Make Sunday a Fun Run Day

Sunday mornings are a great time for a run.  Most likely you are a bit more relaxed, don’t have the hustle and bustle of kid’s schedules or work and may not feel as pressed for time.

I like to slow down the pace, ditch my watch and run someplace that doesn’t involve my neighborhood or the familiar hills and trails.

If you run the same loop, path, trail a few (or more) times a week, I encourage you to expand your horizons and take yourself somewhere new.   If you don’t know where to go, pop in to your local running or outdoor store (like REI) or check out local running clubs in your area.  They should be able to help you out.

If, however, you live in Marin county, drop me a note and I’ll direct you to some fun runs outside of your normal.

road less traveledThe road less traveled is often more fun!  And if you’re lucky, it involves some hills!

Now go run!

Keli 🙂

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No Missed Workouts

Not able to get out of the house before work, kiddie-camp carpool or loads of laundry?  It happens.

But right now, take a look at your day and find a 10 to 20 minute block to do something.  Anything.  A walk.  A swim.  Playing tag with the kids.  An obstacle course at the park.  Run up and down a hill 3 times.

Don’t let the day go without a workout.  Do not.  Circle with a slash though it.  Do NOT skip your workout.

Why?

Today’s missed workout means that you have a higher likelihood of eating poorly (well, since I didn’t work out, what the heck) and/or skipping tomorrow’s workout (I have a Monday, Wednesday and Friday plan and if I work out Thursday instead of today that means I have a Thursday and Friday workout and that’s too much so I’ll skip Thursday too and then go back on Friday).

Trust me.  This is what I hear from people.  The ability to rationalize yourself out of a healthy meal or a good workout is highly developed 🙂

Soooo, back to my point.  Stay on track.  Don’t miss that workout.

mintNow go run!

Keli 🙂

My “Come to Jesus” Moment

My first part of 2015 was pretty intense, fitness wise.  I was simultaneously training for a 200-mile Ragnar Relay as well as the Vancouver Marathon.  The races were 3 weeks apart and I had trained hard and was very focused for over 5 months.

I’ll be honest.  After these events I was tired.  And kind of lazy.  Well-deserved after my races but I was having a hard time snapping out of my running malaise.

So when I went on a run up the Dipsea stairs and on the trail last week it became crystal and painfully clear that I had slacked off on my training.  Crap.

It was, without a doubt, my “come to Jesus” moment.

Maybe you’ve had one.  When you try on a pair of jeans that fit before the summer and now don’t?  When you go for a run with a friend and you can barely keep up?  Hopping into the pool and not being able to complete the lap(s) that you used to do easily?   Having yourself “tagged” in a photo on social media. And it’s not a flattering photo.  At all.  You get my drift.

So now that we know what the problem is, we get to act on it.  We can’t deny that we suffer up the hills, that our jeans actually look good with the muffin top popping free or that swimming one lap is good enough.  So let’s get to it.  But how?

Like this:

Accept and Forgive:  Accept where you are AND forgive yourself for not keeping up with your running, swimming or eating healthfully.  You cannot make positive changes with anger in your heart.

Plan:  Sit down and write a plan.  How many days you are going to exercise,  and what type of activity you’ll do (hills, intervals, long and short distances).  Plan some healthy meals for the next few days.

Prepare:  Put your workouts in a calendar.  Shop for the healthier foods so they are handy.  Tip: If you struggle with food that is currently in your home, find a place to put it so you don’t see it every time you open the cupboard or refrigerator.  Pull the healthier options to the front and go for those first.

Act:  Go!  Workout with intention.  Select healthy foods.  Find a support system to help you get back on track.   Let them motivate you and be their motivation.

Me?  I’m adding intensity, hills and longer distances to my running.  In addition (certain people are going to *love* this) adding extra intensity to the classes I teach.  Because I think everyone needs some pushing over the summertime.

I challenge you to pick up the slack, tighten your program and commit to pushing yourself a bit harder.   Run a few minutes longer,  go to exercise class 3 days instead of 2, push away from the dessert table or decline that extra glass of wine.  See where it takes you.

Now go run!

Keli 🙂

 

 

 

 

Summer Strong

If staying consistent with your workout over the summer is a problem, here are a few tips to help you survive until the kids go back to school.

1.  Get out early.  Don’t let late nights bust your workouts.  Get up, get out, get it done. You can nap later.

2.  Shorten your workouts.  If you don’t have your usual 45 minute or an hour, cut your workouts down to 20 minutes.  Run shorter but faster, go with HIIT or Tabata-style for a greater intensity in less time.

3.  Double up.  Go for a short run or walk in the morning then grab the family for a late afternoon, or post-dinner walk.  Add hills for a greater bang for your buck.

Now go run!

Keli 🙂

Form Check

Like fashion, automobiles and rock and roll I like the classics.  My favorite classic exercises are the squat, the pushup and the plank.

At first glance, these are seemingly simple exercises.  They all, however, require proper form, alignment and focus  in order to do them correctly.

Squat

Few exercises work as many muscles as the squat, so it’s an excellent multi-purpose activity useful for toning and tightening your behind, abs, and your legs.

Here’s how to do a squat

  1. Stand with your feet hip-width apart, place your hands on your hips
  2. Keeping your weight in your heels, press your tush back as you squat down as low as is comfortable.
  3. Using your thighs (not your knees) press back up into standing and squeeze your tush at the very top (this will help activate and strengthen your tush)
  4. Repeat

Pushups

Contrary to what you may think, the pushup is truly a body-altering, core-strengthening move.

Here’s how to do a pushup.

On your Knees:

  1. Start on all fours with your hands just outside of your chest, above the mid line of your chest.
  2. Walk your hands out so that your back is flat, keeping your legs pressed together as you bring your feet up towards your tush.
  3. With a flat back, release down, trying to get your chest towards the ground as far as you can.
  4. Exhale as you push back up to the top of the movement.
  5. Repeat.

Military Style:

  1. Get into your high plank position with your hands just outside of your chest, above the mid line of your chest
  2. Press your feet and legs together
  3. With a flat back, release down, trying to get your chest towards the ground as far as you can
  4. Exhale as you push back up to the top of the movement
  5. Repeat

Plank

The plank is a superior exercise to help strengthen your entire core.

Here’s how to do the plank:

  1. Hold yourself in the “up” position of a pushup, hands under our slightly in front of your shoulders, fingers spread, apart, pointing forward (do NOT turn your hands toward each other or away from each other).
  2. Press your feet, knees and thighs together.
  3. Draw your shoulders down away from your ears and engage your shoulder blades so they are slightly pulling toward each other.
  4. Lift your belly up nice and tight, pulling your belly button toward your spine.
  5. Keep your tush down.
  6. Breathe.

With practice and patience, you can master the classics.

Now go run!

Keli 🙂

Try This

I’m fundamentally opposed to strict diets, fasts, pills, potions, extreme exercising.  I think that too much restriction causes mental fatigue (read:  loss of motivation, focus on the end result, etc.) and can be counterproductive in the long run.

However.  I know that sometimes one needs a jump start.  A kick in the pants.  Time to seriously focus and get their head straight.

So here’s what I propose.  Instead of putting yourself on a long-term restrictive diet or intense exercise plan, create or start a 30 day challenge.

Challenges are a great way to throw yourself into something that has a definitive start and end date.  Your challenge can be to accumulate minutes exercising, a “streak” for running, ditching soda, snacks or eating only “whole” foods.

Challenges, by definition are things that require work and commitment.  If it’s not pushing you, it’s not a challenge.  So make your 30 day challenge something that’s hard but do-able.

So let’s say your challenge is to not each junk food.  But one evening you end up eating a bag of chips while binge-watching Breaking Bad on Netflix which is now streaming over your tv?  Is your challenge over?  No siree Walt!  You brush the crumbs off yourself, the couch, the carpet and tomorrow is another day.

You may not have 100% success on your challenge but isn’t 90% better than nothing?  I say yes.

So here is your homework:

  1. Create a challenge, set a time frame.
  2. Write it down.
  3. Figure out a tracking system.  Either stickers in your note book, “x” on your calendar or  you can do one of my favorites, make 30 little post it note flags (numbered 1-30) and stick them alongside your computer monitor.  When you go to bed, pull one off.  It’s amazing how motivating those little suckers are 🙂
  4. Reward yourself at the completion of your challenge.
  5. Make a new challenge

Now go run!

Keli 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

Random Thoughts on a Random Run

My iPod shuffle finally bit the dust so I am relegated to running sans music.  On the plus side it gives me time to think and ponder.

Here are some musings from today’s run, for your amusement.

  • Jeez it’s hot out here.
  • Not only hot but muggy – ick.
  • Red light, good! A chance to…oops green light.
  • I should have worn sunglasses.
  • Is that bacon?  That smells good.
  • Oh good, another red light.  Green.  damn.
  • Kids’ dentist appointments, doctor appointments…
  • I need new shoes.
  • Deodorant.  I knew I forgot something.
  • Jack needs to take a shower today.
  • I’ll turn around riiiiiight……..here.
  • God I’m running slow.
  • Not even a nod?  You suck.
  • Finally.
  • Home.

Now go run!

Keli 🙂