I've been running for about six months. As a birthday gift my mom gave me a journal to start a running diary. She thinks keeping track of my runs will help me stick with it. Besides time and distance, what do serious runners include in their training logs?
A training diary is meaningful because it's personal. Start by asking yourself: What is important to me when it comes to running? Maybe you want to remember a favorite new route, or chart your times as you get faster. The choice is yours. To kick off the journal, here are a few items to consider logging:
Distance, time, pace
Time of day and route
Run quality (were you tired, energized?)
Any pains or injuries
What you ate or drank beforehand
Whether you warmed up, stretched and cooled down
Extra details or pearls of wisdom for future outings.
Re-reading your entries, you will be able to revel in what you've accomplished and replicate the conditions under which you had your best runs.
Can you tell me how to strengthen my chest using dumbbells? We have a home gym, but no bench press machine.
To work your chest and the front of your shoulders using free weights, first adjust your incline bench to 30 degrees. With your feet planted and knees at 90 degrees, hold a dumbbell in each hand, arms outstretched above your chest, palms forward. Bending your elbows, slowly lower the weights out and down until your elbows are at 90 degrees. With abdominal muscles firm, contract your chest muscles while pressing dumbbells back to starting position. Push-ups are another great machine-free way to work this area.
I'm interested in running a race to raise money to help cancer patients. Where can I find one? I'm only interested in going as far as a half-marathon.
Races that benefit nonprofit organizations, or are simply dedicated to raising money for a specific cause, are a great way to mix fitness and philanthropy. The following races specifically benefit cancer research and treatment. So when you feel like you can't take another step, you'll have every reason to push yourself to the limit.
American Cancer Society Relay for Life (cancer.org)
Avon Walk for Breast Cancer (avonwalk.org)
Race for The Cure (komen.org)
Reach Out and Run (hopewellcancersupport.org)
Revlon Run / Walk for Women (revlonrunwalk.org)
Team in Training (teamintraining.org) is designed to benefit leukemia and lymphoma patients.
Do you have a fitness question? You can submit questions via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org, or online at baltimoresun.com / healthscience, or in writing to The Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore, MD 21278.