Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Are you prepared...to run?

A couple of weeks ago our family attended a preparedness fair hosted by a local LDS church.  There were many booths set up around a gym and one of these offered fitness assessments. I hadn't really thought about fitness being part of being part of preparing for a natural disaster (or zombie apocalypse), but it makes sense.

My boys were eager to do the step test at the fitness booth, so we made our way there. After the boys finished stepping, I was invited to take the assessment. With some hesitation I agreed. The short of it is that my level of fitness is variable. I was pleasantly surprised to earn the "excellent" rating for strength and was glad to have at least made the "average" range for flexibility (one inch away from "excellent"). However, I was just shy of the "average" rating for endurance (as measured by the step test). The trainer recommended what DagoodS has promoted before: interval training during my runs. She guessed that by the time I kick my 11 minute mile up to a 10 minute mile, I'll be into the average range on endurance. Now that I've begun interval training, I understand how this is a great challenge to the cardiovascular system (and to my ego!).

My whole family is now challenging themselves as well. My husband has begun training for his eventual 10 mile race and my boys have taken on the couch-to-5K program. There is an app for it, of course, complete with a zombie trainer, that my youngest son finds quite captivating. Helping my sons run makes it a bit more difficult for me to make time to run for myself, but it's fun to have the whole family involved.  

I've also taken on another self-improvement project involving psychotherapy, but that will be a post for another day. (Hopefully sooner rather than later.)        


  1. I listen to my body. It tells me "no" about the running thing. :)

  2. Frankly, interval training is the hardest for me. I like the long runs, and don’t mind hills. I have to think about what I am doing in the intervals, which somehow sucks all the fun out of running.

    I know what you mean about helping others impacting your own running. One suggestion (I am so full of them, eh? *grin*) is to run on your own for a while, and then run the last part with someone else. Not always the easiest to do, depending on your schedule, set-up, etc. For a while I would run for an hour or so, and then drive to another locale to run another ½ hour with a friend.

    The Zombie trainer is a HUGE hit, I understand. I don’t listen to music…just never got into it. Like to be out with nature, I guess.

    Also, while it is good to have some set routines to establish consistency…go out and find some new runs. Find another trail. Wander and get lost (even if you have to walk back.) This breaks up the monotony for the boys.

    Tell the husband good luck.

  3. That's great, DoDN! Having the whole family involved should make it easier to stick with it.

    I do Crossfit myself, and our instructor said that what spurred on he and his wife to start getting into shape was playing Wii Fit. It's funny sometimes what the impetus can be to push us to the next level of motivation.

  4. So what interval training program are you using? Is it this Zombie trainer? I'm going to show my ignorance here, but here goes. Is the Zombie trainer a real person or an app? :)

    I started all over again with the C25K thing. I'm trying to improve my time, and the shorter intervals I'm doing pretty well at. It's those longer runs...I just have to slow it down to endure. :/

  5. Doug,
    At times, I have body parts that tell me no running! as well. Particularly my knee. I can relate.

  6. DagoodS,
    Yes, I've got to figure out how best to incorporate the family. I definitely need to let the kids pick new places to run. I'm sure they'll get bored easily. Never thought of wandering and getting lost. It wouldn't be the worst thing, would it? :)

    I'd never heard of the zombie trainer, we found it by accident. I imagine it would be very popular. We don't add the music to the program, we just listen for the zombie's instructions. However, my son might really like the music.

  7. TWF,
    I've heard about crossfit. You must be in excellent shape!

  8. DMa,
    I'm not using a specific program for interval training. Every 2 minutes I sprint for 30 seconds throughout my run. The trainer I spoke to said that for 2 mile runs, it's good if the sprinting comprises a total of 1/2 mile of it. On the c25k app, you can pick your trainer. For $1 extra, you can add the zombie trainer. I'm certain my boys would have nightmares if we had a real live zombie trainer :) It would be motivating, however. Maybe I should have my husband dress up and chase us periodically!

  9. LOL! I just didn't know if some industrious personal trainer had been able to cash in on the Zombie craze!

  10. I have never heard of a Zombie Trainer. I am kind of afraid to ask.

    I usually run out in the desert with my dogs, and occassionally with a friend of mine. My friend sounds to be in the same boat with you DoOrDoNot. He is stuck at 11 minutes/mile, but he can run at that pace forever. He recently finished a half marathon at that pace. He is very frustrated because he wants to go faster. I told him to start doing sprints. I usually do my long runs in the desert, but just do sprints by doing laps around the block. Jog half a block, then run as fast as I can for another half block, and repeat until you are too tired. After about 15 minutes of that cycle I am usually whipped. My friend started doing sprints twice per week and his pace immediately improved. You learn to run with a high breathing capacity, and with a longer stride distance.

    Anyway, good luck and keep running..!!