Tag Archives: crossfit

3 Things I’m Loving Right Now

Tuesday isn’t the usual day for Favorites but who’s counting?  I’m loving these three things right now and got a little Monday excited to share.  Here they are!

Shoes.  I picked up a pair of Saucony Zealot ISO 2s last month and am really liking them right right nownow.  It took a few miles to adjust to all of the cushioning.  At first I felt like my gait was a little funky and the shoes themselves were a little clunky or heavy.  I definitely lose some feel of the ground in them but the comfort level is a nice trade off.

The cushioning makes them a great long run shoe while the 4mm drop doesn’t take away from the amount of work my legs have to do.  Winning!  I don’t think I’ll race in them since they’re so heavy but I do right nowlook forward to continuing to train in them.

Games.  I’m a nerd.  I Lumosity regularly and have a daily Sudoku calendar.  Yes, I even let a week pile up then complete them.  That said, I was excited to find this oldie when I went to clean out a closet.  A present from Mom and Dad way too long ago, I’ve toted it around for years.  I’m excited to be back working at it.  Rush Hour presents a tactile brain challenge that doesn’t force me to stare right nowat a computer screen.  Perfect.

Fitness.  With marathon training kicking off next week, I’m ready to be back in the gym.  That sounds backwards doesn’t it?  I like the challenge of Crossfit as a compliment to my running and enjoy the workouts.  I am careful to not let my strength training have a negative effect on my important runs.  That’s why I avoided this one.  Even though I didn’t participate in the super hard WOD, it felt great to be back with my friends for the EOD 131 Memorial Workout Saturday.  Bring on the cleans and burpees!

Meredith

What are you loving right now?  Any new shoes or workouts?

Fit Friday: Overtraining Syndrome

Overtraining syndrome is a scary thing.  It can creep up without any notice, especially on us runners, and wreck a training season.  I’m pretty sure I’ve been close to suffering from it but with a few extra days off after feeling crappy I managed to bail myself out.  Not everyone is so lucky.  Here are a few ways to avoid this dreaded injury.

First, let’s see what overtraining syndrome is.  It occurs when the body is exercised at a frequency and intensity that exceed its recovery time.  How can you tell if you’re over training?  You might become exhausted without any explanation, stall out in both strength and cardiovascular gains or start seeing other, more serious, injuries like stress fractures.  Feeling sluggish after a workout instead of energized and having disrupted sleep patterns are also symptoms.  Of course, the best way to treat overtraining is to avoid it in the first place.  Here are 4 ways to prevent it from sabotaging your plans for a new PR.

1)  Food is fuel.  Make sure your diet isn’t the reason workouts aren’t going well.  Trying Paleo as a marathoner?  Could be it!  Eat enough calories to give you the energy you need to get through the day and replenish post workout.   Stick with quality whole foods and remember that the what you put in is what you get out.

2)  Mix it up.  Your body needs constant change to keep adapting, getting stronger and improving.  If you start to lose motivation or get bored, throw something new into your routine.  Try a spin class or kick boxing while alternating hard and easy days to give yourself excitement and variety with time to recover.overtraining syndrome

3)  Take recovery and rest days seriously.  Your next workout is only as good as your last recovery.  If you’re not foam rolling or hitting mobility drills each day your body is going to get worn out quickly.  Rest and recovery are just as important as exercise and not giving your body enough time to recover from strenuous exercise will inevitably cause fatigue, moodiness and injury.  Take at least one day a week away from the gym or running and be serious about it.  Use the rest day(s) to replenish the things your body has burned through, like carbohydrates, proteins, fluids and sleep.

4)  Listen to your body.  Still feeling sluggish four days after a hard workout?  Are your knees or shoulders hurting more than they should?  Is soreness sticking around beyond two days?  Is your performance slipping?  These are all signals your body gives to let you know it needs a break.  An extra day or two or five off won’t ruin the gains you’ve made.  Take the time to recover your body is asking for and you’ll not only feel better, but come back to better results.

Meredith

*a version of this post was originally posted on the FitNicePT blog*

Have you ever had overtraining syndrome?  How do you prevent it?

 

Fit Friday: Workouts I

Two Fit Friday’s ago I decided it was time to start sharing my workouts again.  I have started seriously training again and since I love getting ideas from other runners I figured it’s only fair for them to borrow mine, too.  This week’s Workouts I is an adventure.  I’m not sure if I’d like to go with the bi-weekly headline Workouts I, Workouts II…etc or Workouts 1, Workouts 2…etc.  I’m going to stick with Roman numerals for a few weeks and see how I feel about it.

Here it is!  Workouts I:  Weeks June 27 to July 10:

Saturday (27 June):  Very hot and humid marathon pace 5 miler fasted on legs that felt like lead.  Not pretty but finished it.
Sunday:  Another ridiculously humid morning and to the treadmill I went.  Mile warm up, 90 minutes at 7:15 pace, 10 minute walk/jog cool down.  Happy with this run in spite of some knee pain.
Monday:  Rest, 30 minutes mobility, still a little knee twinge.
Tuesday: AM: Long intervals:  5 min on, 2:30 off.  This run was awful.  Hot, humid, no motivation, completely dead legs and fasted.
Tuesday PM: Easy 4.5 with Team RWB Virginia Beach that was also not very pretty.
Wednesday: Crossfit:
Thursday: Marathon Pace 8 miles (8 min pace).  Still hot and humid, ugh.
Friday: Crossfit

Saturday (July 4th):  You can read all about my July 4th adventures and 14 miles of mountani biking right here.
Sunday: Short Intervals (treadmill) – 400M on, rest at 1:1.  I set my watch to rest for 1:20 which was a few extra seconds per rep.  I nailed my 400s at 5:25 pace and felt great about this one.
Monday: Crossfit:  5×5 Front Squat then 50 thrusters for time with a 200M run every time you dropped the bar.  I did this barefoot and ran on the cement, which was new but felt pretty good.
Tuesday: 4.5 miles with Team RWB Virginia Beach.  Threw a pair of 400M pick-ups in there just for kicks.  It was still hot but this was my first really good run outside on the road in a while.
Wednesday: Crossfit: A new clean and jerk PR!  Mostly because I never split jerk.  Ever.  5×3 C+J then 3 RFT x 400M run, 20 unbroken wallballs, 20 unbroken kettle bell swings.
Thursday: Long Intervals: 800M on, 3 min off to fail.  Not too hot but humid.  Another very solid road run.
Friday AM: Felt like 92 after Boot Camp so I opted for an easy barefoot 4 miler on the packed sand that was very warm.
Friday PM: My originally scheduled outdoor speed work, 300M repeats, on the treadmill this evening.  Should be a bit cooler inside!

I’m feeling good about my training and am ready to get rocking on some serious speed work to prep for my 5k and 10k this fall.  I hope you can spice up your routine with some of theseideas from Workouts I.

Meredith

What’s your favorite kind of workout?  Speed, long+easy, Crossfit?

Fit Friday: Sharing Workouts

It’s time to start sharing workouts again!  It’s been a while since I’ve shared my workouts mostly because I’m hanging out in maintenance mode while not training for anything specific.  Things haven’t changed much but I am only three weeks out from my next half, Rock n Roll Chicago.  I love stealing seeing other people’s workouts, it’s a great source of inspiration and is a good way to stick with one of my summer goals: don’t get bored.  Hopefully I can help someone else get inspired by sharing mine.

My mileage week technically starts on Monday but my rest day moves around and seven days of workouts are seven days of workouts, right?  Every other Friday I’ll be sharing workouts from the last two weeks so here we go!

Saturday (6/13):  Easy shakeout barefoot on the soft sand, 2ish miles.
Sunday:  Long Run, treadmill.  10 min warm up then 60 minutes at 5k+30 seconds.  12.5 miles.
Monday:  Crossfit – 20 min AMRAP 4 x muscle up progression, 4 x hand stand push-up progression (no upside down for me), 8 kettlebell swings.
Tuesday:  Run, road, 95+ degrees.  30 min at 80% of 5k pace.
Wednesday:  Run, barefoot on packed and soft sand.  Based on effort 10 miles.
Thursday:  Rest, 30 min mobility work.  Feet were very tired from Wednesday’s outing.
Friday:  Crossfit – Front squat to 3RM, then for time: run 200, 40 superman, 20 back rack Bulgarian split squats, run 400, 30 SM, 20 BSS, run 600, 20 SM, 20 BSS (12:09)

Saturday (6/20): Run.  1 Mile Time Trial then 60 min at 10k+25 seconds.
Sunday: Rest, 30 min mobility.  Partied hard Saturday night, oops!
Monday: Crossfit – Alternate every 3 min for 24 min:  1. row 20 cal, 20 goblet squats.  2. 2×5 pull-ups, 8 burpees.
Tuesday: Run, short intervals.  2 x tabata all out sprints in 90 degree, humid weather.  3.5 miles.
Wednesday: Crossfit – 4 min AMRAP x 4 hang power clean, 4 thrusters, rest 2 min and add 10 pounds to bar.  3 min AMRAP x 3 HPC, 3 thrusters, rest 2 min and add 10 pounds to bar.  2 min AMRAP x 2 HPC, 2 thrusters, rest 2 min add 10 pounds to bar.  1 min max effort HPC thrusters.
Thursday:  Rest, 30 min mobility.  No really good reason other than I was just not feeling it.
Friday: Run.  2 x 5k, barefoot, packed sand, rest 3 min between.  7 miles.

That’s what I’ve been up to in the gym and on the road lately and I hope you’ll enjoying me sharing my workouts more often.

Meredith

Do you like sharing workouts?  Does it give you ideas for your own?

Crossfit Endurance + Tour Pass

Happy Monday!  I hope everyone had a great weekend.  I spent mine at a Crossfit Endurance Trainer Seminar learning a ton of great things.  Created by Brian MacKenzie, Crossfit Endurance is a Crossfit based system of training for single or multisport endurance events (10k to Ironman to 100 miler, you name it).  I was excited for the course to not only improve my own running but become a better coach.

As part of my course prep, I read materials and watched lots of MacKenzie’s videos.  After watching the videos, my treadmill run Friday night before the seminar was eye opening.  One of the goals of changing running form is to make it more efficient, meaning use your energy to go forward rather than up and down.  I’ve always known I was an up-and-down, bouncy runner but doing treadmill 800M repeats in front of a mirror Friday, I crossfit endurancenoticed my bounce went away during the fast portions of my workout.  Being able to see this and actually have it mean something heading into the weekend’s seminar was a big plus for me.

Ready to learn and improve, I settled in for class Saturday morning.  There were nine of us in the class and our instructor, John, was fantastic.  The day kicked off with lectures on running mechanics and injury prevention then we were video taped running.  Next up we learned and practiced running form drills both inside and outdoors.  After lunch, there were nutrition and fueling lectures, another round of drills, an evaluation of our running from the morning’s video and Saturday wrapped up with team WOD.

Sunday began with mobility and SMR work then moved into programming lectures before cadence drills and another taping session.  I could definitely feel a difference between how I ran before drills and how I ran after them.  Just like it did on the treadmill, how fast my feet moved made all the difference in the world.  John agreed that as soon as my cadence increased, all of my issues went away.  Got it!  Just run fast all the time!  If only it were that simple, right?  Can I run every mile for the rest of my life at my 800M repeat pace?  No.  I need to figure out how to balance cadence and speed then I’ll be good to go.  It was also very valuable to see how other people’s form changed and how John corrected it from Day One to Day Two because you never know what a client will crossfit endurancecome to you with.

I’m excited to work on the cadence/speed balance with some room to run today.  I’ll be taking my metronome along to help me keep that cadence up to see what happens how great it is.  I know I’ll be a better, more efficient and faster runner when I become proficient at moving my lazy feet and after a weekend with Crossfit Endurance, I’m definitely a better coach.

Hopefully I can master getting my legs get to turnover quickly without John or the treadmill’s help soon because I have Rock n Roll DC coming up in 12 short days.  This will be my second race of the year and also the second race of my Tour Pass Three Pack series.  It’s not a goal race (really) which will give me lots of opportunity to relax, think about how I’m moving and work on getting it right as I move towards my Spring PR attempt at Prairie Fire.

Meredith

How was your weekend?  How do you continue learning?

Christmas Workouts Part II and More Beer

The first half of my Christmas Vacation 2014 was a success and the second half was just as fun filled.  In addition to getting back on my original workout schedule, I enjoyed a new Crossfit box, more beer with Doug, more quality family time and two safe, on-time flights on the way home.  Here’s the second half of my Christmas Vacation:

I returned to my training schedule with Crossfit at Wichita Old Town Crossfit on Tuesday morning.  It was a small class with just two regulars, myself and one other drop-in for a WOD made up of my used-to-be arch nemesis double unders, sit-ups and power snatches.  The workout left my shoulders fried but the people were great and if you happen to be in the area, find the time to stop by.

Wednesday morning another trip to the treadmill for speed work was on tap.  After a mile warm-up it was alternating 800s for five miles and a mile cool down.  It had been a while since I’d run 800s with 800M rest and I felt really good pushing the hard work to 15 seconds faster than 5k pace.  It was very solid workout that left my legs feeling surprisingly good afterwards.  Sometime running fast makes everything better, even if it is only for three minutes at a time.  Of course, I was starving when I stepped of the dreadmill and got lucky that Doug was feeling famished as well.

Because we were both hungry, and it was on the way back to Christmas house, Doug and I made another trip to Wichita Brewing Company for lunch and more beer.  While we didn’t have the pleasure of enjoying another round off the Beeramid, we did take a deeper dive into a few more beerfavorites from our previous visit.  Along with more beer, we had big glasses of water and two of WBC’s wood fired oven pizzas.  I chose the Hopperoni and he went with the Honeysuckulant BBQ but we couldn’t help sharing.  Both selections were excellent.  The thin crust perfectly complimented the heavier beers we were drinking (Belgian Dubbel and V6) while the pizza’s individual flavors came bursting through with their toppings.  I recommended Wichita Old Town Crossfit but if you’re not feeling in the mood, head to Wichita Brewing Company instead.  The people are great, the beer is delicious, the food is tasty and the vibe is perfect for a casual, friendly cocktail.

Doug and I departed early Christmas morning with two on-time flights and a layover in Denver just long enough to enjoy even more beer, though this time we kept it simple with Blue Moon and Ranger IPA.  Now it’s time to settle back into work for Rock n Roll Arizona and finalize my 2015 race schedule.

Meredith

How was your Christmas?  Did you try any new gyms or restaurants?  What’s on tap as 2015 rolls in?

Two A Days Are Back

Two a days are back, and I’m actually loving them.  I expected them to be a drag, as they have been sometimes in the past, but without an upcoming race, the ability to shuffle workouts and, maybe, skip a strength training session every now and then, is keeping me excited and fresh.

As I ramp up my training mileage, I’m trying a lot of new things keep me interested.  Running is fun.  But not if you get bored.  Two weeks ago, on the first of many Two a Days in this new training plan, I did my first Michigan run since high school cross-country, and even though I came out of the gate a bit strong and struggled towards the end, it was a blast.  I have the same workout on the calendar for next week, and hopefully I’ll do a better job of pacing myself because I know I can.  My long runs are also getting ‘crazy’.  When I was sticking steadfastly to a program, they were 90, 105, 120 minutes or 13, 14, 15 miles, but now that I have a weekly mileage goal and the ability to run those miles however I want, they’ve been 13.4, 12.1 miles and 11.5 miles (this week, because it’s Race Week!).

I mix up my Two A Days by doing strength training and a hard run, usually on Tuesdays, and a double dose of running on Wednesdays or Fridays, depending on the weather and my schedule.  That second day of two workouts is typically a 4-7 mile easy run followed by speed work.  As with my long runs, I was sticking to a pretty rigid schedule of 400, 800, 1600M repeats for those speed days and tempo runs on other days, but now have room to play.  Those two a days Michigan runs are awesome, and I threw in a 4×1200-400 workout yesterday.  The variety is fun and I really like being able to try new workouts without worrying if it will mess with my training.

My strength training sessions on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays are most often a Crossfit workout or heavy power lifting, and they’re fun, too.  I know working to get stronger throughout my entire body has helped my running a ton by increasing my durability.  As a coach, I try to help my runners understand that doing some form of weight training, whether it’s heavy lifting or bodyweight exercises, is an incredibly important part of a well-rounded program and plan.  I know my ability to stay injury free, even as I increase my mileage and have multiple Two a Days each week, is due to my strength training.

Meredith

How do you keep your training schedule varied and prevent getting bored?

October!

It’s October first and with 4 days until Race Day, I hope it means decent running weather is here to stay for a while.  The weather was very nice yesterday when I did my usual Race Week Monday 30 minute tempo run, but the run could have been better.  My legs were a little beat up from Sunday’s 90 minute outing and I struggled to really get the pace I wanted.  I finished it up feeling OK and after a big post-run stretch, I was ready to go this morning for my Race Week Strength Training.

A gorgeous morning on the sand kicked off October’s Beach Boot Camp and knowing I wasn’t going to lift very heavy no matter what, there wasn’t anything I didn’t particularly want to see on the board this morning.  Walking into the gym, I was pumped to go, and when I saw a short and sweet WOD that involved hang cleans, front squats, v ups and, everyone’s favorite, burpees, I was overjoyed.  Unlike Double Unders, Snatches and Overhead Squats, I actually like doing cleans and don’t mind Front Squats at all.  Excited for the workout, it took until I started to warm up for me to realize my hips were unexpectedly tight.  Luckily, with a short WOD on the table, there was plenty of time to get them loose.  Once my co-WODers and I were all good and warmed up, it was time to go.  With my light Race Week weight, I breezed through the workout in under 5 minutes and immediately got back together with a band to help my hips and hamstrings out.

Tomorrow rolls on with October’s first long run and I’m still on the fence as to whether or not to drop Friday’s short fast run.  I’ll make the final decision on that after I move around a bit on Thursday.  Hopefully changing my Race Week Training Schedule won’t be a problem for a short hard race, but I am concerned about adding a long run to my normal routine.  I’m not sure how much of a difference two miles Friday would really make, especially since I’m doing speed work on Thursday, too, and with an abnormal long run on Wednesday of Race Week, I’m leaning towards dropping it and taking two days of rest.

Now it’s off to spend my Tuesday afternoon with EquiKids and this wonderful October weather has me hoping to play outside for a few more hours.

Meredith

Getting Crabby

It’s Race Week!  Heading into the Crawlin’ Crab 5K this Sunday, I’m not doing my usual Race Week Training and hoping the week’s workouts don’t leave me crabby on Race Day.  I rarely do a long run during Race Week, but I will be this time with a 105 minute long run on Wednesday.  I probably could get away with dropping the long run since I still have 3 more before Savannah, although I’m more inclined to drop one of my speed workouts later in the week if I think I need to.  I’m not going to worry about it today, and kicked off Race Week Three this afternoon.

Last week finished up with the Eagles getting massacred by Denver yesterday, and the loss didn’t leave me as crabby as it normally would have since it was expected.  Luckily, that poor performance by my football team didn’t rub off and I turned in a really good 30 minute tempo run this afternoon.  My legs were a little tired from yesterday’s 90 minute run, but I did a mile warm up before heading into my half hour of work and was ready to go.  The first ten minutes were easy at 10K pace, while the second ten minutes were a little tougher at 5K pace over the gentle hills of Mount Trashmore.  When I first increased my pace, my calves started to get a little crabby, but they did loosen up after about two minutes at the faster pace and I peaked around minute 18.  I very gradually decreased my pace back to 10K speed and finished with exactly four miles in the 30 minutes.

My legs being tired today has me a little concerned about doing a second long run in four days, especially during Race Week.  I’m going to stick with my plan and do a 105 minute run on Wednesday, but I might drop my 2 mile race pace on Friday to give myself two days of rest before I try to set a new 5K PR.  All in all, today was a good start to the week, and I’m all ready for tomorrow’s light strength training session.

Meredith

Double Unders.

I posted last night and almost immediately took a gander at the strength training I would face today at North End Crossfit.  There was an entire workout listed, but all I could see was Double Unders.  Nope, not enthused, not excited about it.  I went to bed knowing my lack of coordination wasn’t going to be the end of the world, and that I could push through the lashings to my lower legs, or at least accidentally miscount my jumps.

At least today wasn’t Tuesday Two a Day, which was good because my body pretty clearly let me know I came out of the gate a little strong yesterday.  The first day back in training after taking a week off to Recover from Philly called for a 60 minute tempo run and I set the goal of getting further than I did on my last one.  Easy.  My fresh legs felt great, the cooler weather was awesome and the small ups and downs of Mt. Trashmore barely phased me.  I hit my goal by running 7 hundredths of a mile further than I did in August, and was very happy because that was on flat roads and this was not.  As happy as I was to have succeeded, my calves tightened up as last night wore on and I wanted to quit when I saw multiple rounds (four) including 66 Double Unders each staring me in the face for today’s strength training adventure.

I hopped out of bed for Boot Camp this morning to find my left knee sore and my calves still pretty grumpy.  An hour on my feet at Boot Camp worked the knee right out, but my calves just wouldn’t let go.  Exactly how I wanted to head into 264 Double Unders.  With tight calves.  Double Unders are one of my Crossfit nemeses (see Overhead Squat and Snatch, as well).  They take rhythm (got it) and coordination (not so much).  This is why I run, it doesn’t require extreme levels of coordination and I am not particularly coordinated.  Ask anyone who has played a sport with a moving ball with me.  Really, do it.

Excited or not, I headed into the gym right after Camp and got down to it.  Luckily, the workout started with something I can definitely handle: 5×3 Back Squats.  It felt good to be lifting heavy again and my legs were doing great.  Moving on to four rounds of 33 calorie rows and 66 Double Unders they still felt OK.  Rowing was wonderful, it’s one of my favorite cardiovascular activities, and then it was on to jumping rope.  By Double Under number 17 of Round One, my left calf cramped, requiring a stretch.  After that, things actually went surprisingly well.  Speed ropes hurt when you swing it into your legs, rather than under your feet, and I did manage to slam myself a few times but no blood was drawn and I kept plugging away.  Rowing was a nice break from the torture of Double Unders and by Round Three, I was actually starting to feel pretty good.  With a previous record of five Double Unders in a row, I hit nine a few times and wanted to jump for joy.  Rather than jumping to excess, I jumped for 25ish more Double Unders and headed into Round Four.  Last row in the bag, I really wanted to get my last 66 Double Unders in at least sets of six.  Imagine my surprise as I got to nine, kept going and got twelve in a row.  I did sets of eleven or twelve for my last round and finished with a smile on my face.

No, twelve Double Unders in a row is not many.  For someone who can barely connect with a slow pitch softball, however, this is quite an accomplishment.  A good Welcome Back to training, yesterday’s solid run and today’s improvement with Double Unders have me excited for speed work tomorrow.  I’m not sure what it’s going to be yet, but whatever I decide to do, I’m going to nail it.

Meredith