Update – February 7, 2014

Nik’s Chicks is a FREE ladies only running/triathlon group. It is only a time and place to meet & a program to follow.  I cannot join you on every run/workout.  If you are new to exercising, it is advisable to have a doctor’s OK prior to beginning.  Any information or products represented on this site are for educational purposes only and are not a substitute for any advice given to you by a medical, nutritional or fitness professional. Please sign my waiver (in “About”) and fill out my contact info sheet when you arrive for your first run.  Please park on West Oak Trails Blvd or Nightingale to avoid the locking beeps and car doors closing around my neighbors’ houses – especially on Saturday mornings! We run Monday and Thursday evenings 8pm and Saturday mornings 8am from the corner of Redwing and Blackbird Courts.  Check out Weekly Workout section for specific times.

Quotes of the Week:   

Pinning on a number is bold. It says, yes, I am a runner.  It speaks to the idea of getting ourselves out there, and the glory of the try.  The simple act, pin through fabric, through paper, clasp, repeat – sometimes in life we get to choose our own labels.

Kristin Armstrong

If you want to become the best runner you can be, start now.  Don’t spend the rest of your life wondering if you can do it.

Pricilla Welch

Hello ladies, here is the latest news from the “nest”!  I have heard from at least 7 ladies that they are very excited about starting the Learn to Run 5km Program on March 8th.  It comes as no surprise that there is much nervousness and uncertainty among these (normally) confident women!  We all experience these types of emotions when embarking on a new journey – starting a new job, moving to a new town….  My advice to these ladies and any others still contemplating joining the March 8th group is….take a deep breath and relax!  The first session is only 20 min long and you are alternating 60 sec of jogging and 90 sec walking.  You can do this!!  Don’t worry at all about how fast or slow you will be.  As long as you are putting one foot in front of the other and springing from foot to foot – you are jogging.  And remember, you will not be taking this 8 week journey alone.  There will be other newbie runners starting from scratch just like you – no previous experience required! If you each ask a girlfriend to join you, this would double the size of the group!

For now, invest in a good pair of running shoes if you don’t already have some (tell Greg at the Running Company you are with Nik’s Chicks for a discount!)  Find a jacket that is a light shell to wear over 2 non cotton layers – borrow one from your husband/children.  You will still likely need a hat and mitts – borrow from your children.  You will want 2 layers on your legs – avoid cotton and consider a wind breaking layer for the outside.  Avoid cotton – I can’t stress this enough to make sure you stay warm!  Including bras, undies and socks!!  Feel free to email me if you have any questions – there might be others sharing your thoughts …. mclaughlins1438@gmail.com.

A Smarter Snack:  I got this from a summer issue of O Magazine.  “To choose the healthiest in-between meal pick me up, look for these key numbers on the label.”

200 calories – any more and you are venturing into meal territory, any less and you may not feel satisfied.

0-10 grams added sugar – No added sugar is best, but if it’s on the ingredients list, just make sure it’s not in the top three, says dietician Julie Upton.

5 grams protein – That’s enough to give you a feeling of fullness – so you won’t be ravenous by the time your next meal rolls around.

0-2 grams of saturated fat – No more than 10 percent of your diet’s calories should come from saturated fat, according to the USDA.

3+ grams of fiber – The more the better.  Like protein, fiber aids in satiety to help curb overeating.

Mattresses:  Much has been written about how sleeping on the right mattress is important for quality sleep and health. I am in the market for a new one – my current one is only 3 years old but isn’t the “right” one for me!  I don’t want a latex or memory foam mattress – can anyone make a recommendation for a medium-firm spring mattress?  BTW, I will be getting rid of my current queen spring mattress with a memory foam pillow top.  Any takers?

Kids Triathlons:  So you are thinking of doing a Triathlon this year and WOW….you have inspired your kids to want to do one too!  Check out this site http://www.trikids.ca/registration/  and get your kids registered early.  Spots fill up quickly! (Especially the Oakvillle and Burlington races)  Thanks for the link, Sam.  

Sporting Life 10km:  Training from 5km base begins on March 8.  Some of us moms have signed up our kids aged 10-14 to run with us.  The kids need to be able to jog 5km comfortably before joining you for the 10 km program.

iPeriod: I just started using this app.  If you are like me, tracking your cycle has been hit and miss!  This iPhone app is easy to use and has lots of details you can add in (symptoms/moods).  It can be synced with a desktop as well.  It can sent you alerts for when your period will arrive!  No more surprises!!

Swimsuits: Just a quick note to let you know one piece Nike swimsuits are on at Sears for 50.00.  National Sports also has some (slightly picked over) Speedo  and Nike suits for 30.00.  

Swim Training Programs:  If you are set to hit the pool, you don’t need to swim continuous lengths for as long as you can last.  Interval training allows for good technique and built in recovery periods.  These programs had me well trained for many Sprint Triathlon seasons. Swimming Lesson Plans 1-12 (1100m – 1600m)  You can use these with the Sprint Tri Program and for the last 2 weeks of training, work on continuous swimming – possibly in open water!  For those of you brand new to lap swimming, there is some etiquette to be aware of – yes, really!!  Check out this site, click on menu options on the left, for lots of relevant tips on not ticking off other swimmers:)  Pool Etiquette

Swim Training Checklist: Here is a list of items you will need/want to begin your swim training.

Swimsuit, goggles (I love Aqua Sphere Kayenne – avail at MEC or Team Aquatics), swim cap, pull buoy/kick board (check your pool to see if they have these on the deck before you purchase), flip flops, water bottle, towel, lock, mesh bag for shampoo/conditioner/body wash to take on deck with you and save trip back to locker, print off 12 lesson plans and put one in Ziploc or have laminated, buy Oakville Rec swim pass for 10 swim sessions.  I used to pack my PJs to wear home after late night swim practice and hoped I never got pulled over by police! One Chick suggested I add bikini wax to the list things to do to prepare for swimming – Good idea!

Tips from Runner’s World 2013 Daily Calendar: 1)   For an excellent recovery meal, grab your spoon – and your cereal bowl.  Turns out the breakfast of champions can help speed recovery after a tough workout.  Researchers found that this pantry staple replenished energy stores equally as well as sports drinks.  Milk also provides quality protein, which is ideal for muscle recovery post-run.  2)  The longer you run, the more calories you burn.  If you are not in the habit of doing a long run, add one to your routine every other week.  For beginners, a sensible way to build up is to add five minutes at a time.   3)  Runners who have one foot that is more callused than the other may have an imbalance, such as a leg-length discrepancy, which can often be fixed with a heel lift.  Or it may indicate that you are simply stronger on one side.  a physical therapist can help you develop a stretching and strengthening program to balance your gait – and help your feet evenly absorb the impact of each step.

This week’s workouts – (Meet at corner of Blackbird and Redwing Court)

Saturday – Feb 8 8:00am

Holding on 5km – 5km

Holding on 10km – 10km

Half Marathon – 11km (Week 1)

Marathon – 24km

Monday –Feb 10 8:00pm

Holding on 5km – 5km

Holding on 10km – 5km

Half Marathon – 8km

Marathon – 10km

Thursday –Feb 13 8:00pm

Holding on 5km – 5km

Holding on 10km – 5km

Half Marathon – 5km with hill x 2

Marathon – 9km/9min tempo

Saturday – Feb 15 8:00am

Holding on 5km – 5km

Holding on 10km – 10km

Half Marathon – 13km

Marathon – 16km

Monday –Feb 17 8:00pm

Holding on 5km – 5km

Holding on 10km – 5km

Half Marathon – 8km

Marathon – 10km

 Have a wonderful  week! Niki



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