Fitness Friday: One Month Until the Half-Marathon

April 29, 2011 at 2:08 pm 2 comments

If you can tear yourself away from the royal wedding coverage this morning, it’s time for Fitness Friday! I’ll save my comments on the wedding until the next Style Tuesday.

I am exactly one month away from my longest race in a decade, so today I’m taking stock of where things are at with me in terms of health and fitness. And, in the blogger spirit, I’m sharing it with you.

When I decided to run the half-marathon, I wasn’t convinced that running would be the best thing for me but I like to have a goal, and this was one I could work toward. So let’s see how the training has affected me:

  1. Cardiovascular Fitness (General): Feeling great. Resting heart rate is lower than the normal range (but it has always been fairly low) and I can plow through 45-60 sec plyometric or cardio intervals.
  2. Sport-specific Fitness (Running): I feel like the training is going well. Some days I feel like I’m flying, other days are harder, but generally I am seeing improvement.
  3. Strength: Unfortunately, I’m not really sure. I haven’t been testing myself on this. I hopefully haven’t lost too much, but I certainly haven’t gained strength. I wrote a whole post about how much I love what strength training does for me. Well, after this race, I’m going to make it a priority again.
  4. Flexibility: Ouch! I’m a former dancer and naturally flexible but the running is sure shortening up my muscles. I am usually rushing somewhere after a run and I don’t always have time to do as much stretching as I’d like to. This is something I need to keep an eye on. The very top of my hamstrings where they insert into the base of the pelvis are the tightest. Holding long rag doll yoga poses helps.
  5. Nutrition: I’ve been eating more carbs to fuel my runs and thus my overall percentage of protein is down. I feel good though, and aside from the cookies, loaves, chocolates, I feel like my body is getting what it needs.
  6. Physical Health: As I write this, I am knocking on wood over and over, but my health has been good. My body has been holding up well cause I’ve been well-fueled, well-rested, and conscientious about not over-training. I do have a sore foot and am seeing a physiotherapist for it, but it’s manageable and more of an annoyance than an injury.
  7. Mental Health: I love what running does for my mind. I can go out and come back with an endorphin-induced completely fresh perspective on life. Long runs with a group are fun and social, but my favourite effect is the feeling of accomplishment as I work toward goals I set out for myself.
  8. Body Composition: I saved the best for last… well, the one I think about the most (it’s just a fact of my life that I’ve come to accept). I have not measured my body fat recently but I did weigh myself this morning for the purposes of this post. As I suspected, I’ve gained (just under) 3 pounds. My pants were feeling a bit tighter so I wasn’t surprised. In adding so much cardio to my schedule, I had a feeling this might happen. I have a hard time being HUNGRY. And the running sure increases my appetite. Shockingly, I’m NOT too concerned about it. I feel good and I’m pretty sure that I can lose it before the race with little effort. I do not want those extra pounds slowing me down. Did you know that research (for which I do not have a source for you) has shown that for every extra pound you carry, you slow yourself down by about 12 seconds per 10k? That means those 3 extra pounds could cost me over a minute in the half-marathon. No thank you – not after all the hours of training I’ve put in.

One last note on body composition. I have a new muscle. Actually, I’m pretty sure it was there, it’s just decided to grow. My tensor fasciae latae on both sides is much more prominent than it was before I started running consistently. It totally changes the shape of my legs – interesting. Never heard of that muscle? Well, here’s a diagram (I had to find one to identify it too and I taught a cadaver lab in grad school so don’t feel bad):

Running Rundown

Everything is posted in km. For those of you who only do miles, 1 km = .625 mile OR 1 mile = 1.6 km

Sunday – 19 km run – 17k with Elation Run Club plus the 1 km there and back

Tuesday – 10 km run on the treadmill since the rain was coming down in buckets. I brought my iPad and finished watching “Saint Ralph” – a great movie to watch while running! Then I started watching Gavin and Stacey – may be funny new series to go through… Workout was GREAT. I haven’t been on a treadmill in awhile and I was able to watch my speed and see that I have definitely improved. I did a warm-up and then 10 x 1 min between 7.5 km/hr and 8.5 km/hr with a 2 minute rest in between at 6.7 km/hr. I finished with a 2 km cool-down (except I didn’t cool down cause i was having too much fun; in fact, I wished I could have run a bit longer but I had to be somewhere.)

Thursday –9.25 km run with Jenn. This was intended to be a faster tempo run but my legs were not moving fast. Jenn was kind enough to say we could just go slower. By about halfway through our run, we had picked up the pace to our true tempo speed. It was HOT and windy. We both felt tired and sweaty at the end of this workout.

Strength Training (and Yoga) Stats

Ahhh. Strength training, I miss you. But there are only so many hours in the week.

Tuesday: Hot Power Yoga class at Prana Shanti yoga. I had not been there before. The heat was great for my tight hamstrings and hips. We did a good amount of core and plank/low plank holds so I felt like I was at least maintaining (?) this strength.

Friday: Greco Lean and Fit class in Kanata

Anyone else training for end of May races wanna share how they’re doing?


Entry filed under: Fitness, Otown. Tags: , , , , .

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2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Finola  |  May 3, 2011 at 5:13 pm

    You are doing so well! Interesting that last year I didn’t lose any weight while training for the half-marathon, but my legs sure did look good! This year, I am down a little bit by trying not to overeat the carbs. I hope I can keep those few pounds off.

    And I watched some Gavin and Stacey on the treadmill one day too – Netflix??

    • 2. fitforakid  |  May 4, 2011 at 4:45 pm

      Yes – the carbs are definitely being enjoyed over here. This week I’m doing a whole lot better managing my appetite (protein helps). That’s great that you’ve lost a few (I remember a post from you earlier in your training where you were lamenting the opposite – so yay!)

      Yes – Gavin and Stacey on Netflix. Wish they had more seasons of many of the better series.


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