The Right Gear for Fall

The cold weather is coming. We can already feel it. It’s not at the point that it stings our chest yet, but it’s difficult to know what to wear if we’re exercising outside of the controlled confines of the gym. Dressing appropriately during this fall season can be challenging because you just don’t know what Mother Nature will throw at you, but with the right gear we can make our workouts more comfortable and maybe make it easier to get in that extra mile.

There are all kinds of material out there now – heat gear, cold gear, etc. So what do you choose? Pick what’s appropriate for the weather but know that you’ll get warmer when you start exercising. This is the reason I dress in layers. If it’s a short run, I may just go with long sleeves because I know I won’t be out there too long. If I’m going to do more than 5 miles, I wear a short and a long sleeve top. This way when I warm up I can take the top laver off and then put it back on when I’m finished so you don’t get the chills as you start to cool down. For bottoms, you can’t really do the layering trick. So if you’re undecided, go with capris. They keep your larger leg muscles warm but still give you some breathing room.

What about rain? This one is tough because the air may not be as cold but it’s damp. I will put a hat on to keep the rain off my face for starters. You also want to have layers on here too, but don’t overdress just because it’s raining. Dress for the air temperature and make sure your top layer is wet resistant but not suffocating. You can always take it off and tie it around your waist.

Do you have any ideas or suggestions for fall exercise gear? If so please share them! Happy Training!

Journey to Philly – 9 weeks to go

I’m now in real marathon training mode. Not that I wasn’t before because I registered back in April and I’ve been running and competing all spring and summer and it all counts for something. At least that what I’ve been telling myself but now its fall and it’s time to get serious.

Training for a marathon is very different from training for any other competition. Now, every step toward your goal – whether it’s to run a 5K or a half marathon or any other fitness accomplishment – takes committment, time, patience, and guts. But what I’ve found is that the marathon takes all those but to the next level. I never imagined in my entire life I would be able to say that I ran a marathon. Yes, I ran 26.2 miles and it took me 4 hours and 45 minutes to do it. And in a little less than 9 weeks I’m going to do it again.

Preparation is the take home point for training for a marathon. You need to be prepared to run that far and for that long. But each competition requires some preparation and it depends on your experience and personal choices as to what you will need.

The two most importing things you need for competition and for general fitness:
– You need to be properly hydrated. It really hurts when you haven’t taken in enough fluids and you start to cramp. the key is to drink before you are thirsty and then keep drinking. water is best prior to running…save the low cal sports drink until you’re done.
– Proper footwear that is supportive. you’re sneaks from last spring probably don’t have the support you really need if you’re running. My knees will tell me if I need new shoes!

After you’re satisfied those two items the rest is easy! Comfy clothes and a good playlist (if you’re a music person) will keep you going for whatever distance you set out for.

Happy Training!

A re-committment to goals

OK, so if you’re anything like me you probably slacked off a little bit on your fitness goals during the summer. It was hot, it was humid, vacation got in the way, we had parties to go to, etc. But we had fun, enjoyed ourselves, and experienced summer!

Now that summer has unofficially ended and we’re getting back into the routine of school and work, the weather will be cooling off so it’s the perfect time to recommit to our fitness goals.

Don’t beat yourself up if you’ve been less that loyal to yourself – just restate what you want. Write it down if you have to, tell a buddy and hold yourself accountable. During the next few weeks work toward that goal a little bit at a time and you’ll get there!

My personal goal is to run my 2nd marathon this year and I have about 10 weeks left to accomplish it. I’ve been running, but my mileage is not where it needs to be and I’ve been “treating” myself to boardwalk food. BUT I will begin adding miles each week to build up to where I need to be so I’m prepared for the big 26.2 in November…a little bit at a time. Starting now.

What’s your goal? How will you accomplish it?

Buddy Power

I think we’ve all heard somewhere along the way that working out with a partner increases the chance that you will stick with workout on days when you’re not feeling up the challenge. The is 100% true! When you have someone or a group that you regularly run, workout, bike, or walk with, you are less likely to miss a sweat session. They don’t even have to be with you during your workout…they can be a virtual buddy or someone to ‘check in’ with.

I mentioned before that I have a running group and we will do a few miles after work once a week just about every week. We only miss for extenuating circumstances because we know not only do we get a good workout in for ourselves, we motivate each other to keep going. On the weekends or other evenings when we’re not running together, we always check in with each other to see how we’re progressing. One person is in training for a Marathon, another is working toward 5K’s, and another is just there to keep in shape. Regardless of our individual goals, the group mentality is extremely positive and motivating.

I think…wait – I know there would have been a few nights or early Saturday mornings that I would have never made it out to the park had it not been for a running buddy. There is power in numbers and the buddy system is a powerful tool to keep me and the rest of my group motivated.

Do you use the buddy system? How does it motivate you?

Race Review – Sesame Classic

The Sesame Classic was held this past Sunday in Levittown, Pa. You had your choice of a 5K run or 1 mile walk and it was a typical Sunday morning local 5K with good water stations and post race munchies. The on site registration was very unorganized but a pre-registered person didn’t seem to have any wait time. Since I was not pre-registered, I had to wait and there was no T-Shirt for me 🙂 It was definitely a family event with a DJ, a visit from Elmo & Cookie Monster, and a kids race that rewarded future track stars with medals upon completion of a about a 25 meter dash. The local fire departments were there with the trucks kicking off the race with their sirens.

The 5K course was laid out to loop around the high school grounds. This was a move from previous years in which you started and finished at Sesame Place. It was fast and mostly flat…one small incline that you had to do twice. Everything was laid out nicely and the roads blocked off where appropriate. It was good enough that I got a PR (Personal Record) as did my running companion…albeit they were PR’s for our more recent running resumes as opposed to our younger days.

On of the nice things about this race is that it’s mainly sponsored by Sesame Place in Langhorne and your bib number gains you one free admission to the part. Only downside of that is that it needs to be used by the end of May, which only really gives you Memorial Day weekend to make it over there.

Overall I give it 3 out of 5 stars – good local race that’s fun for the family but I would strongly advise pre-registering

Preparing for Broad Street 2012

The Blue Cross Broad Street Run of 2012 is this Sunday in Philadelphia and I am a first-timer for this 10 mile run from one end of the city to the other. While I’m excited and I feel mostly prepared for this race I think I might be taking it lighter than I should be. I’m thinking that if I can conquer a full marathon I should be OK, right?

Actually they are very different races and I’m not going to compare them with each other. I think what makes this one interesting is that it’s not your weekend warrior 5K but it’s not a half marathon either so you have to apply a different strategy. Mine is to finish!

In all seriousness, I have trained for this race. I’ve put in my intended mileage, my speed workouts at the track after the kid’s practice, and my strength training at the gym. I’ve run this distance before, although never in a race. I know that an area I need to work on is my flexibility and that is an ongoing challenge for me. Note to self – stretch after posting. Another task that I need to get better at is drinking enough water.

What I’m really worried about is the weather. There have been close to record-breaking temperatures the last two years that I’m aware of. I don’t mind running in the heat but it’s the humidity that gets me. And it’s not something you can really train for. You can acclimatize yourself if the weather is consistent, but early May is anything but consistent.

So, I will run this fast and flat course as best I can on Sunday morning. I will finish. I will PR (Personal Record) because that’s what you can say when you do a race for the first time :-). I will add another awesome race to my running resume. I will also update my playlist so that I can strategically place songs when I know I’ll hit the wall.

How about you? Are you running Broad Street on Sunday? http://www.broadstreetrun.com/
Happy Training!