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Angela Joy Health & Fitness

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swim

Appreciate Who You Are Today

Appreciate who you are today, and what it took for you to get here. 

As I crossed the finish line of my second triathlon the first thoughts that crossed my mind were, “What was my time?” “Whats place did I finish in?” “Did I beat my time?”

wearsafe

This in unfortunate because I had such a great race and I was not taking the time to appreciate my experience, recognize how fortunate I was to even participate in the race, or express my gratefulness for the training the I had done over the past several months.

Instead I was ready to put myself down, sabotage my results, and only focus on the negative aspects of the race.

Yes, if you are trying to improve it is important to recognize your weaknesses and work to improve them. However, it is not healthy or beneficial to dwell over the negatives without giving recognition and value to the positives.

triathlon

Though I did not finish at the time that I had anticipated or the rank I was hoping for, I did pretty awesome.

My greatest strength of the race was the run, the second was the bike and the third was my transitions.

My greatest weakness was the swim.

Now that I have recognized my strengths and weaknesses I will examine the how and why?

The Swim: 1/2 mile – time 25:06 – 203rd place
– I finished it!
– The water was clear and beautiful
– I became very anxious
– I was not prepared to swim for that long of a distance (1/2 mile)
– I was not prepared to swim that fast
– I was not prepared to run in the water and then swim

Therefore, I learned that:
– I need to practice a racing start
– I need to learn to swim well with others around
– I need to practice sighting the booeys
– I need to swim longer with periods of speed
– I need to swim more often (3 times per week)
– Most importantly, I need to become comfortable swimming in the water

The Bike: 11.5 miles – time 40:44 – about 16 mph – 48th place
– I made up for the (significant) lost time in the swim
– I passed at least 50 people
– I loved the downhills, they were a lot of fun!
– The views were very scenic and beautiful!
– The women racing were all very kind and encouraging
– Picking people in front of you and then making it a goal to pass them is very helpful

I learned I need to:
– Learn how to effectively change gears (how, why and when)
– Cycle faster and more efficiently
– Learn how to effectively pass in a race (proper bike etiquette)
– How to properly fuel and hydrate on the bike
– Get a good racing bike (for sure)
– Preparing my mind for the run
– Save my legs for the run

The Run: 3.1 miles – time 23:09 – 6th place
– I did fantastic! I ran 3.1 miles in 23 minutes, which is not my best time, but I am happy with it after having swam and biked
– I passed another 50 or so women
– I felt awesome running! I ran strong and effortlessly.
– I had fun and got into a comfortable racing rhythm
– I did not get hurt, which was great because we ran through trails

I learned I need to:
– Practice running after biking (pre-planned brick workouts)
– Improve my speed and running economy
– Prepare for the run mentally
– Give some more time to cycling and swimming while maintaining my running ability 🙂

appreciatte

Overall, I am appreciative that I was able to participate in my second spring triathlon race.

Though I did not finish where I would have liked to, there is a great deal of room for improvement.

I learned that I need to take the strengths that I have, recognized the weaknesses, and most importantly appreciate where I am.

Six months ago I knew nothing about triathlons and was intimidated to get into the water. Today, I have completed two sprint triathlon races, one of which included a half mile open water swim (something I never thought I could do) and I ended up finishing 41st in the race and 5th in my age group.

Yes, I do want to improve. Yes, I want to be faster. Yes, I want to become a better, faster and stronger athlete.

All of these goals take time. They must be recognized as goals.

appreciate-now

The only way to achieve a goal is to recognize where you are right now (your starting point), create a plan, and finally begin taking steps to achieve your goal.

Anything worth having is worth waiting for. You will appreciate something much more if you spend time working hard to achieve it. You are worthy of greatness, you just need to allow yourself time to get there.

Nobody become a pro-athlete overnight. Everything in life takes time.

Appreciate where you are RIGHT NOW, then take steps to move towards where you want to be. You will get there – at the right time, the right place, and with the right people.

value
❤ Wishing you love, joy and blessings,

Take some time and appreciate yourself for where you are right now.

-Angela Joy

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How Cross-Training Can Improve Runner Performance

By: Angela Ciroalo

In this article I will share my experience with over-training and how it led me to recognize the importance of cross training for runners and athletes alike.

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How Over-Training Led Me to Love Cross-Training

 

In the beginning of the summer I, like many other runners, selected my next big race. I chose a fall marathon to motivate me to train throughout the summer.

I excitedly marked the date of the race down on my calendar and counted the amount of weeks I had to train. I studied the course. I read the race reviews. I even purchased new shoes and shoe-inserts to ensure injury prevention.

Since my last marathon in November I continued a frequent running schedule. I ran one high mileage run, one speed workout, and one interval workout, per week.  I felt great and fully prepared to begin training for my next marathon, or so I thought.

I was nearly finished with my first week of training when I ran into an unexpected road block. I turned the corner to finish the last straight-away of my final run for the week when pain shot down my iliotibial band muscle and down into my knee. I ran a few more steps and the pain did not dismiss, therefore I decided it was best for me to walk.

I felt defeated. I wondered what I did wrong and whether or not this would prevent me from competing in my next marathon.

Without jumping to conclusion, I decided to take it easy for the next few days. The following day I attended a Pilates class.

The day after, I ran on an elliptical.

The third day I went for a bike ride.

By day four I noticed I was sore from the different types of exercises that I had been doing. The soreness led me to a realization; I had been so focused on running to prepare for the next race that I was completely ignoring the muscles in the rest of my body.

My main focus was the amount of miles I ran per week and the time that I was able to complete each run in.

The aches and pains I felt were all overlooked. The monotony of my workouts was overlooked. And, most importantly, the stress my body was feeling from only running – was overlooked.

I, like many runners, was caught up with the ambition to run farther and faster. I had become so engulfed with perfecting my running that the other areas of my bodies were dismissed, leading to an overuse injury.

Why Cross Train?

According to marathon runner and author Matthew Fitzgerald cross training for runners can aid in preventing injuries, create quicker rehabilitation time, create greater aerobic fitness, increases the runner’s power, and improve the runner’s efficiency.

Some runners believe that there is no replacement for running. This approach may work for some, however I found in my experience that it did not work for me.

I experienced a very common overuse injury which I am working to rehabilitate and strengthen through cycling, shorter runs, Cybex® Arc training, strength training and Pilates exercises.

None of these exercises were included in my previous training plan. Since incorporating these exercises I feel stronger, faster, and as if my overall fitness level has improved dramatically.

In addition to incorporating these change in my training schedule I decided to run a half marathon instead of a full marathon this fall.

The cross training activities that I will have been working on are only a few of the many exercises available.

Types of Cross Training

Cross Training

Photo taken from completetrackandfield.com

The website Marathontraining.com lists several types of cross training that specifically benefit runners.

Cross training exercises recommended for runners by marathontraining.com include; cycling, swimming, the Elliptical trainer, Cybex® Arc trainer, deep water running, an Ergometer (rowing) machine, Nordic Track Ski-Simulator machine, Stair-Master, Versa-Climber, walking and strength training.

The American Running Association [ARA] references studies that proved the benefit of cycling, weight training and walking for runners.

The ARA found in a study completed by the University of Utah that interval cycling workouts increase speed without the impact of running sprints.

The ARA found in a study completed by Ron Johnston at the University of New Hampshire in Durham that resistance weight training in the upper and lower parts of the body increased runner’s speed in a 10 kilometer run.

The ARA stated that walking is another beneficial activity for runners. The ARA referenced the Jeff Galloway Marathon Training Program, which educates runners on the benefits of walking and running slowly, and found that walking can improve runner’s endurance.

Another area of cross-training to consider is taking exercise classes. Activities such as Pilates, yoga, Zumba, cardio exercise classes and aqua classes, will each offer different benefits to runners.

Each of the cross training activities listed are beneficial to runner’s seeking to avoid injury and improve fitness level.

We are all different; the cross training exercise that works best for you may not work for me.  Try giving each of the different types a try, allowing yourself to explore what works best for you and your body.

Inspiration ❤ 

This month’s inspirational running quote to get you started towards better health comes from runner, author and columnist John Hanc,”At least 99-percent of running is just showing up, getting out there and putting one foot in front of the other.”

This article was adapted from an article published in Night & Day Magazine

Running motivation

Capable of so much more

❤ Wishing you love, joy and blessings,

Angela Joy

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