Motivation Monday #28

First Monday of March! It’s a new month, full of potential. What are you going to do with your month? Have any big goals in mind already?

Today I’m motivated by all the success I had in February, especially meeting all of the goals I had last month for Running with the Sunrise. Thank you so much to all of you, my readers, for helping me make RWTS more successful each month! I’m hoping March goes just as well as February did.

My motivational quote for the week: Continue reading

Weekly Workouts 3.1.15

Why does it always seem like February flies by way too quickly? I feel like I had a pretty good February and I’m looking forward to what March will bring! Here’s what I was up to during the last week of February:

My yoga goal for last week: Make it to two yoga classes at the studio, practice at home twice.

What happened: I did make it to the studio this morning for a class and I did a little at-home yoga during the week. Making it to the studio has been tough with my work schedule. Any suggestions for great videos or yoga podcasts to do at home are welcome! I’ve found some I like but it’s nice to mix things up. Continue reading

Cherry Almond Overnight Oats Recipe

I love eating a hearty, healthy breakfast—it’s the perfect way to start out each and every day. I really love adding overnight oats to my breakfast routine because of how simple and easy they are to make. Oatmeal really fills you up and sticks with you for the entire morning, which is great if you have a busy schedule like I do and don’t have time to stop to eat again until lunch. Steel cut oats are really healthy for you but take forever to cook, which is why overnight oats are so awesome. No cooking needed and they’re ready for you to eat right when you wake up!

Cherry Almond Overnight Oats. An easy recipe for vegan overnight oatmeal featuring mega healthy tart cherries and almonds! Continue reading

Five Friday Favorites #22

Happy Friday to you, my lovely readers! And happy last Friday of February! Hopefully things will start warming up in Chicagoland soon, and for those of you in other parts of the country and world. (Except for you folks enjoying summer in the Southern hemisphere.) As I do every week, I’m linking up with Clare, Katie, and Heather to share the top five things I’m loving this week, as well as some articles that I enjoyed reading.

Five Favorites of the Week:

i love lamp

1. My new lamp. Got this beauty from Target. It makes a lovely accent for my new desk! I love lamp. Continue reading

Must-Haves for New Yogis

So you’ve decided that you want to try yoga. You head to the yoga aisle at Target or start looking up yoga products on Amazon and immediately you’re overwhelmed with the amount of yoga “stuff” available. What do you really need and what can you do without? Where should you splurge and where can you get away with a cheaper item? Today’s post is all about my must-haves for new yogis —what you really do and don’t need to start practicing yoga.

Must-Haves for New Yogis: The things you definitely need, the things you might need, and the things you don't need right now.

 Disclaimer: This post contains some affiliate links. Thanks for helping me cover the cost of my blog so that I can keep writing great content to provide to you for free!

Absolute must: a mat. Continue reading

10 Mile Race Training Plan for Beginners

If you read my Weekly Workouts post last Sunday, you know that I’m throwing around the idea of signing up for the Soldier Field 10 Mile race in May. The race is about 12 weeks away, so I wanted to throw together a basic training plan to use as a baseline for the minimum amount of training I think I’ll need. Then I thought, heck, I’m a certified running coach, I should throw my 10 mile race training plan up on the blog so I can share it with everyone!

10 Miler Training Plan: An easy training plan perfect for beginners moving from the 5K up to a 10 mile race. Perfect for the Soldier Field 10 Miler or any other 10 mile race!

I designed this training plan as a basic training plan for anyone wanting to train for a 10 mile race, primarily aimed at beginners. The assumption here is that you’ve worked up to running, walking, or run/walking a 5K and will be able to work through a 3.5 mile long run the first week. If you’re not there yet, just take a few weeks to build up your base and work up to that 5K distance. Continue reading

How I Ran a Sub-4 Hour Marathon

I know that there are some of you who can run a marathon in under four hours like it’s nothing. Then there are the rest of us who dream of finishing those 26.2 miles in four hours or less. I’ve never been naturally athletic, so breaking the four hour mark was a really big deal for me. I put in a lot of work and made some mistakes along the way, but I was eventually able to meet my marathon time goal. Are you hoping to run a sub-4 hour marathon? Here I’m compiling the biggest things that I did that helped me along my journey.

How I ran a sub-4 hour marathon: the top five things that I did to ensure my marathon success.

  1. I worked up to running a sub-2 hour half marathon. Some people have natural athletic talent and just start out running quickly. I am not one of those people. I trained for just under a year to be able to run a half marathon in under two hours and I trained hard. Working up to running shorter distances at the 9:09 minute/mile pace you’ll need to run that 4 hour marathon provides easy stepping stones along your training path.
  2. I increased my mileage. I was running about 40-45 miles a week when I trained for my sub-2 half marathon. When I trained for my full marathon, I increased that to 50-55 miles a week during my peak training. You don’t necessarily need to run really high mileage to get fast, but adding in extra easy miles helps your body get better at running.
  3. I incorporated more speedwork into my training. It makes sense when you think about it—you have to run faster to get faster. Early in my training plan, I incorporated strides into my workout, working on leg turnover and running efficiency. After a few weeks of training, I added in tempo runs and Yasso 800s, running the 800 m at an 8:00 min/mile pace. I wanted to make sure I was increasing my VO2 max to make running at that 9:09 pace easier. Nailing my last set of Yasso 800s also gave me confidence that I was at the right level of fitness to run that sub-4 hour marathon.
  4. I made sure to get strong and limber. I started practicing yoga twice a week when I was training for my half marathons and added a weekly class to my routine when I was training for my marathon. Yoga is wonderful for runners and can help prevent you from getting injured. I also made sure I was using my foam roller on my legs 1-2 times daily and also got massages every other week, making sure that little knots and adhesions didn’t develop into injuries.
  5. Marathon training was my primary goal. When I trained for my sub-4 hour marathon, my marathon training was the only big thing I had going on at the time. I was in graduate school but didn’t have any extraordinary tasks that I needed to accomplish.
    I learned this one the hard way. I trained for another marathon while I was writing my dissertation and planning my wedding. I was crunched for time so I stopped going to yoga, which allowed my glutes and hip stabilizers to weaken, leading to a bad hip flexor injury. I had to DNF at mile 14 of the Chicago Marathon which was just heartbreaking after months of training at 60+ miles a week.
    Moral of the story: marathon training takes a lot of effort, so be sure that you don’t have too much going on. Too much stress in your life while you’re training for a marathon can leave you sick and/or injured!

Faster runners: do you have any tips to add?
Do you train to meet time goals?