FAT THURSDAY 2019 & PACZKI I’m of Polish heritage, and a tradition in my family, before the start of the Catholic Lenten season on Fat Tuesday (otherwise known as Mardi Gras) is to eat a deep-fried pastry called paczki. These tasty creations have the reputation of being high in calories and fat, and to not be on the modern list of foods that are ‘healthy’.
The planned purpose of the post was to dispel these myths by comparing the filled-bun’s ingredients and calorie count with those of other breakfast sweets. And to show runners, walkers, and exercisers that it wouldn’t be too exhausting to burn the calories needed to ‘earn’ one or two for the special occasion.
Then I searched the internet and learned about Fat Thursday,or Tłusty Czwartek. According to an item from Wikipedia this day represents a traditional “Catholic Christian feast marking the last Thursday before Lent” which is “associated with the celebration of Carnival.”
A time of fasting, the 6-week long period of Lent would not provide an opportunity for feasting until Easter. Thus, this Thursday was a day that became dedicated to the gathering of friends and families to “eat large quantities of sweets, cakes, and other meals usually not eaten during Lent.”
Although Fat Thursday is more popular in Poland, it is celebrated as Pączki Day in some immigrant-packed centers in the USA. There are eating contests in Evanston IL and Hamtramck MI.
The way my mother explained it, any sugar, fruit, eggs, cream, and fat in the household would not be needed until Easter. To avoid spoilage and waste, the cupboards and larders were cleared of such items and used to make rich pastries.
Wikipedia indicates that the most popular of these all-national pre-Lenten foods are the paczki, from Poland. Mom had never told me that pączki-lovers could legitimately, within the old traditional holiday boundaries, begin eating the sweet treats on Fat THURSDAY, a full 6 days before Ash Wednesday!
“Pączki have been known in Polandat least since the Middle Ages. Jędrzej Kitowicz has described that during the reign of August III, under the influence of French cooks who came to Poland, pączki dough was improved, so that pączki became lighter, spongier, and more resilient.” So says Wikipedia.
In my experience hunting for paczki in many locales across the USA I’ve enjoyed a variety numerous fillings, including traditional plum, prune, and poppy-seed, and modern raspberry jelly, blueberry and strawberry preserves, apple, lemon, custard, and Bavarian crème. The paczki surface is most commonly dusted with granulated or powdered sugar, but occasionally is glazed or plain. (if frosted it becomes a ‘bismarck’ or jelly roll, in my opinion.)
Which leads to one of the points I was originally hoping to make in my Pączki post, that properly made, they are light and fluffy pastries, not fat-soaked, heavy-tasting and weighted calorie bombs. If this is your experience, find another source, preferably an established ethnic bakery. If they are heavy it is because of abundant filling, not excessive fat. The same Wikipedia entry mentioned above, says a bit of grain alcohol was added to the dough before cooking, which, as it evaporated, prevented the absorption of oil deep into the dough.
Okay now let’s get to the ingredients. Rather than provide a listing with calorie counts here’s a recipe.* You can check it out and determine for yourself how delicious it might be to celebrate February 28 (Fat Thursday) or March 5 (Fat Tuesday) with one or several.
Add an extra mile or two of brisk walking each day, starting today March 1 through 5. At roughly 65-100 calories expended per mile depending on your weight, you’ll be able to afford this tradition!
RUN & MOVE HAPPY!
*Waiting in line on Fat Tuesday to buy paczki at local bakeries that specialize in making the annual treats, along with other hungry and happy people celebrating the day, is a unique community-bonding experience. It has been a cherished tradition of mine for decades. As such bakeries close and supermarket chains become the only places to find mass-produced paczki, it may be necessary to make them at home. Consider saving this recipe for later use.
JILL FANSLAU'S ARTICLE FEATURES AN EXERCISE DEMONSTRATED BY MEN’S HEALTH Fitness Director BJ Gaddour, that’s “simple but not easy” and works the whole body if weights are added. In "The Up-Down May Be the Simplest Metabolic Move You Ever Do". Fanslau describes the “up-down”, as an action in which “you just go from kneeling to standing to kneeling again”, and ‘continue to repeat.”
Fanslau explains that this one move not only builds strength, it raises heart rate, which she says renders it a “metabolic” exercise. In the process the hip flexors are stretched, which tend to become tight with lots of sitting.
I incorporated the variation known as the “prisoner up-down” into my strength routine several years ago. It the same exercise demonstrated by Gaddour, but with both hands behind the head and “tall” upper body positioning (straight trunk). Essentially, it seems as though any exercise described as “prisoner” is performed with this hand positioning.
The effort expended holding an upright posture while in motion to kneel then stand then kneel works the core. Keeping the arms elevated and hands behind the head works the upper body and adds to the difficulty in maintaining a tight, tall core.
Gaddour demonstrates good form for the basic up-down move and then shows how to add dumbbells, a kettle bell, and a sandbag in an embedded video. The article contains similar supporting information.
Those looking to start strength work might find this the perfect first-timer exercise as it is so simple to perform. The bodyweight basic version is a move that can easily be done at home, watching TV or playing with kids (challenge them to follow along).
The best part of complex whole-body strength exercises is that they tend to be FUNCTIONAL! Regardless of your purpose for adding strength work to a fitness program, being able to rise from a kneeling to standing position without the assistance of a fixed support or another body part, is a functional skill. Doing so gracefully is an action we associate with youthful vigor; struggling to do so gives the impression of infirmity and older age.
Mastering this one move, with and without weights, has functional and aesthetic benefits that extend beyond the gym.
RUN & MOVE HAPPY!
WEEK 7 HALF MARATHON 2019 with ‘SAINTS DAYS’ Training Plan Starts
The month of March starts after this Friday. That’s progress! Runners, congratulate yourself on reaching the point at which the long run at week’s end surpasses the distance you’ll be racing in a St. Patrick’s Day 10K (6.25 miles). Walkers will cover 6 miles, just shy of the actual race distance, and can be equally as proud. If you have not been running or walking hill repeats, consider trying this workout option (Tuesdays) as the spring weather commences. It will add variety and help build strength.
There's only one 'Saints' Day' tune-up race to complete this month before the focus changes, such that you will only be concentrating on preparing for the half marathon. Next week we will start to follow Part 2 of each training plan.
RUN & MOVE HAPPY!
The full plans are on the RESOURCES page
Earned Runs spring events stickers. See Request Bibs for printables. Taken by PKSenagore. All rights reserved.
…EARNED RUNS EVENTS. Check out potential Earned Runs EVENTS you can custom design for yourself, solo and with others! OR find an organized event to run near these dates.
March 10, 2019
“DAYLIGHT SAVING DASH”
Celebrate the start of the time change that adds daylight to the later portion of the day with a distance race or walking event of 1 mile or 5K. Your clocks should be set to “spring forward” at 2am. Run or walk your event early in the morning at the later SUNRISE time, or in the evening at the later SUNSET time.
March 17, 2019
“SAINTS’ DAYS” St. PATRICK'S DAY 10K
This is a 6.25-mile distance race or walking event that can be completed on St. Patrick’s Day (3/17/19) or any day through the preceding or upcoming weekendS with your Earned Runs bibs. Those training to run a Half Marathon in May with the Earned Runs plan will have this race on the schedule.
March 20, 2019
NORTHERN HEMISPHERE SPRINGTIME WARM-UP (5- 10 miles)
Just like the position of the sun in the sky and the increased sunshine help to warm the earth and melt the frozen ground, runners can get warmed up for the new running season with an event that’s not a short 5k or a longer distance half marathon. Pick a distance between 5 and 10 miles and plan to run it about 10-15% slower pace than you would run a half marathon. (a 10-minute mile pace in the half would mean an 11-minute mile pace in this event).
March 28, 2018 (or later for first 2019 HOME game openers)
MLB OPENING DAY MASH-UP (any distance)
If you’re a runner or walker who also loves major league baseball, mark the start of the season with a personal race, run, or walk using Earned Runs Bibs. Create an annual ‘ceremony’ to solemnize your team’s run at a championship this year with your own GOOD LUCK send-off effort.
This year, as in 2018, all MLB teams will see action on the first official day of the season. Unofficially the Mariners and Athletics teams will play on March 20 in Japan according to an msn.com article that also includes the complete USA schedule and TV times for March 28. Honors go to the NY Mets and Washington Nationals and the Baltimore Orioles and NY Yankees, to start the day at 1:05 pm.
Night game? By setting your event start time prior to the first pitch, you can head to the favorite local team hangout after finishing and watch the live action with other fans. Afternoon game? By setting various start times to coincide with individual lunch breaks or quitting times, you and friends can cover distances that fit specific schedules. Make a point to wear fan gear. Then meet later up to watch the game or celebrate/commiserate afterward.
April 1, 2019 Monday
APRIL FOOL’S DAY No Fooling, In it to WIN IT! 50 (any distance)
Demonstrate that you’re no fool. Get out today and test your resolve not to be silly about health. Run or walk a seriously happy 50 MINUTES.
April 5, 2019
NATIONAL WALK TO WORK DAY EFFORT
This national day was officially declared by US Department of Health and Human Services Secretary, Tommy G. Thompson, in 2004. Participating in this holiday means you are willing to spend 30 minutes walking. If you tend to ‘work’ at a coffee shop on many days, that’s a great spot to finish!
April 15, 2019
CELEBRATE USA RUNNING; THE TRADITION RUN (any distance)
The Boston Marathon is run annually on the day set aside in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts as Patriot’s Day, the third Monday in April. This race was the original marathon to be patterned after the modern Olympics contest of 1896, and was first run in 1897.
On this day in the United States, anyone can celebrate the tradition of competitive long distance running. Without necessarily covering 26.2 miles, achieving a qualifying time, or being in that location, run or walk in sprit with those in Boston with a personal custom race + Earned Runs bib.
Start your race at 9:02 or 9:04 am (push-rim wheel chair start times for men and women) or 9:32 or 10am (elite women and men start times) to coincide with the real time race. Or, start much earlier to finish in time to watch all the action on TV.
DON’T LET INTER-CITY MARATHON RIVALRY GET IN YOUR WAY. Today needn’t be about the city of Boston itself, but about the running history which began with that event in 1897.
April 22, 2019
EARTH DAY EARNED RUN (any distance)
Feel free to name this anything you like, but since Earned Runs promotes earth-friendly running, we will make a claim to some ownership. This is one of the best excuses to gather your friends and neighbors and walk-run your way along a favorite running course, or one that sadly needs a lot of effort at beautification, cleaning up trash as you go. Make Mother Nature proud!
May 5, 2019
DAY OF 5THS FIVE (5miles or 5K)
Of course, today is the celebration of the Cinco De Mayo holiday, but this date can also be an opportunity to be happy about the 5th day of the 5th month, and your ability to finish the 5thkilometer or the 5thmile of a personal Earned Runs race, run, or walk. Afterward, join everyone else enjoying the festivities of CDM! It falls on a Sunday in 2019, so the celebrations may begin earlier in the weekend, on Friday or Saturday.
May 12, 2019
MOTHERS CHOICE COMPETITION (5K)
Moms, since your family is often willing to do what YOU want this weekend, ask everyone to accompany you on a nature walk-run, without electronic devices. Keep the pace at slow enough to allow laughing, joking, talking together. Request that they wear Earned Runs bibs decorated like Mother’s Day cards. Estimate the money that would have been spent on cards and treat everyone to an icy dessert (slushy, ice cream cone, popsicle, etc.) or make a charity donation. Since the full weekend is yours to command, there is plenty of time to enjoy other activities as well.
May 27, 2019
MEMORIAL DAY REMEMBRANCE (mile, 5K, or 10K)
This federal holiday is for remembering the men and women who DIED while serving their country in the Armed Forces (compared with Veterans Day, in which the SERVICE of all U.S. military, veterans and active, is celebrated). It’s a solemn day. US flags and wreaths are placed at gravesites. Many remember others who have passed away in their lives, including non-military. One way to do this by running or walking at quiet times, like sunrise or sunset, when we can reflect back on their lives.
Consider celebrating one, several, or ALL the days this year with the Earned Runs community.
RUN & MOVE HAPPY!
5th ANNIVERSARY ANNOUNCEMENT!!! The week of February 14-21 of each year marks the dates during which Earned Runs LLC, was formed as a company in 2014, and actions were initiated to publish a website that promoted fitness training through regular competition and challenges.
Central to the Earned Runs mission is the provision of competition bibs on request, at no cost. The website explains how the bibs might be used to motivate individual exercise and enable personal custom events that elevate physical activity to levels that will help maintain health. It offers resources to inspire and support safe athletic training, especially for those new to this activity.
In December 2018, because of higher than expected international requests, Earned Runs restricted its mailing of 4 sequentially numbered Tyvek bibs to postal addresses in the United States and Canada. It was sad to stop sending bibs to faraway places in Europe, which included the broad expanse of Russia, as well as South America and Africa.
An alternate method of sending/obtaining bibs was needed.
The solution: visitors to the website can now download a printable 2019 template and generate bibs at home or work. The template is not numbered. It was felt that a blank, customizable bib would be more fun and motivating. Tyvek paper can be used (available on Amazon.com; see GEARLOVE page) if outdoor-ready wearable bibs are desired that are similar to those mailed by Earned Runs. HOWEVER, THE PRINT QUALITY ON TYVEK PAPER IS RATHER POOR (see pictures below), and the paper is expensive.
A reasonable option is to print the colored image on ordinary white printer paper. The PDF image is rotated 90 degrees so that the bib’s long dimension fits the long dimension of an 8”x11” sheet of paper). A number or other identifier can be drawn on/affixed, as can as other decorative features like stickers. For outdoor wear or conditions/circumstances that involve rough treatment, the paper copy can be placed in a clear plastic sleeve, which renders it less flexible and more bulky than Tyvek paper, but more durable.
Any type of printer paper can be used if the bibs are to be employed for other motivation purposes that don’t require pinning to garments, like hanging on a bulletin board or refrigerator, or inserting into a folder.
Color printing is pretty but may be expensive; black and white copies will serve the purpose of motivating fitness training just as well.
Earned Runs will continue to welcome requests and mail sets of 4 numbered Tyvek bibs to addresses in the United States and Canada. Please comment on your experience with the new option; we hope it works for you!
Happy 5th Incorporation Anniversary Earned Runs.
RUN & MOVE HAPPY!
MY ‘SAINT’S DAYS’ TUNE-5K RACE IS IN THE BOOKS AND WINTER STREAK CONTINUES. BECAUSE THE 5K EVENT IS COMPLETED, I’VE REACHED THE POINT IN TRAINING AT WHICH focus will turn to the 10K distance. In about a month the second and final tune-up race in advance of the half marathon will be completed on or near St. Patrick’s Day, which officially falls on March 17. I am following the Earned Runs WALK program, and as schedule completed a personal competition with my Earned Runs bib on February 16.
Although it wasn’t my original plan, at the last moment I decided to wear a weighted vest and make it a “heavy heart” race because a 3.1 mile effort seemed not to be much of a test. I have been walking a variety of 1-6 mile sessions, including hills, high intensity intervals, weighted vest, and easy walks since the week after Thanksgiving Day, and wanted to push a bit harder.
It’s not that I am trying to get way ahead of the official plan; my distances were ahead of the plan before the start date because my Turkey Trot was an 8K (~ 5 mile) distance, and training was appropriate for that distance.
I didn’t slack off over the holidays and kept my long day mileage roughly at the 4-6 mile mark when possible. It seemed like I should try to get more out of the 5k tune-up, since the intention was to use it to better prepare for the long race. While wearing the weighted vest, the goal for St. Valentine’s Day was to complete at least one mile in 15 minutes, because in the upcoming half marathon race, without a vest, I hope to average 15-minute miles.
I came up a tiny bit short; my fastest mile that day was 15:04, the next fastest, 15:10 (average pace 15:18). Yay! I did better than expected on holding very close to my goal speed over 2 miles! Adding to the challenge that morning, was ice on the path. I covered part of the distance walking on the icy path and part facing traffic on the road, which was narrowed by ice-hardened snow extending from the shoulder. It was a very decent pace considering the surface conditions! Otherwise the day was cold and overcast but not windy.
I used the free Runtastic™ app to measure distance and time, and noticed it also recorded average (124) and maximum (149) steps per minute. Although the accuracy of these numbers may not be high, they approximated my measurements using a stopwatch on other speed walk sessions, in which the goal was 160 steps/minute.
My other Earned Runs challenge this winter is a walking streak, at least 1 mile per day. It is currently at 49 days. The goal is to reach 107 days (my 2018 Summer Streak number + 1 extra day) which falls on Boston Marathon 2019 Day, April 15. The week after I’ll walk the half marathon, then rest/recover and look forward to working on summer challenges set to begin Memorial day, May 27, 2019.
How are you doing on your winter goals?
Earned Runs will start posting about SPRING activities soon!
RUN & MOVE HAPPY!
SAINTS DAYS 5K & 10K TRAINING STARTS
The upcoming weekend February 23-24 is probably the very last on which an organized or custom race might be scheduled with a St. Valentine’s Day theme. So everyone will be looking ahead to training for the ‘SAINTS DAYS’ 10K competition after week 6.
Although the official holiday is March 17, St. Patrick’s Day-themed races can be found scheduled on the March 16-17 weekend and later in March. For example, Chicago’s Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle 8K will be held March 24 this year.
For those of you not running/walking a 5K, the Saturday long run is 6 miles and the walk is 5 miles. Going forward, you will be building endurance to allow finishing the 10K, 6.1 mile race distance next month with confidence.
How exciting; one Saint's Day down, one to go!
There have been occasional postings about cross training options. The RUN plan does not formally schedule a cross training day. The WALK Earned Runs plan suggests Mondays, and this could work for runners too. Each individual must determine what and how to cross train without adversely affecting running/walking days.
Sundays, Wednesdays, or Fridays could also handle cross-training sessions, depending on your usual level of activity. You may find that a moderately paced swimming session provides a pleasant level of tiredness, or that short high-intensity interval cycle or rowing sessions invigorate your next run.
Experiment and learn what helps you to perform best physically and mentally. Although the RUN plan has 4 running days (WALK plan has 4 walking days), one day could be substituted with cross-training to spare your legs. However, runners should keep the long run sessions and the hills’ sessions if you are comfortably able to perform them. Walkers should try to maintain the long walk and one HIIT walk session.
RUN & MOVE HAPPY!
THE PUBLICATION RUNNER’S WORLD has provided advice on shoe buying for years. I can recall waiting for the seasonal review articles that guided shoe selection to appear in the paper magazine way back before the specialty sport periodical had an online presence. Yes, that long ago.
In these earlier days, the shoe selection process emphasized ‘pronation’, the natural rolling motion of the foot that occurs at landing. Today, not so much. A RW article by Kiera Carter in mid-August 2018 explains the three conditions- normal or neutral, under-, and over-pronation- and how they are related to foot arch height. Which explains why in recent years questions about pronation in online “shoe finder” tools are more likely to be replaced by those which inquire about arches (high, normal, or low).
Other pieces of information about runners’ physical characteristics that influence shoe selection guides include gender, body weight, foot strike tendency (heel, mid-foot, or forefoot), and sometimes leg positioning (straight or angled-in or -out at the knee).
Runners’ main goals are also taken into consideration, such as faster speed in competition, longer distance, or health and fitness not related to competition. Running surface is another important variable that receives attention (trail, paved, treadmill, etc.).
Runnersworld.com no longer offers a comprehensive selection tool. Rather, the site provides reviews with helpful information. For example, individual articles might assist with determining the best choice within specific brands, finding deals within a desired price range, learning about the latest technology advances or model upgrades, or identifying features for specific weather and training conditions. Each season there is an article highlighting shoes earning RW ‘awards’.
Other companies still offer actual finders: Roadrunnersports.com offers a Shoe Dog finder, and Runningshoesguru.com a “wizard”, but the rationale for the final selections (why certain shoes were or were not selected) isn’t made clear.
Running shoe selection is a complex process. The first best step for many will be to get properly fitted at a running specialty store. There’s no rule you must buy the shoes recommended at that first visit. After leaving the store you can delay purchasing and perform more research. Online reviews, other runners, other specialty stores are resources.
Use the information learned at that visit to gather more information. There are a few brand models that are commonly recommended as safe bets for newbie runners; it’s usual to receive the same recommendation from several stores. Start by purchasing the safe choice if uncertain and continue to educate yourself about various shoes you see worn by others, advertised, or reviewed online. Most running specialty stores will allow you to return shoes if they don’t work out, and most runners don’t abuse this privilege. I’ve returned one pair in 40+ years of running and now walking.
Competitive walkers will also find shoe selection daunting if they hope to not settle for the sturdy mostly all-white and all-black models advertised as formal walking shoes. These models may primarily be designed for people with stability issues, medical foot problems, or jobs that require long hours on their feet, not for fitness training.
Honestproductreviews.com provides a review of shoes that serve a range of needs, which includes other helpful shoe-shopping related information. Performance walkers without health or work issues may wish to broaden their search and look for shoes with features that optimize a rapid walking gait (heel to toe footstrike).
The athletic footwear market has expanded to include fashionable pairs worn any day, any time. The style appeal of 'sneakers’, whether for fun or serious sport performance, means that certain models can sell out quickly. Each year, it seems that by the time I get to reading about cool shoes that will commemorate the running of the Boston Marathon, some of the current year models are no longer available. Best to buy quickly if you have your eye on ‘hot’ new models and special editions.
Shoe shopping can be tons of fun. Use the slow winter season to check out all that will be available for the spring running and walking season. Another recent runnersworld.com article by Kiera Carter includes some models that will have just been, or are scheduled soon to be, released. Carter promises there will be updates.
RUN & MOVE HAPPY!
TRINH LE MPH, RD ANSWERS THE QUESTION. “IS IT TOO LATE TO EAT AFTER 8PM?” in an article for the MyFitnessPal.com blog of Under Armor.
Earned Runs won’t give away the nutrition expert’s response to this query but encourages reading the entire piece. It contains tips on late evening meal eating and snacking. Since intensely training athletes are encouraged to pace daily protein intake to include a ‘dose” prior to sleep, the general advice given by the International Society of Sports Nutrition is worth noting if you plan to follow this type of muscle building regimen.
The bottom line for athletic nutrition, just like with athletic physical training, is to have a plan and follow it to avoid ‘injury’. By determining in advance what’s healthy and promises to improve performance there’s less likelihood that good intentions will be sabotaged by poor, in-the-moment decisions. Measuring and preparing night time meals in advance can help this process.
Overeating foods that don’t fit a diet plan before bedtime will surely help pack on extra pounds that must be carried around during sport performance. As few as 500 extra calories at night can add up to a 1-pound weight gain if repeated 7 times over the course of a few weeks or months.
Check out the Trinh Le article and then another, ”What 500 Calories Really Looks Like” from lifehack.com. The “Guest Writer” author is not identified, and the figures quoted weren’t verified by Earned Runs, about but the piece does raise awareness.
Consider protecting the progress you’re making in the gym this winter by becoming informed about nutrition.
RUN & MOVE HAPPY!
POST SCIENCE FRIDAY: International Society of Sports Nutrition Position Stand (ISSN): protein and exercise, JUNE 2017
Elizabeth Kovar begins her ACEfitness.org article “The Posterior Chain Workout”, by defining the “anatomical term, ‘posterior’” and then the phase “posterior chain.” Simply put, the chain is the functionally interconnected muscles of the “backside of the body, specifically the low back, gluteal muscle, hamstrings, and calf muscles.”
It is important Kovar says, to not just strengthen each muscle in isolation, but to “train the chain” with exercises that contract and lengthen them in a “chain-like manner”. Why? Because Kovar indicates, the chain is important for “athletic movements that require strength, flexibility and fluidity to properly Jump, rotate, lift or land.”
Yes, but runners and walkers may mostly move forward, you might be thinking. However, in moving forward we use these muscles to balance the work performed by the hip flexors and quadriceps muscles, the anterior muscle of the legs, to protect knees from injury. Developing a strong posterior chain also improves our ability of the core to maintain an upright posture in endurance events like long distance races, and prevent lower back pain.
Those training for the Earned Runs Half marathon with ‘Saints Days’ can consider this set of complex movement exercises as helping with lower body strength and core.
The demonstrated exercises include:
Think about performing only the single-leg glute bridges to break into posterior chain strengthening if the others don’t interest you. Just that one exercise will help you start to “train the chain”
RUN & MOVE HAPPY!
NOTE: If unable to access barbells and dumbbells for the moves that require weights, the glute bridges are a great way to start working on the posterior chain. If a stability ball isn’t in easy reach, place feet on a chair instead of the ball, and lift hips (like in performing a glute bridge) and hold for 3 seconds.
A stability ball is a relatively inexpensive but versatile piece of gym equipment; it’s worth owning one for doing upper and lower body exercises and core work. Most balls come with a set of exercise instructions.
WITH ‘SAINTS DAYS 5K & 10K TRAINING STARTS TODAY. St. Valentine’s Day is Thursday! The true holiday may be the actual date some of you will be running the first of the two ‘SAINT’S DAYS’ races, the 5K. A personal, custom-designed competition will have allowed this. Most of the organized Valentine’s Day related races are likely to be slated to be run on the weekend.
Regardless of circumstance, congratulations on completing training up to this point. If you don’t have a race planned on February 14 or the weekend, but still want to cover the 3.1mile distance on this day swap Thursday’s session with Tuesday. It can be a tempo training run/walk or an unofficial speed workout. You will then stick with the plan as it builds up mileage and get in a long slow 6-mile run or brisk 5 mile walk on Saturday.
Stretch and roll afterwards and look forward to the next goal in your plan, the 10k. Hopefully if you have been paying attention to building strength, improving balance, and increasing speed in the last half of your long runs/walks, you will notice a fresher legs, strong finish and faster time. Good luck.
RUN & MOVE HAPPY!
EVERWALK HAS OPENED REGISTRATION for its 4th Epic event, the Liberty Walk, coursing 134 miles from Philadelphia PA to Washington DC over 7 days from August 26 to September 1, 2019.
The group has engaged buses dedicated to the walkers, available for stowing gear and cooling off at breaks after choosing a seat. Discounted rates at hotels along the course are expected to be announced in Mid-March, with a price per night range of $125-$175.
Distance options include, as usual, the (1) entire distance all 7 days, (2) full and (3) half day trippers, and (4) virtual walker. Check the registration website for fees and other details.
A Training Guide is promised but I can seem to locate it on the site just yet.
Diana and Bonnie urge interested walkers to register soon to take advantage of early bird rates and begin training to adequately prepare.
The organizers describe the course as flat and historic, possibly hot and humid. This event seems like one of the best yet. It concludes on Labor Day weekend which can be a plus for some and a deterrent for others. The virtual option may work if the dates and location make travel difficult.
Hopefully this particular epic walk motivates many to turn out and carry the movement forward. In the future, registration fees may decrease if sponsors get behind it.
RUN & MOVE HAPPY!
**WALKING’S GREATEST APPEAL TO RUNNERS, IS THAT IT IS A LOW IMPACT AEROBIC ACTIVITY, GENTLE ON JOINTS THAT CAN’T OR WON’T TAKE THE POUNDING OF RUNNING. An easy walking speed allows listening to music and audio-books and lengthy cell phone conversations. It’s an enjoyable speed, but not the kind of intense workout pace that delivers an after-burn and glorious exhaustion, like that which follows a tough training run. And possibly the reason some runners reject walking as a legitimate athletic activity.
Walks don’t generate as high an energy burn as running, but there are methods to step-up walking session intensity. Check out the suggestions of Marc Lindsay, writing for the MyFitnessPal.com blog, in his article “7 Variations of Walking that Torch Calories”.
In order of increasing intensity Lindsay explains and differentiates between brisk, power, and race walking, as well as Chi, Nordic, and marathon walking. Lastly, he recommends stroller walking for parents who use strollers to push children from place to place.
Is a child needed? Earned Runs thinks anyone, even those who are not parents, can load a jogging stroller with weights in place of a real live child, and obtain a decent aerobic workout. It’s how runners TRAIN who plan to race pushing a stroller, and how research on stroller running has been conducted!
Irish research performed by a running dad-scientist (O’Sullivan 2015) to identify the effects of RUNNING while pushing a stroller (loaded with a 22lb weight) on form and injury risk did not reveal a significant down side. In spite of this finding, the runnersworld.com article that featured O’Sullivan’s study indicated his research team “recommends runners incorporate a series of specific exercises into their post-run routine”, which are described.
Another study, out of Seattle Washington, looked at the kinematics (locomotion biomechanics) and energy expenditure of stroller RUNNING. It found that compared with stroller-less running, stroller pushing while running resulted in decreased speed regardless of technique: 2 handed, 1-handed, or push/chase methods*.
The slower pace explained why the study participants’ energy expenditure (calorie burn) did not increase with the extra work of stroller pushing, the scientists indicated. However, further mathematical modeling by researchers showed that if speed were to be maintained at stroller-less levels, energy expenditure would increase 5-8% with stroller-running, depending on technique. Two-handed pushing was the most “energetically economical”, costing the least energy, (+5%) and the “push/chase” method was the most “energetically costly”. (+8%). The authors thought that stroller-runner parents seeking a tougher workout should opt to use the latter technique.
Scientific investigations into WALKING with a stroller are few and mostly focus on energy expenditure (metabolic equivalents/MET’s) while participants perform everyday tasks like supermarket shopping, which does not approximate the effort made to walk aerobically for exercise while pushing a stroller. The Compendium of Physical Activities puts the stroller walking energy cost in METS at 4.0, compared to running 10-minute miles at 9.8 and general bicycling at 7.5. That’s not a very encouraging match-up for those planning to hope to push a stroller for aerobic exercise!
Wait; there’s more science to stroller walking that has better news.
One group of researchers (JF Greany and K Greany) studied women in their 20’s who pushed a weighted single or double stroller at speeds of 3.0 and 4.0 miles per hour, which translates to 20-minute/mile and 15-minutes/mile walking speeds, respectively. The results showed that in performing this activity, the “absolute mean intensity for single/double stroller was 4.8/5.3 metabolic equivalents (METs) at 3.0 mph and 7.0/7.0 METs at 4.0 mph”. It was concluded that moving at a speed of at least 3 mph, “meets the absolute intensity guidelines for improving cardiorespiratory fitness and can yield health and fitness benefits”. Yay! **
The take-away messages from this stroller-running and stroller-walking discussion seem to be:
There’s another potential use for stroller-pushing training, golfing endurance building.
In my experience, moving a modern golf push-cart over a 9- or 18-hole course is fun outdoor exercise but fatiguing. My golf swing needs all the help it can get, and tired arms and legs worsen both distance and short games. One spring afternoon, it occurred to me that moving my golf clubs around the course with the push cart had nearly the same feel as pushing our grandchild in her stroller through the park, and hit on the idea of buying one to help build strength for both activities. I was able to purchase a floor model at a discounted price and then fill it with weights for exercise purposes.
Pushing both golf cart and stroller seems to work my entire posterior chain of muscles when the terrain is slightly hilly. My hamstrings and triceps burn at the end of good session. Regardless of the lack of research that simulates this personal pushing-workout, I feel confident it’s a building my stamina. Does pushing a weighted stroller mimic pushing a weighted sled? Trainers out there...help me understand if not correct!***
No stroller? Check with neighborhood families, especially if one parent is a runner. You might be able to borrow one that is not currently in service to trial stroller-walking . Secondhand shops are another option.
Simple walking can be transformed into a higher intensity, joint-preserving exercise that stands alone as your primary sport or serves as a cross-training activity that burns calories.
Seven variations are offered in the Lindsay article.
At the same time, walking remains a means of experiencing the great outdoors without special equipment, meditating in the presence of nature, covering considerable distances with vigor, and joining others in movement.
Walking’s a winning activity for many.
RUN & MOVE HAPPY!
*"Push/Chase was defined as alternating between pushing the stroller ahead of the runner with both hands and running independently behind the stroller."
** Moderate intensity physical activity was defined in a different Australian study on as between 3-6 METs as “operationally defined” by “current epidemiological studies.”
*** Excerpt from "PUSHING SLED EXERCISES" BY KIM NUNLEY for Chron.com
"Pushing a weighted sled requires the contribution from an array of muscles in your lower body, core and arms. Driving the sled forward are your hip extensors, which include your gluteus maximus and hamstrings, your quadriceps, which extend your knees, and your calves, which handle movement at the ankles as you push off the ground. Your abdominals and obliques isometrically contract to keep your torso in a static position. Your shoulders and triceps help out by keeping your arms in a locked out position."
FEBRUARY IS AMERICAN HEART MONTH. ACTUALLY IT IS THE 50TH ANNIVERSARY of the first Heart Month, which took place in February 1964 after a proclamation issued by President Lyndon B. Johnson on Dec 30, 1963, at the request of Congress.
The purpose of the federal designation according to the American Heart Association, is to “remind Americans to focus on their hearts and encourage them to get their families friends and communities involved.”
At the time of the proclamation, more than 50% of the country’s deaths were attributed to cardiovascular disease. This number has slowly fallen, indicated an article from Healthline.com, which used data from a 2017 CDC report. It identified heart disease as currently causing about 23% of deaths despite remaining the most common cause of death, and stroke roughly 5%. Hold on though, in 2011 the number had begun to rise slowly, such that between 2011 and 2014 heart disease deaths increased by 3%.
Health-news headlines are sounding the alarm.
“Nearly half of US adults have some form of cardiovascular disease” screams the title of an article in USAToday.com Brett Molina. The statistics are mostly being driven by the downward revision in 2017 of guidelines now used to define hypertension, a condition in which pressure within blood vessels is too high, say experts referenced in this article and another in Time.com.
Prior to the recent change, blood pressure readings above 140 mmHg systolic or 90 mmHg diastolic (140/90) were considered to identify hypertension. Those figures were brought down to 130/80, as approved by the American College of Cardiology and American Heart Association.
In plain terms, if blood pressure readings taken by a health care provider consistently exceed this new set of numbers (130/80), we can consider ourselves as having a cardiovascular disease and being included in this grouping. Yikes!
We might think younger age protects us from this condition. However, hypertension is not necessarily a disease of the elderly. The report “Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics- 2019 Update” from the American Heart Association e-published ahead of print, included population statistics. It showed the “age-adjusted prevalence of hypertension among US adults ³ 20 years of age was estimated to be 46% in NHANES (National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey) in 2013 to 2016 (49%for males and 42.8% for females)”.
In the report, a bar graph of persons who are AWARE of having hypertension for the period 2013-2016 displays the NHANES population figures: 41.7% (age 20-39 years); 59.9% age (40-59years) and 77% (age³ 60years). Per group the percent persons treated is less and percent with their blood pressure under control is even lower.
Wow! If nearly 42% of persons age 20-39 know they have high BP, how many don’t know it? The same data indicates that “35.3% of US adults with hypertension are NOT AWARE that they have it.” Usually there are no symptoms until serious complications occur, indicates an NIH.gov webpage on the topic.
Why is it important to detect hypertension in your 20’s, 30’s, and 40’s? Because, the AHA report says, eliminating it could reduce death from cardiovascular disease by 30.4% among males and 38.0% among females. Elimination of hypertension is projected to have a larger impact on cardiovascular disease mortality (deaths) than the elimination of all other risk factors among women and all other factors in men except for smoking.
The key to being aware and then taking steps to eliminate high blood pressure is checking pressure readings routinely, perhaps outside of the doctor’s office, at home.
A study presentation at the AHA September 2018 conference revealed that:
The study findings mean we’re more likely to identify true up-ward trends sooner by regular personal monitoring than if we rely on once-a-year readings taken in a medical office setting. Detecting a problem may require 2-3 office visits over several years, whereas with at-home monitoring the difference might be noticed over several months. Once discovered, there’s a better chance of achieving control with medical help.
If buying a personal sphygnomanometer (blood pressure monitor), can’t be accommodated by in a tight budget, there are pharmacies and other businesses offering opportunities for free blood pressure monitoring.
In February 2019, observance of American Heart Month can serve to remind us that the guidelines for healthy blood pressure numbers have changed, and to make sure that our numbers remain in the safe range, we might consider monitoring them at home.
I purchased our Omron brand device several years ago but only monitored my BP sporadically. With the downward revision of hypertension guidelines to 130/80 mmHg I feel it is time to get serious and check BP weekly, like I would check my mile walking pace and weight.
RUN & MOVE HAPPY!
"Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics- 2019 Update”
‘SAINTS DAYS’ 5K & 10K TRAINING PLAN STARTS TODAY It's Super Bowl Sunday, so it might be wise to get your recovery walk in early to leave the remainder of the day to enjoy the fun and excitement, watch commercials, gather with friends.
The calendar is counting down to February 14 and St. Valentine’s Day! That means the first of the Saints’ Days Races, the 5K, could potentially be scheduled as early as this Saturday for some runners and walkers. You may wish to run/walk a custom event using Earned Runs bibs or in an organized competition this day rather than in Week 5 or 6.
If weather forecasts of extreme cold or snowy conditions threaten to prevent your participation in an organized event you may be out the registration fee. However, that shouldn’t stop you from accomplishing a goal race. Schedule a personal event on another day of the week and pin on the bib or fold it in a pocket. Early morning before work, school, or other necessary appointments are scheduled is a perfect time for a race. Later in the day may work even better, as your mental energy can be focused on competition.
At the end of the week you will have spent one full month in training. Congratulations.
RUN & MOVE HAPPY!
BRIDGE TO PHYSICAL SELF
Running, walking, and fitness activities enable us to experience our physical selves in a world mostly accessed through use of fingers on a mobile device.
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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