My Run-spirations!

It is no secret that I love running. But sometimes, I have to admit, I don’t always like it. This is a list of runners I find inspiring and whose examples keep me going when running feels like a chore.  Most don’t even know they are on my list. 1) People who did not achieve their running goals but who keep trying. Personally, I find the term goal crushing (#goalcrushing if you are a twitter user) really annoying.  If  your goal is so easy to crush then to me it seems you set the bar too low.  To me, people like my husband Jonathan and my friend Dave Cressman are inspirational because not only did they set a goal that would take a lot of work to achieve, but they set those goals, failed, tried again using a different strategy, failed again and are trying again, and again.  They know that running is a sport and that the process of attempting the goal is more important than actually achieving the goal.  And when they do eventually run their goal times, my guess is that they will just squeak it out and have to push hard right through the finish line.  It’s an awesome example for our kids and others, including myself.  If they can “put it out there” for the world to see, then surely, I can manage a measly little run in order to attempt to squeak out my own running goal for the year. 2) People who are consistent and stick to a simple plan. Last season, I got caught up following the running exploits of a few...

Fartlek! Why it’s not as funny as it sounds…

This post has been inspired by my “Seven Days of the Week” Rundies. Rundies are these very funny underpants that have seven different running workouts printed across the bum, rather than the seven days of the week.  Being a runner, I find the idea hilarious and put them on my Christmas wish list.  They are made by a brand called Oiselle which specializes in women’s running clothes and accessories – designed by, made by, sold by women.  (And no, I am not a spokeswoman for Oiselle, I just really, really love their stuff.)  Anyway, Santa must have taken note that, among other things,  I ran two marathons and two 50km ultra marathons last year and decided that was good enough for me to get my wish.  On Christmas morning I woke up to find a pack of Rundies under the tree.  Little did I know that those Rundies, besides being really comfortable and form fitting, would also be inspiring me to step up my running game! The seven training days are as follows:  Long Run, Easy 6, Tempo, Track, Rest, Race and FARTLEK.  Now, for obvious reasons, FARTLEK is the most hilarious of the seven days so you would think that I would wear them the most.  However, for some reason, I feel compelled to wear only the Rundies that I have completed workouts for.  So for example, I have been cycling through Long Run, Tempo, Easy 6, Track and Rest.  I know I will wear Race coming up in the spring and throughout the summer and fall but as of now haven’t worn them….so that leaves FARTLEK.  Why...

Run Club – January 31st

What the heck is a “tempo run”? Is it hard?  Is it easy?  Is it long?  Short?  Huh? The tempo run is an often  neglected and misunderstood aspect of a well rounded training plan.   The best way to describe it is “comfortably hard” or “uncomfortably comfortable”. The tempo run was popularized by Jack Daniels, Ph.D., about 10 years ago in his book Daniels Running Formula (Human Kinetics). According to his definition the following principles should apply: How long?  Nothing more than 20 minutes.  Can also be done as “cruise intervals” of 1 mile or 10 minute efforts with 2-3 minutes rest in between. How fast?   If measuring the workout based on “pace” you should try to maintain your “tempo” at approximately 20-30 seconds faster than 5km race pace. How hard? For novice runners it is sometimes easier to judge by effort level.  A tempo run should feel about an 8 out of 10 on an effort scale and roughly translate to approximately 80-90% of your maximum heart rate reserve (for those novice runners who are just learning about heart rate training zones) Why?  These types of runs will improve your Anaerobic Threshold (AT).  And trust me, this is something you want to have improved!  Your anaerobic threshold is the effort level just below which your body’s ability to clear lactate, a by-product of carbohydrate metabolism, can no longer keep up with lactate production.  If you stay below this level you should be able to run “forever” (not really but close if you continue to fuel properly)  The higher your (AT) the faster you will be able to run...

Run Club – Jan 10th

Run Club tonight is “back on track”. We will leave the studio at 6:30pm and head to Memorial Park Track. Tonight’s workout is strength endurance intervals….this is a general “feel good” run interval workout where you will be running the specified distances at just a little faster than your 10 km pace with nice recovery breaks in between.  For those that are looking for personal best 10km times in the near future we can push those intervals a little faster!  For those training for longer distances we can slow down your interval times reduce your recovery time in between intervals. Warm – up: Run to Memorial Park and around the outside of the entire park. 1 lap A’s, B’s, cross overs, kick backs 1 lap strides (3x 50meters) Workout: 1x 400, 1x 800, 1x 1200, 1x 800, 1x 400 recover (2 – 1:30 mins between each) Cool down: 2 laps...

Run Club Workout January 3rd

First Run Club Workout of 2012! “Baseline” Leave studio at 6:30pm – head east to Memorial Park Easy warm up  run 15 mins Track Drills – A’s, B’s, lateral steps and cross overs 2 laps of 100 m strides Workout is a 1 mile time trial.  To be done just above your comfort zone.  Should finish feeling like you don’t want to do another one. Easy cool down run 10 mins.   See you tonight!  ...

Do we HAVE to run hills?

Well, of course you don’t HAVE to do anything.  However, if you are interested in becoming a stronger, faster and healthier runner then you should join us at Eastside Fitness Run Club every other Tuesday for great hill workouts.   Because we do them in a group the time flies by.  Because someone else is telling you to do them you don’t have to talk yourself into anything.  It’s what’s known as a “win-win” situation! Hill training offers the following benefits: 1) Helps develop power and muscle elasticity.  Because you are lifting your entire body weight against gravity with every step, your muscle recruitment patterns will become more efficient. This will transfer over to when you are running on a flat surface making it look and feel effortless. 2) Improves stride frequency and length.  Otherwise known as “cadence”, your stride will become smooth and seamless.  You will never overstride which causes your leg muscles to tire out more quickly and your shorter stride will feel less choppy and more natural. 3) Develops coordination, encouraging the proper use of arm action during the driving phase and feet in the support phase.  When fighting gravity you need to use your entire body to help propel you up the hill.  Your arms are essential for maintaining momentum.  You will engage your core muscles to help transfer the energy of your arms through to your legs and move you onwards and upwards.  You will also notice that when running uphill you will never use the taboo “heel strike” that has been blamed for many chronic and overuse running injuries. 4) Develops control and stabilisation as well as improved speed.  Downhill...