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Posts Tagged ‘achievement’

spine picYesterday I weighed in at 165lbs.  I’m not weighing today, so there!  ; )  It has been an interesting & long week so far.  Today is the day – Neurologist Appointment!!  Finally.  I don’t know how much of what I am feeling is real & how much is imagined.  I have really cut back on riding, I’m not running at all.  Not losing.  Not training.  I honestly don’t know how I’m going to ride ‘as a ride marshall’ 65 miles on the 19th & 72 miles on Oct 3rd.  Keep playing the Dr statements through my mind, because they sound so weird.  Fractured spine… narrowing spinal cavity… arthritic lumbar spine… he can’t be talking about me, right?

So, the day will be interesting.  I hope the Dr can make sense of my ramblings.  My cervical spine is tight.  The thoracic section hurts during the day & makes a grinding noise when I twist left & right.  Tightness & pain in the lumbar area.  I’m such a baby…

And so I runWoman Runner 1 a

First, we’ll look at the science of training, then detail 2 types of endurance building exercises to incorporate into your running schedule to increase your strength, endurance & skill.  

Interval Training is repeated bouts of high intensity exercise with intermittant rest periods. Intermittant exercise allows a higher total volume of high intensity work. Interval training allows us to accumulate a greater volume of stress on the blood pumping capacity of the heart.

These exposures to additional ventricular stretch may help trigger ventricular remodeling (bigger ventricle volume).  A program employing relatively low volume but high intensity endurance type exercise will be very effective in increasing the VO2max of a previously untrained or (substantially detrained) person.

woman runner 4For the untrained, interval training is a way of accumulating minutes of exercise at a higher intensity than our skeletal muscles are initially adapted to tolerate. In the untrained, the heart is better conditioned to endurance performance than the skeletal muscles.

The improvement in lactate threshold, or the percentage of VO2 max that can be maintained without significant lactic acid accumulation.  Changes in the lactate threshold occur over a longer time-course than the improvement in maximal oxygen consumption, even if we train regularly.  And remember that our diet can strongly affect our lactate threshold.  Give consideration to removing refined carbs & sugar from your diet when training to raise the threshold level.  (Make it take longer for your body to start producing lactic acid.)

Speed Workoutswoman runner 3

 

These are short intervals that are performed at faster than your normal training speed. We are going to begin with introductory level speed workouts and moderately improve speed and performance for a 5K race. Base these workouts on your current 5K race time.

If you have not completed a race or do not know your current 5K race time, here is a way to figure it out:

There are 2 levels of time trial measuring. If you are very new to running, run a full half mile & time yourself. Rest for 3 minutes in between, then run another full half mile. Add these 2 times together and multiply by 3.25. That will give you a good starting point for training purposes.

woman runner 5a aIf you are slightly more advanced, try this: Go to a 400 meter track (most high school tracks are 400 meters) and run three 1600 meter repeats with one minute of rest between the three repeats. There are 1609 meters in 1 mile. Run the repeats at a pace that you can maintain for the entire workout. Make sure you choose a challenging speed that still allows you to complete the three workouts. Calculate your average pace per mile for the three repeats. Multiply this pace by 3.125. That will give you a fairly accurate estimate of your 5K race finishing time.

Hill Repeat Workouts

 

Hill repeat workouts will help build strength and speed. These workouts are short, repeated runs up a hill of small, moderate or high grade, depending on your experience with running and your fitness level. Remember, if you’ve never run hill repeats before, start a little easy & gradually increase the distance and the intensity.woman runner 6

Newer runners can do shorter sections up the hill, then jog or walk down, increasing the uphill run distance regularly until you are running all the way up & down. Start by finding a hill with the grade you want to train on. Run up it at race pace or faster, then jog or walk down for recovery. The grade should be steep enough to test you, but not so steep that your form suffers.

Run or walk a warm-up before you begin. At least 5 minures of running or walking. As you hit the incline, lean forward with your back tall. Lift your knees and focus more on vertical, rather than forward, motion. Lift through your hip flexors and push down with your glutes and calves. Keep your shoulders relaxed and low as you pump your arms.

Shorten your stride. Stay on your toes. Think baby steps. Depending on the hill and your current conditioning, do 3 to 10 repeats, totaling 20 to 40 minutes of hill repeats. Vary the intensity; short and very steep, longer and not-so-steep, fast/faster/fastest. In combination with a regular running routine, run hill repeats once a week. Always finish your workout with 10 to 15 minutes of easy running or walking to help the body cool down.

Now, just go do it

There you have it.  Running 101, 102, 103.  Everything you need to know to be a healthy, strong runner, start-to-finish line!!

woman runner 2a

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Weigh-in 167lbs.  Well, at least I’m consistant.  And at least I’m not whining about how I “just can’t lose the weight, no matter how much I do“.  My ride schedule is going well, now I need to get control of my eating.  However, I am not going to sabotage my efforts thus far by not holding myself accountable for the bad choices I’m making.

I want to talk about training.  Training starts by building a strong mental foundation.  It starts by making a shift in our thinking.  In my mind, I have to go from being a fat woman to being an athlete with a weight problem.  Somewhere in proverbs the Bible states “As a man thinketh, so he is“.  Our minds are powerful, we can use them to achieve more than ever before or allow them to hold us captive in our bad choices for a lifetime.  It is always our choice.   That is what people mean when they say being fat is a choice.

I wish many of you that struggle with exercise could believe me when I tell you that where you are mentally determines the success of your workouts – EVERY SINGLE TIME.  When I ride my bike, it takes me about 1hour, 15 minutes to do 20 miles.  Some days, it is the longest hour I’ve ever felt.  Other days, the time goes by & I don’t even notice.  I figured out what was bothering me the most about FA last week.  It’s the language.  They consistantly feed themselves negative language, making the actions of losing weight that much harder.

I see this all the time while training cyclists to climb hills.  It isn’t the hill that takes them out.  They defeat themselves long before they get to the hill.  The moment they have the hill in sight, all of them say “ugh, a hill, I don’t think I can make it“. (or it’s going to hurt, or I hate the hills, or a hundred variations of that statement.)  Then they ride on & struggle tremendously with the hill.  Now, when I get them to the point where they approach the hill & think “it’s going to be hard, but I know I can make it”, that is when I have a trainable hill-climber.  [let me take a minute and give you some insight to who these cyclists that I train are.  Many of them are middle -aged, struggling with weight & hormone problems, several are recovering from serious illnesses like cancer or heart desease.  All of them have very busy lives & demanding jobs.  But every week, they gather all their biking gear and become athletes.  They show up.  They get the work done.  I love each one of them!]

The reason for the defeat is you can’t achieve what you don’t believe you can achieve.  That’s it, bottom-line, every single time.  So achieving my weight-loss goals becomes all about my belief that I can.  Removing the negative & increasing the positive in thought & action.  I’m not talking about spewing a bunch of meaningless “Positive Mental Attitude” statements.  I’ve been in sales all of my adult life & I always disagreed with making blanket positive statements over & over & over again as a means to improve your mental outlook.  Your statements have to be real, and have some meat on them.

I’m talking about visualisation.  This is a truly powerful tool that is used for everything from sports to business success.  To make it more effective, I’m going to focus it very specifically.  Visualisation is the process of  creating detailed visual pictures of yourself being what you want to be.  For our example, I want us to visualise ourselves as an athlete.  When I do this, this is what I usually see:

lance 1 crop

You imagine yourself doing that thing you visualise, and your brain then knows exactly what you want and finds a way to make it happen.  Now, I don’t want to be Lance Armstrong.  But I do want to be strong – a hard rider – an athlete – cancer free.  Seeing this image in my mind, I can feel his strength in my legs, his lung capacity in my chest, I become the amazing hill climber that he is, in my mind.  And I start to believe I am healthy!

The down side of the “My life as a fat woman” blog was that I let it turn into me visualising myself as a fat woman – a victim, instead of using it for accountability.  I embrace it differently now.  I have lost 15 pounds, so my life as a fat woman is talking about a past event, not something I am now.  I still have weight to lose, but at 167lbs, I am no longer fat – just overweight.  And I move on from here, reaching forward, striving to achieve my goal.

Here is what you can do to build that strong mental foundation:

Follow through your actions. Tell yourself through-out the day, every day, that you are an athlete, that eating is just fueling your body. That healthy food intake is what keeps you, the athlete, strong.

Focus on what you want to achieve.Give it details, give it life. Later in the day after a run, when I stand up and my legs are sore, I make myself smile, feeling the sensation in my quads & hamstrings – and think to myself “you are getting stronger”. I do this instead of getting up and thinking “omg, I am so sore from this mornings run, gosh, I am weak”. (or old, or fat or out-of-shape or whatever negative thing used to pop into my head.)

Adopt a specific, clear vision of how you want your body to look. Spend time imagining how your new body will look, imagine that body, going through the activities you andrea ms croppedenjoy – riding, running, dancing, etc.  Be optimistic. Be realistic. Be empowered.

Practice in your mind.  Athletes practice their success in their minds. They see themselves achieving their goal. Rehearse overcoming temptation. Rehearse not feeling like working out, and mentally overcoming it. Picture yourself working out at a moment of enjoyment, experiencing the positive feeling that occurred. By regularly focusing on successfully accomplishing your goal, you greatly increase your potential to make it a reality.

Guard your mind. You are the gate-keeper. You choose what you think. (and if you are fully, mentally embedded in your excuse for not losing weight, you will never lose the weight. Like I discussed before, the excuse is irrelevant. Example: “I’m genetically obese, all the women in my family were fat.” This is not a scientifically accurate statement.  Barring a metabolic disorder, obesity is 100% choice.)

Every time a negative or defeating thought comes into your mind, speak out loud a counter statement.  My mind says “I’m too old to be a competitive athlete”. I say, out loud “There are competitions for athletes in my age group, I am strong, I will train for it.  I can do this” My mind says “I will always be fat, there is nothing I can do”. I say, out loud “my poor choices got me where I am, every day I am making healthier choices, I will lose this weight”.

What you eat, what you drink, how you train, what you do with your body and your health – your whole life, really–is all in your power. The most important factor is in what you think. 

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Today I reset my goal weight chart.  I spent several weeks thinking about this.  I am 12lbs behind in my schedule and I don’t feel I can make that up, based on how things have gone.  So, instead of beating myself up, I adjusted my timeframe.  I started this at 180lbs, in the latter part of March.  Today I weigh 166lbs.  I am happy and proud of this.  For now, it is enough.  I have said before, I didn’t get this big overnight, I’m not going to lose it in a few short weeks.  (I still have the old chart posted at the bottom of May 21,2009)

I am not on some crazed mission to be thin & beautiful.  I’ve always been beautiful to me, what I want is to be healthy as I age.  And that cannot be done carrying 35 extra pounds around.  The initial schedule was good, healthy, moderate timeframe.  It just didn’t happen.  Since I have kept dieting & exercising, this is not a failure, merely an adjustment.  It’s going to take a little longer to get there.  But I know I’ll get there.  ; )

I am excited again.  Next Monday, on 07/20/2009, I need to be at 163lbs.  I have the bike/run/bike/run/bike/run tonight.  Tomorrow I rest.  Friday I have a 25 mile ride that includes a 3.5 mile race simulation, followed by a 3 mile run.  27 mile beginner ride Saturday & a 30 mile intermediate ride Sunday.  That is 5200 calories burned.  If I watch my food intake, I could be at 163lbs on Monday!

I wanted to post my schedule so I can track the craziness.  My new goal date is September 21, 2009.  That is 5 days before the Conquer The Coast ride in Corpus Christi.  I wanted to be smaller so I could surf  the waves after the ride.  I wanted to not be fat when we spin fire at the bonfire BBQ on the beach that night.  I want my beautiful daughter Cass to come & surf with me that day. This is possible!! (but I gotta start weight training to make my arms stronger)

05/25/2009 –        172lbs                               actual – 171lbs

06/01/2009 –    167.5lbs                                actual – 174lbs

06/08/2009 – 165.25lbs                                 actual – 174lbs

06/15/2009 –        163lbs                                did not weigh in

06/22/2009 – 160.75lbs                                 actual – 167lbs     7lbs over goal

06/29/2009 –    158.5lbs                                 actual – 165lbs     6.5lbs over goal

07/06/2009 – 156.25lbs                               RESET SCHEDULE

07/13/2009 –  165.25lbs                               actual – 167lbs    1.75lbs over goal

07/20/2009 –       163lbs                                actual – 165lbs     2lbs over goal

07/27/2009 – 160.75lbs                               actual – 165lbs     5lbs over goal

08/03/2009 –   158.5lbs                                 actual – 167lbs     8.5lbs over goal

08/10/2009 – 156.25lbs                                 actual – 167lbs     10.75lbs over

08/17/2009 –      154.lbs                                 actual – 163lbs      9lbs over goal

08/24/2009 – 152.12lbs

08/31/2009 – 150.24lbs

09/07/2009 – 148.36lbs

09/14/2009 – 146.46lbs

09/21/2009 – 144lbs                  Goal Weight

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