Running tips part 2

Hello friend!

I hope you are having a fabulous week! This week has been really exciting for me because we are officially in Spring, which means we are closer to summer! Living in San Diego usually makes me feel like we are always in spring, but this winter brought WAY too much rain and I am still trying to recover from it. I am also really excited because I got new running shoes this week. With all my training lately, I was at the point where I needed and got a new pair of Asics GT-2000’s.

This made me realize that I didn’t talk much about shoes or any next steps after actually getting into running on my last running blog. So, I created this blog for those who are starting to run more often (although it doesn’t have to be long distances), and want to avoid injuries and perfect the craft. I used to run half marathons and hurt my knees, right ankle, IT band and my hip was even affected at one point because of the constant injuries and over-work.  From personal experience, the points below really mattered to me and I hope they can help you on your journey as well. That said, learn from my mistakes and don’t get hurt, increase your pace and feel the runner’s high!**

Tips to avoid injury

  1. Get good shoes – I mentioned above that I just got a new pair of shoes. This was after wearing the WRONG running shoes for a long time. I went to my local Road Runner store so they could “Test” my step and tell me more about the shoe that is recommended for my foot. It was an eye opener to find out that there were other shoes aside from Nike training shoes with a ton of cushion, support and breathing for my feet. Every person is different, but the super cushion-y shoes work for me, while low profile shoes work for others. Ultimately, the personalized assessment taught me so much and I have been buying these Asics ever since! The shoes at the store tend to be slightly more expensive than the shoe from the brand, but it is worth getting them there the first time then get them directly from the brand, or their outlet like I do, and save money on a future pair. On top of learning about the fact that I was wearing the wrong shoes, I also found out I was wearing the wrong size. Yup, I was wearing 2 SIZES too small. Can you believe it?! My poor feet were dying in my shoes. The thing is.. When running, your feet expand because they are swelling from the strain you are adding to them, as well as we retaining water. Of course you need to wear bigger shoes!! Another HUGE eye-opener for me. Lesson learned: when buying shoes make sure that you buy them larger than you normally wear tennis shoes to allow your feet to expand. I buy them 1.5 sizes larger, but the specialist at the running store can advise you best.
  2. Stretch and roll – This sounds basic, but I wasn’t doing it. I would go for a run and feel so good then go about my day. Big no-no! Make sure you spend AT LEAST 3-5 minutes stretching after your run! Part of the cool down process is also walking, so if you have been running really fast, make sure that you are walking and stretching right after. I also try to roll the nights that I run (if not more often). You can get a roller in so many places nowadays, but I love mine because it is a textured one. Believe it or not, rolling is painful. The pain is needed though, because it helps break down any kinks n your muscles and helps circulation. If you have never rolled before, you can learn how to use a roller in this guide. Rolling is essential. PRO TIP: If you are really ramping up the miles, icing your ankles, knees and hips can provide comfort. Make sure to do intervals of time so that your areas don’t get too numb.

Tips to get faster and increase endurance

  1. Track your distance and time – There are SO many ways to do this. I started by using my phone to take a picture of my distance on the treadmill, then used the Nike run app for outdoor runs and now I use my Apple watch. Whatever method you use, it is important to track your progress. Why? You can track you improvements and motivate yourself by seeing how much faster you are getting with your runs. Not only that, you can also see how your runs differ if you start incorporating hills and other new obstacles on your run. Trackers provide an overall big picture on how you are doing over a long period of time and you will be amazed by yourself and how awesome you are.
  2. Run 3 times per week – Consistency is key. You want to ensure that you are giving your body enough runs to continue to improve that one sport. You also want to make sure that you aren’t running too much at the beginning where your body is feeling fatigued. This ties into what I already said with tracking your runs because you will want to see how your runs are improving over time. As you become a stronger runner, you can increase it, but 3 is a good starting point.
  3. Control your breathing – This was the game-changer for me. Once you learn how to control your breathing, you will find that you have so much more control over your runs. Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth. If you are consistently just breathing through one vs the other, then you will get really tired and/or require more water. By focusing on your breathe and controlling it, you can also lower your heart rate in times of stress and exhaustion. Personally, when I am really tired and/or running really fast, I try to hold my inhale just a tiny bit longer and exhale a little longer, for 3 repetitions, so that I relax my blood pumping and my minid. As I have ventured to other sports, I have found that breathing is different for them and mastering your breathing pattern and technique is key.
  4. Control you water intake – Stay hydrated, but don’t over-hydrate! This is a hard balance to maneuver! When I first started off, I would drink too much water and get stomach aches under my ribs. My body would slow down and I would be in pain. This was a sign of too much water. I found that the nipple of your water bottle really makes a difference. My preferred water bottle has a controlled nipple and is small enough to carry in my hand. It also has a small pocket so I can add my key and phone in there as well. When I first started, I would try to sip water every mile, and try not to drink unless I really needed it. Now, I make sure to drink 8-16 oz of water 15-30 minutes prior to my run. During my run, I wait 30 minutes for my first sip of water, then drink every mile from there. As you get more comfortable with your style you will find what is appropriate and what makes you feel hydrated, but doesn’t hurt you or has you using the bathroom every 5 minutes.

I am curious to hear from you! How are these tips working for you? What else are you interested in learning more about, or what tips have worked for you that I can learn from?




**Please remember that I am not a Certified Personal Trainer, or physician. This is strictly based on my personal experience and preference. You should consult with your physician for expert and personalized advice.


What workout plan is best for me?

Hi friend!!!

Happy Monday and beginning to a whole new week and end of February.. Isn’t it insane that we are already headed into the third month of the year? CRAY! I just finished my BBG 12 week workout plan and my #30daychallenge to close my rings and am so proud and pumped to keep going down this fitness journey. The end of this challenge also has me thinking about what workout plan I want to begin next\. I am working on my tri training, but strength training is also needed.

With this in mind, I wanted to focus today’s blog on talking about different gyms/workout options and about my experience with several different plans throughout the past years, as it is a common question I get when I am going to a new gym.

I most commonly get asked which gym/workout plan I think produces the best results. I would like to start by saying ALL gyms and plans WORK if YOU do! Plain and simple. If you are putting in the consistent work and are following a healthy meal plan, there is no reason why one workout plan won’t work for you vs the other. Remember, working out is truly a treat. Our bodies are strong and able enough to workout and we should be grateful for that, therefore make working out a FUN time in our days! Investing time in finding which plan makes you HAPPY and keeps your engaged is worth it!  

Here are my thoughts on different studios and workout plans which I hope will help you navigate the hundreds of classes going on right now.

  • F45  
    • Pros: It is mainly weight based. There are cardio days, but they are bodyweight and isometric type of workouts. You will get stronger and more fit by lifting. They give you workout towels and cool down towels after your workout. It is quick and only 45 minutes!
    • Cons: They only use bikes and rowers, no treadmills (for some, this is a pro). There is no cool down stretch. If you want to stay after and stretch on your own, you can but it isn’t something that is guided or done as part of the class.
    • Price: Unless there is a sale, they are the priciest gym that I have seen out there for $45 per week.
  • Orange Theory Fitness
    • Pros: You do a little bit of everything. It is a rotation of three main stations: treadmill, rower and weights. This gym helped my running pace get so much faster because of the different intervals from every class. These are pretty intense classes, so you really only need to go 4 times per week. The gym I went to had a great community, events outside of class and every 2 months there was a 90 minute class which was a nice challenge.
    • Cons: I am not a big fan of the rower; however, you will row every time. The weights are only dumbbells so you have to limit you workouts to those types of weights.
    • Price: Higher side – Typically $170/month + your initial heart rate monitor investment of $60.
  • Yoga
    • Pros: I have gone to several bikram yoga studios including Corepower and other local ones. Hot yoga is SO relaxing, challenging both to the body and mind and overall great for you. Even if you aren’t doing yoga as your primary workout, it is so helpful and needed for recovery. I hurt my ankle and went to yoga for a month and was a whole new human both inside and out because of it.
    • Cons: It is low intensity. The highest intensity class I have found was the sculpt class at Corepower which was intense, but it is yoga and lower intensity that your normal cardio class.
    • Price: Depends on the studio, but usually around $120 per month.
  • Pure Barre
    • Pros: Multiple repetitions and you get stronger with a lot of isometric work. Your booty is being worked out A LOT, so it helps in that area (which I need) for sure! You also work on your posture and breathing, which overall is great for you.
    • Cons: It is a slower paced workout. As you can tell by now, I am more of a high intensity workout person, so the classes that I took were too slow for my taste.
    • Price: $120-$140 + socks, but you can get those on your own.
  • Title Boxing
    • Pros: High intensity, dynamic moves that help release aggression and get your blood flowing. Depending on the gym, you can take classes that are more or less physical with the bags. Title isn’t just boxing. You can take boxing, kickboxing or MMA classes, all which are a mix of body weight, cardio and punching bags. Here, coaches make a big difference compared to other gyms I have attached because they are typically pushing you harder and are very encouraging which make me want to push my limits and get ouside my comfort zone. They’re even willing to take you aside and work with you on improving your technique.
    • Cons: Washing your equipment after class. I know this sounds lazy, but your hand wraps and gloves need to be washed and disinfected after class. It is just one more step that you need to take care of after class.
    • Price: Depends on the sales, but typically $70 per month + initial gloves and wraps which total can be ~$30, depending how fancy you want your gloves.
  • At-home – BBG, TIU, Beachbody (and others, but I have only tried these three)
    • Pros: You workout at your own time, at your own pace and they aren’t very long (typically). For the most part, not much equipment is needed and you can workout in the comfort of your living room not caring what you look like and nobody needs to know. It is very convenient, and there are online communities to keep you accountable. My favorite combo of these is either pure Beachbody, or BBG workouts following the TIU meal plan and recipes.
    • Cons: There are no in-person trainers to push you. If you are working out at home or following these self-guided programs, you need to motivate yourself, and/or be active on social media with these communities. If you have access to a gym and can do them there, sometimes that is better if you want to increase your weights and not spend on buying a heavier weight set.
    • Price: Depends on the plan. BBG now has the Sweat app that you can get for $20 per month, TIU also has their workout app, but not sure how much that is and it is offered in addition to SO many free resources online. Beachbody varies and I only did it back when the DVD’s existed so they vary. In addition to this, you may need a starter kit of weights and a few other things, but no more than $50.

A few ways to get started on finding what fits your schedule without spending a ton of money:

  • Classpass – they usually have a free month for new members
  • Groupon – a lot of gyms use it to give you a lower priced first month
  • Gym’s/programs actual site/app – Orange Theory only uses their one free class. Other gyms have even better sales through them, so try them directly. The at-home workouts also typically have a 1 week – 1 month free trial.

I am yet to try a cycling studio, pilates studio and Barry’s Bootcamp to review those. Have you tried them? What feedback do you have about these gyms and workout programs? What is your favorite?

Leave your comments below! 🙂






How to start your runner journey

Hey, friend!

Are you just starting your fitness journey, or even maybe already on your journey, but want to get more into running? When I first started working out I was starting at ground 0. I began my journey in January 2013 when I wanted to get in shape for my wedding. I used to be very active in high school, but lost all the motivation to workout when I was in college due to such a busy schedule between school and work.

I started off with doing my workouts at the gym and would randomly find things to do. I realized though, that if I really wanted to lose some serious weight (that I needed to shred) I would have to increase my cardio intensity. My husband (fiance at the time) started to push me and we would run outdoors. He would run in front of me and encourage me to run but all I wanted to do was quit after 2 minutes of running. So, I decided that I would change what I was doing at the gym and work towards increasing my running endurance. I started by combining the exercises I was good at, to improve my running stamina.

For example, I would do 15 minutes on the elliptical first. The elliptical is a great starting place because you are working your legs, but you have assistance from your arms to not get tired as quickly. After the elliptical, I would go another 15 minutes on the bike. In this case, all of my strength was being channelled from my legs, but without the weight of standing up so it helped my legs get stronger. After this, I would go 10 minutes on the treadmill. I would start at a slow pace then slowly get to a jogging pace where I felt comfortable. I did this over and over at least 3 times per week. Eventually my leg strength and stamina was strong enough to change the rotations: 10 min elliptical, 10 min bike, 20 min run. Then after that felt comfortable, I dropped the bike and did 5 min elliptical and 30 minute run.

As I got more comfortable on the treadmill, I started setting small goals. I would jog for 3 minutes, then run for another 3, then go back to a slower pace to jog, then go back up, etc. This is what helped me also not feel overwhelmed with being on the treadmill so long and it started to feel like a game with myself. There is also an app which I know has helped many people get into running which is the couch to 5k app. After I started getting more comfortable with running and working out overall, my husband and I decided to start signing up for races which continued to reinforce and push my running skills. 5k’s are such a fun way to push yourself and have a final race goal in mind. Once you get more comfortable with your running skills, running outside to leave the monotony of the treadmill will for sure inspire you to push harder on your run and even want to be outside longer. 

Any way you do it, getting into running is life-changing! There really is such thing as a “runner’s high” where it is just you and the path in front of you, with your sick playlist and endorphins running through your body. I encourage you to get into it and push your mind and body to complete a 5k!

Currently, I am working on improving my speed. I am working on small sprint intervals, as well as adding in some hills so I can work against the incline and help my speed.

What tactics have you used to either get into running, or improve your speed? I would love to learn more about your running journey!





How to train for your first triathlon

I constantly hear others refer to me as “crazy” or respond to my next goal by “oh boy!”. The nice thing about that is that it reassures me that what I am setting out to do isn’t the rule, it’s the exception.

In 2018 I set a goal to complete my first triathlon. Granted, it was a sprint tri (5k run, 1/4mi swim and 10mi bike) – no iron man or anything REALLY crazy;  but a triathlon race nonetheless. I was inspired by watching elite athletes that completed Iron Mans and decided I wanted to try something new. At this point I had only ran half marathons. I didn’t own a bike nor did I know how to swim aside from a doggie paddle. I dedicated 60 days to train for my tri sprint and although I would recommend at least 90 (if you are already active), it is something that is doable if you are committed. I didn’t hire a coach or join a club which I also think could have been beneficial for me. Nonetheless, self-training is possible! This is how I did it:


  1. Buy your ticket – yes, this is step 1. Why? Because you have a goal and are less-likely to bail if you already spent the money on the ticket. You have a specific deadline for a race, therefore can work backwards and train yourself with a goal in mind. I have never done a tri before, so I chose the sprint distance because it was realistic rather than trying to jump straight into an international distance.
  2. Set a schedule – As I mentioned before, my only athleticism really stemmed from running. According to the different blogs I read, you should complete every sport 2-3 times per week. The sports that you are less great at should definitely be 3 times per week. Another thing to keep in mind for all sports is that strength training shouldn’t be taken for granted. Lifting some weights, doing ab workouts and sustained body strength movements are imperative to build up your overall muscle and endurance. This said, my schedule went a little like this:Monday: Run (1-2 miles) and weights (15-20 mins)
    1. Tuesday: Run (1-2 miles), bike (5 miles) and swim (250-500 meters)
    1. Wednesday: Bike (5 miles)
    1. Thursday: Swim (500 meters) and weights (15-20 mins)
    1. Friday: Rest
    1. Saturday: Long training day – Swim 250 meters, bike 11 miles, run 3.1 miles
    1. Sunday: Rest


The days and regimen would change per week, but I would try to mix it up as much as I could to have a ratio where I was swimming 3 times for sure. I am a morning workout person, so I would try to do both workouts in the morning. If it wasn’t possible, one would be before work, then the other after. I also believe in balance and working out 5 days per week vs 7. I think it is nice to have 2 days off to relax and allow your body to recover. These are great days to roll and stretch because that is what recovery is all about! I also found a lot of value in watching YouTube on various techniques for swimming. I listened to various triathlon Podcasts.. YES THEY EXIST! And they were another great tool in learning more about the community, as well as different tips and tricks for training. There are so many great people on Instagram as well that serve as motivation on a daily basis, so start following different hashtags to gets tips and training ideas. Don’t forget that getting your mind right is also part of your schedule and training plan.

3. Grab your gear! – As I mentioned before, I had nothing aside from my Asics to get started on this journey. I went to a local sports store and bought my swim cap, goggles, and bike shorts to start off. I still wasn’t sure what type of bike I would buy, but wanted to start cycling so I got the basics to start with indoor cycle. A few things to note when buying your gear:

  • Try on your cap! I have very long hair so I had to make sure the material I was buying fit my head.
  • Buy lighter tinted goggles. I would have never thought the tint of the goggles would make a difference, but I made the mistake and bought dark purple goggles (they were cute too!). There was nothing WRONG with them, but you felt like you couldn’t see the full swim area, which was definitely not something you want for your first tri. Especially if you are swimming in the bay which is already dark; there is no real comfort in seeing nothing.
  • Check the ratings on your bike shorts online, but don’t get too stuck on them. Gel vs non-gel, etc. try them on and if they are comfy, buy them!

After I got these essentials to start, I decided that I wanted to get a semi-nice bike although I could live without one. I set myself up for alerts on Offer Up and found a great deal! I bought a Fiji that was 2 years old but in great condition. I immediately took it to the bike shop to get a tuneup (bike shops I went to did this for free – so it is worth it!) and they semi-taught me how to use the gears and take the tires on/off. I also got myself a helmet and found a trail where bikes were allowed without cars so I can train in peace. Outdoor cycle is so different than indoor, so make sure you train on both!

If you are going to buy a wetsuit, don’t do what I did. I bought a surfer wetsuit, which is a completely different material than a tri wetsuit. Look into the race info and there will likely be a discount on the wetsuits through them. I am yet to buy a tri one (I need to sell my other one) but know it will be beneficial. The price for both, when on sale, are comparable in the $70-85 range. If you decided to buy a tri suit (which I didn’t), then depending how warm you feel in it and when you are racing, you may not even need a wetsuit, but that is personal preference.

  1. Find a friend that can do at least one sport with you – I was lucky to have a swimmer friend who would swim with me once a week for about 3 weeks and that really helped with my confidence. Even if you have support in one area, it will encourage you in all others. This is another reason why joining a club would also be a great idea!


  1. Have long training days – Although this may be difficult, having one long training day is necessary. Training the sports right after each other like you will on racing day makes a difference. I thought I was fine with my running so the bike/run transition was going to be a breeze (I used to run 13.1 miles for gosh sakes! What’s a 5k!), but after biking 10 miles, that 5k becomes a lot more challenging. You can also tell in these training days where you start getting tired and need the extra boost. I am not the type of person to take pre-workout. I just make sure to eat enough food to fuel me through the race; however, after training I noticed that I need a boost after biking. I bought some caffeine jelly beans and popped 2 and felt like a champ through the running portion.


  1. Eat! Yes, you are going to be hungry so make sure you are eating enough protein and healthy carbs (oatmeal, beans, rice) to keep you fueled on a daily basis. Also make sure to have food right after working out and hydrate! After every long training day I would buy an electrolyte replenishing drink such as Pedialyte and a protein bar so I had something in my system within 15 minutes or working out. Not staying up with my nutrition when I used to run halves was one of my biggest mistakes and I learned my lesson for this sport!

Learn from my mistakes

Being self-taught, there are obviously things I learned along the way that I would change, so learn from me!

  • Get all of your gear as soon as possible. I got my wetsuit 2 weeks before the race and it was so different swimming with it on vs just a bathing suit. It is heavier, my arms were less mobile AND I forgot I need to wear my clothes under it so my swim experience was completely different.
  • If you think you are going to do a tri again, get a tri suit. I don’t have one but think it is worth it and will buy one for my next race. If you aren’t buying one and are using regular bike shorts and a shirt, train with that ON.
  • Train at the location you are going race at (if possible). I did all my swim training in a pool which was great, but swimming in a salty bay with seaweed was very different. I only gave myself 2 chances prior to race day to really feel the experience and I should have done it sooner.
  • Get bike shoes! I still need to get mine, but buying shoes with pedals will help you feel more secure on your bike.
  • Join a club – self-training is a commendable thing, but nothing serves you better than joining other people who enjoy doing what you (want to) do. This will also help with things such as learning better techniques for all the sports and learning how to use gears on a bike (again, another thing I still need to learn).


All of these things said, I LOVED my first tri. I felt so inspired, strong and happy. I plan to complete the San Diego Triathlon Triple Crown with my first race in May 2019 and put into action all of the things I learned from my first tri. I hope these tips help you out and you are inspired to take on the tri challenge!! 🙂