Happy Friday! Jet lag is actually working in my favor because last night I was ready to get in bed at 9:30, read for 30 minutes and it was lights out by 10. I woke up naturally at 5 a.m. this morning with tons of energy. I’d actually LOVE to keep some semblance of this schedule and start going to bed earlier and getting up earlier. We shall see. 😉
Okay, I’m still not quite up to the task of culling through the photos from our trip and writing recaps. Let’s save that for next week! I thought today I’d answer some questions that I’ve received lately from readers via email and the feedback form. They’re questions that I think many of you would find answers to helpful.
Crossing the finish line of my first marathon!
I have a “bucket list” item that is to do one marathon. I’ve been a pretty consistent runner for close to 20 years and participate in several races a year. I have done a 1/2 marathon. My concern is picking the correct training program and being able to continue to do strength training and yoga a few times a week. I work full time and have two boys (12 and 8) so I cannot workout multiple times a day. Any advice on a good training program? – Jen F
Most of you know that I’m a huge fan of quality over quantity. If you are supplementing your running with strength training and yoga, I think that you should consider a 3-4x runs/week running training plan instead of the typical 5-6x runs/week plans…especially if your goal is to finish, have fun and avoid injury.
Here are some plans to consider…
- Marathon 3 from Hal Higdon – a 24-week plan featuring three days per week of running (note, I think running three 20s is a little much for your first marathon!)
- Runner’s World 20-Week Beginner’s Marathon Plan – a 20-week plan alternating between 4-5 days/week running with weekly mileage raging from 12-44 miles.
- Novice 1 from Hal Higdon – an 18-week training plan with four days per week of running. This is the most popular training program offered by Hal Higdon
You may also consider working with a coach who can customize a training plan to meet your specific needs. There are many great resources available for this! Good luck and you can do this!
Can you recommend some books or website where I can get some inspirations quotes/phrases? I’m creating a photo book of my husbands late father and would like to put some quotes/words of inspiration in it. – Lauren
First, my condolences to you and your husband on your loss. The photo book sounds like a very lovely tribute to your late father-in-law. Of course there is always Pinterest. The search feature works really well no matter what type of quote you are looking for. You can also use Google searches for things like, “quotes about loss of a loved one” and get a lot of helpful results. Here is a collection of quotes from Goodreads to consider. Sending you lots of love.
Any time you can find time to sweat is the right time!
I have a question for your personal trainer expertise. I have gotten really sedentary in the last year with a new job that has me sitting at a desk much more. I’m determine to get more active have joined a gym, but I’m curious if there’s anything to the myth that you need to work out in the morning in order to lose weight? I have a 30 minute commute and my workday starts at 7:00 a.m. I don’t feel confidant in my ability to force myself up, be prepared with all of my gym shit AND work shit, and still feel calm and ready for my day. The tradeoff is that I’m through with my work day by late mid-afternoon and can be working out by 4:00 pm every day. So tell me, is there really anything to the myth that I really need to be exercising in the a.m instead of the afternoon in order to lose weight? And if I work out in the afternoons, how should I time my last meal or snack beforehand so I don’t feel like a slug but am also ready for dinner by mid-evening? Thank you!! – Tara
Oh sitting. It is by far one of the worst things for our overall health. For those of you who sit really long hours at your job, I can’t recommend hourly walking and stretching breaks enough. Also see if your place of work is open to standing desks.
Regarding needing to workout in the morning to lose weight, I would say NO! So the theory behind working out first thing in the morning is that you do it on an empty stomach in order to burn more fat. Your body depletes its glycogen stores overnight so some people say that you will go straight to burning fat and not carbohydrates if you workout on an empty stomach. While this may work great for some, it’s not necessarily the best thing for everyone (just like ANYTHING in health and fitness!). If working out early in the AM doesn’t work for you, workout at a time that it does. In my opinion, the most important thing is that you do get the workouts in along with eating a healthy diet.
Regarding meal and snack timing, that is personal. I don’t love working out with a lot in my stomach so I’d make my last meal around noon or 1 p.m. and then shoot to eat an early dinner post-workout. If you find yourself needing a small snack before maybe lunch around 11:30-noon and then snack around 2-3 p.m. and something light and easy to digest.
My husband and I are going to become first time landlords and rent out the house that we currently live in coming up this summer when we buy a new house. I know you have been renting your house out for a while, do you have any tips or anything you can share about being a landlord? I’m a little bit nervous about taking this on but know it can be a great way to make a little extra income! Thanks! – Rachel
This is an interesting question! Overall, I’d have to say that being a landlord is easier than I thought it would be. I think the most challenging part initially is getting the house listed, showing it and finding the right tenants. I’ve been lucky to rent to young married couples and they have been super easy to work with and very respectful of the house. I would definitely make sure that you have money set aside for unexpected expenses. For example, last year I ended up having to have $2,000 worth of tree trimming done at my rental property. That one hurt the wallet! I have also started using a lawn service just to ensure that the yard is kept up nicely. It’s important to have a list of tried and true handymen, plumbers, electricians, etc. You will need them! I would say that managing one rental property is very doable without hiring an outside agency, especially if you live close by.
I wanted to ask more specifically about how you healed from the injuries you accumulated over years of distance running. The posts you’ve written on the topic have been really helpful, as I’m currently struggling with a hamstring injury that has been ongoing for over a year now (and has now gone down into my calf/behind the knee). I’m in my second round of physical therapy and, at this point, have pretty much not done any exercise for over a month and am having pain just walking around the house. I’m going to try to get a referral for an MRI to figure out what exactly is going on, but am very frustrated and starting to lose hope.
I know a huge thing for you was turning to yoga, but that has actually been aggravating for my injury (downward dog is pretty painful). Is there anything else you did to recover that you found helpful? More importantly–can you elaborate on how you mentally accepted not being able to run? I find it really inspiring to see that you’ve now returned to running with a renewed passion and a stronger body, and am hoping you have some advice for someone who’s at the other end of the healing process.
And lastly, if you have any ideas for forms of exercise that would that would get my heart rate up without irritating my leg I am all ears. I’ve tried biking, jump roping, etc. and they all cause pain. Really finding it hard to keep my spirits up without any exercise endorphins. -Polina
I am so, so, so sorry to hear about your hamstring injury. I can completely sympathize with both the physical and emotional pain that comes with it.
To be honest, I got so frustrated with running and injuries that I all but quit running more than around 3 miles at a time for 5 years. I ran a half marathon in December 2010 and didn’t run another one until November 2015. Crazy. BUT during this time I did things like deepen my yoga practice, get into CrossFit, focus on strength, etc. I seriously had people telling me that I should change my blog name because it wasn’t accurate. I really didn’t even miss running until one day I did and I was ready to get back into it. I was going through a breakup and running has always been amazing therapy for me in dealing with emotions. I was pleased to find that when I did tiptoe back into it, that my body accepted it. Since then I really haven’t dealt with any major injuries and I am super on top of anything minor and try to address it before it becomes a thing.
I wish I could give you specific advice about your hamstring but I can’t. I can tell you that it’s an extremely slow muscle to heal so I know your patience has been tested. I’m happy to hear that you’re seeking professional help with it. As for the mental part the biggest thing is just acceptance. Clearly your body is trying to tell you that something you’re doing is not working. Your job is to listen and to figure out how to move it with NO pain. Seriously, if you feel pain…stop immediately. Once you get to that pain-free state, begin to slowly get back into yoga/strength/running.
When it comes to getting your exercise endorphins in, I can’t tell you how much comfort I have found in swimming in the past. Have you tried it? I found it to be extremely meditative in the same way that running was and it’s AMAZING exercise.
Would you mind sharing your green smoothie recipe? – gra0210 from Instagram
Check out this page that is dedicated to all things green smoothie! 🙂
Question for your because you are a running inspiration! So I’ve had trouble with hip pain in the past, what running shoes do you recommend? – Brittany from Instagram
My first piece of advice here would be to get to the root cause of your hip pain. I don’t think that running shoes will be the solution. I would visit a chiropractor or PT to have an assessment done and then see what type of treatment plan and shoes they recommend for your unique situation. All that said, I love Newton Fate but that’s just what works for me!
I hope you guys found this post to be helpful. Please don’t hesitate to email/Instagram/comment below with your questions. I’m always happy to answer.
Feel free to chime in below with advice for any of these ladies on their questions!
Love this type of post!!
Good luck to the new landlords! I’ve considered it in the past, because it can be a great way to build wealth, but it hasn’t been in the cards for us now that we live in SoCal (too expensive for us to do it locally). I can definitely relate to it being so nerve wrecking to get into!
I second the swimming recommendation. Such a fantastic way to disconnect too. Regarding yoga, have you considered Bikram style hot yoga? There are no down dogs in Bikram. While there are hamstring stretches, you can easily skip them or do a very limited/modified version. Just let the teacher know before class. Best of luck to healing your hamstring! <3
I loved this style of post! I used to be a distance runner and took many years off due to switching to lifting only — I’m slowing working my way back into it now. It’s definitely humbling after taking a few years off!
i had to laugh when i saw Tara’s question. I’m a Tara as well and i can so relate to her question/comment. ive tried to force myself here and there to wake up in the AM for exercise and can relate to all the sh*t packing and dragging around. hahaha. i eventually realized the only exercise that works for me in the AM is one where i can still get ready at home. So running outside or going to the gym close to my house and coming back home to get ready. Bring all my stuff + clothes just never worked and took so much time to pack up at night it defeated the purpose of saving 10 mins of drive time.
i also can relate to sitting all day. i work 9-11 hour days mostly sitting. i try at lunch to get out and walk for 30 mins but even that is hard sometimes depending on the weather. my only real walk breaks are to the printer/bathroom/other people’s desks. Any additional breaks just add time to the workday. i really hope that someday my company might embrace standing desks but i think its unlikely. they certainly encourage breaks and have a basic gym, but there has to be time in the workload to take advantage of those things. i wonder if other companies are like mine…there is a lot of preaching about health and wellness and they have facilities and programs, but still have the attitude of do more with less so the actual ability to take advantage of those things is difficult. sorry for my rant but i can relate to the questioner. i’m with you…whenever you can get your workout in, get it in. and be open to changing it up when you need/want to. great post