How To Run Faster

Here is a question I get allllllllllllll the time!! Kristen, how can I run faster? Oh and yeah, I know I look crazy in that picture! That’s how  you feel after at the end of a half marathon.

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First let me say, I am not a certified running coach, I am a fitness professional but not in running. I was an assistant cross country coach for like a season, I ran cross country and track in high school, I run a bunch of races but I am not a certified running coach so this is all based on my opinion and experience.

So now how to run faster! The only way I know to actually get faster at running is to run faster. Ha ha, sounds simple and hard at the same time, right. Let me break it down. When I say you have to run faster to get faster, I don’t mean just will yourself to run your normal routs faster then you do on the reg. That sounds kind of daunting especially if you are doing a lot of miles during the week and your runs are long!  Although I have total faith you could do that, there is an easier way.

Track Repeats

I personally believe that track repeats are the easiest/quickest way to speed up your pace. Here is a list of what I like for best for each race length:

5k – 200 meter repeats
Pace – Your one mile pace
Amount – 20 (sounds like a lot and it might take some time to get to 20 but once you do, I’m pretty sure that you’ll be crushing it)

10K  – 400 meter repeats (By far the hardest, but kind of the most rewarding too)
Pace – Your 5k pace
Amount 10-12

Half Marathon  – 800 meter repeats
Pace – Your 10k pace
Amount 6-10

Marathon  – 1600 meter repeats
Pace – Your 10-15 seconds then your desired marathon pace
Amount 4-6

There are a Zillion different variations that you can do with track workouts but I like to keep it simple, zone out, and focus on the work. Chances are that the first time you do these you might not get to the full amount of repeats, that is OK. Start with a few and work up to the full amounts. If you add this to your training, I would be shocked if you didn’t get faster times.

Now you can just do this on the road but I would suggest finding a local track that you can go to. This reduces distraction, makes the distance that much more consistent each time and the terrain will be nice and smooth for you.

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Here is an example of a track workout that I did a few years ago. It was mile repeats. I did three repeats with a mile warm up and cool down. I was training for marathon at this time. I actually ran the repeats a bit to fast, 6:30 pace. That is not anywhere near my desired marathon pace but you get the idea. On a side note, even though I was running my track workouts faster I didn’t hit my time goal that race. Faster isn’t always better, just saying.

I would love to hear what are your favorite speed workouts if you have them!!

Kristen xoxo

PS. I have just updated all of my social media. Click on the links below and just like it OK!

Instagram: @sparklespandex
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I’m BACK!!! AND a Free entry to ANY See Jane Run race!!!

Wooooooo whoooooo!!

Hey Guys! I missed you!! There is sooooooooooo much to catch up on!!

Running, CIZE Live, new food stuff,  more exercise and I’m working on a new look for the blog!! What what!!

I know I have been away for a while but to make up for it I one have one free entry to any See Jane Run Race!! There is one next weekend here in the Bay Area! We can get free bubbles together after the race!! BOOM!

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To enter all you have to do is………

-Like my new FB page! (I know it is basically the same as my old one but some technical stuff has changed, don’t worry about just hit like xox)

 facebook.com/SparkleSpandex

OR

Like my Instagram!!

instagram.com/sparklespandex

Or you can do both for extra credit!!

If you already like those share this on your Facebook, Repost on Insta, or Comment below!!  I’ll announce the winner Monday!

Can’t wait to catch up more on all of the exciting thing going on!!

Kristen xoxo

Weekend Wedding Planning, My Fit Foods and getting ready for my first post flu race

This weekend Jared and I are doing one of the best parts of wedding planning. Tasting the food! We are in Scottsdale, meeting with our possible caterers and stuffing our faces along the way. We also went to check out the Resort where all of our guests are going to be staying. Since or wedding theme is basically, Keeping it Classy, we decided to get our hotel block in the Talking Stick Casio in Scottsdale. Nothing says wedding like Black Jack, 80 year old women with oxygen tanks and Thunder Down Under!

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Jared and I checking out the view before hitting the Black Jack tables

In between stuffing our faces and winning big on the tables, we have found time to stay somewhat healthy and work out a little. After the gym today we were running errands and we drove past this place called My Fit Foods. So you know I had to try that!

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Cilantro Lime Turkey, Sweet Teriyaki Chicken Wrap and Veggies in the Raw

Basically the deal is, it is pre-portioned meals that are made fresh, super health and don’t cost a fortune. I would say that there were about 60 different options split into breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks. Jared and I got two lunch meals, a snack box, cookie and a drink and it was only 22.00.

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Some of the things I loved about My Fit Foods are:

1. 99% of there items were gluten free! Big Win!

2. There are big and small portions for most dishes. Great when trying to feed one little person and one giant.

3. Their staff was super helpful.

4. The food was delish!

SOLD! I’m going to try and find one in NorCal as soon as I get home!

Tomorrow, I am running my first face “post-flu race!” It is the Scottsdale Giant 9k so I should be fine but it’s going to be an adventure non the less. I still have a little cough which might be an issue but I’ll work though it.

When going to pick up my packet it was in the Baseball Expo for spring training. Jared actually just dropped me off so I could run in and get my bib. There was a huge festival and so many Giants fans and looked like so much fun I almost wanted to just stay and party but I remembered the man was waiting and he was my ride home.

If anyone is running the Scottsdale Giant Race tomorrow come and find me and we can take a selfie!!

Kristen ox

PS. There is still time to enter my Hemp Hearts Giveaway!! Click this link – a Rafflecopter giveaway

Project Juice Run Club

I am soooooo excited about partnering up with my favorite Juice Bar for the new Project Juice Run Club on Wednesday nights, starting this Wednesday 1/7!! We will be starting from their mission location (790 Valencia Street San Francisco, CA 94110). Come join me for running, juice, selfies and plenty of laughs!!! Can’t wait to see you there!

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Kristen xo

Last Long Run, Calorie Tracking and Pre Race Jitters

Last Saturday was my last long run before the California International Marathon. I signed up for the Davis Turkey Trot and planned on running 7-9 miles pre-race. Of course because I was suppose to do this run last weekend it was pouring rain this weekend as my punishment.

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It was so cold and rainy I didn’t want to get out of my car!

A few tips for running in the rain:

1. Wear a visor – Keeps the water out of your eyes

2. Use Body glide or Vaseline – It’s much easier to chafe in the rain

3. Don’t wear tons of crazy layers because you think you might get cold – wear what you would normally wear for the temp, plus wet clothes can get heavy

4. Good socks are clutch – If your socks suck you are about a billion times more likely to get nasty blisters. I love the Injinji toe socks. They have significantly cut down the level of ugliness of my toes

The run was good though. I ran seven miles pre-race then ran a 1:53:54 Half Marathon.The post race was ok but I was super soaked so I just wanted to get home so I could get my ice bath over with and then start to warm up again.

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I am obsessed with this medal!

The best part of my training run was imputing it into my calorie tracker. I just started using MyFitnessPal to track my calorie intake. It is awesome for me because I am sooooooooo bad counting calories, macros, or whatever. When you track your food one thing it really makes you aware of is how much you snack. Grab a couple of chips here, a slice of salami there, a glass of juice when I get home. All the stuff that you think is nothing adds up big time!  One of the things I LOVE about MyFitnessPal is that it has a lot of items that I eat already programmed in there like, Wine. It also hooks up with other apps that track runs like Map My Fitness and automatically adds those calories to your daily total.

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Here is my tracker for my 20 mile run! Yeah I got to eat a lot!!

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And here is my tracker for Thanksgiving. Yikes!

Now that my race is getting close I’m starting to get pre race jitters. I’m worried that I’m not ready. I keep thinking over my training and comparing it to last year. Ahhhhhhhhhh! Why did I sign up for this?!?! You know when you have goals but you are to nervous to tell people because what if you don’t hit them? That is soo me! Anywho, does anyone else feel like that?

I hope that everyone had a great Thanksgiving!!

What was your first post Thanksgiving workout? I did BODYATTCK and just about died but I’m out of my food coma!

Kristen xo

Berkeley Half Marathon/ CIM Marathon Training

I’m running the CIM Marathon in 4 weeks!!! AHHHHHHH! Why do I sign up for this stuff!?!? Here is my problem with that! I hate long training runs! After 15 miles on a training run I’m soooooooo bored!! Like I want to run in to oncoming traffic bored. Last year on a whim I decided to meet up with a friend that was running a half and run 5 miles before the start of the race so I could get my 18 miles in. AMAZING!!!!!! All of the good, happy, I just started my run and I love it! feelings I got before the race and instead of the “I’ve been running for almost three hours and if I have to eat another gel, why am I running this far not in race” rage spiral at the end, I got a super awesome medal and a free banana! YEAH!!

This year I decided to do the same. I signed up for the Berkeley Half on 11/9. I picked up my packet on Saturday and it wasn’t super busy, but it is only a small race. They had the pickup at the UC Berkeley football stadium which seemed like a good idea but the parking was a nightmare. If they do the same next year try and go on Friday if you can. The expo wasn’t even busy at all so it ended up taking longer for me to park then pick up my stuff and walk the line of booths. As far as booths there was nothing too exciting, so I just waked the line up and left.

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This is my favorite pre-meal!! Gluten Free Obvi!

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Pre run beverage of choice! Black, no sugar!

The trick to doing a Marathon training run/race is you have to pick a race that doesn’t start at 6 otherwise you would have to get up at some ungodly hour to run your pre-race miles. The Berkeley Half Marathon started at 8, which in my opinion is the time every race should start!

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Five Miles down only a half to go!

This year the course was quite a bit different, which I liked. Last year a large part of the race was in a park type area running on gravel and that is a little to close to trail running for me. Also last year, there was a massive hill right at 12.5 mile point, so yeah that was not cool. This year the hills were front loaded which I prefer because it prevents me from starting out to fast as well as getting you in the habit of running negative splits! BOOM! Thanks hills!!

Another great thing about running your long training runs with a race on the back is you have all of the excitement and energy of a race to keep pushing you when you get tired, as well as on course staff just in case you collapse. (Please don’t run to this point, I was being dramatic but if you feel like you are going to pass out, Please stop!!)

The on course support for this race was good, like any race should be. The post race totally made up for the expo being only so so.  Whole Foods was there! Nesquick was there with Girl Scout Flavored Chocolate Milk!!! Amazeballs!! Zeel Massage also had a booth. Free post race massages are my fav!!! (a little birdie told me that they are going to be at the SF marathon next year!!) Zeel is a new app that offers same day massages in your home. Super awesome!!! Check it out!!!

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This girl saved my post run legs!

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Love the double Bling!!

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Post race party time!!

So all and all it was a success! 20 miles next week on my own, no free banana. 😦

So to summarize:
Berkeley Half marathon:
1. Expo – meh
2. Race course – great
3. Post race – amazeballz

Long training run with a race:
1. No end of run rage spiral
2. On run water stations
3. And Bathrooms
4. Free banana

What do you do to get through those loooooong marathon training runs?

Kristen xo

We’re Going Streaking

 

I’m starting a running streak!! Truth be told I tried to start one on the 1st but then I missed a day or two and then whole thing fell apart…………. but I did manage to take my first running selfie. So I’m going to count that as a win.

 

Running Selfie

 

I still haven’t figured how to look pretty in them but I guess that is just part of the selfie learning curve.

So my plan is to do a 12 week running streak with it falling apart with a min of one mile a day. I decided to post about it to keep me accountable or suffer internet shaming for not sticking to it!!

A ton of stuff has happened so far this year but this was pretty much the high point so far.

Some topics to catch up on:

San Francisco races 2014

Davis race 1 of 2014 – I hate my life

Davis race 2 of 2014 – Suck it Davis

Nike Women’s Half Marathon DC

Wall of shame for missing a race or two

That’s the main stuff but for now………… We’re Going Streaking!!

Have you ever done a running streak? How many days? What was your min mileage?

What was your favorite race this year so far?

Show me your best running selfie? And give me any tips you might have so I don’t look like I was just startled.

SS x