Training Recap, Blog School, Retweets, and an Announcement

Is it weird to get excited when a celebrity retweets one of your tweets? Then I guess I’m weird.

GabbySo Gabrielle Reece didn’t actually retweet my tweet, it was posted by @FitMamaLaura, but it was about my Blogfest post (where Gabby will be the keynote speaker), so that was pretty cool.

Blog School Registration is Open!

Registration for Blog School with Blog Genie opened yesterday and the new session starts on February 16. As I’ve mentioned, I was a graduate of the first session several years ago and it changed my blogging life. As a past participant I have lifetime access to all of the modules so if I feel I need to brush up on any of the topics, it is right there for me. I also became an affiliate because I believe that Rita offers such a great value.

Blog School

Blog School is a 6 month long, online training program that combines monthly lessons, detailed worksheets and an active community to help you plan, grow and profit from your blog. To offer you the exact steps you need to get the results you want. Because life is complicated enough. Blogging doesn’t have to be.

You will receive one module per month, so you can work at your own pace, have access to an online community where you can connect with other like minded bloggers, and get advice, encouragement, and the reality checks that you need. And as I mentioned, you will have lifetime access to all of the Blog School modules, so that you can come back and review them at any time.

Check here for more information and to sign up for Blog School. Don’t delay, registration ends on Sunday, February 15, and class starts on Monday!

Training Recap

I’ve done a lot of yoga, and I’ve pretty much kept up with my SLO Marathon training plan. My biggest accomplishment was a 12 mile run on Saturday, my longest run in months. On Sunday I went with Alan while he announced the Palm Springs Half Marathon. I originally planned to run it, but I felt I needed to catch up on my long run mileage. Instead I caught up with old running buddies, took a short recovery run, and, what else, did a little yoga in the park.

Long RunI’m so lucky that I have beautiful weather and miles of horse trails to run on!

The Big Announcement

If you follow me on Instagram you may already know this, but…

SarahThat’s my beautiful daughter-in-law and yes, she is 10 weeks pregnant with my second grandchild! He/She is due on September 2.

Have you been retweeted by a celebrity?

The Scoop: Blogfest and IDEAWorld. Gabby, Jillian, Beto and more!

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The powers that be at IDEA have finally released the speaker list and schedule for Blogfest and the IDEA World Fitness Convention, which is July 16-19, 2015 at the Los Angeles Convention Center! Pay attention because you will want to be there after you read this.

Blogfest

You may have heard that Gabrielle Reece will be the keynote speaker for Blogfest 2015, but did you know that she will also be leading a workout? That’s right, Gabby will be teaching the fitness workout she created – HighX!

Laird Hamilton

I never met Gabby Reece, but I did have a chance to meet her hubby Laird Hamilton at a fitness convention a couple years ago.

In addition to High-X, there are several other options for getting your sweat on at Blogfest. Dancer Ian Waite will be teaching his class Dance Yourself Fit. On Friday you can wake up to Kaia Fit with creator Nikki Warren. And while it’s not a workout, you will get a chance to get Up Close and Personal with Zumba creator Beto Perez.

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And if that’s not enough fitness for you, on Saturday and Sunday you will have exclusive access to all of the IDEA World Fitness Convention sessions, including the workouts, which include the Hollywood Trainer Ultimate Mash-up with celebrity trainer Jeanette Jenkins, Bodyshred with Jillian Michaels, Zumba, taught by it’s creator Beto Perez, plus many workshops that will include lectures and workouts. And that’s just Saturday!

Jillian and others

Of course you come to blogging and fitness conventions for more than just workouts. You won’t be disappointed. Blogfest sessions include topics such as: How to Increase Readership and Market Your Message to the Masses; Mindblowing Blog Tips; Busting the Top 5 Nutrition Myths; Build a Following on Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter (three separate sessions); Make a Career Out of Blogging; The Future of Blogging; and SEO Tips and Tricks. Speakers include Katy Widrick, Melissa Burton, RD, Kasey Arena, Amanda Vogel, and many more. Check here for the complete schedule.

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I was fortunate to meet Katy Widrick at Blogfest 2014.

Along with your access to all of the sessions, workouts, and speakers at IDEA World on Saturday and Sunday, all Blogfest attendees also are invited to the opening ceremonies on July 16, which include keynote speaker New York Times best selling author Brendon Burchard, 2015 IDEA Jack LaLanne award recipient Jenna Wolfe, and 2015 IDEA Fitness Inspiration Award winner Anthony Robles. And you won’t want to miss the IDEA World party!

And don’t forget that the IDEA World Fitness and Nutrition Expo runs July 16-18, 11:30 to 6:30. It is one of the largest fitness expos in the world, so come prepared to network, chat, shop, and eat your way through the LA Convention Center expo hall.

Perhaps the best part of Blogfest, and one of the main reasons I will be back, is the opportunity to meet so many of the people whose blogs you have been reading for years. To finally put a voice and a face (beyond a photograph) to these women and men is priceless, and it really is what makes Blogfest such an important event to add to your schedule.

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I have a special code that will save you $100 on your registration! Just click here to sign up and use the code BLOG100 at checkout. There are a limited amount of openings, so don’t delay.

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I’ll be there! Will you? What blogger would you especially like to meet?

Yoga Challenge! Take the Leap with prAna, Week 1

It’s not officially one week old yet, but we are into day six of the Take the Leap 30 Days of Yoga Challenge with prAna and Sweat Pink! How’s your yoga going?

Take the LeapTake the Leap Yoga Challenge

I’ve been pretty pleased with my own yoga this week. I really needed this challenge to give me the kick in the butt that I needed to get (and stay) on my mat.

We started the challenge on Monday, and I followed my own advice by warming up for my run with about 15 minutes of Sun Salutations. I had help.

Day 1I also cooled down from the run with some yoga stretches and practiced my crow pose. If you think Bakasana is a challenging pose try it while your dog is giving you kisses.

Doggy Assisted BakasanaOn day two I decided to try something different. Yoga Central, my yoga studio, has a Yin Yoga class every Tuesday and Thursday at 6:00 am. I’d never been, and really didn’t know what Yin was. The description said that the entire class consists of passive poses held for 2-5 minutes. I knew that I was in for a challenge when the first post was a forearm plank held for two minutes! Thank goodness the class was only 45 minutes long!

YinThese two poses killed me! I’m recreating them here, but we held the squat on the left for three minutes in the Tuesday class (I think. It felt like five.), and the low squat on the right for the same amount of time in the Thursday class. Needless to say, my legs were a little sore for my Wednesday run.

On Wednesday, I did a 20 minute YogaDownload.com audio before my run (affiliate link). Then I practiced my headstand. In case you can’t tell, that’s me on the left.

Day 3

Thursday was my second Yin class, which in addition to the Garland pose (low squat) above, also included three minutes (each side) of Pigeon pose. I am one of those rare runners with loose hips, so I love this pose. I even re-did it for the camera after class.

Day 4On Friday I had my first client at 7:00, so I did a quick 10 minutes of sun salutations. I had more fun later in the day with my selfie photo shoot. I had much better light so you can see the pretty colors of my prAna outfit.

Day 5I have a 12 mile run planned for Saturday, so my plan is some gentle yoga stretching afterwards, and maybe some restorative yoga later on in the afternoon.

PranaIf you are admiring the beautiful prAna outfit from their new spring collection that I received for participating in the campaign, the top is the Meadow top in Viola Magnolia and the pants are the Tori capri in Neon orange. You can save 15% when your order on PrAna.com with the code psps15LFL. Note: While I did receive this outfit, all yoga is my own. I’m also a prAna Influencer because I <3 them.

You can still join! There are prizes! Read this post for details. Remember to follow me on Instagram and Twitter for daily updates.

So really. How’s your yoga going?

5k Friday: Your 12 Week 5k Training Program, Week 6

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Your 12 Week 5k Training Program, Week 6

You’re going to love this week. After five hard weeks of gradually increasing your running time, we going to take a little break this week. Oh, yes, you will be doing some running, but we will cut back a bit on some of the effort. This will serve to give your body a rest, which will help you get stronger when we resume training next week.

By the end of last week, you were running 20 minutes with just one short break. This week, you will be cutting back on the time and taking an extra day off. Strength training, etc., is still okay on your rest days, but I’d suggest one day of complete rest during this week. (Did you miss week one? Click here.)

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Remember, all workouts begin with an 8-10 minute brisk walk, and finish with about a five minute walk, stretching, and icing.

Day One: After your warm up, run for five minutes. Walk for 30 seconds. Repeat two more times.

Day Two: Warm up, run for seven minutes. Walk for a minute. Repeat.

Day Three: Rest.

Day Four: Run for six minutes. Walk for 30 seconds. Repeat two more time.

Day Five: Rest. Completely.

Day Six: Warm up, run for eight minutes. Walk for a minute. Repeat.

Day Seven: Rest.

Ah, recovery. Feel rejuvenated after your light week. Take care of yourself and get ready for week seven.

Getting Faster

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Refer back to this post for information on whether you’re ready to add speed to your workout, how to find your goal pace, reasons for each workout as well as the first week of workouts to add to your training.

The Workouts

The Long Run: After your cutback last week, you are going to add that half mile back in to your long run.

The Interval Workout: We’re climbing the ladder this week, one of my favorite workouts. We are on the track. After your warm up, run 200 meters at your goal pace. Jog or walk 200 meters (that will be your cool down between each interval). Run 400 meters. Recover for 200 meters. Run 800 meters. Recover for 200 meters. Run 1600 meters. Recover for 200 meters. Run 800 meters. Recover for 200 meters. Run 400 meters. Recover. Run 200 meters. Cool Down. Remember since your goal is to run at about your 5k pace, or around 95% of your maximal effort, you should plan to run each interval at the same pace. So don’t blow yourself out on the 200, then have nothing left when you get to the 800.

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The Lactate Threshold Workout: Back on the road for this workout. After the warm up, run one mile at 85-90% of your maximum effort. Jog for four minutes. Repeat two more times. Cool down.

Remember, in addition to these workout, you can run another one-three days during the week, nice easy, shorter runs (recovery runs). A sample schedule can be found in this post.

Week six is complete! Halfway to your goal. See you next week.

A Little Recap, A Little Marathon Planning, A Little Yoga

A Little Recap

This past week I was scheduled to run 35 miles, with my long run at 15.

That didn’t happen. After being sick for almost two weeks, worried that a day of sneezing and runny nose meant I was getting sick again, I managed a nine mile long run within a 20 mile week.

And I was pretty happy about it.

Run

While I started feeling better by Monday, I still had a cough, so I started the week slowly, with just an easy three mile run. That went well, so on Wednesday I upped the effort level a little, running five miles with seven fartlek bursts. I didn’t time or measure the bursts, but I’d guess they were somewhere around a quarter mile each. That felt good too, but then on Friday morning, which was a rainy day here in the desert, I woke up sneezing (and that awful feeling that you need to sneeze but just can’t get it out). I also had a runny nose, but other than that I felt fine. I don’t have allergies, but I was actually hopeful that I had developed some just so I wouldn’t worry about getting sick again.

Run 2

By Saturday, though, I felt fine, so I ran nine miles. The first five were with Alan and our neighbor, then I took off on my own to add an extra four. I did have a little bit of asthma about mile six, but I had my inhaler and used it. I had cut off options if I needed them, but after that one incident everything seemed to settle down. I finished the final miles with no problem.

A Little Marathon Planning

So here is my revised, revised training plan (Training plan 3.0) for the SLO Marathon. I’m hoping that I’ll stay healthy, and that the weird little twinge I have in my left foot is nothing. Now that is a strange one. I was getting into the shower, rotated my ankle as I turned, and I felt a little pulling, pinching sensation in my ankle/foot. It doesn’t really hurt, but there is something there that I want to pay attention to.

SLO Marathon

Date
Monday
Tuesday
Wednesday
Thursday
Friday
Saturday
Sunday
Total Mileage
1/27-2/1/15
3 miles Marathon Pace (MP)
Rest
5 miles Fartlek bursts
Rest
Rest
9 miles
3.5 miles
20.5
2/2-2/8/15
3 miles
Rest
5 miles                 ½ mile intervals
Rest
Rest
12 miles
5 miles
25
2/9-2/15/15
5 miles ½ mile intervals
Rest
5 miles Hills
5 Rest
Rest
15 miles
5 miles
30
2/16-2/22/15
5 miles                    1 mile intervals
Rest
6 miles                  4 @ HM Pace
3 miles or Rest
Rest
10 miles w/5 miles @ MP
6 miles
30
2/23-3/1/15
6 miles MP
Rest
5 miles Hills
3 miles or Rest
Rest
16 miles
6 miles
36
3/2-3/8/15
6 miles                   1 mile intervals
Rest
7 miles                   5 @ HM Pace
3 miles or Rest
Rest
6 miles
Redlands Half
35.1
3/9-3/15/15
4 miles Recovery
Rest
6 miles                  4 @ LT Pace
3 miles or Rest
Rest
18 miles
5 miles
36
3/16-3/22/15
6 miles MP
Rest
6 miles Hills
3 miles or Rest
Rest
20 miles
5 miles
40
3/23-3/29/15
5 miles                    1 mile intervals
Rest
7 miles                   5 @ HM Pace
3 miles or Rest
Rest
16 miles       Neg Split Run
6 miles
37
3/30-4/5/15
6 miles 1 mile LT intervals w/2 minute rest
Rest
6 miles                  4 @ LT pace
3 miles or Rest
Rest
22 miles
6 miles
43
4/6-4/12/15
6 miles MP
Rest
6 miles Hills
3 miles or Rest
Rest
15 miles        Neg Split Run
5 miles
35
4/13-4/19/25
5 miles                 ½ mile intervals
Rest
5 miles                   4 @ HM Pace
Rest
Rest
10 miles
4 miles
24
4/20-4/26/15
5 miles
Rest
4 miles MP
3 miles
Rest
2 miles
SLO Marathon
14 + 26.2

There is still time to save $10 on registration and join me in San Luis Obispo for the SLO Marathon on April 26!  Just use the code WOODAMB at checkout and I’ll see you there!

A Little Yoga

Well, I’ve made it through two days of the Take the Leap 30 Days of Yoga Challenge with Prana and Sweat Pink! On Monday I followed my own advice and did about 10 minutes of Sun Salutations to warm up before my run. As always, I had a little help.

Day 1

On Tuesday I decided to hit up the 6:00 am Yin Yoga class at Yoga Central. It was my first time to this class and I had no idea what to expect. The description said that the entire 45 minute class consists of passive poses held for two to five minutes. I knew when we started off with a two minute forearm plank that I was in for an experience. My biggest challenge was the wide leg squat which was held for three minutes (I think. It felt like five). My legs were shaking, but I’m pretty stubborn, so I held out. I really loved this class, which kind of surprised me because I love the flowing Vinyasa classes that I usually attend. A good lesson to try out something new!

Yoga CentralYes, it was early.

Finally, to leave you with a smile, here is my attempt at Crow pose, one of my favorites because I can (sometimes) achieve it. With a little help from a friend.

Doggy Assisted BakasanaHow was your training week? Are you doing the Take the Leap challenge? Why not?

5 Ways to Make Yoga a Part of Your Busy Life

I can hear my regular readers snickering at this title. I am well known for my on again/off again relationship with yoga. And the reasons I go “off again?” My busy life.

Yoga

That being said, I am an expert on how to incorporate fitness into your life. As a personal trainer and coach, I frequently help my clients figure out how to stick to their plan, as a marathon runner I know what I need to do to train properly.

It’s time that I took my own advice, and it’s going to happen right now, today. I am participating in the Take the Leap 30 days of yoga challenge with prAna and Sweat Pink, and this time it’s going to stick.

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Want to join me? Click the picture to learn more. It starts today (February 2) and you have the chance to win $500 in prAna gear!

We’re all busy. There are only so many hours in the day, and between work, school, children, spouses, housework, preparing meals, and, you know, sleep, it can be difficult to find time for fitness. The key is to make it a priority in your life, so that fitness becomes as important as all the other stuff. Then you will find the time. Running has always been my priority. Now I’m adding yoga to the top of the “must do” list. Here are some ideas to help you do the same.

5 Ways to Make Yoga a Part of Your Busy Life

1. Start your day with meditation.

Take a few minutes when you first get up to clear your mind, breathe, and prepare for the day. Meditation is not the same as daydreaming or quietly planning your daily agenda, it is a technique for resting the mind and achieving a different stage of consciousness. Here are tips to help you learn to meditate. Yes, meditation is yoga. And yoga is meditation.

2. Warm up for your run or workout with Sun Salutations.

Surya Namaskar, or Sun Salutation is a great way to warm your body and prepare for your workout. The sun salutation is a series of poses or asanas that are done in the direction of the sun. The video below has step by step instruction for beginners.

3. Replace your post-workout stretching routine with yoga poses.

If you’re a runner, you probably finish your run with several stretches to stretch your quads, calves, and hamstrings. Replace that boring routine with yoga poses. Particularly effective poses for runners include Pigeon, Downward Facing Dog, Low Lunge, Double Pigeon, and Forward Fold. Click here for several posts by Christine of Love Life Surf, with instruction for these poses and others that are great for runners.

4. End your day with restorative yoga.

Instead of picking up a book or watching television to settle down for the night, try 30 minutes of resorative yoga to calm and relax you before bed. Restorative yoga uses props like blankets, pillows, straps, and blocks that help support your body so that you can be comfortable and relaxed while you hold a pose for up to five or 10 minutes.

5. The Buddy System.

As with any type of fitness endeavor, having a yoga buddy helps hold you accountable, gives you a built in cheerleader, and increases the chances for long term success. When someone is waiting for you, you’re much more likely to get to the studio.

Yoga Resources

While heading to the yoga studio is a wonderful way to practice yoga, it is not always an option. Their schedule may not match yours, it may be financially out of reach, or you may not have a studio close to home. Here are a few alternatives to practicing yoga in a studio.

1. Gym or Fitness Center: Yoga classes are usually included in the membership fee at your gym. The downside is that these classes are usually very large and the instructors frequently aren’t as experienced or hands-on as in a yoga studio.

2. Yoga at home: There are many ways to get your yoga on in the comfort and privacy of your own home. For a small fee, or even free of charge, you can have a variety of yoga classes for all levels streamed, downloaded, or available on DVD. My favorites:

  1. Any video by Rodney Yee: I have a collection of his DVDs, and now you can even stream his classes through GaiamTV.
  2. YogaDownload.com: For a fee you can stream or download either video or audio classes directly to your computer or mobile device. I’ve been using the audios for years, and I love being able to focus on my practice without looking at a screen. I truly can take yoga anywhere. The instruction is excellent, and there are so many choices of types of yoga and length of classes that there really is something for everyone. They also have some free classes available. Note: This is an affiliate link, but I was a member (and I still am) before I was an affiliate.
  3. Yoga30: Honestly, what I really love about Yoga30 is that I can access videos by April, my friend and favorite instructor at Yoga Central. I haven’t tried any other instructors, but I love April’s classes.
  4. Grokker Yoga: I found Grokker Yoga through a contest on the Fitfluential blog (which I won by the way, so I really love them). They have both free and paid options, and offer a variety of full length yoga classes.
  5. YouTube: A general search for Yoga on YouTube brings up almost six million links, so you can certainly find something that will work for you, from a 10 minute sun salutation, to a 30 minute beginner class, to a 60 minute power vinyasa video. Note: I didn’t screen any of the linked classes. I just found them via a search.

The downside to yoga at home is interruptions. It may be hard to find a quiet space where your children or your dogs aren’t sharing your yoga mat with you. There is also no one to correct your form or give you precise instruction, so beginners might have a harder time getting into a pose. Beginners should take extra time to watch a class so that they can really understand each position. Taking a class or two at a studio is a good idea too.

Yoga Outlet 2

Remember that yoga doesn’t have to be a structured 60-90 minute class in a studio (unless you want it to be). A quick series of sun salutations, 10 minutes practicing your favorite pose, or a 30 minute relaxing restorative session are all great ways to incorporate more yoga into your busy life.

Come on. Take the leap with me and join the Take the Leap 30 days of yoga challenge. You know you want to.

How do you incorporate yoga into your life?