Getting back into running has been something that I’ve just postponed for so long that I had forgotten the inner glory you feel when you make even the smallest accomplishment of finishing a short run. My take on running, it’s 90% mental and 10% physical.
So beginning on November 1st, I decided it was time to kick up my fitness journey and begin training for my first Half Marathon in February 2013, which will be just a week and a half shy of my 39th birthday.
Here’s my take on week one’s training!
Proper Fueling (Food) ~
Ok, when you talk to people and they ask, “so what do you eat in a typical day?” Then your response is a rattling off 4-5 meals per day (small one’s mind you, mostly healthy snacks to keep the metabolism going full-throttle), their eyes get big and they respond with a resounding, “WHAT!?!, You eat THAT MUCH!?!” But truth be told, if you run or do any type of extensive exercise, you know that you cannot deprive your body and most importantly, your muscles of the much-needed fuel to get you through your workout, especially if training for a distance running goal.
My meals are typically made up of fruits, veggies and protein. From smoothies with breakfast, followed up by a boiled egg or two, then a mid-morning snack of apple slices or grapes with some homemade almond butter. Lunch with plenty of veggies and a protein source and an afternoon snack of maybe a baked sweet potato or more fruits and throw in some almonds, it’s certainly enough to keep you on your meal planning toes! Maybe you change-up your snacks and throw in one of my favorite little protein snacks from The Protein Bakery, the Wicked Mint Brownie (YUM)! Finish the day with a good dinner sans the grease and super fats and you are ready to start the next day with a body that is ready to go and not kicking into deprivation mode from lack of vital necessities.
Proper Gear ~
Pulling out the old pair of sneakers from the closet and hitting the road often proves to be one of the biggest killers of amateur runner spirit in my opinion (mine included). You must have proper gear and most importantly, proper shoes to make sure you get the most of your run. Even if you are just starting out with walking, the proper shoes make such a big difference in not only your results of farther distance, but in how your legs respond to your efforts.
When I started back on my running journey, I admit I was not “gear” prepared in the sneaker department. I found myself with quick fatigue and some pretty nasty shin splint issues. The sneakers that I began running in again were sneakers that I had worn to the gym and other fitness programs that I participated in so I figured they were still good to go for running, not always the case. Running sneakers are for running, workout sneakers are for cross-training and everything else. You can’t wear out your running sneakers before you even cross the distance threshold of a short run. Thanks to my Mom, I have a new pair of kicks on the way and I cannot wait to try them out on my long runs. Most running shops recommend that you have at least two pairs of running sneakers to alternate to prevent early wear and replacement by depending on just one pair.
Running sneakers aside, proper clothing is vital and other things that just make your run easier and more enjoyable, like Bondi Bands™, Headsweats™, Pro Compression™ socks, Lock Laces™ bungee laces, Armpockets, heart rate monitors, running GPS apps for your phone and proper road protection for those runs that you do solo, like Personal Savers™ pepper spray products.
Cross-Training & Cycling ~
I start Tuesday and Thursday mornings with an indoor cycling class that has really improved my leg strength over the past few months. Two towels, a full water bottle, a gel seat pad and proper cycling shoes (gear ready) and I’m set for a 45 minute intense calorie burning and leg strengthening workout guaranteed to make me feel guilty if I miss either class from week to week. Other days I share a road run with my running partner, which has been short-run days for a good 4-5 miler and then Monday and Fridays I hit our regular gym for a good weight training workout with my hubby and started re-incorporating my ab routine! I do take part in some 2-a-day workouts, but I make sure to listen to my body and rest when I need to.
So in this week here is what I’ve learned ~
I have been sure to fuel properly, get my cycling and cross-training sessions in, hit the pavement more for some distance builders and to make sure that I’m getting proper rest for my body to recover. My goal for Week 2 is to find a new protein powder brand and to increase my focus on lean nutrition and reduce the amount of time that I sit at my “day job” so that I can get up and walk and get outside for my version of a “healthy break.” I also look to increase my weekly mileage for some more short runs and to incorporate some long runs.
This week I am also excited to announce that I was selected to be a Girls Gone Sporty Ambassador! Wonderful things are happening one day at a time!
I’ll check in on the #3Months2aHalf progress again next week!