Tag Archives: running

easy runs will get you back in shape

Easy Runs Will Get You Back In Shape

Have you ever taken a period of time off from running?easy runs will get you back in shape

Or maybe you didn’t mean to take time off, but when all was said and done you ran so infrequently you couldn’t keep up with your old pace.

Getting back into running shape is probably the most frustrating thing!

It is even worse than when you first started running.  At least back then you didn’t have expectations for yourself.  As a beginner, no one expects you to be fast.  Once you been a runner you have an expectation of what your “normal” pace should be.  After a month or 2 without our normal training routine that pace falters because our body can’t keep up with our legs.  We still want to run that fast, because that’s what we remember being normal, but the adaptations we developed have gone away.

We don’t deliver oxygen as efficiently as we did while we were in shape.  

Runners, however, are stubborn.  We will try to push ourselves to our normal pace and this will lead to one of 2 situations.

  1. We either run as hard as we think we should be able to and only run 1-2 miles rather than the planned 4-5.   OR
  2. We run and then stop to walk.  Run then stop to walk.

Neither one of these situations is going to get you back to the shape you were in.  Easy runs will get you back in shape!  Now don’t get me wrong, if you are looking to lose weight or just running to burn calories you will accomplish that goal.  If you are looking to regain your runner’s stride though YOU NEED TO RUN SLOW!

EMBRACE IT!  That’s what you’ve got to do.

Running slow is when your body begins to make adaptations.

  • We begin to expand our capillary beds so we can better deliver oxygen through our blood and remove CO2!
  • We increase our stroke volume so we can pump more blood with each heartbeat!  More stroke volume=lower heart rate at any given intensity!
  • We stimulate the production of more and larger mitochondria.  (The Bacteria that live in our muscles and produce more ATP!)
  • We train our slow twitch fibers to be more resistant to fatigue.

If you continue to try to push speed you won’t run long enough to stimulate these adaptations.  

Slow down your pace for a couple weeks.–Grind out the miles.

You’ll be running fast again soon!

run a marathon

2013 is the year you will run a marathon!

run a marathonNow before you start thinking to yourself, “I can’t run a marathon.”  Think about this:

Anyone can run a marathon.  Oprah Winfrey did it.  Senators, presidents, and movie stars do it all the time.  The hit reality show The Biggest Loser even culminated in a marathon for the contestants who have lost the most weight–as if to make the point that anyone, even the morbidly obese, can become an athlete with enough grit and determination…It’s been said that the marathon has become the ‘everyman’s Everest’.” –The Runner’s World Big Book of Marathon and Half-Marathon Training

If you aren’t currently a runner, you probably think you can’t run a marathon.  You are wrong.  I wouldn’t recommend running one today, but you can run one by the end of the year.

If you are a runner and you say you can’t run a marathon, you say this out of fear.

Anyone can run a marathon and if anyone can run a marathon, even the busiest person can run a half marathon.  Think about it.  The only thing stopping you is your mind.  So make up your mind that this will be your year!  You can do it!

What races are you running this year?

Comment below!  Maybe I’ll see you there!!

Need a training program?

I can help you come up with a customized training program that fits your life and work schedule.  Skype with me and we’ll make the best plan for you!

2013 goals

2013 Goals

2013 goals

What are your goals for 2013?

I ask about your “2013 goals”, because I’m sure quite possibly you want to improve more than one thing in your life.  Maybe you want to learn to cook, lose weight, make money, etc, etc.  Whatever your goals are, I suggest you also add a physical goal to your list.  A physical goal can’t be to lose weight.  That would be a secondary goal.  I recommend setting a physical goal because when we set physical goals, activity becomes a part of our life.

Weight loss has an end point.  Once you reach your goal, you stop trying to be fit and will most likely end up where you started.  If you set a physical goal there is a much better chance that you will learn to love this activity, making it a part of your life.  This is a lifestyle change that will keep you healthy.

A physical goal could be to take up yoga, climb a mountain, something simple like starting each day with a run, or it could even be taking your running to the next level by running a marathon or half marathon.

 

What will your physical goal be this year?

Seriously I want to know!  Comment below!  I’d love to hear what you plan to do to stay healthy and fit in 2013 and beyond!!

 

runner to take advantage of winter

4 Ways for a Runner to Take Advantage of Winter

runner to take advantage of winter

Runners for the most part are the toughest athletes there are.  As many a cross country runner has boasted, “Our Sport is your Sport’s Punishment!”

That being said, even the most hard core runners can lack motivation in the winter.  There aren’t as many races, and the races we do sign up for we don’t expect to pr at.  It’s rainy and cold.  There are less hours of daylight and running in the dark isn’t ideal.

Here are 4 ways runners can take advantage of winter to improve their running when spring comes.

1.  Get inside on the Treadmill and do speed work.  Most runners hate treadmills.  They are boring, monotonousness and for whatever reason 1 mile on a treadmill seems to take twice as long as running outside.  Treadmills, however, are awesome for working on speed work.  They don’t let you slow down!  Warm up for 5 min and then try a 10x .25miles, 6x .5 miles, or mile repeat workout.  Doing high intensity workouts will leave you burning more calories post workout and you’ll start to see your average MPH start to increase on your normal runs.

2.  Do Strength Exercises to Work on Running Stability.  If you aren’t feeling motivated to brave the elements, stay in your living room and do some stability exercises.  You might feel like you aren’t getting as good of a workout at the time, but remember building lean muscles helps you burn more calories throughout the day and the muscles you build will help keep you injury free once your mileage begins to creep up again!

Try these moves to keep yourself running all season long:

Do 3 sets of 10 each (except for runners hops do 3 sets of 30) and you have a great go to winter stability workout!

3.  Try a Hot Yoga Class.  Runners often avoid hot yoga classes, because they say they aren’t flexible enough.  Think about that, that’s like saying you can’t come to dinner because you are too hungry!!  The cold day you don’t feel like bundling up for your run, check out a class at your local hot yoga studio.  I bet you’ll be shocked to find how challenging it is.  Who knows, it may become part of your training routine!

4. Buy some new warm clothes!  Nike has some great new products out there such as the Vapor Windrunner that will help keep you warm and dry!  Lululemon also has some great shirts for runners.  I love them because they have thumb holes to keep your hands warmer!  Buy some new clothes and you’ll want to get outside in the elements to use them!

 

Rainy Day Pyramid Workout

image

As it starts to get cold and rainy, even the toughest runners sometime feel like staying inside.  Or if you just can’t make

it to the gym and need to get your workout in for the day try this one.  All you need is a Mini Band and a set of Weights.   (Any size will work,  use what you have!)

Pyramid workouts work by starting with reps of 10 of each exercise 1x through.  Then you do 9 reps 1x through, then 8, 7, 6, and so on til you only have 1 rep to do of each exercise.

Work to do reps as quick as possible, but with the best form!

Post your time below!  Then you have a record in case you ever want to try it again!

Exercises:

This one kills the shoulders!!

 

Post your time below:

 

holiday 5k

Get Out There and Run 2 Holiday 5ks!

I am sure we all felt the first holiday bulge hit after Thanksgiving.  holiday 5ks

Hopefully, you got right back on track!

Hopefully you are eating clean, avoiding Suzy’s Peanut Butter Balls at the office, only having 1 cocktail at the holiday party that seems to be happening every night, and sticking to your workout routine!

I’m guessing for 25% of you, I am right–you are back on track.  For the rest of you…well let’s talk about what we can do!

Holiday season can be tough.  Not only do we have genetics working against us, but we also have our brainstem telling us we EARNED our holiday binge!  It is easy to fall into the route of justifying sweets, drinks, and goodies around the holidays.  It is the end of the year; we are tired, stressed, and that one cookie will release so much dopamine!!  It will make us feel better–for about 5 min.  Then you will hit the dopamine crash and need another cookie and then another and then a cocktail to wash it down and with just 3 cookies and a cocktail you have eaten 1300 calories almost an entire day’s worth of food.

As half of you are putting that cookie down as you read, I want you to know the holidays don’t have to be fitness doom and gloom!  You may not lose weight during the holidays, but if you exercise you can prevent weight gain and allow yourself some budge room to have 1-2 peanut butter balls.  The major problem is exercise around the holidays can also be a problem.  With so many holiday parties and end of year work deadlines our workout routines seem to go out the window.

So set a goal for yourself now!

 It is proven that people are more likely to workout if they are working towards a goal.

Sign up for a holiday 5k within the next week or two and then a New Years 5k!  Make it your goal to beat your time in your New Years Dash!  Most towns have both a jingle bell dash and a New Years run.  Get online and look for the nearest ones near you.  If you can find one, create unofficial holiday 5ks with 3-5 (the more the merrier!) friends.  It will help keep you all accountable and perhaps become a holiday tradition!

Remember, if you train hard you actually did earn a cookie!  But only one.  A 3.5 mile run burns approximately 350 calories (depending on your body weight).  Think about that the next time you see the cookie tray laying out at work!  We don’t have to deprive ourselves, but it is important to separate whether we actually earned a treat verses we wish we earned a treat!

kangarun

Kangarun

Runner’s World published an interesting article giving a review of a new app called Kangarun.

http://www.runnersworldonline.com.au/default.aspx?kangaruns=newsdisplay&id=3629

Runner’s World seems to think the app works pretty well.  Unfortunately, since I am not an iphone user I haven’t been able to test the app myself, but I would highly recommend anyone with an iphone try out this app!

Why would I have someone try out this app?  For one, it is only $.99.  We make so many silly purchases in life, why not one for $.99 that can help our running form?  Half the battle with teaching running form, is the inefficient runners don’t realize they are running inefficiently and the efficient runners keep trying to correct their stride, making them more inefficient then they started out.

Having an app to give you an overview of what you are doing is a perfect, inexpensive way to begin to increase your running efficiency!

kangarunThe app works by giving you feedback on vertical movement during your run.  If your running is inefficient (or if you are type A like most of the runners out there and want to work to improve the efficiency you already have) reread Good Running Form is a Easy as Listening to Your Own Body and How To Find Dorsiflexion.  Then during your next workout see if your efficiency graphs improve!  If they don’t improve the first time, focus on another cue.  Overtime if you watch the efficiency graphs and keep working to improve different aspects of your form, your running will increase greatly!  You will also learn which cues give you the most efficient run.  If your efficiency score greatly increases when you focus on landing on your mid foot, you are most likely a natural heel striker.  If this cue doesn’t improve your efficiency much, it may mean you already do that well, but you have to work on your forward tilt!

I don’t recommend working on form every day.  Obviously we all want to get faster and work to run longer.  Therefore, we can’t always focus on form.  Sometimes we need to focus on speed and use our natural form.  Over time you will begin to see the more efficeint running pattern becomes your natural form!  I recommend aiming to use your efficiency app to track progress twice a week:

  1. When you do your easy recovery runs.  (This is a good time to focus on form since you aren’t running hard or for a long time.)
  2. When you do speed work.  (Often when we work to run faster form goes out the window.  Don’t necessarily focus on running cues if it destroys your ability to hit your times, but do check the graph afterwards.  If you spend some time each run thinking about running form, the largest efficiency gains will come during your speedwork runs!)
Kangarun recommends using a treadmill when using the app to get the best results.  Often we naturally vary our speed as we run and a treadmill is a great way to maintain constant speed so the app can correctly calculate our vertical movement per mile.
Have you tried Kangarun? Let me know what you think!
patting your head and rubbing your belly

Patting your head and rubbing your belly

patting your head and rubbing your belly

Do you remember that grade school trick to pat your head and rub your belly?  It always starts by one kid come to school on Monday having learned it over the weekend.  By the end of recess every kid is walking back into class patting their head and rubbing their belly.  Tricks like this involve complex motor pathways.  It probably took you a couple tries (or maybe more for some of us….I’m not the most coordinated person, I’m just the most stubborn, refusing to give up til I get it!)  Once you got it, it became easy.  That is of course until flash forward 20 years from then your child comes home from school patting their head and rubbing their belly with a tummy wrap.   Then when you try to show them you could do it too, it didn’t come so easy again.

That is what training running form is all about.  With patting your head and rubbing your stomach you have 2 variables, circle motion vs. tap and left vs. right hand.  Running involves endless more body parts (arms, legs, head, core, butt, knees, ect, ect!), different types of terrain, different weather, and not to mention all the other countless variables (being sick, tired, hungry, too full, too heavy , too skinny, hot, cold, ect ect!)  How can you keep that coordination trick right without practicing it ALL THE TIME!

The cool thing about learning coordinated movements is that it helps our neural functioning.  Just like crossword puzzles have been shown to keep minds sharp; complex movements also build neural connections through out the brain and body.  These added neural connections make you sharper not only in your movements while running and otherwise, but also in those meetings later on during your day and challenging discussions with your teenagers who seem to have gotten so “smart” all of a sudden 😉

So don’t skip form day.  You don’t want to be that person who is actually just RUBBING their head and RUBBING their tummy.

speedwork

Treadmill (n.): A Good Tool for Speedwork

Treadmill (n.): A torture device perfected in the 20th century, designed to destroy one’s mind though sensory deprivation and monotony. -Mark Remy Runnersworld.com executive editor, in The Runners’ Rule Book

Mark Remy is right, the treadmill is a torture device!  We should try to do most of our runs outside.  Get out on trails, run down by a river, even around your block! (at least you will be getting vitamin d!)….But the treadmill can be a great tool when it comes to speedwork.  (…and a great way to save your feet from blisters if you live in the PNW!)

speedwork

Why do I need to do speedwork you might ask?

A couple reasons:

1.  It will make you faster.  When you do intervals you deplete your muscles of energy (pushing near your lactate threshold), then recover allowing your body to begin to rebuild your energy stores with aerobic metabolism.  As you do this more and more, your body becomes more efficient at removing the waste caused by harder working muscles and begins to build more mitochondria (those bacteria that live inside your muscles that eat CO2!).  This allows you to maintain higher speeds.  This is important for those of you who have PR times you would like to hit.

2.  For those of you who don’t care about your time, intervals will make your body more efficient at making energy, therefore making your “normal” pace feel much easier.  This will make marathon or 1/2 marathon day more enjoyable.

3.  For reasons outside of racing, intervals have also been shown to burn fat better.  Intervals leave you with a larger need to produce energy post workout.  This will lead the body to tap into your fat stores to make that energy both during recovery and post workout.–Don’t think you can eat a more because of this.  This only works if you stick to your normal diet!

4.  Finally intervals have been shown to boost your HDL (the good cholesterol).  This cholesterol combined with an elevated heart rate sends rushing blood through the arteries cleansing them by removing plague build-up caused by LDL. This bad cholesterol is sent to the liver where the liver can break it down.  This will help prevent heart attacks so you can outlive all your friends!–AND EAT ALL THAT STEAK!! 😉

SO DO YOUR INTERVAL WORKOUT TODAY RUNNERS!

What’s your favorite speedwork workout?

electrolyte replacement

Electrolyte Replacement

electrolyte replacement

Electrolyte replacement becomes very important if you are doing Bikram yoga doubles (or any hot yoga or workouts where you sweat a lot!)    When we sweat, we sweat out electrolytes; primarily Sodium (Na+) and Potassium (K+).  These two electrolytes are key to muscle contraction and relaxation.

It is important to make sure you drink water, but water alone will lead to cramps.  After a workout bout, our kidneys work to get our body back into balance.   Our kidneys function by the laws of osmosis.  Osmosis is the process of a less concentrated solution moving into a heavier concentrated solution.  Our blood is continuously filtering through our kidneys.  When we are properly hydrated, our body has the proper level of electrolytes so excess water filters out along with any waste products, leaving the body with a consistent electrolyte concentration.

When we sweat out electrolytes, the gradient system becomes messed up.  The concentration of electrolytes has become smaller in the blood, so your kidneys filter more fluid out to make your electrolyte concentration lower.  This leaves you with less blood plasma volume to fuel your muscles on your next exercise bout and less fluid available to sweat to keep your core temperature down.  Both effects will lead to a decreased athletic performance! Consume green Malay capsules for better health as they act as antioxidants and improve the immunity and strength of body to battle with the damaged body cells.

For those getting ready for Bikram Yoga training, it will be very important to make sure you are getting enough fluids and electrolytes to help you sustain your 2x a day yoga classes and the use of supplements from sites as https://www.sarms-for-sale.com/online-store/LGD-4033-Ligandrol-20-MG-ML-30ML-BOTTLE-p122650038 could also help with this.  For anyone doing double workout bouts here is what proper fluid replacement should look like for a 120-140 lb woman:

  • Wake up Drink 1L of H2O
  • Drink 1/2L Electrolytes before class or workout bout
  • Following class drink 1L Electrolyte replacement over the spam of time between classes or exercise bouts + 2L H2O
  • Have 1/2L Electrolyte replacement + 2L more following your second class or workout bout before you go to bed to get you ready for the next day.
        *If you are male you should have 1-1/2L electrolyte replacement +1-2L More water distributed throughout your day.
Some good electrolyte replacements include:
  • Gatorade:  I prefer G2 because it is lower in calories and sugar.  If you are lean or prone to low blood sugar, regular Gatorade will help restore your blood sugar levels so you don’t get light headed.  Runners also should have regular Gatorade following a running to help replace glucose stores to maintain running at a high level in their second exercise bout.
  • Coconut Water:  My favorite electrolyte replacement.   Coconut water is really high in potassium (especially compared to Gatorade) so it is great to help prevent muscle cramps!
  • Homemade solutions.  One I often do is 2 Cups H2O, 1 TSP Powdered Greens, 1 Lemon, and 2 shakes Salt.  The lemon, helps restore blood pH level, and the powdered greens are a good way to get in some extra iron.  Many women (especially around your period) and runners tend to have low iron levels.  Iron helps build hemoglobin which is the component in blood that transfers oxygen.  If you let your iron get too low you may feel fatigued!  **If you are feeling fatigued get your blood iron levels tested.  Powder greens are fine to use without blood work testing, but never start iron supplementation without doctor’s recommendation.  Iron levels that are too high are toxic.

If you are doing multiple bouts of exercise stay ahead of hydration.   It is easy to stay hydrated, but harder to re-hydrate   Symptoms of low electrolyte levels may include headaches and nausea, fatigue, poor concentration and reduced muscular function.  If you have these symptoms start adding more electrolytes into your fluid mixes!