Running

Guest Post // Five Exercises for a Healthier Heart

With WORLD HEART DAY right around the corner – tomorrow, Friday, Sep 29th – we figured this was an appropriate time for a guest post about exercises for a healthier heart!  Sara is building her “blogger portfolio” and we welcomed her post…

Guest Post // Five Exercises for a Healthier Heart 

Your heart is an extremely strong organ, but even this grows weak if you do not take good care of it through a nutritious diet and regular exercise! Here is a list of some of the most “heart friendly exercises” for a healthier blood pump.

Yoga

Yoga requires you to exercise using your own body weight and practice stretching to gain more flexibility in your movement. Yoga ranges from requiring very easy and basic movements like in Hatha Yoga, to demanding great flexibility and perfect posture like in Ashtanga or Vinyasa Yoga. Along with providing you with physical benefits, yoga can also be helpful in clearing the mind and keeping you stress-free. Remaining stress-free is also a really good way to keep your heart healthy and relaxed.

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Aerobics

Aerobics are basically cardio-exercise. They can be anything that can make your heart rate go up and have the sweat running in minutes. Aerobics are not a good option for people who have fragile hearts since it makes the heart put in a lot of effort. Even so, if you believe that your heart is healthy now and you want it to stay that way, you should get into the habit of doing aerobics regularly. You can make it even more fun by practicing fast dance moves or joining a class with a group of friends.

Running and Walking

For people who have never really had much physical exercise to begin with, they should start off with walking. Walking briskly 30-60 minutes every day can prove to be a very useful exercise. Even if it does not show immediate effect, you can see some major improvements in your long-term health. When you find that walking briskly is getting easier and easier, you should get the pace up to a jog and then start jogging or running. Running is one of the most effective ways to lose weight and make your heart really healthy.

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Strength Training

Strength training includes exercises that require lifting weights and doing exercises like push-ups. Be cautious of lifting weights that are beyond your capacity, this may seriously damage your muscles. Instead, take weights that you can use comfortably and do a series of relatively easy weights, working your way up.

Massages

Okay so massages are not exactly exercises, but they do make your body go through some physical toning which is basically what exercise does.  According to the Mayo Clinic, “Studies of the benefits of massage demonstrate that it is an effective treatment for reducing stress, pain and muscle tension.” So get yourself a top quality massage chair!

Author Bio: Sara is a psychologist by profession and she loves massage therapies. She enjoys home-based work and traveling. She is obsessed with massage chair therapies and other relaxing techniques. She regularly posts at https://mymassagechairs.com.

Disclaimer: We are not doctors, only fitness enthusiasts!  Please consult a medical professional before beginning any exercise routine. 

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Three reasons to take on a #Runstreak

Have you gone streaking?  Run streaking that is.  With clothes on.

I participated in a run streak challenge last year, but didn’t quite meet my original goal of 30 days.  I believe I made it to day 21 and although that was the longest consecutive streak I’d accomplished to date, it fell a bit short.

This year, I attempted to streak from June 4th to July 4th… and I did!  I just finished 31 days of streaking, running a minimum of one mile per day.  I ran in several states (Florida, Georgia and Ohio), different terrains (beach, road, trail, track, treadmill) and all different times of day. Somedays were easy rest days and I only ran the one (slow) mile.  Other days were more challenging and I did long runs or speed work.  Some runs were solo and many were with running buddies or family (my little guy tagged along for several!)   Regardless of the details, I always ran at least one mile.  And most days, I enjoyed it!  I talked myself into an “I GET to run today” mentality and embraced the task.

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I really enjoyed the challenge and thought of a few reasons you should consider taking one on for yourself.

  1. It helps make running habit forming.  And I’m not talking about that 21 day myth thing.  I just mean getting out there, everyday… it gets you into a daily routine.  It forces you to make time for running.  Time for yourself.
  2. One is rarely enough.  One mile that is.  Most days, even if I was tired and had told myself, “I’ll just go run one slow mile,”  I would end up running more than one.  Its like, you get dressed, you get your playlist going, you get out the door… and then adrenaline & endorphins kick in, leaving you running for 20-30+ minutes instead of the “one slow mile” you’d talked yourself into.
  3. Be a part of the awesomeness of the streaking community.  I loved checking the #runstreak and #RWrunstreak hashtags and seeing what others were up to.  I felt good about taking on a new fitness challenge. And now, of course, I have run streak bragging rights… if that kind of thing is impressive.  We runners are a strange breed.  If you are one, you get it.  If you aren’t… well, you’re probably not reading this anyhow!

This year I missed the Runner’s World challenge start date of Memorial Day, but hopefully I’ll hop on one of theirs someday.  Popular streaks I’ve heard of are Thanksgiving to New Years, Memorial Day to July 4th and then the longer one of Memorial Day to Labor Day.  I’ll surely partake in one in the future!

I’ll leave you with this quote from one of the #RWRunStreak Instagram posts by @RunnersWorldMag.  “Everyday is a good day when you run.” Its true.  So I had 31 good days in a row.  Don’t you want to say the same?

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Summer Racing… and a one year race challenge

Racing Cbus and beyond 

Races are what some of us train for.  What keeps us going.  Maybe you are doing it for fun, to raise money or awareness for a charity or perhaps you’re chasing that next PR.  Maybe you like to travel and running/racing is a fun way to see a new city. Whatever your reasons, we understand them. And support them!

Personally, I have several race goals, including a half marathon in half the states and a new run goal this year, participating in at least one race per month for a year.  I didn’t start until April so I’ll be chasing this challenge into March of 2018. 🙂   Here is what I have on the books so far…

April 2017Run the Bluegrass Half (recap)Cap City Quarter (recap) 

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MayDuchenne Dash (Team Austin 5K) | FORE! Miler (hometown favorite, recap below)

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JuneFind Me Where the Wild Things Are – one hour night run (my first!)

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JulyLiving Fit Columbus Independence Family Fun Run/Walk 

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AugustEmerald City Half or Quarter | Rocky Fork Run Club Racing Series | SuperHero Bull Run and/or Irish Festival 5K (still pending)

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SeptemberScioto River Run Half Marathon

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October – Still pending, perhaps the Cbus Half?

NovemberHot Chocolate 15K

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I haven’t thought past that so if you have any favorites for December – March, send them my way!  Hoping hubby will let us go somewhere warm in the winter months!

So what are you waiting for?  Go sign up for a race!  Maybe by yourself with your race face on.  Or maybe with your kids to help them finish their first one.  Heck, you could even start your own race for a cause!  Just go do it.  You’ll be happy you did.  🙂

 


FORE! Miler 2017

I’ve been super busy and traveling and baaaaaad about blogging… but here is a quick recap from this year’s FORE! Miler.  This is our third year since the race began in 2015 and I hope to do it for years to come.

Race day was ANOTHER rainy Columbus day.  Almost all of my races this year have had rain, so it was nothing new to me!  Some bailed, most showed up.  Some had ponchos and rain jackets, some braved it in tanks.  This was another “run for fun” race for me personally, we were just out there to get in some miles, take some pics and enjoy the after party.  We all huddled under the Golden Bear Club until the race started, attempting to stay dry until it was time.

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My husband and his buddy wore their bathing suits.  We thought this was hilarious, but they thought it was perfectly normal…. if its going to be raining, why not? 🙂  I didn’t realize until now looking at this pic that I think they are both due for some new running shoes.

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It is a nice four mile course through my hometown of Dublin, Ohio.  The rain came and went, but it actually kept the heat at bay (the last two years it was HOT!!!) so it was actually a welcome change.

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I ran with my friend Jen and there were Living Fit crew that finished ahead of us and behind us.  We carried on conversation during the run, finished with a respectable time, grabbed our bling and then headed to what M3S is known for… their after party!

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Another great race and a fit happy hour with friends.  We will be back next year!


 

Well, I spent more time on this post than I’d planned.  Time to go conquer the day.  Make it a great week!  Hope you get to enjoy International Yoga day tomorrow!

Thursday night runs are BACK!

Spring 2017 Thursday Kickoff Run

Tonight is our first Thursday run of the season, come join us for 4+ miles of fun!  We will take a group photo, do a 45 minute-ish run on an out & back course and conclude with our last two M3S race giveaways.

  • Runs begin in the TOWN parking lot in historic Dublin, behind Starbucks
  • Aim to arrive around 6:25 if possible, allowing time for parking, etc.  We will start with a meet & greet and try to head out by 6:35.

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M3S Race Entry Giveaway

We still have two race entries to award to our runners!

  1. Join us tonight – must be present to win.
  2. Follow Living Fit Columbus on Instagram, Twitter and/or FaceBook.  IG is our jam. 🙂
  3. Must be active on social media [having posted within the last week, preferably something relating to fitness] and be willing to “promote” the race you won an entry to!  Details will be emailed after the giveaway.

Thursday runs typically conclude in mid/late October, usually around daylight savings time and the conclusion of fall training.

Hope to see you tonight!

 

How to lose weight with running

I listened to a great podcast recently by coach Jenny Hadfield, where she interviewed marathoner, triathlete & dietician, Pam Nisevich-Bede.  After the first of the year, many of us tend to focus on weight loss.  Here is a brief overview of the points I found to be interesting…

Q:  Share a few tips on how to lose weight while running? 

A: (paraphrased)  Pam states that many runners find they don’t lose weight during “training” due to a variety of factors…

  • Sometimes during training, you are so hungry!  You run 5 miles, burn 500 calories and decide you have earned that pizza!
  • Most runners & active performance athletes are not getting enough protein.  You need a little under a gram per pound (of body weight).  If you are eating too many carbs to “fuel” and not burning them, your body is storing them as fat.  Eat more protein and less carbohydrates.
  • Eat more fiber from sources such as dark leafy green veggies, apple with peel & whole grains.
  • Many don’t stay hydrated enough.  They finish a run/cardio workout, think they are hungry, but it is more likely hydration.  Urine should be a light lemonade color.  If its clear, likely too much fluid.  If its apple juice-like, not enough fluids.
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Staying hydrated is essential to weight loss!

Q: If a runner’s number one goal is to lose weight (not race), how can they do this? 

A:  (paraphrased)

  • If you’re trying to lose weight (and not perform) use a workout in the AM on empty.  She referred to this as ‘training low’ where you are fasting and mobilizing some fat stores; burning your fat stores instead of the carbohydrates or glycogen.  She states, “I can almost guarantee you have enough energy and stores on board to get you through a three mile run.”
  • Research shows you should fast for at least four hours prior to a run in order to burn that stored fat.  So if you can’t get your run in first thing in the AM, fast for at least 4 hours prior to your lunch or dinner time run to get the same result.
  • “Coffee is your friend! Plenty of health benefits.  Let’s not drink the whole pot, but caffeine is definitely your friend.”  Gives you a little boost of energy.
  • If you really want to ‘train low’ and focus on weight loss, limit carbs at dinner the night before your run as well.  You will feel it during your run, but it will help you achieve your weight loss goal.  For example, eat protein and veggie, limit carbs.  Maybe even allow yourself a small piece of cheese if you are extra hungry.
  • Your workout will feel more taxing.  Take it at a moderate pace.  Three easy miles will still get you 300 calories. Again, coffee is your friend.  Wake up, have some coffee, get in three miles.
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Use a little caffeine to wake you up before that morning run!

Q: What are the downsides of grazing all day? 

A: (paraphrasing)

  • “The Four Hour Rule.” We have to give ourselves a break from constant grazing to keep calorie count down.  Try for a four hour break between food.  Save 100 calories here, there, it adds up.  Allow yourself to feel “hungry” and wait four hours.

Q:  How do we determine the correct amount of calories?  1,200 vs 1,500?

A: (paraphrased)

  • Number of calories needed are determined by height, weight, age, gender, activity level, BMI and more.  If you are feeling weak during workouts (other than training low) then you are likely not getting enough calories for your fitness level.
  • Portions are often too big!  Stop eating off the dinner plate and start eating off a salad plate.
  • Plate = 1/2 veggies, 1/4 protein, 1/4 starch (unless training low, then skip the starch)
  • Stop drinking all your calories (smoothies, juices, etc)
  • Protein shake after workout for recovery and weight loss (her personal favorite is kale or spinach, banana, protein, skim or almond milk)

 

Do you have any tips for using running to aid in weight loss?  Let us know if you agree or disagree with any of these points… and happy running! 

Checkout Jenny’s other podcasts HERE.
Read more about Pamela HERE or view the excerpt below from Runner’s World.
PAMELA NISEVICH BEDE:  Wherever you find Pam Nisevich Bede – be it offering nutrition news you can use in the Fuel School column @ Runner’s World, working with marathoners in the RW Challenge program, counseling athletes in person and on-line at Swim, Bike, Run, Eat (www.swimbikeruneat.com), or working full-time as the sports dietitian for EAS Sports Nutrition, you can be assured she’ll be talking about all things nutrition and wellness (and drinking a full cup of coffee to keep her going). And while she loves talking about the in’s and out’s of sports nutrition and high performance, her most favorite thing is to spend time with her husband, Jason, and sons, Miller & Hunter, or to clear her mind compliments of a long solo run. With 17 marathons, countless half-marathons, and a full Ironman finish under her belt, this year Pam will be focusing on cranking out some fast Ironman 70.3 finishes… as soon as she figures out how to swim.  (Photo credit and excerpt/bio to RunnersWorld.com)

If you run, you need good shoes. Period.

As we spend hours and miles out on the trail each week, we hear a lot of conversation about the right running shoe or “time to get new shoes!”  Although a good pair can cost a pretty penny, Runner’s World experts state, “If you want to stay healthy, fit, and injury-free, invest in a good pair of running shoes.”  And we agree!

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Below are some questions we hear, as well as our own two-cents as recreational and somewhat experienced runners.

What is the best brand of shoe?

There is no best brand.  There are so many brands out there because all of them offer something unique to fit your personal preferences.  High arch.  Over-pronator.  Lots o’ cushion.  Minimalist (my fav).  Over the last ten years as a distance runner, the most commonly purchased and highly spoken of running brands I’ve personally encountered include Saucony, Brooks, Mizuno and Asics.  I’ve owned each of these and liked them all.  But there are a TON of other great brands out there too, so find something that works for you!

I’m a creature of habit in some ways.  Once I find something I love – a dessert, a good red wine, running shoes – I’m usually loyal to the end.  Don’t get me wrong, I love to try new things and be adventurous, but I’ll always come back to those old faithfuls.  For me personally, my go-to running shoe is the Saucony Kinvara.  It’s a lightweight, neutral shoe that I LOVE (I’m on my fifth pair/edition).

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Kinvara 8 will be released soon and as Saucony says is Comin’ in HOT!  Photo credit: Saucony

I also recently acquired the Saucony Freedom which is similar to the Kinvara, but with more cushioning.  I save those for long & double digit run days, to make my knees a little happier.

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Saucony Freedom with EVERRUN cushioning.  Photo credit: Saucony

What is the right type of shoe for me? 

GO GET FITTED.  Let me repeat, GO GET FITTED.  I HIGHLY recommend you go to your local shoe store to do a run-fit and have an expert find the pair that is best for you.  Heck, while you’re there, some runners even get TWO pairs and rotate them, depending on your mileage.  Stores around Columbus that are especially helpful include Columbus Running Co (also called CRC, my go-to store), Fleet Feet and Front Runner.  CRC does a lot of demonstrations with various brands during their Saturday morning runs, check out their website and events list for upcoming shoe demos.  The Dublin location is owned by Eric Fruth a super-cool, knowledgeable Cbus running expert!

Things to consider…

  • Pronation – I personally underpronate, meaning I have a little more impact on the outside part of my feet/shoes.  Therefore, I am in a neutral shoe.  I could probably move up from a minimalist to a more cushioned shoe, but I like the lightweight feeling and haven’t had any problems (until I hit double digit runs).  Check out this great article & some videos about pronation from Runner’s World.
  • Arch – low, medium, high… plays into your shoe fit. Maybe you’ll need arch support or even orthodics (like my husband).
  • Cushion – pending your pronation, arch, mileage and just general preference, you may need more or less cushion for quality impact support.

Style, color, price may play into your decision as well, but should be less important than the criteria listed above!

How do you know when its time for a new pair?  

Many runners keep track of the miles on the shoe and then replace.  According to TheRunnersGuide.com, The generally accepted consensus is runners will require a new pair of running shoes every 300-500 miles.”  I’ve never been able to track that and typically just buy a new pair for each spring and fall training season.  I run an average of 15-20 miles per week, give or take, and typically train for a quarter or half marathon each season.  So two pairs per year works for me.  When my knees start hurting on a long run, its almost ALWAYS because I’m in a shoe that has too many miles.  And off to CRC I go!

Any other tips or favorites?  Here are a few from some runners in our crew…

  • “I was a Mizuno WaveRider girl for 14 years… but just recently tried the Brooks Ghost and LOVE them!  Neutral shoe, so comfy!” -Amanda R
  • “Asics gt-2000 series” -Lauren & Leah  // Amanda C just switched to Aasics too!
  • “I like my Mizuno Wave Paradox.  My feet are not great so I need a shoe with a lot of support.” -Deedra
  • “I don’t have a favorite and get whatever the expert fits me in!  I like a lot of arch support and cushion.  I have several pairs of different brands & switch it up!” -Peggy
  • “Saucony ISO Triumphs!” -Christine
  • “Brooks Glycerine!  The key is sizing up a full size and getting personal inserts.” -Jen

I (Teresa) used to wear Brooks Glycerine before switching to Saucony.  My husband loves them too.  Great shoe!

Thanks for reading!  Let us know if you have a favorite running shoe, questions about shoes, running or just ideas for future posts.  For more of our favorite FIT brands, check out our Brands we Heart page.

Photo credits to the following IG accounts: @LivingFitColumbus  @Saucony  @ColumbusRunning

#WhyIRun // Race recaps & reflections

We had a lot of friends in and around Columbus running various races last weekend, including the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Columbus Half & Full, and the Detroit Free Press Half Marathon.

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Some running goals included…

  • Running ‘for fun’ just to get out there and tour the city
  • Chasing a new PR
  • Running their first _________ (fill in the blank!) ~ a few first time marathoners and a postpartum momma doing her first post-baby half

Here are some race recaps and insights into why they run!

Allison Jasper, Columbus Marathon Finisher

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“My journey to 26.2 began long before I started running.  Over 12 years ago I was dating a guy who ran marathons.  I didn’t even run, so we certainly didn’t have that in common, but I thought I’d see where things went…..  We just celebrated 10 years of marriage this past June!  My hubby got me into running six years ago, after having two babies in 17 months. I could barely run a mile!  I ran my first half in 2011, and have ran a total of six since.  Each time my husband would ask, “could you imagine only being half way done?”  No way!  Last March while I was training for the Cap City Half Marathon, a friend sent me a text asking if I was interested in running the Columbus Marathon – my hubby encouraged me to say yes, which I did!

I struggled with stomach pain on just about every long run during training. The marathon was no different. The first half went well, but then the temps heated up, the pain settled in and I fell apart. I went into this marathon with a goal to “finish”, so I wouldn’t be disappointed with time, but I really hoped to be under 5 hours.  I did finish, but I wasn’t under 5 hours and for a moment I was disappointed.

After a bit of reflection, I realized that despite my finish time, I did it.  I completed a marathon. I attempted something I never thought I’d accomplish.  And I’m ready to do it again!”

Christine Loncaric, Columbus Half Marathon Finisher

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“I ran the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Columbus 1/2 Marathon last Sunday and had a blast! I had my second baby in June and was excited and anxious to get back to running throughout the end of my pregnancy and in the early weeks of recovery once my son was born. When I returned to work after my maternity leave was over there were a handful of my coworkers who were excitedly training for the half and I got bit hard by the racing bug — it didn’t take much encouragement from my running friends to register for the race!
I jammed my training into four short weeks.  I am an avid gym goer, but changed the focus of my workout schedule to be more heavily weighted on running rather than strength training. I got in four “official” long runs before the race, which isn’t ideal for everyone, but worked for me and my current fitness level.
This race weekend is one of my favorite things about living in Columbus. We have such a robust running community here and I was so excited to go to the expo and race with all of the other runners. The energy and enthusiasm is amazing! It was a beautiful morning, but race day temps were unseasonably high, and I was lucky to finish just as the day was really warming up — the conditions got tough out there for the marathoners who were anticipating normal October weather!
My husband, Bob, was my biggest cheerleader on Sunday. He loaded up his bike, dropped me off at the start and followed the self-guided bike tour route provided by the race organizers.  I was able to see him on the sidelines around miles 1, 7.5, 9, and 12.5 which gave me a lot to look forward to during the middle stretch of the race. I didn’t have any friends running at my race pace, so I decided to run with the 4:15marathon Clif Bar Pacer (shout out to Andy!). This was a perfect decision and it was awesome to run with a group and stay on a nice, steady pace (our goal was about 9:44 per mile). My company, Abercrombie & Fitch, sponsored Mile 10 of the race which gave me a perfect mental milestone to get to.  I told myself I would pick up the pace around that point if I was feeling strong. I broke away from the pace group at this point making my last 3 miles my fastest, and I finished at 2:03:24 feeling in high spirits and just tired enough! It wasn’t a PR, but I was running (not “racing”) for fun and am really proud of what I was able to do less than 4 months after having a baby!”

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A couple of our running friends also ran the Detroit Half.  They both enjoyed a new course and crossing over into Canada (although the tunnel was hot and crowded!)

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Congrats to all the finishers out there.  It is so inspiring to watch and read about runners’ accomplishments.  May you set your sights on new running goals, races & more!

FORE! Miler race recap – M3S Sports & Ohio Health

Wow, its been too long!  Between learning to juggle two kids, going back to work after maternity leave and then a much needed vacation in Florida, life has been crazy and chaotic (in a good way, just doesn’t leave much time for blogging!)

Recently a bunch of Living Fit gals, along with tons of other Cbus runners, participated in the FORE! Miler race.  It was the second year for the event and we hope to run it every year.  M3S always puts on awesome events and this one was no exception!  It was a great run and a superb after party which included a live band, a drink ticket and of course, lots of photos (download yours for free HERE).

My personal goal was just to finish and have fun as this was my first four mile run post-baby.  We also had three pregnant mommas with us ~ Christine, Lauren and Gretchen ~ who brought their bumps along for the run. Below is a photo recap of this fantastic event. The first few are courtesy of Cap City Sports Media and the rest are from a trusty iPhone 5. 🙂

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Loved that my bib was 614, representing Cbus!  

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Living Fit Spring RUN+YOGA Challenge & FORE! Miler Training

We love fitness and community.  This challenge involves both!

Many of our runners are doing the FORE! Miler this May so we’ve created a fun training plan with multiple weekly challenges.  Of course many of them involve photos, so don’t forget your camera phone.  Our schedule is below.  Attend weekly group runs for more details and to ask questions about mileage, etc.

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The first group event is this Thursday, our spring kickoff run.  We will meet at the Town Lot in Historic Dublin (behind Starbucks), run 3-4 social miles, then end at Vitality Smoothie & Juice for samples and giveaways from several companies including lululemon athletica polaris, Crazy Richard’s Peanut Butter, Vitafusion, Winans and more!

Hope you will join in the fun!

Fit Momma Monday – Getting back to the run

Getting into running shape – whether you’re a first time runner or are getting back at it after a hiatus – well, to be frank… it kinda sucks!  Its hard.  You’re out of breath and can’t carry a conversation.  Your lungs burn.  Your legs feel heavy.  You look at your Garmin and have only gone .34 miles.  How on earth will you ever get to that happy place of easily running (and talking through) a four mile run?

Set small goals that you can achieve!  Breaking it down into mini milestones will make the journey more enjoyable and seem more achievable.

Here are a few of mine…

1. SLOWLY progress to running four+ miles.  Four miles has always been a personal milestone for me.  Four miles (or 35-40ish minutes) is a good workout length and four miles is a good base to start training for longer races.  When my three year old son was born, my doctor made me wait until my six week checkup to run.  This time around with our daughter, I suppose I’m an old veteran because my doc gave me the green light right after delivery.  She said “Do what your body allows.  If you can run, run!”  She did advise me to hold off core work for 6-8 weeks, and I decided to wait 3 full weeks before I started running [stitches, milk supply and other TMI facts!]

Here is the [slow] progress I’ve made so far…

  • 2 weeks postpartum – Walked 1.5 miles
  • 3 weeks postpartum – Ran/walked 2.5 miles (ran first mile, then ran/walked last 1.5)
  • 4 weeks postpartum – Ran 2 miles
  • 5 weeks postpartum – Ran 3 miles

At six weeks, I plan to up my runs to two times per week.  I started slow to make sure my body could handle it.  I also DO NOT WORRY ABOUT PACE.  I don’t even wear my Garmin.  I want to gradually build mileage before I worry about pace and I don’t want to be discouraged by feeling slow.  After a few weeks of conquering and feeling good about three miles, I’ll add that 4th mile on and then eventually a 5th and even 6th.  Quality over quantity, in my opinion.  And at some point, hopefully in a month or so, I’ll start wearing my Garmin again.  For now its FitBit only.  Tracking steps and mileage and NOT allowing myself to go crazy about pace [or lack thereof!]    

 

My FitBit flex syncs with my phone, my Weight Watchers app (gotta lose those baby-weight pounds) and allows me to focus on steps and mileage right now… not concerned with pace just yet!     And I love the Tori Burch accessory hubby got me, dresses up my FitBit Flex when I want more style.

Oh and group runs make it more fun!

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**Sidenote… leave the baby at home in the beginning while you’re running!  It will be good bonding time for your spouse or other caretaker(s), good for you to have some ‘momma’ time AND will make it easier on your run while you’re getting back into shape.  And for safety purposes, most stroller companies recommend not jogging with a baby until they have decent head control.  You can invest in a good jogging stroller and bring baby along in a few months.  I usually nurse my little, head out the door for a run, then am back before she needs to eat again.  For now, if you want to spend time getting FIT with baby, WALK with the stroller, or better yet, carry baby and keep them close! 

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2. Run a timed mile, 1-2 times per week.  I plan to gradually work toward a 9:00 minute mile then ultimately back under 8:00 (my goal pace for a PR 5k).  I did my first timed mile last week and barely kept it under 10 minutes – 9:51, see below.  Between carrying an extra 20 pounds of weight I need to lose, and not having run much since last October, I knew it would be a challenge.  Progress not perfection, they say!  In my defense, the last leg of it was up hill and against wind, not the ideal elements for a strong finish.  I plan to do one mile per week on this same route, and one per week at the track or a flatter terrain.  Doing 1-2 timed runs per week will allow me to incorporate what will feel like a little bit of speed work and push my lungs & legs to get faster over time.  Keeping it low in mileage (one mile) will help prevent any injury or strain on my body by potentially doing too much too fast.

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3. Sign up for a race.  This always gives me the focus I need for training.  Several runners in our Living Fit run crew have signed up for the M3S Sports FORE! Miler on Thursday, May 28.  This gives me two months to work up to running four miles at a pace I can be proud of.

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Well, guess I’d better stop talking and start walking.  Heading out for a quick run now.  Good luck in your journey and hope to see you out on the trail!