Since the last time we’ve talked running, I’ve found myself throwing in the hat with my once bright-idea of winter race training. I was craving something fresh and new in terms of fitness goals. I signed up for Run to the Finish & Sweet Guru’s Holiday Sweat Challenge, but I was struggling last week to make fitness a priority. I did a bit here and there, but I continued to find myself comparing my lifestyle to the one I was living several months ago – in the depths of half marathon training – and feeling lazy and somehow…guilty?
I don’t want health and fitness to be something that gets me down, ever again, but I know by now that sometimes I need a goal to focus on in order to find the fun in fit-time. I know that it’s natural to have less-fitness-heavy seasons in life, and I know by now that the holidays and wintery months always tend that way for me.
That being said, I want to do enough to keep myself feeling happy about my progress over the past year. There’s no reason I haven’t been working out more lately other than the fact that I’ve been choosing napping, Netflix, and general relaxation-mode over at home sweat sessions or mile logging. My intentions for winter fitness are to make it a priority by focusing on short-and-simple sessions rather than long workouts and rewarding workout time with favorite podcasts.
- Run 16 miles. That’s 2 miles a week, on average, or a handful of 3-5 milers. As I type this, I’m planning to aim for two 1-mile runs a week. I’ve made it no secret that I don’t like running in poor wintery conditions, but I’m willing to set out for 10-15 minutes a couple of times a week in order to keep feeling confident in my ability to run a 5K on a whim. In 1-mile streaks of past I’ve found myself running a few extra miles every week and if the weather happens to be gentle, I’d love to see that happen over the winter months. These runs will likely be on the weekends or days I leave the office early, because running the dark is so not on my priority list right now.
- Complete 10 Yoga Podcasts. I would love to practice at home more regularly [especially after reading this post on Love Life Surf: Why Runners Should Do Yoga] and I think setting an appointment with myself once a week to get on the mat would be the way to take baby steps to get there. I’m scheduling it on my calendar and making it HAPPEN. I added 2 additional sessions to my overall goal because yoga by snow-fall and Christmas light is totally on my Winter To Do List.
- Focus on Strength Improvement. I haven’t seriously spent time working to increase the weights I’m using or focused on building endurance on a strength exercise since my high school Strength Training class. I want to pinpoint a specific, short list of goals for now because I know taking on too much could cause me to give up on my work-out schedule after one extra stressful day at the office. Here’s what I’m focusing on strength-wise:
- Work my way up to a 90 second plank. Today I timed myself at held good form for 53 seconds.
- Start by continuing to use my smaller set of weights, and work way up to completing 3 full sets of 10 using my largest dumbbells in three standing exercises: bicep curls, shoulder presses, and lateral raises.
For both of these improvement goals I’ve set up some tracking spreadsheets which list out my goal prescribed workouts that can take me from my current fitness level to my goal level in a slow and steady increase schedule. Cheers to getting it done!
What goals are you setting for the the winter months? Are you making fitness a priority?