Red Beans & Rice

Guess what I did last night? Ran a 5k social run with a group called………..

It’s  a group of folks that gathers at this cool little local bar called Thirsty Hippo  every Monday for a 5k. Not a race but just to run and hang out. You can walk, run, (crawl I guess) and afterwards they serve Red Beans and Rice with a beer or wine for $5.  How sweet is that?! (For those of you who don’t know, Red Beans and Rice on Monday is a staple in the South)

I was first timer last night so I didn’t know exactly what to expect except for food and running.  In other words, is it going to be a fast group? Is  the course going to be marked? Just stuff like that. And I think it’s safe to say that there was a good mixture and fast runners all the way down to walkers.  Was the course marked? No. Some turns were questionable but I made sure I ran a 5k before I was done. How was the food? I’m not sure. I left before eating. It looked good and smelled good if that helps!  Will I go back? Yes.

It was fun visiting with friends and just hanging out. It was a no pressure run, just fun times.  It actually felt like a scavenger hunt since I was unfamiliar with the route. I’m ready for next Monday!

8 Mile Run

What a great day!!  I ran 8 miles. It was foggy, foggy, foggy!

My view this morning

I had a plan. It was a run/walk. I had my timer set and I had my heart rate monitor going. All my lessons that I learned from my running coach I applied today, thus leading me to successful run!  I guess you could say I set myself up for success.

blurry but you get the point!

I also stuck to my diet today. Counted my calories and drank my water like it was my job!

I’ve been having chocolate cravings so I decided to make some extremely yummy low calorie muffins.

It doesn’t look like much but it was yummy!

Recipe as follows:
Ingredients:
1 Box devils food cake mix (I used Betty Crocker Super Moist Devil’s Food Cake Mix)
One 15 ounce can puree pumpkin
Directions:
Preheat  oven to 400 degrees

Mix the two ingredients together. Don’t add anything else…..no matter what. Only two ingredients are needed. put batter in 12 cup muffin pan (lined or sprayed with nonstick spray). Place pan in the oven and bake for 20 minutes.
(got from Hungry Girl Recipes)

My goal this upcoming week is to not get on the scale till Friday morning.  I’m a little addicted to getting on the scale which can’t be good.  Friday is weigh in day and the only day I’m going to get on it.

160 days and counting down.

Day 33 Weigh In

The number for the day is………..

That’s right I’m down 5 pounds thank you!!!

I still 175 days till my final goal date but I’m glad to see something happening.  At least the first week was good.  I was diligent. I watched every calorie that went in, I worked out, drank my water and had great results. Woo Hoo!!

It’s a yay me kind of day!!

Run Forrest……..

This was the weekend of my big 5k I’ve been waiting for, RUN FORREST RUN!

With all the great times I’ve been producing  of the course of the last 3 weeks I’ve been stoked to see how this race would play out for me. In addition to all that, things at the Pounds to Miles house has been pretty stressful this year so at THE very last-minute Friday  (5 p.m.) we found a hotel in New Orleans and threw our bags together for a quiet, fun-filled weekend in The Big Easy! We needed the time-out so I was not opposed to this at all.

Off to New Orelans we went, about a 2 hour drive for us.  With a quick check-in and shower we were out the door again, only this time headed to our favorite little place, Pat O’Briens!  We love this place!  That was the jest of our evening. We wanted to get a night in at Pat O’s since I had my race Sunday morning. Nothing to wild or crazy, just a great night filled with really good music.

Saturday was just as much fun. Started our morning off with the standard stop, Cafe Du Monde!

Don’t worry I didn’t eat ALL these!

After walking around the French Quarter and meandering in and out of shops we headed over to River Walk for a little inside shopping.  While the hubby did his thing I had an hour-long massage that was much-needed.  I swear that woman was trying to push the demons out of me!!  Seriously, she said “Sweety, you muscles is sooooo tired.” I thought, imagine how I feel carrying them around. I thought it was just my lower back hurting. The second she started working on my back, I had no clue how tight I had let it get and how agonzing painfully it was for her to work it all out.  That woman’s hands were magic!

Next, this place we saw on Diner’s, Drive-ins and Dives……….Mahonys.  Such great food. Well worth the trip down to Magazine Street. If you’re not from this area, the French Quarters is a great place to tour but for a little less bar-ish atmosphere get a cab and hail your way over to Magazine Street. It’s about $10 in cab fare and well worth it.  If Mahonys had been slammed finding more great places to eat wouldn’t have been a problem.

 

After eating we made our way next door to Varisty Sports, which is a local running store, boutique style with some great service and great prices.  I’m a fan of the place!

With all the mornings activities we made our way back to the hotel for some siesta.  That’s when it hit me……..I wasn’t feeling too good. Kind of queasy and tired.  I was hoping it was nothing but without me even saying anything the hubby looked at me at one point and said, “You don’t look so good.”  I didn’t feel so good either.

After a couple of hours of lying around and just relaxing we made our way back out for a small bite to eat. Of course we had to go eat at Bubba Gumps restaurant just in spirit of Sunday’s race.  Since I was still a little sickly feeling I mainly ate just rice. Wish I had felt better to enjoy it more but at least the rice was good! Back to the hotel EARLY for some rest, hoping to settle whatever was going on with me.

Now we have arrived at race day.  I woke up knowing immediately, this is not going to be good. I had no energy and I was zonked.  But I got dressed and made my way to registration to pick up  my packet.  Of course I pre-registered to make that morning a little easier and to hold me accountable, as much as possible. So I did my best to rally my body to some type of running mentality but it was not looking good. I ran, I stretched, I prayed but I knew whatever had gotten to me Saturday was still affecting me. So with a ready, set, go I was off to run a 5k. Not race, but run.  I did my best to feel positive but I had no energy or stamina. I was there for the T-shirt and workout.

 

I had a horrible run. nobody fault, not even mine. Whatever I picked up has remained with me up until me writing this! Not fun times.  No energy and now an upset stomach.  The 5k itself was great. It wasn’t chipped timed but not every 5k can be I guess. With that many people I sure wish it was. The one thing about the area we ran in, at least people supported the runners.  Had great scenery and post race food looked good but wasn’t for me.

All in all, it was great weekend and the 5k itself was good, just not my day.

Better luck next time

OohRah!

Have you ever looked up the meaning of hoorah?  By no means am I military nor am I any type of military material. I have a a healthy respect for the men and women who do what they do for our country. With that being said I might have mentally gave myself a little hoorah going across this finish line Saturday (yes, I’m kind of random like that)  which of course forced me to look up it’s true meaning. I found this ……………….

Former Army Chief of Staff Gen. Gordon R. Sullivan has his interpretation. “I don’t know how exactly to spell it, but I know what it means,” Sullivan said. “It means we have broken the mold. We are battle focused. Hooah says ÔLook at me. I’m a warrior. I’m ready. Sergeants trained me to standard. I serve America every day, all the way.'”

 

I love it!

I’m pretty darn excited about my running times lately.  I needed some wind in my sail to pump me up. It’s like my running coach always tells me, paraphrasing of course, but setting myself up for small successes helps keep me motivated.  It’s sad to say, but for a while I haven’t had many small successes. I’ve just been going through the motions which is not very motivating. Nobody’s fault, it’s just part of it.

Here’s my running times from the Run For The Roses on 14th of April

And now here’s my results from this past Saturday’s 5k (4/22/12). The mileage is off just a bit because I had to go through a tunnel which sometimes doesn’t pick up.

I have one more planned 5k in New Orleans this weekend so I’m ready  to see how things go. I’m trying not to get too excited but I have to say, it’s exciting to see such good times being produced.

RUN FORREST RUN

I CAN’T WAIT!!!  I was going to do a duathlon the 28th but now, I’m going to New Orleans!

You can go too! Just click here to register!

Run For The Roses 5k=Good Times!!

 

It’s not often I just really pat myself on the back but man, after this weekend I am so proud of myself!! I don’t mean it in a braggy way but rather in a “I really needed that and thank you Jesus for letting me have it!”

It was a great race as always. It’s a small town but the whole town really participates and gets into it and that’s not something you can just make up. It’s a well monitored course with water at two different locations and very well marked.  It’s a first class race.  Registration is made easy and friendly and the refreshments at the end is very well stocked.  All the things you expect at race, it’s here.

As for myself,  Folks, I finished with a pace of 10:37 per minute mile!! I know this is not Boston material but realistically it’s my best 5k time in a LONG time.  It’s a huge plus mark in progress. It’s given me faith that I can still semi race.  I finished 7th in my age group and I belive there was 9 of us all together. 3rd place in my age group was 28:32 so that tells me for the most part I still have lot of work to do.

So what did I do differently than I’ve been doing?

1. I went there with the mindset that I NEEDED to go all out. I needed to know what I could really do.

2. I haven’t “raced” in a while. And if I have I was scared of a high heart rate so this time I changed my Garmin to where  all I saw was distance, average pace, and overall time.  So I didn’t care that I felt like I was one breath away from meeting my maker I didn’t want an 11 minute mile on that watch! Also, with my Garmin in regards to miles and knowing the course really helped. The course is relatively flat with several turns and then two tiny hills at mile 2.5 and 3 mile marker. It helped knowing that at the 2.75 mile  marker if you didn’t know there was a incline coming then a person could easily take off  and run out of gas way too soon.

With a good race in hand and  a huge smile on my face ( I think I’m still on a runners high to be honest, actually it was good fuel for the fire) I went home to get a celebratory smoothie to replenish my glycogen storage.  Then I went for a 14 mile bike ride and Sunday I met up with some friends for “recovery run.” Today (Monday) I’m feeling pretty good.  Legs feel good. I think taking in nutrients as soon as I did and staying active like I did really helped with a quick recovery. I’m really looking forward to my runs this week with another race this coming weekend. I’ve got my fingers crossed because the course is predominately flat and is an out and back course.  Then, on the 28th I’m going to do a Duathlon.  So excited!!

If your interested in a really great article on recovery nutrition, this is one I particularly like………

The Runner’s Ultimate Nutritional Recovery Routine (RUNRR) You’ll be amazed at how good you feel the next day

 

 

 

 

 

Team Tough Chik!

This week was a busy week for my mail lady!!  I got  MIX 1 in the mail, the Spi Belt I’m giving away and my Team Tough Chik kit!!  Lucky me!  Here’s what all I got (I love swag bags from races and teams)

 

 

Goodbye Down, Hello Up

I have a huge confession………….I’ve been experiencing post marathon blues, BAD!  Like, really bad.  I know I’ve probably mentioned it before but I realized last night that I’ve been in a major funk.

After January I realized due to some personal stuff that 2012 was not going to be the racing year I thought it was going to be. And I’ll be the first to admit, when I’m up ……..I’m up and when I’m down, well, I’m down. My mother use to say I go at things like a bull in a china closet.  It can be a blessing and at times it bites me in the tail feathers.  So after I realized there would be no Austin I put on my game face of “I’m okay with it, next!” and proceeded to do what I do best, forget the past and move forward.

That’s all fine and dandy but I let myself sink into a hole.  I know, it’s just running, it’s just a marathon but if you’ve never ran a marathon or trained for anything then you just can’t understand. It’s like this………….for every marathon I train for there’s at least 12 weeks of my life that I throw myself into this event wholeheartedly.  When I’m at work I think about it, when I’m laying in bed I’m counting the hours till my morning run, I rearrange my life to get ready for this event. It becomes who I am.  Then it comes and I relish in the day. The people, the excitement, the emotions.  After it’s over there’s at least two weeks I get to tell people about it and still live in the excitement.  Then I have a choice I can pick another event to delay the let-down feelings that await me or I can do as I’ve been doing. Go into denial and pretend I’m okay and try to figure out what to do with myself.

It sucks. I’ve not been excited about running or working-out. I’ve done everything I can to pump myself up but without a marathon I’m just, ehhh.  How’s my running going? ehhhh  How’s my nutrition? ehhhhh How’s my blog? ehhhhh  What kind of stinky attitude is that?!!

So this morning, I woke up with a new attitude.  I got a good night sleep and hit the floor running this more with the mindset of enough moping around.  Enough is enough.  If I was a friend of mine, I would be so annoyed with me.  And I am.  Which is really bad truth be told.

So from here forward no more downs. The glass is not half empty but half full. I should be grateful for all that I have and have experienced.  I’m still a runner not matter if I run 1 mile or 50 miles.  The post marathon blues are officially over.

Photo by shioshvili via Flickr (Creative Commons)

 

 

Cruising Along

No, I haven’t given up on running and taken up bike riding solely. Actually, I haven’t even been on a bike in forever.  Right now this Chik is just cruising through the days.  No special activities planned, just day to day living.  It’s not very exciting but I must admit it’s been pretty relaxing at my house. No looming big deadlines. No stressing about whether I’m going to be ready for any one big thing. Just working out/running and hanging with the hubby.

I am planning on doing a handful of 5ks locally.  I was suppose to do one this past weekend but we got rained out.  I use to do a ton of local races 5ks and 10ks but then I found marathons and well the rest was history.

I know have been lazy on my postings which leaves me with a long list of catch-ups to do.  Hopefully this week I will get caught up. I’m also very excited that time is changing. HALLELUJAH!!  I love my longer evenings when I can come home do a few things outside and not need a flashlight to see anything! The short evenings I just tend to mentally shut down way too early and then I get nothing accomplished.

I’m just ready for warmer weather and lighter clothes.  I’m over the sweater thing.

Till next time…………Cheers!

Run Walking

 

Recently someone asked me

“I’m pretty new to running and have doing intervals of walk/run…anyone have suggestions to increase my run time?”

I love to run and I’ll give advice on what I think I know but sometimes that’s just enough to get us both in trouble SOOOO………..I asked Coach James if he could answer it for me.

Gradual progressive overload is the answer.  But what does that mean? 

 Gradual – taking place, changing, moving, etc., by small degrees or little by little

 Progressive –  change, improvement, or reform, as opposed to wishing to maintain things as they are

 Overload – to excess; overburden

 All together it means to add a little more running to the run / walk interval a week at a time.  Once you become comfortable, then increase the run portion once again.  This needs to gradual to allow the body to adapt (nerves, tendons, ligaments, joints and muscles). 

Also I found that training with a heart rate monitor has really helped.  I was doing the intervals as he suggested (before he was training me) but I was doing sprints. So of course I wasn’t making any improvement.  Between a defined schedule and the heart rate monitor I have improved greatly over the last couple of month.

The Couch-to-5K ® Running Plan

 

 

Ruben Studdard Half Marathon

Last weekend I ran in the Ruben Studdard Half Marathon in Birmingham, Alabama.  I must say it was a well put on race.  I was actually really excited about this event being that I was already going to be in the Birmingham Area and I needed to run 12 miles. I had packed for a cold trip only to be surprised by a nice little warm front that manage to find its way to area.  It wasn’t hot hot but just a southern humid hot.

Start and Finish

So the race was downtown Birmingham near the Civic Center and started at Linn Park.  The crowd wasn’t super huge but it was a great turnout for an inaugural event.  The race course itself was very forgiving. In 2008 I did the Mercedes Marathon in Birmingham which started in the exact same spot and let me tell you, I learned there exactly how hilly Birmingham really is.  The theory of what goes up must come down did not apply in that marathon!  So when I say the race course for the RSHM was forgiving I really do mean it.  There were a couple of gentle hills but nothing like that could have been.  I was also very impressed how much police support there was along the route.

As I was saying the course was mildly hilly. Very mild.  A lot of fast runners at the front and then there was my group. It always happens this way.  There’s a group about 50 yards ahead of me and another one 50 yards behind me and then I’m just plodding along by myself.  Which I’m fine with it but it’s so funny how that seems to be the norm for me. Water stations and bathroom stations were wisely placed. The only place I have any problem with is some tunnel we had to run through towards the end. It would have been comforting if there would have been a police officer stationed down in there. It was eery in there with just me and another lady. Needless to say I didn’t stick around to chit chat with her!

My run/race went well. My heart rate was a little higher than normal going into it and throughout it. Made for a semi frustrating run on my part but I eventually quit letting it distract me and moved on. If my heart rate would have been in check then I think it would have been a phenomenal race but I guess I can’t complain since I did just run a marathon about a month ago!

The finish line was well done also. A lot of times being a back-of-the-packer I tend to not get/see any of the finish line amenities.  This was not the case here. They were well stocked and very helpful/attentive.  The finisher’s medal were pretty sweet as well. Oh, and I also got the correct size shirt I wanted!   Another thing they did that I really liked was same day registration/race packet pick up.  For people who don’t live nearby and want to drive in on the morning of the race this makes it so easy to do so.

I definitely give this race two thumbs up.

T-shirt, finishers medal and bib

Oh I almost forgot to mention……yes I did see Ruben Studdard.  Once at the very beginning of the race and then again half way through the race.  The race also hosted a 5k that Ruben ran with his entourage.  The 5k at one point tied in with half marathon for a short distance and I got to see him there.  He looked like was very proud to be doing what he was doing.  I would agree that he should be.

WOD after running anyone?!

Rowing before running?!

There was actually a Fitness Fest going on as well in conjunction with the Half Marathon. It looked like a Crossfit Workout of the Day in the making when I saw it.  I didn’t stop off to see what was actually going on when I got done running. I was headed off to see my niece’s cheer competition that was taking place only a block away.

 

Congrats to the NXS Extreme White Cheer Squad for placing first!!  I’m so proud of them.  They rocked it.  To be such tiny girls they really nailed it with great enthusiasm. So excited I could be part of the support crew!!

Rockin the cheer award!

 

 

Running, Birthday and Football

Warning: This is one of those post where I ……A. update on what’s going on and B. clear my mind. We could be a while!

For one thing when I posted last time I had been on this crazy cleaning spree. Well, I’ve still been cleaning. I’ve cleaned baseboards, I’ve cleaned fan blades. I’ve gotten under all major furniture pieces and I’ve even steamed clean the floors (just my laminate floors).  I’ve thrown out, repurposed and donated the most stuff.  Honestly, my house is not junky or filthy to start with but I just felt the need to purge. I keep thinking, “okay I’m done.  Nothing more to do. I quit.” However, I end up finding more to do.  For instance I had desk chairs. One is black generic and the other one is a chair my dad used at his office for 16 years. Both are in the same room and my husband prefers the black one and I prefer the green one.  The green chair is one of my favorite things I own.  It’s Kelly green and the paint is chipped in all the right places.

Pottery Barn version........mines better

I was going to paint a chair for a  desk I put in our room and then I almost bought a really cool chair I saw this weekend (instead of painting one). Then, I was cleaning Sunday and I realized that my dad’s old chair was more appropriate than the chair I was going to paint or buy.  So apparently I needed to clean just to appreciate what I have/had.

I guess with all the time I’ve spent purging the Windham house I haven’t been blogging.

On the running side of life everything has been just kosher. Nothing too exciting just one foot in front of the other.  I did sign up for two half marathons (Bank Trust First Light  and Ole Man River )and then I have the Austin Marathon in February.  I’m looking forward to all three.  I was a little reluctant to sign up for anything  at first because my football team (Southern Miss) has been doing so well  (top 25 in the BCS polls) I didn’t/don’t know where I would be in the direction of bowl games.  That’s the only bad thing about this time of year with running is football has a way of getting in the way with preplanned events.  However looking at the chatter online and consulting with my hubby we’ll be in a bowl game somewhere between December 30th and January 2nd.  It can always change and nothing is written in stone, that’s the beauty of football.

So my running is steadily increasing again and it really has been fun.  Instead of running a mile and walking a minute, I’m now running 1.5 miles and walking a minute.  I can’t wait till my running breaks are no longer needed.  And as far as my long runs are concerned I’m already running double digits again.  And this folks, is why I have a running coach. Nevermind that accountability thing I need but the drastic difference in what the running coach prescribes versus me planning for myself.  For example had I been handling my post marathon running schedule first off I wouldn’t have known what a reverse taper was to save my life. And I’ve ran 5 marathons prior to this one!  Secondly I would have not been running the kind of mileage I did post marathon. I would have been running 3 miles here and a few miles there. Thirdly I would be running maybe a total of 15 miles this week not 27.  It’s not that I didn’t/don’t want to run the miles I just didn’t know how hard to push or not push myself.  I’m assuming after I get over this next marathon I’ll not be so much of in awe of my mileage or schedule.  So needless to say , the newness hasn’t worn off yet.

Lastly, this past weekend I turned 33. To celebrate I ran 10 miles and it felt great.  The weather was nippy but nice. I would rather have to bundle up some and basically I like cold weather clothes!  The sun is rising sooner so I get to get moving a little earlier as well.  The other nice thing is with the cooler weather there’s less traffic on the Trace to avoid.  Of course I ran into the regulars and of course they’re all faster than me so I see more of their backside than anything.  On this particular run it really hit me that I’m tired of being a slow poke (my average moving pace was 12:14).I don’t realize how slow I’m moving until someone just blows past me.  It doesn’t dishearten me as much as it motivates me.  I’ll take the motivation anyway I can get it.

This week has me scheduled for 27 miles and a little rain in the forecast.  Nothing I can’t handle.  Should be a great week, the football team is playing Thursday night (I’ll be watching from the comfort of my couch..too far to travel on a weeknight for me) and  Sunday I’ll be in Birmingham to cheer my precious 7 year old niece on in her second cheer competition.  Should be good times ahead for the running chic.

Till next time……..cheers!

Death of the Garmin

My beloved Garmin Forerunner 305 has given me good scare this morning  I’m not sure if it’s a malfunction on it’s part or if it was in pure shock from me getting up and running before work.   Either way very dramatic times before work this morning.  Funny story, when I went to the NWM the night before the race I couldn’t find my Garmin. For 5 minutes I was convinced that I had left it at home. My mother in law was with me and was witnessing my freaking out and kept asking what she could do to help. I finally told her that if I couldn’t find it we were going to go somewhere in the city that would have them and get one. End of story. She didn’t know what a Garmin was but she was like if you’ll calm down I’ll personally buy it!  Fortunately it was in my shoe the whole time!  So as you can see I’m almost helpless without my Garmin.

Dear BB,  (oh yeah, I nickname mine)

This morning we had a great run.  Run after run you prove to be one of the best investments ever. In fact, I probably spend more time with you than I do any one else.  Please don’t scare me like that again.  I will take better care of you.

With warmest regards, your fan and owner,

Brandy

 

Following The Heart

 
Over the course of my training for the Nike Women’s Marathon a couple people have asked me how and why   to train  by heart rate. My training for the NWM was the first time I had ever trained this way so it was definitely new territory for me. So thanks to my awesome running coach he was kind enough to answer a few questions.  
 
Why did you set me up on a heart rate training plan?
 
   A heart rate monitor is a general gauge of how hard you are working.  Many runners start out running much harder than they should.  I recommended heart rate training to Brandy so that she could run at less intensity.  This allowed her to build running endurance and to stop trying to sprint her way to a marathon.  This is very clique, but most people do not run the slow runs slow enough or the fast runs fast enough.  This was the case with Brandy.  A heart rate monitor can help to define what is easy and what is hard.
 
For those who do not have a James, how would recommend a person find the best training plan for them?
 
    Any plan that has a gradual build and consistency will help most runners to improve.  I often say, “Pick a plan, any plan and you will do better than no plan at all.  If you don’t have a plan then you plan to fail.”  Regarding plans, they will work as long as they fit within your abilities and your lifestyle.  Do not constantly second-guess them.  Give them a chance to show improvement.  Pick a plan within your (honest) abilities of today, not where you want to be.
 
For the simple minded folks like myself do you recommend any reads to help point folks in the right direction?
 
   My favorite running book is Daniels’ Running Formula (2nd) by Jack Daniels (no relation).
 
Marathon Guide also posted a great article regarding why you should and how to use a heart rate monitor.  
 
1) Accuracy And Ease: Heart monitors are the only effective way to track and record your heart rate over the course of an entire workout. Not only do heart monitors provide you with a complete record of your heart rate for the duration of your workout, but they are also more accurate than manual methods. Stopping during a run to count your pulse disrupts both your workout and your heart rate, and even the application of pressure to the carotid artery – perhaps the most common point for manual pulse detection – slows down the pulse.2) Monitor Your Fitness: Cardiovascular fitness is the single most significant factor in your speed as a runner. Consequently, being able to track your cardiovascular fitness – not to mention tailoring your workouts to meet cardiovascular goals – is an extremely useful training tool. Measuring the work-rate of the heart is the most accurate method of determining how much benefit you are deriving from your workout (a discussion on how to gauge results can be seen in section III). Other methods, such as how hard one is breathing, or how tired one feels, can reflect other factors and give imprecise impressions of the effectiveness of your workout.

3) Prevent Over-Training: For many competitive runners, every week’s workout regimen is essentially a seven-day dance along the fine line between optimal training and over-training. Using a heart monitor to avoid stressing your body too much means that you will maximize the efficiency of your training, while minimizing the opportunity for injury. Injuries are much less likely to occur when you are not over-taxing your body, and avoiding injuries is tantamount to avoiding setbacks in your training. While opinions differ on how much running is too much (we will discuss this more later), once you determine the desired intensity of your weekly workouts, you can use the monitor as a gauge. Are your recovery days really allowing your body to recover? The surprising answer, in many cases, is that runners’ easy days are simply not easy enough. Use your monitor to stay below a certain ceiling, and you will avoid depleting your body’s glycogen stores, ensuring that you will have the energy to perform your intense workouts with vigor and that you will not have to take unexpected days off from fatigue.

4) Prevent Under-Training: Though perhaps less common than over-training, some runners simply do not run hard enough, often enough. In this case, the monitor can function as a sort of coach, telling you when your body can handle more, and consequently, when you should pick up the pace. Set a minimum heart-rate goal for your run, and the monitor will sound an alarm when you have dropped below your target, telling you to work harder.

5) Pacing During Training: Perhaps the most obvious use for a heart monitor is to pace your training runs. Sometimes your time is not the best measure of how hard you are working. Different terrain, different energy levels, inconsistent distance measurements, and any number of factors can mislead you into thinking that you have performed well or poorly when the opposite may be true. Your cardiovascular performance is best measured by the work-rate of your heart, so pacing your training runs according to your heart rate is the best method of targeting your cardiovascular fitness as you do your workout.

6) Pacing During A Race: Some runners not only train with a heart monitor, but race with one as well. The monitor is a better tool for gauging effort during a race than mile markers, as the appropriate speed of each mile during a race can vary. Also, the monitor is indifferent to the wind, the paces of the other runners, the cheering of the crowds, the silence of lonely stretches that occur towards the end of some races, and any hills and curves; it is an objective observer than can help you maintain a consistent work rate, both over varied terrain and in areas where external factors affect your motivation and speed. Within a racing context, a monitor is perhaps most useful in preventing you from going out too fast or working too hard early in the race.

7) Enjoyment: While many runners enjoy their long runs, using a heart monitor adds a twist to running, whether it is being worn for a race or for training, for one mile or for twenty. Monitors can give you an accurate and fun way to quantify your progress, and if for no other reason, contribute some variety to the activity.

There you have it!  There’s so much information  and of course this is just a bit of it but it will definitely get you started in the right direction

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