When I started this blog my primary focus was to help people plan a Walt Disney World vacation. I will plan to continue to do this because I want everyone to have an amazing experience when they visit my happy place 🙂 Adding a runDisney event to your trip makes planning extra spicy! As I continue to add runDisney races to my Disney World vacations I will be sharing all of the information you need to register, prepare for, and get the most out of doing a runDisney race. But today I want to share some information about my training and nutrition plan for our upcoming race and why I felt compelled to discuss this topic with you.
Healthy Living for Life
I am a cardiac rehab nurse. I teach people who have heart disease how to slow the progress of their disease, reduce the risk of a future heart problem and improve their health and quality of life after a cardiac event. In the 20+ years, I have seen so many patients in their 70s or even 60s that were overweight, had no muscle tone, had several chronic diseases, had very little energy, and could barely walk a couple of blocks. It is sad to see the devastating effects that a lifetime of unhealthy diets and lack of physical activity has on so many people. And it’s not my patient’s fault. In general, we have done a poor job of teaching people how to eat and live in a way that contributes to having a lifetime of health. I want to do what I can to help change that. So, here, in my little corner of the internet, I want to be a voice for establishing and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. And frankly, I need to start with myself.
RN Heal Thyself
I know that if I did not want this fate for myself I need to do something about it now. I am not terribly unhealthy or out of shape but I definitely have a lot of room for improvement. I am already feeling the aging effects of eating poorly and lack of physical activity. I started to do some running about 7 years ago but there has been no consistency. I occasionally train for a race but once it is complete my running becomes sporadic at best. Once I turned 40 I started noticing the “old lady fat” was starting to appear. I am a short gal with a short torso, so ANY extra weight eliminates any chance of having a waistline. I have done the occasional stent of Whole 30 or keto or whatever “diet” happened to be the flavor of the day. These would work for a while but they are not sustainable. I needed to find a new way to think about food and my body in order to create a long-term lifestyle that would keep me healthy for decades.
it’s this simple – kind of
I have been telling my patients for years, that there is nothing slick or fancy about health, fitness, and weight loss. It always has and always will be determined by two fundamental things – diet and exercise. I am sure plenty of you reading this have all kinds of things you want to say to me about why this statement is not entirely true but I have found that when you peel back the layers of every program out there these two factors are the foundation, it’s just packaged in a different way. I will agree there are a lot of diet and exercise nuances that can enhance and hinder results but these are the fundamental factors in creating a healthy lifestyle. Another important component is consistency and time. There are diet and exercise plans that can give you quick results but use extreme measures such as eliminating entire food groups, extreme calorie restrictions, and excessive exercise. For some people, these programs work well and the quick results may be what they need to stay motivated but these types of programs can not be maintained long-term and the majority of people gain back any weight they lost when they transition to a maintenance phase.
Nutrition Plan for runDisney Training
I wanted to start implementing a way of eating that would give me the results I wanted, fuel my training, and be something I could incorporate into my life long term. I took some classes with a nutritionist and have been working with a running coach to determine the best plan for me.
My primary focus for my nutrition plan includes:
Eating whole foods and less processed items
Eating adequate protein for weight loss
Managing glucose levels
I will share more information about this nutrition plan in other posts. I will discuss each one and how I determined they were the strategies I needed to establish a lifetime of healthy eating habits.
runDisney Training Plan
I like to run. I like the feeling of accomplishment when I’m done. I like knowing that I can push myself through the hard parts. And there are few things better than a good run to shake off stress and anxiety. I would easily choose to run every day but I know that to stay strong and healthy for race training I need to incorporate stretching and strength training into my exercise routine. I am not a big fan of strength training. Not because I don’t like doing it but because I didn’t know what to do. I spend half of my time deciding what exercises to do. To me, it is just easier and more enjoyable to go for a run but there are so many health benefits from strength training, especially, for women, that it can not be ignored. I know that if I want to continue to run for several years I need good muscle tone and flexibility to help prevent injury. I also need to have a structured but flexible plan!
Taking all of this into consideration and with advice from my running coach, this is the basic format for my structured but flexible training schedule!
Basic Training Guideline
HIIT training 2-3x/week
Strength training 3x/week
Having a general guideline of what I need to do each week gives me more control and flexibility to incorporate all of these components. If I do sprint intervals with a run, I may only do 2 sessions of HIIT that week instead of 3. If I am not feeling well or feel the need to be gentle with myself I will do 3 sessions of yoga. I try to stay more consistent with 3 sessions of lifting and running each week. In the 4 weeks I have been using this plan, it has worked well for me. In the coming weeks, I will share more specifics about what I am doing in each of these sessions.
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