A few of you have been asking me how I am preparing for my first race ever this Sunday! Given my injury this past winter, you probably know that I have revamped the way I approach running. Gone are the days where I used to run 4-5 times a week.
It is just too hard on the body!
What I have realized since returning to running is that my body does not ‘forget’ how to run. As long as I keep up my cross-training at a high intensity, I find that my runs are no ‘weaker’ than they would be when I was running 4-5 times a week. If anything they are now stronger.
Currently, I only run once or twice per week and I have found that that is enough to keep me in running shape. I think my body is much happier. I don’t feel sore and I don’t feel worn out on my runs.
Running is fun again!
It is not torture. I don’t feel like I have to force myself to stick to a grueling schedule.
I am learning how to appreciate the ‘journey’.
My plan for this week is simple. Don’t overdo it. Since I am running my 1st 10K race this Sunday I need to continue to play it smart.
Here is my plan (although let me remind you, I take a very flexible approach to my plans as I really don’t like them too much):
Wednesday: 45 min. treadmill hill walking (4.2 mph, incline 15%), 1 circuit from Level 3 of the Shred
Thursday (shop 4 A Cause!!!): 4 mile run
Friday: 45 min treadmill hill walking
Sunday: 10K race
This is the plan, but like I said I don’t like things that tell me what I have to do so it will likely change a bit!
What I have found is that by doing intense cross-training, it not only saves me from injury, but my cardiovascular training is not impacted whatsoever. Because I make sure to keep my heart rate in the 155-169 bpm range while cross-training, I can get by with only 1-2 runs per week. My heart rate is actually higher on my cross-training treadmill walks than when running!
This is really working for me and it has prevented me from injury and burn out. Exercise should be FUN, not something I dread each day!
Weighing in on my Vacation!
How did I do while on vacation this past week?
Did I go overboard, splurge too much, or get it just right?
I was actually really happy with my vacation and how I approached eating and exercise. I think with each vacation I get a bit better at the whole moderation thing. I used to see vacations as a time to go overboard with food, but now I try to look at it as I do any day- with the 80/20 rule.
What is the 80/20 rule? Well, it means that I aim to eat healthy 80% of the time and I allow myself indulgences the other 20%. This rule keeps me sane.
For example, at one of our dinner’s out, I stuck to fish, rice, and veggies for my main, but I splurged on dessert splitting half a huge brownie cookie with my sister:
This ladies and gents, is balance:
And half for dessert:
Most of my trip was much like this.
For my sister’s birthday dinner, I filled up on good, wholesome foods:
And then I treated myself to an indulgent cupcake for dessert:
Some nights I had fruit for a snack:
While other nights I had chocolate that was a gift from my mom:
I also took a moderate approach to drinking:
I had 1 mojito, 1 glass of wine, 1 mixer drink, and about 9oz of beer during my 5 day stay.
This is much better than I used to do! I didn’t wake up with any hangovers. My sis and I were both thankful we didn’t end up partying too had on Saturday night because we felt pretty good on Sunday morning! :)
I think I was able to achieve a nice balance and show everyone that it is possible to enjoy a vacation in moderation! I didn’t go to bed once feeling too full or like I overdid it. And I can’t say it was always like this in the past!
I was also able to maintain my workout routine while away:
June 4th: OFF Day (flew to visit family)
June 5th: 20 min run on track, 15 mins stepmill, core work, 45 mins treadmill hill walking (Speed 4.2, incline 10%),
June 6th: 45 mins treadmill hill walking (Speed 4.3, incline 10%)
June 7th: 46 mins treadmill hill walking (Speed 4.4, incline 10%), core work
June 8th: 46 mins treadmill hill walking (Speed 4.4, incline 10%)
June 9th: OFF- Back from trip & baking all day!
I knew that I would be taking an off day on the Thursday that I flew in and also on the Tuesday that I got back, so I made sure to fit in workouts in between.
All of my workouts were done around 6:30-7am each morning. It wasn’t too hard for me to get up at this time, because I was still on Toronto time (8:30-9am).
Because my mom recently purchased a treadmill I was able to get up early before the rest of the family and workout so it didn’t interfere with my visit. Had the weather been cooperating I probably would have gotten outside for a couple runs to change it up. If my mom didn’t have a treadmill, I would have gone to the gym more than the first day, but sometimes it is hard to get a free pass and it can get costly.
The take home message:
Vacations should not be something you worry about! With a little planning it is pretty easy to fit in some exercise! You can get up a bit earlier in the morning or even ask your family members to join you in your workout. :)
I have also learned that indulgences (even very decadent ones) will not make you gain weight. A 500 calorie dessert will not make you gain weight overnight! It really won’t. As long as you take a moderate approach to your vacation, a few indulgences here and there are totally worthy! :) It is vacation after all, right?
- What strategies do you use to fit in workouts while on vacation?
- How do you approach eating when you are on vacation? What are your slip ups or your best tricks?
- Have you changed the way you approach training for races? What is your training like? What works for you?
By the way, I extended the Amazing Grass contest until 4pm EST today!!! I got my days mixed up yesterday due to getting back from my trip. You have until 4pm EST to enter!
Don’t forget- tomorrow is Shop 4 A Cause beginning at 8am EST!!!! I’m so pumped!!!
See you tonight for all the details!