moving on, for now.

Sprinkles may be the greatest thing ever. I was whipping up my usual bowl of oatmeal this morning when I decided I wanted sprinkles. So I began rummaging through the cabinets to find some. The only sprinkles I could find were fall themed ones, so my bowl of oatmeal got decorated with sprinkle leaves. Still tasty.

And as I was eating that bowl of oats, I decided on something. I’ve been thinking about the blog, and I’ve decided to take a break for a while (not that this is super shocking news given my current lack of regular posts). I would like to change directions, maybe just start fresh. I’m not sure yet. Maybe I’ll check back in on occasion, we’ll see. Six months was the longest I’ve ever lasted with a blog, so at least I PR’d (personal record, for those of you who aren’t runners).

The blog will remain up, but probably be fairly inactive over the next few months. Thank you for reading, and commenting, and supporting my food endeavors. Hopefully I can come back with a new direction and purpose, and something more exciting.

Hope everyone has a safe and happy holiday! Here’s to new years and new beginnings!

Lauren

WW | lifting for runners

Since I’ve graduated from free access to a gym, I have had to improvise my strength workouts at home. It’s not nearly as fun and I find it’s incredibly hard to motivate myself to do weights on my own. I’ll be honest, the single motivation I have to lift weights is to stay injury free so I can keep on running. I don’t really give a crap about getting huge biceps or a six-pack. And if I add too much heavy muscle mass, it makes running harder. So therefore I give you…

A Strength Workout for Runners

Runner's Lifting (1)

Let’s get into the details shall we? I thought about photographing myself doing these exercises, but decided I would prefer not to embarrass myself. So I’ll do my best to explain what I did. Feel free to improvise or look up a better exercise that suits you.

warm up:

  • jump rope 2-3 min
  • jumping lunges jumping-jack style x1 min + ski style x1 min

weights:

    • standing lunges w/ weights (I used a 9 lb weight in each hand) 20 reps each leg x2
    • squats + overhead press w/ weight (I used a 9 lb weight, hold weight out in front of you when you do your squat, then press over your head when you are coming out of the squat) 20 reps x2
    • curls 15-20 reps x3
    • push ups 10-15 reps x5
    • standing one-legged squats 10 squats/leg x2
    • one leg triceps dip (think normal triceps dip, but cross one leg over the other, switch legs between sets) 15 reps x3
    • runner’s arms w/ weights (I used 5 lb weights in each hand) 30 sec on, 30 sec off x3

Thera band exercises (I have hip issues, so this is preventative medicine for me. I highly recommend these exercises if you have hip or knee troubles.):

    • standing walk ~20 steps (I have a small backyard) x4
    • crab walk x4
    • squats w/ band around knees 20 reps x2
    • leg raises 15 reps each leg x3

cool down:

  • shin taps
  • and of course, stretch!

Strength training isn’t so bad when you have a fun plan + good music. And there may or may not have been multiple dance breaks in between sets. <– highly recommended. :)

This workout focuses on more reps per set and lighter weights than a typical 10 reps x3 kind-a-gym workout. I think this kind of workout works for me because I prefer longer distance running. I use more slow twitch muscles on long runs, therefore I focus on doing more reps with less weight to activate those muscles. That being said, I have absolutely 0 professional/certified training experience so take this with a grain of salt. I’ve been a runner for 10+ years now, and I find this works for me, but it might not work for you. Feel free to take this or trash this. I won’t be offended.

One last thing. Google Drive has really fun new stock images that I used to create the visual. You should check it out. Just sayin’.

Now, where’s my Christmas cookie?

Lauren

WW returns | creating a training plan

Bet you thought I forgot about these posts didn’t you? They’re back!!!

Today’s post is an interview with my good friend and fellow blogger, Brittany of Britt Fuel. Brittany shares my passion for athletics, food, and blogging. She currently coaches swimmers and triathletes, works at a triathlon shop in Camarillo, CA, and is en route to getting her M.S. in Nutrition at CSUN. You may see her out running in the trails, swimming in the ocean, or biking on some highway in socal–be sure to wave!

Lauren and Brittany at the start line

I asked Brittany how she writes training plans for her clients (as I was curious myself). Here are some highlights of the conversation:

L: What kind of training plans do you typically write?
B: Mostly swim and triathlon plans, occasionally with running/marathon plans inside of the larger triathlon plan.
L: What kind of sport do you feel most comfortable writing plans for?
B: Swim and triathlon
L: What are the steps you go through to write a plan?
B: a. Determine the end goal and small goals for the journey. b. Take into account the athlete’s background, current fitness level, and basic weekly availability (what we’ve got to work with). c. Come up with a general scheme (break training into phases). d. Start with the first phase and write 2-4 week specific plans/workouts at a time, leaving room to adjust as athlete provides feedback. e. Be flexible. Stuff happens.
L: Why do you go through these steps?
B: It is important to set goals, so that workouts can be planned with the focus in mind. Mini in-season goals are also good to assess progress and keep focused. Personally, I think it is good to have goals that are very attainable (e.g. finish the race), goals that are within reach but require hard work and great conditions (e.g. get a personal best time), and goals that are lofty (e.g. win the whole race or age group). Also, it is very important to know about an athlete’s background and current fitness and lifestyle. You don’t want to write a training plan that is far too difficult for the athlete–that may make them want to quit altogether. You definitely don’t want the athlete to get injured either. Finally, it is best not to write in specific workout details too far ahead of time, as expectations may need to be altered throughout a season due to the many variables of life.
L: You have a degree in Physiological Science. What did you learn from your studies that is applicable to how you write a training plan or how you suggest people train in general?
B: I think that personal experience is definitely most valuable here. But, I did learn a lot about how complex the body is. Sometimes we want to know exactly why things turn out the way they do; why did we have a “bad” workout, why was our stomach was upset, or why did we feel tired? Sometimes, we know what went wrong, or we need to go back and figure it out/experiment. Those are great learning experiences, even if they seem discouraging. Another big lesson from the human body: If you want to do something, train your body and mind to do that thing. Don’t do tons of unnecessary things that only make you more tired. Rest as much as possible to recover while doing the work that needs to be done. The mind is so amazing. I learned about a track athlete that was injured, but trained her mind repetitively by visualization techniques, and once recovered, her track performance was not hindered by her lack of physical training.
L: Let’s say you’re designing a training plan for a half marathon someone wants to run. What does that plan typically look like?
B: I would start from the race weekend and work backwards. I would have you do light running the week before the race, mostly short runs with some race pace mixed in. About 3 weeks to 2 weeks before the race would be your major workouts…these include maximum pre-race distance runs (maybe 14-16 milers) as well as some maximum intensity pace runs at race pace or faster (probably on a track) to include 400m-3200m repeats. Everything before these key workouts would be (working backwards) building up to the key workouts to adequately prepare you for them without burnout or injury. I like the basic structure of 2 weeks build in training followed by one week of lighter training (recovery). Also, in each week I like to assign at least one, and maybe up to 3, day(s) of complete recovery or very light activity.
L: Do you think we can all train the same way? How do you individualize plans?
B: No too people are the same, so no too people will respond the same way to the same plan. Therefore, while they could train by the same plan, they may not see the same results. For optimal training, I think individualization is best. I do this by getting to know the person and knowing what they want, what they value, what their day looks like, etc.
L: What is your favorite part(s) about writing training plans for yourself or others?
B: I like the challenge. It is like a puzzle, trying to consider so many variables. Basically it is a science experiment, but fun!

picture of Lauren and Brittany sharing some cake.

Thanks so much Brittany! Be sure to check out Brittany’s blog :)

Lauren