Friday, February 20, 2009

winter health tips

Since it's cold and flu season, I thought I would share some tips I just learned for staying healthy:
~Get lots of sleep. The more you sleep, the more your body produces virus-attacking cells. You produce 50% more after 8 hours of sleep, than after 6 hours.
~Doing 30-75 minutes of moderate activity can boost your body's ability to fight nasty bugs. It is a myth that cold weather causes won't catch a cold just because it is cold outside.
~However, runs longer than 90 minutes can cause your body to produce immune-inhibiting stress hormones for up to 72 hours. That means, during this time you are more vulnerable to getting sick. Some ways to help this is to consume drinks that are rich in carbs before, during, and after long runs. You should also wash your hands during the 72 hour time period, and get lots of rest.
~If you do get sick, as it is sometimes inevitable, it won't hurt you to run with a head cold (but, stay hydrated). However, if the cold moves to your chest, or you have body aches and/or a fever, you should rest and not run until those symptoms fade. Then, take it easy until you fully recover.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Week #11 Feeling Good

Yesterday Morgan and I ran 4 miles up the Clearfield mountain, and then came 4 miles back down. I have run a lot of hills, but I have never run uphill continuously for 4 miles. It wasn't too hard, but our pace was pretty comfortable. Next time, we want to go longer and faster.

To date I have run 311 miles total. My longest run has lasted for 2 hours and 28 minutes and was at least 15 miles long. I have officially started doing speed work, which is nice because it breaks up the runs. A basic marathon training plan consists of two short runs, two medium runs, and one long run per week. The short and medium runs stay at about the same distance, but change in how the distance is acquired-hills, intervals, AT runs, etc. The long runs increase, and this is predominately how more mileage is added on each week. To increase mileage in any training plan, the rule of thumb is to increase your weekly mileage by 10% for three weeks. On the fourth week you go back down to the beginning. And then you start where you left off and keep increasing. For example: Week one-30 miles, Week two-33 miles, Week three-36 miles, Week four-30 miles. That's one series. Then on week five you would begin to increase again, starting at 36 miles. This is what I try to do. Sometimes things don't work out the way you plan. Some weeks I need an extra rest day, weather may not permit certain workouts to be done, I may have another obligation that prevents me from getting a workout in, etc. I have learned to be flexible, stay focused, and do the best I can to stay on track. Ultimately, I just don't give up. It is better to do a little something, than nothing at all.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

As of November 2008, 700 people were already signed up to run the Pittsburgh Marathon. Pittsburgh first hosted the marathon in 1985. 2,500 runners participated. The last year they hosted was 2003, when 6,000 runners participated from all 50 states, and 20 different countries. The six year hiatus occurred because the city lost UPMC as a sponsor. Now, Dick's Sporting Goods has signed on to sponsor the race for the next three years. Thousands of runners are expected again this year. The city is excited about the marathon coming, and so am I!

These are the quotes that inspire runners...

You pretend the snooze button didn't exist. You dragged your butt out of bed while others slept. While others ate pancakes. You had a feast of protein, glucose and electrolytes. You double-knotted. You left the porch light on and locked the door behind you. You ran. 5ks, 10ks, 26.2 miles. Some days more, some days less. You rewarded a long run with a short run. And a short run with a long run. Rain tried to slow you. Sun tried to microwave you. Snow made you feel like a warrior. You cramped. You bonked. You paid no mind to comfort. On weekends. On holidays. You made excuses to keep going. Questioned yourself. Played mind games. Put your heart before your knees. Listened to your breathing. Sweat sunscreen into your eyes. Worked on your farmer's tan. You hit the wall. You went through it. You decided to be a woman about it. Finished what you started. Proved what you were made of. Just kept putting mile after mile on your interval odometer.