What I’m Loving Lately

I started out writing this post as a Rants and Raves post…until I realised I actually didn’t have anything to rant about. This is obviously a good thing! So instead, here’s what I’m loving lately.

The Olympics: I’m quite sad that the Olympics is over. I must admit I was a bit late on jumping on the band wagon. It didn’t help that some of the stuff I would have watched (Mo’s races, Usain Bolt and the heptathlon) were in the middle of the night. It’s really not my thing to set an alarm and stay up to watch things. I like my sleep too much!

I did, however, watch both triathlons. Is it wrong to say I find them more interesting than regular running races because a bit more happens (oh the drama of the transitions and the different strengths involved)? The Brownlee brothers were amazing but the women’s race was quite tense! I watched the men’s marathon as well and thought it was hilarious when Meb Keflezighi fell over right on the finish line and then started doing press-ups! What a great save of face.

Rave: Finding new podcasts. I love my current favourite podcasts but I’ve been zipping through them really quickly on dog walks, driving to and from work and while cooking/cleaning. My two new additions are TED Radio Hour and Stuff You Should Know. Again, so late in the game with Ted Talks (I’m like a lost sheep… I will eventually follow the flock but only after they’ve left and headed way up the hill).

I love the TED Radio Hour because it has an overriding theme. It discusses several different talks that relate to the theme the host interviews the different TED talkers so we hear a bit more detail. It’s very good. One I listened to the other day was called Brand Over Brain and it was so interesting. I’m trying to pace myself through them but it’s tough.

The Stuff You Should Know is great for more focused information on one specific subject. For example, I listened to a podcast all about caffeine the other day which was cool. The two guys also have very soothing, smooth American voices which are very calming!

To be honest, I could listen to them discuss anything. Case and point: I listened to them discuss the differences between jelly fish and octopi. Honestly, my brain is going to explode with information

Books: On a similar knowledge-seeking vein, I’ve just finished The Calorie Myth by Jonathan Bailor (as an audio book). It started off really interesting and I was fully on board with what he was saying… Things like going really low in calories isn’t the best way to lose weight and how eating more food of better quality actually regulates your metabolism, set-point and hormones and losing weight becomes easier. Obviously I’m not looking to lose weight but I find books like this very interesting. I get so annoyed when I read about diets touting 1,200 calories as the “golden number” and this book gave more insight into why those diets don’t work in the long-term. There was lots of science and clinical studies to back things up which made it very compelling.

However, I struggled a bit with the overall guidelines and mandates of the book. He dismissed “jogging” in a big way and claimed only 20 minutes of resistance exercise each week was enough. OK, I fully agree that exercise isn’t essential for weight loss. It’s a tool and can help speed up the process. And our body’s aren’t stupid, we adapt. That three mile run you did last week will have less of an effect this week because your body is adapting and finding sneaky ways of making it easier (biologically speaking). And anyone who’s trained for a marathon knows that it’s not the way to lose weight. If anything, you put on weight. More miles does not mean more weight loss. But to dismiss it outright… hmm. OK it won’t make you lose weight but there are so many more health benefits (physical, social and mental) that are given. But it was an interesting read.

The book I’m currently reading I actually heard about through the Marathon Talk podcast. Tom Williams, one of the presenters, mentioned it in passing. It’s called Black Box Thinking by Matthew Syed. I wasn’t really sure what to expect. The tagline is “The Surprising Truth About Success”. I’m not one for self-help books but it didn’t seem like that kind of spiel. And it isn’t. The title refers to the black boxes found in planes and how when a plane crashes or has a problem, the reasons behind it can be fully examined afterwards and we can learn from those mistakes.

This is not the case in other industries however. For example, in healthcare mistakes are not examined as thoroughly. An accident in surgery can be swept under the carpet as a “something that happens” or “an unfortunate complication”. Not because doctors and healthcare workers are dishonest or stupid, but because of culture and psychology. It’s a fascinating book and I fully recommend it. It also makes me never want to go to hospital again!

Workouts: Asides from running (see my last post), I’m still going to the gym and working on my strength. I do three strength sessions a week. One session is focused on glutes and legs, one on shoulders, arms and chest, and the third on my back with running-specific exercises and core work thrown in here and there. I’m also going to spin on Fridays when I can. This was originally because a cute guy started to do it (yes, I’m that sad and clearly I’m at my most attractive covered in sweat, ha!) but I’m now going because I enjoy it.

With running I’m not really doing any intense speed sessions because marathon training is hard enough coming back from injury and not having enough time. I’ve dabbled a bit with some harder effort parkruns and a fartlek session but otherwise it’s just getting the miles in to sort my endurance out. I’m not expecting a fast time for Chester after coping with that hamstring thing for so long it sort of shot down those hopes. So to just get through this training and the race itself without injury is good enough for me!

So spinning. It’s a great way for me to get that quick leg turnover and fast speed workout in without the impact and injury-risk that a hard running speed session could pose for me. It was also nice to see the friend face of fellow Southampton runner, Ruth, as well.

She used to write a blog (not sure she does anymore) and that’s how we connected. Interestingly enough was suffering from a similar hamstring issue to me. It was lovely to have company while spinning (though she’s a spinning extraordinaire and put me to shame).

What workouts do you do in a week?

What podcasts do you listen to?

What books have you enjoyed recently?

20 Replies to “What I’m Loving Lately”

  1. I’m loving the triathlons too – I decided a few weeks before Rio that I’m going to do one next summer after my marathon. I love the idea of learning all the tricks of transition etc!

    I’m in a similar boat to you with marathon training too – I can’t really do any speedwork at the moment since my injury (which is frustrating as hell!) so it’s all about the endurance at the moment.
    Joanna recently posted…Yoga, I love you.My Profile

  2. I’m sad the Olympics are over, too – it felt like a much-needed cheer up for everyone! It was annoying how the track events were in the middle of the night but I ended up watching some sports that I knew nothing about previously like fencing and track cycling and feel like I learned some new things in the process! x
    LilyLipstick recently posted…Life: My Money DiaryMy Profile

  3. I was lucky being in Canada for most of the Olympics as the races were in the evening or dsy, although if there were no Canadian athletes they would cut to boxing or something which was frustrating! At least it’s the Paralympics soon.
    For podcasts, I quite like this American life, they have a different theme each week and several sections all linked. I’ve just got into pop culture happy hour too, it’s American too and they discuss TV shows and podcasts and all sorts. A good serial is untold, the Daniel Morgan story, all about a man murdered in London and the search for what happened.
    I’m reading a mark kermode book at the moment, it’s pretty much a lot of his rants and is very funny. I just finished running with the Kenyans and really enjoyed it, I have the Japan book too. You ! might like freakanomics radio, sounds a bit like the book you’re reading. Sort of.
    Maria recently posted…Comment on Parkrun pb ponderings by JANEMy Profile

    1. Ah that’s annoying about cutting out the Brits but I guess it’s understandable!
      I tried This American Life but I couldn’t quite get into it. I’m a BIG Freakanomics fan! I love it. That’s actually what got me into TED Talks as I wanted something similar.
      Oooh what Kermode book? I have the Mayo and Kermode book but haven’t started it yet.
      AnnaTheApple recently posted…How to survive a long runMy Profile

  4. I love the Infinite Monkey Cage podcast, More Or Less (short and sweet on statistics) and I’m working my way through Moby Dick Big Read – each chapter’s read by someone different.

    I always used to find that I lost weight when going home to my parents for a few days – despite the cake at teatime, the proper balanced suppers made a HUGE difference to my metabolism!
    Jane recently posted…Things to rememberMy Profile

    1. I’ve never heard of those podcasts – will check them out thanks!
      Yes it’s amazing what eating properly does to you. Your body stops panicking and goes “oh OK, we’re good to lose this extra weight now as we have so much food around us”.
      AnnaTheApple recently posted…How to survive a long runMy Profile

  5. The Olympic triathlons were amazing right? I watched the men’s race while I was at work and was totally gripped by the Brownlee brothers race to the finish line.
    I’m currently reading Eat Sweat Play by Anna Kessell- definitely recommend it if you’ve not already read it. It’s about women and sport.
    Lucy Edwards recently posted…Go for Gold Challenge with QHotelsMy Profile

  6. It is sad that the Olympics are over. I actually didn’t catch any of the triathlons, but I think it would have been neat to see. I really like the Stuff You Should Know Podcast too. I was addicted to it a few years back when I had stress fractures and had to use the elliptical each day. It made the time just fly by!
    Elizabeth C. recently posted…Accepting My New RealityMy Profile

  7. What’s up,I read your new stuff named “What I’m Loving Lately | AnnaTheApple” regularly.Your story-telling style is witty, keep it up! And you can look our website about proxy list.

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