A Weekend-lovers Approach to Marathon Training

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Two things I love most about the weekend are sharing a nice meal and a bottle of wine with the hubs on Friday night, and hitting the farmer’s market in comfy yoga clothes with a latte in hand on Saturday morning.

If you’ve ever run a half- or a full marathon though, you know how quickly weekends can lose their appeal. For 4 months you politely decline invites to any and all social events occurring on a Friday night and spend half of your Saturday running the umpteen miles you’ve been dreading all week.

I don’t mind putting in the time and the miles, but I’ve realized that the weekend long run is by far my least favorite part about training. Sometimes they feel like more of a burden than they’re worth, and that’s definitely not what I want training for my first marathon to feel like.

Call us crazy but as Erin and I talked about how we should tackle our long runs, we both kept coming back to the idea of doing them during the week. We compared schedules, weighed the pros and cons of weekday vs. weekend runs and ultimately decided to schedule our long runs on Friday mornings.

Last Friday Erin and I did 8 miles before 8am and I must say, I felt pretty darn content sitting down at my desk with a latte in hand and 8 hours of desk work to do.

I realize there will be a few 4:15am wake-up calls, some very long Friday afternoons at work and probably several weeks I’ll be too tired for those Friday night dinner dates, but this basically means unlimited lattes all day on Friday and lazy Saturdays in yoga pants to look forward to.

Doesn’t that sound kind of amazing?

Runners: How have you made long runs work for you?

Lole top c/o YogaOutlet

My Favorite Interval Timer App

bit timer interval training app review

Back in January I decided I wanted to fit more interval and strength training into my weekly workouts––but now that I’m about to start training for my very first full marathon they’re pretty much essential. The Workout of the Week has certainly helped keep me on track but I recently discovered a new interval timer app that’s made the logistics of my interval workouts so much easier!

It’s called Bit Timer.

Have you heard of it?  It’s been around for a while so I’m not breaking any new news, but I’m obsessed!

There’s not a lot to it, which is precisely what I love. Generally speaking, I’ve found most other interval timer apps get way too complicated with all of their rep, round and sound options. It literally took me over a month to learn how to navigate this one, and even once I was familiar with it it still wasn’t easy to use.

As soon as I tried Bit Timer though, I fell in love with how sleek, intuitive and simple it is.

Here’s a quick overview of Bit Timer’s best features:

  • The main screen has three sliders––one for work time, rest time, and number of repetitions. All it takes is a simple slide of your finger to set the number of seconds and reps. To figure out the number of reps, simply multiply the number of exercises in one round by the number of rounds in the entire workout. For example, this week’s workout has 5 moves and goes for 6 rounds, thus the total number of reps is 30. Oila!
  • Work and rest intervals can be set in 5 second increments for up to 4 minutes, which makes it perfect even for cardio workouts on the treadmill, elliptical or stairmaster.
  • When you hit the start button, Bit Timer begins a 10 second countdown to give you time to get ready for your first exercise.
  • The chimes are pleasant––but can be a little hard to hear if your music is turned way up.

My one complaint is the chimes don’t sound if Bit Timer isn’t showing on your screen. For those of us who pull up workouts from blogs or Pinterest on our phones, this can be problematic because you’re left having to switch back and forth if you don’t know the next move in the sequence. I’ve been able to manage though, either by jotting down the workout on a piece of paper beforehand or switching back and forth, and putting on my workout music before hitting Start. I’m hoping they’ll fix this in a future update, though!

Regardless, I heart Bit Timer. It’s by far the best dollar I’ve spent in a while and I just had to share!

Interval timer apps: Do you use Bit Timer or have another one you love? Do tell!

Simple Homemade Granola

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My love for simple homemade granola began back when I was in grad school. It’s so easy, tastes way better than store-bought stuff and saves some serious cash. I used to pack up a single serving and make myself a parfait in class every.single.morning. And for 2 1/2 years it never got old.

Back then a batch would last me a couple of weeks, but after marrying my granola-hungry husband I was lucky if it lasted 5 days.

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I suppose I could have just started making double batches, but I wanted a recipe that used an entire container of oats.

Yes, I strangely find satisfaction in finishing up opened containers of food. Is that weird?

Simple homemade granola recipe 1

More granola, more real estate in my kitchen cabinets and the satisfaction of adding that empty container to the recycle bin? I never thought this recipe could get any better, but it just did.

PS. Check out the rest of my rotating 12 Favorite Recipes here.

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ATE Workout of the Week 11

Tuck Jump | Squat Hold + Bicep Curl | Modified Tricep Push-up | Burpee | Lateral Lunge

I’m not sure what I love more about traveling, the excitement and adventure of it, or coming back home with a renewed appreciation for my normal routine.

Over the past ten days I flew nearly 8,000 miles, traveled to four different cities & towns, visited eighteen of my closest friends & family, celebrated two birthdays and one wedding and put in a 40 hour workweek.

Needless to say, I’m hitting the coffee pot hard this morning after 8 hours of travel and a 3 hour time change already today.

My plan of attack for making it through today:

  • Stay awake for all of my meetings and put a serious dent in my to-do list at work
  • Bust out this 20 minute workout as soon as I get home
  • Take a hot shower & put on my PJs
  • Defrost some veggie quinoa chocolate chili for dinner
  • Unpack
  • Start a load of laundry
  • Fall into bed

The weather in Boston was pretty heinous early last week so I dug up some dumbbells in my brother’s basement and came up with this quickie workout while I was there. It’s pretty straightforward but gets the job done–which is actually perfect for a busy Monday! I hope you enjoy it.

Have a busy weekend too? What’s your game plan for making it through the day?

Have a great and sweaty start to your week, friends!

12 Meatless Sunday Meals You Can Reheat on Monday

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I’m a Meatless Monday fan––I really am. Starting the week off with a veggie-packed day just feels good, especially after a couple of indulgent, weekend dinners with friends.

The problem is Mondays are, well, Mondays. They’re chaotic and jam-packed with meetings, so unless I’ve fully planned out lunch and dinner ahead of time they’re usually not so meatless.

To take the struggle out of meat-free Monday, I’ve started cooking up a big, meatless meal on Sunday instead. It’s perfect for using up those veggies from last week’s farmer’s market shop and the leftovers make having a Meatless Monday about as easy as it can be.

This Veggie Quinoa Chocolate Chili is a favorite in our house, but I’ve been on the hunt for more delicious vegetarian recipes that can quickly be reheated. These meatless meatballs are just one of the dishes that has me drooling.

If you’re looking for some new recipe ideas to keep your Monday’s meatless too, check out this board of healthy, vegetarian meals I created on Foodie––and create one for yourself!

Want more ideas? Head on over to Foodie and poke around in their vegetarian archives. They have tons of meat-free, veggielicious dishes.

This post was a sponsored opportunity with Foodie.com but, as always, opinions and delicious Meatless Sunday picks are my own.