Thursday, December 30, 2010

"I Tip On Alligators And Little Rattle Snakers"

Another year down, another year older! At the start of each year most people set some sort of New Year's Resolution. Some have to do with work, some with school, some with family or friends, most commonly about some type of weight issue, but in the end each New Year's Resolution has to deal with our overall health in some shape or form! You had 365 days to accomplish those resolutions. So, did you do it? Sit back, sip some coffee (or whatever beverage of your choice), and think about what all you accomplished in 2010. You may be surprised on how much you made a difference in the world! :-)

My 2010 Accomplishments:
  • Ran my first Marathon! It was defiantly the hardest thing I have ever endured in my life, but the feeling mental after completing was amazing. I ran marathon, 26.2 miles. Me.
  • I found out the true meaning of "city running". It's pretty much like playing frogger. I swear motorist drive with their eyes closed or something.
  • I found the Governor's Mansion one morning during a long run. What up Sonny?!
  • I set a new half PR of 1:45! Woohoo! My ultimate goal is to reach 1:30. It's all about baby steps.
  • I've conquered the Lindbergh Hill numerous times and still can't figure out when Atlanta became so hilly! I mean, for real? I remember it being flat...
  • I've been complimented, not once but twice, by Atlanta PD while running. A simple "keep up the good work" and thumbs up goes a long way. I guess those Atl Policemen love my charm ;-)
  • I've set a new mile PR during my long runs of 7:12. Let me repeat, that's during a long run. I haven't timed myself for just a mile... 7:12 pace is impressive during a 4-6 miler, if I do say so myself. :-)
  • I've gotten other people around me to start running and embrace a healthy lifestyle! (Yes, I'm a dork. I know.)
  • My BIGGEST accomplishment: Graduating and entering the "Real World"!
My 2011 Goals:
  • Run my first ultramarathon. I've talked about it for awhile. I've drooled over the idea before snapping back into reality and realizing 50 miles is a long, very long, way. I've questioned myself of why I want to endure such pain... Simply to see if I can discipline myself to conquer such a goal. No 75, 80, or 100+ mile ultramarthon... Just 50 miles. It's ambitious, I know. So with that said... I need a training buddy, like for real. Any takers?! :-)
  • Run another Full Marathon. 26.2 miles seems like nothing compared to 50. Hello Savannah Rock 'n' Roll Full Marathon... November 2011!
  • Break 4 hours in the Full Marathon.
  • Find a way to make sweets good for you! Good luck, right?! It's kind of like finding a cure for cancer... You never know...
  • Encourage and educate everyone around me why a healthy lifestyle is the right choice! You can't be mentally healthy without being physically healthy, vice versa.
  • Set a new half PR. Come one Mardi Gras Half, momma wants to be below 1:45!
  • Beat Ross, again, in the Warrior Dash :-)!
  • Try more trail running!
  • Most important, not stressing over every thing! I'm a Worrier Wilma ;-)... Less stress = more smiles.
I hope everyone has accomplished at least one 2010 goal you had set for yourself! If not, make it a goal for 2011 along with new goals! Remember to set realistic goals that are attainable. Goals need to have a level of challenge, but not too easy nor too hard to reach. Once you accomplish that goal... set a new goal, or add a level of intensity to your previous goal. Always challenge yourself and have something to work towards. It'll only make you stronger and wiser! Start 2011 off one a good foot! Get up and move!

Training Exercise: Inchworms. This is a good cardio/core exercise as well as a good stretch of the torso. Exercises that use your body weight as the resistance are always a good suit for anyone. The longer your heart rare is elevated the more calories you will burn. A stronger core (abs, back, hips, and hammies/quads) will make daily activities much more enjoyable and decrease the chance of injury. To preform this exercise:

Basic Inchworms
  • Start in push up position.
  • Leaving your hands where they are on the ground, walk your feet up as close as you can to your hands. Leaving your legs as straight as you can will work/stretch your hamstrings.
  • Next walk your wands out as far as you can, not exceeding the point of no return. You should feel a stretch in your shoulders, lower back, and ab regions.
  • Repeat.
  • Find a hallway or open space you can "walk" your way down.
Advance Inchworms
  • Start in push up position.
  • Leaving your hands where they are on the ground, walk your feet up as close as you can to your hands. Leaving your legs as straight as you can will work/stretch your hamstrings.
  • Next walk your wands out as far as you can, not exceeding the point of no return. You should feel a stretch in your shoulders, lower back, and ab regions.
  • Next preform a push up.
  • Repeat.
  • Find a hallway or open space you can "walk" your way down.
Training Tip: "Jayme, there was once this little train that didn't think he could make it up that hill... but he told himself 'I think I can, I think I can'... and you know what?! That little train got up that hill all because he thought he could!"- A very intellectual conversation at work with a coworker :-). As juvenile as it sounds, it's true. Mind over matter. If you simply believe you can do something, you can. Always have a positive self thought during a workout and/or run. It will make the experience more enjoyable. The more you tell yourself you can't do something, the more you start to believe it. Don't cut yourself short of anything. Always follow through with a little more effort and you will achieve anything. Nothing is easy!

Training Songs: I thought about sharing my top songs of 2010, but opted out. Instead, just my top picks of this week... I need more time to give you a good list top 2010 songs, next entry. I promise. In the meantime, Enjoy!

1. Tightrope- Janelle Monae ft. Big Boi
2. Roman's Revenge- Nicki Manaj ft. Eminem
3. Take Me Out- Atomic Tom
4. Move That Body- Nelly ft. Akon & T-Pain
5. The Ghost Inside- Broken Bells

Training Lagniappe: Smiles are free, give one away! :-) You never know, it may make someone's day! The Mardi Gras Half Marathon is rapidly approaching! February 13, 2011- NOLA! You know you wanna come and cheer on some Bergeron's!

Happy Running,
Jayme Bergeron, BS
ACSM Health Fitness Specialist

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

"Baby It's Cold Outside"

Temperatures in Atlanta have been brutally cold, reaching record lows with insane wind gusts. When is the last time Atlanta has had snow more than once in the same week?! The temperatures have held below freezing for most of the week, and have in the past few days crawled just above freezing. It's been cold for Atlanta. I know it may not seem like much to northerners, but us southerners, this is a big deal. I can finally say I know what 1 degree feels like.... death. I always say I love running in cold weather and that it's my favorite time to run. I believe I get my "best runs" out of the colder weather. Well, I asked for cold and got more than I bargained for. It's not until about mile 2 I can feel my finger and toes, but until then I think to myself "what the hell am I doing?!". I keep going and forget about how I can't feel any part of my body, and how my nose won't stop running. I finally reach mile 2 and my body starts to adjust and warms up, well, as warm as it's going to get. My advice: it may suck at first, but remember it will get better the longer you run. Don't think about how the whipping wind in your face feels like someone is throwing knives at you, just keep going :-)... sooner or later you will just become numb. If you can't bare the outdoor temperatures, resort to the treadmill. I hate the treadmill so much, I will put myself through these brutally cold temperatures even if it is snowing! :-) I have taken a few snapshots of the weather before my runs. Below is a picture of the weather before my 11 miler... it never got about freezing.

The things we scarface for the things we love :-).

Training Exercise: Plank to row. This is a good exercise mainly for your core, but will also work some of the shoulder/back. The idea is to resist the rotation of the hips and stay as center as you can to the ground while rowing.

Plank to Row:
  • You can do this exercise with a free motion machine or with a resistance band. If you are doing it with a cable: lower the arm to the ground and set the weight to a reasonably lighter weight. The idea is the motion, not the weight. If you are doing it with a resistance band: secure the band to the wall, door frame, or around a machine. Make sure the band is at floor level.
  • Get in push up position on the floor with the handle in one hand. Make sure you are far back from the machine/end of band so that there is a resistance created.
  • While holding that position, begin to row back resisting the rotation of the hips.
  • Y0u should feel your core tighten up/contract.
  • Perform 10-20 reps on one side. Then do the other arm.
  • Make sure you do both sides so your abs are being worked equally.
  • Repeat for 3-5 sets.
  • Once you have the motion and form down, you can make the exercise harder by adding weight/or stepping further back to add more resistance. Remember quality over quantity. Good form is a must!
Training Tip: It's cold, don't forget your gloves or thick socks! I know I talked about winter gear on the last entry, but it is so important with this wintry blast circulating the nation. Investing in some running gloves is always a good idea. It will help keep heat in, and keep your fingers from feeling like someone is stabbing you with a million tiny needles. Compression socks may also be a good idea. If you are running and realize that your feet never warm up, try getting new socks or wearing more than once pair. I know it may sound crazy, but it's important to keep the heat in! When exercising, the blood shuns to the working muscles. So, when running blood goes mostly to the legs and with the quads (front of the upper leg) being a big muscle more blood is needed there then say the foot, a relatively smaller muscle. Also, remember if it is snowing sunglasses may be a good idea. Trust me, snow flying into your eye is not a good feeling! If you feel the need to wear goggles, go for it! The idea is to try to keep your body parts from drying out!

Training Songs: It's the Christmas season, it's cold, and we all need good songs to get us through the torture of the weather! Enjoy!

1. Baby It's Cold Outside- Frank & Lynn Loesser
2. Rolling In The Deep- Adele
3. Say Hello Wave Goodbye- David Gray
4. Rock This Party- Bob Sinclar
5. Kiss With A Fist- Florence and The Machine
6. Cat Turned Blue- Rusted Root

Training Lagniappe: It's the holiday season and a good time to do a selfless deed. Saturday, December 11, 2010 Ross, Megan, and myself ran down the streets of Virgina Highlands in Atlanta in our undies dressed like Santa. Of course, it was for a good cause: Benefiting Camp Twin Lakes and resources for disabled children. Although it was chilly, it was the best 1.7 mile run I have done! :-) Remember to give back to your community and do something good for someone else, it's worth it. Happy Holidays!

This is Atlanta for you! :-)

Before the Run

It's all for the kids!

Happy Running,
Jayme Bergeron, BS
ACSM Health Fitness Specialist

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

"I Have No Gift To Bring, Pa Rum Pum Pum Pum"

Man, it's been too long since I've last updated. I can't say that I have been extremely busy, because that would be a lie. Have I been a little lazy? Yes. I've opened my blog numerous time since Thanksgiving with lots of things to say, but can never sit down long enough to gather and organize my thoughts. So here are a few things that have been on my mind:

  • Thanksgiving: Mine was pretty nice. Hope everyone else had a good Thanksgiving as well. I hope everyone got a run/workout in before, during, and after Thanksgiving to burn off all the holiday food. I know no one ate completely healthy over the holiday. That's just unheard of :-). Jesse and I got up on Thanksgiving morning and ran a nice 4 miler. I think my favorite part was mom seeing us off on our run. How sweet. It was like a mom seeing her little children off to the school bus on the first day of school. It was priceless. A sweet Bergeron family moment. :-)
  • Christmas running: Now that Thanksgiving is over Christmas is rapidly approaching. This is probably one of the most important times to not fall off your workout program. With lots of sweets and fattening food, remember to not slip on exercise. People usually pack on the "lbs" during this time due to carelessness. Forget the excuses and just get your workout in! You will feel much better!
  • Increasing my intensity: I've been talking about wanting to run an ultra one day soon. In order to do that I HAVE to up my intensity. First, I need to build up my marathon distance again. I'm proud to say last week I had a 30+ mile week for the first time since last year's marathon training. Boy was I sore, but I loved it. I managed to get 2 long runs in during the week. Sunday I knocked out a chilly 11 miler, then that Friday morning I got an 8 miler in. My weekly "short" runs I am trying to keep between 4-5 miles. It feels good to challenge myself, again! Now I ask you to do something to challenge yourself. Up your mileage, add an extra mile on to a run, an extra run, more weight, an extra day at the gym, or anything you can think of to increase your intensity. Don't let your body get bored! No pain, no gain :-).
  • Cheat days: Do I think "cheat days" are necessary? My answer: Are you serious about your health? What you consider a "cheat day" is probably different from what I see it as. Don't over indulge. People will be people. It's about self discipline and knowing what's right and appropriate.
  • Treadmill VS Outdoor running: I hate treadmill running, so my opinion may be slightly bias. I prefer outdoor running even in extreme conditions, minus pouring down rain. A good thunderstorm will be the only time you see my huffing and puffing on a treadmill. Treadmill running is boring, to me, and does not simulate real life conditions. Even adding an incline isn't the same as hill running outdoors. Outdoors you have the inconsistency of hills, curves, dips, gradual inclines, flat surfaces, and lots of scenery. Outdoor running also builds stability in your foot, ankle, and legs due to the inconsistency of the terrain. You get more for your buck, just saying. However, if you choose to run indoors remember to increase the speed and incline to challenge your muscles! Also remember, treadmill running is NOT the same as running outdoors. I promise.
  • Vary your diet: Most Americans eat the same 10 foods over and over again. Not much variety, which means you are not always getting the right amount of nutrients. Something I like to do is try to incorporate something new into my foods. I try to cook with something different each week. For example, spaghetti squash, butternut squash, cabbage, ground chicken, etc. Try cooking dishes with fruits and vegetables that are currently in season.
  • Dry Skin: I just want to rant about this. I never ever have dry skin being a Bergeron. For some reason, this late Fall season my skin is dry, ugh. I actually have to apply lotion to my face after a shower, and especially after a run. What the crap?! My advice, remember to have some type of skin lubricant handy as the winter season approaches. Dry skin = no fun. Longer runs during the winter/windy season will also bring abrasions to the skin, another reason to keep lotion handy.
Training Exercise: Stability Ball Pike Ups: There are different progressions of this exercise. Pike ups are good for working abs, hamstrings, and hip flexors/extensors. A happy core is a happy you!

Basic Stability Pike Ups/Knee Tucks:
  • Start in push up potion on the stability ball. Your hands should be on the floor and your feet on the top of the SB.
  • Keeping your hands on the floor, roll the ball towards your chest with the tops of your feet still on the SB, bring your knees to your chest.
  • Roll the ball back out to the starting position.
  • Completion of 1 rep.
  • You should feel your abs contract when you roll in. You will also feel your hips working as you roll in and out.
Stability Pike Ups:
  • Start in push up potion on the stability ball. Your hands should be on the floor and your feet on the top of the SB.
  • Keeping your hands on the floor, roll the ball towards your chest but piking your butt in the air making an arch.
  • Roll the ball back out to the starting position.
  • Completion of 1 rep.
  • You should feel your abs contract when you roll in, as well as your hip muscles working. In addition when you pike up you will feel your hamstrings working.
Stability Pike Ups to Push Ups:
  • Start in push up potion on the stability ball. Your hands should be on the floor and your feet on the top of the SB.
  • Keeping your hands on the floor, roll the ball towards your chest but piking your butt in the air making an arch.
  • Roll the ball back out to the starting position.
  • Back in the starting position do a push up trying to lower your chest as low to the ground as you can.
  • Completion on 1 rep.
  • You should feel your abs contract when you roll in, as well as your hip muscles working. You will also feel your hamstrings working as you pike up. In addition you will be working your chest muscles with the push up at the end.
*Remember you can make any exercise as hard or easy as you would like. Always try to challenge yourself once you master the movement. Don't continue to do exercises with poor form. You will know if your form is poor because you will feel "pain" of some type that isn't normal, or working muscles that should not be worked during that certain exercise. Use good judgement.

Training Tip: Stay warm! Keep your toes and fingers warm. Investing in some running gloves is a good idea, especially on those long cold/windy morning runs. Cotton socks are not the best running socks, I fall guilty of it. Wicking socks are idea because it will cause less blisters and if you happen to step in a puddle your toes won't stay wet. Instead it will "wick" the moister away. The extremity of our limbs manage to let the most heat escape our bodies. Cover up the tips: head, fingers, and toes! Keep as much heat in so your body works less to warm up your working muscles. Less heat escape during winter running, the more efficient you will be.

Training Songs: Happy Holidays! I'm a sucker for holiday music so, of course, I have to add some to my playlist! Enjoy!

(1) All I Want For Christmas- Mariah Carey
(2) Carol of The Bells/ Jingle Bells- Barry Manilow
(3) Between Two Lungs- Florence And The Machine
(4) Who's That Chick - Rihanna ft. David Guetta
(5) Marry You- Bruno Mars or Glee Cast

Training Lagniappe: It's the holiday season which means there is no other reason not to support a good cause! This Saturday December 11, 2010 catch myself, Ross, and Megan running in the 2nd Annual Atlanta Speedo Run. That's right, I said Speedo. Along with other crazy Atlanta folks, we will be running 1.5ish miles down Virgina Highlands in skimpy Santa outfits in the freezing cold! What other way to bring in the holiday season?! It's all for a good cause, for the children. The event raises money for Camp Twin Lakes in efforts to support year round recreational, therapeutic, and educational programs for children with disabilities, and other challenges. Thank You to everyone who has donated to the cause in my name! Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays! :-)

Training Video: If this doesn't inspire you to start running/exercising then I don't know what will. These kids make me smile! They run because they want to! Yes!

Happy Running,
Jayme Bergeron, BS
ACSM Health Fitness Specialist

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

"Ooh Baby, It's Raining, Raining"

It's Thanksgiving week and we all know what that means: food baby galore! The time between Thanksgiving and Christmas is when majority of weight is gained. People pay no attention to their food consumption and have many "cheat days". Remember you can still enjoy your favorite holiday dishes, in moderation. Don't stop exercising because you "don't have time" or "you have family in town". If your health is important to you, you can scarface, what, 30 minutes- 1 hour a day to exercise. Yes, that's it. No excuses. Let me point out that I am not saying you can then eat whatever you want during the holidays and remain the same weight. We all know holiday food is more like comfort food times 100,000,000. Tips for holiday eating:

1. When filling your plate, if you can't see the bottom/color of the plate you have too much food.

2. Don't go back for seconds.

3. Eat before hand. I know that sounds odd, but if you have a snack or small meal you will tend to eat less.

4. Picking at food adds up in calories.

5. You don't have to try everything. Life will go on. (I fall victim of this, I won't lie).

6. Dessert is not a must. If you have dessert, have a small piece.

7. Treat the meals just like any other meal. Basically don't go overboard.

8. Try cooking traditional holiday dishes with healthier alternative, ie: whole wheat flour, whole wheat bread, greek yogurt, skim milk, etc.

9. Remember alcohol adds up in calories, empty calories.

10. EXERCISE! DON'T CUT BACK! Also, don't have the mind set that just because you exercises you can eat whatever you would like.

11. You can always utilize a Thanksgiving Calorie Tracker if all else fails! :-)

Training Exercise: Stability Ball Plank lifting 1 leg. We all know planks work our abs and with different progressions you will fill the "burn" more. Plank on the stability ball is obviously harder than on the floor. You have to support your body weight at an angle on a rolling surface. Hard enough? Nah. Now, lift one leg up slightly off the ground and hold the plank. Now not only do you have to support yourself on your elbows on the ball at an angle, but now you have to balance on one leg. You will feel the burn more in the stomach, for sure. Remember a simple exercise can always be made harder. Progression, progression, progression.

Training Tip: Challenge yourself and add something new to your workouts weekly. It can be a new road, course, exercise, weight, etc. Adding something new will challenge your body to work harder resulting in gains. If you do the same thing day in and day out your body builds an adaptation and a plateau will be eventually reached. Plateau = no gains in power, strength, endurance, weight loss, or whatever your goal may be. Your body wants to be challenged!

Below are pictures of the trail outside my apartment that I finally went out to explore. I won't lie, I always thought the homeless people hung out there, but nope, no homeless people. It's weird to me that there is this beautiful natural trail in the middle of busy Buckhead! :-) Hello new running path!

Believe it or not, this is right below the AT&T and Marta Parking decks.

Tatum enjoying the Trail :-)

Training Songs: Oldies and Newbies! Enjoy!

1. Shake Your Tail Feather- Blues Brothers ft. Ray Charles
2. Umbrella- Rihanna ft Chris Brown
3. Under Control- Parachute
4. S&M- Rihanna
5. See Me Now- Kanye West ft. Beyonce & Charlie Wilson

Training Lagniappe: Running in the pouring rain is actually enjoyable. It's like being a child again playing in the rain. I thought I escaped the rain and could get my 4 miler in between showers, but oh boy was I wrong. Half way up the huge hill outside my apartment it started pouring! I thought about calling it quits and turning back, but then I thought "what's the point, I'm already wet and It's not going to kill me". I needed to get my run in and I refuse to run on a treadmill. So I kept on. You do what you got to do, right?! Well, as I passed car after car, I felt as if they were either (1) judging me, or (2) felt extremely sorry for me. At that point I was soaked and could care less. I was actually having fun. I was in my own little world. I know it sounds weird, but what can you do at that point? There's no point in getting mad, and how often do you get to run in the pouring rain? I felt as if all my worries went away and it was now a game of dodging puddles and Marta bus splashes. It took my mind off of how tired I was from the day, and helped me get through the run. My point is, have fun while exercising. Don't take it too serious. Play in the rain. It won't kill you! :-)

Happy Running,
Jayme Bergeron, BS
ACSM Health Fitness Specialist

Monday, November 15, 2010

GOTR 5K- Atlanta Chapter

November 14, 2010 marked the day as the Fall GOTR (Girls On The Run) 5K in Atlanta. This season I volunteered as a Coach for MSE working with 3rd- 5th grade girls. The season had it's ups and down, but seeing all the girls from Atlanta come together with their family and friends to run the 5K (3.1 miles) made it all worth it! To see the girls so proud of themselves at the end brought a little tear to my eye. To feel so selfless in doing something so good for the community made me have a new appreciation for people who volunteer on a regular basis. To dedicate your time to an organization is a big deal, and sometimes frustrating. However, at the end of the day it's worth having those parents thank you for your time, encouragement, knowledge, leading by example of a healthy lifestyle, and tell you how good of a job you did. My point is, it was fun to volunteer for an organization structured around something I love to do, run, and teach girls many life lessons including health.

The weather was perfect in Atlanta for the run. The picture above was the morning sky before the race. It started out a little chilly, but by the time the start of the race came around it was shorts with a light long sleeves running type of weather. All of the MSE girls finished under 40 minutes, with more than half of them being their first 5k! So proud of my girls! :-)

Remember it is important to give back to the community in any way you can. Teach people your skills and knowledge and feel good to contribute. It's important to take the seriousness out of some things. For example, I normally always try for a new PR, or just work my butt off when running. But to take time to "enjoy" the 5k and take my time was something new. Not to mention I had done a 6 miler Friday and an 8 miler the day before, so my muscles got a nice active rest. I got to see how hard the girls worked, enjoyed the motion of running, and not be so competitive. Everyone has their own reasons to why they exercise (weight loss, muscles growth, because they "have to", etc), but remember sometimes it is nice to have an "easy" or light exercise. You let your muscles rest while still doing work, active rest!

Training Exercise: 100 Jumping Jacks/ 1-2 minutes of high intensity cardio after a workout! After a hard workout add in a minute or plus of high intensity cardio to keep that heart rate up resulting in burning more fat! Not only does this give you the feeling of being exhausted after the workout (some people like it as a feeling of accomplishment), burning more fat, but it also give a little stretch to your muscles. It keeps them "warm" allowing you to have a nice cool down/ stretch afterwards. Your muscles are still lose; therefore, resulting in a longer and further stretch of the muscles. High intensity cardio helps keep the blood blowing throughout your body, as does stretching! Do both!

Training Tip: Relax while exercising! Remember to relax your shoulder, stand up straight, keep your chest out, back straight, and breathe in your nose out your mouth. This will help to keep you from cramping. During running, runners sometimes have a tendency to shrug their shoulders when stressed. This causes the neck muscles to contract, they tighten up, and you feel a cramp/pain like feeling around your neck. It can cause your breathing to be off forcing you to cut your run/workout short. So remember to relax, it will help you cover more distance regardless if it is in miles or time! This is your "me time" so enjoy it!

Training Songs: I kind of have a "love" type theme going on for some reason, well kind of. I love Ray LaMontagne and his voice always puts me in a good mood even if it is a sad song. Weird, I know. Enjoy!

1. Love- Matt White
2. Cameras- Matt and Kim
3. Trouble- Ray LaMontagne
4. Let It Be Me- Ray LaMontagne
5. Forever My Friend- Ray LaMontagne

Training Lagniappe: I just love Fall and everything about it. I know I say it a lot. There is something about it that motivates me to run further, especially in the mornings. I love the cool weather, pretty colors, and falling leaves. So I took some pictures, of course! Enjoy! :-)

The tree outside our front door!

Fallen leaves!

Happy Running,
Jayme Bergeron, BS
ACSM Health Fitness Specialist

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Victim of Love: Trail Running Style

I finally got out and did my first true trail run last week and boy oh boy am I falling in love! There's an endless pile of words to describe the feeling: exhilarating, thrilling, peaceful, beautiful, relaxing, quiet, and the list goes on and on. Let me back up a little. I love running in the city and road races; however, lately I've feel as if I am stuck in what I call my "runner's block". I need a change of scenery, less traffic, and less paved hills. I don't like when I feel as if running has become a chore, that's not why I run. Therefore, I decided I needed to add in a little spice to my running. After talking to numerous people the concenus was to try trail running and to slowly step back off the curb of road running. It goes back to the basic theory of exercise and adaptation: our bodies adapt to the same routine after time; therefore, variety is needed in order to gain strength, power, and endurance. I've set a goal for myself to slowly add in a new course/ trail to my weekly runs. Remember it is always important to shake up your normal routine. Your body thrives for it, I promise. This applies to almost everything in life such as exercise, food, running, and the list goes on. Try something new at least once a month. This way you're challenging your body to make new gains in whatever way it may be.

Training Exercise: Squat to Ball Toss. This is a good exercise to get your heart rate up, blood pumping, and build that endurance. Remember the longer your heart rate is elevated during exercise the more fat you will burn. The squats work your lower body while the ball toss above your head works your upper body. Therefore, this creates a full body endurance workout.

Squat to Ball Toss:
  • Grab a weighted medicine ball, or even just a basketball/volleyball/ soccer ball (whatever you have around the house).
  • Stand with your feet shoulder width apart.
  • Squat down as low as you can go.
  • On the way back up, toss the ball above your head.
  • As you catch the ball, squat back down.
  • Repeat for 15- 20 reps OR 30-45 seconds for 3-5 sets.
Training Tip: Hydrate even in the cold weather! You may feel like you sweat less during the winter time when running outdoors, but that's not true. You are still sweating and loosing important fluids. Remember to rehydrate yourself before, during, and/or after you finish running. Always drink water throughout the day even if you are not thirsty. Once you reach the feeling of thirst you are already dehydrated. It's important to drink water throughout the day to prevent cramps and/or injury during your exercise/ runs. Remember, it takes a 1-2 days for water to reach the cellular level to refuel the muscles!

Training Songs: This week I am all over the map. Enjoy!

1. Touch The Sky- Kanye West ft. Lupe Fiasco
2. Tonight- Enrique Igleias ft. Ludacris
3. Fader- The Temper Trap
4. Girls' Night- First Rate People
5. Wishing Well- The Airborne Toxic Event

Training Lagniappe: As many of you know the ING New York Marathon was this past Sunday as well as World Running Day. I hope everyone got a good run in, if possible! Congrats to all the NY Marathoners including the US runners: S. Flanagan bring the medals back for the USA women by finishing 2nd! Let me also point out this was her 1st EVER marathon and she totally killed it! Congrats to Meb for finishing strong in the top 10 along with a couple other USA men. Edison Pena, the trapped Chilean Miner who ran every day while trapped, has one of the best stories out there. He was invited to run the marathon, he accepted, and finished in over 5 hours. He's made a few talk show appearances before the marathon, which there he showed his love for Elvis. As you may have guessed, as he crossed the finish line to Elvis.

There were also some other celebrity noteworthy times including Bobby Flay in a time of 4:03. Let me tell you, I for some reason have a true obsession with him. I think mostly because he loves to cook (as do I), loves to eat (oh yea, as do I), he loves to run (as do I), and trains for marathons (as do I).I really think we could be great friends who cook, eat, and run together. Bobby if you see this, hit me up! For real, lets be BFFs.

Happy Running,
Jayme Bergeron, BS
ACSM Health Fitness Specialist

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

"My Body's A Zombie For You"

I DO feel like a zombie. I've opened up my blog the past few days with a fresh mind, but nothing to say. Well, I feel like I have too much to say and just don't know where to start. First, Sunday was a nice hike up Stone Mountain. While we just hiked up the mountain, some people were ambitious enough to run up the steep rock. At the moment, I said no way Jose. Now thinking about it, I may attempt to run up the mountain one day just to say I did. It will be one hell of a 1.3 mile run, but I think it will be worth the self sacrifice. The picture to the left is a nice view of the Stone Mountain lake from the top.

Second, the weather in Georgia has been very inconsistent the past few weeks. One week it feels like fall, true fall. Then the following week it feels like summer all over again. Today is one of those "summer-like" days. I convinced myself during my brutal 4 miler today that I have the Summer blues in what is suppose to be the Fall season. During my run it appeared to be Fall outside with the leaves falling and the wind whipping, but it was anything but Fall temperatures. It felt like Summer air with a Fall scenery. What was suppose to be an easy 4 miler turned into a dreadful run. At one point, I stopped half way up Lindbergh Drive (which is one giant hill), thought to myself I am done with running, and then realized I am throwing a fit at 23 years old because my run is anything but ideal. As a runner, I am too hard on myself. I feel constant pressure to always get a new PR, or to have an outstanding run. Why? Some may say I am a perfectionist. I admit fault. I feel pressured to lead by example due to my career and volunteer choice. However, I have to tell myself that standing in the middle of Lindbergh Drive pouting isn't going to solve anything. I push myself to keep going and tell myself that everyone has a bad day. No need to blame my music choice, the weather, or simply the lack of a running buddy. It just happens. My point is, everyone has a bad day or days of running/exercise. The key is you just have to suck it up and move on. Sometimes stopping to take a breather, maybe pouting a little, and then realizing how ridiculous you look is enough motivation to suck up the "emo-ness" and continue on like a trooper. Remember if you are stuck in a slump or have a bad day, find something that motivates you to just dedicate 30-60 minutes of your time to exercise. In the end it's for the best, and will help you feel better. Busting out an exercise routine after a horrible day will give you a feeling of accomplishment once you complete it. Don't let something so little stand in your way. We are all human and have bad days, but how you deal with it reveals your level of self determination.

Training Exercise: Wood Choppers. This is an excellent exercise for the side of your abs and some lower back. You can either perform this exercise with a cable machine, resistance band, medicine ball, or a weight. To perform wood choppers:

Basic Wood Choppers
  • Cable or Resistance band: Place the lever of the cable or band all the way to the top of the machine or the top of the door frame.
  • If a cable, set the weight to roughly 10-20 pounds, depending on your fitness level. If a band, the further you walk out the more resistance you will feel.
  • Stand side ways and walk out from the machine/door frame.
  • Keep your arms straight at all times, and bring the band/cable down twisting to the opposite foot.
  • Keeping your arms straight, return to the starting position. The motion is to roughly mimic chopping wood. You will feel the exercise work in the side of your abs that you are twisting down to.
  • Repeat 15-20 reps on the same side, then turn around and do the other side.
  • Medicine Ball or Weight: Hold the MB or weight above your head to one side of your body.
  • Keeping your arms straight, twist down to the opposite side trying to touch your foot with the MB or weight.
  • Keeping your arms straight, return to the starting position. The motion is to roughly mimic chopping wood. You will feel the exercise work in the side of your abs that you are twisting down to.
  • Repeat 15-20 reps on the same side, then turn around and do the other side.

Training Tip: When the weather is in the 50s remember not to over dress. You may feel chilly when you walk out the door and are tempted to put on long sleeves and pants, but I promise you will regret it. During the Fall season with temperatures in the 40 and 50s short sleeves (sometimes a light long sleeves that you can push up) and shorts are the ideal clothes to wear. You will be chilly at first, but once you surpass 1-2 miles your body will warm up and you will regret overdressing. Remember dressing for the weather can make or break a run. You have to think how you will feel during the run, not in the now.

Training Songs: In the spirit of Halloween I have included some themed songs into my play list. It may not feel like Halloween outside, but I am determined to make it feel like it is! Enjoy!

1. My Body's A Zombie For You- Dead Man's Bones
2. Monster- Lady GaGa
3. Monster Mash- Bobby Pickett
4. Beautiful Monster- Ne-Yo
5. Monster- Kayne West ft. Jay-Z, Rick Ross, Nicky Minaj, and Bon Iver

Training Lagniappe: Sunday November 7 at 9AM is the ING New York Marathon. I will be sure to watch the entire marathon either live, or even if I have to DVR it. You can call me a dork because this is how I get my kicks, but I just love to watch people run their asses off. However, this Marathon is going to be epic. Meb, the US Runner, will be defending his title from last year along with other amazing US Runners. Reason number 2: To watch Edison Pena, the Chilean Miner, run the race of his life. For the people who didn't hear, while being trapped he ran roughly 6 miles a day to occupy himself. When the news broke, the ING NY Marathon committee invited him to run the race. What a compliment! I may shed a tear, I won't lie.

Happy Running,
Jayme Bergeron, BS
ACSM Health Fitness Specialist

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

What If Everyone Ran At The Same Exact Moment?!

Mark your calendars: November 7, 2010 is World Run Day! World Run Day is a global event in the efforts to bring the world together as a healthy unit! Many cities around the world host events to bring the community together to help promote the importance of health and fitness. Not a runner? Not a problem... not an excuse... the event is meant to get people moving! Grab some friends, family members, coworkers, or even those furry friends and just go for a long walk or run! Find a new route to explore. It's one day of your life that can change the rest of your life (yep, I'm one of those people... dorky, I know!). Health and fitness is an important aspect of life and there is no excuse not to delegate time to your health and well being. Think of what is important in your life, ie children, grandkids, your spouse, best friend, dog, etc and think about how much you will miss out in their life if you don't take care of yourself. Mental health doesn't exist without physical health, vice versa. I'm not asking everyone to be a marathon runner, just to take care of yourself. Once you add some type of physical activity into your routine it will become a habit. You will begin to feel sick if you miss a day! On November 7, 2010 lace up those sneakers and get moving!

Training Exercise: High Intensity Ab and Cardio Workout Days. Majority of people want to burn fat off those unwanted areas. Strength training and cardio are the key ingredients. Adding at least one day dedicated to abs and cardio can help aid in the process. The idea is to preform 8-12 ab/cardio combination exercises in a circuit style workout to keep your heart rate elevated resulting in burning more calories. This can be as tough as you make it. You can choose exercises that can be done at home and/or with just body weight. Therefore, there is no excuse not push yourself to do a hardcore workout if you don't belong to a fitness facility, or don't have time one day to make it to the gym.

Sample Ab/Cardio Workout:
  • Step-Ups
  • Stability Ball Crunches
  • Skaters
  • Side Planks
  • Stability Ball Rollouts
  • Stability Ball/ Plank Knee Tucks
  • Walking Lunges
  • Jumping Squats
  • Reverse Crunches
  • Mountain Climbers
*Preform the exercises for X amount of time (ie- 30-45 seconds) or for reps (ie- 15-25 reps) for 3 sets. The idea is to complete all the exercises before taking a break. However, remember there is always ways to modify and progress each exercise. Preform at your own pace. If you need to take a break before the set is over, do so.

Training Tip: Remember to stay hydrated! Since the season is changing people seem to drink less water since it isn't so hot outside! Remember to drink water through out the day, even if you're not thirsty. Once you feel thirsty, you are already dehydrated. You may hear people say this all the time, but it is an important part of exercise and every day living. Dehydration can result in fatigue, dizziness, quick muscle failure, cramps, etc. Safe tip is for every cup of coffee (or caffeinated/sugary drink) drink 2 cups of water to compensate.

Training Songs: I haven't done my homework for the past few weeks. I have a few newbies (Thanks to Ross and Jesse), but have included some oldies that I just love! Enjoy!

1. Freakum Dress- Beyonce
2. Bridge Over Troubled Water- Glee Version
3. Say Goodbye- DMB
4. This Is How A Heart Breaks- Rob Thomas
5. Rump Shaker- Teddy Riley Remix

Training Lagniappe: The Rock and Roll Marathon Series is coming to Savannah, Georgia! November 5, 2011! Finally! I've been wanting to take a vacation to Savannah and this is the perfect reason why! Make your calendars!

Happy Running,
Jayme Bergeron, BS
ACSM Health Fitness Specialist

Friday, October 8, 2010

"The Dog Days Are Over"

A LOT has happened in the past few weeks! Ended my old job of 5 years, started my career as a Fitness Coach, ran the Atlanta 13.1 Half Marathon, and set a new PR! Whew, now I mean it for real this time: I am going to start getting back to blogging. I have the best work schedule with lots of free time in the afternoon, so i'm back for real. In the words of Florence and the Machine, "the dog days are over"!

First, the Atlanta 13.1 Half was great for not only me, but all my friends who ran it as well! I set a new PR of 1:45, and now working on getting down to my ultimate goal of 1:30. Jesse ran his first Half with a kick ass time of 2:01; Megan ran her second half and kick her first half in the butt with a new PR shaving off 18 minutes!; Shannon ran his first half dragging Megan to finish in record time ;-); and, Rani, who made me tear up after she finished, ran her first half and has been bitten by the running bug! :-). Not to mention, Ross and Conal did an outstanding job of cheering us all on... And, oh, thanks Ross for capturing all of our true thoughts during the half via videos! I have some of the best friends and are so proud of every single one of them! Who's ready for the next one?! ... Come join Team Bergeron on February 13, 2011 in NOLA for the Mardi Gras Half!

Atlanta 13.1 Half Marathon Crew:
Now the party is over it's recovery time! It's important that after the race to recover from the distance endured and pounding of the pavement. It's like tapering before the race. Loose those muscles to avoid cramps and injuries. If you're like me, not running or running short distances is painful. I feel like a slug and just want to keep running the distance. So, I try to push myself and start to cramp. The reason being is because during a race you are pushing yourself full force and those muscles are contracting harder and faster than they normally have during your training. Now after the race your muscles are trying to relax and resume everyday functions. If you feel tighter than normal take a hot bath with sea salts, stretch, and/or roll on a foam roller or tennis/golf ball over the tight muscles. Work the kinks out and get the blood flowing! Slowly increase your mileage to your "normal" running schedule.

Training Exercise: Limited Rotation. This is one of my favorite core exercises. This exercise will help strengthen your core muscles: abs, lower back, glutes, and part of your hammies. A strong core helps improve/ correct breathing, strengthen your back muscles, and use oxygen more efficiently. You can preform this exercise with either a cable on the machine or a resistance band:

Basic Limited Rotation:
  • Cable: Lower the lever arm to 90 degrees, where it is straight in front of you.
  • Set the weight to 10-15 pounds. You do not need a lot of weight for this exercise.
  • Grab the cable and step out facing sideways from the machine. Note: The further you step out the harder the exercise will be.
  • Extend your arms out in front of you. Keep your arms straight the entire exercise.
  • Move your arms shoulder to shoulder width keeping your core tight and resisting the rotation in your hips/ core area. Note: The shoulders should be the only thing moving- you should feel it in your ab area.
  • Complete 15-20 reps and then turn and face the other side and repeat 15-20 reps. Complete the exercise 2-3 sets.
  • Resistance Band: Secure the band in a shut door or around a steady post.
  • Grab the band and step out facing sideways from the doorway/post. Note: The further you step out the harder the exercise will be. You may be able to step further out with the band than the cable since there is no weight applied, instead you are using the resistance of the band as your weight.
  • Extend your arms out in front of you. Keep your arms straight the entire exercise.
  • Move your arms shoulder to shoulder width keeping your core tight and resisting the rotation in your hips/ core area. Note: The shoulders should be the only thing moving- you should feel it in your ab area.
  • Complete 15-20 reps and then turn and face the other side and repeat 15-20 reps. Complete the exercise 2-3 sets.
Training Tip: Remember that since the temperatures are cooling down to real Fall-like weather our skin will begin to dry out. Carry chapstick or some type of "lube" with you on your runs (I hate using the word lube in running context... makes me feel dirty). Don't forget to apply some type of anti-chafing to your skin in "irritated areas", ie: where the seams of clothes rub together on your skin. Lets face it, it happens to everyone... especially on those long windy runs. Get in the habit of at least applying chapstick to your lips before running and/or working out. That way it will become part of your routine and you avoid that cracking of your lips.

Training Songs: Here are some of the jams that got me through the half! Enjoy!

1. Monster- Kayne West ft. Jay-Z, Rick Ross, Nicky Minaj, & Don Iver
2. Dog Days Are Over- Florence and The Machine
3. Stuck Like Glue- Sugarland
4. Fuck You- Cee Lo Green
5. Drop It Low (Remix)- Ester Dean ft. Chris Brown

Training Lagniappe: I am volunteering for the Atlanta Girls On The Run. I work with 4 other coaches and help elementary girls deal with every day issues such as self confidence, positive/negative feelings, etc, and how fitness is IMPORTANT. The girls train for a 5k that takes place on Sunday November 14, 2010! Sign up and run/walk for a good cause!

Happy Running,
Jayme Bergeron, BS
ACSM Health Fitness Specialist

Sunday, September 26, 2010

"13.1 Atlanta: Where The Party Meets The Pavement!"

First, I want to apologize for not updating in a couple of week. I, again, had computer problems, but now i'm back and should be back for good!

Next Sunday, October 3, is the 13.1 Half Marathon in Atlanta! So it's officially tapering time! Tapering time is always bittersweet for me. I'm ready to slow down and rest, but once a few days into it I feel like a slug and need to exercise more. Rest is important, especially before a race. Everyone is different, so how people taper is personalized. You know your body better than anyone else; therefore, the amount of rest you need is to be determined by you. I know there are plans/suggestions out there that state how much you need to rest and what activities are best during Taper Week, but I honestly think each person can determine that for themselves. Some people may need more rest than others, while some may not need any rest. I've noticed that for each race I've ran I have trained and tapered differently. Honestly, I can't tell you if one technique is better than other. I based it off how I was feeling and my goals. This race I have set a new PR Goal for myself of 1:30. I need to shave roughly 18 minutes off my last half enable to reach my goal. This time around I have trained harder during my weekly runs than I have in the past. I have added more hills, weight lifting, and some sprints. Hopefully, it will pay off. I know I will be happy with any time under my last race time.... A few taper tips to remember:
  • Rest- Obviously. If you're like me and insist on still running and lifting weights, just take it easy. Cut your runs shorter than what you would normally run and maybe even slow the pace down a little. If lifting weights, lift lighter than you normally do. This way you are still exercising, but taking it easy. Taking it easy will allow your muscles to still rest and not reach fatigue, so when race day comes you are still fresh.
  • Fall into that sedentary lifestyle the day before the race! Well, not completely... leave out the nachos! Take it easy with no exercise and as little walking as possible. Just seriously relax and clear your mind.
  • Stay hydrated throughout the week! This is the time to really be serious about hydration. Remember it takes a couple of days for water to reach the cellular level. Meaning, you need to drink plenty of water throughout the week to ensure your muscles and cells are fully hydrated. Last thing you want is to cramp during the race after all your hard training.
  • Stretch! This one is hard for most people, including me. Stretch those muscles throughout the day to release any tightness or possible cramping. For me, my calves are always tight. I don't stretch them as much as I need to and I am working on stretching them more. Try to get up and walk around after a few hours of sitting to help keep the blood flowing. While walking around, stretch your muscles. Also, when at home just sitting around is the perfect time to stretch. I promise it will help keep you lose and focused on race day. It's also very relaxing :-)
  • Think about your pace and envision yourself running on race day. If you believe you can do something, you can! You've been training for this day and your body is capable of handling the distance, now it's just mental. Stay positive before and during the race!
  • Most of all: HAVE FUN!
Training Exercise: Reverse Fly: My new favorite muscle group to work is the back! As you all know it used to be the hammies. Now, it's back time. Like the hammies, people seem to forget to really work those back muscles. Strong back muscles help in lifting, breathing, flexibility, and reduce low back pain (obviously).

Reverse Fly:
  • Grab a light weight. Don't over do it.
  • Stand with your feet about shoulder width apart with a slight bend in the knees.
  • Bend forward keep your chest up, back straight, and glutes out. It may feel unnatural at first, but it takes the stress off your back.
  • Arms start straight down with palms facing each other.
  • Keeping your arms straight raise them out to the side of your body as far up as you can.
    You will feel it in your upper back and some in your shoulders.
  • Repeat: 10-15 reps, 3-5 sets
Training Tip: Carb load a couple nights before the race! Our main energy source our body uses is carbs, but our body is very ineffective at storing carbs for a long time. The idea behind carb loading is if you load up on carbs a couple nights before and some the night before, that when you run the long distance the next day your body will be able to tap into what carbs are left in your body to help push through those last miles. (It's a complex system, but that's the jest of it). When you are running/exercising for over an hour (on the safe side) your body needs carbs to push through and continue the exercise. Remember to choose healthy complex carbs such as whole wheat, nuts, greens, etc... not the simple carbs like candy! I'm making a homemade Turkey Lasagna with veggies for part of my carb loading!

Training Songs: As you know, I'm a music junkie and always looking for new song and even bring back oldies. One of the best apps I have on my iPhone is the Bing Music App. I always seem to forget about it, but you choose the year you want to listen to and it has the top 100 of that year. Oh yea! This week i'm bringing you back to 2005, the year I graduated high school! Enjoy! :-)

1. Wait (The Whisper Song) - Ying Yang Twins
2. My Humps- Black Eyed Peas
3. Soldier- Destiny's Child
4. 1, 2 Step- Ciara/ Missy Elliott
5. Get Back- Ludacris
6. Over and Over- Nelly ft. Tim McGraw
7. Drop It Like It's Hot- Snoop Dogg
8. Sugar- Trick Daddy ft. Ludacris and Cee-Lo
9. Switch- Will Smith
10. Don't Cha- Pussycat Dolls ft. Busta Rhymes

Training Lagniappe: Team Bergeron- Mardi Gras Half Marathon- February 13, 2011- NOLA. Be there or be square! You won't miss us obnoxious Bergerons... That's right, we're making shirts... BRIGHT YELLOW SHIRTS! :-)

Happy Running,
Jayme Bergeron, BS
ACSM Health Fitness Specialist