{Maternity Running/Workout Clothing Favorites}


Working out during pregnancy has always been a priority for me.  While working out with a bump can come with its own challenges, perhaps the biggest challenge has been dressing the growing belly for working out.  If you are like me at all, then your belly won’t be the only thing doing some growing.  This means that for many of us wearing our old gear that we spent so much cash on won’t work for the entire 40 weeks.

During my last pregnancy I didn’t do a ton of running after 27 weeks since I was so uncomfortable while running.  I felt like baby boy was permanently parked on my bladder during every run and had lots of ligament discomfort.  I mostly opted to keep my workouts to yoga, walking, using the elliptical machine and hiking as I entered my third trimester. Because I wasn’t running hardly at all in the third trimester I was able to get by with sizing up in a few items, but it was not enjoyable.  This time around I’m still very much running and sizing up is quickly not working.

If sizing up works for you then feel lucky.  You will save so much money.  Put the word maternity on a clothing item and the price increases dramatically. At Old Navy, for example, they recently had a shirt for the whole family deal.  All shirts for baby, toddler, kid, teen, mom and dad were $5.  The maternity style of the same shirt was $15.  They’ve got us pregnant mommas trapped.  We know we can stuff ourselves into a bigger size, but we likely won’t look good or feel good doing it.  They know we will (likely) spend the money to buy the shirt in maternity.  Trapped!

When I feel uncomfortable with what I’m wearing or don’t like how I look in something I’m wearing, not only am I more likely to not do whatever it is that is making me wear this gear, but I’m much less likely to enjoy or want to do that activity again.  If my shorts are constantly riding up or I look ridiculous on the run or my belly is hanging out, I’m much less likely to want to run again in general.  This pregnancy I knew I needed to try something other than just size up in a shirt or shorts.

Several people have asked me what I wear during pregnancy workouts, so I’ve decided to share with you all what has worked for me this pregnancy.  Everything I’m sharing with you has been wear tested.  I’ve run in it, walked in it, yogaed in it, barre classed in it, 21 day fixed in it.  You get my point, and I’ve went into detail.  If you don’t have time for that see my to the point comment under each link.  If you are not pregnant, but might be someday and want to workout during, file this post away until you see that positive sign.

I will be honest that some of my ideas involve spending some extra money, but in my experience with maternity active wear you pay for what you get.  There just isn’t a way around this all the time.  I have also been successful in finding a few ways to save money, too.  Please keep in mind every pregnant body is different.  While something might have worked for me,  it may not for you.  I do feel my recommendations will work for most women.

Get ready for lots of selfie photos as I feel this is the best way to “show” how these pieces wear.  You’ll also notice some things that don’t fit my life’s priorities right now like making my bed, putting away laundry in a timely fashion or washing mirrors.  So what do I recommend in order of my favorites?

#1-For Two Fitness

You pay for what you get-cute, extremely flattering and excellent fit.  You won’t regret your purchases and will find yourself wanting to wear these pieces all the time.

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After running a half marathon at 16 weeks.  Shorts-Lululemon Speed Shorts

During my last pregnancy I looked at this company’s website so many times.  I was torn between the prices and if I was a dork to wear a shirt that said running for two.  This time around I realized I don’t care if I’m a dork and there is a reason they can charge $45 for a tank top and stay in business.  Their workout gear is a bit pricey, but is AMAZING!  I bought a running for two tank to start off with using a 20% off coupon code I got for signing up for their emails in April.  At this point I barely had a bump, but despite this it still fit comfortably.  The material was so soft and didn’t ride up in an annoying way despite my nearly bumpless physique.  They also make solid color tanks if the writing and feet are not your style.

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After running a 5 mile race at 24 weeks pregnant.  Shorts-Oiselle Distance Shorts

Now that I am 27 weeks I can say I love the tank equally if not more.  It continues to fit comfortably (no tight stretching across the belly) and does not ever ride up.  It is super soft and has held up with repeated washings.  I also can’t believe how flattering the fit is.  I’m confident this tank will still fit me during the remainder of my pregnancy.  I was so confident in their fit and style that I bought another tank (in the same size-small) that says sweating for two and two different bottoms.

Shorts-Oiselle Distance Shorts

The bottoms I purchased are meant to last through both summer and fall.  I purchased both the  Inspiration Maternity Running Shorts and the Distance Maternity Capri.   The Inspiration Maternity shorts are comfortable (they ride up occasionally when I wear my maternity belt and I don’t have it positioned right) and offer a full panel that can be folded under the belly, worn mid-belly or full panel.  Despite the panel, it is soft and flattering and even seems to offer some support.

Bottoms-For Two Fitness Inspiration Maternity Running Short                                                   Top-Lululemon Back on Track Tank

The Distance Maternity Capri is super flattering, doesn’t ride up or move while working out and also offers a full panel that can be folded down as you like.  I purchased both bottoms in a small.  I think I may have been able to buy XS, but having an entire trimester left I feel buying the small was the right way to go.

  Bottom-For Two Fitness Distance Maternity Capri

Top-Lululemon Back on Track Tank

After wearing all of these items I can honestly say they are all super flattering, comfortable and bring nearly zero annoyance while working out.  On a run the last thing I want to think about is what my workout clothes are doing.  For Two Fitness is an example of you get what you pay for-quality, good fit and flattering.  If you watch their facebook page and Instagram feeds you should be able to find coupon codes ranging from 20-30% off from time to time.  New orders from customers can also receive 20% off their first purchase when you sign up for their emails.  I never paid full price for my items.

#2-Buying used and in a size up on Ebay

Such a cute and affordable way to dress the bump while working out…if you know your size.

Top-Lululemon Tame Me Tank              Bottom-C9 Champion Running Skirt from Target

I know I said no to sizing up, but hear me out.  To balance out the more expensive purchases I made from For Two Fitness I took a chance that has really worked for me during this pregnancy.  I have a few styles of Lululemon tanks that I just love and that are more flowy, yet flattering.  These tanks have a sports bra top for extra support you’ll need as the ladies grow along with your belly and an elastic adjuster that can be tightened at the waist that I felt would really grow and flatter a pregnant bump without looking like I was working out in a small tent top.  I figured if I went up a size or two these tanks would both allow for more room in the chest and the belly.

Because I had no idea if this would work or not, I did not want to shop Lululemon’s-We Made Too Much section (not returnable) or spend full price on Lulu that might not fit. Then it dawned on me…Ebay.  I had not used my Ebay account in some time, but I logged in and searched for a couple of styles that I knew I loved because I own them already and are there fit is flowy (specifically Back on Track Tank and Tame Me Tank), but flattering (sports bra and elastic adjuster at waist). Having two different sizes of the tanks already at home I knew that both tanks allow some flexibility in sizing, but decided to go up two sizes from the largest size I had to make sure these tanks would still fit me in the final days of my pregnancy.

After doing a search on Ebay I found dozens of the tanks I was thinking would work available to bid on.  I placed a few bids and won a couple of tank tops.  With shipping I paid $21 and $27 for the tanks I won compared to paying $50 some from the clearance Lululemon section or $60+ for new.  Since pregnancy lasts a short time I just could not justify buying brand new Lululemon that I hope to never need to wear long-term.  Both the Tame Me and Back on Track Tanks (see For Two Fitness section for photo) will work awesome for hiding the postpartum belly, too.

The best part is, my plan worked out perfectly.  I love the fit and how flattering both tanks are. I might have been able to just go up one size, but I wanted to make sure these would fit comfortably in the final days of pregnancy and when the breasts are extremely large postpartum.  If you’ve never shopped Lululemon before, then buying these tanks used might be a gamble when guessing your size, but I feel they run true to size normally. You might also consider looking up your favorite loose workout brand on eBay and buying up a size or two.  I may or may not have a few more bids going right now for more Lululemon in a size or two bigger.  Their workout gear is just so adorable and flattering that it is almost impossible not to love.

#3-Abundant Heart (Tops)

Fun, comfy and cute tanks you will look forward to wearing during pregnancy and postpartum. Not likely to fit during the third trimester.

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I couldn’t find a full bump photo in one of their tops, but the above photos show me postpartum after my last pregnancy and how the fit changed as I got back to my pre-baby shape.

I have loved, loved, loved Abundant Heart tanks since I learned about them from other bloggers and the fit ladies I follow on Instagram.  Their tanks are not maternity, but the burnout tanks run a little big/long and are stretchy.  This little bit big allows them to fit comfortably when you are not expecting and gives you the first two trimesters worth of expanding belly to still wear them.

Postpartum these are so soft, the sayings motivating and the fit flattering.  These tanks would be a great addition to your maternity workout wardrobe early on and something to look forward to wearing after baby, too.  Make sure you select a burnout fit style if you are looking at wearing these during pregnancy or postpartum.  The other styles are not as forgiving or as stretchy.  This is another great company to follow on social media for coupon codes!  I’ve never paid full price for their shirts.

#4-C9 Champion Running Skirts

Add some fun to your pregnancy workout wardrobe.  Great fit and flattering.  Awesome for after baby, too. 

I love running skirts for the fit and cuteness factor.  They are one of my favorite gear choices to run in AND they look great running errands or chasing a toddler.  They made it on to my maternity running gear list because I feel they can be more flattering and forgiving than shorts to the growing pregnant body.  Since they come with shorts underneath you have the coverage of shorts, but a skirt to smooth out your shape and it allows for hips and thighs to expand without the tight waist bands that can cut in and the restriction of leg holes.

Bottom-C9 Champion from Target        Top-Old Navy Activewear

Most of my regular sized running skirts still fit at 27 weeks pregnant and a couple I went up a size in last summer when I was searching for running clothes to wear postpartum are working great during pregnancy, too.  Most of my favorite skirts are from the Target C9 Champion line which makes them affordable, too.  Two styles similar to the running skirts I own include the C9 Champion Women’s Skort and the C9 Champion Women’s Woven Skort.  If you’ve not considered yourself a running skirt person, don’t count these out until you try them.  You might surprise yourself.

#5-Forever 21 (Tops)

Inexpensive tops that you might have to try on in multiple sizes to get the fit and comfort you want. Be prepared for a few to work and a lot to not, but what you do find you have a good chance of loving.

 

No, you did not read this wrong.  Yes, Forever 21 is an often cheaply made teen store.  I have not lost my mind.  When you are looking for workout clothes that will last a short time, sometimes you look in unusual places.  Last summer I was postpartum and trying to fit my ever-changing body with anything that looked flattering, was comfortable on the run and didn’t cause any wardrobe malfunctions.  Oh, and the price couldn’t cut into my diaper budget.  Somewhere, somehow I found Forever 21.  I was quickly shocked at the quality and how their workout gear has held up over the past year.

There workout clothes run small as they are a juniors store (mostly their bottoms which I’m not a huge fan of in general).  When shopping here forget about the size and go with fit. While some of their gear is hit or miss, I found some pieces last summer that worked great and are still in my running clothes rotation even as I’m about to enter my third trimester.  I went with looser tank tops to hide the belly which has helped them work during pregnancy.  Similar tanks include the Active 2-in-1 Space Dye Tank and the Active Shadow Stripe Muscle Tank (you might want to layer under this one).  Because the clothing is so, so affordable you could even consider buying a style in more than one size if needed to last you your entire pregnancy.

#6-Old Navy Active Wear

Appearances can be deceiving.  What looks cute and comfy on may perform differently.  An extremely affordable, but hit or miss brand of active wear.  Some pieces you will love and others you will hate.  

 

Bottom-Old Navy Activewear             Top-Basic tank from Target

I mentioned Old Navy for their maternity clothes in a post I did about my Summer Maternity Clothing Favorites earlier this month.  My biggest issue with Old Navy is the fit is inconsistent.  I did not like the fit of their maternity shorts, but the capris were ok.  I believe some people may love them both though.

One of the best features of their clothes is they are cute and affordable.  The price on these is hard to ignore, but I’ve learned the hard way if it doesn’t really fit, then no deal is worth it because you will never feel comfortable or confident in what you are wearing.  I also feel their active wear has the look of being active, but not the quality or wearability to hold up to intense exercise.  If you are looking for cute athletic wear without actually working out much, it might be great for those comfy days or going for a walk.  The shorts above are one of my favorites to wear around the house or running errands.

So after that why would I recommend Old Navy Activewear?  Two reasons:

1) You will likely need postpartum workout clothes.  After having baby number one I found that the clothing items I sized up in surely didn’t last me my entire pregnancy, but were the only things I found to fit in the early weeks after baby.  Having something that fit got me out walking and running with some confidence when I would not have had the time or energy to shop for myself.

Top-Old Navy Activewear       Bottom-Nike Tempo Short

I also put Old Navy as #5 because I did size up one size from my regular top and short size in their regular Active Wear collection and have found some success.  The shorts tend to ride up, but the tanks are working ok for now.  Both are cute which buys them some credit in my book.  In another month I believe I will have phased out both the tops and bottoms, but again I know they will be used postpartum.

Top and Bottom-Old Navy Activewear

2) What kind of exercise you do determines what kind of gear you need.  If you are not a runner and prefer walking or elliptical or lifting or hiking or 21 Day Fixing then this workout gear is likely perfect.  You don’t have a need (as much) for items to not ride up or stay in place during workouts because your activity of choice will not move clothing around like running does.  If you don’t need to spend the money on specific gear, then I would for sure recommend trying their Old Navy Maternity Activewear and/or sizing up in their women’s activewear.  I currently save what I do have from Old Navy for short run days as it is not comfortable for my pregnant runs more than 3 miles.  My shorts work great for a walk and ride up constantly on a run.

#7-Sizing up in your favorite gear.

Good luck!  Some brands and styles this will work and others will not.  Sometimes you will try this route to save money and it will be less than flattering, but nonetheless still an option.

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Sizing up in my first pregnancy.  Can you tell it was winter?!

Again, I don’t recommend this idea overall.  I always want it to work, but as I mentioned already this is a temporary fix.  During trimester two going up a size in my Nike Tempos and Old Navy Activewear helped me out this time around, but these are quickly losing their comfort and fit.

 

Top-Abundant Heart     Bottom-Oiselle Distance Short

I do have some lower rise shorts (Oiselle Distance Shorts and Lululemon Speed Shorts and Run Times) that I have been able to continue wearing in my prepregnancy size.  I know this is likely temporary as my hips and thighs seem to expand and grow along with the bump.  I don’t mind buying up a size in a few items I like because anything you size up in will probably be your go to gear in those first postpartum weeks and months so it is not a total waste.

If sizing up stops working for you, then don’t be afraid to buy some real maternity workout gear.  I’m so glad I did and really regret not doing so last time around.  My suffering was not necessary.  By mix and matching new and used along with maternity wear and sizing up you can find a comfortable, cute and affordable workout wardrobe to last you through all the pregnant miles, workouts and postpartum.

Any maternity workout clothes you love?  Let me know!  I’m sure I missed some great brands and styles.

Sarah

 

{Summer Maternity Clothing Favorites}

Buying maternity clothes is not as fun as you might think.  Since I’m expecting in an entirely different season this time around I knew I would need to purchase some new clothes to get me through the warm months of summer.  Since most of us know someone who is pregnant who might need some clothing suggestions and/or maybe you yourself are expecting and find yourself in need of some ideas, I decided to share a few brands I’ve liked so far.

If spending any sum of money is in your budget, then finding maternity clothes is a lot easier.  If you are more like me, then sticking to a budget is essential for me to consider when buying clothes to fit the bump and I. Just like no two pregnant woman look the same, I’m sure maternity clothes fit each person completely differently.

I’ve also found buying a size up in regular clothes is not usually very comfortable or flattering, yet I still find myself doing it from time to time.  My 24 week bumpdate photo on the left is a great example of me squeezing into a non-maternity tank.  The photo on the right was taken after my 24 week bumpdate photo, and the bump and I look better and I was more comfortable because the shirt was meant for an expanding belly.

My top brand picks are below and why.  Please share in the comments if you have a favorite store or brand to recommend.  Maternity wear can be a challenge to find.  The below favorites are just that.  I’ve not been compensated in any way for my opinion.

#1-Motherhood Maternity Website

Both the tank and shorts are from Motherhood Maternity.

Most Motherhood Maternity stores that I’ve been to leave much to be desired.  They either only carry the basics and nothing stylish or they have such a small inventory that it is not helpful to find what you are looking for.  I bit the bullet and ordered a large online order knowing I could return or exchange what did not fit.  I happened to be going to a store a couple of weeks after placing my online order where I did just that.

My favorites from Motherhood Maternity are some of their basics like their multi-pack t-shirts and tanks. I’ve also tried shorts from multiple places, and the only place I found shorts I liked that fit well was here.  Last time around I bought my favorite nursing bras (a favorite for those first days home, at night and weekends later on) from here along with several nursing camis (#1 and #2) that were lifesavers postpartum. Most of the prices are affordable and they offer sales frequently (20% off non-sale items until 07/13 right now).  I have found the quality is decent for these items.

#2-Old Navy Maternity

One of my go to places to purchase versatile basics that can be mixed and matched during my last pregnancy was Old Navy.  This time around I checked them out early on.  I find that Old Navy maternity runs big.  Some of the items in their smallest size were too big for me.  That is frustrating when you find something at an affordable price, but you know it will never work.

I did find some great dresses at Old Navy.com (my nearest Old Navy does not carry maternity wear) that I will be able to wear my entire pregnancy (body con-pictured below and maternity maxi-pictured above).  The t-shirt body con dress has been a favorite of mine so far.  It is a bit big at this stage, but with a belt it gives you enough shape and room to grow, which I sure did the last time I was pregnant.

The $7 dress!!

With coupon codes and reward coupons I scored one of these dresses for $7.17 total cost (with free shipping).  I NEVER pay full price at Old Navy.  There is always a sale or coupon code to be used.  I also have a GAP credit card and get rewards that I accumulate and use often.  Their maternity pack of leggings fit awesome, too.

Definitely plan to try on their clothes.  A small in one shirt could fit perfect and in another style be huge.   Their jeans fit ok, but the shorts were a no go for me.  Again, try them and return them if they don’t work for you.  Some maternity wear can be returned to the store, BUT some must be returned by mail.

#3-Pink Blush Maternity

If you are looking for stylish and more unique attire, then Pink Blush Maternity is a great place to look.  During my last pregnancy, I bought several maternity cardigans that still fit and look great even after baby.  These are great for breastfeeding mamas, too.

This time around I was of course looking for summer wear.  Somehow another long sleeve cardigan ended up making it to my mailbox, but Wisconsin summer nights can be cool and I will be pregnant in the fall still.  I also bought a tank top, a couple 3/4 sleeve shirts and a dress.

When it comes to sizing and fit, I also find Pink Blush to be hit or miss.  Some of their stuff is seriously sooo cute, but the fit can run big.  I mean real big.  Some of their shirts are meant to be flowy, but one of the shirts I bought my husband thought was a dress and he said that wouldn’t even fit you on your due date and it was a size small.  Another shirt I bought on clearance in a size medium because the smalls were sold out and it fit perfect (pictured above-it came with a different belt I don’t love so I switched it out with one I already owned).  I also found a maxi dress that is so cute along with a few other great finds.

When you order go with your regular size and be prepared for some of it to work out great and to need to possibly return others.  Also, do not pay full price for your entire order.  Like their facebook page to see coupon codes they post on the regular.

#4-Target 

This pregnancy I haven’t made it to the Target maternity section…YET.  Last time around the Liz Lange line fit great and was cute and affordable.  I have a maxi dress and multiple shirts that I’m wearing this time around again.  I’m sure their summer stuff won’t disappoint.  Their maternity clothes run true to size in my experience.

#5-Gap

My favorite pregnancy jeans are from the Gap.  I bought them the last time I was pregnant. What I love best about them is the dark wash and skinny fit for a pregnant mom-to-be and the demi panel.  Mine are a darker wash than what I could find online, but the linked ones are close. Online carries more sizes and washes than you might find in a store IF your nearest store carries maternity.  Their sizes are also designed to be bought in your regular pre-pregnancy size.  I found this to be true during my last pregnancy.  Gap is another store I almost always find coupon codes for online.

No pregnant mama wants to feel frumpy.  I strongly believe we feel as good as we think we look.  Taking care of yourself by eating well and exercising goes a long way, but we still need some style and comfort to feel our best.  Maternity wear can be expensive, but investing in a few key pieces that can be mixed and matched or dressed up or down will make you feel much better about yourself and the new body you are rocking.

What were/are your go to maternity wear finds?  I’m working on a maternity active wear post as this has been the biggest struggle in my experience with dressing the bump.

Sarah

 

 

{Garmin Forerunner 220 Review*}

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My love for Garmin Forerunner’s began while training for my first marathon in 2008. As my mileage increased I quickly found it was super annoying to plot my running routes in advance so I knew how far I was running. I also didn’t enjoy using a simple wrist watch as knowing my time didn’t exactly tell me my pace. I had a goal of running a marathon in under four hours, and I felt I really had no idea how my runs were going in terms of pace. It is hard to stick to a goal without the data to give you feedback.

Despite this I didn’t buy a Garmin right away. I felt like I wasn’t a serious enough runner to buy such an expensive and advanced watch. Eventually I caved, and I was SO glad I did. What does it mean to be a serious runner anyway? There is no set mileage or qualifying pace we need to run. If you run, then you are a runner. Seriously!

The Garmin Forerunner 301 I purchased in 2008 served me well. In fact it still worked when my husband bought me a new one, but I was having troubles charging it. Sometimes it would not charge or would randomly turn on during charging instead of actually charging leaving me to find a dead Garmin and made me an unhappy runner. After using ponytail holders to position the charging cord just right too many times, I professed my need for a new watch. The only problem-while I love having the latest technology, I also find it super wasteful to always buy the newest model when the older version works fine. I didn’t want to spend my money on a new watch.
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Lucky for me the husband does listen to me when I’m talking (most of the time), and he surprised me with a new watch for Christmas. Recently I was asked some questions about the watch, so I decided to finally do a review of the watch. I don’t like reading reviews of something technology related when the user has only had the product for a short time. After using the watch on most runs for the past six months, I feel I am ready to review it for others to decide if it is the right watch for them.

Cost-
I consider the Garmin Forerunner 220 to be the perfect watch for most runners who do not race competitively or for money. The Garmin Forerunner 620 has some amazing features, but in reality most runners will not use these features making the $450 price tag steep. The 220 is much more reasonable coming in at $250 with a heart rate monitor.

GPS-
Since the main purpose of this watch is to track distance and pace this is sort of important to a runner. I’ve found that after running in the same location for a couple of runs, the 220 will recognize where you are and will take only a minute or less to load satellites for you to be ready to run. Each time you travel more than 30 miles away from your “home” location or previous route plan for the Garmin to take a few extra minutes to recognize where you are and load satellites. Annoying? Yes. Dealbreaker-No! Again, if you tend to run in the same area for your runs (which I usually do) then this isn’t too much of an issue.

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In terms of accurate distance measurement the 220 is on par with other GPS watches and apps. When running with both my Runkeeper app and the 220 to compare they do not always register the same mileage, but neither do both the Forerunner 220 and 301. This is actually common with many GPS devices and the disparities between devices tend to be rather insignificant (as in tenths of a mile). Running routes I’d mapped out prior to using the 220 seem to measure the same distance with the 220.

Signal-
I’ve never had the Garmin drop a signal or quit working while running. The only exception is of course when you go where GPS can’t reach as in through a tunnel, under a long bridge, etc. No watch or app will be able to help you in those conditions.

Battery-
My 220 lasts for 10-15 hours of actual running time. You can wear the watch while not in GPS mode and it will last for a week or so. This is solid battery time and it recharges very quickly (in a matter of a couple of hours).

Features-
Screenshot 2014-06-23 18.46.21
Under the training tab on the 220 are three useful features: My Workouts, Training Calendar and Intervals. My Workouts allows the runner to create a Garmin Connect account online (can be synced to the app for your phone, too) and download specific workouts you’ve selected or created yourself like the one above to your watch. Once you’ve selected workouts you can run them and track your results on your watch which can be synced to your phone and online account. Training Calendar allows runners to create just that and have it sync to your watch. Intervals allows you to create interval workouts such as 4×1 mile with 1:00 rest. The watch keeps track of your run and rest times and alerts you to run and rest. Intervals are editable so you can change them to any distance, number or rest time you want.

History-
Keeps track of your activities by date and lets you review your pace, time, distance, calories, cadence and heart rate for each activity. It also tracks your laps which defaults as one mile, but could be changed. Totals are also kept track of here where you can review your weekly and monthly miles and total time spent running.

Records-
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Records for times and specific distances (1 mile, 5k, 10k, half, marathon and longest run) are kept under this section.

Settings-
Allows runner to tailor data screens and heart rate, set alerts for run/walking, pace and heart rate, change auto lap, turn auto pause on or off, turn auto scroll of data screens on or off, and set timeout periods (when your watch changes from GPS mode to simply a watch to save on battery.)

You can also add sensors and use bluetooth to connect your mobile device to your watch so all your workout data syncs to the Garmin Connect app. I have not been able to successfully do this after repeated attempts, so I simply use the online Garmin Connect and not the app. Other settings include creating alert tones, turning vibrations on and off (I love the vibrations at each mile) and setting an alarm with this watch.

Garmin Connect
Garmin Connect is where all your data is stored online. Honestly every piece of data you could imagine wanting to see is all there. See below from a long run I did this spring.
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Additional Notes:
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I’ve run with this watch in the cold (windchills of minus 12 and actual temps below zero), in the heat (90 degrees plus), in the humidity and in the rain. I’ve used the 220 in races from half marathons to a 50k. I love that the 220 has a plastic wristband with holes making it easy to clean and way less smelly than the fabric band of the Forerunner 301. Imagine 5.5 years of sweat all in one strap that can’t be removed from its electronic device-or don’t because it’s pretty nasty. The purple color is super cute and the size is appropriate even for those ladies who have smaller wrists. The wrist band can also accommodate a wide range of wrist sizes and still be comfortable. Ryan has worn the watch too and attests to its comfort and fit for a guy.

Even considering all of these features some of you are probably still unsure. Now that running apps are available to track similar data for free some wonder why would you want to purchase a GPS running watch? The reasons are actually pretty strong. In my experience it can be annoying toggling between songs and your running app while running, and I often need to stop running to go back into my music or my running app for data or to change a song.

If this isn’t a problem, then the whole battery thing is. My iPhone never makes it tracking a run of more than 17 miles while using RunKeeper alone even when all other apps are closed and it is fully charged. That means no picture taking or music on the run either. That is so not cool during a long run or marathon. I should know as it happened to me during the Chicago Marathon a couple of years ago. Mile 17=dead iPhone and kill the music and knowing your pace. Good thing I loved that marathon course and all the fans!

Another battery killer-runs in the cold. My iPhone does not last long in the cold. Another bad combination-iPhones and rain. In remote areas my iPhone sometimes doesn’t find my location as well as my Garmin 220. Finally, Runkeeper simply doesn’t have all the features (alerts, training calendars, heart rate workouts,etc) my Garmin does. I do use RunKeeper on shorter runs and to track mileage, but it is just easier and more efficient to use my Garmin 220 on a regular basis. This also makes a happier runner!

The Garmin Forerunner 220 is seriously one of my favorite (if not my favorite) running accessories ever. I even find myself wearing it just for fun. If you are on the fence about the watch, I encourage you to think about how often you will use the watch and how long the watch lasts if taken care of (my last Garmin Forerunner lasted 5.5 years.) Divide the cost by miles or time spent wearing it and decide if it is worth it to you. I know it was for me.

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And what else do runners love to take pictures of besides their sneakered feet? You guessed it! Their GPS watches with their running stats!

Hope this helps anyone out there thinking about whether or not a Garmin Forerunner 220 is for them!

Sarah

Disclaimer: All opinions are my own and I was not compensated in any way for this post.

{Friday Fab 5}

The week flew by with these fun things happening…

{#1-Carving pumpkins for date night}

Elf sat like this all on his own!  Best cat ever!

Elf sat like this all on his own! Best cat ever!

{#2-Roasting Pumpkin Seeds}
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I had never had roasted pumpkin seeds before this week so we made two kinds both with coconut oil-salted garlic and cinnamon.

{#3-Trying out my new fuel belt}
Honky Tonk Half Marathon 2
It did some moving, but that was more from my outfit than anything. I love how flat it sits on my hips and how roomy the pocket it. They thought of some great storage ideas here.

{#4-Tips for Running in a Costume}

I like this costume!  (news.cincinnati.com)

I like this costume! (news.cincinnati.com)


I’m so jealous of anybody that gets to do a Halloween race. I’ve always wanted to, but it just won’t work this year with cross country.

{#5-and the big news!}
Screen shot 2013-10-24 at 10.29.34 PM
My husband, with no prompting, begging, or mentioning it from me, is running a marathon with me this spring. I’m still shocked. I honestly did not expect this day to come, yet in a way I did. Lets hope our training together goes well.

Happy Weekend!

{Friday Fab 5}

This week flew by for me! Anyone else? I suppose that is a good thing. Here’s what was going on this week.

{#1-Twins Game}
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Ry and I went to a Twins game with the coaches he coaches with and their families, and the athletes and their parents this past weekend. It was freezing cold, but like Mandy, we too have a goal to see as many major league ballparks as possible. Ry had been to Target Field a few times before, but I had never. It was a fun park, but I still cannot believe they have no roof like in Milwaukee! Check out Mandy’s 14 day challenge while your looking at her blog, too. I’m always looking for quick, easy workouts to do after or before a run. This sounds like a great way to do that. You all have five minutes so stop with the excuses already.

{#2-I love Target-especially their running clothes}

Love Target!

Love Target!


So, while picking up a few necessities at Target this past weekend I made the mistake I’ve made a number of times before, I went to the workout clothes section. Lets be honest, I don’t view this as a mistake and I know it will happen again…over and over. Anyways, if you are looking for cute, affordable, and comfortable-while-you-workout gear, check out Target. I love them all.

{#3-Starbucks Carmel Ribbon Crunch Frappuccino}

YUM!

YUM!


RUN, don’t walk to your nearest Starbucks and order this NOW! I’m more of a warm coffee drinker, but I was in the mood for an iced coffee and saw this advertised as new and went with it. Don’t ask about the calories, just workout and eat well the rest the day. You will be in heaven for as long as it takes you to drink it! Amazing!

{#4-Utah}

Big Cottonwood Marathon-Utah

Big Cottonwood Marathon-Utah


Utah will be checked off the 50 state list in September! I registered last night for the Big Cottonwood Marathon and am so excited. This course looks beautiful!

{#5-Walk with Mom}
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After enjoying my Starbucks, mom and I went for our first warm(er) weather walk of the year to the spillway on Mother’s Day. The water was high, but it was nice to get back out. It was great to spend time with the woman who has taught me so much. Love her!

Happy Weekend!

What is GU?

One of my new favorite flavors of GU that got through my December long runs with holiday cheer!

One of my new favorite flavors of GU that got me through my December long runs with holiday cheer!

Over the weekend I had a couple people who read about “GU” in my blog ask me what it is. Basically it is simple carbohydrates in a goo-like format that are delivered to muscles within minutes of ingesting the material. GU is my favorite fueling method while running a marathon because it is easy to digest, fast to supply the body with energy, and comes in a wide variety flavors. Some of my favorite GU flavors include strawberry banana, mandarin orange, lemon lime, chocolate, vanilla bean, expresso, peanut butter, and peppermint stick.

There is a ton of science behind running nutrition and ratios of carbs, protein, and fats to eat, however carbs remain runners’ favorites for a couple of reasons. First of all, runners burn a mixture of mostly carbohydrates and only some fats while running. Participating in endurance events usually requires runners to take in additional carbohydrates as they run to prevent the dreaded depletion of glycogen stored in muscles. Glycogen is stored in muscles and when converted to glucose provides energy to muscle cells. When glycogen runs out so does a runner’s ability to maintain paces and mental focus (i.e. energy!).

Secondly, the quicker your pace when running the more carbs you burn because carbs are a more efficient energy source for the human body. Eventually if glycogen is depleted the body will try to run itself off of fat, which is not its preferred source of energy. This results in what runners and cyclists call “hitting the wall” or “bonking”. This can lead to extreme muscle fatigue and horror stories of people collapsing while running, being carried off the course, or having their uterus fall out.

Just kidding on the last one although women were not allowed to run marathons until the 1970’s for this last reason.  The first women’s Olympic marathon event wasn’t even allowed until 1984 (men started running this event in 1896)!

Hope the little lesson helps!