Thursday, April 30, 2015

Goal setting with your workout plan

I'm not a fan of the word "exercise" because it sounds like a chore. Instead I call it a workout. Because it's work, but it's something I enjoy doing and it makes me feel awesome :)

You can get out of that "exercise plan" mentality by changing it to a workout goal; a strengthening goal. And goals are freaking amazing!

I ran my first 10km race last weekend and finished at 53:41. For anyone who runs a lot, this may not seem like a very competitive time, but for me, it was my personal best and I'm ecstatic about it! Considering I've only been running for 2 years, a 10k was my marathon. Almost a full hour of running, not tiring, not feeling too sore, controlled breathing... it's a lot of work to get to that point. But I signed up for this race, along with 3 amazing girlfriends and decided that I would not let myself down. I would finish in under an hour.

Setting this goal was important. And the fact that I had to pay for this event meant that this was some serious business! I ran twice per week (adding in strength training and hip work through the week), extending my distances and using "Map my run" to keep track of my pace and distance. I made motivating playlists filled with songs that made me happy and picked beautiful scenic trails to run. The fact that I was happy and my soul felt free made up for my exhausted lungs, my red flushed face and my legs that were sore by kilometer 8, but on auto-pilot.

I also translated my goals to yoga. They call it a "practice" for a reason. Keep practicing and you keep improving. Flexibility gets better the more you stretch a muscle. Balance is more stable the more you use those muscles that keep you in that position. My "Royal dancer" went from wobbly to sturdy and extended. I went from staying in a lunge for a few seconds, to deepening it and wrapping my arms around my legs at the same time.

There's always room for improvement (I'm now working on arm balances and headstands!) but what keeps you going is that goal. Have a goal in mind, dedicate yourself to it and celebrate when you achieve it! My other advice is to keep your goal reasonable. I wasn't about to go straight from running 5km's to doing an actual marathon. It's about steps. Choose your next step, work hard and be proud of yourself.
My view along the waterfront trail