Sunny With A High Of…

It’s 86 degrees in sunny San Diego today!  I beat the heat and went to yoga at 6 this morning, after going to bed early last night around 10pm.  I’m trying to work on my May goals.  Anyways, obviously summer is coming, and the high temperatures today just reinforce that.  Although there’s a chance of rain Sunday, everybody’s been thinking about or working on their beach body.  Below is an ab circuit that will work your core and obliques.  If you haven’t done unicycles before, they’re quite the challenge!  Option to repeat this circuit more than once.  Time to get crunching!    beachbodyabs

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Spring Cleaning

I have a hoarding problem: magazines.

For some reason I can’t get rid of them.  Mainly because I’m too lazy.  I half-read them the first time, and then I don’t want to throw them away incase there’s something important I missed.  So piles have accumulated everywhere.  On my desk, under my bed, in magazine holders.  I even just bought a new basket to hold magazines.  What am I doing?

Anyways, I’ve come up with a solution to save the important stuff I might want to recall and discard the rest.  It’s a handy dandy binder!  With tabs marked by a label maker (my favorite tool), divided into nutrition, treadmill, speedwork, upper body and lower body to correspond with articles and workouts I’ve pulled from various magazines.  I make sure to highlight the information I want to find later, and then put them in sheet protectors.

Now I have less magazines and more organization!

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Work It Harder, Make It Better

A major benefit to my running in the past year or so has been the addition of strength training.  Strength training for runners can be beneficial for a number of reasons: to prevent injury, increase efficiency, and turn your body into a powerhouse!  Below is a quick circuit that requires minimal equipment.  All you need are two weights and some space!

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Plank A Day – One Week Challenge

There are a couple things I’ve been meaning to do on a daily basis:

1.  Take my heart rate first thing in the morning.  My trainer suggested I do this as a way to gauge my training.  Your heart rate will decrease if your workouts are effective.  But if you notice a spike in increase, this could be a sign that your training has plateaued.  This has been difficult because I’ve a. either been too tired to remember or b. my alarm surprises me and increases my heart rate.

2. Start a plank challenge.  Self-explanatory.  Summer is coming soon and I’ve been slacking/too lazy to do any type of core work aside from training.  This is difficult because a. I never seem to remember or b. keep putting it off.  However, planking is one of the easiest exercises to perform because you need absolutely no equipment.  You could pretty much do it anywhere!

So I’ve decided to start a 7-day challenge, and work on repeating from there.  One week seems palatable and easy to remember.  Plus I enjoy challenges that force me to be accountable.

The challenge:  Hold a plank, once a day, for as long as you can.  Chart your time, and try to hold it for longer the next day.  Repeat for 7 days*.

*Set a goal that you would like to achieve within a week.  The more you plank, the stronger your core will get, and the easier it will be to hold this position.

Today I started by holding to Demi Lovato’s Heart Attack (3:30).  Ultimately, I would like to hold for Justin Timberlake’s Mirrors (8:15).

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Early Morning Workouts: Day Thirteen

Today I took a rest day, and tomorrow I’m planning on going to yoga at 5pm.  That means no time for a run except for in the early morning.  dun dun dunnnnn.

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Source

Regardless of all those “pins” and tips on “how to wake up early and exercise,” it ultimately comes down to self-motivation and determination.  Only if you reaaally want to work out will you work out.  There’s more than one good reason to stay in bed = SLEEP.

Here are some things I find helpful:

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1. Set out your clothes.  Or wear some of them to bed (something I don’t do too often).  For example, I have on a pair of Lululemon runder under’s that I’ve always wanted to sleep in– they’re that comfortable.  They feel like tight sweatpants (not in a disgusting way, almost like a second skin).  Now, I have a reason to wear them to bed–I’m prepping for my workout!

2. Set several alarms.  If waking up and working out is something important to you, drive yourself insane with the amount of alarms you set.  This will either a) cause you to wake up because of the constant sirens, or b) cause you to wake up because you wanted to sleep in but had to turn on your brain to figure out how to turn off all of the alarms before they sound off.

3.  Get out the door while you’re still too tired to realize what you’re doing.  Then run.  Just make sure you’re conscientious of cars and traffic.

4. Have a great playlist.  Either an upbeat (pop/hip-hop), mellow and relaxing (indie/acoustic), or top-hits (Bruno Mars, P!NK, Rihanna, etc).

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5. OR…convince yourself you need to have the right gear for morning running and buy some reflective shoes (i.e. Nike Shield), even though it might not ever be that dark when you run in the AM.  Go on a morning running clothes shopping spree! 😛

When you’re first starting out with early morning runs, make sure you choose a tangible distance. Start with 1, 2 or 3 miles.  Something that won’t completely throw you off as you ease into this new routine.

Do you like AM or PM workouts?  How do you motivate yourself to get going?

Oceanic Breath: Day Twelve

I just tried meditating.  I took advice from a Yoda pin on Pinterest.

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I set my timer.  And it lasted 5 min 43 sec.  I never thought I would be one to be able to meditate.  Mainly because my mind is constantly thinking of something.  But it’s something that I want to try to bring more peace into my life.  I tried really had to focus on my breath and imagine the inhale as ocean waves sweeping back and the exhale as the waves crashing into the shore.  When I started to lose focus I started to count my breaths, 5 in, 5 out.  My breathing started to get deep and my head started to feel light and airy.  Maybe I will try this in the morning sometime, and I’ll try to look further into it besides a “Color Me Yoda” guide to meditation.

Before training today I did a quick little treadmill workout while watching The Town. 

1 mile warm-up at 7.5 mph (8:00 pace)
1 mile at 8.5 mph (7:00 pace)
0.5 mile at 9.0 mph (6:40 pace)

If I had more time, I thought this might be a little circuit that I could repeat.  It would be nice to push it hard and then recover back at a slower pace and build it up again.

Have you ever tried meditating?  How do you feel about treadmills?  

“The Key to Life is Running and Reading”

Who knew Will Smith actually provided the quote above via his Kid’s Choice Award speech in 2005?

Personally, I think I am addicted to reading…about running.  Maybe I am just trying to live vicariously through these authors/runners?  I will say though I have been trying to practice what they preach.  I am becoming more conscientious of my form and have started using some of the techniques they intersperse throughout their narratives.  I really enjoy this kind of non-textbook-like learning.

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So last night I started What I Talk About When I Talk About Running by Haruki Murakami.  And so far, he seems more average, or “mediocre” as he puts it, in terms of running.  It might be more relatable.  But we will see.

Tonight I decided to go to BODYPUMP with an instructor who slightly reminds me of Jillian Michaels.  I nixed my run for the day, having done a significant amount the past two.  Instead I warmed up on the treadmill, doing a sprint sequence I made up on the spot.  I actually liked it though and thought it was pretty ingenious.  It was the perfect no-brainer workout.  I sprinted for 45 seconds, stepped off for 15.  Then every 2 rounds, I would increase the speed by .2.  I did this from 8mph to 9mph.  Below is a play-by-play.  45 seconds just seemed to fly by.  I moved my feet quickly, and imagined myself out for a rather swift and brisk walk (even though I never really do such a thing).  Treadmills really aren’t so bad now that the new gym has treadmills set up with TVs (much better upgrade than watching yourself sweat and suffer in a full body mirror).  So watching Kim & Kourtney Take Miami or The Big Bang Theory becomes acceptable and helps to pass the time. Continue Reading…