I’ve talked many times about the benefits of strength training, yoga, core work, and other types of exercise – for the general population, but especially for runners, who tend to do the same thing (run) repeatedly without variety. My seventh post ever was called “Mixing Up Your Workouts to Maximize Your Benefits,” so it’s obviously something I believe in strongly. Articles citing the benefits of incorporating strength training into a regular routine pop up constantly, as well. (picture source)
Somehow, though, over the past few months, my balanced workout habits have been slacking. It’s not that I haven’t been exercising enough, but once I started really gearing up for my spring marathon, I slowly started ramping down the 15-minute interval or strength workouts that I used to love tacking on to my daily routine. I still made time for yoga about once a week, but it was often a 20-minute podcast (I use yogadownload.com). I tried to go to Body Pump once a week, but if I skipped it, I didn’t worry. I did a few ab challenges here and there, but I started skipping my planks more frequently than I’d like.
So, even though I’ve been running consistently, I still don’t feel quite as strong as I like to feel. When I’m feeling a little bit softer or a little bit less strong (I hate the word ‘weak’!), I know I need to change up the plan and add in some strength training. It’s actually perfect timing, because it’s going to start getting H.O.T in Texas for the summer, and I know my runs won’t feel as great. During the summers, I try to allow myself to stray from a plan and run whatever distance feels right, but I’m a Type-A girl at heart, and I love having a training plan or a challenge to keep me motivated. (In fact, I’ve been on some type of running “training plan” – almost always made myself – for probably 4 years straight!) (picture source)
So what am I going to do? Focus T25! Have you heard of it? It’s led by Shaun T, the same guy who led the popular Insanity DVDs. Basically, it’s a 25-minute, 5-day-per-week overall fitness and strength program that uses “Focus Interval Training” to squeeze an hour’s workout into just 25 minutes. It’s high intensity, full-body, and leaves you dripping sweat. Well, at least it did for me! I started my first day yesterday, and I’m already excited. I thought 25 minutes would be a breeze, but it was tough! I can’t wait to feel stronger and fitter after finishing the program!
I bought my DVDs from my friend Jennifer’s website, in case you’re interested in trying it out for yourself. She sells all the Beachbody products, including the nutrition products like Shakeology. You can also message her on Facebook if you have questions – she was great in helping me choose T25! (And no, I’m not getting anything from promoting her, just providing the info because I know she’s a great source of info!)
And what about running? Don’t worry, I’d never give up my true love :). But hopefully, sticking to the plan and challenge of my T25 workouts will allow me to just ‘go with the flow’ of running rather than having a rigid training plan right now. I also joined a yoga studio, and I’m going to quit my gym membership tomorrow. Things are a ch-ch-changing, and that’s a good thing! (picture source)
So what does this have to do with you? OK, I’ll be honest, it’s somewhat of a selfish post, because I believe that publicly stating your goals makes you far more likely to actually uphold your commitment. But I also hope it serves as a reminder to mix things up in your own routine – find things that you can get excited about rather than just continuing to do the same thing day after day and (potentially) getting bored by it. What’s the harm in trying something new to keep it interesting?
So tell me in the comments … What new workout have you tried lately? Do you ever do workout DVDs? (I’ve done P90 and P90X, as well as a collection of probably 10 that I rotate through on occasion!) What can YOU do today to challenge your fitness routine?