Tag Archives: sports

Workout Wednesday: Guide to Building Your Own Workout

 

 

Last Wednesday I had a crazy busy morning and didn’t have time to squeeze in a workout. I resolved to workout if I got a long enough lunch break or to just save it until after work. I am proud to say that I managed to workout, shower, eat lunch, get ready, and make a smoothie all within a 45 minute lunch break. That’s right, I am Wonder Woman.

 

Wonder Woman Covers

Wonder Woman

In the end, all of my time efficiency comes from having a routine for each of these things. I had the blender on while I was getting dressed and I was eating lunch while my hair dried. It’s all about thinking out a plan on the car ride home and not dawdling even a little bit. Which is what I’m trying to do this very morning so moving on…

The workout I did was quite unique. I realized on the drive home that I wouldn’t have time to look up a workout with the lovely Zuzana Light so I made up my own. I just chose some full body exercises and a time crunch that would make me sweat AND hurt at the same time. Sounds like fun right??

Here was my workout:

3 rounds of 5 exercises. Do each exercise to the max for 40 seconds, rest for 20 seconds, start the next exercise. Repeat each round 3 times.

Exercises:

1. Pushups (from my knees because my pecks are strangely weak)

2. Crunches (with my legs straight in the air)

3. Squat to shoulder press (with weight, use water bottles if you don’t have weights)

4. Lunge Jump (lunge down then jump up and switch legs)

5. Leg raise (Lie on the ground and lift legs up to 90° angle, keeping them straight, then lower them)

This workout ended up being killer and I felt pretty awesome for formatting my own. Some rules to help you do the same:

– Make sure you know the correct form for an exercise before you do it alone. Wrong form makes you prone to injury. (If you don’t know, just google or youtube it!)

– Establish reachable goals for the workout like “I want to do 30 crunches in each 40 second time period.”

– Keep the whole workout under a time limit so that you feel like you’re really accomplishing something in a tiny bit of time.

– Record all your numbers so that you can look back and try again in a few weeks. Track your progress!

– Be proud of what you’ve done and build on it, nothing’s better than self-propelled success.

 

I repeat: nothing is better than self-propelled success. So get off your bum and get it done!

And be sure to SMILE in between grimaces 🙂

 

 

Tip of the Day: Where Do I Run?

First, shout out to my Gran. She is my most devout reader and I was thinking about her a lot during my run today. Love you Gran!

And now the actual post: After two days of lots of work and no working out, I climbed out of bed, quickly got dressed before I changed my mind, and went out on a run. Before I ran, however, I had to decide where to run to…

This can be a tough one, especially when you live in a city made for cars. Some people need a different route every day but for me its more about predictability, otherwise I would never run anywhere.

If you’re like me and need some predictability but also some room to progress, here are some tips:

– find a park or running/bike trail with boundaries like fences or walls to keep cars out

OR  find a great block or two near your neighborhood to run/walk around.

– find a pleasant way to get from your house to this place

– map out your first run on mapmyrun.com to get your starting distance

Peoria has a great abandoned railroad that they are converting to a bike/jogging path called the Rock Island Trail. According to Map My Run, the head of the trail is 1.75 miles from my house. Today, Day One, I ran that distance and back totaling 3.5 miles. It was tough and full of hills but I did it! Also, sadly, there are areas where there’s no sidewalk which sucks but it’s only for a short distance.

no sidewalk^ No sidewalk?? WTF mate!

Hopefully soon I’ll get comfortable enough to run/walk some of the actual trail.

^ The trail head, hopefully I’ll run some of it next time.

Also, just for fun, we were eating breakfast on the deck and Mike decided it would be a great idea to feed the bunnies some celery stalks. Hahaha. This is why I love him.

The Wonderful World of Bikes

I ride bikes. Scratch that, I LOVE riding bikes. My family is very health conscious so I was a regular at the gym play room when I was a kid and then, for my 11th birthday, I got a gym membership of my own. That gift began a lifetime commitment to fitness. Soon enough though, I realized that gyms are boring! So I tried every sport in the book (basketball, soccer, track, swimming, water polo, softball, you get the idea) and sucked at pretty much all of them. I came to realize that I’m terrible at anything that needs hand-eye or foot-eye coordination. It was pretty frustrating because I always knew I could be good at something if not for the passion and discipline I would bring the sport.

Finally, in 2008, I accomplished one of my goals of doing a triathlon. I was in San Diego (the mecca for triathletes) for a 6 month internship and joined the Tri Club of San Diego. They have an incredible calendar of multiple training sessions per day and it was so easy to jump in on a few of those before and after work. They also held FREE monthly sprint distance triathlons and before I left to head back to Boston, I had done six. SIX! I also managed to squeeze in the Pumpkinman Olympic Distance at Lake Mead in Nevada.

When I got back to school I realized how crazy expensive triathlons are so I looked for a new outlet. I always loved to swim so I did some of that but it’s so fricken lonely. Then I found Green Line Velo. It’s a Boston-based bike race team started by a couple of kids that graduated from my school. I joined one of their community rides and, in my first day, met several people who would become my best friends. Triathlons drifted to the back of my mind for a while and I got fast on a bike.

Image^ that’s me! we had a pretty sweet team photo shoot (photo credit to Sam Rosenholtz)

Image^ me and some teammates on a training trip in New Hampshire.

I joined my school’s bike team my junior year and felt really sad that I hadn’t joined sooner. Collegiate road racing happens for all of March and April and became my favorite time of year. My last year at school I volunteered to captain the team (along with Mike, my now boyfriend) and we had one of the best adventures I’ve ever been a part of. While it was an incredibly intense nine weeks, it was well worth it. We would leave midday Friday, drive several hours to our host housing (usually a teammates’ parents), sleep for a few hours, then race both Saturday and Sunday. Monday through Thursday was spent cramming in ALL classes and homework (this was pretty hard during thesis time).

In the last few years I have discovered an amazing world of cyclists. People that are so dedicated and excited to be a part of the sport that they’ll do anything to see you get into it as well. Seriously. Next time you meet someone on a bike, mention that you were thinking about going out on a ride sometime; they will inevitably invite you on various group rides and make it impossible for you to resist. And honestly, don’t even try. The people I met on Green Line Velo and my collegiate team have become some of my closest, most encouraging friends. They’re amazing people and they’re totally worth the 7am wake ups and ridiculous training rides.

Image

^ that’s me in the white helmet with a great friend of mine, Carolyn, in the pinstripes (photo credit to another friend, Chatura Atapattu)

ps. I fully intend on reentering the tri world but may have to wait until my real life job starts panning out and I can afford it.

Questions: Have you ever thought about riding bikes? Why haven’t you started already? Please comment, I’d love to hear what everyone else has to say.