Category Archives: Fitness Gear

8th Day of the Week for Running and Coffee Shopping

Happy Thursday!!

 
Thursday is the last day of the work week in Israel so it’s always a good day for me, looking forward to some weekend fun.
Today especially, since we had a holiday Tuesday and Wednesday, and my work gave us an extra day off, so no work for 5 days.

 
I had been meaning to go to a running store to cash a couple of prices I got at races, so I did that today. They have mostly Mizuno running gear, and a few other brands I don’t particularly like, which was no problem at all, I have been loving Mizuno running clothes lately.
I got two singlets, similar to the ones I bought a couple of weeks ago and absolutely loved. Also a sports bra, socks for my hubby, and a GU chomps because I have to try that flavor.

 
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I had some time left so I went and bought a new coffee machine, our new one was pretty much done.

 
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Shopping for coffee related and running related things, doesn’t get much better than that for me.
As simple as this seems, sometimes I don’t have the time for the little things, my family, work, and running take a lot of my time. I am not at all complaining, I love being busy and those things are definitely worth all my time and energy. Sometimes I just wish the week had an extra day for all the random stuff I need or want to do.

 
On Tuesday I did an interval run on the treadmill, my fast pace for 1 minute intervals is 4:00 Min/KM (06:26 Min/Mile). This is faster than I was doing a few months ago, so I’m glad I’m slowly making progress. Although I don’t feel like I can do them faster at this point, I did add a couple more intervals to Tuesday session, instead of 5 fast intervals, I did 7. I thought I might have trouble on the last few, but the run went really well, and I think I could have even done 1 or 2 more.
I do the intervals at the end, total it was a 50 minute run ranging in pace from 06:19 Min/KM (10:10 Min/Mile) to 4:00 Min/KM (06:26 Min/Mile).

 
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Wednesday was a very hot day in Israel, 40C/104F by noon, so I had to go run as early as possible. I checked the weather.com app on my phone the night before, and it seemed like it would be cool until 8 AM or so, so I started my run at 5:30. I guess a lot of people were thinking the same thing, because the boardwalk had way more action than usual at that time.
14K/8.7M at an easy pace, average 05:07 Min/KM (08:14 Min/Mile).

 
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Does it take you forever (like me) to do some things you want/need to do, that are not already part of your routine?

It can sometimes take me weeks/months to find the time to do something like color my hair or go buy clothes.

 

Why and How to Run in the Morning, and the Best Swimming Tip

I was up at 3:30 in the morning today. My kids were having a tough night, and by the time they fell back asleep, I was wide awake.
I got up, made myself some coffee, and sat on the computer.

 
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I like to read on my computer while it’s dark and quiet, besides I can never search for enough running/fitness gear online.

 
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After about an hour I was feeling sleepy and thought it would be a good idea to get a couple hours of sleep, since facing a work day after being up at 3:30 didn’t sound like fun. And then I remembered all the reasons while running in the morning is the best, and figured being tired later so I could run would be worth it.

 
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Reasons why running in the morning is awesome:

 
* Endorphins: Running releases endorphins, a chemical that makes us feel happy, and who couldn’t use a free and natural antidepressant?
* Best for losing weight: Jump start your metabolism and burn more calories through the day, need I say more?
* Wake up big time: Running is such an eye opener, you’ll get on with your day bright awake and ready to rumble.
* Get it over with: Some people really enjoy running, for others it’s a chore that serves a purpose, such as losing weight or staying healthy. Either way, knowing it’s behind you and you are free to do other things later in the day is worth waking up earlier.
* Nature and silence: Even if you live in the middle of the cement jungle, the quietness, the birds flying around, the cool morning breeze… it’s a million times better than running later in the day when it’s noisy, there’s a lot more people walking around, and you can smell the car fumes in the air.

 
I am a morning person, so waking up early to run is easy for me. If you struggle with waking up early to go run, here are some tips that might help you manage a run before work/school/other obligations:

 
* Get your gear ready: I leave everything I need on the living room so I have everything handy when I wake up, and so I don’t make a lot of noise looking for my gear and risk waking up my family.
* Mental prep: Even for morning people like me, it’s not always easy to get out of bed and get out of the house, especially when it’s dark and cold (or hot, or wet, or I’m just tired). Thinking about my run and my training the night before, usually gets me motivated enough to go out the next morning. Set your alarms: No matter how motivated you are to run tomorrow morning, chances are when the alarm sounds you’ll try to talk yourself out of actually getting out of bed. Setting a couple of alarms within a minute of each other, and putting them a few steps away so you have to get up to turn them off, could mean the difference between a run and a nap.
* Plan your route: Think in advance where you’ll run, so you can make sure the route is safe and well lighted, and also to avoid running longer than intended and being late.
* Schedule it: Figure out how long you’ll be running, and schedule your times accordingly. Allow yourself plenty of time to shower and get ready for what’s next, especially if you have to be somewhere at a specific time.
* Nutrition/hydration: You might need to try your food/drink intake a few times before you figure out what works best for you. I personally eat and drink before I run, I feel lethargic without some calories and caffeine.

 

 
Since I was up so early, I managed to get an extra long session at the gym.

 
Running:
45 minutes progression run, with intervals thrown in just because:
10 minutes warm up
10 minutes at 05:10 Min/KM (08:20 Min/Mile)
10 minutes at 05:00 Min/KM (08:04 Min/Mile)
6 minutes at 04:47 Min/KM (07:42 Min/Mile)
9 minutes consisting of 3 intervals, each interval was 1 minute at 03:52 Min/KM (06:14 Min/Mile) and 2 minutes easy at 05:20 Min/KM (08:34 Min/Mile).

 
Ab/core work:
About 30 minutes of crunches, planks, push ups and pull ups.

 
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Swimming:
750 meters / 820 yards easy swimming, with last third of the workout being as fast as I could manage, which is really not fast at all.

 
A woman at the gym who used to swim on a competitive level told me the other day that I should try to keep my body a bit higher when I swim, with the back of my head slightly out of the water. She said my swimming technique is good (I took this as a huge compliment), but going to low underwater slows me down.
I really appreciate when people who know what they are talking about give me knowledgeable/useful suggestions like this. I don’t have a swimming or running coach, so sometimes I can be making bad mistakes without realizing it.
I paid attention to this today and tried to stay higher in the water than usual, and felt a big difference on my speed vs effort output, she definitely gave me a great tip.
With that being said, many times people give me unsolicited advice on issues that are personal, or without really knowing what they are talking about, that really annoys me.

 

What is your favorite time to run?

5:30 AM start.

How do you feel about strangers giving you unsolicited advice?

0.01% love/appreciate it (knowledgeable/factual advice), 99.99% hate it.

 

Long Run Essentials, and That Feeling…

Every time I lock the door behind me to go for a long run, I get this feeling of excitement and mild fear, the excitement of going to do something I love, the fear of the unknown. Will something hurt? Will I be able to run the paces I want to run?

 
And then just a few minutes later, when I’m running with the music turned all the way up, when my legs start warming up and moving faster, I realize there is nothing to worry about, because this is going to be a great run, like every other.

 
Tel Aviv Boarwalk

 
We are having a beautiful day, and this morning was my first run in a short sleeve shirt and shorts (except for races), I know it was the first of many to come. 14C/57F degrees at 6:30 in the morning.

 
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Summer

 
I was going for a 23KM/14.3M run, but somehow miscalculated one of my turns and ended up with 22.5KM/14M. Yeah, OK, OCD because I care.  In miles it actually makes sense.

 
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Long Run Essentials

 
Since I started running longer distances on a regular basis, I realized there are some things that I didn’t need on my shorter runs that I definitely need now. Running for 2 hours cannot be compared to running for 45 minutes. My must haves for long runs:

 
* Sun Protection: I don’t particularly like the feeling of sunscreen on my skin, but even as early as I run, the sun gets strong by the time I’m done with a long run.  I put the cream sunscreen on my face, and the spray one on my arms and legs.  I like these two because they aren’t sticky and they don’t melt on my skin when I sweat.

 
Sunscreen

 
* Body Glide: Why risk it, right? I only put it on my thighs when I wear shorts, so far I haven’t needed it anywhere else.

 
Body Glide

 
* Music: I couldn’t run for 5 minutes without my music, but especially for long runs I must have my IPod with me.

 
IPod

 
* Sunglasses: I have sensitive eyes and if I’m running after 7:00 AM which on long runs I always am, I need eye protection.

 
Sunglasses

 
* Compression Socks: Anything that helps my muscles during a long run is welcome in my book.

 
* Water: I don’t carry a bottle with me, and although I have some water fountains on my long run route I admit I don’t use them… however, I always have my water bottle with NUUN ready in my car so I can drink as soon as I finish running.

 
Water and NUUN

 
* Food: I’ve experimented with eating while running and mostly don’t need it for the runs I do (up to 25K/15.5M), but I keep an energy bar in my car and eat it within a few minutes of finishing my run.  I’m starving after a long run, and I need to eat something before I drive home, shower, etc. and get a chance to eat again.

 
Clif

 

What do you take with you on long runs?