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Impatience and marathon near miss!

14 Jan

It’s been a busy couple of weeks hence no posts but I am getting myself together now :-)

One of my ultra marathon runner friends announced recently that she and her fiance are getting married in the middle of the Marathon Du Medoc in France in September. It’s very typical of her and it’s going to be great fun – many of her friends are running it too and they are all running it together.

We are going to the wedding and I was suddenly struck with – yes I can do it too!

The Marathon du Medoc is not a race for personal bests or racing – it is more a fun race that weaves in and out of the many Chateaus in the Bordeaux region of France. France is one of my favourite countries in the world and I speak the language so it is always good fun to get back there.

The look of shock and horror on my husbands face was priceless when I said I was going to run the marathon, and I mentioned it to my running friend/mentor Roger who said – ” not a good idea. You are giving birth at the end of April – that gives you less than 4 months to recover, start running again and get marathon fit.”

Hmm hadn’t thought of that.

My friends are running it very slowly – for fun more than as a race and the novelty is getting married in the middle but I came back to reality and realised OK my husband and Roger were right – it’s too soon. What if there are complications in the birth, what if the baby is late… what about feeding the baby and my probably still melon sized boobs full of milk at that point – trying to run a long race would be interesting! –  a whole plethora of things went through my head.

Marathon du Medoc

The Marathon du Medoc is a very famous marathon that runs around/through many of the chateaux in Bordeaux with the option of sampling wine on the way!
Image take from http://www.thecourageoflungs.com

I came to the decision not to run it but found myself feeling quite miserable about it as the Marathon Du Medoc is meant to be an awesome race but not for me this year! Instead I will support my friends that are running, attend their awesome wedding and get back into my running gradually and enjoy the fact that I will be a new mum with a beautiful baby to look after – the running will come and the marathons will wait :-)  and I may well do the Marathon  du Medoc in a few years – hmm yes I could coincide it with another trip to the UK – yes it could work out…..

I’ve found my hunger to run more marathons has returned with a vengeance – I think mainly because I haven’t been able to run in so long and crave that awesome running feeling – and I can’t wait to run and also to enter my first post baby marathon next year and run it with my beautiful friend – it will be her first.  Still contemplating LA as well – all depends if it coincides with when we want to do our trip around the US South West Coast – so many things to think about ….

Happy Running – have a great week!

Baby yoga, walking and relaxation!

11 Nov

When  found out I was pregnant I panicked. 

Crazy I know but all I could think about was getting fat and not being able to train. I look back now and think about how obsessive that sounds! But I guess when you have been going to a gym since the age of 18 and  even before that were active, suddenly being told you can’t do what has been a big part of your life for 20 years is a bit hard to let go of.

In preparation for having a baby i still pushed myself hard so it was a miracle I am now sat here pregnant, but then I woke up and realised ok it’s only 9 months of your life Zoe and my wonderful friend and PT keeps reminding me the moment the baby is out she is going to have me fit again so not so bad.

I started reading about different schools of thought about pregnancy and exercise. My specialist is very strict so no exercise that takes my HR over 120 for me but there are a lot of people out there that still continue training and slow down as the trimesters go on.  I’ve seen women that look like they are about to give birth hammer it in spin classes so I guess each person is different. I am not sure which school of thought I’d be in if it hadn’t been dictated to me and I’d always advise you consult an expert before deciding but I am not sure how a baby would feel being tossed around for an hour whilst its mum does an aerobic class!

I decided on walking and yoga, both completely new things for me – usually I would run everywhere and yoga was not something in my vocabulary!

Baby Yoga

When I found out I was pregnant I was intending on going back to a gym and to do yoga and pilates but I am very glad I didn’t as baby yoga is very different to a normal yoga class and a lot more about relaxation than being a contortionist.

Baby Yoga was something I wasn’t sure about because Yoga has always been one of those things that I find impossible to do purely because I have to be still and quiet! I turned up at my hospital where the class was to see 5 other pregnant women. It was great fun and our teacher is also a midwife so anyone goes into labour we are at the hospital and we have a midwife right near us. It was great to see the girls had the same issues as me although I was the only one still with morning sickness so I had to make a few trips to the toilet during the 2 hours.

My yoga teacher also said that baby yoga would also help the baby to get in the right position nearer the birth and help it to be a bit easier – I’m all for that!

We use exercise balls and poles and it’s a good work out as well as a section on ante natal at the end so it’s informative too :-) It’s quite funny to see pregnant women try to balance since having a bigger than usual stomach kind of gets in the way but it’s great fun :-)

The dog has had a few walks this week too so I figure it’s good for her too me being pregnant as normally her walks are a bit sporadic.

Anyway I hope your training is going well. I’m just trying to get used to my next 6 months of training and to enjoy it before the hard work begins :-)

 

 

 

Slacking off!

17 Sep

I hope your training is going well. I haven’t been able to train for a little while with a few things going on health wise. I will be able to share more soon but at the moment it has been somewhat an effort to keep going!

SmileyFace

I’ve got some great products to review shortly and some new things to share, I just ask that you bear with me for the moment :-)

I’ll write more soon. In the meantime have a great day and happy training :-)

Product Review: Adidas Boost Trainers @adidasAU

13 Aug

A few weeks ago I got some of the new Adidas Boost shoes in the mail. I thought I would spend a while trying them out and then review them. If you have been reading this blog for a while now you’ll know I am a real Adidas fan. I started running using their Supernova shoe and love their clothing range as it is so cool and comfortable so I was delighted with the Boost shoe.

The first thing I noticed about the shoes apart from them being nice and bright purple :-) was how light they were. I bought a pair of the AdiZero range a while ago and I would say they are the same weight if not slightly heavier – so very light.

I wear orthotics so I was a bit worried whether they would fit ok but they did and I was also a bit worried they being so light might not be very hard wearing but so far so good.

Just about to go for a run in my shoes :-)

Just about to go for a run in my shoes :-)

I went for a few trots in them and found they took a while to get used to as my ASICs Kayano’s are much heavier but it was nice to feel that your feet were light. I think I would be more inclined to wear the shoes for racing and speed work rather than long long runs but they were nice and comfortable. I have a fairly wide foot and I found I had bags of space at the top end of my feet around the toes whereas normally I have had issues with my feet feeling cramped in some brands shoes so that was a definite winner for me although as my foot has a lot of room to move I wonder how it would cope again over a much longer distance.

I felt very cool wearing my shoes to the shops with lots of gen Y’s looking at my feet – they definitely stand out and look a bit like a fashion accessory rather than a bog standard normal pair of trainers :-)

Adidas says on its website:

The new BOOST™ foam with its unique energy capsules features a magical combination of functional benefits. Unlike any other foam it gives a soft and springy cushioning and feels ‘alive’. It energizes your running stride for more efficiency independent from the temperature and ensures maximum comfort.

I would say I did feel bouncy when running and light on my feet so that has to be good right?

Just about to take the dog for a trot in my shoes :-)

Just about to take the dog for a trot in my shoes :-)

So all in all I liked the shoes, loved the colour and the lightness to them. They fit very well into my training kit and as I have already purchased from their AdiZero range I like the concept of the lighter shoe I would definitely invest in another pair.  I have some friends that are into bare foot running and the really really practically not there shoes like the Vibram Five Fingers but I doubt I will ever be into those – the Boost are my happy comprimise :-)

Training and Schedules – do you use one?

9 Aug
Hope your training is going well. There are a few races coming up that I have friends training for such as the Sydney City to Surf (I am hoping to do this next year), The Sunshine Coast running festival and if you are really crazy then Tough Mudder is next weekend. I have a few friends doing it and didn’t have the inclination to do myself and get electric shocked on the way round!
Anyway, today’s post is around racing and scheduling.
Image courtesy of digitalart http://www.freedigitalphotos.net

Image courtesy of digitalart http://www.freedigitalphotos.net

Do you have a schedule you work to when you have a race scheduled? 

When I have had a race in the diary I usually work to a schedule 8-10 weeks before and try and stick to it to the letter depending on what I want to achieve i.e. a specific time, distance that I haven’t done for a while.

Schedules are great to give you motivation too. I don’t know about you but I am a list person and I like to tick things off – so the idea of ticking off a training session each day and counting down is very exciting for me (nerdy yes I know) as well as helping me meet my goals with specific training sessions i.e. hills, speed, distance etc to ensure I am strong enough for the race.

I received a training question last week from someone and I thought it might be useful to other people to share and it’s kind of around the idea of a schedule and planning hence it’s in this post.

Question

I’m putting a team together for the Lorne Adventure Race this December and I’m
going to do the Trail run part of the 50 km endurance race.
My question is; I run three 9 km runs a week and one 18 km every
fortnight or at least a 14 each fortnight, my runs are coastal, sand, hills ,logs , beach and road, how should I change my runs to get better
distance? Slower the first half? More interval training? Time of day?
My week consists of Pilates, yoga and PT sessions but nobody is a
distance runner so some advice would be great, the Lorne race needs to be
a fast 15 km. 
As I am not a qualified coach and didn’t want to give incorrect information I asked my UK friend and coach Roger Alsop who is is an accomplished International athlete with over 20 years experience of running  to  answer the question on my behalf.
My reply was: 
Sorry for taking a while to get back to you. I decided to ask my
friend/coach to help me with this question as I didn¹t want to give you
incorrect advice.
Roger knows his stuff and is top for his age for 5k in the UK. He helped
me with some of my races.
Anyway please see his response below (we are going on the fact that no exact distance was given and that a fast 15km was required):
The answer would be to mix up the training. 2 interval sessions a week, 1 short reps
with short recoveries e.g. 20 x 1 min and one long reps with longer
recoveries e.g. 5 x 5 mins with 3 min recoveries. The long run could be
time based, e.g. 2 hours at an enjoyable pace ( need to build up to it,
assuming that’s not how long he takes for 18k). That’s a very general
response to the question. When I do schedules for someone I find out as
much as possible to fit their needs, an indicator of their half marathon
time and 10k times would be useful as 15k is about 9 miles, but it is
trail. 
Schedules

 Here are some good generic schedules if you are looking for a starting point but I would always advise seeing a qualified coach who can create a tailored schedule for you and your training as the generic schedules may not be suitable for everyone:

The Girl That Runs previous post on training schedules (it’s a bit old – from 2011 but the information will still help)
Hope this helps. Have a great day running :-) It’s such a beautiful day out there :-)

Exercise Vs Healthy Diet

29 Jul

Hope you had a great weekend.

Healthy Eating

Image taken from free stock site stock.xchng id 1419869 – credit to zomb_kille

I was talking to a good friend last week and we got to talking about exercise and diet. I know a lot of people who rely on their training to keep them trim and if they weren’t training they would be much larger than they are because their diet isn’t good.

I guess this was me when I first started running 11/12 years ago. I figured running was great because I could eat what I wanted and still lose weight. In fact when I was training for the London Marathon I was in Health and Fitness Magazine as the girl who could eat what she wanted and lose weight! I had to keep a food diary and they published it and then talked about the fact that i was training so hard it didn’t matter how much or what I was eating etc etc. At the time I was proud to have this label but when I think back now to what I was eating it was shocking and I was lucky I was motivated to train!

Food has always been one of those areas that I have had a love hate relationship with but I guess as I get older I am realising just how much it can affect my lifestyle and the way I feel.  Recently I have had to cut gluten out of my diet as well as dairy as much as possible and it has amazed me how hard it is and also how much rubbish there is on the market to try and replace much loved gluten and dairy items such as bread – and it’s been a real fight to remain healthy and not fall for all the yummy looking replacements out there full of junk. Not training as much as I would usually has also meant to really keep an eye on my eating which is finally paying off as thankfully I haven’t gained weight whilst reducing training in fact I have lost weight :-)

I am no nutritionist or personal trainer but it’s not rocket science – you are what you eat!  Eating and living unhealthily is not great –  and just because you can still run/swim/ride/whatever well it doesn’t mean you are healthy and living a healthy lifestyle – it means you are fit not healthy.  A lot of health experts say diet counts for 80% exercise 20% which I am definitely in agreement with. Why exercise when you then finish and have a doughnut or cigarette! What’s the point of all that hard work you just put in?!?

That’s my rambling for the day over :-)

 

 

Welcome to the world of Ultra Running

13 Jul

Imagine the sense of exhilaration you’ll experience at the end of race that’s even longer than a standard marathon. Intrigued? Welcome to the world of ‘ultra running’.

I have a few friends that are ultra runners and I have often had people ask me what’s involved and what it’s all about so today’s post should help answer a few of those questions.

If you’ve never heard of ‘ultra running’ before, the term basically covers all types of competitive running longer than the 42 kilometres of a typical marathon. They can also take place on any surface – including roads, dirt tracks and mountain trails.

In Australia, the UK and US, 50 mile (80km+)  routes are becoming increasingly popular, as are trails that take in rough terrain and woodland to really push runners to their physical limits.

While in many respects this could be considered the next step up from a marathon, taking up ultra running doesn’t necessarily require you to double your training schedule. Speaking to Men’s Health magazine, record breaking ultra runner William Sichel said it’s not necessarily increasing your training that’s crucial to succeeding in ultra running; rather it’s about adapting your running style, by incorporating walking breaks.

If anything, the only difference you’ll notice between traditional marathon running and ultra running is the speed at which you wear your running shoes out! It goes without saying that the more kilometres your rack up, the quicker you’ll need to replace your footwear.  Stringer Sports is a favourite Australian source for running shoes at the moment – in a lot of the stores they are too expensive and I end up having to order from the US but their prices are reasonable. And, for any UK readers, take a look at the selection of running shoes from Millet Sports and opt for a design that incorporates gel and foam into the design for optimum comfort when you’re covering long distances.

Ultra running shoes

Even though your training schedule won’t need to be expanded, you’ll notice that ultra running takes more of a toll on your body and recovery time is longer. If you’re feeling the strain of your exertion and you’re struggling to recover after a spot of ultra running, check out these top recovery tips from Runners World.

Ultra-running is about discovering your bodies limits; and pushing past them to achieve and endure more. If you’re an experienced and accomplished marathon runner, why not take the next step with ultra running and put your body to the test?

Interested in racing in Australia? See a list of Ultra races here.

I am not sure I am ready to yet but who know’s one day…….

Have a great weekend and happy running :-)

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