November Recap, December Goals! 

Before I tell you about November, let’s back track to October…

(For those who are new to the blog, here’s a quick recap of October. If you’ve been reading skip first paragraph.) 

October was such an amazing month! I closed October by setting a new marathon PR at the Marine Corps Marathon. This marathon was my 4th, and my first full marathon as a mother runner. It feels incredible finishing this marathon, knowing my daughter has been with me every step of the way. 

The week after I ran MCM, I got the marathon blues. My training program was such a time commitment, but then my race went by so fast. And with no more future races to train for, I felt a little lost. I ended up almost signing up for the Richmond Marathon, which was two weeks later. I ultimately decided not to do it, even though I was totally trained to.

Because I had just finished running a full marathon, November’s focus was on recovery miles and fun running. 

I went into November with out a plan. I  didn’t track all of my runs – some were tracked on my Garmin, others on Strava. I ran two shorter races for fun- The Operation Turbo 5k and the Alexandria Turkey Trot/ Del Ray 5 miler.  Both races I ran with Zoe, as I pushed her in the stroller. It was so fun!

Now it’s December! Although, it is just the beginning of December, 2016 is coming to an end. This year has been incredible and I’m hoping to end it as good as it began. 

Because I am currently in off season, with no races to train for. I think it might be fun to participate in Runner’s World run streak. It is simply run every day until New Years, even if it’s just a mile. Find me on Instagram @sweat1xdaily, if you want to follow along. Or participate by following Runner’s World on instagram @runnersworldmag and use #RWRunStreak when you post a run photo. 

This December, I also want to spend time focusing on strength training. It’s time to build some more muscle again and get stronger. 

So this December is all about streakin’ with Runner’s World, building some serious strength, and spending time reflecting on 2016. 

Has anyone done a run streak before?

copyright 2016 sweat1xdaily 

Should you run or work out if you are TIRED?

  
Photo above was taken on the trail this Saturday. 

For some reason, last week I was tired. It was probably a combination of being a busy mom and being busy at work. But I definitely didn’t workout/run everyday the way I usually do. And being tired led to missing workouts which turned into a week of bad eating. (In my case “bad eating” always means not eating enough to support my hard earned muscles. Ayes, ladies to support muscle growth you need to eat.) So let’s just say, I’m thankful last week is over. 

Should you workout when you are tired?

I hear it all the time especially on social media. Moms saying, “Never been this tired, but still squeezed in my work out.” Or… “Up all night with teething baby, but still got up early and got my long run done.” 

This made me think… 

Should you work out if you are exhausted?

I guess it depends on the person and what your goal is… But for me, and my goals, it is a NO go. 

The ideas that doing Something is better than nothing, isn’t always true.

One of my goals is to build muscle

Whether I am lifting heavy, or doing more plyometrics and HIIT, I need to be rested to really kill it in the gym. Because of my busy schedule now that I am a working mama, I cherish my gym/run sessions and make the best of my work out time. Every time I hit the running trail, or walk into the gym, I’m focused and ready to give it my all. However, without adequate rest I won’t be able to lift as heavy or complete those active rest periods or HIIT sessions. 

Also many people don’t know, but you actually build muscle after your weight lifting session while your body is at rest. When you lift weights your muscle fibers get broken down, you need rest time for those muscles to repair themselves. The repairing of the muscle is what makes them grow. For someone, like me, who wants to build strength and muscle, rest is important.

Because I am a runner I always have running goals.

Now that I am five months postpartum, I am finally running like I use to. However, for a runner at my level, sometimes less is more. Sometimes being under trained is better than being over trained. It is hard to judge which is better for you, but as long as you have been consistent with your runs, skipping one here and there because you are tired is better and smarter. When you continue to pound the pavement when you are overly tired you are more prone to get injured. 

Now with all this being said, your body needs rest in order to perform to its best ability. However, do NOT use, “Ugh, I’m tired,”as an excuse all the time. In order to see improvement and change, practice makes perfect, consistency is key. To be a better runner, you do have to run on a regular. To build muscle, you need to regularly get to the gym and lift those weights.

Another thing to ask yourself is… Will a good run, or gym session give me energy. Again it is hard to judge, but sometimes getting your sweat on is exactly what you need to actually get the endorphins sparked, giving you the energy you need. 

True Story

After only getting one short run on Sunday and then to the gym on Tuesday last week, on Saturday I went running on the trail (photo above) and then hit gym after for an intense back and core workout. It felt great. That run was so sweet that I finally felt energized. 

So next time your are overly tired, evaluate your situation. Will your workout give you energy or set you back? Listen to your body, it will help you find the answer. 

  
Happy Running! 

 

Mirror Mirror on the wall… Who is the strongest of them all…

Post Pregnancy Work Out -Phase 2 Livefit trainer.
I forgot how much I love phase 2 of the livefit trainer. This phase is the one that I normally repeat and always go back to. I really enjoy lifting heavier weights while doing more sets with lower reps. However, with that being said, do not lift heavy if you have poor form. People who have poor form have no business lifting heavy weights, that is why phase 1 of the livefit trainer is crucial. If your form is not on point repeat phase 1 and focus on perfecting your form.
Now that I am almost finished with Phase 2, I am really excited to see progress. Not necessarily with the appearance of my body, although I do see some muscle definition, but rather with how strong I am becoming. At 4 months postpartum I am finally starting to feel like the athlete I once was, before getting pregnant with Zoe. There is still a lot of work to do – Rome wasn’t built over night, but I am happy that I am finally lifting the weight I use to lift. I am hoping in the near future to start setting some new PRs in the weight room. I remember stepping in the weight room for the first time 8 weeks postpartum and flopping on my belly not even capable of doing one successful push up, now I am doing 4×10 and sometimes 4×15… Now that is progress.
Ladies stop focusing on what your body looks like and start focusing on what your body can do. Stop trying to diet and start fueling your body with clean organic healthy food choices that will help you perform and reach your ultimate goal. 
Whether I am running, lifting, doing yoga… I always focus on setting new PRs. I focus on strength. Once I flipped that switch and started focusing on setting new fitness goals, not weight loss goals, it is then that I became an athlete…
And guess what?
One day, when I looked in the mirror I saw one too.


P.S. I start phase 3 of the Livefit trainer today! Can’t wait!

Exclusively Lifting

It is day 20 of exclusively Lifting weights – yep that means NO cardio (with the exception of some long walks with Zoe).

I am following (once again) the Livefit trainer by Jamie Eason. Out of all the programs I have tried… Livefit is my favorite. Not only have I been successful on the program, (got me in the best shape of my life) but it just makes since. It is easy to follow and it is the way I personally like to lift in the gym. Of course I always customize the program to my needs, sometimes incorporating different exercises I prefer from other programs.

Anyway, the first phase (4 weeks) is all about gaining as much strength and muscle as you can. And because cardio can eat up your muscles or make it harder for you to gain, cardio is eliminated from the first phase.

And because of pregnancy, I haven’t trained like this in about a year, so it has been nice just to focus on one thing- weight lifting.

My experience so far…

Damn! Even though I have pretty much lost most of the baby weight. I am definitely starting from scratch. Appearance wise- My legs and booty have never been this skinny, my boobs have never been this big. So as you can see my body is the complete opposite of what it use to be. With that being said, it is amazing how with only three weeks of lifting, I am already starting to see some change – my glutes are starting to make a come back.

However, I am not focusing on what my body looks like but rather how it can perform.¬†Muscle memory¬†is an amazing thing. I get to the weight room and it is like riding a bike, right back at it. The first two weeks I took things slow, grabbing lighter weights and working on form. I see it all the time… people lifting heavy who have no business lifting that way because their form is so poor. I definitely do not want to be that girl trying to lift heavy with poor form – I might as well be on my road bike riding with out a helmet. So in the beginning I really focused on form, and now I feel ready and I am upping the weights.

Some of the exercises, I will do a warm up set with lighter weights, just to make sure my form is good and muscles are ready. It is then that I realize I need to up the weight. But there are some exercises mainly body weight exercise, such as push ups or bench dips that I struggle to finish the set. So weird that some exercises surprise me because I need to lift heavier, while others surprise me because they are a struggle when they use to be a piece of cake. I think this is because my core muscles need to be rebuilt. Because of this I am doing as many weight lifting exercises in plank so I am with out doubt engaging my core.

Anyway, I am not weighing myself until the end of the program. I am not worrying about numbers like that because they mean nothing to me. I am more concerned about hitting new PRs in the gym and getting stronger. Plus muscle weighs more than fat, so in this first phase I may not see a drop in weight at all, because I’m hoping for muscle gains. I will post progress pics though.

Diet is 80-90% of the reason why people see results.  This week I am really cleaning up my diet, by eating clean organic mostly plant based. I am also cutting back on sugar, and drinking more water. When trying to put on more muscle you need to eat. Muscle gains are supported by calories. So I will try to eat (clean) every 2-3 hours.
Below is a picture I posted on instagram,  on Day 17 of the Livefit trainer РNO cardio, exclusively lifting!Trying to gain as much muscle/strength back before I start running again. ***FITNESS TIP of the Day: try to do every weight lifting exercise you can in a plank. For example: Tricep Dumbbell Kickbacks or One Arm Dumbbell Row are more challenging when in a plank. That way you are definitely engaging your core. #fitmom #fitspo #girlswholift #liftheavy #livefit

Follow me on Instagram @sweat1xdaily

© 2015 sweat1xdaily

 

The Clutch vs. Livefit Trainer, and how to customize your online training plan.

After completing 2 full rounds of the Livefit trainer. This monday, I decided to finally start The Clutch Cut. I have been wanting to try this program since it first came out. However, because of marathon training over the summer, I needed to build my muscle back and I knew the Livefit trainer would do that for me. My second round of the Livefit trainer ended right before my trip to Thailand, Feb 1st. Now, that I am back and have some significant muscle, I am ready to do Clutch.

What is The Clutch Cut? What is Clutch?

The Clutch Cut is a free training program found on bodybuilding.com. It is created by Ashley Conrad (follow her on instagram @ashley_conrad) a celebrity personal trainer, who has trained Kate Hudson and many others. It is an intense 21 day program, that promises to get you in the best shape. Why 3 weeks? The program was created with celebrities in mind… 3 weeks is usually the amount of time that most celebrities have in order to get in shape for a movie. Because it is only 3 weeks long, diet plays a huge role. Diet is the key to seeing results and being successful.

clutch nutrition

Clutch Diet

I have diet crossed out because I hate the word. This is not really a diet it is a way of life, and that’s Clutch. So every time you see the word diet, make sure you define it as a lifestyle choice.

The Clutch Diet is very similar to the diet on the Livefit trainer. Both are clean diets that eliminate processed foods. Both diets are based on eating organic whole foods. However, on The Clutch Diet, Ashley Conrad wants you to eliminate gluten and dairy as well.

Gluten and Dairy free…

It is a constant debate about eliminating gluten and dairy from your diet. Is it just trendy to go gluten free? Why go gluten free if you don’t have an allergy to gluten? Ashley has you eliminating gluten and dairy from your diet because they are both very hard for the body to digest, and because she wants you to see major results in a short amount of time. That is why, it is best to omit them completely.

Although, I hate labels, the reason why I am not calling myself a vegetarian. I will say this though, I eat a plant based diet, (most of the time.) And along with eating a clean organic, plant based diet, dairy and gluten are also pretty non existent – so I do not think this will be much of a challenge for me. However, I will definitely be reading labels, and making sure I stay gluten and dairy free – maybe I am getting more gluten than I think I am. We shall see… I also want to try to stay GMO free, and sugar free, whenever possible. I am hoping, if anything, this diet makes me more aware of what I am putting in my body, as fuel.

  1. Eat every three hours.
  2. Eat within the first 30 minutes of waking.
  3. Drink at least 1 gallon of water a day, with lemon.
  4. Eat gluten and dairy free with exception of protein powder.
  5. No fillers, preservatives, or color.

Carbs are Important…

Being a runner I greatly appreciate, how much Ashley stresses the importance of carbs. Do not eliminate carbs. They are important and you need them. They provide the ultimate energy for your physical body, and they are the reason your brain functions. The key is to be able to recognize good carbs vs. bad carbs. Make sure you know the difference between refined carbs (bad) and complex carbs (good.)

The Training Plans: Clutch vs. Livefit

Although, the diets are very similar, the Clutch and Livefit training programs are totally different. Here is why…

The Livefit trainer is a 12 week program that has 3 phases. Phase 1 is the muscle building phase. It consists of heavy lifting and no cardio. In phase 2, you incorporate supersets, heavy lifting, and 30 minutes of cardio. This helps you build muscle while burning fat. Phase 3 is your fat burning phase, your shredding phase. In phase 3, there are active rest periods, circuit training, and HIIT.

Weight lifting Day

The Clutch Cut is all circuit training and HIIT. Instead of lifting 5-6 days a week like in the Livefit trainer, the Clutch Cut has you lifting 3 days a week. On your weight lifting days, you are doing a full body circuit. You will be doing 12-15 reps of each exercise and 3-6 rounds of the circuit, depending on your fitness level. Your weightlifting day is followed by a day of cardio.

Cardio

When you are not lifting, Ashley has you doing cardio which ends up being 3 days a week. In my mind, cardio translates to running. Woohoo!!!

On your cardio days, Ashley has you doing HIIT. There are many ways to do HIIT. You can do this cardio on a bike, treadmill, outside, etc. When choosing a treadmill start out with at speed 5.0 for 1 minute, up the speed to 7.0 for 30 seconds, up the speed again to 10.0, then repeat up to at least 10x. Cardio is followed by a core/ab circuit. Each core/ab exercise is done until failure and you complete 3-6 rounds depending on fitness level.

The focus on core/ab work is another major difference between The Clutch Cut and Livefit trainer. I like how in The Clutch Cut they have a separate day for core. Ashley really has you focus on the core, where in the Livefit trainer, you worked core along with another body part.

Customizing your Program

There has been a lot of criticism about online diet plans and training programs. People claim that they are cookie cutter. I agree with this in some ways. Unlike a trainer, online programs can not personalize a plan based on the clients fitness level and goals. But you can be your own trainer and customize the online training plan based on your own needs. Listen to your body and use the online plan as your guideline.

On my weightlifting days, I may customize the plan by substitute one exercise for another depending on how my body feels.

Because I am a runner, who hates the treadmill, I will be customizing my cardio days. There will be days when I will run long distance outside. There will be days when I will do track workouts and hill repeats as my cardio. There are also tons of different ways to do HIIT and I plan on switching it up a lot. For all my readers who are runner’s who hate the treadmill, keep in mind that HIIT is equivalent to speed work. By doing HIIT on the treadmill you are not only burning fat, but you are also getting faster. These treadmill workouts will definitely help you PR in your next race.

As for customizing weight lifting days. There are tons of exercises equivalent to the exercises listed in the circuit. Don’t be afraid to substitute a different type of squat for the one listed, or add weight. Do push-ups on the TRX instead of regular push-ups. Switch it up. Customize.

First Week done… but will be repeated…

backprogressBack Progress after completing the Livefit trainer

day 1 clutchDay 1 of The Clutch Cut

day 2 clutchWeek 1 of The Clutch Cut completed.

I have completed my first week of The Clutch Cut. But because it was a new program, I needed to use the first week to get use to it. The first two weight lifting days I only had time to do 2 rounds of the circuit. Today, I did 3 rounds of the circuit and felt pretty good. I also have done all of my cardio days and will be doing a long run tomorrow. I am going to repeat week one (start over) so I can really kick it’s ass in the gym. Along with repeating week one, I will be doing the diet closely and taking the supplements.

As you may know, I absolutely love the Livefit trainer. It makes since to me. I saw amazing results, and it helped me discover a new passion for weight lifting. Because of the Livefit trainer I now know what strong feels like. However, during the Livefit trainer I was weight lifting 5-6 times a week. It became really hard to fit my running or yoga in. I felt like it was hard to do both and find balance.

So far I am really enjoying The Clutch Cut. I love how they have separated the weight lifting and the cardio. Now I have days of the week where I can really focus on weights. And I have days of the week where I can really focus on running. This will help me stay strong in both lifting and running. Plus, I want to do the running strength training program from The Cool Impossible, and I think it will be possible to fit it in on my cardio days, when I am focusing on my running.

What’s next…

When I complete, The Clutch Cut, I plan on completing phase 1 and phase 2 of Clutch program on Ashley Conrad’s website. And always, I will customize the plan, depending on my fitness goals.

Other Blog Post you may like…

  1. Livefit Trainer Progress
  2. Livefit Trainer Phase 1
  3. Transformation Tuesday
  4. The Cool Impossible

Have you tried Clutch?

ňô¬© 2014 sweatdaily

The Cool Impossible

I am in the Phuket airport waiting to head back to Bangkok. Unfortunately, my access to wifi has been almost nonexistent, so it has been really hard for me to blog, while I have been in Asia. I have so much to say, write, update you on.

But you probably want to hear something about running, since I am a runner and so are you.

And let me tell you…

I have been having some amazing beach runs during my three weeks in Thailand. I even inspired my non runner friend to do some short runs with me. I’m going to write a more detailed post about that later.

In the meantime, I am excited to share with you, The Cool Impossible, the new running book I have been reading while on my travels. I am obsessed! This book is a must read.

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You may have seen this book on a previous blog post I had written back in the summer. I started this book then, but because I was in the beginning of training for the Marine Corps Marathon, I took the author’s advice and stopped reading it until I had adequate time to complete the 5 month program.

The author, Eric Orton, is a running coach and natural barefoot running expert. He has experience with the Tarahumara (from Born to Run.) He also coached Christopher McDougall (author of Born to Run.) Helping McDougall run a successful ultra marathon. He helped McDougall transition into a natural barefoot stride. And with proper running form, curing his bad running habits and healing him from pain from numerous running injuries.

I would have to say I am very impressed with Eric Orton. The way he writes makes you feel like I am actually in Jackson and he is coaching me in person. I also feel like I can relate to him. A lot of the stuff he says in this book is stuff I already know. But I am definitely learning some new stuff too.

“We need more than endurance to run well for long distances; we need to be strong and fast. “

The quote above is from the book. it is promoting strength. Strength is what a good portion of this book is about. Being strong will benefit you in every way. I agree with this 100%. It is refreshing to have someone finally promote strength to prevent injury, instead of finding a new type of shoe, or product to sell you, claiming it is magic. When in the end it is cheaper and more efficient to make your body stronger and healthier. Trust me it is that easy.

For years every running plan and running magazine talked about only running, not strength training. Burt honestly, the truth is the more you strength train, the stronger you will become, the less injuries you will get. The stronger you become the further and faster you will be able to run. Trust me it is that simple.

I use to be that girl who only ran. But since switching to a natural barefoot running shoe with a low heel to toe drop, I have been weight lifting for about a year now. My form has significantly improved. And after only 8 weeks of weight lifting and 6 months on perfecting my running form , I began to not only see my body change to a more fit physique, but my race times significantly improved. I set a new PR in my half marathon, shedding off 9 minutes. And I set a new PR in my full marathon time, shedding off 11
minutes.

I am excited to finish this book, and start the 5 month program. I will blog about my experience along the way.

Although, my form has improved over the year since weight lifting, and switching to a natural barefoot shoe – it is not perfect. There is still room for improvement.

If you are in natural barefoot shoes and you land on your forefoot, take the time now to see the wear and tear at the bottom of your running shoes. Noticing where the wear and tear is located on the bottom of your shoe can tell you a lot about which muscles need to be stronger. Or which muscles need to actually start being used.

By the wear and tear at the bottom if my shoe, I know I need to strengthen my feet and my gluteus medius.

So when I get back to the US this will be the running program I will start. I am also excited about learning more about Heart Rate monitoring and Heart Rate Zones. This will be part of the program as well.

Along with this program, and because I have completed another round of the LiveFit trainer, I will be starting the Clutch Cut by Ashley Conrad. I have been doing Livefit for a while know and it’s time to switch things up a bit. Can’t wait!!!

I’ve missed my gym weightlifting sessions since I have been away. I have tried my best to run and stay as active as I can, but I still really miss my intense gym workouts.

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Above is a burpee challenge I did in Bangkok…

Future Workout Plan
for when I am back home

1) 5 month running program by coach Eric Orton from The Cool Impossible

2) The Clutch Cut by Ashley Conrad 3 week program, followed by the Clutch phase 1 and 2.

Both plans talk about nutrition. I will be following Ashley Conrad’s clean eating nutrition plan.

What running plans are you following? What weight lifting plans are you following? Has anyone read The Cool Impossible?

My Fitness and Nutrition goals for 2014!

2013 was an amazing year! It will be hard to beat. However, if there is a year to beat it 2014 is that year. A lot of big, exciting, special things are happening. Two of the biggest include…

  1. I will be traveling to Thailand with my Fiance!
  2. Later in the year, we will be getting married!

I am calling our trip to Thailand our premoon, since it is going to be an amazing adventure taking place before my fiance and I get married. Thailand has always been on the top of my list of places I desire to visit, and now that two of my best friends have moved to Asia, It seems much more doable.

Our trip is planned out according to where in Thailand we are going to be on which day, but from now until we leave, I will be reading up on Thailand as much as possible.

I have also found Pinterest and Instagram extremely helpful while planning this trip. Surprisingly, Pinterest and Instagram have become little tour books on theirc78f233e7abc2a0286ba0f215f5e42a2 own.¬†I have now started a Thailand pin board based on what I want to see while I am there. This is going to be an amazing adventure, and because I am a crazy runner girl, I am bringing my running shoes too. ¬†Honestly, I don’t know how much running I will be doing, but when I do go on a run, I will be sure to blog about it. I am not going to be too hard core, because vacation is about relaxing, plus I have been working out pretty hard in the gym lately, and it may be nice to have some time off. But one of the best things about being a runner, is that you can run anywhere in the world. So my newtons will be in my carry on.

Now that we are on the subject of running, it may be a good time to reveal to you my Future Race Line Up and RUNNING GOALS for 2014.

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As of now I am registered for three races.

  • The Four Courts Four miler, scheduled for March 15th. During Christmas I had won a free race entry for this race. It is a fun run I have never ran before so I am excited to run it.
  • The Cherry Blossom 10 miler, scheduled for April 6th. This race is the first race I ever ran, 6 years ago. It is also one of my favorite races. I was very lucky to get in considering it is a lottery.
  • The Parkway Classic 10 miler, scheduled for April 13th. This is a race I run every year. It is my favorite 10 miler in the area.

SO OBVIOUSLY I AM LOOKING TO PR IN THESE UPCOMING RACES. And, because of the extreme cold temperatures that we have experienced over the last week, I actually have been doing HIIT on the treadmill. I have been averaging a 7:30 min/mile but at some points running between a 6:00/ 6:30 min/mile. By doing sprints like this I am working my fast twitch muscles. I am planning on continuing to do different types of speed work at least 2x a week in order to improve my speed, so I can PR in these upcoming races.

I am not sure which other races I want to run yet. I definitely want to run a couple half marathons, and I am back and forth on whether I want to run a full this year. Full marathons are a huge time commitment for me, so we shall see.

RUNNING GOALS 

  • Run 2014 miles in 2014. Lets see if I can do it, or how close I can get.
  • Read The Cool Impossible. This is the next book following Born To Run. I started it, but put it down because of my marathon training. I am ready to really read it, and use it to improve my running.
  • Learn more about heart rate and how using a heart rate monitor can improve my running. I have been using a heart rate monitor while lifting heavy in the gym. I have found it really fascinating seeing how in some exercised my heart rate stays consistent and how in others it raises and lowers. I have a heart rate monitor for running, so I want to learn how to use it to improve my running.
  • Subscribe again to the magazine Runner’s World. Lately, I have been reading Runner’s World and I feel like it now caters to the beginner runner. However, although the information is stuff I already know, there is also a lot of great inspiring stories in it. So for motivational reasons I want to subscribe again. Plus I buy it every month on the news stand.

As you all know, last year I got really passionate about weight lifting. I think it is very important to do along side running. It makes me a stronger, faster, injury free runner.82ae592f4275b619c540ce05d348e388

WEIGHT LIFTING GOALS for 2014

  • Start and complete two rounds of the clutch transformation. Start and complete the clutch cut. This will be a total of 12 weeks of clutch. Start in March when I return from Thailand.
  • At one point this year I want to be able to do 5 unassisted pull ups. I can’t even do one at the moment.
  • I want to be able to do a handstand. I am always in awe of all the cool yoga poses I see people doing on What’s Beautiful, and on Instagram, and most of them are handstands. Handstands are so healthy for you, and they make you very strong.
  • I want to see some abs. Nothing too crazy. But some baby abs would be nice to see.

Because I want to see some abs, and everyone knows abs are made in the kitchen. So here are my Nutritional Goals for 2014.

NUTRITIONAL GOALS for 2014

  • Be more strict about eating veg.
  • Meal prep weekly.
  • Continue to cook more. Eat out less.
  • While doing clutch follow clutch diet and supplement plan.
  • Read all my cook books.
  • Continue to stock my kitchen with the tools I need.
  • Organize my recipes so they are easy to find when I need them. Maybe in a recipe box.
  • Subscribe to vegetarian magazines. This will help me stay on track and motivated to cook more.

*Make and inspiration board and change it often. This way I stay up to date!*

And saving the best for last, Getting Married!!

Best wishes from me to you for 2014!!

What are your 2014 goals? Where are you traveling? Which races are you running?

Articles you may like…

© 2014 sweatdaily

Tips on how to keep your New Year’s Resolution!

Happy New Year!4e777969cd7382b6a99a3809cca1c625

What is 2014 going to be like for you?

You can’t control everything that happens to you in 2014, but what you do have control over is which goals you choose to set and how you plan on reaching them.

Most people hate New Year’s Resolutions. Most people think they are pointless, and never set them. I guess, I’m not like most people, because I love them. I always set them, and I make a great effort to stick to them.

And although, I make a resolution for the year, I also always have other goals I am trying to reach. After reaching my current goals,  I then set new ones.

However, not everyone is constantly making goals, and for some, they dread it. Others set a New Year resolution and by February forget their resolution ever existed.

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So here are some fun tips to get you setting a New Year resolution and sticking to it.

  • Be specific, and well detailed.
  • Have a game plan.
  • Be inspired and find support.

The two most common resolutions are…

1) Diet and loose weight. 

If this is your new year resolution, the odds are you are going to fail. Why? Because there is no game plan. A couple years ago, my resolution was, “I’m going to eat one unique, exotic, interesting food a week.” This resolution being more specific¬†was totally doable. It¬†got me out of my rut of always throwing the same food into my grocery cart. It also got me exploring health food stores, such as MOM’s Organic Market and Whole Foods. I would literally grab one item I knew nothing about, and throw it into my cart. I would go home research it, learning how to prepare it, and what it went well with. This one small resolution changed my life. I began exploring new food options. I discovered a passion for cooking. ¬†I started meal prepping. And with out even realizing it at first, I began to eat healthier and loose body fat.

0019f04590beca7cf63eb89e770abeccSo this year, instead of focusing on dieting, and counting calories, try focusing on living a healthy lifestyle. Focus on making healthier food choices. This may not be as easy as it seems, because the sad truth is that many people are confused and simply do not know what is healthy. If you fall in this category it is not your fault. Advertisements play so many sneaky tricks on us by calling products fat free, low fat, diet, when the truth is these products are really overly processed, full of sugar and chemicals. Even fat free milk, which sounds healthy, is actually processed. They suck out the fat and replace it with chemicals and 12 grams of added sugar per cup. The average woman should only get an average of 25-30 grams of added sugar a day.

So start to educate yourself… This is important!

It’s time to…

  • Read labels and avoid chemicals.
  • Promise yourself that you will choose organic, cold-pressed, raw, unrefined, unprocessed foods.
  • Eliminate added sugars.
  • Meal prep.
  • Cook your own food.
  • Have fun by researching and trying new foods and recipes.
  • Become a foodie, and choose high quality foods.
  • Really make an effort to learn about exactly what you are putting in to your body.
  • Download apps, get the tools, you need to succeed.

This may be a time commitment and a financial investment, but it is worth it in the long run. You deserve this!

Once you have truly learned about selecting a healthy food choice, and your get on a regular routine of living a healthy lifestyle, it is then that you can take it up a notch. It is then that you can count macros and carb cycle.  There are a lot of apps that can help you learn a healthy food choice, and later log your food. My favorite is My Fitness Pal.

2) I’m going to work out more… is another common resolution.

If this is your New Year resolution be prepared to fail. Why? Again there is no game plan. Instead, choose a plan. There are tons of free weightlifting plans on bodybuilding.com.

Weight lifting

961f5fe107c5336873307876076622b7In 2013, I decided, along side of my running I was going to incorporate weight lifting, into the mix. I had been running everyday, but wanted to improve my speed, and prevent injury – so it was time to get strong. When training for a full or half marathon I always had been successful while following a disciplined training plan. Because of this, I knew I needed one when it came to weight lifting. That being said, I saw amazing results in the weight room because I followed the Livefit Trainer, by Jamie Eason.

Honestly, the Livefit trainer changed my life. I have never seen such amazing results in my body, and the best part is my running has significantly improved.

“Change your mind set. Stop focusing on getting skinny! Instead focus on getting strong. If you focus on getting strong, the fat will melt right off.”

f57e16d7b28f64b14239426e40d574f6One way I found success was to record everything. When you write down how heavy you are lifting, next time you lift heavier you will feel more accomplished, by setting a new PR. Also when you record everything, you will be amazed how much you are actually doing. One leg day, after counting all of my reps and sets, I discovered I did 180 squats that day. Pretty amazing!

Running 

22f9d787894089d24454f97454f7d2fcMaybe you don’t belong to a gym… maybe you would rather choose to run as your source of exercise. ¬†Well you are asking the right person, because I am a runner. Running is my thing.

Again you need a game plan and a detailed goal.

Start Racing…

I love racing, so this New Year I would suggest signing up for a race. By signing up for a race, you will have a specific date you must physically be ready to run by. In the summer, in the DC area, there is a 5K every friday in Crystal City. So if you are choosing to run shorter distances such as a 5K, consider signing up for several. Maybe your goal will to be to race once a month.

If you are choosing a longer distance, such as half marathon or full, allow at least 16 weeks for training. There are tons of online training plans. My favorite running plans are written by Hal Higdon. I have trained for all of my full marathons, by using his plans, and I found success.

Log your miles…

Another option is to set a milage goal, for example, maybe you want to run 20 miles a week, or 100 miles a month. (These are all very doable goals.) Maybe you want to do a 30 day consecutive running challenge, where you run at least a mile a day everyday for 30 days.

There are several online running logs, you can use to keep track of your miles.classic-log Because I have a Garmin, I use the Garmin Connect center. But if you do not have a Garmin, you can use a free log on runnersworld.com. Another option is Daily Mile. There are also many apps to record your miles, such as, Run Keeper or Map my Run.

¬†Stay Inspired beyond social media…

Although social media sites, such as Instagram, Tumblr and Facebook can be very helpful and inspiring. There are times when you find an inspiring article in a magazine that you want to tear out and keep. In this case, I find it very helpful to create a story board, or inspiration board/wall. This is simply a physical spot on a wall, or a cork board that you can pin inspiration and notes too. This helps you stay organized. Another option is to join Pinterest, the online option for a pin board.

Also if you keep a day planner, don’t forget to write down your daily workouts, and good eats.

To find support…

The people who see the best results in most cases have a workout partner, or a running buddy. Sometimes it is hard to find someone with the same schedule as you. (I have struggled with this.) ¬†So in order to find support there is a ton of online fitness community you can join. My favorite is What’s Beautiful by Under Armour. What’s beautiful is free, and by joining you are able to learn new things, be inspired by others, participate in challenges, and get never-ending support.

Instagram is another form of social media, that can make a huge difference in keeping you motivated.  People think Instagram is just a personal photo sharing app, but the truth is Instagram has much more to offer.

Instagram is an information source. You can search hashtags that lead you to, personal trainers, running coaches, small businesses, professional athletes, athletes trying to inspire, chefs, nutritionist, foodies, etc.

You can learn new yoga poses, new recipes, new workouts, new equipment, new gear, and so much more. You can follow people who inspire you. You can follow companies. The information and knowledge you can find, is at your fingertips. It comes quickly and is never-ending.  You can also hashtag your personal photos, which your followers and others  might like or comment on Рthis support alone may be just the motivation you need.

Another fun thing about Instagram is you can easily join a challenge. There are tons of challenges going on and all you need to do is use the challenge hash tag. There is also daily hash tags, such as #transfomationtuesday used on tuesday or #flexfriday used on friday.

If an online fitness community isn’t enough, try joining a Crossfit gym, yoga studio, running club/group, or local gym.

So there you have it.  These are my top tips on how to be successful when it comes to nutritional and fitness goals this new year.

Questions for you…

  1. What’s your New Year Resolution?
  2. What tips do you have to stick to a resolution?
  3. How do you stay inspired?

© 2014 sweatdaily

Articles you may be interested in.

  1. New Years Resolution 2013
  2. Food… doesn’t have to be fatty
  3. I’ve been drinking my sugar.¬†
  4. Livefit Trainer and Fitness apps
  5. Transformation Tuesday

A reflection on 2013 in photos…

2013 was a very special year for me. I ran a lot of miles. I found a new passion for weight lifting. I cooked a lot of food. I spent the spring in my veggie garden. I hit the slopes in the winter. I traveled to some pretty amazing places. I read some awesome books. 

These are some of my top highlights, saving the best for last. 

I started 2013 off running…

Of course, doing my traditional New Years Eve night run and New Years Day morning run – striking a yoga pose in between.

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I am a runner, so of course I spent the rest of the year running…

On my runs, I captured some breath taking views…

January, February, and March is what I call my running off season, because I am not following a disciplined training plan. This time off from training for races gives me the opportunity to focus on other forms of exercise and nutrition. In 2013,  I spent this time getting very serious about weight lifting. I did the Livefit trainer, which I still basically follow. I learned about clean eating, supplements such as BCAAS. I learned about supersets, active rest periods, circuit training, lifting heavy, and HIIT. I also bought a heart rate monitor that took my training to the next level. All of this helped made me a faster stronger runner.

In February, I  hit the slopes.

April was a busy fun month for me.

I ran the Cherry Blossom 10 miler finishing in 1:24:33.

I ran the Parkway Classic 10 miler finishing in 1:24:16.

I ran the Nike Women’s Half Marathon, finishing in 1:57:03.

The weekend of April that I didn’t run a race was the weekend of the Boston Marathon. The tragedy that happened there touched me, the running community, and the world. Boston Strong always and forever.

In 2013, I traveled.

I went to Miami for the first time.

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I went to Vegas for the first time.

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I went to Martha’s Vineyard.

I joined the Under Armour What’s Beautiful community, which inspired me, everyday. What I love most was all the yoga challenges.

In July, I started training for the Marine Corps Marathon. It was intense, but I loved it.

On October 27th, 2013, I ran the Marine Corps Marathon finishing  at 4:19:26 Рnew PR . This was by far my favorite race of the year!

Although, running my marathon comes in a close second nothing can top what happened on August 29th, in Martha’s Vineyard.

I got engaged. 

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Looking back on 2013 makes me smile. It was a fabulous year in which I challenged myself physically, emotionally, and mentally.  However, thinking of all of the amazing things planned for 2014 makes me smile even bigger. I am excited to start this year, the next chapter.

Thank you for all your love and support.

Bring on 2014!

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© 2014 sweatdaily

Back in the Gym… and running my 18 miler!

Hey Lovelies…

I’m ready for fall… so ready!

While I was laying on the beach in Martha’s Vineyard, the sun was kissing my skin, and I knew I was going to miss it. Laying on the beach felt so good, that I became sad summer was coming to an end. But this week, mid September, a heat wave snuck up on us in the DC area – it is humid and 90. Now I am ready. No more heat. Let fall come soon, delivering us crisp cool air.

MARATHON TRAINING: 

20130913-120840.jpgWhen it comes to Marathon training, I ran my 18 miler last friday. I was blessed with 70 degree weather and was able to run my 18 miler in right under 3 hours! I am very pleased with that timing. Overall felt really good.

STRENGTH TRAINING: 

The only thing is that for the last two weeks I have not been able to get to the gym. For one whole week I was at Martha’s Vineyard running around the island. I was able to lift one time while I was there, but had limited equipment. At one point, I used a picnic table bench to do incline push ups.

It is always hard for me to get back to my regular routine when coming home from vacation. The day after I got home I ran a 12.5 mile long run. For the rest of the week I did my marathon training runs, but having an overwhelming work week, made it impossible to squeeze in some strength training.

All of this running, and two weeks off of disciplined strength training has caused me to loose some muscle, mainly in my upper body. No one else has really noticed because it is only a small amount of loss, but I have noticed.20130913-122142.jpg

It is funny how quickly you can loose muscle definition. However, it is also interesting with the right strength training/ nutrition and supplement plan, how quick you can see gains. 

Also, in phase 1 of the Livefit trainer, Jamie Eason wants you to totally eliminate cardio/running from your workout routine. She claims that cardio/running leans you out and eats away at your muscles.  Phase 1 is a muscle building phase, not a fat burning phase.  I now totally get what she is saying. From my own experiences, after omitting strength training for two full weeks and only running, I have some slight muscle loss.

Back to the Gym:

Because of the heat wave this week, I decided not to torture myself. I am on a taper week for my marathon training. So instead of running in the blistering heat, I decided to hit the gym for some weight lifting sessions. I went all out. I went hard core. It felt good. My body is sore, but it is a good sore.

Another awesome thing, is that my running/workout buddy, L, is pregnant! So she will not be running the Marathon with me, however, after 3 months of not working out together she is back!!! WooHOO!! She is now weight lifting right by my side, and doing some mild cardio. It is fun to have a buddy with me again at the gym. She is going to be one fit strong mom.

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L, was feeling tired, and needed to find her energy again. After coming home from my Martha’s Vineyard vacation I was well rested, but, as the week went on, I woke up really tired too. My weekend was super busy, with wedding hair, art festivals, meal prepping, and my 18 miler, so starting this week at the salon was tiring. However, hitting the gym and doing some serious strength training actually made my endorphins kick in, and I became alive again.

I also ordered a new protein powder! I can’t wait to try it. I’ll write a review on it tomorrow.

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Questions for You…

  1. What protein powder do you like?
  2. Do how is your marathon training going?
  3. Have you struggled with fitting other forms of exercising during your marathon training?

© 2013 sweatdaily