Category Archives: Running

30 Minute No Equipment Needed Workout

Find your strong with this 30 minute plyometric inspired workout to enhance your running. | happyfitmama.com

When I first started blogging, my intent was to share workouts often. In the past year or so, I’ve let that slip. So I give you – New Year, New Workouts! Hopefully, I’ll remember to share my workouts at least a couple times a month.

Even though I haven’t had a gym membership in 5+ years, I’m still working out at home. I have weights, a BOSU, Med Balls, Kettlebells, bands, treadmill and a bike trainer. I personally don’t think you need a gym membership to stay in shape. It’s nice to have, but I don’t think you need fancy equipment, either.

Whether you are working out in a gym or at home, it’s always a good idea to mix things up. Doing the same exercises day after day is boring. And most likely you aren’t seeing any difference in your strength or endurance. Keep your workout fresh by changing it up often.

January can be a bit of a downer month – it’s cold, it’s gray outside and the holidays are over. You know what you need? Some good ol’ fashioned exercise. It really is a wonder drug. Release some kick ass happy endorphins with this 30 minute cardio Jumpin’ routine. It’s a no equipment needed workout!

Try this 30 minute no equipment needed workout for a quick total body burst of exercise.  happyfitmama.com

You may have noticed that there’s quite a bit of plyometrics work in this workout.

When I was discharged from physical therapy back in November, my PT wanted me to concentrate on plyometrics at least one workout a week (preferably a non running day). If you look at running, it’s essentially jumping from one foot to the other.

Ahem – plyometrics.

Plyometrics are fast, explosive movements that strengthen muscles, improve cardiovascular health, improve balance and boost metabolism. It’s also a great way to work on teaching your body to rely upon fast-twitch fibers instead of the slow-twitch that is used in distance running.  You’ll be able to turn your legs over faster and push off harder which means increased economy and faster times. Sounds good, right?

Plyometrics are quite demanding and require a sound foundation of balance, core strength, and stability. Be sure to do strength training and other injury prevention exercises to keep your body balanced. As always, listen to your body!

I’m linking up with Wild Workout Wednesday!
For more workout ideas, check out my Pinterest board.
Disclaimer: Always consult your physician before beginning an exercise program.

The Best Podcasts for Runners

Get inspired and motivated on your next run with the 10 best podcasts for runners.  happyfitmama.com

Never ever did I think I’d be a podcast listener.

Talk radio or audio books seemed so boring to me. I’d zone out and not even pay attention to what was being discussed or the story that was being told. If I wanted to fall asleep, that’s what I’d listen to.

I had heard from friends that they loved to listen to podcasts on their long runs. When I run outside, I don’t listen to music. I can get by just fine without any noise in my ears on a long run. So why would I want to listen to a podcast?

I first got hooked with Serial. Didn’t everyone? Then Tina started doing Runner’s Connect Run to the Top podcasts last year and suggested I take a listen. And what do you know? I loved it! I still don’t listen to anything when I run outside but podcasts are the perfect marvelous compliment to treadmill or bike trainer time. And with the winter weather, I’m sure I’m not the only one who is spending more time running indoors. I’m learning new stuff all the time and the fitness geek in me gets to hear chatter about my favorite topics.

Here are 10 of (in my opinion) the best podcasts for runners.

Runner’s Connect Run to the Top – The episode that completely sold me on Run to the Top was the one with Fernado Cabada. I had listened to it days prior to leaving for the Chicago Marathon. And then I listened to it again on the flight home. It inspired me. It motivated me. It made me realize that everything will be OK with my running.

Another Mother Runner – I love Dimity and Sarah. Every time I listen in, it’s like I’m chatting with a BRF on a long run. I’ve had the pleasure of being a guest on their show and meeting each of the ladies in person. They are just awesome for what they have done for women’s running.

The Rich Roll Podcast – I had never heard of Rich Roll up until a friend suggested his podcast. But now, I want to know everything about him. From what I gather, he was a high powered, stressed attorney at one time. And then he became vegan and started running ultra’s. His voice is very chill. He’s funny, serious and loves knowledge. His topics discuss high quality nutrition, positive thinking and how to open your mind to new things.

Running Story – Amanda, from Miss Zippy fame, started this podcast last year and it quickly became a favorite of mine. I find it so interesting to hear about why others run. We all have our reasons.

Marathon Training Academy – While I have not listened to this while training for a marathon, I still soak up all the information that’s passed on. From training tips to inspirational stories of 26.2, it’s got it all.

Ben Greenfield Fitness – When a friend first suggested this podcast, I kind of wrote it off as too cheesy. If you read the “about” on him, it sounds like a late night infomercial. But give it a listen and it will change your mind. This guy does know his stuff. And a lot of it – fitness, nutrition, health, diet, wellness, triathlon, Ironman, swimming, cycling, running, weight lifting, bodybuilding, Crossfit, Paleo, vegan, vegetarian, muscle gain and fat loss – there’s something for everyone!

The Marathon Show – Guess what The Marathon Show is all about? Did you guess Crossfit? Ummm…not so much. It’s all marathon, all the time. It’s people talking about their marathon experience. Listen in to get inspired and pumped up for your long run or your own 26.2.

Yoga Peeps – I’m sneaking this one in here because I think running and yoga go hand and hand. They are no longer making episodes but you can still catch up on their 80+ archived episodes (like me!). It’s all about living the yoga life on and off your mat (and in your running!).

Trail Runner Nation – I, by no means, am a serious trail runner. I LOVE trails and would love to run on them more but I refuse to run solo on them. In the back of my mind, I have a secret desire to run an ultra. This feeds it. If I keep listening, it’s going to happen.

Endurance Planet – This is fairly new to me but I’ve already listened to a couple of episodes (Juliet Starrett – Getting kids to sit less and move more + strength training for women and ATC 199 – Why you need an off season, why you need a coach and injury prevention) and I’m hooked. A wide range of topics from nutrition to body mechanics.

Do you listen to Podcasts? What are your favorites?

How to Bring Yoga to Running

Bring the focus from your yoga mat over to your running to become a stronger runner.  happyfitmama.com

I’ve been a runner longer than I’ve been on yogi. Running has always been my first love. But when I started incorporating more yoga into my life, I noticed a difference in my running. There are TONS of benefits of doing yoga if you are a runner – read all about it HERE.

If you aren’t doing yoga, you should. But no pressure because there’s no pressure in yoga.

At first glance, you may think that running and yoga have absolutely nothing in common. The two are complete opposites. Or are they? Some think running is all about pushing yourself, testing your cardiovascular fitness. Some think yoga is all about relaxation.

However, how many times have you gone out for a run to relax?

How many times have you gone out for a run to clear your mind and find focus?

I know I have done all the above. And I’ve done the very same thing while practicing yoga.

Runners can learn a lot about running from yoga. The two have much more in common than meets the eye. And when you combine the two? It’s a powerhouse.

Whether you are a seasoned yogi or a newbie, how can you bring yoga to running?

Notice Your Footfalls

Running is a series of repetitive movements. Your footfalls are like a metronome. Listen to it as a nice way to help clear the cobwebs in the mind.

Post run crow pose | happyfitmama.com

Breathe

How’s your breathing? Are you taking meaningful breaths? Are you taking shallow breaths? Even as you run up a hill or pick up the pace in speed work, keep close attention to your breath. Allow deep inhales and exhales to fill your body with the energy it needs to run.

Find Your Focus

In yoga, it’s called drishti. In running, it’s called focus. Rather than looking around, set your eyes straight ahead. Watch where you’re going but resist the urge to get caught up in what’s happening around you. Stay focused and in your own space.

Put the power where you need it but relax the rest. 

In yoga and running, relax what does not serve you. Do a scan of your body – where are you holding tension? Is it in your shoulders as you round the corner of the track during a brutal 800m? Tense shoulders are doing nothing for your speed. Release it and put that force into your legs for more power.

Warrior | happyfitmama.comPhoto from Rise.Run.Retreat.

Run your own race.

Running and yoga are not the place to keep up with the Jones’ or Kardashian’s. But really, you should never try to keep up with either of those families. Particularly the Kardashian’s. Don’t worry about who is passing you in a race. Don’t worry what speed so and so is doing on the treadmill next to you. Don’t worry about how bendy the yogi is on the mat next to you. You are your own person.

Work from the ground up.

You know I’m all about that base, ’bout that base… Cheesy? Yes. But it’s true, your feet are the foundation of running and yoga. A strong base is a must.  As you take each stride, pay attention to your step, your sense of propelling yourself forward. Find awareness of the strength in your feet, legs, your core and then relax the upper body.

Side Angle Pose Post Run in Hawaii | happyfitmama.com

Have a mantra. 

In yoga, we set an intention or mantra for our practice. It’s a way to bring the mind back when you get distracted and disrupts the focus. The same thing does wonders in running. When your brain yells at you that you can’t. run. one. more. step., break out that mantra and put it on repeat. ‘I can do hard shit. I am strong. Believe, endure, achieve.’ are all mantras that are in my head when I’m deep in the pain cave. 

Be grateful.

Find gratitude for the ability to run and all the marvelous running has done for you.

How does yoga enhance your running? 

If you don’t do yoga, why not?