Posts for stretching

Jump Jump

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

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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. 

 

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Run Day Basics

Fitness, Fitness related, Marathons - Anupriya kapur - February 23, 2016

I used to be always stressed a couple of days before the run and even more so the day before. And since I’m not a morning person, my biggest fear has always been about snoozing the alarm and not waking up on time. The other one being what if I have to use the washroom in the middle of the run! However, over time I have learned a few lessons by talking to others and from experiences. You can’t control everything that happens on the day of the run but you can certainly be better prepared.

First things first, stop stressing – We are all recreational runners. While we would like to test ourselves, it’s more important to enjoy the event. 5kms and 10kms are the best community events there can be. You get to spend a morning with strangers cheering you on, feeding you and offering water, and celebrating doing something healthy for yourself. There is nothing called coming last and it’s perfectly ok to walk the entire stretch, from start to finish.

Get ready the night before – Lay out your running gear, attach the running bib and get as much sleep as possible- aim for eight hours. But that hardly ever happens so ensure you get enough sleep through the week.

Don’t do anything new – Don’t try new food, new gear or anything that you haven’t done before. It’s easier said than done. I have ended up wearing new shoes and new tees (event tee) and I have been lucky so far. Wearing something comfortable is the most important thing. Wearing something that makes you feel good is important too 🙂 For women it’s equally important to wear the right sports bra which offers good support and doesn’t chafe the skin (click here for some tips on how to buy the right one).

However, I’m always careful about food. I avoid eating sea food specially and outside in general a couple of days before the run.

Eat something – Have a banana, dates or a slice of toast at least one hour before the run.

Port-a-loo – Most good runs have port-a-loos near the start line and somewhere mid distance. Now you can’t expect them to clean or not stink, as they are being used to by hundreds. So clip your nose and use it if need be. You will get used to it soon enough 🙂

Light meals the day before the run – Don’t go overboard with food specially proteins a day before the run. Eat light, healthy and wholesome food instead.

Playlist – If you are not much of a talker or need something to distract you so that the distance doesn’t bog you down, then a good playlist is important. An armband to keep your phone will be handy. I prefer wireless MP3.

Post the run – Eat something nutritious within 30 minutes of finishing the run. I prefer eggs, nuts and a sandwich. And no, eating chole bhature isn’t going to help.

Be active the next day – As sore as you might feel the day after the race, it’s important to do some easy activity or the other, it could be cycling, just a stroll or a bit of stretching. The movement will increase circulation to your sore muscles and help you bounce back sooner.

Happy Running 🙂

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Darting Damsel – Women relay 5km

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Pinkathon 2015

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Better, Faster, Stronger

Fitness, Fitness related, Marathons - Anupriya kapur - February 10, 2016

‘Fast’ is a relative word when it comes to amateur long distance running or probably everything else in life. I did my first half marathon in 2010 in 2:55! And the next one in 2:28, before I had to take a break for 2 years. But I came back stronger; my timings have only been improving in the last two years, from 2:09 at ADHM in 2013, 2:03 in 2014 to 1:50 in 2015. I have been getting better even though I’m running lesser, way lesser than I used to. I was thinking of certain things that I did differently (accidentally) to improve and it’s only fair that I share it on my blog –

1) I have accepted that with the kind of erratic work schedule, I probably can’t follow a routine. Earlier I would miss out on my workout if I missed out on a certain fixed time I had decided for it. Now I fit in a work out whenever I get time through the day. It could mean doing the planks in the morning post dropping my son to school and doing the calf raises in the afternoon when taking a 10 minute break from work.

2) For the last six months, I have been doing (or try) 3 reps of planks (45 seconds each) 4 days a week.unspecified (10)-01

3) I spend 10 minutes on doing basic weight training for upper body 3 times a week.

4) I have been doing calf strengthening and sitting squats whenever I can (3 times a week). Click here to see the videos. I will be adding more.

5) Once a week I run 5 kms as fast as I can. I never time myself as I don’t want it to stress me out.

6) I concentrated on improving my timing for 10 kms rather than for long runs.

7) I get massage done for my legs once a week. But I don’t do the fancy ones as I find them too expensive. A simple massage by a girl who comes home and does it, works for me.

8) I consume one gel before the start and one during the half marathon.

9) I was lucky to have figured the shoes which suit me the best. Boston Boost  it is for now.

10) During warm days drinking electrals/ORS during the runs instead of any other drink has made a huge difference in recovery. Recently, I  tried Recover (post my runs) by FastandUp which worked wonders as well.

11) Post run stretching by way of basic yoga poses – Warrior pose, Downward Doggie, Dhanurasna, boat pose, reverse boat pose and Viparita Karani.

I hope this helps. Do share what works and what doesn’t work for you.

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