Guest Blogger: Roni Davis tackles FASTED CARDIO!

Guest Blogger Roni Davis on RunningKatTalesSo, Kat asked me how beneficial and safe it was to do fasted cardio. I laughed because it’s SUCH a controversial subject. I’ve read some fairly heated debates from some of the top pros in the industry arguing both sides with points that are all really compelling. Below, I’ll provide a link to one of my favorites but if you’re not interested in reading a lot about the science behind it, the two basic schools of thought are as follows:

Pros: Proponents say that you will burn more fat than if you eat beforehand.

Your body stores glycogen to use as its preferred source of fuel during exercise. The idea behind fasted cardio is that your glycogen stores would be somewhat depleted first thing in the morning after fasting overnight. Having less glycogen available to use as fuel, it would switch and use fat stores as its next source of fuel, allowing for a greater amount of actual fat being burned.

The key to this being successful seems to be that the intensity level of the exercise stays in the low to moderate range. When your body exercises at a low intensity, it uses more fat than carbohydrate.

Cons: Opponents say you’re burning less calories and that it’s a recipe for muscle wasting.

Because the work is easier, you’re not burning as many overall calories so you’d have to work for a longer period of time than if you were training hard. You shouldn’t run sprints or do some other high-intensity exercise as the lack of glycogen in your system wouldn’t allow for it. This makes it a definite no-no if you’re training for a race, endurance event, etc. It’s also said that all fasted cardio manages to do is burn off muscle, rather than fat.

My take is that like most things, there are no absolutes. If you spend some time looking, there are studies to support both theories.

The bottom line for me? I train with a team of the most perfect bodies in the world and most do some form of fasted cardio or another first thing in morning. That’s good enough to convince me …when done properly and depending on your goals, of course!

How’s that for a clear as mud answer?

Click to read more on this subject!

Day 144 and Day 145: snow, CT and hill training – giddy up.

Someecard Funny!So I’ve been a tad busy lately so my blogging hasn’t been on track (sorry!) But despite that, I have been going full tilt with training. The day before yesterday I completed cross training at the gym on the elliptical and then did some yoga. It felt great! And yesterday I did about 40 minutes on the treadmill, varying my speed and elevation. I started out at 5 for both and gradually got myself up to 15 for elevation and 6.5 for speed. It was good. Got my sweat on. Due to my flu and other stuff over the past few weeks my training was thrown off a bit in terms of distance, but I plan to get back on track (literally and figuratively) within the next week.

Stay tuned!

Happy trails 🙂

When can I work out again after flu?

flu So I’m on day four of one of the nastiest flus I’ve ever had in my life. It started Thursday with chills, nausea, headache. On Friday I just took it easy but had a sore throat and was congested. By Saturday evening I was nauseous again and early Sunday morning I was very, very sick. To date, I’ve lost 8lbs. Gross. But despite still feeling miserable, all I want to do is get back to a routine.

So I was curious to find out when it would be safe for me to return to exercise, so naturally I started googling. It’s hard to believe, but despite still feeling awful, I cannot wait to lace up my shoes and ditch the couch for fresh air.

The first thing that’s a good indicator is your resting heart rate (as long as you know what it is when you are healthy!) “Elite athletes check their resting heart rate daily,” says Dr Mark Wotherspoon, a sports physician with the English Institute of Sport. “If the resting level is 10 beats per minute above normal, this would be an indicator not to train.”

As I’ve posted before, generally we go by the rule of thumb that anything above the neck and you’re safe to train, howeve, anything below the neck (in the chest etc.) and you should rest.

But is it safe to sweat out a cold? According to Dr. Alex Nieper: “Bringing up your body temperature is a way of fighting a virus,” says “But keep the activity light to moderate – and brief.” He went on to say that hard exercise will actually compromise the immune system, which ultimately allows the virus to strengthen its hold. So if you exercise with major cold symptoms (e.g.: fever) you can prolong your illness and it can be very dangerous.

The best part of my googling came when I read this, “There’s a tendency to think that if you miss a couple of days of training, it’s a disaster. But the quality of your training is at least as important as the quantity. Training when you’re not 100% well isn’t going to give you that quality.” AMEN.

With that, it goes without saying that it’s important to return to exercise with caution.

  • Take time to monitor how you feel
  • Stay hydrated (especially if you’re a sucker like me and just had a stomach bug),
  • Avoid getting wet and cold
  • Look out for telltale signs that you are overdoing it (e.g.: work-out feeling harder than it should, shortness of breath, weakness or dizziness.

Sports medicine peeps recommend that you start with a gentle 10-minute work-out and see how it feels. If that’s OK, gradually increase the challenge the next day, and again the day after. If you’re still feeling fine, you can gradually work your way back to where you were. But they warn:  Don’t try to make up for lost time. Push too hard, too soon, and you might end up back where you started.

TIPS to stay well when exercising

Stay well hydrated Dehydration dries up the mucous membranes, allowing infections to take hold.

Eat and drink after training Within half an hour of training, eat a carb-based meal or snack with a little protein to help maximise the replenishment of fuel stores.

Take probiotics A new Australian study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine found that taking probiotics during winter training more than halved the number of days endurance athletes suffered cold symptoms.

Don’t overtrain Balance your training with adequate rest and recovery. One study found that runners who average more than 96km a week were twice as likely to suffer from colds as those running less than 32km.

Wash your hands after the gym “The best advice is to not touch your nose or eyes when exercising and to wash your hands when you finish your workout,” says Professor Eccles.

Don’t linger in damp clothing after exercise As you cool down after a work-out, the cold, damp clothes will lower your body temperature further, making you more susceptible to catching a cold.

Info/Tips from Guardian UK

Day 139: thirty minutes of the elliptical & comic relief from @jenna_marbles

“Don’t ever compare yourself to others. STAY FOCUSED ON YOUR OWN JOURNEY. And leave footprints behind.”

we are not racing on the treadmillToday was a cross training day at the gym. It was nice to do thirty minutes on the elliptical. I had the incline set to 10 and my speed was around 14. It was enough of a push to get me sweating, but not so much that I’ll be in pain tomorrow for my 19km run. Ow.

Not too much to really share from the gym. But there was a gal next to me who kept checking out my screen. I was really tempted to start a conversation with her so it wouldn’t be as awkward as it was. I never get people who get a kick out of comparing themselves to everyone else. Does it really matter if you’re going faster than the person next to you? If they’re burning more calories? At a higher incline? What difference does it make?

It reminded me of the e-card that has been floating around saying, “If you’re on the treadmill next to me, the answer is yes we’re racing.” But I don’t think most people actually feel that way. I definitely don’t. And it also reminded me of the amazing video by Jenna Marbles: “People that piss me off at the gym.” There is no way you can watch this video and not laugh.

Have an awesome Saturday friends!

Guest Blogger: Amy + how to find time to stay active!

make fitness a priorityIt’s me again.  Kat and I have many discussions about finding the time 
to stay active with a busy life.  I am often asked where I find the
time to do what I do.  It is a challenge for all of us.  I always
 enjoyed an active life but it was inconsistent and certainly was 
never at the level it is at now.  I really ramped it up over the past 
year.  I have the least amount of time I’ve ever had but am in the
 best shape I’ve ever been in and work out more than I ever have.




Ramping it up has been a process that came out of a not so great time
 in my life.
 I never had any health concerns, ever. Shortly after I had my
 daughter last year I found out what it is like not to have your 
health.  It was an unbelievably stressful time for myself and my 
family.  I was unable to get out of bed at times and saw more doctors 
in a few months than I had in my whole life.  Being sick also takes an
 emotional toll, add a little bit of postpartum anxiety to that and
 I became an emotional disaster.

Running was a way out of an
 extremely dark time for me.  I am much better today; although I
struggle daily with chronic pain and the emotional impact that comes
 with that.  I don’t take anything for granted and do everything I can 
to maintain my health.  When I was able to start up a running routine 
my mantra was: “I run becasue I can, I run because I can”, I repeat 
it over and over 
again and still do on tough runs.

Everyone that can be active should 
be active, in my opinion.

OK!  that is a bit more than I thought I would ever be sharing on
the internet!!!! Everyone has their struggles in life and mine have
 led me to be such great friends with Kat and to this blog. I have a
total new lease on life and oddly enough I am actually thankful for such a miserable time, I found out who my real friends are, I realized
 how wonderful my husband and family are and it led me to do things I never
 thought possible.

 So I am taking my take on time and exercise to the blog.  I am still 
not the best at saying what 
I need to say so it’s a little Q&A.

Kat: You’re a busy mom (and teacher) – why do you make the time to exercise?

Amy: I make the time to exercise for many reasons.  The number one reason I
 make time to exercise is because I want my kids to grow up in an
 active household with two active parents.  I also make the time to
 exercise because it makes me a much better mom, wife and teacher.  I
 am not tired or
 cranky, I feel good and I generally have lots of energy.  I do feel
 guilty if I have to leave the kids for an hour but that hour makes the
 rest of the time so much more enjoyable.  It’s worth it.

Kat: How do you make the time to fit exercise in.

Amy: This one is tricky. The only way I will ever have time to work out
 with my busy life is to make it a priority in my day.  If I cannot go 
to the gym I go for a run with the double jogger, if there is snow on 
the ground I have a number of circuits I can do at home while I busy the kids
 with activities (or include them).  I also do yoga or jump rope.
There is always
 something I can do to get a workout in.  I have a million and one 
excuses not to
 work out but I do it anyway.  In the end it’s all down to prioritizing 
and finding the 
time to do something, anything.  Once you establish an active life it 
is so much easier to keep it up.  I’ve lived life as an active person
 and a non-active person.  This life is so much better.

Kat: What do you think is the biggest challenge for you to get it in.

Amy: Hands down it’s the guilt of leaving the kids to do something for
 myself, as much as I can workout at home it is not realistic for me to
 always do it at home.  Also I really don’t want to.  I like to get
out… alone. 🙂

Kat: 

Do you have any tips for other parents out there who want to get more 
active but are struggling?

Amy: I do!  If you can get your work outs in before the kids wake up, do 
it!  Also think of things you can do with the children.  I trained for 
a 5K and a 10K with a double stroller.  Take the kids to a big field
 and just go crazy running after after them, get some cheap snowshoes,
go skiing, have a dance party, there are a million things I do with 
the kids to get a sweat on.  Also go to the gym and don’t feel badly
 about making your health and fitness a priority in your life.  It will
 make you a happier parent with much more energy to spend with the 
little ones.  As a person who grew up with an extremely active father 
I can’t tell
you how much they will look up to you (even when they are 33).

Kat: How is crossfit going?

Amy: Unbelievable!!  I had a terrible chest cold so was out of commission
 for almost 2 weeks but I am back at it!!!  I put weight on the
 bar now and am so much faster!  I truly cannot believe the things I am
 achieving.  I recommend it to everyone!  It is an amazing sport.