Reindeer Run 10K Training and Body Composition Update

I’m four weeks into training for a PR at the Reindeer Run 10K and the race is four weeks away! I can’t believe how fast the last four months have gone (Thanksgiving is almost here) so I thought I’d give a quick update on how my training has been going and how my body composition is reacting to two cross training days a week. Plus, I’ll share a little bit about how my body has changed between my first 10K in 2016 and training for my second 10K.

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10K training feels like it’s going great and my paces are showing it! I’ve been hitting my paces in my speed workouts and my easy runs are continuing to be faster than they have been (right around a 10-minute pace). I’m feeling that a 55:33 10K is in the bag, especially since my 5-mile pace runs are feeling really good. I’m confident that extra 1.2 mile son race day will be no problem with the excitement of race day and running with others.

I’m still working on making sure my recovery is keeping up, especially after how tight my upper body felt the last couple of weeks. So I’m back to a mostly regular foam rolling routine and it is helping a lot. It also helps that I can sleep in more on the weekends since there’s no reason to rush out the door to get in a long run.

Switching our an easy run day for a second cross training day is really helping my paces keep up and my recovery be easier since, even though I’m working out, it’s not as intense as a run is. Of course, I still have to keep up on my mobility since I’ve seen that my upper back can get tight quickly.

Not too much has changed in my body composition since I started two cross training days a week. My weight has gone down about a ½ pound and my body fat is down 1%. I’m not too concerned about being down slightly since it could be just a difference in how sore I was or water weight but it will be interesting to see if my body fat percentage keeps on going down while I hold around the same weight.

 November 2016

November 2016

 November 2018

November 2018

Speaking of being at the same weight and a lower body fat percentage, I decided to look back at photos from around my first 10K in 2016 and I was shocked to see the difference in my body. I know I’ve gotten leaner but I hadn’t realized how big of a difference it was. There is a half pound difference between the two photos and about 1% body fat. But my entire body looks leaner and I’m running faster (and harder) than I was two years ago. I also feel a lot more flexible, which is probably due to an increased focus on yoga and mobility work since I started marathon training in 2017.


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Six IT Band Stretches for Runners

One of the spots I find tightness in around my hips and glutes, which isn’t uncommon for runners. I’ve shared my favorite stretches for the hips and glutes, so now I’m concentrating my a piece of fascia that affects both these areas!

The IT band runs along the outer thigh from the pelvis to the shin bone and connects the glutes and hips flexors to the knee. It’s responsible for helping keep your hips and knees stabilized during activity so it gets quite a workout during running! These six stretches all help to release tension along the IT band to prevent injury from an overused IT band (along with strengthening the muscles surrounding it).

Crossed Ankle Forward Fold

  • Stand tall with your feet side by side. Cross your right ankle in front of your left and plant both feet firmly on the ground.

  • Slightly bend your knees and fold forward over your thighs with a flat back. Bring your hands to the floor, bending your knees more as needed.

  • Walk your hands over to the right to feel the stretch deepen through the left hip and hamstrings. Hold for 30-60 seconds and then walk your hands back to center and stand up slowly. Switch sides.

Revolved Triangle

  • Stand with your feet two the three feet apart, with your heels aligned.

  • Turn your right foot out 90 degrees so your toes are pointing to the front. Pivot your left foot inward to a 45-degree angle.

  • Raise your left arm toward the ceiling, with your bicep next to your left ear. On an exhalation, hinge forward from your hips, keeping your spine long. Place your left hand to the outside of your right foot as you open your chest to the right.

  • Roll your right shoulder back and extend your right arm straight up toward the ceiling.

  • Turn your head to gaze at your right thumb.

  • Keep your hips level. Press down firmly through your back heel.

  • Hold for 30-60 seconds and gently release. Turn to the left, reversing the position of your feet, and repeat for the same length of time on the opposite side.

Figure 4

  • Lie on your back with your feet flat on the floor.

  • Cross your left foot over your right quad.

  • Lift your right leg off the floor. Grab onto the back of your right leg and gently pull it toward your chest.

  • When you feel a comfortable stretch, hold there.

  • Hold for 30 seconds to 2 minutes.

  • Repeat for the other side

Standing Quad Stretch

  • Stand tall with your feet hip-width apart, pull your core in, and relax your shoulders.

  • Bend your left leg, bringing your heel toward your butt, and grasp your left foot with your right hand. Hold for 30 seconds.

  • Switch legs and repeat.

Pigeon Pose

  • Begin in a tabletop position (hands and knees on the mat)

  • Bring your right leg forward and sink down, so the outer edge is resting on the floor.

  • Extend your left leg behind you, keeping your hips angling toward the floor.

  • Hold for 20 to 30 seconds, then step your right foot back under you and repeat on the left leg.

Lizard Pose

  • Start in downward facing dog.

  • Step your right leg forward, placing your foot facing forward with the big toe of the right foot next to the pinkie of your right hand. (Your right foot should be outside of your right hand on your mat.)

  • Bend your right knee into a lunging position while keeping your left leg extended behind you, balancing on the ball of your left foot and your entire right foot.

  • Hold this lunging position for a few breaths. Then, as you like, you can intensify the pose. To do this, bend forward at the waist and place your elbows on the floor in front of you. Your palms and forearms should be flat on the floor.

  • Lift your head and look forward, keeping your neck relaxed.

  • Hold for 10 to 20 breaths, breathing into the hips as you stretch.

  • Release by stepping back into downward-facing dog.

  • Repeat on the other leg.



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Three Treadmill Workouts for Winter

Well, for many of us, it’s starting to be the time where we turn to the treadmill to get in some of our miles because it’s getting cold, icy or just too dark. Hopefully, you are still able to get in most of your mileage outside but for those times when you have to turn to the treadmill, here are three workout ideas to help that time go a little faster!

Before you jump on the treadmill, make sure you still get your dynamic warm up to get your body ready!

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Intervals

Intervals are the one workout I’m taking to the treadmill right now due to ice and darkness. But it does make the time go faster since you are constantly switching back and forth in speed. Right now I’m doing 5K pace intervals which makes for a quick run whiel still pushing myself. Here’s what 5K pace intervals on the treadmill looks like for me:

0.5 mile - easy pace (about 1 minute slower than 5K pace)

0.5 mile - 5K pace

0.5 mile - easy pace (about 1 minute slower than 5K pace)

0.5 mile - 5K pace

0.5 mile - easy pace (about 1 minute slower than 5K pace)

0.5 mile - 5K pace

Hill workout

Changing up the incline is another great way to make the time go by faster! For this workout, I go by time rather than distance to know when to change the incline. This workout should take you about 45 minutes. Don’t be afraid to drop your speed a little when the incline increases, try to keep your effort at a similar level rather than your speed.

5 minute easy at 1% incline

8 minutes at 2%

5 minutes at 5%

2 minutes at 8%

5 minutes at 5%

2 minutes at 8%

5 minutes at 5%

8 minutes at 2%

5 minutes easy at 1%

Fartlek

If you like listening to music on your treadmill runs, this workout for you. Fartlek is just speed play, changing up your speed at irregular intervals. I haven’t done a fartlek workout off the treadmill but it’s a great way to get in treadmill miles. You can choose when you pick up the pace for 30 seconds. Some great, easy to remember point sare everytime a song hits the chorus or even just with each song change, depending on how often you want to mix up your speed.

And if you need more treadmill tips, check out my post on tips for surving a long run on the treadmill, tips for preparing for a treadmill run and tips for beating boredome on the treadmill.



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Trainining Tips Tuesday #45: Changing Up Interval Runs For The Treadmill

It’s come to that time in the year where I need to think carefully about where I’m running, outside or on the treadmill. And, for my interval runs at least, I’m taking those to the treadmill for a while.

The biggest factor in this is that sunset is about 4:47 p.m. and it’s going to be too dark to be safe running at 5K pace during the winter. We’ve only had a couple of really cold days and a little bit of snow, but there’s scattered patches of ice along the paths. It’s just not worth it risking stepping wrong at 5K pace since I have easy access to treadmills both at the apartment gym and LA Fitness.

But I will be switching up my 5K pace intervals for running on the treadmill. Instead of doing 400m (~¼ mile) repeats I’ll be bumping it up to 800m (~ ½ mile) repeats. This will make transitions a lot smoother since it takes treadmills more time to switch between speeds and I won’t have to be messing around with the treadmill as much. I’ll also be setting the treadmill on a 2.0% incline since I won’t the resistance of the wind or natural incline (although there’s maybe 42 feet of elevation gain on the route I take by the apartment and 11 feet on the Reindeer Run 10K course).

I’m hoping making this switch will prevent injuries caused by slipping on the ice while still allowing me to keep up with my speedwork as it gets colder, darker and icy outside. Are you starting to look at moving some of your runs to a treadmill? Let me know how you are modifying your runs when you switch to more treadmill running in the comments!


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Weekly Workout Report November 5-11

Minnesota is back into winter weather again. Even as it colder outside (and eventually we got snow), my runs and workouts still felt great. Plus I took a vacation day and had an awesome yoga class. Let’s get into it!

Monday, November 5

Back to weights and spin class! It was a tough workout but it felt great to get back in the saddle again. Plus, I got to wear my new Nike Flex Trainers which are so cute and comfortable!

Tuesday, November 6

3.34 miles ~ 30:03 ~ 9 min/mile

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Even with the cold, wind and snow, I had an awesome tempo run today! 9 minute average pace with my build-up section at an 8:33 pace, right around my 5K pace.

I'm feeling so good about the Reindeer Run 10K in December!

Wednesday, November 7

3 miles ~ 27:55 ~ 9:17 min/mile

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I don't know if it's the colder weather, that I'm getting stronger or a combination of things but this was an awesome run! Averaged a 9:17 pace and it barely felt like I was pushing myself. I can't wait to crush a 10K PR in December!

Thursday, November 8

Cross training day today and I'm feeling so strong from these twice a week strength training sessions. My back is really getting tight from it so I'm working on using a tennis ball to target the tight spots every night.

Friday is a rest day and a vacation day, I'm so excited to get in a morning yoga class at the gym!

Friday, November 9

I took a vacation day today (since I have a week of vacation days that won't roll over) so it's been a low key day. Slept 9.5 hours (we were worn out and went to bed about 8:30), took Vinnie on a walk in the snow and headed for a morning yoga class!

I haven't gone to a yoga class since this summer and it felt so good! I've been mainly doing shorter yoga videos at home and it felt great to get in a full hour. Plus it really helped stretch out my back and shoulders.

Saturday, November 10

5 miles ~46:43 ~ 9:20 min/mile

Great feeling run this morning in 15 degree weather! I felt completely comfortable and just run what felt good. So not even splits but I don't have a problem with that.

Sunday, November 11

10 miles ~ 1:39:00 ~9:53 min/mile

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Awesome feeling long run this morning! The snow made it a little tricky at points but no falls and I got a double digit long run in again.

This week was a great training wise, but at the end of it I’m feeling so worn out. I’m sure part of it is because we dog-watchted for my in-laws over the weekend and I didn’t sleep that great at their house, but I know I need to be working more on recovery. I’ve been getting in tons of sleep but my foam rolling and mobility has been so-so (as I could tell when I got my massage). So hopefully this next week continues to go well and I don’t see an effect on how I’m feeling right now!

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