{Infographic} 30-Minute, Bodyweight Workout

As many of you might know, I’m a Greatist ambassador. Greatist is a really awesome, fun, quirky and intelligent health and fitness website with endless resources on everything you need to know about wellness, but in language you can actually understand. One of the reasons I love Greatist so much is because of their simple but really informative infographics. They just came out with a new one featuring a 30-minute no gym, bodyweight workout which will be perfect for strength training while I get ready for Big Sur. For runners, bodyweight exercises can help strengthen and build muscle but you probably won’t be as sore the next day as you would if you were lifting weights. So, if you’re interested, test out this workout, I know I will!

Find more bodyweight exercises at Greatist.com

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{Friday Faves} Reads, Runs and Raves

This has been quite the crazy week for me between traveling back to Massachusetts for the holidays to coming back to Pennsylvania for work the day after Christmas, to a snowstorm, to some iffy but successful treadmill runs- I’ve been all over the place! But, lucky for you, I still managed to find some pretty cool running things on the interweb. So, here they are- my Friday Faves!

  • Last week I found out my blog was nominated for the Best New Running Blog of 2012 for the #RunChat blog awards! Honestly I couldn’t believe it but I felt so humbled and honored to have been nominated. The winners were announced today and although I didn’t win, I was first runner up to a pretty amazing blogger- The Runner Dad. Congrats to him and the rest of the winners in the other categories! You can check them out here- RunChat Blog Award Winners announced via RunChat
  • One of my coworkers, Megan Hetzel, launched her newly designed running blog this week. It’s pretty great so you should definitely check it out –Meg Runner Girl
  • On Wednesday night I took part in a #FitFluential twitter chat co-hosted by the Commitment Day race series. This race series is pretty inspirational and challenges runners and non-runners alike to make a commitment as opposed to a New Year’s resolution on January 1, 2013. Check out the race series and what they’re all about here: Commitment Day
  • Found this great read about how exercise and running will make you smarter (but we already knew that, right runners?)– via New York Times Well blog
  • VIDEO: Girl Power! What if men and women switched roles at the gym? (pretty sure this is already happening)- via Greatist
  • Because I had to drive back to Pennsylvania to work the day after Christmas, my family had to switch around some of our typical holiday traditions. Usually we’ll go to mass on Christmas Eve and then to a family friend’s house for dinner and drinks. This year however, my mom planned a really nice day in Boston and we walked around, took pictures and went to a really nice dinner. I was so happy to be able to spend this time with my family because I have definitely missed them tremendously since moving down the PA. But, it’s precious days like we had on Christmas Eve that really make you appreciate each other’s company. Here’s one picture from our day in Boston.

Christmas

  • I might have some really big news coming next week, so in honor of that here’s a great quote:

Disney quote

Run happy this weekend y’all!

{Friday Faves} Reads, Runs & Raves

I spend a lot of time on the Internet during the week- hence, being a multimedia editor – and I tend to come across some pretty cool, weird and awesome things, especially related to running (because I work at the running mecca). I’ve decided I’m going to share these things with y’all every Friday with my Friday Faves. This is by no means an original idea, tons of bloggers do it, but now you can add mine to the list. But, mine will be a little different in that it’s not going to be just about running, but rather things that made me laugh, things I found interesting or just things that I find random and awesome and want you to know about. So, to kick off my inaugural Friday Faves, here ya go!

  1. This will just make you smile- There’s Running and Then There’s High-5 Running via Greatist
  2. I recently took a day trip up to NYC and was reminded how much I absolutely love that city. So, when I saw the NY Mag series about why we all love NYC I had to share – NY State of Mind via New York Magazine
  3. My kind of running playlist! – Sub-4 Marathon Playlist via Enthusiastic Runner
  4. Staying Strong Through Injury- via LV Runs NYC (sidenote: Lora has been cleared to run so a HUGE congrats goes out to her!!)
  5. My very own gift guide for runners! – via Me! (Fit Girl Happy Girl)
  6. “Clipped” by Oiselle– The story of one women’s running apparel company’s quest to make a USATF/USOC/IAAF approved singlet for the Olympic trials. 
  7. This is usually how I feel on Fridays – “It’s astounding how much one’s stress level goes down with the simple act of switching from skinny jeans to yoga pants.”

skinny jeans to yoga pants

Happy Friday y’all! I hope you run strong on your long runs and have a great rest of your weekend!

If you have some extra time don’t forget to connect with me on social media!

Facebook: facebook.com/FitGirlHappyGirl

Twitter: @FitHappyGirl

Instagram: hannahmcgold

Pinterest: pinterest.com/hannahmcgold

Monday Motivation: I can and I will

Setting goals is always scary, especially when you tell people about them. It takes courage to set goals because if you try to achieve them but miss the mark, it’s disappointing, not just to you but to other people. But it’s important to be confident in yourself and even when you might miss your goal, take comfort in knowing you tried your best and gave it your all. I have some big goals for 2013 and they scare me but that’s okay because I believe I can do them and that’s what matters. Don’t be afraid to dream big!

I can and I will

Week 5: Sub-50 10K Training

Me and my friends Cassie and Madeline doing our Race for Recovery 5-K

Me and my friends Cassie and Madeline doing our Race for Recovery 5-K

Another great week of training has come and gone. I had some really great moments this week including an (unofficial) 5-K PR, a fantastic trail run and the Race for Recovery. I also ran my highest mileage week ever this week for a total of 27 miles!

I started off training this week with some cross-training on Monday. I did 2 miles on the elliptical and then 40 minutes of strength training. According to my training plan, I can either rest or cross train on Mondays and so far, I’ve cross trained every Monday. No rest days!

Tuesday’s run was a 3 mile tempo and I hit every split at my tempo pace or under which was really great. My first mile came in at 7:57/mile which is really fast for me and I was honestly a little surprised to see that on my watch. My second mile was a bit slower at 8:06/mile but still below my tempo pace of 8:12/mile. In the third mile I decided to try to kick it up and hit 8 flat but hit 8:02/mile which was still pretty awesome. Since my paces were so great I decided to run .1 mile extra to see what my 5-K time would have been and I finished at 24:14 which is by far my fastest 3.1 miles ever and it felt great!

I decided to run trails with two of my speedy coworkers on Wednesday because we had some trail shoes to test out. I was a little apprehensive about running with them because they are just so much faster than me but they assured me they wouldn’t leave me behind so I went. We ran about a mile and a half to the entrance of the trail which was kind of annoying because the shoes were clearly not meant to run on pavement but once we got to the trail they felt great.

The actual trail part of the run was about 3 miles of very steep inclines and jagged declines. The trail goes up a mountain near our office and gets pretty narrow on the way up but the views are beautiful. I will admit though, the ascent was pretty hard and I was forced to hike for some of it. I’m not too great at trails but I do really like them, especially the downhill because I feel like I’m literally frolicking through the woods. The entire run was just over 6 miles but it took us longer than the average 6-mile run just because we all run trails slower than we run on the road.

My ankles and achilles were killing me on Thursday post-trail run but I had intervals on tap and couldn’t skip out. I had to do 3x1200m at race pace (8:02/mile) with 400m easy pace in between. I did these on the treadmill and although they were not fun, I was surprised at how good my ankles felt once I actually got running.

Friday was my rest day which was good because my legs were completely dead and it gave me time to rest up for the Race for Recovery on Saturday morning. I took part in NYC Running Mama, Michele Gonzales’, Race for Recovery to raise funds for Sandy relief efforts on Saturday. She asked that everyone run either a 5-K or 10-K wherever they were so I ran with two of my friends at a local 5-K in Bethlehem. My roommate and I ran to the race start line to add on an extra 1.3 miles and ran the 5-K with our friend. It was great to get out there and although I didn’t time myself it felt good to run watch/GPS free for once!

I had my long run on Sunday and when I woke up, looked out my window and saw rain, I was less than thrilled. I procrastinated the run until noon and finally made myself get out the door, suck it up and get over the fact that I’d have to run in the rain. Turns out my run was fantastic! I did an 8-mile out and back run in 1:19 (9:31/mile). My legs felt so fresh and strong, I really couldn’t believe it. I almost wanted to keep going but towards the end of the run it started to rain harder.

During my long run I did a lot of thinking and couldn’t help but realize this is the first training cycle I’ve done where I haven’t felt super tired or achy or sore and I am so thankful for that (knock on wood!). I’ve never felt stronger and my paces are feeling much more comfortable. My goals with this time-goal for a 10-K was to get faster overall and I’m definitely starting to notice some changes.

I hope your training went well this week too! Also, I know I haven’t been blogging as much as I used to but that will change soon! I’ve been so busy getting acclimated with my new job that I’ve just felt completely shot by the time I get home after work. But don’t fret, I’m going to make an effort to keep it up :)

 

Week 4: Sub-50 10K Training

Personal BestLast week’s training was really phenomenal- seriously I think I had a breakthrough. I’m not just talking about a running breakthrough- although my paces were on point and I had good mileage- but I’m talking about a personal breakthrough. I work with a lot of really good, really fast, really experienced runners. So, when I have a new goal, sometimes I get embarrassed because it’s not as amazing as the goals my coworkers have but I often forget I JUST started running in February and it really is amazing to see how far I’ve come in such a short amount of time.

My new goal I’m working on right now is to run a sub-50 10K, mostly because I want to get faster, but also because I’ve never had a time goal for a race. I also just found out I’ll be running my second half marathon in January (yikes/yay!) so I’m now trying to merge both trainings into one. But, I’m really excited about both of these goals because they will be the perfect way to bring in the new year. Also, this training so far has taught me to not be ashamed or embarrassed about my goals because every runner is so different. All that really matters is that I reach my own goals and even if I don’t, so be it, it’s not the end of the world.

That being said, my training was GREAT last week. I started off on Monday with some cross-training and tried a new bootcamp class at the gym. I’ve never done bootcamp before but I thought it would be a good idea to switch up my strength training. While the class was only 30 minutes and I used lighter weights, it turned out to be harder than I thought! My legs and arms were sore for days, although I tried to convince them otherwise…

I had a tempo on Tuesday which was a little difficult on dead legs but I nailed my goal pace of 8:06/mile for 3 miles! Then, on Wednesday I ran 5.3 miles on the treadmill after work. I was kind of dreading this run and as I headed to the gym, I seriously thought about turning around and going home. However, once I got going I felt really great (despite my still-sore legs) and I ran at an easy 9:26/mile.

Thursday was a speedwork day and I knew this was really going to be challenging. My plan had me running 3x1200m intervals at 8:02/mile with 400m easy pace in between. After a two minute warm-up I started on the first interval and felt surprisingly good. I made it through the entire workout without any resting or walking which was the first time I’ve done so with speedwork, so I was pretty excited about that!

I ran during lunch on Friday with a bunch of coworkers. We did a great 4.5 mile out-and-back in the neighborhoods and trails around our office. We said we were going to take it really easy but ended up picking it up a bit and running an average 9:16/mile.

I rested on Saturday because I went to NYC for the day (!) but did my long run on Sunday. I was only supposed to run 6 miles but felt so good and decided to run a little over 7 miles. My pace was also great, with an average of 9:14/mile with faster intervals in the mid- to low- 8s!

Overall, my training was really great and I am becoming much more proud and less embarrassed about my sub-50 goal. I think I will be able to hit it, especially with the adrenalin associated with racing.

How did your training go last week? Let me know in the comments below!

Basics of foam rolling for runners

I finally ordered my first foam roller! This is a big step in my life as a runner because it’s really something every runner should have at their disposal. When used properly a foam roller can be your best friend (even if you may hate it at times). It hurts so good! It can be your own personal masseuse and it able to roll out those muscles you hold so dear during your weekly runs. Before you go rolling though, you should definitely check out this fantastic infographic from one of my favorite fitness websites the Greatist. This graphic shows you different ways to use a foam roller and the different kinds of foam rollers you can buy. You can purchase a foam roller at most specialty running stores. I didn’t have time to stop by my local running store this weekend so I purchase mine on Amazon. Mine was an OPTP Pro Foam Roller and I loved the bright green color, but there were other colors as well. Get rolling!
Foam Rolling Infographic

Get health and fitness tips at Greatist.com.

Track your fitness & health online with these apps and websites

Whether you are just starting out with a new fitness routine, or if you’re a seasoned veteran fitness guru, it’s still difficult to navigate the endless amount of fitness apps for your phone and health websites online. However, one of my favorite fitness websites, Greatist.com, came out with an easy-to-read infographic with their recommendations for tracking your fitness online. Besides showing some of the top websites and apps it gives you reasons why it’s important to track your fitness online.

  • You’ll be more motivated.
  • It gives you more accountability.
  • You’ll benefit from planning.
  • Consistency.

Also, one website/app that didn’t make the list was endomondo.com. This website is a social network that allows you to track your workouts using a GPS tracking system in your phone or watch and share your results with the Endomondo community. You can create and accept challenges from other followers or just keep to yourself. Either way, it is a good way to track your progress as you continue your fitness routine.

(I think it goes without saying that Fit Girl Happy Girl is also one of the best fitness blogs out there!)
More Health and Fitness News & Tips at Greatist.