GymBug

I've caught it. Fortunately, it's not treatable.

Archive for the tag “activity”

My first 10k race

Hi there!

I did it! This morning at 8:30am in Madrid I began my first ever 10km race at the Madrid Rock n Roll event. It was really different from my usual 10k runs (obviously) mainly because I set myself a target of 50 minutes. I’m so glad and proud to say not only did I not surpass this target, I was under! According to my Tom Tom Cardio GPS Watch I completed the 10k in 00:48:13, my official time (shown below) registered me at 00:49:48 with my “net time” being 00:48:21. This placed me 558/5408 overall, 48/2468 women and 4/128 category A!

Madrid Rock n Roll (4)

I’m not entirely clear on their timing method because some people with the same ‘official time’ but longer ‘net time’ were placed ahead of me in the official rankings! But it doesn’t matter! I ran a personal best for outdoor 10k (I ran 10k in just over 47 minutes on the treadmill) and I completed my first race, so I’m very pleased.

Madrid Rock n Roll (3)Madrid Rock n Roll

The atmosphere was brilliant. There was so many people cheering, great volunteers handing out water, medals, bananas, High5 taster packs and so on! Brilliant event that was well attended and everyone was in fantastic spirits despite the rain!

Madrid Rock n Roll (2) Madrid Rock n Roll (1)

I can’t recommend organised races enough! My next one is May 30th for the Edinburgh Marathon Festival 10k event!

Huge congratulations to all the racers today. And especially those who ran the marathon or half marathon, true inspiration!

Gym Bug

Compression gear

Hi there!

This post has been inspired by my most recent purchase! I just bought Sub Sports RX Women’s Graduated Compressio Baselayer Calfguards (try saying that 10 times fast). They are currently reduced from £19 to £12 with free UK delivery, bargain! I read reviews and the general resonse was that they were good quality and great for helping muscle recovery. I shall update you on my own personal experience once I’ve tried them out!

So, why bother spending money on compression gear? I personally suffer from shin splints and started with a pair of calf guards when I got sick of the bike and wanted to run again. I found they really did make a difference. The idea behind comprssion calf sleeves or compression socks is to squeeze your legs and help blood move up. Ths helps prevet inflammation, improves muscle recovery and (to a much smaller extent) reduces blood clots*. Runners World explains that it helps reduce lactic acid build up and increase circulation to the muscles.

Compression socks are no longer the only kind of compression gear you can buy. You can now also get full upper body or lower body compression baselayers, arm compression sleeves and compression shorts. Prices tend to be high for the decent quality gear (such as 2XU, CW-X and so on).

Initially, compression gear can be wildly uncomfortable to put on and take off, but after seeing how much it helped me recover and prevent shin splints, I can’t preach compression gear enough! Take a look around at the options, read reviews and try out different gear for yourself!

Have a great day! Almost Friday, woohoo!

Gym Bug

*www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/patientinstructions/000597.htm

Earn rewards for working out!

Hi there!

So there’s been a gap in my posts because my parents were out visiting me for Easter! After a phenomenal week I’m devastated to say they’ve now returned home but I will be seeing them again in 45 days! People say time flies when you’re having fun, I can now definitly vouch for that one. After my brilliant holiday it’s now to get back on track. 3 weeks until my first 10k and I have my final visitor in between (which is another 4 days off exercising, not a bad thing though) so need to say focused.

Today, I discovered Bounts which is an app that allows you to collect points for exercising. Paid to exercise!? That sounds too good to be true! You collect points through your work out (for example, you earn 15 points for a 20 minute workout on MapMyFitness if connected to Bounts). You can then redeem these points for vouchers at places such as Waitrose, Starbucks, M&S and New Look! You can connect loads of apps and fitness trackers!

If you do sign up use referral code white327 and you’ll get 50 points straight away!

Money for keeping fit? Win. Win.

Gym Bug

Build your own playlist

Hi there!

I was in the gym today and listening to my iPod whilst running and it inspired me to do this post! I’ve compiled a list of the 10 best songs for warm-up, high-intensity, low-intensity and cool-down! These are my personal favourites and always help me power through a tough workout.

Warm-Up

Ideally your warm-up playlist should have good, upbeat songs to get you ready to rumble!

  • One Republic- Something I Need
  • T Pain feat. Teddy Verseti- Church
  • One Republic- If I Lose Myself
  • Jessie J- Do It Like A Dude
  • The Temper Trap- Fader
  • Avicii- Levels
  • 3OH!3 feat. Katy Perry- Starstrukk
  • Labrinth- Treatment
  • Cupid- 369
  • Zedd- Clarity

High-Intensity

This workout is likely to be tough, so you need good, strong rhythm to kee pyou powering through!

  • The All-American Rejects- Dirty Little Secret
  • Arm Van Buuren feat. Lauren Evans- Alone
  • The Saturdays- Not Giving Up
  • Enrique Inglesias feat. Pitbull- I’m A Freak
  • Tiesto feat. Matthew Koma- Wasted
  • Jessie J feat. Ariana Grande & Nicki Minaj- Bang Bang
  • Pitbul feat. Ne-Yo- Time Of Our Lives
  • Axwell & Ingrosso- Something New
  • Porter Robinson- Language
  • Robbie Williams- Let Me Entertain You

Low-Intensity

Still hard but you don’t need to heavy beats this time round, think weight lifting type music.

  • Flo-Rida- GDFR
  • Hardwell feat. Jason Derulo- Follow Me
  • Fall Out Boy- Centuries
  • Fall Out Boy- Immortals
  • Alesso feat. Tove Lo- Heroes (We Could Be)
  • The White Panda- Midnight Life
  • Sigma feat. Paloma Faith- Changing
  • Paramore- Ain’t It Fun
  • Iggy Azalea feat. Rita Ora- Black Widow
  • Iggy Azalea- Bounce

Cool-Down

Phew!

  • Kelly Clarkson- Invincible
  • Alesso feat. Matthew Koma- Years
  • Jason Derulo- Undefeated (yeah you are!)
  • Kelly Clarkson- Stronger
  • Otto Knows- Million Voices
  • Hardwell feat. Mr. Probz- Birds Fly
  • Years & Years- King
  • Rihanna feat. Mikky Ekko- Towards The Sun
  • David Guetta feat. Emeli Sande- What I Did For Love
  • The Script- No Good In Goodbye

There we go! 10 songs, 4 work out types or sections! You could compile all 40 into one big playlist or split them up, add your own and what not! You could also pile them all into one playlist, jump on a treadmill, spin bike or head outside and match your pace to the song! Lots of HIIT there!

Have you got any must have songs?

Gym Bug

The scales

Hi there!

This won’t be a long post but hopefully help some people who, like me, tie too much relevance to the a number on the scales!

I decided to weight myself everyday I worked out for a week to see the fluctuations. I weighed myself directly after my workout! Here are the results;

Tuesday 54.4kg
Wednesday 54.6kg
Thursday 54.2kg
Friday 54.5kg
Saturday 54.6kg
Sunday 54.5kg

As you can see my weight never stayed steady, nor did it continuously increase or decrease. I went up and down throughout the week. These numbers were from last week and today I weighed in at 54.7kg (I usually weigh myself every Friday whilst I’m putting on weight, to make sure I don’t lose anymore). The key thing to notice here is that the scales aren’t everything! If you are looking to lose weight, then use the scales occassionally to ensure you’re staying on track but don’t use only the scales.
Take measurements of your waist, thighs, chest etc. These will be a better indicator if whether you’re shifting any excess fat whilst maintaining muscle. Muscle weighs more than fat so the numbers on the scales won’t give you any form of decent indication as to your overall health when you get to a point were muscle mass becomes more important than your fat.

Also, don’t just rely on measurements and numbers. Set performance goals like running a 5k in 30 minutes, squatting x amount of kilos, completing a Tough Mudder. All of these little goals can not only help you see improvement but can help keep you motivated.

Scales are inherently unrealiable and can make us feel rubbish!

Have an absolute blast this weekend guys, hope the weather is as nice as it is here in Madrid!

Gym Bug

How I drastically cut my 10km run time

Hi there!

When I started running consistently it was during my Christmas break of 2012. I had put on weight in first year (the ‘fresher’s fifteen’) and was really uncomfortable with how my clothes felt and how unfit I was generally. I started running with my dad who had been at it for a while. When I ran my first 10k it was brutal. My time was around 1 hour 15 minutes. It was a struggle the whole way and my evening was spent with me on the couch. It was here I realised just how unfit I had been.

I started running regularly and more and more I started to enjoy my Dad’s and I’s Sunday 10k sessions. By Christmas 2013 we were running 12k’s and made the mistake of doing a 16k too (no one won that one). Our 10k always hovered around the 1 hour mark. My dad is over 50, so we never pushed it.

Fast forward to Summer 2014. I went on a family holiday to Nerja (below you see the view from our villa, which indicates the length of the hill I had to run up). It was here my sister introduced me to hill sprints. Brutal, heart-pounding hill sprints. We only had to do roughly 20-30 minutes to be as worn out as a solid 45 minute run! I fell in love with the new high intensity element, something that I had generally lacked in my running. I continued to do hill sprints when I got home over the summer and I noticed my 10k runs with my Dad were becoming easier and easier (but not faster, because my Dad is over 50, I was warned).

I joined a gym within my first couple of weeks of moving to Madrid for a year abroad for University. I started off with just using the bike, doing some intervals and things. Then I went onto the treadmill and slowly started incorporating more and more intervals and HIIT into my cardio. I now combine HIIT on the treadmill and the bike for 2 cardio sessions a week, I do about 45 minutes each session.
Important; my first stint in Madrid was September-December, and I lost far too much weight. A key part of this was doing too much HIIT and not fuelling my body properly. Even with weight training I ended up being scrawny and unhealthy. If you do HIIT, ensure you’re fuelling your body correctly too. This means good carbs, protein and fats.

Now, onto Christmas 2014. I was limited to my exercise routine because I was putting on weight (because it was absolutely necessary). However, I did go out with my Dad for a 10k during my tme at home. The second we were out the car he said ‘Just you go on and run at your own pace’. I initially resisted, because I enjoyed the time we spent together running, but he refuses to accept it wasn’t my fault we ran a 16k!
It ended up being a mistake anyway, I ran so far ahead he tried to reduce the distance between us and pushed himself to far. However, I ran 11k in 57 minutes! I couldn’t believe it. I thought back to what caused my sudden incrase in speed and realised it was the HIIT. Whilst I did not fuel myself, my fitness and times improved dramatically (the lack of fuel is really bad and embarassing, I’m not endorsing my stupidity, if you do HIIT or speed work, fuel it right)!

My most recent 10k which I did on a treadmill clocked in at 47 mins 35 seconds. I altered my incline and speed throughout to achieve this and I wasn’t wiped out by the end! (I was tired, don’t get me wrong).

So, after this long (hopefully not boring) story, what’s my point? My point is if you want to cut your time and improve your fitness, logging kilometers and kilometers of steady running will not do it quite the same as using HIIT, hill sprints and lots of intervals. You need to speed train to improve your times!

Here’s an example of what you could do on a treadmill;

Warm-Up; 5 minutes at 9km/h

Sprint; 1 minute at 13-15km/h (wherever you feel you won’t come flying off the treadmill)

Rest; 1 minute at 9km/h

Repeat, repeat, repeat.

Cool-Down; 5 minutes starting at 9km/h then reducing by 0.5km/h every minute.

I do this often, I also mix it up with inclines in place of a sprint. The point is to challenge your body and your speed. You also don’t need to workout for as ong when doing HIIT because your sending your heartrate into a higher zone (if done correctly. Check out my HIIT post for more information on HIIT and routines!

Gym Bug

A step too far in tackling obesity?

Hi there!

I was on DailyMail (out of boredom, I don’t use it as my key news source) and the following article popped up; “Snacking ‘should be as shameful as smoking’. The article explains that Professor Susan Jebb has said that snacking on unhealthy foods and any meals served without vegetables should be seen as negatively as smoking in doors.

This is opening an already wide open door to socially obliterating obese people. It’s unfair. It’s also further widening the very dangerous door of social media inducing eating disorders such as disordered eating, anorexia, orthorexia nervosa and so on. By shaming people from having ‘an unhealthy meal’ or having ‘an unhealthy snack’ a stigma is being created surrounding these foods. A stigma I’ve fallen victim to myself.

Now I completely understand that we need to start doing something about the obesity  problem. It;s giving rise to a generation of overweight children, increasing the instances of diseases and is a heavy burden on public spending in the UK. But I do not believe making unhealthy foods ‘shameful’ is the way to do it. What about the people who live a healthy, balanced life? Are they not allowed to go out and enjoy a burger or a donut or a slice of cake? I know for a fact when I turn 21 this year I’ll be enjoying a delicious slice of cake and other little, delicious extras!

I believe the key to changing lifestyles is making it clear what health risks obese individuals face, the impact it has not only on themselves but their families, educating these people about how to deal with the issue and trying to life these stigma’s around foods. It’s also important to highlight how easy it can be to make small, healthy changes and start living a healthier lifestyle.

For example, make this more widely available

                                                                       The Eat Well Plate (UK)

There’s also some great resources out there that many proably do not know about. For example, there’s Change4Life in the UK offering tips, recipes, vouchers, information on local activities and support! Eat To Perform is another excellent source for information and some hard to hear facts that are incredibly motivating. (Side note, they’re articles help me deal with having to put on weight).

Now, I’m not saying this is the easiest thing to do. But it’s a lot easier than people think! It’s not about dieting (terrible word and I hate it) it’s about making healthy, sustainable changes in your life. Going for a walk everyday, having an apple instead of crisps (potato chips) at lunch, walking to the next bus stop, the small changes you can make today are endless! It’s also important not to be ashamed of not “eating 100% clean, 100% of the time”. What does that even mean-clean? Google ‘clean eating’ and I guarantee you’ll get numerous definitions!

Just try focus on eating good food, whole grains, vegetables, fruit, lean meats, protein and good fats. Get in a bit of cardio and weight training. Enjoy that slice of cake! Keep highly processed foods to a moderate amount, but don’t go cold turkey, trust me you’ll end binging, it’s not worth it!

If life becomes all about food and exercise (or not doing it) then it’s no fun. Again, trust me. I’m still coming out of some food and exercise related issues but I’m slowly learning food is to be enjoyed and 6-pack abs aren’t necesary to be happy!

Gym Bug

Edinburgh Marathon Festival 2015

Hi there!

I’ve already mentioned in a post a while that I was running the Edinburgh Marathon Festival 10K with my family, but I thought I’d tell you a little more about it!

There are 6 different events taking place on Saturday May 30th and Sunday May 31st. On Saturday the 10K, 5K and Junior Races take place. On the Sunday it’s the Marathon, Half-Marathon and Marathon Hairy Haggis Team Relay runs. There really is a distance for everyone!
Prices vary and can be found on their website. The price includes the run itself with all associated entertainment, a technical wicking finisher’s T-shirt, medal, accurate chip timing, training plan, online results and a race recovery pack! There is also stalls in the finisher’s area with companies marketing their products as well as delicious food and drink to be purchased! The course also has numerous water and energy stations, providing hydration and energy gels (the energy gels are for those running the Half Marathon or Marathon).

EMF 2015

The whole event is in support primarily of MacMillan Cancer Support, who you can choose to run and fundraise for when you sign up. You can of course choose to run for your own charity! It’s a great way to raise some money and get fit! My family are fundraising as a group for MacMillan because cancer has hit our family quite hard and we all know the value of support for the sufferers and their loved ones. I know it’s a big ask, but if you can spare anything please donate on our JustGiving page.

MacMillan are a brilliant chairty seeking to provide help and support. I can’t describe them any better than they have on their website;
“No one should face cancer alone. So when you need someone to turn to, we’re here. Right from the moment you’re diagnosed, through your treatment and beyond, we’re a constant source of support, giving you the energy and inspiration to help you take back control of your life.”

                                                                      Enough said.

As someone who has watched loved ones go through diagnosis, treatment and (unfortunately not everytime) recovery, I know how important a solid support system is and how valued it is by everyone involved. MacMillan deserve funding and are a key source of care for those suffering cancer and their loved ones.

So if you’re looking for some fantastic motivation, go for the Edinburgh Marathon Festival 2015! Get your running shoes and get going!

Gym Bug

My first 10k event!

Hi there!

Just a quick post for just now to share my excitement at having signed up for the Madrid Rock ‘n’ Roll 10k in April! I’m super excited and have signed up with a friend to do it. I’ve ran 10k before a lot but never in an event setting. This race as well gives loads of great perks icluding photos, pasta meal, a huge fitness expo, a commerative gift, T-Shirt and medal! All for £18. It’s incredible and I can’t wait to be part of a big runnig event through Madrid in the sunny month of April!

I’ve written a post already on motivation which explains how signing up to these things can be a great way to kick start a healthy change! Set yourself some realistic goals and you’ll be amazed by how great it is at helping you stick to your plans!

                                               Let’s get training!

Gym Bug

Macros

Hi there!

Discovered a brilliant image today on Facebook from The SFN Expo Facebook page. Macros are essentally your daily calori requirements, broken down into detailed calorie requirements for protein, fat and carbohydrates. Some people don’t like calculating macronutrients as they don’t feel it helps attain their fitness goals. However, if you’re interested in calculating your macronutrient requirements, you can do so following the steps below;

  1. Calculate your Total Daily Energy Expenditure
    (Weight in kilograms x 2.2) x (Number training hours per week + 9-12*)
    *you must select your intensity rate here for training, 9 being low intensity and 12 being high intensity)
  2. Calculate your protein requirements (in grams)
    Weight in kilograms x 2 grams (you can adjust this but try stay within 1.4-3.0)
    Multiply this by 4 to get calorie requirements from protein.
  3. Calculate your fat requirements (in grams)
    Weight in kilograms x 1 gram (adjustable but try keep this above 0.7)
    Multiply this by 9 to get calorie requirements from fat.
  4. Calculate your carbohydrate requirements (in grams)
    Total Daily Energy Expenditure- (Calories from protein + Calories from fat)
                                                          4
    Do not divide by 4 to determine your calorie needs from carbohydrates.
  5. Calculate your fibre intake (in grams)
    Total Daily Energy Expenditure
                      100
    It is advised to keep it at around 15g

I was curious about why you would consider calcuating your macros and found a great article on BodyBuilding. They give reasons to macro and reasons not to. I recommend reading the whole article on their website but the reasons are as follows;

Reasons to Macro;

1) You’re lean but you want to be leaner
2) You have no concept of what “enough protein” means
3) Your body signals are out of whack
4) You have a deadline to meet

Reason not to Macro;

1) Your neurosis gets you nowhere
2) You’re a macronutrient veteran
3) You just got your feet wet
4) You want to be healthy, not freaky shredded

There you have it! Macros all summed up. I calculated mine out of interest and my Total Daily Energy Expenditure is apparently around 1604 calories per day with workout intensity of 10, I do a lot of HIIT however, so when I shifted it to 12 (out of curiosity) it said I needed 1814 calories. I wrote a post recently about calorie calculators if you’re interested in seeing how different online calculators calculated my needs differently!

Have a great weekend!

Gym Bug

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