Sunday, August 29, 2010

“Tequila Might Seem Out of Control. Vodka Seems Like The Right Complement To The Gym."

Alcohol and exercise, a match made in heaven?! Huh?! Before I explain, let me back track. It never fails, I always hear people talking about how they do "200-300 crunches a night but can't seem to lose any weight around their inner tube" followed by a sip of their beer/ strongly mixed cocktail. I then get a lecture of how exercise just doesn't work for them, only them. I then ask them about their nutrition, but they quickly respond declaring they are pretty close to being a health nut (all while they are chomping away on some nachos). Right... It doesn't matter how many times you tell some people that alcohol adds up in calories just like food, they just (1) don't want to hear it and ignore it, or (2) they really believe liquids are non-caloric substances. Don't get me wrong, I like to have a drink(s) at time(s). However, I don't (1) drink often enough for it to truly hurt me and (2) I'm pretty much an exercise nut, let's just admit it. For all you drinkers out there you can keep track of your calories when at a bar! Just print off the Beer 101 link, fold it up, stick it in your pocket, and when ordering tell the waiter to hold on one second because you need to make sure it fits in your caloric intake for the day. Dork, nah just self conscious. :-)

Ok, so now on to my point. The New York Times posted an article on David Barton's (a gym owner) ideas on why mixing alcohol and exercise is a genius idea. He goes on to say that people are going to drink anyway and a shot has around 100 calories, which takes roughly running a mile to burn off. He then states that he rather have people drink and workout then just drink and never workout. Yea, just that statement alone makes me believe he really cares about his client's health and fitness. You know Mr. Barton I think drinking tequila after a workout sounds a little crazy too, but Vodka and exercise just seems like two peas in a pod. Sense the sarcasm. Let me make one side note: After running a HALF MARATHON (13.1 MILES) or FULL MARATHON (26.2 MILES) a nice cold beer actually does taste delicious and helps numb the pain, but not after EVERY exercise. For someone in the health industry, I believe his idea of health and exercise are a little skewed. He's an accomplice to a crime by advocating/providing alcohol right after a workout. The clients are working out to drink not for a healthy life. That's the aspect of it all that just rubs me the wrong way. He's not showing how to fit alcohol consumption in to a healthy lifestyle, instead he's making it the focal point of exercise. It's like saying it's ok to go eat McDonald's after a workout. Maybe that's an extreme example, but you get my point. I'm not saying people shouldn't have a drink, just that his views seem outrageous for someone who is suppose to be promoting health and fitness to society.

Training Exercise: Mountain Scissors. Yes, I totally made this up. I mean, I 'm sure people out there have other names for it and what not. I have combined mountain climbers and lateral splits in the mountain climber position together. This is a good exercise to keep your heart rate up and burn more calories!

Mountain Scissors:
  • Get down in the mountain climber position. Hands and feet both on the ground with your butt slightly raised in the air.
  • Your hands will never move.
  • Your feet will be together in the starting position.
  • (1st) Spread your legs apart out to the side in the jumping motion like a lateral split.
  • (2nd) Your legs come back together (where they were at the starting position)
  • (3rd) Bring both legs towards your chest like you would for a mountain climber. Remember both legs and not single legs.
  • (4th) Hop both legs backwards to the starting position. Completion of 1 rep.
It's kind of hard to explain. Just remember it's all a hopping motion and no breaks in between. You start with your feet together, hop out, hop back together, hop forward, then hop back to the starting position. Remember your hands never come off the ground. Complete 8-15 reps for 3-5 sets.

Training Tip:
Add Cinnamon to your food. According to an article I came across in Women's Health adding cinnamon to your coffee or toast may help to reduce stress levels. Being an antioxidant there are some studies to show stress levels have declined when adding cinnamon to your coffee grinds or to even on top of your freshly brewed coffee. If all else fails, you know have a new flavor of coffee!

Training Songs: I feel kind of in a music rut the past few weeks. I've downloaded good new songs, but nothing seems to really put that extra hop in my step. Maybe it'll be different for you. I'm always open to new songs and suggestions!! Enjoy!

1. Crystalised- The XX
2. DJ Got Us Falling In Love- Usher ft. Pitbull
3. Just A Dream- Nelly
4. Teenage Dream- Katy Perry (I'm a little ashamed)
5. Secrets- One Republic

Training Lagniappe: After countless requests I have added a subscription box to the side! Okay, maybe not countless... or even much... ok just 1 request.... But now it's made easier for you all! Just type in your email and BAM! Email updates of A Runner's Roux! :-)

Happy Running,
Jayme Bergeron, BS
ACSM Health Fitness Specialist

Thursday, August 19, 2010

The Running Puzzle

Running seems like a simple concept. Put on some workout clothes, a good pair of running shoes, strap on your iPod for some good tunes, and just go. Well, if it were that easy. I mean, overall running is pretty simplistic. It's when you start increasing mileage, wanting to increase your pace, and learning to eat during longer runs its seems like a puzzle. You have to find where everything fits for you and only you. Everyone adapts to the changes differently. There's no right or wrong on what to do; therefore, my advice to you is to do what works best for you. Yeah Yeah, you're probably thinking "no crap, I could have figured that one out", but think about it a little deeper. For example, I have to give myself good vibes about increasing mileage a couple days before the run. It's like talking myself into it. For some people they can just run "spontaneous distances". Not me. I have to know all the details of when, where, and how long the run is going to be. I'm a very routine person and the moment that routine is broken my body goes into shock and I break down. Okay, that's a little extreme, but it does effect my running, It's a mental battle. Now to the eating part. This is the most difficult part of running for me. I don't like to eat before I run because it may upset my stomach or give me cramps. BUT then during a long run my stomach will start to growl and feel so empty. After studying exercise/ nutrition in school I know the "right and wrongs" of exercise diets and not eating before a long run is a no no. Sigh. So, when I know I am going to do a long run I eat a piece of fruit or toast. You can even drink some juice or a fresh smoothie. Filling up on carbs will help prolong your run. I don't recommended foods high in fiber before long runs. Just think about it. Good nutrition will help you increase your mileage and pace because your energy sources will be full and ready to knock out those miles! What works for me doesn't necessarily mean it will work for you. No one can give you answers to what works best for you, just suggestions. Figuring out your running style, techniques, and eating habits is part of your running journey. Trial and error is the name of the game, now enjoy.

I was reading my daily blogs the other day when I came to the Runner's World Blog entry titled Wanted: Personal Road Crew. Mark Ramey talks about his 8 miler and how the road crew members helped him around the traffic and work area. He goes on to explain how he started thinking how practical and efficient it would be to have people following him around while running to stop traffic, make sure the crosswalk is clear, and help him dodge any blemishes in the road. To the average non-running person it may seem a little foolish, but to all the runners it actually may seem like a good idea. So to my point, while running this morning I forgot about all the back to school morning traffic. Between all the damn Marta Bus stops and the 3 Catholic School within .05 mile radius on Peachtree traffic was anything but flowing. As I approached one of the crosswalks there was a lady cop directing traffic to aid with the congestion. I felt like for a moment I had my own personal road crew. She made sure she stopped traffic for me not once but twice (twice because I made it a turn around course). I felt important for a moment and for once I wasn't looked at as "an inconvenience because I'm a runner". A lot of motorist don't like runners because we stop traffic or cross the crosswalk when it's our turn causing the motorist anger since they can't run the red light. It doesn't take a lot to make me happy... just stop traffic for me so I don't have to interrupt my run to yield to the motorist. :-) So, if you would like to be my daily personal road crew member please attach your running qualifications for me. Hell, I'll even let you ride a bike, or scooter if you prefer, to ensure you can block off traffic for me. :-) Like, I'm for real....

Training Exercise: Pull Throughs. Pull throughs are the same concept as swings but performed with resistance bands. Swings are commonly executed with kettlebells, but can be done with dumbbells. I know for me, I don't like to do swings with dumbbells. It just doesn't feel the same. Next best thing, pull throughs. This is a good exercise for your hips, glutes, and core. The swinging motion is working your hips and glutes and then end position is like a standing plank, working your core. To preform:
  • Have a resistance band either connected to the wall, machine, or closed in a door. Make sure it is at floor level.
  • Stand with you feet about hip width apart in front of the band (you will be straddling the band between your legs), Keep your back straight, chest up, and shoulders down.
  • Slightly bend your knees.
  • Grab the band from the floor or machine.
  • Pull the band between your legs squeezing your glutes and straighten your body so you are now standing straight up. Just like a swing.
  • Return to starting position. Repeat 3-5 sets, 8-10 reps.
Training Tip: Carry ID. Someone was telling me the other day of a horrific story of a woman about my age that was hit by a car during her morning run before sun rise. She is a Master student at Emory and was going for her daily morning run. She didn't have any id, much less anything on her, except her iPod. She was in the crosswalk when a car failed to stop and hit her. She was unconscious and rushed to the hospital in critical condition. Since she had no ID on her she was in the hospital for about 2 days before the nurse was able to reach her parents. The nurse said she is a mother and would want to know if her daughter was lying in the hospital dying. The nurse took the one piece of material the girl on her, the iPod. She traced back the vin number and found her parents to inform them of their daughter. The woman survived and is now back to running since the accident happened months ago. Tear, tear, tear. The story hit home and made me think. It happens to sound a lot like my running habits. I don't carry id, only have my iPod, run before sun rise, and have almost been hit a couple of time. I declared I'm going to start carrying some type of ID even if It's a dorky, but fashionable, running ID bracelet. Last thing I want is to be hit by a car and laying up in Grady with no identification. I don't like to preach or sound like a mom, but you never know.

Training Songs: This week is a good mix from both Ross and Jesse. Thanks guys! Enjoy!

1. Teach Me How To Dougie (Remix)- Cali Swag District ft. Jermaine Dupri, Red Cafe, B.O.B, & Bow Wow
2. Why Don't You Love Me- Beyonce
3. Bottoms Up- Trey Songz ft. Nicki Mina
4. Supernova- Mr. Hudson ft. Kayne West
6. Everything Is Broken- Mr. Hudson ft. Kid Cudi

Training Lagniappe: The Atlanta 13.1 is almost here! I'm getting excited and nervous at the same time. I always get this way before a race. I'm going for a new Half PR of 1:45 on a training guide I created for myself. It's kind of like I'm putting all my knowledge into my own hands by creating my own guide. If it works I'll take all the credit, of course...BUT if it doesn't work I'll blame it on it was my first one I've ever created from scratch. ;-). I took all my knowledge on exercise, running, and my experience on running to create my guide to help me increase my speed. I'm working on cutting off 4 minutes from my last half. It may not seem like a lot, but it is in the running world. Anyway, so far I'm sticking to my guide and it's going pretty well. I'll keep you updated on my progress so don't worry your pretty little face. :-) Good Luck to everyone else! Keep working towards your goals! Remember even if you don't reach your goal of a new PR, or whatever it may be, stay positive and take it as one more step to reaching your goal!

On a side note, and maybe for some inspiration, here's a picture I took one morning during my run at Piedmont Park. :-) It was a beautiful morning with beautiful flowers... I'm such a girl.

Happy Running,
Jayme Bergeron, BS
ACSM Health Fitness Specialist

Monday, August 9, 2010

Summer Running, Had Me A Blast...

I'm Baaaccckkk! After my long hiatus due to computer problems, i'm back and ready to blog. I've been itching to blog with so much to say and now that I can I have nothing to say! :-) No worries, it will all come rushing back to me. I have so many thoughts, tips, and ideas that I just don't know where to start! So I will just provide you with a collection of my random thoughts at the moment. Think of it as, I'm just easing you back into my nerdy-ness of running...

  • First, I ran my personal best at the Peachtree. It was exciting. My new goal is to run the 13.1 half in 1:45 or under.
  • This Georgia Heat Wave is absolutely killing me! It's bringing me down and putting a huge damper on my running. I mean, I'm not opposed to sweating or anything, but looking like I just jumped in Lake Lanier and then rolled around in the dirt after an "easy run" is a little much, Georgia!
  • Why are people running in long sleeves?! FYI, it's not going to expedite your "weight loss journey", I promise. Maybe more like your heat stroke journey....
  • I love getting in a good 4-5 miler all before the sun comes up, but it's starting to get old... I would like a nice afternoon run with a cool breeze... Fall, where are you?! Hurry up!
  • I'm excited that many people I know are running the Atlanta 13.1. Is that sad it excites me?
  • I've discovered "cool showers" are the best thing after a hot run! I'm not a bath person, much less a cold bath person. So, cool showers are prefect. I mean, really. It feels amazing.
  • People write outrageous things in wet cement. Some sweet and some inappropriate.
  • The kids during church summer camps on Peachtree Road always cheered passing runners. It was cute, and encouraging. I mean, I couldn't stop short in front of them. Oh, how those little 8 year olds had so much power over me.
  • I've spent a lot of time lately baking and cooking, but with a healthy twist. I want to open up a bakery using all natural/healthy ingredients, it's a little ambitious... But I love food and exercise so i'm determined to find a guiltless balance and share it with the world :-). I'll soon provide pictures and recipes!
  • I'm ready for the 13.1 half, to run another marathon, and to get myself to fully commit to running a 50 miler...
Training Exercise: Lunge to Curl. This is one of my new favorite exercises. Everyone already knows that lunges are a GREAT full body work out. Now adding a curl will increase endurance, upper body strength, and calories burned. It's simple, as you lunge curl the dumbbells in your arms. Think of it as one motion, one unit. Do this with a forward lunge and a reverse lunge. This way you ensure to work both your quadriceps and hamstrings.

Training Tip: I already said it, but i'm going to say it again. Cold Showers! It's like heaven on earth during this heat wave. It also helps to relax your muscles and prevent cramping. I don't recommended ice cold showers, unless you are courageous, but just in between hot and cold... And no, I don't mean warm showers.

Training Songs: I've finally updated my iPod since my computer was being worked on. I'm so happy to have new jams to run to! I'm all over the map, so ENJOY!

1. Audience- Cold War Kids
2. One- Yeasayer
3. Naive- The Kooks
4. 10 Dollar- MIA
5. Fuck You Very Much- Lily Allen
6. L.E.S. Artistes- Santogold
7. Gold Lion- Yeah Yeah Yeahs
8. Pocketbook- Jennifer Hudson ft. Ludacris
9. You Are The Best Thing- Ray LaMontagne
10. Better Together- Jack Johnson

Happy Running,
Jayme Bergeron, BS
ACSM Health Fitness Specialist