Do you know what’s super lovely about rest? Actually resting.
You will heal. I will help.
I just finished Jess Allen’s Train Like an Athlete 6 Week Training Plan, and I promised to put together this Train Like an Athlete 6 Week Training Plan Review post for y’all.
First, upon completing the program, you’d think that maybe I took “before and after” photos to share. Spoiler alert: I didn’t. My goal had nothing to do with aesthetics, though I do feel that some of my muscles got more defined (shoulders, quads, and upper back namely). However, all I wanted was to feel stronger (and be able to run trails/hills better). Overall, I accomplished that. If you follow my Instagram Stories, you can see any “progress” you’d be looking for, since I share a lot of these workouts daily there.
Click HERE to save this post for later.
The program breaks down as such:
Train Like an Athlete uses functional movements with minimal equipment to help you create an athletic physique and perform to your potential. You will complete 6 weeks of constantly varied programming using only a set of dumbbells. One of the best features of this plan is that you can repeat it and continue to challenge yourself by increasing the weights or the speed that you complete the workouts.
Although workouts are only 20-30 minutes in length, they require focus and intensity. While the workouts are intense, be sure to scale to your ability. Remember, there is so much variety in the program that you will be able to repeat workouts later to measure progress. Workouts will target different training goals like metabolic conditioning, HIIT (high intensity interval training), strength/balance, and overall conditioning to maximize your time.
You are prescribed 5 workouts per week. This allows you to insert rest days or optional training when it works best for you. Work hard, but listen to your body!
Here is an example of a workout. You can save this workout for later by clicking HERE.
Nothing. Honestly, there was nothing about the program I did not like. I wanted to find something I didn’t like, but I couldn’t come up with anything so I won’t even pretend there is something I didn’t like.
100% YES! How can you be certain that I’m legit on that? Actions speak louder than words. I have already started the program over, ready for round 2! (Math again, friends. This means that each workout has now been reduced to about $1.12 per workout.)
I kept track of what weight I used for each workout and how long each took me to complete during round one.
This time, the goal is to see if I’ve improved. My plan is to (mostly) keep the weights the same, but see if the reps in prescribed time or time on the whole improves.
After just the first 3 workouts, I will say that everything has improved from round one. I have shaved minutes off from the first round, and no before/after picture could be more proof in the pudding. Stonger, friends, stronger.
Questions? Let me know! Happy to answer.
p.s. Jess did not pay me to write this. She did not gift me the program – I bought it on my own, and I would recommend it over-and-over again. And here she is – meet Jess!
My second Brazen Trail Race held the theme Trail Hog Survival.
Around mile 9, I overheard a guy say, “It’s just survival at this point.”
I really could not have said it better myself.
Don’t let these next two images fool you. They were taken before the race when I had no clue as to what was ahead!
Let’s set the stage for all of you who do not live out in this area of California or who have never run in the mountains and/or run in general.
The temperature that morning during the race was 103-105 degrees. Garmin told me total distance covered was 13.7 miles. The website said we would climb 1,800 feet (though a guy I know told me he recorded upwards of 2,200 feet).
Unless you’ve done a race like that, it’s hard to imagine exactly what that combination would feel like. I had zero clue because even the day before when I knew what it was going to be, I thought it wouldn’t be that big of a deal.
I had two goals for this race coming off of my first trail race ever, and that was to beat my time (since the overall climb was less) and not stop for pictures, water, food, or anything else.
Not only did I not hit either of those goals, but I was far from hitting them.
This race took me about 10 minutes more to complete, and I had to stop at the last aid station for probably a good 3-4 minutes because I needed electrolytes and some salt stat.
The race started fine….for about 2 miles, and then it all quickly went downhill. I won’t even for a minute pretend that I “have no idea why” because throughout the entire the race all I could think was, “this could have been prevented” or “there is no way this could have been prevented.”
It broke down (literally) as such with 5 main things….
I’m proud of the finish, although it was a tortoise pace for me, and not for reasons you might expect. I’m proud because of that tortoise pace.
The ambulance had to come, and I saw people on stretchers. I saw a man on the side of the trail (over 1/2 a mile from the aid station) who was in very bad shape and had to wait for medics to get it. Ryan told me people were dry heaving at the finish line. Others collapsed upon finishing or had to be rushed off for quick medical attention.
I could have run faster, but it would not have necessarily been better or stronger because it would have taken me out of anything physical for quite some time.
My health has been so great for such a long time now that I didn’t want to put myself in a position to ruin all the hard work I’ve done for a race like that where it was more survival than setting PR’s.
Shortly after the race, a guy I know messaged me, “Well I really hope that you don’t let this one race discourage you from any of the Ultras.”
Nope. Not stopping. Not even for a moment did I think I’d never do one again. In fact, I got home and within 24 hours had signed up for the next…..Goonies on October 21 with a 13.1-mile course and gain of 2,734 feet. With less than 7 weeks to go, I’ve got a lot of training (and sleeping and eating!) to do. The training strategy for these next 7 weeks includes more overall weekly mileage, at least one day a week on a trail or hill somewhere (or at the very least a hard running, not walking, session on the treadmill), a full day of legs, and WOD’s to fill in the gaps.
Did I mention how much I love, love, love trail running? Even in the awful heat, and even though I have to refer to this race as the Trail Hog Survival race, I had so many moments out there saying, “Thank you, God. Thank you for all the beauty in nature you have created.”
Because it really is something incredible.
Where are my trail running friends at?! Have you ever a run a race in heat like this? How do you structure your weekly workouts? What has made the biggest difference for you in getting better, faster, and stronger on the trails?
Every single time I run, I learn something new about myself or about life in general. Running is a metaphor for life, and I believe deep down that that’s what keeps me going, tells me I’m never going to stop.
Shortly after the I finished the Livermore Half Marathon yesterday, I posted this on Instagram,
One run can change your day, many runs can change your life.
For a few weeks now, I have been battling an ankle/calf injury. I decided last week to give in and not run (or really do much of anything) for an entire week with the hopes of at least making it to the finish line. Between that and the extra help of KT Tape (p.s. I totally need some hot pink KT Tape now, too!), compressions socks that a friend borrowed me, and a wrap around my ankle, my ankle/calf held up just fine.
I did get mild cramps (I’ve talked about how running – on certain days – induces these for me HERE) around mile 2-3, but luckily when I slowed down and breathed for awhile, they went away and never fully developed.
Ironically, the two things I was most worried about were ultimately not what held me back from the PR that I was (and always am) shooting for. Around mile 5-6, my quads started burning badly. It started before 2 miles of awful hills (miles 7-9) and by that time (mile 9-10-ish) they just felt almost numb so somehow my body went on autopilot. But because they were so tight, sore and achy, I had to stop – FOUR times to be exact – for a super short time, so that I could “squeeze” them with my fingers to work some of it out.
Yes, yes of course it helped. But I had to stop FOUR times. My heart hurt a little as I crossed the finished line, and saw the time because it truly wasn’t that far off my PR (Nike Women’s in San Francisco, 2009: 1:48:30). (And for the record, I was like 26 when I did that with no children, no injuries, perfect training, and had a major Nike support system leading up to it.) If I didn’t have to stop, I would have PR’d, barely, but still would have. Here were my final results from yesterday.
When you run long distance, you learn something very quickly….there is a lot of time to think. I told a friend I’d think about the impact of running on health while out there on Sunday. Honestly? It was the first race where I feel my mind didn’t really want to think and overthink, but instead just be right there, with my breath, and the strides, for the moments.
But after, I returned to my thoughts, and they all came down to the fact that running is a metaphor for life.
Click HERE to save this for later.
I don’t run for the abs (because I’ll **never** have them). I don’t run because it always makes me feel 100% (because it doesn’t, recovery is still fairly hard for me). I don’t run because I think it’s the best and most optimal way to overall health, vibrancy, and wellness (because it’s not – I don’t care what anyone says).
On the best of and worst of days, running is there.
I run because running is a metaphor for life, and in my life, the emotions run wild when I wildly run.
p.s. What’s next? I’m spending this week getting my body back to feeling great. Today I have a massage scheduled, and then I’ll be doing weight training, biking, and walking the rest of the week. My super-fast and talented friend Carrie is helping me move forward to the next race and suggested the week off of running (at least until the weekend when I can potentially do a few miles). I’ll spend the week building my next training schedule for the next race, The San Francisco Half Marathon (though, I do wish I were doing one in June. I had my sights set on San Diego Rock ‘n Roll, but I’m not sure that date works in our schedule). I know for sure that I don’t want to do a full marathon any longer. I really love the half marathon distance, and I believe that with the appropriate shoes, analysis of my stride, appropriate rest and recovery, and training schedule, I will PR and then PR again, and again:)
It was a hard week for me, but nonetheless, on Sunday I finished week 5 Bigness Project, the 14-week hybrid strength training journey I’m on.
Week 5 is the same as week 4 with regards to exercises, sets, and reps.
And honestly, it wasn’t even the lifting that made my week so hard. In fact, most lifts, I continue to feel stronger.
Week 5 was a major struggle on the running circuit, though.
I am starting to feel like an elephant with rollerblades on when I run, and this is not to correlate elephant with “I feel fat.” The correlation is just that my legs feel heavy, and my training runs feel awkward and harder than usual.
I improved zero with respect to running this past week, except maybe a little improvement mentally because I had to.
The beginning of the week was just very average, but by Friday on through to week 6, I just felt so off.
I don’t want to make excuses because I try my best to avoid that, but on Thursday I had to do a 12-hour SIBO breath test strict diet followed by a 15-hour complete fast. And on Saturday when I woke up for the weekly long run, my never-a-friend aunt flo came to visit.
The SIBO test re-triggered my SIBO, and if you want to know the truth, I spent most of Saturday (yes, even along the way during my run) after the long run and all of Sunday in the bathroom.
(enter sad, sarcastic face) It’s so awesome that I can’t even describe it to you.
But this is a blog about doing life fearlessly while living with autoimmune + SIBO (more on all of this soon, hopefully tomorrow).
And again, I’m not making excuses. But I also know that for me, super strong runs barely ever happen unless I’m near 100%.
Click HERE to join along the journey via Instagram (+ I put a ton of food + my workouts on Instagram Stories, too!)
Monday: Off! Just a long walk.
Tuesday: Leg Day, Quad Dominant, followed by 3 x 1200’s paced at 7:37.
Wednesday: Chest and Back. Later that day I did 7 miles at 8:21/pace.
Thursday: Leg Day, Hamstring Dominant.
Saturday: Long Run (13.62 miles at 8:23/mile pace). I did this run in the vicinity of where the March 26 half is at. It was hilly, and I realized that I am nowhere near in good enough shape for hills. Back to the drawing board.
Sunday: Arms and Shoulders, and then a long walk.
This week, week 6, is actually just a cut week for lifting. By “cut,” I mean, there will be no lifting (most likely). (I’ll resume week 6 either next week or right after the half, depending on how I’m feeling.)
I’m heading to Expo West on the official blogging team.
It’s supposed to be “peak week” for my training since Saturday will mark 2 weeks until my next half marathon. My goals are to run, run, run through it all, and just work through my mental challenges.
This is just a bump in the road, and definitely not a battle to quit.
On Sunday I finished week 4 Bigness Project, the 14-week hybrid strength training journey I’m on.
During week 4, many of the exercises get an added set. The notch is turned up during weeks 4-5, but I had to listen to my body.
After last week and the awful quad burning I got during my runs, I reached out to a super strong runner I know from way back in the day when I worked at a health and fitness club. She gave me three main tips, all of which I implemented immediately. They were as follows:
Results? A much better week for the old quads! I never felt that deep burning sensation, and yet, quite honestly, not too much changed.
I kept the arms and shoulders + chest and back according to Bigness Project plan. On the leg days (both quad and hamstring dominant), I reduced the amount of sets from 5 to 2-3, depending on how much it would work the parts of my legs that were overworked (i.e. squats).
Most days I ran, but slowly. In fact, I made note that on those days I was even singing to myself. Running and singing…..ah, bliss.
And last week’s long run was significantly slower than the prior week. I ran 11 miles, pacing at 8:33/mile.
Finally, I actually started foam rolling. From my How to Build the Best Home Gym blog post, I quick ordered the PROCIRCLE Foam Roller, and it’s just lovely. We keep it in our room, so throughout the day and at night before bed, I’ll roll a little. The grooves in it really help dig into the quads (and my lower back). I highly recommend it!
Click HERE to join along the journey via Instagram (+ I put a ton of food + my workouts on Instagram Stories, too!)
Let’s do this, #Monday! ✨ . . . Are you with me?! P.s yet again it’s raining, gloomy & meh in the #BayArea. ☂️ So stay tuned for my next post that will be sweet, colorful + Delish. . . . Crushed last week’s #BignessProject goals (link in profile). Setting new ones for the week! Tell me about your goals for the week? . . . #fitfluential #paleoish #iin #paleoishmama #fitmom #Quote #quotes #iamwellandgood #motivationmonday #fitmomsofig #healthy #workout #momof3 #workoutmotivation #nevermissamonday
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Tuesday: Leg Day, Quad Dominant, followed by 2 easy miles paced at 8:59/mile.
Wednesday: Tempo Run. A total of 5 miles with the middle 3 around 8:49/mile.
Thursday: Leg Day, Hamstring Dominant, followed by 1.5 miles slow and 6 x 400 sprints.
Friday: Arms and Shoulders.
Saturday: Long Run (11 miles at 8:33/mile pace).
Sunday: Chest and Back, followed by 2 stroller miles (with my main man Zay) paced at 8:42/mile. I actually had planned to do like 3-4 miles, but the BOB wheel was about to fall off. Such a pain, even though Isaiah thought it was funny!
I am trying yet another new thing this week to see if it will help my training even more. I’ll report back next week!
I feel like I continue to see such positive changes, both mentally and physically, and after talking to a friend this past weekend, realized that I really don’t want to be a year-round marathon training bug. I just don’t think I have it in me to be a marathoner, and that’s okay because this is my journey.
If I had a #Paleoish dinner party, and I was the host, this is the apron you’d see me wearing. I got it at @owlboxvintage……and I love it. Here’s why. . . . You know how you come online, to Instagram, blogs, or anywhere else and you start to think, “I wish?!” Well, I don’t. I used to. And then I woke up. . . . I’ll never have bikini washboard abs. I won’t be the perfect mother. I won’t have a clean house – like ever. I won’t be the fastest, greatest, strongest, or anything that ends with -est. Because I prefer the -ish. . . . Here’s the deal…..the journey I’m on was created a looooooong time ago through bad choices, no choices, and even unforeseen choices. I didn’t **choose** to have many of the outcomes I do today, but at the same time, I now **choose** thank GOD daily for the ones that emerged. ????????✨ . . . You must love your journey. And guess what?! When you do, and you stay in your own lane there is no traffic. ???? . . . Have a beautiful Saturday night, friends! Xox ✨ . . . #iin #paleoishmama #iamwellandgood #healthylifestyle #quotes #shareyourbliss #inspire #love #life #Saturdaynight #zen
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I do, however, kind of feel like I want to be a year-round half-marathon training bug. Doing so still allows me to do things like the Bigness Project, and gives me a sane(r) schedule. Plus, I really love the 10-mile mark!
Tell me: Do you prefer half or full marathon training? And why?!
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