Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Nature: Daytime dragonflies, sunset daisy


Monday, June 27, 2011

Train: Half marathon trng recap-month 1

On May 30, I started a new 20-week half marathon training program to get ready for the Whistlestop race held in upper Wisconsin on October 15, 2011. Last year, I used a tweaked 12-week Hal Higdon plan to prep for my first half mary stab; this year, I’m trying a regimen from a book given to me by my sister and niece, Brain Training for Runners.

Weeks 1-6 is Base Phase. Trng objectives? Build capacity + endurance, increase injury resistance + muscle activation capacity. For the first four weeks of this phase, I’d give myself a C+ overall. Week 1 = A | Week 2 = A | Week 3 = F | Week 4 = B.

The program starts off slowly and is longer than Higdon’s (I didn’t miss more than 5 or so days of trng the entire 12 wks of it). With my wintertime running, I felt I had a base equal to what’s slated for this phase going in. When I came upon a really hectic period during Week 3 (where I wasn’t sleeping much or well) I cut myself some slack. Rather than pushing I pulled back and eased up on things like time online (sorry guys! ;-) and other tasks that can cause tension and spent whatever free time I had relaxing outside or enjoying family and friend time.

It doesn’t help my training, but I’ve learned it helps my mindset…and since overall health is what drives my efforts here, I give myself allowances to be human.

I know, not very inspirational. ;-)

So far, the BEST thing about the Brain Training plan is the weekly proprioceptive cue work. Proprioceptive cues are meant to improve running technique by having you focus on particular thoughts + sensations during exercise to control physical movement in a desired way. The three that I have used so far are getting engrained, each one building on the other, so that when I run I not only have the current cue in my mind’s cross hairs – the others pop back in, too. I’m not sure how much my form is improved as a result; but, I *do* like having something positive and constructive to focus my mind on when I’m on my trng runs.

Train: Brain training for runners-week 4

NITRO Trailblazer 5K
What a difference a week makes!

After last week's anemic training, I wrapped this one up with my first strong age group finish at a local race, the NITRO Trailblazer 5K. I nabbed second place, while a friend grabbed 3rd in her division.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Train: Brain training for runners-week 3

Happy day!Helped my husband with final organizing and then hosting of a first-time ever picnic and fly-in at a local airport. 200+ American and United airlines pilots and their families attended, and we had a whole houseload of guests for the weekend. My training suffered as a result, but the event itself was a great success.

Happy, happy about that. I'll pick things back up next week.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Energize: Cinnamony apple running fuel

Favorite running fuel

#dailymission question: What special fuel substance do you use?

I have to say that I love Apple Cinnamon Carb BOOM! Tastes just like cinnamon-spiced apple pie filling. Apparently no preservatives or anything unnatural added. (I can at least vouch for it being smooth going down -- not too sweet -- with no chemically aftertaste.) Sometimes, when running 5 or more miles, I'll have one with water 15-30 mins before heading out and another shot every 30 active mins. Especially helpful against bonking when you need extra energy or sustained performance (high heat days or when doing intervals). ♥ it!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Train: Brain training for runners-week 2

Brain Training for Runners benefits As I close out my second week of the Brain Training for Runners program, I thought I'd share a clip from an Active.com book review:

Author, coach, triathlete and Active Expert Matt Fitzgerald presents a revolutionary approach to running in his [2007] book, Brain Training for Runners. Fitzgerald compiled evidence from the latest research in exercise physiology that challenges conventional runner's wisdom by shifting focus to a "brain-centered" model.

The two-part book begins with a well thought out presentation of the brain-training system applicable to runners of all experience levels. Fitzgerald's motto, "train the brain and the rest will follow," explains how the main goal of brain-training is to develop a heightened awareness for feedback from the running experience to increase maximal capacity, efficiency of stride and injury-prevention.
For someone like me who loves running, but whose fascination with the workings of the brain are endless, this approach is uber appealing.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Train: Brain training for runners-week 1

Brain Training for RunnersHappy to begin a new 20-week half marathon trng plan today for two fall races: the Whiste Stop Half and the Rock Cut HOBO 25K Trail Run. Last year I used Hal Higdon's half trng plan + felt it was easy to stick with + do.

This time I'm incorporating elements of that plan with one found in the book Brain Training for Runners that I got from my sister. In addition, this weekend my girlfriend gave me Kara Goucher's Running for Women book...so I'm rarin' to go + brimmin' w/info. Follow my training at dailymile, where I share my exercise adventures in real time.

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