#Janathon Day 7-10

Sorry for the belated updates, here goes: 

  • 1/7: 15 minutes of leg strength 
  • 1/8: —
  • 1/9: 2.19 miles
  • 1/10: 2.19 miles (different route, identical mileage, ran in the new shoes)

Saucony Shadow via WithAnna.Wordpress.comThese just moved in with me. They are the Saucony Shadow and have a 4mm heel to toe drop. I`ll be able to review them soon hopefully! 

 

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One to Mention: Set Bang Pretty

While on Twitter I stumbled across a tweet about the “1000 Squats a Week” Challenge. Squats are one of the most effective exercises to strengthen your thighs and get your bum into shape, I think I might join the challenge once I worked up to the amount of squats needed.

I clicked on the link to the blog and found out about Set Bang Pretty, an online women’s gymwear boutique. Their long-sleeved cropped tops immediately caught my attention so I continued to read about the shop. According to the text on the website, they feature a small collection of selected  pieces in limited qualities that are a little bit special, perhaps a little bit sexy but in my opinion often very interesting! Head over to their shop here!

Set Bang Pretty via WithAnna.Wordpress.comFrom top left to bottom right: Aria reversible top (£40.00), Twist top (£45.00), Crop in Snake (£39.00), Capri pants (£48.00), Goal shorts (£45.00), Scrunchy V capri pants (£47.00)

I think some of these designs are very pretty, especially the sports bras and capris. You need to check the homepage for available colors if you are interested, because of the limited selection available. By the way, Set Bang Pretty has free shipping in the UK!

What do you think of the designs?

Personal disclaimer: I am in no way connected to Set Bang Pretty, I discovered the shop online and thought I`d share them with everyone else who was interested in “fit fashion”.

 

Garmin Forerunner 405 – Review

One month ago, I got the Garmin Forerunner 405 as a birthday present from my parents. I have since taken it out for a couple of runs and found it right to put together a review now.

The Garmin FR 405 on my wrist. You can see the current time in standby mode. 

General thoughts:

The watch is $219.99 according to the website. The Garmin FR 405 is a light watch that I don`t even feel on my wrist when running. It is very accurate, beeps at my predefined splits, lets me transfer data wirelessly to my computer and measures distance, elevation or pace among others. The only downside I found was the size of the watch around my tiny wrists. On the run it doesn`t bother me at all, however.

Facts (according to the Garmin website): 

  • weight: 60g
  • battery life: 2 weeks in power safe, 8 hours in training mode
  • water resistant: yes (IPX7)
  • Optional accessories: HR monitor (some versions), Footpod (for treadmill running), Bike Cadence Sensor, wrist strap kit (for runners with smaller wrists) and others.

The wristband is a little big for me but my wrists are tiny.

The look:

The watch has a rather inflexible band, with a “regular” watch closure (where you pull one end through a metal ring, you get the idea). The band is further secured by a little plastic band  that sits in one of the holes along the watch-band. It also features two buttons: a Start/Stop and a Lap/Quit one. The bezel (the ring around the display) is touch sensitive and is scrolled like the wheels on an iPod. It is not very touch sensitive but you can configure this. It comes with a backlight that can be turned on by touching the bezel with two fingers. Also, there are the fields “time/date”, “gps”, “training” and “menu” on the bezel, that you select by lightly pressing your finger on the area.

Ready to charge.

The watch is charged using a clip that holds on to the watch and connects in the back. It is relatively easy to put on but in bad light it might be a little tricky.

Almost like a USB stick – it connects to my mac.

Finally, the watch comes with a sensor that you can connect using USB. It allows you to import data onto your computer (or mac) and export workouts or training plans onto the device.

Features:

Other than the AutoLap, AutoStop and automatical scroll, the watch lets you choose between training mode, a simple, invterval or advanced workout. You can enter a goal pace and have a virtual partner racing you, that will show you whether you are ahead or behind. Furthermore there are date and alarm options as well as customizable screens for working out.

You can even choose a type of running workout

For advanced workout you can set specific alarms that will inform you whether you are too fast or too slow. These workouts can only be created using Garmin Connect online or the Garmin Training Center application on your computer.

Interval workouts consist of rest and exercise times that can be configured on the watch and for simple workouts you choose a time or distance you want to cover and the watch informs you at the halfway point and stops at the end.

Some runners have problems with the touch bezel on the run but so far this has not bothered me much. I did find that it can be hard to navigate as it is not extremely sensitive but then again not slightly sensitive. During the run (or whenever else) you can of course lock the bezel. I usually view time, pace and distance on the screen and therefore don`t need to switch between screens.

For accuracy, I would say that the watch is in fact very accurate. I used it on the track as well as in the forrest and on the road. Of course if the course winds a lot, the distance might be less accurate as it does not receive a signal constantly. I had no problems running in the forrest and distances that I used to measure using the gmap-pedometer are very precise in my opinion. I heard of runners struggling with the accuracy however, especially when they measured a course with two watches and the pace or distance was rather far off. I understand that this does really make a difference – when for example the pace is off by half a minute.

For example, the watch measured my 10K race short, but only by a few yards. Normally races are expected to be measured longer as you often don`t run exact tangents.

Finally, you can save your starting position and use a compass to find where you went from, which can be helpful especially for trail runs. It also remembers the satellites it connected to last, making the search for gps signal even faster. On average it takes only a few seconds anyways – outsides.

Easily readable, even in the dark.

Analyzing the data: 

I really like to see elevation as well as pace, speed or routes ran on my computer. The numbers really help me with analyzing my runs as I tend to slow down without really noticing it. I also like that I have all of my runs at hand and can see monthly stats as well as subcategorize workouts in folders. I find that transferring data to and from the device only ever works on second attempt.

Over all, I like the Garmin Training Center app as well as the Garmin Connect website. I will write more about the different logging tools (including Dailymile) in the future though!

My final opinion: 

The watch is definitely not the cheapest but I am more than happy to use it. I started loving running a lot more now that I don`t have to run on precalculated routes. It takes a lot of the stress out of it. It connects extremely fast to satellites and works precise. You can analyze all of your data on the PC or on the watch (which is however not extremely handy). I like that I can use the watch in the dark, for interval and tempo or speed workouts just as well as for easy runs and have options to run on the treadmill or bike with it, if I get more gear. I do not like the wristband too much but as it does not slide around my arm at all while running and I could always put on a sweatband underneath, I don`t need a thinner one. In conclusion I think watch-to-PC (or vice versa) transferring is fairly easy after you set up both devices (I haven`t tried watch-to-watch yet) and also the charger works well though you have to make sure it is really clipped on. I think the watch is worth its money for beginners as well as advanced runners who care about splits, paces, intervals, warm-ups, cool-downs and what not.

Please leave any comments, experiences or questions below!

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For more Reviews, check out my Gear page!

What`s In My Gym Bag?

For the Instagram #WTFSept challenge by Lululemon I had to post an “In my Gym Bag” picture. I thought I`d just show you a detailed look inside.

If I go to the gym I sometimes go spinning or running on the treadmill. Sometimes I will also do some strength training. Other days I go swimming but often don`t bring my running gear and most days I take a bag of “options” as pictured below to college so that I can change and go from there. If I run before classes I will bring a change of clothes in my bag instead.

Clockwise from top left to bottom right:

  • flip flops for taking a shower,
  • sports bra and top by Nike,
  • shorts by Adidas,
  • a pair of sweat wicking socks,
  • baby wipes to take of any makeup or if I decide to shower at home,
  • my gym bag by Women`s Secret,
  • microfiber towel because this packs really tiny and does the job,
  • water bottle, this is for when I forget my refillable one (not pictured),
  • my Asics running shoes,
  • cosmetics bag (see below),
  • bathing suit by Nike,
  • goggles by Speedo
  • and a bathing cap.

Clockwise from top left to bottom right:

  • a freeby cosmetics bag by Estée Lauder,
  • Compeed blister plasters,
  • a Muji box filled with bobby pins,
  • a hair tie,
  • my favorite Nivea Pure and Natural hand cream,
  • the Body Shop eye make-up remover which I don`t recommend,
  • my favorite deodorant also from the Nivea Pure and Natural line,
  • a clear pouch by Muji filled with cotton pads, q-tips and aspirin,
  • a comb by the Body Shop,
  • “China oil” a mint oil which I use for sore muscles as well as headaches, nausea, …,
  • shower gel, hair shampoo and body lotion in travel bottles by the Body Shop.

Not in my gym bag but in my cross-body-bag which I always carry and use as my wallet I always have some cash, my membership cards for the gym or the pool and my iPod and iPhone with a pair of headphones.

Say Hello to My New iPod Nano

I used to be a proud owner of a first generation iPod Nano (the black one, with the silver back, 2GB). In the beginning I took it to school and everywhere else I want but then I ignored it. I got a phone that could store music and was more than happy with that. But now (actually a while ago), Apple started calling back the first generation iPods because of battery issues and exchanged them for the newest, sixth generation Nano.

I finally took advantage of this option which was quite a hassle for me still. First I had to send my iPod to Germany, to my grandmother`s house. Then the whole exchanging started and when after weeks I still had not heard from Apple, I called and got the response that they had shipped the exchange box to the States – to the house where we used to live almost three years ago. Why? I have no idea. Anyways, long story short, Apple send another box, my grandmother sent the iPod to Hungary and yesterday I could go and pick it up at the post. So, drumroll please, say hello to my new iPod Nano (I could not decide on the color by the way) which was just upgraded from two to eight gigabytes!

I`m really excited to take this out for a run soon. Only when it is safe of course, I wouldn`t listen to music when I run on the trails or around the neighbourhood but rather when I am on the track or in a race.

I love the touchscreen and that I can even listen to the Radio now. I`m still angry that Pandora is not supported here in Europe.

You can use it to record your runs or walks through I don`t really believe in the whole Nike+ concept, at least not without GPS.

You could also track your intervals using the stopwatch function.

And, the best thing, you can clip it onto your clothing and are ready to go!

(Nail polish: Essie`s Tart Deco, Shorts: H&M, Tanktop: Esprit)

 

New In: Running Essentials

I love running gear. Gadgets, clothes, food.. whatever it is, I crave it. Treating myself to a new pair of shorts or a tee or perhaps a fun looking snack makes me happy. Today I went out on the hunt for a new sports bra and top and either a pair of shades or a hat.

I did not find a top but got this grey compression bra by Nike which is Dri Fit, it is a racerback style. It does not have any mesh panels that I usually look for but it is very comfortable and made from mostly recycled fabrics.

Instead of choosing a pair of glasses I went for a hat for now. This one is by Asics. My favorite part is the back adjusting part because it is an elastic strap instead of velcro. This makes it easy to pull your pony-tail through for the girls.

I did pick up a pair of 2kg dumbbells and some regular running gels but then I cam across these little bite sized fruit jellies by Optonia. I have yet to try them on a run but I think the small, individual packages could come in really handy.

Runners` Safety

Yesterday I drove back home from my spinning class around 9.45 when a runner appeared in front of me, running on the street instead of the sidewalk wearing black clothes.

Not only drivers need to watch out (and yes, they really do need to! Especially when turning into a street, driving around a corner in a popular living/forrest/running area) but also us runners. I know, because I am both a runner as well as a driver. It is not enough to wear bright clothing – not even whites or brights will be visible enough at night time.

If you have to run early in the morning or late at night be visible!

  • do nut run on the streets, if there is an easily accessible sidewalk.
  • wear reflective clothing such as a reflective shirt or sleeves or a vest
  • wear lights or flashing objects (e.g. you can buy LED clip on lights for your fuel belts if you wear one or headlights)

Another thing, safety but not visibility related: as runners especially us women and especially when you have to run early or late in an area where there a few people:

  • get a road ID
  • carry your cellphone
  • let someone know when and where you are running (e.g. leave the route open on your laptop/print it out including an appropriate time of return)
  • if you have no one around, you can also ask friends to call you if you do not call or message them within a certain time
  • do not listen to music
  • some like to greet everyone they pass or at least look them directly in the eye to be remembered
  • always keep your eyes and ears open, try not to take the quietest routes at nighttime

Do you have any other tips to share? Consciously try to run safe! Be seen and watch out!