Welcome to Week 3 of our Strong Together Fall 2014 Training Program! We are so excited that you are sharing this fitness journey with us and we look forward to providing you with the tools and expertise that you need to get fit. Find training tips for Week 1 here and Week 2 here.
Here's a message from Coach Sara:
I heard great reports from the Strong Together meet up Saturday! We are so incredibly excited to have you make the time and commitment to come join us. You all are awesome! If you were not able to attend last week, don’t worry, Shelia and the group will be there to welcome you next weekend.
As we all know, some days are better than others. One day you may wake up and hit the ground running (literally), while the next day you procrastinate and put off your workout until the last possible minute. Even though you know how accomplished you feel after, just getting motivated can be the hardest battle of all. Running can be just as mental as it is physical. Here a few suggestions that will hopefully help get you off the sofa, out the door and working toward your 5K:
- Download new songs, change your music or listen to a podcast.
- Tell a supportive friend or family member what your plan is each week so you have someone to hold you accountable, or share your workout on the Strong Together Facebook page.
- Surround yourself with positive relationships and supportive people. Focus on the good, let go of the bad.
- Remind yourself how great you feel after the workout. Go chase those endorphins!
- Take a friend or family member with you. A running buddy always makes the time go by faster.
- Write down your goals and why you started training in the first place, post it to serve as a daily motivator for that extra push.
- Give it 10 minutes, and if you still are cursing every step then stop. Chances are you will feel better that you started and won’t want to stop.
- If you just need a little tough love…“suck it up butter cup” get it done then give yourself a big pat on the back!
Remember, this should be a fun experience, not something you dread every day. You may have challenges as you go, those days are what make us stronger. If you are having a bad day and have a completely negative attitude toward your workout, maybe what you need most is a rest day and that is okay! Give yourself a break and try again the following day.
We asked our Strong Together Fall 2014 bloggers to share their struggles in getting started and tell us about how their routines have changed in the past couple weeks. Read their motivating responses below.
I am not a great runner. I may not even be a good runner. I have lost a lot of weight over the last year, but I didn’t do it running. I mostly did CrossFit, and I spent a lot of time on the elliptical. Running is not something that comes naturally to me, so I have had the tendency to choose other options for my workouts. But lately I have been running more and I have realized that even though I may not be the fastest runner in the world, that I just might have to admit I enjoy running.
I have made a habit of working out over the last year or so. It certainly was not easy at first. I was sore. My knees hurt. I was embarrassed that I was so out of shape. I was frustrated that I had let myself get so out of shape. But, as I continued to stick with it and as I kept plugging away at my workouts, I began to feel the change. I could actually run for longer than 30 seconds at a time (which was a challenge for me at first!) and I began to lose weight and feel stronger. These first few weeks may be tough, but you will start to see improvements quickly. Hang in there!
Focusing on running has changed my workouts. I used to just always assume I would get up and go to CrossFit, but lately, I have been alternating days with some just running days. It’s a challenge for me, but it has been so fun! I am running on a two minute running, one minute walking interval. It works for me. The longest I had ever gone is 3.5 miles. I had limited myself to just over a 5K because I just didn’t think I could do more. On Labor Day, I decided to just see what I could do. I decided to take my limits off and go for longer and I did five miles!
As you continue in your training you will find your groove. You may be like me and feel like running is not coming as naturally to you as you would like. Don’t worry about it. Just enjoy the fact that you are doing something great for yourself. I lace my shoes up, find a great playlist (Michael Jackson is always a good one for me) and just hit the road. I have found that if I focus on my surroundings and my music and let my mind wander, next thing I know, I’ve run five miles! Don’t get too caught up in what your body is feeling. Just go with it. Fast or slow, running or walking, celebrate being a healthier you and enjoy the run!
Since moving to Oklahoma nearly two months ago, a great deal of my life right now is about change and starting new things. I, along with my family, am navigating life in a city, a new home, finding new friends, finding a church, supporting my kids at a new school, managing my new work at home schedule, and on and on. While starting something new can be a challenge when making a change, for me, starting this new routine of regular and consistent exercise with Strong Together has proven to be a welcomed relief to the changes in my life.
Having the Sofa2Success schedule to follow provides a measure of predictability to the ever-changing aspects of my life right now. In the recent past, my attempts at a fitness routine were oftentimes hit or miss. If the kids wanted to hang out at the library, then we did that and if it meant that we got home too late for me to work out, then “Oh well, I’ll get it in another time” would be my thought. The past two weeks I have been more conscious of my time. I can plan out my exercise time accordingly. A helpful change that has occurred is that my husband has also added the Sofa2Success schedule to our family calendar. We can schedule activities around it and I am held more accountable to staying consistent. Hearing the kids say “Mama’s going out for her walk” is a fun new change, too. Even the kids are aware of my new routine.
Another positive change for me that has helped me stay on track is doing at least one of my weekday walks with a new friend. This helps me to nurture a new friendship and gets me out of my naturally introverted comfort zone, while also helping me stay accountable to the schedule. My greatest concern with starting something new, like this exercise routine, is that the “newness” of it will wear off. I think that is why having and using the Strong Together Facebook group is so important. I get motivation from seeing others take small (and huge) strides toward changing their routines. I also can offer encouragement to those who may be struggling.
Change is hard; there’s no doubt about that. However, if it wasn’t difficult on some level, we wouldn’t have reason to grow beyond what we already have achieved. I’m sure someone famous said something along those lines, but I can’t recall who it was ☺ Nonetheless, finding ways to support the changes you are making can go a long ways toward achieving your goals.
Starting is the hardest part, but it is worth it. Waking up sore, finding time in our busy schedule and, of course, the excuses. I would like to say I have a "routine" but it does change regularly depending on my schedule for the day. I typically like to get my workouts done in the morning, and sometimes even throw in a second workout in the evening. But I always manage to get my workout in somehow. This is now, and now let me tell you about then, the beginning of my new lifestyle change.
I didn’t want to “waste time” going somewhere to workout, but I knew a new pair of running shoes and the great outdoors were always available! I mean, really, I could totally find 30 minutes in my day to walk outside and begin to run/walk, which my running was more like a slow jog. I had to mentally tell myself that I would do this, and I would run a 5K before my birthday. That was my goal.
Setting goals kept myself accountable, and this became sort of a game. Let's see if I could run longer, run faster, and before long I was running a 5K. I am not going to lie, it took awhile for this new lifestyle to catch on. Consistency is the key, and if you are sore just keep on going. Being sore isn’t a bad thing, and you are going to be sore. Your body will change, you will become mentally stronger, and yes, you are worth it.
Have you ever felt busy but had nothing to show for it? I think that is where we were at two weeks ago! There were so many things that needed to be done and it became overwhelming but instead of tackling them, we just chose to ignore it. Being able to set aside the time to run and work out has definitely changed mine and my family’s routine in many ways. Not only are we busier since we have crammed something else into our schedule but we have learned how to become more efficient with the time we do have.
Having a 7-month-old who goes to bed early makes it feel like we are racing against the clock most days. The time between picking him up from the sitter and seeing him before he lays down for his much needed rest seems shorter and shorter, but it also allowed our family to be more intentional about how we spend our evenings.
Before I began the Strong Together group and made the commitment to be active, my husband and I would find ourselves in front of the TV after our son had gone to bed for the night. It has been a welcome change of scenery to be more intentional with our family time before our son goes to bed but also be able to work out or get things done around the house that we were behind on when he does fall asleep. Sure, it still seems like some days there is not enough time in the day, but for the most part, this opportunity has given us a chance to reevaluate where our time is actually being spent.
William Penn said, “Time is what we want most, but we use worst.” As we dive into week three of training with the Strong Together team, not only am I excited to see where I am in only five more weeks at the 5K but I’m thankful for the lesson on time and the second chance that we all get every day to make different choices for the benefit of our families and, most importantly, ourselves.