100 workout

Many people I talk to about running complain about how boring it is. Running on a treadmill is usually torture; especially with the clock staring you in the face. Running outside is better (in my opinion), but it still can get boring. Since my first half marathon, I stopped wearing headphones. Even when I trained for the marathon, I didn’t use headphones. Most people think this is crazy, but I absolutely love it. It lets me think about things I need to process and then it also allows me to totally turn my brain off and just go. It takes practice, but now I can’t imagine going back to headphones (I feel like my head will explode when I wear them running).

Still, sometimes I don’t feel like running and need something to occupy my time. I recently learned about the importance of taking the right number of steps per minute when you run – 180 steps per minute REGARDLESS of your pace. This is 90 steps per foot, so I usually just count one foot. This theory of taking so many steps per minute was confirmed by the UW Health Physical Therapist I saw who specialized in running (including working with UW athletes). Over the last year I occasionally count my steps when I run to make sure I am keeping cadence. This is one way to occupy your time when you run – it sounds silly, but the time actually goes by really fast.

With that, I created my own workout for sprints that doesn’t need a watch or planned route. It is the 100 workout and it uses the running cadence counting to occupy your time. It is a simple set of 10 repeats – 100 steps per foot sprinting and 100 steps walking. This ends up being just over a minute of sprinting, since you should be doing 90 steps per foot for a minute. I don’t know if it would work out this way for everyone, but my last route was about 3 minutes and it took me about 20-25 minutes (I didn’t have a watch so this is a guess based on the times when I left the house and was all done stretching). I was dying after 7 repeats so my pace definitely dropped for the last 3 repeats. Regardless, it was a good workout!

Warm-up: walk 10 minutes

Workout: 100 steps per foot sprint, 100 steps per foot walk – repeat 10 times

Cool-down: walk 5-10 minutes with stretching breaks

Exercise AND Obesity on the Rise

A new public health report  found that exercise rates in the US are up – yeah!!! They also found that obesity rates are continuing to rise. You can read about it all over popular media (here and here are good ones).  What does this mean?

  • The data are from 2001-2011, so this before the effectiveness of more recent efforts can really be measured
  • We need to move more AND eat better
  • People eat more when they move more
    • Their body’s naturally are hungrier to no fault of their own
      or
    • They allow themselves to splurge more and eat more because they exercised (think of that runner who carbo-loads for a 5K or 10K….not necessary)
  • The people are healthier even if their weight doesn’t show

I am a big fan of the last point and am disappointed I haven’t heard that argument. Too often we think of someone’s weight or appearance as the #1 indicator for health, and that couldn’t be further from the truth. It is just an easier proxy that other indicators of health. I don’t want to get on a soapbox, so I’ll save my comments for another post. If this sparked your interest, you should watch this amazing TED talk by a surgeon who had a similar revelation early in his career.

Take a Walk

Walking after for at least 15 minutes after a meal can help prevent type 2 diabetes. A recent study compared exercising for 15 minutes after each meal to exercising for 45 minutes once per day. They found that the brief walk after a meal was just as effective at preventing high blood sugars.  Here is an excerpt from the USA Today article:

“You eat a meal. You wait a half-hour and then you go for a 15-minute walk, and it has proven effective in controlling blood sugar levels, but you have to do it every day after every meal.”

Who has 45 minutes? Not many people. Who has 15 minutes after a meal? Most of us 😉