Thursday, January 19, 2012

Weighing My Options

Hooray for a strength training workout!
I was in desperate need of some QT with the weights.
Wednesday morning, I went to the gym with a loose plan in mind: develop a strength training workout utilizing as many machines as possible.
I'm not one to get nothing accomplished if I don't have a sound plan in mind. I've mastered the BTN (better-than-nothing) workout, and I understand fully that I'm only cheating myself if I laze around in the gym and don't sweat it out.
I developed a routine that takes exactly 30 minutes and felt great, too!
[The weight machines at my apartment complex gym use a numbered system so that you have to convert the numbers into pounds... That's probably a no-brainer for most of you, but I'm no math whiz and I had better things to do]

Multi-press @5 x20 reps
Bicep curl @6 x20 reps
Tricep pushdown @7 x20 reps
Mid-row @5 x20 reps
Lat pulldown @5 x20 reps
Ab crunch @7 x50 reps
Planks @30 sec x2
Leg extension @5 x30 reps
Inner thigh @5 x20 reps
Outer thigh @6 x20 reps
Overhead dumbell extension @5 lbs. x20 reps

Man, did I feel great after I was done! Except for the skinny guy in the Abercrombie tank who was staring like vision was going out of style (hey, everybody has to start working out somewhere) and the woman I saw on the way home walking with her cat strapped into a pet stroller (umm... what?), it was a fabulous workout. My palms are sore and I'm sure the rest of me will catch up soon, but I couldn't think of a better way to launch my day off :)
In other news...
For those of you who follow me on Twitter (@Girl_Emerging), you know that I've been looking for a beginner's 5K training program. The search may continue, but I have located an accountability buddy who's also interested in training! Unfortunately, most of the programs I've found online call for starting with an "easy" 3-mile run... I'm not at a place yet with my fitness where I consider three miles to be easy. This morning, I discovered a program via Running Times Magazine involving running for a specified time rather than a specified distance, which is very appealing to me. I hate to admit it, but I'm all about the clock when I'm on the dreadmill.
The program directs the runner to gradually increase his or her running time over 12 weeks, which is totally doable for me. Every other day is an "off" day, which I will probably use for strength training sometimes. I don't want to overdo it, though. I'm particularly excited about this regimen because Running Times also provides tips for new runners and first-time racers. I don't feel pressured, overwhelmed, or out of my league. For the past few months, I've really loved running, and I look forward to it on my days off. I hope that's a sign of good things to come!
If you have suggestions for first-timers, I'm all ears! I'm still fairly new to the running game, and running a 5K will be my first race. I hope to implement a plan next week -- wish me luck!

P.S. What was the first race you ran? Did you develop or use a training program? If you haven't run a race, how do you hold yourself accountable when you run? I'm a huge nerd, so I use a color-coded Excel spreadsheet ;)
P.P.S. Updates to follow on the strength training as well as the running regimen!


Colleen @ The Lunchbox Diaries said...

When I first started running, I would run for 2 minutes, walk for two minutes. Then I was gradually able to cut my walking time and up my running time. Hal Higdon has really good plans too. Or the Couch to 5K program. But if you can't find a plan you like, I'd suggest startnig with walk/runs for 30 minutes!

Girl Emerging said...

You're just the person I was hoping would comment :) As of now, the farthest distance I've run without walk breaks is 2.25 miles -- which I'm pretty darn proud of! Fifteen minutes of running is completely doable for me to start, because I've done it before many times and I know it's not a stretch. I did a 30-minute walk/run today (2:00 warm-up, 15:00 run, 3:00 walk, 8:00 run, 2:00 cool-down) and I'm running the majority of the time (23 out of 30 minutes). I've heard of the Couch to 5K program; I may check that out, too. I really like the idea of a plan because it's structured and yet flexible, if that makes any sense. Thanks for the suggestions!