7 Tricks for Running a Magical 5K

7 Tricks for Running a Magical 5K

I have shocking news, you guys. Are you sitting down?

Well, stand up.

My husband has been running…and he is training for a 5K…race.

For those of you who might not know, my husband has lost more than 60 pounds since this time last year by walking and by eating well. But he got to a point this winter where he wanted to challenge himself and he started running using the Couch to 5K program.

And then he asked me to sign him up for a race. After I picked myself up off of the floor, I registered us for the Kirkland Shamrock Run 5K on March 11. (Psst: You can use my code MOMVSMARATHON to save 10% on this race.)

All this 5K talk has inspired me and now I want to train for a fast 5K again. Running a fast 5K is like magic. When it’s over, you’re not sure what happened, but you enjoyed the hell out of it.

Last time I did that was in 2014 at the See Jane Run 5K with my friend Kim. We both killed it and came in 2nd in our age groups. It wasn’t a PR, though. I think my PR is still 23:45 from the St. Paddy’s Day 5K in Tacoma in 2012. I’m not entirely sure because I don’t care enough to look it up.

See Jane Run 5K Race Recap 2014
Me and Kim at See Jane Run in 2014.

I can beat that, though, right? That course had a huge hill at the end that was like a half a mile long. I mean, I’ll be 40 in September, so maybe I should try to crush it in my 35-39 age group one more time.

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For this, I will have to call on my old “tricks,” to help me slay in a fast 5K either later this spring or this summer.

What are my tricks, you ask? Or maybe you didn’t ask, but I’m sharing them anyway.

Give myself time. If I really want to dominate in the 5K, I need to pick one that is far enough away that will allow me to get it right. I have to give myself adequate time to get lean and strong (see below), and then start my run training. In my experience, doing one thing at a time works best for me.

Get lean and strong. I am already doing this, as some of you may know. I work on strength 3-4 times/week. My favorite workouts are from Metabolic Effect and JillFit. The No. 1 factor in my ability to get stronger and stay on the leaner side is consistency. It’s my experience that one will not see resulst by working on strength one day a week. Ya need at least 3 days and ya need a plan or workouts that progress. I also recommend using heavy weights. The other part of the equation is eating well for leanness. That means lots of protein and fiber (fiber is vegetables, guys), and the right amount of carbs/starch for your body.

Run. This is crucial. I need to start doing this.

Find a training plan. Who has time to run every damn day? Not me. I have learned over the years to be realistic when I choose a training plan. Also, I’ve never had luck with free plans on the Internet (with the exception of Jeff Galloway’s Run-Walk marathon training). The plan I’ve used twice to get/go after 5K PRs is from Run Less Run Faster by Bill Piece, Scott Murr, and Ray Moss. I love this book because it is tailored to my current running fitness. It forces me to be realistic. It focuses on speed. And I only have to run 3 days a week. I like to run, but not as much as I used to. I’ve read and tried MAAAAAANNNNNY running books, and this is my favorite for the 5K and half marathon distances.

Warm up on the day of the race. I think Kim was hating me in 2014 when I made her warm up, but I have to. I cannot run fast on cold legs even if it’s hot out. You’ve all done long training runs, right? Isn’t it like Mile 3 where you finally start to feel good? Well, a 5K isn’t long enough for that. I don’t have time! I have to do some running and stretching before the race. Allow time for that. Leg swings, squats and lunges, and light jogging with fartleks thrown in is how I do it.

Stay focused during the race. I use an old tactic I learned on the cross country team in high school. I focus on a back and then I aim to pass it. Then I pick another back. If there are not backs, I pick a landmark and try to get by it as fast as possible. I know music is controversial, but I use it. There are certain songs that make me feel like I can fly. If music helps you, use it. This isn’t the Olympics, people.

Think of a 5K as a sprint. If you don’t want to puke at the end, you’re not doing it right.

Go forth and slay.

Great Deals on Health and Fitness Books

kindledeals1

Happy Sunday! Looking for a new nutrition, fitness or running book?

I want to try a new weekly post inspired by the blog, The Modern Mrs. Darcy. She does a great list of fiction and non-fiction Amazon deals every day. Highly recommend signing up for her daily deals email!

I’m going to attempt a version of this for people who love reading health and fitness books like me. Right now, it’ll just be a weekly blog post, but someday I’ll figure out how to do an email. The following post includes affiliate links.

Never Binge Again

Never Binge Again(tm): Reprogram Yourself to Think Like a Permanently Thin Person(tm). Stop Overeating and Binge Eating and Stick to the Food Plan of Your Choice!

By Glenn Livingston, PhD, Kindle Edition: Free

“Disillusioned by what traditional psychology had to offer the overweight and/or food obsessed male, Dr. Livingston spent several decades researching the nature of binging and overeating via work with his own patients AND a self-funded research program with more than 40,000 participants. Most importantly, however, is Dr. Livingston’s own personal journey out of obesity and “food prison” to a normal, healthy weight and a much more lighthearted relationship with food.”

My thoughts: I have not read this, but will be downloading it for help with my tortilla chip problem.

Amazon reviews: 4.5 stars/397 reviews

Racing Dawn

Racing Dawn: How A Crazy Mom With 5 Kids Ran 12 Marathons In 12 Months

By Dawn Lauti, Kindle Edition: $1.99

From Amazon: “A revealing, funny, honest, and inspiring memoir from a self-described ‘ordinary person’ who tackled 12 marathons in 12 months with a devoted husband and 5 kids in tow.”

My thoughts: I remember reading her blog! If you love reading about running, this might be worth checking out.

Amazon reviews: 4.5 stars/65 reviews

Performance Nutrition for Runners

Runner’s World Performance Nutrition for Runners: How to Fuel Your Body for Stronger Workouts, Faster Recovery, and Your Best Race Times Ever

By Matt Fitzgerald, Kindle Edition: $1.99

From Amazon: “Runners have different nutrition and recovery needs than other endurance athletes. Yet until now, they’ve had no nutritional resource specifically addressing their concerns. This comprehensive guide distills the newest thinking in the science of exercise nutrition into practical, hands-on tips that will help runners stay healthy, recover faster, enjoy better workouts, and race successfully.”

My thoughts: While this book is a little older, there are recent reviews that say it was helpful for them. I’m a fan of Matt Fitzgerald, and think he does thorough research and he presents information in a way that is easy to digest (pun intended!).

Amazon reviews: 4.5 stars/40 reviews

Run!: 26.2 Stories of Blisters and Bliss

Run!: 26.2 Stories of Blisters and Bliss

By Dean Karnazes, Kindle Edition: $1.99

From Amazon: “In his follow-up to the best-selling Ultra-Marathon Man, world-renowned ultra marathoner Dean Karnazes chronicles his unbelievable exploits and explorations in gripping detail; Karnazes runs for days on end without rest, across some of the most exotic and inhospitable places on earth, including the Australian Outback, Antarctica, and the back alleys of New Jersey.”

My thoughts: I have mixed feelings about this book, but if you love ultramarathoner Dean Karnazes, it is worth $1.99!

Amazon reviews: 4 stars/116 reviews

4 Simple Tips for Body Transformation Success

A few tips for body transformation success
After finishing my final workout of my third round of Metabolic Prime today!

I’m excited to do another round of Metabolic Prime, and have some of you to do it along with me! If you want to join us, you can get Metabolic Prime until Sunday (Oct. 9) using my affiliate link http://momvsmarathon.metabolicprime.com/wsl/momvsmarathon which will give me a little kickback. (So thank you!) Check out yesterday’s post for why I love Prime.

Today, I want to share are a few things that have helped me on my fitness/fat loss journey.

1. Making up my mind.

I had to decide that I wanted to change. My brain had to go all in. I was so tired of going up and down. I just made up my mind in February that I was going to, once and for all, figure out what helps (and what hurts) my body.

2. Being a “diet detective.”

Figuring out the right nutrition for your specific body, lifestyle and workout routine takes some time. It took me a couple of months (or more!). If you are deciding to do Metabolic Prime, take a look at the nutrition information that comes with the program. Use it as a place to start and then go from there. (BTW: I also discovered I have a gluten sensitivity. I have eliminated gluten from my diet and my gut is thanking me for it.)

3. Being consistent.

This is the biggest thing, guys. You aren’t necessarily going to see results right away. I lost a few pounds in the first week and then it was nothing for several weeks. Stick with it. Measuring and photos help (see below). My body composition changed even though my weight and measurements didn’t change hardly at all in the first couple of months.

4. Measuring and taking photos.

I weigh and measure myself (Metabolic Prime gives you a measurement tracker), and I take photos every week. As you might’ve seen in my post yesterday, the change in the photos is pretty drastic!

Today, I did my last day of the final phase of my third 12-week round (I think; I’ve lost count) of Metabolic Prime. I think my body is at a new setpoint. As you’re losing fat and/or weight and changing your body, your system gets comfortable at certain weights/sizes. For me, it used to be 160. Then it was around 155. Now, it seems to be comfy at 151.

I’m not mad. This is how it works when you are changing your body for the long-term. It might take a few weeks to get to a new set point. I may have to pay closer attention to my nutrition to break through the plateau. I will be doing “before” photos and then weekly progress photos for the next 12 weeks starting on Monday. Excited for the challenge ahead!

Again, let me know if you have questions. Here’s the link to sign up for Metabolic Prime (remember, if you’re interested, to sign up by Sunday!), http://momvsmarathon.metabolicprime.com/wsl/momvsmarathon and have a great weekend, all!

Metabolic Prime Changed My Body…and My Mind

How Metabolic Prime Changed My Body
August 2016

You guys know I love Metabolic Effect, and if you’ve been following me for a while, you know that I’ve been doing ME’s program Metabolic Prime since February. Click here for all my Prime posts.

I went from this:

Metabolic Effect | Mom vs. Marathon
February 2016

To this:

Here's What I'm Doing to Get Fit
August 2016

The second picture is after my second round of Prime, but that’s how much I love it and how much it helped me.

I’m about to start another round of Prime on Monday. Want to do it with me? It is open for enrollment again (BUT JUST UNTIL SUNDAY, OCT. 9 so sign up now!) and if you use my link here – http://momvsmarathon.metabolicprime.com/wsl/momvsmarathon – I get a little kickback (so thank you in advance).

Here’s a little bit about Metabolic Prime:

It was created, and is led by, Dr. Jade Teta from Metabolic Effect. The workouts have four phases, each are three weeks and there are three workouts each week: Awaken, Energize, Overload and Max. (Overload and Max are my favorite phases, naturally.) Within the workouts, there is instruction on personalizing your workout. You can use dumbbells, no weights or stretchy bands–whatever you already have! I like dumbbells.

THE WORKOUTS ARE 15-20 MINUTES LONG! They are 15 minutes and then there is a 5-minute bonus workout you can do if you want, but is not required. I always do it because I like to get even more sweaty. LOL

I have transformed my body through nutrition (see below) and these full-body workouts. I love that they are fast, but they are tough. I don’t feel like I need more after doing a Metabolic Prime workout. It helped me go from a “more exercise is better” mindset to a “smarter is better” mindset.

Prime also comes with a lot of really important information about nutrition and metabolism. For me, the nutrition was a total game changer. I learned that I need a lot of protein, lots of vegetables, and a moderate amount of fat and starch.

The program comes with the four 3-week-long exercises, a workout calendar, a body transformation tracker, a “rapid results” quick-start guide, 12-weeks of meal plans and ideas, and more information that will help you on your fat-loss journey.

I don’t know what else to say! I love Metabolic Prime and I wish everyone could experience the same success that I have enjoyed.

And, you guys, it’s super affordable. It’s only $37! Order here by Oct. 9: http://momvsmarathon.metabolicprime.com/wsl/momvsmarathon

And let me know if you have any questions. I have been following ME for a long time. 🙂

Dear Friends, Here’s What I’m Doing to Get Fit

I am participating in a challenge on Instagram this month, so I’ve been sharing workout photos (read: photos of me flexing). Here are a couple of them:

Here's What I'm Doing to Get Fit

Here's What I'm Doing to Get Fit
I call this one “baby abs.”

Because of this, several people have asked me what I’ve been doing.

Below is an email I wrote to one of those people. It is a basic overview, but please feel free to ask me more and I can go into more detail.

Dear Friend,

It’s taken me a while to figure out what type of diet and exercise works BEST for me, but what really helped me were the people of Metabolic Effect (metaboliceffect.com). The founder (Jade Teta) is a naturopathic doctor and a trainer.

They have a couple of books: Lose Weight Here is the most recent and is basically what I am doing. The authors had an online program called Metabolic Prime, and that’s what I’m on my second round of. That is here: http://www.metabolicprime.com/ (I don’t know how much it costs now; I got it at an introductory price.)

But…Jade Teta is the guy you want to listen to. (Note: His wife Jill Coleman of JillFit.com is also very helpful. It is her challenge I am participating in this month.)

Couple questions to answer:

  1. Why are you looking to get fit? For me, answering this question was super important. At one time, my “why” was getting fit enough to run a marathon. Now it’s changed to getting leaner and stronger, so I can be all-around fit.
  2. Is there a type of exercise you like to do? This was important to me because at one time I loved running long distances. But after several years of that, I realized I didn’t like it as much anymore, and I had to find something else I liked, which ended up being lifting weights and walking. If you like what you’re doing, you’ll be more successful.

Eating

I eat high protein and veggies, and moderate to lower fat and carb. I am on a gluten-free diet right now because of a thyroid thing. I do keep track of what I eat on the My Fitness Pal app (you can find me @momvsmarathon), but I’m less concerned with calories, and more interested in my ratios: 40% protein, 30% fat, 30% carb.

Basically, I just try to have more protein than carbs or fats on a good day. For carbs, I try to eat whole food carbs, such as sweet potatoes or rice, and not as much starchy white carbs (like hamburger buns). I eat a lot of egg white omelettes and protein smoothies.

Eating is like 80% of the equation! People always get so focused on exercise, but diet is the thing that will make the biggest difference.

Exercise

I try to get 10,000 steps per day total and that usually means I need one or two longish walks. The My Fitness Pal app tracks it for me.

I usually do a 20-minute metabolic workout with dumbbells 3x/week and on the other days I sprint 2-3x/week (I sprint for 20-30 seconds and then walk to recover and then sprint and then walk and then sprint and then walk for a total of 20 minutes).

I typically take 1-2 rest days where the only “workout” I do is trying to get my 10,000 steps (usually just a couple longish walks).

For example, my week might look like this: Metabolic Workout with Weights M, W, F; Sprinting T, Th, Sat. Walking every day. No hard workouts on Sunday.

The key here is that the “tough” workout is only 20 minutes. It’s so do-able.

HOWEVER, my husband has been able to drop a lot of weight through simply getting 10,000 steps every day and paying attention to what and how much he eats with the My Fitness Pal app. He’s not interested in building a ton of muscle like I am. He simply needed to move more. He also eats high protein and veggies, and moderate to lower fats and carbs.

I hope this helps! I feel like I could write so much more, but this is the basics.

I think it’s important to pick one thing to start with. Pick walking 10,000 steps a day and start with that, for example. Do it for a couple of weeks, then work on diet.

When you do a bunch of changes all at once, it’s super hard to stick with anything because it’s so overwhelming. But if you change one thing every couple of weeks, eventually you’ll have changed a bunch of things and made a bunch of healthy habits. Does this make sense?

Send me your questions! I love this crap!

I Know How to Get Lean, but Why?

Do you know why you want to get lean?
Not me, but…someday.

The most annoying thing in the world is when your husband is right.

Am I right?! (Let me answer that: Yes.)

Ugh. What’s even worse is when my husband is right about something that has to do with ME. I mean, who does he think he is talking sense and stuff? The nerve!

Last night, we were talking about our health and fitness goals. He’s been kicking some butt being more mindful about his nutrition and moving more, and he’s making steady progress. I’m super proud of him, but…I still don’t want him to be right.

So we were chatting and I was whining about figuring out my nutrition: Why is it so hard? Why can’t my HEC (Hunger, Energy and Cravings) just be in check all the time?

(By the way, I just want to say a special thanks to my period for throwing everything off and totally messing with me. So great! I love being a girl!)

Anyway, my husband asked me why I wanted to get lean anyway. I gave him my standard answer: to get lighter and faster for running.

You know how sometimes you say something out loud and it doesn’t quite sound right? In your head, it’s totally fine. Makes total sense. But out loud…it sounds a little…off?

That’s what happened when I gave my answer. And, because my husband, annoyingly pays attention to stuff (and reads this blog–hi, hon), he then said: But you aren’t really running anymore.

Um, yeah. Okay. Good point. Touché.

I then stumbled through a few explanations about why I wanted to get lean and gain muscle, and none of them sounded super great. In fact, I’m too embarrassed to even write them down here because most of them had to do with aesthetics and my own insecurities and vanity.

The point is, he was freaking right! See? So annoying!

My “why” for getting healthy and fit is that I want to age well. I want to be healthy and strong as I get older. I want to be in good health so I can enjoy life for a long time.

But my “why” for getting lean isn’t clear. So, I will be working on figuring that out in some future posts.

I gotta get this right.

PS: Thank you to everyone who entered the drawing to win a free entry in the Snoqualmie Valley Run. The winner is: Kim! If you didn’t win, remember you can use the code MOMVSMARATHON to save 10% on your entry fee. Orca Running is also having a deal right now where you can save $20 if you sign up for the SVR and the Iron Horse Half by 5/26/16, so check that out here.