Monday, October 5, 2009

FFF Diva Reflection: A Letter About Running from My Trainer

Hey Guys,

Yesterday I went out and ran the Rock n Roll marathon along with Lisa, Jill, Rich (Jill's husband) and Maureen and Leilani (her sister). These guys kicked BUTT out there!! Next time you see them, give em a big congrats!

As I was running along, I gone off on a day dream.. I was thinking about how much of a mental game that running and exercising can really be.

Whether or not you are going through a sprint for 2 straight minutes, or you are running for 2 hours (like everyone downtown yesterday) your mind plays a crucial role in determining your success and your satisfaction. As soon as my mind began to drift off in the wrong side of the road (negative and defeating self-talk), I focused harder on my new goal and focused on my breathing rhythm and WENT AFTER IT. I was close, VERY close, on several occasions, of breaking my conviction of getting under a 2 hour race time. Sometimes, yes, your body physically can NOT push beyond certain thresholds... but the mind plays a role in that as well. As you get comfortable being UNCOMFORTABLE (and it takes practice..) you will be able to surprise even yourself.

Many of you experience this through your workouts. At the end of the day, if someone were tallying the amount of pushups, squats, situps, jumps, and distance of running that you did, I'm sure most of you would not think that you'd be able to do it. Hell, 13.1 miles STILL seems like a daunting task to me even now... and I've ran it twice!

Point being is this... embrace the uncomfortableness. Once you learn how to break the threshold of not having to stop, you will feel the massive endorphin rush you get from being able to discipline yourself to "just keep going". This is inherent to the way we live our lives... as we make the conviction to do something and we don't do it, we slowly start creating a self-limiting belief that becomes ingrained in our psyche. However, if we replace the self-limiting beliefs with empowering self-talk and encouragement, we can use those mental 'tricks' to get us to break through the thresholds that hold us down. Then, we surprise ourselves. The "I CAN do it" talk starts to surface... the empowerment and positive self talk starts to take over. And the other thing is your discipline... as you work towards a goal... ANY goal - you flex that discipline "muscle", which will grow and develop just like muscles do, but its in the head. So commonly, when you begin to get in shape, and start to create the reality of "being in the best shape of my life" - there's a massive ripple effect that will transform every facet of your life. People may not even know who this "new, sexy young YOU" is that begins to surface!

That should be our end game.

Not only the best shape of our lives... but have an overall better quality of life. The have the belief that you CAN have and DESERVE more, and more importantly, you have the conviction, the work ethic, and the mental discipline necessary to make dreams a reality. This is not something that you can ever TEACH your kids, peers, or clients, but rather, it is something you model for them. You can SHOW them that even though the going is getting tough, as life does for all of us, we power through it and get to our goals. I wish everyone could have the endorphin kick that I have right now.. I set myself a goal of under 2 hrs, I got to it, and now, I feel like I can take on the world! I'm actively looking for the next challenging thing to do, whether it be workouts or just work, that is something I may drag my feet about, but I will get it done...

SET S.M.A.R.T goals for yourself. Have the conviction to get to it. We are all here to help, and help each other when you see a peer going through the struggles you went through last week or last year. Together, we all do better as a team. For those of you who ran the half marathon, and for those of you who did homework that I HOPE kicked your butt this weekend, here's a good article on recovery and pain...

Enjoy;) I'll see you all tomorrow bright n early!


7 Tips on Dealing with Exercise-Induced Pain
By Steve Edwards

I often get complaints from clients about being sore. Statements like "I thought exercise was going to make me feel good, but now I feel worse than ever" are somewhat common with people who are new to exercising. And there's not too much for me to tell them. The fact is that if we have any desire on changing our body for the better, we are going to spend some time being sore. It's inevitable. Fact of life: there is some pain associated with the ultimate pleasure of being fit.

But that doesn't mean you have to take it sitting down! If you anticipate, plan, and take the proper steps, you can minimize your soreness.

Whenever you do something physical that you're not used to, you get sore. What this means is that most of you reading this are going to get sore—maybe really, really sore—along your road to fitness.

But I can help, because I've been through every level of soreness possible, from the "ahhh, I'm starting a new program" feeling to "@#&!, I can't walk" misery. Here are seven ways to mimic the former statement, and avoid the latter.

Embrace the pain. This idea is going to be foreign to many of you but eventually you're going to learn that a little soreness means you've embarked on something that is good for you. The first time, however, you're going to have to show a little faith. Whenever I switch up my training, I go through an initial period of soreness (like today). While it's always bothersome, say, when it hurts to take off my shoes, I know that it's only temporary and that it's an important step along the road to my goal. So I embrace it. Sure, it hurts. But it hurts in a good way. A great way even. I love the beginning of a new training cycle because I know that once I work through the pain I'm going to be fitter than before. In fact, when I haven't had a period of soreness in a while, I start to feel like a slacker.

Anticipate. Remember that I said I knew I was going to get sore? You are too! So don't go full out on your first day. It's normal to get excited on day 1. You've got a new package in the mail and visions of you walking down the beach turning heads are probably dancing in your head. This is great, but keep your wits about you. You're not going to get that way tomorrow or the next day. Hammering through your first workout could end up delaying your program two weeks while you recover from your exuberance. You'll get sore anyway. Next day, push a bit harder. Next day, a bit harder still.

Eat well. The more you exercise, the better you need to eat. Junk won't fuel your muscles properly. This is especially true if you are trying to lose weight because you are eating less than you need to sustain your body. So what you eat becomes vital. The better you eat, the less sore you'll become. Try to exercise on an empty stomach and then eat a small snack about an hour after finishing your workout. This will greatly help the recovery process and reduce soreness.

Stretch. After you work out. The more time you can spend doing extra stretching at the end of your workout the better you'll recover. Don't stretch your muscles when cold, as you'll risk injuring them further. An extra 10 minutes after you work out, however, can do wonders. Also, easy movements and stretches both at night before bed and first thing in the morning helps your blood circulate better and will also improve your recovery time.

Massage. You don't have to go to a masseuse; self-massage is a great tool to aid recovery. The only time you don't want to massage your muscles is right after you work out because you will interfere with the natural recovery process. But at any other time, just five minutes of self-massage can do wonders. Foam rolling is an awesome tool to help in this process.

Ice. More on the circulation theme—nothing moves blood around like ice. If you've ever watched a locker interview after a sporting event, you probably noticed that a lot of the athletes were icing parts of their body. That's because it's one of the greatest recovery aids we have. Almost all injuries heal more quickly if we apply ice. And soreness is "microtrauma," or slight tears in your muscle tissue. These are necessary in order to get stronger, and they will heal faster if you ice them. You can ice any sore body part up to 20 minutes at a time, a few times throughout the day (if you can stand it). Smaller body parts - like joints and fingers don't need to be iced as long, maybe 10 minutes at a time.

Work out. Often the last thing you feel like doing when you're sore but it gets back to the circulation thing. Working out promotes circulation. Sitting around while you're sore is worse than working out, even though you probably feel like exercise is the last thing you should do. What you should do is not work out too hard. It's a good excuse to be slightly lazy, since you are doing what's called a "recovery workout," which is aimed at not breaking down too much muscle tissue. However, if your legs are sore, you don't have to go easy on your upper body, and vice versa.

Have a great day everyone!!

Ronny Varghese
Director of Operations
Operation Boot Camp - San Jose
1-888-7-FIT NOW (734-8669)

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