A 5'3 Perspective


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When To Retire Your Running Shoes [Plus a HIIT Workout That Will Kick Your Butt]

Knowing when to replace my running shoes is always a mystery to me. Should I base my decision on kilometers logged? Holes in the toes? Worn tread? After some research, here are my suggestions.

The holes in the toes are making me believe these shoes are on their way out!

The holes in the toes are making me believe these shoes are on their way out!

A general rule of thumb is to change your shoes approximately every 500 km (which is just over 300 miles). Now this distance depends on a few variables. The first is the weight of the runner – the heavier you are, the quicker you will wear out your sneakers. Next consider the efficiency of your stride. If you land hard on your heels with each step, for example, you’re going to wear through shoes more quickly than someone with a lighter technique. Finally, consider the cushioning of the shoes. A minimalist shoe that begins with less padding will wear out quicker than a more supportive shoe.

If you’re not sold on miles logged as an indicator of when you’ll need to replace your runners, there are some other variables to consider. The surface and terrain have a huge impact on the longevity of your shoes. A treadmill trainer will be able to rack up more miles than a concrete runner due to the cushioning of the terrain. Another red flag is worm tread on the soles. If it’s basically flat along bottom of the shoe and the tread is worn out— it’s time.  Some runners may notice an uneven wearing pattern on the soles of their shoes, this doesn’t mean that you should wait for the entire tread to be worn out, it just means that you are a heavier runner on one side.

Personally, I use my body to tell me when I’ve worn through a pair of shoes. If you’re used to pain-frees training – and all of a sudden you experience knee, back, foot, or shin pain – consider that a sign.

To increase the lifespan of your sneakers, try rotating between two pairs. By giving running shoes a day or two off the cushion will relax and keep it’s structure longer, but more importantly, you are changing up the way your foot is stressed based on the design of the shoe. Interchanging between a minimalist shoe and a structured shoe will not only increase the longevity of both pairs, but also help train your feet and improve your stride efficiency.

Now that you’ve got an idea of when to retire your running shoes, here’s a High Intensity Interval Training workout that will put them to good use.  HIIT Treadmill WorkoutFor your sprints you will want to go as fast as you possibly can on the treadmill. After 30 seconds, jump off the treadmill (to the side) or straddle it while the belt continues to move at your sprinting pace. This ensures that you don’t waste any time resetting the pace between each sprint. You may get some funny looks if you do this workout at the gym, but I promise you it is worth it.

Have a wonderful day!

xo Lauren

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What’s Better Than A Weekend?

The answer to that question should be pretty obvious, the only thing better than a weekend is a LONG weekend! Having an extra day to relax and spend time with family and friends is always such a treat, but before we can celebrate the holidays (it’s Thanksgiving in Canada), let’s take a moment to appreciate the past seven days. High Five For Friday

1.  On Sunday I ran for a cure for breast cancer along with my family and friends. Thanks to you guys, I was able to raise almost $1600 to donate to the cause!
2. Do I even need to explain why this is awesome? Whiskey and fried chicken… You better believe I had a sore stomach the next day. It was worth every bite!
3. Just a tiny selection of my product sample collection. I love trying new products and these mini packages are just so cute. I’m already dying to splurge on the full size NUDE ProGenius Treatmeant Oil.
4. 5 AM elevator rides. My man is heading out west for a few days (actually a lot of day :(). I miss him already but I know he is going to have an amazing time!
5. Enjoy nature and each others company before Neil’s trip – I couldn’t ask for anything more.

Thanks again to Lauren for hosting this appreciation party! If you want to link your post of Friday reflections, head over to TheLaurenElizabeth.com. Have a wonderful weekend!

xo Lauren


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Here’s To The Weekend!

High Five For Friday1. Okay, okay – PUMPKIN EVERYTHING is delicious. Still doesn’t beat out apples, but it is pretty awesome! Over the weekend my girlfriend and I went on a raw baking spree – these are chocolate, pumpkin cheesecake bites, without the cheese though!
2. Enjoying my runs again now that the training pressure is off!
3. Ottawa always gets a bad reputation for being a boring city – stop and look around for a minute and I dare you to try to deny it’s beauty.
4. Cover your eyes – it’s yolk porn! But really, spinach, roasted potatoes and eggs are the best combination.
5. This weekend I will be running for a cure for breast cancer research in memory of my mom. The support and generosity I have witnessed over the past week is incredible. I truly appreciate every penny donated. If you’d like to contribute please visit my fundraising page, if you already have, thank you – I am so grateful.

If you want to link up your post of Friday reflections, head over to TheLaurenElizabeth.com. Have a wonderful weekend!

xo Lauren


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So You Finished Your Race, Now What?

I’ll be the first to admit that after a big race, I always feel lost with my training. Getting back into the swing of things without having a goal to work towards is a different feeling, no more scheduled distances or paces, heck – no more running if I don’t feel like it. post race bluesFirst thing’s first, take some rest. Whether it is a day or a week, let your body relax and celebrate your accomplishments. Next you’ll want to make a new plan, try to incorporate workouts you longed to do during your training but didn’t have the time. For me, this includes more high intensity interval training (HIIT) and weight lifting. Here is what my new workout schedule looks like:

MONDAY: Rest Day
TUESDAY: Body Shred (HIIT Training)
WEDNESDAY: Run and Legs
THURSDAY: Spin and Back/Chest
FRIDAY: Run and Triceps/Biceps/Shoulders
SATURDAY: Body Shred (HIIT Training)
SUNDAY: Long Run

I am keeping Sunday as a long run day since I plan to sign up for a few 10k fun runs throughout the year. I always really enjoy embarking on weekend long runs because they give me time to decompress and reflect on my week.

Remember, finding a new training plan that works for you isn’t always going to be easy. It is okay to test out a couple different options until you find something that you love. Don’t give up, exercising without a race goal can still be a lot of run and extremely rewarding. My advice is to turn your motivation inwards and focus on achieving your healthiest body on your own terms. What works for others, may not be right for you – trust yourself and you’ll succeed!

xo Lauren


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High Five For Friday: A Week In Review

Friday1. Spending some quality time with local bloggers at the Rideau Centre Project Preview Reception! Obviously a selfie with the queen of selfies (ML of Twenty York Street) was necessary.
2. Hockey is back! To start the (pre) season off right, Neil and I headed to a 67s game which got us in the spirit!
3. Decked out in head to toe Banana Republic, I had the opportunity to model fall coats on Daytime Ottawa. It was such a fun experience and my outfits were absolutely amazing.
4. Last night Neil and I celebrated four years of being together. After running around town on a scavenger hunt, he finally found me waiting at Murray Street for drinks and dinner. I highly recommend visiting this spot if you’re looking for a delicious meal.
5. Finishing my second half marathon with my dad by my side – I couldn’t have asked for a better running partner!

If you want to link up your post of Friday reflections, head over to TheLaurenElizabeth.com.

Have a great weekend!

xo Lauren


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My Second Half Marathon Experience

After sleepless nights, training doubts, and racing remorse, I am thrilled to have completed my second half marathon this Sunday – and even more excited to have finished in under two hours! If you read my running remorse post last week, you’ll likely be surprised to hear that I have been bit by the racing bug again. While I am not signing up for another half marathon in the near future, I am looking into a couple 10 km races in the winter (just checking out my options – I want to come down from my running high before I make any commitments).

All hesitations aside, I knew I had given my best effort effort training for this race. Preparing for a Spring half is much different than a Fall one – I have learned that I prefer running in cool temperatures (and even snowstorms) as opposed to warm scorching weather. Most distance runners will use Sundays as long run days; take a moment to think about what that means. Fun Saturdays are always cut a little short to make sure you feel ready to get a 16, 17, 18 k (or even longer) run in before peak heat hours. Depending on your pace, these distances can take over two hours to complete meaning you’ll need to be out pounding the pavement before 9:00 AM. Another sacrifice you’ll have to make is running on vacation. If you let your training slip, it is very hard to pick up where you left off – summer is a very popular time to take weekend trips, be prepared to pack your running gear and map out a couple routes to run while everyone else is sleeping in. This being said, running on vacation is one of my favourite ways to explore a new city, it makes me feel like a local and I almost always come across neat areas I would have never found otherwise.

Winter is easier. Long runs aren’t scheduled around the sun, Saturday partying is less frequent since patios are closed, and buy new cold weather running gear is a lot of fun. Sure the footing is slippery and you might run into a snow storm (literally), but as long as you are careful and alert, these added elements of difficulty make the time fly by. Maybe this is personal preference though!

father daughter finish line

Strides away from the finish line!

half marathonI had planned to do a race recap, but as the kilometers ticked by, they all merged together. I can tell you that the Canada Army Run is much less flat than the Ottawa Race Weekend route. If you are looking for a PB, consider that. Although I did not beat my first half marathon time, I felt much stronger and in control throughout the entire race – extra hills and all. I am confident that if the courses were the same I would have snagged a PB this time around. Either way, I was elated crossing the finish line knowing I had secured another sub two hour time!

Neil and Alicia along the course cheering us on, with Lanna and Susan close beside them!

Neil and Alicia along the course cheering us on, with Lanna and Susan close beside them!

I cannot even begin to express how thankful and honoured I am to have such great friends and family that pushed me every step of the way. From my dad you ran by my side, to my amazing boyfriend and friends who cheered me on along the course and at the finish line, I know I couldn’t have made it through the race without you guys. Knowing that I have such kind and thoughtful people in my life makes me feel so lucky. It truly meant the world to see your smiling faces cheering me on.

Celebrating another sub two hour finish with my dad!

Celebrating another sub two hour finish with my dad!

Will I run another half marathon? The answer is most likely yes. Crossing the finish line on Sunday reminded me of why I make the sacrifices I do to be a runner, it also confirmed that I truly do love running.

Despite a little muscle soreness, I am eager to lace up my sneakers this week and do what I love.

Congratulations to everyone who ran this weekend, you did it!

xo Lauren


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It’s The Weekend!

After a terrible and fatal tragedy this week, I think it is safe to say that this week was a particularly tough one for the residents of Ottawa. Horrific events like the one that occurred on Wednesday remind us how important it is to cherish every moment, from the smallest things to the biggest accomplishments – I plan to take this as a reminder to love unconditionally and be kind. Life is precious and you only get one chance to live it, so smile and make the most of every day. Here is just a tiny snapshot of some things I am appreciating this week:High Five For Friday1.  It is rare that Neil will participate in a race without me, but over the past week he did – and on top of that, he finished with one of the best times of the entire group! I am a very proud girlfriend.
2. This weekend my partying brought me back to the good ol’ university days – who brings a flask with them anymore? Wait – I do.
3. I used to be one of those people who wakes up at the very last moment and runs out the door. Over the past four years, Neil has taught me the importance of relaxing in the morning. Now I can’t imagine going back to whirlwind mornings – spending those 45 minutes drinking coffee and hanging out is one of my favourite parts of the day.
4. Pumpkin = Fall. Sure, but what about apple season! In my mind, apple picking trumps the pumpkin patch – unless I am carving them for Halloween. Speaking of apples, I have an amazing quinoa/oat/apple/cinnamon muffin recipe to share with you soon, if you’re interested.
5. Sunday is my second half marathon. I am so honoured to be running along side with the men and women who risk their lives for our beautiful country. The Canada Army Run is the fastest growing run in the nation over the past five years and I can’t wait to be a part of it! If you’re in Ottawa – take a look at the route and come out and cheer on the runners.

Thank to Lauren for hosting High Five For Friday.

Have a wonderful weekend friends!

xo Lauren