Monthly Archives: December 2016

5 Ways To Keep Your 2017 Fitness Resolution

There are all kind of new year’s resolutions out there.  Save more money, maintain a healthier diet and get more sleep are all wonderful goals for the next 365 days.  More than those, however, lots of people make fitness resolutions.  Things like shedding unwanted pounds, running that first 5k or getting serious about yoga practice are surprisingly common.  Unfortunately, just as quickly as those goals are set they often fall by the wayside.  Don’t let it happen to you!  Here are 5 tips for setting a fitness resolution you can stick with all year long:

Make a commitment.  A resolution is defined as “the act of resolving or determining upon an action, course of action, method, procedure, etc”.  A commitment is defined as “the act of committing, pledging or engaging oneself…a pledge or promise; obligation.”  The difference between two is clear.  Resolutions carry little emotional weight and are easy to move away from.  A commitment asks for you to invest, making it tougher to go off track without noticing.

Start small.  Running a marathon is a great way to get healthy.  It’s also a great way injure yourself and get frustrated.  Shedding 30 pounds is fantastic but it’s very hard, slow work.  No matter what your goal is, getting in over your head will lead to frustration and likely failure.  Setting small step wise goals like running 2 miles or loosing 1 pound a week that happen quickly keeps you feeling positive about your progress.  Lots of small goals also add up to some pretty big accomplishments!

Have a plan.  Since you’ve committed to becoming better in 2017, you will definitely need a plan.  Knowing how you’ll get where you want to go is half the battle when it comes to keeping your fitness resolution moving forward.  Take some time to figure out where your training will fit in your schedule, what you want to accomplish each week and what kind of support you’ll need.

Track your progress.  Write down what you do every single day.  Track the way you felt, what time it was, the weather, what you’d eaten before the workout along with what exercise you actually did.  It’s a great way to see you’re getting closer to your goal even after a bad day because that bad day is probably still an fitness resolutionimprovement over a few weeks ago.  You can never have too many reminders of how far you’ve come and how much further you can go.  A journal will also help you see how things like sleep, nutrition and mood can play a big role in how a workout goes.

Celebrate.  Make a celebration part of your plan.  Whether it’s registering for the race and drinking all the free beer afterwards or taking a vacation somewhere special for a recovery week, you’ll have earned it.  Yes, taking that fitness resolution to the point of success is a prize in its own right but…  After months of planning, hard work and unexpected challenges, a reward is a nice way to reinforce your success.

No matter what your goals for 2017 are Team ECRP wants you to rock them.  Use one or all of these tips to beat your 2017 fitness resolution and set the bar even higher in 2018.

Happy New Year!

Coach Meredith

Mental Preparation Means Better Workouts

Every athlete faces challenging workouts.  There are inevitable good days, bad days, OK days and ‘I want that one back’ days.  While things are bound to get tough when you’re working to get stronger or faster, solid mental preparation can go a long way to making those moments better.  What, exactly, does that mean?  mental preparation

Mind over matter is real.  If you can control your thoughts, you can control your physiology.  Sky rocketing heart rate?  Force a few deep breaths and down it comes.  Cold?  Think warm thoughts and picture sunning on the beach.  Completing a hard workout is tough but here are three ways mental preparation can take a challenge and make it a little bit easier.

Expect the worst.  Look cold or rainy for that run?  How about the huge number of reps in today’s WOD?  If you can steel your nerves and plan to be riding the pain train for a while, odds are when you actually get to work it won’t be as bad as you expected.  By planning to be pushed to your limit you’ll be grateful for each moment that’s not at max effort.

Visualize.  Just like you’re imagining all of the misery you’re going to encounter, foresee success.  Picture writing that new PR in your workout journal or posting it on the white board.  Imagine each step of the session from beginning to end and the positive feelings you’ll have as you tick off the minutes.  Use meditation or yoga to help you focus on your goal and see yourself accomplishing it.

Get comfortable.  Get comfortable being uncomfortable.  Our bodies and minds love the status quo but that gets us officially nowhere.  We only improve when we push beyond our comfort zones and build new ones.  Those seconds or minutes of discomfort we feel, the burning in our shoulders and the exhaustion in our legs, are the times we’re stressing our bodies enough to create a positive response.  Find a motivating mantra that works for you and repeat it when the going gets tough.  You’ll be so busy staying positive you’ll never notice the pain and suffering you’re actually enduring.

Use these tips the next time your workout or run looks extra challenging.  Prepare your mind to succeed and you will.

Coach Meredith

Prepare for Winter Running

Training for a spring race often means training all winter long.  Winter, for lots of people, means snow, below freezing temperatures, ice, wind and the potential for missed training days.  Even when we do our best, combating the challenges of winter running is tough.  Our bodies start to react differently when temperatures dip below 50 degrees Fahrenheit whether we like it or not.  Here are Team ECRP‘s favorite ways to stay warm all season long.

Layer Up.  Wear sweat wicking layers close to your body and heavier layers on top of them.  A wind and rain or snow blocking outermost layer winter runningis ideal.  It’s always easier to remove something than put more on.  Stocking are great under running tights and wool socks are always cozy.

Grab add-ons.  Winter running requires a few more accessories than the summer does.  In addition to your usual fuel and hydration, you’ll need gloves or mittens, a hat or ear warmer and maybe some Yak Trax to help you handle the road conditions.

Warm up.  The colder you are the harder it is to warm up.  Instead of heading out like you normally do, get going indoors.  Try jumping jacks and burpees along with some intense breathing exercises to get your blood pumping, heart rate up and mind ready to tackle a chilly outing.

Dry off.  Get somewhere warm and put on dry clothes as quickly as you can post workout.  Not only will this help your body start recovering faster, you’ll be less likely to catch a cold or become ill.

Break it up.  If the weather is nasty and it’s dark out or you’re too busy to get all those miles is at once, split them up.  Do one run in the morning and one in the evening.  With the exception of your long run it’s usually OK to break things down when you need to.  Just make sure you maintain an adequate recovery window between them.

Get friendly with the treadmill.  Ah, the dreadmill.  It’s an unfortunate necessity of winter running.  Luckily when you makes friends with one you realize they aren’t so bad after all.  A treadmill can be just as effective as an outdoor workout and is, especially in poor conditions, much safer.

Coach Meredith

Join Your Local Running Group

They’re everywhere.  Runners.  Any day of the week, all hours of the morning you can find someone working towards their next PR.  Oftentimes, you’ll see groups of them together smiling, chatting and laughing while they tick off those long run miles.  And you can join them!

There are lots of benefits to joining your local running group whether it’s five people or five hundred.  Most of them are free or provide some benefits for a small membership fee.  Here are just a few of Team ECRP‘s favorites: running group

Guidance:  When you’re part of a big running group it’s inevitable there will be someone at every level of experience and ability.  That makes each outing a perfect time to learn something and become a better runner.  Have a nagging heel pain?  Someone else has, too.  Trouble fueling on those long runs?  There’s probably a brand somebody loves that you haven’t even heard of yet.  Take advantage of the opportunity to further your running knowledge and you’ll reap the benefits.

Motivation:  Perfect running days are hard to come by.  Constantly forecast checking and saying ‘at least it’s not raining’ are sure signs of a runner.  But that doesn’t mean it’s easy to get out the door.  Having a few friends to meet up with provides accountability on ugly days and can keep you going when a run gets tough.

Safety:  Just like your friends can make you accountable and help you forget about how awful that 20 miler was, they help keep you safe.  Especially for women there is safety in numbers.  Having at least one buddy makes everyone less likely to be attacked in any way.  It also means faster access to whatever you need if there’s an injury or medical emergency.  Use your local running group to make new best runner friends and you’ll never have to worry.

Socializing:  This is the most important one, of course.  We all love our post long run beer, taco, pizza or all three and, honestly, there’s nothing runners like to talk about more than running.  A local running group is the perfect place to find people to run with, race with or just plain old hang out with.

Coach Meredith