The last week of my first trimester was the type of week where whether I was pregnant or not I would’ve been frustrated with my work-outs, or lack thereof. It was a week that started with yet another snowstorm and super cold days; followed by lack of motivation to get up early and do the basement workout; followed by a late event at work that also hindered motivation for a run the next morning. I managed a 30 min cross-training session Monday and a 3 mile treadmill run with a little bit of strength work on Tuesday. I was banking on the weekend to round it all out and a 3 mile run on what was finally a spring day on Saturday got me out of the slump of feeling like I’d ruined any fitness progress for the week. What I’d really been hanging my hat on was the 10k race I’d registered for on Sunday which happened to coincide with a few days past the first week of the second trimester. Continue reading
This winter I have taken up the most balanced mix of running, cross-training, strength training and stretching as I ever have before. Probably because it’s just been too damn cold to run outside as often as I normally might. Nonetheless, I have found myself trying to nail some of the basics of building a strong core and pelvic floor.The root of this seems to be grounded in mastering the kegel, something I’ve tried before. After reading, and re-reading certain sections, of The Whole Body Fix in the current issue of RW I am feeling even more motivated to figure out this basic move and also kicking myself for not having been doing certain things all along (which will be the topic of a whole separate post). Continue reading
A while ago I went on the hunt for the perfect online training log and I decided to use and review as many as possible in my search. I started with RaceNation and moved on to use and review the Runner’s World training log. The list of logs I planned to review included probably half a dozen to 10 different sites and next up was RunningAhead. My original intent was to use each log for one month, give it a review, and move on. I started using RunningAhead in June (2009) and have yet to try another online log. I love RunningAhead, am very comfortable with it, and have now built a nice history of work-outs on the site. Is my search for the perfect online training log over? Quite possibly. Let me tell you why. Continue reading
Buying new running shoes, especially for experienced athletes, is not just a fleeting shopping moment or a purchase made on a whim. It is a thought-out, planned experience. For some, like myself, the process of buying new shoes begins months before it’s actually time to buy. For many athletes, the buying process includes researching shoes, studying their own foot type, or becoming familiar with local running stores–the act of buying new shoes is a very deliberate process.
Over a week ago my friend invited me to join her in her new shoe purchase. Like the athletes I just described she was well armed with information long before it was time to buy shoes. She knew what stores she did and didn’t like in the Baltimore and Annapolis areas, she knew why she was ready to move on from her trusty Asics, she could describe her fitness level and walk/jog work-outs, and she was well versed in the different arches of her feet and the orthotics she uses to get a comfortable fit with shoes. So when we met up at the new Charm City Run store at the Annapolis Towne Centre I knew it would not be your average shoe purchase experience.
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
For many of us who are dog owners, there is no question about the motivation a dog can provide to get you out of your seat and out for a run. They need exercise just as much as we do. But what if you’re really not a runner, never were, and never plan to be? But your dog is, or easily could be. I was discussing this exact scenario with a girlfriend of mine who is queen of the elliptical machine at her gym and a proud new puppy owner.
As a dog owner, she is well aware of the dog’s need for exercise and walks him regularly, but the walks don’t do for her what her regular gym routine used to do. It’s been weeks since she’s been in the air conditioned gym, bobbing along to her iPod, and sweating it out on the elliptical. While she wouldn’t trade her new pup for the world, something about dog walks that involve lots of stops for training and ‘doing business’ just isn’t cutting it for her own exercise.
What to do? Continue reading
I’m on the second week of training for a triathlon which includes two cycling sessions per week. Until now I’ve been going to spin class and needed to start biking outside. I broke out my Gary Fisher mountain bike, checked that the tires had enough air, and headed out for the 40 minute foundation ride the training schedule called for.
Most of the areas where I live that I can bike are relatively flat. I try to incorporate hills into my runs whenever I can and I chose to do the same thing with my bike ride. Even with the hills and keeping the mountain bike on has hard of a gear as I could handle, I felt pretty disappointed at the end of the 40 minutes with the quality of the work-out. Thank goodness I can push myself hard with ab exercises or I would have felt as though I’d done hardly anything.
Spin class to me is possibly one of the best work-outs I do. I think this because I sweat a tremendous amount in the class, I breathe hard, and I know that I am challenged in each class. When I enter spin classes in my training log, I always rate it with a high quality level, usually a 6-8 on a scale of 10. As I was putting my bike away and noticing how little I had sweat, I started thinking about the process and components I use to measure the quality of a work-out and wonder how you think about work-out quality. Continue reading
This post will be one in a series as I don’t think it’s possible to capture in one sitting my thoughts behind having a fitness philosophy let alone what my own philosophy is. I’ve had the fortune to meet a local trainer whose programs focus on total body conditioning, but rely heavily on the individual’s ability to set goals and mean what they say in their desire to achieve those goals. I’ve been corresponding with the trainer about my own fitness aspirations and have found myself wanting to really answer this question honestly.
I started the year with my goal of running a marathon–check. Planned to run the Cooper River Bridge Run–check. I’m not currently signed up for anymore events though I did register for the NYC Marathon and am anxiously awaiting June to see where I land in the lottery. I know I want to do the local Annapolis 10-miler and a triathlon this summer and hopefully another marathon in the fall. But I’ve been feeling gun shy about registering for anything. Continue reading