Sunday, February 24, 2013

Want to Add Speed to Your Running? Here Are My Tips!

I often get stuck running at a comfortable pace and have a hard time pushing myself to go faster. I have been working on increasing my speed the past few weeks. I have found some great tips for pushing your pace and thought I would share them with you today.

  • Speedwork: Track workouts are key for pushing your pace and finding out what your top speed is. You should be pushing yourself by running sprints all out. One of my favorite track workouts is 4x800, 4x400 and 4x200. I push my pace at 45 seconds or less for the 200's, 1:30 or less for 400's and 3:00 or less for 800's.
  • Tempo Runs: Warm up for about a mile and then push your run a minute faster than race pace. Currently I try to run my tempo runs at a 7:30 minute mile pace.
  • Focus on Form: Keep your back straight, shoulder's back and relaxed with a slight forward lean. Focus on swinging your arms in rhythm with your strides. The faster your arms swing, the faster your legs will go. 
  • Strength Workouts: Work your legs in the gym with squats, squat jumps and burpees. These all help increase leg strength in running. Also, upper body strength and cross training keeps your body strong and injury free.
  • Hydrate: This is so important during your runs, as well as before and after. Keep your body functioning by hydrating properly.
  • Diet: Focus on eating foods for performance. Look at food as fuel and focus on a healthy diet, lots of fruits, veggies and protein. 
  • Hire a Coach: Getting a coach may be key in pushing you out of your comfort zone. You may not be able to afford full time coaching, but even a few sessions can make a world of difference in your running.
  • Find a Running Group: Run with a group that challenges you to push your pace. Ask at your local running store, or check your area Nike or Athleta stores, they often offer free running groups that provide challenges and motivation from other runners and coaches. 
    • Nike LA has the She Runs LA Crew
    • Nike San Francisco has the SF Crew
    • Nike New York has the Bridgerunners 
    • Nike Eugene has a Run Club
    • The Stump Runners hail from Portland, OR
    • Athleta Roseville has a Sunday morning run club
    • Fleet Feet stores offer training groups and run clubs
  • Social Media: Reach out to your social media friends and communicate with others on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. These avenues can offer instant support and motivation to push yourself further. On Twitter you may want to follow:
    • @nikerunning, @mariepurvis, @augustinafitness, @jeanettejeankins, @fitfluential and other friends you may find through the fit world on Twitter.
  • Sleep: Make sure you are getting at least eight ours of sleep a night. Your body recovers and rebuilds while you are sleeping so don't slack off on sleep.
  • Write a Plan: Focus on your goals, make a plan and stick to it. 
Happy Training!

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Happy Birthday Nike+ Fuelband!

Yesterday was the one year anniversary of the launch of the Nike+ Fuelband. To celebrate, Nike tweeted a picture of their birthday cake, made in the shape of the original black Fuelband! Doesn't it look delicious? I can't believe it has been a year already. I am only 115,000 fuel points away from having earned two million NikeFuel Points and I am super excited to reach this milestone. I should reach it by the beginning of March. 

The Fuelband has really changed the way I train and the way I move. I love competing with my friends and working towards goals together. Whenever I feel like I don't want to exercise and I look at my fuel score, it pushes me out the door. I don't want to break my goal! Right now I am on a 129 day Fuel streak and I do not want to break it. I'll run, shadowbox, shoot hoops or do Nike+ Kinect whenever I need to earn more fuel. 

I can't wait to see how the Fuelband evolves this year and am looking forward to pushing myself every day. Think you're up to the challenge? Join me and we can move the world together!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Let's Turn It Up

Today was a bit of a breakthrough day for my running. I finally realized that I can be faster, I can push myself harder and each day I will get to my 7 minute mile, maybe even lower. I ran a great 7:56 minute mile pace and it felt good. I realized today that my training needs to be more thoughtfully planned out and I need to run with people that make me faster, that push me harder. I have a few races planned for the year, not too many, but I have them planned so that I can challenge myself and then focus my training on doing better the next race. 

I'm going to stretch more, do more yoga and work hard every day to keep my body strong and focus on reaching my goals. I want to push harder, run faster and meet and exceed my own goals. 2013 is my year to run strong. 

I wanted to run the Nike Women's Marathon in Washington DC so badly, but today I realized even though I didn't make the lottery, or win the entries in the contests from Nuun and Luna bar, I can still run the race from where I am. I'm running the NWM Virtual 10k on March 9 and 10 with thousands of other women around the world, why not do the same thing on my birthday, April 28, for the Nike Women's Half Marathon? I originally thought this race was planned for me because of my birthday, a little silly right? It obviously was not meant to be. Don't get me wrong, if another entry suddenly comes to me or more spots open up I'll be the first one there, but until then, I am coming to terms with running my own race on my own terms and posting my stats to Nike+ from where I am running. 

Nike runs great races, and from running two marathons in San Francisco at the Nike Women's Marathon, I have made  some of my best friends at these races. So virtual training buddies, let's turn it up together. Let's run this race in DC and around the world. How are you going to #turnitup with me?

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Social Running

Running is a sport that has grown over the last 50 years. It has been and always will be a sport that welcomes anyone and everyone. It is a non-judgmental sport that allows for constant improvement. Recently, running has become incredibly social with the growth of social media. Personally, I have become more of a runner due to the support I have gotten from other runners around the world. I have friends I compete with in England, Canada and Australia. Whether I am having a good day, a bad day, a great run or a slow day, I can always look to my Twitter and Instagram followers for support. 

Today I went for a run with my boss, yes she is that cool! Running has definitely given my boss and I common ground to bond with. It's a relationship builder. After my run I posted a picture to Twitter and Instagram, and got cheers for my efforts. I love receiving feedback from the Nike Running team or from my friends after my runs. It is so motivational. I know that my social friends will always be there to motivate and inspire me. Plus, I'm very competitive and having friends that can challenge me to push myself further is great!

Today, Robin Arzon, the creator of the blog Shut Up and Run and a panel of influential runners and social media guru's from companies such as Nike Running, Google, Runner's World and tech companies, held a discussion on the implications of running and the social sphere. It was an amazing event that showed how running has evolved into more than just a solitary sport and into a movement. You can watch the replay of the event here

Social tech products such as the Nike+ Fuelband, Nike Running App, Nike GPS Sportwatch or Nike+ Missions Game all have been game changers in the world of sports. How I make it count everyday is measured by my different tech devices. When I'm having a tough day or not feeling like getting out there I look to my social friends to pick me up and push me out the door. One of my favorite tools is the Nike+ Fuelband because I can set my goal and then have to push myself each day to reach it, no matter what. Running is the best way that I earn NikeFuel.

My run crew is social, it is the group I ran my second marathon with in San Francisco when we were ambassadors for Nike Women together. We are #sistersinnike and we motivate and empower each other everyday to succeed. The power of a group of people, a crew, is incredible and together we have achieved great things. All of us have improved our running pace and our friendships through running together. Social media has given us the ability to run virtually together and cheer each other on from afar. 

Social media is constantly changing and in the running world it is becoming a movement. New crews are popping up everyday and there are networks around the world to motivate and inspire. I have jumped on the social running train and am learning more everyday. 

How are your using the social world to enhance your running? Are you in need of some inspiration? Follow me on Twitter @superwomankw and let's join the movement together! 

Monday, February 18, 2013

Running to my Goals

This last week was a whirlwind of activity. I ran 22 miles last week, but they were not the distances called for on my plan. I was able to get my sprint workout done at the track and it felt great! I enjoy long distance running and the feeling of accomplishment when I finish a marathon, but I think the track is my favorite. I love the feeling of pushing myself at an all out sprint and going fast! If I could be in an Olympic sport involving running it would definitely be the track. 

Today I am gearing up for an 11 mile long run. I have the Shamrock'n Half-Marathon coming up in four weeks and my training has been a bit harder with so many life events getting in the way. Moving, coaching girls basketball and working all seem to be taking place of my running. I have still been getting in 3-4 runs a week, they just aren't as long or fast as I would like. That is all changing today, since I have a holiday from work I finally have some time to run!

I also have a very exciting interview planned this morning. I don't want to say too much about it because I don't want to get prematurely excited, but it is big! No matter how prepared I am, interviews can still be very nerve wracking. Wish me luck!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

It's Track Workout Season!

This week I am trying to step it up in my fitness routine. With only five weeks to go until my first half-marathon of the year, I still have some serious speed work to get done. I have downloaded my training plan, even put each session in my phone, I'm ready to go full speed ahead to March 17. Shamrock'n Half-Marathon here I come! 

For this half marathon I am training with one of my friends. We are both aiming for a sub-two hour finish time. She came so close a few years ago and I think with our training plan and some proper pacing and hydration (Nuun hydration of course!) we will crush her goal! 

With a mix of short runs, weekend long runs, tempo, track workouts, strength training and yoga we are keeping our bodies strong, pushing our boundaries and preventing injury. I'm open to any training tips you have or just general motivation! Sometimes it's tough to get out the door and go run, but we are so close to race day, we have to push ourselves now to reach our goals!

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Vegan Treats!

This weekend I had the chance to make these delicious, protein packed, vegan quinoa muffins! I have been experimenting with some vegan options this week and I have to say that so far, it has been a great change. I altered some of the ingredients in this recipe to make it my own and I'd love to share it with you. These muffins are so tasty!


1 cup cornmeal
1/2 cup quinoa flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup cooked quinoa
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
1/2 cup apple sauce
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 cup olive oil
1 1/2 to 2 cups blueberries

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees and lightly grease 12 muffin cups or line with paper muffin baking cups.

2.  In medium bowl, mix together dry ingredients, cornmeal, quinoa flour, whole wheat flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In a separate bowl mix together remaining ingredients, cooked quinoa, maple syrup, almond milk, apple sauce, lemon juice and oil. 

3. Add wet mixture to dry mixture and stir until combined. Fold in blueberries. Spoon batter into prepared tins and bake for 20 minutes, or until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean. Remove muffins from pan and cool. 


Let me know if you end up giving these muffins a try. Do you have any healthy recipes to share, I'd love to give them a try! Share in the comments below.