high intensity interval training

Today I went on my first run with my boyfriend. We’ve spent the last few weeks talking about starting to exercise and buying the necessary clothing and running shoes.

We were fortunate enough to both get pairs of the same Karrimor Run shoes, which are really good quality running shoes with ‘intelligent technology’ for £18 down from £80, because they’ve been discontinued. The lady in the shop told us that she has a pair herself and the decrease in price is crazy because they’re such a good pair of trainers – they were selling them for £60 a matter of weeks ago.

We knew we were approaching this with a tight budget and we’re really lucky that we’ve managed to get some good gear very cheap.

Feeling pretty positive from this high, I looked up running for beginners. I wasn’t aware that my partner had done some running a few years ago but didn’t end up feeling like he made any progress because he hadn’t been training, he had just gone out running for ten minutes a few times a week.

I felt like we needed some direction and found a website, http://www.runnersworld.co uk, which has a schedule for running for beginners.

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I’d done some high intensity interval training (HIIT) before in the form of jumping jacks for the workout and side stepping for the rest, so I knew the benefits of working out with high intensity for short bursts. He was slightly sceptical but did acknowledge that his running hadn’t gotten him anywhere before so this was worth a go.

He joked that with the intervals we’d have to be looking at our phones constantly so I went straight to the play store, searched for ‘running interval timers’ and there were loads. We both installed the first one, ‘HIIT Interval Training Timer’, and set it up with the timings for the first week in the schedule. I was sure to put a minute ‘prep time’ in so that I could force my phone, with the inch long headphone jack sticking out, into the unfeasibly tiny pocket on the back of my running leggings.

We got to the greenway, synchronised pressing start on the HIIT app, pressed play on our Spotify and got going. And we actually both really enjoyed it. Working in intervals is so much better because just as you start gasping for air the rest interval starts and you can catch your breath whilst walking, which is important as you’re also keeping your heart rate slightly elevated. It puts you good stead for the next running interval and really made a difference for me personally because I didn’t get to the helpless stage of thinking I was going to collapse and die, and that I can’t and won’t ever be able to work out well.

We both came back feeling good. My only problem though is that when I work out I feel like I should do it until I drop, and if I’m not dripping with sweat it wasn’t good enough or worth it. I’m trying to appreciate that doing HIIT training will result in working out more often and that it’s a much more sustainable method, and one that is better for your body.

I can’t wait to go out again on Thursday, but more importantly to keep this up for the long term. I’ve always wanted to run a marathon, but it’s felt like a random, far off dream that I’ll never end up doing. But if I keep up HIIT training I feel like it’s something that can definitely happen some time in the future.

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anti feminism = anti equality

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I’m going to write a lengthy post about how damaging it is that so many people don’t actually know what feminism is about and feel the need to stress that they’re not feminists.

I don’t have the time to write it at the moment and I’ll be busy over the weekend so I’m going to leave this here as a taster, although it really does address the main points very well.

it could have been me.

As I opened up Facebook on Thursday, the last thing I expected to see was a picture of the friend I had attended a gig with on Wednesday night in a hospital bed. But that’s the first thing I did see. Right at the top of my newsfeed.

My mouth was quite honestly agape as I read through his post; detailing how his car flipped off the road, rolled down an embankment, hit a tree and landed upside down – but he managed to walk away with just a broken arm and a cut on his ear.

I tried to call him but he didn’t answer, my mouth still hanging open as I thought to myself again and again that he wouldn’t have been driving on that stretch of road had he not dropped me off at home after the gig. I felt, possibly still feel, at least partially responsible. Because he wouldn’t have been there if it weren’t for me.

I messaged him and he told me that he was on a quiet ward so couldn’t answer his phone, but that he’s fine and incredibly glad that I wasn’t in the car with him. I called him a bastard more than once for not telling me about this, for me having to find out by seeing a picture of him in hospital. He explained that he didn’t know what to say that wouldn’t have looked like he was laying blame. I understood, but I couldn’t stop thinking about the fact that I totally could have been rolling down that embankment with him. What would I have been thinking? What was he thinking?

Me: “Can just imagine you rolling around the car like ‘well, shit’.”

Him: “Yeah, freaking out ‘cus arm isn’t responding. 404.”

I was glad to know that after a near death experience he can still make a good joke, I’ve been partial to make a 404 joke or two myself too. Eventually I stopped shaking and repeatedly blaming myself. I wouldn’t be surprised if I’d actually gone into shock as soon as I saw that picture, it was just so unexpected.

I don’t think I know anyone that’s been in a car accident before, I’ve always wondered what’s going through the mind of someone that’s rolling down an embankment. Someone that’s managed to drag themselves out of a wreckage. Did he have to climb back up the embankment and dial 999? Would he have been able to tell them exactly where he was because it wasn’t a journey he’d done before? What if his legs had broken, he wouldn’t have been able to make it to the road, how would he have let them know where he was then?

What on earth would I have been thinking or doing if I’d been in the car too? If I went into shock just seeing the picture of him in a hospital bed what use would I be in the real thing? Then again, we hear countless stories of people of all ages remaining composed and being brilliant in situations such as these, hopefully I would be able to act on autopilot and help myself or anyone else if I were to be in or witness something such as this.

We’re going to talk it through when we next see one another, which I’m grateful for, but I’m not sure I can ask the above questions in case it causes him to remember the crash. I feel it’s kind of similar to wanting to ask your grandparents about what it was like to be involved in the war but not wanting to cause them any pain through reliving those memories.

Bottom line I’m just so thankful that he’s okay, but still so acutely aware of the fact that it could have happened to the both of us.

final year feels

Well I’m pretty sure that last week it was the run up to Christmas, right? November and December always seem to merge and last for about two weeks total, it’s always a blur around the festive period and yet again I feel like I’ve just awakened – ready for the new year – and yet it’s March.

Only this time ’round, I’m in my final year. So I’m now realising that it’s all going to come to a very abrupt end and I’ll be sitting at my graduation in July absolutely sure that we’re only about six weeks into 2016.

It’s quite a conflicting feeling, being on the verge of having your whole world tipped upside down again so soon. Going off to uni was incredibly daunting but all kinds of exciting as well; it took some settling in to but once you’ve found your group of like-minded people and you’ve explored your city or campus you’re all set.

But now, I’m in the same boat as I was four years ago, not knowing what city I’m going to end up in in six month’s time. I have no idea if I’m going to be able to find a graduate job that has anything to do with Sociology or Politics (we can’t all do unpaid internships in London can we!?), but if I’m lucky enough to find one there’s a damn good chance it won’t be close to where I am at the moment.

It somehow seems more serious than it did before, I feel as though there’s more at stake this time ’round. I’m not just finding a uni to dick about in for a few years, I’m actually going to have to start my ‘adult’ life – and I sure as hell don’t wanna.

And don’t get me started on that 10,000 word dissertation that won’t write itself and the fact that I’ve got two pieces totalling 7,000 words due within two days of one another. Cheers deadline deciding peeps.