Training Cycles & The Streak Recap

Happy 2012, everyone! I’m going to pretend that today is Monday and do yet another BTAT post on a Wednesday. My days are all screwed up. I just landed in NYC after flying the red eye to Boston and connecting to JFK. Needless to say, I am a little wonky. So, it’s Monday. Can we all agree on that just for a few minutes? Thanks.

How was your New Years? Did you live it up out on the town or did you do a midnight run/New Year’s day run? Me, I spent my New Year’s Eve with my sweet baby niece and Blondie.

Happy New Year!

So much fun. We were in bed by 10pm MST. Party animals. At least we were bright-eyed and bushy-tailed the next morning for the last day of The Streak!

Angel baby is pumped for the last day of The Streak! One day, we'll be Streaking together.

I loved The Streak. It was fun and motivating and just what I needed post-marathon. Some of my favorite Streaker moments:

  • Running across town in my flip-flops to get my Streak in and get to CPR class and then go to a birthday party. Phew!
  • Mid-afternoon runs on the East River.

I love a speedy run along the East River!

  • Running to and from all of my subway stops because I didn’t have time to do a proper mile.
  • Cool runs home through Midtown at 7pm, dodging pedestrians.
  • Pre-dawn Central Park 7-miler that made me feel speedy again.

Sunrise over the Great Lawn

  • Streaking over Christmas in Colorado at my parents’ house and hearing them say, “OK, go Streak, Abby!” Hilarious.

Streaker in action on vacation

All in all, Streaking was fun. It was cool to hear about other people jumping on the Streak and how they managed to get their miles in. Did you Streak? What was your experience?

As much fun as I had, I’m glad that The Streak is over. It’s time to cycle down, cut back on mileage and cross train. This is what the pros do, too. I mean, I’m no pro, but this is still what they do. And if you’re racing/running marathons (especially if it’s more than one a year), you should be doing this, too!

Following a marathon, rest is key for recovery. But you don’t want to jump back into high mileage right away. You want to cycle through your training seasons in order to benefit as much from your strength training as you do from your distance training.

Yeah, lifting the serious weight! 15 pounds, baby! (What? You thought the 85s were mine? Ummm, no...)

Here’s what I suggest:

  • Two marathons a year, three max.
  • Two weeks low mileage immediately following marathon.
  • Two weeks building back up to 8-10 mile long runs, slowly adding some tempo runs during the week.

From then on out, it’s all about short, speedy runs and cross-training. Keep the mileage relatively low and taper down to three runs a week with one to two other cardio days that are “off” your legs (cycling, swimming, etc.). This is the time to drop some weight via weight training!!! Want to lose 5-10 pounds before your next marathon? Here’s your chance!

Why?

Well, with the low mileage, you can cut back on your calories without worrying about having enough fuel to get through a 3-hour run. Also, you can throw your focus into strength training and do some serious anaerobic workouts that will blast the calories AND make you a stronger runner for your next race.

Regardless of what sort of athlete you think of yourself as, you cannot live on running alone. Get into something new NOW before the spring marathons are upon us. Enter some shorter distance races and work on being a speed demon for a few months. It’s an especially good time since many of us will find ourselves on the treadmill during cold/wintry days and speed workouts are perfect for the treadmill.

Be a pro. Cycle like the best of them. Get speedier. Get stronger.

Now go out and run!

 

 

Friday Fitness News: End of Year

First off, I’d like to thank Samantha and the team over at Fitness Magazine for selecting me as one of their “Fit Bloggers We Love” and featuring me on their website. I’m honored to be chosen and I thank you all very much for the compliment. I feel very fancy.

Secondly, I want to thank Maggie over at Fat Bottom Slim for including our BRick workout as her Top 5 Workouts of 2011. Maggie attended both BRick workouts and ran both times. Yes, she was there for the ridiculously snowy/slushy 2nd BRick run in a blizzarding Central Park. Smart? Maybe not. But we sure had fun! Thanks, Maggie!

These two very cool honors are leaving me with a serious high going into the last day of the year. But I’m not going to get into all that year-end retrospective stuff today. I’m saving it for tomorrow’s *VERY SPECIAL WEEKEND POST* which will include my Runner’s World Holiday Streak recap as well. Hint: it’s been a roller coaster ride of a year.

In the mean time, let’s wrap up the fitness news this week.

And that’s all for this week. Did I miss anything? I tried to stay away from the end-of-the year stuff so that I can blab all about that tomorrow. So stay tuned for it! In the meant time, welcome to all of you who are clicking over from Fitness Magazine. I hope you come back and comment and get something out of this little blog of mine.

Are you participating in the Runner’s World Holiday Streak? How’s it going? 

Did you reach or set a fitness goal this year? Tell me all about it!

See ya’ll tomorrow.

Now go out and run!

 

The Do-Anywhere Workout

This past weekend, I was stuck out on Long Island all day Saturday doing grown-up, not so fun stuff. Up early and home late, so I didn’t have all that much time to get a hard-core workout in. I like my weekends to be free and clear of these types of time-suck days so that I can really relax and not rush through every moment in my day the way I have to do during the week. I especially love my long workouts on the weekend followed by long naps.

Sleep. I like to sleep all weekend long.

Sadly, Saturday wasn’t even the type of situation where I could bring some gear and bust out a workout for an hour. So, what’s a girl to do? Whatever she can!

I was dressed fairly comfortably: jeans, flat boots, cotton top and a sweater. I was in a house with a single wooden chair as the only piece of furniture to be found. It was freezing cold. This was my workout:

  • 50 forward lunges (left leg)
  • 50 forward lunges (right leg)
  • 10 tricep pushups on the chair
  • 1 minute plank
  • *Repeat 3 sets*

Lunges are fun. I will do them anywhere.

  • 50 side lunges (right side)
  • 50 side lunges (left side)
  • 10 pushups
  • 1 minute side plank
  • *Repeat 3 sets*

Side luges = strong hips = strong runner

Lastly, I jogged my one mile around the block. In my boots. Not the best choice in footwear but I’m streaking and it had to be done. I think it took me 30 minutes total. Best of all, I felt good about getting my workout in despite all the odds against me.

So, there you have it. Fitness can happen anywhere, you just have to make it happen!

What workouts have you done anywhere? Weirdest place you’ve gotten your workout on?

Now go out and run!

Fitness News Fridays: Free Shipping Friday

First off, thank you all for your feedback regarding yesterday’s first ever workout video blog! According to my stats, over 100 of you have clicked on it…has anyone actually tried it? Love to know what you think/how you felt! Regardless, more of those to come.

Second, today is the day when online stores promote free shipping in time for Christmas. So, if you’re like some people I know and you just started TODAY, get your butts online and grab that freebie before it’s gone!

Third, I wanna throw a shout-out to my optometrist who, while I was getting my annual exam, casually told me she ran her first marathon in Chicago this fall on a whim. Ummm, AMAZING and congratulations! Best part about my visit with her? We talked running and lululemon the entire time and then she told me my eyesight is holding steady at the current prescription. Rock on, both of us!

My Runner’s World Holiday Streak kinda hit a bump this week. I got all my runs in, but they were all interrupted and that suuuuuucks. Soon, very soon, I will be run-interrupted free (right, Dr. Boz & PAK?) and blazing on the Highline Trail in Denver! Yay holidays! Yay streak!

And now, the news this week is all about the Olympic trials for the marathon predictions, summing up fitness for the year (this seems to go on throughout all of December *yawn*) and the rest of it is a mish-mosh. Here goes!

  • Shalane Flanagan is poised to be our best female runner at the Olympic marathon distance.
  • When it comes down to the Olympic trials, time really isn’t the goal, it’s all about placement.
  • The owner of my favorite running shoe store in NYC, Jackrabbit Sports, did a talkback with Well + Good on Facebook about running: read it here.
  • 2012 Wellness retreats. I will happily go on any one of these if someone wants to sponsor me :) Pretty please?
  • Can you be overweight and healthy? #1. Define “healthy” (My answer: no. Your joints & connective tissue are suffering even if your organs are not. It’s a total body equation)
  • Oh yeah, I’m on the luluemon blog. Global domination, baby!
  • New Yorkers: You have 3 days to get Barry’s Bootcamp classes for $22/each. Hurry up!
  • New Yorkers: Fly for FREE @ Flywheel Sports UES tomorrow @ 3pm with my girl, Aleah. You will not regret it.
  • New Yorkers: Come to the E. 66th St. luluemon store for a spa experience THIS SUNDAY from 4-6pm. You may just see your favorite fitness blogger there. Maybe…
  • The CDC says non-smokers get the flu less. Duh.
  • Do you speak “runner”?
  • And finally, what is your reaction to famous ladies signing onto multi-million dollar weight loss contracts? Good for them or just a ploy to get paid?

Good luck to all of you who are running the Ted Corbitt 15K this weekend. One of my favorite races, though I’m just not ready to pay to run in Central Park with NYRR yet again. Who else is racing this weekend? Anyone still marathon-ing? Tell me all about it and then…

…go out and run!

Winter Accessories & Mulligan

Today was supposed to be my first video blog, complete with exercises. Guys, it was bad. I mean, like, embarrassingly, horrifyingly BAD. I will try again tomorrow. I also didn’t get to make this amazingness tonight because the post office was a zoo. Damn. *sigh* Tomorrow is another day. Instead, let’s talk more about winter running!

I was sprinting up and down First Avenue on the very lovely 38th St. to 42nd St. hill this morning and loving every single minute of it. The Runner’s World Holiday Streak is alive and well with me! I thought about all the runners who have turned in their sneakers since having completed whatever race they ran this Fall and how sad I was for them that they’d not be experiencing the joy of running in the cold, crisp air of winter because they’re afraid of being cold. My New Yorkers feel me on this (and my Chicagoans even more!): winter running is AWESOME!

I plan on giving a step-by-step of how to prepare for the cold as the winter gets on, but for now let’s start with the basics. Accessories!

#1. Gloves!

Fancy-schmancy, high-tech little things!

These lululemon Run: Brisk gloves are perfect for right now. They’re light but give just the right amount of warmth until we dip into the freezing temperatures and have to bring out the big guns. Bonus: they have these awesome tech-y tabs on the thumb and forefinger so you can use all your gadgets without having to take off your gloves. So cool. They go fast, so look for them in your local store. The arctic run gloves are a warmer option that also have the tab-y things.

#2. Neck warmer (Is there a better name for this?)

No need for a zip-up with this little gem!

So, not all of my tops have a zip-up over the neck and I really like my neck to be warm when I’m out in the wintertime. Hello neck warmer! The drawstring allows me to tighten it over my neck so none of that cool East River breeze sends chills down my back. It’s also long enough to be pulled up over my mouth and nose for those REALLY cold runs. I got this last year from “Santa” from lululemon and haven’t seen another one since, but Under Armour makes these.

#3. A great hat

Mmmmm...toasty warm.

I don’t generally break out the hats until about mid-January. I’m a ear-warmer girl til then. But when I do, I bring out the big guns. This Under Armour beanie is lined with a moisture-wicking layer (because we all know what a sweaty beast I am) but then has a super-cute and super-warm knit top layer that has NEVER failed to keep my head toasty warm on even the coldest of runs. It’s awesome.

These three things will make or break your winter running season. Invest wisely in good, quality items and you will be that “crazy runner” blazing through the wintery streets and loving every minute of it.

Now go out and run!