Tuesday March 11, 2014
Some runners sign up for a half marathon and learn little surprises along the way, such as the pain of chafing (especially when the water hits the chafed area in the shower -- owww!) and the fact that they might actually gain weight despite all the running. To help those of you thinking about your first half marathon prepare for the unexpected, check out 13 Things You Should Know Before Running a Half Marathon. And then see more half marathon training advice:
Monday March 10, 2014
Have you ever tried taking walk breaks during your runs or races? Some runners assume that walking during runs is wimping out or giving up, but walk breaks can actually be very beneficial. Many run/walkers report that they're able to go farther and faster than they did when they tried all running, and they deal with much fewer aches and pains. Take it from running.about.com reader Garzabee, a run/walker, who I just heard from recently:
"I was never a runner. I have been a brisk walker forever and, up until college, I was swimming often. On one of my walks at the beach I suddenly felt like I didn't want to walk anymore. I wanted to run. I tried to and got so fatigued within 10 seconds. I found this run/walk method and have been doing it for about a month and LOVE it. I'm learning to breathe, have better posture and working on my pace. I love running and look forward to it everyday! I feel so much better about my body, my heart, health."
If you need some convincing about the benefits of run/walk, check out my new article, 5 Reasons to Try the Run/Walk Method.
Monday March 10, 2014
If you have a long-term goal (like running a marathon in six months), sometimes it's hard to get motivated because the end seems so...far...away. Try picking a short-term goal that will help you get through the next week or two. Aim to run at least three times this week. Or, try to increase your running time by 5 minutes each time you run this week.
It doesn't even have to be specifically about running - just pick a fitness goal for the week. For example, last Monday, I challenged myself to do 100 push-ups every day that week. I even set a reminder on my phone so I wouldn't forget. It didn't take long to do the push-ups - and it actually motivated me to do some other strengthening exercises. I'm doing the challenge again this week and plan to add another exercise each day - 30 squats.
Sunday March 9, 2014
If you're trying to lose weight, it's important that you know your daily calorie needs. One of the reasons many of us struggle to lose stubborn pounds is that we overestimate how many calories we need each day. On top of that, we also underestimate how many calories we consume throughout the day.
You can use this Daily Caloric Expenditure calculator to determine how many calories you actually need each day. Once you have that number, you need to create a deficit -- either by dieting or exercise -- of approximately 500 calories per day to lose a pound a week.
To make sure you're staying on track, use a food database or calorie calculator to find out how many calories are in the foods and beverages you're consuming. You may want to keep a food journal to write down what you're eating and drinking. Not only will you be able to see, at a glance, how many calories you're taking in, but knowing you have to account for every calorie will also make you think twice before eating when you're not really hungry. Some runners use their training journals to also track their calories.