Move It Monday Ambassador

Hi everyone!

I hope you all had an awesome weekend! I wanted to pop-in and share some exciting news! You probably already know that I’m passionate about health and fitness. I’m not fitness guru and I’m not perfect, I’m just trying to make healthier choices one day at a time. It’s all about changing your lifestyle and creating healthier habits. I really do love sharing my health/fitness journey with others because I know it can be hard, especially when you think you’re out here doing it alone. I’m here to tell you that you’re not alone and it’s a lot of us on this journey to better health!

I’m excited to share that I have been selected as a MoveItMonday Ambassador!

 Move It Monday Ambassador My Pretty Brown Blog
MoveItMonday is an international campaign which encourages people of all fitness levels to get moving each week starting on Mondays. MoveItMonday offers fitness routines, tips, and inspiration to help individuals, worksites, schools, and communities incorporate exercise into their weekly routines. You can find everything you need via MoveItMonday.com!

In the past, Mondays were hard for me. After making my Monday workout a priority, I realized that it sets the tone for an incredible, productive week! I got up early this morning and completed 40 minutes of cardio (Arc Trainer and the infamous Stairmill. You can find my Stairmill workout here). I’m also on Week 3 of Super Shred! Woo-hoo! You can follow my Shred journey here. I feel confident about the week ahead!

Join me by sharing with others on how you will be kicking off your Monday through activity/fitness! Use the hashtag #MoveItMonday on social media to show the world you are moving and encourage others to get moving too!

 

Have a great week and here’s a fun challenge to start your week!

 

 

 

 

Five Ways To Run Faster | Jeff Galloway Tips

Hi everyone!
 
It doesn’t matter how fast or slow you are as a runner, I believe everyone wants to get faster. I always say, the faster I go the sooner I can get the job done! Different factors may play a part in speed on any given day or depending on the person. As for me, I want to be stronger and faster. I have used Jeff Galloway‘s training since my first half marathon and it will continue to be my go-to method for training and race day. I actually just reached a personal record (PR) earlier this year using his Run Walk Run method. If you aren’t super fast or if you’re what I call a running turtle (including myself, lol) don’t beat yourself up about it! You’re out there doing more than those sitting on the couch. As long as you’re putting one foot in front of the other, you’re STILL a runner! But guess what? I have invaluable tips from Jeff Galloway to share on ways to run faster and ways to increase your pace!
 
Jeff Galloway Five Ways To Get Faster | My Pretty Brown Blog
 
 
FIVE WAYS TO GET FASTER
by Olympian Jeff Galloway
 
Longer Long Runs

Increasing the length of the longest long run has produced the greatest amount of improvement that I’ve seen among my coaching clients.  Several surveys have shown more than 13 minutes of time improvement when runners increase their longest long run from 20 miles to 26 miles before a marathon.  Comparable time improvements are experienced in 10K runners and half marathoners when they increase their long runs above race distance as noted in my YEAR ROUND PLAN book that covers all the distances.  Long runs must be at least 2 min/mi slower than current ability, with liberal walk breaks.  The slower the pace, the quicker the recovery.  I suggest doing the long runs every 2-3 weeks.

Speed Repetitions—increasing the number

My runners have improved by an average of over 6 minutes in a marathon (3+ minutes in a half marathon) by increasing the number of speed repetitions to 14 x 1 mile for the marathon, and 14 x 800 meter for the half marathon.  I recommend that each of these be run 30 sec/mi faster than goal pace.  The recovery interval is a 5 min walk between miles and a 3 minute walk between 800’s.  These workouts prepare one to maintain or pick up pace at the end of the goal race, instead of slowing down.  See GALLOWAY TRAINING PROGRAMS & HALF MARATHON books for details (www.RunInjuryFree.com).

Improve Running Form

Most runners I’ve monitored have improved several minutes in a marathon by fine-tuning their running form.  As the mechanics become smoother and within one’s limits, there is a significant reduction in aches, pains and injuries.  The two best ways to improve form are water running and cadence drills.

  • Water running uses the same basic motion as when running on land, using a flotation device so that the feet don’t touch the bottom of the pool.  When done for at least 15 minutes, once a week, the legs find a more efficient path through the water—eliminating extraneous motion.
  • The cadence drill is done for 30 seconds, counting the number of times the foot touches the ground.  This drill is detailed in most of my books.  I’ve found the key to improving speed on the mechanical side is quicker turnover.

 

Race in Shorter Events

Dropping down a standard distance or two can improve your mechanics for running faster and your ability to handle a higher level of oxygen debt.  On non-long-run weekends, during a half marathon program, try some 5K or 10K races.  When training for a marathon, race at the 10K or half marathon distance.  At first, the faster pace of the shorter distance may seem awkward.  But after several short races, you will adapt—especially if you do some speed training for the shorter/faster event.  These performance improvements can translate into faster times in the longer distances.  My book 5K/10K details the training and the racing strategies for these events.

Hill Training

The only way I’ve found to build strength for running is to run hill repeats.  On a moderate grade hill, start at a jog and pick up the turnover rate of the feet and legs as you go up the hill, shortening your stride.  Walk down the hill for recovery.  Don’t sprint, and follow the other hill training guidelines in my books and at www.RunInjuryFree.com.  The strength from hill training will allow you to perform better in speed sessions which will help you improve in your goal race.  You’ll also run faster on hilly courses, during your races.

 

 

Running is something I never thought I would be doing (and enjoying)! I am a free-spirit when it comes to running…meaning I take pictures along the course (blame my love for runDisney), I rarely race for “time”, maybe once (blame my love for runDisney again), I’m just out there enjoying the moment (or not), and soaking it all in. After starting the Super Shred, I decided I was going to give more effort in everything and that included running. Will I ever qualify for Boston? I doubt it…maybe when I’m like 90! LOL…seriously! However, I know following Jeff’s advice would improve my running and I will definitely be using all of these tips for my upcoming training. I want to try harder and become better. I can attest that hill training does work. You can check out my post here and here about my love hate relationship with the hills. If there aren’t any hills in your area, try the Stairmill (StairMaster) at your local gym. That’s another love-hate relationship that you can read about here. I also miss the days when our pool was open so I could go swimming, but all of these tips from Jeff are attainable and key to improving performance.

Have you tried any of these methods? What have you incorporated into your training to help you improve?

 

WHAT’S COMING UP?

 

Jeff Galloway | My Pretty Brown Blog

Don’t forget to register for the Jeff Galloway 13.1 and Barb’s 5K at: http://www.jeffgalloway131.com! I will be participating in the half marathon in December and I’m so excited…so sign up!!!

 
 
 
 Jeff Galloway Podcast
 
 

 Listen and share this great podcast “Jeff Galloway’s Tips For Beginner Runners” with Mark Kennedy from Healthynomics!  From how Jeff got running to breathing while you run; it’s all here!

 

 

 

You can find Jeff Galloway on Facebook and Twitter!

Happy Running!

 
 
 
 
 

Guess Who Turned 4? It’s My Blogiversary!

Guess Who Turned 4? It's My Blogiversary! - My Pretty Brown Blog

 

First off…May the 4th be with you! You know I couldn’t resist!

Wow! Time sure does fly by! Today, May 4, is my 4-year Blogiversary (Blog Anniversary)! It seems like yesterday I was sitting on my couch writing my first post not having a clue where my blog would be in four years. So many experiences, many of them still in my queue lol (don’t worry they are coming)! Over the past year, I have had the opportunity to meet, connect, and network with some pretty amazing readers, bloggers, and people (online and in for real-life) who just make this world a fun place to be in. I appreciate you all for showing my blog and me so much love and support. With this new year, I will be embarking on a journey and I’m excited and grateful for the opportunity to share it with you all (even the HALF-craziness lol). LOTS of running, fitness…and oh yes, lots of food and foodie finds—and of course, so much more!

 

Here are a few of my favorite posts over the past year and since inception of My Pretty Brown Blog!

 

Running

2015 Walt Disney World Marathon: Marathon Day

Cigna Blogger Cook-off — Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend

Mercedes Half Marathon — My First Half Marathon

 

Food/Recipes

Babalu Tacos & Tapas – Birmingham

Eat Drink Birmingham!

Baked Parsnip Chips

 

Everything Else

‘Tis the Season To Protective Style: Senegalese Twists Edition

Essence Music Festival 2013 Rewind!

reCreate ’13 (Women’s Conference) – I Was There!

 

 

Four Year Blog Annivesary My Pretty Brown Blog

Make sure you follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest—because I’ll be sharing all about running, food, and fitness, and a little randomness in between!

-XO

 

 

 

I’m Running To Help Military Families!

Team Fisher House | My Pretty Brown Blog

I will be running with Team Fisher House in the 40th Marine Corps Marathon in October! When I heard about TFH and their support towards helping military families, I wanted in. When I received a personal phone call from one of the founders, who is also a military spouse/runner, welcoming me to the team I knew TFH was going to become my family. It is going to be an exciting journey ahead! It would take me all day to share all of the good that Fisher House Foundation does to help and support our service members, veterans, and their families, but here is a little bit about them.

The Fisher House is a unique private-public partnership that supports America’s military in their time of need. The program recognizes the special sacrifices of our men and women in uniform and the hardships of military service by meeting a humanitarian need beyond that normally provided by the Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs.

These homes are located at major military and VA medical centers nationwide, close to the medical center or hospital they serve. Fisher Houses have up to 21 suites, with private bedrooms and baths. Families share a common kitchen, laundry facilities, a warm dining room and an inviting living room. Fisher House Foundation ensures that there is never a lodging fee. Since inception, the program has saved military and veterans’ families an estimated $235 million in out of pocket costs for lodging and transportation.

Fisher House Foundation also operates the Hero Miles program, using donated frequent flyer miles to bring family members to the bedside of injured service members as well as the Hotels for Heroes program using donated hotel points to allow family members to stay at hotels near medical centers without charge. The Foundation also manages a grant program that supports other military charities and scholarship funds for military children, spouses and children of fallen and disabled veterans. You can read more here.

 

Scott Family - MPBBlog

I was challenged to raise $600 and because of the generosity of others, I reached my goal one month into fundraising (Thank you so much to all who donated)…I still can’t believe it! This is my first “real” fundraiser since fundraising with Krispy Kreme doughnuts to help get my cheerleading squad get to the National Cheerleader Championship in Orlando…many, many years ago! So do you know what that means? I had to set another goal! I bumped my goal from $600 to $1000! 

If you want to help me help military families, here is my personal donation page: http://ww.teamfisherhouse.org/goto/artwalker! I shared in my previous post why I chose to run for this great foundation and below is another reason why I chose Team Fisher House for Fisher House Foundation.

Grab the Kleenex!

Fisher House Hero’s Story—Iraq War veteran and Purple Heart recipient Ssgt Dale Beatty (ret.) remembers the day his life changed forever and how Fisher House Foundation helped him and his family on the long road to recovery.

Thank you for your support!

Jeff Galloway’s Four Ways To Energize Your Day and Clear Your Brain

Four Ways To Energize Your Day and Clear Your Brain - My Pretty Brown Blog

I am constantly learning and growing when it comes to running. I just received new tips from Jeff Galloway and it’s perfect timing being that I shared in an earlier post about needing to reboot. Sometimes “life” things happen, but there are ALWAYS better days ahead. All we need to do is refocus and get re-energized—with a little motivation, of course!

Four Ways To Energize Your Day and Clear Your Brain
By Olympian Jeff Galloway

It’s natural to become focused on the big things in life, and worry about outside forces, building stress.  A few simple lifestyle adjustments can result in greater control over attitude and energy, while reducing stress and fatigue.  Yes, you can exert more control over your life, produce positive attitude hormones, and blend together body, mind and spirit by planning and taking action.

  • Walk or run, one day and a walk (or cross train) the next.  While the exertion will wake up the muscles, you’re away from the phone, allowing the mind a little freedom.  Most who start with a blank mental state, finish their exercise session with the day planned, and a few new ways to deal with problems.  Others like to walk/run during lunch hour, while munching on an energy bar.  This can clear out morning stress and prepare mind-body for the challenges of the afternoon.  Many evening exercisers believe that the weight of the day’s stress is erased or contained with the after-work workout.  Scheduling these outings gives you control over your existence.
  • Don’t sit—walk! The addition of a few extra short walks, throughout the day, will energize the body and activate the mind.  Park farther away from work, the food store, the transit station, etc.  Many of my clients use a step counter for motivation and calorie counting.  It helps to find one that is consistent and reliable (usually @ $30).  Shoot for 10,000 steps a day.  You are rewarded for  getting out of your chair (or  the couch) more often.  These short walks burn fat, which adds up (up to 30 pounds a year!).  The best reward is the head clearing effect, which can power you through the mid morning or mid afternoon energy crises.  Even a 3-4 minute “recess” walk at work, can result in clearer thinking, more energy, and greater self-confidence.   
  • Eat more frequently.  Each time you eat, even a small snack, you’ll boost your energy level. The longer you wait to eat, the more likely your metabolism will slump into drowsiness and laziness.  This also means that you’re not burning many calories.  If you divide up your daily calorie budget into 6-9 snacks a day you’ll burn more fat (up to 10 pounds a year).  Eat a snack every 2-3 hours, and you can feel better all day.  It helps to choose foods that have (percentage of calories vs total calories) about 20% protein, about 15% fat and the rest in complex carbohydrate.  This combination will leave you satisfied longer with fewer calories consumed.  To experience a fat loss, consumption can be managed through websites or journals.  For more information, see A WOMAN’S GUIDE TO FAT BURNING by Jeff and Barbara Galloway.
  • Help someone exercise. The psychological benefits are significant when you help someone improve the quality of their life.  Offer to walk (run, hike) with your spouse, parent, friend co-worker, child—or all of the above.  My books WALKING & GETTING STARTED have proven programs with motivation which can lead you  and your “coach-ee” through the training. 

 

Mental well-being plays a big part in effectively running and training, which ties back into ways to run injury free. I hope you enjoyed these exclusive Galloway Blogger tips! I love sharing with others about running, because I know there are others seeking knowledge just like me. There’s something about learning from those who have experienced the very things you may need help with. Getting tips from a well-respected athlete and Olympian makes it even better! For more updates and wisdom from Jeff, make sure you follow Jeff Galloway on Facebook!

 

Jeff Galloway 13.1 - My Pretty Brown Blog

 

Have you registered for the Jeff Galloway 13.1? If not, you can do so by visiting: http://www.jeffgalloway131.com. You can also get updates via Jeff Galloway’s’ 13.1 Facebook Fan Page here. I hope to see you there!!!

 
If you missed the last few installments of Jeff Galloway Blogger Tips, you can read them here:
 
 
Run Happy and Injury Free!
 
 
 
 

The Hills Return + Jeff Galloway Tips: Running Injury Edition

To kick off our new season of Hump Day Hills, I returned to the Hills of the Magic City with the ladies in my running group. There’s nothing fun or cute about these hills. Kudos, to Michelle for being a first-timer and sticking it out like a champ! It takes pure guts and determination to tackle mountains (yes, mountains). I just completed my 8th half marathon (recap coming soon) at the Run The Bluegrass Half in Lexington, KY and oh boy, did those hills have eyes! I won’t even get into that here…just know it wasn’t pretty–but I got it done!

I knew in order for me to even attempt four miles of hill training three days after completing 13.1 miles at Run The Bluegrass, I was going to have to take it slow and steady. I mean goodness, I was still sore and I didn’t want to overdo it and injure myself. As you may know by now, I am a huge fan of Jeff Galloway and I use the Galloway Method (run-walk-run) faithfully. I have used run-walk-run for all eight half marathons and for my first full marathon. Using run-walk-run and taking walk breaks has been one of the reasons I have been able to stay injury free. I’m not saying you can’t get injured, because things happen—but run-walk-run sure helps!

 The Hills Return + Jeff Galloway Training Tips/Injury Prevention: Why Do We Get Injured? | My Pretty Brown Blog #JeffGalloway #runwalkrun #runinjuryfree #running

BGR-Birmingham Hill Fanatics

 

Being a Galloway Blogger, I have the privilege of sharing Jeff Galloway’s Training and Motivation Tips. Running injury free is so important to Jeff and I’m sure it is to most, if not all, runners. In this installment, Jeff discusses INJURIES!

 

 Why do we get injured?  

 

1.  Be aware of irritation of weak links:

  • The Key Weak Links are body parts where my runners tend to experience injuries are these: Knees – Feet – Calf  – Achilles – Hip – Glute/piriformis/sciaticia.
  • The body parts that YOU need to be aware of are the sites where you are injured or suffer more aches and pains.
  • If you’re sensitive to the first indication of irritation in these areas and take immediate action it’s possible to avoid injury.

 

 2.  Stress buildup due to the way we train:

  • Training schedule is too intense—not enough rest between stress.
  • Adverse Training Components—speed is too fast or has too much, too soon.
  • Running form—too long a stride, forward lean, bouncing too high off the ground.

 

So staying focused on the way one runs and following these guidelines, can often allow runners to maintain a manageable increase without injury.  

 

Top 5 ways to avoid stress buildup-and avoid injuries:

  1. Take walk breaks more frequently, and run shorter run segments
    • AW: There’s absolutely nothing wrong with taking walk breaks. You’ll be amazed at how many runners PR (including BQ) using walk breaks. It gives your body control over fatigue as you prepare for the next segment.
  2. Form: shorter stride, feet low to the ground
    • AW: I try to remember this while I’m running. Sometimes I get excited (forget), especially race day, and I have to pull it back so I won’t overdo it.
  3. Slower long runs, with more walk breaks
    • AW: I didn’t understand this until years after I started running. Train slow to run fast (and strong). It definitely helps increase endurance while remaining injury free.
  4. Avoid Stretching
    • AW: I don’t stretch until after I run and I love using Mr. Foam Roller too!
  5. Be careful when running speed sessions
    • AW: You know your body. Listen to it.

 

MPBB and Jeff Galloway | My Pretty Brown Blog

 
 
If you missed my previous posts with Jeff Galloway tips, you can find them here and here. What else can you think of to add to the list for injury prevention? 
 
 
 
PROMOTIONAL NEWS!
Register now for the Jeff Galloway 13.1 with no risk!  The 2nd annual half marathon on Dec. 13, 2015 is currently $95. You can sign up with no risk! Take advantage of this low price, and if you can’t make it, you can roll into the virtual option with no extra charge!
Register today at
 
 
WEST COAST EVENTS
RUN/WALK/RUN CLINICS 
 
Carmel, CA
“Re-Charging Your Running, Fitness and Nutrition”
April 23-24, 2015           
 
 
Lake Tahoe, CA
The Perfect Summer Running Camp
July 23 – 30, 2015 (week)
July 24 – 26, 2015 (weekend)
 

This is happening…I’m Running with the Marines!!!

I’m Running With The Marines!!! I’m so excited y’all!!! I had my eye on this race for about a year. I was torn between this race and another one and the fact that I was considering another marathon…who would have ever guessed it? I guess you can tell that I clearly am not “one and done”. I also knew that for my next race, I really wanted to run for charity. I seriously prayed for the past 6-8 months about choosing the right charity. I wanted it to be right and I wanted a personal connection—and just like that, an opportunity was placed in front of me. So, here it goes…

sherunwiththemariesI am so excited that I will be running in the 40th Marine Corps Marathon as an Ambassador for Team Fisher House and as Champion for our Military Families! I am raising funds and awareness for the Fisher House Foundation, an amazing organization that supports the military families of our wounded warriors when they need it the most—during hospitalization for unexpected injury, disease or illness.

Fisher House provides a home away from home for families of patients receiving medical care at major military and VA medical centers. The homes provide free temporary lodging so military and veterans’ families can be close to their loved ones during a medical crisis.

 

teamfisherhouse

My fundraising goal is $600, but I want to do exceedingly and abundantly above that! My goal is to raise $600 by June 1st! I hope with your help, we can make a difference in the lives of our service members and their families. Running (or walking) a marathon is challenging, but doing it for something GREATER than myself is so rewarding and makes the task ahead seem so small. My Dad, who was also a U.S. Army veteran, would be so proud and happy for me! This is my way to honor him and the countless other service members who have served and continue to service this country. You can find out more about the Fisher House, their awesome programs, and how they are helping our military families here.

Please visit my campaign page to make a donation:  http://www.teamfisherhouse.org/goto/artwalker. Any amount is greatly appreciated. Feel free to share my donation page with your family and friends!

 

Thank you!

 Artney