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Junk Talk & Half Marathon Training

Monday: Rest

Tuesday: 7m combo workout -2m warm up, 3m @ 7:35/pace + 4 x 2:00min @ 5k pace 6:27

Wednesday: 4.5m easy 9:25/pace, 10min core

Holy crap i’m back to it again.. mileage is averaging about 20-25/weekly and i’m slowly starting to throw speed & hill work in. For those of you that might be interested i’m fusing the Crossfit Endurance 1/2 marathon plan and also an intermediate traditional running plan from Competitor.com together so i can run happy this fall.

As much as i love the CFE training, there are no easy runs or ‘junk miles’ or long runs built into it. It’s all business. And for me to run happy and feel good I need the easy mileage! I love the long runs, and I like the carefree, go at whatever pace, fun runs. Which is why i’m merging the two plans together.

*sidenote: all the pictures in this post have nothing to do with easy miles..unless you consider that hiking on Billy Goat Trail is no joke and definitely a hard cross training day.. Deena & I did 5 miles which took over 2.5 miles! crazy!

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Let’s talk about something I mention often. Junk miles or the easy, recovery/optional miles.  Junk miles are only “junk” if they don’t have a purpose in your training. For instance, my body doesn’t handle high volume very well. I believe this is due to the nature of my work–i’m on my feet training people the majority of the week, therefore i don’t have a ton of recovery time off of my feet in between harder running workouts. I benefit greater by strength training and cross training instead of running easy/junk miles just to add volume. HOWEVER—>there are plenty of benefits to easy running.

Straight from Runner’s World: “Running super slow and relaxed for one to three days after tough workouts gets blood flowing to muscles, which flushes away broken-down proteins, delivers new proteins to rebuild damaged tissue, and carries carbohydrates to replenish depleted stores in muscle cells. “That gentle exercise bathes muscles in the good stuff they need and removes all the bad stuff caused by the prior training,” McMillan says. “And running as part of your recovery makes your body say, ‘Oh, I’m still getting this stress—I better build this tissue even stronger.'”

(I constantly tell my clients to walk or jog or get some type of cardio in when they are sore for those very beneficial reasons! ^)

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There are also some not-so-good things about the easy extra mileage. It gives less time to cross-train, strength train, & to actually let your body recover completely. It’s still a high impact activity. I have a hard time with the concept of recovering from running by running more. It’s like if i did pushups one day, and recovered with pushups the next day—>but on day two i did less pushups at a slower pace…kinda makes me sound like a crazy person right? But in the same instance you could do pushups everyday if you wanted to, it’s whatever works for you. Is all of this giving you a headache too?

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I guess what I’m trying to say is you do you! Each individual runner needs to determine how many rest days and how many running days they need to stay healthy, progressing, and also give enough time during the week to balance out the cross-training, strength training and recovery.

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Birthday Weekend! Part 2 – The SKYDIVING PICTURES!!!!

The question I’ve been asked most this week about skydiving was “Were you scared?” Which i’ve realized is the equivalent of asking, “did that tattoo hurt?” … it’s like… Of course!! It’s not my day job to jump out of a plane and of course tattoos hurt!

I wasn’t afraid of the actual jump, i was afraid because i didn’t know what to expect. New things are scary. And putting all your trust and life in the dude attached to your back is totally nuts! But I actually loved it!  And I love the small, unpressurized, plane ride up. I thought the experience was so unlike a commercial airplane and If you never skydive–definitely take a ride in one of these.

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The scariest part was definitely dangling my legs out of the plane before we fell out.

DCIM100GOPRO

DCIM100GOPRO

The first second or two I had the fluttery, free falling, i might die–type feeling, but as soon as we leveled out, I started enjoying the view! There’s nothing like seeing the mountains and farmland and horizon from that height. And i swear if you were ever a kid that wanted to fly, you have to try this!

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I also laughed a lot up there..

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Then the chute came out and I was allowed to steer and do a few 360s then enjoy the float on down.

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DCIM100GOPRO

For the landing they had you ball up and hold your knees to your chest and use your heels to slow down as we slide into the grass (he did the majority of the work). The experience is general was so amazing! I felt safe & secure the entire time and I would skydive again. I love the rush, I love the free fall and I love seeing the earth from a different perspective.

After we came back home we showered and napped. The adrenaline & excitement all day took it out of us. We celebrated my birthday (and our survival) up the street with some margaritas!

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This is gonna be a hard birthday to top. :)

Weekly Recap!

Monday: Rest

Tuesday: 7m threshold (2m warm up, 4 x 1m @ 10k pace- 7:20, 7:13, 7:13, 7:08- 1m cool down)

Wednesday: 5 Rounds 500m row, 8 toes to bar, 10 single leg bosu burpees w/pushups, 20 walking lunges + 2 walking miles w/LE

Thursday: Rest

Friday: 5.5m hill sprints + 1m walk cool down w/LE

Saturday: 3.8m easy 8:42/pace

Sunday: 10m long run + fast finish (8:35/pace for first 7 miles, last 3 miles 8:12, 7:50, 7:30)

Total Miles: 26.3 + 3m walking 

How did everyone’s weekend long run go?

Most memorable birthday?


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Birthday Weekend! Part 1–Cause It Was THAT Awesome!

Monday: Rest

Tuesday: 7m threshold (2m warm up, 4 x 1m @ 10k pace- 7:20, 7:13, 7:13, 7:08- 1m cool down)

Wednesday: 5 Rounds 500m row, 8 toes to bar, 10 single leg bosu burpees w/pushups, 20 walking lunges

If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook It’s no surprise I turned 30 over the weekend! annnndd jumped out of a plane.. but i’ll get to that. My birthday month (can’t believe it turned into this, but it kinda did) started August 8th at a night game, Nationals vs. Rockies and they won! Towards the end of the game Cameron walked back to our seats holding cotton candy & a funnel cake. He didn’t know which one i’d want more, so he got both. That’s the way to treat a hungry runner :).

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we got the crazy sugar faces on!

20150808_204528August 14th.. was where the real fun began. We went out late Friday night to see my favorite female comedian Iliza Shlesinger at the Arlington Drafthouse. If you haven’t seen her stand up, she has one or two specials on Netflix. She’s incredible and had us rolling all night. Plus she’s super fit, does Crossfit and has abs that won’t quit, so naturally i have a huge crush on her.

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and of course I had to document that i, in fact, was wearing real girl clothes.

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The next day, the 15th (my actual birthday) was our scheduled skydive. 3pm. To kill a little time, and nerves, I went out for a progressive run. I had to show you guys a picture because I thought it was super cool that my warm up mile was 8:15/pace on August 15th! How cool is that? And this was the first time in a while a progressive run went smoothly!

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After a cool down mile with LE, a protein smoothie and a shower we headed out for the jump! DC Skydiving Center is located in Warrenton, Virginia about an hour and a half drive from us. It’s out in the country where you can see mountains and animals and all that fun stuff. The skydiving center itself is run out of this warehouse hangar type place and we got to watch the skydivers float on down as we waited.

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20150815_15234920150815_150429aaaaaannndd, I have to head back to work, so i will have the 2nd half of my birthday and the fun skydiving pics up tomorrow!!
Last Week

Monday: 20min chest

Tuesday: 5m interval 8 x 200s ( 2 @ 5:52/pace, 2 @ 5:48/pace, 2 @ 5:45/pace, 2 @ 5:42)

Wednesday: 5 Rounds: 500m row, 8 x 40 lb barbell shoulder press, 8 x 40 lb front squats, 10 x bosu squat jumps

Thursday: 6m easy 8:11/pace

Friday: Rest

Saturday: 4m progression run + 1m cool down walk w/LE

Sunday: 5m Hike

Total Miles:  15m running, 5m rigorous hike, 1 mile walking

How have you celebrated a milestone birthday?

Have you ever been skydiving? If not, i’ll go with you!


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You Can’t Win, Unless You Think You Can Win!

I was watching the Ironman Melbourne that I taped in my DVR, not because i’m trying to do an Ironman anytime soon, but I like the extra inspiration before heading into a new training cycle. And what really hit me hard since I have a big goal for Indianapolis, was something the commentator said about the men’s leader… “You can’t win, unless you think you can win.”

i think i can, i think i can!

i think i can, i think i can!

i’ve never gone into a race thinking I could win. Even in local, smaller races where I actually have placed, I never sat at the starting line and thought, “hey, I can win this thing!” As I wait for my Garmin to find a satellite and I shake out my nervous legs, I already begin to doubt my abilities, my fitness and whether or not I can hit the goal I set…before I even start! That attitude needs to change!

Being nervous at a start line is completely normal! But starting a race with a negative, i’m not going to hit my goal, attitude is just setting me up to do exactly that. Not hit the goal. I’m not going to do it, unless I believe i can! Mental training will be in full swing this fall, especially during hard workouts. Hungry Runner Girl always uses the mantra “I can do hard things.” Might have to borrow this one from her!

Is everyone super inspired yet? Well, if watching endurance sports on tv or reading running mantras aren’t enough inspiration, buying a few new running necessities does the trick!

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I’ve been doing some pretty solid mileage building during the month of July and I’m happy to say that next week I can finally start training for the half. I’m still being extra cautious because i’m only about 90% back from the IT Band issue, but in general i’m recovering quickly after running. My leg has continuously felt better week to week. Now I have to get used to running hills again. They are killing me, but I know they will make me a better runner, so i guess i’ll stick with them.

at my workplace & play place ;)

at my workplace & play place ;)

I also bought a pair of Kinvara 5’s recently for my long runs… LE seems to like them. They definitely have a little more support than the 4s, and more room in the toe box which i appreciate, and are still super lightweight.

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Now comes the hard and best part. Working up a half marathon training schedule!! Good luck to all runners out there starting their marathon or half marathon training! Also wish me luck on blogging.. this pup loves laying on my keyboard when i’m trying to work!

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July 26th- Aug 2nd

Monday: Rest

Tuesday: 4m interval 6 x 400s (6:58/pace, 9:00/recovery pace)

Wednesday: 3m easy 8:50/pace + 20 min upper (pushups, pull ups, lat pull downs)

Thursday: Rest

Friday: 6m easy 8:58/pace

Saturday: 2.5m walk with LE + hips/glutes/myrtls 

Sunday: 10m easy 9:09/pace

Total Miles: 23 running, 2.5 walking

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Aug 3rd-Aug 9th

Monday: 40min hips/legs, triceps

Tuesday: 5.1m easy 8:45/pace

Wednesday: 5000m row, 15 min lower back

Thursday: 20 min yoga

Friday: Rest

Saturday: 8m fartlek 8:09/pace

Sunday: 6.7m walk/run, 2.4m walk with LE

Total Miles: 19.8m running + 2.4 walking

What race are you training for?

Do you ever watch movies or read books to get motivated for a new training cycle?


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Pre! During! Post!

What you eat before, during and after a workout can really help you get the most out of your time spent in the gym or running along the trails! I figured since we are heading into fall marathon training season, now is as good time as any to share what I personally do for workout nutrition! The peeps over at Eat The Bear Fit wanted to hear about my nutrition and helped inspire this post! They also have a great resource page for pre-workout supplements and fitness. You can check it out here!

Pre Workout: I always try to eat a little something about an hour before I start a workout. I tell my clients to do the same because if you don’t have some carbohydrates in your system for energy there’s a good chance you will tire out easily or even get dizzy & pass out if you are doing strenuous exercises.

When I head out for a run, usually half a banana with a little peanut butter & coffee will do the trick. When I’m lifting or cross training I eat a clif bar. And usually coffee is had sometime before I start ;)

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Seriously. Coffee. All. Day. Long.

Seriously. Coffee. All. Day. Long.

During Workout: If I have a running workout over 60 minutes I make sure to bring a Honey Stinger gel along for the run and will eat it slowly, starting at the 45 minute mark. If I’m strength training I won’t eat anything during, until after I finish (see Post Workout). I always drink water throughout the workout and if it’s really hot outside, or i know i’m in for a tough sweat sesh, I throw a Nuun tablet in my bottle for the added sodium & electrolytes!

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Post Workout: To maximize muscle recovery it is important to eat or drink protein within 30 minutes post workout. Protein is essential for muscle building and repairing. When you workout you are creating micro tears in your muscles. The protein is needed after to repair muscles so you come out the other end gaining strength and lean muscle mass. Some days I use protein shakes and others I have nuts or greek yogurt. Honestly, it just depends whats on hand or if i’m home or at the gym. Either way, I ALWAYS make sure to have a post-workout snack of about 150-250 calories.

My current go-to has been watermelon & almonds.

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Coconut water & watermelon…most refreshing post workout drink!

coconut water & watermelon...most refreshing post workout drink!

TJ’s brand hemp protein, is not my favorite–it doesn’t mix well and is gritty (even when blended). But I love the texture chia seeds bring to liquid. Chia seeds are a great way to add protein & omegas to your recovery :)

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Now that I shared what I do, what are your go-to’s for pre, during & post workout?


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Running Drills + CFE Update!

Caution: This post is lengthy & wordy!

I’ve mentioned in various posts that i’m experimenting with the Crossfit Endurance Program for the year to stay fit, healthy & in racing shape as I attempt some speedy PR’s. I think it’s time to update you dudes about the program, how i’m liking it, and how my body is changing. Obviously, I had a speed bump recently with the IT band, but I was still able to continue with the running drills & strengthening my weakness during time off from running.

The major changes with Crossfit Endurance were training with higher intensity, lower volume & running with a skill based approach. I eliminated “junk miles” and replaced them with shorter interval workouts. I traded in traditional strength training workouts for High Intensity Circuit Training (which also helps replace junk miles) and started working on running skills to increase cadence (steps per minute), improve muscle elasticity and activating the hamstrings & glutes, which are often “asleep” in most runners.

The program claims to keep you working at a high intensity level where you will be in racing shape year round and be less likely to get injured at a lower overall volume.

I’ve been following this program since January so i’m going to start with the thing I did not like. The major flaw with the CFE program that I didn’t notice until after I got hurt —Crossfit doesn’t do a ton of lateral (side-to-side) movements. Since Crossfit Endurance is geared toward tri-athletes & marathoners, i’m disappointed that the lateral movement is missing where it is needed most.

That being said, I’m impressed with the program. Crossfit bears a negative connotation most of the time if you hear the name, however after reading two books (The Ultimate Runner and Power Speed Endurance ) & following the program, Brian MacKenzie is a smart guy who puts mobility, functional movement and recovery first!

Let’s talk about the things I enjoyed with the program. First off, I lost body fat % and inches in my waist & thighs, while gaining some inches in my hips (woo!). My cadence increased, I’m now hitting 173-185 per minute easily. With the hamstring activation drills, my quads don’t tire out any more. I actually enjoy the High Intensity Circuit Training —> where i fell in love with the rower!

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The coolest, biggest surprise of all? Through my IT band injury i kept up with the intense circuit training & running drills along with the hip/glute IT band exercises and I haven’t lost much speed! Taking off 8 weeks of running is always scary. Especially when it comes to speed. I’m definitely not where I was in April, but i’m not far off either and that i can say is why I’m a Crossfit Endurance believer. When they say you keep up the intensity (which can help replace some speed work) they weren’t kidding.

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3 weeks ago! Hitting those sub 8s!

I’m finally going to share a few sample running drill routines i’ve been doing since January. My lovely friend Sarah let me film a few videos to help everyone out. Most of these drills you can also find on the instagram account BVMCrossfit <—i highly recommend following this for ideas!

The drills are specifically for activating your hamstrings to pull (heel up toward glutes) instead of reaching (when you heel strike) so you train to take shorter quicker steps (like the elites!) and you don’t lose forward momentum. What does all this mean? Basically you will run faster and more efficient because your full leg (hamstrings/glutes/quads) are working to move the feet up and down as quickly as possible. (Pose Method)

I’ve put several clients though a drills & skills day and each of them agreed, the drills are way harder than they look, they didn’t realize their imbalances & all found benefits with the workout. I actually had a heel striking client do a 180 and started mid-foot striking by the end of our 40 min session. :) Another one of my clients who does 100+ mile bike rides during the weekends said that learning how to “pull” has helped her tremendously in terms of saving her quads from burning out.

WORKOUTS!

July 13th-19th

Monday: 20 min lats/shoulders, 2m walk with LE

Tuesday: 5m easy 8:20/pace, pushups + core

Wednesday: 3000m row + upper body circuit + 1.5m walk with LE

Thursday: Rest

Friday: 5m easy 8:45/pace

Saturday: 50 min total body HICT

Sunday: 9m easy 9:00/pace

Total Mileage: 19 running, 3.5 walking

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July 20th- July 26th

Mon: Rest

Tues: 4m easy 8:45/pace, 20 min hips

Wed: 1 mile walk w/LE

Thurs: 6m easy 8:32/pace

Fri: 2500m row, 25 toes-to-bar, 50 bench triceps dips, 50 wall kick ups

Sat: 2m walk w/LE

Sun: 10m long 8:42/pace

Total Miles: 20 running, 3 walking 

What are your favorite running drills?

Do you know what your cadence is?


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IT Band Exercises – What Worked For Me!

Monday: 20 min lats/shoulders, 2m walk with LE

Last week I took it easy with strength training and focused on all running related workouts. Safe to say it’s not as intense of a workout week, but I feel like i’m becoming a stronger, well-rounded runner by taking the time to do all the little things. Plus i needed a down week after building mileage and general fatigue. I get asked often what I did to recover my IT Band and it’s very simple. It’s all in the hips.

I’ve been diligent with doing the Myrtls routine, almost daily or every other day since the end of April. Now that I’m healthier I just do them as often as I can after a workout or at night when i’m foam rolling. It’s just part of the normal routine now ;) I do #8-11 of the Myrtl routine as a pre-run warm up and I also include 10-20 walking lunges and a set of 10-15 deep squats.

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In addition to the hip exercises, I do one running skills & drills day and one tough leg day which now includes a ton of lateral movements and single-leg movements which strengthen the hips/glutes & work on core stabilization. <—the key to get rid of ITBS is to strengthen!

Some of my favorite exercises include: walking hip abductions (band around ankles, walking sideways), crab walks (walking sideways in a semi-squat position with resistance band), monster walks (walking forward, taking wide steps, semi-lunge position), squats with band around thighs & ankles (not allowing knees to cave inward).

This trail running video also gave me lots of great strength ideas.

The hard part of getting through any injury is not giving up on the rehab exercises. I didn’t see any real improvement with pain or strength until about 6 weeks in. Don’t give up! Even as a personal trainer I almost forgot that you don’t see results until 6-12 weeks into any program, so try not to get discouraged if you attempt these exercises and your pain doesn’t magically disappear. Be diligent, do quality reps over quantity, and trust that in time you will be pain free & a much better runner with happy hips.

And here’s a picture of LE and me after I ran 4 pain free & carefree miles :)

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Monday: 15min glutes/hips

Tuesday: 4m easy 9:15/pace, 10 min lower back/glutes

Wednesday: 35 min running drills + skill work

Thursday: 20min core

Friday: 6m easy 8:44/pace (Longest run since MAY 10th!)

Saturday: Rest

Sunday: 4m easy 8:17/pace

Total Miles: 14 running (no walk runs!)

Any one else recovering from an injury? 

Have you tried Myrtls or using a resistance band for hip strength?

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