Why train in Winter? By Joan Markwell

Why train in Winter? By Joan Markwell

Why should you train in Winter? By Joan Markwell

Why not?

As the weather cools, more and more excuses cross our lips as to why we can’t train, especially with little ones in tow. So even though you may have heard some of these before I am going to remind you why the top 5 excuses mean jack.

It’s cold

Well yeah it is cold but only compared to our summer. Compared to the rest of the world (which more and more Australians now come from) Australia’s winter is relative mild and a great climate for outdoor training. When the sun is shining, its actually quite pleasant outdoors, especially if you are working hard enough. And btw, fitness apparel has come a long way, you can buy all kinds of long sleeved, thumb loops, ear warmers, long tights, anything to keep your pokey bits and extremities warm.

Too cold for the baby outside

Really? Why?

I think being outside in the winter sun with appropriate clothing for an hour or so could arguably be considered healthier for them than being cooped up in heating and stale air all day long.

Besides they love it. There are so many fabulous pram sleeping bags, suits, beanies, pram covers than there used to be, babies can be snug as a bug in a rug in the outdoors now.

I’m lazy

Well at least you’re honest. But the feeling of going always outweighs the feeling of not going, if you’re looking to feel good. I’ve never heard anyone say I’m so glad I didn’t go workout”, have you?

It’s too hard

Nothing worth having is easy. If you want to feel energised, look good, lose weight, build strength, trust your body, feel like you again after baby, you have to do some work. The upshot to that is, the more you do it, the easier it gets.

I’ll start again in spring

Why? Winter is a great time to start. The hard work and basework are done by spring and rather than try to remove the winter bulge you can immediately see the benefits of your training.

Point is, there is no need to stop once it cools, on the contrary now is the time to commit to start or stay on track. If you would like to see how enjoyable winter training can be, email us to get started today.

Invest in yourself. By Joan Markwell

Invest in yourself. By Joan Markwell

So often as mums we put all our efforts into our bub putting our own needs last, if at all. We think this makes us a good mum or don’t even think about it at all we just respond and do what we think we need to for baby without a second thought. Everything we have, selflessly goes to the baby. This happens with money too. We happily spend every cent we have on bub. We won’t think twice about spending if we think the baby needs it, or it will help with sleep, feeding or let’s be honest make them look cute!

But when it comes to spending money on ourselves we struggle. We forgo spending on ourselves even if we actually need something and In flies the guilt and the questions –
“Do I really need it?”,
“ I shouldn’t spend that on me when I’m not earning”,
“We are only on one income”

For the most part, these questions could field spending on ‘stuff’ that maybe no you don’t need like a house item or another set of something you have. But to cut spending on your own health, fitness, peace of mind, sanity, and sense of self is just ludicrous. Devoting time and money to your health and wellbeing is essential, not a luxury. Our health and happiness should be a priority over pretty much everything else.

A happy mum is far more important and beneficial to a bub than the latest thing or the most fashionable and expensive pram. A happy mum is in a better mindset to handle all that baby throws at her with a smile. A happy mum doesn’t cost much money. A group fitness class, a yoga class, a pair of runners to walk with the pram or start running with a friend, pool entry and coins for the crèche are all a happy mum needs. Whatever gets you moving, gets your bloody pumping and endorphins flowing is time and money well spent. For a happy you and a happy baby.

Prioritise and budget YOU into your life. Start today. You wont look back and you will be surprised at how big a difference such a little shift can make.

Making the time and reaping rewards

Making the time and reaping rewards

This mum.
She could have stayed home.
She could have found excuses.
She could have put her babies first for all the hours of her day.
She could have spent the money on countless baby classes available that have little to no flexibility to accommodate the ups and downs of a mums life.
She could have stopped after her second child was born, I mean it is hard to wrangle two kids out the door. They do have different sleep times. The babies sleep time is right on class time.
She could have stayed home.
But she didn’t.
Felicity decided she was worth it. Felicity decided the little bit of organisation required to get her and two kids to class on time was well worth the energy gained from completing the class. Felicity decided the friends she made at class weren’t judging if her or her kids had an ordinary day. She knew they would all go home happier for the effort. Especially Felicity. With a nice shot of endorphins she is armed for all the hiccups, speed humps and energy required for her to be the patient, caring mum and active healthy role model that she wants to be. She thinks money spent on her health is an investment. An investment in her future and her babies. She also loves the way she feels, the way she looks and that she is stronger than she has ever been. She loves the feeling of lifting weight she hasn’t lifted before, running further than she has before and the feeling of power that gives her. She loves that she can share this with her husband as well as stories about the kids and their day. I love this pic of this fabulous woman. I love what she has done for herself and her kids. Love your work Felicity.

Fuel your workouts on the go

Fuel your workouts on the go

Three weekends left till I leave for the World Championships in Mexico. This week’s training program is huge and I need to eat and rest well to fuel each session so I can get the best results from each session. When I’m training hard I need to have good food on hand to compliment my effort in the sessions.

Maybe the Mexico thing has sparked my recent love of black beans, but I love them. And nutritionally they are hard to beat. High in protein, magnesium, iron and cacium these little suckers have a lot of what you look for when replacing energy after training. So on the weekend I tried soaking and pressure cooking them myself and they worked out perfectly. I now have a big tub in the fridge to use to my heart’s content.

In view of the huge training workload ahead I took 5 minutes to whip up my big ‘go to’ salad for the next few days. I pretty much just throw in all my favourite things:

  • Black beans
  • Fresh corn off the cob
  • Red onion
  • Avocado
  • Fresh tasty tomatoes
  • Cucumber
  • Carrot

You can add or subtract to suit your taste. Now for lunch or snacks I can scoop out some yummo salad and I’m set to go. I will be getting some chicken to chuck in and some low fat cottage cheese or feta would be awesome as well.

Squeeze over some lemon or lime or a dash of light salad dressing and its delicious. Today I added some raw cauliflower and lettuce.

The importance of rest and recovery

The importance of rest and recovery

I am 6 weeks out from my race at World Champs in Mexico and I feel like training is going well. After the initial sickness and a couple of hiccups we have hunkered down and cracked into a solid few weeks of training. If you read my last blog you will know I was tired.

Well I enjoyed my rest week and tried to focus on eating well and refuelling my body for the next training block. To be honest I found myself scratching around to do some training but instead heeded the advice of my coach and just went through the motions on some easy-ish sets.

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Friday night was a nice surprise when he sent though my analysis (see attached). That yellow line was my fatigue and as you can see it dropped quite low and stayed there for a bit. This showed I am quite good at working under fatigue but also screamed a rest was necessary before I hit a wall. But look how it kicks up again after a few days of taking it lightly! Getting back up to zero. This says I am rested, and ready to rumble!

Today kicked off well with a great set in the pool with steady, increasing and full steam efforts. It felt good to be swimming, I felt good in the water and after, buzzing even. When my training buddy asked how I felt, I replied “ready for a bike ride!”

The theory is the rest has refilled my tank, ready for me to hit my program with a renewed sense of energy and power. This means I will be stronger in the set and therefore gain more results from the set so it’s a win-win. And some of the sets this week are BIG so I’m looking forward to bringing it as well as I can.

This has been a good lesson for me to revisit. As a trainer I know the importance of rest and often chat to clients about it and incorporate it into their programs and training. But if you are of the mindset that every session has to be a beasting, maybe think again and listen to your body (or your coach!). Beasting is certainly necessary as part of a program for improvement but you cannot sustain this high intensity without some recovery sessions, or days depending on your intensity and training duration. Oftentimes when a bit tired, you will feel better for the workout but sometimes when you feel tired from your bones you need a rest. If this is how you feel, don’t ignore it, have an easy session or even a sleep in. Enjoy some recovery and be ready to come back harder after the rest.

Fatigue blowout on road to Mexico!

Fatigue blowout on road to Mexico!

When fatigue sets in you have to go with it.

This time in 7 weeks I will be relaxing (or partying) in Cozumel, Mexico after my first race as an Australian athlete at the Triathlon world championships. I have been race training for 5 weeks now and it’s been going well. I hired a coach and he is really making me approach training with a different mindset and to trust the process. A process that is different to one I have used before or with clients of my own.

The results are showing this approach is paying off. I am getting fitter, and building strength and endurance so I am a happy girl. My coach sent my stats through Wednesday afternoon and after showing me my fitness line, my effort line and my fatigue line, expressed some appreciation for how well I continue to perform fatigued but also concern that we should rest before I hit the wall. I then told him about that morning at Run squad. We had to do 10x400m at effort. Big, full steam ahead can’t hold much longer than the lap effort. I usually love this kind of training but that morning I got to about lap three and thought ‘I’m tired, I could really do with a rest soon’. I told coach this and well “there you go, right on target” so rest week it is.

Unfortunately I still had a couple of days of big training to get through including swim squad that evening. That’s when the carb monster hit. I was just feeling flat, tired and generally shagged. On the way to pick Katie up from school I found myself in Coles ‘getting some things for dinner’ but you know where I was… yep the lolly aisle. I bought a honey nougat log and a packet of allens retro party mix. While Kate was at her drum lesson I devoured the log and picked all the honey bears, pineapples and red ones out of the party mix. Oops! Should I tell you I had a few choc chop biccies and a small bowl of crunchy nut cornflakes before swimming as well!?!

This is the oldest trick in the book and I was too tired to care that I was falling for it. Girl gets tired, too tired to prepare good food, too tired to care what food, gets overwhelming craving for quick high sugar carbs, tries to resist craving for about 5 seconds, succumbs to the sugary carby goodness determined that it WILL make her feel better… You know the drill.

Very common when breastfeeding a new born bub, bub is awake a lot through the night or just sleep deprivation in general – the all body tiredness that overwhelms you.

So that night after swimming as is becoming our lovely new tradition we headed to the Three weeds to have a wine and dinner by the fire. Are you ready? I had a lovely glass of pinot, buttermilk soaked fried chicken wings and French fries and enjoyed every mouthful. Who orders those usually? Who eats like that? I’m pretty sure not many of the other athletes going to worlds eat that much crap in one day. Very strange, totally inexplicable and kind of sad. I had been doing so well, no chocolate, only drinking one night a week, felt lighter and like it was paying off. Today however I feel like it’s all back on. Not surprising either I guess considering I ate 2-3 days calories in one afternoon!!!

Good Grief!

So It’s not pretty but its real. It’s not stuff of legends but human. It’s a slip up that I regret yes, but will move forward with a new sense of commitment to getting lighter for the race. When I am less tired I will prepare some go to nutritious snacks to keep in the fridge and have on hand for those moments.

A week of recovery and good fuel to get this machine of mine firing for the next block of training is just what I need so I’m going to enjoy it.

6 weeks of training till race day!!

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