It was National Fitness Day 2017 yesterday and I can’t think of a better time to share with you all why I have changed my training recently, what I’ve been doing and what results I’m expecting!
Training should not feel like a chore (because no-one likes doing chores) and it’s impossible to adhere to a programme if you don’t enjoy it.
In the last few months, I have found myself struggling to motivate myself to train without a specific goal to work towards. I’d spoken about this previously I began skipping my workouts or working out out purely because I felt like I had to burn off calories, rather than doing because I truly love it. This is the mindset I have been battling (and winning the battle) with over the last few years so I knew I had to do something to find my love for exercise again.
What I did to switch up my workouts?
As a runner, its strange to admit that I have actually been doing very minimal cardio. Other than the odd 5k at the weekend, I’ve only been running to and from the gym – which is only 0.8 miles each way! I haven’t even been to a spin class recently! Instead, I’ve been focusing a lot on strength training. I’ve been doing conditioning and strength classes in the morning before work. These include compound movements such as squats and deadlifts, as well as plyometrics (jump training) and I’m working my entire body.
What results am I expecting from this shift in my style of training?
I think (hope) that I will go into next years running season feeling strong. With a bit of a rest from longer distances and a focus on building muscle, I hope that my legs will be refreshed (as well as bigger and stronger) and I’ll be at a good starting point to prevent any injuries when I start loading back on the miles!
Have any of you ever gotten fed up with your training? What did you do to combat this?
I hope you all have a lovely Thursday!
What do you do/use to track or plan your workouts?
There’s a number of apps, websites and diaries out there where you can plug in or write down your workouts. I have personally used the FitBit app, MyFitnessPal, MapMyRun and a Believe Journal. I have found all 3 of these apps really useful, particularly MapMyRun which I still use today because I don’t own a fancy Garmin watch (yet!) and haven’t quite figured out how accurate my FitBit is at tracking mileage (it’s the ChargeHR from a couple of years ago) but over time I’ve discovered what works best for me.
It all started with a really simple spreadsheet that I began using to track when I was sore or having problems with my back to feed back to the chiropractor. Rather than telling him, “oh, it was sore the other day” I could tell him exactly what day I was sore and what I had been doing that day or days previous, in order to see if there was a pattern in my pain.
I have a seperate tab for each month with all the dates pre-entered, then a column for the workout and one for any notes. Here is my July workouts so far!
I realised that I love being able to see all my workouts in a list like that as it really does show all the hard work I’ve put in. It motivates me and it only takes 30 seconds to fill it out after a workout. There’s no tricking the mind into thinking you’re doing more or less when it’s written down in front of you. I can’t lie to myself about the work I’m putting in. Right now, I’m getting results because, as you can see there, I’m putting in the work.
It keeps me on track as I can also see where I skipped workouts or took rest days. I had a bit of a rough time at the start of the month which meant I prioritised family over working out. It’s not normal for me to take 3 days rest in a row.
If you have any tips or suggestions for tracking and staying accountable, let me know!
Day 1 – 30 minutes Cross-Trainer
I was really lacking motivation before this workout. I’m really not a fan of the cross-trainer as I never really feel like I get the same workout as when I run but I understood I just had to get it done. I alternated between high-resistance and speed to vary the intensity of my session – which kept my head in the game a little longer. In the end, I actually left the gym feeling grateful for the low-impact workout!
Day 2 – Rest
Day 3 – 3 miles
I ran on the treadmill in the morning before work. I watched a BBC documentary about SAS training to pass the time. I’m starting to get bored of the indoor workouts and am getting excited for the better weather to come! Training in the Summer months is always a lot more enjoyable but the hard work has to continue throughout the Winter! I finished my session with a bit of foam rolling (painful but necessary!)
Day 4 – 5 miles
The weather was so terrible so I had to run on the treadmill at the gym. Generally, if I can avoid doing anything longer than 3 miles on the treadmill I will but in this case I just couldn’t run outside! I’ve really grown to prefer being outdoors and running where I know the finish line is when I make it home rather than the mental game of when you stop on the treadmill.
Day 5 – 3 miles
Another pre-work run in the gym. As much as I prefer running outdoors, I like the atmosphere in the gym in the morning. It’s other like-minded individuals chasing similar goals and that motivates me! I finished up my workout with some core work and more foam rolling. Brandon and I then had a fun sober Friday evening at his Granny and Grandad’s for dinner, followed by a night with the space geeks at The Royal Observatory in Edinburgh! I’m finding lots of alternatives to nights out and still have a social life whilst abstaining from drinking throughout my training.
Day 6 – Rest
I had a relatively productive rest day. I went to get my nails done in the morning and then we were over at Brandon’s Mum’s house clearing our stuff out of their garage as Stuart is getting a treadmill (so you know where I’ll be when that arrives!) I got up at 8am and didn’t sit down again until well after 5pm. We also went and got our food shop for the week (between Aldi and Sainbury’s) so we’re all set for meal prepping!
Day 7 – 10 miles
I left the house in a crop top and sunglasses and enjoyed gorgeous weather for about 5 miles and then I got soaked! I don’t mind running in the rain – in fact I quite enjoy it… It felt good and I really settled into the run. I found my rhythm and my splits were pretty even. My average pace was just 0.01 seconds faster than last weeks 9 mile run – which shows how consistent my pacing has become!
Total: 21 miles
I’ve had another good strong week of pushing myself and have proven to myself (again!) what my body is capable of. A little self-belief and I might actually be able to run this marathon!
Bring on week 4!