Posted by: thehungryrunner | October 22, 2009

My 15-minute “Get the blood flowing, fire up the metabolism” Morning Walk/Run

Confession time:  Unless I’m training for a running race or fitness competition or other specific event, my runs tend toEvamarie running fall into a fairly predictable pattern, at least in terms of overall structure and pace.  I step out, I set my body’s dial on auto-pilot, and I zone out — pleasantly, I might add, but still zone out — until the run is finished.  I then walk for whatever length of time I have planned to be my cool-down, stretch, sip water, shower….you know the rest (well maybe you don’t know the rest, but the rest, for the most part, is probably not compelling article content!).

But as we know, variety is the spice of life.  And definitely the “spice” of a fit body.  And we also know that time isn’t always on our side on the subject of long, meandering zone-out workouts such as the one I describe above.  I — make that we — need something to address both of those realities.

And happily, we have it!  Given that my work includes those days in which I’m at home, attending to the “behind the scenes” tasks of running my online business, I sometimes find that I need a kick-start first thing in the morning, to rev up my engine and get my head on straight.  And this routine works fabulously:  It’s quick, it’s convenient, it’s enjoyable (especially on the good-weather days, but it’s surprisingly energizing even on the bad-weather days), and as a bonus…..it helps cut my appetite!  When you have a home-based business and often spend long stretches of time alone, this is a blessing that canNOT be underestimated!

So how does it work?  I have broken it down in the following layout:

  • Minute 1:  Stumble out of the house, start a gentle walk, adjust my outerwear, look at my watch, etc.  In other words, “get situated” and get underway.
  • Minutes 2, 3, and 4:  I pick up the pace and walk very briskly, chest up, shoulders relaxed, squeezing my glutes and lightly contracting my core muscles.
  • Minutes 5 and 6:  I break into a light jog — emphasis on LIGHT — easy, relaxed, and still with good form.
  • Minute 7:  I increase my pace to a fairly ambitious run; not a sprint by any means, but a rather hard effort, one I might use when I’m running a 5K.
  • Minutes 8, 9 and 10:  I turn and begin double-backing on myself, retracing my course back toward my house, and reluctantly — Minute 7 really stoked me up! — I slow back down to a jog for the next 2 minutes.
  • Minutes 11 and 12:  I return to a fast-paced walk, taking longer, more reaching strides than I did in the beginning, since by now I’m warmed up and can move through a greater range of motion.
  • Minutes 13 and 14:  I slow the walk way down to finish the return back home at a cool-down pace.
  • Minute 15:  I use either a wall or stairs to do 2-3 stretches.

DONE!

Now you might notice that I change the exact timing of my walks/jogs between the first half of the workout and the second half.  That’s somewhat flexible; I do that because I sometimes find that I don’t always jog or walk at the same pace the second time around, so I leave room to make adjustments depending on how far away I am from my house.

The bottom line is, I feel GREAT upon returning home.  My mood is up, I feel good about myself, and I find that I’m much more capable of handling whatever stresses come my way that day.  Pretty impressive for something that takes less time than most people’s commutes to work!

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