While recovering from my stress fracture, finding the motivation to work-out was a challenge. I’m not a gym-rat, not one bit! One of the things I love so much about running is getting to be outside! I spend long days sitting at a desk or standing inside of cold, windowless server rooms….So I look forward to burning off pent up physical energy and clearing my head by being surrounded by nature on my runs. Working out inside on cardio machines and lifting heavy weights just doesn’t have the same rejuvenating effect on me! I had to get pretty creative with my work-outs to prevent boredom and keep myself moving!
While in my air cast (6 weeks post-injury), I was not supposed to put any weight on my injured foot. These first 6 weeks were really tricky and required the most creativity! Lucky for me, my boyfriend has a full gym at his house. I did 20 minute Windsor Pilates work-outs, punched “Bob” (stand-up punching bag), did battle ropes, and did arm exercises with dumb-bells. I downloaded a free interval timer on my phone and would choose 6 random exercises and would do 3-4 circuits, 45-60 seconds per exercise with 15 seconds to rest/transition.
Here is an example of one of my circuit work-outs:
- Punch “Bob”
- Lat Pull Down
- Dumb-Bell Bench Press
- Russian Twists with Kettle-Bell
- Over head shoulder press
Another Circuit Work-out (I actually ended up really loving this one!!):
- Boxing (Arms only): 12×3 Minute Rounds (With 1 min rest between each round)
Of course, I also spent a lot of time on the elliptical trainer, an injured runners best friend! Made slightly more bearable by watching episodes of “Myth Busters” and “Cupcake Wars” on TV!
I also swam laps (no flip turns) a couple of times, but realized that the planning/scheduling/preparation/travel time required to go to the pool on a regular basis is not realistic with my work schedule/other obligations. And as for aqua-jogging…I read online that it is good exercise for recovering runners but it just wasn’t for me. Maybe I was doing it wrong, but I just felt 1) Silly, 2) Bored, and 3) Grumpy about the fact that I wasn’t running outside! Lol
Working out has been a little easier the last couple of weeks since getting my air cast off. I’ve pretty much been doing normal workouts again, minus running. I’ve discovered my new favorite cardio machine is the “stair-mill”…it literally kicks my butt and leaves me drenched in sweat! Working out inside can still be pretty boring, so I’ve been “machine hopping”, doing 3 different cardio machines for 15-20 minutes each (Stair-mill, rower, spinner, and elliptical trainer). I even got to take a work-out outside yesterday, hiking some of the trails near my boy-friends house wearing a weighted vest. It was a beautiful day to be outside and the positive effects of that stair-mill when tackling some big hills! 🙂
Do you have any creative work-outs to share for injured runners? What is your favorite cardio machine? Do you ever do HIIT interval work-outs?