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May Markers

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Given my inspiration to elevate my fitness regime and that we’re starting a new month, I felt it would be a good time to take all that energy and give it direction.  I have some goals for this month that I hope to achieve to keep my motivation, and to increase my body’s strength and endurance. Since April was pretty hectic for me, I didn’t really set any goals, but I feel like now is a good time to remedy that.

One caveat: I’m about to transition to a new job.  That’s partly why the end of March and April were so hectic- in addition to my first half marathon, my spring break and some other stuff, I was interviewing and then getting a security clearance for my new position (it’s with the federal government, nothing super fancy, clearances are pretty routine in this area).  I’m planning to go into this more later, but I’m anticipating longer work days, and definitely a longer commute, which may throw my work-out schedule off for a bit while I figure everything out.

Still, I want to have some goals to gauge potential progress.  I just won’t beat myself up if some of it is a casualty of the new lifestyle.  So, here’s my May Markers:

RunningRebuild my running base.  I want to build my endurance so that I’m regularly running 4-6 mile runs about 3 days a week, and then a longer run on the weekend of 7-8 miles.  Don’t ask me why I’ve settled on these numbers.  I just know I want to move beyond the 3-3.6 miles I’ve been trekking lately.  I also think running these distances regularly will help make training for my next half easier.

Strength Training: Keep mixing it up.  I’ve talked about this a lot the last few days, so I’ll just say that I plan to keep my muscles on their toes by changing my routine every week, and upping the intensity.  There are so many studies that say it’s good to modify your routine, otherwise your muscles adapt and don’t improve anymore. Also, you don’t get bored, which means you’re more likely to keep doing it.

Strength Training: Take core strengthening classes. My core is the one area of my body that I’m struggling to really improve.  I’m upping my planks, and adding new exercises, but I just don’t feel or see it.  I did really feel it in Pilates and at the end of my spin class today with some of the strengthening exercises we did.  I think it’s an area that I just do better when I have someone else telling me what to do and ‘watching’ me, making sure I don’t slack off on it.  I don’t do it purposely, but I do think I sometimes don’t hold proper form.  So I’m going to try to work this in more.

Cross-training:Expand my spinning and yoga class repertoire.Last weekend, I took a Pilates class.  This morning, I had a different spin instructor who incorporated new moves and some strength training in the end.  I’m finally ready (and brave enough) to try a full Vinyasa class.  I had been hunting around for new studios and classes to join in the spirit of keeping things fresh, but have been turned off by the addition fees.  I then realized that I have plenty of variety in the classes I already pay for- I just need to take advantage of them.

Personally: Just keep enjoying life.  It’s been a good last few months.  I’m planning to keep it that way.

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Forward to February

I’m learning that it’s a popular thing in the fitness blogging world at the end of one month to evaluate your performance from that month and set goals for the next, like a favorite blog of mine does regularly.  I’m not one to automatically follow the crowd (hello, still not on Facebook and I just joined Twitter two weeks ago), but I like this idea.  I think it will really help me to assess how I’m doing in my training, or even life in general, and determine if there are any changes that I need to make and think of new ways to challenge myself, which I always enjoy.

So I’m jumping on the band wagon. I wasn’t sure at first, but the more I thought about it, the more goals started flooding my brain. I took that as a sign to do it.

January Recap

Miles ran: 71- pretty good considering all my weird work schedules.  Plus I ran 68 in December, so barely a jump.  I think it’s a solid base and hopefully will minimize injury.

Yoga classes: 9- this is HUGE.  One of my New Year’s goals was to integrate more yoga into my weekly routine, which with the advent of Morning Power Hour at Pure Prana, I’ve been able to do.  I’m really pleased here.

Strength training: 9 sessions- decent.  Again, the weird schedule threw me off course for a week and a half.  And a couple of my sessions have been less than stellar due to work schedules interfering.  But overall, I’m satisfied.

Dog walks– not enough! Unless it’s most days, it’s not enough.

February Targets

One five mile weekday run- none of my weekday miles have hit that five mile mark yet.  One was close at 4.77, but as my dad would say, close only counts in horseshoes.  I think I need to up the ante a bit to develop better endurance for the Rock ‘n’ Roll half (one more month!).

Yoga after my long run– I really think this would speed along the recovery process if I did a weekend practice in addition to my two morning routine.  Each week I’ve been trying to get to a weekend class but just don’t.  On the other hand, it also might be good to just have a day of absolute nothing.  I’ll aim to try this out once or twice and see what works better

Do a group run– most likely the Pacers Fun Runs, but any if others are recommended to me.  I really do want to meet more runners in the area, at the very least to know someone at races.  I really enjoy my long runs alone though, so it’s a constant battle.  But I need to be more social I think!

Read more– Fitness for the mind.  This is a perpetual goal for me, and I’ve had some success since law school ended.  However if I’m being honest, I really only pull out the Kindle on the metro and for maybe 10 minutes before bed . I’d really like to do better than that. I think part of my problem is that I’m not loving my book right now- it’s good enough to finish, but I’m not dying to find out what happens next.  I was on a big Civil War kick, and read fabulous biographies of Lincoln and Henry Clay, so maybe I need to go back in that direction.  I’m open to recommendations! I tend to prefer American history and non-ficton, but I’m willing to expand my horizons.

I think that’s enough for a short month.  Anyone else have similar ones? Any tips to help me achieve these?