Friday, July 12, 2013

Choosing The Right Training Plan

Not all training plans are the same, just like all runners are not the same and their goals aren't all the same.

So first, think about your goals.  Are you racing simply to finish?  Are you aiming for a certain time goal?  Are you trying to improve your time in a distance you've raced before?
If your goal is just to finish, a novice plan would be best.  You can probably get by on running 3-4 days per week.  Or a run/walk combo plan.

If you are aiming for a specific goal time, you will have to find or create a plan that includes pace runs.  You have to train your body to run comfortably at that desired pace,

If you are trying to improve upon a time, you may want to find a plan that does pace runs, speed work and hill repeats to make you a stronger and faster runner so you can tackle that distance head on at your next go!
With any plan I would advocate a day of cross-training and weights to prevent injury and make you a stronger overall runner and athlete.

I had to do this today, search through the numerous plans out there to find one that fit with my goals and my schedule for my attempt at a much better time in Marathon #2!  

Happy Running!  See you at that finish line!  

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Goodbye Garmin 410, Hello 210!

So, I bought the Garmin 410 online even though it had been discontinued.  So I couldn't try it out in store and that meant a leap of faith.  I went for it because I wanted the option of adding the cadence sensor for stationary biking.  Since I'm a spin instructor I really thought this would come in handy.  The 610 has that option but is out of my price range at $400.  The 210 isn't compatible with it.  

I waited and waited for it to arrive!  I was so excited!  I took it out for a 10 mile spin.

I had read reviews were people complained about the bezel feature.  Sort of like an iPod the way you select features by spinning the wheel.  Less buttons this way.

Well, it definitely was not as responsive as an iPod in that functionality.  I was actually very disappointed.  And if you forgot to lock the bezel, it can change function if it runs on your shirt :-(

So, sadly I decided to return the 410 and get the 210.  But if I was going to get the 210, I was going to get the girlie white and line one!  And oh my was it hard to locate...they don't call it limited edition for nothing!  I called every running store in the area and they all said no, we only carry black.  Then one employee suggested I try REI.

I had to drive into VA just to locate it and even then, they were out of Heart Rate Monitors!  So I will have to buy that separately either online or at another store.   

But I have it and I can't wait until I feel better (feeling sick, got a sub for my spin class and heading to bed now) so I can take it for a run!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Product Review: Lululemon Speed Short

I recently have fallen in love with lululemon.  For a long time, I really didn't understand the hype and perhaps didn't want to.  But my friend Sheri Matthews (an amazingly beautiful runner/cyclist inside and out) is an ambassador for the La Jolla, CA store and is always posting pics in her cute outfits and I decided to give it a shot.    If it's good for Sheri, it's good for me ;-)

I recently went in looking for shorts and I really fell in love with these.  The comfort level is through the roof!  

Love them!  I love this style of waistband in running shorts and can't go back to the traditional elastic style.  Plus drawstrings always drive me crazy!

I took them out on a ten mile run and they performed beautifully! 
They also match the orange accent of my shoes!  Blue and Orange is a popular color combo right now!

I love the style and fit!
The only two downsides: 
Number One: that they were out of my size in everything but black or floral in store and out of my size in everything but black, orange and floral online when I ordered.   My only thought is they are about to introduce more colors? (hopeful!!!) 
Number Two: the little loop on the back pocket zipper would move and touch my back upon occasion when I was running in just my sports bra.  I thought it was a bug!  I solved this by tucking it into the pocket.

I will definitely be buying another pair!

Monday, July 1, 2013

How I Got Fast(er) and How You Can Too!

First off, fast is relative.  Am I running 17 min 5ks?  No.  But 22:55 is MUCH faster than where I started.  I kept chipping away at the time by committing to it.

Here's how I did it (and you can to):

1.  Changed What I Ate and How I Viewed Food.
I changed my whole relationship with food.  I changed to food no longer being a reward for a good run, but my fuel.  In my slower days, after every long run?  Papa John's with butter sauce and Coke Zero.  I earned it or I deserve it, I'd tell myself.  I began to focus on what could make me a better runner and my view on what I ate wasn't to get "skinnier", my goal was to get faster. That allowed for a honed in focus.  I became engulfed in nutrition, soaking in and researching all I could.  I cut out processed foods slowly and added in lots of veggies (green smoothies became my friend) and during that time also gave up meat as well.  The result?  A drop in body fat (I'm at 14% now) and my race times kept dropping.  Less body fat to carry around made me a much more efficient athlete.  I viewed food as fuel and if I wanted to be a high performance machine, I had to feed it properly. 

2.  Adding in Cross Training
I added in cross training to my regime.  Spin classes helped me work my VO2 max and allowed me to work on increased leg turn over in a low impact way.  Boot camps helped me work on pylometrics, strength and explosive push off power through jumps, burpees, etc.

3.  Started Weight Training
Adding in weights helped me to become stronger all around (and also helped dropped that body fat!). Stronger legs meant when heading up hills was no longer as hard...I was powerful.

4.  Speed Work!
Speed work helped me work on my VO2 max and leg turn over, which helped in racing.  To run faster, I had to practice actually running faster...sounds simple right?

5.  Race Often
Completing lots of races gave me a chance to run faster than I would in training which progressed my fitness level and speed.  It also allowed me to see my progress speed wise every few weeks.  It gave me immediate goals to work towards.  I decided to compete in a race series called the Second Empire Grand Prix.  (I ended up taking first in my age division for the series standings).  Telling myself I don't feel like running today, but my desire to PR at the next race is stronger than my desire to sit on the couch.  My desire to PR was stronger than my desire to eat a cake pop at Starbucks.

Well there it is.  My top 5 tips for getting faster.  I did it and you can too!  Do work, Stay motivated, Get faster! 

Don't forget about the giveaway over on my instagram page!  Follow me at  Giveaway ends Saturday 2/3/18!