Tag Archives: fitness

4.3 miles

Yesterday was my longest run since I’ve began blogging, and it was one of the best I’ve had.

I ran a loop from Belmont up to Irving Park along the lakefront and finished going south past Wrigley Field. Below is my route:

Run 7: 3.66 Miles

Yesterday evening’s run was very smooth and relaxing. I slowed down my pace and extended my mileage to continue to try to build my endurance. I got home late from work and wasn’t able to start my run until about 8:15, when the weather cooled down about 20° (from the 90° high!).

Here was my route:

Run 6: 3.36 Miles

To finish off my day, I ran a little shy of three and a half miles. This was the longest that I’ve run thus far and it was exhausting. On the bright side though, no shin splints today!

Here was my route:

Tracking your run

I’m adamant about tracking my mileage and any calories that I’ve been able to lose. I have found 2 tools that are perfect for both:

Gmaps Pedometer

Gmaps pedometer is a free hack that uses Google’s mapping application to help record distances traveled and calories burned during a workout (running/walking). I absolutely love this application and frequently include screenshots on this blog that I’ve created using the Gmaps pedometer. In fact, using the hybrid option, I’m even able to track my mileage on the Chicago Lakefront trail as I can follow the streets that I’ve run down until I reach the trail, and then draw my course down the trail to get an idea of the total mileage that I’ve covered. This tool also includes a calorie counter (sorry bikers and skaters – only applicable for runners and walkers), that tracks how many calories you have shed based upon your weight and the distance that you’ve traveled.

Nike + ipod Sport Kit

Nike + ipod sport kit

The Nike + ipod sport kit is a a device measuring and recording the distance and pace of a walk or run that is compatible with the Nike + shoes and ipod Nano.  All Nike + shoes have a built-in pocket beneath the insole of the shoe where a sensor can be placed that communicates with the receiver, which is placed in the ipod and collects and records data from your run. When your run is complete and you sync your ipod back into a computer, the data from your run integrates directly with the Nike website, and a picture of your pace throughout the run is created. If you already have the shoes and an ipod nano, the Nike + ipod sports kit will set you back about $30.

Fighting shin splints

I ran the 2.71 mile loop yesterday by the Chicago Lakefront. The majority of the run was smooth, but my left shin was in pain toward the end of my run. I knew it was shin splints.

I’ve been overstriding during my runs, and changing surfaces (concrete, blacktop, limestone trail), which I attribute as the primary causes of the shin splints.

To recover quickly from shin splints, follow these tips:

  1. Ice legs after a run.
  2. Ingest some aspirin or ibuprofen with food.
  3. Wrap a heating pad around your leg in the evening.
  4. Stretch by doing Wall pushups.

Shin splints tend to occur more often as new (or in my case, out-of-shape)runners begin to become acclimated with running. There’s also a chance that your shoes may be worn down (new shoes every 500 miles!) and that you may not have the best type of shoe for your feet. If this is the case, you may want to check out this article on finding the right running shoe.

Days 3 & 4

Day 3 was the 2.71 mile loop that I ran on day’s 3 and 4. Day 4 was a 5k run through a torrential downpour that took my ipod out of commission over the weekend. My running form is improving and my legs are starting to turn over as I become fatigued during my runs. I took Friday, Saturday and Sunday off and I’ll be starting up with another 5k today. While it’s only week 2, I’m already beginning to feel my level of fitness elevating.

In my mind, there are 2 keys to improving your fitness through running:

  • Run (almost) everyday. The more you run, the easier it becomes and the more likely that you’ll continue to keep up with it. You’ll also begin to see some of the many benefits of running.
  • Create balance in your runs. Spend some workouts concentrating on speed and others on distance.
    • Long distance runs will allow you to build capillaries, which deliver oxygen and nutrients to and remove waste products from the body’s cells.
    • Speed workouts, which should be incorporated once the total weekly running milage exceeds 20 miles, will allow you to improve your arm drive, stride and stamina, while contributing to better running form.

I’ll begin incorporating speed work into one run a week once I’ve surpassed 20 miles a week in my 3rd week of running. This week I’m looking to run around 15 to 20 total miles.

Run 2: 2.71 Miles

Yesterday evening, I ran the same loop from Wrigley Field to Belmont, down to the Belmont Harbor and back up the Lakefront trail. It was less painful than Run 1.

Observations from Run 2:

  • Heat is a factor. The weather on my first run was hot and humid and I felt every step of the run. It might be beneficial for me to run later in the day, although the longer I wait to run, the less likely I am to run. It’ll be important to plan for the weather.
  • Hydration is key. I was significantly better hydrated on my second run than on my first and the run was much smoother. In the past, I’ve been dehydrated or come down with heat stroke throughout summer runs, and it has a lasting effect. To counter this, I’m going to try to make a concerted effort to increase the amount of water I drink throughout the day, and consuming no more than about 8oz an hour before I run.