Some Questions For My Readers

First of all, HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!! 

Okay, question time:

1) Do you run on a treadmill, or outside?

2) If you’ve tried both, did you notice a difference? Is one harder to do than the other?

3) What is the best abdominal workout you can recommend?

4) Have any of you participated in a triathlon, or any type of race yet?

5) What is your favorite healthy snack?

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25 thoughts on “Some Questions For My Readers

  1. 1) Do you run on a treadmill, or outside?

    Yes – but I don’t enjoy it. I started running on the treadmill and once I got to being able to run for about 20 minutes non stop, I started running outside. I now call it the dreadmill. ;-)

    2) If you’ve tried both, did you notice a difference? Is one harder to do than the other?

    I find running outside much nicer. I feel more fresh and free outside. I don’t like the way the treadmill pulls you along, where as outside you can run at whatever pace you want. The treadmill can be good for some things, (speedwork etc), but I prefer to run outside as it seems easier.

    3) What is the best abdominal workout you can recommend?

    Bodyweight Circuits, Insanity, Running!

    4) Have any of you participated in a triathlon, or any type of race yet?

    Yes – Sprint Triathlon, 5ks, 10ks, half marathons, marathons. :-)

    5) What is your favorite healthy snack?

    Not healthy but a bagel with nutella (chocolate spread) is a favourite of mine to help fuel my running. :-) Healthy Pink Lady Apple.

  2. Love your blog and try swimming for abs, if you’re going to do tris, you’ll get into it anyway and you’ll end up working your entire core with it. Yoga is fantastic and you can take it anywhere. I don’t run so can’t comment on treadmills but have never been a gym person, get bored! Chocolate and nuts for snacks!

  3. 1. Both but only use the treadmill if the temperature is under 40 degrees. I like outside better.

    2. I think outside is physically more challenging but mentally more stimulating. I like the accomplishment of going over in my mind the course I ran.

    3. Yoga

    4. No, only 2 5ks, but want to work towards something like that.

    5. Cheddar cheese rice cakes aren’t too bad. Any fruit works for me!

  4. 1) Do you run on a treadmill, or outside? Outside, but I’ve done treadmill and track, too.

    2) If you’ve tried both, did you notice a difference? Is one harder to do than the other? I’m not a fan of the treadmill unless weather is bad. I get bored and irritated very easily, and hate the bouncy feeling. I also stay interested longer and am able to take my mind off of the fact that I’m exerting energy if I’m outside.

    3) What is the best abdominal workout you can recommend? Bikram yoga is really the best thing I’ve ever done to tighten my abs. However, short of spending $150 a month to sweat your ass off, the other thing I’d recommend is an exercise video called “Perfect Abs”. All of the workouts are short (about 8 minutes) but INTENSE. If you’ve got the willpower to do ab exercises, it’s a great tool.

    4) Have any of you participated in a triathlon, or any type of race yet? I ran the Chicago Marathon in 2009. I was one of the last 1,500 zombies to cross the finish line, and am still suffering damage that I did to myself for upping my distance before I was ready. The best advice I can give you: don’t push too hard where distance is concerned. Put in the time it takes to move up the correct way, and you’ll prevent injury. Also, stretch, stretch, stretch, get a foam roller, and get a massage now and then. You’ll thank yourself in the end.

    5) What is your favorite healthy snack? I eat a lot of apples and peanut butter. My favorite healthy snack isn’t a snack at all, though – I drink kombucha whenever I have the nibbles but know I’m not hungry.

  5. 1) Do you run on a treadmill, or outside?
    Usually outside, if the weather is nice. Treadmill if it’s available (not usually on hand when living abroad, which is what I’m doing until June).

    2) If you’ve tried both, did you notice a difference? Is one harder to do than the other?
    Definitely. It’s strange because both can be gruesome in their own ways in the beginning. On a treadmill, I found myself constantly looking at the clock and distance-tracker. CONSTANTLY. I eventually made myself little checkpoints (i.e. you can’t look at the display for a full song), but when I’d finally look at the display I’d get so disappointed cause I felt I’d run more than it said. Outside felt longer, though–what I thought HAD to be a mile was only half a mile… what felt like 10 minutes was actually 6. But once I got used to my running route, I set up little checkpoints in a way that made it easier. I stopped thinking about the distance and just thought about the next checkpoint. And eventually, I stopped focusing on those checkpoints and started paying more attention to my surroundings (which are beautiful here, considering I’ve been running along the beach in Tel Aviv since September). Ultimately, I’ve found that running outside is a lot more enjoyable. It’s not static–there’s always something going on or something to look at. And beyond that, you set your own natural pace without having a little display make you feel like you should be running faster (cause let’s be honest, if you’re running at 5.5 mph, you’ll want to change it to 6 soon enough, and then 6.3, but then back to 6 when you realize 6.3 is too fast for you at the time… etc).

    3) What is the best abdominal workout you can recommend?
    Laughing! Honestly, I don’t do ab workouts at this point.

    4) Have any of you participated in a triathlon, or any type of race yet?
    My first race, a 10K, in November! A night run through Tel Aviv. I started running in August and never thought I’d be able to run 3+ miles (not anytime soon anyways)… needless to say, I was incredibly proud of myself for running the entire 10K. It was such a wonderful experience.

    5) What is your favorite healthy snack?
    Nuts… or roasted beans/chickpeas (some olive oil, spices, and toasting in the oven… delish!)

  6. 1) Do you run on a treadmill, or outside?
    Both, and on trails. It’s great to have variety.

    2) If you’ve tried both, did you notice a difference? Is one harder to do than the other?
    In general, outdoor workouts seem to be harder due to changes in the terrain, and my average HR is usually higher. Treadmills make it easier to stay on a consistent pace, and you don’t need to deal with bad weather. For me, outdoors is way more fun; it makes me a more resilient runner.

    3) What is the best abdominal workout you can recommend?
    Kettle Bell swings; planks; Russian twists. These exercises seem to help much more with running than more conventional options. If you aren’t sure how to do them, ask a trainer at your gym, or look up some demos on You Tube.

    4) Have any of you participated in a triathlon, or any type of race yet?
    I do a fair amount of trail races (running), and they’re amazing. Racing is a great way to build fitness; have fun; and meet new people.

    5) What is your favorite healthy snack?
    Chocolate milk; granola bars; or fruit. Cottage cheese is a good option too.

  7. 1) Do you run on a treadmill, or outside? Outside. I get bored on treadmills.

    2) If you’ve tried both, did you notice a difference? Is one harder to do than the other? Mentally the treadmill is harder to run on. Physically for me they are about the same difficulty.

    3) What is the best abdominal workout you can recommend? I hate ab workouts. I would recommend going to an abs class at a gym or using a video at home.

    4) Have any of you participated in a triathlon, or any type of race yet? In the past I have run in 5ks, 10ks, and a half marathon. I have gone down hill during the past couple of years and am working my way back up. If you are looking for some running guidance i would go to marathontrainingacademy.com. They do pod casts, and have lots of great running tips.

    5) What is your favorite healthy snack? I really like dried fruit.

  8. 1) Do you run on a treadmill, or outside?
    2) If you’ve tried both, did you notice a difference? Is one harder to do than the other?
    Outside when I can and I don’t do the treadmill anymore. I was adviced to use the elliptical machine instead. My weak knees can’t take the treadmill…but I’m fine outside for some reason. If we get amazing weather I don’t even go near a gym. It’s outside all the way.

    3) What is the best abdominal workout you can recommend?
    I have to agree that P90X Ab ripper is pretty damn good. I also think that yoga is good for more internal abdominal workouts.

    4) Have any of you participated in a triathlon, or any type of race yet?
    Mainly 5K’s, 10K’s and one half-marathon. I try to do one a year. It’s a great way of maintaining cardio training for a year. I’m hoping to do a 10K again this year.

    5) What is your favorite healthy snack?
    Yogourt and Kiwicha (Peruvian grain)

  9. The only success I’ve ever had running has been on the treadmill, because my feet cramp up something fierce when I run outside. Plantar fasciitis sucks. I can do occasional forays into running on trails but then I feel so guilty if I don’t take my dogs, and dogs on a trail do not move forward at a consistent pace so it becomes less of a run and more of a hopscotch/skip rope disaster that quickly devolves into swearing and face plants into the dirt. I can get into a meditative state on the treadmill in seconds. While we provided hospice for my grandmother, the only thing that kept me sane and functioning was getting on the treadmill everyday and getting lost. I can’t do that outside.

    The best ab workout in Callanetics. Callan Pickney is pretty much unheard of these days but I managed to get a copy of her book on Amazon a few years ago and I really need to get it out again.

    I’ve tried to complete 5k’s in the past and my shins and feet don’t co-operate. I haven’t tried in the last 25 years, though… omg, that is so scary to say! I’m freakin’ old! I have never considered a triathlon, even though my swimming and biking is far better than my running has ever been. Perhaps I should think about it… then the running would be the part I had to just get through as opposed to being the sole part determining my success.

    Snacks – recently diagnosed with Celiac, I’m still learning what my body likes and can tolerate. Wheat and gluten are in practically everything processed but fruit alone doesn’t take me very far because I’m also hypoglycemic. It’s usually nut butter plus fruit, veggie plus nuts, or a sandwich on gluten free bread. (They are very small loaves, so two pieces of GF bread is about the same as one piece of regular.) Lara Bars and Clif Bars are my go-to snack, as they are GF. And in the world of dog grooming, it’s easier to keep them from being coated with hair and you don’t have to touch them with your fingers. Win-win.

    For the record, I’m 39 and was always an active, healthy person until I had a nervous breakdown at 32. I was then diagnosed with bipolar disorder and started an ever-increasing amount of meds. The fatigue that comes from depression and meds is overwhelming. Seven years has given me 50 lbs I need to lose, at least 30 of that is essential to lose. It’s easy to be harsh on yourself and hard to be kind when the things you need to make your mind work are the things that keep your body from performing. Always, always exercise for fun and the good feelings it brings. If what you are doing isn’t feeling good, you won’t keep it up. Running isn’t for everyone – there’s lots of other cardio options if you just aren’t the running type.

    I don’t know you but I’m still proud of you. Thanks for baring your soul so the rest of us can come along on your journey. Strength in numbers, right?!

    Happy New Year!!

  10. 1) Do you run on a treadmill, or outside? Always, always outside.

    2) If you’ve tried both, did you notice a difference? Is one harder to do than the other? I think it’s definitely harder on the body to run outside but it is easier on the mind. I feel like a hamster when I’m confined to a treadmill and there’s just something about being outside that enables me to run faster and longer.

    3) What is the best abdominal workout you can recommend? p90x’s ab ripper x is pretty good. Besides that, I prefer doing things that work my whole core but are not traditional crunches, such as kickboxing or running with a stroller

    4) Have any of you participated in a triathlon, or any type of race yet? I’ve done a few 5ks

    5) What is your favorite healthy snack?
    lately, I’ve been making a bowl of oatmeal for a snack.

  11. Joe Sterne says:

    I prefer outside for a couple reasons. First, having a long stride on a treadmill is kinda jarring and forces you to change your gait. It also keeps you at one pace, which is ok for some, but I prefer to slow down and speed up at will. Finally, I love the scenery outside!

  12. I run on my treadmill and I run with a running group (and solo) outside. If I’ve been on my treadmill a while it is hard when I first go outside and vice versa. I like outside because it goes by faster and is not so boring. I love date balls, apples with PB2, Greek yogurt with fruit and homemade granola, homemade hummus with homemade pita chips and tofu pudding with banana for snacks. I’ve done some races and am training for a half marathon in Paris, would love to do a dualthon or triathlon someday!!!

    • Wow thanks for following my blog! I love your answers and Paris sounds like a great place to run a marathon!! I’m going to try running outside soon. I hope it goes by faster for me too :)

  13. 1) Do you run on a treadmill, or outside? I don’t run at all right now. I’m starting slowly. ;) Plus, it’s hard to run with a 20 lb baby on your chest. When I’ve ran in the past, I’ve always enjoyed running outside. I get too bored on a treadmill. I love hiking and running outside. It’s so much more relaxing for me. I feel like I get a lot more out of it…not only fitness but overall wellness. The fresh air, nature and sun all do something for me that running on the tm does not. If you ask this again when it’s 110 outside, I might come back with a different answer. ;)

    2) If you’ve tried both, did you notice a difference? Is one harder to do than the other?
    TM is much harder for me because it so tedious. I just can’t get motivated the same way. When I run outside I tend to push myself further…to the next big tree and then the next. I get a much better workout from running outside.

    3) What is the best abdominal workout you can recommend?
    Pilates, Pilates, Pilates!!! I would do reps of 25 each x3. Bicycles, side crunches, crunches, sit & twist, plank for 60 seconds, side planks for 60 seconds each (or as long as you can hold it). Do that after you stretch, then run or do whatever cardio you have planned, do it again and then stretch. Just up the numbers as you go. That was my routine when I felt my absolute best!

    4) Have any of you participated in a triathlon, or any type of race yet?
    Nope! I have never really had the desire too. I guess it would be fun though. I love biking and swimming…so, why not?
    5) What is your favorite healthy snack?
    Apples dipped in Almond butter, dried cranberries and almonds, grapes and swiss cheese, low fat cottage cheese with fruit, a piece of whole grain toast-topped with just a little sugar free jam and cottage cheese (it’s like a guilt free breakfast danish!), popcorn with a bit of lemon pepper, greek yogurt with granola, greek yogurt veggie dip with celery or broccoli, celery & peanut butter…

      • We should! Do you have a carrier for Lilly? I know she’s getting heavy, so you’d want one that ergonomically(sp?) correct! If we go on a Thursday though, Jeremy could watch the kiddos while we go out. I just go out in the recreational park that the ranch backs up to. There are tons of hiking, biking and horseback riding trails. I’ve really been enjoying it. Anytime you want to come over and hike, just let me know! :)

  14. 1) Both, although I am primarily a TM runner giving the climate- we’re in the desert like you are, and there is NO WAY I am running in the high heat if I don’t have to.

    2) Totally depends on the climate and other factors. I don’t like having to deal with traffic; I DO like being able to get into the zone on the TM and just run without having to pay attention to my surroundings, etc. I am always plugged in on the TM, though, and don’t think I would want to run anywhere without tunes. Stopping and starting makes running outside more of a pain in the rear, but I ♥♥♥ races!!

    Which one is harder, I think, totally depends on the person.

    3) Ab exercises- do some yoga, especially the plank and bow poses. ‘Course, if you run regularly, you may not need to worry about targeting this area. Core strength is good, and will get your abs in shape without doing a ton of crunches.

    4) No triathlons; not interested. I run. Not to mention, we don’t have those kinds of races here, and driving 200+ miles one way for something is not going to happen. Oh wait- I think we may have a single tri at some point during the year….. I’d still rather run. I’m not new to running, but before the 2 10k this fall, the last racing I had done was in high school. :lol:

    5) Nuts and fruits are good snacks. Granola is good, too. If you are looking for something before a run, try peanut butter on a bagel, if you can do gluten/carbs.

    Fwiw; ymmv. :)

    • GREAT advice! Seriously! This might sound totally “novice”, but I hadn’t even thought about the whole paying attention to my surroundings, thing! That kind of throws a whole new twist in it. I’m with you on the music too, can’t run without it.

      • Be safe out there! I have read some real horror stories from ladies who have been assaulted while out running, so it’s absolutely key, imo, to be able to HEAR what is going on around you and to also be prepared for the unexpected (and I always carry mace, even during races, although there are usually a good number of cops around for those). Most folks will tell you they have never had issues when out running, but it only takes a single time for something to be life-altering…..

        • Good advice, I watch way to much L&O SVU, so I’m sure I’d be looking over my shoulder like it’s my job. I’ll stick to the treadmill, and run with a buddy if it’s outdoors :)

  15. Hey there. i have some answers from my own experience…
    1) and 2) There is a mental and a physical side to both. Taking out all considerations outside of environment (like shoes, body, etc), running on a treadmill physically is easier – the treadmill is desgined to give where concrete and roadways are not. The mental side, however, I have always found running outside more liberating and exciting. Way less boring. there is always the bore factor to any workouts and it is pretty high on a treadmill,
    3) I just like good old crunches, balls and balance board workouts with a medicine ball.
    4) Not yet
    5) Lara Bars and fruit!

    • Okay, your answers to questions 1 and 2 are sort of what I had imagined. The treadmill is incredibly boring, but I was afraid that it would be more difficult running outside, which does make sense. Then there is the exciting factor that you mentioned. I think I need to leave the treadmill, and hit the pavement. I like crunches too, and it may be that I’m not doing them properly, but they don’t leave me with that “dammmn feel the burn” feeling, that I really like these days. I want something more intense I think. Lara Bars – Never heard of em’!! I’ll have to check them out! Thanks buddy :) :)

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