Back To Basics: Working Out For The FUN Of It

Hi loves!

First of all, congratulations to Germany for winning the 2014 FIFA World Cup!

germany

What a beautiful goal it was!

Also, I apologize for disappearing on you for the second half of last week. The truth is, I’ve been having somewhat of a workout mental block that started right after the Spartan Sprint. Not that I didn’t want or feel like working out, I was too exhausted to do anything. To make things worse, my knee felt weird. I couldn’t help but feel discouraged: the Spartan Beast is only 2 weeks away and I pretty much haven’t run over the past 2 weeks.

you don't workout

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It is easy to get overwhelmed by a demanding training schedule. Oftentimes, routine becomes too routine, and the novelty of it goes away. At some point I even got scared that I was losing my love for running… And believe me, I don’t want this to happen… EVER! So  I dug deeper to find the real root of the problem. Over the past week, instead of centering my mind on the upcoming race and being harsh on myself, I decided to focus on the following basics:

1. Getting enough sleep: In my opinion, this was the biggest issue. It seems like 6-7 hours is not enough for me. I feel best when I get closer to 8 hours of sleep. So I made a conscious effort to get to bed earlier. After all, it’s all about prioritizing, and my top priority is TO FEEL GOOD. *Read more on how to sleep better here.*

getting enough sleep

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2. Eating clean: Nobody likes to feel heavy. I’m no exception. This being said, I couldn’t help myself but feel bloated all the time. The fix was quite simple: I cut down on the amount of meat and alcohol, increased the intake of fruits and vegetables, and started controlling my portions more. The result was almost instantaneous: I FEEL AWESOME!

Here is a picture of some cherries and gooseberries from my parents backyard. They’ve got pretty much everything in there: white, red and black gooseberries, blueberries, raspberries, cherries, grapes, not to mention a wide variety vegetables and plants! *Can’t wait to have my own little garden too!*

berries

In addition, I recently discovered Freekeh. This grain is packed with fiber, vitamins and nutrients. And it tastes delicious. I added it to my salad instead of quinoa, and it was a nice change!

Freekeh

3. Staying hydrated: This one is pretty much self explanatory. I make it a point to drink more water throughout the day by having a water bottle next to me at all times. *Read more here to learn about dangers of dehydration, and here – to find 4 delicious favored water recipes.*

4. Relaxing: I needed it  more than I realized. So I treated myself to a nice bubble bath with candles…

bath time

Learning more about running…

reading

And, of course, treating myself to a dessert!

cupcake

5. Doing exercises that make me feel good: Yoga has been one of those things that made me feel exceptionally energized and alive recently. I won’t lie, I am sore after my yoga workouts. They make me feel strong and determined. It is an energy and confidence boost I needed.

I took it even a step further and registered myself for the EMPOWER challenge from Yoga With Adriene. *If you are interested in subscribing, you’ll have to hurry and reserve your spot by July 15, watch the video below for more information.* Can you tell I’m hooked?! *Haha!*

6. Thinking of workouts as ME-time not Jeez-I’ve-Got-To-Do-This-Again: This point is the MOST important. At least to me. Somehow we get so caught up in training for a race, competition, achieving a new PR, that we forget the initial reason why we started this fitness journey all together. Go ahead, and I ask yourself this question, ‘WHY?!’

Unfortunately, I can’t answer for you, but I can for myself. I love how being active makes me feel strong, unstoppable and healthy. It makes me feel alive. So why not go back to these basics and focus on them? It helped me!

So forget about timing yourself, tracking the distance, and just run… FOR THE FUN OF IT!

change the way you look at things

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What do you do to bring excitement back into your workouts?

xoxo
Olena

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42 Comments

Filed under Fitness, Health, Motivation

42 responses to “Back To Basics: Working Out For The FUN Of It

  1. I am right there with ya on the sleep thing! 6-7 hours just isn’t enough for my body. I need like 8-9 to be fully rested and functional. I guess it all goes back to knowing what your body needs and making sure it gets it. Training is so much more than working out throughout the week.

  2. I think that you are so right to call out sleep, first and foremost. When we don’t sleep, everything, mental and physical health especially, suffers for it. It makes it so that you can’t enjoy ANYTHING, from simple pleasures to things that you actually need to work for, and when you are working out and training, you need even more. So yup–take a rest, recharge, and you will be amazed at the change in attitude!

  3. Back to Basics is great for a reset and rejuvenation! There are a few things that are tried and true and you can’t go wrong.

  4. absgoldberg

    I really like all these points! I definitely get caught up in the obligation of doing certain workouts, which is ridiculous because in the end the main reason I workout in the first place is for my own enjoyment.

  5. Great tips for restoring motivation. I’m working hard on getting enough sleep too. It makes such a difference.

  6. I need a lot more sleep than 6-7 hours too, which I usually try and get on the weekends since I get up so early during the week that there is no way I can get 8 hours in unless I go to bed at 8 p.m. 😦 I usually try and mix up my routine every 8-10 weeks so I don’t get in a rut. Good luck!

  7. That cupcake looks amazing! Also quinoa in salad?! Hmmm never tried that before, but I’m curious now. To bring excitement back to my workouts I will run a new route or fun with another person and that usually does the trick!

    • Hi there! You should definitely try it. It’s more filling this way, plus quinoa is packed with goodies for your health 🙂 I’m currently looking for some new routes in my area; need more parks around here lol!

  8. Good for you, every once in a while it’s best to get back to the basics and I think it’s especially important pre race. I hope your knee’s feeling better! I mean at this point you obviously have the endurance to do the Spartan race so I’d take it easy and avoid injury. And I’ve said it a million times, but you’re so impressive doing all these races! Such a inspiration. I don’t always workout for the pure fun of it, but when I do, it’s a thousand times better! This weekend my run felt like pure joy and I remembered why I started in the first place xx

  9. I totally agree with you on going back to the basics and not worrying about PRs or pushing so hard but just going out there and enjoying it! I’ve had slumps before where I was performing to my own standards and it definitely took the fun out of it. Now I just go out there and enjoy it and sometimes my performance sucks and sometimes I surprise myself. But at least I’m having fun!

  10. Great post! Sometimes we forget that the basics is where it is at! Especially the sleep thing!

  11. Because I had to take a little bit of time off, I took the opportunity to mix some new things into my routine and I have been having a blast with it! (I’m also addicted to barre class now which is sad for my wallet because those classes are pricy haha). Also ever since I found that new yoga studio, my practice is so re-energized.

  12. Nice!! Don’t worry – you are going to kick ass at the Beast!!!

  13. When you have been training for something, I think it is really good to just do some kind of activity that you enjoy, not just because you should be doing it.

  14. I change my workout to try new, fun things. Maybe I’ll ease up on what I’m doing too so I don’t feel dead afterwards. I had the same problem before and have been changing things up to get the fun back. It worked but then vacations started happening and my schedule was completely thrown out of whack. Lol I discovered Blogilates and that’s been super fun because Cassey Ho is fun and her workouts are fresh for me.

  15. Cupcakes and bubble baths are always a good idea 🙂 I also always keep a water bottle next to me, I’m crazy about staying hydrated especially now that I’m marathon training! I hope you got some rest and relaxation and are feeling more like yourself!

  16. I am with you on the sleep. I need 8-9 hours to get through training and a full day of work. I am working on drinking more water. It really does help things!!

  17. These are such awesome tips. I myself rarely get more than 6-7 hours of sleep, which is tough. Now if only I could give up my wine! LOL

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  19. I love your post! Sometimes training can be a slog and we have to remember to be kind to our bodies (sleep + good food) and our minds. I just started back into yoga after a break and am loving it all over again.

  20. Great tips! I especially am relating to the clean eating one this week. I’ve had a bad couple days of eating. Need to get back on the ball!
    I bring excitement by always trying to switch it up – location, pace, group, trail, etc. This goes for cross training too!

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  22. Obviously I’m still catching up … but I LOVE this! Funny how you talked about Clean Eating and then I had a post about it this week … always on our minds!

    And for me, one of my big decisions of 2013 after really ramping my running volume during 2012-13 and improving my pace by 33% … was that no goal would be allowed to interfere with my joy of running. Period. And for over a year now I have stuck to that.

    I love all of the stuff you have done to get and keep yourself on track!

  23. What a great post! I too sometimes find myself loosing my love for working out. Sometimes we need to take a step back and stop pressuring ourselves with times and distance and strict regimes and remember why we love to run/exercise. Glad to hear that you got some extra sleep and some time to relax. I have been meaning to pick up my copy of the Runner’s mag that focuses on half marathons! Thanks for the reminder =)

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