Some of you may have heard me say I’m not great at running. I never really have been. I ran hurdles in middles school briefly until I hit one with my foot and badly sprained my ankle. I was done!
Ever since then I’ve started and stopped running a half-dozen times. The real problem: I want to love running. I actually do love running. But my body doesn’t necessarily agree. My lungs feel like they are going to burn up after like 5 feet! Just kidding. I can go a little farther than that without wanting to quit. But not too much.
A few years ago I was challenged to run 3 miles in under 30 minutes. 10 minute miles. Ok! that doesn’t sound horribly difficult. After all, people run half-marathons and marathons, and usually average less than 10 minutes a mile. Surely I could do 3. So I made a plan to run with a friend and fellow trainer. We found the best place to run, by the beach. She and I ran, and she talked to me the whole way. I didn’t talk back because of all the wheezing of course. In the end we finished our 3 miles in 31 minutes. So almost but not quite. I was bummed, but also pretty glad I had actually accomplished the 3 miles.
Fast forward to now. I picked up my running again a few months ago after a long 6 month recovery from a broken tailbone. Of course I was back to being out of running shape. So I decided I was going to approach my running differently this time.
I’ve done interval running before and I really like it because it allows me to go further each time, but also really helps my lungs and body adjust to running more quickly. I’ve also done sprint intervals too, but never have I combined them in a full program with the purpose of increasing my lung capacity and running speed. Until now!
This is the program I created. My first goal is to be able to run 3.5 miles without resting and walking. That’s how far the nearest Barnes and Nobles is. And my reward will be Starbucks :)
Each week I will increase the Total Time by 5 minutes and every 2 weeks I’ll increase the run/walk intervals by 30 seconds. Eventually I will decrease the rest periods of both the run/walk and sprint/walk intervals. I plan to continue this until I can run steady for the full 3.5 miles easily. Then who knows, maybe 5 miles? That’s just crazytalk!!
Have you ever had a Green Smoothie? They are all the rage right now. nearly every fitness magazine will have a few recipes, and most of the fitness blogs are singing their praises!
What makes them so special? For starters it’s the greens. How often do you actually eat green foods? Probably not as often as you should. I know I didn’t before adding Green Smoothies to my day. But they have a crazy amount of vitamins, minerals and nutrients that help our bodies function optimally. So that’s probably pretty important right?
Spinach packs a punch (ha-ha – Popeye, right?)! It’s an excellent source of vitamins K and A, folic acid, dietary fiber and protein. It’s also a very good source of vitamins C and E, most of the B vitamins and minerals like calcium, phosphorus and manganese. It’s also concentrated in health-promoting phytonutrients such as carotenoids and flavonoids, which are powerful antioxidants. One cup of raw spinach is about seven calories. That’s a ton of wonderful nutrition for so few calories!
But if the idea of a green smoothie still makes your eye twitch, try this recipe. Its creamy and smooth, sweet and tangy, and just plain yummy! You wont taste the spinach and kids will even enjoy it. Mine requests green smoothies for breakfast all the time!
I use a Nutribullet blender for all my smoothies. If you want an inexpensive blender that does an amazing job of essentially pulverizing your greens and fruits, this is the best one I’ve found.
Enjoy your smoothie!
What exactly is motivation? I would define it loosely as the desire to do the things you want to do or know you should do, and doing them on a consistent basis.
Desire. I think that’s the key. It all starts with desire. You have to want it! What do you want?
Me? I want to lose some excess fat, get in better cardiovascular shape and no longer be so prone to injury. I also want to be a more successful Personal Trainer.
“I have the desire. I have desire coming out my ears. But how do I get from the desire to the actual doing?” That’s what your thinking right? I totally get it. I struggle with my motivation plenty. I definitely don’t always do the things I should do, or even want to do, on a regular basis. I get in a slump and don’t exercise as often as I should, I don’t do all the housework that needs to be done, just the bare minimum. I don’t do the things I should do to grow my business. You aren’t alone! I promise!
That’s why I’m setting new goals for myself to get me where I want to be and finding my motivation along the way.
Here are some tips to help you find your motivation
- Set a Goal – I’m sure you’ve heard this many times before, but it really makes a huge difference in getting you from Unmotivated Point A to Rockin’ It Point B. But don’t just set any old goal, make it super specific to you. How does it feel? How does it look? Even how does it smell (smells like sweat to me!)? If your goal is to run a mile, how will you look while you’re doing it? Picture yourself wearing the workout clothes you like the most, think about the music you’ll play and picture your headphones and iPod. How are you feeling while your running? Happy, cause you’re gonna get it done? Out of breath, but satisfied with your progress? Smiling inside and out? Smell the grass or the dirt or the pavement. Wherever you run, think about the environment and what you can relate to accomplishing your goal. I know some people suggest hanging a picture of someone else looking like or doing whatever your goal is. I don’t particularly like that. Visualizing yourself doing those things and adding your other senses into your visualization can be so much more effective and powerful.
- Think about your WHY – Why do you want to accomplish the goal you’ve just set? Is it for you or someone else? If it’s for you, YAY! If it’s for someone else but it only involves you doing the work, maybe you need to rethink your goal. Do you want to lose weight because someone else thinks you need to? Unless you are all in, and doing it for yourself, you will either not reach your goal, or if you do reach it, you wont be able to hang on to it for very long. It’s really hard to be fully invested in doing something like changing your fitness and nutrition habits, if it’s not completely coming from within yourself. I’m not saying that having a friend or significant other, helping you, and rooting you on, is bad. On the contrary, it is so awesome to have a cheering section! But if they are your main reason and focus in determining your goals, that’s definitely not the way to do it. You have to look at what is important to YOU. If someone says you should be 20 pounds lighter, but you feel healthy and more comfortable with 10, by all means stick to your guns. It is so much more important to be healthy inside and out, physically and emotionally, than hitting a number on a scale because someone else thinks you should.
- Now that we’ve set an overall goal, let’s dig into it. What can you do each day to get you closer? Each week? Go ahead and write those things down somewhere you can see them regularly. But keep it to less than 4 things to start. Make too many changes right off the bat and its a recipe for disaster. You can always add a few more changes, in a few weeks, or a month or a few months down the road. But only add something after you’ve managed your daily and weekly goals, successfully, for a good period of time. Now do those small things. Every day, every week. Slow and steady, not fast and flashy!
- RESET – Be prepared to face obstacles. They happen. All the time! You can’t let them stop you, or throw you off your game every time. So take a few minutes and really think about how important your goal is to you. Is it worth moving past the stumble you had last night with the extra cocktails? Absolutely!! Don’t give up each time you slip and stumble. You haven’t fallen, you haven’t failed, you just need to reset. Even if it’s every day. Sometimes I have to remind myself every day why I make my bed. I know it seems silly, but without putting actual thought into it, each morning, and remembering how much I love looking at a made bed and how great it feels each night to not have to drag the covers up again before climbing into bed, the bed just doesn’t get made. Motivations lag, it happens to the best of us. But what you choose to do when that happens is what really matters. Get back up, and move right back to your goals!
- Check-in Time – Don’t think that because you’ve set your overall goals, and your smaller daily and weekly goals, and have done them for a couple of weeks, that it’s all smooth sailing from now on! You need to continually revisit your larger goal. Remind yourself what you’re working hard towards, and tweak anything that isn’t working so you can continue being successful. Don’t lose sight of your WHY. Your own internal driving force needs to be renewed occasionally. This is key to motivation!
What are your goals? Share them with me! I’d love to be a part of your Cheering Section!