Have Feet, Will Travel
Issue 25: Vacations make for the best new running environments
Hey friends! It’s been a minute and that’s mostly because I got to hop on a plane and head out of town and then drive out of town the next weekend. It’s funny how quickly I feel like my work (and email inbox) gets out of whack from just a couple of short trips. How did we do it in the before times?
Anyway, I’m back with some thoughts on working out while traveling, which probably makes some people say, ‘but why?’ And I get that. Vacations offer a break from the daily grind—a chance to relax and decompress. If you have the privilege of traveling with some of your best GFs, then they’re also about filling your soul with convos and jokes and games and delicious food and genuine friendship time.
But I will say, my absolute favorite way to see a new city or town is to run and walk around it. You get to go on paths you wouldn’t normally have traveled; you see houses and restaurants and mountain views you wouldn’t have seen if you didn’t clock some extra miles by foot; and you get to move your body before a day of lounging in the pool or after a night of perhaps a little too much fun at a crowded bar (a crowded bar! They do exist!). I also find my motivation to keep going—to peep another view of the sun or some water or whatever lies ahead of me—peaks when I’m in a new place. I keep my stride going so I can see more of what’s around me. And I get even more excited when one of those said GFs or travel buddies joins me for the miles, whether walking or running, and I also get to have some QT for an extra catch-up session. For all those reasons, working out when traveling just reignites my love of fitness, getting me outside of the gym and into the great outdoors of movement.
I do also travel with a set of mini resistance bands in case I decide I want some weight added to my routine, and these days, I bring a jump rope too, mostly because I love it and can’t do it in my apartment. But neither got used during the last two trips I took. And I’m A-OK with that. Sometimes you also just need to swap a sweat for some extra time on the pool float.
Even if you’re not traveling anytime soon, might I use this as a reminder that simply changing up your run/walk/bike route can have some real positive effects on the mindset as you move. A change of scenery spices things up in a way that just pushes you to put one foot in front of the other for a little longer or faster—and it’s also a good way to see a fresh park, trail, or street in your same old neighborhood.
A few other people’s words about wellness I’ve read (and loved) recently:
If you know me, you know my love of Reese Witherspoon, so I was obviously drawn to a story on Self about how she did hypnosis to prepare for her role in Wild. (I’m also very intrigued by hypnosis to help with anxiety, but that’s an aside.) That story led me to Tracee Ellis Ross’ interview with her for Interview Magazine, in which they talk about changing the game for women in Hollywood and beyond. Read it and try to tell me you don’t love them both.
For those who run intervals, you must check out Alex Hutchinson’s latest Sweat Science column, “How to Design the Ultimate Interval Workout” for Outside. A recent meta-analysis, which he breaks down, talks about how to program your high-intensity interval workouts and your sprint-interval workouts (just shorter and more intense intervals). Basically, to get faster, do 5 rounds of 5-minute sprints with 2:30 recovery between, twice a week for four weeks. Or, do 4 rounds of 30-second intervals with a 4-minute recovery, twice a week for two weeks. Or you could do a mix of both those longer and shorter intervals.
Because I’ll read anything about THE Simon Biles, check out Health magazine’s story, “How Simone Biles Prioritizes Her Mental Health While Training for the Olympics.” Her skills are amazing and I am crossing my fingers so hard that the Games happen and we can see her crush it. She’s also the cover star of Health’s July/August issue, so check that out (and you might also see a biking story by yours truly)!
The latest updates on the fitness industry:
News that traveled very fast around the running world, with lots of opinions floating the interwebs: Shelby Houlihan, the American record holder in the 5,000 and 1,500 meters, failed a drug test and is now facing a four-year ban from the sport. Houlihan says the positive result came from a food truck burrito. Get more details at RunnersWorld.com.
Speaking of running, the Olympic track and field trials kick off tomorrow. Check out RunnersWorld.com again for all the details on how to watch.
Fitt Insider reveals some patents pending for Lululemon, including smart clothing and other sensors, plus a better exercise mat, so we might have some cool new gear to look forward to in the future. It also says Lulu will likely enter the footwear space in 2022.
Here’s one form cue that always resonates with clients…
These words tend to work for individuals I train as an ah-ha moment for feeling stronger in a move or activating the right muscles. I talked about plank cues in the very first issue, but one thing people often forget when holding this position is that you want to engage the legs and really squeeze that butt! This will help you stay steady and keep the body in a straight line, especially if you’re holding it for a long time. Breathing deeply and focusing on each inhale and exhale (really think about the breath moving through the body) can also help you through a long static hold.
One move to add to your exercise routine…
Squat with a ½ lift! Feel the burn in your lower half while firing up your core in this half-rep exercise. To do it, start standing with feet slightly wider than hip-width apart, holding a dumbbell or kettlebell at your chest. On an inhale, send the hips down and back to lower into a squat. Exhale and lift halfway up, pressing the floor away, and pausing for a second or two. Then, lower back down on another inhale. Finally, exhale to stand all the way back up, driving the floor away as you go. Repeat for 6-10 reps.
For a full workout, try…
Ally Love’s cycling classes on Peloton, because I can never get enough of her! If you Peloton, I’m sure you’ve taken her classes already, but I just had to give her a shout-out. She makes me smile and feel happy and positive and successful in my little HIIT sprints and hill climbs. And TBH, I like when she sings to me and gives me a smile (sounds creepy, I know, but I think you’ll agree!). I’ve also had the pleasure of interviewing this wonder woman, and she was just as kind and motivating off camera as I’d expect. At the end of the call, I told her I was ready to go work out because her words have power, people.
The gear I’m loving to get me out the door…
I finally tried out some gear from the sustainable brand, Girlfriend Collective, after many people in my life gave them rave reviews. I love their Gazelle Short for its super lightweight material, 90s vibes, built-in underwear, and zipped front pockets that hold your phone (which is great for walking, but not really running because your leg bangs into the phone, FYI). The brand stands out for its fabric, made from 100% recycled water bottles.
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