5 goals for September

I figure before this month gets any older I better map out a few goals for the month.

Run 80 miles (at least) — I’d really like to hit 100 this month, but given my ankle’s unpredictable nature I’m hedging my bets a bit.

Re-establish my morning routine — Towards the end of the summer, my workouts were all over the place, essentially jamming them in when I could. I know I’m much better off when I get my workouts done early so that’s the goal.

Return to continuous running — Run:walk intervals have served me well in both dealing with the crazy humidity of this past summer and the cranky ankle, but I’d really like to transition back to continuous running.

Improve my fueling — I could do better here – both pre- and post-run.

Focus on self-care — This comes in many forms…daily rolling, yoga, sports massage, getting more sleep!

Sharing some goals for September for this week's #FridayFive What have you got planned? Click To Tweet

What are your goals for this month?

I’m joining Rachel and Lacey & Meranda for the Friday Five link-up!

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August Runfessions

It’s the last Friday of the month…so you know that means it’s time to join Marcia for runfessions! It’s a chance to cleanse your sweaty sole (like how I did that?) and start the new month fitness fresh! So let’s get to it, shall we?

My running mojo comes and goes like the wind lately, and I runfess that I’ve thought about phoning it in on my September half marathon…I won’t, but I’ve thought about it.

I’ve been really dragging lately, and I runfess that I was so tired on Wednesday that I  seriously toyed with the idea of just hiding in my car vs. driving to the gym (I did go to the gym).

I runfess that I’ve not been doing a great job focusing on my recovery. I’ve basically been squeezing in my runs or workouts and then rushing off to the rest of my day. I need to get back to being on consistent speaking terms with my foam roller, and make sure I’m refueling properly.

It's #Runfessions time on the blog today! Join in and share yours! #FridayFive Click To Tweet

On the non-fitness front, I runfess that the start of school is less than two weeks away and I’m so not on top of my game. I may have pulled a late night the other day ordering textbooks so they’d arrive in time and we have no school supplies yet.

And speaking of back-to-school, I runfess that, while I’m totally unprepared, I’m secretly looking forward to the returning to a routine that the fall and school schedule brings.

There…now I feel better! Tell what are you run-fessing?

I’m also joining Rachel and Lacey & Meranda for the Friday Five link-up!

 

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5 Reasons to Love the Arc Trainer

This week my cranky ankle has forced me to find new ways to get some cardio in so I darkened the doorways of my gym (I cannot remember the last time I was there!), and re-introduced myself to the Arc Trainer.

After Tuesday’s sweat fest that left my quads and glutes burning, I was quickly reminded why I love this machine. So for this week’s Friday Five, I’m sharing some reasons to hit the Arc Trainer!

Cardio without the pounding – the Arc Trainer really allows you to get your heart rate up for a good cardio workout without the pounding of other machines. I have never been able to get my heart rate going on an elliptical or stepper, so for me, this is a huge win!

Easier on the joints – According to Cybex, who makes the Trainer, the arc path of the foot pedals moves legs in a biomechanically correct pathway and avoids allowing the toe to move behind the knee, which can stress the joint. The Arc Trainer is designed to only generate force during the weight bearing cycle of your gait, with the goal of increasing your calorie burn with reduced stress on the ankle, knee, and hip joints.

Range of muscle engagement – the Arc Trainer offers a wide range of variable resistance and inclines. Higher inclines emulate a stepping motion, targeting your quads, while lower inclines with increased resistance target your glutes and hammies. If you use the Total Body model then you can also use the moving handles to work your arms and chest. (Side note: the Trainer has two models – Total Body and Lower Body – lucky for me, my gym has both!) I like that the Trainer’s display screen features a “muscle map” so you can see which muscles you’re targeting as you adjust the incline and resistance.

Program variety – the ability to mix and match the range of resistance settings and inclines means you can continuously challenge yourself. The Trainer also features both high and low-intensity pre-programmed workouts. Basically, the way you use the machine can be very different from one day to the next – helps to keep the boredom factor down, which is tough on any cardio machine!

Offers both strength & endurance – you can strengthen multiple muscle groups while improving your endurance, getting a bigger bang for your workout!

Check out 5 reasons to use the Arc Trainer! #FridayFive Click To Tweet

I was first introduced to the Arc Trainer more than a year ago by Trainer Stacy, but with time away from the gym had forgotten just how effective it can be. I’m now looking forward to making it a consistent part of my training!

I’m joining in with Rachel from Running on Happy and Lacey & Meranda from Fairytales and Fitness for the Friday Five link-up!

 

 

 

 

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5 Tips for Running on the Track

As I mentioned in a recent post, I’ve returned to the track for some of my *ahem* speedwork. Our local high school recently resurfaced their track and I am lucky that it is just a quick 10-minute drive from my house.

This track stays fairly busy even when school’s not in session and since the resurfacing it has been one hopping spot! I’ve just been twice in the past two weeks, but it’s clear to me that some could stand to learn a thing or two about track etiquette. So with that in mind, for this week’s Friday Five, I offer some tips for running on the track.

Run counter-clockwise — Unless otherwise posted or you have the track to yourself, you should run counter-clockwise.

Choose your lane wisely — If you’re walking or doing a slow warm-up, please stick to the outer lanes. The other day I watched two women decide to take a leisurely stroll on the inner lanes, oblivious to the runners trying to navigate past them.

Pass on the left — Pass people on the left when possible, and feel free to call out “on your left” or “track” to give plenty of warning. If you are the passee, please don’t take it personally and shoot dagger looks at the passer (as I’ve had one or two do to me in the past), just slide wide right and keep doing your thing.

Keep it moving — As a general rule of thumb, when you’re not running or walking, step off the track to take a rest or to stretch. When you finish the interval you’re running, be mindful of those around you before coming to a complete stop, and then step off to the side until you’re ready for the next round.

Leave your furry running partners and strollers at home — I can’t make this up – I have seen both! Dogs and strollers can do damage to the track surface. So leave both at home – your fellow runners will appreciate it.

5 tips for running on the track #runchat Click To Tweet

I’m linking up with Rachel from Running on Happy and Lacey & Meranda from Fairytales and Fitness for the Friday Five link-up! 

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Five tips to become an early morning runner

Now that summer is officially here, and temps are on the rise, I’m back to running early in the morning to hopefully find some fo the cooler temps of the day. I’ve shared before some benefits of early morning running, so today I thought I’d share some tips on how to shift your clock to become an early morning runner.

Get some sleep: OK let’s start with the obvious – if you want to get up early, you’ve got to get your zzz’s, so of course, that means get to bed at a reasonable time.

Be prepared: Lay out clothing and gear the night before – eliminate the need to stand in a dark closet fumbling around for something to wear or skipping a run because you can’t find your Garmin.

Lose the snooze: Put your alarm clock out of reach – if you have to get up to turn off your alarm you’re less likely to hit snooze.

Ease into it: And speaking of that alarm, I’d recommend starting slowly. Don’t set your alarm that first morning for o’dark thirty right off the bat. Ease your way into the early morning hours, shifting the alarm back over several days.

Find a buddy: Knowing that someone is waiting for you will get you out of bed. You never want to leave a friend hanging.

5 tips to become an early morning runner #runchat Click To Tweet

What’s your best tip for becoming an early morning runner?

I’m linking up with Rachel from Running on Happy and Lacey & Meranda from Fairytales and Fitness for the Friday Five link-up!

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New month, new goals

 

The jam-packed month of May is now in the rearview mirror and I’m ready to turn my attention to the month ahead. So far this year has been marked by a lot of stops and starts on the running front. I was always anxious to jump back into training for an upcoming race, but it’s clear looking back now that I should have taken more time to heal.

June now gives me a chance to do that! With no race planned until mid-September, this month affords me the chance to right the ship, hopefully once and for all. So for today’s Friday Five, I’m sharing some fitness goals for June:

Focus on Chi Running form — I’ve actually been working on this since the workshop I attended early last month. I especially want to work on my lean.

Photo courtesy of ChiRunning

Improve cadence — Along with my running form, I really want to focus on locking in my cadence. I’ve been doing some of my runs with the metronome app and would like to work on slowly increasing my cadence from 170 to 175.

Prioritize self-care — Time with the chiropractor, massage therapist, in addition to time for foam rolling, are a must.

Eat the rainbow — With May’s hectic schedule there were way too many meals on the run, too much take out, and not nearly enough attention to eating well. Time to climb back on the wagon – especially need to up my fruits and veggies!

Build from the core out — I took a break from daily planking last month, but am getting back at it, along with hip and glute strength work at least twice a week.

Do you set monthly goals? What have you got planned for June?

I’m linking up with Rachel from Running on Happy and Lacey & Meranda from Fairytales and Fitness for the Friday Five link-up!

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5 Benefits of Planking

If you’ve been around here for a bit then you know that I’m a fan of planks! In fact, one of my goals for the month of April is 5 minutes of daily planking (and no…not 5 minutes straight – I break the 5 minutes into intervals).

Everyone can benefit from strengthening their core – especially runners! So if you haven’t jumped on the plank bandwagon yet, I thought I’d share with you some of the benefits of planking!

5 benefits of planking

Target many muscles in one exercise: Planks engage every core muscle from transverse abdominus to the rectus abdominus; from the external obliques to the glutes.

Big payoff, small investment: Planks don’t require a lot of time, but can offer a big payoff by strengthening so many key muscles relatively quickly.

Improved posture: By engaging and strengthening all of those muscles, planks will help improve your posture. As your abdominal muscles activate they share the burden with your back muscles of holding you upright. When your abs are stronger, you sit and stand with your vertebrae stacked – so the added benefit is you’re less likely to develop pain in your neck and shoulders from slouching. Who doesn’t want to stand (or run) taller?

Increased flexibility: Planks help to increase or maintain flexibility by expanding and stretching the muscles around the shoulders, collarbone, shoulder blades, and hamstrings.

Better movement: By strengthening your core, planks help your stabilization and train your body to move better as a unit – your muscles work together, which means you move more efficiently overall.

Why runners should add planks to their routine #runchat #fridayfive Click To Tweet

I’m linking up with Rachel from Running on Happy and Lacey & Meranda from Fairytales and Fitness for the Friday Five link-up!

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April 2017 Goals

April 2017 goals

I feel like I was a bit all over the map in March fitness wise, so I’m throwing down some goals for April.

Hit every workout — There’s not a lot of white space on my April calendar so I’m going to need to do whatever it takes to get my workouts in. Early morning, post-work, lunchtime runs, etc. – I’m committing to not missing a workout on my training plan.

Run 100 miles — If I follow through on goal #1, this should be doable.

Continue my plank challenge — While I did plank daily in March, I fell off my goal of 5 minutes/day, so I’m going to shoot for that in April.

Weekly yoga — I mentioned in last week’s wrap-up that I want to commit to a weekly session, so I’m doing it.

Meal plan — I’m great at regularly planning each week’s dinners, but I’ve been totally winging it on breakfast, lunch, and snacks. My choices over the past few weeks haven’t always been the best, as evidenced by the numbers creeping in the wrong direction on my scale, so time to fix that!

Do you set monthly goals? How was your March?

I’m linking up with Rachel from Running on Happy and Lacey & Meranda from Fairytales and Fitness for the Friday Five link-up!

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January Runfessions

Happy Friday!

It’s the last Friday of the month so, of course that means it’s time to share some runfessions! Thanks to Marcia for this always entertaining linkup!

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Runfession: I have just a few days left in this month’s Winter Challenge, and I runfess that I’m ready to be done. I have so enjoyed the camaraderie of the other women on the BGR team, but I’m just not a streaker.

Runfession:  I’ve been a little…shall we say cranky since my slip on the oil slick. With the strength work I’ve been doing I was feeling pretty strong, and so this setback feels a little deflating.

Runfession: On the brighter side, spending more time in the gym cross training means I’ve been witness to a whole new group of gym characters! I confess it is pure entertainment and does make the time go by – though I wish I could unsee the older gentleman  who insists on wearing sheer tank tops (just no!)…and can someone please explain to me why 20-something guys think jeans are workout wear?

Runfession: It’s only January and I already may have to alter my race calendar. Family schedules are conspiring against me, and short of cloning myself I may end up having to take a pass on next week’s 5 miler. Luckily I had procrastinated registering so I won’t be out any money.

Runfession: I have fallen hard off the early morning workout wagon. It’s just been way too easy to just hit the snooze …ok 3 times…and then there’s no time to workout before the getting the kids to school, work, etc. But I dislike the feeling of trying to jam a workout in late in the day, so it’s time to chase down that wagon and climb back on.

5 Runfessions for January! What do you runfess? #runchat Click To Tweet

So c’mon share…what do you runfess? 

I’m also joining Rachel from Running on Happy and Lacey & Meranda from Fairytales and Fitness for the Friday Five link-up! frifive2

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One word and 2017 goals

I love this time of year when everyone and everything seems full of possibilities. It’s a great time of reflection and for looking ahead and considering all that can be done in the next 365 (ok 362) days!

Looking back I did pretty good with my 2016 goals. Of the 5 goals I set: Returning to half marathons; Setting a half marathon PR; Losing 12 pounds; Continuing my strength program; and, actively managing my recovery – setting a PR was the only area I fell short. (In full disclosure I lost 9 lbs and consider that a win!) Best of all, my love for running returned!

So what lies ahead for 2017? For the last couple of years I’ve picked one word as the theme for my year, and this year’s word is “Belief.” Across all areas of my life, I want to be driven by belief in what is possible, and not limited by fear or self-doubt.

So, now for my fitness/running goals:

  • Mix up the distances — Last year I was very focused on getting back to the half marathon distance. This year, I’d like to mix it up more – training & racing different distances will keep me challenged both mentally and physically.
  • Find some speed  — I cannot expect to PR or just improve my times without pushing the pace. I have given the RC coaches the green light to push me out of my comfort zone.
  • Improve my nutrition —  I struggled with finding the right fuel for my runs. I also often didn’t do a great job of giving my body what it needed both pre or post run. Time to change this!
  • More strength — I love working with Trainer Stacy and made no secret last year that sometimes my time in the gym rivaled my time on the road. I’ve got great momentum here and want to keep it going.
  • Have fun! — 2016 was about recapturing the joy of running and above all else I want that to continue.  More blogger meet ups, more family running, more runs with friends – more fun 🙂
Belief and Goals for 2017! #oneword365 #goals #runchat #bibchat Click To Tweet

Have you set your goals for 2017?

rp_Tuesdays-on-the-run-150x150.jpgIf you need inspiration, check out today’s Tuesdays on the Run link-up with Erika, Marcia and Patty and see what others are planning.

Also linking with Rachel, Meranda and Lacey who are talking all about goals for this week’s Friday Five.

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