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Monday, July 30, 2012

Top 10 Historic Vegetarian and Vegan Olympians

Top 10 Historic Vegetarian and Vegan Olympians

LOVE these articles!

16 Miles Down- Here's My Summer Schedule!

So this weekend, I had every intention to run 14 miles as scheduled (see calendar below!).  Instead, I decided I was going to outsmart the FDR drive and find a shortcut from the base of the Brooklyn bridge.  That resulted in an extra 2 miles.  Luckily today I'm not at all sore, and now I feel as if some pressure has been taken off for next week's run!  Next weekend I'll be in RI with Kim and Bennett, so a 14 mile run probably won't happen, but I'm looking forward to having my ol' running buddy, Ms. Catlin back =).
I always get questions about how training for a marathon actually works, so I decided to post my calendar to my blog.  I tend to shift around runs and distances based on social events that might interfere, so the schedule is pretty flexible. That's one reason I start training months in advance, so that if something comes up and I'm facing a set back, it's really not a big deal.   
I also got a bike this weekend and rode her for the first time on Sunday! She's a 1970's vintage Raleigh Caprice, and definitely needs some work, but she's perfect for putzing around and getting me to and from work.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Barefoot Running

I've been having some issues lately with my running sneakers- a pair of Nike Lunars that I've only had for a couple months, and I'm seriously debating trying a barefoot running shoe. There is no clear scientific evidence as to whether or not barefoot running is the end-all solution to injury prevention, but studies have proven that it does improve form. When running with normal sneakers, one has a tendency to strike the ground with the heel of the foot. This leads to many injuries that involve the foot and ankle because of repeated stress on the body. Here are the Vibrams I'm getting:

Okay, I might only be getting these because they're adorable..

Something I find really interesting about barefoot running is that it is a common practice for many foreign cultures. For example, the Tarahumara are a Native American tribe of Northern Mexico wo are notorious for their ability to run long distances, and they literally do it in flip flops! Okay, the. Ame of the shoe is huaraches, but more or less they're sandals. Because of this, this native tribe runs with a toe strike method, which is a more natural behavior and can reduce injury. With running sneakers, it isn't a natural tendency to strike toe-first. And the Tarahumara people don't just ru. Around the block a couple of times- some of their tribe traditions involve 200 mile races through their village and canyons! These races last up to 2 days, and the winner is considered a great hero.  Here are huaraches, they're pretty cute too..

Sunday, July 15, 2012

I'm Really Doing This

     This weekend was my 12-miler! Yay!  It was a great weekend, and I went for the run early Saturday morning before my mother's arrival.  I ran over the Brooklyn bridge, down by the east river, then came back to Brooklyn via the Williamsburg bridge.  One thing I love about running is that it's a great (and inexpensive) way to explore- I saw all of these sights in just two hours (and didn't spend a dime ;-)
     My mom visited this weekend and brought my mail that came to our house, which sounds pretty uneventful.  However, I received this:
     I was SO happy to get this in the mail! I've been wearing it just put-zing around the neighborhood today, which I'm sure is bad luck or something, but I'm just so excited to have it!  Receiving this and running 12 miles this weekend really solidified the fact that I actually live in NY and I am actually running the NY marathon this Fall.  Gulp.
     My mom and I had a great weekend- we resumed our typical Paris routine: wake up, eat, walk, shop, eat, walk, shop (repeat until legs can no longer continue).  After my run Saturday morning, we ventured into Williamsburg and walked over the bridge (yes, again) into Manhattan.  Spent a lot of time in Lord and Taylor and eating Crumbs Cupcakes.  Butterscotch and Red Velvet- YUM.
     For dinner, we headed down to the waterfront in downtown Brooklyn.  The restaurant was excellent, but the view was definitely my favorite part of the evening.  There's so much more to NYC than the typical tourist sights- which is one reason why I'm really happy that I chose to live here in Brooklyn.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Interval Training 101

Alright, so this morning I did some long-distance interval training before work-so I'll be covering the ins and outs of interval training for this post! While I have good intentions regarding interval training, I never seem to get around to it.  I love to just step out my front door and GO- I never really have a plan regarding my pace. But now with this new app, I really have no here's my interval training shpeal.

What is it?
Interval training is a type of training that involves "bursts" of high intensity activity with rest periods separating them.  Interval training can be done as a setting on a treadmill/elliptical, done during a spin workout, or a run.

What are the benefits of interval training?
A major benefit of interval training for running is that is is the most efficient way to make you faster.  Think about it- say you run 9 minute miles, and you want to get your mile time down to 8 minutes.  If you just went out for a run and started dropping 1 minute off of every mile you run, you would burn out quickly and not get very far.  If you alternate your pace (say half a mile at a 9 minute pace, half a mile at a 7.5 minute pace) you won't burn out nearly as quickly.
The other (probably more popular) benefit of interval training is that it burns more calories than a steady paced cardiovascular workout.  The bursts of activity make a huge impact on the workload.  Today, during my 4 mile interval workout my i phone said I burned 520 calories, and my previous steady paced 4 mile run on the same route burned only 460 calories.

Are there any limitations I should be aware of?
Yes- interval training should only be done once or twice a week.  These short bursts of energy are wonderful and all, but they tire your muscles and CV (cardiovascular) system pretty quickly, making you more prone to injury.  You should also change your work:rest ratio in order to maximize the benefits of training and further reduce risk of injury.

So what's a good interval workout?
Today, my workout was alternating my pace every half mile for four miles.  I ran at about a 9.5 minute pace for a half a mile, then at a 7 minute pace for a half a mile.  I measured the distance and pace by using my swanky new i phone app- so it was pretty easy to monitor.
Another popular way to do interval training is by timing as opposed to distance.  For example, run or walk at your normal pace for 4 minutes, then for the fifth minute, increase the intensity, and when the fifth minute is over go back to your normal pace for another four minutes.
If you're time is limited, you can do this really quick interval workout and feel like you just ran 10 miles:
          3 minutes warm up at your normal pace
          15 seconds intense pace
          1 minute resting pace
          30 seconds intense pace
          1 minute resting pace
          45 seconds intense pace
          1 minute resting pace
          1 minute intense pace
          1 minute resting pace
          45 seconds intense pace
          1 minute resting pace
          30 seconds intense pace
          1 minute resting pace
          15 seconds intense pace
          3 minutes cool down at a normal pace
Repeat sequence twice- whole thing takes about 30 minutes.  I find workouts like this easiest to do on a treadmill because you can control your pace simply by pressing a button.  On the road, I usually get distracted and never follow through with a plan like this!

Happy Training =)

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Ninety Four Degrees and Counting

Today in NY it is SUPER hot and I'm pretty bummed.  I was planning for today to be my first "long run" starting out at 10 miles- but between the heat and the margarita pitchers last night for Conor's birthday, I figured it's probably not the best idea.  My plan is to stay hydrated and cool today and hopefully go on the run tomorrow.  It's supposed to get up to one hundred degrees here today, so I brought Nora to Conor's apartment where there's AC..they really love each other:

Some tips for running or working out in the heat:
1) Stay hydrated- don't only drink during your workout, but stay hydrated all day.  If you're planning to do something more strenuous than usual, this is especially important.
2) Shower beforehand- sounds silly, but I do this all the time in the hot weather.  I put on my shirt im going to run in and jump into the shower to wet my hair and shirt, then put my shorts and sneakers on.  Exercising drenched in cool water is essentially the same as sweating, but saves your body the extra effort.
3) Wear light colored clothing- it's true, dark clothes attract the sunlight and make you hotter.  Wear as few clothing items as possible and make sure they are a light, breathable fabric.
4) Eat salt- so potato chips might not be ideal, but when you exercise, you sweat. In the hot weather your body sweats even more, and you lose a ton of electrolytes which can leave you dehydrated and groggy.  Reaching for some salted pretzels or nuts to accompany that giant glass of iced water after a workout can help keep sodium levels in check after excessive sweating.
5) Lastly, this applies to anyone working out when it is hot outside- no matter where you are.  Even if you are enjoying the luxury of a cool gym, keeping your body comfortable in the hot weather once you step outside is very important.

Stay cool everyone =)

Monday, July 2, 2012

There's an app for but really...

First, I have to start off by giving Conor credit for the name of this blog.  He called me out on not giving him credit over the weekend.  The story is: for my last marathon, he told me he had a great system to help me train: left foot, right foot, left foot, right foot...funny guy, huh?? =)

The move to NY went well...huge thanks to Conor for being an excellent driver (he named my blog and moved all my stuff, I sure am a lucky girl!) and to Stuart for helping out!  I was pretty sore after the move-and since my ankle had been hurting I decided to wait until today to go on my first run in NY.

I know I'm a little behind the band-wagon on this one, but I just got an iphone yesterday.  I had gotten an ipad for graduation, so it's not too much different from that except for the fact that I make phone calls on it.  One thing that I really looked forward to downloading onto my iphone is the "map my run" app.  For those of you who don't know, is a great website that you can use to map out runs/walks almost anywhere.  The iphone app, however, takes it a step further and lets you watch the map as you're running and tracks your pace.  Every mile you get an update on total time and your mile pace.  This app was GREAT for me because I had no idea where I was going and am known for getting lost on runs. For my last marathon training, I would write directions down on my hand or on a sticky note and run with can be hard to remember a 16-mile route!  It's also a great way to stay motivated and track your pace if you're just starting off or have a hard time staying motivated.  Highly recommend this app for anyone who: 1) has moved to a new location and is very likely to get lost 2) will be running/walking very long distances to train and needs to remember directions 3) needs to stay motivated.

Afterwards, I went and checked out our roof deck here in this apartment...I didn't realize we had roof access until I moved in!  There's a great view of the Manhattan skyline, but there are a lot of pigeons up there and I'm really afraid of birds so I snapped a quick pic with my swanky new iphone and headed back downstairs.