Tag Archives: Physical exercise

How much exercise?

I am finally beginning to believe in myself with regards to my fitness and running abilities. A couple of days ago I managed to run 12 miles (as well as spend the rest of the weekend packing and hauling boxes around!). I am also speeding up again. This Sunday I managed to run 5 miles at an average speed of about 8.50minute miles. This is much more what I would expect.source

I had begun to tell myself that this was because I was having proper rest days and only running three – four times a week. Then I read this post by musingsandmotion where she documented her weeks exercise program. She had ONE rest day. Yep ONE, not two or three ONE. I suddenly felt inadequate and woefully unfit. What is your view on this? I used to exercise nearly every day – when I had the time. I now like to think that I do more quality work outs? Am I just kidding myself?


I suspect that this is the important thing. I need to stop worrying about and comparing myself to others – I just need to focus on me and do what is right for me. After all we are all different so what is right for one cannot be right for all…(If only it was as easy to believe it!)


Garden workout for marathon runners.

Last week I pondered about the place of cross training when working towards completing a half marathon. In my heart I knew that just running was not the complete picture and it seems that I may indeed be right! (yes I was a little surprised).


On a visit to our wonderful library on Saturday they had a display of ‘Olympic’ themed books, 2 of which were to do with training for marathons. I snapped these up sharpish and have part read one of them.

Product Details

Image from Amazon!

The Key Requirements

I am not about to run a marathon but I figure that what works for a marathon will work for a half marathon. Indeed the last chapter is entitled ‘Workouts for Beginners and Fun-runners’.  So it must be relevant? (Nowhere does it define ‘endurance’! ) In this final chapter is a list of the key requirements for endurance running:

1. A good basic aerobic fitness.

2. Good posture and running technique

3. Sound joints, mobility and suppleness.

4. Mental strength and determination.

5. A good quality of trainers.

It goes on to give a  basic start-up running program. The rest of the book basically takes you through each of the key requirements

General Anaerobic Conditioning.

Anaerobic running produces pain due to a build up of lactic acid in the muscles. Michael A. Winch (the author of the book)  recommends that one way to be able to deal with this during a race is to build up some tolerance to this. He also mentions that it is a good idea to experience this before a race so there are no nasty surprises! The ways to do this are thorough interval training, hill running and circuit training (amongst a few others.) Most runners will be aware of hill and interval training, indeed I credit a lot of my recent improvements to interval training. The one that I was particularly interested in was the circuits.


My interest in this is obviously that it is not running! Having done one of the circuits that he suggested last night I would suggest that it is also good for flexibility and the core muscles which are also given their own chapters in this book. He gives 2 basic circuits, the one that I did where you work through each of the exercises without a break and another where you repeat each exercise a number of times before moving on the next. So here it is:

Circuit 1:

Repeat the whole thing 4 times for the first session (I nearly ducked out after 3 but did persevere!)

1. Squat thrust. Start in a press up position. Jump your feet forward and then return them to the press up position. 10x

2. Chinnies. 8 on each side.

image from womanworld.org

3. Full-arm body circling: 8 clockwise and 8 anti clockwise.

I spent ages looking for an image or video for this but could not find one so will do my best to describe it. Stand with feet well astride and arms extended above your head.  You then sweep your arms around in a full circle, touching the ground and then back up to the top.  Once you have done all 8 on one side, repeat on the other.

4.Narrow-stance alternate-leg split jumps 8 on each leg

Action Steps 1 & 2

Pictures taken from Peak Performance on line

If you start with action 1 (you do not need the pole) you bend down (action 2) and then jump into the air, swapping your legs around as you go. Repeat.

5. Alternate leg ‘V’ sit ups: 8 on each side.

6. Feet raised bench dips: 10

7. Full squat jumps: 10

8. Free twisting hyperextensions: 6 on each side

Image from here

The above picture shows the basic hyperextensions. The only difference with the free twisting ones are that you come up and twist to one side. Hold the position for 2 seconds then lower and lift again. This time twisting to the other side.

9. Free twisting sit ups: 8 on each side

Image from teamdropit

As in the above image position your arms across your chest and lie on the floor with your knees bent. Using your stomach muscles, sit up so the head comes up to the knees, twisting to one side. Lie back down and repeat, twisting to the other side.

So there you have it:

This is the circuit that I did and I have to say that it was a bit of a challenge! Could you do this? Do you think that it is worth it?

Please note: I am not a qualified fitness instructor and all the opinions are mine, I have nothing to do with the author or anyone mentioned in this post.

Too much running?

Running Too much?

Last week I found a new blog (well new to me!): healthyfrenchie, Reading this really made me think about my training. I spend a lot of time running. Now this is for several reasons

1. It is quicker than going to the gym (no traveling required!)

2. It is effective

3. (Probably the most influential) When training for my half marathons earlier this year running is the training you do!


Now this may sound really obvious as training to run a half marathon is going to involve running! However reading the lovely blog healthyfrenchie and also watching some documentaries on Olympian athletes I have realised that I have very much neglected much of my body (in terms of fitness that is.) Running is not going to tone my upper body. Does this matter? Honestly – I am not actually sure but I have had a bit of a shake up!

The Gym.

On Saturday I headed off to the gym and, after running outside  (3 miles) I did some weight work on my upper body. It felt quite good and I really ached the next day (evidence to how much I had neglected this!)

The Garden!

Yes you read correctly. Monday evening I did a workout in the garden (and I have a very small garden at that!). My wonderful husband came home and said that he would quite like to go the golf course. Of course I said fine! Only, however because I was thinking about this post from Healthyfrenchie: Making Up Your Own Workout. I can definitely do that thinks me and so I did. With the company of my eldest son and the timing abilities of my next eldest we had quite a good workout. (yes I do ache!)

My Personal Workout!

I did 1 minute of each exercise x2!

1.        2.                 3.

Step ups                                                     dips                                        star jumps

4.              5.                      6.

bench step ups                              walking lunges                                      push ups

7.               8.  Burpees (no image!)             9.

Squat jumps                                                                                                     plank

10.             11.         12.

Jump lunges                                        sit ups                                            shuttle runs

13. Boxing!

So what do you think? Is it fairly balanced? Can anyone give me some bicep and back exercises to add in? Fancy giving it a go?

I am going to do a bit more research into training so will get back to you in due course.