I am a fully qualified Level 3 Personal Trainer and Indoor Rowing Instructor. I am passionate about indoor rowing, and my aim is to introduce as many people as I can to this great high cardio, low impact workout which is gentle on your joints.
I don’t know about you but this weather we are having at the moment isn’t lifting my spirits at all, the kids are full of germs which they are generously sharing out to mum and dad, leaving me with a week of cancelled sessions for both myself and my clients. This time of year should be full of smiles, sunshine and excitement to what the summer holidays will bring. At the moment it is getting wet every time you step out of the front door, cancelled village fetes and damp BBQs!
So when I am feeling like this I need to be able to lift my spirits, and what better way then to get into the gym and lift weights! Having battled my cold virus with lots of water, red peppers, oranges and rest I am now raring to go again and get back to progressing on the all-important compound lifts that I have been concentrating on in my training to improve my strength which in-turn improves my rowing performance.
Compound lifts are amazing and brilliant for changing your body-shape, they save time letting you concentrate on cardio, strength and flexibility together, so for anyone who wants to work all these areas they are a fantastic go to exercise. Don’t get me wrong isolation exercises where you are concentrating on specific muscle groups are great for body-sculpting and for people who have more time in the gym, but, they don’t give the individual all the maximum benefits a compound exercise can give for the same time and energy they’ve used.
The benefits of compound exercises are great, as exercises such as lunges, steps or squats move your hips in all directions (or planes if you want to get technical), in doing so they can help make all the muscles that work together to produce the force to perform the movement much stronger, so improving your mobility and improving your strength. They also get your heart rate up much more than just working one muscle group. Take for example a standing bicep curl, your heart rate won’t really be raised as you aren’t using a large amount of muscle tissue but if you perform a set of thrusters or even burpees, well, hello heartbeat! The reason being that you are using more muscle tissues as your using MORE muscles so your heart is being pushed to pump the blood to the muscles that are being worked - simples!
Using compound movements helps improve your overall flexibility as well as improve the way you move, your posture and balance. The compound movements of the exercise teach the large group of muscles involved how to organise the firing motor units which are in charge of starting the muscle contractions. Also when individuals perform these exercises the movements learned from them as well as the balance they also get will help them in other parts of their life, these are called functional movements - such as carrying bags - deadlifts, picking up heavy things - deadlifts, getting up from the sofa - squats and walking up the stairs - lunges, to name but a few.
All the above are just some of the MANY reasons to start lifting weights, it may seem like a minefield of information out there and you may feel intimidated, I did when I first started. My next blog will be about the benefits lifting has to women, especially premenopausal - post menopausal, it will explain about fuelling your body after your sessions, and how you won’t start looking like the incredible hulk, but how you will feel stronger , more confident in your body and how it WILL also improve your mental health.
Its hard keeping motivated sometimes, even me who is very obsessive about her training finds it tough sometimes to get on that rower. It happens to us all, the difference with some people (including me) is that even when the thought of training is not ‘ floating my boat’ I still do it anyway. Take today for example, I had seen one of my hardworking clients and had pencilled in my training for late morning, I had a cancellation too so moved my training up. Now earlier on I was looking forward to my session, it's a new cycle of training so a brand new session that I haven't attempted yet. The intensity wasn’t killer either which was a nice thought. Granted I felt a little tired as I was rudely awaken by (what we think) was a box of lego tipping over in the loft at 5:45 - I know!! So by 10am today I was yawning and the thought of just over an hour of training on the erg wasn’t filling me with much enthusiasm! These days though are the ones that you need to make that habit strong, once you start the session and when your at the halfway point you will thank yourself for doing it.
Motivation is easier to come across if you have an aim\target in mind, if your just exercising for the sake of it and hit a wall with regards to enthusiasm it will be tough getting back on the horse as they say. Targets are a way to measure progress but also to grow that commitment and consistency within your sessions, it's there to ignite that fire of you wanting to succeed, and reach your goal. If you have no goal then when the thoughts of “I can’t be bothered” or “I feel tired” start to surface it will be hard to quieten them, because after all what are you doing it for?
So the first piece of advice is work out what you want out of exercising, it could be to improve your mood, it could be a complete overhaul of your lifestyle choice, it could be for health reasons such as high blood pressure, cholesterol needing to be lowered or to promote weight loss alongside a healthy eating plan.
All the above reasons are valid and will hopefully build that commitment you NEED to be successful. I think you also need some kind of support, whether that be from a friend, partner or exercise professional, its someone that you can ask advice, or that can motivate you if your energy is waning one week. Someone who will be there to hear you and to help you throughout this process. It could just be that person is needed to look after the children for that precious hour you go for a run or the gym. Unfortunately fitness is one of those things that does have parameters that need to be overcome on occasion due to other responsibilities we have in our lives such as work and family. When you start exercising you will start appreciating the ‘free’ time you have that you can use to exercise in, that 30-40 minutes 3 times a week where you can put on those headphones and move are precious and are very important to your mental health - take it from me.
You won’t ever -hopefully- want to give the them up, but if there are situations that arise where you have to miss a session due to unforeseen circumstances , please put it into context and realise it's just a missed session, not the end of your exercising and a slippery slope to being unfit again! Once your able to get to that next session in, make the most of it and remember how you felt missing your last, also try hard to keep the memory of how you feel at the end of your first session back. Yes it may feel a little uncomfortable physically or even mentally depending on how hard you work but it will be totally worth it to feel those endorphins swimming around again!
Exercise is a helpful tool when you want to start changing your body shape BUT, you have to look at other factors in your life as well if you want to get the optimum results that you are working so hard to achieve. When you embark on a fitness program with the sole intention of losing some weight then you have to look at diet, activity and leisure time these factors will help or hinder you in your quest for a better version of you.
Now my regular readers will know that for me exercise is above all a tool to improve my mental health, staying in good shape is a positive that comes from all my hours of hard training that I do mostly to keep my mental health on the straight and narrow, but I do have to watch what I eat as well - within reason and also depending on what time of the year it is too. For now its the off season I am just over the 61.5kg I need to be to compete in the lightweight category for the masters age group. It won’t take me much to lose the ½ kg as when I go over I try not to tip the scales too much. For me now watching what I eat has become the norm, I won’t be doing it forever but whilst I am still competing and enjoying it then I will carry it on. Don’t get me wrong, sometimes its a real bloody bind, I have been fortunate in the last few years that some great ‘treat’ products have come out such as the yummy Halo top lollies, both myself and my instagram famous cat love them, and yes I may have a chomp on one after a hard days training but that really is my only vice! I think it you really have a focus on a task ahead you want to achieve then it’s easier to remind yourself of that when the doughnuts are coming out!!
The average person though doesn’t have the obsessional goals that I do, and I do realise this, it may seem odd to someone that every morning I eat the same weight of food and the same weight of lunch during the working week, but to me it’s a habit that has been formed and will stay formed for the future until I feel I have achieved all I want to do in the world of indoor rowing. For most people variety is the spice of life and I can agree that my diet will seem extremely boring to the majority, even my kids say I eat weird stuff! So for you and your forming of good eating habits, you only have to take a few things into considerations - will your food plan be easy to follow, the price of the food to buy, time constraints on cooking it and finally is it balanced? By balanced I mean does it have all the necessary nutrients you need to keep your body working to the level you need it to all day, every day. It’s all very well finding a faddy food plan, starting it as well as your exercise program, by 3 weeks into it you are feeling great and losing weight, then suddenly after not quite believing how well you are doing with so little food you get ill, you feel tired, no energy, you feel zapped out every night and even in the morning. Now this could mean a number of things so maybe a trip to the GP is in order first, but also take a look at the food your eating, are you missing out on your complex carbs, not eating enough protein, what about your healthy fats all these nutrients are so important to keep your body active and well.
Most of these faddy diets will either tell you to leave a food group out or drink a shake instead of eating a meal. Both of these I don’t advocate, a balanced diet means eating all of the food groups (obviously allergies are a different story), if your going to not eat food and drink a shake for breakfast and lunch, well your going to lose weight aren’t you, the food your putting into your body is firstly not going to weigh as much as REAL food and secondly I personally (its only my personal opinion) think these shakes are a ‘quick fix’ to a bigger problem which will come around again when the individual stops drinking them, they mess with your metabolism making losing weight the healthy way harder, so the individual then thinks the only way to keep the weight off is to keep on drinking these shakes, which cost a whole load of money and then when the money runs out they are back to square one and hating themselves as now it’s going to be twice as hard and they have lost their quick fix. It’s such a vicious circle and one that a lot of women who are self-concious about their weight get pulled into, it’s frustrating to see.
When you exercise you have to eat well to, this fuels your body to give you the energy it needs to go again the next day and to help it recover and get stronger. Good whole food that’s not processed along with a good solid fitness program will help you gain the results you want IF that’s what your exercising for.
If on the other hand your exercising to improve your mental health then keep doing what your doing! You will also see a change in your body shape, it won’t be as dramatic as a program twinned with a nutrtional plan but it will make you feel good outside as well as in and that is a feeling worth working for isn’t it?
Its the start of the school holidays for me, always a busy time and bringing plenty of guilt my way too! I work during some of the holidays too, I always try to make sure my sessions are all before 1pm and that I get at least one full day off too but there is still the feeling that your not doing enough with them!
When I was young my parents had help from maternal grandmother who lived with us, so they both worked and both my sisters and I stayed at home with gran. It was a great help to mum but I still reckon the guilt overshadowed the easiness of it.
To add more difficulty into the mix where is your fitness going to fit in! The normal time you fit it in will be just when the kids want to go to the park! Well look, its only one week, so put it in to context a little - you could treat it as a little blip / you could leave your fitness until the kids are zoned out in front of the TV or you could wait until your no2 babysitter is back from work and then hand them the baton and plough on with getting sweaty!
I personally think the latter works well for a weeks holiday, if you haven’t got a no2, ask a family member/friend or just wait till the kiddies are in bed. Yes, it may be tough getting on the exercise bike, rowing machine or completing that hiit workout at 8 pm but just remember how good you will feel after! The thing is you don’t have to do it as many times as you’d normally complete it, if you can only fit in your session twice this week well that’s ok, it still twice!
Kids do have a great way of topping up the guilt too, but when we were young didn’t we have to find our own entertainment? I did, which I tell my kids ALL the time, I have already had the ‘I’m bored’ whinge and it was only the first day!
Another great way of getting your fitness in is including the kids, if you work out at home, get the kids moving too! They may not like the idea at first but once they start the jumping jacks they will get into the swing of things!
You see it is a pretty stressful time school holidays, there is noise ALL the time, fighting and bickering all day long, for me I can deal with all that IF I know I will be able to lift some weights for an hour that day, or get on my rowing machine, both of these activities will help calm me, destress me and make me feel I can take on another day with the 3 monsters!!
It's tough being a parent, I don’t think I realised how hard it would be but with the help of fitness I can manage the stress that a busy family life throws at me. The most important thing you have to do for yourself is to MAKE time for YOU!
We are well into spring now, the weather is getting better and you should be feeling like you have a little more energy, this is mainly down to the lighter nights and hopefully your putting in some of your free-time into participating in some kind of fitness whether it be a class or an individual program, as now is the time to MOVE!
You see the excuses that you made in the Autumn and winter months just won’t work with me now its spring! The weather is warmer so that little jog/fast walk after work or even in your lunchtime is doable now, as is the trip to the gym after work as the nights are lighter so even on your way home from the gym you will be able to see where your going without sticking on your lights.
I love this time of year, mainly because its my birthday, but also because this is the time to make that jump into fitness, so you are ready for the summer and your holiday! You have a couple of months to work hard, eat more healthy and maybe drink less and by the time summer comes around you will look and feel incredible. The weather will hopefully be glorious so you will be able to show off all your hard work at the beach, it’s so much better when you have a target or event to work towards. It makes all the sacrifices, pain and discomfort that goes along with pushing yourself hard all worthwhile!
So the first thing to do is write down your goals, give yourself a long-term goal - so what you will ultimately be working towards, a mid-term goal so something that will help you keep on achieving, motivating you along the way and finally a short-term goal - this could be a starting pint, so maybe a figure of how many times you want to workout in the first 4 weeks. Remember make ALL of these goals realistic, there is nothing worse than choosing a goal that you haven’t a hope in hell chance of achieving, motivation will go down the drain and it may put you off fitness altogether.
After your goals have been sorted, it’s time to think about what sort of program you want to complete - cardio, weights or classes. There is so much out there, and I would advise you to find someone (maybe a friend), fitness instructor in the local gym or a trained and qualified PT to give you some advice based on your goals. If you join a gym they will hopefully assess you, and help you find the right program based on what you want to achieve, as will the PT. If you are short of funds the internet is a hive of fitness information, you just have to weed out the drivel!
Then its time to SPRING into action, make sure your moving for at least 30-40 mins, two to three times a week, making sure your heart rate is up and there is some sweat on that forehead during and after the workout. Believe me you are not supposed to look great after a workout, you should look tired and sweaty on the outside but kind of energised on the inside! There is nothing better than completing a particularly challenging session, and then feeling it even more the next day, this will prove to yourself you are working hard and with a commitment to the cause you will achieve your goals!
I have had my ups and downs in getting to my 45th birthday which is next week. The highs have been high -meeting my husband, marriage, kids and winning my golds and the lows have been really low - my depression and subsequent breakdown and my 2 miscarriages. I think the lows for me have been like a character building exercise, and I have come out of the other side much stronger than I was before. The Kelly Clarkson song I suppose sums it up “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” - and yes it is on my playlist, which is cheesy I know!! I am not saying there aren’t times when I wake up under a dark cloud, I look in the mirror and see the reminders of my depression everyday, the scars mentally and physically will never go away, but they also show the strength I have gained to be able to compete in a short sleeved top, and not worry about people seeing them. To be able to put up a video or photo on Instagram and not have worries about people commenting on them, yes I have come a long way in 15 years!
The main reasons for me being able to stay on that path of positivity most days is, firstly my family, my husband is very supportive, he met me when I was at my worst and has been there for me in good and the extremely bad times. He is my rock and a voice of reason, as well as my biggest supporter and to be honest I don’t know what I would do without him!
The other main reason is my fitness (or training), this part of my life keeps me grounded, it is the part of my life which is mostly on an even keel. There are days when I have a bad session, or I feel tired but only now am I starting to realise that with those days you should still tick them off as training, you did the session, saw it through so your body got the training effect, you don’t give up on these days no matter how much you want to, because after you finish your session your spirits will be lifted due to the fact that a) you completed it and b) you released all those endorphins which are now swimming around and making you smile!
What I am trying to say is that fitness had a hand in making me ‘sane’ again, before I had it I couldn’t see much light at the end of the tunnel. The days all moulded into one, my alcohol consumption was above average, my body confidence was terribly low - even before children and then after children it just got lower. My sleep pattern before kids was terribly up and down due mostly to the depression ( the tablets I took to try and combat it), alcohol and lack of exercise. Obviously after kids your sleep pattern is chaotic to say the least, and mine was like that for 5 years whilst popping out 3 of them in quick succession.
After deciding that after my 3rd something had to change, I started on my journey to make a better version of me! I cut back on the alcohol and exercised - running. It was the best thing I could have done, and when my knee got sore I panicked, ‘what was I going to do now?” I visited the doctors who sent me to a physio, as we all know there is always a wait for an NHS Physio and in that time I decided to try indoor rowing. This was one of the best ideas of my whole life - no exaggeration!! After buying my Concept 2 rower I have never looked back, my life has been turned around by the sport and to think how negative my life was 15 years ago!
I really just wanted to say that the first step out of your comfort zone, out of the fog that depression is, IS really hard. I know that even in the clutches of the ‘black dog’ you feel a kind of comfort and safety but to make that first move and get those spirits lifted just for 20 mins is a godsend, and will make you want to move even more. Maybe you don’t want to become an athlete or take fitness as seriously as me and that is ok too. Fitness can help you cope with most of the stresses and strains of life whether it be family or work related, if you have a spare 30 mins 3 times a week then make time to move. Once you’ve put it in your diary and enjoyed it for a couple of months you will reap the benefits of a much more positive way of thinking about life, your sleeping will be better and your confidence will be improving all these factors will help you focus on overcoming this awful, invisible mental illness which is depression. With help from your GP albeit anti-depressants or counselling and exercise you will have the support confidence and tools to start bringing some positivity into your life!
Do all these 3 ever go together for you? For me at the moment they all feature prominently in my life, obviously exercise as I am a PT but also because as you may know I exercise ALOT due to my training, illness because I have been ill off and on for a couple of weeks and I am not the only one in the family to have been struck down by the dreaded lurgy - we do like to be generous in our family and share the germs around! The last one is the guilt I feel when a) I have to miss a session through illness and b) going on my rowing machine whilst I have a poorly child at home. Obviously both of these ‘guilt’ reasons are at different ends to the spectrum and most people looking at it objectively would dismiss them as not valid reasons as you can’t help being ill and if the child is well cared for, comfortable and can reach you if they need you where’s the problem?
The exercising whilst ill is a funny one, I see some people getting on the rowing machine and trying to ‘bang’ out a really high intensity session whilst still reeling from a virus/chest infection. These sessions should not be attempted if there is any symptoms that are below the neck, such as fever, shivering, cough, stomach pain, sickness etc. All these symptoms can turn nasty for you if you proceed with the same intensity that you would do whilst feeling normal. Your body is already trying to fight an infection of some kind, why put it under anymore undue pressure? Now it's all very well for me to say this but sometimes I really find it hard to practice what I preach! As my training is so intensive I really stress when my sessions are missed, thankfully I am never really that ill to miss them altogether. The way you can get around sickness is to train a little smarter, so with me I will look at the session of the day and see what intensity it is and swap it for a lower intensity, maybe a hr lead one so I can keep the movement and how hard I work under close scrutiny!
Illness is really bugger for me now, gone are the days where I relished a ‘sick day / duvet day’, sick pay isn’t there and to be honest I don’t have time to banish myself to bed all that often! I have had my tooth out this week and I felt a little wobble afterwards so I’d cleared my diary for that day and got home and went to bed for a lie down. Well I managed an hour of not doing anything then I was sat there twiddling my thumbs! After having kids I find it extremely hard to just sit and relax especially during the day, there is always something to do and now I am more active throughout the whole of my life, its become a habit to just keep moving! Maybe that’s why I don’t feel the pressure when I look at my busy training diary. I enjoy the training, the moving and also the feeling I get after I finish. I think people (including myself) have just got to be sensible exercising whilst ill, in the grand scheme of things taking a couple of days off to recuperate isn’t going to break the habit you have formed, so don’t let the guilt cloud your judgement. If your poorly, rest, end of!
Guilt is one of those feelings that gets stronger when you have children, I always say that you are continually feeling some guilt everyday. Exercising when the kids are in bed helps to stop the guilt but I feel unable to produce the needed energy to complete my sessions at 8pm at night, especially after getting up at 6am. The normal exercise window for me is mid-morning to early afternoon and weights early evening feels ok too. This is all ok during the week and in term time but holidays and weekends brings that guilt rolling in, in waves! Luckily with the help of Microsoft and Apple I can just about stave off most of the boredom (what did we ever do without them!). I do try to get the sessions done earlier in the morning so then I have the rest of the day to give to the kids which most of the time works, but it does feel more stressful trying to fit it all in with the added pressure of organising something ‘cool’ to do with the kids as a thank you for being good whilst mummy was finishing her session! Exercising and finding the time isn’t just a parent problem and we all lead such busy lives that any small window of free time makes us feel pressured to do something with it.
My advice to you is to get your exercise in your diary, make it a ‘date’ every time. This way it won’t be seen as a chore but something else to put your focus on other than work or family commitments. Make it something you look forward to, so if your doing a slower low intensity session organise a new playlist on Spotify or a new book to listen to on Audible both of these are great ways to motivate and keep the habit going! If your not feeling 100% ask yourself if a couple of missed sessions to recover is really going to make your fitness come crashing down - not really. If you train smart you will progress and see the results your aiming for, if you don’t train smart illness will be become a recurrence for you.
Exercise is good for you - we all know this, it is a fact based on evidence. It’s good for you physically and mentally, will help promote weight loss, improve your aerobic fitness, get you stronger, push your stamina up in fact it really is part of the ‘holy grail’ of living longer, enjoying life and helping you feel more comfortable in your own skin.
When I advise people about exercise especially if they want to promote weight loss I always say that to get the most out of their session you have to GET THAT HEART PUMPING! Many times I hear people say that they exercise every day by walking - yes this is a start, it gets you moving but is your heart getting into the zone you need it to? To get the full effects of a ‘walk to aid fitness’ you need to feel slightly out of breath, have a sheen of sweat on you too, a leisurely stroll around the block will unfortunately not do much for you in terms of fitness, yes it will help your mental health which is great but fitness, not really.
To improve your fitness you need to start marching, get that pace up, get your breathing going at a higher rate. Walking at a leisurely Sunday afternoon pace will maybe blow those cobwebs away but won’t help you in the weight loss journey, you have to get that heart rate up to burn the calories. Get yourself a fitness tracker which has a heart rate monitor that measures your heart rate on your wrist. I know they’re not 100% accurate ( you need to wear a chest-belt if you want a more truthful score) but it's a start.
If you get yourself a fitness tracker it will measure your steps as well, now walking 10,000 steps is again a start, BUT it’s not going to improve your fitness that much, you need to do MORE to get the results. Use the tracker as another way of measuring how you move along with other ways your exercising, get yourself a bike and go for rides with the family or go for a little jog (it will definitely get your heart rate up even a 20 minute x 3 times a week one will make a difference!).
If exercising outside is still a little intimidating for you, try a hiit workout 15-20 mins 2-3 times a week at home, it will get you fitter cardio-wise and stronger as bodyweight exercises are incorporated in many of the routines. Or invest in a stationary bike - or even better A ROWING MACHINE! Both of these pieces of cardio equipment are low impact so perfect if your joints aren’t what they used to be. Unlike pounding the pavements, riding or rowing puts less pressure on your joints so it benefits any ages and can also aid fitness if rehabbing from an injury that is stopping you performing your normal workouts.
So remember if your aim is to improve your all IMPORTANT fitness, lose a few inches and boost your mental health you need to increase the 10,000 steps, make your heart rate climb and make yourself sweat a little - if you achieve all these I promise you will see the results you want and if you keep at it and make it a lifestyle choice then your life in the present and future will become much more enjoyable physically and mentally.
In my choice of sport mental strength is everything, the indoor rowing machine - when used properly- is in some sessions unforgiving! The results and progress you will see if you push yourself are second to none BUT you have to challenge yourself. There is no point completing a session on this machine that your not 100% mind and body into. Even the longer, slower distance rows need focus and a little mental strength as sitting on a rowing machine for up to an hour in some cases even longer takes some doing!
When I started using the indoor rowing machine I didn’t really know what I was doing. I bought the indoor rower with some inheritance after my knee started playing up with running. The indoor rowing machine is great if you want a low impact cardio workout as it doesn’t put any undue pressure on any joints, so it can be used for injury rehab, older and younger people alike.
So I got my Concept2 and decided to look online at the workouts I could do, I tried all the main ranking distances such as the 2km, 5km and 10km and boy were they tough. The first year my times were slow and the thought of some of these sessions filled me with complete dread! To improve at these distances there are other sessions you can perform that can train your body and even more importantly your mind. These are the sessions that build-up that inner strength and help you feel that you can row that 10 km in 43 minutes!
The most important point of indoor rowing is to never give-up. I find this really difficult sometimes and there are sessions where my mind is not where I want it to be for whatever reason. Some may say those are the sessions you must complete and I agree, these will build your mental strength so you will still fear the distances, but know that even though it will be uncomfortable YOU will get through it.
Putting the handle down in sessions is a complete demotivator, you will feel frustrated and punish yourself for your weakness - well I do. I once got a some very important advice from a really inspirational female indoor rower who’s mental strength is second to none. She pointed out that when you watch marathon runners (or any runners in races) you never ever see them stop and just give up. If they’re tired they walk BUT they NEVER give up, they always manage to get over the line. I find this piece of advice priceless and there are sessions when I want to give up but when I think of those words I plough on. I am not going to lie and tell you that I never give up now, just this past week I messed up a session that needed a big dose of mental strength, and yes I felt completely crap about it for a day, BUT I got back on the rower the next day and fired out a different session which I finished. This in itself builds the mental strength back up again.
The indoor rowing machine is one of the most underrated and misunderstood machines in the fitness world, but if you are able to push yourself, compete with yourself and challenge yourself you WILL succeed in improving your fitness and more importantly your mental strength!
Your back to your old self and back to the fitness, hurrah!! The question now is how do you start again after this little blip? You were doing so well, crushing all your sessions, progress and results were becoming a fortnightly habit but now it's all gone a little quiet after the short illness (or injury).
I am in that boat now, I have got over the illness but I am now finding that my sessions are slower, my heart rate isn’t playing ball at all either. Both of these reasons are soul destroying to an athlete, they can become demotivated and lose confidence in their abilities. To overcome this you have to have the mental strength to rise above your insecurities. It's just the same situation my clients find themselves in when they've had their blip, but the difference is they have me to will them on and explain that the fitness will come back.
The first steps to getting back on the treadmill (excuse the pun) are to keep it simple, and not put so much pressure on yourself. That I am afraid to say is my failing, patience is a virtue that I am seriously lacking in on most levels in my life! Most of my patience is used for my children so there’s not much left for my fitness sessions! Take today for instance, my session was a long low rate row with a low % of my heartrate cap. It started off ok but then my heart rate started getting too high, then my paces started getting slower as I was trying to rein in my hr so most of the way through it I spent frustrated and only let go of these feelings with 10 mins to go, once I did that my hr fell and the pace got quicker - you see most of it is all about patience, control and discipline.
The moral to this story is for the first week of getting back to exercising just enjoy moving again. Your fitness will return in the coming weeks and you may even surprise yourself with PBs on your journey. Don’t go off too quick and over-exert yourself, as you may find yourself back nursing another blip due to pushing your body far too quickly. I also have to remember to take my own advice on the above!!