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Posts Tagged ‘hill workouts’

As you may or may not know in 2010 was when we began our training to run our first half-marathon.  Both of us had run in high school and/or college, but never to the distance we would hit in our half marathon training.  The two of us and probably like a lot of people who train for their first half marathon followed Hal Higdon‘s guide.

 
Hal Higdon’s guides are great and perhaps there are some people out there who work their way through a number of his different plans.  We, however, did not and kind of decided to start looking through different plans (one of which was definitely Hal Hidgon’s) and piecing them together.  After all what works for one person might not work for another and it never hurts to try something to see if it works for you!

Throughout the not quite two years of us running together we’ve learned to appreciate aspects of our training, realized some things that needed to be added and why, so we shall share with you!

Weight Training

Both of us got personal trainers at a point where we each wanted to lose weight (You can read about Beth’s story here and Teal’s story here).  Boy are we thankful to Will & Johnny for helping us to get into shape, get healthy and teaching us a lot!  Weight training is very important as you need to build a base for yourself.  If you only rely on running to build your muscles then you are missing out!  Not every single race you might run will you actually feel yourself digging deep and using that core strength or pumping those arms hard to get to that finish line, but those are important parts of your body to work on strength so you have it when you need it.   With that said it’s important to find a balance with your weight training and make sure you are working every part of your body.  Build that strong foundation so you can be a stronger runner!  It was well into us running together that we realized we were at an advantage by already having trainers and having those weekly weights session.  We didn’t know where we would be in our running if we didn’t have them!

While yes, a trainer makes it so much easier to get your weights session in you don’t neeed to have one! Grab a friend that’s knowledgeable about weights and ask them to show you the ropes a few times or look into one of the many apps that’s how there and available to guide you through a workout!

If you would like more of an explanation of the benefits weight training please see this post from Runner’s World.

Tempo Runs

We just recently started to incorporate these into our workouts.  What were we waiting for with these??

What? There is lots to read out there about tempo runs and sometimes it doesn’t seem to be written in layman’s terms, or is that just us?  Part of why we probably did NOT do tempo runs for awhile was because we did not truly understand them.  A tempo run normally consists of running at an easy pace to start, let’s say we are doing a 4 mile tempo run, so you may run your first mile at an easy pace then for miles 2 and 3 you kick it into a higher gear. This higher gear is a hard pace yet if you were rate levels of hard you might have comfortably hard, hard, and extremely hard.  You want this higher gear to be at a comfortably hard pace so that you can sustain this level of intensity for the entirety of your two miles.  Once you hit mile 4 take your speed back down to where you were in mile 1 for a nice recovery mile.

Importance.  The idea behind a tempo run is to raise your lactate threshold. If you are at a point in your running where you are able to run the mileage you want in a long run but are ready to work on speed this is a workout you’ll want to add into your training schedule once a week to build speed and strength.  The one thing that really helped us in determining how to do a tempo run was by using the McMillan Running Calculator not only did it help with tempo runs but also discovering what type of speed we needed for all sorts of runs.

Hill Workouts

What? While yes there are races out there that you might register that are flat, flat, flat!  But that is simply not going to be the case for each and every race that you will ever run.  Those hills in your runs/races continue to help challenge us as runners.  The best workout we have found to make sure a hill does not defeat us in a race are hill repeats.  We’ll be honest they aren’t the most fun type of workout, but believe us when you finish a race with hills you’ll be thankful for the time you spent on hill repeats.  For us a hill repeat workout consists of:

1.  Doing your homework and find a hill that will work.  You might want a hill that is somewhere between .1 – .2 of a mile.
2.  Get a little bit of mileage in before your hill repeats, i.e. run from your house out to the hill
3. When you reach your hill if it’s your first time maybe try 4 or 5 runs up the hill and back down (but have a goal of working up to 10 hill repeats)
4. Get in that last bit of mileage back to your house
Importance.  We’ve recently heard a couple people say this and it is the absolute truth, “the difference between me continuing to run and the people walking up the hill in that race are these workouts.”  Even if you are not specifically training for a race that has hills in them, this workout is beneficial! It’ll build muscle that running on a flat path does not, help with your endurance and help you to get faster!  Throw this type of running workout into your weekly mix as well and you’ll feel a difference at your next race!

Tangents
Just for good measure we are throwing this one in this post.  And no we aren’t taking you back to geometry class either! 🙂 Or is it basic algebra?? Ha, math is hard, y’all! 🙂 There were plenty of times that we can remember one of us saying “ugh! My Runkeeper says I ran 6.43 in that 10k race!” and there were times when we’d finish our long runs together that we were asked “why did Teal run a further distance than you Beth?” TANGENTS! It’s about tangents!  We can honestly say we were taught this very valuable piece of information from reading katieRUNSthis’ blog!

The majority of races we have run together have a certified course so it has been measured and is exactly the distance the course claims it to be.  When a course is measured it is done so on tangents, so when there is a curved portion of your course the person who measured it did so on the tangents.  This is also why for instance when we go run our long runs or even if we run side by side during a race our mileage for that long run or race could be different because neither one of us is running the curves the exact same.  For the visual people out there, let us show you the tangents in visual form.

 

While you might have learned about tangents today know that at your next race you might do your best to run the tangents but still find that you have some extra mileage at the end, well, it’s hard to run the tangents EXACTLY.  As you have to be looking ahead and plotting out exactly how to run the next curve not to mention that there are other runners out there with you on the course that might keep you from running that straight line exactly.  All we can do is do our best!

We are no experts by any means! We read articles, blogs, etc. online in an effort to try and learn how we can improve our running.  We wanted to share some information that opened up our eyes, helped us to understand running more and that we think everyone should have the benefit of knowing!

If you already knew all of this, well, thanks for bearing with us today!  If you didn’t know all of this – are you going to be making some changes now to your weekly running?  Glad to know why there is extra mileage on those races you’ve run before?
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Y’all, how is it already April?! Good Lord, time flies!  Well, here is how we measured up for March’s report card! Hope we aren’t grounded!

Teal

1. Paint Bedroom and guest room for real this time. Spring break should make this possible! A+: Done! I did this all by myself from 8-1am one day during spring break! So glad that is done. Every room in my house is now painted! Wahoo.

2. Survive my 2 week break from running and cardio by not cheating. I am going to give my body a true rest. I think it is overworked and is partially to blame for the plateau of weight-loss, my injury and that it is not fully gone, and from being tired from having 2 jobs and grad school. The break will be hard because rest is really not part of my vocabulary but it’s a needed part of life. Must get better.

A: I survived this and technically started cardio back one day early. I am happy to say that I have no foot pain, well minus our run from Saturday, but it feels great! I think my body feels better, but is ready to get back into training. Running has not been what I want but I am glad I did this. I really only ran 2 times last month outside of the 3 races we did. So it really was a good well needed break!

 

3. Yoga 12 times this month. This will be how I survive the “rest” from running/cardio. Low impact, restorative, and a good way to focus on flexibility.

C: I only went 6 times. I think my break went to my head because I really didn’t want to do anything. I was, however able to earn new Yoga bling for my 50th class this month.

 

4.  Finish Good Calories, Bad Calories by Gary Taubes F: Not only did I not finish this book I A) can’t find it and B) I read the Hunger Games instead! Whoops.

 

Beth

1.  Run a sub 2:00 hour half marathon at Rock ‘n’ Roll Dallas! A+: I did it!  In case you need the proof here it is 🙂

2. Lose 5 pounds. Seriously, y’all!! I need to get SERIOUS about take some pounds off for my wedding! F: Pretty sure I gained a pound. Womp! Womp!

3. Get a caterer for the wedding.  You thought this one went away didn’t you?  Well, I was all on track, got one approved by my venue and haven’t heard back from him after our initial phone call about my homes and dreams of wedding food.  I’ve chosen to take that as a sign and look elsewhere just need to setup tastings! B: Brent and I are going to a tasting Thursday and Saturday of this week! Never thought it would take THIS LONG to get to that stage of getting a caterer! Holy geez!

4.  Attend 3 to 4 yoga classes a week. You’re probably like whaa?? You yoga all the time!  Well, technically I don’t totally have yoga goals like I did for all of 2011 and I took 2 weeks off when I hit my 200 and let me tell you my body knew it!  So I want to see how I do with 3-4 times a week for a month where this blog holds me accountable! B+: I did this every week with the exception of the last week of April! So pretty darn proud of myself!

5. Update my handwriting/calligraphy website.  It needs a MAJOR change starting with a new theme that allows for a real blog inside the website.  Change is a coming! D: It still looks the same.  Part of this I need my sister’s help on and we thought she’d uploaded a new theme for my website but it didn’t go through.  AND she got to work on self-publishing her first ever book, Creative Chaos, so she got a little tied up which I don’t blame her!

As far as hills went in March I did a hill workout in 3 out of the 4 weeks of March.  And I’m totally behind on my two books a month goal and only got through Mile Makers by Kristin Armstrong in March.

 And now for April’s goals….

Teal:

1. Successfully complete the BluePrint Cleanse.  This will start Monday April 2nd and end Tuesday April 10th.

2. Complete one hill and one speed training per week, in place of regular runs or cardio.

3. I have one paper left for Grad School that is technically not due until the middle of May but I want to finish it and not procrastinate. Also I would like to finish up with all of my hours before the end of the month so I can order, submit, and file everything early to be ready for graduation!

4. Earn my 75th class yoga band.

Beth:

1. Please don’t hate me, but I’m going for lose 5lbs again.  Third time is a charm right?  I plan on doing the Advocare 10 day cleanse again this month and take a two week supply of the Advocare MNS Max 3, so all of that alone should guarantee I lose more than 5lbs we’ll just have to see how I do keeping it off the rest of the month! 🙂

2. Save the Dates – have them printed, addressed (myself) and sent off to wedding guests before this month is over!

3. Stadium workouts once a week.  This week sometime I should be meeting Johnny to do a stadium workout the way he wants me to do them and should that happen I would like to complete them once a week!

4. Prepare food for each week on Sunday nights this month.  I’ll have to do this for at least the 10 day cleanse, but to help me get serious with my food and losing weight this has to be done every week!

So time for us to get busy!  What do you have in store for the month of April? Personal goals you are trying to accomplish, running goals or both?

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We woke up yesterday morning and it was 28 degrees in Dallas. Brrrr!! Just a week and a half ago we were both getting in a run separately in what seemed like spring time weather – 70ish degrees.  Texas you are so fickle with your weather! Then last night there were snow flurries in different parts of the metroplex – snow flurries!

Ever since we spent four plus hours out in the cold and rain running our first ever marathon neither one of us has been super excited about going out and running in the cold.  Have you noticed a lot of treadmill runs out of us lately?  Of course we did go run the New Year’s Double races in colder temperatures, but it was racing that got us out of bed for that one.  Getting out of bed and running by ourselves in the cold – no way, Jose!

Back to yesterday morning – We were lucky to be able to have breakfast with our friend Rebekah who tagged along with her husband on his work weekend. So we got to spend time with Rebekah and baby Eliza again!

At breakfast we both said “I am NOT running outside today. TOO COLD.” And then basically discussed how we would work our time in on the dreadmill. Yuck! We left there intending to do treadmill runs. I am pretty sure we both got home and said – “Seriously?? Buck up!” Apparently we both decided to brave the cold at the same time and both reached for our phones to text the other –

B: I think I might brave the cold for hills and then run later tonight at the gym.

T: Haha, I literally picked up the phone to tell you the same!  I’m going to try and get 8? Hope I don’t freeze

Teal headed out for her 8 mile run dressed for snow!

She continues to have serious issues with being cold. For Christmas her mom had bought her Under Armour water proof gloves which very much remind her of the infamous OJ Simpson gloves, but who cares? They are super thick! Slapped those on, found her ear covers and had two shirt layers on as well as a jacket. Mind you it’s now about 40 degrees outside but whatever!

Thank god we don’t live anywhere further north. Teal’s 8 miles went very well. Ran a pretty hilly course at a fairly slow pace and felt great. Her foot, in case you were curious is doing much better!  It still reminds her that it is hurt in runs but is making great progress. Along with the foot Teal thinks that her post-marathon cold trauma is fading!  Well maybe…

Here is a picture of the course Teal ran –

Beth had not done her hill workout for the week or her long run so she decided Sunday would be a double run day.  Seeing as it was in the low 40’s that meant she should dress like it was in the low 60’s, so she figured it would be a good time to take her new lululemon shorts for a spin to test them out for the Princess Half.  And for good measure threw on a hat to keep warm!

As of late when Beth does hills she tries to get a little mileage in, the hills, and then some additional mileage and that’s exactly how today went.  A little over a mile out, ran the hill 10 times, and not quite 2.5 miles to finish it up for a 5.17 mile run.

We did it! We ran outside again and might not be so terrified of the low temperatures anymore!  Call us wimps all you like….but we live in Texas and have for pretty much forever!  We don’t know truly cold weather.

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It’s that time to give you the good & bad of our January goals!

Teal:

1.  Attend a minimum of 10 yoga classes at Sunstone.  This is big time for me! I only had 25 classes last year. I took a huge break!  : A+ Crushed this! As of 1/31 I have attended 16 classes!


2.  Complete one extra day of weight training on my own.  I train with Will two days a week, but that is all the weight training I do.  I am scared of that side of the gym when I am alone, so I am going to buck up and start a progression of doing weights on my own.  Not that I am getting rid of Will, I just need to stop being a baby. C+: I only did my “extra” weight work out twice in 4.5 weeks but definitely feel more comfortable going to that side of the gym on my own.


3.  Lose 4 pounds. I am stuck! I hate it and want to be unstuck! F: besides losing my cleanse weight to get me back to my “normal weight” I technically have only lost .5lbs according to the scale I use with my trainer- oh how I love being stuck…

4.  Read a book for pleasure!  Graduate school has killed any fun reading that I once did.  I have chosen to read Look Me in the Eye: My Life with Asperger’s by John Elder Robison. A-: Well, I finished literally today (or shall is say night) and the only reason I finished was because it was “due” today for the goal- I did however read another book in between this about food and wellness, so bonus points for that! And PS- I really did not like this book 😉

Beth:

1.  Complete 200 yoga classes.  The very end of January 2011 was when I started yoga and my goal all along was to complete 200 in one year.  I broke that goal into 50 classes every 3 months.  As of this morning I have 29 more classes to go!  A+:  Might have had to do 3 classes in one day to obtain this goal, but I DID IT!!! 200 yoga classes in 1 year!  The best part was I took my 200th class with my friend that got me started in yoga and went to that very first class with me, so she also got to go to my 200th class with me!  Shout out to the awesome @HeadPantsNow!

200 wristband bling from Sunstone Yoga

2.  Do a hill workout every week.  If I blew off a day in my training schedule it was always hills, and I know I will benefit from doing them SO much. C:  I only did two hill workouts…..

3.  Organize my room! I love organization, but for the past year I feel like I’m running from one thing to the next.  All the organizing I once did has gone out the window, and it really makes me sad that I now resemble a messy person. :( A+:  There was one weekend in our 10 day cleanse and that Saturday to distract myself I CLEANED!  Then it got messy again and I finally got the last bits organized.  I took before and after pictures, but y’all I REALLY do like cleanliness so I’m totally embarrassed to show these….

Before

Got rid of clothes, old magazines, bagged old running shoes to take to local running store & threw away a lot!

Final product...and you can see I still have one itty bitty pile on the floor :-/

4.  Find a caterer for my wedding!  This is the next big item I want to get crossed of my wedding to do list! B+:  My goal was to either have it completed or be well on the way towards having a caterer.  My venue has a preferred vendor list and the person I want to use is not on that list, so they had to get approval to be my caterer.  My venue has approved the caterer, I’ve had a lengthy phone call with the caterer, reviewed menus of their’s and given what we want and don’t want.  As of now I am waiting to get a potential menu or two then schedule a tasting!

We each have one last goal that we are both doing –

5. Complete a 10 day Advocare cleanse.  A+:  You all know that though because we did a recap a couple weeks ago!

We are both pretty proud of ourselves, obviously there are areas to work on and we will keep on working!  With that said here is what’s on tap for February for us:

Teal:

1.  Let’s try this damn weight/fat loss thing again- I’ll keep it at 4lbs. Wish me luck, perseverance, and calmness through the frustration. I know this will fix itself eventually!

2.  Paint my bedroom and hang the pictures – I have had the paint and the frames for our prints since the end of December and they have tortured me ever since.

3.  Read about and become more knowledgeable about Clean Eating, general good nutrition and Gluten. I have purchased Wheat Belly by Dr. William Davis and Good Calories Bad Calories by Gary Taubes. The goal is to read both this month.

4.   Make the foam roller my best friend and roll at least once a day, and complete ALL given Physical Therapy for my foot which includes stretching/tennis ball rolling at breakfast, lunch, and before bed and ice 1-2 times per day.

Beth:

1. HILLS! Do them once a week – for real this time!

2. Wedding Schtuff – Part A: Get outfits settled on (for both of us) & take engagement pictures!  Part B: Finish two of my three registries! <—Just want those things done and over with! Ha, is that a bad way to phrase it?

3.  Lose 5 pounds!  I’m taking engagement pictures this month, so a  few pounds off and working towards a smaller weight for upcoming races needs to happen!

4.  Clean the craft/guest/whatever room!  My sister and I have a guest room at our house and we each kind of have half of it to ourselves and then a teeny tiny twin bed sits in the middle of it. Ha, we are both former, big-time scrapbookers so we have got crafts galore in there!  This will be my next room I conquer!

We are once again doing a joint goal this month!  We have decided to….

5.  Both participate in #FabAbFeb:

Overall, Teal feels like if she took these grades home she’d be grounded.  What do you think?  And Beth is pretty happy with her grades but is ready to hit the mark in hills class. What do you think?

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Last year [how is 2011 already last year??] we started out the year with a goal for the whole year and that really worked out for us!  That worked out for us for 2011, but if we are going to push ourselves and we are going to grow even more then we need to shake things up for 2012.  You might also see some minor changes to the look of the blog due to the new year and our new goals this month!

So to start 2012 we are going to try out monthly goals!

Teal:

1.  Attend a minimum of 10 yoga classes at Sunstone.  This is big time for me! I only had 25 classes last year. I took a huge break!

2.  Complete one extra day of weight training on my own.  I train with Will two days a week, but that is all the weight training I do.  I am scared of that side of the gym when I am alone, so I am going to buck up and start a progression of doing weights on my own.  Not that I am getting rid of Will, I just need to stop being a baby.

3.  Lose 4 pounds. I am stuck! I hate it and want to be unstuck!

4.  Read a book for pleasure!  Graduate school has killed any fun reading that I once did.  I have chosen to read Look Me in the Eye: My Life with Asperger’s by John Elder Robison.

(source)

Beth:

1.  Complete 200 yoga classes.  The very end of January 2011 was when I started yoga and my goal all along was to complete 200 in one year.  I broke that goal into 50 classes every 3 months.  As of this morning I have 29 more classes to go!

2.  Do a hill workout every week.  If I blew off a day in my training schedule it was always hills, and I know I will benefit from doing them SO much.

3.  Organize my room! I love organization, but for the past year I feel like I’m running from one thing to the next.  All the organizing I once did has gone out the window, and it really makes me sad that I now resemble a messy person. 😦

4.  Find a caterer for my wedding!  This is the next big item I want to get crossed of my wedding to do list!

We each have one last goal that we are both doing –

5. Complete a 10 day Advocare cleanse.

Teal is actually an Advocare distributor.  Checkout her website and/or order from her here.  She has done their 10 day cleanse two times before and saw weight lose results each time.  After all the eating over the holidays and as Teal mentioned before being stuck (not that Beth doesn’t feel the same way) we thought this would be the perfect way to jump start the new year.  Do a cleanse and start afresh.  As of Wednesday, January 4th we will start the cleanse and our last day will be Friday, January 13th.  We will go ahead and update you sooner than the end of the month on our cleanse, but these are our goals!  We’ll check back with you at the end of the month and go from there!

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