Good morning! I woke up a little earlier than usual so I could throw together a crock pot meal…. expect to see it for lunch! šŸ™‚

 

For breakfast, I made this amazing English muffin egg sammie (by the way, Future Husband says American "English muffins" are nothing like what they have in England.  Don’t you feel lied to now? I do!).   The star ingredient:

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Cabot’s Seriously Sharp Cheddar is SO good.  Once, Future Husband and I went to a wine festival, and he somehow (i.e. his cute accent) managed to talk one of the girls serving cheese out of a free POUND of this cheese, which we lived off of for about a month!

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I fried one egg and place it into between the broiled cheese and whole wheat English muffin.

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On the side, I had a sliced banana….

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And a cup of OJ!  I don’t normally "drink calories" for breakfast, but OJ seemed like the perfect complement to a savory breakfast sammie.

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All together now, from above (+ coffee, not shown):

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It was a nice change from sweet oatmeal!

 

Think Fast

 

Last night, I briefly mentioned how speedwork is more about training my mind than training my legsThis article from Runner’s World also addresses the key connection between your head and your speed.

 

When you can’t maintain a pace while running, it’s not just your legs getting tired. "The brain reads what’s going on in your organs, tissues, and cells while you’re running, and then uses that information to get into the right rhythm at the start of a run and then fine-tune your pace as you go."

 

"The brain controls exercise performance to protect the body from reaching a failure point or a potentially harmful level."  So, you’re brain ‘checks in’ with the rest of your body to make sure you have enough calories, water, and oxygen to sustain the pace you’re currently running at, and if you don’t, the brain will subconsciously force you to slow down.

 

In one study, "two groups of cyclists completed time trials in hot and cold temperatures. It wasn’t surprising that those exercising in the heat had slower times. However, those in the hot group dropped their pace without realizing it within five minutes of starting-well before their core body temperature rose to a high level. The fact that they slowed down so early suggests that the pacing decision is made by the brain well before any physiological factor forces the athlete to reduce his speed….  So you’re not slowing down because you’re hot; you’re slowing down in anticipation of becoming hot.’"

 

So, how can you prevent your brain from boinking your body too early?

 

  • Experience!  The more often your body experiences fatigue, the closer your brain becomes tuned with your true physical limits.  Speedwork, as well as long-distance runs, help you gain mental and physical experience.

 

  • Negative split training or tempo runs.  A negative split or a tempo run begins with a slower pace and finishes faster.

 

Three cheers for fun running research!  Do you have any success stories of improving your endurance or speed at ANY sport?  My last 10K is a perfect example of how training can improve your speed!

{ 35 comments }

 

  • Erica November 18, 2008, 5:56 am

    Wow- that looks like a fabulous breakfast! A wonderful way to start the day šŸ™‚ Thanks for the info! How are all of the wedding to-dos coming?

  • VeggieGirl November 18, 2008, 5:57 am

    Haha!! Fun breakfast!!

    For improving endurance, I just try to tell myself how AMAZING it feels in the end šŸ™‚

    Happy Tuesday!!

  • I am Angie Pooh November 18, 2008, 6:01 am

    Hi Caitlin! Your breakfast looks amazing. I’m excited to see the crockpot meal! I love food from a slow cooker because it always turns out so moist. šŸ™‚ Whenever I feel like I’m going to give up during a long run, I just tell myself “run ___ more minutes” and I usually just keep going after those minutes pass by cause I’m feeling so good.

  • ttfn300 November 18, 2008, 6:02 am

    Definately does work! I incorporated speedwork into my training and have improved all my times… from 5k to 10miles šŸ™‚ yum, i might have to change my plans for b’fast!

  • just me November 18, 2008, 6:08 am

    omg omg omg omg omg…i can’t believe you have that CHEESE!!! when i went to new york two summers ago i had to pack two of those blocks in foil, and sneak them on a plane to bring home to eat for me and my dad (i thought for sure they would take it away because it looked like c4 in my bag!!!). and now i can’t find it anywhere here on the w.coast! booo!! i’m soooo buying some when i get out there!

    btw, great breakfast. i’m jealous.

  • Balance, Joy and Delicias! November 18, 2008, 6:23 am

    great breakfast! It seems that everyone is having a non-oatmeal breakfast today!! ^_^

  • ashley (sweet and natural) November 18, 2008, 6:25 am

    The last time I trained for something was in high school when I played volleyball. I spent the summer in a program and it was super intense. But in the end, I shaved time off my 50-meter spring, added 2 inches to my vertical and could lift a lot more weight to boot! Now I feel lazy…

  • ksgoodeats November 18, 2008, 6:26 am

    I NEED that cheese – the sharper the cheddar, the better in my book! Gorgeous looking English muffin sandwich šŸ™‚ I love your plates!

  • therunningaddict November 18, 2008, 6:26 am

    I was inspired by the speed workouts too so I set off for one today! It feels very good after I am done!

  • girlrunningaround November 18, 2008, 6:45 am

    mmm, I’m so jealous of your breakfast. It looks delish! And thanks for the speed work research. Very interesting.

  • eatingbender November 18, 2008, 6:59 am

    Great breakfast! I just started eating Cabot cheeses – I’ve been seriously missing out!

    As far as endurance goes, I’m with VeggieGirl – envisioning how I will feel once I reach my goals makes getting there that much easier! And I am also a huge proponent of interval training because it has made a huge difference in the quality of my workouts!

    Have a great Tuesday, Caitlin!

  • Krista November 18, 2008, 7:20 am

    Thanks so much for the info…you’re always SO good about sharing! I’ve always tried to figure out when I’m running if my legs are actually tired or is it something else? Now I know!

  • Mica November 18, 2008, 7:37 am

    What a delicious breakfast sandwich. Take that, fast-food English Muffin sandwiches!

    I don’t have any good speedwork stories because I never do it, but hopefully, I will have some success and improvement stories in the future. šŸ™‚

  • Kristen November 18, 2008, 7:38 am

    I definately need to work on the mental aspect of my running. I get pumped up thinking about the run and I always feel great afterwards but some how during the run I lose the drive.
    I’m going to try the speed runs. I would like to improve my time before the March half marathon.

  • Bridget November 18, 2008, 7:40 am

    I’ve always wondered if your future husband has a cute accent šŸ™‚

    I recently greatly improved my 10K time as well. I beat my last PR by over 10 minutes and I attribute it to speedwork and actually trying to be faster- before my goal was just to be able to run 6.2 miles, it feels awesome to be able to run 6.2 miles FAST now! I really enjoy speedwork on the treadmill too šŸ™‚

  • greendogwine November 18, 2008, 7:44 am

    That breakfast looks amazing! That is one of my favorite combos – but I usually save it for hangover days šŸ˜›

    Have a great Tuesday! Keep us all updated on how thigns go with Maggie!

  • Nellie November 18, 2008, 7:55 am

    Question: have you ever strayed beyond your training program? Some days I feel like my training schedule is just too easy and I want to push it further. What do you think about doing that?

  • Caitlin (see bride run) November 18, 2008, 7:58 am

    nellie – sure! i usually stray from my training programs on long run days (i.e. i run 8 miles insteasd of 6). that’s fine, as long as you arent increasing your weekly mileage by more than 10% a week. if you do that, you may get a stress fracture or another overuse injury. i am prone to overuse injuries so i try to stick to my schedule.

  • Meghann November 18, 2008, 8:33 am

    Thanks for worrying about me. I saw that you jsut posted on my Sister’s wall as well. lol. I promise I am alive though. šŸ™‚

  • Meg November 18, 2008, 8:40 am

    Yummy breakfast! I have always wanted to try Cabot cheese!

  • kirsten November 18, 2008, 8:50 am

    you have the cutest plates ! I love the heart one and the leaves too ! šŸ™‚

  • tfh November 18, 2008, 8:55 am

    I wonder if the English muffins they have at Trader Joe’s are anything like real English muffins. Actually, they call them crumpets. I’m an ignorant American. What’s the difference between an English muffin and a crumpet?

    As for Cabot cheese, my favorite post-race refreshment ever were individually wrapped single servings. I wish every race would have them!

  • Katy November 18, 2008, 9:01 am

    I’ve decided that I’m going to need you to come move in with me and do all my cooking so I will start eating healthier. I work next to the HOSTESS FACTORY!! I come to work and smell cinnamon buns EVERY day. It’s horrible.

  • bitesoflife November 18, 2008, 9:02 am

    Sharp cheddar makes everything better! I’ve never seen Cabot (but have heard about it) but it makes your sandwich look seriously good.

    Thank for the info. Hopefully, it helps me with my workouts too!

  • B_Hlthy November 18, 2008, 9:05 am

    You know how I was a sprinter/jumper in college so we did TONS of plyometrics… “plyos”
    examples: running up bleachers
    jumping up them two at a time, sprinting and then jumping onto very tall, big cushy mats ( those were the best! so fun) … sprinting pyramids of 100, 200, 400, 400, 200, 100…. Strength training : lots of leg work, squats, etc.

    Now I do tons of negative runs- I try to get to my fastest pace by the end of my run.

    Cabot Cheese is SUCH a good brand!

  • Rebecca November 18, 2008, 9:15 am

    I love doing hills or steps for speedwork. If I plan on doing it on the ‘mill or on a track I always end up talking myself out of it (terrible I know!). How do you stay tredmill motivated??

    Your breakfast is giving me hunger pangs!

  • Oh She Glows November 18, 2008, 9:18 am

    Great breakfast!!! Yum!

    Thanks for the research on the brain body connection…I love reading about stuff like this.

    For me, my endurance has increased through consistent workouts and making sure that I always make each week a bit harder in terms of what I am doing (that includes my cross training too).

    Angela from http://www.ohsheglows.com

  • lauren November 18, 2008, 9:19 am

    great breakfast! I made the same thing for my BF this morning! cant wait to see your crockpot meal – I have a few I want to try soon too! such a great thing to come home to a cooked meal…

  • Bridget November 18, 2008, 9:33 am

    that breakfast looks soooo good! I have been craving a breakfast sandwich lately!

    That is really interesting about the Brain taking over, I mean I know the Brain controls everything but still you never think about it.

  • seeleelive (for the love of peanut butter) November 18, 2008, 11:04 am

    i have the same habit as you… I usually do not “drink” calories, either, not only for breakfast, but for snacks, too! Well…here’s to you! Which type of OJ do you use?! Yum!! Do you like ketchup? I’d probably add lots of ketchup to that.

  • Jen November 18, 2008, 11:05 am

    Now, that’s one great-looking breakfast! Thanks for the kudos for our Seriously Sharp Cheddar!

    For all those folks who have a hard time finding Cabot, I wanted to let you know that we do have a Store Locator on our website (www.cabotcheese.com/store-finder/index.php)

    …OR…

    …you can order your cheese online at http://www.shopcabot.com. šŸ™‚

    Keep up the good running!

  • Caitlin (see bride run) November 18, 2008, 11:25 am

    rebecca – the only way i can run on the treadmill if it is fast (under 3 miles) and i’m doing intervals. i try to do most of my runs outside so i dont get too frustrated by treadmill running!

    lee – its just regular OJ (store brand) with added calcium. i do like ketchup! that wouldve been yummy!

  • Lara November 18, 2008, 1:11 pm

    I love your Autumn plates!

  • seejessrun November 18, 2008, 1:25 pm

    400m repeats are an excellent starting distance for speedwork and for providing you with a nice kick at the end of the race. To improve a 10K time a little more, I suggest 800m or 1 mile repeats. Your 400m workout consisted of 2 miles of “speed,” if I remember correctly, so keep it to 2 miles total speed and try 4 x 800m or 2 x 1 mile. When you’re comfortable, maybe bump it up to 2.5 miles of total speed.

  • HangryPants November 18, 2008, 7:21 pm

    Well, when I first started running, I could only do ten minutes! I just kept with it. I knew I could do it and I did.

    Love the mcmuffin!

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