The Importance of Easing Back into Training

Whether you are coming back from an injury or just time off, getting back into shape isn’t always the most enjoyable thing.  I like running. However, the feeling of being out of shape and always tired isn’t pleasant.

This particular return, it’s also been incredibly hot.  Thinking out loud, when I left running a few short months ago, most of my runs were in pouring rain and the cold.  Now it’s hot and humid.  To be honest, during my break I also didn’t do a lot of cross-training, so I did also lose quite a bit of fitness.  My first 5k back, I ran at a pace slower than the half marathon I consider to be unsuccessful.  My second 5k I got lost, but I do think I made some sort of improvement.  When I left running, I could run 18:30-18:40 5ks like no big deal.  Currently, I believe I could push myself as hard as possible for a 20:00 5k (but it probably would need to be a flat, fast and ideal day).

But like anything in life, it’s important not to compare yourself to anyone, including yourself.  Some people can jump right into training and never lose fitness.  I’m definitely not one of those people.  

During my run, I didn’t run, I didn’t cross train much and gained a little bit of weight.  I also didn’t care about any of these things.  That just makes getting back into shape harder.

So What are Important Aspects to Remember?

Easy Runs are Important:

You don’t have to run fast at all.  Whether they are coming back from an injury, a rest period of anything else, too many people makes the mistake of running too fast.  It doesn’t matter if you are in shape or not, if you train fast all of the time, you will set yourself up for an injury.  In fact, running too fast all of the time is how I got my first tibia stress fracture.  Easy runs are what build you stronger.  It’s especially important for me, this time because I’m not coming back from anything broken and don’t have something especially suspectable to breaking by doing too much.

Don’t Compare Yourself:

As humans, there is always something to compare ourselves too.  Every article or blog I’ve ever read always says “don’t compare yourself”, but that is so much easier said than done.Whether it’s while running or not.  Don’t compare yourself to yourself either.

With fitness, you are always at a different point journey.  We are never in the exact same fitness level all of the time, and it’s important to recognize that.   Don’t train how you once trained.  You have to build up to the fitness you were once at.  Determine your paces and realistic goals from where you are right now, not 3 months ago.

Slow and Steady Wins the Base Race:

Many times, after I begin running again, I want to go as fast or run as much as possible all of the time.  That is unintelligent and going to result in an injury.  Ease into training and allow yourself to slowly build your base.  Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither is fitness.

No matter where you left, getting back into shape is challenging.  It’s not effortless or streamline.  Perhaps a better reminder for myself more than anything!

Other posts:

What to do Between Training Cycles

NonRunning Workout Ideas

Question for you: Have you ever taken time off of fitness entirely?

 

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Training: Sunny Weeks and 20 Miles

My workouts last week included running!  I guess that deserves an exclamation point right?  In the last week, I have felt a lot more motivated to run.  More importantly, I’ve enjoyed running.

Monday: 4 miles with my brother
Tuesday: Strength workout
Wednesday: 4 miles
Thursday: 3 miles
Friday: OFF
Saturday: 5 miles with my friend Julie
Sunday: 4 miles and Core Workout
Toal: 20 miles

So how was it? 

I’ve been feeling good running.   To be honest, this is the best I’ve felt running in awhile.  Yes, I’m running far less miles but I’m enjoying miles.  There isn’t a lot to say as I continue to build my base back.  Since I took a lot of time completely off, my running fitness has decreased but I know it will come back.

I want to keep doing strength and core workouts.  Like many runners, I often “say” I will but don’t commit to the little extras.  I personally like the Nike Training Club and strength classes at my local gym.

For the next few weeks, I plan to keep doing what I’m doing.  I’ll gradually increase mileage but I’m not going to go crazy.  I do plan to jump into a few local races soon and get a feel for where I’m at fitness-wise.

Posts from the week:

May Training Log: 7 miles

What to Do Between Training Cycles:

Questions for you:

How was your week of workouts?

What is your favorite strength workout?

Training Update: Physical and Mental

Last week was the first time in a while, I had any inclination to run. As I’ve mentioned, the last few weeks have been extremely busy for me (outside of working out).  In anti-runner blogger form, I didn’t miss running in the slightest.

In Early May, my in-laws and parents came up.  Then my husband came home.  Finally, last week I got to see my brother, Matt, who I haven’t seen in two years due to him being overseas.

Working out has been anything but at the top of my mind lately.  Yet, I’ve gone to the gym a few times, and somehow I have found time to maintain a running blog while not running.  Oddly enough, I still enjoy blogging.

Due to the nature of how busy I’ve been this month, I’ve been out of the running store for most of May too.  Mentally, it was probably good to be out of the store although I do miss my friends and coworkers.

Anyways, back to workouts! To be honest, I had to look back on my Instagram this week and remember exactly which days I did what.

Monday:  Rest
Tuesday:  Short Core workout
Wednesday:  Short Core Workout
 Thursday:  1 Hour Strength Class
 Friday:  Rest
 Saturday:  1 Hour Strength Class
 Sunday:  1 Hour Elliptical

Yesterday, I ran 4 miles with my brother.  No watch, but probably around 10 min pace.  I felt okay.  Is it the start of running again?  Maybe, maybe not but he asked if I wanted to run and I said ok.

Throughout the years, this blog has taken many different turns. 

I’ve swam…

I’ve run…

I’ve blogged through college…

I’ve blogged through working in a public health office…

Most recently, I’ve blogged about working in a running store and well, running!

As my life and interests evolve, so does blogging!  I’m not saying I’m giving up running competitively and I’m not giving up blogging, but it’s important (for me) to take a step back and say: I need to do this for myself, not how those on social media want/need.  Fueledbylolz is a journey of my life and training.  I originally started my blog to reflect upon my journey not to make a career or please readers (although it’s great to find people who share similar interests!)

With all of this rambling, this turned out to be more of a mental update than a training update but we need those too.

In short, last week was a good workout week for where I’m at in life.  I’ve already run this week and it was ok.

Posts from the Week:

26 Pairs of Running Shoes Later

Visiting New York City

Questions for you:

How many years have been blogging?  I’m coming up on 6 in August!  :O

What was your best workout last week?

NonRunning Workout Ideas

As most people know by now, after the April Fools half marathon, I experienced a serious running burnout.  In fact, I wrote about it here. It wasn’t the race itself, but more of running hard for 6 months and not achieving a goal.

My personal friend Steve asked to write about other things to do outside of running!  To be honest, I’m still not running, but I am enjoying doing other things.  Don’t get me wrong, running is a great workout, but it’s not the only one.  It’s important to take the time to look at other things to do.

Right now, I have no goal races I’m trying to maintain fitness for.  Thinking out loud, I have no need to hit up the gym daily.  Do I like working out?  Yes.  Do I need to workout for several hours daily?  No.  Do I care if I missed a workout?  No…

Ideas for Cross Training to Maintain Fitness:

Here are a few things I like to do to preserve cardio fitness:

Elliptical:

I might be one of the only people who doesn’t hate the elliptical.  If you workout hard on the elliptical, then it will simulate running.  If you leisurely pedal, you aren’t going to get the same benefits as having a higher heart rate.  There are a lot of programs that you can adjust based on ability and how hard you want to workout.  My heart rate is never as high as running, but I can say it has gotten pretty high during the elliptical.

Alter G Treadmill:

Finding an Alter G treadmill can be hard.  If you’re in Southern Jersey/Philadephia area and want to use one, let me know, and we have one at RunningCo.

Admittedly, I haven’t used it right now.  That’s only because I don’t want to run.  The AlterG is running without the pressure of body weight.  It takes body weight off so you can simulate running without putting the extra pressure and weight on your body.  The chamber fills with air, so you are essentially free floating around. Here is a more in-depth post about the AlterG when I was using it!

Alter G
After my metatarsal stress fracture, I used it frequently

Swimming:

Before picking up running in 2010, I was a competitive swimmer.  I swam through college.  While I no longer swim regularly (and have no interest in Tris), I will frequent the pool.  Swimming takes all of the pressure off your body will still allowing for a great cardio and strength workout.  It’s one of the best workouts you can do.

Strength Work and Core:

To be honest, right now this is what I’ enjoying the most.  I’m going to several body pump and core classes as well as lifting weights myself.  It may not “burn calories, but I am enjoying the constant state of feeling like jello and feeling stronger.

Running is a great sport but it’s not the only workout.  There are plenty of other activies that are equally as fun to do.Other Running Related Posts:

Are Losing Toenails a Runners Rite of Passage?
How to Prepare for Running in the Heat:
Why 5ks are the Best
How to Race Well
How to Race in Unfavorable Conditions

Questions for you:

What are your favorite nonrunning activities?

 Do you like to cross train? 

Getting Enough Fiber

As most people know, Quest bars are one of my favorite protein bars.  Last month, I wrote about the newest cereal bars as well as getting more protein as a runner.

Recently Target has started carrying Quest Bars too.  Since I spend a good amount of time shopping at Target (there is one less than a mile from my house, so it’s an easy stop), this makes it even easier to pick up one of my favorite snacks.

Quest Bar Fiber
At Target

As I mentioned, I’m not running now.  This means I’m burning fewer calories and while I don’t mind gaining weight, I would prefer not too.  Lately, I’ve found I don’t have a terrible diet, by any means, but I also try to choose healthier options.

One reason I like Quest Bars is that they are healthier snacks while I’m on the go.  They are filling and contain both protein and fiber.  Both are something I could benefit from having more of!

Quest Bar Fiber

Here are some quick stats of the Quest Protein Bars:

Quest Bars Soy Free, Gluten Free, and Vegetarian-Friendly.

Each bar contains: 20g+ Protein, 4-7 Net Carbs, 170-210 Calories, 13-15g Fiber, No added sugar.

Another thing that has been important to me is reducing the artificial sweeteners as well as pure sugar in my diet.

It’s not a secret I do like my coffee with whipped cream, but I have been trying to clean up my diet by reducing both sugar and artificial sweetener.

Do I treat myself?  Of course, but do I have dessert every day?  No, probably not. 

I like that Quest bars have less sugar as well as artificial sweetener.  Depending on the bar they use Sucralose, Stevia, and Erythritol.

Personally, I’ve never had stomach issues, but I do many people have found reduced stomach issues with these types of sweeteners.

Quest Bars actually got me doing some personal research on fiber and the different types. 

What are the differences?

While I knew there were two different types of fiber (soluble and insoluble), I never knew the differences and what each type specifically did and helped.

Soluble vs NonSoluable:

Easy enough, soluble fiber is soluble, which means it dissolves in water.  Insoluble fiber does not dissolve in water.

Soluble Fiber Benefits:

Linked to lowering:

  • LDL (bad) cholesterol
  • regulating blood sugar
  • Lower risk of heart disease
  • Lower risk of type 2 diabetes.
Insoluble Fiber Benefits:
  • Helps keep you regular and prevents constipation
How much Fiber Should You Be Getting?

Current guidelines, advise between 25-35 grams per day. 

Finally having too much fiber can be a problem too and can cause all of the following:

  • Malabsorption: This is critical for runners because it can cause your body to not absorb the following: calcium, magnesium, iron and zinc. Each plays a crucial role for athletes to stay healthy.
  • Diarrhea or Constipation

Fiber is an essential nutrient, runners or nonrunners need.  Thank you again, Quest for supporting LOLZblog and helping me learn a few things. I hope you did too!

Questions for you:
Do you get enough fiber in your diet?
Have you tried Quest Bars before?

Training: April

It’s hard to believe April has already flown by.  Regarding running, April started off ok then progressively went downhill, and ended up that needed and wanted a full break from running.

april fools half marathon atlantic city me running

Miles Run: 228
Range of Paces: 5:54-10:04-untimed
Races: 3
Workouts: 4
Rest Days: 9 (and counting)
Longest Run: Atlantic City Half Marathon
Shortest Run: 2 miles 

Races:
Phillies 5k (18:32)
Clean Air 5kish
April Fools Half Marathon (1:26.17)

Favorite Race:
Phillies 5k
phillies 5k win

Favorite Workout:
None

Thoughts:
The month of April started off well.  Even though I didn’t PR at the Phillies 5k, I ran moderately well.  It was by far my favorite race.

As the month continued, I became more and more burnt out from running.  It wasn’t just April that burnt me out but training over the last 6.  After Atlantic City on April 23rd, I decided to take rest and rebuild my mental attitude.  I don’t hate running, but I wasn’t enjoying it as much, and I never broke through my plateau.

Thanks to my friend Paul for these photos

May:
I don’t know what May will bring.  I hope I’ll be ready to run again.  While I haven’t run or really worked out since last weekend but I do plan to do more cross training and get back to the gym.

Running Posts from April:
Running Related Posts
How to Prepare for Running in the Heat
Should You Wear Running Shoes Outside of Running?
How to Transition into Minimalist Running Shoes

Shoe Reviews:
Asics Nimbus 19 Shoe Review
Brooks Glycerin 14 Shoe Review

Questions for you:

How was your month of training?

What is your favorite cross training activity?

Running Related Posts

Recently a reader sent an email and asked if I could put together a list of articles I’ve written recently about running shoes and training.  Thinking out loud, none of the articles are “new”, but it makes a lot of sense to have them all compiled into one spot.

Instead of doing a Running Store post this week, I thought I would get all of the posts together in one spot.  As always, if you have a question about shoes, the running store, or anything else feel free to ask.  I’m not an expert or professional but I do like running and working in a running store.

Recent Shoe Reviews:

Adidas Energy Boost
Adidas Supernova

Asics Nimbus 19

Brooks Ghost 9
Brooks Glycerin 14
Brooks Launch 4

Hoka Clifton 3
Hoka Bondi 5 

New Balance Zante

Saucony Freedom ISO
Saucony Zealot ISO 2

Important Shoe Related Topics:

There is no Perfect Running Shoe

Running Shoe Reviews Are (Mostly) Worthless

Running Shoe Specific Topics:

Five Secrets about Buying Running Shoes
How Alternating Shoes Can Benefit Your Running
Should You Wear Running Shoes Outside of Running?
Should You Race in Racing Flats?
How to Transition into Minimalist Running Shoes

Training Posts:

Are Losing Toenails a Runners Rite of Passage?
How to Prepare for Running in the Heat: 
Why 5ks are the Best
How to Race Well
How to Race in Unfavorable Conditions
How to Run in the Heat

Running and Nutrition:

Protein and Running

Other:

Thoughts While Working in a Running Store

There you have it!  As always if you have any questions or comments, feel free to ask.  I’ve gotten a couple questions regarding nutrition (something I’m still trying to figure out) as well as fun things to do outside of running that I’ll be chatting about soon too!

Questions for you:

What is a fun fact about your job?

What is one thing you enjoy about the sport of running?