Run

Quinoa Recipes

Quinoa is a great option for runners because it's a seed that is a complete protein (it contains all 9 essential amino acids). So, it's great for just about everyone, including those who are gluten free and vegetarian.  Below are  two of our favorite quinoa recipes, one for the morning and one for the evening. Both are easy to make and great for pre and post runs. 

Quinoa Kale Salad - this salad is easy to make and you can incorporate whatever veggies you like best. We recommend cooking quinoa ahead of time and then using it throughout the week. 

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups kale, finely chopped
  • 4 oz grilled chicken or firsh
  • 1/2 cup cooked quinoa
  • Unlimited veggies

Directions:

  • Cook quinoa according to instructions
  • Cook protein until cooked through
  • Toss kale, quinoa, protein and veggies together and top with your favorite salad dressing
 Great post run meal or bring it for lunch to power you through your afternoon run

Great post run meal or bring it for lunch to power you through your afternoon run

Morning Quinoa Bowl - this is a great breakfast option for a long run day. Cook your quinoa ahead of time.

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1 tbs silvered almonds
  • 1/2 banana, mashed
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 cup milk (almond, rice or regular)
  • 1 tbs maple syrup

Directions:

  • Combine all ingredients in a 2 quart saucepan
  • Heat on medium-low, stirring, until the quinoa has soaked up the liquid
  • Add more milk until the consistency suits you.

Our Favorite Fall Marathons

Marathons used to be all about achieving a specific race time. However, after hitting a few goals (Boston and a few PR's), we started to look at marathons (and races) as a chance to see new places and accomplish more than just time goals. Below are some of our favorite marathons and race locations

New York City (Meghan and Jessica) - People say this race is the largest live spectator event in the world and it feels like it the entire 26.2 miles. Talk about an adrenaline rush! Right from the start helicopters are hovering as you cross over the Verrazano Bridge and as soon as you touch ground in Brooklyn, the crowd is screaming for you and it doesn't stop until you exit Central Park after the finish line. In addition to the amazing spectator support, the course keeps you engaged winding its way through so many different parts of this iconic city.

Buenos Aires Marathon (Meghan) - 26.2 miles takes you throughout the city - from the historic areas of San Telmo and Boca to Recoleta and the port area. The crowds are supportive, there's plenty of water and the cityscape can't be beat. I had been to Buenos Aires before but seeing it on foot and in the early morning was amazing and one of my favorite memories of all time. Plus, your recovery includes meat and red wine!

Ragnar Colorado (Meghan) - While this wasn't a marathon, it's on our list because it was one of the most beautiful places I have ever run. We ran from Breckenridge to Snowmass, covering nearly 200 miles between 6 of us. I ran along Dillon Lake, at 9,000 feet, along I90 in the middle of the night and on beautiful trails in the early morning. I trained hard for this race, coming from zero elevation to 9k! It was a strength and endurance test that was totally worth it because of the landscape and trails. 

Richmond Marathon (Jessica) - Big is not always better. I learned this when I ran the Richmond Marathon after the Boston Marathon. Unlike Boston and other large races which require several hours of waiting and transportation logistics to get to the start, Richmond was a breeze. All in all, it took about 10 minutes to get to the start and begin running. There's something quite luxurious about that. There were also moments during the race along the river where it was beautiful and quiet. This was inspiring in its own way. Don't discount the smaller marathons. They are just as much fun and equally rewarding and unique.

Chicago Marathon (Jessica & Meghan) - Catch us running this marathon as coaches for Team Fox this year! We have a feeling it will be a favorite as well mainly because helping people accomplish their marathon goals on the course is pretty awesome. Want to make your marathon experience even more powerful? Team up with your favorite charity to raise funds for a cause that is meaningful to you.

Add this move into every run

We always include strength training in our running plans. We believe it is a key part of any successful plan. The one move we always include is the Single Leg Deadlift. It tones the hamstrings, the hips and the glutes. All three are needed to stabilize the body while running. Additionally, balancing on one leg reduces strength imbalance between left and right sides.  Add this one move into every workout and your legs will feel stronger and healthier. Do 2 sets of 15 reps per leg. GO!

SIngle Leg Deadlift

Getting back to running after being sick

by Meghan Reynolds

This winter was a doozy - lots of work hours, work travel, some life hiccups and getting sick (twice!). Something had to give and it was training for a marathon for me.  Getting two colds this year really wiped me out as well and I knew that I needed to rest in order to fully recover. I kept my running short and easy and focused on building strength and stretching.

Now, after two months of craziness, I'm back and getting ready for fall marathon training. It's tempting to just dive back into my 12-14 mile long runs and regular paced runs. But, I know my body isn't ready and I don't want to get discouraged. To avoid the pitfalls of checking off miles and pace, I started running for time. So, 30, 40 or 60 min runs. I started this about 3 weeks ago and am just now starting to wear my watch on runs. This does two things for me: 1) hides my pace so I don't freak out if I'm slower and 2) allows me to just run! I run out for 15 or 20 mins and then come back. For the longer runs, I explore a different neighborhood until my watch says 60 mins or a loop that takes me about an hour.

I've found that this makes running more enjoyable and not so task oriented of hitting a set number of mile or a set pace. So, if you have had a doozy of a winter, don't despair. Start slow and start without miles or pace goals. Aim to hit total time running goals. Within 3 weeks, you'll be back and ready to go!

Running Trails in Central Park

Central Park's Bridal Path during a Saturday morning run

Did you know that you don't have to run on pavement in Central Park!? It recently came to my (Jessica) attention that this is not widely known by everyone, so I'm here to inform (or remind) you about the Bridal Path. It is a little hidden gem in Central Park that offers more shade and significantly less people than the main running loop and it's dirt! Check out the picture above that I took last Saturday at 9am - there's no one on it!

Also, unlike the bridal path in Prospect Park, which is hard to run and truly for horses, the bridal path in Central Park is definitely runner friendly. Similar to its neighbor, the road, it's packed with undulating hills that are great for training. If you run the full bridal path loop, you can get almost 4 miles of trails.

If you're running counterclockwise around the park, enter the bridal path at the south-eastern corner of the reservoir. Stay on the lower trail that circles the reservoir and then as it begins to break hard left, take a hard right turn to stay on the path parallel to the road. This winds you up and across the 102nd Street crossing (along a dirt path of course) and then you can follow the path all the way down the west side of the park until the Columbus Circle exit. Here's a map of all the trails with the bridal path identified by the white dots.

Next time you're in Central Park, take the less traveled and more serene route along the bridal path. It's amazing.

 

Spring Reboot

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Now that we have longer days, it's time to get back out there for some runs and start training for some summer races. Begin adding in some speed on your weekday runs - your summer racing times will thank you.

Here is an easy plan to begin building up your speed. Always warm up before doing any speed work. We recommend warming up for at least 10 minutes and cooling down for 10 minutes.

Here is a progression:

1) 10x 30 seconds fast with 1 minute reovery

2) 5 x 30 seconds with 1 minute recovery, 5 x 45 seconds with 1 minute recovery

3) Pyramid series: 2 x (30 seconds, 45 seconds, 60 seconds, 60, 45, 30) with equal recovery

4) 10 x 1 minute fast with 30 seconds recovery

5) 5 x 2 minutes fast with 1 minute recovery

The "fast" part of each workout is not a full on sprint. Instead, you want to run about 70% of your max, which is being able to say 1 word every 4-5 breaths. The speed interval should feel challenging but doable. Run the rest of your weekly runs at your normal pace.

If you are training for a race and you want to improve your time, run a 2 mile time test before starting any speed work. This will give you a baseline.

Holiday Fun Runs

By Elizabeth Eckhart

It seems the days when it took an elite athlete and months of training to even consider running a full marathon are gone. Now, it is almost impossible to drive through any moderately sized city and not see a window sticker proudly proclaiming, 13.1 or 26.2. Races have evolved as well, from basic courses to themes and events. Runners can choose and are encouraged to run in costumes, mud, and even get sprayed with color along the route. Especially during the holiday season, one glance through your Facebook news feed will show someone who decide to forgo the after dinner nap in front of the television in favor of a nice chilly run.

For those of us who might be interested in participating in a holiday fun run, but may not be up to speed on what is available, let's explore some of the famous and most popular options for pounding the pavement this holiday season.

The Jingle Bell Run/Walk for Arthritis is a fun themed 5k race that happens across the country in December. Major cities include Portland, Or, Fort Worth, TX, and New York City. Participants dress up in their favorite holiday costume, whether it be reindeer antlers or ugly Christmas sweaters, and tie jingle bells to their shoe laces to raise both money and holiday spirit as they run.

If you happen to be near the Big Apple this holiday season, New York City Runs offers several different races throughout the winter, including the Frozen Bonsai Half Marathon, a race through Central Park, the Brrr-ooklyn Half Marathon, which will be offering hot cocoa and snacks at the finish line, and The Empire State Building Run-Up, a warmer race in which participants run up the tower's 86 flights of stairs.

The Santa Shuffle (or Santa Hustle, depending on your location) is another popular theme for 5k’s, 10k’s, or 15k’s that offer runners dressed in warm Santa suits candy along the route and cookies and cider at the finish line. Proceeds from this event go to various charities; for example, the Santa Shuffle in Wisconsin will donate to local food pantries and participants are asked to bring canned food for a food drive. CBS Sports, WGN, and even the Travel Channel (click here for provider info) have been known to take an interest in the Santa Hustles, so be sure to wave to the cameras during this run!

Run Disney is also a great choice if you want a holiday run, but don't relish the thought of doing it in 20 degrees with snow drifted around you. Disney provides its Disney Marathon Week every January and February, offering themes such as Star Wars and Disney Princesses, Neverland and Tinker Bell. Run Disney also offers children's races so that the entire family can participate in the fun.

If you do opt to participate in one of these chilly runs, it is important to remember to prepare appropriately for the weather conditions. Dress warmly, but not too warm, guidelines often suggest dressing as if it is 20 degrees warmer than the actual temperature. You should be slightly cool when you start, since your body will warm up as you run.

A waterproof windbreaker would also be a good idea to protect you from rain and wind. One place not to skimp on the dressing is your feet. Opt for waterproof shoes with gore tex uppers instead of the lightweight mesh that a runner might normally choose. Keeping your feet dry and warm will help to ensure you have a more enjoyable time during your run.

Before the run, be sure to warm up; if you're waiting for a running buddy, don't just sit in your car, get out and move around. During the run, pace yourself, cold air is hard on your lungs and you may not have the endurance that you normally have in nice weather. Post run, be sure to get out of any sweaty clothes and warm yourself up quickly with whatever treats the race organizers have provided!

Motivation Monday - Night Running

Yesterday was the first day the time change really hit me. I went into yoga class in daylight, at 3:50pm, and left in darkness, a little after 5pm. I felt like going to bed immediately and it reminded me how vital it is to be seen by drivers. It was really hard to see people, in black jackets, crossing the roads. It's even harder and scarier when it's a runner - who is moving much more quickly than pedestrians.

I'm not the best in the morning, thus, i prefer to run in the evenings. It helps clear my head and reduces the stress from the day. However, now that it's dark at 5pm, I need to dig out my reflective gear so I am safe while running through the streets. I recommend wearing reflective gear and a flashing tail light. We have a Nike hat that is crazy reflective (but not warm) and a jacket with a reflective area on the front and back. We also have running tights from lululemon athletica with reflective areas on the legs. One piece that I've recently added is a flashing tail light (kinda like a light you'd see on a bike). I have to cross a lot of streets to get to the trail that I like and I don't want to take any chances. The reflective gear and the tail light combined with me being more aware (not listening to music) ensures that I am safe while runing in the dark.

Most major running brands offer reflective clothing. They are expensive however. If you don't want to make that type of investment, consider a running reflective vest. You can put it over any top or jacket and be seen up to 1200+ at night.

Enjoy the night runs and be safe!

Marathon Training - Week 8 = Speed

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Half way through marathon training and I'm feeling good. This week was all about speed and yoga. Since I'm on a bit of a vacation until my new job starts at the end of August, I'm using my days off to check out yoga classes and get everything ready to move.

On Monday I did an easy morning run along the waterfront with Liz. I then did an easy yoga class at Core Power Yoga. I felt great after the yoga class. As you all know, my hamstrings are really tight and finally getting into a yoga class showed me just how tight - I could barely get my fingertips to the floor! I had to bend my knees a lot. This is unusual for me; I use to be able to get my palms flat on the floor.

Tuesday, Jessica and I met for a track workout. We did 6x800s. It was hot but a great workout. I completed all of them in my pace zone. It was tough but I did it. Jessica did a cruise workout and stayed behind me which was great because I got coaching and she gave me some insights into how I run repeats.

Wednesday was my cross training day and I did 2 yoga classes. It was great and I felt so much better when I woke up on Thursday morning. My hamstrings were sore but not tight. I did an easy run to Grant Park where I babysat Lucia while Jessica coached. We are working on getting Lucia to run (just kidding, she's working on walking first!)

Friday was my race pace run. We did 6 miles at 7:30ish pace. It was a tough workout. I'm planning on doing 3 more before the marathon, building up to 12 miles at race pace. My race pace is going to be a hard one for me - it's a bit of a stretch. Saturday was yoga and Sunday was a 4 mile run with 2 miles at race pace thrown in - just for the hell of it.

On to week #9!

 

Long Run Tips

Long runs aren't your typical "head out the door and run" activity.  Unlike shorter distance runs, any run lasting over 90 minutes should include a certain amount of advance planning, taking into consideration things like safety precautions, nutritional and hydration needs, weather conditions and transportation needs. To avoid disaster during a long run, check out our top things you should know before you go.

The primary purpose of your long runs is to build up time on your feet. In other words, build endurance by challenging your body’s ability to run for long periods of time.  Although the most important aspect of these long runs is plain and simple - log the miles, there are a few key considerations to take into account if you want to get the most out of this type of training run:
 
1) Race Pace Practice: Typically, you want to run 30-90 seconds per mile slower than your goal pace or race effort during your long runs. If you are training for specific time, inserting a few miles at your goal race pace in the middle or end of your long training runs is a great way to mentally and physically prepare yourself for what it actually feels like to run your target pace after an hour or two of running.  A word of caution – don’t be discouraged if race pace feels tough. Additional training, taper and adrenaline will help you on race day. Instead, focus on your ability to hit your target time and maintain it consistently for a few miles.
 
2) Hydration & Refueling Strategy: Use your long runs to practice your race day hydration plan. Too many people get sidelined with stomach cramps and bathroom issues as a result of too much or too little water on race day. Check out how frequently water is offered during your race and practice drinking at similar intervals during your long runs.  On your long training runs, we recommend drinking 4-6 ounces of water every couple of miles. If running over an hour, your body will want more than water. Include 30-60 grams of carbohydrates (150-250 calories) per hour during any run longer than an hour. This may include sports drinks, gels or energy bar. Feel free to ask us for refueling recommendations.
 
3) Dress Rehearsal: Use your long runs as dress rehearsals for the real deal by wearing clothes and running accessories that you plan to wear on race day. Longer distances bring out chaffing in new, and often unforeseen places, so it’s best to get familiar ahead of time with what works and what doesn’t. You can also do this for your pre-workout meal prep!

Melting away our running aches and pains

by Meghan Reynolds

No matter how strong I am, how in shape I am or how much yoga I'm doing, I'm sore - A LOT! I sometimes feel like my hamstrings are made of lead. This feeling has been increasing over the past few weeks as my miles have ramped up and I'm doing track workouts. The soreness and pain diminish pretty quickly after running, it rears its ugly head during my runs. This has happened before and through trial and error, I discovered what relieves this soreness and pain (besides total rest): strength exercises and the MELT METHOD.

I still do yoga, foam roll and stretch but the combination of strength and MELT have relieved my body of so much soreness and pain, it's like a miracle. Seriously. Below details what I've been doing and why it helps.

Strength exercises - these exercises specifically target my hamstrings and glutes. I need to build up strength so they don't fatigue as quickly and are less prone to injury.

Bridge Lift and Walk

Single Leg Bridge Lift

Clock Lunges

Glute Press Up

Single Leg Deadlift

MELT Method: I use the actual MELT balls but you can use a tennis ball and golf ball. I do this after every run and in the mornings if my feet feel cranky. The reason MELT is effective for hamstring and glute issues is because the technique addresses dehydration. We have connective tissue all over our body, and in its simplest form, is what holds our muscles and organs in place. When this tissue is dehydrated, it doesn't move as well. When you bring back fluids to the tissues, you feel better and your body moves more easily. Check out this example of a 3 minute foot release from the MELT Method founder. Sometimes I just roll my feet on the large green roller (you can use a frozen water bottle). Do this for a week and I promise, you'll feel the difference.

Motivation Monday - Running & Being Sick

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May was suppose to be my base training month. I wanted to get my mileage back up to where it was in the winter (I took a few months off and focused on spinning, pilates and this crazy megareformer class), get faster and feel fit heading into marathon training season. That plan was seriously derailed as I got sick not once but twice. Now, I don't get sick. I lived in NYC for 5 years and got a few colds during that time. Being sick 2x in one month is not fun and it's made running really hard!

I got food poisoning and had to stop all activity for 3 days because I had zero strength and was dehydrated. The risks didn't outweigh the benefits in that scenario. Next, I got a sore throat/cold. I was tired and stuffy but I knew that sweating would make me feel better. I did a spin class, I did yoga at home and I ran. Jessica and I had decided to do a hard/fast run last week and I wanted to do it because I hadn't been able to push it on a run in a few weeks. I was sick and not feeling great but I headed out with her, figuring I can always slow down and walk if needed. We did our warm up mile and then started chatting and boom, we were running fast. I kept up for a mile or 2 and then had to back it off. After the run, I felt great. I hydrated, stretched and got a good night sleep.

This month gave me a lot of insight into running while sick. I don't always recommend it; it's definitely a choice that each person has to make because, ultimately, you know your body the best. The difference between the 2 sicks "illnesses" is sleep and hydration/nutrition. I didn't sleep for 2 nights with food poisioning (it didn't last that long, but I still felt terrible the 2nd night) and didn't eat for almost 2 days. Running on empty like that is NOT recommended. Taking days off is the best choice there. With the cold/sore throat, I was able to sleep (more soundly at least) and eat. I had calories in me, thus, felt that a run or a spin class (it was a slow spin day!) was beneficial. It helped work out some of the stiffness and soreness you feel when you are sick. Plus, with the run, just being outside, in the sun and fresh air, helped.

Next time you are sick, and asking yourself "should I run when I'm sick?", make sure you take into account your sleep and nutrition, as well as, how you feel. Being fueled and rested is a huge part of any trianing plan while healthy, thus, it could be the determining factor in whether you run or not. And, ultimately, skipping a few days, won't hurt you in the long run.

All Runs Are Not Great

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Not every run is going to be a great one. To be honest, some runs just plain suck - you are tired, your legs are sore, it's rainy, it's windy, it's too hot, etc. The good news - it's okay! The bad runs help us realize how awesome a great run feels. It's also a sign that you are over training and your body needs to rest.

If you are scheduled to run and one of the above applies, first figure out if the run is going to cause you pain. If so, it might be best to skip it; if you are just generally lethargic and using the weather as an excuse, lace up those sneakers and go! The easy run might be what you need to snap out of a funk.

Here are my tips for getting through a not-so-great run:

1. Put on some good music - music is a huge motivator and can help to distract you.

2. Enjoy the scenery - look up and see where you are running.

3. Slow down - you don't have to run hard or fast. Take it easy.

4. Phone a friend - have a friend meet you for a social run.

5. Stop and walk - if the run really isn't happening, don't force it. Sometimes, a run just isn't what your body needs.

Boston Marathon Recap

by Elizabeth Eckhart

“I can't run a personal best from behind. I can't win a race from behind. Goal No. 1 was to win this race. Goal No. 2 was to be on the podium. Goal No. 3 was to run a personal best. I could have been conservative and stayed back and run 2:10 or 2:11, but I'm a competitor. This is probably the most meaningful victory ever for me."For the first time since 1983, an American won the Boston Marathon men’s division with an official time of 2:08:37 (per the results viewable on the Boston Marathon’s Facebook page). Meb Keflezighi, who is 38, had his eye on that finish line, and nothing else, from the beginning. He had no intention of running a safe pace, in fact, he was quoted following his finish stating the exact opposite:

The women’s race, which took off around 9:30 am with the elite runners, was defended by previous champion, Kenya’s Rita Jeptoo, 33. Her time was an incredible 2:18:57, a course record. She is now the seventh person in history to have won three Boston Marathons.

Like many, Rita was likely overjoyed at the chance to re-do the Boston Marathon this year. Though she won last year, her victory, and more importantly, the spirit of the race, was marred by the tragic bombings, which killed three people and wounded more than 260. For the 36,000 runners competing in Monday’s race, the theme was “take back that finish line!” - an anthem that the race announcer shouted to them just prior to the start.

For runners like J.P. Norden and his brother, Paul, their determination is more than just admirable, it’s inspiring. Both brothers were injured in the mass confusion that followed the bombings last year, each had to have his right leg amputated as a result of their injuries. Both brothers now use prosthetic legs. J.P. told CNN, “Where we are right now, where we got hurt, lost... changed our lives.”

They weren’t the only ones, either. Marc Fucarile, another survivor who also lost his right leg, suffers from the constant threat of a piece of shrapnel still lodged in the inner wall of his heart. When asked about the pending trial of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, who was responsible for the bombings along with his brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, Fucarile says, “Whatever he gets, he deserves.”

Even President Barack Obama weighed in on the brave Boston Marathoners, tweeting from @WhiteHouse: “Congrats to @runmeb and @ShalaneFlanagan for making America proud! All of today’s runners showed the world the meaning of #BostonStrong. -bo.”

Representing her home country, Shalane Flanagan of Massachusetts, was the first American woman across the finish line. She led the race for the first 19 of the 26.2 miles, then slowly dropped to a still impressive seventh, with a time of 2:22:02. She broke her personal record of 2:25:38, and managed to secure the honor of having the fastest course time ever run by an American woman at the Boston Marathon. She told fans in the post race news conference, “I don’t wish it were easier, I just wish I were better. It was a really heartfelt performance.”

Flanagan was also one of the first to submit her entrance for the race, calling Mary Kate Shea, who assembles the John Hancock Elite Field, to confirm she’d be back in 2014 - just three days after the 2013 bombings. This year, she’s already confirmed her presence again at the 2015 race. “I can say right now, I’ll be back here until I win it. I’ll be back to challenge Jeptoo.”

If you missed the Boston Marathon’s live streaming, the event is already available on demand (with special packages) or watchlive.baa.org. If you were unable to compete, there are still opportunities as well: of the five largest marathons in the U.S. (of which each pull in over 20,000) racers, the ING New York City Marathon, the Bank of America Chicago Marathon, the Marine Corps Marathon in Washington DC and the Honolulu Marathon still remain for 2014. Though most lottery and early registration is filled (except for Honolulu), most of the races, including Bank of America Chicago and Marine Corps, are still available to register with a charity partner. Which means interested runners could sign up, and start training and fundraising today!

Fitness Friday - 3 Moves to Power Up your Runs

Get a great backside and get faster at the same time. Having a strong, toned butt not only looks great but it actually helps you run faster. As your speed increases, the biomechanical load placed on your glutueus and hamstrings intensifies the most. Thus, to get faster and not get injured, you need to develop strong glutes and hamstrings. These 3 moves will help you strength, tone and lift your backside and make you a faster runner. Do each exercise at least 2 times and aim to do lower body strength work at least 2 times a week.

Plie Squat - Strengthens the inner thigh (adductors) and the glutes. Great squat variation. Do 25 reps, 2x.

Single Leg Bridge Lift - Strengthens the hamstrings and gluts. Added bonus, stabilizes the hips. Do this exercises for 30 seconds and repeat.

 

Clamshells - Strengthens the gluteus medius which will help the efficiency of your stride and your leg turnover rate. Do 15-20 reps on each leg, 2x.

 

Getting motivated to run

When you are a beginner runner or just starting to run again, finding the motivation to run or train for a race can be challening. We have jobs, kids, relationships, responsibilites and sometimes going out for that run doesn't fit into our busy schedules. One of the easiest ways to start running or training is to begin with run/walk intervals.

Starting off in this manner is highly beneficial because it:

1) Increases cardiovascular stamina, allowing you to exercise for longer than if you were to go out and only run;

2) Builds up your cardio without injury or discouragement;

3) Allows your body, especially your joints, to acclimate to your new endeavor.

How to Begin: Measure your intervals in minutes and figure out what works for you. If you are off the couch, start slowly- an injury will only hamper your progress. Your Run/Walk might be 1/3 (1 minute running and 3 minutes walking). If you are highly active, you might want to try 5/2 or 7/2 intervals. The goal is to exercise for at least 30 minutes. Aim for 3 days of run/walk intervals and 2 days of cross-training.

Effort: During your run intervals aim to be able to talk without feeling winded. If you start to feel like you are losing control of your breathing, slow down. Monitor how your body responds to the effort during training.  Start and finish each workout with a few minutes of fast walking.

Tips:

  1. Aim for 3 days of run/walk intervals.
  2. Don’t run or run/walk 2 days in a row
  3. Do at least 2 days of cross-training per week – cardio and strength/flexibility
  4. Take 1 day off per week. Active recovery is okay (foam rolling, easy stretching)

Tools:  We recommend buying the Gymboss because it alerts you, via a beep or vibration, when the interval is up. You can set it for up to 99 intervals and clip it to your shorts or pants. No need to monitor time or remember numbers! 

Location: You can do the run/walk sets on the treadmill or outside. We suggest and encourage as much outside activity as possible because it’s inspiring, invigorating and it most accurately reflects race and real-world conditions. Stick to flat terrain for the first few weeks and add in hills once you are comfortable running for 10 minutes at a time.

We are leading group runs every Saturday at FitRight NW in Northwest Portland at 9am leading up to the Shamrock Run. We lead a run/walk group for those looking to run the 5k race. You get a coach and a group of fun women to run with!

Monday Motivation - Running in the Rain

by Meghan Reynolds

I moved to a rainy city and kept telling myself that I was prepared for the rain - I've got the gear, the dedication and races scheduled. Then, the rain didn't come. It was a pretty dry November, December and January. Sure, it was cold, but I was use to that coming from the Northeast. Suddenly, the Portland rain is here and I'm having to actually run in the rain. I realized that I'm not that prepared for constant running in the rain and I'm having to give myself pep talks to get out there and run. It's really easy to say you are okay with the rain but getting out there 3-5 times a week when it is raining is WAY different!

Meeting up with friends is helping and what I do love about Portland is that people actually do run in the rain. In NYC, it was really only the most dedicated runners who ventured outside in the rain. Here, it's everyone. This Saturday morning, Jessica and I coached a group of runners from adidas who are training for the Shamrock Race on March 16th. I got up, looked out the window and thought, "this sucks, it's raining". Despite that, I got ready to go, sure that no one would show up. I was wrong! 7 women, mostly beginners, showed up to run. It ended up being an awesome, fun run despite the cold and constant rain.

After the run, after I showered and after I finally got warm again, a rainbow came out and Portland was green and beautiful once again. It's easy to assume you are ready and prepared for different situations.   I'm not as prepared for the rain as I thought and will have to work on changing up my attitude because I have months of running in the rain ahead of me.

Here are a few ways I'm making sure that I continue to run all winter long and through the rain:

1) Signing up with a run group and meeting them every Saturday morning

2) Doing fun runs like the Fitness Dash with Athleta.

3) Committing to Pilates and barre classes at least one time a week so if I don't run, I still get a workout in.

 

 

Motivational Monday

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There are times when I look at my half-marathon training plan and I think "how can I possibly run those times". It's easy to talk yourself out of a fast run or a track workout because of the fear of not being able to hit a specific time or pace. However, as I've learned over the past few weeks of running fast, sustained runs, you'll never know what you are capable of doing if you don't attempt. There have been days were I didn't hit my pace and it's okay because I attempted, I got out there, I ran and I learned. The runs that don't quite measure up are the ones with the greatest learning potential - what was your sleep like the night before, what did you eat, was it a different course or terrain? Use those runs as building blocks and remember, never let the fear of not hitting a pace stop you from attempting the run.

Tip of the Week: Make the Road Your Track

Speed training (or interval training) is high-intensity training sessions that improve your running efficiency and will help shave minutes off your race times. There are so many benefits to speed training. And you don't need a track to do speed training. Simply pick minute intervals or mark off .25 miles or .5 miles on a road or sidewalk. Some of our favorite workouts are: 1 min, 2 min, 3 min, 3 min, 2 min, 1 min (with same recovery time), 8x400 meters (.25 mile) and 5x800 meters (.5 mile). Make any road your track!

How do speed workouts improve your running?

 1. Build Strength - Speed work gets fast-twitch muscle fibers firing, and recruits more muscles than slow runs do.

2. Faster Feet - When you run at a fast pace, your feet turn over at a more rapid rate. With enough practice, this quicker cadence becomes more natural, which means you'll need less effort to move faster on any run.

3. Improve Stamina - Speed sessions help maximize your aerobic capacity. When you hit a fast pace, you force the heart to pump oxygen through the body at a quicker rate. Over time, that makes your heart stronger, so it can deliver more oxygen to the muscles, and helps your muscles use oxygen more efficiently.

4. Run Stronger and Longer - By sustaining a comfortably hard effort, you condition your body to hold a faster pace for longer before lactic acid—the waste produced when the body burns glucose—starts accumulating. That helps stave off the burning sensation that's so often linked with running hard.

5. Make the Joy of Running Last - Even if you don't care about getting fast, you'll enjoy the post track euphoria and the fitness gains that go along with speed work. When you're fitter, you can cover the same miles with less effort and bust through plateaus.