Wednesday, July 22, 2009



Are you looking to Just Finish the Race? Or kick some trash? (I hope it's the second option...even though around mile 18 or 20 my point of view always changes...)

There are so many ways to train for a marathon, or any race, that things can get confusing. I've trained for marathons with lots of milage up front and speed work at the end, and the opposite way with speed work first and mileage later.

I am personally a fan of doing speed work first. This training method makes sense to me...and, if you haven't noticed, I like speed work. There's a LINK to the training program that I've used with the speed work up front.

I would suggest that you do find a program that fits your goals and abilities. Having a program is motivating, safe(r), helpful, and confidence building.

I would also suggest that you do get a LOB (Lot Of Both--speed work and milage---I just can't stop myself). Mileage is important, but so is having a fine tuned engine.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Stretching 101

You may already know all of this, but I just wanted to cover the bases. I see so many people doing things wrong, well, not WRONG, but not in the best way, so let's clear things up.

DO NOT stretch before your workout. WHAT? A rather new idea, but study after study, article after article, journal entry after journal entry has confirmed that stretching pre-workout is inefficient and potentially damaging. 1. you are stretching muscles that have not been warmed up yet and are therefore not elastic, which can actually lead to injury. 2. stretching pre-run/workout/walk/whatever can actually weaken your muscles for the next 10-15 minutes (and who wants that when they're trying to bust out some 200's?). DO WARMUP. This means start with a nice easy jog or walk of 5-10 minutes before you try to break a world record.

DO stretch after your workout. Stretching your now warm and elastic muscles will really benefit you most for you NEXT workout. You are gaining flexibility/balance/strength that will help you be more relaxed and keep injuries at bay.

DO YOGA. If you are still doing the hurdle stretch and the old arm pull across the chest, you really should stop. Please do yoga. The benefits are overwhelming. Flexibility/balance/strength/focus are all part of yoga. You'll gain more from 5 minutes of yoga then 10 minutes of your 1950's toe touches. It's easy to browse a yoga index (provided by yoga journal and linked at left), check out some books from the library, or buy a few yoga videos (think Rodney Yee).

*extra bonus tip* runners who tone and improve core strength run up to 33% better (that can translate into big minutes!)

A Marathon Workout

I know a few peeps who are preparing for a marathon and thought I'd share a favorite workout.

Hop on the track of course...

Warm up with a mile or two (well, I guess you can do this off the track..and better so).

Run 800m at goal time (in minutes). If your goal is to run a 4 hour marathon, your 800 pace should be 4 minutes. If you want to run a 3:15 hour marathon, your 800 should be 3:15 minutes.

Recover between 800's with a 400m jog.

Repeat 8 times*

Cool down with a mile


*you'll thank me later

Saturday, July 4, 2009

New Yoga Likes

Always on the look out for new vinyasas or different yoga poses, I found THIS and LOVE it.
Great for the knees and good for the tone.

Here's how my yoga class is currently operating.

Monday is about toning up and building strength. We move through the poses quickly, but add repetitions and do some lifts. I think of it as prep work for more advanced positions. Some students have now moved into the advanced poses and practice these while the rest continue building muscle and balance. We also spend some time in inverted poses.

Wednesday is endurance work. We warm up with the Sun Salutation and move right into all three warrior poses. We hold I and II for 2 minutes and Warrior III for 1 minute and a bit. We hold Downward Facing Dog for 3 minutes. We do a bit of plank work, holding in Plank Neutral and Star. This past week I also added THESE dancing moves and everyone enjoyed it. It's summer time here and I don't turn the AC on in our room, so we're all sweating pretty good--we love it!