Monday, November 29, 2010

Yasso 800's Marathon Training

In running circles there are certain terms that you hear all the time... PR, tempo runs, fartlek, ITBS, intervals, splits, Plantar Faciitis & Yasso 800's. However, just because you run doesn't mean you automatically know what all those words mean. It takes have to read about running, run more races, talk to other runners, train more. Overtime all the running jargon sinks in and becomes 2nd nature.

Just this fall I finally learned what Yasso 800's are. I'd heard of them for a long time, but never cared what they were. "800's" communicates short distances; and since most of my training is for 1/2 Marathons or Marathons - I was uninterested. That is until my husband told me that Yasso 800's can guarantee you a marathon goal time if you train with them. - OK, now I'm all ears. So what exactly are they?:

The concept is simple. If you can run 10 - 800's at the Marathon Pace you are shooting for then you are good to go. In other words, If I can run 10 - 800's, each at 3:40 pace, then I can run a 3:40 marathon...and qualify for Boston.

So, since I want to qualify for Boston, I've decided to give the training method a shot. Most training plans offer no guarantees but Yasso 800's do sound promising. Today marks the first day of following this training plan. I already like Bart Yasso (the creator of Yasso 800's) however if I qualify for Boston come June 11th, I will be a sold out Bart Yasso fan.

In the meantime - I've got lots of running to do.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Re-Thinking The Holidays

Ahhh....the holiday season is here! I don't mind celebrations, or giving thanks, or remembering Christ birth. What I do hate is that people tend to be very narrow minded in their "Celebrating" As a society we seem to be unable to give thanks without gluttony, unable to spend time with family & friends without having to talk with our mouths full, unable to celebrate Christ's birth without baking, tasting, & nibbling.
We even have tastes that make us thankful...pumpkin spice, apples & turkey. We have tastes that make us want to give gifts - cinnamon, eggnog & chocolate. It's a wonder people were ever able to be truly thankful before Libby's started selling canned pumpkin. The things people do it the name of tradition. Why don't we question the norm? Why don't we evaluate how beneficial our Holiday Celebrations are? Does eating an ungodly amount and sitting around for the rest of the day truly make us EXTRA thankful or does it just make us sick and tired. Perhaps there is a better way to remember to be thankful. Perhaps it is worthwhile to try something new this year, something with real meaning, something that will leave you with more than just a tryptophan hangover and tight jeans. I challenge you to rethink your holidays and make them beneficial to you in every way - spiritual, emotional, mental & physical.
I realize that even if you do rethink the holidays, you may be surrounded by others who haven't. So, here are a few tips to stay physically healthy during the that your New Year's Resolution doesn't have to be the same as it is every year...Lose the Holiday weight. Good Luck!
1. Eat small portions of food. This is especially important at a buffet, where you may want to try lots of things. Choose the items you want to try the most and eat a small portion of each.
2. One Plate Rule: when eating Thanksgiving Dinner or Christmas Dinner or at some other party, stick to one dinner plate & one treat plate. That means, take what you TRULY want the first time. Enjoy it, savor it and then call it quits when your plate is empty.
3. Eat slowly & mindfully. Savor each bite, really enjoy what is on your plate. It’s easy to talk, eat, drink, play games, watch TV etc. all at the same time. This often leads to overeating. So, slow down, pay attention and enjoy what you put into your mouth.
4. Offer to bring something to a party. Bring something that you know is healthy and will be a good option for you to eat.
5. Don’t save calories from earlier meals for the “big one” You’ll inevitably get too hungry and overeat to compensate for missing those meals. Treat Thanksgiving dinner or Christmas dinner like a normal day. You’ll feel more satisfied all day and you won’t have regrets after your “big meal.”
6. Fill up on veggies. At a party or dinner, fill your plate with veggies instead of other snacks.
7. Decide on your game plan ahead of time. If you are going to a party or even having a special meal at home, plan ahead.
8. Exercise!!!! Don’t let your workouts go by the wayside. Even if you do control your eating, without exercise your weight loss will halt. Schedule it in ahead of time and don’t back out on it. It’s often best to do it first thing in the morning.
* Use the stairs
* Shovel snow
* Take a walk
* Play flag football
* Workout with a home exercise video on extra cold days
* Plan a scavenger hunt
* Go sledding
* Go for a winter hike
* Train for a spring race
* Go bowling (don’t eat snacks there)
* Add 10 minutes to your daily workouts
9. Don’t deny yourself. If there are special foods that you eat only at holidays, enjoy them in moderation. Saying, “I won’t eat any desserts at Thanksgiving” sets you up for failure. Instead say, “I will eat one small piece of my favorite dessert and savor every bite of it.”
10. Set achievable holiday goals. Write them down and keep a diary of how you are doing.
11. Focus on people not on food.
12. Create a Distance from food – send leftovers home with others. Put away your plate and utensils when you are done eating. Do not leave candy dishes out. Bring leftovers or food gifts to work or share it with neighbors and friends.
13. Create new traditions – instead of lounging around before or after a meal, start a new tradition. Go on a walk, play flag football, create a scavenger hunt. Do something active.
15. Pay attention to your hunger. Use a scale of zero to 10, with zero being starving and 10 really stuffed. Then write down how you felt when you started eating and how you felt when you were finished. If you go over a seven, you probably over ate, and if you are waiting to eat until you are a zero, you are waiting too long.
16. Don’t give up just because you slip up. It’s far better to forgive yourself and move on.
17. When you’re finished, you’re finished – When you are done with your 1 plate of food, clear your plate, leave the table, and move on. It also helps to chew some gum or pop a mint in your mouth; the feeling of a fresh palate can curb additional eating.
18. Avoid stress. Stress during the holidays can lead to overeating, especially at home. Therefore it pays to challenge some of your basic assumptions. For instance, just because you’ve always done it, do you have to bake six dozen cookies this year? If you have them around the house, you’ll eat them. SO…recognize potential stressors and figure out how to lessen that stress. It’s ok to do things differently this year.
19. Modify your holiday recipes. You don’t have to make things the way you always have. Change can be a wonderful thing for sticking to your weight loss goals. Check out recipes on
20. Don’t sit next to the snack bowl (i.e peanuts, candy, pretzels etc.) Enough said.
21. Look up calories before you eat. Go to and type in common holiday foods. Seeing how many calories are in them, might make you think twice about eating them.
22. Practice saying, “No, thank you.” It’s okay to turn down invitations or tell a pushy host you don’t want seconds. Eating out of obligation doesn’t help anyone. Be a polite food snob. Don’t waste calories on a treat you don’t really like, or aren’t really hungry for.
23. Keep your eye on the prize. Set a post holiday goal & remind yourself of your goal daily. Before you act or eat, ask yourself, “Will this help me get where I want to go?” If not, make another decision. YOU are in control.