Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Advanced Maggotry II

Are you really ready for Advanced Maggotry? Take the following quiz:

  1. Have you been running (nearly) every other day for at least six months?
  2. Can you run for more than 30 minutes without stopping?
  3. Do you always resist the temptation to run two days in a row?

If any of your answers are No, go back to Beginners.
If all of them are yes, you might be ready for the next step.

How To Get Faster

  • When you're running nice and slow and then you suddenly feel all tired and weak and like you have to walk, instead break into a sprint. Just for a little way, then you can walk if you want. You can finish your run sprinting/walking or sprinting/slow running.
  • Do a faster run in a different direction that is much shorter than your usual run. (This works particularly well if you're pressed for time and contemplating not running at all.)
  • In general, try to avoid just doing your usual run faster. Your brain will tell you that it's impossible. You need to distract yourself.

How To Go Farther

  • Plot out an out-and-back run -- a straight line -- that is new and that is farther than you usually go. Make extra sure to go slowly on the way out. You'll feel fine at the turnaround, and you'll have no way to cut your run short at that point.
  • If you're having trouble adding distance to your usual route, it's easier to change the beginning of the route than the end.
  • In general, it's better to do one longer run per week rather than adding a little time on to every run. For instance, if you usually run 40 minutes, do one 60 minute run and three 40 minute runs rather than four 45 minute ones.

and lastly:

How To Sneak In An Extra Run

A lot of people have a problem with the every-other-day plan, because weeks, inconveniently, have an odd number of days. If there's one day you really can't run, you're forced into a pattern where you have only three running days every week. If you're ready for Advanced Maggotry, once a week you are allowed to have two runs that are 36 hours apart instead of 48. So you could, for example, run Tuesday evening, Thursday evening, Saturday morning, and Sunday evening. It means you add in one morning run if you're an evening runner or one evening run if you're a morning runner. Do not abuse this privilege. You may have four runs per week MAXIMUM.

Other suggestions?

Oh and p.s. I do have a twitter thing now. We'll see.


Jennifer said...

One suggestion would be to take up another activity for the days you are not supposed to run, like swimming.

I had to start swimming lessons because I couldn't stop myself running every day this winter.

Blue said...

You should link to this new post from the beginner post...so the people I refer here will have a one-stop shopping experience.

Great advice!

Anonymous said...

Love that you are posting again, and LOVE that you are on twitter!!

Leslie said...

I recently got the Nike Running app for my phone, which tells me at any given point exactly what my pace is and to the 100th of a mile what my distance is. That has provided a good deal of inspiration to pick up the pace. There is nothing like knowing you are only 2 seconds off your best mile time ever to motivate you to pick it up a little bit.

JP said...

I am so glad to see more running posts from you. I am sending your link to anyone I know who mentions running.
I am now up to 25 minutes!

ozma said...

I realize you are a doctor but I have my doubts I can get past 1/2 an hour without stopping.

The biggest drag is that there is not this huge canyon to my work anymore. That was the greatest thing for the running averse--because it is hard to hike a canyon but I could do it for hours. Whereas I can't run for hours. But I'm sure you are going to tell me that's because running is harder and better for you!

Anyway, back to beginners. I shall be strong and suck it up.

Anonymous said...

I love your tips. We have just started a super slow couch to 5 k program at work 3 days a week. It's wonderful...every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday we meet in front of the building and go.

Anonymous said...

Good advice as usual. Now I'm following you on Twitter too (@DeLibrarian).

Liza said...

Do you have any tips on running to lose weight? I gained a lot of weight about a year and a half ago after going on SSRIs - I'm 5'4 and in less than 6 months went from 125 lbs to 160. The weight gain was probably due to a combination of the meds and no longer being depressed (during the worst of my depression I had truly no appetite). My shrink and primary doc have told me not to worry too much about now technically being overweight, and I trust them. Clearly, suicidal ideation is much more dangerous for my health than the extra pounds. I am in pretty good shape - I bike to work everyday (about 15 miles total) and swam regularly over the summer.

However, I would like to lose at least some of the weight, both for vanity reasons and out of concern for my health. I started running a month ago with the hopes of losing weight, and while I feel great with the extra exercise, my weight hasn't budged. In fact, I actually GAINED a couple pounds. So any tips on how a beginning runner ramp it up and start losing some weight? I'm not totally opposed to dieting, but I already eat very healthfully, so I feel like there's only so far I can go on that end.

ans6908w said...

So glad that you're posting again! Do you have any tips for running with rheumatoid arthritis? (don't worry, of course this is not a substitute for real medical advice from my doc!) I'm a young person (and med student) who used to be a dedicated runner - NEVER fast, but used to run 6-8 miles most days and LOVED it (college). Diagnosed with RA last year, quit even trying to run b/c of the pain. Whenever I've asked about exercise, I'm told "well, if it doesn't hurt it's ok, if it hurts don't do it." Thanks guys. But I really miss running, and it's the most convenient way to exercise with my schedule. Problem is that every time I get excited about trying it again is when I'm in a flare...

Thanks, love your blog!

Laurel said...

Since I requested this post, I have been thinking about writing this comment forever--I'm sorry it's a long tangle--

First of all, thank you!

I fulfill steps 2 and 3 but not 1, because although I've been running for years now (!) it's more like two times a week on average. Running makes me feel good afterwards but I still don't really like doing it. So, when I'm tired (often--sleep issues), sick, busy at work, etc. the end result is it's hard to push myself to that third weekly session. (And I remember reading about you and others running despite crazy medical resident workloads, so I know... these are not very good excuses.)

Also, I started running in 5 Fingers, which I really like and am now adapted to, but now my knees are hurting the more I run, which is probably that patellofemoral thing which is not a big deal, but working in the PT for that as well, and figuring out what I should do about running and shoes around it, is overwhelming me.

So the above might invalidate my other questions, which revolve around the idea of a plan, I suppose--how progress is carried forward from week to week. If I run fast or far one time per week, will I automatically start running a little faster the other days? Or, taking distance as an example, if I run 3 miles per day and 4 miles on a "long" day, is there some point at which I decide that, OK, now 3.25 miles is my new "standard" day?

Whew. That's all.

Mary Lou said...

I just wanted to say that I started running about a year ago, largely because of your advice, and this weekend I ran my first 5k--and actually ran the whole thing, even though I was keeping pace with people who were walking. I figure I'll work on getting faster in 2013, but being able to run three miles without stopping is my accomplishment for 2012, and I'm proud as hell of it. Thank you, Doctor Mama!

Kristin said...

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