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 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
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
Δεκατιανό πριν από προπόνηση
Σήμερα θέλω να μοιραστώ μαζί σας μια συνταγή που με βοήθησε πολύ στο να χάσω κιλά και να διατηρήσω ένα υγιεινό βάρος τα τελευταία τρία χρόνια. Επίσης με έχει βοηθήσει σημαντικά με τις αθλητικές δραστηριότητες μου. Τρώω αυτό το δεκατιανό 2 με 3 ώρες πριν πάω για προπόνηση.
1. 50 γραμμάρια Βρώμη
2. 10 γραμμάρια Λιναρόσπορο (Αλεσμένος)
3. 10 γραμμάρια σπόρων Chia
4. 10 γραμμάρια αποξηραμένα μούρα Goji
5. 10 γραμμάρια Ηλιόσπορος
6. 10 γραμμάρια σπόρους κολοκύθας
7. 5 γραμμάρια σουσάμι (Αλεσμένο)
8. 5 γραμμάρια της κανέλα Κεϋλάνης σε σκόνη
9. 5 γραμμάρια πιπερόριζα (σκόνη)
10. 5 γραμμάρια Κιτρινόριζα (σκόνη)
11. 5 γραμμαρίων Chlorella (σκόνη) (Περιέχει πολύ πρωτεΐνη)
12. 5 γραμμάρια Maca (σκόνη) (βοηθάει να αντιμετωπίζω το άγχος)
13. 5 γραμμάρια Φυστίκια Βραζιλίας (καθημερινή δόση σεληνίου)
14. 5 γραμμάρια σπόρους κλωστικής κάνναβης (Αλεσμένος)
15. 2 μικρές μπανάνες (περίπου 80 γραμμάρια η κάθε μία)
16. 5 ml μηλίτη (οργανικός)
17. 5 γραμμάρια μελάσα (Περιέχει σίδηρο και ασβέστιο)
18. Amla σκόνη (Περιέχει πολλά αντιοξειδωτικά)
19. Ζεστό νερό
Σύνολική Ενέργεια: 733,6 θερμίδες
Σύνολική Πρωτεΐνη: 26,9 γραμμάρια
Σύνολικοί Υδατάθρακες: 84,3 γραμμάρια
Συνολικό λίπος: 30,4 γραμμάρια
Το προετοιμάζω το προηγούμενο βράδυ και το παίρνω την επομένη μαζί μου στην εργασία μου.
Αυτό το δεκατιανό θα με κρατήσει μέχρι την ώρα που θα παώ για προπόνηση , που εναι συνήθως 3 ώρες μετά αφού έχω σχολάσει.
Το δεκατιανό αυτό μου δίνει την καθημερινή μου δόση σε ωμέγα-3 και περίπου το 60% του ωμέγα-6. Με αυτό τον τρόπο δε χρειάζεται να καταναλώνω ψάρια με όλα τα μειονεκτήματά που έχει όπως κορεσμένα λιπαρά και χοληστερόλη, που αποδεδειγμένα συμβάλουν σε μια σειρά από χρόνιες ασθένειες, όπως καρδιακές παθήσεις, υψηλή αρτηριακή πίεση, υψηλή χοληστερόλη και ούτω καθεξής. Επίσης, ο τρόπος που καταφέραμε και μολύναμε τους ωκεανούς μας και τις λίμνες μας έχει αποτέλεσμα τα ψάρια να έχουν πολύ αυξημένα επίπεδα υδραργύρου. Στην Αμερική, ένα από τα πρώτα πράγματα που οι γιατροί λένε στις εγκύους είναι να σταματήσουν να τρώνε ψάρια λόγω των υψηλών επιπέδών υδραργύρου. Θα προτιμήσω να παίρνω το ομέγα-3 μου από το λιναρόσπορο, εγώ θερμόμετρο δεν είμαι.
Επίσης λαμβάνω ένα εντυπωσιακό ποσοστό 26,9 γραμμαρίων πρωτεΐνης, η οποία καλύπτει περισσότερο από το 50% της ημερήσιας δόσης του συνόλου των εννέα απαραιτήτων αμινοξέων που το σώμα μου δεν μπορεί να δημιουργήσει και πρέπει να λαμβάνει από την τροφή. Ποιος είπε ότι τα φυτά δεν έχουν δύναμη;
Το κρέας αποδεδειγμένα σας κάνει ερωτικά ανίκανους οι αρτηρίες του πέους κλείνουν πριν τις αρτηρίες της καρδιάς, διότι είναι μικρότερες σε διάμετρο. Κλείνουν λόγω των κορεσμένων λιπαρών και της χοληστερόλης που λαμβάνετε όταν τρώτε κρέας.
Το κρέας δεν σε κάνει δυνατόν το αντίθετο σας κάνει ανίκανο να κάνετε παιδιά.
Το λίπος που παίρνω είναι πολλές θερμίδες, αλλά είναι όλα καλά λιπαρά. Διατηρεί την αίσθηση της πληρότητας επειδή χρειάζεται περισσότερο χρόνο για να χωνευστεί στο στομάχι.
Οι θερμίδες που λαμβάνω από το λίπος με αυτό το δεκατιανο φαίνεται ότι είναι πολλές αλλά δεν έχω ανάγκη να τσιμπολογώ δεξιά και αριστερά αργότερα.
Παίρνω αρκετούς υδατάνθρακες για να με στηρίξει στα αρχικά στάδια της προπόνησσης μου.
Παίρνω περίπου το 75% του συνόλου της καθημερινής δόσης των μετάλλων μου αλλά και το 50% περίπου των βιταμινών μου.
Κάθε άνθρωπος είναι μοναδικός, έτσι πειραματιστείτε με τις ποσότητες, μπορεί να θέλετε να προσθέσετε κάποια συστατικά ή να αφαιρέσετε κάποια άλλα η επιλογή είναι δική σας.
Ελπίζω να βοήθησα.
Συγγραφέας του Thirsty for Health
My Super Oats recipe.
Today I want to share with you a recipe that helped me satisfy cravings and allowed me to lose weight, maintain it and also helped me with my athletic activities. I eat this snack 2 to 3 hours before I go to exercise.
1. 50 grams of Oats
2. 10 grams of Flaxseed (grounded)
3. 10 grams of Chia seeds
4. 10 grams of dried Goji berries
5. 10 grams of Sun Flower seeds
6. 10 grams of Pumpkin seeds
7. 5 grams of Sesame seeds (grounded)
8. 5 grams of Ceylon Cinnamon powder
9. 5 grams of Ginger (powder)
10. 5 grams of Turmeric (powder)
11. 5 gram of Chlorella (powder) (Packed with protein)
12. 5 grams of Maca (powder) (Helps me cope with stress)
13. 1 kernel of Brazilian nuts (Get my daily dose of Selenium)
14. 5 grams of Hemp seeds (grounded)
15. 2 small bananas (about 80 grams each)
16. 5 ml of Apple cider (organic)
17. 5 grams of Blackstrap molasses (lot’s of Iron and Calcium)
18. Amla powder (Packed with antioxidants)
19. Warm water
Total Energy: 733.6 calories
Total Protein: 26.9 grams
Total Net Cards: 84.3 grams
Total Fat: 30.4 grams
I prepare it the previous night before I go to bed and take it with me at work.
This little snack bomb here will keep me full for at least another 3 hours where I usually go home from work, and I only need to eat a couple of bananas, and I am off to train without having any cravings or lack of energy when I head for my training.
From this snack, I get my daily dose of Omega-3 and about 60% of my omega-6. I get it from flax seed mostly, but Chia and hemp seed also contain some. This way I don’t have to eat fish with all its disadvantages, saturated fat and cholesterol that are proven to contribute to a range of chronic diseases like heart conditions, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and so on. Also, the way we managed to pollute our oceans and lakes fish have extremely elevated levels of mercury in them. In America, one of the first things doctors tell to pregnant women is to stop eating fish because of the high consecrations of mercury. I will stick with flax seed myself I am not a thermometer.
Also, I get an incredible 26.9 grams of protein which covers more than 50% of the daily dose of all of the nine essential amino acids that my body cannot create and needs to take from food. Who said plants don’t carry power?
Plus meat makes you sexually impotent; the penis arteries close first before the heart arteries from all that saturated fat and cholesterol you get when you eat meat. Something to remember when you say meat makes you strong, wrong meat makes you weak and impotent!
The fat that I get are a lot of calories, but it’s all good fat. It keeps the feeling of fullness longer because fat takes longer to digest in the stomach. It seems that I had a lot of calories from fat,( 30.4 by 9 = 273,6) but I do not indulge in any cravings later on, so that's the only calories I end up having for the day.
Got carbs enough to sustain me through the initial stages of my training.
I get about 75% of all my daily mineral doses and also about 50% of my vitamins daily doses.
Every person is unique so experiment with the quantities, you might want to add some ingredients or remove some it’s your choice.
I hope I help.
Have a healthy and happy day
Author of Thirsty for Health
Drömmer du om att springa utanför landets gränser och kanske även testa dina egna gränser inom Ultra Maraton?. Gillar du att röra dig i vacker natur och vackra landskap under extremt varma förhållanden, med extremt hög luftfuktighet?. Är du en löpare som gillar springa kuperade bergsområden?.. Det lopp jag kommer skriva om är Cypern Ultra som är ett extremt Trail Ultra Maraton som oftast går under den varmaste perioden i Vasa Kellakiou på Cypern. Fokus är hur du bäst kan förbereda dig baserat på mina tidigare erfarenheter inom ultra maraton träning och tidigare förberedelser inför just Cypern Ultra som jag tidigare deltagit i under tre år. Mitt fjärde lopp kommer bli i maj 2017 då Cypern Ultra arrangerar sitt lopp i Vasa där det finns tre olika ultra distanser att välja på.
Ett ultra maraton är för den som inte vet sedan tidigare en distans som är längre än den klassiska maraton distansen som är 42195 meter. Cypern Ultra har för varje lopp respektive distans en max tid som löparen måste klara för att officiellt klara loppet och få en finish. Här under finns länkar till respektive klass under Cypern Ultra. Här finns även information om regler, hur du anmäler dig, kort information om banan som är otroligt krävande, och något jag kommer ta upp mer detaljerat i en senare artikel i min serie om vägen till Cypern Ultra. Jag kommer skriva om min egen träning, och den kommer även beröra all form av förberedelser för att få den optimala förutsättningen till ett bra lopp även för dig som funderar på att prova Cypern Ultra.
Cypern Ultra 50km
Cypern Ultra 100km
Cypern Ultra 2017
Cypern Ultra är ett häftigt äventyr, och jag själv har blivit otroligt fäst vid den krävande banan. Banan utmanar alla löpare till den yttersta gränsen, liksom den gjort med mig. Jag vet många otroligt duktiga och erfarna ultra löpare som delar min åsikt. Endast några få har klarat den längsta distansen och det säger en del om svårigheten i loppet. Men hos mig har min nyfikna sida alltid vunnit, liksom passionen att få vara med om äventyret att springa under något mer extrema omständigheter. För varje gång jag återvänt har jag lärt mig nya saker om mig själv. Och därmed vunnit en stor erfarenhet som hjälpt mig och många andra, något som jag gärna vill dela med mig av vidare för den som söker äventyret och den stora utmaningen. Jag har nog haft enklare än många andra att springa under extremt varma förhållanden, men även jag har insett hur viktigt det är att få goda förberedelser inför ett lopp som Cypern Ultra. Jag vill även redan nu från början tillägga att all den information jag delger är baserat på min egen erfarenhet och det jag lärt mig på vägen. Det kommer bli baserat på mina upplevelser och reflektioner kring egna misstag, skador och framgång jag erfarit på vägen. All träning och förberedelse kommer alltid vara helt individuell och så även för just dig som läser mina artiklar om vägen mot Cypern Ultra. Genom att jag kommer att skriva om min egen träning inför Cypern Ultra 100 km i maj 2017 kanske du även hittar extra motivation och inspiration inför ditt egna äventyr som Cypern Ultra är, och det ska bli både spännande och utmanande för egen del att både blogga och förbereda mig, men fantastiskt kul och utvecklande.
My muscles hurt on my long runs
There is nothing quite like starting your long run in pain. Not all muscle pain is equal; you need to work out why you are having this pain in the first place. Are you suffering from DOMS - delayed onset muscle soreness? May be a little slow movement will help you recover from this. Does the muscle soreness diminish as the run progresses? Perhaps the pain is more serious and it does not ease off with movement? It could be that the soreness can be tolerated if the intensity of the run is decreased? All of these things need to be taken in to consideration.
When was your last training session and have you had enough recovery time? A demanding training schedule is often a very rewarding and progressive one, but without adequate time to recover, you will halter your progress. Make sure you vary the programme - factor in different tempos and distances. Remember that your fitness needs time to develop and your muscles need time to recover. Training too hard without time to recover makes you more susceptible to injury too. There is nothing worse and demoralising than having your training programme interrupted by injury.
Moving is soothing -
Yes, a little light movement helps your muscles to recover. The muscle fibres become more pliable. Your range of movement is assisted. The pain is literally eased and teased out of your body. Your circulation is improved and you help the healing hormones travel through your body - assisting repair and flushing oxygenated blood through your system. Do not over do it though. Moving too fast and taxing the body too heavily when it is tired can make you more prone to injury. Learn when to push it and when to be kinder to yourself.
Ouch, moving makes it worse -
This is key. I hear so many athletes boast that when they have a sports injury they 'run through it'. This may be something that you get away with at certain times, but serious injuries do not respond to ignoring pain signals and pushing through. After all, the pain response is there for a good reason! So, even if a runner appears to have everything you want - speed, endurance and a whole host of top placings in large races, believe me that this does not make them qualified to offer sports injury advice - especially of the 'run though the injury' type! Do remember, if your pain or discomfort does not ease off with gentle movement, becomes more intense with movement or becomes worse afterwards, this is the big clue that you need rest up and get help.
I can still run with the pain if I run slower or less -
Moving is good. Making things worse is bad. If you can still run through a little light discomfort by dropping your speed and distance, go for it. The aim is to keep moving without exacerbating the condition. Moving keeps your muscles and joints healthy. Not moving makes us stiff and leads to a loss of conditioning. Find the happy medium between something and nothing and gradually increase distance and speed as your body allows.
So, next time your muscles hurt on a long run, have a good think about where that pain has originated from. Your aim is to keep injury free. You can do so much more with your sporting life injury free. Nobody wants to be a one-hit wonder. Your body deserves to be looked after. Keeping your body safe is much more mentally rewarding in the long run!
Eva Evangelou, BA Hons, PGCE, Adv Dip Sp Ed, IFA Dip, ITEC Dips, has been a body worker since 2004. She is the Author of the Published book, 'Say No! To Neck and Shoulder Pain' and is the owner of Limassol Sports Massage - a busy Sports Injury Clinic in Limassol.