20min is my magic number

One of my least favorite parts of training is stretching. I know all the reasons why working on flexibility is important, but that does nothing for making me want to spend time on it. I am terrible when it comes to making sure I have a good stretch after a workout. I don’t like stretching. I don’t like it primarily because I find it boring. I try to get myself to spend some dedicated time on flexibility by fitting in a little yoga in my week, but I suffer the same problem with yoga as I do with general stretching. I am bored to tears 20-30min into a yoga class. After 20min I am looking at the clock every 30sec wondering when it will be over so I can do something else. My brain is no longer in it after 20min. Any benefits to be had from a full hour of yoga are usually wasted on me. So I have instead been trying to do two yoga sessions per week at home and keeping them to 20min. 20min is the magic number for me. I can concentrate on the yoga for 20min and lie down at the end and feel like I had a nice stretch and feel all zen or whatever you want to call it. Going much past 20min and my bored switch goes off and my mind body connection goes on vacation. Who knows, maybe if stick with 20min at a time for awhile I can build my tolerance.

A non-runner’s 5K training

So I have decided to go ahead and work on running 5K. I am not a runner. I am not new to fitness, but I am a novice runner. I spent some time looking at various training plans for 5K. I found most 9-12 week programs were meant for people starting at a lower level of fitness and began with a fair amount of walking and not much running. I decided these were not for me since I already walk a lot. They would mean starting at too easy of a level. I walk my dog 45min every morning. I also walk to and from the gym on my strength training days. I do cardio in the form of HIIT workouts that include plyometrics, and I spin. So my cardiovascular system is in good shape, but I need to allow some time for my ankles to adjust to running (I have sprained them a few times.)

My greatest barrier to running is my brain. I have always hated running. All my life running has always felt like a chore. It was the icky thing some nasty gym teacher made me do cold turkey with no thought to progession or differences in individual fitness levels. I sucked at it. The only time I got an A in gym class was when we did swim lessons. That is when I taught the runners how to do shit properly and left classmates choking on my turbulence. I need to teach my brain that running is not so bad and that I can do it for longer than I think I can.

I have decided on a 6 week program with three training sessions per week. The program uses a progession of walk/run ratios that change every 2-3 training sessions slowly increasing the length of run intervals. I have already done the first two training sessions of week 1 and I felt good. It wasn’t miserable. I didn’t hate it. I was also able to do this after my strength training with no problem. Strength is still my priority, so I wanted a run schedule/goal that would not leave me sacrificing my strength training. The first session was a basic 1min walk/1min run x10. The second run was 2min run/4min walk x5. I will repeat this second run once more to complete my week 1 training. Week 2 will start with 3min run/3min walk x4.

My chinups are getting better. I have to do them with some assistance, but I am determined to get to the point where I can do a few unassisted.

So I have this blog . . . now what?

So decided to start this blog in 2013 and I think I have done a so-so job in terms of keeping it up (lets just ignore Dec 2013 to March 2014 and pretend they didn’t happen). I am having a hard time finding things to write about. I want my blog to be primarily fitness based, but I don’t feel like posting my food dairy, taking pictures of my food, and listing all my lifts on a weekly basis. Not that there is anything wrong with these kind of posts. I follow several blogs that do this and I love reading them. I just don’t feel posting these myself is really my thing. My other option is setting a goal of some kind and blogging about my plan/journey/experiences to reaching said goal.

I have been toying with the idea of trying another 5k run. I did a 5k fun run a few years back and hated it. To be fair I also didn’t do a very good job prepping for it. I really didn’t know how and I was working 7 days week so it was very difficult to train. (In fact my fitness suffered horribly at this time period.)

Runners don’t laugh at me. I know 5k is not a long distance, but a runner I am not. I do not see myself ever running a marathon. (Although, I thoroughly enjoy reading about other peoples’ marathon and ultramarathon experiences. I mean ultramarathoning – that is some impressive shit! Like a regular marathon wasn’t already impressive enough.) I like lifting heavy things and I like my cardio in the form of kickboxing, plyometrics, skipping, HIIT, lots of walking, and a bit of spinning. Running has always felt like a massive chore to me. I hated the monotony of it and the jarring feeling up my spine. But recently when I have tried just doing a little sprint work on the treadmill I have noticed a lot of the discomfort I have always associated with running isn’t there anymore. I choose to attribute this to my strength training and plyo work. My knees and core must be stronger and better able to handle the impact of the running. So trying another 5k seems like a reasonable and attainable training goal for a non runner. The smaller distance also means I should’t be scared away from running again by having to log in uber training sessions. (Also see previous post about cardio vs. weights.) Still not sure I really want to do it though. Still thinking about it. Maybe I can recruit someone to do a fall fun run with me . . . will start looking for victims.

I do want to be able to do unassisted chin ups. I have been working towards those.