How To Push Through A Motivation-less Workout

We’ve all been there. You walk into the gym, determined to do your 30 minutes of elliptical machine, followed by 30 minutes of weights. And two minutes into your workout–BAM!–the Motivation Train has left the station.

What do you do to keep up your workout and make it worth your while? How do you come back from that kind of crash?

Here are some tips on how to keep up the motivation, get a killer workout, and leave the gym feeling happy, healthy, and refreshed!

  • Change up the tunes. If you normally listen to music, turn it off. Eves-drop on the lady next to you, or the people on the treadmills behind you. If you don’t normally listen to music, now may be the time to turn it on. I’ve been known to put a movie on my phone and watch that! Running while watching The A-Team? You’d be surprised how motivating it is looking at Bradley Cooper… just sayin.
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  • Remind yourself of why you’re there. You did actually make it into the gym, you started to workout. You must have had a reason to be there, otherwise you would have kept on driving straight home. Be honest with yourself. You want results? Dig deep and focus on them. If focusing on your goal doesn’t give you motivation to reach for it, you may need to rethink your goals…
  • Change up your workout! You’ve focused so much on to what you’re going to do, you might have zapped the fun right out of it. Is there a Zumba class going on while you’re there? Or that Boot Camp that you’ve been afraid to try? Do something NEW! If it’s trying the assisted pull-up machine, trying a new class, or simply switching “leg day” to a different day, do something different! 40673202854189087_LqBUKqQR_c
  • Call a friend. Tell ’em, “Oh. Emm. Gee. This treadmill is killing me right now! Help! Distract me!” Or, “I’m losing steam! Mayday! Mayday! My workout is going down in flames! Come quick!” [these may or may not be actual transcripts from my phone calls…] Having someone who knows you helping you in the moment will greatly increase your chance of finishing your workout in a good mood. 😉163748136423434835_HnffhtPT_c
  • And last, but not least: Let the treadmill win. You heard me. Take the day off. Your motivation slump may be your body telling you that it needs a break. Ask yourself when the last full day off you had. Been a few days? Take a break. Say “You win, elliptical. But tomorrow, you better run and hide; I’m comin for ya!” 66991113177337808_6lYnAuO3_c

What’s your favorite way to whip out a workout when you lose motivation?

Surrounded by Greatness and Happiness

Am I the only one in love with Nike’s new ad campaign?! I’m finding that I just can’t get enough of ’em!!!

I mean, come on. That’s awesome! According to the blurb that describes that vid, this boy’s name is Nathan. He’s 12. How much determination and fire must he have to be doing that?! Running (yes, I believe that even jogging should be called running. i use the logic that a square is actually a specific type of rectangle. running and jogging are one in the same) is hard. It takes both mental and physical strength. And a lot of the times, it’s the mental part that’s the hardest. And here Nathan is, running. Yes, I believe that this is greatness.

And here’s some greatness for the women in the world, just trying to find themselves and make their mark on the world:

And while this one isn’t Nike, I’m still in love with this one. After watching the news and hearing nothing but horrible people doing horrible things, this gives a bit of hope that we’re not surrounded by evil:

You cannot be truly healthy without also being happy. So today I want you to focus on yourself, pushing your boundaries, and being happy. Get yourself the new pair of Mizunos you’ve been looking at, run another half mile more than planned, and surround yourself with friends and family.

 

Marilyn Monroe

I’ve got 10 bucks that says I’m not the only one who grew up thinking that Marilyn Monroe was incredibly beautiful/stunning/attractive/(insert flattering adjective here). In my world, Monroe defines “Bombshell.” She had it all: class, physical beauty, and a heart of gold. So let’s just take a minute and appreciate someone who has defined beauty for generations of men and women.

Notice anything different about Marilyn Monroe? You can’t see her ribs. She has a pooch. She has a butt. She has meat on her bones. But she’s always smiling. And that’s the most beautiful thing in the world. So let’s all dedicate our next workout to being as healthy and happy as possible, not being as skinny as possible.

Nike Women’s Marathon 2012 and Nike Fuelband

Now that I’m done with the Jungle Run, at least until next year, it’s time to concentrate on training for the Nike Women’s Marathon. This will be my first full marathon, so this training will take it’s toll, both mentally and physically. Time to cowgirl up and start ramping up and running more than I’ve ever run before. Goodie. But, that also means that it’s time for new shoes! Score!

I’m really really really stoked that my feet were pain free the whole time while wearing my Mizuno Wave Creation 13s, so I’ll probably be really boring and buy the same shoes again. And I really like the pink color, too, so I’ll be super lame and get the exact same ones that I’ve just “retired.”

can you really blame me for wanting another pair? 😉

In hopes of kicking my training schedule’s bootay, I’m drooling over the the Nike Fuelband. Have you seen that thing? Snazzy! I could wear jewelry like that! 😉 It counts your movements and your (theoretical) caloric burn, and helps you meet and exceed your fitness goals! *I have to put in the disclaimer that no device made for mass consumption can get your exact caloric burn. Some things come really close, such as the BodyBugg, but nothing is dead-on.*

I just saw a video about the Fuelband today; check it out:

Yeah, after watching that agin, I’m making it happen. Beg, barter, or steal, that Fuelband will be mine! *insert evil laugh here* 😉

Have any of you ever used the Nike Fuelband? Thoughts? Likes? Dislikes? 

Today’s workout: TurboFire Greatest HIITS and lots and lots and lots of foam rolling. 😉

What’s your workout today? What’s keeping you active? 

Tabata Hell

So what’s a girl to do when she’s only got 2 days until her half marathon???

Teach a Tabata Hell class, of course!!! 😉

This morning, I subbed a strength training class for my friend and mentor, Megan (she’s the most amazing person you’ll ever meet, and the reason why I got into and stay in the fitness field). On Wednesday, I texted Megan and asked if her class was the type to expect anything and roll with the punches. In short, I asked if they’d be up for Tabatas. 😉 Megan replied that, yeah, they’re up for it! And in fact, they haven’t had to do them in a while, so give ’em hell! (I’m paraphrasing, but that’s totally how I interpreted it!)

I can honestly tell you this: everyone worked their asses off, had a great time, and got an aMAZing workout! And no, no one’s arms fell off, though I’m sure it was a close call at times 😉

Here’s your Friday the 13th Challenge:

You’ll need a mat, a barbell with varied amount of weights, a timer set to Tabata intervals (20 sec work, 10 sec rest, total of 8 sets; I use the Gymboss Timer App on my iPhone; you can download it here, and a kick-ass-take-no-prisoners attitude!

*note: all Tabatas are non-weighted!! Your own body weight is challenging enough! Do it fast, controlled, and keep your midline (aka CORE) tight and fired up!!! The barbell exercises are noted with “BB” and are steady paced for 3 minutes, no resting.

Start with a 5 minute warm up of pliés, Romanian dead lifts, light lunges, high knees marching.

  • Tabata: air squats

    a perfect air squat!!

  • BB: Plié with overhead press

    this shows a squat, but I want your legs wide and feet/knees turned out into a plié

  • Tabata: push ups

    do a real push up! Get your chest to tap the floor!!!

  • BB: Chest press with static bridge lift hold

    except you’ve got a barbell ant aren’t wearing silver spandex, riiiiiight? 😉

  • Tabata: mountain climber

    alternate legs and go as fast as you can! keep your bas squeezed and jump/run those legs!

  • BB: Romanian dead lift with bent over row (alternate 16 dead lifts with 8 rows)

    go from standing to “A” 16 times, on the 17th time, do “B” 8 times. Repeat.

  • BB: standing oblique crunch (barbell on shoulders, bring elbow down to side of hip)

    put the barbell on your shoulders (as if you were about to do back squats) and crunch down, alternating sides

  • Tabata: crunches

    instead of pushing your low back into the floor, think about pulling your belly button into your low back. SQUEEZE!!!!

  • Tabata: reverse crunches

    use the contraction of your abs to pull your hips off of the floor, not the strength and momentum of your legs! again, SQUEEZE!!!

  • 4 3-count supermans, 1 10-count superman, repeat for a total of 2 sets

    yes, it’s a crunch for your low back. it’s going to burn. trust me, you want to feel the burn on this one! it’s good for a healthy back!!

So, how do you feel?! 😉 *insert evil laugh here* Make sure you stretch your whole body, really well, to prevent any soreness!

Yes, this workout is hard. It’s supposed to be. Doing the Tabatas is going to rev up your metabolism to a fat-burning inferno!!! You may notice that your heart rate is sightly elevated for the 24 hours—totally normal!! In fact, that’s a good sign that you worked hard and your body is in calorie-torching more!!

Class, as you can guess, was awesome this morning!

true story 😉

So while everyone else gets to go home and rest and prep for their next class, I’m at home popping Advil and praying that I’m not too sore for Sunday’s half marathon. Oops. 😉 But my feet feel great, and my quad didn’t give me any attitude during class, so I’m taking that as a good sign!!

What are your plans this weekend?!

Happy Friday the 13th!! 😉

T minus 8 Days

I’m now at one of my favorite parts of racing. . .

Making my playlist!

I don’t always run with music, so it makes music a big motivator for me! I’m putting together my playlist for my first half marathon of 2012. Wow, that makes it sound like I doing a lot of ’em this year. . . Honestly, I’ve got the Jungle Run Half on the 15th, then nothing ’til October when I do the Nike Women’s Marathon (my first full 26.2!), and then ending the season with the Santa Barbara International (I’m doing the half).

I’m up for suggestions of events in NorCal for all the times in-between!!!! 😉

 

So here’s a peek at my playlist so far:

I want to make sure I’ve got 3 hours of music, and then put it on shuffle, so that way I don’t hear the exact same songs in the exact same order as my trial run next week. (I like to make sure that I don’t think a song is great only to find out at mile 9 that it’s too slow and ruins my vibe. Yes, it’s happened before.)

And here’s where we come to the GoodNews/BadNews.

One thing making me nervous. . . My quad decided to check out a couple weeks ago. Translation: my quads hate me. I’m a visual person, so in really technical doctor-y speak, here’s what’s going on:

I see a sh*t load of foam rolling in my immediate future. And ice. I have to get to the store to get ice. . . So my goal for this year’s Jungle Run is the exact same as last year: finish without crawling across the finish line. I managed it last year off of foot surgery, with no training, so this year should be okay. Key word: should.

The cool news is that a few of the kickin’ ladies from the Lululemon Run Club are doing the half, and some are doing the 10k! So I’ll be with really supportive people that I’m already used to running with! Yay!! So between my music in one ear, and catching up on gossip in the other ear, I think I’ll be well distracted and motivated! 🙂

Lululemon actually sends these signs to their stores for their educators to use at local races! Isn’t that totally kick a$$?! 🙂

What race are you looking forward to?

What songs are musts in your running playlists? 

CrossFit Logic

“The notion that holding a heart rate of 180 bpm for twenty minutes on a bike is good cardio whereas holding 180 bpm for twenty minutes in a circuit of weightlifting is of lesser cardiovascular value is widespread yet ludicrous.”

Greg Glassman, founder of CrossFit, on cardiovascular training

This is always good for us to remember! Even if you take the day off from running (or other traditional cardio exercise), you can still get a great cardio workout from weigh-training. Don’t ever let someone tell you that lunges, squats, and thrusters aren’t cardio! No matter what type of exercise you’re doing, if your heart rate goes up, you’re doing cardio. Simple as that!

I’ll be going for a run this afternoon, and if my schedule allows, Megan‘s yoga class tonight. (You wanna talk about elevated heart rate? Come take Megan’s Power Vinyasa class! Whew!!!) My glutes are a little sore from Saturday’s and Sunday’s runs, but I’d like to get in some speed work today. Also on the docket today: agility cones! I don’t use them enough, so they’re getting lonely. I’ll take ’em out this afternoon and show ’em some love. 😉

What’s your workout today?! 

Friday Night Realization

It is at this moment when I realize how incredibly cool and awesome I really am. It’s almost 9pm on a Friday night and I’m sitting at home blogging. Watch out, world! Heather’s gonna tear up the town! Believe it or not, I actually used to be cool. Wow. How the times have changed.

“Pity party. Table for 1.”

On a happier note, I’m doing my first run with Lululemon Santana Row’s Run Club (wow, that’s a mouthful!) tomorrow morning! I’ll have to leave my house about 45 minutes before it starts, but I’m sure it’ll be totally worth it! I’m not a morning person, so getting up early tomorrow will be a challenge. But, again, probably worth it.

It’s going to be my first 5 miler this season, which honestly, I’m a bit worried about.

Last night I went to the gym, intending to do the Zumba class and a 3 mile treadmill run. What actually happened: 30 minutes of Zumba and a 1.14 mile run/walk on the ‘dread’mill.

Zumba was fun, but I could feel my enthusiasm waning, so I wanted to get my run in before I lost my mojo. Once on the treadmill, my left calf said “#&*! you, Heather! Peace out!” When my calves don’t like me, my feet don’t like me. Since I’m really looking forward to Saturday’s long run, it just wasn’t worth it to me to push another 2 miles.

Oh well, the treadmill will always be there to torture me another day.

(Wait, I thought I was supposed to be “on a happier note”. . . wtf, mate)

So in honor of keeping your body happy and healthy for running, I’m sharing 2 yoga videos! Lululemon has made these to help with their half marathon training, so it’s perfect for us! Enjoy!!!

 

 

Yoga and running are like olive oil and balsamic vinegar: great apart, but AMAZING when combined! Hope you like these routines!!

I’ll keep you posted on how my first Run Club run goes!!!

What are your plans for this weekend? Any run clubs going on? 

Thankful To Be Running

After a day-long adventure of herding 3 7-year old boys through the Monterey Bay Aquarium today, I was toast. I joking told my son’s teacher that I’ll feel a bit more alert once I had some tequila in me. Her response: “After I leave here, I’m going to the B-A-R.” I love my son’s teacher. It’s like we’re the same person. 😉

So when I looked at my Running Calendar (yes, I have a calendar dedicated to just running. Are you surprised after this post?) I cringed when I saw “3 miles, speed.” Hell. No. Who’s up for margaritas?!

So after margaritas (you thought I was joking, didn’t you) I came home and noticed that Lululemon Santana Row is having a Run Club social hour tonight. They’re going over calendars (yay!) and running questions, which I’m totally down for! But after spending 3 hours driving today and being dead tired, I wasn’t up for driving another 2 hours.

I cruised online for a few minutes to distract myself from the speed work that I wasn’t doing, when I came across this article. . .

Paralyzed Woman Finishes London Marathon – Yahoo! News.

So I’ll be damed if I’m not going to Lululemon tonight!!

Let’s take some time out from our lives right now and just appreciate where we are. Good or bad, we can get up and go pee in the middle of the night without too much hassle.

Here’s to our health and happiness! Happy Tuesday!

Now get out there and RUN!!!

Risks and Rewards

“Doing risk sport had taught me another important lesson: never exceed your limits. You push the envelope and you live for those moments when you’re right on the edge, but you don’t go over. You have to be true to yourself; you have to know your strengths and limitations and live within your means.”

Yvon Chouinard, founder of Patagonia, Let My People Go Surfing: The Education of a Reluctant Businessman

Push yourself, go after those big goals and lofty dreams! But when you’re injured or not up to the physical challenge, don’t kill yourself. Reevaluate what you’re doing and modify your goals.

Here’s to a week of great workouts!!!

If you’re stumped on how to mix up your routine this week, try throwing this in! Your legs will hate love you!!! Keep your abs in tight and push your knees outward when you squat. Have fun!!