The Week in Training: SLO Marathon and Yoga Challenges

SLO Marathon Training Recap, Week 8

For what may be the first time during this current training cycle, I am actually happy with my training. I know! I’ve been pretty negative about it all, with illness and work hours interfering with my plans. This week, they (illness & work) tried to interfere, but I overcame them! Win!

On Wednesday, which is supposed to be my second speed work day of the week I woke up with a migraine. It was bad enough that I couldn’t run, but I also had to cancel five clients! I hate doing that, but it couldn’t be helped. I stayed in bed all morning, then finally fell into a good, solid sleep and woke up around 1:30 with the headache gone. One of my shorter ones, thank goodness.

I decided to get out on Thursday morning with Alan and our neighbor Christina, to see if I could get in some type of tempo run. It would have to be short because I have to be at work by 7:30, but that always encourages me to run faster. Christina decided to run along with me, and we ran three pretty fast miles. No real warm up, though the first mile was the slowest. I was just happy to get it done.

Christina and I also ran together on Friday, four easy miles, and Saturday, for part of my long run. It’s nice to have a new training partner. She’s a very nice girl, a new runner, and about 25 years younger than me so I’m getting my ass kicked on a regular basis a good push.

Alan announced the Desert Triathlon this weekend. It is held on both days, with the sprint and duathlon on Saturday and the international on Sunday. They had quite a treat this year. Saturday brought wind, with gusts up to about 50 mph, and on Sunday it rained all day. At least the wind died.

When I headed out for my long run with Christina on Saturday, the winds weren’t too bad yet. She ran with me for the first five miles, then I was on my own. I was scheduled for 16 miles, and it just seemed so long to run my regular out and back route, all by myself, especially when the winds started to rise up. After much deliberation (and a lot of running route math going on in my head), I decided to add on mileage as I headed away from home, then finish up at Lake Cahuilla, which is where the triathlon (and Alan) was (were?).

Running math is kind of funny, especially when you start to get tired (which I was from mile 10 on). I know the distances, I’d figure out where I needed to turn because I had to add on six miles, but my brain had a hard time holding onto it. I’d figure it out once at one total mileage, then it would be different the next time. Well, at least it gave my brain something to think about as I plodded along. It all worked out perfectly in the end. I finished up about 25 feet from where Alan was at the finish line.

Long Run

I was glad I was just running 16 miles (if you can believe that). The triathletes had to deal with a horrendous headwind as they headed back toward the park, not to mention the buoys in the water were blown way off course, so many swimmers got a little extra distance in. We all had sand in our hair and gritty teeth at the end though.

After I finished, I snagged some of Alan’s Gatorade, stretched, bundled up in one of his sweatshirts, and hung out until he was done. I even managed a couple yoga poses (see below)! One of the vendors brought me a smoothie, so I even got some refuel. Oh! And celebrities!

Two Hollywood stars competed in the sprint triathlon. Sadly, I am so out of touch that I have no idea who they were. There were good looking though. Even sadder, I was tired, stinky, and looked like I had just run 16 miles.

Chace Crawford

This is Chace Crawford. He played Nate Arhibald on the Gossip Girls.

Chris Pratt

This is Chris Pratt. He played Andy Dwyer on Parks and Recreation and Bright Abbott in Everwood.

Sunday is usually an easy, run with the dogs day, but since I ran Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, and plan to run Monday, I took a well deserved day off of running.

This is week eight of my SLO Marathon training. I’m still a little short of my total weekly distance goals, but I feel happy with my training this week. I’m running the Run Through Redlands half marathon next Sunday (and have to work at 6:45 on Saturday), so this coming week will be a bit of a cutback week. I do plan to run the race at my goal marathon pace, so that will be interesting.

Remember, you can save $10 on registration for the SLO Marathon with the code WOODAMB.

Here’s the recap:

Monday: Intervals: 8 x .25 miles intervals at about 5k pace. Yoga warm up
Tuesday: Pilates Reformer workout, 20 minutes Balancing Flow from Yoga Download
Wednesday: Migraine. I did manage a little restorative yoga in the early evening.
Thursday: Tempo run. Three miles at lactate threshold pace. 30 minutes Pilates Reformer workout, 10 minutes Sun Salutations.
Friday: Four miles easy. A little yoga stretching after the run.
Saturday: Long run. 16 miles. Not much yoga, but I did manage to put my legs up the wall, er, up the tree.
Sunday: 90 minute Vinyasa class.

Take the Leap 30 Days of Yoga Challenge

We are approaching the last few days of the Take the Leap 30 days of yoga challenge with prAna and Fit Approach. I have loved this so much! I’m sorry that it is almost over, but I plan to keep up my yoga practice. Here is the last week of posing.

Week 4

Day 22 – Warrior 2 after my run.

Week 4 2

Day 23. Having some fun with Reverse Warrior. #NeverGiveUp

Week 4 3

Warrior 3 and a kitty photobomb on day 24.

Week 4 4

Day 25. High Plank on the Pilates reformer.

Week 4 5

Day 26. Triangle pose.

Week 4 7

Legs up the wall, er, tree on day 27, after my 16 mile run.

Week 4 6

Day 28. I finally made it to the yoga studio. A 90 minute Vinyasa class topped off with about 20 minutes of Yin. Recreating the poses that I held for 3 minutes each in class: Lizard, Pigeon, Seated Forward Fold. My favorite was Joyful Camel. Because I loved the name.

Just a few days left!

Vegan Eats

I made some of my favorite recipes this week, including Pot Pie (though I used Beyond Meat chicken instead of tofu) and Pizza. Both were delicious.

Pot PiePizza

I also made a great smoothie on Sunday. I called it a “Kitchen Sink” smoothie. It was also delicious. Here’s the Instagram post:

How was your training week? Any events, races, or simply fun times?

5k Friday: Your 12 Week 5k Training Program, Week 9

Run a 5k 8Your 12 Week 5k Training Program, Week 9

By the end of week eight, you ran 23 minutes straight. Nice job! This week we’re going to add to that total. We’re also adding an optional speed workout. Just as your body makes adaptations to running (increased endurance, better aerobic fitness, structural changes to your bones, joints and soft tissue), speed work improves the way your body processes oxygen, and increases your stamina by raising the lactate threshold, that point at which your body has built up lactic acid and needs to slow down. (Missed week one? Click here to get started!)

This week will start off by repeating your 23 minute run from last week. In addition to your three key workouts, you may add the optional speed workout. If you choose not to do so, just do the active recovery workout.

Remember, all workouts start with an 8-10 minute brisk warm-up walk. On your rest days, feel free to do some strength training, yoga, Pilates, etc.

Run_a_5K_Program.JPGDay One: After your warm up, run for 23 minutes. Cool down, stretch ice.

Day Two: Active recovery. After your warm up, run for 10 minutes. Walk for 30 seconds. Repeat. Cool Down and stretch. Optional Speed Work: Warm up, then run for two minutes at your normal pace. For the next minute pick up the pace (think effort level of about 8-9 on a scale of 10). Slow down to your normal pace for two minutes. Repeat four more time (a total of five fast intervals). Cool down and stretch.

Day Three: Warm up, Run for 12 minutes. Walk for one minute. Run for 12 minutes. Walk for one minute. Run for three minutes, then cool down.

Day Four: Rest.

Day Five: Warm up, then run for 26 minutes. Cool down, stretch, etc.

Day Six: (Optional) Active Recovery. Warm up, run for 18 minutes. Walk for one minute, then run for three more minutes.

Day Seven: Rest.

Getting Faster

Getting_Faster.JPGRefer back to this post for information on whether you’re ready to add speed to your workout, how to find your goal pace, reasons for each workout as well as the first week of workouts to add to your training.

The Workouts:

The Long Run: At this point in your training, your long run should be at least six miles. You can keep it at that or add another half mile. To add a little mileage to your week, add a half mile to one of your other runs (not the speed workouts).

The Interval Workout: We’re pushing it a little bit this week. Mile repeats. Four times around the track. They should be run at about your 5K pace (about 90-95% of VO2Max). Recover by jogging or walking 400 meters. Repeat two more times. Cool down by walking or jogging 400-800 meters. Stretch (and don’t forget to ice after your workout!)

The Lactate Threshold Workout: On the road for this workout. After your one mile easy warm up, run two miles at slightly less that your 5k pace (about 85-90% of your maximal effort). Cool down by jogging a half mile, and finish with a stretch.

Getting_Faster.JPGRemember, in addition to these workouts, you can run another one-three days during the week, nice easy, shorter runs (recovery runs). A sample schedule can be found in this post.

Week nine is complete. Just think, just three weeks until your race! See you next week!

Saturday Shares

Just a few things to share for Saturday!

The SLO Marathon: The price goes up on February 28!

SLO Marathon

Now is the time to register for the SLO Marathon before the price goes up on February 28! Also, if you want your name on your bib, the deadline is March 2. Come run with me on April 23! Remember you can still use the code WOODAMB to save $10 on registration!

 

Take the Leap/Bringing Yoga Back Challenges

The 12 days of #BringingYogaBack with prAna is over (though the 30 day #TaketheLeap challenge continues through March 8). It was a lot of fun to try some challenging (to me) poses over the 12 days. Here are a few of my favorites:

TadasanaThis may be my favorite selfie of all time. Photo bombed by a cat!

Down Dog

Low Lunge

lizard

One Legged Dog

Wild Thing

CrowOkay, crow pose was not one of the #BringingYogaBack poses. I just get pretty proud of myself when I can hold it long enough to get a picture.

Save Money on YogaDownload.com

Do you want to practice yoga at home but need some guidance? I know from experience that YogaDownload.com has excellent instruction, choices of videos or audios, and a huge variety of yoga classes. I’ve been a member for several years and now I’m also an affiliate.

I talk about YogaDownload.com​ a lot because it is my favorite online yoga service.  Here is a Groupon​ to save $60 on an annual membership. It’s usually $90 and you can get it for $29! There is also a shorter term option. I bought one myself because my membership is up for renewal next week (perfect timing). Disclosure: This is not my regular affiliate link but I can earn an extra $12 back from Groupon if you use this link to purchase.

Saturday Shares. Favorites from the week:

Why I Run. No, this isn’t my post from a few days ago. Angela and I actually wrote a post and published on the same day. Similar, but different. Check it out.

11 Ways to Manage Stress and Feeling Overwhelmed. While my stress level is much lower than it was a few months ago, I was interested to see Christine’s suggestions for reducing stress.

Cross Training for Runners. If you’re a runner, you know you should cross train. Here are some great tips from Amanda.

15 Common Running Mistakes to Avoid. We’ve all made some (or all) of these, but it is still interesting (and informative) to know what we shouldn’t be doing.

Crawling to the Finish Line: Heroic or Stupid? I actually had a client tell me this story (so uninformed!). Amanda asks an interesting question.

Positioning Your Blog to Charge Higher Prices. Blog school just started last Monday, but even if you didn’t sign up Rita’s blog has so much great information.

Do the Things that make your Heart Race. Just the title of Lisa’s post makes me smile (and curious).

Vegetarian Pad Thai. Tina (along with Deborah) has been doing a Meatless Monday linkup for a few months. I haven’t posted many recipes lately, but I love checking in (especially when the recipe is vegan, as is this one).

Any fun plans for the weekend? Have you read (or written) any great posts this week to share?

5k Friday: Your 12 Week 5k Training Program, Week 8

Run a 5k 8Your 12 Week 5k Training Program, Week 8

By the end of week seven, you were running 20 minutes without stopping. Just think about that for a moment. You’re a runner! This week we will build on that, by increasing the time/distance. Remember to take a body check from time to time. Shin pain in particular, can plague new runners. We’ve taken it pretty slow in order to avoid injuries, but be sure to use ice as prescribed and if something hurts a little, take an extra day or two off. (Did you miss week one? Click here.)

This week you will start where you left off, with a 20 minute run. By the end of the week you will add several minutes onto that. Like the other weeks you will have three key workouts with two other easy days (one of which is optional). Don’t forget your stretching!

Remember, all workouts start with an 8-10 minute brisk warm-up walk. On your rest days, feel free to do some strength training, yoga, Pilates, etc.

Day One: After your warm up, run for 20 minutes. Cool down, stretch ice.

Day Two: Active recovery. After your warm up, run for 8 minutes. Walk for 30 seconds. Repeat. Cool Down and stretch.

Day Three: Warm up, Run for 10 minutes. Walk for one minute. Run for 10 minutes. Walk for run minute. Run for three minutes, then cool down.

Day Four: Rest.

Day Five: Warm up, the run for 23 minutes. Cool down, stretch, etc.

Day Six: (Optional) Active Recovery. Warm up, run for 15 minutes. Walk for one minute, then run for two more minutes.

Day Seven: Rest.

Coming next week: We will continue to add time/distance to your run, plus add an optional speed workout if you would like to get a little bit faster for your race.

Getting Faster

Getting_Faster.JPGRefer back to this post for information on whether you’re ready to add speed to your workout, how to find your goal pace, reasons for each workout as well as the first week of workouts to add to your training.

The Workouts:

The Long Run: At this point in your training, your long run should be at least six miles. You can keep it at that or add another half mile. To add a little mileage to your week, add a half mile to one of your other runs (not the speed workouts).

The Interval Workout: On the track for 800 meter repeats. After your 10 minute warm up, run 800 meters at slightly faster than your 5k pace (about 90-95% of VO2Max). Recover by jogging or walking 200 meters. Repeat five more times. Cool down by walking or jogging 400-800 meters. Stretch (and don’t forget to ice after your workout!)

The Lactate Threshold Workout: On the road for this workout. After your one mile easy warm up, run 10 minutes at slightly less that your 5k pace (about 85-90% of your maximal effort). Recover by jogging for two minutes. Repeat two more times. Cool down by jogging a half mile, and finish with a stretch.

Remember, in addition to these workouts, you can run another one-three days during the week, nice easy, shorter runs (recovery runs). A sample schedule can be found in this post.

Nice job on week eight. See you next week!

5k Friday: Your 12 Week 5k Training Program, Week 7

Run_a_5K_Program.JPG

Your 12 Week 5k Training Program, Week 7

While last week (week 6) was a bit of a break, that only served to make you stronger by giving your body a well deserved rest. At the end of week five, you were running 20 minutes with only one break. Fantastic! We’ll be building on that this week. (Did you miss week one? Click here.)

By the end of this week, you will be able to run your entire 20 minute workout without a break. Again, you will have three key workouts, with two other easy days (one of which is optional). Remember to listen to your body, take an extra day off if necessary, don’t skip your stretching, and finally, enjoy yourself. You’re a runner now.

Remember, all workouts begin with an 8-10 minute brisk walk, and finish with about a five minute walk, stretching, and icing. On your rest days, feel free to do some strength training, yoga, Pilates, etc.

Run_a_5K_Program.JPG

Day One: Repeat last week’s day six workout: Warm up. Run for 10 minutes. Walk for one minute. Repeat. Cool Down.

Day Two: Active Recovery Day. After your warm up, run for five minutes. Walk for 30 seconds. Repeat two more times.

Day Three: After your warm up, run for 15 minutes. Walk for 30 seconds. Run for five minutes. Cool Down.

Day Four: Rest

Day Five: Here it is! Warm up. Run for 20 minutes. Cool Down.

Day Six: (Optional) Active Recovery: Warm up, run for six minutes. Walk for 20 seconds. Repeat two more times.

Day Seven: Rest

Coming next week: Now that you can run for 20 minutes straight, we will start adding on more time/distance.

Getting Faster

Getting_Faster.JPG

Refer back to this post for information on whether you’re ready to add speed to your workout, how to find your goal pace, reasons for each workout as well as the first week of workouts to add to your training.

The Workouts

The Long Run: After several weeks of increasing your mileage, with one cutback week, you are probably running a sufficient distance in preparation for a 5k. If you want to continue to increase your mileage, go ahead and add on a half mile to this run. If you are running six miles or more for your long run, you really don’t need to add on more at this level of training. If you choose not to increase your long run, add a half mile to one of your other runs during the week (not the speed workouts). Don’t forget to stretch.

Getting_Faster.JPG

The Interval Workout: Back to basic speed work, on the track, 400 meter intervals. After your 10 minute warm up, run 400 meters at slightly faster than your your 5k pace (about 95% of VO2Max). Recover by jogging or walking 200 meters. Repeat 11 more times. Cool down by walking or jogging 400-800 meters. Stretch (and don’t forget to ice after your workout!)

The Lactate Threshold Workout: On the road for this basic tempo run. After your one mile easy warm up, run two miles at slightly less that your 5k pace (about 85-90% of your maximal effort). Cool down by jogging a half mile, and finish with a stretch.

Remember, in addition to these workouts, you can run another one-three days during the week, nice easy, shorter runs (recovery runs). A sample schedule can be found in this post.

Week seven is in the bag. See you next week!

Running Strong with (in spite of) Exercise Induced Asthma

I have suffered from Exercise Induced Asthma ever since I started running, especially once I started racing and training at a higher intensity level. I didn’t realize at first what was happening. At the end of a race I would feel dizzy, nauseous, and weak, and take up to an hour to feel better. I chalked it up to my hard effort and really didn’t worry too much about it. But, as these things do, it got worse. Here’s a little timeline of my history with Exercise Induced Asthma.

Exercise Induced Asthma

May 1996: I was running a 10k in Yucca Valley. It was shortly after Alan and I had met, and he was going to pace me to a PR. He did that, but I don’t remember the last 2/10 of a mile because I was so seriously oxygen deprived that I passed out at the finish line. While I never coughed or wheezed, I was not getting enough oxygen to fuel my muscles, and it took me over two hours to fully recover. For a while I couldn’t even lift my arms up. On a happier note, I did finish second overall and first in my age group.

Later that same week while on an easy run, I had my first incidence of a full blown asthma attack. I coughed, I wheezed, I cried (it’s very scary and emotional if you don’t know what’s happening) which made it even worse. Because my mother had suffered from asthma all her life, I figured out what was going on, made a doctor’s appointment and got my first inhaler.

December 1996: I ran my first marathon, in Honolulu. Starting about mile 16 in the race, I started having problems breathing and began using my inhaler. It slowed me down considerably, but I finished.

Honolulu-Marathon

1997: My doctor tried a variety of medications. At one point, I was using three different inhalers and a pill that I took daily. It did help, but that’s an awful lot of medicine.

1998: I created a holster in which I could carry my asthma inhaler. After seeing a woman using a similar one at the San Diego Marathon (it was a gift so she didn’t know where it came from), I used the belt loop part of a flashlight holster with a big paper clip. The inhaler fit perfectly and was easily at hand whenever I needed it. I should have patented it and gone into production. I was asked about it at every race I ever did.

June 2002: The first marathon I ever dropped out of because of my asthma, Rock and Roll in San Diego. You can fight through a lot of things, pain, tiredness, but you really need to be able to breathe, and I couldn’t. I also dropped out of the same race two years later. The only races I’ve ever dropped out of for any reason.

2006: After a knee injury slowed my times and I just got tired of fighting the asthma, I ran my last marathon. For the next few years, I continued to run and race, but never trained at a very high level. I still had the asthma problems during races, but they were infrequent enough so that I stopped taking all the preventative medications and just stuck with my rescue inhaler (albuterol).

2013: With renewed enthusiasm for running, I decided to train hard with a goal of running a sub-2 hour half marathon for the first time in years. That meant adding speed workouts back to my schedule and running longer and harder. It also meant the return of the asthma. Alan (who suffers from asthma too) had been having great success with montelukast, which is the generic version of Singulair. I decided I wanted to try it as well, and after multiple allergy and other tests given by my doctor, I picked up my first prescription.

Exercise Induced Asthma - Health Ox Oximeter

In my first race while using the montelukast, I still had a few issues. I think one of the problems is that I was taking it in the evening before bed. I should have taken it in the morning, a couple hours before the race. Hindsight is 20/20, but I will know this for next time. I did, however, accomplish my goal of running a two hour half marathon.

Fast forward to 2015. After running the Rock and Roll Marathon last June, my first in over eight years, I am now training for the SLO Marathon, which is in April. I have stated that I want to run a strong race, so that means thinking about asthma medication again. I’ll be sticking with the combination of montelukast, along with a rescue inhaler. I don’t start using the medication until about three months out from the race. That is when I start to increase both the intensity and distance of my runs. I’m hopeful that the combination of medication and sticking with my training program will get me across the finish line one more time.

That’s my story. Now a little bit about Exercise Induced Asthma.

What is Exercise Induced Asthma?

If you cough, wheeze or feel out of breath during or after exercise, it may be more than exertion that is the cause. If you feel tingling in your extremities, dizziness, or like you are breathing through a straw, you may be experiencing Exercise Induced Asthma. Even if you’ve never had any breathing issues in the past, EIA may be causing you to slow down, drop out, and begin to wonder if exercise is all it’s cracked up to be.

Having Exercise Induced Asthma does not mean that you should stop exercising. On the contrary, exercise helps to strengthen your entire cardio pulmonary system, and proper treatment of the condition can help keep you active, whether you are an elite level swimmer, an age group runner, or a weekend warrior.

Symptoms of Exercise Induced Asthma

Some of the symptoms of Exercise Induced Asthma include coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath, tightening in the chest, fatigue during exercise, and poor athletic poor performance. These can happen during or after exercise. Many people don’t realize they have EIA because they think the symptoms are their body’s response to exercise.

My personal symptoms start with a feeling like tingling in my extremities. I always think that they feel like they are not getting enough oxygen. I start to feel weak and my body suddenly needs to slow down. If I try to push through, I feel like the continued lack of oxygen will cause me to faint and even feel like I have encroaching blackness in my peripheral vision.

As asthma attack can be a life threatening occurrence. Get immediate medical help if your symptoms continue to worsen even after using a rescue inhaler or if your symptoms continue after you are finished with your workout.

Causes & Risk Factors

While no one really knows why one person suffers from EIA while another doesn’t, some things that increase the likelihood of an attack include cold, dry weather, air pollution, high pollen counts, chemicals (such as chlorine in a swimming pool), and having a cold or other respiratory infection.

Again, my personal experience is that warm, humid climates make it more likely to have an attack (contrary to everything I have read, but have heard from others). I also have difficulties at high altitudes, especially during the adaptation period. And while I will occasionally have an EIA attack during shorter, high intensity exercise, I seem to have more problems during lower intensity, but longer efforts.

Those who have asthma that is triggered by other causes are more likely to have EIA, as are children, smokers, and high intensity exerciser (like runners).

Treatment

asthma

So what is an athlete to do? For many people, a couple puffs from a quick relief inhaler such as Albuterol is enough to control symptoms.  These are called bronchodilators and can help open the airways during an attack as well.

If a bronchodilator is not enough, speak to your doctor regarding the medications that are available to prevent asthma attacks. This type of medication is taken on a daily basis to help reduce inflammation and keep your airway open.

In order to prevent an EIA attack, several things are known to help, including a long warm-up of 10 minutes or more, trying to breathe through your nose, covering your mouth in cold dry weather, and if allergens cause you to experience EIA, avoid them as much as possible (maybe skip a workout on a high pollen or pollution day).

Don’t stop exercising. As I mentioned, exercising improves your lung function, so it is an important factor in the control of asthma symptoms. And don’t be discouraged. It may take a while to find the right combination of medications. I have finished 36 marathons with (in spite of) Exercise Induced Asthma, with a PR of 3:16, and many races of shorter distances, so it is possible to race and train at a pretty high level.

Remember, I am not a doctor! If you are experiencing Exercise Induced Asthma symptoms or feel like you are having difficulties breathing during exercise consult your own physician. While I researched the topic, I am speaking from my own experience and yours may be completely different.