5 Signs You’re Overtraining

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Disclaimer : I don’t own this article. It has been taken from the link below : https://www.bodybuilding.com/content/overtraining-signs-and-solutions.html

You’ve been going hard in the gym—working your legs, chest, arms, shoulders, and every other muscle to reach your goals. But are you going too hard? Working too much? Could you be overtraining yourself? Yeah, you might be.

The dictionary states, “Overtraining is a common problem in weight training, but it can also be experienced by runners and other athletes. It occurs when the volume and intensity of the exercise exceeds an individual’s recovery capacity. They cease making progress, and can even begin to lose strength and fitness.”

The Signs Of Overtraining:

  • Persistent muscle soreness
  • Elevated resting heart rate
  • Increased susceptibility to infections
  • Increased incidence of injuries
  • Irritability
  • Depression
  • Loss of motivation
  • Insomnia
  • Decreased appetite
  • Weight loss

Rest Is Key

To see improvement in one’s strength and fitness they must rest. The rest period following hard training is a magical process which takes at least 36 hours to complete. By skimping on rest, complete regeneration cannot occur.

(You can check out our post on rest and recovery here : Health & Fitness 1.3 – Recovery )

If the amount of training continues to exceed the rest period, however, the individual’s performance will plateau and decline. If Jennifer continues to neglect the rest time her body needs, she will indeed get weaker and may experience injuries.

Solutions

1. Taking A Break

Taking a break from training to allow time for recovery. In knowing that you may be doing more harm than good at the gym, set aside today and tomorrow as a break. Some people allow one week away from fitness to revive their bodies and mind, and then when they return to training, they have more focus and are enjoying themselves again.

2. Reducing The Volume

Reducing the volume and/or the intensity of the training. If you always do five sets for each exercise, why not do just two or three, and lower the weight and focus solely on form? Strengthen your mind and muscle connection by tuning into the exercise at hand.

3. Deep-Tissue Massage

Deep-tissue or sports massage of the affected muscles. A skillfully applied massage is the most effective therapy for releasing muscle tension and restoring balance to the musculo-skeletal system. Receiving regular massages may help athletes prevent injuries, which might otherwise be caused by overuse. A constant build-up of tension in the muscles from regular activity may lead to stresses on joints, ligaments, tendons, as well as the muscles themselves.

4. Self-Massage

Self-massage of the affected muscles. Self-massage, with either with your hands or a system such as the Yamuna™ Body Rolling (BR) system featuring a specially designed 7″ ball will help with pain relief, and can be targeted to hamstrings, calves, knees, quads, shoulder and back; any muscle or joint.

People who are stiff and inflexible and have, or are prone to, injury will benefit from BR as it elongates and massages muscles and opens and flexs the joints.

5. Temperature Contrast Therapy

Temperature contrast therapy. (Ice baths, hot & cold showers, etc). This uses the body’s reaction to hot and cold stimuli. The nerves carry impulses felt at the skin deeper into the body, where they can stimulate the immune system, improve circulation and digestion, influence the production of stress hormones, encourage blood flow, and lessening pain sensitivity.

6. Proper Calorie Intake

Ensuring calorie intake matches (or possibly exceeds) caloric expenditure. When overtraining, the body may be depleted in various nutrients. To assist in the process of recovery, it’s important to ensure that a diet high in carbohydrates, lean proteins and healthy fats such as omega 3 oils is met. Carbohydrates will provide the brain with fuel, the oils help relieve depression and proteins will rebuild overtrained muscles.

7. Addressing Vitamin Deficiences

Addressing vitamin deficiencies with nutritional supplements. It is essential to get vitamins from food, however when overtraining is a concern supplementation is beneficial. Supplements should be taken in addition to meals and with meals for their essential and proper absorption.

8. Split Training

Splitting the training program so that different sets of muscles are worked on different days. Once you have rested enough for your body to recover from overtraining, be smart and plan your training split ahead of time.

“Allow at least 4 days between training a certain body part again, and always have at least one day of rest from training each week.”

This will help to prevent overtraining from occurring again. Allow at least 4 days between training a certain body part again, and always have at least one day of rest from training each week.

Conclusion

Training towards a goal can be very rewarding, and when seeing the results form, it’s hard to believe that one may ever go back to their old habits.

Allow yourself to take a break from time to time and listen to your body. It’s when we rest that the body has time to recover, rebuild, and come back stronger then before!

-The Travellothoner

The Truth About Gyms

The pressure to get fit is real. I gave in at the beginning of the year and purchased a gym membership. Since then I have learnt a hell of a lot and I though I would share some truths about getting fit with you lovely people.

Starting and staying committed is the hardest part.

For the first 2 weeks I used to have a minor breakdown over having to go to the gym. I would feel amazing straight after the workout, but the build up to it I would be like a 2 year old throwing a tantrum. After the two weeks of going to a class every other night it stopped feeling like torture and began to be something I would wake up looking forward to. Your adjustment time might be quicker than mine just don’t give up straight away!

Eating contributes more to weight gain or loss than the exercise. 

Going to the gym working hard and then coming home and eating whole dominos pizza will not have you seeing results you want any time soon. Your muscles need a good amount of protein to heal after a work out and carbs to give you energy to keep you going. No fad diets either, half the time these will only be short term solutions. Depending on your goal will depend on your food intake, but a balanced diet is a good place to start. I’m still working on getting my mix right, but since I’ve concentrated on reducing excessive carbs and sugar I have noticed better results and steadier energy levels throughout the day.

Results will not happen overnight.

It’s demotivating exercising on a regular basis and not seeing results straight away. It takes a while to see any real difference. Tracking your progress through photos bi-weekly or monthly and measurements rather than weighing yourself is probably the best way to see progress. Muscle weighs more than fat that means the scales can be deceiving. Also remember it’s not always about the results you can see on the outside, it’s also about how you feel. Before I could physically see a difference I could feel my body was stronger and more energised – that’s what really counts.

Gym buddies are real life heroes. 

Self motivation is hard; when you’re feeling weak its easy to just skip a day and then a day becomes a week and soon enough you’re no longer exercising at all. Having a friend, club, family member to exercise with is a great way to avoid this as you do not want to let them down and they will feel the same. If you find one person doesn’t share all you fitness interests then mix between a few different people so you always have the best motivation around you for each activity!

Want to improve a certain area ask a trainer.

It can be a bit embarrassing, but asking is probably the quickest way to finding out! Befriending the gym staff then getting them to help you plan you routines to improve a specific area will save you so much time and energy. If you’re not a gym member go on YouTube and have a flick through some videos, most of them will have the same moves which you can then use in your own routines.

You will feel happier and less tired. 

The endorphins released when exercising are linked to so many health benefits. This includes reduction in the chances of heart disease, diabetes, depression and obesity. I think through the commitment of trying to improve you body you begin to change the way you see yourself which helps you feel more confident.

-The Travellothoner

A second life – Part 2

A second life – Part 1 : A second life – Part 1

The biggest change I made for myself, was I started taking care of myself and my body. I started watching what I ate/drank and what I put my body through. But clearly, that was never going to be enough. You cannot undo 10 years of horrid eating habits, fast foods, drinking and a poor lifestyle by simply watching what you ate for the next 10 months.

And this is where the happiest part of my life comes into picture, “Working Out”. The people who know me know how important it is to me, and how big a part of my life it has become. My gym is sacred to me, my trainer my close buddy and my equipment my dearest tools.

For the first year or so, I only focused on getting my life together and keeping my head down and working hard to improve my circumstances. And naturally, it started to get noticed and all that attention helped me gain more confidence and motivated me to put in more hours and to make changes in other aspects.

An aspect of it was that I started noticing styles and fashion (Which upto this point I found torturous because in many ways, trends aren’t meant for fat people and shopping had always been a difficult, demotivating and sad task). I started making changes in my wardrobe one piece of apparel at a time. But I was still determined to not go all out, because I knew I was as far away from my goal as I had ever been. I started enjoying the small victories, but did not allow myself to get carried away.

And through it all, what helped me most was my self-criticism and the knack to hold myself accountable, and the urgency to better myself. I never felt short of motivation, and never lost faith in the process. I’d seen enough people and read enough to understand it was a long journey that required a lot of patience and there was no shortcut.

Simply starving myself out for 6 months to undo a decade of carelessness wasn’t sustainable or practical, and only counter-productive to what my goals were. Every few months, I found/identified with a mentor/partner and took strides along the way, but they kept evolving as my goals and methods changed. You cannot let someone else’s journey/ceiling limit

To be continued…

-The Travellothoner

Ps. You can read Part 3 here : A second life – Part 3

A second life – Part 1

I have been meaning to write about this since a couple of weeks now. 2019 has been very different for me on a lot of levels, especially when it comes to the kind of person I’ve turned out to be so far. I am going to bare my soul in this post (you have been warned).

So as it turns out, all through my life, I have always been at war with myself, trying to better the previous version of me and what I sense for myself is that my life has taken a complete turn. From being a guy who used to be an introvert, always anxious to step out of the house and meet new people; I’ve gone on to become the total opposite, an extrovert and I look forward to being put in new situations and meeting new people.

To do justice to this topic, there are some things one should know about my past. Right until I was 19, I was a very insecure human being with most of it sourcing from my weight and body, back then. It wasn’t body shaming that affected me cause it wasn’t thrown at me too much, as much as the fact that I did not like the guy I saw in the mirror and was so uncomfortable in my own skin. In a way, I had become toxic for myself.

If it makes you wonder how one can be toxic to himself, keep reading!

I have always held myself accountable for my actions and the kind of person I turned into. There isn’t a bigger critic of me than myself, and the critic in me was shouting his lungs out, based on the way I was handling my life. The horrible eating habits, The “I don’t give a shit” attitude, The bad company, The average grades, etc.

I knew I was better than that and yet, my life was in a state of autopilot where it was just going to crash and burn. And then came the biggest change : Running.

I ran a marathon, loved it and I loved myself for doing it. This was a big change for me in a lot of directions.

I didn’t remember the last time I loved myself. I didn’t remember the last time something made me this happy. I had no idea I could do something if I really put my mind to it. It dawned on me, that it was so easy for me to control my destiny. More importantly, for the next few hours and days, I did not hate myself. And god knows how much I fucking needed that.

One small win, the tiniest victory and I knew my life was never going to be the same again. Thus, started my journey to getting better, and it took me all of 3 years to write this post. 3 years of hard work, self-care, self-love, sacrifice to get me to a point where controlling my destiny, finding my happiness and being comfortable enough to talk about it.

To be continued…

-The Travellothoner

Ps. You can read part 2 here : A second life – Part 2

Part 3 : A second life – Part 3

Feeling More Confident In The Gym

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For many people the idea of going to the gym is terrifying. We’re unhappy with our bodies, we know our fitness levels aren’t what they should be, and we worry about what other people might think. And it’s just discouraging to run or lift next to a super fit gym bunny, who makes us feel worse than we already do and so we just don’t go.

Of course, there are other ways to work out, (Check it here Workout For Those Who Hate Working Out! ) and you certainly don’t have to go to the gym. But, it is an effective way to get fit and lose weight. At the gym, there are trainers and experts to help and offer advice. There are cardio machines and weights to target every area of your body, and classes to help you get the most out of your sessions. It’s the perfect place for a full body workout and the perfect atmosphere to stay motivated. So, if you would love to hit the gym feeling confident and ready to sweat, here are some tips to help you.

Go Shopping

What you wear to the gym is down to you, there’s certainly no uniform. Some people prefer to work out in leggings and a baggy t-shirt. Others like to go all out with the professional activewear. Something from Nike, UnderArmour, etc. could give you a brilliant confidence boost and help you to make the gym more fun. Think about what makes you comfortable and treat yourself to some new items.

Although it won’t affect your performance directly, like any other day, dressing up for an occasion does give you a certain level of confidence which can go a long way. Like it is said “Don’t dress for the occasion. Dress to be the man you want to be”.

Pick Your Time

Some gyms offer beginner sessions or specific quiet times for more nervous users. If yours doesn’t, just ask when it’s quieter. Start by going in when it’s quiet and then branch out when you become more comfortable.

Early mornings or evening is when your gym may be most crowded, causing you to wait (which I hate more than anything) and break rhythm. Which is why I personally prefer going at slightly more off timings.

Take a Look Around

Start going in more and you’ll soon notice that there isn’t a “gym person.” You’ll see older people, younger people, large and small; there’ll be people from all walks of life exercising next to each other. Some will be very fit and healthy whereas others will be taking a stroll on the treadmill. Take a good look at everyone around you, and you’ll soon start to feel more confident.

Find the physique that you want for yourself, and track the respective persons workout patterns and preferences. Looking at others can be just as good a teacher as getting a trainer.

Ask for a Trainer

Most gyms offer a personal trainer service, sometimes this is even included in your membership price, and it’s definitely a brilliant idea for beginners. Even if it’s just one session, it’ll mean that there is someone to show you around and teach you how to use everything. They’ll also give you some advice about what you can do and how to push yourself. This will help you to feel like you know what you are doing and give you some focus moving forward.

If a trainer isn’t an option at least make sure, you have a thorough induction and ask any questions that you might have.

Keep Going

The best way to feel more confident and comfortable with anything is experience. Stick to a regular gym schedule, try classes and use as many of the machines as you can, and you’ll soon feel more at home. Slowly, you can phase out to non-machine workouts to gain raw strength, and that’s just awesome!

Regards,

The Travellothoner.

Note – Featured Image Courtesy : https://gedgetsworld.in/best-treadmill-in-india/

Why I Run!

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I used to be the kind of person who always said “I hate running”. And I meant it too. Being a fat kid that I was, my go-to activity was computer games, staying indoors and eating . I wanted an easy-to-implement, cheap exercise to help me lose baby weight (although I wasn’t a baby anymore). Then I came across a running group within my community. They’d just come off The Mumbai Marathon back then, and would show off their medals with pride. It was something that caught my eye, and gave an added incentive to run.

I wanted to prepare for an upcoming marathon, although reluctant to put in any effort. And somehow on this quest of mine, my dad joined in too. And there’s something about peer pressure that just keeps you going, maybe for the good or for the bad. His enthusiasm was one of the primary reasons that kept me going. I trained for this marathon with all my heart, and all my unhealthy body had to offer.

And as it went, I finished the HTHM 2015 10k marathon in about 1 hour and 10 minutes. A total of 19 years before I took exercise seriously. I was on track to finish in under an hour, but I developed a cramp that slowed me down a little. I so wanted to give up, but I was very determined to finish what I’d started. Rather I did not want to quit something that I’d started, again.

So, that was that. After the marathon, my competitiveness took over and I want to do things the right way this time, and finish stronger. Something that you should know about me is I am either all in or all out. I don’t know how to half-commit to anything. And thus began my journey.

At the gym, I would use all sorts of cardio machines. I’d step out for runs and added some weight training to my regime. I’d use the treadmill too, but I’d always walk it out in order to protect my knees. This was my routine until about a month, before my life took a huge turn.

It had happened – a random event that changed the course of my life from being a lazy bum to a runner. I registered for a marathon that was way out of my league. I ended up registering for a 25k hilly endurathon, when I’d barely managed to finish the 10k a month ago. But again, I was all in, and I told myself that I would go back to my routine, work extra hard and be ready for this event.

But amidst all this training, a funny thing happened…I fell in love!

I started running on a ridiculously steep hill near my place, to get used to running on a hill. I ran slowly the whole time, but so what? No one was timing me. I wasn’t running a race. I wasn’t with anybody. I was able to run simply because I loved running.

When I got back that day, I felt amazing. I felt “clean” on the inside. I felt like I had worked my whole body, not just my legs. I did it again the next day. I took an easier route this time. At the end of that run, I was sure of something. I had a new sport. A sport I loved. A sport that in itself was enough to get me out of bed every morning. I was a runner.

Once I got back to the gym, I was worried about running on the treadmill. I had always avoided that like the plague. It’s boring, right? And tedious too. But this time, it wasn’t. I found some good running music, set the treadmill on a gentle incline, and ran a good 30 minutes. I was still slow. But it was nobody’s business as to how fast or slow I ran. It still gave me that clean feeling on the inside. My mentality started changing. Instead of despising it, I started looking forward to it. I’d start thinking about my next run as soon as my current run was over.

Why did I fall so hard for this sport?

  • I could do it alone (I’m a friendly introvert, but I need lots of alone-time).
  • I felt like my whole body was working together at once. It was also a nice break for my overthinking brain.
  • The physical exhaustion even at the end of the run helped my restlessness too. I felt clear-headed, certain, secure, and light.
  • And I could see the changes. I’d already been able to run slightly faster than the first time. My resting heart rate dropped a little. Tiny improvements – but still improvements. It’s addictive!
  • I felt like I was a part of a larger community. Runners have a lot camaraderie. Even though most of my connection was through my club, I still felt like there was a great deal of support out there for runners. It was motivating.

All I’ll say in conclusion is that whatever you do for your body, I hope you love/enjoy doing it. That’s what matters the most. That is what will help you stay committed and make an activity sustainable. Any sport will work for you if you do it consistently, and pair it with a nutrient-dense diet. You can do it!

Peace and love,

The Travellothoner.

How I Started And Fell In Love With Running!!

How I started and fell in love with running!

-How was your life before running?

Before I ever started running, I was always one of those fat kids, who had wanted to lose weight since years. My parents promised me a lot of mouthwatering goodies, countless bribes if I lost “x” kilos of weight, but it never led to anything. I had a very typical teenage lifestyle, attending college and eating junk everyday (thanks to all those shacks opposite Mithibai college), attending classes and coming back home exhausted. The busy schedule being a very good excuse to skip exercise.

I was gaining weight, telling myself I’ll start exercising from tomorrow, but never inspired enough to act on it.

– What inspired you to take up running?

This happened right after Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon 2015. My dad told me about the list of people who participated in that marathon, which came in our community magazine, and we both found it very cool. It was in that moment that we told ourselves this seemed like a good idea and we took up running, planning to do a 10k in the upcoming Hiranandani Thane Marathon. I practiced and trained everyday for a month.

I could run/walk only 2.2k in 30 minutes on the first day, and realized I had a long way to go, if I wanted to finish the 10k nicely, in good time. And I slowly started loving it a little more everyday, when I could see the improvements in myself.

-The excitement of your first long run/race?

My first long run was actually the marathon itself. I had never gone beyond 6k in training, but I told myself “I am going to run this race without walking for even a second, I’d rather slow down as much as I have to”. Luckily my training proved sufficient and I finished the 10k in good time, and without any cramps or injuries.

– The feeling of accomplishment?

That feeling of accomplishment, I will never forget. Be it a 10k, a half marathon, a full marathon or any other event of such kind; that feeling of having finished a marathon is still the same, as if it were my first race and my biggest achievement.

– what kept you going?

The realization, that I was capable of doing so much more than I ever thought I could, pushing my boundaries and going beyond my comfort zone, is what made all the difference. I could see myself and my capabilities in new light, and set out to explore all that I could do. I was never short of inspiration and motivation after that. Although I could accomplish so much, I drew inspiration mainly from 2 places :

1. My forever training partner and the person who always pushed me to do more, My father!

2. Realizing me taking up running inspired a lot of people around me, especially in my family to take up running or some sort of activity to stay fit.

– Details of number of races which you have run?

My marathon count is as follows:

10k x 5

16k x 1

21k x 15

25k x 2

42k x 3

Duathlon x 1

– Your short term / long term running goals?

My goal for this season is to finish 10 half+full marathons. Hopefully get near a sub-2 finish by the end of February. My long term goals include training and participation into more full marathons, ultra marathons and triathlons.

-How did it change your life?

When I started initially, I ran just cause I wanted to, because it was exciting. My first few half marathons were all near the three hour range, and there was no improvement. It was my love for the sport, the willingness to do better in the sport that I loved, that inspired me to bring in changes. I started training in a more systematic way, watched what I was eating, became more active all through my day and changed my lifestyle altogether. Late night movies, outings and eating junk was replaced with sleeping and waking up early and exercising. In the process I also lost over 24 kilos without any strict diets or stressful gymming regimes with nothing but consistency being the key.

It helped me improve my performance, and made me more competitive in terms of bettering my own previous timings and without cramps or injuries. The improvements were also very evident in all the other sports that I played. Thanks to the sense of achievement, improvement and the flooding compliments from my people thanks to the massive weight loss and my new capabilities, it lead to a huge confidence boost and helped me find a new sense of happiness and content in the way I was living.

– Message to your fellow runners, beginners & those who dream to take up running a marathon some day?

The best part about running is, you don’t need any kind of special equipment to start. All of us have a good pair of sport shoes. The two main things necessary to run is “your will to run” and “your eagerness to step out of your comfort zone”. All I ever invested into this sport was effort, blood, sweat, time and tears; and it has paid me back dividends in the form of confidence, achievements, lifetime memories, mentors, countless colleagues and new friends, and so much more! And all I have lost in the process is an unhealthy lifestyle, lots and lots of weight and the “I cannot do this” attitude!

All I ask from everyone is, just stick to it for the first 4 weeks. These weeks will be torturous, painful and will make you question your decision and want to quit. Get past it, and life will never be the same again.

“It doesn’t matter how slow or fast you go. You’re still faster than every other person who’s sleeping or wasting time behind a TV. All that matters is being a better version of yourself from the previous day”.

Happy running!

Regards,

The Travellothoner

My Third Full Marathon – TMM 2019

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20th January, 2019 was the big day for me. All those days of waking up before the sun while my bed was at its comfortable best, getting myself mentally prepared to run while I struggled to get my stride in order and through all that constant soreness, muscle pains and what not!

It was going to be a tough day. One I was mentally prepared for; however it actually turned out to be tougher than I anticipated. Running the race for the 3rd time this year, I thought I had a slight edge over some others thanks to my experience. But the weather gods had something totally different in mind.

I did anticipate the first 5-7k to be really hot and humid, thanks to the thousands of people together, as well as it being very humid towards Nariman Point. However, slowly as the crowds begin to separate, the more seasoned runners pulling ahead, it starts to get better, with more breathing space (literally) for everybody. And usually, you start to feel the cool air whisking through your face as you near Haji Ali.

However this year, it was way worse. I was sweating so profusely by 10k, that I already felt slightly light headed. And what good weather usually starts hitting you by 9k, only came to us around 15-16k when we hit the Sea Link. To give you a better idea of how bad it was, I shall type an excerpt from The Times Of India, dated 21st January which goes as follows:

A sweltering Sunday meant that nearly 40% more marathoners needed medical attention compared to last year: By noon, over 3,200 were treated at the event’s medical camps for dehydration, exhaustion and muscle cramps. Fourteen needed hospitaliztion, though barring two, the majority went home by evening. Because of heat and humidity, several seasoned runners said they took more than their expected time to reach the finish line: Many who wanted to beat their personal best were disappointed as their running time increased by 25-45 mins.

In the morning, the minimum temperature recorded by IMD’s Colaba observatory was 20.3 degree Celsius, 1.4 degrees above normal. The maximum temperature was 33.6 degrees, which was 4.1 degrees above normal. Adding to the unconducive weather was a humidity level of 93%. Studies have shown that elite athletes can suffer one to four-minute slowdowns due to higher temperatures and humidity.

This year cases of cramps and dehydration were more mainly due to warm and humid weather. Also, the number of hospitalizations were more than last year’, said Dr. Vijay D’Silva, director, critical care and medical affairs, Asian Heart Institute (AHI). As compared to the 2,324 runners who required medical attention last year, the number rose to 3,226 this year. As a point of reference, overall participation rose by a little over 200 this year.

Read the entire article at:
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/67616609.cms?utm_source=contentofinterest&utm_medium=text&utm_campaign=cppst

It was a tough game mentally. I was running at a very good pace for the first 25k, covering that distance in just a little less than 3 hours. Then slowly as I felt a cramp start to build up, I had to slow down, and even walk in the midst cause I had another 17k to go, which would be just under the sun. And if that wasn’t enough, I felt morally depressed as I saw all the various pacers run past me.

Such is life. From a high of wanting to finish the race in 5:15 hours to wanting to quit at multiple durations, cause the cramps were getting to me. However, I knew this would be a blip on my running career, I’d never be able to forget. And giving up has always been something that’s very hard for me to accept on all levels. So I carried on, one step at a time, running slightly and walking all the more, doing my best to block all the pain that came with it. All is well that ends well I suppose.

Another thing I’d like to add at this point is, being well prepared for it, I don’t hate running as much as I did last time. I started my training keeping in mind this race a year ago, after finishing it in 2018. Last year, I did not take up running for almost a couple of months thanks to all the anguish and pain it caused. This time around, thanks to better conditioning, I’ve been on my feet on the day of the marathon and the next day (today); and I am looking forward to starting training again by the end of this week.

And like always, I did manage to run for the last 1.5k, just so that I could get this race over with. The timing was nowhere close to my liking, way past it. But it was a humbling experience and something that is going to surely help me grow as an individual and a runner. Looking forward to sharing many such experiences in the future.

-The Travellothoner.

Benefits of a body-weight workout

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Bodyweight training is as simple as it gets and requires no equipment in order to perform it.

1. It’s a super-efficient workout.

Research suggests high-output, bodyweight-based exercises like plyometrics yield awesome fitness gains in short durations. Since there’s no equipment involved, bodyweight workouts make it easy to transition from one move to the next with little rest. And you’ve probably already heard that those short-but-intense HIIT workouts can yield major results.

2. It can combine cardio and strength training

Performing quick cardio sessions (such as 60 seconds of burpees or high-knees) between strength movements (such as a set of push-ups or lunges) will keep the heart pumping while still encouraging muscle and strength development.

3. You can burn fat—fast.

Just a few minutes of a bodyweight circuit training can have a major impact on the body’s metabolism. If you’ve ever heard of the afterburn effect, you know that even when your workout is over, your body can still be revved for hours to come.

4. At any fitness level, it’s challenging.

Bodyweight exercises are great because they’re easily modified to challenge anyone. Adding extra reps, performing the exercises faster or super slowly, taking shorter breaks, or adding a ballistic movement (like a clap at the top of each push-up) are just a few ways to make the simplest workout tougher. And with each added modification, your progress is obvious.

5. You’ll gain core strength.

Your core is more than just six-pack abs. In fact, at least twenty-nine muscles make up the trunk of the body, and many simple bodyweight movements can be used to engage all of them. Such exercises won’t just give you tighter abs, you’ll also gain better posture, relieve lower back stress, and improve overall performance.

6. It can increase your flexibility.

Not everyone who does regular resistance training has to end up with tight muscles and inflexible joints. Bodyweight training can go hand-in-hand with building strength and flexibility. Completing bodyweight exercises through a full range of motion ensures your joints are moving freely. Plus, it can lead to improved posture and might reduce the chance of exercise-related injury.  Yoga, the fave no-equipment workout for many, is another great way to to improve flexibility while also significantly improving strength.

7. There’s never an excuse to not workout.

Ask someone why they don’t exercise, and chances are they have “no time” or it’s “inconvenient.” Luckily bodyweight exercises eliminate those common obstacles. When you only need a little space, it’s easy to squeeze in workouts wherever you are. Exercising without equipment can also be used as a stress reliever whether you’re working at home or on the road.

8. You’ll achieve better balance.

When it comes to this type of training, sometimes increasing resistance means increasing balance, too. For example, a normal squat can be ramped up by swapping in a single-leg squat (a.k.a. a pistol squat). Functional movements like that one can improve balance through increased body awareness and control.

9. You’ll never get bored.

It can be easy to get stuck in a workout rut of treadmills, bicep curls, lat pull-downs, and bench presses. That’s why bodyweight training can be so refreshing: There are countless exercise variations that can spice up any workout routine. Working with a variety of exercises not only relieves boredom, it can also help break plateaus and spark further progress.

10. Mixing up your workout is easy.

11. It’s free.

Gym memberships and boutique classes can quickly add up—but bodyweight training is free. Experts cite the low cost of bodyweight training as key to its rise in popularity.

12. It can help with injury prevention.

Injury is one of the main reasons people stop working out, so preventing those aches and pains should be a big priority. Bodyweight exercises are generally safe for any exerciser regardless of experience, age, or fitness level. Many simple bodyweight movements can actually be an effective option for rehabilitation, even for those with significant impairments.

13. You’ll see results.

Bodyweight exercises get results partly because they involve compound movements—meaning numerous joints and muscles are engaged in each move. Compound exercises such as push-ups and lunges have been shown to be extremely effective for strength gains and performance improvements. And research shows improved core strength (see No. 5 above) translates to improved strength gains throughout the entire body.

My road to 26.2 Miles – Weeks 5 and 6

This is a string of posts that I have been doing over the last 6 weeks to document my way through training for a full marathon.

You can follow them here :

  1. My road to 26.2 miles – Week 1
  2. My Road to 26.2 Miles – Week 2
  3. My road to 26.2 Miles – Weeks 3 and 4

My goal through these 6 weeks has been to intensify my training regime and improve my diet, so as to get leaner and tighter while maintaining my muscle mass. So far, it hasn’t been the most successful road. Although I have managed to lose a few kilos, I’m still far away from my goal. In the meantime, I also planned to increase my weekly running mileage which hasn’t been going as well as planned either.

However, on the bright side, I have managed to improve my training regime to include almost 2 hours of workout or active time in a day, which includes a session of running and a session of weight training. Over the last 2 weeks, I have managed to clock about 35kms a week, which includes more inclines. And during my weight training sessions, I have started increasing my number of reps per set while maintaining the same level of weights.

My prime focus still has been on getting an adequate amount of sleep and focusing on recovery, while making sure I consume foods with ample vitamins, nutrients and most importantly protein.

My goal over week 7 is to clock atleast 45-50 kms which includes a long run of atleast 2 hours or 20kms. Over the next few weeks until the marathon, I have also decided to reduce my weight training to give my body more time for recovery. All in all, Core-Training is an area that I am going to emphasize a lot more on.

Do feel free to add tips or share your expertise in the comments below, especially if you feel I am not on the right path.

Until next time,

The Travellothoner.

My road to 26.2 Miles – Weeks 3 and 4

In response to my posts from earlier, I continue ahead. If you haven’t read it before here’s a link to it.

Part 1 : My road to 26.2 miles – Week 1

Part 2 : My Road to 26.2 Miles – Week 2

The idea initially was to post a weekly update as well as my training plan along the way. However, week three was uneventful or vaguely eventful and so I decided to club the 2 weeks. However, I don’t think that will be necessary in the weeks to come, since training has picked up quite some pace this week.

So for week 4 so far, I’ve managed to cover about 35 kms. I also managed to do my weight training 3 days a week in the evenings and some core work along the way. The day-wise breakup is as follows:

Day 1: Morning : 5k running.  Evening : Chest & Triceps.

Day 2: Morning : 35 mins of yoga and core. Evening : 7kms running.

Day 3: Morning : Back and biceps.  Evening : 35 mins of cycling.

Day 4: Morning : Rest.

Day 5: Morning : 7kms running.

Day 6: Morning : 10kms running.

Day 7: Morning : 4kms running.

In the meantime, I have also managed to tweak my diet to increase my protein intake and reduce my carb intake. I instead consume more of fats. I have also managed to shed another kilo and that has really managed to add a spring to my step while running. I also climb about a 100 flight of stairs a week.

Another step I’ve taken is increase the amount of stretching to avoid feeling stiff. I stretch a few times a day now, especially if it’s been a sedentary day. The diet and workout changes have certainly improved recovery.

For next week, I intend to increase to 40-45kms and do some more stretching and core work, coupled with some strength training.

 

Until Next Time,

The Travellothoner.