Tag Archives: Spartan training

Strengthen Your Core: Spartan 30-Day Bear Crawl Challenge

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO MY ONE AND ONLY HUBBY!!!

Sandals Antigua

Justin is my best friend. He is my everything. It’s kind of scary to think what my life would be like if a friend in common didn’t introduce us. Let me tell you this. It all started from me receiving a text message from her almost 5 years ago saying something across these lines, ‘Hey, are you single? I work with this guy and I think he’s a perfect match for you!’ How crazy, eh?!

The picture above was taken during our honeymoon last September at Sandals resort in Antigua. It was magical… Here is the view from our room.

view from our room Sandals Antigua

 

*Can you tell I’m nostalgic?!*

There is sooo many things I’d like to discuss today! But I think I’ll have to break it down in few posts in order not to overwhelm you.

So first on the agenda today, the Spartan Sprint is only 2 days away!!!! I CANNOT WAIT! Unlike the Spartan Super I ran about a month ago, this race is shorter: 3+ miles instead of 8+, also the number of obstacles is 15 instead of 21.

Yesterday, I was reading a post written by one of my fellow bloggers from Girl Runs Wild. She was doing a review of her recent adventure: Billy Bland Challenge, which involved climbing numerous peaks starting and finishing at the Moot Hall in Keswick. Her pictures were so beautiful that I couldn’t help but get even more anxious to run my race. The time can’t seem to go by fast enough. SERIOUSLY!

toil and sacrifice

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Speaking of the Spartan Race… June is almost over and it means… DRUM ROLL… the new 30-day Spartan challenge is about to begin: to be more precise, in 4 days!!! *Woop woop!!!* 

Spartan30_BearCrawl_Logo_NAS

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And the July’s challenge is the ‘BEAR CRAWL’!!!

Start day: July 1
Challenge: Bear Crawls for 30 days

Have you even heard of Bear Crawls before?! *Haha!* Well, I haven’t. And it seems like I’ve been missing out!

Since you are on all fours and moving around, this exercise benefits ‘every muscle in your arms, shoulders, traps, neck, core, thighs, hamstrings, calves, wrists, hands, feet not to mention the anaerobic benefits’, according to WildmanTraining.com. Bear Crawls can be done anywhere, all you need is a little room to move around. *Perfect!*

Here’s how the Bear Crawl done properly:

Previous Spartan 30-day Challenges:

never give up

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What are your thoughts? Are you on board with me? Any races this weekend?

xoxo
Olena
 

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Filed under 30-Day Workout Challenges, Fitness, Health

Thank God For Tim Horton’s Or What Not To Eat Before A Run

Yesterday’s workout was starting off great: I was full of energy and feeling inspired. I even took a pre-WOD *workout of the day* selfie!!!

pre-run selfie

I was in the midst of enjoying my 8 km run and thinking about a paragraph from Spartan Up! I read on my way back home from work: “… once you think you are done running, you still have eight days left in you. The same goes for life. If you think you are maxing out, you have no idea how much fuller and richer life could be. Spartan Race offers a glimpse into your own unlimited potential.” In other words, some pretty cool motivational stuff. And there was this beautiful sunset…

beautiful sunset

But something went wrong in between of me doing push-ups and a set of squat jumps in the middle of a bike path *It rained and I thought it was a better alternative to a puddle in the grass*. All of a sudden, I was sprinting like there was no tomorrow. No, I wasn’t running for my life nor was I trying to bring out my untapped potential…

restroom-sign-funny

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I know, I know, you don’t really care to know much about my bowel movements, but… THANK GOD for that Tim Horton’s which appeared out of nowhere!!! *I’ll stop right there for your sake and avoid all grizzly details. HAHA!*

Okay, one more thing. When I reached the coffee shop, there were pretty mixed emotions raging between…

breathe

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And…

meme_happy_010_by_sofidesiings-d4yfc0r

 

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This is how you know that I am still a newbie to running: I had a nice quinoa salad with chickpeas, tomatoes and cucumbers about an hour before my run. BIG, BIG, BIG MISTAKE! I was in so much pain. What I was thinking? Yet, I am glad that I was able to finish my workout.

I really liked the following pre-race advice from Runner’s World, which could be applied to any of your daily long runs too:

  • reduce the fiber you consume in the few days before the race;
  • avoid fresh fruit or salad the day before your race because of their fiber content;
  • check out the race course and see if any port-a-potties are marked, or if there are gas stations or convenience stores along the way for pit stops. If not, pick your bushes wisely!  Always carry a small plastic baggie with wet wipes in them for emergencies. Pack a towel and a complete change of clothes in your gear bag too;
  • when bathroom issues seriously threaten to interfere with your race, one option for some is taking an over-the-counter anti-diarrhea medication before the race.

you know you are a runner

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What kind of food doesn’t settle well with your stomach when eaten before a run? 

xoxo
Olena

 

 

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Filed under Fitness, Health, Running

Life Is Too Short To Be Serious All The Time (Part 3)

Good morning, you guys!

I hope you had a fantastic weekend! Let’s see what I’ve been busy with?

Lots of time with our baby Bella, who actually turned 7 months old today. *Time flies!*

Walk with Bella

A Saturday breakfast with my hubby at one of our favorite restaurants called Allô! Mon Coco. I love their creative decor *and food*!

Allo mon coco

After a delicious meal, I was full of energy. So I decided to go for a 5.5 km run, followed by this Spartan workout:

*Repeat twice*

50 push-ups
40 leg-lowers
pull-ups to failure *each time I did 15 assisted pull-ups*
40 hanging leg-raises
75 body weight squats (fast, but with good for)

Looks fairly easy, right? Let me tell you, my legs felt it the day after! *Haha!*

Great times with our friends sitting by a fire pit.

by a fire pit

And, of course, weekends are great for experimenting! So why not learn how to walk slack line from my brother?!

slack line

In other words, I had a FUN-FUN-FUN weekend with my hubby, family and friends!

My workout today will include a 5+ km run, followed by this Spartan Cheaper Than Health Care cross-train session:

*Do each of the following for 1 minute*

Mountain climbers
Spiderman push-up
Plank with row
Inverted pull-ups
Medicine ball sit-ups
Squat jumps

Recover for 3 minutes.
Repeat cycle 3 times.

you are on a quest

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I would like to proceed with answering questions Rebecca from Flex and Shout Fitness asked when she nominated me for Liebster Award. She is awesome, and I love her adorable blog where she shares some great workouts and laughs with her readers!

Q & A

1. What do you love about fitness? Pick 1.

I love how it makes me feel alive! When I exercise, it seems like I could fly.

alive

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2. Where is you favorite place to work out?

I loooove to train outside. It’s so much more fun than working out at a gym. Unfortunately, I do not live in a country where summer is all year long. *Oh, Canada!* That’s why I truly savor every single moment when I get a chance to get out!

3. Do you prefer to workout alone or with a buddy? Why?

Hmmmm… I am really not sure. Most of the times I work out on my own because this way I am not dependent on anyone. However, from time to time, it is great to have company to motivate and push each other to train harder to reach new heights!

4. What’s the best part about where you live?

I absolutely love living in Montreal! I admire its distinct culture, beautiful nature, and proximity of all great things: river, lakes, mountains and parks. On that note, last Friday was a very special day for me. Nine years ago, my family and I moved here to live. I can’t believe how fast time flies, it seems like it was yesterday.

oh Canada

5. What’s your favorite piece of gym equipment?

To be honest, I am intimidated by gym equipment. I like to simplify my workouts, meaning to do exercises that do not require use any fancy pieces of equipment. That being said, I wouldn’t be able to survive without a treadmill *when weather doesn’t permit running outside*, chin-up bar, balance ball, weights *I promise I did try using jars, but it seems too much of an injury hazard haha!* and a foam roller.

6. What’s your guilty pleasure?

You can read more on that here.

7. If you had a million dollars, what would you spend it on first?

I know, I know, everyone is expecting to hear a noble answer here. I’m afraid, I wouldn’t donate it all to a charity. The truth is, I’d probably pay off my mortgage and bring my closest family from Ukraine here, and get my grandma in a great post-stroke care facility. That being said, I would definitely look into giving a portion of funds for a good cause, be it to help finding a cure for cancer or help less fortunate kids in my community.

8. What other windows or tabs are open on your computer right now?

How tricky! I have FacebookPinterest, Gmail, Instagram and PicMonkey. I must tell you, I LOOOOVE PicMonkey. It’s super easy and fun to use to edit pictures *one of my favorite activities, apart from taking pictures*! I used to use Photoshop all the time, but I find that this app is a great tool to get the basic job done quickly.

tabs

9. Apple or PC? Why?

I am more of a PC girl. Why? I’d love to answer that question, but I don’t really have an answer. I guess, I just never bought an Apple computer. For some strange reason, I keep on sticking to VAIO laptops by Sony, and I haven’t been disappointed so far.

10. If you could only eat one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Ummm… Cheesecake? *Haha! Just kidding!* The first thing that came to my mind though is cauliflower. Yumm!

cauliflower

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If you like getting to know me through this kind of posts, you can read some of the previous ones:

Only 4 weeks left until the Spartan Sprint, and 8 weeks until Beast!!! I couldn’t be any more excited!!!

screw calm and get dirtySource

What are you training for right now?

xoxo
Olena

 

 

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Filed under Fitness, Health

The Cookie Experiment: Are You Gritty? Instant Reward VS. Delayed Gratification

Good morning, beauties!

I can’t believe it’s Friday already! It’s time to finish this week off strong and plan a fun weekend.

bulldog-1

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I’m pretty satisfied with the way this week is going. Yesterday I had a nice easy pace 10 km evening jog, and it felt a-freaking-mazing. I feel like a whole new person!

10 km jog

Today I’d like to go over something that I read in Spartan Up! by Joe De Sena. It kind of struck a cord.

In one of the chapters, the author and the founder of the Spartan Race mentioned ‘the cookie experiment’. This experiment was very simple. A Stanford researcher, Walter Mischel, decided to give to kids their favorite treat. Then he offered them a choice, if they would wait for another 15 minutes, they could eat 2 treats instead of one. The outcome was pretty awesome. It seems like the kids who refused the first cookie became more successful as adults.

child-marshmallow-plate-lg

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If you think about it, here is the answer to many problems that our society faces today. Everyone wants everything now: money, spotless relationship, perfect body, big house, expensive car, the list goes on.I am definitely not saying that desiring those things is a bad choice. Not at all! The problem with it, however, is that many of us do not want to actually work to achieve these results, everyone prefers to find a miraculous shortcut. Think of countless quick fixes that are being advertised on TV, radio and in magazines around us. That’s pretty insane!

According to the book, ‘Science has found that the most successful people are not the most intelligent or the most talented but rather the ones who tough it out.’ And that’s great news! It means that average people, like you and I, can be very successful. There is no secret to it, all we have to do it to stick to our plan, be persistent, consistent, and not to be discouraged by ‘failures’.

success

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Do you want more. Try out the following steps that Joe De Sena suggested in his book Spartan Up!:

  1. Write down your plan.
  2. Share it with someone who can offer you some constructive criticism while being supportive at the same time.
  3. Eliminate distractions.
  4. Keep a journal of your successes and failures. Reward yourself.
  5. Make adjustments if needed without jeopardizing your goal.
  6. DON’T EVER GIVE UP!!!

Don’t-give-up

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No one ever said that this will be easy; however, think of the ultimate reward. It is soooo worth it!

What are your thoughts?

xoxo
Olena

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Filed under Fitness, Health, Motivation