Yesterday, I did something that I’ve been talking (to myself) about doing for a while: I added exercises to my run. Six times in my usual 7km run, I stopped and did 5 burpees.
I don’t know why I picked them over any other exercise, except that they have the reputation of being super hard, and I was ready to have my butt kicked. Even more, I was ready to push myself into being seen being different. And they’re certainly different.
How was it?
First, let me say that I might have forgotten about them, except that I certainly feel the workout still. And I kinda like that.
Next, in addition to the fact that, although I felt self-conscious for the last set, my shyness decreased with each set, I’d like to say that I really enjoyed getting my hands dirty. It’s a funny thing to say, but for such a (self-perceived) nature-loving, Earth embracing hippy, I don’t get dirty very often. And, doing the burpees, I had to… and I liked it.
The last thing I wanted to mention as I reflect on them is that it was a fun change to start seeing the run as the ‘recovery’ part of the workout. I mean, after just five of them, I was so out of breath that I was glad to be running again. And that’s not how I usually thing about running.
When will I do them again?
My new short-term goal is to add a fourth, short run to my running week and to try and get the thirty burpees in just four sets…
If I do or don’t, I have to say that I’m feeling more active now, and I’m enjoying that level of activity.
So, I don’t feel especially pushed to evaluate how my December training plan went, as I didn’t really make a detailed plan.
I was right that December is a hard time to focus on fitness and came away with these takeaways:
- Trying for three runs per week was a good idea. I wound up very willing to compromise on the nature or quality of the run (shorter than planned? the day after a run day? No problem) and managed to get at least two runs in each week. Some, I even got in three including a few thirteen-kilometer runs.
- There’s not really a point in hiding your fitness routine. I tend to hide the fact that I exercise. Nobody likes the fitness guy, right? So, I’ll talk about it only generally. And, during the first part of our hosting family, I didn’t get any exercise at all in (except some walking as we showed off the city). Then, after telling them that I do planks and that it helps with my back pain, it became easier to exercise in front of them.
- I want to focus on abilities. It sounds weird, but nobody cares about reps. I say this because I can do a grand total of zero pull-ups. And, I could make a list of progressive goals for pull-ups, but that’s not what I get excited about. Instead, I’m still working on pull-ups, partly to do any (an ability) and as a stepping-stone towards tree-climbing and, possibly, bouldering.
The January Plan
Here’s what I’m looking at as I think about January:
First, I’ll be taking my son and a friend to a trampoline hall that has ‘ninja obstacle courses’ (I guess similar to American Ninja Warrior) and I look forward to measuring myself on those. (Also, to possibly turning two boys into workout partners.) She doesn’t know it yet, but because she’s feeling left out, my daughter will probably be taken bouldering with me this month as well. Another test of my general fitness.
To that end, here are the routines I’d like to have:
- Running three times a week. Again, I’ll settle for the regularity now, and focus on the quality of the runs later.
- Continuing the planks. I don’t get them done every day, but I think I can say I get them done two-thirds of the time and that they really help my back, as well as my overall feeling of strength.
- More upper-body stuff. I have a sort of informal pull-up workout in my to-do list, and I get them done most of the time. To be honest, I’ve toyed with the idea of adding burpees to my run, partly for the workout and partly to force myself to accept looking weird in front of other people. Can’t hurt, can it?
Lastly, I think it’s good to have a goal to work towards, so there will be a 5k run for time at the end of the month.