Monday, November 28, 2011

Post Race Time

It's been 2 weeks since Race Day and the following things have happened: It snowed 12 cm; the snow melted; Occupy Montreal disbanded; the STM has announced an increase in transit fees for January; and you've survived power weight training. In a nutshell, life has gone on.

As I was going through the pictures that Santa (aka Big Jer, my future father-in-law) took, the look on many of your faces says it all. Some of you are focused on the ground, just making sure your feet are still moving. Some of you show fatigue. Some of you are glancing over to the finish line. Some of you are even smiling (although I think it's because you're talking with a friend). Some of you are hamming it up for the camera with 2 thumbs up. Regardless of what your facial expression is, your body language says it all: you survived and crossed the finish line. AND, you should be proud of yourselves.

Hopefully this experience might kickstart a few of you to trying another 5km run or participating in a charity run. Maybe some of you might even venture for a 10km or half marathon. Regardless of where you go from here, every one of you is a runner!

For your last blog, it's a two part response: 1. Give a brief (1-2 sentences) anecdote (story, summary, funny memory) of your race day, whether it be how you felt, what you accomplished, what you did afterwards, or even how you felt throughout the entire 10 weeks. 2. If I were to do this again, what would you want changed about the program so that future students can get the most out of the program? Or, what would you keep the same?

1 week left ( all of you that want to keep running, there is a 5km Santa Shuffle Run on Mont Royal on Saturday, December 3rd for the Salvation can find more info here:

Monday, October 31, 2011

2 Weeks....Are you hungry to run?

Race day is almost here (15-16 days, but no one is counting...), Mother Nature seems to be cooperating, and I'm excited for many of you to run your first ever 5km!

I'll keep this post short and sweet, but since this week's chapter theory is on nutrition, let's take a look at what are some good pre and post run snacks and drinks!

What we eat plays a big role in our daily performance. Whether that performance is in the classroom, at work, or in our physical education class, food is important. It is the energy that allows us to sustain ourselves over a specific amount of time. It is important before running or exercising that we feel just right: not too full but not on empty! As we are all different, you will have to figure out what works for you.

What to eat/drink before you run:
  • Drink water! Better yet, sip on it regularly, but not so much that you will be running to the bathroom.
  • Eat low fiber fruits or snacks. No one wants the runs while running.
  • Foods that are higher in carbohydrates such as sandwich or 1/2 bagel with peanut butter will keep you energized if you eat it a few hours before running.
  • Avoid caffeine as it can cause stomach issues.
  • Avoid high fat foods as they do not digest very quickly and your stomach will feel very full.
What to eat/drink after you run:
  • Water
  • Piece of fruit.
  • Chocolate milk (although high in sugar) has a lot of good carbohydrates and protein.
  • Muffin
  • Yogurt
  • Nuts (if you're not allergic)

Todays blog question: What is your favorite healthy snack to have after a run or a workout?

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Still chugging away....5 weeks later!

We've reached the halfway point of our program and I'm still in a turkey coma from Thanksgiving, hence the lack of a recent blogpost. This is usually the point in PE class where people start to get the midterm blues- i.e., it gets harder to show up on time (especially if it is at 8am), you feel a bit lazier, and things start to feel like routine.

Most groups are up to 6:1 in the run:walk ratio and looking good! You're going to begin to notice that the distance you run actually gets a bit longer- yes, that's because your run portion now accounts for more of your workout than the walk portion. It's a bit tougher to run the longer distances, but remember you have less intervals AND you can always run at a slower pace.

For this week's blogpost comment, reply with 1-2 obstacles that have prevented/deterred you from running outside of class consistently.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Boom boom! Hearts or footsteps?

Have you ever listened to the sound of your footsteps as you run? As your feet hit the ground, one after the other, they sound similar to the beating of your heart. This beating of your heart represents several pieces of information about your pulse, maximum heart rate, blood pressure, and your level of fitness.

This week's class focuses on finding out your Target Heart Rate Zone [THRZ], a range that determines if you are training at an appropriate intensity. For cardiorespiratory training such as our 5km program, our THRZ should be between 60 and 90% of our our maximum heart rate.

In class, we will be calculating our unique THRZ using the Karvonen Method, an equation that takes into account your maximal heart rage (220-age) and your resting heart rate. For many of us in the class (assuming our age is 17-19), our THRZ falls between 150 and 170 beats per minute or 25-29 beats in 10 seconds.

Once we calculate our THRZ, this is the bpm range we want to reach when we are in our 5km training program. This will help to increase our endurance!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

F.I.T.T. to Run!

We are on to week #3 in our training program, which means some of you are running 5:1s, some of you are on 4:1s, and some of you are on 3:1s. Remember that the time to run increases, but you can still use the same pace you used for all previous runs!

This week's chapter in the PE manual covers the 5 components of fitness, the F.I.T.T. formula, and the benefits of a warmup and cooldown. Running specifically falls under the component of cardiovascular endurance. Throughout our 10 week program, we are aiming to increase and improve our cardiovascular endurance. For those of you choosing to train 2x at home during the week, you will no doubt see big improvements in your cardiovascular endurance. Running 1:1s will seem like a piece of cake in just a few weeks because your body will have increased its ability to use the oxygen you breathe in! If you read your chapter, you will see this directly corresponds to principle of overload. Each week we increase the time, which in turn increases the intensity for us- we slowly overload our body and take it slightly out our comfort zone so that we can keep building endurance.

There are several benefits to doing our weekly runs: increasing our endurance, improving blood flow and circulation, decreasing our risk of heart disease, weight maintenance and weight loss, and improved confidence. The last one is my favorite as many of you thought you wouldn't be able to complete the run and each week you prove yourself wrong!

Finally, lets apply the F.I.T.T. formula to our running/cardiovascular endurance program that we received in class:

Frequency- 3x/ week
Intensity- 60-90% of heart rate (you'll learn this next week)...but take your pulse and it will show you how hard you are working!
Time- depending on our programs, 20-25 minutes
Type- running, wogging, jogging, run-walk, jog-walk, wog-walk, (and perhaps....crawling???

BLOG QUESTION #2: What is your favorite part of the training program so far? What is your least favorite part?

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Rain, rain go away, come back on any day but Tuesday or Wednesday! Props to all of you that were out this morning for your run when Mother Nature decided that you needed another shower! For most of you, running in funky weather is probably not your idea of fun so I thank you for having smiling faces the whole time! It definitely lightened the mood and it brought out the sun (which is now conveniently shining!).

Some hints for your run this week: Remember to keep your pace! Just because you are in a group, doesn't mean everyone will have the same pace. 2 stopwatches have been given to each group in case one half of the group has a bit of a faster pace. Don't feel that you need to keep up with them, rather find a few friends that have a similar speed/pace to you. The idea with the pace is to be able to last for the duration of the run, and then use the 1 minute walk time to give your heart rate and breathing a short break before going back to the run.

We talked about motivation today in class, and something that motivates me is music. I can't imagine running without music- it is something that takes my mind off of what I am doing and makes the time pass a little bit faster. 

For this week's blog comment, post your top 5 songs that you run to (name of song and artist)!

Happy wogging/jogging/running/walking/crawling!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

One run in, so many more to go!


You've made it through your first class of running for 20-25 minutes! For those of you that had your doubts about being able to do it, you've made it over the first starting hurdle and are now working your way towards Race Day!

Here's a couple of hints/tips/and reassurances to help you through the next weeks:

1. Find a pace that works for you! This will depend on your current level of fitness, the weather, and how well you are feeling the day of your training. For some of you, running 2 minutes and walking for 1 minute will be done at a jogging/talking pace, some of you will 'wog' it, and other of you will run it. Go at a pace that allows you to complete the interval, but not so fast that your heart rate does not recover in during your minute of walking.

2. Motivate yourself! Whether it's wearing a favorite shirt, talking (or complaining about how much you LOVE running) to your running partner, or putting together a playlist of your favorite songs, find some way to motivate yourself to get out and run. Some of you may want to reward yourself after completing 3 trainings in 1 week. Even on the days where running is the last thing you want to do, find a way to get up and go!

3. Get your 3x/week in! As I said in class, it's not mandatory to get your 3 trainings in per week. However (and that's a big however), it will make your in class training go a lot better AND it will make your 5km race day that much more of an accomplishment. It is a small time investment of 23 minutes on two days of the week. You can do it at home, you can convince a parent or sibling, you can do it at lunch, or you can take advantage of the activity block on Wednesdays. You can even integrate it into your existing workout regimen at the gym! At the end of the week, it is only really a 60 minute investment- but a worthwhile investment for your health!

4. Keep your head up! Life happens. There will be some tough days, but those are the days you need to give your best. Those are also the days you will feel like you climbed Mount Everest. They are the days you will look back and think, 'if I made it through that day, I can do anything'. Keep your head up, face to the sun, and smile!