I keep apologizing for making gym related posts since this is essentially a beauty blog. However, I post random stuff all the time and I am really enjoying this journey at the gym so here we are again. 😀
The first real day at the gym (May 23, 2017), I decided then that my goal was to focus on my mile “run” while also working on specific muscle groups each visit. Most days start with 30 minutes on the treadmill. Sometimes, there is only 1 treadmill available and Mom really needs to use the treadmill so I defer to her and I get on one of the other cardio machines.
I knew I wanted to pace a 1 mile adventure to give myself a goal. I started out with a steady walk. At a slightly not-leisurely pace, I can walk 1 mile in 21 minutes and 45 seconds. That is about a 2.5mph walk with 3.0mph thrown in every couple of minutes. It was a comfortable pace for my short little legs to start out. It was my baby steps attempt at interval training. It is super challenging and burns more calories than if I just went one speed. I kind of dig it.
Each time I went, I increased that starting mph and ramp up speed by a small amount. This entire time, I’ve used the weight machines during every visit but I have tried to improve my 1 mile more so than increasing weight/reps on the machines. In order to build up my endurance, I have made sure to also spend time on the upright bike, the recumbent bike, and the elliptical in addition to the treadmill.
This week, I surpassed my expectations. I found that my endurance has increased to the point that I can do 5.0mph for short durations. I was super excited that I was able to manage 5.0mph for any amount of time. 4.0mph is a slight jog for me and 5.0mph is a very fast jog/almost run for me. My legs are short and it sucks.
Thursday, I decided to really try myself. I started at 3.0mph for 2 minutes, upped it to 3.5mph for 2 minutes, then I did 4.0mph for 1 minute, and 5.0mph for 1 minute. I dropped it back down to 3.0mph for 2 minutes, went up to 4.0mph for 1 minute, and then 5.0mph for 1 minute. Oh man that was gruesome. I did it again anyways. And then again. After the 3rd rotation, instead of dropping down to 3.0mph, I dropped it down to 3.2mph. On the 4th, I only dropped it down to 3.4mph. I’m not going to lie… I hated every second of it and was literally focused on that stupid distance counter like my life depended on it. My effort paid off. I managed to hit the 1 mile marker at 16 minutes. Sorry the picture is so blurry. I was still going at 5.0mph at the time and I was mid stride when the distance counter showed up.
Once I got my 1 mile in, I was dead tired. I finished the last 14 minutes of my 30 minutes at a now very slow 2.0mph. It is funny how when I started that 2.5mph was slightly challenging and 3.0mph was miserable. In 1 month, I have improved my 1 mile time by 6 minutes and 45 seconds. That is a huge gain for me and putting me a lot closer to my goal of a “normal” 1 mile time, which for now is 12 minutes. I am not attempting to be a “runner” since I have a bad knee. 5.0mph is the fastest that I can foresee myself trying for a while. But my overall goal is to get healthy which includes endurance. It will be a while before I can almost run at 5.0mph for 12 minutes to get that 1 mile in, but I’m celebrating my small achievements along the way.