It’s 12:24am and I can not sleep but I can blog. My mind is moving a mile a minute and that tends to happen when I take a day off from training. I have my first event coming up in less than 6 days and the only thing I am nervous about is the bike (surprise…surprise) . For some reason, when I get on my road bike, I feel like I am standing on the edge of a cliff! My left foot locks into the clips too soon and I nearly tip over every time. But, practice makes perfect, so as the days get warmer, I will get more practice.
The running portion, I am prepared for. Again, surprise…surprise. I feel like I have put in enough miles and did pretty well in the last 5K I participated in. So, let’s see what happens. Now, all I have to do is stay hydrated, eat right and make sure my next few workouts are somewhat chill. Somewhat. LOL!
In order to perform well, you have to train smart, you have to workout in phases. The first phase is stabilization. The second phase is strength and the third phase is power. Depending on what sport you are in, it will vary and having a professional fitness trainer will definitely help.
Right now, I am in phase two. I will be moving into phase three in about 2 weeks and I am excited to see what these old bones can do.
Check out my March/April workout schedule (I’m a 5:30AM Club Member):
Monday - Recovery Workout 10 minute run | Full body resistance training | 10 min run | stretch
Tuesday - 3 mile run | core
Wednesday - 30 min HIIT Bike workout w/hills-run | full-body strength training
Thursday - 2.5 mile run w/speed
Friday - 4 Mile Friday
Saturday - 1.5 hour Bike w/hills
Sunday - Long run (6-10 miles)
Ok, I am finally getting sleepy and my computer power is getting low. Good night!…maybe….
Functional training integrates the entire body in multiple planes of motion that reflect a person's daily physical activities. Whether you are the local mailman or a competitive basketball player, specific functional training can improve the following:
As stated above, functional training should be specific to an individual's needs. If you love to hike 2-3 times a week, your training plan will not be the same as someone who loves to play golf or kick a soccer ball around. Functional training is a training plan customized to fit your lifestyle and prevent unnecessary injuries. Proper assessments and questions need to be addressed in order to achieve optimal results. Below are a few examples that need to happen before starting your functional training program.
Review and discuss body alignment
List stress levels (physical and mental)
What is your current fitness level? Fitness assessment.
Discuss your daily movement patterns and fitness goals
Functional training challenges a person's proprioceptive system by using unstable, yet controllable equipment. Working out with stationary machines and doing traditional repetitive movements have been proven not to be as effective as testing the body in environments similar to every day life activities. Popular equipment used in functional training:
The equipment listed above can mimic real-life physical challenges that stationary machines can not.
Remember, find a trainer who will include the assessments listed above, work with you in stages (from beginner to advanced-according to your fitness level) and will train you with the proper equipment that will lead to a successful outcome. Good luck and Keep Moving!
If you follow me you know I talk about water over and over and over again. There's a reason for that! Water is essential to our survival. Water is in everything and our body needs water so that we can move, groove and improve on a daily basis. Water provides our body with oxygen, it lubricates our organs and keeps us from getting dehydrated. Water is essential for maintaining beautiful skin, growing hair and nails, as well as, digesting our food.
I drink water every chance I get unless you try and trick me with a little sweet tea. (Sweet Tea is my kryptonite) Water can be "dolled up" with a little lemon or your favorite fruit. Since I can't have too much sweet tea, I will add a "green tea" tea bag to ice cold water and let it sit for a bit. That way I still get the benefits of water and green tea throughout the day.
Ladies, if you want your hair and nails to grow, drink up! You will need 2.2 Liters a water a day which is the same as 8-10 cups. If you are athletic, add a couple of more cups. Fellas, you may not want long nails but healthy, shiny and think hair will make any girl look your way. You will need 3.3 Liters of water a day which is approximately 12-14 cups. So DRINK UP, so you not only FEEL GOOD but LOOK GOOD too. Happy Friday!
How to Workout and Run Symptom-free Outdoors
Before reading this…please consult with your doctor first. What works for me will not work for the next person. OH and I’m not a doctor!
If you’re like me and suffer from seasonal allergies_hay fever or asthma, sometimes training outdoors can be daunting. For me, my allergies hit when I least expect it but now I know how to take better care of myself after visiting the doctor one too many times and doing a little more research.
Check out these great tips!
Plan Workouts when the Pollen Counts are Low
Pollen concentrations are usually at their highest from 5 a.m. to 10 a.m., according to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology association, so make sure you plan your workouts at another time during the day.
Know your Personal Pollen Count (pollen.com)
For many of us, we develop symptoms when the pollen count is 20 to 100 grains per cubic meter while others can tolerate much higher counts. Pay attention to the pollen counts in your area, keep track of your allergy symptoms and when they occur. I suggest running/working out outside when the pollen count is below your personal tolerance level.
Avoid Watery & Itchy Eyes with the Right Shades!
If you suffer from itchy, watery eyes during allergy season, try wearing wraparound sunglasses when outside. I know it may not be all that fashionable, but make it work. “You better WORK IT GURL!”…sorry…I get a little excited. If wraparounds are not your thing, use eyedrops an hour before you head out the door.
Hit the Treadmill on a Windy Day
I KNOOOOW, treadmills can be boring but your health is more important. The wind spreads pollen throughout the air, so running indoors when it's windy can help. Here’s another tip, you may even want to avoid running outdoors the day after high winds as well. I know!
Cover Your Nose and Mouth
If you think wraparound sunglasses are uncool, looking like a bank robber may not help either BUT you might want to consider wearing a mask or bandana to cover your mouth and nose. It will decrease the amount of pollen that gets into your nose and lungs.
Run after a Rainstorm . . . The BEST
I ABSOLUTELY LOVE running after it rains. After a nice wet storm, the pollen count drops drastically because the rain washes pollen away and you are less likely to experience symptoms after it rains.
Clean that a$$, a$ soon a$ possible, after an Outdoor Workout
The worst allergy symptoms usually don't occur until about an hour after you come in contact with the pollen, so you may actually be able to run outdoors without experiencing symptoms. But to reduce your risk of symptoms after your outdoor workout, make sure you take a shower and put on clean clothes as soon as you get back.
Follow the Doctor’s order and Take Your Medication!
In the past, I was the WORST at taking my allergy and asthma medicine but now, I hate to miss out on the fun of being outdoors, so I am ahead of the game. Again, follow your doctor’s instructions. If you have asthma, use your inhaler approximately 15-30 minutes before you start any physical activity, and make sure you warm up SLOWLY. Always have your inhaler with you when working out or on the go. When it comes to allergy medicine, consult your doctor, drink lots of water and BLOW THAT NOSE!
GOOD LUCK and DO NOT SNEEZE ON ME!
I am no Carmelita Jeter but there are days, in my head, I feel like I am the fastest woman in the world! That’s when a little cross-country high school girl or some random twelve year old coasts past me and I quickly remember I am a mom_in her 40s_trying to hang on! Yeah, ok…GOT IT! #realitycheck
This weekend I ran in All State’s Hot Chocolate 5K run here in San Diego. I ran this event for the first time last year and really enjoyed the vibe, so I had to do it again. The course is surprisingly hilly but it’s a great run/workout. My plan was to run an 8 minute …maybe a 7:30-7:45 minute mile pace. I wasn’t sure because my daily runs were holding steady at a 8:30 min/mile pace. No faster, no slower. It could be the watch. I mean, I do need a real running watch.
Well, I surprised myself and cleared a 7:11 min/mile pace finishing with a 22:19, my fastest time since late 2016. I was the 7th woman to cross the finish line and 1st in my age division by 2 minutes.
At the start of the race, as soon as the gun went off, the front runners took OFF! For the first 1/2 mile, I was running pretty fast and was a little nervous because I wasn’t sure if I could hold that pace. I wasn’t comfortable AT ALL but I decided, it’s time to be comfortable being uncomfortable. I focused on various people in front of me to keep me going, then C street happened. It went up, leveled out, up again, leveled out and up ONE MORE TIME…UGH! For a few hot seconds, I had to walk up that hill and then I thought to myself, “What the HECK are you doing?…RUNNNN!” So, I did and made it to the top of the hill, rolled back down the hill and prayed for the finish line to be right around the corner. Once I figured out I was almost done, I took off like a bat outta hell. I looked mad-crazy but I finished strong.
After the run, I felt the benefits of all my training because nothing hurt! WHAT?! I recovered quickly and was ready to EAT! I hung out for awhile, saw a few of my running buddies and headed home. That’s when the recovery started. After a nice breakfast, pedicure and momma-daughter time, I took a nice little nap and was ready for a new week!
Running is definitely my happy place and this past weekend, I was VERY happy!
I am in a much better place now than where I was last year. Thank God and thanks to running.
Beast Mode Syndrome is a real thing. Really. Just “read me out”.
This past weekend was an active one. On Saturday, I hosted a 30 mile bike ride and Sunday I participated in a 15K run. Not too bad, right? Yeah, right. My legs LOVED me by Sunday afternoon…that’s not 100% true. None the less, I had a great time hanging with the San Diego Chapter-Black Girls Do Bike and running with all the crazy St. Patrick’s Day runners in Temecula the very next day. It was a GORGEOUS weekend.
I have to admit, I was surprised at how good I felt after my 15K run. Granted, I was a little tired and hungry but it wasn’t until I headed back to my car, I was waiting for traffic to die down and it hit me. It hit me hard! I suddenly felt like a BEAST! I felt strong, unstoppable, hard core and kind of amazing all at the same time! I could not believe I survived such a high impact weekend! OH YEAH, I had all the symptoms of BEAST MODE SYNDROME.
Have you ever had a time in your life when there was A LOT going on and you had NO IDEA how you were going to get through it but you did? You made it to the other side and accomplished more than you expected. It could have been a project at home, work or some kind of physical activity. Take the time to pat yourself of the freak’n back, be proud of yourself and tell somebody “I got that BEAST MODE SYNDROME going on!” and keep pushing forward.
It’s OK, bask in it, baby!
The weather is not giving in to the sun and warm air and running outside is getting harder and harder. Of course, I am here to tell you “not to give up and find your way to a treadmill”! I know, I know. . .the treadmill can be a bit of a bore but there are ways to drum up your workout and stay in shape for all of your upcoming events. Check out these ideas that will help keep you moving!
1. The Speed Demon.
Run easy for 10 minutes, then set the treadmill at a speed about 20 seconds faster per mile than your best recent 5-K pace. Run three 3-minute repeats at this speed, alternating with 3 minutes of very slow jogging. After completing a set of three repeats and recovery jogs, rest for 5 minutes by jogging. Then run a second set of three repeats and recovery jogs. When finished, run easily for 5 minutes to cool down.
2. The Progression.
Begin with a 10-minute warmup, and then set your treadmill at a speed of about 15 seconds faster per mile than your best recent 5-K pace (this new pace becomes your 5-K goal pace). For your first treadmill workout at this pace, run continuously for 5 minutes. Finish the workout with 10 to 20 minutes of easy cool-down running. For each of the next 10 weeks, run the same workout but increase the time you spend at your goal pace by 1 minute per week. At the end of 10 weeks, you should be able to run a 5-K race at your goal pace.
3. Indoor Hills.
Warm up for 10 minutes, then set the treadmill at your approximately marathon pace. (If you've never run a marathon, estimate your marathon time by multiplying your typical 10-K time by 4.65.) With the treadmill elevated 1 degree, run for 2 minutes at marathon pace, then elevate the incline to 2 degrees and run for 2 minutes. Next return to 1 degree for 2 minutes, but then climb to 3 degrees for 2 minutes.Continue in this manner, raising the grade on every other 2-minute repeat until you've reached 7 degrees (the inclination pattern is 1-2-1-3-1-4-1-5-1-6-1-7). If you feel exhausted before you reach 7 degrees, stop, and don't let it worry you. Try the workout several more times and you'll develop the ability to handle the hills. Finish the workout by running an easy 8- to 10-minute cooldown.
4. The Broderick Crawford.
This workout gets its name from its "10-4" pattern, a familiar phrase to fans of the old Highway Patrol TV series. Begin by warming up for 10 minutes, then run for 10 minutes at your current 10-K race pace. Jog very easily for 4 minutes to recover, then surge again for 10 minutes at your 10-K tempo. Recover for 4 minutes, and complete the workout with 10 minutes of easy cool-down running.By regularly running treadmill workouts like these, you can develop a better sense of pace, increase your running economy and learn to deal with hills more efficiently. Best of all, come spring, you'll be ready to set some new PRs.
Two years ago, I was having a really hard time getting back into “running shape”. My body felt like a square brick and I was falling A LOT! At first, I thought aging had finally caught up to me or maybe I wasn’t eating the right foods, non-the-less, I didn’t have the mojo to move properly. I tried everything but nothing seemed to help. I finally went to the doctor and my therapist to find out, “What the heck, man?!?”.
Later, I learned I was suffering mentally and physically from post traumatic stress disorder. Yep, PTSD. At first, I thought my therapist was pulling my leg but after chewing a few layers from that onion, she was spot on. See, a year prior, I physically fell apart because my life was falling apart. My body literally could not take the stress and it completely broke down. I couldn’t eat, sleep or workout. It was pretty rough.
My therapist told me I needed to change my way of thinking and focus in order to move forward. I started with meditation and cognitive therapy (taking negative thoughts/ideas and replacing them with positive ones). Both were helpful but not enough to get back into running. Helloooo! I’m a runner here! I gotta movvve.
Again, I tried everything from yoga to plain old walking and I have to say, I was bored OUT OF MY MIND! I had to find a way to start running again so I did a little more research on my own. Through my attempts with meditation, I learned about mantras, the idea of taking a a statement or slogan and repeating it over and over again. I found it fascinating that just a few repeated words could actually reprogram the way you think of yourself.
It wasn’t until I saw an interview with 50 cent, the rapper, discussing mantras. 50 cent was given his own, special mantra from Deepak Chopra and it changed his life. Changed his life? Really? 50 cent? OK, I have to try this. I don’t know why the idea of 50 cent chanting a mantra intrigued me but it did and I figured, why not give it a shot.
I was not going to sit in a room alone and OHMMM my way through a yoga class, so I decided to try chanting my own mantra while running. I picked three words that described my future-self, locked it into my memory bank and headed out for a run. I started to chant the following phrase, “I am powerful, strong and blessed”. At first, I found it funny because I felt ridiculous running and chanting at the same time, but I kept going. Once I hit a rhythm, I started to focus on the words, my pace and my breathing. Next thing I know, the run is over and I successfully completed 3 miles. My mind was clear. I actually felt powerful, strong and blessed. I finished my run without falling or feeling exhausted. I used this method over a period of a month and it literally turned my training around.
I am not the first person to discover mantra running. Running is a very mental sport and many elite runners use mantras to get through some of their toughest races. For me, mantra running has evolved in the few years. At first, I was simply trying to change my focus but now, I use mantras when competing or when heading out for a tough, long run. Mantras are powerful and extremely effective. It’s a true testament on how your mind, body and spirit work together.
If you would like to learn more about mantras, shoot me an email. Let’s find out what words would work for you and try them on your next run. Good luck and happy running!
TIME TO GET ON THE BIKE
My first duathlon of the season is coming up and I have not been on my bike since September 2018. Here are my excuses. . .
When duathlon season was done, so was I!
It is too COLD to ride right now.
It’s raining ALOT in San Diego!
I don’t wanna get on the bike, I’m scared. LOL!
I know, pretty pathetic. I am a runner through and through. Rain or Shine, I will show up for a run, but getting on a bike takes a little bit of an effort. So, here are a few tips I use to get me to start cross training on a bike.
Jump on my spin bike for 20 minute intervals. Just like running, I have to ease my way back into training. So, I start on my spin bike twice a week for 20 minutes the first week, 30 the next and so on.
Read cycling magazines for motivation. I love reading running and cycling magazines. The photos and articles really inspire me to start moving.
Find a group of riders. It’s always fun to join other riders and find new routes to take. I recently attended Black Girls Do Bike and TriClub of San Diego meetup to learn more about their group rides.
Host your own riding party. I just signed myself up to host a ride. What better way to get myself out there than to invite others to join me? Knowing other women are depending on me to make an event happen really gets me fired up and ready to ride. So, I am hosting my first ride and if it’s a success I will do it again.
Good luck and let’ get riding!