Finally theres light at the end of the tunnel and I am starting to wake up in the mornings not looking like I’ve just done 6 rounds with Sugar Ray Robinson and sounding like an eighty year old bloke with a 40-a-day habit. I’m not 100% yet, but definitely feeling much better and ready to crank things into second gear.
On Wednesday evening after I’d popped the kiddies down in bed I managed a steady 5 miles at an 9.11 pace on the treadmill while watching the Final of America’s Next Top Model (a guilty pleasure of mine). I’m going to be honest, it was tough, I wanted to get off at 2 miles and my chest was pretty wheezy when I’d finished. My throat still feels like someone has given it a heavy going over with industrial grade sandpaper. It was for that reason I thought it best not to push it and didn’t run my planned 3 miles of speedwork on Thursday.
I did however back up my run with some weight work, the living room was set up like my own personal gym with the dreadmill out, my weight bench, exercise mat and weights. I use very girly weights, only one 5lb dumbbell on each arm (and it’s taken me some time to build up to that). I’m no expert, but I feel that’s enough for my purposes. I went through a 30 minute programme which included one set of bench presses and crunches, leg curls, lateral raises, triceps dips and many more, names of which I am still learning. Running doesn’t do much for upper body, I’m fortunate I do so much Zumba as that is great for upper body toning but I still feel that a little extra strength work will help with my running form and help keep me tight when I dance.
A typical session goes like this:
Bench Press x 8 – 12
dumbbell Fly x 8 – 12
One Arm Row x 8 – 12
Leg extension x 12 – 16 (I don’t have a leg attachment on my weight bench unfortunately so I use a 2kg sandbag strapped to each leg to do these leg ones)
Leg Curl x 12 – 16
dumbbell Press x 8 – 12
Lateral Raise x 8 – 12
Shoulder Rolls x 8 – 12
Upright Row (with 1 dumbbell) x 8 – 12
Tricep Press x 8 – 12 (with one dumbbell)
Bicep Curls (I’m pretty sure we don’t need a picture for this one) x 8 – 12 on each arm
Pull Over x 8 – 12 (this one is tough)
Bench Crunches x 10 – 30+
Reverse Sit-Ups x 10 – 30+
I like to finish off these sessions with some dynamic stretching – often use a Pilates style set of stretches which I find loosens things up nicely. I am a fan of Caroline Sandry’s “Shape Up” and “Core Body” workouts. Which can be found here:
Actually, while I’m on the subject, these core workouts I personally find are great for stretching out after a run too – sometimes when I stretch after running it can all get a little vague and rushed. Doing one of these really helps to remind me of proper form and to spend enough time on stretching out.
This is all fantastic of course, or at least it would be if I could keep my diet in check right now. Which seems to be completely failing me. I have too many excuses, it’s Christmas blah blah, I’ve been poorly and vulnerable blah blah. I’ve been enabling myself to overeat and it doesn’t feel good knowing that I have. Yesterday I stuck to my eating plan perfectly all day, then at about 8pm I spoiled it by munching my way through a large bowl of muesli with extra raisins and a couple of rounds of extra cheesy toast. You may have noticed that at least when I did overeat my food choices were still good ones but excess calories are excess calories regardless of where they came from so I’m annoyed at myself.
I’m hoping that this very public confession will motivate me to get back on track with the food aswell as the exercise. You can run everyday and attend as many exercise classes as you like but simple fact is this, if you eat more calories than you burn you’ll still be fat. It’s a common mistake people make to think they are owed extra food since they have just attended an aerobics class for example. The problem is that people greatly overestimate the calories they burned and can actually end up gaining weight as a result. I however know the facts on that score and so don’t have that excuse, I’m just being greedy!
Today is Friday and I’ve got a nice steady 5 miles planned for this afternoon, my husband is off work for the Christmas holidays now so I may even be able to get outside which I would much prefer, my blog entry for a discussion on treadmill verses outdoor running will be up soon I’m sure…
Tomorrow, Saturday is Christmas Eve and I’m filling up my ipod for enough motivational music to last me 12 miles for my weekly long run. That will definitely be outside, I think 12 miles on the treadmill would officially drive me insane!
Sunday is of course Christmas Day – I think I’ll take it off 🙂
Merry Christmas everyone xxx