Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Exercise motivation

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So I thought my housing situation was all set, but yesterday after work I realized it was A LOT more complicated and I have no idea anymore if I am moving this month or not. This whole situation is really frustrating because so many factors are out of my control. This caused a 1.5 hour delay in my planned workout. I was feeling so stressed/frazzled/tired, the thought of skipping the workout danced around in my head. I literally had to drag myself to the gym for my 10X400 repeats. I was so out of it, I even forgot to bring my iPod. Drats! The dreadmill sans iPod is just pure torture.

Long story short, I sucked it up and did it. I was supposed to do 10 repeats at my 10k-55 seconds pace, but for mere running mortals like myself, that was just WAY TOO FAST to uphold for all ten repeats. I managed 5 at that pace, 1 at 7:30 pace, two at 8:20 pace and one at 8:40 pace. By that time, I had already run 5 miles, and my muscles were DONZO so I called it quits after 9 repeats. Oh well. Still glad I didn't give up on the workout completely. I foam rolled like there was no tomorrow, took some ibu, iced, and ate chocolate. lol.

Today is my weights day, which I am looking forward to. I seem to have the impression that runners don't really enjoy the weights room, and that it is often regretfully neglected. Without getting into the whole speal about why strength training is good for running (increase lean muscle mass, injury prevention, get stronger, etc) I thought I would list my advice for making strength training less of a chore. No more excuses! :)

1) Get PUMPED. I do this before long runs and speed sessions too, but making yourself stoked on the idea of training really helps to get the blood flowing, gets your mind into it, and generally makes it feel like less of a drag. I listen to some music, try to imagine myself with rippling washboard abs, I think of how my noodle arms could potentially look, etc to get excited about strength training.
2) Go with a PLAN. Before I go to the gym, I make a quick list on a post-it of the exercises I want to do. Try to think of the muscles you want to target. I try to group the exercises I can do on the same machine/same part of the gym together, so that I don't waste time wandering back and forth in the gym. If 5 exercises can be done in the same corner of the gym, do those together. I find that when I don't have a plan, I waste a lot of time just kind of walking around deciding what I want to do, and that in turn makes me lose motivation and focus. Taking just 3 minutes to decide your plan of action really helps in the gym.
3)Circuit style! Strength training can be fast paced and adrenaline inducing too, if you do a circuit style; which means you do a series of exercises back to back without resting. I usually like to have a set of three exercises (legs, arms, abs, or biceps, triceps, back,etc) and I'll do all three, rest for 30 seconds, and repeat for three sets. This will get your heart pumping like running would, and really keeps your routine from getting boring.
4) Try new things! I always try to incorporate one new exercise every time I go to the gym. Hey, I like to keep things fresh!
5) You don't have to be like those meatheads and pump super heavy iron. You can do light weights/body weight exercises that will be enough to help strengthen your muscles and keep them in running shape.
6) Listen to your iPod, and have motivating songs on them. I like Chingy's Dem Jeans. Don't judge!
7) Warm up first with jogging/elliptical/stationary bike for 15-20 min. Gettin' the heart rate up, feeling the sweat, and feeling the rush will for sure PUMP you up to pound those dumbbells. I know personally, if I don't work up a sweat first, I feel a LOT less motivated.
8) If all else fails, think of how much of a BALLER runner you would be when you are stronger!
If you REALLY don't want to strength train, just do the ones directly applicable to running.

I personally really enjoy strength training. I am a certified trainer (though not by profession), so if you need any exercise tips, motivation, moves, let me know! I might do a post later on my fave running exercise moves too. I don't know if any of these tips were helpful or not, but I tried! :)

If you have any tips, please share them in the comments!

Have a great Wednesday running friends! :)


  1. AWESOME job on the 400's! No iPod?! Like the dreadmill is not boring enough. God for you!

    I am guilty of being a non-strength-trainer. I have so much trouble getting into it and sticking with it. Thanks for the tips!

  2. Thanks for all the tips and great job on the 400s. I only use the Ipod for dreadmill. Outside I like to listen to my breathing and the birds. Weird huh?

  3. Even a few at 10k-55 is great. With an iPod I'm sure that you'd have hit them all.

  4. Sounds to much like hard work

  5. Thanks for the tips! I've only started strength training together with the half marathon plan so just the basics for me for now. I've added some stretch moves during the rests to cut time. Hopefully, I stick with this and not lose interest. :D

  6. Ugh. Strength training. I used to really be into it, before triathlons took over my life! I'm hoping that after this tri season I'll be able to jump back into strenth to tie into my marathon training! Great pointers to get pumped up!

    Before I go to bed - I usually Youtube or Hulu 'ironman', watch a little motoviation, and that gets me pumped up for my 4:50am wakeup call! Maybe that is why I dream about freaking powerbars! Ha!!

  7. Yea strength training. I'm trying to get more into it! I'm working towards my first marathon too. San Antonio on November 15th. That's for the great pointers in your post!

  8. 400s are definitely NOT the easiest speed workout to do when you aren't feelin' it - nice work!

    certified trainer?? really?! thats awesome. :) I Like #4 up there - I completely agree.

  9. Great job on the 400s, I always had a hard time finishing a set (actually I don't think I ever did complete a full one).

    I like your motivation tips too. Whenever I get ready to go to the gym I blast some dance music in my room to get me going, it really works, but sometimes when it comes on in my car when I'm driving I have this desire to pull over and go for a run or hit the gym, I guess that isn't so bad!

  10. I think of how my noodle arms could potentially look

    lol i do the same thing, i think about how my wrists(???) used to look when i trained harder(im no runner but i used to be a more active)lol thanks for the motivation!

  11. oh and my duck says thank you for the compliment you gave her, she is such a funny little thing

  12. Hope the housing situation clears up. I love strength training, although I haven't gone to the gym in some time. I just really don't have the time. But, I really learned the benefits of it when I played college soccer.

  13. you are so funny, ha ha, I have repeats today and its raining so Im thinking "YAY, the TREADMILL" then I read how you call it the dreadmill, ha ha, wish we were running on it together...

    I am so hoping you make it here soon, you will love all the hulihuli chicken and adventures, you;; be like a kid at christmas!

  14. I can't stand strength training. But it is sooo important. After a long run, my sides ache and I really feel the weakness in my abs and back. Which means I should lift more. I know it. And lifting also helps ward off the injury bug. So, very wise advice!

  15. Sometimes i'm with the strength training, sometimes i'm not. i really need to get with it but lately it seems like running is enough! :) thanks for the inspiration your awesome!

  16. I totally have Dem Jeans on my running playlist too. Haha.

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