Friday, September 10, 2010

Motivation Killers

Motivation and I haven't exactly been the best of friends this week.  But, I've done pretty well, all things considered. Here's what I'm talking about:

After Monday's unscheduled rest day and then Zumba-ing it up on Tuesday night, I declared Wednesday to be Outdoor Run Night since the weather in Cincinnati is just waaay too beautiful to stay inside.  The plan I had in my head whilst driving home from work was to do a relatively difficult, hilly 7-miler that I did a few times for long weekday runs during marathon training in March and April.  However, when I actually put my shoes to the pavement, I was notably less motivated and was feeling a little sore in my inner thighs from the previous night's Zumba session.  So, instead of taking a right on Dudley and heading down Turkeyfoot toward Elsmere like I had planned, I took a left and covered much of Dudley and all of Charter Oak, which adds up to be a very flat 5-miler.  It was still a good workout, and I was just glad that I got to spend an hour outside breathing in the crisp fall air.  (I know it's not technically fall yet, but that hasn't stopped me from hanging my pumpkin wreath on my front door and buying a jug of apple cider.  Fall is my favorite season, so I'm welcoming it with open arms, maybe a little prematurely.)

Last night was supposed to be my triumphant and long-awaited return to Abs class at Fitworks, but motivation slipped through my fingers yet again. I told myself when I got home from work that the drive all the way over to Newport for a half-hour class seemed like too much of a bother.  Plus, I had dinner plans with Heather and Julie, so I further convinced myself there just wasn't time (even though the class was at 5:30 and my dinner plans weren't until 7).  Since I talked myself out of going to Abs class, I decided to jump on my treadmill instead.  Having a treadmill at home is the mortal enemy of any motivation killer I might have. With the treadmill, there are NO excuses...I don't have to fight traffic, I don't have to have good weather, I don't have to figure out a route.  It's just right there, staring at me, telling me not to even think about not working out today.  Anyway, I digress... but I'll be writing more about my love affair with my treadmill in an upcoming post.

For last night's treadmill workout, I tackled another famous (or infamous) motivation killer:  boredom.  I just wasn't feeling a long treadmill run, so I decided to mix things up and do some high-intensity interval training.  Some people call it speed work, but I don't really have any desire to vastly improve my speed.  I'm more likely to qualify for a Boston cream pie-eating contest than to ever qualify for the Boston marathon.  And honestly I'm pretty okay with that.

What I'm doing with my interval training is more geared toward shocking my body a little, changing up my workout and burning more calories in less time.  There are lots of different methods for interval training, but my intervals are pretty basic -- usually just 1 minute sprint, followed by 1 minute walk for 10 minutes at a time, then slower jogs in between the bursts.  I shoot for doing 5-7 sprints if I'm doing a half hour workout, and about 10-12 sprints if I'm doing a hour, which is what I did last night. I'm pretty much drowned in sweat by the time I'm done (even when I do just a half hour workout), and the time goes by so much more quickly than traditional treadmill running.  So if you haven't tried intervals before, I highly recommend trying them out.

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