Tuesday, August 16, 2016

The Science of Running: Become a REVO2LUTION Running Coach

I love to run half marathons. As a Rock 'n' Blog team member for the rock 'n' roll marathon series, I get to run them all over the country. I live in Fort Worth, TX, near Dallas. When the big Dallas marathon is going on each December someone inevitably asks me why I am not running it. I always jokingly respond the same way:

"Because I like to make things as expensive and inconvenient as possible. Why run a race in your own city and sleep in your own bed, when you can pay a lot of money for plane tickets and hotel rooms" Of course, I'm joking, but there is truth in the humor.

When Dr. Jason Karp the creator of REVO2LUTION RUNNING certification approached me and asked if if I would be interested in taking his certification course in exchange for an honest review on my blog I jumped at the chance. I read a few of Jason's books over the years and met him for the first time last year at the IDEA World fitness convention when he presented a running seminar. I found Jason to be funny, quirky and ridiculously smart.

Jason Karp at the REVO2LUTION Running booth at the IDEA World Fitness Convention Expo

I am a NASM certified personal trainer and a RRCA adult distance running coach. After reading through the course description I was excited that Jason's course would teach in-depth running material that would help me become a better coach. It also provides the continuing education credits I need every two years to renew my NASM certification. (also CEUs for ACE and AFAA)

Except, like I mentioned above, I seem to never make things easy on myself. I am pretty busy between my full time marketing job, my part-time fitness instructor job at ComCardio, writing this blog, Lea Genders Fitness, being a wife and keeping my house spotless at all times (just kidding about that last one). But that's no excuse. Everyone is busy, right?

Honestly, my biggest barrier to getting started was the course was delivered electronically. Call me old-school (or just old) but I need to read, take notes, fold down corners and highlight on real paper. We have a laser printer and printing seven in-depth manuals seemed expensive, those cartridges could potentially cost more than the whole course.

So I attempted to open the PDFs on my iPad and read that way, but I should have known that wasn't going to work for me. I just couldn't get going.

Then Jason emails me and tells me that my test has expired and I was going to have to repurchase the test. No problem. I was recommitted to getting this going! I bit the bullet and printed out the first manual and never looked back. (Turns out it was not that big of a deal to print out the manuals. It was just a mental block I created for myself. I didn't even have to replace a cartridge.)

What did I learn in the Revo2lution Running certification course? More than anything, the science of running (Insert your own Jessie Pinkman joke here). The course also covered how to avoid injuries, how to design running programs, running technique, nutrition and so much more.

REVO2LUTION is an acronym for three physiological factors that determine running fitness and performance: (RE) Running Economy, (VO2) VO₂max, & (LT) Lactate Threshold. Understanding the science of running helps us know the specific workouts to do to improve.

The concepts covered were not entirely new to me, but that doesn't mean they were always entirely clear. Jason explained the science with a clarity that I hadn't known before. I definitely had a few AHA moments. It was also funny. I mean who laughs out loud while reading a science manual? Well, if it was written by Jason Karp, probably everyone.

But the course is no joke. It is hard. The material is in-depth and challenging. Turned out I needed a little more time to study. Purchased 2nd retest. (Told you I always make things as expensive and inconvenient on myself as possible). I kept studying until I felt ready. Finally the day came last weekend. I was as ready as I was going to be.

I am thrilled to tell you that I passed the exam and I am now a REVO2LUTION RUNNING certified running coach.


I highly recommend this course for both fitness professionals who want to coach runners and for runners who want to improve their knowledge base so they can learn to train more efficiently.

You can use my discount code LEAGENDERS for 15% off the Revo2lution Running certification course.

If you are not interested in a running certification, I recommend Jason's book "The Inner Runner" to all runners. I read it on the plane on my way to the IDEA World fitness convention this year. Running is as good for your brain as it is for your body.

Thanks to Dr. Jason Karp for the opportunity and for sharing his vast knowledge of running! I will use the material I learned in the course to become a better running coach.

Ready to sign up? You can do it on Run-Fit.com! Tell Jason that Lea sent you by using my discount code to save 15%!


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Lea

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Saturday, August 13, 2016

Chocolate Avocado Raspberry Premier Protein Smoothie + Costco Discount

Hi, Friends! I am a Premier Protein ambassador and I am excited to share with you a new protein shake recipe! This simple three-ingredient chocolate avocado raspberry smoothie has all the flavor and nutrition for a meal-replacement or post-workout refuel snack.

I love Premier's ready-made protein shakes. They are perfect just the way they are right out of the fridge, but I love to experiment with adding additional ingredients.

chocolate avocado raspberry protein shake


Chocolate is my favorite Premier Protein shake favor. Who doesn't love chocolate? I blended avocado with the chocolate shake for healthy fats and creaminess, plus raspberries for flavor and antioxidant benefits. The result? Delicious.



The best news is that Premier Protein shakes are on sale at Costco for $6 off through August 23rd! Get down there to stock up while they are on sale.

Premier Protein on sale at Costco until August 23 2016



Give this recipe a spin (or blend) and let me know what you think! Don't forget to head to Costco this month to stock up on Premier Protein and other healthy ingredients.


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Lea

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Friday, August 12, 2016

Furry Friday Feature

Hi, Friends! Welcome to another edition of Furry Furry Feature! Each month I am thrilled to introduce you to the cutest four-legged runners on the internet and their favorite humans.

meet Rico!
This month I am featuring Margarita from Cupcake Cardio and Rico! I met Margarita last year at the San Antonio Rock 'n' Roll half marathon. We are both on the rock 'n' blog team for the rock 'n' roll marathon series and were in town for the big race. If I recall correctly she had a great race that day and I had the opposite, but a great time was had by all. I love when I get to meet my internet friends in real life (IRL as the kids say). Now if only Ollie and Rico could play together too!

Rock 'n' Blog in San Antonio!


Hi, Margarita! Thanks for joining us. Tell me a little bit about your favorite running partner.

Rico is an eight-year old lab mix. At least that's what it says on his vet papers. Everyone asks but we have no idea. He looks like a dingo.


Where is your favorite place to run with your pooch?

I love rail trails but haven't been to any since moving to Baltimore. The Greenway in Clarksville, Tennessee was a favorite. Right now we're running in our neighborhood and in Patterson Park. We end up at the dog park so it's a favorite.



Have you ever raced with your dog?

Twice. He quit after Mile 3 of a four-miler once. I had to stop and wait about 10 minutes for him to finish as he laid in the grass to the amusement of all the other runners.

The other race we did was a 5K full of other dogs (proceeds went to a local shelter). That's about his max so he was OK with that. It also helped that he could follow all the other dogs.



Tell us about a running moment that made you proud!

Crossing the finish line of my first (and only so far) marathon. NYC 2015.



What running (or life) lesson can we learn from our dogs?

I love that dogs run for the sheer joy of it. It doesn't have to be about chasing goals or squirrels. Sometimes it's just great to run.

Tell us a funny story about Rico.

Rico gets severe anxiety and is pretty much scared of all the things. Planes, helicopters, loud cars, boxes, rain, thunder, clapping, balloons. Anything that isn't silent is pretty much terrifying. Because of this he ends up (all 65 pounds of him) in pretty strange places. I've found him on top of the washing machine, in the linen closet (on a shelf) and in a kitchen cabinet. Under the bed and in the tub are favorite hiding spots.


You can see more of Rico and Margarita on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook!

Have you missed any? You can get caught up on Furry Features here.

Are you a runner who would like to be featured with your favorite furry four-legged running partner? Just fill out this form to be considered for a future furry Friday feature. (Bonus points if you can say that five times fast.)




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Keep Running,

Lea

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Sunday, July 24, 2016

Making a Band: The Rock 'n' Roll Virtual Race Series

I seriously love being a rock 'n' blogger for the rock 'n' roll marathon series. It is such an honor to run their fun races, share my experiences and offer my friends and readers (same thing, right?) a discount code on half marathon and marathon distances in the 2016 series. You can use code LEAGENDERS to save $15 off most marathon and half marathon distances in 2016. Vegas, anyone? They pay for my races, but all opinions are my own and my opinion is that they totally rock.

guitar solo virtual run. #betterwithfriends #rocknrollvirtualrun


The rock 'n' roll marathon is having a really fun virtual race series with medals going on this summer! If you don't live in any of their race cities or if you are looking for an affordable way to run a race, the virtual race series Making a Band, is perfect for you!

A virtual run is a run that you complete in your own town and on your own terms while connecting with others online. It can be done on the streets in your neighborhood, on a track, on the trails, on a treadmill or anywhere else you can dream up. You just put in the miles.

It's a great way to stay motivated throughout the summer. You can download a race bib and even earn medals. Use the hashtag #rnrvirtualrun to connect with the other runners!

There are three rock 'n' roll virtual races happening this summer:


Guitar Solo - June 26th through July 20th
Drum Solo - July 21st - August 14th
Lead Singer - August 15th-September 5th

The races are $29 each and you get an awesome medal for each one and a bonus medal if you complete all three.

The first virtual race of the summer was the Guitar Solo and I was excited to run it to earn the guitar solo medal. Up next is the drum solo medal and this one has a special place in my heart because my husband is a rock drummer!


I was traveling to Los Angeles last week for BlogFest and the IDEA World fitness convention when I realized I had only a few more day to get in my virtual "guitar solo" run. Good thing my fellow rock 'n' bloggers Mat.Miles.Medals and Train with Bain were there too! We decided to run the virtual race on the treadmill at the hotel together! How fun is that? We each put in 3.1 miles at our own pace and the most fun part was filming our air guitar solo at the end.


It's pretty apparent from the video that I have never ever played a guitar, held a guitar or probably even watched a guitar player in action, because....what the heck am I doing with my hand holding the neck? lol. Clearly, that is not how it's done. However, it's all about the fun and we definitely had some laughs while running and filming the video.

You can sign up too to run a virtual race and earn the awesome rock 'n' roll bling!


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Lea

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Sunday, July 17, 2016

Don't Make this Mistake When Attending a Blog Conference (My #1 Takeaway from BlogFest)

I am writing this on my iPad on the plane flying home to Dallas/Fort Worth from an amazing weekend of fun, friendship and fitness in Los Angeles. Want to know what I learned at BlogFest with Sweat Pink? One thing was to write a blog post title that peaks curiosity so people will click on it. You clicked. (Thank you! I love you for that.) But that is not my #1 takeaway from BlogFest...

The lesson is if you can be Charlie's Angles, you be Charlie's Angels. Yoga pose of the day with Mat.Miles.Medals and Train with Bain
If I said it once, I said it once...and it bears repeating now (a Jack White reference for my White Stripes friends). Blog conferences are all about the connections. The magic is in the networking parties, the group workouts, the runs and the impromptu dinners. Sure, the seminar sessions are great, usually fun and informative, but I am more interested in the stories behind the presenters. Want to give me tips on how to use SnapChat to grow my blog? (Snapchat? Isn't that for 12 year olds? Apparently not.) Great, but I want to know more about the work and passion behind the blogger.

Playing at the IDEA World Expo.
For me, attending BlogFest with Sweat Pink in LA at the IDEA World fitness convention was not about the blogging education at all. I've been blogging for a long time (6 years is a life time in the blogging world) and there is not much I haven't heard, read, studied or researched. Not to say that I know everything about blogging, but I know everything about blogging. Just kidding. I just don't walk into blog conferences expecting to be blown away with new blogging knowledge. Of course I pick up new information and tips, but that's not the point. The people are the point. The chance to connect, learn from and motivate each other at a social level is the point. 

The Rock 'n' Blogger Girls! Another supportive community of runners! We are all part of the rock 'n' roll marathon's rock 'n' blog program. 
The funny thing for me is that I am not an overly social person. (That was the understatement of 2016.) But these are my people. I am sitting in a room of 150 gals (and a guy or two, Sweat Pink doesn't discriminate) who are all fitness bloggers and a majority are fitness professionals too. These are people who have similar dreams and goals as me. These are the people that get me. At home I have lovely friends and an amazingly supportive husband. They love me, they support me and cheer me on in all my dreams, but they don't share my love and passion for blogging and fitness. Going to BlogFest gives me the unique opportunity to surround myself with people who do. 

Pre-conference shake out run at the Marriott. I'm behind the camera. 

This was my second year at Blogfest so I got to see some old friends and make some new ones. Right before I left for the conference this year I was looking at a picture that was taken in 2015 at a pre-conference run. When that photo was snapped less than 24 hours after getting off the plane, I barely knew another person. One year later as I was looking at the photo while packing for my 2016 trip, I realized that I had formed meaningful connections with about half of the large group of people in the photo. After meeting at the conference last year we became Facebook friends, so I spent the last 365 days keeping up with their lives, their achievements, their families and their blogs. Those people on that run became my friends, my real friends, not just some faces on social media, but people that I followed and cared about. So when I saw them again this year at the conference, it wasn't just seeing the bloggers I had met once a year ago, it was reconnecting with friends. I hope to forge some of those same connections with the people I met this year. 

The sweet and lovely Christiana from Spilling Coffee and Dropping Things

I finally got to meet my long time blogging friend Tri-ing To Be Athletic. Only click on her blog if you feel like laughing your butt off. She's awesome and hysterical.
I had the chance to connect with the A-mazing Lindsay from ItSurf on Instagram and Fit and Awesome. I won the FitBit I am wearing from her last year, so definitely follow - she has good giveaways! 

My biggest takeaway from BlogFest? The social interactions are the most important part. This is huge coming from the self-proclaimed introvert. If attending BlogFest or any blog convention, don't be tempted to skip the run, the dinners, the workouts or the social parties because they may not be on the official schedule and seem like fluff. They are the most meaningful part of the weekend. Sure, attend the sessions, learn about SEO, how to grow your mailing list, how to take better food photography and be inspired by the celebrity speakers (Jenna Wolfe was awesome), but forging those connections is the biggest win.

Jenna Wolfe of Today Show Fame! Just being BFFs
Jason Karp of Revo2lution Running. I read his book, the Inner Runner, on the plane to LA. It was really good. I knew this running thing was good for my brain too. 
Melissa Hartwig, the creator of Whole 30.
Find your people. Lift them up. Help them. Share with them. Give to them. Receive from them. Be open to them. Surround yourself with people who get you. These are the people who help make you great. BlogFest brings together all the supportive uplifting motivating woman to do that. What's not to love about that?

At the BlogFest Sweat Pink networking event.
Alena of Living Life 365 and Alyse of Fit Approach
The whole crew with Jorge Cruise!


Can't wait to see my sweat pink sisters again next year (In Vegas, baby!). Will I see you there next year? 



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Lea

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Thursday, July 14, 2016

The Secret to Fitness Success

I discovered an amazing fitness fact that pretty much changed my whole life. Ready? Consistency is key. We know that right? The missing piece for me was the realization that 15-20 minutes a day of being consistent was better than a planned one hour workout that I missed a couple times a week.



Can I really reach my goals in only 15-20 minutes a day? A resounding YES! Not to say that I don't ever work out longer, but once I forced myself to work on the consistency part by doing at least 15-20 minutes a day, the results came pouring in. I could never do full (on my toe) pushups. I committed to working on it three times a week, every single week and after three short weeks I could get my chest closer to that floor than I could even believe. That was after three weeks, image the progress after three months or three years. I've been doing knee pushups for ten years with little progress.

You see for the last ten years or so, I planned my weight training schedule according to the Body For Life plan alternating between one hour upper body workouts and lower body workouts on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. This plan is great if you are consistent. If you are not consistent, this training schedule can leave you with working your muscle groups once a week or less. Not great for progress.

By committing to just to pushups, rows and planks for upper body/abs and deadlifts, squats and Kettle bell swings for lower body/abs for only 15-20 minutes a day, my progress and strength went through the roof.

Turns out being consistent with just 15-20 minutes a day is much better than being inconsistent with planned one hour workouts. Who knew? (The whole world, I know.)

Consistent action is the secret to fitness success. But that's no secret, right? It's all in the execution.


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Lea

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Sunday, July 10, 2016

Mid-Year Check In & July Resolutions

Happy July. Can you believe that 2016 is half way over already? Unbelievable, really. I'm heading to Blogfest and the IDEA World fitness convention in Los Angeles on Wednesday and I know that I am going to come home with new ideas, excitement and passion reignited!

I didn't write a new year's resolution post this January. I had some goals in my mind, but I wasn't sure where the year would take me and I was focusing on being happy in the present. I can get overwhelmed when I focus too much on where I want to be, rather than just enjoying where I am. Things were great and progressing nicely, there was no need to put any undue pressure on myself by announcing lofty goals on the internet.

Instead of making a whole life overhaul on January 1st, because I already know from 41 years experience that never works, I made a few small achievable lifestyle changes, named a few goals and made some plans to get me there. ResoGoalPlans, you heard it here first, folks.


MID-YEAR CHECK IN


I am happy with how this year is going so far (politics and social issues aside). In April I started as a bootcamp instructor and running coach over at ComCardio in Hurst. It's really fun and I am enjoying it every step of the way. I am hoping to come home from IDEA World with some new ideas for my class.

I hosted a bootcamp for Premier Protein in June as part of my ambassadorship, which was a blast!


BLOG GOALS

One of my ongoing goals is to grow my Lea Genders Fitness Strength & Running blog and my plan to achieve that goal was to post consistently, three times a week. I started writing all three posts over the weekend and scheduling them out for the week. It takes up most of one of my weekend days to write, edit, take pictures and create graphics. I found once I got into a groove I could easily pump out several posts in one sitting, faster than I could by starting and stopping several times during the week. Now that I am working over at ComCardio a few times a week, I have even less free time in the evenings. It's been working well. I really love writing about health and fitness, so it has been a wonderful creative outlet. I started off kind of slow but I am happy to report that over the last few months, since I have been posting several times a week, I have noticed a small uptick in traffic, so it seems like my efforts are already paying off.

In the beginning of the year I started taking an online Photoshop class to improve my skill set and ultimately, my blog, but with the weekend blogging schedule, I fell off the wagon. I want to find a way to fit it all in, especially since I am paying the monthly fee for the online access to Adobe Photoshop.

LIFE STYLE CHANGES

One of my small lifestyle change goals was to walk (or run) at least 10k steps a day recorded on my FitBit. I am thrilled to report that six months in, I have never missed a day. Most days it wasn't too challenging to achieve, but I did have a few grumpy miles on the treadmill at 9pm because I wasn't quite at my goal yet. My husband is a huge supporter and would often walk with me after dinner to make sure I got in my daily steps. He made it a lot easier to achieve my goal because he was willing to do it it with me. Ollie, of course, would never pass up a chance to walk or run, so his enthusiasm helped as well.

Ollie's enthusiasm for running

Another lifestyle change was to cut out alcohol for awhile. I didn't drink any alcohol from January through June (I had wine for the first time in 2016 while in California for the San Diego Rock 'n' Roll half marathon). I generally find it is easier to maintain my weight, I feel better and have more energy when I cut out alcohol. Even though it is nice to relax with a glass of wine, most of the time the negatives outweigh the benefits for me. Treating alcohol as an occasional treat works well for me and my lifestyle. I realized during my five months without alcohol that I didn't miss it.

I also planned to cut out screen time and social media scrolling/checking, but have failed miserably on that front, so I am planning to reevaluate and reset those goals for my mid-year resolutions.


MID-YEAR RESOLUTIONS


I wanted to think and write about my mid year resolutions before I went to IDEA World fitness convention, because I know I will come home with big goals, so I wanted to make sure I was covering the basics before I filled my head with new goals and dreams.

LIFESTYLE CHANGES

On the weekdays after I get home from work, I usually work out (or teach my class), eat dinner, clean up after dinner and by that time it is usually 8:30 PM. My habit is to sit on the couch (with my husband) in front of the TV while scrolling social media on my iPad before I go to bed. Besides the wasted time, there are potential negative effects on my sleep patterns from staring at a screen right before bed.

I am not suggesting that every minute of my day needs to be hyper-productive, sometimes down time is exactly what I need, but I can definitely use that time more productively in the evenings. I have a stack of health, fitness and self-improvement books that are unread, plus I am perpetually behind on my Run-Fit certification. My lifestyle change goal for the end of the year is to turn off electronics by 9:00PM and spend that last hour of my evening reading or relaxing doing something that does not involve electronics.

BLOG GOALS

My goal is to learn Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign. My plan to reach my goal is to start up my online Photoshop classes again. I used to take the online class with my best friend once a week for an hour. Over time we both got busy and it fell off our radar. I will also use Photoshop more in order to practice. I tend to revert to Canva or PicMonkey for blog graphics because it is easier for me and I can pump out graphics a little faster. By using these other programs I don't give myself the opportunity to learn-by-doing in Photoshop.

I also want to spend more time learning my DSLR camera. I figured out the basics, but I want to improve my photography and photo editing skills. I signed up for Skillshare last year and never took a single online class.

FITNESS GOALS

My goal is to remain consistent with my strength training. I have discovered that committing to just 15-20 minutes a day of strength training has pushed my progress and results through the roof. Turns out being consistent with just 15-20 minutes a day is much better than being inconsistent with planned one hour workouts. Who knew? (The whole world, I know.) I have been thrilled with my progress so I plan keep the momentum going for the rest of the year.

What about you? How is your year going? Do you make mid-year resolutions or re-evaluate your goals through out the year?



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Keep Running,

Lea

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