Friday, May 20, 2016

Steps are the Hills of London

If you want to learn more about my challenge: Running a 5k in every borough in London in one weekend, please go here! I am running for CrisisUK, and you can donate to the cause here

We encounter steps every day in our lives. I climb 5 flights every day heading into the office, mostly because our lifts are so darn slow. When trying to avoid a dreadmill session, I decided to try and find some steps to help recreate my hill session.

Luckily, Annie from Exerk did the hard work for me. She sought out a good portion of publically accessible stairs in London and posted for all to enjoy.

I did this workout in the morning, because, let's face it, More London during the day is rammed with people. I also added a tiny loop (a little less than half a kilometer) to help me shake out the steps after each set. At first I did just stepping up, then started to push off more with the balls of my feet to add an explosive mini launch. This was good as the steps were quite wide so a normal step required a quick shuffle closer, whereas the launch got me to the next step.

Do you incorporate steps/hills into your sessions? I know I have a few hills in my challenge, but I am hoping these trainings will prepare me for them as best as possible.

I made a video showing my session with some 'fun facts'. I also learned a fun fact about recording on a iPhone and importing into GoPro can lead to some funny angles that can't be fixed. Hence the jaunty angle for the first bit. I apologise.

I am really hoping to get in a 17 mile run this weekend-- we shall see how that goes! Until next time everyone, keep running and keep happy!

Monday, May 2, 2016

Week Three: Back on Track (finally?!)

If you want to learn more about the challenge I am training for: Running a 5k in every borough in London in one weekend, please go here! I am running for CrisisUK, and you can donate to the cause here. Interested to run a borough with me? Email me at moosenshoes[at]gmail[dot]com (slightly obfuscated to confuse the bots!)

Niggles are a weird thing. You incessantly worry about it and at the same time beat yourself up for not exercising enough. I got a lot.. and I mean a lot of TLC time with my foam roller. I spent more time with my foam roller than Mr. Moose. To be fair, I was so grumpy (or as Vassos Alexander calls it-- run-mpy), he probably did not want to spend time with me anyways.

I did learn the importance of positive thinking, even though I didn't feel quite positive most of the time. I was still keeping my steps count high and telling myself that a few days off will not set me back. In fact, when I developed my running schedule, I worked in a few weeks where I knew I would not be able to put in the miles I want. Maybe I was also thinking that it's good to have a few 'taper weeks'  to give the body a bit of a rest and let it recover before progression. I was quite tipsy on sake though, so I probably wasn't thinking about much of anything, but let's give myself the benefit of the doubt here.

Maybe a bit more important was the importance of cross training. I did a body pump session at my local Fitness First on Saturday morning, and it felt amazing. I was having quite a few 'muscle shakes' during it, which sucks at the time, but I know it results in a stronger body.

MOOSENSHOES TIP #1: Positive thinking will get you through the tough times. So does cake, but enjoy responsibly

Another class I probably NEVER would have done healthy but as I was looking for a low impact activity was 'acqua'. This class was done in the pool and was basically using the resistance of the water paired with dancing to burn calories. I felt a bit silly and was worried about being the youngest person there by a good 30 years. In actuality, it was about 10 of us of mixed age-- and the dance tracks were quite great! It was a mix of latin, swing, pop (Gangnam Style in the pool is hilarious), and dance.

MOOSENSHOES TIP #2: Cross Train. Try a spin class, hop in your local pool, do a body combat/body pump class. Mix it up and watch your body get fitter and stronger. 

Speaking of keeping my steps count up, Mr. Moose and I went to Whitstable to soak up some sun. It felt amazing walking along the beach promenade, watching all the dogs go crazy (pebbles! people! other dogs! birds! I AM LOSING MY SH*T!), and of course, having an ice cream. Even though I was silently wishing I had my running gear with me, I was also quite content sitting and watching the clouds go by.

MOOSENSHOES TIP #3: Sometimes what your body needs is to do nothing. Your body is an amazing machine, but all machines need to recharge at some point.   

I went for my first run yesterday with some hesitation-- was I ready? I was telling myself to take it slow and only go a 5k. After a proper good stretch I set off. Oh. My. It felt amazing. Even dodging tourists was enjoyable because I was running again! Hooray!

Dare I go farther? Oh I dared. 10km through my favourite city and I was in love with running all over again.

So here is hoping I am back solidly on the running wagon. I will still go to my physio appointment because I want to know why I got that niggle and how I can avoid it creeping up in the future.

Happy running/cross-training everyone!

Hard to hate a view like this...