Wednesday, July 1, 2009

I came, I RAN, I conquered!

Have you ever been in a relay race? Sixth grade field day perhaps? I just finished a Ragnar Relay on June 20th and it was so exciting! I've always run for exercise, never been in a race. I didn't do sports in high school. A friend from my workout group that I teach invited me to be on her team. Let me explain the Ragnar Relay. The particular one I did is called the Wasatch Back. It is 188 miles from Logan to Park City, UT. There are 12 members to every team divided in half. Each runner has to run 3 times, with varying difficulty. It takes 24-36 hours to run. The first van starts the race, when all 6 have finished their first legs, we switch off at a meeting point, and the second van takes over. When their 6 runners have finished, the switch happens again. So you get your chance to rest and relax and such while the other van is going. I was in van 2. We ran all through the night!! I ran 7.1 miles at midnight and it was wonderful! I felt like I was flying, like I could run forever. Our runners finished at 5:30 and then we slept for 1 hour on the cement at a park. Then started again at 11 for our last legs. We had a fabulous time together, laughing and eating and getting to know each other. So fun to support each other and have the "water girl" jump out whenever you needed it. The van sticks with their runners. Getting each other pumped up was a blast!
Having never done any sports before, I didn't know how competitive I was. Passing was never my initial goal, but once I got going, I wanted to pass everyone ahead of me. At midnight I had 2 guys pass me, but I passed them both in the end...and it felt good!!! No hard feelings or anything, I just didn't know I could do that! I could never have guessed I have a competitive spirit with running. My last leg, 6.1 miles felt like it was 8.5. Probably just exhaustion and some of it was uphill, but it seemed to go on forever.
I enjoyed the beautiful places of Utah I've never seen, and loved getting to know other gals. We were running for Colon Cancer and advertised awareness on our vans. I highly recommend a Ragnar if your state has one. It is great fun. Whether you frequently run marathons, or if you just jog around for exercise, it is worth checking out.
So the point of all this, besides telling you how much fun I had, is to recommend these kinds of fitness goals. If you haven't trained for anything, start now. Find out if your community has a Turkey 10 k for thanksgiving, or see what other kinds of races there are locally. The exercise adds up to something in the end and the weight loss and conditioning are bonuses!!! Experience it and you'll feel so accomplished!

Friday, June 5, 2009

The Habit

One of my major beliefs is, it doesn't matter too much what exercise you do, it's the habit that is most important. (Now don't take this too far and think that doing 20 crunches a day and nothing else will get you results.) This belief of mine stems from a common problem. You have a busy day and before you know it, it's 9p.m. and you haven't done your 40 min run or your DVD or your trip to the gym. You tell yourself the day is lost and you promise you'll do it the next day. From here, you're in danger of another missed day. Think about the habit more than your regular routine. DO SOMETHING!!! Two sets of push-ups and crunches with jumping jacks and jump rope in between them. Run up and down the stairs 20 times and hold a wall sit for 1 minute. > just to name a few

I repeat, it doesn't matter what you do, it's the habit that is most important. What you're fighting for is having your will power in tact, even if your regular exercise isn't possible. You're fighting for the habit, because the habit will carry you through these dips and breaks. You need "I never miss a day of working out" on your side! Your will power needs that. Too often, people miss a day, then it's two, then their frustrated, then they eat a ton of ice cream because "Oh well, I'm starting again on Monday.", to feel better but they feel worse, and Monday never comes.
Tell yourself these 2 very important words when faced with a missed day (or 2 or a missed week).....SO WHAT! "So what! I missed my regular workout. I'm doing something! So take that, ice cream!"
As for summer what you feel good about. If you're body needs a vacation from working out, so be it. Be sure to get back in the habit when you get home. That suitcase will wait for you to unpack it. You're accomplishing so much, don't let a wonderful vacation be the start of breaking your habit.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Walking Race

This will make you laugh. I've incorporated this workout into my classes and given it in personal training sessions. It's a fun one! Try holding one weight in 2 hands right in front of you, just inches from your core. Elbows in, not sticking out. Walk as fast as you can. I mean FAST - like you have entered a walking race and you are in it to WIN it!! So fast, that it would be a relief to run. This is a great way to get that heart pumping without the force on the knee (for those of you who have knee problems). When I do this, I picture myself really in a walking race and like I'm closing in on the finish line with two people on my tail. Depending on where you hold the weight you will work a different section of your abdominal muscles. Hold it low at your pelvis, you're lower rectus abdominus is engaged. Same goes for middle. And holding the weight at your chest, will work the top. Add a little twisting motion with the torso as you walk, you're getting the internal and external obliques. Try it in different positions.
And oh yes, let's not forget the inner thighs! Those are gonna burn like CRAZY!!!
Now, we can't keep this up for too long, so we're turning it into interval training. See if you can do it 1 minute this week. 1 1/2 for the following 2 weeks. After that move up to 2 minutes. You will alternate this with 2 minutes of walking or running. If you're a walker, just add this to your walking routine. If you're a runner, break it up with this weight walking. Need it harder? If you're on a treadmill, take that incline up to 10 and walk 3 - 3.5 mph. Walking outside? No problem. Just do laps in your 'hood or go up and down your street. Leave the weight in a spot out of the way when you're not using it, go back for it when you're 2 minutes is up! This is a great one to do with a buddy, because you can just hand it off between you!(if you're just starting out add another minute or two of walking at your pace before you pick up that weight again)Believe it or not keeping track of the interval timing will make the time go by quickly.
Yes, I know this is simple. How can it possibly work? Don't worry, it does. The interval training is great! Just like it takes more gasoline to drive around town than it does to drive on the freeway. Burn up some more fat winning you're walking race than if you were just going for a long ole walk or run!! (Just be sure to know slow down too much in between.)
30 min at least to start out. In two weeks get up to 45 - 60.
Have fun! Win that walking race!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

What is IT?

Your goal!! What you want to achieve and why you want to achieve it. Only you can answer that. For me, my reasons have changed many times throughout my fitness quest, yours may too. Once you find IT, answering those 2 questions, it's time to get going.
There are so many secrets to success to share, you can pick from the ideas offered here or perhaps you've got your own in mind. This is YOUR goal. YOU set your rules, your patterns.
The major purpose behind this site is to offer different styles of fitness and ideas to help you catch the fire. You will exercise if you look forward to it and you enjoy yourself. Each new post will have new styles or arrangements that are worth trying.