Guest Post: Pretty Hard Work
If you are looking for a quick and to the point workout to kick start your day, look no further than Tabata!
Tabata is a 16-minute intense interval training routine. Four exercises are used; each exercise is performed for 20 seconds of activity at full effort with 10-second rest periods (8 sets) consecutively for a 4-minute duration. All you need is a stopwatch and a mat.
After a 4-minute comprehensive warm-up try one of these Tabata circuits
Tabata Circuit 1 – cardio:
- Jumping jacks/skipping or high knees
- Speed squat – hands behind head, squat up and down as fast as you can
- Split lunge- alternating leg lunges with a jump – modification: walking lunges
- Mountain climber – knee into chest – modification: leap frog
Tabata Circuit 2 – upper body strength/core:
- Moving plank – prone plank to plank on elbows and back up, and back down…
- Tricep dips
- Bicycle crunches – done from tabletop position
Keri Cawthorne, Owner, Iron Mountain Movement
Guest post: Pretty Hard Work
With Holiday parties right around the corner, it’s time to think about breaking out our favorite LBD (Little Black Dress). Each of us has our very own LBD that is the perfect combination of fit and personality. It’s the staple item in every woman’s closet. So, to be sure you rock your LBD this Holiday season, try adding one or more of these sculpting exercises to your routine!
Shoulder Sculpting Exercises
Think of your shoulders like a clothes hanger; keep them strong with shoulder presses, raises and rows. Say no to sausage arms and tone them front and back with bicep curls and tricep kickbacks.
Upper Body Toner
No gym required upper body toner: Pilates style push-ups to target shoulders, chest, biceps and triceps. Set yourself up in a push-up position, instead of your elbows lowering away from the body, keep your elbows tight to your ribcage as you lower and lift…oooo, feel the burn. Tricep dips are also a great way to target your triceps as well as your shoulders.
Leg Shaping Exercises
Cycling and running are great ways to shape your legs, but don’t forget your squats and lunges to target glutes, hamstrings and quads. Calf raises are a great way to tone the backs of your legs and can be done anywhere.
Posture is key, and should taken into account when wearing your LBD or exercising. Develop a strong and balanced core with planks, back strengtheners and Pilates based exercises.
Guest post: Fit In Forum
Start off slowly. Hitting the gym 5 times a week is a recipe for disaster, resulting in either injury or burnout. Plan 2-3 weekly workouts for the first few weeks, gradually increasing them to 3 -4. Space them out accordingly over your week giving your muscles plenty of time to recover and rest.
Set realistic short term as well as long term goals. Whether they are weight loss or fitness inspired, write them down, and chart your progress in a fitness journal. And don’t forget to reward yourself for achieving your goals!
Enlist the help of a certified trainer to ensure a balanced workout program. If affordability is of concern, split the cost of the session with a friend, and you can motivate each other.
You aren’t going to love all exercise, so find something that you love to do and do it!
Don’t forget to check with your doctor prior to starting any exercise program.
Article post: Uglyfinish.com
When distance training in the hot months of summer there are a few things to remember about running in the heat. Learn how to prepare yourself for a successful and safe run.
Be Sun and Temperature Smart
Plan to run early in the morning or later in the day when the sun isn’t as intense. Summer is a great time to explore trails where sun exposure is minimal and the temperatures are cooler. And if you just can’t avoid it, stick to the shady side of the road.
Make Hydration a Priority
Hydrate before, during and after your run. To avoid dehydration, drink when you are thirsty. To avoid over-hydration take several sips/gulp of water every mile. . For runs 90 minutes or more in duration, look to add an electrolyte replacement or sports drink. Pay attention to the color of your urine, if you are properly hydrated it should be pale yellow in color (supplements and foods such as beets, carrots and asparagus can change the color of urine).
Choose the Proper Attire
When choosing clothing, opt for technical fabrics that are light in color which “wick” or draw the sweat and moisture away from your body to prevent overheating. Don’t forget your base layer either; select sports bras and undergarments with the same wicking characteristics. Protect your head and your face with a hat and running glasses and slather on the sunscreen!
About the Author: Keri Cawthorne is the owner of Iron Mountain Movement
Guest post: Uglyfinish.com
You have spent months preparing for your big race! You committed to your training schedule and saw it through to the end. It was such a commitment that you don’t remember what else in life there is to talk about after running. It’s exciting, motivational, challenging, and over.
The Race is Over, So Now What?
First of all, celebrate your accomplishment and let your body recover. Chances are you are feeling some stiffness or tenderness in your legs so take a couple of days off. Allow your muscles to heal but keep them loose with light activity such as walking or bike riding. Your body will tell you when it is ready to run again.
Even without a race on the calendar, try to schedule three weekly runs, one long, two short. Maintaining a long run of 45-60 minutes will give you just enough time and distance to transition into most training plans when you are ready to race again. Keep your two short runs to 30 minutes each and use them for speed play or hill training.
For some runners the days and weeks after a milestone race can be a little depressing without a goal or running focus, there are some who even lose their love for running. Using time between races to re-kindle your love for running is just as important as training. Try out a new route or venture into the trails or re-connect with a running buddy.
Guest Post: Ugly Finish.com
There are a few steps you can take to prepare yourself for race day and the jitters that may accompany the big race. Our expert guest blogger, Keri Cawthorne, gives us 6 helpful tips to help us make the most out of our race experience.
Learn how to increase your odds of reaching the starting line without a hiccup and with the confidence to propel you through to the finish.
Overcoming Race Day Jitters
Familiarize: Be familiar with the race route by either making your last training run the race route and if that is not possible drive the route beforehand making note of mile markers, especially the half way point.
Love Yourself: Be kind to your body during the weeks leading up to the race, eat well, keep yourself adequately hydrated and get plenty of rest.
Your Mantra: Develop a mantra for the race to calm your nerves and keep you focused. It could be posture inspired such as ‘run tall, run light’ or something as simple as ‘don’t think, just run’.
Prepare: The night before the race, lay out your running gear and everything that you will need for the race. Pack a bag with a change of clothes for after the race. Attach your timing chip and breathe. Go to bed and visualize yourself crossing the finish line.
Do Your Thing: Nothing new on race morning. Keep your pre-run routine the same as you would for a training run. Eat your regular breakfast and even have a cup of coffee if that is what you normally would do, now is not the time to experiment with new foods.
Trust Your Training: Be confident in your training. Know that you have put in the time and distance and that your body is ready to run.
Guest post: Prettyhardwork.com
My top ab exercise is a bicycle crunch done with legs in a table top position: Lying on your back, position knees directly above your hips (table top position). Hands behind your head, elbows open lift your shoulder blades off the mat, this is start position. Lift and twist right shoulder towards left hip at the same time extending your right leg, the left leg remains at table top position. Return back to start position and hold then lift and twist left shoulder up and over towards right hip, extending left leg. Repeat slowly 8 times per side, then quickly for and additional 8.
Remember to maintain tabletop position; when one leg moves the other is completely still. Keep your lower back connected to the mat and your abdominals engaged. Avoid pulling on your head/neck, instead use your abdominals to lift and lower. To make this exercise less intense extend leg towards the ceiling and to make it more intense extend the leg parallel to to mat.
Guest post: Theuglyfinish.com
When we chose the running training plan we used for our half marathon training we looked at a number of different options. Most of them were similar, but a few fit our schedule and goals better than others. For example, we felt more comfortable actually running 13.1 miles prior to race day. So, the plan we chose scheduled that distance toward the end of the program.
There are many factors to consider when choosing a plan that is right for you. But, the most important decision you make is the decision to stick to the plan you choose. Learn from our experts how to choose the right running training plan for you and then execute it.
Where Preparation Meets Progress
Using a running training plan for your routine and your race preparation will not only make your workouts more organized, it will help keep your life a little less chaotic. It is also a simple way to track your weekly mileage and progression and to spot any training mistakes.
With so many training plans available it is easy to become overwhelmed with what to look for. Choose a program geared toward your level of running (beginner, intermediate or advanced), and that is specific to your training goal or race distance. Week 1 of the training program should be at a training level at which you are comfortable running. A well balanced training plan will include cross-training activities as well as strength and core training. Don’t forget that rest days are part of your training plan.
Keri Cawthorne, Owner Iron Mountain Movement
Guest post: uglyfinish.com
Keri Cawthorne from Iron Mountain Movement has shared her advice with us on how to set your running pace. Apply the following tips to your long distance training to make your last mile your fastest one.
How to Set Your running Pace
When it comes to setting your running pace for distance training, keep your pace realistic. Select a pace that is comfortable to run at, it shouldn’t be a struggle to maintain and even if you run alone, you should be able to maintain a conversation. Your pace should change depending on the distance that you are running as well as the type of training that you are doing.
Save your speed training for your shorter distances or track work. Speed training is just as important as logging distance mileage; if you want to run faster, you need to train faster. Speed training should only be done after a comprehensive warm-up, and should be followed by a complete cool-down as well as stretch. You shouldn’t feel like you need to spend the rest of the day on the couch after a speed session, but you should feel like you have had a good workout.
Incorporate interval training to improve your cardio into one of your weekly runs by adding hills. Focus on shortening your stride and keeping your heart rate consistent as you climb so that you save something for the other side of the hill.
When it comes to tracking your mileage and pace, invest in a good watch with gps as well as heart rate capabilities. And if you don’t want to break the bank, check out many of the apps available for your smartphone.
Guest post: uglyfinish.com
We have all heard the saying, “mind over matter”. This rings true when preparing for a long distance race… as long as you arrive prepared. We can run with confidence when we take the appropriate steps to get there, one run at a time.
Long distance training is as much about mental preparation as it is about physical preparation. Learn how to train for a half marathon, both physically and mentally so that you feel both confident and prepared on race day.
Mentally Training for a Half Marathon
Being both physically and mentally prepared for a long distance race will set you up for success. Check out this list of training tips to see if you’re on the right track toward the finish line.
- Have a training plan and stick to it.
- Add time increases of no more than 10% to your weekly long run.
- A sample training week should consist of 2 to 3 30-minute short runs, of varying intensity and surfaces, plus 1 long run. Try to spread your runs out over the course of the week.
- Train how you plan to run. You never want to try something new on race day, so take time to experiment with electrolyte replacement and different fuel sources over the course of your training. Keep track of how each run felt in a running journal.
- Resting is a part of training. Schedule rest days into your training plan, especially the day following your weekly long run.
- Pain is a warning sign from the body that should not be ignored. Deal with aches, pains and injuries promptly and don’t get discouraged. Freeze a Styrofoam cup of water; ice any areas that feel tender after each run. As the ice melts, peel back the cup, by the end of your training it will look like a medal from your war wounds.
- Run or drive the race route before race day. Knowing what and when to expect it will increase your confidence and your race day experience.
- The night before your race, lay all of your running gear out as well packing a bag with a change of clothes for after the race. Attach your race bib and timing chip, so all you have to do in the morning is get dressed, eat and run.
- Don’t let your nerves get the best of you. It is easy to get caught up in the crowd and head out to quickly at the start of the race.
Stick to your plan and running pace, breathe and enjoy the day.