Are you new to Pittsburgh? Then you have so much to discover! Seriously, this Midwest city is full of amazing food and even more amazing adventures. Before you get to all of the fun, however, you may need to work on getting yourself set up as an official Pittsburgh resident. Wondering where to start? We've got you covered with the following tips and suggestions.
Contributed by Sheila Johnson
There’s a little more to running a 5K than lacing up your sneakers, especially if you’ve barely run a mile before. Successfully completing your first 5K requires some time for training and some discipline for practice, but it doesn’t have to require a lot of added cost. Put these budget-savvy tips to use during all of your race preparations:
Seek Out Deals for Your Running Basics
You don’t need a lot of gear to get started as a runner, especially if you only plan on running a 5K. Having some running basics, however, like supportive shoes, comfortable clothing and useful accessories can help you push through any discomfort of your initial training period. Without this gear, you may be more likely to give up if you’re training in hot or cold weather, or if you begin to experience blisters or other common running issues. Thankfully for your budget, picking up these running essentials doesn’t have to come with a huge price tag. Shoes will be the most expensive item on your list, unless you invest in a tracker, but you can grab a promo code or coupon online to save some major bucks on all of your running and training needs. You may even get cash back on your purchases, so you can stock up on more gear.
Contributed by Diane Harrison, www.healthpsa.info
Is the toughest part of goal-setting making the goals or modifying them correctly? Even if your goals are reasonable yet challenging, you’ll likely have to change them—and that’s okay! Everyone can benefit from actually figuring out their goals (long-term and short-term) and coming up with a visual means of working towards them. However, writing them down with a pen can be intimidating. It makes goals feel permanent, unmoving, and unchanging. Goals are actually very fluid and should be changed.
Last week we took a look at some strategies for setting training and racing goals. We mentioned that they should be “SMARTER” (Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Relevant, Timely, Exciting, and Risky). We also talked about how you might look results from previous races to help you construct a race specific goal, or go even deeper and look at your own internal motivations to help you set a longer-term goal.
This week, I wanted to share a strategy that can help you supercharge goal achievement. That strategy is using the power of community. Regardless of whether your goals are athletics, professional, or personal, being able to share what you’re trying to achieve, with someone else, can benefit you in a few ways.
Community adds another layer of accountability
Knowing that you’ve put something out for your community to see can make the goal feel more real. Having someone to share your updates with can help you stay accountable, and promotes a focus on making incremental progress, week-over-week.
Community helps you refine your path
A community is full of collective knowledge and experiences. By sharing a goal, you might get feedback from others in the community who have walked a similar path, and can help guide you in the right direction.
Community gives you a place to celebrate
Too often, we reach our goals or targets, and fail to pause and celebrate. An encouraging, supportive community will celebrate with you. This can in turn provide more motivation and momentum toward achieving your next goal!
Spring feels like it is finally just around the corner, and several of us are getting ready to kick off a new racing season!
Maybe you have already eyed up a few key events, or you are are even signed up for an “A Race.” Even if you’re still looking for your main event, the time to start considering goals for the season is now!
So, where do we start when thinking about what a season’s goals could look like?
First, I like my athletes to get the big picture view of what they’re hoping to achieve over the season. This might take the shape of something like “I have three races I want to run.” It could also sound like “I want to finish my first Ironman,” or “I’d like to become a runner so that I can maintain my health and keep up with my kids.”
Contributed by Sheila Johnson
A yoga practice can help you live your best life. Keep reading and enjoy a healthier new you, one pose at a time — even if you’ve chosen to stay close to home until the global health crisis subsides.
How Yoga Can Help
Yoga offers many benefits for everyone. However, for those of us fighting the beast that is type 2 diabetes, its benefits are tenfold. Not only can it improve your emotional well-being, but yoga can also lower your blood pressure, according to health experts. These two factors, combined with other lifestyle perks of yoga, are known to significantly improve your quality of life.
Contributed by Diane Harrison of www.healthpsa.info
The end of this year is nigh, and you’re no doubt noodling resolutions before the new year begins. Inevitably, healthier habits are part of your game plan for next year, whether it be getting more exercise in the form of running or getting healthier with your food intake. Let’s take a look at some ways you can kickstart your year by getting right, both mentally and physically:
Whether you are a runner, triathlete, or other endurance sports junkie, chances are you're using some type of tech to help you measure performance.
There’s certainly no shortage of tech devices on the market, and athletes ask all the time where they can get the biggest bang for their buck.
From bikes, to GPS watches. Heart rate monitors to power meters, where should you start?
Here’s our list of recommended gear!
We’ve done our best to list these recommendations in order of importance, assuming an athlete can only get one item at a time. Build your gear supply by working down the list, as you grow with the sport. Let us know if you have any questions, or if you have any great recommendations of your own!
Here’s the quick list, but keep reading for reasons why we chose them, and the brands we recommend!
Most cyclists and triathletes agree, when it comes to measuring fitness improvement, Functional Threshold Power (FTP) is the gold standard. As the cost of technology that measures FTP comes down, more athletes are able to use power as a training tool. There are even power meters that will now measure power specifically on the run (stay tuned for our upcoming program on running with a power meter!).
What is FTP?
At its essence, power refers the amount of force being created on a bicycle by the cyclist. Runners can also use a device like the Stryd running meter (more on running with power in later blogs). This metric is important, because it tells us the work that an athlete is actually doing, in realtime. Other metrics like heart rate can be impacted by things like temperature, hydration levels, stress, etc. and are lagging indicators of effort.
FTP, is generally considered the power output that an athlete can sustain for 40-60 minutes. Check out more on our blog to find out how to take a FTP test! We recommend athletes retest every 3-5 weeks to see what gains they are making.
Boosting your FTP
So, now that you know what FTP is, and know where to go to find out how to take the test, how do you go about improving it?
You’ll need to focus on a combination of easy riding, and riding at or above your threshold (threshold is another way to say, FTP). The easy days (if they’re easy enough), help you build your FTP from the bottom up. The hard days (if they’re hard enough), help pull your FTP higher from the top.
Triathletes often overlook look their running, opting instead to try and improve the swim, or boost their FTP. Building confidence in the first two disciplines is certainly vital for a successful race. What athletes don’t always realize though, is that they can build a higher level of in-season running performance, by focusing on their technicals skills and aerobic efficiency in the off-season.
Download our run specific training block to help you refine your technique and progressively build milage, all while increasing your running efficiently and helping you avoiding injury!
This planned is geared toward triathletes, so the running workouts will be supported by both swim and bike sessions. These swim and bike sessions should be done at an easy intensity as we want your legs rested and ready for the key running sessions! If you're note a triathlete, simply drop the biking and swimming from the plan.
Finally, this plan was originally drafted for Full and 70.3 Ironman athletes. However, on the next page you’ll learn how to set specific targets for your current fitness level (Sprint to Full Ironman!).
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Ken Presutti is a certified ChiRunning instructor, ACE Personal trainer, Spinning instructor, and coach. This blog is a mix of new articles and posts from his original blog, Overkill is Underrated.