Saturday, January 1, 2011

Exercise Tips for 2011

I went to the gym this morning (yes, WITH a cold) and while I was doing my run/walk, I had a bunch of thoughts I wanted to throw out there regarding exercise.
For anyone who has known me a long time, you might chuckle at the idea of my blogging about exercising, never mind giving TIPS on exercise, but here we are.
Something I have learned about regarding exercise is how to push myself. If you had asked me 3 years ago if I could run a block, never mind a 5K, I would have laughed until I cried. Never, in a million years would I have thought I would be this into exercise. But, being totally "self" taught (I've never really had formal training sessions that worked) there are things I know to concentrate on when I am working out. Today, for example, I have a chest cold. I knew this was going to affect my run, and sure enough, I ended up walking as well as running.
Was this session a bust?
First of all, I consider anytime I get my ass to the gym or up to work out a success. But, I have found I love pushing myself. So today, even when I was walking instead of running, I would focus on pulling my abs in, making sure I was standing tall and not leaning forward, and I also pushed myself in regards to speed. My normal range of speed is 3.5 (walking/warm-up) to 5.0 (running). So, today, since I was walking more than normal (no doubt due to my cold) I defaulted my walking speed to 3.8 and I ran up to 5.3. This is why I only ended up adding 2 minutes to my best time.
Some other ways I push myself: When I am beginning to feel fatigued and feeling as though I need to stop running, I try to make it to "the next". The "next" minute. The "next" song. The "next .2 miles, etc. Using this technique was the way I enabled myself to finally fully run my 5K.
So, for example. I'm feeling tired, and I really want to walk, but I see that I am at 28 minutes and 45 seconds. My "push" will be to make it to 30 minutes. I tell myself "you can do absolutely ANYTHING for a minute". Then, maybe I make it to that 30 minute mark, but I notice I am close to 2.5 miles, so I strive for that. So on and so forth. Suddenly, you've run longer, faster, and harder than you thought you could. It's an amazing feeling.
Proving to myself that I can do all I have done so far, I KNOW I can accomplish whatever I want. 10K? Half Marathon? Marathon? Sure, if I choose to.
Another important aspect of exercise to me is MUSIC. I NEED fabulous, exciting, driving music to keep myself running. Here is an example of my running playlist

Just Dance - Lady Gaga (warmup)
Womanizer - Britney Spears
Toxic - Britney Spears
Pump it - Black Eyed Peas
Hey Ya - OutKast
Girlfriend - Avril Levine
Single Ladies - Beyonce
I gotta feelin' - Black Eyed Peas
Poker Face - Lady Gaga
If You Seek Amy - Britney Spears
Evacuate the Dance floor - Cascada
Blah, Blah, Blah - Ke$ha

You get the idea - fun, fast paced music is a MUST for me to accomplish what I do.
Anyway, I am sure I will have lots more to say about exercise this coming year, as I learn more and do more. I will be sure and share this info to anyone who is interested! :-)

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