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Favorite Fitness Finds + Memorial Day Sales

Favorite Fitness Finds + Memorial Day Sales

So one of my mottos in life is “Everything in moderation.” But that motto directly conflicts with my firm belief that you can never have too many workout clothes and shoes.

When you live in Florida, every piece of workout clothing is drenched in sweat 10 minutes into a workout. Not to mention, all of my physical activities with Army ROTC put my shoes and clothes through the ringer pretty quickly.

So below are the products I’ve had my eyes on. Bonus – most of these products are on SUPER sale for Memorial Day. I’ve also included some Memorial Day coupon codes.

All products and coupons that are affiliate links are marked as such. All other links are to items I love for which I don’t receive a commission. Click on a photo to go to the manufacturer’s site.

And on a serious note, I know most people associate Memorial Day with shopping sales, barbecues, a long weekend, and the beginning of summer. But, please don’t forget to think about the true meaning of this holiday and the momentous sacrifice the men and women of our great nation have made for us to enjoy life as we know it.

Here’s a letter about Memorial Day that everyone should read. Just something to think about.

Triathlon <—affiliate links

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2xu-women-s-perform-low-rise-tri-short-130

pearl-izumi-women-s-select-tri-short-103
tyr-women-s-competitor-singlet-169

 

Running <—affiliate links

 

pearl-izumi-women-s-flash-short-47

 

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hoka-women-s-clifton-2-running-shoes-88

Mud Race <—affiliate links

 

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AI1930_01

 

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Superfoods <—affiliate links

 

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Yoga <—affiliate links

 

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Coupon codes and sales

 

Diet Direct – 10% off site wide with the code MD1610 (valid until 5/31) <— affiliate link

Look Human – 25% off site wide (my favorite section is fitness) <— affiliate link

Reebok –

25% off Custom Nano 5.0 Shoes (valid until 5/31) <— affiliate link

20% off 2 items, 30% off 3 items, 40% off 4 items (valid until 5/30) <— affiliate link

BOGO 50% off all footwear in the outlet (no expiration) <— affiliate link

Old Navy – All tanks, tees, shorts, swim 50% off (no code needed)

Road Runner Sports – VIP members save 20% on everything (P.S. You can test and wear the shoes for 90 days and still return them.)

Sports Authority – Going out of business sale (save up to 30% on everything)

Finish Line – Huge sale and Nike Metcon 2 shoes in orange and blue are only $55 (GO GATORS!!!)

Summer Food & Fitness Essentials

Summer Food & Fitness Essentials

Hydrate, exercise, jam out, eat, repeat. 🙂

From the top, left to right:

one // Nike Pro Classic Swift Bra and Nike Women’s Dri-Fit Pro Classic Bra

No chafing. No band rolling. Everything stays in place. In other words, Nike Pros are everything I could ask for in sports bras when it’s 90+ degrees Fahrenheit outside with 80+ percent humidity every damn day.

two // La Croix Sparkling Water

Because drinking plain water all the time gets old.

three // Aladdin Classic Insulated Mason Tumbler 32oz. 

Water bottle. Huge-a** smoothie holder. Every preppy girl’s best friend…
 

four // Andy Grammer 

I wrote Andy Grammer off a while ago as “too much pop” for my taste, but then I saw him live at Fort Knox for the Army’s 240th birthday concert. All I can say is that this guy is talented. Very down-to-earth but full of personality. He put on a fantastic show and made me a fan for life.

five // Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 32 Running Shoes – Women’s & Men’s

After trying on a bazillion brands and other Nike running shoes, I decided to stick with the Nike Pegasus line. My Pegasus 31s made it through 10 months of Army PT and individual runs, so why reinvent the wheel? And did I tell you how amazing the flywire technology is?!? The shoes fit like a glove and feel like pillows on my feet. Bye bye, shin splints.

six // Ben Howard – I Forget Where We Were 

Crazy, intense slow jams will have you playing this adult alternative album on repeat. It’s one of those rare albums that captures thoughts and feelings you had no idea could be vocalized or let alone made into a melody.

seven // Twenty One Pilots – Blurryface  

Linkin Park meets Fall Out Boy meets Eminem meets Jamaican jams. I dare you to play this in the car and try to NOT sing along.

eight // Nike SFBs  

I LOVE THESE BOOTS. They become more comfortable with every ruck, hike, battle drill, march through the rain and mud, etc. I didn’t get one blister while wearing these for a month in Fort Knox.

nine // Homemade pizza 

Cook three pizzas one night for the fam and you’ve got meals for two days. Pizza with cheese, veggies and protein always = a well-balanced meal.

ten // Nuun Energy Hydration Tablets

Running in the heat = no bueno if you don’t refuel with electrolytes. And as much as I love Gatorade during field training, sugar water isn’t necessary when I only spend an hour outside every day at home. These tablets pack serious flavor without the added sugar.

eleven //  POSH DJs App

Listen to club mixes outside of a club. The continuous streams are perfect for getting in the zone during workouts.

Note: This post contains affiliate links, but all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Question:

  1. What are some of your summer food and fitness essentials?

 

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Favorite Nike Training Club Workouts

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Food and Fitness Finds for the New Year

10 Things I’ve Learned as a New Runner

10 Things I’ve Learned as a New Runner

New to running? Me too! Here’s what I’ve learned in my first six weeks of truly pursuing my goal of becoming a “runner.”

10 Things I've Learned as a New Runner from Hungry Gator Gal

1. Check your form!

Go to a running store or find a running coach who will videotape you while you’re running to check your form. I went to Fit2Run in Gainesville and completed an assessment for FREE. Other stores also offer the service at little or no cost.

I discovered I’m a heel striker during the assessment, so I’ve been walking around on the balls of my feet and my toes for weeks to change the way I walk and run. My calves hurt like hell, but I don’t feel pain in my shins anymore. I did a simple search online and found these tips on running form.

2. Buy new running shoes, if necessary. 

Women's Nike Zoom Pegasus 31 Shoes on Hungry Gator Gal

Photo by Brianna Kolota

If you receive an running assessment, the store associate will likely tell you what type of runner you are (i.e. under pronator, over pronator, neutral). The associate will then suggest specific brands and types of shoes that fit your stride.

Trust me when I say that the correct shoes will prevent injuries. I’m a neutral runner and recently bought the pair of Nike Women’s Zoom Pegasus 31s you can see above (affiliate link!), which make it feel like I’m running on clouds, no joke.

No shin splints = a happy Brianna.

For my male readers, check out the same pair of Nike shoes below, which my brother bought in a different color. Each pair cost about $100.

Men's Nike Zoom Pegasus 31 Shoes on Hungry Gator Gal

Photo by Brianna Kolota

3. HYDRATE.

Nalgene Wide Mouth 32-Ounce Water Bottle on Hungry Gator Gal

Photo by Brianna Kolota

Drink water all day, every day. Keep a water bottle at your side at all times. Challenge yourself to drink a liter every 60-90 minutes. I drink at least four full bottles of water from my Nalgene water bottle every day and often more. That’s 128 ounces or nearly 4 liters for you math wizards.

Hydrating properly before and after a run is especially important if you live in a more humid climate like Florida, even if you run in the mornings when it’s not as hot outside.

How do you know if you’re drinking enough water? Let me show you this lovely pee color chart . . .

4. Mind over matter.

 

The struggle is real . . . but, it’s more mental than physical.

I had never run more than 2 miles without stopping prior to joining the Army ROTC program. Now, I regularly run 4 miles at a decent pace without stopping. I’m not the fastest of the bunch, but I push my personal limits with each run.

To ensure I don’t give up, I usually pick a mantra and repeat it to keep myself going. I can’t wear headphones or listen to music when I’m working out for ROTC, so I usually repeat something like, “The faster you run, the faster it’s done!”

5. Make “pre-hab” a priority.

 

Photo by Brianna Kolota

Do dynamic stretches before running and static stretches afterward. Go to yoga at least once a week. Foam roll. In other words, do something now to save yourself from an injury, subsequent rehabilitation and time off from all exercise.

Here’s my favorite warm-up, the ultimate static stretch for hip flexors and quads, and my favorite  yoga stretches.

6. Don’t forget about strength training.

If you run, run, run all the time without taking time to build muscle, you won’t become stronger or faster. Aside from running with ROTC, I complete two strictly strength workouts on my own each week.

I’ve been digging “One-Set-to-Failure” workouts lately because they’re challenging and time-efficient.

7. You are what you eat.

Cajun Turkey Lettuce Wraps photo by Brianna Kolota

If you eat crap prior to a run, you’ll probably feel like crap. In other words, put down the fried foods, pizza, candy, etc. and go eat your veggies and lean meat.

And even if you eat relatively healthy, make sure you’re not eating too much fat. More than once, I’ve made the mistake of eating too much “good” fat (i.e. nuts, avocados) the night before a cardio-intense 5:30 or 6 a.m. workout. And guess what? I was as slow as molasses.

You can eat fat before a run. It’s your choice. However, I realized I need more carbs, less fat, and a moderate amount of protein to perform my best. If I have a physical training test in the morning, I like to do a moderate “carb load” at dinner the night before with fruit, starchy veggies and occasionally some whole-wheat cereal, pasta, bread or crackers.

8. Track your progress.

Photo by Brianna Kolota

I bought this $15-Casio watch at Walmart to time my runs. It’s the cheapest watch I’ve ever bought, but I LOVE it. It’s waterproof, easy-to-operate and has a 24-hour clock for military time.

P.S. Here’s a similar Casio watch you can buy on Amazon (affiliate link!).

9. Don’t think every run has to be better than your last.

Some days you might not be “feeling it.” Don’t give up and go home on those days, but make the most of what you can do if you’re not in the “running groove.”

Case in point: I could tell during the first lap of my first Army Physical Fitness Test this semester that it wasn’t going to be my best run. My legs were stiff. My hips were tight. I didn’t get enough sleep the night before. I was nervous. But you know what? I made the most of it and told myself the next test would be better.

10. REST.

I couldn’t resist the seal photo. . .

First, sleep at least 7 hours every night. And if you can’t sleep for at least 7 hours, try modifying your sleep schedule. You don’t want to feel exhausted before you even start running.

Secondly, take FULL days off. Don’t run every day and overdo it. This concept sounds easy, but it’s easy to forget if you like to exercise.

The amount of time you need to recover is personal. I typically take two or three days off from all strenuous physical activity each week. I also have one day where I walk a lot and/or practice yoga.

When you take rest days, enjoy them. Be productive. I usually knock out a bunch of homework on rest days and sometimes even sit on my butt for a few hours to watch “JAG” or “How to Get Away with Murder.” I thoroughly enjoy the laziness, and you should too.

Side notes:

  1. Yes, I hope to join Army JAG after law school; and 
  2. “How to Get Away with Murder” is incredibly unrealistic in terms of what I’ve experienced in law school, especially in my criminal law class. 

    Conclusion:

    Photo by Brianna Kolota

    After six weeks, I can say I still don’t love running. If given the choice, I prefer to cycle, hike, interval train without running, etc. However, becoming a better runner currently tops my “fitness bucket list” in terms of ways I want to keep challenging myself physically and mentally.

    So if you’re new to running like me, please don’t give up! Learn from my tips and mistakes. That’s why I’m sharing them. Secondly, if you’re a seasoned runner, please offer your advice by leaving a comment on this post. Sharing = knowledge.

    Also feel free to email me at bkkolota@gmail.com or reach out to me on Facebook, Twitter or Google +  if you have questions about running or anything really. I LOVE talking with readers.

    Thanks for reading, and have a great day! 🙂

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    Photo by Brianna Kolota

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