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What are your new year resolutions?

31 Dec

As it’s new years eve I have been thinking a lot about my new year resolutions for 2012.

I know many people think new year resolutions are a waste of time and are made to be broken – but I think it’s good to have some idea of what you would like to achieve in life and in training.

I remember the year I ran the London Marathon – the previous year I had applied for the ballot and was declined, and then got a place through Belgrave Harriers – my running club at the time. My new year resolution was to complete the marathon and I did – so it felt good to be able to say I had achieved a new year resolution.

I know for many it’s about “I will stop doing this….” and “I will aim to do this..” and there have been many times when I have broken my resolution on the first day.  So I have been thinking seriously about what my new year running and training resolutions that are realistic and achieveable might be.

So here’s my list:

1. To stick to one training program and eating plan

So many times in 2011 I changed training program or tweaked them, and as a result my results went up and down. Do you remember I started P90x – which was great and I had great results with?  but for me it wasn’t manageable doing the training and trying to squeeze running in. I ended up training at least 10-11 times a week which was full on and exhausting.  

My personal trainer friend, Roger Alsop did a great program for me to improve my 5k times which I did for a long time, my resolution is to get back on and continue with that next year.

My eating for training needs to also have an overhaul as whilst on the P90x program I followed that and then I tried Michelle Bridges 12 week body challenge and found based on the training I was doing I struggled with energy levels. It’s a great program and I know there are some great results out there but it wasn’t for me – and after doing what I had always been taught and finding what worked for me I dropped a lot of weight – and then came Christmas. I wasn’t too bad and really watched what I ate over Christmas but I long to get rid of all the Christmas food and back on track with what I normally eat…

2. To train for my training not necessarily always for others

That sounds a bit mean doesn’t it – but so many times I have fit my training in with everyone elses and when I first got to Australia to meet people, and not concentrated on my own goals and my running has suffered as a result. As much as I don’t always like running alone, sometimes it is the only way to do the training that is right for what I want to achieve.

So 2012 will continue with some runs with friends but only if it fits into my schedule and what I want to achieve.

3. To run a decent 5k time

I remember when I ran the London Marathon in 2003 I also ran a 21 minute 5k. Yes you may say that I was much younger then; but I know people older than me that can clear 5k in 15 minutes!  and often your running improves with age!

So if that’s possible then my wanting to knock a couple of minutes off my 5k time should be doable if I do all of the above (program, sticking to it and diet), right?

Life is like a marathon

So there you have it – my three new year resolutions, and in terms of my life outside of running I often compare life to a marathon – especially looking back on my 2011.

Sometimes it feels easy and you’re cruising along, and other times it’s like you are stuck in treacle – you hit that wall and you aren’t getting anywhere and it’s more backwards than forwards – and as you run along people help you along the way and encourage you to keep going – so in life these would be friends and family. Thenyou get your second wind and things get back on track and you are doing well again, and then it gets harder again – and so on.

So I am looking to 2012 to be a great year for running, training and life in general.

So Let’s toast to that!

What are your New Year Resolutions? I’d love to hear and see if we can achieve them all!

Thanks for reading TGTR for another year

Happy Running and Happy New Year!

The girl that runs

Busy week and not much running

30 Sep

The last few weeks have been crazy busy. I’ve organised three events in three weeks – I’m two events in just one left next week hooray!

Problem with being so busy is my training has suffered. I worked a few late nights and then was in Rockhampton for three days this week plus busy preparing. I managed one p90x session and was advised not to run around where we were staying and there was no gym so feel like I have been lazy this week.

On the up side – just got this months copy of run for your life magazine and my results from the Brisbane Road Runners August run were in there – quite slow time but still happy that I’m published as the third woman 🙂

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Troublesome week

23 Aug

After running the Brisbane Road Runners Club 5k  last week and feeling great the last 7 days haven’t been that great. After the race my ankle started to twinge and by last Monday afternoon it was hurting and I didn’t dare run and was miserable at the thought that I was doing well and then down I went again.

On the advice of a running buddy of mine I did a bit of cycling this week and some light running and along with some simple physic exercises that I remembered from a while ago and a great app called Physio Advisor * on my iPhone I am now feeling much better ankle wise 🙂 I wanted to swim too but the lane pool was closed, but I bought myself some flippers read to work and build up those ankles.

From the ankle came the sickness. I feel like if one thing hasn’t got me this week another has. Lots of people at work have been sick and still gone into work. I’ve been dosing myself with lots of veggies and vitamins and today was the day I felt like I’d been hit with a sledge hammer and eyes watering and just not feeling on par. So tonight when I was meant to run and to then do some P90x arms instead I came home, switched on the heating and sat feeling sorry for myself waiting for my husband to come home and cook me dinner.

I’m hoping I feel better tomorrow, then it’s back to training ready for my next race in September 🙂

Please see a link below to the ankle exercises that Physio Advisor* recommends which are pretty much what my human physio gave me and one of the gym instructors at the gym I go to also said she does.

Ankle exercises

 

* I’m not recommending you use Physio Advisor instead of seeing a doctor/physiotherapist – if you are injured go and see someone that is suitably qualified to diagnose your ailment.

Great week of running and Les Mills classes :-)

21 May

I haven’t written for a while, life has been flying by. My training is going well at the moment. This week I decided to have a breather and do what I wanted to do and that was a mix of Les Mills classes and running.

So I did back to back classes on Monday – body attack and body step, and spent the rest of the week paying for it! On Tuesday I did sprint sessions and my legs felt like lead and as the week went on they felt more and more lethargic. By Thursday I was simply going through the motions of body step and then today I ran 8k and then did body pump afterwards, and whilst I feel tired and my legs feel like they don’t belong to my body I feel great.  My heart rate was pretty good too – average was 150 I think – so all in all feeling great! I did have  to have a 90 minute power nap when I got back though!

So next week I am back on schedule with a few classes thrown in. Trying to do my P90x plyometrics once a week too to keep my legs agile and strong for my runs – short as my runs are I need to draw the power from somewhere!

I am planning a race at the end of June so again the messing around stops and the head down training starts! Bring it on!

Keep running even when you think you aren’t getting anywhere…

19 Nov

Haven’t written in a while as have been adjusting to a life as a lady of leisure after finishing my job. I decided to put a positive spin on things and have been at the gym or running every day this week and it’s been great. My rest day will be Sunday for anyone wondering if I am going to rest!

I never thought I would be a real gym bunny but I have enjoyed the classes this week. I have done Body Balance, Body Attack, Body Step and Body Pump – clearly a Les Mills fan!

Anyway I just had a quick look at my Garmin Connect account as I have been feeling a bit despondent with my running this week but you know what I didn’t realise but I have improved my average pace time vastly in the last 6 months and I didn’t even realise it until looking at the stats – the watch doesn’t lie (I sometimes wish it did!).  But according to my Garmin my average min/km pace at the beginning of June when I got the watch was 6.30 min/km and now it is 5.41 min/km on average! Thats almost a whole minute faster per km in 6 months! and the last race I did which was the Cool Night Classic in the city my quickest km was 4.37 min/km which is really good for me!!

So if you are feeling a bit fed up with your running at the moment and feeling that you are not getting anywhere – you probably are wrong! If you are a consistent runner and have been running a couple of times a week for a while you may not realise it but you are probably much faster than you were to begin with.

Tips for motivation

1. Repetition

Do a race that you did this year next year and see how your times compare – you might be pleasantly surprised. I plan to do at least the Townsville and possible the Gold Coast Half Marathon’s again as I would like to have a crack at improving my time to prove to myself that all these early mornings, hill sessions, p90x and speed sessions have helped!

2. Challenges

If you use a watch like the Garmin 405 cx or a Nike Plus (although see my notes on Nike Plus in a previous post) – set yourself challenges and compare and see how you improve. I’ve set myself a couple of different challenges on my watch such as times for distances and also improving distance over  a month period in order to motivate myself. The Nike Plus has some good challenge options. But if you don’t have either of these kinds of devices you could just do it manually – set up a running log and record times and distances.

3. Train with friends

If you find training alone is hard work then train with friends and work towards some sort of challenge be it a race or just times together – motivate one another to keep going and to improve. When I first started running 10 years ago I trained with a friend at work and we pushed one another and she actually got me into the running circuit and I never looked back – I was hooked!

4. Rest up

For those over-trainers out there have a rest. I found when I had a week off a few months ago when I was tired that when I came back to training I came back with a vengeance and was faster than before. I was sluggish before and couldn’t be bothered to train, so I decided no – I am going to have a week off and not train and it did me the world of good, and towards the end of the week I was dying to get back to training and my motivation had returned!

Hope these tips help. If you have any – please share!

Have a great weekend!

Back on the horse…

14 Nov

It’s been an interesting couple of weeks with trying to finish college work (i graduate from a graphic design course in a couple of weeks!), and also finishing a job I resigned from a while ago. I have been really distracted and demotivated to train which has been a real pain as I was running better than ever and thanks to not pushing the last few weeks I have a bit of ground to make back up. I also stopped doing P90x for a while and realise now that it really seriously helped me improve my running and in stopping that I lost a a bit of fitness too.

So now I am near to completion of my course and without a job so no excuses now to get my butt back into  tip top shape. I am the kind of person that needs things to aim for so up until Christmas it is just to really get in shape again and then next year I need to think about what races I am going to go for. Do I stay short and improve my 5k time or go long again and do a few half marathons and 10ks? or do I do both 🙂 ! I am swaying towards really going for it and I am hoping that my running buddies plan to do a few races too then it will help me stick to my goals.

So the next months plan is to do a couple of runs a week, also toning and at least one session of core a week. I like the P90x arms and leg work outs so will probably keep them along with some runs and a couple of cardio classes at the gym and see how I go.

More to come ..

 

Training at home and alone is it effective?

10 Oct

If you have been reading my blog postings you’ll know that I am doing a fair amount of exercise at home at the moment as I am in the middle of the p90x program. It involves working through a number of different DVD’s on a weekly basis and is a complete change for me as normally I train with people or at the gym, or go to classes.

The home fitness video industry is a huge one. I tried to find some stats to validate my posting but Google couldn’t find me anything, but I do know it is higher than gym annual turnovers nation wide.

Many people find exercising in the comfort of their own home far preferable than bearing all at the gym. I have always been a skeptic as I need people around me to make me push harder and worried exercising at home might make me lazy!

My answer to all of this is to find the right work out and if you are a determined person like I am you will make it work for you. P90x is not your average exercise program and you have to extremely fit to start it in the first place but there are others out there for people that are fit.

My mum has a number of exercise DVDs and to be honest I haven’t seen them work for her. She hasn’t got the motivation and drive that I have so I would say she is one of those people that probably needs to go to the gym and have other people around her. Although she recently bought a Wii and plans to do Wii fit so we shall see.

Best workout dvd’s and programs that I have tried or come across on the market:

1. P90x

Of course I will say this is the best dvd series I have done because I am right in the middle of it now – but hands on heart it is really good and different to a lot of the others on the market. With this one you get 12 dvds and you follow a program each week – so one week you might be doing 6 of the dvds and then it goes to the next phase and you are doing different things, so it keeps it all varied which is exactly what I need.

It is hard work, that’s all I can say but I am doing a lot of push ups and pull ups (assisted – as I am quite a wimp!) and plyometrics which has seriously helped my running – I am running faster than I have in years. I haven’t lost much weight but I have lost inches and gained a mountain of confidence. see www.p90x.com for more info.

2. Biggest loser Wii game

I bought this after trying some of the other Wii fitness games such as Wii Fit, Your personal trainer and so on as I needed to be pushed. The Wii fitness games are good if your fitness is mediocre but if you are used to smashing your workouts and really sweating they aren’t too great. The Biggest loser workout however was different. I did all the set up and did my first workout and it was for 70 minutes! I puffed and panted through – I think I had it on the highest level but it was a really good workout. I stuck it for a few weeks and then got a bit bored, but it is one to try if you want a Wii workout with an edge.

3. Gillian Michaels 30 day shred dvd

I actually did this at my friends place yesterday. I stayed at her place overnight and I was craving exercise so she said she had a DVD she thought I would find challenging. I was a bit skeptical to begin with but it was a good solid challenging dvd. Basically there are three levels and you do 20 mins of intense working out of the whole body, some exercises with weights and some full on ab work – I was sweaty by the end and would heartily recommend it to anyone that wants to ad some circuits to their workout but can’t get to a gym. You could do the dvd twice and do two circuits and I think it would seriously shape you up alongside some cardio work too.

Any others you can recommend? Not everyone can get to the gym so DVDs are a great way to get fitter!