Fit Mommas ROCK

Fit Mommas ROCK

Okay mommas… sometimes it is easy to feel guilty for taking the time to be fit and healthy and work towards your fitness goals… print this… share this…pin this… whatever your need to do!

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Interval Training = Faster. Stronger.

STRONGER. FASTER.
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Interval Training is the name of the game for those of you runners who are looking to set new PRs in upcoming running races! The new Trek Express class on Thursday nights will help you incorporate interval and speed work into your weekly workouts. There are also several treadmill workouts listed on the my Pinterest board that you can do at the gym or at home.

Interval training has been used by athletes for years to build fitness. Interval training combines short, high intensity bursts of speed, with slow, recovery phases, repeated during one exercise session. An early form of interval training, “Fartlek” (a Swedish term meaning ‘speed play’) was casual and unstructured. A runner would simply increase and decrease his pace at will.

How Interval Training Works

Interval training works both the aerobic and the anaerobic system. During the high intensity efforts, the anaerobic system uses the energy stored in the muscles (glycogen) for short bursts of activity. Anaerobic metabolism works without oxygen, but the by-product is lactic acid. As lactic acid builds, the athlete enters oxygen debt, and it is during the recovery phase that the heart and lungs work together to “pay back” this oxygen debt and break down the lactic acid. It is in this phase that the aerobic system is using oxygen to convert stored carbohydrates into energy. It’s thought that by performing high intensity intervals that produce lactic acid during practice, the body adapts and burns lactic acid more efficiently during exercise. This means athletes can exercise at a higher intensity for a longer period of time before fatigue or pain slows them down.

The Benefits of Interval Training

Interval training adheres to the principle of adaptation. Interval training leads to many physiological changes including an increase in cardiovascular efficiency (the ability to deliver oxygen to the working muscles) as well as increased tolerance to the build-up of lactic acid. These changes result in improved performance, greater speed, and endurance. Interval training also helps avoid injuries associated with repetitive overuse, common in endurance athletes. Intervals also allow an athlete to increase training intensity without overtraining or burn-out. Adding intervals to a workout routine is also a great way add cross training to an exercise routine.

No matter what the addition of interval workouts will likely improve your overall fitness. Just be sure to use common sense and start slowly at a level that is commensurate with your current fitness ability and:

Warm Up before starting intervals
Assess current conditioning and set training goals that are within your ability
Keep a steady, but challenging pace throughout the interval
Build the number of repetitions over time
To improve, increase intensity or duration, but not both at the same time
You can also use circuit training as a form of interval training

The information above is adopted from Active.com

A Killer Treadmill Workout

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With temperatures at -16 degrees today the treadmill is the only option! This is the treadmill interval workout we used at our big New Year’s Day event! It is a butt-kicker but will make the 35 minutes fly by!

You check-in on Facebook- Don’t you think you are worth checking in with too?!

4503668346848746_cceW7Zn0_cSo, you all have been at it for one week!  You are seven days into your New Year’s resolutions and fitness goals!  Since many of you set goals that by their very nature will take a while to achieve, it is important to review your goal progress from time to time to make sure that you really are progressing and not just going around in circles.  It is also  crucial to take a moment and recognize and celebrate your small successes!  Setting mini-goals will help you keep moving forward and give you something to celebrate instead of waiting until you reach the big ultimate goal (then you can REALLY party)!

Your self check-in should include:

Measurement: The method of measurement should be established at the start of the goal setting process, along with the baseline. By determining your current goal  measurement (weight, speed, # of workouts, etc.) and comparing it with your starting point, you will be able to see whether or not you have progressed towards your goal.

Relevance: Goals are established based on your situation at the time of setting them. Has your situation relevant to this changed significantly? If there has been a significant change, is it still necessary or are you still able to achieve this goal?

Resources: Are resources  (money, time, information, support) adequate? Is this holding you back from achieving your goal or do you find that you are really struggling?

THEN…

think about each of the following…

  • Is this goal easier or harder than expected?
  • Can you take on more, or do you need to take smaller steps?
  • Overall, are you happy with your progress? If you are, then great! If not, work out why and fix the problem.
  • What are you doing well towards this goal? …and keep doing it!
  • What do you need to do better to achieve this goal? …and do better!
  • Are you enjoying this goal, or at least excited about the end result? Reward yourself for achieving mini-goals and milestones to keep you on your journey. Remember, the end result needs to be something you really want.
  • Have you been honest and ethical in your progress towards this goal? Your highly moral sub-conscious won’t let you achieve goals if they have unethical components or if you haven’t been honest with yourself. Is this holding you back?
  • Are you afraid of failure?…

I am incredibly impressed and proud of the steps I have seen many of the Northern Grrrls take this past week in achieving their goals!  Keep it up everyone and keep working so hard!  I know you all have it in you!

adapted from http://www.achieve-goal-setting-success.com

Hey Fat Girl, I got something to say to you…

I had to re-post this.  This is the time of year when I like to remind you fellow fitness fanatics that while the New Year’s resolution gym crowd can be frustrating,  those very people need  encouragement and support- not your attitude of superiority.  When you encounter newbies out there in the coming days at the gym or the pool or wherever… Be patient with them and the people who are clueless in your workout classes. Each of these individuals are starting a new scary journey and have their own challenges to overcome. Show them how to use the treadmill. Tell them what equipment they need for class if the instructor is busy. Smile at them.  Make them feel welcome in your gym so that they want to return the next day.  Become inspired by them!

Hey Fat Girl, Image

Yes, you. The one feigning to not see me when we cross paths on the running track. The one not even wearing sports gear, breathing heavy. You’re slow, you breathe hard and your efforts at moving forward make you cringe. 

You cling shyly to the furthest corridor, sometimes making larger loops on the gravel ring by the track just so you’re not on it. You sweat so much that your hair is all wet. You rarely stay for more than 20 minutes at a time, and you look exhausted when you leave to go back home. You never talk to anyone. I’ve got something I’d like to say to you. 

You are awesome. 

If you’d look me in the eye only for an instant, you would notice the reverence and respect I have for you. The adventure you have started is tremendous; it leads to a better health, to renewed confidence and to a brand new kind of freedom. The gifts you will receive from running will far exceed the gigantic effort it takes you to show up here, to face your fears and to bravely set yourself in motion, in front of others. 

You have already begun your transformation. You no longer accept this physical state of numbness and passivity. You have taken a difficult decision, but one that holds so much promise. Every hard breath you take is actually a tad easier than the one before, and every step is ever so slightly lighter. Each push forward leaves the former person you were in your wake, creating room for an improved version, one that is stronger, healthier and forward-looking, one who knows that anything is possible.

You’re a hero to me. And, if you’d take off the blaring headphones and put your head up for more than a second or two, you would notice that the other runners you cross, the ones that probably make you feel so inadequate, stare in awe at your determination. They, of all people, know best where you are coming from. They heard the resolutions of so many others, who vowed to pick up running and improve their health, “starting next week”. Yet, it is YOU who runs alongside, who digs from deep inside to find the strength to come here, and to come back again.

You are a runner, and no one can take that away from you. You are relentlessly moving forward. You are stronger than even you think, and you are about to be amazed by what you can do. One day, very soon, maybe tomorrow, you’ll step outside and marvel at your capabilities. You will not believe your own body, you will realize that you can do this. And a new horizon will open up for you. You are a true inspiration.

I bow to you.

See original post on Flintland…

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Winter Workout Tips

Winter

The Northern Grrrls may be used to frigid Wisconsin winter temps, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy to force ourselves out the door into temperatures in the teens to get that workout in! We have started our Runners World #RWRunStreak challenge and it is truly helping push us all to get outside or on the treadmill for that extra workout! See the blog from greatestwealthishealth below for more tips on how to break those winter blues!

Winter Workout Tips.

via Winter Workout Tips.

You Don’t Need Compression Clothing. You Need Heart & Attitude to Meet Fitness Goals.

Are we obsessed with our running gear?

Are we obsessed with our running gear?

“People seldom notice old clothes if you wear a big smile.”  ~Lee Mildon

When I started running and hitting the gym I found myself thinking so many times that I was not good enough, or didn’t  have expensive fancy schmancy enough gear, or I was not as “athletic” looking as I needed to be in order to enter a race or show my face in the weight room. I would look around at the expensive shoes and brightly colored wicking shirts and feel extremely intimidated when I first started to race.  I will never forget the first time I saw an older man in cotton cargo shorts, a pair of old shoes, and what appeared to be his wife’s cotton t-shirt at the start line of a marathon.  I was horrified that he was going to run in such attire, but then I really started to think that it is not about the clothes or the gear or how much you money you spent on your shoes.  Fitness, racing, and workouts are about heart and attitude. Period.  If you haven’t made the investment in your training and mental fortitude… well, it doesn’t matter how much you paid for your new compression shorts.

You need a few basic items to workout:

  • comfortable shorts or pants
  • a decent shirt- cotton will work, but wicking is better if you can afford one
  • ladies- get a good sports bra.  Your ta-tas will appreciate it.  Sports bras should be replaced after 75 washes or if you lose a significant amount of weight
  • running / athletic shoes (some will disagree you need these and that is okay too- barefoot running is huge trending change in the sport)

… now let me say a few things about running shoes…

This article by Runner’s World provides some insight into one of the most commonly made mistakes by new runners – get the glittery fun colorful shoes and pay no attention whatsoever to body mechanics.  I completely understand the draw of fancy shoes.  As a pronator, I require stability running shoes and until recently there was very little to choose from in terms of color and style in a functional motion control shoe.  The neutral runners had greater choice in their footwear, but I was relegated to simple boring shoes.  This is no longer the case, but the danger still exists to go for the sparkly or neon shoes.  Go to a running store.  Get fitted and get shoes that are right for you.  Your knees and hips will thank you.

If you want to read a humorous additional take on the subject of what kind of gear you need to get a good workout in, check out Hamilton Nolan’s article here.

Girl Power! Why is it so contagious?

This past weekend many of my boot camp participants and friends participated in the first annual Chick-uamegon 5K & 10K.  Despite temperatures in the high 30’s and pouring rain and sleet, over 250 women suited up in the obligatory bling required for an all girl race and hit the pavement.

Pre-Race while we all still were dry and warm. Many of our GRRRLS are missing from this photo but we had quite a crew!

This is a huge number of women for a brand new event in rural northern Wisconsin.  I have long understood the appeal of all female races.  I have run the Run Like a Diva half marathons in two different locations and have participated in many Iron Girl events across the Midwest. Women athletes empower each other. They’re more supportive of each other in training and throughout the race course.  There is a sense of female bonding that takes place and that alone is motivation enough for some women to lace up those athletic shoes each day.

The Northern Grrrls took the race preparations one step further with some additional female bonding over the crafy development of our race fluffies (gigantic furry leg warmers) and tutus. Simple online tutorials on making fluffies and tutus walked us through a night of silly craft making.  It was  a great way for us to get our creative energy out while ensuring that my house will never ever be glitter free again.  At least I cannot say that these events don’t bring *sparkle*to my life…

Showing off our fluffies! These looked more like leg dreadlocks after the mud and rain got to them, but they kept us toasty warm!

In short, it would not have mattered how cold and wet it was on Saturday morning… these ladies were NOT going to miss this event. There were so many women and little girls who were excited and dressed up and ready to meet the weather just so they could surround themselves with other strong women and support each other throughout the event.  I think that is what it is really about – that ancient instinct to stand together as women and support and nurture each other.  Maybe Helen Reddy said it best…♪♪♫♫♪♪

I am woman, hear me roar
In numbers too big to ignore
And I know too much to go back an’ pretend
’cause I’ve heard it all before
And I’ve been down there on the floor
No one’s ever gonna keep me down again

With as many challenges as every women has each day I love that racing and fitness can bring us together in a positive way and make each one of us roar just a little bit louder.

Wet and soaked, but still looking fabulous!

Northern Grrrls are Whistlestop Rockstars

Whistestop ROCKSTARS!

  • Months of Training
  • Missed Sunday night Packer games
  • Rainy, Hot, Cold, Late, Dark Runs
  • Sore Muscles
  • Endless GU packets

IT WAS ALL WORTH IT!

The Northern Grrrl Half Marathon Training Team

Seven Northern Grrls crossed the finish line at the Whistlestop Half-Marathon this past Saturday.  Some had crossed the finish line in previous years and some experienced the exhilaration and thrill of completing a half marathon for the first time.  Every grrrl who crossed the finish line did so within her goal time.  One of our grrrls even shaved 13 minutes from her previous race time.  I could not have been prouder of each of them and their accomplishment.  It was a cold and rainy day and the race route was soft and sandy, but the friendships and memories forged during months of training and supporting each other were enough to warm hearts and minds and create a race day memory unlike any other!

Huge smiles for the Northern Grrrls who completed their first half-marathon!