EARNED RUNS HONOR SERIES 2017 PART II: 7K PEARL HARBOR REMEMBRANCE DAY
The first event of the two-part series, explained on the HOME page, is the "11k Race to Remember 9/11". This past September represented the third year (2015 was the inaugural year of the Series) in which the anniversary of the World Trade Center terrorist attack was memorialized by Earned Runs with an 11K run.
7K Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day is the series second event, completed several months later on December 7th. It commemorates the Japanese attack on the US Naval base in Hawaii in 1941 that brought the nation into World War II. The two days of remembrance, 9/11 and 12/7, might not be linked in the minds of the public, but represent days on which unexpected attacks were made on the United States. In the case of Pearl Harbor, many persons serving in the US Armed Forces were killed or injured. On 9/11 civilians and rescue workers were predominantly effected.
Remembering the losses incurred and sacrifices made in these two instances causes us to reflect that all of life’s events cannot be anticipated. On each anniversary, it seems appropriate to acknowledge the actions of others from which we have benefitted. And hope we will respond with courage and strength when needed.
My parents’ generation experienced an immense disruption on December 7, 1941. The futures they had dreamed of the night before were not to be. My children’s futures were similarly altered on that 11th September day in 2001. Their generation, of Millennials, is said to have been defined by it. Thus, Earned Runs ‘remembers’ these two events.
DECEMBER 7, 2017: The morning was very snowy, the road icy, and wind very brisk. It was the first day of Winter Storm Benji. I decided to walk the distance in a knee-length down coat, leather mittens, and knit hat. This apparel would have been difficult to run in, but made getting out in the weather, after a bout with influenza the week before, much more comfortable. Next time the outdoor conditions are this fierce I will wear warm boots instead of running shoes. My phone shut down in the cold, so pictures weren't taken in the early morning. Later in the day when the snow stopped I snapped a quick pic to record the day's event.
The advantage of using EARNED RUNS bibs, is that you can design walks or runs that are meaningful to you alone or a much greater number of people regardless of everyone's location. In this instance I am able, 'in spirit', to join with the entire country in honoring the heroes of those days without traveling to New York City, Washington DC, or Pennsylvania in September, or in Oahu HI in December. And in solitude, personally remember loved ones and past events.
‘ON TO THE NEW YEAR’ 2017-18 5K TRAINING PLAN STARTS. THE DIFFICULTY LIKELY TO BE ENCOUNTERED THIS WEEK is the pressure of time. The Jewish holy days of Hanukkah begin this week, at sundown on December 12, and extends through December 20 sundown. The US Post Office deadlines for mailing are approaching. These are the “Recommended send-by dates for expected delivery by December 25”. The nearest is December 14 for Ground Retail packages. Next up is December 19 for First Class Mail.
Religious group and charity organization-sponsored “giving” or “angel” tree deadlines will hit on the next weekend or shortly after. Toys and gifts for the needy should be wrapped and ready for delivery soon. Holiday parties may be scheduled back-to-back this weekend. College students might be making their way home this week too.
There could be many reasons to think that 42 minutes is just too long to take to complete a run:walk session this Tuesday, for example. Resist the urge to bail on the training plan. Use some sessions as time to collect composure and thoughts. I’m getting a bit nervous writing about it, but I’ve walked already this morning. Tomorrow is a travel day, so to prevent trying to find a way to get it done at the last minute, I switched days with Monday.
Moving your legs in a purposeful manner over a set distance should feel much better than wandering from shop to shop looking for the perfect gift for a problem giftee. Don’t give up. Stick with the program as long as you are healthy enough to do so.
And tell yourself “GOOD JOB”!
TRADITIONAL YET HEALTHY FOODS Sometimes the manners of nutrition-conscious runners, walkers, and fitness enthusiasts at holiday feast get-togethers can seem lacking. They might load up on vegetable dishes, pick at honored-recipe side dishes, scrape away main-dish sauces, and skip dessert. To avoid weight gain. They can be annoying.
How to remedy this situation if you host the meal? Ignore the implied slight that your spread may be an over-the-top calorie expense? Be prepared to chalk up the extra weight that’s bound to appear on your own scale as the cost of being a good host/hostess? Maybe it’s time to update feast essentials. Or stick with some of the old recipes but choose a few to revamp. It could be that simplified prep methods will leave you less than exhausted after preparing the big meal.
Jennifer Fox provides a line-up of foods that are OFTEN included on traditional holiday tables in a slideshow article for ACTIVE.com, “The 15 Healthiest Holiday Foods”. Only two of the suggestions are accompanied by recipes; calories-saving preparation tips are offered with the others.
Fox’s approach emphasizes that generally, ‘healthy’ dishes tend to require the fewest additions to the plain, main, ingredient. The natural flavors of vegetables, fruit, and meat can be heighted with spices, while the addition of fat, sugar, and salt can be kept to a minimum. Thankfully there are recipes to follow for the whole-grain gingerbread pancakes and potato pancakes, which look yummy.
She takes an array of standard but colorful, nutrient-rich holiday favorites that might be considered ho-hum tired, and elevates them through this approach: fresh veggie starter, roasted carrots, steamed green beans, cooked collard greens, roast turkey, sweet potato casserole, cranberry sauce, and pumpkin pie dessert. We would pay top dollar for these dishes, pictured in her article, in an upscale “farm-to-table” style restaurant.
Stuffing (my family calls it dressing) is something that can be prepared in a manner to make it ‘healthier’, but sometimes deserves not to be altered too much. The best advice might be urge guests to cut back on serving size and enjoy, in my opinion.
She throws in some surprises (we won’t give them away here); click through the entire piece to learn more.
WORD TO THE WISE: If you’re a picky-athlete-eater guest, get off your self-righteous behind and offer to bring a few dishes like those in Fox’s article. AND bring a bottle of nice red wine and some chocolates with you.
INFLUENZA MAY PEAK BEFORE CHRISTMAS! DIAL DOWN COMEBACK EXPECTATIONS
A STATnews.com article by Helen Branswell, who obtained information from experts at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, indicates that the peak of the influenza season may come earlier than the usual January to February period; before Christmas, in fact!
The article also indicates that the strain of virus responsible for the early cases, “at the moment”, is Influenza A/H3N2, which is typically more severe than other strains and tends to hit older adults a bit harder. The North American pattern is following that of the recent severe Australian season that also showed a later peak of cases caused by influenza B, also tough on older adults.
What’s older? The article doesn’t say specifically, but this age is usually identified as 65 and above. However, younger adults will feel the effects of an influenza infection as well, which includes fever and chills, cough, headache, bad sore throat, muscle aches, and fatigue.
Adding agony to the prediction of an early tough flu season is the finding that this year’s vaccine may be less protective than in previous years. A known weakness of the vaccination manufacturing process is that viruses grown in eggs may undergo mutations. In this vaccine, the virus underwent a change that decreased the body’s ability to mount a vigorous antibody response to it. As a result, the effectiveness of the H3 component of the vaccine may be as low as 10%, the article indicates.
I am thinking, What a difference a few weeks will make!” Because being cold, over-tired, poorly nourished, and stressed can increase susceptibility to viral infection, the shift to an earlier circulation of influenza viruses within the population will be bad news for many in the pre-holiday rush. It’s a set-up that can weaken natural defenses that fight the flu.
People of all ages will have more pressure to socialize, thus get less sleep, and possibly adopt less healthy eating and drinking habits in the upcoming weeks. To make matters worse we’ll be mingling in close quarters, shaking hands and giving friendly hugs. Spreading good cheer, and (ugh) possibly more. Our exercise routines may be ‘busted’ by all the partying, hurried preparations, and travel. We’ll be feeling guilty about that, and possibly try unsuccessfully to maintain impossible exercise standards.
When influenza hits, runners and fitness enthusiasts will be among the fallen. And we may want to get up and out of bed as soon as possible to start working out again. There might be hopeful thoughts that if we continue working out per usual the infection can be exercised-away. It can’t.
If you do contract the illness* you won’t feel like running or completing tough training and exercise sessions while febrile and sick, and you shouldn’t! Afterward, resist the impulse to immediately return to vigorous exercise. An article by Pip Coates for executivestyle.com quotes an expert who recommends returning at a 60-75% level and limiting sessions to walking only or walk/run combination, only after several fever-free days.
Ultra-runner Joe Uhan wrote a cautionary article in 2014 about the pitflalls of making a training comeback too soon after a serious flu-like illness in “Down with the Sickness: Guidelines for Running During and After the Flu.” It’s long and scary, based on his personal experience. He specifically refers to complications related to the H1N1 Influenza A virus, which circulated that year, like inflammation of the heart muscle (myocarditis) and skeletal muscle (myositis).
Most will not know the specific strain with which we are infected, however, and should take general precautions. A search of the medical literature does not provide much guidance on this topic. Uhan’s article proposes a REASONABLE FORMULA: for every 1 day of fever (temperature above 100.4 degreesF, 38 degreesC), avoid hard exercise/running for 4-7 days. This means that if you have experienced 3 days of fever, you should be taking 12-21 days (~2-3 weeks) off, and then easing back into exercise.
Some who have recently been ill with fever from influenza won’t think this time-off is excessive, but other runners will mentally struggle with taking a long rest. Actually, the timing of this year’s flu season peak offers a perfect opportunity for recovery. The holiday crush prevents many from keeping to a normal schedule anyway. If you succumb to the flu, why not write off the rest of the month of December, enjoy the SEASON, and ease back into regular workouts after January 1.
Being laid low by a sickness is never convenient; the busy holiday season is the least “wonderful time of the year” for it. But use the opportunity to give yourself a physical and mental break in the name of rest and renewal.
*Stay in bed and rest while you have a fever, minimize exposing others, and follow the usual recommendations to treat symptoms. If at risk for developing more serious complication (older, pregnant, have other pre-existing diseases) seek medical help as soon as possible.
https://www.cdc.gov/flu/about disease/complications.htm /
NO-SWEAT FITNESS YEAR PREP ‘WORK* NOW THAT IT'S DECEMBER we can start to anticipate the coming of Hanukkah, Christmas, New Year, and other winter holidays. Many will become mentally and physically involved in preparing for the gift giving, feasting, and socializing. Others will, well, just get carried along and enjoy it all without making much of an effort. You can decide who is who in your family and circle of friends.
I find some anticipation and planning activities to be as fun, if not more so, as the actual festivities. Many holiday joys cannot be experienced unless the PREP WORK is performed. Making Christmas cookies for example. They are delicious to eat, but a lot of the enjoyment comes from having some to share and talk about the baking with others.
It’s possible to feel the same way about fitness. Researching and plotting out what I WILL DO is quite exciting as I visualize the effect of my future work on my future body: stronger, more capable and functional, and possibly faster. Think of it, you can begin to PREP NOW for mid-January, when a plan should be ready for execution, just by reading, digesting information, and dreaming, sweat-free.
NO EXERCISING IS REQUIRED. How easy is that?
It’s important to internalize that a smart mental approach to fitness will help advance your physical efforts. During this busy holiday time, make things easy for yourself. Start thinking about the coming year and, before sitting down to develop a firm plan once the craziness has died down, cast a wide net to gather information that serves two purposes.
First, attempt to build an image of the athlete you wish to become. Second, seek advice and find programs that appeal to you as ‘do-able’ and for which the promised results fit with that athletic image. You have the same advantage as the elites, all have 24 hours a day in which to train, recover, and maintain a positive attitude.
A smart, individualized plan is an essential foundation for effective fitness work.
But wait, don’t stop short in your planning. Consider this…
A recent personal growth article in the medium.com digest, “Why You Should Be Planning for 2019, Not 2018” by Benjamin P Hardy suggests we look several years, instead of several months, ahead. The piece starts off with a reference to J.K. Rowling and her writing of the Happy Potter series of books. George Lucas and Star Wars is also mentioned. Attention getting! The author wanted readers to see that more may be possible if the much longer view is taken when planning future moves, (like starting out with episodes 4, 5, and 6 rather than 1, 2, and 3 in the SW sci-fi classic).
I had not thought this way since my medical school days, when years of education and training needed to be plotted, financed, scheduled, and completed. Certainly, there was no possibility of episode skipping back then. I am starting to be excited about the prospect of a new multi-year future, and am passing it along here, as well as providing the link to the article.
t’s the kind of Eureka! moment that I needed this month.
* Updated for December 7, 2017
25 GOLDEN RULES OF RUNNING FROM RUNNERS WORLD: To help countdown the 25 days remaining this month until the New Year, try reviewing or learning for the first time, “The 25 Golden Rules of Running: Time-tested, Universally Accepted Axioms of the Sport” by Bob Cooper. Earned Runs has updated a BLOG post from November 23, 2016 that featured the Runnersworld.com piece. The article was re-posted in the spring too, because the advice truly is ‘golden’.
This one 'LISTICLE' packs a punch; it hits subjects runners may not realize are important to being successful in their sport, some that would only come up once a problem was encountered. I’ve lived/run by them all, learning one at a time, through reading, absorbing advice handed down from trainers or other runners, or personal experience. You may have run across various versions of each. They are all here and can also be found through the link on the RESOURCES page.
Possibly the wisdom of each rule (and the exceptions) won’t be fully recognized by those of you who are new to the sport until the issues personally present themselves later in your running careers. You might wish to print and keep this gem of an article in your “files”; (gym bag, refrigerator, locker, etc.), and make notes that customize the rules.
The #1RULE, on SPECIFICITY, will be discussed in detail later this month, to help you start with mental planning for January 2018.
Start counting tomorrow!
SOFT HANDS, WARM RUN Earned Runs has previously expressed 'love' for using Nivea™ In-Shower Nourishing Body Lotion for a quick body moisturizing routine after workout cleanups. The product appears on the GEAR LOVE page. Keeping skin healthy is particularly difficult in the winter months. Exposure to harsh outdoor conditions plus dry indoor environments, when the furnace is needed for warmth, is the combination that presents the greatest challenge.
Over the Thanksgiving weekend another challenging situation presented itself; repeated hand washing. With meal preparations underway there were many times that simple rinsing was needed to remove clinging food. My hands weren’t dirty in the same way as after a restroom visit, but they still went under the water and got a quick scrub & dry.
Then a cold settled in with some of the family, and infection-control meant more hand washing. Ugh. My hands ached after a while. The use of an ointment left my hands greasy. Worse, it was washed away with the next trip to the sink.
The idea came to me that I could apply the Nivea after simple rinsing OR honest washing. Another quick rinse and a dry and my hands were quickly moisturized. After a while, when only simple rinsing was needed I used the Nivea in place of soap.
Keeping bottles (I prefer the Almond Oil version for very dry skin) next to the kitchen and bathroom sinks has saved my hands. It’s an extra step, but doesn’t require as much effort as a separate application of hand lotion. The drying towels must be changed a bit more frequently, but it seems a small price to pay to wash a few extra towels.
Now when I head outdoors in the cold morning for exercise, the mittens feel good on my soft hands!
THERE ARE CLASSIC ELEMENTS OF GOOD RUNNING FORM to which many experts will refer when asked about this topic. Playmakers.com offers links to GoodFormRunning.com, which provides free graphics demonstrating running and walking form.
The 4 most commonly quoted elements are: 1) Run with tall posture, looking forward; 2) Lean forward at the ankles; 3) Land softly at mid-foot first, keeping strides short, cadence high; and 4) Hold arms at sides, shoulders relaxed, at an angle of 90 degrees.
The classic elements of good WALKING form are very similar, except that the number 3 advice is to LAND softly on the heel first, rolling to midfoot. As with runners, walkers are cautioned not to over-stride, but to take short steps, NOT longer strides.
Notice that the arm position is the same whether walking or running. It is not economical or helpful to let the arms hang slack and straight. Pulling the elbows back and more rapidly can help propel you forward. The faster the arms move the faster the legs move (I cannot find a specific reference that explains, but Earned Runs is currently working on arm swing as a Science Friday topic to further understand the mechanics).
This advice is fine for running or walking at one pace, in my opinion. What do runners and walkers do to speed up? Do the same thing but “faster”? The answer is partly to increase muscle strength and correct imbalances/asymmetries which will prevent maintaining proper form at higher speeds for longer runs or walks. That’s why good training plans incorporate strength, balance, and mobility work; to help you avoid side-side wobbling when moving forward is the goal.
However, the answer may not be that simple. Matt Fitzgerald wrote and updated a piece for Running.Competitor.com about running form that seems to throw out all the classic advice. Runners hoping to train for speed will find Fitzgerald’s take very helpful. In a nutshell (the full article is best) he says that two stride characteristics lead to the most economical (speedy) running: 1) slowing down (decelerating) as little as possible as the foot hits the ground and 2) spending as little time as possible in contact with the ground.
He explains research that demonstrated “the most economical runners slow down the least between strides and the least economical runners slow down the most”. The term for this stride characteristic is “sagittal plane accelerations”
Other research showed that “the less time a given runner’s foot spent in contact with the ground, the more economical-and faster- he was”. This stride characteristic is “ground contact time”.
Take shorter, more rapid steps, this expert seems to be saying. If you’re interested, read the article. This BLOG post hopes to introduce information that assists runners and walkers in gaining speed, not coaching.
Fitzgerald mentions the stride characteristics of Meb Keflezighi and there is a link embedded in the article to a video in which the marathon champion struts his stuff and reveals 3 tips.
Bottom line, there’s art and science and effort that goes into developing an economical (fast) running and walking form. The best method will prevent injury, too. Reading on the topic increase the chance that each of us will find advice that works, not hurts.
RUN AND WALK HAPPY!
Earned Runs ‘ON TO THE NEW YEAR’ 2017-18 5k Training Plan Starts Today
This plan is low key, designed to maintain ability to run a 5k at the end of the old/beginning of the new year. That’s after completing beginner training for a Thanksgiving Day 5K. It will keep you on a schedule through the busy holiday season. It’s not intended to train runners for a personal best. The first week is captured here in a screenshot but the full 4-week plan PDF can be downloaded free.
Before starting the plan, check out the “KEY and LINKS” segment on the last page. It describes the non-running and non-walking elements of the plan, and provides links to demonstrations that are can also be found on the RESOURCES page.
SIMPLE BASIC TRAINING VIDEOS This organization’s mission statement webpage begins with a listing of facts that include alarming numbers about cardiovascular disease occurrence in African American males. Strokes and coronary heart disease specifically. Then it expresses the belief that running/jogging can reverse these unhealthy trends, and that as an organization it can help Black Men to get out and become active.
BMR lays down core requirements for its members, which are summarized here:
*Take running seriously by setting regular goals
*Share running routes with the BMR hashtag; share the website with others
*Start a BMR meet-up locally; be a source of encouragement and inspiration to others
It also asks men to purchase a t-shirt to spread the word and support the cause.
The actual statement reads: “To encourage health and wellness among African American men by promoting a culture of running jogging to stay fit to result in ‘A Healthy Brotherhood’”.
The BMR website training page has many terrific video demonstrations by BMR-NYC and the BMR CMO (Chief Motivation Officer) Edward Walton. Topics include training warm-ups, stretches, strength exercises, running safely at night, increasing mileage, and pre-race warm-ups. These videos can be useful to any runner. They are low-key, no-nonsense GOOD!
The commitment is Earned Runs-style basic, but offers the support of a community.
The site contains other information and links to meet-ups across the USA (and one in London!).*
Hey BMR, how about supporting a walking program, too? It may not be easy for men with weight and joint issues to start running. Walking might provide a transition to running. Or exist as a stand-alone aerobic activity in which mobility, stretching, and strength training is also important to injury-free exercise and overall health.
Congratulations to BLACK MEN RUN! Their message is clear, training videos are outstanding. The BMR website link will be posted on the RESOURCES page.
Perhaps Earned Runs can help your effort with bibs or online support?
*Specific dates are not provided; can’t be sure all information is updated by what’s posted on most city links. Best to contact the group you hope to join to confirm meet-ups beforehand.
BLACK GIRLS RUN is another similar movement. The website seems a to have more of a commercial feel to it without an up-front emphasis on basic training that would help a lone person to start a running program. https://blackgirlsrun.com
THE QUESTION POSED in the title of Julie Stewart's excellent fitnessmagazine.com article, “Should You Give Up Dairy to Lose Weight?” has an answer that doesn’t require much thought, for those with nutrition knowledge.
Without a medical reason, no.
Insert the name of any major food group* into that sentence and the answer will be the same. It’s not safe to assume that totally omitting all elements of a single major food group will be beneficial to health in the absence of a disease condition.
Certainly, some individuals may wish to forego eating foods because of religious or social convictions. But to avoid the health consequences of that decision, nutrients that will be eliminated by such an action will need to be individually added by diet ‘work-arounds’ and supplements. However, the individual components of a food may not constitute the entirety of the benefit derived from eating that food.
The macro-nutrients (carbohydrates, proteins, fats, fiber, water) and micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) that are contained within a food represent individual components. These nutritional components are combined within a “specific structural arrangement” or “food matrix”. It has been suggested that synergies can develop between nutrients arranged in a matrix, which can have a potentially beneficial or detrimental effect on the nutritional or biological value of that food.
Canadian scientists, who have had research supported by a yogurt manufacturer, discuss the possibility that there is another layer of benefit, beyond nutrients within a matrix, to be gained from eating foods in combination. Specifically, eating yogurt and fruit in combination.
In the article “Potential Health Benefits of Combining Yogurt and Fruits Based on the Prebiotic and Probiotic Properties” M Hernandez and A Marete, from Laval University in Quebec make this case. They explain that yogurt is an energy dense food that is a good source of high quality dairy protein, calcium, magnesium, Vitamin B-12, and key fatty acids; it is also a pro-biotic (contains ‘good’ bacteria that aid in nutrient digestion and absorption). And that fruits are an excellent source of anti-oxidants, and fiber; some fruits like grapes and berries are high in pre-biotic polyphenols that support the growth of probiotic ‘good’ bacteria.
These scientists propose that combining intake of the two at the same time could “exert synergistic effects on health”, related to their prebiotic and probiotic potential and known associations with lowered risk of cardiovascular disease (fruits), and with reduced weight gain and risk of type 2 diabetes (yogurt).
Evidence of how this might work, the researchers say, comes from an in-vitro study (not in a human or animal but in a lab experiment) that modeled digestion. It demonstrated that when an anti-oxidant extract of green tea was added to a “dairy matrix” of milk, yogurt, or cheese, the integrity of polyphenols in the tea extract seemed to be protected, and the anti-oxidant activity enhanced.
To increase the complexity of this discussion a bit more, the research paper also discusses how the eating of one food may positively influence the intake of other healthy nutrients. Cereal is an easy-to understand example of this concept.
The scientists indicate that in persons of both genders and across age groups in the USA, “ready–to-eat breakfast cereal consumption has been shown to be associated with higher milk and calcium intake.” European adolescent cereal-eaters (12.5-17.5 years) likewise tend to have a “better diet quality index, higher micronutrient intake, more frequent fruit consumption, and more milk and yogurt consumption.”
To those who eat cereal this research is no big surprise. Cereal eating may be one the few instances in which we automatically search for milk in the refrigerator or reach for a banana or other fruit. However, the findings serve to alert us that “cutting” dairy could have unintended effects on our diet and ultimately on long term well-being.
Of course, persons with an allergy to milk proteins or a deficiency in the enzyme needed to break down milk sugars (lactose) will have medical reasons to avoid or limit certain dairy products. But the rest of us should seriously reconsider giving up eating milk-based products, if the purpose in doing so is to be ‘healthier’.
The take home messages tied to the featured article’s question and the research discussion: 1) Before deciding to eliminate an entire basic food group, in order to be generally healthier or to lose weight, recognize that this action might have other unhealthy consequences. Like the elimination of foods usually eaten in combination.
2) The ‘food matrix’ or structure of an eliminated food might be integral to its nutritional benefits, which may not be provided by a supplement.
3) Dairy food group items contain high quality protein that is convenient to obtain and consume, as needed, before and after high intensity workouts. Non-dairy substitutes are not replacements for these specific proteins.
4) The scientific reasons to eat yogurt and fruit in combination have been hypothesized but not yet fully studied.
5) Weight loss is accomplished by a calorie deficit. Eating a smaller volume of dairy items may be healthier than elimination.
6) Whether increased dairy intake plays a beneficial role in preventing long term gain in weight and waist circumference needs further study.
This topic has me cringing. My younger twenty-something-self decided to eliminate milk and most dairy to save calories as a weight-maintenance strategy. I figured supplements would suffice.
Reading scientific literature on the importance of protein generally and milk proteins specifically to overall health, and to muscle and bone, I realize I short-changed myself for many years. Learning what trainers and coaches recommend for runners and athletes of all sports, further reinforces that this was a mistake. However, I made changes for the better over the years.
The general rule and best advice, still, is to eat a balanced diet comprised mostly of whole (not processed) foods from all major groups. For those with ready access to such food and the ability to pay for it, it's relatively simple. For those who don't, that's another blog post topic.
Stewart's article answers the question a bit differently. It's well worth reading.
*The 5 major food groups include: fruits, vegetable, grains, protein foods (meat, poultry, eggs seafood, nuts, seeds, and soy) and dairy. This post is not about vegetarians eliminating meat, etc.!.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3954432/ B carotene
ON DECEMBER 15 THE 8TH EPISODE of the STAR WARS series premieres. Actually, it can be seen in some theaters on the evening before, Thursday December 14. Fans are already wild with anticipation for “The Last Jedi”, billed as “the next chapter in the Skywalker saga.”
Some devotees will be purchasing merchandise to build the happy buzz that surrounds such events before its release or to maintain the afterglow. Wearing apparel is a socially acceptable way to demonstrate fan status, without weirdly hauling around a toy, bobble-head figure, or poster. However, there are not too many occasions in which a graphic tee-shirt meets dress standards. And a subtle reference shows more ‘cool’, in my opinion, than an obvious, emblazoned, advertisement-like garment.
The perfect piece of gear, then, might be a Star Wars multi-functional headwear piece, which can be worn as a neck gaiter while running or walking. “Storm Black” can be purchased on Amazon.com although there are limited quantities, possibly because Buff™ itself no longer sells the Star Wars designs officially.
However, the official Buff™ website offers many themed items that other types of fans might love. There’s a wonderful “Winter Solstice” Android Jones Buff. US Ski Association pieces. UV Bug Stinger fishing versions in many designs. There are designs for the US Marines, Banff Film Festival, Survivor TV Series, National Geographic series, and more.
If you’re looking to express personal ‘fan-dom’, or want to surprise someone else with a not-too-expensive gift, check out Buff on its official website, on Amazon, and other online seller sites.
The weather is becoming more chilly and windy, and it’s a real treat for outdoor lovers to have a variety of clean, fresh, and fashionable neck gaiters in the drawer or gym bag.
CONSIDER RUNNING A HALF MARATHON BEFORE TACKLING A MARATHON Jonathan Beverly, past editor-in-chief of Running Times writes a great piece, “How the Half Marathon Has Become the Go-To-Goal Race Among American Runners” for motivrunning.com. If you are new to running or contemplating taking up running as a New Year Resolution for 2018, this piece may save you injury and discouragement. It is also for casual runners who want to find motivation to train seriously for their first a long-distance goal race.
Yes, running a marathon is impressive. But, as the article explains, the number of participants in that event have not risen over the decade like the numbers for the half. RunningUSA.org reports that the number of marathon events has remained flat, while half marathon events have increased by about 4% from 2015-2016.
“In 2016, the 5K maintained the #1 position of all race distances with 8.2 million finishers, claiming 49% of all finishers in the U.S., while the half-marathon again held the #2 position with approximately 11% of the finishers, followed by the 10K (7%).”
Beverly explains why he thinks this situation has evolved. The marathon may not be the best first endurance race he indicates, because the beginner may not reach a state of preparedness in training that allows enjoyment of the experience, or at the very least, avoids injury. Training for a half marathon is more manageable, he indicates, seeming to permit runners to train and attempt this distance while healthy and strong. It allows workouts that build strength, speed, and mobility. New runners training for a marathon might struggle to get in the weekly mileage, forcing them to forego other kinds of essential workouts.
“While the marathon inspires many to run more and to build endurance, it also often hinders runner’s development in at least two ways. First, the mandate of getting in more miles crowds out any other training like improving strength and mobility or even speed work. When you’re stretched to the limit just to keep up with the required volume, you don’t have the time or energy to do strides or squats after your run, and you’re afraid to put in an interval workout because you’re so beat up all the time.”
The marathon can be a longer range, larger goal race, he says, if runners wait for a bit to undertake training.
Before you decide on a first goal endurance race, consider reading this article in full. It makes a great deal of sense. If you do settle on running a marathon before a half marathon at least you will be informed of the training and racing challenges that might be encountered.
RPE= RATING OF PERCEIVED EXERTION Yesterday the BLOG introduced a challenge that some may wish to take up in the weeks after Thanksgiving, leading up to the start of 2018. In the “ON TO THE NEW YEAR” Walker Challenge participants would follow a High Intensity Walking Training protocol on 4 out of 7 days of the week for December 3-9, 10-16, 17 -23, and 24-30.
The protocol involves a warm-up, then at least 5 repetitions of walking 6 minutes (3 minutes, moderate intensity, at level 4 exertion, then 3 minutes, higher intensity at level 7 exertion) FOR A TOTAL OF AT LEAST 30 MINUTES. A cool-down walk would follow the 30 minute HIWT session.
What does level 4 versus level 7 exertion feel like? Paige Waehner does a nice job of explaining the Rating of Perceived Exertion (RPE) in her article, “Perceived Exertion Scale: RPE Levels to Estimate Your Exercise Intensity” for verywell.com.
What I especially like about Waehner’s piece is that it informs readers that the more current, frequently used 1-10 scale that she provides is based on a standard developed by Gunnar Borg*, reported in the journal Medicine and Science in Sports in 1973, to which she provides a link. To avoid stealing Waehner's work, the details won’t be given here. It’s well worth your time to read her full article if you need help in this area.
A very rough summary of the 1-10 scale would group Levels 1-3 as comfortable, Levels 4 -5 as feeling good, working up a sweat, but still being able to talk easily, Levels 6-7 as having a bit of difficulty talking, and Levels 8-10 as more difficult without the possibility of talking.
Waehner also gives basic guidelines for using the 1-10 RPE Scale to monitor training; “for most workouts you want to be at around Level 5-6. If you're doing interval training, you want your recovery to be around a 4-5 and your intensity blasts to be at around 8-9. Working at a level 10 isn't recommended for most workouts. For longer, slower workouts, keep your RPE at Level 5 or lower.”
[Her article has very general tips on how to correlate perceived exertion with heart rate; for more in-depth discussion using the Borg scale, see below, The Walking Site.]
The Walking Site posted more specific information about identifying and using “target” heart rates (HR) for training:
- Usual method: posted on fitness equipment and gym bulletin boards to obtain a Maximum Heart Rate, instructs exercisers to calculate “220 minus your age”.. It’s not very accurate.
- Greater accuracy: there’s a link to a piece that outlines the Karvonen Formula, which is based on an individual ‘s own resting heart rate. The most accurate HR calculation, the piece says, requires a stress test.
- Training Zones*: Most helpful is a section that describes the percent maximum heart rate ranges for various types of training: warm up (50-60%), fat burning (60-70%, endurance (70-80%), performance (80-90%), and maximum (90-100%).
- DIY section: instructs how to measure your own HR without a HR monitor.
- The Borg RPE Scale (ranges from 6 to 20) is explained. It describes the exerciser’s perception only at 'odd number' levels. There’s more detail in the article to help with understanding, but the following roughly summarizes the scale: 7 (extremely light exertion); 9 (very light exertion); 11 (light); 13 (somewhat hard); 15 (hard); 17 (very hard); 19 (extremely hard); 20 (maximal).
- Correlating Borg Scale RPE with HR: according to Borg's published paper, the actual heart rate while exercising can be estimated by multiplying the Borg RPE number by 10.
“A high correlation exists between a person's perceived exertion rating times 10 and the actual heart rate during physical activity; so a person's exertion rating may provide a fairly good estimate of the actual heart rate during activity (Borg, 1998). For example, if a person's rating of perceived exertion (RPE) is 12, then 12 x 10 = 120; so the heart rate should be approximately 120 beats per minute. Note that this calculation is only an approximation of heart rate, and the actual heart rate can vary quite a bit depending on age and physical condition. The Borg Rating of Perceived Exertion is also the preferred method to assess intensity among those individuals who take medications that affect heart rate or pulse.
MY ESTIMATION OF WALKING AT LEVELS 4 AND 7 on the 1-10 RPE Scale, translated to the Borg RPE scale would be 11 (for level 4) and 13 (for level 7). Thus, my estimated heart rate would be 110 and 130 beats per minute. I hope to check it with a heart rate monitor soon to see if the correlation works for me.
If you’re thinking of taking on the “ON TO THE NEW YEAR” 2017-18 Walker Challenge, these two pieces may help you estimate level 4 and level 7 effort by the 1-10 RPE Scale, and correlate that effort with your heart rate, without using a wearable monitor.
*The Orange Theory Fitness Centers base their exercise routines on slight modifications of these ranges. The OTF website describes work performed in Zone 4 (of their 5 zones) as providing the “Orange Effect/Afterburn”, which translates to 84-91% maximum HR effort, for at least 12 minutes within a full hour.
“ON TO THE NEW YEAR” 2017-18 WALKER CHALLENGE! Attention, walkers.Runners will be able to build on training gains made during Turkey Trot 2017 preparation, and start 2018 with confidence and a sense of accomplishment if they choose to continue with the “ON TO THE NEW YEAR” 5K PLAN, to be posted November 29, on the RESOURCES page.
Extending training through the next month will allow runners to PARTICIPATE in a New Year’s Eve or Day event in good form. It will also encourage adherence to training principles and avoidance of indulgences that reverse previous training gains or worse. Holiday partying, moderated by a reasonable training plan, can be enjoyed and not result in start of-the year remorse.
WALKERS, you will have a similar opportunity to begin the New Year without dread. With the Earned Runs ‘ON TO THE NEW YEAR” 2017-18 WALKER CHALLENGE.
This past summer Earned Runs proposed a ‘series sweep’ challenge for walkers. It was based on the tradition of a sports championship, in which a team that won 4 straight games in a series of (7 potential) championship level contests, without a loss, would win the title in a clean ‘sweep’.
The summer challenge for WALKERS was called the “Series Sweep” based on scientific research that showed there was a health benefit to high intensity interval walking on at least 4 of 7 days a week. See the NOTE below.
Taking the findings of this research into account, the 2017 SUMMER CHALLENGE IV was constructed for people who enjoy walking for exercise. It copied the study protocol that lead to improvements in aerobic capacity, thigh muscle strength, and blood pressure. Walkers were challenged to walk high intensity intervals, over at least 30 minutes each day, for 4 of 7 days of the week, for 9 weeks.
So, with 2018 approaching, Earned Runs wants walkers to have a structured program for maintaining and possibly improving physical conditioning by offering ‘ON TO THE NEW YEAR’ 2017-18 WALKER CHALLENGE. Committing to it will provide motivation to start, BEFORE January 1, to become stronger and healthier in 2018. Earned Runs bibs can be used as logs on which to record completed sessions and progress!
‘ON TO THE NEW YEAR’ 2017-18 WALKER CHALLENGE IV: Perform the High Intensity Interval Walk (HIIW) Protocol 4 of 7 days each week, from December 3 through 31.
Warm-up: 5 minutes easy walking
Cycle 1 High Intensity Interval Walking (HIIW)
First 3 minutes: walk at LEVEL 4 PACE (on a scale of 1-10 in intensity, 10 being highest intensity)
Next 3 minutes, walk at a harder, LEVEL 7 PACE
REPEAT Cycle 1 at least 4 more times (for a total of 5 OR MORE cycles),
to equal at least 30 minutes HIIW
Cool-down: 5 minutes easy walk!
You can do this! Try for every other day at first, as your legs may be a bit sore afterward. The protocol and a calendar are available for download, and also on the RESOURCES page.
RUNNERS: you can adapt this walking protocol to a running protocol
RUN AND WALK HAPPY!
NOTE: “In 2004 Dr. Hiroshi Nose at the Shinshu University Graduate School of Medicine in Matsumoto, Japan led a team of researchers who studied the effects of a high intensity interval walking program on the fitness and health of older adults.
There were 3 groups, averaging 63 years in age, comprised of 60 men and 186 women: 1) non-walking, 2) walking at a continuous moderate level 5 pace (on a scale of 1-10 in intensity), and 3) an experimental high intensity interval group walking at a level 4 pace for 3 minutes, followed by 3 minutes of a harder level 7 pace, for 5 or more cycles. Each group was instructed to walk at least 30 minutes, in total, during these sessions, and to do so at least 4 days each week.
In the high intensity walking training (HIWT) group there were significant increases in isometric knee flexion and extension (measures of thigh muscle strength) and in peak aerobic capacity for cycling and for walking, as well as a reduction in resting systolic blood pressure. These were the findings when results for HIWT group were compared with those of the moderate intensity continuous walkers.
By the way, the original research paper by Dr. Nose and his research colleagues was published in 2007. A follow-up paper in 2014 showed that middle-aged and older person were able to adhere to this protocol successfully for 22 MONTHS!!! Although the Earned Runs SUMMER CHALLENGE IV requires commitment, it is do-able by young and old, and a reasonable goal, proven by scientific research!
BRIDGE TO PHYSICAL SELF
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EARNED RUNS is edited and authored by me, runner and founder. I began participating in road races before 5Ks were common. I've been a dietitian, practiced and taught clinical pathology, and been involved with research that utilized pathology. I am fascinated with understanding the origins of disease as well as health.
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