Introduction

Hello, thank you for joining me along my journey of becoming a Runner! I've always been an active guy, played sports in high school and continued into adult recreation sports after high school. As I started my family and found a career, the activity level slowly decreased. Well my Fiance had enough of our lazy ways and started on the Weight Watchers program and completely overhauled our daily meals. Step 2 was getting more active, so we decided to JOG our annual Juvenile Diabetes charity walk and actually enjoyed the activity. The month following the charity walk, we signed up for our first official 5K and had an absolute blast. From that point forward I have officially been BIT by the running bug and this is my journey to becoming a RUNNER!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Breaking Bad Habits

We all have bad habits don’t we?  I know we have all heard that old saying that “it takes 21-30 days to break a habit,” but I hope I can kick this habit much sooner than that.  The reason why I bring this up is because I am still struggling with my fueling. 

Quick background, great run on Monday (3 miles, 835 ft of gain), equally great run on Tuesday (2.85 miles, 827 ft of gain), a full body weight training session Tuesday night, and a really productive speed workout today on my lunch break.
So sitting in my cube today, I stand up to stretch out my quad and I just about crumple in pain from cramping in my left hamstring.  What is wrong with me??  Why do I keep getting myself into this situation??  I’m obviously not doing a very good job of learning from my past experiences.
Earlier this year I ended up pretty dehydrated after a warm weather run which caused me to start taking my water pack on ALL my runs regardless of the distance.  I think I talked about it to death but I had bad cramping at my trail race a couple weekends ago.  Now come full circle to today, with all the issues I’ve created for myself, you would think I would be handling this area of my training much better.
My weaknesses are soda and beer, both of which are horribly bad for a runner.  Now there are tons of articles out there about elite runners using Coke/Pepsi in many aspects of their lives, and who doesn’t enjoy a good beer, but of course this is all in moderation.  My challenge is that there are days that my soda consumption is much higher than my water consumption, and that is BAD! 
I’m looking at my training program and making serious changes to try and become a better runner.  Well you can see one area of training that I left out and that area is probably the most important to avoiding injury and keeping me running.  So I’m challenging myself to track my water consumption along with my regular training program stats.  I want to make water ounces as important as weekly miles and elevation gain.  Overall the goal is to minimize the frequency of these cramping episodes I’m having, I don’t think I can be 100% rid of them, but this is happening way too often.
So let me know, does anyone else have bad habits that hinder your training?

17 comments:

  1. For general nutrition, I find eating an avocado half with balsamic vinegar helped alleviate cramps. Could be worth trying. I gave up soda about 3 years ago, I've since started having maybe 1 every month or so. If anything it makes it taste so much better after not having it for so long!

    I sit too much personally.

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    1. Unfortunately not a big fan of avocado, but may have to suck it up to get rid of these cramps.

      Yeah I can't give up the soda 100% but I can cut back.

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  2. Hello, my name is Marie and I'm a sodaholic.. *HELLO MARIE*

    No, but seriously. I'm working on it. I used to ONLY drink Pepsi Max, no water, why drink anything else when you can drink Pepsi Max, right? Uh, stupid. I quit drinking soda a couple months ago, only allowing myself to drink water. It worked great in the beginning, then I started drinking soda again because I felt mean when people had bought Pepsi Max JUST because I was coming to visit them and stuff. Haha people know me too well xD Now I just try to limit the soda drinking - I'm planning on going cold turkey again soon, I know myself too well to think that a glass here and there will work haha.
    Have you tried adding lemon or lime to your water? I found it easier to drink more of it when it had some flavor to it :) Also, just put bottles filled with water in the fridge so you can just take one every time you're going to get a drink.
    *another smart idea for you, because you're starting to measure and stuff* Make bottles like these:
    http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-tU7GRVH8rso/Ul2prGoy5FI/AAAAAAAAA5Y/oyQWIk6uSec/s1600/Water.png

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    1. I usually do good before a race but there are a lot of days where I do really bad lol.

      Those bottles are a really good idea.

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  3. Drink more water!!! Water is delicious! Adam says I only think this because I like really bland things like cucumbers. I think cucumbers are very flavorful, haha

    Do you stretch your hamstring out after running? After the marathon my hamstring was so tight and crampy. I started doing hamstring stretches after every run and I haven't had any issues since.

    These three here I think help the most:
    http://media3.onsugar.com/files/2013/03/12/2/192/1922729/7ec1fad34139987f_cover-hamstring-stretches.xxxlarge/i/5-Easy-Hamstring-Stretches.jpg

    Especially the horizontal one on top, you can feel the stretch really good. I hold each stretch for about 60 seconds and sometimes do them 2X if my hamstring feels extra tight.

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    1. Now you sound like Mrs Schlub lol.

      I stretch quite a bit actually so I know these cramps are all from my fueling. But you can never starch too much so I'm checking out the link.

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  4. I had 3 Diet Cokes yesterday, and I feel the effects of all the caffeine today. I feel awful. I had given it up, but started having one every afternoon after Day Light savings...Time to give it up again! I notice I am behind on my water consumption with the cooler weather...

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    1. It's sooooo hard to give it up, they taste so delicious lol

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  5. Oh, heavens, I love a good beer too. Who doesn't? I tend to get a lot of calf cramps, so I can totally relate. Try replacing soda with an electrolyte drink. Sometimes the soda to water switch can be hard an electrolyte drink might help bridge it (can provide a little sugar and caffiene depending which kind you pick). Best of luck!

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    1. Agree 100%, a nice cold beer with dinner is an absolute must for me lol.

      I may try mixing in an electrolyte drink, that will add a different flavor in the rotation too.

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  6. I have a jug (60 oz.) I keep in frig filled w/cold water and my goal is drink it every day. I will go for a few weeks drinking-it everyday and then I will just fall off the wagon for some reason and slack, but you are right, i pay for it when I do. I enjoy a good beer or wine a few times a week. before a race I will not have any alcohol about a week before, last year I would go even longer..few weeks easy. I will always enjoy diet Pepsi and won't give it up completely, but I do try to limit my consumption. Since you know the issue is soda just make a deal with yourself to drink at least a bottle of water before you enjoy a soda for the day :) We are all working on something! That's part of the journey :)

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    1. Ah see, I'm a fall off the wagon water drinker also. I'll be good for weeks then have a string of days where I go on a binge soda drinking frenzy lol

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  7. 1) buy yourself a new water bottle..it always inspires me to drink more (at least for a little while)
    2) get one with a straw, if that helps. I've found that I drink a lot more if I can mindlessly suck at a straw rather than unscrewing a cap and picking my bottle up (I'm lazy like that)
    3) get a BIG water bottle - a liter at least - so you don't have to get up and refill it a ton
    4) keep a tracking system to remind yourself throughout the day. At work, I used to have some of those flag sticky notes and I would put four on one side of my computer in the AM and each time I finished one bottle of water (1 liter), I would move it to the other side. The goal was to get all four to the other side by the time I left.

    And keep enjoying your soda and beer. No need to take something you enjoy away ;)

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    1. I think I have a problem I read through all that, said "those are good ideas"...then forgot all about it when you said keep enjoying my soda and beer lol

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  9. My bad habits also include beer, but also ice-cream, biscuits and anything bready/cakey! I am constantly trying to reduce these habits, but so far I have been unsuccessful!

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  10. I drink soda and coffee daily...I used to have cramps...thought it was from water...found out it was salt. I now take salt tabs before every lengthy run and am fine!! Plus, I do make myself drink water! Not a ton but some!

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