Before I delve into the things that relate to the title of this post, I just want to say that my birthday weekend was pretty much awesome. I had a “me day” on Friday where I did a lot of leisurely things (i.e. lots of reading!). On Friday night, we went to a wine tasting with Robin and Andy where I learned about Cabernet Sauvignon (more on that in a later post). Saturday morning was spent tidying up, the afternoon was spent at the mall, and the evening was spent at a music festival. Sunday was pretty standard with a grocery store trip, food prep, and the Bachelor wedding (not a huge fan of the show itself but wanted to watch this…don’t ask!). All in all, a great way to ring in 30!
Ok, so on to week 1 of Tough Mudder training.
SUNDAY: REST – CHECK
MONDAY: Upper body + core; 20 minutes light cardio (elliptical) – CHECK
TUESDAY: 3.5 mile run – CHECK
WEDNESDAY: Lower body + core; 20 minutes light cardio (elliptical) – CHECK
THURSDAY: REST – CHECK
FRIDAY: Full body circuit; 2 mile run – CHECK and the run was probably a little over 2 miles
SATURDAY: 4.5 mile run – CHECK but this turned into a 4 mile treadmill run due to poor planning on my part
Thoughts: I am loving the BBB strength workouts. I love the focus of this first phase and the emphasis on the core. My runs were good, but at this point, it’s hard to imagine having to do more mileage. And finally, I need to step it up with my stretching…BIG TIME. I experienced a lot of soreness that I know could’ve been eased with some solid post-workout stretches. Oops!
This week’s workouts look similar to the above. The only difference will be that I add a few extra reps to the strength stuff.
And now on to the second part of this post – a review of the Polar FT4.
As I previously mentioned, this was a birthday present from my parents. Originally, I thought I wanted a Fitbit Force but changed my mind after reading a few reviews and thinking about what I really wanted – a heart rate monitor and nothing more. I may look into the Force a little later after all the kinks have been worked out. I’m not much of an early adopter anyways!
Once I nailed down what technology I wanted, I did a little bit of research and narrowed down the list to the Polar FT4 and the Polar FT7. After consulting with Vishnu, I decided to go with the FT4. It basically came down whether or not I wanted to know if I was working out in the fat burning zone. Since I didn’t know what I would do with the information, I decided I didn’t need that feature. Simple as that!
When my watch came in, I scanned the instructions on how to program it and got to work. After entering all the necessary information (weight, height, date, time, etc.), I was good to go. Easy peasy! And let’s be honest, if I can do it, you can do it.
In the case of any good HRM, you want to pick one that comes with a chest strap (or so I read). Not something I was super excited about but decided to deal with it. Turns out you don’t really have to deal with it because you can’t feel it and it’s actually comfortable. The only thing I would say is that for people who are really small, the strap may be a bit to big since there’s only so much adjusting you can do. I have mine set to the very edge of the sensor area and it fits perfectly. If you’re super narrow around that part of your body, you may have issues.
The strap and the watch itself are the two major components. There is also a little clip on heart rate sensor that attaches to the strap. But again, you can’t even tell it’s there.
As far as my personal experience using this device is concerned, I absolutely love it. In fact, I wore it for all the workouts mentioned above, including the strength training. I love how at any given time I know my heart rate and whether or not I should push myself a little bit more. And at the end of my workout, I know how many calories I’ve burned along with the duration of my workout.
The only con for me is that the watch, while very comfortable, is a kind of ugly. Haha! But then again, I wasn’t really going for a fashion statement.
I should also say that if you the type of person that gets obsessed with numbers, especially calorie burn, this may not be for you. The geek in me likes to think about the effort I put into a workout and what the outcome is, but that’s about it at this point in my life. It’s also kind of fun to guess the number and see how far off I am.
If you have any other questions, feel free to leave a comment or shoot me an email.
What workouts do you have planned for the week?
Do you own a HRM? Thoughts?