My Running Program

I quit. I know I said I wouldn’t. But I quit Insanity. I hate it!

The program works if you do; and I worked hard and saw results, but I cannot continue to torture myself with a program I do not love.

I will never learn to love fitness if I keep doing things that make me hate fitness.

It is all so clear to me now. So I quit.

Liz Plosser of Women’s Health Magazine put together an article (and strategic running plan) to shape up and shed pounds in minimal mileage, and I want to try it. (I knew I was going to get excited about running!)

Run Less, Lose More Fat
Liz Plosser

According to the article, most people operate under the assumption that the more they run, the more weight they will lose.

Well, that makes sense, but unfortunately our bodies are so efficient at working that the longer we run, the easier it becomes so we burn less calories.

Ah, the human body! So efficient! So amazing! So utterly in the way of me losing weight! :(

Initial weight loss occurs – in my case, this is usually water weight – and then progress stops because the body is too good at what it does: moving.

With Women’s Health Magazine’s strategic running program, a runner will have to run three to five days a week, but rarely for more than 20 minutes at a time.

Um… sweeeeeeet! Here we go!

Sneak in Speed
Interval training (Insanity) introduces short bursts of intense aerobic exercise, or speed, into your everyday regular routine or pace.

According to the article, when you run at a comfortable pace, your cruise control, your body gets energy from the oxygen you inhale instead of using up your stores.

The body and I are going to have some words.

However, when you speed up, your body must work harder to make the muscles contract and expand, which does use up your stores and burns more calories.

A magical calorie-burning bullet, the article said. And, according to the experts, mixing short, medium and long intervals will keep your body guessing.

…meaning it can’t keep up! Ha! Take that body!

Devote one day a week to one of these speed drills:

  • Quickies: For 15 seconds, run at a hard but sustainable effort and then jog or walk to recover for 60 seconds. Repeat six times.
    Beginner: Build up to 10 intervals over eight weeks.
    Seasoned Runner: Build up to 12 intervals over eight weeks.
  • Long Repeats (Beginner): Run a quarter mile on flat or rolling terrain at a hard but sustainable effort and recover by jogging or walking for two minutes. Repeat four times. Build up to eight intervals over eight weeks.
    Seasoned Runner: Run one half miles and follow the same directions.

Head for the Hills
Ugh. Incline.

For each degree of incline, count on at least 10 percent more calories burned. (Source) Moving forward and up at the same time makes your body work harder.

Again. Ugh. Incline. (Internal Mantra: I want a perky butt. I want a perky butt. I want a perky butt.)

Do one hill workout a week:

  • Find a gentle hill or set your treadmill to a 5 percent incline.
  • Run up the hill at a hard but sustainable effort for 10 seconds.
  • Jog or walk back to where you started, or reset the incline to zero, until you completely catch your breath (45-60 seconds).
  • Beginner: Repeat four to eight times.
  • Seasoned Runner: Repeat six to 10 times.

… I want to be a seasoned runner. Sounds spicy!

Strengthen Your Stride
Strength training makes you stronger from head to toe so you can run harder, and it is absolutely necessary if you want to lose weight. (Source)

Strength training also keeps you free of injuries. Lower-body exercises are important, especially for women, to avoid hip pain. Didn’t I just say something about my wonky hip joint?

Lifting before you run increases fat burning while you run. After about 20 minutes of strength training, you’ve used up all your stores so running will burn fat. (Source)

So I’ll do some lunges, squats and pushups before heading out on a run. Good idea!

Do three sets of 12-15 reps twice a week; rest for 30 seconds between sets. You will need five- to 10-pound dumbbells and a resistance band. (I’m going to need to hunt for those resistance bands… No clue where I put them!)

  • Unilateral Lift: Grad a dumbbell in each hand, stand on one leg and lift the other leg slightly. With your raised foot stationary, lean forward with your arms straight and extended toward the floor as you bend at the hips. Return to start without lowering your raised foot.

    Similar to Warrior III? I think so.

  • Lateral Band Walk: Place a resistance band around your ankles. Stand with feet hip-width apart, and then step to the side with one foot. Walk 15 steps in one direction and 15 steps back. That’s one set. Repeat three times.

    Ashley R./T. did this little number in track and made me do it once. Inner thighs were a burnin’! Come to think of it… Everything was on fire.

  • Marching Hip Raise: Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Raise your hips to create a straight line from your knees to shoulders. Lift one knee to your chest, trying not to drop your hips. Lower, then lift your other knee to you chest. That’s one rep. Do it 12-15 times.

    Think of Bridge Pose in yoga, and then add a knee lift.

  • Leg Raise: Lie on your back with your arms by your sides, palms up. Keeping your legs straight, raise them until they are perpendicular to the floor. Slowly bring them back to the starting position, keeping your lower back against the floor.

    We used to do this in soccer… except in soccer, another girl would catch your legs, and then hurl them to the ground in hopes of making you touch it. We were NOT allowed to hit that floor.

Go Long (in Moderation)
No more than one long run a week? Heck, yes!

A long run means 30 minutes or more. I used to do that three times a week! What was wrong with me?!

So what’s the new plan?
(Why get fancy with a program when I can do this by myself?)

Adding it up…

1 speed drill day + 1 hill workout + 2 strength training days + 1 long run = 5 days a week. Add yoga on Saturdays, and I’m back at the gym using my membership! :)

Shae’s Test Schedule

Monday – Quickies

Tuesday – Strength Training

Wednesday – Hills

Thursday – Strength Training

Friday – Long Run

Saturday – Power Yoga (I’ve missed it so!)

Sunday – Rest

What time of day? Kansas has pushed 100 degree heat and more than that in heat index for the ENTIRE MONTH OF JULY. It’s not dying down anytime sooner either.

It’s too hot to run outside in the afternoon, or even in the evening, which leaves mornings. Early mornings.

Ugh. Mornings it is.

It is quite exciting to try something new that I haven’t learned to hate yet!

Who knows? I love running when I was in middle and high school. I wasn’t “active,” but I was mobile, at least. Maybe running is my in love workout?

Maybe maybe.

When should I start?

Tomorrow. :) (Although, maybe I should do some sort of detox first…)

Know a good fitness app for the iPhone? I’m looking for something the WHM but that will also allow me to track. I do not like MyNetDiary.

14 thoughts on “My Running Program

  1. Peter

    Hi Shae,
    I’m sorry to hear you quit your running, by looking at the training regime I don’t blame you for quitting! It looks pretty demanding and complex. You summed it up yourself, “I cannot continue to torture myself with a program I do not love.” I think the key to finding a good fitness plan is making it realistic and sustainable. Good luck!


    • skinnyshae

      Oh! I did not quit my running program. I haven’t really started the running program yet. I quit Insanity – a workout program by Beachbody. It works, but I hate it, so I do not want to do it anymore. The running program is what I want to be my realistic workout regimen. Here’s hoping!


  2. Jamie

    Hi Shae, for me it was a full page ad of sexy black Nike Lunar Glides that got me all pumped up to become a runner. Unlike you, the only running I did in highschool was from base to base in softball. So I printed off the schedule for “From the Couch to the 5K”, bought the Nike+ app, created my ultimate running playlist–and bought the sneakers too! Unfortunately, I have not been able to muster the energy to get up at 6 and run in 80 degree heat (yes, even then). I start my vacay in 4 days and my plan is to begin my very long running career then. :) Good luck to you!


    • skinnyshae

      Shoes do motivate a person… at least they motivate me. :)

      Mustering strength to do anything is not something I have advice for; it’s what I seek advice for. lol

      Good luck to you too! Put on those shoes and take a walk! And, when you’re ready, start jogging. Starting slow in the morning is the only way I get anywhere. :)


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