Swim, Bike or Run?

Swim, Bike or Run?

What’s your favourite leg of the triathlon?

I like them all but I’m most comfortable with the run.

The swim is great because it’s the shortest and you get it out of the way quickly. With a swimming background I simply need to add a couple of sessions a week in the pool to bring my fitness back up to scratch.

The bike is my weakest leg but I’m planning on working on changing that in 2017. Lots of cycling planned for this year both on the road and on the turbo trainer. I’m aiming to log a few thousand kilometres this year.

The run I love. It’s the easiest. Running is something that I’ve been doing for a long time. It feels natural. Even after having swum and cycled, I can hold my pace on the road and fully enjoy it (yes, it still hurts). But the problem with running is that it’s easy to get overuse injuries which can prevent you from pounding the pavement.

Maybe that’s why I love triathlons. They say variety is the spice of life but it also adds balance by working different muscle groups and hopefully preventing overuse injuries.

Next Sunday is my first triathlon since having my son three years ago. I’ve been slow to get back into it and have had different priorities during this time. Now I feel the itch again to compete for fun and fitness. I’m looking forward to it, although it seems I’ve pinched a nerve in my neck, fingers crossed it’s all good by the weekend!

Do you do triathlons? Which is your favourite leg & why?

Hey there stranger!

It’s been two years since my last post. I was actually contemplating giving up Running Candid for good. But it was one of the first blogs I started and I feel a bit sentimental.

My fitness level has plateaued as I’ve focused on motherhood and getting motivated.

I’ve had zero motivation to get started in fitness…until the end of 2016!

In November I signed up for my first triathlon in 4 years. OMG!!!

How in the world did that happen? Ok, being pregnant for 9 months and then almost three years of being a mum. Holy cow! Time has flown.

I’m excited to have this awesome little human in my life – time seriously flies when you have kids!

My son is about to turn 3 and I’m finally returning to my love of running and triathlon. I did manage a fun run last year, sporadically training and just staying fit by walking and doing Metafit classes.

So last week, I took the plunge and purchase my first tri shoes. I’ve never ridden with clip ons always just the normal running shoes (shocker, I know!). My reasons, I was scared I’d fall using clip ons. No surprise that first time on the road this morning I fell after losing my balance when I was trying to clip back in. Lesson learnt, glad that it was at the beginning of my ride as it forced me to figure things out for the rest of it. I could have gone back home annoyed but instead I cleaned up the scrapes, put on a bandaid and rode on.

Let’s just I need a shit load more training on the bike. It’s my weakest leg in the tri and I really, really want to improve.

Have you been running? Triathlon-ing? Competing? 

2015: My year of yoga practice

PoppySo, baby J is teething which means he’s getting tearful before his naps and bedtime. It makes me want to cry cause I hate seeing him in discomfort but that’s the stage he has to get through. Then there’s hubby, sick with a sore throat and ear, a possible infection, home sick and lying in bed. Those two wines the night before were a bad idea. What happened to the days where I could drink a bottle and not feel a thing the next day? Gone, vanished, never coming back again.

Regardless of how I feel or those around me feel, I did manage twenty minutes of yoga this morning. My 365 daily yoga practice challenge is on a row. For four days in a row, I’ve managed 20 minutes each morning. I feel good. I don’t know whether it’s the yoga or the fact that it’s the beginning of a new year or it’s summer and a scorcher most days of the week, but all I’m craving during the day are healthy foods. I want to drink smoothies (mango, banana, berries with greek yoghurt, almonds and chia seeds), fruit and veg juices (kale, spinach, beetroot, ginger, apple, carrot, celery), I want to eat salads (grilled chicken, lettuce, tomato, cucumber, cabbage). I like it.

Surprisingly, my weight is down to around the 57-58kg which is about 1.5kg lower than my pre-baby weight. I suspect that muscle loss could be to blame but then again carrying a growing infant around will help with developing strong biceps, triceps, back and abdominals. I’m not complaining.

The yoga challenge, why am I bothering? Well, I’ve been meddling with yoga for years now but never took it too seriously. I love the benefits it offers. I love how it makes me feel during and after a workout. It’s working on your physical and mental wellbeing in one. Flexibility, strength, balance, breathing, you’re paying attention to all four and forgetting everything else around you. Ok so maybe I can’t forget everything as generally baby J is beside me playing but I’m sure you get the gist.

Then there’s the sedentary lifestyle issue. My primary job involves sitting on my backside for 8 hours a day, five days per week, then another 3 hours commuting. So I’m spending at least a third of my week on my butt. Runner’s World reported that sitting has become the new smoking, that’s bad news for many of us. So I really need to counterbalance the sitting with some physical activity that will benefit my backside and my spine, yoga is a great option, so is running, swimming, cycling and weight training. I’ll add them too, but yoga practice is number one priority for 2015.

Have you set yourself any challenges for 2015? Why are they important to you?

Is it 2015 already?

The sky's the limitHappy New Year!

My goodness how quickly time flies when you become a parent. Milk feed at 7am, breakfast at 8, have a bit of a play, nap at 9. Wake up and milk feed at 11, lunch at 12, play some more and back down at 1:30. Another milk feed at 3, play time and maybe a walk, dinner time at 5, bath at 6, final milk feed 6:30, story time and in bed by 7pm. And then it’s wine hour, for mummy!

Obviously there are days where that plan goes out of whack but most days that’s how we roll. Generally I have about 2-3 hours of free time throughout the day but those hours fly by very quickly, especially when I sit down in front of the lap top and get lost in the gazillions of webpages on my favourites list.

And exercise, training. What are those again? Right, I used to run marathons and do triathlons. I trained and I loved it. Am I going to love it again?

I admit, I love breaking a sweat and a decent challenge. Last year I focused on my pregnancy and my darling baby boy. Well he’s just passed 8 months now and it’s time to get back into some form of training.

Here are a few of the things I want to do in 2015:

1 – Maintain a regular running routine of 3 days per week (e.g. HIIT, Long, Tempo)
2 – Run 2 x 5km races, 2 x 10km races, 2 x 21.1km races and 1 x 42.2km
3 – Complete 365 daily yoga practice (I’m up to day 3 and going strong)
4 – Swim, cycle and weight train at least once per week
5 – Have fun, live more, and spend lots of time with my hubby and son.
6 – Self publish my novel

2015, may it be your year to reach new heights!

What are some of your goals for 2015? How are you going to achieve them?

6 Week Six-Pack Abs Workout

It’s ten years since the original The Biggest Loser hit our screens, at least the US version with Jillian Michaels and Bob Harper as the trainers. Jillian Michaels was a tough cookie and my oh my does she have hot abs. I wish I had abs like that.

So, I thought why not give her abs workout a go. I’m not a huge fan of aerobics and group workouts (I can be a little bit uncoordinated) but working out in my living room with just my 3 month old to stare and laugh at his mummy trying to do a burpee or a mountain climber and failing miserably, well I can do that.

That’s where the Jillian Michaels 6 Week Six-Pack Abs Workout comes in. I watched it last week and my abs hurt just looking at the exercises. It took a few days (ok over a week, but let’s be fair I do have a 3 month old who takes up 24 hours of my day), and I finally did it.

The workout is only 35 minutes which is perfect and combines strength and cardio while focusing on abdominals throughout. And we all know that spot reduction doesn’t work so it’s a great way to get a good ab workout without spending half an hour on crunches.

Do I expect a six pack in six weeks? Of course not. I’m not that naive.

What do I expect? A more toned body with stronger abdominal muscles that I can continue working on.

Now, Jillian recommends working out five days a week to see results. So I’m going to aim for 3-4 sessions of the abs workout each week plus 2-3 runs and walking most days of the week.

I’ll write a full review after the six weeks are up. Might even throw in a before and after shot.

My current measurements are:

Waist: 81
Belly: 84
Hips: 92

Are you training for anything at the moment?

6 Weeks

In 6 weeks we’ve got a couple of events happening and I want to look as good as possible for. The baby weight has gone down but my tummy, butt and thighs still feel flabby. The chocolate and biscuits I’ve been eating over the past few months haven’t helped, nor has making the excuse that since I’m breastfeeding I can eat what I want.

Of course I can, but there will be consequences.

I generally eat healthy. Oats with fruit and nuts for breakfast, eggs and tomato on toast for lunch, and a tuna pasta salad or stir fry with lots of veggies for dinner. That’s more or less my daily diet with a latte thrown in, a biscuit here and there, chocolate and a glass of red wine most evenings after Jack’s asleep.

For the next seven weeks I’m swapping the sweets for carrot sticks and hummus dip, reducing my portion sizes at dinner time, drinking more water, and spending more time moving my ass. So this means more running (3 times per week), more strength training (kettle bells and yoga 2-3 times per week), and walking most days of the week.

I feel confident that I can drop the last 2kg of my baby weight and maybe a little bit extra. It’ll take work and perseverance but six weeks is a good time frame and it means I don’t have time to get bored or hit a plateau.

Have you got anything exciting coming up?

Slowly but surely

Do you ever know you need to do something but fail to do it anyway?

That’s how I’m feeling right now.

I need to get my ass into gear. It’s been 12 weeks since I gave birth. I’ve got Jack looking at me as I type this calling out for my attention. He rarely calls out for attention so when it does happen I listen. He’s such a placid child.

I had a c-section and I find it weird calling it giving birth. Of course it’s giving birth. I need to give myself some credit.

So what’s the point of this story? Well I need to start training. I’m walking every day. I’ve gone out for a few runs. My longest so far was yesterday, 25minutes. Seems lame in comparison to what I used to run but it’s not lame. I had a kid 12 weeks ago. I shouldn’t be expecting so much of myself, I would never expect it of anyone else.

My body will take time to heal. My mind will too. I love my role as a mother but I miss my role as an athlete. Slowly but surely I will return to form. I fit into most of my pre pregnancy clothes, now I’d like to get back my fitness level and my muscle tone.

Slowly but surely it will happen.

What happened to reading?

Back in the day I devoured books of all sorts. If I could grab a list of all the books I borrowed from the library and read as a teenager and young adult there’d be topics covering the KGB to Hare Krishna, Harlequin Mills & Boon to New York Times bestsellers and much more. There wasn’t a topic I didn’t hesitate to read about fiction or non fiction.

Now getting through a book is a challenge. I still read but not like I used to. I scan. And it’s frustrating the hell out of me. What’s happened to the avid reader I once was?

Technology happened. Rush hour happened. Information overload happened.

With the rise in blogs, online news and ebooks, instead of reading we scan for information we need or want and move on. Sitting down with a glass of wine, your feet up, covered by a warm plush blanket and reading every word of the latest Stephen King hardback novel is no longer as simple as it seems. You’re probably more likely to download it to your Kindle and quickly read during your commute to work.

I still borrow dozens of books from the library each month on top of the few I purchase and the ones already on my bookshelf waiting to be loved and cherished and utilised. The difference is that they wait patiently collecting dust and half the time get returned without having been opened. The ones that were opened were only started, a few chapters scanned and returned to the shelf to be enjoyed by someone else.

One of the items on my bucket list are to read the top 100 books to read in a lifetime by Amazon and to read 100 books in 2014. I’m way behind on that goal. I’ve read about 13 books so far and half read a dozen others that don’t count towards the list.

It’s time to go slow. Bring back the joy of reading a good book, taking in each word, sentence and paragraph instead of just focusing on the dialogue, then gently turning each page until the book is finished and remembering what was actually read.

To be a good writer one must first be a good reader, a voracious reader. So tonight instead of turning on the telly (there’s nothing worth watching anyway), I’m going to grab a book, pour myself a glass of Fifth Leg Cabernet Sauvignon, snuggle under my plush blanket, and read.

Another Half Marathon PB

J rocks. Ok, I’m bias. But seriously he really does.

He’s PB’d in every Gold Coast Half Marathon he’s run in, including last Sunday’s race.

2012 – 1:48:02

2013 – 1:43:04

2014 – 1:37:28!!!

I have to admit, I’m a little bit jealous. Ok, I’m a lot jealous. How does he do it? Each time he runs the 21.1km he seems to improve by about five minutes. What is even more frustrating is that he doesn’t run consistently throughout the year. No, he starts preparing a couple of months beforehand without too much planning, he does a few longish runs and then races and nails it. Maybe that’s the secret? Who knows.

I’m proud of him. He ran hard. He may not be consistent throughout the year but he has been consistent over the past three months. He’s worked hard and he deserved the result he got.

Well done, well done.

Running Postpartum

You’ve had a baby. Six weeks pass and you’re ready to get back into running.

Not so fast.

Going for a run is no longer as simple as chucking on your running shoes, grabbing your Suunto, putting in the earphones and heading out the door. Nope, sorry, there’s a process to get through first.

Even a quick 15 minute run requires some planning. After all you can’t leave your newborn at home on his own. Taking them in a pram isn’t an option until they’re at least four or five months. And your breasts, ouch, ouch, ouch.

To make running as comfortable and enjoyable as possible, here are a few things you can do.

1. Find a time that works for you and your partner. You need him or her to be willing to either (a) stay at home with baby while you go out for a run, or (b) take baby for a walk when you run and then you can meet up and walk together as a cool down. We choose option B.

2. Schedule your run after you breastfeed. Running with full breasts is not pleasant. It hurts. A lot. Breastfeed your little one directly before your run so your breasts are empty and it’s more comfortable to run. Wear a supportive bra. You need one regardless of your bust size. It’s an investment, don’t skimp on any old one.

3. Warm up. Your joints, muscles and tendons are not what they were before you fell pregnant and had a baby. Your body needs a little bit longer to get back into it.

4. Take it nice and slow. It’s not a race to see how quickly you can get back to marathon training postpartum although some might think it is. It isn’t. You’ve just spent nine months with a growing human in your belly. If you stopped running and exercise early in your pregnancy you need more time to ease back into it compared to someone who was training right up to the end of their pregnancy.

5. Listen to your body.

6. Stay hydrated. If you’re breastfeeding you need more water. If you’re running and breastfeeding (not at the same time of course), you need to drink even more water. Keep a bottle with you at all times. Even at night when you wake up to feed your baby. In the first few weeks I was going through a litre of water during the night and another two during the day.

7. Enjoy it. Running is meant to make you happy. Lower your stress levels. Give you some ‘you’ time.

8. Stretch afterwards. Gently. Your muscles will thank you for it.

9. Rest days are vital. When you first start getting back into it start of with a couple days a week with a few days of rest in between. Then build up to 2-3 times, then 3-4 times per week.

10. Take advantage of going slow by working on your form. Improving your running form will help prevent injuries and make you a stronger runner.

Did you start running soon after giving birth? How did you feel? Would you do anything differently the second time around?