Saturday, October 30, 2010

Half Marathon Training Programs

This blog is a special request of a friend of mine. Below are links to some half marathon training programs. If you know of any more you really like, please post it in the comments.

Hal Higdon
This one is a favorite on a lot of the running and fitness chat boards I visit.

Cool Running
This is the training program I have used for my two half marathons. I liked it and I was successful, even though in the later weeks I was not very good at getting in the longer week day runs. I also substituted one of the running days for a cross training day. That day usually included some time on the elliptical and some lifting.

Runner's World
Runner's World magazine has had some really good ones. Especially for those who have run a couple half marathons already and are looking to train for a specific pace. I will probably look for one of these next.

Jeff Galloway's Plans
Jeff's is another popular plan. I am not familiar with it, but here's a link.

Things you want to consider before picking a plan -
1) How long do you have to train? Is it 8 weeks or 6 months? You want to pick a plan that meets your time limit. Be realistic too. If you can't run the first week of the training program pretty easily, you aren't ready to sign up for a half yet. Try a shorter distance training program first. Also, if you have a long time until your half, like 6 months, try a 12k training program to build up the first three months and then start a half program. That is what I did for my first half and it worked really well.
2) Does it fit with in your normal work out schedule? This is important. If you like to mix things up, pick a plan that has more cross training in it. If you only have three or four days a week to run, find one that meets that. Just remember, don't skip your longest run days and one day during the week should include some speed and hill work.

If anyone out there reading this has some more tips please include then in the comments below.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Recipes for Healthy Eating - Squash Spaghetti

I have always been a pretty healthy eater since leaving my teenage years. In college my breakfast did consist on strawberry Poptarts every morning, but they were the low fat ones so I figure it could be worse :) ... Any how since I have started running so much I have taken things to the next level. I have been trying to eat more vegetables and eat cleaner (less processed foods and more organic fruits and veggies). I find I just feel better, my belly is a little flatter, and I have more energy for my runs.

This is a recipe I got from one of my good friends while I was in Colorado. Too bad I will probably never get my husband to eat it. It tasted great and I could not taste the squash at all. It would be a good recipe to try to get kids to eat their veggies too.

Spaghetti Squash:

Ingredients -
One Spaghetti Squash
Ground Turkey
Your favorite Spaghetti Sauce
Olive Oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut squash in half and brush olive oil over the inside. Place on cookie sheet inside the over. Cook for 30 minutes.

While Squash is baking, cook turkey and heat up the sauce. Once squash is cooked take a fork and scrape out the squash. The Spaghetti Squash becomes the "noodles" of the dish. Cover the squash with meat and sauce.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Vacation Run Colorado

I spent this past weekend in Colorado Springs visiting a friend from high school. I really learned to love Colorado while I was over there. It is so cool to have so many trails and parks. The idea of just taking off every weekend to climb a mountain or mountain bike is just so romantic. By Sunday of this past week I was itching to go for a run, after three days off. My friend took us up to a park that has 360 degree views of Colorado Springs. You can see downtown, Garden of the Gods, and of course all the mountains. Below is video of the view and a picture.
video
By Sunday, I was feeling pretty used to the altitude. (Colorado Springs is at an elevation of 6,035 feet above sea level). My three mile run felt great. I got a little tired towards the end. I attribute that more to the trail running rather than the thin air. I wish I could run here again. I guess I will have to wait for my next visit.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Race Report: PACE 10k Kirkland

This past Sunday I ran in the PACE 10k in Kirkland. It is a race to raise awareness for prostate cancer and had about a thousand people participate between the 10k/5k runs and walks. It was probably the smallest race I have done so far. My official time was 39:55. That is a pace of 9:40 per mile over 6.2 miles. I do not consider it bad considering the first two miles are up hill and I have been having trouble with my right hamstring. I did not want to push it too hard and injure myself. Lesson learned - I will not do speed training the week of a race.

The course itself was nice. It is hilly to start out, but you get all your hills out of the way early and I found it to be a good challenge. The turn home is pretty too, since it runs right along Lake Washington Boulevard.

The weather held out for us too. It was pouring rain when we got there. I was prepared to get drenched. As soon as the race began, the weather changed to a nice misty rain. It kept me cool, with out getting soaked.

I did not have a race photographer for this event, but if there are any good photos posted online from the official race photographers I promise to post them here. T

Thanks to Hubs and a friend for running it with me. I do not have another race scheduled right now. The soonest will most likely be December.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Tips for Running Beginners

I am not a natural runner at all. I had to work really hard to get where I am today. I hated running the mile in high school. I was always one of the slowest ones. After I finished college, I decided I wanted a challenge. I figured I would try to run a 5k, so I slowly started running. It was more a combination of running and walking, but eventualy I could do three miles straight with out stopping. I would run three miles twice a week in addition to my cross training. I liked how running made me feel and the way it made my body look so I kept with it. There are some things I wish someone would have told me then, that I know now and I would like to share with you. Hopefully you will find it helpful.

Have a training plan - There is a program out there called Couch to 5k (C25k). It is a gradual introduction to running and a structured program to follow to make it easier to start running (It is never easy though) and to help prevent injuries from going to fast into it. You can just search for it on the Internet and one will come up. There is also a podcast you can download.

Get fitted for shoes - This is probably the most important rule. Go to a running store and have someone size you, look at your feet, watch you run and get you shoes with the proper support. You will be able to run more efficiently and be less likely to injurer yourself. Do not go to a department store or even those large sporting good stores. I like Everyday Athlete, Road Runner, or Super Jock N' Jill.

Clothing - This is not a requirement, but having the right clothing sure does help. Make sure to get something with wicking fabric to get the sweat away from your skin. Nike Dri-Fit is my favorite for tops. I also love Adidas Supernova tights. Moisture wicking socks are also really nice.

Now you are ready to make your way into becoming a runner.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Music to Run to

I plan to share the new music I upload to my iPod. Often people look for new music to keep them motivated while running. It really helped me today on my eight mile run. So here we go:

1) Florence + The Machine Dog Days Are Over
2) Jimmy Eat World My Best Theory
3) Phoenix Lasso
4) Vampire Week End Cousins
5) Adam Lambert If I Had You
6) Enrique Iglesias I Like It (feat. Pitbull)
7) Ke$ha Take It Off
8) Usher DJ Got Us Fallin' In Love
9) Katy Perry Teenage Dream
10) Rihanna Only Girl

I have to admit I am a little embarrassed by liking Adam Lambert's song, but it really gets me going. I am not going to apologize for it.