Day 13: Variables Investigated

7 Jun

So in my last blog I was pondering the deep, world-changing topic of running variables that affected my increasing speed. Well, I have done some research and the verdict is in…there are too many variables to determine a cause and effect relationship. On the plus side, one of the consistent explanations was that I’m getting fitter, I’ll take that! Not wanting my findings to go to waste, I have shared some of them below. Check it out:

Joey and I heading out for a late afternoon jog

Variable 1: Running with a stroller vs running without

Pros for running with a stroller:

  • Burns more calories
  • Run is perceived to be smoother.
  • You can still run even when you are home alone with your baby.
  • Gives you an upper-body workout through the resistance of pushing the stroller.
  • You have a place to carry your water, cell phone and store your sweatshirt when it gets too hot.

Cons:

  • It is heavy, especially going up hills, and gets even heavier as your baby grows.
  • Slows down your running time by 10-30 seconds per kilometer
  • You have a child with you so any number of things could slow you down from a dropped toy, to boredom, to the desperate need for a drink or snack right NOW
  • It is annoying and zaps the awesome ‘free’ feeling running gives you.

Advice for running with a stroller:

  • Push with one hand at a time and switch every 500m or so. Also, if you have adjustable handles, make them so your arm can be at a right angle when you are pushing.
  • Give yourself time to get used to it. You may feel awkward for a while but it will become normal soon
  • If you have a lockable wheel put it in lock mode for a safer and smoother ride
  • Give your baby time to get used to it. They love routine and will come to love or at least tolerate the ride. Probably best to not go when your baby is due to eat. I have found that late afternoon works for us at the moment because bub is tired and I either get a bonus nap or he is content to watch the world go by.

Variable 2: Running with music vs listening to the world go by

Pros to running with music:

  • Helps get you in a rhythm
  • A good distraction from listening to your breathing and the negative self-talk or over-thinking…or is that just me?
  • It can be inspiring and motivating and help get you in your running space

Cons:

  • If you have your music too loud you may be a safety hazard – running out in front of traffic, taking up the whole sidewalk…I’m being a bit facetious because I am a granny when it come to listening to music through headphones but I have heard that these problems exist. On a more serious note you do need to be aware of your surroundings, especially in  quieter areas
  • You may get out of touch with your breathing and footfall so you aren’t familiar with your symptoms when you are tiring – good to krace for a race.
  • I don’t know about you but running is a great time to clear your head of the clutter, listen to the rhythmic (if not laboured) breathing and footfall and let your mind wander.

Advice:

  • Research shows listening to music is most beneficial for low to moderate intensity runs so maybe use it on your easy running days
  • Find music with a beat that is slightly above your stride rate so you are motivated to ‘run to the beat’. It is especially helpful right at the start when you are trying to set your pace and towards the end when you are getting tired.

Check out these great websites for further information:

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