Tag Archives: training

My Knight in Shining Armour Around the Lake

21 Aug

The choking incident…

Have you every drunk your water too quickly and it has gone down the wrong way? That’s what happened to me this morning, and I was running at the time. I was just trotting around the lake near where I live and I took a massive gulp of water. Almost immediately I felt my face burn and my throat felt like it was closing up – I realised it wasn’t like normal and I staggered to the side of the path.

I started really coughing and then found myself a little short of breath and really wheezy and making a sound that resembled someone that was on their last legs – and I was fighting for my breath! I noticed a couple of girls walking by me and looked up as if to say HELP but they carried on walking as did another couple, and a guy with a little boy walked by – but then he came back, asked me if I was ok, and I managed to say ‘water gone down wrong way’  and he basically whacked me on the back a few times and after the third or fourth time I felt much better.

knight in shining armour

ok so he wasn’t riding a horse but you get the idea..

My knight in shining armour! 

I was a bit scared as at one point as unlike other occasions where I have coughed and it has all come good – this didn’t feel right, so very thankful – whoever he is…

It just made me realise how easy it is to just walk on by, and I’ve gotten myself into a few scrapes when running – thankfully most of the time I have been with people – but it did make me think. I always try to stop and help people unless it looks like a dodgy scenario in which case I would call for help – but I kind of wonder have we really got to that point in life where we are afraid (or don’t want to) help people?…sorry rant over.

Learning to have a rest

I was running by myself today as I was meant to be on the Sunshine Coast running a 10k race – but I decided a week or two ago not to do it, due to a number of reasons – I knew the week just gone was going to be a crazy one with work – as we were working to a deadline which unfortunately meant a lot of hours (thankfully we made the deadline – yay!) so I knew I would be exhausted (which I am), and also the 10k race didn’t start until 9am which personally I think is nuts. Back in the UK I could have handled it but not in Queensland even in winter.   I would have crashed and burned I think as it has been a warm day and I would have no carbs to pull on.

So I had a nice lie in and woke up and ran at leisure – it was great bar the choking part! I have another race next weekend so in hindsight it was pretty silly to sign up for two in a row as these days with LCHF eating I do find it harder.

Post race goals

I have a few things on my mind at the moment running wise.

MAF Training

Reading a lot of information about Phil Maffetone and his MAF Method I feel that one session a week might not be the way to go I think I need to go the whole hog. So the plan is to run MAF style over the next few months as much as I can and maybe sneak in the odd park run and then by say end of November – see if it is really making any difference.

LCHF = Endurance not Speed

In addition, with my Low Carb High/Healthy Fat lifestyle I am finding with my running I am slower than I was due to lack of carbs I guess as I just don’t seem to have as much power – but my endurance is  getting really good just at a slower pace. Sometimes I feel once I have found my pace I could keep running and running – so I am also thinking of pushing up the distances again and seeing how I go by the end of the year.

If I find that I am doing ok I might try a half marathon which whilst I have done lots of them would be my first on LCHF, and if that goes well then maybe just maybe I could try for my sixth marathon…..but that is a very slim maybe right now!

Anyway long post for me today – the inner ramblings of the mad running woman….Have a great week!

 

Slowing things down with #lchf and running

9 Aug

It’s been an interesting few weeks in life, work, and training – and I think this week things finally caught up with me. The last 7 days have been literally like running through treacle where energy and training has been concerned.

I found a few days running I literally felt like I didn’t want to get out of bed, when I woke up I felt like I had had no sleep and I generally struggled with motivation to train. Many people will argue it is because I am not having ‘enough’ carbohydrate – but I have been eating low carb high fat for a while so it would have happened sooner if that was the case. But at one point it felt debilitating and my husband even took our son out for a few hours on the weekend so that I could sleep – and sleep I did – 4 hours during the day!

I’m coming out of it now and have deduced (I’m no doctor but I do know my body) that it was all down to not enough water and just generally being run down and tired with work, training, life – I think we all have those moments. So it has been back to it today with training, and then I’m training with my friend tomorrow to pick things back up. I also treated myself to a new pair of Kayano’s this week to give me an extra spring in my step🙂

Screen Shot 2016-08-09 at 9.56.05 pm

New shoes! Enough to put a spring in anyone’s step!

I think as a parent working full time sometimes we underestimate how busy our lives are – I know I do anyway – and I keep pushing to do things and have finally had to take a step back and say ‘ok – what do I have to let go of here, and who do I have to say no to?’ – running stays of course! I need it for my sanity!!

I had a think and here are some tips for if you don’t feel like training….got any other suggestions? Feel free to share in the comments🙂

Running motivation

4 tips for when you don’t feel like training

  1. Don’t force it. 

I do find sometimes that when I feel like I need a rest and I then go to the gym I do feel better – but sometimes I know to take a rest. I think if you are feeling generally stressed and like you just need a breather then take one! The gym will still be there when you get back – but sometimes you need a rest and in not feeling like training it can be your body’s way of telling you to rest or that you aren’t firing on all 4 cylinders – alternatively if you aren’t enjoying your training just have a rest too – you don’t want to resent your running!

2. Do something different

If you find that you are tired of doing the same thing all the time and it is really becoming an effort – why not shake things up a bit and do something different? Run outside if you are a treadmill runner, or do some running drills or fartlek or what about trying out a trail run.

3. Run with someone else

I find that running with someone else has been amazing during winter as when I would have happily stayed in bed under the duvet – knowing someone is waiting for me to meet them to run has made me accountable and forced me to get up and train – I have always felt better for it – unless coming down with something.

4. Work towards a goal

Having a goal to work towards will do wonders for the motivation. I remember when I was training up for the Gold Coast Marathon last year I braved all sorts of cold and heat to get my training done – and not training wasn’t an option! I was focussed on getting to the start line🙂

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.

 

 

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: SKINS Dnamic shorts @SKINSAU

11 Apr

A month or so ago I was contacted by SKINS Australia to see whether I would like to try a pair of their new Dnamic Compression Shorts. I had a look at the range, and already being a compression pant lover – jumped at the chance. Below is my opinion of them. If you read right to the bottom you can also read my disclaimer. I wasn’t paid for this review.

Skins Dnamic women's 1/2 tights

Skins Dnamic women’s 1/2 tights

Look and Feel

I must admit when I first saw the Dnamic range I was a bit nervous as some of the product range designs were pretty funky and out there – awesome if you like big patterns but I tend to wear dark colours on my legs. I was very thankful therefore when my shorts arrived – as the SKINS team had sent me the most conservative of designs🙂.

When I took the shorts out of the packaging I sucked in my breath wondering how on earth I’d get my butt into the shorts! I was a bit worried that perhaps I had ordered the wrong size – but after some wriggling around and squirming – I was comfortably into my shorts! One thing was for certain – there would be no falling out of these or over the top – everything felt really snug and nicely compressed😀

As a runner that is not a stick insect I like the fact with these shorts that they are high waisted compared to a lot of shorts on the market. Often I have worn shorts and half way into my run everything has started wobbling, or I end up pulling them up because they are low risers or not tight enough on the waist – and the good old muffin top starts forming!

Compression

SKINS say that they have a unique sizing system, and as long as you have the right sizing you will get the right compression needed. Their system claims to reduce lactic acid build up for more power and less recovery time.

Like I said I found the shorts very comfortable. It is tricky when wearing shorts rather than long tights to give an exact sense of feeling with regards to compression but I did find I didn’t ache too much after my runs I ran in them – my calfs still twinged a bit – but they weren’t covered!

I also found that the shorts fabric didn’t feel like it would wear out any time soon. Being a person whose thighs rub together I am always paranoid that shorts won’t last long, and I do have a couple of pairs that have frayed and won’t be replaced. But these shorts seem pretty resilient which is a plus for me.

I did keep the shorts on for a while a couple of times after training to see how they improved the aches in my legs (if there were any) – but I didn’t try sleeping in them which a lot of people do! On the whole I found during and after runs in them that I felt good, and my legs felt fairly strong compared to when running in my normal non compression shorts in training runs.

Skins Dnamic

Post run at Kangaroo Point showing off my SKINS

Pros

  • Very comfortable when on – make sure you stick to the sizing guidelines when ordering otherwise they will be very very tight or too loose and not efficient from a compression point of view
  • Nice fit and not low rise – a definite plus for me having an hourglass shaped figure
  • Great range of designs in the range – if you like patterns there are plenty and if you are more conservative like me they have catered for those also.
  • UV protection – 50+ – excellent for when running in a warm sunny climate

Cons

Not really any major cons on this product. I have always loved SKINS and don’t really have anything bad to say about these shorts – although the cost might be an issue to some people at $95 a pair – but you do get what you pay for so they are ultimately an investment to help you in your running.

 

Product Review disclaimer

Please note I am not paid for writing product reviews and if there are links to the product I am reviewing in my post I am not paid for that either. If a post is a paid post or an affiliate post I will highlight at the top of the post. My views are my own and I try to be as balanced as I can.