Thursday, November 26, 2015

Wonders Of Technology: Garmin HRM-Swim

For those who know me more, I am little bit of tech geek, tracking sports and activity is part of my job and I love trying new stuff. I have different reviews piled up for you (fenix 3 vs vívoactive, FR630, vívosmart HR...). But this is so new and so exciting, I had to share :o)

I had my eye on Garmin HRM-Swim (English link, Czech link) ever since it was launched and yesterday I bought it :D Swimming x-mas coming early? Or reward for the weekend 3 km swim ... anyway, it is exiting to have the option of having accurate HR of your swim. Why didn't we have it earlier?  Because the ANT+ or Bluetooth signal has drastically lower distance reach when in the water (basically from many meters down to just few centimeters). There were ways around it with the optical HR monitors, but those had many "but" in the description of use.

Garmin HRM-Swim - How Does It Work?

Well Garmin did not invent a way to go around physical laws. Instead the HRM has an internal memory and stores the activity data inside it and all the data are transferred after you finish your swim and you push the "save" button. However it does not mean that you cannot see your actual heart rate right in the pool. For example when you have the rest interval, when you get your watch closer to your HRM, it gets the signal and shows you the current heart rate. It is not very useful for watching it between the laps as it takes little time, but you can see pretty much at which hear rate you end your interval and you can also adjust the rest interval based on your heart rate.

Heart rate data as seen in the mobile app
And heart rate data in the Garmin Connect web app (link to the file)
Excited that Garmin added the option of overlaying different data (here pace & heart rate)

Garmin HRM-Swim - How Is It Different?

The main difference is that the belt itself is almost not flexible at all as it needs to sit firmly on your chest. It comes with different sizes of additional flexible belt to add and adjust the length (to be able to accommodate tiny girls and huge chested guys and anything in between and above). I was little worried when I unpacked the heart rate monitor as there was the middle sized strap attached to the belt and it was little too big with it and little too tight without it. Fortunately I double checked the added strap and apart of the super huge, there was also the tiny one, that is just perfect for me. I guess I would find this in the user manual, but who reads those, right? :D :D :D

The HRM-Swim has little wider belt than the "normal" Garmin HRM and all of the actual strap (the blue part) is not flexible at all and also covered with layer of adhesive material that makes it stick to your chest. Since only the "prolonging" strap is flexible, it might take little more time to find the right set up for you. You don't want to get your chest too restricted... I heard that it perfectly stays in place even when you dive in the pool, but I did not try that yet.

The three different "additional" straps that give the HRM-Swim little more flexibility

I will update this post as I will get more experience with the HRM-Swim.

Have a great day everyone!!!

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Morning Green Smoothie

With the off season relax I have also slipped off my healthy eating habits. It is lot of fun, but there are also downsides: 1) I can feel it on my waistline, 2) more importantly I am not feeling great, my sleep was disrupted, my skin got worse ... Calls for action and it seems thanks to feeling sluggish I have discovered source of pleasure and happiness for my morning routine. I have been drinking this detox, antioxidant and alkalizing smoothie lot of mornings lately. So I decided to share the recipe with you. I am not really doing exact measures, going by the feel. You get great starter on your daily veggie & fruit consumption by drinking this smoothie.

Ingredients (for one smoothie):
  • 1 kiwi
  • 2-3 handfuls of baby spinach
  • 1 scoop of hemp protein
  • bee pollen (I am not sure about the effect, but they say it's super healthy :o) )
  • coconut water = natural source of electrolytes (I use CHI from MyBotanika ... use "BARBORKA" code to get discount!)
  • 1/2 or 1 banana ... I use banana if I drink this before or after tough workout to get more carbs in
  • honey ... if you don't like the taste as is, but I find that the kiwi + hemp protein is totally OK
Love my Catler mixer <3

What are your favorite smoothie recipes?

And on non-recipe note, thanks Eda for mentioning me in his latest blog post about his favourite running blogs! Check it out :)

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Hellozero Training For Koloběh 2015

#hellozero is really cool site and project, my colleague Radko is co-managing. It's purpose is simple, make people move more. Like hello zero, let's do this! I have been working at Rockaway only since beginning of September, but I love that my colleagues have more or less very close level of positive craziness (and that should be a compliment :D ). Check out more about Rockaway Capital here. So my colleague Radko was great candidate to do the crazy Koloběh race (it literally means bike-run), e.g. girl, guy and a bike, almost 50 km to cover in the fastest possible time. Radko being very enthusiastic motivated me to do a training session on the actual race course. Mhm, I knew it was not the best idea to start running after 12 days off after Frankfurt marathon with this training session, but it happened this way. :D

Saturday morning 5:30 am wake up call is little brutal :D

Ready to go, UCAN snack bars for nutrition, matcha tea & my beloved Garmin fénix 3 <3

Ready to rock'n'roll ... or at least run & bike!

Great feature of the advanced Garmin watches - you can upload a course to the watch and it will navigate you. Already used it in the summer and loving it, it is actually very easy to follow even without the map, just arrow on the screen and you can see the turns...

Radko is really fast runner, need to do some training until our race!

The race course is gorgeous!

Having fun :)

One tiny and two bigger uphills on the course, this is not the full course.

We finished after 34 km, because of Radko's hamstring issues. It's better to play it safe and not push too much in training, so we are ready for the race!

I think you can guess when I was running ;)

I refueled when I got home, took a bath and fell asleep immediately. When I woke up, I knew this was gonna hurt. I wanted to take it easy on the run, but it is really motivating having the bike with you to go fast, so the biker does not need to wait that much. Fast running after 12 days off + hard uphill effort on bike = very sore legs! So I pushed myself to go for an easy swim and sauna in the afternoon. Well, I cannot imagine how I would feel without that, because I could barely walk on Sunday and Monday :D :D :D

Saturday was very long as I went to see one of the two concerts Madonna had in Prague, it finished around midnight ... long day, great emotions and memories!

Thursday, November 05, 2015

Sweet Rawmance ... Sladká Rawmance

Yumminess in glass happened today for breakfast! Raw yoghurt with pomegranate apple seeds from the fresh new Sweet Rawmance cookbook (it is in Czech only, original name is Sladká Rawmance), that was just revealed today!

Happiness in a jar <3

Raw Food

What is raw food anyway? Raw food is vegan way of eating (no animal products, no grains, do dairy...) taken step further, so anything cannot be processed by more than 42 degrees Celsius. Meaning the process includes lot of mixing, drying, combining of fruits and nuts (for the sweet creations, and obviously veggies for the savory ones) and suitable spices.

I was super lucky to get my hands on the cookbook yesterday, so I could give you my dear readers one of the very first feedbacks!

And this is already from the event itself, obviously taking place at Sweet Secret of Raw ... eating delicious pear pie while blogging for you.

The Book

And here comes the book! It covers cakes, cupcakes & small desserts, breakfasts, ice creams and chocolate(!). In the introduction you will also get great guide to common troubles, ways of making nut milks, how to proceed with different kinds of kitchen appliances and what is useful for what. Like even if you never hear of raw food, you will be able to make this work in a bit. Great job done here.

Cute little Lola (the dog) is your guide with funny remarks throughout the book.

The format of book is beautiful, gorgeous photography an styling on one page and ingredients, needed machines & instructions on the other. You can download also 3 free recipes from their website.

First Sweet Raw Recipe Testing

Well, I was little time pressured and also did not have an occasion for the big cake, so I decided to try two of the breakfast recipes. In the evening I started making the coconut granola with raisins and vanilla and morning obviously called for raw yoghurt.

Raw Yoghurt

... is one of my favorite breakfasts I would get at Sweet Secret of Raw, so that was on the menu this morning. I let the cashews soak for an hour or saw (morning yoga, dog walk, shower etc.) and then was ready to eat in 5 minutes. I recommend to downsize the recipe if it is just for you or for two people.

Coconut Granola With Raisins And Vanilla

This recipe will take little more time and does not provide immediate gratification as you need to let the granola dry. But it is totally worth it as it will create bigger batch of raw granola that will last up to month in air tight container :o) Mine is still in making, so I will update this with the final picture.

Good mixer is a must here!

I don't have a dryer machine, so I used my oven instead, luckily it has the relatively low temperature settings available :)

Granola after few hours, when you can break it in pieces and speed up the drying process.

I would definitely recommend both of raw cookbooks available at Will make a great Christmas gift! The savory raw food might not be for everyone, but the sweet will please anybody. My grandma, who never heard of the concept loved the cakes. And all the desserts are healthier option to conventional sweets.

Bon appetit!

Tuesday, November 03, 2015

Why I Did Not Run Salomon Trail Running Cup 2015 Final?

Hello there my friends, this is little off topic, but I feel the need to clear something out. I never actually signed up for the STRC 2015 final (STRC = Salomon Trail Running Cup) aka. "Běh přes motolské jamky", nor was I officially invited by the organizers or anybody.

Why I am writing this? Because when my friends asked me about cheering for me on Sunday morning and some more mentions came in, I was wondering why was that when I never ran the race before not did I intend to participate. I am in the after season recovery mode. How was I surprised when I found that information about my participation was published in blog post from October 22, on the race's website. I assume that someone from the organization mistook me for Barča Nekolová from Holky ve formě, who placed on podium in most of the STRC 2015 races. I am flattered, Barča is really fast and I would kill for her achievements, but nope, that was not me.

I was surprised when I got an information about free registration to the race two days prior the raceI:

I immediately wrote back:

No reply from there :( I left it there because I knew I did not want to run, I had cross training and fun on my mind for the weekend (aka the kick bike trip from my previous post :) ).

When I started to get more and more questions and people telling me that the speaker at the race actually spoke about me before the start I got really confused and that is when I found out about the blog post on the STRC website. I didn't like that it made me look like someone who promised to participate and then did not show up. I messaged the STRC on Facebook, but unfortunately got no answer until today (which is Tuesday, two days later).

Please be aware that this is not mistake of Salomon, whose products I love to use for trail running and winter sports. The STRC race series are actually organized by an agency. Well I hope they get better next year or Salomon chooses someone else for the organization.

Don't wanna be all negative, so please let me know in the comments how were your weekend races and / or workouts? 

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Autumn Kickbike Trip ... Joys Of Off Season

6 days after Frankfurt marathon 2015 (blog post coming) I have so far swam total of something over 4 km on several occasions, went to sauna twice and today the beautiful autumn weather simply called for going outdoors. As I want to switch up things and have mental and physical rest for my body from running, Saturday morning I took out my beautiful pink kickbike for a spin :)

At the turnaround point = 20 km mark, perfect weather for an easy paced trip.

Off Season Rest & Recovery

If you have been active from spring until late autumn, your body and mind definitely needs some rest. And it does not matter that you are not an elite athlete. You have put an important amount of stress on your body and mind and you need to recover now for a bit. One or two weeks might be enough, but you might need a full month. And remember: Don't be too hard on yourself, because nobody's perfect!

I am not suggesting that you lay on your couch for a full month (but those days definitely should have their spot in your off season program as well). But I can strongly recommend switching up things, trying new things you wanted, working on skills that are not related to your "main" sport. As I plan working on swimming. Or you can enjoy activities you like, but do not involve that much due to your tight training schedule. As I hope for a game of golf, if the weather still permits :)

Let me know what is your favorite off season activity in the comments. I love to be inspired!

At the beginning in Petřín gardens.

It was snowing beautifully colored autumn leaves <3

3 hour ride required motivational reward at the end: cashew-coconut raw yoghurt @ Sweet Secret of Raw ... YUM!

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Frankfurt Marathon 2015 Quick Pre Race Note

In case you did not read my previous post, I haven't been in the best place in the last bit of Frankfurt marathon race prep. So here I am for once with different objective ... to enjoy the race and run the best I can today, but with no crazy ambitions. Thank you all for your support! Progress is never a straight line, there are many hiccups and ups and downs. I went down and I am looking forward to going up again.

Let's RUN Frankfurt!