Saturday, October 29, 2011

plans come and go...

That's me, right under that 10-15" that says Poughkeepsie
We're expecting our first snow storm of the 2011-12 season today. Luckily it hasn't started yet and I have some time to make it to the gym and then hit up the grocery store for some bottled water. The electric company is warning of "catastrophic" power outages as a result of the leaves still being on the trees and then tons of heavy snow piling up on those leaves and pulling down branches and power lines. We're on a well here so if we lose power, we lose water and that means no toilet flushing! So we fill up the bathtub with water just in case, but we definitely hope for the best. We were lucky enough during Irene to keep power, so we're feeling that vibe for this storm too!

Today I'm linking up with the bloggers for health series. The theme for this week is "personal workout plan"s. I'm not sure how I feel about workout plans in general. I'm all for training plans for a specific event, but as an over all workout plan, I'm not sure how they work for me.

For me, the change has to be more than a temporary diet, or a workout plan that I'll fall off the wagon with. I need specific goals to work toward. Right now I'm right in the middle of my training plan for my upcoming half marathon. Even with this 6 month plan, it is really hard to stick to it. I've heard tons of runners refer to being "slaves to the plan." They are rigorous, intense, and really demanding. I run Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays with cross training on Tuesdays and Fridays. The only real off day I have is on Sundays. I try to keep Tuesdays and Fridays light, sometimes just stretching or a slow yoga class. Although there are weeks when I'm really feeling it and I push hard on the bike or the elliptical. In addition to that I try to do some sort of strength training 5 times a week. Sometimes it is as easy as simple calisthenics, lunges/squats/sit-ups/etc, but other times I'm at the gym pumping serious iron. (ok maybe not - for my arms I don't use weights more than 12.5 lbs) Really what I'm getting at is that it is freaking hard! It is exhausting!!! I feel great though, I feel like I'm making progress. But really there is no way I could keep this up for more than the 6 months. I would get insanely burned out. I would learn to hate running and working out in general.

I think more than a "workout plan" you should have workout goals. The goal of 6 hours per week, or every other day, or even 4 times a week is more realistic than doing my current plan for any long period of time. After my half I am going to try to do 6 hours a week. That is way down from what I'm currently doing and that scares me a little bit, just based on calorie burn, but I'm looking forward to only 6 hours. The other thing I think is key to keeping up with working out as a lifestyle is to seriously vary the workouts you're doing. I like to use the arc trainer when I'm not running. I set it to hill intervals and climb until my tush is so sore I feel like I can't walk. Sometimes I like to hop on a spin bike and relax and just ride for an hour. It may not be the biggest calorie burn, but it definitely works different muscles and is a lot easier on my knees than running is.

They suggested that I share a workout plan that I think would work for you, but if you've gotten this far you know I don't really love the concept of a workout plan. So I'll share with you what I think good workout goals should be:

  • Workout 6 hours a week
  • Do at least 2 different types of cardio each week
  • Incorporate strength training 4 times a week alternating between arms/legs/core exercises
  • Challenge yourself, if you feel like you can keep going, keep going
  • Don't forget to take rest days, your muscles need time to rebuild
  • STRETCH! I like to do a few simple yoga poses after every strength session

I hope you like my tips for "workout plans" that are easy to stick to. If you're interested I'll also share my half training plan. It is a google doc, just click here to see it!


Kristina said...

Oh man I am right there with you in that dark purple! This is insanity! We are supposed to go out for our anniversary tonight too. :( Boo hoo!

ShutUpandRun said...

Hey Julie! You won my giveaway, so drop me an email so I can let you know your prize options!

Kate @ Daffodils said...

I cant believe it is snowing on the east coast, so crazy! Like your workout inspirations, I desperately need to get back on track!

Callie said...

What a wonderful post. I really love all these ideas. The term "workout routine" can seem a little rigid and inflexible, and it's important to make it a personal thing that works for you! It's also an inside thing too. Health just isn't a physical thing, but a mental thing also. Thank you so much for sharing this!

I am going to do my best to remember to stretch before going for runs and walks. It's easy to forget! Stretching is so important though, to avoid injuries and such.

Callie @

Caitlin C. said...

WOW, I can't believe all the snow that you're forecasted to get! Keep safe (and warm!). I love your workout plan, but I agree- if it's too rigorous it's so easy to get burned out!

bailey j said...

Great blog! :) Really loved all the motivational pictures, especially the last one.. def need to repost that one. Hope the training for your half is going well!