Beginner’s Running Guide

When I started running years back, I just started running. It was just something I got up and did. I didn’t run with anyone or enlist in a “Learn to Run” program. (In reality, I was too self conscious to do either.) I just ran.

Now-a-days there are tons of opportunities in my area for people to join programs to learn to run and there are dozens of websites to show you how to get started. So today I am jumping on that bandwagon.

Running*

*Note – Be sure to stop and rest if it’s required. If you’re having trouble making the times set out in this guide, try cutting it down to half or a third the time. You can always increase it.

The thing with running is that, really, you can only get better. You might stumble, you might roll an ankle, you might run out of breath, you might pants and wheeze and want to die (please, as with any exercise program, be cautious of your health limitations) – but it WILL get better.

When I first started running I had to stop and rest and catch my breath more often than not. I have a heart condition and I have lung problems and, I basically just sucked. But, I kept at it and I’ve learned to condition and pace myself. My stamina and longevity improved, my lungs, for the most part, function better and take seem to take in more air – which is attributed to proper breathing technique and better overall fitness. I can now run long distances without having to stop (unless it’s for a pee break, which is a whole other can of worms) and I feel exhilarated when I think I’m ready to stop but just keep on going.

Below are just a few tips on how to ensure a better run:

1) Make sure you have good running shoes. I mean it. Don’t try to run in Converse or old sneakers. Splurge and get yourself a great pair of runners with shock absorbers. Your entire body will thank you.
2) Ladies – invest in a good bra. ‘Nuff said!
3) Have some good beats. The right kind of music can keep you going longer than you think. If you’re like me, find even that one song and stick it on repeat.
4) Have a running buddy and motivate each other. And if you’re deciding to run on your own (and not on a treadmill) be sure to tell others of your trail and/or take a phone for emergencies (try carrying a piece of ID as well).
5) DO NOT RUN WITH AN INJURY. I made this mistake. Trying to run with shin splits, a pulled hamstring, a rolled ankle or even a bad headache can/will do more damage to your body. Treat your body with respect. I learned the hard way.
6) Do not run in crazy heat. Again, I made this mistake. I ran in the early morning in July in a heat wave, ended up with a migraine, heatstroke and collapsed on the trail. It was not a pretty sight.
7) Hydrate. Drink lots of water the few hours leading up to your run (not so much that you’ll have to stop and pee as soon as you get started) and within the hour following your run.
8) Rest when it’s needed. There is no shame in walking!
9) Dress for your body and the temperature. Assume it’s 10 degrees warmer than it is and dress for that. Your body will warm up and you don’t want to overheat. Also, if things tend to chafe or you sweat in strange areas, try wearing something spandex-y or applying deodorant or Vaseline in that area so that things glide. 🙂
10) Protect yourself with sunscreen, a hat, sunglasses, gloves, extra socks, whatever is required depending on the conditions.

You can find a bazillion other running tips online – just use your Google. 😉

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Post-Exam Therapy

My.Exam.Is.OVER!!!!!!

Thank goodness! I wrote last Thursday and it was a process. I studied my butt off for that darn test and, in all honesty, I wasn’t completely ready. I’m still not ready. It’s a lot to know and take in. I am refusing to look at my books until I get the results of the exam – I really don’t want to psyche myself out until the time comes. Right now I’m just trying to relax and stay calm and collected as much as possible until I get my grade. (Passing mark, by the way, is 80% so *FINGERS CROSSED PLEASE*.)

I’ve been in the gym and my classes as regular and made sure that I finished writing the exam as much on time as possible so I could boot it home in time to hit the gym, Zumba and then yoga because, after the stress and anxiety of studying, preparing and writing I definitely needed a good workout or two. And I made sure I got them that night!

Motivation

This certification has been a process. Thank you all for sticking with me and supporting me.

Stay tuned – there’s more in store and Batman is still coming! He writes this weekend and then he’s promised to fulfil his duties as an interviewee. 🙂

xo
~Fit Bitch

I’m Not the Superhero…

Hello my dearies! Listen (re. Read), I know I’ve been a little slacky in the posting department but the bane of my existence lately has been studying.
My CanFitPro Personal Training (written) exam is in one week and aside from my full-time job, fitness classes and regular gym routine, my life has primarily revolved around studying. Bah! Do you KNOW how long it’s been since I’ve been in school? I did not expect a 6 week cram session. (On top of all this I’m also the Maid-of-Honor in my friend’s wedding the week following my exam so seriously, my life is beyond busy right now. But I’m a trooper, dammit!)

I’ve been working my butt off at the gym – my running is going so great – except that I lost my iPod and therefore my running music so I’m now using a cheesy MP3 player that is going to be smashed to bits when I get a new/find my iPod – and the increased strength training even better. I’ve been trying out new things too – new exercises and moves and, I’m just loving it all.

Construction

I’m always excited to try new workouts and new exercises. And this past week I’ve been experimenting a little bit here and there and am absolutely loving the way I feel. I like to feel accomplished at the end of my workouts and these new one leave me feeling just that.

In other news – as some of you (who’ve been reading for a while) may recall, I’ve been dealing with some minor health issues for a while and trying to pinpoint certain things to see what’s the cause of this and that – and for me, most of all, what’s the cause of my weight gain. Last Tuesday I had blood work done on two requisitions. On Wednesday my doctor phoned and said my liver functions were way up and she sent me back for more blood work on Thursday. Now, I have already been diagnosed (several years back) with Gilberts Symdromeso we weren’t surprised that my levels were up and my bilirubin was acting cray-cray. But, when I saw my doctor this week she advised that she is quite concerned about other functions being up and with no explanation. So she gave me another requisition for more blood work. And yesterday she phoned AGAIN and sent over yet another requisition for MORE blood work. At the rate I’m going with these damn vampires I’m not going to have any blood left. I also have an appointment with a liver specialist who can hopefully identify what’s going on within my body. Truth be told, I feel fan-friggin’-tastic!! So, at this point I’m really not that worried.

And stay-tuned…Batman is still coming!

~Fit Bitch

Spring Challenges

fitneschallenge

For those of you who are looking for a little pre-summer toning workout ideas, I offer to you (again) the 30 Day Ab Challenge and the 30 Day Squat Challenge.

These are great little workouts and, if you combine them you’ll be working double time and double the muscle groups (which is great for burning more calories).

There are several options for doing these challenges: 1) Doing one or the other on its own 2) Doing one and incorporating it into your workout 3) Doing both Challenges together 4) Doing both Challenges and incorporating them into your workout. Whatever you choose to do is what’s BEST FOR YOU! Your body will let you know what it needs and what’s too much.

If you want to throw in a few other Challenges with these, simply go to the “Search” bar above and type in “Challenge” and you can pick your beast.

Have fun!

~Fit Bitch

You Don’t Know Me

From reading some of my previous posts over the last year +, you’ve probably come to realize that I hate the scales. I think scales can be the devil and can deter your efforts and, honestly, make you feel like a big ol’ pile of crap. I hate them.

Spending a good portion of my teenage years suffering from eating disorders, I became obsessed with my weight, scales and weighing myself – sometimes doing so 3 and 4 or more times a day. I lived on the minimalist of food – usually just a spoonful of yogurt in the morning, sometimes an apple midday. And I’d jump on the scales all those times hoping, praying for the number to go down, not realizing that that little contraption was killing me slowly.

Eventually, after therapy, relapses, more therapy, and a change in attitude, I decided to never, myself, get on the scales again. I do so only at the doctor’s office and even then, I am not permitted to know my weight. It is too detrimental to my mental health and to my heart.

I’m not going to lie to you…as much as I am all for fitness and healthy and clean living, I still struggle with these demons every.single.day. I probably always will. It is a part of who I am and, for the most part, whether I like it or not, I’ve accepted it.

But you know what? Regardless of the number of the scale, how many squats I can do, how many miles I can run – none of that defines me! What defines me is my spirituality, my personality, my soul, my love, my beliefs, my values – the things that actually MATTER!

I share these personal words with you so that you can accept who you are and (hopefully) not let the nonsense define you either. We are all wonderful creatures and we should be able to lay our heads down at night and reflect on “Was I a good person today? Did I love to my fullest today? Did I live to my fullest today?” and not “Did I eat too much today? Did I exercise enough today? Did I gain any weight today?”<<- because that crap right there doesn't matter. We are who we are. There is no justice in those scales. Love yourself!

Scales

~Fit Bitch

You!

We’re all different and unique. We are what we are. Love yourself.

You

~Fit Bitch

Run, Run as Fast as You Can

If you can recall, a few months ago I posted about the Zombie Run that I stumbled across and really wanted to do but, alas, it was only available in the US.

Well, last week, I discovered a Zombie Trail Run here in Nova Scotia slated for this coming September…and OF COURSE I jumped on that bandwagon really fast! I just registered myself and my bestie (still working on the boyfriend) and seriously, I am giddy with excitement for this.

THIS IS HAPPENING!!
Zombie

September cannot come fast enough! Anyone else participating in a Zombie Run anywhere??

~Fit Bitch

Cassey Ho’s Waist Whittlers Challenge

Last night at the end of my kickboxing class we worked on our abs – rotating from minute long planks to push-ups – about a dozen times. Starting off, it seemed simple enough but after about the 4th minute I wanted to cry a little…I mean, we’d just done an hour long kickboxing class mixed with some HIIT (high intensity interval training). But if felt great and it was a superb way to end a long work week.

Today was going to be my day off from exercise as I’ve got shin splints and calf muscle cramps and I just need to relax and let my body heal. BUT, I gave into the voices in my head and decided to try a Challenge I’d seen earlier in the week.

Cassey Ho has a great fitness website – Blogilates – and this morning I made it through her Waist Whittlers 100 Challenge. Let me just say that after the ab workout I had last night I probably should have waited a little longer before completing this little workout – I have a feeling my body will be screaming at me tomorrow. Regardless, it was a fun little workout and I will be doing it again. Give it a try and let me know what you think.

~Fit Bitch

30 Day Arm Challenge

Spring has finally arrived which means that summer is on the way, WHICH MEANS that baring our arms is more than likely about to become a necessity for survival in the heat.

Therefore, welcome to the next 30 days of your life with the 30 Day Arm Challenge. These are great little workouts for beginners or people who want to tone up and improve upper body strength.

This Challenge can be completed on its own or accompanied by your regular workout regime. And just remember, as with all my Challenges, HAVE FUN!!

30 day ARm challenge

~Fit Bitch

*Edit: I’ve had a few people ask me what Dips are and how to do them so I’m including a few photos of different variations. The main points to keep in mind when doing dips are to keep your core tight and DON’T let your shoulders sink.
Tricep Dips can be done from the floor, an exercise ball, a weight bench or from a chair – basically any surface that will support you. Keeping your core tight, with your elbows behind you, BEND from the elbows and lower your body – do not lower from the core, it should always be tight and stable – and lift back up to starting position. Repeat as per the Challenge.

chair-dip
DIPS
Guy Dip