How to Make Your Running Time More Productive

One of the most exciting parts about running is watching yourself improve over time. However, this isn’t always so easy. When you first start, you get better quickly, but after a while, improving can seem like a tall task. I remember when I hit what felt like a brick wall where I just couldn’t reduce my time. I tried loads of different things, and when they didn’t work, I was worried I was “peaking.”

But deep down I knew this couldn’t be, so I said “enough is enough” and set out to find some ways to make my running time more productive. I wanted to share two of these techniques with you today so that you can avoid that feeling of hitting the wall.

Ration Your Energy Effectively

As with most newcomer and amateur runners, I used to exert far too much energy. I used too many strides and would start out way too fast instead of preserving my energy to help me do better overall. This led me to tire out later on, and my time for the session would suffer.

Rationing your energy is one of those “easier said than done” tasks, though. One helpful thing you can do is find your stride rate. Go for a run and when you’re in a comfortable, stable rhythm, time yourself for one minute and count your strides. The amount of strides you use per minute is your stride rate. Olympic athletes run at 180 strides per minute, so this is a nice target to aim for. However, it’s more important to shoot for consistency so that you can have a benchmark to measure improvements and set goals. Finding your stride rate will also help you determine your ideal pace to help you use your energy as efficiently as possible.

Learn Your Metrics

Using fitness devices and apps to learn your metrics is a very effective way to understand your current running abilities and to determine where you can improve. For example, I use the FitBit as well as the app that comes with it to track my running time, distance, calorie burn and other useful metrics.

Having this information makes my runs more dynamic. I can measure my performance on gradients or my average pace to develop strategies to get better. For example, when I first started doing this I realized I would slow down before a big uphill on my route because I had been going too fast at the beginning of my run.  Once I learned this, I started pacing myself better to attack the hill with more energy. This change helped me shave lots of time of my run, boosting my confidence and desire to keep working.

Besides the FitBit, there are lots of running apps to help you track metrics. They are all helpful, but no matter which one you use, they require personal information to work effectively. I always run my activity through a secure connection to make sure everything is protected.

Making your running time more productive is a matter of looking at things differently. Whether it’s your pace, energy use or heart rate, there is always some overlooked area for improvement. Today’s technology makes getting this new perspective much easier so that better results are never too far away.

Author Bio: Cassie is a health and tech blogger with a keen passion for running. She likes to spread awareness for combining technology with running so that people can effectively develop their skills and performance.

Honour Your Own Pace

I have started to listen to a load of different podcasts on my way to work, I will write a post about these soon! And one of them is by Kimberly Snider, in one of the first episodes they said something that really stuck with me and I really liked. 

They said; “Honour Your Own Pace” they followed this with something along the line of a seed takes its time to grow into a plant or a flower or a fruit, and it will not be rushed and neither should you. I loved this, and think it is so true.

We all need to understand that the changes we want our bodies, minds and lifestyles to go through will not always happen over night and we need to allow things to happen in their nature time frames and to enjoy the process and not give up. I know lots of people and will admit that I am one also, who has found something difficult and not seen the results we wanted as soon as we would have like so gave up. 

So I just wanted to share this with you all and let you know that you can do whatever you set your mind to, you just need things to go at their own pace and enjoy the changes and challenges!

Smart Scales

I do love a bit of technology when it comes to fitness, I think if it is used correctly it can be really helpful. It allows you to push yourself and your training into another level which you wouldn’t be able to do on your own. I think making tracking your activity and progress really easy enables you to stick to your goal and really understand what is working for you and what isn’t.

The iHealth smart scales track 9 different aspects of your body composition, including weight, body fat percentage, BMI, water weight, lean mass, bone density, visceral fat rating, daily calorie intake and the temperature and humidity of the day.

The scales connect to your Wi-Fi and then automatically upload any new results on to your phone via the iHealth app. You can have multiple people using the scales and check them separately, which is pretty cool, as then your whole house hold can get in on the action.

The app allows you to set a target with your weight, your BMI and your body fat and then you weigh yourself regularly, while the app keeps track overtime on a graph. The graph allows you to really see exactly how you’re going with your goals and makes it really visual. 

The scales are white with four silver circles on, the overall size of the scales are quite large, but they are not too bulky and they can easily be packed away. The app is a little bit old school and a little bit clunky but it really does what it says on the tin. Once you’ve connected your scales to your Wi-Fi and downloaded the app there isn’t really much more you need to do other than to set your goals, and weigh yourself as often as you would like to.

I’m not a big believer in weighing yourself every day get hung up on your weight, however with the scales it shows the different elements as well so your BMI and your body fat. I have no idea how to calculate your body fat from standing on a scale but it seems pretty accurate.

Since I received the scales I have managed to put on weight, but my body fat has stayed the same, so I am taking that as a positive! 🙂 The scales can be ordered online from iHealthlabs.com and cost $129.99. 

Do you use any smart scales or bits of technology to help you keep on track? 

** These products were gifted to me by iHealth but the opinions and pictures are my own. 

Busy Bee

Wow, it has been a long time since I last posted on here! 

I wrote a post about letting life in, and I guess I really did do that. I have been busy with work and buying a house!!! I got the keys the other week so have been spending a lot of time packing up the flat and decorating the house! 

I promise I haven’t fallen off the planet, just been trying to get lots done! I am still practicing yoga daily, trying to run at least twice a week and as always eating clean and healthy. 

I am going away for a week at the end of May, beginning of June so will be putting a fitness and food plan together to get me bikini body ready! I have signed up to the Tone It Up Bikini Series to get some inspiration (I really wish I looked like them!!!) I will be sharing my plans and my progress on here! 🙂

30 Day Challenge – Week 1

Week one started really well, I had planned food for the week and planned out the hits sessions for each day. Even though the meals look pretty small and the workouts look really hard, I was really looking forward to getting stuck into it.

The main aim behind the protein well challenge was to decrease intake of food and increase calorie expenditure by working out – This I can understand however I’m not a big fan of cutting down on food.

With my long work day I’m used to planning out food to the last ingredient. So planning my food for this week was quite exciting. The protein world website and a great range of different recipes for me to try. 

The one thing I really wasn’t too sure about with this challenge, was the tablets I was supposed to take. The first tablet was a fat metaboliser tablet and the second one was a hunger buster. I’m a bit of a wimp when it comes to taking tablets so was a little upset at the size of these ones and not 100% confident in taking tablets to make me less hungry or to help me lose fat. I am supposed to take the tablets three times a day just before food.

So, Monday come around and the food was great feeling pretty happy I decided to take on the first hit session. I didn’t anticipate just how hard this would be. I hate to admit it but only managed to complete half of the reps. In my head half was better than I right?

Tuesday, I woke up feeling a little sore from the workout but really determined to face the day and snatch the challenge. Again there is a planned out to that part was easy the only difficulty I had was taking the tablets. Again I up for the work out and managed complete the full set.

The rest of the week follow in a pretty similar fashion, really enjoying the food and really give it a good shot at the workouts. The weekends are where I really find it difficult to stick to a plan. I’m always pretty busy at weekends either working events, going home to see the family, or generally just meeting up with people that I haven’t seen in awhile.

Again throughout the whole week I was pretty rubbish at taking the tablets, I would always forget that I needed to take them before I’d eaten and then I remember after and then thought there was no point taking them!

All in all week one done really well, the food was lovely the workouts are hard but fun and I feel pretty happy.

 

** These products were gifted to me by Protein World, but the opinions and pictures are my own.