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. 

jesssig

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#WisdomWednesday Choose To Be POWERFUL, Not Pitiful + Ladder Workouts

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I like how I FEEL powerful here in this photo. Photo Credit: Jenna Leigh Photography NC

Hello Wednesday! Monday has come and gone, Tuesday skipped by, and now we are lookin’ at you humpday! How. In. The. World?! I haven’t posted much in a while but I have been super hard at work that I just didn’t feel as though I should post some haphazard post just to post. So without further adieu I give you my snippet of wisdom for the day:

Choose to be POWERFUL. Not pitiful.

We all have that choice in life. To tackle life’s little annoyances with positive or negative ‘tudes. Recently after having a rough round last week mentally and physically I’ve been forced to ask myself what is worth keeping current in my life? Why am I feeling so pitiful? Have I been putting too much pressure on myself? Piled too much on my plate? Where can I back off? What do I want in life most? Like really, really, really want? Where am I willing to sacrifice?

I believe when we overstimulate ourselves with too much activity in our everyday lives it can cause us to feel pitiful. Forcing us to feel like failures because we simply can’t do it all or do it all well.

The solution?

Choose what’s most important to you in your life and give it all you got.

Like loving your family.

Training for an important race.

Running your own business.

runningcheetah

Whatever it is choose to live powerfully in those areas. I think all the other little things can slide like being on every. single. social. media. outlet. That in itself is enough to make anyone feel totally inadequate when it comes to keeping up with the Jones!

So. On another note, guess how many miles I ran last week?! LESS THAN 15. Let me tell ya, I was soooo not feeling powerful last week y’all.

Wait….what?! Jess? The little happy running freak? Well. I am not sure entirely what went down last week other than the fact that my training journal reads waaaaay too m any rest days. But looking at it with a different perspective I think it’s just what my body needed. I think in all my excitement I may have forgotten that I’ve run a marathon less than two months ago and in less than two months will be putting myself back into the rigors of marathon training. Oh, and still working full-time in the pharmacy while trying to start my own personal training business..  that’s a lot folks. Maybe a total slacker week was needed.

But this week I’m back at it and feeling more like myself again. I ran an abridged ladder workout on Tuesday to ease myself back into speed work in an effort to tune-up for the 10k in July. I like ladders because they keep the workout fresh, varied, and they fly by quickly.

Here’s what it looked like for me:

one mile warm-up easy pace

1200m @ 5k race pace

400m Rest Interval (walk/slow jog)

800m @ 10 sec faster than 5k RP

400m RI

400m @ 30 sec faster than 5k RP

400 RI

Then I ran it backwards back up the ladder.

One mile cool down

This is a shorter version of the ladders I will use during marathon training. During my last marathon training I didn’t run any ladders, only a handful of YASSO 800s and mile repeats. Which are good workouts but it’s best to keep things mixed up in training to keep pushing your body. The benefit in the ladder workout is that is teaches your legs to run faster while fatigued from running fast.

And like the ladder workout as in life, you will go up and you will go down, but the key here is to keep on truckin’.
#PressOnPowerfully

So this next marathon training I’m bookin’ after it! Here’s to all you powerful people out there! Let’s rock this summer!

Do you run ladder workouts when training or even just to keep in good shape? How was your running week last week? How do you choose to be powerful? Are there things in your life that could probably take a back seat to allow you some stress relief? 
blessed and beautiful running.

jesssig