Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Weekly Workout: 20 minute Tabata Workout

No excuse not to do this weekly workout! It may be short, but it is one of the more intense workouts you can do. It's High Intensity Interval Training and it will work your whole body! The workout is simple and each set is just 4 minutes. You will do 5 sets for a total of 20 minutes. For those of you who are unfamiliar with Tabata, it is essentially this routine (you will do 5 of these sets):

  • Workout hard for 20 seconds
  • Rest for 10 seconds
  • Complete eight rounds
For more information on Tabata, see this website: What is Tabata Training. High intensity Interval Training has been shown to substantially increase both the aerobic and anaerobic systems. 
The Workout:
Warm up for 2 miles. Choose a hill, it can be steep or not, but choose a hill that is not too technical since you will be sprinting up it at your highest intensity possible for the first set of reps. For more ideas on great Tabata exercises, see 11 Butt Kicking Tabata Exercises. The list below is designed specifically for runners. It's tough, I'm not gonna lie! Remember the point is to do as many reps as possible in the 20 seconds and to fully rest for 10. For running, you sprint as fast as you can. 

Beginners: Please do this very mindfully your first few times. If you are not used to High Intensity Interval Training, you could injure yourself. Better to back off and increase intensity as your body gets used to it! If you are under 30 miles of running a week, please just do 8-12 minutes of this workout, instead of 20 minutes. So you will choose 2-3 of the sets instead of all 5. 

What you need: 
Timer/stop watch/or interval timing

Set 1 (4min) SPRINTS, hills
  • Sprint up the hill for 20 seconds
  • Rest for 10 seconds
  • Complete 8 rounds for a total of 4 minutes
Set 2 (4min) PUSHUPS
  • Pushups 20 seconds, again as high intensity as possible (as many reps as possible)
  • Rest for 10 seconds
  • Complete 8 rounds for a total of 4 minutes
Set 3 (4 min) SPRINTS, flat
  • Sprint on flat for 20 seconds
  • Rest for 10 seconds
  • Complete 8 rounds for a total of 4 minutes
Set 4 (4 min) SQUATS
  • Squats for 20 seconds, again as many reps as possible
  • Rest for 10 seconds
  • Complete 8 rounds for a total of 4 minutes
Set 5 (4 min) BURPEES (how to do a burpee)
  • As many burpees as possible for 20 seconds
  • Rest for 10 seconds
  • Complete 8 rounds for a total of 4 minutes
You're done! Now do a 1 mile easy cool down. 

Overachievers Challenge: If you've been doing the overachievers challenge, then you did 2 days of clean eating last week and a yoga class, congrats! I'm impressed! This week, keep the 2 days of clean eating and add another yoga class, yep that's 2 yoga classes. Also try to do 1-2 of the other weekly challenges as your quality runs. 

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Weekly Workout: Double Run Day with Tempo

I love double run days! You know you are getting in good running shape when you can handle 2 runs in one day. For those of you who have not done this challenge, you might find that you implement it every week after trying it. It is very effective at upping your mileage in a sneaky way. I begin doing a lot of double run days when I want to get my mileage over 80 miles a week. It gives your legs and feet a little break between runs and spreads out the impact making it easier to handle higher mileage. On the downside, it can be time consuming and can require more showers than usual. One of the runs will be a quality run, a short tempo. The other run will be an easy recovery run. I also suggest that you begin keeping track of your workouts every day so you can see how your training affects your performance and daily life.

Summary for the week:
  • Begin keeping track of your daily workouts 
  • Do a 'two run day' (tempo quality run + recovery run), 
  • try a yoga class
  • practice 2 days of clean eating
Miles: Quality run will be 6 miles, recovery run will be 4-9 miles. Total of 10-15 miles

Elevation Gain: Not important

The Workout: You will do two runs. One run, preferably in the morning, will be your Quality Workout. By "quality" I mean that you will put a lot of effort into it. The other run will be recovery. By "recovery" I mean that you will run easy. If anything ever feels hard on a recovery run back off and ease up. The recovery run is not designed to make you a better runner like the quality run is. It is designed to get your legs used to the stress of running higher mileage, to loosen you up, keep your metabolism up, and aid in recovery.

Quality Tempo: Run 1 mile easy as a warm up. Run the next 3 miles (5k) at your 10k race pace (hard tempo). If you don't know your 10k race pace, then run the 5k at a pace that feels intense. By intense I mean that you should feel uncomfortable but be able to maintain this pace for 10k (6.2 miles). Run the last 2 miles easy as a cool down.

Recovery Run: Run between 4 and 9 miles on your second run of the day. Notice how your legs and body feel. Be sure to take it very easy. Easier than you think you should. Slow down, enjoy the views.

Additional Challenge for Overachievers: Last week we did a day of clean eating. This week try doing 2 days of clean eating. In addition, I challenge you to do a yoga class this week. I recommend that if you don't already have a studio you go to that you choose a location that only does yoga. In other words, don't pick a gym or athletic center with yoga. Yoga studios will have more choices and usually be higher quality than the classes you find in gyms. Become a yoga snot from the start. My favorite classes are Power Vinyasa classes. For more on running and yoga, go to my Yoga for Runners Page.

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Sunday, November 2, 2014

Weekly Workout: One Minute Speedwork & One Day Diet Challenge

I'm ready for some speed work, how about you?! I love this workout because it hides its quality in a seemingly innocent 1 minute that is nestled in each mile you run. It will sound easy but you'll be cursing my name after about 30 seconds. As an added challenge, do all 3 weekly workout challenges as your quality workouts during the week. Be sure to take an easy day as needed. I'm also adding a food challenge for this week for the overachievers in the group, the One Day Diet Challenge (scroll down for details)

One Minute Speedwork Tempo

Miles: 6-10 miles(for most people), or 40mins-2 hours. Choose a distance that fits your weekly mileage. This workout should not be more than 15% of your weekly mileage.

Elevation Gain/Loss: Not particularly important for this workout. If you choose a route that is hillier your speed will be slower, which is fine for target events that are longer and hiller. If you are targeting a race that is flatter and faster, choose a flatter/faster route for this workout so you can push the pace.

The Workout: You will begin by warming up for a mile. At the end of 1 mile, you will begin your 1 minute of hard running. The 1 minute should make you feel like you want to be done, it will be uncomfortable but not an all out sprint. You should feel like (or literally) cursing me as your legs burn and you count down the mili seconds until you can run at a moderate pace again. For each mile you run do this 1 minute of high intensity running. It shouldn't be so fast that you cannot complete the entire workout. Pace yourself.

Don't have a GPS or way to track your mileage? Then do the workout by time. You can run moderately for 6-8 minutes and run hard for 1 minute.

Another way to pace the faster run time is to do it at a certain race pace. For 100 mile runners, the pace need not be faster than your 5k pace, for example. For shorter distances you can quicken that pace.

OVERACHIEVERS: (You rock!) 1-Day Diet Challenge
For those of you wanting to up your game, try this Diet Challenge for this week. Pick one day to practice healthy eating. For one day cut out all added sugar, sweets, processed foods, alcohol and grains. Eat foods that are whole, meaning unprocessed. Include plenty of vegetables. For ideas visit my blog post about healthy eating here: Clean Eating and Running 100 Milers

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