In this issue:
- Running Away From Grief
- Running Hydration System Product Endorsement
- Don’t Forget to Eat
- This Month’s Book Recommendation
Summer has come and gone and I realize that I haven’t stayed in touch. This summer two very close family members passed away and it has been one long, grief-stricken summer for me. Needless to say, I stopped running for a while. Some days I honestly found it hard enough just to walk. Time is passing and I’m not really sure that I can say that the pain is passing yet, but the intensity of it is. I am back running and I also joined a Body Sculpt class 4 weeks ago, so I manage to get 6 workouts a week in now – 4 cardio and 2 strength training.
I know in my heart and mind that my running history and the sheer will to continue with it is what has kept me going. Some deep innate sense that I have took over and willed me to get back out running again. So my running started with walks but before too long I was able to get right back into a running routine.
Running Away From Grief
I literally felt some days that I was actually running from my grief, but, in fact, my running was releasing my grief and allowing positive feelings to enter my mind. I attribute this to what is known as a runner’s high. Running releases a neurotransmitter called endorphins. Endorphins are a mood enhancing and chemically similar to morphine and play the part of a natural painkiller. When your body releases endorphins, they help to counteract depression and basically make you feel good.
Some experts argue as to what point a runner’s high kicks in. Some say that it’s just adrenaline, while others say that your body has to be at the point of exhaustion for the mind to take over and the endorphins to kick in. I have read many articles on endorphins and in the end what I know is what I really feel. I know that the ability to get out for my morning run takes the edge off my grief-stricken thoughts and mindset; it also sets my attitude for the day and makes my body and mind feel good.
I believe that regular running has the same effect on our day to day stressful lives. If you are a regular runner who is over-whelmed with lives commitments and stress, please keep running and the rest will fall into place.
Running Hydration System Product Endorsement
I don’t know what your experiences have been with trying to run with a water bottle, but through my years of running, I have always had trouble with my hydration systems or water bottle holders and I’ve tried many in an attempt to find the right one. In the past, my water bottle ALWAYS bounces hits me in my tailbone. I’ve often turned it around so that the water bottle is in the front but that’s not a very comfortable position either. I pretty well gave up. I would rely on my running partners to share their water (not a popular option) or I would make sure that I ran on routes with water fountains. Still not the best way to replace the water lost through running.
Back in the beginning of summer I went for a run with a friend, who is also the manager of our local running store and also the run leader for our marathon training clinics. What a wealth of knowledge. While we were running, he let me try out his hydration system and I couldn’t even tell that I had it on. The hydration system he owned was the 4 Bottle Fuel Belt. Each bottle holds 7 ounces of fluid. Because we were on a shorter run, he only had 2 of the bottles full of water, but you can carry up to 28 ounces of fluid and it also comes with a useful storage pocket big enough for keys, money or gel packs. It doesn’t bounce and it doesn’t chafe. I tried to order one for myself in the summer but they were on back order so I’ve just reminded myself to get my order in. Road Runner Sports has them available for $31.99 (regular price). This was almost half the price of our local running store.
Don’t Forget to Eat
Most of us runners aren’t too hungry immediately following our runs, so we usually stretch, shower and then eat sometime later when we are hungry. Right? Well, if we want our next run to feel good and also be a good quality workout, it is important that we replace the glycogen that our body burns during our run.
Glycogen is produced by enzymes in our body and is stored in our muscles. Our body uses glycogen (energy) as fuel on our runs. When running long distances, such as marathon runners, our body will sometimes run out of glycogen (energy). This is what is known as hitting the wall.
Refueling “Replacing the Glycogen“ The enzymes that break down our food and replace glycogen to our muscles are working at maximum efficiency within the first hour after a run. About 50% more glycogen can be stored if carbohydrates are consumed during that hour following a run.
Low glycogen stores will limit your exercise intensity and you will get exhausted much quicker, so it’s important that you fuel up within that hour. Experts suggest that you eat 3 grams of carbs to 1 gram of protein. Glycogen is produced through simple carbs and the protein is used to repair damage of your muscle tissue.
Here are some great food options for refueling after your run:
- Bagel with peanut butter (my favorite)
- Cereal and yogurt
- Whole wheat tortilla with scrambled eggs
- Fruit smoothie
- Tuna salad sandwich (whole wheat bread)
- Fruit and yogurt
Book Recommendation: The Triathlete’s Training Bible
I realize that this book recommendation is for triathletes, but I thought that since there is definitely some cross-over between triathletes and runners, I would go ahead with this recommendation anyway since it is such a great book.
Back in 2000, when my husband and I decided to conquer Ironman Canada we thought it best to get on a proper training program. Up until then, we had complete many triathlons and quite a few half Ironmans, but the full Ironman was a different ballgame. Not something you could fake. Joe Friel’s Triathlete’s Training Bible was recommended to me. I ordered my copy online. And I would recommend online ordering without hesitation. When I ordered this book, the nearest book store to have it in stock was 40 km away from where I live. I placed the order online and it was at my doorstep 24 hours later and it ended up costing me less than if I had of driven the 40 km to buy it. I see that there is a new edition out since the version that I own. The Triathlete’s Training Bible covers specialized training needs of triathletes, nutrition, recover and weight training. It also contains advice on the mental aspect of training and how to achieve great fitness by examining personal strengths and weaknesses. It also includes worksheets that you can use to design your personal training program. Happy Trails!!
Until next time.