Try Something New

When you find yourself in a rut and can’t seem to snap out of it, try something new.  Step outside your comfort zone and you may be surprised by how it rekindles your workout motivation.  That’s been my mission these past two weeks and I slowly feel myself getting excited again.  This week alone, I tried two new things Galloway running and Orangetheory.  Both were enjoyable and both proved to spark my motivation levels.

Galloway running is based on the premise that continuous use of specific muscles and tendons can lead to exhaustion and injury.  The Galloway run-walk-run method builds recovery into your runs. You should be able to continue a training regimen for a whole season leading up to your goal race without injury and wouldn’t that be a nice change!  I actually joined this running club last year, but never attended a session.  My mindset was one that if I am running, I need to run.  I rarely took any walk breaks over my distances.  During one very hilly 10K distance race last year, I allowed myself to walk up the steep hills and run the downhill and flat sections of the course.  Imagine my shock when I had the fasted 10K time ever that day.  I did think there might be something to this walk/run idea but still didn’t embrace it.

This week, I decided to go out and try it.  A local club member agreed to meet me out at the park and take me through the paces.  It was an enjoyable three mile run for me and I felt refreshed and ready for the full day ahead of me.  We conversed the whole run and I wasn’t worrying about when it would be over, or even about my next breath.  It didn’t matter to me if the run signal came midway up a hill.  I thought I’d hate the stop and start nature of the run, but it felt fluid and natural.  I will most definitely do this type of run again, hopefully next week.

Last night I decided to take a free class at a new local box gym – Orangetheory.  The sales girl has been calling me for over a year, but I’ve never gone.  Since many of my friends have been going and talking about it, I decided to take the plunge and add it to my, Try Something New list.  The group class is conducted wearing a heart rate monitor and your results are projected on a screen for all to see.  I guess they think that’s motivational to the competitive ones in the group.  Me, I couldn’t even see the screen without my glasses so not so much.  My friend was next to me during the 30 minute treadmill segment and she was looking at it and updated me a few times.  The workout is high intensity interval training, keeping yourself in the right heart rate zone throughout the sessions.  It is a 60 minute group class split into cardio and strength training.  I started the class on the treadmill doing what was comparable to the walk/run workout I did in the park.  I alternated between slow jog, push pace and all out running for 30 minutes under the direction of the instructor.  I then moved to a rowing machine segment and strength training.  We rowed for a bit, then did some TRX work, push ups, squats, planks, then back to rowing.  It was a fun, fast paced work out.  For me, I don’t need the competition aspect, seriously who cares what anyone else is doing.  I did like the equipment, music and change of pace though.  I did commit to doing one of these classes per week.  I would have done two, but the price to me is over the top.  Once per week will have to do and I will count this workout as one of my weekly runs.

Overall, doing new things does add spark to your life.  I felt better this week than I have in a long while.  I think it’s the combination of trying new things and being around people.  I am looking forward to this week’s workouts and will continue my climb back from the long winter of broken toes.   What have you done this week to step outside your daily rut?  How has it helped rekindle your motivation?  Be sure to leave your comments below.  I look forward to reading them.

Tuesday Training Tips

Work out Harder, Not Longer

This week’s tip is one I’m currently experimenting with and have included in my workout schedule.  I have included three high intensity interval training sessions in my current workout rotation.  One of the best parts has been that the workouts are considerably shorter – no more than 30 minutes.

For me, the HIIT sessions are running based, speed work sessions that I’ve been performing on the track.  I am using a free APP to prompt me as I run.  It tells me to run/walk, sprint at 80% and then either easy run, or walk to recover.  I love it and feel like I’m improving my stamina.  There are many known benefits of incorporating this type of workout in your weekly routines.

Increased Calorie Burn – research shows that performing high intensity interval training burns more calories in less time.  My 30 minute session burns almost 500 calories. Studies have shown that a HIIT session can burn more calories than jogging on a treadmill for 60 minutes.

Improved Weight Loss – Studies report that 8 – 12 weeks of HIIT could result in reductions in body fat.

Challenging – Plateau BusterThis is not an easy workout and I definitely can’t hold a conversation through most of mine.  But, because it’s short bursts, I’m working harder the entire workout and time flies by.  I feel like these sessions have helped me push through my most recent plateau AND increased my motivation.  You know I love win win situations.

Here’s how to incorporate the principles of HIIT into your current workout routine:

Warm up for at least 5 minutes

Exercise as hard and fast as you can for 30 seconds.  This should be hard, think gasping for breath and feeling like you can’t possibly continue.

Recover for at least 1 minute, still moving at a slower pace.

Repeat the cycle at least 4 more times, increasing to 6-7 as you improve fitness.

Cool down for at least 5 minutes.

Allow recovery time between sessions, so limit HIIT to 2-3 times per week.  This is not an every day event.

For my running routine, the warm-up is walking or a slow jog.  This is followed by a cycle of comfortable run, full on sprint, comfortable run/easy jog.  Cool down is a nice slow jog or walk, depending on the day.   The app I used to get started with this was called Running for Weight Loss.  I use the free version, but they offer a premium version of the app as well.

For biking or elliptical workouts, I just go fast and slower.  On the elliptical an easy way to do is to alternate – one song easy effort, one song harder effort.

My favorite HIIT weight routine is Tabata.  I haven’t done this in a while, but it was my favorite class at the gym.  So much fun and time flies by.

If you are currently including this type of workout in your routine, please comment below.  I’d love to hear what you are doing and how it’s going for you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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