Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Half Marathon Training - Why am I doing this? .01

There are some days/weeks that things just don’t seem to go the way you wanted or expected them to. That was last week for me regarding my training. It’s my own fault, so I can’t really blame it on anyone but me, except in this case I had help. I have a tendency to stay up too late in general, but now it’s starting to affect my training. Even while I know that I need a certain amount of sleep to be able to function in general let alone train, I still find myself on the phone or awake at 11pm or midnight almost every night. Being that I have to be out the door at 5am to get my run in, you can see how this would be a problem for me. Just this morning I slept through my alarm and didn’t get my 4 mile run done. If I was going to miss a run, this would be the day to do it since I did my long run on Sunday instead of Saturday, but is beside the point. I may actually have to sign a contract committing to myself that I will not sabotage my own training.

Here are the things that I need to work on:
1 Getting proper rest
2 Eating healthy
3 Hydrate appropriately
4 Work on Core
5 Strength training

I’m sure there are more things that I need to work on, but those are the things that I’m going to focus on for now. The only way for me to accomplish my goals is to stick to the plan and ease myself into each of the new disciplines (I have none).

I already know that I need a minimum of 6 hours of sleep to function, so I will be setting a 10pm curfew on evenings preceding normal training/long runs and a 9pm curfew the night before a track workout (I live an hour away from our training location).

Eating healthy has always been a little bit of a struggle for me. I like my soda and skittles, way too much. I’ll be limiting the amount of soda I drink and instead, drinking at least 64oz of water per day. Lunch will be the more difficult change. I frequently forget to pack a lunch, partly because I don’t want to wake up earlier to do it and partly because I completely forget to do it. When I have packed a lunch in the past it was a processed microwave entrée, which I know is probably not the best choice. Time to pre-plan some meals I think and put them together Sunday night.

Hydration is something that I struggle with both prepping for a run and during a run. For runs that are 4 miles or less I don’t typically bring any water with me (maybe I should), but I wear a fuel belt with two 10oz flasks for runs that I will be out for 1 hour or more. You got excited when I said flask, but they’re really for water or some sort of electrolyte drink (i.e. Gatorade or something like it). My coach recommended that I drink 2oz of liquid every 15 minutes, but for some reason I have a hard time doing that. Also, at that point it is kind of like closing the barn after the horse has already escaped. I probably didn’t hydrate well enough prior to the run so what little water I drink during the run is like trying to plug a Dam leak with chewing gum. I’m already dehydrated. This is something I’m working on. I probably need a night/morning pre-run check list.

People have been telling me for a while that strengthening my core will make me a faster, more efficient runner. While I believe them, I have just been lazy and haven’t done it. I think about it a lot though. We all know that thinking about it isn’t getting my abs any flatter or stronger though. As a single Mom time and energy are in short supply, so I need to find the right exercise that will get me results in a minimal amount of time. I’ll be getting some recommendations from my coach to do this.

Strength training falls under the same category as core. Time and energy are in short supply. I do have some motivation for this since I do pay for a gym membership and my Daughter has been begging for me to take her to the gym with me for weeks. I did purchase a book titled Running Anatomy that has some really good strength exercises in it specifically to help Runners build the muscles that are the most important for them to maintain good form and prevent injury. Right now, the plan is to photocopy pages from the book since the workouts are recommended to do in certain groups to be most effective.

As you can see by this list, I have a lot of work to do. I know that if I can stick with it though, that it will have huge payoffs down the road in both pace and perceived effort. With that said, I’m off tonight to do some grocery shopping and am also consulting the team nutritionist for the team I run with. Happy Running!

1 comment:

  1. The elliptical machine is very good at improving your endurance and cardiovascular strength. You can burn up a lot of calories by exercising with such abdominal exercise machines. It is designed to be very easy on your body.