Tag Archives: Brooks

Why and How to Run in the Morning, and the Best Swimming Tip

I was up at 3:30 in the morning today. My kids were having a tough night, and by the time they fell back asleep, I was wide awake.
I got up, made myself some coffee, and sat on the computer.

 
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I like to read on my computer while it’s dark and quiet, besides I can never search for enough running/fitness gear online.

 
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After about an hour I was feeling sleepy and thought it would be a good idea to get a couple hours of sleep, since facing a work day after being up at 3:30 didn’t sound like fun. And then I remembered all the reasons while running in the morning is the best, and figured being tired later so I could run would be worth it.

 
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Reasons why running in the morning is awesome:

 
* Endorphins: Running releases endorphins, a chemical that makes us feel happy, and who couldn’t use a free and natural antidepressant?
* Best for losing weight: Jump start your metabolism and burn more calories through the day, need I say more?
* Wake up big time: Running is such an eye opener, you’ll get on with your day bright awake and ready to rumble.
* Get it over with: Some people really enjoy running, for others it’s a chore that serves a purpose, such as losing weight or staying healthy. Either way, knowing it’s behind you and you are free to do other things later in the day is worth waking up earlier.
* Nature and silence: Even if you live in the middle of the cement jungle, the quietness, the birds flying around, the cool morning breeze… it’s a million times better than running later in the day when it’s noisy, there’s a lot more people walking around, and you can smell the car fumes in the air.

 
I am a morning person, so waking up early to run is easy for me. If you struggle with waking up early to go run, here are some tips that might help you manage a run before work/school/other obligations:

 
* Get your gear ready: I leave everything I need on the living room so I have everything handy when I wake up, and so I don’t make a lot of noise looking for my gear and risk waking up my family.
* Mental prep: Even for morning people like me, it’s not always easy to get out of bed and get out of the house, especially when it’s dark and cold (or hot, or wet, or I’m just tired). Thinking about my run and my training the night before, usually gets me motivated enough to go out the next morning. Set your alarms: No matter how motivated you are to run tomorrow morning, chances are when the alarm sounds you’ll try to talk yourself out of actually getting out of bed. Setting a couple of alarms within a minute of each other, and putting them a few steps away so you have to get up to turn them off, could mean the difference between a run and a nap.
* Plan your route: Think in advance where you’ll run, so you can make sure the route is safe and well lighted, and also to avoid running longer than intended and being late.
* Schedule it: Figure out how long you’ll be running, and schedule your times accordingly. Allow yourself plenty of time to shower and get ready for what’s next, especially if you have to be somewhere at a specific time.
* Nutrition/hydration: You might need to try your food/drink intake a few times before you figure out what works best for you. I personally eat and drink before I run, I feel lethargic without some calories and caffeine.

 

 
Since I was up so early, I managed to get an extra long session at the gym.

 
Running:
45 minutes progression run, with intervals thrown in just because:
10 minutes warm up
10 minutes at 05:10 Min/KM (08:20 Min/Mile)
10 minutes at 05:00 Min/KM (08:04 Min/Mile)
6 minutes at 04:47 Min/KM (07:42 Min/Mile)
9 minutes consisting of 3 intervals, each interval was 1 minute at 03:52 Min/KM (06:14 Min/Mile) and 2 minutes easy at 05:20 Min/KM (08:34 Min/Mile).

 
Ab/core work:
About 30 minutes of crunches, planks, push ups and pull ups.

 
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Swimming:
750 meters / 820 yards easy swimming, with last third of the workout being as fast as I could manage, which is really not fast at all.

 
A woman at the gym who used to swim on a competitive level told me the other day that I should try to keep my body a bit higher when I swim, with the back of my head slightly out of the water. She said my swimming technique is good (I took this as a huge compliment), but going to low underwater slows me down.
I really appreciate when people who know what they are talking about give me knowledgeable/useful suggestions like this. I don’t have a swimming or running coach, so sometimes I can be making bad mistakes without realizing it.
I paid attention to this today and tried to stay higher in the water than usual, and felt a big difference on my speed vs effort output, she definitely gave me a great tip.
With that being said, many times people give me unsolicited advice on issues that are personal, or without really knowing what they are talking about, that really annoys me.

 

What is your favorite time to run?

5:30 AM start.

How do you feel about strangers giving you unsolicited advice?

0.01% love/appreciate it (knowledgeable/factual advice), 99.99% hate it.

 

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Race Recap – Liga 5K – PR 21:18

I wasn’t wrong yesterday about not knowing how to run a 5K.

 
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My splits were all over the place.

 
KM 1 – 04:08 – Faster than I had planned, but feeling good.

 
KM 2 – 04:18 – What? I didn’t even realize I had slowed down that much.

 
KM 3 – 04:09 – A good split again, although my mind starts to wonder if I can hold this pace for longer. Thinking of a couple of Mizuno tops I saw at the booth and am planning to buy as a reward (or just because I want them) kept me pushing.

 
KM 4 – 04:24 – The “back” portion of a race is always the hardest, my legs are feeling it by now, and my mind is having an argument about ‘why do I need to suffer’ on the one hand, and ‘we are not quitting with a bit over 1 KM to go’. My slowest KM by far, bummer.

 
KM 5 – 04:14 – Telling myself that I’m taking a week off running after this race helps me push a little, besides I don’t want to make a fool of myself slowing down too much in the last KM.

 
Official Results:
Time: 21:18
Overall Place: 59 out of 266
Women’s Place: 2 out of 44
Category (30-39) place: 1 out of 15


 
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I am satisfied with my final time, it is very close to what I was expecting fitness wise.

 
My pacing was bad and I need to work on that, but I’m not surprised because I never really train at the 5K pace of this race, except for intervals. Intervals are a great way to improve speed, but they are too short to teach us how to actually keep a pace for longer periods. I should have done some tempo runs with a few KMs at 5K pace in advance.

 
I wasn’t expecting to run this race because we were supposed to be overseas, and when we canceled the trip and I realized I could run it, I was tired physically and mentally from previous races that I decided to take this race easy, and therefore didn’t train or taper for it.
My final time shows I didn’t run it easy after all, but the fact that I didn’t train for it still shows.

 
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This being my first 5K, it was a good experience for future races. A few things I did differently than for longer races, which actually worked out great:

 
Warm up: I tried doing strides at the end of a 3K/2M warm up, and I think this really helped me run fast from the start of the race. Usually it takes me a while to get my legs to move fast enough to reach goal race pace, not today.

 
Taking a GU in advance: I’ve been taking a gel before races, just a few minutes before start time. This seemed to make sense for longer races, where I’d need the extra energy to last longer into the race. I knew the 5K would take less than 23 minutes, so I figured I could eat the GU half an hour before the race, and see if it made a difference. I really think it did, more time to digest it before the race, and no side pain whatsoever, which I did get in past races.

 
Mind games: Every race makes me mentally stronger. I still have a long way to go, somehow on the 2nd half of the race I start to consider slowing down, even DNFing, it becomes harder for me to push through. Although my body is getting tired by that point, I can feel it’s more mental than anything. I hate to think that I’m weak, but then I’m still racing, and I will get stronger.

 
Peeing: This is not a new thing, but I went to the porta-potties four times before the race, about 20 minutes apart, the last time being 3 minutes before start time (the perks of small races). This was perfect to avoid that horrible feeling of having to pee while running. I had 2 big glasses of water and 2 cups of coffee before I left home, so going to the bathroom regularly helped take it all out.

 

 
About the Mizuno tops I was thinking of during the 3rd KM, I saw these cute tanks that I wanted to buy, the fabric is so light, the cut is awesome, they are sleeveless which I love, just perfect.
I couldn’t buy them before the race because there was a problem with their credit card machine, but I bought 2 after the race, same model, 2 different colors.

 
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I had to rush home right after the race because my son was celebrating his birthday at his kindergarten today (actual birthday was 2 weeks ago, and although the party is only for the class children without the parents, I still wanted to take him myself (usually my husband takes him on Fridays and I do my long run).

 
Overall this was a nice, relaxed, fun, small race. Great way to start the weekend.

 
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That promise my mind made my body about not running again for a week, so not needed. I am not sore at all, and although I had postponed my Friday’s long run to next Wednesday, I will be doing it tomorrow. Works much better for me to do it on a weekend day than on a week day, and I feel perfectly fine. Definitely makes me wonder if I could have run harder.

 
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I Don’t Know How To Run 5K

Ab work this morning at the gym, followed by a 2250 meters (2460 yards) swim. Taking it kind of easy for a 5K race tomorrow morning. I’ve never raced one, and I can’t remember the last time I ran just 5K, but it’s been at least 2 years. Usually my training runs are at least 8K.

 
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I’m really excited about tomorrow, although at the same time if I have to use just one word to describe how I feel about this race, it would be confused. I will think of this race as a training tempo run, where I do the last 5K at a faster pace, and try to copy that tomorrow. After a warm up run, 5K tempo will be the race.
The possibility of going out too fast when it’s a shorter race seem even more probable than usual, at the same time going too conservatively and then having the race be over too fast, without never making the hardest possible effort, would suck a little.
In the end, it will be a good experience, if only learning wise.

 
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This will be a small race and there will be a few people I know, so I am looking forward to hanging out and talking to friends. I wish I could run a great time, but I’m not feeling it too much. I haven’t tapered, except for taking it slightly easier after my 5 day running streak late last week, and my nutrition and sleep have been lacking due to same late nights.

 
I need to work on my playlist, I will need only a few songs, and then I’m going to bed to watch some TV. I may lose your respect, but I’ve been watching Devious Maids and it’s so entertaining. I’m so tired when I go to bed that I can only watch light stuff, and this show is doing it for me. The maids and the families they work for have some interesting stuff going on.

 

What is your favorite low quality entertainment?

For me it’s reality TV.

Any 5K race tips?



 

Random Thoughts from the Last 10 Minutes

1) I wish I was a better cook and baker: I know I’m not great in the kitchen, but it just took me over 3 hours to make 3 simple cakes.. The kitchen counter is a mess, so let’s say it will be another hour before I’m done. How do some people host dinner parties, I’ll never know.

 
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2) I can’t believe my son is 6 years old: My little boy is turning 6 tomorrow, how can that be? It seems not long ago we came back home with him from the hospital. Time is a weird concept.

 
3) Races are awesome: I thought I was done with racing until next season (October), and then a friend sends me a message today asking if I’m in for a night race on June 12th… and I said yes. Now I’m thinking of the training runs I want to do and I’m all happy inside.

 
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4) I love reading blogs: Most nights after the kids go to sleep I sit on my computer and read blogs, the perfect way to unwind and just enjoy what I’m reading. I hardly remember when was the last time I read a book, and I don’t miss it.

 
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5) I’d be fine with every date being a coffee date: Every time my husband or a friend asks me what I want to do when we meet, I think of talking over coffee. There’s something so perfect about that combination. But I don’t want to seem so uncool so sometimes I just say other things, like going to a bar or a movie..

 
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6) My left arch hurts and I wonder if it’s because of my running shoes: I seem to get a bit of a soreness every time I run in my Brooks Pure Flows 2. This doesn’t happen with my Mizunos or even my Brooks Pure Cadence 2. I need to pay more attention and figure out what is causing this.

 
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7) I need new work shirts: Seriously, since spring started, every night I get my clothes ready for the next day, I can’t find any nice short sleeve shirts I want to wear. I stand there for 5 minutes trying to figure it out, and in the end choose to wear a dress. Not that I don’t like shopping, but I can’t find the time to do it.

 

 
About running, after Tuesday’s easy 10K, I did another easy 10K on Wednesday, and a fartlek run on the treadmill today, first run with speed after last weekend’s race. 3 x 10 minute intervals at pace Min/KM: 04:50, 04:35, 04:20 (Min/Mile: 07:47, 07:22, 07:00). With warm up and easy breaks, I ran 45 minutes. It was a hard run only because it was too hot in the gym, it really made me want to be outside.

 

Do you run by time or distance on your runs?

I go by distance and pace outside, and by time and speed on the treadmill.

Would you rather cook a meal or bake?

I prefer baking, and I enjoy it when I do it stress free. If I’m baking with a deadline then I get stressed of messing things up.

 

Race Recap – Herzlyia 10K – PR 44:33

This morning I ran my last 10K of the season, the Herzlyia Race, most likely my last race of the season too.

 
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Official Results:
Time: 44:33
Overall Place: 315 out of 1514
Women’s Place: 20 out of 410
Category (30-39) place: 8 out of 127


 
I PR’ed by 10 seconds.
I’m not happy about it because I was expecting to do much better than that.
I had an ambitious time goal of 43:30. Forget ambitious, I guess it was very ambitious.

 
I’m not too bummed that I didn’t make my goal, and I’m surprisingly not embarrassed about sharing my goals in advance and failing.

 
What bothers me the most is the 10 second PR. 10 seconds means I’m exactly at the same place I was before. I’ve been training hard and pushing myself, and I have nothing to prove for it. That bugs me.

 
And at the same time excites me. It gives me drive, pushes me forward. I have something to work for.

 
I would have a lot of room for improvement even if I’d done better today, but the fact that I didn’t pushes me even more. Now I still have my current goal hanging there in front of me, waiting to be achieved. And I’m looking forward to good training and great runs ahead.

 
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As for the race, it was one more race.
The course was mostly on the highway, which was nice, a straight out and back stretch.
Everything else: organization (the race started 15 minutes late), water (they ran out), snacks, entertainment, etc.: just OK, and I’m being nice (I’ve heard and read quite a few complaints).

 

Have you ever gotten a PR or a great result and still were bummed?