Zain’s Spring Running Training
Spring is here and that means warmer weather and my favourite…OUTDOOR CARDIO!! Whether you are a seasoned runner or someone who has always wanted to run but is scared s*&^less, I got your back with my all levels program.
As I have shared, I was a PRO runner, well, sprinter, for many years until I busted my knee in an injury when I was 17. My dream was to become an olympic sprinter and given my times, chances are that could have been a reality.
But as we know in life, things change. My injury lead me (through my first experience of depression…I’m not one to easily let my dreams go) into to coach athletes during the time I was recovering and what happened? I fell in love with running in a whole new way from afar.
I never went back to competitive sprinting (well, I tried but could never really get my competitive time back). What I did learn was that running - and it didn’t have to be sprinting AND I didn’t have to be the fastest - was my version of meditation. NOT competing actually gave running back to me as a gift, something that became my companion in life, one that kept me fit and stronger than any other form of cardio ever.
I would run on streets, through new towns in Europe and India where I lived, on beaches, trails and forests in my hometown of Vancouver and along my city’s gorgeous seawall, which is where I do most of my running now.
As a coach, I had athletes of all levels and would often stagger their programs starting them from the skill level they had and building it up.
Here is a custom program that will help you get your body fired up for Spring running.
Only you can decide where you stand when it comes to running. I advise that you check with your Naturopath or Doctor before starting any new physical program.
Here are some things to consider:
1. First, identify if you are a Beginner, Intermediate/Advanced or Pro.
2. You may do this program in addition to your regular weight training and cardio but substitute your longer cardio days with the running and hill training.
3. These distances and rest times are only there to guide you. If you are a beginner and 3km sounds intimidating, start with 1km and go from there. Also, if running for 5mins makes you want to puke, run for 2mins and increase from there. Same goes with the hill training.
4. We do hill training to strengthen our body for flat surface running. You will notice the difference after the first week. After I started hill training, I knocked nearly 5 minutes off my 10km time!
*You may practice this program for up to 6 weeks and gradually increase your speed and if you wish, your distance.
*You will need a stopwatch/timer or Nike+ gear and good quality running shoes.
• Find a 3km or 1.5mi route and run this 2 times this week, running for 5 minutes at a comfortable pace and walking for 1 minute. Each week add an extra 2 minutes to your running time so up to 7 minutes
Cross Training -
• Find a hill OR treadmill and run or walk up 1 time this week doing 5-7 repetitions (so running up, walking down or if on treadmill setting to a high incline, say 12 and running up for about a minute and walking on a flat surface for about 2 minutes or until you feel recovered).
• After completing the distance, stretch out your body for at least 5-7 minutes.
Intermediate Advanced Runners:
• Find a fairly flat 8km or 4mi route and run this 2 times this week, running for 15 minutes and walking for 1 minute OR running straight through and taking a 2 minute rest half way if you are able to.
Cross Training -
• Find a hill OR treadmill and run up 1 time this week doing 10 repetitions (so running up, walking down or if on treadmill setting to a high incline, say 12 and running up for about a minute and walking on a flat surface for about 1.5 minutes).
• Find a 10 – 14km or 5 – 7mi route and run 2 days this week, at a steady pace.
Cross Training -
• Find a hill OR treadmill and do 13 repetitions of hill running 1 day this week, running up the hill as fast as you can and walking down.
Kicks I’m Lovin’ Right Now
So much has happened recently in my life when it comes to goals accomplished and checked off my vision board. One of them was to have my story published in one of Oxygen Magazine’s issues.
This month, it finally was and to treat myself, I’m going shopping for some new gear!!
Not every run or workout is going to feel like your best.
The point is to accept your efforts each and every time you give to yourself, every time you make the choice to get up and train or reach for that apple.
No one said it would be easy, nothing worthwhile ever is but from where I am standing now every single one of those healthy choices will make all the difference to getting you to your goal and keeping you there.
Ultimately, the choice belongs to each of us. What healthy choices did you make today?
Ladies, you know hard it can be to follow a rigorous training schedule when you are on your moon cycle.
Fatigue, emotions and pain take precedent and you are truly at the behest of your body.
There was a time when I would opt out of training during this time of the month but training actually helps all symptoms of your cycle during it and throughout the month.
So, keep that in mind when you have your next training day on your cycle when the desire to do nothing but finger paint and consume copious amounts of chocolate sets in!
Was feeling pretty tired after one of the most exciting weeks of my life but I knew I had it in me to get out there and run.
I read somewhere that “Christopher Columbus travelled the world in a mere sailboat” therefore can any of us really make excuses when it comes to our training?
If you have it in you even slightly, go for it. It doesn’t have to be your best performance, no one is judging, unless of course, you are judging yourself.
I will share with you my motivation when all else fails: I create the most delicious post workout meal. Sometimes I just have to bribe myself ;)
With all of the excitement going on in my life (to be revealed soon, I promise), I haven’t been sleeping my usual hours. In fact over the last 3 nights I have been averaging on 5.5-6 hours and today I definitely felt it in my performance.
Life has its moments of craziness but as an athlete and lover of my fit lifestyle, sleep is key factor in the equation and this week has reminded me of that.
Overall, gorgeous run by the sea and I believe I have a little sweet something waiting for me in the oven!
I love when the skies clear right before I am heading out for a run. It makes me feel as though I am doing exactly what I am meant to be in that moment.
How does the universe conspire to help you live your fit lifestyle?
It was a crazy busy day!! I only just finished training, well past my usual time.
There are so many exciting things transpiring in my life and it’s been difficult to keep it under wraps but I’ve been working hard and can almost taste the sweetness of my weeks of labour.
During these times, it’s easy to put training off by making excuses about how busy we all are. Yes there will be days when you only have 20 mins to train (check out my article on Tabata training under My Workouts) but every little bit counts toward creating a fit, healthy lifestyle.
The bonus is working out is a great way to process, unwind and free yourself of any stressful energy that may have accumulated.
It’s Amazing What Can Happen in 365 Days
There are days when I just have to take it easy, today was one of those days. As I say that I cannot help but smile because this pace/time a year ago was not considered ‘taking it easy.’ In my mind at the time, there was no way that I could fathom running this fast for this long even on my strongest, most energetic days.
It’s amazing what one can accomplish with dedication and the belief in possibility in 365 days.
These two comparisons are pretty incredible to me as they are two of my average paced runs (so not my personal best times) but show so much:
Last year, I would normally run between 10km and 11km in an hour at a pace of approximately 6 minutes per km.
This year, I run between 13km and 14km in an hour at a pace of approximately 41/2 minutes per km.
That’s 11/2 minutes faster per km!
Not only that, but my stamina and endurance has improved. I am running the same route and last year would have to break for at least a minute or two at my half way point, this year, I do not stop and I actually have to run farther down by route in order to get the full distance in.
My runs used to feel laboured and intense last year and this year, I feel so much more functional and energetic which, probably has a lot to do with my increase in calories. Since last year, I have nearly tripled my calorie intake and am now consuming between 15 and 20 servings of starchy carbohydrates whereas, last year, I was probably consuming only 3-4 servings at the most.
In a year, I have lost about 5% body fat, about 15 inches and just over 15lbs by increasing my calories, training smarter, not harder, and introducing extra rest days.
What a year!
My point is that if you want something, dedicate yourself to it. Right now, it may seem unachievable but what it takes is commitment each and every day, be conscious of your choices and imagine yourself achieving your goals, I am sure that 365 days from now you will have achieved your goals or be a lot closer to them.