Benefits Of Power Walking

Brilliant blog on powerwalking!

HOW BAD DO YOU WANT TO LOSE WEIGHT

Every hour you spend walking may add 2 hours to your life, research suggests. Brisk walking can help trim your risk of heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, cancer, and depression. To reap the benefits of walking and stay injury-free, try these tips.

Wear comfy, well-fitting shoes. They should be lightweight and breathable. Look for thick cushioning in the heel, good support, and flexibility. Replace them after 3 to 6 months.

Start with a warm-up. Stroll at a comfortable pace for 5 to 10 minutes. Then pick up the pace for the rest of your walk.

Set goals. Aim for four to six walks every week. “If you’re a beginner, shoot for 20 to 30 minutes. If you’re more advanced, take it up to 45- or 60-minute sessions,” says Juliet Kaska, a certified personal trainer in Los Angeles. Bump it up an extra 10% each week.

Stand tall. Pay attention…

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January training… or lack of it!

Next weekend will be the end of January and so far I haven’t managed to get any real training in the bag. Ended up with a flu bug after New Year which is still hanging around and causing me to wheeze. Not great when I’m trying to start my walking. I’ve decided to give myself another week then hit the road regardless!

I’m also debating whether I should enter the ultra. I want to do it again but also want to work on my speed for the halfs. My ultimate goal is to become a half fanatic this year. Training for the ultra involves endurance, distance and a lot of time but not speed. Not sure I can train for both and hold down a full time job… plus complete a course at work!!! Maybe a stretch to far. Watch this space, a decision will have to be made soon.

The events are shaping up nicely, Stranraer half booked for early March, the London Moonwalk (full) is all sorted and travel booked and Breakthrough Breast Cancer have accepted me into their team for the EMF half in Edinburgh at the end of May.

The distance for Moonwalk Scotland is still to be decoded as I’ve said above but whatever happens I’ll still be doing a minimum 26.2 miles on 14th June.

I’m waiting on the Dundee half to open for my July event and RnR Dublin is booked for August. A long weekend away for my hubby and I with a little 13.1 miles and a great medal thrown in just got fun.

October will see me completing my Scotland, England, Ireland and Wales year with a half marathon in Cardiff. Really looking forward to this event, know so many people taking part, will be fun.

So…my year is just about sorted, time to get rid of this cold and get training.

Have a great Sunday peeps!

Mags xx

Another Year Over

As another year ends we all take time to reflect on what’s happened in the previous 12 months.   2014 was a memorable year for me which has been filled with the low of injury and the highs of amazing friends and family!

The beginning of the year saw me pick up tendonitis in my foot, something which was to plague me on and off for almost 6 months.  It also saw me attending training days so I could prepare to be a Clydesider (volunteer) at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

Marathons were few, because of the injury, but did have a half in Liverpool, the full Moonwalk Scotland, a fundraising marathon up and down Edinburgh’s Royal Mile during the festival, the inaugural Scottish Half, The Great Scottish Run (half) and the biggie….New York City Marathon!    I suppose when you list them like this I had quite a busy and sore year!!  

My main charity this year was MS Society (Sara and Katie) who were amazing in supporting me during the events…MS Mars Bars at the finish line are the best believe me!!!   Sara even sent us 4 to take to NY City! 

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May was RnR Liverpool half marathon.  A girlie weekend away full of laughs and VIP treatment from the Competitor Group.  Food, drink, friendly hospitality and meeting Austin Healey (ex English International Rugby Player).  The weekend was completed with an invite to the Cavern Club for the VIP finishers party.   Good memories.

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June brought the Moonwalk Scotland.  With the foot injury I wasn’t really ready to walk the 26.2 miles but with support from Anne, Zoe and Sandra I made it to the finish line.    The tendonitis hit in about half way and there was times where I was ready to throw in the towel as it was painful but my sister-in-law Anne was there to encourage me and as the finish was on my mums birthday I knew I had to finish.   In 2013 I completed 52.4 miles but this 26.2 was so much harder.  Just goes to show that training and mindset really is a must.  

With the marathon over, I started to volunteer…36 hours without sleep but had to wait on Penny finishing her ultra marathon.  An emotional moment I can tell you.   So proud of all the ultra finishers, it’s tough going! 

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July brought the Commonwealth Games to Glasgow.  I was working with the Press and divers.  Very lucky to meet Olympians Tom Daly and Matt Mitcham amongst others. Both great guys and more than happy to chat.  It was a memorable week which ended by being invited to the closing ceremony in Hampden.

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August was our New York fundraising event.  26.2 miles up and down the Royal Mile in Edinburgh at the height of the festival…mad but a great idea and raised over £2000.   A huge thank you to everyone involved, we couldn’t have done it without your support.  

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September/October and the foot was on the mend.  I hit the road again with the girls, this time completing 2 half marathons. The Scottish Half and the Great Scottish run.

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I turned 50 in September and was so lucky to get the opportunity to enter the New York Marathon (a presents from my amazing family).
Helen, Michelle and Penny came along on the 6 day adventure.   5 nights and 6 days of full on sightseeing with a little 26.2 miles thrown in on the coldest Sunday I’ve ever experienced!!!   I can’t thank the girls enough for an amazing experience, would never have been the same without you 💕 

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So now we hit the end of December and looking forward to next year.  Thanks to everyone who’s helped and supported me through the year I couldn’t do it without you all!  

Bring on 2015!! 

Mags 💕

Lazy!!

No blog since February – being lazy!! 

A quick update: recovering from tendonitis in my foot which hasn’t helped with my walking this year.  A did manage to fit in 2 events, a half and a full.  I completed the RnRLiverpool half in May, a great weekend away with friends and even with a sore foot I was only 10 mins outside my personal best.  VIP passes helped relieve the pain along with meeting ex rugby player Austin Healey, free beer and bubbly along with a night at the Cavern Club!  Would definitely recommend it to everyone.  Great event and great city!!

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A few weeks rest then back out for a full MoonWalk.   The toughest walk I’ve ever done, and that includes the double. Sore foot from 13 miles and having done very little distance training it all took its toll.  Crossing the finish line on what would have been my mums birthday just added to it all #tough   I’d volunteered to see those doing the double over the line so a recovery drink, something to eat and back to the finish line.  I must thank all the walk the walk staff and volunteers they are just amazing in what they achieve.

Watching everyone’s faces coming over the line was the best, I’d completed it the year before so knew all the emotions they were going through.  Proud of them all!!  The highlight has to be presenting Penny with her medal. 

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So what now…

Only 99 days until we head over the pond to the New York marathon, still got training to do and another 26.2 on Edinburgh’s Royal Mile as a fundraiser so it’s more rest for the foot and short, slow walks until it improves.

More about the Royal Mile later along with an update on my volunteer roll during the Commonwealth Games!!   It’s all happening  😁

Meantime please visit our event page at http://www.fb.com/RoyalMileMarathon to show your support.

Mags 💕

Tom Tom Runner GPS Watch

Time for a new watch…

My third Garmin in three years stated to fail on me.   Kept telling me I had little battery life then decided it didn’t want to talk to the computer…obviously female and temperamental! 

Wouldn’t have a problem changing it but did I want another Garmin?   Nike did a good watch which was powered by TomTom but didn’t like the reviews.   A good watch but choosing a product is a personal thing and it wasn’t for me. 

Someone told me about a new watch made by TomTom themself,  only released in November.   I’m always a bit apprehensive about 1st gen gadgets but all the reviews looked good.   There were down sides but TomTom were reporting of software updates and had already sent some out.  

I was getting a refund from Amazon and a the new watch came with a years guarantee so I had nothing to lose by trying it….oh and did I tell you it was PINK!!

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Prices range between £139.99 – £179.99 for the basic runner to the multi-sports watch designed for tri-athletes.  The multi-sport tracks running/cycling/swimming being waterproof to  50m.

The watch idea is ingenuous, the watch and strap disconnect so different straps/colours can be added.   My watch is the runner as above in pink and comes in at £149.99.   The size is also a plus as I can wear as a normal watch,  not bulky or heavy…you forget your wearing it. 

Performance

I bought the watch thinking that it had less features than my Garmin 410 but I was pleasantly surprised.   It’s easy to use with a clear face.   It also:

Tells me my time/pace/current and average pace/speed.  
I can set goals for distance/calories/time.  
I can race against previous entries to increase my performance and it has preset speed/distance goals.  
I can set a required pace then the watch indicates if I’m faster/slower.  Similar to the Garmin buddy.  

The GPS is operated by TomTom so I knew it would be good but unlike Garmin you can preset.   This is held in its memory for 3 days so ideal for an upcoming race…no more waving your arm in the air for minutes at a time!!   The watch has been used in 3 different locations so far and each time the GPS was connected in a matter of seconds.  Impressive!!!  

The watch tracks runs,  treadmill, has a stopwatch and has no problem tracking GPS inside the house.  The battery life hasn’t been fully checked yet but TomTom advise 10 hours.

To upload you simply connect your watch as you do with any other device via USB although TomTom are working on a Bluetooth upload due out later in the year.

Check out TomTom’s video 

The Cons

As I’ve said this is a first generation product so I knew there would be bugs.   All the reviews said that the one touch control pad was easy to knock and switch your tracking off.   Again this has already been fixed in a software upgrade,  holding down to pause then again to stop your workout.

The web page…TomTom passed their web design over to MapMyFitness and to be honest they haven’t done much with it.   The watch will automatically upload to Runkeeper and MapMyFitness or you can save various file types to add to your preferred dashboard.  I haven’t bothered with TomTom’s one although I’m sure it’ll get better.

I’ve tried Runkeeper,  MapMyRun,  MapMyFitness and Garmin sites but have decided to stick with MapMyFitness as it offers more options and I can upload my fitbit steps as well as the watch and other fitness data…a good all round app and website.

The only other downside I can see is that it doesn’t have a walk option on the watch but I have feed this back to TomTom already and the info has been passed onto the developers.   A small thing but would prefer not to have to manually change each workout and I am a walker NOT a runner,  there is a difference   😉

For more details check out the TomTom web page

http://www.tomtom.com/en_us/products/your-sports/?WT.Click_Link=he_link 

Summary

A good all round watch which does what it says on the box.   Very happy with the change and know that the software updates will only improve the already great performance.  

A happy Diva!! 

Mags xx 

As we say goodbye to 2013…what next!?

2013…it’s been a quick year that’s for sure.

A mixture of 5 and 10k’s, half and full marathons and a double marathon!!! My first Ultra, something which I’m extremely proud of and something which, a couple of years ago, I would never have dreamt of completing.

Along with the highs there has also been lows, illness at the beginning of the year, changes to my family life and the loss of my mum. All huge in there own way but here I am and I’m still standing strong.

So what next…

2014 will be my 50th year, time to splash out and celebrate!!

2014 won’t be a year of events. Over the last 2 years I have completed around 30!! I know sounds amazing but with the added training it’s a lot of time away from family life. This year I will be at home more.

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2014 is about completing –

5×50 event
Rock n Roll Liverpool (full)
Rock n Roll Edinburgh (half)
Moonwalk Scotland…only a little 26.2 this year!
Run 4 Tomorrow marathon
New York City Marathon (excited!!)

2014 is about increasing my walking speed. This years training was about endurance so my speed has taken a hit. Time to get it back up there. Running is not for me, not even going to continue trying, going to concentrate on what I know I can do.

2014 is about completing a marathon with Yolanda Holder, 2x Guinness World Record holder for the most marathons/ultras completed in a year – no pressure then!!

2014 is about working with R4T to promote their round the world marathon, I’m doing this under the name of Voe (Virtual Outdoor Events Scotland) Check us out on FB at http://www.facebook.com/voescotland

2014 is about joining The Rambling Duck and wearing my #fitbit to monitor my steps, lose a bit of weight and tone up…the muffin top is going ☺

2014 is about continuing with my yoga and stretching.

2014 is about raising money for the MS Society.

2014 is all about NEW YORK, NEW YORK . The highlight of the year will undoubtedly be New York Marathon in November with 3 amazing friends and the chance to catch up with a couple of American pals. One of, if not, the biggest marathon in the world with over 50,000 entrants. Can you tell I’m excited already!! Who says 50 isn’t a great age.

So as we say goodbye to 2013 and look forward to 2014 I’d like to take this opportunity to thank you all for the continued encouragement and support. I know it’s a cliché but you really do keep me going. A special thanks to family and friends who are always there for me when I need them…you all know who you are!!! xx

I hope you all have a great New Year and have your own dreams for 2014 – make them reality.

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Workplay Fleetfoot II running bag review:

Review time…

A few months back I was lucky enough to have been given a Workplay Fleetfoot II running bag to review.

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I’ve used it twice so far, the first time for a half marathon, the second for a 10k. So what did I think!?

My first impression was that it was light with good padding on the belt. I loved the loops to hold your jacket and the netting for your water bottle but did think the bag space was a little small for a half marathon. If you are a runner you will have more than enough room.

I packed mini wet wipes, hankies, painkillers, blister plasters, some money, my car keys, battery charger and the mandatory lippy ☺ Sounds a lot but that was well packed and no more room for food supplies. I also felt that it was slightly over packed when I added my water bottles and that a squared off bag would have been better than the rounded design. The walk I was doing had plenty of pit stops so no problems with food intake.

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On the walk itself, I had to check a couple of times to see it was still there as amazingly it didn’t feel like I was wearing it. I loved how I could twist it round to the front of my body with one hand, a lot easier than other bags I’ve had. The water bottle sits sideways but again not an issue, no leaks or spills.

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My second walk was shorter so the battery charger wasn’t needed which made a big difference. Again easy to wear and very comfortable.

The positives: Good lightweight bag with ample room for shorter walks. Great bottle and jacket holders. Very comfortable.

The negatives: Personally I would have preferred to have slightly more room in the bag, so a squared off shape might be better although for a 10k its perfect!

Would definitely recommend Workplay Bags. Check them out at http://www.workplay-bags.com

An ideal Christmas gift!!