Choosing a half marathon training plan

So you’ve decided to run a half marathon.  Maybe it’s your first, maybe it’s your 100th. Perhaps you want to just finish (without crawling up the hills, my husband’s goal for Knoxville) or maybe you want to PR. Regardless of your level and ability, we all have one goal in common… to cross that finish line! And over the next however-many-months, you will want to build mileage, consider cross & strength training, stretching, hydrating, sleep, rest, recovery… and on and on.  Enter TRAINING PLAN!

Choosing the right training plan is important and although many have commonalities, others have specific focuses. I think the most important thing is to find one that fits YOUR LIFE. If you LOVE to run and have time for high mileage plans, find one that will get you into those peak weeks of 30 miles (we’re talking intermediate half training over here, these mileage goals will vary too!) If you’d rather just do three “quality” runs per week to have time for yoga and cross training, do that (then weekly mileage may be closer to 20-25 at peak weeks). Find something that balances your interests, goals and overall life balance.

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Here are five favorite half marathon intermediate training plans…

  • Capital City Intermediate Plan
    • This one has four runs per week with a peak long run of 13 miles prior to race day. It also has an active recovery day (great for yoga!) and two rest days.  It is 17 weeks, but could be modified down if you are already running.
  • Columbus Running Company
    • This one is similar, with four runs per week and a long run of 12 miles prior to race day.  I like that this one has you taper a bit earlier… I like to feel well rested on race day! One cross train day and two rest days. This one is over 18 weeks (I think?!), but again, can be modified if you are already running. CRC also has weekly group runs & virtual coaching – contact them today!
  • Hal Higdon
    • Higdon is a popularly utilized training option found on the internet. He has a wide variety of intermediate plans ranging from five runs per week to his HM3 plan, with three key runs per week.  Most of Higdon’s plans are 12 weeks. You can find some that are based on mileage (my preference) and others that are based on total run time.
  • Sage Rountree
    • We met Sage at a run+yoga workshop at Go Yoga a couple years ago. She pairs our love of running and yoga, combining the two in her training plans. I’ve not done her half plan, but did follow it for a 10K and was pleased with my finish time! Her plan combines five days of running with one day of yoga and one day of rest. It is a 12 week plan.
  • Coach Jenny Hadfield 
    • I’ve not done this plan, but have heard great things about Coach Hadfield and have listened to some of her podcasts. Jenny’s intermediate plan is 14 weeks and includes four runs per week.

Moral of the story – every runner is different.  Find a plan that works for YOU and tweak as needed.  I’ve personally run 17 half marathons as of this post… so I’ve created my own training plan over time that combines my love of running+yoga, as well as my need for a day of rest here and there. Some races I’ve run for “fun” and I add in more rest, while others have been a PR chase and I added in more mileage and/or speed work. I try for a minimum of three quality runs per week (speed or hills, tempo and long run), but like to add in a 4th day of running when I can.  My peak weeks are around 25 miles, but I make time for 1-2 hours of yoga (sometimes at home, sometimes at a fav local studio), and try for an additional hour of runner specific strength training (LOVE places like Orange Theory Fitness and RISE Fitness Community, combining running+strength). 

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More to come on “using” that training plan in another post! I like to track my workouts in a training log & then tweak training as needed.  Remember to be flexible and “listen to your body” as you plug along through the next 12-17 weeks! 

Disclaimer – these intermediate plans are geared towards runners that have been running for a while and are a bit “seasoned.”  Coach Hadfield states on her site, “The Intermediate Half Marathon Program is best suited for those who have been running at least 3-5 times per week for 45-60 minutes for at least one year and have completed a half marathon in the past year.” If you are running a half for the first time, find a plan that is geared more towards beginners.

So…. what plan do you like? What have you used in the past? We want to know! And good luck this season, we hope to see you out on the trail!

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Christmas gifts I’m loving…

As I sit here and watch my kids play with their new toys ~ most popular were the trampoline-turned-ball-pit, plethora of baby doll stuff and the Razor scooters ~ I thought I’d share a few of my favorites that were under our tree this Christmas! Time with family, a week off work and celebrating baby Jesus are the real gifts (of course)… but a few running & fitness related items are always fun to head into the new year! Many thanks to Santa, my hubs and our parents for helping me prepare for another 365 days of merry miles & time on the mat. 🙂

My Top Five Fitness Gifts of 2017

1. lululemon “The Towel” – I seem to be one of the few at Harbor Yoga without one of these! With their 103 degree temps, having an extra layer to absorb the sweat seems like a great idea.

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2. Training Journal – I’m big on journaling and recording my miles and workouts.  To me, its super motivational, and can help with goal setting & planning out your week. This could be a blog post on its own!  I’ve used several different types over the years ~ BELIEVE training journal, plain lined journal ~ and this year asked for an Erin Condren planner to try something new.  It has spots for writing goals, motivational quotes (which I’m a sucker for), weekly planning and more!

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3. Gift cards and a shopping trip with my mom – I’ll be heading to Dick’s & lululemon to start, searching for a new running coat. I am NOT a cold weather runner, so once it hits 20s or lower, I’m definitely in a jacket. I’ve been eyeing the luluemon Down for a Run and the Northface Thermoball Active Jacket.  I currently have the lululemon Fleecy Keen run jacket that I’ve had for a few years… LOVE it and want a white or more reflective option as well. Let me know if you have any insight!

4. Destination trip details!! –  Eeeek!  One of my absolute favorite things is to travel! Isn’t it fun to explore new places, especially while running?! Stocking stuffers included…

  • Registration to the Knoxville Half Marathon in March – this will be my 10th state and we are excited to spend a few days in the mountains of Tennessee and North Carolina for our spring break this year.
  • Denver Running Tour – we are headed to Denver in July for our anniversary (my first time!) and we are scheduling a City Running Tour! I originally was hoping to do the half marathon while we were there, but since its a short trip, this is a good compromise. I’m hoping to run stairs or do yoga at Red Rocks as well, it’s come highly recommended!

5. Hubby running Cap City – so this one wasn’t wrapped up under the tree, but within the last few days he’s committed to running the Cap City half marathon! This has become one of my top five gifts this week. 🙂 He will train with me over the next few months and will start at least the first half of the race with me in the two hour pace group… then he may pull ahead and finish strong. This will be his second half marathon and compared to the Flying Pig, will be flat & fast.  I look forward to the time we’ll spend during training miles, the race and the after-party!!

Other gifts this year included a NoxGear visibility vest, Honey Stinger fuel, some new water bottles, Nike running gloves, Nike running vest, oodles of running socks (which my husband will likely steal, even though they are pink), a renewed subscription to Runner’s World and a new book, Run Less, Run Faster.  Runners are easy to shop for, in my opinion.  Anything that helps us stay warm, stay focused or just look “put together” while we sweat gets an A+ from me!

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Completely unrelated to running – my mom wrapped up a coupon for our first Disney Cruise on spring break of 2019! This will be our first and I’m super excited! More on this in the future.  Can you turn a cruise into a running blog post?! Hee hee.

Hope your Christmas or holiday was a fun one! What great running, yoga or fitness gifts did you get (or give)?

Now time to put all this stuff to good use and start focusing on those 2018 fit goals!

Cap City Half Marathon… Who is coming with us!?

I’m excited to be signed up for the Capital City Half Marathon again this year!  I’ve done the half a few times and last year, squeaked by the bad weather and big storm by PR-ing in the quarter (whoop whoop – gotta love a PR!)

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And even more exciting… I was asked to be an official “Voice of Columbus” for this year’s event! I’ve lived in Columbus my entire life (well, other than that random semester I moved to the University of Wisconsin) and my love of all things Cbus runs deep.  The Cap City event is having its 15th anniversary and I’m SO very excited to be a part of it! I’ve always loved M3S events, especially the after parties, so much so that we’ve dedicated a page just to them HERE!

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Hope you’ll join us this year! As of now, we plan to stick with the two hour pace group and see that 1:59 on the finish line clock. Sign up before Dec 31st (or put it on your list – last minute gift idea without the hassle of long lines!) and save $10.  Use code 18VOCLIVINGFIT to save an additional $10 off registration.

Okay, heading to bed. Only two shopping days until Christmas and only 126 days until the starting line… gotta rest up! 🙂  Stay tuned for discount codes, training tips, and little doses of inspiration over the next few months!

Nite!

 

 

 

“Last mile, best mile” // Why I love negative splits

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Why save the best mile for last?

Well, because it will make you feel empowered.  To finish strong.  To see what you have left in the tank those last few minutes. To push yourself, body and mind, even when you are exhausted.

Do what you need to do – tighten your ponytail, turn on your power music, tell yourself, “you got this” – and then pick up the pace for that final push.

For whatever reason, I have always liked the concept of negative splits.  Allowing your body to warm up, then progressively get faster with a strong finish. Maybe it’s early in the morning and you’re not quite awake. Perhaps you’re just not feeling a run today, but you make yourself get out there and decide to “start slow.” Just getting started is half the battle and once your body warms up, you’ll often find that the running magic – whether it be motivation, ambition, adrenaline, competitiveness – will kick in and a strong finish is only a mind-set away.

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Tank by Sarah Marie Designs – one of my recent favorites! 

During my last half marathon, I started out on my own (miles 1-2), then decided to catch the two hour group, hung with them for a while (miles 4-10) and then decided to kick it in the last three miles. Love seeing those negative splits at the end!

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Eric Fruth, owner of  Columbus Running Co (Dublin) offers us this advice on negative splits… “In order to be at your most efficient on race day, and to run negative splits in your own race, you’ll want to practice. Start with one of your easy recovery runs. Run the second half just a little quicker than the first, teaching your body to accelerate as you get warmed up, loosening up as you go. For a track workout, that means running slightly quicker on each interval of your workout. You’ll find that this approach really pays off, allowing you to finish workouts on a high note and with your best effort. By training like this, you’ll prepare yourself for a strong second half on race day, regardless of the distance you’re chasing.”

Two of my favorite negative split workouts…

  • Descending ladder run – there aren’t any set rules here, do what works for you!  I typically do a 2xmile, 2×800, 2×400 with a 30 second recovery in between each rep, getting faster with each ladder.  Add in a 1/2 mile cool down and you’ve got a great 4 mile run.
  • Progression runs – the options are endless!  Sometimes I’ll start out slow for a warm up mile, then pick up the pace by 20 seconds each mile thereafter. If I’m just doing a quick three, I’ll split it in thirds; first mile easy, second mile “push” and third mile “all out.” This is also a good 5K race day strategy (so they say)!

Finishing faster and stronger than you started is an art.  Practice makes you better.  So work it into your training and perhaps even at your next race… we dare you!

Do you like negative splits?  What is your favorite speed strategy?  Let us know! 

Sources and more info…

 

Tour of Columbus // StudioTorch

We visited StudioTorch last week for a kick-a*s work out and I was sore for days! As a distance runner, I’m usually good about getting in those miles and an occasional yoga session, but strength training and HIIT workouts? Not so much! This was a great workout that should definitely be incorporated for cross training into any runner’s routine.

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Different days of the week mean different workouts, helping keep your workout fresh & provide a complete training routine.  We got lucky – or maybe unlucky – and ended up doing Total Body. That explains why my total body was tight for a couple days! I’m a cardio junkie so I’d personally be drawn towards Fridays, but my body probably needs me to go on a total body or arms/abs day.

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We split into four groups and after a warm up, we rotated between four stations, completing a variety of HIIT circuits including treadmill sprints, 200 meter rows, squats, lunges, TRX exercises, core work… and probably a lot of other things that I’ve blocked out of my memory. My joke never gets old (to me), “I can run forever, but my legs start shaking after 20+ squats!” It was a 55 minute, heart-pounding workout that pushed me to my physical limits.

The head trainer was great and thankfully there were a few coaches in my group who I may-or-may-not-have watched several times during that first rotation. Everyone was super helpful, energetic and the class was just what I needed.

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Being that this was their “soft opening” before their big GRAND opening, most of the coaches, staff and of course, owners were there. After class, we snapped a couple group photos and got to chat with founders, Tom & Jon. Then we headed out to the lobby for their launch party refreshments including lots of goodies from local vendors. This was the royal treatment!  IMG_5029IMG_5036IMG_5038

All in all, this was a FANTASTIC experience.  A good calorie burn, great people, nice & clean facility (it actually still had that ‘new car’ smell!)… all the essentials for a great place to visit if you’re looking for a new place to check out. I *think* I’ve officially committed to attempting a PR in the spring… meaning I’ll need to up my game and start including more strength training & getting that heart rate up.  StudioTorch would be the perfect workout to mix into my spring training – I will be back!

Fit Spotlight // Ten facts about Holly

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Columbus fitness enthusiast, Holly Robbertz

I work with Holly at Olentangy Orange HS and admire her commitment to her yoga practice. After chatting with her a few times and realizing how involved she is in the Columbus yoga community, I jumped at the chance to interview her for Living Fit Columbus!  She has so much passion and wisdom to share, hope you enjoy the read!

Why do you love yoga & what is your motivation for LIVING FIT?

I am physically, emotionally and spiritually very drawn to Ashtanga yoga. From the age of 7 to 20 years, I was a competitive gymnast and dancer (ballet and modern). When I was little, one of my favorite things to do was to play a favorite song (on a record-lol!) and to freely create a dance that interpreted how my emotions and body responded to the music. Dance enabled me to use my body as a way to physically express my emotions.

My freshman year of  college, I was a dance major wanting to become a dance therapist (The following year I switched majors to become an Early Childhood Intervention Specialist). My dance teacher introduced me to Bikram’s yoga in 1979. I started a daily Bikram’s yoga practice and loved it (it wasn’t hot yoga back then). I taught my father Bikram’s and occasionally we would practice together. In his mid 50s, 5’9 and with an endearing Buddha belly, it was very touching that my father would do yoga with me! Even headstands! These are such special memories.

I was fortunate to grow up in a very loving and supportive family. In my early 20’s my brother, a mountain climber was killed in an avalanche in British Columbia. The loss of my brother was heartbreaking. It took many years to work through my grief. My parents faced this loss with remarkable love and bravery. Three years ago, my mother sister and I traveled back to British Columbia to face our pain, to experience the great love we had for my brother and to look up at the grandeur and majesty of Mt. Robson (the mountain that took my brother’s life). We learned that the Native Americans called this mountain the “Spiraling Road to the Afterlife.” It was an extraordinary trip of healing. Throughout our travels, I maintained my daily Ashtanga practice.  My mother at age 85 works in Hospice supporting others who have  endured similar losses. As devastating as a loss like this can be, it also teaches you that love for your family and fellow human is all that matters.  I feel that it is very important that I share this gift of love and support to my family members, friends, community members, colleagues and students.

Yoga not only is a good fit for the way my body likes to move, but also in the supportive, caring community that it attracts. Yoga provides healing and growth for the body, mind and soul. Getting onto your mat enables you to face and work through a range of emotions, establish a consistent breathing practice and to challenge yourself to take new risks. Yoga is a metaphor for life. If you can face a new asana (pose) challenge, work through it and see gradual progress, you can apply this approach to facing any obstacle that may come your way. I like Ashtanga because it challenges me. I love to try strenuous poses and find ways to gradually work through them.

I have learned many lessons on the mat. I have a tendency to rush, as a means to  accomplish all the tasks life requires. My life is beautiful and complicated. I have three children ages 25, 22 and 18. Our oldest daughter has complex medical and developmental needs. She is 25 but her care requires the coordination of ongoing medical appointments with numerous experts and early morning/afternoon home health care, so that I am able to work full-time. On the weekends, I also have a private tutoring practice where I work with students diagnosed with Dyslexia. It is important that I am healthy so that I may care for our daughter’s needs, while also being attentive to my spouse, our other two children, my students and their families.

Yoga enables me to build reserves of strength and resiliency for my family. I am far from perfect. This is an ongoing restorative journey that requires daily vigilance on my mat.  I pray that I am able to practice Ashtanga yoga for the rest of my life. Getting on my mat enables me to push a “reset” button. Yoga provides a sanctuary in which I can face and also let go of the stressors of the day.

What is your favorite FITness memory or accomplishment?

I am fortunate to have many favorite yoga memories. It has been a privilege to meet Ashtanga yogi Kino Mac Gregor as she annually comes to lead classes and workshops at Yoga on High.

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However, my favorite experience is seeing my 22 year old daughter Abby practice at Ashtanga Yoga of Columbus. To give her a hug before or after our sweaty practice is an extraordinary gift. Our 18 year old son also practices yoga. He is a freshman at Savannah College of Art and Design. (SCAD). When we dropped him at college, my husband and I ended up taking a yoga class with Gabe. During shavasana (ending nap), I realized we would be saying good-bye after class. Tears were streaming onto my map as I acknowledged the good-bye. After class we hugged and cried on the sidewalk outside the yoga studio and Gabe longboarded off into the sunset. Doesn’t get better than that!

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What does your typical weekly workout routine look like?

I practice Ashtanga yoga for an hour to an hour and a half daily.  I try to run a mile 3X a week (to maintain cardiac health). Even when I am providing a full day of Orton-Gillingham teacher trainings at Central office (and I am unable to practice at the Shala) I bring my mat and practice during lunch.

What are some of your favorite things?!

Favorite way to sweat: Ashtanga yoga. It is very challenging physically. I love the challenge and the subsequent growth of body, mind and soul that comes from it. Every day it is a mountain to climb with amazing rewards.  It is a  joy to step onto my mat!

Favorite FIT place around Columbus: My favorite place to practice is at the Shala for Ashtanga Yoga of Columbus (AYC). The Shala is dedicated solely to Ashtanga yoga. It is run by Taylor Hunt who wrote the book, “A Way From Darkness.” Taylor’s book tells the story of how Ashtanga yoga saved his life from addiction. He has created the Trini Foundation which raises money to create yoga scholarships for individuals recovering from addiction. Taylor is a phenomenal teacher. He is very observant and sensitive to the needs of each of his students. All of the teachers at AYC are wonderful and bring different strengths and knowledge to our practice.  I love the mission and spirit of the Shala, to reach out to others and to provide yoga as a mode of healing. It is a wonderful and diverse community. We are all humans with vulnerabilities and strengths that come together side by side, to practice on our mats.

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Favorite food: I try to eat a balanced diet, heavily loaded fruits and veggies. My favorite healthy foods are salads with a variety of fruits, veggies, and nuts etc. My son is Vegan and I have considered becoming a vegetarian, but I have not made the leap yet. My “treats” include freshly baked bread with butter & Graeter’s Coconut Chip Ice Cream.

Favorite workout gear/apparel: lululemon “align pant” and “free to be me sports bra”-anything lulu! Also, Kino’s yoga clothing line “OM stars.”

What’s on your personal “fitness” bucket list? To complete the “second series” of Ashtanga yoga, to become proficient at hand stands, to travel to Mysore India to practice with Sharath (grandson of K. Pattabhi Jois).

Do you have any words of wisdom, favorite quote or other inspiration for others to lead a fit/healthy lifestyle? “Heart Rules Mind” by D.A.H

Lastly, we drink a lot of coffee… are you a coffee lover?  Yes!  I love coffee!

Thanks for sharing your “inner light” with us Holly! Namaste!

Are you afraid of the dark? Tips for runner safety

Tips for runner safety before sunrise & beyond the sunset

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Running at sunrise or sunset can bring beautiful scenery and can be a great way to start or end your day.  With daylight savings, however, its dark EARLY.  Like way too early.  Look outside, it’s not even 5PM and the sky is already going black! The days of sunset runs at 8:30PM are long gone and many of us must get our runs done in the morning before the sun is up or in the evening after the sun has set.  Here are some quick tips our runners have discussed during these dark winter months.

1.Wear bright and/or reflective clothing and gear. Why not add a cute white puffer vest to your collection? If you don’t own white or bright outer layers or want to add advanced visibility, consider products like headlamps or lights & reflective apparel from noxgear.  Bonus, they are local, headquartered in Dayton, Ohio! If all else fails, use your trusty iPhone flashlight app.

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2. Stay on sidewalks as much as possible.  We admit, we prefer blacktop paths and will sometimes run in the road if the only other option is a hard, possibly uneven, sidewalk.  But when its dark, cars are less likely to see you (duh) so keep off the roads as best you can. Your knees can handle a few sidewalk runs, here and there. Even better, head to the track for some speed work – then you don’t have to worry about tripping over un-level concrete (believe us, we’ve had our fair share of slips & falls!)

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3. Run with a buddy… or maybe a group!  There is safety in numbers. Check out local running groups to find training partners that may be nearby and within your ideal pace. Columbus has many resources to connect you including MRTT Columbus and Columbus Running Co’s Facebook pages & groups.

4. Carry safety items with you including phone and perhaps even a whistle (we have one by GracedByGrit) or mace. Better safe than sorry.

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5. If you can’t manage to run outside – perhaps check out a new studio (maybe you’ll make a new friend or find a new ‘fitness’ home!) or hit up the dreadmill treadmill for a few months. Many local Cbus studios offer early AM classes, including OTF’s 5AMer.  We dare you to set your alarm for 4:30AM and check it out! 🙂

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Are YOU afraid of the dark? Send us your tips, favorite products & more! 

Fit Spotlight // VPower Yoga co-owner, Erin Lombardo

Fit Spotlight

Erin Lombardo is the co-owner of V Power Yoga, located in Downtown Columbus.  We first mentioned her in our Tour of Columbus studio spotlight, back in 2014 and highlighted her again last year, naming her one of our Top Columbus Fitness Inspirations. Erin is like my soul sister, loving so many things that I love including running & yoga, traveling, the beach and of course, chocolate. She is a fellow entrepreneur, with tons of ambition, all driven by her passion to help others become better yogis and better humans. I was super excited to meet her for a run chat a few weeks ago to pick her brain about running, yoga and more.

Erin’s Fitness Bio:

Erin initially got into yoga as a cross training activity for her running routine.  VPowerYogaColumbus-26After falling in love with it, she decided to pursue her yoga teacher training certification.  Flash forward a few years and this runner turned yogi found herself the proud co-owner of V Power Yoga Studio.  As an instructor, she runs her classes in a way that any runner-yogi would love, an athletic blend combining both a faster vinyasa flow to elevate the heart (gotta get that cardio in!) along with poses & sequences that incorporate balance, strength and flexibility helpful as cross training.  Erin also loves to let us “play” during class and has personally helped me strengthen crow, side crow, headstand and many other arm balances & inversions.

Her credentials include…

  • ERYT-200 (2010)
  • MS in Nutrition (2012)
  • Registered & Licensed Dietitian (RD, LD) (2013)
  • MPH in Epidemiology (2016)
  • Working on her PhD in Interdisciplinary Nutrition at Ohio State (hopefully May 6, 2018!)

What is your motivation for LIVING FIT and pursuing yoga as both your passion and career focus?  (we stole this quote from her IG account, with her permission of course!)

While working in medical sales in San Diego, I saw the impact of an unhealthy lifestyle and wanted to be on the other side of the sale, helping people live a healthy lifestyle. This journey has truly changed my life in a way I never would’ve imagined. First, prompting my return to school in pursuit of a Masters in Nutrition along with becoming both a Registered Dietitian (RD) and Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT-200). For my Masters Thesis, I combined my passions of nutrition and yoga through an obesity and stress prevention program for 3rd graders. Through my MPH and PhD I’ve had the opportunity to work with nutrition clinical trials truly testing the potential for food as medicine. Along the way I’ve worked with individuals and groups of 400+, taught classes & workshops, led an international yoga retreat and so much more! Things I never would’ve imagined when I decided to return to the classroom to learn how to help others live a healthy lifestyle. I’m beyond excited to share my passions and expertise with others through V Power Yoga’s Teacher Training program launching October 1st.

What is a favorite or fond FITness memory or accomplishment you have? There are SO many from my first half marathon to scuba diving the Great Barrier Reef! One of my fondest yoga accomplishments is handstand. When I started yoga I was absolutely terrified of inversions, specifically handstand, and now they are my favorite because they allow me to truly quiet my mind. I absolutely love working with yogis to tap into their inner strength and turn their worlds upside down.

What is your go-to post-run routine?   I usually walk the last half mile of a run to allow my body to cool down.  Some good post-run stretches include runner’s lunge, forward fold (seated or standing), happy baby and variations of side angle & triangle.

A few of Erin’s favorite things…  

  • Favorite FIT place around Columbus:  V Power Yoga, of course!  I also like the running trails around Columbus, including the Olentangy Trail (where we met for our run chat)!
  • Typical weekly workout routine:  I teach yoga at the studio, usually around eight classes per week. I also run two-three days per week, around 3-4 miles and take one or two yoga classes, usually at our studio.. And when it’s cold out, I hop on the elliptical instead of running outside.
  • Favorite race distance:  When I was running more, the half marathon was my favorite distance.  It was achievable, yet still challenging.  For purposes of having a work/life balance, I try to keep my workouts (including drive time) to two hours, so the training for the half distance fits into my lifestyle more than the full marathon distance.  
  • Favorite yoga pose or sequence:  I really enjoy arm balances and inversions, and enjoy working those into my classes.  I love the sense of empowerment & strength yoga can provide.
  • Favorite treat:   I love chocolate!    

What is one thing people may not know about you?  

In High School and College I spent my summers just outside Jackson Hole, WY exercising horses. My days were filled with exploring this gorgeous part of the country by foot, mountain bike, kayak and horseback!

When going to a coffee shop, what is your go-to order?  We have a lot of coffee meet ups. 🙂  So… I don’t do coffee!  I tried coffee ice cream when I was a kid and haven’t had any sort of coffee since.  My go-to drink is tea, usually chamomile lavender.

If you want to see Erin in action, check her out on her “Yoga Talk” clip on  YouTube!  In this quick clip, she stresses the importance of making time for self care – “If we find that time for ourselves, then we’re better at being able to take care of other people as well.”  You can also follow @Vpoweryoga on Instagram and witness the journey of why so many others choose to become #VPYogaStrong, as well as check in on their latest YTT program!  xoxo

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Finding your next race… or maybe your first!

Tomorrow morning is one of the biggest races in Columbus and thousands of walkers and runners will be pushing through the miles for Nationwide Children’s Hospital champion kids.  This is an amazing race in a city we love for a cause that can’t be better!  Good luck to all participants and BIG hugs to all the patient champions and their families!

Some of us live for races, run some every month and even plan vacations around them.  Others do one or two a year.  Maybe you’re even thinking about signing up for your first race ever!  Regardless of what your racing calendar looks like, sometimes its fun to try something new. Here are some ways you can find that next race (or plan out your whole racing season!)

1.Find a local race & support your community.  Businesses, run clubs, schools and even individuals plan races right in your backyard! Ask friends for favorites or use the good old internet to search for upcoming events. Great Columbus-based races and racing companies (that help host races) are M3SSports, Columbus Running Co, and Premier Races.

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2. Plan a destination race.  Some may find a favorite and visit year after year, while others may chase those bucket list goals and go somewhere new.  Run for fun with a group or find a fast, flat course and hit a new PR… the options are endless!  We usually travel for half marathons and try to plan a fun weekend around the race.  We have a personal goal to “run a half marathon in half the states” & daydream by visiting sites such as Runner’s World Bucket List: 9 Destination Halfs and NY Post’s 15 Best Half Marathons in America.  This past spring we ran the rolling countryside of “America’s Prettiest Half” in Lexington, Kentucky… planning spring 2018 very soon!

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3. Join forces for a good cause. Races such as the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Columbus Marathon & St Jude Memphis Marathon as well as the recent races series organized by Rocky Fork Running Club bring awareness and raise funds for a variety of causes. Really, there’s no better reason to run. #WillRunForBlingAndCharity

4. Try a virtual race.  Maybe you’re not big on 4:55AM wake-ups on a Saturday morning for a regular race start.  Or maybe you can’t find one near you that fits your schedule.  A virtual race allows you to run (or walk) on your own time, at your own pace, at a location of your choice, while still having the support of other online friends! Many have budget-friendly entry fees and several we’ve found support charities.  Here’s a quick video blurb from GoneForARun.com if you want to know more.

5. Create your own! If you have a group of friends & some bibs or medals… its considered a “race,” right?  Our September race was canceled last minute and we needed to fit one in…. so we gathered each other, made our own bling (thanks to Brokeman’s Running Co for the inspo!), ran our hearts out & took some photos at the end!

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We hope you find all the races your hearts desire as you plan your next one, two, twelve!  Keep us updated on your favorites!

What races do you love?  What’s on your race bucket list? How do you choose your races?  We’d love to hear from you!  

Guest Post // Five Exercises for a Healthier Heart

With WORLD HEART DAY right around the corner – tomorrow, Friday, Sep 29th – we figured this was an appropriate time for a guest post about exercises for a healthier heart!  Sara is building her “blogger portfolio” and we welcomed her post…

Guest Post // Five Exercises for a Healthier Heart 

Your heart is an extremely strong organ, but even this grows weak if you do not take good care of it through a nutritious diet and regular exercise! Here is a list of some of the most “heart friendly exercises” for a healthier blood pump.

Yoga

Yoga requires you to exercise using your own body weight and practice stretching to gain more flexibility in your movement. Yoga ranges from requiring very easy and basic movements like in Hatha Yoga, to demanding great flexibility and perfect posture like in Ashtanga or Vinyasa Yoga. Along with providing you with physical benefits, yoga can also be helpful in clearing the mind and keeping you stress-free. Remaining stress-free is also a really good way to keep your heart healthy and relaxed.

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Aerobics

Aerobics are basically cardio-exercise. They can be anything that can make your heart rate go up and have the sweat running in minutes. Aerobics are not a good option for people who have fragile hearts since it makes the heart put in a lot of effort. Even so, if you believe that your heart is healthy now and you want it to stay that way, you should get into the habit of doing aerobics regularly. You can make it even more fun by practicing fast dance moves or joining a class with a group of friends.

Running and Walking

For people who have never really had much physical exercise to begin with, they should start off with walking. Walking briskly 30-60 minutes every day can prove to be a very useful exercise. Even if it does not show immediate effect, you can see some major improvements in your long-term health. When you find that walking briskly is getting easier and easier, you should get the pace up to a jog and then start jogging or running. Running is one of the most effective ways to lose weight and make your heart really healthy.

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Strength Training

Strength training includes exercises that require lifting weights and doing exercises like push-ups. Be cautious of lifting weights that are beyond your capacity, this may seriously damage your muscles. Instead, take weights that you can use comfortably and do a series of relatively easy weights, working your way up.

Massages

Okay so massages are not exactly exercises, but they do make your body go through some physical toning which is basically what exercise does.  According to the Mayo Clinic, “Studies of the benefits of massage demonstrate that it is an effective treatment for reducing stress, pain and muscle tension.” So get yourself a top quality massage chair!

Author Bio: Sara is a psychologist by profession and she loves massage therapies. She enjoys home-based work and traveling. She is obsessed with massage chair therapies and other relaxing techniques. She regularly posts at https://mymassagechairs.com.

Disclaimer: We are not doctors, only fitness enthusiasts!  Please consult a medical professional before beginning any exercise routine.