Category Archives: Running

Would You Rather…

I recently saw a fun game of Would You Rather… in the latest issue of Level Renner. If you grew up in the 80s and 90s, I’m sure you’ve played it at one time or another. Except back then it was Would You Rather…go out Jordon or Joey from New Kids on the Block? Team Joey – No question!

I love stuff like this so I had to play along with it. Feel free to play along too!

Would You Rather…be a trail runner or road burner?

Right now, the trails are calling me. I haven’t done much of it lately for fear of rolling my ankle again. But the ankle is feeling better so I expect to reconnect with the dirt ASAP.

Trail Running | happyfitmama.com

Would You Rather…be a mountain goat  or flatland gazelle?

The mountains are calling and I must answer. Mount Washington sparked a need for climbing in me. I missed out on a couple of big mountain races in July because of my foot but I’m on the look out for something coming up this summer or fall.

Would You Rather…be a short distance specialist or long distance grinder?

I have zero interest in running super long right now. Anything over 14 miles sounds horrible. I’m very happy running shorter distances and working on speed right now. So I guess I’m somewhere in the middle – not too short, not too long, but just right (for me!).

Would You Rather…be a solo runner or run in a group?

I’m looking for new running buddies to add a little variety into my solo runs.

Saucony shoe shot | happyfitmama.com

Would You Rather…PR in the 5k or marathon?

Can I have both? Although right now, I’d be happy with a 5k. Or 10k. Or 10 miler. Or half. Ok, I want it all!

Would You Rather…be an even pacer or a negative splitter?

I dream of becoming a negative splitter! It’s something I’m constantly striving for.

Would You Rather…run at dawn or dusk?

Is this really a question? Dawn, hands down.

sunrise runner | happyfitmama.com

Would You Rather…run on the track or the treadmill?

Track. It’s become a huge confidence booster in my running over the past few years. It scares the pants off me but the feeling after a hard workout? Total runners high.

Would You Rather…be a GPS junkie or run by feel?

Run by feel. Since returning to running after my injury last year, I have found I really don’t care about all the data by GPS provides me. I run with it, but I mostly use it for mileage.

Finish line Mt. Washington Road Race. | happyfitmama.com

Would You Rather…be a front runner or a late surger?

Late surger. I do much better chasing down the pack than leading it.

Would You Rather…run a Beer Mile or a Donut Mile?

My beer chugging days have long past. If I was in high school or college, I’d be a champ. I’d have a better chance with donuts right now. Four donuts – how bad could that be? Lol. I’m sure I’d puke and be disqualified.

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

Your turn! What would you rather…

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6 Speed Workouts for Runners

6 Speed Workouts for Runners

It’s another edition of Monthly Workouts for Runners BY Runners. Here’s the previous month’s workouts if you missed them:

Stuck Inside Workouts for Runners

Two-a-Day Workouts for Runners

Upper Body Workouts for Runners

Injury Prevention Exercises for Runners

Hill Workouts for Runners

This month the focus is on speed workouts. For years, I stuck to the treadmill for speed training. I dialed in the speed and then held on for dear life. But then I fell in love with the track two years ago. What used to seem like the most boring thing ever quickly became fun. Or at least fun after I was done with my workout.

Doing speed work on the track upped my running confidence. To hit my prescribed paces, I had to do all the work. I couldn’t allow the treadmill to set the pace. I knew the distance, I didn’t have to worry about having to stop for traffic lights or I didn’t have to worry about climbing a hill to throw my pace off. The track really helped me figure out how to pace myself. Although truthfully, that’s always a work in progress for me. I’m always trying to get rid of my positive splitter status.

I then started to do speed work on the roads to simulate race situations. If I wanted to run faster in a race, I needed to do speed work on the roads. The law of specificity, right?  In a road race situation, it’s highly unlikely that the course will be pancake flat and will be in an oval. If it is, it’s most likely a track. Or a cul-de-sac. When doing speed work on the road, I try to run a route that is flatter with a few hills.

Bottom line is if you want to get faster, you’ve got to run faster. So do it on the treadmill, the track or on the road – whatever works for you!

FYI – While I am a certified RRCA Running Coach, I am not your coach. Listen to your body and it’s limitations. Please check with your physician if you are new to exercise or have any questions regarding your health and exercise.

Pick up the pace with this simple Fartlek Workout to increase your running speed. happyfitmama.com

And here are even more Speed Workouts from 5 of my running friends. Pin away so you have a stash of workouts on hand whenever you need it.

Laura gives you the best of both worlds with a long and short Fartlek.

6 Speed Workouts for Runners This Runner's Recipes Long and Short Fartlek

Sarah has a great ladder workout to help achieve negative splits. (I will be doing this one!)

Hone your 5K pacing skills and finish strong with this speed workout from RunFarGirl

This simple workout from Carly can be done anywhere.

Speed Fine Fit Day

Countdown with Nellie’s speed work.

Speed Workout For Runners - BrooklynActiveMama.com

And don’t forget Allie’s BRILLIANT idea the next time you head to the track!

Run fast VitaTrain4Life.com

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

Where do you like to do your speed work best – track, road or treadmill?

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The Great Sports Bra Debate

The great sports bra debate Should you go shirtless on a run happyfitmama.com

The past couple of weeks in New Hampshire have been quite hot and humid. Even running in the early morning hours before the full blast of the sun hits, it’s still a major sweatfest. My hair is soaked when it’s 50 degrees out so imagine what I look like when it’s above 70 with 100% humidity?

Yesterday morning while I was out on my run, I started to think about a recent conversation I had with my friend Robin. She was telling me about her run over the weekend. It was another wicked hot and humid day when she set out. Midway through the run, she was dying from the heat. She spontaneously decided to run sans tank top and run with only her sports bra on.

To back track a bit, Robin started running a few years ago. She’s done numerous races of varying distance including 2 half marathons and Mt. Washington this year. She’s in her late 50’s and a grandma.

Running is a sports bra alone had never crossed her mind until that day. And when she did strip down? She felt self conscious for a minute but then she thought – If guys can do it, so can I!  She continued on her way and enjoyed the rest of her run feeling less overheated.

I’m 20 years younger than Robin and can only think of one time I’ve run sans shirt.

Why?

That’s a good question and one that I was pondering on my run.

Sports Bras

For me, it comes down to vulnerability. I know what it’s like to get cat calls, whistles, stares and plain ol’ creepers following me even when I’m fully clothed wearing running tights and a jacket. With more exposed skin, I feel it attracts more attention. And truthfully, I’d rather blend in. Especially when it’s an early morning run. Ever since my creeper incident a couple of years ago, I’ve been jumpy on solo runs. If a car even slows down after passing me, I have my phone out ready to take a pic of the license plate.

It pisses me off that I have to even think about that. Does a man think about stuff like that? Hell no. A man will whip his shirt off no matter what the temperature is or the scenario.

The one time I did run with only a sports bra was on a group run. I guess I feel there’s safety in numbers. It’s been years since that run, would I do it again? Maybe. It depends on the situation. If it was crazy hot and humid and my shirt was so soaked with sweat that it was weighing me down, then yes. I do know that I would never leave my house wearing only a sports bra and intending on running. I think it would be more of a spur of the moment thing.

Saucony 26 Strong Competitor Photo Shoot | happyfitmama.comPhoto by Nils Nilsen from the Saucony 26 Strong Competitor Magazine photo shoot.

As far as body confidence goes, I think that is a big obstacle for a lot of women. It’s something that would definitely pop into my head if I thought about shedding my shirt. When we did the photo shoot for Competitor Magazine last year, I remember Allison asking who would run in their sports bra for some photos. I was a definite NO. I don’t have six pack abs. Things shake quite a bit while running no matter what shape your abs are in. It’s one thing to run shirtless but to have it appear in print, no thanks.

But like everything when it comes to body perception, I’m 99% sure no one else would even bat an eye at my bare midriff (in print or real life). And just like Robin, I wouldn’t even think about it after 5 minutes of running and feeling heat relief.

Maybe if I lived in an area where it’s common to see women running in sports bras, I’d feel differently. I can only recall a handful of times seeing other women running in sports bras in my area. Unless it’s a race, then I’ve seen more. I know many friends who never run in anything but a sports bra all summer long. They live in the South. It’s a matter of summer running survival for them!

Bottom line – There really is no debate about running shirtless. If you like to, do it. If you want to, do it. If you don’t, no one is saying that you do. It’s that simple.  I don’t judge women who wear a top over their sports bra and I don’t judge those who feel more comfortable wearing a sports bra only. And you shouldn’t either.

Do what works for you!

Linking up with Coaches Corner, Wild Workout Wednesday and Thinking Out Loud.

Sports bra only – yay or nay? Why?

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