Category: Running Talk
|February 10, 2012||Posted by Sweet Tooth Runner under Running Talk|
I am not the best at practising what I preach. Especially when it comes to running. I find it easy telling others to take days off, or ease back if they feel an injury coming on, but doing it myself? Most times I’ll just run through it and usually wind up injured. Again. On Wednesday, I posted this on my Dailymile account:
I believe that not listening to what my body is telling me is a huge part of the reason why my short 1.5 years of running has been plagued with injuries. There have been so many times when I have chosen to run, even though I knew I shouldn’t because it would make things worse, and have then had to take a lot of time off and spent all my savings on trips to the physio. Not fun.
At the end of the day, it comes down to this: can you sacrifice a few days of training to let a growing problem heal, or will you run through the problem and potentially end up being sidelined for weeks or even months? This was the first time I have EVER chosen to rest a potential injury instead of trying to run through it, and it totally paid off.
I was prepared to take off yesterday as well if I needed it, but my IT band felt 100% fine throughout my run! Obviously, it may not have gotten any worse if I had run on it previously, but on Tuesday and Wednesday it was bothering me just walking on it, so I’m pretty sure a 7 miler wouldn’t have done it any good!
It was so worth it for this:
The weather was crazy…I loved it!!
I want to pay tribute to my beloved Saucony spikes. Not only did they keep me upright and somehow prevent me from face planting onto the snowy track, but they surprisingly kept my feet dry!
As soon as I got home, I refuelled and warmed up with hot chocolate. Even though I was wearing gloves during the session, my fingers were frozen!
Chocolate soy milk warmed up with chocolate chips melted in
Have you ever run through pain or injury? Too many times. Ibuprofen allowed me to pretend I wasn’t! It just made things worse though and that time I ended up having to take a two months fully off running in the end.
What are the craziest conditions you’ve ever run in? The snow yesterday was pretty mad! Not sure though if it beats the time we trained in what can only be described as a monsoon….
Are you a hot chocolate fan? What is your favourite addition? I only recently rediscovered hot chocolate! I wasn’t a huge fan before! Now I love adding chocolate chips and mini vegan marshmallows:)
Have an amazing Friday and weekend! <3
|January 8, 2012||Posted by Sweet Tooth Runner under Running Talk|
Hey friends!! I want to say first a huge THANK YOU for all the Facebook/Twitter/email/blog comment support for my race! I was nervous going into it but you guys gave me so much more confidence! It went really well on the whole, excluding a mild concussion, and when I get the photos and stuff I will do a recap for you. In the meantime, lets talk about running reading!
As my friend Lindsay always says, you gotta invest in your passion! One way I do this is by reading about running…a lot. Too much probably!
Just a few of my running magazines!
These are just the running books that are on my desk right now! I probably have at least twice as many in total.
My Favourite Running Books
I have a lot of favourite running books, but I’ve somehow managed to narrow it down to my top five for you! I’ve linked to them all on Amazon.com in case anyone is interested in reading the reviews on them, because I always find those interesting and more telling than any blurb!
Having read a similar book by Paula Radcliffe just before this one (How to Run), I didn’t have high expectations. I didn’t particularly enjoy Paula’s book because I found it impersonal and very beginner orientated (which obviously is fine, but not what I look for in a book). Kara’s book was much better. Although it still had a lot of advice for beginners, it was also great for more experienced runners, with useful training and racing advice. I particularly loved her personal stories, the ‘Dear Kara’ Q&A sections, and the section on injuries and her struggles with that. I also found the section on strength training very useful, as she shows how important it is and gives a couple of her strength workouts. A great all-round running book.
I borrowed this from a library last year, and I’m thinking about buying it now because I want to read it again! The title didn’t convince me at first, since I was pretty sure running couldn’t be ‘formularised’, but the book definitely won me over. If you are looking for a non-technical, personal book, then look to Kara for that, but if you’re looking to seriously improve your times over 800m/1500m/3000m/XC/5k/10k/13.1miles/26.2 miles, then this is the book for you! If you aren’t persuaded yet, this reviewer’s comment from Amazon should do the trick: “When I started training with Jack’s methods I was a 17:00 5k runner and a 29:00 5 miler. After following his plans CONSISTENTLY I now have pr’s of 15:17 for 5k and 25:32 for 5 miles.” An easy-to-follow training guide that is sure to improve your race times.
My running twin Tara sent me this book to read (I will shortly be sending it on to someone else so they can enjoy it too) and I absolutely love it. If you read Runner’s World magazine, you’ll know that they have a long feature every week telling an inspirational running story. I find them to be different from other magazines in that they are longer (usually around 3000 words) and very well written, just as stories should be. This book features the 30 best stories from the past seven years of the magazine. Every story is inspiring, motivating, and usually humorous too. Every runner should read this because it will make you fall in love with running all over again
2. Lore of Running by Tim Noakes
This is a book that in my opinion is more for people interested in the science behind running. It is written by a physician who is also a health professor of exercise and sports science, so this is certainly full of credible information! The first part of the book takes an in-depth look at the physiology and biochemistry of running, It is a a great look at the science related to running, covering everything from injury prevention to “proper nutrition for weight control and maximum performance”. I also loved the fact that this book has a number of interviews with elite runners, who share their secrets to success. While this is not the best training guide or a good book for new runners, it is perfect for serious runners who want to go deeper into the effects running has on the body and how that affects your training.
1. Run Faster by Brad Hudson
I loved everything about this book. Some great advice on all aspects of running, a lot of which I have or am starting to integrate into my own training. I loved the athlete profiles, which showcase the elite runners Brad Hudson (the book’s author) has worked with, and the great results his training has brought. Best of all are the training plans. For 5k, 10k, half marathon, and marathon, there are three ‘levels’ of training plans. By having beginner, intermediate and advanced plans, every runner is catered for, whether they have been running for one year or ten. I also love that there are also plans for masters runners and youth runners, so no group is overlooked. A fantastic all-round training guide.
Running on the Web
I’m highlighting this one mainly for the benefit of my fellow non-US readers, as we don’t get the Running Times magazine over here (which is a shame, because I love it!). This website has amazing articles, videos, podcasts and forum. Plus Cait writes some awesome articles for it!, just as she does on her own site.
I won’t bother listing it because it’s pretty obvious, but RunnersWorld.com is also a go-to. I’m subscribed to their Racing News via Google Reader which is a great way to keep up with the world of racing!
Click on ‘archive’, read all the articles, and thank me later. It’s all written by a runner with a Masters in Exercise Science, and there are some fascinating articles on here! I particularly love this one on why running shoes don’t work and this part of a myth-busting article:
“11. Putting your hands above your head and staying up after a race/workout helps.
There’s a reason you want to bend over or lay down. Your body is telling you it doesn’t want to work against gravity pumping blood. So, next time someone tells you to get up after a race tell them to go away.”
This happens to me on a weekly basis, so I am definitely going to be using this argument next time!!
Jason, the author of this site, is a running coach (not to mention a 2:39 marathoner!) who writes some great articles. Many of his posts are on how to stay injury free (obviously something I need to work on!), and he has reconfirmed my belief that strength training plays a huge role in not developing injuries! I need to start hitting the weights again…
I love this site for the videos. I don’t watch much regular TV, but I’ll happily watch the videos on here for hours on end! There training videos and interviews with elite runners which are awesome! Just having that insight into the workouts of some of the best runners in the world is amazing. It’s also great for racing news, articles and how-to videos.
That’s all for today! I apologise in advance for all the spelling and grammatical errors in this post, but it’s late and I’m tired so that’s my excuse! Anyways, I hope you found this interesting/useful and I’ll be back hopefully with a race recap tomorrow!
Oh, and as much as I wish I could say I was, I am not affiliated with any of the above books, sites or people. End of disclaimer.
What are your favourite running books? Do you have any favourite running sites?
Hope you’re all having a great weekend! <3
|January 4, 2012||Posted by Sweet Tooth Runner under Running Talk, WIAW|
Happy Wednesday! Time for the usual WIAW! By the way, thank you all so much for the feedback on yesterday’s post! I was honestly expecting some negative comments about the weight loss, but everyone was so supportive, so thank you!!
WIAW turns 50 this week! Wow! A huge thanks to Jenn for everything she’s done with this!
In the morning, we said goodbye to my aunt and uncle who are flying back to NY today I’ll miss them! But I’m thinking of going to stay with them later this year for a bit which will be awesome!
Breakfast soon stopped my grieving over losing them to the States. Is there anything peanut butter can’t do?!
2 wholewheat English muffins with lots of PB and banana
Lunch was leftovers from Christmas. Our fridge and freezer are both brimming still with leftovers! I’m the laziest person in the world (running aside) so I’m really not complaining
Two cranberry and squash pastry parcels and red pepper on the side.
My afternoon/pre-run snackage was great too, and almost as lazy…
A toasted basil tofu and Daiya cheese sandwich with a side of broccoli+cauliflower. Don’t judge my filling choice because weird combos are my thing. With a mug of coffee and Mockingjay to read. I started and finished the book today! Loved almost all of it and I was totally gripped, but I hated the ending!
It was good that it was shorter really, because I’m struggling more with my asthma on longer hard efforts. Asthma runs in my family, and I used to have it badly as a kid, but I thought I’d gotten over it! I’ve got to wait a week before the doctor sorts out the right inhaler to give me, which is frustrating, especially with an important race on Saturday! The cold really makes it worse, so I’m hoping for a milder day on Saturday and hopefully it won’t be a problem
*Insert recovery snack of Clif bar and chocolate milk*
Dinner involved more leftovers! Surprise surprise! Yesterday we had dinner at an Indian restaurant, and I ordered WAY too much so ended up doggy bagging quite a lot! I decided to use part of it in my dinner:
Giant sweet potato stuffed with leftover chana masala and a side of spinach
My coach spoils us rotten (love him!), and gives us chocolate/presents for every good workout, PB, birthday, Christmas, etc. So I got a lil’ something for my PB a couple of weeks ago:
I don’t have the heart to tell him that a) I don’t eat milk chocolate and b) I don’t like orange chocolate. But it’s definitely the thought that counts, and I’m always touched by his generosity!
Just before Christmas, I posted about my coach giving me and the others on my team a Christmas present each (and more chocolate!)
I guessed that it would be a training diary and some pens, and a lot of you agreed. We were right! I opened my present late so I’d already bought one, but I just took mine back. His is better anyway
(The weird blurry bits on my diary front cover identify my team, which I try to avoid showing for safety reasons).
I always decorate my running journals to personalise them, and because I don’t want a photo circa 1980 featuring two spandex-clad runners on the front of it. I’ve also stuck my favourite running inspirational quotes all over the inside cover. These are a few of them:
<—— One of my favourite running quotes, from one of my running inspirations!
Do you have any favourite quotes, running related or otherwise?
Do you log your training in some way? In my diary and on Dailymile!
What is your favourite type of run, or running workout? Type of run…a nice long tempo run. Running workout would be 5x1000s probably! It’s a great shape-up and performance indicator for a 5k!
Have an amazing day! <3
|December 31, 2011||Posted by Sweet Tooth Runner under New Years, Running Talk|
2011 was pretty much the best year of my life.
There were so many highlights, from meeting and running with my idol Paula Radcliffe…
Totally realised that photo was being taken…
And she signed my running journal! *swoon*
…to lots of traveling! We’re talking Germany, Finland, San Francisco and Hawaii this year.
But the best thing that happened to me this year was running. At the start of this year, running was fun. Running was something I did a couple of times a week for fitness. Don’t get me wrong, I really enjoyed it! Nothing beat that feeling of a runner’s high! But as the year went on, that grew and grew into a true passion. It is something I literally cannot go a day (or even an hour!) without thinking about.
It’s the kind of love that makes you drag your butt out of bed when it’s still dark and you’re still half asleep.
It’s the kind of love that you spread to everyone around you.
The day that my friends, who had never run before, all completed a 10k for Cancer Research. So proud.
The kind of love that is blind, and can lead to serious stupidity.
The kind of love that drives you to train in all conditions, because no downpour is going to get in the way of a run!
Wettest. Run. Ever.
The kind of love that makes up the majority of your reading material.
The kind of love that fills you with such joy that it makes you wonder what life would be like without it.
For me, 2011 will forever be the year when my love of running began.
And this is only the beginning.
I can’t wait to discover where running takes me in 2012.
Question: What was the best part of your 2011?
|December 29, 2011||Posted by Sweet Tooth Runner under Running Talk|
I am really in the mood to talk about running (hey, what’s new!) so this post will just be some random running stuff that I have on the brain right now…
1. I know some people hate the Christmas sales, but to me, that is pure craziness. The sales are awesome. Case in point:
NIKE TEMPO SHORTS!! I forgot what I said about them yesterday (brief moment of madness) when I tried them on and fell in love all over again. And they were less than a tenner! Win win I didn’t get the tee though because I have waaaay too many running tops! But never enough shorts apparently…
2. Since rediscovering my Tempo Shorts love a few hours ago, I’ve discovered that a ton of them are on sale online on the Nike Store website. It is taking an awful lot of self-control not to order all of them. I want these ones the most:
If anyone wants to become my Tempo Shorts Sponsor to provide me with unlimited quantities of tempos throughout the year, please email me.
3. I had a killer (but lonely!) workout today!
I apologise for the mini essay there. Have I by chance ever mentioned that I like talking about running?
4. I am in love with my new track spikes! They are Saucony Endorphin LD2 (long distance spikes). I wore them for the first time in today’s workout, and they are unbelievably good! Perfect fit (narrow, so quite snug which I like!), looks awesome, feels great, crazily light, and give great traction.
If anyone makes fun of how massive my feet are, I will cry.
5. I have bought my training diary for 2012! I am starting it on Monday, and I am weirdly excited about it. I will show you the finished product soon (I am in the process of making it look more ‘me’) but it will be pretty similar to my old one in that it will be covered in my favourite running photos and quotes:
6. I am not an ‘average female runner’. I am a statistics lover, so this really interested me when I saw this on Megan’s blog, and thought I’d share:
My personal results to these questions are pretty different to the majority! Not least that I actually bought five pairs of running shoes this year…just slightly above the average 2.9!
How do you compare to the ‘average runner’? How are you the same/different? I think the only similarity is that I must’ve spent over $100 total on running clothes!
Do you keep a training diary or running journal? I keep an online one at Dailymile and a written one too. It’ll be great to look back over the years at my training and see how it’s progressed!
Are you a post-Christmas sales fan? If so, have you bought anything good in the sales? Thankfully I had a lot of gift cards to use that I was given at Christmas, otherwise I’d be bankrupt right now haha!
Have a great day friends! <3
|December 11, 2011||Posted by Sweet Tooth Runner under Review, Running Talk|
Hey friends! I hope you’re all having a great weekend! I meant to post this last night, but I was out till the early hours of the morning with some friends and didn’t really have the energy when I got back, so I’m posting it now instead! Weekend recap to come soon!
The postman has been very kind to me recently. Our house is clearly his favourite, because I can’t imagine any other houses in our neighbourhood have a monkey answering the door…
Last week, he dropped off a present from my Secret Santa!
Cute tissues (so useful for me right now haha!), a funny coaster (caption=so true), teas, a gingerbread man tree decoration and a sparkling cinnamon Yankee candle
I love it all!! The gingerbread man tree decoration has pride of place on my Christmas tree:
And some real ones will be joining it soon!
And I’ve been making my room smell nice by burning the mini Sparkling Cinnamon candle. I could eat that smell!
Thank you so much Becky!!
The other package was a delivery from Zalando!
Amy from Zalando contacted me and kindly offered me the chance to review some products from their site. So I jumped at the offer! Especially after I saw their range of running shoes I ended up ordering these:
Saucony Kinvaras! Anyone heard of these? They’ve gotten a fair amount of rave reviews this year, so I thought I’d try them out for myself! I’m also looking into more minimalist running, so these are the perfect choice for a good ‘transition’ shoe.
“The Saucony Kinvara is a brand new lightweight neutral running shoe with a low profile design that allows your foot to run uninhibited. The reduced height difference between heel and forefoot stimulates a mid-to-forefoot strike, yet the shoe still feels well cushioned and stable.”
I tried them out for the first time on Thursday, when I almost drowned/got blown into a ditch by running through a storm…a good test of the shoes I’d say! And they held up surprisingly well! My racing flats (fire shoes!) are Saucony Grid A4’s, and they are the least waterproof shoes EVER! They let in water through the bottom and tops because there are lots of holes for air ventilation or something. So I expected similar results from these shoes, but not at all! They held up amazingly well, even running through the mud! I was very impressed!
Awkward leg shot…
Other thoughts on the Kinvaras:
- They are very light. They are 7.7oz, which is feather-like compared to my usual training shoe (Brooks Adrenaline) which is almost 13oz! Makes a HUGE difference, and I feel so much faster in them!
- I don’t heel-strike. I want to do a full post on this in the future (I got grief about my bad form from my coach!), but basically I heel-strike badly in my Brooks Adrenalines but noticed that I didn’t in my lightweight racing flats, which is part of the reason I decided to move towards a more minimalist shoe. With only a 4mm heel-drop, I land mid-foot in the Kinvaras.
- Despite being more ‘minimalist’ they definitely still have a cushioned, springy feel, which I love! More so than my Brooks for sure, but that is probably because I’ve been wearing them for 9 months…!
- I love the look of them! Sorry, but I am pretty superficial when it comes to shoes, and I think these look pretty darn good!
- They fit great for my feet. I have fairly narrow feet, and my Brooks are a bit ‘roomy’ for me. These are much more snug, and I love that! It feels like I’m running in a cushioned sock!
So basically, they are great shoes all-round, and I love them!
I really questioned my sanity after stepping outside the house dressed like that when there were patches of ice on the ground. I almost froze to death.
They are knitted, so they are SO cosy and warm, and they were also great for storing things in! I stuffed tissues and my phone in them, and they didn’t bother me or shift at all! I hate running in long sleeved shirts (weird quirk), so these are perfect for me, and will definitely be a staple in my winter running wardrobe
I do really recommend Zalando in general. I had never heard of them before, but they have a great range of both running shoes and clothes, and the good prices and free delivery aren’t half bad either
*And please note, that although this was a product review and I was sent these products to review for free, I have given my completely honest opinion, and have no qualms about giving negative reviews. I obviously didn’t here, simply because from this experience I have no negative opinions of either Zalando or the products reviewed.*
Are you loyal to one particular running shoe, or brand? I have Brooks, Asics and Saucony shoes, so I’m not exactly loyal to one haha! But I am loving my Saucony shoes at the mo!
Have you opened any Christmas presents yet? The Secret Santa present was my first one, but I’m opening another Secret Santa present that I’m doing with some friends on Friday…exciting!!
Are you a heel-striker, or a forefoot/midfoot striker? I was a serious heel-striker, but I’m saying goodbye to that habit!
Hope you’re all having a great weekend! <3
|November 6, 2011||Posted by Sweet Tooth Runner under Running Talk|
Hey friends! Right now I am watching the Phantom of the Opera (and probably bawling my eyes out) so I’ve scheduled the usual Running Chat Sat(urday) post! This one is a reader request about eating before running.
*Disclaimer:* I am not qualified in this area, but all information is correct to the best of my knowledge and is gleaned from reliable sources such as Runner’s World.
Different things work for different people. Some people can run on an empty stomach, and others need to eat something beforehand. I fall into the latter category because I will otherwise get too hungry and gnaw my own arm off during the run.
If you can, you SHOULD always eat before you run, because…
Your muscles receive energy which acts as fuel. Without that energy, they have to turn to other sources for the energy, which more often than not is MUSCLE, not fat as the common myth suggests! It does depend on your genetics and your body, but in most cases muscle is burnt because it is more energy-dense than fat.
You ‘perform’ better. Generally, the run usually feels easier and you run at a faster pace.
You ‘kick-start’ your metabolism. After effectively fasting for 12 hours, your body goes into a catabolic state, and eating again raises your metabolism. So the sooner you eat, the less time your body will be in this state.
Eating beforehand can boost recovery.
That said, I know all too well that sometimes you just can’t fit in a proper breakfast before a morning run and let it digest properly without getting up at 4am. And I for one would rather not do that. But there are always other options!
You could try having an energy gel…
And WASH IT DOWN WITH WATER. Trust me on this one!
Or an energy drink…
Make sure you choose a carbohydrate one, and not a ‘light’ one made for rehydration
Or if none of those options work for you, fuelling up the night before with a large dinner (or midnight snack!) is the next best thing!
The thing I find most interesting is the the gut is the most trainable part of the body. By that, I mean that with time, your body can learn to withstand pretty much any type/volume of food pre-run or even whilst running. Ultramarathoners for example have to eat whole meals WHILST running! Nobody is born with that ability, but you can certainly train your body to withstand it! Although it might mean a lot of highly uncomfortable, cramp-filled training runs in the process!
This picture reminds me of the fact that Dean Karnazes once ordered a pizza to be delivered to him whilst he was running an ultramarathon, and then ate the whole thing during the run!
Best Pre-Run Foods
The best choices are foods that are high-carbohydrate, low in fat, and moderate in protein. Here are some good examples:
- Toast and fruit
- A fruit smoothie (good if you have a sensitive stomach)
- An energy bar
- Cereal with milk and fruit
My personal favourites that I usually have pre-racing are:
Banana oatmeal with chopped dates
Mashed banana and cinnamon on toast (x2)
The number one rule of race nutrition is to NEVER try anything new on race day! It doesn’t matter that you’ve just been to the race expo and found a great new energy bar- stick to what has worked for you during training, and you should be fine
Hope that answers a few questions! If you you have any more fire away in the comments or anonymously on Formspring and I’ll do my best to answer them! Oh, and if you have any requests for next week’s Running Chat topic, let me know!
Thoughts on this? Do you usually eat before you run? What are your favourite pre-run eats?
Enjoy the rest of your weekend friends!!
|October 29, 2011||Posted by Sweet Tooth Runner under Recipes, Running Talk|
Happy WEEKEND guys! I hope you’ve all had a great week! I’m sorry about the erratic posting this week, but I’m back to my usual routine next week, so hopefully it should be all back to normal then:)
I am RACING again tomorrow, yaay! Actually, correction, I am tempo-running tomorrow’s race. I went to see the sports doc again today about my injury, and it is improving, but he is worried that I am working too hard in the short amounts of running that I am doing, and that this could set me back in my recovery. He is right, and I can see that. Although I’ve only been running twice a week normally for short periods of time, and usually on grass, it has still been hard efforts. Although I AM getting better, I want to continue to move forwards! I don’t mind too much, because tomorrow isn’t the most important race of the season, so I really will be squat-jogging up the hills this week, just like at the last race
So I need to keep this race, and the next few runs, easy-ish, and then we will assess how I am doing and if I can go back to running properly again! I can’t WAIT!
I am still excited about tomorrow, despite the ‘tempo-run’ effort! I have let my coach know so he won’t be screaming “POWER UP THOSE HILLS!” at me this time hopefully! I love running as a team, and hopefully we will still place highly without me giving it my all. Regardless, next week is the big one: National XC Relays!!
Bring. It. On. And HEAL QUICKLY RIGHT TIBIA!!
I was sad this morning because it was my last week of working in a hospital. No more talking to patients. No more
stealing borrowing cool latex gloves. No more NHS staff discount. Sad face:
But on the upside no more crazy hours means I can reunite with my hairbrush again. It was an early start in my defence, and breakfast > appearance.
Goodbye awesome salad bar.
But again, the lack of crazy hours means I have *slightly* more leisure time! So basically watching more Gilmore Girls and baking…and CORE WORKOUTS AND STRETCHING (in case my sports doc is reading this ). I got straight down to the baking side of things tonight:
Those were all demolished in a month and a half.
Problem is, it is an EXPENSIVE addiction! So when I can, I try to make my own. And when I saw this recipe for Homemade Luna Bars (one of my faves!) on Katie’s blog, I knew I HAD to make them! So I did, with a few changes…
Homemade Luna Bars (Adapted from CCK’s recipe)
Vegan, can be gluten-free
- 2 cups rice crispies (I used brown rice crispies)
- 1 cup rolled oats
- 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup peanut flour + 1 cup water
- 1/2 cup brown rice syrup (or agave)
- 3 T protein powder
- 200g/7oz melted chocolate or chocolate chips
- Mix the peanut flour with the water until smooth. Add the brown rice syrup, vanilla extract, and salt, and mix well.
- In a separate bowl, combine the rice crispies, oats, and protein powder. Pour the wet ingredients over the dry, and stir very well.
- Line a pan with non-stick baking paper and spread the mixture evenly into the pan. Place a sheet of the paper on top of the mixture, then press down as firmly as you can. Spread the melted chocolate on top, and freeze for at least a half hour before slicing. It can then be stored in a n airtight container at room temperature for at least 5 days. ENJOY!!
I LOVE these! I’ve wrapped them up individually so I can grab them on the go
Anyway, I’m off to eat my pre-race dinner…
Wholewheat noodles in soy sauce, teriyaki tofu, and carrots
…and then get an early night!! Or, more likely, spend more time on Pinterest. I am addicted. It is great for motivation though!
I will be remembering that one tomorrow
Have you got any races coming up? I have XC races most weeks from now until December! Crazy!!
What is your favourite Luna bar flavour? I think Peanut Butter Cookie!
Have you got any favourite running or general quotes? So many! “When your legs get tired, run with your heart” is one of my faves, and also “Pain is temporary, Pride is forever”.
Have a GREAT weekend! <3
|October 23, 2011||Posted by Sweet Tooth Runner under Running Talk|
Happy Weekend guys! Hope you’re all having a good one so far! Mine has been craaaazy! I had an awesome party last night, and ended up crashing on my friend’s sofa until this morning…in a monkey oneise of course hehe! Anyway, I’ll catch y’all up on everything tomorrow, but in the meantime, here’s this weeks Running Chat Sat(urday)!
Common running myths
1. Running ruins your knees. Wrong. I’m sure many runners can relate to being told this by someone the minute you tell them you run. At least, I sure get told it a lot! There has NEVER been a well-designed study that proves this, and in fact many studies have proven that running actually strengthens your bones and joints.
2. Running on a treadmill isn’t as effective as running outside. Wrong. Well obviously this COULD be true if you leave your treadmill on 0% incline and plug along slowly, but treadmills can give you just as good, or even BETTER workouts that running outside! Putting up the incline makes a huge difference, and is especially useful hillwork for people who live in flatter areas.
3. Static stretch before you run to avoid injury. Wrong. Stretching cold muscles can cause you to pull a muscle. The optimal pre-run routine is a short warm-up followed by dynamic stretching. Save the static stretches till afterwards!
4. Higher mileage is always better than lower mileage. Wrong. In some cases and conditions, yes this is true, but many sports scientists believe and have shown through studies that different people have different ‘mileage limits’. So while some people may be able to happily run 70+ mile weeks, others may have to stick to lower mileage to avoid injury. Also, studies have shown that running close to 70 mile weeks reaps the best rewards running-wise, but more than that isn’t always better, and is often detrimental.
The book Run Less, Run Faster has become very popular recently, and shows how you can run faster and stronger on lower mileage, by focusing on quality miles over quantity, and subbing in cross training. I read the book and was pretty impressed!
5. Running/exercising on an empty stomach burns more fat. Wrong. This is the myth that probably annoys me the most! The theory behind this myth is that, because of the lack of glycogen, your body turns to fat as the primary energy source. However, muscle is more energy dense, so more often than not that becomes the source of energy, especially if your workout is longer than 20 minutes. Also, eating first means you kick-start your metabolism earlier, it regulates your blood sugar levels, and also you have more energy so you get more out of your workout, and therefore burn MORE calories! I know some people have their own reasons for working out on an empty stomch, but I’m just saying don’t go hungry just because you think you’re burning more fat!
I know for sure that a good breakfast makes me run better
That’s all for today! I’ll be back soon with life updates!
Have you heard any of these myths before, or do you have any other running myths to share? There’s lots of myths surrounding running and strength training, but I’ll save that for another post!
|October 1, 2011||Posted by Sweet Tooth Runner under Running Talk|
Hiya friends!! I did a poll on Facebook last week on a number of possible topics for today’s Running Chat, and this was the most popular choice! Also, if you have any suggestions of future topics that you’d like to see, let me know!
(Disclaimer: I am not qualified in any way on these topics- all information is from sources such as Runner’s World, and books by Kara Goucher and Paula Radcliffe)
Running and Weight Loss
To me at least, there seems to be something almost taboo about weight loss in the ‘healthy living’ blogs community. But ultimately, there is nothing wrong with it as long as you are doing it healthfully and are aiming for a healthy weight! One thing that helped me lose weight (I used to be borderline overweight) was running. Here is just a few reasons why:
The obvious one: running burns more calories than pretty much any other activity (only cross-country skiing burns more!)
Running helps you mentally. A big part of the reason for my weight gain at the time was because I had very low self-esteem, which lead to binging. Running was one way which helped me out of that, by giving me more confidence and pride in my everyday achievements.
Increased metabolism. Running gives you a higher percentage of muscle mass than a sedentary person, and this in turn increases your metabolism.
Running can GIVE you more energy, which in turn means you expend more energy!
Running and Weight Gain
However, a lot of people can find running can make you GAIN weight, especially during marathon training for example, where a very high percentage of people gain weight during training. The biggest problem is overestimating caloric burn, which means that you can end up using every run as a justification for eating more than you should.
I certainly believed for a long time that running meant you could eat what you like, and you would still end up looking like this:
Um, yeah not true! Just watch your diet to make sure it is healthy and balanced and that you aren’t eating a lot more than you should, and you shouldn’t gain weight
Now this is a REALLY interesting issue! Since I have started running with my team, I have heard this term batted around more and more. I mean, it’s come down to comparing thigh size in the changing rooms. Really?! Anyway, this is a VERY contentious issue in the racing world, so I’ll just cover what I can!
For those of you who aren’t familiar with the term, ‘racing weight’ is used to describe a runner’s optimal weight, i.e. lean! There is a direct link between body weight, body composition and running performance. Generally, the lighter and less body fat (within reason!!) an athlete has, the faster they will run. For example, a runner weighing 160 pounds has to muster about 6.5 percent more energy to run the same pace as a runner weighing 150 pounds, which obviously makes a huge impact on time!
Here are some points I have gleaned on racing weight:
- Focus on nutrition and the weight will take care of itself. When I focused more on making sure I ate more nutritious foods generally rather than just restricting or calorie counting, I found myself at a good weight, and I know this is the same for many other athletes.
- There appears to be a correlation between nutrition and speed, but that between weight and speed seems to be weaker. What I mean by this is that many runners take ‘racing weight’ too far, to the extent that being TOO lean impacts adversely on performance, as does a restricted diet. Runners with a healthy, balanced diet tend to perform much better.
- Eat regularly, and exercise portion control. Instead of having three large meals a day, which can be fat-producing due to all the calories taken in, aim for slightly smaller meals, and then snacks. These will help control the blood sugar levels, regulate the appetite, and increase metabolism. Also, be aware of correct portion sizes, as these are often a contributing factor to weight gain.
- Strength train. All the elites regularly strength train, as it helps prevent injuries, maintain weight, and makes you look more lean because you have more ‘tone’. Having a higher percentage of muscle in your body leads to a higher metabolism as well.
The most crucial thing about weight and running is knowing when enough is enough. Whether that’s weight gain OR weight loss, both can become unhealthy and even dangerous if taken to the extremes. Female athletes are more at risk than their male counterparts of becoming anorexic or suffering from the Female Athlete Triad. The problem is when a focus on nutrition and weight loss becomes obsessional and overly restrictive, and a fear of food or a “food is bad” mentality comes around. But food is GOOD, for runners especially! It plays a HUGE role in athletic performance, and without that energy and the role good nutrition plays in both the long term and the short term, there is no way a malnourished athlete could perform to their best.
Kara Goucher is such a great example of this! She looks strong and amazing!
I could go on and on on this topic- I’ve got so much more to say! I guess I’ll save it for a later post
Thoughts? Comments? Anything you want to add? I’d love to hear what your thoughts are on this!
Have a great weekend friends! <3