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Here is a list of questions and answers I compiled thus far…
What is your height and weight?
I am 172 cm tall (5 feet,6 inches) and as for my weight – I haven’t stepped on the scale in years because I am all about “how the pants feel” but I think I weigh anywhere between 60 to 70 kg (132 – 154 pounds)
Have you ever been injured cause of all your running?
Oh yes. I seem to have some sort of repetitive injury which occurs right at the middle of my foot. Its usually a torn tendon and it takes me off running for 4 weeks on average. Takes place every.single.year. Very annoying.
How did you get into working out?
Since I can remember I have always been very sporty (you should see pics of me during grade school, I am wearing buggy pants and shirts and my hat is on the wrong way) and participated in sport activities. When I turned 13 I stopped with exercising (besides whatever was mandatory in school) and was strongly encouraged by my mother. When I moved back to Europe our school offered track and field and I ran the 400 meters (hate that distance, barely made it through in 70 seconds ± 5 seconds). I actually competed with my relay team in the 4 by 400 meter final at the European Championship. I then stopped again and when I started going to college I really got into exercise all over again but this time it was different: I actually wanted to see how my body changes. There is no going back now 😀
What is your typical workout schedule?
I always plan my weekly workouts and I try my best to stick to it. I workout every single day for at least 30 minutes, but my schedule changes based on what is my current goal e.g. finishing a new workout program (like Insanity), training for a marathon or just toning up. I try to do some cardio each and every single day (though on weekends I go a little lighter), practice yoga twice a week and do some sort of strength training 3 times a week.
Do you belong to a gym?
Most of the time I do not, but I had a craze this past August and decided I want to go. I like it because its quite cheap and it does not allow me to provide any excuses: even I tell myself I am sick of running, then I will have to hit the cross trainer or the rower or the sweatmaster.
Do you have issues with body image?
I do and I can tell you that it is entirely the fault of the media. The more I read trashy websites and tiblids the worse it gets. I really try not to let it get in my way because every body is different and at the end of the day I just want to feel good and be healthy. You cannot compare yourself to others, unless you have their DNA, which you don’t…
Do you ever have days where you just don’t want to work out but still do?
It happens at times, especially if I am on holiday (go figure…)
I know for a fact that if I don’t work out (whether its yoga or running or insanity) I will regret it later. It literally bothers me and agitates me. I always try to remember how it feels afterwards…million bucks!
Don’t you work out too much? What about rest days?
I always listen to my body and there will be days when I just don’t want to work out. It happens. But it rarely happens. And when I feel like I am too sore or I am too tired then I just take it down a notch. If anyone here reads about professional athletes on Runners World etc., you can see some who guys workout every single day too, sometimes doing a double workout. No excuses.
More Specific Topics…
Heart Rate Monitors
Would you recommend buying an Heart Rate Monitor?
At first I used to exercises sans Polar, and it never really bothered me. Once exercise, and running particularly, started becoming more significant in my life, I wanted an HR monitor so that I can learn about the way my body behaves when performing certain cardiovascular exercises: I wanted to be able to push myself when necessary, and keep an reasonable HR if I am going the distance. I also like the fact that I can see how many calories I am burning; it gives me an indication regarding how much I need to eat.
What Polar do you use?
Would you recommend another type of heart rate monitor?
It really depends on your kinds of exercise. I would have probably chosen a Polar from the RS series since it focuses more on running (it calculates things like pace, distance etc.). If you are focusing on general fitness, you can certainly go for the F series, and you can pick the very basic versions. In regards to other heart rate monitor manufacturers, I know Garmins are very popular but they are very expensive, too. I am planning on getting a new HR monitor when mine dies out (which, as it looks at the moment, will happen soon), and I will get the Polar RS300X.
What about Polar mal-functioning?
This is definitely an issue that bothers me, as I am sure you have read in my previous posts. Many times, it simply does not provide a reading: you either see a 0 or the heart rate is way off. Some advice:
- Tighten the strap
- Wet the strap. Yes, saliva, as gross as it sounds. Wet the battery before putting it on
- Warm up for at least 2 minutes. Walk. Jog. Stretch. And look at it and see the readings changing
What about the readings on the machines at the gym?
Some gyms have cardio machines that have their own HR monitor. Technically, you could just wear the strap, the HR is sent to the machine and your current HR is displayed. Thus, you can see the total amount of calories burned and your average HR based on the information sent from the strap. Furthermore, some machines have a CPR button that allow you to meet your fitness goal (calories burned/distance/time) based on an average HR you enter. So, for example, on the treadmill, you may enter 170 BPM for your average HR, press start, and then speed will change accordingly until you meet your desired HR.
What is your resting heart rate?
Tough question. I assume it’s around 80 or 90, but I don’t really know.
What is your heart rate when you work out?
I aim for a HR anywhere between 170-180 BPM when I do cardio. Strength training is different because each exercise has its own effects, but my HR when lifting is usually in the 130s. All the same, when I do squats or lunges, it climbs up to the lower 160s. When I am really pushing myself, my HR can reach 192 BPM.
I notice that your Maximum HR is high sometimes. Doesn’t it worry you?
Well, as long as I am not feeing bad because of the high HR and I know I am not sick or anything, I don’t mind it. It is all about how you feel when you are exercising; even though the HR may have a high number, if you feel like you can keep on going then don’t let that number discourage you! But the moment you feel bad or you just think the HR is too high, STOP!
How many calories do you eat?
I used to be an obsessive calorie counter but now I am just trying to listen to my body. That said, I know the caloric quantity of nearly all foods I eat. I assume I take in anywhere between 1500 to 2000 calories every day, sometimes more.
What are your typical meals like?
When I did the INSANITY program I adapted their suggested FIVE MEALS PER DAY plan and I have basically stuck to it since. I am rarely hungry!
Breakfast is always oatmeal, about 50 grams dried cooked in water and mixed with Yoplait (125 grams) and sometimes I add eggwhites/protein powder. In hotter months I have cereals with milk.
Lunch is always anything I can make in 5 minutes: steamed veggies, soup, tortilla with hummus, lettuce and slice of gouda, cereals with milk + banana (if I am really short on time)…
For most dinners, my mother always makes a huge Israeli salad, made of tomatoes, cucumbers, red and/or yellow peppers, red/white/spring onions, some feta cheese and olives (green or black). I have a tortilla or wasa crackers for some carbs, and eat mainly different kinds of cheese (cottage, plain etc.) I also have some Rio Mare Tuna for some protein, or eggs
Snacks: I usually have 2 snacks every day, but that can vary too. I snack on veggies (baby carrots and cherry tomatoes) all the time. If I am just about to head to the gym, I have a banana or a Corny Linea bar. I also eat cheese strings, apples, yogurt + cereals, Wasa crackers with PB, protein shakes, egg white puff…
What do you take for an on-the-go meal?
- A stuffed tortilla/sandwich
- Cereals in a bag + yogurt + apple
- Whole pack of rice cakes (apple cinnamon flavor is my favorite!) + yogurt + apple
- Sandwich with Hummus
What time of the year do you actually run outside?
Typically, I run outside between late March/Mid-April until September. Last year (2009-2010) I was training for a half marathon and a full marathon so I HAD to go out all year long, when the weather permitted it (we had too much snow and Insanity kept me in pretty good shape).
You are quite obsessed with the weather/temperature. So what are the minimum weather conditions?
I would say I need at least 12C/53F. The ideal is of course 18-20C/60sF. However I ran in -15C, so I am pretty much prepared for anything. I also slipped several times in dead winter.
I would never go out if the temperatures were above 20C/70F
What time do you normally run outside? Do you have a typical routine?
During workdays, I get up at 5:30, change for my running gear (my stuff is always by my bed), go downstairs for a sip of milk/snack, and then head outside by 5:45. I run for 30 minutes because I cannot afford more and then get home to shower, breakfast etc.
During weekends, I normally wake up at 8:00 and am outside by 8:15.
What distances do you run outside?
For the 30 minutes sessions, I run about 5 KM
What is your typical cross training like?
Lots of HOME WORKOUTS (Beachbody, Jillian Michaels, Boot Camps etc.) . At the gym I use the elliptical or the stepmaster aka sweatmaster
Why don’t you do some form of biking/spinning?
I have never really liked biking (I have a pair of bikes sitting at the garage and I have maybe used them 5 times) but I have recently found that biking really irritates my knees. Every time I attempt it at the gym I get some serious pain in my knees so I just don’t try it, and I don’t do spinning either.