The perspective you have around fitness dictates the results you will get. It’s the difference between success and failure. Continue reading “Becoming a Fit Person”
Road Racing is addictive – I get it, there is a reason why road races around the country made over $100,000,000 in total revenue last year.
We love racing but sometimes that comes without the proper buildup; maybe your friend talked you into it or you chose to run two marathons back to back… chances are you are not 100% prepared to run your best.
I’ve made that mistake at times – we used to think that the best way to train was to race yourself into shape but now we know that you have a finite number of hard efforts in a training cycle, be it mentally or physically… something has to give.
Success in road racing is about patience.
Sometimes racing too much can be detrimental to your confidence if you aren’t ready to roll – but racing can also be a good benchmark for your current training. Racing is a two way street and as a runner you must have perspective and you must have patience – there is a lot of experience that goes into knowing if it is a good time to race. That is where a good coach can be invaluable – knowing when you need a race to test fitness and knowing when it will kill your confidence or wear you down.
I tackled this very issue in one of my A Day In The Life videos:
Probably the most common question I get about online coaching is “will this work”.
Most people have tried so many programs, worked with trainers and even worked with online coaches and still nothing has worked. That’s why they are still looking!
So how is this any different right?!?
So you sleep in a few days and start to feel bad that you missed a run or two.
You then think that you have to catch up on the runs you have missed which leads to more pressure, more catch up, which leads to more missed runs and so on and so on…
The cycle continues.
However, you can break this cycle! Continue reading “So You Missed a Run, Stop Playing Catch Up!”
What’s a typical pre-run warm up routine for you?
For the longest time I would just walk out the door, do some leg swings – if that – and go on my way.
That was the routine!
However I know better now; the point of this pre run dynamic routine is to thoroughly warm up your running muscles and be ready to get into your run. So instead of taking 5 minutes to find yourself during the run you can warm up more efficiently and save yourself the pain of potential injury.
The more you warm up your hips, glutes and hamstrings the less stress you are putting on a cold muscle during the run.
You are essentially activating that muscle to fire properly so that your stride will benefit!
Check out the video below for a sample of my “A Day In The Life Video” series I’ve been working on. If you want, you can jump ahead to the 3:44 mark where I go through my warm up, touching on my glutes, hips, hamstrings and quads – to make sure that I am ready to go when I hit the road.
If you watched the whole thing, I hope you enjoyed the video!
Now let’s talk. Comment below about your warm up routine, or lack of and I’d love to see if I can help!
So you had a bad day on the roads… or maybe you skipped the roads all together.
It’s one bad run.
This isn’t the end of the road. Continue reading “Your Training Won’t Be Ruined By One Bad Run”
I love to travel and I love to eat.
Dining as per the locals is my favorite part about traveling; there is nothing quite like saying yes to foods you can’t pronounce or identify when abroad especially when the cook or vendor detects your culinary curiosity.
It is no surprise that when I eat different foods (and normally too much) that my body isn’t used to; I experience some adverse effects like bloat, fatigue and grogginess. Instead, I try to eat one or two simple meals a day with light snacks which allows me to get an appetite going for a delicious, locally inspired dish.
By doing this I am able to enjoy my chosen city while keeping my health and wellness goals in mind.
I’m going to share 3 tips for staying on track (whatever your track may be) while traveling, my mini rule book not surprisingly starts off with “be prepared”, mainly in terms of breakfast and snack items.
Too many runners and training plans rely on the old standby ways of training; LSD (long slow distance runs), tempo runs and the occasional speed day.
The good news – this doesn’t have to the case! Continue reading “There Are More Ways To Train: A Story about CV Pace”
I want to stress that we are all individuals — in that vein there are no magic bullets, no quick fixes, no secret recipes to success. We all have a different training style that suits our body, personality and mental strength.
So a question I’m always asked is:
“How many miles are enough for me?”
It’s a question that has been hotly debated for years! Should I train low mileage-high quality or high mileage-low quality?
To be honest the best answer is found somewhere in between.
In my mind the perfect training plan has you smartly increasing your mileage with a solid mix of high intensity and low intensity.
That’s why mileage is tricky…
Finding what works for you.
So how many miles should you run?
There are runners who are built to run 120 miles per week but there are also runners who can only handle 30 without coming up injured! Those 30 will need to be at a hard pace to make up for the lack of quantity but if done right those runners can still run incredible times.
In a perfect world where every runner is built the same and races happen in a vacuum. But it doesn’t…
I would argue that high mileage (done right) can lead to a bigger improvement than a more low mileage plan. This has to do with the improvements that only happen on a molecular level when you spend hour upon hours on your feet. (I would also argue that there is a mental toughness component that comes from taking yourself to the wall on your mileage training, but I will cover this in a later article.)
We all have a personal peak mileage and a personal peak race — it’s important to find out works best for you individually.
The Aerobic base
Authur Lydiard is the man who popularized building a big aerobic base before moving into more specific training. He coached a group of New Zealand runners, headed up by Peter Snell, that would go on to dominate the world stage. This is when a man by the name of Bill Bowerman brought Lydiard’s training philosophies back to the University of Oregon and the rest is history.
Think of the Lydiard system as a pyramid — the base of that pyramid being the amount of easy runs you put in. That base allows you build the rest of your pyramid, the bigger the base, the bigger the pyramid… hypothetically.
For years this “revolutionary” approach to distance running is how we coaches trained our athletes. Of course there was still a love for the old method that primarily relied on interval training multiples days a week… but the damage had been done and “periodized” training was here to stay.
In my own experience this can be modified a bit and if you’re more of a Jack Daniels (not that Jack Daniels) or Joe Vigil descendant like me than you would know that this philosophy isn’t the end all be all. I feel like the best set up for a training cycle is a steady diet of mileage, tempo runs, and mile pace work to build efficiency .
However, there is no denying that with just easy running alone and spending time on your feet then you will see a big benefit to your general aerobic system as well as:
increased bone density
increased capillary density
improved Vo2 max
improved running economy
usage of fat as fuel
development of slow and medium twitch muscle fibers
Mileage has it’s benefits but ultimately it comes down to what your body can handle. This depends a lot on your genetics but with the right amount of experience, trails and testing you can do a lot to optimize your performance.
Trial and error and research and obsess and learn and pass on to others…
So back to your question, “how many miles are enough for me?”
To be honest I don’t know — because I don’t know you, yet! However, I can tell you that more mileage is better than less and there’s no way of knowing until you get out there. With the right plan and progression you should be able to find your ideal mileage within a few weeks.
Reps and time, reps and time.
It’s always just reps and time.
From a personal trainer standpoint, this might be how many reps of an exercise you are doing or how long you spend doing “cardio”. But that’s not what I’m talking about…
Let me start with a story: Continue reading “It’s Always Just Reps and Time”
Okay, this post may be a little bit of a rant…
I’ve been working in gyms and with clients for around 15 years now. Needless to say, I’ve seen a ton of people working out and putting in efforts to change their bodies.
I say kinda because I think there is a difference between working out and putting in the effort.
Let me explain.
You can see this in certain types of people:
The people who leave the gym looking just as good as when they came.
The people who constantly complain about their workout or how hard it is.
The people who stop with 10 seconds left in their circuit and start drinking water.
The people who leave their water bottle at home so they have to walk to the water fountain every couple of minutes.
The people take 15 seconds to transition between every 30 second station of a workout.
If you identify with any of these, please read on 😛
I would say that all of those people are working out. They’re at the gym, they’re doing something and they can even take a selfie to put on Instagram and prove it. haha
However, I wouldn’t say that they are putting in the effort.
They’ve got step 1 down and show up, which is important, but they’re lacking on step 2. Step 2 is putting in the effort to make it worth it.
To show up at the gym and just go through the motions isn’t going to get you results. I see too many of these people first complaining about their workout and then complain about their lack of results.
Unless you’re a body builder; if you rest for most of your workout, don’t own a water bottle or suffer your way through every workout then I have very simple advice for you:
Seriously, you’ll enjoy life much more and there’s nothing wrong with enjoying life. Just don’t complain about your lack of fitness or that you have a body you don’t desire.
However, if you don’t like that advice then you might be ready for the tough love asvice:
It’s time to step your game up!
Stop complaining, suck it up, bring a water bottle and finish your workout as strong as possible. Just like you always get the last few drops put of your wine bottle, empty your own tank in every workout.
If you’re gonna do it, do it! If you show up, give it 100% and be proud of your efforts.
So if you’re not seeing the results you want, it’s time to step up your game.
If you feel you are giving it your 100% every time and you’re still not seeing results, message me because you’re in a whole different category! (this article doesn’t apply to you)
I like to eat.
If I could eat plates of pasta or bowls of ice cream all day long I would be one happy lady.
Unfortunately, if I were to do this ALL the time even with an active lifestyle I would likely gain weight, feel fatigued and have digestive complaints.
So what does one do when they want to satisfy their frequent pasta, ice cream or pizza cravings without jeopardizing their health goals?
You start modifying your meals by making them more voluminous; often times by adding fruits and vegetables to the dish. Finding ways to substitute volume foods into your diet is a good option to get more vitamins and minerals into your daily routine but is also great if weight loss is one of your goals.
For example; many people already swap out their spaghetti noodles with zucchini noodles or you will see recipes using grated cauliflower in place of rice. These are a few examples of volume foods!
Volume foods are usually low in calories but high in fiber meaning you can eat more of the item (compared to the original food) without ingesting a ton of calories, plus it can leave you feeling fuller. Most voluminous foods are vegetables and fruit as they are high in water and fiber. These foods make you feel more satiated as they take longer to digest. By adding these items into your meals you are eating more food at a lower caloric cost.
I started to eat more voluminous foods when I was macro tracking my meals and had a low daily caloric allowance as I was training for a body building competition. Meaning, I had to stretchhhhh my food intake very thin in order to satisfy my macronutrient intake for the day in a filling and sustainable way – If I ate foods high in calories I would end up eating less because those items add up quickly when you are eating well below you maintenance levels (high in calories and fat in this case). I am no longer calorie counting but I do still try to fill up on nutritious foods in place of some items as I try to keep my goals in check.
Whether or not you calorie or macro-nutrient track or just like to stay healthy this is a great way to improve general health as many people could boost their vegetable intake, meaning more micro nutrients and fiber!
Here are a few of my favorite ways to add fruit or veggies to your dishes:
Spiralized Noodles: You can buy a spiralizer or use a cheese grater to make noodle-like zucchini ribbons to eat in place of your pasta or rice noodles. You can then sauté them a bit in oil and/or sauce or eat them raw. Alternatively, I like to spiralize carrots as well. Combining the two and making a peanut butter satay sauce is my favorite way to eat raw spiralized veggies. I often add these raw carrot spirals on top of salads. If you have a fancier spiralizer you could even make sweet potato noodles, spiralize and apple or cabbage if you have a flat blade.
Black Bean or Edamame Noodles: Great substitutions for pasta if you want a high fiber and protein meal. Beans are full of fiber and have good amounts of protein.
Cauliflower Rice: If you grate or use a food processor on rinsed and dried cauliflower you will end up with bits of the florets that look like grains of rice! You can make a pizza with the riced cauliflower too! My current favourite way to use riced cauliflower is in my oatmeal. It is a great way to add veggies into a dish that can otherwise quickly add up in calories depending on your serving size. Try adding 1/3 cup of riced cauliflower to ½ cup of raw oats. Add milk or water, spices, maybe some chia or flax seeds and berries then heat up like normal. The riced cauliflower gets lost in the oatmeal texture, making it an easy and sneaky way to get more veggies in.
Nana Cream: Using almost frozen bananas with some milk, spices and other berries whizzed up in a blender or food processor makes this lovely icy, but smooth banana frozen treat.
Pumpkin/ Squash: All members of the squash family have a special place in my heart. Similar to the nana ice cream I used chunks of almost frozen cooked pumpkin (Kabocha is my favourite squash) mixed with some milk or water, salt, cocoa or spices and voila! A magical icy treat low in calories yet high in fiber and nutrients!
Again, if you’re looking to add more nutrients into your diet there are tons of ways to do so and I am just showing a few, but get creative and get in the kitchen and see what you can whip up yourself! If you’d like more examples from me, feel free to reach out!
Our bodies are awesome!
Think about it!
We have sensory nerves throughout our body that send feedback to our brains about where we are in space.
These sensory nerves, called proprioceptors, tell our brain about the terrain we’re running on, as we’re running, and our body makes the appropriate adjustments.
If you want to learn more about proprioceptors and see how you can better implement them into your training – check out my latest 5 Minute Barrier;
Thanks for hanging out friends!
The Marathon Taper — or as I like to call it Taper Madness — is a tricky concept to understand.
Complicated by symptoms of: feeling antsy, restlessness, having an overall energy surplus, being fixated on your race, day dreams about heartbreak hill, and just a general anxiety about training — ok a few of those may just be me.
It is not made any easier by the fact that not everyone will respond the same way to a traditional taper. A traditional marathon taper being cut back on the mileage starting a few weeks out from the race and then a few short and quick workouts marathon pace workouts to keep your legs fresh and race ready.
This brings me to this weeks 5 Minute Barrier; I’ll give you a few tools to beat Taper Madness and recognize if a traditional taper is right for you.
If you know me, you would know that I am not the most flexible person in the world — like less flexible than this computer I am typing on — but that doesn’t mean I shy away from anything that involves flexibility.
This hasn’t always been the case though.
In college there was a time when instead of an easy day we opted for a team yoga session, you know active recovery, taking an actual easy day and working on flexibility.
I wasn’t having any of it, I had a strict mileage plan and if I couldn’t fit those miles in during practice… when was I going to get them in? I had a bad attitude about change, I needed those miles! It was tough but I didn’t make it any easier on myself and coupled with thoughts like;
“I’m just naturally inflexible”
“I stretch everyday, what do I need Yoga for?”
and the kicker, “How is skipping an easy run going to make me better?”
Thoughts of a stressed out collegiate runner… Continue reading “Yoga For Runners – The Perfect 1-2 Punch”