Monthly Archives for April 2016

Women’s adidas Training Olympic Sports Bra Review

Fitness, Fitness related, Marathons - Anupriya kapur - April 29, 2016

When I wrote an article about how to choose the right sports bra (click here to read), quite a few readers asked me for recommendations on what would be the right fit for them. At the time I hadn’t reviewed enough, so I couldn’t make a fair assessment. Now that I finally have (took me long enough), I might review and share other products that I find useful more often as well.

Getting the right sports bra is probably the biggest challenge we face specially in India as we still don’t have enough variety to choose from. Boobs come in all shapes and sizes after all and definitely seem to have a mind of their own!

I face the problem of being big chested (and I’m a mom so you know what I mean) with a relatively smaller frame. So I end up getting frustrated most of the times as the perfect fit for my cup size would invariably have a loose band at the bottom of the bra. And the only reason I chose to review this particular Climacool bra is because that’s the exact problem it tackles. There is an adjustable loop closure at the sides of the band allowing variable fit. So basically, I chose the bra which fitted my cup perfectly while I had option of tightening the band at the bottom giving me the right snug fit. It covers me well and even though it is not an encapsulation bra (I would prefer that any day), and presses the boobs to hold them in place, you wouldn’t find me complaining as the support is adequate. I don’t face the problem of side boobs in this one either (in most I have tried it feels like that I have a uniboob in the center and two boobs on the side, ughh!)._MG_1938

My other problem being that if I would bend a lot and do yoga, my ‘girls’ wouldn’t want to stay in place. But with this one they stay lifted and I don’t feel the need to keep adjusting them after every back/forward bending asana.

There is a mesh panel on back and side making it well ventilated, my back stays sweat free for most part. The other good thing about having the adjustable loops is that as the bra stretches out over months due to intensive use, you can move the hook a few times before having to buy a new one.

Even though it’s a “Training” Bra, I’m glad that it didn’t deter me from trying it on a run. I have done a maximum distance of 10km in this but wouldn’t be much concerned about doing longer distances. At 2,499/-, it’s competitively priced but I strongly believe that good sports bras are always an investment. And buying anything during sales always makes more sense.

All in all, it’s a great basic supportive sports bra for the bigger-chested women with small frame.

DSC_0102-2-1024x678

 

 

13122826_1141935562493368_7290398502812074194_o

On the run @Darting Damsel

_MG_1920

and a bit of stretching

Disclaimer – The sports bra was given to me to review. However, all opinions are my own.

Continue Reading

After Dark

Fitness, Fitness related, Marathons - Anupriya kapur - April 26, 2016

I started running in the night for various reasons but the biggest being my inability to wake up early mornings. I’m not a morning person and accepting that and adjusting my life accordingly has saved me from a lot of grief. And I can now safely write about what and how I feel about it since it’s been quite a while for me (except my weekend long runs). What helps is that I stay in a safe gated community but if you aren’t then women shouldn’t even think of venturing out alone after dark or for that matter in a group specially in Gurgaon/Delhi.

1) At night there aren’t many distractions unless you choose to listen to music. It leads to more mindful running. You feel the ground more every time you pound your feet. It somehow gives heightened sensation of the body.

2) I’m usually more stressed during morning runs with a to-do-list constantly running on my mind. I now prefer to de-stress with the run and end the day on a good note.

3) I used to snack in the evenings quite a bit. Pakodas/Sandwiches/Mathi etc used to be my accompaniments with tea. I eat healthier snacks now as I know I can’t run with a heavy stomach (at least 2 days in a week).

4) In the mornings I usually find my body very stiff and warm up takes a lot of time which is not at all the case in the evenings as I’m already up and about.

5) Since I’m a bit of an insomniac, I tend to sleep better on days I run in the evenings.

6) It’s just me, the road and my thoughts.1911079_10152169003678871_4120790604702908467_o

7) It makes summer running more bearable for me.

TIPS FOR RUNNING AFTER DARK

1) Safety comes first. I wouldn’t even recommend men running outside gated communities in India.

2) Run against the traffic.

9pm!!!!

My comfort zone 5 km at 9pm!!!!

3) Preferably run without music so that you are more alert.

4) Wear reflective clothing or shoes. It could be a reflective arm band, head band, tee or shoes or buy reflective tape to stick on your gear.

5) Always carry your phone. I usually carry it in my hand for a 5km or wear my running belt.

6) The biggest challenge with night running is dogs. Read here  for tips to avoid/handle dogs while on a run. The only thing I haven’t mentioned but someone has suggested in the comments is to carry a small bottle of pepper spray. I know it might sound cruel but I feel one should carry it just in case.

BEFORE YOU GO RUNNING

1) Never make the mistake of eating a big meal. If you do be prepared to abandon the run.

2) Don’t go on empty stomach either. A banana/dates 45 minutes before your run should do the trick.

AFTER YOU RUN

1) Eat something healthy within 30 minutes of finishing your workout – Almonds, walnuts, raisins, egg or another banana.

2) Don’t make the mistake of going overboard with dinner thinking you just worked out so “I deserve it”. Honestly, after working out I tend to make better choices in any case.

The only challenge is one can’t do very long runs at night but my body clock doesn’t seem to have a problem adjusting to once a week early morning run. Whether you would rather run in the morning or at night, as long as you run, and run like you mean it, you will end up a healthier person.

adidas Tenacity run at 6pm

adidas Tenacity run at 6pm

A really old pic of us night running

A really old pic of us night running

Continue Reading

Whole Wheat Spaghetti with Cherry Tomatoes

Recipes - Anupriya kapur - April 21, 2016

A simple quick recipe shared by Tanushree and I feel it’s perfect for summers as who wants to stand in the kitchen for too long in this heat. Also, this is perfect for carb loading 😉 And I like the twist in the end  for summers.

Ingredients –

100% Whole Wheat Spaghetti (I used Spigadoro)
Olives – Green and Black (cut into slices)
Cherry Tomatoes (cut into haves)
Basil leaves (full or randomly torn with fingers)
1 tea spoon mixed Italian herbs (Keya or any other good brand)
2 tbsp Olive Oil
Black pepper to taste
Salt to taste

Steps –
1) Boil the Spaghetti with a pinch of salt and one tea spoon olive oil.
When cooked (but still stiff or al dente), take it off the gas and rinse under cold running water.
2) Take a tea spoon of olive oil in fingers and rub through the Spaghetti
3) In a pan, heat 1 tbsp Olive oil. Add chopped cherry tomatoes, salt, pepper and mixed herbs,
and cook until they become soft. You can also squeeze a few tomatoes.
4) Add basil leaves and olives and cook for a minute.
5) Add Spaghetti and mix well.
6) Add a tbsp on olive oil if required. Refreshing Spaghetti is ready!

In summers, you can play around with mint leaves too!

Tanushree is a Senior Process Governance and Compliance Analyst but her passion lies in photography and cooking.
12814315_10156607540940032_6539652837735160672_n

 

Continue Reading

Running Jargons (Part 1)

Fitness, Fitness related, Marathons - Anupriya kapur - April 19, 2016

Stepping out of your house, your cubicles or perhaps your routine is all it takes to get started and acquainted with the sport of Running. So, it comes as no surprise that the running scene in India gets denser with every passing day. Well, c’mon who are we kidding, the sport is one of the most beautiful as it is meditative. So here I am, rambling and listing to maybe help those virgin runners with some running lingo.

What you’ll read below comes from my own experiences in running, those that I’ve used loud and proud and the ones I’ve heard and nodded to like i knew what it meant.

Now a days we have thousands of people who run a ‘Marathon’, I have run quite a few, and also run a 5km race, 10km race and a Half-Marathon. Point being, a Marathon is 42.24Km race, nothing more or less.

Ultra-Marathons – Done quite a few of these too, distances more than the Marathon. Like La Ultra, Bhatti Lakes Ultra, Bangalore Ultra etc.

Now that this is clear lets move on to the terms.

DNF – The most crushed one could get is when the results read as DID NOT FINISH a race, as I did at the La Ultra back in 2014. It is an experience that every runner dreads, might as well call it a Runner’s Nightmare!

Bandit Runner – Unlike you and I, these buggers will come join you running without being registered in race, without a bib slapped on their clothing. Rebels, I tell you, gets you questioning your loyalty.

Bloody Nipples – I have never experienced these, Amen! Seen, or rather heard a lot of fellow runners enduring this swell and I am happy I have stayed clear of these. Tip would be to use a t-shirt that fits well and make sure the material is run – friendly to avoid getting chaffed nipples. Ouch!

Body Glide – It’s a lubricating product used to prevent chaffed nipples or chaffing in general, again lucky I have not yet needed to use this.

Bonk– Stalling in the middle of the run due to low glycogen levels in the body.

Carb-Loading – A runners favorite pre-race dinner, consumption of food high in carbs the night before a race. Although I feel one should do this during the week leading up to the race. Especially for distances longer than 21km or if someone is running for 2 hrs and more.

Cool down – After a run its best to slow down at a gradual pace instead of an abrupt halt.

CR (Course Record) – The fastest known time on a particular course. Of course you knew this, who doesn’t walk into the race course without the hopes of breaking the course record, well some record at least!

Cross Training – An important aspect of training, where one is indulge’s in activities other than running, to help engage muscles that are not directly strained while running thereby relaxing the running specific muscles.

DNS – Like DNF, but worse, in my opinion. You are right it does expand as Did Not Start, enough said.

Fartlek – It’s a Swedish term, its when one runs a particular distance at various pace, more of a mix of slow and fast running.

Hitting the wall – A sudden bonk, which cause you to come to an abrupt halt and normally one may or may not get back to running.

Stitch – A slight but conniving pinch one feels just below their ribs. It is usually caused due to excessive water consumption, running too fast etc. Slowing down and breathing long and slow will help release the stitch.

Cramping – Mostly cramping occurs due to less water consumption or electrolyte consumption. Calves, abdomen etc cramps withholding one from running well or running completely.

That being the last, the “gyan” I had hoped to impart through this blog post ends here,however, the terms don’t. There are still a lot more of the runner’s jargons out there, pertaining to running community exclusively. I say, add these and those to your vocabulary so that the next time you’re out on a race track, you know who’s gonna make his/her fellow runner’s remember to google “that particular term he/she used” during the conversation.  And part 2 coming out soon 🙂

Kieren is one of the best true ultra runners in India. He has completed CCC, Bangalore Ultra , La Ultra and will be the first Indian to participate in historic Spartathlon. His PB for half marathon is 1:19! In his own words, “Besides wilderness and a healthy meal(s) what keeps me satisfied and about is running. If I’m not running, I’m either planning or enjoying an outdoor adventure sport. And since I’m 23, I’m also figuring my way through with a lot of “should or shouldn’t I(s)” while reading, writing and traveling.”

 To follow Kieren and his running journey on Facebook, click here

jargons_image

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Continue Reading

Be Like Bobbi

For the soul, Marathons - Anupriya kapur - April 15, 2016

Boston Marathon is considered the Holy Grail of marathon running. And there is much to its fascinating history. But what struck me the most is the story of a woman who changed running forever (I actually had tears in my eyes). Bobbi Gibb was the first woman to run Boston Marathon 50 years back and unofficially so as women were not allowed to compete in distances more than 800 meters. Why? Because it was believed that they were not physiologically capable of running a long distance such as 42.2km. To begin with Bobbi Gibb wanted to participate in the marathon because of her love for running. She started training for it and underwent a spiritual journey. However, when her application got rejected, she took it upon herself to make a statement about what women were capable of achieving. But the question was how? How can she prove when she wasn’t allowed to participate? She decided to race unofficially without a bib. She hid behind a bush close to the start line, let half the men start running, and joined them wearing a big hoodie and her brother’s shorts so that she could disguise herself all the time scared that she might be arrested. The men running by her side realised it’s a woman and assured her that they won’t let anyone stop her from completing the run. It gave her the confidence to throw the heavy hoodie away and run freely. Word got around and the crowd frenetically cheered for her. She ran conservatively (alright if 3:21 for a full marathon can be considered that!!!) as her idea was to prove that a woman can run this distance and run it well, if she trains enough. She knew that she couldn’t afford to collapse or stop as that would only reinforce the prejudices and set women’s running back another 20 years. She was greeted with much aplomb at the finish line. She managed to change the way men think about women and the way women thought about themselves. She ran unofficially again in 1968 and 1969. Boston Marathon officially started allowing women to participate in 1972.

She will be the Grand Marshal for the 2016 Boston Marathon on Monday. I’m definitely going to pick up her book Wind In The Fire: A Personal Journey soon. She started a running movement and as runners we owe a lot to her. (check the short video below to see how gracefully she has aged).

 

Continue Reading

Take a look at the Mino

Fitness, Fitness related, Marathons - Anupriya kapur - April 12, 2016

IMG_20160311_160601

Inside my Boston Boost

Of all the sports, running is probably the most ideal for the body in terms of the least injuries. If done properly, it uses your entire body evenly and does not put excessive stress on any one part, like say a bowler’s body goes through with respect to his shoulder and back. Yet, injuries is one of the most passionately discussed topic in running circles.

IMG_20160311_223858

post the 5km

Last to last year, I went through a phase of injuries (and I keep sharing my learning time & again), that had me crying out in pain while foam rolling, spending a fortune on physiotherapists and had to skip a lot of events. Take for instance, my heel injury, I tried everything, even sat at home for almost 2 months but nothing worked until someone gifted me a pair of new shoes. I had been using Nike Pegasus (and quite liked them) that were less than a year old and seemed in perfect condition. But as I started running in the new shoes, my injury started to fade away. I cursed Nike Pegasus and forgot all about it until someone told me about how worn out shoes can cause the gravest of injuries. I said hold on, there is no way the Pegasus was worn out, not a single tread on it was gone. It was then that it was explained to me that shoes these days look all well and good from the outside for years but the foam inside dies much sooner. This was a part of the discussion I had with the product head of Mino, a tracking chip that can go underneath the insole of your shoe and tell you when your shoes are good, ok or dead through different coloured lights.

Now, I am someone who looks at technology in the way a small child might look at her father’s car – I know I will learn to drive it one day, just not right now. So I straight out told him that it seems a bit farfetched. After all, how can a chip independently tell you if your shoes need to be changed. So he started to explain the technology to me all over again. I am guessing he must have read the blank look on my face well so he gave me a trial chip to test out instead.

This chip was meant to last for an optimal run of 5k. I put it under the insole of my shoe and quite accurately, it showed me a red light (meaning the shoe is dead) at 4.2km. But why didn’t it go red at 5 you might wonder. Because my foot strike and gait isn’t optimal (and trust me, it isn’t for most runners) hence it caved before the 5k mark which is also why my shoes were dead way before I thought they ought to be. The Mino, in essence, tracks your unique weight, gait and the compression you exert on the shoe with each strike to tell you when it is time to change your shoe. You might get 600km out of a brand new shoe whereas, your running buddy might get 450 depending on running style. And it didn’t feel like anything inside my Boston Boost either, not sure about how it would be for a minimalist shoe though.

Seems like a good idea. I think I will take it out for a spin.

Read the review of Boston Boost here.

 ** This post contains affiliate links. I only link to products that I personally use and like from reputed sellers **  

Another review that I picked up from Youtube –

Continue Reading

Jump Jump

Fitness, Fitness related - Anupriya kapur - April 7, 2016

IMG_20160404_235443

The most toned I have ever been!

It’s been more than a month now that I have been facing a runner’s block. I’m scared that I can’t run long distances any more. I haven’t done any long run this year except the one 10km in Feb. All I’m able to manage is a 5 km two times a week. At the same time, I have started baking a lot which means I’m also a eating a lot. Instead of constantly beating myself over it, I had to find something apart from running in order to keep my sanity. So for the past one month, I have added skipping (jump rope) once a week to my routine. I started with 200-300 and have moved up to 500-700 with a minute’s break after every 100 skips. I started it as a fun activity as I used to love it when I was a young girl. But then I got talking to some instructors and got to know that it is one of the best activities for –

  • overall body strengthening – calves, upper back, shoulders.
  •  good for the heart
  •  An alternate, more engaging way to burn calories
  •  improves core strength
  •  Improves agility coordination
  • Body toning

Like any other workout, warm up and cool down is essential and once again I learned it the hard way when I felt cramps in my calf. Also, replenishing salts post workout is essential, so I do consume electral or Fast & Up. I don’t do it too fast or too much (at least as of now), and love the way my body is toning up and things it’s doing to my upper back. I use a basic jump rope and instead of doing it on a concrete surface, I do it in the park on a less grassy patch.

I have been given a challenge to learn Double Unders (some intense form of jump rope) in 15 minutes by a Crossfit crazy friend. I will be sharing the video soon. And whether this will help me as a runner or not, I will only get to know once I start running. Sigh.

Note – Before trying out intense workout, do get your annual check up done and get a go ahead from you doctor. 

 

Continue Reading

PeeSafe. Be Safe

Fitness, Fitness related, Marathons - Anupriya kapur - April 5, 2016

A couple of months back I had written an article (read here) on how to manage your hydration during long runs due to lack of clean public loos. We girls grow up learning to hold the urge to pee by drinking less water and are masters at squatting so that no part of our body touches the toilet seat. But the fact is that it isn’t just unclean loos that cause UTI, it is also dehydration and not emptying the bladder on regular intervals. In Philippines I came across a product (a tiny bottle) which I could spray on a toilet seat to kill germs, wipe it and sit conveniently to relieve myself. However, once I shifted to India, I couldn’t find anything like that. So I was back to putting layers and layers of toilet roll like most of us do, to use the washroom. And I’m talking about even the better washrooms in good hotels, restaurants, parlours and spas. I still wouldn’t dare to even think about venturing into the ‘actual public loos’.

The three sizes

The three sizes

And then, as I was about to request a friend to get me some of those seat sanitizers on her next visit, I got Pee Safe in one of my race goodie bags for one of the events I had registered and then for its review. So, basically my search for a seat sanitiser ended as Pee Safe apparently kills 99% of germs. I use one layer of toilet paper even now and I think that’s more psychological. It gets rid of the dirty smell in the washroom as well. Also, I used to always use a strip of toilet roll on the door handle and the handle of the flush to avoid any contact whatsoever. Pee Safe can be used on these well. The best part about it is the 3 sizes the sprays come in. There is one tiny bottle which nicely fits into my running belt (good for 10 sprays), a mid size can which fits in my smaller sling bags and the big one in my work bag. So, basically I have been carrying them with me irrespective of where I go or which bag I carry. Alternatively, they have Pee Safe wipes for multi use as well.

How to use it? – Hold it 25 cm away from the seat and spray on the surface.

Where to pick it up from? – http://safetykart.com or just click on Pee Safe link above.

They have a lot of other women hygiene related products too. In case you happen to buy and use them, do drop in your review in the comments. Oh! And they have Pepper Spray too.

 

**This post contains affiliate links. I only link to products that I personally use and like from reputed sellers. All opinions expressed are my own.**

Continue Reading