Happy New Year! It’s 2017 and a fresh start for me fitness wise after the usual over indulgence of Christmas. Do I feel at all guilty? Nope! Well just a little but isn’t that what Christmas is all about. So now it’s time to get back to the Gym and getting rid of those few extra pounds I’ve managed to pile on. So I’ve put together a new workout music playlist to help me get back into the swing of things. I’ve also put together a New Year Running Music Playlist, which is slightly more upbeat but just as good for the Gym.
I hurt my back about over a couple of months ago; it was my own silly fault and I’m still feeling the after affects but the discomfort has now moved to my left hip. Sustaining an injury whilst training can take a long time to sort, weeks even months; it’s been a painful lesson for me and has knocked my confidence and made me re-think my fitness goals. So until sorted, I’ve cut back on the Rack Pulls and Back Squats and instead am using the Leg Press more to work Quads and Hamstrings. Oh and taken warm-ups, cool downs and stretching a little more seriously.
So here’s my latest full body workout, if you want more rep’s to tone just decrease the weight. Also maybe superset where possible, this will get the heart pumping and make your workout more intense! In this full body workout I use Opposing Muscle Group Supersets (Put together 1 and 2, 3 and 4).
I’ve added links if you are unsure of some of the exercises.
I am not a personal trainer or medical professional.
All the views expressed on this blog are my own. I am an experienced runner and train regularly at the Gym. All my workouts have been designed to suit my own fitness capabilities and goals but I am happy to share for those looking for inspiration, workout ideas or motivation.
Before embarking on any form of fitness programme or if you have any medical conditions or injuries please seek professional medical advice.
Summer is well and truly over so it’s time for a change when it comes to my workout music; my last playlist was My Summer Workout Playlist. New fitness goals always coincide with the change in the seasons for me so what better excuse to update my playlist. So if you are after some workout music inspiration as always it’s 15 songs from me, which I’ve put together as an Infographic.
All the songs in my workout music playlists are available to purchase through iTunes and other online music stores such as Amazon.
I train most mornings. I’m not a breakfast person, never have been although I have tried, but I do know that fuelling my body post workout will aid recovery and repair the muscles I’ve worked. For me this Post Gym Smoothie Recipe is not only tasty but is the right balance of protein and carbs. I do use a Nutribullet but I’m sure this works just as well in other blenders. I tend to make it the night before and keep in the fridge. Adjust the oats and add more Almond milk if you find it too thick.
This is one of my favourite smoothies. Its’ full of healthy ingredients and fills me up till lunchtime.
Post Gym Recovery Smoothie Recipe
One Nutribullet tall cup (approx. 590ml)
One big handful of Oats
2 Tbsps. of Greek Yoghurt
One big handful of frozen Blueberries
Top up with unsweetened Almond Milk (fill to max line)
Whizz up till Smooth
Workout music can be a great motivator when you are exercising. It can help take your mind off the a particular exercise, push you on to train harder or even get you to concentrate more. To be honest I don’t always listen to music when I’m training but when I do I try and to mix up the music I listen to and am constantly putting together new playlists.
It’s the start of a new year and this is a popular time for people deciding to join a gym. Some of you have decided to do something about your fitness, tone-up or maybe lose some weight and what better place to do this than your local gym. I applaud anyone that wants to lead a healthier more active life and what better way to start then joining a gym; you’ve made a conscious decision to do something about it.
So you’ve had your induction at the gym, probably been a few times, maybe had a programme written for you. Motivation can start to diminish for all sorts of reasons especially as it can take a few weeks for gym visits becoming a habit and part of your normal weekly routine. You might not be seeing any results, work is busy so you are struggling to get there, the weather is awful and your warm cosy living room is more appealing than an exercise class or a cardio session on the treadmill. To be honest I go through times when my motivation for going to the gym starts to diminish and visits in the week start to be less frequent but there are various tips and tactics I use to get back into it and I’ve listed them in this blog.
Ever heard of the One Mile Running Challenge? No? Let me explain how I came about this. Now I’m a huge fan of running 5km. Main reason is generally it takes no more than 30 minutes so kind of fits into daily life; well mine at least. Plus being able to get 3 runs in a week ticks a box when it comes to my commitment to staying fit.
So what next?
It got to the point where running a 5km became somewhat boring, I’d trained for 5k races. Having become fairly proficient at running a 5km I did what a lot of runners do when needing a new challenge I decided to start upping my distance. Also there seemed to be an abundance of longer distance races I could train for it I’d wanted to commit to training for such an event. So I pushed myself and my fitness by running 10km then when this became less of a challenge I went for 15km. Great you might think? To some extent probably but it also had a negative effect on my running and motivation.
Firstly all of a sudden I was having to commit up to 90 minutes per run. That was not always possible and the guilt inevitably kicked in if I didn’t or missed a gym session in order to accommodate a longer run.
I became a ‘shuffler’; apparently this happens a lot with runners that up their distances. I didn’t seem to have the spring in my running stride that I had developed when running 5km.
Overall my pace began to slow and my performance began to plateau. I might have been tired after a longer run I was never that exhausted that my heart felt like it was going to burst through my chest and my legs felt like jelly; it appeared that my body had adapted to this new distance.
Running further became somewhat boring plus I had to put more thought into route planning.
My motivation began to fade and the prospect of a run lost its appeal; even focusing on the post-run buzz was not much of a motivator anymore.
A new running challenge was required
Trawling through websites for inspiration I happened upon the idea of setting the goal of running one mile. There are many bloggers and running enthusiasts that advocated that this was a great distance to building up speed and quality of running. So I thought I would give it a go! With this new running goal I cut out the 10k & 15k runs dropped to one 5km a week and concentrated on running only a mile a couple of times a week as fast as I could! Ok so running longer distances is a challenge in itself testing endurance, stamina and sheer willpower to stick in there but running a mile can push you just as much but in different ways as I’ve found out since incorporating it into my training.
This was a new challenge for me and so increased motivation, setting a personal best based on a mile meant I had to look at training slightly differently and had to look at incorporating speed work into my running schedule.
It only takes a fraction of the time so easy to fit into a training schedule. Also if you are unable to commit to a 5km or a trip to the gym this is a great option if you still want to squeeze some exercise into a busy day.
High quality; shorter length of time but higher effort levels required. Like a HIIT workout I’m able to put in maximum effort in a short amount if time.
Running a mile at full effort meant that I ran faster; running faster increases your metabolic rate which ultimate means more calories and fat are burned.
Helped with my overall fitness in other areas of my training and doesn’t have the negative impact on my body that a 10km might have.
Helps with overall quality of my running; am still able to maintain a good stride and running form.
Able to incorporate it into a visit to the gym easily; if it’s miserable outside I simply hope onto a treadmill and that’s my cardio sorted!
There are countless health benefits including improving bone density and muscle tone, strengthening your heart and respiratory system, helping to improve muscular endurance and helping to maintain your weight.
If you are struggling with the one mile challenge or wanting to build up speed then think about doing this using intervals. Try breaking down the mile into 8 sets of sprints or 4 sets of ¼ mile (approx. 400m) and aim to run at slightly less that your normal sprint speed. Doing this will ultimately increase your overall speed. Before actually the run a mile, warm up properly perhaps perform some light stretches, a fast paced sprint will help to get your heart rate up before the mile run. When training, try not to run on 2 consecutive days have a rest or cross-train. Cross-training is any exercise other than running such as cycling, walking, swimming; ideally something you enjoy doing. By doing this you will avoid muscle fatigue and lower the risk of injury.
My tips for taking the One Mile Running Challenge
Start with recording your time of your first mile; sounds obvious but you need some form of baseline to start from.
Set yourself a time to aim for but be realistic; you can always revise this target. Focus on breaking a personal record but set it at a time that’s attainable for you and ignore what others say. I initially aimed for a 9 minute mile but I got to the stage of achieving well below that so reset my target time to an 8 minute mile.
Don’t let a bad running experience demotivate you, reflect on what didn’t go to plan but if nothing obvious just move on!
Warm-up properly; make sure you include stretches pre-run and 5 minute cool down to prevent injuries.
Adopt a good running posture; look ahead, arms pumping, run tall.
Drink lots of water.
If you go to the gym incorporate free weights into your routine and concentrate on core work, glutes, ham-strings and quads. Doing this will make you a stronger more powerful runner. I intend to blog about this at a later stage.
Don’t run everyday, if you want to workout try to do other forms of exercise.
If you can invest in good running trainers; I also wear mine at the gym so they have a dual purpose for me.
Still commit to running a 5km on a regular basis; you will find that if you keep the mile training up you will notice improvements in your general running speed.
Get a playlist together; I find upbeat music helps me set a good pace as I tend to subconsciously running to the beat.
Run to maximum exertion. It’s a short amount to time so run it to the max, like a HIIT workout it will burn fat and raise your metabolism.
If you are struggling to run a mile break it up into more manageable intervals. There are plenty of training schedules on the internet you can use with Pinterest being a great source.
Yesterday, I managed to smash my 8 minute barrier. That gave me a huge buzz! My next target will probably to make sure I can run this time consistently before aiming for sub 8 minutes.
I’d love to hear how you get on with this challenge or if you have set yourself other running challenges.
From initially taking up running I’d got into a routine and getting out and pounding the pavements a habit. However, I was also starting to find running a 5km fairly easy going despite mixing up routes and trying to improve on my time. Then it started to happen; the prospect of putting my trainers on and getting out for a run rather uninspiring. I suppose it was a case of now needing something else to motivate me to maintain my fitness.
Old habits can easily start creeping back
As I could have predicted my motivation to keep fit started to wane. 3 runs a week became two then sometimes one or none a week. I was in danger of undoing all the hard work I’d done and forgetting the goals I’d been so proud of achieving. Sitting on that sofa watching Coronation Street instead of getting out there was starting to become more appealing and the norm. An old habit was starting to re-immerge.