‘Twas the Night Before #Fitmas

‘Twas the night before #Fitmas and all through the gym, not a bike was whirring, not even in spin.

The dumbbells laid dusty and benches to spare, with hopes that a lifter soon would be there!

Gym members at home, time for Netflix & chill. Oops! Gram is at the door- not such a thrill.

Their trainers were bored and needed a nap, knowing that no one was out running laps.

Then, outside my window arose such a clatter, I sprang from my bed to see what was the matter!

When what to my wondering eyes should appear? But Jolly old Saint Nick & two fitness bloggers!

They hopped out the sleigh and headed my way. When I offered them wine, they said bordeaux should do fine.

Santa hooted and hollered til I️ made him a plate. They made me do squats for all the cookies I’d ate!

Oh chocolate, oh sugar, oh brownies and cake! Is that homemade pie? Oh for goodness sake!

He shouted, “ladies, we must get going! I have presents to deliver before you make me start rowing!”

Into the sleigh they jumped, while I scooped marshmallow fluff, then Santa showed me a picture of when he was buff!

So jacked and so trim, I barely recognized him, “Instead of drinking a Slurpee, try doing some Burpees!”

“Oh Pam & Louise, what can I do?” “Try lunges and pushups, and do quite a few!”

“Be sure to eat protein, and veggies, and fruit. Keep those drinks in moderation, but it’s okay to have two.”

We needed a selfie and cheers’d with a clink! Those girls love to workout, but man can they drink.

I crawled back into bed and turned out the light, but I heard them say as they drove out of sight,

“Merry #Fitmas to all, and to all a good-night!”

Our B&B 12 Days of #Fitmas Challenge kicks off tomorrow! Be sure to subscribe and follow us on Instagram to join in the fun!

❤ Louise

Holiday Party Survival Guide

Just like that Thanksgiving has passed and the holiday season is in full swing! It seems like every week there is a party to attend. Friends are getting together for drinks, the office holiday party is on Saturday, and everyone’s gathering for dinner with their relatives from Ohio. While it may feel challenging to stay healthy, you can stay on top of your goals straight through the New Year. Just make sure to create a game plan you can actually follow while still enjoying yourself. Try incorporating our tips to survive all your holiday parties this season!

1. Eat Before You Go

Have a healthy snack or meal before you go to the party. This will help you avoid binging. If you’re full, you’ll be less likely to pick at snacks or overindulge at dinner.

2. Plate Your Food

When choosing appetizers, have a plate in hand and set a limit. If you can see what is on your plate, you know how much you’ve had and it helps prevent mindless munching. By sticking to one plate, you can exercise portion control.

3. Stay an Arm’s Length Away

While you’re mingling with friends and relatives, have your conversation away from the snacks. Mindless eating happens when you’re lost in conversation, but the chips and dip are right in front of you.

4. Don’t Drink Your Calories

For some people, holiday parties are accompanied by festive drinks. Hello, spiked eggnog! But drinks mixed with soda add empty calories and are high in sugar. Many beers have 100 or more calories per 12 oz.  Be aware of how much wine you pour, it’s easy to double your portion in a wine glass. Stay hydrated and save some calories by having a glass of water in between drinks.

5. Keep Your Routine

Just because you have a party to attend that night, doesn’t mean you should skip the gym in the morning. If you’re anticipating a big, holiday dinner, make sure you still have a healthy breakfast and lunch- you don’t want to be starving by dinner time.

6. Dinner > Dessert

When there is a lot to choose from, start by filling half of your plate with vegetables or fruit. Next, pick your protein: chicken, fish, turkey, etc. When dessert rolls around, choose just one delectable treat for yourself; it is the holiday season after all!

Happy Holidays!

❤ Louise

Conquering NYC 26.2

I was was recently interviewed by active.com to find out my tips for running a successful 26.2 miles thru NYC’s most iconic neighborhoods. Check out the article here for some #tcsnycmarathontips!


Here Are My Personal Top 5 Tips!

1) Don’t jackrabbit in the beginning. You have 26.2 miles to cover – settle in and get over the Verrazano

2) Never look at your watch on bridges (thanks Race Pace Wellness for teaching me this!). It’s about maintaining effort levels which means it will be slower on the way up and a bit faster on the way down

3) Enjoy the crowds but don’t lose sight of your race plan. The crowds in NYC are one of a kind – it’s literally a spectator sport. However, don’t lose track of your pacing in Brooklyn or First Ave!

4) Fifth Avenue is tough as hell with a small and steady incline but SO ARE YOU! Stay focused and dig deep.

5) Wear your name on your shirt. Having people cheer your name for 26.2 miles makes you feel like the ultimate badass.

Xo, Pam

An Ode to Marathon Training

The last 18 weeks have been quite a whirlwind! Marathon weekend is finally here and in 2 days, we will be hitting the streets of Chicago. In honor or the (literal) blood, sweat, and tears, B&B presents…

“An Ode to Marathon Training”

Shout out to donuts. You motivate me to finish my workout, knowing I can replenish my glycogen stores.


Shout out to my old Garmin watch which threatened to auto save my runs when my water breaks were too long.


Shout out to the sports bra tan. I spent more hours crisping this racerback line on my back than getting to lay on my back and tan.


Shout out to my Massapequa HS swim cap that helped me swim like a mermaid on cross training days.


Shout out to my crappy French braids that keep my mermaid hair/blonde hair out of my sweaty face.


Shout out to post race beverages that fueled my rest days. Specifically Montauk Watermelons- run all the miles, drink all the beer.


Shout out to body Glide which lubed up these thighs for hundreds of miles all summer. Without it, I’d be dead on the side of the road.


See you at the finish line!

Xo, Louise

Avoiding a Taper Tantrum

Tapering during the last few weeks leading up to a marathon is important for an athlete’s body. During this time your miles are cut down while maintaining a little intensity in order to allow time to rest and recover from weeks of training. After pounding the pavement for hours each week, the body needs to heal and you need to find time to focus and be ready to run on race day. Maybe tapering sounds delightful, but often it brings out the craziness. Here we have a few solutions to calm your nerves in the last weeks before the big race!

  1. Stop checking the weather. We are still 9 days out from the Chicago Marathon and so many things can change before then. If you’re worrying about what to wear, then pick out a second option in case the weather changes again (it will). Take the time to pack your other clothes for pre-race activities and travel days.
  2. Give yourself a fabulous manicure. Whether you do it yourself or get pampered at the salon, it will be a special treat! We got excited and got these awesome Chicago themed nail wraps from Sarah Marie Design Studio.
  3. Create an awesome playlist. If you enjoy listening to music while you run, then begin adding your favorite songs! What is going to get you excited on race day? Favorite songs? New songs on the radio? Add them all! And if you’re like me, you’ll be running for over 4 hours and need plenty of entertainment
  4. Feeling Phantom Pains? Go sit down or use your foam roller. Embrace the fact that you get to rest a little bit more. Know that your body is recovering on a cellular level and it’s okay if you have heavy legs or tired muscles. Know that a little TLC is just what your body needs.
  5. Focus on your positive mantras. One of my clients said it best in a comment on our Facebook page, “You’ve put in the work. So, no need to get all worked up. Trust your training. Speak positive mantras! Tell yourself all the wonderful things you want to be on race day and your actions will follow your words. See yourself crossing that finish line. What you are about to succeed in is an awesome achievement. Enjoy your taper time!!”

 

 

See you at the finish line!
❤ Louise


Running Sucks, but only for 5 Minutes

IMG_0565Okay, your shoes are tied and new playlist is lit, it’s time to go for a run… you can do this. *Insert some mantras about being strong* Music starts and you’re getting yourself warmed up. Let’s go- one foot in front of the other. Your heart rate starts to pick up and you begin breathing a little bit faster. Keep moving those legs… heart rate is still climbing as you’re trying to catch your breath. OMG. Why am I running? It’s only been one minute?! Keep going, keep moving. As you continue running it doesn’t seem to be getting any better… Only 2 minutes?! How can I keep moving *I am strong* How does anyone do this for miles and miles?! You approach the three minute mark and start to fall into a rhythm. Your heart rate is up but you don’t quite feel out of breath anymore. What is this magic?!

Your cardiovascular system is especially crucial during exercise as oxygen demand and waste production in your active muscles increase. The initial responses of your cardiovascular system allow your body to meet the increased demands placed on it with exercise. The average resting heart rate is about 60-80 beats per minute. At the onset of exercise, your heart rate and breathing rate begin to pick up to meet the increased demand for oxygen by your body. Your heart rate is proportional to the intensity of the exercise- as intensity increases, so will your heart rate. Going from walking to a high intensity activity such as running will quickly increase your heart rate.

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Side note… is anyone else running the Beach2Beacon on August 5th??

As you settle into a rhythm and maintain your pace, your heart rate will even out at a certain number of beats per minute. Your breathing rate will follow suit while both remain elevated above resting levels. This plateau is referred to as “steady state” and is the optimal heart rate for your body to meet the demands of the work (running) which you are doing. Steady state takes a few minutes to achieve and is not the same for everyone. For elite athletes, their bodies may be able to adapt to these physical demands quickly and reach steady state under 3 minutes. For those who may not be as physically fit, it could take upwards of 4-5 minutes to reach this plateau. Those who are not as conditioned may also have a higher heart rate at the same exercise intensity (in this case, running pace).

Let’s be honest, those first few minutes of running might suck. As you continue to run for a little bit longer with each week, you will continue to build your endurance. Increased cardiorespiratory endurance (heart and lungs) relates to the body’s ability to sustain prolonged, dynamic exercise using large muscle groups. In this case, we are talking about running longer distances and being able to deliver oxygen rich blood to those working muscles. Being able to maintain this level for longer periods of time shows improvements in aerobic fitness.

Anyone out there new to running? Any of our experienced runners have a story to share? Maybe something about your fitness or training journey! Share it in the comments below!

❤ Louise

 

Summer Training Essentials

The month of June also marks the beginning of a long summer of marathon training! If you’ve been outside lately – you can tell that summer has sprung! The thick humidity, high temps, and bright sunshine means that you need to be prepared for any bout of exercise you perform outdoors. 

Below are some of my favorite tools to help beat the summer heat!

  1. Coola Suncare – I first found this product at a fitness retreat in California and I’ve never looked back. I use their body and face lotion, lip balm (please don’t forget your lips), in addition to their spray. I love the spray because I can apply it myself before going for a long run. This past weekend I used a different brand and came home sunburnt after just 8 miles! Bonus: it smells amazing!
  2. Body Glide – The perfect weapon against chafing. Unsure of what chafing is? It is when your skin rubs against itself or an article of clothing and becomes raw – often undetected until showering in which it then feels like poison. Please – for the sake of your skin – apply some body glide before running in the summer heat.
  3. Water Bottle – In this department it’s purely personal preference – just make sure you have a water source for your training runs. Test out what works for you – whether it’s a belt, hand held, or some sort of body contraption. I prefer the handheld with a pocket for a gel pack. I’ve learned I personally need to carry water during my races as well so it’s perfect that I train with it as well.If you want to check out my choice – here are some samples!
  4.  nuun hydration – Logging a tough workout or long run places a significant demand on your body so recovery is key! I’ve run tested several products and my favorite keeps beating out the competition – nuun! Available in a dozen plus different flavors you are sure to find one that satisfies your taste buds. nuun replenishes your electrolytes as well as rehydrates you after you’ve worked hard!
  5. Deep Blue essential oil lotion – Again – totally personal preference – but I love having this muscle rub on stand by during my long training months. Perfect for those muscle aches and pains (Disclaimer: if you think you have an injury – this will not help. Seek medical advice). Even if I don’t have a muscle ache – I find the smell and sensation to be soothing! 

What are some of your favorite summer training essentials? 

Xo, Pam 

A Quick & Easy Dynamic Warm Up

Raise your hand if you warm up before you run. Every time I ask this question I get less than a 25% response yes. 

We’ve talked about the importance of warming up on B&B before which you can find by clicking here. Today I wanted to share with you a quick and easy routine that I came up with my friend Lauren! 


Do 2-3 rounds and then hit the road running!

  1. Skips
  2. Butt Kicks
  3. Toy Soldiers 
  4. Lateral Lunges
  5. Hip Openers
  6. High Knees 

Try this before your next run and let us know what you think!

Xo, Pam

5 Rules for Strength Training

Running, swimming, and biking are all great forms of aerobic exercise. But what about anaerobic exercise? How do you incorporate strength training into your workout regimen or marathon training? As much as we love going out for a long run, strength training is such a critical part of our routines and has helped us become better runners! From body weight exercises to Olympic lifts, we have tried it all! But what is best for someone may not be appropriate for another person.

Let’s take it back to the basics: here are my 5 Simple Rules for Strength Trainingimg_4190

1. Strength training is for everyone. It is so important for your exercise routine because increasing your lean muscle mass helps increase your metabolism a.k.a turning you into a “metabolic machine.” In addition, lifting weights gives you increased bone strength, better posture, and decreased back pain. The same workout routine of a bodybuilder, however,  is not appropriate for everyone; it is specifically formulated with heavy weights and long duration. Make sure your workout is appropriate for you and your goals!

2. Challenge Yourself. Toning and building muscle are the same thing, it’s just the degree to which you stress your muscles. Lots of people want toned muscles, but fear becoming bulky. Rest assured, this is not the case! While men have a greater hormone availability and lean muscle mass, everyone’s muscles can only do one of two things: either get bigger or get smaller. When you lift weights that challenge your muscles, you actually create small tears in the muscle fiber. This is why you may feel sore the next day! Your muscles repair themselves, allowing them to grow stronger and a little bit bigger.

3. Rest for 48 hours in between. You know that soreness you feel the day after lifting? Lifting weights breaks down muscle fibers then they rebuild themselves a little bit stronger. Not everyone needs to have a “shoulder/leg/back day” but it’s important to let your body rest between strength training sessions of the same muscle group. If you are lifting back to back days, then start by dividing your workouts into upper and lower body days followed by rest.

4. Abs are the same as every other muscle group. Meaning that the same way your legs become sore and need rest after a day of squats and leg press, your abdominal muscles are no different. Choose quality ab exercises instead of performing “all of the crunches.” Just like your other muscle groups, make sure they get a break before completing another abdominal workout. Remember that increasing the total lean muscle mass in your body- not just abdominal muscles-  will help you burn more calories throughout the day, shed the layer of fat over your muscles, and achieve the look you want- “toned.”

5. Form is important! This is probably the most important rule of all because you don’t want to end up hurting yourself. Properly executing exercises will help to avoid injury and ensure you get the most out of your workout. When you’re getting to the end of a set, don’t sacrifice your form just to finish out the repetitions. Many people worry about starting a strength training routine because they are unsure of how to lift free weights or use the machines at their gym. Start by doing a little research or join a friend for their workout!

Bottom line: whether your goal is to lose weight, become stronger, or add muscle mass, strength training needs to be a part of your exercise routine.

❤ Louise

The Pants You Need in Your Collection

lululemon Fast & Free. Run Tested. HIIT Approved. When lululemon asked us to Product Test their new crop- we said absolutely! Little did I know I would fall in love. When I put them on I loved the higher waist band that held me in but the light feeling thru the legs – it was if I was naked. Now came the test. The first run I did in them was a cold and windy 9 miler in Long Beach. I loved the way I felt secure during the run but I had one complaint – my Spi Belt slipped all over the place. Little did I realize lulu had built a pant that I would no longer need a belt!

First Test Run!

I have tried wearing crops with pockets for my phone before but I always found them distracting. The next run I went on I decided to test the pocket. It was amazing! I didn’t even realize my phone was there – it was easily accessible for a beautiful boardwalk pic and I didn’t need a belt. There are also built in pockets along the waistband for gel packs/keys/chapstick.


The true test was the Shape Half Marathoh which was the first race. (Louise actually broke the “nothing new on race day” rule and wore her pair for the first time!). I carried my phone in the leg pocket, 2 gel packs in the outside waistband pocket, and my chapstick in the center back pocket. The gels were easily accessible yet secure and my crops didn’t budge! The ones sold out quick so I constantly checked my local lulu until they got in a second pair that I immediately purchased.

These pants come in a crop and full length style and are a MUST HAVE for your running collection. I have ran miles and miles in training runs, 2 half marathons, and a 10 miler in them over the past couple months! RUN over to your local lululemon and try them on for yourself – I guarantee you’ll fall in love.

Also a special thank you to lululemon RF for gifting 7 lucky ladies a pair at our anniversary party – we love seeing you guys sweating it out in them.

Xo Pam