Holy tights, Batman!

Okay – so I’m in desperate need of running tights. Today, I worked out that my absolute favourite pair of running tights (Puma) are ten freaking years old! TEN!!!! They still have a few more runs left in them (I think) but I have concerns that they’re slowly becoming transparent! As many of you know, it’s really hard to find comfy clothes to run in; ones that are both practical and look great. I’ve spent my fair share of hard-earned dollars on crappy running gear that falls apart after a few runs, so I’m okay to spend a little extra but don’t want to break the bank. I’ve looked at Lululemon, Winners and Sportchek – but haven’t seen anything that compels me to purchase. Also, I recently learned that the coveted Lulu pants aren’t that fantastic as they pill – does anyone have any suggestions? I literally googled “best running tights” and it came back with a list from Amazon; of the top ten, nine were CW-X. I’ve never heard of this company before? Mind you, I never really looked that hard for tights either.

I absolutely DREAD trying clothes on, so you can imagine how I feel about trying tights on. For anyone who knows me, they’re aware of the fact that I generally buy clothes, try them on at home and return if they don’t fit. I HATE trying anything on at the store – I find it really awkward. So my hope is to get some feedback, buzz into a store, pick up what I need and leave or just order online.

Here is my tall order of must haves for running tights:

  • Comfortable (obviously)
  • Economical (less than $100)
  • Stylish
  • Flattering
  • Durable
  • NO special washing instructions. Cripes- the last thing I want to do after a run is hand-wash my clothes!

So if anyone out there has some recommendations on their fave tights, I’d REALLY appreciate the feedback!

Day 5: Rest Day from half-marathon training

Today is my glorious rest day – YAHOO! Actually, I’m feeling great and if I wasn’t following a training schedule I probably would’ve fit in a run today. However, in listening to my body I’ll instead get my yoga on this evening.

Since I’m single-parenting this weekend, I won’t be able to make it to the Trico Centre for yoga class. But thanks to brains of Leonard Kleinrock (internet) + three amigos from PayPal (YouTube), I can get my workout in at home. Now, you all know that I have a severe allegiance to Bryan Jones and his great videos on YouTube, but upon further research I found a video by Mark Gonzales, which you can find here. I have a few reservations about the 75 minute video based on the comments (tough; people are sore etc.) but there are others who claim it’s the best workout they’ve ever had so I’m excited to give it a try. I’ll report back and let you know what’s what and if it’s a good one or not.

Not much more to report right now. It’s a grey, rainy day here in Calgary – hope it’s nicer tomorrow for our 3 mile run through Glenmore Reservoir!

Happy Trails!!

Tempo running: the importance of pacing yourself

When I first started running, I didn’t give training much thought. Essentially, I popped my shoes on and ran; didn’t worry about form, time or anything else. To me, speed wasn’t the goal, it was to drop weight. I generally did the same run daily (for those of you tuning in from Cape Breton, I ran 8km along the Baddeck Bay Road.) I sometimes did hills and other routes. I didn’t consider myself a fair-weather runner either; I’d run through sun, heat, hail, wind, snow, rain – whatever! But if you asked me what tempo running was or what I paced myself at, I’d have no idea how to respond.

You see, this is my first real attempt at training. Yeah. I’ve done a few relays and long-distance races. And I did train in terms of making sure I could run certain distances. However, I never trained with the intention of getting the distance in AND doing it with a goal time in mind (under two hours for the half). Which means if I did my calculations correctly, I need to shave at least 30 seconds off my current pace per kilometre. That doesn’t sound like a lot, but I cringe at the thought of having to speed up even more! In actuality, because my pace per kilometre isn’t incredibly fast, I’ve been encouraged that it won’t be too bad to take the time down; I beg to differ (but we’ll see!)

Don’t know what your pace is? Figure it out here.

So what is tempo running and how is it going to help me achieve this goal?

Tempo running is designed to help runners build speed and strength. Generally, you’ll start out with a fairly easy running pace (in my case, slow) for the first 5 – 10 minutes. Then taking it to about 10 seconds slower than your 10K pace. And finally, finishing with 5-10 minutes of a cool-down pace. A great tip from about.com is that for an easy-paced run you should have three footstrikes while breathing in and two footstrikes while breathing out. Alternatively, for tempo runs, you should be at two footstrikes while breathing in and one footstrike while breathing out. If you happen to be breathing more than that, your pace is too fast.

I wish I’d known about tempo running ages ago and maybe my last Cabot Trail Relay I would have made it in before they took the dang mat away! At any rate, apparently if I complete tempo runs once a week, I’ll see direct benefits and naturally, I’ll keep you posted with the progress or lack thereof.

If you want to learn more about pacing, click here.