I intended to write a post after each of my first workouts, but I was so exhausted by the time I got home, it just didn’t happen! Here is a summary of my first week of workouts with the research study I’m participating in:
Monday night was our first resistance workout. I’ve never done a boot-camp type workout before, but I suspect this was similar. After a dynamic warm-up involving several exercises, the class was broken down into groups of three, and rotated through circuits. The first involved bicep curls using a resistance band, tricep extensions using a resistance band attached to a bar on the wall, and a balance exercise holding a weighted exercise ball. The second circuit included resistance band rows, resistance band butterfly curls, and lunges using a weighted exercise ball. The third circuit used the weighted ball for each exercise: push-ups with our knees on the ball, squats holding the ball, and throwing the ball as hard as we could at the floor. Finally, we completed several core exercises. I didn’t find this workout overly difficult, with the exception of the core exercises. I definitely need some serious work on my core!!
This workout was actually the easiest of the week! It involved a 5 minute warm-up at 40% of max heart rate, then 5 intervals of 30-second bursts at max heart rate followed by 4 minutes of recovery at 30% max heart rate. I don’t feel that I was able to get to my max heart rate as intended, since I was so worried about falling off the treadmill! My legs were noticeably weak from the resistance training the night before, and towards the end of the 30-second bursts I could feel myself start to stumble, which really freaked me out. After next week, I’ll be able to do this workout at home with my own treadmill or outside, which will hopefully ease some of those fears and improved my performance. What concerns me here is the fact that this is such a short workout. With only 2.5 minutes of actual speedwork, I’m skeptical!
This was the workout I thought I was going to look forward to each week. I’ve heard such good things about yoga. What I hadn’t heard was how freaking hard it is! I’d never done yoga before, except as part of a warm up or cool down in other workouts. Our instructor was great — she knew her stuff and had the ripped body to prove it. The session started off easy enough, but as the workout progressed, it became harder and more painful. I literally would prefer to run a marathon than do this workout! At one point, I couldn’t hold a pose and had to drop my knee to the floor. The instructor came over to ask if there was anything she needed to know about (she knew I was new to yoga), to which I replied “just lacking strength for this one.” It was incredibly humbling and discouraging. At one point the instructor stated that Yoga is about “becoming comfortable with the uncomfortable”. I’m hoping after 12 weeks this will be true and I’ll enjoy it enough to want to continue. Even after a few days for the memory (and pain) to fade, it’s a workout I am not looking forward to this week.
This was another workout I thought would be simple — steady state running for about an hour. The problem here was we were directed to do this at 60% of our max heart rate. For me, this ended up being 15 minute miles, which was the cusp of a fast walk/jog. I jogged as often as I could, but had to walk now and then when my heart rate pushed over 140. This was another humbling and discouraging experience, as I’ve been working hard the past couple of months to get my easy runs to 10-11 minute miles, and my tempo runs between 9-10 minute miles.
Concerns: I’m leaning towards dropping down to the half for the Flying Pig Marathon on May 3rd. ?I don’t see how I can do a marathon effectively without at least 2-3 quality runs per week. ?I also may need to push my goal of a sub-2 hour 1/2 marathon to the fall, instead of the Steel Rail 1/2 Marathon I was shooting for at the end of May. I’m willing to “trust the process” for now, but would be lying if I said I wasn’t apprehensive!
My weight is down 4.3 lbs, but I suspect this is primarily due to water gain from the “carb-loading” I did just before the program started :-). I forgot to record my measurements last week, but will update those stats as the weeks progress.