I woke up this morning feeling quite groggy from working late last night. I didn’t want to get out of bed because I knew today was the day that I promised myself I would do more than just run. I knew I had to get in some strength/stability exercises today and although I knew it would feel good to work those muscles, and especially later to be sore …. I also knew that I might get terribly bored, but I had to do it. So after I finally drug myself out of bed, had a few sips of coffee and a handful of almonds and craisins, and after I walked Brady, emptied the dishes, and did whatever else I could to procrastinate … I headed off to the gym located in my apartment complex.
But stepping outside, on this beautiful April day, I felt that it would be a shame for me to spend an hour inside of a smelly apartment gym. (PS April is my favorite month due to it being my Birthday month and all). So I made a compromise. I choose to stick with the plan and run on the treadmill (because I knew if I ran outside I would be tempted to run pretty far and not get around to anything else). But then I allowed myself to do my stability and core exercises in the grassy area right outside of my apartment.
First was the treadmill workout – 10 minutes running, 5 minutes quick walking on steep incline, 4 minutes sprinting all out, and 2 minutes cool down. While I was on the treadmill I thought about what areas and muscles I really needed to focus on and began to create my workout in my mind – well actually not in mind, I wrote it out on my phone.
The workout was really quite simple. All you need is a couple of tools – including a resistance band, and some light free weights. You can pick these up in a box from Target as like a Yoga/Pilates starter kit, and they are really quite useful to have around!
Here is the workout I did: (while listening to Pitbull/ Mr Worldwide! (lol don’t mock my workout music!))
- 40 walking lunges, 20 each side – pretty explanatory – holding the free weights and pausing to balance on each leg in between.
- 20 squats – variation in distance of legs
- 30 pike crunches – legs straight in the air, I like to tie the resistance band around my shoes because it encourages my legs to stay straight and active
- 1 min plank – feet still tied together, and 1 minute on each side
- 20 shoulder rows in plank position, holding the free weights, alternating so 10 rows on each side
- 5 min supine plank – forearms flat on the ground, holding your body up with your palms and heels. Alternate lifting each heel about 6 inches off the ground, feet still tied together with the band.
These are old pictures but it gives you the idea of what I mean by tying the band around your feet. I just forgot to take pictures of it today.
End with some stretches including downward and upward dog, and practicing balancing on alternating legs some more.
Balance and stability are vital to running stronger and preventing injury. I end most of my workouts with a little balancing and flexibility practice, but it is so important to devote the majority of your workout to this every now and then. To be honest, after the workout I actually felt really uplifted and can still feel the energy running through my muscles. It was really nice to be outside and still be able to give my muscles the attention they needed. Running is my joy and keeps my sane, but I know that I need to do other activities for overall fitness.
After the workout I enjoyed some milky oatmeal with a scoop of PB mixed in and a few strawberries on top.
Brady loves to get in my lap while I eat!
Question: Is there any form of exercise that you completely dread or have to drag yourself to do?