Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Tuesday Tails Furry Feature: Fueled by Carrots

Hi, friends! We've been doing Furry Friday Feature around here for years where I introduce you the furriest four-legged runners on the internet. It's a popular feature and one of my favorite posts of the month.

As you probably know, I also blog over on Lea Genders Fitness. I'd love if you would check it out and subscribe to my strength & running blog. I publish new posts every Monday, Wednesday and Friday on LGF.

It was too hard to promote two blog posts, one from each site, on Fridays. Since I wasn't posting on either site on Tuesday, I decided to move Furry Friday Feature to Tuesday.

This, of course, required I changed the name. I asked some of my fellow fitness bloggers and dog lovers for advice on a name and I landed on Tuesday Tails Furry Feature thanks to a combination of ideas from my friends Rita Z Fitness and Enjoying The Course.

So, welcome to the first edition of Tuesday Tails Furry Feature! I am excited to introduce you to Vicki, Sorcha and Anam from www.fueledbycarrots.com.



Tell us a little bit about your favorite running partner.

I have two four-legged running partners, Sorcha a border collie mix that is five years old and Anam a border collie that is turning four in September.



Where is your favorite place to run with your pooch?

We have some great wooded trails near where I live in Houston that have ponds adjacent to them. I like taking them on the trails especially the ones with the ponds so the girls can cool off.

Tell us about a running moment that made you proud.

I just finished my 1st marathon in January!


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

Life is too short to be serious all the time and not do the things that we love... take time to smell the roses.



Do you want to tell us anything else about you or running with your dog?

Sorcha could seriously be the  next beggin strips dog, she is a whole different personality when that bag gets opened.

Anam is always ready to go for a run, when she sees me in my running clothes, she races for the door.


You can follow Vicki and her four-legged friends on Fueled By Carrots, on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook!

Do you run with your dog? Want to be featured with your favorite four-legged running partner? Fill out this form for a chance to be featured in a future blog post. 


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Keep Running,

Lea

Does your running partner have four legs

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Coach Lea
I am a NASM personal trainer and RRCA adult distance running coach that specializes in strength training for runners. I offer in-person training in the Shredshed, online training and Fit to Run bootcamps. If you are interested in a more in-depth running or strength training plan, please contact me. Have questions? I'd love to help. 

Are you a Dallas/Fort Worth local? Join us for my free Saturday morning bootcamps

While I am a certified personal trainer, I am not your personal trainer. Since I don't know your exercise abilities, injury background or medical history, please see your doctor before beginning any new exercise program. This is an opinion blog. No information in this blog is intended to be taken as medical advice or prescription. Please see your doctor and/or registered dietitian for any health concerns.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Meet Your New Nutrition Coach

I'm certified! (No, I didn't say certifiable.) I just completed the Precision Nutrition level 1 sports and exercise nutrition course. I purchased the materials last October and studied regularly until Thanksgiving. The week of Thanksgiving I decided I needed a break from it (you know, after a month of studying. lol) and took a week off. Except I didn't pick that text book back up until March.

I just couldn't find the time or energy to devote to it. I have a full-time job, two blogs, wifely duties and a spotless house (just kidding about that last one). These things happen. It was important to me and I knew I needed to find the motivation and accountability so I signed up for a study accountability partner online. My accountability buddy was one chapter ahead of me in the text, so we had a call to talk about our goals and I agreed to complete two chapters in one week (instead of my normal one a week) in order to catch up with her.

I completed those two chapters in that first week back. It was all the momentum I needed to propel me through the course. Six weeks later I passed the certification test.

studying with Ollie

WHY NUTRITION COACHING?


As soon as I got my NASM personal trainer certification I realized that training wasn't enough to make an big impact in people's lives. Exercise is important and we all need it, but to make real lasting change we must get our nutrition and lifestyle habits on track. I knew what worked for me nutritionally, but I wanted a deeper understanding of nutrition science so I could help other people.

I was drawn to Precision Nutrition because half the course is nutrition science and the other half is coaching. Other courses teach the science but not the skills to apply it in the real world. It's a major piece of the puzzle that many certifications miss.

WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN NUTRITION COACH, NUTRITIONIST AND REGISTERED DIETITIAN?


Big difference. Different states have different laws but in Texas there is no licensing requirement to give general nutrition advice. That means anyone can call themselves a nutrition coach or nutritionist without a license, training or certification.

I took this course so that I can help my clients with nutrition advice that is based in science. Any trainer can give advice based on their own experiences, but I wanted to provide my clients with broader more educated advice, so that I could be more effective and get results for my clients. I am not a Registered Dietitian. I am not licensed or qualified to prescribe a diet to diagnose, treat or cure any disease or eating disorder in a clinical setting.

Most of my clients don't need that. If they do, I will refer out to a RD.

As a nutrition coach I:
  • Guide clients to choose nutrient-rich foods in proper portions for their individual goals, lifestyle and preferences.
  • Educate clients about the benefits of each of the macronutrients; protein, fats and carbohydrates.
  • Help clients wade through the vast amount of nutrition information to determine the best strategy to meet their individual goals.
  • Help clients choose the supplements that might enhance their healthy lifestyle.
  • Educate clients on nutrition and help them with strategies to improve their eating habits, body composition and exercise performance.
  • Help clients understand the role of nutrition as it relates to exercise performance and recovery.
  • Help clients manage their weight and meet their body composition goals through nutrition and exercise.
  • Present nutritional science in an easy to understand way.

I won't be giving out meal plans, I will be helping clients learn how to prepare their own meal plans based on their goals, lifestyle and preferences. 

TOP TAKE-AWAYS FROM PRECISION NUTRITION


THERE IS NO ONE "BEST DIET."


Maybe I dived in hoping I was going to learn the secret formula for the perfect body. What was confirmed (that I already knew) is that there is no secret, no best diet, no magic formula. We are all so different and the best coaches have an open mind regarding different diet strategies. There is not one best diet for every person, no magic macronutrient split. Nutrition coaching is about working with each individual client to determine the strategy that works best for them based on their goals, lifestyle and activity levels. Determining the best diet for each individual requires experimenting, tracking and outcome-based decision making. 

It is a process that the client and coach collaborate on together. The Coach provides the guidance, structure, support, accountability and the client provides the feedback to determine the best practice. The course provides options for different strategies for different goals as well as ways to overcome obstacles and challenges. 

FOOD IS FUEL, BUT IT IS SO MUCH MORE.


You hear fitness experts say it all the time, food is fuel. Yes, it's true that we need good nutrition to fuel our healthy lifestyles, but food is so much more than fuel. Let's not forget about food as way to connect with people, food for enjoyment and food to celebrate our cultures. To look at it in such a cold and detached way takes the fun and enjoyment out of food. We have to give ourselves permission to enjoy food as part of our healthy lifestyle. 


SUSTAINABLE HABITS ARE THE FOUNDATION OF A HEALTHY LIFESTYLE


The Precision Nutrition coaching methodology is habit-based nutrition. Have you ever tried to change all your bad habits on one day, like on New Year's day? How did that work out for you? It usually doesn't. I'm as guilty as any. When we break down our goals into small sustainable habits executed over time we can make lifestyle changes that produce major results that last a lifetime. 


IS NUTRITION COACHING FOR YOU? 


Nutrition and Lifestyle Coaching is habit-based training to improve all areas of your life. Nutrition & Lifestyle Coaching is for you if:

  • You know you need to make changes but it feels overwhelming and you don't know where to start.
  • You are confused by all the conflicting health information on the internet. You're not sure of the correct path to follow.
  • You already know what you "should" be doing but you are having trouble staying consistent.
  • You tend to have an all-or-nothing mindset. You're either on your diet or off.
  • You tried on your own (maybe many times) and had initial success but either stalled in your progress or gained the weight back. You're ready to get results once and for all.
  • You would like professional guidance with your weight loss and health goals.
  • You are committed to making a lasting change.


I loved the Precision Nutrition course and I highly recommend it. I laughed out loud several times in the text. Who doesn't love a science text that references A Confederacy of Dunces? While there were many times that  the content was dense and abstract, the material was presented in such a way that even my marketing brain was able to absorb and understand. I kind of wish I would have taken this course before my personal trainer certification. A lot of the information was the same (energy systems, etc.) but presented in much easier to digest (pun intended) and entertaining way. 



Have you ever worked with a nutrition coach? Have you heard of Precision Nutrition? Are you interested in coaching?


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Keep Running,

Lea

Does your running partner have four legs

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Saturday, April 8, 2017

5 Reasons to Run With a Running Group

This event was sponsored by Premier Protein. I am a Premier Protein ambassador. All opinions are my own. 

A couple of weeks ago I partnered with the local running store, Fort Worth Running Company and Premier Protein to provide tasty protein drinks and bars to the runners of Fort Worth after their Monday night social run. I am a Premier Protein ambassador and these types of events give me the opportunity to get out in the community and connect with my fellow fitness enthusiasts.

Fort Worth Running Company

Thank you, Premier Protein!


I had so much fun at Fort Worth Running Company and it reminded me why running with a group can be so great. I am usually a solo runner and I tend to forget what I am missing out on when I run alone.

5 REASONS TO RUN WITH A RUNNING GROUP


Accountability


When you sign up to run with a regular group you have people counting on you to show up. If you miss a workout, someone will probably notice. Besides, ever get home from work on Monday night and not feel like running? Yeah, me too. Having a fun group of people waiting on you sometimes is all the motivation you need to get out the door.

Community


A running group is a fantastic way to make like-minded friends in your community. Even if your immediate friends and family don't run, you can instantly connect with people who are as crazy dedicated as you. 


Support


The running community is one of the most supportive communities I've ever seen. It doesn't matter if you run fast or slow, long or short distances, if you run 10 miles a week or 50 miles a week; runners all come together to support and cheer each other on. You never have to worry if you can keep up or if you'll fit in. When you're surrounded by runners you're sure to connect with someone at your fitness level or someone who will help you elevate to the next level. 

Growth


Speaking of next level: Want to run faster? Then you need to run faster. Running with group can be a great way to join up with slightly faster runners to challenge yourself a bit. If you always run alone, you may be tempted to always run at your comfortable pace. Since groups have runners of all paces and abilities you can run part of your run with the fast guys and then slow down as needed, there will always be someone around. Combine faster runners with some friendly competition and this can be the catalyst for growth.

Fun


Don't forget! This running thing is supposed to be fun. If you ever start to lose the joy in running, a group can be just what you need to bounce back. At Fort Worth Running Company everyone was laughing, joking and having a great time. Running with a group can feel more like social hour than work out hour. Join a social running group to make new friends and catch up with old ones. 

After the run, the runners enjoyed Premier protein shakes and bars. Premier Protein generously provided prizes for a raffle giveaway after the run. Some runners went home with gift bags, a tub of Protein powder, a yoga mat and a 4-pack of shakes.

The drawing! 

The winners!
If you live in Fort Worth, I encourage you to sign up to run with Fort Worth Running Company's free Monday night social run. If you are not in Fort Worth, seek out your local running store or group for social runs. Find your people.

Premier Protein's 2017 messaging is The Day is Yours (#thedayisyours). Make the most of each day. I can't imagine a better way of making the most of a Monday night than meeting up with some local friends for a run.

Thank you so much to Fort Worth Running Company for having me and to Premier Protein for the fuel! Everyone had a great time.

If you want to sign up for the next social run at Fort Worth Running Company follow their Facebook page.

Fort Worth Running Company Facebook
Premier Protein Facebook



Do you run with a group? Hey, did I mention I was interviewed on Accuro as part of their Expert Interview Series? Check it out here! 

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Keep Running,

Lea

Ways to (legally) stalk me:




Follow my blog with Bloglovin

I am a NASM personal trainer and RRCA adult distance running coach that specializes in strength training for runners. I offer in-person training in the Shredshed, online training and Fit to Run bootcamps. If you are interested in a more in-depth running or strength training plan, please contact me. Have questions? I'd love to help. 
Are you a Dallas/Fort Worth local? Join us for my free Saturday morning bootcamps
While I am a certified personal trainer, I am not your personal trainer. Since I don't know your exercise abilities, injury background or medical history, please see your doctor before beginning any new exercise program. This is an opinion blog. No information in this blog is intended to be taken as medical advice or prescription. Please see your doctor and/or registered dietitian for any health concerns.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

What You Can When You Can - Dallas Rock 'n' Roll 5K Edition

This post may contain affiliate links. This means if you click on a link in this post and make a purchase, I make a small percentage of the sale with no additional cost to you. No one is getting rich here, it just helps with the running (pun intended) of this blog. 

One of my favorite fitness books that has become my fitness and coaching philosophy is What You Can When You Can. The idea behind What You Can When You Can (or #WYCWYC) is that we are human, no one is perfect and all that any of us can do is the best we can in the moment. It's about doing the best we can while not being too hard on ourselves when we fall short.

Once we let go of the idea of a perfect healthy lifestyle, we are free to live a flawed, beautiful, imperfect healthy lifestyle. It's not about making poor choices all the time, but making the best choices possible in the moment. Sometimes the best choice possible is not the perfect choice, but that's OK because we are not supposed to be perfect. I call it the common sense approach to a healthy lifestyle, because life is always going to get in the way. All we can do is the best we can.

If you tell yourself you must workout for an hour a day six days a week and never eat a morsel of unhealthy food ever again, you are doomed to fail from the start. There will always be family emergencies, late hours at work, birthday parties, happy hours and stresses of life. But if you go into it with a plan to be active and move most days of the week and make the best choices possible, you allow yourself the flexibility to live a healthy lifestyle even when life's circumstances aren't cooperating with your plans. You never can fail, you are always just moving forward.

So when I was registered to run the Dallas Rock 'n' Roll half marathon but my doctor told me that I shouldn't be running long distances due to the stress it was adding to my injured shoulder, I took my doctor's advice and my own. I can't run the half marathon but I can still run the 5K. It's what I can do.

I'll admit it's annoying. I wanted to run the half, but it's not smart to run a half when your doctor tells you not to. I am on the the Rock 'n' Blog team for the Rock 'n' Roll marathon series and I still wanted to experience race weekend. Was I frustrated I couldn't run the half? Absolutely, but the 5K is what I can, when I can. I can still run a race, go to all the meetups and experience race weekend. It's not exactly what I want, but it's the best I can do for now.

In the end my race weekend experience was not that different than if I ran the half marathon. Honestly, there was just a little less suffering on the course. Hah. My weekend was full of selfies, friends, meet up and medals. What's not to love and celebrate about that?

SELFIES

When you drive to a race alone you end up taking more selfies than what is probably appropriate. Why is my FlipBelt on my shoulder instead of around my waist, you ask? Well after the race I had to use the porta-potty and I kept having this terrible vision of it dropping in the toilet by mistake. Gross. Better safe than sorry. TMI? Sorry.


Me and some cattle downtown in Dallas, no biggie.


Me and the Geico Gecko at the health and fitness expo. See, always making friends. (Proof that I don't only post flattering pictures of myself.)


FRIENDS

One of my favorite parts of running is the community of runners. I ran into and met up with friends from work, social media and beyond. 

Running friends are the best. They get me. 


Post 5K with Andrew from Smart Watermelon and Briana from Matmilesmedals.com





MEETUPS

There was a #werunsocial meet up at the expo on Saturday after the race that was really fun. We Run Social organizes and hosts meet-ups at races all over the country. They are an amazing, welcoming all-inclusive group. Everyone is welcome to join! As a Premier Protein Ambassador I arranged to bring some Premier Protein goodies to giveaway at the event. My weekend was the epitome of Premier Protein's 2017 messaging "The Day is Yours." 

Congratulations to the Premier Protein gift bag winners!


Great minds think alike with the We Run Social Crew.


I am so awkward. They say "be silly." I wave. Hah. 


MEDALS

Even though I couldn't run the half, I was thrilled to walk away with a shiny new medal for finishing my 5K


I ran home and added it to my collection.




It was a fun flat fast (say that 5 times fast) course and in the end I was thrilled I got to experience race weekend and I didn't let what I couldn't do get in the way of what I could do.


Want to run a half and full marathon with the Rock 'n' Roll marathon series in 2017? Use my discount code to save $15!





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Keep Running,

Lea

Does your running partner have four legs

Ways to (legally) stalk me:




Follow my blog with Bloglovin

I am a NASM personal trainer and RRCA adult distance running coach that specializes in strength training for runners. I offer in-person training in the Shredshed, online training and Fit to Run bootcamps. If you are interested in a more in-depth running or strength training plan, please contact me. Have questions? I'd love to help. 

Are you a Dallas/Fort Worth local? Join us for my free Saturday morning bootcamps
While I am a certified personal trainer, I am not your personal trainer. Since I don't know your exercise abilities, injury background or medical history, please see your doctor before beginning any new exercise program. This is an opinion blog. No information in this blog is intended to be taken as medical advice or prescription. Please see your doctor and/or registered dietitian for any health concerns.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Healthy Mint Chocolate Protein Shamrock Shake

It's almost St. Patrick's day and while some people will be enjoying green beer and others will be hitting the drive through for a seasonal Shamrock Shake, I decided to take it to the kitchen to celebrate St. Paddy's Day with a healthy Mint Chocolate Shamrock Protein Shake. It's the perfect refuel drink for after your St. Patrick's day 5K. 

I am compensated as a Premier Protein ambassador. They keep me stocked with protein but all opinions are my own. 


Healthy Mint Chocolate Shamrock Protein Shake


Handful of fresh spinach
1 frozen sliced banana
1/4 tsp of peppermint extract
1 scoop of Premier Protein Chocolate protein powder
Dark chocolate chips (optional)




Add all ingredients to blender. Add water as needed to mix. 

That max fill line is just a suggestion, right? Hah.





Hope you enjoy St. Paddy's Day this year and even though Ollie's not Irish, he joined in on the fun.

Ollie wins. Hands down.


How are you celebrating St. Paddy's Day?

Like this post? Please consider sharing or saving to your favorite recipe board on Pinterest. You can learn more about Premier Protein on their website or on Facebook.



Keep Running,

Lea

I am a NASM personal trainer and RRCA adult distance running coach that specializes in strength training for runners. I offer in-person training in the Shredshed, online training and Fit to Run bootcamps. If you are interested in a more in-depth running or strength training plan, please contact me. Have questions? I'd love to help. 
Are you a Dallas/Fort Worth local? Join us for my free Saturday morning bootcamps
While I am a certified personal trainer, I am not your personal trainer. Since I don't know your exercise abilities, injury background or medical history, please see your doctor before beginning any new exercise program. This is an opinion blog. No information in this blog is intended to be taken as medical advice or prescription. Please see your doctor and/or registered dietitian for any health concerns.

Does your running partner have four legs

Ways to (legally) stalk me:




Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

You Take The Good, You Take the Bad, You Take Them Both and There You Have....

Hi, Friends.

You take the good, you take the bad, you take them both and there you have the facts of life. Am I aging myself? Tootie? Anyone?

Things have been going pretty well, but as things go in life, there have been some struggles that go along with it.

GOOD: ROCK 'N' BLOG 


I am thrilled to announce that I was accepted onto the Rock 'n' Blog team for the Rock 'n' Roll marathon series for the third year. My three passions in life are the three Rs: Running, Writing and Rock 'n' Roll.

This race series is a perfect match for me and I have had a blast running all over the country including San Diego, Vegas and San Antonio. The good news for you is that I have a discount code that that will work for most of the half marathon and marathon distances in the series. Will I see you at any races this year?

rock n roll marathon series 2017 discount code for $15 off

BAD: DOCTOR SAID TO SCALE BACK ON RUNNING


Two days after I was accepted into Rock 'n' Blog I had a doctor's appointment to discuss the results of my MRI. I hurt my shoulder months ago and I really needed to figure out what is going on. I haven't been able to lift weights since July. The doctor said that the swinging arm motion of running isn't doing my injured shoulder any favors. He didn't say I couldn't run, but he told me to listen to my body. If pain levels persists over a 3 (on a scaled from 1-10) during or after running, then I need to scale back. 

He said if my shoulder hurt after 3 miles then try running 2 or 1.5 to find the threshold that is tolerable. He called it the common sense approach for athletes with non-critical injuries continuing their sport. Ugh. Stupid common sense. I haven't been running for months in hopes that I could start training again in 2017. This isn't looking good for half marathon training.

I decided not run the Dallas Rock 'n' Roll half marathon because 13.1 miles probably isn't a good idea for my shoulder. I am running the 5K instead. I could be disappointed or I could be happy that I have the opportunity to have fun and earn a medal with the 5K too.  I'm choosing happy.

GOOD: MRI NO TEAR | NO SURGERY


The good news is the doctor suspected I might have a rotator cuff tear but the MRI showed tendinosis, which he said is scar tissue. He said I definitely don't need surgery, which is very good news.

He described my injury like a pothole. Once the pothole (my shoulder) was damaged, the city (my body) sent out workers to repair, but before it could be repaired, cars drove over it again,* reinforcing the damage. Instead of trying to fix the pothole (my shoulder) over and over again, the city just threw down some wood (scar tissue) over the pothole. It didn't solve the core problem, but provided a temporary solution. He said we need to break up the scar tissue and do physical therapy to induce healing again. Let's get those damn workers back on the job, maybe I can be healthy again to run some end of year races, like Vegas!

(*I don't know where all those cars were coming from driving over my pothole 'cause I haven't done $hit since July except some infrequent running short distances and teaching bootcamp.)


BAD: 6 WEEKS OF PHYSICAL THERAPY


6 weeks of physical therapy isn't bad in itself, it's much better than surgery, it's just that I have high deductible insurance, so 6 weeks of therapy will be very expensive. I am not going to worry about it and try to work it out with my therapist so that I can do most of the therapy on my own and just check in every once in awhile, rather than going into the office 2 or 3 times a week. I will just have to be extra diligent about making sure I do the prescribed exercises on my own at home. 


BAD: HAVEN'T BEEN STUDYING NUTRITION


I am going to start with the bad for this last one so I can end of a positive note. I mentioned I was studying for my Precision Nutrition certification, but I fell off the study wagon hard over the holidays. Wait, is it March? Where does the time go? I literally could have completed the course by now if I had stayed on track.


GOOD: I AM BACK ON TRACK & HAVE AN ACCOUNTABILITY PARTNER 


I connected with another student in the program to be my accountability partner. We talked last week on the phone and discussed what our goals are for the week. I am going to finish and test two more chapters by next Monday. I've already started the routine of studying again and feel good about my progress in this short amount of time. I think with my accountability partner I'll whiz through the rest of the course. I think I can finish in 11 or 12 more weeks. Science is hard y'all. I have a marketing brain.

That's what is going on with me. What's up with you? If you haven't already, I invite you to visit me (and subscribe) over on Lea Genders Fitness where I write 3 new articles every week, including one workout post. Please join me at www.leagendersfitness.com for fitness, running and workout motivation!


Keep Running,


I am a NASM personal trainer and RRCA adult distance running coach that specializes in strength training for runners. I offer in-person training in the Shredshed, online training and Fit to Run bootcamps. If you are interested in a more in-depth running or strength training plan, please contact me. Have questions? I'd love to help. 

Are you a Dallas/Fort Worth local? Join us for my free Saturday morning bootcamps.

While I am a certified personal trainer, I am not your personal trainer. Since I don't know your exercise abilities, injury background or medical history, please see your doctor before beginning any new exercise program. This is an opinion blog. No information in this blog is intended to be taken as medical advice or prescription. Please see your doctor and/or registered dietitian for any health concerns.


Does your running partner have four legs

Ways to (legally) stalk me:




Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Friday, March 3, 2017

Furry Friday Feature: Running Wisdom From Our Furry Friends

Hi, Friends. It's Furry Friday Feature and today I am doing a roundup of the running wisdom from our furry friends. When I do Furry Friday Feature interviews I always ask: 

What life lessons can we learn from our four-legged running partners?


Turns out those furry fellows can teach us a lot. Here are the best answers from the past couple of years. 

RUN TO CONNECT


The most important thing we can learn from our pets, is to slow down and connect. She forces me to engage in conversations with other dog owners. I have met some amazing people, that I might not have otherwise. My dog has taught me many things, but most of all she has opened my heart to my true self.


NEVER GIVE UP


Ellie has actually taught me two very important lessons about running: First, you've almost always got a little bit more to give. She lets me know when she's had enough and would like to stop, but no matter what she almost always seems to have a little bit "left in the tank" for us to finish up our run. She doesn't quit on her partner.
www.runbearrun.com

Ellie is smart.


RESTING IS MANDATORY


Second, and probably more important, when you need to stop, you need to stop. She is completely unashamed about plopping down in the shade right in the middle of a run if she's just plain out of gas. And guess what? It doesn't ruin her day. She's still happy. That's taught me to enjoy the process more, as opposed to having an "all or nothing" attitude.

LIVE IN THE MOMENT


Live in the moment. There are a thousand little things that trip me up during the day...and much of it is either dwelling on the past or worrying about something that hasn't happened. Dogs just do the deal and are happy to be around their people.


RUNNING MAKES LIFE BETTER


Lily would be the first to tell you that no matter what else is going in your life, a run always makes things better..
fitnessfortheregularguy.blogspot.com/


RUNNING REDUCES STRESS


The dogs we run with are usually the most stressed dogs in the shelter. When they are out running you can watch the stress disappear. They are just dogs doing what dogs love to do. People need to also find something they love to do (for me it's running) and let themselves escape the day to day stresses of life for a while.
www.facebook.com/gcanimalcare/



I hope you enjoyed this special edition of Furry Friday Feature! Give your favorite four-legged running buddy a belly rub from me!

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Keep Running,

Lea

Does your running partner have four legs

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Tuesday, February 21, 2017

7 BENEFITS OF A HOME GYM & CARDIO INTERVAL WORKOUT FROM MATRIX FITNESS

This post is sponsored by Matrix Fitness. All opinions are my own. If I hated it, I'd tell you. 

I love my home gym, better known as the ShredShed. It is quite literally a shed remodeled into a gym in my backyard. If you have some extra room in your garage or a spare room in your home you can enjoy the benefits of a home gym too.


The Benefits of a Home Gym


SHORT COMMUTE


If you have trouble finding the time to go the gym, part of the problem may be the commute. If your gym is even just 10 minutes away, you need at least 20 minutes to get there and back. When you have a home gym you have a short commute. With just a quick walk to the garage or spare room you can knock out a quick workout. The cardio Sprint 8® workout from Matrix Fitness I share below can be completed in the same amount of time you would have spent in your car. 

NO WAITING


With a home gym you never have to wait for a treadmill again. You have a life. Your workout needs to be as quick and efficient as possible so you can get back to the business of living your life, aka scrolling Pinterest. Maybe it's the middle child in me but I'm tired of sharing, I like to have my own things.

NO SHARING SWEAT


Speaking of sharing...When you have your own gym equipment at home you never have to wipe other people's sweat off the machines and equipment. I never want to wipe a stranger's sweat off of a treadmill console again.

PRIVACY


In my home gym I never have to worry about other people. I am comfortable enough to get in and do my workout on my own terms without worrying about who may be watching. I can take unlimited mirror selfies without fear of judgement. (See:Instagram)

NO RULES


When you have your own gym, you make the rules. You can wear what you want, drop the weights and grunt as loud as you want (not that I do that, as far as you know). I might show up in my home gym with no shoes, in a sports bra and my music way too loud. As long as my neighbors aren't complaining, I'm good.

YOUR OWN EQUIPMENT


I think of having a home gym is like living in an apartment or owning a home. When you go to the gym and pay a monthly membership fee you are essentially renting the equipment. You can buy the specific equipment that you need one time and use it forever or you can pay a monthly fee to to have access to equipment in the gym. We built the ShredShed a couple years ago and have been enjoying the freedom of not paying a monthly gym membership. It's not for everyone and sure, there is some up-front investment required, but in the long run we are enjoying the benefits of having our own home gym. Now I just need to install a pool and sauna. Hah.

I believe in investing in quality equipment that is built to last. Check out Matrix Fitness to see the newest line up of home gym equipment. Matrix Fitness is the fastest growing commercial fitness equipment provider and they have now launched a line of luxury home gym equipment designed to give you the best possible workout at home. They're the best in durability, performance and functionality. 


YOUR OWN ENTERTAINMENT


In your home gym you can put on any show you want to watch and play any music. You can check in on Facebook during your recovery intervals to tell all 700 of your friends know how hard you are working. Matrix Fitness believes that if you are entertained while you are working out you are more likely to stick with it and achieve your goals. These treadmills have apps on the console that are available to use while working out.

SPRINT 8 CARDIO WORKOUT FROM MATRIX FITNESS TREADMILLS


Take your High Intensity Interval Training to the next level. As a personal trainer and a running coach I recommend that runners include 1-2 HIIT workouts in their weekly training plan. You can use this short and effective workout from Matrix Fitness to increase your fitness. Sprint 8 is available on Matrix treadmills to help you lose fat and boost energy. Try this 1-2 times a week for 8 weeks to help with your fat loss goals as well as improvements in running speed and efficiency. 



Always warm up before beginning a high intensity workout. This workout calls for three minutes, take longer if needed. 

Following the RPE (rate of perceived exertion) chart below your 30 second sprint intervals should be between a 7-9 RPE depending on your fitness level. The 90 second active recovery interval should be a brisk walk or slow jog at a RPE of 4-6. 




Do you have a home gym or are you considering it? Check out Matrix Fitness for their line of luxury home treadmills with all the bells and whistles. In the meantime, try out this HIIT Sprint 8 workout and let me know what you think! 


Like this post? Please consider sharing.


Keep Running,

Lea


I am a NASM personal trainer and RRCA adult distance running coach that specializes in strength training for runners. I offer in-person training in the Shredshed, online training and Fit to Run bootcamps. If you are interested in a more in-depth running or strength training plan, please contact me. Have questions? I'd love to help. 

Are you a Dallas/Fort Worth local? Join us for my free Saturday morning bootcamps

While I am a certified personal trainer, I am not your personal trainer. Since I don't know your exercise abilities, injury background or medical history, please see your doctor before beginning any new exercise program. This is an opinion blog. No information in this blog is intended to be taken as medical advice or prescription. Please see your doctor and/or registered dietitian for any health concerns.

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Saturday, February 11, 2017

6 Week Macro Cycling Shred

I just finished up Cori Lefkowith's Redefining Strength 6 week macro cycling shred program. Before I tell you how I did (spoiler alert: I could have done so much better) I'll explain macro cycling.

But first...this post contains affiliate links. That means if you decide to purchase Cori's program using the links in this blog I make a small percentage of the sale with no additional cost to you. No one is getting rich here, it just helps with the running (pun intended) of this blog. I purchased Cori's program with my own cold hard cash (OK, I used a credit card). All opinions are my own. If I hated it, I'd tell you. 

Macros or macronutrients are the fats, proteins and carbohydrates that make up our food. All foods are made up of some combination of these macronutrients. Macro cycling is varying the % of calories that come from each these macronutrients so that some weeks you will have moderate protein, fat and carbs and other weeks higher protein and fat and lower carbs. I like macro cycling because you get some of the benefits of a lower carb diet (never extremely low on this plan) without the drawbacks of low carb, because you never stay in a cycle for more than two weeks.

Here is an example with just one food item for illustrative purposes. I ate three eggs this morning and entered them into MyFitnessPal. Just looking at the eggs I entered, you can see that 2% of the calories from my eggs came from carbohydrates, 70% from fat and 28% from protein.



Remember this is just one food item. When you enter all the food you eat in the MyFitnessPal app it will calculate the total daily macros for you. The goals listed in the image are from the final lowest carb phase with only 20% from carbohydrates. If you run a lot or do any kind of endurance exercise you may find this too low even for a two week period. Since my shoulder injury, I am not doing a lot of high intensity or endurance workouts so I was able to maintain this number relatively easily before cycling back to a higher carb intake. This phase is not intended to last more than two weeks. Always listen to your body first.

Let me tell you how I did on the macro cycling shred program.

The Good


I lost 8 lbs in six weeks and honestly, I didn't really have 8 pounds to lose. I gained a few vanity pounds over the holidays and I lost those and more. I'm good.

There may be other factors at play here in addition to the macro cycling: I stopped drinking wine and eating out. I didn't do either of those things excessively beforehand, just a few glasses of wine over the weekends and would eat out 1-3 times per week. I am sure these changes also played some role in my success.

But I will also point out that I hurt my shoulder eons ago so I haven't been exercising as much or as intensely as usual. In addition, during those 6 weeks I went out of town for a wedding and ate out every meal for one day. Everything seems to have balanced out nicely regardless.

The Bad


I didn't do a great job in hitting the targeted macros at all. I thought I would just be able to make a few tweaks to my normally healthy meals and I would magically hit the numbers. Turns out I actually have to work at it. Go figure.

I was shocked in the first two weeks at how few calories were coming from protein, even though I eat protein-centric meals three times a day like eggs, chicken, fish, etc. It seemed like during the whole program I was always over my percentages on fats (I love my morning eggs) and under on protein. I was pretty good at hitting the carbohydrates through the cycles.

I am a Premier Protein ambassador, so in addition to adding plain Greek yogurt and cottage cheese as snacks for additional protein, I started using more of the Premier Protein ready-made and powdered protein drinks to help hit my numbers.

Afternoon snack of banana Premier Protein, plain Greek yogurt and strawberries YUM.


During every two week cycle it would take me 3-4 days just to get even close to in-range. It took me a few days to kind of figure out where I would land for the day and then I would make adjustments the next day. I am pretty sure I never hit the macros exactly. I can do much better.


Lessons Learned


My big takeaway for success in the program: Plan ahead.

Enter what you plan to eat into MyFitnessPal the day before. Plan out every meal and go ahead and enter them all in as if you already ate them. Where did the macro percentages fall? Did you hit the targets? Make adjustments as needed. My mistake was that I was entering as I ate throughout the day, but then if my macros were off it was too late to do anything about it. I don't know why this didn't occur to me until the very end of the six week program even though Cori repeatedly said, "PLAN AHEAD!" I thought I was planning ahead because I had an idea in my head what I would probably eat that day. Wrong.

My husband is the cook in the family, Chef Boy Russ G, as he likes to be called (hah). He plans and cooks dinner every night. While he is super supportive in whatever I am doing, I can't expect him to cook me special dinners every night to make sure I hit my macro goals (that would be a whole new level of spoiled. I am pushing it as it is). I ask my husband what we are having for dinner, I enter into MyFitnessPal the day before and then I plan the rest of my meals and snacks around it so I can still meet my numbers. Brilliant! (If I do say so myself.)

I, for one, have to be very careful when tracking because I have a tendency to fall into an "all-or-nothing" mindset. I work very hard at moderation. I can easily swing from one extreme to the other if I am not aware and careful.

While tracking meals, calories and macros can be helpful, I also have to check myself that I am not getting obsessed or carried away. I find that tracking helps a lot with mindless or boredom eating because it forces me to think about it when I know I will have to log it later, but I try not to go crazy.

I go at least one day a week where I eat whatever I want (Sundays are for waffles!) and don't enter anything into MyFitnessPal. It helps me mentally and physically maintain sanity. If I am off on my calculations or have a bad day, I simply move on. This is life. You do the best you can when you can. #wycwyc (look it up). As with anything all we can do when life doesn't go as expected is learn lessons, move on and try to do better next time.

What's Next?


I am repeating the six week macro cycle shred, this time with a focus on body composition. Since I do not want to lose any more weight, I will increase my calorie intake a bit and work on some strength and cardio around my shoulder injury. 

This time I am going to track my body fat percentage, body measurements and scale weight because the scale doesn't tell the whole story, especially when we are talking about body composition. I am even going to take a "before" picture in my shorts and sports bra (that I will be keeping to myself for now). I fully expect to have great results after six weeks. Repeat after me. 

"I fully expect to have fantastic results after six weeks!" 

You have to believe it first. Then put in the work. 

If you are interested in trying Cori Lefkowith's Redefining Strength Macro Cycling Shred program with me you can learn more here. I respect Cori and her nutrition and fitness programs. With so much misinformation out there, she is one of the voices in the fitness industry that I trust to give it to me straight. I wouldn't stand behind and promote a program that I didn't personally believe in.




I'll keep you posted on how it all goes! I wrote about macro cycling a little more over on Lea Genders Fitness.

Like this post? Please consider sharing.

Keep Running,

Lea


I am a NASM personal trainer and RRCA adult distance running coach that specializes in strength training for runners. I offer in-person training in the Shredshed, online training and Fit to Run bootcamps. If you are interested in a more in-depth running or strength training plan, please contact me. Have questions? I'd love to help. 
Are you a Dallas/Fort Worth local? Join us for our free Saturday morning bootcamps

While I am a certified personal trainer, I am not your personal trainer. Since I don't know your exercise abilities, injury background or medical history, please see your doctor before beginning any new exercise or nutrition program. This is an opinion blog. No information in this blog is intended to be taken as medical advice or prescription. Please see your doctor and/or registered dietitian for any health concerns.

Does your running partner have four legs

Ways to (legally) stalk me:




Follow my blog with Bloglovin

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