Need for speed

My Mentor: “Do you do any speed workout at all”

Me: (Speed workout – what does she mean???)

Me : “No”

My Mentor: “That’s why you are stuck at the same pace”

Me:

Crying!

MM: 1 km warmup 2×200 Meters 2×400 meters 1×800 meters Speed is full out with 60 second walking in between. This will ignite your fast twitch muscles and make you faster. Every week a new speed session.

Today’s run:

Goal – Run fast and I did!

Prep :

Nothing special

During the run:

All was well till the middle of  the 2nd 400 – I was blown! I struggled with the 800 and then I jogged back home at snail pace.

Post Run

There was this mild nausea, but it passed off soon. Post the run, while climbing down the stairs at home there was a tendon pain near the calf – I was worried about the sudden cramp like searing pain that happened about 6 months ago. But no such thing happened, and in about 10 minutes I was OK.

The energy levels through the day were good. There was a mild pain in the right heel and both knees.

This run gave me a new area to focus on – I’m looking forward to the next Tue for a repeat and probably a little push further.

THE 1st HALF OF MY LIFE!

Goal : Weekend long run

Preparation:

  • This one took 2 full days of effort – a day of complete rest and a day of moderate strength training. The rest day was tougher – kept the eating super clean.
  • I kept a watch on hydration, ensuring that the electrolyte replenishment was on track during these slack days.
  • On the strength day, ensured that I paid attention to static stretching the hams and calves as per the advice of my FB friends
  • Slept well all week.
  • Substituted last night’s meal for a couple of bananas.

The Run:

  • I was in the right frame of mind from the moment I woke up. There are two issues I’m dealing with currently – one with the left knee and the other with the right ankle which is quite sore and I have the tendency to give in to the temptation of not running by rationalize aggravating the injury. And, I have also noticed that the pain usually is gone in a day, notwithstanding the fact that I run or not. So…
  • I carried along a bottle of OTC ORS mixed in water.
  • A light warm up with dynamic stretched has been my routine.
  • During the 1st part, I kept the pace even ensuring I was breathing well. I settled in to an easy rhythm quickly and the body seemed to be relaxed. All along, the run, I tried to maintain this relaxed pace and did not push the pace, though I felt I could run faster on some stretches.
  • The breath through the run was good, post the 15 k mark though I experienced a little difficulty momentarily.
  • There was a pain in the left knee during the run. The ankle hurt all along.
  • Also, around the 16 k mark I experienced a tingling sensation on my left toes – but it went away in a minute.
  • Towards the end, around the 18 km, the quads felt tight like it would cramp. Mindful that my posture had changed owing to the fatigue, I changed my stride, lifted the chest and relaxed the legs and that sensation passed away.

Post run

  • No stretches as there was an urgent family chore that needed attention.
  • Post run, meal was 2 bananas  –  I was famished!
  • The energy levels were low through the day – guess the 1st time the body has gone this new distance and hence a longer turn around to recuperate.
  • The knee and shins were hurting – ice-pack treatment tomorrow.
  • The ankle was slightly less painful post the run.

Tomorrow, we run again – albeit a slower run just to ensure that the muscles are supple and reaping the benefits of the rhythm that any long duration exercise gives you.

I’m excited!!! This is the 1st half-marathon of my life! I’m on track for the race on 15th of Oct.

fitbit run timing - 15 July '17

I’m grateful to my friends on FB and here who have been guiding me with their experience. I hope to improve in the next few weeks while being safe!

Cramps – wonder cure

The last run was frustrating! I cramped at the mid-way point just when I was holding a nice rhythm. And later when I spoke about it with a friend, he told me it was caused by Potassium imbalance and recommended ingesting more Potassium – Bananas and coconut water were his recommendations. Another friend (here on WP) suggested using magnesium oil and OTC electrolyte supplement. Since the bananas and tender coconut water were more easily accessible I went for it – had about 3 bananas and only one tender coconut, I also added a little extra sodium to my  diet. Another important inclusion was added sleep. Also, before I hit the sack I popped a Combiflam as the calf was slightly sore.

Things worked out! When I woke up this morning, the calf was OK. After gingerly warming up, while testing my calves all along, I started with the goal of running easy while keeping an eye out for the pain. Reminding myself of the Chi practices, the posture and gait, to limit the calf use while running I set off at an easy pace. Soon I realized that I was striding ok and the pain which was mild at the start was non-existent. Despite the bad traffic and the fear of cramping again, all the while reinforcing the posture recommended by Chi trainers, I ran 10 kms in 58 minutes!

fitbit run timing - 06 July '17!!!!!

So, in summary, the wonder cure:

  • Bananas
  • Tender coconut and
  • plenty of water and rest

I’m not a health professional, but there it worked for me. The goal now is to not slack on the Potassium intake and be mindful about it and the other key nutrients. Here is a recommendation I received:

  1. Racing weight cookbook
  2. The New Rules of Marathon and Half-Marathon Nutrition

 

Chi running drills

My 2nd 10K, 3 weeks back; At around the 6k mark just as the end goal of completing without issues seemed to be possible, my left knee felt sore. It wasn’t the 1st time I was experiencing this pain. It does come by during the “training runs” like an old unwelcome guest every now and then. To me, someone who is jut getting used to running long distances, my breath was already labored at this stage – this is the time when ( I’m aware of it) the mind is playing tricks giving you excuses to quit running. But, on the other hand I have been carrying the tendinitis pains on my right calf. The rationalization I had was that unconsciously my left leg was over compensating to prevent the right from having to commit fully to the stride so that the stretch during the stride does not cause a flare up of the tendinitis pain in the right calf.

Post the run, the pain was mildly present over the next couple of days. I avoided running fearing it could make things worse.

On the next run, exactly 3 days after, the knee pain was back. I realized that this was now a posture issue which needed correction along with strengthening the muscles around the knee that can absorb the impact thereby protect the knee from further damage.  The search and reading cycle on the internet ensued and along the way I rediscovered Chi running, something I’d read about a few years back. The Chi running technique is supposed to minimize the impact on your joints while improving the efficiency of the run. To get started, it is recommended to correct the posture, coupled with a set of drills to imbibe the right Chi running form. Here are some of the drills that seemed to be easier to adopt for beginners that I will include in my training:

Heel Strike killer: (from: the guardian)

1) Stand with your feet pointing straight ahead, a hip-width apart.

2) Lengthen your spine so you’re feeling tall – raising your hands in the air above your head and allowing them to fall back can help, especially for corrections as you run.

3) Level your pelvis, which is generally tilted forwards. To do this, place one hand face down on your tummy with the thumb in your belly button and the other hand face up on your back directly opposite, then gently tip your pelvis back to a level position. You should feel your core muscles engage – but don’t go so far that your core becomes tense or that your glutes tighten.

4) Place both thumbs on the prominent front hip bone at the top of your legs and pivot forwards from there until you are balanced over your centre of gravity. For me, that meant leaning my top half forwards until I could just see the knot in the laces of my shoes when looking down – an extremely useful reference point which is key to the method for me.

5) Set a metronome at 180 beats per minute lean forwards (pivoting at the ankles) and let gravity do the work of moving you forwards.

Walking Spiderman Balancer :(from: running competitor)

From a standing position, take a long stride forward into a deep lunge position and lower the same-side elbow to the heel on the forward leg. From this position, drive off the forward foot, return to the upright position, and pull your trailing leg even with your forward leg. Repeat the movement with the opposite arm and leg. Continue lunging forward in a walking manner. Keep your chest up and try not to let the lower back round as you lunge.

Lander : (from: running competitor)

Concentrate on squeezing your right buttock the instant before your right foot touches the ground when you run, and doing the same on the left side. With the increase in stride rate, this one cannot be made permanent unless you do it consciously on every stride until it starts to happen automatically, which could take a few weeks.

Peg Leg: (ref: chirunning.com)

This exercise is best done walking. Use it as a warm up for a run; during the walking portion of your walk-run training plan; or whenever you’re just walking somewhere.

Walk as if you don’t have feet, as if your knees are what are directly in touch with the ground. Another image you could use is that you are walking on stilts. You should feel a set of muscles engage that you probably don’t feel while you are running. You’ll also probably notice your hips and hips flexors more than usual.

This drill helps engage your core, keeps your upper body forward, shortens your stride and helps you to completely relax your lower legs. All of these key components of good running form are contained in this simple exercise.

Walk using the Peg Leg image for a few minutes at a time, then run or walk while focusing on being aware of engaging the same muscles and a similar movement in the hips. Feel your posture while walking with Peg Legs, and maintain the same posture.

This is just a drill. It is not the way you want to run or walk all the time, but it helps inform your body of a more beneficial way to move.

Hold the Chi Ball:  (ref: chirunning.com)

This exercise can be practiced first while standing, then while ChiWalking® or ChiRunning® in small intervals. Practice in first or second gear when you are running (not a good idea for 3rd or 4th gear).

Begin by aligning your posture with shoulders, hips and ankles in a line. Then, curve your arms out in front of you, chest-high, as if you’re holding a big exercise ball. Notice how bringing your arms into this position brings your upper body slightly forward and engages your core muscles. Holding the Chi Ball puts your body into a perfect posture that is ideal for walking and running. Just hold the Chi ball for 5-10 seconds at a time. Then, try to hold onto the same posture feeling as you let your arms fall slowly to your sides. Finally, bend your arms to 90 degrees and resume the normal rearward ChiRunning and ChiWalking arm swing.

Throughout this exercise keep your shoulders relaxed and your core will engage even more. Allow your legs to relax as well. When you focus on holding the Chi ball, your legs will naturally relax and you’ll feel your body pulled forward by gravity. Try to memorize that sensation and duplicate it.

Do the Chi Ball Exercise for ten seconds every two minutes, until your body moves naturally and with good posture.

Running plan

I’ve have chosen to use the this plan to run my 1st half-marathon. Today was the 1st day of the plan and started here

training - start

Tried to keep the pace easy for the 1st half – 11:00 min/mile and a little faster in the 2nd half around 9:00 min/mile. The calf started acting up in the 2nd half with the tendon pain recurring. A cold pack post run didn’t do much to relive the pain. Getting a doctor’s appointment at the earliest is important now.
The post run stretching is also something that is missing in the routine. For the strength training, I’m looking at kits online. It also means that before buying the kit, I need to understand the strength training routine needed for running.

The routines I’m currently evaluating are:

The idea is to pick a sustainable initially easier routine and then look at advanced routines thereby avoid injury and fatigue.

The strength training kit, I’m looking to order is this.