Thursday, June 9, 2011

Cross-Training is Refreshing!

 I think I've said this like 897 times now, but the cross-training I've been doing the past few weeks has been SO REFRESHING! I spent over a year doing nothing but running for exercise. Which was fine and all, but I really was feeling more like it was a chore. So after the race on Memorial Day, I had no other races lined up--not a single one! And I decided to take this summer to take a break from my usual running routines and do something else (while maintaining my running fitness level).

You know I've always referred to my treadmill as a "dreadmill" because running in place is AWFUL--the most boring exercise imaginable. Since I became a runner back in March 2010, I could count on one hand the number of times I ran on a treadmill. I would much rather run in 10 degree snowy weather or 100 degree humidity than log miles on the dreadmill.

However, now that I decided to try cross-training, I discovered the pre-set programs for the dreadmill.
Most of them are more walking than running, but they include some serious inclines. Have you ever walked briskly at a 10% incline?  That shit is HARD. I printed out some intermediate, advanced, and ELITE programs to do on the dreadmill, and I promise that a 15-minute elite workout (walking!) will feel even harder than 60 minutes of straight running at 7.0 mph. I did a 50-minute pre-set workout a couple of days ago, and I don't think my husband has ever heard me say the word "fuck" so many times in less than an hour.

I also started making an attempt at doing strength training via Jillian Michaels' Ripped in 30 and 30 Day Shred DVD's. The first time I did Ripped in 30, I was SO SORE for about 4-5 days afterward. I still have to modify a couple of things on it--namely the push-ups and one of the ab exercises.

One thing I've noticed since doing all this is that my measurements are getting smaller again--finally. My diet is far from perfect, but I lost an inch in my waist after just a week of the cross training. I was a little worried about not being able to run after the summer is over (in the fall, I plan on training again), but a lot of the workouts include some running (usually at an incline, so it's tough) and I might go for a run outside once in a while just to make sure I still can ;)


So, for the first week of my Summer Challenge, I actually gained 3.5 pounds. It was a terrible week I chose to count calories, because I had a bachelorette party, a wedding shower, and get-together with friends. I ate (and drank) a lot of things I normally don't.  I'm actually really surprised I didn't gain more, but maybe it was because I exercised a lot this week. Although, my body tends to retain water when I do a lot more exercise than usual, so maybe that contributed to the gain as well--but I'd bet it was more about chips and liquor and ice cream than pounding it out on the dreadmill ;)
The 50-minute program... I felt like I was going to DIE. So much harder than running!!

25 minutes of pure torture--10-12% incline.

My new goal for this week is to eat a different breakfast every day. Sounds strange, I know--but I always get into ruts where I eat the same thing day after day, for weeks and sometimes MONTHS at a time. FYI, my "weeks" are going from Wednesday to Tuesday, because I weigh in on Wednesdays.
Wednesday breakfast: sprouted grain toast with peanut butter and coffee

Thursday breakfast: blueberry pancakes with butter and syrup
Today I am supposed to go out to dinner with Sarah and her fiance. I'm thinking Middle Eastern food... which is healthy, but SO GOOD that I tend to have a problem with portion control. 

2 comments:

  1. Your cross training sounds awesome! I am intrigued by the intense walking workouts. It sounds like you are kicking some serious butt! Keep it up, woman. My favorite breakfast is toast (with yogurt butter and jelly) and turkey bacon.

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  2. I agree with you, walking at huge inclines can be a bitch! I always catch myself grabbing onto the front of the treadmill, which we all know makes it easier and decreases your calorie burn! I definately don't run as much as I used to, I just don't really like it that much. I've been cross training a lot more lately and I like it.

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