Friday, July 16, 2010

Fit Friday: Mags & Sprints

It's been a few weeks since my last Fit Friday post.  I'm excited that two good friends (who don't know each other) are slowly becoming addicted to running.  It's not that I think everyone should be a runner.  But I do think there are huge benefits both physically and mentally to having some sort of outlet.  If your body can handle it, I happen to think that running is one of the most easy activities to take up.  Sure you have to start slow and build, but if you find some plans and stick to them--you will find yourself running, and loving it.

On to our topics for today.

First up: Magazines

For many years I've had various fitness magazine subscriptions, depending on when I could get one for $10 or less.  I've received Self, Fitness, & Shape. I thought that I was encouraging health and fitness in myself by reading these magazines, as well as enjoying little tips, tidbits and product suggestions.  In some ways, I think I was.  There were times I was inspired by various articles and stories featured in the magazines.

Over the last few months though, it seemed that reading these magazines only made me more dissatisfied with my body and my life.  Especially when reading about how celebrities stay in shape.  You know, those people who can afford gym memberships or have a home gym, have a nanny to watch the baby while they exercise and of course the celebrity trainer that provides all the tips and tricks.  I know they give plenty of time to stay fit, and I applaud that.  I just also recognize that they have a lot more means to do so than the average reader.

Because I workout either in my house, or in the streets, a lot of the information wasn't relevant to me.  Even after reading 4,345 articles about how to have flat abs, I still don't.  And usually the routines were just silly or required equipment I don't have.  Sure there are great recipes and food tips.  But they usually don't include how to make such recipes edible to your young children.

So, I'm done with the magazines.  I'm very happy with Jillian Michaels, my Nike's and the free Exercise TV workouts I have through my cable.  I can get whatever results I want with them.  I don't need your fancy magazine.  I don't need to compare myself to your airbrushed models and privileged celebrities.  I'll stick with the real world.

My new favorite magazine?  Runner's World.  Because it's all about being the best runner you can be.  It's not about getting your body to look a certain way.  It's about training your body to achieve a goal.  Sure, I can't necessarily run the 20+ miles a week many runners featured do.  But one day, when my kids are older, I believe that I will.  It's about the love of running.  And I'm all about that.

Our other topic (it's quick, I promise) for today is: sprints.

Working sprints into your runs will make a big overall difference in your athetic ability and your mental confidence.  There are fancy plans and ways to run spritnts, but I haven't even quite gotten to that place yet.

Here's the two ways to incorporate sprints into any run.

1.  When you are going at an easy pace, choose an object in your view (a particular car, the end of a block, a bend in the road) and run as fast as you can to it.  You can also sprint for part of a song (like one verse or one chorus) if you are listening to music.  Try to do this a few times during a run.

2.  Sprint at the end.  I almost always try and sprint the last 30-45 seconds of my run.  As in go all out.  Sometimes I'll even push myself a bit past my "ending point" just to show myself I can. 

I'd love to hear any fit tips you have or your fitness triumphs this week!

Have a great weekend.

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