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Seven Habits of Highly Effective Runners and Eaters

People who take up running (and stick to it) and people who lose pounds (and keep them off) have habits in common. Here they are:

 1. Create a support network.

Make friends to meet for workouts, share victories with, and comfort through setbacks and bad races. A like-minded peer group is a powerful motivating force. Get your spouse, your children, and your friends on board with your running and weight-loss efforts. They’ll give you kudos for your efforts, and they’ll be less likely to sabotage your healthy eating efforts. Surround yourself with people pursuing similar goals. If possible, recruit a training partner. You’ll never skip a workout if you know you’re leaving a friend waiting for you at the park.

2. Set goals.

Get specific about your goals—the races you want to run, the times you want to hit, the miles you want to cover by the end of the year. Set goals that are measurable and establish a time frame for accomplishing them. For example, set a goal to lose eight pounds in three months, or to finish your first 5-K in October.

3. Keep track.

Keep detailed logs of what you eat and what you run. Run Your Butt Off! provides detailed food and exercise logs that are easy to use, but any system you’re comfortable with—on a computer, phone, or in a notebook—will do. Record all your purposeful activity, not just running. (After a while, the empty spaces that denote sedentary days will drive you nuts—and motivate you to keep moving.) With food logging, you don’t have to do it for your whole life. But doing it for a week at a time at different times during the year can help keep you committed to healthy eating.

4. Plan ahead.

Schedule your runs as unmovable appointments. Plan your meals well ahead of time, because if you’re left wondering at the last minute what’s for dinner, you can end up eating fatty, high-calorie takeout. Pull out your calendar once a week and write in your workout times. Also, make meal plans for lunch and dinner, write a shopping list, buy the ingredients, and set aside time for cooking.

5. Have reasonable expectations.

Experienced runners know that not every workout is going to be an A+. There will be some weeks when you get sick, get stuck at work late, or simply don’t feel like running. During those times, do whatever running you have time to squeeze in (or find another activity that appeals to you that week). So you set out to run four days this week and only got to it twice? Fine. Resolve to try harder the following week, but don’t give up entirely. Same thing with eating. If you eat a food that was more caloric than you wanted, it doesn’t mean you should fall off the wagon completely. Just try to control your intake the rest of the day and do better tomorrow.

6. Stay consistent.

To improve at running, you’ve got to put the miles in, week in and week out. Going through periods of high intensity, followed by periods of injury and time off, won’t make you fitter or faster. Come up with a training and eating plan that you can stick to. Radical exercise plans and restrictive diets won’t last. Look for small changes you can make that will be sustainable for the long haul.

7. See the value.

Running regularly and eating right shouldn’t feel like suffering and deprivation; they’re about taking good care of yourself. You deserve the time to exercise and eat well. Make taking care of yourself, by allowing yourself time for running and eating right, a priority.

Source: Runners World (http://www.runnersworld.com/weight-loss/seven-habits-of-highly-effective-runners-and-eaters?page=single)

 

 

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Running

Why do I run?

People ask all the time, why do you run? What’s the joy in getting up early everyday, skipping all the parties, avoiding social gatherings because you are running next day, getting your skin chaffed, going through pain and all..? Its quite difficult to explain a non runner the feeling of freedom and joy which you get while running..Anyway, I came across a quote by Lou P, which I guess aptly summarizes the reason for running:

“I run because I can. Because I have two good legs and one good heart and want to keep it that way. Because I am thankful for the sunrise every morning which calls me to be, to live, and to move forward. I run because each day is a gift of time, love, and friendship. Because nothing compares to nature’s song on a quiet trail or road where every step I take crushes the regrets of what coulda, woulda, shoulda. Because there is this one life, no replays, do over’s, or shortcuts. I run because there is this one heart (mine) full of love that wants to be there for all who desire to be a part of it. I run because I am alive. Because self confidence is created by self worth that fulfills all voids. I run because I am a competitor. Because challenging oneself is a rewarding adventure in learning who, what, and why I exist. I run to fulfill emptiness. I run because I am not getting any younger and running keeps me young. I run because there is nothing better than feeling the healthy pulse of my heart beating over the rush of life sustaining air entering and exiting my lungs. I run to see progress. Because moving forward is the greatest way to get you to life’s rewarding destinations. I run because there are records to be made and broken. Because there are limits to be tested. I run because knowing what I am capable of beats wondering what I could have done.”

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Running

Running Shoes – Do they matter?

At the outset, let me tell you that this post is not going go give you any answers…If you are going to ask Why, then plain and simple answer is because I don’t know…I am too new runner and novice in the art of running to really comment on the importance/non importance of the shoes….

Then why am I writing this…? Because, I want to share my experiences with the different shoes which I have used till date and how they have impacted my running..Maybe I will get some answers for myself..

  1. My first running shoes were these (Brand – Power (a local Indian brand)):

Power-Brown-Running-Shoes-9327-923962-1-productYes, I know they look pretty rustic and uninspiring type…But yeah, I was doing my MBA then, and that’s what I could have afforded at that time…They were pretty cheap ( around 20$) and honestly served my purpose. I was kind of fat guy (imagine weight of 72 KG on height of 5’6..U will get the idea) who desperately needed to lose weight to fit into his only pair of formal trousers to go and attend internship training. Desperate times, desperate measures. And that’s how I took up running (I will write a separate post on that experience later)….Back to the original point…These shoes served me well for my requirements (around 4-5 km of treadmill running everyday), and I used them for around 1 year or so without facing any injuries..If you notice the shoes, you will realize that sole is made of hard rubber, uneven internal cushioning, no breathing mesh etc etc… But it still worked for me.

2. My second pair of running shoes were these (Brand – Reebok – representational pic):

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Running was the last thing on my mind while I bought these shoes. I was working in Shimla (India), then on a project and it being hill station, I wanted comfortable shoes to be used for long walks (yes, I had quit running at that time). These were the most expensive shoes which I had ever bought in my life till that time (around 70$).  So, I started using these shoes for long solitary walks in the hills.. In the meanwhile, I was deputed back to Mumbai on another project (Year 2011). And then I heard about Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon…That was the first time, when I seriously gave a thought about running a half marathon. Looking at my growing waistline, it seemed a nice idea…So again with the objective to reduce weight, I started running. By the time, I was done with these shoes, I had clocked around 1500 kms on these shoes, 3 official timed half marathons, numerous practice half marathons and training runs… And this is how they looked like after the torture which I inflicted on them:

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DSCN2336You can observe that sole was gone, too many side cuts and upper breathing mesh had a big hole. In nutshell, shoes were in pretty bad shape and replacement  was long overdue.

3. My third and fourth pair of running shoes (Asics Nimbus – 14 & Asics Noosa Fast): By this  time, I had learnt few things on running, had little bit knowledge of the running shoes. I had got my gait and pronation analysis done and was sort of comfortable on deciding about the shoes which I wanted for myself. And I selected following two shoes for myself:

Nimbus  - 14Nimbus 14

Noosa FastNoosa Fast

Noosa FastNoosa Fast Sole

Nimbus – 14 is comfy training shoes, slightly on the heavier side. Good cushioning, slightly hard sole, good breathing mesh and obviously comes with Asics trademark Gel technology. All in all, a good comfy ride. In my assessment, Nimbus are one of the best comfy shoes which are available in the market, and they work as a magic for runners who have faced injuries in the past due to shoes. One of my very dear friend, who had been suffering from injuries in the past, swears by this shoe now.

Noosa, whereas is sort of minimalist shoe, designed for triathlons, very light weight and  I guess sole with  a drop of 0.4 mm. Not fit for all the runners, as cushioning is on minimal side, and you can feel the feet hitting the ground while running.

Now, I have been using both of the above shoes from last seven months or so. And if you will ask me to select one of them, I will select Asics Noosa Fast, due to the following reasons:

1. Light weight: Once you have got used to the feeling of running in light weight shoes, it will be difficult for you to go back to the heavier shoes. I can feel the difference while running with Nimbus – 14 vis a vis Noosa.

2. Connect with ground: Somehow, I feel that now I have better understanding of my heels and how my feet is striking the ground after using Noosa. Why?  Noosa, being a thin sole shoe, really does not give you that comfort where it will take care of the impact of the feet pounding the ground. You will have to adjust your running style to find the reduce the impact.

3. Speed Work Out: You can really feel the difference while doing your speed workouts.

So, in my understanding shoes do matter, but they are just one of the factors (and mind it, not the most important) which will have an impact on your running. I have realised doing practice runs, having a balanced diet, proper amount of sleep and the recovery is more important for evolution as a better runner, rather than shoes.

Now, all the above points were from my perspective.

In case, you want more professional views on the same, I will suggest, please read the below article:

http://www.outsideonline.com/fitness/bodywork/in-stride/Your-Running-Shoes-Dont-Matter.html

Its an amazing article by Peter Vignero, where he argues that many runners assume that running shoes are like other kinds of gear, and that running technique is like other kinds of athletic technique. If you don’t have a bike, skis, or a surfboard, you can’t go biking, skiing, or surfing. Nor can you do any of those sports very well without the right movement patterns.

Another interesting article which can be referred here is from Christopher McDougalls (author of Born to Run):

http://www.chrismcdougall.com/barefoot.html or http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/06/magazine/running-christopher-mcdougall.html?src=vidm&_r=0

So, Enjoy reading the articles and make your own decisions..!!

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Running

Rules for Runner’s – 2014

Came across, this wonderful list of 31 rules by which runners should live by for the year 2014.

  1. Call yourself a runner. If you run, you’re a runner. Don’t be afraid.
  2. Set a bigger goal than you ever thought possible. And figure out what you need to do to get there. Then do it.
  3. Change your shoes more often.
  4. Eat a little cleaner, and enjoy the added energy.
  5. After crossing the finish line of an upcoming race, stop to cheer on other runners and congratulate them on their accomplishments.
  6. Join a running group.
  7. Spend more time analyzing your training data. But don’t forget that sometimes you shouldn’t record the data at all. And just run :p
  8. Run more hills.
  9. Sign-up to volunteer at a trail race’s aid station.
  10. Take a few weeks off, and use that time to try out a new sport or activity.
  11. Do your strength training.
  12. Thank your spectators and supporters, and treat them to a special surprise.
  13. Put in the warm-up and cool-down miles.
  14. Read more running books. Learn from them.
  15. Find a training partner.
  16. Try to set a new 5k PR, even if you’re focused on marathons or ultras.
  17. Treat yourself to new socks. Maybe even ones with a little compression.
  18. Foam roll more religiously.
  19. Plan out your schedule now, at the beginning of the year, so you can train properly.
  20. Don’t be afraid to reward yourself after tough workouts or long runs.
  21. Get up and run in the morning more often.
  22. Talk a non-running friend into signing up for a 5k with you. And run with them the whole race.
  23. Attend a race just to cheer on runners you don’t know.
  24. Stretch.
  25. Return to a race you struggled with in the past.
  26. Experiment with new ideas by committing to different 10-30 day challenges.
  27. Start a run streak, even if it is just for one week.
  28. Keep up with long runs, even if you aren’t training for any particular race.
  29. Run on trails.
  30. Force yourself to break out of routine and try new routes.
  31. Most importantly, be proud of every run. Be proud that you are a runner.

~via Rock Creek Runner

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Running, Training Diaries

Training Diaries – 01/01/2014

Well, it was New Year’s Morning, so obviously I should not be blamed for dip in my performance…. 😛

On a serious note, I had 1- 2 beers and lots of spicy & fatty food on New Year’s eve and slept very late (around 2:30 p.m.)…I had set my alarm for 4:45 a.m. and was hoping that I would be up 5:30 a.m in any case, and should be out running by 6 a.m. But as we say, Man Proposes and God Disposes…By the time I woke up, it was already 6:25 a.m.  Quite late for the run…Still, I got up and decided to get out of the door in minimum time possible…and 6:30 I was out running. I think I am faster in changing my clothes compared to my running pace..

So lets come to the important point i.e. distance and pace for the day….It was interval training day and ideally I should have done the following routine:

  1. Stretching
  2. Warm up run of 1.2 KM’s
  3. 5*1000 intervals at pace 10 second faster than the Target Pace.
  4. Cool down run of 1.2 KM
  5. Stretching & Finish

So, by the time I joined up with the group, they had already finished their 3 rounds of interval. Anyway, I decided to do the last two rounds of interval with them and then another 2 alone.

  1. 1st Interval: 5 min/km
  2. 2nd Interval: 4:50 min/km
  3. 3rd interval: 4:45 min/km
  4. 4th interval: 4:40 min/km

Ideally, I would have liked to keep a pace of 4:30 min/km for first three intervals and closing the final interval at 3:45 mins/km pace…However, I started feeling the fatigue from the last night adventures from very first interval run, and decided to take it slow. No point in getting injured just for the sake of keeping a target pace in a training run. Tomorrow is a new day, and hopefully, I will redeem myself  🙂

Amen..!!

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Running, Training Diaries

Running Diaries – December 30, 2013

Well, as I don’t use Garmin or any other hi tech equipments to keep a tab on the pace and the training, I have decided to track it through the Running Diaries, which I will maintain (at least try) covering the distance etc.

So, today I did around 8.7 KM’s of run in 46:30 minutes. which obviously I was not doing at my marathon pace. However, I didn’t fell that comfortable while finishing the run. Muscle fatigue was something which my mind was telling me again and again…Secondly, I was not able to keep the pace of 5 mins/km for the last 1 km, which is not acceptable. Well, looks like I have to do something about Muscle Fatigue.. Additionally, my glute pain is  killing me right now. I have started hip strengthening exercises, and hopefully six months down the line, my hips will be in the better shape…Amen

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