Archive | training RSS feed for this section

Achieving those running goals

24 Aug

I haven’t written in a while quite simply because I felt like I had nothing exciting to say! The year so has been a roller coaster ride life wise, and I felt a real ‘can’t be bothered’ attitude where my running was concerned. Everything that I originally wanted to do just got put in the ‘too hard’ category and my eating was difficult for a while finding it hard when eating out a lot to always eat a lower carb choice.

So I basically have spent the last few months reframing and concentrating on bite sized goals rather than the main big hairy goals I have been trying to achieve.

I read a great book called The Slightest Edge which basically is precisely all about that. Taking that one goal and breaking it down a task at a time to achieve that ultimate goal in bite size pieces rather than getting scared of the big main goal.

I wanted to run Rainbow Beach half marathon but it came and went. So now I am focused on entering the SEQ trail series and will probably do the ones fairly close to me and not the coastal ones. I’m definitely opting for the 8k race this time not the 15k as I melted in January last time!

Then from there. Not sure. Possibly the Rainbow Beach half next year. I will see how I go.

Starting a new job has helped push me back into my running as they have showers so I have been trying to run at lunchtime when I can, and then on the weekends I run with the Brisbane Trail Blazers so things are improving!

For me it is not about looking the best, looking at what other people are doing and concentrating on times. It’s about enjoying running, fitting it in when I can and not feeling guilty when I can’t train, and not using it for weight loss. – eating properly does that!

So that’s where I am and where I have been running wise..one step at a time – literally.

I hope you and your running are going well. Have a great week!

It’s good to be back!

Tips for drinking more water in general and running 

1 May

What a week it has been. It was my son’s birthday party this week, and we had over 30 people at the house including kids which was awesome but crazy! We survived and I even made the time to make my son a monster truck cake – but I have spent the rest of the long weekend recovering and haven’t even run! 

My goals I set myself that I shared in my last post are going slowly but now my son’s big day is out of the way for another year I can start to focus on things other than trucks and Blaze and the Monster Machines! 

Anyway, thanks to Nina for asking me a question on my last blog post about drinking water and did I have any tips. It prompted me to think more about it- hence this post today.

I have always struggled with drinking water. It sounds silly as it is a fundamental requirement of survival, but I am actually not good at it. As a human that’s not great, especially being a runner too. I feel looking back it has seriously affected me in both training and a number of races I have run. I have memories growing up of my aunt making me drink every time my cousins did to ensure I was drinking from a very early age.

We can’t exist without water, and when running we need more of it. I realise this hence one of my goals is to drink more. Sometimes I can go a whole day on less than 1 litre of water even when I have done a tough training session and I realise I have to change this and aim higher.

I’ve tried a few things over the years and a few things have and haven’t worked, so I thought I’d share them today. If you have any tips I would really welcome them.

My tips for drinking more water in general and for running:

Always carry water

Always have a bottle of water with you wherever you are. I use a stainless steel carrier which keeps my water cold. I just have to remember to put it in my bag!

Use a straw

One of the guys at work and who is also a runner guzzles water like there is no tomorrow, and he said the trick for him is having a water bottle that has a straw in it as he drinks more. So that’s something I have started to do and so far so good!

Set reminders

If you are a reminder focused person then set reminders in your phone or diary to remind you to drink water. I tried it and just dismissed the reminders!! But it might work for you.

2L bottle

You can buy bottles that are 1/2 litres and the idea is to fill them up and drink throughout the day. It’s a good way to see how much you have drunk. I had a Michelle Bridges one that I bought from Big W that was great for this.

Diarise/Log your intake

Apps like My Fitness Pal are great for logging food and also fluids so if you are into logging data this might work for you and be a good way to keep you drinking those fluids. 

Carry water when running

I always carry a hydration pack on the trails or wear a hydration belt when it is warm. I don’t take much water in but it is there if I need it. When it is really hot I stick my hydration pack in the fridge the night before to make sure it is nice and cool in the morning. 

Hydrate before a run 

The one thing I do try and stick to with running is hydrating as much as I am able the night before. I use the pee test as a good indicator (colour of urine – should be fairly clear) to ensure if running early in the morning that I am well hydrated. Again I am not always good at this but I try wherever possible.

These are things I have tried and I am sure you have tried others. I’m getting there slowly. 

Running and life goals

17 Apr

I finally decided it was time to get back to my keyboard and to start writing again after having a couple of weeks of neglecting my blog. I hesitated and to be honest I have not been at all motivated to write the last few weeks with work commitments, general lethargy and actually not even sure what to write about.

I haven’t done much running in the last few weeks due to being sick and being busy but I managed to run on the trails this weekend which reminded me why I run and to get back into it pronto.

I need to kick my own butt!

I gave myself a good talking to this afternoon and decided enough is enough. Every blog post I have written recently has been saying I am too busy, too tired, haven’t run, haven’t eaten properly and enough is enough. The only person that can fix all of this is me, so now that Easter has gone there are definitely no more excuses and I need to kick my own butt!

finishing the race

Setting firm goals

I had the chance to catch up with my LCHF (banting) coach whilst on business in Sydney a couple of weeks ago, and he helped me create some firm goals that I have to accomplish this year, and I feel better now with things to work towards and I added a few of my own. I’m sharing them with you to help me feel accountable as well as to my coach!

Some sound silly but I need them, and some are more adventurous. So here they are:

  • Drink 2 litres plus of water a day
  • Concentrate on MAF (Maximum Heart Rate Training) training where possible this year to help give my body a rest and build up endurance. So low heart rate training all the way….it’s  tough but I’m going to give it a go when I can.
  • Enter a big race for next year – probably Great Ocean Road Marathon. Havent decided yet.
  • I’m also aiming to lose another 10% of my body weight which I know I can easily do if I stick to my banting – aim is by end of the year!
  • Practise banting (LCHF) basics
  • Practice mindfulness and relax when possible which is something I am really not that good at!
  • Remember what is important in life and spend time doing it or with the people that matter

So they are my ultimate goals for the next few months at least. Hoping I can achieve at least some of them, and also remain inspired to train towards all my running goals! I realised (and I think I mentioned this in a previous post) that I was going along with other people to help them realise their goals, but always seemed to fail – it was only when the penny dropped that they weren’t my goals that I suddenly decided enough was enough…. the only person that can achieve my goals is me!

Anyway – a short but sweet post this week. Have a great week – whatever you are doing and I’ll write more soon!

Product Review: empassion cleanser and exfoliant scrub

26 Feb

Ok so this is not my normal kind of post. I generally talk about food or running – but today I am writing about another passion of mine natural products. Ever since my very close friends brother died from cancer back in 2006, and the nurse made it clear that everything we put in and on our bodies counts – I switched to using natural products rather my old ways of paying for the name rather than the ingredient. I figure I eat healthily, have a healthy life – skin care to me is just as important.

It has taken a lot of playing around and trying different products to feel happy with a lot of the natural products out there – some of which did not work for me or I simply didn’t like but I am mostly sorted now.

A company called empassion contacted me and asked whether I would like to try out some of their products. So the first thing I did was check their website to see whether their products were natural – and they were as well as all Australian made products at great prices.

Before I go on please note I wasn’t paid for this review and all opinions are my own.

Products

empassion kindly sent me some pink grapefruit foaming cleanser and some pink grapefruit exfoliant scrub.

empassion natural toiletries

Thoughts

Exfoliant Scrub 

empassion exfoliant scrub

empassion exfoliant scrub

The exfoliant smelled divine – I could have eaten it! The ingredients include jojoba beads, apricot kernel oil, pink grapefruit oil and pomegranate.

The liquid itself is nice and thick and creamy. Having very sensitive skin I found it didn’t irritate and left my skin feeling nice and soft – so a winner for me. I have often found with some skin care ranges that my skin gets blotchy but I had no issues with this one.

The size is a nice small size 125ml – I think it would last a fair while as you don’t need too much. The price at $14.95 is pretty reasonable too. When I think of how much I have paid for products like this for a well known brand name such as say Jurlique – it is a fraction of the price. My only criticism is that I was actually travelling to the UK when I got these and it would have been great to take on the plane in my hand luggage as I like to cleanse etc on a long flight but the size was slightly over the allowed amount.

Foaming Cleanser

empassion foaming cleanser

empassion foaming cleanser

The foaming cleanser again smelled nice and ingredients include jojoba oil, pink grapefruit and pomegranate. It comes in a pump action bottle and it took a few pumps to get a decent consistency and amount out but then when it did come out it lathered well and felt really nice on my face.

Again, having sensitive skin I needed to ensure it didn’t irritate and it was fine – so a tick from me. I didn’t need to use much either.

The price was lower than the scrub at $11.95 so a nice price point for the same amount 125ml. Again i would have liked to have taken this on the plane but couldn’t so that is the only down side for me for this product.

Summary 

Love the product and will definitely be looking to try some of the other products.

Pros

  • Lovely smell and nice on the skin
  • Price point is nice and low – bear in mind there is a flat fee of $10 shipping so bunch your order together rather than buying one by one would be my advice.
  • Australian made – I am all for supporting local business
  • Natural product – no nasties in – awesome!
  • Great for affordable gift ideas
  • Baby, kids, men and women’s ranges which is great

Cons

Small size products. I often like to buy in bulk rather than small sizes – but the handy size they are in do make them compact for overnight stays and holidays – although not suitable for carry on luggage requirements on the plane. The body wash etc do come in larger sizes – 250ml and 1ltr refills.

For more information have a look for yourself at empassion’s  website.

Race recap: SEQ Trail series – Bunya 15.7km

11 Feb

It’s been a couple of weeks since I did my trail race before flying to the UK, but I decided I’d best write it up otherwise I would forget.

How could I forget though – it was a crazy hot day! I had originally entered to run the 8k race but my friend who was also running said she was doing the 15.7km – so I decided I would give it a go!

All set the night before

screen-shot-2017-02-10-at-9-05-51-pm

I made sure the night before I was hydrated. I laid my kit out ready to run the next day, got an early night and did everything I was meant to do. I ate an extra helping of fat with my food to make sure I was good for the next day. I filled my hydration pack up and also packed two smaller hydration bottles with my Science in Sport hydro juice.

My usual pre running food on a low carb high fat way of eating consists of a glass of water with coconut oil and lemon juice in, and a boiled egg. Since I started doing this I haven’t felt hungry or in need of energy when training – but I realised this was the longest trail race I had done and it was going to be hot so I packed a couple of fairly low carb snacks to take with me in case I needed them.

Hot!

I woke up the next morning and it was hot! I felt parched so drank a lot of water, had my breakfast, got ready and zoomed off to James Drysdale Reserve which was the race start. I met my friend Jo and we collected our race numbers and chatted until the start of the race. The race sent runners off in waves – so we were in wave 4 so had a few minute wait.

screen-shot-2017-02-10-at-9-05-25-pm

Jo and I before the race – all smiles

When our wave went I figured I would try and hang back and let the crazy fast people zoom ahead of me as the difference with running on trails to road is there is a lot less space – and often you can end up stuck behind someone or holding everyone up. So I tried to be courteous!

The route was fairly hilly and initially I jogged up the hills, but then I realised I should just walk up them to preserve my energy.

I found a few km in that I was very hot and I needed to remove my running vest as I just needed to cool down. So I slowed down and let Jo go and I stuffed my shirt in my hydration pack. I never caught Jo – but I figured I needed to just run my run and keep going, not try and catch up with someone, and as it was I was beginning to really struggle with the heat.  the most antagonising thing was running by the ends of the trails where there were residential homes with swimming pools. I longed to just dive in and cool down!

seq trail series - Bunya

I’m smiling!!

I always felt that maybe trails would be better in the heat than the road but I found that the heat was almost contained under the trees and struggled. It was a boiling hot day but I started to shiver with the cold…I figure the only time I had this before I ended up collapsing in a shop after a long run in the UK and ended up in hospital!

I have found with eating a low carb high fat diet whilst I have endurance I struggle with speed and general oomph sometimes – and it hit me as I got half way into the run. I longed for a carb gel but knew I had to just push on and it was the heat that getting to me not the lack of carbs. I have been running fat adapted for a while so I knew it wasn’t that. I literally felt like I was running in a sauna!

Almost lost! – my guardian angel!

I walked for a little while and didn’t realise but I was wandering off in a completely different direction, I heard someone shout – ‘you’re going the wrong way!”.  I turned to see a woman looking quite concerned at me – and I realised I was indeed going completely off track, so I jogged towards her and she followed me along the right path. She basically saved me and got me through the race. I later found out her name was Dana and she was my guardian angel and encouraged me to keep going. I love the fact that runners stick together and help one another out. She basically stuck with me the entire race and when I walked she walked and we ran together right until just before the end when I needed to pop to the loo in the bushes – but even then she was at the end congratulating me!

Mental battle

I found myself at 8k thinking – why did I not do the 8!? why did i change to the 15.7!! I think in hindsight I should have done the 8 but I am glad I did the 15.7 as it prepares me for what is potentially coming later in the year with the Rainbow Beach Marathon….

It was a good race, very well organised and a great bunch of people running the race. The hindsight for me was underestimating the heat and the race didnt start until 6.30am – when I normally train much earlier so that didn’t help either.

I was a little bit down afterwards as I figured if I can’t run 15.7km then how will I run 42k on the trails – but heat was the biggest issue I think and I have to realise I just don’t find it easy!

So – Here’s to the next one!!

screen-shot-2017-02-10-at-9-05-40-pm

Looking pretty warm and tired after the run with Jo

Running Goals for 2017

16 Jan

As I started writing this post yesterday I was sat looking out of the window at the rain pouring down! It has been so sticky lately – I hoped that the rain would lighten the humidity – but no – it has stayed humid. Today has been slightly better but I am actually looking forward to autumn!

It has been a good and bad week – good being running has been ok – haven’t done too much but the running I have done has felt good (although hot early in the morning), my nutrition is going well after a few not so great days at Christmas and New Year. But the bad side of my week is to hear that a member of my family back home is still very sick and it has made me really homesick feeling quite far away – but my family are giving me regular updates so that’s good.

My Goals for 2017

All I have been hearing since New Year’s Eve is what people’s new year resolutions are. I hadn’t really thought that far ahead but I started to think last week and here are mine:

To get stronger and faster on the trails

Currently I feel like I am fairly slow when running on the trails. I realise it is a completely different type of running to running on the road but I would like to feel stronger and more confident when running.

To be more consistent with my running

I think having no races in the diary makes it easy to roll over and go back to sleep – which I have done a few times. The girls I run with during the week and weekend are forcing me to more accountable to my training and I am feeling more motivated so I am hoping that this new year resolution might be a big tick 🙂

To run a couple of races on the trails – with no pressure – possibly the Rainbow Beach Marathon fat adapted in my LCHF way or eating

This is probably the biggest goal I have set myself for the year. In April I will have been following a low carb high fat (LCHF) diet for 1 year and it has not been without its challenges. Whilst I feel much better, my running has suffered – I have gotten slower and haven’t got the short sharp bursts of speed that I used to have – but endurance has improved to an extent. So this year I would like to run a couple of races and feel strong and solid running on fat rather than carbs!

To continue to enjoy running

I figure if I get to a point when I no longer enjoy running there is a problem! So my goal is to continue to enjoy it and to change whatever makes me not enjoy it if that ever happens. I am loving running on the trails and training with my running friends. We laugh lots, we share stories and it really makes it fun and gives a purpose more than just putting one foot in front of the other!

screen-shot-2017-01-16-at-8-51-56-pm

Some of the lovely ladies I run with during the week

To continue writing this blog consistently!

Last year after returning to work full-time for someone else rather than my own business was a real challenge especially where writing this blog was concerned. I did think for a while that maybe it was time to finally stop writing but after 6 years I found that I couldn’t give it up that easily, so my final goal is to continue to write it but consistently and with passion!

So they are my goals for myself this year. I am excited about the challenges I have set myself and am being positive that I can achieve them. So glad you are along for the journey and will be sharing more with you soon!

What are your goals you have set yourself?

 

Product Review: SIS Immune, Hydro & Whey Protein @ScienceInSport

4 Jan

As you may know I made a radical change to my diet in April last year, and now eat a Low Carb High/Healthy Fat diet. It’s going really well but it has been an issue where running has been concerned, as gone are the days of taking my Science In Sport energy gels which I used in my last marathon and training and I have been slowly learning how to run on fat rather than carbs.

So when Science In Sport got in touch to ask me whether I would like to try some of their product my immediate response was ‘umm I follow a low carb high fat diet so I can’t use any of your products’. I was wrong.

They have an awesome selection of products that are low carb that I can still use and are great to supplement running lifestyle. So a week or so later the following arrived:

My Review Disclaimer

Below are my reviews of the products sent to me –  but before I start please note I haven’t been paid to review these products – all opinions are based on my own experiences – good and bad, and I always say to people – try for yourself – this is just my experience!

GO Hydro tablets 

Go Hydro by Science in Sport

Go Hydro by Science in Sport

The GO Hydro tablets were the tablets I was most excited to try – as being in a hot Aussie summer and being a shocker at keeping myself hydrated I was hoping that they would help me with both of those issues.

The packaging size is small and compact and the tablets look meaty but they aren’t when you drop them into water – they simply fizz away and are less confronting than a giant pill. These little tablets provide fast hydration, are low carb (yay) and are designed to be taken before and during exercise. According to the marketing blurb they have precise levels of sodium and other electrolytes to hydrate you during intense exercise – and only 9 calories per serving – I don’t care about calories but I was concerned they would taste too artificial.

Trying them out

So I figured – what better a time and place to try out the tablets on a hot Queensland day on the trails! So I made my drink up the night before and put it in the fridge – and then had some with my usual pre training drink.

General thoughts

The taste was not at all artificial compared to some of the fizzy tablets I had tried. Berry flavour and went down a treat.

I did find that I felt good on the trails – whether that was solely due to the hydration tablets or the fact that I had actually hydrated I don’t know – but the times I have run with these tablets now I have felt good and not struggled from a dehydration point of view.

Pros

  • Packaging is small and compact, and the tablet fizzes and can be taken quickly if needed on the run.
  • The taste was nice compared to a lot of products out there. Light and not too ‘artificial’
  • Low carb 0.9g per tablet.

Cons

$6.99 for 20 – but I think that’s fairly market rate for such products

Immune tablets

Science in Sport Immunity tablets

Science in Sport Immunity tablets

The next tablets I tried were the Science in Sport Immune tablets. These again came at the right time as I was feeling quite unwell before Christmas with the heat, training and working hard – I was generally quite run down.

The tablets are aimed at helping the body to maintain a normal immune system during and after intense exercise and contain iron and vitamin c as well as sodium.

I popped a tablet a day as per the directions. I don’t normally take many vitamins and I did feel better, and found I was able to get through the day at work a little bit easier.

The taste was a bit more artificial than the GO Hydro tablets but I realise now I was only drinking half the amount  of water – 250ml not 500ml which wouldn’t have helped – but the taste for me was not as nice as the hydration tablets.

Pros

  • As with the GO Hydro tablets the packaging is small and compact, and the tablet fizzes and can be taken quickly if needed on the run.
  • I like the fact that the tablets are a great way to get some vitamin C into me and Iron which I have often lacked and I prefer a drink than a tablet.
  • Low carb 0.5g per tablet.

Cons

  • Again – $6 for 20 – but I think that’s fairly market rate for such products
  • The taste was a little bit ‘artificial’ for me.

Whey Protein by Science in Sport

Science in Sport Whey Protein

Science in Sport Whey Protein

I have a love/hate relationship with whey protein. I realise it is good to have protein post exercise and it is good for lean muscle mass – but I have never been a big protein powder person. A lot of my friends gulp it down and swear by it but I have never really taken it regularly.

The whey protein that Science in Sport sent was strawberry flavour so that was a good start for me! It is low carb 1.8g per serving and has a good amount of protein per serving – 23g.

The great thing about this product is that it is completely gluten free and is suitable for coeliacs too. And, if you are a professional athlete it has been triple tested for banned substances.

I started having it after training sessions to help improve recovery times. I simply added a scoop to water with one or two strawberries to keep it lower carb. Normally I would have necked a nice ice cold glass of milk but when trying to keep carbs down that is a no no on some heavier carb days.

It tasted ok and had a fairly natural taste – but it still felt a little bit artificial but I guess there is only so much you can do when there is a ‘flavour’ added. The consistency if you make the drink according to the recommended recipe on the tin is fairly thick so I added more water to mine to make a bit more runny. It filled me up and gave me a nice snack post exercise.

Pros

  • Like the fact it has been triple tested for banned substances
  • Low carb 1.8g per serving and a good amount of protein

Cons

  • $50 for 1kg – seems a lot but I realise that is around the market rate and you do get what you pay for.

Summary

There are lots of products out on the market and I always tend to gravitate back to the ones I have heard of. Like I mentioned at the start of my article it was Science In Sport’s products that got me through my last marathon. I figure companies that have good reputations know what they are talking about! These are just my opinions of the products I tried but I suggest you look for yourself.

For more information about any of these products have a look for yourself on Science In Sport’s website.