Tag Archives: swimming

My Mary Poppins Gym Bag and Locker

I always wonder how other people go to the gym and manage to bring only a small bag.
Despite having my own locker where I leave a bunch of stuff, my gym bag always feels like it’s about to explode. I feel like Mary Poppins (or Dora the Explorer for you youngsters) taking stuff and more stuff out of my backpack.

 
I shower at the gym between 3 and 5 times a week, so I like to leave as much as I can in my locker. I buy doubles of a lot of personal items and just leave one at the gym.

 
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What’s in my locker:
* Makeup: makeup case with brushes, foundation, concealer, loose powder, blush, bronzer, mascara, 2 eye shadow cases, and a few eyeliners
* Hair care: shampoo and conditioner, a couple of hair treatments (the kind you leave on for a few minutes and rinse off), and after shower care such as hair oil, hair gel, heat protector, hair brush, hairdryer
* Body care: deodorant, liquid shower soap, body lotion with SPF and without, body spray, face lotion SPF, perfume, razor, Q-tips, sponge
* Pool gear: flip flops, googles, haircap

 
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What’s in my bag:
* Clean clothes, usually work clothes
* Shoes, usually low/comfy sandals to drive around, and I leave my work sandals in my car to put on when I get to work
* My swimsuit if I’ll be swimming
* A big bath towel
* A small towel to have by me when I work out
* IPod
* Hair ties
* NUUN
* Water bottle
* Keys
* IPhone

 
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Do you take a bag with you when you work out? Do you take a lot of stuff with you?



 

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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.

 

I Don’t Know How To Run 5K

Ab work this morning at the gym, followed by a 2250 meters (2460 yards) swim. Taking it kind of easy for a 5K race tomorrow morning. I’ve never raced one, and I can’t remember the last time I ran just 5K, but it’s been at least 2 years. Usually my training runs are at least 8K.

 
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I’m really excited about tomorrow, although at the same time if I have to use just one word to describe how I feel about this race, it would be confused. I will think of this race as a training tempo run, where I do the last 5K at a faster pace, and try to copy that tomorrow. After a warm up run, 5K tempo will be the race.
The possibility of going out too fast when it’s a shorter race seem even more probable than usual, at the same time going too conservatively and then having the race be over too fast, without never making the hardest possible effort, would suck a little.
In the end, it will be a good experience, if only learning wise.

 
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This will be a small race and there will be a few people I know, so I am looking forward to hanging out and talking to friends. I wish I could run a great time, but I’m not feeling it too much. I haven’t tapered, except for taking it slightly easier after my 5 day running streak late last week, and my nutrition and sleep have been lacking due to same late nights.

 
I need to work on my playlist, I will need only a few songs, and then I’m going to bed to watch some TV. I may lose your respect, but I’ve been watching Devious Maids and it’s so entertaining. I’m so tired when I go to bed that I can only watch light stuff, and this show is doing it for me. The maids and the families they work for have some interesting stuff going on.

 

What is your favorite low quality entertainment?

For me it’s reality TV.

Any 5K race tips?



 

A Post About Actual Workouts, and Some Songs

I want to taper right for next Saturday’s race, and get there with 100% rested legs. I don’t know when was the last time I felt that, completely rested legs. It’s been a while. As nice as that sounds, it’s easier said than done.

 
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I reduced the distance of my Friday’s long run a little, and kept them both (Friday and Saturday) lighter in terms of pace:

 
Friday: Long Run – 18K/11.2M – Average pace 04:58 Min/KM (07:59 Min/Mile). And no, I will not round up to 08:00 Min/Mile.
The last 5K were faster than I had planned, but that’s a relatively short distance anyway, so it wasn’t too bad, pace for the 5K 04:42 Min/KM (07:35 Min/Mile)

 
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Saturday: Easy Run – 10K/6.2M – Average pace 04:57 Min/KM (07:57 Min/Mile).
I started running really early on Saturday, around 5:30, because I wanted to make it to the gym for some strength work afterwards, and also be home early to do something with the kids.
Even though the boardwalk was almost deserted at that time, it was perfect to run by the sea so early, perfect wind, cool air, no sun in my eyes.
I just realized now, writing this post, average pace for this run was the same as Friday’s much longer run. Not good. I like my splits though.

 
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After those 2 weekend runs, and considering I need to taper, I am keeping it lighter this week. Shorter runs, easier pace, less crosstraining.

 
Sunday: Boring Recovery run, 8.2K/5.1M, average pace 05:03 Min/KM (08:07 Min/Mile). Did this one this morning. And geez, looks like I’m stuck pace wise.

 
Monday: The gym opens later than usual tomorrow, so I will attempt to do a HIIT run outside, only 4 intervals and not at my fastest speed, just kind of a light HIIT during taper. So it shouldn’t be too bad/hard to do this outside. I have set my Garmin for automatic lap pace every half KM (usually I have it for auto lap each 1 KM), so after a warm up of 2KMs and a gradual speed increase over the next 2KM, I will do 4 intervals of half KM fast, half KM slow.

 
Tuesday: 3KM/3280yards swim. Yeah looking forward to this one (NOT).

 
Wednesday: Another HIIT run but only 5K/3.1M total, with the fast intervals being only 30 seconds long. And with this I’ll be done with running until race day/.

 
Thursday: Rest (this is a first, I usually crosstrain 2 days before a race)

 
Friday: Rest.

 

 
My April’s race playlist only had 3 songs I haven’t posted in my previous race playlists so I am adding them to this post.

 
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Only three, but awesome songs, check them out:

 

 

 

 

How do you taper? Do you have a favorite taper workout?