NOVEMBER 2016

How to Transition from Running/Walking Intervals to Running

Welcome the latest edition of Workout Wednesday! This week we are talking about how to transition from running/walking intervals to running without walk breaks.

When you first start running it is very common to use run/walk intervals in order to adapt to running. There is absolutely no shame in walking. A lot of people are very successful running full and half marathons on a run/walk program with very impressive finishing times. If you are happy with your run/walk plan and you're continuing to progress, there is no reason to change your program. However if you're interested in transiting from run/walk intervals to running without walk breaks, I may be able to help you with the plan that worked for me when I first started running.

Most people start in the same place, it is very common be short of breath when you first start running. You have to stick with it through that hard beginning part in order to become a stronger runner. It does get easier, I promise. 

Once you have been performing run/walk intervals for a few months, you may be ready to train to run without walk breaks. I suggest that you have a solid running base before starting this program. You should be running (with walk breaks) several days a week for at least four weeks. Follow the below plan two to three days a week with full rest days in between training days to allow for proper recovery.

HOW TO TRANSITION FROM RUNNING/WALKING INTERVALS TO RUNNING WITHOUT WALK BREAKS

The key to train to run without walk breaks is to first start by taking walk breaks. Hear me out. If you stick with the program you will progress to running without walk breaks.

Walk for a few minutes to warm up. Try some dynamic stretching and/or foaming rolling to warm up before you get started.

Start running at a very slow pace. Go even slower than you think you can maintain. It's better to go too slow than too fast at this point. We can work on speed later, for now we are working on endurance. A slow pace is key.

Run until you feel like you just can't run for one more second, then try to count out 50 more steps. This may help you push past any mental barriers. When your mind says no more, see if your body has 50 more steps. It is important to be sure that you are listening to your body and not your mind. Is your mind telling you can't go on? Or is it your body? Sometimes your mind will tell you to stop, but think about it first. Can I breathe? Are my legs OK? How do I feel physically? If it is just your mind, keep going. Your thoughts can lie, especially when you are trying new things.

Once you are sure it is your body and not your mind slow to a brisk walk. Now here's the key to the whole plan: Only walk as long as you need to in order to recover your breath. It is really important to be honest with yourself and start running again as soon as you are able. When your breathing returns to almost normal It is time to start running again, don't walk for one second longer than necessary.  

Repeat the running cycle. Run as long as you can. When you think you need to stop, try to count out 50 more steps. You are probably feeling uncomfortable, but as long as you aren't feeling any physical pain, push yourself to keep running for just a little bit longer. When you are sure it is your body and not your mind, it is time to walk briskly again to recover.

Start the run cycle again. 

The idea is that you run for as long as you physically can, then walk only as much as necessary. If you continue this cycle, while being completely honest with yourself, over time your run intervals will become longer and your walk intervals will become shorter, until there are no walk intervals at all.

This process can take between four to ten weeks depending on your starting fitness level and dedication to the program. Remember that no matter what you are trying to achieve, consistency with your training is the single best path to success.

I can clearly remember the great feeling the first time I realized that I didn't need to stop for a walk interval, that I could keep running. Don't listen to your mind, listen to your body.

This same technique can be used to improve your running pace. Just replace the walk intervals with slower run internals. Run fast, then run slower to recover until you don't have to run slower anymore at all.

When you set out to run these intervals run according to time and not distance. For example, make a plan to run for 30 minutes, not three miles. You'll find that over time you will be able to cover the distance in less time. 

Give it a try and let me know how it goes.

Like this post? Please consider sharing!

 

Coach Lea

I am a NASM personal trainer and RRCA adult distance running coach that specializes in strength training for runners. I offer in-person training in the Shredshed, online training and Fit to Run bootcamps. If you are interested in a more in-depth running or strength training plan, please contact me. Have questions? I'd love to help. 

While I am a certified personal trainer, I am not your personal trainer. Since I don't know your exercise abilities, injury background or medical history, please see your doctor before beginning any new exercise program. This is an opinion blog. No information in this blog is intended to be taken as medical advice or prescription. Please see your doctor and/or registered dietitian for any health concerns.

5 Reasons to Hire a Personal Trainer to Reach Your Fitness Goals

You may think I am a little biased on the subject, after all I am a personal trainer, but everyone can benefit from the knowledge, experience and coaching that comes with hiring a personal trainer. Even trainers can benefit from hiring a trainer because most of the time it is not simply about knowing what to do.

 

5 REASONS TO HIRE A PERSONAL TRAINER

THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN KNOWLEDGE/APPLICATION

Most people already generally know what to do to get results, but they still don't have the results they desire. Why is that? Because there is a big difference between knowledge and application. A personal trainer has experience in taking that knowledge and applying it in a way that produces results. If you know what to do, but don't follow through, you'll never reach your goals. A trainer can help you bridge the gap between knowledge and application. 

WORKOUTS VS. PROGRAMMING

You can do a simple internet search and find millions of free workouts every day. There are sites dedicated to every kind of fitness imaginable. You can even find free workouts here in my archives. But there is a big difference between workouts and programming. You can do random workouts and see some results, but a trainer can help you do the most effective, efficient workouts to meet your individual goals.

Is your goal to run faster? To get stronger? Bigger muscles? Lose weight? Your goal will determine your workout program. A trainer can get you on the most efficient path to meet your individual goal so you don't waste your time with workouts that aren't designed with your goal in mind. A good trainer knows how to tweak the variables of your workout to maximize your results.

There are many ways to fitness, individualized programming will get you there by progressing in the proper timeframe (not too fast, not too slow). A trainer can help you take the guess work out of your workouts by looking at the big picture and building a progressive plan to safely meet your goals over an established time period. 

MOTIVATION & COACHING

Even if you can build your own progressive program, you still have to follow through with it to see results. A trainer/coach can provide the motivation and accountability needed to stick with a program. Having a trainer to check in with you in-between sessions, answer questions and provide feedback can be the difference between success and failure.

REAL-TIME FEEDBACK

Speaking of feedback, this is one of the most important roles of a trainer. Anyone can find a program on the internet and start following it exactly as written and hope to see results. The problem is that everyone is different and what works for one person may not work for the next. A coach can give you feedback on your performance and make changes/updates to your program as needed. You may need to progress faster or more slowly than written. Real life obstacles like family emergencies, work travel and injuries can result in getting off track unless you have a trainer to help you adjust on the fly and work through these challenges. 

PERSONAL BIASES

It is human nature to want to work on our strengths and ignore our weaknesses, sometimes we do it on a subconscious level. A trainer can help make sure you are balancing your fitness. Not just by working on correcting muscle imbalances and making sure you build strength in all planes of motion, but also ensuring you are working on your weaknesses and refining your strengths. Our personal biases can make it hard to make objective decisions and can inadvertently lead to unbalanced fitness and possibly injuries.

Convinced? Contact me.

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Coach Lea

I am a NASM personal trainer and RRCA adult distance running coach that specializes in strength training for runners. I offer in-person training in the Shredshed, online training and Fit to Run bootcamps. If you are interested in a more in-depth running or strength training plan, please contact me. Have questions? I'd love to help. 

While I am a certified personal trainer, I am not your personal trainer. Since I don't know your exercise abilities, injury background or medical history, please see your doctor before beginning any new exercise program. This is an opinion blog. No information in this blog is intended to be taken as medical advice or prescription. Please see your doctor and/or registered dietitian for any health concerns.

 

 

How to Stay Motivated to Exercise this Holiday Season

Here we are again heading into the holidays when some people expect to pack on a few pounds before they start all over again on January 1st, but it doesn't have to be that way. We can enjoy the holidays by embracing moderation while continuing to workout and make healthful choices most of the time. If you stay active this holiday season you'll come out on the other side happier and healthier! 

This time of year can be crazy, busy, wonderful and stressful all at the same time, but there is no reason we can't maintain our healthy lifestyle. Eating healthy foods and regular exercise help reduce stress and make us feel our best. Enjoying the family meals and dessert can bring us joy too. We can enjoy the best of both worlds. One way to fully enjoy the holidays is to find ways to stay active. Here are a few ideas on how to stay motivated to exercise this holiday season. 

TRACK FRIDAY

I love the idea of Track Friday instead of Black Friday. I always say that my favorite holiday is Black Friday, when I don't have to get out of my PJs all day and avoid retail establishments at all costs. I know some people enjoy the experience and the thrill of the hunt, but the crowds and chaos can be too much for me. I'd rather stay home and shop on Amazon (I don't even have to put on pants).

Track Friday is a great alternative to Black Friday. As they say on their site, "Shouldn't we be giving instead of just getting?" 

So this year on Track Friday, Join the movement by running or walking anywhere on Track Friday, or run with others by finding or starting a meetup. Start your own personal fundraising campaign, or support a campaign for a cause that you care for. Follow along on social media @trackfriday on Twitter and Instagram. Use the hashtag #TrackFriday when you post! Learn more at trackfriday.org

On the day after Thanksgiving, let’s turn Black Friday into Track Friday, a day focused on charity, community, and health.
— www.trackfriday.org

This one may be worth putting on pants for. See you at the track. 

HOLIDAY RUN STREAK

Runner's World sponsors a Holiday Run Streak every year. The goals is to run at least one mile everyday between Thanksgiving and New Year's Day. It's a great way to stay motivated to lace up those shoes. The average person can probably run a mile between 7-13 minutes. Can you find 7-13 minutes everyday this holiday season? It helps establish a healthy habit during the holidays and even if you don't have time to put in a full workout, you know you at least completed one mile. Here are my tips for a successful run streak.

1. Tell your friends and family your commitment to complete the challenge. If you tell people about your plans, you may feel a bigger obligation to follow through. Tell me if you're doing it in the comments! Who knows you may motivate someone to take on a healthy challenge.

2. If possible, find a streaking partner. Hubby and I did it together in the past. Don't feel discouraged if you are going at it alone, it just shows your dedication. Besides, there is a whole online community completing this challenge, you can find your support online. Use #RWrunstreak to connect with the thousands of other runners completing the streak.

3. Having access to a treadmill is helpful on cold or extremely cold temperatures, but then again, hubby and I did a mile or two in the rain on our streak! Be prepared to bundle up! No treadmill necessary.

4. Listen to your body! If you are injured or sick, no streak is as important as making sure you are healthy and taking care of yourself. Be reasonable and take a real rest day if you need it.

5. Although this is technically against the Runner's World rules of the streak, It is OK to walk your mile for the day. The Runner's World streak police aren't going to pop up from behind the bushes and tell you to pick up the pace. A mile is a mile and sometimes your body needs the rest. Your challenge. Your body. Your rules!

6. I found that getting the run done early in the day was the easiest way to stay consistent. Sometimes it just means getting up a few minutes earlier. 

7. As the streak goes on you'll find it becomes a habit and you will really want to squeeze in your mile by any means possible. Stay with it, after a couple of weeks it will become second nature.

8. Join the other holiday streakers on Twitter with the hashtag #RWrunstreak. Post about your daily mile on TwitterFacebook or Instagram and read about other runners completing the challenge. There is nothing like thousands of like-minded people in an online community to remind you that you are not alone!

9. Use the challenge to motivate yourself to stay active throughout the holidays, but if you miss a day it's no reason to quit, just pick back up where you left off. Again I may be stretching the official rules, but in the end I'd rather say I ran 37 out of 39 days than say I ran for 13 days but then had to quit. 

10. Have fun with it! 

Commit to a run streak this holiday season to build healthy habits and stay motivated this holiday season. WIll you run it with me? 
 

HOLIDAY-THEMED FUN RUNS

Santa Run Texas

Santa Run Texas

An entertaining way to gather up your family or friends for a healthy holiday activity is to participate in a holiday fun run! Whether it's a Thanksgiving day turkey trot, a jingle bell run or a new year resolution run, signing up for a holiday-themed run can be a reminder that exercise is a fun activity for the whole family. Forget about your PR goals, let your stresses go for the day and just enjoy the run. These runs are often also charity fundraisers so you can do good for your community while burning some holiday calories. Break out your turkey costume or santa hat and prepare for the some of the most enjoyable races of the year. I'll be running a turkey trot here in Fort Worth. This Santa Run Texas in Plano looks like another fun holiday-themed event for my local DFW friends. When you sign up for the Santa Run Texas you can get a santa costume with your registration! How fun is that? Sign up and train for a race to stay motivated this holiday season. 

WINTER RUNNINGLAND VIRTUAL RACE SERIES

I'd venture to say that most major cities and even a lot of small cities host some sort of community holiday runs. But If you live somewhere that doesn't have a community event, I have the perfect solution for your holiday run needs.

If you are motivated by race bling (aka finisher medals) The rock 'n' roll marathon series is hosting a virtual run series called Winter Runningland. Run on the streets in your neighborhood, stay warm on the treadmill or meet up with friends at the track to earn finisher medals in this virtual run series. There are three virtual runs from now until the end of December and if you complete all three, you get a 4th bonus medal. You can run all three races for $99. It would make a pretty thoughtful gift for a runner that you love (hint hint friends and family).

A virtual run series is a great way to stay motivated to run through the holidays!

Nov 18 – Dec 04 / $29.99 - Winter Hat Medal

Dec 05 – 18 / $29.99 - Running Shoe Medal

This is my favorite one, so cute.

Dec 19 – 31 / $29.99 - Earmuffs medal

I am a member of the Rock 'n' Roll marathon rock 'n' blog team but all opinions are my own and I am not paid or required to post about this event, nor do I receive any payment or commission if you sign up. Just looks like a super fun way to stay motivated throughout the holiday season and add some new race medals to your collection. 

 

HOLIDAY-THEMED WORKOUTS

The Great Pumpkin Workout

The Great Pumpkin Workout

Check out my pumpkin workout for a holiday-themed strength circuit that can be done in under 30 minutes. Do the pumpkin workout before you make your Thanksgiving pies. No pumpkin? You can replace it with any weight or medicine ball. (But what fun would that be?) Pumpkins not your thing?

12 Days of Christmas Song Workout

12 Days of Christmas Song Workout

I also have a 12 Days of Christmas song workout that will prove to be both fun and challenging! You know the song..."On the twelfth day of Christmas my trainer sent to me..." 

My workout archive has a ton of bodyweight workouts if you need a few minutes of sweat therapy to destress. 

Did you get any ideas to stay motivated to exercise this holiday season? Will you join me in any of these fun activities? Any other ideas? How do you plan to stay active? Let me know in the comments. 

Like this post? Please consider sharing.

 

Coach Lea

I am a NASM personal trainer and RRCA adult distance running coach that specializes in strength training for runners. I offer in-person training in the Shredshed, online training and Fit to Run bootcamps. If you are interested in a more in-depth running or strength training plan, please contact me. Have questions? I'd love to help. 

While I am a certified personal trainer, I am not your personal trainer. Since I don't know your exercise abilities, injury background or medical history, please see your doctor before beginning any new exercise program. This is an opinion blog. No information in this blog is intended to be taken as medical advice or prescription. Please see your doctor and/or registered dietitian for any health concerns.

Try This 12 Days of Christmas Carol Workout

Welcome to the latest edition of Workout Wednesday! Happy Holidays, Friends. Many of us living in the US are off work for the Thanksgiving day holiday so I thought I would put together a festive workout that you can try over the holiday weekend.

This workout follows along to the classic Christmas carol, 12 Days of Christmas. You will perform the exercises in the same order as the song. For example, on the first day of Christmas my trainer gave to me a 30 second plank hold. You would perform the plank. On the 2nd day of Christmas my trainer sent to me two jumping squats and a 30 second plank hold. You would perform both of those exercises. On the third day of Christmas my trainer sent to me three burpees, two jumping squats and a 30 second plank hold. You will build the exercises until you are doing all 12 exercises. This is a challenging one, folks! Rest between verses if needed. Go at your own pace, stay safe and let me know how it goes.

The 12 Days of Christmas Carol Workout 


On the first day of Christmas
my trainer sent to me:
A 30 second plank hold

On the second day of Christmas
my trainer sent to me:
Two Jumping Squats
and a 30 second plank hold

On the third day of Christmas
my trainer sent to me:
Three Burpees
Two Jumping Squats
and a 30 second plank hold

On the fourth day of Christmas
my trainer sent to me:
Four Squat to press
Three Burpees
Two Jumping Squats
and a 30 second plank hold

On the fifth day of Christmas
my trainer sent to me:
Five Russian Twists
Four Squat to press
Three Burpees
Two Jumping Squats
and a 30 second plank hold

On the sixth day of Christmas
my trainer sent to me:
Six Donkey Kickbacks
Five Russian Twists
Four Squat to press
Three Burpees
Two Jumping Squats
and a 30 second plank hold

On the seventh day of Christmas
my trainer sent to me:
Seven Walking Lunges
Six Donkey Kickbacks
Five Russian Twists
Four Squat to Press
Three Burpees
Two Jumping Squats
and a 30 second plank hold

On the eighth day of Christmas
my trainer sent to me:
Eight Wide arm push ups
Seven Walking Lunges
Six Donkey Kickbacks
Five Russian Twists
Four Squat to press
Three Burpees
Two Jumping Squats
and a 30 second plank hold

On the ninth day of Christmas
my trainer sent to me:
Nine Curtsy Lunges
Eight Wide arm push ups
Seven Walking Lunges
Six Donkey Kickbacks
Five Russian twists
Four Squat to press
Three Burpees
Two Jumping Squats
and a 30 second plank hold

On the tenth day of Christmas
my trainer sent to me:
Ten Side Lunge Wipers
Nine Curtsy Lunges
Eight Wide arm push ups
Seven Walking Lunges
Six Donkey Kickbacks
Five Russian Twists
Four Squat to press
Three Burpees
Two Jumping Squats
and a 30 second plank hold

On the eleventh day of Christmas
my trainer sent to me:
Eleven Mountain Climbers
Ten Side Lunge Wipers
Nine Curtsy Lunges
Eight Wide arm push ups
Seven Walking LUnges
Six Donkey Kickbacks
Five Russian Twists
Four Squat to press
Three Burpees
Two Jumping Squats
and a 30 second plank hold

On the twelfth day of Christmas
my trainer sent to me:
12 Standing Crunches
Eleven Mountain Climbers
Ten Side Lunge wipers
Nine Curtsy Lunges
Eight Wide Arm Push ups
Seven Walking Lunges
Six Donkey Kickbacks
Fiiiiiiiiiiiiiiive Russian Twists
Four Squat to Press
Three Burpees
Two Jumping Squats
and a 30 second plank hold

Tell me, were you singing Fiiiiivvvveeeeeee Russian Twists, like I was? 

THE EXERCISES

A 30 SECOND PLANK HOLD

A 30 SECOND PLANK HOLD

Two Jumping Squats

Two Jumping Squats

Three Burpees

Three Burpees

Four Squat to Press

Four Squat to Press

Five Russian Twists

Five Russian Twists

Six Donkey Kickbacks

Six Donkey Kickbacks

Seven walking lunges

Seven walking lunges

Eight wide arm push ups

Eight wide arm push ups

Nine Curtsy Lunges

Nine Curtsy Lunges

Ten Side Lunge Wipers

Ten Side Lunge Wipers

Eleven Mountain Climbers

Eleven Mountain Climbers

Twelve Standing Crunches

Twelve Standing Crunches

Wishing you all a happy healthy active holiday season. 

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Coach Lea

I am a NASM personal trainer and RRCA adult distance running coach that specializes in strength training for runners. I offer in-person training in the Shredshed, online training and Fit to Run bootcamps. If you are interested in a more in-depth running or strength training plan, please contact me. Have questions? I'd love to help. 

While I am a certified personal trainer, I am not your personal trainer. Since I don't know your exercise abilities, injury background or medical history, please see your doctor before beginning any new exercise program. This is an opinion blog. No information in this blog is intended to be taken as medical advice or prescription. Please see your doctor and/or registered dietitian for any health concerns.

Running A-to-Z Free Ebook Download

Hi, friends. Welcome to the final installment of Running A-to-Z. I spent the last 26 weeks covering a running-related topic following the order of the alphabet. We started at A is for for Acronyms (in case you wondered what about what PR or BQ meant) and we ended with Z for Zombies Run. It was a fun and challenging 26 week series and frankly I am not sure what I am going to do with my Mondays from here on out. You can always check out the archives for any Running A-to-Z posts that you may have missed, but I am excited to offer the whole series in a free 126 page E-book download. 

Thanks for following along these past 26 weeks. I had a blast. 

Like this post? Please consider sharing.

 

Coach Lea

I am a NASM personal trainer and RRCA adult distance running coach that specializes in strength training for runners. I offer in-person training in the Shredshed, online training and Fit to Run bootcamps. If you are interested in a more in-depth running or strength training plan, please contact me. Have questions? I'd love to help. 

While I am a certified personal trainer, I am not your personal trainer. Since I don't know your exercise abilities, injury background or medical history, please see your doctor before beginning any new exercise program. This is an opinion blog. No information in this blog is intended to be taken as medical advice or prescription. Please see your doctor and/or registered dietitian for any health concerns.