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I have been running on the treadmill for weeks now. My motivation to run the 5k Cherry Blossom race wasn’t enough to make me improve my speed and my mileages. I was hardly running my 2 miles on 5/hour speed, once or twice a week.
I also had started to diet and cut my calories intake, which made me weak, and I stopped enjoying my runs.
I decided to do some research to find out what is wrong with the way I am training. I found out that:
First: I should start by eating more, and not to worry about my weight for now.
Second: I should have shorter runs with faster speed, without worrying how long I will last.
I did follow my new rules for few weeks. It worked. I gained speed (and weight:) but I was still far from reaching the 3.1 miles (or 5K).
After a second round of research and mainly reading Runner’s magazine, I found out that I should emphasis on doing other exercises, besides running, like Yoga, Pilates, and even building my muscles.
Studies have shown that: Yoga, Pilates and Body Pump, improve your core strength and prevent injuries for runners. This seemed a little complicated for me to understand from the first time, but once I got it, it meant in another more simple language: your abdominal muscles will be stronger to hold the weight of your body and distribute it equally when you run, this will make you feel more balanced and will take some burden out of your legs when you run. In addition, Yoga will stretch your leg muscle so you will feel less stiff after long runs. It is like having a professional massage in a 5 stars hotel resort, but cost less.
So I started attending Yoga and Pilates classes and going to the body pump group exercise twice a week, since it was included in my gym membership.
Body Pump was the most efficient exercise to improve my leg’s muscle. I have noticed that lunges and squats did wonder on my legs. I felt the difference when I start running again. I, suddenly, realized how underestimated are the body Building exercises and how many prejudice surround them. Women are so scared to look masculine and bulk up. Believe me, it takes forever to bulk up, and you need to eat lots of protein supplements to look like incredible Hulk. It doesn’t happen over night. Body building group exercise, a.k.a Body Pump, makes your loose skin, on the legs and arm, look tighter. It also creates an illusion of a narrower waste.
Who doesn’t want to have a great shape? Bodybuilding shapes you. This is the one thing that Pilates and Yoga don’t do. (It is just my opinion, from my experience)
So after weeks of exercising my legs and abdominals, I was finally able to run 3.1 miles on the treadmill.
Yes! I did it, I ran yesterday my 5K.
However, this doesn’t make me ready for the race yet: running on the road is more strenuous than running on the treadmill. In order to mimic running on the road, I should have the treadmill slightly elevated, you know as if I was running on a hill. This will create a physical simulation of the road, with its roughness and the unexpected bumps and hills.
This is what I am going to do the next time I will run on the treadmill, I will elevate it a notch. Hoping that, very soon, the weather will get better and I will be able to run outside, on a real road.
I will keep you posted guys.
Thank you Nayla, Holly and Slpmartin for your encouragement, I think of you each time I ran!
One last thing; since my blog today is lacking funny stories, I recommend reading my friend’s funny blog about her experience with exercising. Click here to read it: Workout Diary
Related topic: D.C. Cherry Blossom Rrun, my battle.