Wednesday, November 11, 2015

5 Reasons to do Outdoor Workouts

 If you read this blog or follow me on social media at all, then you know that I like to get outdoors to workout.

I can do a workout anywhere:

At the beach.

On the deck.

 On the driveway.

In the snow.

And if you're around, I'll get you to join me.

I like outdoor workouts because:
  1. they're fun and easy
  2. you can do them anywhere
  3. the exercises are spontaneous
  4. they keep your body guessing
  5. you are OUTSIDE!
Today I ran to the fitness center because I wanted to do some weight training. I'm trying to build my upper body strength by doing some boot camp style workouts. Since I don't own any weights (anymore), I have to go to the fitness center.

On my run there, I decided to stop and do some body weight exercises outside. I saw a perfectly good set of stairs that I could put to use. Nothing complicated. I usually choose exercises that I can't do indoors (like step ups/jumps) or that I don't want to do indoors when I can do them outdoors (squats/pushups).

I spent about 30 minutes at the gym using the free weights and medicine balls before running back home.

Do you workout outdoors?
What exercises would you do on stairs?

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Sweaty Style

It was noticeably cooler on my run this morning and it was nice. Instead of doing my usual lap around the waterfront near my apartment, I ran to another section of town. The waterfront is just as beautiful, but fewer people use the area.

My sweaty style has returned to the standard racerback and shorts. Any lightweight racerback that feels barely there will work for now, but I do prefer longer tops because I have a long torso. I switched to Oiselle shorts a couple of years ago and they are the only shorts I wear on outdoor runs here because the front pocket can hold my keys. Gone are the days of one simple valet key!

I recently started wearing more BAMR bands. They fit my head better and Katie makes it so easy to shop on Instagram! I've also started wearing my FlipBelt because my new iPhone6s doesn't fit in my wrist banjees, but I have my eye on this banjees armband. I just have to wait until I get home again to order it.

In addition to my run today, I did the Tuesday #F2F workout and this Standard Core Routine. It's got six familiar exercises, but Jason put in a couple of interesting modifications.

I busted out my Gymboss and did one set for 45 seconds each. Instead of splitting the side plank, I held each side for 45 seconds. That's why it looks like I have an extra exercise.

My right calf has a little tender spot, so I spent a little extra time with my foam roller. Tight calves have always been the main source of most of my running injuries. Thank goodness I packed the compression socks!

What is your favorite thing to wear lately?
Any sore spots you want to share?
What color are your compression socks?

Monday, November 9, 2015

Holiday Sweat Challenge: 500 Minutes

500 minutes. That is my goal for Week 1 of the Holiday Sweat Challenge. Just like last year, I'm participating in the Holiday Sweat Challenge to help me stay focused during the days and weeks of holiday distractions. It doesn't hurt that there are random prizes involved!

So how will I reach my goal of 500 minutes?

1. Running: I've got my own #runstreak plus a GMMRTT Halloween to Thanksgiving streak to keep my running shoes busy.
2. Hiking: climbing Nanshan's 850 steps usually takes about 90 minutes
3. Pilates: one hour yoga sweatfest on Fridays
4. Fit 2 Feast GMMRTT challenge: a daily workout challenge meant to compliment cardio
5. Strength training: 30 minutes of bootcamp style weight training twice a week

I kicked off week 1 with my long run yesterday. That was 61 minutes.

Today I started with a 1.08 mile run at sunrise. 10 minutes of beautiful sky to get the day started.

As much as I wanted to do a little outdoor workout, it was too warm. Back inside I did #F2F Monday workout: planks, lunges, and burpees. 7 minutes

After a quick breakfast I joined my SWIC friends for the weekly climb up the mountain. 90 minutes

The hard part of the Holiday Sweat Challenge for me last year was reaching the freggies goal of 7-9 servings daily. I have stocked up on fruits and veggies for my smoothies, but other than that I don't really have a plan.

How do you stay motivated during the holidays?
Do you eat 7-9 servings of freggies each day?

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Long Run Fun

The plan for today was to go out and try to run 5+ miles, without a group of MRTT running friends. Yikes! Haven't been able to do that for awhile, let alone in China. Fortunately mrC decided to get up early and ride along on his bike. My very own escort, chaperone, and mobile cheering section.

Once I got all my devices organized, we set out toward Shenzhen Bay Park. I figured it would take me about 1.5 miles to get there and then I could decide to turn around at 2.5, or 3 if I was feeling good. The temperature was already feels like 82 degrees at sunrise (6:30), but luckily it was cloudy. There was also a nice breeze coming off the bay which always helps.

The point of running to the park was to avoid sidewalk traffic, but it's a popular place on weekends. One nice feature of the park is the extra wide walkway...plenty of room for walkers, runners, and bikers. We saw what looked like a large local running group warming up and eventually running a 5K together. It felt like a race, but no one was wearing a bib and all the signs were in Chinese.

At the halfway mark of my run, my shirt was already soaked and my face felt like it was on fire. People keep telling us that the weather is going to cool off. After enjoying the cold weather back home, I'm even more impatient for the change to happen here.

Overall, today's long run was a success. Having mrC riding along side made it easier and my feet are happier in my new running shoes. My heel pain is not 100% gone, but significantly better. I'm glad that I made buying a new pair of shoes a priority when we were home.

I was ravenous after running 6.3 miles, so mrC's breakfast hit the spot. I also had a cup of yogurt and some coffee before sliding into my compression socks and setting up the iPad to watch a little Buckeye football.

Since I'm sharing food, we went to Sam's Club yesterday and I found Italian meatballs. Throw them in the crockpot with some bbq sauce and a secret ingredient...yum! Not exactly a warm weather meal, but seriously good.

Even though winter temperatures are delayed here in China (and in a lot of places back home too), there is less and less daylight happening. I jumped on the Oiselle #chasethebird bandwagon to make sure I don't fall into any bad habits and because I'm super motivated by challenges.

What do you do to get through a long run?
Are you doing any challenges right now?

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Streaking Continues & A Boot Camp Run

Well. We made it back to China after an amazing two weeks in the US. 16 hours in an airplane and a ton of time zones later = a whole lot of jet lag for me. My body clock has been upside down. That hasn't stopped me from running though.

In fact, my #runstreak is alive and well! For 34 days now, I have been running at least one mile a day, and I'm still feeling good. Three days a week I run longer. Typically Tuesday and Thursday are 5Ks and on the weekend I try to run a little more. While in the US, I did a couple of weekend long runs. I ran 5.5 with my MRTT group in Manchester and then 6.5 with the MRTT in NJ. These were my longest non-treadmill runs since March!

Fast forward to today. mrC joined me for my #runstreak morning mile.

Instead of just running my #runstreak mile and calling it a day, I decided to add some boot camp exercises at the end. I've been missing my #SurfnTurf classes at TI Fitness, especially after my visit while in NH, so I've been trying to do my own strength training. The other day I ran to the fitness center, did some strength exercises, then ran home. I was sore. I loved it.

Here's what it looked like today:

triceps dips

step ups

push ups

split squats

squats with side crunch

On a side note, you can probably tell from the pictures that I'm back to warm weather running. Although I am missing the cold weather I enjoyed while in New England, I do like that I can still wear my favorite shorts. The Oiselle distance shorts became my go-to when I was looking for shorts with less bulk, but good coverage. The bonus on these is the three separate pockets, including two with zippers. I never have to worry about my keys!

What body weight exercises do you do on your own?
Do you have a favorite pair of running shorts?