Cheap Workout Gear

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I really like shopping. I really like running and going to the gym.

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN THE TWO COLLIDE?!

New gym gear. Yay!

Today I went into primark, spontaneously getting off the bus because the workout gear in the window I passed every day looked tempting. So I made the split decision that I needed new stuff to run in for marathon training, because new clothes are a great incentive to go out. Even if it’s just to go to the gym.

And I was rewarded for my split decision. 2 pairs of gym leggings, one pair of shorts, 5 pairs of socks, 2 sports bras and 2 tops. All for £28.50. Bargain! I mean I probably can’t afford to spend that much unnecessarily, but it’s not like I won’t use it. And I threw away three old gym tops when I got home. And I find it very hard to part with clothes, even ones I don’t wear/that are beyond being wearable.

Don’t get me wrong, I love my nike running gear. And I know that it’s way better quality than the cheaper stuff. But my two nike sports bras, the ticks are peeling off after 2 years. Not what you want really when you pay £20 for each item.

But hey ho. I’m excited to take my new stuff for a spin!

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January gymers

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It’s that dreaded time of year again for all of us who hold the gym sacred. It’s the time of year when everyone has embraced the ‘New Year, New Me’ mantra and gone and got themselves a shiny new gym membership, or, polished that old one and vowed to actually make use of it. Thus, every evening, the gym is full of those people, who you know the majority of will have forgotten what a cross trainer is in 3 weeks.

I’m not saying people trying to take on a healthier life style is a bad thing, far from it. It’s just the fact that for one month the gym is over crowded. And I don’t like it.

For example, today I was doing my stretches, ab exercises and weights in the studio. I wasn’t in the middle of the room or anything like that, or even in the space usually occupied by the aerobic/Zumba/weird exercise dance classes that go on in the evening. And yet the class was so full that me and about 7-8 others doing similar things were asked to move out the way. We ended up squashed in a row at the side of the studio with barely room to swing our arms around our bodies. Not cool. And I couldn’t help but notice that the class was populated by unfit looking people in non-gym clothing. Which annoyed me. Don’t come and steal the space of the people who put in the effort all year round. Silly gyms and their desire to make money from these poor fools who half heartedly commit to a year contract in hope of forcing themselves to be fit.

To those of you who do stick it out, I salute you, and in a years time you too will have every right to complain about these new short-lived invaders. Happy gyming, and may the odds be ever in your favour when you want to use an unnecessarily busy piece of equipment!

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Change of discipline

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Due to the ambition of some friends of mine, I have decided to switch my focus for the next few months, away from pure running, and onto triathlon. We seem to have decided on the York triathlon in April: a 250m swim, 18km bike ride and 5k run. The run part I feel pretty prepared for even now. Although I am no where near my peak fitness, I know I could run it in under half an hour if I had to now. My aim for the run is to go sub-25. Should be do able, I have 4 months…

Swimming will be the biggest challenge I feel, since I haven’t actually done that since I was about 14, other than as an occasional leisurely holiday activity. It isn’t far to swim, 16 lengths, so with a bit of training it will be fine. However, since I go to a budget gym chain, there is no pool. Herein lies the problem. Luckily the Uni gym does have a pool, so I may just have to suck it up and pay per time.

This is certainly going to be an expensive challenge, I need a swimming suit and goggles for a start, maybe a hat. And then there is entry fee too, plus getting to york (I will worry about that nearer the time). The main expense will be the fact that I need a bike. My mum has a bike, I shall look at it when I go home, but I may need to buy a road bike. Oh boy. bit of research has reviled that these things aren’t cheap. I could cycle to work maybe to help justify the costs…

But for now I am going to train in the gym (I’ve done 2 hours cycling and an hour running this week, no swimming until I get a costume!) and sort out equipment nearer the time…

First triathlon, I am excited.

I caved and joined the gym

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Ok so I’ve been back in my beloved Leeds now for nearly a month. It’s been great and I am never leaving again. My running, however was almost non-existent. During freshers I’m not sure that can be helped, all time not at work was mandatory to be spent in bed.

I made it out for a run once, with the Abby dash looming over me, and the spirit of Leeds uni vs Leeds met (or Beckett as they have now decided) making me want to do some sporting activity, I set off. It was nice and autumnal, I ran round a pretty area of Leeds, with big houses and fallen leaves aplenty. It was nice, but the glorious autumn sunshine has rapidly since disappeared, to make way for grey gloom and endless rain. Action had to be taken.
On the plus side, all this rubbish weather means it’s fancy hot drinks season, and as I don’t have a relevant running picture, please enjoy the pumpkin spice latte I indulged in yesterday.

And so, despite my rant earlier this summer, I joined a gym. But you hate treadmills? Yes, that is true, but in this weather it seems to be treadmill or nothing in my brain. I’ve had my gym membership for a week and been 3 times covering a total of 10 miles so far. Not amazing, but a vast improvement on no running at all! And for £10 a month for all access membership I really can’t afford to complain. Plus going to a new gym is kind of exciting, and I’m sure the novelty will wear off. I’m generally impressed with the exercise4less chain, but I haven’t had time to go buy a padlock for the free to use lockers yet, so I do lament spending 20p every time I go on a locker! Alas, I will survive. So for now, it’s onwards and upwards!

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Nike+ achievements and trophies

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So this post is all about the trophies available on the Nike+ app/website that you can unlock by using the app on your iPod or iPhone. Personally I use the iPod nano 6th gen (the small square one) as I got it free from apple after they recalled first gen ones due to dangerous battery overheating issues. It came with the app preinstalled, and it has a clip on the back so you can attach it to your clothes which is cool and means you don’t have to buy one of those weird looking arm straps for your phone. I’ve always imagined them to be somewhat annoying, but who knows. 

One of the things I like about Nike+ is the fact that it tells you when you reach achievements such as your longest/furthest run, or a PR over a certain distance. Not only this, but it also uses data to inform you of cumulative achievements like months in a row you were active, or if you break a certain number of miles a month. I don’t know if any of the other apps like run keeper or map my run have this feature, but I’d imagine they do something similar. I have to say I find them a really good motivator. If I am close to the 50 mile a month one by the end of the month for example, I would run further to make sure I get that award. 

Since I enjoy getting trophies, and I now have an audience to share this with, hopefully who share this interest and sense of achievement, I thought I’d do a bit of research, see what I was missing, and see how i can get it! 

 

So here is the list of awards obtainable. The ones I have got are in bold.

 

Platinum mile high trophy – run 160km (100 miles) in a month

Gold mile high trophy – run 80km (50 miles) in a month

Silver mile high trophy – run 40km (25 miles) in a month

Bronze mile high trophy – run 24km (15 miles) in a month

Celebrity – share your workouts 10 times

Sneaker head – tag 3 different shoes in your activity

Uncle Sam – run on 4th July (not sure if you get this in the UK but I didn’t run then this year so guess I’ll have to wait to find out!)

Double shot – run twice in one day

Jack O Lantern – run on halloween

Extra frosting – run on your birthday

Storm proof – tag 5 rainy/snowy days

Night owl – run 5 times between 12-3am 

Early bird – run 5 times between 3-6am 

Anniversary – joined nike+ a year ago (I don’t have this though, even though I joined nike+ about 15 months ago…)

Resolution – run on new years day

El fiesto – run on cinco de mayo

Chocolate heart – run on valentines day

Comfort zone – run a certain tagged route a number (not sure) of times

Local legend – most runs on a top route 

Dragon – run on Chinese new years

Interncontinental – tag on 2+ continents

Off the beaten path – tag 5 runs on a trail 

Beach bum – tag 5 runs on a beach 

Run more miles – set and complete a target

Run more often – set and complete a target

Burn more calories – set and complete a target

Earn more NikeFuel – set and complete a target

8K day – earn 8000 NikeFuel in a day

10K day – earn 10000 NikeFuel in a day 

15K day – earn 15000 NikeFuel in a day

20K day – earn 20000 NikeFuel in a day (I think these four may be fuel band only but I am not 100% sure so I have included them just incase!) 

5K milestone – earn 5k NikeFuel

10K milestone – earn 10k NikeFuel

25K milestone – earn 25k NikeFuel

50K milestone – earn 50k NikeFuel

75K milestone – earn 75k NikeFuel

100K milestone – earn 100K NikeFuel

150K milestone – earn 150k NikeFuel 

200K milestone – earn 200k NikeFuel

300K milestone – earn 300k NikeFuel

400K milestone – earn 400k NikeFuel

500K milestone – earn 500k NikeFuel

600K milestone – earn 600k NikeFuel

700K milestone – earn 700k NikeFuel

800K milestone – earn 800k NikeFuel

900K milestone – earn 900k NikeFuel

1M milestone – earn 1 million NikeFuel

1.5M milestone – earn 1.5 million NikeFuel

2M milestone – earn 2 million NikeFuel

 3 times a week – run 3 times in a week

5 times a week – run 5 times in a week

7 times a week – run 7 times in a week

3 weeks in a row – run 3 weeks in a row

4 weeks in a row – run 4 weeks in a row

5 weeks in a row – run 5 weeks in a row 

6 weeks in a row – run 6 weeks in a row

3 months in a row – run 3 months in a row 

6 months in a row – run 6 months in a row 

9 months in a row – run 9 months in a row 

12 months in a row – run every month for a year

 

As you can see, I still have some collecting to do! There are a few others, however I know you have to have a fuel band to get them, and since I don’t see myself being able to spend £100 odd on a monitoring band any time soon I have left those off my list. The completed a half marathon award I have seems to have come from the mobile app, as it isn’t on my online list, but is on my phone. It comes from completing the half marathon training programme on there.

I imagine that doing the mile a day challenge, which I posted about previously, will enable me to get some of these. This would be a great time to try for the early bird and night owl trophies for example, and the 7 times a week is a given. As for celebrity, Ive never wanted to bore my friends and followers sharing all my running activity constantly, but 10 twitter posts will do that nicely. Then I will stop. The three shoe one will be tricky, as I only have one pair of running shoes! I could go for a run in my dunks, 6.0s or deltas I suppose… if not that one will have to wait until I go through another 2 pairs! Also going to make sure I run on every holiday! In case there is a trophy available! 

 

How many trophies does everyone have? Do they motivate you, or do you not really care?

Attached are some photos of my awards so far, and a screenshot of all the awards together! Something to aspire too!

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Tiny gym

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This is largely a follow up post for me to show you all just how tiny the gym is.

This evening I was the only person in there from half 9-10 (it closes at 10) so I took some sneaky pictures between sets on the leg press.

The woman working in the gym clearly wanted to leave early but that gym is open until 10 and I was determined to stay. Largely because I got a lift with my dad who plays badminton with his friends every Tuesday night and that’s when they finish. But that’s not the point. I am paying for a gym which is open til 10 so I will stay if I want.

Annoying gym guy was mercifully not present. I haven’t actually seen him since his infuriating face wave that prompted my last post. I’d be worried that he’d seen it and been offended but a) he told me on one of his talking at me whilst I tried to cut the conversation and leave early ambushes that he doesn’t even have Facebook (what a weirdo) and b) I really don’t care.

I photographed the view from the corner where the leg press lives; one of the mat/weight section, and a general view of the room. The treadmills are behind the various strength machines, next to them are the elipticals and ski machine. Beyond that is the fountain and the cupboard that passes for the personal trainer office.

So here you go: tiny gym is tiny.

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Awkward gym situations.

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A few things I would like to say about the gym. I go to a tiny gym near my work. It has 3 treadmills, 2 elipticals, a ski machine (is that what they are called?!), 2 bikes, and about 15 different weight machines. There’s a tiny weight section with 1-30kg dumbells (no bars for squats/dead lifts) and there is space for 2 people doing mat work max. It’s sucky, but it’s convenient and cheap.

Today I did not have a good gym session. I went straight after my 9-5 at work today. Normally I like to go to the gym in the morning, and I did have to get up at 6:30am to take my brother to the station. Why didn’t I go before work, you ask. WELL, this personal trainer there keeps talking to me, which I find kind of annoying, because I’m in the gym trying to get in the zone and here he is bugging me. He also keeps trying to talk to me about philosophy (usually when I tell people that was my undergrad degree they look at me cluelessly but no, this guy LOVES philosophy. Yay.) which is a little intense when I’m trying to concentrate on my work out… This guy is late twenties and the other day he text his fellow personal trainer to get her to give me his number. just after he left the gym. Lame. Also I didn’t want his number. But she insisted I take it so she had ‘done her part’. Fair enough. I put it down somewhere when I got in and haven’t looked for it since. He tells me pretty much every time I see him that he’s in the gym most mornings.
Now you see why I waited til after work, having not been since this number incident on Saturday. I really don’t like awkward situations. Alas, HE WAS THERE. Why, tiny gym! Why must you be so tiny. Thankfully he was obviously busy with some training so I kept my distance (as much as possible) and headphones in on loud.
There I was minding my own business on the leg extension, I’m currently doing 5-10x 30 or 35 on that, so I was minding my own business, working really hard. Next thing I know there is a hand in my face waving.

….

A very curt ‘hi’ was all I could manage without losing my temper.
WHO DOES THAT?!
Uhhhhh.
That is gym rant number one. Moral of the story – don’t get dragged into unwanted small talk!

My second gym problem is also related to the teeny tiny size of this gym. Given it’s location, it’s hardly surprising, but I keep running into people from my old high school. People who I didn’t really like then, and would rather not be in a small confined space with whilst sweating like a pig now. Home town problems.
This applies equally to seeing locals from the pub. It’s just a little odd. It’s not that I don’t like seeing people I know in the gym, on the contrary it’s one of the things I loved at my uni gym. It’s awkward. Ain’t nobody got time for that.

Final gym issue today comes from the fact that I somehow forgot to take a water bottle. I am an idiot. There’s something about running on a treadmill that just makes you crave water much sooner/more often than when running out in the open. I suspect this is some kind of psychological thing, combined with the dryness of gym air as created by the air con.

These are my issues from today alone. I could go on into a more general line of repeated issues, but I will leave that for another day.

CURSE TINY GYMS.
Grumpy gym toilet selfie sums up my mood for this post.

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