Wednesday, October 20, 2010
I started this because I needed a goal and every year I do an Ironman or something crazy like that. Ironmans come and go just like everything else, then I'm looking for a new goal; as soon as I finish the event so, these next few years I'm going to be looking at "what Marathon or Marathons will I be doing" this year?.
Plus having two boys at home and looking at having another baby, I don't have the time or the money to do over priced sport any more! (Meaning it' s really gotten out of control with the entry fee, when I started doing IM they were $425.00 now $625.00 mmmmmmm). Also I can run with my kids and spend time with them too.
My next Half Marathon will be this weekend 10/24/10. My next Full Marathon will be 10/30/10 and 11/07/10 back to back weekends lets see how the body reacts to that!
Off to run 8 miles on the Dreadmill, Pilates with weights
I will keep you posted on my workouts starting today and how I feel!
Remember you are the only one who can make a change in your life start today!
Monday, October 18, 2010
Top 10 Rules of Weight Loss for Runners
Unwanted weight gain can happen to even the most health-savvy women. A perfect storm of stress, eating on the go, pregnancy and age-related metabolic slowdown can gradually pile on extra pounds.
After years of self-described "insane workaholic behavior," Columbia University associate professor Jenny Davidson experienced a gradual but significant weight gain. "The next thing I knew, I was 50 pounds overweight," says Davidson. To lose weight, she skipped the fad diets and instead focused on exercise and a healthy eating plan. Her reward: She lost 80 pounds and is now an avid runner and triathlete.
Want to do something similar? You can with these 10 simple strategies.
Rule 1: Know Your Caloric Needs
To stay healthy and run well while losing weight, you must determine how many calories you need. On average, a 150-pound, 5-foot-7-inch moderately active woman in her early 30s should consume about 2,100 calories per day. To lose weight, you must reduce your total caloric intake, whether by eating less or burning calories through exercise.
Research shows you're more likely to keep the fat off if you lose it gradually, says Monique Ryan, author of Sports Nutrition for Endurance Athletes. It's best to cut no more than 200 to 300 calories per day. According to sports nutritionist Suzanne Girard Eberle, if you maintain a diet too low in calories, you may be at risk for developing the female athlete triad, which causes menstrual irregularity and poor bone health, among other problems.
Rule 2: Set a Realistic Goal
Many women fall into the trap of setting a stereotypical goal weight, regardless of their body type. The truth is, every body is different, and your ideal weight for optimal health, energy and performance may not be what society says it should be (read: skinny). Consult your physician to set a healthy goal before starting a weight loss plan. It may also be helpful to have a professional measure your body composition, or muscle-to-fat ratio, which can be a better indicator of what you need to lose.
Rule 3: Stay Fueled
Even while losing weight, you need to replenish your energy stores--and to do it right. Active women need to maintain a balanced diet of 50 to 60 percent carbohydrates, 20 to 30 percent protein and 20 to 30 percent healthy fats. Don't rely on diet- or fat-free processed foods, which are often low in nutrients and high in chemicals.
Eat a breakfast of high protein, healthy-fat foods like eggs, oatmeal and low-fat yogurt. Snack on nuts, fruits or vegetables to avoid depriving yourself.
Keep in mind: While protein bars and sports drinks are great during and after long training runs, you don't need the extra calories for runs less than 60 minutes long.
Rule 4: Hit the Weight Room
Although resistance training alone doesn't burn a lot of calories, Virginia Tech obesity and exercise researcher Janet Rankin, Ph.D., says it does offer benefits to those trying to lose weight, from increasing bone density to reducing injuries. Research also indicates that developing more muscle mass increases your resting metabolism.
Rule 5: Go Long
However many miles your longest run is now, extend it once a week. According to the National Runners Health Study, which includes more than 120,000 runners, women who ran the greatest amount of weekly mileage were the leanest.
"There's no question, the more miles you run, the more calories you burn," says Mindy Solkin, a running coach and founder of The Running center in New York City. You burn roughly 100 calories per mile when running (depending on your weight), so if you go for a five-mile run, you'll burn 500 calories.
Rule 6: Team Up
A running coach and a personal trainer helped Davidson meet her goals. For other women, a support team may include a nutritionist or running partner. Check out peertrainer.com for an online weight-loss and exercise-support group.
Nan Howard's 53-pound weight loss journey began in 2007 at a weight loss support group meeting where other members encouraged her to walk for exercise. The North Carolina working mom slowly turned her walk into a run, and she began participating in local 5ks. Now she's encouraging other women in the group to start running.
Rule 7: Increase Intensity
A study conducted in 2006 at the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada, found that interval training--bursts of speed within an aerobic workout--burns fat and improves fitness more quickly than constant, moderately intense exercise. Researcher Jason Talanian recommends mixing interval training into your routine once or twice a week.
Rule 8: Crunch All the Numbers
Harvard weight loss expert Dr. George Blackburn asserts in his new book, Break Through Your Set Point, that people who weigh themselves daily are significantly more successful at keeping off excess weight. But also measure and record your changing body mass index (18.5 to 24.9 is considered normal), body fat percentage (aim for 14 to 24 percent), cholesterol levels (less than 200 total is desirable), blood pressure (at or below 120/80), clothing size and training distances and times. If after making positive changes you're still having trouble losing weight, ask your primary care physician to crunch another number, your TSH level. Hypothyroidism can cause weight gain.
Rule 9: Keep a Food Diary
Solkin tells people to keep a daily log of what they eat. When you see how that soda or bag of chips adds to your total, it might be easier to eliminate. In a recent study funded by the National Institutes of Health, participants doubled their weight loss when they kept a food log. To track your habits, use myfooddiary.com.
Rule 10: Train for Something Bigger Than Weight Loss
There's no better motivation to maintain an exercise schedule and eat right than a race date. For Howard, the recent shift from seeing herself as "someone who runs" to being "a runner" has been a revelation.
"People say 'What are you doing? You look so great,' and I say, 'I run four to six days a week,' " she explains. "You say that enough, and you start feeling like a runner."
Saturday, October 02, 2010
The most common question I get from both beginner and veteran marathoners alike is: “What should I eat during the week and the morning of the Marathon race?” It’s a great question and a very important part of success on race day. Since I covered how to practice your marathon nutrition strategy in training in one of my previous posts, this week I will cover an ideal nutrition plan starting 5 days out from the race so you can start planning your pre-race nutrition strategy now.
Marathon Rule #1: Never try anything new on Race Day
In addition to clothing, pacing, and training, this rule also applies to your nutrition strategy in the five days leading up to the race. You should not experiment with any new foods or venture too far from your normal diet. It’s easy to get nervous in the last few days of your taper and be persuaded by a new product a friend recommends or something you see at the race expo. However, if you haven’t tried it before, especially at marathon pace or during a long run, don’t be tempted.
It’s also important that you experiment with the types, quantity, and timing of the food you eat before you run. Some runners have very weak stomachs and need up to three hours to digest food before they can run comfortably. Other runners can eat within an hour of a hard run with no adverse side effects. It is important to figure out which type of runner you are during training and to take this information into account when you plan for the race morning.
Experiment with your pre-race meal before race day. Your last two long runs or difficult marathon paced workouts should be similar to race simulations. Try wearing the clothes you think you’ll wear on race day, the shoes, socks, and everything you can think of. Eat the same pre-race meal you’re planning for the night before the race and when you wake up in the morning, eat the same breakfast you plan on having. This will give you time to change things up before race day if you find it doesn’t work for you.
5 days from the race
Begin to increase your total carbohydrate intake by adding in more pastas and starches (low glycemic index foods) to your diet throughout the week. The old idea of depleting your carbohydrate stores the week before the race and binging on carbohydrates the last few days in an attempt to trick your body into overcompensating and storing more fuel is outdated. Ensuring that you consume a higher percentage of your total daily calories as carbohydrates is sufficient.
Remember, you’re not running as much as you have been, so eating too much more than you normally do will make you feel bloated and lethargic. At this point in the nutrition cycle, relax and don’t go overboard.
48 Hours before the race
Your last big meal should be two nights before the race. It will give your body ample time to digest anything you eat so you won’t feel bloated on the morning of the race. I’ve seen too many people gorge on pasta the night before the race only to reach the starting line the next day stuffed and lethargic. Have you ever tried to run the morning after Thanksgiving? If you have, you know the bloated feeling I’m talking about, and if you
haven’t, I don’t recommend scheduling a tough workout.
24 hours and before
Eat normal balanced meals like you would normally do on any training day. Make sure you drink plenty of liquids all day long, especially electrolyte fluids such as Gatorade or use electrolyte tabs such as Nuun. It helps if you carry a water bottle along with you throughout the day to remind yourself to drink.
Your main meals should still be in the form of low glycemic to medium glycemic index foods. Ideally, you won’t be too active on the day before the race, so you may feel full quickly. That is fine, you shouldn’t try to stuff yourself.
18 hours before the race
Start eating small meals every 2-3 hours, but after lunch, cut out red meat, fried foods, dairy products, fats, nuts, and roughage. You should only be consuming light, digestible foods like energy bars, bread, and small sandwiches. Keep drinking water and electrolyte beverages and avoid salty foods.
4 hours and less
You should be up early enough before the race to eat a small breakfast with plenty of time to start digestion before the gun goes off. If you need 3 hours to eat a small meal before running, then you need to get up at least three hours before the race to get in a light breakfast. You’ll want to drink mostly water (unless you know temperatures at the race are going to be warm), with some electrolyte fluid. Don’t try to get all your fluids down by chugging your water bottle. Drink small, regular sized amounts. Room temperature water is absorbed quicker than warm or cold water. I estimate that you’ll need 6 oz. every hour or 8 oz. every hour on hot days.
Lots of runners will take a GU or energy gel right before the gun goes off. I only recommend this if you have a weak stomach and you haven’t eaten in 3 hours. If you’re able to stomach more solid foods 60-90 minutes before the race, this is preferable. Basically, energy gels are mostly simple sugars and you’ll be consuming another 2 or 3 gels before the race is over. Even for the biggest sweet tooth this is a lot of sugar.
I hope this article was a practical and informative nutrition plan you can implement for race day. In the last article of the series, I will cover the nutrition plan during the actual race, so stay tuned!