Blitz Conditioning http://blitzconditioning.com Community Oriented Fitness Sun, 29 May 2016 14:20:44 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Baby Steps to Healthy Living http://blitzconditioning.com/baby-steps-to-healthy-living/ http://blitzconditioning.com/baby-steps-to-healthy-living/#respond Sun, 29 May 2016 14:15:46 +0000 http://blitzconditioning.com/?p=12866 Run-2

Dear Reader,

Are you having troubles getting started with leading a healthy lifestyle? Are you finding it overwhelming to know where you should start? Keep reading. This blog is tailored to you, the beginner. We know that eating a healthy and well balanced diet paired with physical activity is what will classify us as leading a healthy life, however we often have a difficult time knowing where to begin. Changing everything about your routine at once may work for a few days however, we find sometimes “too much too fast” can lead to an individual becoming overwhelmed, discouraged, and then finding themselves back at square one. Small gradual changes over time will build to a big overall change, which will elicit permanent results.

So where do we start? I recommend choosing one or the other first and slowly building onto it. Let’s discuss changes we can make for both aspects of healthy living.

Transitioning to a Healthy Diet:

  • Coffee: Are you a morning coffee drinker? Try limiting yourself to one cup of coffee a day with whichever sweeteners you like. If you are a 2-3 cup of coffee type of person, treat yourself to your regular coffee, and for the remainder only drink it black. This will eliminate the amount of sugar and unwanted calories from your diet. Eventually we would want to transition to having just a black coffee, or a fruit smoothie to start your day.
  • Milk: If you tend to grab whole or 2% milk at the grocery store, try 1% or skim milk. Milk in general is packed with vitamin D, A, calcium, magnesium, potassium and vitamin B-12 however whole or 2% milk have a higher saturated fat content vs. 1% or skim. Saturated fats are dangerous to the body as they are the “unhealthy fats” and can lead to further weight gain, and put you at a higher risk of having cardiovascular disease, diabetes mellitus, etc. Eventually you can transition to Almond or Coconut Milk which is less than half the calories compared to other forms of milk.
  • Breads/Pastas/Rice: Switch from white to whole wheat. White bread, pasta or rice have been refined which leads to many nutrients being processed out of the food product. Having whole wheat will contain all of the original nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, healthy fats, protein and fiber. Another great substitution for pasta is spaghetti squash. Spaghetti squash is jam packed with antioxidants, vitamin A and C, Potassium, Folate, as well as Omega-3 and 6. Check out this recipe here: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/231457/pesto-spaghetti-squash/?internalSource=hub%20recipe&referringId=16675&referringContentType=recipe%20hub
  • Meat/Seafood: Stay away from meats higher in fat content such as beef, ham, salami, pepperoni, and replace it with chicken, ground turkey, salmon or tuna. These are higher in protein and lower in fats.
  • Dressings: Replace creamy salad dressings with vinaigrette dressings to lower the amount of unwanted calories.
  • Eat more frequently with smaller portion sizing: This is crucial to your metabolic system. If you eat every 2-3 hours, your metabolic and digestive system will always be working to process food and will be ready to digest the next meal that is coming. This makes your metabolic and digestive systems more efficient at processing food, which will increase the speed at which your metabolic system works. Waiting hours and hours without a meal, and then filling up causes your body to be in a starvation mode. In starvation mode, since your body has to go a long duration without a meal, it will store the meals you do intake as fat. While some may think eating less will help them lose weight, this is not the way to do it.
  • Drink more water! Water is crucial for all systems of the body.

Again, do not put the pressure onto yourself to make all of these changes at once. We want to ensure that you are successful in this transition. Make the goal of changing 2-3 habits a week.

Transitioning into Exercise

People often face several barriers when approaching exercise and incorporating it into their daily lives. Whether that barrier be time, money, or energy levels, we have the solution for you. Try starting off by walking for 15 minutes a day, 4 songs worth. This accounts for only 1% of your day! Make a playlist of your favorite songs, invite a friend or family member along with you to catch up on your day, or walk somewhere with a beautiful view. The important thing here is that it needs to be enjoyable, or you won’t have the motivation to stick with it. Start incorporating at home exercises that only require body weight such as a squat, lunge, wall push up, or a chair dip. If you have stairs at home, try side stepping up them, taking a double step, or even jogging up them to get your heart rate up. The end goal is to progress to doing 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise/week which is 30 minutes of activity, 5 days a week (2% of your day  ).

If you work a desk job, try standing every 20 minutes to stretch out your legs and hips. Sitting for too long leads to very tight muscles of the hip and can result in low back pain. You can try to incorporate exercises and stretches at your desk to do as a way to transition as well. Encourage others to join in with you!

Once you feel comfortable enough to enter a gym setting, make sure to give yourself positive affirmations as to why this is going to help improve your life. Get a new workout outfit you feel good in. Meet with a certified personal fitness trainer to determine what type of programming will be best suited to your goals.

Congratulations on taking your first step into healthy living by taking the time to read the contents of this blog. Time to get started!

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Food Crawl! http://blitzconditioning.com/crawl/ http://blitzconditioning.com/crawl/#respond Mon, 23 May 2016 21:54:14 +0000 http://blitzconditioning.com/?p=12863 Food Crawl June 8 2016

We’re so excited to be holding our second food crawl with the help of Edmonton Economic Development Centre!

This time we’re doing it a bit differently:

At this ride the rainbow edition guests are required to bring their own bike, skateboard or rollerblades. At the final stop of the food crawl, guests can work off that dinner by biking home, or arrange for their own transportation.

Cost will be $45 and trust us, it’s worth it!

*If you are rollerblading, don’t forget your shoes for inside the restaurants

**All guests are encouraged to bring their helmets

At 6:00 pm, guests arrive at End of Steel Park, meet the Blitz Team and get signed in. There will be three stops on the tour:

https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/pop-up-food-crawlride-the-rainbow-tickets-25408430299?utm-medium=discovery&utm-campaign=social&utm-content=attendeeshare&utm-source=cp&utm-term=listing

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Cross-training For Endurance Athletes http://blitzconditioning.com/cross-training-for-endurance-athletes/ http://blitzconditioning.com/cross-training-for-endurance-athletes/#respond Sun, 22 May 2016 22:37:39 +0000 http://blitzconditioning.com/?p=12855 BarbellLungeErin

Cross training can be defined as a supplementary style of fitness training that is different from ones sport. There are a lot of misconceptions regarding the term “cross-training.” Cross-training is meant to target a specific energy system in the body, i.e. endurance/long duration activities target the aerobic system; therefore the style of cross training you would want to choose would not be exercises that continue to tax the aerobic system. This is how over-training and overuse injuries occur.  You want to continue to excel in your sport, right? Well, this is where including a resistance training routine comes in to play, as it utilizes the other systems ATP-PC, alactic, and lactic systems (depending on how you use resistance training) (Plowman, & Smith, 2013). I won’t go into a breakdown because that would be a whole other post, but each of these systems are for shorter duration activities, i.e. a squat, capping each set at a max of around 2 minutes give or take. Not only will resistance training allow you to train within the other energy systems, but it will also aid in strengthening your muscles, connective tissues and bones, as well as allowing for greater communication within the central nervous system.

Sport Specificity

The style of cross training that you utilize should be specific to your sport. As mentioned above, this is a supplementary style of workout used in order to see improvements, it should be well planned and structured in order to see optimal results and to avoid injury. For running you will want to utilize resistance training in order to strengthen the muscles that are commonly weak (i.e. glutes), work on mobility, loosening tight muscles and improve range of motion. Supplementing running with another aerobic activity like cycling, swimming or an elliptical for example isn’t going to cross over into increasing running performance (Perks of Cross-Training, 2011). This is because these activities do not train the muscles the same way as running would, yet you still end up taxing the aerobic system (Perks of Cross-Training, 2011). Resistance training can be imperative for producing a strong functioning body that allows you to continue performing in your sport. A recent study has shown that weight lifting could help to increase performance in runners because it trains supporting muscle fibers (Storen, Helgerud, Stoa, & Hoff, 2008). What this could mean is that these muscles will get recruited and utilized when fatigue starts to set in (Storen, et. al, 2008). This could reduce the risk of overuse injuries, as having a strong base of supportive muscular will be key, not just for runners but for other sports as well.

The Plan

Develop a plan, this part is crucial, whether you out source a professional or you do your own research. Having a plan to follow will help guide you so that you know what to do while performing your cross-training. It is important to work on musculature that is often seen as weaker than the dominating muscles surrounding it. You do not need to go into the gym and crush 3-4 resistance training workouts a week where you are isolating specific muscle groups, all the while pounding the pavement with kilometers. You likely will be achy and sore and not be able to put on the same amount of kilometers that you desire. That is why the plan needs to be specific. Spend 30+ minutes a few times a week working on your weak points, as well as rolling and stretching to help you not only achieve your goals, but help push you further to set and reach even bigger ones. If you enjoy other activities such as cycling, swimming or swimming you can still do them! The only way to one hundred percent avoid a sports injury is to not do that sport, but the training you supplement that sport with can help reduce the risks.

Thanks for reading, if you have any questions shoot me an email at erin@blitzconditioning.com!

 

Perks of Cross-Training May End Before Finish Line (n.d.). Retrieved May 19, 2016, from http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/16/health/16best.html?_r=0

Plowman, S. A., & Smith, D. L. (2013). Exercise physiology for health fitness and performance. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

Storen, O., Helgerud, J., Stoa, E. M., & Hoff, J. (2008). Maximal strength training improves running economy in distance runners. Medicine and science in sports and exercise, 40(6), 1087.

 

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Why I picked the Garmin. http://blitzconditioning.com/why-i-picked-the-garmin/ http://blitzconditioning.com/why-i-picked-the-garmin/#comments Wed, 18 May 2016 17:28:05 +0000 http://blitzconditioning.com/?p=12850

There was a lot if talk last week about sports watches first with Beto’s Pick on the Garmin and then Chris’ CBC segment comparing a variety of watches that help keep you fit.

It made sense because it is that time of year where many runners dust off their shoes, get off the treadmill and hit the trails. We have entered the beginning of race season where you start to set goals, you begin your training programs and the transition to shorts, tanks and sunglasses is in full affect. It is no surprise that sports watches are top of mind but figuring out if the investment is right for you is probably the conversation you are having with yourself. I don’t think there is a clear answer but hopefully my story can reassure you that sometimes may investments go a long way.

Disclaimer: I have been running endurance since my first year University (I will avoid mentioning the exact date) so my switch to a sports watch happened many years ago. This was before the era of receiving text messages to your watch and before you could sync it to an app that tells everyone how far and how fast you ran. I decided I was ready to stop calling myself a “leisurely runner” and ready to invest in my commitment to the sport. I chose the Garmin then and still choose it today. Thankfully, they are no longer the size of a small clock and sync easily with most sports apps – making them as applicable to running needs today as they were then.

I learned what training with and without a Garmin looks like as I bought my Garmin after my first two marathons – which were run with a Timex on my wrist. I remember hesitating about the purchase, as I am sure a lot of university students would have, because I was not completely clear on all of the benefit or exactly what I really needed it for. Regardless, I made the leap – rapidly learning how much easier it made my running life (especially the patience associated with mapping routes and tracking mileage).

As I sit here and date myself, you may see differences between yourself and someone contemplating the same thing “a while ago”. I cannot argue that there are some differences but I can guarantee the purpose and results are similar. If you are ready to get a little more serious with your training (or already have) and you are looking for something that would help you stay accountable – you are exactly where I was when I decided to purchase my first running watch.

Looking back – I am very glad I chose to invest sooner rather than later.

It has made me a more informed runner and I believe, as a result, made me a better runner because I was able to see progress and really understand what type of training I needed. My Garmin allowed me to retire my methods of relying on mapmyrun.com to plan routes. It replaced my Timex and the process where I would calculate my average pace based on the time it took, after I got home. I no longer had to think about anything – the watch did it for me. I still track my mileage by writing down my distance on a calendar I keep on my fridge but that’s more habit and desire to be constantly reminded of my workouts past and future.

Don’t get me wrong – I am happy with the product but I wasn’t an overnight convert. It wasn’t until I moved to Edmonton a few years ago that I really starting using all the features. Once I started running with the group I ran with now (we have grown a little) I really learned how to properly train – including the importance of tempo runs and interval training. I ever started programming my workouts into my watch the night before so I had one less thing to do in the morning and a way to hold myself accountable to getting up and meeting the group for a run.

This was actually something I took for granted until a few weeks back when I watched one friend teach the other friend how to program their Garmin for intervals before a workout. Knowing this friend would soon experience the simplicity of running until you hear five little beeps telling you that interval was over – brought me comfort. I know a feature like that may sound like a minimal selling feature but trust me when I say it is a game changer. When you want to focus on hitting paces, when you are tired and dread that last set, and when you want to avoid constantly checking your watch – this really makes a difference and allows you to focus on the bigger picture.

What I am trying to say is that I didn’t wait until I was training as much as I do now before I bought my first running watch. I loved running, I loved seeing improvements and I wanted something that would help me be accountable to meeting my goals. I chose the Garmin but that doesn’t mean you have to. I bought it because there wasn’t many options at the time and it was sold at most retailers but now that I have the chose – I still choose the Garmin because it is reliable, accurate and meets every one of my running needs.

Go find what meets your need. Go beyond being a “leisurely runner”. And go crush some goals.

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Head to Head Comparison: Smart Watch vs. Activity Trackers vs. GPS Running Watches http://blitzconditioning.com/gps-vs-activity-monitor-watches/ http://blitzconditioning.com/gps-vs-activity-monitor-watches/#respond Thu, 12 May 2016 05:15:15 +0000 http://blitzconditioning.com/?p=12824 Garmin Forerunner 230 VS vivofit

Want to get more activity in during the day? If you walk into any fitness store, or grocery store for that matter, you can now buy an activity monitor like a Fitbit, Jawbone, or a smart watch like the Apple iWatch thinking it’s going to change your life. Activity monitors have become pretty complex: they measure steps, distance ran, sleep pattern, calories burnt, measure heart rate, read text messages and emails. But how do these activity trackers actually function?

Many of these activity trackers record movement using a digital accelerometer; this computer measures the swing of your hand and, through a mathematical algorithm, translates this into a step, a run, or even a jump. The same accelerometer measures sleep patterns as your body is more calm while you are sleeping. The sensors precision varies depending on it’s quality, that’s one of the reasons why the price ranges of these trackers can vary. The gold standard of movement measurements is GPS. These watches are based on satellite readings and can be very accurate depending on the price. Most of the higher-end running and activity watches use GPS and leverage this to map out precise locations, distances ran, speed, cadence, and even finding your way back to the starting point. These monitors, however, do have a problem in that cloud cover and tall buildings can get in the way of their readings but the sensitivity has improved a great deal.

In activity monitors like the Fitbit, heart rate is generally measured by light refraction: an LED shines against the skin and sensors measure the reflection of blood flowing through veins or capillaries. Mathematical algorithms are used to cancel out things like movement, sensor placement, and many other variables that lead to inaccurate measurements. These sensors have their limitations as they are dependent on prolonged contact with the skin and a lack of movement. Heart rate is most accurately measured through a chest strap. The strap measures electrical impulses created by the heart and transfers these readings to the watch. These measurements have been known to be almost as accurate as clinical heart rate monitors and can be used in almost any condition. The straps, however aren’t as comfortable to wear for prolonged periods of time and have been known to cause chaffing for different body types.

These sensors can be pretty small so they tend to be able to fit into almost any fashionable wristband. The issue has always been accuracy in measurement: many people don’t calibrate the accelerometer for stride length and their own  movement patterns (if the unit has the ability to measure it), and each person’s running patterns can vary too. The heart rate monitors can vary wildly depending on their placement, how still the person is, and sweat on the skin.

The ideal running and activity watch is something that measures with all four sensors. Thankfully most, if not all of the current brands in this market place have watches that can do this at a price between $150 to $350 depending on the added options you would like. Options can include: bluetooth connectivity, reading text messages, emails, social media, movement goal setting, and the list goes on. Before buying it’s important to factor in a few things:

  • Type of activity you’ll be primarily using it for: a lower cost alternative may work perfectly if you are monitoring light activities like walking and general movement. If you are thinking of running or more vigorous activity then a chest strap monitor and a GPS watch may be a better option.
  • Fit: This is more especially with the light-based heart rate monitors. The strap should fit snugly on the wrist without exposing too much of the sensors.
  • Fashion/style: it’s so very true that this matters. If you aren’t going to wear it then there’s no use in buying it.
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Multiple Sclerosis and Exercise http://blitzconditioning.com/multiple-sclerosis-and-exercise/ http://blitzconditioning.com/multiple-sclerosis-and-exercise/#respond Mon, 09 May 2016 15:56:03 +0000 http://blitzconditioning.com/?p=12812 Jen Ference Nadim Chin Run

It is well known that exercise can help reduce the risk of chronic illness whether you are pre-disposed to it or not. But, what many don’t realize is the positive effects that exercise can have on someone that is living with a chronic condition. Many people have adopted the idea that they should not exercise because of said condition fearing that exercise will make it worse or that they are not physically able. With the MS bike tour coming up soon, I want to give a brief breakdown of what multiple sclerosis (MS) is, why it is important for someone with MS to exercise and what types of exercises are beneficial.

The Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada (2016) classifies multiple sclerosis as an autoimmune disease of the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord); where the immune system attacks the myelin (the protective covering around nerve fibers) causing damage and inflammation which disrupts the communication between the brain and the rest of the body. The degree to which the myelin is damaged will determine the severity and category of the condition. As a result MS patients can experience various symptoms such as lack of coordination/muscle spasticity, extreme fatigue, impaired sensation and cognitive impairment (MS Society of Canada, 2016).

There are three different categories of the disease: Relapsing Remitting MS (RRMS), Progressive MS (PMS) characterized as primary and secondary, and Progressive Relapsing MS; RRMS being the most common occurring in 85% of those diagnosed. RRMS is classified by cycles of relapses and recovery which can last from a few days to a few months (MS Society of Canada, 2016). During the recovery phase remyelination occurs, repairing destroyed tissue and allowing for neurological function to begin improving (Williamson, 2011).

Exercise Benefits (Williamson, 2011).

  • Reduced risk of other chronic diseases; heart disease, cancer, stroke, and diabetes
  • Lowered blood pressure, improved heart function, and inhibits bone loss
  • Improved muscular strength, muscular endurance, flexibility, balance, and joint stability
  • Improved mood and confidence
  • Improved neural function
  • Weight management

Types of Exercise and Precautions (Williamson, 2011).

Warm up: Warm up for 5 to 10 minutes at a low intensity to allow for blood to flow to the muscles and loosen up tight joints to avoid injury. Treadmills or stationary bikes provide an effective warm up.

Aerobic training: Cardiovascular activity should be performed 2 to 3 times per week, for approximately 30 minutes at a time at a low-moderate intensity to avoid overheating. Cycling, walking/walking at an incline and low-moderate intensity jogging (if jogging can be achieved without overexertion) are recommended. Swimming can last up to an hour because it will help keep them cool. Remember to keep progressions gradual.

Resistance training: Full body resistance training should be performed 2 to 3 times per week and include at least one exercise per muscle group beginning with the larger muscles to avoid fatiguing the smaller muscles first. Light resistance and higher reps should be used (20-25 reps), perform 2-3 sets with 30-90 seconds between sets. Bands, machines and dumbbells can be used. Use precaution with dumbbells in overhead movements, bands, machines or a spotter is recommended to avoid risk of injury. Core strength, proper form and technique are crucial in avoiding injury and allowing for proper muscle adaptations.

Rest: Allow for 48 hours for muscle recovery between resistance training sessions.

Stretching: Stretching should be performed after activity; stretch each muscle group used during the workout.

Alternate methods: Yoga and water aerobics classes may also be beneficial. Including other physical activity in to your every day life such as gardening, housework, going for walks etc. can help lead to a more active lifestyle.

Tips and Tricks:

  • Progressions should be gradual for all types of activity.
  • Make sure to drink plenty of water and take rest as needed.
  • Seek out guidance from an exercise professional to make sure that proper technique is used to reap the most benefits and avoid injury.
  • Find a workout buddy to help motivate you and make exercise enjoyable.

 

Thank you for reading and keep your eyes open for a post to follow discussing specific resistance training exercises that can be done for someone that has MS! Any questions? Send an email to me at erin@blitzconditioning.com.

 

 

 

References

Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada. (n.d.). Retrieved May 01, 2016, from https://mssociety.ca/about-ms/what-is-ms

Williamson, P. (2011). Exercise for special populations. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

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You don’t pick your race day: How Boston didn’t go as planned. http://blitzconditioning.com/you-dont-pick-your-race-day-how-boston-didnt-go-as-planned/ http://blitzconditioning.com/you-dont-pick-your-race-day-how-boston-didnt-go-as-planned/#respond Tue, 03 May 2016 11:00:11 +0000 http://blitzconditioning.com/?p=12818 Boston Marathon 2016

It has been two weeks since the marathon and although this blog was never going to be easy to write – I think this is an important story to share.

By now you may have heard that the Boston Marathon did not go as planned, or even remotely how I anticipated. For those unaware, the flu got the best of me and after a week of pretending I didn’t have it, I landed in Boston only to struggle more and more to hide it. I thought mental toughness could outweigh my body slowly breaking down but alas; I woke up on Monday, April 18th knowing that it wasn’t going to be my day. Regardless of my sentiment – I was already in Boston, I had trained hard for this, and there was nothing stopping me from putting my toe to that start line.

The morning of the Boston Marathon is unique to most races. You spend an hour busing to Hopkinton, where the race starts, only to hang out in athlete’s village for about three hours before making your way to the start line. During this long lingering time, I kept telling myself that I would run through it, that I just need my body to adjust and that I was strong enough to pull off my goal time even with an illness.

By the time my corral was off, it was already 70 degrees Fahrenheit, not ideal for an Edmontonian post-training through winter but for an ill-Edmontonian, it may have been the cherry on top of this recipe for disaster.

Mile 1 felt like mile 20 and that didn’t change as I continued to put one foot in front of the other. My chest was pounding, my head was dizzy and it felt as though it may explode. I remember thinking about how many check points I would have along the course and breaking it down that way. The first part of the marathon is downhill but my legs did not feel the benefit of the decline yet I managed to feel every little rolling hill. I was dumping water on my head at about 5km, something that typically happens far later on in the course, I found myself grabbing Gatorade and water in both hands at aid stations and yearning for the next one to appear. It wasn’t fun and I wasn’t feeling the benefits of my perfect pace workouts, the hours logged or the confidence I had acquired during a great training season. I was slowly breaking down along the course and there was nothing I could do about it.

Everything I ingested, I threw up. My gels, freezies, even an orange slice. Looking back, I wonder what the crowds were thinking when this is happening to a runner at kilometer eight but in the moment, I didn’t care.

I remember crossing the 15 kilometer checkpoint and asking where a medical tent was. From that point on, all I really recall was seeing stars, weaving, slowing down to about a 6min/km pace and feeling pain throughout my arms. The next thing I remember was someone helping me off the course and into the medical tent. The relief of being in the shade and standing still outweighed any of the disheartening sentiments I was experiencing in that moment. I could not sit down, as my legs were like cement so I stood in the middle of the tent with a blanket around me trying to answer questions, as my jaw was locking up.

When I felt a little less miserable (about 30 minutes later), I decided to try and go back onto the course. I headed out and made an incredible 500m effort before turning around and returning to the tent with my tail between my legs. I refused an IV because I feared they wouldn’t allow me to go back out on the course so I sat on the warm pavement with a face on fire and a body shivering for another 40 minutes until I asked the doctor if she thought there was any chance of me finishing. She said if for some reason I could finish, I would be a very hurt individual for the next week and kindly reminded me of my 500m attempt and the lack of success I had there.

After having a little cry on the phone with my dad, I threw in the towel and waited for a van to take us back. The ride of shame was about an hour from start to finish and included a van, bus, visit to the main medical tent near the finish line (a place I wanted to be as far away from as possible). The final portion of the journey was made on foot and Uber back to the hotel. I showered to warm up and then retired to my bed, where I remained from approximately 3pm to mid-morning the next day.

Now that I have shared context with you, the important part is what I learned and took away from this horrendous experience.

1. You don’t pick your race day.

I had the perfect training season, I nailed workouts in the cold weather, I nailed workouts on limited sleep, I nailed workouts when they were back to back and I knew I was ready for Boston. Unfortunately, the week leading up to Boston wasn’t ideal and the timing of the flu should have resulted in a reassessment of my race day plan but my stubbornness took over and I thought I would wake up cured.
This is something that is unique to the Marathon. You work so hard and for so long so hope you wake up on race day with all the elements aligning. There are so many variables out of your control and more often than not – the run doesn’t come with ease. It is part of the thrill but part of the frustration. A constant assessment of your goal time and continual growth of your mental toughness – you accept a shitty day and you get back out there for the next run, workout or race.

2. Taper the best way for you.

This is something I am really researching and figuring out. I thrive on stress and my body doesn’t like to “relax”. I have found that cutting back too much, is actually harder on my body. What I am going to do from now on is figure out what will help limit stress in my life and what level of activity/stress I need in my life to assist with my race preparation. This will come through trial and error but that’s part of the marathon challenge.

3. Just because you stop puking, doesn’t mean you aren’t still sick.

I came back too soon. It took me until this morning to feel like I had my energy back. I don’t think a diet of cereal and peanut butter is likely the most nutritious but it definitely stayed in my stomach over the past two weeks. My advice would be to take more than three days off and make sure your energy is up. Running 20km five days later will hinder not help you.

4. I really love running.

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Exercises you can do on a BOSU – Global TV Segment May 4, 2016 http://blitzconditioning.com/exercises-you-can-do-on-a-bosu-global-tv-segment-may-4-2016/ http://blitzconditioning.com/exercises-you-can-do-on-a-bosu-global-tv-segment-may-4-2016/#respond Mon, 02 May 2016 17:59:49 +0000 http://blitzconditioning.com/?p=12810 Unstable surface training (UST) has been all the rage in the fitness industry. Semi-inflated discs, pillows, discs and gliders, swiss balls, and BOSU balls are some of the many pieces of equipment developed with the intent to create surfaces that your body needs to react against. UST was first developed in the rehabilitation world for the purpose of strengthening ankles but is now used to in many instances. There are both advantages and disadvantages in using these pieces of equipment:

Advantages: adding it into a workout on occasion forces the body to react and adapt, it can be used for upper and lower body rehabilitation for joints.

Disadvantages: it has been shown that UST can negatively affect power and strength. Too much training on these surfaces can cause a delay in muscle activation on harder surfaces.

Exercises with these pieces of equipment are great compliments but should not be used for all workouts.  If you’re looking at adding some full body and heart pumping workouts try these out:

1) Alternating Lateral Jump on BOSU:

Global TV Lateral Jumnp on BOSU 01

  1. Place body weight on the foot that is on the BOSU ball
  2. Jump with the foot on the BOSU ball
  3. Switch feet in mid air
  4. Land on the opposite foot
  5. Repeat

Global TV Lateral Jumnp on BOSU 02

 

2) Spiderman Push-Ups on BOSU:

Global TV Spiderman Push Up on BOSU 01

  1. In a push up position (on your knees or toes), keep your hands in line with the centre of the ball
  2. Go down into a push up
  3. Bring one leg beside your elbow
  4. Go back up into a push up
  5. Switch sides

Global TV Spiderman Push Up on BOSU 02

3) Burpee on a BOSU ball:

Global TV Burpee on BOSU 01

  1. Start in a push up position
  2. When coming out of a push up, hop your legs so your knees go towards the chest
  3. Keep your core tight as you bring the BOSU towards your chest
  4. Hop up again and bring the BOSU above your head
  5. Bring the BOSU back down to the ground in a controlled manner
  6. At the same time, go back into the push up position

Global TV Burpee on BOSU 02

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Trail Running Races in Edmonton http://blitzconditioning.com/trail-running-races-in-edmonton/ http://blitzconditioning.com/trail-running-races-in-edmonton/#respond Thu, 28 Apr 2016 12:12:55 +0000 http://blitzconditioning.com/?p=12799 Mill Creek Ravine Edmonton

There are a growing number of trail races in Edmonton. We have over 160 km of multi-use trails so runners are taking advantage of them and competing to see who can become the fastest cross country runner in the city! Here are a few links to some companies who host trail races:

Frank McNamara Races: Wednesdays at 6:00 pm – Various Locations:
United Cycle Runs: Tuesdays at 6:00 pm – Various Locations:
5 Peaks Races: Once a Month, Saturday: Use Code: CHRIS

Running Room: Moose is Loose July 16, 2016

https://www.events.runningroom.com/site/?raceId=12697

 

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Boost your running efficiency with this post run band workout http://blitzconditioning.com/boost-your-running-efficiency-with-this-post-run-band-workout/ http://blitzconditioning.com/boost-your-running-efficiency-with-this-post-run-band-workout/#respond Mon, 25 Apr 2016 12:16:41 +0000 http://blitzconditioning.com/?p=12776 The workout below is designed to work on strengthening common underactive muscles in runners. Strengthening these muscles can help to avoid injury and improve running efficiency.  Here you can find another runner specific workout I created.

Running long distances can put a lot of stress on the body. As you tack on the kilometers your body starts to lose form and efficiency when you begin to fatigue; which is often where overuse injuries come from. Adding a cross training routine can be said to enhance running economy from a physiological standpoint. What this means is your muscles become stronger, motor unit recruitment patterns become more efficient and there is an increase in tendon stiffness (as the tendon stretches out it stores elastic energy, as it contracts it releases that energy i.e. the movement of the Achilles tendon as your foot strikes the pavement) (Midgley, McNaughton, & Jones, 2007). All of which can lead to an increase in mechanical efficiency. As a result greater mechanical efficiency leading to greater running output.

Specifically targeting these muscles with a cross training routine or throwing it in to the end of your run can help lead to improve your runs.

You just need a flat band for this workout that you can tie into a circle, and use flat as well.

Repeat circuit 2-3 times.

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  1. Banded deadbug (10-12 reps per side)

Target muscles: Core complex, glute medius

  • Place a band around your thighs and lie down on your back
  • Bend your hips and your knees to 90 degrees and bring your knees and feet out to hip width, with your arms straight up in the air
  • Start by keeping tension on the outside of your glutes
  • Extend your opposite arm and opposite leg while keeping your core engaged
  • Then bring back up to starting position, maintain tension on your glutes, alternate sides

 

 

 

 

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  1. Dorsiflexion with band (10-12 reps per side)

Target muscles: Tibialis anterior (shin)

  • You’ll either need a partner or tie your band around something sturdy as an anchor
  • Sit on the ground with both legs in front of you
  • Pick a leg to do first and place a band over the top of the foot
  • (With partner) Push your toes away from you toward your partner. Your partner will hold the band, slightly pulling for some resistance. (With no partner) Set up is similar, except you will need to make sure you are sitting back far enough so there is tension on the band.
  • From here, move the ankle by flexing your foot toward you, hold for 2 seconds then relax your ankle by pointing your toes away from you. (Tension should be on the band the entire time)
  • Repeat all on one side then switch sides.

 

 

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  1. Overhead trap pull (10-12 reps per side)

Target muscles: Mid-lower trapezius, rhomboids, levator scapulae, latissimus dorsi (secondary)

  • Start by holding a band overhead approximately wider than shoulder width
  • Pull the band behind your head thinking about rotating your shoulder blades downward and squeezing them together, bring the the band to approximately ear level
  • Keep tension between the shoulder blades, if you lose tension between your shoulder blades you’ve brought the band down too low
  • Bring the bands back overhead and repeat

 

 

 

 

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  1. Banded monster walks

Target muscles: Glute medius, hip abductors, hamstrings

  • Step both legs through the band and place it around your ankles
  • Get into a half squat position bending slightly at the hips and the knees and keep your foot position nice and wide
  • Stay on your heels and take wide, controlled steps forward maintaining tension on the outside of the glutes
  • Take approx. 20 steps forward, then repeat walking backward for approx. 20 steps

 

 

 

 

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  1. Russian twist with band hold (12-15 reps per side)

Target muscles: External/internal obliques, transverse abdominis, shoulder stabilizers

  • Sit on the floor with your knees bent and your feet flat on the ground
  • Lean back so your torso is at a 45-degree angle to floor, making sure to keep the spine straight and not rounded
  • Hold a band straight out front of your chest, make sure your shoulders are back and keep a constant tension on the band
  • Rotate to the right using your core keeping your arms in front of you
  • Staying controlled rotate to the left maintaining tension on the band

 

 

 

Hope you enjoyed this workout!

If you have any questions or need modifications shoot me an email at erin@blitzconditioning.com and I would be happy to help!

 

References:

Midgley, A. W., McNaughton, L. R., & Jones, A. M. (2007). Training to enhance the physiological determinants of long-distance running performance. Sports Medicine, 37(10), 857-880.

 

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