Transformation Tuesday! Lets talk about progress and balance.

It is running season…

Which means, most runners are training for some sort of fall race, from 5K to 26.2, whichever distance it may be, us runners are out there running.

And although, running is our main priority right now, our focus… some of us runners start to worry…

I want to weight lift, but I need to run…

I want to do yoga, but I should run…

I want to ride my bike, but I gotta get out there and run…

Recently, I have been receiving tons of e-mails regarding how to balance a disciplined running plan and fit in weight lifting, yoga, etc.

Well let me tell you this…

Cross training is important.

Strength training is important.

Yoga/ stretching is important. 

I started running 6 years ago. I became so passionate about running that all I did was run. During the colder winter months after my fall marathon I picked up Bikram yoga. I loved it and became a regular, but still I ran.

When I trained for my first marathon, I followed my training plan religiously – I never missed a run. When I trained for my 2nd marathon, I did exactly the same thing, sometimes I even ran on the day that called for cross training.

However, after spending 9 months in 2012, running in a natural running shoe (newton), focussing on running form, in February 2013, I started weight lifting. I wanted to get stronger to improve my running, and I did. I got stronger, I improved my running. It was shocking I was running a little less, but I was running better than ever.

I am now running faster and further. The combination of being stronger and running with a more efficient stride/form, allows me to run faster, further, with less effort.

My point is you do not have to run every day to be a great runner. Running everyday, could actually make your running suffer, from burn out or injury. It is so important to incorporate strength training, cross training, and stretching in the mix. The stronger you are the less injury prone you will be, and the more your running will improve.

So to answer the question … How do you balance a disciplined running plan and strength training, cross training, stretching. How do you do it all?

It depends on your fitness level, comfort level.

Rookie: If this is your first race (first full marathon, first half marathon, etc.) follow your running training plan. Focus on your running. Stretch after your runs. Rest on your rest days. Cross train once a week. Strength train once a week.

Veteran: If this is your second, third, tenth, time racing this distance, then it is okay to use your training plan as a guideline. At this point, you can tweak and customize you plan. This marathon training season, I have been lifting weights on days when I run short and easy. I always do leg day early in the week after my long run has already been completed.

I also advise taking tons of photos to record your journey as an athlete. This way you can keep track of your progress visually.  Take advantage of photography. We have cameras on our phones, and we are lucky we have technology at our fingertips.

With that being said…

Because it is tuesday, I thought it would be the perfect time to honor Transformation Tuesday. So I am posting some progress pics, in hopes to inspire and motivate.

image-1The above photo was taken in March 2013. The bottom photo was taken in August 2013.

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Arms are seeing some major gains! This photo was taken in August 2013.

Anyway I hope these photos inspire and prove to you that you can balance both training plans. And that in the end being stronger is just going to enhance your overall fitness level.

Questions for You…

  1. How do you balance your training plans?
  2. Do you sometimes do two-a-days?

© 2013 sweatdaily

 

 

Transformation Tuesday

There are a lot of different themes on Instagram. To name a few, there is Throwback Thursday aka TBT, or on Friday, Flex Friday. All of the themes on Instagram are really fun to participate in.  However, out of all of them Transformation Tuesday is my favorite.

I love Transformation Tuesday because this theme is the most inspiring. It is extremely motivating seeing people’s transformations. How far they have come. How much weight they have lost. How much muscle they have gained. It is the ultimate proof, that if you make a lifestyle change of eating clean organic food and dedicate time to training hard, you will see results.

Because you are seeing yourself every day, sometimes it is hard to notice the positive change. I find it helpful to take progress pics and I label them with the date they were taken, that way I can really compare, and appreciate my hard work.

So here it is my progress pic, my Transformation Tuesday. transformation tuesday

I am hoping my progress pics will inspire you, as much as other people’s have inspired me.

I also came across this amazing blog post,

This Trendy ‚ÄúStrong is the New Skinny‚ÄĚ Thing (and what it could mean for the next generation of¬†girls).

This is a must read so click here and read it now. It basically talks about the American tragedy of how and why a large majority of young girls spend their time obsessing over their weight.  Devoting endless hours, energy, emotions, and effort into being skinny.

This is my favorite pic from the blog.

This is my favorite pic from the blog.

The author claims that her new goal has changed from ‚Äúbe a size zero to¬†do a motherfucking pull up.”

 

254cc5b92387a31c8da38770cacaa81dIn the blog post she reveals how painfully awful it was to be 104 pounds- all skin and bones, and how amazing she feels now strong and fit.  Wishing someone would have told her sooner that Strong is the new Skinny, she is now trying to encourage girls to be strong, fit, healthy.

I love everything about this post and honestly couldn’t agree more – Strong is the new Skinny! And as you can tell from my progress pic, I was never fat, trying to loose weight, but rather I was just skinny,¬†scrawny, (even though I was running everyday)¬†Now, after adding weight lifting to the mix, I not only look stronger, but I actually am…

oh and p.s. I can do a motherfucking pull up. 

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© 2013 sweatdaily

Who would have thought… The gym has become my playground!!

I know I have posted this motivational quote time and time again. tumblr_mijzdgHfwG1rwkaswo1_500

But I had to post it again, because it is the TRUTH! I am actually very shocked I have seen such results this quickly. Maybe it is because I have always had confidence in my body, and didn’t feel like I needed to change much. I went into this trainer, hoping to build strength so I could better myself as a runner, not really thinking about what I would physically change appearance wise.

My upper body has always been skinny and weak. My core was by far the weakest part of my body. People always told me strengthen your core and you will be able to run further and faster. So that is what I did, during this trainer, and now I am running better than ever.

PROGRESS PIC

Anyway, I wanted to post a progress pic. I found a photo of me from 6 months ago wearing the same outfit as I was a couple days ago. week 9 results

6 months ago I had already ran the Cherry Blossom 10 Miler 2012 and The Parkway Classic 10 Miler 2012. I was running 5-6 days a week and I had been training for the Annapolis 10 miler. In the photo above I was at the Annapolis 10 miler expo getting my bib. So I was very athletic, but running my body was not sculpted with muscle.

As you can see in the photo above my upper body was very weak and skinny. My core was weak as well, and my body overall was just not as toned. I had a different shape. If you look at the current photo, taken April 5th, you will see my shoulders are starting to take shape, my arms and chest are much more toned. My core and hip area are showing strength. Overall my body has a more sculpted shape. I feel stronger and my running has improved.

LIVEFIT TRAINER UPDATE…

At the moment, I am currently finishing up week 9 of the livefit trainer! Week 9 is the first week of phase 3. In this phase we are incorporating (all of these are defined by bodybuilding.com.

  • Supersets:¬†performing the first exercise and then immediately do the next exercise. Only then do you take the 2-minute rest in between before repeating again.
  • Triple set:¬†Perform the first exercise, followed immediately by the second exercise, followed immediately by the third exercise. Only then do you take the 2-minute rest in between before repeating again.
  • Active rest:¬†Do the first exercise, and then instead of resting, perform the active-rest movement (for example, jump rope). Immediately repeat the first exercise.

The supersets is something that was introduced in phase 2, but the triple set and active rest is something that is new to phase 3. The superset and triple set is suppose to help you continue to build muscle and maintain the muscle you have. The active rest period gets your heart rate up so you are able to burn fat. I actually really like the active rest part, way better than just resting. Before when it was mandatory to take a minute or two in between sets, I always felt antsy to continue on. I love having active rest periods, but boy does it kick my ass. 

On leg day, some examples of an active rest periods are squat jumps and jumping rope. So I bought this new jump rope, so I would personally have my own at the gym. 529476_10101060508754006_1519705170_n-1

On upper body days, active rest periods consist of ab work/core strengthening, and tons of push ups. The hardest push ups yet are kettle bell push ups.  (photo found on bodybuilding.com)

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My favorite new core strengthening exercise is the Exercise Ball Pull In. (photos found on bodybuilding.com.)

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Anyway, those are my two favorite new exercises, and above are the new terms added to phase 3 of the livefit trainer! Another new thing added is treadmill sprints. This is something that I can tolerate, because it is switching up routine on the treadmill, so it is not as boring.

I never thought I would enjoy weight lifting as much as I have. The work has been hard, but I really do like pushing my body, and challenging myself. I have seen amazing results, in myself, and my running.

Although, I always head outside for my runs. When it comes to weigh lifting… The¬†gym has become my playground!!

Question for You…

  • Where is your playground? examples:¬†pool, the ski slopes, the¬†half pipe, the trail, yoga studio, the gym, tennis court …
  • Do you prefer to work out indoors or outside?

© 2013 sweatdaily

Firedaughter Clothing- tees for women who are too fabulous to wear! tees

So my last post was all about being a fashionista and the importance of having the proper gear for whatever sport you participate in. The right clothing/gear will not only improve your game, but also bring you confidence.

With that being said… I want to share with you my new favorite workout clothing company, Firedaughter Clothing.

Firedaughter Clothing is a company on etsy that makes tees for women who are too fabulous to wear tees. My favorite thing about this company is the fun, creative, motivational phrases found on each piece. Finding the perfect tee/tank, that you can totally relate to, wont take long. There is a color, size, and phrase for everyone.

One of my favorite shirts is the one that says, Eat Clean Train Dirty!

eat clean train dirty

 

And… here is a picture of me wearing the tank! Progress Pic. Keep in mind I just completed week 8 of the Livefit trainer.¬†

train dirtyAnd look at those guns… haha. Thanks to the Livefit Trainer!

Livefit trainer update…

I have always had a weak skinny arms, shoulders, upper body, which always looked out of proportion compared to my strong running legs. But thanks to the Livefit trainer, I have now developed some major strength in my upper body. I love feeling stronger and looking more toned. Tomorrow will be day 57, my first day in phase 3. I am really excited because in phase 3 there are some changes to the program. This is no longer a phase focused on building muscle, but rather one focused on burning fat! I also am going to be paying even closer attention to clean eating. In a week I will be carb cycling! Can’t wait!! I love a challenge!

© 2013 sweatdaily

 

 

 

Livefit trainer, Progress pic…

Hey!! I have some EXCITING NEWS to tell you guys, but I am going to hold off until tomorrow… So stay tuned…

Today, I am going to talk about how I am doing on my livefit trainer…

I have completed day 53 of the Livefit trainer. Two more training days and I will be finished with week 8 and totally done with Phase 2. I am now not only feeling stronger, but starting to see some serious change in my upper body and in my core. (My legs have always been pretty strong because of running.)

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Anyway, this morning, I woke up and headed to the Gold’s gym that I regularly go to, and the power was out, so they were closing until the problem was fixed. My time is precious so I didn’t wait around. One of the perks of living in the Washington, DC area is that there is a Starbucks and Gold’s gym on every block. So I headed down to the next closest Gold’s.

What a different vibe…

This Gold’s was so much darker, and over packed with gym equipment. The benches were old, and so were the weights.

look at these Old School weights…

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Although, everything was older, my work out was still good. That is one of the positive things about lifting free weights. You don’t need to be picky. If the weight ¬†weighs 15 lbs, then the weight weighs 15 lbs, regardless if it is old or new.

Another thing that I loved about this Gold’s was because it was over crowded with equipment, the lifting area was more private, which was really nice. Even though, there were plenty of other people around, I felt like I was the only one in there. This privacy made me very focussed and it seemed peaceful – which is funny, because I was lifting heavy. Never thought weight lifting would be peaceful in anyway, but it was today.

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Along with this new found peace, I am also finding that I am really starting to love weigh lifting. ¬†It isn’t up there with running or yoga yet, but it is close behind them. I have come to the conclusion that I like sports that are simple. For example in running, all you really need is a good pair of shoes, and some runners will argue that you don’t even need that. Weight lifting is similar, in the way, that it is simple and you don’t need a bunch of stuff to see results.

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Anyway, in the end, I am happy I got the opportunity to try the other Golds. They are both by running trails too. This is a plus since I hate the treadmill, and love running outside right after I lift. They are also both near organic grocery stores and Starbucks. So I think I may alternate Gyms depending on my mood. Its good to keep things interesting and switch things up.

Tomorrow, is day 54, in which I am going to hit Legs hard. However, it is also my day off, so I might also squeeze in day 55, if I have time, and then go for a run. We shall see… but I know I am a total fitness junkie, because I am already getting excited about my tomorrow work outs. Hopefully, the weather man is right, and it will get warm this weekend, I really want to run in shorts.

I’m going to leave you with a progress pic…

Livefit trainer, Week 8, day 53

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Questions for You?

  1. What is your favorite body part to work out?
  2. Do you switch up your gyms, or gym routines?
  3. What work outs did you do today?

© 2013 sweatdaily

Livefit Trainer, Week 5, Progress Pic

Update of the Livefit trainer…

I wanted to update you on the Livefit trainer. I have just completed week 5. Today is my rest day, which means tomorrow is my first day of week 6. It is hard to believe I am halfway through the trainer.

Phase 2 has begun…

Week 5 is the first week of Phase 2. And let me tell you this week had been super intense! However, Jamie Eason claims that it is just the beginning. Let me explain to you what Phase 2 is all about.

Remember how in Phase 1, there was NO CARDIO… which meant no running. Oh how I missed my runner’s high. Jamie Eason wanted to use Phase 1 as a muscle building phase. She also wanted us to focus on our clean eating diet which meant eating whole clean foods, as 5-6 small meals in three hour intervals.

Well in Phase 2, we are still building muscle. Actually, there are way more work outs. Some work outs are combined with another as a super set. Other work outs have reps up to 20 or 30.  Another thing that has finally been added is 30 minute cardio sessions,which Jamie Eason suggests doing after you weight lift. This means running for me. Yippee! We are also continuing to eat clean, 5-6 small meals a day, in three hour intervals. Drinking tons of water, and taking our supplements. One new thing, Jamie Eason suggest, that I am going to start to do is using the app My Fitness Pal, which will help me keep track of my calories, making sure I get enough.

Week 5 has been intense, because it has been more time consuming, but I haven’t missed a day. Today is my much needed rest day. Tomorrow week 6 begins. I am also starting my half marathon training. In order to fit all this in, and stay on top of everything, I am going to be waking up earlier. I have a feeling there might be some days where I will be doing a double, but I am going to try my hardest to try to avoid this and just get all my work outs done in the morning time, before work.

Phase 2, Week 5

Day 29 – Back/ Cardio

  • ¬†Seated Cable Rows¬†–¬†3 sets of 8 reps – (40 lbs)
  • End of superset; resume normal sets

Day 30 – Chest/Abs

  • ¬†Superset:

Day 31- Legs

    • ¬†Leg Extensions¬†–¬†2 warm-up sets with lighter weight for 30 reps – (I used 30 lbs and it was killer.¬†
    • ¬†Wide Stance Barbell Squat¬†–¬†2 lighter sets of 15 reps, 2 heavier sets to failure – (First two sets with 50 lbs, Last two sets 70 – 90 lbs)
    • ¬†Leg Press¬†–¬†4 sets of 8 reps- (90 lbs)
    • ¬†Walking Barbell Lunge¬†– ¬†3 sets of 20 reps, baby steps (30 lbs)

Day 31 – Arms, Abs, Cardio

  • Barbell Curl¬†–¬†3 sets of 10 reps – ( 1 set 20 lbs. It was too light, ¬†so I went up to 30 lbs. Someone is getting stronger. ūüôā )

Superset:

End of superset; resume normal sets

  • ¬†Hanging Leg Raise¬†(or roman chair) –¬†3 sets of 10 reps – (body weight) I like roman chair better.
  • 30 minute Cardio session on treadmill. I hate the treadmill, because I would rather be running outside. But I ended up, having a sweaty fast treadmill run, working on speed work.

Day 33 – Shoulder/ Cardio

  • Smith Machine Military Press¬†–¬†1 warm-up set, 3 sets of 10 reps – (I got up to 30 lbs on this, but I didn’t like it. I have done this one before with just a 30 lb bar with my chair in and incline position, and felt it much more, so I think I will do that for now on.

Superset:

End of superset; resume normal sets

J and I headed to the gym by 7:00 am. We were completely done with this work out by 8:30 am. It felt really good to have it done that early. 

Day 34- Legs

I was up and at the gym by 8:00. I wasn’t able to finish this work out because I had to be at work by 10, so had to leave the gym by 9:00. This was an intense work out and my legs were still really sore from working out earlier during the week. So I am going to finish this work out tomorrow along with completing day 36 which is back and cardio.

Tomorrow is also suppose to be very snowy in my area. So my cardio session might end up being another treadmill session. Oh well, I’ll do what I have to do. Desperately wishing it was spring.

Anyhow, at the end of Phase 1, I snapped a progress pic I wanted to share with you. This is my first progress pic, I took last week at the end of phase 1 beginning of phase 2.

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Trust me, I didn’t have arms or shoulders like that before. This is proof that 4 weeks of lifting weights really can transform your body.

tumblr_mijzdgHfwG1rwkaswo1_500Found this motivational picture on tumblr, and felt it fit this post perfectly. It has been 4 weeks and I have noticed a change in my body, and I feel much stronger. It will be interesting to take another photo when 8 weeks approaches, and then again when 12 approaches.

I wish it was already TOMORROW…

because…

I can’t wait to start week 6. Although I hate the gym, I ¬†have found a new love for weight lofting… so I hope the snow doesn’t close the gym . ūüėČ

P.S. I am now officially starting my half marathon training as well… so I will post my training program tomorrow.

Questions for You?

  1. What races are you training for?
  2. What training program do you follow?

© 2013 sweatdaily