Monday, May 23, 2011

Not Training...Maintaining

In the name of recovery (and getting things organized around our home) I took a whole week off of exercise after the marathon. Now, I am just going to try to maintain half marathon fitness without actually having a goal race in mind. There are a few races I want to run this summer, but I want to have the flexibility to get up on any given morning and say "hey, I feel like running a half marathon today" and then do it. No training schedules...just flexibility. 

I am really going to need to shift my mental focus to maintaining rather than training. This is going to be especially tough for me because I am most motivated when I have a goal in mind. I want this summer to be a little different...I want to be motivated without necessarily having a race in mind. 

Here are some of the ways I am going to work on that attitude shift that I need, so that I can get my exercises in to be fit enough for random races throughout the summer.

#1 workouts are a privilege. I don't want my workouts to feel like "work" trying to fit them into my day. They should be something that I look forward to and want to make time for. In that same respect, it shouldn't be a big deal if I can't fit them in. That being said, I want to make good use of my free time  (a.k.a. my lunch break) when it comes to getting up and getting moving. 

#2 short workouts are still workouts. 10 push-ups every hour? Half hour of yoga at lunch? Yep, they're quick and good at getting blood pumping. No one should feel like they have to be active for more than an hour to get a good workout, though I know it's really common for marathoners. Switching from training, where long runs can be 4+ hours to micro-workouts throughout the day can be a paradigm shift in thinking. That doesn't mean there isn't value in shorter workouts. 

#3 running isn't the only way to get fit. Especially during training, I tend to get caught up in "run, run run" and not enough cross-training. Thankfully I have a goal this summer...the MS150 bike ride. So like it or not, I'm definitely doing something other than running this summer. In fact, running is going to be my cross-training! Look forward to different types of workouts! Trust me, your body is going to love you for it.

#4 flexibility is key. I am going to do my best not to begin feeling overwhelmed because I want to do it all. Sometimes you just don't have the time or energy to get in your workout and do all the other things that you want to accomplish in one day. No big deal. Like Brandon says, "you can plan a plan, but you can't plan results". I like to have a plan but I don't always need to stick to it, and that is going to be a big theme for me this summer. 

#5 combine workouts + chores...and I don't mean chores in the negative sense of the word. I mean, combine things like walking the dogs + running. It's kind of a given actually, dogs have four legs. They can definitely run, and they can do it more efficiently than I can too! Work in the garden can be like weight lifting (we shoveled 3 yards of soil last week, so I say this with absolute certainty). 

So these are the kinds of ways I am shifting my perspective a bit to my approach to fitness. I don't plan to run another marathon for a while, but I really want to just run. The weather here is starting to turn summery (well, kinda...) and I just want to make sure I maximize my time outside while I can, whether that is running, biking, playing with the puppies, working in the garden. Sometimes I forget that I don't need to do a traditional "workout" to get a workout. 

My yoga teachers have always said to practice salamba sirsasana (headstand) to get a change in perspective. I think I'll start there.

Peace, Love & Bagels,

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