How to Train When You Have No Time

There are people in this world who legitimately have no time to work out. Instagram would have you believe otherwise.

A quick Google image search brought up these "fitspiration" quotes.

A quick Google image search brought up these “fitspiration” quotes.

The Internet thinks I’m lazy. Isn’t that nice? They call this “fitspiration”…I’ll let you decide how inspiring sayings like this are. For me? Not so much.

Guess what? I no longer have all the time in the world to work out. I really don’t have the opportunity to take 2 hours out of my Monday-Friday to hit the track and then the gym. I only wash my hair 2-3x/week as it is.

And yet, I’m still training for a half marathon by running 2-3 days/week.

Yes, TRAINING.

Yeah, for that, too.

Yeah, for that, too.

So, what to prioritize?

Science tells us that short-term speed and interval training elicits similar physiological effects on the body as endurance training. It’s not a total replacement, mind you, but I’m not Kara Goucher. I’m thrilled that my mitochondria are getting more efficient in my 45 minute intervals versus a 90 minute easy run!

Hallelujah!

Here’s what I’m doing:

  • Day 1: Repeats/ladders/short sprints
  • Day 2: Progression/tempo run
  • Day 3 (optional): Distance w/stroller

Day 3 really isn’t happening these days. It’s just not. The weather hasn’t been favorable for stroller running and I won’t take even more time away from the already very limited family days I have on the weekend to run.

Why?

Because I also need to strength train. And, as science has shown us repeatedly, strength training helps maximize endurance performance AND prevents injuries.

You will find me at Refine Method AS MANY TIMES A WEEK AS POSSIBLE.

You will find me at Refine Method AS MANY TIMES A WEEK AS POSSIBLE. I’m not only one of their amabassadors, I’m OBSESSED with them.

So, yeah. That’s what I’m doing and that’s why I’m doing it.

Now go out and run!

No Going Back

Hi.

Happy Tuesday.

Tuesday

Amen.

 

 

There’s been something kind of bugging me recently. Well, not recently, but for a while now.

As a new mom and an active woman, there’s this tremendous pressure to go back. To get back to my previous weight. To get back into my pre-pregnancy clothes. To get back to my pre-pregnancy racing times. To get back to my pre-pregnancy workout schedule.

Here’s the thing, there is no going back.

IMG_2436

39 weeks. Hey baby!

 

 

My body is never going to be the same as it was before I had my son. I will always have the scars of pregnancy, giving birth, and nursing my son in some shape or form somewhere in/on my body. That’s just a fact of life.

I’m not going back.

I’ve got the scars of childbearing and I’m gonna wear them like the warrior that I am. They are the best reminders I have that there is more to life than whatever the hell I’m doing right now.

Instead, I’m going to go forward, just as I am, scars and all. And I’m gonna tackle a half marathon this summer.

Day 1. Sweaty beast.

Day 1. Sweaty beast.

I may not PR. I probably won’t, actually. I may not get in all the miles that I put on my training schedule. I may not ever reach my ideal racing weight. Actually, I probably won’t with that one, either.

But I’ll be damned if I’m going to let the fact that I’m not back to where I used to be hold me back from taking on this race.

It’s the Napa to Sonoma Half Marathon in July and I’m really pumped to be training again, extra pounds and all. I’m doing it with 2 friends who are newbies to running and having a ball coaching them to the finish line.

Did someone say wine?

Did someone say wine?

I don’t want to be back where I was before my baby. He’s awesome. And that shouldn’t be a goal of mine. I’m going forward and gonna kick some ass along the way!

Now go out and run.

 

 

Running-ish

I didn’t imagine it this way. I figured that 8 months post-partum, I’d be back running 3-4 days a week and feeling strong on my runs and ready to train for a half marathon by now.

Here’s the reality:

  • I run 1-2 days a week. That’s a good week. Some weeks I run zero days.
  • I go to Refine (thank goodness I’m an Ambassador for them!) 3 times a week.
  • I’m signed up for a half marathon in July.

I’m ready for the sidewalks and roads to get less icy so I can run to and from Refine. I hate sitting on the bus or in a cab when I could be getting some miles. I’m gonna be sweaty anyway, right?

Pudgy hand on my chest = heart melt.

Pudgy hand on my chest = heart melt.

So what’s a runner to do when she has very little time to run? Me? I complain to Birdie (sorry, Birdie) and run when I can.

When I run with the Mountain Buggy jogging stroller, I just run at whatever pace feels comfortable. If JB or Birdie runs with me and the stroller, they push the stroller and I we just mosey along.

If I’m running on my own, I do a workout. I hit the track or the treadmill and do something involving sprints or repeats. I run to Central Park and bust out some hills. Between Refine Method (thank you, Brynn) workouts and these runs, I’m in relatively ok shape.

Hello, old friend.

Hello, old friend.

There are legitimate barriers to my running. My kid (the happiest, cutest reason I sometimes can’t run), my absolutely bonkers school schedule, the crazy slippery road conditions we’ve had, and life choices.

But part of being a smart runner is recognizing where I am now and what I can do. Placing unattainable standards and goals on my plate will only serve to make me a very angry, frustrated Abby.

And no one likes pissed-off Abby.

So there you have it. I’m running-ish. Looking very forward to the Spring when I won’t be nervous about skidding around with the stroller or the air being too cold for the munchkin. Oh, and I get to be done with school.

Yaaaaaaaay!

That’s the state of things in my running world. Where are you? Are you running or running-ish?

Ready for Summer running.

Ready for Summer so I can get back to running, not running-ish.

Now go out and run!

How To Get Through A Treadmill Run

Yeah, so that happened.

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Show of hands, how many of you are training for a Spring full/half? I imagine a good portion of you are #BostonBound and eyeballs deep in frozen long runs about now. Sucks.

So what’s a runner to do if it’s insanely cold outside and all you got is a treadmill option or nothing?

Well, you do the treadmill work. You get on it, push start, and get your workout done.

IMG00622-20120130-1712BUT HOW??????

  1. Download the Serial podcast. You’re welcome.
  2. Catch up on Downton Abbey. And The Americans. The entire season is available on iTunes.
  3. Call your Mom.
  4. Catch up with your BFF.
  5. Invite a slower/faster friend to join you. Birdie and I do this all the time. It makes the miles FLY and pace isn’t an issue.

How do you get through the treadmill long runs? I love a podcast. I love TV but I would be watching it on my phone or an iPad and it’s too small. I know. Picky, picky.

Quit complaining about the treadmill and go out and run!

 

3 Ways to Survive Winter Running

I like running in cool weather. In Colorado, where I lived for 7 years, the air is cool and the sun is warm and I’m a happy girl.

Disgusting place to run, huh?

Disgusting place to run, huh?

In New York, how do I put this? There’s a lot less sun and a lot more frickin freezing cool air.

Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

On days like yesterday when the temperature is 22, feels like 12 with 22 mph wind gusts, it’s hard to go out and run. Especially if you’re kinda “eh” about running at the moment. So what are sure-fire ways to get your buns out there on the frozen pavement?

  1. Go with a friend. Birdie and I chatted through 5 miles yesterday and it made a WORLD of difference. She is one of 2 reasons I will run through this winter. The other is pure vanity, I’ll admit it.
  2. Run to food. Most breakfast places in the ‘burbs don’t care if you’re in run clothes and I know my favorite diner doesn’t judge. If pancakes don’t motivate you, I don’t know what will.
  3. Sign up for a weekend fun run. No pressure, just a few dollars paid might be what you need to get to that weekend morning run or midweek training run.
I draw the line if I need more layers than this.

I draw the line if I need more layers than this.

How do you stay motivated in the cold? Let’s be real, vanity is the primary motivator in my world. There, I’ve said it twice so you don’t have to feel shy about it. Friends, food, and races are a bonus.

Now go out and run!