Monthly Archives: July 2019

My 5 Favourite YouTube Fitness Channels

I enjoy working out in the comfort of my own home. I have quite a bit of equipment and it saves having to drive 30 minutes to the gym. Sometimes I follow a fitness DVD (Hello Davina!) but most of the time I just log on to YouTube, so, I thought I’d share my 5 favourite YouTube Fitness channels.

Popsugar Fitness

I’ve mentioned Popsugar Fitness on my blog before when I did the 600 Calories in 60 Minutes Workout. Popsugar have a real range of videos to try. There’s everything from 10 minute core workouts, dumbbell workouts, dance workouts, cardio and so many more. There is always a “modification” person to follow if you’re unable to do the exercise the main person is doing.

Has Fit

The Has Fit channel is similar to Popsugar in that it has quite a few different workouts to choose from but it doesn’t have as wide a variety as Popsugar. They too always have a “modification” person to follow and tell you your predicted calorie burn which is handy if you’re not wearing some sort of fitness tracker.

Live Love Party

Live Love Party is a Zumba channel. They have dances to lots of popular music including really current songs such as Ed Sheeran’s “I Don’t Care”

The Running Channel

The Running Channel is a relatively new channel. I first heard about it when I went to the The National Running Show in January. It has lots of really good running advice as well as interviews with atheletes.

Yoga With Adriene

I’ve spoken about Yoga with Adriene a few times on my channel. She is pretty much the guru of YouTube Yoga. She has so many different videos to choose from. Her videos can be used to help different situations such as “Yoga for a Bad Back” or “Yoga For Runners”

Do you use YouTube for workouts?

Share your favourite YouTube Fitness channel

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parkrun Volunteering

parkrun logo

On Saturday, after my run, I had a quick shower then went down to my local parkrun to volunteer. I was writing down the details of people’s barcodes which wouldn’t scan. Far from an easy job when there are over 550 participants!

I’d positioned myself behind the barcode scanners and cheered everyone as they passed by me, until the finishers started to need me. The 3rd finisher that day finished in 18:07 and was a buggy runner! I had a brief chat with him about running with a buggy and discussed his tactics when it comes to getting the buggy over the shingle section of our parkrun.

I was also collecting the finishing tokens of people who had forgotten their barcodes or who hadn’t registered yet. A lady came and put her finish token in as her friend was exclaiming “I can’t believe you’re not going to get scanned” to which she replied “But it was a rubbish time” Personally I don’t understand that, it’s about getting out there and taking part for me, it’s not about striving for amazing times every time.

I was surprised how many of the wristbands wouldn’t scan. I think I wrote down 4 or 5 wristbands that wouldn’t scan.

A man brought his barcode to me in pieces. He apologised profusely and said his barcode had got sweaty in his pocket and as he tried taking it out it had just ripped. I wrote down his barcode as best I could but one of the rips went right down the centre of a number so it was difficult to tell what number it was.

I chatted to a few people, friends and people whose barcodes I was writing down. There was a lovely lady who’s first it was and she’d absolutely loved it and couldn’t wait to come back. There was another lady who’s first time it was. She’d finished in a time of 21:XX and had really enjoyed it but said she normally had to take the children to some extra curricular events.

I also overheard a conversation where a lady was explaining to a gent (I think they’d met whilst taking part) that fizzy water gives you belly fat and that’s why men have so much of it, because they drink beer and that’s mainly fizzy water. I’m not sure how true that is but the gent was nodding along enthusiastically.

Right at the end two young men came over to me and one said he’d lost his barcode in the sea when he went in to cool down. He asked if I could write down his number as he knew it. I told him the parkrun rule of “No barcode No time” to which he replied “You’re kidding me?! But I brought it with me I’ve just lost it in the sea” I explained again that it’s a parkrun rule and that the moral of this story was to get scanned before going in the sea and losing your barcode” He angrily replied that he just wanted to cool down but I just shrugged and then I think he took the hint that I wasn’t going to write down his number. I told him he could always email in but he said “Oh I’m not THAT bothered” so I said Bye and turned my back on him to carry on chatting to two parkrun friends. What a pain!

Gemma snapped this picture whilst we were chatting

Have you ever volunteered for parkrun?

How do you feel about the “No Barcode No Time” rule?

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A Pain Free Run

On Saturday I got up bright and early to try and head out for a run. To be honest, I haven’t been running as much as I should because of the heat so it’d been a week since my last run. The physio had given me some stretches to try before my run, so I did these and headed out to do my prescribed 1.5 miles.

I decided when I headed out to stick to my neighbourhood streets as that way I could follow the shade whereas on the beach front there is absolutely no shade. I weaved in and out of different streets, crossing over the road lots to keep in the shade. It was actually cool in the shade but where there was no shade, it was absolutely boiling!

My run was pain free but by the end of the 1.5 miles I was glad it’s over. My running fitness has definitely declined somewhat, which is frustrating.

However, for the remainder of Saturday, although I did experience a little tightness in my calf, it was barely noticeable and certainly nowhere near as bad as it has been! Hurrah!

I’m back at the physio on Friday so I’ll see what she says then. Keep your fingers crossed for me!

Do you do any stretches before a run?

Do you do any stretches after a run?

 

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Why I Find Weight Loss Easier in the Winter 🥶

I had a good chat with a friend this week about weight loss. She’s followed the Slimming World plan in the past and is now trying calorie counting. She said she finds it easier to lose weight in the Summer but I actually feel like I’m the other way round.

In Winter I tend to make lots of soups, chillies, casseroles and curries. I make them from scratch and cook them up in the slow cooker. I use them for meals and my lunches at work. These type of foods are my absolute favourite. I know some people go in to a hibernation mode in the Winter but these meals don’t have to be bad if they’re made from scratch. I usually make them chicken, quorn chicken or very lean beef based. Scrumptious, filling and easy on the calories! Perfect! However in the Summer I don’t want to cook as it’s so hot. And despite having healthy food in the house, I find myself making poor food choices.

I also find exercise a lot easier in the Winter. I don’t cope well in the heat and so I’m much more inclined to exercise when the weather is cooler. My exercise is actually pretty regimented in the Winter but in the Summer it tends to fall apart a little as I find every excuse under the sun (pardon the pun) not to exercise.

I’m just definitely a Winter person, this may come from being a January baby but I’m’ never happier than when it’s Winter!

Do you have a favourite season for food?

Do you prefer winter meals or summer meals?

Calf Injury Update

On Friday morning I went out for another short run to test my calf. My calf has been feeling a lot better after doing the exercises and stretches given to me by the physio.

I headed out super early again to try and avoid the heat. I was going to do 2 miles but the heat was getting to me by 1.5 miles so I turned off and headed home at that point. Again my run was pain free, no niggles or pain. However, once home and settled, my calf tightened right up again. It’s actually pretty uncomfortable when it gets that tight.

Selfie

Tried another timer selfie!

I went to my physio appointment late morning and told her how the last two times I’d run it had been pain free but was really tight afterwards. She was pretty pleased I’d been for a run that morning as she could see where it was aggravated and see if she could feel anything. First she tested the strength in my left leg to see if the imbalance had improved and she seemed suitably impressed with how much it had.

She then gave me a lovely massage on my left calf. Oh my word I nearly fell asleep! It was so warm in the room from the good weather we’re having and my eyes were getting so heavy! I just about managed to stay awake though.

Afterwards she gave me some more exercises to do, which are an extension of what I was doing before. She’s also given me some stretches to try before a run. However, she limited me to running no further than 1.5 miles, as at the moment that seems enough to aggravate it. As it eases up I’m allowed to go up by .1 of a mile. It’s going to be a pretty slow process but I’m willing to take the time and running 1.5 miles is better than not running at all.

Have you ever fell asleep having a massage?

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Running Q&A

I asked for running related questions on Instagram stories last week. Here are my favourites, along with the answers, in a little bit more detail than I answered them on Instagram.

Does beer post running rehydrate you?

No, alcohol should never be used for rehydration. However, it is jolly tasty and quite refreshing.

Beer

What got you motivated and how do you stay motivated?

When I originally started trying to run I was inspired by the 2012 Olympics. However, in 2013, I got bursitis in my foot and then when I tried running again I got a pain in my leg that would stop me running until 2015. The friends I made through parkrun inspired me to give it a go. The benefits to running keep me motivated.

What’s your favourite distance to run/race?

If we’re talking running on my own or at Breakfast Club I like a 4-5 mile run. Racing I like 10Ks, it’s doable without the crazy training of a half or full marathon. It’s better value for money than a 5K in my opinion too.

Final Sprint

Final Sprint

Favourite way to refuel after a run?

Breakfast, is there any other way to refuel?

How does one become parkrun famous like yourself?

This one was obviously sent as a joke. When people run with me they say it’s like running with a celebrity as I know so many people there. Then I’ve also been included in some of parkrun’s social media campaigns and emails. The way I got “famous” was through volunteering lots and lots! That way I became a recognisable face for the runners and gradually got to know people individually.

Barry Island parkrun

What’s your favourite way to refuel after running?

How do you stay motivated?

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5 Races I’d Love To Run…But Probably Never Will!

We’re all guilty of seeing our friends complete races and thinking “I’d love to run that one” I’m the same, but the reality is, I’ll probably never enter 90% of them! Here’s 5 races I’d love to run, but probably never will!

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London Marathon

London Marathon

The London Marathon for a lot of runners is THE race! It’s the one we try to enter in our droves but only a few get one of the exclusive ballot places. I’d love to run it, running through the streets of our capital would be absolutely amazing. But let’s face it, I’ll never get in and I’ll also probably never run a marathon.

Round Sheffield Run

Round Sheffield Run

For those that don’t know, I haven’t always lived on the South Coast. I’m originally from Sheffield and the picture above is taken from the park at the end of the road I grew up on. I have so many memories from playing in the park as a child and then hanging around in it for hours on end as a teenager. This race does a huge loop of the city running through the parks and countryside. Did you know Sheffield is the greenest city in England? The race is almost a half marathon distance but oh my word the hills! Sheffield is a very hilly city too and boasts one of the steepest roads in England.

Windsor Half Marathon

Windsor Half Marathon

I love Windsor! Such a beautiful town. I once entered this race, but then had to pull out as that’s when my 3 year injury started that stopped me running completely whilst living in Sheffield. I didn’t start again until I moved South. I love how you run up The Long Walk. I don’t think I’ve mentioned this on my blog before but I actually quite like the Royals too so this one ticks a few boxes for me.

Portsmouth Coastal Marathon

Portsmouth Coastal Marathon

I hear such good things about the Portsmouth Coastal Marathon. But then there’s the flipside, and the flipside is probably why I’ll never sign up. Firstly, the boggy area the runners are going through in the picture? Apparently you can lose a shoe in there! And secondly, if you don’t make it back quick enough the tide comes in and that shoe you lost, will soon be very wet!

Gosport Half Marathon

Gosport Half Marathon

Technically I’m not allowed to sign up for this race as my running club, Gosport Road Runners, host it. But it’s right on my doorstep and it’s a route I know well. However I’ll probably never sign up to it, not just because I can’t, but because I run that route all the time for free!

Do you have runs you like the look of but will never run?

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Tips For Running In The Heat

Well it seems like Summer 2019 has well and truly arrived. We’ve had some glorious weather lately but this does make it difficult to run comfortably. Here’s some of the things I do to make running in the heat easier.

Hydration

This seems so basic but we’re all guilty of not drinking enough water. Make sure you drink plenty before you go and run and then take water with you. If you’re carrying water you can also use it to pour over you too! After a run I like to use the Science in Sport hydration tablets in a pint of water.

Precautions

This too sounds so basic but take precautions. I’m talking a hat, a UV protection t-shirt, light coloured clothes, sunglasses and of course sun cream!

Slow Down

Running in the heat can really take it out of you. Slowing the pace down will help you stay cooler and keep some energy so you don’t burn out too quickly. There will be plenty of other runs in cooler weather where you can push the pace.

Avoid the Heat

If I know it’s going to be a scorcher I’ll try and run as early as possible as it’s cooler in a morning. You could always run in the evening too when the sun has started to drop. I always try to run in the shade where possible too.

Do you have any tips for running in the heat?

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Testing My Leg!

On Friday I was up with the lark so I could go out for an early morning run before the heat got too bad. It’s been a week since I saw the physio and she’d given me permission to try a short run on Friday. I figured a 2 mile run should be ok so headed out to the beach just before 7am.

I just wanted to do a gentle plod and not worry about pace at all. I headed out along the parkrun route. The beach was actually busier than I thought it would be at that time. I saw two other runners and a whole load of dog walkers.

I also saw a tractor head on to the beach. He was moving the shingle from one of the slipways. He kept driving right up to the waters edge and it looked like he was contemplating if the tractor would float him over to the Isle of Wight haha. Definitely cheaper than the ferry if it did make it across. I took a quick snap of him as it did look funny.

Tractor

As I headed back I was pleased with how the run was going. My legs both felt fine. No tightness or the weird sensation I’d had before.

I often marvel at how people manage to get good pictures of themselves during their run. I decided to give it a go myself and I don’t think it came out too bad! I did wait though until there was no one coming either way on the beach! I’d have been embarrassed had someone caught me.

Selfie

When I got home I had a bath with some Epsom salts just in case and then did my stretches from the physio. My calves did feel tight in the afternoon though and the weird sensation that I think is the tightness was back. Ho hum! I think I’ll keep on with the exercises and try another couple of gentle 2 mile runs and see how it goes.

Do you like running in the heat?

Are you good at taking selfies?

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