Happy (Good) Friday, friends! I have a mishmash of things I wanted to share on the blog this week, so what better way than to participate in a Friday Favourites link-up? Today I’m linking up with Heather of Life in Leggings, because that would probably be the name of my blog (actually it would be Life in Lululemon) if I didn’t have a government job.
I had two more articles published in a magazine this week!
It’s hard to believe that about six months ago I was running a sub 4:45-per-kilometre marathon pace. Right now I can barely run for 10 km. And I’m probably running at twice that pace.
It’s good to have a break from running and racing at least once a year for a few months, as it helps to prevent overuse injuries and gives you a chance to spend the time cross training and strengthen all those muscles you don’t get to use during marathon training. Though it can be humbling to head out with much faster and fitter friends during your “off-season”, taking a break from running now and again will benefit you in the long run — literally and figuratively.
Other than the set back I experienced a few weeks ago (where I couldn’t do anything more than walk for about three weeks), I’ve been pretty consistent with my strength and yoga routine, mixing in at least one or two short runs (7-10 km) and one hike per week to maintain a good cardio base. My weeks look something like this: (more…)
My BQ attempt at the Goodlife Fitness Victoria last year, ignoring the pain!
I wish I could train for a marathon without running those 3-hour-plus long training runs. No matter how beautiful my running route is and how interesting the podcasts I listen to during my long runs are, I always start thinking about how hungry, tired and chaffed I am and how much I just want to stop running and be back at home.
I guess I sort of skipped the long runs in 2013 during training, but that’s because I already put in those once weekly 3-5 hour long run days several months before while I was training for the Squamish 50. Then I took a two-month break, got up one day and ran 24 km, and then ran a marathon a week later.
I know there are marathon training methods where your longest training run is only about 25 km. These plans also include several longer runs (12-16 km) per week, plus a day or two of strength training and a tempo run. Although the proponents of this method say your endurance will be marathon-ready and you are less likely to overtrain and injure yourself by skipping the once-per-week high mileage runs (which may be true), here’s why I don’t like that method: you miss out on training your brain. (more…)
Happy Wednesday, friends! I’m happy to report I’m finally back to workouts this week — I started with some light resistance training on Monday and 30 minutes of yoga yesterday. I’m sore everywhere. Oh how I missed you, DOMs.
My plan is to finally head out for a run on Thursday this week. I’m so glad I didn’t end up signing up for a spring race like I had planned to, otherwise I’d be mighty disappointed in my cardio fitness right now. I have no races planned in the near future, however, so I have plenty of time to build it back up again.
Speaking of races, I’ve been seriously considering getting back to triathlon again. I did my first race in 2010 and fell in love with it. But then I went and became an event organizer and communications person for a local triathlon race series and that experience completely crushed my desire to participate again. When you breathe swimming, biking and running 24/7 from an event organizer perspective, swimming, biking and running is kind of the last thing you want to do in your free time (on the rare occasion you have any).
Before I became a certified strength and conditioning specialist, I thought I had pretty decent form when lifting weights and doing core exercises at the gym. I’d been studying the instructions in fitness magazines and following along carefully to workout DVDs for almost nine years, all the while thinking I was working the muscle groups I was trying to target.
When I was studying for my CSCS exam, I got schooled by another trainer at a private gym where I was volunteering and job shadowing last summer. Turns out I have a wicked anterior pelvic tilt (meaning my hips tilt forward, like I’m trying to sit all the time), which made me botch up most of my core and hip exercises and was probably the reason to blame for my tight calves. (more…)
Looking like a stuffed sausage during triathlon training in 2010.
It might seem counterintuitive, but running long distance does not always equal a fit-looking body. I say fit looking, because if you can run 25 – 34km once a week for several weeks, you are a fit person. You just might be carrying around a little extra squishiness than if you were, say, lifting weights and doing half an hour of plyometrics a few times a week instead.
What gives? I burn, like, 1,500 calories on my 30 km training runs. That’s like, a whole day’s worth of food!
And herein lies the problem: Marathon training = eat all the foodz + type I > type II muscle fibres = more squishiness.(more…)
While we wait for researchers to study the connection between mindfulness and improving your running efficiency, there’s no harm in trying it out for yourself (unlike going paleo and eating a ton of bacon all the time, which CAN actually harm you). (more…)
If pulling on your sweat-wicking threads, lacing up your flashy, minimalistic running shoes and pounding the pavement with Daft Punk blasting through your ear buds for 40 minutes or so isn’t your idea of a good time, then don’t do it.
And equally, if huffing and puffing your way up a steep and muddy single-track trail through forest while your quads turn to jelly is your idea of torture, then don’t do that, either.
Also, if sweating all over the floor and looking super unattractive while you lift heavy weights sounds downright deplorable, then feel free to give it a miss. (more…)
And we thought we had run all the beautiful trails around southern Vancouver Island… turns out, we were wrong!
Back in 2013, I started creating detailed trail running route posts of all my favourite trails around southern Vancouver Island after reading this post on Shape.com and deciding that the trails I run regularly in Victoria could definitely give those suggestions a run for their money. I mean, how many places in the world have this many well-maintained, amazing and beautiful trails, all within an hours drive of the capital city? Probably not too many. And I’m sure there are many other spectacular trails that can rival these (Inca Trail, anyone?), but for accessibility’s sake, I’d take my moss-covered, root-entangled, winding west coast trails over almost-urban gravel trails any day.
By mid-2014, I had photographed, mapped and blogged about the seven best trails to run on Vancouver Island according to my “Best Trails to Run” criteria (scroll to the bottom of this post to read my criteria and for links to each post). Well… turns out I need to add a number eight to that list 🙂 Thanks to Coach Lindsey of TriStars for suggesting this trail and for providing directions. I can’t believe I’ve never been here before! (more…)
Other than some social posts, I’ve successfully stayed away from my computer and spent most of the week getting pampered at the spa, hiking with my dog, and reading books. It’s been lovely, and much needed.
Though the massage, facial, daily yoga and Epsom salt baths all week have been amazing, my favourite day was obviously yesterday (my actual birthday), where I spent the morning in the spa getting a manicure and Ayurvedic pedicure and came out to find my wonderful boyfriend had already paid for my treatments. Then I came home to discover he snuck into my apartment and put a big bouquet of flowers on my kitchen table 🙂 Then last night before dinner with my family, he gave me this amazing gift.