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The Bullhorn, Issue #049 -- Monthly Motivator for April 2010
April 15, 2010
Just the right push to succeed!
Shift on the Fly!
In a world of constant ‘go’…bills to pay…deadlines…little league games…some days seem impossible to fit in a workout. My routine has been anything but routine. Some workouts come in the morning; some at night; some at lunch; and some get buried and skipped by life’s competing priorities. The only thing that is constant is the cycle: Set a goal; Write a plan; Track milestones; Reach goal; Set a new goal.
Sometimes the key to our fitness success hinges on our ability to be flexible. If our schedule, the weather, or our mood throws us a curveball…we need to shift on the fly! Let’s say an afternoon meeting goes late and you lose your lunchtime run window…do you chalk it up to a missed workout or lace up your shoes at the end of the work day? What if the forecast is calling for a morning thunderstorm? Can you go out for a night-time run? Can you change your course to a local loop so that you’re never more than a mile away if & when the lightning ever strikes?
For the past 5 years, I’ve always been at a varied stage in a training plan…and of the 10 marathons, multiple 5ks, and other distance events…I’ve NEVER stayed on the training plan I sketched out at the beginning. I’ve always had to shift on the fly…life’s too dynamic not to.
When you write a fitness plan, a training plan, or other workout schedule, know what the key points are and what the underlying goal is. For example, my workouts now are centered on the long run. If I need to change a mid-week run from 6 to 4 miles…I don’t sweat it. And conversely, if I need to set my alarm clock a few hours early on Saturday to get a long run in before little league…so be it. Know the pillars of your plan and build around them. At the end of the day an unplanned workout is worth more than a missed planned workout every time. So don’t fret if your plan goes awry….shift on the fly!
Listen to Your Heart
After just surviving a month-long bout with an upper respiratory infection, it’s made me look long and hard at what went wrong: Was it over-training? Lack of sleep? Poor nutrition? Or a little bit of each?? And while I’ll never be able to conclude the exact cause, I’ve been much more in tune to the warning signals.
One such signal is heart rate. I started wearing my heart rate monitor on all of my workouts: treadmill, outdoors, and cross training. I also started taking my pulse at various times during the day to gauge where I was in relation to my typical resting rate. This little experiment has also helped me in my training. I’ve figured out that running my long runs in the 60-70% MHR range resulted in quicker recoveries, while running the long runs in the 70-85% range took me a day or two to fully recover.
I’ve also determined that the heart rate at the beginning of my run is very “telling”. A high beginning heart rate tells me that I’m still not fully recovered from my last workout or something else may be going on (i.e. immune system is fighting something). I also noticed that on my back-to-back long runs that Day 2 HR was slightly higher at the end of the run than the same pace on Day 1. And on a positive note, I’ve watched my resting heart rate decline in the last 8 weeks of ultra marathon training.
Want to know how you’re doing…when to ease up…and when to push the pace? Listen to your heart!
Exercise of the Month:
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