For the last month I have been using the training log on runnersworld.com both to log my work-outs as well as to experiment with one of the many available online training log programs available to athletes. It was a few months ago that I decided I would use and review as many logs as possible and I had started with the log on Race Nation‘s website before moving on to the Runner’s World log.
When I started with the RW log, I was slowly building my running routine back up from my marathon recovery and have since begun training for my first triathlon, so I have multiple kinds of work-outs that I need to track. I already had a profile on rw.com, but if I hadn’t, that would have been the first step, just like for any other site that stores your personal information.
The RW log has one button to enter a new run and another button that drops down with options to enter a bike, swim, strength session, walk, health note, or generic ‘other’ work-out. I found entering the first few entries to be tricky because not all fields of the log format were super intuitive to me. For most type of work-outs, standard data fields are: date, time, heart rate (rest, average, and max), route, distance, time, weight, and environment. There is also a standard notes box at the end, which I love, as well as the option to rate the quality and effort of the work-out on a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being the best or hardest. And, as you may know, I am a big fan of measuring the quality of my work-outs. Continue reading →
There was a fun article in the May 2009 issue of Runner’s World about prerun routines and it shared some tidbits and facts about the various things runners do before a jog or a race. For example, it takes the average runner 6.9 minutes to get ready for a run (according to their RW poll).
RW asked 2, 284 runners what they do before a run, and in case you didn’t see the column, here are some of the fun facts:
This is not me, but I hope my form will one day look like this. Photo by kimmiepievt.
I have been trying to go to spin class at my gym at least once a week, twice if my body can handle the early morning wake-up; class starts at 5:30 a.m. By now I have had every instructor and they each have their own teaching style, routines, and way of motivating me to push just a little harder than I think I can. Some focus more on out of the seat drills, others prefer hills or using more gear for resistance, and now I’ve worked with the instructor that favors sprint intervals.
Her theme for the class was to “put the sprints in perspective.” At first I could not really decide what that meant but by the end of the class I liked the phrase a lot and felt as though we did indeed put the sprints in perspective. When I first started spinning I had to concentrate so hard on pedaling, breathing, and my form that I really didn’t pay too much attention to the routine, I just did as I was told. Now that I have a good chunk of sessions under my belt, I must be getting a little better because I finally retained most of the drills. Continue reading →
My goal all last winter was to keep running rather than fall into the pseudo-hibernation routine I’ve had in previous years. Because I had a goal and a training plan for the marathon I was motivated to get up and get going. Only a few mornings of extreme temperatures or winter storms kept me in bed, but otherwise I was out running in the dark and the cold and loving it. There is something about getting up early and starting the day with a work-out that makes me feel as though I’ve started the day on the right foot. By the time I start working, it’s rewarding to think about what I’ve already accomplished in the morning simply because I went for a run or to the gym.
In a perfectly balanced world I would get up at 5:30a.m. and get in a run or a spin class or a strength session and go on with my day, eating three perfectly balanced and healthy meals, and tuck myself into bed around 10p.m. only to start over the next day. For whatever reason, I have utterly lost that balance and those routines. Do you know that feeling? Where all of a sudden life takes over without you even knowing it and all the time you spend trying to catch up actually makes you fall farther behind? Or, at least it feels that way. Continue reading →
I am happy to say that I have been sticking with the strength routines that I put together just a week ago. It helps that I have a lot of exercises to choose from so I can vary the routines for the various muscle groups which will hopefully keep me from getting bored. Though I think I like working my arms the best, I understand the importance of strengthening all the muscle groups to improve running performance. After reading a fantastic and detailed article about IT Band Syndrome (perhaps the best one I’ve read yet), it’s even more clear how critical having strong legs and glutes are to preventing injury.
Unfortunately, I don’t love leg exercises; in fact, I loath them. For a long time I thought that running was all the leg exercise I needed until I started learning more about training, strength, performance, injury prevention, and realized that successful running and overall fitness is best achieved by a combination of routines and exercises. The following leg exercises are from the 2007 SELF Challenge and Runner’s World and have the added bonus of working multiple muscle groups. You will notice that lunges are missing from my leg routine though they are part of some other muscle group exercises. Continue reading →
I love to run. I will happily dedicate hours of any given day to running but you ask me to carve out time for strength training and I am likely to all of a sudden “run out of time.” I enjoy the feeling of getting stronger, of stretching out newly used muscles, and the overall satisfaction of working new muscles. However, in years of exercising I have never stuck with any consistent strength routine. I get bored. I forget the exercises. I slack off on repititions. I don’t do enough sets.
I am not opposed to strength training and it’s not like the actual exercises are so hard I can’t do them, it’s that building and then sticking to a routine is extremely challenging. In my new quest to confront the things I’ve been avoiding, I am going to be customizing some strength routines for myself based on exercises I’ve done over the years, read about, and watched others do at the gym. I have chosen to put together routines to tone and strengthen my arms, back, legs, and of course abs. Ab and core exercises are actually the only thing I do consistently and enjoy almost as much as running. Continue reading →
There is officially one week until my first marathon. Last week had a bit of a monkey wrench tossed in because of pain I started to experience in my IT band. I (almost) immediately switched to cross-training and extra stretching and will continue that this week. After an easy 3 miles on the treadmill today I am convinced that with another week of running rest, I should be good to go on March 1st.
My plan for the rest of this week is to put in three more days of cardio on the bike, a Pilates session, and two days of stretching and rest. I will drink a lot of water and do everything in my power to eat healthy, well balanced meals. I will need to do some research tomorrow to see what exactly those meals should consist of, but I’m pretty sure the pre-race diet doesn’t include pizza, nachos, cookies, and ice cream. Good thing I got those out of my system this weekend! Continue reading →