This Runner's Trials
30Jul/127

Best body bootcamp 2.0: Week 1

Posted by runnerstrials

We’re one week into Best Body Bootcamp round 2 and I’m loving it just as much as last time around. I was sore after every workout this week. Definitely a success in my book!

My favorite move of the week was crossover lunge with side raise. Tina reintroduced me to crossover lunges in the last round of bootcamp, and I was excited to take it up a notch by including upper body this time. These lunges always make my booty hurt. Such a good feeling!

I was also impressed by the core exercises. I’m such an ab work slacker. I’m not a fan of planks (because they hurt my shoulders) and I feel like I have to do so many crunches to feel anything (likely because I’m doing them incorrectly), so I usually skip abs. But the seemingly simple ab routine that Tina created was fun, quick, and left my abs sore the next day. This may be just what I need to get into regular core work.

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Here’s my run down of workouts for the week. As always, I switched around the suggested schedule to meet my needs:

  • M: 3.7mi run at 8:06 including 20min of HIIT, BBB workout A
  • Tu: 20 min bike trainer, BBB workout B
  • W: OFF
  • Th: 5mi run at 8:06, 3 sets BBB abs
  • F: 4mi run untimed
  • S: 7.5mi run at 7:52 (treadmill), 3 sets BBB abs
  • S: 1000m pool swim (first pool swim since the day before I went into labor. I got a dose of Olympic inspiration!), BBB workout C

(A few people asked me to share more specifics about my runs since the interval post, and I plan to do that soon.)

Just like last time, Tina requested that we pick two other goals to work on throughout the program. Mine include:

  • Be in bed by 10pm each night: Fail. I was only in bed by 10pm two times this week. I submitted a time-consuming project today, so hopefully I’ll do better this week.
  • Only 1 dessert per day: Yup, I’m bringing this one back. Since I don’t nurse Wyatt overnight most of the time anymore, my sweet tooth hasn’t been quite as bad. Still, I’m eating way more sugar than I’d like. I’m happy to say I met this goal 6 of 7 days!

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(in spite of making 2 batches of these guys!)

27Jul/1211

The key to getting results

Posted by runnerstrials

How do I get faster? How do I make running feel easier? How do I stay motivated to run? How do I lose weight?

Newbie and experienced runners alike often ponder these questions. Each question comes with plenty of “right” answers. But there’s one answer that fits all of these questions.

Interval training.

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Interval training is the key to getting results. All results! It can help you gain speed, get fit, stave off boredom, and shed pounds.

I’m sure most of you guys know what interval training is. Basically, you alternate spurts of high-intensity exercise (work intervals) with periods of low-intensity activity (recovery intervals) for the duration of a workout. This strategy keeps your body guessing. Doing the same workout every day will eventually cause you to plateau- and you’ll stop getting results.

Most of us think of the 1 minute on/ 1 minute off approach or mile repeats when we hear interval training. But I’d argue that any time you change up the intensity of your workout it counts.

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For instance, I consider tempo runs, negative split runs, and hilly runs to be intervals. Not technically accurate, but hear me out. You’re still doing work and recovery intervals, even if the recovery period is more intense than a real recovery. And in some cases (not for tempo runs, though), you’re still getting anaerobic exercise.

I rarely hold a consistent pace for an entire run. It’s just too boring. Switching up my pace is fun, partly because I love feeling like I’m getting a hard workout. Even on long runs, my goal is always to do the last 2-3 miles at race pace.

The short version is this: steady state workouts are great for recovery or when you just need an easy day. But you also need to interval train regularly if you want to get faster, stronger, fitter, or leaner.

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So next time you find yourself dreading a run, challenge yourself to run each mile faster than the previous one. When you’re bored mid-run, pick up the pace even if it’s just for a minute or two. When you’re faced with a big hill, run up it as fast as you can and allow yourself to slow down only after you reach the top. Keep this up and eventually your body will reward you!

(Source: American Council on Exercise)

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25Jul/1293

Planning the next one

Posted by runnerstrials

I’ve been working on a pregnancy/ birth complications project for the past few weeks, and I cannot stop thinking about one of the risk factors: pregnancy spacing.

According to some studies, having pregnancies too close together- or even too far apart- may cause health problems for mom or baby.

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Getting pregnant again in fewer than 6, 12, or 18 months (the time interval varies between sources) after giving birth to a live baby ups the risk for preterm birth, bleeding during pregnancy, placenta previa or abruption, low birth weight, and uterine rupture during a VBAC in the subsequent pregnancy (source, source). One study even found a higher chance of autism in the second child if pregnancies were spaced fewer than 36 months apart (source).

Experts aren’t sure why this happens. One theory is that pregnancy and breast-feeding stresses your body and depletes your nutritional stores. If you don’t give your body long enough to fully recover, you put yourself and your next baby at risk.

However, other experts believe that it’s not the actual interval between pregnancies that causes these issues. Rather it’s behavioral risk factors, stress, and socioeconomic disadvantages that are more common in women with closely spaced pregnancies.

Then at the other end of the spectrum, having 5 or more years between pregnancies is linked with preeclampsia, slow labor and delivery, preterm birth, and low birth weight (source).

So, what’s a mom to do?

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Some experts suggest waiting 18- 24 months- but no more than 5 years- between pregnancies for optimal health for mom and baby. Other doctors suggest waiting a full year after finishing breast-feeding before getting pregnant to give your body enough time to completely replenish your nutritional stores.

I don’t mean to make light of the research, but there’s a lot of other factors that impact pregnancy spacing! Like age, known fertility issues, finances, and personal preferences.

I was told by both my RE and my OB/Gyn to start trying for baby #2 as soon as Wyatt turns one (in 4 months). I have endometriosis, and it can grow back within 1- 2 years after giving birth. I don’t want surgery again (it wasn’t covered by our insurance at all, plus I like to avoid being cut open when possible!), so it makes sense to start trying for the next one soon. Besides, we want our kids somewhat close in age, and it took 19 months to get pregnant with Wyatt so we need to get started early.

But I’m still breast-feeding. I enjoy it, and so does Wyatt. I don’t want to wean him at all before his first birthday, and I’d love to nurse him for as long as he wants to.

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Here’s the issue: I still don’t have my period back (I feel really weird saying this since I never got my period without fertility drugs anyway). I’m going to cut down on my running intensity and put on some more weight after my October/ November races (I realize the irony since I just wrote about my postpartum weight loss), but what if I still don’t get my period? Then I’ll need to head back to the RE and start fertility drugs again. But guess what? Fertility drugs are contraindicated while breast-feeding.

Basically, I’ll likely need to stop nursing Wyatt in order to get pregnant with his sibling. I feel kind of weird doing that, but the longer I wait to get pregnant, the more likely it is that I’ll have to deal with endometriosis again.

Obviously this is all just speculation. Who knows, maybe this won’t be an issue. Maybe Wyatt won’t be as into nursing in a few more months. Maybe my period will magically appear. Maybe I’m pregnant now (kidding, I’m not). Maybe I’ll be able to nurse Wyatt while I’m pregnant (which would be so cool).

I have a few questions for you guys. How long did you or do you plan to wait between kids? Nursing moms, when did your periods come back (if you don’t mind sharing, I really appreciate your input).

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