Friday Fitness

Happy Friday everyone! I’m in definite need of some extra caffeine this morning as a little someone decided to wake up FOUR times last night! He’s never done that before and I’m still scratching my head trying to figure out why. He didn’t even break out of his swaddle as he’s been doing lately. I’ll take any mommy advise I can get in this issue! #desperate

  
As a busy mom, it’s becoming so hard to post a blog even once a week like I’ve been trying to do but you may see more frequent posts on my Instagram. 

Today, I’ll be doing a 2 mile treadmill run (during Frankie’s nap) followed by a Posterior Chain Workout by Betty Rocker (once he’s up). The workout entails doing 3 rounds of 45 seconds of each exercise- thigh jacks, elevated bridge lifts, triceps dips, swimmers, single leg tabletops and 3-way calf raises. Lower body/booty burner! 

  
It’s supposed to be 81 degrees later here in NJ so some outdoor play time with Frankie will be a must πŸ™‚ He loves music so we sometimes have dance parties on our deck πŸ˜‰

 Hopefully the hubby and I will be able to get a longish run in on Sunday like we did last weekend. We went running on this trail by our house which went through a few local farms. We’re so lucky to live in such a beautiful area close to a great downtown as well as nature. 

  
Have a great Friday and weekend! Planning on running this weekend? Are there trails by you that you love? 

~Julia 

6 tips to help you enjoy running

I’ve been a runner for a long time though I only started calling myself one about 5 years ago when I started training for my first half marathon. I thought if I didn’t run several times a week, year-around, and wasn’t doing high mileage, I wasn’t a “real” runner. I was mistaken.

Running the JP Morgan Corporate Challenge last year when I was about 9 weeks pregnant.

Whether you run a little or run a lot, you’re a runner…or you can become one.

 I remember training for my first half marathon and feeling so daunted by the training plan I followed. But it got easier. What was the secret? I just stuck with it. There were days when I was too tired or too sore or something came up and I missed my run– but that was ok. I allowed myself breaks here and there. I just knew I had to “bring it” next time.

Last summer I held a 4-week running clinic with some of my CrossFitters and other non-members to coach them into finishing a 5K- the first 5K for several of them. I hope to be able to carve some time out to do another clinic this Spring or Summer. 

In the meantime, I’m sharing my tips on making running feel a little easier- maybe even a little more enjoyable…so that you get out there and stick with it πŸ™‚

  
1) Stay positive: 

If you tell yourself you hate running, running might hate you back. Just kidding. But seriously. If you can run 400 meters, you can run a mile. If you can run a mile, you can run a 5K, etc. 

Believe it and you will do it. 

2) It’s OK to walk!:

This is important because I know some people feel like if you are not running the whole time, then it doesn’t count. Wrong. There is no such rule. And actually walking is great because it allows you to use different muscles and give a break to the muscles you use when you’re running. When you walk you may feel it more in your glutes, whereas when you’re running, you may feel it more in your quads and hamstrings. 

I had my runners last year do run/walk combos to get them ready for the 5K. All of them beat their goals of finishing under a specific time. For example, I had them walk 5 minutes, then run 10 minutes, and so on until they were walking for a shorter amount of time or distance and running for a longer amount of time or distance. Start slow and build up your endurance.

In the first marathon I ran, I incorporated walk breaks and ended up finishing in 4:02, feeling like I could’ve kept going!

3) Breathe:

Many of my CrossFit trainees ask me about this and it’s actually what inspired me to write this post. How you breathe makes a huge difference in how you feel about not only running but any type of exercise that brings your heart rate up. 

The first thing is to make sure you’re taking big yoga-type breaths through your mouth, breathing from your diaphragm or belly rather than just your chest. You need as much oxygen as possible so make sure you take BIG breaths.

You may want to try following a 2:2 pattern where you inhale for 2 steps, exhale for 2 steps. The ratio can vary from person to person depending on speed (in fact, I’ve read about a 3:2 ratio in a running magazine) but it can give you something to pay attention to as you run to make sure you’re breathing correctly. You can find more info on these ratios on http://www.competitor.com and http://www.active.com. 

Just remember to relax and your body will know what to do. 

4) Practice Good Form:

As with any exercise, like CrossFit for example, the better your form, the more you will get out of it and the more you will prevent injuring yourself. When running, stay light on your feet, land toe to mid foot (not your heels!), and keep your chest up.  Keep your shoulders down and pull your navel towards your spine just like you would in CrossFit.

5) Wear the Right Shoes:

Don’t run in 5 year old sneakers! Go to a running store and have one of their trained staff help you find the right shoes for you. Once you find ones that work, stick with them. 

6) Listen to Music:

Play tunes that inspire you and get you revved up. You may find yourself running faster without even realizing it πŸ™‚

One last secret I want to share is that I don’t always love running. My husband says the same thing. We love the feeling we get after a run. That sense of accomplishment. But sometimes the run itself sucks! Haha

I hope this post was helpful in getting you started with running πŸ™‚ I could probably go into more detail on some of these topics so let me know if you have any questions in the comments. Or if anyone has any additional tips they’d like to share, please do so! 

Thank you for reading,

~Julia

  

At Home Workouts

Before baby, I would run 3-5 days a week and do CrossFit 3 times a week (yes, I would sometimes double up). In order to keep myself sane and fit, I had to learn to get creative in sneaking in workouts throughout the day with my now 3 month old. 

  

What I learned works best for me at home is circuit training or “rounds for time.” I basically look for things I can do with a pair of dumbbells and my own body weight. I also get outside with Frankie and walk whenever it’s nice enough.

Last week, I signed up for a free 30 day challenge by Betty Rocker. Each day I get an email with that day’s workout including a warmup and a link to a video showing the moves. I don’t plan on doing them on consecutive days, just whenever I don’t have CrossFit or some other type of exercise in mind.

On Easter morning, I woke up early to do the CrossFit Open 16.5, a combo of thrusters and over the bar burpees. It took me 17:58, which is not bad considering I just started training with barbells again. 

  
Today I did the “Hot Abs” Betty Rocker workout; instead of doing 3 rounds as suggested, I did 2 before Frankie’s nap and then 2 after:

1 min of air squats

30 sec side bridge w/ hip dip (each side)

30 sec overhead reach (each side)

1 min mountain climbers

30 sec reverse tabletop toe taps (each side)

I could see and feel tighter abs right after just the first 2 rounds. This is 3 months post partum!  

After 2 rounds of “Hot Abs”

 

Check back to see how I do with this new challenge and how I keep juggling motherhood with my active life. 
Xoxo 

Running happyΒ 

I had back-to-back running days this weekend and loved it. I didn’t get a chance to do my once a week run last weekend so I was glad I was able to get these in. 

Saturday I did the same 5K loop I had done the past 2 times and shaved 2 minutes off my previous time (which was 30 minutes). I’m finally starting to feel like my old running self! 

   
I finished the run by doing a few sprints up and down my driveway. And can we just say how cute these leggings are? I got them from my local Athleta store recently.   
Later that afternoon, I did another workout:

1 round of

15 burpees

1 power clean (65#)

5 front squats (65#)

20 double unders

3 pull ups

3 toes to bar

Then, rounds 2-4 I did 15 deadlifts instead of the clean/squat movement. 

On Sunday, the hubby and I were supposed to go to CrossFit but overslept (thanks, daylight savings time!) so we went on a quick 25-minute run instead. The legs were feeling tired but I managed to make it through without any stopping πŸ™‚

Today is my mom’s birthday, so there will be some indulging and I’ll probably take a rest day. 

Happy Monday to all! πŸ˜€

Back at the (CrossFit) Box

Sunday marked my official first day back at CrossFit. Although I had been doing home WODs for several weeks already, this was my first time back at the gym, seeing some of my fellow Crossfitters, hearing about some of their recent accomplishments and goals. Many of them are currently doing the Open, with Week 3 coming up tomorrow. 

I had hoped that I’d be ready to also be taking part in the competition but I’m allowing myself time to rest and having faith that sooner than later I’ll catch up again. 

CrossFit Open 15.5

   
My first WOD on Sunday was a 12 AMRAP of:

8 Sumo Deadlift High-pulls (55#)

6 Ring rows

4 Over the bar burpees

I finished 7 rounds and started on the 8th, completing the SDHPs, ring rows and 2 of the burpees.

I’m hoping to make it to the gym twice a week but I’ll be happy to at least go on Sundays with my husband while my mom watches the baby. 

I finished my Sara Haley challenges on Saturday but hope to continue incorporating some of the movements when I work out at home.

Stay active! Xo

Running Comeback and Booty Challenge

It’s been getting quite difficult finding the time to post, but I wanted to do a quick update on my current status…starting the post on Monday night while Frankie is sleeping and I’m enjoying a margarita because it’s #nationalmargaritaday so this mama had a few minutes to spare. By the way, seems like everyday is “national something day!” 

  
On Saturday, I went on my first run since late July. The weather here in North NJ was just beautiful, with some sun and temps in the 50s. My hubby took me on his usual route through a trail by our house which included a couple of hilly spots. Although I had to slow down a few times to walk briefly, I felt great the whole time. Though my legs felt a bit heavy and rusty, my breathing seemed ok. It really is amazing how the human body works and that I was able to maintain a decent pace after months of no running. In case you’re wondering, we did a 5K distance in 30:32. Far off from my best time of 22:38 but I’ll take it! 

I’m also doing a 14-day “booty challenge.” It’s another one of Sara Haley’s fitness challenges which I’ve talked about before. If you’d like to check it out, go to http://www.sarahaley.com- you can download the workouts for free. The “hydrant kick” and “tail wag” are my favorite moves. I decided to combine this booty challenge with my own version of the last 2 weeks of her “no crunches” challenge and so far it’s been a great daily workout. Today that included  3 rounds of a 1 minute plank, 30 second alternating single leg plank, 30 plank jacks and 30 alternating “pigeon and planks.”Feeling the burn in the abs and booty already and I’m only on day 4 πŸ™‚

  
So the CrossFit Open begins this Thursday and I’m feeling so nostalgic that I won’t be able to kill it like I did last year (well, for me). I’m not even sure yet if I’ll be doing it at my box. It’s difficult to commit when you have an 8-week old! 

For more frequent updates, you can see my Instagram page @juliafastinista. 

Stay healthy! Xoxo

Back on the Barbell

I had my postnatal OB appointment on Friday and got the “official” green light to resume my workouts…so what did I the next day? Went down to my basement to do a barbell WOD, of course!

Although I had been carefully doing a few light workouts here and there, including the “no crunches challenge”I had previously posted about, now I have the confidence to increase my intensity and weights a little bit more.

With The CrossFit Open just a few weeks away, I’m feeling like I’ll definitely be ready to do the workouts, although I will have to scale back.

So yesterday I warmed up by doing a few stretches and double unders followed by…

4 rounds of:

30 jumping jacks

10 barbell thrusters (45#)

20 deadlifts (45#)

The 4th round was super tough! I was feeling those thrusters! Although the DLs were very light, the higher reps still got my lower body going…my butt is especially feeling a bit sore today πŸ™‚

I finished off the workout by doing some shoulder work with my small 5# plates- just 2 rounds of 12 shoulder raises, 10 lateral raises, and 10 strict presses.

I hope you have a great Valentine’s Day! We’re staying in and cuddling all day and then Frank and I are watching The Walking Dead πŸ™‚

Happy Sunday!

First Date Night

Frank and I went on our first date night post-Frankie last night. I very much needed to get out of the house, brush my hair, put on some lipstick and something else besides leggings. This mama needed to get out! 

It was great to receive this Infinite Possibilities Bra from Le Mystere last week just in time for date night. I got a 34B and it fit me perfectly. It feels super luxe and can be worn 6 different ways. I can already imagine myself wearing it with cute dresses this spring and summer- anything from low-back to racer back to halter styles.

  
So we decided to go to this Italian place, Fiore’s, in town that we’ve both never been to. He got tuna and I got scallops and we shared a fancy bottle of French wine we’ve gotten on our honeymoon in Beaune. 

   We then stopped at David Todd’s for one last drink (bourbon for him and brut rosΓ© for me) and then headed home to our boy. I can’t believe he turned 1 month already! 

     He loves playing hide and seek, looking at shiny objects and getting his hair brushed. 
 Oh and I had to share this photo of Frank from last weekend when the Jonas blizzard hit. So much snow! 

I’m still keeping up with some of the Sara Haley workouts from the 28 day challenge that I mentioned in my last post. I didn’t include too much info on her but she’s a fitness professional who specializes in pre and post natal fitness (www.sarahaley.com). To be honest, I don’t do them every day but only when I’m feeling up to it as I still need to be careful. Always remember to check with your doctor on when you should resume your workouts post-delivery, especially after a c-section. 

Have a great weekend! Xoxo