Fun Summer Running Gear

Fun Running GearI participate in various forms of movement and physical activity but I think I would have to say that running is definitely my physical activity of choice, or at least I am most stubborn about it.  There is something about just being outside with your thoughts, listening to your breathing or boom of super loud music in your ears, that just makes me so happy.

I have mentioned before that when I am not feeling super motivated I will purchase a new pair of running socks to get me excited about running.  Socks are my go to because out of all the running gear I could be buying to motivate myself socks are the cheapest.  But this got me thinking what are my favourite running things?  This is when I realized there are very few things besides my running watch (which I honestly feel could be any brand), orthotics and sun block there are only a handful of things I feel I couldn’t live without.

So here they are the items I feel like without them running would be that much more difficult.

Run Gear1. Lululemon Stuff Your Bra: This bra is nothing short of incredible! Not only does it offer amazing support, the bra itself has tiny little pockets for your keys, cell phone, tissue, lip gloss, tiny little sunblocks.  Sure it is a bra so you don’t want to be stuffing a water bottle in there, but for a house key or your iPod or cell phone this bra is perfect.  The addition of items to the bra’s pockets doesn’t compromise the support it offers, this bra is also awesome in the gym to carry around your music so you don’t have ear phone cables all over the place.

2. Lululemon Run Inspire Crop: another lulu gem.  I love these pants because the mesh on the back of the leg.  I am not much for running in shorts on longer runs however that can become challenging on hot days.  The mesh helps to cool down your leg while still giving you some good coverage.  Also as #1 didn’t give you enough options for storing things, these guys have a nice little pocket on your backside for keys, cards or whatever you would like to put in there.

3. Fuel Belt: The fuel belt above is from the Running Room, it isn’t necessarily my very favourite ever but it is one that has lasted me over 5 years and came in at under $25 so I really have no complaints. Regardless of the brand you choose if you are running more than 5k and it is warm out you should be bringing some water with you and for body balance reasons I find hands free is the best way to go.

4. WATER BOTTLES: as mentioned above water and hydrating is an absolute must during your day, and more importantly when you are outside in the sun being active.  Personally I have two of these little guys threaded onto my fuel belt, one is filled with straight up water and the second normally has some type of electrolyte concoction in it. I like these little bottles because they aren’t overly heavy, and to be honest running with water can be annoying but I am always thankful for it after a long run.

5. Running Hats: I am sure I have mentioned this in the past. I don’t do well with sunglasses, I get too sweaty behind them and become uncomfortable pretty quickly.  I prefer a hat, not only for the reduced sweatiness but also for the protection from the sun.  I am a ginger and therefore burn pretty easily, plus who doesn’t want to protect their face from the harmful rays of the sun?  Now there is a difference between a regular old baseball hat and a running hat.  Running hats are so much lighter and breathable than other hats out there.  To be honest I have no idea what brand my hat is, I went to a Sport Check and bought a hat for $20, the back is mesh and the rest of the hat is made of light weight material.

There you have it. These are my tired and true items, if you didn’t notice I am not much for spending huge amounts of cash on my running gear (I guess besides my slight Lululemon obsession). I find the key to good summer running gear is to make sure the materials used are light weight, breathable and whenever possible moisture wicking!   I understand that I didn’t list my running shoes here which are arguably a must have when running, however when it comes to shoes we all have very different needs and feet.  Personally I tend to buy the same brand year after year, but always try on various brands when purchasing a new pair because designs change, shoes fit differently from year to year and you never know when you might find something that is better suited to your needs.

Happy Wednesday Everyone!

Let me know what your favourite running gear is in the comments below, I am always on the look out for fun new running stuff.

 

Yoga and Exciting News

I still can’t get over how wonderful my outdoor run was yesterday. We just did a quick little 33 minute loop to get our legs back into the swing of running outside, but it was glorious. I didn’t even feel like I was running to be honest. After months of being stuck inside it was just so freeing and refreshing to be running outdoors, dodging puddles, people and cars. We ended up sticking to side walks for this run as we knew for sure they were cleared, so next time I will see what is going on with the canal.

After the run there was just enough time for me to go home foam roll and stretch, and make a delightful salad for supper before getting ready to head over to the convention centre for the Mala Gala.

The Mala Gala was definitely a successful event. There were so many happy yogis in such a beautiful space. I love that our Lululemon stores puts on events like this, it is always fun to practice in new spaces with large numbers of people, and you never know who you will bump into.

The Mala Gala was also the kick off evening for this summer’s Parliament Hill Yoga, which to anyone interested is starting May 1st, I for one can’t wait. Seeing last night’s event was a bit of a kick off there were prizes (yoga related of course) to be won, and the David’s Tea gang was also out to provide free tea to warm everyone’s bellies.

MalaGalaCollageToday’s workouts will be held indoors due to the snow and definitely won’t be taking place in a ballroom but I am sure it will all end up being just as much fun. Besides me getting a little stir crazy waiting for spring to happen, I have one other piece of very exciting news to share. I have finally enrolled in a Yoga Teacher Training (YTT) for this coming November 2013.

For the past several years I have become more and more interested in yoga, fitness and personal health and well being. My interest in health, fitness and balance has spilled over into me wanting to share what I have learnt with others. I just want to help people to live their happiest most positive lives. About three years back when my infatuation with yoga started I proclaimed that “if I stick with this for 1 year I am going to go to teacher training“. Well a year came and went, I stuck with my practice and I loved it but I never registered for YTT.

I so badly wanted to do sign up for something, I knew I wanted to do a condensed course “somewhere warm”. I wanted my YTT to not only be an exploration of yoga but an exploration of myself and the world. Although I wanted all of this to be honest the thought of taking off leaving my husband, kittens, friends and family behind for a month was a bit terrifying (probably why I put it off for so long). But sometime last year my husband and I sat down and started to seriously discuss it, I mean for me to take a condensed course I would need to take leave from work, we would have to work out our finances, and I would need to find a reputable school.

So my search began, I looked at Hawaii, India, Costa Rica, and so many other toasty warm places. I finally narrowed it down to a couple of institutes that fit the vision I had for my YTT experience. I ended up selecting an institute in Costa Rica and I just recently finalized my leave with work. Now that everything is finalized and there is no backing out from fear I figured it would be a great time to share with everyone.

I can’t wait to be bringing you all updates from the beautiful beaches and jungles of Costa Rica in just 8 short months!

I hope you are all having a great Wednesday! Stay safe the snow is crazy out there.

What are you looking forward to these days?

Fun Filled Day

There are so many fun things happening today I am not even sure where to start. I guess I will start with the weather as that seems like a very Canadian thing to do, especially this time of the year. I know I am fooling myself by thinking that it is almost spring, but it is just so beautiful out today, and by beautiful I mean only a couple degrees below zero. This weather has inspired Susan and I to hit the pavement instead of running on the gym’s human hamster wheels. I couldn’t be more excited to get some fresh air and start running on the ground again. I am also pretty excited to get my first outdoor run out of the way, it is generally the most challenging and often times discouraging. Seeing how the ground beneath me isn’t moving on its own I always find that I don’t end up running as fast and I have to exert so much more energy to get anything done, treadmills are tricky like that. But besides the run possibly being a bit more challenging I am still extra excited to be doing my cardio outside today and not getting frostbite while doing it.
convention
Today is also the Mala Gala which is being put on by our downtown Lululemon. It is in the Ottawa convention center and is just a free hour of yoga for all those who are interested. I am excited because I haven’t really been in the convention center since it has been rebuilt so it will be nice to have a look inside. The yoga practice is being held in their ball room with a wall (or ball?) of windows, which means we should have a beautiful view of the Canal and the Parliament buildings. I will be sure to bring a camera so I can capture some shots of the view for everyone. I think they are expecting a few hundred people so it should be a nice energy filled practice.

With so much to look forward to it is difficult to be in a bad mood today, and like I had promised I have finally taken the time to beautify the core workout I recently created. It was a great workout to add to the end of my cardio day seeing how it only take 10-15minutes, but by the end yours abs definitely make an appearance to say hello. Depending on your fitness level you can definitely up the amount of time in plank position to 1 minute instead of 20 seconds and for added weight and resistance you could add a medicine ball to the toe touches.

ab workout

If you aren’t familiar with hip dips they are done in low plank by lowering your hips from one side to the other, it really works your core and you will definitely feel it. Another you may not be familiar with are the Crazy Ivan’s, please click on the link for a visual description of how to perform this one. I recommend doing one side then moving on to the second side.

I am currently working on a legs and glute workout which will be super helpful for anyone who is planning on joining our Gingersneezes Run Club. Building up leg and glute strength is a great way to prevent injuries while running, so I hope to have that to you in the next week or so.

That’s it for now, I hope that everyone is having a great Tuesday and that you are able to get outside for a run too.

Do you add mini strength workouts to your cardio days?
Are there any strength workouts you would be interested in seeing?