Keeping Things Complicated
Wednesday, October 10, 2012
I have to be honest with you: I love keeping things complicated. That usually means I'm juggling six different things at once, tackling projects with lots of moving pieces, and overanalyzing everything.
When it comes to exercising, though, this can be a blessing and a curse. Simple plans and goals are easier to follow and meet, respectively. But if they start to bore me because I'm not turning them over and over in my head trying to decide my next approach, I start to lose interest. Complicated plan and goals, however, can burn me out without warning. So finding the right balance has been key this time around.
I started out with a pretty simple plan: Couch-to-5k runs 4xs a week, 0-1650 swims 3xs a week. Have I followed that religiously: no. Between having to adjust my intervals in each for my own heart rate, allowing time for recovery (from exhaustion and from my injury), etc., I've been progressing without obsessing. So far, I've also been throwing one pole dancing class a week in with a friend. All in all, I feel like I've done pretty darn well keeping to this fast break. It's been clean, simple, and reasonable.
But I'm getting antsy. I push the plan here; I push the plan there. I don't want to get bored and try a 45 minute run when I've only been doing 30 minutes and wake up in pain the next day. And I know very well that If I really want to see a difference in my weight that I need to do more than cardio.
Adding some strength training is the next step--my next complication. Fitting it in without feeling like I'm backing down on my in-progress cardio goals isn't going to be easy. I'm STILL concerned about overtraining. Luckily, I'm going to be handing that off to a professional.
I've only worked with one personal trainer (I'll just call him PT) before, and I'm darn lucky that he's still around. He saw me through some really big speed bumps before, and when I ran into him at the gym my first week back, he didn't hold it against me. All he asked was "So are you *back*?" and I knew what he meant. I told him as soon as I felt settled into the routine--and felt capable of running a 12 minute mile--I'd give him a call. And since I hit that benchmark earlier this week, I shot him a note this morning.
Here's what I'm hoping comes from working with my PT: I start pushing harder on cardio in reasonable and sustainable ways; I pick up 1-2 days of strength training a week (we'll have to see how he figures in pole dancing class; won't *that* be a conversation!!??!!); establish a plan for active recovery (something I've been bad about so far); set some measurable benchmarks between where I am now and where I want to be next spring. I'm confident that guidance through this will keep me from overtraining. It'll just be my job to make sure I stick to the plan!