Try This Workout: Moves Like Lanni

Lanni STWMLast month after the Scotiabank Vancouver Half-Marathon, I had the opportunity to chat with Lanni Marchant, Canada’s marathon record-holder and recent bronze medalist in the 10,000m at the Toronto 2015 Pan Am Games. The incredible thing about so many of our Canadian athletes is that they really care about their fans and are so kind and generous in sharing their training experiences. Lanni is no exception and it’s amazing to see how she’s become a hero for Canadians and women runners all across the country!

We were talking about developing speed and training on the track and I asked Lanni if she had a favourite workout she could recommend. She mentioned something called “The Brazilian,” which she describes in this post on her blog. 

The Brazilian involves a lot more than running. It includes crunches, push-ups, supermans, and lunges, followed by a 100m sprint, running drills, and then even more sprints! I am telling you, the first time I did this workout I screamed on my last interval because I was in so much pain. Lanni’s version of the workout is pretty intense and obviously tailored to an elite level athlete (which I am not), so I asked my Coach Brock Armstrong to modify the workout into something I could fit into my training. Here’s what he came up with:

Lanni Marchant’s Brazilian Workout, Modified for the Recreational Athlete:

Warm-Up: 5-10 minutes of full body movement.

Main Set:
Repeat this set 4 times, increasing the final sprint distance each time:
10 crunches, 10 push-ups, 10 supermans, 10 reverse lunges
100m all-out sprint
20 reps of a running form drill. Choose one from this video: http://ow.ly/Q8Iku
90 second easy jog
200m sprint
Back to the top for a total of 4 intervals, increasing from 200m to 400m, 600m, and finally 800m on the final interval. Get ready for the HURT.

Cool Down: 5-10 minutes of easy jogging after stretching out any tight areas.

Moves Like LanniLooks OK on paper, right? But those core exercises really add up and the final 800m sprint will really test your pain tolerance! Can you see the pain on my face? The first time I did this workout, I had to stop for 10 seconds during my final 800m sprint. The second time I did this workout I controlled my pace and didn’t fade at the end. Woo! This is definitely a workout I plan to keep in my training regimen and my goal is to increase the number of intervals as well as the distance of the final sprint as my speed improves over time.

If you’re looking for something new to do at the track, I definitely recommend trying this Lanni-approved workout! It’s easily modified to fit any runner’s skill level or preferred distance by adding or removing intervals. Right now I am focusing on shorter distances, but this workout could also be used by the longer distance runner. As Lanni says in her original blog post: “As my season progresses, the intervals will lengthen, and eventually the entire workout is replaced with more marathon-specific intervals.”

Let me know if you try this workout! Tweet me @jennapettinato and tell me how it goes. Good luck!

5k Revolution: Toronto Women’s Run 5k Race Recap

No matter how many races you run, there will always View event: http://www.zoomphoto.ca/event/19636/be a handful that stick out. Whether it’s the first time you conquer a new distance, a race where you set a PB, or one where you just have a damn good time, some races will always remain fresh in our hearts and in our minds.

On Sunday, I had one of those races.

I had been looking forward to the Toronto Women’s Run 5k at Sunnybrook Park since I signed up last month. This was a late addition to my race calendar, but the Toronto Women’s Run Series will always hold a special place in my heart as I did my very first race ever back with them in 2011.

My goal on Sunday was to run a 5k PB (sub-24 minutes) and see how hard I could push myself in this new distance. I’ve only ever raced 2 other 5ks before, but there is something about the short and quick burn of the 5k that I love. I absolutely hate how I feel when I’m running them, but immediately after crossing the finish line I want to do one again to see if I can go faster! To be honest, I almost gave up a few times during Sunday’s 5k, but I never let my legs stop moving and ended up with a big surprise at the finish line.

The race was pretty small, 762 runners in the 5k, and we were divided into two corrals, sub-30 and over 30 minutes. I tried to line up as close to the front as I could and just let er’ rip as soon as the gun went off. My strategy was “fade from the front” and to just go as fast as I could for as long as I could and slow down towards the end if I needed to. Well, my first kilometre was 4:27 (I’ve never done that before) and it was a bit fast for me. I tried to pull the pace back, but I was already in a world of pain so I thought I might as well keep going as hard as I can to get this thing over with as quickly as I can! That’s the goal, right?

As you can see from my race photos, I was not a happy View event: http://www.zoomphoto.ca/event/19636/camper, but as my good friend Christa says “pretty stops when the gun goes off.” Yes, it sure does! I pushed through the remaining 4 kilometres in 4:49, 4:48, 5:03, and 4:59. You can see where I paid for that ambitious 4:27…I have never been so thankful to see a finish line in my life and I grabbed my medal, took some water and headed straight for the finish chute to find an open area to catch my breath. I often get really anxious when I finish a hard run so I just needed to get out of the crowd and into my own space.

After I picked up my post-race treat bag, including a delicious Awake Chocolate Bar, and a tiny sample of Starbucks Iced Coffee (damn, that tasted good), I walked over to the results board to see I had finished sub-25 in 24:41 and that landed me in 5th place in my 30-34 age group. I was feeling pretty stoked about that. Although my time was about 30 seconds off my PB, I was pleased with my race and hungry to train throughout the summer to improve that time in the fall!

As I made my way back to the course to cheer on some of my friends who were still coming in, I realized something…if any of the top 3 women overall were also in my age group, that would bump me up in my standings since you can’t win awards for overall placing and age group placing. No double dipping. I quickly opened my Sportstats app to see that the top two women were in my 30-34 age group. I got really excited and nervous and mentioned to my boyfriend that I might win an age group award! I didn’t want to get my hopes up, but I made my way over to the awards stage to listen to the awards ceremony.

Sure enough, when the 30-34 age group category TO Women's Run With Plaquewas announced, I came in 3rd out of 104 runners! After I picked up my award and posed for some pictures I immediately texted my friends, family and Coach who all replied with some variation of “Are you serious?” and “You got to be kidding me!” Yes, even I was (and still am) shocked, but what a cool experience it was to win that award! Crossing that finish line is a moment I will never, ever forget and I am so happy that I didn’t give up, even when I really, really wanted to.

After a very disappointing marathon debut and a physical and mental struggle with recovery, this race (and AG award) were everything I needed to get my head back into the game. When I chose my race outfit for the 5k, I wanted to channel my inner Lauren Fleshman with my favourite green Oiselle Flyte Tank because I’ve been a long-time Fan Girl and really love the funny and poignant pieces she writes about why the 5k is freaking awesome. She presents a view that we don’t hear a lot, but one that gives credit and strength to the women (and men) who excel at short distances, and most importantly LOVE to run them.

I can say with all my heart and soul, that I LOVED running that 5k. Did it hurt? Yes. Was it hard? Yes. Did I love it? Absolutely. Do I want to do it again? As soon as possible! I think I’ve found a strength in running I didn’t know I had and a place that I want to keep exploring. Although my initial plan for this year was to build up to another long distance race in the fall, I realize that that’s not what I want to do. Right now I want to focus on getting stronger, getting faster, and seeing how much I can improve my 5k and 10k times over the next 6 months. As Lauren Fleshamn, a master of the distance says:“It’s time for a 5-K Revolution!”

I’m on board.

Moving Forward

20x30-HSAV1416I had my long-awaited allergy test last Monday and the result was: I am allergic to wheat. According to my allergist this is most likely what caused my anaphylactic reaction on February 10th and I should therefore avoid any and all wheat products forever. This doesn’t come as a surprise to me as I suspected wheat to be the culprit of an annoying and itchy skin rash I’ve had on my hands for the last few years and severe bloating and stomach cramps after eating certain foods. I think it’s all connected and I am glad I finally have some answers.

Since I now have the “all-clear” for running, with my Epi-Pen on me at all times of course, I went for a couple of runs last week. In reality, the were more like trots at a 9:00/km pace, but it felt liberating to finally be able to lace up my shoes and thrown on some running tights again! I only managed about 30 minutes on each run, and I felt like throwing up after each one, but the journey towards building up my cardio fitness again has begun. On the plus side, I have been doing a lot of strength training and “Madonna Arm Workouts” (I requested these from my coach) so I’m coming back to running with a stronger core and some bigger muscles. As my wise Coach once said “No reason you can’t have awesome arms when you are crossing the finish line.”

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I had my first race this Saturday at Harry’s Spring Run-Off in High Park. An annual family favourite, I thought I’d be able to run the 8k, but after a particularly tough run on Thursday night, I knew that was out of the question. Instead, I transferred to the 5K race and walked it with my Dad. We finished the race in 44:47, 13 seconds away from my Dad’s 5K PB and we had a great time. Despite the freezing temperatures and strong winds, we kept up a steady walking pace and even ran a few of the downhill sections. Next year I know my Dad can beat his PB and I’ll be there to walk him through the tough parts and make sure he comes in under 44 minutes.

I met with my Running Coach this evening and we talked through my new running plan for 2014. It looks like I’ll do a run/walk half-marathon in a month, with the goal being a 2 hour half marathon in the early fall and *maybe* a full in late fall or early spring 2015. I wouldn’t mind focusing on some shorter distances for the rest of the year and setting PBs in both the 5K and 10K distance while working on my speed. The last thing I want to do is rush into training for a marathon and burn out again. I told my coach, this time I doing things right and will listen to my body, eat right, train right, and rest right. No more anxious runs or post-run panic attacks.

The thing I am most excited about now that I can run again is getting out to train with my friends! I really missing run with the crew at Tribe Fitness and my #1 running partner Linda <3.  If there’s one thing I have gained from running these past few years, it’s the most KICK-ASS group of friends anyone could ask for. They were even out to cheer my Dad and I on at Harry’s Spring Run-Off on Saturday and that meant the world to me. If you are in Toronto and looking for a running group, I highly suggest you #JoinTheTribe Wednesday nights at 7pm at Canoe Landing Park. All details can be found on their Facebook page. I am planning to have my first run back with them on Wednesday. It’s going to be slow, and it will probably be a bit painful, but there is no where I’d rather be on a lovely spring evening than running with my friends.