Mountains 2 Beach Marathon Training Week 2

My second week of training is in the books and it felt SO good!

So first things first, what’s the deal with my leg circuits after my runs?

After being sidelined by a few injuries last year, I decided to make a conscious effort to add strength training to my marathon training routine. Part of that effort means that I need to stay accountable and the easiest way to do that is to do it right after my run. I am currently working with my physical therapist on my current circuit and can feel myself getting stronger already. I’m excited to see what comes next!

Monday 1/7

A short, “easy” run but can anyone say negative splits?! 4.1 miles, 8:40 /mile followed by my leg circuit (2×10 weighted front squats, 2×10 single leg deadlifts and 2×10 weighted lunges). Not anything spectacular but I’m starting to feel in my groove again.

Tuesday 1/8

What the HILL! Decided to do my first hill workout of the year, though it has really been awhile. My friend, Emily, joined in for the 5:30am fun. We warmed up for 2 miles and completed 10 repeats on a 20% grade hill, totaling 4.5 miles. And wow, I’m beat.

Wednesday 1/9

Rest day – after seven consecutive days “on”, I knew that I needed a real rest day. Not an active recovery or cross training day, but a rest day of doing nothing. I was expecting to wake up tired and feeling sore from the hill workout but instead, I woke up at 4:45am ready to go. As I laid in bed, I thought about going to the gym for a short biceps/back circuit but I opted for an extra hour and a half of sleep instead.

Thursday 1/10

THANK YOU AGAIN, EMILY! 6 miles easy today at 8:50 /mile. After the hills on Tuesday, Emily joined me at 5:30am again for some easy miles. Both of us were pretty beat so we definitely struggled a bit towards the end but appreciated the company!

Friday 1/11

Flywheel class. Again? Is this turning into a weekly routine?! My legs are exhausted.. but what a great cross-training workout. I dialed up the effort and finished with a higher number than last week – WOOHOO!

Saturday 1/12

11 miles at 8:50 /mile – BOOM! This felt AMAZING. There were a couple moments of struggle but I powered through and put the miles in. First double digit run of the year!

Sunday 1/13

My plan was to do an easy shakeout run but I took an extra rest day instead. Ready to start week 3 strong!

TOTAL MILES: 26

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ClassPass – Get Your First Month For Free!

For the TL;DR – get your free first month here.

Ok, I am a runner first. But every now and then, I like to shake things up and try out a new workout class. Maybe spin, pilates, yoga, or boxing?!

I may have started my marathon training cycle for Mountains 2 Beach but I have also started back up with ClassPass. And I am LOVING it! It allows me to add some variety to my training schedule for my “off” days. Thanks to ClassPass, I have found my favorite studios for cycling, pilates and hot yoga. I also love to try out new places or use ClassPass when I travel because they have locations all over the world!

By signing up through this link, you’ll get 45 credits which basically amounts to your first month free. Classes range in credit amounts but you should be able to fit in 5-8 classes – you also have the option to purchase additional credits should you need more.

Hope you try it out in your local area and have a blast. After all, it’s free to give it a try!

Creating Your Ritual: 10 Days of Hot Yoga

It mostly sucks but there are definitely perks to being an injured runner – one of these perks is having the time to do other things that are not running. I love hot yoga but I had not had the chance to find a new studio after moving to San Francisco. Luckily, I found a studio offering a new student package that I decided to try – Ritual Hot Yoga. I definitely recommend giving them a try if you’re local – and psst, leave a comment if you are interested in a new student special!

Anyway, 10 days of hot yoga – what were my takeaways? Mind, body, and soul. Duh!

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Mind

It is surreal for me to think about but in those 10 days, I lost my aunt, my friend and my dog. Talk about the worst 10 days ever, right? But honestly, yoga helped me through it. Each day, I set an intention for my practice and brought awareness into each moment and every thought. Finding that peace within myself allowed me to release a lot of the stress that I was holding in.

Body

I immediately felt the impact of hot yoga on my body. I was more flexible and I was even able to improve some poses throughout the 10 days. I was still going to the gym but the extra yoga session each day did not leave me feeling tired. In fact, I felt refreshed each day.

Soul

Are you familiar with the feeling of pure bliss or calmness? I left every yoga class feeling more “whole” and focused than when I started class. Though I wouldn’t consider myself to be a spiritual person, 10 days of hot yoga made me feel more connected to my mind, body and soul.

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To summarize, hot yoga did not give me abs… but I am able to work on my headstands and forearm stands now. I also fell in love with the studio and signed up for a membership – come try it out with me!

Swim: Freestyle/Backstroke Work

Hopefully I’ll be back to running soon but until then, another swim workout to start the week!

TOTAL: 2,500 YARDS

Feel free to cut down on distance and adjust the times as needed!

Warm Up

1 x 300 Free

4 x 50 Kick (Streamline on back) @ 1:20

4 x 25 IM (Butterfly, Backstroke, Breaststroke, Freestyle) @ 0:45

2 x 50 Drill (Zipper Drill) @ 1:10

Main Set

1 x 300 Free @ 6:10

1 x 100 Back @ 2:30

1 x 200 Free @ 4:30

2 x 100 Back @ 2:30

1 x 100 Free @ 2:30

3 x 100 Back @ 2:30

1 x 100 Free – No interval

Warm Down

4 x 100 Pull @ 2:40

1 x 100 Free

Swim: Descending Pull Set

After four weeks of not running, I’m starting to the get in the groove of other activities that will help me to maintain my fitness level. Of these other activities, my favorite has been swimming though I may be a little biased since I used to swim competitively and teach swim lessons.

TOTAL: 2,200 YARDS

Feel free to adjust the times as needed!

Warm Up

1 x 300 Free

6 x 50 Kick (Streamline on back) @ 1:20

4 x 25 IM (Butterfly, Backstroke, Breaststroke, Freestyle) @ 0:45

Drill Set

4 x 50 Drill (3 Strokes + 12 Kicks) @ 1:20

4 x 50 Drill (Zipper Drill) @ 1:10

Main Set

1 x 200 Pull @ 5:00

2 x 100 Pull @ 2:30

4 x 50 Pull @ 1:20

8 x 25 Pull @ 0:35

Warm Down

1 x 300 Free

Elliptical Workouts for Injured Runners

It’s official. I am starting the new year with an injury. It can only go up from here, right? Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely hate being injured and not being able to run. Yet I also love how being injured forces me to hit a reset button and focus on cross-training. When it comes to cross-training, I usually choose to swim or cycle. I have never enjoyed exercising on the elliptical but it is time for a change.

Let’s get straight to it. These are my favorite hard effort elliptical workouts to keep us runners in shape.

Speed & Resistance

  • 10:00 warmup
  • 10:00 medium effort (4-5 resistance)
  • 2:00 active recovery (1-2 resistance)
  • 10:00 hard effort (6-8 resistance)
  • 2:00 active recovery (1-2 resistance)
  • 2×5:00 hard effort with 1:00 active recovery
  • 10:00 cooldown.

Progression

  • 10:00 warmup
  • 5:00 resistance level 1
  • 5:00 resistance level 2
  • 5:00 resistance level 3
  • 5:00 resistance level 4
  • 5:00 resistance level 5
  • 5:00 resistance level 6
  • 2:00 resistance level 7
  • 10:00 cooldown

Gear Review: Tabio Trailblazer Socks

Disclaimer: I was one of 100 influencers selected through Fit Approach/Sweat Pink to test these socks out and share my experience (always honest though!).

Make sure you keep reading for details on my giveaway to find out how you can win a pair.

Who is Tabio?

Tabio makes “the highest quality socks in Japan” and are officially sold in the US as of this fall. I should also mention that their socks are used by many elite and Olympic athletes!

So Many Choices!

When it comes to sports socks, Tabio offers five choices. When comparing high-quality sports socks, Tabio definitely has some of the best prices that I’ve seen across the board. (P.S. They also offer really trendy ‘every day’ socks!)

  1. Ultra-light Compression – $30
  2. Ultra-light Compression Knee – $35
  3. Signature Run Toe – $25
  4. Signature Run – $25
  5. Trailblazer – $30

tabiosocks

Review Time

Lucky me, I got to try out a pair of the Trailblazer sock. For starters, the design is SLEEK! I absolutely love the look and feel of this sock – the toes spell out “TRAIL”. There were a couple of features that I was not used to: non-slip grip, toes and thickness. The non-slip grip and toes were pretty cool and although the socks are thicker than most socks that I wear, its two-layer design is worth it when you are running trails. The inside layer is made of wool to wick moisture and outside layer is made of water-resistant polyester/nylon for durability.

Other Important Details

Material

  • Polyester 33
  • Cotton 23%
  • Lyocell 15%
  • Nylon 13%
  • Wool 13%
  • Polyurethane 3%

Extra Ankle Support

  • Yes! If you are like me, you will want the extra support on the trails. The signature elastic shaping keeps your ankle aligned.

Arch Support

  • Another win! I personally like that the sock adds additional support to your arch muscles.

Toe Guard

  • Kind of weird at first but I think I can get used to the extra guard to prevent fraying while running up and down hills.

Stabilizer Heel

  • No more blisters? Designed to prevent your socks from sliding around.

In my opinion, a person can never have too many great-quality socks and this is truly a high-quality sock that is worth a try.

Giveaway

The part we’ve all been waiting for… please visit my Instagram page @_kellinickole to enter the giveaway, details are listed there.

As always, hope you enjoyed the review/giveaway and found it to be helpful. For additional details, please visit the Tabio website!

2017 Recap // 2018 Goals

This past year was crazy to say the least. We moved back across the country to California. Cade proposed at the San Francisco Marathon where I also reached my sub 4 hour marathon goal – did I mention it was the best weekend ever? And then we bought our first home in October!

The past year will definitely be a tough one to beat. I was disappointed to be closing out the year with a small injury but I am excited to starting working on reaching my new goals.

Goals

  • A year without injuries (fingers crossed).
  • Run a 3:50 marathon.
  • Run a 1:50 half marathon.

2018 Races

  • San Jose 408k – March 4th
  • Silicon Valley Half Marathon – April 16th
  • Cincinnati Flying Pig Marathon – May 6th
  • Across the Bay 415k – June 10th
  • The SF Marathon (or half) – July 29th
  • East Bay 510k – September TBD
  • Rock n Roll San Jose – October 7th
  • California International Marathon – maybe?

*use discount code REPRESENTKH to save on the San Jose 408k, Across the Bay 415k and East Bay 510k, remote options available.

Ab Exercises for Runners

It hopefully comes as no surprise that having a stronger core can help you to become a stronger runner. And how does one get a stronger core? You guessed right… ab exercises! Is it time to start adding some ab exercises in after your runs? Or maybe it’s time to change up your current ab exercise routine.

Here are a few of my favorite exercises to do after my runs.

Forearm Plank

  1. Start face down with your forearms on the ground and your legs extended behind you. Align your elbows under your shoulders. Though many people prefer to clasp their hands, it is recommended to try palms up or palms down. That way, you are focused on engaging your core and avoid putting additional stress on your hands.
  2. Ready? Engage your abs, tuck your toes and lift your body off the ground. Check to see if you form a straight line. If you notice that your hips are a little high, you may need to drop your hips and engage your core even more.
  3. How long can you hold this for?
  4. Side Plank Variation – Yup, you guessed it. Choose a side to face, stack one leg on top of the other and balance on one forearm. If you’re having trouble balancing to begin, start by practicing with your knees stacked on the ground.

Glute Bridge

  1. Lie on your back (face up) on the floor. Your knees should be bent (90 degrees) and your feet should be flat on the floor. Your arms will stay at your side, palms down.
  2. Now lift your hips and back off the floor until everything forms a straight line down to your knees. Make sure you squeeze your glutes to keep a strong back.
  3. Hold for 10 seconds then lower slowly to the floor, repeat 10 times.
  4. Single Leg Variation – Same instructions but one leg will be lifted. Remember to keep your quads even and your hips straight.
  5. Twist Variation – Instead of holding for 10 seconds when you get into the bridge, you will slowly dip one hip (keeping the other hip in place), then raise it slowly back up. Then slowly dip the other hip (keeping the first hip in place). Repeat, 10 times on each side. Remember to keep your glutes and abs engaged.

Bicycle Crunch

  1. Get ready. Lie on your back (face up again) and place your hands behind your head for support.
  2. Now extend your legs into the air. The motion will be similar to pedaling a bicycle, hence the name.
  3. Rotate to the left, your right elbow will meet your left knee while your other leg extends.
  4. Keeping your feet off the ground, now switch sides, continuing to alternate or pedal your imaginary bike.
  5. How long can you keep this up for? For starters, try to aim to reach one minute.

Of course, these are only to name a few. It is important to switch up exercises and continuously challenge your body in new ways. What are some of your favorite ab exercises?

The Runner’s Holiday Gift Guide

The holidays are coming and it’s time to start thinking about what to get that special runner in your life. Here are 10 unique gifts for runners that will hopefully make holiday shopping a little less stressful this year!

img_15811. RaceHerBox

Can’t decide on a present to buy? RaceHer Box is a subscription box catered to women runners and their newest holiday box is the perfect gift for a runner this season. The price is $34.99 plus $6 shipping – use code RUNHAPPY10 for 10% off!

milesandpace_tank2. Miles & Pace Tank

This ‘Miles & Pace // Run Because I Can Muscle Tank’ is one of my favorite tanks. The design is awesome and the fabric is super comfortable. Tank top prices range from $19.99 to $24.99. Plus, use code KELLI20 for 20% off!

img_67573. Momentum Jewelry

Everyone needs some extra motivation when it comes to working out. Momentum Jewelry is workout-friendly motivational athletic jewelry and I am a huge fan! Prices can range from $9.99 to $26.99.

4. Run Ink

How awesome is that design that Run Ink sent me after finishing The SF Marathon?! These make awesome gifts and you can even make custom maps. I can’t wait to order more! Prices start at $13.

SIDE_0016_Flamingo-Side-View5. Goodr Sunglasses

Now these sunglasses are the real deal for any runner – I have 3 pairs in different colors! The colors are fun and they definitely stay on your face. Priced at $25.

IMG_00886. Race Registration – Run The Bay Series

My fiancé loves to use this gift and I’m not complaining! I recommend the Represent Running Run The Bay Series – you can run in person or remote. The first race of the series, San Jose 408k is coming up on March 4, 2018 and you can use discount code RepresentKH for 15% off!

 

mparadiseblue_1024x10247. Pro Compression Socks

Every runner could use a new pair of compression socks, especially a special edition holiday sock. Pro tip: keep an eye out for the release as they sell out quickly. Plus you can use discount code PRO17 for 40% off!

milesandpace_hat8. Miles & Pace Trucker Hat

These hats come in a variety of colors and designs so there is a hat perfect for every runner. Prices range from $19.99 to $24.99. Plus, use code KELLI20 for 20% off!

addaday9. +addady Massage Roller

Give a toy this year! This massage roller was a lifesaver when it came to rest and recovery days. Prices range from $42 to $47 depending on the model.

oofos10. OOFOS Sandal

These sandals may look a little chunky but runners rejoice as these are known to reduce stress on sore feet, knees and lower back. In addition, $10 from every Project Pink Collection shoe purchased will go to breast cancer research! Priced at $59.95.