Happy Friday! How has your week been?
I barely go swimming anymore, despite the fact that we spent a majority of our summer weekends at alpine lakes. Part of it is because I have the hardest time finding a swimsuit that fits an athletic figure, stays put when anything more than sunbathing (especially on said athletic figure), and is actually cute. I always feel as if swim bottoms barely cover my muscular lower half, or if they do, they are too loose around my hips and slip. The downsides of being a runner! I honestly gave up on searching for functional swimwear that didn’t look boyish or wasn’t a one-piece.
But Patagonia’s new NanoGrip swimwear has piqued my interest. The NanoGrip fabric supposedly becomes grippier with water, meaning that you don’t have to worry about losing a top or bottom while swimming or surfing. The cut and colors are cute without being overly frilly.
Although that this moment, swimming in an alpine lake feels like a dream… considering our mountain passes just got more snow this week – yes, snow in Mid-May. It’s not like we’re in Colorado or Utah – even our mountains don’t get terribly cold most winters. At this point last year we had already been hiking for weeks (including time off due to a foot sprain). But still…doesn’t this just make you want to jump in for a swim?
The kettlebell remains a perennial favorite of mine for strength training since I first discovered it six years ago. I think what appeals to me most about it is the simplicity of kettlebell training. None of the exercises are overly complicated but instead focus on simple functional movements: squats, hip hinges, presses, and pulls.
Research indicates that kettlebell workouts can actually improve VO2max and running economy – not to mention that it simply increase your strength and power. This kettlebell workout from Outside is simple yet effective – and most of all, fun. I tried it this week (although I subbed single leg deadlifts for the regular deadlifts to work on unilateral strength and single leg stability) and really enjoyed it – kettlebell workouts provide that satisfying feeling of working out hard.
Are You Training and Fueling Like a Small Man Versus a Woman? by Allie Burdick for Women’s Running
How your cycle affects running goes far beyond menstrual cramps; the changes in hormones affect core temperature, glycogen storage, iron levels, and more. This article on Women’s Running is well worth your read, especially if you experience noticeable changes in your athletic performance with your cycle.
One of the issues I take with some of the standardized plans is that they do treat women like small men. Even not accounting for cyclical changes in hormones, the lower testosterone levels affect recovery and how much high-intensity running can be safely handled. The difference isn’t a negative one – maybe we can’t handle as much high-intensity running, but women do excel at longer and longer distances (as discussed here).
Redhook Big Ballard IPA is by far my current favorite beer. It’s a bit higher in alcohol at 8.6% ABV, so not the type of beer to drink the night before a long run or hard workout. The Big Ballard IPA is citrusy, hoppy, crisp, and bitter. West Coast style IPAs, especially those using Pacific Northwest hops, are significantly different than East Coast style (or Midwest). I can’t really stand East Coast or Midwest IPAs, which are just too bitter – Midwest IPAs taste like drinking a bit glass of hops – but West Coast IPAs are complex and balanced.
This photo of Ollie summarizes this week. After a 7 mile morning run, I found that he had dragged his bed (which he has ripped to shreds because everything that contains fluff must be destroyed) onto our bed and used it as a pillow for his nap.
Do you like to swim?
What’s your favorite drink lately?
Who else wants to take a nap like Ollie?