Aug 16, 2007

Wake me up before you go go

I am one sleepy little runnergirl.


I have decided that today starts my fitness challenge. And with any good challenge, I will need boundaries. Rules. I have set this up in such a way to allow for fitness everyday, but that does not mean that it has to be a marathon workout. No pun intended.

The purpose of this personal challenge is to get into the habit of doing something physical each and every day. After the 1st month I will alter the rules and the new goal of the challenge will be a little more... well... challenging. So onto the rules.

Because I am an engineer, and I likes me some boundaries.

  1. I must dedicate no less than 15 minutes/1 mile if running a day to exercise.
  2. Cardio or Strength/Stretch will count toward fulfilling the requirement.
  3. Acceptable exercises for cardio are: running, jogging, walking, biking, swiming, fitness class (Kwando, etc.)
  4. Acceptable exercies for strength are: free weights, cable machines, stretch/abs, stability work, etc.
  5. Acceptble exercises that count for both cardio and strength: The FIRM DVDs.
  6. I shall log my workouts into Buckeye Outdoors so it will show up on the right-hand panel of this blog.

The logic behind the 15 minutes is that it is my fail-safe. I usually work out for 1.5-2 hours at a time. This includes strength training, stretching, ab work, and cardio (swimming usually). But when I see a huge workout ahead of me, I may feel compelled to not even start it. If I know that I can go out and do 1mile or even a quick 15 minute set of ab work, then I will be more apt to want to do it every day - and it can trigger me to stick with it and possibly even go longer because it feels good. Obviously, the 15 minute workouts will not be everyday, but they can help me develop the habits I want.

So those are my rules. And that is my challenge. :)

Tonight will be my 1 mile TT for training for the Freep. (TT = time trial)

Have a great day everyone!

})i({ Runner Girl


The Professor said...

Runnergirl, I was looking through the blogs and happened on to yours. I hope you don't mind if I make some training comments. As you are an engineer, I will give you my bona fides: MS in Exercise Physiology, Professor of Physical and Health Ed, and 22 year runner and cyclist. I give that info as I have worked with engineers before, and I know that they want to know how valid the source of info is...

First, I would suggest as part of your strengthening exercises doing more shoulder exercises. When you run distance, it isn't just about upper body strength, but more so shoulder and arm strength. The weight of your limbs (the legs more so) is significant as a portion of body weight. The effort of supporting those arms in running positions tends to exhaust Biceps, Traps and Delts more than many other upper body muscles. Reason being these muscle move the arms and support them during running. As these fatigue, the upper body gets sloppy and starts to effect running efficiency. You have to burn more calories to support an inefficient running style. This means that you will exhaust faster. The other upper body exercises you do will benefit you in terms of upper body fatigue, but Trap, Delts and Biceps are especially important. Also don't neglect the lower body. Strong legs means that running will be a smaller portion of your maximal strength and capacity, again meaning less fatigue over the distance.

Second, I would suggest using activities such as the stair-stepper or the elliptical trainers. These, especially the stepper, provide the best non-running running work out. To better explain, steppers and ellipticals mimic the motions of running with lower impact. If you try to refrain from using the safety bars, you can get motions that are like running. A stepper is also good for conditioning the legs. Running flights of stairs have been used by runners for years to train and strengthen the legs. The good thing about both of these is that they don't have the impact forces due to a very small reactive force. Running, depending on the surface, provides differing ground reactive forces. The higher the reactive force, the more force the muscles have to absorb. This can lead to more injuries in higher training volumes. So these can be great off-day activities to supplement and support your running.

Third, makes sure you have the proper ratio of stretching to training. I like to use a ratio of 5 minutes of stretching to every 20 minutes of training. I would also suggest doing less reps of stretches, but hold them longer. Studies show that doing more than about 3 reps (4 at most) doesn't give you anymore benefit than 3 reps of longer held stretches. I would recommend 3 reps of 30 sec for each stretch. At 10 seconds you are only just starting to get the benefit of the stretch. There are mechanisms in the tendon and muscles called stretch receptors that activate at about 10 secs into the stretch. Holding the stretch longer takes advantage of these mechanisms and allows for a greater range in the stretch (and the idea of stretching is to enhance active ROM).

Finally, shoes. Those shoes in the pic looked long dead. You should never let your shoes go more than about 400 miles. Mizunos, which is what it looked like your shoes were from the pic, are good but still only have about 300-400 miles of life in them. If you are logging miles, you can track shoe life. Also never where your shoes for anything else but training, it makes it harder to track show life. Even standing in them runs them down.

My favorite runs are Crim, Dexter-Ann Arbor, Run Through Hell, Back Woods Half-Marathon.

I admire that you run for causes, so if you want more info (that is if you don't think I was too forward) contact me at my blog.

The Big Cheese said...

Like the new header.
Good luck in the challenge.

Pat said...

Good luck with the challenge. I think you'll like it and do well at it. My rules to my challenge are: 30 minutes and I have to work up at least a bit of a sweat. But then, I like things simple.

gotta run, pat