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Too busy to run?

23 Aug

This week and part of last week has been so busy I feel like I haven’t had room to breathe ! As a result though I haven’t done as much training as I would like. I have tried to fit things in when I can and have had lots of late nights and early starts and then been flat out all day so it has actually pretty much been impossible.

Do you find you don’t always have time to train? and what do you do about it? It’s very easy to just think ‘Oh I don’t have much time, forget the training!’ but I really tried to think of things I could do that I could do in the minimum time but with the maximum output. Here are some of my ideas and things I have actually done this week and last:

Treadmill – sprints

I only literally had 20 mins or so one day this week so I jumped on the treadmill, did a short warm up and then sprinted like there was no tomorrow with less rest than I would normally have. It’s a great way to get a short, sharp and sweet workout but still get a good quality session in. Alternatively a brisk walk uphill on the treadmill or outside would be good too.

Spinning bike in the gym – sprints 

Again – hard training on the spin bike is a cool way to burn off some serious fat and kilojoules and if you haven’t got much time a good hard sprint session is good or an uphill climb.

Ab ripper

I am a fan of p90x and their Ab Ripper X cd is awesome and it’s only 15 minutes long – perfect for a core workout when you haven’t got time to do anything else.

X Trainer 

I don’t use the cross trainer that much but their interval hills program is awesome and when I train with my friend and make her put it up a level i get evil looks! A short sharp session on that would be good when you don’t have much time either.

Is there anything I have missed? What do you do?

Sweat bucket sprint session

30 Jul
after sprint session

I certainly don’t look glamorous after a sprint session. If you see people in the gym that are doing cardio that don’t look like a sweat bucket like me – they’re not working hard enough! I’ll let them off if they are recovering from an injury!

Happy Monday everyone. I had a great sprint session today at the gym, what did you do?

It was so good to be i the gym without an injury or not being able to train because of sickness. The treadmill and I had great fun today in a really hard session, and my friend took this photo (a little blurred!) just after I got off the treadmill and was about to start a weights session, looking somewhat frazzled, pink and shattered! Not a good look!

Running – an uplifting activity

13 Jul

The last week has been a bit all over the place with a number of things going on in my life, and I have really found it hard to gather the momentum to train. I don’t know what kind of person you are – whether you find having things go on and on your mind pushes you more and makes you focussed, or like me it causes you to lose focus of your usual routine with eating and exercise.

cat motivation

Do you ever have days when you feel like this? I sure do.

I had coffee with my beautiful friend yesterday and she said to me ‘you have to go back to the gym and train – you will feel so much better, you know you will.’ I agreed with her but secretly wondered if I could be bothered – but I missed two days of training and that’s a fair bit to me.

So this morning when the alarm went off I hauled myself out of bed and made myself go to the gym and jumped on the treadmill, and you know I felt great and had one of the best sprint sessions that I have had in a while. I came away from the gym feeling pumped and ready to start the day. That’s all it took – a little push and my motivation and mindset focussed again.

How do you motivate yourself? what has and hasn’t worked? What focusses you? I’m interested to know – wondering if I am the only person who needs a kick up the butt every now and again from a friend who knows me better than I know myself sometimes!

Happy training and hope you have a great weekend!

Tough run up Mount Cootha and Marathon envy

30 Jun

I ran up Mount Cootha this morning, up along the road and back and it was a tough 10.5k run, the longest I have run since I got sick, and I felt every stride. I felt great afterwards but whilst running it I really had to fight to not stop and walk. It was a constant battle to push myself to run especially up the steep bits.

It reminded me very much of some of my marathons I have run.

Tomorrow is the Gold Coast Marathon and I won’t be running any of it this year, not even the 5k, but I know a couple of people running the half, and a couple running the full marathon, and initially I was a bit envious. I imagine right now they will have all their kit ready, be full up on carbs, have their race number and timing chip ready to go, and anticipating the race tomorrow.

medals

I thought a bit further and started to think back to when I ran my longer races and ok maybe I am not so envious. It’s one of those things that you either love or hate. After I ran my first marathon in London, I signed straight back up to do the Dublin later that year and then I did Berlin and then I did Paris – my last one in 2006. By the time I got to Paris my heart wasn’t in it anymore and I struggled so much with the race both physically and mentally, but I got round and then hung my running shoes up for a while after that, promising my husband I wouldn’t put him through the 10 weeks of nightmare training that both he and I had endured.

I endured the long runs, the blisters, the constant hunger, the tedium of the 20 mile training runs and the tiredness – whilst he endured my pickiness over food (i.e. no spicy good as it might make my stomach funny for a run the next day), my constant early nights, grumpiness from being tired from training and my general obsession with everything marathon.

I was only talking to my friend today saying I knew someone that had entered the New York Marathon and I thought I had one marathon left in me and I would consider doing it a few years down the track, and I thought to myself ‘argh what are you saying!?!’ but running is in my blood, sometimes I love it, sometimes I hate it but it’s there constantly and I go crazy if I can’t do it. I love long distance running but it has a place in parts of my life not all, currently I am running middle distance runs and am loving it but I am sure there will come a time where I am ready for those longer runs again.

So part of me wishes I was lined up tomorrow to run the 42km and part of me is very glad I am not. I am so proud of the races I have participated in so far and those I am sure are yet to come, and I wish everyone lining up tomorrow the very best of luck and ask that they put a stride or two in for me :-)

Have a great weekend

Morning Run done and friendly challenge completed!

25 Jun

I opted to run outside this morning instead of at the gym and so I wrapped up for what reminded me of a UK autumn – in my beanie hat, long sleeved top, short singlet and long tights and trotted off.

As I was running I was feeling decidedly chipper and I remembered talking to my UK running friend about being friendly when running and saying hello to people as I ran. I used to do it when I did longer slower runs in the UK, so this morning I did an experiment and decided to say ‘morning’ to as many people as I could and see whether they said back, and to my pleasant surprise quite a few people’s faces lit up and they said hello back, so it made my run even more rewarding. I think there was only one person that didn’t say much but I told myself that perhaps I didn’t say ‘morning’ loud enough :-)

Being friendly and smiling when running has been used in a number of ways and I remember Haile Gebreselassie (My running hero!) says in a book written about him called The Greatest that he always smiles when he runs his races, whether he is enjoying his running or in pain –  like a poker game, so that his opponents can’t tell where his weaknesses lie.

My run wasn’t like that of course but there’s a lot to be said for a smile and being friendly.

Happy Monday.

A trail run in the dark up Mount Cootha

20 Jun

I recently met a friend who invited me to run up Mount Cootha in the evening with her and her friends/running group, so I figured that since I am now on the mend from being sick and my back injury that I would give it a go.

I have to say it was one of the most exhilarating yet scary things I have done in a while.

running in the woods

Image used from pentaxforums.com
This was lighter than I could see last night but gives an idea….

I turned up not thinking to have taken a torch with me since I figured we would be running on the road, although I probably would have needed a torch still for the roads at that time of night, so one of the girls lent me a bike light. We weren’t actually running up the roads we were running up the track, I’d never been up the tracks! Bwefore all of that I couldn’t really find where to park as it was dark and wasn’t sure where the car park was and then I saw a faint glimmer of someone (could have been someone ready to pounce on me for all I knew!) and asked him if he was a runner, he said – no he was a walker but I decided this area was the place to park. So I parked up waiting for some other possible runners.

When everyone arrived and said we were running up the track I was a bit freaked out as I wasn’t too sure how this was going to work, the first bit we walked up as it was quite steep and then it was a case of use that light to make sure you don’t slip and roll your ankle or something. All I could see was a metre in front of me, looking back it was a bit scary to say the least. I decided the best option was to be in front of some of the runners so that I wasn’t at the back and easy picking for someone that might be lurking around waiting to pounce on that unlucky girl with a very small bike light and it seemed to work better as the glare from the lights behind me helped me see where I was going.

The actual conditions reminded me of when I was back in London running around Wimbledon Common and I am sure it looks really pretty by day.

We did a bit of running on the road and got to the top and then headed back down which was better in terms of the stairs but quite steep. I was a bit worried this would be the ankle roll so tried to keep my pace steady. Got to the bottom and felt great and felt like I had a real all over workout. Then it was off for a well earned dinner. I’ve never been a trail runner but I think I could be a convert as it was great fun and no pressure to be quick, just enjoying running. Running at night actually helped from a psychological point of view as I couldn’t see the hills coming so just pushed as much as I can, whereas normally in my head when I see the hill my brain tells me it’s going to hurt, so that was a good thing too.

So today is a rest day after the last few days of running and I am going to enjoy it ready for the next session!

A good week of training so far….

19 Jun

I know it’s only Tuesday but for me it’s been a good week of training going back 7 days. I managed my bootcamp session on Sunday, and an hours cardio yesterday and will be pushing myself up Mount Cootha later on today so I am determined to get back into my training and make up for the last four or so weeks where I was unable to train properly. It’s so easy to give up and not go back to it all but you have to keep telling yourself that it’s worth it in the end!

I found not doing weights for over 4 weeks that I felt so weak and puny and everything wobbled! Amazing what a difference it all makes.

I’m not suggesting you have to be at the gym 24/7 I am just saying what works for me and it’s so good to be back!

Have a great day and will write more soon!

Run walk run walk smile on the treadmill

12 Jun

Today was my first day back at the gym since being ill for two weeks and then going back and hurting my back and off again for another week or so.

I was so excited to be able to train and jumped on the treadmill. I was a bit worried about how my fitness level and now jelly belly (I’ve taken advantage of it being cold and being ill and eaten rather too well!) would go but I was pleasantly surprised as it wasn’t too hard.

I didn’t run as fast as I would normally and I ran walked ran walked to get myself back into it. I looked in the mirror and found myself smiling out of sheer enjoyment at being back in the gym. The last few weeks have been very frustrating but I am so glad I didn’t train as I feel much better now :-)

Now to get rid of that jelly belly! Bring it on!

It’s that time again: does the fan go on or off at the gym!

28 May

I love my gym. It gives me great pleasure to train there except when it’s boiling hot as there is no air conditioning, just fans, and when it is winter in Brisbane and it’s cold.

Oscillating Fan

I train my butt off at the gym especially on the treadmill when I don’t want to run outside, but the issue I face and the girls that I train with is often when we are running inside in winter and we are working hard and sweating, we put the fan on much to the annoyance of the people that think going to the gym involves sitting on a bike and reading a magazine and not raising much of a sweat hence they don’t really warm up and give death stares when anyone goes near the fans.

I had one of those moments the other day as I was running for the first time in a couple of weeks after being sick and went to put the fan on to discover it wasn’t working. I went to one of the guys on the desk who came over and said someone had had it switched off at the mains, he then switched it on for me and the guy in question didn’t look too happy and said I shouldn’t work so hard – in a nice way of course.

I am finding I now have an aversion to the fan. Everytime I think about switching it on I look over at who else is training and whether they are training hard, if so I will go and switch it on, but if not I just suck it up as I don’t like to upset people and I end up finishing my training early because I am too warm. Am I being crazy? I mean when I sweat I get really hot – and there are only so many clothes I can remove without getting in trouble!

Maybe I should stick to training outside!

Awesome week of training

29 Apr

This week has been the best week of training in a very long time.

Since my 10.5k run last Sunday this week I managed another long run, a bootcamp session, a weights session, a run up a mini mountain, a mixed cardio session and a sprint session and I am feeling great.

My legs feel stronger than ever, everything aches but in that nice kind of ‘i know i have trained hard’ kind of way. It’s helped that I have had someone to train with and to push me but wanted to write this short post to say it’s been a good week, and I hope you have had one too :-)

Here’s to a good week of training next week too!

 

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