Be a smart runner

Many people who begin running have at some point done these simple mistakes with their running performance.

1. Starting off too fast!

2. Never adding strength training.

3. Not eating enough.

4. Eating too much.

5. Comparing yourself to other runners.

Admit it, we’ve all done at least a couple of these things when starting off with our new sport. I can remember doing a few of these myself such as; going too fast, doing all cardiovascular performance, not eating enough, and constantly comparing myself to other runners. We’ve all been there! So here are some simple solutions to fix these top five problems and I assure you, once you do your running will increase so much better.

1. (Mistake: Going too fast)

If you’re at all like me then you just can’t wait to get out there and run those far distances. But just remember that like everything else, it takes a lot of hard work and practice to reach up to far distances. So if you are a couch potato and would like to begin running then try looking up a good training plan. A training plan can really help you so you won’t over train yourself and prevent you from getting any injuries.

However, if you don’t feel you want to follow a training plan like that then try something I did. I started out doing little intervals of running. Beginning with doing around two or three mile intervals involving a four minute warm-up, then running for two minutes, walk for one minute, and repeat.

2. (Mistake: Never adding strength training!)

I am completely guilty right here. I never did strength training when I started out. It was constant running and nothing else, which yes does help with weight loss. But in my experience when not adding strength training you will more than likely become too skinny and not toned at all. Just bony. I became, literally so fragile looking people assumed I was anorexic.

Also, strength training could help you run faster because you are building more muscle as well. So add in those weights and you should be on your way to good running material!

3. (Mistake: Not eating enough)

This could be another main reason why I became too skinny along with my running.

You need to make sure you’re eating enough foods for your runs. Just make it healthy opinions, so don’t go out and eat four big-macs after your run because that won’t do any good either. Stick to making sure you get enough nutrients into your diet. Especially if you’re a vegetarian runner like I am, you need plenty of protein, fiber, and good complex carbohydrates to fuel your body right. Yeah, SURPRISE, I said carbohydrates because you need those for your fueling. Girls, whoever made up that shit on carbohydrates making you fat was obviously a fat person jealous of thin girls and wanting to make them feel insecure. So just make sure it’s the good kinds such as; whole grains and not white processed.

4. (Mistake: Eating too much)

A lot of people will think that they are runners so that should give them the license to eat whatever the hell they want. It’s no license to do that. Everything in moderation people, remember that! Just because you ran one day does not mean you can go off having an entire bag of potato chips, or a jumbo size of chocolate cake. Make sure you’re making the right decisions and keep a general idea of the calories in vs. calories out.

5. (Mistake: Comparing yourself to other runners)

We’ve all been there. Thinking we will never run as fast as one runner to the next. But keep in mind guys, we’re all different here and that includes our running. Studies showed that an average of men tend to run faster, but a good amount of women tend to run a bit slower but longer. Plus, if you love the sport why should it matter if someone else is better or faster than you. Just keep working on making your performance better. You are your only competition! Compare your running to your running from last week, or yesterday’s.

And finally…enjoy it!

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Gradually make the change

These are some helpful tips that’ll guide you on your new lifestyle of vegetarianism.

Start off slowly:

  • Only on Mondays. Eating vegetarian food forever might sound daunting, but anyone can hack it for a single day. Check out the Meatless Monday website for some great resources and support for reducing the meat in your diet. Once you’ve got Mondays down, add another day of meatless eating to the schedule. And another. And so on.
  • The elimination game. Choose one non-vegetarian food (beef, or chicken, or spam, or…) to stop eating this week. No fair choosing a food you don’t eat anyway! Once you are comfortable with that change (after, say, a week or a month), choose another food to eliminate. And so on.
  • Stop buying meat. Depending on what you already have on hand at home, giving up meat might mean wasting a lot of food. Don’t let this serve as an excuse; just start altering your shopping habits. If you stop acquiring non-vegetarian foods, sooner or later you’ll run out of the meat products you have on hand, and your diet will eventually become vegetarian. Use the transition time to learn new recipes and get comfortable with your new way of eating.
  • Focus on what you’re adding, not what you’re taking away. Becoming vegetarian can mean learning new recipes, discovering new favorite restaurants, and exploring lots of healthy, delicious new foods. Why not treat yourself to a vegetarian cookbook and commit to trying new recipes at least once a week? Explore your town’s vegetarian restaurants. Pick up a new fruit or veggie the next time you’re at the store. If you focus on finding vegetarian foods you can get excited about, the number of meat-centered meals in your life will naturally decline.
  • Be bad. If perfectionism is standing in your way, give yourself permission to be a bad vegetarian. Slip up at parties. Have turkey on Thanksgiving. Forget to read a label or two. Nobody is keeping score. Give yourself permission to make mistakes along the road; just get moving in the right direction!

 

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Omnivores and vegetarians getting along?

Okay, first before I get too into this blog right here let me just state something. I have recently been finding a lot of videos, articles, all that on how omnivores hate vegetarians and call us stupid. Then there are vegetarians who hate omnivores and say they are killing the planet or whatever the reason for that one is. I don’t know and personally don’t care! This is just my views on the two groups hating one another.

I am not going to say every vegetarian hates omnivores, or every single omnivore hate vegetarians. I certainly don’t hate a person simply just because they enjoy eating meat, that’s their choice not mine. Why should I judge them on that? Now if they were a complete asshole then that would be a totally different topic. But really people, what the hell?

Many of my good friends are omnivores and then don’t care, but support my decision of being a vegetarian. Heck, some people have even told me that guys won’t like dating a vegetarian. Really you shouldn’t put every guy out there in that category because there are still guys out there who will still be supportive. As long as we don’t get too annoying with the whole lifestyle or anything, why should anyone care.

Your life, right? So what’s the big flipping deal.

Also, with some “Christians” who say that vegetarians are dumb because God made animals for us to eat. Where is your proof? Oh that’s right…YOU DON’T HAVE ANY LOGICAL PROOF! The Bible won’t give you an exact answer because it was written by MAN not GOD! God created the guy who decided one day to write the Bible. God, himself did not do such a thing. It’s like homosexuals, God doesn’t care how a person spends their life because he loves us all EQUALLY! So before you shove your beliefs down our throats try and process that in through your heads. Just don’t hurt yourself.

This is just something I needed to get out and share with everyone here. Omnivores chose their lifestyles, vegetarians chose theirs…so just get along already! It shouldn’t be a big deal what we are anyway.

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Different types of vegetarians

vegetarian pyramid

So I mentioned I was going to explain the different types of vegetarians, so here they are. Many people out there will constantly tell you that being vegetarian means you HAVE to cut out all meats from your diet. There is no loophole or anything whatsoever. But, I say that is bullcrap what their telling you. They obviously don’t know their research because there are vegetarians out there who still keep some sort of meat into their diet. If those people don’t like it, then just ignore them and move on. Do what you’re use to and don’t worry about them! Case closed, it’s your life so just live it.

Types of vegetarians

1. Pescatarian (also spelled pescetarian)

The word “pescatarian” is occasionally used to describe those who abstain from eating all meat and animal flesh with the exception of fish. Although the word is not commonly used, more and more people are adopting this kind of diet, usually for health reasons or as a stepping stone to a fully vegetarian diet.

2. Flexitarian/Semi-vegetarian

You don’t have to be vegetarian to love vegetarian food! “Flexitarian” is a term recently coined to describe those who eat a mostly vegetarian diet, but occasionally eat meat.

3. Vegetarian (Lacto-ovo- vegetarian)

When most people think of vegetarians, they think of lacto-ovo-vegetarians. People who do not eat beef, pork, poultry, fish, shellfish or animal flesh of any kind, but do eat eggs and dairy products are lacto-ovo vegetarians (“lacto” comes from the Latin for milk, and “ovo” for egg).

Lacto-vegetarian is used to describe a vegetarian who does not eat eggs, but does eat dairy products.

Ovo-vegetarian refers to people who do not eat meat or dairy products but do eat eggs.

4. Vegan

Vegans do not eat meat of any kind and also do not eat eggs, dairy products, or processed foods containing these or other animal-derived ingredients such as gelatin. Many vegans also refrain from eating foods that are made using animal products that may not contain animal products in the finished process, such as sugar and some wines. There is some debate as to whether certain foods, such as honey, fit into a vegan diet.

5. Raw vegan/Raw food diet

A raw vegan diet consists of unprocessed vegan foods that have not been heated above 115degrees Fahrenheit (46 degrees Celsius). “Raw foodists” believe that foods cooked above this temperature have lost a significant amount of their nutritional value and are harmful to the body.

6. Macrobiotic

The macrobiotic diet, revered by some for its healthy and healing qualities, includes unprocessed vegan foods, such as whole grains, fruits and vegetables, and allows the occasional consumption of fish. Sugar and refined oils are avoided. Perhaps the most unique qualifier of the macrobiotic diet is its emphasis on the consumption of Asian vegetables, such as daikon, and sea vegetables, such as seaweed.

 

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Typical diet for a vegetarian runner

There are people who wonder how I manage to get enough nutrients for my runs. So here are the list of foods I have on a typical daily schedule.

Before my morning run:

  • Glass of water
  • Protein bar
  • Banana

Before breakfast:

  • 2 or 3 cups of green tea

Breakfast:

  • Fiber One cereal
  • Cut up banana
  • Blueberries
  • 2% milk
  • Glass of water

After breakfast:

  • Cup of green tea

Lunch:

  • Grilled cheese on wheat bread w/ banana peppers
  • Yogurt or an apple
  • Green tea and a glass of water

Afternoon snack:

  • Greek yogurt or apple sauce

Hour before dinner snack:

  • String cheese and an apple

Dinner:

  • Big salad w/ cut up veggie patty in it or vegetarian pot pie

Before bed (if still hungry)

  • Banana or protein bar
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Running on a plant-based diet

“Where do you get your protein?”

I cannot tell you how many people have asked me this particular question. To be honest, yeah it gets a bit irritating to have to explain to multiple people so many times. However I do understand that not many people seem to know the difference between vegetarian and vegan.

Vegan: a person who does not eat or use animal products.

Vegetarian: a person who does not eat meat, and sometimes other animal products, esp. for moral, religious, or health reasons.

Now I just wanted to make that clear for everyone reading this before I go any further. Mostly because people have thought of me as a vegan; yeah, no. I am not a vegan by all means, vegetarians are ENTIRELY different. I still keep milk, diary, cheese, and eggs in my diet.

I guess you could say the first time I first became vegetarian was around the middle of my junior year. This was before I became a serious runner as well. An old friend of mine mentioned how she use to be vegetarian for a couple of months and I thought I’d give that a shot. Personally it really was not as hard for me as you’d think to cut meat from my diet. I never really liked red meat, in fact, the stuff made me extremely sick to my stomach. Seafood was not my favorite and just, never all that appealing to me and so pretty much that only left two I enjoyed. Which were chicken and turkey. And I hated bacon, always could not stand the taste and just the smell physically made me want to vomit.

So when I finally changed my lifestyle I started by swapping all meat products to things like veggie burgers, and stuff vegetarian related. My aunt was actually the first person I told about my decision, she mentioned to be sure I do enough research on what I will be getting myself into. It helped me a lot, I learned what I can still have and why people go vegetarian and/or vegan. Also the different types of vegetarians. (Which I will explain in a later entry)


Image
People who figured out I was vegetarian in the beginning assumed I would become ungodly skinny with my workouts added to the package. Looking back at pictures I will admit that, yes, I did become maybe too skinny for my height. This picture was taken of me around that time. 

My height: 5″7′

Weight when underweight: 126

It took a while for me to gain a little weight and manage a healthy weight. Like I mentioned in my past post, my metabolism makes it so it takes me a longer time to gain any weight at all. So it took a while for me to finally reach up to a decent weight number.

However, that time I was beginning to fall even more in love with running. I didn’t want to give it up even though I needed to gain. So I went online and looked up ways to build muscle with running. 

Surprise, surprise guys! It is possible to gain weight with running. To those who thought you could only lose with this sort of cardio…think again sweetheart.

Eventually I began to gain more and more muscle with my running. Unfortunately I was still underweight on my high school graduation night but I knew that it would take time. I wanted to make sure the weight went in the right places…not turn into fat. So that would take a lot longer for me!

But I managed. Success made once again and truthfully I feel great! I remember those telling me I had to give up vegetarianism to gain, heck no. I went vegetarian to become healthier for me and now anymore I am staying vegetarian because I don’t like the fact of eating animals. I don’t have anything towards people who enjoy eating meat, that’s your choice and if you like it then go for it. But that is my belief, don’t change my mind. According to my family I make freaking awesome meatloaf…would I know, nope.

 So, for me it’s simple to be a vegetarian runner. Was never a fan of meat,love running, working on gaining muscle. And pretty much with how much running I do it’ll just go straight to my legs…so the added muscle isn’t too drastically noticeable.

I started out running only two or three miles each morning. Now anymore I run around eight or nine miles. So I am really improving. That’s not the end though, I will reach 13.1 (half-marathon) miles one day. When I do I will have a little dancing cheer go off in my head. 🙂

 

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My fitness journey

2013me

 

 

 

 

 

See that girl on the left of your screen? Yep, that is me looking happy, healthy, and perfectly fit. However, I was not always that way. Growing up I had a decently average metabolism. Not too high and was never slow. The best way I can explain how mine worked was that I was able to gain weight, but it literally takes me over an entire year or so to do just that. Most people can put on the weight straight away, others can just simply never gain, me…I have always been in the middle. Maybe its genetics or the fact that I use to be a basketball player since I was six years old. Either way, that’s just how my metabolism has always been.

Even though I was pretty much ALWAYS active as a child, I kind of grew up and you could say…let myself go once I hit middle school.

me

This was me in middle school. Not too much weight was put on but definitely enough for me to notice.

Personally, I hated how I looked. Despised it so much to the point where I began to judge myself off other girls. Telling myself I was never good enough, never attractive. I always put myself down, so food was my only escape for me and I just kept eating.

Until I finally reached my third year of high school and I figured I will push myself to lose the weight. So I began to eat healthier, got a membership at the local gym by my house and started there. It took a while but the weight began to come off and I felt so much better.

My workout in the beginning to lose the weight consisted of walking on the treadmill, biking, and doing little intervals for two to three miles.

5K

I never knew in my lifetime I would become a runner. But this has become a part of who I am and I love it so much, literally cannot explain how great this sport makes me feels.

That picture right here to your left now is my first 5K run and I got placed third as well. It was probably the best day I could ever ask for! My next goal in life is to one day run the Boston marathon, or any marathon really. Whatever marathon, half-marathon, or any race I do end up in next will be an incredible experience for me. I don’t join these races to get awards. I have chosen to do these races as a way to prove to myself that I am capable of achieving my goals and become the best runner that I can be! I don’t compete with anyone when it comes to running, just myself, and feel anyone else should do the same. Just go at your own pace and enjoy it. If you don’t enjoy it then you won’t achieve your goals…especially if you are someone trying to lose weight. Do an exercise that you love! Whether it’s a sport, dancing, running, walking, yoga, whatever it is that you enjoy! Don’t do something because you just want to lose the weight. Also remember to have fun with it.

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