Category Archives: fitness

July Goals…. Did I do em…?

So here were my goals for July

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So how did I do?

Run 15k – 20k per week
Done.
I managed over 60k in July which averages out to 16k per week.

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Lose 7 more pounds.

Yeah that one totally didn’t happen despite all the running I stayed exactly the same weight.
2 weeks on holiday made me fall off the calorie counting band wagon. I’ve still eaten well just been much less strict. I had a brief flirtation with the 5:2 diet but I find I just want to eat the world….

Finish work on time at least twice a week.
Yeah did this one. Also managed to get a promotion so may not last!

Drink 3 litres of water a day. Nailed this. Have consistently managed 2 litres at work then at least 2 pints at home.

So what’s planned for August?

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Inspired by the beautiful Gemma and her #awesomeaugust idea here are my goals.

Have you made some goals? Are you making #awesomeaugust?

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Fitness gear on a budget

The blogging community seems to have gone fitness crazy at the moment with photos of polar watches every which way you turn.

Every day I am inspired by the ladies of the blogosphere/twitter/Instagram to get up and keep pushing my own fitness.

However I am sure I am not the only one who feels much more inspired to exercise with some new gym kit. The slight sticking point with this is I have a notoriously short attention span and therefore cannot justify hundreds of pounds on the latest Nike Free Runs….though I do still badly want that neon pair.

So I thought I’d improvise a bit and show you what I wear to the gym (the whole outfit costs less than those trainers)

First off trainers. Now Nike Frees do look very cool but what do they actually do for your feet? Well Frees are meant to emulate the action of running barefoot, this to a new runner like me sounds totally terrifying….. Anyway I wasn’t going to spend £100 on some trainers for a sport I wasn’t sure I was going to stick with.

Enter the Puma Faasfoam 350s

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They may not look quite so cool but they also offer a barefoot type feel. If you aren’t a trainer geek, they offer moderate support, they are light and quite springy meaning you can run quicker…I said you not me….

If you want to know about over probation and all that jazz then get yourself to a running shop stat.

Anyway i felt they would be much improved by adding some neon….

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Et voila. Pimped out trainers for an extra £2.50 from Sports Direct. The trainers were £29.99 from TK Maxx.

Next up another essential piece of foundation for us ladies who exercise…. The sports bra. Buy the best you can afford and the highest impact. If you have any kind of boobs and don’t want them round your knees…. Nothing makes me cringe more than girls in push up bras in the gym. Anyway I recommend either good old M and S (there extra high impact ones are often in the sale – avoid the ones with a zip front though unless you want a hello boys moment on the treadmill) or Shock Absorber.

For me this is a case of getting what you pay for, you need to invest a bit in the correct support for both your feet and your boobs.

Now the trouble with sensible support is it isn’t the most fun to wear. My solution to this is layering!

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These bright seamfree bra tops from Primark are a steal at £2.50. They aren’t the best for support but over a ‘proper’ sports bra they add a bit of colour.

The grey vest top is another TK Maxx buy. These performance fabrics are brilliant at keeping sweat away from your body. I used to run in just a cheap t shirt but these are so much more comfortable and lightweight. Buy a size up if you want a little bit of bum coverage.

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Here is an example of my gym get up. My trousers are 3/4 length puma ones which are also moisture wicking. Top tip, buy ones with a draw string so that you don’t have to keep yanking them up. Between this and the zip front bra you get the impression an evening at the gym with me is a right laugh don’t you….
I am a little by disappointed that my sweat band doesn’t show in this photo but yes they are useful and yes it is pink.

Lastly I mentioned earlier the polar watch phenomenon. I don’t have one I have a Tesco One Body Heart Rate Monitor which costs £19.99 (now £15! link!)

It measures calorie burn, heart rate, fat burn etc and seems to do the job perfectly adequately! I’ve no idea if it is more or less accurate than a polar but I tend to take all calorie burn readings with a pinch of salt.

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Here is mine after burning 1000 calories in the gym….no I don’t know why that was necessary either….

Do you think neon helps you run faster? Have you been caught up in the fitness frenzy? What do you think of my budget outfits?

On the run again

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(Image source runningquotes.net)

I finished Couch to 5k 3 weeks ago and I committed to running 15 to 20k each week.

So here is my progress….
I’ve started attempting running outdoors again (yes in the current temperatures in the UK) My natural runner boyfriend has a route along the promenade by the beach from our flat which is 5k. I have struggled through it a few times and can comfortably run 3k before I start to want to vomit!

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(Image source fuelrunning.com)
I quite often feel a bit like this however!

On Wednesday I woke up and just felt like running so did a quick treadmill 3.5k
Tonight despite a long sweaty day I was determined to run after work.
I applied this principle….

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( image source doblelol.com)
Amazingly I managed a personal best of 5k in 29 minutes. 2 mins faster than any previous times.

I feel like running outside has made me a stronger quicker runner despite me still not being that great outside.

For anyone doing couch to 5k, keep persevering and it will get easier, even if it doesn’t feel like it.
It is only 3 months since running a minute was too much for me so a sub 30 minute 5k makes me very proud!

Running up that hill part 3

So today was day 1 of week 9 of couch to 5k. Last week I was running for 28 minutes. This week is 30.
Psychologically this seems like a lot more despite being only 2 more minutes. Today I was determined to hit the 5k mark. That’s 30 minutes of continuous running. Yuck.

Well I am very pleased to say I managed it. It took 31 minutes but it was 5 whole kilometres. Further than I have ever run before.

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My proof!

I will complete the programme and plan on continuing to run 3 times per week. On the other 2 to 3 I will do a 30 day shred type HIIT workout.

I can’t recommend the couch to 5k programme enough. Yes you do need to be self motivated and determined but it is amazing what you can achieve. My boyfriend maintains that all human beings can run….I feel like maybe I missed that gene and was meant to be in a cave stirring a pot rather than hunter gathering….however in 8 weeks I have gone from struggling to run for 30 seconds to running for 30 minutes.
I don’t ever see me completing a 10k run or a marathon but I am pleased that I have done something in a decent time that I never thought I would do.

Overall of you are thinking about starting couch to 5k, download Get Running and just do it! There may be times you want to give up or stop but keep your focus and you can do it!

Here is a bit of Ryan to get you going…..

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You won’t see me coming….

You all know I’ve been running a lot recently so this weekend I decided to treat myself to some new running kit!

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The vest is a subtle neon orange with a racer back. It was a princely £7.99 from TK Maxx
Clearly I needed some jazzy shorts too and these fitted the bill. They have purple tight fitting longer cycling short liners for added ‘security’ and erm they look cool. They were £14.99 also from TK Maxx.
I teamed this little lot over a seam free sports crop top in purple I’ve had for a while.
Here is the finished look! I felt pretty cool to be honest for gym gear.

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I’ve also decided I must have these trainers in my life to complete the outfit but I can’t find my size in them anywhere. They are Nike Free Runs in Hot Punch….someone please help me find them in a UK 6!

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Running up that hill part 2

So last time I updated about couch to 5k I was on week 4 and feeling pretty proud…..
I’ve just completed the final run of week 7. It’s fair to say I’m even prouder. Mainly for sticking with something I really don’t like. I remember with dread having to run 1500 metres at school and now I’m running 3.5 times that….for fun.

So week 5 was still working on an interval basis.

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5 minutes to start with then up to 8. The thought of running 8 minutes made me feel quite sick!

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But oh look by the end of the week I was meant to be running 20!

Week 6 was back to intervals to start with.

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But then by day 3…..25 minutes….

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All of week 7 has been 25min continuous runs and week 8 is 28….week 9…30.
Overall I have found this approach to be brilliant. I never thought I could run for 25 continuous minutes and not die….this morning it was so hot I considered it!
I’ve been gradually increasing my pace on the treadmill and I’m hoping by next week I will actually be running 5k with no walking.
A word of warning though if you are starting this program, between weeks 4 and 5 I put on 6lbs…..no don’t try and tell me it was muscle that would be ridiculous for a woman….
Anyway it’s come back off now and apparently it’s quite common if you start running having not done it before, something about muscles needing glycogen and so storing more water! Anyway if it happens to you..don’t panic! I nearly threw in the towel but instead scaled back my extra runs and restarted interval training as well. It may have sorted itself out on its own but I was starting to feel like a sausage in too tight a skin.
Hopefully in 2 weeks time I’ll be able to call myself a couch to 5k graduate.

Running up that hill

I think I mentioned recently that I started the couch to 5k programme so I thought I’d give an update on my progress.
I am now on week 4 of the programme and so far we have a kind of love hate relationship.
I started running at the beach in week 1.
At this point I was running for 1 minute then walking for 1 and a half.
I started taking photos to track the programme so here is week 1.

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I then went to stay at my parents for 2 weeks so wasn’t near the beach so had to run on the roads. Uneven ground is my nemesis and I found it pretty tough.
At this point I was running a minute and a half and walking the same.
Here is week 2.

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Week 3 involves running 2 x 1.5 minute runs and 2 x 3 minute runs. By this point I had really started to struggle running on the road as I found it quite hard to moderate my pace. The final day of week 3 I did at the gym.

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I started week 4 a few days ago and have so far done 2 sessions. Both on the treadmill. I have got my pace about right and am finding it much better. This week is 2 x 3 minute runs and 2 x 5 minute runs.

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I have started to continue running after the programme ends and have managed 3 x 5k runs which makes me pretty happy.
I’ve never liked running but I have enjoyed the structure that this programme gives me. I’m interested to see the progression in my fitness and I feel like this method will really help me.
I do find running outdoors more fun but really much tougher so for now I’ll stick to the treadmill.
I’ll update again in 4 weeks when hopefully I’ll be running continuously for 25 minutes….. Excuse me while I hyperventilate at the thought!