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Exercise & Fitness: it’s a marathon, not a sprint


Iskaral Pust
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On 7/27/2022 at 11:34 AM, Toth said:

This is a hard no on that one. My current regimen shows results and I am happy with that.

I'm going to slightly disagree with the crowd here and say that's fine. Yes, you may have a more negative impression of the gym than is warranted, but if you can be consistent with home workouts you can make progress. I used to go to the gym a lot, got out of the habit for a few years and was out of shape. Started to go again right before covid hit and closed all the gyms down, was forced into home workouts.

As a result I got in much better shape over the past couple years with body weight exercise at home and walking. Posted a progress pic somewhere earlier in the thread, I've made some more progress since then. It's slow progress, but I'm generally happy with it. Haven't been to a gym since February 2020, and honestly I don't miss commuting or waiting for a rack/bench/machine to open up. I've recently started running again because I like running and I'm no longer worried about whether my knees can handle my own weight, but the exact form of cardio and strength training doesn't really matter. As long as long as you enjoy it, are consistent, and don't quit, home workouts can be great.

Edited by AverageGuy
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I’ve been following this thread for a bit now & I know some of you are active runners. Was wondering if any of you know a  solution to my new problem.

I’ve always been an active person, played high school volleyball, a bit in my first year in college, had a gym membership ever since I’ve got my first paycheck and with a few exceptions such as the pandemic time and a couple of years in my early thirties when I had some medical issues, I always go 3 times a week to work out, so I’m generally fit. Not athletic fit but still.

The issue is: I’ve been running for a couple of years now on a constant basis about 2-3 times a week anywhere between 2 to 12 miles (3 km to 19 km). I’d say the average run is 5-6 (8-9 km) miles a run and the pace is around 11:00. Before this summer started I used to run 2 times in gym on treadmill and one long run on paved bike trails in forest preserves. Never had any knee problems, except for the clicking (no pain, no inflammation) that annoyed me for years now and probably everyone who’s working out next to me when I’m doing squats. The doc always said I’m fine though. She even sent me to the radiology and the ultrasound last year to make sure all is well as I’m getting older.

However this summer I finally caved in to improve my speed and wanted to run by the end of September a 10 mile (16 km )run with a pace under 10:30 min/mile and that’s when the issues started. First off: the runs since June are now all on asphalt or paved trails. Second it’s one of those Hill repeats, Pace Goals, speed intervals training plan from Garmin Coach plans. So clearly I’m not used to the switches in paces. Suddenly my knees are thick and stiff and frankly the muscles too. Still no pain, but I assume it will eventually happen as this inflammation and thickness doesn’t seem to go away from the back of my knee and my calf muscles.

I do put ice after the runs since my knees are hot, I raise my feet, I do stretching, I did yoga before this happened for years and I still do now in the days between run days.

I said I’ll make a doc appointment I just didn’t have time this summer and thought to check out other sources who may speak from experience.

Is there a way to not give up the runs in order for my calf muscles and knees to go back to their normal size. It’s relaxing me and it’s something I enjoy. I’d hate to give it up even for a bit.

Edited by TormundsWoman
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Yeah, trying to change pace can definitely lead to some new aches and pains! Could be that you're sacrificing form as you're attempting to run faster or that you just haven't built up enough for that speed yet. My best suggestion is to think about form as you run and to maybe dial back the number of speed/hill workouts. Easy runs should be the bulk of your running IMO.

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8 hours ago, Starkess said:

Yeah, trying to change pace can definitely lead to some new aches and pains! Could be that you're sacrificing form as you're attempting to run faster or that you just haven't built up enough for that speed yet. My best suggestion is to think about form as you run and to maybe dial back the number of speed/hill workouts. Easy runs should be the bulk of your running IMO.

You are most likely right about the speed/hill workouts and me not being ready for the pace increase. All those runs are much harder than my regular ones and I’m breathing like I’m a freight train by the time I’m at cool down portion. Makes me sad to think I can’t run faster without this happening. I’ll probably end up like you say with easy runs and keeping form with slower speed. Also I’m going start to work on legs strength training more too. Maybe that will help. Appreciate your take. Thx.

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On 8/1/2022 at 7:37 PM, TormundsWoman said:

You are most likely right about the speed/hill workouts and me not being ready for the pace increase. All those runs are much harder than my regular ones and I’m breathing like I’m a freight train by the time I’m at cool down portion. Makes me sad to think I can’t run faster without this happening. I’ll probably end up like you say with easy runs and keeping form with slower speed. Also I’m going start to work on legs strength training more too. Maybe that will help. Appreciate your take. Thx.

I think the rule of thumb that is recommended is for roughly 80% of your running to be at an easy pace and 20% at the higher intensity.  And it's best to gradually ramp up to the higher intensity workouts.  For example, start with higher pace intervals of 30 seconds followed by a minute or two at an easy pace, and repeat for 8-10 times.  Over time, you can slowly increase the length of the high intensity interval.  Same thing with the speed.  Don't make a big jump in speed right at the beginning.  If 11 min/mile is your easy pace, you can initially do your short intervals at 10:30 min/mile pace or maybe 10:00 min/mile.

I'm just getting over a long layoff in my running due to an overuse injury because of trying to do too much too fast, because I often get impatient and want to speed up improvements in my times.  It's natural to think that if I just run faster and harder for longer, I'll see results quicker.  That is true to a point, but if you do too much, your body can't recover enough between workouts and will begin to break down.  This is how stress fractures and shin splits can develop, as well as other connective tissue type injuries.  Adding in rest days and adding in easy runs in between your harder runs will help avoid these types of injuries.

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On 8/2/2022 at 4:37 AM, TormundsWoman said:

You are most likely right about the speed/hill workouts and me not being ready for the pace increase. All those runs are much harder than my regular ones and I’m breathing like I’m a freight train by the time I’m at cool down portion. Makes me sad to think I can’t run faster without this happening. I’ll probably end up like you say with easy runs and keeping form with slower speed. Also I’m going start to work on legs strength training more too. Maybe that will help. Appreciate your take. Thx.

Mix your runs. Do tempo, intervals and distance runs. They all serve different purposes and will add variety to your training. You can find plenty of information about them online.

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18 hours ago, Mudguard said:

If 11 min/mile is your easy pace, you can initially do your short intervals at 10:30 min/mile pace or maybe 10:00 min/mile.

Like you wrote at the end of your comment, I did try to do too much too early. You are right on the money: I went from 11 min/mile to under 10 (tried for 9-9:30 and it sucked bad). Definitely will move upwards to 10:30 or even 10:45 to begin with. I don't know what to tell you, you'd think I know better. I overestimated my ability and pushed because I felt fine. Then I just didn't.

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Mix your runs. Do tempo, intervals and distance runs. They all serve different purposes

@baxus I was trying to! :blush:  It's how I got into this problem. I do know it's good to mix it up, I just thought I could do so much more faster.

Edited by TormundsWoman
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I always found raw volume to be far more important in running than speed work.

When I was doing frequent, slow (<75% max hr, can easily chat while running pace) runs in marathon training I got damn fast with only 1 interval session a week. Consistency and slowly ramping up (+10% volume per week) is the key. Running is almost entirely aerobic and that's best trained by lots (and lots) of running at low intensity in my experience.

Edited by Impmk2
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Volume is important, and that's exactly why it's included in mixed training in a form of distance runs. If you are looking to improve your speed and set a new PB in a race, distance is not going to do that in an optimal way. Intervals and tempo runs are going to save you a lot of time and will make the runs more fun through variety.

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I've tried programs focussed on a mix of faster runs. Never worked for me at all. But as soon as I started putting in high volume with only 10-20% quick my 5k times plummeted by minutes. From my reading that isn't at all unusual.

 

Edited by Impmk2
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I'm looking to add a rowing machine to my home gym, but I'm not sure what I should be looking for. Prices roughly range from $350 to $1,500 from what I'm seeing, but I don't see a huge difference between machines outside of the digital components. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. 

Edited by Tywin et al.
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Concept 2 is kind of considered best in class or at least it was when I was rowing. I don't think I've ever seen a rowing erg from any other manufacturer in all my years spent in and around rowing clubs. And it's not as if I rowed at Oxford or Cambridge or some of the big US universities that are flush with cash, so I guess they were reasonably priced as well.

Obviously, their models have changed over time so you should have a look into that as well.

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3 hours ago, baxus said:

Concept 2 is kind of considered best in class or at least it was when I was rowing. I don't think I've ever seen a rowing erg from any other manufacturer in all my years spent in and around rowing clubs. And it's not as if I rowed at Oxford or Cambridge or some of the big US universities that are flush with cash, so I guess they were reasonably priced as well.

Obviously, their models have changed over time so you should have a look into that as well.

They haven't really changed. I bought mine in 2016 and they still sell that identical machine. The mechanical part has probably been the same for decades, with the only thing changing being the computer. But even that is still the same as in 2016.

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29 minutes ago, baxus said:

I first started rowing at '97 or something like that and they obviously changed since then. ;) 

They did, but that change happened in 2003, as I just found out on their web site. Same model since.

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I was doing well with my physio and then broke my talus doing some aerobics. It was worth it! I like to dance that much. So now I’m doing my boring exercises to Blurred Lines. I love how Miley Cyrus flipped the misogyny. But anything with a bouncy rhythm works. It also gets my brain activated in the morning for sleep much later. I can twerk, do girls push ups, shoulder presses, back extensions and rotations, bicycles, quads and gluteus Maximus:)

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After a few weeks of random chest pains of increasing intensity, which finally got to the point of driving me to tears from the pain, I spoke with a doctor. (To clarify, it was quite clear that the chest pains were not heart-related and so I wasn't just walking around trying to ignore a heart attack.) He thought it was costochondritis, which is inflammation of the cartilage connecting the ribs to the sternum. I had been suspecting an intercostal muscle strain so similar idea but there's a reason I'm not that kind of doctor! Anyway, he told me to stop heavy lifting and prescribed me some arthritis medication and to apply a topical arthritis gel 3x a day. That was 2 weeks ago and the pain has finally almost completely gone away except for an occasional minor twinge. So I'm finally getting back into some strength training! (Running was unaffected, luckily.) But still hesitant to start lifting anything heavy, so I'm just easing back in with some bodyweight exercises for now. In fact, since I'm moving quite soon, I think I'm going to stop in and cancel my gym membership here. So frustrating to be limited by an injury but at least it's getting better! My anxiety-ridden self was of course sure at the height of it that the pain would never go away and I'd deal with it forever.

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