Following on from a trip to Amsterdam where we overindulged on the eating front, I have reinvigorated my exercise regime in earnest. I usually go to the gym 2 — 3 times a week but with the weather in London being so gorgeous now that spring is here, I have also added some easy jogging to give my work out some variety and also to enjoy some fresh air. My local park is now open a little bit later in the evenings so I have about an hour after work to get out there amongst the spring blossoms and daffodils.

I’ve never previously followed any proper training regime for running so I don’t really know what I am doing most of the time. I used to work on the principle that provided I’m moving at some kind of pace that gets me hot and sweaty, I must be doing alright. But, obviously, there are techniques and strategies to make the most of running and to do it properly without over-exertion or injuries. So I decided to see what tools I could find online.

I came across an interval training podcast on iTunes called Podrunner Intervals which I have been trying out. The idea behind interval training is that you walk for a bit and then you jog for a bit to build up stamina and strength. Then as you improve, you jog a bit and then run for a bit. The aim of the podcasts is to take you from couch potato to 10 km over a period of weeks and months. The concept is very simple: it plays suitably slow music for the walking bit and much faster music for the jogging bit, calibrated to the relevant beats per minute so you can achieve the optimum heart rate the given interval.

I have been thoroughly enjoying using this podcast as a training tool. My problem with running is that I usually get bored so having the different music for the different phases has helped stimulate me as I trundle along. And because it takes you through the different levels in a gently phased way, I have not utterly exhausted myself in the first few days and feel that I am slowly improving. So, yay for Podrunner Intervalsl!

I am currently on the second level and I think that I should be able to reach 5K in about four weeks time, fingers crossed. I will let you know when I get to that milestone (kilometre stone?) so you can celebrate with me!

Photo: thanks to EricNixon from flickr.com (CCL)

4 Responses to “Podrunning”

  1. Susan Macaulay Says:

    How did we ever exercise without iPods ?! Music makes the torture bearable - at least for me ;) Interval training is great, and can used for different kinds of exercise (e.g. swimming, gym, etc.), to build muscle and stamina quickly and efficiently.

    I’ve been meaning to mention, but kept forgetting until now, that since my trip to Malaysia, I have a better understanding of you, Yang-May, and of how food plays an integral role in your life. For example, your AWR tribute to your grandmother was crafted around her recipe for soy sauce chicken (for your readers’ convenenience: http://www.amazingwomenrock.com/component/option,com_tribute/id,165/task,view/)

    While I was in Malaysia, I was (let me see, what is the proper word to use lol), AMAZED by the Malaysian, hmmm, ‘fixation’ with food.

    During the conference, a generous buffet offered various dishes thoughout the day (i.e. at breakfast, morning tea, lunch, afternoon tea, and dinner, and all times in between lol). There seemed to be food available everywhere, all the time, a never-ending stream of noodles, curries, rice, vegetables, sweets, and juices. Wow. It didn’t take long for my little belly to balloon to three times it’s regular size!

    So I can surely understand how many Malaysians must struggle with weight issues… :)

  2. Melanie Says:

    I’ve been jogging since the 80’s, so I can remember the joy of running with an original Sony Walkman and then with a portable CD player. Both which were considerably heavier and more cumbersome than today’s tiddlers but at the time were an absolute godsend. With a cassette you had to either endure the bad song on the album or try and guesstimate the amount of time you had to hit the fast forward button for. The advent of cd really suited me, because I’m a bit of a track floosy, I like to skip forward all the time, searching for that elusive perfect track to spur me on to greater speed.

    The arrival of the shuffle was true nirvana! However, I still find myself saying “where’s my walkman?”.

    Well done YM on starting to jog again. I’m doing London in 2010 if you care to join me.

  3. Yang-May Ooi Says:

    Susan - yes, the battle against the Malaysian obsession with food is an ongoing one. If only we could be obsessed with fitness instead…

    Melanie - thanks for your affirmation. A marathon is a bit too scary right now but my aim is to reach 10k by mid summer. Who knows, I might get bit by the bug and contemplate a marathon - but 2010 is too soon!

  4. Ruth Says:

    I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don’t know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.



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