What was that about baby steps?

03Mar09

So when last I wrote, I was soo excited about running for 5 minutes. Tonight at the gym I ran for no minutes, but walked for 30minutes.

The month of February was awful for me, health-wise, because I was sick for probably 20 out of 28 days. I had a horrible cold, thought I was getting better, went back to the gym, and then got viciously sick all over again. I saw the nurse practitioner, and it was just an unfortunate combination of the first cold weakening my immune system and working in a workplace with a lot of contagions.

Tonight was the first night back at the gym in at least two weeks, and it was brutal. I could barely keep up my usual “casual walking” pace, let alone consider running. I’m frustrated, but I am trying to focus on the victory: I wanted to get back to the gym, but after the second cold, I listened to my body and waited until I was 100% well.

It just means repeating a whole lot of baby steps.

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6 Responses to “What was that about baby steps?”

  1. 1 ariak

    You’ve definitely got the right idea…Go for time and simply try to increase it each time you’re out.
    Best of luck!
    Ari

  2. Hi Marianne,

    Sorry to hear you’ve been ill. A lot of it going around. A couple of tips re: exercise and illness. Do you know the neck up/neck down rule? If you’re sick from the neck up (eg a sore throat) and feel like working out (that bit is important), it’s ok to do so. If you don’t feel like it, don’t! If you’re sick from the neck down, that is more serious, take to your bed and keep your fluids up.

    Point two: do you ever use a heart rate monitor. Heart rate training is a wonderful thing. It allows you to pace your workouts to take into account all of the relevant factors, including how much sleep you got last night, if you’re run down from working out too much, or under the weather. Say your heart rate during your jog/walk got up to, for example, 150 bpm, or 85% of your HR max (just an example). Now, if you’re fighting off a cold, your body is already working harder, and your heart rate will be elevated to begin with. So you might get up to 150 bpm just doing a brisk walk. But, here’s the cool thing, you are still working out at 85% of your max. Your brisk walk is giving your heart the same workout as your jog did when you were feeling better. Trying to run when you are ill, could have taken your HR to 170, which is why you couldn’t do it. HR training is absolutely brilliant, and a great way to improve your fitness and make progress. Check out an brilliant book on the subject called Heart Monitor Training for the Compleat Idiot by John L Parker Jr.

  3. And get well soon!

  4. 4 Marianne

    Ari – thanks for the comment!

    BBG – I do know about heart rate training, and I understand that our bodies have to work much, much harder at a basic level when we’re sick. It’s just frustrating to see all that progress go right out the window! I’m also at a slightly elevated risk for illness, so being sick twice in a month had me ignoring the neck up/down rule and just taking it super easy!

  5. Once you’re feeling better, try Couch to 5K… http://www.coolrunning.com/engine/2/2_3/181.shtml

    5 minutes is a long time to run if you’re not already in training. This program gears you up in a gradual way and at the end of two months you’ll be able to do a 5K, relatively painlessly! I just finished week 1.

  6. 6 Marianne

    Caroline, I actually am not a fan of the Cool Running C25K program. I’ve tried it in the past, and I find it assumes much more than “couch” fitness level to start off. I’m currently doing a different C25K program from BeginnerTriathlete.com, which I am very pleased with.


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