Running Groups are Great …

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. . . even for Shy Runners. That’s me in the white vest towards the right above.

A Reason to Show Up
It’s much harder to bail on a run knowing that other runners are waiting for you. It also helps if you’re a runner who tends to procrastinate.

Someone to Share the Miles With
As the saying goes, misery loves company. Sometimes it’s about sharing the wins:

  • PRs
  • Overcoming injuries
  • A new distance
  • Maybe just some cute new kicks or running clothes!

It’s all too easy for runners to get in their head, but running with other people can help you forget about what’s bothering you.

A Little Push
Sometimes you end up running with someone who is a little faster than you are — as long as you’re careful and don’t run too fast for your body, a little push every now and again is a good thing.

Slowing Down
For the runner that always runs like a bat out of he!!, sometimes running with someone who runs slower is just what the doctor ordered.

Finding Your Tribe
Let’s face it, our non running friends, or SOs who don’t run, and probably the rest of our family can get a bit tired of hearing about our runs. Runners love to talk about running!

Final Thoughts
I started out as a solo runner, I ran with different groups for a lot of years, and for a variety of reasons I’ve been a solo runner the last couple of years. Like anything there are pros and cons to running solo and to running in a group.

I will say this though: I wish when I had started to run that I joined a group. It can be immensely helpful when you’re a new runner, although if you’re a slower runner, sometimes finding the right group takes a few tries. It’s worth it though!

Group runner?
Solo runner?
Both Group and Solo?

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Linking up with Zenaida Arroyo and Kim @ Kookyrunner

This week I am also joining up with the new Runners’ Roundup linkup.

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Myth Busting Runner Style

Have you been in Facebook groups where someone asks about what your favorite running shoe is? Or maybe your running friends admire your new kicks and want to know what they are.

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The same running shoes can make anyone faster
I cringe every time I see someone asking other people which shoes they love. What they should be asking:

  • Do you pronate or supinate?
  • Do you wear a neutral shoe or need more stability?
  • Do you like a lot of cushioning?
  • Is running in zero drop shoes comfortable for you?
  • Is your foot narrow or wide or normal?
  • Do you wear insoles?

I could go on an on. Just because certain shoes makes one person speedy isn’t a guarantee that it will give you some pep in your step — or that you won’t end up with an injury.

fries and burger on plate
Eat this too often — what’s it really doing to your body? |Photo by Robin Stickel on Pexels.com

If the fire is hot enough anything will burn
Dave McGillavray, Boston Marathon RD, has the story about how he believed this . . . until he needed heart surgery. Have you heard the saying garbage in, garbage out? Just sayin’. And for some of us, that fire just never gets hot enough in the first place (raises hand).

To get faster you have to run more
Maybe. Maybe not. There are a lot of fast people who don’t run a whole lot of miles. Then there are elite runners who do run all the miles (but they are basically outliers). There are as many ways to get faster as there are runners.

If you wear the race tshirt on race day you’ll trip, break a leg, and get hit by lightning
The subject given for this post was the funniest running myths you’ve heard. Probably the funniest one I’ve heard is that if a woman runs more than 800m her uterus might fall out. Thousands (millions?) of female runners have disproved that myth!

I couldn’t think of other funny running myths when I sat down to write, but as I was coming to the wrap up, the taboo about wearing the race tshirt on race day popped into my mind. I did a little looking around at blog posts on this very subject. No one actually had a bad luck story to tell from wearing the race shirt on race day, and of course you see it at every race. Usually the worst thing that happens is chafing.

I’m still going to say you have to earn that tshirt, so wear it proudly afterward and feel free to wear a shirt from a race you’ve already run during.

Did you come up with funny running myths?
If you wore the race tee during a race, did something awful happen to you?
How about running superstitions?

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Linking up with Zenaida Arroyo and Kim @ Kookyrunner

This week I am also joining up with the new Runners’ Roundup linkup.

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Half Year Check In

Do you take a moment to look at how the first half of the year has gone, or do you just go on with the second half? Whether you set goals or not, I always think it’s a good idea to reflect (but not ruminate) on what has happened, so you can adjust your sails if need be going forward.

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Races
Zip, zero, zilch, nada. I’ll get back to racing when the time is right for me, and so far, I just haven’t felt the need. Although I used to race somewhat often, racing wasn’t really that important to me.

So far this year there haven’t even been any virtual races for me. I do enjoy some new swag once in a while, but nothing has really caught my eye and I spent a lot of time in the first quarter of the year feeling run down.

Health
I am very grateful that COVID, for the most part, didn’t seriously impact my family. I know too many who were impacted by COVID, though, so I don’t take my health for granted.

It seemed like the vaccines — and the tetanus booster last December — hit me harder than a lot of people. It felt like every time I finally felt better I’d get another shot and have to slowly rebuild my base.

I am healthy, though, and I am grateful for that. Everything that has happened this year has helped me to get even more in tune with my body and what’s right for me.

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Yoga has really helped keep niggles in check

The niggles
It’s no secret that my Achilles Tendon bothered me — annoyingly on & off — for about a year. It seemed to have resolved — until I got my COVID vaccines. Since then it’s been a lot better again, but every once in a while it randomly aches. I was able to run 8 miles, twice, without (much) pain — that is, much pain afterwards. I’ve also taken to wearing compression after long runs most of the time, too, which seems to help. I’ve been working much more on Hatha Yoga as opposed to Yin Yoga (although I am still practicing Yin, too!) — that also seems to have helped.

Then there’s the high hamstring tendinitis that has also been a random companion for a long time. It also comes and goes. Recently it seems gone. Hoping by the end of the year both these niggles are in the rear view mirror!

Embracing recovery runs
I have never been a huge fan of recovery runs. I’d rather walk, hike, or hop on the stationary bike. After reading Laura Norris’s detailed post on recovery runs, which unfortunately I didn’t bookmark and can’t find, I decided to give them a try.

I still am not a huge fan of the recovery run — but you know what? My body seems to really like it. It’s almost like hitting a reset button.

From 3 to 4 and back again
Embracing those recovery runs made it relatively easy for me to move from running 3 x week to 4 x week. Until I felt really run down recently. I had been saying I was going to take a cutback week, but then the weather would be nice for my long run and I knew that wouldn’t last so I just had to take advantage of it.

Until I felt the need for a break. Which I took. Why not? I don’t compare my mileage or even my training to anyone else. Hopefully I’ll be back to 4 x week soon, and if not — it’s not a big deal.

Coaching myself
I have worked with a coach, which I absolutely loved. It was great to have someone else tell me what to do and not have to think about it — not to mention having your own personal cheerleader.

It’s also great to coach yourself, because in the end, only you know what’s going on in your body.

Final Thoughts
Despite niggles and sometimes feeling run down, this year has been going well. I truly don’t miss training for races — and neither, it seems, does my body. I make wiser decisions (mostly) when I’m just running for me. It’s easier to listen to my body and say nope! that’s not what it wants right now — or maybe it does.

The slow reopening of my state and the country for the most part has definitely been hopeful. I hope that when I do train for a race again I listen to my body and know when it’s time to push and when it’s time to back off. I will always train, because it prepares my body, but it’s just a race.

How do you feel about the first half of 2021?

Are you feeling hopeful?

What are you looking forward to in the second half of 2021?

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Linking up with Zenaida Arroyo and Kim @ Kookyrunner

This week I am also joining up with the new Runners’ Roundup linkup.

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Clear Your Mind . . . : June 2021

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. . . and the rest will follow

When you get a good workout in, you feel good for the rest of the day. It helps clear the mind.
— Reggie Miller

One of the things I do first thing in the morning is practice Yoga. I have only missed one morning in the last eight months: the morning after my second vaccine when I had a fever. Sometimes it’s a short practice, sometimes it’s a longer one. Not only does it clear my mind, it makes my body feel good, too.

Smiling because I’m almost at 10k steps when some haven’t even gotten dressed yet

I’ve also noticed that when I’m forced to get my runs in earlier due to heat, there’s a definite satisfaction to getting in so many steps before breakfast. Let’s be clear, though: I still enjoy a nice, relaxed morning when it hasn’t heated up and I can take my time before my run.

Getting in scheduled runs
I managed to bump up to running 4 x week a for most of June. I did it by embracing the short, very easy recovery run. I’m not really sure that I’ll ever love a recovery run, but knowing I didn’t even have to run my usual 3 miles definitely made it easier.

Grade Earned:  A+

Recording my runs
I have veered off course here again . . . seriously, I need to start using my planner again because it helps me to keep focused. It’s a broken record, folks!

Grade Earned: C

Dynamic Warmup
I always do my warmup, and I even did a short warm up walk . . . once or twice? Hey, baby steps!

Grade Earned: A

Foam Rolling
I pretty much foam roll (or some variation of foam rolling) every morning. I do the very fast foam rolling with small stick like roller before every run. So far this works great for me.

Grade Earned: A++

Nutrition
In May I seemed to be doing well with my weight, feeling less bloated, clothes fitting better . . . until I wasn’t. One of the things I’ve had to rein in (but not give up completely) is my From the Ground Up Chip obsession. It had gotten to the point that I was eating some daily. Chips are chips, whether they’re healthier or not so healthy. They’re not really a power food.

That was one of the changes I made in June — I didn’t stop eating them, I just ate them less often. I made a few other small changes. Things seem to be slowly heading in the right direction again . . . until I didn’t want to cook and made some poor choices.

Somehow the other stuff I want/need to do seems to take precedence over cooking, and that’s not a good precedent. I’m working on that, too.

Grade Earned: B+ (for trying)

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Cross Training
Yoga, running, a little more hiking, walking, not so much indoor cycling. I have been doing a bit more strength training.

Grade Earned: A+

June 2021  gets  . . . 
. . . an A. I got up to an 8 mile run (twice!) — I figured I had to take advantage of good weather running, because I’m pretty sure that won’t happen all Summer. Nutrition and weight have been a struggle the last couple of months, and there are some skirts that I could wear, but not feel comfortable in. I pay attention, though, and I keep trying to get back to a more comfortable place for me (without deprivation).

June Goals:

  • Add in some stationary cycling/hiking. Y/N. No stationary cycling, yes a few short hikes.
  • ST 3 x week. Y.  I built off my success in May and continued to build on ST. Sometimes it’s light weights, sometimes heavier, sometimes just bodyweight. It’s all good.
  • Strength for Wheel Pose. Y/N. I left this in, but it’s a goal I think I’m going to let go — again. I’m just working on strength in general.
  • Flexibility Challenge. Y/N. I taped one video, but there was some frustrating tech and I haven’t figured it out — still!
  • Continue to try to eat intuitively — unless the weight starts to creep up.. Y. The weight did creep up, but I paid that heed and made some changes.

Which leads me to July Goals:

  • Shorter/Recovery runs after harder runs. When they’re after a long run, yes, they’re recovery runs. After a short speedwork or even just a short easy run? Are they junk miles? Personally, I’m saying this works for me right now and they’re not junk miles.
  • ST 3 x week. I began to struggle to squeeze it in 3 x week towards the end of June. I lose an entire day, basically, when I visit family. I actually don’t do it quite as much in Summer — so many things to do & see! If I can do it more weeks than not, I’m happy. 
  • A project with a friend. I have a project to work on with a friend. Should be fun! We’ve done week 1, I have some stuff to do — 3 more weeks to go.
  • A few Yoga teaching opportunities. I donated a class as a prize for our big women’s race. Working to get her information and set up a time. Also an opportunity to teach a class online as part of a project to expose someone’s students to different teaching styles. Another project isn’t teaching, but writing up a piece on being a “Wellness Warrior” to tell my fitness journey.
  • Continue to try to eat intuitively — unless the weight starts to creep up. Not really at a happy weight right now. Don’t get me wrong, it’s only a few pounds, but when you’re as short as I am, they can make a really big difference! I know I can get there — but I do have to make time to cook more. And make wise choices when we’re away in July.

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Linking up with Zenaida Arroyo and Kim @ Kookyrunner

This week I am also joining up with the new Runners’ Roundup linkup.

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As Seen on the Run

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I cheated a little: I’m sharing things I saw on a long run a couple of weeks ago.

Animals
I saw the usual animals:

  • Bunnies
  • Birds
  • Chipmunks
  • Squirrels

Nothing unusual in the list. Sometimes I do see something more exotic like a turtle or a groundhog or beaver, maybe even a bald eagle if I’m really lucky (actually, never at this section of the bike path, but I have on other sections), but I was running along and thinking this is kind of a boring run.

Humans and their companions
It’s a popular trail so it’s rare that you don’t see someone, even in Winter. People walking their dogs, their kids. People riding their bikes. Other runners. Occasionally skateboarders, but not this day.

A guy fishing
This isn’t unusual either, although most of the time I don’t see people fishing here. But once in a while I do. I always wonder what the heck they catch out of the algae choked canal. Is it edible? Or are they just fishing because it destresses them?

The grand finale
Seriously, I was running and thinking this is a really boring run. Nothing to see here. Then it happened . . . 

Definitely one of the weirdest things I’ve seen on the bike path

I did not see this on the way out. I can be pretty oblivious sometimes, listening to my own thoughts, but I don’t really think I could have run anywhere near the union jack jester’s hat above and missed it. Since this was almost at the end of the run, it did keep me occupied, wondering who would ever wear such a thing? More importantly, why? Finally, why would they leave it on the trail?

What is the weirdest thing you’ve seen on a run?
If you run by a water source, are there people out fishing?
Looking forward to see what
you see on the run!

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Linking up with Zenaida Arroyo and Kim @ Kookyrunner

This week I am also joining up with the new Runners’ Roundup linkup.

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Are you engaged while running?

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It’s so easy to reach for something, anything, to distract us from our runs, right? Music, podcasts, call a friend even — I never understand how you run while holding a phone!

I have offered my share of challenges that can distract you from your run:

If you’re interested in diving a bit deeper into the Chakras (I mention them briefly in the Rainbow Challenge), you can learn more from the videos in my Yin Yoga Chakra Playlist; click here.

Sometimes you need a distraction
I came up with both of the challenges above when I was running in my own neighborhood. A lot! It’s not that big, I’m not a huge fan of looping, and besides, I’m also walking Bandit here almost every day.

Both times these challenges served me well. They took my mind off of the monotony of running in the same place over and over again.

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Why it’s better to be present on the run
I think taking in nature on the run is important. One of the reasons running can be so great is because it gets us out of our houses and into the fresh air!

I would argue, though, that we can get more from running when we ditch the distractions. We actually look around us and take in the beauty of nature. The sky, the animals, the sounds around us, the breezes on our bodies. The changes we see as the seasons change. 

Being truly present on our runs can help to build up that mental toughness we need if we’re racing. If you’re not racing (like I haven’t been for a long time) building mental toughness is still important! Running and racing aren’t the only places in life where we need mental toughness.

Ditching the music and the podcasts, even if only occasionally, can help us to connect our body and minds. Begin by noticing your breath — your breath will always give you a clue of how hard you’re running.

We can run through a body scan while we run. What are our feet doing? Turning in or out, on the inside or outside of our feet? Does something feel off? Can we change something to make it feel better? Where are we breathing from? Where are we breathing into?

Final Thoughts
Sometimes distracting ourselves on the run is just what we need. You might be surprised at just how enjoyable a run without the music or the podcasts can be. Or you might find that when things get tough, you are actually tougher. That can be a really comforting thought.

Although I’m always wearing and using my Garmin, I almost never look at it. It’s there basically so I know how far I’ve run and when I’m done. It doesn’t distract me from my run.

Music can definitely be a nice distraction, but isn’t part of the reason you run to be outside enjoying nature? Why not really immerse yourself in it?

Do you think you could run without a soundtrack?

What are the reasons you’re running outside?

Do you feel connected to your body when you run?

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Linking up with Zenaida Arroyo and Kim @ Kookyrunner

This week I am also joining up with the new Runners’ Roundup linkup.

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Can You Conquer the Heat?

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Do you find yourself struggling when the heat is on? Or is running in heat your jam? If so I admire you!

Love it or hate it, chances are at some point you’re going to have some hot runs. These tips might just help you conquer your hotter runs.

Forgettabout pace
Especially as it first begins to heat up, it’s going to take a little time for most of us to find our hot legs, so to speak. You’re probably going to slow down. You should, in fact, slow down. 

I was thinking about just this subject on a recent run, when temps had turned suddenly warmer. The run was good . . . the pace was slow. That’s okay.

When it’s hot, especially when it’s suddenly hot, run by effort

positive woman waking up and using smartphone in bed
Set an alarm on your phone to make sure you don’t get up too late | Photo by Ketut Subiyanto on Pexels.com

Do whatever it takes to get out there early
Obviously if you have to run later in the day, it is what it is. If you are not a fan of hot running, though, your best bet is early morning. 

  • Run fasted
  • Lay out everything you’ll need the night before
  • Have a snack ready if you just can’t run fasted
  • Charge up the gadgets the night before
  • Set an alarm so you don’t oversleep

This is something I’ve dealt with a few times recently. I wanted to run, and Bandit needed a walk. Sometimes I’ll walk him first, then run, but I chose to run first this day. I came home, I had a snack, I changed, and I was out the door with Bandit.

Some runners like to sleep in their running clothes. I have never tried it; it just doesn’t sound at all comfortable to me. You never know, though, you might like it!

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Cold Stuff is Your Friend
Use that cooling towel. Stuff some ice cubes down your bra and under your hat. Fill a water bottle with water the night before a hot run and stick it in the freezer. Top it off with cold water the morning of your run and you’ll have cold water a lot longer than if you just put cold water in that bottle.

When you’ve finished your run, set up the next half filled water bottle in your freezer. There will be another hot run and you’ll be ready to tackle it.

More to Explore

Final Thoughts
The weather has been downright bipolar lately. It’s in the 70s a few days, then suddenly it shoots up to 90 one day. Then falls 20 degrees as a cold front comes through. And then the highs are actually in the 50s! 

My point? It takes time to get used to heat, and you’re not going to get used to it with weather like that. Just remember the first tip — run by feel, forget about pace — and I promise you you’ll have more enjoyable runs than if you cling to a training plan.

Best heat busting tips?

Are you are cold or hot weather runner or somewhere in between? (in between for me)

Would you rather run in the morning or evening on a hot day?

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Linking up with Zenaida Arroyo and Kim @ Kookyrunner

This week I am also joining up with the new Runners’ Roundup linkup.

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Let’s be clear here: May 2021

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I love this quote below:

Sometimes things aren’t clear right away. That’s where you need to be patient and persevere and see where things lead.
— Mary Pierce

Often times things aren’t clear. We don’t always know why things happen the way they do — maybe not in the moment, and maybe not ever.

Setting goals helps me to be clear on the things I need to work on. Maybe I work on them, maybe I don’t get around to them, but they’re a compass for where I need to go.

Collection of May flowers: as seen on the run, hike & walk

Getting in scheduled runs
Still running 3 x week. I knew I’d be too busy the first half of May to add in an extra run. Then the third week I added in a hike instead of that extra run. The final week I did manage a fourth (short) run!

Grade Earned: 

Recording my runs
I have veered off course here again . . . seriously, I need to start using my planner again because it helps me to keep focused.

Grade Earned: C

Dynamic Warmup
I have been doing my short dynamic warmups right before a run. What I’ve stopped doing is the warm up walk. At least I’ve been consistent with the cool down walk after the run — often picking up Bandit for his walk then. The previous is what I wrote in April. It’s still true. I always seem to be in a rush to get out there.

Grade Earned: A

Foam Rolling
I pretty much foam roll (or some variation of foam rolling) every morning. It helps tremendously!

Grade Earned: A++

Nutrition
I was doing really well, slowly feeling more comfortable in my clothes. I don’t really feel as though I started to eat terribly, but I haven’t made as much effort to cook and we’ve eaten out a bit more, and things have started to creep up again — a lot due to too much sodium, I think.  We actually didn’t have ice cream this month I think.

Grade Earned: B

The sometimes cooler weather was perfect for hiking

Cross Training
Yoga, running, a little more hiking, walking, not so much indoor cycling. I have been doing a bit more strength training.

Grade Earned: A+

May 2021  gets  . . . 
. . . an A. I was at a 7 mile long run last month, and only made it back up to 6 miles this month. Running is going well, my body mostly feels good, and I try my best to eat healthy (with varying results).

May Goals:

  • Add in another running day (when I can). N. I kind of had a feeling this might be hard to work in, especially with travel. I added in an extra day of hiking one week, though, and that counts for me! One week had four runs.
  • Do some longer ST. Y/N.  I did better than I did in April, so slowly building back up here, too.
  • Strength for Wheel Pose. Y/N. I started out strong at the beginning of the month, but petered out trying to get everything in towards the end. No time limit on this one!
  • Flexibility Challenge. Y/N. I seem to have a mental block on putting myself out there with this. Not quite sure why. Tired? Lack of time? More likely not feeling good enough, even though I know I can lead what I’m planning on (in my head — the planning that is). 
  • Continue to try to eat intuitively — unless the weight starts to creep up.. Y. I have made just a tiny bit of progress here, with things trending down just a bit — well, they were trending down but took an upswing toward the end of the month. Not quite sure why. 

Which leads me to June Goals:

  • Add in some stationary cycling/hiking. I would definitely hike more if I could get Mr. Judy to do it more. I know it can be tiring for him though. I need something else than just running. Garmin says hiking gets me into the moderate range for intensity.
  • ST 3 x week. Somehow this seems challenging for me with getting in runs and lots of Yoga time. Even though I know it’s said to keep your easy days easy — in other words, don’t do strength training on days you’re running easy — it just doesn’t seem to work for me. Still working on this one! I think part of the problem is I’m really trying to get in one real rest day per week. 
  • Strength for Wheel Pose. I am definitely not even close. Again not sure whether that’s a mental block, lack of strength, or my particular physiology. My bodyweight exercises to work towards this are great exercises for runners — so it’s a matter of balancing this with everything else, which so far I haven’t been great at.
  • Flexibility Challenge Practices. I need to carve out some time and actually write out some practices. I have an idea of what I want to do in my mind, so now it’s time to plan it out and get it out there.
  • Continue to try to eat intuitively — unless the weight starts to creep up. Always a goal. I just want my clothes to feel good on my body! And I don’t want to buy new clothes because I have to, only because I want to.

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Linking up with Zenaida Arroyo and Kim @ Kookyrunner

This week I am also joining up with the new Runners’ Roundup linkup.

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My Secret Weapon

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Who doesn’t want to recover quickly so they can have a great next run? It should come as no surprise to people that read this blog for a while that I’m all about taking care of my body so that I can recover quickly. I have a secret weapon for that, too.

G is for Garmin
I have a Garmin Vivoactive 3. Before that I had the original Garmin Vivoactive. I replaced the Vivoactive after about 4 years because a) it was acting a bit wonky and b) I really, really wanted the HR monitor function — which was not built into the original version.

I like that I am not switching back and forth between a regular watch and a Garmin. Because it tracks my sleep, my steps, my floors, my resting heart rate, my stress levels, and so much more — I wear my Garmin Vivoactive 3 24/7. I may have to remember to charge it before a run, but I pretty much always know where it is.

Some of those features are incredibly useful to me: they help me figure out whether or not I should push a run off to another day, or maybe just do an easier run rather than a planned harder workout. Here are the things I check frequently.

I don’t really think my fitness age should be 20 & if it really is 20 yr olds are in trouble!

V02 MAX
I know that the V02 MAX reported by my Garmin is not extremely accurate, but I’ve found over time it’s pretty consistent. Sure it moves around a point here, a point there, but it usually stays in the same relatively narrow range.

I’ve never looked at several months of V02 MAX stats. You can see what happened in January when I was sick & didn’t run for 3 weeks. You can also see what happened with each COVID vaccine.

After my COVID vaccines I was struggling with my runs and my energy levels. Sure enough, my V02 MAX had fallen lower than my normal range. It took a while before it settled back into its normal range and my runs slowly started to get better.

My physiological stress levels are usually pretty low.

Stress
Garmin uses HRV (heart rate variability) to give you a number for how stressed your body is feeling. You may not feel stressed, by your heart doesn’t lie.

I actually find it kind of fascinating. In general my Stress metric is usually in the low range, but I could see it jump up after my COVID vaccines, for instance. I also know that if I see it jump up, it’s another good indicator it’s not time for a hard run (and maybe not any run at all).

Resting Heart Rate is something I do keep an eye on. It’s one of the best measurements I’ve found that can warn you you’re heading into the danger zone. I generally know when it’s most likely just a blip & the times it really means it’s time to rest by feel & from tracking it for so long. With both vaccines it jumped about 10 points in one day — which it almost never does.

RHR (resting heart rate)
Very similar to the Stress metric. If you see this jump up more than 5 points, it’s a good indicator something’s brewing. Although I’m not quite sure of the algorithm Garmin uses, because they do adjust it down sometimes the next day, so I’ve learned to take this one with a grain of salt.

Yes, my RHR jumped up almost 10 points after both vaccines, too. If I see it move up more than 5 points, again, it’s time to either readjust my run or my schedule.

I actually don’t track my heart rate while I run anymore, mostly just running by feel, and for the most part, it’s pretty consistent.

Final Thoughts
A lot of people could care less about these metrics, I know. I sync my Garmin with the app each morning (I believe that helps me to get a signal more quickly), so it’s just a matter of glancing at the info that’s already recorded. There are times I don’t have to look at that to know that it’s not a good idea for me to run hard, or run at all.

There are other times, though, that I don’t feel bad, yet the data says something is brewing. How many times have you felt fine until you didn’t? Tracking these three simple things (if that’s available to you) might help you clue in to fact that you’re not recovering well, for whatever reason, and you can adjust accordingly.

I am not a slave to the numbers, either, but I just find that it’s good information for me, and it’s readily available to me. I like not having to wear a fitness tracker and a GPS watch!

What’s a signal to you that you’ve recovered well?

Do you ever feel fine and then suddenly get sick?

Are you good about adjusting your running due to how you feel?

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Linking up with Zenaida Arroyo and Kim @ Kookyrunner

This week I am also joining up with the new Runners’ Roundup linkup.

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ABCs of Running

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Some runners have been able to continue to race during the Pandemic, or at least in the last few months. Some haven’t, and some have chosen not to. I think a lot of us are/were rusty when it comes to training and racing.

Here’s a little reminder of some of the ABCs of running & racing

A is for Attitude
A lot of runners have just been running — or maybe not running as much as they used to. Maybe you’ve let go of some of the things you did when you were “seriously” training to run/race.

Maybe you’ve lost a little running fitness, and maybe that’s frustrating to you.

Maybe you haven’t had to fuel for anything and you either forget to do it or the things that worked no longer work. It’s almost like you’re beginning over again!

Where ever you are, the most important thing you can bring on your run is your attitude. It can make or break your run/race!

B is for Balance
If you’re looking to start training again, don’t forget that your runs shouldn’t all be hard. Or all the same pace. Or distance!

You want a balance of speed, or distance, and most importantly — truly easy runs.

A little balance work wouldn’t hurt, either.

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See? Even Coach is Hula Hooping! | Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

C is for Cross Training
All running all the time is the reason at least 70% of runners will experience an injury this year. Running is a very forward motion. It’s a repetitive motion.

Get on your bike, get in the pool, heck hula hoop if you enjoy it (it’ll work that all important Core, which could also be what C is all about).

D is for Distance
One run a week — even if you’re only training for a 5k — should be longer than the others.

Don’t go from 3 miles to 6 all in one jump, though, unless you’re a really experienced runner. Keep in mind the 10% rule: don’t increase your runs by more than 10% per week.

D can also stand for Don’t go out too fast!

E is for Elevation
Some runners embrace the hills and other runners do their best to avoid them at all costs. If you live in a flat area, you probably don’t have to worry about hills unless you’re going out of state to run/race. Hills will still make you stronger, though.

If you know your race will be hilly, it’s best to train on some hills maybe once a week. Otherwise your body could be angry with you during/after your race.

No matter what, hills will make you a stronger runner.

F is for Fun
No matter what, running should be fun — at least the majority of the time. Some runs are gonna suck, let’s be honest, but they make you a stronger runner — physically and mentally.

The temptation might be to be very dedicated and serious about your training if you haven’t raced in a year (maybe longer). Nothing wrong with that! Unless it leads you to burn out and running becomes a chore.

If that happens, ditch the plan (if there is one) for a week. Heck, take a week off running completely! I promise you you’re not going to lose a lot of fitness in one week. You might just fall in love with running all over again after a break.

Final Thoughts
It has been so long since I’ve raced in real life, I have no doubt when I do, I’ll make a lot of rookie running mistakes. Or maybe it’s like muscle memory? It’ll just all come back on its own?

No matter what, don’t forget what F stands for — and it’s not finishing (although that’s pretty awesome too).

Pick a letter and give me more Running Basics

btuesdaytopics

Linking up with Zenaida Arroyo and Kim @ Kookyrunner

This week I am also joining up with the new Runners’ Roundup linkup.

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