I can’t be bothered to run. I don’t want to get up out of my warm, cosy bed into the cold dark morning. One missed run won’t hurt. I’ll run later instead.
I know that if I can push through that first mile warm up, then I usually fall into the rhythm, find a good pace and start to control my breathing. Once that first mile is over, I know I’ll enjoy the run.
Why is the first mile so hard?
It’s the runner’s biggest question and worst fear: how quickly can I get out of shape? After putting in hours of training and hundreds of miles, most athletes worry it will all go to waste if they stop. That’s only partially true.
Unfortunately, plenty of hard-earned fitness can go away within two weeks. Most studies suggest that an athlete’s VO2 max, the maximum oxygen he or she can uptake and utilize, plunges in the first month of inactivity, according to Dr. Edward Coyle, the director of the Human Performance Lab at the University of Texas at Austin. VO2 max continues to decrease, albeit at a slower rate, for the first three months after ceasing activity. In highly-trained athletes, VO2 max decreases by 7 percent in the 12 to 21 days after stopping training and another 9 percent during days 21 to 84. In athletes who have trained for a few months, and increased their VO2 max with exercise, those changes are completely reversed with several months of not training.
When you’re not exactly looking forward to a run, your brain can come up with thousands of absurd excuses. We’ve all been there: It’s going to get dark soon! This comforter has never felt cozier! My cat might be lonely if I leave her alone at home! On the other hand, sometimes your body really does need an off day or two.
So how can you tell the difference between self-induced BS-ing and a legitimate reason to rest? Tom Kloos, coach of the Bay Area Track Club and Saint Mary’s College of California, provides this rule of thumb: “If you don’t work with a coach, imagine if you did and have an imaginary conversation with that person. If you’re embarrassed by your reasoning, you know you should do the workout.” He adds that it’s best to consider the forest (your training) rather than the tree (one run). A single workout isn’t that important, but you don’t want to look out and see a barren forest. Use this field guide to navigate the woods. read more at womensrunning.competitor.com
From the moment human beings find themselves immersed in water, several things become apparent: It takes a lot of
energy to stay afloat, the body needs to move in unfamiliar ways, using unfamiliar muscles, and motivation!? What's more immediate than sink or swim?
From the moment human beings find themselves immersed in water, several things become apparent: It takes a lot of energy to stay afloat, the body needs to move in unfamiliar ways, using unfamiliar muscles, and motivation!? What's more immediate than sink or swim?
Before we hit the water, if you still think swimming isn't for you, consider that it's non-impact in nature, meaning it's terrific for those who suffer from joint pain. Whether you have knee, back or ankle pain, swimming provides cardiovascular workouts without irritating injuries.
Different swimming strokes target different muscle groups, so for optimal benefits, vary your stroke selection. Bear in mind that your least-favorite stroke may do you the most good.
Soon it will be time to start ramping your training schedule to prepare for the numerous races and marathons in the coming year. Hydration and fuel are important components to racing. Knowing what to eat and drink and when are important and depend on the person and the length of the race you are participating in.
Check out the article below ‘Running 101: Race Fueling Made Simple' from running.competitor.com to see the suggestions they have to offer.
Staying hydrated and fueled during races is not as complicated as you might think.
When in training, runners are always keeping a close eye on what, when and how much they’re putting into their bodies throughout the day. But when race day rolls around the questions inevitably start to surface. Did I eat enough for breakfast? Am I well hydrated? When should I pop my first gel pack? How often should I drink? Do I try a sports drink at Mile 12 or just stick to water?
The answers, of course, are going to vary by the athlete, but regardless of your ability level the last thing you want to be doing is doubting yourself on race day. You must toe the starting line feeling confident in your training, and it’s just as important to be sure of your fueling strategy as well.
With the wet and colder weather arriving it gets a bit more challenging to get out and exercise. Every little bit counts but a little help is sometimes all we need to get back on track with our training and goals. Watch this inspirational fitness video from Kyla Gagnon's website. She's a Personal Trainer/Nutrition Coach from Victoria, BC. She makes fitness training look easy!