Monday, December 30, 2013

I love my new winter running jacket!

Merry Christmas!

Today I went on my first run since receiving my Brooks Utopia Softshell Jacket II from my Aunt Judy and Uncle Kim for Christmas!  I love it!!  It's PINK!!  It was also super warm and I can’t wait to wear it all winter long.

Temperature: 40 degrees, feels like 31 degrees
Wind: WNW @ 16mph
Humidity: 49%
Dew Point: 22 degrees

What was your favorite running gift this holiday season?

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Christmas Eve Turkey Encounter

This is the face of a Christmas Eve turkey killer.

I just finished up an easy 4 mile run when I heard noises.  I was about 3 houses away from home when I saw them.  Two wild turkeys.

They are not unfamiliar with our neighborhood but I have always kept my distance.  Not today.

One came charginging at me.  I didn’t know what to do so I stopped.  It stopped.  I walked.  It walked.  I ran.  It ran.  I stopped again.

The turkey was about 2 feet away from me.  I had to make a decision: try to kick it or spray it with mace.  I reached in my pocket, grabbed my mace and started spraying.  The turkey started walking toward me.  I kept spraying.  It finally turned around went back with its friend.

Does anyone know what happens to a maced turkey?!

Santa Claus is Coming to Town Spin Playlist

Christmas Eve SPIN Class

See our video here: Santa Claus is coming to town!

My Only Wish                        Britney Spears           4:15    Warm up
All I Want For Christmas   Mariah Carey              4:01    Drills, pedal strokes
End of Time                           Beyoncé                        3:44    Build
Crank It Up (feat. Akon)    David Guetta & Akon 3:13    Rolling hills
Sk8ter Boy                             Avril Lavigne               3:26    Running out of the saddle
Lucky Strike                          Maroon 5                      3:05    80-100
We Need a Little Christmas Percy Faith                2:09    Jumps
Run Run Rudolph                Luke Bryan                   2:52    Jumps, more tension/longer intervals
Santa Claus Is Comin' To Town  Bruce Springsteen  4:25  Build/seated climb
Sleigh Ride                             Garth Brooks               3:28    Faster, 100 RPM
My Songs Know…                 Fall Out Boy                 3:07    Lots of tension, high RPM
Christmas / Sarajevo           Trans-Siberian Orchestra    3:25  Standing climb
Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays  'N Sync          4:14    Cooldown
Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas  Julianne Hough  3:49  Stretch

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Plyometric Training

Like most runners, Jen doesn’t like plyometics.  Why?  Because Jen can’t jump.

Actually take that back!  Now she can.  If you missed it, read here.

What is Plyometrics? 

Plyometrics is just a fancy term for “Jump Training.”

The American College of Sports Medicine’s Resources for the Health Fitness Specialist (Liguori, 2014) gives a more detailed description: “Plyometic training refers to a specialized method of conditioning designed to enhance neuromuscular performance.  Unlike traditional strength-building exercises such as bench press and squat, plyometric training is characterized by quick, powerful movements that involve a rapid stretch of a muscle (eccentric muscle action) immediately followed by a rapid shortening of the same muscle (concentric muscle action).”

I’m a runner.  Why should I try Plyometric Training?
Plyometic training has been shown to improve running economy, balance, flexibility, coordination, strength and explosive power.  You may not realize it but running is a form of jumping.  And to improve your running, you must practice jumping.

Plyometrics isn’t just for sprinters and field events.  While distance runners mainly depend on slow-twitch aerobic muscle fibers, plyometric training helps to recruit fast-twitch muscle fibers more efficiently.  If you are running 25-30 miles a week, you may be improving endurance and overall fitness but you are not changing your muscle power.  You can train your legs to turn over faster and push off harder by plyometric training.

How often should I incorporate Plyometic Training into my routine?
All you need is 10 minutes 2-3 days per week to make a difference.

Example Plyometic Workout for Runners:

Begin with a dynamic warm up.  Example: Wake Up Call, Walk + Squat, Leg Swings, High Knees/High Heels, Jumping Jacks.

1.     Toe Taps
Stand in front of a box or platform.  Alternate tapping the top of the platform with your toes.  Mimic a running motion with your arms as you are tapping your toes.  This is a quick exercise so keep moving and get that heart rate up!

2.     Single Leg Hops
Stand on one leg.  Jump up and down.  Then switch to jumping side to side and forward and back.  Repeat on the other leg.


3.     Squat Jumps
Begin by squatting.  Jump as high as you can in the air and land softly back in a squat position.  Repeat.

4.     Switch Lunge
Begin in a lunge position.  (Look for those nice 90-degree angles!)  Jump upward from lunge position and switch legs while you’re in the air.  Land softly in a lunge position with the opposite foot in front.  Repeat.

5.     Box Jumps
Look for a sturdy box or platform that is 12-24 inches high.  Start in a standing position.  Slightly squat downward and jump onto the box.  Take off with both feet and land on both feet.  You may use your arms for momentum.  Either step down off the box or jump down backward.  Repeat.  No resting in between jumps!  Increase height of the box as you progress.

Final thoughts:
Always warm up before beginning any plyometric training.  If you’re new to these exercises, start slow.  Low repetitions (1 set of 6-8 repetitions) and build (gradually increase number of sets and repetitions).  These exercises are meant to be done fast with minimal time spent on the ground.  Always make sure you are wearing proper footwear and jumping on a shock absorbing surface such as a suspended floor or grassy field.  If you’re too ambitious or exercises are done incorrectly, this can lead to injury.  Listen to your body.  If it’s telling you something, back off and see your doctor or physical therapist.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

It’s Christmas Time Again Spin Splaylist

Here’s a preview of tonight’s playlist.  Mashpee Fitness Center at 5:30pm.  See you there!

Gimme! Gimme! Gimme!      ABBA                  4:50    Warm up
Moves like Jager                      Maroon 5           3:23    Drills, pedal strokes
Bon, Bon                                    Pitbull                 3:36    Rolling hills
Applause                                   Lady Gaga           3:32    Faster, 15" intervals jumps/sprints
Countdown                               Beyoncé              3:32    Build
Spiderwebs                              No Doubt             4:28    Keep climbing, faster during chorus
Mambo No. 5                           Lou Bega              3:41    Jumps 20/10/5/5/10/20
My Only Wish                          Britney Spears   4:15    Recover
Eye of the Tiger                      Survivor                3:47    Build/seated climb
My Songs Know…                   Fall Out Boy         3:07   Lots of tension, high RPM
Christmas / Sarajevo            Trans-Siberian Orchestra  3:25  Standing climb
It's Christmas Time Again   Jessica Simpson  3:11    Cooldown
Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas  Julianne Hough  3:49 Stretch

6 days until Christmas!!  Ho ho ho!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Back in the Gym 3: Conquering Fears

This week I went back to Eric for a quick post-run workout.  His idea this week wasn’t so quick and it involved one of my fears: jumping.

4 mile (icy) run (33:36)

1.     20 Box Jumps
2.     Walking Lunge with Curl AND Press 8# x10
3.     Squat with Single Arm Row 17.5# x10 each
4.     10 Push Ups

4 times through.  No rest between exercises.  2 minute rest in between rounds.

This was the first time in my life attempting a box jump.  If you know me, you know I can’t jump.  I stared at the box for about 10 minutes before the first round deciding if I should just go home or not.  After I got through the first jump I realized the faster I jumped, the less I thought about what I was actually doing and it was easy.


Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Back in the Gym 2

This week I recruited my other Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist friend to pick out a few post-run exercises for me.

4.45 mile run (38:01)
About 2.5 miles into my run, I ran into Matt.  He turned around and we chatted our way back to the Mashpee Fitness Center.  On a chilly, icy day, it really helps to have some company!

5 Exercises:
1.     Physioball Plank with Mountain Climbers 2x10
2.     Physioball Plank with Alternating Hip Abduction 2x10
3.     Physioball Single Leg Bridge with Hamsting Curl 2x10 each
4.     Side Plank with Hip Abduction 4x5 each
5.     Split Jump Lunges x20

Foam Roll

Thanks Drew!!