by CASSIE MCINTYRE
Special to CTFashionMag.com
It’s that time of year again where the temperature drops and the days grow shorter. The cooler temperatures and beautiful views make being outside worthwhile especially when it comes to your fitness routine.
Fall running is the type of running that can keep your mind at ease and your body can still take advantage of being outside. Close personal friend, marathon runner and fitsporation female, Megan Jaswell, has some runner tips for taking your training up a notch this season.
I met Meg about two years ago and she’s quite the inspirational young woman. Her love for running has inspired many, including myself, to go outside and just do it no matter how fast or how slow you are. Megan trains about 5x a week and runs marathons all over the USA and Canada. Her most recent 26.2 mile finished at 2:49:37. A personal best for her in her running career so far. Megan suggests, “If you’re using the fall as training time have one quality workout (speed work on the track) a week and then three days of easy paced miles. “Having three days off to rest and recover is smart for your mind and body.”
Once a week, after a 5 to 10 minute warm up, some of your speed work/ conditioning should include some type of drills. Whether you’re training for a 5k, 10k, half marathon, or full marathon, warm up with one to two miles then go into some speed work. Meg recommends trying a pyramid style conditioning routine. It includes: four 200 meter sprints followed by two 400 meter sprints, one 800 meter sprint, back down to a two 400 meter sprint, then four 200 meter sprints, and finally a one mile cool down followed by stretching.
Obviously to each their own on whichever pyramid style set up works best for you, in terms of distance, take it at your own pace.
You could also try the 30/30 method, which includes running slightly faster for 30 seconds and then jogging for 30 seconds and repeating this about five times. Take a two minute walk break and then go back to some speed drills, perhaps taking it up another notch by walking for 30 seconds, jogging for 30 seconds, running for 30 seconds and then repeating about four to five times. However you approach your drill work be sure to listen to your body.
Try to extend yourself. Every other week try increasing the distance of how far the run, walk, or jog will take you.
Remember running is about listening to your body and going at your own pace. Increasing your speed comes with time, patience, and practice. Rome wasn’t built in a day so don’t sweat about not feeling fast enough to go outside and run. Maybe add about a half a mile each week to your routine. Increase the distance until you’re running about 5-10 miles. Remember to take walk breaks when you need to. Increasing your distance will help boost your endurance and increase your body’s blood flow. Megan also would like us all to remember “Rest and recovery are just as important as the training itself.” She also recommends taking a yoga class on a rest day for strength and stretching.
Water is key. “Hydration shouldn’t just be a focus on race day. Water is what our bodies are made up of and we should be drinking plenty of it every day.”
The recommendation on water intake is about two to three liters a day, depending on your height and weight. “If you are always hydrated when it comes time to train you won’t have to reach for water as often or take it on your runs at all. Plus staying hydrated will make you feel better whether you train or not.”
If you are a salty sweater Megan also suggests considering an electrolyte to add into your hydration. Electrolytes shouldn’t be taken instead of water but should be an addition to your water intake. Electrolytes control the fluid balance in your body and are essential for muscle contraction, energy generation, and almost every other biochemical reaction needed for health and proper organ function.
Challenge yourself by entering a race. Races give you an extra incentive to go outside and run. Maybe sign up for a local weekend race. Megan suggests choosing a different state park to run off road on trails for a change of pace and scenery than regular on road running. “There are races all over New England on the weekends, which help change things up a bit and get you running outside and meeting new people.” Megan has met a lot of amazing athletes all over the USA from the races she has participated in. Her take away on meeting new people are the connections she’d built over the years. What she loves about running.”
“New running partners, learning from other runners, the overall inspiration and the sense of community. People who run are fun and they are never betting against you. Everyone is out there to support one another if you’re having a good day or a bad day, you go out for a run and it just elevates your mood…”
“Runners high” is real.
Overall, running is a great way to stay in shape both mentally and physically.
Cassie McIntyre is a NASM certified personal trainer.