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Know Your RPE

To understand your RPE and heart rate is to know what RPE represents. RPE stands for Rate of Perceived Exertion. It is critical for all athletes from Beginner Runners to veteran athletes. Many veteran athletes depend on using their heart rate monitors or Garmin watches for their training. Many times these watches don’t correlate to how you really feel. When I create my athlete’s heart rate chart, I include the RPE chart. I want my athletes to understand how their bodies feel in that zone. For Beginner Runners, I tell them to use the RPE chart. Below is PDF file which you can use in your training. The chart correlates the heart rate zones to the perceived exertion.

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Really?

My Garmin watch says I am now detraining, really? Last week, I decided to take a couple days off to paint my deck/porch because the weather was perfect. I did a couple walks and started swimming the lake. Yup, New England went from winter to summer and skipped spring. Doing physical therapy from a running accident 10 days ago. I am moving, not really sitting much and doing strength training. But the watch doesn’t see me really exercising with swim, bike and run consistently. How can I lose all that fitness in 10 days? But as we age, we can lose fitness quickly. As I get back to my schedule of training of swim, bike and run, the watch will change to being positive. Many of you started getting into good exercise pattern with the pandemic. Can you keep it up after the pandemic? Start now thinking and working on how you will maintain this training/workout regiment for ever. Be safe and healthy.

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The Virtual Route

Many of us are experiencing more canceled races but some local races are doing the wait and see approach. Example of 2 local races: the town’s festivities are canceled but not the races. I know they are in July but they must know the local and state officials would say cancel it. One has 3-4 thousand runners. Now comes the Virtual races that are mostly free and raise money for local causes. Why do virtual race? It is not the same being there with my friends. In a way it is like being with your running/triathlete friends but online with Strava or Zoom. Have your friends do it with you online. Doing a Virtual race is way to get yourself off the couch to train and moving. Plus you can do it what ever time that works for you. Here are a couple Virtual Races: https://app.ironmanvirtualclub.com/en/challenges (sprint. Olympic and Half Ironman, consisting of run/bike/run); https://runsignup.com/Race/MA/Amesbury/SSFSFreedomRun (5K, 10K or walk/run 1 mile); http://www.millenniumrunning.com/united (Run 1 mile, 5K, 10K or Half Marathon). Don’t stop training because of Covid-19 but fine ways or a race to keep you motivated. Stay safe!

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What is Next?

A little late but spring is starting here in New England. With many races cancelled through June, many runners and triathletes ask what is next. Will races still happen in August through the fall or 2020 will be the year canceled races. No one knows but for now it will be virtual racing. This means you don’t need to stop training. When Patriot 70.3 and half marathon canceled, I did 2 weeks of low training. The first week, only worked out 5 days because I was exhausted. Biked and run at heart rate zones 1-2. Added 2 days of strength and core workouts because of no place to swim. Maintaining a good base with strength training is perfect to be ready for races in the late summer through fall. I put an Olympic triathlon on my calendar at end of August for a focus and motivation but won’t sign up until it is safe. My triathletes and runners are following the same plan to keep their training interesting and fun. You can control your own destiny but it is how you do it. Stay healthy and safe!

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Contemplating Our New Normal

A year ago, I was getting ready to retire, well semi-retire. This year, we are quarantined for the Covid-19 pandemic. This is our new normal by being isolated. The first 2 weeks, I was stressed like many thinking on how to pay my bills. My job is considered non-essential; I just train and teach people how to be healthy. Then I got many emails from gym members asking about their memberships, because the gym franchise based in NY is not big on communication.  Welcome to corporate America of today.

The hardest part as a single person is the isolation. I thought I was an introvert from the years sitting at a computer as software engineer. But that all changed when I got in the fitness/health industry, I became an extrovert.  It all hit me and I broke down in tears with my boyfriend hugging me.  He made me feel better. So every weekend, we spend time just hugging. Communicating by texting is not the same as human interaction. Maybe more people will put their cell phones down to see that face to face is the best communication which many are doing zoom and Skype.

What keeps me going was my training for the Half Ironman in June. The half marathon, I was planning to do on Saturday. But it was cancelled as many other races and events in April. Saturday morning, I woke up to snow and I was happy that I was not running the race. Luckily we were able to transfer to another half marathon in September. Friday night, got email the Half Ironman is canceled.  With many races canceled, it leaves runners and triathletes in uncharted waters of no focus.  Not really, because we will find another race, reassess our goals, take a short break then get back on track. As I reassess my goals, I realized the half Ironman training volume is hard on my old body. Last week after 2 heavy weeks, I felt exhausted. No acupuncture means no sleep, not good for any training. Taking a short break but won’t stop me exercising just do it without structure.

Today’s break was run the trails near me. Listening to the wind, the beepers and birds saying remove your ear plugs; enjoy the earth and nature that is free to everyone. Happy Earth Day! @tritobeyoungathlete

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And We Keep On Going..

I think the pandemic has tested our mental strength, creativity and flexibility. As we see more races and events get canceled, we fine ways to stay on course and challenge ourselves to do it virtually. But sometimes you have to listen to our bodies to know when we are putting our health and your well being in jeopardy for the cornavirus. This week is my push back easy week of my half Ironman training but I feel exhausted and not sleeping. Allergies are bad and making asthma act up. Luckily, I had a telehealth with my doctor yesterday to talk about all this and the virus. First, she said events will be cancelled in June and large crowds won’t happen till August, maybe. Second, she was concern me getting covid-19 because of my age, have asthma, have 2 autoimmune diseases and the stress on the body from half Ironman training. She wants me to exercise but not at high volume. I totally agree with her. So I am not doing the race but first feel better. I will continue to bike and run but not at high volume. Be safe and stay healthy!

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A Little More

We are almost done with our 3rd week of isolation. Hope you are doing good and doing the isolation to slow this virus. Hope you are exercising for your mentality, physically and emotionally well being. Today, I added 2 more exercise videos: https://gearupforfitness.com/videos/. Created these videos to keep you active. Also, hope you can go for a walk, run or able open the windows. Being with nature calms your soul. Be safe

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Looking at Bright Side

This picture shows the bright side clearly! Everything is clear and the lake water looks blue. Why because the earth is able to breath again without the pollutants. When I run or bike outside, I just want to enjoy the nature around me. I think the pandemic is making everyone slow down to enjoy it. Yes races are being cancelled or postponed but that shouldn’t make you stop biking or running. Many of us don’t have jobs now. We don’t know what our future will look like in a couple months. But it makes you realize what is really important for you, your family, your friends, and community. We are all in this together and we come better and stronger.

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Survive The Week

I am in Base period but I survive the first week Half Ironman training. Yesterday’s long run, I was tired from the 2 hour bike on Saturday. Running with a friend help push me through the end. This week will be a little challenging because of New England’s winter weather. I don’t like running on the treadmill or run circles on the track which I feel like a hamster in the wheel. Mentally I am ready for this week’s training and weather which I will put on a smile.

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That Nagging Pain in the Butt/Hip Part 2

This post is about how to alleviate the pain.  First, don’t sit for hours, get up every 15-20 minutes. Second is to stretch. You want to stretch the calves, hamstring, quad and hip flexors, it-band, piriformis, gluteus medius, lat muscles in the back. Sounds like the whole body but every muscle is connected and affected. When one is tight then all tighten up or are affected. Third is to foam roll. When foam rolling do one side from calf muscle through the Lat muscle in 2 inch increments. Don’t roll over the joints (knees and hips) which can create injury. If the IT-Band is super tight then foam roll 2 times a day from calf muscle through the Lat muscle. Foam rolling only IT-Band will not resolve the issue because the tightness cam be coming from another muscle group. Fourth, runners and triathletes make sure you are engaging your core and be in neutral pelvic tilt. Fifth, if you sleep on your side, sleep with pillow between knees to feet.This keeps your hips and back inline.

Next few weeks, Coach Pam will be posting pictures/videos of the stretches and foam rolling.

Next month Part 3, we will discuss exercises to strengthen the core and body to work in all planes. To get ahead of the game plan, participate in Run Your Potential program, which Coach Pam is using all this each class.

Smell the Fresh Air

It is spring according to calendar even though we are doing social isolation for Covid-19. By the end of yesterday lock away in my condo I felt a little down. I was missing that socialization which my job thrives on. Today was blue skies and my training plan had easy run which I needed. Saw other people out for a walk and we all keep our social distance of 6+ feet. Birds were singing beautiful music and saying spring is here. Every body was waving even though we had some snow on the ground. I felt more productive for the rest of the day. Go out and smell the flowers and fresh air. Do it with your kids. You will be smiling.

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