The Cardio Sandwich

Meet Nichole Whiting. She has lost over 180 pounds of baby weight. When I struggled to lose my baby weight she taught me about her beautiful little secret called The Cardio Sandwich. Nichole has run so many different races in NYC, but her favorite is the Brooklyn Half and she will be running it this Saturday. I can’t wait to watch her cross the finish line. She definitely has great advice for all levels of runners and knows exactly how to shed a few pounds when needed.
First off let me say I’m not a running expert, just a running mom of 3 children. I was blessed to have very very HEALTHY pregnancies. The word “healthy”, when you’re describing a pregnant woman, can sometimes mean “chunky”, “round”, or my husband’s favorite, “as big as a house”. I gave birth to babies weighing 8’8″ then 8″15, and finally 9″1. I gained 65 to 70 pounds each time, and when the dust settled, I always had an additional 25 pounds to lose. Running and weight training was how I did it. I really feel you can’t do one without the other if you need to change your body’s current state. How I do it is what I call The Cardio Sandwich!
Ask yourself what your goals are- do you want to be able to run 3 miles without stopping? I feel like a 3 mile goal is a great starting point, but if you’re a non-beginner, do you want to mix it up and get out of your plateau? The Cardio Sandwich would still be effective. Super simple, but requires a little discipline. Do this three times a week and stay away from donuts (or maybe that part is just me?!?)

* Run your goal distance minus 1 mile. Run it hard, run it fast- arrange inclines and speeds (which is a whole other post!) but whatever you do run your butt off as if it’s your whole workout. 
* With a 2-minute break, jump right in to your weight training. This should be a hard but not crazy 30-45 minutes. You can do videos (I like Jillian Michaels), get a trainer’s program, or piece together compound moves from fitness magazines. Just make it an all over body work out using weights and plyometrics and make it medium-hard and constantly moving. Instead of breaks, change your exercise. This shouldn’t be killing you (because hopefully you killed it while running) but should be intense in a different way.
*Jump right back on the treadmill or run right back outside- this time, lower your demands a bit. Run that mile for distance only, not speed. Enjoy your breathing and your music. When you’re done, lo and behold, you’ve run an entire mile more, and you’re ending your overall workout time sweating and breathless. So much better than having wound down if you would have just run and then lifted. With The Cardio Sandwich you start with fresh energy to burn fat, your ‘recovery time’ to build muscle, and then top it off with more fat burn and an extra helping of endorphins. Super effective. 

I started out with a 5 mile Cardio Sandwich (run 4, lift weights, then run 1) and now I run an 8 mile cardio sandwhich 3 times a week, and 5 additional miles peppered in the rest of the week. Your running will burn fat, your weight training will shape your body! Good luck and let me know if you have questions or ideas!  

Here are 5 of my favorite running accessories. What are some of yours?

Jenna & Nichole