Gym +1, Weight -…

I’ve not had a chance to write about how last week went in terms of fitness. While I couldn’t make it to the parkrun on Saturday (I went to Nottingham for the day and saw the band Bastille), I went to the gym twice! It’s been a while since I’ve been to the gym twice in one week; I went on Wednesday morning and Friday morning.

I might have mentioned this before, but the best way for me to get out of the bed and start off the day with an early morning session at the gym is to obstruct the driveway with my car. My parents leave out before I do and we have a sort of system in place with parking cars on the drive. If my car is parked behind one of my parents’ cars, then I have to move my car to let them out. They both leave out at about 7:10am, and normally I get up at around 7:30am if I don’t go to the gym. I hate the thought of having to get up before my alarm just to move my car, as I like my sleep and it’s not ideal going back to bed for 20 minutes. Therefore parking my car in such a way makes me get out of bed and go to the gym. It’s not failed on me, yet.

Last Wednesday morning I decided to run 5km on the treadmill. I was aiming for my personal best at the most recent parkrun, but it was a struggle. My personal best at the parkrun is also the fastest I’ve ever ran 5km so far, which is 32 minutes and 44 seconds. I tried running at 10km/h on the treadmill, but I had to slow down and do some brisk walking for a few minutes. In the end I finished 5km in 37 minutes and 27 seconds. This exceeds even my longest parkrun result, which was my first one in Guernsey at 35 minutes and 38 seconds.

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5km on the treadmill

Maybe I found it difficult to run 5km at the gym because the environment/atmosphere is different to a parkrun. You run with lots of people at a parkrun and everyone is supportive of each other, with volunteers cheering you on. There’s sometimes music on at the gym and I often watch the morning news while working out, but it’s not the same as running with a crowd of people. You can make a parkrun competitive for yourself by running past people and keeping up with someone in front of you. At the gym it’s just you, unless you go with a friend and workout together. Whatever it is, aiming to finish 5km close to or at my personal best will be a good challenge for me at the gym.

Friday morning I did a 45 minute session on the cross trainer. If time allowed I would’ve done 3km but I managed 2.73km. I varied the intensities and kept up the speed and was pleased myself with myself afterwards. The cross trainer I use is good for intense workouts as you really have to push down hard with your legs. It’s good for keeping the muscles in my upper thighs toned.

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2.73km on the cross trainer

I made it to the gym this morning! I normally struggle with getting up earlier on Mondays, but because my car was blocking my parents’ cars, I got straight out of bed before my alarm even went off. I had a 40 minute session on the treadmill this morning and ran 5.21km. I wasn’t aiming to finish 5km to reach my personal best; instead I focused on a high intensity exercise. I started off at a steady pace, then ran fast for 2 minutes, back to the steady pace for 2 minutes, then fast again and so on. I varied the speeds each time, reaching a maximum speed of 10km/h which I kept up for 4 minutes straight towards the end. I also decided to have a go at running on a slight incline by setting the gradient to 3% (I have no idea what that equates to in terms of how steep the treadmill was). I ran for 10 minutes at varying speeds on this incline, which my legs certainly felt. I ought to vary the incline more often on the treadmill since it increases your heart rate even more.

I think the main reason for my eagerness this morning though comes down to the fact that I’ve been in self-denial. I hadn’t weighed myself for quite some time until yesterday morning. I knew it wasn’t going to be good; I currently weigh 16.6 stone. This is not where I want to be weight wise. I know why I weigh this much and I know what I need to do to change that. However, it is interesting to note that I started taking my fitness seriously a few years ago and even though I weigh over 2 stone more than I did back in June 2014, I can run faster than ever before. I have far more muscle than I did before going to the gym and my body shape has changed. I do carry too much fat around my stomach, arms and my thighs but I can still keep up the speed and run without feeling out of breath. I am still debunking the myth I always use to believe, that you have to be thin to be fit.

 

Happy reading and blogging!

Clare Bear

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