8 things i learnt from my first half marathon

8 things i learnt from my first half marathon

distance

A couple weeks ago i decided to run my first solo half marathon (21km). The furthest I had run prior was 12km so I knew it would be a challenge, but I was up to it.

I have been running for 5 months but i didn’t have a specific plan to train for a 21k. It had been a goal of mine ,so i thought “Why not give it a try”. It was a physically and mentally tough run but i managed to complete it without stopping. I finished with the time of 3hr 4min.

Here are eight lessons i learn from it:

1.You can do anything you put your mind to

As i said , i didn’t train for this run (NOT recommended , training for a big run is VERY important) but i believed that i could do it. I had no doubt in my mind that it was possible for me to run a half marathon and i DID. The human body i capable of much more than we give it credit for. A few month ago i did think i could run 5km , now here I am running 21km. Its all in the mind. Do not set limits on yourself before trying.

2. Long distance running is a mental game

The body will give up long before the mind will . So you have to be mentally tough to push through even when every fiber of your being is telling you to give up.

3. It doesnt matter how slow you go as long as you dont stop.

Dont put too much pressure on yourself to beat someone else’s time. Its You VS You. Appreciate the journey. I personally follow a number of runners on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. They motivate and inspire me to keep pushing myself BUT I DO NOT let myself caught up in trying to beat the times set by people who have been running for years. People who do things better than you are your teachers, not your competition”.

4.Trap music helps me run.

I always run with music , particularly trap . I have not always been a fan of this sub genre of Hiphop , but listening to it while I run gives me an extra boost . I have Migos, Cardi B , 2chains , future and others in my playlist .Major bag Alert’ by Migos is a great song to listen to in tough parts of the race.

5. Run to enjoy , not to endure

 Running should not feel like punishment or else you will be searching for every excuse under the sun not to do it. Make it fun , run in a group , listen to new music , run different route. Choose a distance that you will enjoy but is still challenging.

6. Stretch

Stretching is really important before and after your run. I learnt that the hard way . I didn’t stretch so i was basically bed ridden after my run LOL.

7. Celebrate your achievements no matter how small they may seem

“The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step”. Dont wait till you run a marathon (42km) in 1hour to celebrate. That may never happen and you will become frustrated.  So celebrate milestones and personal bests even if they are way way slower than your friends times. “Don’t let your desire for improvement rob you of pride in small victories!”

8. Anything worth having is worth working hard for

If you want to get better at running, you have to stress your body. In order for your muscles to get stronger, they first must be slightly damaged through exertion. Then, your body builds the muscle fibers up stronger to handle the increased workload. The damaged muscles are what cause you to feel sore after a good workout. Dont shy away from the pain that comes with long distance running , embrace it. Push through your perceived limits and you will be amazed by what you can achieve .

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My Love affair with Running

My Love affair with Running

I was never a fan of outdoor running. I used to run on the treadmill at my gym but mostly as a warm up. I started outdoor running in April this year. Started off with just short sprints then moved on to longer distances. The more I ran the more I fell in love with it. I set up a schedule for myself to run 3 times a week. Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday. On the other days I would concentrate on weight training at the gym.

I was running random distances with no particular goal. Then I decided to concentrate on 3km. Why 3km? you may ask. Well one day I was watching athletics on Super Sport and there was a 3000m races in which the winner got a time of about 8 mins. I was impressed, so I decided to see if I could do it. I couldn’t (lol) but my time wasn’t so bad for a novice, I did it in 33 min. I decided to work my way up to olympic type pace. It has not been easy but I have cut 10min off my initial time and now average around the 20min mark. My fastest ever time has been 18min!

In June I ran my first long distance race. It was a fund raising event at my church and the distance was 10km. I managed to run 8.73km in 1hr 19min. It was so much fun. It made me want to do more long distance runs. So I decided to dedicate Saturday mornings to running 10k’s . So far I have had three 10km runs, with my fastest time being 1hr 19min.

I currently run 4 times a week; 10k on Saturdays then 3k during the week.

My current goal is to run a half marathon in the coming weeks and a full marathon before the end of the year. Right now I don’t mind the time I do it in, as long as I do it before the year is over.

 

                           “The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step”

Over training : myth or reality

Recently I started working out at the gym twice a day . One session in the morning another in the evening. Both sessions are heavy as I believe in giving it all you got whenever you workout . I mosty do cardio in the morning and weight training in the evening. I do this from Monday to Friday. Some may consider this to be over training. 

Lets define over training :

Overtraining is the result of giving your body more work or stress than it can handle. This occurs when a person experiences stress and physical trauma from exercise faster than their body can repair the damage. Overtraining is also known as chronic fatigue, burnout and overstress in athletes.


symptom of over training

  • Persistent muscle soreness.
  • Persistent fatigue.
  • Elevated resting heart rate.
  • Reduced heart rate variability.
  • Increased susceptibility to infections.
  • Increased incidence of injuries.
  • Irritability.
  • Depression.

Is it a myth?

One inspirational bodybuilder/motivational speaker I follow online is CT Fletcher . He is know for famously saying “F” over training! what he simply means is dont use “over training” as an excuse not to push yourself to the limit . 

Every one is different , so what may seem like an intense total body workout for one person may be a another person’s warm-up. If you are engaging in extensive workouts every time you are in the gym, the likelihood of pushing yourself to your extreme limit, to the point that you’re “overtraining” becomes unlikely. Fletcher’s belief is that once you push your body past it’s limits continuously, you eventually grow accustomed to that level of stress and adapt to it. What used to be your limit becomes just another stepping stone .

Conclusion

Is over training a myth ?  Well, yes and no . Yes because you can push yourself too hard to the point of injury , and no because if you continue to push  yourself you will eventually pass your perceived limitations. 

My advice is always push  yourself to the limit when working out ,BUT make sure you get enough rest and the right nutrition.

 The mind plays an important  role in your physical fitness journey.For example, If  you believe in your mind that you can not do more than 30 pushups in a row then  you will not be able  to do it. But if you believe that you can , then you will push yourself till you do it . 

My long road to six pack abs

abzilla

First off there are NO shortcuts in life ! Getting a six pack is no exception .

At the beginning of the year i set a goal for myself to develop six pack abs by December .It is now September. I have not got there yet , BUT i am closer than i have ever been.

So how do i get abs?  you ask . Well i dont have the answers . What i can do i share with you how i hope to get mine .

THE WORKOUT

CARDIO

Cardio is very important , especially if you have a spare tire to get rid of to expose your abs. I do cardio 2 times a week alternating between treadmill and aerobics every week.

(week 1)Tuesday and Thursday – 65 min treadmill at pace between 5 and 6 miles/hr ,

–  rest 10 min ,

– 1 mile treadmill run at pace between 6 and 8 miles/hr

(Week 2) Tuesday – 1 hour aerobic class at my gym

Thursday- 1 hour tae bo class at my gym.

If you do not have access to a gym . You can run instead of using a treadmill or perform any type of high intensity cardio , such us sprinting , jump role , burpees etc. Just make sure you push yourself to the absolute limit For aerobic and Tae bo , you can download videos from the internet . I recommend Billy Blanks Tae Bo . You can find his 1hr aerobics videos on YouTube.

AB excerise

I do a variety of ab workouts at least twice a week, such as

bench Leg raises ( 5 sets of 20)

Weighted bench situps (5 sets of 20)

crunches  (5 sets of 20)

trunk rotations (5 sets of 20)

Plank ( 3 sets 1 minute)

Make sure to mix it up so that your body does not get used to the workout. Below are some others you can try.

abs

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Weight training 

Compound lifts such as dead-lifts , squats , military press , bench press work the core muscles.

Nutrition

You may have heard the saying ” Abs are made in the kitchen” . Well , it true . nutrition plays an important role in developing that six pack.

I am no expert in this aspect but this is what i do

  • Drink 3 litres of water everyday
  • NO carbonated drinks , NO sugar
  • NO junk food ( One cheat meal a month ie Pizza)
  • Eat six meals a day , 4 small ones 2 big ones.
  • Make Vegetables the main part of the meal , with a large helping of protien and some carbs.
  • Eat good carbs such as , brown rice , sweet potatoes , Roller meal , brown bread

 

Self Belief

If you dont believe that you can develop six pack abs then you wont . It all starts in the mind . If you believe you can do it , then you WILL find a way to do it . You have to be obsessed with achieving greatness . Hard work ,and discipline will get you there .

By combining these 5 aspects i hope to develop the elusive six pack in time for summer .

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Suppliments

whey protien

During my years of working out I have tried out some supplements. I have mostly used products from USN and Horleys such as Creatine, whey protein and mass builders.  Supplements should not be relied on to build muscle, what you need is a good balanced diet and hard work in the gym. Supplements do, however, give you a little extra boost.

Here are some benefits of supplements;

  1. They can help you replace your meals without compromising your nutritional needs.
  2. They encourage energy storage for your next workout sessions.
  3. Depending on how you use the supplement, they can help you gain or lose weight.
  4. Most of these supplements are famous for facilitating muscle build-up.
  5. Aside from encouraging muscle build-up, they aid in strengthening your bones by developing bone mass.
  6. They aid in hastening your muscle recovery. This is important because after every workout session, your muscles acquire micro tears from repeatedly lifting and carrying various weight. The supplements directly address the presence of micro tears by mending the areas with the help of the body’s natural healing mechanisms.
  1. Bodybuilding supplements help you counteract the ill effects of exercise acidosis (  an increased acidity in the blood and other body tissue).
  2. These workout supplements can help in the biosynthesis of glutathione inside your body. Glutathione is a substance that acts as a Natural antioxidant. Therefore, this helps in retarding the effects of aging. Also, this aids in faster muscle recovery and muscle bulk development.
  3. The supplements help improve your brain function. Aside from giving you the distinct feeling of enhanced wakefulness and mental alertness for the entire day.
  4. They are extremely convenient to carry around. And you can mix easily mix them with water or milk , or in your food.

 

At the moment the supplement I am using is Umoyo Pure Whey Powder. Whey powders provide protein and amino acids, which serve as building blocks for increased muscle growth.

I have been on it from the beginning of the year, six months in; I have noticed some significant muscle gain. Granted it is not all due to the whey powder. I have been trying to maintain a healthy protein heavy diet, drinking plenty of water (about 3 liters a day) and working really hard in the gym. Switching routines frequently so that my body doesn’t get used to one thing, need to shock the muscle to grow it.

Supplements will only work for you if you know how to use them correctly. Also, it will help if

You know what they can do for you because this will give you a hint if they are really indicated for your case.

 

Running for Speed and endurance

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One of my fitness goals is to increase my endurance and speed. To do that i have been pushing myself with cardio.
I have been running on the treadmill , doing aerobics and tae bo . Today i’ll talk about my running .
My workout schedule is broken down like this . One day weight training , the next cardio . So i do cardio twice a week.

I run on the treadmill for 65 minutes . My goal is to cover 6 miles (9.6km) in less than 65min . So far the closest i have come to that is 5.5 miles(8.8km) . So close i can taste it . The key to reaching my target is to keep a steady pace.
Idealy i should keep the pace at 6 miles/hour . That is much easier said than done , but im getting there .
Another goal of mine is to run 1 mile(1.6km) in 10 minutes .Which i achieved last friday !!!!!!!! Now i need to do it in less time .

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Once a goal is achieved that is not the end , keep pushing and go past your personal best . The human body is capable of incredible things , the only limits are in your mind .

#Imposibleisnothing #Gymislife #Ilovecardio

 

 

 

 

100 squats a day challenge

squat

This is a challenge i have done and completed before . The aim is to do 100 squats a day for  a whole month . So that will make it 3000 squats in a month . The highest number of squats i have done in a single month is 5060 (Personal best) .That is approximately 168 squats per day . I have been slacking a bit lately , but i intend to get back at it and beat my record.

So for this challenge , the 100 squats will consist of body weight squats and weighted squats .
They dont have to be done all at once . You can do some in the morning when you wake up , some at lunch time and finish off before you sleep . You can do it any way you want as long as you complete 100 everysingle day .

What’s the Proper Way to Perform a Squat?

Squats have long been criticized for being destructive to your knees, but if done properly, squats actually improve knee stability and strengthen connective tissue.

  • Warm up
  • Stand with your feet just over shoulder width apart
  • Keep your back in a neutral position, and keep your knees centered over your feet
  • Slowly bend your knees, hips and ankles, lowering until you reach a 90-degree angle
  • Return to starting position — repeat 15-20 times, for 2-3 sets for beginners (do this two or three times a week)
  • Breathe in as you lower, breathe out as you return to starting position

So lets get to it !! If you want join in , share your progress in the comments or follow me twitter @kapa187.