Well I probably don't have to tell you that the winter months with all it's frigid air, snow and ice, in combination with being a blogger, can really take its toll on the old body. And the older you get the slower that dang metabolism of yours is going to be. So during this incredibly deep freeze we have been in here in the northeast, I have made the commitment to get out and really burn some major ass-fat!
No that is not my back end, I am not quit there yet. Just using this pic for illustration purposes. But it is not like I couldn't eventually grow out of my nice comfy office chair if I don't do something about it now!!!
So what am I doing?
1. Finding the Motivation ~ The first thing for me was to find motivation to get to the gym. And while I have been contemplating on going back to the gym for some time now, my motivation to get there actually came completely out of the blue. Last week Grace asked me to drive her and one of her girlfriends up to the YMCA for an hour long class they wanted to take. So instead of just dropping them off and maybe going grocery shopping or going back home, out of pure laziness with regard to driving I decided to stay and get on the treadmill. I did nothing too strenuous, just walked at about a 15 minute pace and played a little solitaire on the cool new equipment they have. Well time flew by and towards the end I thought I'd do a little jogging. Not bad for an hour's worth of work as I burned about 300 calories and got my heart rate up just a little. On Friday the kids were off from school for President's Weekend so we headed up to the gym and again I got on the treadmill, played a little solitaire and time flew by. I hit the gym yesterday and today, and now I am in a groove despite myself.
2. Cutting Myself a Break ~ While I am pleased that I have found my way back to the gym and I feel good after my hour on the treadmill, I still find it hard to look at the pace control and know that I can't run the way I was able to when I was training for my marathons. The weight is definitely the main factor but also my poor circulatory system is not able to successfully keep up with the increased oxygen demand I am putting on my body. So I need to be realistic and take it slow, but not too slow. I do want to blast some ass-fat!
3. Incorporating Fartlek Training~ While training for marathons many runners will incorporate what they call Fartleks into their runs which helps to increase theri overall speed. A funny word I know, but Fartlek is a Swedish word which translated means "speed play". Fartlek training is an unconventional way of blending continuous training with interval training. So for example you get on the treadmill and do your warm up walk, then you ramp up the speed for a short period of time, about 45 seconds to 2 minutes, to the pace of a gentle jog, and then you slow the speed back down to your walking pace. The amount of time you jog versus walk is totally up to you, your body will let you know when to slow down to recover, and when you are recovered enough to ramp up again. The goal is to keep repeating this walk jog sequence for the duration of your workout.
The best part about training like this is that it is a very effective way of blasting fat and revving up the old metabolism at the same time! Alternating the intensity of your workout will actually help your body burn more calories than if your kept your workout at a steady pace. This is because you are stressing both the aerobic system (with your walking pace) and the anaerobic system (by the speed burst of your jog), for a more effective calorie burn.
Case in POINT
I know when I trained for my first marathon back in '09 I did EVERYTHING I could think of to prepare for race day. I really had no idea what I was up against since it was my first marathon, so I did a whole lot of treadmill training incorporating Fartleks. Two years later when I was preparing to run the NYC marathon all of my training was done on the road, with little to none in the way of speed training.
By the time I got to the start line of my first marathon, the Philly marathon, I ran my 5'7" frame at a lean 146lbs.
However due to the way I trained two years later, I ran the NYC marathon a good 13 lbs heavier, at roughly a 159lbs.
That is a BIG DIFFERENCE when running 26.2 miles!
Now mind you I trained for the SAME period of time, just how I trained was different.
In addition to my going back to the gym I am also incorporating even more vegetables into my diet along with lean proteins like fish. I am really hoping to drop a good 10lbs by mid-March and 20lbs by May. And if I am feeling good and my weight loss goals are on track, I may even think about running another 1/2 marathon this spring.
I will keep you posted!!!