03-30-2015

Week 13/52 of Training – 2015

Pretty proud of last week in terms of training. Only missed one of my planned runs and I was okay with that…just a 3 miler. Here it is:

Monday: 3 miles – track workout. Did this on the treadmill again because of the weather. 1 mile warm up, then 3×800 meters at 7.2 on the treadmill, cooldown. I forget what 7.2 pace is…I think 7:46 or something? It was 3:52 per 800. This was tough. It’s one of the workouts in the Run Less, Run Faster book, and I was supposed to do 4 but I was struggling by that third one. But I used to struggle with 6×400 at 8.2 pace and finally was able to do all 6 so I know I’ll get there!

Tuesday: off

Wednesday: 5 miles – tempo run. 2 mile warm up, 2 miles around 9-9:30 pace, 1 mile cooldown. Didn’t quite hit the paces, first mile was 9:07, second mile was 9:54 (clearly I died haha). But it was a consistent effort. I always doubt myself in tempo runs because I don’t think I’ll be able to push myself for miles at a time. Though I guess that IS the point of tempo runs isn’t it? To gain confidence. 

 

A photo posted by pattyrivas13 (@pattyrivas13) on

Just wanted to point out that this whole outfit is from T.J. Maxx! You all know I love workout clothes from T.J. Maxx! <– click that link for a round-up of my favorite deals, which I wrote a few months ago. The top I’m wearing is “Head” (the tennis brand, but it is so cozy), and the pants are “Marika Tek.” I think each one was around $12-$15? My favorite brands I use from T.J. Maxx are RBX Activewear, Marika Tek, and MPG. In case you cared or were wondering :-P

Thursday: 7 mile – long run. This is the longest we have ran in a loooooong time. It was just an easy paced run. At mile 2 there was a 1 mile long hill, no joke, 1 mile. Needless to say our pace dropped precipitously (SAT vocab right there). We ran from my town to our YMCA, which was 7 miles. It was really hilly and we walked a few times but we plan on doing this route regularly. And it was finally in the 50s, so I could wear a t-shirt and shorts!

 

A photo posted by pattyrivas13 (@pattyrivas13) on

Friday: Off

Saturday: 4 miles. My mom and I met at the Y and ran on the treadmill. I know for many of you 30s isn’t cold but I prefer running inside when it’s below 40 :) We did this treadmill workout, which made time go by much faster.

Sunday: Off…this was the day I should have ran 3 miles. I was out all day with Dan and then we went out to dinner with his family in the evening. 

Total miles: 19. Still not a huge number but working my way up! Would like to get to 25-30s consistently before starting marathon training.

Do you think running hilly routes helps for a flat course? Or should you run flat routes for a flat course?

What’s your temperature minimum in order to run outside?

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03-26-2015

Help Me Sleep!

I have had the worst sleep lately. All week it has taken me an hour to fall asleep, and then I end up waking up every hour feeling wide awake and struggle to go back to sleep. It is so frustrating.

I know there are things I could be doing, like logging off from the computer earlier in the night, so I’m looking for other tips beyond this. 

Basically, I just toss and turn every night. Even beyond just this past week, every single night I wake up to go to the bathroom at least 1-2 times. The only nights I don’t are when I had a hard workout or something and am exhausted.

This issue seriously sucks, and from what I’ve found online it’s called “nocturia,” which is described as this by the Cleveland Clinic:

Nocturia is a condition in which you wake up during the night because you have to urinate. 

Normally, you should be able to sleep six to eight hours during the night without having to get up to go to the bathroom. People who have nocturia wake up more than once a night to urinate. This can cause disruptions in a normal sleep cycle.

I’ve told my doctor about it, and they tested me for diabetes and what not (don’t have it), and told me to just not drink too much water/fluids before bed. I do that. The last I drink is usually during dinner and maybe I’ll have a gulp of water right before bed.

My sleep is so interrupted because of this, and as a result I feel tired most days. And this past week…forget it…on Monday I took an almost 2 hour nap because I was so tired from not being able to fall asleep the night before.

Ecard

Do people sleep through the whole night and wake up feeling awake and refreshed? Because I honestly can’t imagine what that feels like. This is also what contributes to my “not a morning person” thing…I can’t wake up to exercise when I feel like a zombie and haven’t gotten restful sleep.

This post is pretty much just venting about lack of sleep, but I do want to hear your tips. How do you help yourself fall asleep at night? Here’s my usual bed time routine:

  • Read stuff on my laptop while I watch some Netflix. This is my way of relaxing after a long day.
  • Brush my teeth, take my contacts out, etc. etc.
  • Lay in bed, scroll through Instagram before setting my alarm and turning off the light.
  • Lay there for 15 minutes…still awake…get up to pee again so I can empty my bladder before falling asleep in hopes of not waking up in the middle of the night (doesn’t work).
  • If I don’t fall asleep within 15-30 minutes, repeat above step.
  • Eventually fall asleep, and wake up at 2-3 am to pee.

I know one thing I can probably improve is scrolling through Instagram before bed. I should probably just read a book or something. But I really just want something mindless; sometimes books get my mind going and I can’t stop thinking about the book or plotline as I try to fall asleep lol.

I bought peppermint tea the other day to have after dinner as another way to relax. Maybe I’ll buy a lavendar candle or something to light before bed? Has anyone tried melatonin?

I am open to any and all suggestions!

What is your bedtime routine? Do you use anything to help you fall asleep?

Anyone else have to deal with “nocturia?”

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03-24-2015

Quick Hamstring and Glute Workout

After a run, I really don’t feel like lifting. I know it’s a problem, and I should probably start splitting up my workouts (lift in the AM, run in the PM), but for now, I have been doing quick strength workouts post-run.

I did this one yesterday and really liked it. I wanted to focus on legs, especially hamstrings and glutes, which is why I named this a posterior chain workout.

We know that runners, and people who sit a lot throughout the day in general, are prone to weak glutes and hamstrings. That’s why working on your core is so important…and these two muscle groups are part of your core!

While doing lunges, squats, step-ups etc. does hit your hamstrings a bit, those mainly target quads and glutes. By not doing hamstring specific work, you’re setting yourself up for an imbalance. 

Here are a few facts about your hamstrings that I found here:

The role the hamstring plays in running is twofold:

1. when a runner’s leg is in the air advancing forward, the hamstrings control how quickly the knee extends and the hip flexes;

2. when the runner’s foot hits the ground, the hamstrings will do the reverse and flex the knee and extend the hip. This is a key distinction because the hamstring muscles must quickly transition from one role to another once the foot strikes the ground. It is during this transitional period that injuries frequently occur.

So this workout is one you’ll definitely feel throughout your back side…and I threw in the windmills for a little oblique action as well, though even those I felt in my hamstrings too! 

If you don’t have access to do cable kickbacks, you can do kneeling kickbacks (get on all fours, kick your straight leg up into the air, focus on a slow, controlled motion). 

Here’s the workout, and keep reading for video instructions if you need them!

Hamstring & Glute Workout
Cable kickbacks:

Kettlebell windmills:

Kettlebell swings *good form is important for this, so watch this whole video!*

Read more tips and cues from personal trainer Annie Brees in regards to the kettlebell swing…it’s a great exercise and if you can only do one thing after a run, I’d definitely suggest this!

I did this workout yesterday after an 800s repeat treadmill workout, and then finished up with a good stretch and sauna session. Stay tuned for another workout I’ll post on Thursday that focuses on your quads…remember, it’s all about balance!

Do you lift after a run? Or split up your workouts?

Do you prefer working on your quads or hamstrings? I love doing heavy deadlifts!

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03-23-2015

Questions About Training For a PR

Happy Monday everyone! We’re not even going to go into my training last week because I was home sick most of the week therefore only ran twice. One easy run and one speed workout on the treadmill…which is actually what is prompting this post today…

I want to hit some PRs this year. I’m probably running a spring half end of April or in May, but I know this probably won’t be a PR, and I’m okay with that. My main goal is a fall half marathon and marathon PR.

I’ve been reading Run Less, Run Faster because so many of you recommended it to me in previous posts. It’s definitely intriguing. While I don’t think I will only be running 3 days a week (I do want to experiment with higher mileage and see what happens), I do want to do the workouts. 

Run Less, Run Faster

I was looking at the 4:10 marathon plan since my goal is a 2:05 half marathon. The track workouts are definitely speedy for me, but I’m willing to put in the work. Which is what leads me to these questions:

  • Should you be running faster than usual to get faster? For example, some plans, like Jack Daniels or others, use training paces in relation to your most recent 5K or other race. Meaning, my track workout paces would definitely not be what’s in plan in Run Less, Run Faster. BUT, I want to train to get faster…does that make sense?
  • Some people say too much intensity leads to injury…but then we have people doing crazy fast sprints/hill sprints on treadmills as a HIIT workout…people who might not run on a regular basis at all…(random point I know…I’m just thinking outloud here).
  • Lastly, even though intensity could lead to injury, many plans also say “if you want to run a half or full at a certain pace, you need to train at that pace,” so then…why would I be going based on my most recent 5K time, and run workouts at a pace that I’m already running?

Like I said, I’m mainly just thinking outloud and would love to hear feedback from you. Especially if you’ve used the Run Less, Run Faster plan.

Today I’m supposed to be doing 800 repeats at 7:47 pace I think. That’s fast for me, and I did it last week but could only finish 2.5 repeats (I was also sick)…so we’ll see how it goes!

Have you used the Run Less, Run Faster plan to set a PR? Did you find the workouts really challenging? Or do I need to “step down” a plan?

What do you think of my questions regarding training intensities?

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03-18-2015

The Plight Of The Honey Bee + Nektar Honey Crystals Review

Disclaimer: Nektar Naturals provided me with product. All opinions are my own.

Did you know the honey bee population in the US is declining? I didn’t know until I started working with Nektar Naturals, who makes Nektar Honey Crystals. I’ll give you more info on that in a minute.

The plight of the honey bee...do you know how it affects you?

According to the US Department of Agriculture:

The honey bee population in the United States has been declining for decades. The number of managed U.S. honey bee colonies dropped from 6 million in 1947, to just 2.5 million today.

Last summer, the USDA provided $8 million as “incentives for Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin farmers and ranchers who establish new habitats for declining honey bee populations.”

So why should we care?

When you think of honey bees, you might only be thinking of them pollinating flowers, etc. But bees are responsible for a lot of the crops we might be eating on a daily basis. The USDA Agricultural Research Service states:

Commercial production of many specialty crops like almonds and other tree nuts, berries, fruits and vegetables depend on pollination by honey bees.

I really never even thought of those things in relation to bees. In California, approximately 60 percent of all manage honey bee colonies (1.4 million colonies) are used for the almond industry.

Colony losses can be linked to pathogens, colony collapse disorder (where beekeepers just find dead colonies with no bees), weather (like unusually hot or cold), and more. The USDA is still researching factors and what might be causing this vast decline.

A tip they give to the public is to not use pesticides during the day, when bees might be out looking for nectar or pollinating plants. 

Again, I had never even thought of any of this! So what does this have to do with Nektar Honey Crystals?

Well, I first heard of the plight of the honey bee through working with them. On their website they talk about using eco-friendly materials for all phases of production whenever possible. The company states they support the efforts of the research being done in this field to stop this decline.

So what are Nektar Honey Crystals?

They’re exactly that. Honey crystals! Jeremy Edelman, founder, was tired of the sticky mess of honey bottles and jars. As a tea drinker myself (and someone who eats oatmeal on the go regularly), I can relate. I don’t take my honey bottle with me because it’s just a mess. 

Anyway, that’s how the honey crystals were born! 

Nektar Naturals
The honey crystals are all natural granulated honey. 1 packet is equivalent to 1 teaspoon of honey. They are naturally gluten-free, GMO free, Made in the USA (!), and Kosher.

I’ve tried it in my oatmeal and teas, and have spread the word to my best friend and my family…who also love it. Here’s an oatmeal shot from my friend:

Screen Shot 2015-03-18 at 9.49.50 AM
You can use them for a lot of things, such as baking (protein pancakes anyone?)

pancakes
Or a myriad of other recipes. Here are a few actually from fellow bloggers:

All great ideas I would have never thought of…and that’s why I’m not a food blogger ;)

Nektar also provides recipe ideas on their website, from sweet potato fries to an apple honey cocktail (yum). They also mention using it as a sports drink. Add in honey crystals to your water, add lemon, and you’ve got home made Gatorade. Honey contains natural electrolytes and sugar for that boost you need. I haven’t tried this but will once I start doing longer runs…stay tuned for my review on that!

You can find Nektar at most grocery stores, such as Whole Foods, Earth Fare and Shop Rite (for my NJ peeps). Use their store locator to find a store near you.

Giveaway

Lastly, they are hosting a giveaway that ends March 20. You can win 3 different cannisters of tea from Bare Tea, which makes organic whole leaf teas, 2 boxes of Nektar Honey Crystals and 2 mugs. Want to win? Enter below!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

I’m going to keep doing research on the honey bees because now I’m intrigued. I really had no idea. It’s funny how we can take simple things, like honey and honey bees, for granted and not even give them a second thought. 

Did you know about the honey bee decline?

What is one environmental issue you feel strongly about? For me it’s deforrestation. Sigh.

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03-16-2015

Week 11/52 of Training – 2015

Not a very good week of training in terms of days run. Yeah I know…I need to be more consistent with my mileage. I asked a question in the reddit running forum about qualifying for Boston (one day) and basically everyone was like you need to RUN MORE ASAP. I mean, it’s no surprise. My running coach has been telling me the same thing. I know what I need to do it’s just a matter of doing it. Questions for you runners:

  1. How do you balance running with strength training (for those of you who run almost every day)? I just do not feel like lifting after running but obviously need to.
  2. What’s your best tip to motivate yourself on days you really don’t feel like running?
  3. Have you ever gone through a running rut where you’re just blah about running?

Even though I’ve been kinda blah, last night I found this blog, Miles To The Trials, and was reading about her story. She went from a 4:07 marathon to qualifying for the Olympic Trials! That really motivated me and I told myself I can qualify for Boston one day, it’s just a matter of dedication and hard work. And I need to buck up and do the work. 

Anyway, here was last weeks training:

Monday: First longer outdoor run! 6 miles at 10:00 pace. Felt okay, shins kinda hurt after but I figure it was because it was my first longer run outside. My body was EXHAUSTED the day after, no joke, I felt so fatigued. Anyone have this issue when transitioning from treadmill to outdoors?

Tuesday: Off because of the fatigue issue mentioned above.

Wednesday: Track workout…finally outside as opposed to the treadmill! 1 mile warm up then 6×400 meters at 1:50 per lap. Doubted myself because I figure it’s a bit easier on the treadmill to keep a certain pace…but actually could do it! Challenging but fastest I’ve ever done a 400 meter workout :)

 

A photo posted by pattyrivas13 (@pattyrivas13) on

Thursday: Off because shins were really sore from the track.

Friday: Off because I’m lazy. I know.

Saturday: St. Patty’s Day 5K. 28:45ish (there was no start timing mat so I crossed a bit after the gun went off). Felt really good throughout the race minus one huge, long hill in the middle. I’ll take it for not having been running much but I really do want to get a 5K PR this spring! Current PR is 25:13. After the race we all went out for St. Patrick’s day since it was the parade, festivities in the town. Running a morning race + day drinking = being in bed that night at like 9 pm haha.

 

A photo posted by pattyrivas13 (@pattyrivas13) on

Sunday: Off.

Going to go for more miles this week. I know I need to be more consistent…I don’t know what’s wrong with me lately in terms of motivation. Help!

Do you get super tired from running outside after being on the treadmill for a while?

Motivation tips please!

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03-12-2015

Why You Should Get A Gait Analysis

Recently, I talked a little about my running form and asked for your thoughts on the importance of sneakers. I’ve been doing more research and actually listened to a very interesting podcast hosted by blogger and elite runner Tina Muir. Check it out here.

But from what I’ve read, when it comes to running, there are many important factors besides pronation, which is usually what they look at in running stores. Just because you over pronate or don’t, doesn’t mean you must wear a certain type of shoe (like stability). The more important thing is to find shoes that are comfortable for you. Which I do think is true because any time I have tried wearing stability shoes it just doesn’t feel right. Here are two points discussed in the podcast:

  • If Haile Gebrselassie walked into a running store, he would likely be put in motion control shoes, but he wears neutral shoes; things are not always as they seem.
  • How heel striking does not lead to a greater risk of injury; In one study, over 90% of elite and sub-elite marathoners were found to be heel strikers!

No really, listen to it to learn more…it was interesting stuff!

So anyway, on Instagram you may have seen some of my slo-mo videos I had my mom take of my while running. I wanted to see what my running form looked like and also get feedback from Coach Marc, who offers gait analysis services.

Why You Should Get A Gait Analysis

When I looked at the videos, I thought I pronated, but then other people said I don’t…so who knows ;) I sent the video over to Marc, and he sent me back cool photos showing the angles in my running. Here are a few examples:

gait analysis

gait analysis2
Pretty cool stuff right? He also looked at my video and saw during my kick back, my feet were kind of going to the side. He said, “Think of a piston in a car – if it had the same non-linear motion as your feet when they are behind you, the car wouldn’t operate smoothly. Form drills prior to running and maintenance post-run will do wonders for your pains and your form.”

The drills he mentioned are A-skips, B-skips, high knees, butt kicks, etc. I do usually do them in my warm-up but only for probably a total of 2 minutes max. He does them with his XC team for about 15 minutes during a warm-up. Clearly I need to do more.

I do want to go to a sports therapist and get an in-person analysis done so perhaps they can really tell me my issue with my shins. But from what I now know from these videos, hip strength and working on my form might help a bit. This is why it could really benefit you to get a gait analysis! Here are some key reasons (besides to see whether you pronate or not):

  • You will be able to see how your body moves. I had no idea my legs kicked back and inwards as I ran. This could be causing issues and I had no idea about it.
  • An experienced person will be able to look at the video and instantly pick up on muscle weaknesses and imbalances, like hip drop, which I read more about this week.
  • Provides you with a “before and after” source so you can see your improvement. You can try to change your gait or strengthen weak muscles but how will you know it worked if you have nothing to compare it to?

I really liked this quote from Active regarding why gait analysis is important:

Gait analysis is about looking at your entire body as a holistic organism—a single amazing unit. It goes far beyond an untrained eye watching you jog in a pair of sneakers.

It really is so much more than just your feet and the degree to which they roll inward or outward. Often times, it could be issues like core strength that are contributing to your lower leg issues, not necessarily if you overpronate or not.

As I had mentioned, Coach Marc provides gait analysis services along with this virtual coaching. If you want someone to take a better look at your running form and give you suggestions, definitely check him out! Plus, if you need a customized training plan in general, I highly suggest you connect with him and see if his coaching would be a good fit for you.

Have you had a gait analysis done?

What do you think is the weak link in your running?

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03-11-2015

Full Body 30 Minute Workout Part 2

A few weeks ago, I posted a full body 30 minute workout. It got good feedback, so I wanted to post one more as I continue working on my fitness eBook which will be a 9-12 week program with workouts similar to this. This one is a bit more complicated than the first one in terms of exercises involved, so below the image I will explain each one and put in a video tutorial if needed. Keep reading below for my full instructions:

30 Minute Full Body Workout
 AMRAP means as many rounds as possible. So in the first set of exercises, you’re going through and repeating them until your watch hits 30 minutes. Take a 1-2 minute break, then continue onto the next set of exercises. You should get in 2-3 sets in each group of exercises.

Okay so let’s explain the exercises:

Split squats + overhead press: You’ll be doing 10 split squats per leg, with the dumbbells stacked on your shoulders. As you come up, you will press up. Similar to a squat and press. Here’s my split squat tutorial:

Pushups with shoulder taps: You do a normal pushup, and when you come up you tap each shoulder with the opposite hand. Sounds easy but trust me, it makes this exercise even harder.

Side to side burpees: Usual burpees but instead of jumping straight back, you jump out to one side, jump in and up, then jump out to the other side.

Single leg deadlift + row: This is a typical single leg deadlift with a dumbbell, but when you get into the bottom part of the exercise (when your back leg is up), you will do a single arm row, then come back to standing and repeat. This is a great exercise for runners because you’re working on your hamstring and glute strength AND balance.

Tricep dips with leg raised: You will do 10 tricep dips with one leg raised straight out in front of you, then switch legs and do 10. You can do this on the floor or with your hands behind you on a bench to make it more challenging.

Donkey kicks: Another one that looks easy but is a killer cardio exercise and you’ll feel the shoulder burn! You don’t need to have your arms elevated like she does, but it’s a good modification if you need it to be a bit easier for you. If your wrists are an issue, hold dumbbells in your hands so your wrists are in a more neutral position.

Curtsy lunge + kick: Pretty self explanatory. Do a curtsy lunge then as you come up kick your leg out. Do 10 on each side then switch. You can add weight to this exercise to make it harder.

Half and half bicep curls: Start with the dumbbells up by your shoulders (elbows bent), lower half way, then bring back up. Do this 10 times. THEN, start with the dumbbells down (elbows straight), curl up half way and lower 10 times.

Commando burpees: Normal burpees but when you get down on the ground, you will go from on your hands to plank position, then back up.

Side plank with DB reach under: Get into side plank position, then with the dumbbell, reach under yourself, then bring the dumbbell up towards the ceiling. A bit hard to explain:

Dumbbell pull-over: This is a good lat workout (sides of your back) and a core workout. Your knees should be bent at a 90 degree angle with feet up in the air. As you drop the weight behind you, focus on engaging your core and pressing your lower back into the floor. Here she demonstrates the pull-over portion of the exercise. With your feet elevated it makes it more of a core exercise.

Reverse plank: Instead of facing the floor you’re facing the ceiling. Hold it. You’ll feel it in your hamstrings, glutes and core. Bring it down to your elbows to make it more challenging.

I know that’s a lot of YouTube videos but I wanted to make sure you knew how to do each exercise and it wasn’t confusing! This is a full body workout that will have you sweating for sure…and it’s only 30 minutes! 

If you try it out, please let me know! I loved hearing back from people about their thoughts on the previous workout I posted. Stay tuned for my eBook which will have a workout plan with workouts like these so you can get fit in just 30 minutes per day :)

Do you add in cardio to your strength routines, or do them separately?

What are your favorite cardio exercises in a circuit routine? I love to hate burpees!

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03-10-2015

Compression Socks vs. Sleeves + Tiux Compression Socks Review

Disclaimer: I received compression socks from Tiux in exchange for this post. All opinions are my own.

In my search for running gear, I was searching for the perfect compression sock…and I might have found it, but more on that in a bit.

Through my searches, I couldn’t decide which is better: compression socks or sleeves? An issue I had with socks were that they would end up being too thin and I like to run in thicker socks. I didn’t think sleeves provided the same “squeeze” as full socks did. I had a pair of calf sleeves and after a few wears they were sliding off my calf mid-run. So I went to good ol’ trusty Google for the answer.

Tiux Compression Sock Review

Compression Socks

Do they even really work? Well, the jury’s out on that but everything I read says that while studies might not be conclusive, many runners believe compression socks help with recovery…so if you feel that it helps, why not wear them? I definitely feel like after long runs they help with blood flow and recovery, and I like to wear them for long runs sometimes too because of my shin issues. How can socks help during a run? Here’s a quote from Science of Running:

When we run, and strike the ground, those impact forces cause the muscle/tendon/lower leg to vibrate. It’s thought that this vibration could be one cause of the delayed muscle soreness that we’ve all experienced.

Again, this is still theory. But the article goes on to say this:

First, the idea that compression socks improve venous blood flow at rest has been substantiated (Byrne et al., 2001)…During exercise, the research is mixed. Ali et al. (2007) found that no performance or changes in physiological parameters occurred during or after a 10k run. However, they did find a reduction in muscle soreness, pointing to the muscle vibration and recovery aspects of socks. Contrasting these results, Kremmier et al. (2009) found improved performance and an improved lactate threshold when wearing compression socks while running. Similarly, two separate studies found improved 5k performance and improved running economy (Chatard et al., 1998 & Bringard et al., 2006). The study by Bringard et al. (2006) is particularly interesting. They found improved economy at 3 different speeds, but it was most substantial at the middle speed (12km/hr).

So, who knows, but hey, if Shalane Flanagan and Meb are wearing it then it must make you super fast right? ;)

Shalane Flanagan
Compression socks (obviously) cover your feet too as opposed to just your calves. The benefit is that you’re getting full leg + foot compression which keeps blood from pooling in your lower extremities and helps blood flow throughout. Compression technology has been proven to limit swelling.

Here’s a tip from Fleet Feet:

If you are going to be using the product exclusively for recovery, we recommend going with a sock. The sock will apply graduated pressure to the foot and ankle to pump blood back towards the heart.

Compression Sleeves

What about the benefits of sleeves? Well here are a few:

  • You can wear your own socks for a race.
  • If you have shin splints and want to wear compression during warm weather you can wear sleeves and sandals.
  • Easier to put on and take off.

One thing that kind of made me nervous about sleeves is this article I found by someone who owns a running store. He discusses why he won’t sell sleeves in his store, because of the dangers of deep vein thrombosis (DVT). He basically says that since the sleeve cuts off at the ankle, your ankles and feet will end up swelling, which could lead to a DVT, especially if you’re at risk for clot issues to begin with. Here’s what he says:

For a period of time, maybe up to a day after a long, hard workout, runners are at greater risk of DVT than the general population – maybe as high as the elderly population.  When combined with other DVT risk factors such flying in a plane, dehydration, using birth control pills, or an injury that causes swelling or internal bleeding, the risk for DVT multiplies.

I don’t mean to scare anyone but just putting out all the information I found. After I read that I decided to stick to full socks…plus, like I mentioned above, sleeves just didn’t feel as tight to me.

Whether or not compression socks are effective for some because of the placebo effect…who knows…but I love my compression socks! Here’s one last tip from Competitor: 

For athletes to get the full benefit, the compression needs to be graduated (tighter at the ankle and decreasing to the hip), fit the individual, and have 22 – 32 mmHg of pressure.”

So with that, let’s jump into my review!

Tiux Compression Socks

Tiux was kind enough to send me their socks to try out. Once I opened the package I knew I’d love them. A bit thicker than others and so soft!

Here are some features of these socks:

tiux socks
So how are they different than other companies? They’re a start-up that will focus on selling their product solely online, as opposed to brick and mortar stores. They “break away from the traditional retail model by eliminating wholesalers and distributors” which allows them to sell their socks at a fair price. Here’s how they explain it (better than I can):

tiux socks2
Pretty awesome right? Although they’re not available yet, you can pre-order them now and I believe they will be up and running in April. I really want their hot pink socks!

Verdict

So let’s get into my thoughts. As I mentioned, I liked that these were thicker socks. I also felt like they were a bit easier to put on and take off. They’re also labeled LEFT and RIGHT, which I like because it means each sock is specifically tailored to each foot/leg as opposed to a generic sock, if that makes sense.

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Here’s how they stack up against other compression socks:

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I have never tried any of those, but I will say this – I have a couple pairs of PRO Compression I have not been a fan. I know this might go against the popular belief and I WANTED to like them because I love their patterns and colors, but they were just too thin for me. Also, for all your short peeps like me, Tiux’s socks are the perfect length. With other socks I’ve had to roll them down because they’d go over my knee. #shortpeopleproblems

I believe Tiux will be a big competitor in the compression sock industry for runners. They might be a start-up but their socks are high quality and comfortable. 

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Their Tiux rep told me they are working on an ambassador program, which I’m very interested in. I’m not lying when I say I love these socks and I’m glad I stumbled across them through a fellow Fitfluential member.

tiux compression socks

Oh and they also match my shoes so that’s pretty cool ;)

One last thing – who doesn’t love a company that gives back? Tiux has partnered with Mines Advisory Group and makes this promise:

We will donate 1% of our revenue to help save lives and protect communities from landmines, unexploded ordnance (UXO) and other weapons remaining after conflict. This means that 1% of every purchase will go towards providing a safe and secure future for men, women and children affected by violence and conflict.

Please head over to their website and learn more about them! If you wear compression socks, I highly suggest you try these out. If you don’t wear compression socks, try a pair and see how you like them during a run or after. 

Do you wear compression socks? During or after a run?

Do you have a favorite brand?

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03-09-2015

Week 10/52 of Training – 2015

Happy Monday! So excited that this week will be in the high 45′s…which means I can run outside! Last week’s training was pretty decent. I know I need to keep ramping up my miles but towards the end of the week my shins started acting up again, so I need to take it slow. Here’s what last week’s training looked like:

Monday: 4 miles. I did this treadmill workout and really liked it. Not easy but not too challenging, and I always like a few sprints thrown in.

Tuesday: My usual treadmill “track” workout – 1:50 at 8.2 speed, with 2 minute walk rest, repeat 6 times (after 1 mile warmup).

Wednesday: Off

Thursday: Off…snowed in.

Friday: 5 mile treadmill workout, which I posted about last week! And posted this video to get some feedback on running form. Do you think pronation really plays a role in injury prevention? I read a few articles stating that it’s natural and other biomechanics issues and weaknesses are much more important to focus on…and that you should get sneakers based on feel, not necessarily your pronation.

For example, I’ve been told to wear stability shoes but those are not comfortable at all for me. What do you think? Here’s a slow-mo video of me running from behind…what I do know is I need to strengthen my hips and fix how my legs kick back at an angle and not in a straight line.

 

A video posted by pattyrivas13 (@pattyrivas13) on

Saturday: 3 mile treadmill run. Was supposed to do 6 but my calves were really tight and I was just so bored. I CAN’T TAKE THE TREADMILL ANYMORE. So I got off and did a battle ropes workout and some box jumps for an added 15 minutes of cardio. Also working on my crow pose and my sister captured my fall on film :)

 

 

A video posted by pattyrivas13 (@pattyrivas13) on


Sunday: Off

Oh also check out my new YouTube video! I’ll be doing more videos and getting back into that…hopefully once a week. This one is just a quick 1 minute video showing different bodyweight cardio exercises you can throw in your routine.

Which of those exercises do you do regularly?

What do you think of the pronation/running shoe thing?? Advice and info welcomed!!

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