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IT Band Pain: Strengthening > Stretching

I have a few friends who suffer from IT band problems. Put them on a foam roller and they cringe in pain. Lucky for me I don’t suffer from this problem (just lower leg tendon issues). But for those of you who do suffer, I found this recent article from Alex Hutchinson that may get you rethinking you home remedy. Strengthening your hips has been shown to not only help speed up recovery, but also in preventing the problem in the first place.

Alex Hutchinson:

The results presented at the meeting suggest a new approach to dealing with iliotibial band pain. While traditional rehab has focused on lengthening and loosening the stubborn band, early results from a study by the University of Calgary’s Running Injury Clinic show that strengthening the hip muscles may be more effective – not only for rehab, but for preventing the injury in the first place.

Click here to read the full article.

Here are some hip exercises that are recommended to help improve your hip strength… Look likes I’ll be getting some good use out of the exercise band I got at Fitbloggin’ last week 🙂

Photo Source: Sweat Science


I hope everyone had an awesome weekend and is ready for the first week of October. Hello fall running season!!

Happy Trails and Happy Running,


Running and Crossfit

If somehow you have missed the CrossFit train, you can read exactly what it is here.  I’ve never done a CrossFit class because I enjoy the quiet, alone time pounding the pavement offers me. 🙂 Whether I’m going easy, hard, in the heat, or in the rain, I seriously just love running. However I came across this articled titled “How I used CrossFit to Become a Better Runner.” Becoming a better runner is like a permanent goal Read more

Elite Marathoners and Low Carb Training

A while back, I wrote a blog about intermittent fasting and the benefits of teaching the body to burn fat for fuel over carbs. As a runner, this could be important because your body can only hold a limited amount of carbs and once you burn through them, you are more susceptible to fatigue. On the other hand, your body has way more fat than you could ever burn through on a 26.2 mile run. Therefore, if you can teach your body to burn fat for fuel, you potentially have an unlimited fuel source. Personally, I enjoy carbs so I’m pretty sure I could never completely transition to fat over carbs. Nevertheless, I do think there is something to be said for doing a workout in a carb depleted state.

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Born to Run: A Video

This weekend my cousin is running the Hinson Lake 24 hour Ultra Classic. It’s a 1.52 mile loop around a lake for 24 hours. Personally, I think that would get a little repetitive but ultra runners are a different breed of amazing people. They are not like us marathoners and they have a mindset that I’m not sure I’ll ever understand. Simply put, they are just freakin’ awesome.

One of my Google+ friends is also running her first 50 miler on November 3rd and I’m super excited fo her. I saw this video recently and it made me think of her and of my cousin. I bought into the idea a long time ago that we are born to run. There is absolutely nothing that compares to a run in my Minimus shoes, sans headphones and sans Garmin. There is no pressure and there are no expectations. It’s just me and my thoughts. Those are my favorite runs.

Check out this video and let me know what you think about Chris McDougall’s three mysteries. My favorite part of the video is when he talks about Emily Baer finishing 8th place in the Hardrock 100 miler, all while nursing her child at the aid stations. Yea, women rule.

Happy Trails and Happy Running,



First of all, happy Wednesday! Wednesday is my favorite day of the week: work hard for two days, an easy day, and then work hard for two more days followed by my favorite Saturday activity – the long run. Even my students look forward to Wednesdays because it’s our motivational day.

In other news….

I’m currently in the process of reading Wheat Belly. So far, so good and the author has quite the sense of humor (or sarcasm). Read more

Three Types of Interval Training: Tabata, Little, Turbulence

This morning on the way to work I was listening to a podcast and they were talking about three different types of interval training: the Tabata method, the Little Method, and the Turbulence method. I’m pretty familiar with the tabata method and have done quite a few tabata workouts. When you’re short on time, it’s perfect. I had never heard of the Little method but after learning what it was, I realized that I had been doing my own version of this workout for quite sometime. The Turbulence method includes weights and cardio and is a longer workout than a Tabata or Little session. This awesome infographic from gives an overall view of the three sessions and helps you figure out which one is best for you. I tried to insert the image into the post but it came out super tiny. Just click on the link – it’s very informative:

For the complete description, click here

To sum up the Little method, it’s basically a warm up of 3-5 minutes followed by one minute all out at max effort and then 75 seconds easy effort. These intervals should be repeated 12 times, for a total of 27 minutes. The Turbulence method is a combination of weights and cardio. It includes a 5 minute warm up followed by an 8 rep set of weight lifting and then one minute of cardio (mountain climbers, jump rope, burpees, etc.). This should be repeated through a full body routine for a 45 minute workout. I bet you’d be pretty sore after that one. This sounds like a good Wednesday workout (that’s my do something different day).

I love intervals. They are the only reason I’ve ever been somewhat fast at running. And due to my injury rate, I’ve become the master of intervals on an elliptical and spinning bike. I even broke an elliptical once going a little too fast 🙂 Opps!

Happy Trails and Happy Running,


Sports Drinks

I have just spent the last hour reading more about sports drinks than I ever cared to. But if anything, I would say it’s been quite informative. My interest in sports drink came about yesterday after hanging out with my fabulous neighbors. They too are runners and so we often have those runner’s conversations. How was your 18 miler? How are you fueling? Any good post run tips? Being the nosey person I am, I started reading the labels on their GU, G2, Muscle Milk Light, Salt Tablets, and anything else I could find. And it all came back to my oh so favorite topic – fake sugar. G2 – sucralose. Muscle Milk Light – sucralose AND aspartame. I started to wonder what is the best, natural, sports drink out there? Can you make your own? Are there certain ingredients to be looking for and others to avoid? Well this can get into a lengthy discussion so I just want to highlight a few things I learned.

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Tara Stiles and Yoga for Athletes

This past weekend if I learned anything, it would be that I want to be the Tara Stiles of running. If you don’t know who Tara Stiles is and are remotely interested in yoga as an athlete, you should definitely check out her website. She is a model turned yoga instructor and her stuff is amazing. Basically Tara Stiles makes yoga easily accessible to all of us through awesome videos, podcasts, and her blog. And what is great about her yoga videos is that they are short and easy to follow.

Being that today is Sunday and my day of rest, I wanted to share one of my favorite yoga videos from Mrs. Stiles. It’s simple, doesn’t require a lot of time, and is great for stretching me out after a long run the day before. Granted, I do not look anywhere near as graceful as she does, it is still an awesome stretch and worth my 10 minutes.



My favorite thing about this yoga sequence: it makes my hips feel normal and back in alignment. As someone who has struggled with hip injuries for many years, this is exactly what I need. She has a great website and I highly recommend checking it out. She also has great cooking videos too 🙂  Check her out and let me know what you think.

Happy trails and happy running,



Tara Stiles

Maple Syrup

This morning at FitBloggin’, Canadian Maple Syrup sponsored a talk titled Nutrition for Maximum Performance. I thought it was interesting the talk was being sponsored by maple syrup but it turned out to be quite informative – other than their hydration recommendations but that’s for a different day (see pic below). Read more

The History of Sweetners

(Update: I messaged Ben Greenfield for his thoughts on Red #40 and Sucralose (think Splenda). His response: If I see Red #40 or Sucralose in anything I don’t go near it. No exceptions.) 

Let me just go ahead and put my opinion out there – I am very anti fake sugar. I have formed this opinion because of my own experience with a myriad of sugar free products – ranging from chocolate, to jelly, to diet sodas. Did you know that even some Thomas English Muffins has fake sugar? Why would one even think bread has fake sugar? Crazy, I know. Well after being an obsessive gum chewer and buyer of all things sugar free, I realized what it did to my body and I strongly believe no type of fake sugar is good for us. Period. But that is my opinion… Read more