Two exercises for Increasing your lung capacity.
As I mentioned in my last article, I am very focusing now on building my upper body because I realised that without a strong core you don’t go far with running. You literally don’t go far.
So now four times a week I weight lift, and I am in my learning phase now and also experimental status checking out to see what works for me and finding out ways to achieve the best optimal result in the least time. It's It’s not like I don’t get enough exercise as weight lifting is concern building a house is the optimum weightlifting event. (Carrying and building bricks, making concrete and using a wheelbarrow to move it, pulling buckets of concrete up, installing scaffolds, etc.)
I try to incorporate exercises that will help me straight my shoulders because I do have rounded shoulders and that’s because of the nature of my work. I am a computer engineer, and I do use the computer a lot so me learning for hours in front of it is a major contributing cause. Another reason is the muscles of my upper back are weak having. As a result, to be pulled forward by my stronger chest muscles; that’s why I try to balance the chest and back exercises.
Now someone would ask what does having rounded shoulders have to do with running? Well, I had the same opinion, I have rounded shoulders I can still run just fine right? Well, it turns out after searching a bit more that is not okay, it’s very limiting. The reason is that rounded shoulders can result in reduced lung capacity, we cannot take in more air than our lungs are able. The difference in lung function is not small its 15% if you have rounded shoulders you are using 85% of your lung capacity providing you don’t have any other imbalances or issues.
So you can see why its imperative to bring my shoulders in a straight line.
To do that I use four exercises which Brendan Brazier suggests in his book Thrive Fitness which are
1. Bend Over Stretch and you hold it for 30 seconds
2. Shoulder, Chest, and hip flexor stretch (30 seconds each side)
3. Shoulder blade pinch (25 repetitions 20 seconds rest between sets)
4. Seated lateral raise (15 repetitions 20 seconds rest between sets)
Along with other exercises this four I practice them in the morning before I go to work. Since I started doing them I can feel myself being taller.
Now a second exercise that will help you with your increase of your lung capacity is Dumbbell fly.
By doing dumbbell flys you are strengthening your chest muscles (pectoral) this exercise contributes to expanding the muscles between your ribs allowing for better respiration. The more expanded chest muscles you have the easier it is to inhale oxygen!
If you notice all the elite marathoners they might seem to be weak in the upper body but if you note closely for their size they have pretty strong pectoral muscles which allow them to host and accommodate their enlarged lungs that they acquired by years of professional training.
So now except dumbbell flys, I do use other chest exercises because I am not as active in that area as I should.
So here two activities that will make you breath better, breath more and breath easier.
1. Seated lateral raise (15 repetitions 20 seconds rest between sets)
2. Dumbbell Fly
I hope I helped.
Have a healthy and happy day.
My warmest Regards
Author of Thirsty For Health.
Today I want to talk about motivation. I want to analyse a little bit what makes people stick to a training program or any other kind of program for that matter it doesn’t have to be about sports or running in particular.
When I started running six years ago, my motivation was to lose weight and acquire the physique I had back in high school. That’s was my plan, run, lose the weight and then stop running. I saw running as a way of accomplishing something; my motivation was vanity which would be achieved through the loss of weight that was my motivation, running was just a tool.
So that’s motivation number one, vanity, looking good nothing to do with health or running. You can witness this in my running diary which also helps to keep you motivated in times of doubt or when routine or boredom kicks in.
The first six months I was me running round and round on my old high school track like a trained hamster, the only thing I care about was losing weight.
Of course after six months when I lost the kilos, and I could quickly stop running the competition bug bit me. Not so much about competing with others but more with myself, I wanted to see if I could go further and also faster, so my motivation changed from looking good to achieving better athletic records, so my motivation shifted from vanity to running now!
So for the next three years I would train and run having as only motivation me doing better running times and covering longer distances. At some point I achieved all the miles and running goals I set in my head.
You can also observe this in my diary where in the years from 2011 until 2013 I run more than 30 races I think averaging one race per month approximately; I had the race bug, and I loved it don’t get me wrong I love participating in races.
In the course of those three years my motivations changed a bit also my priorities changed too, I started building my house and running was not my number one priority anymore and it was something that I didn’t like at all, but I had to do it. Me not be able to train for a race was something that did not sit well with me, I felt like something chopped my legs off. I continue to run just to keep in shape, in the mean time I started reading about nutrition I adopted a plant-based diet and I managed to keep my weight in my normal BMI range so the motivation for me losing weight was vanished because it was replaced by healthy eating nutrition choices, my motivation for achieving better times or going longer also were satisfied so I need to confess they were times I struggled to find meaning why should I run anymore? Which I know the answer to that but sometimes emotionally it makes you have doubts.
That’s why a diary is a good tactic it will remind you the reasons you started running give you hope and makes you feel better both psychologically and emotionally. Also, it will tell you things and info you might forget.
Taking some time away from running or not training as much as you used too because you have other priorities in your life doesn’t; mean you gave up on running, and you should not feel guilty about it. Stressing yourself that you can’t train as fast or as long as you used too because you have other activities in your life. Like raising a family or in my case building a house, or changing career paths or anything else must not make you feel bad for not devoting the time that in your head running deserves.
Actually it will call you back and you will feel it. The calling of starting running again will make its mark into your psyche. You will find a way to incorporate it back into your life, you will make smarter career choices you will be more programmed with your family you will find that time to get back to running and devote the time and mileage you think it deserves.
You can wake up earlier in the morning and run, you can run nights, you can run between breaks of chores, you will find a way, there is always a way if there is a will that’s what my mother used to say to me since I can remember , she will always tell me since I was old enough to understand, there is no I can’t there is always I won’t .
So now you can say I am in search of a new aspects of motivations to incorporate running more into my life again like it used to be.
Registering for a race doesn’t cut it anymore for me, I need that extra kind of mind trigger in my head that will make me get up bed every day and thinking and counting the minutes until time comes for my training like I felt 6 years when I couldn’t wait to get off work go home get into my running gear and head for the track and start running like a trained hamster again!
I do know that I want to run a few races with particular distance and specific terrain again, but I want to run them better prepared so now I have that as motivation also I am very motivated to build a stronger upper body which will increase my running performance immensely, so I am very motivated about that too.
The reason I discovered my new motives is because I took a pause from running, gave me a chance to see it from a new angle and a new perspective. Made me reevaluate my running goals. That’s why I think it’s beneficial to take a few steps back sometimes.
It helps you jump ahead considerable “distance” in the future with your training plans, nutrition, goals you want to achieve, what makes you sad or happy, what you consider a waste of time or constructive time, all those things that swim in the back of our heads that make us wonder why we want certain things and why we like some and dislike other.
I hope I helped, just wanted to get out some thoughts that they were bugging me lately I hope I didn’t make you feel more puzzled than before or if you are feeling more puzzled than before then you are in luck solving puzzles like running makes you smarter.
Have a healthy and happy day
My warmest Regards
When I started reading about how to properly train in running about five years ago, I realised that except the beauty of running itself there is a LOT of information out there about how to train.
The beauty about this information is that most of it are results from debates between runners, physiologists and running training coaches. One of those many debates is how to train to acquire a threshold that will enable you to become better at your running.
Threshold training otherwise known as Lactate Threshold, Anaerobic Threshold, Lactate turn point or lactate curve is mostly associated with tempo training. Because our muscles to produce energy contract and especially in high intensity running, lactate is rising which interfere with how fast or how far you can go with a particular speed. In more plain words is the effort, hard one, you can keep for about 5 to 6 miles (8 to 10km) before reaching exhaustion, and it's very close to your 10k pace.
Now Lactate is not lactic acid, do not confuse the two, the muscles use lactate during stretching exercises. The muscles create lactate and then is turned into glucose by the liver. The glucose then is utilised by the muscles to produce ATP which fuels the muscles. In retrospect, lactate does not inhibit the muscles from working it helps them to slow down the glucose concentration resulting in better performance. As I said, tempo runs are associated with lactate threshold, and there is a good reason for that. You will encounter other names of tempo runs like Lactate Threshold runs, or cruise intervals or steady state runs, all of these are types of threshold workouts with various durations and rhythms. A threshold run is one that if you take blood from the runner, it should have 4mmol of lactate in its veins.
Tempo runs require more recovery times, and you should have a tempo run scheduled at least once a week, and they should consider hard runs. I always hate tempo runs because they do ask of you discipline and performance, but they do bring you into a running shape that you do not want to be out on race day. In tempo runs, you train your body to work on anaerobic state, and it’s a state where the breakdown of glucose is not as efficient as aerobic metabolism.
One single molecule of glucose when breaks down using aerobic metabolism will give. As a result, 20 times as much energy as that same molecule was broke down using anaerobic metabolism. Every race that lasts more than 2 minutes is predominantly aerobic for runner of all ability levels. Tempo runs have an immediate goal they fulfil. With tempo run, you train your body to resist fatigue caused by sustained anaerobic energy production, which produces chemicals changes in your muscles and a level of pure pain that tends to limit performance.
Now threshold training should be challenging but not exhausting. You should finish a tempo run and feel that you can go for a bit more. As I mentioned in other articles, it's not a good idea to make too many changes at the same time. Here it applies the same, You either increase distance or speed.
Here is an example, for distance, you can do 2 X 10 minutes Cyprus Half-marathon pace and then you can increase to 2 X 15 minutes at the same speed.
For speed here is an example you can do 2 X 15 Half-marathon pace and increase speed by doing 2 X 15 10K pace.
Always make changes gradually and one at a time, this way you give time for your aerobic system to adapt.
Now for the last few years, I am using a technique called progression running and is a technique I read in Brad Hudson and Mat Fitzgerald’s book “Run Faster from 5k to the Marathon.”
Here is an example of how it works.
2 miles easy (good warm up always)
10 min at my marathon pace goal
1 min easy (cooling down period)
10 min at my half-marathon pace goal
1 min easy (cooling down period)
10 min at my 10k pace goal
2 miles easy (cooling down period)
After you finish this training you should not be tired; you should feel that you can do a bit more.
I hope I helped.
Have a healthy and happy day.
My warmest Regards
When I started training for my first race six years ago I didn’t know much about how to train properly; the truth is I still don’t know how to prepare properly. I am still learning and experiencing with various principles and different approaches and techniques, and I am always trying to keep what works for me.
One of the first things I learned about running training was the so-called Base or Introductory training which is the first training a runner does in relaxed aerobic state.
That’s when I found out about Arthur Lydiard, and I bought his book Running the Lydiard way. He advocated that the first phase of your training should be as he calls it marathon training and what he meant was aerobic exercise at least 160km per week on a near –best aerobic effort, and you should run every day!
I know it's a hard as a program, but it does build stamina. I still use this technique when I am training for a marathon and also a 50k. I will do that for at least four to six weeks and after that, I will work on my other phases like Threshold training, VO2max training, etc.
For some running, every day is too hard doesn’t make any sense or don’t have the time and sometimes myself don’t have a chance to run every day but I do apply another solution. I use a three-week training cycle where I run 4 to 6 times a week, and I increase the volume of my training by 10% from week 1 to week 2 and on week 3 I return to the training volume of week 1.
In order not to get injured, I apply the rule of 33% for my long run meaning my weekly long run should not be more than 33% of the week’s total mileage. Two to three strength training sessions where I make sure my form and my movement are correct. The introductory or base training is your foundations of what you will do in the future as a runner, so my advice is to experiment slowly and find the sweet spot for you. As you get more experienced, you will notice that the base training period is getting smaller.
If you are a beginner to ultra running, you should run until you develop good fitness level, and you acquire strong skeleton and muscle system. You should keep your heart rate at 75% of your maximum beats to stay in aerobic state and train your body to burn more fat than glucose as I mentioned in earlier articles.
I hope I helped.
Have a healthy and happy day
My warmest Regards
Why do we move?
Have you ever wondered why we have the ability to run? I mean why do we move? What is the mechanism behind it? Well, it turns out that to make the slightest movement hundreds of chemical reactions and muscle contractions are done.
Muscles are the ones that are attached and connected to our bones with tendons and ligaments and other supportive tissues and are the ones that move our bones to the desirable direction.
When you are using your vacuum cleaner to dust off your carpets, it uses electricity which then transforms into energy to function.
When you are driving your car, and you see that the gas indicator is near empty you make sure you fill your tank with gas because the car needs gas to transform it into any kind of energy it will need to function properly. Our body is of course much more complicated than a vacuum cleaner or a car, well some of us are, (smile) so that too needs energy so our muscles will be able to contract and apply the movements our brain is asking for them. Our muscles to be able to contract and to be able to make the necessary changes need a form of chemical energy which they produce.
The chemical energy our muscles need is called Adenosine Triphosphate or otherwise ATP in short.
In previous articles here I mention ways that our body is using to propel itself forward or basically doing any other kind of exercise. The two processes I am referring are aerobic and anaerobic. In the aerobic state the muscles are using oxygen to work and in anaerobic they don’t.
Our muscles use Carbs, fat and in a little degree protein to manufacture ATP. If you are a runner, and you are going to participate in a marathon or a race more than 26.2 miles then getting carbs and fat during your race is paramount. It doesn’t really matter what kind of carbs, the simplest the better. This is a short-range solution to be able to feed your muscles enough glucose which then will be stored in your muscles and then the muscles will use it to create ATP which is the energy that powers them.
Now long term range solution should not only be centered on providing your body with simple carbs but make sure you eat the right kind of carbs. My opinion is unrefined, unprocessed complex carbs like legumes (beans, lentils, etc.), starch (brown rice, potatoes, etc.) and fruits (even they are simple carbs they provide massive amount of minerals, vitamins, and water).
The reason you should consume this kind of carbs and not simple, refined carbs like sweets and heavily processed juices and other packaged items is because our body except carbs, fat, and protein to work optimum needs another three basic and fundamental nutritional elements. We need minerals (zinc, iron, etc.) we need Vitamins (B12, C, D, etc.) and lastly but in no way the least necessary water.
All the unrefined carbs contain much higher and much better quality of vitamins, minerals and also they contain water than simple carbs.
So for long-standing health and also long standing improvement of your training you need to have your muscles and liver storage full with glycogen (series of chained glucose molecules to save space in storage)
Most of the ATP is made from carbs and fat, protein does not ordinarily being used for the production of ATP. Protein paramount role is to build, repair and maintain our muscle mass and also bone recovery, after all, that pounding our body is subjected from the accumulated mileage of our training.
There are two places where glucose is stored after every meal we take, in our liver in the form of glycogen which is used primarily to keep the blood glucose level (our blood sugar) in normal values and also to keep our nervous system and brain functioning optimum since both of this entities by glucose.
Also, our muscle system is controlled by our nervous system, a nervous system that does not function well will have as a result of a malfunctioning muscle system.
Creation of ATP
The whole procedure goes like this, we eat complex or simple carbs, the body breaks them into glucose if they are complex or use the glucose immediately if they are simple. The liver and our muscles are stored with glucose which they use to create ATP which will allow them to work.
We can store around 1500 to 2000 calories of glycogen in our body which is not a lot if you compare with the thousands of calories we have stored as fat.
The general rule is if your exercise is moderate to high intensity your body uses more carbs than fat to create ATP. If your activity is slow and average, then your body uses more fat then carbs to produce ATP. From all that 1500 to 2000 calories stored as glycogen not all of them can be utilised for running because most of the calories are stored in muscles that are not primarily used for running.
The glycogen stored in the biceps can only be utilised by the biceps, the glutes or the quadriceps cannot use the biceps glycogen only the glycogen they have themselves stored and vice versa of course. That’s why it’s important to train ourselves and reach the best fitness level we can have because the fittest you are the most fat you burn to create ATP, and you become more economically and efficient in saving your stored glycogen.
Also if you are consuming in your diet more carbs than fat you be burning more carbs than fat all the time, if you eat more fat than carbs then you be burning more fat than carbs all the time. Of course eating too much fat is not good for your health, and it’s a good tactic to have less than 30% of your calories from fat and also aim to consume unsaturated fat and not saturated fat. Unsaturated fat is primarily found in plants and saturated fats in animal products. Unsaturated fats are proven that promote health and on the other hand, unsaturated fats are the cause of many chronic diseases like heart attacks, strokes, diabetes II to name a few!
If your run is long and the duration is more than 1 hour then at some point regardless of your intensity, you will start to create more ATP from fat because the glycogen storage of the liver and skeletal muscles depleted. Also because the carbs you are receiving during the exercise do not cover your energy needs.
If you want to lose weight while training for a marathon or any longer distance it is not a good idea because the training will open your appetite for more food because you are burning a lot of calories. To lose weight, you need to do calorie restriction which is not a good idea especially for this kind of heavy training. What you can do, though, and it will help you lose weight without risking losing performance because of lack of calories is to eat a lot of fruits, vegetable legumes, and starches. The reason is because they are packed and are rich in minerals, vitamins, and water but also they provide bulk (fibre) which will keep you satiated longer and also with fewer calories than animal products. The food I mentioned is high in carbs and low in fat so these way you be using and burning your stored fat during training thus noticing weight loss. Basically, you be eating more food with fewer calories.
Aim for 60 to 80% of your calorie intake to be from unrefined complex and simple (namely fruits and veggies) carbs, 10 to 25% fat and 10 to 15% protein. I personally am following 85% carbs (complex like legumes and starch and simple like fruits), 9% fat (unsaturated, mostly from seeds like hemp, chia, flax etc) and 6% protein (plant based- I supplement 8 grams of rice protein and 5 grams of chlorella before heavy lifting or long runs).
I hope I helped.
Have a happy and healthy day.
I am off to eat some kidney beans (yummy!)
My warmest Regards
Prevention is the best practice, good warm up and good cooling down period, increase the intensity of the training gradually and always have as guide your body as I mentioned in my previous article “When to change your training’s Status Quo.”
I am not an expert on running, but I learned a lot through a series of minor injuries and one big injury. The way I used to run was not excellent for my body, my form was all bad, I promise I will write an article in the future for the proper form of running. I was abusing my body to achieve other goals, which was to lose weight, the shift from losing weight and rethinking my running goals towards making better personal records took its time. It was in that transition period where I had my most injuries, and that’s because I didn’t know how to train properly, everybody can run, training is another elephant in the room.
So below I am describing practices that helped me with my injuries, I hope some of them help you, I am sure some of them you already use, and I am certain there are much more elements you can incorporate into your training which will help you deal, prevent and heal your running related injuries.
One thing when I first started running back in 2010 was that I did not do a proper warm up I would never stretch, to tell you the truth if I am going to participate in a long run, and this is my little hidden sinful secret, well not secret anymore, I don’t warm up or stretch at all. I know big mistake; I am still relying on my good genes for that! Hey, nobody is perfect.
Now when I am doing hill repeats, or track repeats or tempo runs that will only last 1 hour tops, I do some seriously warm-up, sometimes my warm up and stretching exercises are longer than the actual training time itself.
The reason I am doing that is that all the training activities I mentioned earlier are high in intensity and hard to do, and usually, injuries occur when you are doing there kind of energy demanding efforts.
One of the reasons that I still don’t get injuries while doing my long runs is because the intensity at the begging of the run is slow and not so intense and it gives my body adequate time to warm up “properly” so to speak resulting in me not getting injured.
Another thing I do which helps me maintain my injury-free status is that I run on dirt trails and dirt roads, also the high school track where I train still has soil track, not tartan track. These surfaces are softer and do not afflict the same level of intensity on our body as concrete and pavements do.
If you are a runner in the city, it might be better for you to invest some time going to a place like a park that has dirt roads or if you live near a wooded area do your training there.
It might seem for you now a waste of time but as an injury is a concern is a life saver especially if you're training for a marathon or longer distances. The long runs start to become longer and you will want that extra security blanket that you won't get a serious injury a week just before the marathon race!!! That would suck big time.
Invest some time to learn about what kind of foot you have, do you have over-pronation or supination. A good footwear shop always has equipment and experience personnel to guide you on the purchase of your shoes. Also, there is a ton of info about shoes and feet and running, do a little research it won’t kill you it will make you wiser and prevent a series of injuries that are shoes related.
It is important not to ignore pain, and sayings like: “no pain no gain” for me is just plain stupid. Pain is one of the early warnings of your body telling you, informing you that something is not right and you should investigate immediately and not run through it and hope will go away. I admit I used to do that in the past, and I end up being home sitting on my butt more time that I was out running especially when in 2012 after running my first 50k without proper training end up getting injured with ITBS (iliotibial Band Syndrome). That Injury kept me away from serious training for a good five months, and it was one of the worst times of my life. All of these happened because I was ignorant and not proper prepared.
So with the first sign of the tiniest discomfort not even pain, investigate, check it out and also you can always do something that the running community calls R.I.C.E. no I am not going to argue about which rice is more nutritious than the other, brown or white, brown of course (smile).
R.I.C.E. is an acronym of the words
Apply Ice on the injured area 3 to 4 times during the day. Try to ice the area 10 to 15 minutes every time you apply the ice.
I usually get a towel and ice cubes; I put the ice cubes into the cloth use the towel where I hurt and just leave it there for about 10 minutes.
Also skipping a few training sessions until the pain or the discomfort goes away is a sound tactic and don’t feel you are missing out on training, well you are, but it is better to deal with now when the situation is small and not later when it be out of control. Rest for goodness sake indulge yourself with something else, see it as a break from running and trust me if you are hooked as I am a few days away running make your comeback a fat more pleasurable event.
The elevation is not always possible since you need to raise the affected area above heart level so blood will flow back to the heart decreasing thus the swelling.
Always warm up and do your stretches before running.
Always have a proper cooling down period after running.
Increase Intensity of Training gradually.
Buy shoes that are suitable for your feet.
Do not ignore mild discomforts.
Do not for the love of what you consider holy or not run through pain!
Apply RICE after any pain.
I hope I helped.
Have a healthy and happy day.
My warmest Regards
When to change your training’s Status Quo?
Have you ever finished a long run that lasted a few hours! And when you cross your imaginary finish line you felt that you had the strength to run more? Why were you doing your track repeats you felt that you could go faster? Or when you are on tempo training, you had this gut feeling that you can increase the rhythm for longer period something that was not scheduled on your plan? Have you felt that your hill repeats are not challenging anymore?
All the above feelings and signals are strong indications from your body that you reached a fitness level which for the sake of this article we call it Status Quo. You reach a Status quo which is an immediate result of your training.
One of my biggest fears and sources of anxiety when I first started running was when and how to upgrade my training program either in mileage or intensity without getting injuries. Let me tell you something and I am saying this from experience, training plan upgrading should be thoughtful and considered. You should experiment and be patient see what works and don’t work for you. DO not I repeat Do not blindly follow a training program that you find online or in a book, take the philosophy behind the program but never follow it to the letter. You are YOU, and you are unique, take the program and make it yours, do not let the program to make you it’s own to turn you into a stressful runner enslaved by his commands.
I used to do that when I first started running I would find a running training plan and follow it to the letter, the result was numerous injuries and added psychological stress and feelings or disappointment and let myself down. SO how do you upgrade your training program, well it’s quite elementary dear Watson as Sherlock homes will listen to your body, it is that easy.
When you just finished a long run in a nice relaxed tempo and with a beautiful form and as I mentioned at the start of the article you feel that you can run more then its time to upgrade your long run either run distance or intensity or both. When your hill repeats are starting to seem like a piece of cake then its time to upgrade, either find a hill that steeper or increase the intensity of the run, or add some weights to you.
Now all these theories I just said are beautiful and dandy but let me give you some numbers and practical tips.
1. Do not make more than two upgrades a week. I only do one update per week.
Usually, the first thing I improve when I feel its time it is my long run, and I will add more mileage.
2. Do not add more than 15 to 30 seconds onto an interval
3. Do not add more than 10% additional mileage to a long run each week, most of you must know it by now it is like a gold rule.
4. If you increase the number of Intervals, do the first ones with a slower tempo.
5. If you increase the speed, you run your intervals then decrease the number of the intervals and as you get fitter increase the number for the intervals back its original number. For example, if you had 12 repeats of 400 meters, and you decided you want to do them faster, then run faster six repeats instead of 12 and gradually build until you reach 12 or whatever your lucky number is.
6. When you just finished a training session as you felt safe and healthy and you feel like you can go forever, do not upgrade immediate, wait for a week and if next week you have the same input from your body then proceed to the update.
Now let’s see what kind of upgrades you can do.
1. You and increase the number of your weekly runs, if for example, you are running three times a week you can start running four times a week. This upgrade though should not be taken lightly and should be done after you 're 100% sure that your body is ready to accept the added physical stress and combined energy output that it will be asked for.
2. As I mentioned earlier, you can increase the steepness of a hill or the length the distance of a hill repeat.
3. You can increase the total time of a run, long run for example, if you were running for 2 hours every Sunday you can go for 2 hours and 12 minutes (apply the 10% increase rule)
4. You can increase the distance the length of each interval
5. You can increase the number of intervals repeats, or you can do the opposite reduce the number of interval repeats.
6. Increase the speed and the intensity of a specific run, either is hill repeat, track repeat, tempo run or long run.
I want to leave you with this today. Listen to your body, this fantastic machine that holds our soul; it is always speaking to us; we just need to relax and start listening to it. I know it’s not easy, I know I was oblivious to its callings a few years ago. Now I am more in tune with it, and the secret here is to start training your ego and your brain to be more sensitive to what your body is trying to tell you every second of your life.
I know a lot of you will say I am mad, but hey why don’t you try it and be crazy together.
Have a healthy and happy day.
My warmest Regards
Dom mentala aspekterna spelar en mycket stor roll i ett lopp som Cypern Ultra
I detta här blogg inlägget tänkte jag belysa lite mer om dom mentala aspekterna för att lyckas så bra som möjligt inför ett så krävande lopp som Cypern Ultra är. Att bara träna löpning och tro att du har loppet under kontroll kommer inte ta dig speciellt långt.
Vad jag tycker är viktigt är vilken typ av mentalt underhåll du lyckats bygga upp under din träning och i dina förberedelser. Den mentala delen är nästan den viktigaste, för du kommer utsättas för djupa svackor och påfrestningar mycket på grund av
Dessa punkter behöver du fundera över. Jämför inte med vad du gjort innan, för det kommer inte kunna jämföras med loppet på Cypern Ultra. 100 km på den banan är som ett krävande 100 miles lopp. Ett 50 km lopp är som ett tufft 80 km lopp. Banan gör så att du kommer nötas av värmen, stigningen inklusive hur väl du lyckas hantera det hela.
Jag kan omöjligen ge några exakta tips, men delar gärna min erfarenhet, med en enkel grund filosofi som är;
Under mina förberedelser tränar jag mindfulness och yoga för att hålla mig både närvarande och fokuserad inför mina äventyr. Det hjälper mig otroligt mycket.
Mindfulness är en uppmärksamhets träning, för att öka närvaron men även ett sätt att hantera olika förnimmelser och upplevelser i kroppen och sinnet. Jag kan därför varmt rekommendera mindfulness som ett komplement för att höja ditt fokus och din närvaro och även få en god återhämtning mellan dina träningspass. Yoga använder jag dels för att stärka kroppens balans men även för rörligheten och inte minst balansen mellan min kropp och mitt sinne.
Jag vill verkligen inte skrämma någon av er, men jag vill heller inte ljuga om att Cypern Ultra är ett enkelt lopp för det är det inte.
Cypern Ultra är exakt det jag sökte och söker, ett extremt lopp som utmanar mina gränser.
Och på den vägen är det ännu.
Lycka till med din träning, så hoppas jag att få träffa många nya ansikten under 2017.
Fundamental number 1
When I first started running I did not know anything about training, the why’s and the how’s and even six years after running I am still finding myself not knowing stuff. That’s why I love running I learn new bits of information’s every day. One of the things I did not know about was the fact that you need to increase the intensity and your training load gradually. I thought that’s stress was only psychological, it turns out my friends we have a lot of different kind of stresses! We have mental as I mentioned, emotional, complementary, supplementary and of course physical stress.
Every time you finish a training session you put your body under a lot of physiological stress, you asked for it to supply a certain level of work which never had to deliver in the past, you gave it new information to process and thus putting it in a stressful situation. Our body thank goodness is not stupid and is an incredible machine. After the training is over it will assess of what it asked for it during the raining see where it was lacking and where it was weak. Then at a cellular level will make sure the areas that did not perform satisfactorily will be enhanced and upgrade them so next time while training it will be able to deliver the required payload.
That’s a fundamental truth, now what are we going to do with it? I will tell you now. The secret is to give to the body able time to make the necessary adjustments and repairs so the next time you go out for a new training to benefit from them. In more lame terms, you need to give time to your body to recover well before going out there again stressing it even more. Intensity and increase of training should be something that every runner is battling every time he or she sits down to devise or construct its next training plan or regime.
Fundamental number 2
When I first start running, I would run every day, and as I mentioned in another article of mine I had this philosophy about training back then that a day without running was a day lost. Well, a lot has happened since then, I am more experience as a runner now, I read a lot more books and articles about the importance of resting and also a lot of injuries taught me the hard way the immense severity resting days are. Now I run 3 to 4 times per week, and I learned about specificity. Which means every training session I finish has a specific goal. For example, when I am doing track repeats I am working on my speed, when I am doing tempo runs, I am working on having a real and proper running form and pace. When I am working on my long runs, I make sure I am training my aerobic capacity and also training my ability to use fat as my primary fuel. Be specific on your training and you will see results faster and also better.
Fundamental number 3
As I said numerous times in my first book Thirsty for Health and also in many articles in my blog every person is unique and once you grasp this essential and also paramount realisation, then you be able to set your mind free. You be able to follow the path that is right in front of you but most of the times can’t see it because of all the distractions of everyday life.
You are a snowflake; you will not find two snowflakes alike, so do not compare yourself with others as training is a concern. Some people get into a certain form and shape faster than other people even if all of them use the specific training system and training volume. The secret is to see where you 're now and where were you when you first started, that’s what should matter to you, everything else is not going to help you become a better runner. So vital, individual differences is something an athlete must keep under consideration.
Fundamental number 4
Six years ago when I started running, I did it to lose weight, becoming fit or healthy was the last thing on my mind I just wanted to lose the sick pounds. I noticed that by doing petite running, I would lose much weight and also my fitness level would improve faster. When I reach a stalemate as losing weight is concerned I noticed that I had to run faster, harder and further to even see any noticeable weight loss and also improvement of my fitness level. That’s when I realised that the fittest you become, when you get closer and closer to your optimal performance the harder it is to improve even more. So do not despair if you don’t see great improvements after finishing a hard training, it means you reach your best level at that particular time in your life. Maybe your running regime is fine maybe you need to tweak and check out other aspects of your life, like nutrition or weight strengthening or so on.
Fundamental number 5
One of the biggest lessons running tough me was that if you want to have results, you must be consistent. The saying is you don’t use it you lose it is one f the best advice ever. If you stop training then the fitness level you achieve after all those hard training days it will go away, and you are back to square one. It is that simple. From my experience is you stop training for three weeks then you are back to square one, of course, square one is different for different people, for me, square one is I can run 10k in one-hour others could be less or more. The important thing is that you need to see training as a lifestyle it should be something that you can do for the rest of your life, something that it will not become like a job or at the same time not get bored with it. I think running 3 to 4 times a week, achieves those goals, keeps you in good fitness shape, does;t make you feel you have to go run and also it is not dull.
Fundamental number 6
I left the most important one of the last. All of the above are worthless is you don’t possess this last ability. I know people say it is not right to be selfish, but I think that's wrong. I advocate that you need to be at least a little bit of selfish, have a little bit of an ego to be able to get from bed every day and do the things that matter to you. One of them is running, because running for me is not just a man to achieve something anymore is part of me and I can’t think myself without it.
I hope I helped and made you think.
Have a healthy and happy day
Adapt or fail.
The dinosaurs died because after the sudden climate change they didn’t have time to adapt to the new environment. Adaptation is everything, the species or the person that is able to adapt faster to new situations and new changes are the one that will survive at the end.
Running taught me that If you do not adapt, you will not be able to go through a training schedule mainly a training program for preparing for a marathon or 50k race. Life is unexpected, and while everything looks so beautiful on paper, in practice and in our daily lives it is not.
Its is true that you need to know your theory and it’s the application of the theorems that we have practical results. Let me give you an example. Today I had programmed in my training schedule for the 50k race that is going to be held in Vasa Kellakiou 20 of May 2017, to run 1 hour. Today though I had to do some personal business in Nicosia so I got home late, and when I got home I had to do some house building related chores which took me about 3 hours and so I did not have the chance to go do my training. So what do I do now start crying or get upset or get depressed or get sad? No, I won’t be I will adapt and evaluate.
Mind you when I first started running I would follow my training programs to the last instruction, and if I couldn’t do all the exercises or couldn’t do the tempo times I was supposed too I would get mad and frustrated. Now I know better, it does worth it. Now if I don’t run a particular day, then I will switch. For example today I was pushing a wheelbarrow filled with construction bricks up and down for almost three hours! I had to carry a wheelbarrow full of 9 blocks which were about 100 kilos all together for 40 to 50 meters. Now that’s exercise. Pushing a wheelbarrow actually use nearly all of your muscles. So today I considered being this my weight lifting day and tomorrow I will go and run my 1 hour running. No harm was done, and everything is fine.
Adaption of my training plan also taught me a valuable lesson. I took these lessons I learned from my running and applied them with a more general algorithm to the rest of my life. I realised that by able to adapt I managed to reduce stress and get more things done. Now when I construct a training plan I always have two and sometimes three alternative programs just in case something happens, and I won't be able to do the scheduled exercise or running regime.
You should look at your training program weekly wise and try to have alternatives that will satisfy your weight lifting and running goals of the week. One thing you need to be adamant thought is that your long run should always be on the same day your race is, try and keep that as constant as possible.
If you can't run for example your long run on Saturday where the race day will be and run it Sunday or vice versa no harm done, but try to simulate as much as possible the race conditions.
Well, that’s what I had for you today, I hope I helped with my adaptation realisation.
Have a healthy and happy day
My warmest Regards
Προσαρμογή ή αποτυχία
Οι δεινόσαυροι πέθαναν διότι μετά την ξαφνική αλλαγή του καιρού δεν πρόλαβαν να προσαρμοστούν στις νέες συνθήκες. Το είδος είτε είναι το ανθρώπινο ή τα άτομα που έχουν την ικανότητα να προσαρμόζονται ταχύτατα σε νέες καταστάσεις είναι αυτά που επιβιώσουν.
Η ενασχόληση μου με το τρέξιμο που έμαθε ένα πολύτιμο μάθημα, αν δεν προσαρμοστείς στα προπονητικά σχέδια τότε δεν θα μπορέσεις να τελειώσεις αγώνες όπως είναι ο μαραθώνιος και μεγαλύτερες αποστάσεις όπως τα 50 χιλιόμετρα.
Η ζωή είναι γεμάτη από εκπλήξεις και όλα στην θεωρία είναι τέλεια και κυλάνε ανεμπόδιστα. Η καθημερινότητα μας όμως μας δείχνει άλλα.
Είναι αληθές ότι είναι σημαντικό να γνωρίζει τη θεωρία του αντικειμένου σου καλά αφού είναι η εφαρμογή της θεωρία που γεννά τις πρακτικές εφαρμογές.
Παράδειγμα. Σήμερα είχα προγραμματισμένο να τρέξω για μια ώρα αλλά λόγω προσωπικών εργασιών που έπρεπε να διεκπεραιώσω στην Λευκωσία άργησα να επιστρέψω σπίτι. Επιπλέον έπρεπε να τελειώσω και κάποιες οικοδομικές εργασίες οι οποίες δεν σήκωναν άλλη αναβολή.
Οπότε τί έπρεπε να κάνω να κάτσω να νευριάζω και να στεναχωριέμαι επειδή δεν κατάφερα να ακολουθήσω το προπονητικό μου πρόγραμμα όχι φυσικά.
Όταν πρωτάρχισα να τρέχω και λόγω άλλων υποχρεώσεων δεν μπορούσαν να κάνω τις ασκήσεις όπως τις είχα σχεδιάσει πάντα είχα νεύρα και δυσαρέσκεια.
Τώρα έχω μάθει καλύτερα και έχω μάθε ι ότι δεν αξίζει τον κόπο να χαλάω την ψυχική μου υγεία για τέτοιου είδους αναποδιές.
Για τρεις ώρες κουβαλούσα τούβλα από ένα σημείο του σπιτιού σε άλλο, η απόσταση ήταν 40 με 50 μέτρα και κάθε φορτίο ήταν περίπου 100 κιλά.
ΤΟ τί σκέφτομαι τώρα είναι το εξής: Το να μεταφέρεις τούβλα με την χειράμαξα δεν είναι μικρή άσκηση όποτε είπα σήμερα ότι έκανα τις ασκήσεις της άρσης βαρών και αύριο θα πάω να τρέξω την μία ώρα που δεν έτρεξα σήμερα. Όλα είναι τέλεια
Το να είμαι ικανός και έτοιμος να προσαρμόζομαι όσο αφορά το πρόγραμμα προπόνησης του τρεξίματος μου μου έμαθε ένα πολυτιμότερο μάθημα το οποίο είναι ότι μπορώ να εφαρμόσω τις ίδιες αρχές και φιλοσοφία και σε άλλους τομείς της ζωής μου.
Συνειδητοποίησα ότι αποκτώντας την ικανότητα να προσαρμόζομαι κατάφερα να μειώσω το άγχος μου και ταυτόχρονα αύξησα την παραγωγικότητα μου.
Τώρα όταν σχεδιάζω ένα πρόγραμμα εκπαίδευσης προνοώ και εναλλακτικά σενάρια ροής της προπόνησης σε περίπτωσης συγκεκριμένα γεγονότα με εμποδίσουν να ακολουθήσω κατά γράμμα το πρωτότυπο.
Είναι καλό να αξιολογείς το πρόγραμμα εκπαίδευσης σου σε βάθος εβδομάδας.
Ένα πράγμα που καλό είναι να το έχεις σταθερά είναι η ημέρα που θα κάνεις το μακρινό τρέξιμο να είναι την ημέρα που θα είναι και ο αγώνας.
Αν ο αγώνας είναι Σάββατο προσπάθησε να τρέχεις το μακρινό σου τρέξιμο το Σάββατο. Αν δεν μπορέσεις να τρέξεις το Σάββατο και κάνεις το τρέξιμο την Κυριακή δεν χάλασε ο κόσμος.
Όσο ποιο κοντινές προσομοιώσεις κάνεις στην προπόνηση τόσο ποιο προετοιμασμένος θα είσαι για την ημέρα του αγώνος.
Αυτά είχα για εσάς σήμερα, ελπίζω να βοήθησα.