training to run

March 17, 2009 at 8:11 pm | Posted in exercise | 4 Comments
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as promised, i have fleshed out the first part of my training plan for this season, which will take me to race #1. the plan i am planning to follow this year is from runners world. it is called the FIRST training program from this book (which i highly recommend if you are into running!). it is a 3plus2 plan, where you run intensely 3 days a week and do 2 “plus two” days of cross training. my cross training will be primarily on the bike (they also recommend swimming).

it seems like a good plan for busy people. each workout has a specific purpose – there aren’t a lot of “junk miles” and you only run every other day or so to allow your body to recover on the days in between. recommended cross training are less joint-intensive impact activites, like swimming and biking. rowing is also an option. i plan to incorporate lots of yoga and i hope to also continue to do some strength training on my cross train days.

i am going for a 2:07 half marathon run on may 23 so this is what i have come up with. the key issue with my season is that i have an 18 week plan but my season is 8 weeks till the 1st race, 16 weeks between the 1st and 2nd, and 4 weeks between the 2nd and 3rd. i’m working on the wiggling. i’ll post the next section when i’ve got it done.

i work in metric units, so i had to do some calculations to switch from miles to km. it’s 1.6 km to the mile.


training for more than just life

February 3, 2009 at 10:44 pm | Posted in food | 2 Comments
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so as i may have mentioned, i’m a runner. i’ve been running since at least 1998 when I was on my high school cross country team, seriously since 2003, when i started training for my first 10km. i’ve come a long way since those 4km cross country races that seemed so long!
although my training over the last two years became markedly more serious (with real goals rather than just running for fun), i feel like this is the first time i am putting more than just my whole heart into it.

i’m not much of a winter person. it gets pretty cold here in toronto – temperatures in january average around -10 – -15°C with tons of snow and ice. these aren’t great running conditions! in the past, i’ve taken winter as a “vegging out” season. not this year. as you’ve seen from my pictures, i’ve not only been keeping active outside, through snowshoes, hikes and skating, but i have also been biking on my trainer at least 3-4 days a week for an hour combined with 10 minutes of strength training per session.

knowing that i’m staying in shape and getting stronger is awesome and fuels my desire to do more, positive feedback loop style. i can already see nice definition in my calves and have noticed that my quads are much more toned. i’ve been working extra hard on my core strength because that helps you run faster! i strongly believe that this exercise, combined with my healthy eating and other good living habits have contributed to my not getting sick during the height of cold/flu season.

one of my latest and greatest discoveries has been yoga. although i have been to a few classes in the past, i have never enjoyed yoga. i always found it too slow and too painful. until now. i found that if i download 20 minute audio classes from yogadownload that I can do at my level and convenience, it is far more enjoyable! i hook my computer up to the tv, put the pose guide on the screen and run the audio through the tv sound system so I can follow along. I’m still at a fairly beginner level (i tried a level 3 class yesterday and it was really challenging!), but I am loving it. I highly recommend checking out yogadownload, even if you think you’re not into that. you might surprise yourself!

i mentioned in my new year’s resolution post that one of my goals for this year was to run a half marathon in under 2 hours. i’m still formulating a training plan and scheduling the 3 races I will run this summer/fall. I’ll share it when it’s finished along with some other training tools i’m using. I found a really excellent book at the library for this called: Runner’s World Run Less, Run Faster that i am using as a guide. if you are a runner and you need a plan, check this method out! it’s a lot more reasonable than many other training plans (only 3 days per week of running, plus 2 days of cross training) which makes it easier to stick to. Quality over quantity. Every workout has a purpose and because you never run on back to back days, you can put the effort into getting faster (through tempo runs, intervals, and long runs done at close to goal pace).

Running isn’t just exercise. it’s me time, something i don’t get too much of these busy days. i look forward to the early morning summer runs, when it’s just me, my music and the trees. the view of the lake isn’t half bad either.


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