SNOW DAY TRAINING

To be honest I always believed Snow days were a blessing in disguise.  I absolutely love snow. It is so beautiful, peaceful, majestic, and it really gets one in the Christmas spirit. However, as a runner from the south I dread those days I am trapped indoors unable to run outside or head to the local gym because my car is stuck in 3 feet of snow. Luckily the blizzard conditions never last too long where I currently live. But coming from a runner it causes so much anxiety being unable to run, especially with the importance of winter training haunting us.

So here is my advice and suggestions for getting through the snowy days.  Most of the time you are able to head to the gym and hop on a treadmill. However If you are stuck at home and cannot make it out the door for a run, talk to your coach first. Sometimes if the weather will only cause a day or 2 of delay your coach may just revise your training and tell you to have a day off. This is where I suggest snow being a blessing in disguise.  I always believed the snow storms came at just the right moment. In my past I was so stubborn to ever take days off unless it was a scheduled day off. This is probably why I suffered with many injuries in my collegiate career.  So I usually took a snow day as an off day and revised my training with my coach. With that being said my first suggestion is to always consult your coach. He or she wants the best for you.

If you are able to go to the gym but do not care for treadmills, there are other alternatives. Just remember the elliptical and bike is not the same as running. If you are in high gear training you have to train accordingly.

My top 5 Gym Training for Snow Days:

  1.  If you have never ran on treadmill I would suggest to only do of half of your run on the treadmill and finish your workout on an elliptical or bike.  For example, if you are supposed to run 6 miles, I would run 3 on the treadmill then go elliptical for an additional 30 minutes.
  2. Spin Classes are great. If the gym is offering a class. Take advantage of the spin class. Or hop on a bike and conduct your own spin workout. You can Google or Pinterest spin workouts; some even come with suggested music to cycle to.
  3. Never Exercise on a level 1. You are a runner. Set the level or resistance to something more difficult. Remember, Working out on machines are not the same as running. If you want to get the same benefit on the machine as in running you cannot dilly dally around on the elliptical without breaking a sweat.
  4. Do Fartleks while working out. This will ensure that you get a good workout.  One of my favorites is to warm up for 10 minutes on a machine of your choice then proceed with 6X (1 minute hard, 1 minute easy, 2 minutes hard, 1 minute easy, 3 minutes hard 1 minutes easy) Followed by a 10 minute cool down.
  5. Alternate between Machines. It can become very boring and numbing to elliptical for 60 minutes. Try alternating between 3 machines. Spend 10 minutes at a fast pace on different machines such as, the Stairmaster, Rowing machine, and Spin bike. Your recovery between the hard sets will be walking do the different machines.

On the other hand, what if there are 18 inches of snow outside and you cannot even open your front door. If you are itching to get your cardio pumping I have provided some at home workouts to do when you are snowed in for good.

My Top 5 at Home Workout Suggestions

  1. Many of us have Netflix or Hulu. I have found some great Pilates, yoga, and cardio dance workouts online.  If you do not have videos of your own those are great resources. Runners are typically tight and stiff anyways, so to get that heart rate up and blood pumping spending an hour or two doing yoga is a major benefit.
  2. Burpee Curcits. This would be similar to cross fit. Burpees are intense and get our heart rates up fast. Do something like 25 burpees, 25 sit-ups, 25 lunges, 25 Donkey kicks, ect… and repeat all for 30 minutes to an hour.
  3. Weight training with your running shoes. This does not sound too strenuous; however try holding your shoes out horizontally doing mini circles. Do this activity for 60 seconds and I promise your arms will be burning. Do activities such as these and spend a good hour doing different variations of weight repetitions for 60 seconds. Stick to 10 exercises and repeat 3-5 times.
  4. Meditate. I have mentioned in previous posts to visualize yourself running. This is a mental workout. It may not be very physical, but it is important to train our minds as well as our bodies. Spend a good half hour just focusing on an upcoming race, visualizing every aspect of the race.
  5. Pyramid workouts. This is a fun variation on circuit training. Instead of doing 3 sets of certain workouts, change it up by doing the workout Pyramid style. Start with 10 seconds of Lunges, 20 Seconds of Squats, 30 seconds of Russian Twists, and 40 seconds of High Knees, 50 seconds of Planks, 60 seconds of Burpees, 50 seconds of lunges, 40 seconds of squats, 30 seconds of Russian Twists, 20 seconds of High Knees, 10 seconds of Planks. Pick different exercises to do after each set. It is a fun way to get sore!

I hope my ideas are helpful. Please suggest some training ideas of your own below. And stay Safe and Dry over the Snowy week to come!

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First Playlist

When I first started running I would walk out my front door and just take off. It would be me on a road. I would run for over an hour listening to the sounds of the morning. It was joyous and relaxing for me. I would let my mind wander visualizing my running performances and goals. I was never one to grab an ipod to listen to music while I ran. If I attempted to listen I would end up turning it off or tuning the music out completely. I was never like most runners. This was both a good thing and a bad thing. I believe it is important to focus on your goals. However, there does come a time when you should relax a bit and enjoy your run. It is very important to never forget how lucky you are to be able to walk out your door and TAKE OFF RUNNING. With this being said, I have asked one of my dearest Friends, Leah Schroeder to help me develop a few play lists for runners to enjoy.

We work so hard training and focusing on every aspect of running. It can become overwhelming and exhausting. On your easy long run days I encourage you to let yourself go. Listen to music or silence, whatever is your cup of tea. Just make sure one of your runs each week is fun and relaxing. Each season is long and treacherous. With our goals always staring us down, we will not lose sight of them.

This Christmas take that itunes gift card you found in your stocking and download some hits to propel you through the winters training.  If it were up to me to help develop a playlist, it would primarily be Taylor Swift songs. As a matter of fact, it is pretty safe to say that my current play list is predominately Taylor Swift.  Below you will find 2 different playlists each is roughly an hour in length. The music genres are quite different. So pick a song or two from either list or download the entire list. It is up to you. I just want you to relax and enjoy your gift of running.

Playlist #1:

1. Matchbook Romance- Monsters

2. Matchbox Twenty- How far we’ve come

3. One Republic- All the right moves

4. Pink-Try

5. Papa Roach- Time is running out

6. Placebo- Running up that hill

7. Red Jumpsuit Apparatus-Face down

8. Robyn- Dancing on my own

9. Slim Thug- I run (remix)

10. All American Rejects- Move along

11. Avril Lavigne-My happy ending

12. Kanye West- Stronger

13. 30 Seconds to Mars- This is war

14. Incubus- Dig

15. Third Eye Blind- Faster

16. Kelly Clarkson- Catch my breath

Playlist 2:

1. Belinda Carlisle- Heaven is a place on earth

2. Eddie Money- Take me home tonight

3. Edward  Maya- Stero Love

4. Ellie Goulding- Lights Bassnectar remix

5. Enrique Iglesiaa- Just wana be with you

6. Natalie Merchant- Wonder

7. 10,000 Maniacs- Becasue the night

8. Madonna- Like a prayer

9. MGMT- Kids

10. Prince- When doves cry

11. Sting- Desert Rose

12. Spin Doctors-Two princes

13. Roxette- She’s got the look

DONT FORGET TO LIST SOME OF THE SONGS ON YOUR PLAYLISTS…

P.S. THANK YOU LEAH SCHOEDER

Meet Andrew…

1. What is your Favorite Movie?

Batman begins

2. Do you have a favorite workout or pre-race tune to get you pumped up?

Listening to music and sitting only so I can focus on the race that im getting ready for

3. What Running Shoe do you wear?

Asics Gel nimbus 12

4. What is your favorite workout of all time?

200m repeats

5. What is your Favorite Pre Race food?

Mojo bars, or anything that is filling but not to heavy

6. What is you all-time favorite food?

Any kind of pasta… I love pasta

7. What is your favorite event?

The 3200 with the 5k in close 2nd

8. What do you do for fun?

Watch movies, hang with friends, and play sports for fun

9. Who or what inspires you to keep running?

The fact that I want to be the best and my friends and family

10. How do you stay motivated?

I look at my goals that i have so I am running for a purpose

11. What is your greatest running related accomplishment?

My 15:48 5k that I ran in cross country

12. What is your opinion on the importance of recovery days?

So you are able to compete at the top level without letting your body tire

13. What is your best memory?

Starting to run my sophomore year for the first time and getting a medal in my first race

14. How has your training changed through the years?

I have started to put miles on instead of just doing the minimum

15. How has your mileage changed in high school?DSCF1125

20-25 to now I run in the mid 50’s a week

16. What do you think is the most important aspect of training?

To better prepare yourself when the state championship come around

17. What is an example of a workout you would do before a major race?

A good easy 30min run and do some striders to keep the legs fresh

18. What is your typical day like?s

I average about 8 miles a day and so abs

19. What is next in line for you, where are you headed?

Im going to be running in college but I haven’t decided yet

20. Do you have any words of wisdom for up and coming runners?

If you want to be great, not just good, you have to be in 100% don’t think that natural talent will make you better, you have to work harder than everyone else if you want to be great

MEET SETH…

1. What is your Favorite Movie?

Without Limits (Thanks Anissa)DSCF1125

2. Do you have a favorite workout or pre-race tune to get you pumped up?

Before races I try to listen to music that calms me down because if you know me I am a nervous wreck before meets.

3. What Running Shoe do you wear?

Brooks Ravenna 3

4. What is your favorite workout of all time?

I’m still in search for that workout that really pops out to me but one I normally run well is 600m repeats on the track.

5. What is your Favorite Pre Race food?

I am the wrong person to ask about pre-race meals considering I get sick after every race, but eggs usually stay down the best.

6. What is you all-time favorite food?

Sushi!!!

7. What is your favorite event?

3200m because I’ve had the most success in it, but the 1600m comes in a close second.

8. What do you do for fun?

Hang out with friends, play sports, and go for easy runs.

9. Who or what inspires you to keep running?

My dad who passed away when I was little inspires me. Most people use those types of things for excuses. I think it is just another reason to go harder.

10. How do you stay motivated?

The thought of how easy it would be to quit, and people telling me I can’t do something. Especially because I go to a small school.

11. What is your greatest running related accomplishment?

Placing 2nd in state track for the 3200m my freshmen year.

12. What is your opinion on  the importance of recovery days?

If I didn’t have a recovery day I probably wouldn’t have any legs! So extremely important.

13. What is your best memory?

I have so many good memories but one that really sticks out to me was right after I got my medal in state for the 3200, Blake Goodin shook my hand and told me I will do big things. (He now runs for K-State and broke the medal count record for class 1).

14. How has your training changed throughout the past few years?

It has changed 100% for the better. I was clueless my freshman year.

15. What was your highest mileage in high school?

Low to mid 50’s a week

16. What do you think is the most important aspect of training?

Teaching yourself to have the right mindset. I believe running is 70% mental.

17. What is an example of a workout you would do before a major race?

400m repeats on the track early that week.

18. What is your typical day like?

Wake up around 5:30, get my run in, come home and get ready for school, wait for school to get over, go to basketball practice, come home, EAT.

19. What is next in line for you, where are you headed?

Just trying to be the best I can be. The ultimate goal is to run for a well-known division 1 school in college, but until then just doing everything Anissa tells me!

20. Do you have any words of wisdom for up and coming runners?

I’m an up and coming runner myself so I’m always looking for words of wisdom. But the best advice I’ve got is to believe that you can do anything, and you will do everything. “Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right.”

Weight Room Training

In my last post I mentioned the importance of doing the little things to help you become the best runner that you can be. One key component to developing into a competitive runner is to get into the weight room. It is vital to develop strength in order to reduce the risk of injuries as well as making yourself a strong better-rounded athlete. Below I have posted a basic weight routine that can be completed 1 -2 times per week for extra strength.

WARM UP:

Rowing Machine (3k warm up)

WORKOUT:

Each exercise consists of 3 set of 15-20 repetitions. Remember to go slow. We are not racing here. It is important to engage all muscles and get the most benefit out of each exercise. You can use dumbbells, rubber bands or kettle bells for resistance.

1. Basic Biceps Curls

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2. Standing Front Raise

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3. Standing Lateral Raise

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4. Rotator Cuff Lift

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5. One arm row

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6. Triceps Extensions

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Next move onto a mat to complete the next few exercises; you will need a Medicine ball, Swiss ball, and Bosu ball.

1. Squats… Place a medicine ball or weight in between your legs and then proceed on to a squat.

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2. Medicine Ball balance throws… While standing on a bosu ball have your partner throw a medicine ball back and forth, while you balance.

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3. Swiss Ball Jackknife

4. Swiss Ball Push ups

5. Swiss Ball hamstring raises

6. Opposite arm and leg raises

7. Abdominal side extensions

8. Back extensions

9. Abdominal Leg Lifts

10. Step ups

These exercises will be a great routine to get you started and develop basic strength to prepare you for the upcoming track season.

The Little Things

If I could give anyone just an ounce of advice. What would I say?

“DO THE LITTLE THINGS”

The little things in life make all the difference.

If you want to be a great runner what is the one thing you need to do to become great? Well, that is easy. You need to run. And Run. And RUN. And then maybe run some more. However will just running get you very far?

I have been running for over 10 years.  I have experienced all levels of running. I have been a beginner and I have raced with the elite. Throughout the years I became  successful,motivated,  injured, discouraged, and eventually gave up completely.  So you make ask, what have I learned? I learned to eat better, put more effort in to drills, weights, ab exercises, and stretching.  I learned that I should have done all the little things my coaches, trainers, and doctors suggested. Unfortunately I was too stubborn. All I wanted to do was run. Therefore, I got injured countless times and put myself in a never-ending cycle of defeat.  Although I had some great successes, I would do things differently if I had the chance. Luckily I do have a chance to do things differently, to this day I do the little things.
Running will get you far. It will definitely take you places. But if you do not put in the little bits of extra effort, you will fall short of your most ambitious goals. I encourage you to put in the extra effort now. If you want to reach you goals for track season, you have to start now. Winter training has begun and you need to get focused and motivated to tackle whatever comes your way.

 

Midwest Footlocker 2012: RESULTS

If you have never ran in a national race it is something to experience.  It is very intimidating to be surrounded by hundreds of the best runners in the country. When the race starts there is a mass of people running next to you the entire way. For 3.1 miles you are never alone. There is always someone next to you pushing you to the finish line.

The week of Thanksgiving, the boys and I headed off to Wisconsin to experience the Midwest regional Footlocker championships.  Both runners had new experiences and a chance to learn more about the runners they are becoming.  DSCF1129

Andrew had been suffering with colds and mild sicknesses during the weeks concluding his high school cross country season.  Going into Footlocker we were hoping he would run like his old self. I was ecstatic to see him running focused and relaxed as he passed the one mile mark. He looked in control of himself, crossing the finish line in 16:33 finishing in 152nd place. I was excited to see him beat guys he raced all year. Andrew even beat a few State Champions. In February he will have one last cross country race as a high school runner, the USA Jr. Cross Country race in St. Louis, Missouri.  Over the past year, Andrew has been able to experience and become comfortable racing in larger races. His first experience a year ago was an eye opener. However, you have to have that first experience in order to develop into a more successful runner, which he is definitely in the process of becoming.  DSCF1132

Seth is only a sophomore with more ambition than I know what to do with. Footlocker was his first attempt at a National race. I believe what got Seth was the intensity of the race. It was something he has ever experienced. I can try to prepare him, or anyone for a national race. But in reality you just have to go out there and experience it yourself. Although the race did not go as planned for Seth, he learned so much about himself. He knows what he needs to do differently. Seth will have a second chance to redeem himself at the USA Jr. Cross Country race with Andrew in February. With his first national experience under his belt, I am confident to say in February we will see a different runner. Plus Seth still has 2 more shots at Footlocker.

Over the past week both runners took off to recover from the long season. Next week is the first week back. Winter Training is about to begin and it will be in full force. Lots of miles and strengthening exercise to look forward too!!