workout plan

MoveWith: Getting My Groove Back

Can you guys believe it’s December next week? The year has totally flown by! If you’ve been following along this year, you’ll know that 2017 has been an eventful and inspiring year for me. However, my personal fitness routine took a hit as a result. Between the stresses of a full-time career in technology plus major strides forward here on the blog, it was tough. It wasn’t until I experienced my first panic attack that it became clear things needed to change.

This week, I am getting personal when it comes to stress and the importance of a regular workout routine. Why? It’s because I’m sure many of you fellow strong-willed men and women out there feel the same: stressed, but too tough to admit it. As a trainer myself, I feel you, truly. If you’re currently working crazy hours and/or balancing a family, and have jumped off your self-care wagon as a result, that’s okay. Admitting you are struggling is the first important step of this journey. I found myself working nearly 18 hours 5 days a week, and no time left to work out. On weekends, I found myself glued to my bed sleeping non-stop. It was upsetting.

When I did find time to workout, it was often after most boutique studios had closed, making it difficult to use my memberships. I wasn’t in the right headspace to power through a solo workout on my own given my stress levels, and I felt completely helpless. Cue MoveWith: a fitness app geared to get you moving regardless of your location, time, or equipment at hand. It bitch slapped my excuses, hard. I’ve been climbing out of my sedentary abyss since September, and I can confidently say my groove is back, and new goals are on the horizon as a result.

Whether you’re an indoor gym rat or a trail runner who loves the great outdoors, it works. Have you ever wished you could have an audio recording of your favorite gym classes or a guided run along the harbor? Yup. Me too. The introvert in me also jumps for joy: I get to fully relax my mind without any external distractions, making the experience even more calming and effective for me. I even get to take classes from some of my favorite trainers ACROSS the country: to include my favorite local run coach Alex Ho, and trainers Lindsey Clayton and Amber Rees of Brave Body Project, to name a few.

I now force myself to set aside at least three to four times during the week to workout, and another two to simply move and breathe through guided meditation. It’s my favorite way to drift off to sleep, using one of the quick 15-minute stress relief sessions to calm my mind before bed. It’s now become a staple in my daily routine, and I couldn’t be more thankful.

At this point, you’re probably wondering, “okay, so what’s the price and catch?” Get ready to be relieved: MoveWith is only $7.99 a month, no class limit, ever. What’s even better? They offer a seven-day free trial, no strings attached. How’s that for a return on investment?  If this sounds like a solution that may work for you too, check them out in the App Store or directly. It also makes a killer gift for friends or family. Kick your excuses to the curb, try it for seven days, and let me know what you think!

Thank you to MoveWith and Carbon38 for sponsoring this post. 

Outfit Details

Bra: Ignite Crop Top, Michi c/o Carbon38

Leggings: Set Position Legging, PE Nation c/o Carbon38

Shoes: Wool Runners, Allbirds

Makeup Details

Primer: Perfect Canvas Serum, c/o Ren Skincare

Foundation: Pro Filt’r Soft Matte Longwear Foundation, Fenty Beauty in 210

Highlighter: Killawatt Freestyle Highlighter, Fenty Beauty in Lightning Dust/Fire Crystal

Contour: Match Stix Matte Skin Stick, Fenty Beauty in Mocha and Rum

Eyes: Wet & Dry Glow Shadow, Burberry in Gold Pearl

Lips: Lip Maestro, Georgio Armani in 202

Hair: Drybar Santa Monica

Photo by Maggie Zulovic for Carbon38

The Surfer Girl Workout: How to be One, or Just Train Like One

It’s no secret that surfers have some of the most amazing bodies out there: they aren’t overly muscular, just perfectly toned. They house a surprising amount of strength given their build, and can usually out perform some of the most fit athletes in other sports due to complete body awareness and killer core stability. I’ve been on the water most of my life, and have always loved challenging myself against the surf.

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The key to gaining that surfer strength is conditioning yourself for endurance, using the amazing outdoors as your gym, just as you would in the water. Circuit training is a great way to incorporate strength training into your cardiovascular endurance training. Let the following circuit be your guide the next time you find yourself taking a walk or run on the beach! Pair two of these exercises back to back for 4 rounds each, and end with a round of pull-ups and you’ve got yourself a solid workout, no gym required.

Sand Dune Sprints

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Your legs and core are everything when it comes to staying balanced on the board. The soft surface of sand increases core engagement, and helps mirror the water’s instability for your legs when you are dropping down or ripping up a wave. For an added challenge, try running with a parachute or a baggy jacket for extra drag.

Sand Low-Crawls

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Arm and chest strength is EVERYTHING as a surfer. Plus, who doesn’t love toned arms and a perky chest? Get into a prone position and crawl using your elbows, or just hang out in plank. The added core benefits of low crawls will help you build the balance you need to stand up on your board, in addition to the arm and chest strength needed for that initial press up off the board.

Water Runs or Sprints

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Wade into the surf until you are around waist or chest deep, and run! Run the shoreline length in the water for 5 to 10 minutes. Added bonus: carry your board if you have one!

Pull-ups

There are usually bars around or trees that will allow for you to get pull-ups in. These are a great way to not only tone your back and arms, but also develop the necessary paddling strength you need if you are a surfer, or just looking to start.

Sand Crab-Walks

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Start on your back, and move into an upward facing plank pose. Walk along the sand. Take it uphill away from the shore for an extra challenge! Working your backside will help with building a solid base to remain standing on the board.

Outfit Details

Bra: c/o Michi Antigravity Bra in Black

Top: c/o Barry’s Bootcamp Tank (OLD)

Bottoms: Lululemon Wunder Under Rolldown *Luxtreme

Beauty Details

Foundation Primer: Becca EverMatte Poreless Priming Perfector

Foundation: Maybelline Dream Pure BB Cream in Medium

Blush: Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush in Luminous Flush

Eyeshadow: Urban Decay Smoky Palette (High/Combust/Thirteen)

Mascara: YSL Shocking in Deep Black

Brows: Anastasia Brow Wiz in Medium Brown

Lips: YSL  Rouge Volupte Shine, in Fuchsia in Excess

Nails: OPI Do You Have This Color in Stockholm?

Toes: Essie Boom Boom Room

 

Photos by Julia McBee of Whole 30 San Francisco.

 

20 minutes to taking back your day

Sometimes, I seriously want to slap people that complain about not having time to workout.giphy (9)

For real.

If you have time to zone out on Facebook and Instagram, you have 20 minutes to get yo’ ass into gear. The amount of time you spend thinking about it, check Facebook, and think about it again, is time that could easily be whipped into a productive workout before or after your post-work social obligations, or a date with your couch.

Fact: Just a mere 20 minutes of physical activity a day boosts your metabolism and keeps your energy levels steady.

It also keeps you from hitting people.

Don’t freak or just give up if you can’t fit your scheduled workout into a day that has been overridden by work or other commitments.

Here’s a list of just how productive 20 minutes can be in your favorite ways to sweat:

 

Running (flat road)  |  150 calories

Running (hills| 10-15% incline)  |  320 calories

Walking (3 mph)  | 60 calories

Walking (hills| 10-15% incline)  | 190 calories

Biking (10-15 mph) | 180 calories

Swimming  |  195 calories

Jumping Rope  |  200 calories

Hiking  |  130 calories

Tennis/Racquet Ball  |  125 calories

Yoga  |  85 calories

Crossfit WOD  |  300 calories

Barre Class  |  95 calories

 

**Calculations are based on a 125 lb woman, personal results may vary slightly.

Oh sh*t guys, I’m running a 100 miler: How to do it and not die

Well, I did it.

I finally hit “register” on my first 100 miler. I’ve been talking about this for a while, but always felt like I never had enough time to dedicate to training for a race of this magnitude. The reality of the situation is that I will never have an ideal schedule, I have to make it a priority and hold myself accountable. Nothing holds you accountable like shelling out $350. Or just the fact that I’m running 100 miles.

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100 MILES. IN ONE DAY. $%&@.

As some of you may know, my life goal is to qualify to run the Western States 100. Why? This race is one that is particularly special to me, given the family ties of runners past, and the fact that it runs along the route of some of my favorite places in California, to include Squaw Valley, Foresthill, and Auburn, on trails I grew up running and watching my dad run. I started working toward my goal last year when I signed up for my first ultra marathon, the American River 50, a great qualifier course for the WS. I needed to run two 50 milers in one calendar year, both under 11 hours in order to qualify. While this was part of my goal, I was more focused on finishing the race healthy. I clocked in a little under 12 hours last year, and I was okay with that. It gave me a great idea of what to expect of the trails over that distance, and more importantly, it showed me that I could have cut a couple minutes off my mile pace. I was surprisingly fresh at the finish (relative of course!), and I knew that I would have no problem crushing the qualifying time for my next 50 milers or 100 miler.

This year, I have decided to get a 100 miler under my belt to see how I feel. I am running Rio del Lago, which covers some of the same trails used by the Western States. While it is not a qualifying course for the 2015 Western States, its a great course to give me more experience on running those trails, and actually running them at night. I have decided that 2013 and 2014 are my years to set my base and learn my limits, and 2015 will be the year to qualify.

Below is the course information to include the elevation gain/loss and course map. I am so excited to be back on these trails! So many great memories were made on them.

EGMap RDL100mapYou are probably thinking… HOW on earth do you train for this, and is 6 months enough? If you are a regular runner (running at least 4-5 times a week, or training for smaller races like marathons and halfs) you are fine to begin a 26 week program.

I wrote the following for myself, given that I have fallen off the wagon these past few months, so its basically “Couch to 100 Miles”. Yep. Judge me.

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Rule of thumb: when you begin to add mileage in this amount, it is important to not amp it up right away, and also allow easy weeks in order to prevent injury and allow time for your body to recover before your next spike in mileage. Remember, it is always about the quality of your runs over the quantity.

That said, for you over achievers or procrastinators, heed my advised plan for the 3 week taper. No fitting in last minute miles you failed to complete, no adding in more miles because you really want to hit it hard. NO.

So how fast Mandy?

For those of you that are time obsessed, you are just going to have to get over it at first. Brace yourselves: Mile time is irrelevant for the most part. WTF right? Seriously though. When it comes to running ultras, it’s more about the time on your feet than your actual pace. Your pace will get faster over time as you increase your mileage and get stronger. The key to finishing an ultra is staying injury free and being consistent. My dad and his friends completed several 100 milers and countless ultras on 50-60 miles a week.

So who’s ready to sign up for a 100 miler? 🙂

 

How to DIY and not suck.

You asked for it, I wrote it. Finally.

If a trainer isn’t in your budget, or you simply don’t know where to start, and you find yourself wandering the gym aimlessly and intimidated, this post is for you:

DIY workouts and how to make them actually useful, while avoiding this kind of circus entertainment:

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We have all seen them. We have all judged them.

However, chances are, you’ve been that guy too. Let me teach you how to never end up there again.

1. Be realistic, and go in with a plan. The first step to failure is biting off more than you can chew physically and mentally. Please save yourself and others the embarrassment (and injury!) of you failing to bench your weight in a disastrous  manner. Start off small and build gradually, being too eager leads to injury. Know your injuries and modify to make the exercises work for you. Next, always make a workout plan or look up one of many great plans that are offered in various fitness magazines or their sister websites, and take it with you.

Jamie Eason’s LiveFit Trainer is a great place to start if you are completely new to strength training, complete with photos showing the correct form. It’s a great tool!

2. Cardio warm up/cool down. This is often the piece that many people leave out due to sheer laziness. It is imperative to begin and end your workout with something active or cardio based, otherwise you are leaving out a huge piece of training and fat burning potential. I prefer jump ropes, TRX, or jumping jacks. This applies to running workouts as well. NEVER start a run without a warm-up. I recommend at least 5 minutes on each end.

3. Strength training. Yes. Weights. For all you gals thinking you are going to get jacked, stop. If you want definition and that lean look, you need weights.

For resistance training, each workout should focus on a group of muscles, in either pulling or pushing movements (i.e. chest/triceps, back/biceps, etc). 3 sets of 12 repetitions is standard practice for such workouts, scale the weight to your ability level and go! I rest for one minute in between reps and 3 minutes in between exercises.

If you choose to put together a circuit, try putting together 3-5 exercises that encompass each area of the body: arms, abs, legs, and repeat them consecutively. Rest for 1-2 minutes, and repeat the circuit 3-5 more times depending on the time you have allotted. Choose from a few of these:

Push-ups

Diamond Push-ups

Standing Squat/Sumo Squat

Single Leg Bridge Lift

Mountain Climbers

Plank (add alternating lifting legs as  a bonus!)

 

Incorporating all 3 of these aspects will give you a well rounded workout, and one that will actually help you see results quicker (coupled with clean eating of course!).

The more you know…. 🙂

Speed work for quitters.

This isn’t the first time, and decidedly not the last time that will I rant about how much I despise the treadmill… Hell, I even hate on road races every once in a while. Someone put me on a trail already.

You’ve been warned.

In my world, running is an opportunity for me to get out and take advantage of the amazing outdoors that surround me here in the city, as well as allow my mind to decompress from the day by the beautiful distractions around me. Why anyone would want to run uncomfortably confined in a box that doesn’t allow for proper arm swing is beyond me. Don’t even get me started on the stagnant air and people hovering in your personal bubble waiting for you to leave. Unsubscribe please.

However, treadmills can serve a motivational purpose in one case. For those of you that are speed work quitters (I’ll own it, it happens every once in a while), the treadmill can serve a purpose in forcing you to complete your speed work at a consistent pace.

Obviously, otherwise you fall off.

Like a moron. Shame.

Take it from these all stars.

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If nothing else, keeping my pants on is motivation enough.

My gift to you:

Here’s a great way to start if you are treadmill newbie, or just not sure where to start on speed intervals. As a reference point, going at this pace will log you right around 3 miles, for those of you counting miles instead of calories. For those of you counting calories and focusing on fat burning, intervals are a great way to do so!

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