Running and Strength Training at the Gym

I’ve been talking about the gym a fair bit recently, and I would go out in the fresh air and do more of my fitness training surrounded by mother nature, but I need more motivation right now and England hates sunshine. I was always naturally a very slim girl, but started to gain weight partly because of medication and partly because I let myself go a little (a lot) at university.

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It seems my fiancé and I will be planning an early 2017 wedding to give our family in other parts of the world some time get visas to attend. What that means for me, is that for the first time in like seven years, I actually have no excuse to trim back down. I respond very well to physical exercise and it seems to be very good at keeping negative thoughts at bay. I’ve had a lot of mental health issues since I was about twelve-years-old, and I was first given medication for depression at the age of twenty, with varying diagnoses leading up to that point. Now at twenty-seven, I have a firm diagnosis of Borderline Personality Disorder and a determination to have a fitness regime to help both psychologically and to shake the weight to become healthier generally. As someone who loves food and sitting with her feet up, you can imagine how hard this has been!

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At the gym, I spend roughly a half hour on the treadmill and another half hour doing some strength training. I’ve got strong legs, so I have no problem training them and I feel confident when I do so. My arms, however, may as well be bones encased by jelly. I’m using a lot of different strength machines at the gym to slowly build some strength in them, but there’s a lot of jiggle to work through. At the moment I can just about work with 27-35 kgs (59-77 lbs), and that usually leaves my arms malfunctioning a couple of days later. Still, I haven’t given up, and that does surprise me a little, if I’m honest.

A few weeks a go, I was drawn to two apps to help with running for beginners: Zombies, Run! and Couch to 5K . Couch to 5K has been especially good because effectively it describes what I’m doing – I’ve just gotten off my arse and stepped on to a treadmill. Having said that, the Zombies guys also have a 5K training app, so have a good look at that one if you’re trying to find something different to get you off the sofa.wpid-dsc_0090_3.jpg

On the Couch to 5K app, I’ll be repeating week three for the third time this week, because I find it’s slightly unreasonable to think I can go from jogging 3 mins to jogging 5 mins the next week. Doesn’t sound like much, but if you’ve spent time indulging your favourite treats and TV binges, then no, you cannot jump to 5 mins jogging just like that. So I’m repeating week three until I stop wheezing and thinking I’m going to die after I’ve finished 28 mins of interval training (5 mins warm up; 1 min 30 sec walk/1 min 30 secs jog then 3 mins jog/3 mins walk – repeated twice followed by a 5 mins cooldown).

I’m usually incredibly happy when I’m done with my running, but my thoughts usually go something a little like this:

5 mins – I can totally do this.
10 mins – I’m getting tired, but I’m doing it.
15 mins – I can’t breathe.
18 mins – Oh God, I’m going to die.
20 mins – I don’t know how my limbs are moving. I can’t do this. I’m dying.
23 mins – Hey, I’m nearly there. PUSH ON!
25 mins – Nearly there my arse.
28 mins – I’m done! I can’t breathe! I’m going to die!
After cooldown – See? Totally knew I could do it.

Laur

x

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