This post is written in collaboration with go2telecom.
I am a runner. Therefore I run.
And yet, running has taken a bit of a backseat for a few weeks/months since the Boston and London marathons. The furthest I’ve run is 6 miles, and there have been a couple of weeks where I didn’t hit the road at all.
Interestingly, I feel stronger out on my runs than I have done for a while and was hitting 7.45 paces in recent training runs – paces I haven’t seen in months.
For years I have read articles explaining the benefits, wait, no the NECESSITY of strength training for runners but it just wasn’t a priority. I didn’t know what I was doing in the weights room, am rubbish at working out alone and since moving to Henley my gym class options have been limited so it went by the wayside. Until now…
I’ve always known that weights workouts were crucial for aesthetics (no, you will not turn into a body builder by lifting) – and I feel the most confident in my body right now than I have since running the Berlin and Chicago marathons when I was doing Barre on the regular. I still have a lot of work to do on my core strength (I have to hope that there are abs SOMEWHERE in there).
As part of their fitness campaign, go2telecom challenged me to test out the Jabra Sports Coach headphones during three different workouts however I thought it might be fun to talk you through my new exercise routine. I’m loving the headphones that allow me to get in the zone during my full gym workout and avoid feeling awkward in the weights section – of course I’m still that weirdo blogger that takes mirror selfies or sets up my GoPro to film myself but that can’t be helped 😉
I usually start my warm up either on the treadmill or cross-trainer to get my heartrate up. I’ll usually do my training run before hitting the gym – knowing that when I’m marathon training my key workout for the day, more often than not, is my run. Especially when that is a speed, tempo or long run (I’m less worried about what time I run on easy run days).
I listen to a lot of audiobooks and podcasts to get through my runs…in fact it’s often the promise of a new This American Life podcast that gets me out of the door on a Monday morning. I also love many of the creepy true crime style podcasts – got to listen to them while I can and it’s light out, definitely not listening to those on my 5am dark solo runs in the winter!
The Jabra Sports Coach headphones are totally snazzy and not only are they wireless and noise cancelling (be careful on the roads runners!), they also measure your heart rate, cadence, pace and distance. These are going to be really handy in Portugal at the end of the summer when I’m running and don’t want a big watch tan line pre wedding! My Maid of Honour actually brought up my running tan lines over breakfast the other day and said I had to get rid of them!!
5-10 mins on the Cross-trainer or treadmill (if I haven’t already run that morning). I’ll do this before meeting my trainer so that I don’t cut into our time together and usually pop on my London Marathon spotify playlist to get me into the right mind frame…
Working with a PT and attending regular bootcamp sessions has taught me that equipment is NOT required to get a great full body workout in. Most of my PT sessions start with a circuit that fatigues me before we hit the weights. I now start my own sessions with a variation of these moves (which I’ll plan and log using the Jabra app) – completed while listening to my music to keep me working to full power and stay focused. Without bluetooth headphones there is no way I could listen to music during the circuit/hiit portion of my workout – plus the Jabra Sport Coach headphones can actually be setup to count your reps, as well as calorie burn!
15 X Burpee press ups
20 sit ups
15 tricep dips
30 knee to elbow in plank position (15 each side)
20 Glute Bridges with 1 leg raised
1 min plank
Rest for 2 min. Repeat circuit three times.
Moving on to the weights section, I do a lot of supersets to get that burn, like a chest press followed by bent over row – 15 each, repeat 3 times with 1 min rest between sets. Some of my least favourite combinations are the Bicep 21s; 7 just lower bicep curl, 7 upper bicep curl, 7 full bicep curl. Guaranteed to get those muscles burning if you choose the right weight.
Finish with an all out sweat session on the rowing machine. We started working on the rowing machine after I made the mistake of telling my PT that I’d enjoyed more than a few glasses of fizz whilst watching the Henley Regatta and so was feeling a little fragile. To teach me a lesson he made me row off a glass of Champagne (about 100 cals) and asked me if it was worth it!? ER, yes?!
This is where the Jabra Sport Coach bluetooth headphones come into their own. In the past I’ve had to go without music on the rowers because where do you put your phone? How do you avoid getting your headphones from getting caught up in the chain/handle?
Incorporating this style of workout (changing the actual routine a little each time to target different muscles groups and avoid boredom!) twice a week, plus a group workout class, into my run training means that although I’m not running huge distances just yet, I think I am the fittest that I’ve been in ages and certainly the strongest.
However, the biggest difference has been how I feel about myself. I look in the mirror and instead of looking at my ‘flaws’ I notice my strong arms, my smaller waist, my defined back. I power through my burpees (they’re in every.single.bloody.workout) rather than resent them.
Day by day, week by week I’m feeling more confident in my body and my ability. And the power of self confidence should not be underestimated when it comes to marathon training.
She believed she could, so she did.
One of my favourite quotes is ‘To achieve something you never have, you must do something you’ve never done before’. So if you don’t currently feel comfortable and confident in your body or ability… do something new. Change things. Ask for help from someone; a coach, a PT, a friend or family member, and make necessary alterations to your life to see both mental and physical changes.
You never know what could happen…
Photos by Anna Jackson.