Sunday, 18 August 2013

Weekly Recap...

One of my best weeks of training this week, finished with a great long run of 23kms.

I somehow got myself one week ahead in my marathon training plan so the workouts I did last week were supposed to be done this week coming... Oh well.
About 18kms into my long run
Here's a recap of last week's training:
Monday: 2 x 1200m, 4 x 800m repeats at approx 12.5k/hr pace.

Tuesday: Weight session

Wednesday: 11km tempo run - 1.5km easy, 8km at marathon pace and 1.5km easy

Thursday: This is my rest day as I have picked up one day a week of work so it will pretty much always be a training rest day now.

Friday: Spin class

Saturday: 23km run with 1km walk at the end for cool down followed by lots of stretching and lots of eating. I included some trails in my run which always makes it a bit more enjoyable. And they are some of the trails which will be included in this half marathon that I will be running next month.

Some trails in my long run
The only time I walked - this hill is crazy steep!
 Sunday: Rest day

I have two rest days a week as I find this is what I need. Sometimes I will do some light exercise on one of the days but no actual 'training' as such.

This week I am going to do last week's training since I had gotten ahead of myself. Rather relieved actually as it means there is one extra week of training in there now :) 11 weeks to go, not 10... Phew! Hopefully it will look much like last week did with a spin class in there and a weight and cardio session of some sort, plus my 3 key runs.

I am really enjoying my training now when I can manage to fit it all in, and getting into the longer distances. It's not always the easiest to get all my training sessions in now with a baby, but it's definitely so convenient my Mum having a treadmill. Never thought I would say that I am loving the treadmill sessions!

Are you training for anything at the moment? How is it going?

Anyone run this weekend? How far?

Don't forget my awesome active incentive/giveaway that you can find out more about and sign up for here.

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Can you be a better runner after childbirth??

I found it hard getting back into running after the birth of my son, 5.5 months ago. However, now that I am back into the swing of things I feel like I may possibly be running better than ever.

I ran until I was about 6 months pregnant (although towards the end of that time the max distance was about 4 or 5kms). After that I walked a lot and did weight training right until the end of my pregnancy.

About 6 months pregnant
My first post partum run was 6 weeks after birth, and I have very slowly been building up since then pretty much. My first race was 4 months after the birth of my son and the longest distance I have run has been 20kms which I did just this weekend gone.

Finishing my first race - 12kms
After the 12km race I was so ready to get back into the long distances and training but I was a little nervous. I had the negative voice in my head telling me I was being silly, that I couldn't run a marathon just 8 months after having a child, it would be too hard, I would be too weak and slow... Blah blah blah. The voice had almost convinced me but I had decided I would give it a go anyway. And I am sooo glad I did!

I have found my running groove again and I feel so great. After each long run I tell my husband how I just can't believe how good I felt while running and even after the run. Previously after long runs I would almost have to sleep for the same amount of minutes that I had run for, which I was worried about now with having a baby to look after. But so far I have been feeling like I have had MORE energy during AND after runs, which I am just gobsmacked about... Still!

After a recent run - Happy to have found my groove again!
 So I have put this all down to my hormones and whatever else is going on in my body due to having a baby. Increased blood volume helps carry more oxygen around the body (which I thought was just during pregnancy, but turns out it is after birth as well), which makes for better running.

This brilliant article talks about some famous/pro runners and athletes that have come back faster and stronger after having a child.
Dr. Karen Nordahl, an obgyn at BC Women’s Hospital in Vancouver and the author of Fit to Deliver, said that often women who continue exercise throughout their pregnancy experience some strength increases, in part as a result of working out with additional weight.
“I actually think they do come out stronger, not necessarily fitter,” said Nordahl.

Many of the hormonal changes go away six to 12 months after pregnancy, but some can have long-lasting effects.
“You’re actually able to maintain physiological effects for up to a year,” said Nordahl.

Pregnancy also results in increases in blood flow and oxygen-carrying capacity, as well as increased levels of growth hormone. One study, which followed pregnant and non-pregnant athletes over 15 months at similar levels of exercise, even showed a small increase in VO2 max in the pregnant athletes.
 Oh please can the changes be long lasting for me!!

This article is really interesting and I have found that I can agree with all of this. If you have had a child and a wondering about how you will go getting back into exercise - Yes, it does take a wee while to get back into the swing of things, but when you are back into it WATCH OUT WORLD!

I am loving this extra energy that running gives me and I am feeling encouraged that I will actually be able to run the marathon in 12 weeks time. Hopefully this feeling will last at least until then. We will see once I get into the REALLY long distances.

Maybe that sub-4 marathon will be possible for me after all? 

Have any readers experienced this after childbirth? 

Anyone considering having a baby now to become a better runner? 

Sunday, 11 August 2013

Weekly Running Recap and how to run in the rain...

I started the week off a little under the weather. I never have day sleeps when my wee man is sleeping so you know that if I ever do, I really need it. Monday was one of those days. I was a little gutted to start the week like that but knew I needed to get back to feeling tip top before getting on to my week's running.

Tuesday, however was great. I felt much more refreshed and I managed to get in my 3x1600m repeats on the treadmill, doing 7kms all up. My repeats were done at an average of 7:40 pace.

Wednesday I had to take Fletch with me on my run so got in an 8km buggy run. Friday I did some cross training and Saturday was long run day... Ah the long run. Yesterday it was 20kms.

If you have followed my blog for a while, you will know I am not the biggest fan of running in the rain.

My run yesterday began in a very light drizzle, with no wind. About 7kms in it started to rain. Not too heavy, but heavier than the drizzle. I stopped at the 10km mark to part ways with my friend and then it started to get a bit heavier. By 15kms it was really pouring down and I was soaked! To the bone. By the end I was totally dripping... Awesome. I thought it would be fun to weigh my running gear and it came to 2.5kgs with all the water. It's like resistance training!

Post run - you can't actually tell how soaked I was though!
So how do you survive running in the rain?
  1. Harden up - If you are going to do it then do it, don't moan and sulk about it and have a bad attitude. If you do that, your run will suck right from the start. 
  2. Make sure you are dressed for the weather. Don't wear things that are going to make you weigh 10kgs heavier when they are wet, wear light fabrics that are not going to soak up every drip. If it's cold out and you want to wear a rain proof jacket that is a good idea (my first mistake is not even owning a good wet weather running jacket). 
  3. Make sure that nothing you are wearing is going to chaff or rub you up the wrong way when wet - a big tick for tights over shorts in this situation. 
  4. Wearing a hat is good to keep the rain out of your eyes and off your face and to stop your mascara running - if you are that way inclined (no judgements) :)
  5. If you are not finishing the run at home, or it is a race, make sure you have towels and nice warm, dry clothes and shoes for the finish. You get cold FAST when you are in wet gear, no matter what the temp is.
  6. Dry out your shoes properly so they don't get stinky and stay wet. Hot water cupboards are great for this. Remove the inserts (if you can) and you could even try stuffing them with newspaper to soak up extra water.
  7. Be careful of any electrical equipment you have with you - iPods, phones, watches, etc. You don't want them to get water damaged or electrocute you (can that actually happen?). 
  8. Be careful on your course, make sure you are cautious of slippery surfaces and watch your step - some fancy footing may be required.
  9. Be proud! Even if it not the most enjoyable running environment, you are doing it and getting all the more tougher for it. This ecard sums up exactly how I feel about rain running:
    I'll leave you with this quote from a good friend of mine ;)
 Do you enjoy running in the rain?

Any more tips you could add?

Did you run this weekend? Rain or dry?

P.S. Don't forget about the giveaway I have going on when you register for this race. Comment here or go to my facebook page to let me know you have registered and go in the draw. You can enter here. 

Monday, 5 August 2013

Some exciting news and GIVEAWAYS!!!

Hi all,
As I mentioned last week here on my facebook page, I have some exciting news about a partnership...

I have partnered up with Sport Northland to encourage more locals and NZers to get involved in running through their Run/Walk series and get out there and get active, which is the aim of my blog also.

Sport Northland hold 7 events throughout the year all over Northland with varying distances. They include beautiful courses with some stunning scenery, as well as events that are catered for prams, runners, walkers, and people in wheelchairs. They are really fun events and all have great prizes at the end.

So, what does this partnership involve and what are the giveaways???
Well, for every person that signs up for any distance at any event you will go in the draw to win either the cost of your ticket back, or an entry to the next Run/Walk event - your choice. There may also be some other wee prizes that get thrown in there too. All you have to do is either leave a comment here on my blog letting me know that you have registered, or go to my facebook page and leave a comment there.

In relation to these events and giveaways, I am considering holding Saturday morning group runs for all who are interested. I love group runs and they always help with training and motivation.

I have a tab here where you can find out more and I will post about each event as they come up.

The next event in their series is the Whangarei Half Marathon, which I have entered and you should too! There is also a 9km for people who are not ready to tackle the whole 21.1kms and I will have tickets for both distances to giveaway. The early bird entries close 1 September and all entries close Wednesday 18th September (my birthday in case you are interested) but if you register and let me know, you could WIN YOUR TICKET!!

Sorry to all my international readers but these giveaways are only for the Kiwis... Unless you plan on coming to NZ - in which case you are welcome!

So who is keen for any or all of these events? 

Anyone already registered? Let me know! 

Anyone ever done one of these events? 

Who is keen for a group run?
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