Friday FIVE Speed Racer & Thank You!! :-)

Hello my awesome friends. First things first,

Thank you to ALL my readers who took the time to read and comment with such kind and encouraging words on my debbie downer post yesterday. I appreciate you all so much!! I have the best readers. I may not be the biggest, most popular blog but I def have the highest quality friends. And for that I am truly grateful. I’m still feeling slightly puny so it’s another total rest day for me here.

Okay. Okay so for the fun part! Friday Five. How long has it been?!

I’m linking up with Courtney at Eat, Pray, Run DC, Cynthia @ You Signed Up for What?!, and Mar @ Mar on the Run. For a list of their link-up rules and topics click HERE.

Today’s topic is “5 running tips”.

5 Running Tips on Picking Up the Speed!

Over the course of this year I’ve smashed some of my personal records like my marathon time went from 4:24:47, 4:04:24, and finally down to 3:46:18 and 10k from a 56:58 to 44:12 (what we like to call the glorious PR) and I’d like to share what’s worked for me. Especially as we are fixing to hit fall racing season!! (Hello cooler temps and all things pumpkin spice). This is my face reaction about both fall racing and pumpkin spice flavor everything:

Okay, so here we go..

1.) Strength train. Just do it. It can be as short and simple as a few sets once a week. That’s about all I do currently. Now, if you’re training for a shorter race than the marathon then you may want to aim for 2-3x a week.  There are certain exercises that will help the runner more specifically like:

  • Bulgarian split squats -hips & glutes!
  • Abductor/adductor gym machines or exercises like, fire hydrant. Hips & all those inner thigh muscles that are overlooked and underused. These are your supportive muscles that will prevent knee injury if strengthened.
  • Wide grip pulley & front pulley machines to strengthen your upper back and shoulders for a strong arm swing.
  • Flys, military press, push-ups.

These are just a few. I have a WHOLE goody bag of exercises that will help improve your strength and running form. I greatly attribute my now strong finishing kick to strength training.

2.) Cross-train. Running will make you a better running, states the principle of specificity. True. However, if you’re prone to injury you very well won’t be faster if injured! XT is a great way to build cardio fitness while giving your joints a break. I’m a big fan of the elliptical. Just make sure you set the intensity up a bit. It can be tempting to simply swing along easy. But if you choose a “hill setting” level 20 you better believe your booty will be cruising hard! Plus, shaking things up with XT will help keep your brain and legs fresh.

3.) Add some speed work. Depending on your race distance you’ll need anywhere from 100m to 3200m repeats, ladders, and tempo runs. There’s the famous Yasso 800s for the marathoners. But for me personally I began to see results in practicing longer tempo runs (10+ miles) when marathon training.

4.) Easy run days need to TRULY be easy. You know you can run fast so don’t be tempted to run fast here. The point of the recovery run is to simply get your blood flowing through your legs to aid in oxygen recovery, flushing out toxins! I’ve noticed by running my easier runs much slower than I used to I am now able to smash the longer and harder runs.

5.) Rest. Your body will need the repair time. If you neglect this imperative concept you’ll be putting yourself even further behind. By pushing through when you need rest you may end up breaking down muscle too far. We grow muscle by breaking it down and then allowing to rebuild with rest, stretching, and maybe even foam rolling.

Bonus: Buy new shoes. Yup. They make you faster. 😉 I chose Mizuno Wave Prophecy 4. Found them at Sports Spot here in Brevard and can not rave about these enough. If you’ve tried the Prophecy 3, this ‘upgrade’ will knock your socks off! It’s like running on clouds.

Now onto the weekend my friends! I’m resting up today in hopes that I can get through a workday Saturday and a medium-long run Sunday. Enjoy the weekend and don’t forget to take a quick visit at the other fabulous bloggers. 😉

What fast running tips do you have? Do you have any general running tips to share? Weekend plans? 
blessed and beautiful running. 


Quick #FitTip Friday: Log It + Heart Rate Max + H2O

Praise Jesus! It’s GOOD Friday! photo source

Well…we made it to Friday, Good Friday, my friends. We have so much to be thankful for… and if you are a believer than we have Jesus to praise each and every day. Friday was a dark day but Sunday is a comin’… His life gave us incredible life here and beyond.

For our Quick Fit Tip today I’m talking logging your workouts and/or food intake. Last week I talked about accountability with a friend or personal trainer and part of being accountable means remaining accountable with yourself. I think this is even more of a challenge. One way to overcome  and conquer this challenge is by keeping a journal be it online like DailyMile or the good ‘ol pen and paper. I know I’ve mentioned this in a previous post HERE, but it’s worth repeating for the fitness peeps as well, not just the runners.

There is something so powerful about seeing it written down in black and white. There is no lying to yourself. You either did or didn’t today. You either ate five cookies or a leafy, green salad.

  • It also teaches you what worked in the past and what progress you’ve made.
  • Goals. Write them. See them. Conquer them.
  • Water intake. How much water do you need? I’ll go into that another Friday for sure. I bet it’s more than what you currently intake! But as a general rule of thumb: the average sedentary populations requires roughly:

Women 2.2 liters

Men 3 liters

Here’s a visual of what 3 liters looks like:

I carry this around with me. Hydrate baby!

Some say drink half your body weight in ounces. From PopSugar:

“drinking about half of your body weight in fluid ounces of water (or other calorie-free beverages). Cold water provides a brief shock to your metabolism, raising it by about 30 percent so that over the course of a day, your body will burn about 100 more calories.”

If that’s not incentive enough to track your h2o intake I’m not sure what else is!!

  • You can track weight, reps, and set increases in the gym. I like to see how heavy I can go when performing a bench press! Right now it’s not greater than 95#…but currently I’m focused on endurance and marathon training. All the longer runs wear me down so I’m using lighter weights to stay toned during the harsh marathon training. It’s all about balance…but after this marathon IT IS ON.
  • For some of you tracking heart rate will be important. To calculate your MAX heart rate simply take 220-your age. For example: I’m 29 so 220-29=191 MHR. This is a rough estimate and more of the “old school” way of calculating. Generally when I’m going all out for speed work I definitely see that higher number. For a new approach check out a Runner’s World article HERE.  In the mean time, when cardiovascular training here are five zones to consider:

Zone 1: 50-60% of MHR aerobic endurance zone. Light and very comfortable. Building endurance. 

Zone 2: 60-70% moderate to average. Conversational. Building aerobic and anaerobic endurance. 

Zone 3: 70-80% challenging to above average. Building speed.

Zone 4: 80-90% hard but sustainable. Building speed and power.

Zone 5: 90-10% all out max effort. Kickin’ tail.

We can go into more depth about heart rate training on another Friday but for now we will leave it simply put and keep on with keeping a workout log and tracking! 

  • Log your workouts and food intake to track your habits. Find where your weak spots are. Do notice a pattern of when and where you eat more junk? Or tend to work out less?
  • You can also log your sleeping patterns. Are you resting enough for the amount of work you’re giving each day?
  • Something to consider, try having something positive to write down with each entry. Not every day will be all glorious in it’s weight but there’s always some sort of take-away you can come up with. Like, “well that workout totally stunk, but I discovered that eating toast before my HIIT session didn’t upset my stomach.”  (Don’t worry, I plan on giving y’all some good workout tips, including effective HIIT sessions in future Friday posts but currently I’m working on getting all my ducks in a row as far as the personal training biz goes. Wowzw. It takes a LOT of work! Lots of lists, organizing, prioritizing, creating, developing…and I haven’t started to market yet! Baby steps.)
Try to find the beautiful in every day. Be beautifully fit from the inside out.

Do you track your food, water intake, and/or workouts? Do you use heart rate training? How are you celebrating Good Friday?

blessed and beautiful running.