an hour and if it’s 6 miles or 10…that’s how it goes.  JK, it would never be anything close to 10.

Both work for me and keep me healthy both mentally and physically.

For training, I usually have a rough outline of the runs and workouts I want to do for the week, but I never have an exact plan.  For instance, last week I planned to take a rest day on Thursday, but my body was hurting on Tuesday…so I rested then too.  Some days I have more time in the morning, and some days I have less.  I ask myself: will I miss this mile next week.  No…I won’t remember.

Does Not Caring about Pace Really Help Me?

I have actually found that it does and it does a lot.  First of all, I’m not obsessed with pace.  I don’t care. I could run 10 miles at 10-minute pace or 10 miles at 8-minute pace.  It’s still 10 base miles.  I’ll run with anyone that wants to run, whether you run a 10 minute or 8-minute mile.  That’s why I rarely post paces online, Instagram, or anywhere.  Because I don’t know and honestly, for training runs…I don’t really care.

As I mentioned earlier, it hasn’t always been that way for me. I used to be obsessed with pace and numbers.  Seven years ago as a new runner, I would run in the same 10-second pace range for every run of the week.  That pace was between 7-7:10.  Do you know what I gave myself?  The glorious gift of a tibial stress fracture on my 21st birthday.

Not to mention, during that period of trying to PR every run, I never got faster for races and was miserable the entire time.   I was so antsy in training if my overall pace was 7:11+ and thought I had lost my all endurance.  It sounds silly now, but that is what the newer runner in me thought.

I Thought: Train fast to go fastRace myself and try and get faster every day.

Here are Some Interesting Stats from that Time in My Training:

During that time of my running career, my 5k PR was 20:10.  I ran about 50 miles a week between 7-7:15 pace.

Now it’s 18:13 (and I had to look LOL).  During that time in training, I was running 60 miles a week with about 50 above 8:30 or even 10-minute pace.

Then my half marathon PR was 1:36.56…now it’s 1:22.03

Now, I’m able to do workouts more efficiently and better.  Running an 88 second 400 doesn’t feel as challenging. My body couldn’t handle that when I was sprinting every training run.  I was also exhausted all of the time.  Even though I was running fewer miles, I was more tired.

But the most crucial piece is I enjoy going out to run without worrying about it.

For me, running is a hobby, and it’s something I want to do lifelong without stress. Not caring about pace has turned into continuing to improve on running.

My point is to relax during your easy runs.  Make your easy runs easy, and work hard during your workouts and races.  Honestly, without being injured or burnout, I don’t think I would have gotten to this phase in my life.  No one wants to be hurt but from injury, I quickly learned my body doesn’t respond well to fast runs every day.

I think I should have renamed my blog CasualLOLZ or something.

Questions for you:

What are your thoughts?

Do you schedule workouts every day or fly by the seat of your pants?

Rest is Best

Rest is Best

Telling someone to rest is a lot easier than doing it yourself.  Telling someone to do ANYTHING is easier said than done.

Throughout my blogging journey, many people have emailed or asked my thoughts on topics including running, life, and you guessed it: rest.  If there is ever a question of should, I give my honest advice to rest and see how you feel.  If you are injured with a bone-related injury, always rest.  If you injured with a muscular related injury, sometime rest will help but sometimes it won’t.  Rest will never hurt you, and missing an individual run or even a week is nothing in the long scheme of things.

running Rest is Best

Anyway, I’m not a coach or doctor, so giving medical or training advice is not what this post is about.  I’m just a woman telling people to rest including myself.

In my training recap on Monday, I talked about my personal needs and why rest was best for me right now.  I’m often out of my house for 12+ hours a day.  That isn’t the whole day, and many people are out of their house longer.  I wish I could squeeze running in, but I would be more tired and more exhausted. Realistically, there wasn’t a point.  It was better for me to take a few days off, get quality sleep, focus on things currently going on, and regroup from there.

So this week, that is precisely what I did.  I definitely feel much better because of it.  I do think I might do a short run tomorrow and see how I feel.

Here are a Few Important Reasons to Rest:

Refocus Goals:

Right now I have no idea what I want to train for. Do I want to train for another marathon? How about a 5k PR? Maybe even try and better my half marathon PR? I have no clue.

Sometimes you just need to take time off regardless of whether you reached your goal or not.  With training, you put your body through a tough period.  It doesn’t matter if your body ends up in a PR or not, you still put yourself through tough training. Taking time off allows you to reflect, and think about what you want in the future.

Emotional Break:

As hard as it can be to admit this, running and training can be exhausting.  For me, running has never been a therapy of any kind.  It is never been my way to “escape the world”.  Training for a goal race can be exhausting.  I need time away from the sport to fall in love with it again, and I think we all do.

While it has only been a few days, I have already felt fonder of the sport again.  Today, Thursday, I want to run.  Last Thursday, I had no interest and even loathed the idea of running.

Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder:

For me, I like to crave running again.  I want to feel like I want to run!  Along the same lines of mental recovery, it’s important to want to run.  If you don’t start running again feeling “refreshed,” you’ll end up in a burn out longer and faster.

Recovery:

If you don’t allow your body time to recover from training stress, you will continue to feel worn down and it will take you longer to recover from runs (I began to feel this).

Injury:

As one of the most injury prone people out there, I’ve learned I do need extra rest and recovery. If you are not able to recover, your body will be more susceptible to injury. It is better to take a few days or week off early, than several months off with a serious injury.  I’m not injured now, but there have been a few times I should have rested to keep a minor injury from becoming serious.

Healing Small Aches and Pains:

Sometimes you have small aches and pains that you don’t realize you have.  An amount of time off, allows your body to heal.  Running every other day or every few days doesn’t let your body to heal as quickly.  By taking time off, your body will use more energy to recover versus recovering from daily runs as well as small aches and pains.

I never regret my running breaks.  This one will be short, but I’m getting to the point my legs and mind feel like they “want to run.”  Plus hopefully next week my schedule is a bit more forgiving to add it into my schedule.

Questions for you:

Do you take a break every year?

What are you currently training for?

Hair and Nail Benefits of Collagen

Hair and Nail Benefits of Collagen

As I mentioned last month, recently I became a Vital Proteins Ambassador.  I enjoy sharing benefits of how it’s helped me personally.  Last month I shared about Recovering with Collagen Protein as well as Skin Benefits from Collagen.  This month I thought I would discuss the benefits of hair and nail I’ve personally had.

A few months ago, I got a nice manicure.  I’m not a stranger to manicures and like to get them for special occasions.  I always go with gel because working in retail, you use your hands and honestly anything else isn’t worth my while.  Why does it matter?  The place actually deeply hurt my nails.  When the gel manicure finally wore off over a month later, my nails were worse than they have ever been.  It looked like someone put them through the shredder.  I’ve several gel manicures but nothing that really ever did that.

I wanted to get another manicure in April, but my nails weren’t ready for it.

So How Does Collagen Help Your Nails?

A lack of collagen in your body can often time be blamed for peeling, dry, or splitting nails. Collagen proteins are the building block of your not only your nails but also your hair.

Since most people don’t go out of their way to eat animal bones to get more collagen, a supplement can be the next best thing. One of my personal favorite products from Vital Proteins is the Bone Broth.  I usually just heat up water and add a scoop or two.  I know a few people mentioned they cook with it too which sounds awesome!

The Other “Beauty” Component I’ve Seen a Lot of Success with is Hair!

First, I’m not suffering from hair loss, but I have been trying to grow my hair longer.  Why I decided that was a good idea during this summer is beyond me.  I didn’t start taking Collagen solely for hair, but along with nails, it’s been a nice bonus.

You can see how long my hair is getting

Did you know that Collagen is the building block of the hair?  Each strand of hair is surrounded by collagen. I had no idea collagen is a key to hair quality!

Thinking out loud, I honestly didn’t know a heck of a lot about hair until I started doing some research about growing mine out. Even when my hair was subject to 2 hours of chlorine a day, I’ve always been lucky to have thick hair (and not even green).

This has definitely helped me and my hair has gotten longer than it’s been in a very long time.  Even my eyebrows grow quickly, and my waxer has wondered if I live there.

While neither hair or nails were my primary reason for taking collagen, I’ve seen benefits in taking them.  Currently, my personal favorite products are Beauty CollagenVital proteins Whey Protein, and Bone Broth.

vital proteins collagen beauty water

I’ll have a recipe for you about using the Vital Protein Whey Protein soon.

Here are more Vital Protein posts:

Skin Benefits from Collagen

Recovering with Collagen Protein

Questions for you:

What do you do to help your hair and nails?

Do you use Collagen? Have you seen benefits?

 

Training: Plugging Along

Training: Plugging Along

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been running.  I don’t consider myself “out of shape” by any means, but I’m not in peak shape either.  I’ll have more about that on my monthly recap log. I’ve been thinking a lot about this lately, and while yes I’m running, yes I try and run most days, I haven’t found myself actively seeking a goal or goal race. I’ve found myself putting life events ahead of running on more than one occasion and that’s fine. To be honest, I need this time and history have shown both May and June to be rocky and injury prone months for me, if I push, push push.

I’ve run a few sub 18:30 5ks this year, but right now I know I’m not capable of breaking 19 without putting back in the time and effort to training for it. Is 19 a great time.  Of course, is it a PR for me…no.

Anyway, this week was fine. I opted not to race on Saturday.  My husband and I got back late on Friday from a fun flight up to Connecticut.  Then Saturday was busy, so I wanted some time to sleep and for myself.

Monday: Easy 60 minutes
Tuesday: Rest
Wednesday: 4X1 mile at 6:15 with 90 seconds rest
Thursday: Rest
Saturday: Easy 10 miles with my husband
Saturday: Easy 30 minutes
Sunday: Long Run: 14 miles with 7 at 7:30 pace

Thoughts:

As I mentioned, easy runs were just that easy.  I skipped a race on Saturday which I have no regrets about.  I took an extra rest day on Tuesday because my body needed it.

Wednesday:4X1 miles with 90 seconds rest

The workout itself felt challenging but fine.  I feel good about it and getting a workout in.  The weather was good, and it was nice not to worry about a downpour or too much humidity.

14 Mile Long Run:

This is my longest run in over a month, and I’m satisfied with it.  I’ve run faster, but I’ve also run slower.

Thoughts:

I’m happy with this week.  It’s good for where I’m at right now.  I’ll be able to train and race more regularly.  Summer running doesn’t typically bring PRs due to heat and humidity, but I do want to enjoy it…who doesn’t?

I get this a lot because I have an “active running blog.”  I like running, but it’s not the focus on my life, and I don’t live, breath and dream running.  It’s just one hobby I have, and this month it’s not even the main hobby.

Posts from the Week:

Hiking to the Cape May Lighthouse

Saucony Ride ISO Shoe Review

Xterra Trail 10k (50:54)

Questions for you:

What is your favorite workout?

How was your week of running?

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