Category Archives: Running

4 Quick Post Run Yoga Poses

Stretch it out and keep injuries at bay with these 4 super quick post run yoga poses. happyfitmama-com

I love running. That’s a fact.

I love yoga. That’s a fact.

But 9 times out of 10, if I’m going to skimp on something when it comes to training or exercise in general, it’s going to be yoga.

That’s what happened during the month of August. Life got busy. My daily schedule got changed around every day and hitting my mat in a yoga class got pushed down on the priority list. Does that happen with a run? Never. #priorities. I’m not saying it’s right. That’s just what happens with me.

Near the end of the month, I could definitely tell that I had let my practice slip. My calves were balls of knots (even more than usual), I felt like I had shrunk 5 inches and my back was making creaking and cracking noises every time I twisted. Not good. Not good at all.

Especially for someone who is known to get injured more than the average runner.

So it’s September, the kids are back at school. The lazy days are gone. It’s time to get back on my mat habit.

After my first class back on my mat, I felt the marvelous difference. It was like I could breath again. My calves eased up. My back felt more supple. I could move my neck without any stiffness.

I can’t get to yoga class every single day but I can make the time time to do some yoga #everydamnday. It makes a difference. Trust me! So whether you choose to go to a yoga class or pop out some poses after your run, just do it.

Here’s 4 quick post run yoga poses that increase flexibility, speed up recovery time, and can get us to the finish line feeling strong and hopefully, happy.

downward facing dog | happyfitmama.com

Downward Facing Dog

This is my favorite pose to hit most of the major running players – feet, calves, hamstrings and back.

  • Start in a tabletop position, with hands below the shoulders and knees in line with the hips.
  • Tuck the toes, and send hips to the sky in an inverted V position.
  • Push heels toward the earth and pull chest into thighs. Don’t worry about touching your heels to the ground. That’s not the point!
  • Pedal feet out for five breaths, then still for another five breaths.

Standing Forward Fold | happyfitmama.com

Standing Forward Fold

This pose is great for relieving tension in the shoulders and lower back. It stretches the hamstrings too.

  • Standing tall, fold forward with a straight back.
  • Tuck your chin in toward your chest, relax your shoulders, and extend the crown of the head toward the floor to create a long spine, straightening your legs as much as possible.
  • Place your hands on the ground or grasp opposite elbows for a Rag Doll position.

Low Lunge happyfitmama.com

Low Lunge/Crescent Lunge

Stretch out the running power house muscles – quads, psoas and hips – with this lunge. It also stretches the difficult to reach tensor fasciae latae at the top of the IT band.

  • Start on your hands and knees.
  • Step your right foot between your hands into a lunge, keeping your right knee directly above your heel.
  • Keep your back knee on the floor or slowly lift your back knee off the floor. Press your back heel toward the wall behind you as you begin to straighten the back leg. Keep your spine long as you hold and breathe.

Legs up a wall | happyfitmama.com

Legs Up the Wall

You may want to take a seat after your run but try it from a different perspective. Stay in this pose for 3-5 minutes to allow the blood to rush back to the heart rather than pool in your lower extremities.

  • Sit close to a wall, lie back onto the ground, then scoot your buttocks as close to the wall as possible and send your legs up.
  • Rest with your arms by your sides.

What’s your favorite post run yoga pose?

 

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Fall Things I’m Looking Forward To

Look forward to Fall with #pranafallstyle looks! | happyfitmama.com

This post in sponsored by prAna in partnership with FitApproach. All opinions are my own.

Now that we are into September, I’m letting myself think about all of the things I love about fall. I really do love all the seasons especially at the beginning of each. There’s so much hope and anticipation of the changing of the season. Each season is unique and has something I love.

Over the weekend, we had a hint of cooler temps and picture perfect fall weather. It made me start to think about what I’m looking forward to this season.

Fall Running – Ok, ok. Running in any season is awesome but after this hot and humid summer, I’m looking forward to not looking like I jumped in a pool after running one mile. I’m still trying to get my mind into racing/training mode because the next two months are full of races. First up is the Mount A Trail Fest 9 Miler next week. I’m super excited about this race. Fingers crossed I don’t do anything stupid. After that is Rise.Run.Retreat where we are running the Leaf Peeper Half Marathon. Again, I hope to do nothing stupid. A couple weeks afterwards, I got some more races to run. BUT I’ll have to tell you all about those later.

fall running | happyfitmama.com

Fall Foods – Pumpkin mania is about to hit! I made my first pumpkin recipe (THIS bread if you are wondering. And yes, it’s delicious!) of the season on Monday. And now I’m on the hunt for more cans of pumpkin – there was only ONE left at the grocery store. **Insert panic.** I need to make my Pumpkin Protein Brownies asap! But I’m not only about pumpkin. There’s apple picking to make homemade applesauce and apple pie. My crockpot is ready for soups and belly warming chili too.

Pumpkin Protein Bars | happyfitmama.com

Yoga – My yoga practice kind of slipped by the wayside during the month of August. I was bored with the classes and then our weekly schedule flipped after my kids’ were done with camp for the summer. School is back in session and I made my way back to my yoga mat yesterday morning. It felt right. It felt good. Time to get the good vibes rolling again.

Yoga vibes | happyfitmama.com

Prepping for Ski/Snowboard Season – After getting back into snowboarding again and the kids’ up on skis last year, I can’t wait for more time on the mountain. Late October/early November will be time to hit up the ski/board swaps for new (used) gear for the kids. I’m seriously thinking about getting back on skis too. I grew up skiing but switched to snowboarding after Ron convinced me to give it a try. It’s been 18 years (what the what?!!?) since I had skis on. Again, I hope to do nothing stupid.

Snowboarding | happyfitmama.com

Fall Clothes – Jeans, sweaters, boots, flannels, scarves – bring on the layers! I really don’t like being cold but I do love everything about fall clothing. It’s comfy, cozy and just perfect. I got a little giddy over the weekend and earlier in the week when our temps dropped quite a bit and the feeling of fall was in the air. It was the perfect time to break out my new prAna items.

prAna Fall Style outfit

The Lucia Sweater is pure wool coziness. When the temps drop, I’m freezing. Wool is my BFF. I live in wool socks and sweaters as soon as the temp drops below 55 degrees. Nothing keeps me toasty warm like my woolies! A lot of people stay away from wool because they think it’s too itchy. The Lucia sweater has a soft inside, almost like sweatshirt material, that gives an extra dose of cozy. There’s no itching at all.

prAna Fall Style Yoga

The Kara Jean has become a staple in my wardrobe over the years. It started with a herringbone print a couple of years ago. They are comfy like your favorite pair of blue jeans but look a little bit more put together. They stretch and move with you, perfect for playing at the park with the kids, exploring old forts or busting out a yoga move or two.

prAna Fall STyle Lucia Sweater and Kara PantSo bring it on fall! All I ask is that you stay awhile before the snow starts to fly.

FYI – You can get 15% off your total order from prAna.com with code PFS16HFM at checkout until 10/31/16. (Not valid for Influencers, on Gift Certificates or valid with any other offers).

What are you looking forward to this fall?

Pumpkin or apple – which is better?

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8 Tips for Running Faster

Want to run faster Check out these 8 tips for running faster and more efficiently. happyfitmama.com

I’m going to make a broad statement right now.

Every runner wants to run faster.

You may say you don’t, but deep down, you probably really do.

I mean, how could you not?

Blowing past competitors along a race course. Achieving a PR in ______ distance. Knowing what was once your half marathon pace is now your easy pace.

Plus, a bonus of becoming faster is you’ll be more efficient. It will take less work and energy to maintain your pace. That’s every runner’s dream to have a 20 miler feel easier!

But with anything in life, there is no one simple magic pill to make you faster. The truth is that you need to do the work. And it’s not just one thing. It’s multiple things that work together to help you become a faster runner.

Here are 8 tips for running faster:

Run more – That’s usually the obvious response. The more you run, the faster you will get over time because your body gets used to the strain of running. But the majority of us don’t have more time in our lives to devote to running. The down side is that more miles could also mean more injuries.

Good form – If your form is sloppy, you are not using your running muscles efficiently. It’s really just slowing you down. Take a look at your form. Are you running with your upper body tall, shoulders back and relaxed? Are you landing on the ground mid-foot with a short quick stride? Is your foot under your hip? Are your arms bent at 90 degrees and move forward and back rather than across your body?

Vary the pace – Running the same pace for every single run will not make you faster. Mixing up the week with easy pace, tempo runs, speed work and long endurance runs will help condition your cardiovascular and musculoskeletal system.

What's been going on Lately... | happyfitmama.com

Strength train – Hit the weights or do bodyweight exercises to strengthen your muscles. It can help keep injuries at bay as well as help be a more efficient runner while strengthening your form.

Strong core – A strong core is the root of a strong runner. If your core is weak, you are more likely to suffer a running injury. A strong core will also help your running form. If the core muscles are weak, your form will show it and you’ll be slowed down. Here’s 6 Core Workouts for Runners.

Run hills – I’m sure you’ve heard it before but – Hills are speed work in disguise. They not only build speed but muscle strength and confidence. Don’t run from the hills. Run to them at full speed. Trust me. You CAN learn to love hills. Run the hilliest routes you can find. Hit the mountain trails. Or check out these fun Hill Workouts for Runners.

sunriserun2

Speed work – Makes sense right? To run faster, you need to run faster. If you find the track intimidating, hit up the treadmill or run it on the road. Whatever works best for you. Here’s 6 Speed Workouts just for you!

Plyometrics – Running is essentially hopping/jumping on one foot. Doing even 5 minutes of plyometrics can improve your running form and efficiency. You could do a few jumping exercises after an easy run or try this JUMPIN’ Workout.

Linking up with Wild Workout Wednesday and the Coaches’ Corner.

How have you learned to run faster over the years?

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