Yesterday I ran a mile along the River Thames in East Molesey

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Mini-Guide on how to have a relatively healthy all-inclusive holiday

All inclusive holidays are notorious for being very unhealthy. You’ve paid your money and want to get value for that money once there. The dangers of this are easy to see. Here are some obvious ones.

1. Overeating: ‘free’ food being available all day. Meal times are dangerous with so many carbs on offer.
2. Drinking calories: With wine and beer on tap, all inclusive holidays are notorious for being very unhealthy.
3. Too much sun. Staggering from the dinner table to the lounger feeling heavy. You start with sun tan cream then get lazy into the second week. Heat rash and burn can result. Hello Pharmacy!
4. Dehydration: Water drinking can take a back seat. There is water in lager, right!
5. Spending too much money on trips and excursions: 2 weeks staying in the hotel grounds can be claustrophobic.
6. Not enough movement: No motivation to exercise is common.
7 Stress of being with other people: yes you are on holiday and yes you are with people that you love but stress and friction can occur especially at decision time. What shall we do today! Arrrrrrgh.

There are plenty more pitfalls but I will leave these to your imagination.

This mini guide is a few suggestions on how to have a healthy all inclusive experience.

1. Plan your alcohol: decide in the morning when and how many beers etc you will have that day. Make a judgement how many is too many. One sounds too few? Five sounds too many?
2. Be sensible with your carbohydrates: spaghetti and meat sauce with chips on the side might not be the best plan. In my opinion the danger foods are bread, rice, potatoes and pasta. Fortunately in all inclusive buffets there is plenty of choice so as a general rule these can be avoided. I’m not saying don’t eat a single piece of bread or a pasta twirl, just not at every meal.
3. Tune into your body. Several key questions will help you do this. Am I hungry? Am I thirsty? Do I feel dehydrated ( dry mouth, headache, unfocused, tired, demotivated to move). Do I feel stressed? Do I feel hot? Do I feel lazy? Most of these are easily answered and resolved. If you are not hungry then don’t eat! Simple!
4. Drink plenty of water. Make water your drink of choice at meal times. I find that a rule of no alcohol when eating is essential. Order a bottle of still mineral water as the first thing you do when the waiter comes around.
5. Give yourself space from who you are with. You don’t need to do everything together. Spend a couple of hours on your own. Fill this time with something healthy such as a mile run. You will have more to say to one another this way. Shared experience is valuable but limits freshness in conversation.
6. Take advantage of the hotel sports put on. There is usually plenty on offer from water aerobics to beach volleyball. In Cyprus at the moment I have done an organised Yoga class everyday. I had never done Yoga before – a great introduction to it. Outside and beautiful!
7. Plan your dedicated sun times. I comit myself to two fifteen minute sessions a day. One in the morning before it gets too hot and one in the afternoon for a final blast. To be mathematical and chef like I do 7.5 minutes each side. I use my phone timer to time myself.
8. Look around for trips and excursions. The holiday company you booked with will be all to keen to sell you ‘their’ trips. There will be entry of outside companies offering the same if not better just a short walk away. Have a look at tripadvisor (before or whilst you are there). You can search for attractions near you. Have a look at the highest rating first then move to the average ones and make a list of the pitfalls. A little bit of research goes a long way. Think carefully about hiring a car. Not always the best thing in my opinion. Yes you may be able to see more but can be the source of many an argument. Everyone gets a bit scared driving on a different side and into the unknown. Be a little considerate.
9. Be organised and sensible. . Use the hotel safe to keep your valuables in. Don’t leave stuff around the pool – don’t get paranoid though. People are generally trustworthy.
10. Try to exercise everyday and if you can help it avoid the gym. Get outside.

If you have a healthy lifestyle then 2 weeks of all inclusive can damage you and ruin all sorts of good habits.

These suggestions are mind and I am keen to hear yours. Please comment freely or email me at runamiletoday@gmail.com

Milerunner

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Would you like to be profiled on this site

In addition to my posts I would like to profile other running bloggers on http://www.milerunner.me. Each month I will be profiling two bloggers. If you would like to be profiled then please email me using the address runamiletoday@gmail.com with the answers to these questions.

1. Tell me a bit about yourself and a bit about your blog.

2. Why do you run?

3. How does running make you feel?

4. Where do you typically run?

5. What is your favourite place to run?

6. What distances do you cover when you go out. Does it vary or are you consistently the same?

7. What is your best achievement in running?

8. Have you any tips to avoid injury?

9. Are there any gadgets that you use on your runs? Any apps that you can recommend?

10. And finally………How do you keep yourself motivated?

Milerunner

Running through the mile a day dip

What is the running dip?

When you first start running a mile a day it feels good. You have made a conscious decision to do regular exercise and a mile a day seems a worthy and manageable plan. After the first mile on day one you feel like it’s the best thing in the world. Not too far, it doesn’t take up too much time and you have burnt off a few calories. Your metabolism has been supercharged. The next few days are also fine but as you approach a week you may be heading into a dip. Your motivation may be not as sharp as it was, your legs could be a little tired and you may be thinking of a few excuses each day not to run. All of these thoughts and feelings are a sign you may be entering a dip and in danger of quitting. It’s important to get yourself out of this dip quickly. The dip happens to us all from time to time and these ten suggestions will hopefully help you accelerate out of the out of it.

1. Remember you don’t have to run all the way. Try walking for a minute every two minutes. If your legs are tired then walk quickly all the way for a mile. Adjust your walk breaks depending on how you feel. There is no shame in walking. Remember you are running every day and most days you won’t be walking at all.

2. Think about the miserable alternatives of not doing this: Lower metabolism, weight gain, feeling a little guilty, hot sweaty claustrophobic expensive gyms, chunks of your day spent on exercise wasting your evening when you could be socialising. The list could go on and on.

3. A break of a regular healthy habit that you have spent time building up. With a healthy habit of running a mile a day you can afford to have a few unhealthy habits in the day. Mine is a pint of real ale.

4. Add variety to your runs. Run for something pleasurable such as a frothy coffee or a glass of cold white fizzy wine. Run somewhere completely different such as a city you have never been to before- run from one famous land mark to another. Take to the countryside and find a huge hill to train on. Sometimes a bit more effort can also get you out of the dip! How about some faster segments?

5. Have a mindful run. Leave your phone or watch at home. Choose a route you know and go slow. Tune into all sensations: the wind, your footsteps on the ground, the sound of traffic, birds and other people passing you. If you feel like walking then walk. Just do what your body is telling you to do.
6. Use your run to do a mini task such as post a letter, go to the bank, visit a friend. When you reach for your car keys think. Can I run for part of it?

7. Ask friends and family if they want to join you. Running with other people and coaching other people the techniques you have learnt is a superb way to keep motivated and avoid the dip.

8. Use music to motivate you. Run to the rhythm of the beat. Change your pace with the beat. Sometimes I have used my playlist to time me. I run for the entirety of the first track then walk for the next track etc . Choose a playlist of about 15 minutes in total and choose tracks about three minutes long.

9. Run for 0.2 miles and then run back again. Repeat until you have completed your mile. Each time try to increase your speed by 10 percent. Start with the first 0.2 nice and slow. You should feel exhausted when you have finished.

10. Read running magazines such as runners world and follow runners blogs. WordPress makes this very easy.

These are just ten motivators. There are probably many more. Just remember running a mile a day is a good thing and ultimately can transform your life. After a month you will feel great and you will have run more than a marathon without realising it.

Enjoy your running. Any questions you may have then please ask. Please comment freely.

If you would like to guest post on your experiences of running a mile a day then please email me at runamiletoday@gmail.com

Milerunner

Tips on running a mile a day whilst on holiday

I am currently on holiday in Cyprus and am loving my mile runs everyday. The runs take about 15 minutes out of the day including getting ready and mean that I have a regular dose of exercise keeping my metabolism up and securing a bit of ‘me’ time. People generally don’t put exercise and holidays together but there is no reason why you shouldn’t continue – you will, I promise feel much better for it.

Here are a few tips on running a mile whilst on holiday.

1. Choose your time wisely. I find running first thing in the morning is best or just before showering for evening meal. Avoid hot times and if you have to apply plenty of sunscreen. Try not to run full up.

2. Take extra care of pavement curbs and uneven surfaces. The last thing you want is some awful injury. Watch crossing roads too especially if the country you are in drive on a different side of the road to what you are used to.

3. If you are on a beach holiday then try to choose a coastal route I am very fortunate where I am at the moment of an excellent flat coastal path easily accessible from the hotel.

4. Don’t feel that you have to run all the way. In fact I would discourage it. Why not take some photos on route or run for a coffee for half a mile then set back. Remember you are on holiday and treat these runs as ‘holiday’ runs.

5. Avoid the temptation of the gym. Yes it is tempting to use the hotel treadmill but avoid at all costs. You have an excellent chance of seeing new things and exercising somewhere different. Make sure you take advantage of it.

6. Encourage others to go with you. It’s more fun with others and they will help you to be and stay motivated. If you are in a hotel or other complex you may be able to put a flyer on a notice board asking others to join you.

7. Use a smart phone app to measure your mile. Turn off data roaming as you do it. Once you know a good route you can leave your phone in your room the next time.

8. Make sure you run everyday. Leave your running stuff somewhere obvious as an easy reminder.

So enjoy. You have no excuse, hangover or not, get out there and let me know how you get on

Milerunner