Yesterday I had a two-a-day workout (have you noticed I'm trying to switch to morning blogging?) and I normally would have another one today too, but alas, an early morning meeting will only allow one workout today.
Which brings me to answer the following questions:
1. How often do you work out twice in a day and why?
I used to workout twice a day for 5 days a week; then once on Saturdays and once on Sundays. It was obsessive, I over-trained and it burnt me out. Not only did I injure myself, but more than anything, I suffered from mental exhaustion.
Then, while training for my first and second marathons, I went through a period of not doing any two-a-days. Most of my time was spent running and cross-training, that I barely did any strength training and found myself suffering from injuries again.
That experience taught me a great deal about my body. Some people can run race and after race without doing any type of strength training – I am not one of those people.
So last October, after the Portland Marathon, I decided to put more focus on strength training by working with my trainer again, once a week. Once the New Year started and I decided to train for another marathon, I knew I had to put more emphasis on core training so I went back to my weekly yoga class on a more regular basis (I have only missed 1 class so far this year), started taking weekly Dailey Method classes and returned to my once-a-week 30-minute Core Training class.
In all, I probably do 3 days a week of two-a-days (Mondays, Wednesdays and either Tuesday or Thursdays), of which, one workout is cardio and the other is a form of strength training/low impact. (NOTE: I also have one day a week of complete rest where I do absolutely nothing.)
The first week I did this, it was exhausting, but since then, I've gotten used to the schedule and it hasn't been too bad. It helps that my trainer comes to my house to train me and my gym is a mere 3 driving minutes from my house. So with minimal logistical planning, the mental burnout is far less likely than before.
Over the course of a typical week I’ll swim, spin, run, lift weights, do yoga, climb stairs, and attend core training and Dailey Method classes. Thus far, I think that having a balanced schedule has done me good. I feel stronger, leaner and my aches and pains have been relatively minimal.
2. What’s my secret?
I don’t put together any of my own schedule or workouts. I have amazing people who guide me:
- a running coach who gives me a weekly plan of workout assignments - a trainer to shows up at doorstep at 6:30 am to torture me through endless planks, push-ups and circuit training sets - a yoga instructor at my gym who takes the time to personally teach me stretches for problem areas (maybe one day I’ll be brave enough to share the video with you) - and a number of group exercise instructors who put me through challenging workouts
Having someone else "do the thinking for me" makes it a lot more manageable; all I have to do is trust them and do whatever they tell me.
Also, having a schedule set at the start of the week helps because then I can try to plan work, social and other personal responsibilities around my workouts as much as possible. Having everything scheduled on my calendar in advance makes me less likely to skip a workout.
PS I love that these questions give me ideas for posts - please keep them coming!
BONUS! My Tuesday Tip Gift To All Of You
Remember that Sex and the City episode where Carrie thought she lost her hard drive?
Yep, that was me just a couple of days ago. WordPress had just released an upgrade and I clicked “Update.” The thing is, not every plug-in that I use had been updated to support the latest WP release. One plug-in in particular took my blog down. Completely. I couldn’t access the admin panel or the URL itself.
I went into panic mode. Could my entire blog be gone? Three and a half years of my life erased with one update? I desperately texted my friend Sam, who’s husband is a WP expert. But I was too anxious to wait for a reply so I went into my FTP site, crossed my fingers that I had found the problem file and deleted it.
With my breath held, I refreshed the page and thankfully, I was back in business.
The moral of the story? Back-up your files on a regular basis! And especially before doing any type of updates!