Hi friends! Happy Thursday.
Hope everyone’s week has been great!
I worked Monday + go back tomorrow through the weekend. Nurse schedules can be a little bit different as most inpatient unit nurses work weekends. I LOVED spending 3 weekdays in a row home with Maxwell. He continues to be too cute for words + I make sure to soak in each stage of his little life. Currently, he loves having us in view. Yesterday, I just put him in his Bumbo chair + he watched as I made Peanut Butter Energy Balls. He did the same as Drew + I made dinner together.
I’m still enjoying the balance of being a part-time working momma. I love that on weekends, Drew takes care of Maxwell + I get 10 pictures + updates a day. Their bonding time together melts my heart.
Onto the blog of the day…
This past weekend thousands of runners completed the Madison Marathon + that spurred this post.
From my Facebook newsfeed, I know that marathoning has become a VERY popular sport. But, I’m not sold on it…+ I’m never going to do one. I know this post goes against the grain + I would never want to discourage people from working out. BUT, I also want people to realize that marathoning doesn’t have to be the gold standard of fitness (nor is it) + that your time might be better invested elsewhere if you are looking to improve your fitness + body composition. I believe in knowing the why behind the exercises + exercise modalities you’re choosing.
Here is WHY I’m not going to do one:
- First + foremost it doesn’t align with my fitness goals. To be strong + lean. If you are currently trudging through endless miles to lose weight or get leaner, there is a 100% chance that this is NOT the most effective way to do it. Our bodies are smart, smart machines that learn to do things more efficiently + they learn fast. A study from the University of Tampa showed that our metabolism adjusts the energy spent on running in just ONE weeks time. Meaning, in one week your body has learned how it can spend less calories running. Steady state cardio (including long runs) only burns calories while you are actually doing it. When you stop, your caloric burn stops. Other modes of working out (i.e. weight lifting + sprinting) have an “afterburn effect”. This means your body keeps burning calories long after your workout stops + these forms are better at building muscle (typically associated with less fat).
- Ain’t nobody got time for that. Going on a 20 mile, 3 hour long training run is probably the last way I would want to spend a Saturday. I love, love, love working out, but you won’t find me logging endless miles. I’m more of a 45 minute type of workout gal. I’ve often heard my marathon + Ironman friends tell me that training IS like a part-time job. No gracias.
- Injury bug. The continuous pounding on the body can cause some major problems. Why? Training for a marathon exacerbates muscular + postural imbalances that may already be present. If you are convinced that you need to run a half marathon or marathon + you aren’t doing any type of strength training, you should reconsider your plan. I’ve had multiple friends that have injured themselves training or completing their marathons. The problem with lots of runners is that they run through their injuries, so they became more injured. Because they HAVE to do this marathon they’ve been training for. Being injured is no fun, but I do know some amazing physical therapists if you’re looking! (Krystle in Oconomowoc, Jessica in Madison). You owe it to yourself to figure out why you are getting injured + start to fix the imbalance!
- I can get runner’s high from a 5K or sprint triathlon. I’d rather go faster + shorter than slower + longer. Same runner’s high + sense of accomplishment (well, I guess I’ve only done a half marathon so I cannot speak to a marathon high), especially if I hit a goal time. I also loved competing in two sprint triathlons. I like triathlons because it offers more variation in training. Although the race took about an hour + ten minutes, switching between the swimming, biking, + running breaks it up! It also takes some of the pounding away from your training routine.
- I don’t have a desire to say I did it. When I ask most people why they marathon they say something like, “to say I did it” or “I wanted to prove to myself I could”. I guess I just don’t have that desire + I know that I could do one with training.
- Recovery process. Can be long. You may be very sore (hopefully not injured) at the end. Experts disagree about how long you need to take off to let your body start to recover, some even recommending a day for each mile of the marathon. A marathon also negatively impacts your immune system. Research shows it is depleted for weeks post marathon.
- I don’t like running that far. Simply put. I’ve done about 4 half-marathons + every.single.time. around the 10 mile mark I’m thinking “yeah, I don’t really like this.” I always got through it + pushed myself using positive self-talk…+ very much did enjoy finishing. I did get addicted to chasing an elusive half marathon PR (1:32:50), but I think I’m going to let that be my lifetime half marathon PR. It isn’t that I don’t think I could get down there again, it’s that I don’t desire to run that far. It’s also that I’ve learned even more about what types of exercises align with my goals. I can tell you my body feels SO good now that I don’t put as many miles on it.
- Even highly trained marathoners have terrible marathon experiences. Meb (read this article, I LOVE him) had a very rough Olympic marathon. He is a highly, highly, smartly trained athlete. “Beset by stomach problems at the halfway point, he stopped seven times in the next 13 miles to vomit or dry heave, including once before entering the race’s final straightaway.” Stomach problems plague many marathoners. If you are putting all of your eggs in a marathon basket, you need to know that when race day comes that might not be your day. Even highly + specially trained athletes have to pull out of a race because the task of completing a marathon is a very tall one. For me, I want to take good care of my body. Push it, but not punish it.
- I can push myself in other ways. I’ve pushed myself in very hard track workouts, having to persevere when my body + mind are agreeing that the workout is hard. I birthed a baby with no pain medication. My point is that there are other ways to push yourself physically besides running a marathon.
A lot of people like the idea of signing up + being committed to training. It is a way to keep them working out. Perhaps consider a sprint triathlon! Or signing up for a class series to keep you committed. If you are still going to marathon, do it smart my friends! Add strength training to you routine!
Your non-marathon running blogger, Ames