Summer Fitness Plans
After putting my fitness on the back burner for far too long, tonight I sat down and thought about a summer fitness plan. This is the first summer in a long time that I’m not in marathon training mode. The fact that all of those attempts resulted in not starting the race at all or dropping out part way is beside the point. While I do have a fall 5k as my current goal race, I know that “just” doing Couch to 5k isn’t enough for me. I want to be clear in that for those just starting (or re-starting) their fitness journey, doing that program three days a week is a fantastic place to start. But, I know that I want and need more.
What I’ve learned about myself in recent years is that I tend to bite off more than I can chew. Hence, all the tried and did not finish marathons. I refuse to say tried and failed because I don’t consider them failures. Every single one of those attempts taught me something. Like, that I bite off more than I can chew.
When I started considering my fitness routines moving forward I knew I needed variety. Both mentally and physically, I need to mix things up from day to day. Running is my first fitness love, without a doubt. When I log too many miles without enough other activity, that’s when I get hurt. We’ll call that marathon training life lesson number two.
I made a spontaneous decision today to start back at day one of Jillian Michaels’ Bodyshred program after completing it in May. The design is six workouts a week and one rest day, which I followed religiously this spring. This time, I am okay with spreading out those workouts a bit more. Couch to 5k calls for three days a week. But, I still want to do yoga and spend time on my bike. The question quickly became how to fit it all in without burning out quickly. Or, more importantly, setting my injury-prone body up for failure.
Summer Fitness Plans
While far from perfect, my rough plan for the next few months is:
- Bodyshred: 2 times a week
- Running/couch to 5k: 2 times a week
- Cycling: 1 time a week
- Yoga: 1 time a week
- Active rest day: 1 time a week
If there are days that I double up and go for a run after yoga, that’s awesome. And, if the chance to go standup paddle boarding preempts a yoga class, great. The bigger intent is to be doing something and this a framework for that. I want to give myself the freedom and flexibility to ease back into a more intense training schedule. I hope to get back into distance running after the first of year, if not sooner, and I know that schedule will be more intense. I’m not saying this is not intense. For most of the last eighteen months, my fitness was sporadic at best. But, I think this plan is a great complimentary mix of cardio, strength training, and flexibility.
While I’m not following any plan as designed, I’m following a plan that works for me. At the end of the day, that is the most important part of any exercise regimen. It’s a delicate balance of creating a program that will move us forward without setting us up for failure. It’s considering where we are not just physically, but mentally and emotionally. Last year, I crashed and burned in my Chicago Marathon training because I was in no mental or emotional state for that kind of commitment. I have no doubt I could have slogged through the miles, but that’s not a great approach to anything, let alone something like marathon training.
This summer, I take baby steps back into the fitness world. For the first time in a long time, I’m excited to have a plan and something to work for. More often than not, my Bodyshred workouts felt like an obligation this spring. While I am so proud of myself for finishing that program, it was a rare day I wanted to push play. I’ve longed for the days when I’m excited to lace up my running shoes or unroll my yoga mat. I think I’m tiptoeing on the edge of that and it’s encouraging.
Today, I took another set of “before” pictures and updated measurements. I’m excited to see where a summer of solid dedication to fitness and nutrition will lead me. I’d had many a new beginning since this healthy living journey began back in 2006. I am the textbook example for losing weight, gaining twenty pounds back, and rededicating. I’ve trained for marathons that I didn’t finish only to think that training for another marathon is a good idea. I started Bodyshred more times than I can remember before it finally stuck.
This time, though? This time feels unspeakably different. It’s time it feels like I’m ready to live a life that sizzles and pops.