Is it just me or is this year flying by? We are just two weeks away from Halloween and it has already been three weeks since I ran my first half-marathon. The first week post-race, I refused to even walk briskly, and thought I may never run again... but the second week out, I dipped my toes back in with a spritely 3 miler, which actually felt pretty great. Had it not been dark by 6:30pm I might have kept going a while longer. Yesterday, I ran about 5 miles. I gotta tell ya, another easy run. I enjoyed it very much (Patrick has done a few short runs as well).
A week or so before the race, my sister from another mister Micaela sent me a workout program to try out (thank you my sweet friend!) I have to be honest, at first I was like, "These workouts are not difficult enough for a half-marathoner, pssh" but I gave the first day's workout a try anyway and oh my sweet baby Jesus, was I wrong. I got my booty kicked. I have realized these training programs are really the way to go for me-- I like a good schedule, a plan, a direction.
The program is set up so for the first four weeks you do 2-3 resistance workouts per week, which they provide to you in the form of circuit routines, 2-3 LISS (Low Intensity Steady State) sessions of 35-45 minutes per week (activities like walking, swimming, biking, hiking, etc.), and one session of stretching per week. During weeks 6-8 you add 2-4 more LISS sessions, and in weeks 9-12 you do 3-4 resistance training sessions, back to 2-3 LISS, add 1 HITT (High Intensity Interval Training) workout, and do an additional stretch session each week. Okay, so it's a lot... but I love a lot.
For each of the resistance workouts there are two circuits. You have seven minutes to get in as many rounds as possible (AMRAP), and you do each circuit twice. BREAKDOWN: circuit one (7 mins), then circuit 2 (7 mins), then repeat. You guys. I seriously love these routines. I sweat so much and feel glorious afterward... well right afterward... about an hour later I am ready to sleep for days. But it's so great. The best part is: The step before the workout where I have to make a decision about what kind, and which workout to do, no longer exists. It's already planned out and it makes my life so much easier.
The exercises are explained in detail in the PDF Micaela sent me, so I just make sure I know what I'm doing and get started. Some equipment is necessary like a jump rope, medicine ball, and something to step up onto, but really it's nothing you can't makeshift. For example, I don't own a medicine ball so I filled a paint can with water and use that instead.
Anyway, I am not trying to plug for this particular exercise plan but what I am saying to you is, get yo-self a plan, and then stick to the plan. Like most of you, I am a busy person and lead a crazy lifestyle, running here and there, and making all of my meals, and working, and going to school, and working some more, and the list goes on... being able to just follow directions and feel good about myself afterward is a godsend. Psychologically, I feel like this program is ideal when I have a limited amount of time.
For example: On Wednesdays I see clients from 9am-2pm, have a break from 2-3pm, and then pick the little girl I nanny for at 4pm. A lot of days I end up working out after I get off work at 6pm, but if I can, I get it in midday so I can relax in the evening... So Wednesdays, that means between 2-3pm. I come home, change clothes, and hop to it. I don't have to search for a routine, which often gives me time to debate whether to workout in the first place, I just go to the day of the week, use stuff I have around my house, and 28 minutes later, it's over. I can run out my door (sometimes still sweaty).
I don't think I meant to carry on about this so long... I meant to actually say things about something else but now I don't remember what that was, so I am just going to stop talking. Have a lovely week!
Ps: The program instructs you to take before pictures and use them to track your progress every four weeks. I am posting the first photo below. Bear in mind, I am a little self-conscious because I look like I might die... it was like 6:30am on a Monday and I hadn't had coffee.
|BEFORE (front)--disregard recycling|