Time to take a break

What sports to step into when you need to step away from running

Jovan Abernathy is an international marathoner and owner of Houston Tourism Gym. To claim your free tour, contact her at info@tourismgymhtx.com

So, the next race I want to run is in November. I have a while, but I just can't get into it. This brings up a great topic. When is it time to take a break from running? Here are the top reasons why you should:

  1. After a big race- Let's face it. You are just over it.
  2. During and coming back from an injury- We all want to keep going, but you have to stop if you want to get better.
  3. If you have a bad attitude or low motivation- You are obviously bored.
  4. You are not seeing progress- This could be a symptom of overtraining.
  5. You need to drop some serious weight and tone- You have hit a plateau and running can only take you so far.
  6. You are prepping for a race, but you have an early start.- This is a great opportunity to pick up another sport for a couple of months before your training begins.

If you have experienced any of these symptoms, it is time to pick up another sport. Don't worry, you are still a runner. Here are my suggestions on other sports that are not only a new challenge, but they also compliment your running addiction and will improve your running performance.

It's funny. All runners think alike. When I wanted to discuss this topic, I took to the internet. I knew which sports that I wanted to highlight, but I found this article by this guy who writes for Men's Running UK named Tom Bristow. He chose the exact same sports to discuss. This is me giving him his props.


Walking

I know walking. I built a business on it. Let me tell you a little bit about walking. It is not for wimps. If done correctly, walking is a full body workout that can burn anywhere from 90 to 200 calories. (Depending on whose walking). It reduces body fat and improves balance. It builds stronger bones and muscles in the glutes, hamstrings, quads, and calves. Its great when done with others.

In Houston: I would say this, but join Houston Tourism Gym on a walking adventure.

Cycling

Cycling improves the muscles that you already use for running by making them stronger. It gives the hips and knees a break from the impact of pounding on the pavement. It improves flexibility and coordination as well as builds leg muscles. If you want massive, sexy calves like Fred, then try cycling.

In Houston: Try a social bike ride like Critical Mass or Tour de Taco.


Swimming

This activity is great for runners. Although it is a full body workout, swimming gives your running muscles a break while working out different sets of muscles. It strengthens muscles and joints. For runners, its a great alternative because it increases your cardio endurance and your VO2 Max. Swimming is also a fun and relaxing pastime. Lastly swimming is great for cooling off in hot-ass Houston.

In Houston: If you do not have a pool of your own, you can access one at your local gym or recreation centers like Emancipation Recreation Center.


Rowing:

Another full body workout that is great for runners. If you are injured, you get to get off your feet. But, don't discount this activity. When done right, it will work your entire body. It is best for improving respiratory function and body composition. If your goal is fat loss, rowing torches calories.

You can find a rowing machine at most gyms, but if you want the real thing, you can rent a kayak at The Waterworks at Buffalo Bayou and spend a day on the water.


Boxing:

Remember the scene where Rocky is running stairs at the Philadelphia Art Museum…running is a part of a boxer's training. So I guess runners should include boxing in their training. This is definitely a good idea if a runner wants to improve his or her speed and running posture. Improve your agility with the fancy footwork of a boxer. Learn better ways to breath. There is no other way to relieve stress than boxing. It strengthens your mental muscle and boost confidence. Lastly, boxing teaches you self defense when you find yourself on a lonely road.

In Houston: You could order equipment and box and home or you can get proper training from a boxing gym like Title Boxing Club.

So, before I get into some heavy training, I'm choosing a couple of these activities to get into. I'll let you know how it turns out. Please let me know which ones you have tried. Send your emails to info@tourismgymhtx.com.

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Houston is falling down the rankings

Tigers pound Odorizzi, Astros with homers as Houston drops fourth in a row

The Astros have not looked great in their last four games. Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

After watching their hot start of 6-1 cool down to a 6-4 record with three straight losses, the Astros returned to Minute Maid Park on Tuesday night, looking to do a better job at home against a beatable Tigers team.

Recent games' woes would continue, though, with Houston's pitching getting blasted by the opposing offense and their own bats primarily quiet.

Final Score: Tigers 8, Astros 2

Astros' Record: 6-5, tied for second in AL West

Winning Pitcher: Matthew Boyd (2-1)

Losing Pitcher: Jake Odorizzi (0-1)

Astros score first, then Tigers unload on Odorizzi

Houston looked to have something brewing in the bottom of the second, with three singles in the first four batters of the inning, the third an RBI-single by Myles Straw to put the Astros in front 1-0. However, Matthew Boyd would limit the damage, getting back-to-back strikeouts to end the threat.

After two easy innings for Jake Odorizzi in his regular-season debut for his new team, he would allow a game-tying solo homer to Akil Baddoo, his fourth of the year, in the top of the third. Detroit struck again in the top of the fourth, getting a leadoff double to set up a two-run go-ahead home run to jump ahead 3-1.

They didn't stop there, getting another two-run bomb later in the same inning; a frame that would take Odorizzi 31 pitches to get only one out before Houston would bring in Bryan Abreu to get the last two outs. Odorizzi's final line in his debut: 3.1 IP, 7 H, 5 ER, 3 HR, 0 BB, 4 K, 80 P.


Detroit continues home run parade, Houston loses fourth in a row

Abreu would hope to do what Luis Garcia did the night before, eat up as many innings as possible after a poor outing from Houston's starter. The Tigers would get yet another two-run homer, though, in the top of the fifth, extending their lead to 7-1, with all seven runs coming over a three-inning span. For good measure, they'd knock one more out with two outs in the top of the ninth, making it 8-1.

As far as Houston at the plate, other than their string of hits to bring in a run earlier in the second, they were getting nothing done against Boyd, who would go six and two-thirds innings. Detroit's bullpen would finish things off, despite an all-too-late sac fly by the Astros in the bottom of the ninth, with Houston dropping their fourth-straight game and continuing to lose ground in the division.

Up Next: The finale of this three-game set with Detroit will be an hour earlier on Wednesday, getting underway at 6:10 PM Central. Lance McCullers Jr. (1-0, 1.80 ERA) will try to maintain his perfect record and improve upon his two five-inning one-run starts for the Astros, going opposite of Michael Fulmer (0-0, 2.57 ERA) for the Tigers.

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