Category Archives: Fitness

Healthy Monday for Runners: Tips for Running in Hot Weather

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Every time the season changes, I get a little bummed.
When I get used to doing something a certain way, it takes a while for me to adjust.
As last winter approached, I worried that the colder temperatures and rain would prevent me from running outside a lot of the time, I worried that every run would have to be on the treadmill, or that I would hate running in winter gear. A few weeks later I was completely used to it and loving it, the cold air is great to run in.
Then spring came, and of course I had a whole bunch of new reasons to be worried: hot temperatures that wouldn’t allow me to run far or fast, a strong sun that would bother my eyes and burn my skin, etc.
Sure, I can be a bit dramatic sometimes, but I am a worrier like that.

 
Now that it’s been warm for some time here, I want to share some of what helped me plan my running better in hot temperatures:

 
Check the weather: If you are able to know in advance when you’ll be running, check the weather so you can plan accordingly. Sometimes even a half hour can make a big difference in temperature and humidity level. Try to schedule your runs for a time when it’s cooler such as early morning or late in the afternoon or evening. Take into consideration the actual temperature, humidity level, wind, and if the sun is out (as opposed to night or overcast skies).

 
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Plan your route: Where you run also makes a big difference in temperature. If you are running during the day, try to find a shaded route. An open area with trees and breeze will always be cooler than running in the city, keep in mind black asphalt absorbs heat and adds a few degrees to the already warm temperatures.

 
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Drink a lot: This is the most obvious tip and one we all know already, but it’s the most important one too, so it really can’t be stressed enough: we need to drink a lot when running in hot weather. Drink before your run, during, and after. I am the first to admit that I don’t like to drink a lot before my run (it makes me want to pee) or during my run (it makes me want to pee, plus my stomach feels full and heavy), but in warm days drinking only after I’m done running is just not enough. I try to drink plenty during the day so I’m fully hydrated for next day’s morning run, but I also drink before I start running, and I’ve been practicing with drinking during longish runs.

 
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Protect yourself: Wear light, airy, sweat wicking clothes, to keep as cool as possible. This will make a huge difference on your performance and how you feel during your run. Wear a hat or visor to protect your head/face/eyes from the sun. And don’t forget to apply sunscreen in all exposed areas, even early in the morning the sun burns, especially when we are wet with sweat.

 
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Pick your shoes: I read this tip somewhere and thought it was brilliant.. how did I not think of this before? Feet swell on hot weather, especially during long periods of exercise. If you are running over an hour, pick your airiest pair of shoes.

 
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Adjust your training: Hard runs are not suitable for hot weather. If you are planning on doing some serious speed work, see in advance if there will be a cooler day during the week, and schedule that run for that day, or for cooler hours. Keep your runs on warm weather light or moderate effort. If you are racing, remember that higher temperatures will mean a slower run, so readjust your paces and goal time accordingly.

 
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Refuel: Eating and drinking as soon as possible after running not only promotes muscle recovery, but also assists our bodies to regain the right balance of minerals lost through sweat. Experiment with what works best for you in terms of what to eat/drink and quantity. I have water with electrolytes right after any run, and an energy bar if it was a long or hard effort run. About an hour later I have a shake with fruits/soymilk/flaxseed/etc. and a granola bar.

 
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Be smart: If you are feeling lightheaded, dizzy, too hot, too cold (yes, it happens) or start having muscle spasms (usually do to minerals lost through sweat), please STOP RUNNING. Pay attention to how you are feeling at all times. One run is not worth feeling sick or doing even the slightest damage to your body. Take care of yourself, and remember you can always run again tomorrow.

 
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Happy Summer running!

 

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I Didn’t Do Anything this Weekend, and #30summerdays Photo Challenge (days 2-8)

Except for running and getting coffee, I didn’t leave the house all weekend, and it was the most amazing weekend ever.
Every now and then I need a few days of doing nothing for a while. Sure, it sounds like a waste of time, I could have gone on a trip or to the park or at least do some shopping. But it wasn’t a waste at all.

 
It seems like life responsibilities always take away from the fun things we want to do, although they aren’t one bit less important, like playing with the kids, cooking, baking, taking naps, and getting home pedicures and manicures for me and my little girl.

 
I got a couple of good long runs in, so I was relaxed and happy. I am aware of the fact that I wouldn’t have been the most pleasant person to stay home with, without getting my running done.

 
#30summerdays Photo Challenge: Day 2 through 8

 
I’m really enjoying doing the #30summerdays photo challenge.
I’m not trying to take particularly pretty or interesting pictures. The goal for me doing this challenge is to take more pictures of my life and share them with you. I also love randomly looking through my phone pics a while later and remembering all the simple moments, when they become good memories they don’t seem so simple anymore.

 
Day 1 is here

 
Day 2: Monday, ugh! What’s keeping you going today?
Quite obvious, but coffee gets me going every day. 2 cups before I go work out, and another one in shake form after my workout, that keeps me awake all day.
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Day 3: Who made you smile today?
My little girl, she’s such a source of smiling/laughter in my life.
We were watching my oldest during his swim lesson and she wanted to go in the pool, so she was crying. Eventually I started taking pictures of us to distract her, and she was a happy girl again.
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Day 4: Look up. What do you see?
I love flying and I work for an airline. When I think of the sky, I think of planes. And I get to see them often too, right over my head!
This picture is from a past vacation to St. Marteen in the Caribbean, where the airport is right by the beach and they fly literally right above your head, quite an experience.
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Day 5: #TBT Share a photo from a past summer trip!
Our first and last family trip to Uruguay, where I grew up. I wish I could go more often to visit family and friends, and for my kids to get a stronger sense of the culture I grew up in.
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Day 6: National Doughnut Day! Snap a pic celebrating! Or, what did you have instead?!
We don’t eat a lot of doughnuts in Israel, but croissants and all kinds of sweet baked goods are one of my favorite treats.
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Day 7: Saturday! What are you up to?
Family time and running!
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Day 8: Time to relax before the start of the week. What does relaxing look like to you?
Long overdue pedicure and a funny movie while the kids took a nap, so relaxing!
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Do you enjoy doing challenges? Which kind of challenge is your favorite: fitness, pictures, etc?



 

Being Confident in Running

It’s easy for me to lose my confidence in running. An uncomfortable run or a slower pace is all it takes for me to doubt how far I’ve come. Doing a really fast speed that made me feel proud a few days ago, becomes meaningless after an achy run.

 
I try to not think about running soon after a difficult run, and eventually when I think about my training with a cooler head, I pretty much know where I stand.
I think I can figure out where I stand training wise, I know what to expect when I go to a race, I know what speed I’ll be able to pull when I do speed work. Taking the bad runs as something that happens, and those really too good runs as something that happen as well, there’s a balance, a happy medium, a pace I can hold for 10K and a pace I can hold for 1K, that’s just the way it works.

 
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I ran 39K/24.2M this weekend, and it was great. 25K/15.5M on Friday, and 14K/8.7M this morning.

 
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I follow a training plan because I enjoy the number’s game, and because my mind works like that, it needs to know what to do, it needs to plan in advance how far I’ll be running and at what pace. Sometimes I want to forget about racing and even about getting faster, I want to run because I like it, without paying attention who passes me on my route and who I pass. Running is fun, healthy, and it makes me happy.

 

Do you follow a running training plan? If yes, is it to run longer/faster/improve in any other way?



 

8th Day of the Week for Running and Coffee Shopping

Happy Thursday!!

 
Thursday is the last day of the work week in Israel so it’s always a good day for me, looking forward to some weekend fun.
Today especially, since we had a holiday Tuesday and Wednesday, and my work gave us an extra day off, so no work for 5 days.

 
I had been meaning to go to a running store to cash a couple of prices I got at races, so I did that today. They have mostly Mizuno running gear, and a few other brands I don’t particularly like, which was no problem at all, I have been loving Mizuno running clothes lately.
I got two singlets, similar to the ones I bought a couple of weeks ago and absolutely loved. Also a sports bra, socks for my hubby, and a GU chomps because I have to try that flavor.

 
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I had some time left so I went and bought a new coffee machine, our new one was pretty much done.

 
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Shopping for coffee related and running related things, doesn’t get much better than that for me.
As simple as this seems, sometimes I don’t have the time for the little things, my family, work, and running take a lot of my time. I am not at all complaining, I love being busy and those things are definitely worth all my time and energy. Sometimes I just wish the week had an extra day for all the random stuff I need or want to do.

 
On Tuesday I did an interval run on the treadmill, my fast pace for 1 minute intervals is 4:00 Min/KM (06:26 Min/Mile). This is faster than I was doing a few months ago, so I’m glad I’m slowly making progress. Although I don’t feel like I can do them faster at this point, I did add a couple more intervals to Tuesday session, instead of 5 fast intervals, I did 7. I thought I might have trouble on the last few, but the run went really well, and I think I could have even done 1 or 2 more.
I do the intervals at the end, total it was a 50 minute run ranging in pace from 06:19 Min/KM (10:10 Min/Mile) to 4:00 Min/KM (06:26 Min/Mile).

 
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Wednesday was a very hot day in Israel, 40C/104F by noon, so I had to go run as early as possible. I checked the weather.com app on my phone the night before, and it seemed like it would be cool until 8 AM or so, so I started my run at 5:30. I guess a lot of people were thinking the same thing, because the boardwalk had way more action than usual at that time.
14K/8.7M at an easy pace, average 05:07 Min/KM (08:14 Min/Mile).

 
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Does it take you forever (like me) to do some things you want/need to do, that are not already part of your routine?

It can sometimes take me weeks/months to find the time to do something like color my hair or go buy clothes.

 

A Long Run with a 1K Time Trial in Between

I’ve been wondering how fast I can run 1K, so I decided to do a time trial yesterday during my long-ish 15K/9.3M run.

 
A time trial is measuring how fast you can run for a particular distance. Decide what distance you want to run, and run it as fast as you can, keeping in mind that you want to sustain your pace over the full distance.
The main reason to do a time trial is to compare your times, and see how you improve over time. Do a time trial this week, remember the time you ran, keep training, and do another time trial for the same distance in a few weeks.
Sounds kind of like a race, except in my opinion there’s a lot less pressure. You do a time trial when you want, at the time you want. If you are not feeling it today, you can do it tomorrow. If you need another 5 minutes to warm up, take your time, you have it. The results are not official, it’s something you do and measure yourself.

 
Although I didn’t taper or anything of the sort for it, it was a very casual and informal experiment, I didn’t run the day before because it was swim day.

 
My run started earlier than usual, I was going by 5:20, since I had a busy morning and wanted to be back home, showered, and ready to go by 08:00 AM.

 
I ran about 3K at warm-up pace, then made a restroom stop. Unfortunately the restrooms I usually use on my long run route, which are very close to where I park my car and I can use before I start running, are closed this early in the morning. So I had to stop somewhere else, which I don’t particularly like because I don’t like to stop during running, but then at least I had an empty bladder for the time trial, which was good.

 
I ran another half KM or so as warm up after stopping, and then did a couple of accelerations, a new concept to me, where I ran about 200 meters at a fast pace, but not going all out, and then a minute or so of easy jogging. I really liked doing the accelerations, it got my legs moving fast, something that a regular warm up doesn’t do, but didn’t get them tired at all since it was a short distance and I only did a couple, which was enough.

 
And then I ran as fast as I could for 1K, well, I wouldn’t say 100% effort because I knew I had another 10K/6.1M or so to finish my run… although I knew I’d be doing them at an easy pace I had to save some strength for them. But I went about 95% effort, and finished in 03:56 (06:20 Min/Mile pace).

 
I was pleasantly surprised to see the final time, but I know with some speed work I can reduce a few seconds off that.

 
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Have you ever done a time trial? How do you measure your running progress?