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Transitioning to Morning Workouts

On a cold, dark morning sometimes the call of the snooze button seems too powerful–especially if you haven’t formed a morning workout habit. I used to be an evening exerciser, but after more than 2 years of switching to morning fitness classes I could never go back! I like to get it out of the way early for a few reasons:

  1. I don’t have to turn down Happy Hour. If I waited until I got out of work to get my sweat session in, I would have to say no to last-minute evening plans or say no to my workout. Neither is an option that makes me happy.
  2. I have more energy. My mornings are extremely productive after a workout turns my brain “on”.
  3. I feel accomplished by 8 a.m.
  4. I get to catch a lot of beautiful sunrises that late risers miss.

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I’ve also read plenty of articles about the benefits behind it. Here’s one, but just google “morning workout benefits” and see for yourself:

http://www.bodybuilding.com/content/8-benefits-to-working-out-in-the-morning.html

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Inspired to give it a try? Here are my top tips to make the transition to morning workouts easier:

  1. Find a workout partner. If you know they’re showing up and expecting you, you’re more likely to hold yourself accountable.
  2. Pay for a workout class held at specific times. Again, the cost and “hard” time you need to show up will keep you accountable.
  3. Pack everything you need for the day the night before. This will save you a few extra minutes of sleep in the morning as well as make sure you don’t forget anything if your brain is a little foggy in the morning.
  4. Sleep in your workout clothes with your sneakers set facing the door. Call me crazy but it works (also if you have good quality, well-fitting workout clothes they’ll be the most comfortable thing you own).
  5. Read motivational quotes on Instagram while you have your morning cup of coffee.

Are you a morning person? What’re your tips?

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Fitness Goals

A little over a month ago I ran a marathon. I ran with the goal of qualifying for Boston, which would’ve meant finishing in less than 3:35:00. I created a training plan loosely based off one of Hal Higdon’s intermediate plans, but with alterations that kept my mileage below 40 miles/week and allowed me to continue going to crossfit.

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I ended up finishing with a time of 3:47:06. I was 27th in my division (F25-29) and the 144th female finisher in a race of nearly 2,000 people, but I was far from qualifying. Looking back, I should’ve known that my plan wouldn’t lead me to Boston. I didn’t include speed work and I had to keep my mileage pretty low because of my tendency to get injured when running too much (it’s a very repetitive motion).

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Since then, I’ve decided to set new fitness goals for myself with a realistic training plan to get there, and a journal to track my progress. These are performance-based goals that will hopefully help me get better at crossfit, something I enjoy much more than marathoning and will be more likely to stick with. These are goals that excite me, they’re realistic and measurable, and they make me want to jump out of bed in the morning!

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  • Goal: Perform 100 unbroken double unders (the jump rope makes two passes per jump) with ease
    • Action plan: perform 100 timed double unders a day. Record how long it took and the highest amount I performed unbroken.

 

  • Goal: Perform 50 push ups in under 2 minutes
    • Action plan: perform an increasing number of push ups 3 times per week

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  • Goal: Hit a new back squat PR (current 1RM: 210 lbs)
    • Action plan: perform 20 squats, 3x per week for 6 weeks, increasing the weight by 5 lbs each time. This is a popular squat cycle, read more here.

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  • Goal: String together 10 butterfly pull ups
    • Action plan: practice 2x per week after crossfit

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Check back as I update on my progress. What fitness goals do you have?

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5 Youtube Yoga Faves

I love Sundays. They’re my day of rest and recovery. My weekly workouts consist of 4-5 crossfit sessions, running 4-5 times and sometimes a little bit of gym time sprinkled in for targeted training. By Sunday, my body is begging for rest (and let’s be real, sometimes its begging for a break by Wednesday depending on the WOD schedule).

I’m a big proponent of active rest, so I usually use Sundays to move in a less intense, more intentional way. I like to get outside and enjoy a little nature therapy with a quick hike or some leisurely rollerblading. I also make a point to foam roll and engage in a light at-home yoga session. YouTube is a great resource if you’re interested in getting into yoga without the classroom setting (or the membership fees). I like to mix up my routine depending on my mood and soreness level, and there are tons of free options that you can check out. I tend to focus on yin/restorative or light vinyasa flows since my goals and the intentions that I set are based on meditation, stretching and recovery. With that in mind, below are my top 5 Youtube Yoga faves:

  1. Let It Go: This is a fun practice to help you release tension. I feel euphoric after this flow!

2. Into to Yin: Great for meditation and total relaxation, body and mind. It’s very easy to follow, even for beginners.

3. Runner’s Yoga: Great to balance out a tough training schedule. This flow was my secret sauce to stay sane during marathon training.

4. Up the Wall: So quick. So easy. So amazing for your legs. This is a practice that’s truly for anyone, even if you’re not into yoga. I love to do this right before bed.

5. 7 Day Yoga Challenge: Okay, so this one’s technically a series, but I love it. This challenges you to 7 days of yoga, practicing different kinds for only 15 minutes at a time. This is a great way to begin a yoga habit.

Do you practice at home? What youtube yoga videos should’ve made the list?