Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Run Jen Run's Animal Workout

It’s #WorkoutWednesday and time for a fun new animal inspired, full body workout routine.  Warm up then try these 6 moves.  Begin with 10 repetitions each.  Do not perform any exercise that causes or increases pain.

Frog Squats

Frog squats are a challenging exercise strengthening the quads and glutes while increasing hamstring flexibility.

Start with your feet a little wider than shoulder width apart, toes facing forward.  Place your hands on your ankles and press your hips back, lowering yourself into a deep squat.  Keep your back straight and head up. Exhale as you straighten your legs, feeling a nice stretch in the hamstring muscles.  Repeat for 10-15 repetitions.

Dipping Bird

The dipping bird aka single leg dead lift is great for flexibility, strength and stability of the hamstrings, glutes and core.

Start by holding a dumbbell in your left hand while standing on your right foot.  Hinge forward at the hips.  Your left leg will rise up in extension behind you and move in the same plane as your upper body.  Keep a soft knee, forward facing hips, neural head position and the core engaged.  Don’t allow your upper body to hunch forward or to move independently without your free leg.  This exercise is often done incorrectly so check in with a trainer if you are unsure of the movement.  Repeat 10-15 repetitions and switch to the other side.

Stork with Lateral Raises

This exercise will test your balance while strengthening your deltoids.

Start by standing on one foot holding two dumbbells, palms facing inward.  Raise your arms up, palms facing down, until your arms are parallel with the ground.  Lower to start position.  Repeat 10-15 repetitions and switch to the other side.


The inchworm is a core exercise that will test your hamstring flexibility and work on shoulder and core stability.

Stand with feet shoulder width apart.  Hinge forward at the hips and place your hands on the ground in front of you.  Walk your hand out until you are in a plank position.  Challenge yourself with a push up before walking your feet in towards your hands.  Repeat for 10-15 repetitions.

Donkey Kicks

Donkey kicks, also known as quadruped bent-knee hip extension, targets the glutes as it stretches the hip flexors.

Begin on all 4s (hands under your shoulders, knees under your hips) with your toes digging into the ground.  Keep your left knee bent at 90 degrees while you squeeze your glute and press your heel into the air.  Lower leg without touching the floor.  Make sure you use slow, controlled movements and do not swing your legs.  Repeat 10-15 repetitions and switch to the other side.

Bird Dog

Bird dog is a great core exercise that also focuses on shoulder flexion and hip extension.

Begin on all 4s (hands under your shoulder, knees under your hips) with your toes digging into the ground.  Keep your back straight while lifting your opposite arm and leg in the air, parallel to the ground.  Return to start position and switch.  Repeat for 10-15 repetitions.

Cat Camel

Finish up your workout with the cat camel stretch for mobility in your back.

Begin on all 4s (hands under your shoulder, knees under your hips) with your toes digging into the ground.  Start with your back in a neutral position then alternate between arching your spine upward toward the ceiling (cat) and rounding your back (camel) by relaxing your back and allowing your stomach to fall towards the ground.  Repeat for 10-15 repetitions.

Other ideas: Seal Jacks, Bunny Hops,  Ape Squats, Crab Walks, Scorpion, Spiderman Plank

The exercises from this workout originally appeared on the Mashpee Fitness blog.  I was inspired by my 7:30 group training members to create “The Animal Workout” for this morning’s session.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Weekly Roundup 5.18-5.24

It was a crazy week at work and didn’t run as much as I wanted to but I managed to squeeze in a few runs with the pup (including her first full mile on Monday!!) and a nice 6 mile run on Saturday!  Hope everyone is enjoying the long weekend!  We had a great, patriotic Sunday morning spin class...

Congratulations to the Chandler family as they welcomed baby boy Nolan into the world!

Monday 5.18.15
Trotted 1 mile with G (9:12)
3 miles (23:36)
19,820 steps

Tuesday 5.19.15
Taught spin class
9,221 steps

Wednesday 5.20.15
Long walk with G (35’)
Burdenko H2O
Water Interval
19,090 steps

Thursday 5.21.15
Trotted 2x 1/2 mile with G (4:28, 4:15)
Taught spin class. The playlist: I Gotta Feeling Spin Playlist
Power Water
16,821 steps

Friday 5.22.15
9,138 steps

Saturday 5.23.15
6 miles (46:45)
Trotted 1 mile with G (9:50)
27,473 steps

Sunday 5.24.15
Taught spin class. The playlist: Party in the U.S.A. Spin Playlist
9,189 steps

This week’s mileage: 12 miles
May Totals: 55.5 miles
2015 Totals: 131 miles

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Post-Round Stretches for Golfers

Do you stretch after playing golf?

Post-round stretching is just as important as your dynamic warm up.  The goals of these static stretches are to decrease stiffness, prevent soreness and increase golf flexibility.

Let’s first review: What’s the difference between static and dynamic stretching?

Static stretching is when the muscle is taken to a point of mild stretch and held for 20-30 seconds.  This should not be considered your warm up.  Static stretching is to be done following your round of golf—before you get home and head to the couch for the rest of the day!  Static stretching helps increase range of motion but does not warm you up.  We want to perform static stretches on warm muscles after the activity to help with recovery.

On the other hand, dynamic stretching is to be done before your round of golf.  It helps to increase range of motion while increasing blood flow and core temperature.  Dynamic exercises involve active movements that are sport-specific.  This means that exercises done before golf will use muscles and motions similar to the golf swing.  A dynamic golf warm up will be different than a dynamic warm up for running or skiing or any other physical activity.

In case you missed it, you can check out my Dynamic Golf Warm Up here.

Post Round Stretches for Golfers

The muscle is taken to a point of mild stretch and held for 20-30 seconds.  Perform 2-3 repetitions of each exercise.  Do not perform any exercise that causes or increases pain.

Standing Quad Stretch
In your left hand, hold the club upside down with the grip end planted firmly on the ground.  Stand on your left leg and grab your right foot/ankle with your right hand.  Try to keep your right knee directly underneath you.  Hold 20-30 seconds.  Repeat on the other leg.

Standing Hamstring Stretch
Hold the club upside down with the grip end planted firmly on the ground.  Stand on your left leg and place your right foot onto your golf cart or another elevated stable surface.  Hinge forward into the stretch until you feel a stretch in your hamstrings.  Hold 20-30 seconds.  Repeat on the other leg.

Bent Leg Calf Stretch
Hold the club upside down with the grip end planted firmly on the ground.  Step back with your right foot.  Keep your right heel planted firmly on the ground and slowly bend your back knee.  Hold 20-30 seconds.  Repeat with the other leg.

Standing Figure 4 Stretch
Hold the club upside down with the grip end planted firmly on the ground.  Cross your right leg, resting your right ankle just above the left knee.  Slowly sit back into your imaginary chair until your feel a stretch in your piriformis.  Important: Keep your back straight, do not hunch forward.  Hold 20-30 seconds.  Repeat with the other leg.  (Can also be done seated.)

Standing Prayer Stretch
Hold the club upside down with the grip end planted firmly on the ground.  You can also use your golf cart or higher stable surface.  Sit back into your heels, hinging at the hips until you feel a stretch in your shoulders and lat muscles.  Hold 20-30 seconds.

Wrist Extension Stretch
Grab your right hand with your left hand.  Extend your wrist bringing your finger nails toward your forearm until you feel a mild stretch.  Slowly extend your elbow.  Hold 20-30 seconds.  Repeat on the other arm.

Wrist Flexion Stretch
Grab your right hand with your left hand.  Flex your wrist bringing your finger pads towards your forearm until you feel a mild stretch.  Slowly extend your elbow.  Hold 20-30 seconds.  Repeat on the other arm.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

I Gotta Feeling Spin Playlist

9 To 5 - Dolly Parton                                            3:00  Warm up         
I Gotta Feeling - Black Eyed Peas                     4:05  Endurance zone 65-75%
Party Rock Anthem - LMFAO                            4:22  Rolling hills
Uptown Funk - Mark Ronson                            4:31  Seated climb
Shut Up and Dance - WALK THE MOON        3:18  Standing climb
Honey, I'm Good. - Andy Grammer                  3:19  Downhill
Time of Our Lives - Pitbull & Ne-Yo                 3:49  Seated flat
Poker Face - Lady Gaga                                       3:59  Build
Single Ladies - Beyonce                                      3:15  Running out of saddle
One Last Time - Ariana Grande                        3:17  Seated or standing flat          
Do Somethin' - Britney Spears                          3:23  Build
Blow - Ke$ha                                                          3:42  Standing climb
Want To Want Me - Jason Derulo                     3:28  Cool down
Marilyn Monroe - Pharrell Williams               5:51  Stretch

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

“I want to start running, where do I begin?”

My cousin has inspired me to write some beginner blog posts for new runners as I have 8 months to get her ready for her first half marathon.  She took a big first step and decided she wanted to start running regularly but then what?!

Set goals.

There must be a reason you want to start running.  Use this reason as motivation to set SMART goals.

·      Specific – Be as specific as possible.  “I want to lose 10 pounds.”  “I want to drop a dress size.”  “I want to complete a half marathon.”  Or even, “I want to run 3 days per week.”
·      Measurable – It's important to able to measure progress toward your goal.  Put a number on it.
·      Achievable – Is your goal achievable?  Were you specific in your goal that there is a way to know that your goal was achieved?
·      Realistic – Be realistic in your goal setting!  You don’t want to set yourself up for failure.  You can also break it up into smaller goals all leading toward your ultimate goal.  This allows you to check your progress along the way and modify your goals if needed.
·      Timely – There has to be a time frame on your goal.  Open-ended goals have a lower rates of success for those who tend to procrastinate.  “I want to lose 10 pounds in 6 months.”  “I want to drop a dress size before my reunion.”  “I want to complete a half marathon in January.”  “I want to run 3 days a week for the next 8 weeks.”

Run Jen Run Tip: If you’re goal involves a road race and it is your first road race or you are new to the distance, your goal should be on finishing and finish feeling good.  Don’t worry about time.  Just enjoy yourself out there and focus on getting yourself to the finish line.

Buy new shoes.

Happiness is a new pair of running shoes!  Most running shoes will last between 300-400 miles.  Wearing old shoes or the wrong shoes can lead to injuries and unplanned time off.  Visit a specialty running store to make sure you get fitted and buy the right shoes for you.

Hire a coach.

A running coach can be beneficial to any level running—especially beginners.  It is very common that beginners don’t really know what to do or how to train so they go out and get injured.  A running coach will set up a training plan specific to your goals and athletic abilities.  A great running coach will also help with goal setting, motivate you and push you to your potential.

Side note: Did you know I’m a running coach?  You can book with me through CoachUp’s website.

Have a plan.

Whether you hire a running coach or not, you need to have a plan.  If you have a running coach, they will do the hard work for you.  If not, consult multiple training plans and find what works best with your schedule and current activity levels.

Grab a buddy & tell someone your goal.

Telling someone your goal will help keep you accountable.  Find a running buddy and make training fun!  It’s always easier to get out the door in the morning when you know someone is waiting for you at your favorite trail.  They are there to motivate you on days you’re struggling and to give you a high five after a great workout at the track.  Over the years my running friends have become some of my best friends because you share so much out there on the roads together.  It’s even great to have a virtual running buddy—check in from time to time via text or Facetime and talk about your training.

Be patient.

Fitness doesn’t happen overnight.  It takes a lot of hard work, consistency, and dedication.  Don’t get frustrated with slow progress.  Progress is progress no matter how small and each step you take will get you closer to your goals.

True or False: Runners have to run everyday.

False!  Recovery days are just as important as running days to reduce fatigue (physically and mentally), build strength, restore glycogen, and help keep us injury free.

You’re a runner.  Own it!

It doesn’t matter how fast or how slow you run.  If you run, you’re a runner.  The running community is awesome and very supportive so embrace it!

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Weekly Roundup 5.11-5.17

It was a big week for me.  First of all, I SIGNED UP FOR THE HOUSTON MARATHON!  I am also pretty excited to know that my mom & dad will be making the trip with me and my cousin is considering signing up for the half… her first half marathon!  What do I always say?  Running is contagious!

I missed Run Club on Tuesday night due to a golf lecture at work.  I will be missing it again next week as we are bringing it on the road to our Hyannis location.  So sad!

My week ended at the Piggy Trot!  First time lacing up the racing flats in 2015 and I was pleasantly surprised with my results.  Read my race report (link below) for the full story.  I’ll give you a hint: it involves another pig trophy!

Monday 5.11.15
Trotted 2x 1/2 mile with G (4:42, 4:49)
3 miles (24:21)
18,119 steps

Tuesday 5.12.15
Taught spin class. The playlist: Just Dance Spin Playlist
12,549 steps

Wednesday 5.13.15
12,485 steps

Thursday 5.14.15
3 miles (24:02)
Taught spin class
Power Water
19,238 steps

Friday 5.15.15
11,302 steps

Saturday 5.16.15
3 miles (22:58)
15,938 steps

Sunday 5.17.15
Piggy Trot Road Race! 3.7 miles (24:46 – 6:48, 6:53, 6:52, 4:13) <--6:26 pace for last 0.7 mi
15,870 steps

This week’s mileage: 14 miles
May Totals: 43.5 miles
2015 Totals: 119 miles

Race Report: Piggy Trot 2015

I won another pig & $50 cash money!

It was a BEAUTIFUL morning for a road race.  This morning was the 6th annual Piggy Trot at Dowses Beach in Osterville, MA and my 5th time running the race.  It’s a 3.7 mile road race raising money and melanoma awareness through The Glenna Kohl Fund for Hope.  Although I never knew Glenna (nicknamed Piggy), she had ties to Cape Cod Rehab and we continue to sponsor and support her cause.

After only a few weeks of consistent running and no speed work, I laced up my racing flats for the first time in 2015.  I had pretty low expectations going into the race and planned to run as “comfortably fast” as possible.  (My spinners still do not understand that concept!)  Fellow CCR runner Anna passed me at about the 1/2 mile mark and I cruised about 5 strides behind her for awhile.  She recently ran a half so I knew she was in better shape than me!  I went through the first mile in 6:48, which was a big surprise.  I felt comfortable…but not that fast.  I caught back up to Anna about a mile later and stayed with her until the final turn for home when she took off and I just let her go for it.  We finished 5th & 6th overall and 2nd & 3rd females!

I finished up with Mile 2 (6:53), Mile 3 (6:52) and the final 0.7 miles (4:12) which averages 6:26 pace at the end.  Pretty darn good for low expectations.  In fact I was only 4 seconds off my best time on the Piggy Trot course from 2013.  Thanks Anna for pushing me!

It was fun seeing so many coworkers and awesome Run Club friends out on the course this year!  My mom also ran a great race while my dad hung out with the pup.  

Side note: I swear G ran a road race this morning based on her afternoon of laziness.  What is going on with her?!

Anyway, another great year.  One of my favorites.  Well-organized, friendly volunteers and a beautiful course!

Up next: Women Running Wild in Osterville on June 20th!

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

I signed up for the Houston Marathon!

What: The Chevron Houston Marathon

Where: Houston, TX

When: January 17, 2016

I’m so excited to announce that I will be running my second marathon on January 17, 2016!

Official training will begin in September and I am looking forward to sharing my journey to 26.2 miles with all of you.

Why Houston, you ask?

It has 2 qualities that I love in a race: fast and flat.

Houston has a marathon field of 13,500 (up from last year) so not quite as big as Boston or Chicago yet brags of the big city marathon feel that I thrive on.  Fans line the course the whole way and the average Houston race temperature is in the 50s.  Beautiful!

Plus I have family in Houston!  And the only thing better than a post-marathon deep dish pizza would be a giant burrito!

Check out the Chevron Houston Marathon website for more information.  If you would like to join me in Houston, I'd love to see some of your smiling faces out along the course.  Open registration for both the marathon and half marathon begins on National Running Day—June 3, 2015.

[Related Post: One Year Later]