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My Fitness Routine

Hi all!

This post will be dedicated to my running routine. I don’t work out as much as I’d like to – I’m averaging about two to three gym visits a week and in an ideal world, I’d kick that up to four workouts. I don’t particularly like working out at the gym. It’s dark, dank, and the weight room can be a meat market. Thanks to the Arctic climate I live in, I don’t really have much of a choice during the winter.

Snow day!

What I do love though is running outdoors under the sun! I am counting down the days until it’s warm enough for me to get out there and run along the beautiful Rideau Canal, Dow’s Lake, Arboretum and Stonebridge Trail. In the summer, I will usually run several times a week, and then hit up the gym on the weekends to do ab training, weights at the occasional spin class. I also have a bike which I use frequently too. If I could bike everywhere, I would. I feel free as a bird on my bike…it’s my favourite thing other than gardening and buying make-up I don’t need. LOL!  Seriously though, it is such a great way to exercise…mainly because it doesn’t feel like exercise.

My fave water bottle and running socks!
My fave water bottle and running socks!

Currently, I’m training for the Tamarack Run Ottawa Race Weekend taking place May 23-24, 2015. I will be running the 5K this year. I just don’t have the heart or willpower to train for the 10K like I did last year. Now, I run 5K all the time, so I don’t really need to train. I’m not really interested in achieving a personal best either, so I’m just going to run at an easy pace and enjoy the day! My PB/PR to date for a 5K is 27:36. Part of me really wants to get that under 27 minutes, but we’ll see.

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Here I am about to start my second 10K race
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My sister Erika and I ran the 10K and 5k respectively that day! Yay us!
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Race day in Ottawa! Amazing atmosphere!

When I train for 5Ks and 10Ks, I start off with running 5s and 2s, meaning five minutes of running with two minutes of walking to catch my breath. I run at an easy pace for me which is 6.0 mph. After about three runs a week at this pace, I work up to 10s and 2s. I will then add some interval training which looks like this:

Over a 10 minute period:

2 minutes of running at 6.0mph
1 minute of walking
2 minutes of running at 6.2 mph
1 minute of walking
2 minutes of running at 6.4 mph
2 minutes of walking

I will add an incline of about “2.0” on the treadmill. Once I feel totally comfortable, I will run 5K without stopping, which usually takes me about 28-29 minutes on the treadmill.

The interval training has greatly increased my speed and endurance! I highly recommend this method of training as it trains you for speed and minimizes injuries. When I go too fast or too long, my hamstrings tighten up and my lower back starts to ache. After an 8K run two years ago, I hurt my knee due to going too long and too fast also. The last thing I want are chronic back and knee problems.

Biking is an excellent complement to running too.  Biking is an excellent way to workout out running’s complementary muscles. When you incorporate cycling into your running routine, you’re using muscles in your legs and core that complement the muscles used for running, making you stronger, more efficient, and faster.

My beloved bike “Pee Wee” that I sold to get a faster, lighter hybrid. My new bike isn’t as awesomely gorgeous.

Don’t forget deep stretching after your runs too.  This reduces soreness, prevents cramping and increases flexibility.

Here are some of my favourite post-run stretches:


What are some of your running tips? What exercises do you prefer? Ever run any races, triathlons, etc?  Let me know in the comments!



Dominique Baker
Dominique Baker

Dominique is a Canadian-based fashion and beauty influencer with a strong voice in Ottawa’s black community. Since launching her blog Style Domination in 2015, she has amassed a global fanbase. Dominique shares her life through beautiful imagery and compelling story-telling that speaks to her fans on a personal level. She’s been featured in The Guardian, Flare, The Kit and Cityline. She also hosts events for Dress for Success, the Gem Conference, and has been named a United Way Person 2 Know for the past three years.

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Leave a comment

  1. April 8, 2015 / 12:55 am

    My best tip is to keep having fun out there. Don’t let that stop.

  2. April 8, 2015 / 12:02 pm

    I am trying to get myself back into running. I went hardcore a few years ago and did a marathon (very poor timing as I should not have continued, but I did anyway). My entire fitness routine was disrupted because I hit a wall mentally after the marathon and could not fathom the mere thought of working out at all, let alone run again. I’m back on the horse (with yoga) and looking to add running again. This is very inspirational. Keep up the good work! You and your sister are so pretty and look alike (I know that seems obvious, but there are some siblings who look nothing like each other). Oh, and my tip? The one thing that kept me going during the marathon was this mantra “An object in motion stays in motion” so I did not stop at all for fear of losing my momentum.

    • April 8, 2015 / 12:32 pm

      What a great mantra!!! Mine is “It’s just running. It’s just a race. Just relax…”. Isn’t my sister cute??? Haha! I love her to death. You should see my other sister, Alice! She and I are complete twins! I understand about the marathon. My husband runs marathons and I have no idea how he summons the energy to do it. It took me a long time to get into running and it always felt like a chore until recently. I know of myself that I will probably never run and half or full marathon and I’m okay with that. Now…maybe if you put a basket full of free high-end cosmetics at the end of a marathon…maybe that would motivate me! LOL! Glad you are getting back into it. Do it for you and do it for fun! When it starts to hurt or you get a little tired, give yourself a break! So happy I’m inspiring you! xoxo

      • April 8, 2015 / 7:18 pm

        Great mantra! LoLz…yes, a big basket of cosmetics would be a GREAT incentive! Aww…hope to see a pic of you and your “twin”. Kudos to your hubby for running marathonS. Gosh, I envy people who can do so many long distance races. I am going to start with the couch to 5k and hopefully, like yourself, it will not feel like a chore, but more like fun 🙂

        • April 8, 2015 / 8:43 pm

          LOL! It will – it’s just aboutt finding your comfort zone. It’s easy to get down on yourself and/or competitive with other runners…but remember, it’s supposed to be fun!

  3. April 8, 2015 / 7:46 pm

    Amazing post and definitely one that I will refer back to. I started running last year using the 5k runner app but have never ran in a race. Thanks for the tips, they are super helpful. I’m all about interval training too.


    • April 8, 2015 / 8:42 pm

      Oh excellent! Glad to help! Races are amazing. The atmosphere is so great and the energy from the crowds cheering you on is second to none…and then getting that medal at the end…such a sense of accomplishment! I encourage you to sign up for one!

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