Running Goals Update

It has been a while since I’ve posted! My apartment complex has opened the small gym back up, but I still have not felt comfortable going due to coronavirus concerns so I have been focusing on running.

I have officially completed the Couch to 5k program! My 5k time is slow compared to the amount of time the app gives (they have it as 30 minutes), but I can successfully jog a 5k without stopping. My next goal is to complete the Couch to 10k program. I will need to figure out when to fit the runs into my schedule now that I am back in the office, but I think it will be manageable. This portion of the program is 5 weeks long, so hopefully I’ll be running a 10k soon! I still plan to repeat weeks that are too tough, so who knows how long it will actually take me. If I am successful, I plan on getting myself fitted/analyzed for new running shoes as a treat.

What are your fitness goals for the fall?

I got shin splints. AKA, Fitbit Premium Program: Beginner Runner Part II

I knew looking at the program that it was not actually a beginner program. I’m no marathon runner, but I am definitely better at running than when I first started so I thought I would be okay. I was wrong. I ended up with terrible shin splints, which have never been an issue for me. I am not saying it’s the program’s fault, but it absolutely ramps up too quickly.

If you’re not familiar with this program, it is a 3-week guided training that is meant to be for beginner runners. It is available through Fitbit Premium and I gained access to it through the 90 day free trial they were advertising. Here’s the breakdown of the second half. Check out my previous post for the first half!

Week two workouts:

Day 1: Start Jogging- Alternate between a medium walk and a jog for 29 minutes. Estimated calories burned: 147

Day 2: Jogging Mindfulness- Warmup with a medium walk for 3 minutes. Power walk for 9 minutes, jog for 8 minutes and then complete a cooldown walk for 3 minutes. Estimated calories burned: 147

Day 3: Going Steady- Warmup with a power walk for 3 minutes. Jog for 5.5 minutes, walk for 2 minutes, jog for 6 minutes, walk for 2 minutes, fast jog for 6 minutes and cooldown with a stroll for 3 minutes. Estimated calories burned: 148

Week three workouts:

Day 1: Going Steady- Warmup with a power walk for 3 minutes. Jog for 5.5 minutes, walk for 2 minutes, jog for 6 minutes, walk for 2 minutes, fast jog for 6 minutes and cooldown with a stroll for 3 minutes. Estimated calories burned: 148

Day 2: Jog It Out- Warmup with a walk for 2 minutes, medium walk for 2 minutes, power walk for 7 minutes, medium walk for 2 minutes and a cooldown walk for 3 minutes. Estimated calories burned: 90

Day 3: The Joy of Jogging- Warmup with a medium walk for 3 minutes, jog for 30 minutes and cooldown with a walk for 3 minutes. Estimated calories burned: 175

My biggest criticism (aside from my poor shins) is that there is no room for flexibility. You pick the days in the beginning of the program that you want to complete the runs on. If you complete one of the runs on a different day, it will not count. They need to incorporate a rescheduling feature because life happens and things get in the way.

My other main criticism is that again, this is not really a program for beginners. The last day has you jogging for 30 minutes. Before that day, the longest stretch is 8 minutes. There needs to be more of a transition.

I also have to ask, what’s up with week 3 day 2? It’s called Jog It Out, but it only makes you power walk.

If you are actually a beginner and want to start running, I highly recommend trying Couch 2 5k instead. There are a ton of free apps for it and it is much better with pacing for a beginner. I even decided to start it again to hopefully warm my body back up after having issues with my shins. I took a week off, and am now on week 2 of the program. So far, I’m pain free!

If you’ve tried any running programs that you recommend or even any of the Fitbit programs that you have enjoyed, let me know!

Fitbit Premium Program: Beginner Running. A Mid-program Check-in.

Fitbit has given out 90-day free trials of fitbit premium, so I decided to try it. I have been working on improving my running so I wanted to try their Beginner Running program. Plus, it has an added bonus of getting me outside, which we all need right now (I am still keeping my distance from anyone while I am out-no worries!) This program is 3 weeks long with 3 workouts a week and I am just about at the halfway point (4 workouts completed) so I thought I would check in with my experience so far.

Week one included the following:

Day 1: Walking Interval Medley – Alternating between a recovery stroll and medium-power walks for 37 minutes. Estimated calories burned: 217

Day2: Mindful Walking – Started and ended with a stroll and had a regular walk and medium walk in the middle for 20 minutes. Estimated calories burned: 102

Day 3: Fartlek Fun – Alternated between a medium walk and a fast jog for 35 minutes. Estimated calories burned: 237

Week two workout:

Day 1: Start Jogging: Alternate between a medium walk and a jog for 29 minutes. Estimated calories burned: 147

My thoughts so far:

The difficulty of the workouts seem all over the place. If I was truly a beginner, I would have been struggling hard on the third day. The order should have been Mindful Walking, Walking Interval Medley, Start Jogging and then Fartlek Fun. Also, how ridiculous is that name? It is pronounced how it seems and they continue to joke about it during the workout.

I have enjoyed the coaches so far. I like the encouragement they provide throughout the workouts and their instructions are easy to follow. The estimated calories are also pretty close to what my fitbit records – I have the blaze model with a heartrate monitor.

I will check back in at the end of the program, but so far this does not seem to be for beginners. It does seem to be for someone like me that is not a consistent runner and is getting back into it. I am enjoying it though!

Working Out During the Coronavirus Isolation

I’ll admit it. I fell off the bandwagon. Between starting a new job and family obligations, I have not had the healthiest habits. I’ve been lucky to get in one workout a week and have not been watching my diet too well. I had plans to join a local gym that offers group classes, but now with the coronavirus pandemic, that will have to wait. Lets bring in Plan B!

My friend and I have a plan since going to the gym seems like a bad idea right now (and likely not an option for long). I have pulled together a list of yoga videos from YouTube (Yoga with Adriene) and We are going to choose videos to complete together on the same day. This will help us both with accountability and it will have a social aspect as well. Along with this, I plan on adding in runs after work now that we have more daylight.

If anyone is interested in completing the videos on the same schedule as us, let me know and I will post them!

Combating Cold Weather

This is all I want to do all winter.

I can’t be the only one that struggles with this. The days get shorter and the temperature drops, along with my willpower. Every winter I struggle to stay active.

I recently started a new job and have a consistent schedule. While I am still working on getting into a set routine, I thought I would have an easier time fitting in workouts (although really, I should know myself better than that). I have managed to go on a run once a week, but that’s not cutting it. Part of the challenge has been dealing with the apartment gym renovations. They’ve been redoing the floors and the gym has been closed for most of the month. I struggle with motivating myself enough to do workouts at home, but I am usually fine as long as I get to the gym. They are supposed to reopen it this Friday, so I’m hoping that will help.

My plan going forward: Fit something in as soon as I get home from work. I know if I stop moving and relax, I’ll be done for. Even if all I do is go for a walk some days, at least I’m moving. I also want to create a set schedule instead of just aiming for 4-5 workouts a week. Consistency is key…hopefully.

What are your habits/tips to stay active in the winter?

Balancing Work and Fitness

Busy Schedules. Time management.

By far the hardest part of my fitness journey has been consistently fitting workouts into my schedule. It’s a constant battle that I don’t see ending anytime soon. My biggest struggle is staying on track with my work schedule. I don’t work a normal Monday – Friday job, so it can be hard for me to stick with a routine. I’ll get into a good groove and then my schedule changes, throwing me off again.

The best method that I’ve found to staying consistent is to make my workouts a priority. I commit to at least three workouts a week. Sometimes Thursday rolls around and I have to remind myself that I’m running out of time and don’t have a choice but to workout. Do I make my 3x/week goal every week? No, but I know I’m still making progress and some weeks I might fit in 4 or 5 workouts.

Going forward, I know I still have room for improvement. My main goal for the future is to fit my workouts into my morning routine. I work 12 hour shifts and most days I’m exhausted when I get home. If I can get myself to wake up and hit the gym first thing, I won’t be able to make any excuses. I also want to schedule my workouts ahead of time and treat it as a set commitment, just as I would work. I have to show up and complete it. I know I won’t be perfect, but I also know that I can do better. Fitness is important to me and my journey is still evolving.

How do you make the time to exercise in your busy schedule?

Planet Fitness Group Classes

I’ve always been curious about the group classes offered at Planet Fitness. I have been a member for years (the price being the main factor), but I had never tried the classes or even heard much about them. While browsing on my local branch’s website, I found that you can sign up for the classes online. Perfect! If I sign up, I’ll show up and I won’t chicken out of asking them in person (social anxiety is no stranger to me). I decided to sign up for the PF360 Refresh course, which was described online as “Focus on flexibility, core work, and proper breathing in this yoga-like experience.”

The day of the class I arrived early and started stretching in the locker room while I waited. I saw a sign stating the PE @ PF meets here, so I waited under the sign 5 minutes before the class started. Two minutes after the start time, there was still no sign of anyone. I decided to ask the front desk about the class. Apparently, the class schedules changed in the beginning of summer and the ones online are incorrect. Fortunately, no one showed up for the class that was actually scheduled for that time slot, so the trainer was able to hold the class for me anyway.

The trainer got two mats and led me through the course. We started with some basic stretches, and she lead me through the following exercises:

  1. Bird-dogs with holds – 5 on each side
  2. Child’s pose
  3. Locust pose
  4. Warrior I – each side
  5. Triangle Pose – each side
  6. While standing, raise one leg 90 degrees and hold a medicine ball above your head with the opposite hand (she gave me a 6lb medicine ball to use)
  7. Russian twists using the medicine ball
  8. Bicycle crunches
  9. Flutter kicks

My biggest gripe aside from the scheduling issue was that the trainer never introduced herself or asked my name. Aside from this, she was very friendly. She did not offer any form correction, but the classes are meant for up to twelve participants so it might normally be more difficult to watch everyone at the same time.

For a free class, it wasn’t bad. My abs were sore the next day…I do tend to neglect core work. I’d definitely check out the other classes offered and even try this one again to see if it varies every time or repeats the same routine. I wouldn’t join Planet Fitness just for the classes, but it’s an interesting perk and might give you some variety in your workout.

Have you ever tried the classes offered at Planet Fitness?


Welcome to my blog!

It is my hope to develop this blog into a place where people new to fitness or people who just want refreshing ideas/views on topics can come and learn new things. At the least, I hope you can find an interesting post and enjoy yourself! I plan on posting my experiences throughout my health and fitness journey. These posts might include things like reviews, recipes, workouts and general discussions.

I hope you find something that piques your interest. Thanks for stopping by!