Vacation! (and a new workout plan)

by katie

Work has been B-A-N-A-N-A-S lately, so we were so glad to finally go on vacation last week.  We went to Carmel, CA (technically Carmel-by-the-Sea, which is apparently an actual thing).  There was a lot of this:

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So. much. fog.

There was also a fair amount of this:

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Wine.  No further comment necessary.

The weather was pleasant, but much cooler than we were expecting.  We knew it would be in the 60s most of the time, which was fine, but we didn’t adequately plan for the chill caused by fog.  I told Tom I was prepared for California 60s, not Scotland 60s.  In the end, we packed enough sweaters to get by, and had a fabulous time.

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Tom’s Filson duffel.  These things are THE BEST.  Get one.  Right now.  Go ahead.  I’ll wait.

Once we were back on a regular schedule again, I realized I needed to think about my workout strategy.  Since the half marathon I ran about six weeks ago, I haven’t been into running long distances.  Honestly, I haven’t been into working out at all.  I’m sure I will go back to distance running, but in the meantime, I need to mix it up.  I’ve also been on a long-standing weight loss plateau that needs to stop.  After considering many options, I’ve decided to up the intensity, but not necessarily the length, of my workouts for about three months and see how it goes.  Here’s my current plan, which is subject to modification as schedules (and sleeping in) dictate:

Monday – rest

Tuesday – run to gym (~1 mile) at a hard pace, high-intensity interval training (HIIT) leg workout, run home from gym at an easier pace

Wednesday – rest

Thursday – run to gym at hard pace, HIIT back and bicep workout, run home from gym at easy pace

Friday – run to gym at hard pace, HIIT chest-shoulder-tri workout, run home from gym at easy pace

Saturday – pilates or barre class

Sunday – some kind of “long” run or track workout

Tom designed the HIIT workouts I do, but you can find a bunch of them on the web.  The benefit of HIIT, they say, is that it is really efficient, meaning you burn more calories and fat in a shorter period of time.  You accomplish this by alternating between periods of intense activity and periods of lesser activity or rest.  I have been doing HIIT off and on for about a year, and I can attest to its transformational powers.  I certainly lost fat by running, but I’m convinced that most of the changes in how I actually looked were due to HIIT.  Each HIIT workout in my personal program takes about 30 minutes.  You can totally modify HIIT to suit what works best for you, which is another great thing about it.  The important thing is doing the intervals, not necessarily what the intervals are.  I worked in rest days on the day after my longer run, and the day after my leg workout.  That’s when I find I need the most recovery time, but again, rest days can be moved around.