Archive for training – Page 2

how to have a better attitude at the pool (or on the run)

Editor’s Note:  Running and swimming have a lot in common, with the main thing that both are “lifetime” sports.  You can do either at a very young age, through adult life and on through the golden years.  Running, like swimming, you can do just for fun, or to compete.  As far as burning off stress and staying fit, both are excellent choices. So with that, here’s an article that we found on a swimming site, that serves its purpose just as well with running!  Enjoy!

by: Olivier Poirier-Leroy – via swimswam.com

It’s crazy how much of an impact our attitude has when it comes to the way we perform in the pool.

On days when we are riding high, with life seemingly bending to our will, even the toughest of workouts is met with an optimistic and determined front. And yet, when we feel bummed out, or pessimistic, the tough stuff in the pool becomes even tougher.

“Excellence is not a skill. It’s an attitude.” – Ralph Marston

Being positive-minded when you are going through those heavy bouts of training, where exams and assignments are piling up, can help make the challenging stuff easier to handle. When we are optimistic we are able to better brace ourselves for the difficult chapters in our swimming career, and perhaps most importantly for the team, you contribute to developing an environment where everyone – and especially you – are primed for success.

1. Get better at failing. If you look at the way you take and handle setbacks as a skill, something you can actively work on, than you are light years ahead of those swimmers that take every failure – large and small – as an indictment on their abilities. Look, setbacks are gonna happen. From the age grouper, to the multi-Olympic, multi-gold medal winning athlete. What separates those from who allow failure to define why they quit and those who choose to make failure a re-direction in their journey is the outlook they have. Decide to work on improving the way you handle failing.

 2. Journal some gratitude. By now there is no doubt that at least one of your friends on Facebook (perhaps even you) have taken some form of the gratitude challenge. (For the uninitiated, you write out 3-5 things you are grateful for on Facebook each day for a few weeks.) Research has shown that this actually works, and that redirecting your thoughts to the good stuff in your life that you have in your life increases happiness and decreases stress. You certainly don’t need to post it online for the world to see,   spending a few minutes at home logging it into a notebook or log book works just as well.

 3. Celebrate the victories. Especially the small ones. If you are like me, you tend to undervalue the impact of your small wins. Because they aren’t the big, life-altering victories that cause massive change, we gloss them over, ignore them and bypass them. Which is too bad. Although having three really good practices in a row, or doing bilateral breathing for the full workout, or doing every meter with awesome technique isn’t a world record or gold medal, it’s still worth recognizing and celebrating.

 4. Be solutions oriented. It’s easy to point out the faults and shortcomings of not only ourselves, but of those around us. When things aren’t going our way the quickest route is to latch on to the problem and dwell on it. Rather than piling on to yourself (or others) seek a solution, a path forward and offer constructive criticism. When we seek solutions we are moving forward, making progress. Making excuses and offering criticism without guidance keeps us stuck in place.

 5. Remember that attitude is a choice. We make a metric ton of choices on a daily basis. What we are going to eat for breakfast. Whether or not we are going to pay attention in class. Whether or not to unfollow or fully unfriend the chronic meme-poster friend on Facebook. The mental approach we take on, the attitude we carry around with us, is dictated by us as well. Simply thinking about having a better attitude can often be just the thing to have it improve. Being conscious of the fact that our chosen attitude is our prerogative is better than allowing our attitude to be influenced by others and left up to chance.

 6. Don’t let the negativity of others infect you. This one is a little more sneaky. We don’t often notice how the people around us influence us until much later. Hang out with a complainer for the course of a day and you can’t help but latch on to some of that negative energy, catching yourself complaining by the end of the day. Hang out with positive-minded people, however, and you will find their optimism to be infectious. If, according the law of averages, we are the average of the five people we spend the majority of our time with, what does that make you?

 7. In the words of Ghandi, be the change. When you are positive with others around you, supporting their goals, making for a more positively charged training environment, caring about your teammates, you cannot help be become more positive with yourself. Seeing the positive within you comes with seeing the positive in others. The effects of this may seem simple, but they are profound. When you choose to be the catalyst for creating a positive environment in training, and when you and your teammates encourage one another and foster an environment that pushes everyone to succeed, everybody wins.

train and run a 5K with us

Editor’s Note: For OKC Metro area women; we are happy to partner with Metro Family Magazine for another #StrongTogether project using our sofa2success 5K program. The goal race will be October 18th Komen Race for The Cure 5K. We provide all the training and as much motivation/inspiration as we can, you provide some time to come out and get started. They say the first step is the most difficult, but we provide a happy, safe and structured environment to get you going! Hope to see you soon. All details will be on our Facebook.com/runhers page.

The question, what is preventing you from being healthier and happier? Maybe you just aren’t sure how to get started … or re-started? Sofa2success can help you get that ‘feel good’ energy back. Taking that first step can transform you and restore your confidence/energy to live happier and healthier. Truth is, a healthy you is the best you! You’ll be in good company as well, with about 13 million women regularly hitting the road, trail, or treadmill, according to a report by the Sports & Fitness Industry Association.

The supportive women at runhers are here to help you get started or back on track toward a more rewarding lifestyle. We can help train you to run or walk in a 5K (3.1 mile) event. It’s easy to get going – we provide a plan, a certified coach, all the education you may need, and lots of motivation. You provide the first step by coming out and following the plan… and as we move ahead together, your confidence, energy and spirit will grow! Completing a 5K is a great accomplishment and you can continue on your journey to a healthier, happier you. The best you!

You may be asking… why should I be thinking about taking up running or walking in this training group?

  • The accountability and camaraderie: You’ll get to know many other women in the training group and be able support and encourage each other! We are all in this together.
  • The simplicity of it! It’s so simple to start! All you need is some comfortable clothing you can move in and some decent athletic footwear, and your off and running! You can run or walk any day and time you want.
  • Everyone can participate! Running is the most inclusive of all activities. You don’t have to have a special athletic talent to do it. You just lace up the sneakers and get moving at your own pace. Want to get faster or go longer? We can help you with all of that – safety tips, training schedules, group runs and all the support you need are all here at runhers women’s association. You can run or walk for fitness, to socialize or even compete in races.
  • Anytime – anywhere – any duration: You can be just about anywhere and get a run and/or
  • Fun Events – Worthy Causes: The beauty of running and walking is that you can run in solitude one day, with your training/social group the next and then run an event with anywhere from 300 to 40,000 other participants on any given weekend! How exhilarating!
  • Before Starting

    Before starting a 5K training program, it is highly advised that you should make sure you are healthy enough to undertake the training. This 5K training should not be taken lightly. Consult your medical professional to ensure you are ready for this important next step!

    We will be issuing a schedule with locations for the 8 week program. We are meeting up every Saturday morning with Coach to do the miles/minutes as a group. Coach will be providing education and answering any questions before the runs/walks; including proper warm-up, running/walking drills stretching techniques, some laughs and motivation.

    Notes:

    XT means to cross train. This could be any other activity to help body, mind and spirit! You could do some core work, or light stretching, upper body workout, yoga or any activity you enjoy. Mix it up, experiment and listen to your body.

    Easy Runs and Walk/Runs

    This means running totally comfortable and controlled. When running alone or with your runhers training partner or group, you should be able to converse easily. You’ll likely feel as if you could go faster. Don’t. There is always time in the future to go faster or longer if that becomes your goal. For now, just building a ‘base’ level of running or run/walking fitness is what you are after. You can also do walk/runs where you may start with 1 minute of easy running with 2 – 3 minutes of brisk walking; repeating this for the duration. Experiment with the mix of walk/run minute until you feel comfortable with it.

    Rest

    Rest is always important. Make one day a rest day where you really are resting up from training. You need to make sure your muscles are well rested as you progress and grow though the training program. Rest and recovery doesn’t always mean doing nothing, you can do some like stretching or other light physical activity. Your body will begin telling you what it needs as you develop a better relationship with it!

    About sofa2success

    sofa2success© is being developed into a complete series for women that will include the 5K training and other fitness programs, nutrition tips, easy to prepare healthy recipes, other lifestyle tips, as well as a guide to balancing all the things that can make life very stressful. All in all – we will use the sofa2success program as a lifestyle guide that you can use as a reference anytime you need it. Our website and Facebook and Twitter feeds will offer daily lifestyle tips, food and nutrition news, shopping, events and forums of all kinds to help keep you active and happy! We have an advisory group of accomplished people from many disciplines to ensure that we provide you with the best evidenced based information. We also have humorists, to keep the scientists/professionals from getting too serious! We have to have fun!

    what the heck is piloxing

    Editor’s Note:  We are one a never ending quest to discover new things.  Trends in exercise, fashion, entertainment, art and architecture are just some of the things we are constantly curious about.  Of course, you can add all things health and happiness to that too!  If you have some interesting topic that you think we should be learning about and sharing – please contact us.   Our feature here is on the topic of piloxing, a new exercise program that Staci Patton is now teaching!  Take it away Staci! 

    runhers:  Hey Staci

    Staci: Well, hello there!

    runhers:  So, being on top of many trends, styles and other cool things, you found a new way to move your body?

    Staci:  I have! Through my friend in LA, who is a Master Trainer for the company, I came across PILOXING. It is quickly growing! We have certified instructors worldwide!

    runhers: Can you give us a little background on where/how Piloxing began, it’s a very cool name!

    Staci:  Of course. PILOXING started in LA about 5 years ago. The creator, Viveca Jensen, is a Swedish-born professional dancer, trained boxer and Pilates instructor. Viveca has a Pilates studio in Burbank, where she trains all sorts of people, including celebrity clients. She took her favorite disciplines and created a fusion built in an interval setting, which is the best way to get cardio and burn fat. The class is one hour long, and includes a warm up, class portion with boxing, Pilates, and dance.  Then we move to the floor to work on butt and abs before cooling down. The best part of the class is it doesn’t feel like you’ve been working out for an hour!

    runhers: What kind of a workout can people expect when they come to a Piloxing session?

    Staci: A fun, fast-paced and challenging workout! PILOXING is bare foot training, which really engages your core for the balanced movements. It also helps strengthen your feet. (Hello runhers!) We wear weighted gloves that are a half-pound a piece, which is the weight of a boxing glove. Incorporating bare foot training and the weighted gloves really helps get the most out of the class. The gloves especially add to the toning aspect in the arms, as well as increasing the heart rate for the duration of the class. I typically burn around 600 calories during the class. Since it is interval training, your metabolism gets kicked into high gear and continues to burn for up to twelve hours after you are done. Bare foot training and the weighted gloves are completely optional though.

    runhers: Do you have to bring  level of fitness or skill set to begin doing Piloxing?

    Staci:  Not necessarily. Depending on where each person is in their fitness journey, PILOXING can be modified for them. It’s about moving, sweating and having a good time while doing so. The first class is always going to be the hardest. Most of the women who have taken my class claim to not be coordinated, but I disagree! Because it is a cardio workout, some may take more frequent breaks than others, which is perfectly fine. And for the fitness junkies, I am still challenged by the workout every time I do it. You can always amp up or tone down your own intensity.

    runhers:  Do the workouts change often?  Or will I do pretty much the same workout at different intensity?

    Staci: I play with different music each week. The choreography will change somewhat. PILOXING has what we call signature blocks, so no matter where you take a class there will be some familiarity to it. However, as a member in the PILOXING Instructor Association, I receive new choreography every quarter to keep things fresh! In each class we will do four boxing blocks, four Pilates blocks and three dance blocks. Each one is different, so no block is repeated during the class.

    runhers: What else should I know about Piloxing?

    Staci: PILOXING is so fun! We don’t take ourselves seriously. We shake our booties while getting fit! Fitness should include workouts you really enjoy, and since PILOXING is so core focused, it makes for great cross training for runners. Oh, and we always end each class with the PILOXING mantra, which is SLEEK, SEXY, POWERFUL! I always leave feeling empowered and strong!

    runhers:  Well, thank you for sharing, we are coming to try it out!

    Staci: Thank you for helping me spread the PILOXING love! Please do! I teach at Body Language in Edmond on Wednesday nights at 6. I would love to introduce everyone to my favorite workout! If anyone would like more info or has any questions for me I can be reached at staciq@me.com.

     

    your place to begin… or begin again

    Editor’s Note:  Through our own research, we’ve found that many women are simply terrified of getting started.  Even terrified of visiting a running or athletic store, or even a gym.   All the questions that cloud your brain, all the doubts, the “what ifs” and “I’ll embarrass myself” self talk.   Do you remember that line from We Bought a Zoo? Benjamin promised, “You know, sometimes all you need is twenty seconds of insane courage. Just literally twenty seconds of just embarrassing bravery. And I promise you, something great will come of it.”

    We call that stepping out of your comfort zone, even a little.  We know that is where real growth and strength come from.  We need the challenges, as fearful as they seem at the beginning.  That’s why we designed and continue to improve our sofa2success program.  Please look this program over and let one of our directors know if we can start a group for you, your company or organization.  Getting started is always the hardest part! 

    5K sofa2success program

    The question, what is preventing you from being healthier and happier?  Maybe you just aren’t sure how to get started … or re-started?  Sofa2success can help you get that ‘feel good’ energy back.  Taking that first step can transform you and restore your confidence/energy to live happier and healthier.  Truth is, a healthy you is the best you!

    The supportive women at runhers are here to help you get started or back on track toward a more rewarding lifestyle.  We can help train you to run or walk in a 5K (3.1 mile) event.  It’s easy to get going – we provide a plan, a certified coach, all the education you may need, and lots of motivation.  You provide the first step by coming out and following the plan … and as we move ahead together, your confidence, energy and spirit will grow!  Completing a 5K is a great accomplishment and you can continue on your journey to a healthier, happier you.  The best you!

    You may be asking … why should I be thinking about taking up running or walking in this training group?

    • The accountability and camaraderie:  You’ll get to know many other women in the training group and be able support and encourage each other!  We are all in this together.
    • The simplicity of it!  It’s so simple to start!  All you need is some comfortable clothing you can move in and some decent athletic footwear, and your off and running!  You can run or walk any day and time you want.
    • Everyone can participate!  Running is the most inclusive of all activities.  You don’t have to have a special athletic talent to do it.  You just lace up the sneakers and get moving at your own pace.  Want to get faster or go longer?  We can help you with all of that – safety tips, training schedules, group runs and all the support you need are all here at runhers women’s association.  You can run or walk for fitness, to socialize or even compete in races.
    • Anytime – anywhere – any duration.  You can be just about anywhere and get a run and/or walk in.  In your own neighborhood, the many great parks and trail systems in most cities.  Every little bit adds up!   Even short 10 – 15 minute walks or runs have proven to be VERY beneficial for your spirit and your health!
    • Affordability!  No monthly health club membership dues.  No contracts.  No fancy, space-hogging equipment.  All you really need is a decent pair of running shoes and some clothing appropriate for the weather conditions and you’re ready to run or walk!
    • Fun Events – Worthy Causes  The beauty of running and walking is that you can run in solitude one day, with your training/social group the next and then run an event with anywhere from 300 to 40,000 other participants on any given weekend !  How exhilarating!

    Before Starting

    Before starting a 5K training program, it is highly advised that you should make sure you are healthy enough to undertake the training.  This 5K training should not be taken lightly.  Consult your medical professional to ensure you are ready for this important next step!

    Beginner 5K Training Program (Walk or Run)

    Week

    Monday

    Tuesday

    Wednesday

    Thursday

    Friday

    Saturday

    Sunday

    1

    Rest

    15 minutes easy

    XT or rest

    20 minutes

    XT or rest

    1.5 miles easy

    XT or rest

    2

    Rest

    20 minutes easy

    XT or rest

    20 minutes

    XT or rest

    20 -30 min easy

    XT or rest

    3

    Rest

    20 minutes easy

    XT or rest

    20 minutes

    XT or rest

    2.5 miles or 30 mins

    XT or rest

    4

    Rest

    20 minutes easy

    XT or rest

    20 minutes

    XT or rest

    2.5 miles or 30 mins

    XT or rest

    5

    Rest

    2 miles

    easy

    XT or rest

    20 minutes

    XT or rest

    30 – 40 minutes

    XT or rest

    6

    Rest

    2 miles easy

    XT or rest

    25 minutes

    XT or rest

    3 miles

    XT or rest

    7

    Rest

    2.5 miles easy

    XT or rest

    25 minutes

    XT or rest

    45 mins or 3 miles

    XT or rest

    8

    Rest

    2.5 miles easy

    XT or rest

    25 minutes

    XT or rest

    5K

    Rest!

    We will be issuing a schedule with locations for the 8 week program.  We are meeting up every Saturday morning with Coach to do the miles/minutes as a group.  Coach will be providing education and answering any questions before the runs/walks; including proper warm-up, running/walking drills stretching techniques, some laughs and motivation.

    Note:  XT means to cross train.  This could be any other activity to help body, mind and spirit!  You could do some core work, or light stretching, upper body workout, yoga or any activity you enjoy.  Mix it up, experiment and listen to your body.

    Easy Runs and Walk/Runs This means running totally comfortable and controlled.  When running alone or with your runhers training partner or group, you should be able to converse easily. You’ll likely feel as if you could go faster.  Don’t.  There is always time in the future to go faster or longer if that becomes your goal.  For now, just building a ‘base’ level of running or run/walking fitness is what you are after.  You can also do walk/runs where you may start with 1 minute of easy running with 2 – 3 minutes of brisk walking; repeating this for the duration.  Experiment with the mix of walk/run minute until you feel comfortable with it.

    Rest Rest is always important.  Make one day a rest day where you really are resting up from training.  You need to make sure your muscles are well rested as you progress and grow though the training program.  Rest and recovery doesn’t always mean doing nothing, you can do some like stretching or other light physical activity.  Your body will begin telling you what it needs as you develop a better relationship with it!

    About sofa2success

    sofa2success© is being developed into a complete series for women that will include the 5K training and other fitness programs, nutrition tips,  easy to prepare healthy recipes, other lifestyle tips, as well as a guide to balancing all the things that can make life very stressful.  All in all – we will use the sofa2success program as a lifestyle guide that you can use as a reference anytime you need it.  Our website and Facebook and Twitter feeds will offer daily lifestyle tips, food and nutrition news, shopping, events and forums of all kinds to help keep you active and happy!  We have an advisory group of accomplished people from many disciplines to ensure that we provide you with the best evidenced based information.  We also have humorists, to keep the scientists/professionals from getting too serious!  We have to have fun!

     

    runhers.com   |   facebook.com/runhers   |   Twitter @runhers

    sofa2success kicks off in OKC


    We are very excited to be partnering with OKC’s Metro Family Magazine and the 32nd Annual Redbud Classic for this exciting 5K beginner sofa2sucess project.  This year’s RedBud Class is scheduled for April 6th, 2014.  The training is free of charge and open to everyone!  You can register at http://www.metrofamilymagazine.com/Web-2013/Metrofamilys-Redbud-Classic-5K-Sign-Up-Form/

     

    Here is a breakdown of how the program will work:

    • Training will begin on Monday, February 10, 2014 and will run for 8 consecutive weeks.
    • MetroFamily will send you an email on Sunday night with your training program to follow for the coming week. The training program is based on runhers popular “Sofa2Success” program and will guide you each step of the way. At the end of the 8 weeks, you will be ready to run or walk the Redbud Classic 5K on Sunday, April 6, 2014.
    • Your first training email will be sent on Sunday, February 9th—so get your running shoes ready!
    • The training program will be administered by runhers Coach Sara McCauley. Learn more about Sara below.
    • In addition to the training emails, MetroFamily will also be featuring blogs by four local moms (Carrie, Serena, Rachel and Alicia) as they progress through the training program.  You can read about their efforts, receive inspiration and tips and follow along as they prepare for the 5K right along with you.
    • We will host welcome and informational meetings for everyone participating in the program on February 1st at 10am and again on Wednesday, February 5th at 6pm.  Both meetings will be held at The Belle Isle Library, 5501 N Villa Ave, in Oklahoma City.  This will allow you to meet Coach Sara, ask questions, meet other participating moms and get pumped up about this training program.  We hope you will be able to join us—it will be fun!

    In the meantime, be sure to register for the Redbud Classic at www.redbud.org and consider joining the runhers women’s association for additional information and support (runhers.com)

    Here is a welcome from Coach Sara:

    Hey Ladies!

     My name is “Coach Sara” and we are honored to be working with MetroFamily Magazine and all of you as we train for the 2014 RedBud Classic in April.  I head up the training programs at runhers women’s association, headquartered here in Oklahoma City.  I am a nationally certified RRCA Running Coach and a NASM Certified Personal Trainer.  I am excited to work with you all and see you through this fun endeavor. We will meet up soon to discuss details and answer any training questions or concerns you may have!  Congratulations on making this commitment, you will inspire many through your training.  Looking forward to meeting you all!

     Coach Sara

    We look forward to training with you—and hope to meet you in person at one of our welcome events!

     

    spring training 2014

    Editor’s Note: Happy New Year ladies! We are very excited to work with you and see you moving forward towards your goals! For you ladies who are starting or re-starting a running and/or walking routine, being healthy and happy is a lifestyle, not a quick fix. You’ll see results and feel much better taking small steps every day toward a more active lifestyle.

    Here are a few tried-and-true tips on setting and adjusting goals:
    · Check with your health care provider before starting a fitness or wellness program.

    · Be honest with yourself. Accept yourself as you are and where you are. Ask yourself, “What is my ideal happy, healthy lifestyle?”

    · Review the past year and make a new list. What worked? What failed? Why? What can I build on? What should I let go? What were my best and worst decisions? Have some fun with it and use humor; it helps!

    · Make time to fully focus on the new goals. You want to get momentum going forward and keep it – building on small improvements and small victories, because they will add up.

    · Be flexible. If you want to run a marathon, you have to build a base of miles over time. You can’t just wake up and run 26.2 miles. The same is true for most goals. You have to take responsibility for your life, health and happiness. Change doesn’t always come quickly or easily.

    That’s life – there is never a direct path to success. It’s a journey and an adventure. Develop your sense of humor and your improvisation skills! Let’s make it happen! 

    Beginning Half Marathon (13.1 miles) Training 

    Let’s Begin!

    If you are considering a half marathon – you probably already know that a running workout is a great calorie crusher, mood enhancer and has many other benefits.  You don’t have to be a maniac runner to reap all the many benefits!  Stepping up to a half marathon is awesome for women, so awesome in fact that nationally women represent about 65% or more of the participants in half marathons around the country!  The most important thing is to have fun with it and make it your lifestyle!  So, let’s begin!

    Before Starting

    Before starting a half marathon training program, you should make sure you are healthy enough to undertake the training.  The half marathon training should not be taken lightly.  Consult your medical professional to ensure you are ready for this important next step!  You should be able to run comfortably for at least 30 – 45 minutes before beginning a half marathon 16 week training plan.
     

    Recommended 14 Week Beginner Half Marathon Training Program

    * Saturday and Sunday “long runs” may be either day – with the other day being a rest day.

    ** XT is cross training which can include biking, core workouts, upper body workouts, yoga, pilates, stretching, etc.

    Tips & Terms

    The following is the running terminology used for training – obviously, the more experience you have – the more training options and speed/track workouts you will use for form, technique and conditioning.

    Easy Runs

    This means running totally comfortable and controlled.  When running alone or with your runhers training partner or group, you should be able to converse easily. You’ll likely feel as if you could go faster. Don’t. Here’s some incentive to take it easy: You’ll still burn about 100 calories for every mile that you run.

    Walking & Taking Breaks

    If you feel the need to walk or take a break in your long run or during any of your training runs, by all means do so.  Since you are just beginning the half marathon, with finishing as your goal, just listen to what your body is telling you.

    Long Runs and/or LSD (Long, Slow Distance)

    These are any steady run at or longer than race distance designed to enhance endurance, which enables you to run longer and longer and feel strong doing it. A great long-run tip: Find a weekly training partner around your pace and ability for this one.   You’ll have time to chat about anything that comes up.

    Speedwork

    This means bursts of running shorter than race distance, some at your race goal pace, some faster. This improves cardiac strength, biomechanical efficiency, running economy, and the psychological toughness that racing demands.

    Race Day Rules

    Run slower than you feel like you should be running over the first 6 – 7 miles. Look around; chat a bit with those around you. And walk if you need to through the aid stations, drink fluids, take a little break, then resume your running.

     

     

     

     

    december commitment challenge

    by: Sara McCauley

    It’s that time of the year!  There is no denying; holiday season is upon us, and in full force.  Our schedule becomes full of events, shopping, celebrating AND eating.  That means more stress overall, and less time to spend working out. There is no “best time” to commit to a new fitness plan, however, you can make a commitment to the best out of each season or situation.  Time doesn’t always allow for a full gym workout or a long run, BUT I know you can fit in something each day, even if it is 5 minutes!  When it comes to moving your body, something is always better than nothing.  I put together a schedule for the month of December that includes short workouts that you can do anywhere at any time. You can follow the calendar exactly and take the guess work out, or you can pick choose an item from the checklist each day.  The Holidays can be trying, so, you owe it to yourself to make some “me” time.  Make the commitment and join me for the December Commitment Challenge!  You will be happy you did come January!

    The numbers coincide with the December calendar dates!  Have fun and Enjoy the Season!
    1.       10 minute stretch
    2.       50 pushups – 50 star jumps
    3.       20 minute fartlek run
    4.       40 jumping jacks, 40 jump squats, 40 jump lunges
    5.       100 pile squats, 20 half squat, 20 full, 20 half with heel raise, 20 full with heel raise, 20 pulses
    6.       5 minute wall sit (take short breaks to complete)
    7.       7 miles run or walk (or your distance)
    8.       yoga stretch
    9.       HIIT 40/20/4 high knees 40 seconds, rest for 20 seconds, plank jack 40 seconds, rest 20 seconds,    complete 4 rounds of each.
    10.   60 single leg deadlifts
    11.   100 crunches, 20 slow crunches, 20 right, 20 left, 20 bicycle, 20 butterfly
    12.   100 Lunges,  20 alternating front, 20 alternating back, 20 right, 20 left, 20 jump lunges
    13.   5 minute plank variations, high, low, side, legs lifted, arms lifted (break as needed)
    14.   5 mile run or walk (or your distance)
    15.   park furthest away from store to add in extra walking every time you go to the store.
    16.   running in place, squat jacks, sit-ups, 1 minute of each, 3 rounds total
    17.   200 mountain climbers
    18.   2 burpees, 2 leg lifts, repeat 4,6,8,10
    19.   60 superman extension up to a high plank
    20.   100 Vups, modify as needed
    21.   30 – 60 minute run or walk
    22.   foam roll your tight overused muscles
    23.   booty Burner, 50 alternating back lunges, 50 front lunges to balance, 50 single leg decline bridges (use a step or couch)
    24.   run 1 – 3+ mile run, make time for yourself, do a few laps in your neighborhood, get some fresh air!
    25.   Take the family for a walk or run, start a family tradition
    26.   step it up!  use a stair, chair or a study bench, 1 min of each: alternating step ups, step up to balance 1min each side, side step up to leg lift each leg, jump ups(box jump)
    27.   plank jumps: 20 of each repeating twice.  front: high plank position, jump feet in together, Right: jump feet to the side then to the center, left jumps, in & out: start with feet together, jump them out wide then back in.
    28.   30 – 60 minute run or walk  
    29.   ab burner: 20 frog crunches, 20 bicycle crunches, 20 leg lifts, 20 side plank with dips, each side, low plank with hip dip 20 each, high plank with leg ext 20 each, 2 min low plank hold
    30.   tabata squat variations 20/10/8: 20 secs of each squat, 10 secs of rest, 8 variations of squats. Wide squats, side to side squats, squat jumps, split squat(each leg counts as 1), squat jacks, chair pose, squat pulses
    31.   Firecracker: 50 jumping jacks, 20 star jumps, 20 plyo pushups, 20 explosive jump lunges, 20 back lunge to high jump each leg, 50 jumping jacks

    Here are some additional challenges for anytime you need a boost!  

    • fast pace laps around the mall before shopping
    • 10 pushups for every glass of eggnog
    • 100 push up challenge (can be throughout the day)
    • 1 mile run time yourself, try to beat your time next time
    • take the stairs everywhere you have the opportunity
    • 20 Squats every time you check your facebook on your phone
    • 20 second plank for every gift you wrap
    • alphabet abs: lay flat on your back, lift your legs off the ground, feet together “draw” the alphabet with your feet

     

    july wednesday workouts

    Editor’s Note:  We know how much you like Coach Sara’s Wednesday Workouts, so, we thought we’d put all of them up for July.  You can copy and print them out or come back here anytime you think you need one of these cool workouts.  It’s nice to that you can do them anywhere and you don’t need equipment to get going.  If you are having trouble with any of them, modify, work around or just do pieces, but keep going and keep trying! 

    July 3, 2013 – Full Body

    This workout is geared towards strengthening the muscles that benefit runners the most, our hips, glutes and core.   Add this to your daily run or if you want to make it your entire workout just add in another round for each set. These are basic moves, but when performed at a slower, controlled tempo they will keep you challenged with your muscles begging for mercy!

    • Lunge to Balance 15 each side
    • Wide Side Squat 10 each side
    • High Plank with Hip Extension 15 each side
    • Repeat Once
    • Single Leg Hip Bridge 10 each side
    • Side Hop (feet move together) 10 each side
    • Ice Skaters 10 each side
    • Repeat Once
    • Low Plank Hold 30 seconds or until form fails
    • V-up Crunch 15 total
    • Side Plank with Dip 10 each side
    • Repeat Once

    July 10, 2013 – Calf/Ankle/Inner Thigh

    If you’ve run long enough or been around enough runners, you’ll hear the calf injury stories – or tell some yourself!  Calf and achilles issues are very common but the work to prevent these injuries is often neglected.  These exercises will help build strength in your ankles, calves and legs – as well as increase balance for running on uneven surfaces.

    • 3 Point Lunge to Balance 15 (step on a pillow for additional challenge) 
    • 3 Point Lunge to Balance –switch sides 15
    • Single Leg Calf Raise 15 (slow tempo, keep good balance)
    • Negative Calf Raise 15 (slow tempo, use a step or place a book under your toes)
    • Repeat 1-2 more times
    • Pile Squat 15
    • Pile Squat with Calf Raise 15
    • Pile Squat w/ Calf Raise Pulse 10 seconds
    • Alternating Curtsy Lunge 30 Total
    • Repeat 1-2 more times
    • Stretch
    • Wall Stretch
    • Adductor Stretch
    • Foam Roll Calves, and Adductors

    July 17, 2013- The Keep-You-Guessing Workout

    This workout is designed for those who prefer shorter distance running or simply just get bored quickly. It can be done with a treadmill, in your neighborhood or your favorite trail.  You will start off slow in the beginning as your warm up and gradually increase intensity with each set.  It combines a little bit of everything for an entire body workout that’s sure to keep you on your toes (literally) while getting your heart pumping!

    • 5 min easy jog or walk
    • 20 seconds of Alternating Lunges, Push Ups, High Plank
    • 5 minute medium run
    • 30 seconds of Alternating Lunges, Push Ups, Mountain Climbers
    • 3 Minute Fast Run
    • 40 seconds of In and Out Squats, Tricep Dips, High Plank Knee to Elbow Crunches
    • 2 Minute Sprint
    • 20 Seconds Alternating Lunges, Tricep Push Ups, Plank Jacks
    • 1 Minute Full Sprint
    • 5 minute cool down walk or jog

    July 24, 2013 – Plyometrics

    Plyometric exercises are explosive movements performed as quickly as possible in a short period of time.  The goal is to build strength and increase speed by utilizing fast twitch muscles.  Add this workout to your weekly routine in addition to or as your cross training day.  It is more of an advanced workout and you should have a good strength base before “jumping” right in to it.  Start slow and increase intensity and sets as you become stronger.

    • Warm Up: 1 minute of each
    • High Knees
    • Butt Kicks
    • Jumping Jacks
    • Alternating Lunges
    • Squats

    Perform each exercise aiming for as many reps as possible in 30 seconds, for the 2nd round increase to 45 seconds and 3rd round 1 minute. Log your results and try to increase your reps each time you perform this workout.

    • Jump Squats
    • Box Jump or Tuck Jumps
    • Plank Jacks (jumping both arms and feet in & out)
    • Jump Lunges
    • Ice Skaters
    • Burpees
    • STRETCH and Drink lots of water!

    July 31, 2013 – Full Body Blast

    Today’s workout is a combination of a little bit of everything for a FULL BODY BLAST!  Perform each set 1-2 times as a compliment to your run – or complete each set 3 times for a full workout.  Remember, if it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you.

    • 15 Pushups
    • 15 Prisoner Squats
    • 5 Full Burpees(chest to the ground)
    • Repeat for 3 total reps
    • 15 Tricep Dips
    • 15 Sumo Squats
    • 5 Full Burpees
    • Repeat for 3 total reps
    • 15 Plank Jacks
    • 10 Vup Crunches
    • 5 Full Burpees
    • Repeat for 3 total reps

    Enjoy these workouts and do them often!  Peace out!

    playground fitness

    The weather is warming up, kids are out for summer fun and you will be around the parks and playground more. You may have less “you” time to fit in long workouts at the gym, but that doesn’t mean you still can’t get it in a good muscle burn, you just have to get creative and think outside the (sand)box!So while you are out letting the kids play or around the running trails here are a few ways to add in some strength work also.

    Don’t worry about the crazy looks … every extra step counts so put the phone down, have your kids join in and get to work!  Play time is the best time!

    The Workout:

    Squats

    Mountain Climbers

    Stationary Lunge (right leg)

    Stationary Lunge (left leg)

    Plank Hold

    Step Up to Balance (right leg)

    Step Up to Balance (left leg)

    Hanging Leg Lifts

    Bonus: Pull Ups (10)

    Perform each exercise for 30 seconds, for a total of 2-3 sets. Once you master 30 seconds, progress to 45 or 60 seconds. Rest for 1 minute before starting a new set.

    Squat

    Start with your feet hip width apart, toes pointed straight and squat down to the width of a chair. Use a bench as a guide if needed.

    .

    Mountain Climber

    Start in a push up position, hands should width apart, shoulder over your hands, back flat. Drive one knee into your chest at a time. Increase your tempo as your progress. Keep your abs tight. To modify the movement use the bench as a guide. To progress the move, add in a push up after each movement.

    .

    Stationary Lunge

    Step with one foot forward, keep your shoulders back and slowly lower your back knee down. Keep your centered and avoid leaning forward. As a progression use a bench or step to elevate your back leg.

    .

    Plank Hold

    Start in a push up position, hands slightly wider than shoulder width apart, shoulders over your hands, toes on the ground and hips straight, level with shoulders. Squeeze your abs tight, hold while maintaining good form with a neutral spine. Modification: place hands on a bench while toes stay on the ground. Progression (as pictured): elevate feet and place hands on the ground.

    .

    Step Up to Balance

    Start with both feet on the ground, step up with your right foot and slowly raise your left knee up to a balance, holding for 2 seconds before lowering. Progression: increase tempo for a quick step back. Keep your core and glutes tight to assist with balance and form.

    .

    Hanging Leg Lifts

    Find a stable bar; start with your hands slightly wider than shoulder width apart. While firmly griping the bar, bring your legs together, core tight and slowly raise knees to your stomach. Control the movement as your bring your legs down. Try to stay stable, no swinging. Progression(as pictured): keep legs straight and raise as high as possible.

    .

    Pull Ups

    Pull ups utilize many muscle groups in your upper body and core but can be very difficult in the beginning. Use a bar that is low enough for your feet to closely tough the ground. Start with an underhand grip, shoulder width apart. With a firm grip, engage your core and raise your body off the ground using your entire upper body and keep elbows close to your side. Control the movement as you lower. To progress bring your grip further away from your body, as strength increases switch to an overhand wide grip.

    .

    Hope you enjoy your playground fun!  Playgrounds are designed for kids from 2 to 102 – you just have to use your imagination!

    demystifying the food label

    Editor’s Note:  We recently received an e-mail from Cheryl M. in Little Rock, “I’ve recently started your Sofa2Success  program, and I am wondering if you’ll be adding more information on how to select the best food to go along with my increased activity?”

    We always say it’s the little things that make the big difference.  With food labels it’s no different.  Once we know and understand the basics, we can navigate the endless choices that are presented to us at the grocery stores.  If you are not familiar with all the information presented on food labels, this article is for you.  We’ll be doing another article on ingredients/additives as well as the advertising claims some companies make versus the real nutrition facts soon. You will laugh out loud at some of the claims!  Please be thoughtful about what fuel you put in you and your family’s bodies!  The more you know …   

    Article Via:  American Heart Association

    Learning how to read and understand food labels can help you make healthier food choices.

    Here are some tips for making the most of the information on the Nutrition Facts label.


    Start here. Note the size of a single serving and how many servings are in the package.

    Check total calories per serving. Look at the serving size and how many servings you’re really consuming. If you double the servings you eat, you double the calories and nutrients, including the Percent Daily Value (% DV).

    Limit these nutrients. Remember, you need to limit your total fat to no more than 56–78 grams a day — including no more than 16 grams of saturated fat, less than two grams of trans fat, and less than 300 mg cholesterol (for a 2,000 calorie diet).

    Get enough of these nutrients. Make sure you get 100 percent of the fiber, vitamins and other nutrients you need every day.

    Quick guide to % DV. The % DV section tells you the percent of each nutrient in a single serving, in terms of the daily recommended amount. As a guide, if you want to consume less of a nutrient (such as saturated fat, cholesterol or sodium), choose foods with a lower % DV — 5 percent or less is low. If you want to consume more of a nutrient (such as fiber), seek foods with a higher % DV — 20 percent or more is high.

    Here are more tips for getting as much health information as possible from the Nutrition Facts label:

    • Remember that the information shown in these panels is based on 2,000 calories a day. You may need to consume less or more than 2,000 calories depending upon your age, gender, activity level, and whether you’re trying to lose, gain or maintain your weight. Find out your personal daily limits on My Fats Translator (http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/GettingHealthy/FatsAndOils/Fats101/My-Fats-Translator_UCM_428869_Article.jsp(  In general, as you think about the amount of calories in a food per serving, remember that for a 2,000-calorie diet:
      • 40 calories per serving is considered low;
      • 100 calories per serving is considered moderate; and
      • 400 calories or more per serving is considered high.
    • There is no % DV shown for trans fat on the panel because the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not have enough scientific information to set this value. We recommend eating less than 20 calories or (less than two grams of trans fat) a day – that’s less than 1 percent of your total daily calories (for a 2,000-calorie-a-day diet).
    • When the Nutrition Facts panel says the food contains “0 g” of trans fat, it means the food contains less than 0.5 grams of trans fat per serving.
    • When the Nutrition Facts label says a food contains “0 g” of trans fat, but includes “partially hydrogenated oil” in the ingredient list, it means the food contains trans fat, but less than 0.5 grams of trans fat per serving. So, if you eat more than one serving, you could quickly reach your daily limit of trans fat.

    In addition to the Nutrition Facts label, a lot of foods today also come with nutrient content claims provided by the manufacturer. These claims are typically featured in ads for the foods or in the promotional copy on the food packages themselves. They are strictly defined by the FDA. The chart below provides some of the most commonly used nutrient content claims, along with a detailed description of what the claim means.

     

    If a food claims to be… It means that one serving of the product contains…
    Calorie free Less than 5 calories
    Sugar free Less than 0.5 grams of sugar
    Fat
    Fat free Less than 0.5 grams of fat
    Low fat 3 grams of fat or less
    Reduced fat or less fat At least 25 percent less fat than the regular product
    Low in saturated fat 1 gram of saturated fat or less, with not more than 15 percent of the calories coming from saturated fat
    Lean Less than 10 grams of fat, 4.5 grams of saturated fat and 95 milligrams of cholesterol
    Extra lean Less than 5 grams of fat, 2 grams of saturated fat and 95 milligrams of cholesterol
    Light (lite) At least one-third fewer calories or no more than half the fat of the regular product, or no more than half the sodium of the regular product
    Cholesterol
    Cholesterol free Less than 2 milligrams of cholesterol and 2 grams (or less) of saturated fat
    Low cholesterol 20 or fewer milligrams of cholesterol and 2 grams or less of saturated fat
    Reduced cholesterol At least 25 percent less cholesterol than the regular product and 2 grams or less of saturated fat
    Sodium
    Sodium free or no sodium Less than 5 milligrams of sodium and no sodium chloride in ingredients
    Very low sodium 35 milligrams or less of sodium
    Low sodium 140 milligrams or less of sodium
    Reduced or less sodium At least 25 percent less sodium than the regular product
    Fiber
    High fiber 5 grams or more of fiber

    If you can’t remember the definitions of all of the terms, don’t worry.  You can use these general guidelines instead:

    • “Free” means a food has the least possible amount of the specified nutrient.
    • “Very Low” and “Low” means the food has a little more than foods labeled “Free.”
    • “Reduced” or “Less” mean the food has 25 percent less of a specific nutrient than the regular version of the food.