Product Review for Posto9 by Activaware4U – ethically made clothing

26 Jul

A while ago I somehow ended up on a modelling shoot – haha – me on a modelling shoot! Basically two of my friends were having some photos taken by a friend Jacqueline who launched her own fitness wear line designed in the UK and made in Brazil – Posto9- they were then going for a run afterwards and invited me along to be an extra model and to run afterwards.

I was presented with what were very bright and vivid clothes and initially the thought of wearing them freaked me out! Jacqueline pointed out some beautiful blue and black pants which I instantly loved so they were mine along with a crop bra with a gaping hole in the back! We literally had to get changed in the middle of Kangaroo Point which was interesting and trying to keep some modesty!! But anyway it all went well and the photos came out well.

Activaware4u

Wearing the crop and leggings in the photoshoot at Kangaroo Point

 

Screen Shot 2016-07-26 at 8.17.40 pm

This is the back of the crop top – not me wearing it!

Ethically made clothing 

The thing I like about the brand from chatting to Jacqueline is that the clothing is not only great quality but also ethically made. An ethical clothing company ensures that either the textile is eco-friendly and/or the employees – usually women – are treated fairly and Jacqueline believes that those making our clothes should not be subjected to a life of poverty and I wholeheartedly agree and stand behind such a brand.

Clothing thoughts

The fabric I have to say is amazing quality and very very comfortable. I was surprised as I thought I would find them uncomfortable as they looked more about the pattern and fashion to me than overall usage for running. The clothing is quite versatile and great for gym classes as well as running. I wore the running pants and bra on a number of trail runs, gym sessions and a park run and I can say hand on heart they are very very comfortable. The only down side with the pants is no pocket which most running tights have these days. But I am happy to have no pocket over very comfortable pants.

One of the great things about the running pants is that the ones I tried out were high waisted so great if you aren’t skinny and have curves to hold in – and I didn’t have to worry about a muffin top! I liked the fact that they were not elasticated either – just comfortable and firm fitting.

Both the pants and top have yet to show any signs of wear and tear – usually the running pants I have (thanks to my thighs that join in the middle) start to show wear and tear pretty quickly – nothing from these yet. Crop bra is also very comfortable and firm – so suitable for running.

Screen Shot 2016-07-26 at 8.12.11 pm

Pricing

The pricing on the Posto9 range is pretty in the middle of the range – when you consider high quality range products might charge in excess of $70 for a crop top and $120 onwards for running tights – the products are around $35 for a crop top and $70 for the pants which is very reasonable for higher quality clothing.

 

Summary

Pros

High waisted

Reasonable price

Ethically made – know that you are contributing to a brand that cares about the people making the products when you buy

Cons

No pocket in pants

Online order so can’t really see them before you buy unless you live in Brisbane and you can contact Jacqueline and have a look or look on her website as above. Ordering online is pretty normal now though so not really an issue.

Ordering

You can see some of the range at http://activaware4u.wix.com/activaware4u or call Jacqueline on 0424652016 for more details. Jacqueline has just had a new delivery with new designs in so if interested order now before she runs out again!

Please note I was not paid for this review, and all opinions are my own and open and honest to the best of my knowledge.

LCHF and Running – Update

4 Jul

I realise I haven’t written again in a while. Life is so busy – I have been falling behind on a few things but I am trying to be more organised! I have had a lot of people asking about my Low Carb High Fat Lifestyle and how I am finding it as a runner – so I thought I would post an update as today’s post.

It has been almost 12 weeks since I embarked on the unthinkable – running on less than 25g of carbs a day! The reason why I started came about from doing a lot of reading about low carb high fat diets, and generally feeling sluggish and unwell from having a lot of carbohydrate. I wrote a little bit about that in a previous post.

It hasn’t been 100% easy

12 weeks in and I am not going to say it has been 100% easy especially being a sociable person but I am almost 7kg lighter and have run one race whilst transitioning which was a challenge! But on the whole I feel much better and I don’t find it a huge issue – I don’t feel like I have a ‘brain fog’ anymore I actually feel more awake and alert!

It took a while to feel comfortable eating lots of fats i.e. butter, coconut oil, cream, bacon etc where normally I would watch my intake of all of these things – my friend who is a PT was fairly sceptical but even she said just the other day she was amazed at the results. I have had a few hiccups when I have been out and realised that there is nothing I can eat or have been to friends for dinner and didn’t want to appear rude so ate what was in front of me – but I jumped straight back on the wagon the next day and it has all been fine. I have found now the best way to handle the eating is to take my own food and that works a lot better, and I take a packed lunch to work – so all good – although the day they all ordered pizza and cake was tricky but I sat with my salad and LCHF bread whilst everyone munched pizza around me!

Under Armour Speedform Gemini 2 shoe

The LCHF lifestyle has meant I have lost weight which is an added bonus

Difference in running 

The biggest issue with my running I have found is that I am generally at the moment a bit slower than I was and am running probably about 1 minute slower per km than I used to – but from an endurance point of view generally I feel great as long as I run at my slower pace. From reading a lot and hearing about other people’s experiences this is fairly normal. The trick now is to move over from burning glucose to burning fat and then in theory things should improve.

The MAF Method

At the same time I am also experimenting with the MAF method which was created by Phil Maffetone whose theory helps from an exercise point of view to train at the appropriate intensity to develop your fat burning aerobic system, improve health and perform better. My banting (LCHF) coach has encouraged me to do this to help with switching my body over but I am not doing it all the time so not sure whether it will work – it means taking your age off 180 and then that is the maximum heart rate you can run at. I found it very difficult and looked ridiculous running as slowly as I was but apparently it works. So we shall see on that one.

On the whole I feel great and am very glad I have switched to this lifestyle so far but I still have a fair way to go with my running as it takes time to get the speed back – but with two 10k races coming up next month we’ll see whether I have improved or not!

If you are intrigued by a LCHF lifestyle don’t just listen to me as I am certainly not a qualified nutritionist or doctor so always consult a professional if embarking on something new – but have a read of a few books and articles as it is always good to read for yourself.

In a previous post I posted some books that had turned my thinking around – I have listed them again below – they are not affiliate links – I just want to help point interested people in the right direction!

Further reading

Gary Taubes – Why We Get fat 

Tim Noakes – Real Meal Revolution

David Perlmutter – Grain Brain

William Davis – Wheat Belly 

 

Treadmill Vs Running Outside

22 Jun

I have finally bitten the bullet today and rejoined a gym! I really thought I could get through winter and not have to do it but I had a bit of an experience a week or two ago that made me rethink. I was running around the lake near where I live at 6am and a guy appeared in front of me. It kind of threw me a bit. He laughed and said some words in a language I didn’t understand, and I just kept on running.

It made me think. What if he hadn’t been as passive? and what if he had been with other guys? I got home a little bit shaken and took stock of it all, and decided that I wouldn’t run outside in the dark alone again. Need some tips on safety – read one of my previous posts all about it.

My issue is that during the week I have no-one to run with as my friends are dotted all over the place – weekends are not a drama, but weekdays are an issue. So I joined a gym! I’m quite excited to be going back for a while – it will be nice to be in the warm:-)

Before I committed to join my gym I sat and really thought about the benefits of both the treadmill and running outside to weigh up whether I would use the gym. I decided in the end that I would likely use both – gym during the week and outside on the weekend. My notes that I wrote for myself are below for anyone wondering what the benefits of both are.

treadmills

Benefits of running on the treadmill and running outside

Running on the treadmill

Great for speed sessions

Treadmills are really good for when you have specific training requirements – i..e if you are running a speed session and need to do x km per hour. You can literally program the treadmill for whatever speed you need to run at, and away you go which is very handy when working to a specific program with specific speed training requirements.

All weather training 

The treadmill is a great alternative when the weather isn’t going in your favour. Whether it is torrential rain outside or a heatwave – it really doesn’t matter if you are running on a treadmill inside.

Great for the solo runner 

If the only time that you can train is early in the morning or last thing at night, and it is dark – running on a treadmill is a great way to ensure that you don’t put yourself at risk by running alone in the dark. You can run at any time of the day on the treadmill without having to be conscious of where you run and keeping safe.

Better when you have an injury

The treadmill can be better if you have an injury than running outside, as you will have a consistent flat surface to run on, whereas outside the surface on which you are running may not be as even, the pavement may be harder which could worsen your injury. Although on the flip side it is good to ensure that your sessions on the treadmill are mixed up to ensure you don’t fall prey to injury from just pounding away on the treadmill session after session.

 

Running Outside 

Change of scenery and route 

Running on the treadmill can be very boring, seeing the same view time after time and not physically getting anywhere. Running outside is great therefore for alleviating boredom and mixing things up with your running routes, enabling you to change your routes, add hills and variation to your terrain i.e. roads, trails.

Save money 

The biggest advantage of running outside compared to inside on a treadmill is that unless you own your own treadmill it means that you save money on hefty gym membership fees. You can literally put on your running gear, step outside the door and go!

More realistic training conditions for a race 

The treadmill can often seem easier than running outside, and if you are training for something in particular it can often be better to run outside to get used to the conditions that you will be running in rather than running on a treadmill where it isn’t always an accurate reflection of true racing conditions.

 

 

My First Road Race Running On Low Carb High Fats

12 Jun

I haven’t written for a while as life again has been pretty crazy, and then coming down with a cold it hasn’t been much fun in the last week.

I thought I would continue on from my last post and talk you through the recent City to South race I ran – my first proper road race (not counting one park run) run on Low Carb High Fat (LCHF) eating.

I have to say I was pretty daunted at the prospect of running 14k in race conditions  without my usual plan of having carbs a few days before and on the day of the race, but I trusted my banting coach and went for it.

Race Prep

My usual race prep would have been have carbs the night before, along with plenty of water and then in the morning my breakfast of carbs – a banana and oats. This time the night before I had a normal dinner of protein, fats and vegetables, and then in the morning I had – a coffee with three tablespoons of cream – a bit of a difference!

I was meant to have some salt water an hour before the race and I forgot. It is meant to help with cramping. I had it around my waist in one of my bottles and only realised later when during the race I took a swig and almost gagged!

The Race 

city to south

All smiles before the race

So my lovely friend Sam and I parked and made our way to the start of the race. I was fairly calm – had my two toilet visits (my running ritual!) and was ready to go! It was really cold, and the race was a couple of minutes starting and then we were off!

I found to begin with that I felt good. I kept a solid and comfortable pace a little it under what I thought I could run and plugged into my iPod and settled into the race. There were plenty of people running and it bottle necked a bit, but I was doing an ok pace.

I have come to terms with the fact that my running times whilst adapting to fat and LCHF way of life are slower. I have dropped almost 30 secs off my usual per km pace but haven’t been stressing about it. So I got through the first few km and was feeling ok.

By the time I got to 5k I started to feel a little bit fatigued. I saw Sam and she looked good and I realised I might be pushing too hard so I slowed a little bit to prepare myself for the hills, and whereas I used to power up the hills I found myself slowing right down to chug up the hills and to keep a good endurance level.

Hills, Hills and More Hills 

I found the race quite hilly, and my mind started to play tricks on me and convince me that without the carbs it was a disaster so I started to wane a bit as the hills came and went. I found myself telling myself I wasn’t going to be able to get around the distance and what was I thinking trying to race on low carbs, and it was a real battle but I pushed on determined to finish. Some of the hills were pretty tough but I just slowed down and chugged up whilst people passed me.

I found with my legs that they didn’t feel as bouncy as they usually did in a race. I am assuming that was lack of carbohydrate…who knows but it wasn’t impossible but it just felt that little bit harder when I tried to push. I have heard with LCHF however that endurance improves but the ability to sprint can be reduced.

What happened to team spirit?

One of the things that really disappointed me in the race was the team spirit of some of the runners. I saw a young guy struggling as I was running, he was walking with his head bent on the side of the road. I saw him from afar and could see that he was in distress, yet no-one stopped to check if he was ok. I think it must have been the ‘mum’ in me and as I got closer to him I checked if he was ok and he said ‘No’. He looked really sad and like he was beaten down – it was a tough course and I think he had over estimated how fast he could run. I asked him if he wanted me to get some help but he said he would carry on walking and urged me to carry on running which in the end I did – but I have to just say – I would have stopped and walked with him if he needed it, and it was really disappointing that no-one stopped before me.

Just saying!

City to South

Smiles after the race – Sam and I

As I pushed up Highgate I really struggled but was determined that the hill was not going to beat me and I took an extra swig of my ‘salt’ water which as I mentioned before I was meant to have before the race! After making it up Highgate I figured there were a couple of KM left so it should be plain sailing…no …. there was another hill which caught me out! I pushed up that and realised then that the race was almost over – and as usual I was like a homing pigeon and as soon as I realised where the finish was I literally sprinted.

I don’t know where the energy came from but I pushed to the finish and almost cried when I finished. It had been such an effort. My time was ok and I think my average pace was 6.06km which is not really quick at all, but I was proud I had achieved it on LCHF, and my first hurdle was over!  My friend Sam had finished just before me and we got our usual photo taken and headed home jubilant – having finished.

Now to look to the next race on the Sunshine Coast and to learn from this race.

Have a great week!

 

 

Low Carb High Fats and Running

31 May

I’ve been running since 2001, and even before then I exercised. Exercise and diet have always been very important to me.  For many years I have eaten healthily and run a lot but yet I have always felt that has never been representative in how I look. I even remember when on a business trip – being at the hotel gym with my boss and he said “You’re running pretty fast on that treadmill for someone your size!” I remember wanting to jump off the treadmill and give him a piece of my mind – but I smiled sweetly and carried on running.

Could carbohydrates and sugar be the issue??

I had lots of tests a few months ago and everything appeared normal, but my husband and I were convinced that sugar and carbohydrate might be playing an issue as I seemed to have more issues when eating carbs and also sugar. My husband tested the theory out and went on lower carb eating regime and lost a lot of weight and suggested maybe I could try to see if it helped cutting out most carbs – but as a runner I never contemplated giving up my carbs as – how would I get the energy to run!?!?

Low Carbohydrate High Fat 

Whilst I was contemplating how to really get my weight sorted once and for all we started to read about a Low Carbohydrate High Fat lifestyle – the benefits of it, and also how many many athletes run on it today and have outperformed their high carbohydrate training days.

The facts seem to be pretty much a no brainer in the sense that low fat high carbohydrate diets are not the way to go and since the seventies when the the food pyramid  was changed to incorporate more grains – there has definitely been a correlation between the rise in diabetes, alzheimer’s and high carbohydrate diets.  LCHF diets are now recommended for diabetics, dementia patients and also epilepsy patients*.

I decided I needed help so a few months ago I enlisted the help of a nutritionist who was pro fat adaption and low carb, but I found  they ended up being in disagreement with what I wanted to do so I turned to The Real Meal Revolution which I found out about thanks to our friend Google. Run by Professor Tim Noakes the program (and there is a great book too) is a 5 week program coaching you in how to follow a LCHF lifestyle – with not only recipes and carb counters – but a forum and videos too – so for $56 I snapped it up and am went through the program and lost a good deal of weight as well as feeling great. My daily diet now consists of eating less than 25g of carbs a day. I’m sure for some people that would be shocking and ‘wrong’ but I feel great and am managing to run on that also.

Stepping up the training

running the park run

It wasn’t my usual pace on the Park run but I pushed hard considering I didn’t have many carbs and was still fat adapting.

I lay low on my training for a couple of weeks to get used to it and to fat adapt (get my body used to burning fat rather than glycogen) – I picked things up a week or so ago and I ran a parkrun and a 13.5k trail run with no aching afterwards! I had a cup of coffee and 3 tbsp of cream (I don’t like the recommended bullet proof coffee recipe of coconut oil and butter – makes me gag) before training as my breakfast and managed to push on parkrun and up and down the trails – I was quite amazed.

I’ve met a few people on this journey that run on LCHF and it’s really encouraging to see how well they have done so that’s my post for today. I know that for many people they believe in high carb diets as runners – but this is what I do and it’s working for me:-) Anyway watch this space, and if you see the words LCHF pop in my blog posts I am referring to Low Carb High Fat and the way I eat.

Bye for now:-)

*please note that I am not a doctor or a practitioner in nutrition – this is purely based on experience, opinion and books I have read. Please always consult an expert or medical practitioner before embarking on any new diet or regime. 

Further Reading 

Some great books that my husband and I have read around LCHF and carboydrates – these are NOT affiliate links.

Gary Taubes – Why We Get fat 

Tim Noakes – Real Meal Revolution

David Perlmutter – Grain Brain

William Davis – Wheat Belly 

 

 

Sometimes there are more important things than running!

24 May

I haven’t written for a while as life outside of running for me has been a bit crazy. We’ve been flying around as a family trying to fit lots of things into our life, and as a result my son got a cold and I was feeling under the weather last week and at the weekend, and I also started a new job so getting used to not working completely for myself and just the general routine has been challenging – but so far so good!.

As a result of all of the above I missed a few runs which initially I was really beating myself up about – but it was something my friend Sam said to me when I cancelled that made me think – she said:

Screen Shot 2016-03-22 at 11.57.56 am

Running for fun! Sam and I finishing the Twilight Half Marathon earlier this year:-)

“We’re just doing it for fun anyway, no stress!”

Exactly right.

I’m not a professional runner, I do this for fun and I think the moment it starts to feel like it’s a burden will be the moment I stop doing it. So I reframed how I was thinking and thought ok – no worries it’s ok to have a week off, and I am good to go next week.

I think sometimes it is so easy to get caught up into things and to accept that we cannot always do everything – and sometimes things have to go – and for me on this occasion – it was running.

I’m back now – feeling better and ready to run tomorrow. I also entered the City to South – just to give myself a challenge. It will be very slow but I’m doing it with my friend and it will be FUN:-) Then after that it’s the Dubbo Stampede which will again be FUN (and hilly) running around the Dubbo Zoo – so a few things to look forward to running wise.

It’s a short post today but lots more posts to come.

Have a great week of running and having fun!

Zoe xoxo

Product Review: Under Armour Speedform Gemini 2 shoe @ UnderArmourAust

10 May

I have been a bit slack on my blog posts in the last week or two. Life has been busy and got in the way I’m afraid! I’ve been doing some running and pushing on with trail running as well as starting my LCHF eating plan – more on that soon.

Anyway a little while ago Running Heroes sent me some shoes from Under Armour for me to test and write about. You’ll see my review below.

Before I go any further please note that I was not paid to write this article and my opinions are real and all my own – just in case you were wondering! 

Under Armour Speedform Gemini 2 Shoe

So when my parcel arrived from Running Heroes – naturally I was very excited as I love new running gear, and when I opened the box I was not disappointed where colour was concerned – the shoes I was sent were a lovely turquoise blue with a pink inner lining – perfect for me.

Under Armour Speedform Gemini 2 shoe

Colour and Aesthetics

The shoe does come in 12 different colours but I quite like the one I was sent as some of the other colours are either way out there or too bland for me. It is quite a light shoe in weight compared to my usual Kayanos and the top back of the shoe where I have been used to it being really sturdy feels quite soft and lightweight which was an initial concern to me needing stability.

There is plenty of padding at the bottom on the sole of the shoe which is a good thing for me as a lot of shoes I see now are very flat looking and I know I wouldn’t get on with them having had issues with very lightweight shoes.

Under Armour Speedform Gemini 2 shoe

Testing it out

Under Armour Speedform Gemini 2 shoe

Just about to go for a session in my shoes

I tried running in the Gemini 2 a number of times and did different types of runs on different types of terrains to test them out including a speed session, a short session, on the road and across fields/grass.

The shoes felt light and comfortable, and whilst I’m not used to lighter shoes they felt stable to run in. When running in them it definitely felt like there was added support which I quite like and I also felt quite nimble on my feet so they worked well in my speed session.

One thing to note is that the shoe has an embedded sockliner which means you can’t remove the insole. For me that was an issue  because I wear orthotics so with this shoe I can’t wear them when wearing the shoe – so I probably wouldn’t wear these on a longer run or should have asked for a larger size so I could fit them in with more room. It’s not a deal breaker but if you wear orthotics make note of this comment to potentially go up a size.

Conclusions

I felt very light on my feet and like I was quite bouncy and I have enjoyed running in the shoes.

Pros

> Great selection of colours

> Nice light shoe but with support and comfortable to run in

> If you are a techno person then there is a Record Equipped version which comes with a chip embedded in the shoe and will give you all sorts of metrics in relation to your run.

> The price is quite reasonable at $225

Cons

> For me the main issue is not being able to wear my orthotics in these shoes – however had I ordered a larger size that wouldn’t have been an issue – so if you wear orthotics consider this when buying them.

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