Posted on

My Long Distance Racing Tips

IMG_8658

November of 2008 marked my very first long distance race. I finished those 26.2 miles with pride and could officially call myself a marathoner.

Since then, I have run over a dozen long distance races. I have learned what works well in training for a race and also what does not work well. I also have figured out my race day rituals that are tried and true.

This past weekend, a friend and I ran a 25k trail run in Alabama. It was set back away from civilization where the trail wound through serene woods and overlooked a beautiful lake. It was one of the prettiest races I have enjoyed so far.

Being the road runner that I am (I have only raced in one other trail run that was a half marathon distance), trail running is a new ball game. The community of trail runners is quite a bit different and I feel like they approach the race with a different mindset. The runners I met along the trail were so kind in letting me pass them and not jockeying for position or trying to elbow me out of the way. Quite different from some road races where I have almost been pushed down in order for a runner to gain that position in front of me.

After years of running and racing, I would like to think of myself as a somewhat seasoned racer. I want to pass along some of my tips on how I prepare for a race and what my best race day tips are.

  1. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!
    The week before the race, and especially the day before, I try to drink a lot of water. It is always better to go into a race hydrated than not having enough liquid. Dehydration definitely hinders your performance on race day!
  2. Get a good night sleep TWO nights before the race 
    I know this may come as a shock to you, but it is very important to get a lot of sleep two nights before the race. Reason being, the night before you most likely will have pre-race jitters, causing you to not get that full night of sleep. Also, if the race is not near your hometown, you will be sleeping in a different bed than normal which always throws people off.
  3. Carb load a few days before hand
    Please do not wait to carb load the night before a race, or even the morning of! Your body needs to build up glycogen in your muscles to use during the race and it always works best for me to carb load a few days prior. My favorite pre-race meal the night before is a sweet potato hash.
    *You can find the recipe in my upcoming recipe e-book that I will be releasing soon!
  4. On the race morning, wake up at least 2 hours before the start 
    I hate going into a race not fully awake. I love to wake up early on race day, hydrate with water and drink a cup of coffee, have my pre-race breakfast, and take time to mentally prepare for what is ahead of me.
  5. Do NOT change anything up on race day
    Race day is not the time to try something new. Do not buy new running clothes, shoes or even try new foods the day of (or even the day before!). You have no idea how your body will respond to digesting the new food/drink/gu, if the clothes will chafe or ride up uncomfortably, and new shoes will definitely not be broken in. I suggest using your long training runs as a time to try out what exactly works for you. If you need to keep a log book of what your favorite running clothes are, what foods best energize you, and how well hydrated you were, it might help!
  6. Wear compression sleeves 
    Seriously, I swear by these. I do not run a long distance race anymore without them. They help me during the race with swelling and circulation as well as keep the soreness at bay after the race. If you are not comfortable wearing them during the race, at least bring some to slip on right when you finish. It will still help with the post-race soreness.
  7. Actively stretch after the race
    After you cross the finish line, grab your finishers medal and some water/snacks they have provided, and then actively stretch. Your muscles and joints have been working continuously for a couple hours (or more – depending on your pace). If you actively stretch (do not do stationary stretches first), it will help immensely!

I hope you find these helpful for your next big race! I love talking about running so please post comments below or contact me at fashionedtobefit@gmail.com if you want to get ahold of me.

Posted on

How to Stay Fit as a Mom {PART THREE}

If you are like most moms, it can be hard to find the time and energy to work out with kids! I put together a three part series on how I stay fit as a mom. You can check out the first two parts here and here.

I’m back here today with a couple more tips that might help you get or stay fit while having kids around!

1. FIND A GYM WITH CHILDCARE

I understand not everyone wants to work out at home. Sometimes it’s refreshing and can be motivating to get out of your home and workout with others around you. I personally love taking classes at a gym! TRX, Zumba, Body Pump, etc are all really fun to do with friends or fellow moms.

If you have it in your budget and live near a good gym that provides it, sign up for a gym that has childcare available for you! You can usually drop your children off for a set amount of time that allows you to get in a class or two, shower in peace, and pick your children up afterwards. It’s easy, relaxing for you, and everyone goes home happy! {unless you have a child that hates childcare in general. Which I have had. Thankfully she’s older now and deals with separation anxiety better than she did her entire first two years.}

2. TRADE OFF

Sometimes when my husband and I both want to participate in a sporting event, we trade off. Either we each play part of the game while the other watches the kids, or he plays in one whole game and I get to play in the next game.

It’s nice to both get a good workout in, and not need to pay a babysitter to watch the kids. Also, our girls absolutely love watching their parents run in races or play in basketball games! They are the best cheerleaders out there!

 

What are your favorite workout classes to do at the gym? Any new ones I should try?  

 

Posted on

How to Stay Fit as a Mom {PART TWO}

Last week, I wrote a post with a few tips that help me stay fit as a mom. You can read more about it here. Today, I’m back with a few more tips that might help you find time to stay fit and get moving, even with small kids in your home!

Just because you have a baby and/or toddler, it doesn’t mean you can’t find time in your day to get a workout in, even if it’s a quick one! Here are three tips that might help you out:

 

1. GET YOUR KIDS INVOLVED

I am a huge proponent of an active lifestyle not only for my husband and me, but also for my kids. I want them to see us going out for a run or getting in a good strength workout at home because it teaches them that it’s a part of our every day life. Even if my husband is around to watch the kids, sometimes I’ll take one or two of them with me in the jogging stroller (we have BOB jogging strollers) to get in a tougher run and also for them to be a part of it.

If I am doing a strength workout inside, I try to get them involved. They love doing squats, push-ups, wall sits, and jumping jacks with me. Also, seeing them attempt these moves is one of the cutest things you’ll ever see. If you make it fun for them, they will want to do it!

If you like your own space for working out though, insert my next tip…

 

2. UTILIZE NAP TIMES

My children are still young enough that they all nap. Their naps don’t always overlap with each others’, but I do sometimes like to utilize that time to get in a good, concentrated workout. It’s nice to not have to push pause on a workout DVD or stop mid-squat to run over and help them fill a water cup or the hundred other requests they always have going on.

 

3. WAKE UP EARLY

Before we had children, I used to do this every day before work. I was an assistant manager at a financial institution and usually helped close the branch so my work day didn’t start sometimes until 9-9:30am. This allowed me to wake up early, get a good run in, shower, and get ready for work.

It worked well for me then. And I know plenty of moms who are able to get up before their kids wake up in the morning. If their kids wake up around 7am (I don’t remember what that feels like, but I’m sure it must be glorious) then they set their alarm for 5:30am.

(I will be honest with you. This isn’t the best option for me and my family right now. Some nights I am getting up 6+ times between my three kids and it just isn’t feasible at this point in our lives. In a few years though, I will most likely go back to waking up early to get in a workout before my husband leaves for work and the rest of our day begins.)

 

Do you have any other tips that help you workout with little ones in tow?

 

 

Posted on

How to Stay Fit as a Mom {PART ONE}

 

Staying fit while being a mom can be really difficult. We are in a constant state of exhaustion. It can be hard to find time around our busy schedules to prioritize working out. Some days the only exercise we get is chasing after our toddler all day long as they are constantly getting into things they shouldn’t be!

{cue me running to stop my toddler from permanently ruining our house as she loves to do!}

running-530x300
Photo source

 

For the next few weeks, I am going to be posting tips on how I make time to work out with little ones under foot. 

Currently, I have a four-year-old, two-almost-three-year-old, and a four-month-old. Yes, I am in a constant state of sleep deprivation. My children have never learned the concept of sleep.

While I could just write off the next 10 years as lost in the exercise department, I’ve learned to embrace this stage of life that I’m at and thrive as best I can.

How do I do that? 

Here are some steps that help me stay active while mothering young children:

 

1. SCHEDULE YOUR WORK OUTS 

I sit down the day before with my calendar and figure out what time I will be able to run or work out the next day. Running is my stress relief and I know if I am able to get a run in, even if it’s a quick 2-miler, I will be a better mom for it.

I will be happier and healthier, which allows me to be a better wife and mama to my family. It’s a win-win for everyone!

 

2. HAVE SUPPORT 

My husband is my number one supporter. Seriously, I couldn’t do it without him behind me 100%!

Before I sign up for a race {currently, I have two half marathons lined up in the next couple months}, I talk it over with him to see if training for a race and running the actual race will be feasible with his work schedule.

If I don’t convince him to run with me, then he watches the kids during the race. I like to choose races that we can all travel to and are family friendly, so the logistics of taking a family of five is something to take into consideration.

 

3. BE FLEXIBLE!

The past week and a half we have been passing around a bad virus between our family members. I have never had to wash so much bedding and clothes as I have in the past week! This means some of my planned work outs have not gone as I wanted.

Having kids has demanded flexibility for this type-A mama. I love having things scheduled out (see bullet point #1), but I also know that it doesn’t always happen as planned. So, I have back-ups to fall on.

If the weather isn’t cooperating with me, I work out inside instead. I have workout DVD’s ready to go!

If I was planning on my husband watching the kids during a long run but his work schedule changes on me (seriously, happens all the time!) I push my long run back a few hours or do a quick run that day and schedule my long run for the next day.

The key is always having something else to fall back on when life changes!

 


 

What do you do if your schedule doesn’t go as planned?