An eight week fitness plan would be great right now. Well Spring is here in Calgary and the weather is getting better by the day so I thought it would be a nice day to give a little primer on how to start getting ready for Summer fun, fitness and other activities.
We are all used to seeing runners on the streets in Spring and maybe this will be the year that you join them. The nice thing about running is that all you need is a pair of shoes. No Gym, membership, no equipment (except maybe an ipod) and just some roads or pathways.
OK, so let’s say you are now in crappy shape, then you will truly need an eight week fitness plan. There is a light at the end of the next few weeks and we should all be aware that you can get out there and improve your fitness in just a few weeks if you plan it properly. The first step is to plan what you want over the next eight weeks. there is a sample slimming plan at bodybuilding.com but I would like to just look at an eight week fitness plan of better cardio instead that will make you feel better in the shorter term.
I found this list from Runners World:
Week 1: Run one min, walk 90 seconds. Repeat eight times. Do three times a week.
Week 2: Run two mins, walk one min. Repeat seven times. Do three times a week.
Week 3: Run three mins walk one mins. Repeat six times. Do three times a week.
Week 4: Run five mins, walk two mins. Repeat four times. Do three times a week.
Week 5: Run eight mins, walk two mins. Repeat three times. Do three times a week.
Week 6: Run 12 mins, walk one min. Repeat three times. Do three times a week.
Week 7: Run 15 mins, walk one min, Run fifteen mins. Do three times a week
Week 8: Run 30 mins continuously.
In the past I have always pushed myself too hard and this is something that you should be very aware of. Our brains are hard wired to think that our bodies are hardier than they really are. In starting this running schedule you should be aware of your bodies limitations and healing needs. Try to stretch really well after you are warmed up or after your workout and then make sure that a few hours after your workout that you slowly stretch to try and get rid of that lactic acid buildup and loosen up you recovering muscles.
As you get your endurance and body in shape you can definitely pick up the pace here. I believe that it is not to much to run 6 days a week instead of the three that are mentioned here. Your body will be strong enough after the eight weeks, if not sooner and then you will be able to pick up the endurance and mileage really quickly.
Consecutive days are really important. Every day you will be stronger until it is time for a rest day and then after the rest day you will not be quite as strong as you were the day that you stopped I find. It is critical though that you work a rest day or two into the week though as your body needs time to recover from these pounding workouts.
I never run often myself because my knees seem to go after just a few weeks, not sure if this is caused by pushing to hard to fast or if it just from bad knees in the first place.
I try to make sure that my favored method of exercise, biking is always recommended as well. Here is a plan for that.
All you have to do is follow the above plan by thinking about the intensity that you are riding. Casual riding can be thought of as 10% of your max and riding hard uphill could be thought of as 100% intensity. Always be aware of your intensity for a biking training session and also look at how the different gearing as well as road / path / dirt conditions will affect your ride.
After this eight week fitness plan you will feel like you are indeed in great shape and will then probably want to get started with some more sports or activities. Start to day and by the end of May you will be good for anything that summer throws at you.