One of the reasons why some people give up and some people keep with their exercise programmes is down to flexibility and variety. I’m not talking about stretching or anything such thing, I’m talking about being flexible with your workouts, and if you can’t do your scheduled workout, then do a variation of what you were aiming to do in the first instance.
For example, if you were planning to run for 30-40 minutes, and somehow you only had 10-15 minutes, and were still focused on great progress, I would rush over to the nearest most vicious looking hill, and hammer 6 sprints forwards, and 6 sprints backwards, each for a total of 30 yards of so. If you go flat out, you WILL get a great workout in!
Jean asked about interval training, should she do it? I think Jean already knows the answer, of course you should jean and show everyone what you can do! I always say that most people are only limited by their imagination when it comes to training variety.
Jean is talking about interval training, which could be described easily as jogging between one lamppost, then sprint the next post, then jog the next, then sprint the next one and so on. Now THIS is a workout that you will struggle to last more than 5 minutes each time, it is that intense!
Now we are starting to use our minds for our workouts, please don’t end up like some mindless zombie doing boring treadmill runs all the time, PLEASE, PLEASE vary it, not only because it brings great results doing different workouts, but freshens up your mind too!
One word of caution before doing ANY type of sprint work. In my experience, it is always advisable to do some kind of warm up before you sprint flat out, the always present threat of pulling a hamstring or groin never goes away, and the more weight you carry, the bigger danger there is. I’m not being prejudiced there, I’m just saying that I’ve done a million sprint sessions, and although you will get massive benefits from the session, the goal should also be not to get injured, in which case you probably wouldn’t run for a month at least!
The different ways of training are literally endless, and although you must still have a good structure in place, any type of workout is good as long as it’s safe and you’re capable of doing it. The more experienced you are, the more options you should have and as you should realise by now, it’s not simply a case of training for longer the fitter you are, that’s simply not true. It’s about doing “higher quality” training sessions in the time to suit you, and as long as you are improving physically, that’s a great sign surely you are doing all the right things.
Always stick to your fitness standards and we all have our benchmarks on how we are doing. Most people training with me may have a very tough hill as a benchmark, if they can do that consistently, they know they are in great shape. If you can do 40 press ups in one go, and your new limit is just 25, you know you have been slipping and you need to re-examine what you’re doing.
Being in shape physically and mentally can be easier than you think, as long as you know what your good standard in life is, and you try your best to stay there, even through the highs and lows that life often brings.