Training for Race Season

Oh hey! It’s been a while. It’s not you, it’s me. I’ve been busy, and the long winter has me feeling unmotivated. I’m tired. Good thing I make more excuses about blogging than I do about working out!

1010706_10202108464698487_568135008458836320_nThis time of year, it seems everybody has a race of some sort that they’re training for. Like the 5k to Break the Silence on Ovarian Cancer, which my entire family races in each spring, or the GW Parkway Classic that I am running in this month.

So, I wanted to share the training regimen that I have put in place to get myself into the best shape possible for my race on April 24. Let me preface this by saying that I am not a trained fitness coach, and if you follow my below plan, please please please always listen to your body, trainers and/or doctors for expert advice.

Running vs. Lifting + Stretching:

During the five or so weeks leading up to a 10 mile race, I will cut my lifting down significantly, and increase my mileage each week. Also, it can’t be said enough, but stretching can mean a world of difference. I try to use a foam roller to massage my IT bands every single day.

Lifting:

During the weeks that I am training for a race, I will reserve two days a week for lifting. 1 day for legs (never maxing out) and 1 day for arms/chest/back. Both days, and some of my non-lifting days, will include 5-15 minutes of core.

Screen Shot 2016-04-05 at 8.31.53 PMRunning:

The hard part for me is pacing. I am not a distance runner by nature. My body wants to run fast, but then I can’t maintain the speed while increasing my miles.

With that in mind, I have three little tricks that I employ to help me combat this common hurdle:

  • Mileage: I do 3 runs during the week that are between 3-5 miles, depending on where I am at in my training. Then I do one 5-8 mile run on the weekends. I do not pay too much attention to my pace, but I try to stay within a :30 margin. By race day, I am comfortably running more miles and a much quicker pace and it wasn’t even that painful to get there.
  • Track Workouts: I have recently gotten into track workouts, which are full of benefits. They open your stride, boost your endurance, change up your routine and drum roll….. they help increase your speed! I jog to the track, stretch and then do one of the following: Sprint 1 lap, jog 1 lap. Repeat 4-8 times. Or, run 80% pace for 2 laps, jog for 1 lap. Repeat 4-8 times. I also sometimes do pacers down the long side of the track. Start at 50% pace, increase to 75% pace, increase to full sprint. Do a few of those. They feel AMAZING.
  • Hills: They’re the devil. But the best advice I ever received was from Mr. Mahoney, my high school cross country coach. He told us that we should always work to pass people on the uphill. If you train for hills, there will be no issues come race day. You’ll be cruising on up as other runners are struggling and wondering if you’ve got secret jets hidden in your shoes! My standard hill workout: Jog to the hill, stretch. Then I do pacers up the hill, starting off with a slow and open stride leading up to the base of the hill and then try to run about 75% pace to the top.  I jog halfway down, and walk the other half. Once at the bottom,  jump right back into the next one. Depending on the hill grade and length, I will do 5-10 of these before jogging home.

If you’ve got a race coming up, I hope you find my training tips beneficial. Always feel free to reach out to me in the comments below if you’ve got any questions! Also, follow me on IG for training tips, fun pics and weird outfits. 🙂
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Taking my Newtons on the Road

If you run back and forth across the Red Rocks stairs, it equals a 5K!
If you run back and forth across the Red Rocks stairs, it equals a 5K!

This might sound strange, but my favorite part of traveling, whether for work or vacation, is finding new and beautiful places to workout. It is pretty interesting that, like many other sports, fitness is a universal language.

I find that running is the easiest workout to plan. You don’t have to rely on hotel gyms, or bring any extra equipment. Do you have any big trips planned? If so, here are some running tips to keep in mind:

  • Bring your runners. My choice of running shoes are Newtons. Don’t just run in your regular walking shoes, that’s a good way to get hurt.
  • Running is the best way to navigate a new city. While you’re out, keep your head on a swivel (soccer term, sorry) and look for restaurants, bars, stores, cafes, parks, and museums that you may want to try.
  • Check a map before you head out, or use Nike+ Running App‘s built in map, there may be a park or running trail nearby that you can easily hop on.
  • Always bring your phone and the address of the place you’re staying with you, you don’t want to get lost!
  • Don’t feel bad if you want to stop to take a picture, or in my case, too many pictures. Those are memories, CHERISH THEM!
  • Wave to other runners. Or give them a friendly smile. One thing that I’ve found is that in every place I’ve run, including foreign countries, this is pretty standard etiquette.
  • Document those miles using a GPS-based app, like Nike+. It’s a souvenir that costs you nothing.
  • Stretching on my balcony in Cancun, Mexico.
    Stretching on my balcony in Cancun, Mexico.

    Always remember to take care of your body. On the road and at home. Hydrate and stretch really well after every run. You don’t want any injuries to put a damper on your trip.

  • Have a blast and love yourself for getting out there. You’re #betterforit.

If you’re thinking that I am crazy for wanting to work out while I am on vacation, just try it and you’ll see. It doesn’t feel like a chore, it feels amazing and will probably help create some of your favorite travel memories. Plus, you won’t have to feel guilty for indulging in incredible local cuisine the whole time.

If you haven’t already, check out more running tips from Paige, and more tips on getting creative with your vacation workouts from Molly!

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