How to Stay on Track with your Weekly Workouts

How tricky can it be sometimes to stay on track with your training plans? Sure, the motivation may be there, but time management skills could seriously be slipping. I know personally as a bachelor’s student, my day will instantly fall apart if I don’t plan it out properly. I learned this the hard way; by missing strength training days that I shouldn’t have, or forgetting to roll out and paying for it dearly the next day.

If I wanted to continue being serious about running, something had to give. My hugest issue is procrastination, so lack of procrastination coupled with organization would help me, (and you) be able to stay on track and crush those prs! I do two things that help me stay on top of things, and like to call them macro planning and micro planning. I’ll start with macro planning first.

Macro Planning

Here I focus on the bigger picture. What am I training for? How many days of running will this require? How many miles? I then reference my calendar in my phone, (which I would die without), to see what my daily, weekly, and monthly commitments are. From there, I’m able to see what days are write-offs. For instance, on Tuesdays I have class from 9:10am-9:30pm and won’t get back home until 11:00pm. On a day like that (unless I get out of class early or start late), I just count it as a rest day and move on.

Micro Planning

This is when I plan how each particular day will play out. I usually have a to-do list in my phone that I can check off when I’ve completed each activity (running related or not). If I have a long run, this will require a couple hours of my time to account for the actual run, stretching/rolling out, and showering. A shorter run will only take about an hour to do all those things, so if I have a day where I have a few more things going on, I should still be able to squeeze that in. The biggest tip during micro planning is GET THE RUN DONE AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. The longer you put it off, the more likely it is that you won’t do it. When it comes to running, I run as early as possible in the day since I tend to get stomach upsets if I run after I’ve eaten. If this isn’t possible, I give myself as much time as possible to digest whatever I’ve had before I head out.

To get a full picture of my running and non-running commitments, I put both my running schedule and non-running schedule in different colours in my phone calendar so that I can tell them apart. As the week goes on, things obviously change. You may get sick, you may get held up doing something…if this happens it’s ok! That’s why I plan for the worst. I don’t put rest days into my schedule unless I know for sure that my day can’t accommodate a workout. That way, if something does pop up, I have the rest day get out of jail free card. If I make it to the end of the week and have to use my rest days because I haven’t yet, I obviously do. I just don’t like to put them in right away in fear that I use them prematurely.


-Running Fast, Lifting Heavy

Product Review: Vega Sport Pre-Workout Energizer

Price: $39.99 CAD


I honestly have nothing but good things to say about Vega as a whole. I’ve tried quite a few of their products and have yet to find one that I didn’t like. This product is no exception.

Daniel purchased this along with the Electrolyte Hydrator as a healthier take on the pre-workouts that we used to use. My complaint with those is that they would leave me jittery, my lips itchy, and they more often than not had a bad after taste. To give you an idea of how Vega’s Pre-Workout Energizer stacks up against the typical pre-workout, here’s what I thought of it:


-doesn’t cause the jitters

-no bad aftertaste

-affective for workouts that are 1hr or less

-the flavour doesn’t taste “chemically”


-limited flavours (lemon lime & acai berry)

-the flavour isn’t super strong, (it does taste citrusy, but isn’t necessarily true to taste)

Is the Vega Sport Pre-Workout Energizer effective? Yes. That being said, the flavours are limited and aren’t necessarily true to what’s indicated on the container. I find that part a tad disappointing, since their other products are so spot on.

Running Fast, Lifting Heavy Approved: I’m going to say yes, providing you can overlook the fact that the flavours aren’t as strong as desired.


-Running Fast, Lifting Heavy



Training Recap (Jan 1st -7th)


 I went for a short run since my condo gym was closed and I was short on time. It was a pretty decent run, aside from the fact that I ripped open a blister mid-run (ouch).



 Upper Body Strength Training

 Pec Fly – 80lbs @ 37 reps (3 sets)

Tricep Extension – 35lbs @ 36 reps (3 sets)

Lat Pulldown – 80lbs @ 35 reps (3 sets)

Biceps Curls – 25lbs @ 30 reps (3 sets)

*this also includes a 5 minute warm up/cool down*

*1 minute rest between sets*


I ended up doing a 7.5k run on the treadmill since the weather wasn’t the greatest. Those 7.5 kilometers honestly felt like the LONGEST EVER for some reason.


 My dad’s a Planet Fitness member and has guest pass privileges so he brought me along! It was pretty cool to workout with him and use some equipment that I don’t have at the condo gym.

Lower Body Strength Training

Squats (Smith’s Machine) – 90lbs (not including the bar) @ 30 reps (3 sets)

Calf Press – 100lbs @ 45 reps (3 sets)

Leg Curls – 40lbs @ 45 reps (3 sets)

Hip Adduction – 135lbs @ 45 reps (3 sets)

I also did some core work, which I really don’t do often (part of my New Year’s Resolution)!

Vertical Leg Crunch – 10 reps for 3 sets

Crunches – 10 reps for sets

*1 minute rest between sets*

*5 minute warm up/cool down*


My wonderful massage therapist Leslie gave me an amazing massage, so I decided that I was going to make this day a rest day.


 10k! Despite getting lost, (I just created a new route and forgot it mid-run), and developing a blister, I felt pretty good. It was freezing that day, but it felt good to know that I got out there.


I love when I get a trophy on Strava.


 Upper Body Strength Training

Pec Fly – 80lbs @ 35 reps (3 sets)

Tricep Extension – 35lbs @ 45 reps (3 sets)

Lat Pulldown – 80lbs @ 35 reps (3 sets)

Bicep Curls – Someone was using the 25s which I needed, so I just did 15lbs @ 45 reps for 3 sets.

*1 minute rest between sets*

*5 minute warm up/cool down*

Next week I start training for the Achilles 5k (yay!) so I want to make sure my nutrition and training is on point. I’ll also be sure to blog the training, so be on the look out for updates!


-Running Fast, Lifting Heavy

Product Review: Saucony Vitarun Glove

Price: $30.00 USD



Last year when I made the commitment to winter running, (which, if you live in Toronto is a huge challenge sometimes); I knew I needed some gear to stay warm. In past years, I would stop running outside when snow hit the ground and start running again when the snow left. In the late fall/early spring months, my hands felt like they were literally about to freeze right off. I would combat this issue by pulling down my sleeve to create a fake-mitten, but that can only go so far.

My mom saved the day when she approached me last winter and asked me what I wanted for Christmas. Running gloves was the first thing that popped into my head, but I had zero idea what I wanted in a glove. Thank God my mom picked up these bad boys because they’ve literally changed my life! Here’s what I love about them:

-lightweight fabric that wicks away sweat but still keeps your hands warm

-touch screen compatible thumb and index finger pads on both hands

-reflective logo that’s great for night-time running

-water resistant (great for if it’s raining or snowing during a run)

and my personal favourite…

-a patch of fleece on both index fingers that’s perfect for wiping sweat and runny noses!

After having these gloves for a year, I can honestly say that I love them. I love how they’re super light, but still help keep my hands warm! The only thing I think could be improved is the touch screen compatible finger pads: sometimes you have to press a little harder than usual for your device to register the touch, but other than that, it’s amazing.

Running Fast, Lifting Heavy Approved: Yes! 100%.


-Running Fast, Lifting Heavy

A New Year & a New Challenge – Team Running

Happy New Years guys! I hope everyone had a really awesome night and is just as excited about the New Year as I am!

A couple days before the New Year, a co-worker of mine asked me if I wanted to join a team for a 5k race coming up in March. Before thinking about it, I said yes; mostly because I didn’t have a race lined up for March. After I’ve been thinking more and more about it, I’ve started to become really nervous. At most, I run with one other person so I’m really not used to running in a group. I also feel that I have a slower pace than my teammates, and I really don’t want to slow anyone down.

There’s a total of nine people on the team. I’m currently looking for a sub 30:00 time, which would be a pr for me. I’m hoping that the urge to pr will be sufficient enough to be able to keep up with my peers.

This is more of a vent than anything. Does anyone have any advice for someone who hasn’t ran a team run before and isn’t as fast as her teammates?


-Running Fast, Lifting Heavy

My “I’m Not Training for Anything” Training Plan

Once I started participating in races, I found it hard to keep up with a routine once the race was over. The beauty of having a training plan was that it took the work out of having to decide on the distance I was going to run or the body part I was going to strength train. This led me to take a freestyle approach to training which, to be quite frank, was causing me to lose strength, stamina, and speed. I had to go to the drawing board and figure out a plan, because this couldn’t go on much longer.

The must-haves for my “not training-training plan” were:

-a short (5k), mid (7.5k), and long (10k) run

-an upper body day (at least once a week)

-a lower body day (at least once a week)

-within the upper body and lower body days, I wanted to use compound exercises to cut down on time and be more efficient

-also within the upper body day, I wanted to hit each muscle group at least twice

-with the leg day, I figured hitting each muscle group once was sufficient since I was running three days a week

Here‘s what a typical week would like. Keep in mind; I don’t have a set day that I use for rest days, so that day could very well change from week to week:

Day 1: 5k Run – goal: sub 11:00/mi

Day 2: Upper Body – 5 min warm up on cardio machine of my choice

– Pec Fly

– Tricep Extension

– Lat Pulldown

– Bicep Curls

– 5 min cool down on cardio machine of my choice

Day 3: 7.5k Run – same goal as 5k run

Day 4: Lower Body – 5 min warm up on cardio machine of my choice

– Close-Stance Leg Press

– Seated Calf Press

– Body-Weight Squats

Day 5: 10k Run – same goal as 5/7.5k

There’s a few things I should note here. I use the gym that’s attached to my condo, so the equipment is definitely lacking. Secondly, I rotate through the schedule so day 1 might not be a 5k run by the second cycle. I like having one day for strength training and one day for running, so the day after day 5 is the next strength training session I have lined up. Thirdly, I stick to a 10-15 rep, 3 set structure for strength training; with a rest time of 30 seconds between sets. Lastly, if I max out on an exercise, (meaning I hit 15 reps for all three sets), I’ll move up the weight by 10lbs.

What I love about this schedule is that it’s something that I can stick to easily with some goals in mind.


-Running Fast, Lifting Heavy

A Reflection on the Past Year and What’s to Come

As the year draws to a close, I’m starting to think about my fitness journey and how far I’ve come. Not to toot my own horn, but I went from only being able to run a few miles at a time, to competing in my first 10k and 8k races. That’s something to be proud of, right? I’m definitely not done yet either. There are some improvements that I would like to make though:

-Faster times! I would kill for some sub 10:00/mi times.

-Making my health a priority: I want to feel good all the time. I want to run/weight lift consistently, remember to book my massages, and do more yoga! I also want to get my weight under control, which I’ve talked about in previous blogs.

So far, I have two races lined up: the Mississauga Marathon (I’m running the half-marathon distance), and the Goodlife CityChase (part obstacle course, part scavenger hunt). I’m thinking about doing a full marathon in the fall, pending my results from my half marathon and some 5/10ks sprinkled in there.


Does anyone have any Fitness New Years Resolutions? What are they?


-Running Fast, Lifting Heavy

Post-Strength Training Must-Haves

Happy Holidays guys! I hope that you guys are having a great time surrounded by the ones you love most.

On Tuesday while I was at the gym, (leg day), it occurred to me that there’s rituals that I carry out once I’m done. Anybody else do this? Here’s what goes down when I’m done strength training:

-I stretch! I stretch as soon as I possibly can (a.k.a. while my muscles are still warm)

-I roll out: If it’s a leg day, I can clearly roll my legs out on my own, but if I did an upper body day, I usually get Daniel to take the roller and roll out my back and traps. Sometimes if my quads and/or calves are super sore, I’ll get Daniel to roll them out for me since he can apply more pressure than I can. I’ve made a post about my TriggerPoint GRID Foam Roller two months ago, and I have nothing but good things to say about it.

-I drink a protein shake (or smoothie): once I’ve finished stretching, I like to get my protein fix in quickly. If I’m planning on having lunch shortly after a workout, I won’t have a protein shake and I’ll just use a meat protein in its place. If I feel like having a smoothie, I’ll throw in half a scoop-a scoop of vanilla protein. This particular brand is SUPER creamy in smoothies. I’m also partial to this shaker cup. The jack really breaks up the powder for a more even mix.

-This step is more so for the day after, but I love RUB-A535. It smells horrendous but works wonders on sore muscles. It also absorbs pretty quickly which is a bonus.

What are some products you guys swear by post-strength training or post-run?


-Running Fast, Lifting Heavy

Weight Watchers – What it is & Why I’m Doing it

In my Back from my Blogging Break blog, I spoke about taking charge of my health, which starts with getting my weight in check. I’ve always been heavier set, but I’ve always been active as well so I feel like my size didn’t affect me as much. When I was 14, I competitively swam for a year and lost about 20 pounds as a result. The weight seemed to stay off despite my eating habits not changing, however my activity level was still high.

Fast-forward a few years later to my first year of college. I was living on my own for the first time and was eating a lot of processed food. I maybe gained 15 pounds during these years and some of it actually came off via Weight Watchers. Ever since I hit 20, my weight has hovered between 200-210. Since the New Year’s rapidly approaching, (along with the Mississauga Half-Marathon that I signed up for), I just want to feel the best I possibly can, and fast.

I did some research and stumbled across a program called Kinobody which was the program I initially was going to embark on. They have a few different programs catering to anything from aggressive weight loss to muscle toning. After talking with my mom about Kinobody, she mentioned to me that she was going to start Weight Watchers again with my dad. We all did it as a family a few years ago leading up to their wedding, and had great results. Since my parents were doing Weight Watchers, I felt that it might be easier to jump on that bandwagon and have more support. So that’s the final verdict!


Day 1: 210 lbs. Excuse the messy hair: I took this after arm day at the gym.

For those of you who don’t know, Weight Watchers is a program that prescribes a point value to different foods. Based on a few different factors, you’re given a point allowance for the day. Point values are also placed on physical activity, so you can subtract the activity points you may earn in a day from your end-of-day total.

Have any of you tried any diets? If so, what were they? Did you have any success?


-Running Fast, Lifting Heavy

Winter Running Reflection (and a Question for You All)

Today I decided to embark on a 4.6mi run outside. I live in the north-eastern part of Toronto; where the weather today was -110C (120F) with the wind chill and the sidewalks were either slushy or not shovelled at all. For the first mile I was doing ok; I usually run somewhere between 10:45/mi – 11:00/mi and I was right in that range. I then turned from one major street to the next, only to be hit with block after block of ankle-high snow that wasn’t compact. At this point, my pace slowed DRAMATICALLY to around 14:00/mi.

Last winter was my first winter where I made an effort to run outside and my pace did slow once there was snow on the ground. Mind you, I was a slower runner last year than I was this year, (around 11:30/mi). I bring this up, because although I know I can’t really compare last year to this year, I did have a sneaky suspicion that the snow would slow me down. I expect to gain some time…but 3:00/mi? That’s crazy.

My question for all you winter-runners is this: how do you run in the snow and still keep a decent pace? What strategies do you guys use? I’m going to be training for a half in the New Year and I really don’t want this to be a hindrance.


-Running Fast, Lifting Heavy