Are you doing the right strength training for running? (Guest Blog)

Hi there, My name is Tanya and I blog over at Run Turtle Run and I want to thank Erin for allowing me to be a guest on her blog today while she is on vacation. I came across this article on Runner’s World detailing the right kind of strength training to do for runners.  Click here to see the article.
Reading this made me think about my OWN strength training regimen (believe it or not, I actually have one…much to my own surprise).  I thought I’d compare what they suggest to what I’m actually doing 4-5 days a week with weight.

Here’s how my routine compares to their 10 essential exercises:

1.  RW: Planks.  Me:  Planks.
All right- I have this one down.  I’m not good at holding one for more than a minute, but I can feel my core work harder when doing planks than when doing any other ab exercise.
2.  RW:  Lower body Russian Twists.  Me: who what what??
Yeah, I don’t do these, but I think I need to incorporate them.  I do yoga so we do some twisting, but this would also be a great core workout.
3.  RW: Scorpion   Me:  Mountain climbers
Not exactly the same, but I really hate mountain climbers, so maybe I’ll start adding some scorpions in.  They look tough.  Which is why I probably need them.
4.  RW: Back extensions   Me:  Supermans
Same exercise, just different placement.  They use a stability ball, I just do them on the floor.  Score me for doing another one they suggest.
5.  RW:  Kettlebell squats with overhead press  Me: same, but not together
I actually do squats (I LOVE them) and overhead presses, but have not done them together.  I can kill two birds with one stone adding them in as buddies.  Nice!
6.  RW: Overhead lunge   Me:  Reverse lunges
I can’t do forward lunges.  They kill my knees.  Not that they hurt, but they make my knees go all crunchy like biting into a spoonful of Rice Krispy cereal and I cannot STAND the noise, so I do reverse lunges.  I can totally add in the weight, tho.
7.  RW: Stability ball jackknife   Me:  nope
Any motion like that on the stability ball (pulling forward with my shins) causes great discomfort in the back of my knees so I will pass on this one.
8. RW:  Stability ball hip extension   Me:  negatory
Same excuse as above. :)
9. RW:  Rotational shoulder press   Me: regular boring forward shoulder press
I like the rotation they put on this to engage the core as well.  I will have to start doing these.
10. RW: Alternating dumbbell row   Me: double arm dumbbell row
I had no idea that doing them both at the same time was the sissy way out.  They say that doing one at a time makes you have to stabilize more, so now I will start doing them the more difficult way.
I found it interesting to compare what they suggest to what I’m already doing.  Looks like I’m doing some things right, and some things I can definitely improve upon.
My only real beef with the model doing the exercises is that she has no definition.  Show some muscle, man.  :)
Peace and Running! :)

Friday Featured Runner (series 8)

Today’s Friday Featured Runner is Ashtyn over at Fit Life with Ashtyn. I’m so excited to feature this amazing lady. I met her through our facebook pages and she has inspired me in so many ways.

Ashtyn’s Running Journey
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I am a single parent (with an amazing family and boyfriend) who splits custody of my daughter across the U.S. and I spend longer amounts of time away from my child. I would become depressed and anxious and worry and eventually it lead me to be a worn down, wore out, over weight version of myself. I woke up one day and decided that if I had to be away from her, I would make the most of myself. My daughter deserves the strongest version of her mother, one who can play, keep up and be around for the long haul. I started by setting a crazy goal of a half marathon. I fell in love with running and found out more about myself than I ever knew I had in me. Every time I ran, I came back a different person. I decided to keep going and signed up for my first full marathon in November of 2013. After training from the couch to a marathon for 31 weeks, on November 12th, 2013 I ran my first full marathon in 4:42:45. As soon as I crossed the finish line and saw my daughter I knew I had more in me and I wanted to keep going! After maintaining my running all last winter, I signed up and completed two more full marathons and am currently training for two ultra marathons (50k & 50M) and two more full marathons this summer/fall. My hope is to inspire and let others know that your hardships and struggles can define you in a positive way!
Q & A
-What is your go to fuel for long runs? Tailwind Endurance Fuel and PlowOn Gum are the only fuels I use while running. I have a hard time eating while under race stress, so mixing the Tailwind up in my Camelbak is the best option for me. Lemon is my favorite flavor! I use Plow for caffeine and an extra boost when I need it
– What race is on your bucket list? I would love to see if I can conquer a distance greater than 50 M ;-)
– Favorite Running shoe? I am loyal to Asics Gel Cumulus for my road running shoe! But I wear Brooks Cascadias on the trails
-Your favorite race medal? All of my races and medals are special to me and share a story of personal growth and development. I choose my second marathon medal because I got to run and finish with a friend who was completing her first marathon, It was such a happy moment and it meant a lot to me to be there at the finish with her.
– What advice would you give to something who is just starting their running journey? My advice to new runners is to enjoy the journey! No one starts out a pro and you can’t always run hard. If you set unrealistic time goals or expectations you will burn out quick and not enjoy the run. I personally started training for a half marathon with run/walk combos and was logging 14-15 min miles. I now run between 9-10 min miles but I took my time, went slow and avoided injury and burnout. I also think signing up for a race gives you motivation and encouragement to stay on task!
Places to follow Ashtyn:
Want to be a Friday Featured Runner? Send me an email

Workout Recap (week of 6/15-6/21)

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The end of the week has come and gone once again. This week was iffy. I did some workouts and of course running, I just wasn’t feeling this week. I tend to get this way at the end of the month. My legs are tired from all the running I’ve been doing, as you know I am doing the #June100Mile challenge. I went to the gym once this week.
Sunday, June 15- I woke up early and actually did a sweet 10 mile run.
Monday, June 16– I decided to rest after the 10 mile run I did the day before.
Tuesday, June 17- I ran 4 miles around my neighborhood. Only intended to do 3 but was feeling good.
Wednesday, June 18- Went to the gym with my bestie and we did 2 workouts. I will share with you in a few.
Thursday, June 19- Ran 3.5 mile with some friends, changed up the scenery.
Friday, June 20– Rest day
Saturday, June 21- 7 mile run
Every waking day is a mental mind game I tend to fight. Go to the gym go workout, no don’t go to the gym, don’t workout. I’m working on it. I just need to break that barrier. I mentioned on Wednesday that I did 2 workouts with my bestie at the gym. Here is what we did.
I will be brutally honest on this one. We made it to the 10 minute mark which was round 1. We couldn’t go any further. We decided to change my interval timer and just lower the seconds down and moderate a few of the workouts. We did 30 second intervals the 2nd time around. It was much better but still tough. We had to change the jump lunges due to me being a runner I did not want to jack up my already soon to be bad knees. We did regular lunges instead. As a beginner doing this workout. I would have started with a lower number of seconds. May start at 20-30 seconds with the 10 seconds rest in between and once you feel like your not working hard enough bump it up and slowly work your way up.
The second workout we did involved a treadmill. Our friend who is personal trainer recommended this awesome workout. This workout is for endurance, cardio and leg workout all in one.
Workout #2 
30 Minute Treadmill Workout
(between each set you jump off the treadmill and do a jump squat)
 0-5 min, 0 inline, 3.5 speed (warm-up)
20 jump squats
5-10 min, 15 incline, 3.0 speed
20 jump squats
10-15 min, 8 incline, 3.5 speed
20 jump squats
15-20 min, 0 incline, 4.0 speed
20 jump squats
20-25 min, 15 incline, 3.0 speed
20 jump squats
25-30 min, 8 incline, 3.5 speed
20 jump squats
30-35 min, 0 incline, 4.0 speed (cooldown)
After I finished this workout I felt great, it loosened up all my muscles in my legs, especially after doing the higher inclines. I would definitely add this workout into my routine every once in a while. Granted I was very sore a few days after but it surely worked your legs and endurance. Well until next weeks recap. Hope everyone has an awesome week.
QOTD: What are some workouts you like to add into your routine?

Friday Featured Runner (series 7)

This Friday’s Featured Runner is Montana at Pretty Lil Mudder
Montana’s Running Journey
I started running on December 31, 2013. My friend had convinced me to sign up for the Color Run with her and I decided that I should start running so I wouldn’t die during the race lol. I couldn’t even run a mile without getting out of breath! The first three weeks were really hard and several times I considered quitting, but I kept going, fueled by friends who supported my new venture and my own passion to pursue and complete a goal. I’m usually bad at continuing with things- I tend to get bored with anything I start and quit after a few months. I decided this was going to be different.  After that first race, I really started to love running. I signed up for several more races, and was hooked! I’ve since started mud runs and I’m hooked on those too! Going over those obstacles was such an exhilarating feeling and it’s such an accomplishment when you look your fear in the face and conquer it. It’s been a crazy journey and there have been times that I really didn’t feel like running at all, but I pushed through it and I’m very proud of where I am today. I went from not being able to run even one mile to running 5. And I’m signed up for my first long distance race, the Run Disney Tower of Terror 10 miler, in October. Can’t wait!!
-What is your favorite go to fuel during long runs? I don’t really have a favorite fuel besides water or Gatorade yet. I’ve been trying out several different kinds and I kind of like GU but some of the flavors aren’t too great. Shot bloks are good, but hard for me to get down when I’m in the middle of a run. Sport beans are next on my list. A friend recommended them.
-What race is on your bucket list? Right now, Tough Mudder, Spartan Race, Warrior Dash, Savage Race, Disney Princess Half, Rock n’ Roll Half Savannah, Tower of Terror 10 miler…whew that’s a lot! (Montana, I think you should do the Princess Half since I plan on it for 2015)
-What running shoe brand do you prefer? I’m in love with my Saucony and Asics shoes! And for mud runs I always wear Salomon Speedcross 3’s. The traction on them is unbelievable and they never get stuck!
-Your favorite race medal? Favorite race medal so far is the Gasparilla Distance Classic 5k medal. It’s a pirate skull and crossbones and I think it’s so cool! I did that race just to get the medal haha.
-What is your best advice you’d give to a new beginner just starting their running journey? Advice for new runners: What helped me when I was starting out was to have a race that I’d signed up for. It helps me to have something to concentrate on and know there’s a deadline to train for the race. Just don’t do too much too soon- start with a 5k and work your way up from there!
Places to follow Montana:
Want to be a Friday Featured Runner, send me an email.

Friday Featured Runner (series 6)

Today’s featured Friday runner is Dawn over at My Pink Musings

Dawn’s Running Journey
This is my story

This is my song

Running my heart out

So I can live long!
I woke up one day about 4 years ago and decided that I was tired of living an unhealthy life. I thought back to when I used to run trails, trying to remember why I stopped. The only thing I could come up with was that life got in the way. So at 48 years old I decided I was going to be a runner again. I started slow with a C25K program. My kids about a week after I started and one of my daughters decided to do it too.She lived half way across the country but we became each others cheerleader. Then we signed up for our first 5k, a night run in South Carolina. I was nervous and very excited. I was so proud when I finished. I ran my next 5K by myself. It was so hard, full of very steep hills but I finished it. After that run I met a running trainer. I decided that I would run with him maybe 1 or 2 times a month because it would be an hour drive each way for me. He consistently tortures me 2 times a week.Yep, I make the drive twice a week.  Just when I think I’m making progress he steps it up. Always keeping me just outside my comfort zone.  I have since run more 5K’s and 2 half marathons, all with my daughter. We had to miss a half marathon because I am currently rehabbing a knee injury sustained while snowboarding on a sled (not a good idea). We have also taken the plunge and signed up for the Disney Marathon next January.
-What is your favorite go to fuel during long runs? My go to fuel for long runs is Vitamin C, apple sauce, cherry pie Lara Bar, & salted caramel gel.
-What race is on your bucket list? My bucket list race Is the Disney Marathon, which I just signed up for.

-What running shoe brand do you prefer? I only ever wear Newtons to run in. Love them!

-Your favorite race medal? Favorite race medal would have to be from the Diva Half. It is blingy and was put on me by a hunky fireman, only would have been better if my husband had put it on me.
-What is your best advice you’d give to a new beginner just starting their running journey? My advice to a new beginner is to always remember why you started. Never give up! Never feel defeated. If you didn’t conquer it today go back out tomorrow and try again. You can do it! Use your running time to become closer to nature, talk to God, let go of all the stress.
Places to follow Dawn:
Want to be a Friday Featured Runner? Send me an email


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I’m so excited to announce that I’ve officially signed myself up to be matched with someone who has special needs and is not likely able to do the everyday activities we take advantage of in our everyday lives. There is a very long waiting list. I was told I could be waiting for at least 15+ weeks. But worth the wait.
 So I’m sure you’re asking what is I Run 4? IR4 is a nonprofit organization. Basically what you do first is sign up. You must follow the steps. Adding their facebook page and facebook group. While you wait you’re encouraged to dedicate your runs to those waiting to be matched and to your future buddy in the facebook group. I enjoy reading everyones posts to their buddies and buddies posting to their runners. This group is so motivating. It makes me that much more excited to be matched in the upcoming months.
When you are matched with your buddy again you are encouraged to friend the parents and tag them to your workout/running post and share stories. They also ask that you make a shirt, a sign and send your race medals or race swag to make your buddy feel as though they ran it to. I get all teary eyed thinking about it. I can’t wait to meet my future match where ever you maybe I run for you buddy everyday.
Wanna learn more about IR4? Here is their website
Have you signed up for IR4? Or have you already been matched? 

Friday Featured Runner (series 5)

Todays Friday Featured Runner is featuring Katie at Getting My Healthy On
Katie’s Running Journey

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I had never considered myself a runner until my senior year in college. My roommate and I randomly decided to sign up for a half marathon, though neither of us had ever done a race before. I was always involved in sports growing up, but I had never put too much of a focus on running. When we signed up for that half marathon, everything changed.
Running those 13.1 miles was so much harder than I ever thought it could be. Receiving that medal taught me that I was capable of doing so much more than I thought. As horrible as I felt during the race, it was the most rewarding experience. After that I gained a sort of mental strength that kept pushing me to run farther. Two years after my half marathon, I ran my first full marathon, which I never in a million years thought I would do.
It’s pretty amazing to see what you can accomplish when you keep pushing yourself and set crazy goals. Can’t wait to see what the future holds!
What is your favorite go to fuel during long runs?
I am a fan of Honey Stinger products like energy chews and gels.
What race is on your bucket list?
I would absolutely love to run the Nike Women’s Marathon in San Francisco!
What running shoe brand do you prefer?
I am all about Asics! They were my first pair of serious running shoes, and I have stuck with the brand ever since.
Your favorite race medal?
My Surf City Marathon medal! It could have been a boring, cheap medal, and it would still be my favorite because it reflects all the hard work I put into that race.
marathon medal
What is your best advice you’d give to a new beginner just starting their running journey?
My favorite piece of advice for new runners is to go slow. It sounds weird, but I did not fully appreciate the sport of running until I took my time and truly enjoyed the feeling. When you are worrying about speed, the simplicity of the sport is taken away, and it does not exactly feel the most pleasant. That’s why I tell new runners to take it slow and worry about speed later when they develop a love for running.
Places to follow Katie:
Want to be a Featured Friday Runner? Send me an email.

HIIT Workout & National Running Day


Tuesday afternoon while searching through pinterest I found a really great HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) workout that I just had to try out. I planned to hit the gym with my bestie to go for quick run on the treadmill and then rest for a bit and start out the HIIT Workout.


 Here is what the workout consists of:
-Warm up
-20 sec burpees
-10 sec rest
-20 sec single leg plank to pike
-10 sec rest
-20 sec burpees
-10 sec rest
-20 sec single leg plank to pike
-10 sec rest
-20 sec bunny hops
-10 sec rest
-20 sec jump squats
-10 sec rest
-20 bunny hops
-10 sec rest
-20 sec jump squats
-1 min dynamic hamstring stretches
Repeat 2x
I used the Everlast interval timer to keep track of  the interval timing. I was using my Nike plus GPS watch with polar heart rate sensor to keep track of where my heart rate ranged for the workout.
Can you see when I started the workout BIG SPIKE
I was seriously dying after I finished this workout an I only repeated it once. I was cursing, sweating like a pig *OINK*, gagging and worn out.
This what my first attempt at ever doing a HIIT workout and and as crappy as I felt after I would so do this workout over again. I would love to incorporate HIIT into my training.
Wednesday was National Running Day. I got in a 4 mile run. Right now I have a running streak going. I’m not sure if it’s a good thing or a bad thing? I’m also working on the #June100mile challenge I started on June 1st. I’m EXHAUSTED. This has been a very active and productive start to my June goals and I hope I can keep this going for the month.
-Have you ever done HIIT workouts? How many miles did you get in on National Running Day and what do you RUN for?

June Goals

Goal’s for May didn’t go so well. I slacked majorly. I seemed to have lacked the motivation department.

Goals for May

-Try and run at least 90 miles this months. I can do it right? I missed my goal by 40 miles. I ran 61 miles.
-Popcorn. My frickin weakness. I can devore a bag like it’s the last thing on this earth to eat. Epic failure.
-Layoff the sugar intake. I try this almost every month. I don’t consume a lot. But I have such a sweet tooth. FAIL
-Cut down to 1 cup of coffee a day. I drink at least 2 or 3 a day. *I know* I actually did good with this. Cut down to 1 cup.
-Try and go to the gym more often. I have maybe used my membership since 2014 started maybe 4 times. I have lost my zero motivation to go workout. I’d rather run. I may have gone 3 times the entire month of May. FAIL
-Eat cleaner. I usually eat pretty good. But I do indulge and don’t know when to stop. I’m going to be honest. I struggled with this.
-Eat at home more often. We go out to eat at least once a week. I would say we ate at home more often. This one wasn’t so much a failure.

I struggle so hard sometimes with my goals. I guess that way we call them “goals”.

Ok so basically I’m going to try and go for the same goals as last month with a few changes and add ons.
-Complete the June 100 Mile Challenge,
– Eat cleaner (NO BRAINER)
-Cross train on my scheduled off training runs
-Be outdoors more often. My daughter will be on summer vacation soon and instead of us sitting around at home do more things with her outside.
-Hit the gym again and more than 3 times a month
-Start taking my vitamins again
-Read food labels more carefully.
I hope I can have complete success with my June goals. Let get this!
Do you struggle with some of your goals you set? What are some of your goals for the month of June?