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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. ūüôā 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?


8 Comments

A New State!

Monday: Rest

After the Run for Haiti 5K last week, i was mentally exhausted! Goes to show that running is just as physical as it is mental. I was wiped out. I took a few extra rest days from running then got right back to planning next races & places. (One thing CrossFit Endurance–the training plan i’m following–promotes is the idea that their programs can keep you at 95% top shape so you can race more often without “peaking” or only banking on a peak week in your training. With this is mind I’m not afraid to race more frequently).

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Lacrosse ball in hand for some massage torture

The Cherry Blossom 10 Miler is in 12 more days! And I’m excited to run my very first 10 Miler (hello, automatic PR!). Shortly after I will be trying another 5K or two in hopes I can break through the 20 minute barrier! Now onto the new news of the newest state i’ll be running in.

Delaware!

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I have a bucket list goal of running a race (any distance) in each state. It will give me an opportunity to visit new cities, run different terrain & meet new people. On May 10th I will be running the half marathon in Wilmington, Delaware, putting a new state under my belt and giving me a starting point to measure fitness and begin planning out a training schedule for a fast fall half marathon!

One state at a time

One state at a time

I’m so excited to be running this race because it’s a small field, about 3500 runners and is said to be Delaware’s largest, oldest & biggest running festival. Wilmington is less than 2 hours from DC and just a short ride from Baltimore, just outside of Philly. The race is pretty flat and runs along the Delaware River & beautiful parks. If you’d like to run in the full or half use promo code GOLDSGYM for a $10 discount which will make the 1/2 $65 and the full $85. <—Super cheap entry for a local race that i’ve heard nothing but good things about! This race is on pace to sell out in the next two weeks, so if you buy in let me know and let’s meet up!!

You can register for the race here! http://www.delawaremarathon.org/registration/

from last week's run

from last week’s run

Weekly Recap

Monday: Rest

Tuesday: 5.2m easy 9:21/pace

Wednesday: 20 min shoulders/triceps

Thursday: CFE 5 Rounds: 500m row, 20 Kettlebell Swings, 20 Kettlebell Lunge Pass Through, 20 Knees to Chest Sit Ups, 20 min core.

Friday: Rest

Saturday: Rest

Sunday: 14m easy 8:08/pace

Total Miles: 19.2

How many states have you run in?

Anyone ever ran in Delaware before?


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Things That Make Me Happy

July of this year was torturous. My wedding was called off, I moved out, I was injured (no running!), took on a new job position, and was trying to hold everything together just enough to try and live normally. Train for a marathon, try new things, get a haircut. The usual things to keep the mind distracted from your life at the moment.

In pure frustration one warm summer night many months ago, in a half empty, lonely apartment, I grabbed a giant piece of packing paper and wrote across the top, “Things that make me happy” and i just started writing. I decided then and there I’d just start doing things, simple things, that put a smile on my face. I haven’t turned back since. I am truly trying to do things that will better my future, even if it’s just a simple thing on a daily level.

Here it is, unaltered and raw. Don’t judge, this is my list, not yours ūüėČ

Things That Make Me Happy

1) Running, especially in new cities

2) Coffee, extra hot so it lasts long

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3) Egg sandwiches

4) Adventure

5) spontaneous activities

6) Laughing

7) Good TV Shows

8) Visiting Family & Friends

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9) Traveling to new places

10) Lifting Heavy Weights

11) Pushing my body’s strength & endurance

12) blogging

13) Personal training @ Gold’s Gym

14) good music & live concerts

15) Playing piano

16) Cleaning

17) Feeling weightless

18) Cookies, dark chocolate

19) Drawing/Painting

20) Hiking

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21) Visiting beaches

What I’m finding out about myself isn’t too complicated. I love coffee, breakfast foods, being creative, athletic and traveling.

I already knew these things, but somewhere earlier last year I felt like I was losing myself. What I discovered after time passed, and many, many, therapy sessions later is that I am the same person. I like the same things I did before. I was just scared. Terrified shitless actually, that getting married would make me a person I didn’t want to be. That I would lose all the things I actually like about myself. But of course that isn’t what happens. I was just too depressed and clouded to think any different. You’re supposed to be with a person that supports you for who you are and what you love and do those things together.

Which brings me to the final thing on the Happy List.

22) Cameron

At the time I didn’t want to write his name on the list because that meant the thing I thought was making me unhappy and changing me, was the very thing that makes me most happy in this world. He wasn’t making me unhappy. I just come from a family where divorce is prominent and not having much permanency is a lifestyle. And I got scared out of a big commitment.

So, the cards fell as they did. I chose to work hard when Cameron gave me a chance to go to therapy with him and see if this could work in the future. We chose not to include family or friends in this process because we didn’t want to drag anyone into our drama, but we also wanted privacy¬†while we worked on our relationship.

The good news is therapy has been a huge help and we’ve been feeling really good about our future together. Plus, I miss having Cameron on my blog and I wanted everyone to know what’s been going on. He’s such a huge part of my life it’s been killing me not to include our time together on here.

I hope everyone can be supportive of our decision, and be happy that we’re growing much stronger together than ever before. I really feel like¬†know we’re setting ourselves up for a beautiful life, and I want everyone to be a part of it. ūüôā

He came to support me during the Philly 1/2 last year

He came to support me during the Philly 1/2 last year

beer fest from sept

beer fest from sept

Ugly Sweater run from early Dec

Ugly Sweater run from early Dec

Caps game 6th row from a few months ago

Caps game 6th row from a few months ago

skating on a warmer winter day

skating on a warmer winter day

wine bar in January

wine bar in January

afternoon drinks on a snow day from this month

afternoon drinks on a snow day from this month

We’re celebrating our 7 year anniversary today–Cheers!

Workouts from Feb 16th-22nd

Monday: 20 min glutes

Tuesday: 6m interval (8 x 400s, 2 @ 6:03/pace, 2 @ 5:56, 2 @ 5:53, 2 @ 5:46)

Wednesday:  CFE- 4200m row, 250 sit ups, 150 push ups

Thursday:¬†7.5m intervals (6 X 1000m — 6:53, 6:48, 6:44, 6:39, 6:35, 6:33) 30 min core,¬†

Friday: Rest

Saturday: 10m easy 8:15/pace

Sunday: Rest

Total Miles: 23.5

What’s on your happy list?


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Change Is…

Monday: Rest

Tuesday: 20min running drills, 5 miles speed work 12 X 200s, 10 min core

Wednesday: 40min shoulders, 3m easy 9:15/pace (did 1 mile in zero drop shoes–slowly incorporating foot/ankle drills as well as minimalist running), 1500m rowing

We are 14 days into the new year I’m sure all the cleanses, detoxes, smoothie, clean eating, run until your feet fall off, spend every waking hour at the gym are all being kept right? Well if the goals you’re keeping are already slipping by the hour, make sure you question “why” you set the goal and “how” you plan to adjust to see that goal till the end. Another good idea is to write down WHY you want to change and put that list everywhere. Fridge, bathroom mirror, dashboard–every place you need the motivation and reminder to keep doing something positive for you.

Me and fellow CPT Adrienne @ the gym. Work life is pretty awesome.

Me and fellow CPT Adrienne @ the gym. Work life is pretty awesome.

Yesterday was the first real day doing a CFE (crossfit endurance) running workout. I dove right into the strength workouts and am getting used to a higher intensity style of training, but I haven’t touched the running workouts. ¬†Because.. let’s face it, change is hard.

Changing the normal 4-5 days of running mostly easy miles, a speed day and a long run– to running less but upping intensity in almost every workout is going to be a hard. 5k training is totally different than marathon training and CFE training is different than traditional running plans. In order for me to try and see if this training works, i can’t half ass it or do just pieces of it. I need to¬†give it 100% and trust that these guys know what they’re talking about and put these workouts together for a reason. The reason might just make me a better runner, and I can’t get better without changing.

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Yesterday was also the first day of the 8 week CFE 5k training. Unbreakable Runner comes with 3 levels (beginner, intermediate & elite) for the 5k, 10k, 1/2, Full and Ultra marathons. (did anyone see that it made Competitor’s list of running books you should be reading??)

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I’m following the elite program since my base is built up & I’m used to working out 2x/day. (Most of the elite workouts include strength and running in the same day) Yesterday¬†morning I was so nervous about the workout: 12 X 200s. Terrified actually. I’m a distance runner. Not a sprinter. 200s??? I didn’t even know how long 200s were…it’s about .13 miles fyi!¬†Before I ran I spent 20 minutes warming up and doing CFE drills and then it was treadmill time!

The verdict? I went out too conservatively with my paces, but in all fairness, i’ve never sprinted faster than 5:58, and that happened once. In between each interval the workout called for 1:30 recovery. I walked for a minute then jogged for about 30 seconds leading into the sprint.

1 mile warm up @ 9:00/pace

5 x 200 @ 6:00/pace

5 x 200 @ 5:52/pace

2 x 200 @ 5:45/pace

1 mile cool down @ 9:00/pace

To be honest, I was nervous. Doing new things is scary, even if it’s just running faster.

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What are your workout resolutions for the year, and are you on track? 

What is big change are you working on?


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Shoppin’ For My-se-elf‚Ķ

Mon: 5 Rounds: 500m row, 8 body weight dips, AMRAP* TRX triceps extension, 15 each side lateral wall ball slams.

Tues: 4m easy 8:20/pace, AMRAP TRX chestflys/pushups 

Wed: 4m easy (but hard because of the wind) 7:34/pace, 15 min running drills/ 5min bare foot running

Thurs: Rest

* AMRAP= As many reps as possible

How is it Thursday already! I’ve been meaning to blog but shopping for myself got in the way. Also, i’ve been meaning to Christmas shop for other people, but shopping for myself got in the way. Seems like I end up buying gifts like this— one for you, one for me hehee, I can’t help myself! Some of the Cyber Monday deals were way too awesome to pass up!

I bought a 4-pack (but shoulda bought more packs) of Nuun, my favorite training drink of choice–Also, got the email that I’m now a Nuunbassador for their company. Congrats to all the other bloggers out that are now part of the Nuun family :).

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I’ve wanted to try Pro Compression tights for the longest time and with a discount code and free shipping, they now have a fine home on my rear end. Speaking of, they have a high waist band which is nice so you don’t get the muffin top and they’re nice and thick–no undie lines or anything else showing through!

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Then I got one two new pairs of shoes. I needed to replace my favorite New Balance Minimus with a new pair for work. And I also wanted to give New Balance a go with a pair of running shoes.

4mm left, zero drop right

4mm left, zero drop right

The running shoes I bought are Minimus WR10GY. They are still a 4mm drop (what i’m used to), just a lot less shoe than normal. I’m starting to incorporate barefoot running & lots of new running drills into a weekly routine so it seems only natural to get a shoe with less cushion. I’ve been walking/standing/strength training in zero drop shoes all year and I can’t tell you enough how different (in a good way) it feels to lift or squat in shoes where your heel is level with your forefoot. And bonus: my form has improved.

Seeing these positive changes¬†is making me want to run in zero drop. I used to have arch pain constantly–I thought my high arches needed more cushion. Turns out I needed less, a lot less. The New Balance Minimus have literally zeroed out any foot pain i’ve had standing in shoes all day.

and they're so pretty too!

and they’re so pretty too!

I’ve also noticed after barefoot drills my right plantar fascia gets tight and I have to work it out a good deal for it to feel better. This could have been a much worse problem had I not tried barefoot running. <—But Cori, what if barefoot running is making your fascia tight, why don’t you just stop—> Because, made-up-person-i’m-blog-talking-to, my tight fascia probably has been a problem that was hidden with well cushioned shoes that absorb and hide high impact shock. All issues I’ve had have been on my right side (ankle, shin, soleus, & hip). Could the root of all these problems be caused by tight connective tissue along the bottom of my foot? Perhaps. I’m hoping that incorporating running drills and changing training plans will lead me to working out kinks & getting into a healthy racing year and one step closer to becoming an Unbreakable Runner.

Also, just as important as these running discoveries: Snicker Doodle Muddy Buddies. They are at Target right now. Buy them, buy them now.

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Just be sure to buy them with friends to share with. There are 11 servings in this bag. I ate the entire thing in 2 sittings. Eeek.
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How’s your week going?

Barefoot drills? Thoughts? Any discoveries?


16 Comments

Unbreakable Runner

Monday: 4.1m interval (pace ranged from 8:15-6:50), 20min legs/shoulders/abs

Tuesday: 5m easy 8:10/pace, CFE (Crossfit Endurance) 5 Rounds- 500m row, 20 burpees, 20 sit-ups

I bought a new band for my Garmin. The lime green color was looking really dirty after 2 years of sweating in it. So I bought the band for the newer models. The forerunner 15 straps fit the forerunner10 (in size Small for women!), so I had a lot more options ūüôā I’m sure all of you are just as fascinated as I was. haha

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To work on better running mechanics and start a new approach to training this year (i’m already in 2015-so “this year” means the new year), I’ve been reading Unbreakable Runner. This is a CrossFit Endurance training program (not the body building side of CrossFit) which will supposedly help with running mechanics, fixing and preventing those lingering injuries due to muscle imbalances and instead of race “peaking” only a couple times a year, this program says it will keep you at 95% all year long on a lower mileage program. Which means you can race more often, run less miles, and recover faster.

My favorite aspect of this book is that it isn’t trying to disregard the high mileage traditional running plans (which every single runner follows or has followed). It’s actually offering an alternative for those runners that get injured often and those who want to run for a lifetime.

Understandably this sounds too good to be true. I’m only 50 pages and a few CFE workouts in and I’m already a believer. I’ve never been able to run more than 40 mile weeks without getting injured so to put this even further to the test, I will be following their 5k and half marathon plans once I choose races. And lucky for you, i’ll probably be talking non-stop about this program ūüôā 2015 I’m coming for ya!

After my workout:

After 100 burpees, 100 sit-ups, 2500m row & 5 mile run

After 100 burpees, 100 sit-ups, 2500m row & 5 mile run

After a shower & food:

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Last Week

Monday: Rest

Tuesday: 10m –¬†3 X 8:30, 3 X 8:20, 3 X 8:00 & cool down 8:45

Wednesday: 20 core

Thursday: 4m easy 7:54/pace

Friday: CFE 25min arms/abs (3 rounds 5 pull ups, 10 pushups, 15 sit-ups)

Saturday: 3.1m Fun 5k, untimed

Sunday: Rest

Total Miles: 17.1

Have you read Unbreakable Runner?

Are you using a different running plan that doesn’t involve high mileage running?