This topic was suggested by my boyfriend Mark. Mark knows I like to do long distance races and training. Distance is all relative to the person or athlete. Long distance is a mental game, being present in the moment compare to shorter/sprint distances. Usually, I train for 2 Half marathons a year but COVID still happening and is still having an impact on races being virtual, postpone or canceled. And living in New England, winter can make it tough for running outside with snow and ice. So far, it has been good weather but that can still change. Not sure I want to do another virtual half marathon race this spring. So I decided to focus on shorter distances 5K-10K for the spring, and improve on cadence, speed, strength and flexibility. When winter happens, biking indoors on trainers is easier with Zwift. After getting vaccination, which I hope soon, then start swimming in a local indoor pool building endurance. When coaches create training plans, distance is measure by time (biking/running) and/or distance (run/swimming) by slowly incrementing the distance/time through periodization plan to peak you for the big race day. So going the distance can be measured by time, miles, kilometers, meters or yards but it is how you train for the big race day and be ready to go the distance. Be safe and healthy!.
Winning and losing is a big part of sports and other parts of our lives. You can use this as positive part of your life. Most age group athletes compete in sports (running and triathlons) as a way to lose weight, get in shape or stay fit, have fun, meet their friends or inspire their children. Some do compete to win races or win their age group which can be good or bad. It is how you approach the race mentally: confident or arrogant. Going into the race being confident is good because you trained in all weather conditions, completed the training as scheduled, practiced the course and you know the competition. But then something happens race day like a curve ball: a change in the course because of weather or a newbie that no one knows is hard to beat. You know your training got you ready and confident about the outcome will be good. The confident one wins no matter how he places in the race because he shows sportsmanship. I like to look at my race results to see how I can improved my times. I know I am a competitor but like to compete against myself. See if I improved or what I have to work on. When I win or place top 3 of my age group, I see that as a bonus. It is how you train physically and mentally creates confidence to be ready for the big race. When you lose congratulate the winners then go back to your plan to see how you can improve for the next race. Don’t dwell, don’t look back, look forward to the next big one!
2020 is the year of virtual racing from 5Ks to Marathons to Ironman events. Many athletes are nervous, wondering if any races will be happening or what race events will be like in 2021. Now that there is a vaccine for COVID, I see races happening. but might not happen till June and will look different. Staggered starts, no spectators, and smaller number of athletes. Bikers, runners and triathletes just want to race at the events and see their friends. Race directors want you back to race live too! 2021calendar is starting to fill up with events which some athletes are starting to sign up. I’m being cautious but want my athletes be excited again about racing. Start planning your race schedule but also be flexible with the new norm. Stay healthy and safe!
Saturday, I completed Run MA Challenge. That is run/walk 645 miles and raised around $900 for Pettengill House. Pettengill House helps local families and kids with food, pay rent and other ways of support, especially with pandemic. It is good to have physical goals but it is also good to take a break and rest. Right now, I am enjoying my recovery, strength, and workout without a training schedule. Just do what I feel like! Athletes are so program to train all the time which can lead to overtraining or injuries. I like December to rest/recovery as it is the best time to do this because of the holidays. I have not registered for any 2021 races. But with the Covid vaccinations, legit races probably won’t happen till June here. I will decide in January what is next. Just enjoy your holidays! Stay safe and healthy!
Slowly getting to the end of the Run MA Challenge (645 miles). Started the challenge July 1st, since then ran a couple virtual 5Ks, 10Ks, and 2 Half marathons. Completed 9 badges of the challenge with 1 more to go. Each badge helps the runner/walker keep the distance manageable. This is not the year I originally planned for racing but 2020 has been different everybody. I am lucky not to have not suffered as many are during the pandemic which is why I raised money for the Pettengill House. Pettengill House helps families and kids in the local communities with food, paying rent and other service. I can see the finish line with this challenge but also the vaccinations know there will be an end to the pandemic. To get there, we all need to be “Patient with the Process”. This is Angela Naeth’s mantra for endurance racing but also we need to remember it for the Covid pandemic. Stay safe and healthy!
Everyone is telling me I have COVID stomach! Most of us are working from home with kids doing remote learning. Many states are doing more lock downs now. And the holidays are here! Being home more, food is near you all the time. Some are working from the dining room table or kitchen counter, which they see all those snacks are staring at them all day. You get that picture! Now some are working in the basement or in a home office which the snacks are not staring at them. Out of sight, out of mind! Now you see this picture. Which picture is yours?
Simple tips to reduce COVID Stomach: 1. Put a timer on your cell phone or schedule break when you are finish with meetings. 2. Take breaks by walking around the house or go outside for 5-15 min. When you come back in, you will forget about the food and feel refresh. You will work more productively. 3. Put healthy snacks on the counter, like fruit then unhealthy snacks. 4. Don’t skip eating meals which is just as bad as eating too much. 5. One simple ab exercise that you can do sitting, push your abs to your back and hold those Transverse Abdominals for 20 seconds to a minute. Do 3 sets a day. This will help your back and abs feel better. Stay healthy and safe!
Yup, completed Manchester City Virtual Half Marathon on 11/7. Living in New England, the weather can be extreme. When I did this half 10 years ago on same day was 35 degrees and this year was 68-70 degrees. Interestingly, both are hilly. And I like hills! What goes up, you can fly down. Every body responds differently with pure run training. Eve felt great, me I felt tired all the time like overtraining. Last week, back on the bike 2 days and my legs want to spin faster when I run. That bring up the topic of cadence. As I am doing my Zwift bike ride, I focus on my power, heart rate and cadence. If your have too much power which your cadence starts dropping below 80. Optimal cadence on the bike is 90-100 which is really each leg doing those revolutions. Now running, when you talk about cadence is both legs doing 180-190. Now, you can see how bike and run work together on this. When you run or bike at those higher cadence numbers, your speed increases. To get to those numbers, slowly build up using a metronome or practice running down hill. Be safe to be healthy!
You have heard “Hitting the Wall” in endurance events, like a marathon. Well I hit mine today during my run. Doing the Run MA Challenge is endurance event itself by maintaining 30-32 miles a week of running and walking. When I added training for a couple of half marathons that starts to tax the body more. My resting heart rate has slowly creeped up which is a big sign your body is going into over-reach to overtraining. Now I am starting to feeling exhausted is the big sign that it is time to step back. Tomorrow, I will do strength workout but no cardio. Thursday, I need to see how I feel in the morning which can be no run or a short one. Hoping by Saturday, I will feel better to do a long run of 10 miles. Next weekend, I am hoping I feel recovered and run a faster half marathon than in September.
It is best to listen to your body and know what the warning signs of over-reach/overtraining for you. Especially now during a pandemic! because you can become very sick. Yes running and working out is good for you but over doing it can become the bad for you. Be safe and healthy!
New England is fill with fall colors which is the perfect time to hike or walk trails. I am lucky to live with my windows faces Lake Gardner and Powow Hill and across the street from my back door is Woodsom Farm trails. On Sunday, my walk cross the half way of the Run MA Challenge. Many times I wanted to quit because I never would see the end. So I change my focus to each badges distance, a mile stone of the 645 miles. Yesterday, I pass the half way point. That is 326 miles of running and walking since July 1st. This week, I will hit another milestone by completing Run Connecticut Border badge. By reducing mileage to manageable distances, helps you focus on that distance and reduces stress. This also applies to running endurance events from half marathons to ultras and half Ironman to Ironman. Play it safe, you will be surprise what you can accomplish. Be safe and healthy.
Half Marathon finish and on Garrison Trail
As many races have become virtual because of the COVID. A couple weeks ago, I planned today to do the Jamestown Half Marathon. I text my girlfriends my plan to run today the rail trails. Diane and Eve joined in on the fun and with great conversations. Even though I have been doing the Run MA Challenge my running has been minimal until 6-8 weeks ago. A couple 8 milers and a 10.3 miles for long which is not the best training but decide I would give it a go. We ran slow with some walks to get in our nutrition. I made sure every mile I did a GU Block and drank. Also, ate my usual breakfast gluten free toast with almond butter and honey. I had energy to speed up at the last 2 miles and still had energy after the run because my nutrition was spot on. Now I want to do another half with some training and faster. When you walk away from a good experience, you want to do more and use lessons learned. One factor that did help was the fog and being cool. I want to thank Diane and Eve to run the whole thing with me and make it fun, not stressful. Racing should be fun, not stressful! Stay safe and healthy!
The picture is from our 10K run that we ran through Massachusetts and New Hampshire. Eve needed to do her virtual 10K race this week but wanted to do scenic route and hilly.
Today, I was planning to do my virtual Jamestown Half Marathon. Last night, I had a bad celiac attack but slept good. I still wanted to run long but knew my body couldn’t run the half. I am happy to run 10.3 miles with the best friends which I am ok for the distance. I know next weekend, I will be able to do it with more best friends. My girlfriends and I Race Like A Girl team are the ones that burn the fire in me to get out there to swim, bike and run. The pandemic has cancel races or go virtual which we crave to do. But it is how we move forward and keep training that keeps us sane. When we swim, bike or run, we provide support therapy to keep moving forward. So this post is dedicated to Eve, Diane, Becky, Kim, Colleen, Sarah, Brenda, Carolyn, Gene and I Race Like A Girl team. I know all of us will miss Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg as she fought for equality for all.
Last week, I had to stop running and walking for couple days because left foot was swollen. I realized my flip flops were irritating my instep because it is high. After a couple days resting it with swim and bike, I am back to Run/Walk MA Challenge. Taking care an injury sooner then latter, you will get back to your training faster. Past 3 days, I have done 13 miles with no problem.
Picture to left is one of my favorite electrical boxes painted by local artists. It reflects how this country can live together in harmony. And helping our neighbors without discrimination. We are all human beings that we should treat each other with respect. Be safe and healthy.
Today, I decided to do my long run because we will be hit by Hurricane Laura’s remnants tomorrow. I just wanted to get this badge before the end of the month. Yes, this challenge can be daunting but it can be motivator. My weekly mileage has increased from 10 miles to 20 miles, but I do want to get it to 25 miles a week. September, I do have a Jamestown virtual Half Marathon which I am not sure I can do. My long runs now are slow 8 miles. We will see what happens next couple of weeks. The next badge is Run Vermont Border which is short 44 miles. You have to like math for this challenge which is my favorite subject. Calculate your weekly mileage, your run/walks mileage and try to vary your workouts to keep it fun. Now back to calculating, running and walking. Stay Safe
Thursday was a pivotal point in my running. It was the last day to run Saunders Virtual 10K which I was not looking forward to running. My running had become difficult with the heat, running slow with a lot of walking breaks and legs always felt sore. I decided to run the same course as I did for the Run For It 10K and try to beat that time. First mile was slow and only walked 1 min then each subsequent mile was faster with no walking breaks. I beat the time by 47 seconds. But I had to do a long run of 8-9 miles on Saturday. I started nervous and slow but eventually found my running rhythm. I walked a couple times to make sure I got GU blocks and fuel in me. These runs have given me the mental strength to improve my running. One coach always said run within yourself. The only person you are racing against is your self. I am looking forward to the cool fall days to run and maybe get faster.
2020 is turning into the year of cancel races! But is it? Actual it isn’t because many races are turning into virtual races. That includes Boston Marathon. New virtual races/challenges are being created which includes Run MA Challenge. That is run and/or walk 645 miles which is the circumference of state of Massachusetts. I signed up for this challenge but to sweeten the pot I am raising money for the Pettengrill House. Many athletes are doing endurance virtual events and raising money for charities. We are living difficult times but giving back to your local communities makes everyone feel better including you. Be Healthy and Be Safe!
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.
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.
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!
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!
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
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!
I know many of you are doing your biking on the trainer and/or working at home. Are you getting tight in the neck or upper back. So I did video of stretches you do during your bike warm up: https://gearupforfitness.com/videos/ Scroll do to the video.
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
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.
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.
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.