September 2nd, 2014

3 Common Beginner Running Mistakes

Hope you all had a great holiday weekend! At the last minute, we invited friends over and fired up the grill. Tonight more friends are coming and spending the night- the perfect way to wrap up the lazy days of summer!

Everything starts up after Labor Day around here, so this is the first week that we will get settled into our new school year routine.  Even though I run and train through the summer, fall is typically when things can ramp up again with more focus and attention and with races drawing nearer.

I had a recent question from a beginner runner that got me thinking about common mistakes we make when we’re starting out. Here are some that come to mind…

3 common beginner running mistakes

1) We want to run a little further and a little faster every day.

It feels like we should see instant improvement when we’re starting out (and it happens for some people!) so it’s often tempting to push a little harder and a little further on each run.  Other beginners keep it slow but want to run every single day rather than easing into running slowly and carefully.

Sooner or later, we figure out that there is a purpose to training plans.   Running more and farther and skipping rest days leads to burn out and injury.

What to do instead: Plan in one “fast” day of running per week. Plan easy runs and rest days.  Our bodies need recovery time to get stronger and improve. 


2) We sign up for every local race we hear about before finishing our first

Actually, this wasn’t true for me… I started with just one half marathon in the spring and one in the fall.  But I know a number of new runners who get carried away signing up for races without considering training cycles or recover time between races.

There really isn’t anything wrong with this- but it’s hard to have your best race or a strong training cycle when you’re constantly racing.

What to do instead: If you want to aim for a personal best time, it’s ideal to limit distance races to 1-2 per season and schedule several weeks between races to give your body recovery weeks and time to rebuild.  You want to plan your training so that you hit your peak fitness at the time of your race (a coach or running plan can help with this!)


3) Running is our only form of exercise

I’m guilty of this! For several years, I only ran or walked for exercise and ignored cross training any other muscle groups.  Eventually my body spoke up and let me know about the muscle groups I had been neglecting through injuries that were due to imbalances.  I now incorporate spinning and weights regularly, although I should also work on getting more stretching, yoga and/or pilates into my routine.

What to do instead: Find activities you enjoy that work supporting muscle groups including biking, swimming, walking, weight training, yoga or Pilates.  Balance your muscles with strength exercises specific for runners.  Here are a few related posts that may be helpful:

6 Important Strength Exercises for Runners

The Benefits of Pilates for Runners

Pilates for Runners: 6 Exercises to do at home

Two Strength Workouts for Runners


Did any of these apply to you as a beginner runner?

What do you wish you knew then that you know now?




August 31st, 2014

A day at the beach, workouts + meal planning

Hey! Hope you’re enjoying this long weekend!

We wanted to get to the beach this week so on Friday we decided to brave it with both girls.  We haven’t checked out the local beaches since moving a year ago, and there are several within an hour drive.  It worked out great!  Well, until the ride home when both girls were melting down (mid afternoon) but thankfully they both crashed in the car and we ended our day with a little peace and quiet.  :)

Baby J at the beach

Baby J did great.  She napped on the way there, ate and napped again on me in the Moby wrap (thankfully it was a cool day and there was a nice breeze by the water).  We got lunch and let L play another hour or so and then everyone napped (mama included) on the way home.

In terms of workouts, I’m slowly picking up my running miles.  This week’s recap:

Sunday: 5.25 mile slow jog (9:30 pace)

Monday: 2 mile walk + push ups and squats

Tuesday: 5 mile run (8:44 ave)

Wednesday: This resistance band workout

Thursday: 4 mile easy run

Friday: 4 mile easy run post-beach

Saturday: Taught 1 hour spin – my first class back! Plus a few push ups and squats.

I’m hoping to get in 6+ miles this morning.  I also realized as I typed this out that I’m due for a rest day! So that will be tomorrow.


Here’s the meal plan:

Sunday: Out (Mets game, etc)

Monday: Grilled Chicken Avocado Melts

Chicken Avocado Melts

Tuesday: Grilled Cilantro Lime Shrimp Kebabs + green salad

Wednesday: BBQ Lentils with rice (repeat- never got to this last week!)

Thursday: Grilled steak, roasted sweet potatoes + asparagus

Friday: Black bean veggie quesadillas + guacamole

Saturday:  Take out

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How far are you from a beach?

How are you spending this long weekend?

August 29th, 2014

Is running bad for your joints?

I’m digging back into the archives today… this was one of my first blog posts! I wrote it after the Biggest Loser had to pull contestants from a marathon to prevent joint damage, which got me thinking about how I would answer this question…


Have you ever been told that running can damage [...]

August 27th, 2014

Lately + Healthy Carrot Cake Cookies

Thanks for the support with my food history story! I also wanted to clarify that I was by no means trying to bad mouth vegetarians- I learned that my body type does best with some animal protein, but it’s our goal to eat a mostly plant based diet and many people feel great with no [...]

August 25th, 2014

My relationship with food- the whole story

Hope you all had a great weekend!

This is a very personal post and I’m a little nervous to hit publish but I like to keep things real. It struck me the last few months that I share bits and pieces of my food story with health coach clients but I’ve never written it out [...]

August 24th, 2014

Weekly workouts and menu planning

Hey everyone! Hope you’re having a great weekend.

Thanks for the suggestions and comments about baby’s sleep. Thankfully, the night/day issue has been much better the last few nights. After two days where she literally slept all day (with rocky nights!), I took a day to keep her awake 20-30 minutes after each feeding and [...]

August 22nd, 2014

3 Weeks Old: Baby, Mom, and Breast Pump Giveaway

Happy Friday!

Before I forget, thanks to everyone who was entered the essential oils giveaway last week. The winners were Jenny W. (Lemon Essential oil) and Christine Y (Peppermint Essential oil). Congrats! Please email me with your address so I can have those sent out.

So on Monday, baby J was 3 weeks old already! [...]

August 20th, 2014

How sleep affects cravings, weight and running performance

I’m excited to kick off the reset in a few weeks with many of you! The group support and accountability is one of the best aspects of this group- it always amazes me.

Making good choices for our health is more complicated than just food. A few months ago, I wrote a post on 7 [...]

August 18th, 2014

Reset your metabolism - 21 day Reset Challenge

Hi friends,

Back in January, I kicked off the first Reset (whole foods) challenge as a way to clean up our eating after the holidays and eliminate sugar overgrowth in the gut, sharing simple holistic health tips in daily emails. Those little changes can make a big difference. It was so rewarding to see the [...]

August 17th, 2014

Easing back to running post-partum + Meal Plan Link Up

If you follow me on Instagram, you probably saw that I started slowing getting back to jogging this week (baby J’s 3rd week). I had some questions about waiting until 6 weeks or how to know you’re ready, and wanted to briefly address that here.

The danger in sharing all of my workouts of course [...]

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