Category Archives: Workout

Current Workouts, Half Marathon, and Say Your Name

After getting back from Atlanta, I started putting a bit more effort into my workouts. As I’ve mentioned several times, I kind of fell off the wagon for a bit…BUT I’m back! And this is where my type A personality and love for structure come in handy!

When I got home from work last Monday, I printed out monthly calendars for October 2014-January 2015. I also printed out Hal Higdon’s intermediate half marathon training plan. And then I got to work.

Half marathon plan
After double and triple checking my ability to count back 12 weeks from January 25, I put a star next to October 27. Eek – the day my training begins! That brings me to my current workouts.

Current workouts

In my mind, October 6-27 equals a pre-half-marathon warm up period. This is my time to prep my body for what’s to come. I honestly hadn’t been running as much as I wanted over the past month, so during these three weeks, my plan is to ease my way back into regular runs and strength training workouts. So far so good.

Here’s what last week looked like:
Monday – 3.25 mile run
Tuesday – Full-body strength workout + 20 minute incline walk
Wednesday – REST!
Thursday – 3.25 mile run
Friday – Full-body strength workout + elliptical/rowing machine
Saturday – 4.5 mile run

And here’s what I have planned for this week:
Sunday – 3.25 mile walk
Monday – Full-body strength workout + 20 minute incline walk
Tuesday – 3.25 mile run
Wednesday – Full-body strength workout + elliptical
Thursday – REST
Friday – Fitness Blender Barre workout
Saturday – 4.5 mile run

And I’m hoping week three looks similar.

I’ve been logging all my runs in the Map My Run app. When I first decided to run this half, I didn’t really care about my time. I just wanted to run the whole thing. But now a part of me wants to get a little faster. I’m averaging 10 minute miles right now. My goal is to bring that down to 9:30. We’ll see how that goes!

And as far as strength training is concerned, I’ve been searching the web to find new, fun, and short workouts (YouTube, DVDs, blogs, etc.). This one is my current favorite!

Half marathon training

Miami Half Marathon
As I mentioned, I’ll be following Hal Higdon’s training plan. I was really happy with how it prepared me for my previous two runs so why mess with a good thing!

I will, however, be making small tweaks this time around. The weekend long runs will stay as is, but how I structure the week will change. I definitely want to continue with my strength workouts and some form of cross-training. As of right now, I’m thinking no more than 2-3 runs during the week.

Say Your Name

And finally, my mom shared an NPR article with me last week titled “Why Saying is Believing – The Science of Self-Talk.” The article addresses some really interesting research on how self-talk and the words we use impact how we see ourselves.

Towards the end of the article, the researchers talk about how referring to yourself in the third person has a powerful effect on performance. It turns out that we’re a lot more supportive and kinder to ourselves when we say our name versus “I.”

I decided to put this finding into practice during my next run, which just so happened to be the 4.5 miler on Saturday. Around the two mile mark, I felt the urge to walk. So I said to myself, “Come on, Parita, you made the decision to run the entire time today. You can do it!” And then again, at the 3.5 mile mark I really felt like walking, but I didn’t. Instead, I said to myself, “Parita you are stronger than you believe. You can do this. Only one more mile to go!”

And guess what. I didn’t walk at all. I ran the entire 4.5 miles at a pretty decent pace. As crazy as it seems to refer to yourself in the third person, I see why it’s so powerful. When I did it during my run, it felt like someone else was cheering me on – a much nicer person who really believed in my capabilities.

I know it sounds a little kooky, but try it…perhaps during your next workout or before an important presentation/test/interview/meeting.

Do you have any races coming up?
Do you plan out your weekly workouts or do you prefer to go with the flow?

Focus T25 – Week 5 (Beta) + My Overall Thoughts

I am DONE with Focus T25! I know I say this about everything, but the 10 weeks just flew by! I can honestly say that I am proud of myself for (more or less) staying on schedule and incorporating some running into the mix.

Before I share my overall thoughts, here’s what week 5 of the Beta phase looked like for me:

Monday – Rip’t Circuit
Tuesday – 3.25 mile run (in the morning) + 2 mile power walk (in the evening)
Wednesday – Rip’t Circuit
Thursday – Speed 2.0
Friday – REST!
Saturday – 3.0 mile run with my sister
Sunday – REST!
Monday – Rip’t Circuit

*For a more detailed explanation of what each workout entails, please read my week one beta post.

This week was a little all over the place. My sleep schedule was completely off, we took a day trip on Friday, and the heaviest dumbbells at my parents’ house are 3 pounds. So I adapted. The run with my sister was killer – GA heat and humidity will do that to you! And because I want to say that I finished the program in its entirety, I completed my final T25 workout this Monday.

I’ve thought a lot about the program over the past week – what I liked, what I didn’t like, if I would recommend it to others. I even talked to Bijal (my cousin), Erin (my coworker), and Robin (my friend) about their experiences since they also did some of the program with me. And it’s funny because for the most part our thoughts align.

What I liked about Focus T25:

  • I could do all the workouts from the comfort of my own home. And if you travel, this is an easy program to take with you. I was able to do the Alpha workouts in my tiny NYC hotel room.
  • You don’t need a ton of equipment – just a mat and some dumbbells (for the Beta phase).
  • You sweat A LOT! I loved knowing that in just 25 minutes I was getting a good solid workout.
  • Shaun T is a great instructor – very motivating and fun.
  • The modifier option is awesome. I loved how every workout came with a modifier and that it was the same person. Very helpful, especially in the beginning.
  • It’s just 25 minutes…and they honestly fly by!
  • I was able to incorporate some running into the weekly plan.

What I didn’t like about Focus T25:

  • It’s A LOT of cardio. I love cardio as much as the next person, but I know for a fact that my body responds better to strength training, so that was little frustrating in the beginning.
  • Not all the workouts are challenging. Don’t get me wrong – by no means was this an easy program. I just felt that some of the individual workouts were a little on the less strenuous side. If I’m only going to work out for 25 minutes, I want to work as hard as I can.
  • Risk of injury is high if you aren’t super careful. Because I have a knee that acts up every now and then, I took it easy when needed. I know that Robin and Erin both experienced some leg pain when doing some of the moves, so it’s a very real possibility.
  • This is probably more my issue than anything else, but I didn’t get the results people talked about on the Focus T25 forums. Of course, I didn’t follow the nutrition plan nor did I drink the Shakeology drinks. I ate the way I usually do (which is healthy for the most part) and started watching my portion sizes around week 3. I most definitely feel a lot stronger, especially in my quads and even my core, but the inches didn’t melt off the way they supposedly did for some people. Erin and Robin also felt the same way. Vishnu thinks it’s because we didn’t have a ton to lose in the first place. Regardless, not the most devastating thing but I definitely pictured my final results to be a tad bit different. Haha.

Would I recommend Focus T25 to others?

So here’s what I think. If you are someone who needs a structured plan to get you back on track in terms of exercise, this is a great program to help you do so. If you have substantial weight/inches to lose and are willing to put in a lot of hard work both in terms of exercise and eating, this may be for you.

If you are prone to injury and have had issues in the past, Focus T25 may not be for you. If you are already in decent shape and are looking for something to take your results to the next level, this may not be for you. If you don’t enjoy tons and tons of cardio, this is definitely not for you!

Would I do the whole 10 weeks again? Probably not. Did I enjoy it? For the most part, yes and am glad I tried it.

My final results:

I honestly didn’t weigh myself on a weekly basis but can say with 99.9% confidence that my weight remained the same. I still fluctuate in the same range I did pre-T25.

And I think I lost a total of 4 inches. I say think because my way of measuring is not an exact science. I tried to be as consistent as possible but I could be a little off here and there. Not too shabby I suppose.

If you have any questions regarding Focus T25 and/or my experience, please feel free to email me at any time!

And that is it…no more Focus T25 posts! If you’re interested in reading my weekly recaps, please find them below…

Alpha Week 1
Alpha Week 2
Alpha Week 3
Alpha Week 4
Alpha Week 5
Beta Week 1
Beta Week 2
Beta Week 3
Beta Week 4

Focus T25 – Week 4 (Beta)

I honestly can’t believe I am at the home stretch with this fitness challenge I set out to do almost 10 weeks ago. Time flies when you’re sweating buckets! Haha.

Here’s what week 4 of the Beta phase looked like for me:

Monday – Rip’t Circuit
Tuesday – Dynamic Core + 2 mile run
Wednesday – Core Cardio
Thursday – 3.25 mile run
Friday – Speed 2.0 + Upper Focus
Saturday – REST!
Sunday – 3.25 mile power walk

*For a more detailed explanation of what each workout entails, please read my week one beta post.

The power of TODAY

If you haven’t watched Andie’s Tedx Talk, please do so NOW! It’s very real, very raw, very funny, and very relatable, whether you’ve struggled with weight or not. She talks about her struggle with food, obstacles she faced, her journey to losing half her body weight, and her thoughts about the present moment.

Andie’s talk came down to one important thing for me. The thing she touched on at the very end. The power of today. Right here, right now.

She suggests that when we find ourselves not focused on what is happening at this very second, we stop and ask ourselves, “Can I do it (whatever it is for you) today?”

This applies to anything and everything. Food, exercise, work, marriage, friendship, etc.

I found myself asking this very question this morning when my alarm went off. I honestly didn’t want to exercise, but I didn’t have a good reason not to. I wasn’t tired, I wasn’t sore, etc. So I sat up and thought to myself, “Can you get out of bed and successfully finish your 25 minute workout?” I then found myself thinking about the power walk from the night before and the longer run I had planned for the next day, so again, I had to stop and ask myself, “Can you work out TODAY? Don’t think about yesterday or tomorrow. Focus on today.” The answer was (an annoying) yes.  I got out of bed, changed, and finished my workout. At the end of a very sweaty 25 minutes, I was so glad I focused on today…on that very moment.

And if you don’t believe I had that conversation with myself, ask anyone who knows me in real life and they’ll tell you I did. Even though they weren’t there with me, they know that it totally happened.

The point is that the only moment we have any sort of control over is the one that is happening right now. So instead of thinking about decisions that have already been made or ones that may or may not need to be made tomorrow, think about what you can do today and base your decisions on that.

I know, I know. It sounds so simple yet is difficult to practice. But just try…the next time you find yourself reaching for cookie #3/thinking about skipping a workout for no good reason/running out of patience with your significant other…just ask yourself if you can stop at cookie #2 TODAY/if you can get moving for just 20 minutes TODAY/if you can take a deep breath and calmly say whatever it is that you need to say TODAY. Chances are the answer will be (an annoying) yes. And like me, I’m sure you’ll be happy that you focused on today.

And just in case you’re interested in my weekly recaps…

Alpha Week 1
Alpha Week 2
Alpha Week 3
Alpha Week 4
Alpha Week 5
Beta Week 1
Beta Week 2
Beta Week 3