Today was a pretty nice day so I decided it was time to resume my cardio training with a bit of a jog before breakfast. I had been doing this a little while ago, but my resolve weakened a bit when the hot weather came back.
So anyway today my friend came along and we had a nice jog around West Brunswick near my place. I have always struggled a lot with my cardio, especially with running. I do a bit better with my boxing workouts, but running is a big weakness! For a personal trainer it’s not really acceptable to not be able to run, so I’ve been really determined to get on top of this!
Well today I think I finally figured it out. Anyone who knows me knows that I tend to do anything at about 120% intensity, especially training. I think this might come from my martial arts background where we were expected to be completely exhausted within about the first 15 minutes of the class, and then just gut it out for the rest. Especially in gradings, pacing yourself was never an option!
So what I realised today was that I was running at 100%, lasting maybe a few hundred metres, and then having to walk for a bit to catch my breath. Really it was more like interval training than the continuous training I was intending. Although I was making progress in the distance I could run before needing a rest period, I was a bit concerned and even embarrassed at how bad my cardiovascular fitness was.
Today I finally worked out how to JOG at a pace that I can keep up for an extended period of time, and I was quite surprised at how well I was able to go. It turns out my cardio fitness is not quite that bad after all, and what’s more I actually enjoyed it for once, too!
So for anyone else out there trying to get their lungs into shape, remember to pace yourself. You don’t have to go out and run a marathon in a respectable time on your first day of training, and in fact pushing yourself too hard too soon with unrealistic expectations is more likely to put you off than anything else. My suggestion is choose an amount of time (say 30 or 45 minutes) that you want to train for, and work on gradually increasing the distance you can cover in that time, while reducing the amount and duration of walking breaks you need to take.
Once you feel ready, you can add in some intervals where you run at a higher intensity, to increase the affect on the cardiovascular system. Increasing lung capacity is a prime consideration in improving your performance in sports and general health and wellbeing, and including some high intensity interval training is a great way to achieve this.
So as you can see, even with all my years of training I am still learning, and still working on identifying and resolving my weaknesses. So for everyone else out there, don’t get discouraged if there’s an area of your fitness plan that you are struggling with. Get some advice from someone who is having more success in that area, make some adjustments to your routine and most of all just be so determined to persist and find the right strategy to reaching your goals.
So long as you don’t give up, you WILL succeed and enjoy the satisfaction that comes with acheiving your goal. And the harder it was, the more satisfaction you will take from it.
The sage views weakness as weakness, thus he is without weakness.
— Lao Tzu