2016 Fitness Goals – Part 1

Happy New Year, everyone!

(I know, I’m more than a week late, but… shush.)

I know it’s been a while since December 22, which is the official start of winter, but I wanted to think about what sort of goals to aim for as my Winter Fitness Goals.

I quickly realized that I have a lot of fitness goals and related topics that I want to talk about upfront. So, I decided to extend my deadline to Summer and split my 2016 Fitness Goals post into two.

Running

We finally got some snow in this region of Canada, but Toronto’s still been so mild that it hasn’t really stuck around much. This means I can run both indoors and outdoors, yay!

I initially wanted to train for a half-marathon (HM) distance or race, but then I realized that it’s only 10 weeks until March 20, which is the first day of spring! I’ve started using Hal Higdon’s Half Marthon Novice 1 Training Program, which is 12 weeks long.

This was the main reason for extending my fitness goals to the first day of summer because I’d rather not risk a shorter training period just to end up seriously injuring myself.

… Okay, FINE. I also made a fitness wager with Chris over at The Other Side of The Box!

If I’m running at 32km/20mi distances as my long run by May 15th, she’ll get me a $50 gift card to a yet-to-be-decided store.

If she manages to lose at least 10lbs by May 15th with regular fitness training, I’ll get her a $50 gift card.

If we both manage to achieve our goals by May 15th, we’ll get each other something nice.

If we both don’t achieve our goals by May 15th, the first person to reach their goals will get their prize.

Basically, my running goal is to get up to 32km/20mi without dying.

It’s gonna be a huge challenge for me both physically and mentally because I’m going to have to overcome my anxiety of going back up to 15km.

I hurt my foot pretty badly last year at the Nike Women’s 15K Toronto. I haven’t gotten back up to that mileage yet so I’m kind of worried that it’s an issue with my feet’s physiology rather than environmental factors. The only way for me to find out for certain is to build it back up and hopefully go even further!

Rock Climbing

I’ll be on the search for a new belay buddy for a little while since the Monsieur has started his graduation proceedings and needs to focus on his PhD thesis. (Go, babe!)

Either way, here’s my goals…

Rock Climbing (at least 1X a week)

Top Rope: I want to be able to do 5.10a grades comfortably. At this point, I should be okay going halfway up 5.10b as well.

This might seem very conservative for a 6-month goal, but there’s a huge difficulty jump from 5.9 to 5.10b!

Bouldering: V1s should be comfortable and some V2s are challenging but doable.

To achieve both goals, I’ll need to learn new techniques and start doing more formal weighted and/or bodyweight exercises to build up core strength.

We’ll see if I need any new shoes by the end of this!

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My current rock climbing shoes

Parkour

I’m on the fence with this sport, to be honest. On one hand, I love flying around and the absolute boldness of parkour.

On the other hand, getting to the gym is such a pain!

At this point, because I’m such a data nerd, parkour has turned into a casual hobby sport rather than a main fitness focus.

So, my goal for parkour is to ho at least once a month!

Keep an eye out for the second part of my 2016 Fitness Goals!

Xoxo,

B.elle

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Fall 2015 Fitness Goals

Happy first day of Fall, everyone!

Last night, I went on a quick 4km run to test out my new shoes (more on that later!) and realized that I’ve managed to get into a bunch of new things in the past few months. I’m not really someone who gets that worked up over a failed goal, like how I didn’t get a PR at the Toronto Zoo Run, but I’ve found that setting a goal helps keep the motivation up!

Since it’s the first day of Fall, I thought I’d set some fitness goals to meet by the first day of Winter. I’ll do my best to do a Weekly Report on Tuesdays, too!

Running (3X a week)

  • Weekly mileage of 20-25km with a 5-7-10 pattern
  • Dream pace goal of 6’00″/km for 5K distance
    1. Realistic pace goal of 6’15″/km for 5K distance
  • Dream pace goal of 6’20″/km for 7-10K distances

Rock Climbing (1X every other week)

  • Work on 5.8 and 5.9 belay routes
  • Work on V.1 bouldering routes
  • Increase grip strength and more confident footwork

Parkour (1X every other week)

  • Work on climb-ups with vertical wall (at least 1 good climb-up per session)
  • Regain balance on rails

I don’t have any races or competitions coming up, so these goals are purely for personal gain. Now that I’ve written out my goals, I can see how quantifiable each sport can be. Running has so much data involved with all the distances, pace times and even shoe mileage! Rock climbing still has some data that you can measure, like the difficulty levels (5.8 and V.1, for example), and it’s possible to measure grip strength with certain tools. Parkour has almost no measurable features to it whatsoever, except for height!

Do you have any fitness goals for the Fall? I’d love to hear them!

xoxo,

B.elle

Ouch!

I’m usually pretty careful when I’m training, especially for parkour. I mean, it’s a dangerous sport in the first place, so it’s incredibly important to keep practicing techniques and motions until you can’t get it wrong.

But, just like any other sport, accidents happen! Like this!

Bruised ribs

OW, right?

That would be my lower right ribs after practicing a precision bar swing and losing a bit of balance, making me smash my ribs into the corner ledge of the MV’s F-block!

Luckily, it’s just a bruise and nothing fractured, but I was down for a good few minutes since it was the 7th rib and it’s a weak spot on the human body.

Even with this injury, I’m probably going to keep doing some light running this week or get into the indoor track. Rest is for the weak!!

(I’m kidding. I know I should take it easy, but I also know that breaking my running and parkour habit would completely de-motivate me!)

xoxo,

B.elle

 

Beginner Parkour Tips From A Beginner

Do you know what parkour is? It’s basically the art of most efficient human locomotion. So if there’s something in your way when you’re parkouring, be it a wall or a bench, you don’t go around it; you climb over that bitch and keep running.

Does that sound extreme to you? Well, it kind of is. So if you’re interested in picking up the sport/hobby, here’s some tips to get you started.

  1. Talk to professionals first or get some intro lessons down in a safe, monitored gym centre. There’s nothing worse than going out in the real world and faceplanting into solid concrete and breaking your arm in 5 places.
  2. Wear whatever’s most comfortable and least restricting, not fashionable. Trust me, you’re probably going to be moving in ranges of motion that you didn’t think were possible for a human body. If you’re a girl, invest in a good sports bra. Your boobs will appreciate how it keeps them in place and takes away some boob sweat!
  3. Sneakers. Don’t argue with a good pair of sneakers, even if they look stupid. Just don’t.
  4. Sip, don’t gulp your water. You’ll feel and move a lot better if you don’t have a lot of liquid in your stomach. Blegh.
  5. Be patient, work hard and keep moving. I picked up parkouring because I needed to get my ass back out there and be active. Sure, I saw some great YouTube videos, played Assassin’s Creed and thought that parkouring’s awesome, but I know that those parkour artists in those videos have been doing it for YEARS, not months or weeks. Like any performance-based sport, it takes a LOT of practice to even start moving fluidly at an older age, let alone flip around in free-running.
  6. Your upper body will be screaming at you the next day. Even if you do regular push-ups and chin-ups, you’re going to be doing some things that you’d normally never be doing. Be prepared for a lot of sore muscles.
  7. Accept the fact that you’re going to get hurt. This is mostly for everyone who wants to get out there and climb around stuff, but get scared that you’re going to break your arm or get paralyzed when trying out a new move. Yes, you’re going to get hurt, but they’re mostly going to be bruises, scrapes and aching muscles. Those will go away in a couple of weeks, so suck them up. I’m not going to deny that some people suffer serious injuries from bad judgement calls in this sport, but you’ll be fine if you work in a safe environment first.

    Trust me, I have a collection of bruises on my knees and shins after every class. I’m getting less and less, but you’re probably still going to get them.

  8. And finally, that leads to the most important tip I can think of: Abandon all fear.

You’re going to get hurt, you’re going to be aching like hell the next day and you’re going to look stupid and clumsy for a while. But I promise you that if you resist that fear of pain, you’ll find yourself flying over vaults and conquering that wall you could barely face.

xoxo,

B.elle