It’s hard to believe we are already in the third month of 2014! Unless you think about all the snow we’ve got on the east coast this winter, then it’s entirely believable! Anyway, Friday marked the end of the Physique 57 8-Week Challenge I was participating in, so I thought a final wrap-up post was due!
The last two weeks were rough for me, continued illness coupled with a definite case of S.A.D. left me less than motivated to get my workouts in. I did the best I could however, and in the end am still very pleased with my results.
After 8 weeks I am down a total of 9 inches (most of that coming from my abdomen and thighs) and according to the scale down anywhere from 2-4lbs (Depending on the day). Considering I didn’t make much of a change in my eating habits during the 8 weeks I’m really, really pleased with me results.
Inches and pounds aside, I can definitely tell I’ve gained some lower body strength and even some core strength (that was my weakest area ) which is fabulous. Half marathon training starts for me in a couple weeks (it should really start right now, but I’m hoping in two weeks time there will be less snow ) so the added muscle will certainly be coming in handy!
I’ve really, really, enjoyed the challenge and would encourage anyone who is looking for a workout that is low impact on your body, but high impact in results to check out Physique 57! If you don’t live near one of their studios you can check out their online videos (and a little birdie told me that monthly challenges will be available to those who purchase the unlimited online video subscription!).
I had the opportunity to participate in the challenge free of charge on behalf os Physique 57, but if you go back through my posts and on facebook/twitter you’ll see that my love of Physique 57 goes back a few years, and if anything this opportunity has made me love them even more (but I’m not sure that is possible).
It’s not cost effective for me to continue with the unlimited online video subscription since I am already so active through my classes, but I will be doing the at home videos a couple times/week and hope to pop over and do an online video now and again to keep the toning going! In case you missed it in my last post here is a photo comparison from October to two weeks ago:
This has been a fantastic opportunity for me, and I know that the gals over on our Facebook group who participated in the challenge all loved it too. I feel like I’ve really made some strides to re-gain the muscle mass I lost back in 2011 when I became a one woman Zumba-cardio machine. I’m not there yet, but I’m certainly on my way thanks largely to this challenge!!
Disclosure: I participated in this challenge for free courtesy of Physique 57 but all thought, opinions and results are my own!
It’s no secret that I’m over winter. And I am really hoping it’s over me (and the rest of the world) complaining about it and is going to go hibernate until December quite soon! While I dream of warmer days, I’ve been working on my race schedule for 2014. There have been a couple wrenches thrown in my wheels while planning so I’m not sure how many races I’ll get to this year, but I’m currently registered for 3, with the plans for 3 others.
This year I’ve been hearing a lot of newer runners chatting about signing up for races, or distances they haven’t run before, and how quickly they hope to finish them. It seems like I’ve been hearing a lot of talk about pacing like this, “I ran a 5K in 26 minutes, so I should be able to run a 10K in 52 minutes.” While I won’t deny there are certainly people who can maintain a 5K pace for 10K (or longer), that isn’t something I have experienced to be true myself, and I wondered if some of these people might not be expecting too much of themselves right out of the gate. Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s awesome to have a stretch goal, but if you run a 5K in 30 minutes and your goal is to run a 1/2 marathon in 2 hours, well without a lot of speed work built into your training, you’re probably going to be disappointed, and I hate the idea of people being disappointed when they cross the finish line, especially if it’s one of their first races.
So I decided to do what bloggers do – write about it. First I surveyed a bunch of runner friends to get their best race times in the 5K, 10K, HM and FM distances so I could determine how distance affects the average speed of a runner. And because I’m surrounded by super awesome people, in less than 24 hours I had 18 sets of data, and was also told about the McMillan running calculator which helps you calculate running paces for difference distances.
So instead of calculating everything from scratch, I decided to use the McMillan calculator to calculate how fast it thought each runner I had collected data on would run a 10K, HM and FM based on their 5K personal best. My aim here was to see how accurate the calculator is when dealing with an average runner since it didn’t make sense to calculate my own equations to do the same thing when this calculator exists.
When I calculated 10K distances based on the 5K results of my group of runners, the time it calculated was within 30 seconds of the actual finish time for 44% of the runners surveyed. For the other 66% it calculated a time that was on average 3:20 minutes faster than their actual time.
When I calculated half marathon distance based on the 5K results, the time it calculated was within 1 minute of the actual finish time for 18% of the runners surveyed. For the other 82% it had calculated a time that was on average 2:45 minutes faster than their actual time.
And finally, when I looked at full marathons, based on 5K pace results, the time the McMillan calculator calculated was within 1 minute of the actual finish time for 8% of the runners surveyed. For the remaining 92% the calculated time was on average 33 minutes faster than their actual time.
I found these results super interesting because those are the types of results I would expect if you took your 5K time and simply doubled it for a 10K pace, or quadrupled it for a half, etc. The McMillan calculator already has calculated in the expected decline in speed over time so without having done this little experiment I would have expected it to be pretty on average much closer to the actual race times. It just goes to show that a lot of things happen out on a race course that a calculator just doesn’t take into consideration (bathroom breaks, injuries, etc.)
So the moral of this little running pace story is:
1) Taking your 5K time and assuming you can maintain that same pace for a longer distance race (without substantial speed work in between) is probably going to leave you disappointed on the other end of the finish line.
2) Using the McMillan calculator is a fantastic reference because it takes into consideration the reduction in speed experienced as the running distance becomes longer. However, for the average person, it seems to still generate a pace that is faster than most people can maintain over that distance (I say most because there were people who actually ran their best times in all distances faster than the time generated by the calculator), so if you are using it to calculate a goal time for a race, it is a good idea to plan on that time as your stretch goal.
And the real moral of the story is, regardless of your finish time, if you complete a race (regardless of the distance) you should feel SO PROUD regardless of your finish time. Running in a race is something only a small percentage of the population will ever do, so enjoy that moment when you cross that finish line!!
Special shoutout to my fellow FitFluential ambassadors that hooked me up with their personal best running times so I could write this post! Let me tell you, I am honoured to be surrounded by so many super speedy runners!