So I tend to get into a routine when I go to the gym. And currently, that routine consists of, well, running. I usually run at about a 10 minute mile pace, (so 6mph or 10km/hr.) Depending on the day I may run for about 30 minutes (resulting in 3 miles) up to 50 minutes (giving me a grand total of 5!) But I can’t tell you how boring it is to run in place on a treadmill for 50 minutes with no distractions.
Okay, so I have a TV on the machine, which is 99% (maybe even 100%) of the time German-only broadcasting. Or there are the giant windows that stretch the full length of the wall in front of the treadmills, (much to the delight of passersby on the street below,) which give great entertainment watching lost tourists, homeless men searching in trash bins, hippies, pigeons, etc.
But mostly the workout is just monotonous and boring and I need to change it up! I have gotten many recommendations from good friends, (most of whom are fitness gurus for the fun of it and have a vested interest in my well being…maybe,) but sometimes I try them out and sometimes I don’t. E.g. I have not yet attended a Zumba class because I just can’t bring myself to do coordinated dance classes at the gym! If my body is made for moving, it needs to be a little more risque than dancing in a line with 20 other sweating women. Maybe…or I might take this back when I finally do attend a class and think, THIS IS THE GREATEST THING EVER!
So I recently tried out another suggestion from the lovely Miss Marissa who suggested I do distance intervals to give my workout a boost. She recommended 5-7 sets of 400 m at about a 6.5 mph pace and then 200 m recovery (involving either a walk or jog.) Never wanting to cut myself short, I increased the speed just a bit to 6.9 mph, kept the steady intervals, and extended the sets to 11. Overall I ran (and walked, if I include my ‘recovery’ periods,) a total of about 4 miles over around 45 minutes. And I felt like I had really kicked my butt in the process!
I noticed a few things stepping of the treadmill from this workout; 1) I wasn’t bored! Managing the time I was running to recovery and speed, etc didn’t leave much room for boredom and the workout was continuously changing so it kept it interesting, 2) I had no blisters! It seems everytime I run these days I walk out of the gym with new (and very painful) blisters that pretty much make me want to cry by the time I finish up a run. I know, I know – time for new sneakers!, and 3) I felt like I had accomplished a new feat which somehow gave me an extra surge of energy and pride, and maybe even feelings of invincibility!
Overall I’ve learned that it really is crucial to change up the routine so working out does not become monotonous and boring, but that you can look forward to a new an exciting workout, and challenging your body in new ways each time you enter the gym. And I’ve also learned that as long as I’m not willing to pay a trainer for my fitness (yet) I need to take the suggestions of friends more seriously, and attend more of the classes included in my membership, (German language be damned!)
How do you overcome your gym rut?