The hills are alive with the sound of…my running shoes

Dreading it and boredom. Two easy ways to just stop doing an exercise routine. Dread+boredom+making excuses=skipping it.  We need some variety to keep things spicy! Plus, switching up things will keep your muscles from yawning right along with you saying, this AGAIN? Challenge them!

This morning was a great example of this for me. As a runner, it’s pretty easy to have variety with different kinds of runs, different routes, trail runs, etc. But, according to my scedule, today was 7 mile tempo run day and I woke up dreading it. So I decided to change it up a little to make me a happier girl.  I’m not rigid on a program; I want to stay motivated but enjoy it too. I had noticed on Sunday during my long run, I was struggling a little a lot with the hills.

I went out for 5 miles at a tempo pace (not too bad, it was a gorgeously cool morning!) and ended at the bottom of the devil hill by my house. Summit Hill.  Fitting name, I think.  It’s a super steep one, like a tiny mountain. It was staring down at me with all its potholes, taunting. And with that, I proceeded with 7 thigh-burning hill repeats. Who’s laughing now, Summit.

The hill. Definitely the hill was laughing because not only was I heaving by the end, my legs were shaky for the rest of the way home. Well played, Summit, well played.

Tough and effective, hill repeats are an excellent strength workout for runners. There are two I like:

1. Short, steep hills- let’s call them Sheeps!: Sprint up them balls-to-walls, and jog down. Today’s choice for me.
2. Longer, more gradual hills- Lills?: Run all the way up at a 5k pace and jog down. I used to do these at my Grandma’s cottage on Canandaigua Lake, but it was so beautiful there I could have run through lava and loved it.

I like to do as many repeats as I possibly can, and then one more.  7 was my limit today.  Next time, I’ll try 8.  By the end of these things, I felt like a machine- “I CAN DO ANYTHING!  I CAN QUALIFY FOR THE OLYMPICS NEXT TIME!”  Alright, so I was delirious a little.  But I do feel stronger already.

So moral of the post: don’t let yourself get bored or dread your workout. Instead of skipping it, change it. Walk or run the other way around the block. Sprint around your house. Do a new DVD, or new machine at the gym. Try a group class. Run pretending an animal that looks like a cross between a pig and a giraffe is chasing you. Chase your kids around outside.  Whatever works, do it. Always keep it interesting and fun so you keep it up. You will alwaysalwaysalways be glad you did. 

Now it’s time to spend the rest of my day off w Brax, who has already done 45,000 sprints around the house himself.  Weird, though, he doesn’t seem a BIT tired. And it’s only 8:23:)

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