• Running

    I’ve always enjoyed running, but it didn’t become such an integral part of my fitness routine until a few years ago. Now, I can’t imagine my life without it. I’m hooked!

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    Training (General)

    How to Start Running: Tips for Beginners
    Running is great exercise and an effective way to tone muscles, but it can be daunting to take the first step! Here are some tips to make it less intimidating.

    Tips for Increasing Your Distance
    Training for a marathon taught me a lot about how to increase my distance. Here are the tips and tricks that have helped me build my mileage from one to 26.2!

    Get Out There and Run
    On the days when I’m just not motivated to run, here’s what I do. Seven tips and tricks to get out there and run!

    Getting Over the Hump
    Hills always used to kick my butt, but during the New York City Marathon, I learned how to make them my bitch. Check out these tips for getting over the hump!

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    Training (Marathon)

    For as long as I can remember, I’ve always wanted to a marathon. No matter how hard I tried, I just couldn’t get the idea out of my head, so when a friend mentioned Team In Training (TNT) and their beginner marathon program, I knew it was exactly what I needed to do to achieve my dream.

    Marathon #1: 2011 Rock ‘N’ Roll Arizona Marathon 

    I ran my first marathon with Team In Training, and my journey was well-documented on Carrots ‘N’ Cake. You can read all of my posts about my training, recaps of our weekly team runs fundraising, and the like here, but here are a bunch that are likely of interest:

    How I Survive Winter Training
    I used to dread running outside in the winter, but learning how to deal with the cold and dress properly for the conditions has made it much more enjoyable. Here’s how I get myself out the door and running!

    How I Fuel for Long Runs
    Running long distances requires a lot of energy. Before a long run or a race, I eat the same breakfast: peanut butter and banana on whole wheat bread or an English muffin. During a long run, I like vanilla bean or lemon sublime GU
    . Within 30 minutes of completing a long run, I typically refuel with an egg sandwich, omelet or protein smoothie. Additionally, I had the opportunity to ask a Certified Sports Dietitian a number of questions about how to properly fuel during marathon training. You can read our question and answer session here: Marathon Fueling Q & A.

    My Favorite Running Gear & Products
    While training for my first marathon, I learned what I need (and don’t need) to run well. Some products are more essential than others, but these are the ones that I can’t live (run) without.

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    How I Raised Money for TNT
    I raised over $8,000 for Team In Training. Here are some of the ways that I raised money for TNT. My best advice for fundraising: start early!

    How to Pick a Good Pair of Running Sneakers
    I actually don’t know much about finding the right pair of sneakers, but here are two pieces of advice based on my own stupidity personal experience.

    Ways to Prevent the ‘Marathon Sniffles’
    Marathons and training can leave a runner vulnerable to illness, but, fortunately, there are ways to boost your resilience, which includes tweaking your training, managing stress, sleep, and eating well. Here are some suggestions for preventing sickness.

    Team In Training’s Milage Schedule
    I followed the TNT Milage Schedule to train for my first marathon. It lasted nearly five months and included a weekly speed workout, one short run (4-6 miles), three cross-training days, a rest day, and a long run on Saturday with our team. On my cross-training days, I did Body Pump, yoga, or the elliptical. As our milage increased, at least one of the cross-training days turned into a rest day for me. I was surprised how necessary it was to let my body recover after those really long runs.

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    Marathon #2: 2011 New York City Marathon

    My second marathon was plagued with health issue after health issue. At the start of my training, I dealt with a month-long colitis flare and then battled a nagging hip injury until the day of the race. I was definitely under-trained for this marathon, but I still PRed by a whole five minutes!

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    Why Am I Gaining Weight During Marathon Training?
    Tackling 26.2 miles was a major life goal for me, and I hoped that all of the training would help me maintain my weight or even help me lose a few pounds. But I was surprised that I actually gained weight during marathon training.

    Marathon Fueling Q & A
    I had the opportunity to ask a Certified Sports Dietitian a number of questions about how to properly fuel during marathon training. You can read our question and answer session here.

    How to Deal with Marathon Training & Cravings
    After gaining weight while training for my first marathon, I vowed not to gain weight the second time around. I still experienced plenty of cravings during training for my second marathon, but I didn’t fall into them (as much), so I didn’t gain weight.

    What I Learned from Running Marathons
    I’ve only run two marathons, so I don’t have a ton of expertise in this area, but I can tell you what I’ve learned from training and completing those two marathons. Here are some lessons I learned about myself from running marathons!

    Training (Half Marathon)

    When training for a half marathon, I typically use Smart Coach from Runner’s World to create a training plan for myself. It’s a totally customizable program, so you can use it to make a half marathon mileage schedule that fits your own personal goals and abilities. However, I created the plans below with the help of some online running resources for specific half marathons.

    8-Week Half Marathon Training Plan
    With only 8 weeks until the Rock ‘N’ Roll USA Half Marathon and no real plan, I decided to look online for some CrossFit Endurance-inspired training programs. I actually didn’t have to look too hard because I stumbled upon Brian MacKenzie’s 12-Week CrossFit Endurance Advanced Training Program right away. His plan is intended for triathletes with a mix of Crossfit and sport-specific training, so I just used the running part as the basis of my 8-week plan.

    10-Week Half Marathon Training Plan
    A number of people mentioned having great success with Hal Hidgon’s Half Marathon Intermediate Training Program, so I decided to use it as the basis of my half marthon training plan for the Run to Remember. I still did CrossFit a few times a week with three days each week devoted to running for my half marathon training.

    Racing

    My Race Recaps
    I
    love running races! Of course, I enjoy the excitement of the day, but the best part is the competition with yourself. When I sign up for a race, I always set a goal, which motivates me to train hard and improve my time. I run about three or four races each year, and I’ve completed a number of different distances from 5K to marathon.

    How I Prepare for Race Day
    I thought it would be helpful to share my race day routine since it can be equally exciting as it is nerve-wracking. Here’s how I maximize the enjoyment of race day without stressing out over too many of the details.

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    Q & A with Mark Remy of Runner’s World
    I had the opportunity to do special Q & A with Mark Remy on a topic of my choice. With the New York City Marathon right around the corner, I jumped at the chance to ask him some questions about what to do the week before the marathon in order to run the best race possible. Here are Mark’s tips and advice for preparing for race day.

    How I Display My Running Medals
    I actually used to throw away my running medals. Now I display them in all of their glory. Here’s how!

    Relays

    Relay races are so fun! In May 2011, I ran my first 24-hour relay race, The Cape Relay, and it was awesome. Last May, I joined an all-blogger team, sponsored by New Balance, to run the Reach the Beach Massachusetts Relay. Read our adventures and see what I packed for an overnight relay!

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    Treadmill Workouts

    Treadmill Workouts Galore
    The winters are cold and long in Boston, so I take my running indoors to the treadmill on occasion. Here are some of my favorite treadmill workouts, which keep me interested and motivated, no problem.

    How to Run on a Treadmill Without Dying of Boredom
    Watching TV is a great way to keep me from getting bored on the treadmill, but I don’t always have the luxury of watching my favorite shows. Here are some other things that I do to prevent myself from dying of boredom on the treadmill!

    Why I Love the Treadmill
    I understand why the treadmill gets a bad rap. It can be pretty boring, but I enjoy it, especially in the winter and for interval workouts. Maybe I’m a weirdo, but I really love running on the treadmill.

    Injuries

    Unfortunately, I am much too familiar with running-related injuries! Here’s an epic post about my injury struggles and how I’ve recovered from them.

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    The Right Way to Foam Roll
    Foam rolling is a flexibility technique where you roll your muscles over a cylindrical piece of foam using your body pressure to massage knots out of your muscles. “By applying gentle force to an adhesion or ‘knot,’ the elastic muscle fibers are altered from a bundled position (that causes the adhesion) into a straighter alignment with the direction of the muscle.” [source] Basically, if you foam roll the tight muscle, it will help restore the fibers back to an optimal level of function and your muscle will work much more efficiently. Here’s how to do it the right way!

    How to Prevent a Body Breakdown
    I’m hypersensitive to any sort of weird running pain since I’ve struggle with injuries in the past, so I keep these things in mind to prevent and recover from potential issues.

    How I Changed My Workouts When I Couldn’t Run
    Both times that I trained for a marathon, I got injured when I increased my mileage. I didn’t want to give up on my goal, so I changed my workouts to let my body recover. Here’s what I did.

    Miscellaneous Running Posts

    How I Started Running
    When readers ask me how I first started running, I never really know what to say. There wasn’t a specific point in my life that I decided to take up running. I started playing soccer as an 8-year-old, so running (as part of the game) has almost always been part of my life.

    My Name Is Tina, and I’m An Aggressive Heel Striker
    The folks from New Balance invited me to visit their facilities in Lawrence, Massachusetts. They offered to give me a tour of the manufacturing factory and analyze my running gait in the Sports Research Lab. Apparently, I’m an aggressive heel striker.

    Garmin 305 Review
    I absolutely love my Garmin 305! It’s improved my running so much, and I can’t run without it now! My review gives the pros and cons of this particular Garmin model.

    My Favorite Running Posts
    Never in a million years did I think running would become such a huge part of my life. A little over a year ago, I signed up for my first marathon and started taking running a little more seriously. Since then, I’ve run nearly two dozen races, hundreds of miles, and made some awesome friends in the process. I honestly can’t imagine my life without running now. Here are some of my favorite running posts.

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    { 9 comments… read them below or add one }

    Hillary [Nutrition Nut on the Run] March 3, 2012 at 1:09 pm

    I’ve been foam rolling more and thinking of you and the tip you gave about holding still on a point when you feel pressure. Ahhh, hurts so good!!

    Reply

    Jenn (Be YOU at Be Me) March 7, 2012 at 3:20 pm

    Love the new Running Page! Would love the opportunity to do a Reach the Beach Relay. How would I go about doing this?

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    Tina March 7, 2012 at 3:43 pm

    Check out the website. There’s info about starting a team and a forum to find a team! :)

    Reply

    Christine March 14, 2012 at 3:44 pm

    I loved reading this post. I am training for a Half Marathon right now, I read that you had a Colitis Flare up. I am raising money for the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America, you should look into doing it if you haven’t already http://www.active.com/donate/virginia12dc/dcCBlake

    Reply

    Sharisse December 18, 2012 at 1:07 pm

    This is an AMAZING page for runners of all levels. I feel like I need days to read everything. At least I know a great running resource for future reference. Thank you for sharing all of this information and your personal experiences!

    Reply

    Katie January 24, 2013 at 12:06 pm

    This page is awesome. I’m finishing up training for my first marathon and am really enjoying your posts that relate to the subject! Reading about your experiences is helping calm my nerves.

    Reply

    Daniela January 28, 2013 at 8:38 am

    Hi Tina! I absolutely love your blog. It has become my favorite! You have done an exceptional job and your are an inspiration! I’m a runner and I am currently experiencing an IT band injury (pain is mostly on the outside of my knee), however the MD told me that I could cross-train until I can run again. What exercises are the best to keep me on the same level of endurance? I am running out of options and nothing seems to give me the same satisfaction as running does. Thank you! :)

    Reply

    Tina January 29, 2013 at 8:15 am

    What about trying CrossFit? I think it’s great for cross training. It’s definitely made me a better runner! :)

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    Helen March 24, 2013 at 6:27 pm

    What an inspiring and extremely motivational blog this is. I have been running for fitness for years but nowhere near marathon distances but after reading this I am seriously thinking of upping my game even if it is just the one marathon,just to say I have done one. Thanks.

    Reply

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