I was very intrigued when I first heard about Gaiam TV. It’s kind of like a Netflix for wellness, spiritual, health, and fitness videos. In fact, there are over 2,000 titles to choose from when you login to your Gaiam TV account! Instructors include Rodney Yee, Seane Corn, Jillian Michaels, Mari Winsor, and Kathryn Budig. I have always enjoyed Mari Winsor’s Pilates videos, so I am so excited she is included! [Read more...]
After Thursday’s race, I was up for a little cross training on Friday. My legs were still pretty sore, but I was really looking forward to hopping on the bike and hitting the Shining Sea Bikeway.
We rounded up the kids, and I hitched the trailer onto my bike. My father-in-law bought us a beautiful Giant bike trailer a few years ago, and I am sad to say it has not seen nearly as much action as it should. I plan to rectify that this summer!
We parked at the Old Dock Road parking lot and biked from there down to the Falmouth Hospital lights and back. My two year old enjoyed the ride so much that he fell asleep after about 10 minutes!
The path was packed with other like minded individuals biking and running. I know I have said it before, but this bike path is truly stunning. In particular, the views along the Sippewissett stretch are unbelievable (see pics). In the marshes, we saw the osprey nesting and several egrets.
After the ride, we stopped at the Village Cafe for a quick bite–what a gem! I ordered a black bean and sweet corn quesadilla that was fantastic (complete with homemade guacamole and salsa). I would definitely recommend stopping there for breakfast or lunch–just remember to bring cash because they don’t accept credit cards!
If you ever visit Falmouth, you HAVE to check out this path. It’s great for long runs too, as it runs all the way from North Falmouth to Woods Hole (10.7 miles). It’s definitely a must-see.
On the running front, I ran for an hour on Saturday in the sweltering heat and humidity and then took Sunday off. I was supposed to run long on Sunday, but I decided to take an extra day off. Thankfully, my legs are less achy today. I am going to try and squeeze in one last run along the beach before I head out of town early this afternoon.
How did you beat the heat this past weekend?
Hi everyone! I’m Jess from EatDrinkBreatheSweat and I’m so excited to be guest blogging for you today while Jessica is off celebrating her sister’s big day! I’m here to talk about my two favorite things in life: running + barre.
For those of you who don’t know me (yet), a little background. I love to run. Been running for a few years now and fairly recently made the decision to up my game a bit by committing to my first full marathon this fall (Chicago or bust, baby!).
However, up until recently, I had faced a fair amount of running-related injuries, all involving my knees. It wasn’t until I discovered – and subsequently fell in LOVE with – barre-style workouts that I’m now proud to say that I have the happiest knees ever.
…and I owe it all to the barre. Truly.
(for those of you who aren’t familiar with barre-style workouts, check out my post on it here. Essentially, this workout is all about strengthening while lengthening your muscles, using a combination of a ballet barre (for lower body work), light handweights (for upper body work), resistance bands and your own bodywork to tone and strengthen your muscles).
What’s been so incredible about the running + barre combo is just how complementary the two workouts truly are. I absolutely cringe every time I hear a runner say that they avoid strength work for their legs when they’re training for a race because they fear they’ll be too sore to run. With barre classes, sure you are working your legs REALLY hard during class (to the point of the ‘shake’!), but you aren’t left with dead legs the next day which means, yes – you can *still* get your run on even after taking a barre class the day before (or even the same day).
Like I said, my knees – never happier. And it’s because I’ve finally found a strength workout that targets my glutes and hamstrings and quads in a way that no other workout has ever done for me before. You’ve probably heard it before – many knee injuries arise because one of the muscles that surrounds your knee is weak…and in some cases, all three muscles that surround your knee could be weak. Hello, injury. I truly believe that a lot of runners can get so caught up in running and their sheer adoration for the sport that they quickly forget just how hard on the body/joints running is. So for me – strength training is so, so, so important to injury prevention as a runner.
Plus – who doesn’t want, long, lean, toned, strong legs, am I right?
So my blogger PSA to you all today? Embrace strength training as a runner! And, if you’re lucky enough to have a barre-style studio near you, seriously check it out. I promise you will not be disappointed (and remember: embrace the shake at the barre!!). I am so in love with this style that I recently became certified to teach at the studio near me (barre n9ne: http://barren9ne.com) and I am totally and utterly in love with both taking and teaching these classes.
It’s really amazing once you find that killer combo that works for you, isn’t it?
Hi fans of 30 Something Mother Runner! I’m Samantha from Running and Cupcakes. I am pleased to be writing for you today while Jess is enjoying the Cape, time with her family, and her sister’s wedding.
I recently became a National Academy of Sports Medicine Personal Trainer and today I want to talk to you about the benefits of working with a personal trainer – especially for runners.
Honestly the #1 benefit that comes to my mind when I think “Why should people work with a personal trainer?” is ACCOUNTABILITY. You obviously don’t want to pay for something you’re not going to use. When you hire a personal trainer, you are being held accountable; you are responsible for showing up to your sessions and putting in the work.
However, I don’t really feel that is the best benefit. A personal trainer can assess your strengths and weaknesses and target the areas that need the most work – then work with you to improve your weaknesses, better your strengths, and help you achieve all of your goals.
Take me for example – before I started studying for the NASM exam, I ran, I did yoga, and I did occasional light weight workouts in the comfort of my home. When I started studying NASM materials, I said “I need to be in personal trainer shape if I’m going to train people!”
In January I started adding in upper body strength training twice a week, core work twice a week, and an hour long hot yoga class once a week – in addition to my runs. In no time I started getting faster, I started to build better endurance – I shaved 42 minutes off of my marathon PR (yet the half marathon still eludes me – I’m convinced that distance just doesn’t like me).
Another example – today I ran 4 miles at an 8:39 average pace, with my best mile being 8:16. It was hard, but it wasn’t all out hard, and I could’ve gone longer if I wanted to (I also ran 5 miles yesterday). Last year on this very day – I ran 3 miles at a 9:22 pace, and was shocked, excited, and pleased (after 4 days off of my legs).
I know I can attribute a lot of these improvements to the piles of miles I’ve run in the past year (including training for and running 3 marathons) – however, what it truly boils down to is strength. I didn’t start seeing true improvements in my speed and endurance until I started really strength training.
If you are a runner who feels “stuck” – perhaps your endurance isn’t improving, or your pace isn’t picking up, I think you should give a personal trainer a try. Like I said – I can assess your strengths and weaknesses and give you the workout plan necessary to get you on track, get you faster, stronger, with better endurance.
I have recently started my own business, RunCupcake Fitness. If you are interested in workout plans or private training sessions please contact me – email@example.com. I’m also offering online training programs, check out my Personal Training Services page!
Huge thanks to Jess for letting me take over her space for a day!
Sadly I missed TRX Tuesday, this past week because my son had to come home sick from preschool. Instead of lamenting the missed TRX class, I decided to get my core on with the exercise ball I hauled back from my mother’s house this past weekend.
I actually like doing exercises with the ball, so today I did some push ups on the ball and some sit ups holding the ball in between my feet. This is a great exercise for the lower abs and the psoas muscles. I also threw in two sets of wall sits with the ball. It may not have been a 45 minute TRX class, but my muscles were burning, so I think I did a decent job!
I had another revelation yesterday during my five-miler. I think I need to start exercising more in the evening. Since my son was still home sick today, I wasn’t able to make it to the YMCA to run. As soon as the hubs walked in the door, I walked out and headed to the closest bike path.
I admit that I wasn’t all that excited about the prospect of running five in the humidity we have been having, but I did it anyway. Surprisingly, the run went really well. After my warm up mile, I found myself pushing the pace down without really thinking about it. I rounded out the last mile with 4 strides of 20 seconds each.
For those of you who don’t do strides, I highly suggest adding them on to the end of easy runs. Start with one and go from there. They are really great at sneaking in some speed and increasing your leg turn over (they are short enough to accomplish this without taxing you aerobically on your easy days). All in all, it was a great run and it encouraged me to try to incorporate some evening running into my summer training schedule.
Time for another butt-kicking TRX workout this morning! Last week we incorporated some “cardio” into the workout. My calves were still feeling the jumping moves two days later! I am a little apprehensive of what’s on the menu today…
So I mentioned in my last post that the training plan for next month almost made me spit out my coffee when I opened it last week. Apparently my coach thinks I am back in full effect because he had no mercy when putting this plan together. Here are two of the workouts if you don’t believe me: 12 mile long w/6 x 60 sec surges @ 7:40 pace w/5 min easy between starting at mile 7; 2 mile warm up, 4 x 5 mins @ 7:25 to 7:35 pace w/4min easy jog rest between each, 2 mile cool down. Eek!
At least I know, my aerobic capacity is going to be right back up there after next month! On a less anxiety-inducing note, I was so excited to find FRESH strawberries when I hit up my local Whole Foods yesterday. The farmer’s market has started (there is always one from 4-7pm on Monday’s at the University Heights store), and I bought the last pint of organic strawberries. NOTHING beats fresh local strawberries, and the fact that they are organic makes it that much sweeter (pun intended). The boys and I finished off the pint in about two minutes!
This morning, Heather (fellow FitFluential Ambassador) and I headed to the Nordstrom Providence Place for the Zella Day of Movement. We got to take an awesome Pilates class courtesy of Jacqueline Ambrose from Performance Physical Therapy (she also teaches at the East Side YMCA in Providence).
It was really fun to spread out mats right in front of the Nordstrom entrance—definitely not an everyday occurrence. The class was challenging, and my core definitely got off to a good start this weekend. After getting in a four mile run this afternoon with some striders, I will call this Saturday a complete fitness success!
After class, Heather and I headed in to take a peek at the Zella workout wear. The pieces are very cute and functional, with lots of bright colors for spring. One of my favorites is the long-sleeve hoodie (see pic). Many of the pieces are also made to be reversible – BONUS for those of us with kids!
If you head over to Nordstrom today and purchase $40 or more in Zella workout wear, you get a free performance t-shirt (really cute) and some beauty product samples. If you are out shopping this afternoon, check it out!
I had my first TRX class Tuesday morning, and it gave me a solid butt kicking! I definitely felt sore yesterday—a very good kind of sore. The set up for the class is actually pretty neat. There were seven of us (maximum for this class), and each of us had our own set of adjustable straps that were mounted via bracket to the beams on the ceiling.
Our instructor gave us a brief background on TRX and why it was created. He then informed us that there would be no music in the class (kind of a bummer since I am always ready for a good soundtrack to a group class!) and that we would do two cycles of each exercise.
The progression for the class was arms, legs, and then abs (repeated twice). After the second cycle,we were all feeling the pain! I am kind of masochistic—I love that feeling of complete fatigue that comes from a great workout. TRX for the win!
I like the fact that throughout all of the TRX exercises, there is a focus on engaging the core (similar to Pilates). The core is really important in running, even though many of us tend to neglect strengthening it! Part of the reason I decided to sign up for this paid class is because I know I am financially vested in attending. I WILL be at each and every class. I am sure that my core will thank me at the end of the session.
In addition to doing the TRX class on Tuesday, I am going to attend a Pilates class Thursday mornings. I talked to my coach yesterday about getting back into training—he really wants me to get a core workout in about three times a week. I figure if I get in two classes and then one workout on my own, I will be in good shape.
Speaking of training, our plan is to have me back up to about 20-25 mpw by the end of May. I am going to aim for a few “rust buster” races in July to check my fitness, and then I should be right on track for the Zooma Cape Cod Half Marathon!
I am very excited for my first TRX class next Tuesday. My local YMCA just started offering a TRX class that runs for 8 weeks (45 minute sessions), and I can’t wait to give it a go.
I confess when I signed up for the class (along with a friend) that I didn’t know ANYTHING about TRX. If you are like me, you need a little primer on this type of exercise program. I’ll give you a hint: it was invented by a former Navy SEAL (yikes!).
TRX utilizes a suspension trainer that is a:
highly portable performance training tool that leverages gravity and the user’s bodyweight to enable hundreds of exercises that can be instantly scaled for any user to reach any fitness or training goal.
When you see it set up for a group class, it kind of looks like a giant swing set minus the swings.
I had heard that TRX was great for strengthening the core—something I am constantly working on to stay injury-free and improve my running form. All of the movements in TRX are whole body movements—allowing you to work arms, legs, neck, abs, etc. all at the same time. This means allows you to get more bang for your buck in the 45 minute time period.
I am a little uncertain of what to expect, but excited at the same time to try a different type of strength and conditioning.
Have you ever done TRX before?
After my somewhat peppy and upbeat post from yesterday, I kind of made a big decision last night. I am going to take a whole month off from running—don’t worry I will still be writing about it a lot! I talked to my coach last night, and we talked about the fact that it has been almost a month and the injury hasn’t improved significantly.
Because I am your typical obsessive runner, I have continued to run a couple of times a week for the past two weeks (about 2 miles), and I think that this is definitely not helping my injury. Since I have no pain or discomfort on the elliptical, I am going to continue doing that for the next month to keep up with my cardio.
I feel a bit conflicted with my decision. I am so desperately going to miss the feeling of a good run, but I know deep down inside that I am doing the right thing for my body. I want to be in top shape for later in the spring when I get to hit the roads again. In the words of my coach:
“In short, my advice is to not run because I don’t see the benefit (to recovery or fitness – what does running 2 miles slow accomplish?). I think it’s smarter to be safe and let your body tell you when it’s ready to go. Does that help?”
Yes, it does! I think that about sums up my feeling on the issue. So here’s to a month on the elliptical while simultaneously trying not to die from boredom! Anybody have any good playlists or gossip magazines they want to send me?