Category Archives: Fitness

Christmas Lights and Music Run

On Christmas Eve Eve (Does anyone else like to say that or is it just me?) I headed out early doors for a run around my local neighbourhood. I put on a Christmas playlist, and headed on out to look at the lights as I ran.

I love running early in the morning when everyone is still in bed and the smell of the bakery on the High Street fills the air. As I ran past it smelt of Cinnamon! The perfect Christmas scent. I headed past the big tree on the High Street and then snaked through the various loads in my neighbourhood. I did a similar run and loved it.

As I ran I saw inflatable snowmen, cute LED reindeers, brightly lit candy canes and the laser lights that are really popular now. It was such a lovely run, even the part where I got lost and couldn’t figure out how to get out of the estate I’d ventured in to and back on to the main road!

I was back in the house by 7:15 before most people had probably started thinking about their day. As I was running, I also clocked up my 200th mile of the year. Ideally I’d like to beat this total next year, but we’ll see how it goes. I rather run less and run injury free than run lots and be plagued by injury.

Christmas Lights Selfie

Do you do a Christmas lights run?

Do you like to run early or late?

 

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An Evening Run

I hope you all had a lovely New Year! Back to catching up on posts…

Usually I end work feeling absolutely exhausted. I do 11 hour days and it’s tiring. However, on 3rd December, I went on a course! The course was terrible. The slides we were given didn’t match her presentation and the course was supposed to be 6 hours and it finished after 3! When I went back to work early I was able to sit out and complete paperwork so at the end of the day I actually had some energy left, so went for a run after work!

I hadn’t eaten for hours and definitely hadn’t drank enough through the day, but I had energy and that’s all I needed. I found out my hi-viz gear. I have one of these:

It’s probably the most annoying piece of running gear I own. The black adjusters on the chest constantly slide so it ends up too long and then they fall down. Anyone know how to stop that? I begrudgingly put it on as safety comes first and headed out of the door. I was aiming for 2 miles and had a rough route in mind.

I live really close to the centre of the little town (village?) I live in so always end up running past takeaways and restaurants. It’s a complete tease taking in those smells whilst running. A gent came out of the chip shop just in front of me and I actually calculated how long I could sprint for after grabbing his chips off him. I came to the conclusion he’d probably out run me so let him get away with the chips 😉

After 1.5 miles I began to flag a bit. I could feel my form changing and I got the worst stitch. I tried all the tips I’ve read for stitch but none of them worked. Luckily I only had a half mile to go so I slowed right down and it subsided enough for me not to have to stop running.

Overall I did enjoy the run and it felt good to get out after work. It was really bitter cold too which is my favourite kind of running weather. I comfortably wore long sleeves and bottoms! That never happens!

Evening Run Selfie

Do you run after work?

What’s your favourite kind of weather to run in?

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Highs and Lows of 2019 Fitness Edition

Happy New Year readers. Today is the day we say goodbye to 2019 and celebrate the arrival of 2020. I’m not making any New Years Resolutions this year. Of course I have a goal but it’s so simple it doesn’t need a whole post. I just want to “Live Well” That’s my mantra for 2020.

I did however want to reflect and look back at 2019 relating to fitness, that is after all, what this blog focuses on. Let’s start with the lows so we end on a high!

Lows of 2019:

The first low of 2019 was being ill at New Year for the 2nd year running and missing the founder of parkrun visiting my local parkrun! Seriously, I have the worst luck.

The main low, though, from 2019 was my calf injury in June. It came out of nowhere at a parkrun and so I had a bit of time off and when I was meant to restart it was in the heatwave. I don’t feel like I need to repeat how much I hate the heat, so since then my running has never really got back off the ground! I’ve mainly just been doing parkrun, and that’s it! To be honest though, to only have one injury in 2019 is pretty pleasing and it only stopped me running for around 3 weeks. My own lack of commitment is to blame for never getting going again properly.

Highs of 2019:

The first high has to be the parkrun tourism I’ve done! In 2019 I’ve visited Barry Island, Penrose (Cornwall), Bushy, Ipswich, Nose Hill (Canada) and Renton (Seattle, Washington) as well as some closer to home. My picture at Barry Island went on to all platforms of parkruns social media.

Barry Island parkrun

Second has to be setting a massive parkrun PB of 34:41. I have no idea how I did it, and I’ve certainly never been near it since but it felt really good at the time!

I also completed a 10K in 2019. It’s been a long time since I did a 10K and although it was boiling, I thoroughly enjoyed it.

I also completed the Romsey 5 Mile Cake and Beer Race with a 17 minute PB!

Beer

Another high has to be building my friendship with Rachel and having her support through the last quarter of the year as well as joining Beachbody together. I’m still loving Beachbody and sticking to the workouts.

What were your highs of 2019?

Did you have any fitness/running lows in 2019?

 

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Hitting A Blip

I’ve hit a bit of a blip recently when it comes to both my health and fitness. I don’t know why. The first thing that slipped was my exercise, and as a result, my eating habits slipped.

I find when I’m working out, I want to eat healthy. I want to fuel my body with the right foods to keep me strong and healthy. But when I stopped exercising, I feel like I hit the sabotage button on my eating habits too.

Once I’d had a week off exercising, it was then easier to not workout. So then another week slipped by, and another, and another. I wish I knew where this lull in motivation came from but truth be told there was nothing stopping me exercising…I just didn’t!

But, it’s time to hit the reboot button and today (Sunday) I’ve eaten well and restarted Liift 4 from Beachbody. Now, to keep it going! I’m really looking forward to some time off work at Christmas as I’ll really be able to knuckle down on the exercise then, the eating…well it is Christmas!

Week 1 of Liift 4 Complete

As I mentioned in >this< post, I’ve started a new Beachbody program called Liift 4 which combines weight lifting and HIIT training.

Week 1 consisted of:

  • Chest/Triceps
  • Back/Biceps
  • Shoulders
  • Legs

The first two were absolutely fine. I managed the workouts and tweaked my weights throughout to make sure I was lifting heavy enough, without overdoing it.

Shoulders was killer. It’s safe to say my shoulders are weak. I end up using smaller weights as the workout went on as I couldn’t complete all of the sets! I always knew my upper body was pretty weak and this just confirmed it.

Leg day was BRUTAL! I have the worst DOMS from it! It was really hard work and by the end of the workout I was absolutely spent! Much more so than any of the other workouts.

I keep being told Liift 4 will improve my running and I guess time will tell!

Leg Day Quote

Do you enjoy leg day?

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I Finished My First Beachbody Program

On September 1st I signed up to Beachbody on Demand, which is kind of like a Netflix of fitness. I’ve done a couple of posts already about Beachbody and the program I chose to do first, Transform:20, which I’ll link below in case you want to catch up.

I’ve Signed Up To Beachbody
Beachbody’s Transform:20 Day 1
Halfway Point of Beachbody’s Transform:20

I really enjoyed the program. I liked that it was a library of workouts and not just like doing the same workout DVD over and over. Every single workout was individual. I also liked that their was a modifier track where on a split screen there were alternative exercises to do. I needed some of these but not all and as I progressed through the program I used the modifier less and less. I definitely feel stronger as a result and I can even do press ups now when I couldn’t do one before! I have made improvements in my upper body and core but I still feel pretty weak in these areas. Even some of the modifier exercises were still too hard and although I did them, I had to take breaks and couldn’t do them for the duration. There were lots of burpee and plank type exercises and I definitely struggled with these and still do, although I feel better at them now than I did at the beginning. So what’s next?

To help with my weak upper body, the next program I’ve chosen is called Liift 4. The blurb says

“LIIFT4 combines heavy lifting and intense cardio to transform your body in 4 days a week. And with 32 unique, real-time workouts, you’ll never get bored, because you’ll never do the same one twice”

I have always avoided weights because I just don’t know what to do with them. I only ever do them when copying a fitness DVD so this will be good for me as it’ll be showing me different things to do in each workout. I’m also hoping by building my strength up, it’ll make me a stronger runner. Now that it’s winter, I want to try and do more running. At the moment I’m just doing a parkrun a week so I want to at least run twice a week!

Do you incorporate weights in to your fitness regime?

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Exercising On Holiday

I’ve just returned from 3 weeks away in Canada and America. It can be difficult to keep up with your exercise regime whilst you’re away with your days being busy sightseeing etc. Or you might not want to exercise whilst you’re away.

As you’re probably aware if you’ve read this post I signed up to Beachbody recently, which is a bit like a Netflix for fitness. I started the Transform:20 programme which is a 20 minute workout 6 times a week before going away. The great thing about Beachbody is that it’s on demand, meaning I could access it whilst I was away.

I didn’t do every single workout I could have done whilst away but I did just shy of two weeks worth. I lost a few days to flying and then travelling whilst we were away but I think I did well. Here’s how I did it:

Make Time:

I did pretty much every workout as soon as I got up whilst my husband was showering this way I was wasting time but still making sure I got it done.

Being Strict:

Of course there were times when I just wanted to be lazy. I said to myself “But I’m on holiday, I’m meant to be relaxing” but as the old saying goes, you never regret a workout, and I certainly didn’t.

Scoping Out The Gym:

Before we went away I wasn’t sure what kind of space I’d have to workout in so we made sure every hotel we went to had a gym. In the end, I didn’t need to as we had booked suites in all of the hotels and I had plenty of space to workout in. However, if I hadn’t of had space I could have used the gyms and the same applies if I hadn’t of had Beachbody.

Be Accountable:

I’m currently being accountable with a friend of mine. We both post our workouts online and tag each other in them. On days where we post late, we check in with each other and see how the other is getting on. It’s really helped keep me motivated not just whilst on holiday, but since we started on 1st September.

Do you exercise whilst you’re on holiday?

How do you keep motivated to workout whilst you’re away?

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Halfway Point of Beachbody’s Transform:20

Beachbody Logo

I’m now at the halfway point of the Transform:20 program on Beachbody on Demand so I thought I’d do a little update of how I’m finding it.

Finding 20 minutes a day has been pretty easy. I’ve been getting up at 5am, doing my workout and then getting ready for work. This way my workout is complete before the working day and I’m not having to come home after an 11 hour day at work to do it.

I’ve also enjoyed adding in some of the extra workouts that come with the program. There is a list of the standard workouts and then there are bonus workouts that I try to add in when I have more time e.g. Fridays when I don’t work and Sundays.

I feel like I’m getting stronger. I can now perform a pushup, whereas before I could barely even complete one. I still do them from my knees though as I’m not strong in a plank position to start. I think my wrist and shoulder strength has improved a little but it’s still difficult holding the plank position.

The workouts are getting progressively harder but I feel like my cardio level is good. I get out of breath but I feel as the workouts get harder, my cardio fitness is improving at the same time.

All in all I’m enjoying it and I’m definitely pleased I signed up to Beachbody.

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Completing Chapter 1 of Transform:20

I’m now 2 weeks into the Transform:20 workout program on Beachbody. If you’ve never heard of Beachbody, its kind of like a Netflix of workouts!

The Transform:20 program is 6 days a week for 6 weeks. It’s split in to 3 chapters: Commit, Climb, Conquer. I’ve just completed the first chapter Commit. It’s only 20 minutes a day and so far I’ve found this to be really manageable. Everyone has 20 minutes in their day to spare. The website says:

“After five minutes, you’ll be breathing hard. At 10 minutes, you’ll be sweating and your muscles will be burning. At 15 minutes, you’ll be watching the clock. And by minute 20, you’ll be done, exhausted, and proud of yourself”

This is very true. I’ve been amazed how knackered I am and how much sweat is pouring from me after just 20 minutes!

The program is step based. I have a Reebok step and I used it for the first couple of workouts but I’ve now come off of it as it was too hard with the step and I was worried about losing form and injuring myself. The steps they use on the workouts are ones designed for the workout and they’re much lower than mine is even on its lowest setting. However, even without the step I am still working hard and burning calories!

I’m burning around 200-250 calories in the 20 minute workouts. With the step it was around 300 calories but I just felt it was too risky so I’m happy with the decision I’ve made. I’m not willing to risk another injury.

Thankfully on the workouts you can have a split screen with someone doing modified versions of the exercises to make them a little easier. I have the split screen on during all my workouts and use the modifier if I need it. I’m surprised by how little I have been needing it though.

The workout is very leg based and my legs ached every day at first but I seem to be past that now. There are lots of burpee and plank style exercises too and these are the ones I struggle with the most. My shoulders, wrists and core are so weak, so as you can imagine, this makes these exercises difficult. However, after the two weeks I have seen a very slight improvement so hopefully this will continue as I progress through the rest of the program.

I’m pleased I’ve accomplished working out every day for 2 weeks and more importantly, I’m pleased that I’m still enjoying it. With each workout being a completely different workout it keeps it fresh.

So far, so good!

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Beachbody’s Transform:20 Day 1

Beachbody Logo

Don’t worry, I’m not going to do these updates daily! I’ll probably just update every now and then. But on 1st September, I completed day 1.

Guys, I’m not being dramatic here, but honest to god I felt like I was going to die! It was so hard and fast and intense!

It’s all step based but isn’t like the old step aerobics classes you used to see. I have a step at home but it’s higher than the one they use on the video, that’s possibly one of the reasons it felt so hard. Honestly, usually I think I’m a pretty fit person but this made me feel really unfit! I hope I get used to the pace over time. After 15 minutes I’d had enough but figured since there was only another 5 minutes left I’d keep going.

I felt amazing after I’d completed it and caught my breath but lord it was hard work! I’m looking forward to making progress with this though, if I can handle it haha.

Have you ever done a beachbody workout?

Have you ever done a step workout?

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