August 16, 2011

Health on the Go - Running Pacing

I am back from my trip to Istanbul, Turkey and both my sister and I are super impressed with the beauty, bustle and experiences of the country! The people are wonderful and warm just like the weather.  The buildings were breath taking and it was a really economical place to visit.

I was so impressed that I've decided to dedicate several posts in the month of September to the trip - with tips and itineraries for any of you who may be interested in visiting.

But for now - I am back, and it's actually a beautiful sunny day in Holland!  I can't wait to hit the road for a run to work out these wobbly travel legs. 

I first fell in love with running after high-school after the end of my organized sport participation forced me to find a way to stay healthy.

My love was rekindled as I started traveling around the world to visit places and to work.  Running is such a great way to see cities when you are traveling and is a sport you can do in almost any place around the world!  It also is a cheap and easy to supply sport. All you need is your shoes, a watch, socks, a shirt, a sports bra (for the ladies), running shorts and maybe some jams for the road.

One way I keep motivated to run is to sign up for races periodically throughout the year.

This fall I'll be running the Amsterdam Half Marathon in October.  I've done countless 5K's, 10K's, and half-marathon's to stay motivated- and last year I completed my first full marathon.  It was a really amazing and crazy experience!

I'll post my running "trial and error" tips and suggestions as this fall's race approaches - for newbie runners and those who are thinking about starting up. I would also love to hear tips and pointers from any of you who are veteran runners!

Today's Tip

Pacing is a really important aspect of running especially during long races and in training.

If you are just starting out I suggest just setting a time for your overall run - 10 minutes, 20 minutes, 30 minutes and take a watch with you for the run.  When you get halfway in time out, do a loop back or retrace your steps if you are unfamiliar with the location.  When you get done note exactly how long you ran.

When you get home map out your route on Google Maps using the "Walking" option to determine your distance.

Then plug your distance and your overall time into a pace calculator. Cool Running's has a great calculator that lets you determine how long or how far you went on your runs and calculates the speed you're moving.

This lets you know your "base pace" - where you are starting out as a new runner.

After determining your "base pace" -  set a goal pace for your future runs or for an upcoming race.  As you are training try to reach that pace, even if it is only for a few minutes each run. Eventually, before you know it you will be adding speed to your pace and achieving little goals. 

Remember though - be patient with yourself ... slow and steady wins the race :)

The more you run the more capable you will become at understanding what your body can take and what it can't.  This was never more clear to me than during the training for my marathon and the race itself.  Starting out too hard can mean not finishing the race, having one heck of a painful training run or even in the worse case scenario suffering an injury.

I run for stress relief and fun so a 9:30 - 10:00 minute pace is usually my goal for longer runs. 

In future posts I'll tell you which equipment, outside of the Cool Running's website and a watch, I love to use to keep track of my pace while running.  I'm sure today's pace is going to be no bueno after all this traveling and baklava eating. 

Now if I could only find my running shoes in this suitcase unpacking debacle.....


Aaron M. Gipson said...

I gotta say that my hat is off to you for being able to run marathons on a whim like that. My knee is so bad that I can't even really skateboard anymore (and I used to be sponsored). Walking seems to do the trick for me though nowadays.

Preppy Pink Crocodile said...

Wow- I can't wait to read all the fun details of your exciting trip!


Megan said...

i totally cant wait to see recaps of your time in turkey! i have never been but definitely dream to visit there sometime :)

travelkate said...

Istanbul is at the top of my wish list to visit! Can't wait to hear about your trip and get some tips!

Shera "The Expatriate" said...

Next week starts Turkey Time! Lots of good tips!

Also, I'm going to have a turkey give away!

Aaron - I totally ran/walked the marathon because I have knee issues too. It worked really great, my knee made it out alive, and I finished at about a 10:30 pace. That is so cool you used to be sponsored for skateboarding! Do you have any videos on your blog (I'll have to check it out:)).

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