Get Off The Treadmill

I’m really fortunate that the people who read my site have two things in treadmill 200x300 Get Off The Treadmillcommon:

  • a passion to lead a healthy lifestyle
  • goal(s) that they are striving to achieve

One of things I hope that I can provide to my readers as well as my clients is prescriptive guidance to help them achieve their goals. One of their main question is cardio?

I live in Boston right next to the Charles River as soon as the snow melts the runners, joggers and walkers come out in droves.  Do you know why they run — I mean at least 85% of them, come on you the answer, think about it!! That’s right its to LOSE WEIGHT!

Running is cardio right, running is hard for me so it must be good for me, running will help me lose weight, right.  Well…. Long distance running is the worst thing for weight loss.


Most of you run because you’ve seen pictures of elite runners who are lean and mean and want to get the physique or you have a friend who has the physique that you want and you ask hey what are you doing and then they say or I just run x number of miles a day. You think to yourself — running that’s easy I’ll lace up and get moving.

I’m here to tell you unless you competing in an endurance event, running will not give you that lean toned physique. I’m sorry to report that continuous long slow steady state cardio just doesn’t get the metabolism fired up the way a strength training session coupled with interval training does.  Did know that interval training is 9xs more effective than steady state cardio? Getting your metabolism fired up is EXACTLY what is needed to get that lean and toned physique. Intervals keep your body guessing and stops it from going on autopilot.

Long slow steady state cardio does just that, it puts the body on autopilot. Your body knows exactly what to expect, how much effort to give you and therefore only gives you what you need. I’m not saying these workouts won’t be hard, but your body doesn’t have to give you as much. What’s even worse as you build up your mileage you begin to burn more fat, but guess what your body adapts to help you become more efficient at running so it begins to “store more fat”!  Yup — you heard that right.  Don’t believe me take a look at any finish line of any race; you’ll see far more average Joe physiques than you’ll see Kara Goucher physiques. They’ll be a few Kara Goucher’s, but I’ll let you in on little secret they looked like that before they started running.

You can’t run to get fit; you need to be fit to run.” – Diane Lee, Canadian Physical Therapist

When you are training for a long distance endurance race your body is recruiting different muscles to make sure that you are efficient at running.  When you are training to change your body composition you are looking to make your body’s efficient at strength training. Training for both throws your body into tug of war.  As you get more efficient at running you may experience that your fat stores tend overtake your muscle stores. Most people experience loss of muscularity in their quads and then in their tushies. Now depending on where you hold your weight, you may also experience fat gains around your mid-section.

I don’t say this to discourage your fitness goals. I tell you this so that you can make informed choices.

Need more proof – here are a few studies.

  • J Clin Endocrinol Metab. Jan 2
    Effect of calorie restriction with or without exercise on body composition and fat distribution.
    This is a six month study. Aerobic training group performed 50 minutes of aerobics 5 times a week for the entire duration. Results:  No additional effects of aerobic exercise on weight or body fat levels.
  • Obesity 2007 June – 15:1496-1512.
    Exercise Effect on Weight and Body Fat in Men and Women.
  • McTiernan et al
    For 1 year they had a test group do six hours of steady state cardio for 60 min, six days per week. In one year, the group lost 3 lbs.
  • According to a British study, levels of Human Growth Hormone, which assists in building muscle and burning fat, skyrocketed 530% in subjects after just thirty seconds of sprinting as fast as they could on a stationary bike.

I would love to hear your thoughts leave me some comments below.

Falmouth Race 2.0

I am once again running the Falmouth road race with my husband. Last year was our first year, now we’re thinking about making it an annual thing.  We are just a little behind in our running schedule, but we’re planning catch up this week. My first run was last Saturday night when the temperature was roughly 85 degrees. FUN.. Which is really funny given the last time I ran any long distance (January) we were looking to see when the warmest part of the day was going to be.

So the run we good but really hot, we ran again yesterday and the 3.5 miles felt much better. I am experiencing so side stitches, need to work getting my breathing in synch as well as my food timing. I think the last two times I had large meals that didn’t fully digest before I went for my run.

We’re suppose to run tonight to make up for our missed run on Sunday, but mother nature had another plan for us. It’s POURING, so we’ll be running both days this weekend to play catch up.

I’ll keep you posted on our progress.  Goal this year is to run 7.1 miles in less than 1 hour.

My First Half Marathon

I ran the Miami ING Half Marathon exactly 20 days ago and its taken me this long to write about. Before January 31st the furthest that I ever ranP2206279 300x225 My First Half Marathon was 10 miles.  I got to tell you that it felt good! Whenever I tell the story I am still refer to it as my first half marathon because I’m still unsure if I will EVER run that far again.  I will run again, I know that is true , but a half marathon, hmmm.  Most fitness things I do after I finish I’m so PUMPED to do it again. I got to tell you not this time. I was WIPED OUT! I just wanted to sit down and  get my shit together! Let’s go back to the beginning, why did I decide to run a  half marathon?  Well..

  • I use to run about 6 years ago and a half marathon was goal of my and then my sciatica got to bad so I stopped. Read My Ass Doesn’t Do What?
  • I ran in Falmouth Road Race (August and November) (7 mile race) and felt really good — I thought what’s 6 more? Hmm boy was I naive
  • I needed a goal to get me through the holidays
  • It was something that my husband I could do together — which was AWESOME to finally a hobby together.
  • The race was in Miami in January (I live in Boston) who doesn’t like a little warm weather.

My training included running in a snow storm, running in 20 degree weather and finally we caught a break our last 2 long runs we got to run in 40 degrees. I know a virtual heat weave in New England.

The first 10 miles of the run were good. Especially mile 6 when the drag queens were out giving a show, that kept me going for a mile.  Okay maybe 2. Then mile 10 hits and the walls come crashing down! I was DYING! My ankles were hurting and I had major heartburn from the GU.  At this point I was praying to any God I could think of help me get through the next 3.1 miles. Two things got me thorough.

  1. my husband and I agreed to meet at the finish line and I knew if I didn’t finish within 15-20 minutes after him he would be worried
  2. there was this women in front of me that didn’t look like a runner (for the record neither do I) and she was struggling just like me, but she kept going! So, I decided there and then if she keep running so would I.

Once I crossed the finish line I thought that I would feel this runners high that would keep me going after I finished. Well…. I’m still waiting for this runner’s high. I didn’t get it.

Everyone keeps asking would I do one again. I say maybe.  But here are some changes.

  1. I would do short runs at marathon pace
    • this time I only did long runs, not doing the short runs really hurt me in the endurance
  2. I would not do a race in the winter
    • motivating yourself to run on a cold and/or snowy day SUCKS out loud
    • I also like running in the AM, and running in the cold and dark SUCKS too
  3. I would conserve my energy early in the race
    • Don’t try to fight my way through the crowd early on, take your time and wait for the crowd to think
  4. I would run 12 miles as my last long run
    • Those last 3 miles sucked, and the runner’s high and crowds energy didn’t get me through so I would definitely add 2 more miles so I know how my body will feel and react

If you’ve run a half marathon I would love to hear any tips you would like to add. If you are new to the half marathon, good luck!

But its 19 degrees out?

Most people think because you are a personal trainer you are super human… UMMM NO.

winter running.larger But its 19 degrees out?

image fitsugar

We have those days when we don’t want to work out and sometimes even when we set a fitness goal and get in the middle of training we say to ourselves, what did I sign myself up for.

That is me right now. Literally I signed up to the Miami half marathon. (I am registered, have a non-refundable plane ticket and hotel) Just 6 short weeks ago I thought it would be a fun challenge and keep me motivated through the holidays. WELP.. not so much. Today’s 19 degrees with a wind chill of 4 and I had to do 4 miles. Go ahead and call me a wimp, but this kid wasn’t going outside. So.. instead I decided I could suck it up and run on the treadmill for 4 miles how hard go it be.  In a word FREAK’N HARD!!!

Well.. even though the Jessica Simpson E True Hollywood story was on I still felt like a Gerbil on a wheel  so…4 treadmills, yes 4 treadmills every mile I moved one, because I was BORED out of mind and thought that would help not so much. This weekend I have to do 8 miles.. I really need to check the forecast… there is NO WAY I can do it on the treadmill.

So here I am 7 weeks away and wondering seriously who do I think I am. Should I be running a half  marathon?

Somerville Turkey Trot

Last week I ran my 1st Turkey Trot, just 4 miles through a neighboring town on Thanksgiving. For Thanksgiving it was a nice day here in New England. I typically run mid morning, so this was my first early run, so I was testing what to eat. I decided on having a banana and a cup of coffee. Come on. I can’t leave the house without coffee, so it a must have! I ate it 1 hour prior to the race so that I plenty of time to digest it right!

g3map Somerville Turkey Trot

Well at mile 4 I get sharp stabbing pains in my back, but I didn’t STOP I

kept going and finished the race in 39 min. My goal to run less than 10 min/mile and I did despite the stabbing pains in my back and having to pee. Yes, at mile 2 the coffee that I had to have needed to make an exit. So.. I guess my motivation to run a fast as I could was there.

Lesson learned for the Miami 1/2 Marathon — figure out my food and pee management.


November 16th Half Marathon Training

So, my first week went well..and the second week is going well. I just need to complete my last long run 5 miles for the week.

Now you may want to know what one of my interval cycles looks like. j0438743 300x225 November 16th Half Marathon Training

  • 2 minute warm up
  • 1 1/2 min sprint
  • 30 sec rest
  • 2 1/2 min sprint
  • 1 1/2 min rest

Repeat 5 times (should take you 30 minutes.
This can easily be done on any piece of cardio equipment, I did this on an elliptical.

Now here’s the plan for my third week  — November 22.

Monday — intervals and strength
Tuesday — 3.5 miles
Wednesday — rest
Thursday — Turkey Trot (4miles)
Friday — rest
Saturday 6 miles