It’s In The Training Baby!

Have you looked at athletes or people at the peak of their game, and wondered how they did it…. you might think that they came from nowhere to be the ‘Overnight Success’.

That overnight success, took years of dedication, possibly sacrifice to get where there are today. You can do the same too whatever your goal is, by being dedicated, training for it and sticking to a plan.

I realised this through my running, setting goals that in the beginning I didn’t have a clue how I’d make it happen, although I had faith that somehow I’d figure it out along the way.

“What gets measured get’s done” Peter Drucker

 

By setting the goal in the future, then ‘reverse engineering’ back to now, I created a plan of attack that was fun, flexible and enjoyable. Week by week, I just stuck to the plan to the best of my ability, reviewing it each week, what worked, what didn’t, how I can improve, what do I need to tweak. The reflection was great because I could really see improvement along the way, moving one step closer to my goal.

Every time I’m at the starting line of a running race, I look around at all the other runners, and well up with emotion. I’m filled with joy, love and respect for all of them, knowing that just getting to Race Day and at the starting line is a huge achievement in itself, with the weeks and months of training leading up to this day.

Fall in love with the process

To get to that point you really have to ‘fall in love with the process’ and let go of any attachment you have to your goal, race, time. Truly, when I really got this and enjoyed where I was every day, moving forward towards my goal and enjoying the journey; running and life became fun as I was in flow.

I wish the same for you. I encourage you to look at your goals, whatever they are, create a plan to achieve them, break it down into weekly tasks, and then measure what you get done.

Let me know how you go. And remember to celebrate your small wins along the way. :)

Wk5 – Listening To My Body Leads To Being Energised

Interesting week. Recovered well after Sunday’s 29km run. I think it was all down to my butter chicken and rice for lunch – hehe :)

Then woke up Tuesday morning with a sore throat and the start of a cold. I knew I didn’t have ‘time’ for a cold this week, with work deadlines and my running plan to stick too. So what did my body need? A rest.

Okay, I’m listening – early nights, more sleep, light exercise (mainly walking, yoga and stretching) to recharge. Perfect so that’s what I did.

I scaled my exercise right back this week. No sprints on Tuesday, PT session on Wednesday was 30 mins of stretching. On Thursday I managed 4km running on treadmill (2.5km fast pace).

The best bit of all was my 30 minute monthly massage. Yes I ended up on the ceiling again with the deep pressure to my gluts and ITB. Was I glad of the pain – yep you betcha, as I regained a fresh set of legs.

I know I need to incorporate some deeper stretches into my weekly routine, to help me in between massage appointments.

Lazy exercise days Friday and Saturday, just walking, prepping the body to recover ready for my Sunday long run.

My body welcomed the rest. Rather than pushing through like a martyr, I was able to nip my ‘cold’ in the bud early, so I was ready for my long run. I actually visualised running the route twice before I fell asleep last night, which clearly helped as it was an enjoyable, effortless run.

Geelong Waterfront 270714

Morning Reflections at Geelong

Sunday morning, woke up at 5am……argh……. started brainstorming business ideas, nope no chance of more sleep. It was a good thing though because I was out on the road, and back before most people were out from under their bed covers, and I still had the rest of my Sunday to enjoy. :)

Have to be mindful of the cold morning starts though, as I always tend to want the loo within the 1st hr. It must be a girlie thing. As it was a suburban route, there was nothing until I hit the Geelong waterfront at 8kms. Talk about mind power to keep myself thinking of other things.

Was still doing well at 18km, and with my initial goal of 21km, I decided to extend my run and go the long way home. It was great weather and lovely to feel the sun on my face. Nice… Finished up with a hilly 25km and very happy with my effort. It was a relaxed, cruisy run – awesome weather, checking out the views, taking some photos and exploring. I’ve come a long way in a few years, there was a time that running 5km for me was a big stretch…. and now I’m running 5 times that. I’m not saying that to impress you, but to impress upon you that anything is possible if you put your mind to it.

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A few top tips from this run though. (Note to self as well !!!!!)

TOP TIP - To prevent chafing resulting in unnecessary loud singing/shrieking in the shower (post run), remember to apply cream to those ‘suspect’ areas.

TOP TIP – To save squinting from the winter sun, to avoid cracked pavements, to see kerbs to jump onto, to miss stray golf balls that land on the road next to the golf course and random dogs on extra long leads, remember to wear your sunnies. :)

Until next time – Happy running.

Benefits of Massage

‘How often do you get a massage’ my personal trainer asked me one day. Probably months ago, as I was thinking of the ‘relaxing spa treatment kind’ . I stretch after I’ve finished an exercise session, why would I need to have regular massages.

I don’t know if you were like me, but I regarded a massage as a ‘treat’ not an essential part of a fitness training program. Let me explain why it’s important.

The more running or other exercise you do, you increase the workload and stress on your body and muscles. Stretching is an essential part of your cool down and recovery. However a massage helps smooth out any ‘knots’ and tightness in your muscles, thus preventing you from injury.

So during the lead up to my 1st half marathon, I thought I’d have one massage session and see how I went. If elite athletes look after their bodies with regular massages then it’s good enough for me too.

WOW, talk about a convert. I had no idea how tight my leg muscles had become with the additional running kms. Talk about pain, jumping on the ceiling, colourful language when my gluts and IT band were worked on.

But afterwards, rest assured, my legs felt fresh and it made my next long run a breeze. So if you’re not having massages at least once a month, do yourself a favour and incorporate them into your fitness program. Your legs will thank you.

Social Experiment Wk 4 – Back To Nature

Feel as if I’ve turned a mental corner this week, as I realised I’m only 6km off my longest training run – yippee :) To prevent ‘over training’ the majority of programs I found stick to 35km for the longest run. Perfect and taking it week by week.

This week was a bit light on the kms, with only 2 runs instead of 3, as had other work & life commitments this week. So I’m remaining flexible in the process.

Monday was a total recovery day after Sunday’s long run. I’m very mindful of energy dips during the day, and eating accordingly as well as more sleep on Sunday & Monday nights to recover. Monday morning was a quick visit to the gym to use the Vibrogym, a vibratory massage on my legs to help prevent ‘delayed onset muscle soreness’. It worked a treat and my legs felt brand new. Highly recommended.

Bellarine TrialRun 1 – Tuesday morning, 9km with 5 x 1km sprints. Mentally I found it easy to break the reps down, and just power through. I’ve come a long way for sprints, as this was one of my biggest challenges when I started running. Happy feet are back :)

Wednesday night I made up a couple of batches of some energy balls – blissful, totally kept me off the chocolate during the day.

I was actually glad of the break this week, and felt fresh going into Sunday’s long run. Back to nature on the Bellarine Trail, one of my favourite places to run. I feel so rejuvenated running in nature, and today I was blessed with great weather, scenery, rabbits, sheep, horses, cows and lorikeets.

I was aiming for 30-32km and as this route didn’t have water fountains, I carried an additional GU gel and a 330ml water bottle. I was going out and back from Drysdale towards Queenscliff, so placed my water bottle at 10km mark, ready for the return trip. This worked well and I was grateful of the additional water & energy boost.

My Garmin watch didn’t charge up properly overnight, so consequently had a flat battery at around 12km, and had to ‘guesstimate’ what I thought would be 15km for the turnaround point. I ended up running 29km total, and even though short of my original total, I was happy with my effort.

Continuing to ‘show up’ week after week, increasing the distance, stretching outside my comfort zone and still enjoying the run. This week I’ll be watching my recovery and food intake a bit more closely so I don’t get energy dips.

Until next time – Happy Running :)

 

What’s Your Body Telling You

So many times in the Western world, we push through when we have body pain and soldier on. We pop a headache tablet at the 1st sign of pain, reach out for cold & flu tablets as soon as its winter, indigestion tablets when we’ve overeaten, tip coffee down our throats in the morning to wake up ….. and possibly worst still is we’ve continued to exercise when injured when our bodies are telling us to rest up.

Heal Your BodyNow I’m not suggesting that you’ve done any of these either in the past, I know I have, or continue to do them. I’m not saying that it’s right or wrong, just that when you’re aware of your body, listening to its signs there is another way to heal yourself internally rather than going externally for the ‘band aid solution’.

There’s lot’s of proof out there. Check out the well known book by Louise Hay “Heal Your Life” where she outlines all the parts of your body, the various ailments, the probable cause for the health issue and the information you need to overcome it by creating a new thought pattern.

The power of thought is an amazing thing and there are many cases of people with chronic diseases going into remission. Check out the Spontaneous Remission by Caryle Hirschberg and Brendan O’Regan where it documents over 3,500 references of medically reported cases of spontaneous remission in the world.
For the disbelievers out there, let’s use a running example.

Before Roger Banister came on the scene, people thought it was impossible to run a mile under 4 minutes. Then boom, in 1954, Roger smashed it in 3:59…..the impossible soon became possible and now the norm for elite athletes.

So how does that relate to your common cold, headache, aches and pains. Well your body has a natural way of of healing and repairing itself, which are guided by our thoughts, feelings and beliefs created in our mind.

” Whether you think you can or you think you can’t you’re right” Henry Ford

Our bodies’ nervous system works in fight or flight mode, and naturally repairs itself when we’re relaxed. However our bodies are triggered into ‘fight’ mode by our daily stresses our mind perceives through negative thoughts and beliefs such as financial and work stress, health concerns, relationship troubles etc etc. This stress continues to build up in the cells in our bodies eventually causing DIS-EASE.

The biggest thing you can start to do is listen to your body, what is it telling you.

Ask yourself the following :-

- What does my body need right now?
- What is the root cause of this pain?
- Why do I have this pain?
- How can I overcome this pain in my life?
- How can I help myself now and in the future?
- What if I could heal myself now, how would I feel?

Just sit quietly and listen to your intuition, and be guided by the answers.

Whenever I have a pain in my body, I ask my body what’s it telling me, and what I need to do now to ‘nip it in the bud’ and 9 times out of 10 it’s ‘stress related’ e.g. sore throat/cough – I need to get something off my chest. Stiff neck – Who around me do I believe is ‘being a pain in the neck’? Myself or others? What have I contributed to that situation and what can I change?

I encourage you to ask yourself the questions above whenever you have an ailment and let me know your thoughts.

Argh 2.47am can’t sleep!

So it’s week 3, Tuesday morning and I’m awake at 2.47am what’s going on.

Voices in my head going overdrive……. Can my body cope, what am I going to eat, what have I committed to, OMG just ran 24km, furthest I’ve ever run and you’re expecting me to front up and run sprints in 5 hours time…. yeah right. I already have ‘delayed general soreness in my legs’ from that run…. will my right knee hold up, will the lead up be too much, what fuel do I need on the day… and BLAH BLAH BLAH.

After a deep breath I realised all these concerns were just in my head, I was right on the edge of my comfort zone and can relate this to looking back over my running journey to now. 5km to 10km, double the distance, same concerns. 10km to 1/2 marathon, double the distance again & same concerns. Each time my body grew stronger, fitter and adapted to the workload, this is no different.

If it was easy what would I do?

Man, I love that question, as it always snaps me right out of my head crap to see another perspective.

Well if it was easy, I’d enjoy it, I’d be in the flow, I’d just make it happen, it would be a piece of cake, no dramas, everything would be in sync, I would trust, everything would happen in its own way, peaceful, cause set in motion, break it down in stages, cue one foot in front of the other, just run, happy, laugh, body in sync.

So this training is no different……Body – Mind – Spirit in sync. At least now I can sleep………

Run 1 – Yes I did front up to sprints on the treadmill, Tuesday morning before work for 4.5km run – 1200m/1000m/800m sprints and pulled up ok. Hungry every couple of hours, combination of exercise & lack of sleep I reckon.

Wednesday – PT session – weights strength training

Run 2 – 7.7km steady pace, felt good and looking forward to Sunday’s long one.

Eating more this week, to keep my energy up. Bananas are always my best friend.

Run 3 - Scheduled for 27km. Rolled out 28km, holy crap where did that come from. I know exactly why, at 27km I was at least another km from home & the thought of walking, it would just take longer. I just wanted to get home ASAP so I could rest and eat.

This 28km was by far the hardest thing I’ve ever done. It took a while to settle into this one, mentally I’ve been comfortable running for just over 2 hours, so this was another stretch. I was glad to see 9km on my watch, 3rd done 2/3rds to go. It helps me to split a run into 3 – Body – Mind – Spirit. So I settled in letting the mind take over.

I remembered the film I watched last night – “Running Blind” EJ Scott who set out to run 12 marathons in 12 months in 12 American states raising $150,000 for charity, and he did them all blindfolded.  EJ suffers from Choroideremia, a hereditary retinal-degenerative disease that causes blindness, and several years ago, EJ was diagnosed as legally blind.

Amazing, inspiring man, if EJ can do it, then I can at least run 27km today.

PelicansI was in a bit of pain at 19km, developing a very unglamorous ‘Sue Shuffle’ just keep putting one foot in front of the next and I knew I would finish, another 9km to go. I can do this :)

Saw a good friend Jen, also training for the Melbourne Marathon, coming the other way, although she was on a roll so we just had a quick hello & kept running.

At 21km it felt as if someone had jabbed a knife through my right knee….. and so far from home…… so visualised an oil can oiling my joints. Man you got to do what you got to do to keep going being mindful of what could be behind the pain. It worked and made it home.

Grateful of the sunny weather, the wildlife on the way, and succeeding stretching to a new comfort zone.

Enjoy your week and remember Wish It…Dream It…..Do It!

Sleep Your Way To The Top

How much are you getting each night? 4, 6, 8 or more.

Sleep is so important for health & well being and is the third important part of the triangle – Exercise – Nutrition – Rest. By just doing the 1st 2, you’re not getting the full benefit of them and probably look like the walking dead, fuelled on daily coffee to stay awake throughout the day….. can you relate to that?

So how much is enough? I hear you cry…… You don’t understand, I’m up during the night with the kids….. I work long hours at work, for my crazy boss’s deadlines….. I feel so stressed, wound up like a top, that I can only sleep for 4 hours max before my mind starts going into overdrive…..now breathe.

So you know you need more right, but why is it so good for us, don’t we need less sleep the older we get? Here are my top 3 benefits although there are many more.

Increases Your Metabolism – when we don’t get enough sleep, we generally reach for and crave sugary, starchy foods and caffein to keep ourselves a week during the daylight hours. Studies have shown that when you sleep more, you’re more prone to loose weight.

Rebuild & Repair Body - When we rest, our bodies have a chance to recover from the exercise we’ve undertaken. Nature takes over to naturally rebuild and repair our bodies, making them fitter and stronger, improving our immune system too.

Clarity of Thought - By getting enough sleep you will be more alert, have increased levels of concentration, and able to make clearer decisions rather than walking around with ‘permanent jet lag’ in a sea of sleep fog.

Yep I hear you….. I know it’s good for me, but how do I make it happen

Most healthy adults need around 8 hours sleep, however you’ve got to find what works for you, because you know your body better than anyone. So here are some ideas to help you on the way…

Keep A Sleep Schedule

Get in touch with your own body’s sleep-wake cycle. By going to bed and waking up at the same times, 7 days a week, your body will feel more energised. Once you’re getting enough sleep, you won’t need an alarm clock. If you do feel you need to catch up on some sleep at the weekend, take a power nap in the afternoon, 2 hrs max, otherwise you might not be able to sleep that night.

Bedtime Routine

Have a relaxing bedtime routine to unwind – turn the TV off an hour before you go to bed, so you’re relaxed not over stimulated.  Perhaps listen to some music, hot bath or read a book.

Regular Exercise And Meals

This really is critical for maintaining a balanced healthy body. Aim for smaller nutritious meals every 3 hours. Listen to your body and only eat when you’re really hungry.

Reduce your Stress Levels

Nowadays, life seems to get faster not slower, so it’s important to de-stress. There are many techniques out there from meditation, yoga, relaxing music, exercise, walk in nature, short breaks, deep breathing etc. So test them all and find out what works for you. Also get to the root of the stress – Is it your work, your finances, partner, family etc. What is it specifically about that, that causes you stress? What can you change? What do you have control of? Because just a shift in perception can make all the difference.

Getting Back To Sleep

 So you’ve woken up for the umpteenth time during the night, your head spinning around… now what. If you do find your mind thinking overtime on stuff, best thing is to get it out of your head and onto paper. Journal it out of your system – rants, problems, solutions, ideas, whatever it is, there’s power in writing. When you think you’ve finished writing, ask your subconscious ‘ Is there anything else you want to share?’ There usually is, so squeeze out the last few drops, and you’ll be surprised how quickly with an empty mind, you drift off back to sleep.

Other ideas – deep breathing, listen to relaxing music, meditate, read. Again test them all, and find out what works for you.

If you have any sleep tips that work for you, please share in the comments.

 

 

 

 

 

Marathon Training Log

I always thought I wouldn’t, however in true girlie fashion, I’ve changed my mind and decided to run my 1st marathon – Sunday 12th Oct – Melbourne. :)

Melb Marathon logoIn the lead up to the Great Ocean Road 1/2 marathon, I was training well and started to love hills, I know sick, right, who would have thought!!!! So started saying to myself if I pull up OK after the Great Ocean Road 1/2 then I’d run my 1st marathon in October. I was looking for the next challenge.

Chatting with a good friend Anne, she convinced me to write a journal of my thoughts, training etc between now and then – so here it is…… a weekly diary of how I’m going, warts & all. So hopefully you can get something out of it to, to know that anything is possible, to inspire you to make your dreams happen, whatever they may be :)

16 Week Training Plan

After the Great Ocean Road 1/2, I took a couple of weeks break. After that my long runs were kept at 18kms to keep a good base leading into my marathon training. Usually I take the winter off running, and cross train on the bike. So juggling the winter weather & dark mornings would be interesting.

My weekly training is split into 3 key runs – 1) sprints or hills 2) tempo run 3) long run. On top of this my aim is to fit in 1-2 weight sessions, 1 cross training (bike) and poss. a yoga/body balance class a week. Monthly massages are also high on my requirement list too.

My aims for the next 14 weeks are to follow my training program to the best of my ability remaining flexible to other commitments, eat 80% clean diet, get to the starting line injury free and enjoy the race.

Week 2 – w/c 30th June

Run 1 – 3 x 800m sprints @ 5-5.12min per km pace on gym treadmill 1.0-1.5 incline. Fresh legs & felt good.

Run 2 – Scheduled for 9km tempo run, actual – 4km before going to work

Run 3 – As the last couple of weeks were pretty light on kms, I really needed to stick to the plan & bang out 24km (the furthest I’d ever run). So this morning I set off at 7.45am wearing 2 tops, 2 pairs of gloves, my SKINS long pants, tunes via my IPhone, Garmin watch & fuel belt. Off & racing to one of my favourite routes – Barwon River Loop.

Hmm……by 2km I needed a ‘nature break’, 4km my hands were overheating, so down to 1 pair of gloves. By 7km I was wishing it was over. Then I found my rhythm, got into the groove, next thing I knew I had run 16kms, wow where did that time go. One of the best things about long runs, is that it is my time – Me, Myself & I, time to meditate & reflect. A lot of women I’ve  spoken to agree, that their running is their only time for themselves during the week, having to balance children, family and work commitments.

My pace was good, relaxed and consistent for me during the middle of the run. Even though I started to feel a bit tired at 18km, I knew I only had another 6kms to go, time to dig deep. WOW, I’ve travelled a long way, I remember the 1st 6km race I ever ran, I thought it was hell and spent half of it walking. It’s amazing what’s possible with commitment, persistence & trust…..

The last 5kms, the heavens opened, thank you……. and a killer hill to finish on. Many people ask me what gets me up the hills, or my ability to keep going when I’m tired. From experience I know that your mind will always give in long before your body & spirit, so you really have to be your best friend, coach and encourage yourself.

I have a few mantras….

- I CAN, I WILL, I MUST, YES

- I’m a lean mean running machine

- It’s only another 5kms, 30mins tops and you’re done

Visualisation – Move my arms like pistons, place one foot in front of the other to keep moving my engine

And then I was home, phew. Pleased, happy and knew that I had turned a corner, I was entering uncharted waters, every long run from now on would be a stretch. So my aim is to look only one week ahead, the rest will take care of itself when I get there.

And just to enjoy the process :) Sunday recovery consisted of stretching, pancakes (post run), eating every 3 hrs after that, reading and evening drinks with our neighbours. Nice :)