Sunday, December 11, 2011

"First Name The Last Name Greatest"

'Tis the season... exercise intensity typically decreases. The holiday season is upon us all, and this is the time of year where exercise becomes harder to fit into our schedules for countless reasons. It could be due to drastic temperature changes, sickness, increase everyday busyness, but we must remember that our health is the most important thing. My exercise regamine hasn't been at the level I would like for it to be the past few weeks. However, according to Runner's World after an endurance race it is ideal to rest/recover a day for each mile ran. This doesn't mean to not do anything for 26 days, but little exercise is okay. Since running the Savannah Marathon in early November, it's been taking longer for me to recover. Since I trained harder than I ever have before, I think my body is enjoying the minimal running. My personality doesn't match with the idea of resting. I've been running and increase my weight workouts, but I feel like I haven't been exercising at the level I should be. I am odd, I know. Remember everyone is different, and the rest each person needs varies. Since it is easier to find excuses not to exercise during this time of year, remember to prevail through it. Don't talk yourself out of it today, then tomorrow, then by the time you realize it has been a month of no exercise. Find a way to schedule in your normal exercise. The intensity may be lower than normal, but remember to workout and run! This is the time of year, the average number of calories per person increases. Don't let that holiday weight creep into your life! Take a daily walk, go to the park, lace up your shoes, take a bike ride, just move!!

Tatum doing stadiums :-)

Training Exercise Stability Ball Bicycles. We all know how important core stability is to every day functioning. A strong core helps increase the athleticism in every sport. We all know the basic bicycle on a mat. After roughly 30 seconds you can start to feel the burn in your abs. Now imagine adding in another element. Multiply that burn by 10!

Stability Ball Bicycles

  • Grab a stability ball.
  • Lay down on your back on a flat surface.
  • While lying on your back, raise your legs straight in the air.
  • While holding the stability ball and your legs are in the air, lift your shoulders off the ground and twist in the bicycle motion (just like a traditional bicycles). 
  • Continue for 30-45 seconds. Repeat for 3-4 sets. 
Training Tip: The cold is starting to set in! Cold and wind equal dry skin! Not only is it important to carry chap stick, and keep your skin from being exposed, but it's also important to moisture your skin after run. Once you shower and clean off, your skin will soak up the moisture and become dry again. Therefore, apply lotion or some type of body moisturizer. to your skin after a shower, especially to your feet. My brother (who is also a runner) recently told me about putting lotion on his feet and then putting socks on to keep the moisture on your feet. Since runners have rough feet, this is a great idea. It helps slow/ prevent new calluses and peeling of skin.  Happy skin makes a happy runner! :-) 

Training Songs: From my last entry you all know how I love the holiday season, and even exercising to holiday music! I've discovered some new tunes this week, and I should be embarrassed by some of them... but, i'm not. Give them a try and you will love them! Promise! ;-)

1. Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree- Hanson 
2. Christmas- Hanson 
3. Santa Baby- Michael Buble
4. All I Want For Christmas Is You- Michael Buble
5. Thinkin' About Something- Hanson 
6. Kiss Me When You Come Home- Hanson 

Training Recipe: As promised from my last entry I am going to start adding in some healthy recipes! Especially this time of year, we love those good comfort foods and typically increase the fat content into our diets. Hummus is a great snack, spread, or appetizer. It's low in calories, a good balance between carbs and protein, and very filling. Most people don't make their own hummus because it may seem like a hard/expensive process. Wrong! It's cheap and easy! But since it's the holidays i've added a twist: Sweet Potato! Enjoy!! 

Sweet Potato Hummus (Make 1 medium serving dish)
  • 1 can of chickpeas
  • 1 medium sized sweet potato 
  • 1 lemon
  • 2 tsp EVOO
  • Cinnamon to your taste 
  • Cummin to your taste 
  • Black pepper to your taste 
  • Roasted red pepper (optional) 
Prepare Hummus:

  • Rinse, scrub, and bake sweet potato in oven or toaster oven until it is fully cooked.
  • While, the sweet potato is cooking place chickpeas in a food processor/ blender and puree until a little chunky 
  • Add in a tsp of EVOO and half the juice of them lemon 
  • Puree the rest of the chickpeas while adding in the spices to your taste. 
  • Once the mixture is completely blended, place in the refrigerator to cool. 
  • Once the sweet potato is baked, let it cool before pealing. 
  • Smash the cooled potato before adding to the chickpea mixture. 
  • Combine both mixtures into the food processor/blender and marry the flavors together. Feel free to add more spices to your taste. I usually add more cinnamon to give it a more holiday taste!
  • While the flavors are marrying, add another tsp of EVOO to moisten the mixture allowing it to combine easily! 
  • Once you feel satisfied, place the hummus in the refrigerator to cool before serving! 
Sweet Potato Hummus

Training Lagniappe: I came across the best running quote/statements the other day. The first one was about runners and their coffee. Runners are addicted to coffee and can't function without it! So true. Some runners have to have their coffee first thing in the morning before a run, not for the caffinee, but for the comfort and warmth! So true!

The Quote: 
"Runners want love, the less they get, the further they run." 
She really wanted to go on the carriage ride! 

Happy Running, 
Jayme Bergeron, BS
ACSM Health Fitness Specialist 

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

"A Hundred Miles Feelin', From The Picture Smile"

Fall in Piedmont Park 2011
It's been way too long since my last blog. I apologize greatly. Life happens and slows me down sometimes. I pledge for here on to keep up with my blog like I have promised millions of times! :-) It's my duty to you! So much has happened over the past month, so I'm dedicating this entry as a recap of my life over the past month.

Savannah Marathon 11/5/2011:
Done and done! Savannah was an experience. I worked my butt off the previous four months to get stronger and faster. I was on target to reach my goal. Then race day came! Race morning just happened to be the coldest and WINDIEST day the city had seen all season. At the start of the race, temperatures were flirting with low 40s and never reaching above 50 by the end. The wind gust added a whole another dimension. The air was unexpectingly cold, dry, and windy. The course began running through neighborhoods, historic Savannah, and then the full marathon split from the half around mile 12 to run on the interstate for a little over a mile. You think to yourself, the interstate?! Fun. Yea, no. Well, at this moment it was a different experience and kind of enjoyable because when do you ever run on the interstate. After getting off and running around Savannah on the surface roads, mile 20ish approached and back on the interstate we went. This time it was for about four miles, no crowd, exhausted runners, and extreme winds. The portion of the interstate we ran at this time was curvy with slight inclines. All I wanted to do was finish and have a beer. I was so over the race and becoming discouraged because my goal time was rapidly slipping away. I crossed the finished line disappointed and discouraged because the race turned out to be a lot harder than expected. While waiting for my brother to cross the finish line of his first marathon, I realized I just completed my second marathon. I should be proud. I started to see the positive and told myself things happen. No race is perfect and there are always sets backs. It gave me determination to start planning my next marathon! My brother crossed the finish and I couldn't be any happier for him! It's an amazing accomplishment no matter what! All your hard work and training pays off! 

Savannah Marathon 2011
Post Marathon:
After the marathon, I cut back on my running a lot. The rule of thumb is to rest 1 day for each mile ran. So for the marathon a good cut back of running for 26 days is ideal. This doesn't mean to stop running completely, just cut back. I took a couple days off of running to let my hips and legs recoup. I was walking very gingerly for a couple days after. It's best to take the entire week off of running after a marathon to let your muscles heal and build back up. However, I just can't not do anything for an entire week. I started back slowly and built back up to 3-4 miles a day. Since the marathon, my brother and I have completed one longer run. It felt good to go back out there for a long run, but I can tell I am still exhausted from the marathon and all the training. I'm staying consist running 5-6 days a week with shorter distances, but pushing myself to run harder. I've made my strength training routine harder as well. When training for the marathon, I wasn't lifting as heavy since I wanted to keep my muscles fresh, but also wanted to make them strong to help with speed. Now since my running isn't as heavy, lifting weights heavier is ideal to help keep my muscles strong so when I do go back to marathon training I am ready! After running a race, this is a good time to slowly build your endurance back up to a nice base level. Your runs during the week should range 3-4 days running 3-5 miles a day. Then on the weekends adding back in one long run ranging between 6-10 miles. It all depends on your level of fitness and your future goals. Remember, if you stop running all together the day you start back it will feel like the first day you started running. You know how hard it is to work to build up your distance, but's it's just as easy to lose all your hard work if you don't train the body to remember what you have already done. Just because you finish a race, DON'T stop exercising. Start training for a new one! 
Savannah Marathon 2011 Finishers! 

Next Marathon?!
Since I wasn't 100% pleased with Savannah, I have already decided on the next marathon I will complete: Hello Chicago Marathon 2012! There is no question about it, i'm doing it! After much research, there are countless positive feedback regarding this race. It's a Boston Qualifier and considered a "fast" course. I am excited to run a race where a city embraces marathoning! I'll complete another half and a couple 10ks in between, but this time i'm going to reach my goal! I trained hard for the last marathon, i'm going to train harder for this one. I will qualify for Boston. It's my ultimate goal. Just once is all I want! 

Happy Holidays!

Merry Christmas 2011
It's my favorite time of year! My cousin recently got married in NOLA a few weeks ago! I am so happy for her, it was a beautiful wedding. While everyone was in town, the Bergerons had a pre-Thanksgiving lunch. It was so nice to have most of the family together for once. I love the holidays and everything about it! However, this year won't be the same as the previous years. Thanksgiving was bitter sweet. This year my oldest brother and sister in law were in town for the holiday. It was nice to have the them here, but Christmas won't be the same without them. My best friend, of all my life, moved away the Saturday after Thanksgiving. I spent most of my the holiday embracing our last days together in the city, while trying to spend time with my family, and working the entire holiday. It was an emotional shipwreck for me. I'm thankful for all the friends, family, and love I have in my life, but deeply sadden to have my best of best friends move away. We are such best friends that if there were a contest for the "Best of Best Friends", we would win, hands down. ;-) Growing up is hard to do. This past week I have used exercise as a great outlet to suppress the sadness. It's time to be happy! I miss him so much, but no matter what he is always here and only a phone call away! Don't let depression, stress, or sadness bring you down during the season! Life is tough, but you have to put yourself and health first! Don't talk yourself out of exercising, nor eat/drink your emotions. Happiness is the greatest medicine! Always smile, you never know, it may make someone's day!
Me and My Bestie
A Very Bergeron Wedding!
Exhasted after Christmas decorating

Holiday Lagniappe:
This is the time of year where people overeat and gain some extra LBs. Holiday foods may be delicious, but are detrimental to our waistlines. They are filled with tons of empty calories and fat! This year I challenge you to take your favorite holiday dish/drink and make it healthy! Yes, that means cutting out the heavy cream, sugar, cheese, etc! You may be surprised how good you can make a dish with healthy options! Take your healthy recipe and post it on to RR (Runner's Roux). Don't worry, if you feel stuck, I will be posting healthy recipes for the holiday just for you and your hips! :-) 

Training Songs: What better way to get into the holiday season than to jam out to some Christmas songs while working out!?! Can't workout to Christmas songs? Don't worry, I've added some "everyday" music! Enjoy!

1. Good Feeling- Flo Rida
2. Hangover- Taio Cruz ft. Flo Rida 
3. Tonight Is The Night- Outasight
4. Oh Santa!- Mariah Carey 
5. Jingle Bell Rock- Elvis Presley 
6. Christmas Song- DMB 

Happy Running, 
Jayme Bergeron, BS
ACSM Health Fitness Specialist 

Sunday, October 23, 2011

"Life's Too Short To Even Care At All"

T- Minus 12 days till my second full marathon in Savannah! This time around, training has been tough for me. I have been following a harder training regimen with a spontaneous schedule. I have a hard time coping with the idea of detouring off the original training plan to suit my schedule. I see a guide to follow, and I tell myself I must follow the guide to a T. However, through all my studies of exercise and adaption, I know not everyone is the same and extra rest is absolutely acceptable. Remember a training guide is simply a guide. It's the base to your training. It's not your life and don't captivate yourself in the technicalities. The closer a race gets, the more fatigued and exhausted you become. That's a sign you may be close to over-training and it's time to start your tapering. The last 4, or so, months you have worked your butt off training for the race, and there is no need to risk injury at this point. Tapering is the time all runners look forward to during training. It's the break in training that feels like it couldn't have come at a better time! Your weekly mileage decreases steadily but drastically. It may be difficult at first to take the must needed rest. You go from being always active to moderately active. Some runners feel like they are doing something wrong and a little "bum like". Enjoy the rest because your body needs it. The idea is to let your body rest before the race. When race day comes around you will feel fresh, rejuvenated, and ready to run those 26.2 miles! During this time, focus on moderate exercise, good nutrition, and hydration! You won't be eating a much as you were when running 40 miles a week, so don't over eat! Staying hydrated is key to running your best race! Always have water with you throughout the day. Remember to relax and get excited to showcase all your hard work in the next couple weeks! Happy Tapering!
Battle womb of a 20 miler
Battle womb #2 from a 20 miler

Training Exercise: Foam Rolling. Foam rolling is a great way to increase blood flow to all your muscles. It may feel a little uncomfortable the first time rolling because tightness that hasn't been worked out in your muscles. The breaking of the muscle fascia (the connective tissue that is on top of the muscles) mimics the feeling of a deep tissue massage. Breaking the fascia helps increase blood flow to the muscles, reduces soreness/tightness, and may increase flexibility. Try foam rolling before and after a workout and/or hard run. You will feel better and will have a new addiction. 

Basic Foam Rolling:
  • Pick a muscle you want to roll. You can roll your upper back, shoulders, hamstrings, quadriceps, IT band, and even your calves. 
  • We will use your hamstrings as the example: While sitting on the floor, place the foam roller under on of your legs while your hamstrings are rested on the roller. 
  • Lift your hips off the ground, using your hands to support you. One leg will be on the roller. 
  • Now walk your leg up and down the roller with your hands behind you. As you roll you will feel the tissue breaking up in your hamstrings. 
  • Roll until you feel it is acceptable. Then switch legs and then muscles. 
Hamstring Foal Rolling Position

*You can also use a tennis ball or golf ball to break up the muscle fascia as well. Instead of rolling on the ball you will apply pressure on the ball in your hand and move it up and down, as you would with foam rolling. 

Training Tip: Rest is just as important to training as the actual running. It allows your body to recover from the constant pounding and stress you have applied on your muscles and bones weekly. The impact of running (or working out) breaks down muscles fibers in order to build the muscles up and make stronger. The rest period is when the muscle fibers build back up in strength. If rest is never taken, then the muscles remain in a stage of fatigue and more harm can be caused than good. Depending on your training regimen your tapering period may be longer or shorter than others. It's all based on an individual basis. You know your body best, so if you feel like you need an extra day of rest, take it. If you feel like you need an extra week of tapering before the race, take it. 

Training Songs: Many people ask me what gets me through 20 miles and all those long runs?! My answer: Good tunes within numerous genres! You need the ups and downs!  Enjoy!

1. Cough Syrup- Young The Giant 
2. Dedication of My Ex- Lloyd ft. Andre 3000
3. Slow Down Baby- Christina Aguilera 
4. Sound of Freedom- Bob Sinclair
5. Sexy and I Know It- LMFAO 

RR (Runner's Roux) Lagniappe: Healthy eating is just as important as exercise! On that note, I competed in the Southeastern regional Aetna Healthy Food Fight competition at Taste of Atlanta. I cooked my delicious and healthy Pumpkin Butternut Squash Chili with Turkey. It's a very hearty, healthy, and Fall comfort dish! It was my first time in a cooking competition, and I had a blast cooking for the judges, head chef, and festival-goers! Remember a healthy person makes a happy person! :-) 
Ready to be judged!
Happy Running, 
Jayme Bergeron, BS
ACSM Health Fitness Specialist 

Sunday, October 2, 2011

"Awe, Baby, Those Are Such Great Shoes"

Morning Sunrise at Silver Comet Trail 
Today marked the end of week 13 of Marathon training! Weeks 11-15 are the toughest of a marathon training regimen. Weekly runs increase, long runs are at the peak, and total mileage is at it's highest. This is my second week running a total of 40 miles in one week. My body feels better than it did last week, but since my long run this week was 20 miles, I'm feeling a little ginger today. This may be the hardest part of training, but it's defiantly my favorite. This is the time when you really get to know yourself, your limits, your degree of self discipline, and how far/hard you can push your body. It makes you a stronger person mentally, physically, and a test of your overall endurance (Yes, I know that's part of physical- just go with me). Just know when you come to this part of your training, everyone feels the same way you do! It's tough to get out of bed and think of running 20 miles. It can be daunting and discouraging. Don't think of it that way. Get dressed like you would for any other run. It is just another run, right?! Follow your normal routine, but make sure you pack all your goodies the night before. This way you aren't overwhelmed with too much to do right before you head out the door. Next get out on the road/trail and start your run. Break it up into segments. I think of it as two 10 milers. Focusing on the now is key. Don't stress yourself out while running because your trying to wrap your brain around the idea of 20 miles. No, focus your mind on the first part. Once you get half way all you have to do is make it back home or to the car. It's down hill from there. The first half of the run is the easiest. This is the time to find what pace is comfortable, work on your breathing, work out any kinks, and enjoy the scenery. When you reach the turn around point, don't think of it as "I have to do that all over again!?!". Instead break that 10 miler down into two 5 milers! You just ran 10 miles, at that moment you know you can run another 5 miles! The concept is to keep your mind focused and fresh. It keeps all negative thoughts away. Then once you reach that 5 miles, all you have remaining is the last 5 miles. Remind yourself you just ran 15 miles, what is another 5?! Also, using landmarks to break your run down into segments is another training tool. It's just like the mileage idea, however, you're telling yourself "Ok, run to the blah blah blah and then after that is blah blah blah". I also use landmarks in edition to the mileage idea. The good thing about running is that each route is broken into pieces. It's rarely ever one continuous stretch. Trails are separated by crosswalks and running a street route you normally make numerous turns onto different road. This way you can tell yourself to just make it to the end of this stretch... then once you get there you realize you DO still have energy and keep going telling yourself to make it to the next. Once you finish your long run, you will feel accomplished and refreshed! You may have an urge to fist pump, Jersey Shore style. I did! Oh yea, it happened! Good luck and have fun!

So, 20 miles is a long way. That's roughly 3 hours of continuous running that allows you a lot, A LOT, of time to think. Here are some of my thoughts from today's 20 miler. Remember these are my thoughts...You'll enjoy, promise ;-)

  • I'm so glad I grabbed that long sleeves running shirt!
  • Where is everyone?! It must be too cold for people! 
  • I'm never going to make it to 4 miles, ugh. I truly do hate the first 4 miles! 
  • Awe, old people! So cute wrapped up in their full blown winter gear, sipping coffee, and wishing me a Good Morning. Glad I can read lips.
  • Coffee, I could use some! 
  • I love the falling leaves and pine straw on the ground! Who doesn't love Fall?! Oh, right, Ross! 
  • Someone's burning firewood, love it! I wonder if they have coffee?! 
  • WTF just hit me in the head?! 
  • Where the hell did that rock come from? 
  • I need to remember to tell Jesse we are considered "Irish Twins". I thought that was only if you're a year apart, but my client said 'close enough'... Why is it called "Irish Twins"? Is that because Irish people have lots of babies? 
  • Ah, another 'Road Kill'... Damn it, I was going to keep track of my 'road kills'!
  • I love this runner in front of me! He has an awesome pace.... I accept this cat and mouse game you've created without knowing, mister! 
  • Where am I?! I feel like I'm in Arkansas with no civilization... It went from city to country too quickly... And there's a cow, WTF?!
  • I wonder if anyone has ran all the way to Alabama on this trail? No, that's crazy..... Why, thanks Powder Springs for welcoming me to your city! 
  • This guy in front of me rocks! I really don't want to lose him, but I have to turn around.... Creeeeepy, he's turning around at the same spot... YAY
  • He would have water with him!.... why doesn't this trail have water on it?!... I'm gonna write the board... Yea, no I'm not... 
  • What if I was famous, would people know it's me running?! I wonder if I've passed a famous person, like Luda?... Nevermind, he doesn't run...
  • What little man?! The beats just take over Playin' wit my not-so-distant- cousins from the A-T-L. Aaah! Back in the mud I've been in....
  • What's wrong with this guy?! Oh he's cramping...ho hum, time to pass. Adios awesome pacer, thanks for the past 11 miles... 
  • Ouch! Really, shirt?! Well, people will now know I was wearing a V-neck!
  • Awesome, I feel the blister on my foot coming back! 
  • I wonder if I knock on someone's door if they would give me water... I really just considered that?! 
  • Glad I put some Rod Stewart on here... Mom would be proud.... Momma's birthday is next week.... hmmm.... 
  • Beer and coffee really are the best cures for a long run... Why? You want to hydrate and those do neither... eh, who cares. I love them both! 
  • I really hate birds and why is that bird flying so low?! Get away... ahh!
  • Savannah is only 30ish days away! OMG! I wonder if Ross and Mackenzie would wear Atl Bergeron Curb Crew shirts... Nah, Ross will laugh in my face...
  • Home stretch.... I'm gonna fist pump it out when I stop! 20 miles deserves a Jersey Shore style fist pump! 

Training Exercise- Bosu Dead Bugs! Dead bugs with the stability ball already feel great on the core, but adding the Bosu ball makes it even more challenging, adding in an instability component. To preform: 

BOSU Dead Bugs:
  • Place the bosu DSU (dome side up) in an area with lots of room around it. 
  • Lay down on the bosu with you back on the top. You may have to readjust a couple of times before you feel stable for the most part. Key: Your lower back will be the part mostly on top of the bosu, right about your glutes.
  • While lying back on the bosu, keep your chin up allowing your neck to be in a neutral position, and bring your knees up towards your chest. You will look like a dead bug. 
  • Now, straighten opposite leg and opposite arm. You're going to feel a lot of instability, but you are using your core to keep your body balanced on the bosu. 
  • Bring both arms back in to the starting position, and release the other arm and leg. 
  • Repeat for 20-30 reps depending on your fitness level. 
  • For extreme athletes add the stability ball back into the exercise between your knees and hands. Remember to keep pressure on the ball. NOTE: I have not attempted the exercise with the ball because it's already tough on the bosu, so you are at your own risk! 
Training Songs: Knowing I was going to run 20 miles, I added some new and old songs onto my playlist to have a wide variety! Here are a few! Enjoy! 

1. Y. U. Mad- Birdman ft. Nicki Minaj & Lil Wayne
2. At Or With Me- Jack Johnson 
3. Maggie May- Rod Stewart
4. Give A Little More- Maroon 5
5. Don't Stop Till You Get Enough- Michael Jackson 

Training Lagniappe:  You may wonder what someone eats after 20 miles. Well, since you have exhausted your energy sources you need a good balance between protein, carbs, and minerals. I had lots of water, a protein shake, banana, and whole wheat saltines with natural PB. I had an OJ with me to get some sugar carbs back in me, but I couldn't stomach it, so I decided not to give it a try. The serving of potassium and magnesium in a banana helps to prevent/reduce cramping. It's a runner's best friend from the fruit family. The whole wheat saltines and natural PB were a good balance of carbs and protein. It's easy to stomach, fills you up after eating everything else, and really did make me feel better. Everyone is different, but those were my choices... Now time for more food! :-)

My goodies after 20 miles!
Happy Running, 
Jayme Bergeron, BS
ACSM Health Fitness Specialist 

Sunday, September 25, 2011

"Dancing- Dancing- Dancing In The Dark"

Silver Comet Trailhead- Symrna, GA
Since marathon training has started, I haven't done as much blogging through my journey as I had wanted to for numerous reasons. Since moving to Atlanta, I can't do my long runs at the Big Creek Greenway like before (unless home). So, I've been running at the Silver Comet Trail. It's absolutely a nice trail weaving through the outskirts of the city, but it's no Greenway. This time around has definitely been tougher, mentally and physically, than the first time. Training alone takes a startling amount of self discipline that others don't understand unless they have experienced themselves. The degree of mental fatigue multiplies than when training with others. You have no one there to push you, encourage you, judge you, or drag you to the end. It's all about you. When you train for an event and flirt with a distance you have never/ rarely met, it's easy to point out all the negative aspects of the run. It's easier to quit than to push your body to a pain you've never felt before. Just remember you are stronger than you give yourself credit for. No one realizes their true capability, even when pushing themselves past grounds they have never reached before. You are always capable of more! Every new ache, every new mile builds a  piece of tolerance that will push you through the next moment of doubt you encounter. Stay positive when training alone. Think about the outcome. When you cross the finish line you will be overwhelmed with a sense of accomplishment you've never felt before, no matter how many races you have ran. Training alone- your accomplishment will be that much more sweeter.

Training Exercise: Agility Wood Choppers. With my job, I am always learning/creating new exercises. One new exercise I have recently learned for a good core/ cardio workout is Agility Wood Choppers. It's just a high tempo version of a regular wood chopper.

Agility Wood Choppers:

  • Safely secure a resistance band to a post or wall lower than eye level. 
  • Grab the band with a firm grip and step away from the base where you feel a point of resistance. 
  • Turn to the side so the band will be moving across the body. 
  • Starting in an athletic squatted position then quickly move the band across the body while the arms are straight. You will be moving the band from your side, across your body, and ending across your body above your shoulders while your arms are full extended. 
  • As you return to the starting position, you while jump in the athletic position turning your body 180 degrees (you are now facing the opposite side) repeating the same "chopping" motion. 
  • You will repeat the motion 15-20 times or 30-45 seconds. Remember your motion is quick and rapid. 
Training Tip: As your mileage increases you will begin to feel new aches, pains, blisters, abrasions, chaffing, etc. Humidity and duration of your exercises plays a key in how your body reacts. Checking the weather before a run, especially a long run, is always important. Don't just glance at the current temperature. Inspect how the temperature will rise/drop, chance of rain, and the humidity. Apply band aids, cream, and/or take an anti-inflammatory if necessary. When going for a long run (over an hour) you are adding excess pounding and stress to your muscles/bones resulting sometimes in uncomfortable aches and pains. Treat properly before, during, and after your runs. You will be happy you did so later on. 

Blistered foot from tip to base of toes. Band aids are runner's best friend!

Training Songs: I haven't really discovered any new songs lately. Just a few. Here are some new and old songs on my current training playlist. Enjoy! 

1.  In The Dark- Dev
2. Hey Mama- Mat Kearney 
3. Paradise- Coldplay 
4. Give It To You- Eve ft. Sean Paul 
5. Footsteps- Nelo

Training Lagniappe: The marathon is getting close. Really close. This is always a bittersweet time for me. I love that the race is close, but the intensity of training is at it's peak. I've logged 41 miles this week. My body is sore, blistered, and achy. It's a love hate feeling. Even though i'm at the hardest part of training, the Fall weather makes it much more tolerable. Falling leaves, changing colors, and crisp air will make anything better! Savannah is right around the corner! Yikes!

Happy Running, 
Jayme Bergeron, BS
ACSM Health Fitness Specialist 

Saturday, August 27, 2011

"And In The Sticks We're Running Free Like It's Only You And Me"

Cross training is important when it comes to efficient running. When only running and not lifting weights, your body decreases in lean weight (muscles) and body fat percentage relatively increases. I'm not saying runners who don't lift weights or cross train become fat. What I am saying is that when you only do one form of exercise your body adapts to that one movement. Think about it in the sense that if you don't lift weights and only run, then your body doesn't think it needs those other muscles for strength. Therefore, your body uses the unused muscles as fuel for running, decreasing your muscle mass. However, there have been countless studies showing how cross training (lifting weights, swimming, tennis, cycling, etc) correlates a positive effect on running. You gain more strength, your muscle mass stays constant or increases, and you use other muscles that you wouldn't use while running. This helps you become stronger, faster, and able to run further distances. Overall, an more efficient runner.

While training for an endurance event (half marathon, marathon, ultramarathon, etc), cross training is meant to keep your muscles fresh and used as an active rest day. This means not to completely fatgiue your muscles so when you go for a long run you don't feel worn down and exhausted. You may experience some soreness, but that's normal. You don't want to experience soreness/fatigue to the point where it alters your performance. Now, when you're not training for an event, cross training is a useful tool to build strength. It's okay to completely fatigue the muscles. This will help you increase lean body weight and aid in performance. Your runs are typically shorter on the off season, so you are able to push through the soreness with more power. Then once you start training for an event you will have built up more strength and endurance, hopefully, allowing you to train harder and faster than the previous time before. At this point, you will then decrease the intensity of cross training back down to endurance building.

Right now during my marathon training I am using strength training and spin class as my cross training. It recently clicked with me that I may be over doing it. I run 5 times a week, lift 3 times a week, and spin 2 times a week. That may seem like a lot of exercise, but it's not so much the amount of exercises I have discovered to be effecting me negativity, it's the intensity. I love exercise, that's a given. I want to be the best and work my butt off each time. However, since starting marathon training I have not decreased the intensity of my lifts. My intensity is heavy lifting, while I am enjoying seeing my muscles grow, it's defenitly affecting my runs. I experience DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) for about 3 days after my workouts, and notice my body has been aching while running. While I give people professional advice on exercise regimens daily, I forget that I am not invinsiable and I am only human. Sometimes we have to learn the hard way to correct the obvious. It clicked with me during one of my runs that my body ached, my running gait was off, I was leaning forward, and my breathing was off. I was compensating for my soreness. My point is, when training for an endurance event, lifting is important for strength, power, and getting faster. However, it's imperative to know that you don't want to do as much heavy lifting opposed to endurance lifting. Meaning, using lower weights and more reps. This way you are still fatiguing the muscles and keeping your strength, but not completely tearing down the muscle fibers to cause the type of soreness that last for days. Endurance lifting aids in keeping your muscles strong and blood flowing to them since you don't primarily use your other muscles while running.

The Old Biltmore Building shining on a Saturday afternoon. I usually pass the historic building during my runs in Midtown.

Training Exercise: Latter (agility) Runs. Being quick on your toes is important as a runner. Although for most endurance runners we run in a straight line for the most part. However, being quick on your toes and able to make sudden movements helps build strength around your knees, therefore, decreasing any chance for knee injuries. You never know, you may need to quickly move over to dodge a snake or dead animal. Trust me, it'll happen if it hasn't already.

Latter (agility) Runs
  • Lay out a latter, rings, or even cones. Something to make spaces. Make a pattern each time.
  • Run the course as fast as you can making as little mistakes as possible.
  • Run sideways, quick toes, football drills, long strides, etc.
  • This will help your running gait,work on stride lengths, posture, speed, etc.

Training Tip: Protein! After a long run you want to nourish your body and muscles with protein. When running over an hour, your body starts to break down muscle fibers causing you soreness. Consuming protein will help repair your muscles more quickly and efficiently. It will keep your body from "destroying" your muscle fibers. Good sources of protein include protein powder, bars (you want a bar low in sugar less than 6grams, and low in carbs), string cheese, greek yogurt, or even some nuts.

Training Songs: I've adding some old school 90s, songs we have forgotten about, and some now music! Enjoy!

1. Home- Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros
2. Faster- Matt Nathanson
3. Pump It- The Black Eyed Peas
4. Neutron Dance- The Pointer Sisters
5. Gonna Make You Sweat- C+C Music Factory

Training Lagniappe: These people inspire me. 36 hours of running, yea, why not?!

Happy Running,
Jayme Bergeron, BS
ACSM Health Fitness Specialist

Saturday, August 20, 2011

"I'm Running Like The Devil, 'Cause He's Hot On My Heals"

Week 7 of marathon training is closing in after tomorrow's 15 miler. Yes, 15 miles of nonstop running. Scared? Yes, I won't lie. No matter how physically fit you are, it's still a mental battle. Training this time around has been a challenging journey. This is my second race I have trained alone, this being my first marathon training alone. It's a different feeling. There are countless positive and negatives to training alone. For me, the hardest part is not having someone physically there supporting me mentally (if that even makes sense). On the flip side, I believe it makes anyone mentally stronger training alone. It a true testament of how much you believe in yourself, and how much self discipline you have. It's always easier to stop or cut your run short and tell people you did X amount because who would know the difference. Self discipline kicks in when that little voice tells you "no more", and you push right through it. Your body is capable to conquer more than you can imagine. I would go out on a limb and say 90% of physical activity failure is due to mental blockage. Sometimes it's hard to wrap your mind around the fact that you are capable of doing, lets just say, 15 miles, but you are. You have to imagine yourself doing the act and believing. There is no reason to sugar coat it and say it's easy, it's not. Some people may ask "why do something that hurts and that is crazy?" . I simply tell people "It's a good hurt. It leaves me wanting more."

I've said numerous times, our bodies are made for moving. So get up and move. How you move and what you do is up to you. The harder you push yourself, the healthier you will be mentally and phyically. When you push through a plateau and accomplish something "hard" you begin to see yourself in a different mirror. You become more positive, have higher self esteem, and realize you are capable of doing whatever you put your mind to. My point is, always stay positive even when you see nothing but dark clouds. You will always break though the rough spots. When you accomplish your goals, it's an amazing feeling. That's why I run.

Training Exercise: Bosu Sit up/ Stand up. This is one of my favorite new exercises. Not only does it work your core (the sit up), but it also adds in some cardio elements (stand up). It's important for a runners to have a tight core for effieiecnt breathing and decrease the chances of stomach/side cramps. Then of course, the cardio aspect is important to help your muscles push through those 15 miles when you feel it is impossible.

Bosu Sit up/ Stand up
  • Place the bosu on the ground with the ball side up.
  • Find your setting by sitting on the Bosu with your back placed on the bosu where it slopes down.
  • Place your feet in front of you on the ground about shoulder width apart.
  • Lean back on the bosu, with your hips up (like you are bridging on the bosu). This is your starting position.
  • From there, you will do a sit up on the bosu.
  • Keeping your feet placed on the ground, push all your weight through your heals and stand up.
  • That is the end position.
  • Now return to the starting position and repeat. *Remember your feet will never leave the ground and the Bosu will never move. Ideally, you are returning the same spot each rep.*
  • Repeat for 20 reps.
Training Tip: Variety! It is important to change your route at times. Doing the same route can cause boredom and suck the fun out of training. When doing the same run on the same course over and over you will begin to feel like it's a chore. It takes the excitement out of new scenery and challenges. Your body and mind needs to be challenged. Also, running the same course is a red flag for overuse injuries. You are never changing the force/impact on your muscles by running the same course. Having many options allows your body to adapt to different terrains and elements. If you feel stuck in your training, map out a new course and give it a try. I promise it will bring a fresh new feeling to your runs. You'll have a new spark!

Training Songs: I have a new list of songs! I'm kind of all over the map, but I think it's a good mix up! Enjoy!

1. Heaven- O.A.R.
2. King- O.A.R. ft Russell Simmons & DJ Logic
3. Stereo Hearts- Gym Class Heros ft. Adam Levine
4. Something To Believe In- Parachute
5. You Make Me Feel- Cobra Starship ft. Sabi
6. Otis- Kanye West & Jay-Z

Training Lagniappe: All I need is 11 more people, a witty team name, 2 creatively decorated vans, and car paint to record our (road) KILLS. Takers?! I'm for realz, I want to do this. Seriously.

Happy Running,
Jayme Bergeron, BS
ACSM Health Fitness Specialist

Sunday, July 10, 2011

"Maybe I'm In The Gap Between The Two Trapezes"

The Peachtree Road Race has come and gone... it was a hot and humid day in Atlanta! My corral started at 7:30am, I was already drenched in sweat before it started. I didn't train for the race like I would have liked, but I was pleased with the outcome. I finished in the same time as last year: 49mins. Still my PR. I just wish I was like 1 second faster, but oh well. I got next year. My goal for each race is to always get faster, but I was actually expecting to be slower this race since I didn't train like I would have liked due to the extreme heat wave. Congrats to everyone who ran and our group! :-) Now I've moved one to my next goal:

It's Marathon training time! The transition into training has started right after the PRR with no break. Well, I try to think of my PRR training as a break since I back my mileage down and just focus on the 6 miles. So, I don't do any longer runs during that time. However, now it's marathon training time so that means a base of weekly 4 milers, and long runs ranging between 8-20 miles. The long runs increase weekly. It feels good to be back into marathon training, but I know it's going to be tough. This time around I am training alone, and I decided to follow a "harder" guide. Basically my weekly mileage will be anywhere between 3-5 miles more than my last marathon training. It doesn't sound like a lot, but it is in terms of an endurance race.

Good luck to everyone training for any race regardless if it's a 5k, 10k, half, marathon, or ultra. Training is the toughest part, but in the end you discover new things about yourself. The actual race is the easy part, and the finished feeling is indescribable. Remember to take it one day at a time. Take each run and focus, relax, and just cover the distance. Each step just means you are one step closer to the finish. Challenge yourself. If you don't feel tired at the end of your run, next time push yourself a little harder. Run different courses, this way you stay fresh and your mind stays active on new scenery. If you start to feel in a rut during your training just remember that's normal. All runners go through some sort of block/rut. Don't give up and push through it. Staying strong, you will be able to push through it and get back on track. The span of your block is different for each runner, but in the end it makes us stronger.

Training Exercise: Agility exercises. This can be anything from drills, latter runs, ring runs, tire runs, or anything that involves you being quick on your feet. Agility exercises are good for runners because it allows you to pick up the pace when you need to, especially towards the end of a race. The drills raise your heart rate and allow you to become more flexible and "athletic". This keeps your muscles strong, especially around the knees. Give it a try!

Training Tip: Ah, it's been one massive heat wave around the country the past month. With heat and humidity, sweat doesn't evaporate. What happens is your sweat stays on your body and doesn't allow you to cool off. Over the span of your run, you feel soak and wet. Well, when the moisture stays on your skin and you have clothes rubbing the entire time, chafing happens. The moisture in your clothing rub your skin raw causing irritation and pain. Apply some type of petroleum jelly in areas that are easily irritated on you. This will keep you feeling comfortable after you finish running and shower.

Training Songs: I haven't gotten too many new songs lately. But here is my random mix. Enjoy!

1. Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall- Coldplay
2. Turn Around Pt 2- Flo Rida ft Pitbull
3. Drop It Low- Kat DeLuna
4. Pretty Girls- Iyaz ft Travie McCoy
5. Notorious- The Saturdays

Training Lagniappe: Thanks Jesse for the video! Daniel Tosh always puts me in a good mood. You will ENJOY! Promise!

Happy Running,
Jayme Bergeron, BS
ACSM Health Fitness Specialist

Thursday, June 30, 2011

"Life Is Sweet In The Belly Of The Beast"

The Peachtree is right around the corner. Monday is July 4th, when the largest 10k in the world will take place. Each day at work I am asked at least 3 times a day "are you ready?". I always answer with "Yea... I think so...". The past few months I have been struggling with my runs. Mostly because of the heat... Summer did arrive a month early here in Atlanta. Well, during my runs I tell myself I can't blame the heat. I know I have to acclimate to the heat and that takes roughly 2 weeks. Ok, so after 2 weeks of running in the heat why am I still having a rough time?! I've done some thinking and concluded I am an emotional runner. As I run, I watch other runner's demeanor and how they carry themselves. Here is my general 3 theory break down:
  • The Walk/Run Ratio Runner: This is someone who goes out for a run with a distance in mind and achieves that distance any way they can. They walk some, then run some, walk a little more, pick up the speed... you get the jest. This is someone who finishes to say "I ran 6 miles". No, you covered 6 miles. But, props to getting it done. Let me cleify: I am not belittling anyone who has to walk during a run. I am talking about people who have no intention on even attempting to run the whole distance. These are the people who believe in the walk/run ratio for any distance and have no motivation to run the whole thing.
  • The Carefree Runner: This is someone who runs with no burden on their shoulders. If they are having a crappy run, it doesn't get to them. You can usually spot this person by the smile on their face, even if it is 98 degrees out. This person knows how to relax and just go with the flow if things aren't going they way they anticipated.
  • The Emotional Runner: This is someone who lets little minute things get to them. They base their run off determinants they can't control, ie: temperature, traffic, pedestrians, motorist, etc. If the run doesn't go as anticipated this person feels let down.
I made these categories while running the past few times. It makes since to me. I know I am an emotional during my runs. I let things get to me that I know I shouldn't. It defiantly takes the fun out of running, and then it starts to feel taxing and choir like. My advice, relax and have fun. Sometimes you don't need to worry about pace or distance. Just have fun and remember why you run. People run for multiple reasons, but if you can't have fun then it's not worth it! Remember to jazz up your runs to keep it fresh and enjoyable. This can either be scenery, route, running buddies, music, or whatever it takes to make a little change!

Training Exercise: Since the Peachtree is coming up in Atlanta, running hills is a good training tool for the race! The PRR is known for the little span of hills in the middle of the race, including Cardiac Hill. Adding hills into your runs can help with speed, power, and strength. It takes a little more force and momentum to get up a hill, and a lot of effort to control the down hill. Not only will adding an incline help with road races that include hills, but it will also aid in powering through flat portions of any run. A few tips to hill running:
  • Maintain the same pace going up the hill. Try not to speed up or slow down when you start climbing. When you speed up you exert more energy then needed and when you slow down your muscle start to work less and takes longer and sometimes more energy to get to the top. Just focus on your breathing and maintain the same pace. The overall outcome will be faster. Promise.
  • Focus on your breathing on the way up. It'll be a little tougher to get to the top, but just breathe in your mouth and out your nose. This will help you from breathing too fast and keep a constant flow of fresh air to keep cramps away.
  • Remember the hill comes to an end! Once the hill levels out you will catch a break and this is the important recovery time. Catch your breath and slow your breathing. Relax. Shoulders back. Refocus.
  • Control the downhill. Most people want to let the downhill control their speed. You own the hill. Control the downhill, because it is actually harder on your muscles than the uphills. Your muscle fibers have to elongate causing more twitches than the uphill. Therefore, if you don't control your speed and power you will over exert your muscles causing the recovery and rest of the run to be painful. You will feel better at the bottom if you control your movement. Shoulders back. Chest out. Head up. One foot in front of the other. Breath.
*Try not to lean forward or backwards while running hills. Keep your posture straight. This will keep you from cramping and help control your breathing. You will feel more in control of the movements.

Training Tips: Water. Water. Water. Drink lots and lots. It's hot and you will become dehydrated quicker. Water is fuel for your muscles. If you are dehydrated think of it as your muscles aren't able to function correctly and shrivel up. Well, they don't actually shrivel up, but you get the idea. They need water to function properly, keep you healthy, and injury free.

Training Songs: I have a lot of new songs in multiple genres! My thanks goes out to Brandie and Ross for some of the songs! Enjoy!

1. Stay Young, Go Dancing- Death Cab For Cutie
2. You And I- Lady GaGa
3. Hair- Lady GaGa
4. Pump Up Kicks- Foster The People
5. Let It Out- Girl Talk

Training Lagniappe: Marathon Training for the Savannah Rock n Roll starts right after the 4th, PRR. Ah, I am nervous. I am hoping to break 4 hours and kick butt. I need some motivation and positive thoughts and support! :-) I know I can't get my long runs in around the city. Last marathon Ross and I trained mostly on the Big Creek Greenway, which was amazing. But that is too far away. Now I am filtering with the idea of joining a running group, or venturing out to some local trails around the city. I will keep y'all posted on my journey of my 2nd Full Marathon. It's a big deal. Really. I'm nervous, but excited. Send me positive thoughts in my upcoming 4 months of training!

Happy Running,
Jayme Bergeron, BS
ACSM Health Fitness Specialist

Sunday, June 5, 2011

"I'm Going To Kick Until I Need New Shoes"

Once again, I have fallen behind on my blogging. It's not like I work an overwhelming work schedule, but something always seems to get in the way... mostly laziness. However, I do find myself opening my blog more often than none to just brainstorm and gather my thoughts. I have so much to say and never seem to organize my thoughts the way I want to. So, I am just going to use this time to update you on the latest news this side of the Mississippi.

May-June Lagniappe
  • My running has still been suffering more than I would like for it to. I usually always have a harder time around this time of year because I am not a summer runner. Give me cold weather anytime! Also, this is normally a transition time of year for me. I come out of marathon/half marathon mode into 10k training. Like I have said before, it's hard for me to cut back on my mileage and relax. I'm training hard for the 1ok, but since I am not running the weekly mileage of a half training guide I feel like I am losing all my hard work. I know most runners go through some type of mental block like this, but I catch myself obsessing. So here I am, asking you for help! Given my education, work, and running experience I know that I am ok and I will not lose all my hard work. I guess like everyone else, I just need some reassurance. I just need to be told "it's gonna be ok, hang in there." So, if you anyone else feels this way just remember you're not alone.
  • It's HOT in ATLANTA! The past few weeks the temperature has climbed into the 90s, some days nearing the 100s! Really, Atl?! It's not even Summer... I have a gut feeling it's going to be a hard Summer running season. This is part of the reason my runs have been suffering. The heat kills me. I've been trying to adjust my running schedule, but the ideal times are before sunrise or after sunset... I can't do either due to my job... Anyone want to suffer in the blistering heat with me for weekly 3-4 milers?! Anyone, anyone? :-) If you can avoid running in the middle of the day, do it! When I get the chance to run early morning (my absolute favorite time to run) I jump at the chance. It's makes a world of difference. I promise.
  • I have fallen in love with Spin class! I've never had much to say about cross training. I've studied the effects and negatives of cross training, but never really braced the idea... until now. I've been doing spin 2-3 times a week, usually on an off day of running, and trust me it's so good for runners! When I come back to running after an off day I don't feel as worn out or exhausted. It helps keep those muscles fresh and ready. It's also helped me with adding power to my runs. I always sprint out the last bit of my run (one way to gain speed and endurance), but since doing spin I am able to start that sprint sooner and go longer and harder. Overall, it's been a positive addition and I think it will help when Marathon training comes around. If you are looking to gain speed/power/ or endurance I do advise adding on a cross training day(s) ie: spin, swim, tennis, or any sport that mimics the mechanics of running-- this is in addition to doing hill training, intervals, or sprints. It's all relative.
  • National Running Day was June 1st! I wanted to get a blog in before then, but I failed. I hope everyone got in a good run of any distance. The organization launched 3 years ago, and it has bloomed all over the nation. The idea is to just get people moving and aware that exercise is a positive stress for our bodies. Don't just stop at June 1st, continue to run-workout-exercise every day! Challenge yourself-- it's good for physical and mental health!
  • The PRR is rapidly approaching! Each race I just always want to beat my previous time by any margin. It can be a millisecond, but I still beat it. I'm hoping to do the same this year. My goal is to get in the lower 40 mins. Also, It's official-- I signed up for my 2nd Marathon! Holy Moly. What did I get myself into, again?! Jesse and I are running the Savannah Rock-n-Roll Marathon November 5th! I know it will be better than the ING Ross and I did over a year ago! Anything is better than that brutal course! I officially start training right after the PRR. It's going to be different this year because not only will the course be flatter (hopefully faster), but I will be training alone for the most part. Having a training buddy last time kept me mentally sane during those 18, 19, 20 milers. Keeping myself focused for 20 miles, alone, is going to be a challenge in itself. Also, I am just going to throw this out there- The Savannah Marathon is a qualifier for Boston. My ultimate goal. I'm serious, It's going to be a test. Sigh. I'll be sure to keep you all updated on the progress and journey. I'm excited, but nervous as hell. It's a lot of hard, hard, HARD work... but the reward and self accomplishment is worth it all!

Training Tips: It's hot and Summer is approaching. Remember to drink lots of water, especially when exercising. Your body will be working harder to cool off, so fluids will be secreted quicker than normal. Have water with you throughout the day and drink even if you don't "feel thirsty". It takes a few days for the water you consumed to reach the cellular level of the muscles to rehydrate them! Also, since it's hot and sunny remember to wear some type of sun protection. I fall victim of this and I will be the first to admit it. I have wicked tan lines from my shorts, sports bra and tank tops. That's my public service announcement for the day.

Training Songs: I've been all over the map with my song choices lately. Feel free to suggest any tunes you are hoarding to yourself! Enjoy!

1. Give Me Everything- Pitbull ft Neyo
2. Girls- Pitbull ft Kesha
3. Color On The Wall (Don't Stop)- Foster The People
4. Don't Wanna Go Home- Jason Derulo
5. Month Of May- Arcade Fire

Training Lagniappe: The FDA has released a new food guide: MyPlate! Say goodbye to the joke of a food guide we have "followed" for years! It has been revised for better health! Sorry sugar, you don't have your own section anymore! It's equally and accurately portioned! Watch the video and enjoy! The FDA website is a great resource for understanding what different nutritants are, what food groups they fall into, and various information. Please bookmark this page and use it consistently! :-)

Happy Running,
Jayme Bergeron, BS
ACSM Health Fitness Specialist

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

"My World Is Full Of Loveliness"

There are so many reason to become fit and healthy, if you have not already. The month of May is being observed as National Physical Fitness and Sports Month. The idea is to get companies, individuals, schools, and any organization to gather everyone and participate in some type of physical activity. The reason is clear, as a nation we are not only overweight but obese. I'm not here to preach, but to educate. Educate you why PA (physical activity) is important to every individual. I'm not saying everyone has to be a world class athlete, but simply have a daily routine of MOVING. Research has proven there are countless mental and physical benefits to being active from good health, less medication usage, and living a longer happier life! May is climbing to an end, so let's not let this be the end of being active but just the start! Keep moving America!

The Peachtree Road Race is only 40ish days away, July 4th. The worlds largest 10k will be hosting over 60k runners/walkers in downtown Atlanta. I know I said I would have a training guide posted by this time. However, I am having a hard time getting my training guide converted. I feel like an 80 year old woman using a computer for the first time. I shouldn't being having this much trouble, really. I'll admit, part of it has to do with me being a little lazy in converting the file. So here's my tip for the remaining part of your training:

  • Have 3-5 weekly runs consisting of 3-5 milers (depending on your athletic ability).
  • Set 1-3 days aside for cross training, ie: biking, swimming, tennis, weight lifting, etc.
  • Allow at least 1 day for a long run ranging from 5-8 miles.
I know that is very broad and doesn't break down each week of training. Over my years of running, I have learned how to create my own training guides depending on my goals and what race I am currently training for at the time. Not everyone is the same, but I have also learned how to write up basic generic training guides for different races. So, I promise I will set time aside and create a blog simply laying out different training guides for the different races (5k, 10k, half, and full marathon), and the different levels of training. I think it's important to have a solid guide to follow when you have a clear goal in mind. Always remember, you can tweak the guides any way that best suite you. It's simply a guide, you're not married to it. You're married to your training and commitment of training.

Training Exercise: Warm ups! I know it may sound silly, but many people just simply jump right into their exercise for the day before efficiently warming up their muscles. There are many reasons it's important to warm up, besides the obvious injury prevention. Reasons include:
  • Efficient calorie burn since the body temperature was increased properly.
  • Faster and more forceful muscle contractions, resulting in building muscle more efficiently.
  • Oxygen moves to your muscle more quickly decreasing muscle cramps.
  • Able to reach a further range of motion during workouts.
  • Allows you to reach high intensities during workouts.
*Adapted from

Training Tips: Remember what you eat before or after a workout is just as important as the workout itself. Don't get in the mindset that just because you had a "killer workout" or you are "going to do cardio later" you can go and eat a dozen donuts or eat fast food every night for dinner. What you put into your body will not only benifit your health, but also your training. Always think of food as fuel for your muscles, just like gas for your car. You wouldn't put diesel in your nice BMW, would you? Good choices lead to a healthy and happier life! As well as gains in your training. You'll become stronger and faster.

Training Songs: I've downloaded some newbies the past couple of weeks! I needed some upbeat jams to help keep me focus! Enjoy!

1. Party Rock Anthem- LMFAO
2. Heart Skips A Beat- Lenka
3. Super Bass- Nicki Minaj
4. Keep Your Head Up- Andy Grammar
5. Beautiful People- Chris Brown ft. Benny Benassi

Training Lagniappe: Warrior Dash was Sunday, and it was bigger and better than last year! I managed to get scrapped, cut, and bruised up! If you like to get down and dirty these types of races are for you! It was 3 miles through the GA mountains with 12 different obstacles ranging from swimming through muddy water, climbing over old cars, climber over and under walls with barbwire, sliding down the mountain into a mud pit, and jumping over fire. This year Ross and I decided we would stick together and have fun (since I beat him last year), but when we were sprinting towards the end, of course, he took off to beat me. I could have beat him, trust me. :-) Below are a few photos of the race:

Me Jumping over fire!

Me and Ross after we finished, all muddy! :-)

Washing off in the muddy water. (FYI: This is typical us, we're not arguing promise, just being loud:-) )

Happy Running,
Jayme Bergeron, BS
ACSM Health Fitness Specialist

Sunday, May 1, 2011

"It's Alright I'm Getting Dizzy, Just Enjoy The Party"

It's Peachtree (PRR) training time in ATL! This is the season you see more runners out in the mornings (especially on the weekend) "practicing" the course. Basically, if you drive anywhere on Peachtree Road during the weekends you will see an obtrude amount of runners. You may think there is an event or something going on. Nope, just runners numbing the pain of Cardiac Hill before July 4th.

Throughout my years of running and training for races, I have to say 10k races are my favorite training seasons. Although, half marathons are my favorite races. 10k trainings allow you to rest your body while working on speed and power. While training for anything over 6 miles, it's a little harder to work on speed and power because your body goes through more stress and fatigue. A typical 10k training guide has lower mileage (roughly 2-4 miles) and higher mileage for your "longer runs" consisting of somewhere around 4-7 miles depending on your level of training. The lower mileage runs can be used as power runs to work on increasing speed. Since it is a shorter distance than you would typically run while training for a half marathon you are able to exert more energy and push a little harder. If you are trying to increase your pace this is one way to do so. Use the smaller mileage as speed runs. During those runs give it your all to the point that you are completely fatigued at the end of your run. Meaning you don't have much energy to go another mile. If you are close to the end of your 3 miler and you don't feel fatigued or exhausted, pick up the pace and try sprinting out the rest of the run. If you continue to do this, even on your long runs, your pace will increase. You will be come strong and faster without realizing it. It takes work, pain, and discipline, BUT it's worth it in the end. Promise. It will help you during training for half or full marathons! You will use less energy and will be able to conquer those longer runs with less effort then before.

*I am working on uploading a 10k training guide as a reference. I hope to have it up by next post!

Training Exercise: Knee Tucks. Knee tucks are a great exercise for your core and hip muscles. This exercise is especially good for a runner because it helps get the knee above 90 degrees, which is not done while running. Therefore, moving your hip/ leg muscles above 90 degrees helps to eliminate cramps, soreness, or aid in preventing any future injuries. This exercise has a number of modifications, but the movement is all the same.

Basic Knee Tucks:
  • Start in plank position on the floor.
  • Bring your right knee up as close to your chest as you can while all other limbs stay on the ground.
  • Keep your straight and resist all rotation of the hips.
  • Return your right leg back to the starting position.
  • Bring your left knee up as close to your chest as you can while all other limbs stay on the ground.
  • Keep your straight and resist all rotation of the hips.
  • Return you left leg back to the starting position.
  • That is 1 reps. Repeat for 15-20 reps for 2-3 sets.
Knee Tucks on the BOSU:
  • Start in plank position on the BOSU.
  • Bring your right knee up as close to your chest as you can while all other limbs stay on the BOSU.
  • Keep your straight and resist all rotation of the hips.
  • Return your right leg back to the starting position.
  • Bring your left knee up as close to your chest as you can while all other limbs stay on the BOSU.
  • Keep your straight and resist all rotation of the hips.
  • Return you left leg back to the starting position.
  • That is 1 reps. Repeat for 15-20 reps for 2-3 sets.
Knee Tucks on the Stability Ball:
  • Start in plank position on the Stability Ball.
  • Bring your right knee up as close to your chest as you can while all other limbs stay on the Stability Ball.
  • Keep your straight and resist all rotation of the hips.
  • Return your right leg back to the starting position.
  • Bring your left knee up as close to your chest as you can while all other limbs stay on the Stability Ball.
  • Keep your straight and resist all rotation of the hips.
  • Return you left leg back to the starting position.
  • That is 1 reps. Repeat for 15-20 reps for 2-3 sets.

Training Tip: It's getting warmer outside and lets face it, abrasions happen. To prevent rubbing wear band-aids, lubrication, and avoid cotton garments. It may feel silly, but in the end you won't regret it. Down in the South, the heat and humidity can take a toll on runner's, or any outdoor athlete's, skin.

Training Songs: I haven't discovered many new songs this week, but don't judge on the ones I have downloaded. I love rediscovering songs I forgot I had in my playlist! Enjoy!

1. Who Says- Selena Gomez
2. Hello! - Martin Slolvieg
3. Radio- Beyonce
4. Available- Flo Rida ft. Akon
5. For The First Time- The Script

Training Lagniappe: I came across this video on one of my blogs that I read daily. It pretty much sums up the thought process of running a marathon with some humor. It brought back the memories of running the ATL ING last year and the emotional battle I had with myself. It's almost time to start training for my next marathon, oh the memories. Enjoy!

Happy Running,
Jayme Bergeron, BS
ACSM Health Fitness Specialist