It was 2003 and I’d never run any kind of race before. I was doing my internship to finish up my degree and thought it would be fun to join everyone else in the gym in this “Main Street Mile”. It was only 1 mile so what do I have to train for? The day of the race they placed us in chorales based on speed. I’m fast, I knew I could run at a good pace so I made my way to the front. MAJOR mistake! The gun went off and we all started to run. I of course wanted to keep up so I started FAST. Well, by 1/4 miles into the run I was gassed. Everyone started to pass me real quick and I had to talk my way through the rest of the race. I had no idea a mile felt that long when you sprinted the first 1/4. I did complete the race in 7:24 but it took me the entire rest of the day to recover. And I probably could have done so much better if I knew to pace myself.
How many times have you busted your butt to complete something, then looked back and realized there was an easier way? Clearly, the least I should have done was practice running one mile properly. I think we all underestimate the importance of preparing ourselves for the tasks we have ahead. We need to prepare mentally and physically. How can we do this? We have to establish a plan. I could have easily asked a seasoned runner their advice on what I should have done to complete that mile (comfortably…) Don’t let you ego get in the way of asking someone for help. It will help you get through the task so much better and more prepared so you don’t end up killing yourself to get it done. So whether it is a fitness goal, nutrition goal, occupational goal, etc seek out someone who has completed that particular task before or a professional in the industry. You may learn quite a few things from their experiences that will save you time, money, or just physical stress.
When you start or change any exercise program, make sure to schedule in your rest and recovery days. I always tell my clients to listen to their bodies on a daily basis. Sometimes you may work so hard that you forget to figure this in. For any goal that you have, your recovery days are just as important. Depending on how long you have been exercising and your frequency will determine how much time you need to recover. During your programs it is a good thing to take every 3rd day off as a general rule. You can even schedule in active recovery weeks every 3 weeks. This would just be yoga, light runs, or just light workouts where you are still moving but not pushing yourself. Every 3 months it is ok to take a week off to give your body some quality rest time. If you have any of the symptoms below, it may be time to take a breather:
- prolonged muscle soreness
- lack of motivation
- lack of concentration
- tired all the time
- inability to challenge yourself in your workouts
- Unexplained weight gain
Make sure that you are also getting an adequate amount of sleep every night. There is no cut and dry amount of time for everyone in general, but if you find yourself exhausted mid afternoon everyday you may need more sleep.
Keep this balance in your routine and you will be able to enjoy your workouts so much more!
We’ve all had those days where it can take any excuse and we are just neglecting that workout. There are so many things that can get in the way but it is totally up to you if your goals are important enough. Your body only responds to lifestyles. If you look back at your daily routine and it does not reflect a “fit” lifestyle, don’t expect your body to feel or look the part. I always say that you can tell how someone leads their life just by looking at them. Do they eat right, do they exercise on a regular basis, what kind of workout do they do, are they runners, do they powerlift? Typically you can tell, but they have to be a “regular” at their craft. It has to be who they are. Everyone has peaks and valleys in their lives but those who are consistent on a yearly (not only monthly) basis are the one’s that end up reaping the benefits. 30 day challenges are great to do, but don’t stop there. Let that be a stepping stone to get you started on something that will last a lifetime. Enjoy your workouts, enjoy your healthy food, and make it who you are.
The dreaded alarm!! It goes off at 4:30am for your 5am workout everyday. Do you press snooze? Do you jump out of bed ready to kick this workouts butt? Your day immediately begins with a decision. The benefits of getting up to start your day outweighs the extra hour of sleep you get, but why do we still press snooze and fall back asleep? Immediate satisfaction. Every “bad” decision we make is because it’s easier and we want that immediate pleasure. It’s easy to stay in bed, it’s easy to grab a burger at the drive through, and it’s easy to not plan your meals and eat on the go. However, the easy road does not lead to success in anything we do in life. Every decision we make cost us something.
In sports, the team that wins is the team that makes the least amount of mistakes right? In life, we have these decisions we face everyday (millions of them). The more right choices we make, the more successful we will be at hitting our goals. So think about when you make a bad decision by missing your workout Thursday. Do you chalk it up and say you will restart on Monday? Do you know how many little decisions lie between Thursday and Monday? It will take you on this roller coaster and you will never create the mindset to live that healthy lifestyle you desire. When you want to succeed in sports practice makes perfect right? The more you practice something you are not good at, the faster you will create a habit that no longer requires so much of your attention. So don’t just expect waking up early for one or even 10 boot camps will do it. Wake up at the alarm multiple times until it is no longer difficult. Make the decision to prep your food multiple times until it becomes second nature. After all you are not going going to become a master at a sport by playing only 10 games right?
Repetition is key! Do it until you don’t think about it anymore.