Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘strength training’

It’s about time I updated on how the 30-day push-up and abs challenges from darebee.com went for me. I completed them “successfully” in that I stuck to the plan of doing the assigned workouts every day for 30 days in a row. It wasn’t easy by any definition — it took 10-20 minutes per day and if I didn’t combine it with my run or cross-training, then I got sweaty twice a day! I liked to do the strength training in the morning because I found if I waited until the end of the day, not only did it weigh (ha ha, no pun intended) on me throughout the day, I also had a harder time doing the work because I was worn out from the day. So I’d wake up, do just enough strength training to work up a sheen of sweat, hop in the shower to rinse off, and get ready to take the kids to school.

The last day of the abs challenge called for 70 full sit-ups, 300 flutter kicks, and a 4-minute plank! That plank wasn’t pretty (picture me trembling through the last minute that felt like forever) but I did it! The push-up challenge was even harder though. I did every workout, every day, until the very last day. I was supposed to do 50 push-ups in a row on day 30, and I could “only” do 30. I finished the remaining 20 in 4 sets of 5.

fullsizerender-4

Ha ha – check out my notes on the particularly hard workouts: “tough!!” “wow” and “killer”

It’s been a month since I finished the challenges and I’ve kept up with the strength training about three days per week. I’m really pleased with the results. I still can’t do 50 push-ups in a row, but I feel stronger (mentally and physically), my body shape changed (no six-pack, but I do have more muscle tone), and I notice a difference in my endurance on runs (it feels easier to hold good form toward the end of a run). I’ve long been a believer in strength training and these challenges just affirmed the power of what a short time investment in body weight workouts can do for your overall fitness.

I’m in my third week of training for the Death Valley Marathon and there are just over 16 weeks to go until the big day on February 4. Last week I ran 38.75 miles but only because I did my 12-mile long run on a Sunday instead of Saturday and then the next 14-mile long run on the following Saturday. Usually I only run 3 days per week and cross-train on 2-3 other days. This week I did an 8-mile tempo run, in the evening, in the unrelenting heat of Southern California. That’s when I really felt like I turned a corner and got back on track (so to speak, again no pun intended) with my marathon training. And then yesterday I did 5.0 miles of hill work. I dropped my 11-year-old at ballet and drove with my 8-year-old to the park. While she played on the playground, I ran half-mile laps around the park on the grass, then ran up and down the hill that’s in the middle of the park. While I was there, the cross-country boys and girls teams from a local high school were training there too. Imagine the lithe, nimble bodies of 15-year-olds, contrasted with my 45-year-old mother-of-three body. But you know what? Instead of being humbled by them, I was proud! Go me for putting myself out there and running hard. And you know what else? One of the cross-country coaches gave me the best compliment. He asked:

What are you training for?

I just love that question/compliment. It’s the question I got when I was training for my first half marathon and someone caught up to me at a stoplight and asked me that and it finally made me feel like a “real” runner — when another runner recognized that I was training for a race.

Anyway, I told him I was training for the Death Valley Marathon, and he told me I was “looking good” and gave me a high five. Totally made my day.

Do you do strength training? Do you have any links to share to core workouts posted online? I like Core H (13 minutes) and 8-minute abs.

 

Read Full Post »

I am an amateur athlete who prides herself on being a fit, fun mom. I have always been focused on fitness as a key to health and well-being. My long-standing goal has been to exercise at least four times per week (now I average six!) At first that meant running, mountain biking, swimming, hiking, or just plain walking. If I had the time, maybe yoga or an aerobics video.

At the age of 39, after having three children, I was ready to commit to more. A friend issued a challenge in March 2011: run 30 miles in 30 days. I was equal to the challenge. My fitness built from there. Soon I could swim a half mile (back to my high school competitive swimming days) and I decided I could commit to a triathlon. Of course that meant that I would need to build on my running ability and get a road bike! Soon I was swept into the world of triathlon. I celebrated being “fit at forty” with my first sprint distance race.

As soon as I finished my first sprint tri, I signed up for an Olympic distance tri. In the meantime, I tested my running fitness at the 5K distance. I was hooked! I loved running. Still, it was the weak leg (so to speak) of my race. I could swim fine and loved the biking but felt like I would slog through the run. I sensed a need to work on my running form and speed. So when I finished the Olympic distance tri, I signed up for a half marathon training class. The class was just what I needed. I trained through injury to run an 8K, a 10K, and finally the half marathon. During the half I told myself I was crazy and I never wanted to race again. Two days later I signed up for a full marathon six months in the future! (That tends to be how things go in the post-race glow.)

That’s where I am now — training for another Olympic distance triathlon, a repeat of my first sprint tri, and my first full marathon! Join me as I talk about my training, about fitness and nutrition, and about how to get the whole family involved in the fun of fitness!

Read Full Post »