WEEK 3 TURKEY TROT 2019 TRAINING STARTS FOR RUNNERS preparing for a 5K race and for WALKERS working toward participating in a 5K and potentially a 10K event as well. Runners who did not start with the optional track day plan but who have reconsidered, or who struggled with the track workout the first two weeks, it’s not too late to get organized. Runners or walkers who have not identified specific exercises to perform during strength sessions, it’s not too late to get organized.
The stress of harder training will begin to take a toll on the body later in the program, so there’s still time to form good habits beforehand. Better to skip a walking or running session now to find a track or search for three upper and three lower body strength exercises to help avoid injury.
An upcoming blog discussion on the topic of overuse injuries will be posted this week. Most of us have some type of muscle strength deficiency or inequality that places us at risk for injury as training mileage increases. Working to improve strength, especially in the lower body and core helps prevent this from occurring. Cross training, or “mixing-up” types of exercises performed during training is another prevention tactic. Following plan directions and taking time to recovering with appropriate rest days is another way to avoid troubles later in training. Check out the post and the featured article for more insight.
The track day schedule advances from walking: running half laps to full laps! It was amazing to me how far that quarter mile (one lap) felt the first few trips around. Believe it or not, the distance will seem to ‘shorten’ as you become accustomed to the track environment. It’s hard to imagine, but you might need to devise a way to count laps as the number completed increases, and your mind starts to wander onto topics other than discomfort and exhaustion. “When can I walk again?” becomes, “Oops I missed the walk mark!”
One thing to keep in mind is that all the effort expended and miles run in following THIS training plan becomes part of the base you’ll establish for FUTURE runs of the same or longer distances. Many runners train at a lowered level almost ALL YEAR long, not just in advance of a specific race, so that the agony of starting from months off is avoided. For example, the long run distance might be maintained at 3-4 miles most weeks, unless a specific plan was started in advance of competition.
Consider mentally adjusting your goals early on in this plan to thinking you’ll maintain a minimum weekly mileage AFTER your 2019 Turkey Trot 5K, to be ready for the NEXT RACE.
RUN & MOVE HAPPY!
Remember, go to the RESOURCES page for all 2019 Turkey Trot related downloads:
TURKEY TROT WITH TRACK DAYS 5K Beginner Training Plan Calendar
TRACK DAYS Schedule
MINUTES TO MILES Calculations
TRACK DAY SCHEDULE
“DEADLIFTS WORK MORE MUSCLES THAN ALMOST ANY OTHER EXERCISE” SCREAMS text on the demonstration video included in an article by SHAPE.com. by Sara Angle, “How to Do a Conventional Dumbbell Deadlift with Proper Form”.
Muscles targeted by the conventional deadlift, shown in the video, include the posterior chain (glutes, hamstrings, lower back), core, and quads (quadriceps femoris). So, doing just this one exercise gets you more bang for your fitness buck. It’s kind of a fitness buy-one-get-five deal.
The move is not complicated, but correct form is essential to prevent injuries from occurring, especially when heavier weights are used. Angle cautions readers to start with light weights and work up to heavier dumbbells.
Those wishing to start lifting free weights may find the conventional deadlift an ideal exercise for starting to work on that goal. You may discover you love this kind of strength training. Because mastering the technique and performing it regularly will improve functional strength, it has practical value as well.
This article/demo is valuable, to use now or to file for future reference.
RUN & MOVE HAPPY!
Updated from 2018: IF TRAVELING FOR THANKSGIVING DO YOU WANT TO FIND A TURKEY TROT WALK/RUN FOR WHICH TO REGISTER BEFORE ALL THE T-SHIRTS ARE GONE? Or are you staying home and want to find the best in the region, because family and friends will want to join the fun? There are more scenarios that could describe your situation if it involves finding an event in the future, like coming up in November, or this very next weekend.
You could seek the advice of a runner, walker, or cyclist* in the area. Or visit the local running/cycling specialty store and search for flyers that advertise upcoming events. Most of us would simply search online with basic terms identifying the town, event type, distance, and date.
However, here are a few other searchable options that I tested for one specific date November 28 or by entering terms “Thanksgiving Day races” or “Turkey Trot”. I gave each my best effort at searching, only looking to identify foot races, but some sites listed additional sport events. Keep in mind that your search skills may surpass mine, and the specific site will be of greater help to you than indicated by my comments.
The idea is that if you try hard, there might be just the perfect event for your purpose in the location, and on the date, that is desired.
1. EARNED RUNS competition bibs are, of course, PERFECT for designing/creating a custom event in exactly the location of your choosing!!! Request them at any time. You will receive 4.
2. Event finder sites:
USA Track and Field “Events Calendar”
Running in the USA
3. Race management company sites:
Limited races and locations searching by date; many more when “turkey trot” is used as search term
Not easy to use; not well organized by location or date
Not many events; not well organized by location or date
Not many events
4. Specialty store websites (there are, of course, many others; I chose two as examples)
Only company sponsored events were listed
Company site posted the “Chicagoland and Beyond” local race calendar
5. Local YMCA websites (there are, of course, many others; I chose two as examples)
‘Y’ Races in Maryland
First ever Thanksgiving race, contested in Buffalo NY 1896! This year‘s 8k marks the 124th annual event. https://www.ymcabuffaloniagara.org/annual-events/ymca-turkey-trot/
6. Phone apps
Not that easy to use. To swipe to get through many events was time consuming. Limited locations to search. Other apps claim to serve this purpose like Race Finder by LocalRaces.com.
BibRave.com race review/rating service
A race will only be listed if it has been submitted for review. But this may be of help if the race you decide upon is popular and registration closes quickly.
Best to plan early to get reduced,early bird event pricing and be eligible for a t-shirt.
RUN & MOVE HAPPY!
WEEK 2 OF THE 2019 TURKEY TROT TRAINING PLAN BEGINS MONDAY. It's only the second week, but you should be feeling good about taking on this challenge! Think back to all the previous times you intended to make a commitment to train for a 5k but backed away.
After this 7-day period is finished, training will have started to become a regular part of your days, a habit! By this time you should also be able to recognize whether the plan fits your schedule. The WALKER long sessions fall on Sunday; for RUNNERS, it’s on Saturdays. Shift the calendar week one or more days as needed to make that day enjoyable. If it is, as the 3rd week commences you might start to look forward to those long easy paced walks or run/walks. Especially if you get out early and plan ahead to finish with a stop at a special coffee shop, or to come home to perform post-run stretches with a favorite hot or cold beverage waiting.
This week the strength session targets the upper body. Are you looking at the schedule and wondering if the upper body strength (UBS) exercises might be skipped? One of the best ways to insure you will incorporate them into your routine is to determine in advance the specific moves you will be using to work out.
If this part of the plan is a MENTAL CHALLENGE (you dread working out with your arms, the moves seem too complicated; no runners or walkers you know do them, etc.) why not start with just 2 bodyweight exercises. Bodyweight exercises by definition are performed without equipment, and thus can be done in a variety of places other than a gym.
Another option is to save this work for another time in the week. My favorite method for NOT skipping UBS exercises is to perform several after a run, before I allow myself to go home. I do 3 total sets of dips on outdoor park benches or walls, alternating each set immediately with a set of push-ups, on the ground next to the bench or wall. If there are 3 different benches along the path it's a great break to walk briskly between them. If not, I walk a short loop and circle back to the same bench
I begin with the greatest number of repetitions that I can perform with good form, and decrease the number on the next set, and then decrease more on the final set (30, then 25, then 20 for example, or 20, 15, 10, or 10, 7, 5). The beauty of this tactic, borrowed from others, is that the very 'worst' is over first!
If possible, add planks to the mix and you'll be working on your core as well. The RESOURCES page has links to help you find UBS, core, and LBS exercises some with video demonstrations.
Good luck. Remain firm in your commitment. Think of the tradition you are preparing to enjoy on Thanksgiving, with thousands of other runners.
RUN & MOVE HAPPY!
STANDARDIZED VERSUS INDIVIDUALIZED TRAINING TO ACHIEVE MEANINGFUL FITNESS GAINS. Lauren Mazzo’s article for SHAPE.com “Science Found the Best Exercise to Overcome Your Weight-Loss Plateau” reported on research that was featured a January 2017 American Council on Exercise (ACE)-Certified™ item.
She explained a study showing that the bodies of nearly 36% of exercisers following a typica, standardized, moderate-intensity 13-week exercise program that included both cardiorespiratory (aerobic) and strength training did not seem to show the benefits of this physical activity.
Specifically, measurement of maximal oxygen uptake (VO2max), a common test to assess fitness level, did not improve. These exercisers were designated “non-responders” by the researchers when compared with exerciser “responders” who showed positive changes in VO2max with training.
By comparison, 100% of exercisers who followed a different program, the ACE™ Integrated Fitness Training (ACE™IFT) Model were “responders” who recorded a favorable VO2max change. Measures of body fat percentage, and both systolic and diastolic blood pressure also showed positive changes in this group compared with those of the standardized exercise group.
Improvement in other key cardio-metabolic risk markers including waist circumference, high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, triglycerides, and blood glucose, was recorded in the ACE-IFT group participants compared with a control group who performed NO exercise during the 13-week study.
The difference in results obtained from the standardized and IFT programs, the study’s author indicates in Mazzo’s SHAPE.com article, may be due to differences in intensity at which the workouts were performed.
Resistance “multi-joint/multi-planar” exercises in which free weights and machines that “allowed for free motion” were employed in the IFT routines. This type of effort may have forced the IFT exercisers to work harder to achieve higher levels of effort as determined by heart rate targets based on breathing rate (“ventilatory threshold”) calculations. The standardized group performed “single- and multi-planar exercise” on machines only, and exercise intensity was determined by heart rate targets that were based on heart rate reserve (HRR) calculations.
The ACE™-Certified report, meant to help ACE Certified trainers be more effective in helping clients see fitness gains as a result of their training efforts, stressed that the results of this study demonstrated the importance of developing personalized programs for individuals. Taking “a more cookie cutter approach will always yield less-than-optimal results”, it advised.
Mazzo’s article indicates the way to remedy the problem of being a ‘non-responder’ is to “switch up your workout”. There’s more discussion about how to accomplish this switch-up and links to other DIY advice articles in her SHAPE.com piece.
After reading the full ACE™-Certified account of the research it sponsored and checking out the linked articles, exercise newbies might consider consulting a certified trainer for an individualized functional strength program, like the one in the study in which 100% of participants showed positive results. More experienced exercisers may be comfortable with identifying ways to mix-up their current routines themselves, especially if they are not seeing desired cardio-metabolic marker or body composition improvements from workout regimens.
Mazzo article offers advice on to increase the intensity of workouts. Below are additional links to routines that might introduce challenging new moves, performed at high intensity. A PDF of the research article published in Journal of Fitness Research is also provided.
RUN & MOVE HAPPY!
Resistance bands needed; demonstrated in pictures
Outdoor park workout that requires a bench, step, flat rock, curb, monkey bars
Requires gym equipment to perform entire workout; demonstrated in video
THIS YEAR'S EVENT AND SOME HISTORY TOO. On Tuesday, September 11, 2019 the morning was a bit misty but not a weather challenge in any way. I woke early to be sure to start the first part of my annual personal event, the Earned Runs ‘Honor Series’ before sunrise. The forecast did not guarantee that the sun itself would be visible, but even seeing pink and golden streaks on the horizon at that time of the morning would be a joy, I thought.
And it would make the 5th year I completed “11K Race to Remember 9/11”, memorable.
My strategy was to walk-jog a negative split while pushing a weighted stroller. The tactical plan involved a first mile warm-up, employing a brisk walking pace, and increasing the intensity and speed in miles two and three. After the halfway 3.4-mile marker was reached, I would jog only the downhill stretches until mile 5 had been completed. In mile 6 my plan was to jog intermittently as I could, including uphill stretches, then slow down for the last 0.84 mile.
I did it! The second half of the course was completed in less time than the first; the fastest mile was mile 6. All the while I remembered the sacrifice of those lost as a result of the tragedy, back then and even now. I also thought of my children, whose Millennial generation was defined by the events of 9/11/01 and hoped they would be a strong force for good in their lives.
The Earned Runs HOME page section that has explained the event and previous experiences now has its own page, THE HONOR SERIES. Check it out if you wish to learn more.
RUN & MOVE HAPPY!
WEEK 1: TURKEY TROT 2019 RUN AND WALK TRAINING PLANS START! Tomorrow Monday, September 16 is the first day of both the running and walking 10+week training plans. Runners, if you decide to use the optional TRACK DAY and haven’t yet done so, spend some time today locating a track to use for the Monday workout.
This is the second year a WALKING 5K & 10K Training Plan is being offered. It’s for runner’s who wish to take a break from their usual training and for walkers who would like to formally prepare for run/walk events.
DOWNLOAD (see below) the plan calendars, track day schedule, and minutes to miles calculations sheet as needed.
Explore the RESOURCES website page to find hip-girdle mobility (myrtl’s) routine demonstrations, dynamic stretching suggestions, and strength training exercises.
Thanksgiving Day is late in November this year, and I can’t wait!
Good Luck to all.
RUN & MOVE HAPPY!
Run Training Plan PDF
Walk Training Plan PDF
Optional Track Day Schedule
Minutes to Miles calculations sheet
ANDREW MERLE SUGGESTS, IN AN ARTICLE FOR MEDIUM.COM, THAT WAITING FOR LARGE BLOCKS OF OPEN TIME TO INITIATE AND COMPLETE TASKS likely leads to decreased productivity, or worse. He feels that many of us tend to squander seconds and minutes, adding up to potentially hours of missed opportunity.
To make the most of these spare moments of 5 m, he says in “How to Maximize Small Pockets of Time”, we must first recognize signposts that mark the beginning of these valuable but often wasted time-pockets. Merle calls them “triggers”. The second key step in utilizing these times he indicates, is to “determine what can be done in these little chunks of time”.
Merle provided several examples of how he has managed to reclaim some minutes in his own life. Rather than patiently wait 2 minutes for the shower water to warm each morning, he decided to drop and perform pushups just after turning on the water (his trigger). And instead of letting time pass by while the coffee brews he suggests calling a loved one to make personal contact as soon as the coffeemaker is switched on (the trigger). A third example involves meditation. Time pockets of five or less minutes can be maximized in this fashion, he says.
The trick, as Merle says, is to identify specific triggers that will remind us to initiate and complete the desired action.
Earned Runs loves this concept. We all might be attempting to do this intuitively, but only on some days, and in a hit-or-miss manner. However, if we commit to finding pockets of times that are currently squandered each day and determine which ones we can regularly use in a productive way, might we also reclaim that time to use for other purposes? Maybe for relaxation or recreation!
Let’s say we squeeze 5-minute time pockets of upper body strength work into each of 5 days, totaling 25 minutes per week. That effort normally would consume traveling to and from a fitness facility plus 15-30 minutes of a larger workout, at least 2 or 3 days a week. By getting it done in time pockets, a chunk of at least 30-60 minutes each week could be saved and enjoyed in some other way. [Travel time isn’t counted because we may plan to go to the gym regularly anyway.]
Below are athletic and health-related activities that might be performed in 5-minutes or less that borrow from Merle’s inspiration:
Andrew Merle provides motivation to make the most out of small spare moments each day. What he encourages lines up with practices advocated by the current lifestyle organization trend. The foundations of the various organizing systems seem to center on the identification of clothing or household items which are necessary to daily living, then maximizing small storage spaces such that each can be folded or arranged in its own special place. The secret sauce of life organizing starts with uncluttering. Rarely used items are packed up and donated or discarded.
In our fitness lives it’s possible that one or two goals that we feel are important to meet for health can be identified, and activities designed to help achieve them fit into small time slots. In this way each will have a place secured in a routine such that repeated performance is possible and progress can be realized. Like Merles pre-shower daily push-ups. He started with the ability to consecutively perform a maximum of 20, and ultimately mastered a whopping 75!
These brief activities can involve fitness, meditation, and personal relationship building as described in the article. It’s up to the individual to choose what’s vital. Some might choose sleep, nutrition, or cognitive training.
However, it also may be vital to leave some ‘un-maximized’ minutes open, aware of when they occur, and fully savor each unfettered hour fraction. Back in the day, I remember that kindergarten ‘free time’ was the best! Life might be good when it’s organized, but it’s wonderful when enjoyed.
RUN & MOVE HAPPY!
IT'S TIME TO REPLACE MY SHOES, IT SEEMS, BASED ON THE APPEARANCE OF THE SOLES OF MY HOKA ONE ONE CLIFTON 5 PAIR AND UPDATE THE RESOURCES page information on athletic shoe selection. Those who currently are wearing running or walking shoes during fitness workouts may wish to check the soles of your current shoes. The pattern of wear can provide information about running and walking form. Online shoe guides may help with future shoe purchases, but bringing the old pair with you to a specialty running store for advice can guide your shopping, save time, and be less confusing.
Shoe reviews tend to focus on the latest models and improvements made by manufacturers. Shoe stores tend to have these models on display. It is perfectly fine to ask the store expert if last season's shoe will work as well for you and to inquire about sales.
The latest technological advances in shoe design and production will nearly always be more expensive, but not always. The new Rincon by Hoka OneOne™ as reviewed by Runnersworld.com is less expensive than other models.
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CHECK OUT THE DRAFTS of the beginner running and walking plans for this year, designed to help first-time runners and walkers prepare to participate in one of the many Thanksgiving Day events to be held across the USA. Not much has changed from 2018. As before, runners have the option of training on a track one day a week.
Earned Runs TURKEY TROT 2019 RUN PLAN
Earned Runs TURKEY TROT 2019 WALK PLAN
The first day of training is Sunday September 16, 2019, one week from today. A preview of the daily workouts may help some make the decision to start training early with either of these 10+week programs. The running plan was adapted from one developed by Mario Fraioli for Competitor.com. The walker plan was adapted from those offered free online by Hal Higdon.
The fact that Fraioli ‘s 5K running plan had a track day scheduled each week was one of the reasons it was selected by Earned Runs for beginners. The TRACK DAY option provides motivation to investigate where to find a regulation track and take advantage of the potential benefits to be gained from feeling comfortable using one to train. The following is an updated explanation for this choice that was initially posted in 2017.
“Why TRACK DAYS?”
A TRACK IS A TYPE OF FITNESS EQUIPMENT
It's more than a facility. Many beginner or would-be runners may not have ever run, trained, or walked on a standard track. They may not know where the nearest or most accessible high school, college, or community facility is located. It may seem to be a training facility that is off bounds to them, and more appropriately used by younger or more ‘serious’ athletes, who are fast, highly competitive, and in top physical shape. I believed this until 2014.
The TRACK DAY option provides motivation to investigate where to find a regulation track and take advantage of the potential benefits to be gained from feeling comfortable using one to train.
In my experience as a recreational walker and runner, there are three characteristics that make a track a standard piece of equipment that all runners and walkers should learn to use, and consider a training ‘home’.
A track is MEASURED, SAFE, and ATHLETIC.
Specific distance assignments in a plan can be difficult to mentally assess for those accustomed to ‘just running’ rather than training, especially shorter rather than longer stretches. A car can be used to chart a road course in miles, and a mobile device app to determine shorter distances, but it’s not always easy to be precise with these lesser distances on paths or trails. Marking precise distances by these methods is problematic too, as rarely are there memorable physical features at exact points to help runners visually recall the start and end of a set distance. (“Which tree marks 400 meters?”). If a training plan calls for varying distances the measurement difficulties are compounded.
A standard track lap or fraction of a lap is a limited distance that looks the same every time you cover it. Memorizing a series of landmarks isn’t required to determine the exact distance run or walked. Mentally it’s nearly effortless to use.
The track’s straight lengths are easily distinguished from the curved ends. The time it takes to cover specific distances is relatively easy to measure with a clock function on a watch or a phone app. Using a track regularly for training may help your body to develop ‘memory’ for different distances too.
Safety is a life quality that has several dimensions. A running SURFACE can be more or less safe from an injury prevention perspective, especially when workouts will be performed at higher speeds or in adverse weather conditions. A standard running track tends to be even, consistent, textured, slightly cushioned, and appropriately drained. A surface designed specifically for competition is more likely than others to be safe for running faster-paced, precise intervals.
A running course can be more or less safe to run or walk from a weather perspective, especially when conditions are extreme or are expected to change over the duration of a single workout. Running or walking multiple loops of a street course has been my preferred approach on such days. Support items can be made available, in a nearby parked car.
On extreme weather days in which the air might be hotter, colder, windier, or wetter than is desirable for performance or health, a track may beat a street loop-course because hydrating fluids, nutrition, and dry, cooling, or warming clothes can be stowed in a bag and left in full view at the edge of the track or on bleacher seats, only a single lap away.
When a runner/walker is uncertain about being able to complete a given workout in its entirety, especially if longer or more difficult than previously experienced, the track can be a great place to safely test limits of endurance.
Personal safety is another concern of outdoor runners and walkers. On a track there is less likelihood of incurring bodily harm from traffic accidents caused by faster moving vehicles on busy city streets or related to low-light conditions. Isolated paths or suburban and country roads are places where expectations of receiving timely assistance from passers-by should be low in cases of emergency. A track can be a top safety choice. However, tracks with poor lighting or in locations out of sight of others, or in high crime areas would not. Check-out the active.com article by Lauren Hargrave, which provides personal safety tips for runners.
Performing a workout on a track is one way for beginners to feel and act like the athletes they aspire to become. Acquiring this mental attitude will help a runner persevere in the tougher training regimens and possibly adopt healthier eating and sleeping habits.
The track is also a user-friendly place to perform pre-run dynamic stretching and mobility routines and to get in post-run static stretches as well as recommended body-weight strength exercises (step-ups and step-downs, dips and push-ups, etc) on benches and stairs. Holding oneself to the rule that you cannot start the running portion of the workout or depart from the premises before completing necessary routines increases the chances that they won't be skipped.
In some races the finish line is located on a track and the very last portion of the race includes a partial lap. Performing some workouts on a track can help beginners to visualize a successful goal race finish.
Despite the encouragement of Earned Runs, the track may not be a desirable place to train for some. The Track Day Schedule identifies the approximate distances that should be run that day to help you accomplish the session goals without utilizing a track. The minutes-to-miles calculation sheet may be helpful in translating a timed-measured into a distance-measured session.
RUN & MOVE HAPPY!
MOBILE "GYM" ALLOWS STRENGTH AND HIGHER INTENSITY CARDIO-RESPIRATORY FITNESS TRAINING. WHEN I SWITCHED FROM MOSTLY RUNNING FOR EXERCISE to fitness walking, I was recovering from a knee injury. The revelation that osteoarthritis was the underlying reason for the problem caused me to reconsider my fitness routine. It no longer seemed wise to pound the pavement daily and neglect other forms of exercise.
Strength training officially became more important, once it was prescribed by my orthopedic surgeon to help limit further knee damage. I knew it would extend the natural life of all joints and work to build bone. But it would not serve as a fun form of aerobic fitness training.
At that time I started investigating alternate forms of cardio-respiratory exercise like cycling, swimming, rowing, and elliptical work. If I could no longer rely on putting in hours of running each week to benefit cardiovascular health, other endurance training would be needed to fill the gap. However, most of these other exercise modes were low impact and not the best for maintaining bone health as measured by bone mineral density (BMD).
Walking would function temporarily as a placeholder activity for running, I thought, as it felt slow and not like real exercise. I wasn't planning on sticking with 'just ' walking permanently. Lifelong walker and hiker friends offered encouragement with personal testimonials, but I was not to be easily consoled in this first, cold weather season without running. Walking wasn’t the same as running.
With the first winter thaw I discovered that fat tire biking would help break my total-walking funk. It proved to be an exhilarating way to cover more miles in less time and experience a tougher workout. That riding allowed enjoyment of more varied scenery almost made up for the fact that it provided only low impact physical activity.
I took up snowshoeing too and loved it; still it was no substitute for running.
With the advent of spring I played more golf with my husband, using a pushcart to transport my clubs over the course, as was his preference too. We both wanted to get more exercise from the activity than would come from riding in a cart. My arms fatigued more easily though, with the added effort of cart pushing. I wondered how, other than golfing more, I might train to finish 18 holes without tiring by hole number 8.
Because our first, and at that time only, grandchild wasn’t yet old enough to upgrade her ride in a jogging stroller that spring and summer, ours was rarely used and sat gathering dust in the garage. One day, as I maneuvered it out of my way during cleaning, I noticed the position and feel of the stroller’s push bar was remarkably similar to that on the golf pushcart. After that, I had another reason to eagerly await our darling granddaughter's visit - to train for golf with her in the stroller.
The brilliant idea of pushing the stroller without a child in it for a harder aerobic workout than plain walking came to me much later that fall. With heart-healthy endurance exercise as a goal I took it out for a spin once the number of visitors to the area dwindled to the point that very few would share the bike path on my early morning walks.
Before long I decided to load a few weights in it to increase the intensity of these aerobic sessions. The initial 22-pound load increased to 35 pounds, then by small increments to 71 pounds. During that time, I began swapping out the added items (ankle weights and weighted vest) that was just, well, “weight” with functional workout equipment: dumbbells, a kettle bell, and sand balls. Winter set in, though and my routine switched again to mostly walking, lap swimming, and indoor gym strength training.
The stroller waited in the garage.
When the snowy bike paths cleared enough to resume stroller pushing, I tested walking/jogging with it to create a HIIT (high intensity interval training) session. The very short intervals at higher jogging rather than walking speed did not bother my knees and seemed to provide just the right amount of higher-impact exercise to help with bone strength.
With the arrival of lovely warm weather in late spring, I began experimenting with walking/jogging to pre-determined walk stops (‘stations’) to perform strength exercises using the equipment loaded in the stroller. Soon pushups and triceps dip sets were added to the weight work. It was a summer win-win. With a stroller I was able to embrace walking as my go-to aerobic exercise and I could carry equipment for strength sets and spend more time out doors in the nice weather. Once weekly hill repeat sessions behind the buggy added yet another type of workout to my fitness regimen.
My child-less stroller pushing on the nearby bike path was initially embarrassing. Neighbors and friends knew I had a grandchild and expected to see one riding in it. Eventually the mobile gym stopped eliciting comments and surprised looks. After the birth of a second granddaughter this spring the routine also became a way for me to connect with the new mommy-daughter. It was easy for us to converse on the phone as we both pushed strollers simultaneously on daily walks, she being hundreds of miles away with a real baby on board!
Now that autumn is on the horizon, I hope to create a one or two-month challenge for myself utilizing the stroller gym. An Earned Runs challenge will be introduced in the next week or so, designed for those who may also wish to strength train and at the same time increase the intensity of a walk or run, by pushing a weighted stroller.
I think the physical work of weighted stroller pushing is like fitness-sled pushing.* Unfortunately, a search of the scientific literature did not generate articles that might support or refute this opinion.
An earlier investigation of the fitness and scientific literature, reported upon in a previous Earned Runs blog post, found that running behind a stroller with a child-size weight (about 16 kg/35 pounds), while maintaining normal non-stroller running pace, would increase calorie expenditure by about 5-8%. The 2-handed technique was most energy efficient (easiest for maintaining performance and reducing the physiological burden) and the “push/chase” technique burned the most calories per minute (a bit more difficult and better for cardiovascular health or physical fitness purposes).
The scientists involved in the research concluded that “implementing different pushing methods may allow individuals to adjust their running routine to meet specific fitness objectives.”
Those who don’t have children to push may find, like I did, that walking or intermittently jogging while pushing a weighted stroller can boost energy expenditure and cardiovascular effort, plus permit incorporation of strength and HIIT training into a single exercise session. I was also able to easily transport water, rain gear, and an extra phone battery.
I discovered a way to replace running with walking, and love it.
RUN & MOVE HAPPY!
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.”
FOR THOSE WHO HAVE COMMITTED TO INTRODUCING STRENGTH TRAINING INTO A FITNESS regimen there’s a simple but challenging exercise that could jump start that resolution. It could potentially be performed at work or school for a quick session during a break in the day’s action. A resistance band or tube is required, that can easily be stowed in a backpack or large purse.
Mary Anderson presents this exercise in a very brief shape.com article. It combines a static lower body exercise- a backward lunge - with two upper body moves – an overhead press with one arm and a bicep curl with the other- using a resistance band. The coordinated body action naturally tests balance.
The exercise, called a Static Lunge Shoulder Combo, is demonstrated by its creator, fitness professional Alexander Charles at the New York City Equinox gym. Charles shows how to make the move a bit easier to perform (regression) and how to step it up (progression) too.
Mastery of just this one exercise might motivate additional attempts to take on strength training later in the month. Resistance band/tube manufacturers generally include an exercise guide with their products when purchased as a set (different colors denote different strength levels). Exercises are can be found online as well. The Anderson article provides some explanation and links to more information about this equipment.
Now is a great time to experiment with new forms of exercise, fitness equipment, and routines that will fit busy fall schedules and increase the likelihood of following though on self-improvement promises.
RUN & MOVE HAPPY!
SAY GOOD-BYE TO SUMMER AND GET READY TO WELCOME FALL. In advance of the astrological change of seasons later in September, today the USA begins to look forward to leaf color changes, crisper and cooler air in some locations, a sun that sits a bit lower in the sky, and other subtle indications of the coming autumn.
RUN & MOVE HAPPY!
RUN WALK-BIKE ACROSS AMERICA: WEEK 15, THE END OF OUR VIRTUAL ROAD TRIP
Segment 39 North Conway NH to Portland MAINE
(Updated from 2018)
The LAST segment of travel on the entire route from Astoria OR, then Portland OR, to Portland ME will be completed this week, possibly on Monday by some of you, which is Labor Day in the USA. The route courses in a southeastern direction from New Hampshire toward the coast of the Atlantic Ocean to the state of Maine.
The easternmost point of land in the contiguous 48 states is near Lubec, Maine. President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s summer vacation home on Campobello Island, where it is thought he contracted the poliovirus infection that left his legs paralyzed, is not in the US but in the Canadian province of New Brunswick, east of Lubec off the state’s Atlantic coast. The only highway access to Campobello is a United States road bridge from Lubec.
Maine has nearly 230 miles of famously rocky coastline! Scenes of Maine that are most familiar to Americans are likely to feature lighthouses, jagged cliffs, bays and inlets, beaches, offshore islands, and fishing villages. However, farther inland there are lakes, rivers, and mountains with “forested slopes sweeping down to the sea”. Blueberry farming and lobster fishing are traditionally listed as mainstays of the state's economy but tourism, shipbuilding, and other industries are also strong. Maine is home to Acadia, near Bar Harbor, the only National Park in New England, which is about halfway up the coast from Portland, north and eastward.
The city of Portland lies on a peninsula in Casco Bay on the Gulf of Maine. As a real tourist, you would probably wish to visit it's charming and historic Old Port District, with its views of the Atlantic Ocean along Portland Harbor. If this endeavor wasn’t virtual, the next scheduled stop on your itinerary might be at one or several of the many restaurants and drinking establishments in the area that make Portland a foodie attraction. A relaxing dinner may be the perfect way to celebrate reaching the end of the ACROSS AMERICA route. Regardless of actual location, perhaps a Maine-inspired dinner that included lobster in the main course and a blueberry dessert would be a fitting way to finish to this challenge.
YOU HAVE REACHED YOUR DESTINATION!
CONGRATULATIONS to all who completed this cross-country running, walking, or biking “trip” of 3730 virtual miles over the summer. My personal journey was accomplished while pushing a jogging stroller around my neighborhood course, which allowed stowing keys and an ID, water, an extra battery backup for my phone, and rain gear for unexpected showers. I pinned by Earned Runs bib to the sun visor.
Each year of this challenge I have discovered something new about the geography, history, and ways of the people in the lands traveled. There’s still a lot to learn, however, portions of the spaces in America previously unknown to me have become more familiar as a result of repeatedly researching and writing about the route. Often times the revelations have been AWE INSPIRING! What about you? Were you sometimes surprised at what you read in the weekly blog postings?
Take some time to bask in the glow of accomplishment that comes with attaining a far-reaching goal. You would have covered anywhere from 37-3730 total miles in 14+ weeks IN THE COURSE OF ASSUMING THIS EARNED RUNS SUMMER CHALLENGE.
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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