Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Q and A


How do you get rid of the extra flab on the side of your knee. Do you know what I mean? Do I just need to run it off? If so, it's taking a long time- because I've been running for awhile now and I can tell a difference, but it's slow coming. Any tips as far as workouts?


Are we talking about the inside of the knee? If so, this muscle is actually called the Gracilis and is a lower limb adductor. To make things simple, just think of it as an extension of your inner thigh. If you currently train your inner thigh using a seated adductor machine you should get off and work the inner thigh using your whole leg. You can do leg lifts with weight and plank moves that will use your inner thigh and also include your knee. There's also a great machine that allows you to stand while you work the inner/outer thigh, so if you have one of those, it's great too. Working the quad and hamstring can also help you target this muscle. Try to lift these areas without the aid of a seated machine. Try squats, lunges, hamstring curls on a bosu ball. As far as running it off, this may just be one of those difficult "spots" that we all have, an area that hangs onto the fat. Make sure you're mixing up your running...don't just run the same pace for the same length of time. Get some fast stuff in there, some long stuff, and mix in some easy/fun stuff as well.


I've heard that it's best to rest your muscles for 48 hours before working the same group again. That's always confusing to me because it seems like I'm ALWAYS using the same muscles to exercise! If I walk one day and then do aerobics or jump rope the next I'm using my legs both days. So I'm wondering what the real rule is. How often can I work the same groups of muscles?


What you've heard is true WHEN related to the amount of stress issued your muscles. The GAS (General Adaptation Syndrome) principle applies here, stating that there must be a period of low intensity training or complete rest following periods of high intensity training. The stress you've applied after a strenuous workout is traumatic, forcing your "injured" muscles to heal and then adapt. A recovery and overcompensation time must be taken so that further stress doesn't continue to injure muscles caused by repetitive bouts of trauma. ***When heavy negative training is performed, much rest is needed because this form of training is highly traumatic to your muscles. On the other hand, if an exercise is performed with the same resistance and speed repeatedly, the rest period needed would be far less.***

So, to answer your question, you only need to rest in comparison to your work load. If you negative train, or repeat to failure, you will need a few days of rest before training that muscle group again. You can walk one day, jump roap the next and do aerobics the following day without rest because the trauma you're placing on the legs is not severe as much as you are accustomed to it. If you go out and kill yourself on the track, or squat you husbands body weight, you're placing more stress on your legs and they will need to rest and recover for a day or so. That is why training programs that I have provided follow a Medium, Hard, Easy, Hard pattern. After working muscles hard, you can still train with an easy day. Runners should usually take at least one day a week off and either rest or cross train with biking, weights only, yoga, etc.

What's more, this rule most often applies when lifting weights, and that's lifting to failure. So, if you lift on arms as hard as you can one day, you should rest at least 48 hours before doing so again. If you lifted arms, but not very hard or focused, you can probably stand to lift on them, do different lifts, or isometric work on them the very next day without getting into trouble.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Side Stitch

Just a few more ideas on kicking a side ache. I've been experimenting on myself as I've been getting back in shape. My calories are at a healthy low, which means I'm losing a bit of weight and also getting LOTS of side aches when I run. For me the two just go hand in hand. A few things that have helped me run through the pain are 1: making sure my tail bone is tucked under. A lot of runners will start to push their chest out/ache their back as they become more fatigued (myself included). When I do this I notice the pain more, but when I think about running with my legs instead of my chest and keeping my booty tucked in, it seems to help.

2: INCLINE. Have I shared the secret on incline? I once talked with a nutrition guru and he told me that to get someone over a platue turn up the incline. You can crawl, walk, or run, but get that treadmill turned all the way up to 10% incline! I've also found this helpful when kicking a side ache. I usually run at a 2% incline on a treadmill, but turning it up even more for a few laps helps when pain comes.

3: GO FASTER. I've been sprinting through the aches too. Although it seems like the last thing you'd want to do, it relieves some of the pain I have and also makes going back to a normal pace seem like heaven.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

More on 10K

It's been a while since I advanced the original 10k plan, so you've had a few weeks to get used to it and should be ready to step it up a little more. Again, I'm going to make this a 4 times a week plan and adapt it to lifting and using equipment available at the gym. If you're not going to incorporate those things, just do the work out and cut out the weight stuff. This is quite a bit more intense, so do what you feel comfortable with.

This is about a 24 mile week. It's a bit different (ready for a change) and has more fun speed work! I like to do all running outside and speed work on a track, but most of this can be done easily on a treadmill.

Again, it's going to go Medium, Hard, Easy Hard...and you add the rest/yoga days when it works best for you.

Medium: 5 miles + tempo run + arm work. Run 2 miles to start. Continue with a 10 minute tempo run 30 seconds per mile slower than 10k goal pace. Plyo push up (start as regular push up but explode up off the floor, lifting hands off ground...add a clap if you can), bench press or alternate dumbbell bench press, dumbell front squat-to-press (start with elbows in a sides and dumbells in front of shoulders, thumb facing shoulder, squat down and as you lift up also lift the arms overhead), hold plank pose & advance plank pose (push up position and then hover chest just above ground). Continue with another 10 minute tempo run 30 seconds per mile slower than 10k goal pace if you want/can. End with 3 miles.

Hard: 4 miles speed work + legs. All work will be done as pace intervals or your 10k goal pace*. Jog half the distance run between each as recovery.
Start with a warm up. 1x400 meters. Jog. 1x800m. Jog. 1x1200m. Jog. 1x800m. Jog. 1x400m. Jog. Continue with ham curls on bosu ball (lay on back, feet on top of ball, lift hips and pull in legs, extend legs back out, lower hips to just above ground, repeat), plyo box hops (find a box, bench or chair to jump up and down on, jump up on top of box, quick down and back up...the time spent on the ground should be short), single leg squats, side plank (both sides), adductor and abductor with bungee or machine. Cool down jog.

Easy: 4 miles + yoga!

Hard: MILES! Try to get around 7 miles in + 4x100m accelerations. Full body toning. Balance on bosu (knees and hands on top of ball and try to balance), triceps, bicep, quads.

*pace intervals:
10 minute pace (a 1:02:06 10k) run 2:30 for 400m, 5:00 for 800m, 7:30 for 1200m.
9 minute pace (55:53 10k) run 2:15 for 400m, 4:30 for 800m, 6:45 for 1200m
8 minute pace (49:40 10k) run 2:00 for 400m, 4:00 for 800m, 6:00 for 1200m

Monday, April 21, 2008

Skeleton Facts

*A baby's skeleton has over 300 bones; some fuse as they grow

*While the average adult has 206 bones, some people have an extra pair of ribs

*More than half the body's bones are in the hands and feet

*The femur is the longest, strongest bone

*Bone is five times stronger than a steel bar of the same weight

Friday, April 18, 2008

track work

Today I felt inspired to give it a go on the track for the first time post partum. I thought I'd start off with the unstressful, fun, effective 1:00 turnover workout, but once I was on the track I couldn't resist doing some hard, gut wrenching, lactic acid producing 200's. I ran 6 at a 45 second pace. Nothing to write home about, much less blog about, but it felt good. I don't mean my body was tight and toned or that I just felt fast and light, but it felt good to be on the track and get dry mouth if nothing less. The crazy part was, the more 200's I ran, the more I wanted to run (maybe I just wasn't going fast enough! ha!). I LOVE RUNNING!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Even more Q & A


i've got a question- I am running more and more frequently, and I've noticed my heels hurting a little. Is there anything i can do to prevent my heels from hurting anymore and prevent any serious injuries? i have a friend who's heels get really bad after she runs for long periods of time- i don't want to get like that.


I'm answering this quick style because I've dealt with plantar fascists before and it HURTS!
To make sure I'm getting this right, tell me more about your pain. Does your arch or heel hurt? Does it hurt to step on your foot in the morning, but warms up after a bit of walking around?

If I'm right, you are on your way to plantar fascitis. This often occurs when someone increases their mileage or runs in shoes unsuited to their feet. So, what's the miracle cure? A racquet ball! Get a racquet ball (I've heard that golf balls also work) and roll it under your foot/arche/heel ALL THE TIME! Sitting at work, eating dinner...keep that ball in your purse/wallet and pull it out any time you get a chance. Then make sure you wear some supportive shoes during the day...no ballet slippers for a while and make sure you're increasing your milage by only 10% each week.
And that's it. Hopefully this will save you from months of pain...I've been there!

The best of times

Chronobiology. The study of how time effects you body. The time of day, the time of the month, the time of the year. It is interesting to note how at certain times of day one is more alert, certain times of the month one can be more bloated, and at certain times of the year one is more likely to be depressed. Hum. It is pretty obvious that our bodies are effected by time.

Here's a little guide of some "normal" times for a person who sleeps at night and gets up about 7am.

7am: blood pressure and pulse surge
testosterone highest in men
melatonin secretion turns off

8am: bowel movement most common

9am: bowel movement most common
body weight lowest (step on the scale NOW!)

10am: mental alertness and arousal high

Noon: mood high

2pm: eye-hand coordination best

3pm: best time for power nap

4pm: reaction time best

5pm: best training time for most sports
lung and heart efficiency maximum
muscle strength and flexibility peak
breathing easiest in lung diseases

6pm: taste most acute

7pm: body temperature peaks

8pm: track and swimming performance best
alcohol best tolerated

9pm: melatonin secretion starts

11pm: sexual intercourse most frequent

1am: spontaneous labor most often starts

2am: sleep deepest

3am: skin repair peaks

4am: natural childbirth most common

5am: body temperature lowest

6am: dreaming most intense
cortisol secretion greatest
insulin secretion highest
height greatest

Monday, April 14, 2008

~3 weeks = 3 miles

yeah! I just raced in from an evening 3 mile run! Last week the Dr. gave me the okay to get back to running...so I've thrown all caution to the wind. The weather was beautiful and I kept a pretty decent pace around 8.5 minute mile. I pushed it in the last 150 meters...I love to sprint in at the end of any run/race. The weakest part of my body is definitely my inner thighs! They felt pretty tired and useless...odd because they're not a part that I usually pay a lot of attention to...but there they were tonight. I feel excited for the running weeks to come and I'm going to start my 10k race search tonight and sign up!

Saturday, April 12, 2008

More Q & A


1. What are some good things to do if I can't fit in a whole workout. I have days where I've got to be somewhere early and I don't have a full hour to dedicate to working out (or trying to, anyway).
2. I have a pretty substantial diastasis (about 3 finger widths) that is making my tummy pretty pouched out. What's the best way to get it closed up?
3. What are your views on stretching. I like stretching AFTER a workout but it feels like a waste of time to do it BEFORE



1. One of the best/most convenient things you can do to still get an excellent workout in a short amount of time is JUMP ROPE! It provides great cardio work and isometric strength training. My arms love the toned look they get from it. I prefer to jump rope with a cloth rope as apposed to the plastic types because it doesn't beat up the floor if I'm inside and it's quiet if the kids are napping. Jump ropes are cheap and easy to store. To make jumping rope more interesting I often try to do it outside on the patio so I get fresh air. I work in counts of 100. 100 jumps with feet together, 100 jumps running, 100 jumps side to side. Then I count 100 jumps in Spanish, which usually takes about twice the time. Always at the end I make myself do 100 flawless jumps in a row, if I mess up I start over. You can also break up the jumping with lunges, squats, push ups, jogging in place, crunches. I would put it all together in a short, convenient, effective workout like this:
5 minutes jumping
50 lunges
25 push ups
30 crunches
5 minutes jumping
20 squats
3 minute jog in place
25 push ups
5 minutes jumping
50 lunges
DONE! *stretch

I also always recommend YOGA on days when you can't get a workout in. I know it's hard to get a nice practice in with kids running around, but get them their own mat and they might stick it out a couple times a week for 20 mins. or so! Good luck!

2. Not being an expert in the Diastasis field I would ask the Dr. for some advice and recommendations if the problem persists for more than 6-12 months. I know that sounds like a long time, but it is normal for more serious cases to take that long to correct. I also found this website that might help you out. At the bottom of the page it also shares links to other ideas/suggestions/exercises for correcting diastasis. Make sure you look at the exercise page, I think it's good.

3. Unless you're going to run a 200 at a track competition, stretching before hand is not nearly as important was warming up well and stretching afterward. To warm up before a run, walk, strength training session you should slowly raise your heart rate over 5-10 minutes. Studies have found that you will workout feeling better, stronger and more injury free if you give yourself this warm up time. An easy jog or accelerating walk will do the trick. As for stretching afterward, I don't give much credit to touching the "toes twice and done" method. That doesn't mean it has to take all day either. 3 runs through Sun Salutation will keep you nice and dandy if that's all you have time for, but making time for some longer yoga sessions during the week is important to keep you injury free. Yes, I will continue to preach YOGA until the day I die!

Friday, April 11, 2008

Q & A

Is there a difference between labels that say all natural compared to ones that say organic????

Yes, there is a difference between the term “natural” and the term “organic”. When “natural” is included on a food label it applies broadly to foods that are minimally processed and free of synthetic preservatives, artificial sweeteners, colors, flavors and other artificial additives, growth hormones, antibiotics, hydrogenated oils, stabilizers, and emulsifiers. Most foods labeled natural are not subject to government controls beyond the regulations and heath codes that apply to all foods. Exceptions include meat and poultry. The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSTS) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) requires these to be free of artificial colors, flavors, sweeteners, preservatives and ingredients that do not occur naturally in food. Natural meat and poultry must be minimally processed in a method that does not fundamentally alter the raw product. In addition, the label should explain the use of the term natural, eg, no artificial ingredients.
“Organic” refers not only the food itself, but also how it is produced. Foods labeled organic must be certified under the National Organic Program (NOP), which took effect October 21, 2002. They must be grown and processed using organic farming methods that recycle resources and promote biostability—two key elements of environmentally sustainable agriculture. Crops must be grown without using synthetic pesticides, bioengineered genes, petroleum-based fertilizers and sewage sludge-based fertilizers. Organic livestock must have access to the outdoors and be given no antibiotics or growth hormones. Organic foods may not be irradiated.

But let's not confuse "all natural" or "organic" with healthy.

Also interesting are these terms used in cosmetics.

Ideas for a 10k

I made up this Week 1 workout for a friend who wants to train for a 10k but also improve her gym workout. I incorporated the two together. The workout is designed for 4 times a week and broken up into easy, medium, and hard days. Go in the order outlined (medium, hard, easy, hard), but put rest days in where you like. You'll start with a medium day after a rest day (like Sunday or the weekend). Week 1 should be about 16-20 miles...so if you're not there yet, start out slower, or if you're already past this, I'll be posting more advanced workouts. This workout is for a beginner level...no that does not mean someone who's never run a 10k before, rather for one looking for a basic workout and wanting some improvement.

I'm posting this just to help with new ideas and ways to train.

Week 1

Medium: 5 miles + arm work interspersed. Run 2 miles to start. Continue with bicep curl, triceps kick back, push ups on a bosu ball. Run 1 mile. Continue with the ax chop (both sides), side pull (for core), and lat pull down. Run 1 mile. Continue with up/downs, dips, and row. Finish with 1 miles normal pace/cool down.

Hard: 4+ miles + leg work. 2 miles normal pace. 4x1:00 faster running (not a sprint) with recovery time/walk until you’re ready to do another. 2 miles normal pace to finish.
Continue with leg extensions, leg curl, squats/leg press, lung with weights, stability on ½ bosu ball.

Easy: 3 mile run or class + YOGA!!

Hard: 4 miles, accelerations + full body weights. Run 2 miles. Continue with running arms, bench press, Romanian squat, walking lunges w/ weight, mountain climber. Run 2 miles. At the end of these 2 miles you will do 3 accelerations. This means you gradually get faster until you are going about a 9 or 9.5 on the treadmill for 20 seconds and then hold that pace for 10 seconds (much easier to do outside or on a track…but whatever works!). Continue with plank, bouncing lunges, sit ups on bosu ball, oblique work with bar, pec fly, whatever machines you want to use.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Two weeks = Two miles

Today I am reminded of that beautiful old story about the ugly violin at the auction. No one wanted to buy the old thing, but when an old man got up a played a fantastic tune upon it, suddenly everyone needed a beat up violin. A "beauty is in the eye of the beholder" kind of thing. Standing in front of the mirror, I'm not much to look at in my postpartum state. Pretty much everything is sagging. But when I stepped foot upon the treadmill tonight for the first time in about 5 months, I felt like that old violin finally being played by a master's hand again. I felt like I could skip, sprint, dash and run a 10k...oh yes, the desire was there...the lungs were NOT! I was surprised at how much stamina I've lost...you know that burning in your lungs feeling? Anyway, I put in 2 miles at a 5, 8 and 10% grade going about 4.0 the whole time. Ooooohhh, running is just around the corner. As for goals, I've decided to get back in shape to the tune of a 10k. I haven't run one in FOREVER! Last year I got completely hooked on 5ks and one marathon. Yes, marathoning will happen, but I haven't found one close by until next year. So, until then 10k! (and maybe I'll sneak in a few 5k's!).

This body might not be much to look at, but there's a beautiful race ready to be run inside of it.