I was going to ride the bike today, but never really felt motivated to actually get downstairs on the trainer. So I never did. And that’s okay. I don’t feel guilty. At least not that much. It’s the offseason. All of my big races are done. It’s time for a break, both mentally and physically.
Building in a relaxed or completely training-free period to break up long blocks of structured work is essential. What could go wrong if you don’t take a break? On the physical side, overtraining or injury. On the mental side: stress, irritability, and burnout.
One of the best things about running is you don’t need much. Some shoes. Some clothes you don’t mind getting sweaty. And a little time to go out and suffer. That’s pretty much it.
I don’t run with headphones or music or anything too fancy, so maybe I’m not the best person to write up a gift guide full of stuff, but…if you want to get the runner in your life something that goes beyond boring socks (actually, socks are always welcome for runners), here are a few unique and useful ideas for any of your friends that are constantly talking about training or their next race.
Of course, you could always get them a nice, soft unique new running t-shirt 🙂
After the triathlon season ended, I wanted one more goal to help motivate me for the fall road running season. I decided to try to pick off my longest standing running PR, the 10k. It’s been stuck at 41:16 since 2014 and now that I’m over 40 and a masters runner, it didn’t seem like that goal was going to get any easier in the future.
Unlike the marathon, where a lot of the training is just being on your feet and running with fatigue, or the 5k where it’s about holding that speed as long as possible, the 10k requires a mix of easy, hard, fast, and slow runs. This variety can be great to shake up a training routine that is stuck in a rut.
Black Friday is fast approaching and if you find yourself in the market for a new, or upgraded, fitness watch, you might find yourself quickly overwhelmed by all the brands, models, features and choices that have flooded the market in the last few years. Everyone really wants you to get your 10k steps each day.
Asking yourself three simple questions when starting the buying process can make sorting through the options and offers a whole lot less stressful.
One silver lining to having a chronic disease is that you visit the doctor quite often and have your blood tested quite often. For someone that enjoys running and endurance events like I do, those blood tests can be a great tool when things suddenly and unexpectedly go off the rails during training.
Sidenote, it’s also very helpful to have a doctor that is an athlete/runner herself or is used to working with and interpreting blood tests from dedicated amateur athletes. I’ve found my doctor (a dedicated cross-fitter and ultra-runner) very sympathetic to the mental aspects of training, too. When I tell her my frustrations or need to run, I know she understands.
It’s easy to get lost in all the fitness data you can collect now during your workouts. Does anyone really need to know their power output when running? So far, I’m convinced most of it is just noise. Maybe interesting noise, but not really all that helpful in helping you get more fit or get more competitive.
Of course it’s not all junk data. Some of the data is helpful to track. I like to use two particular fitness tests, one for cycling and one for running, and tracking the resulting data from those tests really helps me judge my current fitness, any improvements, and just what I can expect in any upcoming races.
As a lifelong runner, I’ve never had what you would call shredded or chiseled arms. I’ve largely gotten by with sporadic attempts at circuit training or weight lifting, but nothing long enough to have much of an impact.
As I’ve gotten older, embraced master’s running and tried to hold on to my speed as long as possible, I’ve found strengthening my upper body through regular gym workouts to be an essential cog in staving off father time.