Monday, January 18, 2010

Menstrual Cycle and Training

This article I read from Run The Planet Website and I thought it would be cool to share this to my female readers...

With all the changes in hormone levels that occur during your menstrual cycle, you'd expect speed workouts to suffer during your period, right? Wrong. Surprisingly, near the end of your period, your body is actually geared to pegging track workouts and tempo runs. However, your long, slow runs will suffer. Read on to learn how your training and racing is affected by your menstrual cycle.

Energy Level Fluctuation

Your menstrual cycle is composed of three phases. The first phase, generally days one through thirteen (the first three to seven days being menstruation), is called the follicular phase and is marked by relatively low levels of estrogen, except for a spike near day fourteen. The next phase, called ovulation begins on day fourteen. The remainder of the cycle, days fifteen through 28 of the average 28-day cycle, is called the luteal phase and is characterized by moderately high and stable levels of estrogen. Estrogen levels are important because estrogen is the key hormone affecting not only your cycle, but also the type of fuel available for your working muscles. Studies have shown that low levels (in the follicular phase) favor the breakdown of quick energy stores (muscle glycogen) whereas high levels (in the luteal phase) favor fat-burning, lower lactic acid levels and glycogen sparing.

How does this relate to training?

Say you've planned your track workouts for every Wednesday. You go to the track during your follicular phase (low estrogen) and hit all your repeats right on. You leave the track with confidence and excitement. A few weeks later, you go to the track but you're now in the luteal phase (high estrogen). You feel sluggish, tired and lethargic. You feel like you have a totally different body. You leave the track doubting your abilities and your training program, despite the fact that your long runs have been successful. Don't feel discouraged, though. It's not for lack of training that you're performing this way, it's the way your body is fueling your workouts. In the follicular phase you benefit from a quick breakdown of carbohydrates for speed and efficiency. Your body is primed for providing quick energy for fast running In the luteal phase, however, your body is in the fat-breakdown mode – fueling your workout primarily through increased utilization of fat. Since fat is a source of slower, more sustained energy than carbohydrates, your intensity may suffer during the luteal phase. Basically you're trying to run high-octane workouts on low-octane fuel. In other words, during the luteal phase your long, slow runs will feel easier and require less recovery time because your body will take advantage of increased fat breakdown. In the follicular phase your tempo runs and interval training will feel easier because you'll be accessing quick energy through carbohydrates. Of course, this doesn't mean you shouldn't do long-distance workouts in the follicular phase or tempo workouts in the luteal phase. Just keep in mind that faster running may feel harder in the luteal phase, while slower running may feel more difficult in the follicular phase. With this new understanding of your menstrual cycle and the fueling mechanisms that change from phase to phase, don't view your cycle as a training disadvantage but rather a training secret. Use what nature gave you as your ergogenic aid and have confidence in your training. Sorry, men, but maybe estrogen is the wonder hormone after all!

Run The Planet thanks Peak Running Performance for the permission to reprint the article "The Menstrual Cycle and Your Performance" by Stacy Sims, M.S. Copyright © 1999 Peak Running Performance. All rights reserved. Illustration © 2005 by Run The Planet.

I run in our neighborhood around 6PM with Jonah today and we had a good workout. We were just forgetful enough to bring some hydration and money so we had to go back home earlier than expected. Oh yeah, talking about running and understanding one's cycle, I have my period now. I feel sluggish but as soon as I started running, it felt really good and I felt like I have so much energy to spare. I just need to bring my water bottle tomorrow so I won't abort the run too quickly.

The Book Run 2010

I am still thinking if I will join this... :-) It probably depends on the outcome of my Condura Run.

The Yes Pinoy Foundation and National Bookstore presents The Book Run 2010. This is in line with the projects of YesPinoy Foundation by Dingdong Dantes. YesPinoy is a foundation that provides educational scholarships to young people. You may also donate books to get a discounted registration fee.

What: The Book Run 2010 (presented by NBS and YesPinoy Foundation)
Where: The Fort
When: January 31, 2010
Race Categories: (3K / 5K / 10K) - Medals will be given to all 10K finishers

Registration fee is Php450 per person for all race categories.If you donate books for Grade School and High School level readers, the registration fee will only be Php400 per person. The fee includes the race bib, RFID tag, route map and singlet.

You may register at 3rd Level ROX at BHS from 12nn-8pm daily from Jan 15-29, 2010 or you may register online through YESPINOY.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Nestle Fitnesse 14-Day Challenge Photoshoot

Finally, after more than a month of being declared as winners of the challenge, Team Earthlingorgeousness, posed and smiled and modeled the dresses we each won. Earth, Belle and Wena had their measurements taken and had another photo shoot last month going around the designer stores. I was not able to join them because I was away on vacation. I had my fitting just yesterday (good thing the measurements I sent to Kate Torralba were that accurate) and the Hermes belt hugs my upper hips just perfectly.
The shoot was done at the Parallax Studios in Makati and our make-up was done by Omar Ermita (Shu Uemura), hair was done by Ara Fernando and her assistant and the pictures were shot by Wes Villarica. Our stylist for the shoot, Isha Andaya, was uberfriendly and pretty too. The shoot lasted for a little more than 4 hours. It was tiring but we enjoyed it. And oh, I loved my make-up. I'm a Shu Uemura convert (I am crushing on the lipstick used on my lips BG945).
Here are some of the pics we took (these aren't the official ones yet). Watch out for the release of the chosen pics in the Nestle website and circulations and other publicity features.
While Wena and Earth were getting ready for their shoot, me and Belle were busy taking our pictures. Here's one in front of the mirror:
And here's another one of me...(the make-up artist calls me Baby Beyonce! LOL!)
It was fun. I would do it in a heart beat all over again. Only, I'd pose better.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

CONTEST: Do You Want A Belle de Jour Planner?

Happy New Year everyone! To kickoff the year, I am holding a giveaway in exchange for your comments (too blunt eh). :-) Hmmmmm, I decided to do this because I won for myself another Belle de Jour planner courtesy of Spot.Ph. I already have bought this very same planner and have started using it for a couple of days already. So far, I love the savings tracker, travel plans page and of course the coupons among others.

Here are the details for this contest:

1. This contest is open to all Philippine residents and readers of my blog. You do not have to necessarily be a follower to join. You get 2 extra entries if you are a follower.

2. Click this LINK and leave a COMMENT. Just comment about giving me more encouragement and push to continue with my training or anything you wanted to share with me about keeping fit and maintaining an active lifestyle. If you are joining the Century Tuna Superbods Run, you can leave a comment as well. Who knows we can be running buddies in the future?

3. On January 30, I will be randomly choosing the winner and will be sending the planner to your doorsteps through a courier. You might lag behind planning if you win this but hey better late than never...

4. You may leave as many comments as you like HERE and every comment will be considered as one entry to my little giveaway.

5. Please do not forget to leave your name and email address so I can contact you in case you will be the winner.

NOTE: Please feel free to repost this contest details. If you do, you get 2 additional entries.

It's as easy as that...what are you waiting for? Show me some love now! :-)

Monday, January 4, 2010

This Morning's Run: A PhotoBlog Entry

We started our morning run here. This is near the ever famous Santuario de San Antonio Parish in McKinley Road. The dawn is still breaking and we had cool morning weather.

After taking a picture of the marker, we were set to run the road and break up some sweat.

Until we had to stop because I felt a little cramping. For picture's sake I had to smile. LOL!

This picture was taken near the intersection of McKinley and Fort Bonifacio. See how the tall trees transitioned to tall buildings. It's almost like coming out of a jungle into a city.

Walking back to the road near the American Cemetery. We retraced the Timex Run route.

This was taken outside the cemetery. The cleanest and most organized one I have ever seen in the country.

The white crosses lined up. It felt eerie but it was a sight to behold. The Manila American Cemetery and Memorial in the Philippines occupies 152 acres on a prominent plateau, visible at a distance from the east, south and west. It contains the largest number of graves of our military dead of World War II, a total of 17,202, most of whom lost their lives in operations in New Guinea and the Philippines. The headstones are aligned in 11 plots forming a generally circular pattern, set among masses of a wide variety of tropical trees and shrubbery.

The cemetery is open daily to the public from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. except December 25 and January 1. It is open on host country holidays. When the cemetery is open to the public, a staff member is on duty in the Visitor Building to answer questions and escort relatives to grave and memorial sites.

I have not a single idea what I was doing here when Uncle Don snapped the shutter. I think I was admiring the view or I was just in plain sullen mood. Whatever! I think this is a pretty picture.

And yes, the favorite pose lately...

I may not be able to run anymore tomorrow, well at least outdoors. I will make it a point to squeeze some gym time though. Gotta make sure the lazy ass is moving before the fasting I'm about to join in a couple of days.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

First Run for 2010

I slept early last night after finishing half a bottle of white wine. LOL! I am not starting to be an alcoholic early this year, I just liked how the wine tasted. So I dozed off about 7PM and woke up again around 2AM because of an instant message that popped on my screen (yes, I sleep with my laptop beside me), I responded but I was a few minutes too late so I went back to sleep. I woke up at around 5AM and I asked Uncle Don to run with me. He agreed and so for today I have a running buddy. This will be my first run for the year. I guess it's about time to lose the holiday pounds.

We walked from our house to the Mall of Asia with a bottle of water and a blueberry granola bar each. It was a long and leisurely walk and was unbelievably dark and cold outside today. Good thing I brought my camera with me, I was able to capture some shots.

We run the whole stretch of MOA San Miguel by the Bay twice and we pretty much had some good sweat rolling down our faces and back. There were lots of people running too and some were with their families or dogs, some were having breakfast by the bay even. I had to weave through the crowd while I run. We then decided to shift course and run the area where vehicles pass so it's a little less crowded. Since it was Sunday, cars were few as well so it was a much better place. We were able to take some pictures too. It's another run turned to a photoshoot. We run about 6K and walked about 2K all in all. Not too bad I think.

I will be running again tomorrow as I prepare for the scheduled races I am joining this year. I am looking at registering for the PSE Bull Run but I don't think I still can make it for the registration. I will try though and go to Philippine Stock Exchange Ayala tomorrow and see if I can still join. If at all I could then race will be on the 17th. I still have enough time to prepare. If not, then I will continue to train for Condura Run 2010. I will be running with a few of the people from work (Uncle Don, Marko, Kristine, Andy, Rojo, China, Tyke, Brian among others). I am so excited now... I need all the endorphins I could get!