Is Music Essential to Your Workout?

In January of 2012, I lost my iPhone. I was devastated and had to use an old phone until I was eligible for an upgrade. Fast forward to January of 2013 and I finally have my new iPhone! Yes, I went an entire year without it :(

During that year, I forgot what it was like to run with my music. Don't get me wrong, I still enjoyed my runs. I was more aware of my surroundings without the music and probably did more "deep thinking". There is just nothing that puts an extra spring in your step like a good beat.

 I went out yesterday morning and took the new phone along. It was so much fun to have the music again! I have a running playlist on my iTunes, but my favorite thing to listen to during a run is Pandora. I use the Alternative Endurance Training station and every song pushes me along. I have spent countless hours of marathon training listening to that station. It's amazing to me how much more energy one can feel during a workout when there is upbeat music playing.

If I had to pick one song out of my playlist that gets me sprinting every time, it would have to be Shake It, by Metro Station. What pushes you during your workout? Is there any one song in particular? I'd love to hear what gets everyone else moving!

Photo Credit: Photosteve101

Three Easy Ways to Boost 5k Time

This week, I received an email asking for advice on how to drop the 5k time. Since I haven't posted in awhile, I figured I would share my response. These are a few simple tips for the beginner 5k runners who just want to shave some time. Of course, it's not limited to just beginners. These tips will benefit runners of every kind.

1. Gradually increase the length of your run. Work up to about 6 miles and 3 miles will seem like a piece of cake. You will build your endurance and aerobic capacity. 6 miles may not be an option right now, but even 4-5 miles will boost your speed when you run 3.

2. Do some speed work. You can go to a track for this, or map out your own little 1/4 mile or 1/2 mile route. Warm up for about 10 minutes, then run 1/4 mile to 1/2 mile fast (race pace). Then run 1/4 to 1/2 mile recovery (nice easy pace). Repeat this until you've run about 3 miles. Don't forget a cool down jog. As you get stronger, you can increase the interval. Instead of a 1/2 mile, you can do mile repeats, etc. Speed work hurts...not gonna lie...but it really does work. You will be faster.

4. Add in some strength work. On the days you're not running, do some push-ups, squats, lunges, etc. Choose strength exercises that will work core and leg muscles. This will prevent injury and make you an  overall stronger runner. 

~Coach Genie 

Pictures From San Diego Trip

I promised some pictures from my trip to San Diego and here are just a few. We had a wonderful time! We started the week off by having our rental car upgraded (FOR FREE) to a soft top Jeep Wrangler. It was great to be able to drive around sunny California with the top down. 

Two days into our trip, I ran a Navy four-mile race across the Coronado Bay Bridge with my brother. The views were amazing, but the race itself was very crowded. Still, I finished 20th in my age group (30-35) of about 800 females. I'll take it ;)

The rest of the week included sea kayaking in La Jolla, San Diego Zoo, a very authentic Zumba class (thanks to my sister-in-law) and then two relaxing days in Palm Springs. (Oh, and lots and lots of Mexican food!) We stayed at the Colony Palms Hotel and I would recommend it to anybody. The rooms were excellent and the grounds were gorgeous. But just my luck, they were hosting a swimsuit model shoot right at the pool. (I just can't compete with that) I'm sure my husband enjoyed it!

We ended the week with a trip to the gun range and dinner out in Coronado with my brother and his wife. I really fell in love with San much so that the hubs and I are planning on relocating the family there next summer. I'm very excited for that...I can't wait to run some of those hills!!

I shot a gun!!

Me and my Bro before running across the Coronado Bay Bridge

Sea kayaking in La Jolla, CA

Palm Springs!!!

Sea Lions in La Jolla
San Clemente, CA

90 Second Ab Video

I'm always looking for new exercise ideas and today I came across this video. You have to check it out. If you're looking for quick moves that will tone & sculpt, these will do the trick. The instructions are to do each move for 30 seconds back to back, for a total of 90 seconds. Then, rest 90 seconds and repeat it three to four times.

25.59" Anti-Burst Gym Ball

I will be trying it later ;) If you try it, let me know what you think...Enjoy!


Upcoming Runs & Random Thoughts

So happy for Spring!
It's been a few weeks since I've that time, I've been busy training clients, trying to fill my own training log, and starting another business as an Independent Biltmore Inspirations Consultant. I'm really excited about that! I've also registered for the Philly Marathon again...can't wait for November, 2012!

I was thinking how running seems to go in cycles, kind of like life. For instance, two weeks ago, I felt great, had great runs everyday, even did a 13 miler out of the blue with some friends. This week? I can't be bothered! I haven't run since Saturday...well that's not true. I did try to run this morning and couldn't get past 2 miles. I walked this week instead and guess what? It felt really good. I haven't felt that runner's guilt this week like I normally do. I was perfectly content with walking! I also added in my weight training a few days this week. The thing is, I know that next week I'll be back to normal, so I'm not stressing about it too much (It may also be that time of the month...I usually have no energy the week before).

I'm in love with my new compression socks!

More exciting month, I'll be on my way to San Diego for a whole week to visit my brother. During that time, we will run a Navy four-miler across the Coronado Bay Bridge. I'm really excited to be able to run with my brother, whom I haven't seen in a very long time. He has also asked me to lead a PT session for himself & the guys on his ship! How exciting! He says they need a running coach :) I will definitely be posting with pictures!!

My goal this week: Do an actual pull-up (at least a full, complete pull-up :) Wish me luck!