I’ve been thinking for a while now that I need more structure to my workouts. At the minute I pick a random one from YouTube or do a random DVD with no real continuity or structure.
Someone I follow on Instagram is a Beachbody ambassador and the other day she posted a Transformation Tuesday picture and it was amazing. She has really toned up between the two pictures.
I started looking in to it and some of the workouts. I’d actually heard of a couple of them and not realised they were part of Beachbody. When I was looking I couldn’t help but wonder “Yeah this looks great but how much does it set you back?” I was pleasantly surprised to see it was £99 for the year and there are over 1100 workouts. It works out at £8.25 which is less than most gym memberships!
I’ve signed up and decided the first program I want to complete is Transform: 20. All of the workouts are 20 minutes long and you do them 6 days a week for 6 weeks. 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”
On the last Friday in August I went for a walk for my exercise. I got up in the morning and weighed. I was angry and upset. I’ve put weight on. Not a huge amount but enough to make me realise I’ve undone some of the hard work I’ve put in.
I set off from home for my walk without really having a plan. I just needed to get out, clear my head and when I’d stomped off the anger, have a good think about what I was going to do.
I took the long way to the beach and walked down the beach path towards the Browndown military area. I was fast walking to try and stomp away the frustration I was feeling. I got to the gate on the beach path where the Browndown area begins. As it’s a military area, you can’t go in if the red flag is flying. As the flag wasn’t up I thought I’d go in. My plan was to sit on the beach there as I figured it’d be quiet but actually I ended up discovering a path not covered in shingle meaning I could continue to walk fairly easily (Have you ever tried walking on deep shingle? Absolute nightmare)
The path was quite secluded and I know it sounds a bit dramatic but I had a little cry. I was just angry that I’d let myself put on weight after all my hard work over the past year. I also thought how much I want to run that path too one day. I love discovering new places to run. I’ve looked on google maps and that path would take me right through to Stokes Bay.
I turned around after walking 1.5 miles so walking home rounded it up to a nice 3 miler. I actually felt a lot better for getting out, further proof that being outdoors and active is good for my mental heath.
I snapped a couple of pictures whilst I was out. I’m sure these flowers are weeds or some kind of wildflower maybe but they were pretty and much more vibrant than they look in the picture.
And of course I had to snap a selfie
By the time I got home, I thankfully, felt a lot better and had done a lot of thinking.
That afternoon I went and met Rachel for a coffee. Rachel is one of the first people I met when I moved to the South Coast. She was instrumental in the setting up of my local parkrun. She’s one of my longest standing friends. We had a good natter. What I love about Rachel is she just gets it and gets me. We chatted about our health, our fitness, friendships and social media. It was a really lovely couple of hours.
I track my workouts using my Apple Watch. Occasionally it will pop up with an award to earn. These are usually related to a National day e.g. International Yoga Day
Saturday 25th August was National Parks Day. I’d already decided to give parkrun a miss. I’ve been feeling a bit run down lately. Despite getting my 8 hours (at least) a night, I’m waking up exhausted so with the long weekend upon us, I decided to opt for a few extra hours in bed.
I then did a treadmill run. To earn the award you had to complete 3 miles so that set my target nicely. As it was warm I decided to run/walk on the treadmill rather than just run. I opted for a 3 minute run followed by a 1 minute walk.
When I got going it soon warmed up in the garage where my treadmill is. My exercise bike (also in the garage) tells you the temperature and it was a rather warm 25c in there with absolutely no breeze. I got really hot! I managed 2 miles then had to put my running time down to 2 minutes and then eventually 1 minute.
When I’d finished, despite feeling ok on the treadmill I felt a bit unwell. I think it was just due to the heat because when I went and laid down under the fan in the living room and cooled off I soon felt fine again. Definitely confirmed (again) for me how much I’m not made for heat!
Recently whilst wasting time on Instagram (please say it’s not just me) I came across an Instagram feed showing different workouts. They’re mainly bodyweight/no equipment workouts. These are the ones I’m terrible at. I am not strong when it comes to these types of exercises. After a bit of looking and watching I saw they had a YouTube channel so thought I’d give one of their workouts a go.
The YouTube channel is called Mr and Mrs Muscle. I opted for the Low Impact HIIT workout. I did Day 1, 2 and 3 as they were only 15 minutes each. The moves were simple and easy to follow. I kind of liked that on the videos there is no talking, just music. This means you’re not listening to the same narrative over and over if you repeat them. It’s always a bit of an eye roll moment when you can quote the workout DVD you’re following.
I completed the 3 workouts and felt ah-may-zing! I felt really energised and strong afterwards. Which is great, and I need to remember that feeling as for the next 4 days I had the worst doms! Now I know why it’s split in to days! You’re not meant to do 3 days worth all at once! The moves were really simple to follow though (It does include modifications if you need them) but clearly effective with how much my muscles ached after! There’s 30 days worth of workouts so I’ll try and work my way through them all.
I feel like my running is so patchy at the minute. I hate running in the heat and I don’t have the energy to run after work at the moment as it’s so hot all day I’m exhausted by the end of my 11 hour day.
On Friday 16th August, following my recent successful 2 mile run on the treadmill (Read about it here) I wanted to give it a bash outdoors. I went out earlyish and it was actually nice and cool. There was a fresh breeze which helped keep me cool.
I ran non stop along the parkrun route. I did well until the last half a mile where my legs turned to lead and I felt like I was running through treacle. I was so tempted to stop as I ran past the route where I could just turn off and go home but I kept it going. Strangely that 2nd mile was actually my faster of the 2 miles! I was pleased that I maintained a good pace too. My average pace was 12:01min/mile, which, if you’re a regular reader, you’ll know that’s pretty fast for me.
I’m pleased that I completed it but also I can’t believe I’m back to barely being able to run. I can’t believe in May I ran a 10K! I guess this is what injury does to you and you just have to come back stronger. I’m hopeful once the weather cools off I’ll ramp my running back up again (sensibly of course!)
On my walk back home from my run I snapped this picture of the flowers near the prom. They’re far more vibrant than they look on this picture.
How do you keep motivated when you feel like your running isn’t going great?
On Sunday I ran my 150th mile for 2019. I know lots of people will have surpassed this total months ago but I’m still super proud.
150 miles is from where I live on the South Coast to beyond Calais in France. 150 miles is from where I live on the South Coast to Nottingham in the Midlands. It’s the same as a 3 hour car drive!
I didn’t expect to complete my 150th mile on the treadmill though! But Sunday morning was windy still, with the aftermath of the storm, as well as rainy! I just wasn’t feeling it and was debating doing nothing at all, but that’s not what I wanted so the treadmill it was!
I knew I needed 2 miles in the bank to reach my 150th mile so that’s what I did. I ran the whole thing too and it was absolutely fine! Hurrah.
I’ve lost my mojo. Seriously lost it. I’m blaming the heat. I know I’ve banged on about this before but I struggle in the heat just living, never mind exercising.
So, I bought myself a little treat. Some people buy a new gym outfit or a new pair of trainers. I opted for the slightly cheaper option of a new Davina DVD!
I bought one of her old DVD’s but it’s one I don’t already have and it’s one with Jackie and Mark (who I prefer on her DVDs)
I gave it a go this morning and you know what, it really worked! Granted this was made possible by having not one, but two fans blowing at me the whole time! But I feel good, I feel energised and I’ve burnt over 500 calories before 8am!
It’s reminded me how good exercise makes me feel even if I don’t feel like doing it. I just need to keep it up now. Fingers crossed for me!
On Friday I received a text from Honor asking if I wanted to join her for Breakfast Club on Sunday. She explained, she too, is injured and wanted to try running a mile and walking a mile. This fitted in perfectly with me and my injury.
On Sunday morning when Honor picked me up we were chatting about her injury (She did it sprinting) and we decided to give a one and a half mile run a try. When we got to Breakfast Club we had the usual chat and pre-run photo taken.
Today’s run was along the coast so we did exactly as we said we would and ran for 1.5 miles and walked back. It was really hot and muggy and despite hugging the coast we didn’t feel the benefit of a sea breeze!
Luckily for both Honor and I our runs were pain free and I felt fine the next day too. Hurrah!
Afterwards we had breakfast and I scoffed down a toasted bagel with smoked salmon and scrambled eggs! It was delicious!
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.
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.
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 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 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.
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”
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?