Thursday, April 21, 2016

My Least Favorite Exercises
and Why I Do Them Anyway

I like the results I see from working out, but I don't necessarily enjoy every moment I'm doing it. Some days you just don't feel like going to the gym, running, practicing yoga, etc. But if you manage to pull yourself off the couch, you never regret it. 

This half-marathon training I'm currently doing is different from previous times in that I am incorporating strength training and group workouts for the first time. In the past, I trained for races simply by running and going to yoga. I'm not necessarily saying that was wrong or bad, but I just wasn't improving like I wanted. If you've ever experienced that, it may be time to seek professional assistance from trainers. And as much as you love your trainer(s), sometimes they make you do things you don't want to do. It's all in my best interest though, so I try not to be too mad when they suggest the following exercises/workouts:
  • Burpees. I just hate them. They hurt. They don't get easier for me. But I do them because they work my entire body, boost my endurance and get my heart rate up. I often go into the orange or red zone at Orangetheory when we do burpees.
  • Pushups. I've had a love-hate relationship with pushups my entire life. While I like what they do for my arms, they are difficult for me. I often have to go to my knees. Pushups get my heart racing and that I love. 
  • Grapevines. We do these at group half-marathon training and I have to really think about what I am doing. They exhaust me mentally and physically, but I know they are important to work the stabilizing muscles (especially in the hips) that are key in running. Don't know what a grapevine is? This video on SportPlan shows you exactly what it is.
  • Leap Frog Sprints. With five people, we start running. The last person sprints to front, then the next person goes, and so on. I was struggling through these at group half-marathon training, but I know they made me stronger and faster. A way to do this type of without other people is to follow these fartlek instructions on the Runner's World website.
  • Rowing. When I row at Orangetheory, it takes everything I have. My legs feel like pudding afterward and it kicks my butt! But I do them for the benefits: increased endurance, improved cardiovascular fitness and a total body workout.
Is there a move you dislike? Let me know in the comments!

Chicago Marathon update!

I was accepted into the 2016 Bank of America Chicago Marathon this year! I'll officially start training for that about four months out, but I wanted to share the news! I may have lost my mind, but I'm so excited to run 26.2 miles through the streets of Chicago!

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Half-marathon training recaps:

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