After a busy summer of travel, visitors and lots of good food and wine... I decided I needed to make a change before the holiday season hit full force.
A good friend of mine is training for a full 26 mile marathon in December and while I am not quite that ambitious (yet) I thought getting out the running shoes might be a good idea. I asked her to set me up with a easy training schedule to follow to help me get on track with a running routine. She obliged by giving me a 5 week course to follow that really helped me "ease" into the running, or in my case "jogging" routine again.
As I followed her schedule for "training for a 5k run", I continued to cross train with my spin classes, three days a week and my swim workouts twice a week, along with longer workouts on my road bike two or three times a week. I noticed that not only was I less "bored" with my workouts now, but I was seeing results again. My muscles were being a challenged again as I added diversity to my routine.
Cross training is a great way to condition different muscle groups, develop a new set of skills, and reduce boredom that creeps in after months of the same exercise routines. Cross training also allows you the ability to vary the stress placed on specific muscles or even your cardiovascular system. After months of the same movements your body becomes extremely efficient performing those movements, and while that is great for competition, it limits the amount of overall fitness you possess and reduces the actual conditioning you get while training; rather than continuing to improve, you simply maintain a certain level of fitness. In addition, Cross training can reduce the risk of injury from repetitive strain or overuse.
The next element of my plan was to find an easy to follow diet to get ready for the holiday season and the yummy foods that will surely added unwanted inches to my waist. I have tried a few different diet shake plans, and have had various results, when I came across the Usana Reset kit. The meal-replacement shakes are low glycemic, meaning that the ingredients are formulated to produce only small fluctuations in blood glucose levels for sustained energy to keep you satisfied longer, and the plan is only five days long and very easy to follow. You get your 3 meals a day via your shakes, in a variety of flavors: chocolate, vanilla and strawberry. You also get 10 nutrition bars, 5 peanut butter and 5 oatmeal raisin (2 a day for your snacks), and 5 days worth of the "healthy pack" vitamins. The DVD that comes in the pack helps to educate and inspire you to do what you need to do to stay on track. The Reset kit boasts a 5 pound lose in 5 days, with no starvation. So far, I'm on day 3 and it is working great. I recommend drinking plenty of water to flush your system. I also incorporated the Usana Rev3 surge pack drink mix in one water a day, to give me an added boost of energy.
I am now getting psyched to do a triathalon. Part of the motivation for me to continue to train, I have added a long term goal. I am planning on participating in the sprint tri in Santa Barbara next summer. But for now, I will be fitting into the cute party dresses for the holidays and loving it!