So if you’ve followed my posts over the last 5 years, you know I’ve enjoyed my share of ups and downs. Luckily more ups than down, along with great results I’ve met many new friends and pushed the boundaries of what I thought possible. I have another post I’m in the middle of writing but thought this was too important not to share it with you. I’ve been injured with various injuries since my Ultra last September and I have an upcoming marathon in Portland in October. I had only been running about twice a week, probably around 5-6 miles, and even in those runs I’ve had to stop due to my hip, rest and then start again. So how was I going to run a marathon in 11 weeks. I’ve rested, taken time off, yoga once a week, kept fit riding my ElliptiGo bike, swam, followed a healthy diet etc., but nothing was getting me past a couple of miles. When I was injured about 3 years ago and ended up having to take a year off, I went to the gym and did strength training and stretches and was able to return to running faster than before.
So one day I was doing something and I saw an ad for a 7 minute workout and how they can help you get a 6 pack etc., no I don’t believe the hype, but I thought it could help me get stronger. So I downloaded a bunch of apps and started doing between 3 and 5 of these 4 mornings a week while I’m down in Miami to build strength and flexibility. After about 3 weeks I saw my run on our Sunday morning Triathlons get better, now I was able to run 4 miles only stopping once and the following week without stopping. The week later not only did I run 4 miles without stopping, I started to see my cadence improve and my speed increase, it was the best I had ran for almost a year. The following day I worked from home as we had a tropical storm pass through and I didn’t want to drive through it and after it passed I went for a run on Monday evening, I ran 6.2 miles without stopping and without my hip hurting, without doubt these workouts that I’ll describe were working for me. The following Saturday I left my house on a Saturday morning, after a few drinks the night before, not feeling like a long run but knowing I should at least try as the marathon is getting closer. It was around 9am, in the low 80’s, with very high humidity and plenty of sunshine, a typical Florida day. I had also been reading the book “Primal Endurance” so I left without breakfast to escape my Carbohydrate dependency and set out to run no more than 123 heart rate (180 – age) for fat burning training. Armed with just a 20 ounce hand held filled with Tailwind (which I strongly recommend rather than a Gatorade type drink) I set off. I ran down to the beach and then headed south along the beach, it was hot but at least a little sea breeze. I ran for an hour and a half before I ran out of the drink and then headed to the road to get some water and then came back. I was out for 3 hours, 10 minutes, I ran 14.18 miles and my hip felt fine. So now to cut to the chase, what are the apps and how do I use them?
I downloaded a bunch of free apps, yes all of these apps have 100% free options in them, you can pay for more but you don’t need to. Everything I’ve done is with the free basic app, they all have extra programs you can pay for but there is no need. I downloaded more but these are the one’s I settled on, I have an iPhone but I assume they are all available on Android. Also they don’t need any equipment, so you can do these anywhere. I would turn off the notifications otherwise they keep sending you a message to remind you to workout, for me I don’t need the reminder.
Sworkit – I do either the Strength, Full Body or the Stretching, Full Body for 7 minutes. If you don’t like a particular exercise you can hit next and it will swap it with another exercise and keep the same time. I set mine for 7 minutes and they have 2 30 second breaks programmed into that which I usually skip. You could of course select 8 minutes and take the break to get a 7 minute workout. If I’m doing 4 or 5 consecutive workouts or I’m feeling sore, I will do the stretching full body workout that has a lot of good exercises for the hips, I tend to skip every other of the shoulder exercises and just split the 30 seconds between the one they are doing and the one I skipped.
Sworkit Lower Body – I do the Killer Hips workout every time. I think this is key to help build up the muscles for running. Again I do the 7 minute version of this with no break. Make sure you have a bottle of water to drink between the different workouts.
Perigee Seven – 7 minute full body work out. I probably do this one most days and it reminds you if you don’t as you may lose a heart. It’s just their way to motivate you to keep doing it. If you skip an exercise in this app it doesn’t replace it with another so if there’s one you can’t or don’t want to do, just do a different exercise.
Fitify Bosu – Full body workout. This is the only one that actually requires any equipment, a half Bosu ball which I picked up on clearance at Bed Bath and Beyond for a real cheap price. This intensifies some of the workouts as you have to balance more as you exercise. I think this works my abs the hardest.
Johnson & Johnson 7 Minute Workout. If I’m doing 5 exercises then I include this one, I would do a strength, stretch, strength, hip and then finish with a strength.
I’ve continued to make good progress and have been doing a 10 mile run on Tuesday, a long run on Saturday up to 20 miles, and doing a fast 4 mile run in our Sunday triathlon’s and maybe one other run during the week if I feel good. I don’t think my hip is quite 100% yet but I’m glad to be back running and looking forward to the Portland Marathon on October 8th. It probably won’t be a Boston qualifying time but given where I was a short while ago I was concerned if I could do it walking within the cutoff time.
I’m writing this as Hurricane Irma pushes north heading towards our house on the west coast near Tampa, luckily it wobbled more north during the day and it should pass us on the east and be weaker than expected. I also fell of my ElliptiGo bike 2 weeks ago when it was wet and bruised my ribs pretty bad, I was amazed when the x-ray said nothing was cracked. I’m back running again now but have missed 2 weeks of training and my 7 minute workouts, I plan to start those again this week. I hope you try these and let me know how they help you, I think they would also help pre-surgery.
We’re back home no, 2 days after Irma. No power, but we are safe and the house only had minor damage. We were lucky, it could have been a lot worse.