Tuesday, November 25, 2008

My first 5K race

I've been thinking about entering a 5K to see how I'd do. I'm pretty certain I can finish but since they post times and pace I'm a little shy about having a bad showing. There are a couple of races in my area between now and the end of the year but I've decided to make this a goal for the 1st quarter of 2009. In the meantime I will use 5k (3.1 mile) as a target for improving speed, time and pace.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Cross training with an elliptical machine

I run every morning and as I increase my distance I worry about the impact on my body. We got a BH Fitness elliptical machine on Friday and it gives me an opportunity to alternate between running and a lower impact form of aerobic exercise. I used it this morning instead of running (first time I've not run since early Sept. - I feel a little guilty). It will be interesting to see if I feel more rested tomorrow when I run.

I had a long weekend and ran longer than usual on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. I'm thinking about entering a 5K race some time in early 2009.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Performance data

I upload my run data to the Nike+ website (top) which provides a personalized page that tracks my history. It keeps track of total number of runs, total distance and average pace. You can look at each run separately as well. You can also set and track goals, participate in discussions and challenge other Nike+ users. MapMyRun provides similar functionality but doesn't require the use of the Nike+ system. You can import your data from the Nike site to MapMyRun (directly above) and see much more detail about the run than Nike provides.

Trying something new

I've been reading about the importance of proper hydration and eating to support running. Up until yesterday I would do my 1 - 2 miles each morning fortified with nothing but a half cup of coffee. I've been experimenting with small snacks, yesterday I had some wheat crackers before my run and I felt much more energized. Today I drank some extra water before my run and ate half of a low fat low sugar granola bar before running. I ate the second half after with the rest of my coffee. I think there is a difference in terms of the pace I can maintain.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

My routine

I've asked a lot of other runners about their running routines. Most say that they run three to five times a week and have stressed the importance of taking days to rest or cross train. I don't take days off to rest because I'm afraid that if I stop it will be harder to resume. Plus I would feel guilty for missing a day. I run one to two miles every morning (on the treadmill) and then do longer runs outside on weekends. My longest continuous run so far is 2.6 miles and I'm hoping to go a full 3 miles in the next few weeks.

We're getting an elliptical machine this week so I plan to switch between running and elliptical every day (but run Saturdays and Sundays). The elliptical is low impact and will help provide a rest from running.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


I've been using the Nike+ Sportsband and sensor to automatically capture my run data. The sensor is a radio frequency identification (RFID) device that fits in your Nike shoe. The wireless sensor records information about the speed and impact of your footfall and sends it to the Sportsband that displays distance, pace and time as you run. The face of the unit can be detached and used as a USB device to upload the data to the Nike+ website and you can see your history of runs.

Yeah, I'm a runner

Actually I'm not much of a runner at this point but I want to be much better. Three months ago I decided to become much more active and improve my diet. I started walking every morning and quickly moved to running when that started feeling right. Although I was in moderately good shape before I started I began to lose weight quickly and was able to run distances I haven't been able to achieve since my first attempts to run regularly in the early '90's.

I'm going to use this blog as a journal to remind myself of my progress and my definitions of success in the early stages of running. I'll talk about the technologies I'm using and the goals I'm setting. I would love to hear from anyone that's interested in these subjects.

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