workout rut

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?

O is For Open

O is for Open

….Open to change, that is. When it comes to my workouts, I admit I can be stuck in a rut, or stubborn about changing things up. There are a lot of reasons for doing the same thing each time: it’s comfortable and familiar, sometimes I worry about not doing what worked to lose 100 pounds, and sometimes I’m just lazy and don’t want to be creative at the gym.

Lately I’ve realized I needed to be open to change in a lot of ways. I need to be open to opportunities around me and not just stay stuck in my rut because it’s what I know. I need to be open to trying new things with my daily diet. I need to be open to changing up my workout routines.

The biggest “success” in terms of changing things up for me has been Spin class. For years I scoffed at Spin class. I didn’t think it was the same as riding a real bike. I didn’t “get it” and didn’t think it would be a good workout. I am SO glad I changed my mind and tried it. I cannot express just how happy I am that I’ve been able to keep a cycling base throughout winter. Even if I’m only doing 15-20 miles a week, that’s mega compared to previous winters where I did NOTHING.

So what am I finally open to changing in my routine? A lot. I’ve stated before that I am a cardio junkie and prefer to do the long, boring cardio workouts when I SHOULD be doing HIIT interval training and weight lifting. I know that my habits tend to be zoning out on a treadmill or elliptical. It’s time to step out of the habit and be open to doing something else.

My current routine is: 2 swim days, 1 spin day with a run before class, 2 cardio days with weight lifting. That’s a lot of cardio. Spin is staying because I need to train for Spring cycling. Swimming is staying because I love it. So what about the two cardio days with weights? I can certainly give up at least one cardio day. Dare I say, maybe two?

Instead, I should be focusing entirely on weight lifting.

It’s scary. It’s freaking me out to drop a cardio workout. Will I gain weight? Will I miss it? Or will I LOVE IT? Either way, I need to figure it out. So I’ve decided this:

  • 2 Swim days a week will remain as normal, but I’ll try to do more sprints in the pool
  • 1 spin day a week until the weather is nice enough to start biking to work again
  • 1 cardio day with running and weight lifting
  • 1 weight lifting day–ONLY weight lifting!

Eventually, if this works, I might drop another cardio day and make it entirely weight lifting as well. I won’t know if this is the trick I need unless I try it. I need to be open to changing things up. Besides, if I don’t like it or don’t see a change, I can always go back to the same ol’ same ol’….

QUESTION: Are you open to changing anything in your life right now?

A-Abstinence * B-Balance * C-Calories * D-Vitamin D * E-Emergency * F-Fast Food and Fine Dining * G-Gym Bag * H-Happy Weight * I-Intervals * J-Jumping * K-Keeping Sane * L-Losing Weight * M-Measuring Mistakes * N-Nemesis *