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Does Collagen Help Post Workout Recovery?

Does Collagen Help Post Workout Recovery?

As many people know, I’m a Vital Proteins Ambassador and have been using Vital Proteins Collagen for over a year now.

Each month, Vital Proteins sends me products to try, and I share my favorites or answer questions people have.

I’ve already been using Vital Proteins for over a year, and I find I genuinely recover faster and feel better than if I don’t.  Usually, I have one serving twice a day.

Since this is primarily, a “workout blog,” many people have asked how it helps with recovery.

Vital proteins collagen

What Makes Collagen Peptides Different?

Vital Protein Collagen Peptides have the added benefit of providing 18 g of collagen protein.  I’ve personally found my body recovers much better when I have protein after a run or workout.

Why Take Collagen?

Until I learned more about collagen, I had no idea it was the second most abundant substance in the human body. (after water).

Collagen is found everywhere in the body. The purpose is to provide the body with strength, structure, and elasticity.

With the natural process of aging, our bodies become less efficient, producing collagen.  This leads to slower workout recovery time. By adding collagen, you can help speed up the process.

One of the essential jobs of collagen is to keep our bones and connective tissue in optimal working conditions. For runners and people that work out, this is imperative. Like rest, you cannot train hard without recovering hard.

How Can Collagen Help Running Performance? 

New research shows collagen can help decrease joint pain often associated with high impact exercise.

Long-term strenuous exercise, like running, leads to collagen degradation in the body. We naturally lose collagen as we age but running and other high impact sports can quicken this.  It’s not an overnight occurrence, and the degradation of collagen is a slow process.  It usually takes years.  Like a stress fracture, it takes time and isn’t an issue that just ‘pops up”.  That is why anyone running for years may have the same collagen issues.

Collagens Promotes a Healthy Response to Natural Inflammation:

Running stresses your body, which causes inflammation. Taking Collagen or any protein directly after a workout helps to promote inflammation and speed up the repair of connective tissues that are damaged.  I feel and recover better on days I do have collagen within 30 minutes of working out.

 

Promoting Joint Health:

In the running world, it’s not uncommon to hear runners and athletes talk about “bone on bone.”  This means they’ve lost the cartilage in their knees.  Losing all of the cartilage in your knees is from years of wear and tear on your body and joints.

How does Collagen Help Joints?
  • Increases lubrication around joints to make more mobile
  • Helps to increase bone density (A BIG ONE FOR RUNNERS!)
  • Reduces inflammation around joints and improves healing of connective tissues

Which Collagen Products are Best for Recovery?

While products like “the beauty glow,” have collagen and protein, they aren’t the best if your goal is to recover faster.

A Few of the Best Products for Recovery are:

The Original Collagen Peptides:

The Orginal Collagen Peptides are unflavored and can be added to anything. The collagen peptides are digested and absorbed by the body quickly for maximum benefits. Besides helping recover, they also help improve joints and ligaments, and tendon health. Of any collagen product, they are the most versatile and can be added into almost anything with no extra flavor, including hot or cold liquids, coffee, smoothies, and baked goods.

Bone Broth:

Bone broth was one of the first products I started taking from Vital Proteins. Bone broth is filled with amino acids.  These amino acids prevent the breakdown of muscle tissue, repair leaky gut, improve sleep quality, and help regenerate cartilage.  Important for runners, bone broth also contains calcium, magnesium, and potassium.

Collagen Whey:

This is my favorite product, and I try and have a serving most days. In addition to the collagen, the whey contains 26g of Protein, 5,105mg of BCAA.  It supports recovery and mixes well into smoothies.

Vital proteins collagen

Collagen Water:

It’s one of the newer products, and I wrote about Collagen Water last month. I like how many different flavors there are, plus it’s portable. If I’m running from somewhere other than my house, it’s easy and packed.

Vital Proteins Collagen water

In summary, I’ve found I’ve recovered faster and stronger after hard workouts by taking Collagen. Thank you Vital Proteins for allowing me to continue to be an ambassador.

Questions for you:

What do you eat or drink after working out? 

Have you tried collagen before? 

 

 

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Swimming for Runners

Swimming for Runners

If you have followed my blog since it’s birth in 2010, you may remember I was a swimmer. Not just a swimmer, but I swam competitively for college.  After college, I was done. Swimming is a hard sport and to improve at the college level, and you are usually in the pool anywhere between 2-4 hours a day. After college, I had no interest in staring at a black line.  I was burned out.

Truthfully, I didn’t think I would ever reach a point that I WANTED to swim again. I’ on and off in the last decade, but nothing competitive and usually not unless I was injured. This is the first time I’ve realized…hey, swimming isn’t “too bad.”

I’m always thankful that I learned to swim at a very early age because it’s not as easy as an adult. I’ve taught swim lessons before and learning when you are older is much more difficult, although not impossible. I’ve taught the mommy and ve me kids classes, coached swim team, and once showed an 80-year-old woman how to swim.

So if you are a runner, or someone wanting to benefit from swimming…what should you do?

First Get the Right Equipment:

Like running, swimming that expensive (minus the pool). You need a swimsuit (make sure it doesn’t move when you swim), swim cap, and goggles.  There are a couple of pieces that are a bonus such as a kickboard or pull buoy.

The goggles I used almost exclusively through college are the Speedo Vanquisher. 

They aren’t designed for swimming in open water, but they are great the pool and minimally fog up. I used them for a decade and never had any issues.

Many people asked about swim caps.  Why use a swim cap? Swim cap allows you to stay more streamlined as well as protects your hair. It might seem silly to wear, but it’s the swimmers’ norm to make swimming a lot easier and keep your hair in better condition. There are all different kinds. Latex is the cheapest and stays put on your head. If you use gel or hair product, this is usually the cap I recommend. Silicone is a lot more gentle on the hair and doesn’t rip hair out, but it will slide off and won’t stay put if you use hair product.

Pool Running:

Pool running is just how it sounds; you run but in the pool. There is more to it, though.

Since your feet don’t touch the bottom of the pool, there is no impact. This means it’s a good option if you are injured with a stress injury. It’s easier to pick up if you haven’t spent much time in the pool.

The funny thing about pool running is that it doesn’t resemble actual running. The point of it is to get your heart rate up. Just always keep moving! Pool running (versus swimming laps) is what is going to be most beneficial to runners. We don’t horizontal run (LOL if you get it), so while swimming laps might be more enjoyable, pool running is what will help actual running and build fitness and maintain fitness for running.

Use a pool belt when pool running. It will help with proper form. Without a pool belt, your focus changes from form and jogging to treading and staying above the surface.

I like this video with Jeff Galloway. He teaches exactly how to pool run. You want to get a bigger range of motion than you would in land running and just keep moving.

Here are a few workouts.  Keep in mind, you will only benefit by putting the effort in, and no one can do that for you. You can half-ass pool running and float there, but you won’t get a workout in. You can text while on the elliptical, that is different than putting the effort in and getting your heart rate up.

30 Minute Workout:
5 minutes easy jog
10X 2 minutes alternating hard, easy. Focusing on getting your heart rate up.
5 minutes easy jog

Workout 2: 30ish minutes
5 minutes Easy
Cut the pool in half so you are jogging back and forth on the deep end side (or where you can’t touch the bottom)
10X one side. Sprint as hard as you can to one side, stop at the wall and jog back. Repeat 10X. I did this one time during college when I was injured (and slowly increased reps and it kept me in shape. Ultimately, I ran my fastest cross county time after being injured for 2 months).

The point is to get your heart rate up.

Swimming Laps:

As a “retired swimmer,” I am just more prone to want to swim laps. As I add swimming back into my routine, that’s all I’ve been doing right now.

When I swam competitively and ran competitively, I didn’t find (and still don’t) swimming shape to translate into running shape. You can swim as much as you want, but chances are it won’t translate into running your fastest times. Your overall fitness will be great, but the specific movements and cardio don’t translate.  You can also run as much as you want, but might not find yourself a great swimmer. This article about, Olympian Micheal Phelps, shows that the specific fitness might not always translate.

How do you Start Swimming Laps?

My biggest advice to anyone just getting started is to start small. You don’t have to swim 1000 meters to get a good workout.

Like running, make it a goal to swim X meters, stop, regroup, and keep going. Most pools are usually 25 meters or 25 yards. Make it your goal to swim to the end, take a break, swim back, and repeat. Once you are more confident, you can say: swim to the other side, rest 30 seconds, repeat, and keep going.

Any swimmer will tell you, elite level swimmers don’t just get in the pool for 2 hours and get out. They do dozens of drills, sets, and intervals. In fact, realistically that’s what swim practices are. In the 15 years of swimming, I had one practice where our coach told us just to get in and swim. Honestly, it was awful!

A few workouts you can do:

Leg Recovery:
Need: Pull Buoy
Warmup: Swim 200 yards.
Set: 5X200 yard pulls with 2 minutes in between. Start off easy, and build to a faster pace.
Cooldown: 200 yards easy cooldown.
Total: 1400 yards

Kick Set:
Need: Kickboard
Warmup: 200 yards
Set: 4X25 yard kick. Using the kickboard, kick as hard as you can. Rest for 1 minute between.
50 Yards easy. Use this to flush out your legs, take your time.
4X25 yard kick: Kick as hard as you can. Rest for one minute in between.
50 Yards easy
4X25 yard kick. Alternate hard, easy, hard, easy. Take a minimal break as necessary, ideally working towards no break.
50 yards easy
50-yard kick as hard as you can. Take minimal breaks as needed, ideally working towards no break.
50 yards easy
2X25 yard kick. As hard as you have left. Take 1-minute break between but this should be all out, and your legs should burn.
Cooldown: 200 yards
Total: 1000

Swim Set:
Warmup: 200 yards
4×50 Freestyle. Your 5k effort. It should feel hard, but not like you are gassed out. Rest 2 minutes between each.
1X100 easy, “recovery.”
2×100 Freestyle. Moderate effort. This should feel like a half marathon, tough but controlled. Rest for 2 minutes between.
1×100 Easy, “recovery.”
4×25 Fast. Your hardest effort. This should feel like a mile sprint. Rest 1 minute between
1×100 Easy, recovery.
4×25 Fast. Your hardest effort. Rest 1 minute between.
Cooldown: 200 yards
Total: 1300

Just keep in mind, you have to do workouts that you enjoy. If swimming doesn’t click for you, that’s okay. I appreciate how enjoyable it’s been for me and a nice break from the outside world. You get lost in your own thoughts when you are submerged in the water for an hour.

 Finally, have you subscribed to the LOLZletter? It’s a free newsletter that comes out each Monday. This week I talked about rest days and cross training.  In the newsletter, I share running industry trends and things relevant to the sport. There are often giveaways as well as discount codes.

Questions for you:

Have a question about swimming, ask!

Do you like getting in the pool? 

Training: Building Fitness and 10ks

Training: Building Fitness and 10ks

Last weeks training was good. I got what I wanted for the week.  Over the summer, I plan to race as much as possible to get back into shape. That’s what I did when I set my 5k PR several years ago. I want to keep racing until I’m back in shape. I personally find I’m able to push myself harder in races versus workouts.

Monday: Easy 60 minutes
Swim 3000 meters
Tuesday: Easy 60 minutes
Swim 3000 meters
Wednesday: 3X1 mile averaging 6:30 pace
Thursday: 3000-meter swim
Friday: Easy 60 minutes
Saturday: Cape May 10k (42:35) Total miles with warmup/cooldown 10
Sunday: Long Run 12 miles averaging 7:58 pace (last 3 miles 7:08, 7:01, 6:56)

Thoughts:

After a rough Spring and putting the effort in, and not getting anywhere I’ve finally committed mentally to building back fitness. When I start trying to build back speed, I’m usually faster, so this feels as though I have a long way to go, especially considering Spring didn’t go my way.

My easy runs were just that, easy. There is never much more to say about them.

Workout Wednesday: 3X 1 mile (averaging 6:30 pace) with 2 minutes rest in between:

This was my first-speed workout in about a month. I intentionally took time off to allow my body some rest from hard workouts. It felt challenging, but I’m happy with my effort and getting back out there.

Swimming:

As most people know by now, I’ve been getting back into the pool more. I still plan to swim throughout the summer. I was a competitive swimmer through college, and it seems like a different lifetime ago. I’m having fun in the pool right now because I can mindlessly stare at the black line for about an hour. I can’t compare myself to previous fitness levels because there is no way I’ll get back in the pool for 10,000-14,000 meters 5X a week as we did in college (yes that’s 2-4 hours most days).

Cape May 10k: (42:35)

This pace was slower than my 10-mile pace at Broad Street. I have struggled to get the turnover in my legs faster recently. It feels as though my body as one pace for hard efforts and that is between 6:45-6:55.

This is another personal worst in recent years, but as I said on Instagram, my goal is to show up at races. The good, bad, ugly, I’ll be there. I still had a great time with friends, and I’m happy to have done it.

 

Long Run: 12 miles averaging 7:58 pace

My long run on Sunday felt better than my race on Saturday. My last 3 miles of my long run were 7:08, 7:01, 6:56. My last 3 miles of my 10k the day before were 6:58, 7:01, 7:01). Somewhat comical but that’s how the legs felt. I would have loved to run better at the race, but it wasn’t in the cards. I didn’t set out to run that fast, but it was motivational that I felt better for my long run.  

Posts from the Week:

Broad Street 10 Miler (1:07.35) 

Hiking Parker Loop at High Point State Park

Aftershokz Headphone Review

Finally, have you subscribed to the LOLZletter? It’s a free newsletter that comes out each Monday. This week I talked about the differences between social media runners and running specialty.  In the newsletter, I share running industry trends and things relevant to the sport. There are often giveaways as well as discount codes.

Questions for you:

How do you get your turnover faster?

What is something you struggle with in running? Long runs? Easy runs? Workouts?

 

Broad Street 10 Miler (1:07.35)

Broad Street 10 Miler (1:07.35)

Every year at Broad Street brings a new challenge. This year was the least amount I’ve run, and I was in the worst fitness I’ve been in going into the race. Worst, shouldn’t be read as a bad thing as I’ve been enjoying other things such as hiking and swimming.

I knew I wasn’t going to be anywhere close to the 1:01-1:05 I’ve run every other year, but that was okay.  My dad drove up as he likes the race as well. This year, the weather was pouring rain. It never stopped, and in fact miles, 8-10 rained harder. It was warm rain, so it was mentally difficult to decide if I wore a jacket or not. Ultimately, I did, and I’m still not sure it was the best idea.  Although with the wind, I know without a jacket I would have been cold.

We got to the stadium around 6 am. Broad Street is a 10-mile race straight down Broad Street, so you have to take transportation up. With 40,000 people it’s imperative to be early. We made it up to the start line by 7 am. Once we got out, it was pouring rain. Like a significant race, you have to wait around. So we waited around for an hour. It was cold and rainy.

Broad Street Run 2019 dad and i

Finally, I found my way to the corral around 7:50. I had an elite bib, but I hadn’t run anywhere close to a time to qualify me there for about 8-9 months. I wasn’t going to start there and started right at the front of the purple coral. Purple was for anyone who wanted to go 1:05-1:10. I ran the Garden State 10 Miler in 1:08.30 so this seemed like the best bet.

Broad Street Run 2019

“Act as awkward as possible”
Me: Ok

Finally, we were off. I hadn’t started around purple before so it was a new experience being bumper to bumper with everyone for the first mile. You literally can’t move in any direction but straight.

The first mile went off without any note. I ran a 6:40 and I felt decent. My legs felt stiff. They didn’t feel ready to run hard, but I felt like I could run faster than the last 10 Miler.

Mile 2, I ran a 6:25. I was surprised it was that fast, but I was just running. It finally opened up, so I made more space to move.  Not that I was weaving around, but I wasn’t running on top of anyone.

I told myself to get to mile 3.  Then I would be 1/3 of the way there. I hit mile 3 in 6:38. It as too crowded for me to get any Gatorade, so I settled for water. I could have used electrolytes, but it is what it is.

The next two miles, I focused on getting to mile 5. Mile 5, is City Hall and brings a change of scenery. You run around City Hall and continue around Broad Street. It breaks it up, and by the time you’re through it, you’re nearly at mile 6.

In the last three weeks, I’ve run less, and I’ve only run 10 miles once. Most of my runs have been 6 miles, and I haven’t done anything fast since the Atlantic City Half. So it would make sense that at mile 6, I felt like I hit a bunch of bricks.

I ran a 6:56 and 6:51 and just kept telling myself to get to the finish line. By mile 8, I told myself only 15 more minutes.

I knew one of my closest friends, Shawn, would be hanging around mile 9 and I wanted to be able to see her. Suddenly, I did! Instead of just waving like an average person, I slid over and high fived her. Maybe it cost me a few seconds, but I was over it.

We went under the Navy Yard banner at 9.75 and just powered to the finish. I crossed in 1:07.35.

Thoughts:

I won’t say I’m thrilled with the time, as it’s over 2 minutes slower than any other Broad Street I’ve run. That being said, I haven’t been in the same shape, so I’m not surprised either. It’s starting my racing back into fitness. This summer I decided I’m going to run a lot of races and get back into fitness that way.

Finally, have you subscribed to the LOLZletter? It’s a free newsletter that comes out each Monday. In the newsletter, I share running industry trends and things relevant to the sport. There are often giveaways as well as discount codes.

Questions for you:

Have you run a 10 Mile Race? 

What is your favorite distance? 

 

April Training

April Training

April was April.

I didn’t plan to take an entire week off from running, but then it happened.

I’ve talked to many people about it but running this Spring didn’t come together for me. I never got anywhere close to my PRs, and my training was inconsistent.  I still ran and consistently ran 1:30 half marathons from Carlsbad, to Shamrock, to Atlantic City.

I can look back and see why: I was mentally tired, plus I wasn’t doing all of the little things to gain fitness. Truthfully I felt like I didn’t have a goal except “get faster.” Well, that never happened, and when I crossed the Atlantic City finish line, I knew I needed a change. So I took a week off from running and refound the pool.

There are maybe two people that have been reading my blog since it’s birth in 2010 when I still swam. In fact, the original name for this blog was LOLZthatswim then LOLZthatswim(andrun) and now just FueledbyLOLZ.

The first LOLZ header in 2010.

Anyway, The later half of April was precisely what I needed: a change. I started getting into the pool and swimming. It isn’t tough to compare myself to my previous self. I used to compete in the mile for swimming, and now when I swim a mile in 28 minutes, I feel like I’m “crushing it.” The best example of that is thinking that you once ran a 5k in 18 minutes, but now you run it in 28 minutes.  There is nothing wrong with either, but it’s just different from what you’re used too.

That’s the difference. Swimming is so new again because I’ve taken a decade off. When I swim competitively, we didn’t use GPS watches to track laps; it was all in your mind!

And no, I have no interest in doing a tri. I don’t enjoy cycling.

Miles Run: 150ish 

Range of Pace: 6:06-10:40-untimed

Rest Days: 10 (does not include days I “just” swam). 

Swimming Days: 6 (12,000 meters total)

Next Month:

As I type this up on May 1st, I feel a strange feeling of wanting to run and train again. I haven’t felt that since NYCM. I’m putting together a racing schedule, but I want to run a lot of races and race my way back into fitness. That is what ultimately led me to my 5k PR. I just kept racing and slowly layered speed workouts on top of each other. I may not reach that fitness again, but I do want to try.

I’m also traveling a lot next month for weddings and to see my family. It’s going to be a hectic month on all fronts.

Posts from the Month:

Shoes:

Hoka One One Speedgoat Midi Shoe Review

Reebok Floatride Run Fast Pro

Altra Escalante 1.5 Shoe Review

Running:

The Difference Between Runners and Non-Runners

Hiking:

Hiking Watchung Reservation

Finally, have you subscribed to the LOLZletter? It’s a free newsletter that comes out each Monday. In the newsletter, I share running industry trends and things relevant to the sport. There are often giveaways as well as discount codes.

Questions for you:

How was your April?

What is one goal you have for May?

 

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