Workout Playlist

Week 1: Starting Off Strong with New Tunes

Kelly Clarkson kept me company on my runs last week (thanks girl!). (Photo courtesy of Shutterstock)

The first week of training is always my favorite. Why? Because it is the easiest! No, I’m kidding of course (OK fine, half kidding). I enjoy it because it gives me a chance to check out my pace and see how my long runs will go in the upcoming weeks. Also, I find if you get in all your runs during that first week, it makes it that much easier to keep it up in the weeks to follow. Skipping even one run right off the bat can lead to a slippery slope for me, so I was happy to start off on the right foot.

Being extremely Type A, I love running with a training schedule not just for the appreciation of a plan, but also because it lets me plan what runs I want to do on which day. I rarely follow schedules as they are written; I prefer to pair my runs with my work and social schedule that week. Big birthday party Friday night? Then clearly Saturday will not be the best day for a long run.

Here’s how my schedule looked last week:

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Songs to Power Through Training

Finding the right music will motivate nearly any runner! (Photo by Laura Doss)

Finding the right music will motivate nearly any runner! (Photo by Laura Doss)

I looked at the calendar this morning and had a minor panic attack. This race is creeping up on me sooner than I would like it to! In four short weeks I will be running my first half-marathon with thousands of other women. Ahh! Mentally, I feel like I need another month to prepare myself, but physically I think I will be able to do it. In the past month alone, I have noticed such a change in my stamina, my willpower to run and my physique. I am so happy to have gotten this far, and am even more excited to cross the finish line!

My iPod really helps me to push through long runs. I have a few playlists that I alternate between, but I have compiled a pretty good list of songs that pump me up and keep me going. I’m definitely going to have to add some more tunes to my iPod before race day, but here are some favorites that are currently on my playlist:

Misery Business,” Paramore (For the rebel in me.)
Who’s That Chick,” David Guetta, featuring Rihanna
Push Push,” Kat DeLuna, featuring Akon (Great for running up hills!)
Animal,” Neon Trees
Side by Side,” Blessed by a Broken Heart (Every girl has a little metal chick inside her, right?)
Better Than Revenge,” Taylor Swift
Blow,” Ke$ha (Such a great beat.)
Memories,” David Guetta, featuring Kid Cudi
Boom Boom Pow,” Black Eyed Peas (This song makes me feel like I am Superwoman and can do anything!)
Yeah 3x,” Chris Brown

What songs are you currently running to? I’d love to know so that I can add them to my race day playlist!

P.S.: As a follow-up to my last post I just want you all to know that I made that white bean hummus over the weekend and it’s AMAZING! Definitely a tasty and healthy snack to get you through the day.

Susan Tries to Beat Treadmill Boredom

Susan joined  with editor in chief Betty Wong for a Fitness "Fast Track to a Better Body" workout this week.

Susan joined Editor in Chief Betty Wong for the Fitness "Fast Track to a Better Body" workout this week.

It was another cold one here in NYC. Not only did we get hit with snow, this time we got ice too. Fun! The frozen rain and icy conditions turned the city into an ice skating rink and it was impossible and dangerous to walk outside during the work week–let alone run. Therefore, I did all of my weekday runs on the treadmill. It was warm and precipitation-free at the gym, but running on the treadmill is so boring for me. I covered up the the front of the treadmill with a towel so I couldn’t see  the remaining time  and listened to a great running mix on my iPod, but I was going out of my mind. Does anyone have any suggestions to make treadmill running more enjoyable?

Since the treadmill and I aren’t the greatest of pals, I woke up early on Saturday, even with the wintry mix of rain and snow, and did my long run outside. While I was running, I enjoyed it and even felt invigorated in the cool precipitation. But after I returned home, I realized I was soaking wet and chilled to the bone! Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to do my long run on Sunday when it was 50 degrees and sunny. Let’s hope next week brings us some better weather!

I still felt rushed before and after my runs and didn’t feel like I did enough stretching. My goal this week: Figure out how to fit flexibility work in.

It was fun to squeeze in a strength training class this week. I joined FITNESS Editor in Chief Betty Wong for a 30-minute “Rear View Rescue” class made up of all the best butt firming exercises that are supposed to make me look better from the behind! The class was challenging and definitely helped to strengthen my glutes and hamstrings–which will be so helpful with my running. The moves we tried (and other tips) are featured in Betty’s new book “FITNESS Fast Track to a Better Body.”

I expect another really busy week ahead, so I’m trying to plot out when to do my workouts now. I feel a bit tired just thinking about it!

Do you prefer running indoors or outdoors? How do you beat training boredom?