Sunday, September 15, 2013

Running, Running, Running

I have been running for about 10 years now and I admit I still don’t LOVE running. I’m not one of those people who gets up on a cool morning and says “Ahhh, what a great day for a run”. I have to have music or scenery to keep me going and I always have to pump myself up before I get started. I do however LOVE the way I feel after. I feel running is the best workout I can get for the time. It also gives me a chance to be alone and think (which is very valuable time with two kids!). While I do always have music playing, I am able to zone out with my thoughts and plan my day (or my next blog post) or work through stress. I also almost always sleep better on days I run.

As I’m closing in on the final three weeks of training for my upcoming third half marathon, I thought I might share some of my running essentials.
Starting Line Rock N Roll VA Beach


Pandora I do enjoy making a playlist via iTunes but some mornings the anticipation of what song is coming next on my Pandora Stations keeps me entertained! Right now my favorites are Snoop Dog and Dr. Dre Radio and Tupac radio -if I’m feeling more East Coast! ;) If you listened to hip hop in the mid-90’s you’ll love both of these. (I also love JT Radio and Mac Miller Radio!!)

MapMy Run This is a great GPS app that tracks your mileage and pace. You can set this app to talk over your music at mileage points to report your distance and pace.

IntervalRun This app is great for interval run days during marathon training. Rather than looking at your watch over and over, you can preset the app to talk over you music and to guide you through intervals (i.e. Run for two minutes, Walk for one minute, etc.)

MyFitness Pal This app is similar to Weight Watchers online. You set your calorie goal for the day and then you can enter all of your food and exercise. The app will keep you within your goal and let you know what you have used and what you have left. I use this app more to check in on foods that I might think are healthy but have hidden calories. You can scan barcodes from food packaging or search the extensive database of prepackaged, homemade or takeout meals.

Daily Workouts With this app you can chose individual workouts for arms, legs, butt etc. at either  5, 7.5 or 10 minute lengths. I like to do the 5 minute abs workout after my run. The App features an instructor demonstrating each exercise along with counting and an announcement of next exercise.


Shoes I started training for my first half wearing Vibram Five Fingers. I really do like running in these as I feel firm and like I am grasping the ground as I run. I had to stop using them after I attended a high impact bootcamp type workout on a concrete floor and basically jammed my ankle. I then went to a running store and received a running assessment. Since I was use to running in a barefoot type shoe, I was recommended a low stability shoe. I recommend being fitted for a running shoe. I did this about 8 years ago and again last year. Once you know what type of shoe you need, you can watch for sales and buy regardless of brand.

iPhone I use this for everything as mentioned above with apps. Music, GPS, Workouts.

Fuel I have tried gels but I have a food texture aversion (slimy stuff) and they make me gag, so instead I like CliffBar Shot Blocks. Shot Blocks are similar to a large gummy bear. If I am doing 8 or more miles, I’ll eat 3 before I begin and 3 midway.

Running Apparel I buy most of my shirts and sports bras at Target. I love Athleta running skirts; I have three that I have bought here and there on clearance.

Earbuds I like the kind that wrap around your ear, the little buds fall out while I’m running. No brand preference here, just whatever I find.

Hydration I want this

I typically don’t drink much during a run. I like to hydrate throughout the night before and then after. I hate having to stop to use the restroom and this is what happens if I drink too much right before or during. I like to have a small bottle on hand if a coughing attack happens or  just to wet my mouth. I would like to have something that holds my phone at the same time. I had a bad experience with water from a station on a race route and I now carry my own!!


For each half so far I have started 14 weeks out; two beginning weeks to get in a routine and then 12 weeks of actually training. I started out this go round doing a 4 day a week run plan but I just couldn’t fit that in my schedule because I do enjoy strength training and yoga. (Most half plans incorporate cross training days as well) You can find many training plans online (email me if you’d like a copy of mine my coworker’s husband put together) and find one that fits your schedule. A three day running plan typically consists of one interval day, one race simulation day and one distance or “long run” day in addition to optional rest and cross training days. Even with my schedule, this type of plan set up is very doable as everything outside of your long runs (toward the end of your training), can be done in an hour or less. At this point, I do not have the desire to complete a whole marathon. Running a half twice a year keeps me in shape and motivated without getting burned out. Each race I try to better my time. I increase my training by way of intensity and speed, rather than distance. I encourage anyone to give a half marathon a try. Nothing feels better than crossing that finish line and the benefits are lasting. I’m happy to answer any questions you have to get you running! Good Luck!

Finish Line Rock N Roll VA Beach

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