Fitness, Health, Running

How I Balance Fitness, Work And Life

Hi friends! I hope you are having a good week so far. Training for a half marathon is time consuming to say the least. I would run after work 4 days a week. Once it was all said and done, I’d be busy until about 5:45 or 6 pm each night I had to run. That’s quite the commitment. In order to keep my balance in place, I did a few things each week. Now that the half marathon has passed, I’m still running but lower mileage than before.

I Write Down My Workouts

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I love my planner. Some of you may be more up to tech savvy with your planner but I love to put pen to paper when it comes to life organization. As soon as my runs would are uploaded, I take out my pen and planner to write them down. This would allow me to look ahead when I would plan things for next week or so.When I have strength workouts I want to complete, I write those down as well. It’s helps me feel like I “have” to get these done and gives me a the satisfaction of crossing them off when it’s complete.

I Get Everything Together The Night Before

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To make sure I don’t have to spend too much time after work getting ready to go run, I lay out all my clothes the night before. Everything from my sports bra and socks to my watch. When I pull my clothes out, I check the weather so I know what the best option will be. Knowing everything is ready and charged means I can mindless change, stretch then head out the door.

I Plan Dinners A Week In Advance

Before making my grocery list, I ask Alex what nights he won’t be home for dinner during the week and write it down. Then we go through and think of a few meals that we’ll want to have that week. This helps me know what I need to take out of the freezer or if I have to put something in the crock pot before we head to work. For me, I feel best on runs (and in general!) when I eat a healthy diet with treats when I feel like it. Knowing meals are planned helps take guess work out of getting food on the table after I run.

I Move During The Work Day

I work in an office that is connected to a million square foot warehouse. My job involves going into the warehouse and looking at the packages. When I go out I chose to walk and people always tell me I should drive the golf cart. Now sometimes I do but I prefer to walk. It helps me get movement during the day instead of just sitting at my desk.

One perk of working in a warehouse to develop packaging is that I need to conduct part fits from time to time. On days I know I have a lot of fitting to do, I’ll wear a stretchy dress shirt like this one. It helps me move easier and still look professional which is a plus.

Most of you probably don’t work in a giant warehouse but you can still get movement during the day. At past jobs, instead of messaging a coworker when I had a question, I would walk to their desk. Face to face contact is always a good thing plus you get movement. If you and a coworker have a meeting set, see if you can walk around and chat instead of sitting in a conference room.

I Give Myself A Break When I Need One

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Sometimes you have a bad day or a can’t pass up opportunity that comes along. If this happens, I either skip a run (if it’s recovery) or I switch the days around so I can get in a speed workout. If the run doesn’t happen that’s okay. One skipped run won’t kill your progress if it happens. It’s so much better to factor in your mental health than kill yourself to get a run in. Or even if you do get a workout in but you’ve had a bad day, a glass of wine and relaxing on the couch is just what your head needs so go for it!

Question of the day: How do you balance fitness/health with a busy work week?

Fitness, Health, Workout

My Thoughts On Kayla Itsine’s Bikini Body Guide

Happy hump day friends! I hope you are having a great week. A few weeks ago, I mentioned how I was loosely following Kayla Itsine’s Bikini Body Guide (BBG). Some people were curious on my thoughts and how I’m doing the program so I wanted to put it all together for you in today’s post. Hopefully you find it helpful! Have a great day 🙂

Before we really get into it, I just want to state that everything expressed is just my opinion on the program. A little bit of background on this program. Kayla Itsine’s Instagram popped up on my feed randomly about 2.5 years ago. I scrolled through and saw all of these amazing transformations. I ended up purchasing the program and following the workout portion (there’s also a nutrition guide) exactly for about 8 weeks. Then I got bored, stopped and did my own thing for a while.

Fast forward to the beginning of 2018. I wanted to incorporate some sort of strength/cross training into my running routine. I was (still am technically) building towards a half marathon with higher mileage weeks. For a few weeks, I tried streaming workout videos from Youtube but it took so much time to find the videos, queue them and then get the tv set for Chromecast. I wasn’t motivated since I felt like I was wasting time getting it ready.

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Then I remembered I had BBG. I pulled out the binder it was in and decided to try it for a few weeks. I wasn’t going to follow it exactly since I wanted it to work for me. This meant breaking up the days to follow my running schedule. Kayla has it so that each day (legs and cardio, arms and core, full body) involves 2 circuits. Each circuit is followed for 7 minutes before a short break and repeating it once so each circuit is done twice or for a total of 4 circuits. I broke this up. I took one leg circuit and would do it twice after my first speed workout of the week. On recovery days I did one arm and core circuit twice. For me, keeping my hard days hard works which is why I pair legs with speed runs.

My typical week in workouts looks like this:

Monday – speed run and leg circuit
Tuesday – recovery run and arm and core circuit
Wednesday – rest day
Thursday – speed run and leg circuit
Friday – recovery run and leg circuit
Saturday – long run and full body circuit
Sunday – rest day

So far I’m really enjoying how this goes. I’m currently in preweek 4 of the program. I opted to participate in the preweeks since I had not been doing much of any strength training. I’ve noticed a difference in my running now that’s it has been a few weeks of this. During speed workouts, I’m running faster paces and not struggling as much. My coach has actually increased paces for speed workouts and I’m still crushing them. I’m kind of kicking myself for this now but I kind of wish I took some pictures at the beginning of this so I could track my progress. But I didn’t so oh well.

Since there’s a lot of stuff involved with any workout program,  I decided to put together a little pros and cons list. Again, this is all based on my opinion! You should definitely research BBG for yourself to see if it could be right for you.

Pros:
– Easy to follow and customize to fit your needs (for example, my hip was really sore yesterday so I opted to skip the circuit post run)
– Minimal thought needed after runs. I just open the binder and follow it
– 14 minutes after runs is easy to do and doesn’t take a ton of time
– Can be done anywhere
– You feel it in your muscles for days (yay for a good workout)

Cons:
– Needs some workout equipment (dumbbells, medicine ball) so I have to use household items (seltzer or wine bottles)
– Not a huge variety in the moves so it can feel repetitive
– You feel it in yours muscles for days (laughing can be painful after a core intense circuit)

Overall I’m really enjoying the program. I like that I can switch things around to work for my schedule and I don’t feel like I’m “failing” at the program if I skip a circuit. The purpose of the program to me is build strength in places running typically doesn’t and to help me work towards my goals. While the name of the guide is bikini body, Kayla herself said it’s not to make anyone a certain size. A lot of her personal training clients would say they wanted a bikini body so the name stuck. If I get a little more toned that’s great but I’m just using it to make myself stronger overall.

Question of the day: Have you ever done BBG?

Favorites, Fitness, Workout

Top Workout Songs: February 2018

Happy Wednesday! It’s the last day of February which is absolutely crazy to me. I feel like this month flew by! While I realize that’s probably due to the fact that there’s only 28 days in the month but it has always dragged on before. Does anyone else feel that way? Last month, I shared my top workout songs for the month and said I wanted to do it from now on. Fear not, I didn’t forget and managed to squeak this post in just in time. Let me know what songs you have been loving this month!

Without Me by Eminem

I’m not a big Eminem person or rap person in general but I have been loving this song the past few weeks! It’s perfect for rest in between intervals on my workouts and I’ve caught myself bobbing my head along to the beat on long runs.

This Is Me by Keala Settle from The Greatest Showman

Are you having a bad day? Listen to this song. Did you just get a promotion? Listen to this song. Do you need a little “I’m awesome” in your life? Listen to this song. This song is amazing for any kind of mood. Her vocals are unreal and the message is amazing as well.

The Champion by Carrie Underwood

Let the record show that I have a girl crush on Carrie Underwood. She’s beautiful and he voice is to die for. The Champion has been on repeat a little too often this month I think. It’s definitely a motivator for me! I read an article that said they looked into motivational speeches from some of the top coaches to write the lyrics which I believe comes out in the song.

Everytime We Touch by Cascada

I’m pretty sure this song came out when I was in 6th grade but I still love it. The beat is perfect for faster workouts. It’s a total throwback but sometimes those songs are the best! I find myself singing along out loud in my head.

I’m Just A Kid by Simple Plan

I first heard this song when I watched Cheaper by the Dozen in theaters about 15 years ago (what?!). I had completely forgotten about it until it played on my Summer Hits of the 2000s playlist that I follow on Spotify. This song is a throwback for me which is why I think I’ve been enjoying it so much this past month.

Question of the day: What’s one song you’ve been loving this month for your workouts?

Fitness, Running, Workout

6-5-4-3-2-1 Interval Workout

Happy Tuesday! How is your week so far? I was feeling pretty sluggish yesterday morning after cake and staying up late Sunday night to watch the last of the team figure skating competition. The good news was that I had a speed workout for my run yesterday to kick my butt into gear for the week. It was a really good one that I’ve done a few times and wanted to share!

Right now I am training for a half marathon that’s on April 15th. It was actually supposed to be on the 8th but got push back from some reason. At least it lengthens training by a week instead of shortening it though! One workout that I’ve been doing with training is drop down intervals. I start at 6 minutes with a tempo pace (comfortably hard – find your pace here) then decrease the length of the interval while running 10 seconds faster each time. It doesn’t sound like a lot but the final minute is an all out sprint which is killer!!

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If you don’t run, I think this could easily transition to the bike or elliptical as well. It’s only 21 minutes of hard running but it takes a lot out of you. I always end it exhausted and feel like I really worked my legs while increasing my cardio level. This is definitely a workout you will want to stretch really well after so your muscles can properly cool down.

Question of the day: Do you like adding intervals in your training?

Favorites, Fitness, Running, Workout

Top Workout Songs: January 2018

Happy hump day! We’re halfway through the week which is kind of crazy to me. It seems like the past few days have flown by. Have a great dya 🙂

Since I started listening to music on runs again, I realized I have a few favorite songs that really get me in the mood. Whether it’s for a speed workout, recovery run or long run, I know these songs will get me going and make me want to dance along while I run. Since I personally like seeing what music other people are listening to on workouts, I thought I would share a few of my favorites! I’ll preface this by saying it’s probably not “typical” workout music but it’s what I’ve been enjoying.

The Other Side by Zac Efron and Hugh Jackman

You guys I have not seen this movie yet but I desperately need to! The soundtrack is amazing if you haven’t listened to it yet then you have to. This song has such a fun beat and the back and forth between Zac Efron and Hugh Jackman is really fun to listen to on runs.

Unforgettable by Thomas Rhett

I’m just going to throw this out there but Thomas Rhett and his wife Lauren are the cutest celebrity couple. I love them so much. This song is so fun to listen to and I’ve definitely caught myself singing along under my breath while running .

Non-stop from Hamilton

Ah Hamilton…the show I have yet to see but really want to. I used to listen to the entire soundtrack on long runs to get lost in the story. Non-stop is one of my favorite from the soundtrack because it has a few different parts. Due to that, the beat changes a few times so it breaks up the song. I just find it fun to listen to!

Singles You Up by Jordan Davis

I am a huge country fan! It’s actually my music genre of choice if I’m being honest. This came on the radio a while back and I always found myself singing along to it. I listened to it on a run once and now I’m hooked. I love it and it gets me going on runs!

Shake It by Metro Station

This song is from when I was in 7th grade I think. It reminds me of when all my friends and I were at my parents hanging out in my room. I’m pretty sure we played it about 23865 times over the night. Even though it’s over 10 years old now, it still makes me want to dance along.

Question of the day: What’s one song you’ve been loving for workouts recently?