Thursday, May 9, 2013

Fitness is fun!

I try to keep that motto when I work out- have fun!  In general I try not to do things that I don't enjoy, particularly when it comes to exercise.  Bottom line is, I want to have fun, and suffering through a workout isn't fun.  Yes, I ALWAYS feel better afterwards, but I aim to enjoy the "during" as well.

Well, I've reestablished my fun in running with these:

Altra Intuition 1.5- zero drop
I had a great experience about 3 weeks ago with Miguel at Boston Street Running in Baltimore.  I went in to get new shoes because my wonderful and well loved Merrell Barefoot Dash Gloves were at the end of their running career.  I started out running on the treadmill for him in my Dash Gloves and we watched it back via his recording equipment that tapes all different angles.  His immediate reaction- you have good form.  I felt like I let out a breath I hadn't even realized I had been holding for weeks.  I'd been holding it ever since a day at physical therapy when Barb taped me running to test her new equipment.  I had just done my first decent run with the shoes on the road (not the treadmill), and the balls of my feet were red and painful.  In the recording, I was heel striking- and it was depressing.  I knew why, but it was still frustrating to see the tape given all the time, energy, and focus on totally changing my form. So, hearing Miguel continually praising my form every time I ran gave me the boost of confidence I needed.

I tried on a few different pairs of shoes on the treadmill, including the newest Merrell line, in a shoe with a bit more cushion.  Ultimately I went with the Altra Intuition 1.5, and I put in the 3mm strengthening sole instead of the 5mm stability insole to mimic the Dash Gloves as much as possible.  I wore them at the 5k on Sunday and a few runs before/after and have loved them so far! The only thing I wish I had a little more room on is in the toe box. I perhaps should have gone a half size up, because I am already missing the better barefoot toe spread you get in the Merrell's.  Everything else though is better, particularly the perfect amount of cushion that allows for a more comfortable feel on the pavement.

My Merrell Dash Gloves- today

I am still using the Merrell's for walking and lifting because I love the barefoot feel- but I was starting to get painful red soreness on the balls of my feet after running because they weren't giving me even minimal support anymore while running.  You can see why when you see the soles above ;)

So I've obviously been really enjoying running in the new shoes.  Well today, I brought another one of my loves back into the picture- I went to spin!!!  I haven't been since my tennis elbow surgery because of the potential arm strain.  I'm so glad I went, because it was AWESOME!  I'm also glad I waited because I was able to keep up with the class and totally kill it!  The most important part though, no pain! Of course getting a killer workout and sweating a lot was good, too. ;)

Soo....question for today is spurred on by an email I got this morning from Zensah encouraging me to try these: Zensah Ultra Compression Sleeves.  They are basically a tighter compression than the typical Zensah Compression Sleeves that I basically live in while traveling, after a hard workout, and sometimes during a workout.  Most serious athletes swear by them... but I once had a personal trainer tell me they were a waste of money, so everyone has their own opinion on them.  I can tell a difference in my recovery and comfort- especially during travel or after a long run or brutal workout.  Below is a little diagram from Zensah that helped me initially get into compression sleeves.  If you are interested in learning more, check out their blog.

Do you use compression of any kind before/during/after a workout? What do you use?


  1. I use ProCompression marathon socks and like them but they could be a bit snugger! I've heard really great things about Zensah!

    1. I like ProCompression, too- I have a few pairs of their marathon socks that I really like!

  2. Still swear by my vibrams :-P

  3. Those are all of my symptoms! Compression might be in my future. :-p

  4. It's a good question. I've always been curious with the compression socks and sleeves. I'm scared to try them because if I do not feel a difference, then I wasted the money.