- If your resting heart rate is elevated above normal, it means that your body's central nervous system is still "on" and you are not fully recovered from your training. If you don't know your resting heart rate, count your pulse in the morning right when you wake up for one minute...preferably not when you've jolted awake to an alarm or started thinking about your to-do list for the day.
- If you have no idea what your resting heart rate is and you feel extremely sluggish, try a systematic warm-up before your next workout. If you're a runner who can typically run a 9-minute mile comfortably, try jogging for a couple minutes at an 11-minute pace. If the workout feels abnormally hard even at the lower intensity, again, you probably have not fully recovered. For those who lift weights, you could perform a warm-up with 50-75% of your normal load and gauge the difficulty.
- Don't forget to factor in the emotional recovery your body needs when you are experiencing stress over relationships, exams, pressure at work, etc. These will all prolong your recovery time.
Friday, May 23, 2008
I recently read an article about how to tell if you are adequately recovered from an endurance event like a marathon. Most of its content was pretty specific to committed athletes with grueling schedules. While I'm fairly certain most of my readers (if I still have any...I know, one post in May = lame) have more moderate exercise routines, we all have days where we don't feel 100%. On these days, should you push through it or back off and give your body a rest? Here are a few things to consider:
Not recovered? First off, give yourself a break. I see too many clients and friends who are really hard on themselves when they aren't performing to their own high standards, saying things like, "I don't know why this is so hard," or, "I should be able to do this." You will get back to your ass-kicking workout agenda when your ass is rested!! In the meantime, take a day off if your body feels depleted. (I recommend doing this once/week anyway.) The other option is to use active recovery - easy or light exercise - until you feel rejuvenated. This will facilitate the removal of waste products from the bloodstream.
Thursday, May 8, 2008
This year, I ran an 8-minute mile and still came in 4,146th overall. Oh, but wait, I came in 1,000-something among women. And 269th among women in my age group. My friend, Dan, said, "Don't worry there's a medal for you...I think it's zinc." Yea, yea. My point is, if you're gonna run Broad Street, you need to have your reasons in order. 'Cause this race dumps you into a land of crazy, swarming, GU-toting, die-hard runners that will whoop your ass, personal trainer or not.
This was the 4th time I've run Broad Street. It's not about crossing the finish line anymore. Here are the reasons I run it:
1. Community. Runners eat GU (essentially liquid tootsie roll). They wake up early on weekends in freezing cold weather to run long. They use Body Glide to prevent nipple-chafing. There is something very settling about standing among a community of 22,000 people, otherwise strangers, who consider this behavior normal.
2. Spectators. Because I've lived in Philly for my entire life, I typically see a few familiar faces along the course. This year I was cheered on by my childhood best friend, my old roommate, a classmate from high school, and my chaffeur for race day. And that's not to mention how exciting it is to receive the generic fanfare coming through Center City.
3. Fever. I wasn't even going to run this year. I registered about five days before the event. But damn, May rolls around and I get this itching to be cruisin' down Broad Street.
4. Adrenalin. When I go out for a jog, I don't run 8-minute miles, and if I do, it's not necessarily easy. Last Sunday, I was so wired from all the excitement that despite having slept for only 3 hours - long story - I still felt like I had springs in my shoes.
5. Price. The Broad Street Run has all the frills of other distance runs (expo, goodie bags, water stations) but you're only charged for the price of the average 5K - $25 if you're on time.
6. Port-a-Potty Lines. You tell me where else thousands of people are anxious for their turn in a Johnny on the Spot, and I'll register for that event too.
7. Challenge. For me, the challenge is obviously not to beat any body, or even to finish the race; it's to look up from the pavement once in a while and enjoy the run.
8. Pictures. This year, there were so many participants that it was a tough job for the photographers to get a decent shot of everyone, unless of course, you knew exactly where they were stationed 'cause you wanted a picture for your blog!!!