Archive for the 'Running' Category

Get Your Heart Pumping

Kettle Bell Beside Adidas Pair of Shoes

I hope you have all started moving for the Go Move challenge. If not, there is still time, the challenge is taking place throughout the month of February. Get started today, and recruit your friends and colleagues to move with you! Moving is so important to our overall health, and especially necessary to keep our hearts in good shape.

And when it comes to your heart rate, just like exercising, eating right, or anything else, you need to find your sweet spot. One of those cliche sayings that actually holds so much merit is, “everything in moderation.” There is a point where we can exercise too much, there is a point where we could be exercising too little (or not at all). There is a point where we can eat too much of one thing, even if it is healthy. When it comes to all of these things, there is a target we should all be aiming for. And just like these other parallels, there is a target spot for where our heart rates should be at when resting, and when exercising. The key to all of these “sweet spots”, is that they are different for everybody. It all depends on your age, gender, and of course any health conditions. The neat part is that you can find out where your heart rate should be while resting, and exercising, and then monitor it to ensure you are reaching your targets. And with modern day gadgets, you can use a smart watch or a Fitbit, or similar tool to monitor it for you, and of course you still have the option to accomplish this the old-fashioned way as well.

So, it’s great to know what your target heart rate should be, and that you can reach it with exercise. But maybe you cannot bring yourself to exercise, or you dread every single one of your workouts, or you make excuses. Hey, if this sounds like you, I promise you are not alone. It is great to be able to say that we understand we need to get moving and get our heart rate up, but it’s a whole different story to actually want to do these things. I would like to offer some advice: find something you love to do. There are so many options to getting in some physical activity, so there is bound to be at least one workout out there for everybody. Do some experimenting to find what works for you. There are fitness studios and clubs popping up everywhere, go to a class! Register for Try It Night, February 13th from 4 pm to 6 pm, to test out 3 different classes in one night. And don’t be afraid to experiment, love your body so that your body will love you back.

And trust me when I say grab a buddy! A lot of times it is easier to stick to something new when you have someone else there to encourage you, after all, we are all in this together. Let’s all set out on a mission to get moving, find what we love, and get our heart pumping! Have a wonderful, productive, and active week, Marquette. Go move!

Alicia Diedrich

Wellbeing biography: Kristin Kipp – Whole 30

Image result for healthy foods

I’ve never liked the word diet. I think it’s because, more often than not, the word “diet” is used to describe a way of eating to lose weight, and in this sense, Garfield said it right, “DIET is DIE with a T.” There are many different definitions of the word diet, but one definition that puts diet in a positive light comes from the Merriam-Webster dictionary. Here it’s defined simply as “habitual nourishment.” I love thinking of food this way. I grew up on a farm with an abundance of fresh produce. We canned a lot of fruits and veggies for the winter and made our own jam. We even raised a pig every year to eat. From a young age, I loved good nutrition and physical activity, and my passion brought me to what I do today, so I am thankful for that.

Now I have a family of my own, and we are trying our best to instill good habits for our little girl. Thankfully my husband loves to garden and eat good food. He devotes much of his time to cooking good meals for us. We are a “whole foods” family – we drink whole milk, eat real butter, and eat a lot of fruits and vegetables. We buy our pork from a local farmer and make sure that there are no nitrates or MSG added at the butcher. We participate in Community Supported Agriculture (CSA), go to local farmer’s markets, and try to buy organic, grass-fed, cage free etc. when possible. We rarely go out to eat, cooking most of our meals at home, but we’re definitely not perfect when it comes to food. No one should be. And although we try following all the good things I listed above, it doesn’t always happen, and we tend to follow the “everything in moderation” rule. Besides…Who can pass up those hostess cream filled chocolate cupcakes?

I really had no desire to look into the Whole30 when it came out. I hate all the fads that come and go, and I try to promote lifestyle changes for the people I work with. I’m not overweight, and I’m fairly physically active, so besides enjoying some sugary treats and having a glass of wine or a beer every now and again, I thought I was doing pretty good with my overall nutrition and health. A few years ago, though, I started having some health issues that took me almost 2 years to work through. During this time, I became really attuned to my body, and although the issues I was having didn’t stem from my diet, I became curious after I started feeling better. Was I feeling the best that I possibly could be? Could the Whole30 help me identify foods that aren’t working for me? Would elimination of these foods help me to run again without pain? Having felt really good for the last 6 months before I decided to try the Whole30, I really didn’t believe that I was going to feel much of a difference, but it turns out, I was wrong.

The first couple of days of the Whole30 were the worst…I’m not sure if everyone feels that way, but I was miserable. I felt like I was detoxing. I hated restricting myself from foods that I really wanted to eat, and not having my morning cup of coffee with whole milk and Organic Valley’s French vanilla half and half creamer was the worst. I also had a headache for the first four or five days, which could have been attributed to not drinking enough water, but nonetheless…I felt crappy. What I do know is that after about that first week, I started to feel good. Actually, I felt great. I had so much energy. I wasn’t experiencing that afternoon sluggishness around 2pm that makes you want to go to the nearest candy bowl on your co-worker’s desk. When my alarm went off at 4:45am, I felt well rested and ready for my morning swim. When I worked out, I felt amazing. I feel like I could go on and on about how great I felt, but then something really crazy happened after about two weeks….. I was able to run for the first time in 2 1/2 years without pain or stiffness.

Having completed the Whole30, I have a deeper appreciation of what eating healthy means to me, and to really eat well, feel good, and enjoy our food, I believe it takes a true conscious effort to eat mindfully. I’ve always told people to pay attention to how food makes them feel, and it’s not that I don’t pay attention to this myself, but the Whole30 required me to practice mindfulness as it relates to food every day for 30 days. Many people may do the Whole30 just to lose weight. They treat it as another fad diet that they are going to try and hope for results. Don’t get me wrong…you will lose weight, but if that’s all you are doing it for, you are missing the point, and as soon as you go back to your normal habits the weight will come back on. Eating mindfully – understanding what and why you are eating, taking the time to enjoy food, listening to whether you’re hungry or not, and understanding the effects food has on your body – is important for weight loss as well. Your body can’t do what it’s supposed to do if you are not fueling it correctly. This means that if you aren’t eating enough calories, or too many calories, or just not the right combination of foods, you’re not going to lose weight. This also means that if are fueling your body with foods that are causing inflammatory responses, you may just be sabotaging all your efforts to be healthy and lose weight as well.

Doing this 30-day challenge isn’t easy (or inexpensive). It takes a lot of preparation/cooking, time reading labels, space in your refrigerator, and self-discipline to do it. I’ve kept a lot of great habits from this process and found out what foods really impact the inflammation in my body. It hasn’t completely stopped me from eating these foods, but I do pay the price. I don’t know if there is anything else wrong in my body that is keeping me from running like I’d like, but now I know how food affects this already present inflammation. If you are thinking about trying it, I would ask you to the approach the Whole30 differently. Think of it as an experiment in helping you to take a mindful approach to your eating that will help you create new healthy habits that you’d like to continue once you’ve finished, and as a way to identify how food truly affects your body so you can try to limit these foods and avoid the ill effects.

Written by Kristin Kipp

Kristin is the Director of Employee Wellness at Marquette University and is a Registered Dietitian.

Mom on the run

“Having a baby is way harder than a marathon. If you know what the last four miles of a marathon feels like, imagine that for four hours.”

– Cassie Nelson, Marquette cross country alum and marathoner, talks about running and motherhood in the Marquette Tribune. Article by Chris Chavez.

Mud Runs

This summer, I gave in to an increasingly popular trend: mud runs. Prior to these runs, I ran only occasionally and had never participated in a competitive run. In fact, the longest distance I had ever run without stopping was two miles! While I was skeptical at first, I eventually gave in to the pleading of coworkers and friends and signed up for the Dirty Girl run and the Chicago Hell Run.

Mud runs are typically adult obstacle courses that involve, well, mud and running. For those of us who grew up watching Nickelodeon, mud runs are an opportunity to relive the excitement of Double Dare and Nickelodeon Guts (sadly, without Marc Summers or Mike O’Malley). Some mud runs are timed, such as the Hell Run, while others are simply for enjoyment and team participation, like the Dirty Girl. 

The Dirty Girl is a 5K mud run (not a race!) exclusively for women. A portion of all registration fees are donated to the National Breast Cancer Foundation. The charity aspect of this run is what really convinced me to participate.

Before the run, I started training by running two to three miles at least two to three times a week. Knowing it was not a race, I didn’t worry about timing my runs because I was more concerned about actually making it through the 5K without walking than I was about how fast I’d go.

The Dirty Girl came just a short week after I had returned from a two-week honeymoon filled with lots of heavy food and lazing on the beach. Oops. However, the run wasn’t as bad as I had pictured. I ran with two Marquette coworkers and it was a lot of fun to get together as a team outside of work.

We got extremely filthy as we traversed pools of mud and scaled mountains of dirt and hay. We really tested ourselves climbing the cargo net and giant blow-up mountain that was slippery from all the water and mud. In the end, we really enjoyed the teamwork aspect of the run. While challenging, we got through it together and made some lasting memories.

As if the Dirty Girl wasn’t enough, I decided to run with a friend in the Chicago Hell Run. The Hell Run is also a 5K mud run, but is open to both men and women. Slightly more competitive than the Dirty Girl, the Chicago Hell Run was timed and had more obstacles to overcome. Proceeds from the Hell Run support LIVESTRONG, which is the Lance Armstrong Foundation.

We ran the first heat of the day and luckily avoided the rain, but only the natural rain. Almost as soon as we began, we were met with smiling volunteers that sprayed us with water hoses. As we progressed, I discovered the Hell Run was much more challenging than the Dirty Girl. We had to climb over a car junkyard, scale a rope wall and jump over a flaming fire. Yes, a fire. In the end, we finished in 44 minutes and were pleasantly surprised to see that the performer for the day was none other than Coolio.

So, that was my experience with mud runs. Is it for you? I would recommend starting small and doing research to find a mud run that is suitable for you. Train beforehand! Be prepared to run a lot and get really dirty. Be aware that your shoes will be soaking wet the entire run, so if that sort of thing grosses you out, perhaps a mud run is not for you. However, the nice thing about these runs is you almost always have the option to walk some, if not all, of the course, as well as avoid any obstacles that are particularly daunting. Either way, it is an opportunity to practice teamwork and have fun while doing it. You can do it!

We even got medals!

5 Training Tips for Briggs and Al’s Run

Coach Mike Nelson

Mike Nelson, Marquette University cross-country coach and assistant track & field coach, offers his five training tips if you’re running Briggs and Al’s Run on Sept. 15th. You can sign up to join the Marquette team for the race HERE

1) Figure out your goal

8k (4.96 miles) can be an odd racing distance.  If this is the first time you have run an 8k, you might be wondering what would be a good goal time.  An easy way to figure out your goal time is to use the McMillan Racing Calculator. For example, a person who runs 24:00 for 5k could shoot for 39:33 for an 8k.   A person who runs 4 hours for the marathon could shoot for 40:35 for an 8k.  I have found this calculator to be a handy tool in converting various racing performances.

2) Train at race pace

Once you have figured out your goal pace, you want to do some training at that pace. Using a marked bike path, Garmin, or 400m track, do multiple runs or workouts at you goal race pace. Example, 4 x 1 mile at goal pace, or 6 x ½ mile at goal pace.  In the actual race, I recommend trying to hit your first mile at 5-10 seconds SLOWER than goal pace. As I tell my athletes, you can always pick up the pace during a race.  Once you’re out too hard though, it can be a painful journey on your way to the finish-line.

3) Race your pace 

The first mile of the Briggs and Al’s run is mostly downhill.  Don’t fall for the common trap of thinking, “it’s downhill, I can bank some time by going out a little harder than normal.”  In distance running, as much as you might try, you don’t bank time.  I tell my athletes that for every second they go out too hard, it will end up costing them three seconds at the finish.

4) Warm up

Make sure you warm-up before the race.  I recommend 5-10 minutes of light jogging to get the blood pumping and to get the central nervous system firing. You want to make sure your heart rate is elevated as the gun is fired.

5) Stick to the plan! 

Don’t let a competitor, friend, or co-worker throw off your game plan.  This happens all the time in racing.  You start with a race plan but then your competitive drive over-rides your intention.  Run smart, have fun, and help a great cause!

Joe Daniels: Surviving cancer and staying healthy

Daniels (left) with former student Marc von der Ruhr at the Green Bay Half Marathon

For his first run after being diagnosed with cancer, Joe Daniels made it to the end of his neighbor’s driveway. It exhausted him.

“I felt terrible,” he said. “You’re starting from zero and you’ve never been there before.”

Daniels, an economics professor in the College of Business, was 46 when he was diagnosed with stage 4 lymphoma in 2006. Today he is cancer free — and determined to do everything he can to stay healthy.

“I want to stay in good shape, because if something like this happens again, I’m healthy enough to fight it,” he said. “That’s a good motivator.”

Daniels first noticed something was wrong in 2005. He didn’t know why he was feeling ill, but he knew running and exercise made him feel better. So he kept doing it.

Eventually, he started getting sick to his stomach and experiencing lower back pain while running, so he switched to attending pilates class with his daughter to strengthen his core.

When he was diagnosed, he was in great shape despite the cancer attacking his blood. His condition was already advanced, so his doctor opted to start aggressive treatment. The doctor said he could take it because of how he had trained his body.

“They just pounded me,” Daniels remembers. “They said, ‘We’re going to go at this fast.'”

The chemo caused him to shrink to “skin and bones” and he said he “looked 80-years-old.” He had no hair, not even eyelashes. The chemo caused complications like blood clots and burned the skin off his hands so he had to wear protective gloves.

But he continued to work through his treatment and said colleagues and students were supportive and energizing. Daniels has been decorated with honors, including the Marquette Gettle Faculty Award for Teaching Excellence and the College of Business Administration Faculty Teaching Award, and continuing to focus on teaching was important to him.

“In the 20+ years I have known Joe, he has always demonstrated the Jesuit idea of a care for the person,” said Marc von der Ruhr, Bus Ad ’92, Grad ’94, a former student of Daniels and now a professor at St. Norbert’s. “The respect he has on campus clearly reflects this. His time fighting cancer was an opportunity for colleagues and friends to return that favor.”

Having been a runner, Daniels said he treated his road to recovery like getting stronger with each workout.

“You know it’s going to get better,” he said. “It’s all building blocks.”

For Daniels, running provided not just a physical benefit, but also a mental and emotional boost.

“Having that past as a runner was a real gift while coming back,” he said. “You know you’re doing something positive for your body and you’re accomplishing something. That’s something I could hang my hat on.”

In 2007, Daniels joined the econ student association’s Al’s Run team. They recruited 20-30 people, tail-gated and printed shirts with slogans on the back like, “Think running an 8K is hard? Try running a regression.” They team up with the alumni association and have fielded a team every year since.

Five years to the day he was diagnosed, Daniels was the keynote speaker for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society chapters’ gathering of more than 1,000 people who ran the Green Bay Half Marathon and Marathon. Daniels has now run that race the last two years with von der Ruhr, his former student.

“He’s 11 years older than I am and ran the races really, really well each year,” von der Ruhr said. “The scars of cancer and its treatment are not trivial. I really admire the way that Joe takes on new physical challenges.”

This fall Daniels will be on sabbatical at McMasters University in Ontario, Canada, where he’ll bring a bike as his only form of transportation. To get ready for that he bike to work, rides the Hank Aaron State Trail and joined the MU Employee Wellness team in the national bike challenge.

His advice to others is that if he can start over after beating cancer, anyone can start where they are and get in shape.

“We do get busy and get out of shape, and there’s that intimidation factor when you’re trying to get back in shape,” he said. “But it’s not a mountain.”

Anyone can sign up here for MU-TeamEcon for Brigg’s & Al’s Run. 

Race Briggs & Al’s Run with Father Marquette

Father Jacques Marquette, Jesuit explorer and namesake of Marquette University, is in training for Briggs & Al’s Run and Walk on Saturday, Sept 15. Join his team for the 5-mile run or 3- or 5-mile walk here.


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