Friday, January 11, 2013

Polar FT40 Heart Rate Monitor Review

Do you know how many calories you burn a day? How many calories you burn during a 6 mile run or a Crossfit workout? Do you know when you are working out in the fat burning zone? I didn't either, until I tested the Polar FT40 heart rate monitor.  

The Polar FT40 has so many great features, but these are a few of my favorite:

The EnergyPointer tells you if the main effort of your training is fitness improvement or fat burning.  The PolarFitness Test measures your aerobic fitness at rest and tells you your progress.  The Smart Calorie feature calculates the number of calories expended during a training session based on your weight, height, age, your individual maximum heart rate {HRmax} and how hard you're training. The HRM also displays calories burned and comes with a comfortable fabric transmitter and coded heart rate transmission to avoid crosstalk {the strap is comfortable and basically unnoticeable while working out}

My exercise regimen the last couple of weeks has consisted of a run with friends, followed by I took my Polar HRM for a spin.  {Sidenote: is it appropriate to reach up and remove your HRM strap in public, or should you go to the restroom for that!?} I always assumed that I burned 100 calories/mile of running, but I actually burn more when I am pushing the pace or doing hillwork. I also took my HRM with me to ZUMBA, and was surprised that while I burned less calories, a larger portion of my workout was in the fat burning zone than when I run.  And do you know an afternoon of snowboarding burns 900 calories!?

My two favorite features:
-Ease of operation: The Polar FT40 is extremely user friendly, and is very simple to switch between different screens in order to view different data
-Compatibility with spin bike: I am able to constantly monitor my HR, and adjust my workout accordingly, while in spin class {which is essential as I begin to train for a 70.3 triathlon}

 I have LOVED using my Polar FT40 HRM, and am excited to continue to use it and learn more about all of its features in order to maximize my training.  I highly recommend this easy to use fitness gadget to track and monitor your workouts in order to maximize your efforts.

Dsiclaimer: I received this product to review from FitFluential LLC and POLAR USA; all opinions are my own 

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

What #lucky13 Has In Store For Me

It seems like only yesterday I was like a kid on Christmas morning when I received an email from Mason, the Chief Hydration Officer at NUUN, asking me join the NUUN team for Ragnar Northwest Passage!  Well my excitement surpassed that when the people at NUUN selected ME to be an AMBASSADOR for their product; which means they believe I am a user of their product, who will be able to provide a significant impact, positive influence, and an increased awareness of NUUN products, within their social and professional communities.  What is NUUN?  NUUN is hydration, without the sugar – a refreshing alternative to many of the options in the beverage market today.  Packed with electrolytes, light flavor, no sugars or carbs, and portable, Nuun Active Hydration is the perfect sports drink for ME and YOU! I have been using NUUN for almost 2 years, and for anyone who knows me, they know I love it. I love the light refreshing flavors of NUUN, I love the convenient tubes that NUUN tabs come in, but perhaps most important I love the people of NUUN.  NUUN is my drink of choice, whether I am going on a Saturday run with friends, am starting my third leg of a relay, or am running a marathon....and I can't wait to continue to spread the NUUN love one tab at a time!

Photo courtesy of fellow NUUN ambassador, Meghan Manaois

Thanks to NUUN giving me the opportunity to run Ragnar Northwest Passage I discovered a new running passion of mine...RELAYS!!! There is something unique, one of a kind, words-can't-explain amazing about being in a van with 12 friends {or random people who quickly become close friends}, running through headlight-and-flashing-light lit streets at 3am, forming spirit tunnels for runners, and being beyond grateful for a hot shower and a bar of soap! After finishing Ragnar NWP, I knew I had to do another relay, and joined a team for Ragnar Napa.  When I received an email from Ragnar regarding their ambassador program, I knew I had to apply! It's a no-brainer to be an ambassador for something you truly love! And whether or not I was actually selected, I would still be an ambassador, because I just get giddy when I think of joining 12 people for such an amazing overnight adventure.  Well giddy I was when I received this:

I CAN. NOT. WAIT. to rock my ambassador gear and spread the Ragnar excitement.   So what is my next relay you ask?? I am for sure doing Ragnar Tennessee.  But I want to do them all, and call me crazy, but want to run one as part of an ultra team {6 runners, instead of 12}, so if you're looking for an additional runner, hit me up!  

So just when I thought things couldn't get any better, I heard this amazing news:

And of course, NUUN is my hydration of choice when I run a Ragnar Relay:

As if #lucky13 isn't already off to a great start, I have one more thing to add: After not being able to complete the half ironman I was signed up for in June of 2011 due to a bike accident that resulted in a broken collar bone requiring surgery, I have decided to give it another shot and will be celebration my 30th birthday by doing:

I want to hear from YOU: What's your favorite flavor of NUUN? What is your favorite Ragnar Relay, or what one would you like to do? And if you have done a half ironman, any words of advice?