Sunday, February 27, 2011

Half Marathon Training: The Long Run

Well it's Sunday today and you know what that means? Long run day *insert a bit of nerves and excitement*. I have mixed emotions about the long run days. I love them because I love running, plain and simple. I am the most relaxed mentally when I run and the feeling of my body working and pushing itself is kind of addicting. My reservations are that the distances seem FAR. Today, we are planning to run 18 km....yikes. I am slightly nervous but I try to tell myself that next week will be even further so this week will seem like a breeze in comparison. I also try to keep my eye on the goal, which is to complete my first half marathon in April.

Over the past few weeks I have been taking notes and trying to improve on my long run training days. Here are a few things I'm going to try out today for my long run:

1. Drink lots of water before AND after - I have an issue where I get headaches when I run and it is likely caused by dehydration. So today I'm going to attempt to drink 2 water bottles before and 2 after. (I've already downed one bottle this morning)

2. Take some Gatorade with me on the run - Last week when I ran 16 km, I was tired at the end. I ran 12 km at a solid pace but then I just faded for the last 4 km. This week I'm going to try a bottle of water with some Gatorade powder in it. I'm not one to have water or any drink while I exercise, but I think I'm going to need it. We'll see if this works or not.

3. Pre-run Snack: Chocolate Earth Balls *Insert immature giggle*
I made a batch of these bad boys the other day, using a recipe from Whole Foods. The only substitution I made was Rice Krispie's instead of chopped nuts. It's all I had on hand. The combination of ingredients seemed like an energy bar to me so I thought I'd give these a try before the run. Hopefully they give me the right amount of energy for the whole run. I'm no nutrition expert so it'll be good old trial and error on this one.

So that's the plan for today. I guess now that I've made it public that I'm going to run, I better actually follow through. Later.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Winter Training

It's tough to train in the winter. It's cold, dark, depressing and by time I get home, I just want to veg out on the couch with a hot drink and blanket. This year I have been trying to stay in shape and keep off that winter-warmth layer, but it hasn't been without it's challenges. I love to run but despise the treadmill and indoor track. I also love to do weights but find it tough to stay motivated to workout in the evening. Here are a few things I have done to stay motivated this winter:

Sign up for a race (or 2) in the spring time
Races: Ice Breaker 10 km and Police Half Marathon - both in April

Benefits: Signing up for races in the spring keeps me motivated to run even when it's -30 out. I prefer running outside, so to keep training, I bundle up in multiple layers, face warmers, gloves and leg warmers. It may be slow going when I have to slide across some ice, but my philosophy is anything is better than nothing.

Early morning weight routine
Routine: 20 min workout DVDs first thing in the morning before work

Plan: When the clocks turned back in the fall, I figured it would be easier to just get up earlier
rather than attempting to adjust to the time change. Now when I get up early, I do a quick 20 min workout before heading to work. The two workout DVDs that I enjoy are Jillian Michaels: 30 Day Shred and Get Extremely Ripped: Boot Camp.

Winter Sports
Sports: Cross-country skiing and Hockey

Plan: Rather than wishing the cold away and counting down the days to summer, I embrace the winter by getting involved in some winter sports. Since a young age my winter sports have been hockey and skiing, and nothing has changed 25 years later. Both of these sports keep me active in the cold months and make me look forward to the winter season.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Slow Cooker Chicken

Everything I read about eating healthy recommends that you make your own meals rather than eating out. Great! Sounds simple....Well when you work all day long and have yoga/workout/a long run to do in the evening, making dinner can be pretty tough. Very quickly this intention of making dinner turns into a box of Kraft Dinner or frozen pizza. That's homemade right? Well to overcome this habit, I have learned to love my slow cooker. It's like having a personal chef who has dinner ready for you right when you walk in the door. Here is a simple and quick recipe that I have fallen back on with the slow cooker when I just don't have the time to make dinner. All it requires is a little bit of planning before heading out door in the morning.

Slow Cooker Chicken
2 Chicken Breasts
1 can of Golden Mushroom soup
1 soup can of water

1) Put everything in the slow cooker.
2) Cook on high for 5-6 hrs on low for 8-9 hrs.
3) To serve, pull chicken apart into flakes.


Hello and welcome to Strides and Glides! Thank you for visiting. The purpose of this blog is to discover that balance between maintaining a healthy lifestyle while with the craziness of everyday life. You can read more details in the about section if you want or just enjoy all the upcoming posts!