<a href="https://mikesfitnesschallenge.com/fitness-resolution/"><b>Fitness Isn’t Just A Resolution</b></a> <a href="https://mikesfitnesschallenge.com/keeping-healthy-traveling-vacation/"><b>Keeping Healthy and Traveling for Vacation</b></a> <a href="https://mikesfitnesschallenge.com/vitamin-b12/"><b>Vitamin B12 and You</b></a> <a href="https://mikesfitnesschallenge.com/setting-goals-coming-year/"><b>Setting Goals For The Coming Year</b></a> <a href="https://mikesfitnesschallenge.com/pros-cons-carb-diet/"><b>The Pros And Cons Of A Low Carb Diet</b></a>

Getting Injured Really Stinks

Getting Injured Really Stinks

About a week and a half ago, I was at the gym for one of my sessions with my personal trainer. We have been working on some high intensity (thermodymology) type training and on this day, things went differently than I’d planned.

So, the idea was to sprint, and do some “high step” hurdling over some obstacles. On my very first pass, my right foot cam down – full force and full speed – on the side of the obstacle and I turned my ankle but good. Yeah, it hurt.  My trainer got me an ice pack right away, but the damage was done.

That day, I spent the rest of it icing the foot and ankle and staying off it. In fact, I had it elevated through most of the day. And took some ibuprofen 🙂

The next morning I looked and although it was discolored and slightly swollen, it was not as bad as I thought. I iced it for a while that morning then wrapped it in an ace bandage. I took the day off and did very little.

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Interval Running and Its Benefits

18 December, 2011 Running, Slider No comments
Interval Running and Its Benefits

Interval running or interval training is simply (as the name implies) running in intervals at a high rate of speed and low rate of speed (or walking). Running at the higher speeds are typically close to maximum exertion while the lower speeds are for recovery.

Before we move on with interval running, it’s important to understand that before you begin any type of high intensity physical training (such as interval training), you need to establish a “base” of proper conditioning. For runners, if you are not already conditioned (can run steady pace for a good amount of time), intervals could very well cause injury and at the very least, they will not be of great benefit. Without that conditioning, you’re not as likely to push yourself to make this type of training a benefit to you.

What is the purpose of interval running?

Actually, there are quite a few benefits.  Let’s start with one that might not seem like much but it can be…

  •  Fights Boredom

When I started running, the challenge of going further or longer was enough to stave off boredom. But now, when I get on those longer runs, especially on the treadmill, my mind can get stuck on the “how much further…” mindset and the boredom sets in. Mixing in some interval training  or interval running is another way to challenge myself more.

  •  Excellent Fat Burner

Running is a pretty good fat burner by itself, but interval running or interval training makes it an even better fat burning workout. Some research has shown that running intervals can burn as much as three times more fat than steady jogging at a steady pace for twice as long.

  •  Improves Your Speed and Endurance

Interval running or interval training leads to an increase in cardiovascular efficiency (the ability to deliver oxygen to the working muscles) as well as increased tolerance to the build-up of lactic acid, which is what makes you feel achy after working out. These changes result in improved performance, greater speed, and endurance. Interval running or interval training also helps avoid injuries that are common on endurance type workouts, such as steady state running. Using interval running or interval training as part of your routine allows you to increase your intensity without over training or burning out.

When you “force” your body to run fast for short periods of time, then recover, then run fast again, this trains your body to run at a faster pace overall. It’s a matter of conditioning…

  •  Time Saver

In today’s fast-paced world we want to put forth less effort and see greater results. Interval training enables you to spend less time running while gaining superior benefit from your routine. A person using interval training or interval running might finish a 60-minute walk in a mere 45 minutes by incorporating short bursts of anaerobic activity.

There are even more benefits to high intensity interval training or interval running which delve in to the scientific area. But let’s not bore you with that here. There are a great many articles and papers on this subject all over the internet. For our purposes (running), what I’ve listed here are enough to make clear the benefits for you to incorporate them in to your training program.

Interval Running and Training Recommended By the Experts

In fact, noted fitness experts Obi Obadike and Jonathan Joseph highly recommend interval training or interval running  in their “Accelerate Your Fat Loss” program. I suggest you check them out 🙂

Running In The Cold

12 December, 2011 Running No comments
Running In The Cold

For some of you this will be fairly obvious. However, I am pretty new to running and this is my first winter I have experienced running in lower temperatures.

But I was curious if there were any adverse effects of running in, say, 30 deg. F temperatures as opposed to 70 or 80 deg. F. Let me tell you what I have learned – both from experience as well as some reading…

First of all, I find that I rather enjoy cold weather running. It certainly beats the stale, musty air of my basement where my treadmill is! I also find that I don’t feel quite as tired as I do when running in 80 degree temps. Hot weather really drains me (and I am willing to bet many others too).

Since I have not been running long – and the fact that I am no doctor – I decided to do some checking to make sure I wasn’t doing anything to my insides by breathing in all that cold air. Not that I felt anything wrong or even uncomfortable. I didn’t. But we know that just because you can’t feel something bad doesn’t mean something bad isn’t happening, right? I call it erring on the side of caution. After all… I ain’t getting any younger.

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Who Wants To Run A Marathon With Me?

18 November, 2011 Running, Slider No comments
Who Wants To Run A Marathon With Me?

After running the half marathon back in September, I learned a lot about preparation and also recovery.  In retrospect, I realize I did not train properly.  I trained – but I did it only half way.

BIG mistake.

Hurting the ankle wasn’t the worst thing in the world. Day to day it didn’t bother me too much. Only when I tried to run did it remind me it was there.

After 2 weeks I thought it was all better so I did a 11 mile run – only to come away with a heel spur or something. Let me tell you – that has been worse than the ankle 🙂

So I am learning. Since that 11 mile day I have mostly run 3 and 4 milers with an occasional 5 miler thrown in. Each run had its own challenges. Lower back aches, favoring the left enough to cause pain in my right knee… you get the idea.

Like I said – I am learning.  I’ve toned down a bit and run less days – 2 to 3 lately instead of 5. It’s helping too. My heel is about 90% now and today I did a six mile run relatively pain free.

I say relatively because I AM 47, have arthritis in both knees and still have MINOR irritation in my left heel.

But today, six miles, no stops, pace of 9:37. And no pain.  Here are my split times:

  • Mile 1 – 9:36
  • Mile 2 – 9:29
  • Mile 3 – 9:44
  • Mile 4 – 9:46
  • Mile 5 – 9:49
  • Mile 6 – 9:06 (strong finish)

Tomorrow I might do a 5K. Still undecided.

Ok, so what is this Marathon thing I mentioned in the title?

In my “About Me” page, when I started this blog I challenged myself to run in the NYC Marathon this year. But early on I decided the goal was not realistic for me. In fact, I was not even running regularly at that point. I made this goal so I could run for charity in the name of my niece who died 3 years ago from colon cancer.

I ended up buying a bicycle and was thoroughly enjoying riding. In fact, a friend of mine who rides regularly wanted me to join him in a 50 mile ride.  But something happened…

In May I started running. Hitting my first 3 mile run was exhilarating for me. Something achieved… and it pushed me further until after only 4 months I did the half marathon.

Now, injuries aside, the accomplishment made me realize that I COULD achieve my marathon goal. It was no longer something I considered out of reach.

After injuring myself I also realized I would have to properly train. I will find a running coach when the time comes.

So here’s what I want to know. Do you want to run in the marathon with me?

I want to start a running “team” for charity and run in my nieces name. So I am putting the word out almost a year in advance and I want to know… who wants to do this?

There’s a few people out there whose arm I am going to twist… but I truly believe that pretty much anyone can set this goal and achieve it. I know 100% that if I had trained properly for the half I would not have injured myself and I COULD have run in the NYC Marathon. So next year I will.

Comment below if you are interested because I want to start building a team soon.

In the meantime – keep on running.