Monday, January 13, 2014

Do you have a training plan?

In my previous post, I shared about "the beginning", the decision to make a change to live a healthier life. I touched on nutrition and eating cleaner, which I'm hoping if you did read the blog post-you made an appointment to see a dietician or nutritionist to guide you the best way possible on what will work for you as you begin your journey to a healthier you.

Now, I'm posting about my starting point of training. It also happens today is the first day of my training program for a half-marathon. I figure I will use this program alongside my training for the upcoming Spartan Race as well as the other runs that I have lined up from February to the Hapalua Half-Marathon (hopefully this is a smart thing to do).

If you have a smart phone, there are running apps that will appeal to what you are looking for in tracking your runs. As for me, I am currently using  the Nike+ Running App. This tracks all my runs from basic to distance running. I can choose to have playlist of songs begin as my run starts or the choice to have no music at all. In addition, Nike+ Running will also provide  me with my personal running history and stats. I can also share my activity through social media sites. What I like most because it challenges me to do better is the map showing where I ran. It shows my pace in colors. It's been my goal to erase all red (slow-walking) from the path to green (running) because for too long, my paths have been red and orange!

One of the other features on Nike+ Running is the Coach feature. This feature gives you training plans to prepare for 5k to a marathon.

I decided to choose the beginner's half-marathon despite the fact that I have ran 7 races in 2013.

It doesn't matter the amount of runs because as I look back on my runs and finishing time, I think it is now time for me to have a training plan. Seriously, it's time for me to grow as a runner this year. It's time for me to go to the next level of developing my run. And by this, I don't mean a faster time but to TRAIN SMARTER.

Now, it doesn't mean I don't want a faster time because we'd all love to break our PR with a new time. However, I have to be realistic that I'm a runner/walker meaning that I'm a slow runner. I am also smart enough to admit that I need to learn on what is truly my comfortable pace and to learn how to breathe while I'm running. I'm tired of breathing through my mouth only and feeling winded. I want to learn how to "breathe in through your nostrils and breathe out through your mouth". I want to do breathe like that naturally without trying to be fixated on my breathing technique.

Anyhow, as I am going along with a training plan and researching about running smart, I believe I will learn how and when to hydrating and refueling along the race course as I am running. On the days that I am not running and advised to cross train, the workouts will be geared toward the Spartan Race to focus on strength and my core. My daily food menu will remain the same of meats, poultry, veggies for protein and complex carbs as well as hydrating myself with water (and gatorade or electrolyte drinks as needed).

Remember, developing a training plan is wise to keep you from being injured and in understanding your body on what works and not works for you. This is very important for people who are 40 and over. We're not in our 20's or 30's, where our body is young enough to take a beating (figuratively). We're at that age where it's harder to lose fat and noticing what we could do longer works now. So, at this age, we have to truly find what works for us and if it means modifying a training plan for us to be comfortable with a little oomph that challenges our training plan, then by all means-let's do it.

If you are in doubt of developing a training plan on your own or never did develop a training plan, sign up with a trainer who will help you develop a plan according to your needs as well as age group. I advise this because I had a great trainer who modified her workouts (lesser sets compared to the other participants) when I trained at her bootcamps. I was probably one of the older ladies in her class and she pretty much gauged what I could handle and then some by monitoring our heart rates throughout the class time. Please don't think she babied me because my trainer didn't. She gauged my heart rate and determined what I could do and if I was able to do a little more. This way, it pushed me a little further to where I noticed that I was able to handle a little more than before.

As I'm writing this, I now realize that because of my trainer's guidance and knowledge, that instead of feeling discouraged and inadequate, my love for running and keeping fit grew with appreciation that me not want to give up but to keep going to where it is now a lifestyle.

Happy running!


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