As I recently mentioned (oh, only a gazillion times – I am sorry), I have gotten myself back into a running routine with the help of my Runtastic App and a training plan (that one can purchase, but was free for me since I am a premium member).
I knew that I a) needed an accountability buddy and b) a structured routine that would help me stick to my workout days. In the past, I’ve been running on and off but never seemed to be able to keep it up longer than for a couple of weeks. I definitely thrive on routines and schedules and knew that I’d have a much easier time sticking to my workouts when I know on which day they need to happen (and also what I am exactly expected to do. I tend to think “oh, let’s just stop after 2.5 miles, if I don’t feel like running any longer… not possible if you’re sticking to a plan!). I used to be the person that said that she could never imagine running more than 3 miles, but here I am today running more than 6 or 7 miles frequently and working towards longer distances.
The (really not so) surprising result of a workout routine is: you will see improvements. I know, mind-boggling science, right?
I need to say upfront, I have a love/hate relationship with running. There are days (few) where I feel running is the most amazing thing and I feel like I am on top of the world. Sometimes, I need to force myself to place one step in front of the other and push through the workout. Most of the time, I am kind of indifferent to the whole thing (which, I admit, is better than loathing every minute), but while I know I am doing something good for my body + mind, I can’t help but feel that I could be doing so many other things with that time. (Granted, that is something I feel frequently and has nothing do with working out per se.)
I do get what people call the “runner’s high” at the end of an accomplished run (ok, for me it just means, I feel accomplished, not really ‘high’), but I usually don’t remember that elated feeling lasting long enough to know why I am running when the next workout comes around. I rationally have to talk myself into every workout. The running part itself doesn’t really do anything for me. I wonder if that has to do with the fact that I grew up playing team sports and exercising felt always also like some kind of pastime. Running for the sake of just running? Meh. I’d rather chase a ball.
The good thing about running though is: you can do it anytime and anywhere. You don’t need (much) equipment or other people (although running with someone can be nice) and depending on where you run, it can have the nice side-effect of some sightseeing (I even started listening to podcasts, which I have never consistently done before – but multi-tasking to maximize the use of my time is my jam and running lends itself for that purpose beautifully!).
I’ve been running at the park (or on the treadmill when it’s too hot which has happened often this summer). Or should I say, I’ve been running around the park, because it’s not really big enough to run “in it”. The good thing about our small park is: one time around it is exactly 1.1 miles. I never thought I’d say this but it’s nice to know how much you’ve already accomplished and how much longer you have to run when it’s measurable in “rounds” you have finished/left to run (and it’s still much nicer than running track IMHO).
I currently run three times a week. I run once during the week (Wednesdays after work when I go straight to the park or gym) and twice on the weekends (Fridays and Sundays). I also try to fit in some yoga (sporadically right now) and some weight training (even more sporadically) and hope to arrive at some sort of a more balanced workout routine sometime soon. I know it’s best to mix it up.
I wish I could choose if I wanted to work out in the morning before work or in the evenings after (yeah, and I am well aware that technically I could), but I start work so early that I really don’t see how I would ever make this work. I already get up at 5:45 am and even though I consider myself a morning person (for the most part) anything before 6 a.m. is just cruel, don’t you agree?
What’s your workout routine? Do you work out in the morning or evenings?