Tuesday, 30 July 2013

3 Reviews: Training, GU and tights...

I know this post is a tad bit late, but here it is anyway...

Last week my training plan required me to do a sprint session consisting of 1200m, 1000m, 800m, 600m and 400m, with 200m rest intervals. Sadly i did not complete this session. I did, however, get in a 7km run, an 11km tempo run, a spin class and an 18km LSD run. The spin class was a killer but I loved it.

After my 18km run
This week, week four or marathon training, will be a little interrupted with a 4 day trip away, but as long as I can get in my 3 run sessions I will be a happy camper.

I need to complete a speed session of 5 x 1k repeats, a 9k tempo run and a long run of 17km... Not too bad. So far I have done none of them but I will head out for my speed repeats this evening.

New things review...

Last week I tried two new things...
1. TIGHTS!! I have always been a shorts girl, never tights. I think I have never liked the look of my thunder thighs in tights, thus have worn looser fitting shorts. But it was time to get over that...

Being winter and all, I have begun to suffer from 'cold burn thigh syndrome'. Ok, so I totally made that up, but it's when it's so cold out your thighs go red and get that cold burn feeling on the outside. So I thought I would try tights.

I had some rebel sports vouchers and they had a HUGE sale so it only made sense. I got these NIKE ones:

Here they are in this pic and the pic above (although a little hard to see). They are great. Plain black with two pockets, aka saddle bags (can you see the slight bulge on my left leg - that's GU, I promise, or is it cellulite??). One with a zip and a waterproof layer of fabric which I put my phone in. The other a nice deep one for some gels or your teddy bear, or whatever fun things you take with you on a run.

I think I have been converted to tights - there was no cold burn thigh syndrome going on wearing those bad boys. I still love my shorts but the tights really are great for the cooler weather and those early morning runs.

2. GU chomps

Blueberry and pomegranate flavour... YUM!
I had never tried these before, I have always used drinks such as powerade or gels to fuel my long runs. I know I am only in the shorter distances of long runs at the moment but I wanted to try some different types of fuels early and see which one I want to use for my marathon in November.

What I loved about the GU chomps...
  • They are delicious - like a lolly (candy) with electrolytes and vitamins
  • They are easier to carry than gels or drinks
  • They are not sticky and hard to consume like a gel
The downsides:
  • The GU chomps don't contain caffeine (well some do but not the range they have at rebels, or the ones I tried).
  • They are a lot more expensive than gels and drinks
You also still need to wash them down with water as they are very sweet and will dry out your mouth if you don't.
All in all though I loved them and will consider them for my fuel for the upcoming marathon.
View more products by GU here.

How was your week of training?

Are you a shorts or tights person? 

What fuel do you use for your long runs? Any recommendations?

Monday, 29 July 2013

Challenges and Tips on being a running Mum...

Yesterday my boy turned 5 months old... Woah! I thought he was only born last week but it turns out he wasn't. He is getter way more fun every day and cuter by the minute. He now giggles and he rolled over the first time the other day.

He's clearly not into selfies like I am!
He loves the mirror and seeing his reflection, he loves singing and it doesn't even matter how bad your voice is or how out of tune. He loves the bath and the shower. He loves when you do silly dances in front of him and he loves being thrown around a bit.

Bath time baby
He is a solid boy and isn't very mobile yet (apart from the one roll he did), but I am in no hurry for him to be scooting and booting around the place.
He likes stories and he is a real social bubba.

Happy wee chappy
He likes to be in big groups of people, however he is always a silent observer. He is calm and content and loves to take in what is going on in the world around him.

He is just one cool little dude and spending every day with him is the most fun job ever!
Hike buddy
Running, on the other hand, has a whole new dimension to it now that I am a mum. It is not quite as simple as just throwing on my sneakers and heading out the door, there is a lot more planning and practicalities involved now. Here are some challenges I have found from being a Mum and a runner (and pleeeeeease know that this is not a moan, on the contrary, I am enjoying and learning from every challenge that comes with the Mama territory):
  • Runs aren't quite as simple as they used to be
  • Runs are now a luxury (who would ever believe that?!?)
  • Running with a buggy is really hard but great training!
  • There is a lot more to consider now, such as timing, organisation, where you go and how long for, what the baby is doing, etc.
  • It's not just all about you, there is someone else that your running now affects
  • 90% of the time your plans will have to change due to a certain little someone
Here are some tips to help overcome the challenges:
  • Be organised!! If you are following a training plan you will know in advance the distances and types of runs you need to do, so plan them around times when it will work for both you and bubs.
  • If you must run on your own, or just want to, plan your runs around times when Dad is home, or someone else that could look after the wee one could be there.
  • Be Flexible!! I think this is one of the biggest things to remember with a child in general, not just for running. No day is ever the same with a baby so if you think you have tomorrow's run all planned out, be flexible if things have to change. Such as, if you have to go earlier or later to fit in in around feeds or sleeps, or if your baby is having an off day and you need to re-plan your run altogether, this is fine, it's all part of the journey. If you are not flexible you will get frustrated when things don't go as you want them to - which 99% of the time they don't with children :)
  • Be prepared - If you know you want to get out for your run as soon as baby wakes up from their sleep, make sure you get everything organised while they are sleeping so when they wake you can focus on what you need to do to get them ready for it. 
  • Remember that you are the most important person in your baby's like and they rely on you for everything. If you are breastfeeding, be aware of how the running could affect your milk supply and what you need to be doing/eating/drinking to keep it up. If a run is going to make you too tired to be able to give lots of energy to your baby, then perhaps you need to plan it for a time when you have more energy, or when Dad, or someone else, is around to give their energy to the baby.
  • Look after yourself! Just like I mentioned above, if you are too tired, injured, sore or anything else from running, you can't give your best to your baby - try to find the balance between giving your all to your running and your baby.
  • Relax and enjoy the ride - remember that running is totally new territory after a life changing event like having a child so it may take a while to find your feet again and things will be different. Enjoy these changes and learn from the challenges. 
Mums, how do you find exercising or running with a baby?
Are there any other challenges you face around this?
Any other tips you could add here? 

Saturday, 20 July 2013

Marathon training week 2 and what I am loving at the moment...

Have had a good week of training this week. It's officially the first week of my training as I was sick last week so only made one sesh... Eek!

I got in my speed sessions, my tempo run, a weight session and a cross training session of spin class, and today's long run of 15kms. I felt great the whole 15kms but it was possibly from all of the sugar coursing through my body from eating all this chocolatey goodness last night, thanks to some awesome friends for bringing it over...

Yes, it's new and YES, you need it!
My goal was to run at marathon pace (MP) + 28 seconds per km - so 28 seconds/km slower than I want to run my marathon at. So this should have been 6.08 minute kms... And I did 6.07! BOOM!

Part of the run was on trails, which made it a bit more interesting too.

Who doesn't love a running selfie? Ok, don't answer that!
My calves were toight like a toiger but I didn't let that deter me. I will possibly pay for it for the next 3 days, but it seemed like a good idea at the time.

What I have been loving lately...

Green smoothies!
  • I have been loving my smoothies... Well, I never really stopped but I have changed them up a little. I have gone green. I have never really been the biggest spinach fan but know just how good it is for me, so I have been adding it to my smoothies. It's great. You can't even taste it and, so long as you don't mind the colour, you can still have your delicious smoothie with more benefits. It's an awesome post run/workout drink, protein packed for good recovery. Today's one contained:
- natural yog
- milk
- banana
- LSA (ground linseed, sunflower and almond mix)
- a handful of frozen spinach cubes
- a spoonful of honey for a sweet kick
  • The Map My Run App for android. It is sooo awesome. My phone broke a few weeks back and I had to take it to get fixed, so all my apps and things got wiped. So when I downloaded the latest version it was all fancy like, and it is so cool. As you all know from my many posts in the past, I do not have a GPS watch (the offer still stands if any of you want to buy me one), so this app is the next best thing. It seems to be pretty accurate and it tracks your running, your time, pace and splits, as well as talking to you about how fast you are running, etc. It is great. I think I got a few weird looks as I was running past people when my bum pocket started telling me how fast I was running, but it is still great.
    The only downside is that it chews the phone battery, so any runs longer than 2 hours and my phone probably will die. Unless you have a phone with a good battery I suppose.
  • Long runs. I am really enjoying the longer runs again and am suprised at how I am managing to get back into them without dying or breaking! Bonus!
  • I am also LOVING our super sunny and warm winter weather. You wouldn't even believe it was the middle of winter at the moment. It's probably the equivalent to UK's summer (except for now during their heat wave). That was possibly a slight exaggeration, but it is awesome weather, and it's really motivating for getting out running. 
  • Last, but not least, I am loving that my father in law is here to look after our wee boy tonight so the husband and I can go on a dinner date... YUSSS! 
 What things are you loving at the moment?

How far was your run this weekend or what was your workout?

Anyone go or going on a date this weekend?

Comment if you think it's time I had another giveaway :)

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Speed work in marathon training

Last week I only ended up doing one of my training sessions as I was sick. I decided that I wanted to start my training when I was feeling well, otherwise I would find it hard and that would discourage me to continue. That's my excuse anyway, and I'm sticking with it. I just did my tempo run and then I did some weights, some walks and played hockey on Sat when I was feeling better. We won... You can congratulate me later.

This week I am feeling much better, however, so started the week of training with some speed work yesterday...
- 4 x 800m with 200m rest intervals.
I did these at a 12km/hr pace, which is standard pace for some, but fast for me, the snail. And guess what... It absolutely killed me!

I did this session on my Mum's treadmill so I could keep track of my pace and distance, etc. I did it at a 1% incline to imitate road running, and I had my wee buddy parked up next to me in the sun. Loving our winter sun at the moment, and the fact that I can open Mum's garage to let the sun in while I run. Perfect!

Happy boy playing with his fave toy - the rings.
After my run I was shattered and I think all the watching me running tired Fletch out too - he crashed in the car on the way home. Such a hard job watching Mum run!

So, why are short speed sessions important for marathon training I hear you ask?? Well, here are some facts:
  • Speed sessions help to increase your VO2 Max
  • They improve lactate-threshold running pace
  • Improve leg speed
  • Make you look like an awesome runner when you are sprinting down the road or on the 'mill!
Tomorrow I have a tempo run - 11kms total.
- 1.5km easy
- 8km at marathon pace (I am aiming for about 5.40 mins/km pace)
- 1.5km easy

Then my long run, which I will do Saturday, is 15km.

Do you do speed training in your marathon training? 

Do you prefer road or treadmill?

What is your favourite run in your training - speed, tempo or long?

Anyone want to join me on my long run on Sat? Would LOVE a buddy!

Monday, 8 July 2013

Marathon training starts and what I have been up to...

It is the week!! 16 weeks until my marathon so my marathon training officially starts this week and I am sick!! I would like to thank my husband for passing on his laryngitis and head cold... Here's hoping the wee one doesn't get it!

I have had a bit of a blog hiatus for two weeks, busy with life and things in general I suppose. But here's a wee bit of what I got up to in that time...

- I ran my first race post baby - 12km, 1:09:48

My friend and I at around the 8km mark trying to be cool not die.
Phew! Finished!
 - I revisited the 80s...

A dress up party with 80s theme - how unflattering are those tights right!?!

 - My 4 month old son learned how to read...

Hello baby genius!

Back to the marathon... I have been a bit hot and cold about all this marathon business recently - wondering if I am biting off more than I can chew... However, I kind of just figure that I can start with the training plan and just take each week at a time. Plus I already have my race entry so if that's not motivation enough I don't know what it!

I read this awesome blog post this morning about running long distance and how to ease back into it. It has some great tips and advice, I definitely recommend it. It was great for me to read as I haven't run more than 12km in about a year, so I will definitely be finding it a challenge to build up mileage again. 

I haven't run today, instead I did a weights workout with some short and sweet cardio bursts to try and sweat out my cold. Not sure if it has worked or not, all I want to do now is go and have a nap!

Tomorrow I will be doing 3 x 1600m repeats on Mum's treadmill - so thankful she bought a tready! I'm thinking with it being winter and having a baby and all that the treadmill is going to be best for my track workouts. I have never really been a treadmill fan but I am totally on team tready now! The convenience with a baby is just great. I can run while he sleeps or I can watch him play while I run. Brilliant!

Thursday is a 9km tempo run and the long run is 15km. I will usually do my long run on a Saturday but I am playing hockey this Sat so will probably do it Sunday.

Are you training for anything at the moment? 

Do you like track and hill workouts?

What are the best two things you have done in the last two weeks?
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