Run The Great Wide Somewhere

I want adventure in the great wide somewhere and running is how I'm finding the courage to explore this wonderful world.

TotR: Breaking Through

Welcome back to Tuesdays on the Run, the linkup I share along with Patty from My No-Guilt Life, and Erika from MCM Mama Runs.  Our topic today is Breaking through a Mental Barrier in Training which is pretty darn relevant because I’ve been struggling with my training myself lately.

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I’ve found that the biggest mental barriers for me come from having had bad runs and bad races.  When I have one bad run, it gets stuck in my head and completely shakes my confidence.  The two worst runs I had are still etched in my mental and emotional memories.  One was the first time I attempted six miles when training for my first Princess Half.  I’m still not sure what happened but I just hit a wall and felt awful.  And it set my training back by months because I was afraid to have that experience (failure) again.

The second terrible run was the Tink Half where I just gave up halfway through and walked the rest of the way.  Somehow I’d convinced myself that I was having a medical condition and was going to pass out or die (I was absolutely fine, I just got all messed up in my head).  It was miserable and it made me terrified during the first few miles of the Princess Half that I’d have the same experience.

The root cause of my mental barriers is FEAR.  Fear that I’m going to fail, fear that I’m going to embarrass myself by getting sick or collapsing, fear that I’m going to feel awful, fear that I’ll have another bad run.  So I let the fear trick me into staying “safe” by reducing my distance goals, my speed goals, my finish time goals.

On the one hand, I think it’s important to learn from the bad runs.  Fear can be useful if it keeps me from starting out too fast or pushing myself too hard.  But fear can (and does!) still hold me back from achieving my goals.  Fear can make me stay in the “safe” zone where I know I can finish a run or a race but I don’t push myself to achieve what I am capable of.

So, how to break through the fear that’s holding me back?  Well, I think the first step is recognizing the fear and accepting that I am afraid and that it’s ok to be afraid.  The next step is to accept that it is ok to fail, to have a bad run.  And the final step is to suck it up and be brave and to try despite the fear.

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So that’s my new mantra!  I’m going to just do it.  Even if I’m afraid.  Even if I fail.  I just have to try!

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Running in Makeup

This is the kind of post that is probably going to have a lot of haters, so for goodness sake, please don’t share it on Reddit!  The “serious” runners will get their $60 custom performance undergarments (panties) in a bunch over the concept that someone might want to know what makeup works best while running.

The funny thing is that I rarely wear makeup, only for special occasions like work presentations, nights out with friends and races.  The reason I like to wear makeup for races is that it makes my race photos look so much better!  Vanity?  Probably, but it’s been so long since I’ve liked pictures of myself that I’m going to celebrate with the best race photos I can get.  As you can see, I don’t layer it on, but it does help keep me from looking too washed out.

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Racing isn’t easy on makeup.  The first requirement is that it is comfortable and doesn’t cause any skin or eye irritation.  The last thing you need when you’re racing is to have your makeup give you trouble.  Ideally you won’t even notice it.  The next requirement is that it needs to stay put, even with sweating and in the rain.  Finally, it needs to be smear-proof so that if you do need to rub your eyes it won’t turn you into a raccoon.

After some trial and error, here are the items I now use for my races:

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L’Oreal Double Extend Mascara is just amazing.  I hate mascara.  I always end up rubbing my eyes and smudging it all over my face.  The reason this mascara is perfect for racing is that it won’t smudge and it doesn’t irritate my eyes (even with contacts in).  The tube has two halves each with their own brush.  The first is the primer which is white.  Then you put on the colored (brown or black) mascara over the white primer.  Magic happens (or maybe science happens) and results in the mascara turning into little plastic tubes on each eyelash.

If you rub your eyes, the worst that happens is that the tubes kind of flake off and you can just brush them off your skin.  Rain and sweat don’t cause any smearing or smudging.  To remove you just use warm water and a washcloth.  The friction of rubbing warm water is what just kind of peels off the tubes.  It is a little more clumpy than other mascaras, but it’s the only mascara I’ve ever been able to use and it works great for running

Too Faced Perfect Eyes Waterproof Eyeliner is a recent find for me and I love it.  I had the same trouble with eyeliner that I had with mascara.  I rub my eyes more than I should and it tends to smear.  This eyeliner applies very smoothly and stays put better than any other brand I’ve tried.  And it doesn’t irritate my sensitive eyes!

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Covergirl Outlast Lipstain has been a long time favorite for me.  I’m just a tomboy, low maintenance kind of person at heart.  I have no time or patience for makeup that needs to be reapplied or that tends to smear if you touch your face.  Traditional lipsticks last for about 45 seconds on my face so I never saw the point, but lipstains last for hours without any fuss, smears or issues.  Perfect for races and they have the added benefit of not having the risk of melting if left in a car or sparkleskirt pocket!MU3Prescriptives Virtual Skin Foundation is another one of my old favorites.  I think you can only buy this online now, but I’ve stocked up and one bottle lasts me about a year.  This is a super lightweight foundation that doesn’t feel heavy at all.  I don’t usually even bother with foundation when I race but if I do, this is what I use.

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Urban Decay All Nighter Makeup Setting Spray is the final touch.  You spray it on your face after putting on your makeup and it helps keep it all in place.  It’s a little disconcerting to spray it directly on my face, but it doesn’t hurt my eyes and after it dries I don’t feel it.

Even though these are my favorites, everyone will have things they like more than others.  Do you wear makeup during races?  What’s your favorite product?  Have you had any disasters?  Are you a “serious” runner and now you’re all offended that I even wrote this post?

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Saturday Update: the universe hates me!

OK, that may be a bit dramatic but it does seem like things are conspiring to keep me from working out!  I was so happy to have gotten my six mile run done last weekend thinking “yes, I’m back on track!”.  And then because it was very rainy outside, I put on some flip flops to go do a family fun adventure at the Morningside Nature Park’s living history farm.  It has livestock you can feed and people dressed in old timey clothes on an authentic homestead farm.  They bake biscuits in a wood burning oven (yum!) and there are lots of trails to hike.  Which we did.  With me in flip flops.  After a six mile run.  Sigh.

Everything felt fine until that night when my left foot started hurting on the outside.  I figured I just strained it a bit with the flip flop hiking (not recommended by the way).  But it hurt more on Sunday.  And even worse on Monday (the work shoes I thought would be good for it seemed to make it worse).  I tried icing it, resting it, taping it and it still hurt.

So, my big restart on running, PiYo and eating right didn’t happen.  Friday instead of taking Eli somewhere that involved lots of walking, I decided to make the smart choice and spend lots of time in our new above ground pool.  It’s about 3 feet tall, so I stepped on a little plastic stool to get into the pool and I guess the Florida sun had degraded the stool so much that my foot (the “good” one) busted right through the hard plastic and the jagged edges tore my toes and the outside of my right foot up!  Ouch!  Pain!  Blood!  Bruises!  Stupid universe!!

So yes, now I have TWO bad feet!  My plans are to spend the whole weekend on the couch with these poor feet elevated and resting.  In good news, my left foot is feeling a lot better so I’m hoping I can run on Monday or Tuesday.  It’s hard not to run when I know I’m behind in my training schedule but hopefully a few days of rest now will save me weeks of recovery later.

Work is still just insane!  The light at the end of the tunnel will be in November when hopefully things will ease up a lot.  We’ve got some Disney trips on the radar again and have a fun family costume for Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party on Tower of Terror weekend.  Eli is going to be Jake (and the Neverland Pirates), Erik is going as Captain Hook, I’ll be Mr. Smee and my mom is going as Izzie.  Alex is opting out of the festivities that weekend (15 year old boy!).   So we have lots of fun times coming up soon.

This coming week my focus is going to be on getting back into running and PiYo without aggravating my foot and on really working on my hydration.  I think a lot of my fatigue and general being down lately is due to the fact that I end lots of days having drunk only coffee and tea.  That is just not healthy and being dehydrated can really impact how I feel.  So, while I hope to eat well this week, my real goal will be to drink 96 ounces of water.  I may add Cocogo or FRS to it but I’m going to get it done.

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I sincerely hope your week went better than mine!  Let me know how you keep picking yourself up when things keep knocking you down.  I’m committed to keep moving forward but could use some inspiration!

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TotR: Fall Race Plans

Fall gets a pretty late start in Florida, typically giving us a tease or two during October and then settling in for good in November.  So our fall race season really doesn’t get busy until then.  My next race is one of my favorites, the Wine & Dine Half Marathon!  I’m really excited about it and actually just finished my costume for it!  I’m a little worried about it because after my six mile run Saturday and a couple of hours of walking around a living history park (in flip flops…yes that was a poor choice) my left foot suddenly hurts…a lot!  I feel like the universe is conspiring against my Wine & Dine training.  But it will all be worth it when I get to see this again!

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At the very end of November is my second favorite race so far, the Space Coast Half Marathon.  Last year the weather was perfect, overcast and cool.  Most of the run is along the water which is gorgeous.  My half marathon PR was earned at that race (and my only sub 2:30 half marathon so far!).  I’m planning a Dr. Who themed costume again for this race but haven’t even gotten started yet!

I’ve then got the WDW 10k in January, Gasparilla in February and the Asheville Half in March.  If you’re interested in joining me at the Asheville Half (or Full!) in March, send me an e-mail or message me on Facebook for a discount code!

Sorry for the late Tuesdays on the Run post, I’ve got the same old excuse I’ve been using for a few weeks now, 13 hour days at work!  Hopefully you’ve enjoyed the posts from my hosts Patty from My No-Guilt Life, and Erika from MCM Mama Runs and all the other linked posts!   What races are on your schedule this fall?

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Saturday Update

Wow, this was a long long long week.  I had to work last Sunday and Monday (Labor Day) and had several long (12+ hour) days at work during the week.  Ugh.  I responded by not working out and choosing queso dip in quantity as my drug of choice.  Sigh.  In good news, our system upgrade seems to be working well!  Although I did feel like this most of the week!monkeys

Here’s how I did on my goals this week:

1. Eat well.  Oh no.  Not even a little bit.  I’d say I had 20% healthy 80% junk!  But I’m back on track now for real.

2.  PiYo at least five days a week.  Oh no.  Not even once.  My husband says of me often “there’s no doing like overdoing”.  I think I’ll eventually be able to do PiYo five days a week, but I have discovered through VERY painful trial and error that I cannot do that just yet and expect to be able to run also.  I was trying to do shorter PiYo workouts on my run days before my runs but it made my runs so so so very tiring.  And my legs got so incredibly sore that just walking was very painful so I wasn’t able to run at all for several days.  This week I’ll be adjusting this goal to THREE days a week.  NOT on days I run!

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3. Run three days a week.  Nope.  But I did run six miles today!  I did Galloway intervals with 5 minutes of running and one minute of walking and it wasn’t fun but I got it done.  And I’m just going to have to get over my fear of running at work if I am going to get my weekday runs done.

4. Stay off the scale.  Yep, no temptation on this one!

5. Work on the inside.  Let’s see.  I did set up a new Facebook page for my Beachbody coaching that has exactly one like on it so far (my own!).  If you’re feeling charitable, feel free to stop by here and “like” it.

I’m really excited that I’ve finally started working on my Haunted Mansion themed Wine & Dine costume.  I’m still hoping to find a “legal” bib from a travel agent for Tower of Terror so I can wear it there instead but that’s not particularly likely.  I am loving how it’s turned out so far but I did manage to mess up my sewing machine so I have to take it somewhere to get fixed before I can finish it up.  I’m so terrible about keeping costumes a secret but I am going to try to hold out until at least October.  It does feature the hitchhiking ghosts though!  And I got a little black lace parasol to go with it.  Stay tuned for more hints since I can’t keep a secret!

How did your week go?

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FRS: Who doesn’t need extra energy?

As a runner, a CPA and a 40 year old mom of a preschooler and teenager, I’m always short on time, sleep and energy.  I know that “they” say that exercise gives you energy but I haven’t found that to be true in my case.  Generally exercise makes me tired and hungry.

I was intrigued and hopeful when I was able to try the FRS Two-10 Discovery Pack a few weeks ago.  FRS was originally developed to help chemotherapy patients recover their energy and has been so successful that they’ve expanded the product to the general public to help athletes, desk jockeys and parents fight fatigue and feel more energetic every day.

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The key ingredient is quercetin, a natural antioxidant found in many fruits that enchances the production of mitochondria (the energy suppliers) within your cells.  They also contain a moderate amount of caffeine derived from green tea (about the same amount in a small cup of coffee) along with critical vitamins like B12 and C.  This combination provides a gentle sustained energy boost for the whole day.

I struggle with staying hydrated and drinking coffee in the morning doesn’t help.  While I was trying out the FRS product, I replaced my morning coffee with the Peach Mango concentrate.  The instructions call for 2 oz of concentrate to be mixed with 6 oz of water but I was trying to focus on hydration so I diluted the 2 oz of concentrate with 30 oz of water (my big nalgalene water bottle) and thought it tasted great!

It was enough caffeine to avoid any headaches from skipping my morning coffee but the caffeine effect felt smoother if that makes sense.  I could tell I had more energy but I never got jumpy or jittery.  The taste was so good that I drank the whole 32 oz mixture by 9am every morning!  Which means I got in 30 oz of water plus healthy vitamins.

FRS recommends 2-3 servings per day, one in the morning, one in the afternoon and an extra when you tend to need an extra energy boost (pre-workout, mid-afternoon slump).  I definitely noticed an increase in energy and had the added bonus of being much more successful with my hydration which I’ve been struggling with all summer.

Unlike many fitness products, FRS has backed up their claims with scientific studies:

FRS1 FRS2 They offer a variety of products, including the concentrate, soft chews, drinks in cans, and powders.  The discovery pack includes the concentrate, soft chews and drinks in cans and all were great but I really loved the concentrate because it had the dual effect of encouraging me to drink more water.  One bottle has 16 servings so it will last about a week.

FRS provided me with the ten day discovery pack for free, but I did not receive any compensation or discount on future products.  As always, my review is based on my experience and I was not paid for it.  I actually liked the product so much I just went to their site and signed up for their VIP autoship program for the concentrate.  It provides a discount of 20% off and there is free shipping for orders over $50.

If you’re interested in giving FRS a try, the ten day discovery pack is $19.99 with free shipping and a money back guarantee if you don’t like it.  I’d love to hear back on your experience if you give it a try.  I think my Keurig machine is going to get pretty dusty with neglect as I replace my morning java with FRS.

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TotR: Running in Costume

Welcome to the Tuesdays on the Run linkup!  My co-hostesses-with-the-mostestes Patty from My No-Guilt Life, and Erika from MCM Mama Runs and I chose Running in Costume as today’s topic.  As per usual, feel free to linkup any running related post, the weekly topic is just a suggestion.

The opportunity to dress as a princess was a big motivator for me in tackling my first Princess Half Marathon a couple of years ago.  I originally was going to run as Merida, then switched to Mulan and then finally ended up running as Ariel.  Since then, I’ve run as Animal from the Muppets, a Club 33 China Plate, Cinderella in Rags, Aurora in her make-it-pink-make-it-blue mixed up dress and a Dr. Who themed outfit.  Planning and creating my racing costumes is a welcome distraction from those double digit training runs and it’s so much fun to “reveal” them right before the race.

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Another hidden benefit to running in costume is the extra support you get along the race course.  When I ran the Tink Half dressed as Fawn (Tink’s friend), I got a ton of positive cheers for Fawn, The Fall Fairy, Orange Fairy and the like.  Spectators love to have something to shout out and wearing a costume always gives them something.  Of course it’s not always correct, like the “Fraggle Rock” comments I got when I was wearing my Animal costume, but even those are funny.  As a runner, I love to be able to give a shout out to others on the course when they have a great costume.

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The final and best reason to run in costume is that sometimes you get to participate in a group costume.  It’s a great way for those of us who are less socially confident to “join in” a group.  You get to know your fellow runners a bit during the costume planning period and then there are the obligatory meetups for photo ops before and after the race.  And sometimes you can even have the fun of running with your costume mates during the race!

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Running in costumes can be expensive and can be less comfortable than just a singlet and compression shorts, but the fun, friendship and awesome race photos make it worth it to me.

Do you run in costumes or do you wish this trend would go away?  If you love them, check out my costume posts up in the “runDisney Basics” tab for more inspiration!

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Saturday Update: falling into place

Happy Saturday everyone!  Things are getting back to normal for me, although I have to work tomorrow and Labor Day because of our major computer system upgrade go live (wish us luck!).

Here’s how I did on my goals this week:

1. Eat well.  I did have my Shakeology for breakfast and figured out that it tastes ok if I add peanut butter.  I got some PB2 powdered peanut butter and it’s ok but the actual peanut butter makes it taste much better.  I ate well over the weekend but once I got to work and got sucked into the pre-go-live-upgrade insanity, my diet went to crap.  Sigh.  fakefood

2.  PiYo at least five days a week.  I did get this done!  My legs and buns are killing me though!  I’m sure that the soreness will eventually fade but I’m on my second rest day in a row in the attempt to get my legs fresh enough for a long run tomorrow.motivation42

3. Run three days a week.  Yes!  Also done!  Each run was only three miles long and was fairly tough but I managed to do them.  I need to do a long run tomorrow and I’m not sure yet how far to go.  I should be doing 8 miles according to Galloway’s program but I don’t think that would be smart.  I’ll probably shoot for 6 and then build from there.  I’ve still got two months, so I should be able to add a mile each week and still get where I need to go.

4. Stay off the scale.  Yep, no temptation on this one!

5. Work on the inside.  Hmm.  Not so much I don’t think.  I did put it in writing that I’m considering starting a side business for local government financial statements, so I guess that’s a baby step.  I’m trying to be more positive and kind but not being very successful with that either!

In other news, I found a 2.5 foot deep/10 foot across above ground pool at Walmart on clearance for $35, so we got that set up yesterday and the whole family had a great time swimming yesterday before the afternoon storms rolled in.  We should get at least two full  months use before it cools off enough to need to drain it for the winter.

I’ll stick with the same five goals for next week, with the caveat that my eating probably won’t be much better until mid-week when the go-live stress clears up.  I need to start foam rolling again, I suspect it will help with my leg soreness.  Because today is an unscheduled rest day, I’ll make sure to focus on stretching and foam rolling and maybe an epsom salt bath.

How did you do this week?  How do you handle work stress from a major project?

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Friday Five: Fall Preview

Today’s Friday Five with Courtney at Eat Pray Run DC, Mar at Mar On The Run and Cynthia at You Signed Up For What is a preview of what is coming up this fall.  We had a record low – low temperature Thursday morning (it was actually below 70!) and it made me remember that it won’t be summer forever and that fall really will come to Florida again.  Fall is my favorite time of year, so I’m already getting excited about it!

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Here’s my Friday Five Fall preview:

1. Running: The rest of my summer and fall will be dedicated to training for the Wine and Dine Half Marathon in November.  Last year when I was training for this race I swore I’d never run it again because it requires double digit training runs while it’s still brutally hot here.  But then I ran it and fell in love with the race, the racers, the Osbourne Lights and the afterparty.  And so, here I am again, cursing the race schedule but determined to get the miles in so I can enjoy the race and the afterparty.

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2. PiYo:  I’ve gotten in about a week of PiYo workouts and I’m just loving them.  Well I hate them too because they are hard and they make me sore afterwards, but I love them because they are making me much more flexible and they make me sore afterwards so I can tell that the workouts are effective.  If you want to know more, e-mail me!  I’m hoping to do one workout a day, five days a week throughout the summer and fall for injury prevention, strength building and to finally work out the calf and hamstring tightness that has been plaguing me lately.

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3. Disney: We’re going to Disney the first weekend in October for Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party.  I didn’t even look at the race calendar, but it coincidentally will be the same weekend as the Tower of Terror Ten Miler which I am NOT running.  I think I will vacillate between being relieved that I can enjoy the parks and party without worrying about a big race and being totally jealous of all the people who get to run the race and strut around with their awesome medals.  I suspect the level of heat and humidity that weekend will be the determining factor as to whether I’m more relieved or more jealous!  I am going to test out my Wine & Dine costume at the Halloween Party!

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4.  Travel:  We’re spending a full week at Disney in November and Erik and I are taking a kids-free trip to San Diego in October.  I have a conference in San Diego but we’re heading out there a few days early to explore the area.  One of the places we definitely want to visit is Joshua Tree.  I’m having trouble finding a really great place to stay nearby, apparently all of them are already booked that weekend, but I’m not giving up yet!  I’m really excited to get to do some hiking in the desert again.

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NPS Photo by Robb Hannawacker

5. Work: I’ve got several big projects this summer and fall, so work is going to continue to be crazy.  I’m counting on some down time in the spring to recover from the last year or so.  I’ve been contemplating starting a side business consulting for small governments who need help preparing their financial statements or who want to qualify for the GFOA certificate of achievement and need help with preparing compliant reports.  I have to make sure I have enough free time at home to do the work, but it is a skill set that I am pretty good at and it’s a special niche that requires a lot of technical knowledge.  It’s out of my comfort zone to go out and try to find clients, but I think I need to at least give it a try.

So that’s a preview of what is coming up for me this fall.  What do you have on your horizon?

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TotR: Cross Training

Welcome back to Tuesdays on the Run.  Every week my co-hosts Patty from My No-Guilt Life, and Erika from MCM Mama Runs and I pick a topic and invite you to link up with us.  Today’s topic is cross training.

There are some lucky souls who can run every day without getting injured.  I am not one of those gifted individuals.  I have discovered through trial and error that I cannot run on back to back days without my tendons getting all riled up and complaining.  Because I can’t run more than three times a week, I need to fill in those other days with workouts that help support my running efforts without straining my running muscles/tendons.

I still haven’t found a perfect cross training routine that helps me lose weight, strengthen my whole body, relieve stress, prevent injuries and isn’t totally boring.  I’ve liked almost everything I’ve tried and I think switching up the cross training is a good idea to keep things interesting.

Here’s a list of all the things I have tried for cross training in the last couple of years:

  • Walk Away the Pounds – I like the 4 mile express workout, it is an hour long and doesn’t require anything except for some open floor space, a dvd and a tv (or a laptop if you’re on the go).  The moves are also very basic (marching in place, side steps, knee lift, kicks and kickbacks) so there are no complicated dance moves which is great for uncoordinated people like me.
    • Speed – This workout starts at a moderate pace but increases to a fairly rapid marching pace within the first 20 minutes.  I think the fast pace has helped me get used to the feel of a faster footfall.  My recent running reading has emphasized that the way to get faster is to increase your steps per minute.  A common beginner mistake is to try to improve your speed by increasing your stride length instead which can lead to injuries.  A shorter stride, but faster steps lets you speed up much more efficiently.  This workout lets you get used to the feel of a faster step pattern.
    • Injury prevention – Running strengthens certain muscles, but there are a lot of leg, hip and core muscles that are not engaged by running.  Strengthening those stabilizing muscles with lateral movements and knee lifts, etc helps reduce the likelihood of injury from inefficient form or muscle imbalance.
  • The FIRM - I primarily use the Cardio Sculpt workout.  It is an hour long DVD that uses weights and a set of steps to combine strength training and cardio in intervals to keep your heart rate up while toning your muscles.
    • Injury prevention - There are a lot of lower body exercises in this workout, squats, stepping up on the step (ok they call it a fanny lifter, but I am not going to call it that because it is ridiculous) while holding a set of weights.  There is also a great exercise for your glutes which is important because runners can get a host of injuries from weak butt muscles.  Crazy but true.
  • Circuit Training – I am incredibly lucky that my workplace values fitness and health.  Part of our health insurance premiums pay for a small gym with showers and a locker room plus a full time trainer.  He offers circuit training sessions twice a week in the gym that are very popular.  He mixes it up so that you’re doing a different set of exercises each week, but basically you rotate between 10-12 exercises every two minutes.  Some examples are sprinting on the treadmill, burpees, squats with weights, jump rope, push ups and wood choppers.
    • Injury prevention – Again, same story, strengthen not only your running muscles, but your core and stabilizing muscles and you significantly reduce your risk of injury.  Especially with distance running, when you get tired your form deteriorates.  When your form deteriorates, your injury risk gets higher.  The stronger you are the longer you are able to run with good form, even when you’re tired.
  • Bike Riding– I haven’t actually done this in a while because I took my bike to the beach last summer for a week and it got all rusty and junky so it still works, but not very well anymore.  Before that, I did try to do a long bike ride at least a week.  I did stationary bike interval work for a couple of months to help with speed training but I just hate it!
    • Cardio – Bike riding lets you get your heart rate up for an extended period of time without all that pounding on your joints.
    • Speed – If you keep your cadence up in the 90-100 rpm range, it helps your legs get used to the sensation of a faster turnover and theoretically will help you run faster.
  • Heavy Weight Lifting – I did about two months of the workouts in the book The New Rules of Lifting for Women and really liked it. newrulesoflifting I could see new definition and just felt stronger.  I learned to do full pushups (no knees on the ground) which felt pretty awesome.  Lifting Eli was easier.  On the downside, I did not see any weight loss and the workouts started getting really long.  And I hate planks.  A lot.  I will probably start this up again at some point, maybe modified to keep the workouts at 30-45 minutes.
    • Injury Prevention – A strong core helps with running form and strengthening muscles and tendons reduces injury risk as well.
  • PiYo – I just started this so I don’t have a real review yet.  Based on my first couple of workouts it is going to be very challenging but very effective.  PiYo1 It’s a series of DVDs that combine pilates and yoga to build strength and flexibility.
    • Injury Prevention – Same story as before.  PiYo has a big focus on proper alignment and posture which should eventually help with running form.  Based on my sore everything, it also does a lot of strengthening.  Finally, it works on flexibility with almost every move.  I have tight hamstrings and calves and I’ve already seen a difference in my runs.  Before PiYo, I’d have to stop after about half a mile to stretch out my calves because they’d cramp up.  Since the very first workout I haven’t had any calf tightness.

I know it’s hard enough to squeeze the scheduled training runs in my already busy life but I know that finding the time to do some kind of strength training or other cross training at least twice a week will help keep me running.  It really doesn’t matter whether you do a workout video that’s a decade old,  hot new videos like PiYo or find something new to try on youtube, in your local library or at WalMart.  If you’re a gym member, sign up for a new class.  There are lots of options and most of them will work just fine so pick one and give it a try.

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