Working on my Fitness

Back On Track!

I mentioned the other day, that I was all discombobulated due to a rocky winter. I thought getting back into a fitness routine would really help, so I took that step this Monday. Instead of going back to Les Mills Combat, I decided to do a second round of Les Mills Pump.

I really enjoyed that program the first time around. The music is awesome and I really love all the instructors. So, I figured “why not?!” As was the case with Round 1, I’m not following the program to the T. I’m doing a hybrid with Turbo Fire, because everyone knows that’s my soul mate workout. I just don’t think 30-60 minute walks are sufficient cardio for me. I need more intensity!

So, I got back to work Monday and I feel great! It’s helped me upped my water intake, too. That always helps me feel better. Not that I typically eat poorly (I’m a disciple of the “moderation” school of thought), but I’m sneaking in healthier snacks and more fruits and veggies as well. My old standby “healthy” peanut butter, Better ‘n Peanut Butter, was super old, so I tossed it. I’m now going to grab PB2, which is highly recommended by my fellow Beach Body addicts.

I figure if just a couple of carb free foods are added into my diet, here and there, it will make a difference. I don’t need an overhaul. Shakes, cooking ingredients, cheese, crackers, and milk alternatives are on my list. For example, I used Silk Almond Milk in my Shakeology shakes last year. I’ll probably bring something like that back.

Basically, when I’m in a routine, it’s a trickle down effect on my entire life. I should have forced myself back into this sooner, but life happens! I’m glad I was able to right the ship and break out of my winter rut!

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Helloooooo, April!

april

In so many ways, I’m happy April is upon us. This has been a winter to forget, in many respects!

First of all, we had a real winter. After being spoiled last year, it was a bitter pill to swallow. Then, in February, my father spent a couple of weeks in the hospital and that was not a good time at all. And finally, in March, I spent most of my time concerned about the well being of my cat, Puddles, who passed away a few days ago. Not to mention, I haven’t had a regular workout routine in I don’t know how long!

So, I welcome April with open arms and hope it helps to stabilize my life, spirit, and health. I’m always out of sorts when I’m not working out, and when you combine that with stress in my personal life, it’s a big ol’ mess!

Prior to all these occurrences, I was doing Les Mills Combat, and while I kind of liked it, it didn’t really connect me with the way I had hoped. I wanted it to be love at first rep, like Les Mills Pump and TurboFire. Maybe that’s part of the problem. I need to commit to something that I love, fitness-wise, and throw myself into it. Then, maybe, the rest of my life will work itself out?

So, that’s what I’m concentrating on this week. And who knows. With the temperatures starting to creep up, maybe I can finally hit the pavement and get back to my Couch to 5k podcasts?

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Shape Magazine to the Rescue!

It’s “that time of the month” for me. Yay?

NOTE: If you’re a man, reading this, you might be thinking “OH NO! NOT THAT! TALK ABOUT ANYTHING BUT THAT!” Don’t worry, fellas! It’s not really that type of post.

I noticed that last week — and especially yesterday — that my workouts were really hard for me. It’s been weeks (after my cold) since I’ve been back at 100%, so I was like, “what’s going on with my body?” I was doing lunges, with a barbell, yesterday and could barely do them properly. I kept teetering over and almost losing balance. That’s an odd occurrence for me. My 10 years of ballet pretty much has ensured that I don’t have issues with exercises that require balance.

Then I read an article in Shape Magazine, and it allllll makes sense now!

Low estrogen at the beginning of the menstrual cycle (when you’re actually bleeding) causes reduced muscle tone and impairs coordination, making you more susceptible to injury, especially in the knees, feet, and ankles.

I finished my workout yesterday, but it took a lot out of me because I had to focus all that much more on my form and balance. I also had to take some weight off to make sure I did everything properly. Reading “9 Ways Being a Woman Affects Your Workout” provided a lot of clarity for me!

Here’s some advice Rachel Cosgrove, author of The Female Body Breakthrough, has for when the going gets tough during your time of the month:

You may find that your workouts feel harder than usual and that you’re more tired, but don’t beat yourself up if you don’t set a personal best this week. Just get in and get it done.

It’s never easy when you aren’t able to workout as efficiently as you’d like, but biology has a large say in how your body works. I don’t ignore it, but pushing through, during Aunt Flo’s visits, always makes me feel more accomplished. Even more so than when nothing’s wrong and I reach a goal or milestone. Mother Nature keeps testing me, and I keep fighting back!

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Being Sick Did a Number on my Fitness

Sick

I almost never get sick. Seriously, it only hits me every 4-5 years. For real. I caught a little cold a few weeks ago because I’m an idiot. I washed my hair, didn’t fully dry it, then slept with my window open. Yup. Seven days later, I had a sore throat, which is always the beginning symptom to all my colds.

My colds are really tame. I’ll have a bit of a cough (after the Day 1 sore throat subsides), and that’s about it. Blow my nose, and rid my body of the phlegm, and I’m good.

During my cold, I had to back off of my usual workout routine. I was about 3 weeks into Round 2 of Les Mills Pump. I was bummed, but I had to fight this cold off. I kept my workouts pretty short. Did some “beginner” Turbo workouts every other day, given I didn’t have a cough attack.

After I shook the cold, however, I thought, “let me jump right back into my Les Mills Pump rotation!” The next day, I was hurting!

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Remixing My Couch To 5k Podcasts

Photo by aarmono on Flickr

Since I feel so comfortable with my running routine this year, and can already do 30 minute runs, I thought it was about time to start changing things up. I may have created a ‘From 5k to 10k’ Running Podcast, but I’m not really interested in training for a 10k at this time.

So, what do I do? Get better at my 5k training. And how do I do that? Add in speed work via intervals. I thought of this last night while reading a Women’s Health article about how our fitness/weight loss progress plateaus as soon as our bodies get used to a particular exercise regimen. Basically, we need to switch it up. We don’t have to spend hours on a treadmill or out on the road running. We just need to turn up the intensity a little more!

This is music to my ears because even as gratifying and peaceful as my runs are, I’m not really interested in workout out for more than an hour. I’d rather work harder for a shorter amount of time. And yes, this explains why I love HIIT workouts so much.

So, here’s what I’m going to do. I’m going to start my Couch to 5k plan over, but with a twist! When my voice prompts a run, it’s going to turn in as much of a sprint as I can. It’s just 60 seconds to start. I’ll shoot for that. Then, when it’s time to walk (recover), I’ll try to slow to a jog instead of a walk. I think these changes will both step up my workout, as well as continue to give me results. Win-win, right? Well, that’s what I’m hoping anyway!

I’ll keep everyone posted!

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I Don’t Know What Happened, But I Like It!

HOORAY!

I’ve been posting new ‘From 5k to 10k’ Running Podcasts all Spring, but now I need to talk about my own running/training progress this year. Usually, I restart my Couch to 5k planning, from Week 1 or 2, and build up my endurance so that I’m good to run a 5k race sometime in August.

But, for some reason, things aren’t going according to plan and I’m totally ok with it! I really can’t pinpoint what I’ve done differently this year, as opposed to the past few years, but in May I was already running for 30 minutes straight.

Here’s what I think happened…

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