Running and Exercise

I usually save this kind of (boring, if you’re not into it) chatter for Bodies, but I have a post about to go up over there so I’ll write about it here.

Lindsay asked about my pacing and strength training for my running, so I’m going to explain what I’ve been doing.

Steve gave me a Nike+ Sports band for Christmas, it’s like watch that is somehow magically connected to a device on my sneaker and measures my distance, pace per kilometre (or mile if you’re so inclined, it’s just a setting), calories burned and time. It has seriously been the biggest factor in changing the way I run.

All training plans talk about pace for a specific distance and I never had any idea of what my 5k or 10k pace was. I just… ran, and slowed down if I got tired and went faster if I felt ok. I am not a “type A” personality and I am not one of those people that find motivation in pain, so I can honestly say that I never truly pushed myself. Anyway, for my first run with it, I just ran and didn’t look at the watch. I did a 5k in 27 minutes and change, and made goals from there.

After my last half marathon (when my goal was to just finish), I decided not to make that my goal anymore. From then on I decided to have specific time goals so that (knowing my own self), I wouldn’t take it too easy anymore. (The marathon was a different story, that was definitely just a one foot in front of the other experience.)

Anyway, when I decided to run a half in June, I chose what seemed to be a crazy goal – under 2 hours. So I looked in my running book at the pace required and decided to run at that pace for my long runs. Keep in mind, pace isn’t something that stays the same, it’s slower on the hills and faster on the way home and slower when you’re fiddling around with your music or whatever. I try to run between 5:35 and 5:45 min/km. There are times when it falls to over 6min and times when it’s down to 5:20. The hills on the way home are always killer, but I keep a close eye on my pace then and don’t let it go slower than 6:30. At the beginning, it’s hard to stay at 5:35, but I make myself slow down, because other wise the juice runs out.

I also strength train. I run three times a week and try to do strength twice, but honestly, I’m just getting back into it after a couple weeks off. Running alone, the absolute best exercise you can do is jump lunges. They are a sick exercise in torture, but really improve strength. Regular lunges and stationary squats are great, too. Also, core, because that holds it all together when you get tired. I try to get in some yoga but often fail miserably and am going to start swimming once a week (which will replace one of my strength training days).

So. Boring, perhaps, but that’s what the fitness aspect of my life looks like.

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