Everyone is doing it, why don’t you run?

“Will we choose other people’s opinions, preferences, and approval over our true heart’s desires and growth?
‘Perhaps it is time to remember that a higher power granted us all the permission we need to follow our heart. The universe, Nature, and God gave us power. It is not our duty to give it away by letting our choices be directed by others.” Brendan Burchard –The Motivation Manifesto

How do you create a plan that is specific to you? What is going to work for You and not what has worked for others, how do you find your best plan or formula?

Whether you are pushing yourself way too much or not sure how to get started, it takes a little trial and error while remembering it is always about progress.

The very thing I found out about sustainable results is I had to include and keep strength training in my workouts. So what has worked and what can you try to get it going. Remember what I am saying here is breaking away from the flock. In other words if you really want to see lasting body change, relying on cardio will only get you a smaller version of yourself.

Scientifically speaking, your body will adapt to any type of cardio, which I learned the hard way when I started running more often.

A few years back, I decided to train for the Broad Street Run. I admire anyone that is an avid runner and consistently stays training and focused on the next event, so I decided this was another thing to check off my bucket list. At my best, even as a teenager I ran maybe 3 miles, so now was my chance to find my runner’s high as an adult. With the help of some of my boot campers at the time, we trained together. Every weekend we got together to run longer distances in preparation for the run.

If anyone is familiar with the Broad Street Run, would know that it is considered a great starter to any runner since it is a relatively flat run and it can be fun with all the cheering along the run. It is said that you really don’t have to train much for the Broad Street because it can be “easy” in the eyes of an avid runner. It is considered one of the training runs for the longer bigger races, such as New York, Boston, Chicago, etc.

Prior to the starting of this training, I hadn’t even participated in a local 5k, I just started training for this 10 miler.

My plan included mostly running and maybe one, or two days of strength training. I did my best to keep up with my work schedule while also training for this run. My eating was considered “healthy” for a runner, I added Cliff Bars for energy, and also some of the replenishing gels you can have while running (which when looking at the ingredient were really candy gummy’s that were disguised as energy boosters). I continued to focus on taking in my protein throughout the day, however I really shifted my focus to include a ton more grains etc.

Throughout the training I have to be honest, I never truly loved running, I trained because I knew I needed to train. Yet throughout the process it took all my energy just to get out there and run. I didn’t have much energy left to do much else, let alone keep up with my strength training.

I also noticed along the way that my hips and legs started getting excessively larger. My stature is naturally thicker around my legs and hips, the more I ran the more my body began to change for the worst. I looked very bulky and very bottom heavy. Besides the fact that I just couldn’t control my need for excessive amounts of food.

So here is what happened, I ran the Broad Street and gained a lot of bulk, making it difficult to stay in my current wardrobe. Some may have considered me healthy looking however I just felt bloated and bottom heavy.

Something had to give, so I began to do some more research and found out I wasn’t doing myself any justice by continuing to run. My female hormones were being escalated by my endurance running and I wasn’t helping it with the way I was eating, overloading on simple carbs like grains, Cliff bars and replenish gels. It was obvious in the manner in which I was gaining my weight, all in my butt and legs, not much in my upper body.

That is when I changed my workouts to be weight based. However I shortened my workouts, and focused on getting my heart rate to the point in which I needed to stop and rest. My workouts were a maximum of 20 minutes, compound moves at a faster pace.

The idea behind these workouts is to boost your metabolism with the weights while also maximizing your heart rate. It has been proven, that if you can lift your weights faster (your own body weight included) you can get a better more efficient workout. And this is what helps your body burn more fat over a longer period of time.

If you have ever worn a heart rate monitor, you may notice that after a long endurance style workout, same pace for a longer period of time, your heart rate and caloric burn immediately stops. However a shorter more efficient weight based, faster moving weights workout, gets your body to burn for a minimum of 36 hours after your workout.

It opened my eyes to realizing that if I wanted to get less bulky and get the most out of the time I had, this is the way I needed to workout.

It took a couple months, of increasing my intake of protein, and working out at this level that helped me get leaner. My clothes began to fit again and I started to see my lower half decrease in size.

1. My clarity in this circumstance was the realization that running was fine for fun, however it wasn’t helping me keep a leaner body. With the research and testing on myself, I was able to find a plan that was sustainable and fit within my life style. Besides the fact that running really wasn’t fun for me. It wasn’t my passion it was more of a stress-or. I knew I would never be like some that really enjoyed running and I was ok with that.
2. Consistency -I had to make it a point to stick with my new exercise and food without trying to expect immediate results. It seemed that I needed to give my body some time to recover from the endurance running, which took several months of sticking with my new exercise routine, as well as revamping my food plan.
3. Since this process took several months to embrace and let go of the outcomes I had to be OK with the slow progress as opposed to immediate results. So I may not have been able to fit into my summer clothes the way that I would have liked,  I still learned to embrace the process and appreciate any outcome.

I totally don’t regret training for the Broad Street because I taught me a lot about myself; I am just not a runner and will never be in the runner crowd. And I also understand for me, I am no longer feeling like I am FOMO, when it comes to the next 5K, half marathon or full marathon.

This also taught me that if I want to maintain and sustain a leaner me, I needed to stay focused on what works for me personally. Granted I didn’t get this knowledge without some research trying and testing and getting a little frustrated along the way. And again this is an ongoing process based on my current life circumstances and situations.

Well now it is your turn. What about what you are doing now is just following along, doing something just so you can go along with the crowd. Is it possible that maybe you can find a plan that works for you that doesn’t mimic or go along with the crowd but still gets you lasting results?

Is there something about what you are currently doing feeling out of sync or flow?

Love to hear your comments.