So, I’m not going to lie you guys, this week of running training was really difficult. This week consisted of running for 5-minute segments and 3-minute segments, with smaller walking breaks in between. I think I’ve finally conquered the 3-minute run, but those extra two minutes are killer, and I definitely felt it in my legs the next day!
Even though the 5-minute runs have been hard this week, I have found some strategies to help me through the workout. First of all, I try to focus completely on how many calories I’m burning instead of staring down the clock and wondering when I can start walking again. I also try to focus on the music I’m listening to instead of the time. For whatever reason, time seems to go faster that way, and I am able to push through the running segment, even when I feel like I want to die (this is extremely dramatic of me, but you get what I mean!)
Another thing that has helped is slowing down and briskly walking for short 30-second bursts when I feel like I need to catch my breath. Even though I was kicking myself a bit about having to take these little breaks in between running, I have to keep reminding myself that I should be realistic about what I can and can’t do, and take it slow when I need to. If I force myself to go too hard, I know that I will regret it.
Not only could I potentially risk injury, but I will also come to resent having to run, and that’s something that I don’t want to happen. I started this running journey because I want to have a healthy appreciation for running and try something challenging, and that’s not going to be possible if I come to hate my running days.
Something great about this week is that I’ve officially pushed through another threshold. I am now burning over 400 calories during my running day workouts, which is awesome. This is typically the calorie count I have for my meals, so it’s exciting that I’m officially burning the equivalent of one breakfast or lunch when I run. I know that a lot of people burn double that during workouts, but every little increase is something to be celebrated.
Since I had trouble with day 1 of this week’s running workout, I was a little apprehensive about going through with the second day, but I still decided to try it out, keeping in mind that I would take little breaks if I really felt myself running out of breath or getting sore legs. As long as I was able to finish the workout, I would consider that a success.
Despite my doubts, I definitely saw a little bit of an improvement on this day, but I also decided that I may benefit from repeating this week of workouts next week. I typically look ahead in my running program once I’m almost finished with the workouts for the week, and I noticed that I would be running 8 minutes at a time and even going up to 20-minute runs by the end of the week for week five!
I see myself improving every week, and I like challenging myself a little bit as I go, but I don’t see a problem with repeating weeks in the program and getting stronger to prepare myself for longer times like 20-minute runs. I know for sure that I will get there soon, but like I mentioned above, I have to be realistic about how ready I am physically and take it slow when I need to.
I don’t have a specific 5K in mind at this point, and I’m probably looking at participating in one at the end of the summer, so I have plenty of time to get better at running. There’s no real reason to rush through and try to force myself to do things I’m not ready for, so I’m content with taking things at my own pace for now.
Another thing that I have focused on this week: hydration! I am horrible about getting enough water every day. For my weight, I should be getting about 12 cups a day, but my goal for now is to make it to the generally recommended 8 cups at least. I don’t know why I have so much trouble with getting enough water. I love water, and it’s my go-to drink when I’m thirsty. I think that since I don’t have it on my mind all the time, I just forget to make it a priority.
According to webmd.com, water revs up metabolism and helps you lose weight, boosts your energy, lowers stress, builds muscle tone, nourishes skin, helps digestion and reduces kidney stones.
With all of these amazing benefits, it really makes you wonder why so many people have trouble getting enough water! The reason I wanted to bring this up with my running update is because I really noticed my lack of water intake after I started running, and realized that I felt a lot better after a vigorous workout when I took the time to drink a few big glasses of water before and after.
It seems pretty simple and obvious, but it is a big goal of mine to get more water in, and I encourage everyone reading this to do the same! It will only help you in the long run. MyFitnessPal has a section where you can record your water intake, so I will definitely be making more of an effort to take advantage of that now.
I hope you enjoyed this little running update and hydration reminder, and I hope you can find some inspiration from this post to start running or do whatever you have been thinking of taking on! I say this all the time on here, but seriously, if I can do it, anyone can. I was in the worst shape of my life a few short months ago, and I never could have imagined actually pushing myself to embrace running. It is an amazing feeling to know that I am doing as much as I can to improve my health and fitness, and I hope everyone gets to feel this at some point.
Like I say at the end of all of these running updates, please feel free to share your running tips and tricks with me! I’d love to hear them!