Happy Workout Wednesday guys and girls! As I'm about to embark on a little 13 mile training run with my trusty playlist at the ready, I thought I'd share the tunes I'm loving to run to at the moment.
Running means a lot of different things to me, but one of those is some valuable 'me time' where I get to disconnect from daily life and music plays an important part in that feeling.
I know some people prefer to run without any kind of distraction be that music or podcasts or whatever, but I know for a fact that I run faster and more consistently with my earphones plugged in. I would say, that if you're running on road (or anywhere for that matter) then obviously be careful and mindful of what's going on around you!
Ok, so here are the songs that are currently featuring heavily on my playlist (don't judge me!). I suppose I should preface this list by saying that it's pretty 'eclectic'!
So, in no particular order:
- Bulletproof - La Roux
- Tron Legacy (End Titles) - Daft Punk (so so good for sprinting and pretending you're in an action movie, not that I do that...!)
- X Gon' Give it to Ya - DMX (because Deadpool)
- Hanging On - Ellie Goulding
- Hurts - Emeli Sande
- Piece of Me - MK & Becky Hill
- No CD - Loyle Carner feat Rebel Kleff
- Bloodstream - Ed Sheeran & Rudimental
- She Wants - Sunset Sons
- Starboy - The Weeknd feat Daft Punk
- Numb - Linkin Park
- Shape of You - Ed Sheeran
- Move Your Body - Sia
- Believer - Imagine Dragons
- The Sweet Escape - Gwen Stefani
- Bitch Better Have My Money - Rihanna
- Can't Hold Us Down - Christina Aguilera (remember, that whole no judgement thing?!)
- Barely Breathing - Duncan Sheik
- I Write Sins Not Tragedies - Panic at the Disco
- Helena - My Chemical Romance
- Gemini Feed - Banks
- The Girl is Mine - 99 Souls
- Freedom - (Django Unchained Soundtrack) - Antony Hamilton & Elayna Boynton
- Dangerous - Kardinal Offishall feat Akon
- Reforget - Lauv
So, there you have it, my top 25 most played songs so far this month. What tunes do you love to run to? Leave a comment and let me know!
Let me preface this post by saying that I hate repeat HATE not doing a race that I’ve planned for. It makes me grouchy, down in the dumps and a general pain to be around (so sorry to the guys who had to put up with me yesterday – you know who you are).
All that said, sometimes, not racing is the smartest thing that you can do. I’ve been struggling with an injury for the last few weeks and I’d hoped to be fit to run the half marathon I’d signed up for which took place on Sunday (without me - I know, the cheek of it!).
For the past week I went backwards and forwards about it in my mind, and to anyone patient enough to listen to my crazed ramblings! The conversation in my head between the good cop and bad cop went a bit like this:
You’ve had this in the diary for the past 2 months. You have to run it.
But my leg still isn’t feel great.
Maybe it’s all in your head?
I’m pretty sure it’s not, weeks of recovery would beg to differ! But it does seem to be getting better slowly…
Well, there you have it, you’re fine to run.
But the race is on road.
I think the impact could really do some damage.
Stop being such a baby – you’ll be fine.
But what happens if racing makes it worse? What if I’m out for months instead of just a few weeks?
Just suck it up and get it done!
And that went round and round in my head ad nauseam. Finally, I talked about it with my coach who said that he didn’t think I should run – but the Devil on my shoulder refused to take that at face value. Instead, I started to wonder if he was using reverse psychology. Basically, I was being a crazy person.
I sat on the fence about this race right up to the morning of it. I had all my gear in the car, super-cushioned shoes, I’d planned where I was going to park, to all intents and purposes, I was go for launch. I took one step out the front door and felt the pain flare up and, in that moment, I knew with crushing certainty that running 13.1 miles on road was potentially the worst thing I could do to myself. Did that knowledge make it easier to pull out of the race? Of course it bloody didn’t!
I spent most of the day second-guessing myself to the point that I decided to go for a trail run at an easy pace, no pressure, just to DO something! Within a few miles, the pain had returned and I knew that I’d made the right decision not to race – my competitive nature I would have made me feel like I had to finish in a decent time and my leg would not have thanked me for it.
The pain wasn’t the reason for my start line fail – any runner can tell you that pain is part of the deal – it was the knowledge that I have goals this year that I am determined to achieve and I can’t do that if I’m injured. Exacerbating an injury/niggle for the sake of one race didn’t make sense, not for me and – in my opinion – not for anybody. There will always be other races, other years, other challenges. But I know that if I don’t look after myself now then there may not be.
Have I made my peace with not racing yesterday? Am I over the disappointment?
Well, I’ve just written a blog post about it so the evidence wouldn’t exactly be on my side! But I’m getting there. I’m focusing on my recovery, my training going forward and on the goals that I’ve set for myself this year. Looking to the past is pointless; I can’t go back, I can’t change my decision, all I can do is look ahead. So that’s what I’m going to do. But first, I have a hot date with a foam roller!
Don't let the weekend throw you off track!
With the weekend fast approaching (yey) this is the time when a lot of people fall off the health/fitness wagon (boo).
Why? Often it's because they spend so long being 'good' during the week that the weekend turns into a bingefest on all the 'bad' things they can't have. Sound familiar anyone?
You work hard all week to stay healthy, to eat the right foods, to get your training in and then at the weekend the wheels fall off. The weekend is the time when you get together with friends and family, there are more opportunities to go out for drinks, dinner, to indulge 'because you deserve it', also time is less structured so your workout regime often gets put off in favour of something more exciting e.g. brunch! Monday rolls around again and you feel bad about all the things you've been treating yourself to, you feel guilty and punish yourself by being even more stringent with your food and more aggressive with your workouts. By the time 5pm on Friday arrives again, you're done and you dive back into those weekend habits, piling on the weekend weight. The cycle continues...
So how do we change it?
Well, first of all, we need to be a little kinder to ourselves! I work on the 80/20 principle (not just in terms of diet and training, but I'll go into that in a separate post). 80% of the time I eat healthily, mindfully and train hard, keeping in line with my goals, 20% of the time I give myself a break!
Because if I drive myself mad during the week, denying myself all the things I like, training like a beast, and saving up my 'treats' until the weekend then of course I'm going to over-indulge when the time comes around.
Isn't it better to spread the wealth and allow yourself a little bit of lee-way in your diet (by diet I mean daily eating habits not fads), so you don't feel so hard done by that you go off the deep end just because it's a day beginning with 'S'?!
Now, I'm not saying that we should all be indulging in everything that we want throughout the week - that doesn't work with the 80/20 principle either. It's all about balance - that magical # that you see all over Instagram! The idea is that if our behaviour is in line with our objectives 80% of the time, then the other 20% isn't going to have a significant negative effect.
This may not work for everyone. For most people there's a lot of trial and error when it comes to finding what your mind and body responds to best. But I can say that - for me - this principle helps to keep me on track; if I don't feel like I'm constantly depriving myself or training my body into the ground, then I'm less likely to skip out on a workout or reach for the cake come Saturday.
Here are a few more tips to stay on track this weekend:
- Schedule a class or training session in your diary, block this time out in black and white and work your social events around it, not the other way round.
- Instead of meeting friends at the pub, why not suggest trying a fitness class together - HIIT/Pilates/Yoga/Boxing there are so many options out there, add in a post-workout brunch and you're all set.
- Keep in mind all the hard work you've been putting in over the past week/month/year and then ask yourself if you really want that second helping of double-chocolate chip ice cream. The answer may still be yes(!), but at least you're being mindful and making an active decision.
- Allow yourself some non-judgemental fun! Is Saturday night going to be a Netflix marathon of 'The Good Wife'? (I think I may have just given away more about my life than intended!) Okay then, that's fine, just know that on Sunday you'll need to go out for that run/walk/class to balance it out.
What works for you to stay on track with your goals? Shout about it in the comments. I'd love to hear from you.
In the meantime, have a great weekend guys and girls!
All opinions are my own and this blog is intended for motivational and informational purposes only. The information is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult a medical professional before starting a training or nutrition program.