Friday, April 18, 2014

Fitting Remarks: How To Get Ready Quickly After a Morning Workout!

Sorry to any male readers out there- this post is written primarily for the ladies!

A reader asked me for tips for getting ready before work as quickly as possible after you work out. 

I feel like I am always crunched for time in the AM, so I have tried to decrease my “primping” time for the morning. It seems as though the less time I have, the quicker I can manage to get ready!
These tips can also work if you’re meeting up with friends after a workout, and you don’t have a lot of time to transition.

Can you go without a shower?
I personally am a sweaty runner, so for me, a shower is a must. But you can take a super fast shower like in 2-3 minutes (a “military shower”, as my friend Monica calls it!)   

"No-Shower Wipes:" I know plenty of AM fitness fanatics skip a shower completely, and opt for shower wipes like these…Honestly, I just can’t pull that off...but if you’re not a heavy sweater like me, you might be able to use them in lieu of a shower.
Is that sweat, or did I wet my pants?
No time for shaving your legs in the AM- save that for another time!

Prep The Night Before:

-Prep your gym bag the night before, and be sure to double-check that you didn't forget anything!

-If you're going for a morning run, lay out your running clothes the night before. 

-Pick out your work outfit as well- no need to waste time picking out something to wear with such limited time in the morning! 

-Be conscious about what you choose to wear- pick clothes that allow for a quick change. Forget about tights or leggings, as they take too much time to get on.

-And now that summer is almost here, DRESSES all the way. Fast and simple.

-Skip washing your hair-- wash it the night before. Dry shampoo to the rescue!

-Most of the time, I say forget the blow-dryer.  My biggest time saver is a ponytail/headband. I know this isn’t the most glamorous look, but BIC bands and Sweaty Bands have saved me in many time crunches. 
My signature "get ready quick" look- BIC band and side braid.
When I don’t have time, I usually go with a side braid/BIC band or a sock bun. For information on the sock bun, check out this post! This obviously only works if you have longer hair. Although a huge benefit of short hairstyle is that it is quicker to style and dry!
-Purchase duplicates of all your makeup. 

This is a good tip if you travel a lot too. If you have duplicates of everything you don’t have to pack and unpack your gym bag every day. You’ll always have those goods in your bag, ready to go. This includes all your hair accoutrement as well- flat iron, blow-dryer, etc.

-Liquid! Forget all the brushes and applicators. Try to simplify by using a BB cream, a no-fuss foundation, and liquid blush.

-Save the fancy for later. Every lady wants to look her best at the office, but there’s no need for the smoky eye or extended lashes during a regular work day. Less is more and looks more professional.

The Two-Part Process: 
Sometimes, I do the bare minimum (mascara, some powder) and then zip to work. Then, once I’ve made my appearance, said hello to everyone,  and logged into my computer, I take 15 minutes to go to the bathroom (on a different floor than my office) and fix myself up a bit more….my coworkers are none the wiser! (unless they read the blog...I think two of them might read occasionally, but I'm pretty sure they wouldn't care). Seriously,  doing the two-part process saves me a lot of time, without letting me be "late" for work.

Eyelash Tint
This is more of an investment, but if you have blond hair like me, an eyelash tint can go a long way to make it look like you’re wearing mascara and save you time. A tint is also a great idea when you’re heading to a beach vacation. I have had one done at Extrados Salon in Linden Hills. The procedure costs about $35, and it lasts up to six weeks. Check out some before/after pictures HERE. This saves a lot of time, and I think it’s worth the relatively low cost.

Those are the tips that I have, but please share if you have any others! 

What are your secrets for getting ready in a jiffy?

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Fit Fanatic: #TBT- Fitness From a Young Age!

It is time for a little #TBT, i.e. Throwback Thursday!

Let me tell you, I have been a fitness fanatic for a very long time....

Did anyone else work out to the "Get in Shape Girl" cassette tape?

Well, I did!

 I would fill the hand weights with water, and do my bicep curls in my little leotard. I think there was lots of stretching, legs lifts, and jumping rope.

Teach 'em at a young age, right?

Anyone else remember the Get in Shape girl cassette tapes? Or any other favorite fitness fads from the 80s?

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Fitness Fashion: Sweaty Bands!

I have posted on the blog multiple times about my love of BIC bands which are fitness headbands with velvet on the underside which keeps them in place. They are really awesome headbands, and I had a really great experience working with the owner on our custom Calhoun Beach Running Club bands a few years ago. Aren't they lovely? There's still 2 left if you want one!

In addition to BIC bands though, I also recommend Sweaty Bands, which is a company that makes a very similar product.  I have ordered several bands from this company for myself and for friends over the past few years online, and I also often pick one or two up at race expos.  
One thing I really like about Sweaty Bands is that they really offer quite a fun variety of styles for all different types of occasions. Recently, I ordered a few for a bachelorette gift for a fellow runner. I selected a few different patterns- peacock, polka dot, and the reflective neon striped one.
But I also added a "bridal" one to this order for the bachelorette! Its pretty subtle, but it has a few "bridal" type quotes on it, and is a pretty "bridal" blue color.

 I also picked up a few Sweaty Bands for my fellow Flying Pig runner (Kelly, not Dustin, ha!) They actually had customized bands for a few different marathons. They had Chicago, Boston, and other "big" marathons, but I was surprised to see Flying Pig bands, so I snatched them up!

And, I may have stocked up on a few "Baby on Board" Sweaty Bands, just in case one of my friends has a bun in the oven in the never know!

Go check out all the different Sweaty Bands  online, and I bet you'll find one you like - for a friend or for you!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Fitting Remarks: Marathon Training Workouts

I have my fair share of experience with marathon training, but I am by no means an expert. I don’t have any certifications or qualifications, other than my own experience to pull from. Despite my lack of real credentials, I figured it was okay for me to share what I know about marathon workouts based on experience. Maybe some of it will be new to you, and hopefully helpful in some way!

Common Marathon Training Workouts

Tempo Workouts: A tempo pace is one that is comfortably hard. You can still talk to your running partner in short sentences, but you won’t be carrying on an in-depth long run conversation. Your tempo pace should be somewhere near your 10k race pace, a pace you could maintain for an hour before being completely spent. We usually start out the training season with tempo intervals of 6 min to 8 minutes. Eventually, we'll do longer tempo runs of 15, 20, and 25 minutes. The tempo interval pace is perhaps 10 seconds faster than the true tempo pace.

Kelly and I did a tempo workout today: 2 mile warmup, then 3 miles at tempo pace, and about 3 miles of cool down for 8 miles total. Great workout! (Yes, I wore my lucky Lolë hat again)

Long Run Pace: You should be running your long runs EASY. In fact, you should be running about 1 minute to a 1 minute 30 seconds slower than your goal marathon pace, even if it feels slow.

Goal Marathon Pace: This is pretty straight-forward. If I want to run a 3:45 marathon, my marathon goal pace is 8:35. We often incorporate marathon goal pace into longer weekday runs to get a feel for the pace.

5-4-3-2-1 Workout:  This is a common workout that we do with my running club that I also often do on the treadmill.  After a short warmup, do 5 minutes at your 5 mile race pace, then half that time to recover (2:30). Then do 4 minutes at your 4 mile race pace, with 2 minutes recovery; 3 minutes at 3 mile race pace, 1:30 recovery, 2 minutes at 2 mile race pace, 1 minute recovery, and then 1 minute at your 1 mile race pace, which should be pretty darn fast! Then cooldown.

Broken Miles: We did this workout as one of our “track” workouts the other day. After a few miles to warmup, you do two sets of 800’s (1/2 mile) with just a short 30 second break between each, and then a longer 2 minute break between each set. Do 4-5 of these. And don't forget a few miles to cool down!

Track Intervals:  Easiest when you have a track but we do them on the trails on occasion, we'll do something like: 800m-1200m-1600m-1600m-1200m-800m.  On the track jog a 400m between the intervals or the usual 2min if on the trails.  Ideally on something like this the goal is do the second set faster than the first so no starting out too fast.

Hill Workouts: Any repeats that you do on a hill will work for this….Try to kill the hill on the up, and then recover on the down. Or, maybe change it up by trying to keep a consistent tempo pace on the "up" as you have on the "down." My run club usually runs a 1/2 mile hill on Kenwood Parkway. I bet no matter where you live, you can find some sort of, just run it and repeat!

These are just a few of the different workouts that we do at my running club. I’m sure there are all kinds of variations on these out there, as well as many others. 

You should also make sure you’re never doing two workouts in a row- always run easy or not at all after a workout day. At the peak of our training, we never do more than 2 speed workouts a week, with all the othe miles at an easy pace. 

Cross Training Another reader asked me what I do for cross training. I always share my fitness in my weekly recaps, so you can read all about it there. But generally, my goal is to have at least one complete rest day, a barre class or Pilates class, yoga, and ideally, one more strength day (either a second barre class or kettlebells or something like that). There's just not enough time in the day for me to always fit it all in, but that's my weekly goal

I hope this helps you out if you're looking for some new workouts!

What are your go-to running workouts? How often do you cross train? 

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Fitting Remarks: Tips for the Taper and Supporting My Favorite Runner

I survived my peak week of training for the Flying Pig Marathon. Now it's taper time! 

Basically, the idea is that I have done 16 hard weeks of training, and for the next three weeks, I will maintain that fitness, but let my legs recover and rebuild to feel strong on race day. Lots of people freak out a little bit in the taper, but I am trying to remember that now is the time to trust my training....

This week was my first 50 mile week this training season. When training for the Berlin marathon, I hit 60 miles during peak week, but that didn't seem to really work for me, as my performance at the Berlin marathon was not that great. So this season, I focused on resting more between workouts, rather than focusing on high mileage. Therefore, I only hit 50 miles this one time. I'm hoping that this method is the right fit for marathon success!

Here's how it went:
Monday: 7.75 easy miles in the morning, 1 hour barre class at Balanced Barre in the evening
Tuesday: 10 miles, "track" workout- 2 mile warmup, 5 miles hard with about 1 minute between each one, 2-3 mile cooldown.
Wednesday: 4 easy miles in the AM with Matilda
Thursday: 9 miles with 5 miles of hills at marathon pace with Kelly
Friday: Complete rest
Saturday: 22 miles- whew! A lot of this long run was in the pouring rain too....
Sunday: Complete rest. 

Ideally, I would have fit in some yoga today (Sunday), but I spent a bit chunk of the day being a supportive wife to my runner husband. 

Yes, I'm patting myself on the back for supporting my favorite runner on his long run.

He was traveling for work yesterday, so he missed the long run with the Calhoun Beach Running Club. Instead, he had to run his 22 miler today. He did a "capitol" run as his route. I waited at three different spots along the way with Gatorade, water, and GUs..and some encouraging words.

It was pretty relaxing for me. I just drank my coffee and read my book (I'm reading The Fault in Our Stars- really good!)

However, it was a tad more challenging for Dustin, whose back was really bothering him after sitting in conferences for the past three days...He made it though the run though, and now he can join me on the lovely taper before the marathon. He said he really appreciated my support.

Like I said, some runners go a little crazy during the taper, so I'm sharing these 12 tips for tapering that I found on "Complete Running"
  1. No more long runs: Your final long run should be no less than 14 days before the marathon. If you’ve missed some of your scheduled long runs, it’s too late to make up for it now. Anything above 15 miles now will most likely hurt your performance on race day.
  2. Cut back the mileage: Decrease your total weekly mileage by about 40 percent starting two weeks out. During race week, reduce your overall mileage by at least 60 percent. For example, a runner whose weekly training mileage peaked at 60 miles should run 36 miles the week before race week, and no more than 25 in race week. During the last four days before the marathon, don’t do any runs of more than three miles. If you’d rather take the last two days completely off, that’s OK too. Don’t worry about mileage during race week—you’ll get your fill on Sunday morning.
  3. Maintain the intensity: Even though you are cutting back on your mileage, it’s important to maintain the intensity of these workouts. Run at close to marathon pace, so your body is accustomed to the effort level you will demand during the race.
  4. Avoid the hills: Don’t run any hills during race week—it helps your legs recover more quickly. It’s just like with the mileage: you’ll get plenty of hills on race day.
  5. Choose your weapons: Decide what clothes you will wear on race day. Pick comfortable shoes, socks, and running clothes that you’ve already worn on a long training run. DON’T wear anything new on marathon day, unless you want to have a graphic chafing story to tell your family about afterwards.
  6. Gain a few—but not a lot: Since you are running less, pay close attention to your diet. It’s normal to gain a few pounds as your muscles stockpile the glycogen they will need during the race. But gaining more than five pounds will make you feel heavy and sluggish. Eat a bit less than usual, with well-balanced meals, and don’t start any fad diets.
    Remember, carbo loading doesn’t mean overloading. The night before the race, just eat a regular sized meal with a higher percentage of carbohydrates than usual. On race morning, eat a small portion of a bagel, banana, or oatmeal to top off your tank—but don’t load your stomach to the brim. Twenty-six miles is a long way to run with a stomach cramp.
  7. Wake up early: If you’re not accustomed to running in the morning, try a couple of morning runs, so your body gets a taste of exercising at that time of day. Marathon start times are frequently at 7 a.m.—and if you’ve never run at that hour, it can be a bit of a shock. You might as well get it over with prior to race morning.
  8. Eliminate extra activities: If you do any cross training activities, don’t do them during race week. Don’t do any unusual activities that might cause muscle soreness afterwards. This isn’t the time to catch up on housework or repair projects. If you have extra time on your hands, just get more rest or take a nap instead.
  9. Cut your toe nails: Do it five or six days before the race. Trust me on this one.
  10. Be paranoid: It’s fairly common for runners to get minor illnesses while tapering, so stay away from sick people. Wash your hands after touching anybody. 
  11. Visualize success: The mental side of marathon running is extremely important. Beginning today, picture yourself running relaxed and strong, and having a great race. Repeat this scenario each day. Be confident in your ability to succeed!
  12. Enjoy yourself: Yes, you should take the precautions above, but don’t get so overwhelmed with worry that you forget to enjoy the experience. Think of how far you’ve come in your training, and resolve to have a great time on race day.
Good luck during your taper runners!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Weekly Recap: First Week of April

Wow, it's already Thursday, and I haven't done my weekly recap from last week. This week is the "peak" week for Flying Pig training, so there has been a LOT of running, so that's my excuse for getting behind! 

But about last mileage wasn't quite as high.

Here's what's happening in fitness:
Monday: 9 miles with the CBRC- "track" workout:  2 mile warmup, 1 mile hard, break, 3 miles at tempo pace, break, 1 mile hard, 2 mile cool down.
Tuesday: 7 miles easy on my own
Thursday:  9 miles in the AM, with "broken miles"- 1/2 mile hard, 1 min break, 1/2 mile hard, 1 min break, 4 times, with about 2 miles warmup and cool down. This workout felt pretty hard for me- my legs were really heavy. 
Friday: Rest
Saturday: Ron Daws 25k

It was a pretty good week filled with a few hard running workouts, a hilly long run, and some "strength" training via Pilates reformer classes. 

Awhile ago, I had purchased 8 classes at Pilates Proworks to be used over two months. At the time, I figured I would have no problem squeezing in 8 classes over 2 months, but somehow time got way ahead of me. I recently checked and realized I only had 4 days left to use up 8 classes! Well, that was totally impossible, so I went to the studio and begged for an extension, which they graciously gave me. I really like this studio for the reformer classes, so I appreciate their flexibility. The classes aren't cheap, so I would have hated to see them go to waste. 

Their "reformer" classes actually use a “FitFormer” machine, which is slightly different than your standard Pilates reformer. I don’t have any other experience with Reformer classes though, so I can’t really tell you what’s different. I can tell you that I feel like I get a solid core workout, with a mix of upper and lower body strength during this hour-long class. The instructors are all really friendly, and the studio is really nice. There are private lockers, a shower, and plenty of parking out front. This studio is super close to my office, so it should have been easy to fit in 8 classes here...whoops! Since they were nice enough to give me a one-month extension, I will definitely be using the rest of my classes up soon.

Fitness Fashion: 
The highlight last week in fitness fashion was definitely discovering the Lolë store downtown! I'm so excited about this addition to our fitness fashion options in Minneapolis.

In Fashion, I’m throwing a fit for all of the summer line of Tory Burch sandals…so cute! Check them out here. They are a little pricey (for me), so that's why I'm just throwing a fit from afar...

Here are a few of my favorites:

I hope you enjoyed your first week of April! Spring is finally here!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Fits Do Race Reviews: Ron Daws 25k

This past Saturday, Dustin and I ran the Ron Daws 25k (for your reference, 25k =15.5 miles). We had 16 miles on our training schedule for Flying Pig so this race fit in very nicely. For a price of just $5, its hard to pass up!

The race is small, with registration limited to just 200 runners. I ran it for the first time last year (you can read that review HERE) The race may be small, but most of the people who run it are pretty serious runners. Its very popular for marathoners as a hilly long run for those preparing for Boston in a few weeks. 

The race is extremely low-key, which is to be expected for just $5! There's free parking at the Cross of Glory Baptist Church, where the bib pickup is held inside the church gym. 

We also could take advantage of the heated bathrooms at the church, before a very casual 8 am start of the run. This is not a chip timed race, but rather an old school clock-timed race, where you tear off your number and give it to the volunteers for your finish time.

Dustin waiting inside the church gym to stay warm

The Course  As I mentioned, its a very hilly course. It's also kind of a strange one! The course first takes you around two loops of one area, and then two loops of a second route. Its kind of nice because you pass the sole support stop four times, and you know exactly where the hills will be.  I supposed you could complain that its a little repetitive, but I found it to be a nice change of scenery. 

I ran this race at my long run pace, just to get in some more hills before Flying Pig (which is supposed to be quite hilly). I tried to do some miles at my goal marathon pace, which was tougher than it should have been on those hills! Even so, I had a much better run than I did last year. Last year, I forgot my Garmin, so I had no idea what sort of pace I was going. I ran on effort last year, which you'd think would be a good thing, but apparently, I need a Garmin to keep me from getting too lazy! I also had done a hill workout the Thursday before last year, whereas this year, I was a bit more rested before the hilly Ron Dawes on Saturday. I felt pretty good throughout, and the hills really didn't seem as hard as last year!

coming in for the finish!
Overall, I really this race, and will hopefully do it again in the future. I recommend it to Boston runners, or any runners who are interested in a supported hilly long run. Just be sure to register early, as it does fill up!

So, who is Ron Daws? 
According to this Wikipedia article, Ron Daws was a runner and 1968 Summer Olympics men's marathon athlete. Born in Minneapolis, he also competed at the 1967 Pan-American Games marathon, and finished first in the National AAU marathon also in 1967. He was married to Lorraine Moller in the 1980s, who he later divorced. Daws died of a heart attached in 1992. In honor of his death, in 1993, the MDRA Rons Daws 25k was renamed after him.

Picture of Ron Dawes and Steve Hoag running in Theodore Wirth Park
I actually was in front of Ron's stepdaughter in line for the bathroom, who was sharing stories about growing up with Ron, and how she would run a lot of races as a "bandit" with him. She recalled jumping into the Get in Gear and other local races, as she said he was "too cheap" to pay for the races...which I think is part of why MDRA wants to keep this race nice and cheap too. No frills, just like Ron Daws would have wanted!

I give this race an 8/10. For the price, its really awesome, but if you do need crowds or frills, this probably isn't the race for you. There is no crowd support, and there is only the one support stop that you pass four times. However, if you're just looking for a supported long run, I think you'd really enjoy the Ron Dawes! And for just $5, you really can't go wrong. Hope to see you there next year!

FYI...This week is my "peak" week for Flying Pig training, with two workouts and a 22 mile long run on Saturday. Today, I had 10 miles on the schedule, with 5 of those miles at a hard effort. I did a "track" type workout, with 5 one-mile repeats in the middle, with short breaks in between each mile. It was a tough workout for sure, but I felt pretty good. Maybe it was my new lucky Lolë hat?