This week consists of the usual 5 minute warm up walk, followed by 2 mins running, walk 2 mins, run 5 mins, walk 2:30 - repeated twice, then a cool down walk. It was purely the "Run 5:00" that scared me! It was fine - the first 2 minutes of running are always the hardest for me - usually because my route starts uphill. Once I've got that out of the way the rest of it is fine. For some strange reason I got it stuck in my head that the intervals were repeated three times, so on my way back home I was expecting to hear "run" in my ear and instead heard "cool down walk" - I must admit I was a bit disappointed! ha!
And these are my stats - still hovering around 4mph average - but this includes my walking intervals too. I'm not concerned with speed at this stage - I'm purely interested in building up my running distance and then I'll work on speed.
So, when I started today's training session, it occurred to me looking at the path ahead of me that this was effectively my"gym". Most of the 143 miles I have run and walked this year (by the way, my daily mile gadget doesn't include all my mileage!) have been on this path. So, most of the weight I have lost has been burned off either walking or running this circuit. And the wonderfully, blissful thought that crops into my mind now is that it hasn't cost me a penny - only my time!
|"My gym" - and the hill at the start of my running circuit!|
- As already mentioned - it's FREE! Yep, I hate spending money to sweat! Even more, I hate spending money to watch other people sweat! For me, fitness is a personal thing - I want to do it in my own time, with my own initiative, my own way and I don't want to do it in an aquarium. Many of the gyms I've been to in the past have huge mirrors so you can watch yourself wobbling in every conceivable direction, and huge windows so that passers by can mock the wobbling! And - I paid for the privilege! No thanks!
- I love nature! Thus the name of this blog. If I can burn 400 calories outside, breathing in fresh, clean air and taking in the stunning views of countryside, it can't get any better than that! More than that, give me a mountain to climb and I'm in my element! Nothing compares to reaching a summit and the amazing views at the top. I would take that experience over sweating on the treadmill any day of the week!
- It's unnecessary! I can walk, I can run, I have weights here at my house along with a selection of very reasonably priced fitness DVD's (The 30 Day Shred, for example, cost me all of £5). For an aerobics class at my local gym it costs £6 and that's for an "hour" - but the instructor easily spends the first 15 minutes of the session talking about fitness injuries, etc (which no-one in the class has!). When I do a DVD at home - I know I'm going to get a solid workout and I don't have to wait around for 15 minutes before I start.
- "What about the weather?" I hear you ask. Trust me, this is a major consideration - especially living in England (it's been raining virtually ALL summer!). However, what I have found, especially recently, is that if you want to train - you will find a way to train! If the weather is not bad, I simply take my rainmac or get wet! If it's absolutely diabolical outside, I simply pull out a Jillian Michaels DVD.
- It's Personal. I'm not discouraging anyone here from having a fitness or exercise buddy. I quite often go walking with a friend. But I also know that the major way I am going to measure improvement in my fitness is through ME. In a gym environment I'm constantly reminded of comparing myself against OTHERS, and I really don't think this is how we should progress. It all goes back to the glass bowl scenario. I want to feel free to wobble and jiggle in private, and to rejoice when I don't wobble and jiggle so much! I used to find it so discouraging going to the gym in the baggiest clothes I could get my hands on and literally be on the stepper next to some tiny, young thing in spandex. We should feel encouraged in this journey because every day we are making great strides to fitness!
So, that's it - my encouragement to anyone who, for whatever reason, refuses to join a gym! I may be a work in progress at the moment - but every ounce I have lost has been through my own blood, sweat, and tears at home or on the road/path/mountainside! Long may it continue until I reach my goal and beyond!