29 Sep 2011

My Fitness Diary (6)

Today I did something absolutely groundbreaking....

Yup, I went for a run. For those who can't afford a gym membership or other expensive fitness classes, all you need to do is strap on your shoes and run around the block a few times. Of course, it's much more enjoyable when you have some nice scenery around you, and some good music on your mp3 player.

Speaking of, I totally recommend the Sennheiser CX 300 II available on Amazon if you're looking for good running earphones, they have amazingly crisp sound quality, different earbud sizes for a snug fit that won't fall out, and they don't hurt your ears while wearing them. They also cut out background sounds so you can really tune out any cars or traffic noise and just focus on the music. I've owned them for over a year and still going strong.

Today I did just that - I listened to Tool Aenima on my mp3 player and ran along the river that flows near where I live. It was the perfect weather - not too hot, and the trees offered some shade as well. I remembered the first time I ever went for a jog before I started a regular exercise routine, I could only last a few minutes without having to walk. I was so out of breath, panting, had a stitch in my side, and just felt miserable and wanted to give up. Today I noticed what a big improvement I've made in this time, and how much further I could go.

I'm not an expert runner, I'm more the jump-around-like-a-maniac plyometrics kinda gal. I love HIIT training (High Intensity Interval Training) where you do a period of high intensity work-out, followed by a short rest period to get your heartbeat down again. Then you're back with incredible high intensity for a few minutes and then again a rest phase. HIIT training is great for me because you burn a high amount of calories in a relatively short period of time; it's the "get 'er done" way of exercising. Short, incredibly tough, but effective.

You can do HIIT with running as well, which is what I tried to do today. I did bursts of fast running until I was so out of breath, then a period of walking. Sometimes I mixed it up by doing some running jumps and lunges in between. I must have looked a bit odd, thank god for a deserted pathway along the river! It helps to have somewhat spongy ground underneath you like running in a park on mulch or grass, but if you're in a city and you're running on concrete, make sure to buy a really good pair of running shoes to cushion the impact. Buying a good pair of runners is essential for any exercise routine, I can't believe what a difference it has made! I used to have horrible shin splints, today I didn't notice any. I posted about the shoes I purchased here.

Now that the weather is turning a bit cooler with fall approaching, I will try to run at least once a week to mix it up with my other DVD work-outs. It's a great way to get some fresh air and to keep the work-outs interesting! Speaking of DVDs, I recently added Beachbody's Turbofire to the mix, but I'm not entirely convinced on it yet. The music is a tad irritating and I feel the workouts don't have an adequate stretch period before and after - I'll have to try it a bit more before I can form an opinion.

Are you an avid runner? What is some your favorite music to run to?


  1. Ich bin letztes Jahr oft joggen gegangen, aber habs irgendwann wieder aufgehört (dank tiefstem schnee im Winter).
    Jetzt mache ich hauptsächlich die Workouts von BodyRock.tv - die sind auch super anstrengend und schön kurz.
    Vielleicht magst du da mal schauen.

    Abends geh ich manchmal noch eine Runde Radfahren mit meinem Hund.
    So halte ich mich fit, oder versuch es zumindest :)


  2. Very helpful. Ty Julia. :)

  3. Myra Thelen-King6:42 pm


    I have been running for almost 8 years (on my own). It definitely becomes natural and something you just fit into your day (I have to go for a run pretty soon here actually).
    As a freshmen in highschool, I knew I had to get in gear for track season. I was terrible at it during middle school and was determined to do something different. I stepped outside on a cold January day and huffed and puffed. Those first few times were awful...but I never looked back.

    I did sprinting in Track (my main event was the 400 dash) and Cross Country later on to build up endurance. That changed everything. I trained for speed and distance respectively and although I wasn't great at either; I could often out distance sprinters and out sprint distance runners. That alone was very rewarding.

    I now train in Japanese Jujitsu and have been for 3 years (my blackbelt test is a the end of October). I converted my instructor into a runner and another gentlemen who joined back up recently.

    The thing I told them and the thing I tell everyone is my favorite quote of all quotes.

    "You don't have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great."

    Using that logic, I have never stopped running since that cold January day almost 8 years ago, and I started Jujitsu with absolutely no coordination or previous knowledge of martial arts. But I am a firm believer that if you want something bad enough and keep digging deep inside yourself, you will get what you want in life.

    I know I have. :)

    Keep up the great work. I've been watching your tutorials for a few years now and am excited you are able to inspire others to lead healthy lifestyles.

    Myra Thelen-King

  4. I actually do a running routine very similar. There is a track down the road from where I live, I walk there to get started, on the track I will lightly job to get the rate up, then I sprint to the finish line. After that I will walk a lap around, and start the job and sprint routine. I do this till it equals 1-2 miles for now. Only because I myself have also started a new exercise program. The music that I listen to is Pandora on the 3 Doors Down channel. I try to keep upbeat music going to try and run at the tempo so I don't notice that I am out of breath or sore. Works like a charm.

  5. Anonymous6:50 pm

    Du magst Tool! Wer hätte das gedacht......find ich klasse! :-) LG, Alexandra

  6. Myra Thelen-King6:50 pm

    Oh and I forgot, Tool is awesome!

    VNV Nation's song, "Electronaut" is amazing to run to as well.

    Also, the band Unsun has some good upbeat tracks too. I personally really enjoy running to, "Not Enough" and "Home".

    Hope that helps!

  7. I wanted to take up running but was advised against it from my chiro because I have a previously injured lower back. :( I second what you say about good shoes - they're really important! Otherwise, running can wreak havoc on the back and knees. But it's a really great cardio exercise otherwise. :)

    There aren't a lot of good cardio choices for those of us with bad backs, so I finally caved and joined a gym to use the elliptical/combination trainers. I can watch TV while I work out so it makes time go by faster. :) Also, I've found that joining a non-franchise gym is much more economically sound.

    I was told that swimming is a good exercise for people with bad backs, but as someone with two jobs, I find that it's too time-consuming to have to soak and wash a bunch of stuff after every workout - I try to work out at least 4 times a week. :P

    Also, please be careful when running in quiet areas with any kind of noise-cancelling earphones - especially at night!

    Keep it up, Julia! :)

  8. I really like your fitness diary it is a great motivation for me
    The Interval Training is exactly the kind of training i have been doing during 2 months. it works amazing (12 pounds lost) and i noticed a big improvement of my resistence. But it would be possible without my mp3 player I listen new wave songs and mike patton´s albums.

    Thanks for sharing, and keep going!

  9. Hi Julia, I run as well. I haven't run in a while as I'm currently on vacation in Jamaica but I use the podrunner sets (http://www.djsteveboy.com/intervals.html) and they have helped me get my running time up to at least 30 mins non-stop by using intervals to increase your endurance over time. I also wear sketchers resistance runner which completely eliminated shin splints and does help with my leg tone. I plan to get back to it once I'm back in Trinidad. It has been such an accomplishment to get from barely running 1 minute to running for more than 20 minutes at a time. :) Other than the podrunner, I like running to Soca (music indigenous to Trinidad and Tobago) which is like an upbeat version of reggae/dancehall kind of (you have to hear it to understand, if you're interested check out Machel Montano - Whistle and Wine or Destra Garcia - Middle of the Road - if you can find them to listen to maybe on Youtube) but also some alternative or rock anything with a fast beat to keep me going.

  10. Hallo Julia!

    Ich laufe seit einem Jahr vor dem Abi (also schon seit 6 Jahren :) ) und die Musik und die Landschaft waren IMMER die Faktoren, die mich bei der Stange gehalten haben. Ich habe zwar auch DVDs von David Kirsch, Mel B und Tracy Anderson (letztere mag ich am meisten), aber wenn man sich irgendwann nicht mehr erinnern kann, welches Workout es war, weil immer alles gleich aussieht, dann muss man Abwechslung rein bringen ;) (in diesem Fall eher raus!). Ich liebe es Tieren zu begegnen, die Jahreszeiten zu sehen und immer wieder andere Wege zu nehmen. Musik suche ich inzwischen sogar nach "am Berg", "Zielgerade" oder "plätschert so dahin" aus. Oft höre ich auch Hörbücher beim Laufen (gerade wenn ich eine gute Stunde unterwegs bin oder länger). Ich höre immer mit meinem Ipod, der gleichzeitig auch mit Nike+ meine Fortschritte festhält :)

    Meine aktuellen und Alltime-Favourites sind zum Beispiel:
    Avril Lavigne - What the Hell
    Oasis - Whatever
    Brooke Fraser - Something in the Water
    One Republic - Good Life
    Anouk - Nobody's wife
    Milow - You and me
    Marilyn Manson - Personal Jesus
    Greenday - American Idiot
    Beverly Knight - Come as you are
    Rhianna - Only Girl
    Bakkushan - Baby du siehst gut aus
    Maroon 5 - Harder to breathe
    Adele - Rolling in the Deep
    Daft Punk - Harder Better Faster Stronger
    Katy Perry - Firework
    LadyGaga - The Edge und Born this way
    Einige Sachen von Yiruma höre ich wenns bergauf geht.

    Deinen Musiktipp werde ich auch mal antesten, ich würde mich auf mehr Musiktipps freuen! Ich hoffe du wirst mit laufen noch "warm", ich wünsche dir viel Erfolg dabei!

    Liebe Grüße

  11. Ich laufe auch des öfteren und fahre im Sommer noch gern Rad, jetzt hab ich grad nen Pilates Kurs angefangen.
    Dann werd ich schon fit bleiben über den Winter.

  12. Anonymous10:22 pm

    I always start with Lady Gaga Born this Way it gives me so much energy

  13. Hi Julia,

    I think it's fabulous that you have started to live a healthy lifestyle! I've been following your blog for the past six months and I think your tutorials and vlogs are so much fun. It's amazing how connected you can feel to someone through the internet.

    I'm finding my motivation (again) to live an actively healthy lifestyle! My daughter is now one year old and I feel like it's time to get my life back into some semblance of order. :-) I, too, have P90X, TurboFire and a host of other workout DVDs including Beachbody's Insanity and Asylum. Now all I have to do is press "play." I'll get there soon enough.

    I love watching your tutorials so please keep them coming. My makeup skills have advanced exponentially from watching you.

    Your Blogging Friend,

  14. Tool is the best band!

  15. You're great Julia! I don't have this strenght for jogging! Hate it and any other gym activity.


  16. OMG, I love TOOL so much! Today I was singing The Patient!!! I love to do Body Pump classes, try listeing to Body Pump 71 Les Mills Music CD! Is the best! Black Fingernails is excellent!

  17. I wnet to gym for a month and lose 3 kg , but now seldom go because of work ....wish can go everyday and burn my fat

  18. khadija.3:42 pm

    hey,julia i watch all your makeup tutorials n i loveeeeeeeee them,im ur biggest fan i love the way u talk,the way u explain everything...i had a request if u can make some more tutorials on teen make up as im a teen i dont like wearing emo type of make but if u can show sumthing nice,easy and beautiful as im having my school farewell party aftr few months....hope u will not disappoint me....

  19. Very helpful.

    The tool is the best of band

    thank you very much Julia :)

  20. great, so helpful http://teens-and-kids.blogspot.com/

  21. thanks to you Julia :) Tool is the greatest band!

  22. Thanks for sharing a very informative article

  23. Jessica7:55 pm

    Julia.. you should try out Les Mills Bodycombat.. is sooooooooooo much fun! ;)