GymBug

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

Archive for the tag “tough mudder”

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

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Energy drinks; recipe for a sugar crash

Hi there!

I found an article recently about energy drinks and how they can contain up to 20 teaspoons of sugar PER CAN! This is insane, especially since our new recommended daily amount of sugar has been reduced to 6 teaspoons according to the WHO. This is insane and what’s even more concerning is that people, especially children, are drinking these regularly! I did a post on child obesity and this links directly with that. Studies have linked energy drink consumption with issues such as obesity, caffeine overdoses, risky behaviour and addiction.

Thee energy drinks are also targetted at those who participate in sports as a way to get that ‘much needed energy boost’ to improve performance. I can’t sit here and say I’ve never drank them and I never will again. I had half a red bull a few weeks ago (I had been drinking a little, so my ability to comprehend it’s awful-ness was hindered somewhat) but I most certainly drink far less. I probably average about 1 every 6-8 months. Prior to my half a can of red bull a few weeks ago, I think the last one I had was in the summer of 2014.

Anyway, energy drinks are getting an increasingly bad reputation. When I say energy drinks I’m referring to brands such as Red Bull, Monster, Rockstar, Bullet and so on. They typically come is huge cans as well. They are also becoming increasingly mixed with artificial fruit juices to make them more appealing. Not only does this amp up the calories but it makes the sugar content sky rocket. For example, Rockstar Tropical Punch contains 260 calories and 31g of sugar! That’s 20 teaspoons of sugar (Note; 1 teaspoon of sugar= 4grams) These energy drinks truly are something to avoid consuming regularly!

Energy Drinks

There are other drinks out there, such as Powerade or Lucozade, that are marketed as ‘sports drinks’ and something athletes should consume to help them. However, you should really only consume these ‘sports drink’ (I’m using the term lightly) when you’re participating in long, intense exercise. Typical standard is to skip the ‘sports drink’ if you’re running anything less than 30 minutes. Consumption of them before, during or after anything longer than this can be beneficial as it provides your body with carbohydrates, which is necessary to endure and recover. I typically opt for water however, whatever the distance or I’ll choose energy tablets, which you dissolve into water, for example I drank High5 Zero Pink Grapefruit before I ran Tough Mudder in 2014. I did notice I didn’t cramp during the race, which I did in 2013. High5 is an electrolyte based ‘sports drink’ and I personally prefer them a lot more to traditional ‘sports drink’ or energy drinks. But again, I only consume them for hard, intense, long exercise (or if I’m hungover, they work wonders).

An increasingly popular alternative is to make your own! Here’s a recipe I found on Everyday Roots.

Make Your Own Electrolyte Drink

Gym Bug

Image 1 Source; http://www.foodnavigator-usa.com/var/plain_site/storage/images/publications/food-beverage-nutrition/foodnavigator-usa.com/markets/bad-press-affecting-energy-drink-category-mintel/8678378-1-eng-GB/Bad-press-affecting-energy-drink-category-Mintel.jpg

Image 2 Source; http://everydayroots.com/homemade-energy-drink

Working out sore muscles; Yaay or Naay?

Hi there!

I’m sure we’ve all been there. We’ve lifted heavier, pushed harder or returned to training after a break. We wake up the next day and feel like we’ve been hit by a bus. The question some of us may ask is; Can I (or should I) work out? I read an article recently from Greatist that discusses this. The pain is called Exercise Induced Muscle Damage (EIMD) and typically results in the onset of Delayed Onset Muscles Soreness (DOMS). I’ve been there, worst DOMS I experienced was after Tough Mudder, which I completely expected given I ran 11miles and tackled 25 gruelling obstacles. I had to take 2 days off from intense exercise to recover. Greatist also mentions that if your muscles are restricting your movement or limiting your strength then it’s probably best to listen to your body and give it a break.

The reason for taking a break? The muscle pain you feel is caused by microscopic tears in the muscle fibres and overworking these can make it much worse and lead to greater injury, which would see you out of training for a long time (trust me, I’ve been there).

You can opt for light exercise, such as walking or low-intensity cycling. Just make sure it’s low-impact. You can also work different muscle groups, focusing on those that don’t hurt, this is good also for ensuring you have a varied routine to ensure all muscle groups are worked.

Other methods Greatist mentioned to alleviate muscle soreness is ice baths, a massage and good old-fashioned stretching! Personally, I usually go for stretching and foam-rolling to help my achey muscles. I also use a massage bar from Lush which works wonders!

A key thing to mention and trust me, it’s solid advice you must adhere to; do not exercise if the pain is intense, on-going or highly restrictive. You should seek a doctor or a physiotherapists advice if you experience intense pain during, before or after a workout. I found myself with a grade 2 groin strain in January 2014 and was unable to do cardio for 8 weeks and once I could do cardio, it was light cycling for a few weeks before I could build it up. I also had to endure sports ‘massages’ from a physio (unpleasant to say the least). That extra workout when you’re sore is not worth it. Listen to your body. Plus, a sneaky extra rest day is always enjoyable (and good for the mind and motivation).

http://amandastonebarger.com/2014/05/04/mile-806-why-you-shouldnt-feel-guilty-about-rest-days/

Gym Bug

Image source; http://amandastonebarger.com/2014/05/04/mile-806-why-you-shouldnt-feel-guilty-about-rest-days/

Getting Motivated

Hi there!

Hope everyone is enjoying the New Year! Since it’s a New Year you may be looking to change up your training, do something different, explore a new way of fitness? Well, I have a few challenges you may be interested in trying out to get that extra kick you need to make 2015 a great and healthy year!

I’ve already written about Spartan Race and Tough Mudder and I recommend checking those posts out! (of course I do) but there’s also plenty more motivational challenges to take up!

If getting super filthy and electrocuted is not your thing there are plenty others to take a look at. If you’re a Rock ‘n’ Roll fan (or just keen to run) then ‘Rock and Roll Edinburgh Half Marathon & 10K’ could be right up your alley! They have events all over the world! I’m going to enter the Madrid 10km in April. Check it out!

Not a runner? No problem! What about doing a combination of cycling, climbing and canoeing in the Lake District? This one is a lot more expensive (£195 plus min. £2,000 sponsorship) but it looks incredible and all money raised goes to Action Medical Research (helping families cope with early babies, disabled children or caring for a child with a rare disease). You join a team of 3 other people to cycle 50 miles through the Lake District before climbing Mt Helvellyn and then finishing off with a canoe trip to Lake Thirlmere. Sounds tough!

If you’re more of a water baby then why not give the Great Swim a go? It proudly boasts the fact that it’s Europe’s biggest open water swim series in clean lakes, lochs and urban docks all over Britain. It’s the first year it has an official charity which is the phenomenal Macmillan Cancer Support, but you can raise money for any charity you wish. It’s throughout Britain between June and August.

For those of you that are up for a tough, gruelling triathlon that also raises money for blood cancer research then the Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research Blenheim Palace Triathlon is for you! (What a mouth full!) Again, it’s more expensive (but it’s a great cause) Registration costs from £82.50 and you need a min. sponsorship of £300. It takes place in Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire. You can race individually or as a team.

You should take a look at local runs too. Park Run is a brilliant organisation that free, weekly, timed 5km races around the world. The linked website is specifically for the UK but Google it to find out about any in your area! It’s a great way to meet runners and set yourself a weekly motivational goal!

This is literally a teeny, tiny teaspoonful of what’s out there in terms of charity sporting events, take a good look and pick your motivation! I’ve got Spartan Race in a few months and it’s constantly motivating me to keep pushing a little harder. With my injury my aerobic fitness is plummeting but with the knowledge that I have to endure a grueling 8 mile obstacle course I know I’ll be fighting fit again in no time!

So choose your challenge and get going!

Gym Bug

Tough Mudder; Challenge Yourself

Hi there!

Today’s post is about Tough Mudder. I’ve already done one for Spartan Race as I have signed up to take on the challenge in 2015.
From experience I can tell you this is brutal and satisfying at the same time. You get to the first obstacle and fly through but by obstacle 5 and mile 6 fatigue is setting in. Your fellow competitors don’t run past aiming to cross the line before you, no, they stop and help. It’s not about the finish line, it’s about the race. A race you take on with your fellow runners, you help your fellow Mudder. This is not a marathon, you do not care about your time. You care about the journey.

The best, most exhilarating and challenging sporting event I have ever done. I completed it in 201 and 2014. It’s a 12-mile long obstacle course designed by the Special Forces. It challenges everything from team work to physical and mental strength.

Past participation has me convinced the worst obstacle is Arctic Enema. Literally, jump into an ice bath, go under a barrier and then back out. Sounds easy enough, right? Wrong. Your muscles start to seize up when you hit the water and the air goes out your lungs, but it’s fantastic, because it’s all about proving that you can do it. Don’t panic though, there’s loads of people there to help you through and drag you out if it’s too much.

It’s a brilliant day and it raises money for Help For Heroes! You’ll meet loads of like-minded fitness fanatics as well as the people just “giving it a go”. I can’t express how much fun it is and the orange head band and delicious, ice-cold pint at the end is a perfect ending to a long, tough, muddy run.

The best part is, is that it gives you a goal for training! It requires cardio fitness and full body strength to do well, so get going and get motivated! Your entry fee includes a Tough Mudder headband, special t-shirt, pint at the end, fuel during the run and the post run party! Also, if you have completed more than one of these events, you start collecting “Legionnaire” headbands, different colours represent the number of times you’ve tackled a Tough Mudder. I’ve got a green one since I’ve done it twice.

Think you’ve got it? Think you can earn your headband? Sign up!

They’ve got competitions in the UK, US, Australia and numerous other countries across Europe!

You’ll be sore the next day but you’ll wake up feeling awesome because you’re officially part of Mudder Nation.

It’s time to get Muddered!

Gym Bug

Spartan Race 2015!

Hi there!

Last night my sisters and I finally signed up for our first Spartan Race! We’re running the Super Spartan in Scotland on July 19th. It’s a 13km course with 20+ obstacles and I cannot wait! I’ve completed 2 Tough Mudders in the past (I’ll write up a post about them too) and wanted to try something different so we’re going for it in 2015!

What is it though?
It’s a tough, gruelling obstacle course with 3 different choices of courses.

  • Sprint; 5 km course consisting of 15+ obstacles. I would recommend this if it’s your first time ever doing an obstacle course and you want to try it out.
  • Super; 13 km course consisting of 20+ obstacles. We’ve opted for this one because we feel we can manage it having done two Tough Mudders.
  • Beast; 20 km course consisting of 25+ obstacles. Wah-wah wee-wah!

They mix their obstacles up for every race and a few are terrain specific, so you never actually know what you’re up against! These events are held all over the world. You’ve got races in the UK, US, Spain, Italy, Greece and so many more. Check out their Find A Race section for more races!

You can run for fun or for charity. When you’re signing up (as an individual or team) then you can select whether you want to raise money for a charity or not.
The set- up of the day is that 250+ participants are released in waves every half hour. You can select which time you want to set off (earliest 9:30am latest is about 2pm). You get a tracking chip so you can see your time after the event!

Your payment includes a finisher’s medal, special event T-Shirt, tracking chip, headband with your bib number and access to the post-run party. It’s really worth the money when you think about what these races do for you!

You probably want to know what I mean by “do for you”. They’re gruelling and often very muddy but they are a great motivational tool. You want to finish once you’ve signed up and told people, right? So you’ll train and work at improving fitness and strength. You’ll see great differences. Also, finishing these types of races feels amazing, it’s a great confidence booster. If you sign up a team you really appreciate camaraderie, even as an individual you’ll find yourself being helped by complete strangers all about helping one another.  It’s a great atmosphere and you’ll get such a buzz!
One thing I will note is that whilst Spartan encourages helping your fellow racers, they do have cash prizes and rankings available, which sets it apart from Tough Mudder.

But if you’re looking for a new challenge and some post-Christmas motivation I definitely recommend taking a look at these races!

Aroo! Aroo!

Gym Bug

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