Saturday, September 18, 2010

Long Run Day

Today's Workout:

Distance:  10 miles (16.1k)
Time:  1:26:15 (8:37/mile)
Music of choice: Sara Bareilles - Little Voices album
BPM: 154 (resting = 66)
Sweat Rate: 1.9 L/h

Yesterday I talked about how I lost ten pounds in about 10 days.  I meant that to be my little plug for exercise; "Hey everyone!  Look at what exercise can do for you."  But instead it seemed most people that I heard from seemed to feel that I was being harmful to my body, so I'd like to just address a few things in that respect. 

First, the weight that I have lost is not from dehydration.  When I go running, I do lose weight through sweating, but I more than counterbalance for that by drinking plenty of water both after a run as well as throughout any normal day.  The ten pounds I've lost is disregarding the daily fluctuations for each workout.

Second, I had no intention of working out to lose weight, it was simply an effect of training.  I also feel that unless you are already working out regularly, any training regime will cause you to lose a certain amount of weight.  I have become quite used to this phenomenon from my years in competitive swimming.  I swam 10 months out of the year, but when my personal season came around (about 5-6 months into my full 10 month span), I would lose 20 pounds in two weeks like clockwork every year (165 down to 145).  So I'm quite used to my body fluctuating at a rate faster than most people; it's just how my body seems to work.

Third, losing weight does not mean you're harming your body.  If I dip below 160 then I might begin questioning things.  At the moment, I keep gaining speed and endurance, so while I'm sure you can make an argument for why what I've done isn't the best training method, it's still working. 

Lastly, in my advice for most other people, I tend to stress the idea of taking a day off.  I say that for two reasons.  1) You don't want to mentally burn yourself out.  Getting two months out of a moderate workout schedule is much better for you than giving up one week into an intense schedule, so let yourself ease into the training.  2) One high-risk time for injuries is at the beginning of a training regime.  Your body is not used to pushing itself so hard, so let it slowly work up to the more intense levels or you'll end up resting injuries more than you actually workout.  That said, I've been going for 14 days straight now.  Kind of seems contradictory, right?  Not so in my book; let me explain.  I was still just as happy to get up and go for my 10 mile run today after a previous 13 days of training, so mentally I'm not in danger of burning out.  As I've mentioned before, when I feel it would not be smart to run on a given day due to blisters, pain, or tightness, I do cross training which may focus more on core and upperbody.  However, I do admit that running is not solely a leg muscle exercise, so while my legs get a rest on the cross-training days, my upper body still gets a light workout on running days.  Therefore, I will be taking tomorrow off and canceling my plans to do a cross-training workout.

If you guys have ANY other comments, questions, or concerns, please don't hesitate to comment or email.  I'm more than happy to talk about my training schedule or yours.  I fully admit that I'm not trained as a personal trainer, a nutritionist, or anything, so I'm working solely from my own experience as an athlete and scientist.  I'm always happy to learn something.


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