I am running again.
A slow 2 miles at a time.
A 10 minute mile. (Which for you non-runners: a 10 minute mile means non-fast. At least in my world.)
I have been ramping up to this since the summer. Yes, ramping up. I started at an even slower pace, with even less distance. Really I could’ve called it “walking around the block” but I had to start somewhere.
I injured myself in May, and it’s now November. But the weird thing is, it wasn’t the kind of injury what happened all at once. I spent a long time doing repetitive motions in my life which eventually led to the injury. Maybe as long or longer than the time I’ve spent doing my ‘recovery’.
Which brings me to my next thought. Interval training. Usually reserved for when I want to amp up my game. For athletes who want the most out of a workout. For people who want to rev their metabolism. Shake things up. Anyone can do it. And it really really works. (Hey I am running again!)
Which brings me to my next thought. Exercise shouldn’t take up a ton of time. In my life there is no more than one hour in any given day that is devoted to just that. What counts is the AMOUNT of EFFORT put into that hour. I give 60%, then 100%, then 40%, then 70%, then 100%, then 50% (and repeat the process). This is where the interval part comes into play. I work hard enough to keep my heart-rate up and within reasonable guidelines.
I keep mentally stimulated by switching things up. Instead of switching off and trying to watch daytime tv on the treadmill (has that ever worked for anyone? Ever??) or switching off and listening to grooving tunes, I switch on and become more aware of my body. At 100% intensity I focus on how my muscles are pushing me, how fast my breath becomes and how much more I can give, without giving up. At 40% I notice how tired I feel and how the slow pace makes me feel like I am dragging. And the awareness is in the noticing. Becoming more knowledgable about your own body. Especially in my case, with the injury. I was able to identify what I was doing wrong. I was able to identify how to activate muscles during high intensity training (after many many sessions of physical therapy and countless reps of s-l-o-w muscle specific exercises.)
So whether you are recovering from an injury, or trying to improve performance. Become more aware of your body as you do it.
NOTICE how the muscles are reacting (or not).
NOTICE the differences as you switch up the intensity.
And NOTICE how training in intervals boots everything else, your mind, your body, your life. Life doesn’t happen at one pace, and neither should you.