Monday, October 7, 2013

Last-minute lazy Sunday workout

We threw a magnificent housewarming party on Saturday (Oktoberfest themed! Bratwursts! Sauerkraut! Polka music!), and had a blast celebrating our new house with lots of friends and family. It sure didn't feel like October (90* out!) but we made the most of it and had a wonderful time.

Post-party, I declared Sunday an official day of rest. Trust me, it was much-needed. We've been prepping for this for weeks now - there is nothing like a looming event at your house to get your butt into gear to get boxes unpacked, pictures hung, shelves lined, and everything finally put away! So, having run ourselves ragged, then playing "host / hostess with the most / mostest" all day Saturday, C & I really needed a break.

C settled himself in for a long day of football-watching, and I parked myself on the couch with a fantastic book (The Language of Flowers - highly recommend it). I got completely immersed in my reading, and didn't look up until after 4. When I finally emerged from the story, I realized that I probably ought to get myself to the gym, since it had been several days without a workout. I moseyed around for a while, then, on a whim, looked up the hours for the gym. To my surprise, it closes at 6 on Sundays! Yikes! I threw myself together and raced over, and I was walking through the doors at 5:15. Not only that, but I was decked out in this awesome new shirt that my sister brought me:
Her school sold them for a fundraiser, and she was sweet enough to swipe me one. Perfect for October (and year-round!)

I knew I needed something quick and easy to get myself good and sweaty in a limited amount of time, so I decided to go with an old favorite: intervals on the treadmill. I used to do HIIT and interval work all the time, but once I started working on distance running, the other stuff kind of fell by the wayside.

Last night, I came up with one that is about as simple as it gets to follow along with: 2 minutes "off" (slower speed), 3 minutes "on" (faster speed), and repeat. This style of workout is great for when you have limited time, because you can do as many "cycles" as you have time for, and then call it a day. It's also super easy to modify: pick a "slow" speed that keeps your heart rate up but gives you a chance to catch your breath, and a "fast" speed that is a little outside your normal comfort zone, so that you really get your heart rate up. I went with five rounds, plus a cool-down, and was sufficiently sweaty and out of breath by the time I was done. I left the gym right as they were starting the vacuums and wiping everything down. Perfect timing!

Here's a handy chart for with the interval workout I did:
I definitely need to start adding these workouts back into my routine. While longer runs are great, the shorter stuff that gets my blood pumping definitely has its benefits as well. I'm glad I got in there and got it done before the gym closed!

Do you do intervals? HIIT? Have any suggestions for great workouts like this?


Kate @ Another Clean Slate said...

Definitely going to check that book out. Maybe someday I will be in your league when it comes to workouts!

Stephanie @ My Freckled Life said...

I'm going to have to add this book to my "to read" list! I've been looking for some new options once I finish my current book (thanks to the train, I'm rocking through them lately!). Also, I LOVE this workout! I think I've gotten so stuck in my longer distances, that I forget how awesome a good HIIT interval run can be! I need to get back on this immediately!