5 Ways to Streamline Running

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Running hacks. I’m no coach, I thought, what running hacks do I know? Food, of course; I’m a foodie. Is it any wonder that my idea of running hacks is mostly related to food?

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Today I am joining up with the  Friday Five 2.0  from Fairytales & Fitness and Rachel @ Running on Happy to talk about ways I make my running easier.

Baby, it’s getting hot in here
I am often so tempted to skip a warmup when it’s freezing (or below freezing) outside. One of the purposes of warming up is to warm up your muscles — so you don’t do things like strain them; a warm muscle is a flexible muscle.

During the winter, if I’m running from home, I change into my running clothes and I do my warmup inside. Maybe everyone already does that, but if you don’t — to me, it just makes sense. I’m also more likely to take a little longer with my warmup that way.

Coaches, please don’t tell me that’s a bad thing!

Bare feet is good for the soles
But maybe you don’t want to go out and invest in minimalist shoes. Or maybe you’ve tried them before and they just weren’t for you.

I think I had an aha! moment again. Coaches, again, please don’t tell me I’m wrong! Anyway, have I mentioned that I’m not the best housekeeper (tongue firmly inserted into cheek). So walking around barefoot in my house on a day to day basis might not be the wisest choice. Especially considering those 12 paws that like to dirty up the floors.

But I have toe socks. Because I like to workout in bare feet. But I also like my feet to be a little protected. And they’re good for doing yoga when it’s cold, too. And of course, the “experts” say you shouldn’t be walking around in your shoes inside anyway (part of why I have outside shoes & inside shoes).

I got the bright idea the other day to walk around — all day — in my toe socks. Inside, of course. I have to admit, my legs seemed kind of tired after that. Let’s hope it’s actually improving my foot strength, since apparently I need help in that department.

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Salads & Soups prepped in Mason Jars

Meal prep
Life has been busy lately. I’ve had to meal prep more than usual. When you’re tired and hungry, it’s easy to grab food that won’t help fuel your exercise — or recover well. Unless you meal prep.

Mason jar salads. Instant soup in a mason jar! Home made instant oatmeal. All of these will get you fueled and help you recover with just some time (an hour or two) spent on a day that isn’t so busy or a weekend day.

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This mini crockpot has been a lifesaver!

Kitchen tools to make your life easier
There’s my mini crockpot. I’ve traveled with it — you can reheat leftovers, you can warm up food overnight, and it’s great for a couple of servings of oatmeal.

A rice cooker (Amazon Affiliate link) is kind of the same concept, really, and yes, you can make oatmeal in it, too. It’s larger, though, so you can make several servings. You can also make quinoa in it. Because of its size, I’ve never traveled with it. But it’s a workhorse in our kitchen and it’s really much simpler to make rice using it.

A regular crockpot is great, too. Throw some ingredients in it the night before or in the morning, and you can come home to a delicious warm meal. And of course I hear a lot about the Instant Pot (Amazon Affiliate link) these days, although I don’t own one (yet). Apparently it’s a pressure cooker, crockpot, rice cooker — but wait, there’s more!

I have had crockpots forever — I go through periods where I use them, periods where I don’t, but I can’t say there’s ever a year that goes by that I don’t use them at all. I used to have a big ole pressure cooker. I used to can tomato sauce, jam . . . we donated it a while ago.

Disclaimer: the links above are Amazon Affiliate links. I make a small amount of money if you buy the product using my link. Thanks!
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Smoothies are easy if you’ve made a smoothie pack ahead of time

Smoothie packs
I’ve gotten back into green smoothies a bit recently. And the reason I’ve gotten back into them is because occasionally I actually make up some smoothie packs: throw some fruits and veggies in a small mason jar and put it in the freezer.

When I want a smoothie, all I do is take my mason jar out and let it thaw a bit. Then add any add-ins (milk, water, chocolate chips, whatever), then give it all a whirl in the blender.

Did you know you can actually blend up everything except the liquid and freeze it like a muffin? Then do the same — thaw a bit, add liquid, and blend.

So let me know in the comments:

What gets you out the door faster?

Do you have an Instant Pot? Thoughts?

What is one thing you’re loving lately?

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19 thoughts on “5 Ways to Streamline Running

  1. You know what gets me out the door faster? Dry weather and warmer temperatures, hahahahaha! 😀 I should probably figure out a nice warm-up routine for the inside… that would be kind of nice actually. My warm-up usually consists of walking fast-ish to the trailhead.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I also try to walk around barefoot or just in socks. I used to wear slippers more but I think its good to build foot strength. I also do my strength workouts (in my carpeted basement) in just socks. I always do my warm up inside! (Well unless part of my workout involved a running warm up then obviously that part is done outside)

    Liked by 1 person

  3. When I went for PT for my Achilles and ankle I was told to never walk barefoot even in the house. Shoes give you extra support.

    Nice weather gets me out the door quicker. I don’t do warnsups

    Never prepare my meals or fuel ahead of time. No time.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You have the same 24 hrs everyone has. There are plenty of people who work who meal prep. Just sayin’. 😉

      All that support tends to make our feet really weak. It’s not really a good thing. But whatever works for you (and I’ve always enjoyed walking around barefoot, long before the barefoot running craze came around).

      There’s a happy medium in everything.

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  4. I’ve walked barefoot all the time in the house. My parents could never get me to wear shoes as a toddler, and I only wear them out of necessity now. My chiro has told me to do my balance exercises out of shoes because they provide a false sense of support.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. YES to bare feet. It’s a really great way to build foot strength. One “hack” I use for being able to be barefooted in the winter is to wear leg warmers and pull them down as far as they can go over my feet. It keeps my calves warm (where I somehow get the coldest, not sure why that is) and my ankles warm, and allows me to be barefooted most of the winter.

    And I’m a crockpot junkie. I love mine. I haven’t purchased a rice cooker yet. Is it really that much better than just making rice on the stove top?

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  6. Is it bad the only time I’ve ever done my dynamic warmup outside is a few times at races? What gets me out the door is having all my running doodads in one place where I can actually find them. I’m kind of a hot mess.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. No, I think it’s good, Marcia! I don’t know why it took me so long to realize I could do it indoors.

      Of course, when I go to a path or park, I’m forced to do it outdoors. And I don’t wanna in the winter!

      Like

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