The gift of time was given to us all by stay-at-home orders. It may have been a 30 minute commute each way (plus putting on pants time). Or, like in the case 3.3 million others, all of your time because you are now unemployed. Watching my friends, family, and former coworkers adjust to this gift it is much like watching different people win the lottery. Some blow their winnings right away and end up worse off then they were beforehand. Others are paralyzed with fear so do nothing, and some embrace the gift, seize the opportunity and look at how to use the gift for good.
“Time is what we want most, but what we use worst.” William Penn
No more excuses!
As a business and personal coach I have worked with hundreds of people who say they want growth. The number one thing getting in their way? You guessed it, time. They want to be healthier, but they don’t have time. They want to learn a new skill, but can’t find time. In fact, lists of wants continue to grow and yet people do not. “I’d love to read books, listen to podcasts, take a course, or even go back to school, but I can’t find the time”, they say. Here it is. The gift of time was given to you. 5 hours a week minimum. No more excuses!
“The way we spend our time defines who we are.” Jonathan Estrin
How will you reflect back on this time? With pride of your accomplishments and contributions? Yesterday was the best time to start. Today is a great time to start. Tomorrow . . . next week . . . . Start small and build. Small improvements over time are like compounded interest. They grow into something large.
Staying at home as been difficult, certainly regret is worse. Don’t let another moment pass. This is your time. Take that first step. You can do this. Yes you can!
18 weeks of training for a marathon cancelled due to the COVID-19! 18! You’ve rearranged your schedule, skipped family events, missed out on all the fun and for what? Notification of a race cancellation or a postponement. Anger, frustration, hopelessness, relief, gratitude. You name it; you’re probably feeling it. In fact, you may have felt them all and considering the hard work and sacrifice you have made you should. The same feelings can occur when sickness, injury or emergency derail your marathon training plans.
I know the feeling of disappointment is hard to shrug off. My favorite running event in April was postponed. Training for this event is what gets me through some of the winter blues. We must acknowledge those feelings and then let them go. Take this advice from Kenyan runner Eliud Kipchoge’s Instagram post, “To the thousands of runners who with me, have devoted the last months of our lives towards this goal I would like to say: Be proud of the work you have put into this journey, keep smiling and seek your next goal on the horizon to continue running in a smooth and positive way. I hope to join the starting line with you again soon.”
Gratitude allows us to focus on the positive and appreciate what we do have and it affects your health in a positive way. COVID-19 may have cancelled your marathon, but look for ways to be thankful.
- Be grateful for your health and be proud of your accomplishment through training.
- You’ve shown an amazing level of commitment so don’t let the fact that there is no medal define you. Your training defines you. Embrace the thought that you went out and did what most people won’t. You are a badass.
- Be grateful for your new level of fitness and keep running. Just not at the high intensity training level you have been doing.
- You have an open date on your calendar. You’ve reserved the race date; celebrate in some fashion.
“If you practice gratitude on a daily basis, then your motivation to run will last a lifetime.” Michael D’Aulerio
Intermittent fasting is quickly gaining in popularity. Many stars including Jennifer Lopez, Beyonce, and Hugh Jackman swear by intermittent fasting. With so much fame behind this fad there may be something to it right?
So what is it? There are many methods some of which are described below, but in a nutshell, it is scheduling periods of eating normally and then periods of not eating at all. The spans of eating normally are what make this so attractive to so many, but don’t let the “no counting calories; no cutting carbs; no macros” tag-lines associated with it trick you into thinking it’s easy. In fact, this may be more difficult than anything else you have tried in the past. Intermittent fasting requires: purpose, planning, and discipline. Compared to other lifestyle changes this one is rated difficult. Hey, but you’re a marathon runner. Difficult is your middle name.
Methods of Intermittent Fasting
16:8 Method; Eat for 8 hours fast for 16
With this method you choose an 8 hour window for eating your meals each day. One example is eat from
Intermittent fasting diet
breakfast to mid-day; 7 am – 3 pm. Or, if you usually skip breakfast anyway, you may choose your meal hours from 1 pm – 9 pm.
If choosing this method when training for a marathon you will want to plan your meals with your training schedule. If you are a morning runner, then you will want to fuel up for your runs and plan your 8 hours of eating at a time that helps your running performance.
Personally, I having been trying this method for about 2 months. I started with an eating schedule of 1-9 and found that since I run in the morning, this did not work at all. Crash, boom, bang! I could hardly muster the energy to get around the block let alone get my long runs in. Switching to a 7:00-3:00 schedule I have found is better for my training schedule, but horrible for a social life. Meeting up for drinks after work, date night, and even enjoying popcorn with a late night movie are all out on this schedule. What I have found to be pros of this method are: evening snacking is eliminated and better discipline to food choices since I am putting more effort into the planning.
5:2 Method; Eat for 5 days and fast for 2
This method may be preferable for runners because chances are your running schedule is already 5 days on 2 non-consecutive days off. Your rest days would then also be your fasting days. Somewhat more extreme than the 16:8 Method because you have 2 complete days of fasting, but it does allow for less social life restrictions. Many plans do allow for some calorie intake on the fasting days. Typically around 500 calories which are divided into two small snacks of 250 calories each throughout the day.
I have tried this method in the past and have found it to be extremely difficult. You will be hungry. There will be temptation, but once again, it does allow you to maintain better balance with life and lifestyle. On your 5 eat days you can still enjoy date night and meeting up with friends after work.
Eat Stop Eat Method
The Eat Stop Eat Method involves eating a meal then not eating again until that same meal time the next day. An example would be eat a normal dinner Monday evening and then don’t eat again until dinner time Tuesday evening. If you are training in the morning, then you may prefer eat breakfast Monday morning and then don’t eat again until breakfast Tuesday morning.
I don’t have personal experience with this method, but based on the number of hours you are active with no meals, this may be quite difficult.
Benefits of intermittent fasting while marathon training
- You cannot improve in one area of your life without improvements trickling into other areas of your life. By planning your meal periods, I have found that you plan the quality of the meals as well.
- Weight loss can occur.
- For runners, this is important, there can be a reduction in inflammation.
Have you tried this while training for an event?
How’d it go?
Baby it’s cold outside and you are training for a 1/2 marathon in this cold weather. Brrr! For me, the worse the weather the more I feel like a badass. In fact, this winter is no exception. It’s been frigid! Stay indoors and get those miles in on a treadmill, but if you prefer the outdoors here are some tips to make your outdoor training miles more bearable.
Cold Weather Running Tips
Protect your skin
Not just your exposed skin, all of your skin. My first layer is always moisturizer. Lubriderm all over, heavy lotion on my face, and Burt’s Bees on my lips. It’s very windy where I train and I find that this first layer keeps the wind from cutting through to my bones. (more…)
Currently, my training is focused on my next event; Martian Invasion of Races 1/2 Marathon. The big day is April 13th in Dearborn, Michigan. The most thrilling part is that for the 5th time I will be running a 1/2 marathon with a pace group. Why this event? For me, I do well with big goals to keep me on track with my training. This one sits perfectly on the calendar to force winter runs. Other reasons to run this race: the course is stellar, the earthlings are fun to run with, and the costumes are out of this world.
Why You Should Run Your Next 1/2 Marathon With a Pace Group
Run even splits
A huge benefit of running with a pace group is that pacers will run even splits. This will optimize performance for distance runs and help you run a better race overall. To make this work for you it is crucial that you select wisely. For instance, if you choose a pace group that is too fast, you may burn out too soon in the race and risk not finishing. (more…)