Married to My Workout

I remember reading something in a magazine about losing weight that really stuck with me for some reason. It said “Don’t get married to your workout.” Basically this means change things up as much as possible. Don’t do the same workout every day. Try new exercises, increase the weight and resistance, change the mileage, try a different activity–anything.

When I read that article I scoffed. What I was doing was working. It worked well. I lost weight, I kept it off, I was getting stronger and faster. I was definitely getting a fitness level that I was proud of. And I liked what I was doing: I loved swimming and wasn’t going to reduce it.

In the end, I did end up changing some things around. Previously my swim sessions were 3 days a week. I was finding that I didn’t have enough time for other activities and reduced that to 2 days a week. It’s been that way for years now and as summer has arrived and I need to increase my cycling miles, I’ve reduced it to 1 day a week. But that’s not all–my swimming sessions were the same. I was most definitely married to my routine. I had three different swim routines that I liked to do and rotated between them but there wasn’t much variation beyond that. Was I doing intervals? Not as often as I should have been. What does this lead to? Plateaus.

When I first started doing a serious weight lifting program when I had to stop running for awhile, I lost weight almost immediately. In that first month I lost 5 pounds and several inches. It had been years since I lost 5 pounds in one month. In the two years I’ve been weight lifting I haven’t seen a change like that since.

I’ve been in a rut lately with my workouts. All winter long I was focusing on my weight lifting, swimming 2 days a week and going to spin class once a week. Now that the weather is better my goal is to bike to work 3 days a week. So far I’ve only managed 2 days but that’s partly weather related. Doing 66 miles a week (3 commutes) would be a major shake up to my routine. I’m looking forward to it and I won’t lie–a little part of me is hoping this change will jump start some weight loss.

When Michael was consistently biking every day to work he lost a lot of weight. Granted, he’s a man and they seem to have it easier when it comes to melting the fat, but I REALLY hope I see some movement on the scale if I’m doing 66 miles a week!

I HATE changing my workout routine! It’s so comfortable. It feels familiar. I’ve been able to maintain my weight loss by sticking to my schedule. But it’s time. I MUST change things up!

So how did I change things up recently?

Mileage, baby, mileage. In one week I was able to get my biking miles up thanks to starting the week off with a nearly 40 mile ride. The 40 mile ride was pretty good, at least for most of it and only a struggle those last 10 miles. Happily, I had no soreness the next day. It was almost as if I had done nothing!


A few days later, I biked to work. I was running late that morning so I stepped it up and went faster than I normally do. I also changed up my routine a bit–I changed my route to avoid that intersection that makes me crazy every time. The new route was so much better–a tad longer, but so much better! Morning Stats: 547 calories burned.

It was a hot ride home. I was a bit sore from the previous day’s gym session but not cycling sore from my 40 miles. I had my eye on the prize: would I be able to do 80 miles this week??

I was doing well and then as soon as I hit the entrance of the Springwater trail near downtown, I heard a loud pop and then I fishtailed to the side of the trail. Yep. Tire exploded. Literally. It wasn’t quite as scary as the first time it happened, but it still sucked. Thankfully it didn’t happen downtown in traffic or somewhere I could have gotten hurt.

I pulled off into the shade and texted my Knight in Shining Armor. We are currently completely out of tubes so even if I had the savvy to change my bike tire, I didn’t have anything to change it to. Also lame.

I’d barely gone 2 miles when it happened. I was bummed. I stood in the shade and waited for Michael to pick me up. It was a disappointing ending to my day and cut my training short for the rest of the week.

Total mileage for the day cut short: 14.24

Total miles for this training week: 50.84

Total miles for the last 7 days: 73.44

Sigh! Here’s to next week being better.

QUESTION: Are you married to your workout and if so, how do you change it? Can you change a bike tire?

Author: Lisa Eirene

About Lisa Eirene Lisa lost 110 pounds through calorie counting and exercise. She swims, bikes, runs, hikes and is enjoying life in Portland, Oregon. Her weight loss story has been featured in First Magazine, Yahoo Health, Woman's Day and

16 thoughts on “Married to My Workout”

  1. I am not married to my workouts. I switch up my weight training every month to a new routine – and I have been following the Female Body breakthrough workouts for the last 4 months, which has been great because I haven’t had to think about what I am doing. My workouts naturally change with the seasons. I drop down lifting when biking season comes around and do less walking.

    And yes, I can change a flat. LOL. After getting about a dozen last year, I am pretty good at it, but haven’t had to change one yet this year since I got my puncture proof tires (fingers crossed). Most bike shops have clinics on how to change a tire. I never leave the house without a spare tube, tire lifters and my mini pump. Those are permanent residents in my bike rack bag.
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    1. My weight lifting needs a change. After the cycling season is over, I will definitely be addressing that.

      I took a class on how to change a bike tire but then I never had to use the skill. I could probably do it. It would just take me FOREVER. We usually have spare tubes on hand (and on our bikes) but we were having issues recently with my new tires. I got 3 flats and we don’t know why.

  2. I’m married to my running, but I do different types of workouts (intervals, etc.) so it’s not the same thing every day. I suppose I’m also married to my training plan, unless illness or injury come up, but I like that because I don’t have to wake up and think about what workout I should do. I just look at my training plan and do it. Makes my groggy mornings much easier.
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    1. I think changing up your running with intervals and tempo runs, etc are a great way to not be “married” to the workout. I’m sure that changes up things for your body not to get too comfortable.

  3. I’m dating my workouts and it’s been going well. 😉

    The scale hasn’t moved but I can see changes in my shape in just a few weeks (can’t remember if it’s 4 or 5). My goal is to be able to do it consistently 3 days a week. I’ve been running more than I ever have in my life, and I’m really afraid of injury.

    I’ve really proved to myself that diet alone does nothing so exercise is not an option – it’s a necessity! Plus I feel so much better. When I’m sore, I feel so much more fit than when I’m not sore. It’s a head game, but I like it.

    1. Haha! Just dating–that’s awesome.

      Sometimes seeing a change in body shape is better than the number on the scale. I loved it when I first started weight lifting and saw visible changes. Huge motivator. I had no idea you started running. Way to go!

      I agree with you — you CAN lose weight just by dieting but I don’t know that it will be quite as beneficial without exercise.I think there needs to be a balance of both.And I also agree, I love feeling sore. I feel accomplished! 🙂

  4. I love this topic! Great job! It is very easy to get set in our ways with exercise and it becomes boring and not as much fun any more. I love adding new things and trying new work out DVDs. Thanks for talking about this!

  5. Hi Lisa, I am ‘married’ to my workout, figure skating, and it is a bit problematic, not just for weight loss (or maintenance) but also in terms of avoiding overuse injuries. To improve at figure skating you really need to do it a lot of days a week. I’d say three days is enough to maintain my skills, more days are needed to improve. I do at least mix it up a little by working some days on footwork and other days on jumps and spins. And yet…. sometimes I need to jump every day when I’m getting a freestyle program ready for an event.
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    1. Mary, you bring up a good point that I didn’t even mention–OVERUSE. Doing the SAME activity every single time is a recipe for injury. I learned that the hard way with my running when I got diagnosed with “overuse of the IT band” and I thought I had been doing really well with my cross training (I was swimming and I was also training for another event on the bike). I still got injured!

  6. I just came across your blog and love it! I’m totally married to my workouts. I definitely have my “go-to” machines, like the stepper… I’m in love with the stepper!

    1. Hi Sarah, thanks for reading!

      I used to LOVE the stair climber at my gym. I did it so much that I got a strain in my sacrum. Make sure you aren’t bending over when you climb it. Unfortunately I haven’t gotten back on the stair climber since. 🙁

  7. Umm, I have no idea how to change a bike tire. Learning that should definitely be on my ToDo list.
    I’m practically schizophrenic about my workout. Today I jogged/walked and did a variety of core and arm activities at the gym. Sometimes I’m hiking, sometimes I’m going to spin class and sometimes I’m jogging outdoors. I’m still just trying to stay in the habit of working out a minimum of 3 days/week. I know I need to do more but this is where I’m at right now. My major goal is being consistent with the strength training. I know that I’m going to need this as the lbs melt away if I want to be when I’m done.

    Help me out, do you have a post about how you got over the anxiety of wearing a swimsuit when you first got started? I’ve been procrastinating on my summer goal to hit the pool at the Y for laps.

    I’ve said this in previous comments but you have no idea how inspirational you are to me! I see your blog as a major tool in my fitness journey. I look forward to every new post. Thank you, thank you!

    1. I think it’s probably a GOOD thing that your workouts are schizophrenic. You change things up enough to avoid plateaus and overuse injuries. I do agree that the strength training DOES need to be consistent, otherwise it doesn’t really work. That’s the mistake I made, not being consistent and half-assing it. I didn’t SEE changes until I did it a few times a week.

      Thank you so much for the compliment! That is so awesome that my blog has helped inspire you. As for a post about the swim suit…I don’t think I wrote anything specific (maybe this? I don’t know HOW I got over the fear, other than I knew I just HAD TO DO IT in order to lose the weight.

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