We’ve all seen that driver on the interstate, weaving all over the place, always trying to get in a faster, better lane. This has pretty much been my approach to exercise from day one of my journey. I’ve changed my training plan several times to the point where I rarely actually finish a training program. There’s always something bigger, brighter, shinier around the corner. After numerous attempts to complete as seen on TV type workout plans and failing, I one day told myself it didn’t matter what I did as long as I did something for exercise every day. And the freedom in that variety is what got me going and hooked on fitness. I did the elliptical, I did YouTube videos, I walked my dog, I jumped rope, I swam with my kids, rode my bike, did yoga, took classes etc.
In almost everything else I crave routine. My mornings are coffee and talk radio in my car. Every week day. I buy the same running shoes when my old ones wear out. I have a 16 year supply of perfume (same one I’ve been wearing since I turned 15). Exercise for me has been the healthy dose of variety my life needs.
Through my trial and error process of fitness I’ve found that I truly enjoy running, paddle boarding, cycling and weight lifting. I love the strength and physique I get from lifting. There is no better feeling than the pride and glow of finishing a long distance run or race. And paddle boarding and cycling are just fun for fun’s sake. SUP and cycling for me don’t even feel like exercise. I would do them if there were zero physical benefits. (Lucky for me there are though!)
Yay! Exercise! Healthy and wellness! Where’s the problem? I’m starting to get more serious about my lifting and my running (26.2 on 10/4/15). After last week’s sickness and subsequent gym hiatus, I’ve been so happy to be back in the gym and making progress. I’m getting stronger on my lifts, and I’m really enjoying it. I’m also starting to look at marathon training programs since Spring will be here before we know it and I know I’ll need approximately 18 weeks of solid training. Unfortunately some of my running acquaintances have questioned my low mileage and have made mention that I will need to stop lifting once I start actual marathon training, else I risk losing endurance. There is the concern that the additional bulk of muscles could cause running slowness. On the other side, my lifting acquaintances have said that excess endurance running will ruin the coveted strength and muscle gains.
I don’t want to be spinning my wheels, putting in a lot of extra work just to have everything cancel itself out. So are these my choices? Option A.) Give up the heavy lifting, focus on a textbook marathon plan with some occasional body weight movements, or Option B.) Give up on the marathon and commit to a serious lifting routine with occasional high intensity interval sessions for cardio. I have never been a rebellious individual. I pride myself on doing most things by the book. But when faced with these two scenarios I say “nope”. Through the magic of Google I am finding there are is a super secret Option C.) – Hybrid training. This page actually explains it very well. I can have the best of both worlds without risking exhaustion or stalled progress! Hybrid training combines specific training runs with heavy lifting. What I love about this is that there is a way to do it and still have rest days and make improvements. I can have my cake and eat it too (and boy do I love cake!).
What does this hybrid training look like for me and my goals and fitness level specifically? I’m not exactly sure yet. More to come on that later. But again, that’s the magic of the internet. I know I’m not the first person to want the best of both worlds. I’m embracing my lane changing habits to find what will work for me. It may be a little risky, but that’s part of the fun. 🙂