Well, here we are in August. What happened to July?? It just flew by! I was trying to figure what to post on today’s Fit Friday. Then I saw my friend’s blog today and loved her idea of using the 8th month of the year to share 8 things to try… so I’m gonna take up that idea but put a running/fitness twist on it! (Check out her blog here: 8 Things to Try This Month).
1. Hills! Oh yeah, I’m encouraging you to add some hills into your running routine this week. And yes, I’m asking you to do this as the temperature continues to rise. Yesterday, my running gal Hillary and I ran up the Wilder Hills (a beautiful state park just north of Santa Cruz) well into the late morning to we could challenge ourselves with a hard run in the heat! Ok, that wasn’t necessarily why we did this but it ended up working out that way. There are several ways you can incorporate hills into your runs. You can pick one hard, long hill (that’s what we did yesterday). Make your goal to run the whole thing, even if running means being slower than you would be walking up the hill (thanks Jenn for that tip). Or you can run hill repeats, run hard uphill for a specific amount of time and then recover running down the hill. Repeat.
2. Strength Training. Are you cross training? It’s good for runners to mix it up a little during the week and focusing on strength can be a great place to cross training. Pick up those weights! If you haven’t worked with weights before, I suggest taking a class or working with a trainer or friend. Of course you know that I would recommend Body Pump as a great place to in some serious strength training.
3.Yogurt. Yep eat it! To be a little more specific, Greek yogurt. Add this tangy, tasty treat into your daily eating habits. Usually fat free or low in fat, this favorite item is high in protein and calcium. Check out this great SF Chronicle article on the benefits of Greek yogurt. Plus, you can get some serious good flavors, especially from my favorite company, Chobani. Mix in a little granola (preferably homemade, check out recipes here) to add a little crunch.
4. Running without Music. I know, some of us just can’t get out there without some tunes to motivate us. And there are definitely runs where I have to have music or a podcast (This American Life and Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me are my favorites) to get me through (especially when I’m on the track!). But it’s good to mix it up, rely on yourself not outside factors to finish your run. And let’s be real, it’s just safer to run without sound blaring in your ears blocking out important road noise. And if you’re running with friends, don’t be that person who runs with his/her iPod! Use this as some quality friend time!
5. Balega Socks. These are my favorite running socks! They are so comfy, I’ve never had a blister running in them, and they come in lots of fun colors. The Hidden Comfort style 8025 is the best, seriously, they are freakin’ awesome!
6. Road ID. Or really any kind of ID. It’s easy as runners to think we are invincible but if you’re out there pounding the pavement, something can go wrong. Products like Road ID provide you with an easy way to keep identification on you while running in case the worst happens.
7. Energy Bits I’ve blogged about these before, but seriously they are great. You can save using the code “run4will” (and soon I will have a new code for you too!)
8. Mix it Up! Do you always run in the morning? At night? At lunch? Try to change it up and throw in a run at a different time, at a different place. While running in the morning especially can be beneficial to get your metabolism going, changing it up will help your body from getting comfortable and in the end making you a stronger run. Don’t become static in your runs. Find new routes, new distances, and new times to pound the pavement.
So that’s what I’ve got, at least for today. What recommendations do you have? What are your favorite brands, workouts, and foods?