How I Started Running With The Galloway Run/Walk Method.

What you’re about to read is the result of my own experience after using this running method for two years. The benefits listed below are subject to my genuine opinion. Always consult your doctor before trying a new exercise or increasing the levels of your current physical activity. 

Whoever knows my story with running will agree on the fact that this sport chased me for 23 years, until I finally became a runner. It wasn’t easy, but when I decided to commit to it my Dad became my running coach. At that time he told me that in order for me to run efficiently, I needed to run for one entire minute and walk for two. I thought that’s not really running, but he told me to trust him and to do it. Later on, I could switch it up for two minutes running and one minute walking.

And that is how I basically started to run. I followed my Dad’s recommendations and not too long after that I was running for five minutes and walking for one. Later on, that ratio increased to one mile running and one minute walking, and so on. By taking these short walking breaks, I was able to attain distances I’ve never imagined I could.

But little did I know about the actual method. 

Dad always mentioned this guy Jeff Galloway and the Run/walk method. I wasn’t really interested on hearing about that. I just wanted to run and therefore I followed his advices and instructions on how to do it. It wasn’t until my  last race that I felt curious about Galloway and the method that basically turned me into the runner that I am today.

I saw a runner in very good shape doing a run/walk technique. I tried to keep up with her pace but I ended up far behind. I was really impressed, how can somebody that was running and walking be faster than somebody who was only running?

Of course I needed to do my research. As I read more and more about it, I realized that the benefits attributed to this method are ones that I have enjoyed myself during my running journey.

And what are those benefits?

If you wish to read more about the Galloway’s Run/Walk Method and it’s scientifically proved benefits, you can check them here and here. Instead, I’m going to talk about the benefits I’ve experienced myself as a runner in the last couple of years which I also think can be beneficial to others as well:

  • Avoiding injuries. By using the run/walk method, I can happily say that I haven’t had any injures in two years and one attempt of half-marathon training (where I pushed for more miles that I should’ve in weekly basis).
  • Checking in with your body. Taking walking breaks will allow you to catch up with your breath and recover your sore muscles. However, these walking breaks will allow you to connect with your body and to acknowledge how are you actually feeling. Once you’re recovered, you get to start that new lap feeling strong.
  • Honoring your body. Running is about having a better and healthier life. Why would you put yourself in risk of getting injured because you’re pushing too hard? By taking walking breaks and allowing yourself to recover, you’re actually having a sense of auto compassion that honors the true capacities of your body. To me, this makes you a better runner and a better individual.
  • Stay motivated. The more you attain, the more motivated you’re going to feel. Because of all the reasons I mentioned above, I’ve been able to accomplish larger distances and faster paces way quicker than I imagined. Seeing the progress is surely my main fuel of motivation.

I don’t really follow the ratios recommended by Galloway anymore because I like to feel like I’m “flying” through each mile. Nowadays, I take walking breaks every mile or every other miles. Not because I’m tired, but because I believe is good for me. I’m still a beginner in this thing of running. I still want to try other methods for races. However, I do believe that Galloway’s Run/Walk method is a smart way of running. Specially if you’re a beginner, and you think you suck at running (as I used to think about myself once).

Run/Walk Method: yay or nay?

How did you start your Running journey?

Training Plan Update & Week #1 Recap.

Hello Friends! Hope you’ve had an amazing weekend.

The Miami Marathon and Half Marathon race was yesterday. If you ran on of those races, congratulations! Specially because of the weather conditions.

I didn’t raced yesterday but I did go to the expo on Saturday. Surrounding yourself with that energy and enthusiasm is just inspiring. I might run the half-marathon next year.

It’s been a couple of months since I’ve been running with no clear goal whatsoever. Last week I was discussing with my trainer (Dad) what should I’ll be training for. I seriously want to retake my objetive of running a half-marathon because I could not do it last year. However, my perspective changed a little bit at the beginning of 2017. Now, I don’t only want to just finish the race. I want to finish strong, injury-free, and targeting a goal pace.

But my constant question was –> When am I going to be able to accomplish that? When am I even going to know if I’m ready to start training properly for a half marathon? I had no clue! And so I just started training without any purpose, just intuitively building up my weekly mileage. That is when my Dad came into the picture and suggested me to follow this 10-miler training plan at the beginner’s level.

Ten miles is certainly an attainable distance for me. Besides, this plan is clearly designed to make you stronger, faster, and to build-up you weekly mileage (which was something really important to me). The not so good part of this training plan (at least to me) is that you only get to run three times a week…say what? Yup, because then you get two cross training days and two rest days. Not that this is something bad, but running almost everyday is like my therapy.

Anyways… if this approach of “Run Less Run Faster” will actually make me accomplish my objective, then I’m all for it.

This is my recap for Week #1.

Monday. 

Off.

Tuesday.

Easy Run 3 miles.

Wednesday.

Cross training + Full body strength training.

Thursday. 

4 Miles = 1 mile w/u + 2 miles @ tempo pace + 1 mile c/d.

I had to take one minute of walking breaks at the end of mile 2 and mile 3, which made my average pace considerably lower.

PS Sometimes I hate the average pace indicator because of that.

Friday.

Off.

Saturday.

Cross training + Upper body Strength.

I sprinted for 10 minutes on the treadmill because I needed that runners high.

Sunday. 

Long run = 6 treadmill miles.

Total mileage= 13.

I can say this was a fairly easy/attainable week of training. But of course, the levels of difficulty will be increasing throughout the upcoming weeks.

What are you currently training for?

How did your week of training felt? 

 

How Running Makes You A Better Person.

When people ask me why I love running so much, my answer is always something like running makes me a better person. However, by judging at people’s faces I don’t think they still get what I’m saying. So, I decided to create this post trying to explain how is it that running can make you a better person.

Hopefully, Runners can agree to this or add their own thoughts in the comment section. Non runners can maybe take the courage to start running.

Now, “becoming a better person” through running is not something that happens holistically. I would resume that as a compilation of lessons that will change your attitude towards yourself and the world. Let’s say you experiment these in real life and compile them together, then you could potentially become a better person in many other aspects of your life.

This is how running made me a better person:

Adopt a resilient attitude: How many times have you started to run feeling completely miserable and then ended up feeling way happier? This happens to me like 90% of the time. If I decided to honor this negative stage and stop, I wouldn’t be able to complete any of my runs ever. Plus, I wouldn’t be able to feel that happy stage afterwards. So instead I decide to adopt a resilient attitude, meaning that I don’t think about the negative stuff and just keep running. When dealing with tough situations in real life this helps me to not think about the negatives and just keep doing what I need to do. Eventually, I’ll se the light at the end of the tunnel.

Be patient when things are not feeling good: Seeing the light at the end of the tunnel requires resilience (because you need to go through the darkness before you can even see the light). However, resilience also requires patience. I remember when I started running it didn’t feel good at all. Everything hurt, and breathing was so difficult. I remember thinking “Ok. I want to run for five more minutes. I’ll be patient. In 5 minutes this will be over” Later on, five minutes turned out to be 10, and then 20 and so on. Being patient has now become a virtue for me.

Let go of control: The only things I can control when running is my training plan and my mind. However, I can’t control how my body is going to feel. I can’t control the weather or many other external factors. Therefore, when my runs don’t come up as I planned I just don’t have any other option than let go of control. When I get sick the day before the race, it’s ok. When I didn’t run that last mile at my goal pace, it’s ok. When I didn’t wake up early that morning because I was too busy studying for my finals, it was also ok. Because there’s will be always a tomorrow to try again. There’s always a way to get around things and solve our problems.

Believe in yourself: I’ve always been a very confident person. But if two years ago I though I was going to be able to run as much as I run today, I would’ve laugh instantly. Now, I believe I’m capable of running so much more and accomplishing many other things I used to see very far in my life.

I can’t say I’m the same Nathaly I was two years ago, and I’m incredibly grateful for that. These life lessons that running has taught me could go on and on. I think I learn a new one every day, but overall these ones made a huge difference in my life.

Tell me about you: how running made you a better person? 

 

 

Getting My Life Back Together & Weekend Recap.

Hello friends! Hope you’ve had a wonderful weekend. 

Mine was pretty darn good. Even though my gastritis gave me a hard time last week, my recovery has been steady. I finally came back to running. Yay!

I’m also slowly coming back to my cups of coffee in the morning. These ones used to get my stomach pretty upset, which frustrated a whole lot because I can’t really start my day without a cup of coffee. I’ve never though I was going to feel grateful for being able to do drink coffee! Something that used to be extremely normal for me. Ironic huh? You never know what you have until you loose it.

It felt so good to be back at running that I preferred to hit the treadmill on a Friday night instead of going out. I’m telling you. Nothing like getting your life back together.

After 4.3 miles on Friday Night, I went for 6.25 miles on Saturday Morning. Lastly 3.2 miles on Sunday night. That’s what I call a good weekend.

After having a slow appetite during the week and then running the distance of a half marathon throughout the entire weekend I was pretty hungry all the time. For that reason, I completely forgot to take pictures of my food. Except for this one:

What you see in here is an arepa stuffed with scrambled eggs and a little bit of butter. If you don’t know what an arepa is, please check on this video. PS I’m 100% team Venezuela;)

I also spotted the prettiest tulips. Like… aren’t these the prettiest you’ve ever seen?

What were your highlights of this weekend?

How many miles did you ran?

Friday Favorites.

Hello friends!
First of all, thank you so much for your nice and positive comments on my health update post. Even though I’m not at my 100% normal stage, I’ve been feeling way better now and really hope it keeps going that way. My runs/workouts have been practically inexistent this week, but I’m SO ready to squeeze in some miles during the weekend.
Now, on to nice stuff… It’s Friday and that means today I’m sharing my favorites of the week!
1. Favorite Quote. I found it walking around Wynwood Walls last night. There are all kinds of quotes painted on the sidewalks. I loved this one in particular.

Always keep your heart filled with love for yourself and others. Suddenly, you’ll start to notice love everywhere around you.
2. Favorite Video. Did you know Running hasn’t always been considered a sport? Did you know treadmills were invented as systems for punishment in jails? I discovered this video that blew my mind and I think every runner should watch. Who would’ve though our beloved hobby was a considered a torture back in the day?

3. Supergoop Everyday Sunscreen. They were giving away free skincare consultations at my local Sephora the other day. I was recommended to wear this sunscreen, which I felt really skeptical about. I’m extremely picky with face sunscreens because my skin can get very oily (and sometimes breakout) by wearing them.

I got sample because I was not ready to commit without fist trying it out. Well, so far I’m loving it. It feels so light on my skin and my makeup last as usual. Besides it is very affordable for an SPF 50 that Sephora sells. This is always a plus to me.

4. Favorite Running song. 

This song from Ed Sheran is very good. I predict this will sound one million times a day on the radio to the point where I don’t like it anymore. But I will love it while it last.

5. NYX Lip Pencil in Mauve. 

This one is actually not a new favorite. It’s been months since I’ve been absolutely LOVING these NYX lip pencils because you can apply it all over your lips, and you’ll basically get a super pretty and affordable lipstick. My favorite shape is Mauve, and it looks like this in the picture. I’m about to purchase another one, that’s how much I love it.

Hope you have a wonderful weekend and that your long run (if any) goes amazingly!
What’s your current favorite running song?
Wear any face sunscreen for going out to run? Which one?

Hair Confessions From A Female Runner. 

Hair is always something that concerns women since they are little girls. My mom use to cut it too short when I was a kid. I used to HATE that so much that I ended up not cutting it ever when I grew up. My hair has been long for the last 10 years and I don’t think I will change that in the near future.  Not even because of the fact that now I run. This is my simple and convenient routine to keep my hair healthy and pretty, without skipping my runs.

I don’t die my hair and a I cut it myself twice a year.  My hair is naturally black, and won’t get greasy too easily, which facilitates my life a whole lot.

When I started running my hair suffered. In the past, I used to wash it every five days because that’s how far I can go without washing it (TMI, I know). But once I started running, that cycle had to be reduced to three days. The frequency of washes increased and I also needed to style it more often (because hair tights will leave a mark on your perfectly straightened hair). This only caused dryness and damage in my hair.

So I started doing Olive Oil masks. Whenever I get home from a run and it’s a “third-day hair”, I soak it in Olive Oil and put it in a high bun while I do my stretching. Twenty minutes later, I’ll wash it twice to remove the oil. The result is a much more soft and moisturized hair. I only do this once a month or when I have enough time.

I like to have my hair styled at all times. So I would normally blow dry it after it’s washed. I’ll apply a hit protector that I believe is pure placebo. And lastly I will flat iron it, because my clean hair won’t hold curls. I know the flat iron is not the best for my hair, but I’ve been doing it for years now and is the only thing that will really help me control my volume.

If I came back from running in the night and had to wash my hair, I’ll feel very lazy and won’t style it at all. I’ll literally go to bed with my hair still wet. Next morning when it’s all dried naturally, I’ll flat iron it and wear it like that for the next three days.

I do use different hairstyles for running depending on the day. First and second-day hairs are pretty simple. My hair is freshly clean and straightened. So I’ll do a low pony tail for running, which will help me keep my hair styled afterwards. When I finish, I’ll normally re-style it a little bit with the flat iron and dry shampoo if necessary.

Third-day hair is when I normally wash it. So for my run I’ll do a french braid because: 1. I love braids and It’s easier for my hair to hold on to a braid when it’s dirty. 2. It is comfortable to not have my hair jumping around my back. I’ll come home afterwards to repeat the process I’ve mentioned before.

This could be the least fancy hair care routine you’ve ever read, but is pretty real for sure. Female Athletes will normally cut their hair very short. However, this is might not be the rule for female runners.

It is not easy to maintain your long hair when you’re feminine but still want to run who-knows-how-many miles a week. So hey, you gotta find what works best for your hair and running routine.

What is your personal tip with Running and Hair? 

Sunday Run And Health Update.

Hello friends!

Hope this Monday has treated you well. I finished my Sunday with another 3.2 mils recovery run at 12:58 average pace. That was a really slow run! but I did it intentionally. I was really sore and wanted to get rid of all that acid lactic in my calves and hamstrings. Sometimes running slow can be painful and I realized about it yesterday. My soreness went away completely so I guess it really helped me.

Now I wanted to talk about another issue that got me frustrated. I don’t like to go around life complaining about everything that goes wrong with my health. Sometimes I know something is not right but try to ignore it with the hopes that eventually will go away and I’ll feel better. Sometimes it works but some other times it gets to a point where I have to do something.

I’ve been complaining about my gut for a little while now. If you read my Down2Earth 10K race recap, you’ll know that I started feeling sick to my stomach in the middle on the race which considerably reduced my pace. Also, if you read my Story of a Bad Run, you’ll know that I felt miserable that day because of the same reason. But those two cases are just a minimal portion on how bad I’ve been feeling these last couple of months.

In an effort to fix this problem, I decided to talk to my doctor (who happens to also be my uncle) and now I’m under medication, which hopefully will help me to feel better. I wish I could explain why is this happening but I seriously have no idea. I’ve heard that stress and emotions are 100% involved with these illnesses that our bodies manifest, so I guess I’ll have to check up on that as well.

The best thing my Uncle told me was “you’re exercising a lot so you have higher chances of healing faster”. I’m very (very) thankful for being a runner at this moment, because I can’t wait to be back at my normal stage.

Also, please excuse the fact that I’ve been complaining a lot over here. Sometimes talking about it is my way of staying positive over the adversities.

Thanks for reading!

N.

 

 

My Running Fears And Friday Favorites.

Hello friends!

As I told you a few days ago, I’m following the Run Eat Repeat’s Run Camp in which every day we do/learn something different to become better runners. Today, we need to overcome our running fears. Running fears? Really? At the beginning I though I don’t have any fears, but thinking more about it I realize I do have a few.

One of them is pretty silly and the other one should not represent the end of the world. But anyways, I though I could talk about them here because I’m supposed to write them down and talk about them with someone.

My first running fear is to have an encounter with an alligator while I’m running. I know. I know. This sounds really random and very unlikely to happen. However, I live in Florida so it is common to see alligators crossing the street like nothing is going on. This happened just a few miles away from my school.

Once I heard this story about a runner who was attacked by an alligator when she was running around a lake. I totally freaked out after that. Conclusion for Floridian runners like me: Never run around water. In case you have an encounter, run in zig zag. Apparently, alligators are not able to run in zig zag. 

My second running fear is to get injured and therefore not being able to run for months. Have you ever had something you like so much that you get afraid of loosing it? Well, that is basically my case. If you read my post from yesterday you could understand how afraid I am of this.

Running is my dose of relaxation and happiness. It is also my time for nothing else but myself. I don’t know what I’ll do without it. Besides, I care about my body and I don’t want to hurt myself/get injured. Conclusion for hypochondriac runners like me: Injuries are common in runners and that is something we can’t control, so you gotta deal with it. However, something you can control are the chances of getting injured. Take care of your body, stretch, slow down when you feel like you need to, do whatever you have to do to prevent injuries.

Ok. That was really a catharsis. I think I’m doing a good job overcoming my running fears. Now I need to talk about nice stuff –> Here are my Friday Favorites of this week:

1. Power Crunch Bars. I’m not really into counting macros or analyzing every single ingredient in food labels. I don’t know if these are the “cleanest” out there. I eat them because they fill me up when I’m really hungry and is not time to eat yet. Plus they taste delicious which is not common in protein bars.

2. TJ’s Greek Yogurt in Coconut Cream flavor. I’ve tried all of their flavors. This is just the best.

3. A Runner friend recommended me to wear compression sleeves for recovery. I never though about it but it feels so good and relieving. Specially on my tight calf, which is not tight anymore but just sore.

Do you have any running fears?
Are you into protein bars? Which one is your favorite?
What do you think about compression gear? When do you consider it’s best to wear it? 
Thanks for reading and hope you have a wonderful weekend!
N.

When My Calf Is Upset With Me…

Yesterday was just one of those crappy days. I was so tired and didn’t want to exercise AT ALL. However, I recently joined a gym so I decided to force myself to go for the very first time. I immediately started feeling different as I walked in.

I looked up at the huge equipment selection, and of course decided to go to the treadmill instead because #RunningAddiction. I made a tempo run of 4.5 miles. God! that felt so good. Isn’t it amazing how exercise can change your mood and improve your perception of bad stuff in your life?

Anyways. I was cooling down at my last mile when I started feeling something in my calf. It was painfully tight. I decided to continue because: Hi my name is Nathaly and sometimes I have a hard time knowing my limitations.

I thought everything was going to feel normal afterwards but no. When I finished I really could feel my calf being really tight. I stretched and it felt good, but I still couldn’t walk normally.

Despite that, I stayed at the gym exercising my arms and core for another hour. I was feeling pretty enthusiastic with the new gym experience so I didn’t think too much about my calf.

When I walked out, I could feel it again. It was my calf complaining. An hypochondriac Nathaly though: Oh my God, am I injured? I don’t know about you but whenever I suffer from a non-familiar ache, I freak out and tend to think I’m injured.

Got home to take a warm shower, which made me feel better. I woke up the next morning to feel my calf tight again. I think she’s upset with me! (I don’t if its a she or a her, but I refer to her as a she)

I don’t think I would be able to run today. The good thing is that I don’t think I’m injured. It seems to me like is just muscle fatigue.

Any advice on what to for my calf to forgive me?

Sunday Run And New Running Goals!

Hey guys!

Hope your week had started pretty well. Last time I wrote here I was pretty disappointed on how bad my run turned out. Well, I decided to go for a second try yesterday and it was just amazing. As you see in the picture below, the wind was crazy.

The temperatures in South Florida are finally going down (yay!). Yesterday it was around 50 degrees, which I think is just the perfect temperature for running. I went out yesterday in shorts and people asked me “hey! aren’t you cold?”. People here in Miami are very sensitive to cold temperatures. 51 degrees and we already think is winter! However, my legs don’t get cold very easily.

 3.20 mile done. I could’ve had gone for more but I had some house chores I needed to get done before the start of the week.

In other news, I decided to participate in the Run Eat Repeat’s Run Camp because my only 2017 running resolution is to run faster and farther. This is a 21 day challenge to run Faster, Stronger and Better. Just exactly what I need.

Our task for today is to enlist my goals.

Last year I started to train for a half marathon, but because I was just starting with running that was an unrealistic goal to me. I still don’t know If I’m making realistic goals or not, but I decided this time that in the next 21 days I want to:

1. Run 8 miles again. It’s been a long time since I don’t pass the 6.25 miles.

2. Speed up my pace to one minute less per mile. That means, speed up from 11:50 to 10:50 per mile.

Number one will be more easy to attain than number 2. I see a lot of track workouts and tempo runs coming in my way!

Any running goals in the short-term? 
How was your running this weekend?