Saturday, December 12, 2009

12 Days Of Christmas

Running knows no season (you know, like, love knows no season). It's always running season even during Christmas time! The holiday season is a popular time for people to overload on food followed by the famous New Year's Resolution to be active. Tip: Being active before, during, and after the holiday season will help convince you to stick to your exercise regimen. Waiting till the New Year isn't always the best idea. Well, you are probably thinking that is easier said then done. So, just combine the holiday spirit with running/exercise. How you may ask? Four words: 12 Days of Christmas. Create a personalized 12 Days of Christmas running/exercise list. It is just an exercise plan with goals you make for yourself but just jazzed up for Christmas. For Example:

12 Days of Christmas:
On the 12th day of Christmas, my true love/ running buddy gave to me....
12 Packs of Jelly Belly Energy Beans (You know, they may help you tackle those dreadful hills.)
11 Training Tips (Remember to trim your toenails, dress as if it is 20 degrees warmer, etc.)
10 Nutritional Tips (Carbs/ Protein help rebuild your energy and muscle strength.)
9 Power Running Songs (Bombs Over Bagdad... All time Go-To-Power-Song.)
8 Strength Training Ideas (Work muscles bilaterally; what you do to one quad do to the other.)
7 Suggested Goals (weight loss, miles ran, time ran, etc.)
6 Pairs of Socks (One can never have enough socks!)
5 Golden Medals... to earn in the future after all your hard training. (Ah, Victory!)
4 Race Entries (Atlanta ING Half/ Full or DOW Live Earth Run For Water.)
3 Pairs of Warm Running Gloves
2 New Pairs of Running Shoes (Asics or Nike = good choices.)
... and 1 New Running Outfit for your optimal goal i.e. Running a Marathon!

Now it's time to make your list. Be creative and have fun! Isn't that the point of exercise? :) Enjoy the holidays while being active and keeping off those unwanted pounds. This year you won't be the one complaining about how much you ate and thinking of possible names for your food baby.

Training Exercise of the Week: Wall Sits. This is a good full body exercise. You will be activating mostly your abdominals, quadriceps, and hamstring muscles to help stabilize your body. Here is how to perform the exercise:

Basic Wall Sits:
  • Find an clear/smooth wall with nothing on it.
  • Stand up with your back against the wall.
  • Lower yourself as if you are going to sit in a chair. Your knees should be at a 90 degree angle while your back is flat against the wall.
  • Place a pillow below you if you think you may slip and fall.
  • Hold your spot for 30-60 seconds.
  • Repeat 3-5 times.
Progression Wall Sits:
  • Find an clear/smooth wall with nothing on it.
  • Stand up with your back against the wall.
  • Hold a weighted medicine ball of your choice.
  • Lower yourself as if you are going to sit in a chair. Your knees should be at a 90 degree angle while your back is flat against the wall.
  • Place a pillow below you if you think you may slip and fall.
  • Hold your spot for 60-90 seconds.
  • Repeat 5-8 times.
Training Tip of the Week: Before and/or after a long run you may experience unfamiliar muscle soreness due to the repeated pounding on the surface. If you know you are going for a longer run than normal you may want to take an anti-inflammatory before running, or you may take it afterwards to ease the pain. However, try not to do it more often than not. The more often you take an anti-inflammatory your body will build an adaptation to the drug causing you to have no benefit for it. So be modest.

Training Songs of the Week: I love iTunes CD Samplers! Here are a few alternative songs to mix up your playlist for those long or even short runs. Enjoy!

1. Acorn Factory- The Dodos
2. Gimme Sympathy- Metric
3. Belated Promise Ring- Iron & Wine

Happy Running,

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Live.Run.Turkey... I mean PIE.

Live: It's the holiday season which means it's marathon mania, lots of food is to be consumed, and surroundings consist of family and friends. Being surrounded by family and friends brings a sense of comfort to people. Enjoy your time with your loved ones, all the great food, and go for a run.

Run: The Atlanta Half Marathon, which was on Thanksgiving, was a great start to a wonderful day! Ross and I not only accomplished a personal best of 1:49, but also made plenty of room for all the scrumptious food! I'm so proud to say we had such an awesome race. He's got the speed, and I got the distance. We make a great team. If you love to run, I recommend finding a race for next year's Thanksgiving. The atmosphere is different than any other half, and it beats watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade on TV. Just remember to keep running and exercise during the holiday season to help keep off those unwanted pounds. Below is a picture of Ross and I after the half.

Turkey PIE: Forget the turkey, pass the pie! After running 13.1 miles on Thanksgiving the pie and dessert eating was on! I've stated in previous blogs that motivation is key to being successful during training for a race. My motivation consisted of eating guilt free after completing the half, and I did just that! I made oatmeal raisin cookies, pumpkin cheesecake, and a pumpkin cake roll for the festivities. That's where we will leave my list of sweets that were consumed.

Thanksgiving is over and now it's time to start training for Atlanta ING Full Marathon. Only 112 days to go till our first marathon! It's important to let your legs rest after completing a half or full. The rule of thumb for rest depends on the runner. I recommend if you are new to running to rest for a couple of days after the race. Then gradually build back up your mileage. However, if you are an experienced runner, or been running longer distance than the training guide for a half then rest will be less. You know your body best so pay attention to any signs of fatigue or weakness.

Training Exercise of the Week: Stretch. Remember to stretch your legs more than normal for a few days after a race. Your legs are more likely to feel sore or tight.
  • Stretch your legs in 2-3 different positions. I recommend standing, sitting, and lying down.
  • Stretch your quadriceps, hamstrings, and calf muscles.
  • Hold your stretch for 30-60 seconds.
  • Repeat each stretch 2-3 times per muscle group.
Training Tip of the Week: Don't take too much time off for rest. It's important to take time off to let your muscles heal and rest. However, I don't recommended more than a week off of running. If you take too much time off your body will start to lose the adaptation you had built during all your hard months of training. If you still feel sore after a week slowly build your mileage back up. Remember the more time you take off the longer it will take to build your endurance back to baseline.

Training Songs of the Week: Two songs that will help add a bounce in your step. Enjoy!

1. Slumdog Millionaire- Wyclef Jean ft. Cyndi Lauper
2. Super Duper Love- Joss Stone

Happy Running,

Friday, November 20, 2009

And Now We Taper

With the Atlanta Half Marathon (and Thanksgiving) only less than 6 days away, it's tapering time. Well, after a semi-long run we will then begin to rest and reduce mileage. Tapering is the time to let your legs rest, recover, and rejuvenate for the big day. Reducing your mileage the week, or sometimes 2 weeks, before the half will allow your legs and other muscles to avoid fatigue and possible injury. However, decreasing mileage for some runners can be tough, but here are some activities and/or possible to-do-list to keep you occupied in your free time.
  • Make your ideal playlist of songs that pump you up! Don't include any songs that you feel may have a "next" potential. Remember to add enough songs (think about your pace in regards to 13.1 miles in "hours") to get you through the entire half without having to hear the same songs... unless you really want to hear the same song 2+ times. Your choice. Below is a sample of my in-progress-playlist:
* Turkey Jingles is currently in development, but will include:
(1) Empire State of Mind- Jay-Z ft Alicia Keys
(2) Cousins- Vampire Weekend
(3) Free Me- Joss Stone
(4) She's A Genius- Jet
(5) Body Language- Jesse McCartney ft. T-Pain
  • Remember to hydrate/ proper nutrition the week following up to the race. Drink water throughout the day even if you don't feel "thirsty". Also, eat fruit as a healthy alternative snack (apples, oranges, bananas, etc). This will ensure that your muscles are well hydrated and will help dodge cramping.
  • Plan out your outfit for the big day. Don't wear any piece of clothing you have never ran in before. Plan your running gear according to the weather. shall be your new BFF! You want to be sure not to over dress. Some people like to include "throw aways" in their running gear. This can include an old/cheap sweat shirt, or even a garbage bag made into a pullover, you can shed and throw out when your body warms up during the race.
  • Trim your toenails (if needed).
  • Plan out and enjoy your CARB dinner ideally 2 days before the race. You should still eat some carbs the day before, but not as heavy as the dinner a couple of days before the race to avoid major cramps. Some running groups plan "Carb Dinners", but if you are hosting yourself here are some simple pasta dinners you can prepare:
Remember you can always tweak the pasta the way you like it such as adding some extra veggies, with or without meat, whole wheat pasta, etc. Have fun with it!

  • Enjoy the Expo! At the expo you pick up your race number, timing chip, shirt, and other goodies! There are different vendors from multiple running/exercise/ fitness/ health companies at the expo for you to mingle with, or even purchase new gear from! Walk around, but not all day, and check out all the fun stuff.
  • Stay motivated and positive. You've made it this far and 13.1 miles (or 26.2 if you are training for a full) should seem "easy" at this point. The hardest part is behind you. It's time to show off all your hard months of training. Always remember why you started this journey and now finish it. Here's a little boost of extra motivation: Full Article
  • Reward yourself after the race. Be proud of all your accomplishments. Think of the ways you will reward yourself. It can be with certain types food, new shoes, new clothes, new electronics, or whatever you got your eye on! Hold your head high with your shiny new medal... once you cross the finish line that is. :)
  • Start planning new goals you want to set out to accomplish after you finish your race. It could be anything to training for a full marathon to running 13.1 miles backwards. Oh yea, I said BACKWARDS. Leave it to a Cajun to set out to be the Guinness Book of World Records Holder for running a Half Marathon (13.1 miles) backwards. Daily for full article.

*Tapering week can be fun and much needed! Just remember to enjoy the relaxation and stay positive. Don't worry about not being able to complete the 13.1 miles because it will come natural on race morning. I bet it will probably even be your best run yet, physically and mentally.

Training Exercise of the Week: Shoulder Raises. This is a good exercise to help bulk up your deltoid (the muscles that sits on and around your shoulder). It's not the same as your rotator cuff muscles that are on your shoulder and shoulder blade. Your deltoid muscle has an anterior, medial, and posterior aspect. This week we will focus on the medial aspect. You want good upper body strength while running to help support your breathing and aid in reducing symptoms of fatigue. Follow the steps below to perform the exercise:

Basic Shoulder Raises (Medial Deltoid)
  • Stand up straight with your feet shoulder width apart. Arms are to be down by your side.
  • Lift one arm up horizontally out to the side of your body while the other is still down by your side. Hold for 2-5 seconds.
  • Place arm back down to your side.
  • Lift the opposite arm up horizontally out to the side of your body while the other is still down by your side. Hold for 2-5 seconds.
  • Completion of 1 set. Repeat for 5-10 sets.
Basic Shoulder Raises Progression (Medial Deltoid)
  • Stand up straight with your feet shoulder width apart. Arms are to be down by your side.
  • Lift one arm up horizontally out to the side of your body adding weight (10-20 pound dumbbell) while the other is still down by your side. Hold for 5-10 seconds.
  • Place arm back down to your side.
  • Lift the opposite arm up horizontally out to the side of your body adding weight (10-20 pound dumbbell) while the other is still down by your side. Hold for 5-10 seconds.
  • Completion of 1 set. Repeat for 5-10 sets.
*Note that if you are unable to hold the weight try decreasing the amount. You can always progress the amount of weight in future sets. It's better to start off light than too heavy. Also, be advised that this exercise is intended to concentrate on the medial aspect of the deltoid muscle.

Training Tip of the Week: Remember tapering is good. Being a runner you don't want to cut back on your runs especially when you are feeling the most confident you have since starting the whole training process. Part of training is to know when to cut back. Your body isn't made to go full force all day every day. Tapering will only help maximize your training benefits when it comes to the big day. However, every runner is different. So the degree of tapering will be different for each runner.

Training Songs of the Week: Random mix. I have no other words to explain it. :) Enjoy!

1. Body Language - Jesse McCartney ft. T-Pain
2. Free Me- Joss Stone
3. Keep On Lovin' You- Steel Magnolia
4. No You Girls- Franz Ferdinand

Happy Running,

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Beware of Coyotes

The key to finishing a long run, half marathon, marathon, whatever it may be is to train your respiratory muscles. According to an article on, it's your respiratory muscles that will give out before your leg muscles. During your hard months of training your leg muscles have physiologically adapted to the endurance of your long runs. So, as you progress in mileage your legs will keep up with your drive to keep going further distances. I have stated before that the key to a good run is your breathing. Therefore, it makes sense that if you reach the final mile of your run and your breathing is off you are more likely to stop because "you can't breath". If you tweak your breathing rhythm it may cause a delay in oxygen reaching your working muscles; then, your body will then start to feel the affects of fatigue causing you to end your run prematurely.

Here are some tips and tricks to good breathing:
  • Good Posture: Having good posture at rest or exercise will help your breathing. Straightening your back will allow your diaphragm to contract and relax properly resulting in efficient air flow.
  • Nose First, Mouth Second: Breath in your nose and out your mouth especially during exercise. This cycle allows fresh air (oxygen) in and carbon dioxide out. If you breath in your mouth, out your mouth, and then back in your mouth you are basically breathing in the same air you exhaled; therefore, you are not wreaking the benefits of fresh air containing mostly oxygen.
  • Slow Your Breathing: If your breathing rate becomes increased try to slow it down. This can be a sign that your pace is too fast. Slow down your pace and correct your breathing. Otherwise, you may cause a cramp in your side or around your neck.
  • The Exercise of Breathing: Yep, there are even exercises for breathing. While at work or any down time you may have try some breathing exercises. This will help release some tension and regulate your breathing rhythm. Start with taking a deep breath through your nose, hold it for a few seconds, then out your mouth. You can do this for how ever long you feel needed.
*I want to include some Rants and Raves of mine for this week. A 9 mile run gives a person a lot to think about. So enjoy! :) :

Rants of the Week:
  • Tropical Strom Ida: Ida came into the ATL area Tuesday and Wednesday with a lot to say. I don't really appreciate the inconvenience you caused me, Ida. My running schedule got all screwed up. I guess now I have to make it up this week. Thanks.
  • 70 Degrees in November: It's a little too warm for November (look under my raves for the same topic). The crazy temperature change is making it difficult to judge how I should gear up for a run. The weather says Spring, but the time of year says Fall. Ah.
  • Beware of Coyotes: Really?! We went to our typical trail for our long run this morning to come across a newly posted beware sign. I'm not ranting because I came in contact with a coyote, but for the thought of coyotes roaming around in Georgia on a public trail. I mean really?! I just don't believe it.
Raves of the Week:
  • 70 Degrees in November: Although it seems so absurd I love it! It's the perfect running weather. Not too hot, not too cold. Perfect. It's just the thought of dressing for spring that blows my mind. There's nothing like a nice sunny warm run.
  • Sweetwater 420: He says it was the spaghetti that gave him his energy boost yesterday, but I say it was the Sweetwater 420 that gave me my boost today. Probably not true, but I'm going to keep believing it. It was carbolish (more like calolish)! :) Regardless, It was delicious. Thanks Roasters for a fabulous and yummy meal!
  • Turkey Day!: Thanksgiving and the Atlanta Half Marathon is less than 2 weeks away. Not only am I excited about running a race on Thanksgiving to experience what all the hype is about running on the holiday, but also about the A-M-A-Z-I-N-G food! Check out the Thanksgiving Calorie Counter to help make you feel better about what you eat, or how many "extra" calories you have allotted yourself after your long run! :)
Exercise of the Week: Superman: The Superman exercise helps increase lower back strength and flexibility. Having a strong core (ab area) is only half of the equation to good body strength and flexibility. You want a nice balance between your core and back muscles to help reduce any unwanted stress on the muscles. There are three different progression levels of the exercise below:

Beginner Superman:
  • Lay on the floor/mat on your stomach. Place your arms out in front and legs out behind you.
  • Lift one arm up while lifting the opposite leg up.
  • Hold for 2 seconds.
  • Lift the other arm and leg up.
  • Hold for 2 seconds. That is 1 set.
  • Repeat the cycle for at least 3 sets.
Intermediate Superman:
  • Lay on the floor/mat on your stomach. Place your arms out in front and legs out behind you.
  • Lift both arms up while keeping your legs on the ground.
  • Hold for 2 seconds.
  • Lift both legs up while keeping your arms on the ground.
  • Hold for 2 seconds. That is 1 set.
  • Repeat the cycle for at least 3 sets.
Advance (Full) Superman:
  • Lay on the floor/mat on your stomach. Place your arms out in front and legs out behind you.
  • Lift both arms and legs up off the ground. Your arms are to be straight out in front of you, and your legs straight out behind you.
  • Hold for 2-5 seconds.
  • Repeat the cycle for at least 3-5 sets.
Training Tip of the Week: Beware of Coyotes! No really, beware of any changes in your normal route. This can include road closures, fallen debris, trash, snakes, rocks, or any other obstacles. Look ahead while running so if you need to dodge something or take another route you are aware. It's a good safety precaution to prevent injury.

Training Songs of the Week: I've chosen some rock jams for your enjoyment of this week. Enjoy!

1. Kings and Queens- 30 Seconds to Mars
2. Zero- Yeah Yeah Yeahs

Happy Running,

Friday, November 6, 2009

"If You Can't Fill It, You Can't Squirt It"

If you can't fill it, you can't squirt it thus resulting in cardiac failure (Oh, Clinical Exercise Physiology class)! It's your heart that keeps you alive, right? So why waste it? A sedentary lifestyle can lead to CVD (Cardiovasular Disease), possibly progress into congestive heart failure, then ultamently resulting in asytole/flatline/death (however you want to fancy it up). Start an exercise routine and stick to it. Don't give up or skip out because you find a way to talk yourself out of doing PA (physical activity). ACSM minimum recommendation for a healthy lifestyle is 30 minutes a days on most days of the week of physical activity. The 30 minutes can be broken down into 3 ten minute bouts of exercise. Some people may find the recommendation too much to handle so make exercise fun! Find a good reason to participate in some type of exercise! Here are a few ideas:

1. Do it for a good cause! The proceeds from most races are to help some type of charity, help the hosting city's community, or help research some type of disease/illness (i.e. childhood obesity). You can help not only better yourself while helping a good cause. It's a win win situation. You can find local events at
  • November 8, 2009 is the 11th Annual World Run Day 2009! This is a great reason to get out those running shoes and participate in this global epidemic. The idea is to help get people out in the community and exercise while possibly contributing to a local charity. You can either join a running group in your community, or even just run on your normal route. Go to RunDay for more information.
  • National Running Day was on June 3, 2009 and got a lot of attention throughout the nation. This is another organization that is trying to fight the sedentary epidemic and help get people active in the community. The concept is the same as World Run Day. It helps bring people together in the community to be active. It's something to work towards without having the pressure of training for a 5k, 10k, half, or even a marathon. Not all people are active for competition. Casual "running days" are a great cure to help get people out on their feet. National Running Day 2010 date has yet to be released, but check for the future date on my blog or the hosting website.
  • DOW Live Earth/ Run For Water is a cause that makes you want to be active. The event is on April 18, 2010 across the world. There are different hosting cities that will draw more attention to the event than others. The run/walk is a 6 km for water because roughly 3.4 miles is the distance many woman and children walk every day to obtain water. The event is also offering educational information regarding water shortage around the world. Everyone should participate regardless if it's through the organization or on your own. RUN FOR WATER!

2. Do It for yourself! You can exercise to lose weight, to reward yourself, to relax after a long day, or for just pure enjoyment.
  • Most people exercise to lose weight. When trying to lose weight don't always go by what the scale tells you. The scale measurement is a weighing of your entire body not just body fat. Judge by inches and how your clothes fit! Refer to the earlier blog -LB = Pounds Lost (10/17/2009) for more information on weight loss.
  • Reward yourself after a hard workout or long run. Don't over do it because then you will just cancel out your workout. Believe it or not coffee, chocolate milk, beer, and even pizza are a good post run/workout snack. Being a Cajun we love beer. So here is a BEER CALCULATOR to help you enjoy a good beverage guilt free after a hard workout :) (Thanks Brandie!) You input your weight, how long you exercised, and chose the type of exercise you performed and you will get the results of what type and how many beers you can drink!
  • Exercise is a good relaxation technique. Lifting weights allows you to use the bottled up strength to help release tension. Kick boxing or a similar activity lets you beat the crap out of something while pretending it is your "problem". Yoga will help you relax and mediate. Running gives you a lot of time to think through your day/ problems and help you cope. No matter your type of exercise it will help you relax and ease some tension.
  • Maybe you exercise for just pure enjoyment. My advise: continue!
Regardless of what your "surface" reason is to exercise just continue to do it. In the long run you will be doing yourself a favor. Good exercise and diet will aid in longevity of your life. Keep your heart, mind, and body healthy. Now that's the key to life :)

Training Exercise of the Week: Mountain Climbers. This is a good exercise for your legs, arms, and abs. If you have back problems I advise you take it slow or not perform this exercise.
  • Performing Mountain Climbers: (1) Place your hands on the ground in front of you. (2) Then place your legs out behind you while your butt is in the air. (3) Now move one leg forward like you are climbing. Your hands are to stay put on the ground and your butt is still in the air. (4) Next move your back foot forward at the same time you move your front foot back. That completes 1 mountain climber. (5) Complete 3-5 sets of 20-30 reps.
Training Tip of the Week: Remember to keep setting new goals. Don't set goals that are not obtainable, or will take too long to reach. If you are training for a marathon remember to set smaller goals within that training. It can be you want to run x amount of miles a week, or you want to run x amount of miles in a long run, or you want to run a 1ok by a certain week. You get my point. Set smaller goals within your larger goal. This way you will stay motivated and will feel you have accomplished more than just a marathon in your journey.

Training Song of the Week: I just want to thank Sister Sister for my music choice of the week! Repin' the 90s Jams. Enjoy! :)

1. STOMP- Kirk Franklin
2. Too Close- Next

Happy Running,

Saturday, October 31, 2009

All Hallows' Eve and A Big Rock

It's always a good idea to test your pace before the big day by running an official race. This way you can adjust any techniques while you have a ton load of people running around you.
Having the field (other runners) running with you helps you to get in a rhythm of passing, pacing, and learning/experiencing a new course. I recommend testing all your training hard work by running at least a 5k (3.1 miles) before the race you are trainin
g for. If it's a 5k you are training for I recommend either run or run/walk a 5k, or most races offer a 1 mile run. Either way it will help you relax some, I say some, nerves on race day because you have a feel
of how an official race operates and your familiar with your race abilities.

*It's almost the end of training for the Atlanta Half Marathon and
just the beginning of the Atlanta ING Full Marathon training. Best way to test our pace: run around a big rock in the rain on Halloween morning. We (Ross and I) decided to particip
ate in the Run Around The Rock 10 mile race at Stone Mountain on this dreary and dismal Halloween morning.
  • Wake up way before the sunrise- Check
  • Drive out to Stone Mountain for 8 am- Check
  • Change clothes in the car because Georgia weather is on crack- Check
  • Cramp up the entire 10 miles- Check
  • Realize Stone Mountain is REALLY hilly- Check
  • Proceed to get soaked, better word would be drenched, at mile 9- Check
  • Complete 10 miles around the base of Stone Mountain with a 8'00''ish mile pace- Cha Cha Check
It felt like if something could go wrong it did. I like to believe the spirit of Halloween is to blame for all the mini disasters today. However, I would label it as a good run mostly for truckin' through the toughness proving to ourselves we can conquer the tough obstacles. Bring on the half and all the hills it encompasses, Atlanta!

*In the previous blog What's Your Terrain of Choice? (08/15/2009), I compared different running terrains based on surface and location. I stated I was seeking out to find good trails in the Atlanta/ Downtown area and Stone Mountain was on my list. Through all my research Stone Mountain has been raved about numerous times and I defiantly wanted to experience what all the hype was about.
  • My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars: Overall it's a nice 5 mile run around the base of the mountain. You get a nice view of the lake, falling leaves during this season, lots of colors, somewhat of a view of the mountain, but tough tough hills. I would have enjoyed it a little more if the view of the mountain was more visible and less of these Georgia hill. However, I do recommend trying out the course at least once if you're in the area.

Training Exercise of the Week: Planks: This is a great exercise to help strengthen your core muscles. Your core muscles are your abdominals, glutes, and some back muscles. Strengthening your core muscles can help to alleviate lower back pain and help prevent hamstring injuries.
  • Performing Planks: Find a flat surface, get down on your knees, place your elbows on the ground while straightening your forearms, and straighten your legs behind you supporting your body with your toes and arms. Hold your position for 20 seconds. Then rest for about 30 seconds. Then repeat for about 3 sets.
  • Progression Planks: Instead of a flat surface find a small platform to rest your arms on. You can hold the position for a minimum of 30 seconds. With each following set try adding more time to your hold.
Training Tip of the Week: Stay positive no matter how hard it gets. Regardless if it's work, school, sickness, family, or running problems stay positive. Treat your run as a stress reliever. While you're running you release that negative tension. Once the tension grabs hold of you it will become a fight to overcome. I know it's tough to stay positive when things are hard. I know that. So have someone to vent to or even run with you. This way you have someone to help push through your run when you think about stopping. After you finish you should be filled with a sense of accomplishment aiding to eliminate any negative tension.

Training Song of the Week: Well, it's Halloween so it's only appropriate to select a song(s) to fit the season. Enjoy!

1. Halloween- DMB
2. My Body's A Zombie For You- Dead Man's Bones (So Good!)

Happy Running,

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Fall Running With A Little Lagniappe

What can I say? It's been a strange week. Maybe because it's almost Halloween? Anyway, I've decided to compile a list of random things I've had on my mind for this week. Enjoy my randomness of the week:

  • First things first, Lagniappe = a little something extra. "Mmm, crab lagniappe." I've had "lagniappe" on my mind for weeks, and I really don't know why. I just like to say it. Lagniappe.
  • It's FALL! Well, it's officially been declared Fall since September 22, but the temperature said otherwise. Georgia is finally consistent, for the most part, with the cooler weather. I love Fall running. I love this season so much because you can run in shorts with long sleeves, the cool and crisp air, the colorful scenery, and falling leaves!
  • "I hate the first 3 miles!" I love long runs, but hate the first few miles. I don't know why, but once I get to about mile 4 I'm a new woman! I have to keep telling myself it gets easier after the first few miles... Then I think, my logic doesn't really make sense. Easier after the first three miles, huh? Yeah, I'm sure most people would agree...
  • Why do some people run in shorts and sleeveless shirts, but have on WINTER gloves and ear warmers? A new trend? Don't send me the memo. Frankly, it looks odd and it bothers me.
  • Thanks Nike+ for making me obsessed with numbers. It's like a drug; I want to reach the next level so bad I would convince myself to just go for longer runs than what I had planned. It's like I was tweekin' all week to just bank in those numbers... I'm back to normal, and hope to not abuse my Nike+ again.
  • Have a backup place to do long runs. It sucks when your normal trail is closed and you have to wing it around town. Lesson well learned.
  • The Atlanta Marathon/ Half Marathon is less than 5 weeks away... and Thanksgiving! I've attached the map for the Half for all y'alls convenience to check out where you want to stand to cheer us on! :) Atlanta Half Marathon Map
  • The ING Atlanta Marathon / Half Marathon is March 21, 2010... I'm excited about this one because it will be both mine and Ross's first FULL marathon! So all you "curb crewers" I have, of course, attached the course so you can get ahead on your homework and map out where to stand! ING Atlanta Full Marathon Map
  • Finally, I've been thinking all week that I need to start incorporating pictures into my posts. I'm on it! Enjoy the video below for last minute tips to running a Marathon. I came across it on one of the blogs I read and thought I would share:

    Last Minute Marathon Tips: shot with Nikon D90 from Mike Kobal on Vimeo.

Training Exercise of the Week: Step ups (calf raises). Keeping your calf muscles strong is key to preventing injury to your Achilles tendon. An injury to this tendon will keep you from running or performing any ADLs (activities of daily living), and takes an adequate time to fully heal. Last thing you want is to have an overuse injury and little to no muscle strength in your lower leg.
  • Stand in place with your legs next to each other and slowly raise up on your toes. Then back down. Repeat.
  • You can then progress to using weights and/or a raised surface. On a raised surface you will stand on the end of the surface with just your toes and raise up.

Training Tip of the Week: Trim your toenails. Remember to keep your toenails short, or the constant impact will cause tenderness to your nail bed. It can then progress into an ingrown toenail, infection, or even cause your nail to fall off.

Training Song of the Week: This week I have chosen three random songs that are on my running playlist(s):
1. Snow ((Hey Oh))- Red Hot Chili Peppers
2.The Fixer- Pearl Jam
3. Sex on Fire- Kings of Leon

Happy Running,

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

I'm About A Daily 6-Cupper

Being a coffee addict myself, the recent discussions regarding the health advantages coffee produces has tickled my fancy. There has always been the debate that if drinking coffee a couple hours or so before a long run can actually give you a boost. It's never been proven, but some people believe it works due to the caffeine raising your heart rate, therefore, there is less of a demand on your heart at the start of your run to increase your heart rate. Then, on the flip side, people argue that the caffeine places too much unwanted work on your heart and can harm you in the long run. With developing research a new idea has bubbled to the surface:

Recently research has started to retract previous statements about how coffee isn't good for you. Now, experts are saying coffee actually benefits drinkers. According to Runner's World Magazine: November 2009 edition there was a study conducted by the American Journal of Epidemiology in June 2009 explaining that people who drank 4+ cups of coffee a day showed better pulmonary function than those who 0-3 cups of coffee daily. Pulmonary function is how much work your lungs can do such as inhaling, exhaling, force, filter, etc. A study on WebMD explains that drinking coffee can help lower risk for developing certain diseases such as Type 2 diabetes. The study shows that the more you drink the less risk you have to developing diseases such as Type 2 diabetes, Parkinson's, and even colon caner. Coffee appears to be more beneficial for health than ever thought before. (Go to for the WebMD study).

However, there is still lots of research to be done on this topic. Drinking your coffee black is the best way simply because 0 calories. Going to your local coffee joint and getting a loaded latte is going to void any benefits you could get from coffee.

Happy Running,

Saturday, October 17, 2009

-LB = Pounds Lost

As the holiday season is rapidly approching the thought of weight loss isn't far behind. A lot people eat their little hearts out during the holidays with a New Year's revolution closely following to lose weight. I'm not a dietitian, but with countless physiology classes under my belt I know enough for proper weight loss. Here are a few tips for shedding those unwanted lbs:

  1. Count your calories: USDA guidelines for caloric intake per day is a 2,000 calorie diet. Those calories can add up quick if you do not pay close attention to what you're consuming. You can track your calories the old fashion way with pen and paper. Write down the items and calories located on the back or side of purchased items. If you are eating out you can use a calorie tracker book, application (for iPhone or iPod Touch), or go to the USDA ( website under myfoodapedia and type in the item for information.
  2. 3,500 calories = 1 pound of fat: Important fact when maintain weight! It takes 1,500 extra calories than what is recommended to gain 1 pound of fat. With that said, think about how much it takes to burn 1 pound of fat.
  3. Portions: Eat in portions. Don't overeat, or inhale your food. Taking your time allows your stomach to adjust properly and signals when it is "full" eliminating overeating. Eating smaller portions doesn't mean only eat mash potatoes, or whatever it may be, as your meal and call it quits there. Make your balanced meal of meat, veggies, bread, and/or fruit and eat smaller portions of each category as your meal. That way you have variety within the food groups, and you are eating an appropriate amount of calories.
  4. Avoid Diets: Diets don't work; otherwise, weight wouldn't be such an issue. "Yo-yo diets" set you up for failure. You diet, lose some weight (mostly water), your body goes into starvation mode because of the lack of nutrients and dehydration, you stop your diet, you start eating "normal" again, and bam weight gained back. Dieting isn't good for your metabolism.
  5. Exercise: Exercise is necessary. The thought of exercise seems to be a hard concept for some people to grasp. People want a magic pill that doesn't and will never exist. Your body is designed to move so move it! :) Eating healthy and exercise are your 2 key factors to lose weight. ACSM guidelines state a minimum of exercise to maintain a healthy lifestyle is 3 days per week for 30 mins of physical activity that can be broken down into 3 ten minute bouts of exercise. Results of weight loss will reflect the amount of work you put into it.
*It seems simple, but it can be a hard routine to follow. Get yourself into a routine of eliminating unhealthy food and start exercising. Once you get into that routine and start maintaining it you will lose weight properly, and a healthy lifestyle will seem "normal" to you. You will achieve not only weight loss, but a good fitness level as well as self discipline. :)

*If you are already exercising and feel like you can't lose weight no matter what you are doing you should examine your diet. If your diet isn't the problem and you are at a health weight for your age and height weight loss will become harder and unnecessary. At this point your muscles just need some toning to look slimmer and fit. Add in some core exercises (exercises working your abs and back), arm , shoulder, chest, and leg exercises to help tone your body. Over time you will begin to look "slimmer" while gaining muscle.

Training Exercise of the Week: Reverse Lunges. Reverse Lunges (also known as step back lunges) help work your hamstrings which are normally ignored when strength training. Balanced strength between the hamstrings and quadriceps are important to avoid pulling upper leg muscles. Hamstrings are commonly pulled when running, or forward progression activities, due to an imbalance between the two muscle groups. It will not only strengthen your hamstrings, but will also increase flexibility and range of motion in your quadriceps.
  • To preform this exercise just stand tall like you would preform a forward lunge. Next just step back while maintaining good form (keeping your back straight, stepping back in a straight line, and keeping your knee from hitting the ground. )
  • You can then progress into walking backward lunges. If you lose proper form you should stop and revert back to stationary reverse lunges until you feel comfortable to walk backwards again. This will help eliminate the chance of injury. If you're feelin' crazy you can add some weight while keeping proper form.

Training Tip of the Week: A weight loss of more than 2 pounds a week is unhealthy. That is for athletes and non-athletes. If you are exercising with proper nutrition this will not be a problem because you will/should consume an adequate amount of calories after your workout. Recovery is important for your muscles and bones after a good workout.

Training Song of the Week: I Don't Feel Like Dancing - Scissor Sisters. Oldie but a goodie. This song has been a popular choice for my iPod this week. It's a good alternative change of pace from jam bands and booty dancin' music!

Happy Running,

Saturday, September 26, 2009

"Eyes all Sticky Like Honey on Bees"

A good post-long run meal is just as important as the distance ran. You want a good balance of protein, amino acids, carbohydrates, and electrolytes to help restore your energy and heal your muscles.

With exercise (aerobic or strength training) muscles are broken down, normally described as little tears in your muscles. This is where proteins and even grains come into play. The intake of protein after exercise helps to "repair" the torn muscles. The "repaired" muscles are in return stronger for future activities. Protein meal and snack ideas:
  • Good protein meals: Beans! According to Runner's World (October 2009 issue) a cup of beans have an equivalent amount of protein as two cups of milk. Good bean meals include red beans and rice, white beans and rice, chili, soups (such as vegetable soup), or even salads. Be creative! Also note, beans serve as a good source of fiber to help keep you regular, and can also help reduce the risk of heart disease (which is the #1 killer in today's society). All around goodness! :)
  • Good protein snacks: Protein bars, but be careful and don't over do it. Tuna is a good snack for protein, and is also low in calories due to being mostly water. If fish doesn't tickle your fancy try egg white. No you don't have to eat them raw like you see in movies. Just cook up an egg without all the cheese and butter because then you are adding unnecessary calories. Finally, a good snack with protein can be fruit. Fruit is pretty much good for most "nutritional musts".
Amino acids:
Amino acids are the building blocks for proteins. Basically, amino acids are required to make protein. Different acids make different proteins, but that's irrelevant at this time. Amino acids meal and snack ideas:
  • Good amino acid meals: Beans again! Also, meat is a good source. Cook your meat healthly. Bake or grill. Deep frying totally negates the benefits your meal is supposed to serve. Note that amino acids are pretty much found in most foods, but if you're looking to get a good fix beans and meats are a few ideas to resort to.
  • Good amino acid snacks: Peanut butter! If you know me you know I love peanut butter, maybe too much. Peanut butter serves as a good snack. It's also a good source of protein. However, it is a little high in calories. A snack is meant for a modified meal. Therefore, don't eat the whole jar in one sitting. :)
Carbohydrates are the main energy source. Some diets say to stray away from carbs due to playing a role in weight gain. Remember that what you don't use as energy such as glucose (sugar), carbohydrates, and proteins they turn into fat. Fat requires more energy to burn off than carbohydrate and proteins do. Straying away from carbs is a bad idea since it is our main energy source. That's not to say some is good so more is better. It's simple, balance your intake. What goes out comes back in (assuming weight loss isn't the main focus). Good ideas for carbohydrate meals and snacks:
  • Good carbohydrate meals: Pasta! Pasta can be as fancy, or simple as you want it to be. Prepare your sauce, depending if you want red or white, add what type of noodles you want, and finally add some meat and/or veggies. Vegetable soup is another alternative for a good source of carbohydrate. Not your typical vegetable soup, but soup with lots of beans, some type of meat, chicken broth, and of course veggies. The broth is loaded with a good amount of carbs.
  • Good carbohydrate snacks: Bread, grains, and wheat. Add some nuts to some yogurt, or try a whole grain cereal.
Electrolytes, in layman's terms, helps to keep everything functioning as normal in the body. An imbalance can cause kidney failure as well as dehydration. Don't think after every workout you need to fuel back up on lots of electrolytes. Try eating some sort of fruit after a workout. Typically, you will restore the small amount that was lost. After a long workout it starts to become necessary to intake more electrolytes than you would normally. Dehydration is your a red flag to intaking more electrolytes due to the positive correlation between the two. If running long distance you should intake water roughly every two miles, then some type of DILUTED sports drink the next two miles, then water, then DILUTED sports drink, and etc. It is key that the sports drink is diluted because of the high sugar content. Some companies also make gel packs that are stocked with electrolytes. I have no insight with the gel packets. So read the package and take caution to anything new you are consuming.

Adding and maintaining these essential elements in your diet will help to recover broken down muscles, and keep your body hydrated. A good and healthy body helps decrease the risk of injury and disease!

Training Tip of The Week: Drink lots of water! Eliminate the empty calories such as soda, beer (well, not totally :) ), and sugar. Replace the empty calories with water; therefore, you are staying hydrated, and allowing those calories for a bigger healthly meals. Remember, when you feel thirty you are already dehydrated!

Training Song(s) of The Week: *Boyz/ MIA- Has a good tempo to keep you pumped.
*Chillin'/ Wale ft Lady GaGa- Thanks Ross! I don't like Lady GaGa, but this song is a goodie.

Happy Running,

Monday, September 7, 2009

Mind Torture

I fall victim of this "disease" I have labeled "mind torture". Running for such a long distance your mind starts to wonder. You can be in the best physiological shape to run a half or full, but your psyche starts to tell you different. Once you are at this point you feel you can't finish your run, and won't be able to accomplish the finishing goal: 26.2, 13.1, or any mileage. While battling this minor set back, I try to compile lists while running to help me break this psychological game I have created for myself. Here are a few tips:
  1. Take it day by day. Focus only on the distance you have scheduled for that day. If you have a bad day don't let it get you down. If you starting thinking how hard that "easy" run was it will create a downward spiral resulting in you throwing all your hard training out the window. You won't always have a good run. There will be bad days, and you have to accept it and move on. If you accept it and move on your next run, or next couple of runs, will be the best you've had.
  2. Proper running gear. I can't say it enough. If your shoes have reached their lifespan kick them out. Get new running shoes. It will make a world of difference! Your legs will appreciate it and will allow you to proceed to rack in those high miles.
  3. Mix up your play list and running scenery. Variety will help keep your psyche occupied. This way you won't be focusing so much on how far you are running. Once you reach your desired distance for the day it will feel like a breeze because your mind had something else to think about other than your run. Regardless if it's a new route in a city or park there are always new faces there to people watch and such. A new play list will keep you wondering what tune will be next. The same play list leaves no excitement of what "power song" will come up next to give you a boost.
  4. Motivation! I love having a running buddy. It is best motivation to keep me going. It allows you to have someone else to share your accomplishments with. Motivation can be in any form. New shoes also motivate me to go out, run, and put some miles on my shoes. Tracking your progress is a great tool for motivation. You can do it the old school way with pen and paper and track your frequency, intensity, duration, mode/type (FITT Principle). There are also online applications you can download from places such as, or even Facebook. Another mode to track your progress is Nike+. I've been introduced to it and fell in love. I'm addicted and have only used it twice. It helps keep track of all the FITT Principle as well as future goals, averages of different aspects, and more.
  5. Stay positive. It can be hard when you hit the runner's block to stay positive, but after you fall you have no where to go but up. Running long distance is tough. If it was easy everyone would be doing it (so cliche, I know). Keep a clear head while running and stay relaxed. It will help keep you from playing games with your mind.
It's all easier said then done, I know. I catch myself falling into the trap of runner's block and mind torture when my running routine because predictable. When I change at least one aspect of my routine it helps me to get back in the groove. It's all worth the outcome! So change one thing in your routine and watch how the progress will begin to increase.

Training Tip of the Week: Take care of your body. Pain is your body's way of telling you something is wrong. That's not to say all pain means you're falling apart. You know your body and you know when something doesn't feel right. So when this occurs stop and take care of the problem before it escalates into something major. If rest is need, do it.

Training Song of the Week: So Right- Dave Matthew's Band. Jam Bands are always a great choice when all else fails. One thing I love about DMB is the countless song choices! Love it. Enjoy it.

Happy Running,

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Going Downhill

Running hills, especially Georgia hills, can be dreadful for most people. It's the thought of running uphill that people cringe at; however, downhill running can be more strenuous than actual uphill. Rather than going into the physiological reasons just take my word, I promise. Newton's first law (law of inertia) in layman's terms explains that when an object accelerates gravity wants to keep all components of the object together and accelerate as a unit (boring, I know). Basically, gravity pulls your body down the hill at faster acceleration than you were acclimated prior to. Your body can either accelerate with gravity, or you can fight gravity to control your run. If you allow gravity to accelerate your body at an unwanted speed you are more likely to expend your stamina at a quicker rate. On the other hand, if you repel the forces of gravity you can extend your stamina in able to continue your exercise for a longer duration. Here are a few tips to help running downhill:

  1. Proper running mechanics. What I mean by proper running mechanics is basically good posture. Keep your back and abs straight. Running downhill people have a tendency to lean forward with the downhill slope. Leaning forward can complicate your breathing as well as forcing your legs to speed up. So correct your posture and notice how your breathing will remain "normal". Fight the temptation to stomp down the hill. Stomping can lead to numerous acute/major leg/foot injuries. Just keep your "normal" stride length and normal force you use to place your foot on the ground while running downhill.
  2. Minimize stutter-stepping. You may feel the momentum of your body increasing as you run downhill resulting in you trying to slow down by stutter stepping. These short steps are forcing your knees to do majority of the work instead of the your whole leg inserting at the hip. Now you may think your lever is too long to control if you use your entire leg instead of just stutter-stepping. Yea, you increased the length of your lever now it's mind over matter to control your steps by thinking left foot down right foot down. This strategy will also minimize injury.
  3. A strong core. Core meaning abs, glutes, and back. Now that you have your posture down this will help strengthen your core. When running downhill activate your core muscles to help produce more power and control to your legs. It all makes sense. If you have a strong body overall you will be able to control the movements of your body properly. Activating your abs during downhill running will aid in proper breathing. Strong glutes will provide control to your legs, and a strong back will aid in posture. Overall, your running mechanism will increase resulting in good form and posture.
  4. Pace maintenance. Minimize speed bouts down hills to keep your pace comfortable. It's natural to want to increase your speed while running downhill per the boring, or somewhat interesting, law of inertia. If you keep your pace the same prior to running up/downhill you will be able to recover from the hill more efficiently. You didn't expend any necessary energy you may need to utilize to finish at the end of your run.
Song of the week: Jai Ho!/ A.R. Rahman ft. Nicole Scherzinger. Thank you Slumdog Millionaire. I downloaded this song shortly after I saw the movie months ago, and this week my iPod has decided to play it a lot. It's a good upbeat song to help get me through the North Georgia hills :).

Training Tip of the Week: Endurance strength training is just as importance as banking the miles when training for a half or full marathon. Strength training usually doesn't get much publicity from endurance runners because we all want to minimize any unneeded baggage when going for speed. However, endurance strength training will build a better base to your muscle in able to utilize energy more efficiently and produce a little more power. ACSM (American College of Sports Medicine) guidelines for endurance strength training for an average healthy adult are as follow:

2-3 days per week
2-4 sets
8-12 repetitions per set
2-3 minutes of rest between each set

Check back in future blogs for more information on this topic as well as cross-training! As for now, go out and conquer those hills! Soon you won't think twice about running hills.

Happy Running,

Saturday, August 15, 2009

What's Your Terrain of Choice?

Few Types of Terrain:

Road/ Pavement:
  • Seems to be the most common type of running terrain.
  • Easily assessable especially when you don't have time to research a new course.
  • If it's a park course, or just even the city sidewalks the pavement is normally kept in good condition with little to no holes or breaks in the pavement. This is good to help prevent injuries.
  • Not very forgiving; therefore, common leg injuries, such as shin splints, can often occur.
  • Traffic. With traffic comes people concentrating more on you running than on driving.
  • Grass is very forgiving on your legs. This is good for people who are hard footed because more shock is absorbed on the grass than on the pavement; therefore, helping to prevent/ heal any future/previous injuries.
  • Good learning ground for perfecting good form. Run on grass if you are having a problem with stepping too hard so you can practice correct form with more shock absorption. Slowly progress to other terrains once your form is in better shape.
  • Provides more of an obstacle course. You have to be more aware of any hidden, or obvious, holes in the ground.
  • Can be itchy if the grass is not cut, or can be infested with poison ivy.
  • May be mixed with dirt resulting in dirty shoes.
  • Trails can be a combination of dirt, gravel, boardwalks, bridges, and some pavement.
  • Your legs absorb shock better because of the natural terrains of dirt, gravel, boardwalks, and bridges.
  • Trees along the path provides more shade than on an open road.
  • You have to be aware of any rocks, uneven paths, or holes depending on the trail.
  • Can be too excluded from civilization so bring a buddy.
  • No water if not at a park.

*My terrain of choice at the moment: Trails*
Trail Raves:
  • Feels more refreshing because of all the fresh air from nature.
  • Temperature is a little cooler on the trail and helps keep my endurance going.
  • The forgiving factor feels like you can run longer and harder.
  • The scenery helps pass time while on long runs.
Trail Rants:
  • Inexperienced bikers who are all over the course and have no respect for runners.
  • Transitioning from a bridge/ boardwalk to a paved part of the course. The stress levels change abruptly causing your pace to change and get readjusted.
Suggested Trails:
-North Georgia Area:
  • Big Creek Greenway- The trail will be roughly 15 miles in length one way (don't quote me). It expands from Fulton to Forsyth County through excluded paths. It defiantly is a "greenway" with lots of trees and shade. Few complaints: The trail is fairly new and not much information regarding access is provided, and some parts have too much pavement. But overall it's a good choice.
  • The link is only for the Fulton County part of the trail:
  • Sawnee Mountain Preserve-Commonly known as the "Indian Seats" in Cumming. The trail is about 2-3 miles. I have ran this course a few times, and have actually enjoyed it. It was a challenge to run up and down a mountain dodging all the rocks. Once you get to the top it's a nice view of Cumming (woohoo, it's noting like ATL :[ ). Nonetheless, the trail provides a challenge and is a nice change of scenery.
-Atlanta Area:
  • Stone Mountain Park- I have personally not ran the trail, but it seems to be a good challenge. Run up a big rock mountain, yes please. The park has always been a popular tourist attraction for ATL, so why not get a good run in while enjoying some tourist attractions? The trail is approximately 6 miles in length at the base of the mountain.
  • This trail is defiantly on my list of things to try!
  • I'm doing my homework to provide more information on trails in the downtown area. :)

Training Tip of the Week: Carbolishish: Pack in those carbs the day, or two days, before a long run. Carbohydrates are energy efficient during long runs and allow you to get that second wind.

Song of the Week: Too hard for me to pick. Best thing I have ever done on Facebook was joining the iTunes group. Why you ask? The free access to different albums provided by iTunes really allows me to expand my variety of music. It's like the free Tuesday song by iTunes on drugs. Normally it's like 12 free songs about once or every other month. Top song choices from this week based off the free albums:
  • Airstream Driver/ Gomez- So Much to Save Album
  • Fine Excuses / Yonder Mountain String Band- So Much to Save Album
  • Crazy/ Deep Rooted- Indie Spotlight Sample Album
  • Strangers/ Van She- Indie Spotlight Sample Album
Happy Running,

Saturday, August 8, 2009

It's All About the Pace

Training for a half or full marathon your pace will break or make you. 26.2 miles is equivalent to running from Georgia State University (downtown Atlanta) to downtown Alpharetta. So, 13.1 miles is like running from GSU to downtown Chamblee. My point is regardless if it's 26.2 or 13.1mile, it's a long distance!

It's obvious that the more races you run the better your pace will be, but really that is no help to someone who is at the beginning of their racing career. Setting goals will help in perfecting your desired pace. Choose how far you want to run, how fast you want to accomplish that distance in, and then start timing yourself. You can also substitute one of your scheduled runs with a 5k or 10k. You can then calculate your race time to obtain your pace. Then calculate your pace into a half or full marathon distance. The challenge you have now set will help you to train harder. The harder you train your body will be exposed to a higher degree of fatigue similar to longer distance fatigue. It is important to have the long runs scheduled in your training to help mimic the distance on race day. Knowing the course will also allow you to pace your time better because you can evenly distribute your energy throughout the run. Being familiar with a course inhibits any surprise terrain.

Training Tip of the Week: During your run keep the same speed to run up hills as you would on a flat surface. Speeding up a hill will expend more energy then needed and will cause fatigue sooner.

Training Song of the Week: Two Step Remix- DJ Unk ft. T-Pain, Jim Jones, & E-40

Happy Running,

Thursday, August 6, 2009

"Beat It"

Beat the Heat. Atlanta weather this week has been flirting with 90 degrees and higher with humidity of about 50%. Running outside is tough when it's hot and humid. A few tips on how to beat the heat so you can enjoy your run:

1. Run during the early/ late part of the day. Running before the sun is above the horizon promises you a much cooler run. Not a morning person? Run when the sun goes down leaving just enough daylight to get your run in, but not much heat from the sun to drain you. If your time only allots you to run during midday try to add in a swim after your run for some cool exercise. Runner's World Magazine: Every 5 degree rise in temperature will slow your pace about 15-20 seconds.

2. Stay hydrated. Drink water throughout the day, but don't forget to rehydrate those muscles after running. If running marathon distances it is important to intake some electrolytes during your run to maintain the electrical impulse to your cells to prevent dehydration. Gatorade/ Powerade are a good source, but remember to dilute the sports drinks with water because of the high sugar content.

3. Wear light colored and loose fitting clothing. Light colors help reflect the sun's rays instead of absorbing the rays. Loose fitting clothing meaning not skin tight, but not baggie. The clothes need to be loose enough to allow a breeze, but tight enough your clothes are not hanging off. Don't wear cotton clothing because cotton will soak up your sweat instead of letting it escape. "Wickering" type clothing that beads the sweat away are ideal, or polyester. If crazy, run in the minimum amount of clothing possible. Guys can run in shorts with no shirts, and ladies can run in shorts and a sports bra. This technique allows the body to breath more adequately and eliminate sticky clothes.

4. Start slow. Starting at a relative slower pace will allow your heart rate and blood pressure to incline at a steady rate. Starting your run at a relative faster pace will quickly increase your heart rate and blood pressure causing fatigue more rapidly. The rapid increase also doesn't let your body acclimate to the heat properly for your run. Lack of heat acclimation can result in heat illnesses.

5. Use sunscreen. The sunscreen can not only prevent your body from the ultraviolet rays, but it can also help to keep your body temperature a little cooler.

Stay cool and beat the heat during the last of these summer months.

Happy Running,

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

"Miles in the Bank"

It's that time of the year again... half/full marathon training! I have one half in the bank and now working on a few more. One would assume since I've complete a half before I'm prepared for the mind torture. However, the feeling of accomplishment after crossing that finish line makes all the training worth it. Here are a few tips for a recipe to completing a half:

1. Find a good training guide for a minimum of 4 months. Join a running group for support if you're able to. A good training guide will slowly increase mileage and dedicate one day of the week to your "long run". It's important not to increase mileage too quickly because the risk of injury increases at the same rate. Slow and steady always wins the race. :)

2. Proper hydration and nutrition. It's very important to keep your muscles hydrated especially before a long run. Drink water throughout the day. It take a few days for the water to reach the cellular level of the muscles. You should get the proper amount of nutrients as advised by USDA each day. for more information of the daily recommendations. Proper hydration and nutrition do a body good keeping your bones and muscles strong for the amount of mileage your body endures through training.

3. Don't cheat your runs. Don't take shortcuts. Do what your training guide states. Cheating yourself will cause failure in the long run. Part of training is pushing yourself. It's going to get hard; otherwise, you aren't gaining any advantages.

4. Run with music. Create a play-list of music that's upbeat. Your play-list should entail a big variety of music; therefore, you won't hear repeated songs throughout your workout. A good play-list can put you in the mood and help determine you to run faster and harder.

5. Good Shoes! After about 400-500 miles kick those old shoes to the curb. After 400-500 miles shoes loose their ability to absorb shock properly. Less likely to absorb shock means an increase risk for injury. Proper distance running shoes need to be light in weight and fit your foot accordingly.

Now it's time to deposit those miles in the bank. No matter how hard you think your training is getting stick to it because it only gets easier.

Happy Running,

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Eat a Peach. Drink a Beer.

Running a race not only helps to motivate you to improve your personal best, but always a great way to stay in shape. The months of training involved are critical. It's important to run the suggested amount of mileage each week. Running significantly under mileage or over mileage can hurt your time and hard work. Working significantly under or over the suggested recommendation can damper your performance because either you will be working your muscles too hard or not enough.

Find a race. Join or create your own training group. Run the recommended amount of mileage with a few tweaks to fit your running style. Eat healthy with proper nutrition. Most importantly hydrate your muscle. Without correct hydration your muscles won't function properly. Keep yourself motivated with a race or challenge. That way you have some competition to look forward too while staying in shape.

After crossing the finish line enjoy a nice cold beverage of your choice, such a beer, and be proud of your accomplishments. Then find your next race and work to beat your time... that way you can enjoy 2 beers, 1 for finishing and the other for beating your previous time ;).

Happy Running,

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Rest. Rest. Rest.

Don't forget to take days off to rest those muscles and bones of yours. Rest is an adequate part of working out. Each time you run/work out you are creating tears in your muscles to help them become stronger. Therefore, rest is needed to aid the healing process that creates the muscle to become stronger. No rest, or an inadequate amount of rest, will increase the probability of injury.

Create a schedule. A schedule will illustrate running days and rest day. Run 5 days a week and schedule in 2 rest days almost evenly throughout the week. Take my word, running after a good rest day will make you feel a million times rejuvenated.

Don't forget to mix up your mileage throughout the week as well. The variety will help relieve stress on your muscles and bones. Variety is just as important as the rest you get. Don't run the same course and miles every day. More info on that topic will be provided later :). So get a calendar and create your running schedule based off you ability and availability.

Happy Running,

Sunday, May 31, 2009

"Everyone! Everywhere!"

Wednesday June 3, 2009 is being named National Running Day! It's the perfect reason to start being active and help get others to be active. Not a runner? Get a buddy, or two, and create your own walking group! Atlanta is one of the few hosting cities along with Houston, New York, and others. If you live in one of the hosting cities check out what activities are going on around the city and join in on the festivities! So get your shoes, hit the pavement, and help make this a tradition as the first step to a healthier world!

For more information on National Running Day go to For Atlantans go to to find out what activities are going on around the peach capitol! Everyone, Everywhere is encouraged to take part in the inaugural National Running Day including the hosting cities and non-hosting cities!

Happy Running,

Friday, May 29, 2009

"In a while we'll smile, march on another mile..."

Having a kick-ass playlist while running is one of many tricks to ensure you have an awesome run. Pick a variety of tunes you enjoy listening to within different genres. Remixes of popular upbeat songs help to get the blood flowing and promote more energy throughout your body. If you own an IPhone (and like to run with it) you can tune into radio stations or podcast to mix up your music selection. Let loose while running and enjoy your tunes while singing and dancing. To sing along will not only get you pumped and in the moment, but will also help reassure your breathing patterns are consistent and good. The dancing part is only for your amusement. :)

I, personally, like to run to jam bands such as DMB, O.A.R., Goo Goo Dolls, and Matchbox 20. However, I can't forget the infamous rap songs that make me believe I have a little hood in me, or just prove I'm a crazy cajun. :) So, without further ado here is a sample of my current running playlist:

1. All of the Above- Maino ft T-Pain
2. Ants Marching- DMB
3. Beat It- Michael Jackson
4. Bombs over Bagdad- Outkast
5. Campus- Vampire Weekend
6. Cupid's Shuffle- Cupid
7. Crush (Live)- DMB
8. Damn Girl- Justin Timberlake ft. Will-I-AM
9. Two Step Remix- DJ Unk ft T-Pain and Jim Jones
10. Get Me Bodied- Beyonce ft Voltio
11. I Don't Feel Like Dancing- Scissor Sisters
12. I Know You Want Me- Pitbull
13. Let It Rock- Kevin Rudolf ft. Lil Wayne
14. Pump It- Black Eyed Peas
15. Proudest Monkey (Live)- DMB
16. Stuntin' Is A Habit- David Banner
17. Tambourine- Eve
18. What Them Girls Like- Ludacris ft Chris Brown and Sean Garrett
19. Shake It- Metro Station
20. Calabria (Remix)- Enur ft. Natasja

Send me a list of a few of your favorite running songs, and I will make a playlist of the week containing your popular songs!! So get your list together and enjoy a kick-ass run!

Happy Running,

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Running Buddy

Running, or even just working out alone, can be boring and non-challenging. A good running buddy can help with motivation as well as entertainment. Your buddy can help motivate you to run further than you thought was possible, or even help you finish that last little bit of the course when you feel completely drained. It's easier to quit when running alone because there is no one there to help push you, or in some cases judge you for quitting :). A good pace allows you to have a conversation, but not continuous talking nor struggling to catch your breath. Some people prefer not to talk while running, but rather have a buddy there for support and motivation. Just having someone along your side can help make your run more enjoyable, and can even add in some competition. :)

However, a running buddy does not necessarily have to be another person. A dog can also serve as an excellent running partner. Not only are you getting a workout, but so is your furry partner. A nice jog will help your dog stay healthy and may even help gain some muscle tone. Just be prepared to stop/ slow down for your canine to relieve itself and sniff everything in sight. So grab a buddy and start running!

Happy Running,

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

3 Beer Roux

Running is a readily accessible and simple form of exercise. Regardless if you want to lose weight, or maintain a healthy lifestyle running is made for everyone. The tools involved are simple. All you need is yourself, a good pair of running shoes, somewhere to run, and a little bit of motivation. Before you start you need a roux, a base. Your body is your own temple, I know that sounds lame, so why ruin it. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is the key to a long life. A good diet and some exercise is the roux to your healthy temple. So, I've decided to help with organizing ideas for a healthy running roux for anyone.

First step. Relax. I know not everyone is a runner and the thought may be overwhelming. Our body is made to perform simple motions such as breathing, walking, and running. Running is simply adding speed and force to your walk. Before advancing to running start with good breathing. Breathing in through your nose and out through your mouth. It's not always that easy. :) Then start with walking. Need a place a place to walk? Walk around your neighborhood. If you don't live in a neighborhood, or you prefer a different location go to the local park. Take the longer route when walking places. If given the choice, take the stairs not the elevator. Sounds simple enough so start there.

A roux is your base, and the time spent on your roux determines the quality. So with that said relax and have a beer, or two, or three.

Happy Running,